27 February 2010

Sundiata Gaines changed my life

Sundiata Gaines has made the signing of a 13th players a suddenly exciting thing. See, there the Utah Jazz were going toe-to-toe with the Cleve Cavs, getting punched and returning in kind. Then Deron Williams went down in the second quarter...uh, I'll just let the Turks take it from here (translated from Turkish to English, thanks to Microsoft Windows):

nbdlin idaho wearing uniform utah jazz'shortages on the following guard played in the nba was a chance finding. The 10-day contracts signed during the first 4 in the first game of spades, although output and 5 assists a game multiplier göza although many also did not exhibit. 2. 10-day contract was signed yesterday and the same evening the match played in cleveland williams deron also injured in last second field at the last second quarter and the game was earned.

it was a chance to smile said:

1. deron williams was injured
2. 2 issues were front and 15 seconds before parker cleveland missed free throw 1
3. 6 seconds into the back of the pot before Korver very difficult to withdraw from the obligation found şutla basket
4. Ilgauskas has missed free throw 1
5. normally had to throw korver'ın last second shot, but when it comes compression price'a ronnie gave him the ball the compression came gaines'e was passed. nba career attempt in the 4th quarter before Gaines hit us in the face at the quarter and sent Parker's hand and gave the match.

I watched the video again and realized two things:
1) That Mo Williams looked back (like Lot's wife) at the celebration, and smiled. Either he appreciated the moment or he longed for the days when he wasn't playing in Cleve or Milwaukee.
2) How controversial this shot was. I suggest you read the comments. If salty language offends, I advise that you click "Options" next to "Text Comments" and click the 'Hide objectionable words' box.

Anyway, I've been following the names being thrown around to replace Ronnie Brewer's spot on the Utah Jazz roster. One name that was mentioned was Brian Cardinal. He was only brought as a player that is available, not necessarily someone the Jazz would pursue. I did some research on him, since I haven't heard much of him since he was in Memphis. I learned that before getting bought out by the Knicks (I think), Brian Cardinal was making $6.7MIL this year.

Cardinal is not a worthless player by any means. He hustles and can shoot from the outside. A poor man's Matt Harpring perhaps. But, $6.7 million? It's ridiculous.

Hustle players like Cardinal are critical components of good NBA teams, but a team cannot over-pay for a hustle player. You cannot over-pay for any role player. They are crucial, but also expendable.

Look at what Kevin O'Connor did to Ronnie Brewer. BruBru will be a free agent after this season. He makes $2.7MIL this year. Not bad, maybe even a steal. But, he'll expect bigger paychecks. In a typical free agent year, Brewer shouldn't get more than $4.5MIL per year. A player who has been a starter for three years on a good team might take offense to an offer like that. If so, the Jazz could get a nice burn in by saying, "It's about time you get offensive."

This isn't a normal free agent year, though. The Jazz have choices to make, the biggest being how to clear salary so they can re-sign Carlos Boozer. Utah can't even offer $4.5MIL per to Brewer. As awesome has he has played since the year turned, he offers nothing that isn't replaceable. So, the Jazz made a great trade that will bring a future 1st-round pick--or money since people have gotten wise to KOC's plan of waiting for another team's draft pick to turn into a lottery position (a GM can pull a ruse like this when he knows he has job security and will be around to reap the benefit). Essentially, the Jazz got something for nothing.

Unless Boozer hates playing here so much that he wants to take a pay cut, he should be back next season. Considering his recent statements about hoping the Jazz are “aggressive” in bringing him back, Boozer seems to want to be a Jazz for a few years longer or he wants to get the largest amount of money possible. Either way, it appears re-signing Boozer is up to the Jazz

More money probably needs to be freed up, though. First, Kyle Korver might not be back, especially if the Jazz use the Knick's pick to get a swingman. But, they'll need to replace him in some way. Also, Wesley Matthews needs to be re-signed. Decisions need to be made about Kryrylo Fesenko and Gaines, who will both free agents. Korver would also need to be replaced in some (relatively cheap) way.

Andrei Kirilenko and Mehmet Okur seem like the the most likely to be traded. Probably not Okur, unless the Jazz draft a center and feel comfortable with Fesenko and Kosta Koufos being the veteran big men. Then again, Boozer could also spend more time at center.

I think it should be Kirilenko. He has played so well, and his contract will be expiring after next season. Unlike last offseason, he is tradeable. AK knows he will be taking a pay-cut after next season, but how will he feel when he is offered maybe as low as a third of what he is getting paid now? Likely it will be closer to half of his current pay rate, but there is a chance he goes from a max player to a borderline mid-level exception player. It is really hard for a contributing player to take a large pay-cut from their current team. It is even harder for their agent to be convinced.

Even though he is playing his best basketball ever, the Jazz should probably pull the trigger on a trade involving AK, if they can find a buyer (I know, big “if”). Otherwise, they risk getting nothing for him.

Some people think Millsap is the tradebait. I thought so too earlier in the season. But, Millsap can do almost everything AK can, and only makes $6.2MIL, $6.7MIL and $7.2MIL in the next three years. Barring injury, massive weight gain or a sulking about not starting de-motivating him, Killsap (new nickname update below) is a bargain. Well, he will be a bargain. Right now he is kind of a rip-off.

Then again, if the Jazz break out of this funk they seem to be in, finish the season strong and make a nice playoff run, Greg Miller and Randy Rigby might be willing to shell out some luxury tax to see if this team can win a championship in 2010-11.


This blog died for a few weeks because B had a cold, then passed it my way. It should finish the season strong, though.

Holdinator made an interesting observation during the All-Star Game.

"The one thought I had during the game was that the East players seem to like each other, whereas the West players all kind of hate each other. Maybe that's because the West is really competitive and everyone in the East wants LeBron to win the title."

I didn't catch it myself, but it gives me a reason to watch next year's All-Star game. It's probably true.


Nickname update:

Paul Millsap = Killsap. This comes from Sloan'd promoter/mascot Mike S, who is known my some as Pail Millsap. Anyway, Pail sometimes plays video games with CJ Miles, Ronnie Brewer (R.I.P.) and Paul Millsap. Pail reports that BruBru (R.I.P.) and Miles are talkative, but Millsap rarely says anything. I concluded that he is focused on destroying enemies. Hence, Killsap.

Deron Williams = Defense Williams. This came after Deron's near shut-down of Brandon Roy at the end of last Sunday's epic comeback against the Portland Trailblazers.

Kryrylo Fesenko = Big Impact. My brother told me his friend bestowed this moniker on Fesenko in the preseason. It rings so true.

19 February 2010

Aw, little BruBru...

I was fine with the trade until I saw this face in a Memphis Grizzlies practice uniform.

B wrote this text message to me yesterday: "Well, you're free now Ronnie Brewer. Go. Just go! You're free!"

14 February 2010

LIVEBLOG: NBA All Star Game 2010

Okay, I'm going to try this, but I don't know if I can stick it through to the end. I've taken ill and feel like I need to trade in my head for a new, non-dizzy head. I'm going to do my best though. If this blog goes silent before the game is over, avenge me.

• We're outside Cowboy Stadium with Ernie, Charles, Kenny, and the "U.S. Army." I hope Charles realize that there are more guys in the Army than just that.

• Ernie won't stop talking about the Thunderbird jets that will soon be flying over. They finally do after he says "Thunderbirds" for the magic 12th time. It's not very impressive. Not the jets' fault, jets are always cool, just bad camera work.

• Everyone is chanting USA! USA! because they think they're at the Olympics.

• So there are going to be 95,000 people here. I don't think I'd want to be one of those 95,000. That doesn't sound enjoyable at all. Maybe if it was my team, and we were all rooting for a Cowboy victory, but an All-Star game where no one cares about the victor, I don't know.

• I'm being excessively negative so far. And It's going to continue.

• We're treated to a performance by a band called One Republic (I think). I want to criticize them but I don't think there's any way to do it without sounding like an old man. The last time I listed to modern alternative rock radio was about five years ago, and at the time all the music sounded like this. So I guess we haven't made much progress.

• Someone needs to tell me if this band is actually famous, or if they're just being pushed by a record label that has a deal with TNT. If they are famous, good for them.

• When the All-Star game was in SLC we had Boyz II Men. Now those kids had talent!

• Okay enough of the pre-game show. I'll rejoin you at tip off.

• Oh okay, the pre-show team is joined by McLovin'. Why wouldn't they be? Oh I see. He did some little comedy bits for TNT. They're very funny (not very funny).

• They keep showing clips from Superbad. Maybe during the half-time show they'll talk about Austin Powers.

• The Dwight Howard/Shaq Superman nickname controversy might be the dumbest thing in all of sports.

• TNT is having technical problems tonight. They keep showing about one second of a commercial, then one second of another, so on.

• Yeah, TNT is a wreck tonight. The Sager/Nash interview was extra awkward because they had to start it twice. The camera was on the whole time Craig!

• The Charles Barkley Taco Bell Rap gets worse and worse every time. If you're my age, around 30ish, you probably had an assembly in elementary school where the Principal, that old square, got up and did a little rap about school pride. And the kids laughed and laughed. I guarantee that was better than Barkley's rap.

• Now Usher is pretending to sing. I feel like this excessive (even by big ticket sports standards) introduction is a direct result of Avatar's success. Doesn't it kind of feel like the NBA is saying "We don't have enough faith in our own product to let it be carried by it's own merits. "

• It's hard to tell with this music and the cavernous venue, but it sounds like every one of the Eastern reserves is getting booed. Maybe F-16s are just flying over head.

• Wait we're really doing another Usher song? There's not going to even be a game tonight is there?

• Chris Paul is on a crutch and is walking like C3PO.

• Here comes Deron... any second now...

• Making his first appearance in the NBA all-star game, local High School star, from the Utah Jazz, Deron Williams!

• No joke, Deron got the quietest applause of anyone. I'm sorry buddy.

• More Usher.

• Gretchen Wilson is singing the National Anthem, but there's no reason we can't just pretend it's Boyz II Men.

• Dirk Nowitski welcomes everyone to Dallas because THEY'RE HASN'T BEEN ENOUGH POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE YET!

• Now that the game is under way I don't know what I'm supposed to talk about.

• The organ player in the stadium hasn't stopped the entire game. Amateur.

• Seriously now that I've said that it's all I can hear. It's like I'm watching a carnival. The musical director for this game does not understand the purpose of the organ. It is not supposed to go during every second of the game.

• We got a twenty second break before it fired up again. This is killing me. I'm considering boycotting the NBA.

• Dwight Howard hits a three pointer while nine other guys stand around and watch.

• He takes another three after bringing the ball up like a point guard. THE ORGAN IS STILL GOING.

• Deron is in. I hope he does something awesome.

• Deron dishes to Dirk, missed jump shot. No one even tried to grab the rebound.

• Text from my friend Bryan: "This whole thing looks like it's being played in another country." He's right.

• Deron awesome dunk!

• Deron awesome steal awesome pass to Billups awesome dunk!

• It think Deron wants to get a triple double.

• I wish Boozer were playing. Think how great "AND ONE!" would sound echoing off the walls of this stadium.

• Deron! He did not come here to be polite.

• So we're stopping the game in the middle of the 2nd quarter so Derek Fisher can... sing? Oh he's talking about the children. That's a good cause, no doubt about it, but this is weird.

• Mike: "Great, now Deron is going to start playing like crap because he knows Fisher is here."

• Chris Kaman, bless his heart. I wish it was Boozer out there.

• I don't want Carmelo to get the MVP.

• Halftime. I'm going to go eat something.

• Shakira at the halftime show. Her outfit is based on this:

• Again, I'll sound like a fuddy-duddy, but this music is really bad. Not just that it's not my thing, but it's not even anything. There's no hook.

• This performance is very ass-centric.

• Alright, let's get Alicia Keys in here to class things up. Wait, that's not Alicia Keys!

• Now they're announcing the players for Team USA for this summer's FIBA tournament. Can we just get back to the game? We already like the NBA, that's why we're watching this. You don't have to keep trying to convince us to get excited about basketball.

• Guys, the second half is never going to start.

• I swear the half-time was forty-five minutes long. I'm not exaggerating for comic effect, I really think it was that long.

• Dwight Howard hammadunk!

• DWIGHT HOWARD HAMMADUNK! That second one was pretty dope. I'd rather see something like that than the silly spin moves that the dunk contesteers tried to pull last night.

• Lebron with two crazy dunks in a row.

• Amare Stoudamire goaltends. That is so embarrassing.

• Deron with a three. He's going to bring the West back into this.

• but not by passing it to guys on the other team.

• Kobe Bryant takes "dis-interested" to a whole new level in this interview with Sager.

• Deron with a steal and an easy layup, after missing a long three.

• Kevin Durant with a long three at the buzzer. At the end of the second and the first their weren't any buzzer beating attempts. No one was watching the clock.

•LEE here. Pardon me, but I need to interject. I want a Sprite so bad right now, and I admit that I rap much better under the influence of Lymon, but this:
Last name: Ever
First name: Greatest
is terrible. COME ON.

• B. back in da house. I didn't know both Lee and I could do this at the same time from our separate locations. This implications of this are staggering.

• I like that Deron is getting his looks, but still being a playmaker out there. That's what at true all-star does.

• Well great now I want a Sprite. I do have a lemon-lime Gatorade here with me right now so that's close.

• Dwyane Wade picks Deron's pocket.

• I want the West to win but I don't want Carmelo to have anything to do with it.

• Big night for the 2003 draft class. Lebron, Carmelo, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosch are all bringing it tonight.

• Deron won't be MVP, but he's a shoe-in for Subway Sub of the Game.

• Tied up with less than a minute left. If this was a real game and not the all-star game this would be really exciting.

• Wince, Deron turns it over, losing the game for the West. Then he fouls and Dirk Nowitski flips out.I think it's because Deron wants to win it on a buzzer-beating three, like Gaines.

• Deron says "my bad" to every man on the bench.

• Dwight Howard fouls Nowitski? Is this thing fixed?

• Oy. Two point lead for the East, five seconds left, West's ball. They're going to give it to Dirk who will take a three that will clunk off the front of the iron.

• Nope, Carmelo airballs it. Fitting that Carmelo would do something lame.

• And the crowd goes mild!

• Alright that was fun. I'm done here. Goodnight everybody and thanks for reading!

13 February 2010

I will say, though, that B should live blog tomorrow's game.

What time is it? Slam time. Uhhn.

If I made the dosh that Boozer makes, I would go to Cabo this weekend too. Have you ever been to Mexico? I was there a year ago this month, and my only beef with the place is the corrupt cops who tried to drain my savings and the unrelenting revenge that Montezuma exacted on my bowels. It's a pretty place. I bet Boozer will see even more amazing views of it than I saw, on account of him probably staying at one of those resort places with a huge entrance.

I mean, what is keeping me here? There are no Jazz games and the All-Star game is okay, I guess, but I can't remember the last time I watch a big portion of one them. Last year I watched True Hollywood Story: Mario Lopez and True Hollywood Story: The Kardashians during the game. By the way, Mario Lopez is a lame piece of junk. I think I watched a total of two minutes of the game. Baseball is the only All-Star game I can get into.

Will I watch tomorrow on account of Deron Williams playing? Maybe. It's Valentine's Day, and the game probably isn't worth even asking about. If me and my woman aren't doing anything, then I might tune in. But remember how disheartening it was when Malone and Stockton played in All-Star games? All the other players were like, "Yo, these here fellas is wiggity." I wonder if it would be even worse to see a Jazz play along with the shenanigans like Williams likely will.

I will be watching the Slam Dunk contest, though, and only a small fraction of the reason is it being sponsored by my favorite drink of the last six months, Sprite (I just remembered I left a full cup of it in the car last night--score). See, I don't like dunks most of the time. But when they're awesome, I love them, and I watch the Sprite contest knowing that maybe one or two slams will really rock me. I also tune in knowing that I might be left unrocked. But the rocking, or potential thereof, is worth the gamble.

I also hate all of the NBA players piled upon each other on the sidelines watching the dunk contest. To quote myself a few weeks ago:

Players should be banned from watching the Dunk Contest from the front row. They try to steal camera time from the actual dunkers by straight freaking after everything. You know, they put their clenched fist to their mouth as they smile, as if to say, "No he didn't." But he did, doofus. Not only did he, but almost anyone can do that dunk. Are you drunk? Stoned? LeBron James took this to the next level last year when he vowed to compete with Dwight Howard in the next dunk contest (this year's). To no one's surprise, he isn't in this year's contest.

Sprite should sponsor this blog. Don't even get me started on the flavor story of that liquid. I have a feeling that Nate Robinson is going to suck in the contest tonight, but it would be cool if he did a dunk called "Lymon" where he dresses in green and yellow, does a normal two-handed jam, then urinates on LeBron James.

We've been trying to keep track of the best dunks of the season by the Jazz. We will select a winner after the season. Let us know if we are missing any.

The dunks:

Here is one we forgot to post, probably due to the huge shadow of Sundiata Gaines.

More dunk stuff.
These are my two favorite dunks in the history of earth:



Vince Carter is the best dunker ever. No question about it.

Watch the Rex Chapman dunk at :20 and the Shawn Kemp dunk at 2:00

One of the most underrated dunks (because I hadn't even heard of it until last year):

Darrell Griffith's #35 would be the coolest Jazz uniform to own.

B would be disappointed if I left out this one:

My woman might be disappointed if I didn't include the Human Highlight Film:

In honor of the Olympics, this Canadian kid, Henry Bekkering can go off:

I read once that he was also a kicker on the football team.

07 February 2010

Williams----->Kirilenko----->Okur----->Super Bowl

It is time for some apologies, two from me and one from you. Don't worry, I won't make you apologize to Carlos Boozer. You can keep on refusing to forgive him. I advise you to take note that last night he not only showed (again) that he is the best player on the team but also displayed the most genuine concern for a teammate I have ever seen after Laundry Kirkilenko got knocked down by Malik Allen in the 4th quarter.

The first apology goes to Deron Williams. Mostly for trying to get the "Deron Williams is Eric Maynor's Ricky Green" movement going. And for calling him trade bait. And probably for Twitting about he and Koufos's baldspots having a total cranium domination race once.

Listen, Dude. You have to understand. I was really starting to dislike your game. In 2007, I thought there was no way the Jazz should have picked Chris Paul over you. Since then, though, you have been trying to be just like Chris Paul, only you will never be. You were left looking like a poor man's Chris Paul, which was pretty crappy. Then you do this thing against the Lakers in the playoffs where you are terrified to face Derek Fisher until the Jazz are getting blown out. Derek Fisher is nobody's All-Star. Even if he was as good defensively as you think he is, don't you remember how he couldn't hit any shots when he was a Jazzman?

Anyway, it seems like you have finally stopped all that. Or at least the Chris Paul thing. The Derek Fisher thing must still go to trial. Anyway, you are finally playing like a point guard. You have finally learned how to make your teammates better. The way you toyed with the Blazers was incredible. Please don't stop.

Next up is Kirilenko. It is being said you are playing the best you have since the year you made the All-Star team. Incorrect. You are better now, and it isn't even close. You're finally playing smart and physical. My favorite improvement is how you no longer look like you're playing Whack-a-mole when you drive to the hoop. You keep your head up and are determined to crap on any defender who might contest you. It seems that if you don't slam it, you at least get fouled. Atta boy.

Mr. Money O, I don't owe you an apology. A lot of other people do, probably. They were so bent on your lower scoring average. Maybe you were playing hurt. Maybe you weren't scoring as much because your teammates were using up shots you would usually get.

Furthermore, Jazz fans have gotten the need for a shot blocker so twisted. If you watch college basketball, you will see a lot of good shot blockers. Have the Jazz drafted even one of them in the last five years? No. Last year, there was one right under their noses, the University of Utah's Luke Nevill. They instead went with Goran Sutan--not a shot-blocker--in the second round. It looks that the Jazz organization, like Jazz fans, have really high standards for a shot-blocking center. So, they probably won't ever get one. So, deal with it. If the Jazz keep playing good on-the-ball defense, they won't need a shot-blocker anyway.

In 90 minutes, we might see the most exciting end-to-end Super Bowl in history. Both teams are awesome, to boot. Part of me wants the Colts because I want Peyton Manning to be recognized as the best QB ever (this coming from a 49ers fan). If the Colts lose, Manning will probably get ripped up for the next few weeks.

The Saints winning would be great too. Drew Brees is the coolest QB in the NFL. He deserves to get a Super Bowl win under his belt, since every one seems to (wrongly) think players are defined by their titles.

Additionally, both teams have awesome uniforms. I might be more sad for the loser than happy for the winner tonight. If the Colts didn't have a few injuries, I think this would be their game for sure. Since they have the best QB ever, they will still find a way to win. Prediction: Colts, 38-30.

Here is another song that mentions a Jazz player, "The Future" by Guilty Simpson, as recommended by Moni.

I got a cousin that plays for the Utah Jazz
But I don't have to run the two to shoot y'all azz
Peace to Ronnie Brewer
On the mic I'm the manure

(According to Wikipedia, the claims of cousinship are true. How did I not know about this? This is the kind of stuff I'm always hip to.)

03 February 2010

More Songs that Mention Jazz Players

This is an excellent topic that Lee has brought up. Songs that mention Jazz players. He posted two right here and I found a couple more. If there's any more out there send them our way!

Jay-Z - Bring it On

(watch out for strong language. no really the language is very strong)

"You suck pistol like pipe with the cristal
John Stockton couldn't assist you"

Then we've got a whole song about Pistol Pete by an outfit called the Ziggens, who have been rockin' the OC since 1990. I guess the Ziggens were a big influence on Sublime and other bands of that ilk. This video isn't the greatest but the 30 second preview on itunes made it sound like it might not be terrible.

I also found a song by a novelty "white guy" rapper (who seems to be the poor man's Jamie Kennedy?) that mentions Jerry Sloan. But I'm not going to post it here or even mention the artist's name because it was really awful.


A kind reader points us to "7 Sixes" by the Heiroglyphics.

"Lanky Like Kirilenko"

(again, potentially offensive language)

LeBron James is the lamest person to ever play professional basketball

This is worse than his appearance on the season finale of Entourage.

James continued his season-long assault on the league with 22 points, six rebounds and one block.

He admits that he can see plays develop before they happen.

"It's the truth," he said. "I see things happen before even my teammates see it. That's why I get some turnovers some times. It's a God-given ability I have. I try to use it to my advantage.

"I try to put my teammates in the best position. I see it before it happens."

Also, are these the only two songs that reference Utah Jazz players?

Porn Starbury

This, from a SLAM article about Stephon Marbury by Casey Jacobsen is hilarious:

After a game in Madison Square Garden, I saw Steph talking to a very “peculiar” looking girl. When we sat down on the plane that night (Steph sat right in front of me), I asked him who she was. He said it was a friend of his and that she happened to be a successful “adult film actress.” He then reached into his bag and showed me an autographed copy of her latest DVD project. “You want to watch it?” he asked me with a big smile on his face. “No thanks…. I’m good.” Then he put it on his computer and started watching it, as if it were just another episode of 24. That’s the only time I’ve ever seen that on a team flight.

In other news, it looks like the Jazz will be changing their uniforms and going back to the "note" as the full-time logo. I kind of wish they would just keep these green and golds. The word "updated", when used with uniforms, makes me kind of barfy.

Hopefully, the Jazz take heed to this (from the article) and don't update things too much:

There is a belief in the organization that the music note better identifies the Jazz brand than the mountain logo.

The green and yellow throwbacks have been well received, Rigby said, and the Jazz have a 6-1 record in them.

"I've been really impressed with the response that we're getting from the young fans of how much they really enjoy the throwback and the whole look," Rigby said. "The players have enjoyed it, the fans have enjoyed it. There seems to be a real interest in this market for looking at that."

Rigby added that late Jazz owner Larry Miller was a fan of the music note from a tradition standpoint.

Should they return to their old logo, the Jazz would become the second NBA team to do so in as many seasons. The Philadelphia 76ers this season brought back the familiar red, white and blue colors and logo from their championship past.

"We were seeing a lot more of the retro gear before we made the change," said Lara Price, the Sixers' vice president of business operations, "and then we started doing some surveys and the fan feedback was they loved that old logo and they wanted to go back.

"We got an overwhelming response that they loved us going back to our old logo. Our season-ticket holders and our fan base were very happy about it."

The Sixers have enjoyed an increase in merchandise sales, Price added, even during a 16-31 season. She said the team had to begin alerting retailers and phasing out merchandise about a year and a half in advance of the logo change.

How did I miss this dunk?

Players whose pride Boozer has murdered this season: Udonis Haslem, DeJuan Blair.

02 February 2010

the power of beard

Um, guys... the Jazz are the best team in the NBA right now.