T-Mac is back. In his New York Knick debut McGrady scored 26 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, and notched 5 assists in 32 minutes of work. He hardly played in the overtime game against the Thunder, saying he didn’t want to be the hero and he simply didn’t have the energy. Oh well.
I glanced at ESPN.com and found this very interesting article. In it, Ray Allen points out the obvious (at least for me) that the voting in the All-Star game needs to be changed. Perhaps not radically, but a change is definitely needed. How can both Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady both be starters for their respective squads? Neither has been anywhere near productive, let alone All-Star caliber. And McGrady hasn’t even played in 5 games yet has a slight edge over Steve Nash, who is a more than legitimate MVP candidate. Read the rest of this entry »
As the Gilbert Arenas saga evolves from comedy to tragedy, a familiar topic is once again linked to the NBA. The ever present Hip-Hop culture once again surfaces as a catch all for the actions of Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittenton. Somewhere along the line David Stern and other league executives decided to marry the NBA to hip-hop and, but clearly they didn’t know what they were getting themselves into.
Given recent player actions, it seems as though the dark side of hip-hop has also managed to infiltrate the league. With its “bling-bling” gaudiness and “I gotta get paid” ruthlessness, this culture isn’t exactly synonymous with the average NBA fan. To the NBA’s credit, welcoming the music of Will Smith and L.L Cool J is a terrific marketing move, one certain to help the league resonate with younger fans. However, when welcoming the mainstream side of hip-hop, the NBA also opened the door for violence, drug-abuse, gang related sub-culture, and other misnomers of traditional thug life personified by players such as Allen Iverson. When he entered the league, Iverson was the poster boy for this thug life ruthlessness; he was a walking middle finger pointed directly at David Stern and his efforts to improve the image of the league.
The Toronto Raptors are one of the younger franchises in the NBA, but they have had some success, namely drafting Vince Carter in the 1998 Draft. Of their fourteen seasons, they have had five winning seasons, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but they are just two shy of matching the Clippers’ number of winning seasons, who have been around for thirty nine seasons.
The Raptors were a unique addition to the NBA: they, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies, were the first Canadian teams and Toronto was the first to be buoyed by a bunch of nerds. Allow me to explain that last part. Many people wonder about the origin of the Raptors’ team nickname, but very few know the true story. As most new franchises decide to enter the league, they usually hold a naming contest to help generate excitement for the new team and ease pressure on the marketing executives to pick a good team name. Toronto was no exception, receiving over 2,000 different entries. A shortlist of the ten “best” ideas were released to the public: Beavers, Bobcats, Dragons, Grizzlies, Hogs, Raptors, Scorpions, T-Rex, Tarantulas, and Terriers. If only our exclusive “Inside the Name” series had been released many years ago to aid their decision, they would have eliminated lame names like the Beavers, Hogs (apparently, one of Toronto’s nicknames is “Hogtown”), and Terriers, but even without our groundbreaking series, they seemed to be heading in the right direction with the slew of terrifying nicknames at their disposal.
Alas, the “Raptors” moniker was chosen for the popularity of the Jurassic Park movie, which was released in 1993, which nerds embraced with open arms. In the seven months that followed the team name announcement in 1994, the Raptors were seventh in merchandise sales, despite the fact that they had not even played a single game. My suggestion to future NBA franchises: while this was a success story (largely because “the Raptors” is such a badass team nickname), don’t listen to nerds, or else we’ll end up with terrible, terrible names, like the Vancouver Vampires or the Honolulu Harry Potters.
The Washington Wizards can’t stand to lose Gilbert Arenas for another season, and for that matter, neither can the NBA. The Association needs flamboyant artists such as Arenas to keep the current image of the league alive. Think about it, teams do not get multi-million dollar shoe deals, individual players do. The Association is an individual’s league and Gilbert Arenas is proud to represent.
Arenas, affectionately known as Agent Zero, is a scorer through and through. At 6 feet 4 inches tall, he is a beefier Allen Iverson, but not necessarily a better scorer. Arenas man not be quite the buckets getting’ virtuoso that Tracy McGrady was when he averaged 28.0 points per game for the Orlando Magic, but Agent Zero knows how to put the rock in the hole, averaging a cool 29.3 points per game during the 2006-07 season. Read the rest of this entry »
Ever since his first retirement, analysts and commentators have openly speculated about who is going to be the next Jordan. From his marketing prowess to his unmatched greatness on the basketball court, Jordan is the player that all others are judged by.
There have been numerous contenders for the ultimate title, including Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade. Each one very talented but none of them have ever completely filled the void left by his Airness.
The Rockets are a team that defies most explanations. Their chemistry should not exist with T-Mac, Yao, Battier, and Artest who are all very different players with very different ways of playing the game. The only way to fully explicate the eccentricities of each of the players is to compare them to countries and/or nations around the world.