Monday, August 31, 2009

Coach, I'd like to talk to you about my recent PR issues

Stephen:  Hey, coach, how's it going?  You're looking pretty good after the recent off-season.  Say, have you lost weight?

Stephen:  Yeah, well, it definitely looks like you have.   Listen, I just want to clear the air here.  I know you saw my interview in Dime magazine and I know you probably heard my twitter about wanting to be on another team.  But I just wanted to make clear to you that I was talking about what's going to happen next year and I am certainly happy to play for you this year under the terms of my contract.

Stephen:  I mean, if anything, you're the best coach I've ever played for, and I love the fans here, and our win in the Dallas series two years ago was one of the best moments of my basketball life.  I'm totally committed to the team.  But at the same time, I'm not getting any younger, and I'm starting to think more about how I'll be remembered and less about the long-term plan of the team I play with.

Stephen:  And I think it's important for you and the rest of management here to know that if this team isn't serious about winning, then I won't hesitate to consider other teams when the time comes for me to be a free agent.  But that's all in the future and I'm ready to play basketball for the Golden State Warriors this season.

Okay, Coach?



Don:  Well, Stephen, that's a real fucking shame.

Stephen:  No, coach, what I'm telling you is that I'm ready to play.  I'm ready to go.

Don:  Stephen, do you speak English?

Stephen:  What?  I mean, yeah, sure I do.

Don:  That's good.


Don:  Stephen, I think I'm going to try you out at center for a the first couple of games.  Give Biedrins some time on the wing where he can help us with his shooting.

Stephen:  Excuse me, coach?  But Biedrins can't shoot, like, at all.

Don:  In addition I'm going to substitute you out every seven minutes and then return you whenever my nephew signals me from the stands with the U.S. Navy's flag language.

Stephen:  Flag language?  What?

Don:  Stephen, if I've asked you once, I've asked you a million times.  Are you a complete fucking pussy?

Stephen:  Coach, I'm ready to play.

Don:  /sips Bud Light.

Stephen:  So...we cool?

Don:  These fucking Dutchmen have ruined this beer.  Get the fuck out of my office.  And tell Dell Curry to give me a call.  I'm thinking he's ripe for a comeback now that we've got Stevie.

Arcane Birthday Biographies: Rubber Band Man

(This is the best and only picture I could find.  Sorry)

T.I. is not the original rubber band man.  That honor, as far as my in-depth research can determine, lies with Mickey Johnson, a steady power forward who played in the NBA for 11 workmanlike seasons in which he averaged about 15 points and 8 rebounds per game.

Johnson's career might be fairly unremarkable had he not played a part in one of the most important games in NBA history.

Let's go back to 1976.  That was a watershed year for the NBA for a number of reasons.  Most importantly, the ABA merger had just been completed and a number of new teams and players were joining the NBA and returning it to its rightful place as the best basketball league in the world.  1976 also produced one of the most memorable championship teams in history, the Portland Trailblazers team coached by the great Jack Ramsey and led by Bill Walton.  Those Blazers were the subject of what some regard as the best sports book of all time, Breaks of the Game by David Halberstram.

Perhaps because of Bill Walton's continuing fame or the aforementioned book, those Blazers hold a special place in the NBA fanship's collective memory.  Mickey Johnson was a victim of those Blazers, but he was part of the team that presented them with their greatest challenge that year, the 1976-77 Chicago Bulls.

Those Bulls were coming off their worst season ever.  They had just lost one of their better guards, Jerry Sloan, to a major knee injury, and seen the resignation of their borderline hall of fame coach, Dick Motta.  The Motta estrangement was a blessing in disguise, however, because the Bulls were led by Norm Van Lier, a five star general from the school of Fuck It, Let's Fight 'Em All, who was constantly at odds with Motta.  (Van Lier had a famously hot temper and led the NBA in technical fouls in almost every season he played.)  In addition to Van Lier and Mickey Johnson, some long-term planning on the part of Chicago's general office brought them a future hall of famer for their 1976-77 season.

Artis Gilmore was drafted by Chicago in the 7th round of the 1971 NBA draft despite clear indications that he would sign with the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA.  When the merger happened in 1976, Chicago retained the NBA rights to Gilmore and was able to sign him for a cool $1 million, a huge contract at the time.

The mix of players in Chicago was an odd one.  There was almost no shooting ability at the guard positions (neither Van Lear nor his revolving door of backcourt mates averaged more than 12 points per game) and defenses collapsed on Gilmore and Johnson.  Johnson was called Rubber Band Man because he was lanky, and his game lacked the power to overcome the increased pressure.  Chicago went 2-1 to start their season, and then lost their next thirteen games.

Coach Norm Badger, who had taken over for Motta, always intended to make the Bulls a running team, and that helped mitigate their shooting struggles.  But the team's real turnaround came when Jerry Sloan found out that he couldn't return from knee surgery.  Despite his physical predicament, he just couldn't bear to leave the game, so he hung around as an "informal assistant".  His main focus, unsurprisingly, was defense, and he soon earned the nickname "Gestapo" in practice for his demeanor.

The combination of the Chinese fire drill and Sloan's ability to improve the defense made Chicago one of the best teams in the NBA and although they were six games out of making the playoffs after the all-star game, they finished the season 20-4 in what was called The Mircale on Madison Street.  Mickey Johnson and Artis Gilmore were the team's two best players and Van Lier was their leader.  The City of Chicago's interest in basketball became fervent for the first time and Chicago Stadium became notorious for its burgeoning, boisterous crowd.  me  and drew a first round matchup with the Blazers.

Back in 1977, the first round of the NBA playoffs was a best-of-three series, and Chicago and Portland split the first two games.  In the second game, there was a altercation between two players that was quickly escalated by Mo Lucas (perhaps the closest thing the NBA has ever had to an enforcer) which ended with Chicago's assistant coach attempting to strangle Portland's Herm Gilliam before releasing his grip in conjunction with a Mo Lucas right hook.

Mickey Johnson's outstanding play down the stretch and in the playoffs was key to Chicago's success and it was the best time of his life.  He was a son of Chicago, and he gave his best for his hometown crowd.

The decisive third game also went down to the wire.  Portland, the home team, opened an early lead, but Chicago made a furious rally.  The teams were tied when with less than thirty seconds, Lionel Hollins of Portland hit a contested jumper at the top of the key.  The Bulls eventually got in an inbounds situation with fifteen seconds leftt.  John Mengelt, the Bulls' starting shooting guard, tried to throw Artis Gilmore an alley-oop, but the ball ended up going in the basket.  The violation gave Portland the ball, the series, and eventually the championship.

Portland's Coach Ramsey forever remembered that Chicago was Portland's toughest series on its road to the finals, and Mickey Johnson was as big a contributor to the team as everyone.  Happy birthday, Rubber Band Man, as we at DGU remember that the defeated make history, too.

Stephen Jackson Demands Trade

Stephen Jackson wants to leave the Golden State Warriors to play for Cleveland, where he can contend for a championship, or a team in Texas, or the New York Knicks.

"I want to be in a situation where I can get a ring," Jackson told Dime (diet Slam) magazine.  No word on how New York plays into that unless he is anticipating LeBron signing there.

This is, of course, the same Stephen Jackson who left the Spurs after being an integral part of their 2003 championship team to sign with the Atlanta Hawks, a team coming off a 35 win season.  And the same Stephen Jackson who jointed the sixty-win Pacers in a sign and trade and joined in a melee in his seventh game of the season in the famous bloodbath at Auburn Hills.

Call me skeptical, but I have a feeling I know what's really going on, and that's a little thorn in Stephen's side.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Chris Bosh is Weird Interlude

You only need to watch like thirty seconds of this.  Unless you want to watch the whole thing, I guess.

Guess That NBA Tattoo!

If you can't make this out due to the annoying faux film outline, this is a tattoo that shows the upper half of the statue of liberty draped in a banner reading "Victory" which has the colors of the stars and stripes filling the letters.

The player in question states that "it's from a World War I propaganda poster.  I've always been into patriotic art."

I suppose the tattoo is a little less irritating considering the player in question didn't think it up.  Actually, check that, it would be less irritating if the player wasn't.....
Cherokee Parks!

DGUtube: Ronnie Fields

Ronnie Fields was Kevin Garnett's teammate and was arguably as impressive a prospect as Garnett himself.  His senior year he averaged 34 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, and 4 blocks per game, and he was a listed 6'2" with a reported (bullshit) vertical leap of 50 inches.  He is the third best scorer in Chicago PS history, an All-American first teamer, and the first sophomore to play in the "best of the best" game at Nike All American Camp in a game that featured Allen Iverson, Kevin Garnett, and Ron Mercer.

Sadly, Fields broke his neck in 1996 and was ruled academically ineligible to play at DePaul, where he could have eventually teamed with Quentin Richardson.  He ended up drafted by the CBA in the seventh round, leading it in scoring for a couple of years, but he never even came close to living up to his promise.

Today, let's remember that man, could that guy dunk.

Arcane Birthday Biographies: The Ballad of Uncle John Long

Some people don't know (or can't believe) that Dick Vitale was once the coach of the Detroit Pistons.  His stay with Detroit was short and unsatisfactory, ending only twelve games into his sophomore campaign, and even before he started coaching, he was derided for taking two players from the college team he had coached the season before in the first and second round.

When a guy like Rick Pitino did a similar maneuver as coach of the Celtics, it went fairly unnoticed, but this illustrates one of the many differences between Rick Pitino and Dick Vitale.  Rick coached Kentucky.  Dick?   University of Detroit.

Needless to say, it was highly unusual for a professional team to pick two players from the University of Detroit in the first two rounds and the second round pick, John Long, was not expected to amount to much.  However, in his rookie campaign, he proved himself a reliable scorer, and was second among all rookies that year with 16.1 points per game.

While Vitale didn't stick around, Long did, and for eight years, he helped build the foundation of the Bad Boys Pistons and averaged as much as 21.9 points per game playing as Isiah Thomas's wingman (a partnership that lasted five years).  In 1984-85, Long and Thomas made a valiant run to six games in the conference semi-finals against one of the great Celtics teams of the 80s, and laid the foundation for one of the best rivalries in the history of the NBA.

Alas, in 1985-86, a young man from McNeese State named Joe Dumars was drafted by the Pistons, and that meant that John Long's time with the Pistons was through.  He was traded to the Indiana Pacers and played well, averaging over 15 per game, but the very next year, they drafted a skinny kid from UCLA named Reggie Miller, and again Long was gone.

Everyone who played with John Long admired his skill, character, and toughness, and Isiah Thomas was a driving force towards getting Long back on the Pistons just in time for them to win their first championship, even though at that point, he was barely a rotation player.  He soon retired in 1991 to barnstorm and play in Argentina, where he averaged a cool 40 points per game.

It wasn't all over, though, for John Long.  In 1995-96, at the age of forty, Long received a call from his old backcourt mate Isiah, then a first-year GM of the fledgling Toronto Raptors.  Despite a four year layoff, Long came back to play for the expansion Raptors, earning a spot at the bottom of the rotation and even hitting a game-winner against the Bullets at a time when wins didn't come too easily for the Raptors.  One night, he scored more points (12) than his two NBA nephews, Terry Mills (5) and Grant Long (9).

A great player from a family of great players that never quite made the impact to be remembered by the masses, today DGU wishes John Long a happy birthday.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A journey deep into the mind of Chris Wallace

Chris Wallace:  Boy, oh boy, do I love being an executive in the NBA.  But I'll tell ya, sometimes its a little bit tough, what with the entire sports media constantly calling my moves idiotic and with that nasty Gregg Popovic suggesting that a trade board be created to decline my mindless and power-altering trades.

Itellya, a guy can feel pretty unappreciated.  You think they consider that I drafted Paul Pierce?  Chauncey Billups?  Joe Johnson?  If they had only kept that core together Boston would have been just fine.  And can I just remindya it was Pitino's idea to trade Billups, not mine.  That guy sure can be pushy.

Anyway, I don't mind saying I've had a pretty good offseason up here in Memphis.  Why, I turned Quentin Richardson into Zach Randolph, filled a need at power forward, and I have one of the better young backcourts in the NBA.  Heck, just the other day, a blog noted that our team has a shot at forty wins.  Forty!  That ain't bad when I think about where we were just a year ago.

Yep, I'm feeling pretty good about myself and our team.  I'lltellya, though, I can't help thinking that our team just needs one more more thing to take us to the playoffs.

Bad Chris Wallace:  YO CHRIS!  Wheda fuck you at?  This team ain't nothing but a bunch of pussies and my boy Mayo.  You need a playa, playa!

Chris:  Oh, hello, Mr. Wallace.  I know you're not really there, and now I'm going to just relax and go back to the business at hand.

Bad Chris:  OH I BE HERE.

Chris:  No, you're not.

Bad Chris:  I BE.

Chris:  No, you're not.

Bad Chris:  I BE THAT, BABY.

Chris:  Godamnit they said this would work.  Alright listen, what will  it take to make you leave me alone?

Bad Chris:  I want my boy on this team.  I want him now.

Chris:  Are you referring to the puff daddy?

Bad Chris:  Man, fuck that dude.  I'm talking about my boy Iverson.

Chris:  But Mr. Wallace, that makes no sense.  I would just be stifling the young backcourt I've worked so hard to put together.  Also, I've heard that his practice habits are less than ideal.

Bad Chris:  You gon sign him.

Chris:  Sir, I politely decline.  I'm still hearing about the Gasol trade you forced.

Bad Chris:  HAHA!  Man you see the look on that mothafuckin frenchman's face when we told him we were sending him to LA!  OH SHIT that was good.

Chris:  But Mr. Wallace, he's doing very well.  He won a championship.  I'm the laughing stock of the league.

Bad Chris:  Whatever, he's a fuckin bitch, and now he's where all the other bitches belong, L. fuckin A.

Chris:  Listen, I'm not signing Iverson.

Bad Chris:  YOU BE.

Chris:  I'm not.

Bad Chris:  FUCK. YOU.  Then I'm stayin.

Chris:  Damnit....well...I mean, I suppose he is one of the greatest scorers in history.


Chris:  Well, at least this'll look good in the press.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chris Bosh is really weird.

Here's something you don't see every day.  Chris Bosh.  Working out with a little girl.  Who is directing him with what appears to be a karate bow.  Made of silver.  Chew on that.

The real question is will Bosh be able to follow the silver bow at the next level, when there are NBA players manipulating it?

Guess That NBA Tattoo!

The above tattoo, to those whitebread folks who make up the majority of my readership, signifies Warner Brothers, a once-great film company that watered itself down to become associated most with "The WB", the network on which white person favorites like Dawson's Creek and Gilmore Girls filled the airwaves.

Now, clearly, the skin of the player with the above "WB" tattoo is not white.  Or Asian.  While one could try to make the argument that it could have been the Jamie Foxx show that drove this player to love the network, they would be wrong.

In fact, as the internet tells me, WB stands for a couple of things, one of which will aid you, my reader, in guessing the player.  The first is "Warn a brotha" as in "Warnabrotha" as in "Warner Brothers".  Or, translated into the New England parlance: "Do not cooperate with the law enforcement authorities in the investigation of your fellow neighboorhood chums."

The other meaning of the tattoo, supposedly, is "West Baltimore", which is the home of the above player.  This could be all the hinting any heads out there need.  And with that, the answer is.....


Carmelo Anthony!

Early Season Optimism

Here's a little food for thought.

The Memphis Grizzlies will have a pretty solid lineup this year.  Mike Conley was really starting to play well at the end of last season, OJ Mayo had a great rookie year and is underrated as a person, Rudy Gay is one of the best small forwards in the NBA, Zach Randolph is a 20-10 guy, and Thabeet/Marc Gasol form a pretty good defense/offense tandem at the pivot.

Who is their coach?  I don't know.  He's somehow been their coach three times but has less than 70 total games under his belt.  Is it a questionable mix of personalities?  Probably.   However, Mayo gets a bad rap for the famous highlight of him throwing the ball into the stands in his last high school game and for taking dolla bills to play for USC.  I don't think he's actually that selfish or a team cancer.  Randolph's history is indefensible, but aside from him, there are no character problems with the other guys (unless you count inability to shoot as a character problem).

Memphis plays in the best division in the NBA and the road to the playoffs for them will be extremely difficult.  However, I believe that this team is capable of 40 wins this season, a marked improvement for one of the worst franchises of the last couple of years.  You heard it here.

Arcane Birthday Biographies: Morris Peterson

Morris Peterson's life in basketball revolved around Mateen Cleaves from the time they were children.  Born less than a month a part, the boys lived blocks from each other in Flint, Michigan.

In high school, they played on rival teams and knew each other well from Flint's pickup scene.  Cleaves was the man back then, and Mo Pete was known as nothing more than a gunner.  When both accepted scholarships to Michigan State, Cleaves was taking a school that was close to home over all the other big names, and Peterson was lucky just to have a scholarship from an established program.

As the players progressed through their careers (which would both culminate in a national championship in 2000 with the help of Jason Richardson), Mateen was the most important player.  He was Michigan State's only three-time All-American and named MOP of the 2000 Final Four.

Obviously, today, Mateen Cleaves is in street clothes and Mo Pete is in the NBA.  What happened?

It all turned on the right hand of Peterson.  In 1997, Peterson broke his non-shooting hand on a dunk attempt,  and although he was still serviceable with a cast, he couldn't really get his offensive game going.  He had been a horrific defender before the injury but with his cast, the only way he could get on the court was by playing defense.

Ever since, Peterson has been known as more of a sweet-shooting forward with defense than a gunner, and he was a key player in the 2000 championship, a first round pick, and started in the NBA until last season.

Happy Birthday, Mo.

NBA Could Grind To Halt With Ref Holdout

News comes today that the NBA and the referees' union (umpire and referee unions always seem to be the most powerful in the world...why the hell is that?) are far apart on a deal in which the NBA is asking the refs to cut their budget across the board by 10%.

Apparently things are serious enough that established referees may not be allowed to take part in preseason games.  The referees have responded as follows:

The referees have argued against the sort of budget cuts widely imposed on team and league office staff members by insisting the late hours they work and difficult travel conditions they endure in addition to the injury risks they're subjected to make them unlike any other group of NBA employees.

Well, that's a pretty sensible and I can really see where they're BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  Who in god's name do these assholes think they are?  They can't police their own, they've been caught in one of the worst scandals in the past decade, they have one of the sweetest jobs in sports, they somehow manage to be worse than referees of basketball at a lower level, and now they're refusing to take the same pay cut everyone else in the league (like...uh...the players) will have to endure?  Incredible!

Stern must be licking his chops like a modern-day Reagan.  These buffoons just gave him an excuse to get them out of the door and hire a bunch of cheaper, less crotchety referees who in all honesty can't be any worse than the officials the NBA has used for the past ten years.

Please god let these referees stand strong like Joey Crawford against a Tim Duncan smile.

/honks horn

DGUtube: Remember Steve Franchise

It wasn't Steve Francis's fault that his career somehow led him to be one of the final pieces in Isiah Thomas's reign of tyranny with the Knicks, but that's the way it played out.  It's sad to think of the days when Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobely were on the verge of making the playoffs all by themselves when one considers just how suddenly and unfortunately the careers of each man ended.  (Cuttino had to retire last year when he discovered he had a congenital heart problem and Francis's career ended in the wake of severe tendinitis and migraine problems.)

Few remember that it was Francis who took the Rockets to a 45 win season in just his second year (starting lineup:  Francis, Mobely, Shandon Anderson, Maurice Taylor, Hakeem at age 39 when he averaged 10 points per game) and that when he succumbed to the rare, migraine-inducing Meniere's diseease, the Rockets took such a tumble that they were able to get the first pick in the draft that eventually became Yo Yao Ming.  

Today let's celebrate the man who was frankly the most exciting point guard of his time, bar none.  If you don't agree, you probably don't remember, so please, cue the video.

Hawks add final piece to their dynasty

He was drafted ahead of Antonio McDyess, Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace, Kevin Garnett, Damon Stoudamire, and Michael Finley.  He signed a backdoor deal that ruined the Minnesota Timberwolves' chances of winning a title with Kevin Garnett.  He is currently working on an album under his alter ego, "Joe Beast", with singles forthcoming including "Murda Kapital" and "I Does This" (what is this, 1998?).  He is the final piece as Rick Sund puts the finishing touches on the Atlanta Hawks.  He is....the most uninteresting basketball player in the world.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Guess That NBA Tattoo!

Welcome to the inaugural edition of DGU's new feature, Guess That NBA Tattoo.  For the auspicious first tattoo, I chose probably the most interesting tattoo in the NBA.
This might be easy for some people as that tattoo has received some publicity.  If you can't make it out, it is two hands in prayer, holding a pistol, in front of a gravestone, and the gravestone seems to have a crosshairs on top of it.  
My interpretation is that this is actually a represntation of one of this player's boys rising from the grave, gun still in his hands, ready to go to purgatorial war which will probably end in a result similar to what got him in the grave, if all the stuff I hear about jesus's marksmanship is true.  
Can you name the player who possesses this fine piece of urban art?  
And the answer is......
(I don't know how to add space other than this....sorry.)

Unnoticed Transaction News

Right now, Mark Madsen is not in the NBA.  At all.

While it is always fun to see a big, awkward white guy enjoy winning a championship he has almost nothing to do with, I, for one, won't miss Madsen.  He was so out of control he almost ended TJ Ford's career, I despised his boy-next-door attitude, and his victory dance after the Lakers championship made me feel about the same way I would if I had taken a shot with a lead pipe to the testicles.

Excuse me? I'm sorry?

Chris Bosh will be releasing a CD, DVD and iPhone application this fall.

Bosh's DVD will include all of the "original comic" characters he has created in videos uploaded to YouTube, as well as an inside look at Bosh's life in Dallas and how he made it to the NBA.
The CD will feature music by some of Bosh's favourite artists, as well as recordings from new artists. Bosh is soliciting songs from unsigned artists, giving them a chance to submit songs for consideration for the album.
Bosh's iPhone application will allow fans to keep track of the NBA superstar with automatic updates from his Twitter feed, when he posts a video on YouTube and to keep track of his game statistics during the NBA season. Bosh is the first athlete to have his own iPhone application.
I think I speak for every single fan in the NBA when I say "What?"

Let me share with you my new strategy

Hello folks.  Thank you for coming to my press conference.  I'd like to address this year's free agent class and the Knicks' recent activity.

You may have recently heard about the many developments other teams are making in the free agent market. Detroit, for instance, has picked up Ben Gordon, Charlie Villenueva, and Chris Wilcox.  Many Knicks fans out there have been asking me, "Donnie, what are we going to do in the free agent market?"

/James Dolan muffled screaming in background.

We have many options to consider as we prepare not only for this summer, but also for the next.  One of the major problems with this organization in the past has been a refusal to think long-term, and I think our success depends on a recognizition of the need for serious change in the goals of the New York Knicks.

/James Dolan's head sticks out from stage right, is pulled back by hair.

As part of this philosophy, we must look at our current free agent class as one in which spending presents us with opportunities for our upcoming season but saving provides us opportunities for the free agent market of 2010.

/James Dolan runs onto the stage


Walsh:  For the last time, Jim, I'm not Italian.


Walsh:  Coach D'Antoni is at home in West Virginia.  I already left you a note that he called to advise us to sign Ramon Sessions.


/Beautiful woman appears at the side of the stage


/Dolan exits stage right, is grabbed as he reaches the curtain.

Walsh:  As I was saying, our new strategy must be to spend with great care.  It is for this reason that we made Ramon Sessions an offer one month ago and subsequently stopped talking to him entirely.

/Muffled screaming in the background.  "iverson!  i want iverson!"

Walsh:  We believe this strategy is the best option for the future of the New York Knicks.  Thank you.

Arcane Birthday Biographies: Tony Dumas

Perhaps somewhere, on a computer made out of championship rings, Robert Horry is cruising the internet, wondering if any intrepid blogger or sportswriter has noticed that it is Big Shot Bob's 39th birthday.

I could only imagine the look on his face if he came upon today's celebration of the onetime great Tony Dumas.

Say what you will about Dumas's lack of success in the NBA.  He was only a starter for one year, and in that one year shot poorly and couldn't crack twelve points a game.  He was a dunker of some note, but lost in the 1995 dunk contest in particularly embarrassing fashion, missing every dunk he attempted.  He was the first man ever to do so, and the last dunk, a simple one-handed tomahawk, was particularly embarrassing.  Gary Payton could be seen on the sidelines, his mouth moving quickly, teeth bared, undoubtedly saturating the air above the court with funny, vile insults.

Today, however, on Tony's birthday, let's remember his successes.  He was one of the greatest scorers in NCAA history (almost 2,500 points), and he played for one of the worst teams in Division I:  The Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos.

Happy birthday, Tony Dumas.  You were the greatest Kangaroo.

DGUtube: Lost Video Collection

This is a new segment here where I find a good old youtube and show it to you.  Cool, no?

My first video goes out to two great guards whose in-game highlights are overshadowed today by our collective memory of Jordan, Dominique, Magic, Larry, and Isiah.  

UPDATE:  Embedding has been disabled.  I call bullshit.  Link here.

Hi. I'm a professional motivational speaker.

I'd just like to throw my two cents in about John Lucas's involvement in the Beasley issue and his supposed expertise and success with rehabbing players.

Full disclosure and not so brief aside:  I am a huge fan of Jerry Tarkanian and have always held a grudge about John Lucas replacing him as the Spurs' head coach in 1992 after only 20 games (Tark was 9-11!.  One of the driving forces behind Tarkanian's firing was Dale Ellis's public expression of discontent.  Dale Ellis!  Though One of my favorite factoids about the Tark firing is as follows:  "Tarkanian may have actually brought about his own dismissal with a letter he sent to McCombs on Monday urging the acquisition of a point guard and arguing that the team could simply not win without one. "All I wanted was a point guard," he said."  (Source:  New York Times.))

Back to the subject at hand.  This week it has become clear that the entire NBA world sees John Lucas as some kind of rehabilitation specialist.  He helped TJ Ford recover from his back injury.  He counseled Sean Williams while at BC.  He rehabilitated Daryl Strawberry in the early 90's.

HEYWAITAMINUTE!  Strawberry was back on coke and ho's approximately twelve times after Lucas's intervention.  Sean Williams never made anything of himself.  And TJ Ford, well, he didn't exactly have a drug problem and I'm not sure making a player work hard qualifies someone as anything more than a drill sergeant.

John Lucas, when he was with the Spurs, was a successful coach.  He threw it all away by taking an offer  behind his team president's back to become the Sixers' General Manager, Vice President, and Coach.  That didn't work out so well for him and he spent the next two seasons going 24-58 and then 18-64. (He was noted for trying to take Derrick Coleman on as a reclamation project.  It did not go well.)

Lucas then went on to coach the Cavs, where he was fired in his second year after having the worst record in the league.  (One could, however, argue that Lucas's poor record led Cleveland to the acquisition of LeBron James, in which case I may be underestimating his genius.)

My point here is not that Lucas was a terrible coach (though I think he was) or that he can't rehabilitate players.  But he currently makes his living as a consultant for players to hire and the Beasley situation is getting him more publicity than I've ever heard him get before.

I can't help but think that Lucas is charging a pretty penny (pursuant to the NBA's rules, the team must pay for treatment in its substance abuse program) for his services and it's a little questionable that it's been publicly announced that he is working with Beasley to overcome an issue that should be privately addressed.  I think Lucas's history of player oversight (Lloyd Daniels, Derrick Coleman, Vernon Maxwell, Darius Miles, DaJuan Wagner, and Ricky Davis played under him, to name a few) is questionable.  And I think that in Michael Beasley, Lucas may have found the best possible PR boon his company will ever receive.

More conspiracy theories soon!

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When I party, I party hardy

Sly and the family did some partying in their time and it's now apparent that Michael Beasley does as well.

While this could be serious (heroin addiction, alcoholism, depression, etc.) the facts appear to me to suggest that Beasley may have found a loophole to help him avoid being fined for the incident.

It's a well-known fact that NBA players smoke pot.  It's a well-known fact that smoking pot is neither a health risk nor addictive.  It's a well-known fact that twenty-year old men with millions of dollars like to party.  However, encouraging drug use is obviously not something the NBA wants to be involved in, so it has a well-publicized and somewhat successful drug treatment program.  

The story linked to above contains an interesting paragraph:

Sources said the Heat encouraged Beasley to check into the facility to address possible substance and psychological issues. He is expected to spend time with former NBA player and coach John Lucas(notes), who is renowned for his success in working with troubled players. As part of the NBA’s treatment program, Beasley is expected to stay in the facility for a minimum of 30 days with little outside contact, one source close to him said.

When I had first heard the Beasley story it appeared that he was in rehabilitation on his own accord but the above suggests that the NBA is mandating and controlling his treatment program.  This would only occur if Beasley had voluntarily submitted to the NBA's treatment program.

The NBA's treatment program provides athletes with a way to avoid fines and discipline and specifically provides in its rules that "In order to encourage players with problems to seek help, this treatment is provided at the expense of the team, the player continues to be paid, and penalties are generally not imposed as long as the player complies with the terms of his prescribed treatment."  

The previous involvement with marijuana in Beasley's rookie training camp cost him a cool $50,000.00, and one could reasonably assume that a second fine would be greater.  I don't want to downplay the seriousness of Beasley's condition, which at this point cannot be determined, but isn't it a possibility that this is a money-making maneuver?  

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