Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Shaq on Conan

Shaq did an awful lot of crazy ish on Conan on 8/3/11:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Matt Barnes Punching Away at SF Pro Am

The SF Pro-Am League at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco is a great time out (GTO). A lot of good college and pro players come out and play a 7 game season followed by playoffs for the basketball fans of The City.  Most of the games are very entertaining and watching a game a Kezar is an experience because it is so different from normal basketball gyms.  It's quirky old school SF at it's finest and players love the floor which seems to be spring loaded.

I'm not sure why Matt Barnes continues to play in this Summer League.  Maybe he can't get an invite to Rucker Park or the Dyckman League in Washington. Maybe he's somehow loyal to the Bay Area. He was born and raised in Sacramento and made some serious NBA coin by his efforts on the 2007 We Believe Warriors.  But last summer Matt Barnes slapped an opposing coach in the face.  Now he goes off and punches a College of Marin (COM!) player in the ear after he got boxed out too hard.  Scroll to 2:00 to see the aftermath of the punching:

The Marin IJ had the inside scoop and was actually linked to from True Hoop if you can believe it.  Dillon Sabia was the MCAL Player of the Year in 2009 while attending Drake High School.  Which I can walk to from my house in less than 5 minutes.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Dyckman League: Durant vs. Beasley

This highlight package of Durant's team vs. Beasley's team in the Dyckman League (a 501 c 3 Non Profit in Washington Heights) is entertaining I must admit. Durant and Beasley are schooling one another in this highlight tape.

But then Beasley goes and ruins the good times by yelling at the fans "I get paid to do this ni**a!" and eventually pushing one in the face. He goes on to say that "I'm done, I'm done" with playing this particular game. The fans seem a little confused and uncomfortable as seen in the looks on the faces of the groupies who walk across the court during a stoppage of plan. Can this now be considered the Summer of Beasley Officially Going Crazy?

I also enjoyed the mix tape essential sound effects "beep beep beep" horn. Classic. Why hasn't an NBA PA Team picked up on this? Not that it wouldn't get annoying if overused. But just the right amount of "beep beep beep" gets anyone fired up.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Manute Bol: True Association Stories

Manute and Mugsy
 I once slapped Manute Bol a five.  It was a high 5 for me, I remember having to jump up to reach his outstretched hand.  It was a low 5 for Manute.  He just hung his gangly limb down for me to slap.

I was 12 years old coming from the bowels of Oakland Coliseum (now know as rOracle Arena) with my fellow Loma Verde Jammers teammates.  We were going to match up against the Our Lady of Loretto Wildcats for an intense game of halftime entertainment for the rabid Golden State Warriors fans. The Warriors were coming off the floor headed to the locker room to strategize with coach Don Nelson.  They were battling the Portland Trail Blazers that night and Manute ended up with 10 blocks.  Obviously he made a difference in this contest!

The Warriors that season  featured Chris Mullin, Terry Teagle, Mitch Richmond, Rod Higgins and Winston Garland.  The Dubs that year went 43-39, beat the Jazz in Round 1 of the playoffs, and lost in the Conference Semi's to the Suns.  It was a great season by Warriors standards.  Heck, the Warriors even had the young Steve Alford and John Starks on the bench.

After slapping 5's we made our way to the court.  The floor looked huge even though it was the same size as Hill Gym in Novato.  It probably had something to do with the 15,025 seats that surrounded the court.  Most were obviously empty as fans were getting more beer, hitting the head, or waiting in line for processed meat snacks.  But I still remember the crowd noise when we made a shot, stole the ball, or bounced a dribble off of our foot out of bounds.  The biggest roar came when there was an 8 kid pile up at mid court as we hustled for the loose ball.

I remember bricking a wide-open jumper that would have given us the first points of the "game".  We lost 4-2 with the low scoring being attributed to the absolute shock of 6th graders playing on the Coliseum floor during halftime of an actual NBA game.  Thankfully, the Jammers never once lost a game to the Wildcats in games that counted winning the Novato Championship 3 years in a row.  This is still a hilarious antidote to share with former Jammers and Wildcats when we run into each other.  After the exhibition, one of my teammates saw Jerry Rice a few rows back and shook his hand.  The experience was incredible.  It is burned in my memory.

Bol and Spud Webb were on the same semi-pro team after college
The Bay Area at the time was fascinated by Manute.  Here was a 7'7" Sudanese man, skinny as heck, with a funny accent who would shoot occasional 3's and block tons of shots (4.3 blocks in 22 minutes/night that season).  After getting dunked on by Michael Jordan, he supposedly invented the phrase "My bad."  I remember Don Nelson talking about how he couldn't play more than 25 minutes a night because of his size.  He would just get too tired and his frame couldn't take more than that.

Manute played two seasons in Golden State before being traded to Philly for 1st a Round Draft Pick that the Warriors used to get Chris Gatling.  Bol returned to the Warriors at the end of his NBA career in 1995 to play just 5 games before retiring.

Don Nelson loved Manute.  We loved Manute.  Heck, even Charles Barkley loved Manute:

In Philadelphia, Bol fast became friends with Charles Barkley. "You know, a lot of people feel sorry for him, because he's so tall and awkward," Barkley said of Bol in a 1990 SI feature. "But I'll tell you this -- if everyone in the world was a Manute Bol, it's a world I'd want to live in. He's smart. He reads The New York Times. He knows what's going on in a lot of subjects. He's not one of these just-basketball guys. Basketball's just one percent of it. You know what he was talking about the other day? Milk. He was saying that he grew up on milk straight from the cow. Squeezed it himself. Milk. He says, 'Charlie, what's this lo-fat milk, this two percent milk, all of this other milk? Cows don't give lo-fat milk, two percent milk. We shouldn't drink it.' I don't know. Maybe he's got something."

Bol was active after his retirement.  He continued to play pro basketball in lesser leagues.  He was on Fox's Celebrity Boxing in 2002 defeated William "The Refrigerator" Perry by unanimous decision.  That same year he also signed a one day contract with Indianapolis Ice in the Central Hockey League.  Because he couldn't skate, Bol never made an appearance in the game.  Bol became the tallest jockey ever in by racing in the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.

As this TrueHoop piece points out, Manute loved to drink Heineken and stay out late.  Manute was seen as a side show to a lot of people.  But Bol was dedicated to the Sudanese liberation and his humanitarian efforts engulfed the last years of his life.  I would advise reading the TrueHoop piece, checking out an excerpt of the e-book over at Sports Illustrated, and possibly even purchasing the e-book at The Atavist.

These memories from my teen years are brought up learning about Bol.  And all Nextians should know the full story of Manute.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Boy Scouts -- OKC Thunder

The NBA World is not going well right now.  The lockout looms on with lawspeak and verbal ninja warfare that I don't care to interpret.  I understand the NBA writers need to write about something aside from the Lockout but breaking down Slovenia's offense for EuroBasket is just taking it too damn far.  I can't justify spending 40 minutes learning the minutia of their incredible motion offense.  20 minutes is my limit.

And then I realize that Free Darko doesn't post any more and I get even more sad/mad.  I mean, we will never again see great interpretations like this:

Always Be Prepared

This is such great art and I can't even buy it for my mancave anymore! Damnit! What the heck is happening to basketball land!  What did I do wrong as a fan to deserve this!?

Thankfully, I can get my anger out during my mini hoop game later this evening.  Those bastard Suns are going down!  From Vermont, it's the OG Cammish Nextian signing off.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Kevin Durant Dominates Ruker Park

KD dropped 66 at Rucker Park last night.  Thank god for awesome quality handheld cameras because this is some HD goodness.  The first is a clip of KD thwapping 4 3's in a row.  On the 4th make, he gets absolutely mobbed by the crowd forcing the whistles to be blown and time to be called.  You gotta love how stoked those fans were.

Man, that reminds me of a league game in the '08 Vermont Mini Hoop quarter finals.  I was on fire from three and with this 5'8" kid crowding me from deep I just broke him off the dribble and slammed one down all fierce Shawn Kemp-style.  The mini ball rolled over the barrier and into the bushes so they had to stop the game and go get it.  The dudes who were playing after us started giving me hi-fives n' stuff and I was all stoked on my steez.

Anyway, here is a longer clip of KD's game if the first vid got you all hyped.  It's tough for me to notice the difference in the jerseys until a few minutes in.  Sort of weird.  But I love the way Durant is schooling some pretty good ballers, aka Junior College All Stars.  It just goes to show you how much better NBA'ers are than even the best local baller.  You gotta love KD spreading the basketball gospel.  Also, Sam Presti must be stoked watching this footy.

Mini Hoops League

Apparently a bunch of average white kids from Vermont started a 3 on 3 mini hoops league with 8 foot rims, a 50 foot court (regulation = 96 feet) and a small ball. Thanks to Barstool Boston for the video. While it's easy to palm and slam a mini ball, it's tough to shoot from range. So props to the "Blazers" for nailing so many "long range" "jumpers". These dooods obviously take their mini hoops league seriously with full NBA uniforms n' shit (aside from that one guy who is wearing a t-shirt on the "Wizards"....must have been a fill in because his game sucked).

Hopefully Bilbo can quickly build a 50' by 20' asphalt box in his back yard so we can start our own league. We can film the games from his raised deck (so viewers can't tell how short the players and the hoops are) and put the highlights with a terrible hip hop soundtrack on youtube each week. The vids will get so many hits that we'll share in youtube ad revenue and not have to work anymore.  Things will be great, which means that they will eventually go bad (shit, even Slamball isn't here anymore).  The Novato Park and Rec will ask us to stop the league because we'll be taking away too many squads from the Sunday night leagues which is pretty much their bread and butter as a city. We'll get so big that we'll eventually have to buy insurance instead of kegs for the mandatory half time beer pound because Mencer will have gotten hurt diving into the wall and will sue us.

So maybe I'll just stick to playing real basketball, staying in shape, and just playing HORSE in Bilbo's backyard on his regulation 10' hoop instead. But a Nextian can dream, can't he?  CAN'T HE!??