Friday, June 29, 2007

Disappointed in Seattle (And Portland)

Both NBA franchises had nearly perfect draft experiences last night.

Nearly.

Let's start with who gets to suit up for the Trailblazers:

1-Greg Oden
24-Rudy Fernandez (from Phoenix)
30-Petteri Koponen (from Philly)
37-Josh McRoberts
52-Taurean Green ((from Toronto)
Steve Francis and Channing Frye (from the trade with the Knicks)

They also traded away:

42-Derrick Byars (to Philly)
53-Demetrius Nichols (to NY)
Zach Randolph, Dan Dickau and Fred Jones (in the trade with the Knicks)

Oden. Obviously. Fernandez is supposed to be a good shooter. McRoberts makes sense from a chemistry standpoint 'cause he's high-energy and friendly with Oden. But they came up a lil bit short in the PG department. Green is a steal at that spot. And the Finnish kid is supposed to have loads of potential. But there was a guy on the board who could well be the next Steve Nash: Jared Jordan.

I've only seen him play at the NBA draft camp on ESPNU. But this kid was clearly the most astute basketball player on the floor. He made virtually no mistakes. Has incredible court vision. And a serious gift for finding spaces--either for himself or anticipating where his teammates will be. Like I said, maybe the next Steve Nash.

Imagine paring him up with Oden. The next Steve Nash with the next Bill Russell? That would have been a perfect draft. As it were, two-time champ PG Taurean Green is the ideal consolation prize. Yet, even with whatever chip sits on his shoulder coming into training camp, he's stil not as tantalizing as Jordan.

Dumping Randolph? Not a bad move, but I'm not sure they got exactly the right pieces in return. Francis is still a pseudo-nasty talent. But dumping his nasty contract might be the better move.

As for Seattle, I'm flummoxed. Here's who we know will be a Supersonic:

2-Kevin Durant
5-Jeff Green (from Boston)
31-Carl Landry
Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak (from the Boston trade)

And here's who they gave up:

35-Glen Davis (to Boston)
Ray Allen (to Boston)

Durant. Not enough words to praise his game. But, Green? He's possibly the best all-around player in the draft. Yet it's hard to picture him alongside Durant. It's feels like a redundant pairing. If I were making that trade, I'd have chosen Joakim Noah with the fifth pick.

Noah would make total sense as he would be the yang to Durant's yin. Dump all of the dirty work on him and leave Durant to showcase his transcendant talent. Not to mention that Noah would be able to guard all the 4s and most of the 5s that Durant shouldn't have to focus on in the NBA. Green...he's not gonna be able to do that leaving Seattle to be really creative about their front-line defensive assignments with the two ridiculously talented rookies joining Nick Collison and Chris Wilcox (and Danny Fortson if he's re-signed).

I don't mid them shipping Allen eastward. And I figure Lewis will be on the next plane to Orlando. But it's hard to gauge how well they did with all these moves having replaced perimeter players with perimter players. Meanwhile, Durant will be left searching for a muscle guy(s) to run with him in the NBA. He's much more Michael than Lebron. Green will need to be every bit of Pippen for that choice to be deemed the right one.

Not bad for the teams with the top two picks in a historic draft. But both Seattle and Portland could have done (a lil) better.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Omega Supreme (Word to Jimmy Buckley)

It's probably five days too early to start camping out for tickets to see the new Transformers movie. But I have to admit, I'm pretty excited.

Like most every other kid who came of age between 1985 and 1991, I was a Transformers head. So were all of my friends.

Brad. Bruce. Ralph. And Jimmy.

Jimmy was that kid. The one who had every Transformer. Certianly every Transformer he wanted. Optimus Prime. Megatron. Soundwave. Starscream. Even Bumblebee.

And he was the first kid I knew who had Omega Supreme. --->

(Jimmy was also the only kid I knew who managed to track down that special The Emperor action figure from Star Wars. Youknow, the one you had to send away for. But I digress.)

Omega Supreme was a Christmas present. I remember 'cause I think that was the same year I found Grimlock wrapped up under my tree and I thought it was the greatest present ever. Then I called Jimmy to honor that grand old American tradition of "What'd ya get?"

Clothes...Check. New basketball...Check. Transformers...

"Dude, you got Omega Supreme?"

I was three kinds of envious. And I couldn't wait to get over to his house to play with it. The day after Christmas, we all headed to Jimmy's to see Omega Supreme for ourselves.

It was a magnificent military base capable of supporting an entire army that doubled as the coolest robot any of us had ever seen. The most beautiful conglomeration of plastic any kid could dream up

Some months later, Metroplex came out. Later, Fortress Maximus. Then we all got interested in something else. I think it was Alyssa Milano.


Either her or Super Soakers.

Back then, we all thought we'd grow up to own cars that could turn into robots. At present, I still haven't found the Autobot logo on my Pontiac Grand Prix. (Did I accidentally buy a Decepticon?)

I haven't talked to any of of those guys in years. Last I heard, Brad was an accountant. I think Ralph was, too. Bruce became an eye doctor. And Jimmy was supposed to be getting ready to take over his Dad's store.

I s'pose they've all built nice lives for themselves. Whatever nice means.

But I'll bet that none of 'em live in a house that has biceps and can jump over a lake. Somehow, Omega Supreme still eludes us.

And that's word to Jimmy Buckley.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Bootylicious

I like nice butts and I cannot lie. Take this one ^^^ for example.

Or maybe you shouldn't. Not after you read this article bout what it's like to be blessed/burdened with so much wonderful junk in your trunk.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I'm a Player

For real. You ain't know?

Not in the Too Short sense of the word. Not even close.

I'm speaking a bit more literally. As in: one who participates in the game. And very specifically NOT: one who oversees or manages the process of playing the game.

In other words, I'm a player, not a coach. For now.
"
I've been made aware of this fact during the last few weeks at what we'll call "the real job." It's real 'cause it's the one that pays the bills. For now.

At this real job, I do a lot of writing. I do a little bit of photography, a little bit of power pointing and some other creative tasks. Together, those tasks require me to exploit my own talents, manage my own time and co-ordinate with a small number of collaborators. In short, I do the things that are a part of the process which someone else is in charge of.

That makes me a player. Not a coach.

In becoming aware of this fact, I've also learned that there are two types of professional people: players and coaches. (Surprise!)

The players are the folks who carry out the process. Some of 'em love the process. Some of 'em are incapable of doing anything else. And some of 'em simply settle into the process and make a career of carrying it out 'cause they can't think of anything else to do.

The coaches are the folks who manage the process. Some of 'em love the act of overseeing. Some of 'em know they aren't that good at carrying out the process so they milk the act of managing 'til it gives them a career. Some of 'em are patently ambitious and need to obtain more power, more money, more power, more money, etc.

I'm old enough to have recognized that I am fundamentally one or the other. But I feel like I've not worked enough to completely commit to a career as one or the other.

So I'll call myself a player. For now.

Down the road? Who knows?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Justice...Eventually?

Jacqueline Harrison was a pretty young mother in 1987 when she was murdered most foully in Pemberton, NJ.

Larry Peterson was convicted of that crime just a few months after Harrison's unnatural demise and sentenced to 40 years in a New Jersey prison.

Both of 'em got done real dirty.

How, you say? NPR tells one helluva story.

Harrison, obviously, will never recover from her fatal wounds.

Peterson--who served 18 years, has been exonerated and set free--is still trying to find a way to recover.

If he does, then justice will finally be served. Sort of.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My New Favorite People


I'm a little bit late on this one. But I just discovered Time magazine's annual issue dedicated to the 100 Most Specialest People on Earth. I know there's a more proper title than that, but nothing that gets right to the heart of the matter.

And the heart of the matter is that Gary Kasparov and Lisa Randall are my new favorite people.

I dig on Lisa Randall because her work defies gravity. Sort of. More to the point, she's on the verge of figuring out exactly what, other than all of us here on earth, is out there in the time-space continuum.

I dig on Gary Kasparaov because he defies authority. And that's saying a whole lot when you're talking about Mother Russia. More to the point, he's on the verge of checkmating those who run his country. Not sure yet whether I agree that it's been run into the ground, but I do admire the moxie of a man who is willing to put his good name on the line in support of his own principles.

Now, if only we could get Lisa and Gary in the same room, maybe we could solve the mystery of what the hell happened to Bobby Fischer.