Sunday, December 14, 2008

Jerome James Played Tonight.

He got in with four minutes to go, the Knicks up 25. Stood by the scorer's table with a big grin on his face. Hit his first shot (a fallaway in the paint), grabbed a rebound or two, even threw in a between-the-legs dribble before, well, shooting an airball. Every move had the guys on the bench going nuts.

The way he got up and down the court made Malik Rose look like Usain Bolt, but it was good to see Big Snacks finally get some run. Er, jog. Sometimes dreams do come true.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Four-for-four all on dunks against the Nets tonight—in the first half.

Best protect ya neck.

(Actually, I'm not positive they were all dunks, but he had a two-handed reverse off a Hughes 'oop that should count as four anyway.)

UPDATE: Tyrus apparently suffered a hyperextended neck in a collision with one of his own teammates, and may not play in the second half. Terrific.

UPDATE II: Judging from the dunk he just threw down, I guess he's recovered somewhat. If Vinny doesn't keep giving him minutes, I won't be held responsible for my actions.

Hey Mo! You're Fired!

With his Brand-name Sixers off to a 9-14 start—and losers of eight of their last 10—Mo Cheeks is out in Philly. If you're keeping track, that's five NBA coaches fired before Christmas. Happy Holidays! You can read about Mo's ouster in various media outlets, or just watch this instead:

Y Me

Throughout my entire childhood, I only played one season of organized basketball. It was a mere blip—a layover in between Little League (which I played for all of two seasons) and soccer (which took me through my freshman year of high school).

Later on, I played hours upon hours of pick-up at the University of Delaware and became (in my humble opinion) a decent recreational player. Much like Allen Iverson, I took great joy in playing the passing lanes and gambling for steals. Unlike Allen Iverson, was virtually everything else.

But when I played my one season for the YMCA, I was awful. Completely and truly awful. I wore number 47, and, as best as I can recollect, didn't score a single point. My physique was reminiscient of Manute Bol, only two feet shorter and infinitely paler. I'm not sure whether I quit because I was bad, or because my parents mercifully declined to renew my contract. Thankfully, they documented my experience with this single photograph:

That would be me playing Auerbachian defense. Hopefully the girl in the background became either a supermodel or Rebecca Lobo.

While I wish I remembered more, at least my parents didn't own a video camera.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Oh, Hai(ku)

Is anyone there?
Am I typing for myself?
Readers, please comment.

I'd just like to know
Who, if anyone, is there
Or if I'm alone

Sorry to do this
I don't mean to intervene
Back to the background

Updates to follow
On the semi-regular
Most likely in verse


One of the best things about the New York Knicks pressroom used to be the halftime pretzels. Served up warm from one of those rotisserie things they have at the concession stands, then liberally smeared with Gulden's Spicy Brown, the massive New York pretzels were the perfect antidote to the first half of alleged basketball you'd just witnessed.

Wait a minute.

"Used to be"?


Alas, yes. Apparently downsizing isn't limited to Wall Street bankers and members of the old media. Behold, the new pressroom pretzel:


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Suns Trade

Goodnight Bell and Diaw
Thank you for everything
It won't be the same


Aloha, J-Rich
You would have liked D'Antoni
Sorry about that


Hello, Amar'e?
We just used our '10 capspace.
Hello? Amar'e?


Hey Steve? This is Steve.
We traded your friend Raja.
Can you play defense?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Yi, Mack

Just so you know, the Nets are serious about promoting Yi Jianlian to the potential Chinese audience. I saw this poster a couple weeks ago in Chinatown.

Devin, Vince, and James Taylor are bummed.

Bad Meaning Bad, Not Bad Meaning Good

So I think I'm gonna start sporadically updating this thing—sporadically meaning "more than once every three months." I can't promise something every day, but I'll at least make a good-faith effort. What will it be? I have no idea. But I'll let y'all know when I do on my Twitter feed (I know, I know). So yeah, follow that.

Since I'm here, I might as well make some basketball-related points:

• Is it just me, or are the bad teams particularly bad this season? I don't know whether statistical analysis would back this up (and I don't care enough to look anything up), but I DO know that of the four ESPN/TNT games last Thursday and Friday, all of them involved 20-point leads at one point, and none of them were remotely competitive. Maybe it's a combination of the bad teams being really bad and the good teams being really good. Whatever it is, it doesn't make for very compelling games.

• The Detroit Pistons, as constructed last year, were like a solid rock band. I'm not sure who—say, Coldplay. Not Radiohead or anything, not the Stones, but a solid band that sold plenty of records (do bands still do that?) and had plenty of fans and all that. Most importantly, they were a cohesive unit. The Iverson trade was the equivalent of dropping Gwyneth's husband and replacing him with David Lee Roth. I mean, yes, it was a major shake-up, and it could lead to new and interesting things, but did anyone pause to consider whether it would SOUND good? (Michael Curry seems supremely overmatched as well, but that's for another time.) Now it seems like AI isn't happy, and neither are his new teammates. In other words, this looks like a lose/lose. Can we start to re-assess Joe Dumars's skills as a general manager? (That's for another time too, I suppose.)

• The first thing Donnie Walsh should have done as Knicks GM was write Stephon Marbury a $23 million check.

• I know it's awfully early, but I think David Stern gets the manna-from-heaven gift of a Cavs/Lakers Finals. That is, unless the Spurs ruin it.

• Not that it means much for the summer of '10, but if I were an NBA player, there'd be worse alternatives than playing for max money for Mike D'Antoni.

• There are no words for Darko Milicic channeling his inner Hulk Hogan.

• And finally, a haiku:

Jared Jeffries is
Mid-level exceptional
If you like charges

Friday, September 26, 2008

1. Josh Childress

Goodbye, NBA
The Greek isles are waiting
Restricted no more

Thursday, September 25, 2008

2. Stephon Marbury

Passion unbridled
Not always a good idea
What are you on, dude?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

3. Al Jefferson

Big man in Minny
A double-double a day
A beast on the blocks

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

4. Rasheed Wallace

Twenty-three foot nine
Your desired position
A true outsider

Monday, September 22, 2008

5. Dwight Howard

Hey, son of Jor-El
Shaq was Superman first, dude
You’re not quite there yet

Friday, September 19, 2008

6. Andris Biedrins

Fifty or sixty?
Your new guaranteed contract
Buys lots of hair gel

Thursday, September 18, 2008

7. Luol Deng

Small forward, big plans
The future isn’t waiting
Do something now, please

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

8. Baron Davis

Despite what they say
You are going home again
Oh yeah, Elton left

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

9. LeBron James

Billionaire athlete?
Too bad Tiger will be first
How much does Jay have?

Monday, September 15, 2008

10. Elton Brand

Opted to opt out
Philadelphia freedom
Sterling maneuver

Friday, September 12, 2008

11. Dwyane Wade

Fall down seven times
Miss the rest of the season
Maybe work on that

Thursday, September 11, 2008

12. Manu Ginobili

Tremendous passion
Undeniable talent
Floppiest flopper

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

13. Derrick Rose

You went number one
Chicago’s newest savior
Better not fuck up

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

14. Shawn Marion

Got out of Phoenix
Max contract, All-Star, winning
Who cares about that?

Monday, September 08, 2008


As one of my astute readers (or perhaps my one reader, who happens to be astute—Ryan doesn't count) pointed out, I posted my Caron Butler haiku twice, at 16 and 25. I suppose I could claim that Butler is so good that he deserves two spots on my definitive All-Haiku NBA Top 50 List™, but that would be a total lie. So I owe you, my faithful reader(s) a replacement poem. Which I shall write right NOW.

Here's the thing, though. I will not put a name with this haiku. It will be up to you, dear reader(s), to guess the subject. It will probably be either super-easy or completely impossible. First, though, I should refer to the list so I don't make the same mistake twice. Sigh.

Blocks and dunks? Simple.
The rest of the game, not yet.
Great expectations.

(I was actually thinking of two different guys when I wrote this, but it fits one better than the other. Not sure whether it's super-easy or completely impossible, although I expect the guy I wasn't really thinking of to be named before the guy I was really thinking of. If that makes any sense.)

15. Chris Paul

Best since Isiah?
Scorer who runs the offense
Scared of nobody

Friday, September 05, 2008

16. Caron Butler

Serving of Tough Juice
Ain’t never from concentrate
Fresh for you daily

Thursday, September 04, 2008

17. Darko Milicic

How many chances?
When does potential come true?
Possibly never

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

18. Greg Oden

Wise beyond his years
You have to wonder if he’s
As old as he looks

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

19. Kevin Garnett

Intense beyond words
Team defense and primal screams
Powerful message

Friday, August 29, 2008

20. Allen Iverson

Some things never change
Still quick, still strong, still fearless
Hasn’t lost a step

Thursday, August 28, 2008

21. Ron Artest

Houston’s newest hope
Will he be the difference?
Ask Indiana

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

22. Larry Hughes

Story told in tattoos
Moments of sadness and joy
Captured forever

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

23. Kobe Bryant

Best in the game now
Depending on who you ask
Shaq would not agree

Monday, August 25, 2008

24. Yao Ming

Bigger is better
Except in case of breakage
Which happens too much

Friday, August 22, 2008

25. Caron Butler

Tough Juice like OJ
Small forward in name only
Traded for Kwame?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

26. Paul Pierce

Cold blooded scorer
Subverts game, takes lesser role
Seventeenth banner

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

27. Tim Duncan

Expressionless face
Except when the whistle blows
Then he comes alive

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

28. Brandon Roy

Face of the franchise
Channing, Aldridge and Oden
Follow the leader

Monday, August 18, 2008

29. Amare Stoudemire

The rim is afraid
Rebuilt stronger and faster
Microfracture this

Friday, August 15, 2008

30. Chauncey Billups

Hey Mr. Big Shot
Why just one championship?
Shots not big enough?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

31. Jermaine O’Neal

Have you forgotten
Of what he is capable?
You will remember

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

32. Jamal Crawford

Hair trigger release
Hits three pointers in bunches
None of them matter

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

33. Carmelo Anthony

Playing with AI
Has always been difficult
Ask Jerry Stackhouse

Monday, August 11, 2008

34. Kevin Durant

Rookie of the year
Moves on to a new city
Without being dealt

Friday, August 08, 2008

35. Ben Wallace

Fearsome defender
Relentless competitor
Stop trying to shoot

Thursday, August 07, 2008

36. Keith Van Horn

Silky-smooth shooter
With a lightning-quick first step
What? He’s retired?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

37. Dirk Nowitzki

Soft as a strudel
MVP in name only
Allergic to paint

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

38. Shaquille O’Neal

Great players stay home
The Most Dominant ever?
Four teams and counting

Monday, August 04, 2008

39. Richard Jefferson

Milwaukee, oh no!
I really love the night life
Do they have any?

Friday, August 01, 2008

40. Lamar Odom

Subtle left-handed brilliance
Maybe try harder

Thursday, July 31, 2008

41. Bruce Bowen

Stifling defense
Deep threes launched from the corners
Add up to titles

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

42. Carlos Boozer

The arc of your shot
Mimics the arc of your game
Rising high quickly

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

43. Tyson Chandler

Feast around the rim
Many a lob thrown for you
Big dog’s gotta eat

Monday, July 28, 2008

44. Vince Carter

Memories of flight
Now only rarely re-lived
Pull up from 30

Friday, July 25, 2008

45. Rip Hamilton

Never stop running
From one end to the other
Defenders lose hope

Thursday, July 24, 2008

46. Tracy McGrady

Your game, so pretty
Nothing is missing, yet still
A first-round knockout

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

47. Zach Randolph

You are a big man
Rebounds, layups, short jumpers
Please stop shooting threes

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

48. Tony Parker

Style is important
A certain je ne sais quoi
And he gets results

Monday, July 21, 2008

49. Dikembe Mutombo

Go to the mountain
You’ll see where your shot winds up
Finger waves slowly

Friday, July 18, 2008

50. Michael Redd

Toes outside the line
Ball comes all the way around
Net ripples, game won

Testing. One, two...


Does anyone still look here ever? Been thinking about reviving it, maybe.

Holla back.