An epidemic in the NBA, the Blackhawk’s start, and the new foot locker commercials

1. Ibaka only gets fined 25K for punching Blake Griffin in the man parts.

I know this happened earlier in the week but it needs to be addressed. Watch the video.

He quickly glances at Blake’s groin area, cocks back, and tally whacks him. What the hell?! He swung like he was Rocky in a meat cellar. He’s a regular Randall Simon with how he treats sausage. And David Stern and gang didn’t think this was worth a suspension? That’s ridiculous, their job is to protect their players from cheap shots1 like this and they completely balked. Griffin suggested that Ibaka wasn’t suspended so as not to affect the TV ratings of the Thunder-Lakers game the next day. Maybe he had a point2.

But what the lack of suspension really did was allow an epidemic to continue: dick-punching in basketball. It’s found its way in to all levels of the game. Nicolas Batum did it in the Olympics. DWade got suspended earlier this year for a groin kick. Tyler Zeller and Derrick Nix exchanged blows in a Big Ten game a couple weeks back. And now Ibaka. NBA players hold themselves with a swagger that no other professional athletes can match, yet every time they get mad they immediately target another person’s junk. It’s really cutting into their manly image. Remember the Bad Boys? The 80’s Celtics? ’04 Pacers3? Those teams had guys who would throw a punch if the time called for it. I mean, I’m not asking for fights with hockey-style regularity, but c’mon, STOP PUNCHING EACH OTHER’S PENISES! I’m upset that this needed to be said.

2. Chicago Blackhawks currently starting the season with record-breaking 24 games without losing in regulation.

I know what you’re thinking, “The NHL season started already?” and the answer’s “Yes”. Apparently two months ago, those that run the NHL dislodged their heads from you-know-where long enough to get the season started and it seems like the Hawks were the only team ready for this. They’ve been dominant with a +32 goal differential (second best is +17) behind 32 combined goals by Patrick Kane, Jonothan Toews, and Marian Hossa. Meanwhile, shaky goaltending last year (2.82 GAA as a team) has turned into the team’s best quality. Together, Corey Crawford (1.53 GAA) and Ray Emery (2.02) and, of course, former Spartan Duncan Keith have helped Chicago become the hardest team to score on thus far this year. Too bad we rarely get to see a full season these days or this team could compete to become one of the best of all time. Unfortunately, a shortened season will always put an asterisk next to their record4.

He should be the next president.

He should be the next president.

3. I love the new James Harden/Kris Humphries commercials

If you haven’t seen them, here’s one. And the other. They crack me up. Basically anything James Harden does cracks me up. Whether it’s getting his beard torn off in earlier foot locker commercials or making Kris Humphries come across as the world’s biggest creep, he just makes me happy. And the inclusion of Kris Humphries is genius. Think about it. The commercial appeals to regular male basketball fans AND it appeals to a huge female audience who would otherwise have no interest in foot locker. Any woman who reads tabloid magazines5knows who Humphries is because of his 17-second marriage to Kim Kardashian. If you want to appeal to that demographic you either have to pick the absolute best in the game that ANYONE would know (Kobe, Lebron) or you bargain shop for Humphries, make him look like a huge weirdo, and now females love the commercial. Just like me. But for different reasons.

 

1. I don’t think anyone would label Serge Ibaka a dirty player but there’s no doubt this was a dirty play.

2. If this factored in to the decision at all it makes no sense. When KD, Kobe, Dwight Howard and Russell Westbrook are playing who is tuning in to watch Serge Ibaka?

3. Ok maybe not them.

4. This isn’t meant to be an insult but if they were to break the record for, say, best winning percentage in a season, people would always say that it was done in a lockout shortened season.

5. So 99% of them. They like weird things.

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Trade Deadline: Much Ado About Nothing.

The NBA. Where deadline induced blueballs happen. Nobody moved! That was so disappointing.

List of players whose name were linked to possible trades: Josh Smith, Pau Gasol, Kevin Garnett, Monta Ellis, Kris Humphrie’s contract.

List of player’s that actually did move: JJ Reddick, Eric Maynor, Thomas Robinson, Ronnie Brewer, Jordan Crawford

List of player’s that moved that will affect the championship race:

In other words, we all got duped. Regardless, here’s a take on a few of the trades that did happen.

Boston gets G Jordan Crawford

Washington gets C Jason Collins, G Leandro Barbarosa

So basically Washington was so fed up with having Jordan Crawford they traded him for a guy who has a torn ACL and who’s contract will end before he recovers1.
Even though Boston really had nothing to lose in this trade can someone please
tell Danny Ainge that no number of combo guards will make up for the loss of
Rondo come playoff time. Their back court now consists of Avery Bradley, Jason
Terry, Courtney Lee, and Jordan Crawford.That being said, I actually kind of
like the move. Crawford has proven to be an irresponsible shooter, but if KG
can scare him into a smarter shot selection his scoring could come in handy at
some point. The guy has shown that he can put up points in a hurry if he
catches fire while the other three can’t create their own shot (in the case of
Jason Terry he just hasn’t meshed in Boston). Best Case Scenario. Worse case scenario: he provides nothing which puts him right on par with what Barbarosa was going to give this
season.

Orlando gets G Doron Lamb, Beno Udrih, and F Tobias Harris

Bucks get JJ Redick, C Gustavo Ayon, and G Ish Smith

I’m sad that this was the biggest trade of the deadline. Milwaukee, trying to hang on to their opportunity to get swept in the first round by Miami, goes out and gets Redick, a guy who can stretch the floor and has really improved as a passer this year. Does this make them a threat in the East? Absolutely not. But when you can make a move to ensure you have the worst defensive backcourt in the league you have to pull the trigger. This move would have made a lot more sense if they traded Ellis as well, started Redick, and ended this failed experiment2 that is starting two score-first point guards.

Sacramento trades Thomas Robinson

Did the Maloofs forget that they used a 5th overall pick on this guy just eight months ago?! So Robinson struggles a little his ROOKIE year on a team where the locker room and overall situation is a complete disaster and you just give up on him? I hope this team is taken away from the Maloofs so that things like this don’t happen anymore. Great move by the Rockets though. Robinson, if nothing else this year, can bring a little toughness to a talented, but soft team. Next year he has the chance to become a key member of a young team on the rise.

 

  1. Assuming no deer antler spray is involved.
  2. I realize this isn’t big news I just wanted a reason to post this video.
  3. Ellis was coming off two straight 24+ ppg seasons with Golden State (and was scoring almost 22 at the time) before being shipped to Milwaukee. This year he has failed to crack 20 in 34 of 57 games. I bet an offer of Ellis and Larry Sanders would have got serious looks. Maybe even Ellis and John Henson too.