Thursday, June 28, 2007

NBA Draft Blogness

6:50 Oh boy, let's see how long I stick with this. I'm as excited about this draft as I have been about any other sporting event the last six months or so. This is looking to be the best NBA Draft in years, in terms of talent. As far as technicolor suits go, that remains to be seen.

In fevered anticipation of Jay Bilas calling sixty young men "long" without a hint of irony for five hours, I'm doing my best to saturate myself with useless basketball prognostication. ESPNews has so many tickers going at the same time I keep expecting Optimus Prime to pop out of my TV screen. Decided to stick with the highly-underrated Washington Post Live (not that I might be biased or anything). The host (I just blanked on his name) is actually really good, and there's usually at least one good media guest on to talk about stuff around the DC Sports scene, which makes it a lot more entertaining and infromative than Sportscenter.

They get such a wide variety of people who are comfortable on camera, it's an entertaining running subplot of the show each day to see who the most awkward person on is. (It was a tie between Michael Lee and Camille Powell today, probably because they were on satellite feed via the NBA draft, though Michael Lee doesn't typically have a dominating screen presence.)

7:00 After hearing some BREAKING NEWS on ESPNews about Ray Allen going to Boston (possibly)...shocking really. I only read about it on Hoops Hype last night.
Just switched over to ESPN for a crappy intro delivered by Mike Tirico. First major fashon statement to report on: Joakim Noah, who I STILL think looks more like he belongs talking to Chris Hansen on "To Catch a Predator" than in the NBA, has some kind of weird Kenny G going on.

7:07 One thing about the whole Milwaukee maybe/kind of/possibly picking "E" Yianlian and "we're capitalists but not really" China getting pissed about him gong there, Milwaukee's owner is a U.S. Senator, meaning it could translate into an international political-economic situation. The NBA, "I LOVE this Geo-Political Organization".

7:10 SHOCKER----Jay Bilas thinks Greg Oden will be good. Way to go out on a limb Jay.

7:13 Prediction: Jeff Green will be better than Corey Brewer or Julian Wright (I think both will probably be good as well, with Brewer being a sure thing and Wright a bt more of a gamble than people think). Again, not like I'm biased or anything, but I have watched more of Jeff Green than most people. He's that good, as long as he's not afraid to take a shot or take over a game.

7:21 Does anybody else want to punch Noah in the face whenever they see him, or is that just me?

Yeah, that's what I thought. I didn't realize it the first time he was on camera and not until after Lisa Salters pointed it out, Noah's dressed exactly like someone in my fraternity would be at a big event. I'm confused as to why the world's ugliest woman would want to be dressed in a seersucker suit with a pink bowtie. That's a bold statement there.

7:25 Hey they're doing the same thing they do for the NFL Draft, where they plant a correspondent outside each team's front office, and have them make up stuff. Cool, glad to see ESPN's going all out for this draft.

7:30 I'm so rooting for "E" (note: if they're going to pronounce his name like this, this is how he's getting referred to in 'print from now on) to launch into the Communist manifesto when/if he gets interviewed. I think it'd go something like this:

Stu: So, E, how do you feel about going to a one of the whitest states and cities in the country, and how does it feel to finally realize your dream of playng in the NBA?

E, through translator: I look forward to bringing a Great Leap Forward to the barley fields and cheese factories of Wisconsin. I hope to *slam dunk* on the corrupt bourgeoise of the Atlantic and Central Divisions.

8:00 I just realized a good sports equivalent for Jeff Green; he's the Jaime Moreno of basketball: he's atheltic, a good scorer, great passer, does the little things right, but somehow plays most of the game at about 60% speed. It's like he plays in slo-mo, but somehow sees everything before it happens. Also, I just realized Noah really looks like a tall, skinny Hurley from Lost with his hair like that.

8:04 I have as much confidence in E becoming a good NBA player as I have in the yuan becoming the most valued currency in the world.

Yes! He's getting interviewed! Favorite thing about America? Government doesn't force him to sell his house for $70, and no required labor in the rice fields*.

*Not what he said, but might be true.

8:11 If Del Harris told his son to take E and to mess up the Bucks, that'd have to be the most cold-hearted familial back stab since Fredo messed up the hit on Michael. Vitale thinks Boston got outsmarted on the Ray Allen trade. No argument here.

8:16 I think I'm only sticking around through the Wizards pick. The Arenas-Durant commercial for EA Sports is pretty cool, but not as good as Sean Taylor shouting, "the customer is Always RIGHT!" with some guy in a headlock for Easterns Motoers.

8:18 Dream trade: Jamison to Charlotte for the #8 and Gerald Wallace. Can't happen, but it'd be awesome.

8:21 Michael Jordan's fantasy basketball team picks Brandon Wright, who is actually better than a lot of people give credit, but he doesn't really fit the team. I wouldn't be surprised if they ended up trading him, especially after saying that Jordan wouldn't want to tale him on in a game of one on one.

8:24 Amazing, this draft is actually going the exact way a lot of experts picked so far. I'll bet the Bulls take Noah, just becuase they defensive/rebounding/hustle guys like that. They're not smart enough to take a post scorer or trade this pick.

8:26 Hey, I actually got that right! I aleady disliked the Bulls; now I'm going to be rooting against them every single game. His sister (I'm pretty sure that's his sister) is REALLY hot though.

8:28 I would love for the WIz to get Julian Wright, Al Thornton, Derrick Byars (maybe Nick Young), Thaddeus Young (who's not an immediate impact guy, but could be great in a couple years) and maybe Spencer Hawes, who could be a Brad Miller type guy (not Miller now...when he was good five years ago). I just realized these are the next six best guys available. Niiiiiiiice.

8:32 This is the most predictable draft ever: the team with Brad Miller just took the next Brad Miller.

8:34 ATL takes Law...I gurantee.

8:35 Minor Thread and I are co-ordinating on the Wizards pick...

8:50 We've determined that anyone but Jason Smith would be a perfect fit for the Wiz.

8:58 Clippers taking Sean Williams would be beautiful

9:07 Wooooooooooo!!!!! Wizards are picking. Who wants to play for the most fun team in the East?

9:14 Nick Young, baby! I like it. Looks like a great scorer, good outside shooter. Certainly athletic enough to play good defense too. Looks like he could step in and be the sixth man immediately if DeShawn Stevenson comes back, maybe start, as long as Eddie Jordan doesn't think he needs two unnecessary years to mature and be buried on a weak bench. Seems like a better version of whatever the Wizards thought they were getting from Jarvis Hayes. See ya, COnstable!

Monday, June 25, 2007

_____ is the Most Pitiful Sportswriter in the Country (besides Greg Doyel and Jay Mariotti...but at least people have heard of them).

I hate to to post again so soon, as I already feel like I'm starting to dominate this blog (I don't really want to...but see the last five or six posts). HOWEVAH, I felt the need to comment on this, after being turned onto something by the DC Sports Bog that I take just a wee bit of issue with (as does D-Stein). Some guy who cbssportsline has been desperate enough for "opinions" to give a badly named column of poor quality, has written that DC is, "the most pitiful sports town in the country."


I don't want to make this as stupidly long as one of our draft wet dream fantasies, but pardon me while I spit some hot fire.

Now, I know dicks like this are just trying to get a rise out of fans like me who take this too seriously; they don't actually believe the nonsensical, retarded shit that comes out of their mouthes or, more likely, another orfice, they just want to raise their Q rating because they know when it comes to them writing with an actually feasible opinon, because, let's face it, most sports writers could be replaced by autistic monkeys and you couldn't find a difference in literary style. Hence, they only way most sports "journalists" can get noticed is by writing stuff that has no bearing and pisses people off, people, unfortunately, like me. This aside, let's delve into this little journalistic gem:

" As the flagship of the Washington area, there is no NFL franchise, of the ones 10 years or older, that is routinely more laughable than the Burgundy and Gold. Their owner is delusional, their management team misguided and their coaching staff unorganized."

How about the Lions, who have drafted four wide receivers with their first-round picks four out of the last five years despite having a wretched defense. But Calvin Johnson's going to be awesome enought o give them one of the best offenses in the league...quarterbacked by Jon Kitna. And Charlie Rogers and Mike Williams were "awesome" too...and yet, the Lions still suck, still have the worst GM in the (history of the?) NFL, and have still never won a championship. Neither have the Bengals, and I'd rather have a racially offensive nicknamed, overpaid and underperforming NFL team run by a raging asshole with the world's biggest Napoleon complex than root for a team that was called the "Bungles" for a decade and has about half the roster in a drunk tank/jail at any given time. And has never won a championship either. Oh, and Arizona should be a good team pretty soon...when we get Peace in the Middle East.

"Yeah, the XXVI win still brings that warm, fuzzy feeling, but that was so long ago in sports years that even Tony Kornheiser had hair back then."

Anyone who knows anything about Tony Kornheiser knows there are two things about hm that have never changed: He has NEVER had hair, and he has always been orange. And I'd still rather have that warm, fuzzy feeling from Superbowl XXVI (note: if you just write XXVI without the Superbowl, it makes no sense. It's exactly the same as me writing, "Yeah the 26 win was great." only in Roman numerals. It might not be a gramatical error or anything, but it just reeks of ignorance and poor syntax. Try writing less colloquially. Ass.

" In a sport valuing ballpark aesthetics and character nearly as much as the actual game on the field, the Nats play in a concrete hole in the ground that has as much charm as Mel Gibson three drinks deep at an Anti-Defamation League champagne brunch."

Uh, if you want people to think that you actually grew up in the DC area, you might actually appreciate that concrete (above) the ground. As much as everybody bitches about it, I went to a Nats game with six friends, one of whom actually is from Bethesda, the rest out of towners (all but one were from the South). None of them real sports fans, two of them were girls who couldn't care less about baseball and were just there to be amongst friends...all of them liked/loved RFK. And there were about 30-35,000 other people in the stands who felt similarly (this was the Friday night game against the Indians, one of the best teams in the AL, which the Nats won...just like they won the series). Also, you'd be a lot more credible as a "Washingtonian" if you didn't group DC together with Baltimore. No one in either city thinks the other city is the same, or desrve to be grouped as the same metro area (except Peter Angelos, but that's history now, thank God). It's like saying Oakland and San Fran are the same, LA and Anaheim are the same, you get the point. It's a dumb, telling statement that exposes you as either

A) A moron
B) A liar
C) Both

I'd like to believe C, but I have this bad feeling that it's only A, and you really are from the DC area. Congratulations, you brought the entire region down by your past residence here.

"Short-term prospects [for the Nats]: Putrid, considering half the team will be shipped out come late July"

Well, the first word is kind of accurate, although considering the massive drop in payroll, the fact that they're the same record as last year's "more talented" team suggests that they're not as craptastic as everyone likes to think. And if you mean Dmitri Young and Ronnie Belliard, and maybe Ray King, when you say half the team will be gone by late July, well, THAT would be a reasonable statement.

" While management's better than it's ever been with Big Ern Grunfeld calling the shots, the Wizards still haven't developed a big man of note since Gheorghe Muresan or found a point guard worthy enough to fill Rod Strickland's sneaks. Anybody ready for another try at the Brent Price era?"

Uh, have you watched the NBA since the late 90's? Last time I checked, Gilbert Arenas was averaging 28 ppg, and an NBA superstar. Oh yeah, he plays point guard too. Rod Strickland does average about 28 pounds of weeds smoked a year though.
If big men with growth stigmatisms are what you consider quality big men, go watch the Maryland NightHawks' Chinese freak show. And the only person allowed to call Grunfeld "Big Ern" is Mrs. Grunfeld.

"With Arenas talking of exodus and no fresh blood of note having been drafted over the past handful of years, the Wizards are at that "are we Kate Winslet or Katie Holmes" how-will-our-franchise-be-perceived conundrum."

Despite making everybody in DC nervous, Arenas' own blog says that he isn't going anywhere. Why don't you do an ounce of research sometime?

"The team does have the best fan-run basketball blog , so that's nice and all."

Wrong. Wizznutzz is not the best fan-run basketball blog. It's the BEST BLOG EVER.

I don't really care about hockey, so what you say about the Capitals doesn't really bother me, except for this:

"Ted Leonsis, easily D.C.'s best owner, is the man."

If annoying the hell out of anyone who's ever around him is being the man, count me in. He also gets in fights with fans. What's not to like? That AOL Time Warner merger deinitely went off without a hitch too.

" With college basketball's second- or third-hottest coach, Georgetown's back on the national scene. But with no extension imminent for John Thompson III, it's a nervous delight on the Hilltop.

We can always expect George Washington to come up for air every once and a while and make a little bit of noise, but to expect any consistency from Karl Hobbs' under-resourced program would be unrealistic.

Maryland has the resources, but can't seem to get into college basketball's elite, which is frustrating considering Duke's recent woes and the supposedly diluted ACC. Gary Williams is slowly becoming a basketball dinosaur."

All three of these paragraphs are worthless. JTIII is under contract for two more years, GW is the cream of its conference and will probably continue to be (as it has been for the past three seasons...consistently) as long as Karl Hobbs is there. And I remember the exact same "dinosaur" statement being said about Williams the same season he went to the Final Four for the first time. Also, I guess having two down years does erase the '01 Final Four, the '02 National Championship, and the '03 ACC Championship. Maybe I'm living in the past, but Maryland also was the second best team in the second best conference in the country last year (usually the first). Not ideal, but the first place team was a National Championship favorite (North Carolina). And Georgetown did go to the Final Four this past year. And they return everybody except Jeff Green, and are adding a couple of monster recruits to an already Top 10 team. Uhhhh....that seems like a pretty good indicator for the future.

True, college football in this area sucks, since the only real local I-A team is Maryland, a basketball/lacrosse/soccer school. I guess that makes Duke and North Carolina pitiful sports colleges too.

"Lacrosse is the Emanuel Lewis of D.C. sports. It's cute, everyone generally likes it, but those same people keep saying, "just wait until it gets bigger." They've been saying that since Webster was on the air. The sport ain't getting any bigger.

Soccer and women's basketball are novelties to Washingtonians, sort of like the few remaining healthy animals at the National Zoo."

I'm not a big lacrosse fan, but it is the fastest growing sport in the country (or the second behind soccer depending on what stats you look at). Also, going to college in the South, I know it's growing exponentially down there, as evidenced by numerous schools of varying size (including my 1500 student DIII school) adding lacrosse programs.

I'm not a women's basketball fan either, but I think it's insulting and arrogant to say that people in DC don't care about women's basketball, when the Mystics have consistently drawn the biggest crowds in thier joke of a league, Maryland won the women's national championship last year, and gets some pretty good sized crowds.

As for soccer, I think DC has one of the best, if not the best, fanbases not only for the MLS but also for USMNT. Anecdotelly I went to a dinner a few weekends ago where me and another guy (an acqauintance) were both consistently keeping tabs on the US team's match. It wasn't a Gold Cup match; it wasn't a friendly against Mexico or some other decent team/rival. It was a friendly against China, not exactly an A-List match. I know far more people, both in this area and down South, who care more about Thierry Henry going to FC Barcelona than people who care about Anaheim winning the Stanley Cup. The TV ratings for soccer vs. hockey, and the attendance numbers for the United vs. the Caps favor a lot. 5,000 more fans per game to be specific (stat via DC Sports Bog, which I trust did research).

All in all, I spent way to much time with this, but it's nice to find a productive way to vent a little bit of pent up frustration. I don't like making this blog negative, but it seemed appropriate in this case. I never mentioned Douchebag X's name, either. And his book review in the Washingtonian sucked.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Let's Make A Deal II

If the whole thing described below doesn't work out, the Wiz could always move Haywood to Houston for Bob Sura's contract ($3.84 million, one year left), John Lucas III ($700,000, two years left), and Steve Nowak ($600,000 and two years). Neither Nowak nor Lucas has good numbers, but neither got much PT either. Sura is a good roleplayer but could possibly retire (he's 34 and missed all of last season with injuries) and give them cap room, Lucas is a poor man's Mike Conley, a good distributor but not a good shooter (they have similar builds as well), and Nowak was right up there with J.J. Reddick as a 3-point shooter in college (both came in and left at the same time). This gives DC more cap room next season if not this season, a dirt cheap by NBA standards backup point guard to develop (and who has good pedigree and is a DC native, coincidentally) and an outside shooter to bring off the bench to stretch the floor who is even cheaper. You'd also be getting them on their rookie contracts, meaning you could extend them an extra year for the same amount (I'm pretty sure). Haywood becomes a reasonably priced backup for Yao to complement/replace Mutumbo for Houston.

Sounds like a decent haul for both sides. It's basically a salary dump for Washington while also picking up a couple of prospects (baseball style trade) while Houston gets another veteran who can help their bench as they have a closing window to make a run past the first round of the playoffs with T-Mac.

Let's Make A Deal

I've been playing around with the ESPN's NBA trade machine, which holds up to RealGM surprisingly well, despite being hosted by the "Worldwide" Leader (the only way ESPN is the Worldwide Leader is if you define the world as New York and Connecticut...I've never seen or heard them break anything in DC sports news) and I started getting creative. Phoenix is currently the preference of Garnett, they need to clear cap room, without getting rid of Stoudemire. The best way to get his done, therefore, is to get another team or two involved.

Here's what I was going for; a realistic trade that works for every team involved, and in since this is a DC blog, involves the Wizards. Here's the general idea of what I came up with.

A four way trade with the biggest pieces being Garnett, Shawn Marion (who's on the block as well to give Phoenix more cap flexibility), Antawn Jamison (not officially on the way out but the most expendable member of the Big Three because his defense is horrible, he's older, and he's a free agent after this season. He also has the largest contract on the team.), and Zach Randolph (also on the block). Here it is:

Phoenix gets Kevin Garnett, Antonio Daniels, and Portland's number 42 pick.

Minnesota gets Zach Randolph, Boris Diaw (whose salary goes up if he's traded as part of his contract), Darius Miles, Brendan Haywood, and two of Portland's second rounders, numbers 37 and 53, and Phoenix's pick at 24.

Portland gets Antawn Jamison, Washington's first-rounder at 16, both of Phoenix's first-rounder at 29, Marcus Banks, and Rashad McCants.

Washington get Shawn Marion, Kurt Thomas, and Jarrett Jack, and Troy Hudson.

Each team gains a bit deal from subtracting: Washington gets rid of Brenda, Portland gets rid of Randolph and Darius Miles, two malcontents/large contracts, Minnesota parts with Garnett begrudingly but at least get something for him, and Phoenix gets rid of Thomas' contract (should he exercise his option) , Marion and Banks.

Washington loses Daniels and Jamison, Jamison being a ket starter and Daniels the sixth man who is money in the playoffs, but really probably upgrades over Jamison with Marion, who isn't quite as prolific scoring wise but has a similar offensive game, is a better rebounder, and a much better defender. Washington also gets rid of Haywood, who not only sucks but also wants out, and Daniels' contract is a bit excessive. They also get Kurt Thomas' rebounding and interior defense (as well as a big contract that comes off the books in a year) and Jack as a younger, less expensive alternative to Daniels. and swallow Hudson's contract and get ride of a mid-first-rounder in order to improve as much as they do.

Phoenix gets their guy and clears a LOT of cap room as they want to, while also getting another great bench player without losing Nash, Stoudemire, Barbosa, or Bell. They lose some rebounding but add a superstar starter while maintaining most of their rotation and adding another solid guard. Let's look at Daniels splits as a starter against Clevland in this past first round:
13.3/11.8/4.5 He averaged a double-double as starting point guard and is a decent defender. It should be noted that he's played similarly in the playoffs the past few years as well. They also get a second rounder to burn on a Euro guy who won't be over for a year or two.

Minnesota gets as much as it can possibly hope for Garnett, getting a younger post player who actually puts out comparable production to Garnett, as well as a cheap veteran center who's a pretty good backup (even if he is a dick), a young still fairly cheap post/wing player in Diaw, and three more later picks in one of the deepest drafts ever. They have to swallow Miles' contract, who could still bring something to the court, but is more valuable in conjunction with Ricky Davis coming up with some kind of bizarre celebration for when they do actually make a play, or at least bringing back the atnennae/pound your head act that Quentin Richardson and him had going on in LA. Since they should blow up the entire team, they are helped on their way by dealing Garnett, who's out of their in a year if they don't, and getting rid of Hudson, who's making a lot of noise about getting out as well and is about two or three years past a prime that never really happened, and gets paid an obscene amount for what he doesn't do. The also get three later picks at 24, 37, and 53 in a deep draft.

Portland goes from cellar to playoff team gaining Jamison, losing the moneypit named Darius Miles while also changing the future Terminator-style by getting rid of him and keeping him away from Oden. The addition of Jamison to go along with Oden instantly gives them two more faces to the team along with Brandon Roy. Also, Jamison gives them flexibility since his big contract goes off the books after this season, and they could package him with the two first-rounders they pick up in order to get Mike Conley Jr. as their future point guard/Oden's best buddy. They pick up Banks as a backup guard/dealmaker for doing business.

DC moves up to the cream of the conference (they might have beaten Cleveland anyways barring the poorly timed injuries to Arenas and Butler..they certainly would've taken to six or seven), Phoenix does as well as it matches up better against Nowitzki, Duncan, Durant and Oden. Portland gets the ammo it needs to move up and get Conley if it should choose to do so, and Minnesota gets its long-needed rebuilding effort going while still getting something good in return for Garnett, and this is about the best they can do, picking up another young post with similar numbers, a cheaper veteran center who could allow them to move Mark Blount for cap space or younger players. They actually make gains in PPG and RPG by 6 and five, though it doesn't work like that exactly. They also pick up a couple of later picks.

The entire thing checks out cap wise though Kurt Thomas can throw a wrench in it by opting out of his contract. That doesn't seem to be a logical move for him though, as he'll make more money sticking with this contract as he's older and overpaid.

The whole thing makes too much sense to actually happen.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

An Excessive Non-Sports Interlude

So Lil Bro and I took a break from our lives rotated around athletics to go see Wilco at Merriweather Post a few days ago on the summer solstice. Not only was it the best concert I've ever been to, but from a search of the Youtubes it looks like it was one of Wilco's best performances too. They're definitely a great live band, and both of us felt like while their studio stuff is good, it doesn't do justice to their talent. I mean, they did three legit encores, something I've never seen before, and while the first one definitely seemed planned, the second and third ones seemed more like the effect of several thousand people just standing and cheering for several minutes as loud as they could both times. Also, you probably couldn't find a more eclectic concert crowd; to our right was a couple of middle-aged parents witht their teenaged son, in back of us were a couple of buzzed, smartass 30ish hipsters, behind us was a couple of fifty-somethings, in front of us a couple of "those guys" who kept high-fiving each other like the one of them that was air-guitaring and drum soloing was actually playing. And half the crowd consisted of dirty, pancho wearing college hippies, toking up and corrupting all the youth at the concert, like the six-year old (seriously) who was taking in his first concert in the calmest mosh pit ever.

Here's some video from the concert, taken from near where we were:

AND Part 2

And the Singer Jeff Tweedy just owning a dumbass fan who jumps on stage and grabs him. About 1:10 in.

Wilco performing one of their "hits":

And "Via Chicago".

Basketball Leftovers

Again, major apologies for not making a real link out of this. Someday I'll actually figure out how to do this "blogging" thing. Then again, the energy that it takes to copy and paste this url burns you an extra .3 calories or so. Basically, I'm doing you a favor to get some extra finger aerobics since you've probably been at the calculating box for a bit anyways. Ah, whatever. It's a good mock draft put together by the seedy underground of basketball blogging, I don't usually read Bullets Fever (ed. Forever) but the blogger with the unfortunate handle of "Pradamaster" (I think that's the official job title of guys in Central Park selling cheap "designer" handbags) has some pretty good reasoning when 'selecting' for the Wiz.

"16. Washington - Pradamaster from Bullets Forever selects Derrick Byars: While the Wizards’ biggest need is probably an intimidating presence in the middle, that’s not going to be found with the 16th pick. Rather that draft another second-rate big to add to the cirque du soleil of second-rate bigs on the roster, the lack of depth on the wing should be addressed. Byars is the perfect fit for this Wizards team, having played in the Princeton offense while at Vanderbilt. He’s a solid all-around performer that, in addition to his scoring, plays excellent defense, which this team really needs. He’s also an excellent shooter, a strong ball-handler, and a fantastic passer for his position. I’m personally shocked that he isn’t getting more attention. The main criticism with Byars seem to be that he does a lot of things well, but nothing spectacularly. Hmm…sounds a lot like the 2006 Rookie of the Year, doesn’t it?"

Interesting. This draft is so strong and deep that I'd be happy with Lez Boulez ending up with several different players, Byars being one of them. Personally I think it's intriguing to see if they can move up if either Julian Wright or esp. Jeff Green falls within a few picks of them at 16 (by the way, as brutal as it was to see Caron and Gil go down within a few games of each other and the Wizards get swept out before they were even ion the playoffs, the collapse might end up helping them in the long run, since they'll be picking right before a fairly large dropoff in talent in the draft, and it just so happens to be a draft where it's a reasonable expecatation that you could pick up a difference maker at No.16. And if you're really feeling optimistic, you can reason that the lack of depth caused by injuries gave Grunfeld and Jordan a good chance to evaluate guys like Blatche and Roger Mason and give them experience and extended minutes in major games, as well as weed Haywood out as the douchebag he is.) The one big man who I think it might make sense for them to take is Jason Smith or Nick Fazekas if they could move up in the second to take him, but they already have too young jump shooting (presumbably) soft big men in Pecerhov and their most recent experiment, Vermeenko. So a solid wing who could possibly replace Jamison if he walks after this coming season, or if they decide to sign somebody else with the cash he frees up. The usually mind-numbing John Hollinger actually has a pretty good free Insider preview article about some potential free agents. Most of the real names are pretty unrealistic to expect to be available, but there is one name that's particularly intriguing: Elton Brand, who would bring some internal scoring, defense and toughness. His availability would depend on the somewhat mercurial Donald Sterling decides to drown the Clippers in another two decades of mediocrity by cheapskatedness. I wouldn't mind them trying to trade for before this season or sign after this season to a small two or three year deal Shaun Livingston, who had a lot of potential (though didn't allways live up to it) before he Thiesmanned his knee. He's still only 21 or 22 as well, though his knee is probably about 60 or 70 now, but because of lack of any really meaningful production and the risk of the injury, not to mention only one year left on the ol'mulitmillion dollar piece of paper, making him a gamble that might be worth taking.

Also, I'm glad the Wizards picked up local player and future Bruce Bowen, D.J. Strawberry. Oh wait, they're just working him out every other day the month leading up to the draft? Not much of a poker face, that Ernie Grunfeld, not that it'll matter since Strawberry figures to be a mid-2nd rounder at most anyways, but I'll gurantee he ends up being a successful Bruce Bowen-type of guy in the league for at least the next 8-10 years. He had the same kind of defensive insticts as Juan Dixon in college, but with more size and muscle.

Arsenal now Undergoing Arms Embargo

This just crawled in through ESPNews, Thierry Henry, soccer's Tim Duncan, signs with FC Barcelona. That sound you're hearing is Nick Hornsby burning his manuscript of Fever Pitch and David Hirshey stepping in front of a bus.

Friday, June 22, 2007

D.C. Bogmania

I was walking back home from my internship and saw a slightly familiar pale bald head on the other side of the street...none other then the Master of Minutia, Tony Kornheiser's Successor, Jamie Mottram's Overlord, Mr. DAN STEINBERG, who was coming from the National Zoo. Was he covering a wrestling match between Gilbert and a Polar Bear, the next logical opponent for Gil after his numerous smackdowns of manchild Party John Ramos in the Zards' locker room? Filming a race between Santana and a Cheetah? Recording a genetic experiment inserting Rod Strickland's mind with the body of a lazy ass Panda in an effort to pervert nature?

No, he was visiting our Metro areas beautiful National Zoological Park with his lovely wife and young child, and seemed half honored that I'd stop him on the street for his "fame" and half scared I'd been following him in order to pull off some kind of "Misery" situation with him.

Incidentally, he seemed to really enjoy the Reptile House, as well as Praire Dog County and, everybody's favorite, the Naked Mole-Rat exhibit. Uh, just a guess.

For those unfamiliar with Agent Steinzz' work, here's the most recent, and perhaps best, installation of Bog TV. Hihglights include anytime Randle El talks and when Jason Campbell refers to himself as "Mediterranean", an instant classic. The only thing that comes close to it is the video from the Preakness infield, when the Bogster asks a drunken co-ed who won the Preakness last year, only for her to respond, "I DID!!!"


Thursday, June 21, 2007

dumber than a blow to the head

I have a brillant idea: Let's pay lots of money to have a conference in lovely Rosemont, Ill., bring smarty pants scientists together ... and then friggin' bicker about neurons!
Okay, National Football League and Roger Goodell, here's the deal. Getting hit in the head really hard really sucks. Next time, take the money for a meeting to discuss how much it sucks, and instead spend it on actually helping the players.
See this would never happen if Marion Barry were in charge of the NFL (yes, we just gave him a promotion).
Commissioner-for-Life Barry make it happen!

Your Bite-Sized NBA Draft Post of the Nite

Here's an interesting look at graphing what NBA players are best at what, and what their respective tendencies are. All of this is pretty Freakenomics, which I kind of dig. However, like a 3-D picture, it does give you a bit of a headache if you stare at it for too long.
(via TrueHoop).

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Basketball Prognostication at its Finest

"Here's what I think Kevin McHale will do: Wear an ugly sweater, back out of a KG deal at the last second and take Spencer Hawes at No. 7, followed by KG snapping in mid-December after a 30-point loss to the Spurs and killing everyone in Minnesota's locker room except Ricky Davis, who will calmly sit in front of his locker watching it happen while drinking a malt 40."- Bill Simmons

Ladies and Gentlemen, mark the date and time, because something truly historic happened today. This is one of the truest statements ever, and it completely sums up my reasoning in why a trade for Garnett isn't completely nuts; it's only Dave Chapelle flying away to South Africa to avoid a $50 Million contract, not Pacman Jones throwing tens of millions away over a few thou he gave away to Vegas strippers to make it rain, and subsequently wanting all that money back and biting a bouncer in the ankle to reacquire it. It's somewhat unlikely, but the odds of it happening are better than LindsLo, or whatever the hell she's nicknamed now, avoiding substances that go up your nose for more than three days.

I wouldn't be surprised if she's joined in rehab by Kevin McHale, who'll be in there to kick his eye-bleedingly bad sweater and mind numbingly bad roster move habits.

And get better LaVar.

Monday, June 18, 2007

(Don't) show me the money

As LaVar "The Ghost Rider" Arrington recovers from his accident, it reminds me of one of my pet peeves about modern sports (yes, I have many) and the Redskins.
Here's a quote from a 'skins player that struck me the other day: "There are a lot of things that go into starting over with another team. I just felt comfortable here. To me, being comfortable is more important than the money. That's just me, though."
We talked recently about how Agent Zero will scrunch for a massive payday instead of helping the Wizards next year, so it's refreshing to hear Ladell Betts tell the Post that, Yes, money indeed is not everything.
Despite his ass-kicking end-of-year play, Ladell has resigned with the Redskins; it's a healthy contract, of course, but not the bling-bling perhaps he could've gotten on the open market.
Now, before I get accused of being an anticapitalist sandinista who wears Che shirts beneath my Gap jacket, obviously an athlete has a right to earn a big salary.
But I am so sick, especially with the 'skins, of players looking for the big cash after saying how much they love the team. LaVar, since you're in the hospital I won't say anything (cough -- where's my $6.5 million petty cash? -- cough).
AND, at the same time, I also can't stand when Coach God Bless 'em Joe Gibbs calls a player a "Real Redskin" but then won't pony up a decent salary. Don't we all mourn the loss of Antonio Pierce? Would we be dumbing down Gregg Williams D if Pierce were still middle linebacker?
So, to sum up, it'd be nice to hear more Redskins talk like Betts, and also Gibbs to pay more than lip service to the "Real" players.
And ... LaVar, feel better, dude.

Lavar LaHurt

WTWP is reporting Lavar Arrington has been injured in an accident on Route 50 while riding a motorcycle...More later.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The LaLanne

I dare you -- DARE YOU -- to call this guy an old coot or codger or, well, anything bedsides King Jack LaLanne, Lord of Strengthfulness.
According to this Post article, at 92 he's in wicked good shape and could probably bench press me ... while I'm sitting in my car ... carrying a herd of elephants. So why don't we get him as defensive end for the Redskins?
GM-for-Life Barry, make it happen!

PS -- For those Arrested Development fans, Uncle "Dragon, SHOOT ME!" Jack, was loosely based on LaLanne.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Mayor-for-Life at the buffet table

Ollie and I had a brush with glory this Sunday. While eating brunch and complaining about the soggy bacon, we saw the one and only Marion "bitch set me up" Barry at Annie's on Kent Island.
I realized as he strolled from the buffet table that despite his shortcomings (you know, being arrested for drugs and all), that DC's Mayor-for-Life reigned during the most victorious era of the Redskins. (I'm ignoring his return to the office in 1995.)
It's totally ridiculous, totally unbelievable, totally superstitious, but given all the 'Skins have tried recently, perhaps what the football team needs in order to win is to put Barry back in power.
Now, I don't mean as chief executive of our fair city (we have Marathon Man Fenty for that). But perhaps put him in the position the team needs most, a new General Manager. Can you imagine a more dynamic duo than Coach Gibbs and GM Barry?!?
Hail to Hizzoner!

Arenas, so long?

Here's my monkey wrench to all ths hopeful Wiz draft talk. With the announcement this weekend that Arenas WILL opt out of his contract next year (and represent himself to boot) will we really see him stay with the Wizards for $10 million per year, which would help the team? Minor Thread hopes so, calling that "an act of selflessness unprecedented in the NBA." Agreed. But it ain't happening.
Now, I luv Mr. Zero to Hero, but Gilbert is dreaming of lots of zeros on his paycheck. According to the Post: "While he has repeatedly expressed a desire to see the Wizards put together a championship contending team, Arenas made it clear on Saturday that his decision to opt out is based primarily on business concerns."
The article goes on to say his knee injury and the birth of his second son, has changed the view of his financial future. Meaning, Daddy Gilbert wants his kids in Armani diapers.
If Arenas leaves, do we kiss our Wizards hopes good-bye?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Just for the Hell of It....

Apparently, this is making the rounds around the series of tubes we refer to as the internet. It's pretty funny, if shots to the balls are your kind of thing. Via Deadspin.

UPDATE---Not sports related at all, but taps into the true spirit of college. Hitting people from another school with Funnoodles. This IS Epic.

Rambling Thoughts About _______.

I caught parts of all three Nats games this weekend, and a couple of things stuck out to me.

I have actually grown fairly attached to our announcing team of Bob Carpenter and Don Sutton. Both seem to actually enjoy watching the sport they cover as well as working with each other, nor do they seem to think they need to prove that they know everything about baseball, unlike most announcers (like every jackass color man on Fox, and Joe Morgan). Also, Sutton actually has a useful observation or two just about every game, again in contrast to most color announcers these days, regardless of sport. Combine this with with goofy shots of kids in the stands every couple of innings and MASN has, shockingly, done a decent job at making an enjoyable broadcast. Warrants mentioning, as does the competition between Johnny Holiday and Don Sutton throughout this series to out "date" themselves by mentioning obscure 50's TV shows.

I haven't seen the Angels or Indians play, but I get this crazy feeling that the World Series Champ is going to come from AAAA again. The Padres and Dodgers are probably two of the three best pitching teams in the majors, the Mets have a ridiculous lineup, and Arizona has a lot of talent. The NL Central does deserve to be delegated to AAA though....
As for my second favorite baseball team (I sound like a ten year-old, I know), the Sawx, I think they have the best lineup and rotation, and June. They looked great for a while last year and faded towards the end. I think they'll still, hopefully, win the AL East, but I think they're probably peakng too early.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

More Wiz Draft Talk...Again

Agreed on Navarro, we've both been slurping the guy for years now. There needs to be a greater sense of urgency to get him on the right side of the Atlantic; he's already 25 or 26 and not getting any younger. I think it's ironic that a guy who hasn't even played for this team might be the best draft pick of the Jordan Era.

As for a Garnett trade, McHale knows he doesn't have much leighway. Because of Garnett's contract he knows he's backed into a's too hard for him to acquire players that can put them over the top. They're not even a playoff team right now! By the way, a trade like this happened only a few years ago when Miami traded for Shaq. They gave up a huge contract who contributed little (Brian Grant), Lamar Odom, who was a young guy but risky because of past suspensions for pot with LA's other team, and a former rookie of the year who had just gone through a fairly major sophomore slump (dropped six ppg., played ten less games) in Tuff Juice. None of those guys was an All-Star, and Miami still got one of the best big men ever for that package. Now, part of this was because Kupchak is a horrible GM, but McHale is arguably beating him in a race to the bottom. There's a lot of pressure on McHale right now to win at some point with one of the best players in the league, and internal grumbling from Garnett, similar to the internal pressure (from Buss, or Kobe, or both) to trade Shaq. They're similar situations.
It'd need a good sell job, but it's do-able, and it's more realistic than Tiago Splitter or Yi Jianlin, or any other stiff big man that would be available after Oden and Hawes in this draft. Maybe the Wiz could try to trade for a high draft pick next year and get Hibbert, but he's not a good fit for a running team, and it'd be hard to get any pick as high as he might go in next year's thinner draft. By the way, show of hands for those who cringed when they read that Josh McRoberts was at the Wizards draft workouts. I think I'd rather get Christian Laettner back than draft that big puss.

Keeping It Real: Wizard's Draft PT II

I just put down a good book about a travelling baseball team featuring a sasquatch, a couple faeries, a wererat and some human children facing off against Coyote, the trickster god of Indian mythos, and his band of players, with the fate of the universes at stake. SUMMERLANDS by Michael Chabon. My favorite part was the faerie princess imprisoned for decades for the crime of...introducing the designated hitter rule. Now if only we could recover the human baby stolen from the crib of Peter Angelos and usurp the rule of the Goblin King of Balmer...

Speaking of speculative fiction: Jamison for Garnett. A 32-year-old marginal all-star for a Hall-of-Famer. Nuff said.

Now, if the Wiz could trade Jamison and pick #16 this year and our first rounder next year for Jermaine O'Neal, I'd jump all over that. You are never going to get value like O'Neal at #16 in the coming years -- and the Wizards shouldn't draft higher than 16 in the coming years. But it does have the whiff of fantasy, too. Would you trade O'Neal for Jamison? Unfortunately, a Bynum/Odom deal with the Lakers seems a better bet for the Pacers.

Here is a nugget retrieved from the depths of the interweb:
A poll of NBA GMs --

Who is the best international player NOT in the NBA?
Theodoros Papaloukas


Luis Scola

Tiago Splitter
Others receiving votes: Marco Belinelli, Rudy Fernandez, Robertas Javtokas, Ricky Rubio

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Friday, June 8, 2007

More Wiz Draft Talk

While Minor Thread has many good points, I think the best possibility for the 'Zards is to acquire a star veteran who can increase their offensive and defensive post presence. As mentioned, there are already some young players who are growing into their roles, like Blatche and (possibly) Lang. Captain Blatche, as his friends call him, hs shown to already be a solid rebounder in the (limited) minutes he's gotten. If you extrapolate his reb. and ppg. from this past season to 48 minutes worth of playing time (unrealistic, but for argument's sake) he would've had 14.5 ppg. and 13.3 rpg. Obviously, it doesn't exactly work like that, but Blatche did show promise and got some good experience towards the end of the season due to whatever gypsy curse was on Les Boullez. That and we've heard he may be the next coming of Kevin Garnett. Also, I know somebody who played against him in high school and thought he was scary.
Lang saw less time and really doesn't figure to have as high of a ceiling. However, myabe we can get rid of the "Living Dead Center" aka Calvin Booth and have Lang step into that role. However, given the fact that he averaged about 9 and 5 in the NBDL, I'm not too high on him. I'd be more interested in seeing what Vermeenko can do.

I'd be more interested in trading for a stud, good character, strong defense playing post man. How about Kevin Garnett? Jamison would be a good centerpiece to the trade, along with Brenda and the good Constable Hayes (via sign-and-trade). It works out cap wise if you add some scrub from Minnesota and it would transform the Wiz into instant title contenders. Also, they wouldn't be trading away their young core players (Arenas, Butler, Blatche, Navarro if he ever immigrates, Stevenson) and wouldn't be mortgaging their future for a title. You could also throw in the number one this year if you want, though this will probably be the best offer McHale gets for Garnett, especially considering Minnesota would be getting more ppg. out of the deal, and it would give them a cheap youngish center and role player, as well as cap room if they decide not to keep Jamison (his deal expires after next season...possibly giving the 'Zards a shot at signing him for a less exorbitant deal). Grunfeld shouldn't be worried about losing a first rounder since the team's already going to have two, maybe three young players to develop next season.

I think it's crazy enough to work, especially considering one of the GMs is intelligent and shrewd enough to build a team virtually from scratch and one is a guy who's had a top five player the last ten years and hasn't gotten his team past the first round of the playoffs. Sounds plausible.

(Ernie Grunfeld, far right, and Eddie Jordan, center, in trade negotiations with Kevin McHale, left)

Wizards Draft Forecast PT I

So let the countdown to Wizards draft 2007 begin! It's good to see Ollie and Lil Bro are practicing the art of blogservation with the inanity of the baseball draft, but it's time to get serious. While the rest of the NBA is engrossed in the coronation of Queen James, it's time for the WizNation to plot its next move.

Having surfaced from the the depths that were 1980-2003, what are the next steps the team needs to take in order to be a serious contender?

A. Keep the core together -- Butler, Arenas -- see anybody missing from this list? Yep. The 32-year-old Jamison, who averaged 32 & 10 for the depleted squad in the playoffs. His age and the lack of defense -- everybody had their season high point total against him this year -- make him expendable for the right price. We'll talk what that price might be later. Meanwhile the team has to keep getting better in order to keep Arenas around after his current contract expires. More on that later, too.

B. Get everybody to buy into defense -- hmmm, the Suns aren't playing for the title, the Spurs are. Defensive intensity can equalize a lot of matchups. Arenas has talked a lot about this before. Is he willing to put in the time he takes working on his shot and apply it to learning how to shut somebody else down?
And we do need a defensive stopper of a center, somebody who can control the paint and can be waiting there when people go around our perimeter defenders.

C. Build a worthy second unit. We need the young guys to get better (Blatche, Lang) and we need better guys. Daniels, Blatche, Songaila... then the list gets thin. In case of injury, they need to be able to step up. Etan probably is best a 2nd stringer, too.


- We are getting a 1st and 2nd rounder this year, possibly Juan Carlos Navarro for the 1 or the 2, possibly Pecherov and Veermenko from last year's draft. That's a lot of new blood, 5 new players through the draft alone. If just one of the Eastern Bloc guys can play, this will probably solidify the 2nd unit as Daniels, Navarro (shooting guard?), Blatche, Pecherov or Veermenko, E Thomas or Songaila. That's a lot of guys who are good fits for the Princeton offense, not a lot of defense. I think that needs to come from this year's draft.

- Arenas has said he would be willing to not max out his contract in order to help the team. Would he be willing to opt out of his contract (which he can do after this season) and come back for 10 million per? That would be huge, and, I believe, an act of selflessness unprecedented in the NBA. Jamison's contract would be up, too, so he could be kept, perhaps eventually as a star reserve devoted to instant offense, for much less. That would open up the possibility of the Wiz pursuing MAJOR free agents next summer with that free cap room. Moves next summer will really define the next 5 years. If we are able to keep the core together and have room to add pieces, look out...

Thursday, June 7, 2007


So yeah, the Devil Rays pick up a Vanderbilt pitcher, Bud Selig stands behind a podium, blah-blah ... WHY is this on television? A live audience for this sports non-event that was broadcast from -- I kid you not -- the Milk House at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex! (Hey Goofy, bet you $1000 and a summer pass to Epcot Michael Moustakas of Chatsworth High goes in the first round.)
Granted this was ESPN2, which usually shows professional duck tossing on Thursday afternoons. But does MLB have to follow the NBA and NFL with a televised draft? You can tell me baseball fans are driving this, but all it is $$$ for Bud and his pals (and a lead in to MLB's new cable channel).
But perhaps a more pressing concern: Ollie why -- WHY -- are you watching this? Hoping to catch a glimpse of Snow White at the Milk House?

WOOOOO!!! Names of Guys I've Never Heard Of!

2:18 I'm getting going late...Some guy out of Popped Collar Douchebag U...oops, I mean Vanderbilt, has the despa...pleasure of being picked first overall by the St.Petersburg Devil Rays. "One day he's the pitcher, the next day he's the batboy." Uh, okay Pete.

2:21 Some Greek guy just got drafted out of high school...throws 97 mph but is a shortstop?!? Riiiight... Incidentally, Bud Selig looks even more uncomfortable doing this draft thing than David Stern, if that's possible within the laws of quantum physics and whatnot.

2:25 First Levitra commercial and the first "got wood" joke of the day. Looking to break a record today.

4:55 Back from technical difficulties and the Nationals are about to pick after taking some guy who sounds good from Mizzou State.

"Detwiler has been impressive for Missouri State this season, posting a 2.22 ERA in 14 appearances, while striking out 110 batters in 89 innings." (via

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

An Eloquent Putdown of Philladelphia in Musical Verse

As far as I can tell this somewhat amusing video by "the Dirtbags" hasn't been put up anywhere else. OUR FIRST SCOOP!!1111 (Maybe)

Monday, June 4, 2007

I Shall Lob this Resin Handgrenade to Show How I Respectfully Disagree With that Strike Call, Sir...

The purpose of this blog is primarily to display the banter between three brothers who are all fans of DC sports, and whose level of interest in said area sports range from "meh" to "I can't wait for D.C. United to beat some Red Bull ass."

That being said, this video is way too good to pass up. You've never really lived until you've seen the ol' resin bag as a hand grenade trick.

(Courtesy of, obviously)

This, to me, raises to the question of whether or not players and managers conciously make asses of themselves for our (and their) entertainment. I certainly would in an effort to break through the monotony of a minor league baseball game. Maybe there's an ongoing bet in ( relatively meaningless) baseball as to who can throw the more outrageous tantrum. Resin bag boy or this guy: