Basketball's back! Tell a friend! (Oh, Eminem...how you stay relevant is beyond me.)
After a long hiatus, spelled only by a brief tourney in Turkey's capital city, true hoops has returned. The most anticipated season of hoops is upon us, and as my man J-Till said, I don't even need to tell you why. (It has to do with a certain triumvirate in South Beach.)
I started this ode to round ball in Part 1, so definitely check my lyrics there before settling here. This time, I'm gonna go in order, from least to beast, to showcase which squads I think have the stones to bring the noise this season. Remember the rules....one team, one song.
Let's get it!
15. Minnesota Timberwolves - A Tribe Called Quest's "Description of a Fool"
Let's recap David Kahn's summer. He traded an established 20-10 guy (only three existed last year) to Utah for a lottery protected first-round pick, failed to sign Rubio again, quickly signed retreads like Luke Ridnour to make cap minimum, and gave Nicola Pekovic 15 million (who?) and Darko Milicic 20 million. Yes, that Darko.
To recap, Kahn turned KG into a lottery protected first round pick. Le sigh.
14. Sacramento Kings - Ne-Yo's "Can't Help But Wait"
Athletic trendy bigs. A guy named Jeter. Jewish Jordan redux. A dash of chaotic excellence (Cousins). Paul Westphal. There's enough upside potential on this team to make Jay Bilas blush.
Also, let's make a note here, lest we forget: 20-5-5. Oscar. Jordan. Lebron. Evans. Hmmm.
13. Memphis Grizzlies - A Tribe Called Quest's "Luck of Lucien"
You know what's funny? The 35 Grizzlies fans thinking that they're going to get Zach Randolph to start the season in shape. You grassroots fans are so sweet.
Don't you see? The walrus is playing his way into a contract. He's trying to get old man Heisley to offer him a sweet deal. Then, he'll spend the next five years languishing and draining your salary cap. Don't fall for it. Goad some sucker team into taking him on for a #1 pick. Get an agile big man and run the floor for baskets.
Trust me, I've lived with this man. I know how he eats. Take the value and run, run...RUN.
Oh wait, you have Chris Wallace as your GM? (#SCREWED.)
12. New Orleans Hornets - Estelle's "American Boy"
Chris Paul (to travel agent): "Hello? Yes, please take me to New York...wait, I'd like to see L.A. Perhaps we can layover in Orlando for a bit...scratch that, I hear Houston's got good BBQ...can we arrange for that NYC flight to take off from New Jers---"
"Wait, hello? Hello? HELLO?"
11. Golden State Warriors - Metro Station's "Seventeen Forever"
This song driven by reckless ambition goes to the team that doesn't know how to quit. Or defend. Or rebound. Or cease to amaze me.
Monta Ellis is out to prove he's worth a big payday. Steph Curry's out to prove this summer's no fluke. David Lee's out to prove he's worth the cash cow of Randolph/Azibuike/Turiaf. Keith
Sweat Smart's out to prove he's a more cerebral Don Nelson. I'm out to prove that I listen to non-black music. Success.
10. Los Angeles Clippers - Beastie Boys' "Intergalactic"
As proven by last night's 20-10 performance, Blake Griffin's not your average rookie. He's bringing a welcomed energy to this City of Angels' stepchild squad, even reinvigorating guys like Baron to embrace their own form of reckless abandonment. Blake plays like a guy who's not as good as he is, like Kevin Willis without the look of estranged fear.
As he goes, so do his Clippers. Yes, Baron...he's taken your crown already. You're not even on the Clipper ESPN mag cover. Ouch.
9. Denver Nuggets - D.A. T.R.U.T.H. ft. Ambassador "Star Struck"
I can't wait for La-La to end up on Basketball Wives in 2012. Because that's where she's headed, making all these demands out of her man. Haven't you learned from Shaunie? It's going to crash and burn. And the New York Post will have it boxed off on Page 6.
(Side Note: I really don't think getting Melo makes the Knicks a playoff contender. Rooting for the Knicks is like cheering for the fat girl in every movie except Shallow Hal. There's always that scene where said protagonist runs to the school dance, wearing her mom's debutante dress, and the entire school gasps in awe. If that's all I get out of the Melo trade, so be it.)
I just want people to notice me.
8. Houston Rockets - Israel and New Breed's "I Know Who I Am"
With Pritchard given an unceremonious exit from the team he gave new life (Portland), the NBA's new wunderkind is a fast-talking MIT grad admirably dubbed "Dork Elvis." Daryl Morey has shown some smooth moves in forming a competitive team with the league's rubbish. Think Von Wafer. One man's trash is another man's treasure.
Albeit, this team is a congealed one. Yao's got that darned foot, Aaron Brooks isn't paid, and Kevin Martin can't rebound (which pisses off the three of us who play fantasy hoops). But, somehow, they make noise. The misfits pushed Kobe and Co. to the brink before getting dumped at heartbreak hotel by a revisionist version of Shannon Brown. With all the hubbub of Melo, Paul and the sexual gaze of Donald Sterling in the distance, why not Houston as your #8 seed?
7. Portland Trailblazers - A Tribe Called Quest's "Scenario"
Every year, I think about picking the Rip City riders as my dark horse...until I realize that Nate McMillan is their coach. Really? Your team can play any style of basketball. Every roster player can ball, so much so that your GM traded a guy with untapped potential for a first-round lottery pick. Heck, you have players other teams would KILL to have hidden overseas. But...you still...can't win. Hmm. Is it time to get
Tony Dungy John Calipari on the line?
I'm starting to smell the Sam Bowie after birth.
(If you're the GM here, why not trade Rudy/Batum/Prysbilla/#1 pick to a team (think, Denver) and grab yourself a Grade A talent like a Carmelo? Or, at least offer that to NO for Paul? You don't they'd take that in a heartbeat and move to Vegas? Eff this waiting around crap.)
6. San Antonio Spurs - All American Rejects' "The Wind Blows"
"I know there are times you are impossible; that I should sign a waiver."
There aren't words that can better express the '10-'11 Spurs. I don't know if Timmy's got more magic in that ole top hat. Who knows what Pop's gonna get from Tiago Splitter, the rage of Eastern Europe that's alluded the NBA for way longer than seems pertinent. Parker's flirting with bigger cities for his star attraction, and Manu's got more international mileage than we realize.
But as the song continues on, "I'll pass by but go slow", you can't EVER count out the Spurs. The Spurs are like an ex-girlfriend...just when you think she's completely out of your life, she ends up at a New Year's Eve party, or in your Facebook picture, or at Ruby Tuesdays...you get it.
5. Phoenix Suns - Chris Brown's "Run It"
I'm not going to make that "11 small forwards" joke everyone's been making, if only because it reminds me of the year we (Knicks) had 7 SF's and 5 PG's ('06). I am going to talk above Taylor Griffin's receding hairline. I am going to talk about Jared Dudley's infatuation with Twitter. I am going to talk about the Suns' medical staff and how they've been able to extend Nash's career with Eastern medicine and medical marijuana. I am going to talk about the P90X machine probably stashed away in Nash's foot locker.
The league knows the Suns' formula for success: Run it. Too bad they've never found a way to stop it.
4. Utah Jazz - Fabolous "Make Me Better" (Remix)
This remix goes out to my dude, Deron Williams, who's three-point rating in NBA 2K9 is so bananas that you can play between the three point lines all game and get 40. We know you can carry this team on your back to the postseason. We know you've got the goods. We know you pronounce your name like Der-on, not De-RON.
But, when an idiot like Kahn offers your GM a can't miss trade, don't think we're doing this because we don't think you're good enough. We do. But if a guy leaves his queen in the middle of the chess board, you've got to take 'em with that bishop (#1 lottery pick).
(When's Jerry Sloan going to win a Coach of the Year trophy? That award has no credibility.)
3. Dallas Mavericks - Roy Jones Jr's "Y'all Musta Forgot"
Do you remember who the #2 seed was last year? The team that gutted the Wizards' roster for prime talent, and sent their overpaid center packing this summer? The team who's owner is a reality TV icon and entertainment mogul? The German tourist that made a guest appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon?
Well, Dallas is and are. Jason Kidd's been working on his spot-up game. Jason Terry's still putting up 20 off the pine. And Dirk, well...he's pretty good. Perennial All-Star good. Hall Of Fame good.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder - Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow"
Just because everyone's jumping on the Kevin Durant bandwagon doesn't mean he's overrated. The kid controlled the FIBA tourney to the point where we sat around in mid-September and wondered why we were worried about losing the stepchild tourney in the first place. Kevin put down 7 treys in the close out game. Seven.
OKC is gonna take the Northwest easy. KD alone totally outclasses that region. The fight, therein, lies with the Lake Show. As long as Russell Westbrook plays with his head and not his ego (and takes it to Fisher/Blake every time he sees them) and Jeff Green GETS PAID (see the recurring theme?), we could see these guys hosting Game 3 at the "House That Chris Paul Built, But Didn't Put a Down Payment On So It Got Repossessed" this summer.
And as far as Durant taking the scoring title? DONE.
1. Los Angeles Lakers - Jamie Foxx's "Winner"
A Lakers fan would look at Kobe's 24 rebounds in Game 7 and assert dominance. A Lakers hater would point to the 6-for-24 night and claim Pau should've been named MVP. A Clippers fan would like you to offer you a free "Pooh Richardson" T-shirt. (Alas, it sucks to be owned by a man who gropes Asian women and gets sued by HUD for discriminatory practices.)
Still, here we are, starting at Kobe's chipmunk scowl as he prepares to three-peat. Wait, what? This L.A. team has to be the weakest team to three-peat since the Mikan group. But until we can find a team to dethrone these warriors, LA remains my top seed. Even with Bynum's bum leg.
We out. Lemme know how you feel in the comments.