Wednesday, November 26, 2008

NBA Videocast: Who can Beat Boston or Los Angeles?

I taped this two weeks ago. It's not that great, but since it's the day before vacation and your standards for content are low, I'll re-post it here. Hey, at least my shirt is kind of cool. More videos like this (ok, better than this) to come. Let me know what you think by e-mail or comment.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shaq and Amare take on Oden, Shaq talks about Kobe

As most of you know, I'm a Cavs fan, but I always like to follow a team in the other conference. The Phoenix Suns are my adopted Western Conference team this year. Thus, you'll be seeing a fair amount of posts about them. With characters like Shaq, Amare, Nash, and Grant Hill, I think they'll stay an interesting team on and off the court.

First, check out this video of Greg Oden going up against Shaquille O'Neal and Amare Stoudamire. Much thanks to tommyhtc for putting this up on Youtube. Greg shows some occasional flashes of skill, but he obviously still has work to do. (Check out Shaq's nice moves toward the end of the video--Shaq's looking light on his feet this year).

Second, check out Shaq and Steve Nash being interviewed before the Suns game. Shaq makes an interesting choice of fingers to wipe off his face around 1:08. Also, hear Shaq claim that he and Kobe just like to keep the media guessing about their relationship (around 2:30). The one thing that bothers me about Steve Nash (around 5:00) is how tired he already looks. It's only November, Steve!

I probably won't be back posting until after Thanksgiving break. Hope you all have a good break, and don't forget, even in this messed-up economy, most of us have a lot to be thankful for.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Lebron James 2010 Story Turns 2008.

Many of you have already seen the Deadspin story on Adrian Wojnarowski and Amar's argument. But I thought it was only fair to add some details that Deadspin wasn't able to cover. In the interests of full disclosure, yes, I am a Cavs fan, and yes, I have criticized Adrian before for his lack of integrity on covering the Lebron story. But no, I don't approve of the strong language Amar used, either.

First, as to the matter of Adrian's not being able to find Amar's e-mail address. I wanted to contact Amar this summer to ask him some questions about the Cavs. It's the first and last time I've talked to him. I was able to find his e-mail address via Google in 5 minutes. Apparently that makes me a better reporter than Adrian Wojnarowski! Seriously, Adrian gets paid to do reporting, and he can't find an e-mail address? The call to Amar's number was clearly meant to intimidate Amar right back. Did Adrian have a right to fight fire with fire? Sure. But don't pretend Adrian "couldn't find" Amar's e-mail address.

Second, Adrian has tried to twist every NBA trade story to be about Lebron. Please look at Adrian's archive. Since the start of the NBA season, he has written 13 NBA stories. Remember, Adrian's supposed to be a national columnist for Yahoo!, covering the NBA as a whole. How many of his stories do you think mention Lebron James leaving the Cavs? 5. That means that nearly 40% of Adrian Wojnarowski's stories on the NBA are devoted to suggesting that Lebron might leave the Cavaliers! No bias there, right? After losing his storyline that Lebron would surely go to the Nets, he now is plugging in any team with cap room as a possible destination for Lebron.

Now, I do believe the Knicks might be competitive for Lebron James. But Peter King had some good things to say about the future of the NBA in his column today:

"a. If I read one more story about where LeBron James might play two years from now, I'm going to puke.

b. Really: In what other sport are the next two seasons rendered totally meaningless for a cornerstone-of-the-league franchise like the New York Knickerbockers?"

And later:
"What if LeBron James rips up his knee before then? What if Dwyane Wade, another prospective free-agent who turns 29 in the 2010-11 season, continues to have knee trouble? Here's my question for the NBA: Do you mean to tell me it's good for your game that a team is going to play the next 164 games with an eye not on the present, but on the future? And what about the Cavaliers? Why would their fans show any loyalty to James as he drops all these hints about playing out the string in Cleveland? It's an ugly, stupid, fan-abusing situation. Fans should rebel, not kneel and bow to Knick management and say, "Oh, we are not worthy!''"

If things are so ugly in 2008, what will the atmosphere be like in 2010? Please, just let me enjoy two more years of Lebron in peace, ok? After that, if he wants to leave, I am ok with that. He's a grown man, and I thank him for so many great years. But I've had enough with the biased coverage from so many columnists just looking to stir up their home fans. Again, I don't condone Amar's words, but I hope this post helped you understand why some of us Cleveland fans are angry at the Lebron 2010 coverage.

EDIT TO ORIGINAL at 3:15 EST: Just to make my views absolutely clear, physical threats against sports writers are always wrong. I think Amar went too far in that area. Perhaps he meant to joke, but it certainly didn't come across that way in the original post. END EDIT.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Love is a Game: Help, I'm Losing to a Girl!

This is the first in an occasional series about the intersection of love and sports.

I once had a second date at a basketball court. She made the mistake of mentioning her previous basketball career to me, and thus somehow we decided that our second meeting should involve some hoops. She was my height (about six feet tall), but lighter than I am.

We started by playing some shooting games like Around the World, and I lost pretty badly. I wasn't too worried about that, though. I've never been that great of a jump shooter. Then...I asked her if she wanted to play a game of 1-1. She agreed, but said she was kind of tired, so I agreed to play only to 7 by 1's and 2's.
I started the game by giving her a fair amount of room, and she took and nailed a jump shot. 1-0.

I missed a jump shot, and after some length of time she hit another jump shot over my sort of outstretched arms. It was lazy defense. No big deal, though--I knew already she could shoot jump shots. 2-0.

I somehow blew a lay-up. Knowing she could shoot outside jumpers, I forced her to dribble inside...and she made a lay-up. 3-0!

Now at this point, I was getting a little nervous. The game was only to 7, after all. So I pressed a little, missed another jump shot. She got the ball, and I guarded her a little harder than before, forcing her to make an adjustment to her game. She then executes a mini-fadeaway jump shot. Swish!

It's 4-0, and I am in huge trouble. I had no idea she had a fadeaway in her arsenal! I can block that move, but it'll be harder because she's my height. Playing lazy defense will no longer be good enough.

Here's the deal. If this was a skinny but talented guy my height, there would be no question what strategy I would use. I would body him up when I was on defense, attack his dribble, and jump as high and as close to him as I could to block those jumpers. On offense, I would take every shot to the lane, and try to score off put-backs even if the initial post-up would fail. But this was a girl who wasn't talking trash and who I was trying to earn another date with. Plus, she deserves to win this game, and will win unless I start playing physical and blocking her jump shots.

So what would you do? What's more important, the game or the girl? And by the way, it's even more complicated because some girls would love it if the game got more physical. Other girls would hate a more physical game and think that it was a creepy jerk move by a win-at-all-costs malcontent. At this point, I had only met her once before, and have no idea which way she would react.

I'll post what I decided in the comments after I get your opinions on what I should have done. And yes, this does somewhat parallel That 70's Show episode where Donna keeps beating Eric in basketball.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Bias is Back

Hello everyone. I've decided to resume posting here. I enjoyed my full-time experience at Sports on My Mind. But I realized that I really didn't have the time anymore to do the lengthy, content-rich articles that Sports On My Mind is known for. So I'll still be posting over there on occasion when I have longer articles, but is my regular blog for now.

That said, I'm excited to be back! In the next few weeks, I'll be importing some of my articles over from SOMM that I previously neglected to cross-post. You'll also be seeing more video and audio on here than before. Hopefully the two or three of you who are still subscribed will return, and we can have our usual fun talking about the weird and wonderful world of sports. Happy blog-reading, MCBias.