Friday, July 27, 2012

Christian Laettner 1992 Dream Team 12th Man

Do you think he still owns the gold medal?
Did you know that Christian Laettner led the 1992 Dream Team in Free Throw percentage? He was 18/20 and therefore shot 90%.  He also averaged 4.8 points which was 10th of the 12 Dream Teamers. As the 12th man, Laettner was the best ping pong player. He would repeatedly beat Michael Jordan causing MJ to once chuck his racquet at Christian after a defeat (Duke vs North Carolina is always heated).  Jordan then asked his entourage to find him a ping pong table in Barcelona so that he could practice in his down time in order to beat Laettner. Team USA passed up other great college players at the time to choose Laettner as their man.  Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning were arguably better college players than Laettner and were picked 1-2 in the NBA Draft that previous June.  On a slightly related note, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski was an assistant coach of Daley's for the 1992 Dream Team.

OK, OK. Let's get off of this Laettner Dream Team thing. He was a pretty good pro, right? He did make an All Star Game in 1997. His career average is 12.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.2 turnovers. Over the life of his NBA career he brought home $61 million via paychecks. He was also extremely marketable over his career as his likeness once appeared on an NCAA on ESPN commercial where Chris Farley played him. Ducket$ I say!

He's also a good guy, right? Laettner founded a community development company called Blue Devil Ventures with former Duke teammate Brian Davis. In 1995 they began developing a community in Durham, North Carolina called "West Village". Wikipedia does not tell me if they finished development but Bell Partners (a company that Laettner doesn't appear to be associated with) currently runs/manages West Village.  In 2001 Christian donated $1 million to his high school for a scholarship and a new gym.  Blue Devil Ventures donated $2 million to the Duke Blue Devils basketball program as well.  Nice guys, right?

Blue Devil Ventures currently owes over $30 million to various creditors.  These creditors include former Dukie and current Stanford Men's Basketball coach Johnny Dawkins who is owed over $671,000.  BDV currently can't pay him back due to "lack of resources" they say. Classy.  The list of creditors gets even better with BDV owing Scottie Pippin $2.5 million.  Thankfully they paid half of this back to him.  Bills Linebacker Shawne Merriman is the furthest up Sh*t Creek, North Carolina as he is owed $3.7 million.

Oh, if you want to buy that awesome shirt listed at the top of this post go to the infamous UNDRCRWN and cop one for $28. Don't worry: none of your $28 goes towards Blue Devil Ventures.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Breaking Bad Theme: REMIX!

The tie to the NBA with this theme is that everyone in the NBA has seen The Wire.  The Wire is on par with Breaking Bad as far as awesome TV shows go.  Stretch?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Andray Blatche Triple Double

Enjoy the infamous Blatche clip with description. Well done!  Also, check out the Washington Post's Dan Steinberg who recaps Andray's top 10 moments.

Royce White Summer League Highlights

Yes, I know this game came against the terrible Kings Summer League team. And I know that overvaluing anything that happens in Summer League is not a good idea. But it sure is fun to watch Royce White play NBA basketball (11/10/7).

Friday, July 20, 2012

NBA Trivia: Who The Heck is This?

Whoa, check out how far that T-Shirt Cannon launches those things!
Do you need any hints? Former top 5 lottery pick. Currently on his 2nd team in Summer League. Has two NBA rings.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

USA Basketball Jacket

Of Course this was directed by the FreeDarko guys which is probably why I paid attention to Stalley's hipster-rapper beard talk to me about respecting the jersey. Kobe can verbally battle with MJ on if 2012 would beat 1992 and also bitch slap Czar Stern about a Team USA age restriction.  But it's all about the Red, White, and Blue, yo!

Anyone know how much this jacket costs? I tried to find it in the Nike but it took more than 3 minutes so I gave up.  Me googles no good.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Knicks Want To Get "Older"

Lin-Fu! Raymond Felton can't do THIS
Why do the Knicks want to get older? Well, because coach Mike Woodson said that older teams have more success in the playoffs than younger teams.  Just look at the Heat this year, with an average age of around 29, beating up on the Thunder who have an average age of 25.  And Boston has done well these past 5 seasons with old dudes.  In the Larry O'Brien Championship Series, aka "The Finals", the older team wins about 70% of the time.  Older must mean wiser which must mean better at basketball.

* Note: Jason Kidd just crashed his car at 2:00 AM in the Hamptons and received a DWI.  In a related note, Jason Kidd is pretty old.

So with their infinite wisdumb the Knicks (who must think they can compete for a Conference Championship) have taken a very direct route to getting older: by acquiring 3 of the 4 oldest players in the NBA in just a couple of days.  They signed Marcus Camby (39), Jason Kidd (39) and traded for Kurt Thomas (40).

Raymond Felton was the apple of the Knicks trade with Portland which netted Thomas.  Felton is 28 and could be their youngest starter.  A'mare likes Felton because Felton was able to run the show and present him as an MVP candidate (before A'mare got hurt) two seasons ago when they played together. Don't get me started on how fat Raymond Felton is and how much of a solid defender Jared Jefferies (who they traded for Felton) is.

The Knicks are passing on Lin, who's 23, because Carmelo said that the three year, $25 million dollar deal that Houston offered him was "ridiculous".  James Dolan, put down the mic and focus. One thing you definitely want to do is to listen to Carmelo Anthony analyze the value of contracts.  Methinks that Carmelo is protecting his "points = $" ego with that statement.  'Melo did average just 16 points with Lin and 28 without.

Lin increased Dolan's $MSG valuation by $600 million dollars. By not signing J-Lin the stock has already lost $50 million.

The Knicks are totally messed up.  Dolan is probably still consulting Isaiah Thomas on a daily basis which all bubbles together to create the best terrible reality show in The Association.  At least Knicks fans can defect and become Brooklyn Nets fans now.

And Jeremy Lin, quit being so butthurt by the Knicks not matching the heavily backloaded Rockets offer sheet and having to play in Houston.  Sure, Houston as a city is a craphole and doesn't compare to the NYC lifestyle but just know that your GM is one of the best in the league, your coach loves to let the PG do his thang and run the show (think: Kyle Lowry last season), the Chinese love Houston because of Yao Ming, and you may be throwing lobs to Dwight Howard come November.  Isn't the point of playing basketball to make as much money as you can and win a lot?  You can check both of those boxes in Houston.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Nash and Kobe: Will it Work?

I was reading 15 things You Should Give Up To Be Happy and was proud of myself for accomplishing a few of them.  Yes!

But then I started to think about Kobe Bean Bryant.  I know that he is incredibly confident so he's probably never engaged in "defeating self talk".  And he definitely does not "limit his beliefs".  Kobe is still the best player in the world in his head. But these are the only two boxes that I think Kobe can check on this list which must mean he is an incredibly unhappy person.  I kid. Having uber millions and hot babes (he's single!) makes for some happy times (but possibly not true happiness?)

Kobe is always right. He thirsts to be in control at all times.  He needs the ball and loves to shoot while double teamed.  There's no better feeling that Kobe has than when he nails an elbow jumper over the double team (with Pau sitting wide open on the baseline).  His shots per minute and usage rate are some of the highest in the league even at his advanced basketball age and with two All Star big men in the post. Man, that's just Kobe being Kobe.

But Kobe being Kobe will not work with Steve Nash in town.  Steve Nash only works when he is dribbling all over the half court probing the defense for opportunities. He's a master at setting his teammates up with easy, open looks if you just allow this to happen by being in the right spot on the court. Nash doesn't work when he just passes to a wing or enters the ball into the post and resets on the opposite side of the court.  Just ask Terry Porter and Shaq.  And if you ask him to be a "traditional" point guard you defeat the purpose of Nash. It's not like he helps a team's defense.

Will Kobe completely change his game with Nash in town?  Kobe likes to score, yes, but he also likes to dribble and create.  Dribbles and time with the ball feed the Mamba's ego. If he realizes this and cuts his time with the ball down, this can work. If Mike Brown asks Nash to be a traditional PG, this will not go well.

Thanks to Henry at TrueHoop for his piece which I blatantly stole from.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Balz & Cam Discuss The Warriors

Cam parties with weirdos
Balz parties with hotties

 Dear Nextians,

It's OG Nextian Cam here.  Bilbo went AWOL on me. I think he's heavily into fantasy football, summertime cornhole games, and preparing for the greatest sloshball game of all time on July 14th.  So to get my Warriors fan fix I've had to get sucked into the Balzer Vortex.  And let me tell you: getting sucked in by Balz is very enjoyable.  OK, wait a second. that sounded really strange even though it made absolutely no sense. As you can see by Balz's picture above he is highly hetero.  Cam (me), on the other hand, posted a picture of the weird alien dude from downtown SF who is indeed gay (so they say).  Draw your own conclusions. I don't care. I am married and have one kid with another on the way and frankly don't have the energy anymore to fight such battles (or even edit this paragraph).  But I will talk about the Warriors as much as I can.

Balz and I started this chat the day after the 2012 NBA draft with the Warriors getting Harrison Barnes and his awesome hat at #7.  Enjoy:

Is he a conehead?

Cam: I love the NBA Today podcast on ESPN. This season the NBA Today's on Friday were great because Henry Abbot and David Thorpe broke the Association down. Thorpe is one of my favorite guys b/c he's a life long coach and a trainer of high level high school and college kids. He's trained a lot of guys who've made it into the NBA.  I say all of this because I want you to listen to this podcast. A few minutes in Thorpe starts to talk about Harrison Barnes and I know you will love it. Enjoy:

Balz: Wow, Thorpe is really big on Barnes.  His arguments supporting why he thinks Barnes will thrive in the NBA seem reasonable.  I imagine that Summer League will tell us quite a bit about that.  As far as I'm concerned, the real missing element for the W's is leadership.   They really haven't had a guy who challenges his teammates since Baron Davis walked.  Seriously, I think we can agree that the talent level of Curry-Thompson-Barnes is higher, but would you pick them in a match-up against Davis-Richardson-Jackson (as they were in 2007)?  Not me.  Way too soft mentally.   I assume Myers and Jackson expect Bogut to lead, but that's another wait-and-see item.  Outside of him, the next closest thing to a leader on the current roster is probably David Lee.

I hear they're bringing Brandon Roy in for a workout... He's a pretty tough dude who can defend & rebound his position as well as anybody.  If the knee is healed, I really like him as someone to push Thompson for minutes at the 2 and occasionally handle the ball.  

Gotta retain Rush, imo, and it would be cool to get Kwame back.  Doubtful there's any chance to move Beidrins and RJ, but they are clearly the most expendable/least likely to contribute anything guys.

Cam: They've been leaderless for a very long time. I think that Bogut has the leader gene but I'm not sure about anyone else. Lee is good with the press and with saying the right thing to Dubs Management but I don't think he inspires anyone he plays with other than making them laugh on the bench. Steph can lead with his play, sort of a D-Rose type, but he's not going to be making any speaches. Klay looks asleep all the time and is still young.  But I do love this topic because leadership is one of the key things that takes a team to the elite level. Look at the focus and work ethic of the Thunder.  Los Spurs are full of leaders from coach through the big 3. The Celtics have the best warrior in the game (KG) and one of the better coaches in the game today. Even the Heat seem to have a good albeit strange team dynamic. Love how LeBron roots for his teammates and never really roles his eyes when they mess up like many stars do.

Roy would be fun to have but I've heard that someone (and I could see Lacob doing this) is going to pay him the full mid-level.  For a guy who has no knee and who's production was seriously limited in his last somewhat full season, this could be a mistake. It would be great to have Roy on this team...but at the right price of course.  I'd rather have Oden though. Ha!

I'm as high as you on Rush and Kwame. People like to hate on Kwame but he is a really big dude and can defend the hell out of the post.  Rush is just awesome in that second unit/heat check guy (more minutes if he is feeling it in a particular game).

I think they're gonna keep Maguire too.  And Jenkins and Tyler will be there, which is a decent bench (and who knows what Tyler can develop into?).

This will be a legitimately fun season to watch at least for a while to see what identity they want to have.  So much better than the Biedrins garbage every fanboy (including Owner) was throwing out there last summer. Ugh. Only 4 more months to go!

Balz: If you want your team to have the identity of being tough-minded, you need to have guys who will scrap and defend. Rush does that- better than any of their other perimeter guys. If they let him walk, they basically admit to being full of shit when they talk about defense.  Same goes for Maguire.

When I hear Meyers talk, he makes me feel like he gets it.  I'm more encouraged by him than anyone else in that organization, actually.  Whether he's on KNBR, or at a press conference, or doing Chronicle Live, he comes across as very matter-of-fact.  And he doesn't shove mindless catch phrases down our throats.  Maybe that's not a good quality in a GM, but I like it.

Rose is more of a leader than Steph imo, if only because he's more physically tough. Physicality may not be the end-all be-all of the equation, but if all other areas are equal, it gets the nod.  As his teammate, you may not know that he's going to make a play in crunch time, but you know that he's physically able of winning his match up, regardless of who it is. Can't say that for Steph.

The roster is looking pretty cramped. More moves will have to be made.  Try to get something for D-Wright? Cut C-Wright? Dump Gladness? Let Nate walk? I like all of those guys, but I don't love any of them...

Cam: Yeah in no way was I comparing Steph's style of PG play to D-Rose. Rose is a beast and Steph is a flitty elf. But Steph can find open shots with pull ups and floaters. His rhythm with the ball keeps the defense on their heels while defenders literally bounce off of Rose.  Steph is also an outstanding passer. So I think that both of these guys can find points to score and set their teammates up.  D-Rose is better at it, obviously (MV-frigging P). D-Rose actually can play defense with his strength and Steph can only go for steals. But both of these guys are quiet leaders. Heck, I think D-Rose is a mute.

I totally agree on Rush and Maguire. They have to keep these guys.  If they let either of these guys go (without signing someone like Darrell Arthur) then it proves that management's preaching of "defense" was bullshit.

If I had to guess I'd say Gladness, C Wright, and Mikki Moore are gone. Especially Mikki Moore. I can't even believe that guy made it on the hardwood. Almost as big of a mistake as trading Stack Jack for Jeffersen. I kid.

Myers is a good dude. I met him once when he was just signed on as assistant GM and heard him speak a few months back. He's very down to earth and is actually overly humble. Being a former agent who started from zero after UCLA and became successful, he can relate to the players really well. Plus, he is an incredible baller (played at UCLA) and was a Bay Area star in High School.  Lastly, he's friends with Mark "Mad Dog" Madsen and that's just awesome.

Balz: I don't share your well-cultivated dislike of Mikki Moore, but I honestly haven't been paying much attention either.  All I see is an energy guy with limited skill, but I freely admit that I haven't been looking closely.  If it was my call, I'd get rid of him if for no other reason than so you can be pissed off at someone else. Hehe.

Maybe someone like Miami will give us a draft pick for Dorell?  At the very least someone would probably pick him up off waivers ?  With the roster we have, his salary may be more of a burden than his play is a blessing.  I'd like to be wrong in this assessment, though, because he seems like a nice enough dude. 
Cam: There's no need to get into a discussion on Mikki Moore. He's that terrible. But I forgot to speak about Dorrell! He's a mystery to me and I have no idea what they'll do with him. I'm sure he is being shopped and I hope they can get something for him. Wright had every opportunity to man up last season and just crumbled. I think he'd just be a bad egg on the roster of someone who had such a great year two seasons ago but no longer deserves more than 12 minutes a game. Remove the stank with heavy brillo pad scrubbing in hot shower!

I hated at the time and still hold deep seeded angst that the Warriors stooopidly used their amnesty provision on Charlie Bell so that they could be a pawn make a terrible RFA offer to DAndre Jordan last off season. That was hands down the worst move that this new front office made.  Such a killer.  Imagine having Biedrins off the books? A close second was trading Stack Jack for RJeff's huge 2 year contract. The luxury tax is no joke now and making a mistake like that is what mediocre/bad teams do. Seriously, how bad could Stack Jack have been when he's trying to land a new deal? And with an expiring contract he would have definitely had value RIGHT NOW. Lacob n' crew listened to the dumb message board chatter on Golden State of Mind and the franchise (and the fans!) are going to pay for it. Heck, at least every move isn't terrible like it used to be under the Cohen era.  Man, our fan expectations (fanspectations?) are really low.
Balz: Do you think that the current roster can get either a 7 or 8 seed in the west?

Cam: Only if I place money on them to not make the playoffs.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Magic Card

Magic Johnson's new Prepaid Card

Now you can have a piece of Magic Johnson in your life! The Magic Card is the latest venture from corporate mogul/NBA Hall of Famer Ervin "Magic" Johnson.  Now you can go see Magic Mike at Magic Johnson AMC in Largo, MD and pay for it with your Magic Card!

The fees seem very low with a $4.95 start up fee and a $4.95 monthly fee when compared to other Prepaid Card ripoff scams. So props to Magic for not being a total dick and ripping off his fan base.  If you are the type that doesn't use a bank account (hiding cash, don't trust the government, have terrible credit) then The Nextian recommends this card.

Enjoy your movie!