Category Archives: Great Exercises in Internet NBA-Related Postings

Matt Bonner’s Summer Time ShakeDown

Everyone’s favorite San Antonio Spurs power forward, Matt Bonner, is well known for his love of sandwiches as he detailed in his Sandwich Hunter blog for Spurs.com. I personally love to eat something crunchy with a sandwich like a heaping handful of Kettle Brand Chips but it seems like Bonner has a more healthier approach to the sandwich sides game, baby carrots.

Bonner has teamed up with the smoothie, juice, salad dressing and carrot powerhouse that is Bolthouse Farms  to create a series of YouTube ads for their new seasoned baby carrot snack, ShakeDowns.

What are ShakeDowns? From the company’s website:

ShakeDowns® are simple. They’re fresh cut and peeled baby carrots with natural seasoning. Just release the seasoning, shake the bag and get the flavor all over your carrots. Then enjoy ShakeDowns® in Ranch or Chili Lime. With single serving or multi-packs, you can feed your snack cravings, however big they get.

Since baby carrots are often thought of as baby carrots, the company has created fun ads in the past to market ShakeDowns. So teaming up with Bonner for their new ad campaign, a NBA player who has made comedy videos like the Coach B series,  makes  a lot of sense.

So how did this collaboration with Bonner come together? According to MarketingMag.ca , Bonner knows one of the other actors in the commercials, Canadian Idol winner Ryan Malcolm:

That morning was especially crunched because the basketball player Matt Bonner was on set and only available until noon. A former Toronto Raptor, Bonner was a last-minute get for Bolthouse Farms, which is testing Shakedowns in Texas where Bonner now plays for the San Antonio Spurs. Proximity secured a deal for him to appear in the videos after learning that Ryan Malcolm, the singer and Canadian Idol winner who appears in all the videos, was friends with the athlete.

Bonner’s final take – “Sharing is caring. I’m Matt Bonner and I approve my message.”

Back on set, Bonner reconvened with the crew after the final take is approved. “I’ve never shot five commercials in two hours in my life,” he said.

Hopefully, these commercials will serve as an audition tape for Bonner to finally appear in commercials for the Texan supermarket chain, H-E-B, like many of his Spurs teammates have already done. If not, let’s hope more companies seek out Bonner for his commercial acting skills as I think we can all agree that seeing Matt Bonner in a commercial is the ideal way to sell a product.

 Top image via Bolthouse Farms Facebook Page

 

Andre Drummond’s Summer of Love

Believe it or not but Pistons’ center, Andre Drummond, just turned 20 this past Saturday. His age is quite deceiving with his height and build but Drummond dispelled draft day rumors of teenage laziness by putting together an impressive rookie campaign and earned himself an invite to this summer’s USA Basketball Men’s National Team mini-camp. The future of “Deee-troit Basketball” looks to be quite promising with Drummond anchoring the center position but it may come as a surprise that Drummond recently became the “man” for millions of teenage males for a non-basketball reason.

Remember back in May when Memphis Grizzlies small forward, Quincy Pondexter, made a date with Miss Tennessee 2012, Chandler Lawson, through Twitter? Many were amazed at Pondexter’s Twitter game but it looks like Drummond may have him beat, as he was able to connect with someone through Twitter that he has had a crush on for a long time.

With Drummond being twenty, it makes sense that he would have a crush on teen sitcom star, Jennette McCurdy, from Nickelodeon’s teen sitcom, Sam & Cat. McCurdy was also in another Nickelodeon show, iCarly, which Drummond must have grown up watching and now with his new fame, he began to reach out to her.

Drummond announced his “love” of McCurdy back in July by Instagramming a photo of her with the Women Crush Wednesday hashtag, #WCW:

If that Instagram needed any clearing up, when a follower tried to get Drummond to follow back by talking about other teenage sweethearts, Drummond proclaimed his favoritism towards McCurdy:

Drummond even retweeted this tweet of McCurdy’s to get her to follow back:

Then on the same day he sent out another #WCW Instagram:

Even though McCurdy was still not aware of Drummond’s overtures, his followers were, and they tried to get her attention, much to Drummond’s delight as he retweeted their pleas:

https://twitter.com/HaqueZee/statuses/364963038878638081

Perhaps in one last final attempt, Drummond Instagrammed a third #WCW photo of McCurdy:

Then in a move that Drummond probably believed would only happen in his dreams, McCurdy tweeted this:

https://twitter.com/jennettemccurdy/statuses/365247297623298049

With his heart seemingly racing, Drummond played it cool and responded formally but McCurdy’s response must have really put him over the edge:

https://twitter.com/jennettemccurdy/statuses/365249074661826562

Drummond then set a “date”:

The Pistons first trip to a Los Angeles is November 17th to take on the Lakers. This is a date that Drummond must have instantly circled on his calendar. Will McCurdy actually show up or was she just “leading” him on?

Much to Drummond’s delight, McCurdy’s interest in Drummond seems to be legitimate as  she recently wished him a happy birthday:

As teenagers, we have all had crushes on other famous teenagers, and for Drummond to actually connect with his, is quite remarkable. If he brings the same level of intensity that he brought to his pursuit of McCurdy to the court this season, the rest of the league better watch out. Now that he doesn’t want to disappoint his newest fan, Jennette McCurdy, you can safely bet we are in for a vastly improved second year from Andre Drummond.

 Top image via Andre Drummond’s Twitter.

Dirk Nowitzki Ready To Share The Wealth With Chris Paul, Dwight Howard

Photo by sean dreilinger via Flickr

Dirk Nowitzki’s intention to take a “significant pay cut” next summer will be part of the Mavericks’ sales pitch in July as they attempt to sign a superstar in free agency.

If the Mavs are able to meet with Chris Paul and/or Dwight Howard, Nowitzki plans to promise them that he’ll be extremely flexible in his next negotiations with owner Mark Cuban, ensuring that Dallas will have ample space under the salary cap to acquire more talent in the summer of 2014.

via Dirk Nowitzki of Dallas Mavericks plans to take huge pay cut – ESPN Dallas.

Dirk Nowitzki certainly understands the value of a rookie contract.

Short of three superstars willing to take a pay cut to play together, there’s nothing as valuable as a rookie who provides All-Star production for a fraction of All-Star cost. And if Nowitzki takes a big enough pay cut — say, to $5 million per year — he’ll essentially be reverting to the contractual larval state. He’s essentially offering either Paul or Howard the opportunity to play with a soon-to-be 35-year old lottery pick who’s been in the league for 15 years and already won a championship.

Of 32 qualified players with a PER over 19.0 last year, only four made less than $6 million. Three of those were franchise cornerstones on their first contract: Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry* and Greg Monroe. And the fourth? Well, the ability to grab a ton of rebounds and finish on shots at the rim goes a long way.

*Curry’s extension kicks in next season, and his salary more than doubles. He’ll still be underpaid.

Once Nowitzki made his way back onto the court from injury, he managed a 19.8 PER for a Mavericks team that struggled to find a consistently viable rotation. Limited though he and the team were, Dirk still had a solid outing in 53 games. It’s doubtful he’ll reach his championship-level plateau, even with an infusion of younger talent, but he’s still one of the finest offensive players in the game, someone who both understands the intricacies of floor spacing in the NBA and manipulates them in ways we still can’t quite measure. Combined with a court marshal like Paul or a defensive stalwart like a healthy Howard, the Mavericks would be serious title contenders again in the twilight of Nowitzki’s career.

That combination of production and minimal salary cap implications is a preciously rare commodity. While I’d argue that one of those veterans would be better served joining forces with one of the young guns on a meteoric path, it’s no secret that Chris Paul wants to win now, and Dwight Howard is in desperate need of an image overhaul at this point. There would certainly be worse means to either end than joining forces with Dirk and Mark Cuban in Dallas, with a blank slate and a blank check.

eBay Hunting For Jason Collins

Jason Collins has been in the news ever since this past Monday morning when he wrote an amazing, must-read-more-than-once Sports Illustrated essay on being a gay professional athlete.

We have covered this issue at greater detail here at Hardwood Paroxysm and you should read Jack’s, Curtis’s, and Jordan’s take, but perhaps the best part of this historical moment is the vast amount of positive support that Collins has been receiving. Usually in times like this, there is always someone out there trying to make a profit on this type of headline news story. So, I headed to eBay to see how people were trying to profit on Jason Collins.

As of this morning, there are slightly more than 200 active eBay listings involving Jason Collins, and the good news is that so far there are only a few instances where people are trying to capitalize on the news. There are no crazy high priced listings and only two homemade looking shirts playing off Collins’s sexuality.

There are only five listings for the Sports Illustrated issue that has Collins’s essay; they range in prices from $8.00 to $13.00. Of note is that this is the second time Collins has graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, the first was in 1999 when he was on the cover of March Madness issue. There are only two listings for this issue, and one is autographed and is currently going for $32.00 with 20 bids!

There are 143 listings for Jason Collins basketball cards and are number of them are autographed. The most interesting basketball card listing is a two player card featuring Elton Brand and Jason Collins:

jcard

The card is called “Rookie Inspirations,” and although it more than likely refers to Collins being inspired to be an Elton Brand-type of player, the word “inspiration” relating to Collins has a lot more meaning now.

Perhaps the most interesting eBay listing is a watercolor painting of a nude Jason Collins and President Barack Obama painted by Dan Lacey aka the “Pancake Painter.” [Ed. Note: Click the link above to see the painting. It's pretty fantastic, but it's also pretty NSFW. Sorry folks; it's a family blog.]

From the listing’s description:

This is a 12 by 16 inch acrylic painting of veteran Gay NBA player Jason Collins nude and scoring a spiritually symbolic basket with the assistance of President Barack Obama who is also nude and riding on a unicorn named Penelope.

And from Lacey’s website:

This is the latest painting my continuing Barack Obama Nude On A Unicorn series, started in 2008.

Lacey has painted other famous people (mainly political figures) in similar situations, and his paintings have appeared on a number of late night show monologues and other media and news outlets.

I’m a lover of art–and more specifically basketball art– but I’m not enough of an art critic to break down this painting. It seems like Levy is not trying to take advantage of or mock the Collins news since this is something he does regularly with other news stories.

Nothing really more to be said, except that if you want to get this painting it is still on the opening bid of 99 cents.

While Collins’s news has received some negativity, the overall response has been extremely positive–which is just great on so many levels. Even when looking at eBay, no one has really tired capitalizing on the situation. In this day and age, that’s hard to believe.

Top image via the Human Rights Campaign

You’re mine and that’s it, forever: The Hornets belong to Charlotte

Air Hugo via Mark Clifton

Air Hugo via Mark Clifton

With yet another forgettable season, there is not a lot of buzz surrounding the Charlotte Bobcats as the regular season comes to a close. Internally, the team needs to further develop the promising young talented duo of Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist but perhaps another important aspect of their future is whether the Bobcats will change their name to the Hornets now that the name is available due to the New Orleans franchise rebranding themselves as the Pelicans.

Recently, the Bobcats sent out a survey to season ticket holders to which focused soley on rebranding. Check out the screenshot below to see the specificity of this survey:

Charlotte Bobcats Survey Via We Beelieve

Charlotte Bobcats Survey Via We Beelieve

Could the Hornets finally be coming back home to Charlotte?

To find out I reached out to Evan and Scotty Kent from Bring Back the Buzz and John Morgan from We Beelieve, two impassioned fan movements whose aim is to prompt the Bobcats franchise to change the team’s name to the Hornets. Both movements started 3 years ago due to the local apathy to the team’s success when the Bobcats were the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

**********************

Hardwood Paroxysm: Describe your emotions and thoughts when it became official that the New Orleans Hornets became the New Orleans Pelicans.

Scotty Kent: Best way I can describe it is that it felt like Christmas morning. You know that feeling when you are a little kid and you go downstairs and open up all of your presents? That’s how it felt for me. Honestly, it felt like a matter of time before the name change was going to be made but now it feels like it could actually happen.

Evan Kent: We were kind of like 3 crazy guys before this actually happened. Now we have some validation which helps brings more support to the movement.

John Morgan: With their new ownership, I just knew that New Orleans was going to change their name. You do something for so long and have so much passion for it, you just operate on forgone conclusions. I just felt like what’s next? Let’s get this Bobcats name change happening right away now.

HP: Now that the Hornets name is available, have you guys really upped the ante and try and create more public awareness?

JM: I feel like we have been full throttle since the movement began so now we just gotta keep it up.

SK: We’ve always been really pushing it but now the only difference is people are coming to us.

HP: Really? That’s good to hear. That must help with these Swarm events you host, right? Also, can you explain the purpose of the Swarms?

EK: For the Swarms, we try to get a whole bunch of people to attend a Bobcats game wearing Hornets gear and also sit in the same section. We root for the Bobcats but we chant “Charlotte Hornets”. This has come across before as being a mixed message so we are doing another one on April 13th and we are calling it a silent swarm. We are still going to wear Hornets gear but since its the last home game of the season we don’t want to distract from the effort the Bobcats have put out this season. We are Bobcats fans and although they haven’t had the best year we still want to show our support.

SK: The city of Charlotte knows that we want the name back. We support Charlotte basketball and we want a franchise in the city. We feel like this is the best way possible to get the community back to supporting pro basketball in this city. The Hornets represent the time period when the NBA was successful here, but more importantly it gives us back our culture and our identity.

HP: This is a positive movement but have you run into any opposition?

SK: Not really, the best argument that I have heard to keep the Bobcats name is that the kids who grew up with the name will miss it. But I am a middle school teacher, so anecdotally the kids don’t seem to care at all about the Bobcats. We are Bobcats fans and just want to fix this disinterest.

HP: How did a local hardware store create the TV ad in support of the movement?

JM: Blackhawk Hardware is a family run hardware store in the city that Lowes calls home. It has been around forever. They appreciate our movement and Andrew Wilkerson, who is in charge of marketing, reached out via Facebook and we met up and kicked some ideas around. They were just totally gung-ho about the whole thing. The ad is simple but effective.

HP: So if the Hornets come back to Charlotte, what effect do you think that will have?

JM: It is important to keep things in perspective. People have been apathetic about the Bobcats so the name change is the jolt for a franchise that desperately needs one. This is a defibrillator not a heart transplant. This is something that is meant to reignite the passion this town has for pro basketball. The Hornets are a brand, the Bobcats are just a stopgap.

For more information on the fan movement to bring back the Hornets to Charlotte, check out Bring Back The Buzz and We Beelieve.

 

Sneakers and Speakers at SXSW: A conversation with Luke Bonner

Sneakers & Speakers SXSW Showcase by Nate Duval

Sneakers & Speakers SXSW Showcase by Nate Duval

South by Southwest is happening next week and the only event that you should really care about is the Sneakers and Speakers benefit concert happening at Club Deville. Why a benefit concert? Because this concert is headlined by Stak5 aka San Antonio Spurs swingman Stephen Jackson.

That’s right Stephen Jackson is performing at SXSW on March 13th, and he is headlining a show.

How did this exactly happen?

Well Sneakers and Speakers is the benefit concert series that San Antonio Spurs three point gunner Matt Bonner and his brother Luke have been putting on in their home state of New Hampshire for over five years. With Luke having played for the D-League’s Austin Toros and Matt being only a stone’s throw away in San Antonio, bringing Sneakers and Speakers to SXSW was inevitable. All of the money raised from the show will benefit Matt and Luke’s charity the Rock on Foundation.

Matt is no stranger to SXSW, having once dressing up as his alter ego, ‘Coach B’, and hanging out with his theme music band, The Bodega Girls but this will be the first time he will be hosting a show at the festival. To find out more about Sneakers and Speakers and Stephen Jackson’s involvement I got in touch with Luke Bonner.

How did you and Matt get this eclectic group of musicians to perform at the show?

We’ve been hosting annual charitable music events back in New Hampshire since 2007, so throughout that time we’ve developed a network of connections and relationships within the music industry. We’ve been wanting to do an event during SXSW for a few years, and, this year, our friend Michael Terrazas (Club Deville) came through to help us land a great venue. Once we had the venue locked in, we started considering bands. I initially contacted artists who we have existing relationships with, but also emailed other bands, managers, and booking agents. People seemed to love the idea, and wanted to get involved, so it came together nicely. We wanted to be certain to have a diverse line-up, and I think we achieved that.

Why make this a free event? Is it mainly to spread the word about the Rock on Foundation?

Certainly, this is a great promotional tool to create some recognition for the Rock On Foundation. We started the organization in late December (2012), so we’re a brand new entity. As such, we thought it would be great to burst onto the scene with an awesome SXSW showcase. During SXSW, it seems music fans have unlimited options, creating a lot of competition between showcases. We wanted to do everything we could to be the most appealing showcase of the day.

Plus, we were able to receive some funding for this event through sponsorship, and the bands are playing free of charge. We thought it would be best to keep entry free, and trust that people will contribute what they can at the door to support the nonprofit. There’s a suggested donation of $5 per entry.

What are your own personal goals for the Rock on Foundation?

My short term goals are to create a scholarship program for high school graduates. We want to create two types of scholarships: one athletic based and one art based. Basically, one is meant to support those interested in pursuing a career in athletics. Candidates should demonstrate a commitment and passion toward sports. This doesn’t necessarily have to be an athlete. This could be someone who was the manager of his or her high school sports team and is interested in having a front office job or being a coach. The other will be an art scholarship for someone who demonstrates a commitment and passion toward his or her craft–could be a painter, musician, writer, actor, etc. This scholarship is meant to aid those who excel creatively and provide support to help them reach their full potential.

In terms of the big picture, we want to be able to operate fundraisers in creative ways. So, our fundraisers will be consistent with our mission–concerts, basketball tournaments, art galleries, etc. I’d like to get to the point where our events bring an economic boost to whatever town is hosting them. Furthermore, money that comes in from these events will be reinvested into the community by being distributed to existing nonprofits who operate artistic and/or athletic programs and are in need of aid.

That’s great to hear. If people, can’t get to the show how else can they support the Rock On Foundation?

You can support Rock On by attending our fundraising events. Stay up to date on our activities by liking our Facebook page. We’re currently in the process of planning an event to be held this July in Portsmouth, NH. Additionally, donations are accepted any time. If you’re interested in making a contribution, you can do so at any of our events or by emailing [email protected] or checking out https://www.facebook.com/RockOnFoundation.

Also, another way to support Rock On Foundation is to purchase this must-have t-shirt.

How “easy” was it to get Steven Jackson to perform?

Pretty easy, actually. A while back, Matt mentioned to Stephen that we might try to host a showcase during SXSW. Stephen gave his word that he would perform if we actually followed through with such an event. Well, it’s happening.

Since you sometimes are known as the moniker Big Hug – will you be dropping some verses w/ Stak5? 

For those who live under a rock, Big Hug is my rap name. Sadly, Big Hug has been retired for a few years, so I don’t know if that’s going to happen. I’d love to get a chance to be Stak5′s hype man, though. But, that’s probably unlikely too (sigh).

I noticed that PF Flyers which is owned by New Balance is a sponsor – will Matt be rocking PF Flyers on the court soon? Perhaps he will keep it true old school with the Bob Cousy’s?

I don’t know that he’ll be rocking the Cousy’s on the court, but maybe he’ll give the Benny the Jet Rodriguez’s a try.

To be completely honest, PF Flyers asked me for Matt’s shoe size, but I gave them my size instead. So, no, he won’t be wearing the Cousy’s anytime soon. You might catch them on my feet at a Brighton YMCA men’s league game though.

For more info on the Sneakers and Speakers benefit concert at SXSW check out the event’s blog and follow Luke on Twitter.

Kendall Marshall: Social Media Superhero

 

Photo by malabooboo via Flickr

Photo by malabooboo via Flickr

Q.: How would you describe your Twitter personality? It seems like an alter-ego.

A.: (Laughs) It’s way different from how I actually am. I’m always by myself, isolated. If I don’t know people, I don’t talk to them. I’m real withdrawn. Twitter is basically my social life because I’m by myself a lot. It’s cool to have fun, interact with people and see what people are talking about. I think I’m way more outgoing on Twitter with people I don’t know.

via Give and go with … Phoenix Suns point guard Kendall Marshall.

Kendall Marshall has been there.

For all his prowess and potential with a basketball in his hands, Marshall remains a young man removed from his social group, striking out on a chance to make it big in his chosen profession. Save a few fleeting glances to check in with the past, college is in his rearview mirror, clear as day. The view ahead, though, may as well be midnight on a north Texas highway with two broken headlights. Marshall, like most newly minted adults fresh out of college, is navigating with his fenders, hoping and praying that this path through the darkness is the right one — or at the very least, will keep him alive until morning. He seems to know whom he can trust, and he trusts accordingly. He tells Paul Coro that he still texts his North Carolina teammates daily, even if it’s just to see how practice went. But Kendall Marshall, in his own words, isn’t going to go out of his way to be your friend.*

*But he’s exceedingly polite, even when people ask really dumb questions at Summer League, and you can just tell that he wants to roll his eyes at y…the people asking dumb questions. He doesn’t, though, and he patiently answers the question, because he’s a professional.

@KButter5 doesn’t really get that. He’s a social media superhero. He’s BTB Man,* champion of basketball twitter, ready to dispense dimes of knowledge all over your cranial capacity. He’ll tell you to be yourself because that’s the best self you can be, like he’s a modern Stuart Smalley — and dammit, people like him. When Marshall slips on his mask, he’s the basketball player we need and the one we deserve. His willingness to interact with seemingly anyone on twitter is endearing, particularly coupled with a sense of honesty that Marshall admits might get him in trouble.

*“BTB” is hard to explain, mostly because if I try to explain it, a large swath of basketball twitter is going to find my house and destroy me. It’s an acronym that conveys a certain sense of understanding, and Kendall Marshall adopted it this summer. In doing so, he became kind of a cult hero to that same segment of twitter.

Marshall’s social media personality is, apparently, just that. In reality, he’s a 21-year old young man who enjoys his privacy and keeps his friends as close to his heart as possible — regardless of the distance their chosen paths may put between them. If he feels like branching out and talking to new people, then he has the beauty of twitter, where even someone we’ve seen in the flesh can somehow remain anonymous. He misses his friends and enjoys his visits to his old stomping grounds, but he wouldn’t trade his current situation for the world. He’s in on the ground floor of an exciting new business opportunity for Kendall Marshall, Incorporated. And he brought BTB Man along for the ride. It all sounds strangely normal.

Until you realize, of course, that most of us don’t start in the mail room with Michael Beasley.

Roy Hibbert and Chelsea Peretti Are Best Friends 4 Eva

Roy and Chelsea Besties by Tim Severson (@TheWagofMutombo)

 

Since Roy Hibbert’s acting debut on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, we have all witnessed his everlasting friendship with comedian and former Parks&Rec writeter Chelsea Peretti.

The two often meet up when Hibbert takes on the Lakers or Clippers in Los Angeles, and as a result, their exploits have been well-documented. Last year, the duo hit up Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles followed by Jamaican Gold Night at the nearby club. Their backs-and-forths on Twitter are great comedy in themselves, and when the two get on the mic together–like they did in September on Episode 89 of the NBA Hangtime podcast–greatness happens.

Recently, Hibbert called into Chelsea’s podcast ‘Call Chelsea Peretti,’ and the two discussed such relevant topics as favorite childhood shows and NBA hairstyles.

You can listen their conversation (it starts at the 37-minute mark), but since this was such an ultra-important conversation, I transcribed and storyboarded it with the help of the photographic genius of Tim Severson:

Chelsea Peretti: This is Roy Hibbert, plays for the Pacers, one of my best friends…
Roy Hibbert: Besties!
C: (Laughs)…in the world. One of my closest confidantes. You know If anything bad happens, there we are, crying on the phone like two babies. When good things happen, you know, we buy each other houses and stuff. It’s crazy. We are the closest friends you can conceive of.
R: I mean it’s so crazy. Like I seriously wept in your arms after the last episode of Lost. I did not know what was going on, and you had to explain it to me.
C: I know. And I barely understood it myself, and both of my arms fell off due to the weight of your massive body.
R: I was an emotional mess that night.
C: You were. You are generally a very emotional person. [Roy laughs] Right? I don’t know. Listen, did you have a hero that you wanted to talk about, Roy?
R: I mean, I’m not going with the cliche Martin Luther King, Jr. I am not going with the cliche, you know. Obviously my parents did a lot for me but I’m not going to lie, I feel like as a kid growing up I wanted to be like the Green Ranger. I think he was like a hero in my life. Like the Power Ranger. I wanted to be like him doing all of the martial arts. I even joined karate so I could learn to become you know a martial arts expert.
C: That’s crazy!
R: I got kicked out because I didn’t know my left from my right when I was a little kid so I didn’t go back.
C: I never watched the Power Rangers, Roy so I don’t know–
R: Are you serious? That was like–I had all of the Zords and all the stuff. I used to rush home after school just to see the cartoons and stuff like that. Who didn’t?
C: Well I didn’t, OK? I wasn’t allowed to watch that much TV. I was only allowed to watch one show a week, and it was not going to be The Power Rangers.
R: What was your show? Bobby’s World or something like that?
C: Well, first of all if we are going to go with animated stuff, I was into stuff like Jem. You know?
R: Who?
C: Jem: Truly Outrageous? Ring any bells?
R: I didn’t have cable tv as a kid so I don’t even know what that is.

Play Goofy Golf by Tim Severson (@TheWagofMutombo)

C: OK. Well I don’t even know if that was on cable. Jem was for like girls, you know? She was like a singer something. You know I also liked The Smurfs.
R: So you were like a Smurfette? What were Smurfs to begin with? What are their genealogy? I don’t know what those people were, and why was that one person trying to eat them?
C: Gargamel?
R: Like how do they taste that good? You know?
C: I mean those were all the things that made the show so riveting. That’s why it was such compelling tv. What was the draw with The Power Rangers? What was so cool about the Green Ranger?
R: I mean, he was different. He was like the badass of the group. He had a pony tail.
C: You should do it!
R: He just stood out a little bit more. I mean obviously, I saw all of the Power Rangers movies when I was a kid. I was a geek, too; I am not going to lie. He was doing the back flips and all other stuff. I tried that and was just too tall and went home sad.
C: Roy, I really think that you could rock a pony tail.  I think it would make a lot of waves in the NBA. If you really worked on growing your hair out, and then you got a perm and you wore it in a low ponytail. I think people would be talking.
R: I would be a trendsetter.
C: Yeah, people would talk.
R: We should do this more enough. We don’t do this enough. You know the fire side chat?
C: I know!
R: Me and you. Like the good old days. You know wear our Bill Cosby sweaters on and just talk, you know?
C: I think you should do it. It will revolutionize the whole NBA. There needs to be a new style going on.
R: I know all of these guys wearing like skinny jeans, glasses with no frames in it and stuff like that. That’s been in the past. I’m going to start something new here.
C: Yeah what could be the next new thing? Everyones got tattoos, people dress like hipsters. Everyones got those horrible beards. You know what you could start is the NBA ponytail.
R: A ponytail but you have to have some sort of eyewear, and I’m going with the monocle. I would be the first one to rock a monocle like Mr. Peanut or the Monopoly guy.
C: [Laughs] I think that would inhibit your ball play. Wouldn’t you have to hold the monocle? You would get ejected from games.
R: I mean it is a sacrifice I have to make to start a trend, to make it happen.
C: Or you could just do it during press conferences or while you are on the bench you can watch the game with a monocle.
R: Yeah I’m all for it.

Monocle Man by Tim Severson (@TheWagofMutombo)

C: That’s cool. Anna Wintour would be all over you. I think you should do it.
R: Who?
C: Anna Wintour. You know?
R: Who’s that?
C: Shes that fashion lady. Remember The Devil Wears Prada? You have seen every movie and TV show.
R: I don’t watch girlie movies like that.
C: Whoa!
R: I have never seen that.
C: Alright, well this phone is about to die, but I am so glad you called.
R: You better come to my game when we play in LA. Seriously that would be the spot. Go back to Roscoe Chicken and Waffles. No Jamaican gold night or anything like that.

Hopefully you can tell from this quick conversation that ‘Call Chelsea Peretti’ should be in your regular listening rotation.

Let us hope Hibbert leads the charge to bring the ponytail into the mainstream in the NBA. It will be a difficult road as Joakim Noah’s ponytail hasn’t prompted others to copy his hairstyle, but perhaps Hibbert could be the trendsetter–especially by adding the monocle. Either way you have to give Hibbert some credit from trying to spice things up.

Great Exercises in Internet NBA-Related Postings 10-31-12

What a whirlwind of an opening night. We saw Anderson Varejao gobble up the boards, Kyrie Irving mesmerized us once more with his dribbling, Ray Allen looked spectacular in his debut against his former team (oh, and the rest of the Heat didn’t look too bad either), and the Howard/Nash Lakers era got off to an inauspicious start. Also, EDDY CURRY. Anyways, here’s what’s what in today’s blogosphere.

  • BREAKING: Jason Terry is not an airplane, but he was arguably the 5th best shooting guard last season, so says Aaron McGuire.
  • Another season, another Eric Gordon injury. His knee is once again causing problems, and will keep him out indefinitely. However, as Eric Freeman suggests, should we read between the lines of what New Orleans is telling us? And what does this mean for the relationship between Gordon and the Hornets going forward?
  • I’m a diehard KU fan, and Kirk Hinrich is one of my all-time favorite Jayhawks. However, he never inspired me to talk to cats. 
  • How good was Klay Thompson after the Monta Ellis trade? Uh, really freaking good.
  • The more things seem to change, the more they stay the same. In the NBA, at least.

 

 

Eddy Curry And The American Dream

Photo by stevendiffey via Flickr

A strained right calf will sideline Dallas Mavericks center Chris Kaman for Tuesday night’s season opener, meaning Eddy Curry likely will start against Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Mavs claimed Curry off waivers Thursday and started him at center for Friday’s preseason finale, when he had 11 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in 25 minutes. The fourth overall pick in the 2001 draft has played a total of only 24 games in the past four seasons due to weight problems and other issues, but he reported to Dallas in relatively good shape after spending training camp with the San Antonio Spurs.

via Chris Kaman to miss Dallas Mavericks opener; Eddy Curry to start? – ESPN Dallas.

We really shouldn’t care about Eddy Curry. I mean, I’m sure he’s a perfectly nice human being who’s made mistakes like we all have, so we should care about him because we’re all living on this tiny blue ball we call Earth and all that jazz — but we shouldn’t be titillated by the revelation that he’ll likely start at center for the Dallas Mavericks on opening night. The man makes slightly more than Jae Crowder this year; he’s basically Kwame Brown, if the Golden State Warriors didn’t enjoy burning money. For the last half-decade, Curry has been a punchline for weight jokes. In 2010, he became relevant again because of his massive contract* and its value as a trade asset. His most similar comparison, according to Basketball-Reference’s similarity scores, is Nazr Mohammed, and that seems like an insult to Nazr. Curry can’t even fit the legendary Will Perdue’s shoes, neither in production nor in Chicago Bulls lore, naturally.

*The renewed focus on the fact that Curry was not playing basketball for $11 million, in turn, made his name a punchline for a veritable turnstile of unemployment-, overpaid- and lazy-related jokes. It got to the point that “Eddy Curry” was a safe response to 18% of all NBA snark.

For some reason, though — maybe for all of those reasons — we can’t shut up about Eddy Curry. 14 hour old news about his likely start on Tuesday night against the Lakers sent twitter into a flurry earlier today. Most of it was laughter, Curry as the continued butt of the joke. Maybe that’s the proper response, if we’re going to insist on having one. But I can’t help but be fascinated by Curry and his story so far. In my mind, he’s the bizzar-o version of the American Dream, constantly overvalued before he’d shown his worth, then bottoming out. He peaked early, harnessing natural ability and intelligence into a multi-million dollar job right out of high school, a salary based almost entirely on potential rather than proven production. Inconsistency plagued him before his health failed him.

When the Knicks decided to surrender first-round picks in exchange for a player who’d already underwhelmed and whose heart was literally an issue, it shouldn’t have counted against Curry. It’s not his fault that the Knicks are the Knicks. That became part of his legacy, though, another example of people seeing what they wanted to see in Curry, instead of simply what he was. When Curry tried to show us that he probably wasn’t going to live up to the hype, some refused to turn down the noise. They kept insisting he could be everything, instead of letting him just be something. And he didn’t help himself, showing up out of shape in consecutive training camps. He did little to live up to the price paid for his potential. That only added to the burden on his image.

The plus side to hitting rock bottom is the opportunity to climb to higher ground. The subsequent trade to Minnesota and buy-out of Curry’s ridiculous contract afforded him that chance, but nothing more; his renewed commitment to health and basketball seemed incredibly unlikely, let alone guaranteed by an impending career change. Finally, though — and this, I think, is the crux of why he’s so fascinating still — something clicked, and Curry carped the hell out of the diem. He signed a minimum contract with the Miami Heat, a team that could take a gamble on a player they didn’t need but could certainly use if he panned out. With the help of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, in an environment more conducive to what basically amounted to rehabilitation for an addict, Curry famously shed 70 pounds and turned up noticeably svelter in 14 games for the Heat. And at that point, I was no longer simply fascinated by Eddy Curry; I was openly rooting for him to succeed. He might have brought most of his downfall upon himself, but there’s always something inspiring about watching someone crawl from the wreckage around them.

The happy ending here is quite the long shot. Even just this month, Curry was cut by the Spurs, falling shy of their final roster. But when Dallas, thin up front, picked Curry up off of waivers, Tuesday night became a possibility. Soon, it’s going to be a reality, and I can’t wait.

I probably shouldn’t care, but I do. I really do.