October 31, 2007
It’s been a while since I’ve read Gilbert Arenas’ blog, and found this a little ways down the page. It’s probably one of my favourite postings of his. Imagine you were in the league, how would you not want to play on this guy’s team?
Check it out!!
I have a little problem. His name is Nick Young and he has a sidekick named Dominic McGuire. Our two little rookies. There’s always a rookie who comes in and challenges for the goofball of the year. Well Nick’s already won that. By far. This is one of the funniest kids I’ve ever met. The problem isn’t that he’s funny, but that he challenges me in pranks. For the past week, he’s been getting a taste of what I’m about. I made him bring me some McDonald’s, I wanted a chicken sandwich at like 12 o’clock at night when we were in Philly. I actually didn’t want the sandwich, I just wanted him out of his room. I went into his hotel room and messed with all his stuff.
Then before that during the Philadelphia game I took the keys from his car and shipped them back to Washington D.C. so my friend could take his car. We’re going to paint it pink and it’s going to say “I Love Dominic” on it. You know, his little sidekick.
We’ve been going back and forth, but for some reason he doesn’t get it. He likes to play. On Thursday we had an off day and he went in my locker and took my iPod and a pair of my shoes. So I went over his place and I gave him one chance and one chance only to give me back my iPod and shoes and he didn’t act fast enough so I got him good. Him and Dominic. Both. So they start threatening me like, “You’ll see what happens, you’ll see what happens. We’re going to the store right now.”
They went to the store and got paint ball guns. They got the paint ball guns, the masks, the gear, everything.
So I was sitting in my house playing Halo and I’m looking at my surveillance camera and I see Dominic and Nick creep up to my property all decked out. They parked across the street and they’re running towards my house wearing masks and helmets. They came around the side of the house, jumped the wall, and came in through the garage. But by the time they did all that, I already was out of the house and jumped the other wall. They were in the house looking for me and I was across the street flattening their tires so when they decided to leave they’d be on flats. They looked around the house and couldn’t find me so they came outside and saw me across the street flattening their tires. I called my friend and had him come pick me up and take me back to the house.
When they left the house, they stole my daddy’s toaster! I like making toast! So I told them, Since you don’t want to give my toaster back, it’s war. He wanted his stuff back, I wanted my stuff back so I told them that we were going to have a paintball shootout.
We all went to the store like Sports Authority and bought all these paintball guns, like eight or nine new ones (because I already had three), then we bought the CO2 cartridges and like 12,000 paintballs and I even bought a couple paintball grenades.
We tried to make the teams fair.
It was Nick and Dominic and then Nick recruited last year’s rookie, Andray Blatche. I thought Andray had enough of the pranks, but I guess he didn’t. Andray brought his two friends, to make it five on their team.
My team was me, my friend John and three guys who were at my house hooking up stereo equipment.
So we finished buying everything and were in the store parking lot and Nick was mad that I had all the CO2 so he started to take some of mine. I was like, “Put the CO2 down or I’m going to shoot you with the paintball gun.” But then he realizes I’m really going to shoot him with the paintball gun, and he puts it back. “You see what happens when you follow directions” But as I’m closing the trunk with the CO2 in it, he takes some and tries to jump in Dominic’s car. I said, “Dominic, do not close that door.” Nick is screaming, “Close the door Dominic! Close the door!” So Dominic left the door open. I go to Nick, “You have three seconds to put the CO2 back. One! Two!” He started to scramble to put it back and I got him anyway. I got him like six times. So he’s laying in the car all mad saying, “I don’t want to play no more.”
So the war is still on.
I tell them that the shootout is planned for 12 o’clock midnight in my backyard because it’s pure black back there. You can’t see nothing. So I tell them, “12 o’clock, be in my backyard and we’re going at it five on five.”
We’re putting all our stuff together at my place and they’re putting their stuff together at their place but they are having trouble with it so I have my boy John and my other teammate Adam to go over to their place and have them help them fix their guns. And when John and Adam showed up at their place they tried to ambush them, thinking that I was going to come too. But I wasn’t. So John and Adam had to run out of there.
So it’s like 11:10 at night and all you here are paintball hitting the windows. POOM. POOM. POOM. POOM. POOM. They were already in the backyard. They showed up an hour early.
So we hurried up and put on all of our gear and snuck outside through some of the vents in the house.
And then we had a nice, good old paintball shootout in the dark.
They ran out of CO2 pretty quick because my team had most of it so one of Andray’s friends yells, “Aww, it’s not fair!” and they started to bail and jumped back over the wall. But one the kids was a little too heavy. His name is Jamar. That’s ‘Dray’s cousin. Jamar couldn’t get over the wall because Jamar has been eating one too many Twinkies.
So Jamar got stuck in my yard with the five of us. We gave him the chance to walk out like a man, or cry like a girl. He did both. He cried like a little girl while he was walking and running while we were shooting paintballs at him. I told him, “Hey, come in the lion’s den, you’re bound to get hit.”
They said that he got hit so many times that he had trouble putting his clothes on the next day.
We played for about an hour and a half. I haven’t had that much fun in a long time. What people don’t realize is that when you’re in the NBA, you lose stuff like that. You’re not in there with kids, you’re in there with grown men that have families. By having these young kids on the team, it’s fun for me because I get to have that childhood that I lost. I lost it when I came into the NBA when I got picked No. 31 because I was so determined to be the best that I didn’t get to actually have fun having fun, if that makes sense.
That’s the moral of the story: I had fun.
October 30, 2007
- The Rooks
This year has a very exciting rookie class that will be sure to entertain. Who won’t try and watch Kevin Durant? Can this guy play at the NBA level? He couldn’t take Texas too far in the NCAA tournament, but now the Sonics are building around him. I’m expecting him to be an 18 and 7 guy this year. Beyond Durant, there’s the Mike Conley Jrs, Yi Jianlian and who knows, maybe even a little Greg Oden at the end of the season.
- Kobe to Explode
I’ve said it a few times, but I don’t expect Kobe to go anywhere until the trade deadline. But when that deadline arrives, it will be more of a blockbuster than KG himself (if that’s even possible). As we know, Kobe is a man of the spotlight, and once the season starts, there’s only one way to stay in the light…produce! I know the likes of Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson would agrue that this isn’t true, but to a real NBA fan, it’s all about who puts on the best show ON THE COURT, and Kobe will be the man, again.
- The Denver Nuggets
I’ve probably been overdoing this a bit, but I’m a firm believer that the Nuggets have serious potential this year. The West is still strong, even without KG, but the Nuggets field a team that has the proper weapons. Since Allan Iverson headed to Denver, he’s gone under the radar. After the half season of learning to play together (AI and Melo), I feel these two will FINALLY figure it all out and form a chemistry that will be second to none. Wasn’t it just a couple years ago that everyone thought AI was the best player in the league? He’s not that old yet, and he’s still one of the quickest players with the ball. How can you deny these two?
- The BIG 3 in Boston
Kevin Garnet, Paul Pierce and Scott Pollard…..I mean Ray Allan. Three of the leagues best players somehow ended up on one of last year’s worst teams. There’s no doubt that the Celtics will be this year’s most improved team. It’s just a matter of how far they go? I think its obvious that it all comes down to injuries. If they can all stay healthy, the sky’s the limit. With an injury to one of them, there’s not much to watch in Boston. I say Conference Finals at max.
- The New York Knicks/Mafia
This would have been even more interesting of a point if Ron Artest was picked up by the Knicks. Either way, they still acquired Zach Randolph. Along with Eddy Curry, the two form a pair of the scariest looking guys you could ever pass on the street or on the court. On the court, if these guys can get it together, they have potential to be one of the best turnarounds in the league. With the East still wide open, how can you deny these guys a playoff spot. I’d take them right now (before the season starts) to finish the season ahead of Orlando.
- The Season Starts Sooo Soon!!!!
I couldn’t be more excited, and I know you can’t either. Unfortunately for me, I started writing Clutch 3 in the offseason. At times, material was limited and creativity started minimalizing ( although the Hottest Hoops Wife series was a smashing hit, and I will be doing my research for Episode 4, so watch out!) but I kept writing with the excitement in my mind, knowing that once the season starts, I won’t be able to stop writing. This season promises to be one of the best in the past couple years, and I’ll be watching the opening tip off Wednesday night. Will you?
October 26, 2007
Okay, terrible joke. I was going to write about how Piston rookie guard Rodney Stuckey broke his hand in last night’s exhibition win against the Wizards, and how I think he’s going to be one of this year’s top Rook candidates, and now the Pistons are not in as great shape to start the season although ultimately will be one of the top teams in the East still, BUT due to me realizing that my title joke was brutal, I’m going to forget it.
October 25, 2007
I’m sure you all know by now that Ricky Davis was traded to the Heat today. How did this happen? In the process, the Heat got rid of Antoine Walker. Did the TWolves still think that Walker was in his prime? I hate to bring a glimpse of reality to the TWolves, but Ricky Davis still has game. He actually made my list of potential sleeper picks in my fantasy draft. He was bound to be the go-to guy in Mini this season, probably average around 20 points a game. Now the Heat have what I like to call All-Star security. With Shaq and Wade constantly being in injury problem, the Heat now have a guy that can take on a leadership role when those two are out. Beyond that, they’ll have Davis coming on the floor instead of Antoine Walker. This is a total win for the Heat! As for the TWolves, what the hell were you guys thinking?
On a side note, doesn’t Ricky Davis look a lot like Ludacris?
On another side note, Kevin McHale is probably the worst GM I’ve ever seen!!
October 20, 2007
FINALLY! Penny Hardaway is back! He’s older, he’s slower, and deffinitely not as good. Why I’m a so excited? I’m hoping Penny shows up all the critics, and has at least one game where he scores about 20 points. I know it’d make mine and all other long-time Penny fans extremely happy.
He participated in his first preseason game. Read all about it here
Maybe Lil’ Penny’s on his way back to????
October 19, 2007
After a long time of chopping this thing together, I can finally say I’m proud to release to you, the readers, the best preseason roundtable out there. Why the best? Because it involves the best. I selected the panel based on bloggers who I’ve always enjoyed reading, and with their generous participation, we have a masterpiece! Below you’ll find everyone’s take on all thats on every basketball fan’s mind! Finally, I’d like to introduce the table:
Clutch 3 (myself of course!)
1) What’s you’re take on the Shawn Marion situation? Will he be traded? Where?
The Marion Situation has me more depressed than anything else. Outside of Nash, losing him is the worst possible thing that could happen to the Suns. And the only other place Matrix would work this well is Golden State. Just an unfortunate happening all around. I don’t see him getting traded right now since Amare is hurt for a minute. Hopefully he gets traded to the Jazz. Then the Suns get Kirilenko (which is PERFECT) and Marion realizes that he now plays 41 games in Utah.
My initial, general reaction to the Marion situation can be found here:
As for whether or not Marion will be traded, two factors lead me to believe that a Marion for Odom deal has a decent shot of happening: 1) the Suns want to reduce payroll and a Marion for Odom deal is permissible under league rules yet enables the Suns to reduce their payroll; 2) this deal is attractive to the Lakers as well because Marion is a better defender and rebounder than Odom, plus Marion is more durable.
Taking It To The Rack:
Check out my column “Shawn Marion: Loco” for my extended thoughts on Marion. He won’t be going anywhere this season though.
I personally think the guy is an idiot for wanting out of Phoenix. I’ve even written exactly on this topic on my blog, and as I was writing, I kept getting more and more fed up with his selfish wanting to be “The Guy”. He is a fantastic player that any team would love to have. I don’t really see Phoenix making any move ( a la Allen Iverson style), but rather wait for one that would give them something equivalent to Marion’s abilities. I don’t expect anything to go down until the trade deadline. At that point, I’m sure that’s when we’ll see the Kirilenko and Friends for Marion deal go through.
2) Who’s going to win the East? West? Championship?
As a Bulls fan, I have to pick the Bulls in the East. Thankfully, the Bulls really are good and don’t still have Dragan Tarlac and Fred Hoiberg getting consistent tick. I think they’ll make the jump this year. In the West, I’m going Spurs. Last time I checked, Duncan was still alive. With those two teams, I can’t see the Bulls taking 4 of 7 from the Spurs so I’m picking San Antonio.
Chic pick Boston is not deep enough to win the East. Detroit and Miami are both in decline. I’m torn between Cleveland and Chicago. Cleveland has the edge in playoff experience, plus the advantage of having a true superstar in LeBron James; Chicago has a deeper team and a gritty, defensive mindset. I’ll take Cleveland right now but I may change my mind by the time I post my season preview. I expect a San Antonio-Dallas showdown in the Western Finals; Dallas’ loss to Golden State was an aberration–which is not to say that Golden State did not play well: the point is that Dallas has won 60 and 67 games the past two seasons and I fully expect the Mavs to win around 60 games and make a deep playoff run this year just like they did in 2006. The Spurs and Mavs are very evenly matched but since the Mavs beat them in 2006 I’ll say that the Spurs will win the rematch–a year delayed–in 2008. The Suns, as usual, will be right in the mix but fall short in the playoffs. The dark horse is Houston: if T-Mac and Yao stay healthy and Scola quickly adapts to the NBA game then the Rockets can be very dangerous. New coach Rick Adelman will have that team passing and cutting people to death.
Taking It To The Rack:
I’ll be ridiculous and take my beloved Celts to top Dallas in the Finals.
Things are a little more interesting in the East this year. As much as the easy answer would be Boston, I just don’t see these guys winning the East final. I still see my boys, the Pistons coming through. They have some young talent that will hopefully explode out of the gates, which will finally give their bench enough depth to get back to the championship. As for the West, we can now count out Minni now that KG’s in the East (just kidding..obviously). But for real, I would hand it to the Suns. I’ve also been saying the Suns for the past two years and they have yet to break through. As long as Marion has a change of heart sometime soon, the Suns are my pick. Adding Grant Hill was a great addition for them, and with him and Barbosa coming off the bench, they’ll be the feared team this year. In the Pistons vs. Suns series, I give it to the Pistons, based on finals experience. It’ll be Mr. Sheed’s time to shine!
3) Who would be your number one pick in a fantasy draft?
Scarlett Johannson or LeBron James. Depending on what kind of fantasy draft it is.
I analyze real NBA games and players and pay very little attention to fantasy games. I suppose that one could not go wrong by picking LeBron number one in either a fantasy draft or a real draft.
Taking It To The Rack:
LeBron James — man can do it all.
Kobe! Kobe! Kobe! I’m not a huge LeBron guy when it comes to fantasy, and Kobe being pretty much the lone everything on the Lakers leads me to believe he’s, yet again, going to put up fantastic numbers. How can you argue with that?
4) Who is due for a breakout year?
Depends on what you consider a breakout. Here’s three thoughts-
All-Star raising his game: Zach Randolph
Dude making THE JUMP: Luol Deng
Coming out of nowhere: Amir Johnson
With Iverson gone, Iguodala will make a run at being an Eastern Conference All-Star. Look for him to average about 22 ppg, 7 rpg and 6 apg. He showed flashes of this kind of production down the stretch last year and I expect him to keep it up for the whole 2007-08 season. Daniel Gibson played very well for Cleveland in the playoffs and could easily double his modest regular season production (4.6 ppg).
Taking It To The Rack:
LaMarcus Aldridge is going to be incredible in Portland in his
I’ll go again the grain here and say a guy like Corey Maggette will finally get the attention he deserves. I feel he’ll get the shots he needs to produce and will finally have the spotlight. On a smaller scale, I see Rajon Rondo having a somewhat breakout year. How can this guy not average at least 9 or 10 assists per game when he’s feeding The Big Three in Boston?
5) Which team will surprise everyone this year?
I’m jumping hard on the Grizzlies bandwagon. They’re this year’s Warriors. They’ll be the second best team to watch after the Suns. Plus their roster is hilarious: Darko, Pau, Mike Conley, Kyle Lowry, Stro Swift and Hakim Warrick (who are the same person), Navarro, Stoudemire is there somewhere, and Brian Cardinal. It’s like they combined every single rebuilding strategy in to one team.
I’m not sure what “everyone” is predicting, so this question could be answered a lot of different ways. With a healthy Gasol I expect Memphis to do much better this year. I suspect that Charlotte will be better than a lot of people may think.
Taking It To The Rack:
The Memphis Grizzlies will be at or above .500 and could make the playoffs.
Denver Nuggets! These guys a due to make some noise in the West. They went on a tear at the end of last season, showing AI and Melo might be able to work together. Both of those guys want a championship, and AI will definitely do whatever it takes. If K-Mart (when was the last time you heard that name?) and Marcus Camby can stay healthy, these guys will be trouble!
6) Who’s you’re early pick for MVP?
Kevin Garnett. He’s going to be insane this year. Playing for a title and playing in the East is going to make him seem even better.
Kobe Bryant. He’s been knocking on the door the past couple seasons and is already widely acknowledged to be the “best” player, a sentiment reinforced by his performance at both ends of the court in the FIBA Americas tournament. It is difficult to believe that he will go his entire career without winning at least one MVP. If the Lakers are a little healthier this year and do not fade down the stretch then they will amass enough wins for voters to feel comfortable selecting him.
Taking It To The Rack:
Hard not to like LeBron right now.
This question really made me think. It would be Kobe, except the entire team’s performance usually has something to do with the votes, so he’s clearly out of the question. With team performance in mind, I’ll give it to KG in Boston. The team’s record will inevitably turnaround and KG will be leading the pack. His scoring will probably stay the same, but his assists will forsure increase, producing an impressive stat line.
7) Name a basketball blog that you read, that some probably don’t know about. Blowtorch:
NBA Basketball and Other Unrelatedness aka thehypeguy.com. Howie is my boy. Not only is he hilarious and a huge source of inspiration, he gave me my first big link that got me started. Big up, Howie!
Taking It To The Rack:
We Rite Goode — it’s not all basketball, but they have a lot there.
Lotta unique content.
I’d have to say Give Me The Rock is one that I frequently read and thoroughly enjoy, that maybe not everyone in the blogosphere knows about. Enjoy the plug!
October 17, 2007
Recently I took part in one of my favourite events of the whole year. Fantasy Basketball Draft! This will be my third year in a league with some friends. This year we have 14 people, and it seems like a tradition now that I have a terrible position in the draft, the 12th pick overall. With my hopes of finally getting a Kobe, KG or LeBron, that obviously quickly went down the drain. Even worse off, I felt I just had to take Tim Duncan with my first pick. I hate Tim Duncan (watching him play=boring. It’s like watching an elementary coach teach his team the fundamentals of how to hit a jump shot off the backboard). Beyond that though, I was really happy with my 2nd to 6th picks. Below is my team in order of which round I drafted them in. I think Mikki Moore will have a 10 and 10 year, and Grant Hill promises to be extremely solid if he can stay healthy. What about Yiiiiiiiiiii? Someone please tell me this guy’s going to be a star this year! As for J. Maxiell, I know I could have probably grabbed him off of waivers early, but hey, I love this guy and hopefully he gets a lot of minutes off the bench with McDyess starting at an older age. Either way, I think I’m in great shape for another exciting season of Fantasy Basketball
1. Tim Duncan
2. Andre Iguodala
3. Baron Davis
4. Tyson Chandler
5. Mike Miller
6. Mo Williams
7. Mike Dunleavy
8. Mikki Moore
9. Grant Hill
10. Yi Jianlian
11. Brevin Knight
12. Jason Maxiell