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Watch the Dallas Mavericks Live in 3D

Even if Mark Cuban is doing his best to piss off bloggers and make it awkward for others, he still is on the cutting edge when it comes to product development. The man who started HDNet has arranged a screening of the Mavericks/Clippers game Tuesday in 3D at a movie theater. No surprise that Cuban’s idea is a form of synergy for the man who owns both the Mavericks and some Landmark theaters, but the concept in itself is quite creative. FSN Southwest will broadcast the game in 2-D and work with a special 3-D production crew to make the 3-D broadcast work. Cuban seems to think the idea is a real winner:

“I think 3-D will play a huge role in out-of-home entertainment for the next few years,” said Cuban, founder of HDNet. “It will be a unique experience for watching sports, concerts and special events that only theaters will be able to offer.”

I don’t know if I’d be running out of the house to go catch a basketball game in 3-D, but I do have to say that I’m quite intrigued. And by intrigued, I mean I’d like to watch it if I had the opportunity, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to do so. Man, never shy to express his opinion, Mark Cuban is always way ahead of the game when it comes to technological ideas. Is it any surprise he’s a billionaire?

Gilbert Collaborates with Benihana on New Hibachi Shoe

Man, even while injured, the dude still makes great headlines. He’s had some shoes with Adidas now for a few years, and they’re starting to expand into the customizations realm. For instance, Gil and Adidas released a special edition Halo version of the Gil II Zeros in honor of the popular video game. While Gil told us to head out to certain shoes stores to pick up the special edition Gil II’s, I couldn’t find em at the LA stores. We might have to fix that problem considering Gil’s latest sneaker — the Hibachis are being released:

Unfortunately for me, only 1,000 are being made, and they’re only available in DC. And if I do say so myself, the kicks sound a lot cooler than they look. Not the best of the limited edition Gil II Zero’s. I think my fave is the one that has the erasable wet/dry board on it. Now that is sick. Thanks to Kicks On Fire for the pic.

Allen Iverson Has Grown Up, Matured

Ten years ago, this would have been a joke of a headline. A.I. was the badboy of the NBA — a posterchild for the negative image surrounding the league. He was in and out of trouble, all tatted up, and getting into issues with his coaches. He was the antithesis of what David Stern wanted in the league. These days however, the script has flipped. A.I. has become a positive image in the NBA. He was received warmly in Philadelphia Wednesday night, greeted by the din of a standing ovation. In a roundtable discussion on ESPN recently, he was dubbed the NBA player most similar to what Brett Favre represented in the NFL. So how has the transformation taken place — one that strikes me as so eerily familiar to that of Andre Agassi? A.I. explained after the loss to the Sixers in his post game media conference:

People wonder why you don’t hear my name with a bunch of negative stuff anymore … I’m 32-years-old — I’m too old for that. As a person, I just don’t do the same things. Looking back on it, I’m embarrassed about a lot of those things. A lot of those situations didn’t have to happen, and I could have controlled all of it. So when I ran-in with coaches and the organization at times, a lot of the time just being young and not realizing it was my fault, it was. I could have controlled it, but I chose not to, and that’s why I went through the downs that I went through.

After seeing all the love spread around at the Wachovia Center and the way Iverson was touched by the fan appreciation, it was hard not to get caught up in the emotions. If you’re one who once viewed Iverson in a negative light, there’s no shame in changing your stance and opinion towards the man considering he’s changed as well. It’s great to see a grown-up A.I. who takes responsibility for his foolish ways as a youth, and who has now become the vocal leader for an NBA team for the first time in his career. Between his hustle, toughness, gritty play, and evolved character, it’s extremely difficult to root against Allen Iverson. He has certainly made me a fan of his.

Kevin Garnett Doesn’t Deny He Tanked

One of the big stories floating around on Tuesday was the comment from Timberwolves owner, Glen Taylor, who said Kevin Garnett tanked down the stretch last season. Taylor went out of his way to specify that it wasn’t the entire team, but rather solely KG, who was tanking towards the end of the year, by not playing in the last five games. Well, obviously with his head focused squarely on the matter at hand — the Houston Rockets and their 22-game winning streak — KG wasn’t digging for NBA headlines during the day. So when he was interviewed after the game by TNT’s David Aldridge, he hadn’t heard about Taylor’s comments. When told by Aldridge what Taylor had said, here was Garnett’s response:

I’m in Boston, I care less what Glen Taylor thinks of Kevin Garnett. Right now, huge win for us. That’s nonsense. I don’t even know why he would bring that up …”

Now I’m not going to say that Garnett’s response was an indictment, but I will say I’m surprised he didn’t defend himself against the charges by Taylor. I would have expected something to the effect of: “I played there my whole career, gave it my all, took them to the playoffs … I always worked hard there.” Sure, KG was more or less ambushed by Aldridge about the matter, but I’m still surprised that he didn’t outright deny the tanking charge. That seems to me like it would have been the natural reaction if it were the case.

Allen Iverson Was Pretty Good at that Whole Football Thing

It wasn’t until my man Cacique at Sporting News Radio made mention of this that I realized what I was missing out on. According to YouTube, over 1.1 million people have seen the stud that is Allen Iverson play high school football. Until today, I was not one of them. In case you haven’t either, please enjoy the awesomeness of A.I. who was apparently quite the two-sport star in high school, good enough to have played in the NFL, they say. Check out his highlight reel:

For anyone who’s been watching A.I. ball for the last 10-15 years or so, this shouldn’t be much of a surprise. He’s always appeared strikingly quick and elusive on the court, making his name by darting through defenders on the dribble, and stealing passes on defense. I think it’s safe to say he made the right career choice, no matter how good he was at football.

Rockets’ Streak Is Almost Meaningless

History tells us that Houston’s 20-game winning streak is tied for the second longest in the NBA. Only one other team in league history has won more consecutive games. That’s pretty impressive, but I’ll tell you why it’s nearly meaningless. To start, the Rockets would have to practically win out to approach the top streak in history, meaning they’re all but certain to only be second on the list. That’s cool and all, but it’s not too memorable. Additionally, given the circumstances of the Western Conference, the Rockets still have plenty of time to slip in the standings. Currently they’re only tied for first place in their division. They’ve won a quarter of their games in a row, and they’re still not even the top team in the conference, let alone division. That just speaks to the level of competition. Even if they play .600 ball the rest of the way, other teams can outperform them, leaving them to easily slip down to around the 6th spot.

Next, the fact that this is only the regular season renders the streak almost meaningless. Sure it’s helping them make the playoffs, but what good is this all if they don’t even make it out of the first round? T-Mac was left to cry last year after failing to win a playoff series yet again. They’re winning even without Yao in the lineup? Big deal. Let em win when it really matters. And when they did beat Dallas last week, wasn’t it without Dirk since he was suspended for the game? Things just fell into place otherwise it would have been over last week. So sure, this is a nice story, and it’s given me a top headline for the past week or so, but unfortunately, it’s almost meaningless. Good luck to you, Rockets, in the playoffs — where choking happens.

When Did the 76ers Become This Good?

Lost in the winning streak by the Houston Rockets spanning the past six weeks is the success of the Philadelphia 76ers. Sure, it’s a bit ironic to call a 31-34 team successful, but they have been playing well lately. Initially I took notice when I cracked on the Suns for losing at home to Philly a few weeks ago. But that was until Wednesday night, when the Sixers beat the Pistons in Detroit despite shooting barely over 40% from the field. At this point, the Sixers have won 13 of their past 17 games. Sure, they’ve beaten their share of the Knicks and Heat during the stretch of games, but they’ve also registered wins against the Mavs and Magic, in addition to the Pistons and Suns. So how did it all happen?

This is a team that doesn’t have many superstars in name. They have guys like Andre Miller, Andre Iguodala, Reggie Evans, Samuel Dalembert, and Thaddeus Young on the floor most of the time. Young is a guy you should get to know since he’s a rookie and performing well. If Kevin Durant weren’t taking over 15 shots a game for Seattle, Thaddeus would have a great case for rookie of the year. So what makes this group of mostly no-namers good? I took a look at their post-All-Star break splits to see and found out that they are excelling in quite a few categories.

Though only Iguodala’s averaging nearly 20ppg, they’re shooting 48.5% as a team, good for 7th in the NBA. At 11.8 turnovers a game, they’re 8th best since the break, with the Sonics turning it over the most, and the Pistons the least. Not only do they not turn the ball over much, but they also take it away the most — leading the league with 9.6 steals a game since the break. And there’s one other factor that has made the Sixers good — they’re committing the fewest fouls in the league. So what’s their formula for success? It’s not having superstars on the roster. It’s about not giving away points at the line or via turnovers, and by taking the ball away yourself. They’re almost like a conservative football team that takes care of the ball well. You might have to start paying attention to the Sixers, because they’re playing some solid ball.