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Parents of Athletes Who Should be Jailed for Giving Their Sons Awful Names

In 2008 startling news broke about a New Zealand couple whose daughter was taken away from them because of the name they gave her. At first it sounded unfair– I mean shouldn’t parents have the right to name their child whatever they want?

Then I saw the name and I immediately applauded the Kiwi legal system for its swift and impartial justice. The poor child who was receiving enough ridicule at school that she refused to divulge her name and asked only to be referred to as “K” was officially named … Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii.

According to the article the judge was taking a stand against parents who give their children outrageous names, and he even listed a few that have been banned by registration officials: Stallion, Yeah Detroit, Fish and Chips, Twisty Poi, Keenan Got Lucy, Sex Fruit, twins called Benson and Hedges, other children called Midnight Chardonnay, Number 16 Bus Shelter and Violence.

“Violence” seems ridiculous but my fiancee actually played basketball in high school with a girl named “Felon”, so I didn’t find that one as hard to believe as “Sex Fruit” or “Number 16 Bus Shelter” (I’m assuming that’s where the unfortunate child was conceived?).

Anyway, all this talk of crazy names got me thinking about the subsegment of society with the highest frequency of indescribably bad forenames: athletes.

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NBA Draft Analysis and Recap of the First 14 Picks – How do they all fit?

Thursday’s NBA draft was both exhilarating and head-scratching. Some players went higher than expected (ahem, Iman Shumpert). Others fell far, to teams that never expected to grab them (Chris Singleton and the Wizards, for instance).

It’s too early to tell which of these players will reach their potential and which ones will veer off the tracks in an Adam Morrison-like train crash. Like an overwrought episode of Franklin & Bash, it’ll take a while for the basketball community to reach its final verdicts.

In the meantime, here’s a quick pick-by-pick analysis of each player taken in this year’s lottery and how they fit with their new team:

1. Kyrie Irving (PG) – Cleveland

The look on Irving’s agent’s face when Irving’s name was called No. 1 was priceless. Turns out Cleveland had kept them in the dark all week long. Not a promise (despite there being word of a promise). Not a hint. Nothing. When you heard “Kyrie Irving to the Cleveland Cavaliers,” that’s the first time he heard it too. I’m sure Irving’s agent will remind Cavs executives of this in a few years when it comes time to sign an extension. In the meantime, Irving will be asked to keep the Cavs afloat with a nucleus of Baron Davis, AndersonVarejao, J.J. Hickson and Tristan Thompson. No easy feat. Let’s hope Dan Gilbert isn’t thinking playoffs any time soon.

2. Derrick Williams (PF) - Minnesota

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A Beginner’s Guide to the 2011 NBA Draft: Profiles on All the Top Prospects

Reading NBA draft previews sometimes feels like wading through Princess Bride-style quicksand. With so many names to remember and stats to sift through, it can be hard to figure out what draft info is important and what’s just unnecessary nonsense.

Do you care as a casual fan, for instance, that Enes Kanter has 5.9% body fat? Or that Marcus Morris can run three quarters of the court in 3.2 seconds whereas his twin brother, Markieff, runs it in 3.4 seconds? Not really, right?

You just want the basics. Which is why I wrote this beginner’s guide.

Draft lunatics will already know most of what is written below. It’s not quantum physics, just a good starting place for people staring at the screen on draft night wondering “who is that guy?”

If you’re here for insight into Nikola Vucevic’s standing reach, you’ve come to the wrong place. But if cheat sheet info delivered in 100 words or less is your thing, I’m your guy. You won’t find any quicksand here.

Here’s my Cliff Notes-style guide to the 2011 NBA draft:

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