Wednesday, February 28

Talk About Over The Top

Yesterday was trading deadline day for the National Hockey League (NHL) . As expected , sports networks coverages went all out for the much anticipated day for hockey loving Canadians . All 3 sports channels devoted 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted TV time to nothing but hockey players transactions !. That's from 12 noon to 6 PM for one and from 12 noon to 8 PM for the other 2 channels ! Poor hoops fans . They can't even get 1 channel to cover the past NBA trade news except via cable channel , Raptors /NBA TV.
TSN's Sportscenter , which is partly owned by ESPN , called it's coverage of NHL trade deadline, Tradecenter 07. The show has at least 9 panelists sitting in 3 separate tables . It's good there were nearly 30 trades consumated before the deadline . Even then , the hockey talking heads have a hard time filling the time . In fact , Sportsnet filled it's coverage time by incorporating some art work b.s. in it's show called Trade Deadline Bash .
The 3rd sports channel in Canada , The Score , had some pizza boxes in front of the 3 hosts of the NHL trading deadline show to make it appear they stayed in their posts all throughout the show . They did . I can't find anything similar to how lunatic the whole thing was . Not the choosing of teams that made it to the NCAA tournament or the NFL draft day coverages .
The following day , I watched TSN's Sportscenter . The Sportscaster proudly announced towards the end of the show ' Now , this is the only sports news not about hockey . This is about the Suns' with Steve Nash ' . Grrrr.

Tuesday, February 27

Raptors Run Out Of Gas Vs. The Spurs

Last night , the offense was not fluid for Toronto as they succumbed to San Antonio , 91-107 .It was a basketball clinic was how the Raps TV guys described it. And the Spurs conducted it . Manu and Tony Parker were simply unstoppable while Tim Duncan (24 pts., 16 reb) was his old self. Clarification : Duncan was his usual self before plantaar fasciilitis bugged him the past 2 seasons. The veteran Spur moved smoothly and effectively against the Raptors' big men including Chris Bosh who had a sub standard game with 14 pts. and 9 rebounds . Asked if Duncan is still among the best big men in the league , Bosh answered ' Oh definitely , he's still one of the best in the NBA ' . I guess Duncan's plantar fasciilitis was better than Bosh's plantar fascisliitis ... at least in last night's game !
The Raptors were simply outplayed on all fronts - rebounds , assists , turnover . As early as the 2nd quarter , the Raps lost control of the game . Anthony Parker's ankle injury early in the game , did not help the Raps' cause.' We're not doing what we used to do . Moving the ball and assisting. said Ass't coach , Ford during a halftime interview . ' We hope to do better in the 2nd half ' he added . But the lead was too big and the Spurs playing so well , I sensed that the game was lost . That's why Ford did not say that the Raptors will overcome the lead and beat the Spurs. I guess it's a foregone conclusion even to never say die head coach of the Raptors ' You expect this kind of game twice a season . The first happened early in the season (vs. Miami) and now this . The Spurs totally dominated us '' said coach Sam Mitchell after the game . In other words , the Raptors were owned by the Spurs . But not like Al Sharpton's great great grandfather was owned by the late Sen. Thurmond's great , great grandfather ....but more like the Toronto's consumers are owned by conniving gas companies !

Coach Sam :
Can we put signs like gas stations in Toronto are doing now . Something like ' Sorry , We are out of the game '

Monday, February 26

Watching Raptors TV Is Stressful .

Just like many Raptors fans , I stop watching the Raptors pre/post game shows . Or if I watch the shows , I watch the portion when they do players' interviews . At least that part of the show , I can enjoy . Why ? You get it straight from the players not from someone plucked from streets of TO or a baller/coach doing on-the-job training in masscom . Other team's pre/post shows use the standard formula of a regular sports announcer paired with an NBA vet. The ex NBAer is normally a former member of the team . That's how the Cavaliers TV post show does it with ex Cavs great Cazzie Russel for example.
Raptors TV , I think , insists on using Canadian talents . This is OK but considering that all ex Raptors are Americans , this is a problem. Raptors TV apes the Leafs TV's way of doing things . The regulars of the show , at least 3 panelists , stand while they talk. Visually this looks great especially with the fancy set . But the quality of panelists doing the talking leaves much to be desired as I've said . Unlike their hockey cousins , the Raptors have shortage of ex players to use. The few Canadians who played in the NBA are doing radio /TV work for other teams like Todd Maculloch with the Sixers and Bill Wennington with the Bulls . Raptors TV is left with an ex Canadian team player , Sherman , an ex college player or the current coach of the Canadian youth team and Norma Wick doing ala Hubie Brown . Norma Wick used to do sideline reporting for the Raptors . It's like asking Michelle Tofoya to do ABC's NBA game analysis !
Listening and watching Raptors TV panelists is like listening to an Elvis impersonator . He looks a bit Elvis , sounds a bit like Elvis but it's not Elvis . Not even Tom Jones . They don't have NBA credentials ! Lately , the Raptors TV folks even copy the way TNT's Barkley/Ernie/Kenny do their their thing . Their jokes and exchanges pale in comparison with that of the regulars of the Emmy award winning show . One fan wrote that watching Raptors TV is like dying a slow death . At least , the Raps are winning . Just follow John Travolta's way . He said in the Oscar pre ceremony last night ' I'm too blessed to be stress ' .

Sunday, February 25

Double Victory , Double Joy.

It was a great back to back wins for the Toronto Raptors . Last Friday night , the Raps made mincemeat of the Indiana Pacers , 110 - 88. Chris Bosh handilly beat his counterpart on the other team , Jermaine O'neal ( 23 pts./12 reb. to 17 pts./8 reb.) while Jorge Garbajosa contributed 16 points to the destruction of the Pacers. Toronto fans were ecstatic as their team avenged the loss last time the 2 teams met . They even chanted MVP! MVP! MVP! when Bosh was in the free throw line . This show of love for CB4 from the crowd surprised the Indiana basketball Analyst , Quinn Buckner . ' That's a little premature ' remarked the ex member of the Pacers. Meaning , Bosh is still young and it's not his time yet. But it's time for the Pacers to be owned by the Raps this season (2-1) !
Last night , it was the Charlotte Bobcats turn to feel the wrath of the Raptors . After a close 1st half in which Chris Bosh spent most of his time sitting on the bench , the Raps blew the game wide open in the final half and won pulling away , 93 - 76. Chris Bosh scored all of his 24 points in the final half. What really surprised me was the seemingly easy way that TJ Ford and Jose Calderon , who combined for 31 points , penetrated Charlotte's defense . The 2 drove to the basket relentlessly even when Charlotte's big men were still there ( Okafor and Wallace sat the 2nd half of the game due to injuries ). Charlotte needs a better web to trap pests like Jose and TJ !

Charlotte :
Charles , tell your friend MJ , his team stinks !

Saturday, February 24

Bouncing Balls 16.0

1. Celtics Vs. Lakers. I long for the return of the Boston Celtics not only to respectability but to where they belong - the top of the NBA . Last night , the Beantown ballers were beaten badly by the Lakers , 96-122 . The misery lingers on for Celtics fans. The Lakers are up there really . Maybe they need some tinkering but as soon as the big men of LA - Bynum and Kwame - reach their potential , they're 1st class. But in the case of the Celts , the leprachaun must use all his powers come drafting time . It's Oden or it's over . No odd or even , just Oden !

2. Clydespeak 2 . Here are 2 more of Walt 'Clyde' Frazier colorful ways of describing actions in a Knicks game . These were heard in last night's New York-Milwaukee game which the Knicks won by a hair , 95-93 . Make sure to read these in a sing song manner , Clyde style .

Let's take a look at Curry's amazing grace .

Stephon dancing and prancing ...

3. Dennis Johnson, RIP. There was a minute of silence observed for former Celtics great Dennis Johnson before the Knicks-Bucks game last night. The TV camera showed NY coach , Isiah Thomas , in a very somber mood and with his eyes closed . I don't know if Isiah shed a tear or 2 because the camera shifted somewhere else. I know that the Florida judge in the Anna Nicole's case shed a lot of tears when he read his ruling to the surprise of many viewers icluding yours truly. Move over , Judge Judy !
4. Hockey Fights And Cracks . Canadian TV and radio sports commentators are still talking about the fight in Thursday's game between Ottawa and Buffalo . They eagerly await tonight's game pitting these 2 protoganists which will definitely overshadow the Raptors' game against the Bobcats scheduled at about the same time. Too bad for the surging Raps . If it is not the Toronto Maple Leafs , it's other hockey teams or game that the sports folks talk and write about here. I don't know what more Bosh and Co. have to do to attract the attention of sports lovers in Canada . Hmmm. I know . What about wearing basketball uniforms showing their cracks ?

Thursday, February 22

Bouncing Balls 15.0

1. Charkes Barkley In 2014. I watched Chuck's interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN yesterday . It seems that Barkley is pushing through with his plan to enter the world of politics in 2014 . He said he is an Independent but he supports Democrat Barack Obama. I don't think Charles will win . Why ? He offended the moralists for his big time gambling . And also , Charles turned off the 65 and over folks by beating 67 yr. old Dick Bavetta in a foot race !
2. Clydespeak. I always have a lot of fun listening to former Knicks great Walt ' Clyde ' Frazier do the basketball analysis for MSG/Knicks TV . Clyde has a different set of words to describe the actions on the court . Examples of how Cylde described the actions in last night's New York-Philadelphis game are as follow :

Francis laboriouly works his way to the basket .

James was bedevilled by plantar fasciitis for a long time.

3. Cylde Will Glide.
The next set of participants of ABC's popular Dancing With The Stars show. was announced . Among them are Layla Ali the boxer , Heather Mills , Paul McCartney estranged wife , Ono the Olympic chapion skater and Cylde Drexler , the former Trailblazer and Rocket . Clyde has very big shoes to fill or dance . One advice to Clyde : Pick as your dance partner ex NFL's Smith's lady partner . She guided the winners of the past 2 editions of the show.

Wednesday, February 21

Raptors Edge By The Cavs

Toronto greeted the 2nd half of the season with a loss bowing to Cleveland , 86-85 . In a low scoring ballgame , the Raptors played well with Andrea Bargnani scoring 18 points to go with Chris Bosh's double double - 24 points and 10 rebounds . The Raps held their opponents to 37% shooting in the 1st half but allowed them to recover in the final half . Lebron James registered 28 points and shot 5 out of 5 in the free throw line . Bosh and James , both straight from apperance in Sunday's All Star game , tried to carry their team to victory . I expected both to play lousy because of fatigue . The 2 were OK including Andrea who played in the Rookie game .He was always left open for his 3 pt. shots and Andrea made the Cavs pay . Andrea's mouth was left open too !
The Raptors led most of the way and were ahead by a point until a dunk by Andy Varejao. Unfortunately , Toronto failed to make a basket in the last 16 seconds remaining after that surprise basket by Andy Varejao , who was subbing for an injured Ilgaukas . He was a total workhorse with 16 points and most importantly, 15 rebounds . ' Andy was active on the boards all the time . He's like Dennis Rodman ' said ex Cavalier . Austin Carr of the Cavs TV team . That's what the Raptors need . A solid rebounder like Rodman . It's been reported that Colangelo is looking for one who can rebound to help Bosh . All the Raps' big men lacks rebounding power ....... and big tatoos !
Rodman : Your Euro players are all afraid of needles .

Tuesday, February 20

A Message To Chris Bosh , Superstar ?

Mr. Chris Bosh ,

Congratulations for your participation in the recently concluded NBA All Star game . I am sure that the experience of being a starter in this year's All Star was very satisfying for someone as young a baller like you. There's just one thing that caught my virgin mind in last Sunday's game. The part where you did the windmill dunk .What the hell were you thinking that made you to do that ugly looking dunk ? Aha , I know you thought you had to keep up with the stars in the East squad like LBJ , DWade , Dwight Howard and even former Raptor , VC . Bad idea. These guys are artistic dunkers . Dunks come to them naturally with the minimum of efforts. I cringed looking at you contort your body . I remember what ex Celtics great Tom Heinsohn said after seeing you do a body contorting dunk in one Raptors-Celtics game this season .' That dunk was all bones and everything '. That's a diplomatic way of saying , the dunk sucks ! It kinda reminds one of the praying mantis . The praying mantis' moves are good to imitate in kung fu but in basketball , it's moves do not stand a prayer !
I know how much pressure it was for you to be included in the young group that also includes Carmelo Anthony aside from the 3 guys first mentioned above . You will if you perform creditibly in events like this , the World Championship and the Olympics where the best of the best are present. But my bosh , I mean my gosh , scoring zero in the 1st half of an All Star game and running back and forth like Hoffa won't do it . I am sure it gave you a flashback of your summer in Japan where you said something like this ' If I knew it was going to be like this, I would have not joined Team, USA.' Why do you think the others don't respect your game ? You are a maximum paid player like those guys right ? I'm sure that sometimes you feel like President Bush . Make that President Bosh . So unpopular except to his supporters from the right in case of Bush and for you , fans from the north and the Toronto media.
Chuck Swirsky of Raptors TV , that uber homer who might as well be named Chuck H. Swirsky , said in his radio show yeasterday that you are not the type of baller who seeks the limelight . A silent operator I suppose .Maybe you are .That's why you were hiding behind the backs of LBJ , Shaq and D Wade during fastbreaks and was afraid to ask for the ball. Someone said it's because it's only your 2nd time participating in the All Star game . Tell that to first timers Dwight H. and 'Melo , I answered. I think it's because you believed all the hype made by the Toronto media. I warn you , those dudes will build you up and once you showed any signs that they perceive to be signs of disloyalty to the team , they will tear you apart . They will say that you are an ingrate , a cash hoarding American and even a rejector of the Canadian way of life . And the gullible fans will start to boo you . You know what will come next . Ask VC , T Mac , AD and even a short time member of the Raptors , Mike James.
What you need to do Mr. Bosh is to lead the Raptors deep into the playoffs . Just the playoffs not Iraq. I dont think the Bush-Bosh combo can lead the troops out of Iraq . And this move to the playoff you do by just playing your kind of game . A boring kind of game . Remember , you are the anti Vince that everyone in TO wants you to be . Not only in character but in play . Drop those jaw dropping dunks . You can't be a Vince no matter how hard you try. Bosh is boring and boring is good . Tim Duncan is boring but he won several NBA championships.

Sincerely ,


Monday, February 19

Bouncing Balls. All Star Edition 3.0

1. The World According To Eddie. The whole world was wrapped up in the All Star happenings in Las Vegas. Even the political world . Yesterday , I wrote about the Wolf CNN's Wolf Blitzer mentioning it during the preparation of the incoming Democratic caucus to be held in Nevada. Then Fox News Sunday featured the coach of East All Star , Eddie Jordan , as the show's Power Player . Jordan was credited for turning around the Washington Wizards to the perennial playoff participants . Asked about his coaching philosophy by host Chris Wallace , Jordan answered ' There is a straight line with one line to the left of the straight line and and one line to the right . A player can sometimes go crooked but as long as he stays within the boundaries , he's all right ' . Hear that Gilbert .
2. NBA All Star Is The Best . I watched the All Stars of other major sports and I can conclude that the NBA All Star is the best. Even the stars were out for the NBA's annual treat for the fans . Here's a sampling of how others rate the NBA All Stars vs. that of hockey and baseball .

Baseball . It's All Star game is better than basketball's but overall - slam dunk , skills challenge etc. - basketball is the best - ESPN's Mike And Mike Show.

Hockey - I watched the 1st few minutes of the All Star game , then I turned it off . It's boring - a Sportsnets commentator

David Stern is really No.1 in sports marketing . ' Hockey and baseball should hire him and pay David $ 100 million dollars ' said Mike of ESPN sportstalk show .

3. Dick Vitale Statistics . Among those announced as one of the nominees to be included in basketball's Hall Of Fame during the All Star festivities was college basketball premier announcer Dick Vitale . The talkative announcer can be obnoxious or endearing depending on one's perpective . Vitale said of the Charles Barkley and Dick Bavetta foot race ' Barkley took on the wrong guy . He should have run against Dick Vitale '. Uh oh . Looks like Chuck has opened the floodgate of competition . Vitale kinda' remind one of Raptors TV's Chuck Swirsky . You either love chuck or hate him . Absolutely no in between . But at least Vitale coached the NBA game unlike some of Raptors TV 's talking heads who talk like they know basketball when they have not even played an intramural basketball game . Here are photos of Dick and Dickhead ( I told you , you either like Chuck or hate him ). The 2 even look alike, baby !

Sunday, February 18

Bouncing Balls . All Star Edition 2.0

1. A Big Parking Lot. It seems like these last 3 days, including the weekends , traffic was so bad in Las Vegas . Some of the stars who participated in last night's events were held up by the suddenly large volume of vehicles in the roads leading to Thomas And Mack Center where the festivities were held. Entertainer Penn interviewed in Wof Blitzer's Sunday show said the 1st thing an entertainer who is planning to sign a contract in LV should ask for is his own parking spot. Penn performed a pseudo magic act with his partner , Teller last night with the special participation of Spurs' Tony Parker .
2. Passing Through . An ESPN radio commentator last night joked ( I'm not so sure it's a joke really) that it's funny that the portion of the skills competition that Lakers' Kobe Bryant failed miserably was the 'one where one's passings skills is put into test '. Kobe, who was subbing for an injured Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns , is not known to be a willing passer. No wonder , Lakers coach, Phil Jackson , was reportedly demanding that the team trade for Jason Kidd of the Nets . Kidd is in all time assist leader list of the NBA.
3. Stay In School , Young Man . Gerald Green of the Boston Celtics won last night's Slam Dunk contest dethroning NY Knicks' Nate Robinson . However , many think that the final slam dunks performed by both high flyers were tame . ' These guys , referring to the judges which include MJ , Dr. J , 'Nique , have done it all so I've got to be more creative ' said the youngter , Green .To me , the real slam dunk was Green's jump from high school to the NBA before the league imposed the new rule prohibiting anyone below 21 years old from joining the league.

Saturday, February 17

Bouncing Balls . All Star Edition.1.0

1. Rookie Surprise . The Rookie-Sophomore game was so one sided many TV fans switched channel after it become obvious that the Soph's lead was insurmountable. The Rooks were simply outclassed . ' Next year , when we come back , we're not going to be as happy to be here' , Portland's Brandon Roy said .' We're going to be ready . They caught us off guard '. I thought Roy is playing off guard for the Blazers . Why is that a surprise to him ?
2. Slam Dunk Contest Not A Slam Dunk . A lot of folks said they are not excited about tonight's slam dunk contest because the list of participants is weak . It lacks star power except maybe , Dwight Howard . And big guys are normally average dunkers , all power and lacking artistry . ' The contest would be better if 2 of the judges in the slam dunk contest namely , Vince Carter and Kobe , are participating ' said one ESPN sportscaster. I agree . It's more fun to pick the winner of Best Celebrity Picking The Nose contest than the slam dunk !
3. NBA In Vegas . Everybody in hoopsworld is excited about the possibility of adding an NBA team in Las Vegas . In turn , LV Mayor Goodman promised to surpass previous all All Star events to show that the city is ready to embrace an NBA team . ' I'll bring the matter to the city's Chamber Of Commerce so that we can submit the best proposal to the NBA governors' said Goodman of Sin City . I wonder what LV's future basketball team will be known , Las Vegas Sinners or Las Vegas Gamblers or perhaps the Las Vegas High Rollers . I don't know about that . I just know that as with any new NBA franchise , the Las Vegas team will incurr record losses before it registers a winning record . So for the first 2 to 3 years , it will be known as Loss Vegas Whatever !

Friday, February 16

Hardaway Hates Gay People But Raptors Fans Hate Vince Cater (Still)

Tim Hardaway's I hate gay people comment dominated the news the last 2 days . Note that I did not say the sports news . It's because even pop culture and political commentators joined in the fun . Carlson Tucker of MSNBC said Hardaway must be the dumbest apologist in the world for repeating the offensive remarks in his apology . ' That is like someone saying , I am sorry I said that you're wife is ugly ' .
In Toronto , the Hardaway bruhaha created less stir than in the U.S. . That's because basketball fans were still savoring the sweet taste of victory of the Raptors over former Raptor Vince Carter and his team .
The hated Vince Carter . Half man , half Judas Iscariote . Fans in last Wednesday night's game booed and jeered VC everytime he has the ball . As expected , I hate VC signs were all around ACC . It seems that the passage of time has not healed the wound that his departure from the team caused. ' Vince thought that the Raptors would remain as the league's dormat after he left . Well , he's wrong ' wrote a fan in one of the many sports forums . Why are the fans in TO still so angry at VC ? ' You remember that incident when Vince threw the towel on Bosh's face ? ' asked Leo Rautins of Raptors TV team to Chuck Swirsky. ' Bosh was so angry at Vince for giving up the game . Vince said in that game that everything was lost. ' added the known VC critic . Mr. Rautins waited for this game when NJ has no chance of beating Toronto before narrating that story. The Nets were missing 3 of its starters . It's no wonder , the hate contnues up to now !
TO fans always show rough receptions to ballers who hightailed it out of city especially if they were star players like T Mac or they said something offensive about the team or city . Add those who have outspoken wives (Antonio Davis and Doug Christie ). A TO sportwriters call these ballers , carpetbaggers who take dollars out of Canada ! Funny really considering that there are a lot more US based Canadian hockey and baseball players who come back in Canada during off season . Some said it's the inferiority complex of the Canadians . Every departing star is seen as rejecting the Canadian way of life . Vince won't be the last man the Raptors fans will hate . Who knows , the next hated man in TO might be a gay superstar basketball player !

Thursday, February 15

Raptors Add To Nets Misery.

Another one bites the dust .... or snow . In a wintry night , the Raptors continued their hot game this time whipping the undermanned Nets , 120-109. Chris Bosh came to play opening the game with 12 1st quarter points en route to 25 points . It's a far cry from his single digit production the last time the 2 teams met . Mo Pete added 18 points and 5 others have double digit scoring as Toronto registered it's 8 straight home wins.with 59% shooting. It was extra sweet forthe Raptors fans who want nothing but beat Vince Carter and his team . The boos and jeers continue even after 3 years of Carter's departure from TO. ' They still boo Vince ? ' my wife asked .' Do the Raptors fans still boo T Mac up to now '. Nope . T Mac is a thing of the past but Vince's case has not been forgotten . Vince is still not re accepted by the fans . It's already part of Raptors fans' DNAs . Do Not Accept !
The Nets kept pace in the the 1st half with Bostjan Nachbar's 3 point shots and Eddie House' snipings. And while VC has a double double , New Jersey was completely outclassed by Toronto . ' Our defense was porous . We shoot 50% from 2 and 3 and score 109 points and we still lose ' said coach Lawrence Frank . Hopelessness is written all over the face of Nets' GM Rod Thorn who was in ACC last night. To add to the injury problem , Vince is leaving soon .The Nets need a doctor quick . No , not the type for the injured Nets Naned Kristic , Richard Jefferson and Jason Kidd . Thorn needs another type of doctor . Like former member of the Nets , Doctor J !

House M.D. : You sure the Nets don't need me ? I'm a Briton but I'm not gay !

Wednesday, February 14

I Can See Clearly Now .

Toronto , after losing 15 straight games to Chicago , played almost flawless basketball in beating the Bulls , 112-111. Despite faltering in the last few minutes of the game , the Raptors team was like a matador last night never letting a bull gore it. Chris Bosh showing that he has snow , I mean , ice on his veins once again made 2 free throws with 2.1 seconds . The franchise player of the Raptors made 25 points and 14 rebounds . ESPN's baketball Analyst Tim Legler said ' The Raptors not only is the best team in the Atlantic Division but Chris Bosh is the best player in the Division ' . Andrea Bargnani was superb shooting 7 of 12 for 22 points . And what can one say about Senor Jose Calderon ? Jose is the maestro bullfighter as he outplayed Team USA's Kirk Heinrich with his 16 points and 9 assists. Now only half a game separates the Bulls from the Raptors . Not only that , Bulls fans should worry about a horrific possibility . ' Before the 15 game losing streak by the Raptors , The Bulls have a losing streak against the Raptors at about the same length ' said one Bulls' fan . ' I hope this will not be the start of the reversal of trend . It will be unless you get your own Spanish Bullfighter like Pau Gasol !
And what about those 3 stooges in the Bulls TV booth I wrote about as being arrogant last time . The guys who called the Raptors as a team that don't have the right to shoot 3's and who called Jorge Garbajosa ' as the one who does'nt look like a basketball player . The 3 men changed their tone , I'm sure. ' This is a different team . I watched the Raptors in the pre season and they were not this good ' said one of the 3 . Thats because you guys are so caught up with your underachieving team , you don't know whats happening around the NBA. The 3 stooges are now the 3 blind mice .

Three Blind Mice : I heard the Bulls are hiring basketball analysts .

Monday, February 12

The Other All Star Cast

This year's NBA All Star to be held in Las Vegas goes into high gear promotion one week before its start with gigantic banners draping the big casinos of the Sin City . I know personally how Vegas does things having been involved in some of the electronics lightworks over there . If everything in Texas is big , everything in Las Vegas is full of lights and glitter.
And the political All Star is heating up too. I wrote about the All Star Barack Obama last month and how he is the hybrid of Wade/James/Kobe . What do you know , the guy threw his hat for the Democratic presidential nomination this weekend. Perfect timing with the NBA All Star . Will we see Obama in Vegas ? I won't be surprise knowing his love for basketball .
The Democratic presidential wanna bees are comprised of All Stars really . It got youth , diversity and glamour. Compared to that of the Republicans , the Democrats are slam dunks . 'They're are old , white , male dudes ' said a friend of mine of the other side . Nothing to be excitable about . The Democrats have aside from Obama , Hillary Clinton . She is like an NBA cheerleader going to the All Star weekend . Hillary has been stomping New Hampshire and Iowa much like a poom poom girl . One must admit , Ms. Clinton is a lot prettier now than when she was younger . Ohllala.
Then there is John Edwards . The guy is handsome like Elvis . And just like the King , Edwards has that southern twang which provides entertaintment like the 3 point shooting contest . Low key , unlike the slam dunk , but exciting nevertheless. I just don't know whether the 3 pt. shooting contest will remain the same with the flamboyant Damon Jones in this years contest !
And what if old man Al Gore decides to run ? asked my friend . I don't think Gore will join the All Star cast but if he does , that's the Inconvenient Truth !

Sunday, February 11

2 Games With Almost Identical Scores But Different Results .

The Raptors just completed 2 tough back to back games with contrasting results . Last Friday's won game against the Lakers , 96-92 ,was simply fantastic to the home fans . Chris Bosh , buoyed by the chants of MVP ! MVP ! from the Raptors fans , overshadowed Laker Kobe Bryant . ' Bosh is a legitimate MVP candidate because of what he has accomplished for his team '' said Kobe after the game where Bosh registered 29 points and 11 rebounds .
It was a quality win for the Raps which extended their game winning streak to 5 games mostly against sub . 500 teams until they won over the Lakers. ' Where would you put your team at this stage ' asked Tony K. of PTI before the game . Laker coach Phil Jackson answered ' I think we would be in the tier 2 below the Mavs , Suns and Spurs . So there , the Zen Master has spoken . One can say that the Raps having beaten the Lakers, belong to tier 2 of the NBA Western Conference which would be equivalent to tier 1 of the Easten Conference considering the superiority of the West over East .
The game versus the Pistons was played on the road where the Raps have a not as good a record as at home . The Pistons won , 98-92, but the Raps gave them a good fight . Even coach Sam Mitchell was not dissapointed which was unusual . ' They beat us fair . They've been playing well and they beat us in a close game ' . said Sam .This game showed the vulnerability of Chris Bosh . You can say that he was manhandled by big , bad ass Rasheed Wallace who scored 28 big points against his measly 14 points. Wallace fought Bosh for the position on the block , altered his shot along the perimeter , and intimated Bosh that he was not able to do his signature move . In this game , Bosh has found religion . Blessed are the meeks for they shall inherit the earth ... but not the NBA !

Thursday, February 8

Chris Bosh , MVP ?

The Air Canada Center was filled with fans chanting MVP , MVP , MVP as Chris Bosh was at the free throw line with some 8 minutes left in the game versus the Magic last night. Well , Bosh had an MVP performance - a career high 41 poinnts , 8 rebounds and 3 assists . It was the the 4th straight victory for the Raptors and the 26th of the season . In almost all of these games , Bosh led the team in scoring and rebounding . ' Chris Bosh is our franchise player and we're here to support him ' said big forward Jorge Garbajosa after the game. Indeed . Garbo's pass to the 4th year Raptor in the 2nd half that resulted in 2 points after the Spaniard got the ball from countryman Jose Calderon on a fastbreak was extra sweet . The play deserved numerous replays .
It was beautiful watching Bosh battled equally young center Dwight Howard toe to toe . Howard, who had a career game with 31 points was overshadowed by Bosh's production . It was sweet revenge for the first time All Star starter who was relegated to the bench in the Team USA team last summer in favor of Howard and other stars. Now maybe , the rest of the NBA will take notice . Only last week , NY Post's Peter Vecsey mentioned Bosh as among those who's inclusion in the Eastern Conference All Star lineup as questionable .
The low key Bosh admitted later that he has difficulty hiding his joy at the fans show of affection. He wants the crowd to continue the recognition . ' It made me feel good , it made me smile ' he said ' I hope they keep it up .' MVP ! MVP ! MVP !

Wednesday, February 7

Raptors Magical Run Continue

Toronto extends its winnning streak to 4 games tonight by beating Orlando , 113 - 103 . The Raptors who shot 53 % from the field was led by Chris Bosh's career high 41 points and 8 rebounds. They have 6 players in double figures in points with Jose Calderon and TJ Ford both registering 10 points and 11 assists . Bosh had the crowd chanting MVP ! MVP ! Wow . Unbelievable ! That chanting , you'll only hear in LA ( for Kobe) , in Phoenix ( For Steve Nash) and Dallas ( Nowitzki ) . Even during the height of Vinsanity , the Air Canada crowd was not quite that bold . Maybe Canada will take notice now . Maybe there is really faith to the fans' plan hang the banner of the Raptors to the rafter !
One thing opponents of the Raps noticed is how they share the ball unselfishly . Like tonight , Toronto had 31 assists compared to 23 for Orlando . Their ball movement is smooth and magical (sorry , Magic fans) . Whoever is free , would get the ball surely. Sometimes it's Parker at either sides for a 3 pointer or Garbajosa on top of the key or Rasho for a short jumper. A day before the game , Mo Pete said it was the first time he's been in a team that solid . ' We're like a college team ' said the Michigan State alum . The Raps are now solidly on top of the Atlantic Division 3 games above .500. The Atlantic maybe known as the Titanic , but at least the Raps are above water !
Mo Pete : I can't see the Nets from where we are now !

Tuesday, February 6

Bouncing Ball 14.0

1. Mean Action Jackson . In last night's telecast of the Nets-Sixers game , Mark Jackson questioned Vince Carter's inclusion in the All Star line up for the Eastern Conference . The former Raptor (briefly) said the Bulls' 6th man extraordinaire , Ben Gordon , was more deserving . I wonder if Mark would say that if Vince is not leaving the Nets. Just like in Toronto , once Vince asked for a trade , all hell broke loose. Most members of the TO media were suddenly critical of VC including the Raptors TV guys !
2. Have You Ever Been 'Melo ? . Last week , I wrote about 'Carmelo Anthony's 'refusal' to return the ball to Allen Iverson after receiving a pass from him . 'Melo is insecure of his position in the Denver team , I added. Now, one ESPN guy observed that 'Melo also won't pass the ball to AI even when the former Sixer was free in front of him on a fastbreak ! He's right . I wonder how 'Melo would feel if Stern won't pick him as a replacement in the All Star line up knowing that Iverson is in it ?
3. Obamamania . My post about All Star Barack Obama was featured by's Andy Gray. Cool. Below is a photo of a young ' Barry ' Obama playing basketball . He looks like a young Lenny Wilkens , I think .

Monday, February 5

5 Things I Hate About The NBA ....... For Now .

1. I hate seeing ballers who let their mouthguard dangling outside their mouths . The ultimate dangler is the Heat's Udonis Haslem . Udonis made it a habit to remove his mouthpiece outside where this is supposed to be in every stoppage in action .Observe Odonis when a foul is called on him and the TV camera zoom in . Udonis , ever heard of Corega ? Gllue that thing on will 'ya .

2. I hate those last sec fouls the coaches ask their players to commit despite the impossibility of overtuning the result of the game. I can understand it if the game is salvageable but a game where the lead is 10 points and there's only 10 seconds left ... Comm. Stern should impose penalty to these mathematically challenged coaches like sending them back to school to take up a course on Theory Of Probability !
3. I hate hearing Chuck Barkley ranting this time of the year again that the NBA All Star voting is a joke. ' That's the reason I don't like fans choosing the All Stars ' . The big chump still don't get it . The NBA All Star is for the fans . Its an event of the fans , by the fans , for the fans. And to think that this guy said he wants to run for Governor !
4. I hate it when the NBA suspends a player without sufficient notice . If I am a fan who bought a ticket for the Knick-Lakers game , I would ask for a refund . I bought it in the hope of seeing Kobe in action that once in the Big Apple only to find out he's not playing because he got the suspension notice a day before the match . It's like watching U2 without Bono . Tickets should be proBono or discounted !
5. I hate to hear another loudmouth , Mark Cuban , voicing his familiar anti Stern statement. I find his tirades versus the Commisioner tiring . It's OK if Cuban is making suggestions to improve the game ... but to make these public , you would suspect his real motives. Like Cuban's recent anti Chinese cummunist votes in the recently concluded All Star balloting . ' The whole of communist voted. They always vote the party line ' Cuban said . The hell , Cubans are communists too .