Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008: The Year In (three) Pictures.

So I generally don't like doing these year in review things. Plus, with ADBD being about half a year old, that wouldn't make much sense would it now? So I was on AOL Canada and they had a photo thread on Sports Photos of the Year. Tons of great stuff there from every sport imaginable and some fantastic photography. There was over 230 AP images, approximately 20 of them were basketball related, including the pics of Jack Nicholson and Sam Cassell getting out of a chair, I decided to share 3 of the best.

nuff said.

2008 NBA Finals, my how the league can milk a rivalry.

DJ Augustin getting his Little Miss Giggles on as part of rookie hazing at the Charlotte Bobcats training camp.

Yes. That's it.
All the best for 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Steve Nash Interview: NBC Sports Is That The Best You Could Do?

Phoenix Suns point guard and Canadian hoops icon Steve Nash sat down with Graham Bensinger from NBC Sports recently. Call me ignorant, but I had no idea who Bensinger was until today, and didn't even think he interviewed athletes until I checked out his site. The segment where he asks Nash about all of his drunken adventures was painful and pointless. I also like how he asks Nash about the prospect of "going home" and playing for the New York Knicks. Doesn't going home constitute returning to the place of your upbringing? Bensinger should have just flat out said he didn't know where Victoria was.

Enough about the interviewer, Nash touched on the changes in Phoenix, being a point guard, his foundation, his drive and potential destinations once his contract is up, all in his signature laid back, earnest and honest style.

I think I would have just wanted to hear more out of Steve Nash than what said interviewer delivered, there is so much to this guy, but I guess I'll just save it for the ABDB interview.

To view all of the segments log on to NBC Sports.

We Have More To Thank China For Than Yao Ming... Streaming Pirate NBA Games Online!

The Toronto Raptors incited an uproar when they sold 25 of their regular season games off to The Sports Network, (TSN). TSN in turn packaged the games onto their new digital satellite channel TSN 2, the kicker being that TSN 2 wasn't being picked up by practically every Canadian's cable provider, Rogers. Of course this wasn't in the public consciousness until just prior to the kick off of the season, making it a pain for many to change up their complete cable game. Meanwhile there are claims to resolve this situation with nothing really forthcoming.

So what has the alternative been to watching the games you just can't see on TV? Streaming them online. This is basically piracy though, many like myself would deem otherwise. The NBA definitely sides with the latter, and according to The New York Times is getting together with other sports leagues around the world to do something about it. An interesting article where they feel unlike the music industry, it doesn't make sense to sue the individuals that are streaming the bootleg games, but shutting down the sites and working with the local governments is the solution.

While I can understand the necessity for foreign countries that don't have the access to North American sports as we do, as well as the need to shut it down, a Rockets and Mavericks game last season streamed to over 1.1 million, (mainly in China). Can they really explain the bonehead moves made by local corporations to cash in on a deal and leave their fans and consumers hanging in the balance?
Can they?

Rant over.

The Best Missed Dunks Ever.

We're not talking about Chris Andersen missed dunks, more like don't-try-this-at-home kinda stuff. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Vancouver, That Rocky Mountain High.

Vancouver is one of my favourite Canadian cities, but for basketball? Not so much. The Vancouver Grizzlies joined the NBA with the Toronto Raptors in 1995, yet both franchises took decidedly different paths. If a team's destiny can be predicted by their initial draft picks you need only look at Damon Stoudamire, the eventual Rookie of the Year, and Bryant Reeves, who's career was cut short due to injury after 6 seasons. It's no secret the Griz packed up and left town for Memphis in 2001, there were a number of reasons between bad management and by virtue weak personnel, shady ownership and poor attendance. Meanwhile at GM Place, Vancouver hockey fans continue to wait 38 years for the Canucks to win their first Stanley Cup.

The Vancouver Courier's Rick Hasiuk laments, that part of the reason they are gone is that the NBA is a "ghetto gutter." (Oh no he didn't). Now before you go off on his asinine quasi-racist comments, please keep in mind his only other claim to fame is winning the Courier's first annual beard-growing contest. I'm not going to call out and comment on what he has said, many have done so already. I'm just extending an invitation to Mr. Hasiuk to articulate or possibly even take both feet out of his mouth, I'd love to give you a forum and speak with you on what you were trying to say, or just tell you how wrong you are. Seriously and in all honesty, hit me up.

In other breaking news Steve Francis was traded to the team that drafted him 10 years ago, as the Memphis Grizzlies acquired the injury riddled guard from the Houston Rockets for a draft pick and a box of cheesey poofs. While it's not quite Vancouver, the team he refused to play for after being drafted by them first overall, it's an ironic and fitting twist (or end), to his underwhelming career. Somewhere on Robson Street someone is lighting something up in celebration.

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Yeah, we all know Jordan is supposed to be getting married again, this time to Yvette Prieto, (hopefully Mike remembers a pre-nup this time. I'm not sure what Greg Oden is doing in this picture... Oh wait that's Charles Oakley, my bad. I'm not mad at the grey, although he does look like he's getting his Red Foxx on.

Amare... Meh.

Amare has picked up the Chris Bosh Viral Video book on lobbying for the All Star Game, but I don't think he read the chapter on creativity. Based on STAT's words and behaviour this season, this could very well be a true-life video as opposed to a parody. Unfortunately, it's just not terribly entertaining, he'll likely make it though, the game is in Phoenix this year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Do You Know This Man?

It's not much to go by really, but you know those times when a face is vaguely familiar, but you just can't place it?

Well the story goes like this... Heading south for the holidays, I did the cost effective drive to Buffalo to fly out to Atlanta. Landing in the ATL terminal the gentleman in question disembarked and was being chatted up by a couple of dudes, he then posed for a picture and was on his way. I knew he wasn't a rapper, a notable producer, or a recognizable actor, and he wasn't much bigger than me, so I ruled out athlete. By the D&G denim and hoodie I pegged him as an R&B artist, and as my contemporary R&B game is real weak, it's likely I may not know his identity. so I left it at that.

Moments later, bored as we waited for our baggage to come up, I was trying to figure if some clue would tip me off, then one of the man-fans stepped up beside me. "Yo man, who was that dude you took that picture with?" I asked. "That's Will Solomon", he replied. "Will Solomon from the Raptors?" I said, amazed at myself for not recognizing him. I almost laughed out loud as one of my home team players had me stumped.

Two things surprised me: One, I clown Solomon every chance I get due to his ineffectiveness as a back up point guard and his penchant to shoot first and ask questions later. However he's never really on the court for more than 11 minutes a game which is why I probably didn't recognize him out of uniform. Secondly, why is an NBA player who makes over $700,000 a year doing the hour long drive from the T-Dot to the armpit of America at 7:00 AM? I mean I understand being fiscally responsible, but why not pay the extra $200 to fly out of Toronto? Unless maybe he's trying to duck haters like myself in Toronto.

Well in the spirit of the holidays, I didn't hate, just gave him a head nod and went about my merry way.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays from Rasheed Wallace and ABDB.

Wishing you and yours all the best for the holiday season and the new year.

All Balls Don't Bounce Attacks The Airwaves: ABDB vs The NBA Breakdown.

Today yours truly was a guest on the online radio show The NBA Breakdown, alongside my favourite hoopshead with three first names Peter Robert Casey. For the uninitiated, The NBA Breakdown is a weekly radio show on Blog Talk Radio hosted by Audley Stephenson and Dave Mendonca.

Kicking off in September of this year, it hasn't taken long for Audley and Dave to develop chemistry like Stockton and Malone and a playful and insightful rapport akin to Marv Albert and Mike Fratello. The vision for the show is a fun, high energy call-in basketball talk show which focuses on fantasy players, historical NBA moments and news from around the league through lively discussion. Today's episode didn't disappoint as it was effervescent, lively and a meeting of like minded basketball minds engaging on current issues and topics surrounding the league. There's no need for me to get into it, when you can just stream it online, but I will just let you know that a certain someone was victorious in the trivia challenge against Mendonca and Casey, *displays championship belt*.

The show has had a good panel of guests with former NBA players John Starks and Tracy Murray, SLAM Magazine Editor-In-Chief Ben Osborne, handle magazine Editor Brad Graham and former NBA guard and current Mayor of Sacramento Kevin Johnson among others on the show. Definitely check it out, not only as I was on the show, but despite their jokester nature, they're highly knowledgeable in their basketball and have quite plainly and simply developed a great show that fulfills their mantra "It's hoops talk, the way it should be"

The NBA Breakdown

Sneakers + Mike Epps + DJ AM + Kobe = 1:38 Seconds Of Fun.

Do you have enough confidence to play for the kicks on your feet? Well it's only a Nike commercial but some Air Yeezy's, Kobe Zoom IV's, Penny's, and Air Force II Espo's plus a few more are up for grabs in a show no mercy game of Horse.

Thanks to Freshness for always keeping it fresh.

Friday, December 19, 2008

From Riches To Rags.

Sometimes I wonder how wild I would get if I fell into some money, not just some money, but NBA-superstar-money. We've all seen MTV Cribs, we know how the better half are living, but I'm not necessarily curious to see if I would change, but just doing weird/vain things with my home like my man Dwayne Wade.


I'm not sure if it makes it better, but D-Wade sold the house in 2007, I'm sure the current inhabitants must take time out each day and wonder why this man has a sketch bust of himself on the wall...

The other side of the game is Derrick Coleman, a former #1 draft pick and NBA stud. Coleman had the pro game, but possessed a YMCA attitude. Never realizing his potential, and never really seeming to care, despite his gifts, he was an All-Star once in his 15 season career. Ironically the same amount of appearances he made on you-know-your-career-is-over TV show Pros vs Joes.

Now it seems that Coleman has fallen on tough times, liquidators are selling off his assets at 75% off.
Sherwood has been selected to handle the liquidation of the entire house of furniture and accessories from basketball star Derrick Coleman. All contents are in excellent condition and displayed at our warehouse for unbelievable savings.
While I hardly have any insight on Coleman's finances, it always makes me wonder when I see NBA player's excess, cars, exorbitant homes, etc. The kind of stuff that takes some players from rags to riches and back again.

D-Wade estate photos courtesy of The Hoop Doctors, Derrick Coleman bankruptcy news comes via Fanhouse.

Charles Barkley Doesn't Like Hard Bottom Shoes.

When I first saw the clip of George Bush under fire from an Iraqi journalists shoes, I couldn't stop laughing. I wanted to post it here, but it had no relevance to hoops, I mean they weren't even basketball sneakers.

But now that the Emmy Award winning crew at Inside the NBA decided to re-enact the global incident and it's even funnier. What's more is Charles and his real life aversion to hard bottom shoes, (he's known to wear sneakers with his suits behind the desk). Witness below.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

All Balls Don't Bounce Attacks The Small Screen: ABDB vs The Grill Room.

So it would appear I'm on a mini promotional tour of sorts. You know how Tom Cruise is promoting his latest movie Valkyrie, and he's everywhere, TV shows, magazines, Bar Mitzvahs? Well I have the lite version of that, as by some scheduling happenstance, I'm doing television (Casino Rama Grill Room) and radio (The NBA Breakdown), within 4 days of each other, hardly a whirlwind tour, but lots of fun. What pray tell is it that I'm promoting? Nothing but my own humble opinion which I do each and every day right here.

Today was The Grill Room, alongside Gareth Wheeler, (the host), it was Glen Shiller from The Score, Sherman Hamilton from Raptors TV and myself. We talked a lot about the Raps, (Bosh and Bargs), as well as Tiger Woods and Brett Favre. I had a lot of fun, it was basically like talking sports with your friends, although no one is talking over you, and throw in some lights and cameras. I was a little nervous, but got a little better as it progressed, although I think I flubbed my money shot.

The topic came up about Kevin Mchale and his statement that bloggers have influence over general managers leading to a lot of coaches getting fired this season, (I'm paraphrasing, but I will get into this in it's own post, believe me). So as they posed the question to the resident blogger, I said it was pretty ridiculous, but if we did have that influence as I turned and looked into the camera, I said "Bryan Colangelo you have to make some trades." The only thing is, I turned and looked into the wrong camera. Insert the don't-quit-your-day-job jokes here.

Oh well, it was a great experience, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out, expect a follow-up post with video, where you can throw darts, knives and comedic comments. The irony is that I've been in television studios countless times, but it's a completely different experience in front of the camera.

The Casino Rama Grill room is on tonight at 11pm on Sun TV (EST).
Next up radio...

Wipe Me Down.

I really have nothing good to say about the Toronto Raptors newest acquisition Jake Voskuhl. Actually, it's not really Jake's fault, he was likely sitting in a truckstop somewhere in middle America when Bryan Colangelo called him to offer a gig. Yet it's somewhat like Who Want's to be a Millionaire? When you make that lifeline call, it should definitely be to someone who can assist, not the person who is going to say, "Hmm, you're right, that is a tough question." The answer may lie in the You Tube clip below entitled Shawn Marion uses Jake Voskuhl as a toilet paper.

One of Colangelo's first brilliant moves when he came to Toronto was ridding ourselves of Rafael Araujo. With Voskuhl's arrival it's almost as bad as bringing Araujo him back.

Thanks to Hoop Head North for the hidden gem.

Monday, December 15, 2008

One-Hundred Posts.

Wilt Chamberlain's achievement of scoring 100 points in a game, will likely never be duplicated. But your bloggers favourite basketball blog has achieved a mini-milestone of sorts, as today is the 100th post on All Balls Don't Bounce. Really the genesis of this blog was some therapeutic self serving way to flex my hoops knowledge, not to get props or get on radio or TV shows, or in magazines. So to all of those that have commented or showed your support in any way, it has been greatly appreciated.

Sincerely, every time I want to just log out of my gmail and go to bed, I know that somebody, somewhere is actually curious about what I will write next.

So thanks, and here's to 100 more posts.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Breaking News: The World Isn't Flat & NBA Players are Balling In Low Cut Basketball Shoes.

Maybe it's because of his competitive spirit, his confidence that comes off as arrogance, or his all-consuming desire to be the best, but the world has a love-hate relationship with Kobe Bryant. With the launch of the new Zoom Kobe IV this week, many have felt that Bryant and Nike have read too many of their own press clippings by introducing a low cut signature basketball shoe.

But lest we forget that Gilbert Arenas and Steve Nash have been rocking lows for some time now, and they're hardly lower tier players. Kobe is driven, I can see him in the Nike boardroom demanding "Everyone is wearing the Hyperdunk. I want my shoes to be the lightest sneaker you've ever made." He doesn't care about the aesthetic, as we've seen from his prior sneakers. He just wants to be the best, and any way he can get an on court advantage he will take it, the Zoom Kobe IV weighs 11.6 ounces.

Now they aren't horrid shoes, but I hardly think kids will be giving up their Jordans to rock these with their denim. According to analyst Matt Powell of SportsOneSource, fashion basketball is a $2 billion business, while performance basketball is a $500 million business. Furthermore, Nike owns 98% of the fashion market space, which Jordan Brand dominates at 87%, Nike is at 10% and Converse is at 1%.

While the Air Jordan campaign begged "Is it the shoes?" Kobe guarantees the IV will improve your performance. "The shoe will make you run faster, and jump higher because it doesn't weigh that much. It's simple math." Nike employs the Flywire technology that was used in the Hyperdunk with a Zoom Air unit in the heel and Lunarlite in the forefoot. If the Kobe IV is going to perform like a smaller and lighter Hyperdunk, expect it to be a popular pick amongst serious ballers. China will get first dibs on the Kobe IV on January 1st, with North America and Europe to follow in February 6th. There are going to be a number of exclusives and colourways, but he will be wearing them on the court for the first time this Tuesday against Miami.

Many make comparisons to Kobe's drive to win and that of Michael Jordan. While it's a worthwhile debate, the Air Jordan sneaker legacy versus any other shoe is not. But as often is the case with Kobe, he just really just wants the best sneaker to help him be the best, he doesn't really care about winning any popularity contests.

Thanks to Darren Rovell @ CNBC SportsBiz for the stats.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Euro vs The U.S. Dollar.

A co-worker walked up to my desk today, (*shakes fist at the open concept office*), and asked me "Howard, Ruffin or a D-Leaguer?" As I knew he was referring to the Toronto Raptors shortlist for stopgap interior options, my response was "No, no and no!" Why the hell are we even considering these guys? They will make zero impact on the squad and will be a complete waste of a roster spot. We already have borderline NBA players on our team, see Will Solomon and Hassan Adams.

The Raptors need players that will contribute and make a difference. Ironically, two players we severed ties with last season would fill gaping holes and fit the Raptors Euro-aesthetic. But would Colangelo swallow his pride and bring back Jorge Garbajosa and Carlos Delfino?

Garbajosa provides a bigger body that can rebound and defend, while Delfino is the slashing wing that we lack and also has the ability to handle some of the PG responsibilities. Because of the infamous World Championship incident, where Garbo insisted on playing for Spain before he was fully recovered and missed the season, Colangelo soured on the versatile bigman. While the prospect of going into the luxury tax and lack of consistent minutes is what allowed Delfino to go overseas. Ironically they're both playing for BC Khimiki in Russia, (along with former Raps Milt Palacio and Jerome Moiso), and getting paid handsomely. Regardless based on their history, we know what they can contribute to the team.

The Raptors have the roster space, and they know that having both of these guys on their roster is a marked improvement over having Solomon and Adams. I'm not one to call for it often, but this one of those times where it's better to have euros than greenbacks in the line-up. With little or no trade material, just pick these two guys up and take the luxury tax hit. Apparently the Knicks are already looking at Delfino, who does have an out in his contract.

After falling under criticism of late (particularly here), this is a move for Bryan Colangelo that can make his team better without sacrificing anything except some $$$.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Nike Zoom Kobe IV.

Kobe Bryant never one to accept anything less than perfection, defied conventional basketball wisdom when he unveiled the new Zoom Kobe IV today at Westchester High School in Los Angeles, California. Basically throwing all traditional basketball performance thinking out the window, his new signature sneaker is a low cut shoe.

Check out the sketch and photo below and expect a full story shortly.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Awkward Part II: I'm Gay For Gilbert Arenas.

This video doesn't really need any words, but I'll just take the words straight out of the You Tube description. "Chris reveals his man crush and sexual fantasies for his favorite basketball player, Gilbert Arenas."

Nuff said.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

NBA Coaches: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Nineteen games into the 2008-2009 NBA season, we have already seen 4 NBA coaches relieved of their duties, and while there are likely several mitigating factors, poor performance is the bottom line. PJ Carlessimo, Eddie Jordan, Sam Mitchell and Randy Wittman all get to work on their golf form early. Likely to be joined soon by a couple of their colleagues as Memphis, Philadelphia, Sacramento and the Clippers are all off to shaky starts. What's more, there are a number of viable candidates still seeking employment with Avery Johnson, Flip Saunders, Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Fratello on the open market.

What I find interesting in the NBA (and professional sports for that matter), is how the same coaches continue to get hired again and again. Almost like there is a big blue recycling bin of coaches, dispense with one and just close your eyes and reach back in to find another familiar face. Now don't get me wrong, sometimes a coach's dismissal is based on circumstance; a GM fielding a poor team, injuries to superstars or unachievable expectations. However, if the simple fact that the coach is inept or unable to communiate to their players, or just incapable of devising strategy then they should be fired and cast out of the recycling box. Plain and simple.

While there are some great veteran coaches in the ranks, there has to be room for the Eric Spoelstra's of the world (Miami). Riley gets kudos for stepping down, (even though he did Stan Van Gundy dirty by forcing him out so he could coach again). I'm just tired of seeing longtime coaches like Larry Brown getting another look in Charlotte. Particularly after the bronze medal squad at the Olympics and his Knicks debacle, I don't necessarily think he has the ear of the younger players. Not that Sam Vincent was an improvement either, but is it that difficult to find quality coaches for the NBA, or are GM's going to have to continue to keep taking in others trash?

"Sorry, I Have No Idea Who That Guy Sweets Is."

I saw this pic and was thinking, "What were they asking Stern?"
The look on his face is priceless.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

How Do You Say "No" To A 10 Year Old?

Remember those entrepreneurial kids with the lemonade stand, confident, assertive and clever? That's Damon Weaver. The 10 year old KC local reporter has made an appeal to president-elect Barack Obama for an interview. Weaver has already interviewed Joe Biden, and is now looking to make Obama his homeboy as well.

Taking into account that basketball is Barack's favourite sport, he has tried to recruit Dwayne Wade and Shawn Marion to provide an assist. The only condition is that they have to lose a game of one-on-one, so that Weaver can get his interview in Washington.

An entertaining and worthwhile plea.

Thanks to Lang at Slam Online for the link.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Body Isn't Even Cold Yet...

Well Sam Mitchell is no longer coaching the Raptors and longtime assistant, and fellow Canadian Jay Triano will be the interim coach. Personally, I think that more than just a coaching change is in order to get the Raptors past the first round but...

Well the good people from have a new focus of interest. Check out

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The 20 Second Timeout Featuring Brandon Jennings.

Today is the introduction of a new section to ABDB, it's called The 20 Second Timeout. It's basically a word association exercise game where you say the first thing that comes to mind, with some this-or-that selections thrown in to mix it up.

Our first installment fittingly features trailblazer and former All-American high school superstar Brandon Jennings. The first and only baller to jump from high school straight to the Euroleague, playing for Lottomattica Roma in Italy.

Basketball - Life
Point guard - Leader
Oak Hill – Basketball school
Rome - Pasta
Role Model - Allen Iverson
New York – Bright lights
NBA – A dream come true
Terrence (Brandon's little brother) – The future
Family - Everything
First Sneakers - Air Jordans
Gucci or Louis Vuitton? - Gucci
Pistol Pete or Larry Bird? - Pistol
Pasta or Burgers? - Pasta
Lebron or Kobe? - Kobe
Pass or shoot? - Pass
X-Box 360 or PS3? - X-Box 360
Chris Paul or Deron Williams? - Chris Paul
Zone or man-to-man? - Man-to-man
Hightop fade or Gumby? - Hightop fade


Photo by Dustin Snipes.

*Look out for a feature story on Brandon Jennings in the upcoming issue of handle magazine, by yours truly.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


On Friday December 19th #24, The Black Mamba, Kobe "Jellybean" Bryant will be dropping the new Zoom Kobe 4's against the Miami Heat. If you google hard enough you can see find some pics on the web, but your bloggers favourite blogger is going to be part of a media event on the 11th.

Trust I'll come through with the details.

Boys To Men: Catching Up With The Stars Of Hoop Dreams Almost 15 Years Later.

In 1994 the documentary Hoop Dreams came out and easily became the best hoops documentary ever made, to some it was the best documentary period. It told the story of two Chicago high school basketball players, Arthur Agee and William Gates, pursuing their dream to make it to the NBA. If you haven't seen it (shame on you), or if your memory is rusty, here's the trailer, there is also a Criterion version on DVD.

As a young man with fantasies of being a professional baller, it definitely hit home, but it touched many with the personal story of these two young men, their families, their desire and their struggle. The filmmakers did an excellent job of letting the story tell itself.

Sarah Olkin from the Chicago Tribune caught up with both men to find out how their lives have shaped out since. I'm not even going to break it down and paraphrase, I'll just let the people in question, tell their story, much like they did almost fifteen years ago.

Thanks to Peter Robert Casey for the tip.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Raptors vs. Lakers Last Night Wasn't Half Bad... It Was All Bad.

Prior to tip off last night I was chatting with my man Chris O'Leary from SLAM Online, while we went off about our business watching the game and other things, we would intermittently get our Statler and Waldorf on, quasi live blogging the game.

me: so how do you think we're going to do?
Chris: i could be totally wrong
but this game has a feel to it that the one VC had in LA against the Lakers like 5 years ago
remember that?
kind of his coming out party
or part of it
me: yeah, if jose can pick up his shooting, i think we can do ok
Chris: i think they'll lose without JO
me: i have no idea who this guy is going around masquerading as joey graham though
Chris: whoever he is, keep bad joey locked up in the broom closet at the ACC
me: so far so good though, (at the end of the 1st quarter 32-29 Lakers)
Chris: bargnani seems better this year
all around better
me: agreed, more aggressive, bigger and confident
wow jamario dunked its been a while
Chris: better defensively too
lots of blocked shots lately
me: joey graham is back
Chris: old bad joey?
me: indeed
me: i'd rather have steven graham right about now
Chris: heather graham
me: lol, superstar billy graham
Chris: hahaha, i love the wrestling references
me: horrific viewing
Chris: this is not good
in any way
me: this score does not reflect what happened tonight
Chris: it reflects that the Lakers just waited until the fourth to put them away
I think

I would say those were the highlights, but as I said it was here and there, however I did find some time to stop by the liveblog at Raptors Republic too and was entertained.

The Raps didn't give up and stayed in it trailing 90-81 through the first three quarters, every time they would make a run, the Lakers would bitchslap them and remind them they're the best team in the league. Which is exactly what they did in the fourth quarter and ended the game early. The Lakers are in another zone right now, Ariza and Bynum are the difference along with Kobe's continued confidence in his teammates, they killed the Raps on the fast break tonight.

Looking to the positives, I liked the fact Jose didn't do the usual soft Euro player back down when Fisher tried to get at him tonight. Everyone played well, they just didn't play good enough really. When the game was long over even Hassan Adams got some PT and a bucket, but the end of the Raps bench made the last 4 minutes of the game horrible to watch, almost as horrible as watching this.

The million dollar question is, where is Chris Bosh in the big games? He is playing like the Most Valuable Player of the league so far this season, but he's been conspicuously absent in the games against last years NBA finalists. If the Raptors don't have him through 82 games and some solid support from his teammates, it's going to be another first round exit, and maybe even an exit in 2010.

*Looks over his shoulder for the psycho blogger*

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Getting Away From It All?

So last week I was away on vacation visiting family in St. Kitts. For those that don't know St. Kitts is a small island in the Caribbean, suffice it to say I had plenty of sun, warm weather and relaxation. Ironically I was blogging more than usual down there... so much for vacation. I came prepared to ball and found numerous courts, but when I was ready to run, came up empty.

With the weather being what it is, I couldn't blame them. Basketball is St. Kitts' fastest growing sport, taking a back seat to cricket, and surprisingly beating out football/soccer, they've also had a few players go on to receive D-2 scholarships. I should have gone to the extent of setting something up, but that would have only led to me playing ball each and every day, not good considering I'm nursing an injury that is taking a while to heal.

I kind of regret it though, there's something to be said about playing on a court and looking to your right and seeing dormant volcanoes with clouds laying at their peak like pillows or looking to your left and seeing the serene Atlantic glow from the sun beaming down on it. Ah, just as well, it would definitely affect my concentration on the court.

Maybe next time...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cameo Appearance.

You know those times, when you put on a jacket or a pair of jeans and you find $10 in the pocket? Well I didn't feel like I found free money, but I completely forgot I was "interviewed" while waiting for my mom at the Raptors game last month. Court Surfing was on the scene at the ACC asking the people about LBJ. Find me if you can.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Nothing more need be said. But I will say it regardless, I HATE THE HYBRIDS. I remember when I was a kid, playing in the street and making concoctions. Mixing gravel, sand, water, grass and whatever elements I could find into a goopy mix. Then after I had my fun with it, I would dump it down the sewer. However, some Victor Frankenstein over at the Innovation Kitchen at Nike decided not to dump his machinations, but throw it on the shelves for everyone to consume this December.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Air Jordan 2.5. While trying to contain the vomit in my mouth as I witnessed the Air Force 1/Jordan hybrid series, Nike takes it one incestuous step further merging two of the best models of the Jordan line, (II & III). FUGLY. I'm not wishing ill on anyone, but we all know how the Frankenstein movie ended as one of the themes of Mary Shelley's original novel, was it's cautionary tale of man or science taking it one step too far and trying to play god. Personally, this is the sneaker equivalent... blasphemous!

Thanks to First Cuts for ruining my day.


I have intentionally abstained from the "Where Is Lebron James going?" conjecture, not for fear of personal safety, but at this point there are plenty of things that can happen, and too much free time to sit around and speculate on. To top it off, 2010 will likely see the strongest free agent class ever witnessed in the history of the NBA, another wrinkle to the situation.

So as I'm not really engaging in the dialogue, I'll mention that Darren Rovell from Sports Biz over at CNBC wrote a good piece examining the Nike factor, where there is a belief that Nike will pay more to have him in a major market like New York. The real point which Rovell briefly touches on in the story is, why are there talks of incentives for certain cities, after Beijing, I thought global domination was on everyone's agenda?

At least they have time to figure it all out.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Charles Barkley Likes Old Dicks.

When is Sir Charles going to pick a decent opponent?

First he beats 67 year old NBA official Dick Bavetta in an on court sprint during All-Star Break last year... backpedaling! Now he's playing one-on-one against 69 year old ESPN college hoops guru Dick Vitale. Even though Sir Charles has become an even rounder mound of rebound he hasn't had any trouble with the challenges he's faced, so I'm calling him out.

You're a fake Barkley. Stop going up against these lightweights, stiffs that are 20 years your senior!

So for as much mouth as you have Mr. Barkley, I'm challenging you to the battle of your choosing, name the time the place the activity/sport, you can even bet on it... that you'll lose.

Dime Magazine, now look what you done did?

When Bloggers Attack.

The joy and pain of blogging is that while you are able to share your opinion with the world, there are a million other people out there likely doing the same thing. Unfortunately it provides a voice to some who probably don't deserve one.

Take for example MVN blogger Amir Panchmatia of the Cavalier Attitude fan blog, who literally wanted to go American History X on Yahoo! Sports writer Adrian Wojnarowski ...literally.

"I wish I could meet Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.

You want to know what I'd do? I would bust him in the jaw, throw him to the ground, force him to put his mouth on a curb, and smash the back of his head with my foot.

Yes, American History X style. And yes - I really, really would. Part of this disturbs me. Part of this depresses me because I'll probably never get the opportunity."

What did Wojnarowski do to invoke his wrath? Basically what thousands of other sports writers and bloggers do every day, speculate on Lebron James' numbered days as a Cleveland Cavalier. Hardly worthy of Panchmatia's twisted fantasy, oh and a little extreme? Yes. But what comes next is the best plot twist since Usual Suspects, Wojnarowski called Panchmatia on his post ...literally. He found his phone number, called him up, and offered to buy him a plane ticket so he could come try and kick his ass.
"You don't get to channel "your inner Ed Norton," —-- celebrating a neo-Nazi movie and that curb stomp scene —- and think that I'm sitting that one out. I don't know what this guy's deal is, but because he wrote that he worried he'd never get a chance to live out his fantasy of going all skinhead on me, I sure did offer him up a plane ticket so he could come and give it a shot. Listen, I have no issue with a blogger writing whatever he wants about my work. He can say anything. That's part of the deal. I understand. Hey, there are times the criticism has merit. But when someone is fired up over a neo-Nazi movie and openly dreams of putting his workboot through the back of my skull, well, I'm not laughing that one off."
Personally I don't think Wojnarowski crossed the line. Anytime we put something down in writing we're open to criticism, however this was taken too far. The aforementioned posts by Panchmatia are no longer active, and he's now likely back in his mother's basement acting out how his death duel would have went down with action figures.

Raptor Blog escorted me to the ring, and Deadspin gave me the play by play, who needs Don King?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fail. The Yao Ming Transformer.

Call me ignorant, but I can't for the life of me figure out how a toy manufacturer based in China, can't capture the likeness of one of their national icons, Yao Ming. The action figure is dope, a basketball (albeit not bounceable), that transforms into an autobot-styled-out Yao Ming.

But in the face? Eeek, he looks more like Michael Dukakis with McGrady's lazy eye than the Mingster. Shame on you, shame on all of you, you just took a well designed toy and made it into... They may have just been better off not letting the head pop up, so they could hide their embarrassment.

Thanks to FreshnessMag for my refills on Energon cubes.

Ron Artest Hates Tight Jeans.

The Tru Warier is video blogging.


With that being said, I'm a little concerned, not for what's about to be unleashed on the web. But after years of holding it down on the internets, as the best baller vlogging, my man Chris Bosh may not be able to even write the kind of things that comes out of this guys mouth, (smoke included).

I'm surprised this hasn't happened sooner.

Thanks to Ball Don't Lie for enlightening me on the Anti Tight Jeans consortium

All I Want For Christmas.

What do you get for the man or woman who has everything? How about a pair of Kobe Bryant PE Hyperdunks in the McDonald's All-American colourway? Paying tribute to his Lower Merion High School days, this is probably one of the hottest colourway combos thus far, the patent leather toebox is slick, as well as the insole, which spells out All-American in french fries, and his old #33 is embroidered on the shoe. The colours are ill on this bad boy, and pretty flavourful as well, (no pun intended).

Finally something to put on my list.

Thanks to Jordan Hagerdon at Bounce, who just turned into Santa's Lil' Helper.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Meet The President.

One of the highlights for the winner of the NBA Finals, is a visit to the White House. Maybe I'm thinking from personal bias, but how excited do you think players are to meet Barack Obama and check out the basketball court he has installed?

I know I would be, I'm just saying.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gilbert Arenas Gets A Wax Statue @ Madame Tussauds... Now There Are TWO Stiffs In Washington.

Gilbert Arenas, what's not to like? He's the best blogger in the NBA, (even if he has a little help), but even a ghost blogger can't come up with a powerful and personal post like this. Easily one of the best scorers in the L, and of course just one of those fun, carefree, crazy personalities you just have to love - Esquire nailed it in a story they did on Agent Zero in 2006. Yes folks, Gilbert does have "phenomenal swag."

Yet while Madame Tussauds isn't the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it's pretty much the physical equivalent, or so I thought. When considering immortalizing someone for posterity isn't there a screening process or some type of qualification checklist? Gilbert's statue is going alongside Muhammad Ali, Tiger Woods and Babe Ruth and he has only made it out of the first round of the playoffs once! As of right now, he's definitely not on my Hall of Fame inductee list, and I'm not even touching on the fact he's yet to play a game this season, and has only participated in 87 games over the last two years.

There's lots to love about Gilbert, and a great deal of it is his character and what he does off the court, but until he makes his teammates better, or wins some games, maybe that wax is better suited to make some candles, hold a vigil, say a prayer, and hope that Gilbert gets back to the man he used to be.

UPDATE: The only basketball players enshrined at Madame Tussauds are Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, and there are plans for Yao Ming in Beijing. They're putting Gilbert in with some significant company.

X's & O's.

My man Dave, (who just had a baby by the way, congrats), just forwarded me practically the best thing ever! It's been kicking around on The New York Times site since February, but hey All Balls Don't Bounce wasn't around then, so pardon me if you've seen it.

It's an X's and O's look at how to contain Kobe in isolation, Paul Pierce off the screen, Nash & Amare's high pick & roll, neutralizing Yao Ming, and stopping the Suns fastbreak. While it all sounds pretty idealistic, the steps are broken down with an audio commentary by Jeff Van Gundy, one of this era's better defensive coaches.

Now I could go on with superlatives on how interesting this is, but the easiest way to understand it is to experience it and check it out.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Nike Air Force 180.

One of my top 10 favourite sneakers is the Nike Air Force Max B, worn by Michigan's Fab Five when they re-invented basketball style in the early 90's, with the baggy shorts, black socks and black sneakers. They were also rocked by the man who put the "F" in force, Sir Charles Barkley. While it was one of his shoes of choice, Charles also put it down in the Nike Air Force 180's, most notably in the '92 Olympics with the Dream Team.

Now, the 180's are being retro'd in a new colourway, looking pretty darn snazzy!

Courtesy of Hypebeast.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Never Let Them See You...

I will admit, on the court, I'm a pretty profuse sweater. However, I always remember watching Patrick Ewing play when I was a kid, and marvelled how he had always looked like he stepped out of the shower with his uniform on, (during the first quarter no less). That was an era before DRI-Fit or any technologically advanced uniforms were developed, so nowadays, it shouldn't be as bad right?

Wrong. Players still sweat, but it's not as noticeable, that is unless they are posting you up. Which of course, if you play ball, you know all about that gross sharing of bodily fluids. Channing Frye of the Portland Trailblazers, who is a bit of a perspirer himself, was recently asked to name his 5 Sweatiest Players in the NBA. Here's his list from bottom to top: #6 because he just had to be included, Greg Oden, (Trailblazers), #5 Channing Frye, (Trailblazers), #4 Malik Rose (Kincks), #3 Zach Randolph (Knicks), #2 Shaquille O'Neal (Suns) and #1 drumroll Nick Collison (Thunder).

While he credits Collison with the number one spot as "he's just gross", Shaq gets the follow-up because it's like "a &#@!%*$ river coming off his head."

I don't know whether to laugh or cringe.

Thanks to Jason Quick with the drip drip at The Oregonian.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Aussies Have A Sick Handle.

Growing up in Canada in the 80's, if you wanted to get your basketball fix, your options were limited, and you were always forced to look to the American media whether it was radio, TV or print. A visit to the newsstand was like shopping at a record store, you had Hoop Magazine, who were the Young MC of the basketball mag world, and thankfully later came SLAM who were Public Enemy, "throwing it down your throat like Barkley." Other magazines followed, but of course we always looked down south as the home of hoops and our trusted source for basketball, (even though it was created by a Canadian).

Being North American-centric, it's unlikely that Australia would be one of the first places you would look for a solid hoops magazine, but you should, they've got handle. Fresh on the newsstands with their 20th issue, they're profiling the 30 most important players of the past 30 years, trust me as a contributor to this issue, there was MUCH debate over who should be considered. (I'm not going to tell you who is on the list, you can go pick it up and see for yourself). However, they don't take their title of "Australia's Premier Basketball Publication" very lightly, while they cover NBA, streetball, NCAA and international hoops, they also have their very own basketball league down under called the NBL, and do it all thoroughly.

handle has great editorial, solid content, fantastic design and a fresh perspective, the only drawback is that by the time it gets to newsstands on this side of the Atlantic, or Pacific, the mag is a little pricier than it's contemporaries. But times have changed now, it doesn't mean you should overlook them, it just means you should give them a look.

Friday, November 14, 2008

One-On-One Against Michael Jordan.

What would you do if you had a chance to play against Michael Jordan? 1-on-1, first one to three points wins. Would you go all out, or get caught up in the fact you were facing up against the greatest player to play the game? You know Mike wouldn't back down, aside from sullying his reputation, he hates to lose, he hates losing so much he would beat his grandmother in a game of Bridge.

Well John Rogers Jr. got that chance, Rogers is a mutual fund executive who paid big money to go to one of Air Jordan's Flight Camps where you play basketball with other rich aging ballers and learn from the great one himself. In 2003 while MJ was dispensing with the campers in one-on-one, mowing through them like a John Deere in a cornfield, and talking trash the whole time, Rogers had his dance with destiny.

I had first heard about this match-up on True Hoop, but of course never saw the footage, until now.

Many will argue that Jordan wasn't trying, but if you know anything about him, you know his competitive spirit, and there's no way he would want to have to endure the clowning like he received from Damon Wayans at the end of the video. Give thanks to the basketball gods that someone has this on tape, and it's no longer an old wives tale.

Thanks to J.E. Skeets at Ball Don't Lie for this video that can let the little guys walk proud for a day.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Late Pass: Kevin Johnson Is The New Mayor of Sacramento.

In the wake and excitement of America's new president, I neglected to mention that Sacramento has their first African-American mayor, Kevin Johnson. Yes, the same Kevin Johnson who ran the point for the Phoenix Suns from the late 80's to the late 90's, and dunked on practically everyone!

However, he wasn't just a little man that was able to dunk as his career averages of 17 points and 9 assists illustrate. Now he has a bigger challenge running the point of his home town, I hope he fares well.