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Saturday, August 29, 2015

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Gilbert Fires Back!

Just this morning in my story about Gilbert Arenas making the game-winning shot to beat Seattle last night, I made mention of Skip Bayless’ disparaging remarks about Gilbert. To recap, after making the game-winning shot, Gilbert took off his jersey in the middle of the court and laid it down expecting fans to come running in attempts of swiping a souvenir. One problem, they were in Seattle, and none of the fans were interested — so Gilbert wound up looking kind of dumb. Bayless proceeded to trash Arenas — saying that he’s headed down the road to becoming T.O., and compared Gilbert’s actions to T.O. slamming the ball down in the middle of the Dallas star in Irving.

One problem there Skip — if you did proper research, you would come to find out that Gilbert gives away his game-worn jersey as a gesture of kindness following EVERY game, regardless if it’s home or away. He does this so one less fan has to shell out hundreds of dollars for a jersey. Yet you’re going out there and trashing him, comparing him to T.O. and Owens’ running into the Dallas star? Funny thing I mentioned that, because this morning on his blog, Gilbert took notice as well:

I was watching 1st and 10 yesterday and I heard Skip Bayless, the one who just kills athletes, I was listening to Skip Bayless.

I seen the headline, it was Arenas something, and I was like, “Oh, let me see what they’re going to kill me about today. It was about the 19 points, which I figured, Man, OK, I’ll get killed for that one.

But it was something he said that kind of like made me think, Hey, OK, hold on. He was like, I think he should just shut his trap and just play basketball.

So I sat down and had to blog about this. I guess they don’t understand me and I think that’s the big problem.

Here’s what he had to say to his detractors who don’t understand him:

I guess they just don’t understand me.

To understand me is to understand a fan.

To understand a fan is to love the sport you’re watching.

I love the game of basketball.

I am a fan of the game of basketball, and that’s why I enjoy it.

He goes on:

So when I hear critics say I’m quirky and crazy, I might be. Because only quirky and crazy people would sleep in the gym instead of sleeping at their house because they want to be the best basketball player they can be.

Gilbertology and Gilbert being Gilbert means Gilbert enjoying his time in the NBA. From predictions that I say I’m going to do, to pranks, that I have fun doing with my teammates.

I’m going to enjoy it because you never know when it’s going to end.

From a season-ending injury, to a career-ending injury, you never know how long it’s going to be.

You never know how long you’re going to be in this game.

Amen. And that was truly one of the most introspective, touching, and inspiring pieces of literature written by an athlete (save Jose Canseco’s book). That’s what makes Gilbert Gilbert. That’s what’s so cool about him. He’ll tell you his true feelings, and he’ll put it out there for the world to see.

Also, do yourself a favor and follow this link to watch an incredible video on Gilbert, put together by NBA Entertainment. Make sure you watch his reaction to seeing his All-Star jersey hanging in the locker at his first All-Star game, you will truly be overcome with fondness.

Somebody Loves Eli Manning

Via The Big Lead, comes the NY Daily News report that Giants QB Eli Manning proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Abby McGrew on Tuesday night. And hold your horses, the paper reports that she said yes (for all of you out there who say he pays for his dates). Now that our man Eli’s off-the-market (for the time being), I feel like it’s OK to share a story I was told about him a while ago.

Apparently like all ballers who were studs in high school before going off to college, Eli Manning had a girl from back home with whom he hooked up on a regular basis. So on one of his trips back home from college, he had a rendezvous with said lady. The girl apparently had laryngitis or something like that.

Then, as it’s told to me, a few days later a group of friends including said girl, were sitting around watching TV, when the news was announced that Eli Manning would be missing that week’s game because of an illness — laryngitis. In unison, the group turned and gave the girl one of those priceless “we know what you were up to” looks.

So props to Eli for hooking up back in the day, and for being engaged now. After all, he’ll need some serious love and support from the wife when he’s getting crucified by the New York media.

And in case you were wondering, I checked Eli’s collegiate game log to see when this might have occurred, and he played in every game from ’01-’03…meaning if this a true story, it happened in Eli’s freshman year. Hope you and Abby weren’t dating until after football season of your freshman year!

Gilbert Arenas Makes the Game-Winner This Time

I guess lesson to be learned — don’t give Gilbert a second chance. Yesterday I was pretty harsh on Agent Zero for totally airballing his floater attempt to tie the game against Portland. I mean literally, that shot couldn’t even qualify as an alley-oop pass it was so far off.But last night in Seattle, Gilbert redeemed himself — somewhat. As part of a 42 point night, Arenas banked in a runner at the buzzer to give the Wizards a 108-106 win over the SuperSonics. Amidst the excitement, Gilbert must have forgotten which city he was in:

And as he jogged off the court, Arenas dropped his jersey at the free throw line, hoping a mob of fans would rush the floor trying to snatch the blue uniform.

“Maybe it would be better to do that at home,” Arenas said.

Hey Gil, if this were LA, I would’ve been all over it. People must note that as a tradition, Gilbert gives his jersey away to a different fan in the stands following every game, so it’s not like he was showboating in a T.O. stomping on the Dallas star type of way (which is to whom/what Skip Bayless just compared Gilbert). I digress.

One tiny detail needs to be noted here, the Wizards were TIED with the Sonics when Arenas sunk the game-winner. Against Portland, the Wizards were LOSING by two. Not only did Gilbert opt for the game-tying two-pointer as opposed to a game-winning three-pointer in that situation, but he also missed the closer shot.

Most of Gilbert’s great moments have come with the game tied when there was less pressure on him. I still want to see him make the big shot when it means his team will lose otherwise. If he can’t do that, then the Wizards won’t win in the playoffs, and Gilbert won’t be classified along with the “greats” of the game.

D-Day Arrives: UCLA vs. Pitt

I have to say, taking a look at the schedule of games today, the amount of high seeds playing — which should in turn translate to high-quality games — is astounding. At 4:10pm PT, #4 Southern Illinois is scheduled to tip-off against #1 Kansas from San Jose. Shortly thereafter, #2 Memphis is scheduled to tip against #3 Texas A&M in San Antonio. After those games are completed, #2 UCLA will face #3 Pitt (in San Jose) and #5 Tennessee will take on #1 Ohio State (in San Antonio).

Is it just me, or is this way too anti-climactic? You have four days worth of stellar wall-to-wall action, then a gigantic lull for three days after. That’s like giving a gambler 10 bucks and telling him to have fun — or stealing the needle from a heroin addict. How can you possibly expect to pump me full of this “March Madness” disease and then strip me of it for THREE whole days?

Anyways, CBS got their wish; UCLA will finally match-up against Pitt in the tourney. It’s mentor vs. mentee, best friends against each other, Howland vs. Dixon, however you want to slice it, there is an emotional appeal in this one (if you want more, Pitt Blather has compiled most of these articles). As Howland said, they invest a lot of money into the tournament, they’re going to do what they can to heighten the emotional excitement behind every game. And I have to admit that it worked. This is by far the most exciting game on the slate — tell me which other game has any sort of emotional draw to it? You can’t.

Here’s what to expect: A very low-scoring game with tons of defense. UCLA will play their typical man-to-man, while Pitt will do the same, spare an occasional zone look. Pitt will be wise to throw the ball down-low, forcing UCLA’s far-less-talented big men to get into foul trouble. If there ever was a weakness for UCLA, it’s inside.

That’s why tonight will be a big test for Lorenzo Mata and Luc Richard Mbah-A-Moute as they will need to step up their defensive efforts against Pitt’s star player, 7’0″ center Aaron Gray. In addition to Gray, UCLA will see a lot of Levon Kendall, a 6’10” forward with more rebounding than scoring skills. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Dixon go with a big lineup against the Bruins. Think about it — after Mata and Luc, the only other big UCLA rotates is Aboya — that’s only 15 fouls to give. That’s where things will get shaky.

UCLA will play a very slow and controlled game — like always. They have a much better shooting advantage over Pitt — Afflalo and Collison are much more lethal outside than Ramon, Fields, or Graves. Additionally, the Bruins have a huge advantage at the FT line. Gray, who is leading Pitt with nearly 5 FT attempts per game, made only 55% during the regular season. Conversely for UCLA, the three leaders in free throw attempts, Afflalo, Shipp, and Collison, all average better than 77%. Think that won’t be a HUGE difference maker down the stretch? Think again.

If Levance Fields chokes at the line against UCLA the way he did against VCU, Pitt will be toast.

My pick is pretty obvious — UCLA by around five points, 63-58 or so, with free throws being key. It also won’t hurt having 10,000 fans or so making the drive up from So. Cal. (wish I were one of ’em!)

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Michael Jackson and His Nephew TJ Jackson

Sorry if this wasn’t the way you wanted to start off your day…but it’s so disgustingly disturbing…it must be shared. From Mediatakeout.com comes this photo, along with the words

These disturbing images were taken as part of a promo for T.J.’s album. At the time, T.J. was only 17 years old.

There’s nothing else that can fit on Wacko’s rapsheet that would make him look worse in the eyes of the public, but damn, this is horrendous. Keep drinking that Jesus Juice with Macaulay baby.

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Rickey Henderson says Check Larry Brown out

Recently at NBX:

Recently at MLB Fanhouse:

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Fox Sports Regional Sports Report: South Africa

Remember back in the day when FOX decided to scrap its National Sports Report in favor of a regional approach? Well, they came up with a series of oustanding commercials to promote their regional target. And now, I am bringing them back to you.  I present the third in a series of five: Fox Sports Regional Sports Report South Africa.

What would you call that? Running of the….?

PREVIOUSLY

Monday: India

Tuesday: Russia

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Jaguars OL Khalif Barnes Thinks Jacksonville is Racist

From the Florida Times-Union via the excellence that is Ben Maller, comes this story that Jaguars OL Khalif Barnes blasted the police and city of Jacksonville following his drunken driving arrest in November (he apparently had a blood-alcohol level of .12). Here’s some of what he said in his tirade:

“This is unbelievable, man, unbelievable being a pro athlete in Jacksonville. I can’t wait to get out of here. Can’t wait,” Barnes said while handcuffed in the back of a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office patrol car. “Especially if you’re black.”

About 20 minutes later, still in the patrol car, he said, “Of all the places in the — world that I came to this — hick town. They — hate us here.

“Why you even want to have a pro team here? What’s the use? They don’t even — respect you.”

And this might take the cake:

Though he never threatened the officer, he repeatedly blamed his arrest on racism and called Cullen a “KKK devil that hates all colored people.” He accused Cullen of arresting him “just because I’m a Jaguar.”

Like Mel Gibson, alcohol leaks the true feelings of a person (yeah, you know you’ve drunk-dialed your ex and then regretted it the next day). But on another point…

I would say I would be shocked if this didn’t reflect the thoughts of many other players. Regardless, his BAC was over the state’s limit, and unless someone forced a beerbong down his throat, he’s responsible for his levels of alcohol consumption.

Therefore, shut your effin’ trap Khalif Barnes. Do you know how many people die each year because of drunken driving? Do you have any idea about the severity of this issue? You should’ve realized you were completely in the wrong, acting illegally, and endangering EVERYONE on the road at the same time as you.

I will conclude on this point: drunken driving has no race.

Thank goodness the cops pulled you over and stopped a collision before it occurred.

Agent Zero Loses to Portland, Again

It’s been a while since I wrote about Gilbert (and checked in with his blog for that matter).  Probably because the last time I was there he was telling me he was going to score 50 against Portland and he wound up scoring 9 in a stinker.  It also most likely has to do with Gilbert’s crappy month of February in which he shot an embarrassingly poor 34.7% from the field.  But because he is the coolest athlete to ever lace up a pair, all is easily forgotten on my end.  Oh yeah, he’s also the subject of one of the best marketing campaigns by adidas (see the commercial below)

 

That is truly inspiring.

But man, Gilbert, you got me all pumped up last night in the final minute against Portland when you made both your free throws and the layup to keep it close.  And then you got the rebound on Jack’s missed FT, you went the length of the court, and when I thought you were going to sink the game-winning three pointer in front of the Portland crowd, you drove the lane and lofted up a floater that was five feet from the rim. Sooo disappointing!

The Wizards still lead the division (barely), and Miami is hot on the warpath.  Even with Antawn back, the Wizards don’t appear to be on the same level as Detroit or Cleveland — they really need to start stepping up their game during the playoffs — and Gilbert certainly can’t afford to throw up airballs for game-winners.

Anyways, while I’m on the subject of my favorite athlete EVA, here are some recent highlights from his blog:

  • He has a new son, Triple A – Alijah Amani Arenas
  • His new catch phrase is, “Don’t watch me, watch TV.” (which has nothing on Hibachi)
  • He won a blogging award (from the legendary Dan Shanoff)
  • He didn’t like getting double-teamed with Antawn and Caron out
  • He had to shower with Evian water in Minnesota

I Never Liked Mayo, I’m Not a Fan of OJ, And OJ Mayo Truly Makes me Sick

I haven’t exactly treated USC star recruit, incoming PG OJ Mayo, in the nicest of manners – being the first sports blog to bring to light the report that he was cited for marijuana possession. But then I saw the video of OJ ending his high school career with a dunk and technical foul thanks to Michael David Smith at FanHouse and thought ‘man, this guys a total jerk’ (just watch and you’ll see why). 

Then, I heard Tim Floyd telling Jim Rome the story of how he landed OJ Mayo on the radio yesterday. And finally, while perusing the stellar sports blog, The Big Lead this morning, I saw that the NY Times had an article where Tim Floyd recounts the same story he told Rome.

Let me tell you, even Trojan fans should already be sick of this jerkoff even before he sets foot on campus.

The story goes like this: Mayo decided he wanted to start a basketball legacy at USC and told Tim Floyd to give him a scholarship.  Mayo decided he would take care of the recruiting on his own.  Part of Mayo’s grand vision was to carve out a name for himself at a football school that lacked a serious basketball history, all-the-while playing in the second largest media market which would allow the opportunity to properly publicize himself.

Honestly, you just have to read this yourself or listen to the interview on Rome (subscription required) to hear what kind of jackass this OJ Mayo guy is.  Here’s further proof, taken from the Times article

Mayo is one of those basketball prodigies famous for his large entourage and his erratic behavior. In the past six years, he has moved from West Virginia to Kentucky to Ohio and back to West Virginia. He has been suspended at least three times for fights and other violations.

That’s all I’ll give you — the rest you need to read.

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