Posts Tagged ‘NBA’

LeBron James’ ill conceived “The Decison”  happened  on July 8th but the bad taste it left in everyone’s mouth is still here.  To be honest, I am not an LBJ fan and couldn’t care less where he decided to go unless it was to my beloved Clippers.  If that had happened, he would have automatically been my favorite player.  That didn’t happen but what did happen left most sports fans disillusioned with LeBron, ESPN and the state of sports in general.

The people of Cleveland beg to differ

I will tell you what I think about “The Decision” in a minute but if you want to get it from a pro please go to ESPN’s Ombudsman, Don Ohlmeyer, and read his magnificent piece on “The Decision”.  Ohlmeyer’s article is probably one of my favorite pieces of sports writing in a long, long time.  The only thing I would’ve added is that this wasn’t the first time ESPN blurred the line between being a news organization and self promotion.  The Adam James/Mike Leach saga last December showed that ESPN had trouble being truthful and objective when the story concerned one of their own.  Here’s Ohlmeyer’s take on that too.  Another good read.

But even before that there was ESPN’s promotion of baseball’s Home Run Derby between 1995 and 2006 and the Sosa-McGwire saga of 1998.  I have no problem with the Derby but I did have a problem with ESPN being outraged to learn that baseball players were on the juice.  I wrote a little about it here.  ESPN had specials on the Sosa-McGuire home run battle and they would even cut in on all Sosa and McGwire at bats late in the season but no one ever thought to question if these guys were clean.  Later, they felt betrayed by both Sosa and McGwire after the whole congressional hearings thing played out.  That’s an insult to all sports fans because we all had an idea it was happening but wondered why it wasn’t investigated more.  When Selig made his big announcement that MLB would be cleaning up the game of PED’s, the only people surprised to hear that players were on the juice were ESPN and MLB.  I could write a World Cup length piece on it but I’m on vacation and can’t be bothered right now.  I’ll wait until some big name star gets outed for using to write that.

Note to ESPN: A lot of people feel this way

Back to “The Decision”.  ESPN had to know that having an hour-long, prime-time show was overkill and wouldn’t go over well with anyone not living in South Beach.  If they didn’t, then they don’t know their audience and are out of touch with todays ever cynical sports fans.  Truthfully, I didn’t watch it but already hated the idea when I heard it.  I didn’t know all the details until I read the Ombudsman’s piece on it.  How did ESPN allow itself to be taken over by LeBron and his posse for one night?  What was the reward?  Sure they did mad numbers but at what cost?  They didn’t make any money because LeBron pretty much made them pay for the privilege of allowing him to be on their airwaves that night.  Plus, ESPN should’ve known that something was up when LeBron decided that he wanted the loathsome Jim Gray to conduct the interview of him on a show LeBron and Co. conceived.  My favorite quote from the Ohlmeyer piece has to do with Gray’s involvement.  Ohlmeyer writes, “if the interviewee also brings along his own interviewer, you cannot protect the integrity of the broadcast”.  Word!!!

Jim Gray? What, wasn't Stephen A. Smith available?

Not only was ESPN at fault but how did LeBron not realize what the backlash was going to be?  He went from a loveable man-child to probably one the most hated guys in the NBA.  He’s right up there with Kobe now.  I hate Kobe Bryant and now LeBron but I can’t deny these guys are talented as hell.  Oddly, I think Kobe benefits from this short-sightedness by LeBron.  I immediately wished Kobe was in the gym at the time of the broadcast and thinking to himself, “I’m gonna turn it up this year and there ain’t nothing 6-3-1 can do about it.”  Kobe somehow was more tolerable to me and another Lakers championship wouldn’t be as hard to swallow as a Miami Heat triumph.

Go ahead and win another title. As long as 6-3-1 doesn't I'm cool with it

LeBron James, for all his business acumen, seems like an insecure child sometimes.  He’s already defined his career and legacy as a failure is he doesn’t win a ring.  He needs that ring to be Michael Jordan or better.  The only thing is that Michael would never have gone to another team to get what he wanted.  Michael was going to make things happen on his terms.  People would have to join him and not the other way around.  Kobe is the same.  Magic and Larry Bird were also the same.  LeBron just wants to be part of something and if that gets him the ring, nothing else matters.  That’s why he’ll never be like Mike.

Jordan would've never joined The Bad Boys. It was his way or no way

Was it worth it LeBron?

Does Dwyane Wade realize that he’s gonna be LBJ’s lackey in Miami and not the other way around?

Be careful what you wish for Dwyane

Sincerely

Everyone outside of  Miami

Dictated to: The Bearded Guy

Wasn’t really feeling sports this week.  My White Sox still suck, Lance Armstrong was accused of doping (again), Hanley Ramirez has been doggin’ it on the field, I think something is happening in hockey and the inevitable Lakers – Celtics NBA Finals is gonna happen.  I don’t really give a shit, right now.

Something did pique my interest this week.  I’ve been in Korea for about nine months now and I’ve gotten used to the way things are around here.  I’m no Korean culture expert but I think I know what’s up.  But, I read something this week that made me question something about this place, something that every Korean loves and has to have.  I thought I knew quite a bit on this subject but then someone came along and blew my mind and I’ve had to rethink what I (thought I) knew.

Luckily, common sense prevailed and I realized I was right all along.  I like it when that happens.

The point here:

Never take what people think they know at face value.

Always do your research.

It’s ok to laugh at people who pretend to know it all.

Inside jokes are fun.

Thanks for indulging me.  Here’s a little something for your enjoyment.

Kimchi Recipe

Napa cabbage – approximately one pound
4 cups of cold water
3 tablespoons of sea salt
1 tablespoon of fresh garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh green onions (scallions), finely chopped
1 teaspoon of dried red chili pepper flakes (more if you like things spicy, less if you don’t)
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of sugar

Directions:

Separate and wash cabbage leaves. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sea or kosher salt evenly on cabbage leaves. Place salted cabbage leaves in a large bowl, add 4 cups of cold water, cover with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator overnight. Be sure that water covers all cabbage leaves – place a plate or other heavy object on top of leaves to ensure that they stay covered with water.

The next day, pour off water and thoroughly rinse cabbage leaves. You can shake them gently in the sink to remove excess moisture.

Place cabbage leaves back into large bowl and add garlic, green onion or scallions, ginger, dried red chili flakes, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of salt. Use your hands to rub seasoning evenly into all cabbage leaves. Be sure to use gloves to do this, otherwise, your hands will burn from the chili flakes. If you are pressed for time, mix seasoning ingredients with about a cup of warm water before adding them to cabbage to allow for easier distribution on cabbage leaves.

Transfer seasoned cabbage leaves into a large glass bottle. Be sure to use firm pressure with your hands to push down on cabbage leaves as they stack up inside the bottle. Transfer any liquid that accumulated during the mixing process into the bottle as well – it will become kim chi brine. Some liquid will also come out of the cabbage leaves as you press down on them as they are stacked in the bottle.

Leave about 2 inches of room at the top of the bottle before capping it tightly with a lid. Allow bottle of kim chi to sit at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Your kim chi is now ready to eat. Use scissors or a knife and cutting board to cut cabbage leaves into 2 inch pieces before serving as a side dish to a bowl of rice, soup, and perhaps a piece of fish. Refrigerate remaining kim chi and take out small portions right before meals. The refrigerated kim chi will continue to ferment slowly in the refrigerator over time, becoming more sour and flavorful with each passing day. So long as you use clean utensils to take out small portions, it will keep for up to a month in your refrigerator.


Before I post my Jersey Shore update I thought I’d put out an amber alert on one of the writers of this blog, Kennedy Wong.  He was last seen on the pages of dmzsports.wordpress.com writing his weekly/bi-weekly/monthly/quarterly/???? Simply RiCOCKulous on March 17, 2010.  Don’t get me wrong, I like not having to turn my speakers down to read his posts but he does add a unique perspective on things going on in and out of the world of sports.  

This guy is a Blasian but it's not Kennedy Wong

 

If you see him, please ask him to sit in front of his computer and come up with some witty comments like only he can.  Actually, if you see him, tell him to spend less time on Facebook and more time contributing to this site.  How will you recognize him?  Since he’s a huge hoops fan, he should have a Memphis Tigers jersey on or an NBA jersey of whatever team is hot at the moment.  Since he’s such a huge NASCAR fan, maybe he’s wearing his Dale Jr. jacket or something like that.  And since he’s a huge football fan, he’ll probably be wearing something USC related and talking about how great the Trojans will be since he’s going to be going to school there.  Whatever he’s wearing, you’ll also notice him by the decibel level in your area suddenly going up by a power of ten when he enters the room. 

This is probably hanging in Kennedy's closet

 

Blasian, I miss you, The Bearded One misses you and Sitting Pugs misses you.  Come back soon.

Its been almost a month since we have heard from Kennedy Wong and Sittingpugs whispering sweet nothings to each other through Sports blogs, so I thought I would call this the Simply-Wongless to replace The Blasians “weekly, I mean bi-weekly, oh wait lets just make it quarterly” Simply Ricockulous. I thought you were are NBA guy or basketball guy….hasn’t there been big signings at the college ranks and playoff match ups? Fam, you truly are the one who is Ricockulous!

"Since Kennedy Wong isn't here no one on DMZ sports loves me! "

-DMZ sports

Video of the week:

Can you believe he plays D-3?

The selection and post-selection shows are finished and the brackets are all over the net waiting to be printed.  By the way, if you’re in the States and you need help with your picks, make sure to pick up a copy of the Monday USA Today.  They always, in my opinion, have the best coverage and analysis before the tournament.  It gives me a headache to watch all the shows talk about the tournament.  Most talking heads are vague enough that they can always be right later in the tournament.

If I were back in Chicago I would have already filled out ten brackets just as a precursor to all the information I will devour in the days before the tournament.  Don’t disregard that first bracket you fill out “just for fun” because sometimes your gut is better at picking games than stats.  Sometimes too much information is bad information.  When all is said and done and the information has been absorbed, I fill out my final bracket and that’s the one I use.  I’m not Multiple Bracket Guy.  I hate that guy.  Don’t be that guy or any of these guys.

I'll miss you most of all Jim Nantz

The tournament has been very lucrative for me over the years.  I’ve won a pool on five occasions.  In 1994, while at Eastern Michigan, I nailed the tournament for four large.  While everyone was drooling over the Duke roster of Grant Hill, Cherokee Parks, Antonio Lang, Chris Collins and Jeff Capel, I put all my chips on Arkansas with Scotty Thurman and Corliss Williamson.  The other times I’ve filled out a bracket the story was always the same.  I’d kill round one (28-4, 29-3) and then my brackets get busted in round two.  So, by the end of the first weekend I’d already be out of the running.

Thanks Scotty, I owe you big time.

This site doesn’t promote gambling but it’s not discouraging it either.  If you’re in college, find your campus bookie (every school has them) and become friends with him.  He’ll automatically be the most interesting person you know.  If you know what you’re doing, you can make some good money in college.  If you’re just looking for a quick, big score then stay away.

Guys of his ilk will be the most interesting people you ever know

I’m not going to bore you with my (lack of) insight on the greatest three weeks of sports because I haven’t been able to really follow the season as a whole here in South Korea.  I know the rankings, I’ve seen box scores and I’ve even been able to watch streams of some games but that’s not enough that you should care what I think.  I will give you my Final Four and winner but feel free to disregard it.  I’ll just do it for posterity.  You’ll probably get some insight later in the week from The Bearded Guy and The Blasian.  To be honest, forget everything The Blasian tells you about the tournament.  He still thinks the Memphis Tigers were in the 2008 National Championship game against Kansas but we all know that Memphis went winless in the 2007/2008 season.  Yes, Kansas did win the tournament that year but I can’t remember who they played.  The NCAA can be confusing sometimes when it comes to records and history.

I know Mario Chalmers hit a big shot in 2008 but I can't remember against whom

With the time difference, the lack of coverage in the ROK and the fact that North Carolina and Eastern Michigan are not in the tournament, I don’t have much to say about March Madness.  This will be the second time in my life that I won’t be in the States for the tournament.  In 2003 I was in Hong Kong and it sucked not being able to see any games.  I don’t know if there was something like justin.tv back then.  You can’t get psyched about it by reading recaps and message boards (remember them?).  Somehow Malcolm Gladwell became a huge fan of the NBA as a child by only reading old issues of Sports Illustrated and never seeing an actual game in his native Canada but Gladwell must have some gene I’m missing because I need to watch the games to get excited about them.  Maybe it’s not a gene, maybe it’s a Canadian thing.

Malcom Gladwell - Genius and Canadian. That doesn't sound right.

My favorite memory of the March Madness was back in 1996 when I travelled with a bunch of other Eastern Michigan students to Indianapolis for rounds one and two of the tournament.  Eastern beat Duke in round one and it was the greatest sporting experiences I’ve ever had.  The Eastern fans were hot and it was nice giving it back to the Dukies.  Plus, Greg Newton told me to fuck off as Duke was leaving the court at the end of the half.  Good times.  Unfortunately, we lost to Ray Allen and UCONN in round two but we had so much fun over those four days.

What I think might happen:

Final Four – Kansas v Pittsburgh, West Virgina v Duke
Final – Kansas v West Virginia
Champs – Kansas

I’m sure you’re gonna be hearing a lot about John Wall.

Try to watch any games Gus Johnson is doing because you’ll be in for a wild ride.

Gus Johnson is excited about everything

Back in the day, Craig Bolerjack and Ian Eagle would always be in The Pit in New Mexico, Boise or some other out-of-the-way venue and I couldn’t wait to see where CBS shipped them off to.  It was like they were being punished or paying their dues.  We use to actually have bets on where they would show up.  Now that Bolerjack and Eagle have moved up the pecking order, who are the announcers CBS sends to the Siberia of March Madness?

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!!!!

Unlike last week there is a nice amount of stuff to gab about this week because as always people are stupid and the things they do are …..“Simply RiCOCKulous”!!

1) I’ve made a horrible self realization this week! The realization that I might be 1 of the only REAL NBA Fans left! Now let me clarify what I mean by REAL NBA Fans!  REAL NBA Fans don’t just watch during the playoffs or the holidays. They watch (or try to at least) from the beginning until the end of the season.  REAL NBA Fans don’t just pull for Kobe, LeBron (“THE” Bron in French), D. Wade, or whatever hot young star has the coolest commercial out at the moment. They pull for a TEAM and generally their fave player is the best player on that team! But most importantly, REAL NBA Fans recognize the REAL GOOD NBA PLAYERS regardless of whether they are on the team you like or not. Until this point that recognition of REAL NBA PLAYERS always culminated with the NBA All-Star game! However, this year the FAKE NBA Fans have ruined that!

To illustrate my point I’ll give you 3 guard choices. Player A averages 22.6pts, 7.2 assists, 1.3 steals, 3.6 TO’s and shoots 41.1%. Player B averages 19.4pts, 5.9 assists, 0.8 steals, 2.7 TO’s and shoots 47.1%. Player C averages 14.3pts, 4.2 assists, 0.6 steals, 2.3 TO’s and shoots 44.1%.  Based on the info above, which 2 players would you pick first to be All-Stars?  People with brains would say A 1st and then B.

So tell me how in the HELL does C get selected as an All-Star and the other 2 do not! Player A is Gunman Arenas, and he’s suspended, so I’ll give you a pass when it comes to him not being an All-Star! Player B is Derrick Rose who also has not been voted in and Player C is Allen Iverson who miraculously is an All-Star Starter.

That’s right Allen “I played for the Grizzlies is now a trivia answer” Iverson has made the 2010 NBA All-Star team. My disclaimer here is that I was a HUGE A.I.  fan b4 the season started! I stuck with him through the “We Talking Bout Practice?!?” rant and the “Nobody Likes Me” rant in Detroit. And in my opinion he is one of the most talented players EVER to lace’em up in the league!  However, quite simply put, he doesn’t deserve to be an All-Star this year! Not only have Derrick Rose and Buckshot Arenas had better years but to so has Joe Johnson, Rajon Rando, Brandon Jennings..etc, etc.   So what happened you ask, well A.I. is still immensely popular and was voted in off fan love alone.   I’m mean I’m all for fan love but when something this stupid occurs the D. Stern should be granted like Emergency  Executive Powers and allowed to tell Allen Iverson to re-inact his Grizzlies career and leave before the games start!  For us REAL NBA Fans this is a travesty and probably wasn’t even this bad when Yao Ming was voted in over Shaq in Yao’s  rookie year because  it seamed like EVERYONE in China voted for him!  So to all you FAKE NBA FANS who have no respect for the game…I can only describe you and your 2010 All-Star Version of Allen Iverson as “Simply RiCOCKulous”

Yea, how you got on the team has me beating my head too!!

2) This “Simply RiCOCKulous” is for myself, yea that’s right! I’m giving myself one! Why?? Because at I was all excited when I found out Serena Williams was apparently going bottomless at tennis tournament (take a look here if you don’t believe me)!

The Moon on Venus

Only to be crushed when I  found out that not only was she not bottomless (just flesh colored shorts), but that is was Venus and not Serena! So for biased towards one talented Williams Sister over the other (but can you really blame me Serena was in ESPN’s the Mag’s Body issue and Venus wasn’t), I say to myself… “Simply RiCOCKulous”!

3) If I was going to think of a place in the USA where White People would have to make a stand so they could get an equal shot at something and not be discriminated against (the concept of which still blows my mind!), Augusta Georgia, (home of the Annual Good Ole Boy Invitational Golf Tournament aka the Masters) would be the LAST PLACE on Earth I think that would happen!  However, Augusta Georgia’s newest event in a long line of segregated efforts is (drum roll please) a WHITES ONLY Basketball League! Or as I will call it from now on the NJBA (the Non Jumping Basketball Association).  Now I know just like myself you are wondering what in the Hell?? But League Owner and Creator, Don “Moose” Lewis, (couldn’t make that name up if I tried) says “White  American-born citizens are in the minority now. So now, here’s a league for white players to play fundamental basketball, which they like.” Yep and even the President of the U.S. couldn’t qualify to participate because “only players that are natural-born United States citizens with both parents of Caucasian race are eligible to play in the league.” Fantastic job Moose!  Way to NOT,  make a big deal out of athletics and racial stereotypes “Simply RiCOCKulous”!

So does J.Will (White Chocolate) Count?

And honorable mention for this week:

This one is non-sports related! But because Love is a Game to some I’ve decided to link THIS Simply RiCOCKulous story here for you to enjoy! The morals are 1) Billboards are evil and 2) Treat your significant other, or the one you are cheating on them with right or  your pics  might end up near your local highway!

– Kennedy Wong a.k.a. The BLASIAN