Wednesday, April 30, 2008


With Kevin Durant officially winning the Rookie of the Year award today, I thought it would be interesting to see who has won the award in the recent past. Note that nearly all of them turned out to be very well known and successful winners.

1984-85 Michael Jordan
1985-86 Patrick Ewing
1986-87 Chuck Person
1987-88 Mark Jackson
1988-89 Mitch Richmond
1989-90 David Robinson
1990-91 Derrick Coleman
1991-92 Larry Johnson
1992-93 Shaquille O'Neal
1993-94 Chris Webber
1994-95 Grant Hill and Jason Kidd
1995-96 Damon Stoudamire
1996-97 Allen Iverson
1997-98 Tim Duncan
1998-99 Vince Carter
1999-00 Elton Brand
2000-01 Mike Miller
2001-02 Pau Gasol
2002-03 Amare Stoudemire
2003-04 LeBron James
2004-05 Emeka Okafor
2005-06 Chris Paul
2006-07 Brandon Roy
2007-08 Kevin Durant

Monday, April 28, 2008


I should be writing about the NFL Draft. Or the NBA Playoffs, as the first round winds down. But all my, uh, recreation time is going to this.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Indian Cheerleaders

ABC News and the Washington Post have a great articles on the debut of the Indian Premier League, which is merging the rich Indian culture and Bollywood buzz with western fashion and influence.

The Washington Redskins have sent their cheerleaders to Bangalore to help inaugurate the IPL and train India's first ever home grown cheerleading group.

Hot Indian girls dancing at sporting events? The kingdom of heaven is near.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

First Round Predictions

Normally the first round is more of a formality, a week to ten days where the top teams warm up for the more intriguing second round matchups. This year, however, we know championship caliber teams will knock each other out. In a season which began with critics calling the NBA too predictable, its popularity wavering after poor Finals ratings, ridden with a referee betting scandal, and its best players wanted help and demanded trades, the NBA has completely turned the other way and it is on path for one of its greatest years ever. In fact, there has never been a more anticipated and unpredictable NBA Playoffs like the ones that begin this Saturday.

predicted winners in bold

Eastern Conference

1 Boston Celtics
vs 8 Atlanta Hawks
The concern is whether Kevin Garnett can lead the Celtics past the Pistons. What everyone forgets is that Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Sam Cassell are far better at performing in the crunch time of big games. Pierce and Allen each have carried their teams to the Eastern Finals before. Cassell won playoff series with the Wolves and Clippers. The Wolves and the Clippers, guys. Allen put the Sonics on his back in 2005, dominating a first round series against Sacramento and pushing the eventual champion Spurs to six games. Look for Garnett to anchor Boston's great defense, but Allen and Pierce to take over late in games.

4 Cleveland Cavaliers vs 5 Washington Wizards
It is actually a disadvantage for Boston to be the #1 seed, because both Cleveland and Washington have a shot at upsetting them in the second round. Washington won their last three against the Celtics, and are more of an unknown with Gilbert Arenas now back and coming off the bench. This is the one Eastern to watch though, as the Cavs have ended the Wizards' last two seasons creating a little bit of a rivalry here. Remember Lebrons' trash talking to Arenas at the free throw line at the end of the first series? Cleveland never really got it together after the trade deadline deal, but the real reason I pick against them is because of Lebron James' bad back spasms. If he somehow gets healthy, he can single handedly win the series. Just ask the Detroit Pistons.

2 Detroit Pistons
vs 7 Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers have been on a hot streak in the second half of the season. Too bad they had to run into the Pistons, who are built for the playoffs.

3 Orlando Magic
vs 6 Toronto Raptors
The Orlando Magic certainly have the ability to make some noise in the playoffs. Dwight Howard is a lot like Shaq in his early days - dominating, but unable to take over late in games because of his inability to effectively pass out of double teams. I do not expect Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis to be big time enough to take out the Pistons in the second round.

Western Conference

1 Los Angeles Lakers vs 8 Denver Nuggets
Remember the first 8 seed to upset a 1 seed? Not the Warriors, not the Knicks. It was the Denver Nuggets against George Karl's Seattle Sonics. Denver has the ability to score, and you know Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony will rise to the occassion and give the Lakers all they have. Problem is, the Denver Nuggets have no chance against a offense based on passing and execution like the Lakers' triangle. Pau Gasol is an all-star and Lamar Odom is playing out of his mind. Derek Fisher, the Lakers' most underated addition this year, will continute to make plays in the playoffs. Oh, and they also have some MVP guy wearing 24. There will be a need for Andrew Bynum later in the playoffs, however.

4 Utah Jazz vs 5 Houston Rockets
Houston has homecourt in this rematch of last year's only seven game series. Last year, each team won all their home games until Utah stole a thrilling Game 7 in Houston. But that was with Yao. Just like last season, look for Utah to win all their home games and steal one on the road. Jerry Sloan is a brilliant playoff coach, and Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer are the best two players that no one watches. I look forward to them giving the Lakers fits in the second round.

2 New Orleans vs 7 Dallas Mavericks
No, it is not because of the playoff experience factor that everyone is talking about. It is because last night when these two teams happened to play each other, Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitski showed that they can go on a whole another level when it comes to winning the big games. We have not seen that from New Orleans.

3 San Antonio Spurs vs 6 Phoenix Suns

  • I am not picking because I cannot decide. I really do not know. So let me tell you what I do know.
  • The Spurs and Suns played in a series that what was practically the NBA Finals last year. The Suns were a Nash bloody nose and a Amare and Diaw suspension away from potentially winning the series.
  • But these are not the same two teams. Grant Hill and Shaq are now in for the Suns. With Amare and Nash, has there ever been a team with four former MVP candidates?
  • The Spurs are not the same team either. Manu Ginobli has emerged as the Spurs best player this year. If his groin is healthy, he is up there with Kobe and Lebron as the best clutch perfomers. That is right folks, this entire glorious NBA season make come down to Manu Ginboli's groin.
  • Tony Parker will be able to score at will. Steve Nash is way too slow to keep up with him, and Shawn Marion, whose length contained Parker in the past, is long gone.
  • Anyone else notice how everyone forgot about Leo Barbosa? He is good for a random offensive explosion that could win a game.
  • Fouls will be huge. Amare and Shaq on the same floor is next to impossible to stop. Duncan needs to stay in the game as much as possible.
  • Bruce Bowen is slipping and Robert Horry and Brent Barry are not 100%. They are crucial, as Barry adds another sharp shooter to go alongside Michael Finley. And everyone knows Robert Horry is good for a couple of clutch plays to win a playoff game or two.
  • This is the Spurs' big cactus sized problem: Tim Duncan has never gotten past Shaq. The Suns acquired Shaq mainly to guard Duncan, so the Spurs went out and got Kurt Thomas to guard Shaq.
  • Nash. Parker. Hill. Manu. Raja. Bruce. Finley. Barbosa. Amare. Thomas. Shaq. Duncan. This is madness. Madness? This is not madness, this is...where amazing happens.
  • So while I am not man enough to pick a winner of this series, I am going to make an even bolder prediction regarding this awesome Spurs - Suns matchup: Winner is champion.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Told You So

I am going to toot my own horn today, because considering the wacky turns that we have seen this season, I realized I was still somehow right about a lot in my 2007-2008 NBA Predictions:

  • Most Valuable Player: Kobe Bryant

  • Rookie of the Year: Kevin Durant. By default. Only other 19 year old rookies to ever average 20 points are Lebron and Melo.

  • Most Improved Player: Andrew Bynum was the leading candidate until his injury.

  • Coach of the Year: Rick Adelman will not win it either, which brings us to...

  • The Houston Rockets. I picked them to go to the Finals, and might have been right if not for Yao's fractured leg. Still though, their record setting 22 consecutive wins was the league's running headline for a while, and the emergence of Scola and Landry make them a likely candidate to make some noise this year and contend next year.

  • The Portland Trail Blazers. I had them correctly finishing third in their division, and named Roy and Alridge as the next great duo. Is there any team that has a more promising future with Greg Oden coming in next year to anchor in the defense and open up the floor for teammates on offense?

  • The Spurs tend to wear down towards the end of the season. Now, the West is wide open thanks to injuries to Ginobli, Horry, and Barry.

  • Dirk Nowitski is not good enough for the Mavs to win. They apparently realized this and traded for Jason Kidd, a proven veteran who knows how to win in the playoffs.

  • The Orlando Magic will win the Southeast division. It is hard to believe that Miami was the preseason favorite here, but Turkoglu's emergence as a big time player led Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis to the top of the East.

  • The Boston Celtics will win 60-70 games. This seems like a given now, but remember that before the season many were unsure as to whether the Boston Three Party would have enough support to take the East so easily.

If you read this much, then you will be happy to know I was completely wrong on some predictions as well:

  • The Memphis Grizzlies will finish ahead of the New Orleans Hornets. Could I have been more wrong?

  • The Chicago Bulls will win the Central Division. Instead, they self-destructed amongst all the trade rumors, contract years, and fired Scott Skiles on Christmas Eve.

  • The Philadelphia 76ers are still rebuilding. They made a late season run and are suddenly an up and coming team.

Always fun to see how predictions turn out. Now that is over with, stay stuned for some playoff predictions.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


The five stages of grief are as follows: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression...and HOPE. Well, I can say that we Sonic fans have been through all of them at this point, and today further news breaks:

If this turns out to be as big of a deal as it could be, Sonic fans boycott of Starbucks may come to an end.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Final Game

Last night Gary Payton showed up to the house that GP built, KeyArena, for what may end up being the final NBA basketball game played in Seattle, Washington. The fired up crowd willed the otherwise woeful Seattle Sonics onto a 99-95 comeback victory over the playoff bound Dallas Mavericks. The last two big buckets were scored by a clutch 19-year old fellow named Kevin Durant.

The Seattle Times, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN all had great pieces on this sad special night.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Curse of the Shaquino

From's Marc Stein:

"I like Big Cactus. Why? Because I'm old and because nobody really knows what type of cactus I am. But I will prick your ass if you touch me the wrong way."

--- Suns center Shaquille O'Neal, delving into the truly important stuff -- now that his new team has its on-court business flowing so nicely -- by explaining why he sees no need to amend his latest nickname, as you might have expected, to the Big Shaq-tus.

O'Neal, furthermore, is not dropping his latest inflammatory assertion that Orlando's Dwight Howard has not earned the right to associate himself with Superman, as Shaq has done for years. "Anyone can win a slam-dunk contest," O'Neal announced last week. "The real Superman is dead. He was assassinated by Pat Riley. I'm the Big Cactus now and ready to roll again."

That quote popped into my head when I saw Shaq on Monday wearing a pair of custom-made Superman sneaks on his way out of practice. When I jokingly asked him what he was doing with Dwight's shoes on, Shaq promptly (and sternly) informed me (after a few unprintables) that Howard still has to "get past the Shaquino" in the playoffs for such a privilege.

If you're losing track -- not hard when it comes to Shaq and all of his monikers -- "Shaquino" is a reference to what is known among Magic fans as the "Curse of the Shaquino," which blames O'Neal's abrupt free-agent defection to the Lakers in the summer of 1996 for Orlando's subsequent decade-plus of woe.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Trophy Wives

Normally I am not a big fan of reading stuff like this, let alone sharing it. But this quote sparks some interesting debates:

"Men are very sensitive to women's attractiveness. Women seem to be sensitive to men's height and salary."

Well, no duh.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Nazi Olympic Torch

Steve Kelly has a nice column on the Olympic torch, its Nazi roots (!), and says given the protests the whole torch relay should be scrapped anyway.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Kansas tops Memphis

Memphis' poor free throw shooting and lack of execution in the closing moments allowed Kansas to force overtime and go on to win the NCAA national championship last night. If you did not watch one of the greatest and most important college basketball games ever, shame on you.

By the way, Derrick Rose would still fit perfectly alongside Kevin Durant.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Denver & Seattle

120 - 103
138 - 96
168 -116

Those were the final scores of the previous three meetings between the Denver Nuggets and the Seattle Sonics this season. So when last night's game was to be televised on NBATV, I was justified in deciding to boycott watching a game I would otherwise be excited for in what is playing out to be the worst season in Sonic history. Besides, the NBA season is wrapping up, and fans of teams that are no longer in the running for the playoffs are actually rooting for their team to lose more games in order to increase their odds at a higher lottery pick to draft, say, a Derrick Rose. So, of course, this happens:

Maybe it was the start of something special between a pair of rookies with limitless potential.

In front of 13,104 fans at KeyArena who stood and cheered for the game's final 10 minutes as if it were a playoff, Durant drained a pair of clutch three-pointers and Green dominated on the perimeter and beneath the rim during a 151-147 double overtime victory that snapped a five-game losing streak and hurt Denver's playoff chances.

Both rookies finished with career-best scoring performances. Durant had 37 points on 11-for-24 shooting and Green sank 14 of 21 shots for 35 points.

--- Percy Allen, The Seattle Times

*sigh* Another night in the life of a poor Seattle Sonics fan.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Gisele's Assets

Now seriously, what did you think the above title was referring to?

We traditionally think hot girls latch onto rich guys for their money, but Gisele Bundchen's $33 million earned in the past year dwarfs Tom Brady's $10 million annual salary. Gisele is supposedly worth a whopping $150 million.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008