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Queer Balls

The world of Basketball through my eyes
Aug 29 '10

Next up in our NBA Season Preview is my favorite, the Northwest Division:

Denver Nuggets:
As of writing, the team is in utter turmoil. It has taken the Nuggets the majority of summer to hire a new GM. Carmelo Anothony just requested to be traded. JR Smith is on the trading block. Their big men Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen won’t be back from injury until December at the earliest. This team has a very high chance of being completely made-over before the season starts in two months. Anthony is extremely talented, scores in bunches, and can create his own shot. His biggest fault is probably being from the same draft class as LeBron James, as the two are forever linked and unfairly compared. It will be hard to trade Anthony this summer, as his contract is expiring and not many teams are willing to roll the dice on a player looked at as a one-year rental. It is widely known that Anthony will eventually end up in New York next year and teams are refusing to even consider having him on the roster, despite the number of tickets and merchandise the team would sell. One idea that has been thrown around is a trade with the Washington Wizards that includes Gilbert Arenas, as the Wizards want nothing to do with Arenas next to rookie John Wall. Having a rookie GM in Masai Ujiri running the show could be a blessing. If Ujiri successfully trades Anthony while unloading Chauncey Billups, Smith and Martin in exchange for young talent and draft picks, he’ll be looked at as a genius.

Before the Anthony news broke, the Nuggets looked like they would remain competitive when they added Al Harrington via free agency. What Harrington brings to the table is scoring and shooting for the front court, something Denver so desperately needed outside of center Nene. The foursome of Nene, Martin, Andersen and now Harrington gives the ability to pair a scorer with a defensive specialist at all times. Coming off a solid and impressive rookie year is point guard Ty Lawson. If the organization feels that Ty Lawson is ready to run a team, there’s no reason why the Nuggets wouldn’t want to package Anthony and Billups in a trade. If the team stands pat, they should return to the playoffs, however, it looks like their reign at the top of the division is about to be over.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Denver is none other than pretty boy Anthony. One look at his smile and it’s over.

Minnesota Timberwolves:
After loading up his roster with point guards last summer, David Kahn returned as the man who makes heads scratch when he added a plethora of small forwards and signed terrible centers. On draft day, Kahn drafted Wesley Johnson and then traded for essentially the same player Martell Webster from the Blazers. The craziest moves Kahn did this summer included trading for troubled forward Michael Beasley in exchange for two second round picks, and giving away his best player in Al Jefferson for two future draft picks and Kosta Koufos. And if you thought that was crazy, after their previous summer where they drafted point guards Johnny Flynn, Ricky Rubio, Lawson, who they traded thankfully, and signed Ramon Sessions, they pulled a trade sending out Sessions for, wait for it, two more point guards in Delonte West and Sebastian Telfair. And if you thought THAT was crazy, Kahn then went out and signed Luke Ridnour to a massive four-year deal. Good thing Kahn came to his senses and waived West. Then of course is the wackiest moves of all moves. For some reason Kahn thought signing Serbian centers was the new thing, when he gave Nikola Pekovic a three-year deal and then resigned Darko Milicic to a four-year deal. Yes, that Darko Milicic. The same guy that made Jefferson expendable.

So what’s the good news? Well, despite all the moves, Kevin Love is still on the roster and is currently doing well on the USA basketball team. Love can flat out rebound and should be tops in the league next year in rebounding per game again. Flynn should bounce back from his hip injury and reclaim his starting spot. Outside of those two players, it will be hard to remain confident in Kahn and what he’s doing to the franchise with his puzzling moves. Another year at the bottom of the standings is the only given.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Minnesota is Oregon native Love. There’s just something I like about a man with some meat on him, and pretty eyes.

Oklahoma City Thunder:
The Thunder made some minor moves this summer when they acquired shooters Daequan Cook and Morris Peterson. But their biggest move and number one priority was resigning Kevin Durant, which they did with relative ease. The NBA was filled with drama including The Decision of James, big name players changing teams like Chris Bosh and Amare Stoudemire, and borderline All-Stars Joe Johnson and Rudy Gay getting over paid. But Durant resigned and didn’t make a big deal, opting to use Twitter to let his fans know he wasn’t leaving Oklahoma City way before the official announcement and press release. He then returned to his off-season activities filled with playing even more basketball and now being the face of Team USA.

Here is a young team that took the Lakers to six games in last season’s playoffs, built entirely on acquiring draft picks and young talent. Whereas other teams are constantly adding big name players and contracts use their scouting expertise. Against the Lakers, they had no answer for Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. So they addressed this weakness by snagging big man Cole Aldrich. The Thunder finally have a complete roster and now a chance to win the division title and home court advantage.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Oklahoma City is my college crush Nick Collison.

Portland Trail Blazers:
The Blazers are in a tough situation this year with the Rudy Fernandez situation. Here is a very talented guy that’s stuck playing behind Brandon Roy. When Roy went down last year, Fernandez was suddenly given more minutes, something he’d been pining for all season. However, he didn’t play well against Phoenix despite getting more touches, opting to pass and force shots when he did decide to shoot. The organization despised his constant complaining and lack of confidence they went out and signed free agent guard Wesley Matthews. Now Fernandez is the third guard and rightfully wants out. But due to his unreasonable demands and speaking to the Spanish media, he is public enemy number one in Portland, after being the fan favorite during his first two seasons. His trade value is shot, and teams view him as a prima donna diva. His talent is nowhere near that of Anthony and Chris Paul, two other players who have also expressed the desire to play for another team. The Blazers have a lot of tradable assets including veterans Joel Przybilla and Andre Miller, who both have expiring contracts. They also have young talent in Fernandez, Jerryd Bayless, Nicolas Batum and rookie Luke Babbitt.

This season will determine Greg Oden’s future. If he can stay injury free and average a double-double, the Blazers will be getting a bargain. But if he ends up playing 30 so games again, it’s a safe bet to just cut ties and either let him go in free agency, or find a team desperate enough to take a gamble. For a team hit by so many injuries, it was very surprising they squeaked out 50 wins last season. With another year of basically the same roster, Portland should see themselves improve on the win column, pending injuries of course.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Portland is Fernandez, assuming he’s still on the team.

Utah Jazz:
As long as Jerry Sloan is navigating this ship, the Jazz should be a playoff team again. Despite losing Carlos Boozer, Wesley Matthews, Kyle Korver and having to give away Eric Maynor and Ronnie Brewer for luxury tax purposes, the Jazz actually improved. They added fiery veteran and familiar face Raja Bell, drafted college favorite Gordon Hayward who will fit right in Sloan’s system, and came away with Al Jefferson. Bell had most of last season off to recover from injuries and will be their top wing defender, while knocking down big shots. Hayward gives them a taller wing player that they have been lacking since forever, who can create his own shot and made his college teammates much better, while running the point forward. With Jefferson, they get one of the only legitimate low-post players left in the game. Boozer was dubbed as a low-post presence, but his strength was facing his opponents, while Jefferson actually plays with his back to the basket.

Where the Jazz will fall short is the third wheel. Dating back to the John Stockton and Karl Malone eras, they have never had a reliable third star. Their biggest name was undoubtedly Jeff Hornacek, but he was short, small and getting old when he joined. He was repeated abused by bigger and faster guards. Sloan will find a diamond in the rough again, as he did last season with Matthews and Sundiata Gaines, but until they find that third consistent player, Jefferson and Deron Williams will be short-handed when they reach the playoffs.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Utah is Williams. He has that perfectly trimmed facial hair and body of tattoos that make him looks rather sexy.

Aug 28 '10

Next up in our NBA Season Preview is the Southwest Division:

Dallas Mavericks:
Another season passes with the Mavericks doing remarkably well in the regular season, but then fading in the playoffs. Mark Cuban is eerily similar to all video game players starting their own franchise with his ever-changing rosters. Last summer he completed a trade bringing in Shawn Marion. Then he went out and added Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood to the roster at the trade deadline. And this year was no different, partaking in another trade this time acquiring Tyson Chandler from the Charlotte Hornets. Time and time again, Cuban has show he is willing to spend, but one has to wonder has his money been well spent? Dirk Nowitzki has been the franchise player since his second year. While he has led the team to an NBA Finals appearance, he is consistently labeled a loser, despite nearly averaging 20+ points to go with nearly nine rebounds, free from any major injuries, and an annual playoff guarantee.

This year’s roster looks to be much better on paper, as it always seems. Chandler, Nowitzki and Haywood give the Mavs one of the deepest and talented big-man rotation in the league. In Rodrique Beaubois the Mavs finally have a young talented player who will look to eventually take Jason Kidd’s spot in the starting lineup after he returns from injury playing for his national team. If anything, this Dallas team may end up looking like they have too much talent.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Dallas is Jason Kidd with his amazing eyes and body that never seems to age.

Houston Rockets:
Once again the Rockets’ season will lie in the fate of Yao Ming’s health. However the team doesn’t seem to bank on Yao coming back 100% and they have built their roster accordingly to adjust when they resigned Luis Scola, added promising big man Jordan Hill at the trade deadline and signed veteran Brad Miller this summer. Along with Hill last February, they also acquired high scoring guard Kevin Martin. The Rockets have been trying desperately to pair Yao with a premier wing player and thought they got it right with Tracy McGrady, forming a dynasty that would compete with the Lakers. They played their first year together and the next six marred in injuries and finally parted ways last summer.

Now if these Rockets stay injury-free, and that’s a huge if, there’s no reason why they couldn’t win enough games to compete for home court advantage. Scola is the ideal big man next to Yao with his hustling on the defensive end for rebounds and his reliable 20-foot jumper when teams double team Yao. Now they throw in Martin who has shot nearly 40% from outside on a Kings team devoid of another All-Star caliber player, this team will make the defense really pay.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Houston is Aaron Brooks, who happens to look like comedian Chris Rock. He’s small, cute, quick as hell and a great smile.

Memphis Grizzlies:
The Grizzlies just can’t seem to get it right in the front office. Still fresh on our minds is the Pau Gasol trade to the Lakers. It has to be disappointing to watch Gasol win two straight titles while your own franchise still hasn’t won a single playoff game. Younger Gasol brother, Marc, however is blossoming into one of the better big men in the league, averaging 14.6 points and nearly 10 rebounds in his second year, which is an amazing feat when you realize the Grizzlies also have me-first players Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay and OJ Mayo on the roster. During last year’s draft, the Grizzlies were in a tough spot drafting second and ended up drafting center Hasheem Thabeet. With Gasol blossoming and Thabeet not ready to play, Memphis is one team that would love to have a do-over and gone with an upgrade at point guard with either Tyreke Evans, Johnny Flynn or Stephen Curry.

Another do-over they would like is Randolph’s recent trouble with the law, in which he was linked to an Indianapolis drug ring where three vehicles owned by the oft-troubled forward were seized by police officers. Then during free agency, they made perhaps one of the biggest blunders a team could make. Gay, a restricted free agent, was resigned to a maximum contract worth $80 million dollars, after he turned down an extension last summer of $50 million. Now why is this crazy? Because Gay was a restricted free agent, had he truly wanted to sign with a different team under the salary cap such as New York, New Jersey or Chicago, the Grizzlies had every right to match and retain him. Now let’s say New York, who was desperate to get a second star to play alongside Amare Stoudemire, only offered him a $60 million deal or better yet the same $80 million contract. The Grizzlies could have matched the cheaper contract and saved themselves $20 million. However they resigned Gay before he even had a chance to entertain the idea of playing in a different city. And now to top it all off, the Grizzlies are in a contract dispute with both of their draft picks, Xavier Henry and Greivis Vasquez.

What’s the good news for the Grizzlies? They do have a ton of talent on the roster, however the game of basketball still is played with one ball. And with upcoming contract extensions for Mayo and Gasol, this team should look vastly different next summer after they miss the playoffs again.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Memphis is Venezuelan Vasquez. While he’s not the best looking guy out there, he has a certain swagger and confidence in his game that makes watching him very exciting.

New Orleans Hornets:
Finally the George Shinn era is over for the Hornets. After gutting the roster last season in which we saw the team trade backups Hilton Armstrong and Bobby Brown for future second round picks, and the Emeka Okafor/Tyson Chandler swap during the summer, the Hornets were under the luxury tax threshold, while carrying the league-mandated roster requirement. These moves didn’t bold well with the city and losing Chris Paul this summer seemed inevitable. Good thing for the city of New Orleans and Hornets fans Gary Chouest will be the new owner and the team will have a new direction and be competitive without a penny-pinching owner who makes business moves instead of basketball moves. But why then ship out young and promising point guard Darren Collison? The answer is simple. The organization had lost Paul’s trust last season when Shinn was running the show. Giving up Collison meant the team was committed both to winning and to Paul. Bringing in Trevor Ariza finally gives the Hornets an athletic wing player to play along CP3.

New head coach Monty Williams will develop their young players, much like he did as an assistant coach with the Trail Blazers. Combo guard Marcus Thornton will benefit most from Williams’ guidance next year and supplant himself as one of the league’s top scorers off the bench. I think it’s safe to say Paul will be playing in the Big Easy next season and the city of New Orleans can breathe freely for now.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for New Orleans is Paul with a great smile, an amazing body, and a very likeable personality.

San Antonio Spurs:
The Spurs have been the model team of success during the last decade. Tim Duncan has clearly shown signs of slowing down, with his scoring and minutes at a career-low last season. While his performance has declined, so has his supporting cast. Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker both have lost time to injuries during the last two seasons. The Spurs were expected to be injected with some athleticism last season when they added Richard Jefferson, but both sides didn’t get what they were anticipating, as Jefferson played inconsistently.

San Antonio continued their trend of drafting well with the surprising play of rookie big man DeJuan Blair, who slipped during the draft due to concerns with his knees, or lack of ones.  Their drafting expertise should carry on this year when Brazilian big man Tiago Splitter finally makes his NBA debut after years of debating whether or not to enter the NBA Draft. He finally did in 2007 but opted to stay in the Spanish Leagues until now, and his timing couldn’t be better, with Duncan in serious need of a replacement.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for San Antonio is none other than French hottie Parker, husband of TV star Eva Longoria.

Aug 25 '10

Next up in our NBA Season Preview is the Southeast Division:

Atlanta Hawks:
Coming off a humiliating playoff series where they were taken to seven games by the young Bucks then swept by the Magic, the Hawks had many issues to address. The biggest being what to do with Joe Johnson. It seemed that Johnson going leave Atlanta, due to his lackluster performance against Orlando. His general attitude and body language said he didn’t care, especially when the fans started to boo. However before Johnson could even get to New York, New Jersey or Chicago, the best fit and situation for him, he was offered an insane contract starting at a whopping $18 million a year. That’s the kind of money you throw once in a lifetime players such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnette and Shaquille O’Neal. Not a guy who fails to show up for big games, is content with getting his own stats instead of wins, and who isn’t going to be remembered as the best player on his squad. But with a guaranteed six years and nearly $119 million it would have been foolish for Johnson not to sign. They still did not address their size issue up front. Al Horford has been playing out of position at center, as has Josh Smith at power forward. Their biggest player is Jason Collins, more well known for being a twin than a basketball player.

So what did they do in the NBA Draft this summer? They came away with another combo guard in Jordan Crawford, who won’t get many minutes behind Johnson, Jamaal Crawford, Mo Evans and Mike Bibby. They also added former Laker Josh Powell, who is also undersized to play center. I can’t see the Hawks keeping home court advantage next year with Chicago improving with these moves that leave my head scratching.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Atlanta is Bibby. Have you seen his chest? Amazing and perfect pecs! Somebody needs to find a picture of them for me!

Charlotte Bobcats:
It’s been a long and ridiculous six years, but the Bobcats finally made it to the playoffs last season, showing their willingness to get down and dirty. Larry Brown’s game plan to go at Magic big man Dwight Howard was successful, but they didn’t have an answer for stopping Jameer Nelson. The Bobcats continued the trend of cheapness and traded away their only half-decent big man Tyson Chandler for the expiring contract of Erick Dampier. They even let Raymond Felton bolt to New York and didn’t have a draft pick. They did just recently sign undrafted point guard Sherron Collins, a player with a winning attitude from his college days at Kansas.

And in case you’ve been living under a rock, Kwame Brown is now officially reunited with the man who drafted him with the first pick in 2001, Michael Jordan. Nearly a decade playing with the label “bust” Brown and Jordan both have something to prove this season. He may not be the most talented big man out there, nor does he have much confidence left after his stint in Detroit, but one thing he can bring to the table is experience and another big body when it comes to playoff basketball, assuming the Bobcats can even make a return.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Charlotte is my favorite former Fighting Irish Matt Carroll. This cutie has an adorable smile and can shoot with the best of them.

Miami Heat:
The Heat will be the most hated and most loved team in the NBA next season with their acquisition of LeBron James and Chris Bosh to play alongside Dwyane Wade. When “The Decision” was first announced, it was speculated that three super-stars couldn’t lead a team very far. Now that the free-agency dust has settled, the Heat have a competitive roster adding in ring-chasing big men veterans Juwan Howard and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the ever versatile Mike Miller, and bench sparkplug Eddie House. The only thing the team lacks is a good big man to play alongside Bosh. But Pat Riley isn’t worried as he has plenty of big bodies to throw at Yao Ming and Howard.

However the biggest concern the Heat have is health and talent. They have five players with 10 or more years of experience in Howard, Big Z, House, Miller and Jamaal Maggloire. Then on the opposite end, they have numerous players who have never played significant NBA minutes in Shavlik Randolph, Yakhouba Diawara and Joel Anthony and their second-round rookies. Everything is banking on the Big Three. However Wade and Bosh aren’t exactly the poster-children of playing without injuries, both have missed significant time in their NBA careers. But if they stay healthy, that magical 72-win season by the Bulls could be in jeopardy.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Miami is none other than Wade. Ripped body and flashy smile, this man has the whole package and has already graced us on the cover of Men’s Health magazine.

Orlando Magic:
After rolling through the first two rounds of last year’s playoffs sweeping the Bobcats and Hawks, the Magic fell short against the Celtics. But with no need to panic, Orlando didn’t do any major tinkering with their roster, unlike the previous summer where they brought in Vince Carter to replace Hedo Turkoglu. Their only moves this off-season was drafting young center prospect Daniel Orton and Stanley Robinson as well as signing Chris Duhon as their backup point guard. The Magic are confident, as they should be, to return to the Eastern Conference Finals. Early rumors of Chris Paul forcing his way to Orlando were just that – rumors. The Magic have great team chemistry and acquiring Paul via trade would have gutted their roster and split up Nelson and Howard, a very dangerous move and Orlando brass didn’t even want to think about Superman skipping town again.

Did the Magic overpay for JJ Redick when they matched his contract offer from the Bulls? Absolutely. But with Carter on the decline, and a partially guaranteed contract for next season, Redick could be looked at as a bargain if given minutes and he produces with his shooting. The only thing standing in the Magic’s way of returning to the Finals is the super team down south in Miami. The state of Florida has somehow become the hotspot of basketball and this rivalry should be a good one to follow for the next few years.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Orlando is my man Ryan Anderson, with Redick coming in a close second. Relatively unknown to people outside of New Jersey and Orlando, this cutie is not your traditional big man, and it showed last year when he started in place for Rashard Lewis and put up monster numbers along his cute smile.

Washington Wizards:
Everything about next season will boil down to Gilbert Arenas and what the Wizards will do with him. Do they let him play alongside rookie phenom John Wall? And if they do, can they co-exist in the back court? Will they trade him to a desperate team looking for more scoring? And if they do manage to find a taker, will they get anything back in return considered fair? To be honest, the Wizards roster is a mess. They essentially have three point guards in Arenas, Wall and Kirk Hinrich, who all will see some time at the other guard position, pushing out Nick Young for minutes. Josh Howard, who they brought back on a one-year contract will be splitting minutes with Al Thornton, and none of their big men will ever sniff an NBA All-Star appearance. Their three best players from last season are looked as knuckleheads, with Arenas and Howard both in trouble with the law, and Andray Blatche getting suspended last season when he got in a heated argument with coach Flip Saunders about playing time.

Wall is already the face of this franchise, and the Wizards PR team has done a great job of keeping the rest of the roster out of the headlines. If Wall can take the league by storm, and Arenas just focuses on playing the game like he is capable of, there’s no reason why the Wizards won’t contend for a playoff spot.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Washington is one of my favorite college players Kirk Hinrich. He’s certainly not the cutest guy out there, but he gives it his all, and of course he can shoot.

Aug 24 '10

Next up in our NBA Season Preview is the Central Division:

Chicago Bulls:

Next to the Miami Heat, the Bulls arguably had the best off-season in the NBA. They picked up Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, and the underrated duo of CJ Watson and Ronnie Brewer. Add that to a playoff team that featured best young PG Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng, Chicago finally has a squad that is two-deep at every position and will make some noise next season. Then let’s not forget about the biggest coaching news of the summer when they lured away defensive guru Tom Thibodeau from Boston.

There are only two things the Bulls need to worry about this season. The first is Boozer.  There is a misconception that he is the low-post presence Chicago has been lacking since what seems like forever. He is a face-up player who puts the ball on the ground and gets by slower and bigger PFs and gets points from soft jumpers, and of course being in Jerry Sloan’s system. The second also involves Boozer. Here is a guy who has played eight seasons in the NBA, half of which were marred by injuries. If the Bulls can play healthy, they should have home court advantage in the first round.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Chicago is Korver, unless Joe Alexander is retained. Korver is well known for being a three-point specialist, as well as his uncanny resemblance to Ashton Kutcher.

Cleveland Cavaliers:

Without LeBron James, this is a lottery team. The Cavs should be ashamed of themselves for such a terrible summer. They replaced James, Zydrunas Ilgaukas and Shaq and Delonte West essentially with Joey Graham and Ramon Sessions. The biggest shocker though was the return of Byron Scott to the NBA coaching ranks. He signed on despite knowing James wouldn’t be playing next season in a Cavs uniform. When owner Dan Gilbert wrote his now infamous letter to the city of Cleveland, he must have been on multiple controlled substances. He guaranteed that the Cavs would win a ring before the Heat. The organization hasn’t done squat and have taken a step backwards by sitting on their asses watching teams add talent.

When rumors of Amare Stoudemire surfaced last February, it was reported that then-GM and President Danny Ferry refused to include young PF JJ Hickson. Whether or not that is true, Hickson is the player the organization is high on and should get a chance to put up numbers on a team fighting to stay relevant. He had quite a few games where he put up double-doubles but that was when he was on the receiving end of James’ playmaking. While he’ll never make the city of Cleveland forget about the past summer, he does have the green light to take as many shots as he would like next season.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Cleveland is Daniel “Boobie” Gibson. In case you haven’t noticed, the majority of my selections, if not all, have been players who have long range distance, and Gibson can shoot with the best of them.

Detroit Pistons:

This team was such a mess last season after bombing with their free agent additions of Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. As of writing this, they will be returning everybody with the exception of Kwame Brown, but add Tracy McGrady to the mix, and highly touted big man Greg Monroe. However, the team is already having problems. Back-up PG Will Bynum has voiced his displeasure and wants to be the starter over Rodney Stuckey rightfully so, as he seems to already have peaked. The organization is still struggling to find itself after trading away Chauncey Billups and handing the reigns to Stuckey. Tayshaun Prince will likely see reduced minutes after coming back from injury, unless he can negotiate a buy-out during the last year of his contract to help a contending team.

There are really no bright spots for this team. On paper, they should are far better than their record indicated. Richard Hamilton has a monster contract that should be difficult to move unless Joe Dumars is willing to part with one of his young players such as Austin Daye , DaJuan Summers or Jonas Jerebko. But hey, at least they won’t be paying Brown next season.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Detroit is Daye. Whoever said size doesn’t matter is severely mistaken. He is 6’10” with the wingspan of 7’3”!

Indiana Pacers:

Before our eyes, we are watching Danny Granger’s best years fly right by us and the Pacers not doing a damn thing about it. Indiana is still reeling from the brawl with Detroit. But instead of putting out a competing team, the organization is cleaning up their image instead. Out went their “thug image” of Jermaine O’Neal, Ron Artest, and Stephen Jackson. They’ve been replaced by their current roster of Granger, Mike Dunleavy, Tyler Hansbrough, Brandon Rush and up until a few weeks ago, Troy Murphy. Just as things were looking up for the Pacers after pulling the trade that netted them Darren Collison, Lance Stephenson made national headlines for pushing his girlfriend down a flight of stairs.

Collison will finally give stability to the Pacers at the PG position. Their starting five isn’t terrible, but it’s not very good either, with the exception of Granger. They do hold valuable trading assets with an abundance of expiring contracts including Dunleavy, TJ Ford, and Jeff Foster. They don’t expect to be big players until next season.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Indiana is Hansbrough. He has beautiful eyes, hustles on the court, and my favorite nickname “Psycho T.”

Milwaukee Bucks:

Last year’s surprise team gave the Atlanta Hawks a scare in the first round and made countless teams slap themselves for passing up on Brandon Jennings. They reloaded and had themselves a solid summer adding veterans Drew Gooden, scoring machine Corey Maggette, Keyon Dooling and everybody’s favorite Earl Boykins. They also managed to re-sign John Salmons, who had a breakout year. However just like the Pistons, they have way too many wing players: Carlos Delfino, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Maggette, Luc Mbah a Moute, John Salmons, and Michael Redd.

The team has a very bright future and should contend for home court advantage for the next few years. They will go as far as Andrew Bogut will take them and the continued maturation and improvement of Jennings.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Milwaukee is Maggette. He by far has a set of the nicest arms in the NBA, next to Andre Iguodala.

Aug 23 '10

First up in our NBA Season Preview is the Atlantic Division:

Boston Celtics:

They added the O’Neals - Jermaine and Shaq this summer after being exposed by the Lakers’ front court of Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol and a hobbling, but still effective Andrew Bynum. Throw in an injury to Kendrick Perkins who won’t return until December at the earliest, and it was obvious the Celtics needed more size. Despite being in their twilight years of their careers, the O’Neals will add experience, low-post scoring and a big body to set screens for the smoothest jump shooter in the league Ray Allen.

Their biggest summer move though was resigning Nate Robinson. Coming over from New York in a mid-season trade for fan favorite Eddie House, Robinson was buried on Doc Rivers’ bench for a few reasons. First was his erratic behavior both on and off the court. At one point, Robinson launched a three-pointer at his own basket just barely after the end of a quarter, and made it. He played terribly for the Knicks and was benched in favor of Chris Duhon and rookie Toney Douglas. However his play in the playoffs against Orlando and Los Angeles, proved to be valuable and helped take down the Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Boston is Allen. With his silky smooth jumper and movie-star smile, he has the whole package.

New Jersey Nets:

When new owner Mikhail Prokhorov purchased the team this summer, he guaranteed he would bring a championship trophy to the Nets within five years. Normally it would have been laughable since they were the Nets, however the team had a bright future. They had young talent in Brook Lopez, Devin Harris and Terrence Williams, the team was moving to a new arena in Brooklyn, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z was part owner, had enough money under the salary cap to almost sign two maximum free agents in the summer of LeBron, Wade and Bosh and was ensured another high draft pick. They came out of this summer as perhaps the biggest losers. They missed out on drafting John Wall and were left with Derrick Favors. They then didn’t even attract a marquee free agent, adding Jordan Farmar, Travis Outlaw and Anthony Morrow, all good players, but in reality the three have played most of their careers as bench players.

The one player to watch out for this year is Williams. The guard/forward played about 22 minutes a game and really filled out the stat sheet averaging 8 points, 3 assists, and 4 rebounds, while playing behind Chris Douglas-Roberts and Courtney Lee, both whom had been moved since, paving the way for Williams to break out.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for New Jersey is newcomer Jordan Farmar. Armed with a cute smile and big ears, he was my favorite Laker and now easily becomes my favorite Net.

New York Knicks:

It has been a busy summer for the Knicks organization, from wooing James, Wade, Bosh and the rest of the free agent class, to signings of Amare Stoudemire and Raymond Felton, the sign-and-trade of David Lee for Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike and Ronny Turiaf, the hiring and then not hiring of Isiah Thomas, and rumors filled with Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Rudy Fernandez every week. Obviously they struck out in free agency however Stoudemire is nothing to be ashamed of. They now have a good core of players thanks to the deal with the Warriors who severely overpaid for Lee in terms of talent going out. Mike D’Antoni’s high-powered Seven Seconds Or Less offense with real players should finally bring excitement back to Madison Square Garden, and may even have the Knicks pushing for a *gasp* playoff spot.

D’Antoni can get away with playing a front-court of Stoudemire, Randolph and Danilo Gallinari in his offense and mask all their defensive deficiencies by bringing in high-energy and bruiser Turiaf off the bench. And if the Knicks organization can somehow bring over Anthony, this team could be back on its way to contention sooner than later.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for New York is Italian stud Gallinari. He’s young, tall, and Italian. What more can I say?

Philadelphia 76ers:

Here is a team that hasn’t made any noise since trading away Allen Iverson five years ago. The team took PR hits one after one all season, starting last summer by drafting Jrue Holiday and hiring Eddie Jordan. They then somehow convinced Allen Iverson to return to the team, only to part ways with him after 25 games where he averaged a career low in points. The team still couldn’t win games and had arguably three of the worst contracts in Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand and Samuel Dalembert. Dalembert’s native country of Haiti was devastated by an earthquake in 2010 and didn’t miss a game, staying committed to the only team he has played for. And how do the 76ers repay him? They traded him this summer, not after firing Jordan and hiring Doug Collins. They then drafted Evan Turner, another guard/forward and are still saddled with Iguodala and Brand, who are deemed unmovable until their final year of their contracts. This team shouldn’t be making any noise this summer, and it’s possible they could end up with another top draft pick in next year’s draft.

Their only bright spot was Holiday, who was stuck playing behind veteran Lou Williams, another mediocre player on the roster.  He came on strong during the second half of the season, averaging 13 points and 5 assists for the month of March, where he scored in double digits 12 times.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Philadelphia is Jason Kappono. He has a quick release on his shot, nice legs and beautiful skin tone.

Toronto Raptors:

It has been widely speculated that Bosh had given up on the Raptors midway through the season and had his mind made up he was leaving Canada, which was one of the worst kept secrets, due partly to his constant Twitter updates. Even when Bosh played, the Raptors were a terrible team, only making the playoffs twice in seven years. This seems like a trend for the organization. There have been many excuses thrown around – nobody wants to play professional sports in Canada; the Raptors come third after the Maple Leafs and Blue Jays; there’s nothing to do in Toronto. It could be true with the Raptors’ history of big name players leaving, and not just leaving, but leaving on bad terms all the way from Damon Stoudamire, the Kenny Anderson fiasco where he refused to report after being traded to the Raptors, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, and now Bosh.

Even though they just lost another franchise player, the Raptors didn’t make much noise this summer. They drafted Ed Davis, then negated that move by resigning Amir Johnson to an enormous contract. They did find somebody to take Hedo Turkoglu by sending him to Phoenix for Leandro Barbosa. This should be another year of turmoil at the PG position with Jarrett Jack and Jose Calderon deserving more minutes.

Taking home the honors of team hottie for Toronto is Lithuanian Linas Kleiza.  I have had a crush on him for quite some time now due to his resemblance to Dominic Purcell of Prison Break fame.

Aug 22 '10

Nba previews

Quick blurb today. I’m gonna do a nba season/off season preview and recap unlike the traditional heavy hitters starting tomorrow. Happy Sunday :)

Tags: Nba gay queer
Aug 16 '10

August is traditionally the slowest month of NBA news, so I’m just going to do a recap of what went down.

The four-team trade between Houston, New Orleans, New Jersey and Indiana was pretty much a yawner for even the most casual fans. The Rockets apparently had in-house beef between Aaron Brooks and Trevor Ariza all year, and since a good PG is hard to find and wingmen are a dime a dozen in today’s NBA, Ariza was shipped out for Courtney Lee from the Nets. While this could be looked at as a cost-cutting news, it is also about talent consolidation for the Rockets. Ariza never fulfilled his contract he signed last summer, and with the chemistry issues with their floor general, they freed up minutes for Chase Budinger behind Shane Battier and get a solid backup in Lee for when Kevin Martin goes down. Again. But the most overlooked item in this trade for Houston is the trade exception they received since Lee makes significantly less than Ariza. Come February’s trade deadline, the Rockets hold a big bargaining for a team that wants to cut costs and ship out a rotational player. Rockets get a “B” grade for this, and possibly an “A” if they do something with that trade exception.

Not much to say about the Hornets. They traded heavily coveted Darren Collison for Ariza. Now let’s say Chris Paul is content in New Orleans, is Ariza and his contract really much better than Collison and James Posey? And what if Paul really does join forces in the Big Apple with Carmelo and Stoudemire? Then they’re stuck at mediocrity for a long time. Hornets get a “D” grade.

The Nets I think are the quiet winners in this trade. While it’s hard to let a player of Lee’s caliber go, they have a very strong guard rotation in Terrence Williams and Chris Douglas-Roberts who both also need playing time. Williams is the better of the trio and should develop next year into a great rotation player. Now by adding Troy Murphy, the Nets can slowly bring along draft pick Derrick Favors off the bench. I expect Favors to be starting before Christmas Day however. This also gives the Nets flexibility come February, as Murphy is an expiring contract player who could be moved yet again to a team fighting for a playoff spot. Nets get a surprising “A” grade.

Larry Bird finally pulled off a good trade for his Pacers. He got an up and coming PG in Collison for a player they didn’t need next season in Murphy with hottie Tyler Hansborough coming off a sub-par rookie season filled with injuries. Psycho T gives it 100% every game and watching him, Collison and Granger together should finally give the Pacers fans something to cheer about. The Pacers get a “A” grade.

And now Lance Stephenson. If you haven’t heard already, recently signed Pacers guard Stephenson was arrested today for pushing his girlfriend down a flight of steps at 5AM in the morning. Before he could even step foot on the court, his career is probably already over since he was a second round draft choice. The NBA has really taken a stand against violence in the past few years after. Throw in the fact that the Pacers just traded for Collison last week, his NBA future doesn’t look too good. Now there are two sides to every story, so maybe something will change this week when details are revealed. Even though I will never sleep with a girl, I would still never lay a hand on them, no matter how crazily annoying they are.

Aug 10 '10
It’s crazy to think that not more than four years ago Tracy McGrady was in the running for the best player in the league behind Kobe Bryant. After being traded/whining/burning bridges on his way out of Orlando, the former scoring champion was paired up with Yao Ming in Houston. They were to be the next NBA powerhouse team after the Shaq/Kobe lead Lakers divorced. Fast forward six seasons and 327 games later, TMac is now a Detroit Piston, capping off a summer full of surprising signings for the Eastern Conference. Oh and he still hasn’t played a game in the second-round of the NBA Playoffs (he did not play when the Rockets beat the Blazers two years ago). McGrady still has talent, proving during his audition for the Knicks late last season. In his first game back, a loss to the Thunder, he scored 26 points on 10-17 shooting to go with four rebounds, five assists and a steal. However his signing in Detroit is a peculiar one, for both parties. The past few weeks, the Clippers and Bulls had both looked at adding McGrady to their roster. The Clippers ultimately declined his services, fresh off signing Randy Foye. This is a team desperate for ticket sales and wins that didn’t want him. Meanwhile the Bulls chose his former Magic teammate Keith Bogans. The situation in Chicago would have been perfect TMac - no pressure to start, playing on an up-and-coming team, and just play the game. The Pistons had a terrible season in their first season with the Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva experiment, where they were both signed to massive contracts and expected to continue President Joe Dumar’s legacy as a GM. Both players finished the season as bench players. The roster is already filled with wing players from Gordon, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye, and DaJuan Summers. Their ‘big’ men Villanueva and Jonas Jerebko also spend a lot of time on the perimeter. And now they throw a former All-NBAer in the mix? Does Dumars not remember what happened when the Iverson trade destroyed the franchise? And what about the impending sale of the team? Something just doesn’t add up this week with both Dumars and Isiah Thomas making NBA headlines.

It’s crazy to think that not more than four years ago Tracy McGrady was in the running for the best player in the league behind Kobe Bryant. After being traded/whining/burning bridges on his way out of Orlando, the former scoring champion was paired up with Yao Ming in Houston. They were to be the next NBA powerhouse team after the Shaq/Kobe lead Lakers divorced. Fast forward six seasons and 327 games later, TMac is now a Detroit Piston, capping off a summer full of surprising signings for the Eastern Conference. Oh and he still hasn’t played a game in the second-round of the NBA Playoffs (he did not play when the Rockets beat the Blazers two years ago).

McGrady still has talent, proving during his audition for the Knicks late last season. In his first game back, a loss to the Thunder, he scored 26 points on 10-17 shooting to go with four rebounds, five assists and a steal.

However his signing in Detroit is a peculiar one, for both parties. The past few weeks, the Clippers and Bulls had both looked at adding McGrady to their roster. The Clippers ultimately declined his services, fresh off signing Randy Foye. This is a team desperate for ticket sales and wins that didn’t want him. Meanwhile the Bulls chose his former Magic teammate Keith Bogans. The situation in Chicago would have been perfect TMac - no pressure to start, playing on an up-and-coming team, and just play the game.

The Pistons had a terrible season in their first season with the Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva experiment, where they were both signed to massive contracts and expected to continue President Joe Dumar’s legacy as a GM. Both players finished the season as bench players. The roster is already filled with wing players from Gordon, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye, and DaJuan Summers. Their ‘big’ men Villanueva and Jonas Jerebko also spend a lot of time on the perimeter. And now they throw a former All-NBAer in the mix? Does Dumars not remember what happened when the Iverson trade destroyed the franchise? And what about the impending sale of the team? Something just doesn’t add up this week with both Dumars and Isiah Thomas making NBA headlines.

Aug 8 '10
So the biggest news out there this week besides Shaq signing with the Celtics (The Incredible Hulk!), was the Knicks re-hiring Isiah Thomas as a consultant. There are so many things with with this move!
First off, the Knicks have suffered for the last three years to rid themselves of the mess Thomas had left behind during his tenure as General Manager - forcing the NBA to create an “Allan Houston rule”, trading away draft picks for marginal talent, Jerome James, the Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis fiascos, the sexual harassment lawsuit, the list could go on. The organization finally was out of the cellar, signing Amare Stoudemire and Raymond Felton this summer and swinging a sign-and-trade with David Lee to fill out the roster. But in one swoop, the Knicks are back in the news with another black eye.
And how hypocritical does this make the NBA and NCAA? Currently, Thomas is the head coach of the Florida International University men’s basketball team. How and why his he allowed to hold a position in both the professional and collegiate ranks when players aren’t allowed to play for a college team after they sign with an professional agent?
What exactly will Thomas be consulting? He’s had fairly decent draft results - David Lee, Trevor Ariza, Damon Stoudamire, Tracy McGrady, but with those good picks came a lot of terrible ones as well including Renaldo Blackman, Channing Frye and Nate Robinson, and Mardy Collins. What if the Knicks draft an FIU player? How legal is that? There are already a lot of behind the scenes action going right now with agents controlling the draft picks, trades and free agent signings. This is will just open up another door to corrupt the sport.
Supposedly Thomas was the one that had convinced Stoudemire to sign with the Knicks. If that were true, why not just pay him instead of putting him on the payroll? This move by owner James Dolan nearly put the team in jeopardy again with Knicks president Donnie Walsh considering parting ways with the team. The organization and fans had suffered through some of the darkest times of the franchise and this is how they are repaid? Stay classy New York.

So the biggest news out there this week besides Shaq signing with the Celtics (The Incredible Hulk!), was the Knicks re-hiring Isiah Thomas as a consultant. There are so many things with with this move!

First off, the Knicks have suffered for the last three years to rid themselves of the mess Thomas had left behind during his tenure as General Manager - forcing the NBA to create an “Allan Houston rule”, trading away draft picks for marginal talent, Jerome James, the Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis fiascos, the sexual harassment lawsuit, the list could go on. The organization finally was out of the cellar, signing Amare Stoudemire and Raymond Felton this summer and swinging a sign-and-trade with David Lee to fill out the roster. But in one swoop, the Knicks are back in the news with another black eye.

And how hypocritical does this make the NBA and NCAA? Currently, Thomas is the head coach of the Florida International University men’s basketball team. How and why his he allowed to hold a position in both the professional and collegiate ranks when players aren’t allowed to play for a college team after they sign with an professional agent?

What exactly will Thomas be consulting? He’s had fairly decent draft results - David Lee, Trevor Ariza, Damon Stoudamire, Tracy McGrady, but with those good picks came a lot of terrible ones as well including Renaldo Blackman, Channing Frye and Nate Robinson, and Mardy Collins. What if the Knicks draft an FIU player? How legal is that? There are already a lot of behind the scenes action going right now with agents controlling the draft picks, trades and free agent signings. This is will just open up another door to corrupt the sport.

Supposedly Thomas was the one that had convinced Stoudemire to sign with the Knicks. If that were true, why not just pay him instead of putting him on the payroll? This move by owner James Dolan nearly put the team in jeopardy again with Knicks president Donnie Walsh considering parting ways with the team. The organization and fans had suffered through some of the darkest times of the franchise and this is how they are repaid? Stay classy New York.

Aug 4 '10
Oh how the mighty have fallen. We all know him. Shaq. The Diesel. Shaq Fu. The Big Aristotle. The Big Shaqtus. Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal. We’ve seen him grow up since his early days in Orlando playing with Penny, to his Lakers days with Kobe, then his special guest appearance in Miami with DWade, and all the way to his cameo in Cleveland with Bron Bron. And now we’ll see him in Boston, filling in for Kendrick Perkins’ fat ass while recovers from surgery.
One thing for sure is that when O’Neal signs on the dotted line, we can expect some shots at James during their time in Cleveland. And the media will be playing up to this hype even more when opening night features the Miami Heat playing in Boston, as if the game couldn’t have any more sub-plots and story lines.
If I were a betting man I would put my money on the Celtics to win this game, not because I think Shaq is that good, nor because the Trio Down South are that great, but because of an improved Rajon Rondo. I had a chance to watch him in the Team USA scrimmage and the weakest part of his game has improved - his jump shot. Shaq will dominate the “bigs” that the Heat throw at him. And Rondo will destroy whichever weak and slow PG the Heat have if Mario Chalmers isn’t 100% when the season starts.
And this coming from a Boston hater.

Oh how the mighty have fallen. We all know him. Shaq. The Diesel. Shaq Fu. The Big Aristotle. The Big Shaqtus. Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal. We’ve seen him grow up since his early days in Orlando playing with Penny, to his Lakers days with Kobe, then his special guest appearance in Miami with DWade, and all the way to his cameo in Cleveland with Bron Bron. And now we’ll see him in Boston, filling in for Kendrick Perkins’ fat ass while recovers from surgery.

One thing for sure is that when O’Neal signs on the dotted line, we can expect some shots at James during their time in Cleveland. And the media will be playing up to this hype even more when opening night features the Miami Heat playing in Boston, as if the game couldn’t have any more sub-plots and story lines.

If I were a betting man I would put my money on the Celtics to win this game, not because I think Shaq is that good, nor because the Trio Down South are that great, but because of an improved Rajon Rondo. I had a chance to watch him in the Team USA scrimmage and the weakest part of his game has improved - his jump shot. Shaq will dominate the “bigs” that the Heat throw at him. And Rondo will destroy whichever weak and slow PG the Heat have if Mario Chalmers isn’t 100% when the season starts.

And this coming from a Boston hater.