Friday, August 31

The Fine Art Of ( Basketball ) Courting !

Steve Nash , Welcome . Jamal Magliore , Not . That seems to be the sentiments of the members of the Canadian seniors basketball team and its coach. Do they think Steve Nash alone can lift the team to victory ? No way . The same manner that Leandro Barboza , Carlos Arroyo and Scola cannot make Brazil . Puerto Rico and Argentina go past Team USA . Granted that the reigning MVP of the NBA is head and shoulders above these 3 NBAers playing in the FIBA Americas , Nash will find it difficult to weave his magic versus the pressing defense of Team USA . ' I want to defend the best man on the other team .' said Kobe to coach K. The Laker guard silenced tournament high scorers like Barbosa and Ayuso . If Argentine Scola is a guard or forward , Kobe surely will be all over him last night. So its better that coach Rautins not close the door on Magliore with statements like he released yesterday . ' It up to the players in this team . They gave their butts out ' said the national team coach. Team Canada needs all the help it can get to qualify for the Olympics next year. Yes , the New Jersey Net center is playing hard to get . So what . That's part of the game. But hopefully , Leo should not use his position as a member of the Raptors TV announcing team to court Magliore. This past season , Leo heaped praises on Magliore , Nash and Dalembert profusely every time their teams played the Raps. Sometimes bordering to ' pimping on the air ' . Look at Jamal sits on the bench . What poetry in motion ! . And how he chews his gum . Fantastic ! Well , not actually like that but close .
Team Canada has a better chance of landing Jamal than Steve Nash . But when will the people of Canada Basketball admit that Nash is NOT playing basketball anymore outside of the NBA . He said so himself. Nash said he needs to reserve his energy for the upcoming NBA seasons in the next 3 years. Nash played for years for the national team before causing him to fade prematurely . Now , Steve is wiser ... and fresher when the NBA playoffs start. ' Larry Bird is not coming through that door . Kevin McHale is not coming through that door. Robert Parish is not coming through that door ' said then Celtics coach Rick Pitino to the Boston sportswriters. Several weeks after this statement was made, Pitino came out of the NBA coaching door. So all together now . Steve Nash is not coming through the door. Unless , its the Suns' locker room door !

Rautins : What does Jamal really wants ? Change the name of the team from Team Canada to Team Jamaicanada ?

Wednesday, August 29

Bouncing Ball 32.0

1. Ol' Oak Tree. Ex Raptor Charles Oakley was in Pardon The Interruption last night for a 5 minute interview. Oak reiterated his readiness to play in the NBA again. The hosts said something that I suspected all along. Charles Oakley is peddling his 1st book. ' How much of your supposed comeback has to do with your upcoming book release ? asked Tony K. Oakley, who owns several car wash operations , did not answer directly but instead gave the equivalent of his behind the back wayward pass he came to be known during his playing days in TO. Oak, admit that you are a (car) wash out !

2. Atlanta's Mount Rushmore . A journalist of the Atlanta Constitution said disgraced Michael Vick, football and baseball star Deion Sanders, and former Hawks great Dominique Wilkins are the equivalent of those people up there in Mount Rushmore as far as the sporting scene in Atlanta was concern.The sad truth was all 3 did not finish their careers there in the south. Atlanta traded Deion and 'Nique while Vick's football career was suddenly halted. 'Nique is back in town as the VP for the Hawks who despite a talented lineup are still at the bottom of the err.. NBA mountain . There is one other Hawks great that the Atlanta Constitution forgot to mention. Mt. Mutombo belongs to Atlanta's Mt. Rushmore !

3. MySpace Is Your Space. The social networking scene has caught on among athletes. How many NBA players have blogs and MySpace accounts ? . Too many thats why the league must soon institute do's and don't in the posting of materials . In the college scene , one university has invited a computer expert to conduct a seminar on the proper use of their athlete's site to avoid breaking any NCAA rules . Would the NBA be far behind ? Comm. Stern, in the light of the Tim D. case , must insure that vital information is not transmitted to unsavory characters willingly and unwillingly. Stuff like who is hurt and who is drunk the night before a game !

Monday, August 27

Bouncing Ball 31.0

1. Team USA . Is the current Team USA the second coming of the original Dream Team ? The way they are beating their opponents in FIBA Americas , you would think that this team is it . In the first 3 games , Team USA beat the opposing squad by no less than 40 point margin just like the original Dream Team . Actually , the current Team USA is much younger than the 1992 squad. The MJ led team has some stars past their prime ( Bird, Ewing and Olajuwon ). This team is oozing with youth. It's should be called the Mc Dreamy Team !

2. New Lakers Center. So far , all is quiet in the LA front. Kobe is busy with Team USA . There is a little news about the Fish (Derek Fisher) returning to the men in gold and blue but otherwise , it's ho hum . Aha, there is the addition of Larry Turner , a 6'11" center but the buzz is happening mostly in the Phillipines. Why ? It appears that Turner trained in that hotbed of basketball in Asia prior to being signed by the Lakers.

3. Dancing Mav . Looks like Mavs owner has caught the dancing bug. Mark Cuban will appear in the popular ABC program in season 5 of Dancing With The Stars with other celebrities like Scary Spice , Tori Spelling and Jane Seymour. Cuban have to dress up definitely. No more t shirts , Mark . MC is not only the sports representative here. Floyd Merriweather will follow boxer Evander Holyfield's footsteps. I mean, dancing steps !

Wednesday, August 22

Bouncing Ball 30.0

1. Why Bosh Quit ? Some people say that Raptor Chris Bosh quit Team USA rather than be cut eventually from the selection that will compete come next summer's Beijing Olympics . The same was said of the Bulls' Kirk Henrick who became 'expendable' with the addition of premiere point guards Jason Kidd and Chauncey Billups. It is expected that come next year , Kevin Garnett , Greg Oden , T Mac and even Tim 'No More Olympics For Me' Duncan will change their minds and agree to join the team making Bosh the odd man out especially if Team USA has less than sterling performance in the FIBA Americas Qualifying Tournament due to start tonight. ' The huge China market is just too enormous to ignore' said one marketing man. Expect Nike , Reebok , Sprite etc. to apply enough (money) pressure to their endorsers .

2. Doggone World. The Michael Vick saga is likely to end in the incarceration for the Atlanta Falcons quarterback. Almost all sports personalities interviewed following report of Vick's incoming guilty plea related to dogfighting, including teammates , said that Vick's actions were unforgivable . The Knicks' Stephon Marbury was the lone voice of 'support' . Starbury thinks that dogfighting is a sport ! I tell you what . China's Yao (Rockets) and Ji (Bucks) and Korea's Ha (former Trailblazers) may think that Vick is only practicing an age old custom in some Asian countries (see photo) not to mention that dog meat is a delicacy over there.

3. Who's Who . Lakers' Kobe Bryant and the Heat's Gary Payton are included in the list of celebrities covered by a court subpoena regarding a profiling case filed in Michigan High Court. Both whites anf African American are in the list . The increase in violence in Toronto and Vancouver , was attributed by Canadian officials as due to the influence of rap artists . It might be recalled that Payton with fellow baller , Sam Cassel, were themselves sued in the Ontario court for their involvement in a bar fracas when the 2 were still members of the Milwaukee Bucks. Why the subpoena left Cassell ? I guess its effective to planet Earth inhabitants only !

Wednesday, August 15

Hoffa Deserves To Stay In The NBA

With the news that Ukraine center Kyrylo Fesenko about to sign a guaranteed contract with the Utah Jazz , the hopes of Rafael Araujo returning to the team is practically over. Maybe even in the NBA. Reports said that Araujo maybe Europe bound . ' Hoffa will have a chance to play over there than continue as a backup center in the NBA ' said one Agent. Too bad . In Toronto , as well as in Utah , Hoffa is known as a hardworker. He sees to it that he stays after practice is over . No , not to collect the dirty uniforms of his fellow players but to further polish his skills. I guess the Jazz powers that be consider Feseko as having more upside . Why not . The guy is only 20 years old and stands 7'1''while Hoffa is 27 years old and stands ... I mean, sits on the bench normally . Most NBA watchers think Hoffa has reached his potential. Unfortunately , Hoffa's full potential is not to NBA standard. What's Hoffa's hope ?
If I am Hoffa I will re invent myself . There are plenty of white , slow dudes who stayed long in the league by being a niche player . What do I mean by that ? Obviously , Hoffa can't be a 3 point specialist or a slam dunk artist . He only can follow Bill Laimber style of play . In his heyday as a Detroit Piston , Laimbeer was known as a dirty player but his coach loved him while rival coaches hated him. But not enough. ' Every end of the season , other teams asked if Laimbeer was available ' said Pistons' coach Chuck Daly then. Or be just like Washington Bullet , Jeff Ruland . He's another white guy who can barely jump but was able to collar the rebound if not the opposing player's neck . Ruland and Rick Mahorn were then known as the Bruise Brothers because of their rugged style of play bordering to rough play. Easier said than done, huh . Hoffa got the built and even the tatoos but he needs to be more menacing on the court. Like in the recently concluded Summer League in Utah . Hoffa was too nice especially to Fesenko. The guy is going after your job . Avoid motivating him by giving him some skins and way to go tap in the behind. Now , Fesenko gave you a kick from behind. Be mean and rugged . Live up to the monicker , The Brazilian Beast , that Chuck gave you. Otherwise , be a fashion model like fellow Brazilian , Gisele Bundchen. She makes more money than most NBA players !

Hoffa : If the NBA does'nt want me anymore , I'll be a porn star-HoffaLong Araujo !.

Thursday, August 9

Bouncing Balls 29.0

1. Wrong Address. Former Pacer Reggie Miller is contemplating returning to the NBA by playing for the Boston Celtics . Why Boston, the arch rival of the LA Lakers ? Miller is originally a Lakers fan growing up in sunny California and having played college ball as a UCLA Bruin. In fact, early in his NBA career, Miller called himself Mr. Hollywood . When MJ visited Indiana then , Reg proclaimed the battles as Air Jordan vs. Hollywood ! Common Reggie , Kobe needs you. That is if Kobe remains in LaLa land !

2. More NBA Returnee Wanna Be ? . Yes sir . More NBA retirees are contemplating returning to action. There is former Raptor Charles Oakley saying he's waiting for a call from NBA teams. Then, Reggie Miller as I have written above .Now, former member of the New York Knicks, Allan Houston , is wanting to be a Maverick or a Cavalier. Hmm. Let's see. Houston is 36 years old and a sharpshooter , Reggie is 42 years old and a sharpshooter and Oakley , a hundred years old and a sharp .. .talker . What is the Oak thinking ?. He got no more game. Maybe if basketball has the equivalent of baseball's designated hitter (DH) ala Big Papi Ortiz of the Red Sox . Yah. Oak can be the designated bullshitter !

3. Iran Run Run . So it's Iran who got to represent Asia in the Beijing Olympics Games in 2008 having come out on top of the regional FIBA-Asia basketball tourney. It's Iran's 1st Olympic basketball stint. If LeBron and Co. qualify by topping the FIBA-Americas this month , the 2 teams may likely meet . It's like the USA-USSR of the past. That is if Dubya will not bomb Iran before the Olympics . Today , before going to Maine for his annual summer vacation , he warned Iran again about interferring in Irag ! And what is the US of A doing in Irag ? Touche .

Friday, August 3

Bouncing Balls 28.0

1. Annoying Leo . Leo Rautins is finally ' able to put things where his mouth is '. Or walk the walk . The seemingly endless basketball sermons he subjected Raptors fans in his role as Raptors' game Analyst were finally put to use . Rautins' sermons apparently were of no use even to the captive members of the Canada men's national team which includes his son who is a college player of Syracuse University . The team finished a dismal 7th beating only Virgin Island . What if Tim Duncan played for his native VI ? Leo , just concentrate on your day job . Leave us poor TV audience alone please !

Justify Full2. CBC Broadcasting Team. MLSE announced this week that CBC will cover 12 games of the Toronto Raptors. Good . Especially that the news said CBC is reluctant to use the trio of Leo/Chuck/Jack for its telecasting crew. I remember the time when the likes of ESPN's John Saunders and NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry used to do basketball telecast in Canada. Both sre bonafide talents. They are serious in their craft and do not resort to gimmicky or corny humor to keep their audience interested. Who should CBC get as its b'ball analyst ? None other than ex Raptor Charles Oakley . It's the answer to the other Charles (Barkley) of TNT. Of course , just like Barkley , Oakley must be given the license to say what he wants . Just make sure to put a 10 second delay , OK CBC ?

3. The NBA Is Back. Yesterday , the NBA Head Office released the 2007-08 schedule . Fans are excited about this coming season for various reasons . Traditional basketball power Boston is back . The incomibg f rooks led by Durant and Oden are exciting . Lastly , the East is approaching parity with the West . I heard from one guy at ESPN's Mike And Mike morning sports talk show that the NBA is back . Not too fast . I think it will really be back if Pau Gasol becomes a member of the Chicago Bulls and the teams of the 2 media centers of the US , LA and NY, are competitive . What should Stern do ? Well , they can exchange coaches . The Knicks will take former NY player Phil Jackson , and Hollywood will get Losing Isiah where it belongs. In the classic films archive !

Wednesday, August 1

Raptors , 3rd In The Atlantic ?

As I predicted in my past post, the Celtics will become attractive to Kevin Garnett with the 'dispatching' of arch enemy Wally Sczerbiak and the acquisition of All Star Ray Allen from the Seattle Supersonics. Boston is now the right franchise for KG. And it's official . The marriage of KG and Boston , or KGB . Deadly . ESPN Analyst , Kiki Vandeghwe , thinks the C's can beat the best of the West- the Spurs , the Mavs and the Suns. What will they do to the Toronto Raptors then ? Do I sense panic in the Raptors camp ? The Raps better 'improve' themselves. Management must do something other than add its version of KGB or rather , KJB - Kapono, Jermairo (Moon) and Baston. Unfortunately , Toronto and its fans acquired a false sense of superiority based on the surprising performance last season . They don't realize that their starting 5 is nothing compared with the opposition and that there will be no surprises this time around. Oh yes , there is. When the whole of TO hails Colangelo. I mean give BC a hail of insults ala Babcock .
Let's go team by team .

1. NJ Nets . Their Big 3 is intact and more stable - Kidd, RJ and VC . Then , Kristic is back supported now by Jamal Magliore or vice versa and Boki Nachbar . The Nets rook Sean Williams could have been a top 10 draft choice if not for some 'personal' problems . Imagine that . The Nets have 2 first round draftees by default. Last season , it was Marcus Williams .
2. Boston C's . The new Big 3 - Pierce , Allen and KG . Rondo will be at point or a vet guard still to be acquired. Danny Ainge said he is not done dealing yet. Huh ? Who's left to trade ? Maybe Doc Rivers ?
3. NY Knicks - Curry will now be aided by the newly acquired ' 20/10 man ' - Randolf. The usual suspects are still there . Starbury , Q Rich , Crawford and 6th man extraordinaire, Lee. Expect Isiah to do something dramatic to cope up with the competition . Maybe even trade NY's Alex Rodrigues for an NBA All Star ! Ooops . Wrong team .

Forget the 76ers. They are the deepsixers for the next few seasons. Where will TO be ? Battling for 3rd in the Division with New York ! Consider that 31 year old Anthony Parker and near 30 Garbajosa will be a year older and slower . But KG, Pierce and Allen are a year older too - 30 something . Not in the new situ at Beantown ? ' I feel like a rookie again ' said Paul Pierce in yesterday's press con introducing KG . Ditto for KG and Ray. I hope fans of the Raps don't feel like losers again !

B.C : I wonder how much is a bullet proof vest ?