Monday, June 30, 2008

Toronto Raptors draft day report card.

The Raptors fill their biggest weakness with the acquisition of Jermaine O'Neal, who provides interior offense, toughness, rebounding and shot blocking. Now provided he's healthy, it gives Bosh some much needed support, and a frontourt that will keep defenders honest. TJ Ford was out the door, and J.O. is night and day compared to the since departed Rasho Nesterovic, Maceo Baston was never a factor, and while we lose the #17 pick, we're already a much improved squad.

O'Neal has a lot to prove, he claims he's healthy, and he wasn't getting along with Larry Bird, he needed a change of scenery, and is out to show that he's still the 20 and 10 player we remember. The Raptors get a player that can make a significant impact right away, as opposed to whatever talent we would have picked up at #17, and we gave up very little to get it, (plus, we move Bargnanni back to the bench). With the 41st pick, we nabbed Nathan Jawali, a young big bodied Aussie, (6'10", 280 lbs), with good footwork, not expected to come in right away, but will definitely contribute.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hoops vs. Hip-Hop.

First to be clear, I'm a Lakers fan, and a Kobe Bryant fan, but I'm also a fan of hip-hop. So whenever, a rapper calls somebody out, or there's a dope freestyle, or battle, I'm all for it.

However, we have Shaquille O'Neal, who was one of the best basketball players, but one of the worst to touch the mic ...and yes, it was funny, but let's take a look at this for a second.

Shaq-Fu is dissing Kobe for not winning the Finals without him, ratting him out and "causing" hin to get a divorce. Now, I'm not debating where The Diesel is coming from, but in hip-hop, you don't make peace with someone, and turn around FOUR YEARS LATER, and dis them. To make matters worse, you don't recant the next day saying "I was freestyling. That's all. It was all done in fun. Nothing serious whatsoever. I'm totally cool with Kobe."

You can't disrespect someone on the mic, and the next day be like "Psyche, I was playing", you don't hear 50 Cent, or Lil Wayne, backpedal like that. Now don't get me wrong, these guys aren't MC's on the street, but there are still principles of hip-hop and for those indiscretions, you would get clowned on principle alone.

Besides, if I'm waiting 4 years, to take a shot at someone, I'm coming up with something better than "Smell My A#*, B^tch", and while it's highly unlikely, I would love to hear K.O.B.E. respond on a track.

...not even touching how Shaq said he was better than Kareem.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I heart Candace Parker.

I mean, what's not to love?

Candace Parker has already changed women's basketball. She's a proven winner in college, already shown she can compete against the other gender, by winning a slam dunk competition. Without even trying, makes you think she's a better player than the men in her life, fiance Shelden Williams, and brother Anthony Parker. Lastly, she's very easy on the eyes, which may be the easiset way for the closed minded basketball world to pay attention.

Now, she's on the big stage in the WNBA, playing in LA no less, with her team on top of the confrence and the second best record in the league. There's nothing she can't do, becoming only the second woman in the WNBA to dunk in a game.

Honestly, she's nice with it. What more can you say?

Those Canadians aren't to be taken lightly this summer.

For the first time in many years, Canada Basketball is putting together a solid contingent of players to represent the country in it's bid for the Beijing Olympics. However, to get there, they will have to earn one of three berths in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Athens, Greece July 14-20.

With current NBA bigs Samuel Dalembert, (Sixers), and Joel Anthony, (Heat), alongside a number of professional and seasoned international players, they will have to beat out squads like Brazil, Germany, Puerto Rico, Greece and Slovenia among others. Meanwhile, no sign of Denham Brown at camp, and Jamaal Magloire still continues to ignore Basketball Canada like a Queen Street squeegee kid. The team isn't going to be in any worse shape without those guys, but it sure would be great if Steve Nash was on the roster.

Nash, has said he won't be participating in international hoops this summer, but that hasn't stopped Coach Leo Rautins from extending an open invitation for him to show up whenever he wants to play. With Nash giving his heart and soul to the program over the years, and with his constant preservation of his body and his health, you cannot blame him. But aside from his playmaking, leadership and pedigree, who doesn't want a guy who can do this?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Gunnin' for That #1 Spot movie.

I won't even bother writing at length about the new documentary Gunnin' for That #1 Spot, when the trailer can speak for itslelf. The film profiles 8 future NBA lottery pics as they are getting ready for the big "Elite 24" tournament, at the notorious Rucker. Directed and produced by Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, it will be undoubtedly visually dynamic, a sound scape of dope beats and smooth grooves, and ultimately, (regardless of the cliche), true to the game.

Gunnin'... hits theaters on June 27th.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Not bad meaning good...

I'm pretty sure this isn't new, but it's only appropriate with the Beijing Olympics coming up. An ode to Yao Ming that is so cheesey, I can't even call it. Case in point, lyrics like, "he pounces... pounces like a typhoon passing fiend". With all of Yao's skills and attributes, we're going to focus on his passing? I mean, I don't have anyone recording songs or videos about me, but if they are going to be as bad as this I'll politlely pass, you know "like a typhoon passing fiend".

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

1-on-1 with Justin Timberlake?

I posted this on my personal blog last October, and thought it was more than appropriate for ABDB.

Walking into the gym at my regular pick-up basketball run, I noticed that the 3 women in attendance tripled the usual Friday estrogen quotient by 300%, odd. My instincts were correct and I discovered that Justin Timberlake's in town shooting a movie and is supposed to be coming by and getting his hoop on.

Now I was an N'Sync fan, and swore by his solo debut Justified, however I wasn't too pleased with how he sold Janet down the river with the whole "Nipplegate" incident. I revoked his ghetto pass, and while his new album is undeniable, I've never felt the same about the guy. But now I was feeling a little giddy, I mean it's Justin, and I know he has some skills on the hardwood. Am I going to be throwing him a no-look pass, or will I be posting him up? Imagine the profile pic on Facebook...

I was brought out of my daydream by an errant ball and was reminded why I was there in the first place, to get my game straight. So while picking teams, our boy who was supposed to be bringing in Mr. "Sexyback", rolled in with a diesel dude, who apparently is Justin's trainer. So no Justin, no big deal, everyone would have been doing their best to impress him and all. Would've been fun, but that's about as close as I think I'll get to crossing over Justin Timberlake.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Chris Bosh, full time All-Star, part time funny guy.

It's no secret Chris Bosh is an NBA All-Star, but he's been showing his funnier side with his recent Youtube videos. Jay Leno has CB4 as a correspondent for The Tonight Show for the NBA Finals, where he goes deep on the investigative journalism tip and finds out what inquiring minds want to know.

My first basketball shoes.

When it was apparent I would be the starting centre for my Grade 8 basketball team, I came to the conclusion that I had to get a pair of real basketball shoes.

As there was no such thing as Eastbay on the interwebs back then, and Collegiate Sports was lacking the flavour, I did what all cool Canadian kids did at the time... try and get some shoes from the States. The Bronx to be exact, in 1984 unaware of the Air Jordan odyssey unfolding, I was just happy to be getting a pair of high-tops. So when I got my Nike Penetrators, I not only played the part, I looked the part. In retrospect, that likely was the beginning of my obsession with sneakers and basketball. Knowing you can't look like a bum stepping on the court, just as much as you have to be able to play as good to justify your kicks, was something I learned early, and still hold dear.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Bob Delaney keeps it official.

Bob Delaney has been a top referee in the NBA over the past 20 years. If you have been watching the 2008 NBA Playoffs you probably have watched a game or two that he has called, (or likely disagreed with).

Many are discovering his incredible past with the release of his book Covert: My Years Infliltrating the Mob, chronicling his pre-NBA career as a New Jersey State Trooper going undercover inside the Mob for three years.

I recently interviewed him for Peace Magazine, to talk about Covert, and he shared a great anecdote of an early NBA experience. Whether it’s the players, coaches or fans, Delaney hears it from everyone, but who’s evaluation does he give any credence to? “My mother. She critiques me about everything, whether she thinks I’m running right, making the correct calls, gaining weight, she’ll call me and tell me right after the game.”

Well she didn't wait until after the game to let him know one night at Madison Square Garden, as Delaney called a foul on her favourite player Patrick Ewing. "Everyone in the Garden thought it was the wrong call", he says. "As the booing grew louder, I looked up into the stands like a little boy seeking that parental approval, only to have my mom booing me just as hard as everyone else. She's my biggest fan and harshest critic" he chuckled.