Josh Howard Is Anti-American … and Pretty Dumb

Josh Howard sure is carving out quite the niche here at LBS. Not only did he freely admit to smoking herb as an NBA player, but he also was out partying while his team was losing in the playoffs, and he recently got busted for speeding in his hometown. The latest knock against Howard comes courtesy of my boy HG at You Been Blinded who spotted Josh Howard saying some pretty boneheaded, negative things about the National Anthem. This was from the Allen Iverson Celebrity Football Game back in July. Fast forward to the 1:43 mark.

I’m pretty surprised that the video made its way from You Been Blinded to the Dallas Morning News where Mark Cuban made a comment, and then to ESPN a day later. Sure is an indication that the mainstream media isn’t afraid of stories blogs find. Additionally, I can’t believe how dumb Josh Howard is. Even if he does feel that way, who the heck says so publicly? And Mark Cuban continually defending him? Maybe it’s time he moved on considering Josh Howard isn’t that good as a player.

Greg Oden Sings ‘N Sync in Karaoke, Should Stick to Basketball

Realize here that we’re talking about my favorite pitchman before you read too much into me making fun of Greg Oden for the way he sings karaoke. Anyway, the 7-foot big man did a rendition of ‘N Sync’s It’s Gonna Be Me song (it was hard to tell what song it was from the way Oden was singing) at what looks like some sort of fan event. By popular reader demand via Hard for the Yard, I present Greg Oden singing karaoke:

That dude certainly is a chameleon. At one moment he’s a dominating NBA center, next moment he’s a boy bander. You know, I really can’t rag on Oden because I’m an awful singer, and you can’t rip a guy for being as into it as he was. Did you see that passion? That determination? The best was when he started slipping and sliding around, busting out the dance moves. Besides, anything’s better than the Tony Romo karaoke video. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I wasn’t much of a fan of Greg Oden in college, but now that I’ve seen his personality come out, it’s impossible not to like him. I’m hoping he has a monster season.

Iranian Center Now the Grizzlies’ Haddadi

Deadspin had the story recently that Iranian center Hamed Haddadi would not be able to play in the U.S. unless his club got a license to negotiate with one of our teams. Apparently someone’s jumped through those hoops, because the 23-year-old Iranian has signed to play for the Grizzlies:

Haddadi, 23, led all Olympians in rebounding and blocks during pool play. The 7-2, 254-pound center was a free agent. Several NBA teams were interested in him, but recent media reports in his native country quoted Haddadi saying that he would sign with the Grizzlies.

The Griz wouldn’t release terms of their agreement with Haddadi, but he signed a multiyear deal that is equivalent to that of a mid-first-round draft pick, according to sources.

Mid-first-round pick money? That’s not bad at all. They obviously expect him to produce along the lines of one of the Lopez twins if they’re paying him that type of money. Considering how well Haddadi played against Argentina in the Olympics — a team featuring a handful of NBA players — there’s no reason to think he couldn’t play in the league. And in case you were wondering, Haddadi will become the first Iranian to play in the NBA. What barriers aren’t they crossing these days? Basketball is truly becoming a global game.

Phil Jackson Speaks Out Against Fighting Sioux Nickname

Last year we had the news that the University of North Dakota was handed three years by the NCAA to win the approval of the Sioux to use their tribe name as the college’s mascot. If Phil Jackson had his way, they might not have to wait for the three years to elapse. The Zen Master was in Grand Forks on Monday to accept an honorary doctor letters degree and he used his speech as an opportunity to speak out against the Fighting Sioux nickname, as recounted by the Grand Forks Herald:

And it is time, he suggested, for resolution of a nagging issue “in our own backyard,” at UND.

He asked the university and its trustees, “What is to be gained by keeping the Fighting Sioux” name and logo, and what is to be lost by giving it up.

“We have a chance to do the right thing,” Jackson said.

I’m not too surprised that Jackson used the opportunity to speak out against the nickname; Phil has tons of clout as one of the school’s most prominent alumni so his word must carry extra weight with the University. And would you expect anything less than a P.C. approach from an enlightened thinker like Dr. Phil?

Charles Barkley Pounds Tequila Like a Freakin Champ

Credit HG at You Been Blinded with the incredible find of Charles Barkley slamming this bottle of Patron tequila. Apparently the video was taken at the Harrah’s in Lake Tahoe, where Chuck was not long ago for a celeb golf tournament. Like so many things in life, Chuck attacked the bottle of tequila with full zeal. Check it:

Between this video and the MJ calling out Kobe video, HG’s solidifying himself as the top YouTube miner in the blogosphere. Now my only question to you is, which is more impressive, Chuck, or this:

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Kobe’s Jersey Most Popular in China

LeBron James so often talks about his goal of becoming a “global icon.” Having a top selling jersey in China — a country of 1.3 billion — would probably be a good starting point. Maybe he’s jealous of Kobe Bryant because come to find out, 24 has the top selling jersey in China for the second year in a row. It’s pretty funny that Yao has slid to the 10th spot because he’s the top NBA player from China. They say everyone who would want a Yao jersey probably already has one. And in case you’re wondering why Kobe switched from Ocho to 24, maybe we now have our answer.

Now the guy who’s probably experienced the biggest resurgence is Kevin Garnett. The spike in his jersey sales is probably attributed to him switching teams from Minnesota to Boston. KG had the top selling jersey in the U.S., as well as the second highest in China. After that it was T-Mac third, followed by Paul Pierce, Allen Iverson, Gilbert Arenas, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade (loved by the Euros), Dwight Howard, and Yao. Since it has been a few years since Kobe switched his jersey number, one must only assume his popularity in China is due to his fantastic nickname there; they know him as “Little Flying Warrior.” That’s a pretty tight nickname if you ask me. Though maybe it’s not just the nickname. Perhaps it’s his badass game putting him in MJ’s company that’s getting it done instead.

Jewish Jordan Signs With Israeli Heat

There’s been a ton of crazy stuff going on lately with basketball players going European. We had Brandon Jennings spurn Arizona for Europe, Josh Childress go Greek, LeBron say he’d consider Europe, and Kobe say the same thing. We also have seen several foreign NBA players return to Europe this off-season where they’re making greater annual salaries. Jordan Farmar went to Israel to teach his fellow Jews how to ball in a workshop. Even Carlos Arroyo just signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv. And if that weren’t enough, all 5’5″ of Earl Boykins went to an Italian team. But the real big news is that the Jewish Jordan, Tamir Goodman, has signed with the Maccabi Haifa Heat.

Goodman was profiled in Sports Illustrated a while back, and much like any Jew in sports, he received plenty of notice and promotion from the community. He was billed “The Jewish Jordan” and was even offered a scholarship to play at Maryland, which he turned down because he did not want to play on the Sabbath (he don’t dunk on Shomer Shabbas). As for his thoughts on the nickname, “I loved Michael Jordan, but I never really liked the nickname … It doesn’t match me really well, both on and off the court.” Anyway, you should be pleased to know that Goodman went from being a highly touted recruit in the U.S. to playing professionally in Israel. Too bad he didn’t sign with my personal favorite team — the West Bank Shots — but his game will be on display with the Israeli Heat. Niiiice.