A Guide To NBA Player's Music
May 20th, 2011

For a variety of reasons, basketball and music seem to have always had crossover appeal. [Pun acknowledged, but not condoned.] Be it due to the intrinsically linked cultures of the music of the streets and the game on the playgrounds – a partnership which, if I was 10 years older, I would probably find it funny to call “hip hoops” – basketball players moving into musical side projects has become so prevalent that it’s now a clichĂ©. Just as Common thinks he can pull off a decent replication of an extremely ball-dominant undersized scoring guard during each NBA All-Star Weekend, many ballers out there think they have rhythm. There have been dozens of these instances throughout history. The following list attempts to exhaustively cover them all, ranging from those who are actually quite good, to those that would have trouble rhyming “Mercedes” with “ladies”, even if they were run down by a Mercedes full of ladies, all of whom were waving rhyming dictionaries only containing the words “Mercedes” and “ladies.” The most recent addition to this list is also its first. Fresh from an underwhelming three month turf-toe laden stretch of play featuring lashings of the first half of his surname, Carlos Boozer made the news yesterday on account of his foray into the rap game, pairing up with Twista, Mario Winans and a truly terrible beat on the following song, “Winning Streak.” Why Boozer has chosen to rap about things such as “going hard,” “crossing over” and “going baseline,” things he doesn’t actually do on the basketball court, is not clear. Maybe he should have rapped about things he actually does, such as pushing players in the back as they drive unhindered to the basket, rotating the wrong way defensively, asking the ref for a touch of the ball […]

Posted by at 7:14 PM

Rajon Rondo's biggest assist of the year
January 18th, 2011

Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo is the current league leader in assists, with a whopping 13.4 per game. He is likely to remain the league’s assist leader for the indefinite future. Two time MVP Steve Nash is second on this season’s list, yet he is a considerable distance behind Rondo, averaging 10.8 assists per game. This gap will not be overcome. To put it into some context, assume for a moment that Nash and Rondo both play every game remaining in their respective regular seasons, and that Nash assumes his 10.8apg pace throughout. If Nash passes for exactly 10.8 apg over Phoenix’s remaining 43 games, Rondo need average only 9.3 assists per game for the remainder of the season to stay ahead of him. That’s still a lot, but not for Rondo. (As an aside, when was the last time had 10 times more assists than fouls? Because that’s where Steve Nash is at right now.) Rondo’s 13.4 apg average, should it sustain, would be the 8th highest total of all time. Only 7 times has it been bettered – 5 of those times by all time assist leader John Stockton – and never by more than 1.1apg. It is perhaps therefore understandable that Rondo, notorious over-passer than he is, is unashamedly going for the record. On a team filled with scorers other than him, and in such proximity to the record, he might as well. He has both the talent and the mindset. However, he still needs huge assists from others. While it is not the intent of this author to debate Rondo’s playmaking nor shot selection skills, it is worth noting quite how much goes into obtaining even one assist. This is particularly the case when you are playing at home. In last night’s game against Orlando, Rondo […]

Posted by at 9:48 AM

Why Derrick Rose Isn’t Very Good At Drawing Fouls
April 19th, 2010

In game one of the 2010 NBA Playoff series between Chicago and Cleveland on Saturday night, Bulls point guard Derrick Rose shot 13-28 from the field, 0-2 from three-point range, and 2-2 from the foul line, for a total of 28 points on 28 shots. He added 10 rebounds and 7 assists, and generally played well; it was his scoring bursts in the second half that kept what could (and perhaps should) have been a blowout down to a single-figure game for much of the fourth quarter. He also didn’t run away from Mo Williams on defence as much as I thought he might, although this didn’t prevent the rest of the team from doing so. However, had Rose been the beneficiary of some foul calls, his stats would have looked even nicer, and the game would have been even closer. Shooting 28 field goals to only two free throw attempts is not easy to do, even if Rose has done it before, and for a man who takes only pull-up two-point jump shots, floaters and lay-ups, it’s very hard to do. But it happened. And the reasons as to why it may have happened are evident in the following video. (video removed by uploader) Derrick Rose honestly doesn’t get fouled a lot. He tries to avoid contact so as to maximize the percentage of making his shots, and, because of his great athleticism and body control, he is able to do this to great effect. This is the main reason why he doesn’t get to the line much, and also why he shoots such a high percentage. Only one play in this clip is shown from the first half of the game, and in that first half, Derrick Rose took 16 field goals and zero foul shots. This is […]

Posted by at 11:33 AM

Mengke Bateer Is A Coconut Wielding Homicidal Badass
March 10th, 2010

Everyone remembers their first Mengke Bateer experience. Mine came in the 2000 Olympics. In a game against the USA in which Yao Ming beasted from three point range (true story), and in which Wang Zhizhi picked up four first half fouls, Mengke came in and hit some mid range jump shots, in that way that he does. It was kind of fun, if ultimately kind of forgettable. Bateer went on to enjoy a few years in the NBA. He started out as a training camp signee of the Denver Nuggets in 2002, yet was waived before the season started. He thus went back to China and averaged 24.3 points and 14.2 rebounds per game for Beijing, before returning to the Nuggets in February 2002 to see out the season with them. Bateer played in 27 games for that God awful Nuggets team and even squeezed out 10 starts, averaging 5.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.5 fouls in 15 minutes per game. You’ll no doubt have noticed that that’s a lot of fouls. That offseason, Bateer – who had been signed through 2003 – was a throw-in by Denver in the trade with Detroit that saw him, Don Reid and a first-round pick swapped for Rodney White. That pick was later traded to Atlanta (who used it on Josh Smith) as the centrepiece of the Rasheed Wallace deal; in a way, therefore, Mengke Bateer was an integral part of building the 2003-04 NBA champion Detroit Pistons. An underrated bad Kiki Vanderweghe trade, that one. (It was perhaps overshadowed by the fact that it came in the same offseason as the drafting of Nikoloz Tskitishvili, a move you may have heard about.) Nevertheless, despite how much Bateer had brought to the franchise, Detroit moved him on without him playing a game for […]

Posted by at 2:04 PM

A History Of Cheesy, Terrible And Sometimes Quite Good Commercials Featuring NBA Players
February 3rd, 2010

There follows a long list of cheesy and/or television commercials featuring NBA players. Some of which are quite good. Less talk, more cheesy commercials. 1) Tyler Hansbrough 2) Kevin Willis 3) Vince Carter 4) Doug Christie, Alvin Williams and Reggie Slater. 5) Chris Andersen 6) Chauncey B-B-B-B-B-B-Billups. (video removed by uploader)   7) Dikembe Mutombo 8) Dikembe Mutombo again 9) Vince Carter again 10) Bob Lanier (video removed by uploader)   11) David Robinson and Gary Payton (video removed by uploader)   12) Patrick Chewing (video removed by uploader)   13) David Lee 14) Keith Van Horn 15) Shaquille O’Neal, Stu Scott and Mike Breen 16) The Spurs and Knicks teams from what looks like 2000 or 2001 17) Magic Johnson (video removed by uploader)   18) A mute Larry Bird selling Chardon jeans 19) Tyler Hansbrough, again, finding puppies 20) The 1980something Celtics 21) Yet more Larry Bird fail (video removed by uploader)   22) Even more tremendous fail by Larry Bird 23) I haven’t finished laughing at Larry Bird yet 24) Patrick Ewing, Michael Jordan and Chris Mullin 25) One of many Michael Jordan ones 26) Bill Walton 27) The 1999-2000 Golden State Warriors, advertising……themselves. 28) Larry Johnson, obviously 29) Gheorghe Muresan 30) Kenny Anderson 31) Scottie Pippen (video removed by uploader)   32) Tayshaun Prince (Is it just me, or does he say “I can do that because I’m a pro; Wallside can do that because they’re defective”? Doesn’t sound like a glowing endorsement.) 33) Richard Hamilton 34) Ben Gordon making a better effort of it than Rip did 35) Chris Andersen again 36) Darryl Dawkins 37) Jalen Rose and Kenyon Martin 38) Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, and Michael Jordan’s shirt 39) More Bob Lanier, mad enough to dunk (video removed by uploader)   40) Greg Oden […]

Posted by at 3:17 AM

Where Are They Now: The Special Derrick Murray Edition
June 16th, 2009

The look back at the compelling protagonists of the 1996 NBA Draft will be coming up soon, as soon as I can find 13 available hours in which to write it. Until them, I bring you a quasi-update from the 1994 edition. In that post, I wrote this paragraph: Last month, [Lamond] Murray signed back in the IBL for the third time, signing with the seminal Los Angeles Lightning, where he is currently averaging 25/6. You weren’t expecting that, I’m guessing. But here’s the best part – the Lightning’s line-up is freaking stacked. In an otherwise poor league, the Lightning have managed to boast a line-up full of ex-NBA players, featuring Murray, current Clippers assistant and minor league veteran Fred Vinson, journeyman big man Jamal Sampson, the artist formerly known as Bryon Russell, ex-Suns guard Toby Bailey and former Rockets guard Juaquin Hawkins, who is with his first team since suffering a stroke last year. Did you see all that coming? No, me neither. In fact, apart from Murray, I didn’t know about all those players being there when I started writing this. Good times, maybe. Well, I have an update on that. Sampson left the team after only four games, but the team replaced him pretty quickly, signing ex-Kings training campee (a new word), Adam Parada. Bailey has also now turned up, as he was still playing in the German playoffs at the time of the last update. (He’s currently averaging a triple-double through his first two games, too.) The team also boasts California State senator Tony Strickland on the team, who hadn’t played competitive basketball since averaging a double-double at Whittler College in NCAA’s Division III almost two decades ago. That’s a PR move and a half, that. But the big news is that the Lightning have since added […]

Posted by at 12:38 AM

Kirk Hinrich’s Singing Voice
April 14th, 2009

od invented the internet so that we could feel more closely acquainted to professional athletes. It’s the reason they have online chats, it’s the reason they have their own websites, it’s the reason we try and become their Facebook friends, and it’s the reason that their team contractually obligates them to humiliate themselves for the sake of a few YouTube videos. For this, we must give our eternal thanks, because God never fails to satisfy us. And nor does Joakim Noah. During a Bulls game last week, a halftime segment aired that showed Noah, Derrick Rose, Tyrus Thomas and Luol Deng participating in a ‘Name That Tune’ style challenge. The four players paired up, and one player had to sing whatever tune was playing in his headphones, with the other player charged with guessing which song it was that they were butchering. The girl’s job was to guess which team won. The whole debacle was caught on camera. A closer inspection reveals that this isn’t the first Bulls players karaoke segment of the season. Three other officially licensed videos exist, showing the same players (as well as Kirk Hinrich, Aaron Gray, and the now-departed Drew Gooden and Thabo Sefolosha) taking part in a singalong to various TV theme tunes. The tunes range from seminal to forgettable, yet they are, to a man, bludgeoned. If anyone emerges from this with any pride, it might be Drew Gooden. Gooden – whom we already know to be always up for a tinkle – demonstrates, if nothing else, a semblance of a sense of rhythm, humility and personality, although he does appear to struggle with the difference between a saxophone and a piccolo. Hinrich continues his galvanising makeover from the shy and retiring elfin-like creature of his rookie year to the matured and forthcoming […]

Posted by at 10:11 AM

Some bonus Rodney Rogers
December 5th, 2008

Upset as we are about the news of Rodney Rogers’s accident and paralysis, there’s only one way to tribute the man, and that’s with a Rodney Rogers Highlight Montage. Unfortunately, I don’t have one. But I do have this awesome clip, of Rodney Rogers scoring 9 points in 9 seconds back in his days with the Denver Nuggets. This clip has been kind of forgotten over the years, as Reggie Miller’s 8 in 18 seconds and Tracy McGrady’s 13 points in 35 seconds have instead taken the plaudits as the best examples of lots of points in little time at all. However, both are inferior to Rodney Rogers’s explosion, which boasts a points-per-time-allowed ratio far superior to either of theirs, or indeed to any other instance that I know of. Well, except for Trent Tucker. I am told that the Nuggets were down eight at the start of the clip, with 30-something seconds left in the game. Rodney Rogers’s outburst put them up by one. Rodney Rogers was indeed a game changer. (As was Robert Pack, I guess.) God bless you, Rodney Rogers. EDIT Apparently a Rodney Rogers mix DOES exist, upped with the last few hours. God bless both YouTube and Rodney Rogers.

Posted by at 12:51 AM

Joey Dorsey loses a game that he wasn’t in
July 23rd, 2008

Down one in the closing stages of a summer league game, new Washington Wizards guard Dee Brown fouls Uruguay’s finest, the insatiable Gustavo Barrera, sending him to the line. Barrera hits both foul shots, putting Houston up by three. Rockets forward Joey Dorsey – watching the game from the sidelines due to an ankle injury – briefly breaks away from his spontaneous “Who Can Wear The Worst Stripey Polo Shirt” competition with Rafer Alston, and decides to say something. The ref decides to T him up, demonstrating the elaborate technical foul calling technique that NBA scouts want to see from potential refs. Dorsey sulks. Nick Young hits the technical free throw, and the Wizards have the ball, down two. Andray Blatche, who has battled bravely against the desire to pass for a number of years now, throws up a bad three-pointer. It misses, but Brown tips it back in, and the game goes to overtime. The Wizards go on to win, and the Rockets don’t. Joey Dorsey therefore loses not only a game he wasn’t in, but also the polo shirt competition, as he has no answer for Rafer’s daring usage of deep red and sky blue on an otherwise predominantly white top. (Also notice – Vladimir Veremeenko. Hooray!) Here’s what I know about Joey Dorsey – he likes to talk. Admittedly I don’t know much about Joey Dorsey – when he made headlines for “announcing” that his college team mate Derrick Rose was not going to be drafted #1 by Chicago in a hilarious wind-up that everyone found hilarious, it took me two weeks to find out that Joey Dorsey was a player, and not an opportunist reporter. But still. I know he’s a bit of a mouth. Wikipedia agrees. During the 2007 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, […]

Posted by at 1:45 AM