Kenyon Martin Does Not Appreciate Buttered Popcorn in his White Car

I love a good prank. I don’t know about you, but some of my favorite sports stories are the ones where they talk about the shenanigans going on between teammates. Baseball pranks generally are the best, but some basketball pranks aren’t far behind. Though they’re good for the audience, they sometimes leave the people involved less than laughing. Such was the case for Kenyon Martin of the Denver Nuggets.

On Thursday, April Fools Day, Nuggets former ball boy Laquan Johnson went into the Nuggets’ locker room to take Martin’s car keys so he could fill the car with popcorn, replicating a Sacramento Kings prank from last year. Seems pretty harmless right? Oh, I forgot to mention the interior of Martin’s car is white and the popcorn was buttered. Oops. Needless to say Martin was pretty ticked off. He stormed into the locker room and said the following:

“That ain’t no [expletive] joke. I’m going to find out who did it … put my [expletive] hands on one of y’all. I’m going to put my hands on whoever did it. You better believe that. It’s [expletive] personal. You better believe it.”

Apparently, Martin was more angry that someone could just go into the locker room and steal his keys than the prank itself. He was worried that something more serious could have happened.  He even threatened to sit out for the post season if someone didn’t fess up for the prank.

This isn’t the first time that Martin has decided to take matters into his own hands. Last year he got into it with Mark Cuban who was fighting with Martin’s mom. Eventually the ball boy apologized to Martin and said he would pay for the damages. I think it’s K-Mart who should lighten up; it’s only a car and it’s not like he can’t afford to get his interior cleaned.

Martin upset about popcorn prank [ESPN]

Indy Star Newspaper Cover Shows Drawings on Coach K’s Face

I am not above spewing venom upon a disliked subject here at LBS or my radio show. There’s no confusion about that. I also can admit when I’ve crossed the line in going too far ridiculing a given subject. When I picked on Duke recently, I focused my disgust with the favoritism given to them in tournament seeding and favorable officiating — complaints that seem quite legitimate. The Indianapolis Star however crossed the line by printing a cover of their newspaper that included a picture of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski with doodles all over his face. The drawing also had horns and a bullseye on Coach K’s face. Here’s a picture of the cover via Jimmy Traina at SI Extra Mustard’s Hot Clicks:

Coach K called the cover “juvenile.” Amateur was the word that came to my mind so obviously we’re on the same page. Putting together a guide for fans on hating Duke based on complaints that they’re on TV more frequently than any team, favored by the selection committee, or favored by media members is legitimate. Drawing horns on Coach K’s head like he’s the devil is just juvenile, even if it’s a joke. There are other, better ways of getting across your message.

Indy Star ticks off Mike Krzyzewski [SI Extra Mustard Hot Clicks]

Would 96 Teams Work? Only One Way to Find Out

Almost every sports fan I know gets excited when they flip their calender from Feburary to March and realizes that March Madness is just a few weeks away. Even though this year’s tournament isn’t even over yet, the NCAA has already started talking about the future. Nothing is set in stone, but the NCAA is looking to expand the tournament from its current 65 team field to one that included 96 teams.

I’m not quite sure what to think about this. In one way, I think that 65 teams is quite enough for this tournament. I think that it allows for some of the best basketball games to be played because you’ve got some of the best teams in the nation playing some teams who aren’t quite as good but at least put up a fight. So what would happen if the other teams were included? Would it even be fair to let some of these teams into the tournament when they might not have a very good shot? I just don’t know.

On the other hand, the expansion would be good. In the proposed format, the NCAA tournament would absorb the 32-team NIT, and that could result in some good competition for NCAA teams. Plus, inviting more teams to the Big Dance would give several more student athletes a chance for fame and the opportunity to live a dream.

I can’t seem to make up my mind about whether this would be a good thing or bad thing for the NCAA but I guess their is only one way to find out — try it. As long as the excitement of the March Madness continues, I guess it couldn’t hurt.

NCAA: 96-team field is the best fit [ESPN]

Charles Barkley Flips Ernie Johnson the Bird with Middle Finger on TNT

TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley seems to be as bulletproof as it gets when it comes to broadcasting leeway. The guy called his producer a p***y on-air a year ago and seemed to have escaped without repercussion. In November, he pulled off a stunt where he whitened his face to resemble Sammy Sosa — an act that would get most people fired under grounds of offensive actions. Charles is such a loose cannon that he’s earned the ability to offend people and say crazy things without any recourse. His personality is part of what makes him great but also what gets him into trouble. His latest offense — sticking his middle finger up at Ernie Johnson and flipping him the bird on live TV — crossed the line. Here’s a video of Chuck flipping off Ernie (description of the incident below if you can’t watch):

In their studio pre-game show, the analysts were discussing the Lakers’ road struggles (they went 2-3 on their road trip). They showed a picture of Kobe Bryant’s injured finger when discussing the Lakers injuries. Barkley interrupted Ernie Johnson by saying Kobe’s finger injury was not unusual and that every NBA player has crooked fingers from getting them jammed all the time. Ernie asked to see Barkley’s fingers for proof and naturally Barkley lifted his middle finger to Ernie, flipping off the entire audience watching on TNT. EJ admitted he should have known it was coming and immediately recognized that Barkley had done something wrong. He tried to get Barkley to cover his butt by saying “April Fools” but Barkley had no remorse.

I love Barkley’s honesty and analysis on TNT but that’s inexcusable behavior for someone on live TV. I have no doubt that there are lots of young kids who were tuned into watch the Mavs and Magic and saw that. Inexcusable.

Thanks to Jose3030 on twitter for the video.

Tim Floyd: Talented O.J. Mayo Was Not Bought for $1,000

After laying low for several months since being fired by USC and seeing the Trojans self-impose sanctions on the basketball program, Tim Floyd re-emerged on the college scene by accepting the head coaching gig at UTEP. Though he’s declined to comment on the O.J. Mayo case, he did offer up a few nuggets that have me scratching my head. Here’s what Floyd apparently told Maryland coach Gary Williams on SIRIUS Mad Dog Radio when asked if he’d recruit Mayo again:

“Yes, absolutely. Because O.J. is a very good person and a very good player. There is an underground economy in the sport. And I’m not saying anything about the case. Nothing about the case. But if anybody thinks that O.J. Mayo, with his talents, was bought for $1,000, you’re out of your damn mind. That’s absolutely preposterous.”

OK, so Floyd shared something that we all know — there’s an underground economy where AAU coaches, high school coaches, runners, and players are getting paid off by agents and boosters to have players directed to certain schools and “advisers.” That’s nothing new. What I don’t understand is his contention that O.J. Mayo was not bought for $1,000 (the amount he’s been accused of paying a Mayo associate). What is he implying, that a player of Mayo’s talents costs much more? Does $1,000 only buy Marcus Simmons? Does an O.J. Mayo will run you six figures? Seven? Come on, Tim, you’re not making any sense here!

Tim Floyd: ‘I’m going to come out on the good end of this’ [USA Today]

Kevin Garnett Drops F-Bomb in Postgame News Conference

The Celtics lost to the Thunder at home Wednesday night 109-104. Thunder forward Kevin Durant shined in the game with 37 points thanks in large part to a 15-15 performance at the free throw line. Although they lost the game it’s not like the Celtics played poorly; they shot 60% from the field. With such a high number like that you have to wonder how they even lost the game. That’s exactly why Celtics forward Kevin Garnett was so pissed after the game. The free throw disparity between the squads was glaring — Oklahoma City got to the line 34 times while Boston made it there just 17 times. This difference led to Kevin Garnett dropping an f-bomb after the game. Here’s the video thanks to our friends at Reds Army (warning language NSFW):

I know Doc Rivers felt the same way as KG and essentially asked the media to blast the officiating so that he’d avoid a fine for criticizing the refs. Doc, love to help you out with this one but unfortunately I didn’t catch the game. Sorry.

KG drops an F-bomb on Comcast [Reds Army]

If Brutal Bulls Have a Shot at the Playoffs Then the System Is Broken

The Phoneix Suns clinched a spot in the playoffs Tuesday night with a win over the Chicago Bulls. This was a heartbreaking loss for the Bulls as it pushes them a game and a half out of the NBA playoffs. Although the Bulls have been playing OK lately, it still grinds my gears that the possibility of them making the playoffs exists.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not directing all my anger at the Bulls; I want to direct it at the NBA. We’ve frequently complained about the NBA playoff seeding system and asked why they don’t re-seed teams. Additionally, how does a system exist that allows a team like the Bulls who are under .500 with 35-39 record to have a chance at winning an NBA title? Why should they be able to make the playoffs? Frankly, I don’t think they have deserved it. The loss of Joakim Noah for most of the season certainly has hurt the team and they haven’t seemed to be able to get a good rhythm going. So please tell me why they should make the playoffs?

Contrarily, the Suns are quite deserving of their playoff spot given their 48-26 record. I think the NBA really needs to revise the playoff system including the amount of teams allowed to participate in the postseason. The way it stands, if a team like the Bulls with that crappy record has a chance at the playoffs then something is wrong with the system.

Bulls playoff hopes on fumes now [ChicagoNow.com]