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May 6, 2010 Comments off

Dwyane Wade is being sued by his estranged wife and the charges aren’t pretty. Well, they involve actress Gabrielle Union, who is pretty, but the allegations are not. The lawsuit alleges Union “engaged in sexual foreplay” in front of Wade’s young sons. It also claims that the boys received “medium size gifts” from Wade for Christmas last year, while Union got “the biggest gift of all.” There’s a joke there, but I’ll move on.

Refs Blow Another One

A soccer player was given a yellow card over the weekend because the referee thought he was taking a dive. It turns out the player was having a heart attack.

Great Gif

Game 2 Celtics vs Cavaliersm, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge threw a towel in the air to distract a Cleveland player who was in the middle of shooting a free throw. We should all be thankful for Ainge’s bush league move because it’s now spawned this gif.

Cleveland’s Concern


Few body parts in sports have generated as much buzz as LeBron James‘ right elbow. After shooting free throws left-handed in Game 1 of the Cavs series against the Celtics, speculation grew about the severity of James’ injury. A report with anonymous sourcing from BallinEurope.com says James is so banged up he shouldn’t even be playing. Another report says James will soon underdo a second MRI on the elbow. And most important, LeBron’s elbow has its own Twitter page.

Never A Dull Moment with Ozzie

Check out what the White Sox skipper did to pitcher Freddy Garica last night.

Cheers

Manofest.com has compiled the 10 funniest cheerleader bloopers of all time.

NBA: Marbury to China

January 18, 2010 Comments off

NEW YORK – Stephon Marburywill play professional basketball again.

In China.

The two-time NBA-All Star has agreed to play in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) with China’s Shanxi Club, according to a Reuters report.

Marbury, 32, hasn’t played since leaving the Boston Celtics after last year. The Shanxi team website (www.sxcba.com) said Marbury would arrive sometime next week.

“The aim of signing Marbury is to pay back our fans and try to win more games in the rest of the season,” Shanxi boss Wang Xingjiang said on the team’s website.

Wang also said that Marbury wanted to promote his “Starbury” shoes in China, the world’s most populated nation.

Former NBA player Bonzi Wells played for Shanxi last season, scoring 50 points in a game. But Wells did not return to the team after a holiday break in January.

“It was a big cultural shock to me for the first few weeks,” Wells said, according to Agence France Presse.


“Since I have been here it has been all business and I haven’t had any fun yet, so I am looking for some fun.”

Shanxi is currently 15th in the 17-team league and the arrival of Marbury is expected to boost ticket sales and the team’s prospects of making the postseason.

Marbury’s Twitter feed makes no specific mention of the China deal, but he did say, “I have some things that are brewing.”

NBA: Bargain Players Making Big Impact

January 13, 2010 Comments off

Keeping Shannon Brown has turned out to be a big boost for a Lakers bench that has, generally, struggled. What’s more is that Brown didn’t put much of a dent in the Lakers’payroll — he signed for just $2 million, plus an option for next year. But several of the league’s top teams were able to pick up key contributors this summer for less than $2 million.

1. Channing Frye, Suns. Frye came to Phoenix on a two-year contract worth just $3.8 million, but he has become one of the best longe-range shooters in the league, averaging 12.4 points with a 3-point shooting percentage of 43.3.

2. Jason Williams, Magic. Orlando brought Williams out of retirement to be the backup point guard, for just $1.3 million. Williams played well when starter Jameer Nelson went down and is averaging 6.9 points and 4.6 assists.

3. Shannon Brown, Lakers. His defense and consistency have made him a Phil Jackson favorite.

4. Marquis Daniels, Celtics. Daniels will return from thumb surgery in the coming weeks, but he showed enough in his 19 games to make clear that he will be a key producer off the bench for the Celtics in the second half. Not bad for $1.9 million.

5. Juwan Howard, Blazers. Howard signed a one-year deal for $1.3 million, and did not expect to play a whole lot this year. He certainly did not expect to be a starter. But with Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla out, Howard has had to use his veteran know-how to hold down the middle.

NBA: Jerryd Bayless and the Liberation of Combo Guards

December 19, 2009 Comments off

The myth of point guard purity is one of my personal voodoos, so excuse the bleating back pat to come. Jerryd Bayless, a so-called combo guard, a Gilbert Arenas lite, went to Portland in the 2008 draft. In fact, Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard sent valued Jarrett Jack to Indiana in order to move up a few spot in the mid-first round to grab Bayless when the top 10 drafters bypassed the Wildcat for illustrious talents like Joe Alexander.

Bayless hasn’t really paid off for Pritchard or the Blazers … until now, that is. Bayless played in only 53 games last season, averaging 12 minutes per contest. Portland has a few higher-profile point guards (Andre Miller and Steve Blake, Sergio Rodriguez last year) and a starting two-guard (Brandon Roy) who happens to dominate the ball and initiate the offense. Bayless seemed to be on a repeat path this season: pulling in only when injury, foul trouble or garbage time struck. He’s not a fit with coach Nate McMillans conservative, slow system, and there is the perception that Portland alreadyhad too many mouths to feed before introducing a score-first lead guard to the mix.

But something funny happened, even with Blake and Miller and Roy all healthy. Portland has disappointed, and McMillan has gotten desperate. You can stick to religion when you exceed expectations, even if sin would add a win. To a degree, that’s a fine stance to take: in years past, it was always about the future with the club, and indoctrinating the roster in the ways of Blazer Ball served as a dominant goal.

But tomorrow is here, and the Blazers can’t get by (in the media, with the home crowd) building for the future. It’s suddenly all about this moment, this opportunity to leap into orbit, to join the Lakers, the Celtics, the Magic, the Cavaliers. That’s how the atmosphere has been all year, and Portland’s disappointing start has added a hanging smog of … well, disappointment. McMillan, as I said, is on the precipice of desperation.

Enter Bayless, who has become a smidge vocal about his lack of opportunity. McMillan the Pastor would never approve of what Bayless has done the past two games — 11 shot attempts (six FGAs, 10 FTAs) in 24 minutes against Sacramento Tuesday,21 shots (15 FGAs, 12 FTAs) in 29 minutes Thursday against the Suns. But McMillan lost his cloth when Greg Oden went down, and McMillan the Coach Facing Criticism for the First Time in a Long Time sure loves it. To wit, McMillan’s post-game comments, transcribed by Ben Golliver of Blazersedge:

What can you say? I thought he had a great game. We know Jerryd can put some points on the board. And with all the guys we have out, we need that. He’s getting the opportunity to play and he’s taking advantage of it. I’ve told him for really for the last two years ‘be patient, be patient, the opportunity is going to come. I don’t know when but it just does in the NBA.’ And that opportunity has come in the last two games. He’s shown this at times. The last two times he’s shown what he’s capable of doing with that opportunity.

Of course, Bayless scored a vital 14 against Sacramento, and a game-high 29 against Phoenix. If those shots don’t fall, if Bayless doesn’t get the whistles he did and more possessions end with a missed FGA instead of two made FTAs, then McMillan doesn’t say that, and Bayless gets no freedom. McMillan, I’d argue, doesn’t believe in Bayless, but believes in what Bayless just did, and knows that right now, with the bench suffering from the losses of Oden (bumping Joel Przybilla to the starting unit), Travis Outlaw, Nicolas Batum and Rudy Fernandez, he as a coach and manager of playing time needs to keep believing in Bayless’s work until twilight falls on the guard.

And that, perhaps, is the long-term curse of the combo guards who serve under traditional coaches: you’re like the woman on the side. When coach needs you, he’ll use you. But the minute you disappoint, or try to break out of the lopsided relationship, you’re gone, and it’s on to the new one. Combo guards deserve better treatment under the old school regime. If Dennis Johnson is the Susan B. Anthony of this movement, maybe Bayless can be the Gloria Steinem. Forward!