Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What Difference A Couple Years Make

What happened?
I grew up following the NBA during the 80's and 90's when the Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, and Pistons were successful franchises. As a teenager I never thought the day would come when young kids in my area would be excited to wear NBA gear from teams like the Wizards (then Bullets), Warriors, Clippers, Bucks, or Mavericks.

It is interesting to see how some teams who were really struggling a couple years ago are now leading their conference. As of today, Atlanta, Washington, and Toronto have the best records in the East and Golden State, Portland, and Memphis are the top 3 teams in the West.

It is equally surprising to see teams like the Lakers, Nicks, and Celtics struggling so bad. It just goes to show how much difference a couple trades, draft picks, and time can make.

I used to have no desire to watch Golden State but now I love watching the Splash Brothers put up their numbers. The Clippers used to be a boring team but I have now been conditioned to expect amazing highlights whenever I see them play.

It is amazing what time can do in the NBA. Maybe 20 years down the road I might warm up to watching the WNBA too.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Awesome commercial

I have always felt bad for great athletes who had successful NBA careers but were never able to win a ring. Players like Elgin Baylor, Allen Iverson, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, John Stockton, George Gervin, Patrick Ewing, and Dominique Wilkins come to mind.

I recently saw Damian Lillard's Foot Locker commercial and thought it was hilarious. What makes it so good is that these guys can be such good sports and joke about it (especially the Mailman).

Malone may have never won a championship, but I'll bet some retired players who have won rings would gladly trade them to have his physique at age 50.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Art of Breaking a Backboard

Last month while I was playing a pickup game, a guy on my team stole the ball from the other team and raced down the court. He is one of the few leapers we play with so we were expecting the customary dunk.

When he got near the basket he cocked the ball back behind his head with both hands and threw it down HARD! He dunks with the same wrath as Russell Westbrook and this time the result was a shattered backboard.

About 20 of us saw this happen. The broken backboard meant that we were done playing for the day which was bad news, but nobody really seemed to mind since they just witnessed such an amazing feat.

I don't understand why there were not more broken backboards in the NBA before the break away rim era. The picture to the right shows David Thompson dunking on a skinny old school rim. Those were a recipe for shattered glass.

I think breaking a backboard is one of the manliest things a guy can do. It's a couple steps above Chuck Norris on the testosterone scale. I'd like to clarify that I don't approve of vandalism or harming other people's property, but if a backboard breaks as a result of a hard dunk and not just from punks hanging on the rim, then you have my respect.

I remember seeing Darryl Dawkins break backboards when I was a kid and that left a huge impression on me. During my teenage years I broke several rims from excessive dunking but I never put a scratch on a backboard despite secretly wanting to do so.

I think once a person breaks a backboard it should be mandatory to list that on their resume regardless of what they do for a job.

"I see you are applying for our human resources manager. Do you have any prior experience?"
"Not really but I did dunk a ball so hard once that it shattered the backboard." "
"When can you start?"

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Post Game Interview Attire

I get a kick out of seeing how some of the NBA players  are dressed when they show up at the arena prior to a game. I also think it is funny to see how they dress for their post game interviews. I recently saw the following clip and thought it was one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time.

I know this video has been out for a long time so I feel like the person who sends out a video about "Charlie Bit My Finger" or "Star Wars Kid" after it's been around for years, but this is still too good to not post.

Speaking of post game interviews, that process has to be one of the hardest things about being a professional athlete. Can you imagine having to answer questions from a bunch of arm chair quarterback reporters after every single game as people with perfect hindsight critique your efforts?

After thinking about it, I actually feel bad for some of the NBA players and think that facing the press after every game could be just as hard as the conditioning challenges, travel, and long season the athletes have to deal with. So I guess they can wear whatever they want.

Friday, November 1, 2013

When You Don't Want to Pay the NBA...

I remember buying a Michael Jordan poster in the 80's that featured MJ in the dunk contest his rookie year. That particular poster looked a little odd since it showed him wearing his Chicago Bulls jersey but it was solid red. I later realized it was because someone didn't want to pay the NBA extra for using the Bulls logo on their poster.

The other day I was at the store and saw a display that reminded me of that. I guess Sunny Delight didn't have enough in their advertising budget to include Gordon Hayward's Jazz logo on their ad.

This whole licensing idea reminds me of an old Pony shoe commercial where Orlando Woolridge and Spud Webb were shown dunking wearing some unrecognizable white uniforms as opposed to their regular team uniforms.

Few things make me more sad than seeing a professional athlete who is not able to wear their regular jersey for a product endorsement or a commercial.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pickup Basketball Stereotypes

I've previously posted about the 14 kinds of players who drive me crazy. I recently saw that Dude Perfect made a video about the most common stereotypes you see from guys playing pickup ball.

I loved this video and thought many of these were spot on. Even though these players can be annoying and drive you crazy, I guess they add variety to the game and make it more entertaining. By the way, I'm guilty of being "my bad" and the occasional "rage monster" and am slowly becoming the "old guy".

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Time to Brag

I have never collected sports cards, but back in 1985 I bought a pack of Star trading cards. I had Michael Jordan's rookie card but he wasn't dunking in it so I ended up tossing it. I recently told this to some guys in a sports card trading shop and they just shook their head and looked at me like I was an idiot. Maybe they were right.

In a related story, when I was a teenager I got a scratch off card with a slurpee I bought at 7-11. I ended up scratching off three spider men in a row which meant it was the winning card for a new bike. I lost it before I could redeem it.

I hate it when I hear stories about people picking up Rembrandt paintings at garage sales. I guess I help balance out things in the universe so things like that are possible for others.