Posts Tagged ‘NBA Playoffs’

Last year I went on record, declaring 2013 to be the weirdest sports year ever.  I firmly believe that that will continue to hold up.  But, damn, 2014 was a year for the record books, too.  If 2013 was Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game, then 2014 is definitely Kobe’s 81-pointer.

I stand by my statement that Dennis Rodman, international peace-keeper and Manti Te’o, international catfished-doofus wil always hold down 2013 as the weirdest year ever, but 2014 came hard for that number one spot.  Ladies and Gentleman of the jury, take a moment to stop live-tweeting events and let me present a month-by-month breakdown to you as to why 2014 was the second weirdest sports year in history.


January:

Richard Sherman yells, internet panic ensues!

The 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks really don’t like each other.  When the two teams met on January 19th in the NFC Championship game, with the stakes at their highest and the lights at their brightest, one man somehow managed to single-handedly overshadow the entire game (*Author’s note: and a fantastic game, at that.)  After making the play of the game and potentially the play of the year, outspoken defensive back Richard Sherman had something to say to Erin Andrews in his post-game interview.

Yes, it was Richard Sherman, professional blow hard.  And he was blowing.  Hard.  He was blowing like Louis Armstrong in the middle of a wild solo at a packed Harlem Jazz club.  The craziest part? He probably deserved to have that reaction.  They shoved the mic into the face of a phenomenal shit-talker while he still had more adrenaline in his system than the post syringed-in-the-heart UMA Thurman in Pulp Fiction.  It was just a strange scene, seeing him howl into the microphone like a WWE Heel who just bodyslammed the good guy through a table.  Some hated it.  Some loved it.  Everyone had something to say about it.  2014 was picking right up where 2013 left off.  By being weird as hell.

Nine Year Old Stars on her High School’s Varsity Basketball Team

During January, video surfaced of a ridiculous nine-year-old girl, all 4’7” of her, crossing up and driving by her high school basketball competition.  It was Jaden Newman, the pint-sized University of Miami recruit, establishing dominance over girls twice her size and twice her age.  When I was 9-years-old I was getting crunk about dinosaurs, crushing Surge, and trying to figure out how to make a bounce pass.  The craziest part of this story?  This somehow ended up being only the second weirdest “Jaden” related story of 2014.

Peyton Manning Shouts Omaha, Omaha Immediately Demonstrates Why It Can’t Have Nice Things

This is video of Peyton Manning’s favorite audible call.  It’s the word “Omaha.”  The nation became obsessed with the call, and the fact that Peyton was repeating it more than Mike Jones shouting his name back in 2005.  But no one took more weird pleasure out of Peyton Manning’s favorite disc-skipping phrase than the city of Omaha, Nebraska.  The Omaha Chamber of Commerce, believing that Peyton’s checks at the line would be met with checks in their pockets, vowed to donate money to his charity should the Broncos signal-caller continue to use their name and all of Nebraska — having little else to do in January, other than sit inside while winter bore down on them like a ravenous predator — stumbled all over themselves to fawn over having their name mentioned by a celebrity like a blushing high schooler named “Jane” seeing a Maroon 5 concert.


February

Super Bowl XLVIII is XLVIII Times Worse Than Anyone Thought It Would Be

Courtesy of: bleacherreport.com

We should’ve known that this game was doomed for unintentional comedy immediately after they had a pimp-coat wearing Joe Namath try to hijack the coin flip. The aforementioned Richard Sherman and Peyton Manning met up for Super Bowl XLVIII in a showdown, pitting the Broncos’ high-powered offense against the Seattle Seahwaks’ tough defense.  A Lamborghini and a Hummer going toe to toe with millions upon millions of eyes watching and breaths being held captive.  It was all Gone in 60 Seconds (*Author’s note: Hiiiiii-ooooh!) as the Broncos immediately botched their opening snap and proceeded to melt down into a steaming pile of high-def horse manure.  The game ended up being 43-8 and even Joe Buck’s commentary seemed exciting by comparison.  If you found yourself wishing that Beyoncé would show up and shut the power off on this one for a while to give your eyes a break from their corneal curb-stomping, you weren’t alone.  Thank goodness for the weed jokes, or this would’ve been a complete waste of time.

The Eyes of Costas Are Upon You

Image courtesy of: Foxnews.com

In February, the Olympics swept across the sporting world.  Pomp.  Circumstance.  And creepy, zombie-eyed Bob Costas.  (*Author’s note: ever play that game, “One of these things is not like the other?”)  In an Olympics full of plot-lines – corrupt Russian officials, poor athlete conditions, Shaun White’s pasty ass going for a repeat – Costas’ raging eye infection stole the show.  It lead to a myriad of conspiracy theories on why the announcer looked so much like a stoned Mr. Peabody despite Bob’s insistence there was nothing malovelent about his eyes.  Here was my theory, centering around Costas and Shaun White working as XXX-Style secret operatives in Russia to try to take out Edward Snowden, written out as a screenplay.

And speaking of stoner-eyes at the Olympics. . .

Olympic Skiier Torin Yater- Wallace Takes Our Hearts (And Approximately 13 Quarter Pounders From McDonald’s)

Torin Yater-Wallace Is The Stoner-Philosopher Of The Olympics

Photo courtesy of: Deadspin.com

At the Olympics, McDonald’s is known to offer up free grub to the athletes.  They single handedly kept Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt alive when he was eating 100 McNuggets a day in Beijing. They slap their corporate logo on anything they can get their Ronald-loving hands on.  And they provide the perfect eats for a clearly sticky-ickied up 18-year-old Olympian who’s looking for some major chow after blazing some Chron with the Russian ice dancer girls in an effort to get laid.

Marcus Smart Gives us Malice Jr.

Gif courtesy of: thebiglead.com

With Oklahoma State losing late in an early February game to lowly Texas Tech, one-time top-5 NBA lottery pick, Marcus Smart, became incensed by the taunting of a fat James Caan impersonator and went into the stands to give him a two-handed shove.  We don’t know exactly what was said, but we do know that any man who doesn’t wear an undershirt beneath his XXXL sized polo can’t be trusted.  Smart’s season continued to spiral downwards, getting suspended for his transgressions and slipping down in the draft after an inconsistent year with an under-achieving Cowboys team.  (*Author’s note: the best part about this GIF? The lady on Faux-Caan’s left.  She can’t stop pointing her finger.  She points at Smart like she just fingered a mob boss for the prosecution in court on a soap opera.  Outstanding.)

David Stern Retires

image courtesy of: usatoday.com

Although few believed this grizzled veteran commissioner would ever relinquish his iron-fisted rule over the NBA, at least not until he was 6-feet under the soil in a posh, cozy coffin, NBA Commish Stern willingly ceded his position atop the Iron Throne to his next-in-line apprentice, Adam Silver.  Was this a case of game recognizing game?  Was Stern such a big fan of the way Silver handled the “Targaryen Deal” that he felt compelled to promote him up to take charge of the league?  (*Author’s note: If you’re unfamiliar with Adam Silver’s biggest business transaction as liutenant to Stern, see the below picture).

image courtesy of: ouchpress.com


March

Wichita State Continues Their Miraculous Run, Then Promptly Gets Screwed by NCAA Tournament Selection Committee

Image Courtesy of: stltoday.com

Wichita State’s undefeated season was one of the single most fascinating subplots of the 2013-2014 College Basketball season.  An unlikely story, this band of permanently underrated players from the middle of the country somehow continuing to win and win some more, that planted itself somewhere between Thunderstruck and Like Mike on my BBI (*Author’s note: Basketball Believability Index).  But the weirdest part of all?  Somehow they got seed-screwed into playing Kentucky in the second round.  Because, weirder still, was the fact that Kentucky was an eight seed.  A MOTHER-FING EIGHT SEED.  KENTUCKY?!?!  However, it ended up being the game of the year, with the Wildcats prevailing down the stretch in spite of both Harrison twins somehow reminding me of LeVar Burton.

Oregon Proudly Introduces Their “Newest Recruit”, Celebrating by Cramming Him Into Their Extra Schmedium Sized Jersey 

. . .as if Bill Cosby’s year could get any creepier, right?  J-E-L-L-Nooooooo!  You might want to do a background check on this “new recruit” before you let him on campus.  Also, please make sure he’s in the all-male dormitory.  Please.

Mongolian Sumo Wrestler Kakuryū Rikisaburō is promoted to yokozuna

Look, March was kind of a slow month, okay?

Minor League Baseball Team, The Kalamazoo Growlers, Announce They’ll Wear “Selfie Jerseys”

A really slow month.  The Jerseys, which debuted in July were probably the most obnoxious uniforms I’ve ever seen.  When a pitch came in high and tight and the manager shouted “Duck!”  everyone just assumed he was talking about the girl pursing her lips to look like waterfowl on the batter’s left sleeve.  (*Author’s note: Alright, so maybe I made that last part up.)


April

 Former Florida Atlantic Coach, and Older Brother to Recently-Fired Nebraska Head Coach, Carl Pelini is Shopping a Book

carl

Yes.  Apparently Carl hasn’t only been rolling papers and smoking them.  He’s been penning a novel.  Not just a memoir or a sordid tell-all.  This is fiction.  Will it be straight Gonzo, drug-fueled insanity like Hunter S. Thompson?  Will it be tweenage angst wrapped up in the loving embrace of high school football?  Or will it be about a crazed, revenge-seeking egomaniac hellbent on getting his own white whale?  Watch out, Shawn Eichorst.

Donald Sterling Proves to be Exactly as Horrible as We All Thought

Image Courtesy of: latimes.com

This April audio came out from Donald Sterling, released by his vulpine-faced mistress V. Stiviano, in which the Los Angeles Clippers owner basically went on a racist tirade that sounded like leftover dialogue for Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained.  Sterling’s awful audio immediately put new-commissioner Adam Silver in the hot seat and the league’s new head honcho didn’t hesitate to drop the hammer, banning Sterling for life from any NBA activity.  Silver delivered a message and it was clear that the NBA wanted Sterling to give up his franchise.  As per usual, the cantankerous curmudgeon tried to sue his way out of things, but eventually folded and the team was later purchased ba kajillionaire Steve Ballmer.  Do I really think Sterling won’t try to sneak in to make racist jokes at the Staples Center with an underaged floozy?  No way.  Here’s a few of the disguises I predicted he would try to use to get in and watch the team.

Presentation1


Northwestern Football Attempts to Unionize, Immediately Confuses Idiots Like Me
(*Author’s note: but luckily for you, I’ve created this handy flowchart to help you figure out how all the legal proceedings would go.)

flowchart

I literally think that chart is the closest I came to making sense of the whole thing.  A college football team trying to unionize?  2014 for ‘ya.  The only thing that could’ve made it weirder would’ve been if they picked Derek Fisher to be in charge of the whole thing and he did next to nothing for them.


May

The NFL Draft Gets Weird, 2014 Style

Image Courtesy of: scoreboardtx.com

Johnny F. Heisman Football slipped down the draftboard after an offseason spent partying with rolled up $20 bills in Las Vegas bathrooms, dropping to #22 and to the Cleveland Browns.  An undersized, hard-partying QB slipping down draftboards isn’t weird.  What is?  The he apparently text the Browns GM and told him to “hurry up and draft me.”  I speculated about who else might be texting the Browns on Draft Night, too.  Another highly-touted QB experienced his own free fall, with the Vikings selecting Teddy Bridgewater with the final pick of the first round.  Needless to say, it was the worst night for Teddys, Bridges, and Water since Chappaquiddick in 1969.  South Carolina’s JaDeveon Clowney went first overall and promptly did nothing in his rookie year (being injured virtually the entire year).  How typically 2014 of you, the NFL Draft.

Diego Costa Whispers to Horses, Asks to Borrow Their Placentas

Image courtesy of: independent.co.uk

Yeah.  This headline alone is enough to make you gag.  I understand that.  However, when Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa tore his hamstring this April those wacky Europeans decided that instead of heating, icing and Ibuprofen, they would try something a little. . .different.  So, utilizing an Island of Dr. Moreau sounding therapy, involving electro-shock and horse placenta ointment, Costa went in for treatment.  If anyone needs me, I’ll be the guy rushing to the bathroom for a good old fashioned dry-heave.

Somebody Get Me A Starter Jacket: The Charlotte Hornets Are Back, Baby!

Image courtesy of: bringbackthebuzz.wordpress.com

Unforunately, Mugsy and Larry Johnson aren’t on the bench anymore.  But the Charlotte Bobcats finally caved in to the massive demand of all the ’90s enthusiasts like myself and re-branded back to their God-intended franchise name: The Hornets.  So as I sip my Amazon-ordered Surge, smashing on my French Toast Crunch while wearing my snap-back hat and listening to a bunch of boy bands on the radio, I can also watch the Charlotte Hornets get after it on the court.  The 90’s are back, son!  Somebody get me a Warhead and turn up the Will Smith songs!

50 Cent’s First Pitch, Worth Approximately A Quarter

Speaking of Nostalgia: remember 50 Cent?  He’s still around.  And apparently all those curls he was doing at the gym during his In Da Club music video shoot didn’t translate well to his 2-seam fastball.  Here he comes with what many are arguing is the worst first pitch in history.  The sad part?  The Chicago Cubs probably tried to offer him a contract immediately after this toss.  “G-g-g-g-g-g-get the hell out of the way!”

Nebraska Linebacker Josh Banderas Steals a Whole Peloton of Bikes

University of Nebraska Linebacker Josh Banderas was arrested with a pickup full of stolen bikes in May.  Why?  Reducing his carbon footprint?  An inescapable urge to juice up and become the next Lance Armstrong?  Who the hell knows.  The above photo is my best guess as to what he was planning on doing with a bevy of hijacked Huffys.


June

Luis Suárez Goes Hannibal Lecter at the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Image Courtesy of: telegraph.co.uk

So, in 2014 the World Cup was back on the scene.  It was fantastic.  There was weirdness all over the place.  From Brazilian governmental conspiracies to a hilarious pump-up speech from Will Ferrell and Teddy Goalsevelt.  From the US somehow managing to escape the Group of Death, to a bizarre wasting of US Goalie Tim Howard’s game for the ages.  It was all outstanding, fascinating, and very strange.  However, no story topped the flesh-eating zombie known as Luis Suárez and his diabolical dentures.  Suárez, the hyper-talented Uruguayan national team striker, ignored the billions of eyes that were watching and just couldn’t help himself from gnawing on the shoulder of Italian player Giorgio Chiellini.  He was suspended 4 months for what turned out to be the latest in a long line of attempted cannibalism.  Plenty of time for him to enjoy some Fava Beans and a nice Chianti.

The AC Goes Out, LBJ Goes Down

GIF Courtesy of: thebiglead.com

In game one of the NBA Finals, the air conditioning went out in the AT&T Center in San Antonion, Texas.  What happened next was a Twitter dogpile on LeBron James, as they oft-criticized Miami Heat star cramped up and had to limp off the court, watching the game from the sidelines in pain.  Was it Greg Popovich, pulling the ultimate mind-trick?  Was known sporting-event-power-surger Beyoncé in the building with Hova to watch the game?  Was LeBron shrinking in another huge moment  (*Author’s note: an unfair rap, in my opinion, even though I love to hate on LeBron.) or was this simply a case of electrical malfunction at the exact wrong time?  We may never know.  But it was certainly weird.  Also: nice work on keeping LeBron hydrated, Powerade.  (*Author’s note: ironically enough?  They’re called “drops.”)

Image Courtesy of: http://www.mktesportivo.com

NCAA Track and Field Championships Reveal One True Winner for the First Half of the Sports Year

Whoever that dude is with a Hello Kitty calf tat and big enough stones to wear shorts at a nationally televised event.

Stay tuned for Part II of NCB’s 2014 Sports year in review.

TO BE CONTINUED. . .

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!

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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.)

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Part I

Part II

Part III

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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.”

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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.

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(*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. . .)

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