Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A New Jersey for Jason Kidd

Orlando, October 2001. For years and years one of best friends and me wanted to go to the U.S. We’ve been following the NBA since we were in our early teens, playing basketball as much as we could, regardless of the weather circumstances. I remember we even played in the snow. When it was still snowing, this isn’t common anymore during the winter in this country. Man, I really miss snow. Sigh.

Anyway, we both were finished with school, got our diplomas and got a job in 2000. One year later, we finally were ready to go. And then 9/11 happened, one month before our departure. We were in our early twenties, and his parents were concerned with our travelling plans, for safety reasons and whatnot. I became a bit frustrated, because they didn’t want us to go, while I had that “screw it!” mentality. I thought the odds of it happening again, one month after the original attacks, were slim to nothing. So we went to Orlando, enjoying the weather, not doing anything, really, but still, finally achieving a childhood dream as two best friends. Corny isn’t it? Not even a huge road trip or anything, nope, we hardly did anything over there, and it was great. We went to see the Orlando Magic taking on the Houston Rockets in a preseason game, but sadly enough I can’t remember all that much from that night. I only remember seeing Grant Hill play, and not many people in Orlando had that opportunity. He already was injured for about a year, and when I saw him move on the court I remember thinking to myself: “Damn, he’s still pretty damn fast and moving fluidly, he’s back!” Too bad that it didn’t take too long before he was down again with all those freak injuries.

I also remember watching a preseason game in our apartment where Michael Jordan had his best game since coming out of retirement, scoring 41 points against my New Jersey Nets. I don’t think the good people in Washington ever were so excited for a preseason game. I just watched the highlights again, and in his most exciting shot of the evening, a young small forward named Richard Jefferson absolutely got screwed by the ref, but it sure was nice to see MJ doing his thing in that game. But it hurt to see him in a Wizards uniform. After ’98 Jordan never should’ve come back.

We went to a local sports shop, and I went straight to the NBA section. In The Netherlands, there aren’t many stores who sell anything related to the NBA, so I had to look for one special item. Because a few months before our trip, my beloved Nets traded for Jason Kidd. My new favorite player. During the reign of the Bulls, I was a Pippen fan, but since he left in 1998, and I was already following the Nets, I didn’t really have one favorite player. But with Kidd, I finally had one again. He, like Pippen, was a player who does a little bit of everything. Not quite a scorer (although he did average 18,7 ppg for the Nets in ’03), he was one hell of a rebounder for a guard, and makes a team better.

While standing in the store with my ‘new jersey’ in my hand, this lady who worked there approached me saying something in the line of “It’s been a long time since someone bought a Nets jersey”, and I probably said something lame like “Yeah, but Jason Kidd is there now, something is gonna change”. Something did change. Finals appearances in ’02 and ’03, playoffs every year, triple doubles, epic battles with the Celtics, Knicks, Pacers, and one of the best regular season games of all time, when they played a triple-overtime game against the Suns. So many memories, but in a few hours my favorite player will hopefully do a lot of good (and get that 100th triple-double) for the Dallas Mavericks. I’ll always remain a Nets fan, and I will talk about the trade itself another time, but I will also remain a Jason Kidd fan, the best Net ever since the Nets entered the NBA in 1976. All the best Jason. Thank you for all the joy you provided me as a Nets fan. And every now and then, I’ll put on that jersey when I’m out shooting some hoops. I finally have a vintage jersey, a Nets legend.

Monday, February 18, 2008

N.O. Sleep – East vs West!

Third night in a row that I’m awake. Yes, of course I did catch some z’s during the past couple of days, mostly in the morning, and I fell asleep on the couch earlier this evening. If only for an hour, but now I’m fresh like Doug E. so can’t wait for the main event: the All-Star game. It’s 2 am over here, and I’m good to go, wanting to see my favorite player Jason Kidd to star for the East one final time, seeing AI actually play for the West for the first time (he was selected as a reserve last year, but was injured so he couldn’t play), and hopefully Rasheed Wallace will find a way to have some fun. By the way, I just saw the Chris Rock All-Star promo, and it doesn’t happen often when celebrities do these kind of things, but it sounded like he actually was excited to talk about the game. I know it’s all scripted, but still.

-Coverage starts, once again Dutch commentary, I have to deal with it. What’s more difficult to deal with is the absence of Shaquille O’Neal. He’s been an All-Star for 14 straight seasons, and a comedian all his life, or so it seems.

-Man, the Rebirth Brass Band sure sounds good.

-Caron Butler and Kevin Garnett both are looking sharp, too bad they aren’t playing.

-Ray Allen is the substitute for Butler, and when he was introduced on the Conan O’Brien show last week, the Max Weinberg 7 played the awesome “NBA on NBC” theme when he was introduced by Conan. Respect Max!

-The Eastern All-Star starters seem happy. Dancing a bit, all smiles, and on the reserves I noticed that even Sheed had rhythm.

-Byron Scott is relatively still a young coach, but it’s the second time he’s coaching in the All-Star game. Now the Western squad, and in 2002 he was coaching the East when was with the Nets. He never was an All-Star in all of his 14 years as a player., but he truly deserves to be here tonight.

-The U.S. anthem was nice. Although the Marvin Gaye version in 1983 will remain the best ever. Ever. Ever-ever.

-East starting five: Kidd, Wade, Bosh, James and Howard.

-West starting five: Bryant, Iverson, Anthony, Duncan and Ming.

-Some players define a team, like you immediately associate Kobe with the Lakers, Yao with the Rockets, Dirk with the Mavs, Wade with the Heat, and young Chris Paul defines the Hornets. I hope the team will find a way to stay in N.O., and Paul will carry the Hornets for a long time.


-Wade scores the first basket on a little dunk. With a lot of steps.

-LeBron to Dwight for the alley-oop.

-Bosh dunks, 6-0 East.

-I wonder how long Kobe will play. I can imagine his pink must hurt like hell. Anyone who played basketball had some kind of injury on one or multiple fingers. I, for one, can’t stretch my right pinkie entirely. So dislocating it like Kobe can’t be fun.

-The sound isn’t too good. The Dutch commentary is too loud, or the game sound is too soft, but it’s a bit annoying.

-Holy crap, nice alley-oop from Kidd to LeBron.

-Kidd seems to be involved in every play so far, offensively and defensively. He is happy, I wonder why….

-Crap, Kidd goes to the bench, and Kobe already has his hand wrapped in ice.

-Three Pistons on the court. I wonder if Ben Wallace is watching this game on TV thinking: “What have I done?”

-I’m not sure if the crowd is really silent, or it’s because of the problem I mentioned earlier. The commentators are at a normal volume, but the rest if way off.

-Too many whistles, it kills momentum. Then again, this has been going on for the last four years in every single NBA game, so I might be wrong.

-Amare Stoudemire is a big man, but around the basket he can do what some of the best guards in the League can do, flying under the basket and scoring on the other side, like a Kobe Bryant or T-Mac.

-Whoever thought is was fun to let old people dance during breaks never talked to me about this. They, along with dancing fat people, are not what I call a form of entertainment. NBA: where shaking skeletons happen.

-I really, really like this year’s All-Star logo (as can be seen in my first All-Star blog). And I think I saw a picture of Carmelo (not sure if it really was him) with an All-Star hoodie that also looked great. It must be really fun to be an All-Star, getting this free stuff. Although I can’t imagine that a player would ever wear it after this weekend.


-Yes, Kidd is back in the game (not being biased here, but like I said earlier, he’s very active tonight, and makes things happen. Even if he’s not a Net anymore between now and probably really soon, I’ll be following him for the rest of his career).

-Pretty cool that David West is there. You hardly hear anything about him during the regular season, until you see his statline, and you know the coaches made the right choice to select him.

-Boozer checks in. The guy is having an amazing season, especially if you keep in mind that he’s got important issues in his private life, regarding his kid who has a serious illness. Hope everything will turn out okay.

-Dancing Honeybees during the time-out. For you who don’t know what I’m talking about, they are the cheerleaders of the Hornets. A vast improvement over the elderly people.

-One of the Dutch announcers always makes the same joke when he sees a guy with tattoos. “He’s a frequent customer of the tattoo store!”. Come to think of it, it’s not even a joke, yet he thinks it’s funny. He does this almost every single game.

-Ooookay…. Subliminal message? Some mics here and there, and TNT decides to check on Jason Kidd, who says to Sheed that this might be his “last time” (in the East). I mention this, because just hours ago ESPN mentioned that the Nets-Mavs deal is almost completed. More on that another time.

-Oh shit, too many alley-oops in a short sequence to mention here. Three for the East, once for the West. Spectacular.

-Roy missed the alley-oop, but it makes me wonder: how many Blazers will be in the game next year. Roy will only get better, Aldridge can be really good, at what will happen when Oden finally steps onto the court this fall?

-The score in on pace with the average Suns-Warriors game. I really would’ve liked to see Baron Davis getting some minutes tonight. Then again, the Beard is playing a lot of minutes again this season, so this will give his body some rest.

-I saw Sheed shooting three 3’s so far, two left-handed, one right-handed. He hit a left-handed one. Weird.

-Howard and James lead the East with 12, Roy leads the West with 11. MVP so far? Gotta be Lebron. Along with his 12 points he also 6 rebounds and 7 assists.


-Harry Connick jr. plays the piano quite well, as far as I can judge on piano skills. Good for him.

-Dr. John sure has a “distinctive look”. Now that’s a dude you would recognize in a crowd. He’s like and old version of Captain Jack Sparrow. While Dr. John is playing, Connick really is enjoying himself out there, dancing, clapping, even though the cameras are not on him.

-To quote Wyclef Jean from his debut solo album: “Nevill Brothers in the house tonight”. Pretty good performance, raspy voices, piano solos, it works for me.

-Allen Toussaint is playing now, that’s a nice collection of musicians lined up right there.


-Also in this half Wade gets the first bucket on a midair back to the basket lay-up. We can basically call this his signature move.

-Yao tries a three, and misses. The world economy immediately takes a hit.

-The sound in the Dutch broadcast is still really fucked up. I thought it was better in the second quarter. Who knows, maybe those guys can’t do anything about it.

-Why the hell makes Howard a cheap foul on Yao? Let him play man.

-Yao misses another three. Airball.

-LeBron is getting hot, 19, 8 and 8.

-David West got fouled four times in one sequence. No whistle.

-Ray Allen makes basketball look so easy. Whether it’s a three or a reverse lay-up, it’s effortlessly. He Got Game. When I try to do it, it’s like those old people dancing: not pretty.

-Pierce dribbled the last 15 seconds of the third, but missed the three. He has 10 points so far can’t recall any of them.


-12 minutes to go, and the annual party is over.

-If LeBron gets a triple-double, he must be the MVP of the game. Two boards and two assists to go. I haven’t voted yet on, for the simple reason that I won’t vote until I know which team has won the game. And the MVP must come from a winning team.

-Stoudemire gets up high and jams it in Howard’s face. This will not be the last time these two will face off in the All-Star game.

-Boozer dunks on an assist from Paul. When you watch the replay you see the beauty of the move Paul made leading up to the pass.

-Amare again with the tomahawk, Dwight moved out of his way this time.

-LeBron wants to do it himself, went for the three and hit nothing but air. Yikes.

-And now even Der Dirk shoots an airball.

-Kidd hands out another assist to LeBron. I don’t know if James should be happy about that or not. Once again he really feels on what he is missing out.

-Stoudemire blocks Wade, goes to the other side for the and-one. I don’t know if he made the ensuing free thow, I wasn’t paying attention. Whoops.

-Both team are matching each other point for point, but Ray Allen keeps hitting threes.

-The cheerleaders are wearing masks this time. And skimpy golden uniforms with some feathers on it. Oh the possibilities.

-If the West does win, Chris Paul should win the MVP.

-LeBron goes through traffic and jams it on Dirk. Actually, he places his forearm into Dirk’s face while up in the air, and then dunks it.

-Wade for the acrobatic and-one.

-And if the East wins, Ray Allen saved them in the fourth quarter. I don’t know who to vote for after the game. KG is so excited, you see that he wants to be out there with Allen. We all wish KG could be out there too.

-Very exciting game here. But ultimately the East keeps a small lead and wins it. The fourth quarter was the most exciting one, great game.


I voted for Allen, but LeBron’s (27, 8 and 9) the MVP, and there’s nothing wrong with that. So that’s it folks. I’ll probably write some sort of recap tomorrow, but All-Star Weekend 2008 is over. It was better than I expected, and the final 30 games of the season are about to be played, the road to the playoffs start now. Well, Tuesday.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

N.O. Sleep – The Dunk Contest

This will be an event that’s the hardest for me to write about. I’m not good at naming dunks, so I’m not sure how to do this. Maybe I’ll just sit back and enjoy the whole thing, and hopefully Jamario Moon, Dwight Howard, Rudy Gay and Gerald Green will show us some amazing stuff by doing an amazing stuff.

Moon’s first: okay, well, he got in one attempt, safe dunk. Got a 37.
Gay’s first: looked stylish, yet didn’t get me out of my seat. Score: 46.
Howard’s first: I thought he was going to crash the basket with his head. Reminded me of the Iguodala dunk of two years ago, only better. The first 50 of the night.
Green: the “birthday cake” dunk. Wow. Very creative, tough to do, yet only got a 46. I loved that dunk.

Gay’s second: teammate Kyle Lowry threw it up, and Gay was just floating in mid-air to catch and slam it. A 48 this time..
Moon’s second: looked better in replay, but I doubt this will get him into the final round. Score: 44.
Green’s second: you can say a whole lot about Green, but he’s innovative, that’s for sure. Then again, he had plenty of time to think about it since he’s on the T-Wolves. I liked it. The judges? 45. Hm.
Howard’s second: is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope. Dwight! Brilliant pass by Jameer Nelson by the way.


Green’s first: McCants has some trouble in giving the pass, but when it finally does happen, Green pulled it off.
Howard’s first: the ball-slap dunk! He already did that on youtube, still impressive, better in replay.

Green’s second: took off his shoes, signed them, and did a between-the-legs dunk on his socks. Now that rocks.
Howard’s second: there’s a tiny little basket on the normal basket. A normal ball is placed on the little basket. First attempt failed, second attempt he jumped, took the ball off the little rim, and windmills it through. Wow.

Time to vote….

And Dwight won! A year too late, but maybe that was good thing. Because we saw some great dunks today, and to me, it might’ve been the best dunk contest since 2000. And now ladies and gentlemen, night two has ended for me. My bed is calling me.

N.O. Sleep - Three-Point Shootout

Gibson, Rip, Peja, Kapono, Nash, and the Replacement Killer (for the injured Kobe Bryant): Dirk Nowitzki. It will rain 3’s tonight.

-Rip is the first one to have a go. He does okay, but not sure if it’s good enough.

-Wait, are my eyes fooling me? Is the Junkyard Dog Jerome Williams in the house? Whoa!

-And now my eyes hurt from seeing Damon Jones with that weird Mohawk-kind-of-haircut. Life is simple: if your first name isn’t “Mr”, your middle name isn’t “period” and your last name isn’t “T”, you can’t get away with a Mohawk.

-Rip had a foot over the line, they detract points.

-Gibson on repeat from the Rookie Game? Hmm…. I’m not impressed. Yet. Both he and Rip aren’t shooting th lights out, so to speak.

-Steve Nash, once again called a three-time MVP by the Dutch announcers. Unbelievable.

-Nash is shooting like his new teammate Shaq from three-point range. This will undeniably be an early exit for Steve. And he knows it.

-Spike Lee is in attendance too. If there is anybody who still hasn’t seen “When the Levees Broke”, you should be ashamed.

-The Replacement Killer only hit one ball from the first rack. Even shot an airball, but heats up after that. I’m still not quite impressed.

-Peja gives the New Orleans crowd not much to cheer about. He makes up for it on the final two racks, but damn, he missed a whole lot of shots.

-The defending champion and the best three-point shooter in the NBA closes out the final round. And Kapono leads the pack heading into the next and final round, where he will face Dirk and Gibson.

-Since Mr. T was named, did you see the chain on AmarĂ© Stoudemire? Mr. T clearly wouldn’t pity this fool.

-Why is LeBron wearing a raincoat? He looks like a private detective. A 6-8, build like a tank private detective.

-Gibson does alright, but is it enough to beat Dirk and Kapono? Dirk is up.

-Dirk is shooting like he’s facing the Warriors. All the Kidd talk is making everyone nervous. This one is for Kapono to win.

-Holy Craig Hodges! Kapono ties the all-time record with 25 points, and is once again the champ. Pat Riley is rolling over in his grave for not having him on the Heat anymore. Even Dwyane Wade is happy for Kapono, and rightfully so.

N.O. Sleep - The Skills Challenge

-Deron Williams starts this off, and he’s quick. Missed one pass, everything went well besides that pass.

-T.J. Kidd looks like he should be in a Coen Brothers film, but is well-liked by every player out there.

-Jason Kidd hits every pass, but he can’t make the shot from the top of the key.

-Chris Paul gets a nice applause. In all fairness, they should’ve called a travel (he really did travel, but just to make sure: no! I’m not serious). He’s the fastest so far. No mistakes.

-Dwyane Wade is up, but loses his dribble. And everything after that is like the Miami season. All went wrong. Paul and Williams procede.

-“Look out!”, “Get Down!” – Arnie is in the building.

-Just saw some D-League All-Star Game highlights, and all I can say is this: Rod Benson is funny, and probably a really good player and hopefully someday NBA material, but he should bulk up.

-Deron Williams sets a really good time, didn’t make a single mistake. The battle of the point guards continue. Two of the best in the game?

-Chris Paul misses a pass and a jumper, so Deron won. Damn he was quick.

-Cheryl Miller might be taller than Williams.

So what else can I say? I like the Skills Challenge, but I like even more what’s coming up next: the Three-Point Shootout.

N.O. Sleep – All-Star Saturday has arrived – Shooting Stars

The Haier Shooting Stars, the Skills Challenge and the Dunk Contest. I was feeling a little bit tired a couple of hours ago, but I’m alive and kicking it right now. And yes, I know no one says “alive and kicking” anymore.

-Dwight is the MC tonight, introducing Marc Broussard who sings a song. On a side-note: I actually don’t hate the promo All-Star song this year.

-The guy singing the Canadian anthem needs to get some vocal lessons.

-The guy on the oddly-shaped trumpet for the U.S. anthem is awesome though.

-Next up: the Haier Shooting Stars.

-B.J. Armstrong still looks like he shooting 3’s for the early nineties Bulls.

-Eddie Johnson is on the Phoenix squad for the Shooting Stars. I’m not too fond of his columns on To be more specific: his comments sometimes are childish when a reader gives him negative feedback. Mr. Johnson should remember that a person reacting to his columns could be 14. Take it easy Eddie.

-Swin Cash is the coolest name ever for a female basketball player.

-Chicago, Phoenix, San Antonio and Detroit are lacing them up.

-Like last night, Dutch commentary. This time, the usual moron is back. I really don’t understand why the channel I’m watching NBA games on, has to select these guys during the All-Star weekend. Normally with live games, there is English commentary. During the reruns it’s Dutch. Not this weekend though, they are doing it live, in the middle of the night.

-David Robinson can shoot 3’s. Who knew? He looks like he never quit playing. Still lean, and all smiles. And the Spurs are in the lead.

-Bill Laimbeer shot an airball from midcourt. I’m impressed. Pistons are out in the first round. So are the Suns, by the way.

-Second round: the Spurs can really, really shoot. It almost looks like during their first championship in ‘99, Duncan and Robinson would’ve formed a formidable backcourt together. Becky Hammon looks feisty, and also pretty cute. Sorry to say that, but she is. Spurs beat Bulls in the final round.

-The Dutch guys say Nash won the NBA MVP title three times. Yeah morons, minus one. Next up: the Skills Challenge.

Friday, February 15, 2008

N.O. Sleep - The Rookie-Sophomore Game

Interesting. When I look at the rosters for this game, basically, there aren’t any centers on either team. Yes, Al Horford is listed as one, and yes, Andrea Bargnani is listed as one, but we all know they aren’t “real” centers. Then again, in the NBA as we know it now, there are very few “real” centers. But hey, who cares about positions, I’m about to watch NBA Jam, I mean, the Rookie Challenge, so as long as everybody is runnin’ like The Pharcyde, it’s all good. It’s 3 am, my fellow countrymen are all sleeping (all 16 million of them), and I just ate a banana and drank a can of Red Bull. I feel good, I feel awake, maybe I’ll open a second can, but other than that, I’m good to go. Hope the young guns feel the same (note: don’t use the term “young guns ever again”, I’m not a senior citizen yet). Right, enough about me, let’s go to N.O.


-Well, the only thing that could ruin the game for me, is that the commentary is Dutch. Damn it. Usually the commentary during live games (since it’s aired at night) is just whoever is broadcasting it.

-Al Horford is the MC of the Rookie squad, and seems to be enjoying it. Rudy Gay handles the mic for the Sophs, with both of them announcing their teammates.

-Kevin Durant looks like Tracy Morgan. I hope he’s funnier than Tracy, though.

-I’m 28, and I look like Bob Pettit. Wonder what I look like when I’m his age. Well, I’m getting bald already, so it couldn’t get much worse, could it?

-The Dutch announcing team could’ve been worse. At least one of the guys is the most respected coach in the Dutch sports world. And yes, he’s a basketball coach. Knowledgeable, talking in a very dry tone. His partner, the play-by-play is okay too. I’m glad the usual moron isn’t there.

-First record of the night? 18.000 people showing up for a game.

-Starters Sophs: Rondo, Gay, Roy Aldridge and Bargs.

-Starters Rookies: Scola, Green, Conley, Durant, Horford

-Bargs starts with a dunk, next possession it’s Rudy with the oop.

-I know I mentioned bananas earlier, and I think Durant is running on bananas, Man his shoes are ugly. And yellow. Watching the game with sunglasses here.

-Part of the crowd (mostly kids) is wearing pink. It does not look good. I’m thinking of cancelling my T-Mobile subscription.

-Bananas or not, Durant gets up! This kid is bananas (yet, even someone slipping on a banana peel would seem funnier than my lines here).

-Time-out! The game is tied at 15, Durant is leading the Rooks with 7, and Roy has 7 too. Early feeling? One of them will be the Player of the Game.

-Old news, but the logo on Rondo’s huge white headband is always upside-down. The rebel.

-Roy threw the ball a bit too high, yet Gay still managed to dunk it. Can’t wait for tomorrow.

-I don’t like the Hawks. Never did. But Al Horford will be a star for this team within a few years. He lets it be know he’s in this game for a reason, putback dunks, grabbing boards, everything.

-I felt the ground shake a little. Weird. Oh wait, Yi is in the game, China moved.

-Sean Williams and Jamario Moon alert. Blocks ‘n’ Jams will arrive soon.

-But Sean just hit a turnaround J to score his first basket. Pffff, thinks he’s KG already.

-Time-out! Sophomores lead by two, 28-26. Roy and Gay both have 11, so has Horford.

-Moon with the one-hander. My guess tomorrow will be better.

-Sean Williams with the dunk of the game so far. Threw it against the backboard, caught it in the air with his left hand, and dunked it with that same hand (he’s right-handed). Where did he learn to pass like that? Kidd maybe? Who knows, after all, Mr. Triple-double is as of today still a Net.

-Daniel Gibson proves once again he can really shoot 3’s. 15 points already, if he keeps shooting like this, Saturday night will be interesting in the Shootout competition.

-Williams scores again. 12 quick points (6 out of 6).

-I might sound like Dave Chappelle in Block Party, but you gotta respect a dude named Millsap.

-Yi gets fouled under the basket. Is it just me, or does the sound of the whistle actually sounds like his name?

-Jordan with the fade away jumper! Farmar, that is.

-It’s official: Gibson can’t miss (well, it seems like it). 6 out of 9 from threepoint territory.

-Gibson again! Seven 3’s!

-Message to Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and whoever handles the ball the most in Atlanta: Pass Horford the rock more often.

-Kevin Durant scored the final basket of the first half on an alley-oop

END OF 1ST HALF, Sophomores 66, Rookies 52.

-The man in purple we call Craig Sager is interviewing Gibson, who leads all scorers with 21 points, all on 3’s. LeBron jumps into him and tells Sags that this is only the beginning, pumping up the the guy for the 3-point contest tomorrow.

-The Dutch commentary is awfully bland. I swear I could do this better. Although that might sound childish, I know I could. These guys aren’t used to being up this late, give those guys some coffee, Red Bull, LSD, something.

-Jordin Sparks at halftime. As a non-American, I do not know this young woman. She won American Idol? Okay.

-I hate the Orlando Magic mascot. For some reason I feel the urge to punch that dragon, yet I’m not a violent person at all.

-To me, Jordin isn’t really providing any Sparks (pun intended). The girl can’t help it, she probably can sing really good, but this is the most boring song I’ve heard in quite a while.

-I’m craving for a snack of some kind, no luck. I don’t want another banana. I knew I should’ve bought some potato chips. Damn it.


-The Dutch announcers are wondering how Oden is doing, and if he’ll play next season, or if he’ll ever play again. They both don’t know, and one of them says “Not sure, have to look that up.” That angers me. They could’ve called me. If they knew who I was. And had my number.

-I was about to type that both teams actually are playing a little defense, before I realize that is not a very insightful comment, and a flat out lie.

-How is it possible that the Rebel Rondo fake-behind-the-back-pass works every single time? He seems to do it every game, and also in this one. It looks cool though. If it ain’t broke….

-It’s almost the rookies want Durant to win the game for them. Or maybe he’s just always at the right spot to receive the pass.

-Bargs has been playing quite well recently for the Raptors after a very slow start earlier this season. Haven’t seen him playing for a while, but he seems healthy, running and jumping, being very active.

-To all the doubters out there: quit hating on Rebel Rondo. Grabs a steal, crisp passes, he’s not afraid. The KG effect helps every player (KG is sitting behind the bench, by the way, rooting for the young point guard).

-Chris Bosh and girlfriend are watching too. Her forehead is so high, David Harrison wants to smoke it.

-Gibson keeps on shooting. Now 8 for 14, all on 3’s.

-Time-out! Sophomores lead 102-84. MVP so far? I say Rudy Gay, but if Gibson keeps on shooting like that, he could win it too. I don’t really care.

-Message to the Nets: Please don’t trade Sean Williams. Thank you.

-Another time-out. This time I realize that I can’t dance. Those dudes at midcourt can. And the girls too. *pops collar*…. *blows out knee while popping collar*

-Navarro really, really, really likes to shoot. Regardless if he hits anything or not. Guns of Navarro anyone? Too far-fetched?

-Karl Malone is in the building, talking to the man in purple. Scientific fact: the Mailman doesn’t age.

-Holy crap, Gibson hit another one. 11 3’s ladies and gentlemen. Probably his final one too.

-The Dutch announcers say that this is the first time they ever heard Malone talking. His voice, or dialect, doesn’t fit him, they conclude. Next up: I’m jumping from my balcony.

-So I climbed back up, just in time to see Moon with a vicious one-hander. Oh man.

-Moon passes to Yi, who misses the dunk. China sighed.

-Some more Moon dunks, and not long after that it’s all over.

END OF GAME, Sophomores 136, Rookies 109

MVP of the Game: obviously Daniel Gibson. 11 3’s in only 20 attempts, that’s some serious shooting right there. Well, it’s 5 am over here. I’m going to try and hopefully find a working stream of Inside the NBA, and if not, off to bed it is.

N.O. Sleep - The Preparation

Time for a reminder here: I’m Dutch. I live in The Netherlands. That means watching the All-Star Game means being up all night, and sleep in the morning. That means 9 pm ET in the US, is 3 am Dutch time. Normally I have to work on Saturday, but since I won’t sleep Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night, I decided to take a day off. And since I never have to work on Monday, that means I have a three day weekend. An NBA All-Star Weekend.

So to start my Friday night I taped (or whatever you wanna call it these days) the Bulls-Heat game, which I’m currently watching. After that I’ll watch Inside the NBA, aired Thursday night, via When I’m done with that I’ll check out Conan, since I’ve got the most recent episodes on my computer. Then? I don’t know what time it is after that. All I know is that I probably will go to bed at 6 am, maybe later, sleep ‘til noon, go to a friend who became a daddy, then go to a friend’s birthday, be home by midnight to watch more basketball. Again go to bed on Sunday morning, sleep ‘til noon, and so on.

But I’m a smart man (insert Nelson, pointing at me: “haha!”), so I went into this prepared. I’ve got some food in the fridge, but that’s not enough, so Mr. Himself bought:

-Two small bottles of Gatorade
-Eight cans of Red Bull
-Tomato soup
-Milk (already have the cereal)
-Ice cream (I never buy ice cream, I don’t know why I did now)
-Orange juice
-A TV guide (I actually don’t need one, don’t ask)

These days I’m happy I bought myself a 37 inch LCD screen last year, it makes watching the game even better (and bragging about it is cool too). I’m logged on to at all time, so I’m ready for some basketball action and fun from New Orleans. Bring it on.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Missing in Action

Don’t judge this blog by its title, it’s not Chuck Norris related. This happens every season, so it comes as no surprise: certain players will not be in the All-Star game in a few weeks. And I agree what the guys on Inside the NBA said: everybody on the team deserves to be there, whether they’ve been voted in by the fans, or by the coaches. But that doesn’t mean we don’t miss some players who are probably the MVP of their own team. And yes, I am a boring man, stating the obvious, so these names won’t surprise anybody. Regardless, so things need to be said, even if it has been said already by every writer out there. Attention everyone, mr. Boring gets to work.

Marcus Camby: how in the world is this guy not an All-Star? I might be crazy, but I even voted him in as a starter. Over Yao? Yeah, over Yao. I love Carmelo Anthony, and Allen Iverson is still one of the toughest players in the League, but defense isn’t the strongest point with this Nuggets team, so without Camby they wouldn’t be in the seventh spot for the playoff race. Camby is just behind Dwight Howard in rebounds per game, leads the League in shot blocking (almost 4 blocks per game!), and at this moment he is without a doubt again the Defensive Player of the Year, and arguably the second best center in the West. You can make a case that three Nuggets players on the Western squad are too much, but you can’t dismiss Camby for all that he’s done this season.

Hedo Turkoglu: I just mentioned Dwight Howard, but his Magic(al) teammate Turk is having a career year. In fact, it’s he, not Rashard Lewis, who is the second best player on the Orlando Magic. Granted, the arrival of Lewis sure helped things open up for Turkoglu, and Lewis is playing out of position at the 4-spot, but Hedo is showing that he has the guts to take (and make) the final shot of the game. And he’s a pretty good defender too.

Ray Allen: If the Pistons had four players in the All-Star Game at one time, the new-look Celtics should definitely have three in there this season. Only Pierce and Garnett made it, so it might be childish to say: it’s just unfair to Ray Allen. Can’t say anything else about that, except that all three of them make each other, and the rest of the Celtics players, look better.

Baron Davis: If Baron will sit out the next ten Warriors game, they won’t even win five of them. I’m pretty sure about that. He and Stephen Jackson carry this team as far as they can take them. In fact, we saw what happened in the beginning of the season when Captain Jack was out: they were losing. I have to give Baron some extra credit though, because he is one of the few players in the NBA who you absolutely want to have the ball in his hands when the game is on the line. Some guys on the Warriors already said that they didn’t like it at all that no one made the All-Star team, but it will only make them more dangerous. I’m looking forward to that.

Honorable mentions: Shaquille O’Neal (although he said he doesn’t want to be there, even if he wasn’t injured, but because he wasn’t playing well enough), Josh Howard (playing the best ball of his career, but it’s tough being a small forward in the West to make it as an All-Star), Richard Jefferson (scoring like a mad man, but his team is disappointing, to say the least), Deron Williams (quietly puts up another great season, and the fourth best point guard in the League), and let’s not forget DJ Mbenga (he’s no KG, but he’s getting there).

But still, I’m excited for the game, for the whole weekend, and for the players who are there. I’m pretty sure it will be a good one, and the guys who didn’t make it can always take the Warriors as an example: use it as a motivation for the rest of the season.