Yet Another Year Where My Brackets Call For a Disaster Analogy

24 03 2014
Obviously, there's a black hole out there that swallows airliners and J-Dub's brakets.

Obviously, there’s a black hole out there that swallows airliners and J-Dub’s brackets.

Last year, the analogy I made to the disaster that is my bracket was to a crashing airliner.  Last year was the first in all my years of this basketball-driven self-flagellation where I lost my champion in the first weekend.  This year marks the worst bracket I’ve ever had while still keep all of my Final Four intact.  Somehow, I managed to end up tied for ninth in a sixteen-team pool.

There’s two weird part is that despite the fact that I’ve already lost three of my Elite 8, I am in a perfect position to make up some serious ground next weekend. Not only do I have all of my Final Four, but in the Schadenfreude portion of this blog, it’s time to  look not at how intact my bracket is, but how fucked the others are.

  • Two brackets have already lost their champions -  Syracuse, Wichita State, and Kansas took care of that.
  • Two brackets have lost three of the Final Four – The aforementioned suspects figure in that crime, with the additions of Duke, North Carolina, Creighton and the guy who made the plaintive cry for help by picking UMass.
  • Out of a 16-team pool, there are only two others with all of their Final four intact, and only one of those has the same champion.

Having said that, what realistically are my odds of winning? Roughly the same as that of my splitting a bottle of Dom Perignon with the Abominable Snowman on a non-missing Malaysian airliner. Why? Because I’m J-Dub.

West Region:

NCAA Tournament West Sweet 16 2014

Obviously, the top half of this region for me features more red ink than bag of Twizzlers. And much like cheap, mass-produced candy, it’s giving me a fair amount of gastrointestinal distress. To cure that, I will be a steady diet of Wisconsin beer and cheese for the next week.

South Region:

NCAA Tournament South Sweet 16 2014

You would think after all this time,  I would have learned my lesson about the fucking Kansas Jayhawks.  They should all get rectal cancer.

East Region:

NCAA Tournament East Sweet 16 2014

Between St. Joseph’s and Villanova, Philadelphia basketball has phucked me once again.  If Michigan State doesn’t win this region, my chances of winning become very spartan.

Midwest Region:

NCAA Tournament Midwest Sweet 16 2014

Somehow, depending on Rick Pitino to save this region for me feels like trusting a dentist who sells miniature ivory figurines. Then again, Kentucky is not known for the stellar orthodontia of it’s Skoal-sucking residents, so what the fuck?We’ll let you know once the search party finds my hopes of winning on the bottom of the ocean.

 

 





Radio J-Dub, Volume 1 – NFL Free Agency and the Phil Jackson Saga

17 03 2014

Radio JDub itunes header

We here at Dubsism are excited to bring you a new feature, an audio podcast to go along with the series of video podcast we produce.  In the inaugural episode, J-Dub talks about how NFL free agency is like having a girlfriend who is jet-screaming hot, but is also bat-shit crazy. He also puts to rest some misconceptions about the Phil Jackson as president of the New York Knicks saga, and lays out a reason you’ll never get from the dick-tards at ESPN about why a Jackson return to the Los Angeles Lakers is all but impossible.

You can subscribe to and download the podcast here, as well as get information on how to participate live when Radio J-Dub is being recorded live.





The Dubsism 2014 NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket Challenge – Light Fuse and Stand Back

17 03 2014

brackets

The day after Selection Sunday is historically the best for my brackets; it’s the one day there’s still hope.  Sometime between now and the end of the weekend, the hopes for my brackets have generally disappeared faster than a Malaysian airliner.  That’s precisely why this post comes with a disclaimer. It’s really not a question of whether you should stand back; it’s a matter of how far way you need to be avoid sucking in fatal amounts of smoldering wreckage when my bracket eventually collapses on itself.  That’s why I have provided you with the following Civil Defense chart, as the force of my collapsing bracket has been estimated by some serious science-type guys to be roughly that of a 1960′s era nuclear weapon.

blast radius

So, now that you’ve seen that, this is the part where I tell you (on the advice of my serious legal-type  guy) that you read further solely at your own risk.  So, while you putting on your helmet and goggles, putting batteries in your Geiger counter, and hoarding canned goods and beef jerky, I’ll break down a very breakable bracket.

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The Fifth Annual Dubsy Awards

9 01 2014

heisman guy

Every January since this blog was created, we here at Dubsism have given an award for achievements during the previous year in some under-recognized categories in the world of sports. In prior years, the nominations for the awards were done exclusively by an internal committee, but we’ve had so much success allowing nominations from the general public that we had no choice but to continue that. .

Between our committee and our valued readers, we had more quality nominations than we could ever possibly use.  Thank you so much for that. When we received an outstanding nomination that proved to be a winner, we made sure to recognize those who submitted it. However, we did also receive nominations on multiple ballots that proved to be winners. If you see a winner that you nominated, and you weren’t credited, just know that you weren’t the only one who had the same idea.

With that, and after careful consideration, here are the winners of the Fifth Amnnual Dubsy awards.

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OK, I’ve Heard Enough…Purdue Basketball Is Not Going To Be That Good

30 10 2013

purdue toiletmakers

I’m not one to cover Purdue sports despite the fact I live in the heart of Boilermaker country. But since Purdue starts its exhibition season tonight, all I’ve been exposed to in the local sports media is how the Boilermakers are a B1G Ten contender and poised for a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.

Right after that happens, we can all join hands, sing a chorus of “Abraham, Martin, and John,” and visit the fairy princess together.

Not to be the resident buzz-kill in the greater West Lafayette area, but homer-ism is one thing, realistic expectations are another.  I don’t specifically have a beef against Purdue, otherwise this could easily be a another installment in my Grinds My Gears series. To be ever more fair about it, I can even understand why Purdue fans are whipped about this team. The football team has a new coach nobody really knows what to make of, they have yet to beat an FBS opponent, and more importantly, the Boiler hoopsters actually have a roster that includes some honest-to-goodness NBA talent.  When I first re-located to the Hoosier state, Purdue fans were in full-throat over guys who will never be more  than bench players at the next level…JaJuan Johnson, E’Twuan Moore, and the sainted Robbie Hummel, who the Minnesota Timberwolves had to ship off to Obradairo of the Spanish League so he can learn to be a 6’9″ spot-up shooter à la Detlef Schrempf (if you are old enough to get that reference).

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Derrick Rose Says He “Had To Be Selfish”…and He’s Right

19 07 2013

derrick rose injured

Here’s a story we all forgot about in the wake of the Aaron Hernandez mess.  Remember Derrick Rose, and his knee injury? Remember how many people were calling him a pussy because he wouldn’t play even after doctors cleared him? Derrick Rose himself has remained largely quiet about the situation, but the other day he finally spoke to team website  BullsTV.com

“I’m not a selfish guy at all. But having this injury and knowing what I had to go through and being smart, this is something I had to be selfish with. I couldn’t worry about anyone else but myself and my health.”

I don’t blame him. As a guy who has had multiple knee/leg surgeries, I can tell you first-hand that doctors don’t always know what the fuck they are talking about. The impending return of Derek Jeter bears that out.

See that giant scar? That's my leg, and it means I know more about recovering from a major injury than the average loudmouth.

See that giant scar? That’s my leg, and it means I know more about recovering from a major leg injury than the average loudmouth.

Let us not forget that back at the beginning of this season, Jeter was also medically cleared to play, but he kept telling his doctors that his surgically-repaired ankle “just didn’t feel right.”  His doctors assured him everything was fine, but after a return trip to the MRI machine, the ankle that was “just fine” was still fractured. Not “tweaked,” or a “little sore,” not even “sprained.”  It was as fucking cracked as the Liberty Bell.

Jeter's ankle: Not OK.

Jeter’s ankle: Not OK.

So, let’s take this from Derek back to Derrick. Rose took a lot of shit from the fans and the media during the Bulls run up to and during the playoffs because he never ruled out a return while the Bulls were incurring more casualties than the Romans at the Battle of Cannae (that’s right…you just got a reference to the Second Punic War in a piece about the NBA).  It didn’t help matters that during the time he wasn’t playing, he was also practicing at full strength and playing well during team drills.

But, let’s be honest. In the immortal words of Allen Iverson, that was “practice.” What it came down to was Rose just never felt comfortable enough to return to game action.

The first reason for that should be obvious, so obvious even a guy like Iverson can figure it out. Practice is not a real game. Practice is with your teammates; guys who aren’t going to throw a hip into you when you are driving the lane. Rose addressed that fact in his comments.

“When you’re in practice, of course it’s not game-like speed unless it’s like training camp. Game-like experience is totally different. You have strategies. You have double-teams. When I play, I get double-teamed a lot. We play the same defense we play in the game so there weren’t any double-teams. I was able to roam around freely.”

Would you like to guess why that matters? Because if the guy if the guy is practicing at full-speed, and says something just isn’t right, then guess what? It isn’t fucking right. Neither is criticizing a guy for protecting both his body and his long-term career interests.  Even though I made a reference earlier to the Roman Empire, we are not yet at the point in America where we simply don’t care about the participants in our sports. We don’t fete the winners with ox-cart led parades, while the losers are enslaved or fed to lions.

derrick rose heat fan meme

It comes down to this. It doesn’t matter if your name is Derek, and the “C” on your jersey stands for “Captain,” or if your name is Derrick and the “C” on your jersey is just the first letter in “Chicago.” Doctor or not, nobody knows one’s own body better than the guy who lives in it.





A Dubsism Breakdown of the Celtics’ Hiring Of Brad Stevens

5 07 2013

brad stevens boston celtics

A few days ago, when the Boston Celtics surprised the basketball world by hiring Butler University head coach Brad Stevens, a lot of people didn’t understand this move. that’s why we he here at Dubsism took a few days to really dig into what happened here so we could explain it to the six non-state hospital inmates who read this blog.

For purposes of full disclosure, I am a life-long Los Angeles Lakers fan, which means I have an eyeball-popping hatred of the Celtics, and of the Celtics of the 1980′s the only one I could conceivably hate more than Danny Ainge is Kevin McHale.  But to be fair, as a general manager, Danny Ainge is a guy with los cojoñes grandes. He has absolutely no fear to break conventional wisdom and follow his hunches. That style of decision-making leads to some really funky combinations. He can be both bold and foolish, or he can be indecisive and brilliant.

On the other side, even though my basketball allegiances belong to the Lakers, I am also a transplant to Indiana, having been here through Brad Stevens’ rise from the Horizon League to the NBA.  It is that level of unpredictably that you need to keep in mind as we go through why this hire really makes sense for both both the Celtics and Stevens.

There’s really two main reasons why.

1) This move fills a mutual need.

Even before Doc Rivers saddled his horse and rode west, everybody knew the “Big Three” era in Boston was essentially over.  Even before Ainge traded Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Kris Joseph, Keith Bogans, Reggie Evans, and first-round draft picks in 2014, 2016, and 2018, everybody knew a rebuilding era was coming sooner rather than later in Boston.  And even before all of that, the rumors were flying in Boston that the relationship between Rajon Rondo and the Celtics was pretty much over.

That means that when the search for a new coach started for the Celtics, they could forget about any of the high-profile guys out there. Be they Phil Jackson, George Karl, Lionel Hollins, Vinny Del Negro, or even the ghost of Red Auerbach, Danny Ainge had to know he had about as much chance of getting one of those guys to take on a Celtic rebuilding project as getting Queen Elizabeth II to knock back a bar-rail full of Jello shots and do a pole dance.

That left Ainge two choices. He could either hire an up-and-coming NBA assistant coach, or he could test the college ranks to see if there might be a guy out there looking for a shot at the big leagues. With the assistant, you get a guy with NBA experience, but he is also likely a guy nobody has ever heard of. With the college guy, you get the exact opposite; no experience but a name people recognize. Given the probability that Rajon Rondo has  played his last game in Celtic green, Ainge knows he may have a team whose biggest star would arguably be Kris “Don’t call me Mr. Kardashian” Humphries.

Not only does that help explain why he chose the college coach, it also sheds a lot of light on why he offered Brad Stevens a ridiculously large and long deal for an NBA rookie coach. Only the hottest property amongst the available college coaches could demand a 6-year, $22 million deal. Regardless of of his role on the team, Brad Stevens just became the reason Celtics fans will keep coming back during the rebuilding era, and he’s been paid handsomely for it.

2) It won’t matter if Stevens succeeds or fails.

The beauty of this deal is that success will have nothing to do with results, which is precisely why this is a win-win for both Stevens and the Celtics.

For Danny Ainge, his hiring of Stevens puts some star power on the Celtic the side of the floor in a time when the player roster may be sorely lacking it. Looking at what the Celtics’ roster is likely going to be come October, nobody with a realistic eye will look at this team as a winner.  So, in the short term, Ainge has made a reason to give a damn about a Celtic team that has every opportunity to be as interesting as watching concrete harden, and done so with a team for whom nobody can possibly have realistic lofty expectations.

For Brad Stevens, this a brilliant career move no matter what happens. In the unlikely event he turns the Celtics into an instant winner, then he is a successful coach on one of the NBA’s flagship franchises. But in the event that he doesn’t see the end of that 6-year deal, he still just made “set for life” money.

But it is that last possibility which is both the most likely and ironically offers the most positive options for Stevens.

I’ve already mentioned the first one. While I don’t know all the details of this contract, I would be willing to bet there is a nice buy-out clause, especially after year three.  So win or lose, Brad Stevens isn’t going to be sweating his kids’ college tuition.

He already is gold as far as being a college coach is concerned, and his stock only goes up with NBA experience on his resume. If he ends up going back to the college game, he can tell recruits that he knows first-hand what it takes to play with the big boys. It’s no accident that both Rick Pitino and John Calipari became hausmeisters of the college game after having had stints in the NBA.

It is that experience in the big leagues that allows for the trade-up in jobs as well. Failing in the NBA only led to bigger and better things for many college coaches. John Calipari was plying his trade at places like Massachusetts before failing in the pros; afterward he is winning titles at Kentucky.

Speaking of Kentucky, let’s not forget that before winning an NCAA title at Louisville, Rick Pitino won one at Kentucky years before Calipari did, and that success in Lexington came from Pitino’s failure with the New York Knicks.  Then he doubled-down and got a job in the shadow of Churchill Downs after leaving the Kentucky bluegrass for the green of the Celtics. Without those stints in the NBA, does Pitino become the only coach in NCAA men’s basketball history to lead two different schools to national titles? To answer a question with another question, what is the correlation between winning in the NCAA and recruiting NBA-level talent? Discuss amongst yourselves.

This postulate doesn’t just apply to guys who have reached the peak of the NCAA mountain. There’s plenty of coaches who have fattened their college paychecks on a corn-fed diet of NBA failure.

Lon Kruger had moderate success in the feeder ranks SEC and Big Ten, until he got a shot in the bigs with the Atlanta Hawks. The Peachtree City was not kind to Kruger; he went 25-57 in his first season and got fired in his third.  Since then, Kruger went back to campus at UNLV and Oklahoma, where he has led teams to the NCAA tourney in five out of nine seasons.

For a long time, Leonard Hamilton was known simply as one of the first of many of Michael Jordan’s many failed experiments with the Washington Wizards coaching spot. His Airness snagged Hamilton from the Miami Hurricanes whom he led to three straight NCAA tournaments from 1997-2000. His sole season in the NBA ended with a 19-63 mark. Since then, he has elevated the Florida State hoops program from a perennial NIT loser to regular NCAA dancer, so much so that the powers that be in Tallahassee just upped his contract to the tune of $2.25 million per year, second only to the sainted Mike Krzyzewski in the ACC.

Even beyond that, Stevens can always be a P.J. Carlisemo type, meaning that he made his bones as a college coach, which allowed him to fail multiple times as a head coach in the NBA.  Carlesimo has been the head coach of four different NBA teams, only to a compile a record well under .500.  However, Carlesimo has won three NBA rings as an assistant coach on Gregg Popovich’s staff in San Antonio, and as an interim coach with this past season’s Brooklyn Nets, he posted a record of 35-19.  During all that time, Carlesimo has made “set for life” money multiple times.

What it all comes down to is that Butler fans can be as butt-hurt as they want over Stevens’ departure, but if they didn’t understand this was a possibility, then they are delusional.  What is more delusional than that is expecting that he wouldn’t when offered a stupidly fat deal. The only thing possibly more delusional than that is expecting that Stevens can make the Celtics relevant anytime soon.

But, it isn’t like that matters.





Dennis Rodman Thinks He Deserves The Nobel Peace Prize – It’s Not Nearly As Ridiculous As It Sounds

3 07 2013

dennis rodman kim jong un

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still ridiculous, but not as much as you might think.  To understand this, we have to break down yesterday’s article in the Washington Post.

It’s been a busy year for Dennis Rodman, the former NBA bad-boy-turned-diplomat.

Yeah, I know that first sentence screams this whole thing is going to be an exercise is complete absurdity, but just go with it for a minute.

He’s traveled to North Korea. He’s talked with Kim Jong Un and pronounced him a “friend for life.” He’s gone to Vatican City and kindly offered to assist with the selection of a new pope. All of which leads him to one conclusion: He should win the Nobel Peace Prize, like some sort of blond, pierced, tattooed version of, oh, Jimmy Carter or Al Gore.

Yeah, I know once you read the line “blond, pierced, tattooed version of, oh, Jimmy Carter or Al Gore” you just about threw up on your keyboard, but think about it. It’s pretty hard to name two guys who fucked up American credibility in the world more than Jimmy “Sure, take my people hostage” Carter or Al “I invented the internet” Gore. So, what more damage can a guy do who looks like the result of a one-nighter between a  circus freak and RuPaul?

“My mission is to break the ice between hostile countries,” Rodman told Sports Illustrated in an interview for its annual “Where are they now?” issue. “Why it’s been left to me to smooth things over, I don’t know. Dennis Rodman, of all people. Keeping us safe is really not my job; it’s the black guy’s [that would be President Obama] job. But I’ll tell you this: If I don’t finish in the top three for the next Nobel Peace Prize, something’s seriously wrong.”

See, this is where it gets good. Rodman takes it upon himself to reach out to North Korea, which makes him the only American doing so. His so-called “black guy” is simply doing a lot of pointless saber-rattling which nobody takes seriously. If the North Koreans made the kinds of threats they are making now when Ronald Reagan was president, the entirely of North Korea would still be a glowing wasteland. But politics aside, what this really boils down to is that Rodman has a legitimate claim.

Rodman, who said in March that “I want to be anywhere in the world that I’m needed,” plans to return to North Korea next month.

“I’m just gonna chill, play some basketball and maybe go on vacation with Kim and his family,” Rodman said. “I’ve called on the Supreme Leader to do me a solid by releasing Kenneth Bae.”

Bae, a Korean-American missionary, has been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for what North Korea claims are crimes against the state.

Think about it. Rodman has actually taken up the cause of a guy who is basically a political prisoner. That’s one hell of a better reason to get the Nobel Prize than some of the other assloafs who have received it recently. Just look at some examples. Hell, the Washington Post piece names three of the most laughable.

Barack Obama – The official reason for giving him this award was “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”  The Nobel committee made this statement when Obama had only been in office for two months, and literally hadn’t even gotten unpacked yet.  But when he finally did start acting as a peacemaker, he expanded a war that he promised to end and took personal credit for killing Osama Bin Laden.

Al Gore – The Nobel committee’s reason for this award is even more laughable than Obama’s: “for efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.” What that really means is Al Gore has been saving the environment while jetting around in his own private plane and racking up electric bills in the range of tens of thousands dollars at his private residence. It also means he is being feted for advancing an “environmental” cause which punishes developed economies for not being backward shitholes, but does nothing to stop third-world countries from turning the rain forests into chopsticks and cheap furniture.

Jimmy Carter – This one would make you laugh until you puked, if it weren’t so blatantly stupid. Carter’s award was given with the logic “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.” Let’s take a look at what that really means:

  • As governor of Georgia in 1972, Carter signed state legislation in the wake of the Supreme Court’s banning of capital punishment not only re-instating the death penalty in Georgia, but expanding it to crimes that were not previously eligible.
  • Carter got involved with the North Korean problem in 1994 to negotiate a nuclear non-proliferation treaty which was another just worthless piece of paper.  Had it worked, we wouldn’t even need this Rodman adventure.
  • Carter held summits in Egypt and Tunisia in 1995 and 1996 to address the genocide going on in the Great Lakes region of Africa, which stopped absolutely nothing.
  • Carter is loved by the United Nation for his consistently anti-Israeli positions which have done nothing but to encourge Arab violence.

Stacked up against all that, what Rodman is doing isn’t nearly as buffoonish as it sounds on its’ face. Granted, his buffoonish appearance and buffoonish behavior explain why nobody will take him seriously, and his words don’t really help either.

“Fact is, [Kim] hasn’t bombed anywhere he’s threatened to yet. Not South Korea, not Hawaii, not … whatever. People say he’s the worst guy in the world. All I know is Kim told me he doesn’t want to go to war with America. His whole deal is to talk basketball with Obama,” Rodman said. “Unfortunately, Obama doesn’t want to have anything to do with him. I ask, Mr. President, what’s the harm in a simple phone call? This is a new age, man. Come on, Obama, reach out to Kim and be his friend.”

Yeah, I know that is a pretty dumb comment on more levels than I care to discuss, but like him or not, Rodman is doing something you would be hard-pressed to get Americans to do these days. He’s putting his ass on the line. Rodman enjoys no political cover, nor does he have any threat of American muscle behind him, unlike a former President.  He is a guy who easily could have ended up stashed away in the North Korean version of the gulag on a whim of Kim Jong Un. It’s not like the North Koreans don’t already have a reputation for tossing foreigners into their prisons just because they feel like it.

Like it or not, another reason why Rodman will be ridiculed for this move is that Rodman is actually flying in the face of what is accepted as conventional American wisdom. To see an example of that, all you have to do is wait for the first Prius-driving pain in the ass to write me some bullshit comment because the laughable Noble winners I mentioned are all saints in the modern American liberal religion. They will hurl invective at me, then bask in a sense of self-satisfaction over a mocha latte they made from beans they bought from their local co-op. Of course, they will miss the point that all of their bullshit causes accomplish nothing because they never actually do anything.

If you doubt that just go to any American university and take a look around. The first time you see somebody espousing some political cause (and it won’t take long to see that), go up tio them and ask them what they hope to accomplish. Don’t let them off the hook easy, ask for a specific, quantifiable result. 9,999 times out of 10,000, they will give you an answer that has something to do with “generating awareness.”  That is precisely why I weep for the future of this country.

Once upon a time, our universities produced people who were going to make a difference because not only did they know how to do something, they actually went out and did it.  Now, they pump out art history majors who do nothing but bitch and moan about everything under the sun, but they think you effect change by posting shit on their Facebook pages or wearing those stupid-ass rubber cause bracelets. That may work in a country where liberal dip-shittery has succeeded in shaping social consciousness, especially here where all the so-called “tough-guy conservatives” keep knuckling under to these tofu-eating pussies or exercising their 2nd Amendment rights to shoot themselves in the foot.

What it comes down to is that to effect change outside of the U.S., at some point you have to put down you Ipad, get off your futon and go fucking do something. Rodman may not be smart enough to know what he is doing, and he may be crazy enough to not how dangerous it really is, or vice versa. But the point is he’s doing it, which is more than I can say for any of our soft, blog-reading asses.

rodman kicks cameraman

Besides, when you look at some of the ridiculous reasons they’ve awarded Nobel Prizes, why not have a peace prize laureate who once kicked a cameraman in the nuts?





The Dubsism Breakdown of the 2013 NBA Draft, or Why Your Team Blew It In 50 Words or Less

3 07 2013

nba draft logo

Realistically, the title should tell you all need to know, so rather than waste a lot of time with some sappy introduction, let’s just get down to how your team blew it’s draft.

Round #1

1) Cleveland Cavaliers: Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV

Bennett is a solid pick despite what the pointy-heads at ESPN think. All he needs to be an elite scorer is a great point guard. Of course, the Cavaliers won’t get him one, because they are the Cavaliers.

2) Orlando Magic: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana

This guy will contribute right away.  The question is will anybody else in Orlando?

3) Washington Wizards: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown

Its hard to criticize this pick, but the Wizards are so snake-bit, this poor kid is probably going to shatter his femur falling out of the team bus.

4) Charlotte Bobcats: Cody Zeller, PF, Indiana

My fellow SportsBlogMovement member Ryan Graham thinks Zeller is doomed to be the next Joel Pryzbilla. The Bobcats-soon-to-be-Hornets will be lucky if Zeller turns out to be that good.

5) Phoenix Suns: Alex Len, C, Maryland

I just don’t trust a big who looks like he just learned about playing in the low-post yesterday.

6) New Orleans Pelicans: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky

The best way to get me to not trust a big is to tell me he’s already got bad knees. The Pelicans made the right move sending this guy to Philadelphia, where they know all about big guys with bad knees. Maybe Noel can use Anderw Bynum’s wheelchair.

7) Sacramento Kings: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas

First of all, I don’t trust Kansas players in the NBA, and especially not this guy.  He’s the classic all-or-nothing sort of player. My guess is the Kings get nothing.

8) Detroit Pistons: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia

Coming from a lousy Georgia team will prove to be the perfect training for playing on a lousy Pistons team.

9) Minnesota Timberwolves: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan

Remember the last time the Timberwolves traded a guard on draft day? I’m pretty sure Ray Allen remembers the draft day Minnesota picked him, then shipped his ass off to Milwaukee for dealt for Stephon “Didn’t suck for four seasons at the most” Marbury. This trade virtually guarantees that Trey Burke will end up in the Hall of Fame, while Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Deng are likely to end up as Ndudi Ebi, or worse, Malik Sealy.

Shut up, it isn’t too soon.

10) Portland Trail Blazers:  C.J. McCollum, PG, Lehigh

McCollum is the first player ever drafted from Lehigh, a small college in Pennsylvania best-known for producing NASCAR legend Roger Penske and the guy who played Ralph Malph on “Happy Days.” He was also a key cog of the Lehigh team that knocked Duke out of the NCAA Tournament, so draw your own conclusions.

11) Philadelphia 76ers: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse

It’s not like the Sixers have anything to lose here. The Andrew Bynum deal destroyed this team, and they could improve even by having Anson Williams playing point guard.  That’s right, you just got back-to-back “Happy Days” references.

12) Oklahoma City Thunder: Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh

This guy is more raw than sushi made by an apprentice chef.  He’s got the hands of Herman Munster and the strength of baby aspirin. He has as much chance to contribute as I do getting elected Pope while having a threesome with Bigfoot and Amelia Earhart.

13) Boston Celtics (via Dallas Mavericks): Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga

If Mel Kiper covered the NBA Draft, he’d be saying the Mavericks have no idea what the draft is all about. They could have had Olynyk, who easily could have easily been the replacement for the aging Dirk Nowitzki, then they dealt that pick to Atlanta for Barry Larkin’s kid. I wonder if Mavericks’ head coach Rick Carlisle is as hard on shortstops as he is on point guards.

14) Minnesota Timberwolves (via Utah Jazz): Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA

This was the first of the two picks Minnesota got for Trey Burke, which means the Timberwolves get to be the ones to find out if this guy can hit an NBA three-pointer. If he can’t, he’s going to end up working at a 7-11, like every other guy named Shabazz.

15) Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Adetokundo, SF, Greece

This guy has a reputation as being NBA-ready at 18 and for having a boatload of athleticism.  That means he’s going to do really well for the team he signs with when he hits free-agency.

16) Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics): Lucas Nogueira, C, Brazil

This guy was slated to be coming from the relative obscurity of Brazilian basketball directly into the soon-to-be-obscurity of Celtic basketball. But thanks to a series of trades, he will now languish in the mediocrity of the Atlanta Hawks. Who knows, this guy could turn out to be a pretty good player; he also could be a Portuguese-speaking Darko Milicic.

17) Atlanta Hawks: Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany

The thinking on acquiring Lucas Nogueria has to be getting a big to go with Al Horford in the front court, which isn’t a bad idea.  Getting a top-flight point guard like Schroeder who can feed some front-court scoring options is an even better idea. This can only means the Hawks have figured out the a future which includes getting farther than the second round of the playoffs does not include a backcourt with guys like Devin Harris, Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver playing 30+ minutes per game.

18) Dallas Mavericks (via Atlanta Hawks): Shane Larkin, PG, Miami (FL)

Larkin was the key to a Miami team that was a lot of people’s NCAA Tournament darling last spring. He has a very solid chance to be the core of the Mavericks rebuilding movement. I just don’t what else the Mavs will get to go with him.

19) Cleveland Cavaliers: Sergey Karasev, SF, Russia

Here’s another foreign player we really don’t know that much about, but he has all the hallmarks of being the real deal.  All tolled, I think the Cavaliers could be interesting to watch very soon. Not good, but interesting.

20) Chicago Bulls: Tony Snell, SG, New Mexico

As far as two-guards go, Snell is solid, but lacks the upside of Allen Crabbe. As far as the Bulls go, why are they taking another two-guard? Does this mean they are not a s sure about Derrick Rose’s knee as they all wanted us to believe?

21 ) Minnesota Timberwolves (via Utah Jazz): Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville

The second pick the Timberwolves got for Trey Burke.  Tune in to your next episode of Hoarders, because between Kevin Love and Dieng, that’s what Minnesota will be doing with defensive rebounds. This could easily be the first team to lead the league in defensive boards and not win 40 games.

22) Brooklyn Nets: Mason Plumlee, C, Duke

Another Duke big destined to languish in the NBA. Cherokee Parks, anyone?

23) Indiana Pacers: Solomon Hill, SF, Arizona

The one thing the Pacers need is a big-time scorer. Hill isn’t that guy, so I really don’t get this pick. Maybe they let Pat Riley make this pick for them.

24) New York Knicks: Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan

So, the Knicks draft a guard who a) doesn’t pass the ball on to be on a team with Carmelo Anthony, and b) likely couldn’t hit six out of ten free throws on a bet. Discuss amongst yourselves.

25) Los Angeles Clippers select: Reggie Bullock, SG, North Carolina

Being a two-guard for the Clippers is kind of like being the second-string quarterback. You don’t matter much, and even when you get to play, the offense isn’t geared for you. The Clippers whole offense is about point guards feeding an isolated wing and the good, old pick-and-roll, which doesn’t bode well for a classic “catch-and-shoot” guy. Bullock better learn to play defense and steal if he wants to see the ball.

26) Oklahoma City Thunder (via Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves) Andre Roberson, PF, Colorado

The first “meh” pick of the draft, meaning I don’t really have an opinion on this guy one way or the other.  At least he is on a team that will give him every opportunity to succeed; it’s not like Oklahoma doesn’t love a big forward.

27) Utah Jazz (via Denver Nuggets): Rudy Gobert, C, France

It shouldn’t be a shock that the scouts love the footwork and question the work ethic of a player from France, the country that brought you the Can-Can and the 35-hour work week.

28) San Antonio Spurs: Livio Jean-Charles, SF, French Guiana

In another move designed to keep San Antonio as the “United Nations” of the NBA…Either way, this guy is a project, so don’t expect to see him in the NBA for at least two years.

29) Phoenix Suns (via Oklahoma City Thunder): Archie Goodwin, SG, Kentucky

I don’t think the Suns needed to move up to get this guy, who was highly-recruited at “One-and-Done” Kentucky, largely because he was an underachiever there. He’s a “wait-and-see” guy at best.

30) Golden State Warriors (via Phoenix Suns): Nemanja Nedovic, PG, Serbia

Another European known for athleticism and versatility, but I’m not sold on this guy’s game translating to the NBA.

Second Round:

31) Cleveland Cavaliers: Allen Crabbe, SG, California

This is why they are the Cleveland Cavaliers. They need a point guard, so they draft a shooter. when they could have traded to get a point guard, they didn’t. When they finally did make a deal, they did it for future picks when they need to rebuild now.

32) Oklahoma City Thunder: Alex Abrines, SG, Spain

I think the Thunder see Ricky Rubio in this guy. In a year, they might be seeing Ricky Ricardo.

33) Cleveland Cavaliers: Carrick Felix, SG, Arizona State

Not a bad pick at this spot, but still waiting for that point guard to feed Anthony Bennett.

34) Houston Rockets: Isaiah Canaan, PG, Murray State

Probably the best religious sounding name since God Shammgod, but a better one for him would be David Goliath, because he loves to take on the big boys under the basket a bit too much.

35) Washington Wizards: (from Philadelphia 76ers): Glen Rice Jr., SF, Georgia Tech

Here’s the prototypical guy who could a be a great player in this league, and could also be a complete head case. Given the aforementioned luck of the Wizards, which do you think they get?

36) Sacramento Kings: Ray McCallum, PG, Detroit

McCallum has tremendous athleticism, but passes like a kidney stone.

37) Detroit Pistons: Tony Mitchell, PF, North Texas

Another freakishly good athlete with poorly-developed basketball skills. Should be a solid 7th or 8th guy on the bench.

38) Washington Wizards: Nate Wolters, PG, South Dakota State

I didn’t understand why this guy fell to the second round until I read USA Today’s assessment of him. See if you can spot the “code words.”

“Wolters is a big point guard with a great shot, but he will have trouble keeping up with the pace of the NBA. He may be able to play shooting guard at times, too, which could be good off the bench.”

In other words, he’s a white guy who isn’t from a former Yugoslav republic.

39) Portland Trail Blazers: Jeff Withey, C, Kansas

A tree of a shot-blocker, and also about as mobile as one. Watching him teamed with Meyers Leonard could be like seeing Frankenstein playing the Incredible Hulk.

40) Portland Trail Blazers: Grant Jerrett, PF, Arizona

Another pithy USA Today observation:

“Jerrett has a big frame and a great jump shot, but he left college after one season and will require patience. Still, in five years, he could be a starter if everything breaks right.”

That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement. What it really means is that in five years, this guy will be reaching things on the top shelf for the little old ladies who shop at Kmart. This is likely why Portland blue-light specialed him to Oklahoma City for cash.

41) Memphis Grizzlies: Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State

Another guy who slipped out of a first-round projection, Franklin is another guy with off-the-chart athleticism. He has the body of a shooting guard, but has no perimeter skills. He plays like a power forward, which the Grizzlies are already stocked on.

42) New Orleans Pelicans (via Philadelphia 76ers): Pierre Jackson, PG, Baylor

Earl Boykins meets the D-League. And just hao many guards does this team need?

43) Milwaukee Bucks: Ricky Ledo, SG, Providence

This guy shows how desperate NBA teams are for talent. This guy never even played at Providence because of eligibility issues, and yet there were projection putting this guy in the low first round.

44) Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks): Mike Muscala, C, Bucknell

Don’t look now, but the Hawks may have landed the steal of this draft.  He’s a solid athlete for a big and he is the best low-post scorer in this draft.

45) Portland Trail Blazers: Marko Todorovic, C, Serbia

He’s a big who can’t play the low-post. Odds are he never leaves Europe.

46) Denver Nuggets (via Utah Jazz): Erick Green, PG, Virginia Tech

My next pick for steal of the draft. This guy was of the year on in the ACC on team comprised of Green and four chunks of lunchmeat. Given some talent around him, he could really be an impact player in the NBA.

47) Atlanta Hawks: Raul Neto, PG, Spain

Another guy who draws Ricky Rubio comparisons, and for more reasons than he is just Spanish. He’s already playing at the top level in Spain, and his game could easily translate to the NBA.

48) Los Angeles Lakers: Ryan Kelly, PF, Duke

Another big from Duke…See Mason Plumlee.

49) Chicago Bulls: Erik Murphy, PF, Florida

A three-point shooting power forward who doesn’t like to get under the basket to rebound. Pass.

50) Miami Heat (via Atlanta Hawks): James Ennis, SF, Long Beach State

A far-end of the bench guy at best, but the Heat need depth.

51) Orlando Magic: Romero Osby, PF, Oklahoma

A solid front-court guy in college and can be a solid contributor on defense. But Orlando is where talent goes to be under-utilized, and role playesr get D-league tickets.

52) Minnesota Timberwolves: Lorenzo Brown, PG, N.C. State

This guy is first-round talent with a bar-league work ethic. The Wolves need depth at the point because of Ricky Rubio’s durability, but Brown is a risk. Then again, that’s what the second round is for.

53) Boston Celtics (via Indiana Pacers): Colton Iverson, C, Colorado State

Big and raw, but an imposing physical presence who will toughen anybody’s frontcourt. As a player, improved dramatically in one year at Colorado State after escaping Tubby Smith’s basketball graveyard in Minnesota.

54) Philadelphia 76ers (via Washington Wizards): Arsalan Kazemi, PF, Iran

Since Theo Ratliff and Dikembe Mutoumbo left towm, the 76ers clearly do not understand the “big” positions, and this pick proves that. Why would you draft a guy as a power forward who is a) a project at best, b) a rebounder over everything else and c) 6’7″ and too small to play power forward in the NBA?

55) Denver Nuggets (via Memphis Grizzlies) select: Joffrey Lauvergne, PF, Mulhouse

Denver gives up C Kosta Koufos for this draft pick and PF Darrell Arthur.  Lauvergne has all the hallmarks of another European big who won’t see the light of day in the NBA. If anybody can make sense of this trade, please let me know.

56) Detroit Pistons: Peyton Siva, PG, Louisville

The only reason this pick wouldn’t work for the Pistons is that they are the Pistons. Despite that, Maurice Cheeks should make this guy into a solid NBA guard.

57) Phoenix Suns: Alex Oriakhi, PF, Missouri

Oriakhi was part of the 2011 National Championship team at Connecticut, then transferred to Missouri. He’s another big frontcourt banger with limited basketball skill.

58) San Antonio Spurs: Deshaun Thomas, SF, Ohio State

A smart guy who can score who should fit well in the Popovich scheme of things, despite the fact he is too small to be a power forwards and a bit to clunky to be a small forward.

59) Minnesota Timberwolves: Bojan Dubljevic, PF, Montenegro

Dubljevic is a skilled player perfect for adding some frontcourt depth for Minnesota, especially with the free-agent departure of Andrei Kirilenko.

60) Memphis Grizzlies: Janis Timma, SF, Latvia

This guy isn’t even a factor in Latvia. The D-League is probably the best this guy can hope for.





Before We Get Carried Away…The Miami Heat Are Not The NBA’s Newest Dynasty

21 06 2013

lebron james dynasty

I know you are going to be shocked by this, but here comes another Dubsism rant that flies in the face of popular opinion and the bilge being pumped out by ESPN.

First, let’s be magnanimous. The Heat won their second straight NBA Championship last night, and for that, I only have one word. Congratulations. Winning a title in any professional league is tough enough; winning consecutive championships is tougher than getting through an afternoon with your in-laws while simultaneously battling a toothache and hemorrhoidal flare-up.

Secondly, let’s be honest. This accomplishment has the Lebron-ists at ESPN in full throat, both figuratively and literally. My feelings about the World Wide Bottom-Feeder are only a secret to those who have never read this blog; all you have to do is look at the contents of my “ESPN” tag to understand that.  All morning, the World Wide Bottom Feeder has been having yet another LeBron-gasm, and there’s one big thing I’ve heard that I just can’t let go unchallenged. For some reason in this country, we have this compulsive need to overstate things. What is happening this morning with LeBron James and the Heat is the perfect example, and ESPN isn’t the only guilty party.

So far this morning, I’ve heard the “LeBron is the greatest of all-time” get progressively louder; I can ignore them because I’ve already destroyed that argument. I’ve heard a lot of stuff about how this could be the end of the San Antonio Spurs. That might be true, after all we all know time moves forward, and no team has more time behind them than San Antonio.  But we’ve been hearing that for years now, and it still hasn’t happened.  After all that, the one thing I’m hearing today that I have to challenge is the notion that the Miami Heat are now a dynasty.

Bullshit…unequivocal, uncut, flies-circling-it bullshit.

This is just the media getting carried away with itself, because to say the Heat are now a dynasty ignores three undeniable facts.

1) Even thought the definition of “dynasty” is subjective, the Heat still don’t meet it.

I’ll admit that I’m a very “old-school” guy when it comes to definitions, and that of “dynasty” is no exception. When you say “dynasty” to me, I picture the Minneapolis Lakers who won 5 championships in 6 seasons. I picture the Boston Celtics who won 11 titles between 1957 and 1970. I picture the 1980′s, where there were only two teams not named the Lakers or the Celtics to win an NBA title.

But since then, several factors have changed the NBA, and therefore have changed what a “dynasty” is.  Those factors include “big-money free-agency,” league expansion, and the influx of foreign players Let’s look at what I would call NBA “dynasties” since those factors came into play:

  • The Michael Jordan-era Chicago Bulls – six titles in eight seasons.
  • The Kobe Bryant-era Los Angeles Lakers – five titles in eleven seasons.
  • The Tim Duncan-era San Antonio Spurs – four titles in nine seasons.

Now, you can look at the list of NBA champions and say that last night’s win gave the Heat their third NBA Championship in eight seasons, which is true. At best, taking that consideration only puts the Heat on the cusp on the conversation. they would still need to win again next year to match the Spurs accomplishment.

But even if the Heat three-peat, I would not consider them to be a “dynasty” for one big reason. Every other team I’ve mentioned here as a “dynasty” has one thing in common. During their dynasty years (with the sole exception of the Boston Celtics of the 80s who are also arguably not a “dynasty”), they all had the same coach and the same star player.

  • Minneapolis Lakers: Coach, John Kundla; Star Player, George Mikan
  • Boston Celtics of the 60s: Coach, Red Auerbach; Star Player, Bill Russell
  • Los Angeles Lakers of the 80s Coach, Pat Riley; Star Player, Magic Johnson
  • Boston Celtics of the 80s: Coaches Bill Fitch & K.C. Jones; Star Player Larry Bird
  • Chicago Bulls: Coach, Phil Jackson; Star Player, Michael Jordan
  • San Antonio Spurs: Coach Gregg Popovich; Star Player, Tim Duncan

That means that for purposes of calling the Heat a “dynasty” means the 2006 NBA Championship can’t be counted because the head coach of that team was Stan Van Gundy (who was fired mid-season in favor of Pat Riley), and the star player was Dwyane Wade.  The current consecutive NBA champs are a team which is coached by Eric Spoelstra and revolves around LeBron James.

2)  This team may  not survive long enough to meet even the lowest definition of “dynasty.”

Lets say the Heat “three-peat” in 2014. I have a hard time calling a “three-peat” the sole requirement for a “dynasty,”  because there needs to be a time  factor associated with being a “dynasty.”  The NFL gives the best example of this. Had the New England Patriots, won either of the two Super Bowls, they would be called a “dynasty” because they would have won four championships in either a seven or eleven year period.  “Three-peats” or going three out of four doesn’t get you the “dynasty”  tag because in the era of free-agency era, six  years seems to be the bare-minimum time period considered to be “dynasty”-worthy.  The Dallas Cowboys of the early 1990′s won three Super Bowls in four years just like the Patriots did, and both are not called “dynasties” as a matter of common practice.  But the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970′s who won four Lombardi Trophies in six season are.

There seems to be a criteria set out for being called a “dynasty” and it seems to be best exemplified by either the San Antonio Spurs or the Joe Montana-era San Francisco 49ers, who each won four titles in a nine-season spam.  The “dynasty” period is measured by the first and last championship, it has to be at least six years long (ostensibly because the “useful” part of star-player contracts are almost never longer than that), you must have won a significant number of championships in that time, and in the years you didn’t win, you still had to be amongst the leagues’ elite.  So, if the Brady/Belichick  Patriots win another super Bowl before the end of their era, they are a “dynasty” in my book, and they don’t then they aren’t.

So, what the hell does that have to do with the Heat? It’s actually rather simple. For me to consider this team a “dynasty,” they have to remain one of the league’s best team for at least four more years, and they have to win  at least two more championships in the next four years.

That begs the question as to what this team will look like in four years.  LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh all have early-termination options in their contracts at the end of the 2015 season, and player options for no less than $21.6 million each at the end of 2016. That means that right now, the projections have the amount of salary owed to the “Big Three” in 2015 to be right around $65.3 million, and the salary cap for that season is expected to be approximately $62 million. But since it’s a soft cap, the threshold before a team has to pay the “luxury tax” should be about $76 million.

To make a long story short, one of the “Big Three” isn’t going to be around in 2016, because the Heat need to pay nine other players. Not to mention, they are going to need to deal with the fact that Dwyane Wade is in the back-end of his career and his knees are only getting worse, Chris Bosh is a ten-year vet who starting to show some signs of “big-guy” wear and tear, and that at the end of his current contract, LeBron James will be at the end of his 13th NBA season in a league where finding guys who contribute past twelve seasons is rare.

Couple that with the fact that as of right now, the Heat are $26 million over the salary cap, and the one thing that becomes certain is that this team is going to have a fair amount of different faces by the time we get to the “dynasty” deadline.”

3) There’s way too much competition out there. 

Not only are the Heat quietly getting old, but there is some serious young competition on the rise. The Chicago Bulls, who were as beat up as Tina Turner after Ike got a bad eight-ball, took the Heat to six games. They are only going to get better. The Pacers, who are younger than Gary Glitter’s choices in a Vietnamese brothel, took the Heat to seven games. They are only going to get better.

And that’s just in the East. This past play-off season showed that there is a changing of the guard happening in the West. There’s a youth movement driving teams like the Golden State Warriors, The Denver Nuggets, the Memphis Grizzlies, and most importantly, the Oklahoma City Thunder. We must not forget that the entire complexion of this play-off season changes with the presence of a healthy Russell Westbrook.

Here’s another spot where I must be fair. I have to give props to ESPN’s Kurt Rambis because he said a lot of the things I’ve pointed out in this piece. That’s why he is likely bound and gagged in a basement somewhere under ESPN’s compound in Bristol, Connecticut.  The problem is that the ESPNazis can’t silence everybody.








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