Posts Tagged ‘NBA Playoffs’

In case you were holed up in a mountain shack somewhere getting your Ted Kaczynski on for the past few days, there was big news in the sports world yesterday: Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life by the NBA for racist comments that were caught on tape.

The internet promptly blew up harder than a Michael Bay movie set and everyone with 140-characters to burn proceeded to speculate wildly about what exactly a “Lifetime Ban” entailed.

One thing’s for certain, though, Donald won’t be going to many home games anymore.

In fact, he’s not allowed to be involved with the team in any way, shape, or form.  Which is a really good thing for the Clippers.  And for fans of human decency everywhere.

But guys like Donald Sterling don’t go down quietly.  They don’t just sit back and let the Adam Silvers of the world kick them in their surgically tightened chops and get away with it.  No.  If you can bet on one thing: it’s that Donald Sterling won’t take this sitting down.  He’s going to get onto his orthopedic-inserted velcro shoes and stand up and fight.  In the courtroom and in the court of public opinion.

But what about his former team, the Clippers?  Will he do as he’s been instructed and stay away?  My guess is this: hell no.  I bet it won’t be long before Sterling is having his Bentley driver cruise past the Staples center, while playing James Blunt breakup songs.  And then I bet it won’t be long before Donald Sterling finds himself hatching an evil plan to get back in to watch his team play.

But how could someone who’s now universally reviled, and universally recognized, manage to get into a tightly secured facility?  Two words: in disguise.

So, I’m doing the security at the Staples Center a favor today and letting them in on what will, in all probability, be Sterling’s plan of attack.

Here are the 4 high-tech disguises — and their elaborately thought out backstories — they need to watch for that Sterling will probably try to use to get in and watch the Clippers’ playoff run.

1.  Secret Alias: Donna Schmerling

Don

Backstory: Donna Schmerling has literally nothing in common with Donald Sterling.  She’s just a loving widower who has showed up to bake the team some cookies and make sure that the young man who jumps up so high to put the ball in the rim smiles a little more.  After all, he is playing a game.  She’s not here to try to bribe her way into the owner’s box so she can remove secret documents detailing years and years of chronic racism and misconduct, she’s just here to putter around and make sure that all the lovely dearies are playing nice with one another.

2.  Secret Alias: Unknown Klansman

Backstory: because, at this point, you might as well just go full bigot and hide in plain sight.  Will everyone know that it’s probably Donald?  Yeah.  Will they be expecting such a brash maneuver from the man who just Paula Deened his way out of an NBA franchise worth half a billi?  They actually might.  The good news?  Donald’s always wondered if those robes were as comfy as they look.  Now, if he goes undercover as a grandwizard in the Klan, he’ll get his chance to find out.

3.  Secret Alias: Bruce Jenner

Backstory: As both men go in for their bi-weekly plastic surgery sessions at their same high-priced clinic,  the switch will be on!  Let’s be honest, it only takes about 15 minutes for a plastic surgeon to cobble together a face that looks like Jenner’s with hot glue, pipe cleaners and a little blush and so it shouldn’t take long before Sterling is ready to head back out.  Let’s also be honest about this: Bruce Jenner would probably rather be Donald Sterling at this point than Bruce Jenner anymore.  It’ll be kind of like Face/Off except way older, grotesque-er, and with a more plausible storyline.

4.  Secret Alias: Cliff Paul’s Racist Uncle, Ron Sterling

Don2

Backstory: Everyone loves the backstory created by State Farm marketing gimmick, Cliff Paul.  Supposedly he was separated at birth from his identical twin.  Yeah, somehow they have the same name.  Sure, it’s never addressed why such a horrendous felony was perpetrated on the Paul family or how Cliff would battle out of the throes of deep depression when he realized that his brother had lead such a charmed life.  But what if there was another layer?  What if the man who separated Chris and Cliff in such a mid-afternoon-soap-opera-ish twist was actually the Paul twins’ very own uncle?  And what if that very own evil uncle had a twin himself?  And what if that evil uncle was actually the identical twin brother of now-banned-for-life Clippers owner, Donald Sterling?

A complicated backstory to be sure, but this is no small matter, attempting to circumvent the NBA’s lifetime ban and watch your team play.

So keep your eye out!  Citizens of Los Angeles, be vigilant.  For you never know when Donald Sterling may be walking among you!

FIN

So, you’re Donald Sterling.  You’re a multi-kajillionaire who loves lawsuits and lousy basketball teams.  You own a franchise that through your own ineptitude miraculously landed Blake Griffin and were then gift-wrapped a hall of fame point guard in a sign-and-trade of your soul to the devil.

Despite your out-and-out stumblefuckery that led your team to being one of the laughingstocks of professional sports for decades, you’ve finally managed to rid yourself of your horrendously hired Vinny Del Negro, land a great coach, and find yourself poised to deliver a deep playoff run that will pay massive dividends.

But it turns out you’re racist.  Like, really, really, virulently racist.  We’re talking cheering-for-DiCaprio-in-Django Unchained racist.  And you just got nailed for it.  Your liver-spotted, billionaire hands were caught buried up to your wrists in your Paula Deen cookie jar.

Here’s the audio of that “private” convo you had with your girlfriend.

Uh-oh.

Now, most people already were highly aware that your were a Grade A douchebag.  For most people, this audio tape is more like the crappy plot twist at the end of Hide and Seek with Bobby De Niro than the holyshitTHAT’SKeyserSoze?!?! moment from The Usual Suspects.  But still, this isn’t good, Donald.

So the question is, what do you do?  It’s time to choose your own adventure, Donald Sterling!

If you choose to take your private jet to your Cayman Island tax-shelter-home and lay low for the rest of the playoffs: Go to Page 1.

If you decide that you need to put on a brave, highly plastic-surgeried, face and take this thing on head-on by going to your home playoff game on Tuesday night: Go to Page 2.

(*Author’s note: once you’re in the gallery view, use the “ESC” key to get out and select the next page.)

FIN

Part I

Part II

Part III

FIN

FIN

As you may or may not know, Russell Westbrook (*Author’s note: or as I like to call him, The Russell West-B in Apt. 23) tore his meniscus in the Thunder’s first round matchup against the Houston Rockets.  As you also may or may not know, The Russell West-B in Apt. 23 also likes to dress like an insane cocktail of Lady Gaga and LMFAO.  We here at Burnpoetry were able to obtain an exclusive look at his one of a kind hospital gown he was rocking during the aforementioned surgery.  Enjoy.

Russell West-B

And by “fresh” I mean “stupid.”

FIN

While gorging myself on the NBA finals I’ve gotten accustomed to the advertising overload.  Since I normally DVR anything and everything, opting to watch literally anything that we have on on-demand over any live television shows (*Author’s note: here’s looking at you, My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding) I can’t handle much in the way of advertising.  I’ll look for obscure reasons to pause the T.V. (*Author’s note: “I’d better pick up the cat so I can compare his weight to this 2-liter of pop.”), just so I can fast forward through a T-Mobile Ad and a McBerry McSmoothie commercial featuring people inexplicably dancing because their food tastes so good.

Sporting events are different.  They have to be enjoyed live.  It’s not because we now live in an information-gorging age where, within two touch-screen pushes I can confirm the Mayan Apocalypse by finding out the sex of Snooki’s baby and discovering exactly what a dude from Nashville thinks about the whole scenario in 140 characters.  That’s a piece but not the entirety of the equation.

There’s something about sports that lives in the moment.  It can pull you in, yanking you right from your gravitational core, like a benign blackhole.  You find yourself on the edge of the couch, standing in your living room like you’re courtside at Madison Square Garden, or gripping your Wife’s hand like you’re about to offer yourself as a hostage to a group of criminals in an act of cinematic selflessness.  When I watch sports with any more than the two second uh-oh-did-Kobe-really-just-F-bomb-the-cotton-candy-guy-we-better-dump-out delay, I don’t feel that connection.  That electrical current that somehow passes from arena’s to HD cameras to my TV in a jolting, wild ride seems to be missing. 

For that reason, I have to watch sports live.  For that reason, I have to endure commercials during the NBA finals.

Which puts me in a strange position.  Here I am, watching the commercials designed for a set audience over and over.  And over.  There’s a unique demographic that allegedly tunes in for these kinds of things and when you’re stuck powering through the fourth Coors Light ad in 20 minutes you find yourself asking weird questions.  Here was my latest of these odd lines of thinking.

If you put together a starting 5 based on the fictional, hyper-repetitive commercial characters that we see, who would be on the roster?  I’ve given this (too much) thought.  Here we go.

At the starting PG:  Uncle Drew

If you’ve been watching the NBA finals, I’m sure you saw this one coming.  Here’s what it looks like:

He’s sneaky good for an old geezer, has a nasty crossover, and can shoot from deep downtown.  In short, Uncle Drew is a true baller.  In his own words, he gets buckets.  His only downfall is that no one actually drinks Pepsi Max.  I think I speak for the masses when I say, quit f-ing around with Pepsi Max and bring back Pepsi Blue!  What’s that?  You don’t remember Pepsi Blue?  Neither does anyone else but me.  (*Author’s note: Uncle Drew is actually NBA Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving.  This ad also has doubled as my favorite commercial of the NBA finals.

At the 2-Guard: Phil Shifley

He’s a master of disguise, an expert at blending into the crowd and emerging at exactly the right moment, and he’s clearly okay with not hogging the spotlight (since the Mob is clearly trying to murder him).  His eyebrows and Mark-Twain’s-illicit-love-affair–with-Colonel-Sanders hairstyle make him a white-man’s James Harden (at least in the looks department, if not on the actual court.)

The question remains: can Shifley hoop?  Will he be able to knock down the open looks created by Uncle Drew’s slashing style?  We can only hope.

At the Small Forward: Ice Cube

In “It Was a Good Day” Cube definitely raps about messin’ around and getting a triple double.  If he’s capable of doing that on the mean streets of Compton, CA, with Jheri Curl juice staining his shooting hand and his Raiders snap-back slipping down over his eyes, what could he do in the league?  (*Author’s note: I know, rap purists, he wasn’t rockin’ the Jheri when this song came out.)  Sure, he’s gotten old, soft, and cornier than a bowl full of Berry Berry Kix, but can Cube still hoop?  I think the best way to ask this question is, “Is he there yet?”

He can ball.  He’s got that tough-guy mentality that this team needs.  But is he completely insane?  He’s prone to making terrible TV shows and arguing with inanimate objects.  Hey, it worked for Rodman.

At Power Forward: Lieutenant Ripley

The Ads for Prometheus have been in full effect for the NBA finals this year.  Here’s just a taste of what Ripley’s made of:

Wait, what’s that you say?  Ripley’s not even in the newest installment of the Alien movies?  F-ing A.  I guess we can just start this guy from the new Batman movie:

He’s big, burly, and clearly angry as a mofo.  Just the kind of post presence that most teams are looking for.  The biggest question?  Can he lay off the ‘roids long enough so that he can avoid a substance abuse suspension from David Stern?

At Center: Shaquille O’Neal

I know, I know.  He’s washed up and porking out.  Towards the end his body seemed to be held together by toothpicks, tissue paper, and pipe cleaners.  But he’s still one of the best of all-time.  Here’s his Buick commercial.  Check out the exceedingly creepy/awkward bugeyed-and-point manuver that he pulls at the end of the commercial.  I can just see the director on the set of that commercial taking a long, deeply depressed pull on a bottle of some kind of dark liquor and saying, “You know what!?!  Just free-style it SHawqk.  Just fressstyleit.”  And the end result is right here:

In the scheme of things, this is actually only Shaq’s 3rd worst acting performance behind Kazaam and his sex tape.

FIN

(*Author’s note: I know.  Nothing more cliché than a steaming pile of memes.  However, I can’t resist.  If you know me, you know that I love corny-ass jokes mixed with strange photos.  And, in a blatant and weird homage to 1999, I’ve decided to glitch the Matrix and repeat the picture with slightly different captions.  I took this photo, much to my Wife’s disgust who finds my love of photographing the T.V. to be utterly absurd, during game one of the NBA Finals.  Here we go. . .)

FIN

The NBA finals are finally upon.  This gloriously inglorious, cluttered to the point of brutality, NBA season has finally reached a head.

On one side we have the Miami Heat.

On the other the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The self-glossed, self-inflated pomposity of a team with the audacity to promise 7 NBA titles before they had played a game and the skill-set to make some immediately nod their heads in agreement when they heard the bold proclamation.

The young, hungry, terrifyingly athletic group lead by a modest wunderkind, a supremely confident point guard and a beard that would make Rick Ross say, “Wait. . .what?”

Oklahoma City has Kevin Durant, the best scorer in the world.  Miami has LeBron James, the best player in the world.  Durant is relatively new to the spotlight, or as much as any 3-time scoring champ who was the 2nd overall draft pick can be, while LeBron’s chef’s third cousin is completely and thoroughly accustomed to being a topic of heated media discussion.  (*Author’s note: Skip Bayless would verbally attempt to impale him and Stephen A. Smith would slam down the race card like he just hit Blackjack at a million dollar table.)

Both have elite level talent at the top-end of their rosters.  Both have coaches that are, at the very minimum, serviceable in most situations and have been proven to be very good at times.  In short, the NBA finals this year should be fascinating, dramatic, and a great watch for sports fans of all makes and models.

Here are a few key storylines that I’m interested in watching during this year’s NBA Finals:

The Big 3²

(*Author’s note: please excuse me.  I’ve just discovered how to make the “squared” sign on a PC.  ².  Sorry.  Last time.)

At this point we’re all pretty tired of hearing about the “Big 3″ on each of these teams, but their impact on their teams cannot be overstated.  On Miami it’s James, Dwyane Wade, and velociraptor mongoliensis Bosh.  With the Thunder it’s Durant, James Harden and The Russell West-B in Apt. 23.

We know Durant and James will be gigantic in this series.  But what about the other parts of the equation for each team?

Will the VeBoshiraptor be healthy?  Or will he play like he just got capped by Robert Muldoon?  Will anyone put up with me continually yelling, “Shoot heeer!” everytime Bosh makes a play?  The key to the Heat’s resurgence in the Boston series was Bosh’s return and, eventually, his return to form.

Will Harden continue to wreak havoc off the bench, or will the Heat’s athletic, swarming perimeter defense slow him down?  Will his beard trump LeBron’s moving beard-tribute to the 16th President of the United States.  (*Author’s note: I’m still 94% convinced that LeBron’s beard is somehow an elaborate cross-promotion for the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer movie.)

 

(*Secondary Author’s note: that’s still the second best tribute to Abe in the NBA.  Here’s the first.)

The Russell West-B in Apt. 23 and Dwyane Wade will play crucial second-fiddles in this series.  While I have no doubt that Westbrook can score with Wade, it will be interesting to watch his matchup with Mario Chalmers and see if he’s able to be his usual explosive self.

The Coaching Matchup

It’s been well-documented that Heat coach Eric Spoesltra could be on the hot-seat.  He’s found himself in the wholly unenviable position of being damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t, and totally f-ed if the Heat don’t deliver this time around.

Scoliam Neebrooks is facing his own kind of pressure.  While not nearly to the submarine-hull-at-Marianas-trench-bottom PSI that Spoelstra’s facing, this dead ringer for Liam Neeson needs to conjure his inner Col. Hannibal and come up with a plan that comes together.  How do you slow down LeBron, his go-to-gyu (*Author’s note: intentional typo alert) Dwyane Wade, and the VeBoshiraptor?  Seeing how he utilizes the young talent off the bench and his bigs will be something to keep an eye on.

The Refs

I’m not normally one to harp on the referees.  I’m not one of those people who think the league is rigged (*Author’s note: *cough* *cough* New Orleans wins the lottery *cough*) and I’m one of those people who thinks that as long as we keep trying to seamlessly incorporate technological advancement into the refereeing of sports we can cut these guys a little slack.

However the free throws could play a huge role in this series.  Will LeBron be at the line longer than a virgin waiting on The Hunger Games to come out?  Or will Durant get more freebies than a college football player attending USC?  Hopefully the refs stay the hell out of the way, like good refs should and can keep the flopping to a minimum.

2-3-2

It’s not a defensive formation that will automatically elicit a technical foul, nor is it some weird lingo for a new reality show that features a group of two bros, three frenemies and two hipsters who are all piled into a shack in the wilderness, a handgun, and a potential alien that is hidden among them.  (*Author’s note: but I’m sure that Fox has that one in the works)

What that refers to is the NBA’s championship format.  It’s different from the other rounds and lends itself to big trouble for the Thunder should they lose either game one or game two.  The team that wins game one wins the series 72% of the time.  OKC has a great home crowd.  Miami has a crowd.  The Thunder have a significant homecourt advantage and it will be interesting to see if this format helps or hinders them in their quest.

I’ll have more coverage of this, hopefully, amazing series.  Keep tuning in and I’ll keep gushing.

FIN