Rockets F Brockman injures eye during workout (Yahoo! Sports)

13 Sep
2012
HOUSTON (AP) -- Houston Rockets forward Jon Brockman is expected to make a full recovery after he was hospitalized for a right eye injury sustained during a workout at the Toyota Center.
Tags: , eye injury, full recovery, , , Jon Brockman, , recovery, , Rockets F Brockman, Toyota, ,
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Wolves’ Roy: ‘So far I haven’t had any setbacks’ (Yahoo! Sports)

13 Sep
2012

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Brandon Roy works out at the team's training facility in Minneapolis, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. Roy, 27, has been in Minnesota for two weeks working out with Timberwolves player development coach Shawn Respert and several Wolves players. The Wolves open training camp Oct. 2. (AP Photo/St. Paul Pioneer Press, Scott Takushi)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Brandon Roy had just wrapped up a lengthy workout with a spirited game of five-on-five and gathered with several of his new Minnesota Timberwolves teammates near halfcourt.


Tags: Brandon Roy, , halfcourt, minneapolis, minnesota timberwolves, , setbacks, spirited game, Timberwolves, Wolves, workout,
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James Worthy is not impressed by Dwight Howard

13 Sep
2012

When the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Dwight Howard in July, pretty much everyone with even a tenuous connection to the franchise (fans, employees, and more) got excited. They had good reason, too, obviously — Howard, when engaged, is the best center in the NBA, as well as a player who could form an often unstoppable pick-and-roll partnership with fellow new addition Steve Nash. After two years of second-round exits, the Lakers look primed to challenge for a title again.

However, one prominent Laker legend isn't sold that Howard is the perfect fit for the Lakers. In a conference call to discuss his new role as lead studio analyst for Lakers TV broadcasts, James Worthy voiced some conflicted opinions about Howard. From Melissa Rohlin for the Los Angeles Times (via PBT):

"I wasn't a fan of Dwight Howard," Worthy said during a conference call Thursday morning to announce his new role as main studio analyst for Lakers games on Time Warner Cable SportsNet. Worthy said that he likes players who put their head down and do their job. He lamented that with Howard, "there was too much conversation."

"Who said this, I don't like this coach. To me, that's nonsense," Worthy said. "Your job is to come in and play and deal with the situation that's there."

Worthy also greatly disapproved of Howard's reticence to play for the Lakers. "I was a little bit taken back. I think I heard him say ... if the Lakers drafted him, he wouldn't take it," Worthy said. "I knew that was gibberish."

Worthy, however, made it clear that now that Howard is on the Lakers, he welcomes him to the team. He just thinks that the superstar with a larger-than-life personality needs a minor attitude adjustment. "This is not Orlando," he said.

Worthy has a good point — in fact, it's similar to the thrust of the column that Yahoo!'s own Adrian Wojnarowski wrote after the trade went down. Now that Howard is back in contention, he needs to put the antics aside and get serious. That's a smart point, no matter if you're a Lakers legend or not.

[Related: Dwight Howard thanks Orlando in a full page newspaper ad]

What makes it so bizarre to hear, though, is that the immediate reaction in Los Angeles was so overwhelming positive. Worthy's former teammate Magic Johnson, for instance, began to talk up the Lakers' title hopes within a matter of hours, and many Lakers fans followed suit. No one can criticize them for their excitement — Howard is really, really good, after all — but there was also a noticeable lack of perspective regarding what it takes to win in reality vs. on paper. The mere fact that Worthy didn't play cheerleader is notable, even though he's really just carrying out his analyst role responsibly.

With any luck, Worthy's comments will usher in a fresh period of Lakers-related realism rather than serve as a shocking example of a former legend criticizing a current star. Because, in the end, everything Worthy said here makes sense. Here's hoping that Howard takes it to heart.
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Tags: , , connection, , , James Worthy, , , , studio,
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Melo visits Puerto Rico to unveil charity efforts (Yahoo! Sports)

13 Sep
2012
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Carmelo Anthony is in Puerto Rico to unveil remodeled basketball courts at a public housing complex and play a bit of softball with celebrity friends.
Tags: , , , celebrity, housing, Melo, , public housing, Puerto Rico, softball,
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Bulls G Rose says knee’s improving (Yahoo! Sports)

13 Sep
2012

Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose breaks down and cries during a news conference unveiling his new shoe the Adidas D Rose 3 in Chicago, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

CHICAGO (AP) -- Derrick Rose couldn't hold it in.


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Brooklyn Nets sign veteran F Josh Childress (Yahoo! Sports)

13 Sep
2012
NEW YORK (AP) -- The Brooklyn Nets have signed veteran forward Josh Childress.
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Create-a-Caption: John Starks is a very jovial businessman

13 Sep
2012

Yes, John Starks was a fiery and emotional defender during his years with the New York Knicks, but those jagged edges have long since been beveled off by the world of big business. Buying, selling, trading, making deals, cashing checks — Starks loves all of it. Especially when you're not trying to bust his chops when he calls you. C'mon, Steve. Don't bust his chops here. He thought you had a deal, and now you're over here, trying to bust his chops here? C'mon Steve.

Best caption wins what John Starks says right after someone tries to bust his chops. Good luck.

In our last adventure: Charles Barkley thinks Cheryl Miller is the funniest person he has ever met in his life. In a related story, the peyote juuuust kicked in.

Winner, Jarron: Charles laughs as Cheryl tells him about the time Reggie said he could've made the Dream Team.

Runner-up, Jerry Wu: Cheryl Miller: "Did you hear? Reggie is the third-best shooting guard ever."

Second runner-up, Larry B.: Cheryl Miller: "And when he was 12 years old, I beat Reggie one-on-one for the 500th straight time — that was when he had to get 'Property of Cheryl M' tattooed on his backside."

Tags: bust, , , , , , John Starks, luck, , person, Starks,
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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar kicks off the new fall TV season by ‘dunking’ a baby (VIDEO)

13 Sep
2012

In one of the universe's fairest temporal deals, we are typically given about two months between the start of the new fall television season and the beginning of the new NBA regular season to decide which new TV shows we'll make sure to make time for once we get back to 12-game evening slates that don't end until Kobe Bryant takes a contested fadeaway jumper with the clock reading triple-zero on the West Coast. One new NBC offering vying for our eyeballs, "Guys with Kids," premiered Wednesday night with a series opener that aimed to ensnare male and female viewers alike by mining the rich comedic vein that is three chill bros (played James Swimfan, Teddy from "Hang Time" and the dude from The Whitest Kids U Know) being entrusted with caring for babies. They were aided in their endeavor by NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, whom they really want to slam-dunk their babies, albeit oddly in a setting that does not appear to be a Buffalo Wild Wings.

The also-dude-focused site Guyism conducted video surveillance on the debut and released their findings on Thursday:

In case you missed the initial airing and somehow forgot to DVR it, I'll let the all-seeing Huffington Post catch you up on the plot:

When Chris' [ED. NOTE: played by Swimfan] ex-wife Sheila [Erinn Hayes] refused to allow him to get a babysitter so he could go out on a date, she further said she couldn't do it because she had a date herself ... with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. In the moment, she certainly seemed like she was lying.

Sheila is the controlling and manipulative character in the cast, but after an episode of her pushing Chris around, he finally stood up to her. She was totally against the idea of Abdul-Jabbar "dunking" her baby, but Chris convinced him to do it, and then told his ex-wife to learn to trust him with their baby.

Well, all of that certainly sounds reasonable, healthy and relatable. Glad to hear that Chris stood up to Sheila. Controlling and manipulative ex-wives who won't let giants palm their children, amirite? (NOTE: Please be advised that this is a rhetorical question and please do not answer it thank you very much for your attention in this matter.)

I'm also glad that Chris' gambit for convincing Sheila to trust him with their baby was to ask her date to dunk the child rather than perform his patented sky-hook, although there is, I suppose, an argument to be made that a scene including a thrown baby would be a pretty edgy way for NBC to kick off its fall slate. (I, personally, am anti-thrown-baby.)

Three other notes:

1. While Kareem acquitted himself admirably, this appearance still ranks a distant second in the competition for Funniest Things Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Has Done on Television This Year;

2. This is less a dunk, really, than a "presenting Simba"-type situation, which now has me wondering how Kareem would do in a brief run as Rafiki in the Broadway presentation of "The Lion King" (my suspicion: pretty great!);

3. This should be the basis for Kareem's statue:

Or, failing that, at least a handsome Trollface bust that would make a fine addition to any Internet person's desk. Let's get on it, sculptors.

Hat-tip to Mayor Burnsy at With Leather.

Tags: Buffalo Wild Wings, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, , NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA regular season
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President Obama’s Vanity Fair feature details his (hollering) obsession with pickup hoops

13 Sep
2012

As a fan of American history or American politics, no matter your political leaning, Michael Lewis' Vanity Fair profile on President Barack Obama will rank as a must-read. Stuck in the middle of our own working day, we're looking forward to giving it a lengthy run-through once the whistle blows.

As a fan of basketball? Reading an NBA blog in the afternoon stuck in the slowest point of the NBA's offseason? An insight into President Barack Obama's personal influence on the game he appears to enjoy above all others is nearly as fascinating as reading Lewis' borderline-unprecedented access into Obama's day-to-day affairs as sitting president. And between an NPR interview from Wednesday and Vanity Fair's nine-page feature there are unending sources of material to glom on to just within the realm of The First Fan, governing aside.

Obama doesn't play as much as he'd like to anymore, those year-old Under Armour kicks he debuted last fall are apparently still court-worthy nearly a year later, but the caliber of opponent and his apparent devotion to efficiency (and, apparently, teeth-rocking physical play against players that were sometimes half the president's age) appeared to surprise Lewis.

Lewis, who counts the fabled "Moneyball" and "The Blind Side" amongst his works within the realm of sportswriting, did hand over quote approval to the White House for his story. The quotes, scrubbed though they may be, are still worth a look. From the NPR interview:

And he had kind of orchestrated himself to - he had worked very hard to get to the point where he could take the shot and get a good shot. He also screams at you if you - if you're on his team and you take bad shots, he doesn't put up with it. He was hollering at me.

In fact, he hollered at me so much - he hollered at me - he was so - I was so embarrassed by being outclassed and feeling like he was going to be pissed off at me if we lost, that I, at some point, I kind of snuck out of the game and went and sat with the scorekeeper. But the first time I jacked up a shot that he thought I shouldn't take, he started screaming at me.

And at that the - when the game was over and it was clear his team had won four of the six games, you could see that the reason that his team had won was that the players on his team didn't take stupid shots because they were afraid the president was going to scream at them if they did.

The president, according to Lewis, doesn't want to be counted on as the president once he steps between the lines. Lewis relayed how Obama didn't pout when taken advantage of by younger, better players on defense. He apparently was keen to make the extra pass, even while open himself, and doesn't enjoy counting kowtowers amongst his practice mates. "If you defer to him," Lewis told NPW's Terry Gross, "you're not invited back."

A welcome respite, no doubt, from a political life spent either discussing affairs of state with those attempting to only tell the president what he wants to hear, or those saturating every bit of advice or counsel relayed to the commander in chief with agenda and bias. Those unfortunate realities are explained in detail in Lewis' Vanity Fair feature.

For now, though, we'll highlight the hoop-centric aspects of his piece. Such as the caliber of opponent Obama likes to choose for his run.

From Vanity Fair:

A dozen players were warming up. I recognized Arne Duncan, the former captain of the Harvard basketball team and current secretary of education. Apart from him and a couple of disturbingly large and athletic guys in their 40s, everyone appeared to be roughly 28 years old, roughly six and a half feet tall, and the possessor of a 30-inch vertical leap. It was not a normal pickup basketball game; it was a group of serious basketball players who come together three or four times each week. Obama joins when he can. "How many of you played in college?" I asked the only player even close to my height. "All of us," he replied cheerfully and said he'd played point guard at Florida State. "Most everyone played pro too—except for the president." Not in the N.B.A., he added, but in Europe and Asia.

Overhearing the conversation, another player tossed me a jersey and said, "That's my dad on your shirt. He's the head coach at Miami." Having highly developed fight-or-flight instincts, I realized in only about 4 seconds that I was in an uncomfortable situation, and it took only another 10 to figure out just how deeply I did not belong. Oh well, I thought, at least I can guard the president. Obama played in high school, on a team that won the Hawaii state championship. But he hadn't played in college, and even in high school he hadn't started. Plus, he hadn't played in several months, and he was days away from his 51st birthday: how good could he be?

To start, the head coach of the Miami Hurricanes is former George Mason head man Jim Larranaga; and he has two sons. Jay, a former Bowling Green point man who played alongside longtime NBA journeyman Antonio Daniels in college, is now an assistant coach under Doc Rivers in Boston. The second, and more likely candidate is Jon Larranaga — who played at George Mason and currently works out of the Washington, D.C., area. Either way, these are relatively young college veterans, and hardly a group of golden-oldies meant to make Obama's uneasy jump shot look true.

As if he could fire one off against that competition, anyway. From Lewis' NPR interview:

So he took, in the course of five games we played, or six games, he took maybe five shots and made all but one of them.

This, according to the Vanity Fair feature, is by design. In his advancing age, Obama is trying to turn himself into a no-stats All-Star:

"What happens is, as I get older, the chances I'm going to play well go down. When I was 30 there was, like, a one-in-two chance. By the time I was 40 it was more like one in three or one in four." He used to focus on personal achievement, but as he can no longer achieve so much personally, he's switched to trying to figure out how to make his team win. In his decline he's maintaining his relevance and sense of purpose.

All of this is revelatory, but it pales in comparison to the overall work Lewis has done here; both in his recounts on NPR, and the Vanity Fair piece. We might be uneasy with the White House's filter on Lewis quotes, and you might be uneasy with Obama's politics and the idea that he could be re-elected to a second term. Vote how you will, make pointless comments however you see fit -- as a document, this is something worth taking your time with. Both his interview and the feature are something you must work through if you have any interest in domestic or international politics. Or leadership within that realm.

On a smaller scale, as always, is the basketball. And Obama's style of on-court politicking, and leadership, is pretty telling as well.

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Tags: Barack, , Michael Lewis, , Obama, pickup, , , , , Vanity Fair
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Ex-Rocket, King and Raptor Joey Dorsey shatters backboard with dunk during game for Greek team Olympiacos (VIDEO)

13 Sep
2012

Like (I assume) many of you, I hadn't thought about Joey Dorsey in a while. Sure, I'd heard that the former second-round NBA draft pick — last seen by NBA fans playing about 12 minutes a night as a half-season reserve forward with the Toronto Raptors following several years bouncing between the D-League and big league in between trades — had re-signed with Greek power Olympiacos earlier this summer, but it didn't move the needle; I kind of thought, "Oh, that's cool, but it's a bummer that he didn't stick in the league. Energetic rebounders/dunkers are fun." And then I went back to my blissful existence of not thinking about Joey Dorsey.

So it was something of a surprise when it came across my Twitter feed on Wednesday afternoon:

Which, naturally, led me to YouTube on Thursday morning:

Some of you might say, "Kind of a weak backboard-breaking dunk, Joey Dorsey." (You wouldn't say it to his face, because he is a 6-foot-8, 270-pound monster of a man, but you feel me.) "The glass didn't even come out of the backboard and cascade over everyone very dangerously, like all the dudes did in this Black Rob-soundtracked video. Pretty ho-hum, really."

Personally, I think the fact that the pane shatters but doesn't fall all over everyone is a pretty neat representation of how a finely tuned athlete can display pinpoint control over destructive power, not unlike Frank Dux using the Dim Mak to shatter only the bottom brick in a large stack prior to the Kumite tournament. It's like my grandfather always said: "One man's underwhelming highlight is another's thrilling paean to 'Bloodsport.'" (Our holiday dinners were weird.)

It will probably continue to bum me out that Dorsey never really got a long, concerted look stateside — I mean, if there's one thing we've learned about translatable basketball skills and their value, it's that when a guy can rebound, he can help an NBA team, and Dorsey's rebound rates and per-minute board averages were stellar in both the D-League and the NBA — but he seems to have carved out a comfortable and positive niche with Olympiacos, providing defense, rebounding and frontcourt toughness that helped the Greek side win last season's Euroleague Final Four.

According to Euroleague Adventures blogger Sam Meyerkopf (writing at the excellently named SB Nation site Searching for Billy Edelin), Dorsey cites his relationship with Olympiacos coach Dusan Ivkovic as a major factor motivating his extended stretch in Greece:

"Coach gave me so much confidence coming here, we sat down and he told me what he wanted me to do for this team, and I think Dusan is just a players coach. I talk to him about off the court stuff and everything. And when you got that type of communication with your coach you'll have so much confidence. "

Apparently, a confident Dorsey is one who tears down rims. Olympiacos' gain is our loss. (Until it gets put on YouTube, and then we all win. Internet!)

One last note: That sweet behind-the-back feed that set Dorsey up for his dunk came from Kostas Papanikolaou, the young Greek forward whom New York Knicks fans booed mercilessly when the team selected him in the second round of the 2012 NBA draft a few months back and whom the team shipped to the Portland Trail Blazers in the sign-and-trade that imported Raymond Felton and Kurt Thomas. Good thing, too. Who would want a 22-year-old who can play both forward positions and can drop dimes like that? A real dummy, that's who.

Video via RedBasketZone.

Tags: backboard, , D-League, dunk, Dusan, Joey Dorsey, , Olympiacos,
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