And the winner is…

There were a lot of news-worthy events at the NBA draft.  I’ll be posting my draft night journal later tonight.  But there is one very significant issue from last night that cannot wait. We’ve picked the most outstanding dresser of the evening. Hands down, the winner is… 

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 Joakim Noah! 

It’s not the seers sucker suit.  It’s not the bowtie.  It’s not the hair.  It’s not how awkward the cap looked with the hair and suit. It’s the combination of all four.  I also want to thank Noah for adding the extra aesthetic appeal with this facial expression. 

Draft Day Gambling

Being that the draft is tomorrow, I’m about to pee myself with excitement.  The 42 ounce Mountain Dew this morning isn’t helping much either.  It has obviously had an effect on my attention span as well, as the second sentence of this article is already way off subject.  Look, something shiny! 

Anyway, I know it’s too late to make this happen in Vegas for this year, but being that there was probably the least amount of gambling on the NBA Finals since the Bulls/Sonics in 96, I’d love to see the sports books make up for it by laying down some draft day events betting opportunities. 

So, according to how I think things are likely to play out, here are my odds on several potential events for Draft Day.  I’m erasing this on Friday if I am way off and pretending like it never happened.  I learned that while studying sportswriting.

DRAFT NIGHT ODDS

Even – They start the show by reminding us how Portland will never, EVER live down the huge mistake of taking Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan, then contradicting themselves by stating that this is their chance to finally make up for it (On a side note, it’s not.  For more info, click away).

Even – Oden’s suit is uglier than Durant’s. 

2-1 – The announcers continue to perpetuate the subtle (or maybe not-so-subtle) racism in sports journalism by comparing any white players to only past successful white players (i.e. Larry Bird, John Stockton, Bob Cousy, or John Havlicek, depending on position)

2-1 – The announcers continue to perpetuate the subtle (or maybe not-so-subtle) racism in sports journalism by comparing any black players to only past successful black players (i.e. Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, David Robinson, Scottie Pippen, or Bill Russell, depending on position).

2-1 – The announcers continue to perpetuate the subtle (or maybe not-so-subtle) ethnocentrism sports journalism by comparing any foreign players to only past successful foreign players (i.e. Dirk Nowitski, Drazen Petrovich, Vlade Divac, Tony Parker, that giant guy from Portland that was like 62 years old his rookie year, or Yao Ming, depending on position).

4- 1 – The announcers do all three of the previous things.

Even – Any draft pick Jordan makes for Charlotte is compared unfairly to Jordan as a player, instantly setting up the fans and the draftee for a disappointing season.

5-1 – They show us footage of Jordan’s kids playing and talk about how bizarre it would be if in a couple of years, the father drafted the son.

Even – In the event the footage of either of Jordan’s kids are shown, the phrase “Air Apparent” or “Heir Jordan” is used. 

2 -1 – Atlanta pulls off a trade of draft picks to end up with three first round picks and still doesn’t manage to break .500 next season

3-1   – The Celtics, the Suns, and the Timberwolves pull off their rumored three-way trade during the middle of the draft, sending Marion to Boston, Garnett to Phoneix, and…uh, some guy from Boston that other teams would apparently be interested in that isn’t Paul Pierce.

4-1  Kobe Bryant gets discussed more than any of the drafted players not named Oden or Durant. 

6-1 – We get treated to a “Frozen Envelope” joke when ESPN shows us the history of the draft lottery

9-1 – Kevin Pritchard’s head explodes from the pressure of making sure to pick the right superstar and avoid being compared to the disaster of the Bowie pick.

5-1 Corey Brewer pulls a cheek muscle smiling. 

1500 -1 – Corey Brewer doesn’t smile at all

20 -1 – Yi Jianlian’s suit fits him well

3000 -1 – There is any moment that comes even close to the awkward hilarity that was seen in 1993 when Gheorghe Muresan celebrated his being Washington’s last minute 2nd round pick.  Somebody please post this moment on youtube.  

–  Sean

Oh, No It Won’t!

Sorry Portland, but this is not a clean slate.  Sure, number one pick, a chance at the first  back-to-back rookies of the year since 1974, the chance to instantly be a playoff team, those things are real.  No one is trying to take that away from you. The media is trying to claim this is your chance to make up for that huge shadow that has hung over your heads since 1984, but in the immortal words of that guy on VH1 that several skanks were fighting over, “Don’t believe the hype.”  You still took Bowie over Jordan.  Nothing can ever make up for that.  And no one will ever forget. 

It’s kind of like that kid that shit in the high school pool my freshman year.  He could invent a fuel-free car that runs on happy thoughts and win the Nobel Peace Prize and he’d still be the kid who shit in the pool to any of us that went to high school with him. As a matter of fact, I know any one of us would spit out the following joke when someone told us about his invention… “Really? I would have thought he’d invent a turd-powered car.”  And then that other person would laugh, forget his accomplishment, and remember the loaf floating in the pool. 

Just the fact that the media references it as your chance to make us forget should serve as proof that we haven’t and we won’t.  Every June until the NBA collapses, we will be reminded.  Even if no one speaks it, that thought of I wonder if anyone will pull a Portland is in the back of all our minds as we watch.  I’m sure it’s in mind of your GM, Kevin Pritchard as he tries to make his selection.  And Jordan, now running the show at Charlotte will be there, too.  So, now with the pressure of that horrible 1984 pick already looming over Pritchard’s head, he can look up and see the man responsible for the worst case of draft day regret we can imagine looking right back at him.  Plus, Sam Bowie might be there, too, manning the concession stand at MSG .  I think I need to add “Pritchard’s head explodes from the pressure” to my list of Draft Day Odds.

If you truly want to make everyone forget the Sam Bowie pick, pray that tomorrow, when it’s Seattle turn to make their number 2 pick, GM Sam Presti stands up and says “No thanks, we’ll pass.”  Then maybe we’ll talk about this as the worst draft day decision of all time.  Maybe. 

Andruw Jones Caught Trying to Reach the Unreachable

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“Oh, like you never tried it,” Said a red-faced Jones.

NFL Crime Highlighted by the Media, but Disturbing MLB Crime Trend Ignored

Every day, stories of NFL players such as Adam “Pacman” Jones, Tank Johnson, and Chris Henry are discussed at length in the media.  Commissioner Roger Goodell has stepped in and tried to crack down on this disturbing trend, but it hasn’t done much to stem the tide.  Jones is being charged with two felonies in Las Vegas, and is being sought for questioning in an Atlanta strip club shooting incident that occurred earlier this week.

NFL player conduct is clearly a major issue in sports, and the media is discussing it to death.  But an even stranger sports issue has emerged, but no one seems to be talking about it:  Major League Baseball’s recent outbreak of home invasions.

Carlos Zambrano has become a very visible icon in Chicago sports, both due to his impressive performance on the mound and his fiery temperment.  His recent scuffle with now ex-teammate Michael Barrett in the dugout has been much publicized.  One incident that has not received much media attention was his off the field run-ins with cross town rival AJ Pierzynski.

Video of this incident can be seen here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riIw1iIpof4

Zambrano is seen entering Pierzynski’s bedroom while Pierzynski is asleep, and stealthily filling the sleeping player’s hand with shaving cream.  He then produces a large feather and tickles Pierzynski, causing him to slap the shaving cream onto his own face.  In another incident, Pierzynski returns the favor by entering Zambrano’s home while he sleeps, then waxing the pitcher’s entire eyebrow off.  In both incidents, the aggressor attempts to return to their victim’s good graces by plying him with fast food.

Unfortunately, this does not seem to be an isolated incident.  Jermaine Dye was seen entering Michael Barrett’s home while he slpet, then drawing on the player’s face with permanent marker.  Barrett retaliated by filling Dye’s bedroom with mouse traps.  Again, fast food was offered as an olive branch.

All of these incidents have been captured on video, yet the media seems to be ignoring the questions and implications raised.

First of all, why are the authorities looking the other way in cases of blatant home invasion?  Had Pierzynski awoken to find Zambrano in his home and proceeded to shoot him, he would have been justified by the law.  Pierzynski took the law into his own hands by breaking into Zambrano’s home.  Were these incidents even reported to the police?  I attempted to reach the Chicago Police Department about these incidents, but the officer I spoke to hung up laughing.  This implies a high ranking cover up job, or just blatant disregard for public safety.

Now, some have argued that these cases have not been serious.  No one is getting hurt (although Dye’s exposure to multiple pinches from mouse traps couldn’t have been pleasant), and they seem to be nothing more than lighthearted pranks.  But are we overlooking the trees here?  Home invasion is still home invasion, no matter what is done once inside the home. 

There are even more disturbing issues at play here, ones that even I can’t seem to fathom.  Why do Major League Baseball players sleep in their full uniforms, including their hats?  Do all players do this?  And why do multi-millionaire athletes live in such modest homes, without any hint of security or technology?  The media wants no part of this controversy, instead choosing to focus on NFL player strip club attendance and weapon ownership.

And again, what is the connection to fast food, and why does it seem to render the crime insignificant?  Does giving your victim fast food really void out the crime?

If so, I’ll have to remember to hit the drive through before my next date. 

A-Rod and Wang Combo Produces Large Results as Yankees Stick It Hard to the Mets

June 17th, 2007 – New York, NY

It’s already been established that A-Rod can deliver great satisfaction, but when you’ve got your Wang firing off like this, there’s no limit to how good it can get. 

A-Rod came to the plate for the Yankees, swing a huge stick, tallying up his 491st career homerun and added to his league leading season RBI’s total, making it a whopping 73.

But even more impressive was the Yankee’s Wang.  He slipped the Mets the hot one so many times, he retired 10 men, becoming only the fourth Yankee to ever do so in a single outing. 

“I’ve seen Wang come out big before,” manager Joe Torre stated immediately following the 8-2 victory of the cross-town rivals, “but when Wang gets up to 10, that’s huge!”   And it’s not just a skillful Wang on the field, this Wang shows endurance, lasting eight innings on the mount.  Mound, I mean mound. 

“You really just can’t beat Wang, “Torre added, “And you can’t beat A-Rod either….Well, I suppose you could beat them, but it’d end up being really hard.”

It was a long one for Mets pitcher Orlando Hernandez.  “The Yankees are a tough team all around, “Hernandez said, “and when they get the bats going, they can be a handful.  But when A-Rod starts swinging like that, it’s way more than a handful. It’s downright intimidating.”

The Yankees are on a roll, winning 11 or their last 12.  Despite this dominance, the Yankees look to extend an already well-endowed roster, calling up minor leaguers Hugh Peters, Dick Johnson, and Bob Phallus.

Penis.

  

  

In a Completely Different Order then They Were Drafted…

With the NBA season coming to a close, it’s now time to look back, evaluate the rookies and make fun of GM’s for their picks that didn’t pan out, and then go out to buy Spurs hats and claim to be life-long fans.  Let’s start with the rookie evaluations. 

1. Brandon Roy, G, Portland
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MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
35.4 16.8 4.4 4.0 1.18 0.18 .456 .377 .838

Though his numbers are impressive, he is simply not a good fit in Portland.  He is respectful, interviews well, has charisma, and no notable arrests.

2. Rudy Gay, F, Memphis
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MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
27.0 10.8 4.5 1.3 0.91 0.95 .422 .364 .727

On draft day, it was obviously a good choice for Memphis to go Gay.  Marketing his jerseys has been tough.  Not too many kids want to wear Gay jerseys, or Gay clothing altogether.

3. Andrea Bargnani, F, Toronto
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MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
25.1 11.6 3.9 0.8 0.49 0.82 .427 .373 .824

A totally decent edition to the Raptors, I must say.  Perhaps a trade to the Lakers would better suit his career, as he is a noted triangle specialist.

4. Paul Millsap, F, Utah
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MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
18.0 6.8 5.2 0.8 0.82 0.90 .525 .333 .673

Millsap finished his solid rookie season with his seventh double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 boards against the Rockets. He has that solid ability in a player that Jerry Slaon appears to strongly embrace over the past few seasons; the ability to make 95% of NBA fans to say “Who?”  

5. LaMarcus Aldridge, F, Portland
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MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
22.1 9.0 5.0 0.4 0.35 1.16 .503 .000 .722

Aldridge’s numbers in the 38 games from Jan. 6 (when he became a permanent part of the rotation) through March 29: 10.9 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.45 BPG, .509 FG%.   He is also the only NBA player that once got busy in a Burger King bathroom. Do the LaMarcus Mark, watch me do the LaMarcus Mark.  Awwww, yeah!

6. Jorge Garbajosa, F, Toronto
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MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
28.5 8.5 4.9 1.9 1.16 0.22 .420 .342 .731

Garbajosa made a solid impact for a guy that spent so many years away from basketball as a burnt out taxi cab mechanic.  Uuuhhhhh… nice transition.  Okey Dokey.

  

7. Craig Smith, F, Minnesota
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MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
18.7 7.4 5.1 0.6 0.62 0.22 .531 .000 .624

NBA announcers have struggled with his name all year. 

8. Randy Foye, G, Minnesota
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MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
22.9 10.1 2.7 2.8 0.65 0.26 .434 .368 .854

With the kind of numbers Foye is putting up, it is looking like he might be the next guy Minnesota claims to be that missing piece of the puzzle to take them to the next level, then be dealt or let go in free agency in favor of less effective role players.

9. Rajon Rondo, G, Boston
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MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
23.5 6.4 3.7 3.8 1.64 0.10 .418 .207 .647

Rondo’s numbers over the last nine games were even better than those tantalizing numbers he put up in the preseason. Look for him to begin to refer to himself in the third person because if there was ever a name made for that type of guy, it’s Rajon Rondo. “Rajon Rondo has to do what’s good for Rajon Rondo.”

10. Adam Morrison, F, Charlotte
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MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
29.8 11.8 2.9 2.1 0.36 0.08 .376 .337 .710

Morrison played just three minutes in the season finale and missed the previous four games with a sprained knee, which was originally injured at the dirt mall in a scuffle over this kick-ass Lynyrd Skynyrd velvet wall hanging.  Morrison would benefit from packing on a little weight, so it might be time to leave the strict spaghetti-o/cheese whiz/steak ‘ems diet behind.  Add your own details to help me point out he looks all white-trashy

11. Tyrus Thomas, F, Chicago
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MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
13.4 5.2 3.7 0.6 0.64 1.06 .475 .000 .606

If Thomas begins to live up to his potential, it might be a smart financial move to preemptively copyright the phrase “Tyrus-asaurus” the way Pat Riley banked on the “Three-peat” copyright.  Hey, why shouldn’t the rest of us just do it for the money, too?
12. Renaldo Balkman, F, New York
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MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
15.6 4.9 4.3 0.6 0.84 0.65 .505 .185 .567

Balkman missed the last six games of the season with a stomach virus, which turned out to be chronic munchies.  Seriously, even this picture would fail a drug screen.      
13. Shelden Williams, F, Atlanta
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MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
18.7 5.5 5.4 0.5 0.64 0.48 .455 .500 .764

Williams finished the season on a tear, averaging 12.8 points and 11.8 boards while shooting .588 from the field over the last eight games.  Williams also landed a huge endorsement contract, renting out forehead advertising space to Nike, Starbucks, Crispy Crème, Valtrex, and Bob Rohrman Motors.
14. Marcus Williams, G, New Jersey
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MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
16.6 6.8 2.1 3.3 0.37 0.03 .395 .282 .847

Marcus, get ready to be involved in a really mismanaged roster move.  And get ready for shocking legal developments.  Both have happened to every notable Net not named Richard Jefferson.
15. Walter Herrmann, F, Charlotte
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MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
19.5 9.2 2.9 0.5 0.35 0.15 .527 .461 .774

After averaging 17.9 points and 5.3 boards while shooting .582 from the field over the last 18 games of the season, Herrmann still cannot believe it’s not butter.  He did miss a stretch of games after being hit in the face with a goose. 
16. Sergio Rodriguez, G, Portland
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MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
12.9 3.7 1.4 3.3 0.52 0.03 .423 .282 .808

On a roster that seems to be on the verge of being loaded, Rodriguez can still hope to get some serious burn next season.  Sun burn.  If his skin tone was a shade of paint, it would called “pepsodent pasty.”  It would be interesting to learn what his name was before the witness protection program tried to pass him off as Latino. 
17. Tarence Kinsey, G, Memphis
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MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
20.1 7.7 2.0 0.9 1.10 0.02 .457 .283 .796

See, parents of Craig Smith?  This is how NBA parents name their kids. 
18. Mickael Gelabale, F, Seattle
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MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
17.7 4.6 2.5 0.8 0.34 0.31 .462 .234 .805

Gelabale is a defensive specialist who went under the radar for much of the season, which is surprising considering the unprecedented jump from the WNBA she made.
19. Jordan Farmar, G, L.A. Lakers
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MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
15.1 4.4 1.7 1.9 0.61 0.10 .422 .328 .711

He appears to have the right stuff, baby and loves the way you turn him on.   I always thought his last name was Knight, but I was not that big of a fan, so I might have been wrong.    
20. Daniel Gibson, G, Cleveland
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MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
16.5 4.6 1.5 1.2 0.38 0.13 .424 .419 .718

Probably the biggest steal of the draft, Gibson was playing big minutes for the Cavs, even starting 16 games. But his parents caught him staying up late to watch Skin-emax movies on a school night and his 2 month grounding seriously cut into his playing time.  Teammates are reportedly weirded out by his referring to road trips as sleepovers and no one will room with him because he keeps them up all night asking them who they like and making armpit farts.