Tuesday, February 27, 2007

All-Star violence and Tommy Davidson

There's a rather hot debate in the NBA blogosphere right now, summed up best by TrueHoop, that doesn't paint a beautiful picture for the Average Joe (or Poor Man Commish) to attend All-Star Weekend. It also reaches into the problems of violence in American society, with which we've previously compared to Iraq.

Interestingly, in this month's issue of Black Enterprise (which has a terrible archive search section where I couldn't find a link to the article), comedian Tommy Davidson was profiled by Kenneth Meeks. Davidson disclosed his very profound beliefs and passion in life to try and fix these very ills...

Read the rest of the story

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Behind the scenes at Vegas All-Star

Hottest tickets in town, Celine Dion be damned. (All photos courtesy of D. Ho.)

[From Seoul Shibuya...]

On my way back from Cali, I swung over in LV and caught up with our very own Danny Ho, Moe’s Tavern power forward and employee of the National Basketball Association, and got to ask him what it’s like being him. Over 10 plates of food at the Wynn buffet, here’s how it went...

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Monday, February 19, 2007

dreamleaguer needs your vote for Haagen Dazs Top 3

Our very own Ken Wan, who has helped in many ways to get dreamleague Bay Area on its feet now to the tune of 75 teams, somehow made it to the Top Ten in the Haagen Dazs Flavor Search contest.

Click here to vote, then follow these instructions:
  1. Scroll all the way to right (Ken's entry is hard to find).

  2. Click and hold the long brown page slider on the right until you can see Ken's flavor: Coco y Cacao.

  3. Click on PLAY and watch the short video. (Note to Ken: you shoulda kept your mohawk!)

  4. Ken needs a 5-star vote. Be sure to click on the maximum number of stars as you vote. You might want to have your cursor approach from the right to make sure of this.
Your vote only accounts for 20% of the final judging, but Ken needs all the help he can get.

If Ken got a vote for all the times he has lended a hand to dreamleague, which boils down to making your league better each and every season, he would have won already. But it doesn't work that way, so please donate a couple clicks of your time for Ken!

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Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Rod Benson is the Kevin Durant of pro hoop bloggers

All you Cal alums will love this. Yeah, we know the pic is of Kevin Durant, but we couldn't find enough of Rod Benson's...

TrueHoop recently directed us to a funny inside look at 6'10" NBDL player and ex-Cal star Rod Benson and his encounter with a 300-lb. woman at a club.

A few clicks later, we found Rod's rant on his blog www.toomuchrodbenson.com, where he complains about The Trouble With Being Tall:
...The urinals are only half of the story. The stalls happen to pose an even bigger problem. The idea with stalls is that they are designed to limit the visibility of two people in neighboring toilets. All your really supposed to see is the boxer-pants-shoes pile that covers the ankles of the person next to you. The average person can basically do whatever they want once they close that stall door because they essentially disappear. I, on the other hand, am visible the whole time until I sit down. It never feels comfortable staring at some guy washing his hands as im getting situated in the stall. What if its a hot day and I want to take my shirt off? What if I smell the place up real bad and I want to kind of escape without being seen? Impossible. My whole head and shoulders are above the stall level...In this photo, taken at my eye level, I see right over the stall with ease...
With due respect to the many praises of the blogs of Gilbert Arenas and Mark Madsen, if Paul Shirley was heretofore the Greg Oden of hoop bloggers who are or were playing professionally somewhere, then Benson is the Kevin Durant of the hoop blogosphere.

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Adversity, not fundamentals

In this week's ESPN The Mag, Oakley Brooks uncovered a little tidbit about a certain group of 37 teenagers (5 of them over 7-feet, including Yi Jianlian) from China, spotted at a Rockets-Blazers game and currently training at the U.S. Basketball Academy in Oregon:
"From a skills perspective, they don't have to apologize to anyone," says Cameron Hill, a former assistant at Kentucky who's overseeing the Chinese ballers' six-month stay...Still, [they] lack fundamentals, particularly when it comes to lifting weights and running a standard half-court spread. That's why Chinese officials sent their best to the West.
I humbly submit that the missing ingredient is not the fundamentals as described. It is good old-fashioned adversity.

The mental aspect of the game is very complex, but it all starts with adversity, overcoming a challenge that you as a balla take personally. In the NBA, sometimes it's the difficulties of growing up in the inner-city that propels one's desire to succeed. Everyone has to find their own fuel, not matter what level you're at.

For me, it was simply being demoted from starting floor general to 3rd-string point guard in 9th grade -- this was before I sprouted 9 inches to 5'11" one year later -- after being yelled at as an idiot in front of the entire gym by my coach in preseason for forgetting the defensive switch from zone to man, crushing my confidence for years. I then slowly climbed my way back to starting small forward as a senior. With local playground ball still part of my staple, even as I left town for college I still vowed to become better than any of the starters that had been ahead of me or go-to guys throughout all those years, just in case I ever saw one of my old alums on the blacktop.

In the game of basketball, everyone has to find their own fuel. I'm not sure the Chinese basketball academies realize that.

On a side note, here's the illustration from Frank Stockton that accompanied the article. It's not particularly helpful in breaking down the stereotypes of Chinese/Asian ballas: http://www.frankstockton.com/espn.html

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