Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Change Your Look, Change Your Life"

The little, indie bookstores I usually go to don't carry ESPN the Mag, but I was waiting for someone at Barnes & Noble yesterday and this picture of Dwight Howard caught my eye. The cover story, "Above the Rim, Beyond the Arc" by Ric Bucher, is a really interesting revisit to the controversial-at-the-time NBA dress code and how opinions and behaviors have changed since then.

Beyond just their physical appearance, players have re-examined their lifestyles and perceptions. Bucher writes,

"Times have changed. Players not only have rethought what they wear, they've also rethought what they drive and eat. Gone are the days of a player hopping out of an Escalade with 24-inch spinning rims and tinted windows that rattle from the beat of the speaker box. Now the car is likely to be a dark-colored sedan or SUV with standard equipment...You can also find players circling the team buffet, casually mentioning the egg-white omelet and protein shake their personal chef whipped up for them that morning."

Players have also started thinking broadly and more long-term. Shane Battier says, "Guys want to be players and businessmen. And they understand you have to look the part. They're more sophisticated."

The most interesting part of the article was the key figure cited as, if not integral, definitely influential in effecting this change - and it's not Barack Obama. It's Hova himself, Jay-Z. We know Jay's influenced Lebron directly, but who knew he influenced the entire league indirectly. Bucher writes,
"And when Jay-Z turned in his Yankees cap and white T's for French-cuffed shirts and three-piece suits, tailors with NBA clientele noticed. 'Guys started buying a ton of woven dress shirts to wear with cuff links,' says designer Cary Mitchell. Teams steal defensive schemes; players eye what others are rocking. 'It's a copycat league,' says Mitchell."

Other owners better hope and pray Jay's influence is solely sartorial and won't affect where players want to play, ie Brooklyn. I think it's hilarious though that this designer calls the players out as copycats.

Another benefit to the dress code was that it bridged one divide between the Americans and the Europeans. Some of the Europeans felt mocked for their choice of clothing, which tends toward close-fitting, but now, that's the style 'round the league.
Time was when Warriors center Andris Biedrins thought he was getting dap when someone said, "That suit is tight." But that was "tight" as in "too small," not as in "That looks sharp." No more. Says Hawks center Zaza Pachulia: "Euro style used to be a bad thing. Now guys like it."

If only other conflicts could be so easily defused. Anyway, check out the story. It's really interesting. One other thing - the Blazers provide a personal chef to rookies whose moms aren't accompanying them to Portland. How cool is that!!!!

Together Again

First, Shaq and Kobe reunited at the All Star Game. Then, it was Angelina and Aniston at the Oscars. Now, and with much less drama, Conan and Andy will be back together on NBC! Can Andy still be naked at 11:35pm or will that be Jimmy Fallon's domain now? *Shudder*

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Quote for Sonics Fans

I just finished reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which wasn't quite the old lady book I'd thought it would be...okay, maybe it was a little but I still really enjoyed it. Anyway, there's a line from Shakespeare in the book that I thought fitting for Sonics fans, particularly after the show Kevin Durant put on this weekend. It goes, "The bright day is done, and we are for the dark."

Didn't mean to start your morning off on such a somber note. Here's a video from the hilarious Paul Brogan to properly start the day. I don't know how I didn't see this before. Thanks @PhoenixSunsGirl for all the manic Twittering.

Seriously, how could David Stern take the NBA from a city that produces fans like this? Now look what the cat dragged in to Oklahoma City:

They're calling him Rumble the Bison. He can't even make a basket! So sad.

Highlight of Clippers-Suns Game

The best part of the ridiculous 40 point blowout came during halftime when they showed a clip of the Step Brothers spoof Baron Davis and Steve Nash made for Baron BoomDizzle's site, IBeatYou. Look at Steve's moves! Shaq's not the only one with some skills. Two words: Dance off.

Jay, if you don't know who the JabbaWockeeZ are, I'm shaving your head to reflect the old man you've become. I love PTI and Tony Kornheiser, but damn, sometimes the age/generation/technology/pop culture gap is ridiculous. Today he and Dan Le Batard talked about Twitter and Tony went off on the "twitter machine." It's called a computer. And I loved when he finally discovered Amy Winehouse...a year after Rehab blew up. I know ESPN wants to skew young, but forcing people to talk about topics they have absolutely no understanding of - I thought that's what they kept Skip Bayless around for.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Pistons' Mascot is Cooler than Yours

Hooper's doing it in costume AND heels!
I humble myself before thee.
And those dancers! Hot sex on a platter.

Benny or Gorilla, whatchu got??

He's jealous of this dog, too.

When Mom's Away

Obama is totally jealous of this kid.
Stay strong, Mr. President.

The Aftermath in Seattle

What Clay Bennett wrought.
Sonics fans in Portland for the ex-Sonics return to the Pacific Northwest.
So sad.

Photo Source: AP


Slam has a fantastic article by John Krolik on the rightful heir to Sam Cassell's testicle dance. (The only adjective I can think of to properly describe the dance is 'singular,' but somehow 'singular testicle dance' just sounds wrong...and misleading.) Thus far, only Kobe and Andre Iguodala have been brazen enough to show off their cojones (Andre in front of the one and only Sam I Am). Kobe broke out the dance again tonight after a late basket against the Jazz, but like the last time against the Spurs, Lakers lost. Last time, Roger Mason, Jr. answered back with a testicle dance of his own. This time, Mehmet Okur answered back with what can only be characterized as the Jonas version of Sam's dance. I'm trying to find a clip of it, but the only video of the game on YouTube cuts off before the end.

My vote is for Roger Mason, Jr. Sam had a swagger disproportionate to his position on the NBA totem pole. Roger Mason - 2nd rounder, journeyman - has the same outsized bravado.

Krolik dismisses Manu as a possible heir, saying:

I’m pretty sure Manu thinks the dance means “I have accumulated a lot of change and am unsure what to do with it, so for the moment there is much change in my pockets, which I find unwieldy.”
This can also describe Mehmet's dance. Check out the other potential heirs apparent here.

*Quick note to my very white friend, Jay. Cojones is not pronounced 'co-jones,' which is what I know you were saying in your head. It's Spanish and therefore pronounced 'co-ho-nez.'

Cold Days

Most people take snow days, I've been taking cold days. The temperature literally went from the 80s-90s to the 40s-50s and rainy in a matter of days. I know 40 degrees is nothing to anyone not living in the Southwest, but the sudden drop was so jarring it felt like being thrown into freezing cold water. I'm absolutely useless when it's cold, which explains why I was on academic probation for the first time in my life my first winter in Boston, but my body's more acclimated now so I'm pulling an all-nighter to make up for all the work I haven't been doing. The actual work probably won't take more than a few hours, but I have to schedule in my procrastination, such as this post.

Something that's been bothering me for awhile, which I've voiced before but I feel the need to bring up again is, who the fuck are the Jonas Brothers? And why are they everywhere?! I saw them for a quick second on the VMAs sitting on a makeshift stoop in matching seersucker suits before I had to change the channel. That's understandable though since MTV caters to imbeciles. They've also taken over a wall at Borders. Once again, understandable considering the other wall was devoted to Twilight, ibid imbecile reference. But the cover of Rolling Stone? And now they're going to rape my ears on SNL? Why they haven't been banished to the Teen Beat corner is beyond me. Why are we, non 13-years-olds, being forced to lower ourselves to the Jonas-Hannah Montana level? No wonder the adult literacy level is so low and the LA Times is written at barely an 8th grade level since apparently, that's the mental age we're shooting for. Jesus. (Excuse my caffeine rush. I'm fine now.) Here's Chelsea Handler's take on the Jonas situation:

Brilliant. Don't get me wrong - I'm not against teen idols. I just don't think that I or anyone else in their 20s and up should be forced to follow a group of pre-pubescent boys. Unless they can shoot a ball, of course. You wouldn't show Finding Nemo on SpikeTV, so why are the JoBros (Seriously? Gag me.) on SNL? And don't get me started on Zac Efron hosting. Okay, enough of this. More posts about basketball, I swear!

Monday, February 09, 2009


This is so something my cousin would do.
That's why his nickname is Idiot Boy.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Mailman Does Not Deliver on TNT

Karl Malone was a guest host on Inside the NBA this week and his appearance was magic. As in The Magic Hour. Since Karl loves to hunt so much, let's use a hunting analogy. If Ernie, Kenny, and Charles are decorated marksmen, Karl Malone is Dick Cheney. He might as well have shot Ernie in the face.

When asked about the coaching carousel in the NBA, Karl started talking about Marc Iavaroni and without finishing his point, leapfrogged to Jerry Sloan going to Illinois to hunt. When Ernie asked him if he still kept in touch with John Stockton, Karl talked about how John was the godfather to one of his kids and then how they should have showed John's statue in front of the EnergySolutions Arena. He'd ramble on and on about something and then just kind of stop. There'd be a momentary pause while Ernie figured out if Karl was going to finish his point or not, and then Ernie would bring everyone back with an "Okaaaay..."

I don't know how much longer TNT is going to punish Charles and by extension us, the viewers, but in case this suspension results in more appearances by the Mailman, I feel a quick workshop is in order. Here we go:

How to Be a Studio Analyst: A Hunter's Guide

Before you begin speaking/shooting, you must find a point/target.
You are the gun and your words are your bullets.
Pretend your point is the defenseless little animal you love to kill.
Track it, determine its path before you start shooting off at the mouth.
Don't let the point get away from you.
When you have the point in your sights, shoot.
You don't need to spray buckshot all willy-nilly.
That's how random old men get shot in the face.
Use only the amount of bullets that are necessary.
When you're finished, the point will be done as well.
Time to move on.

Repeat the steps above or give someone else a turn.

Please, TNT. Give Charles another turn. Yes, he went from Blackjack to BJs but hey, at least he wasn't photographed hitting the bong! The Moral Majority Minority have moved on to Michael Phelps. Now is the perfect time to bring Charles back under the radar. An All-Star Weekend without the Chuckster but with G-E-I-C-O? Say it ain't so.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


This blog is being blocked by Google on Firefox and Safari. I don't know what's going on, but in the meanwhile, go to Hopefully, this problem will be resolved soon enough.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Kardashians Prefer NFL Players to NBA Players. In a Related Study, Findings Show NFL Players More at Risk for STDs than NBA Players.

Khloe Kardashian recently broke up with the T-wolves' Rashad McCants and told People Magazine,

"It's easier to date a football player for sure. Football players have one game a week, and they practice every day, but they're all at home. In basketball, they're on the road all the time. Relationships are so hard in general, even living next door to each other, but they have 82 games a year in their season, and I work so much; it's hard to spend time together. It just wasn't as fun as it should have been."
Now here's the kicker:
"I normally never talk about relationships. But since he was kind of public, my fans were angry that I wasn't really saying anything."
Fans? Yes, I'm sure the Chyna Fan Club rejects were postively seething that they didn't know about your love life. Good luck in the NFL hunt.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Totally In Love with Ricky Gervais


1. His open letter to Barack Obama.

Dear Mr President,

As I'm sure you are aware, one of your flock has strayed. A Miss Paris Hilton, who is, I believe, a resident of Beverley Hills, is in England doing a reality game show for ITV2 called Paris Hilton's British Best Friend. Fine. I have no problem with that. I don't have to watch. But now it has come to my attention that she has bought a house in North London a few miles from me, and is out and about ingratiating herself with the Great British public.

Mr President. We are not stupid. This is clearly a retaliatory strike for Posh Spice moving to LA. I know it, and you know it, so let's cut the "it's a free country" nonsense and come to some agreement.

I propose an exchange.

Have your people call my people. They may have to call a few times as my people are useless to be honest.

Thank you,

Ricky Gervais
2. His worst films of 2008 list.
10. Fool's Gold -- I don't have anything funny to say about this movie. I'm just fed up. Just fucking stop it. Seriously. You're not getting anything out of it. I'm not getting anything out of it. Even "your audience" isn't getting anything out of it. You know what this movie cost? $70 million. You know what it grossed? $70 Million. It's a cats game. You're literally doing nothing.

6. Fireproof -- THIS DOES NOT BODE WELL. This makes me miss The Passion of the Christ. At least that had a few movie stars and some violence. Next up: the Mormon film movement. Oh wait... that's already started... and it's on this list.

1. Twilight -- Dear Fat Girls of America, I know times are tough. I know how it feels to be overweight, and unpopular, to feel that no one really understands you and to wallow away at night, lying in your big bed, snacking and wishing there was an effeminate vampire boy-child to come steal you away and show you how shiny he looks in the sunlight. (I don't). But this is not the answer. I say it again, ma'am: THIS IS NOT THE ANSWER. I know it's too late to stop this train, but let us all agree that the Twilight books make Harry Potter look like Proust. And even worse, the Twilight film makes Disaster Movie look like The Leopard.
3. His best films of 2008 list. Namely, it didn't include Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire. I watched both and liked both but, particularly with Slumdog, didn't think it was OH MY GOD! THE MOST AMAZING MOVIE EVER. I loved Danny Boyle's directing, as I always do, but I knew the ending halfway into the movie even though I hate guessing what happens and willfully fight against it. When people in my theater gasped at the last question, I was like, "Are you kidding me? Seriously, where have you been for the past 2 hours?" It was a feel good movie, though with moments of brutal violence, that's sort of become more than it is. Kind of like Andre Iguodala. Flashy, moments of brilliance, but not quite at the top tier. Yet. Here are some movies that did make his list.
10. Iron Man -- Just fun.

8. Tropic Thunder -- It still bothers me that we live in a culture where Tom Cruise has to do public penance for being crazy by embarrassing himself with ridiculous dance moves. But almost everything else I enjoyed. I think it would have been better, as it was supposed to be, with Owen Wilson in the Jack Black role, though.

6. Let the Right One In -- A slap in the face to all that is bad in the world of cinema. Quite literally the anti-Fool's Gold. It's exactly what we need.

Kind of In Love with Will Leitch

I didn't know Will Leitch of Deadspin fame had his own blog, but I was on one site that linked to another site that linked to The Will Leitch Experience. Aside from pointing me to Shaq's (in)famous Twitter and a hilarious Batman cartoon, I was pleasantly surprised by his choice of movies, including one of my absolute favorites this year, The Class.

The Class, based on French bestseller "Entre les Murs" (Between the Walls), is a docudrama of the experiences of one inner city, Parisian middle school teacher. François Bégaudeau, the author of the book, plays himself in the movie. Though Bégaudeau and the students are novice actors, they give the most realistic, honest portrayals that you feel like you're a fly on the wall of a real classroom. Every time Bégaudeau seems to be making progress with his students, something happens that knocks him back 2 steps. That constant wearing down comes to a head when he loses his temper and tells two of his female students that they're acting "like skanks."

This totally hit close to home because when I first started teaching, I was Amy Adams...on crack. I was so positive and conviced I was going to be the change I wanted to see. Yada yada yada. Now I'm like one flask of bathtub gin away from being Miss Hannigan. Thanks to French bureaucracy, the French middle schools I taught at were similar enough to the one in The Class.

Leitch writes:

During some of the rougher “battle” rapport sequences between Francois and the class, it began to strike me almost as a war film. Upon further reflection, though, that’s not quite right: It’s a prison film. The teachers here are guards, acutely aware that the notion of “rehabilitation” is for academics and theorists; they’re just trying to avoid a riot. Maybe you can catch a kid’s attention for a second, plant a seed, but mostly you just do your best to make it through and cross your fingers that something sticks. Parents and administrators — other than the school’s principal, who has the world weariness of a man who desperately would love to give up, but can’t, at considerable expense — are people who get in the way, like civil rights lawyers at a prison. Sure, everyone would like everyone to get along and turn into Mr. Holland and his opus. But these teachers, these prison guards, these ones out in the field, they’re too busy putting out fires. And their faces show it, and show how they once felt so differently, long ago.
All in all, a fantastic movie with more insight than anything that's come out of Hollywood in a while. Give it a chance even though it is in French, which usually has guys running for the hills. That's why I'm kind of in love with Will Leitch. He gives foreign and non-mainstream movies a chance and then can speak eloquently about them. I watched The Secret of the Grain today and as usual, it was me and a bunch of little old ladies. I lost the last person who indulged me after taking them to Let the Right One In, which I still maintain was a very good movie. Vampires, especially Swedish vampires that don't sparkle, are just not for everyone.

Kobe Bryant, "Genus"

Spike Lee was interviewed after Kobe's 61 at MSG the other night and he said, "You don't have to be Albert Einstein...You can have genuses in sports, too." I rewound my DVR 5 times to make sure I heard it correctly. I did.

All Star Injuries

Chris Paul - selected to his 2nd All Star game, his first as a starter - strained his groin but is listed day-to-day.

Jameer Nelson - selected to his first All Star game - tore something in his shoulder and may have to have season-ending surgery.

Although I'm sure a strained groin isn't pleasant, this totally sucks for Jameer. He was having a breakout season and totally pumped for the All Star Game. He talked to John Thompson last week about what an honor it would be for him. More impressively, he didn't cry in a John Thompson interview. That's truly a feat considering what Thompson was pulling out, such as the unexpected and still mysterious death of Jameer's father last year. I was ready to start bawling, but Jameer held it together and talked about the kind of man his father raised him to be. Sniff sniff. I really hope his injury isn't serious and he gets to finish the season. I know I'm totally a sucker for those Beyond the Glory personal interviews, but Jameer Nelson (damn, I keep typing Jammer) really seems like a sincere guy who's fought uphill his entire basketball career and earned every stripe. Fortunately, I don't think this will be his last All Star selection. Now who's gonna be Dwight's wingman in the Dunk contest?

Happy Groundhog Day (Yesterday)

6 more weeks of winter, for part of the country anyway. It was 80 degrees here today! I wish it would be a little cooler. Okay, maybe not.

Photo Source: Sean Delonas for the New York Post

Super Bowl and SingStar: The Wrap Up

First off, let me start by saying Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Hudson. Amazing. Ignoring her back story for just a minute, that performance was one for the books. Then, taking in consideration everything that's happened to her in the past few months, it just blows my mind. I can't imagine going through what she went through, rather I don't want to imagine having to go through what she went through, because I would either be in a coma or a murderous rage. It's truly gratifying to see that her spirit and her talent are indomitable. She'll be back on top soon enough.

I watched the game at my best guy friend's house. He and his partner always have the most amazing snacks, including a chocolate fountain this year. Usually, I just tell him who to root for, but this year he announced that he was rooting for the Steelers. I was so proud and totally surprised. Then I thought about it for a second and was like, "Wait a sec, Ben's not cute. How did you make your pick? Did you actually watch ESPN?"

"Nope. Mother Jones."

This is why we've been friends for over 10 years even though we only met at a 6-week summer program. Only he would base a Super Bowl pick on either the hotness of the quarterback or Mother Jones. And only he would use the Super Bowl as a guise to really have a SingStar party. The group was probably split 40/60 on those who came for the Super Bowl and those who came for SingStar. I happened to be sitting next to someone who came for SingStar during the insane 4th quarter. With about a minute left, my knees were in my chest and I was mumbling "come on, baby, come on, baby, come on, baby" when I heard him say, "I think she's speaking in tongues." My head whipped around so fast it probably did seem like I was possessed and then, to further validate the Linda Blair comparison, I roared, "Listen, bitch, now is NOT the time to start with me!" After the Santonio Holmes touchdown and the remaining 35 seconds - during which I was nervous the ENTIRE time (way to inspire confidence, #1 defense), unfortunate sap sitting next to me and I made up with a SingStar duet. It really does bring people together.

As for the halftime show, I think we watched 30 seconds of it - enough for a Kathy Griffin sighting and a few 'Did Bruce throw out his back?' comments - and we were done. Did I mention there was a chocolate fountain? It held way more interest than Bruce.

The two most popular topics were Brenda Warner (obviously) and Chris Kemoeatu. Poor Chris. Every time the camera zoomed in on his face stuffed to within an inch of its life in his helmet, everyone went nuts. Do they not have different size helmets? Does Chris Kemoeatu really have to wear the same size helmet as Darren Sproles? Seems unfair. As for Mrs. Warner, well, the Kim Zolciak hair and makeup didn't help, but she's trying. It still didn't go over well with the crowd of bored, bitchy gays but they also hadn't seen the before picture. Hmm, would you rather be called a tranny or a grandma? Whatever, 5 kids later, she must be doing something right.

Some final thoughts: Who the hell was that sideline reporter with Andrea Kremer? How do you get to cover the biggest sporting event of the year when no one knows who the hell you are? Were Michelle Tafoya and Pam Oliver bound and gagged somewhere? Who do I have to sleep with to get that job next year?

And to Mike Wilbon, Mr. NBA, how do you not know and Tony know Santonio Holmes was doing the Lebron? Tony watches like 2 games a year! C'mon Mike! (By the way, he thought Holmes was doing a salt and pepper shaker with the ball.)