Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Everybody needs something to inspire them.

Jesus had our sins and hate from all sides. Ron Artest had the Malice at the Palace. Garfield has lasagna. Travis Henry has his alimony payments. Eddy Curry has his dream concept of a drive-thru Denny's. We all need some inspiration to kick our lives into overdrive.

For me, good music inspires me to write. No, not YOU, Justin Bieber. I went back to my roots, back to my tribe, A Tribe Called Quest's "What?" from The Low End Theory, and decided to take down the big hoops questions entering Summer 2010. (LeBron...please DON'T stay.)

(Brought to you by James Harden's beard and the letter J.)

What's the impact of marrying a Kardashian?
Uhh, that's easy. Genital warts. (I kid, I kid!)

So, Lamar won another title, this time with the ugliest of the Kardashian trio on his arm. If I'm Liza Morales...I'd be pissed if Lamar decided to leave me for that downgrade. It's like Bill Gates using an IPod and immediately putting out a press release declaring Zune's better. Come ON.

However, the Kardashians are all about results, not excuses. They get their men in the end (Kim/Reggie) and win titles (Super Bowl, NBA Finals). Half the time, they even get face time. (Yup, I didn't see Khloe's face either at the NBA Finals...thank God.) So, Kourtney...it's time for you to go ahead and start dating Phil Hughes. Or Joba Chamberlain. I think he could use the pick-me-up.

What will the Nets do with the #3 Pick?

Ooh, what glee! Rod Thorn, Russian Mark Cuban, and Kiki Vandeweghe's corpse get to choose from the tattered remains of DeMarcus Cousins, Wes Johnson, and Derrick Favors! Whoopee!

So, if you're the Nets...what do you do? Draft a player that you don't need (with Brook Lopez beginning to show signs of All-Stardom) or trade out of a bad draft for a player you can use. I think that Rod Thorn's playing it EXACTLY as he should:

As usual, Thorn offered no guarantees that he won't trade one of the team's top two players. There have been rumors that the Nets might pursue point guard Chris Paul through a trade. Since they don't seem to be all that high on any of the players they are likely to get with the No. 3 pick, such as Georgia Tech's Derrick Favors, Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins or Syracuse's Wes Johnson, they could trade the pick to get an established player.
Sounds good to me. NO gets cap relief, and Nets get a dude to get BL jams. Too bad Monty Williams would be SCREWED.What has become of Ron Artest's legacy since June 17, 2010?
If William Shakespeare were alive in 2010, I love to see him go on a meth-induced rampage, decking those losers that perform plays in his name in local American parks, cursing the women who play the women roles in his plays, and hugging guys like Ron Artest. Because you see, Ron Artest is the epitome of Hamlet. Is Ron crazy, or is he acting crazy?

I love him because while Kobe represents what we want to be, Ron-Ron represents us. He's a character in a forsaken movie treatment, flaws and all. I'd talk more here, but I don't want to spoil the surprises I've got up my sleeve in a few.

As for his legacy, I bet nothing's changed since the 'ship. Heck, the kid gloves are off now. He's got free reign to become the "craziest" NBA player since Rodman. I fully expect to see him sitting on Dr. Drew's couch next to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy in seven years.

What does Kobe's hand look like with one on the thumb?

Pigs in a blanket. Not as good as Jordan's. Not as bad as fat Star Jones's. Is that enough?(Excuse me...just thinking about fat Star Jones made me want to barf. Gross.)

Now that that's settled, where do we place Kobe in the Canyon of Heroes now that he's secured Ring #5? He's clearly in the Top-10 (and a 1st ballot HOF, but so was Jerry Sloan and C. Vivian Stringer). Kobe probably needs another regular season MVP (1 to Jordan's 5), Finals MVP (2 to 6), and finish over MJ on the all-time scoring list (+8,000 points to go). And I think he's still got a-ways to go. Mike Jordan did his damage in 15 years (12 minus the #45 half season and the Wizards years). Kobe's gonna need at least 17 NBA seasons to pull that off. Ouch.

Young Kobe was eager to squelch the Kobe-McGrady debate (successful), and Old Kobe is still trying to define himself as the G.O.A.T. (still unsuccessful). We'll see how this turns out.

What's the deal with airplane food?
Sorry, too much Seinfeld. Reruns on FOX at 11:30!

What would the 2009 draft lottery look like one year later?
Evans-Curry-Young Money-Lawson-D. Collison-Beaubois-Rubio-Harden-Williams-DeRozan-Flynn-Hill-Clark-James Johnson-Casspi. Whew. Last year was really a bumper crop as far as PG's go. If you didn't get one in that '09 draft, you're pretty much sunk. After John Wall...here comes the pu-pu platter.
What would have happened in the '10 NBA Finals if Boston had Stephen Curry instead of Rondo?
Boston would have won, hands down. I wasn't initially sold on the premise, but a long conversation with the Sports Yoga (my boy JL) forced my hand.

Here's the situation: Stephen Curry can shoot. Rajon Rondo can't. Sure, Rondo's super exciting with his thefts and speed layup drills, but that's null and void once we get into crunch time. He's a liability at the line (shot 29% in the Finals) to the point where the C's played 4-on-5 offense down the stretch. With Steph Curry, Kobe's extending his defense out to the three. This keeps Kobe from feeding on those cheap rebounds (which became new fodder for the "Kobe Lover" argument Ratchet Set: See! He can even rebound!)

Check out their splits from last year (2010):
Curry (80 games): 18-5-6, 46% FG, 44% 3FG, 88% FT
Rondo (81 games): 14-4-10, 51% FG, 21% 3FG, 62% FT

The numbers are nearly identical. Remember, Curry was playing with half the D-League last year, so you'd expect those assist numbers to balloon. Rondo was playing next to three future HOFers and a solid center. Danny Ainge, if Golden State calls your personal line with a Rondo-Curry trade, you'd at least have to pick up, right?

Example: Rondo's that amazing 4'11'' girl that you dated for a while but dropped for good reason. Sure, she's hot and generally not a bother to hang with, but eventually...the questions WILL start to surface. What happens when you need to take a family photo? Will you kids be unequivocally short? Can you even bring her to Six Flags without feeling like a rube? Can you resist the urge to use her head as an soft drink surface? You can't. No matter how great she might be at other things, common sense tells you that you've GOT to trade up for a taller babe. Right?

Man, I am such a jerk.

What's the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen?
Faith, or the lack thereof in Dwight Howard.

When the Magic were making noise as the pesky #7 seed that got to lose to Detroit, I penciled him in as a more physical/less cerebral David Robinson, or an upgraded model of Bill Russell. Now? He's fast becoming an weird amalgam of Darrell Dawkins and young Dike Mutumbo, minus the gusto in traditionally static celebratory expressions. And that's if he stays in shape. One knee injury turns him into both Darvin Ham and an obscure Jeopardy question:
For 400: He led the league in scoring for a decade, but never led his team to the playoffs during that span.
Who is Mitch Richmond?
CORRECT! (Applause...)

What did Shaq's ex-wife do to keep Basketball Wives from ending up on BET?
I don't even wanna know.

What's wrong with Mike Di Antoni?
Nothing and everything. He has the ability to draw oodles of talent from retreads like Eddie House, but is notorious for trapping bench players in warmups. He coaches offense like Norman Dale but defense like Shooter. Like Batman, Mike D plays the role of hero and villain perfectly. That's why most New Yorkers'll never realize how terrible he actually is.

I'm in the anti-DiAntoni camp. I think the league's fully implemented Seven Seconds or Less (SSOL) technology, and that any new wrinkles he's added while in the Big Apple have already been debunked and shredded. Unfortunately, I also think LeBron's in this camp with me, which is why he'll won't dare show his face in New York unless he's hosting another episode of SNL.
What can I do to end this piece?
Awwwwwww, here it goes. Out.
M. Benj, II

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