Friday, November 03, 2006

Round Up of the First Three Days

Okay, so at a point so early in the season, there isn't much I can say that you can't find anywhere else. But we're all trying to adjust to the way this will work when actual things in the NBA are happening.

For instance, Tru Warier is leading the league in steals with an average of 7.0 per game. I can only hope that's a steady number, but it's doubtful. No team really knows how it's going to operate yet, so for all the talk of the Marcus Banks ressurrection or the hypnotic money vacuum that is C-Webb, we need to see some more games to find the real patterns.

And who are you supposed to be? A basketball player?

That doesn't mean there's nothing to talk about though. Considering that there have been three times as many techs now than at this same point last year, the increased emphasis on technical fouls for post-call whining has definitely been felt. Mike Bibby, Mushmouth Anthony, and, of course, 'Sheed have all been tossed from games for giving refs lip. Melo's ejection was the only one I watched live, and he apparently got his second tech for taking off his headband? This is getting a little out of control. As Kenny the Jet put it last night in the TNT post-game show, basketball is a passionate game and it's only natural to have some kind of reaction to a whistle. Just as a fan cringes or moans after a bad call, so will a player more invested in it than anyone else. I agreed with Kenny completely when he said something like, "If you don't expect the crowd to not react, why would you expect the players?" I agree that something needed to be done about the complaining, but a zero tolreance rule will never work, especially when there's an obvious double-standard. Steve Nash or Sam Cassell or Tim Duncan can approach a referee about why a call was made and discuss specifics with him, but if 'Sheed does the same thing--which is apparently what happened--he gets whistled. The referees will either become more lenient, or coaches will start forbidding players to wear headbands. Because if you wear a headband, you might have to take it off at some point and get saddled with a technical.

Put your shirt on, Bibby. Technical.

Speaking of double-standards, why is it that a former LSU tight end gets censured and suspended for calling something gay, but a persona that looms as large as Chuck Barkley's (literally, Manute Lol) is free to make a Brokeback Mountain joke every night? Obviously, Sir Charles is at such a point of cultural license--it's become his whole identity--that he can say whatever he wants, and this other guy calls games for a channel my region doesn't even offer. It's apples and oranges but worth mentioning nonetheless. The Brokeback joke in question has to do with TNT listing Chuck's top five movies for some reason, and then Chaz piping in that Brokeback is an honorable mention because Kieenayy was a stunt double in it. If you were wondering, his other favorites are as follows:
1. Braveheart (could have guessed)
2. American History X (impressive and unexpected)
3. Malcolm X (expected but defensible as a top five)
4. The Hurricane (mediocre)
5. The Cooler (what the hell?)

No love for Space Jam? Technical.

What else should I write about? Your New Orleans Hornets are 2-0, after a bittersweet win over Boston and a satisfying pacing of the Pacers. The Celtics game was led by CP3, who had 20 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 turnover, and 250 Tank-proclamations of "That's my boy!" The game, however, was marred by some controversy. Apparently, former Celtics greats, such as Tommy Heinsohn and JoJo White, were still honoring Red Auerbach in a ceremony near the end of half-time, and the Hornets started warming up because, I don't know, players need to warm up before they play? So the Celtics fans shouted things like, "Show some class!" and "No wonder you don't have a city." Thanks, Boston. Let's see what happens when you're destroyed by a--oh, wait, you're probably civically and structurally safe from any natural disasters. That must be nice. In other news, this is how the Boston Celtics themselves honored the passing of Red:

For arbitrary reasons, Red Auerbach always opposed cheerleaders of any kind. The week after he dies, the Celtics Dancers debut. Technical?

The Pacers game was a solid win for the Hornets. We dominated the boards, led by Chandler's 15, and had some great contributions from the bench. I'm a little worried that Hilton Armstrong is already getting DNPs though. I hope he's not this year's version of James Lang.

A bunch of other teams won and lost.

Apparently, Bill Simmons reads our humble little blog: Not only did we agree on fifteen of the sixteen playoff teams, but several passages look eerily familiar. Read his paragraph on the Heat, for instance. By the way, I'm in no way going after the biggest Internet sports columnist of all-time to get more than five of my friends to read TANBR. Just wanted to clear that up.

Jalen Rose is going to the Suns, according to his own blog, which he promises to update daily. I've heard that before, dude. Trust me. I don't know what's more interesting:
A) The Knicks waiving him for absolutely no reason--deciding to buy him out for about $16 million instead of using him as contract year trade bait a few months from now. (Are they making room for Mardy Collins?)
B) Jalen signing with the Suns for their mid-level exception, despite the fact that Miami could have offered him about $3 million more. I guess you can do that when you're still getting paid by your ex-boss.
C) Jalen casually mentioning on the blog that he has never met his father, which is a direct contradiction of an article from a 1994 issue of SLAM magazine, in which he met his father for the first time at a Waffle House. Where's the fact-checking?

Russell Hammond was the one who denied it. De-nied it!

Lightning Round!
  • Ernie Johnson looks like Powder. [Update: Apparently EJ has lymphoma. Get well soon, buddy. Chili dog. Also, Powder was an albino with alopetia, so I guess that comment was way off base.]
  • LeBron and Tim Thomas both threw the ball into the stands in celebration after their first wins. Guys, it's the first game of the season. If you continue at this rate, we'll be drowning in champagne by December.
  • Ronnie Turiaf might crack my rotation of Gritty Energy Guys Who Do the Little Things.
  • On the TNT post-show, Shaq Fu warned the newly-married Kenny the Jet about "doo-doo stains." Sadly, there is no YouTube of this yet. He even repeated it with a finger-point: "Watch out for those doo-doo stains." Flash was speechless, which is as good an indication as any that he didn't do his own laundry at Marquette.
  • Ray Allen's kind of like a Big Mac. Big Macs are famous, and I'm supposed to like Big Macs, but when I go to McDonald's, I never feel like ordering a Big Mac. You can sell it to me like its special sauce is Ray Allen's pure shooting stroke, but I'm getting the McNuggets (read: Chris Wilcox) every time.

And finally, here's the new LeBrons commercial that I've been loving. It's amazing that fifty years after Patty Duke, you can still get mileage out of the whole "Hey, it's the same actor playing more than one character in the same shot!" gimmick. Pretty much anything Business LeBron says in his pimp falsetto is gold to me. And to the haters, don't pretend that anything Jordan did for Nike was any more profound or valuable or funny as this. It's exactly what I want from a Bron Bron ad campaign. I think our boy's breaking out of his shell.

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