The Return of Slamball

July 31, 2009

Awhile ago, we thoroughly dismissed the idea that Slamball, the basketball game played with trampolines, was still in existence. We were wrong.

Apparently, Cartoon Network purchased the rights to televise SlamBall, the latest in a odd series of programming additions to the network historically known for this:

I had always thought that Cartoon Network would be the last channel to stray away from its original intended purpose. For example, MTV went from this…

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Turtle Power

July 30, 2009

kobetrophy

As I watched one of my favorite childhood movies recently (the live action TMNT), I was reminded of the importance of teamwork and cohesion amongst a group. This spurred my focus onto the game of basketball and the remarking similarity between the mutated turtles and one basketball team in particular: the Los Angeles Lakers.

 The classic characters each have their real counterparts in the form of large, athletic basketball players. Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo, Splinter, and Casey Jones each parallel a current player/coach for the Lakers (not including the unsigned Lamar Odom).

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You Ain’t Ready For War

July 29, 2009

lebronvsdurant

How could I have missed the remarkable similarities through my surveying of the Association? While I have admired and respected the overall amazing scoring aptitude of Kevin Durant, I’ve yet to see the correspondence to another of the great players in the game: LeBron James.

These two stars of the game represent a sort of crooked parallel, both earning praise for their offensive competence, but they go about dominance in entirely different manners. This is partly inspired by the recent claims by an NBA source that Kevin Durant has the potential to be superior to LeBron James at the conclusion of his career. The validity of the claim is in question, but the similarities of the two are quite evident.

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Horizontal Movement

July 28, 2009

emekavstyson

Some trades are made to improve a team (see: Kevin Garnett). Some trades are made in order to dump salary and ease the burden (see: Richard Jefferson). Other trades are made for teams get rid of a cancerous player (see: Allen Iverson). This latest proposed deal seems to fit nearly all three of these categories, yet it doesn’t easily slide into any of these groupings.

The deal in question is between the New Orleans Hornets and the Charlotte Bobcats where the Hornets would send beleaguered big man Tyson Chandler to Charlotte for former #2 pick Emeka Okafor. The deal, while involving big names with at times big impacts, changes seemingly little for both teams.

The Hornets have been trying to rid themselves of Chandler’s large contract since last year began. He still has eight figures on his contract and trudged his way through an injury-plagued season in which he averaged less than 10 points and rebounds per game. New Orleans thought they rid themselves of Tyson in a midseason trade to Oklahoma City for Chris Wilcox and Joe Smith. After some deliberation, the Thunder thought Chandler’s injury concerns were too much to deal with and rescinded the trade. Knowing that NO was trying to pardon themselves from the Tyson table, motivation became somewhat of an optional action. His play was moderate at best and embarrassing more often than the Hornets would like.

The potential loaded Chandler thrashed in mediocrity as New Orleans barely reached the playoff plateau as star point guard Chris Paul led the charge. After a first round exit courtesy of the Nuggets, the feverish work of the New Orleans front office to send Tyson elsewhere began once again. There were rumors that the Detroit Pistons were interested in the potential draft bust before the additions of Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon. Then whispers boomed out of the rumor mills that Phoenix, after trading Shaq to Cleveland, were interested in acquiring Chandler for the expiring contract of Ben Wallace.

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Inside the Name Part 4

July 28, 2009

When it comes to naming a team in the National Basketball Association, in my opinion, the name can fall in any one of five categories. Unbeknownst to many so-called “fans” of basketball, there is an unspoken hierarchy among the various team names. Well, unspoken until now. In a “Paints in the Point” exclusive, we go…

INSIDE THE NAME

In Part One of “Inside the Name,” we looked at animal team mascots in the Association.

In Part Two of “Inside the Name,” we looked at the assorted alliterative team names found within the Association.

In Part Three of “Inside the Name,” we looked at team names in the Association that actually make sense, given their geographic location.

Another week has passed, and now we move on to…

Part 4: Laziness

Relocation has been a part of the Association since its founding: in the first fifteen years as a league, five teams of the eight that were left in the Association’s smallest configuration relocated to larger cities and one franchise relocated twice.

Upon relocation, some teams opt for new names, but most owners decide to keep the old team name. Perhaps they do so in a foolhardy effort to retain some fans from the place they just wrenched a team from, but I call it by its true name – “laziness.”*

There are two types of laziness when relocating a team: “creative laziness,” and what I like to call “unemployed-uncle-who-can’t-be-bothered-to-even-pry-his-fat-butt-off-of-his-couch-to-defecate laziness.”

The first type is relatively harmless and perhaps not the fault of the owner. Maybe all the good ferocious animals have been taken. Maybe the dictionary required to find a classic alliteration is hard-to-find or too heavy for the feeble hands of an elderly owner to lift. Maybe the new city is not noted for anything that is a suitable basketball team name. These owners merely take the team name and try to make it work in the new city, replete with a new logo.

The second type is the epitome of laziness. It looks something like this:

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A Flash of Genius

July 27, 2009

dwyane

If you search through the catacombs of the Association, you would be hard pressed to locate a player with as much blinding agility, unabashed speed, and graceful power as Dwyane Wade. Struggling through injury, competition, and doubt, Wade has firmly secured his place among the elite basketball players in the league, rivaling the tremendous exploits of Kobe, LeBron, Duncan, Paul, and Carmelo.

Is it too early to make predictions for the next season? Probably, but I’ll make one anyway: Dwyane Wade will be the MVP of the 2009-10 season. This is more than forecasting the weather or picking a successor, this is selecting the next important and valuable player in the league. It is more than blind luck and recognizing patterns. To that point, Dwyane Wade is more than the atypical slashing shooting guard with a dumbfounding sense of the basket and irregular coordination while traversing the air. He is the definition of cool and plays each moment of the game with an unstated assurance and flashiness that is misleading of his talents and hurts his cause of being one of the best in the game.

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Live Blogging the WNBA All-Star Game

July 25, 2009

Here at “Paints in the Point,” we don’t discriminate against women’s basketball. Therefore, in yet another “Paints in the Point” exclusive, I am going to live blog the final quarter of the WNBA All-Star Game, played in Uncasville, Connecticut.

4:57 PM: Apparently, the game is being played outdoors. And look, someone who looks like Mike Weir is in attendance.

4:59 PM: Wow, Connecticut sure is beautiful. A man just kayaked by the court. Great choice to play outside, WNBA. This might revitalize the league like when the NHL played outdoor games in Ralph Wilson Stadium and Wrigley Field:

This is an example of how an outdoor game saved a professional sports league from the brink of extinction.

This is an example of how an outdoor game saved a professional sports league from the brink of extinction.

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