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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.

Kenyon Martin Did 101 in 30mph Zone, Got Off with Preferential Treatment

Funny how LeBron’s speeding ticket was all in the news a few weeks ago, but nobody heard anything about K-Mart’s. Well, as Matt Watson explains, it’s because Kenyon’s speeding incidents happened two years ago but the prosecutor is just now getting in trouble for letting K-Mart off easy. And if you noticed above, I said incidents — as in plural. His escapades would give certain LBS readers who received certain tickets in certain cities just south of Las Vegas … a run for their money.

K-Mart was ticketed in January of ’06 doing 101 in a 30mph zone. About half a year later, Kenyon was ticketed for doing 103 in a 55mph zone. Wow. These could have been residential neighborhoods he was getting up to triple digits in. And though he had points on his license and was supposed to have his license suspended at the least, he got off because he got some sweet plea bargains. I can’t really blame Kenyon for hiring people to take advantage of our flawed legal system; it’s just a shame our legal system can be so easily manipulated. And hotdamn, 101 in a 30? Who does he think he is, freaking Jeff Gordon or something?

Shaq Clears the Suns’ Bench

After seeing Shaq act like Jim Edmonds reincarnate Sunday, his teammates learned their lesson. Check out their reaction to Shaq chasing down a loose ball in Phoenix’s win over the Grizzlies Tuesday night:

Clearly they wanted no part of the Big Fella Cactus. You see them scatter like roaches when the lights turn on? That bench parted like the red sea!

George Karl Rips Pau Gasol Trade

To refresh your memory, first it was Spurs coach Gregg Popovich who bashed the Pau Gasol trade, saying there should be a trade committee that must approve deals. Pretty much anyone who’s seen the Lakers play since Pau (long as you’re not a Lakers fan) has to be upset with Memphis for giving up Pau for nearly nothing. Count Nuggets coach George Karl as one still in disbelief over the trade, as he mentioned to ESPN in an interviewed aired during the Nuggets/Spurs game Friday night:

“I’m with Pop on the Gasol trade. [The Nuggets media relations director] told me about the trade, I said ‘the league can’t let that happen. There’s no way.’ That’s not going to happen. I swear, I said ‘there’s no way that’s happening.’ It was like a gift — Christmas come early. It was a surprise package underneath the tree.”

We’ve broke down some of the recent one-sided deals in the NBA back when Popovich made his comments, but at least some of those teams were getting back at least one useful player, as opposed to Memphis which really got nothing. So, the question must then be asked: is David Stern really using his power to pull these strings? Something tells me the answer is yes.

Eva Longoria and Mario Lopez Getting Cozy, Where’s Tony Parker?

Probably not the type of distraction T. Parker can use while his Spurs are on their rodeo, but looks like his wife Eva Longoria has been out getting cozy with Mario Lopez lately. It’s not much of a surprise that Longoria and Lopez are hanging together — their friendship is well-documented — but they’ve been known to have dated in the past. In other words, that can’t be a good sign for Tony and his relationship. Getting to it, Longoria and Lopez were spotted dining together in LA, and Mario was lavishing Eva with quite the gift:

Now I don’t know if Marcellus Wallace would consider this a foot rub, but where I come from, this isn’t exactly appropriate conduct for a married woman. It’s not much of a surprise on Mario’s end — rumors say that’s why Ali Landry divorced him — so this is just poor company for Eva, it would appear. Not exactly what Tony needs right in the heat of the playoff race if you ask me.