Monday, November 23, 2015

Nasty Dunks

There are dunks and then there are beast mode dunks. I think one of the best indicators of a great power dunk is how clean it goes through the rim. If you see the ball hit the ground before the player lands you know he threw it down with some serious force. Here are some great dunks that demonstrate what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Welcome the 2015-2016 Season

The NBA preseason has wrapped up and we are now ready to start another year of NBA action. I don't put too much stock into the preseason standings but I was surprised by a couple things. I would never have expected to see the Charlotte Hornets finish with the best record of  7-1 and conversely I was shocked to see the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 1-6 record. We will see how things change when the games actually mean something during the regular season.

I'm also excited to be able to watch the daily Top 10 highlights every night again.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Farewell to Chocolate Thunder

I was sad to hear of the recent passing of Darryl Dawkins at the early age of 58. As a teenager I had posters of Chocolate Thunder in my bedroom and dreamed of being able to break backboards some day like he did. He was a dominant presence in the paint and yet had a great sense of humor and was a fun player to watch. Check out some of his highlights on this short clip.


RIP at planet Lovetron.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

My Favorite Jazz Players

Since the Jazz had such a bad year last year and are still struggling this season, I thought I'd reminisce a little about better times. The following are my favorite Jazz players that I grew up watching. I am only including my top 10 favorite players who I have personally watched so that is why Pete Maravich as well as any other player prior to 1980 is not on my list.

1) Karl Malone- Karl earned my respect for being one of the hardest working players in the NBA. He was a machine and only missed a handful of games over his long career and outworked everyone in the off season. I wish he would have milked his career for all it was worth because he could have beaten Kareem's scoring record if he stuck around a little longer. He was definitely in good enough shape to play several more years.

2) John Stockton- Stockton was tough competitor. His steals and assists records are ridiculous and make me wonder if any one will ever come close to putting up the career numbers he did in those categories. I also appreciate the fact that had any scandal or PR problems off the court during his career which many players can't say. He was a humble and reserved guy, especially when you consider all that he accomplished on the court.

3) Darrell Griffith- I didn't get to watch Griffith for many years, but I loved watching Dr. Dunkenstein's exciting play. He could elevate and dunk with the best of them during his time. He also had the highest arcing rainbow three pointers I've ever seen. I would have loved to see more of Griffith.

4) Adrian Dantley- Dantley was only 6'4" or 6'5" at best but he played like a 6'10" player. I was amazed at how effective his post moves were against bigger defenders. He used his body well and was the NBA scoring champion in 1981 and 1984.

5) Mark Eaton- Big Mark sometimes took some flack for his offensive play, but he was one of the greatest shot blockers in NBA history. Only 3 players: Hakeem, Kareem, and Dikembe, have blocked more shots. In the 84-85 season he blocked 456 shots. That's an NBA record.

6) Deron Williams- Williams was a bright spot of entertainment for a while after the Malone and Stockton departure. It was fun to watch his crossovers while we had him. Since he went to Brooklyn he hasn't played on the same level that he did with the Jazz but he was fun to watch.

7) Ricky Green-"the fastest of them all" was one of the most under appreciated point guards in the league. He was chosen to play in the 1984 All Star Game.

8) Andrei Kirilinko- I've had a love hate relationship with AK for a while. I loved his effort and hustle on the court but got tired of the post season trade drama each year.

9) Jeff Hornacek- Jeff was a somewhat quiet player but he was a sharp shooter that brought out the best in his teammates.

10) Thurl Bailey- Big T was always solid and is also a great guy so how can you not like him?

Honorable Mentions:
Memhet Okur, Matt Harpring, Blue Edwards, Paul Milsap, Kyle Korver.

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?"