So Eight Games and Baron Davis Already Isn’t Fitting in with the Clippers

Just to show you how bad the Mavericks are, that’s the only team the Clippers beat this season. The Clips are 1-8 and were pretty much doomed from the start when Elton Brand deserted them in free agency and Maggette bolted for Golden State. Baron Davis was their key offseason acquisition, but he only signed with them to be back in LA where he grew up and to make some money. It’s pretty clear he didn’t consider much else otherwise he wouldn’t have signed with that garbage organization. And he had no idea that leaving the Warriors meant he would have a new coach with a different coaching style. And that as you could imagine has caused some problems. Quoting Baron:

“There’s definitely a disconnect there. I’ve never had so many plays in my entire career. I have to figure out how to fit more into his system, and [Dunleavy] has to figure out how to relax his grip.
“It’s like every time we come down the floor, everyone is trying to figure out the play, and by the time I get it called out and everyone knows it, there is eight seconds left on the shot clock,” Davis said. “It takes away some of our instincts.”

As far as I see it, Davis has really only had one year where things worked — two years ago with the Warriors when they took out the Mavs in the playoffs. He’s a picky guy who only works in certain systems (the free-wielding kind), and butts heads with his coaches (not named Nelson). With four years left on his contract, I’m just wondering who will be the first to go: Baron Davis, or Mike Dunleavy. It’ll be hard to fire Dunleavy now that he’s GM of the team, too. Hope Baron’s open to an offseason trade.

Video: Rockets/Suns Fight, Matt Barnes and Rafer Alston Ejected

Whatever the Suns couldn’t accomplish on the court Wednesday night, they tried to make up for with non-sporting tactics. Being a UCLA guy, I’m familiar with Matt Barnes‘ background as a tight end on his high school football team. Seems like he was rekindling his football days when he laid into Rafer Alston of the Rockets who was trying to put a screen on him. Yao Ming came over to play peace-maker, Steve Nash tried to get in the middle, Tracy McGrady threw a shove in there, and pretty much once Shaq got into the picture all was quiet on the western front. Here’s a video that shows every aspect of the fight from start to finish:

Alright, so let’s break down all elements of this brawl. Matt Barnes was the dirty one with an uncool check on Alston to start everything. Nash comes skating in to get involved and gets tossed like a parking ticket by T-Mac. Then Shaq comes in the middle, pushes T-Mac who falls over with ease, and then he pushes Yao who tumbles over T-Mac in a 3 Stooges-like comedy bit. And that pretty much ended everything. With the teams fighting for playoff spots in the West, it’s not going to be easy for either of these squads to get by without their top players for a handful of games, which is where it looks like we’re heading. And the biggest kicker of all? Ron Artest wasn’t anywhere near the fight! Amazing.

Dr. Yao Ming to Receive Honorary Degree from University of Hong Kong

So to answer the age old question: what do Bill Clinton and Yao Ming have in common? They both will be honorary recipients of degrees from the University of Hong Kong for their roles in HIV/AIDS research and advocacy. In case you’re wondering how Dr. Ming qualifies, HKU has it described:

Mr Yao has made outstanding contributions in HIV/AIDS advocacy, appearing with Mr Magic Johnson on commercials to support the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, and taking part in various activities on the Mainland, such as visiting children living with the disease. He has helped fight the social and cultural stigma associated with HIV/AIDS with his positive attitude and participation in the prevention and treatment of the disease, and continues to advocate action, care and full integration of people living with HIV/AIDS. In September 2008, Mr Yao was presented with the Award for Outstanding Contributions to the AIDS Response by UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.

And now he’s receiving a doctorate in social sciences. Quite the honor, I must say. It’s nice to see Yao get the recognition for all of the wonderful things he does off the court. And in addition to Bill Clinton, Yao now has something in common with Venus Williams and Joe Morgan. Dr. Ming. I think it has a nice ring.

Amare Stoudemire’s Acting Job Makes Manu Ginobili Look Like Tom Hanks

You Been Blinded has the find of the night. In addition to throwing down 49 points (I thought it was 51, where’d the other two go??), Amare Stoudemire got off one of the worst acting jobs I’ve ever seen on a basketball court. First Amare straight dunked on Jeff Foster, and then he managed to get this foul called on Travis Diener:

Dude, he took like two steps before he finally flopped. That was brutal. It was so bad I think even Amare was laughing as soon as he fell. Just remember Amare, what goes around comes around.

There Really Is No Pleasing Knicks Fans

It’s amazing to see fan behavior. Nobody showed up to Knicks games because the franchise became so putrid under Isiah Thomas’ watch. They even had to start giving away food in fan appreciation days last season just to get people to buy tickets. Now they get a new coach who wants to turn things around, install his system, and win his way. They get a win on opening night — something they weren’t accustomed to the last few years — and then they bitch about a player not getting off the bench during the game?

With some in the Garden crowd surprisingly chanting “We Want Steph [Marbury]” with 11:10 remaining in the fourth (others booed the chant), a stewing [head coach Mike] D’Antoni was caught on MSG Network cameras Wednesday in a tirade, mouthing:

“You’ve got to be (bleeping) kidding me. You’ve got to be (bleeping) kidding me. What a bunch of (bleep) holes.”

[D'Antoni later said at practice the next day]
“Sometimes I don’t think the fans quite get it,” D’Antoni said. “It’s like who you draft. They’re going to boo. When you make a big decision, someone’s going to like it, someone’s not. You’ll hear from the people who don’t.

Those fans are impossible to please. Steph used to be the biggest scapegoat there for the losing and now they want him in the game? That’s like Dodger fans chanting to see Andruw Jones next year. Looks like D’Antoni put a quick end to any future fan requests for Marbury by putting him on the inactive list. I’m cool with D’Antoni doing his thing but I’m still surprised with the way things have gone with Marbury. If they weren’t going to play him, why didn’t they trade him? I refuse to believe that he isn’t talented enough to play in this league so I can’t understand why he’s just rotting away on their bench.

Stephon Marbury Would Like Eddie House to Think About Life, Not Basketball

We already knew that Stephon Marbury was out there. And by out there, I mean from a different planet. He’s responsible for one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever seen, and he also owns one of the oddest tattoos I’ve seen as well. And apparently he picked up some Phil Jackson literature in the offseason because he’s become quite the philosopher lately. Witness his jawing with Eddie House of the Celtics in their pre-season game:

After Marbury drew a foul on Kendrick Perkins and hit two free throws, he turned and screamed at House, from midcourt: “You’re a bum!”

When play returned to the Celtics’ side of the court, House chirped, “Don’t worry about me. You better worry about Ray Allen,” whom Marbury was guarding. Marbury shot back, “You’re nothing!” then added, “You’re caught up in basketball. Get caught up in life.”

That is incredible. Seriously, of all the things in the world, why should House be worrying about basketball, right? Couldn’t he be out helping starvation in the world instead or putting sneakers on kids’ feet one at a time? A nice find by Straight Bangin’, passed on by M. Watson, proprietor of the greatest Detroit Pistons blog around. It’s nice to know where Steph’s head is at.

Devin Harris Schooled by V-Neck Sweater

This is easily one of my favorite videos on YouTube. The title tells the story. Enjoy.

So that was NBA player and soon to be All-Star point guard for the Nets, Devin Harris, getting balled up by a no-name kid from the U.K. — Stuart Tanner. Big ups to SpinMax for passing along the vid that’s already made it’s rounds on ESPN and past 3 million views according to YouTube. Now there is some background on the video provided by Stuart’s brother, Greg Tanner.

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