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Joke’s Up, Who Voted Bruce Bowen 3rd in the All-Star Game?

I’m well aware of how wacky fan voting for All-Star games can get. We had Giants fans using online programs to vote Barry Bonds into the All-Star Game. There was a movement to get scrub Rory Fitzpatrick into the NHL game a few years ago. The Canadiens got four players into this year’s All-Star Game, possibly because of fervent hometown fans. Usually this stuff doesn’t really surprise me. Until now. Spurs fans (and Rockets fans for that matter), came pretty hard in the All-Star voting this year. Fans of Bruce Bowen managed to vote him third of all forwards in the Western Conference. That’s behind Tim Duncan who led all forwards far and away, and Amare Stoudemire who only beat Bowen by 70,000.

Bruce Bowen and his nearly 1.4 million votes, finished higher in the final ballot than the following players in this order: Ron Artest, Carmelo Anthony, Dirk Nowitzki, and Pau Gasol. Artest and Melo both have been injured (though they’re still better than Bowen), but Dirk and Pau are the ones that really bother me. Dirk is a former MVP who is playing good basketball again this year. Pau never won an MVP, but he’s an All-Star and a big reason why the Lakers are as good as they are. For him to be under a million votes is a joke. I’m not going to bother going position by position here, but I just want an answer: how did Bruce Bowen get voted third of all Western Conference forwards??

Marc Iavaroni Fired by Grizzlies, Latest to Get the Axe

With the NBA trending towards the “what have you done for me lately” attitude towards coaches, it was only a matter of time before the Memphis Grizzlies fired Marc Iavaroni. And according to TNT’s David Aldridge, who got the T-Mac/Yao story wrong if you believe Yao, the Grizzlies have done just that. Memphis is on a seven-game losing streak and 11-30 on the year. Combined with last season, the team was 33-90 under Iavaroni’s leadership, so based on sheer numbers it’s not a surprise. Still, much like the Reggie Theus firing by Sacramento, what did you expect from the guy?

The Grizzlies have been an awful team, largely because they traded away their franchise player last year to the Lakers. Pau Gasol was good enough to get them to the playoffs, and that was only as a late seed, and probably before the West got as tough as it was last year. The team traded away a veteran shooter like Mike Miller, albeit for O.J. Mayo, leaving them nothing but unproven youngsters. Rudy Gay and Mayo appear to be pretty good, but how can you look at this as anything other than a rebuilding team? What do you want from Iavaroni when most of his players aren’t very good?

Yao’s Tired of T-Mac’s Injuries, Wants Team to Move on Without Him?

UPDATE: Yao says the story is B.S., no surprise.

Building an NBA team with Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady is like starting a rotation with Mike Hampton and Carl Pavano. Yao’s constantly been plagued by foot injuries and has missed at least 25 games each of the past three seasons. T-Mac’s got knee, back, and shoulder issues and has been in and out of the lineup the past few seasons. Even when he’s trying to soldier through the pain, he’s often nowhere near full strength leaving us to wonder whether or not he’s doing more harm than good. Instead of playing limited minutes in games, T-Mac’s decided to sit out two weeks to try and let his surgically repaired knee heal. Sounds like it makes sense. Problem is the injuries and missed games are mounting leaving the Rockets wondering if it’s time to move on:

The Rockets are putting a positive spin on this, but Waiting for Tracy is a play that nobody in Houston wants to see anymore — up to and including the big man, Yao Ming.

“They don’t speak,” an extremely plugged-in person tells me. “And Yao wants him out.”

It’s not personal between Yao and McGrady. They like one another. But Yao’s frustration is real. And Yao is not the only person that’s grown tired of McGrady’s self-diagnosis, his up-to-the-last-minute decisions on whether he’ll play or not.

It’s really an unfortunate situation all the way around. As David Aldridge writes in his article, the two like each other — something that’s quite apparent when you see them interacting. It’s just hard to build a team around an unreliable dude. T-Mac had a great prime but now injuries have crushed him. He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t; play through the pain and his skill is diminished, sit out and he’s only helping by subtraction. I can understand where the Rockets and Yao would just feel like it’s time to push on without him since it’s hard to count on T-Mac. Looks like they’re not the powerhouse everyone was expecting when Artest was acquired though they still can be dangerous.

By the way, this is a bigger story of teammate relationships than T.O./Romo/Witten, but since it’s the Rockets and not the Cowboys, ESPN won’t pay it much mind.

(via Matt Watson at FanHouse)

Eddy Curry Stars in Boner Jams ’09: The Gay Sexual Harassment Story

I’ve never thought much of Eddy Curry on the court for a simple reason: he’s a 7-foot 300-pound monster who can’t grab more than 7 boards a game. Someone have to ‘splain me that one. Off the court, we started to get a taste of the lazy bum when the news was released that he owed the clothing store, Casual Male, $41,000. He’s never lived up to his hype, and now it’s starting to come out (if you believe this allegation) that not only is he not very good in the NBA, he’s also a bad dude. In possibly the first story of its kind, Eddy Curry is being sued for sexual harassment by a male chauffeur who claims Curry owes him money, mistreated him, and was anti-Semitic, for good measure. From the NY Post via Ballhype, some most-read details:

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Sasha Vujacic Whines Chris Paul Is Picking on Him

So the Lakers lost to the Hornets on Tuesday as David West threw up a career game and Chris Paul was his usual stellar self. In addition to balling it up on the court, CP3 did a bang-up job of trash-talking. Paul apparently was in the head of Laker sharpshooter Sasha Vujacic who got distracted and into foul trouble.

Vujacic’s unique resume … now includes being called by Paul a five-letter word that starts with “B.”

That’s what Vujacic said Paul called him late in New Orleans’ victory over the Lakers on Tuesday night.

For yelling back at Paul – even though Vujacic insisted all he said was: “What did you say?!” – Vujacic got a technical foul from referee Joey Crawford.

Vujacic committed five fouls in 10 and a half minutes of action. Not exactly an exemplary game for “The Machine,” who clearly let CP3 get to him. The worst part of this story might be just what one of the commenters said — if Vujacic is bringing it up to the press, he must really be what Paul is calling him. Hey, nobody said it was all peaches out there on the court and I’ve always said it’s best to let your game do the talking. Maybe Vujacic learned the lesson.

Sacramento Kings Prank Rookie Jason Thompson for His Bagel Negligence

Rookie hazing shouldn’t be something too new to you if you’re gracing these pages. The People’s Princess, Joakim Noah, was chastised as a rookie for screwing up his Krispy Kreme duty. Recently, the Phillies put on one of the all-time great pranks when they told Kyle Kendrick he had been traded to Japan. This one won’t wow you by any means, but it’s still fun to see the little kid environment created by a bunch of pro basketball players. Check out what the Sacramento Kings veterans did to rookie Jason Thompson:

The popcorn in the car wouldn’t have been my choice; getting every kernel out is such a hassle. I guarantee he’ll still be picking pieces of popcorn out of the car next year. They did however ensure Thompson won’t forget the bagels next time.

Via Jimmy Traina’s Extra Mustard and Tom Ziller’s Sactown Royalty.

Video: LeBron James Traveling Call Against Wizards Costs Cavs

Much like that Jazz/Mavs game not long ago where Dirk was ejected for menial fouls, the refs must have had something on this game for the Wizards to beat the Cavs. I mean how often does a superstar, matter of fact, the superstar in the league, get called for traveling in the final minute of a game? Well, it happened to the Cavs when LeBron James was whistled for doing the bunny hop in the carrot patch on this play with his team down two to the Wizards:

Even though it was a blatant travel, it’s not too different from what many stars get away with on a nightly basis. It’s not much different from what LeBron got away with when the Cavs beat the Wizards in six in the playoffs a few years ago. Better to have it happen now than in May or June, I guess. I’m still floored the refs even called it.

(Thanks to The Association crew for the vid)