A Blog About The NBA

Annoyances and observations from the NBA and the basketball world in general

This is not a legit monster dunk

 

Every once in a while a basketball video goes viral, and usually its somebody doing something insanely difficult or unbelievable. Once in a while its a nice dunk. So when I saw blogs going crazy over some Arkansas high school sophomore’s dunk, I assumed I would see something Vince Carter-like. However, it turned out to be a bit underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, for a 16 year old kid to posterize somebody is still very very impressive. But using somebody’s body to elevate yourself even higher (the old ‘stepladder’) and then cram it home makes one feel a bit cheated. This is in the category of throwing the ball in the hoop and calling it a dunk. You didn’t quite do it the right way.

Linas Kleiza will break your legs

I’m sure Linas Kleiza is a nice guy. On the court his play is infuriating because of his tendency to drop 20 points and then promptly disappear for the next 6 games.  Off the court I have no idea about his life. For all I know he’s a philanthropist that sponsors 40 orphans in Africa and spends his weekends removing litter from public parks. But that doesn’t change the fact that he looks like a 90’s action movie villain. Somebody sent to collect outstanding debts with the order to remove a few appendages if necessary. The kind of guy that tries to smuggle the missile codes back to the motherland until Steven Seagal eventually sends him plummeting to his death after a 10 minute fight on a building rooftop. So Linas, I have no problem with you. I just don’t want to meet you in a dark alley at night.

Royce Whine

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The Houstons Rockets have finally decided to take action against AWOL rookie Royce White, announcing today that they have suspended the forward effective immediately for “refusing to provide services as required by his Uniform Player Contract”. If you haven’t been following the ongoing saga of White and the Rockets, you’ve probably been living under a rock. White rode a wave of feel good stories about his battle with anxiety disorder to the 16th pick in the 2012 NBA draft and a guaranteed multimillion dollar contract with the Houston Rockets. However, things started spiraling downwards when White missed training camp, then missed practices, and was demoted to the NBA D-League but was a no show. Things became a nightmare at that point forward, with White turning to Twitter to blast the Rockets organization, and even getting into a twitter fight with Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski. White continued on his path of career suicide by then publicly stating that he was willing to quit the NBA, and then finally refusing to show up at the Rockets D-league affiliate a second time, leading to the Rockets finally suspending him today.

This whole saga has left a bad taste in everybody’s mouth, with many wondering if the fans and general public that had supported White during the draft process had finally begun to turn on him because of his tweets and actions. At this point, White has not only worn out his welcome with the Houston Rockets, but also with the NBA. It is difficult to envision him having a future in the league at this point as teams are not going to look kindly at a player who willingly entered the draft process but then refused to play, wasting a team’s valuable first round pick and also hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary already paid. And what’s even worse is that he’s created a stigma of not drafting players who may have similar mental health problems. This unprecedented situation is likely not going to end any time soon, as the ramifications of terminating the employment of employees with disabilities fall under legal review, meaning this whole thing may eventually be played out in court. One thing is for sure though, and that is that the Houston Rockets just want to put this whole thing behind them and focus on basketball.

Amir Johnson confuses everybody– including the refs

I don’t know what’s worse:  Amir Johnson committing a blatant double dribble that even a 3rd grader knows is wrong, or the fact that 3 NBA referees missed it entirely.

Introducing the real ‘Big Baby’

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DeMarcus Cousins is a big baby.

This may seem like a harsh statement to make about a grown man not named Glen Davis, but to fans who regularly watch the talented Sacramento Kings big man, it may be the first thing that comes to mind. Cousins, a 6’11, 270 lb beast of a man, was the 5th overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft. Since then he has blossomed into one of the league’s top big men, being named to the All-NBA Rookie Team in his first season and improving every year. As of this writing he is averaging 17 points, 10 rebounds and nearly 3 assists so far in the 2012-13 NBA season. Imagine a large bear-like man, with nimble feet, good hands, and a soft touch around the basket. Add in a fiery temperament and you get DeMarcus Cousins. Its not a stretch to say that multiple All-Star appearances are around the corner.

However for all of Cousins statistical successes, he’s had some major issues since entering the league. Among other things he fought with a teammate on the team plane, was sent home after he demanded a trade, was suspended by the NBA after he confronted an opposing teams commentator after a game (wtf?), was suspended by the NBA after blatantly punching Mavericks guard OJ Mayo in the groin, and most recently, was suspended by the team after having a verbal altercation with coach Keith Smart.

Cousins also recently dropped 21 & 14, 18 & 16 and then 31 & 20 (!) on the Pistons, Cavaliers, and Raptors respectively. And this is why, for all of Cousins faults, he is constantly given a pass. Given the nickname ‘Bad Attitude’ at a summer pro-am league by an astute observer, Cousins is the epitome of the spoiled, self centered NBA athlete. Instead of being given the counselling and discipline he deserves, Cousins has managed to walk away time and time again with light slaps on the wrist. Its understandable that the Kings, a franchise constantly flirting with relocation and mismanagement by the Maloof brothers, might want to go easy on their franchise player. Franchise big men are notoriously hard to come by in the NBA, and a  player of Cousins’ calibre hasn’t been seen in Sactown since Chris Webber. If the Kings are going to do anything significant any time soon a guy like Cousins is going to be a big reason why.

But somebody, somewhere has to draw the line. At some point, Cousins’ antics are going to be too much for any team to handle, too much to overlook even for an All-Star caliber center. Already, there are signs that patience is wearing thin. When he returned to the team after the lastest incident and apologized to his peers, two of his teammates reportedly stood up and told him that they “heard this bull**** before”.  Add in USA Basketball Jerry Colangelo’s comments last summer about Cousins needing to grow up and “mature as a person” before being considered for the US Senior Men’s basketball team, and you get the picture that Cousins has rubbed many of his peers and other insiders in the industry the wrong way.

Not long ago Cousins fired his agent and set off a whirlwind of trade rumors. Despite all of his faults, his enormous talent is extremely enticing to a league suffering from a lack of quality big men. Whether the Kings keep him or eventually decide to pull the trigger and trade him elsewhere, eventually somebody is going to have to stand their ground and give him some tough love.