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Josh Howard Partying During Playoffs?

It was only two weeks ago that I wrote about Baron Davis reportedly being out partying the night before the Warriors’ last game of the season — a must-win they lost to Phoenix that eliminated them from the playoffs. And today it disappoints me to write about the report from the Dallas area that Josh Howard was partying in between important games as well.

After a loss in Game 4 on Sunday, Howard passed out fliers in the locker room inviting teammates to celebrate his 28th birthday at a Dallas nightclub, a source said. The Mavs were down, 3-1, in the best-of-7 series.

Only a few players attended, the source said. But Avery Johnson confronted the players about the party the next day and canceled practice. The players decided to practice without the coaching staff.

The birthday party situation came two days after Howard went on a local radio show and discussed his off-season marijuana use.

Dude, what is this guy’s deal? Why volunteer to the media that you smoke weed in the offseason? That only makes people question your dedication, it doesn’t give you cool points. And then partying in the middle of the playoffs? After a loss no less? Are you kidding me? Do these guys not have any discipline? Seems to me like you can’t blame Avery Johnson and Dirk for this (though Avery was pardoned from his role as head coach). It’s about Josh Howard shooting a horrendous 29% from the field as the team’s second scoring option, caring more about partying than preparing for these games. Clearly Avery wanted to win. Kind of hard to do so when some of your players care less about it than you do. I don’t think this means Avery lost his team, I just think it means Howard’s immature, and now some team is going to get a really good coach because of it. And maybe the Mavs need to think about getting a different number two scorer who has his priorities in order.

There Was Nothing Wrong with the Name

Until that no-talent carpet bagger decided to start taking coaching jobs all over the place, sullying the name that is Larry Brown. I know many of you have been eagerly awaiting a response to my namesake taking a job with the Bobcats, so I’ll have at it. First of all, I would like to say that I was planning on this ass clown being done with his coaching career by the time I actually started doing productive things with my life like masturbating caged animals for a living writing a sports site and giving scores on the radio. I tried the whole middle initial thing for a while there in college, but Larry W. Brown never seemed right. Neither did Laurence Brown, nor L. Whitney Brown as it were. I’ve always just been Larry Brown. So now I’m just waiting for this dude to kick the coaching bucket. So anyway …

This is probably a good move for Mr. Brown. He goes to a team with no expectations, no culture of winning, and no history of success. He can easily step in and be the savior, making the franchise respectable and blow their mind by taking Charlotte to the playoffs. There was no way Larry was going to end his career on the Knicks note. But now he can be the charmed prince just by leading this team to the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference — a feat well within his means. It’s a talented roster with some good pieces in place. Hopefully he leads the turnaround and sends Charlotte to the playoffs next season, and then retires following his second year there, after they’ve won their first playoff series in franchise history. That’s the sort of the timeline I have in my head, and I’m guessing both LB and MJ are thinking the same thing. Then he can ride off into the sunset and never be heard from again, and I can go on living my life without this Waldo mucking everything up.

Kobe Not Willing to Take Pay Cut to Keep Lakers Together?

Not long ago I was raving about Gilbert Arenas volunteering to take a pay cut to keep the current Wizards together. How much more clear can you make it that you prioritize winning over money than by volunteering to take a pay cut? That’s truly putting your money where your mouth is, or something like that. Anyway, I heard about some comments Kobe made regarding this very subject on KLAC recently. Here’s what he was asked and here was his response:

Hartman: [Mychal Thompson] said that you would accept less money in order to ensure that you keep all the pieces in place so all these great young players can stay with the team. Is that going to be a consideration when you do get a new deal, that everyone stays aboard so this team can stay together?

Kobe: That’s Mitch [Kupchak]‘s responsibility to make sure the team stays together. For me, what I have to do is show up as a player and play the game. One thing that I learned throughout the season is that Mitch might make a million bad decisions, but then he made two great ones this season. Honestly I just lay off of him, he’s done a tremendous job with this team.

So when the pressure was put on him, Kobe quickly deflected and put everything on Mitch Kupchak. Hmm, Kobe passing the buck to Mitch? Why does that sound so familiar? I thought it was quite interesting that Kobe had the opportunity to say he’s willing to take a pay cut to keep this team together but he wouldn’t volunteer publicly to do so. Then again this is the same guy who couldn’t get along with Shaq forcing the Lakers to break up what could have been one of the NBA’s great dynasties. Why would we expect him to volunteer to sacrifice a paycheck to win?

Jay-Z has LeBron’s Back: Rips DeShawn with New Song

OK, so you pretty well know about Gilbert Arenas talking smack on the Cavs prior to their playoff series saying that he wanted Cleveland in the post-season. DeShawn Stevenson got into the act as well, adding that LeBron was overrated. LeBron laughed it off, equating it to Soulja Boy making a crack about Jay-Z. Well, we all know how close LeBron and Jay-Z are, so apparently LeBron had Jay-Z go to bat for him:

LeBron twice said, “There is no LeBron-DeShawn rivalry.” But he had reinforcements behind the scenes, big guns that came out Friday night at a club called Love.

That’s right, in the wee hours of Friday night at Love, the Northeast club which hosted Gilbert Arenas’ million-dollar 25th birthday party last year, the deejay played a new cut by Jay-Z. The hip-hop icon actually cut it Friday and had it downloaded for a party hosted by LeBron James at the club that night. Stevenson was told that the lyrics just eviscerated him — in his own town.

That’s when you know you have some pull — when you have a superstar rapper like Jay-Z customizing personal songs for you. Even Gilbert was impressed that Jay-Z made a song for LeBron. So DeShawn invites Soulja Boy to a game, LeBron responds by having Jay-Z write a song. How’s that for a tradeoff. Also as a note, Stevenson says the whole trash-talking started when LeBron cracked on DeShawn within earshot of Drew Gooden (Stevenson’s best friend from their days in Orlando). I’m guessing Gooden must have passed word along once the Cavs traded him away to Chicago. Good thing — it sure has provided us plenty of entertainment.

So Michael Jordan Could Dunk Pretty Well

Yeah, little bit of a newsflash for you just in case you hadn’t heard. We’ve all seen many of MJ’s highlight reel dunks over his career. But there is one Henry shared on True Hoop that I had never before seen. If this were an MJ DVD, it would be in the special features section. When was the last time you saw 23 shatter a backboard in Italy?

That was pretty sick. Oh, the beauty of YouTube.

Mike Bibby Calls Out Celtics Fans

After getting run out of the building on Sunday by the East’s top-seeded Celtics, the Hawks didn’t have much going for them. Mike Bibby’s boys were embarrassed, so he had to save face somehow. He elected to do so by getting off this blast on Celtics fans:

“They were kind of loud in the beginning, but a lot of those fans are bandwagon jumpers trying to get on this now. I played here last year, too (with the Sacramento Kings), and I didn’t see three-quarters of them. They’re for the team now and they might get a little rowdy, but that’s about it.

Fair-weather fans?

“You could say that,” [Bibby] said. “I remember them having bags over their heads. It’s a different look. I guess that’s what happens when you win.”

It’s amazing how much things change in only a year. The Celtics go from being an embarrassment getting criticized for trying to tank to becoming the top team in the league. Though Bibby is right in saying that all the fans weren’t there before, I’m not sure I would call them bandwagon fans. I have been quite explicit about saying you shouldn’t support a team if you don’t believe in the management, ownership, or the direction they’re going. I wouldn’t have shown up at Celtics games to watch that crap team last year, but once they acquired KG and Ray, I woulda been buying tickets. Fair weather? I’d go with practical. Fair weather fans are the Rockies fans who showed up only in October though it was the same team all year, or the Hornets fans in April though it was the same team winning games back in December. Now let’s see Bibby’s Hawks get a win — that’s really what he should be worried about.

Soulja Boy Disrespected by LeBron

This is the ultimate laugh your ass off scenario. During the week I was pretty upset with Gilbert Arenas for calling out the Cavs saying that he wanted to face them in the playoffs. It wasn’t just Gilbert who called out Cleveland — his teammate DeShawn Stevenson joined in the party calling LeBron overrated. LeBron pretty much laughed it off saying, “With DeShawn Stevenson, it’s kind of funny. It’s almost like Jay-Z [responding to a negative comment] made by Soulja Boy. It doesn’t make sense to respond.” Apparently the word made its way around to rapper Soulja Boy, and he wasn’t too happy to hear the quote:

“Someone from Interscope Records called me and sent me the quote,” Way said. “I looked and didn’t really think much about it. LeBron said something like he was Jay-Z and DeShawn [Stevenson] is Soulja Boy. I took that as [disrespectful].”

Of course you should take it as disrespectful — LeBron was dissing you both. He was using you as his figure for comparison — he called you a one-hit wonder — a hack who can’t hold a candle to the real deal. Kinda reminds me of Roy getting “Munsoned” in Kingpin. In the end, we must have sympathy for poor Soulja Boy’s plight — after all, he did nothing to get himself in the middle of this but make a cheesy song. And looks like the Wizards are already eating their words down 1-0. Smart move fellas, smart move.