Truly bad ass as it gets. Here’s a terse, personalized narration of my Shabazz Napier experience: From squaring off at Brandeis University as 8th graders (You had braids/glasses/were a smudge over five feet, Matthew Boden was your YABC backcourt running mate, I looked like the infinitely more whack, unkept 13 year-old version of Steve Nash circa ’08 and my budgeted Cambridge Family YMCA travel program lost to ya’ll by 12 in the ‘Chip), to watching you nail ten to twelve jaw dropping 30 foot bombs per game at Eastern Invitational Top 100 clinics courtesy of Boston University, to straight shitting in BNBL summer league games, to watching you battle the Mission Hill Legend and former Detroit Piston formally known as Will Blaylock, to the White House, to 16.4 points/7.3 rebounds/5.6 assists/50% from the field/60% from deep. From the perspective of a Cambridge resident who can lay claim to having seen each and every step of Napier’s surreal come up, there’s only one way to describe the little man’s messiah of Boston: Cold Blooded.
Who knows where Shabazz Napier’s draft day might take him. Does his Kemba Walker-esque “it” gene and continuing to marvel in winning/such insane efficiency place him just outside the top 15? Does his lack of superb athleticism and inability to consistently “blow by” relegate this “irrationally confident” warrior (as the term for sub six foot high volume scorers usually goes) to the second round? Couldn’t tell you. All I know is you’d be damned not take on a wildly efficient, far from turnover prone, creatively brilliant ball-handling, fiery competitor hailing from the City of Champions who will always have the ability bang out any look in the vicinity of 30 feet. Minimizing his weaknesses on the defensive end? The occasional forced risky pass? Dominating the ball for long stretches en route to taking ill-advised shots? Ain’t nothing but a thing. Mark my words: Shabazz Napier is a perennial pro. Don Dada of the Day indeed #HitEm
P.S. How good could Florida be come tournament time? Kasey Hill back in action as a fledgling yet more than serviceable back to up to Scotty Wilbekin, Chris Walker–the high flying 6-foot-10, 210-pound potential lottery pick based on rebounding and shot blocking alone from Bonifay–will foreseeably be off his academically ineligible, on-line class game and back in action come December 10th. Tough.
Love the motherfucker. Love him. I’m all about my mini-Chris Paul player comparisons. Bonafide winner in the most miserable of losing circumstances. Who cares: Do you, get better, get Parker (its depressingly inevitable) and help galvanize the league’s youngest core with arguably the most upside. In layman’s terms: Break ‘Em Off. #HitEm
I know what Larry’s thankful for…23 years old, 23.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2 steals, an insane eight point spike from last season in player efficiency rating (16.8 to 24.5) and a desire to be remembered. Oh, and Danny Granger as a worst case scenario $14 million expiring contract trade chip. From unknown high school prospect, to unheralded lottery product a la Fresno state, to grabbing greatness when made available and making it his own:
“Last year he came into the season thinking that he was going to be opposite Danny Granger and potentially still a fifth option on offense…He was hoping to expand that role but not really understanding that he could be the first option. He grew into that last year toward the end of the year. Then you go into the summer and he went into his summer workout program with that in mind. ‘I’m going to be the number one option and I’m going to take another giant step with my improvement and development,’ and I think that’s shown.”
Do they move him for a big at the deadline? Eh, the size, the ability to pound teams powering downhill, the prowess within 13 feet, the prowess as a pick and pop candidate with Lebron, the potential high volume rebounding on any given night, the efficiency with minimal touches (dude can go four for four in the blink of a limited eight minute stretch). Think he’s the viable, unconventional small ball power forward that makes Miami’s second unit the best its ever been. So, no. Always nice to have a former second overall pick and greatest high school talent I’ve to this day ever witnessed with a worst case scenario upside of Derrick Coleman in one of the greatest locker rooms known to basketball. Reveling in character disorder and skittles addiction to finding himself as the inevitable steal of the offseason…#Swangin.
4.) Mason Plumlee…How I Love Thee
Have to give Mason a spot in the conversation for top five with regards to rookie of the year candidate. Of the maybe three Brooklyn Nets bright spots thus far, Mason is undoubtedly one of them. The most athletic big in Kevin Garnett’s pipeline of sociopathic tutelage? I think so. Stupid upside on Mason Plumlee.
P.S. Yo, hold my puppy
5.) Vintage Dirk Nowitzki meets new-era speed of Shane Larkin paired with Monta Ellis in the backcourt means I like Dallas.
Alan Anderson hammers one off of a right wing rip-and-go, LA’s lead cut to one, Brooklyn fouls Jodie Meeks, everyone’s shlepping to the other end of the floor, and, boom, rain dance. Coach Kidd clearly telling Tyshawn Taylor to “hit me.” #HitEm with the no look, b!
Back lash coming his way? Of course. My opinion? I’m all for Gamesmanship and Grade A sideline swindling. Hilarious. Soda-Gate: Straight out of Sweet Lou Dunbar’s playbook. Tenured player-coach for the Harlem Globetrotters. Fuckin’ right, baby. Excuse me as I wipe my ass, then kiss my hand, then blow it in your face. Hi, haters.
I was actually eating a meatloaf sandwich (pause) on baguette when seeing this for the first time four days and several hours too late. I actually flagged the video on YouTube as offensive and then proceeded to inadvertently fart so loud that the stunning hispanic lady sitting perpendicular to me was startled enough to even knock a fork off her table. Drooling meatloaf, followed by startling fart, followed by the clink of metal, followed by a “what in the fuck is wrong with you, ” followed by zero apology because I’m all too concerned with what lottery compromising travesty my iPhone beholds. Modern day, real life shit. We’re good enough right now to hang in with all but two Eastern Conference teams, we’ve been good enough defensively to hang with all but two Eastern Conference teams, who knows what the injury bug has in store for Brooklyn, Rudy Gay is either too blind or too mediocre to be about any type of “Raptors are for Real” life, The Knicks suck and Philly sneakily might be the Atlantic Division’s best team because Michael Carter-Williams is honestly that impactful (Cambridge, Stand Up). Meaning, a top 5 NBA point guard winning sprints and beautifully shaking and steak-ing laterally in the half court before November’s end is, like, the worst news I’ve ever seen. Awesome Rondo’s spry, terrible knowing this team is tough and defensively talented enough to rally around our consummate lead guard in a conference where it might only take 37 wins to make the post season. 37 wins with Rondo given the current climate of the dismal Eastern Conference is doable. And you know what? If we’re winning, I’m not sure if we decide to go the “higher” route and bottom out. All Jabari Parker desires removed, you don’t do that to Rondo.
Never had such conflict in my career of Celtic fandom. If we don’t get this
or the best wedge rebounder in the history of wedge rebounders
I’ll Shoe-Nice myself…Slamming this much liquor takes decades of experience, and being a professional idiot. Go Memphis. For the love of god.
And here’s Kobe defending himself in an interview with Yahoo Sports by pointing out just how ridiculous it is that the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement is designed to ensure that players like him are always underpaid:
“Most of us have aspirations for being businessmen when our playing careers are over. But that starts now. You have to be able to wear both hats. You can’t sit up there and say, ‘Well, I’m going to take substantially less because there’s public pressure, because all of a sudden, if you don’t take less, you don’t give a crap about winning. That’s total bullshit. I’m very fortunate to be with an organization that understands how to take care of its players, and put a great team out on the floor. They’ve figured out how to do both. Most players in this league don’t have that. They get stuck in a predicament – probably intentionally done by the teams – to force them to take less money. Meanwhile, the value of the organization goes through the roof off the backs of their quote, unquote selfless players. It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”
In dissecting the argument only from the perspectives of the sports industry–the maniacal, gluttonous, disloyal, unethical $200 billion a year sports industry–and the confounding nature of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, I’m locked in with Kobe Bryant. No shit you should theoretically feel behooved to suck the industry for all its worth; retirement from professional sports has no correlation to the life cycle of any other profession in this universe. No shit a Kobe Bryant or a Lebron James or a Kevin Durant or a Paul George should enjoy the fruits of an uncapped MLB-scaled salary. More than three fourths of the world could neither tell you what Joey Votto looks like nor who the fuck Joey Votto is and he’s signed to a deal worth upwards $263 million over 13 years. Prince Fielder gets paid $168 million over the next seven years to be borderline fat, hit bombs, underachieve in the post season and do this
While Lebron sacrifices salary for the betterment of a championship, plays fugazi to a 20 to 22 million dollar price tag for the world’s best athlete, transcends NBA legend, expands both the Miami Heat and the NBA’s brand 100 fold, and makes all Celtic faithful haze themselves with Svedka and Cheese Boy at the sight of 45 points, 15 boards and 6 assists.
Like, you know how painfully absurd it was to watch Paul Pierce evacuate Boston because we couldn’t “afford” to pay $15 million for one of the more selfless players in Celtic let alone NBA history? A perennial top 15 talent toughs out an entire career in a single city; from the dark depths of Jerome Moiso to moments that will galvanize a city for an eternity? And we tell the guy to pack his shit because, financially, it makes no sense to pay Paul Pierce $15 million at this stage of his career when all $15 million does is solidify Boston as an “over priced” (approximately one million in luxury tax) fringe playoff contender with zero championship ceiling? Granted our underlying agenda was rooted in moving everything that would confound a sure shot at a top five pick, that’s terrible. Subjective or not, Paul Pierce is worth every bit of $15 million regardless of either depreciation in skill set or age.
Of course, there is a brilliance to the CBA in that it fends off equivocally irresponsible owners/GMs from awarding every Travis Outlaw or Rudy Gay (yes, Rudy Gay) or Kenneth Faried with these egregiously tailored mini-max or max deals “surgically” assessed based on upside; you know how much Kenneth Faried would be getting paid had he played basketball in 2006? The game is the most strategic its ever been from a front office standpoint as it forces a General Manager to be as creatively ingenious as possible. I, personally, love it. The legality might jip guys out of further being able to financially bolster their “brand” with regards to off the floor investments. But anyone who makes what Kevin Martin makes (4 years /$27.81 million) has more than enough to expand the portfolio. I’m EATING off $6.75 million a year in the tech start up world. Thus, fuck ‘em
Nonetheless, the current CBA is unfortunately primed for making sure the aging superstar doesn’t get his fair share. Statistically, aesthetically, marketably, no matter how one puts it, Kobe Bryant is worth $48 million. Yea, sure, objectively, making Kobe the NBA’s highest paid player over the next two seasons in November might not make much sense. Logistics alone, with regards to the oh-so-troubling luxury tax as it applies to all franchise, the Lakers could have $21.5 million in cap space this summer to sign their coveted second max guy (Carmelo, for instance). Yet, that figure is dependent on a.) Pau Gasol signing elsewhere, b.) The Lakers avoiding the lottery and c.) the remaining empty roster spots carrying minimum charges of $500,000 (sayonara, Jordan Hill). Bryant, Anthony, Nash (removed of the possibility for stretch provision) and banking on an amalgamation of minimum level question marks to fulfill a supporting cast sounds disastrous…until realizing this is LA and they’ll spend almost anything not to make themselves look like utter assholes. Meaning there’s no lump sum large enough to deter Mitch Kupchak in his quest to sign White Boy Gorgeous aka Kevin Love when opting out after next season. Literally sucks to be a Timberwolf….TECHHHH SUPPORTTTTTT
Where I’m conventionally enough having trouble assessing Bryant’s stance, however, comes from the fact that this dude’s net worth is already STUPID. Kobe Bryant may very well have did his fair, selfish share of ruining the longevity of one of the NBA’s greatest collection of talent, but the most coveted commodity in LA sports capable of selling out an NBA arena faster than you can say DJ Mbenga ain’t “Selfish.” I’m having a difficult time thoroughly explaining why, but I just can’t—maybe I’m fearful of Kobe stabbing me with a glare so sharp through this very computer screen that I’d spontaneously combust if the words “selfish” and Kobe Bryant were used simultaneously. Those evil eyes? Game, set, my boxers are now stool brown.
Regardless, we’re in the stage of Kobe’s legacy where glory tromps all; a 6th ‘chip tromps all; a more than viable opportunity to up the ante of Jordan vs. Bryant conversation, or better yet the conversation of Duncan vs. Bryant tromps all (because as the conversation currently stands, Duncan is the player of a generation). Thus, is it wrong for any Laker faithful to say to themselves, “Man, you know how awesome it would have been if one of the world’s greatest athletes took an unprecedented pay cut to make our future financial lives that much easier and said to himself, ‘fuck an NBA salary, I’m chillen’ on crazy endorsements’?” $12 million a year inspired purely on the basis of putting himself in a better position to win makes the guy bar none the coolest superstar on the planet…I REPEAT, 12 MILLION DOLLARS!
So, in summary, what I’ll say is I think there should come a point in the life of every man worth $200 million to $300 million where he realizes, “You know what? I play sports for a living. Sports. Like, I put a leather ball in a god damn cylinder…for $30 million a year. Why not stick it to the billionaires of the industry who make infinitely more money than they theoretically should by doing something different?”
Jermaine finished his Celtics career as the team’s least popular player, internally, since Vin Baker. The general feeling is, “He stole money from us.” Just dumping O’Neal from the trainer’s room so the players didn’t have to disgustedly look at him anymore and wonder things like, “Wait a second, isn’t his LEFT wrist the wrist that’s hurt? He can’t play with that? Isn’t he right-handed? He’s really that big of a pussy?” was probably worth a few extra wins already. It’s hard to understand why one of the league’s most thoughtful players — a real warrior once upon a time — felt good about finishing his career with his last set of teammates and coaches believing he was something of a fraud. Just know that, on the slight chance that this Celtics team wins a title or comes close, Jermaine shouldn’t expect a full playoff share.
I applaud Jermaine for a.) having ranked amongst my top five favorite bigs of all childhood, b.) sporting some of the more revered cornrows of the early millennium, c.) unsurprisingly laying considerable groundwork for “Most-Impactful-Signee-at-the-Veteran’s-Minimum” (as expected because Jermaine O’Neal spent several summer weeks in Germany doping his ass off), and d.) invoking abstract comparisons between the 2013-14 Warriors and the 2004 Pacers of Malice at the Palace old—I’ll, however, take Ron Artest pre-collosal 86 game suspension/pre-requesting a month off of basketball to pursue a career as the artist formally known as Schizophrenic Brian McKnight over Andre Iguodala all day every day, and those stating otherwise do not remember Ron Artest of 2004 as one of the more debatable figments of what could-have-been borderline superstar in NBA history; I’ll also take Jamaal Tinsely over Steph Curry because he tossed dimes and apparently drank more vodka than water. Nonetheless, I’m a Celtic. And anyone who fucks with this archaic circle of champions, American Heroes and James Posey’s is an inexcusable loser. A generous $12 million over two years to play in the house that Red, Bill and Bird built and you go from training camp MVP to Vin Baker depths of character depreciation to modeled, storied veteran on a contender basking in character revelation FOUR YEARS LATER? Sans the booze? Painfully nostalgic loss for words.
I’m not here to debate whether any 2010 through 2012 Celtics team was a fully engaged Jermaine O’Neal away from turning the single most catastrophic move in the Garnett-Pierce-Allen era into a plight of brilliance; Regardless of who was on the floor on June 7th, 2012, there was never stopping Lebron’s transcendency. I’m just here to say such fraudulence made an ass of myself, yourself, the city of Boston and Ryan Hollins; watching Doc Rivers–who stated during 2012′s run that he’d take anything 6’6 and above as long as that 6’6 could stay on the floor–have no other choice to but to employ the most inept reserve in playoff history for eight minute stints fucked my shit up and continues to fuck my shit up. Grit and balls are the most celestial substances of this city, capable of turning designated “bums” into the real life embodiment of how hard work prevails upon those who work hard. Jermaine O’Neal never “sucked it up and fought the fight,” thus shitting on the very concept. And for that, I award you no points.
If Bill Simmons did in fact never actually have the Celtic locker room scoop on such underlying attitudes, then I thoroughly apologize. But until that falsified day, in the most relevant of hollywood allusions, I’m Sargent Elias and you, Jermaine O’Neal,are my Sargent Barnes. Shot through the heart, and Charlie Sheen is too late.
P.S. If I was to work for one these ho-hum Celtics blogs and I had a media pass for March 5th, I’d appropriately probe Jermaine O’Neal for all he’s worth. Even at the expense of having my nose shoved in.
“If you want to get to the bottom of something, just look someone in they eye and see how they speak to you”
Brand Management 101: What do you do when your “ass be hungover from clubbing every night during the playoffs” (thanks, Rihanna) and you shoot 34% from the field over eight career defining games and some asshole named Glen says, “Hey, you know what, let’s award this guy five plus million dollars a year witha $6.4 million player option in year three, then sign his shit ass brother for the sake of entourage and ratchet celebration post erratic pull up jumper to a deal worth approximately $200,000 more than what Chandler Parsons has ever made in any year with Rockets in it’s third year; Even though he tainted all that is holy about New York City basketball by prioritizing bottle popping with an ex member of Gorilla Unit named Lloyd Banks who perplexingly enough changed his voice (man, do I miss Lloyd Banks voice of 2004 old)”? Simple. You turn down. For what? For the sake of making some extra change from a Foot Locker commercial shallowly depicting character revelation in the most hilarious of fashion: “Hey, I’m JR Smith, and I’m not here just to eat 18 edibles a day and chuck up low percentage bullshit looks from 27 feet. I’m here to eat 18 edibles a day, chuck up bullshit from 27 feet and abide by 9 PM curfew. Awesome. Salute, JR Smith and salute failing to disclose any need for scar tissue removal from a right knee meniscus tear before collecting his check as means of protecting contract negotiations. Grade A swindling.
Yup, Rodney Stucky using his uncanny, bully ball prowess to shove transition layups down Alan Anderson’s throat (#Pause) and chucking up eight buckets of absolute bunk to catapult Brooklyn into further dismay. Classic “this-can’t-be-happening-to-$180M.” Am I worried about 3 and 10? Ehh, I mean, I’m worried about things like Reggie Evans biting a Josh Harrellson ball fake from 27 feet en route to Josh Harrellson one dribbling kicking to Rodney Stuckey for a corner three and Josh Harrelson straight line driving all over Mirza Teletovic’s fat nose from the top of the circle because its fucking JOSH HARRELLSON. I’m also worried about Paul Pierce’s last, undesired years of playing for a city he neither knows nor likes having minimal post season relevance and Jason Kidd straight fretting on some Alicia Silverstone, Clueless type shit. But The Nets, despite the statistics saying otherwise, are teetering on alright. Sure, $180 million gets a real kick in the ass if Deron Williams can’t stay healthy. Nonetheless, you can’t judge Brooklyn and the depressingly ineffective production from two grumpy old men in their entirety until we see Brook Lopez, Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko playing at length. Can’t do it. For now, let all optimism point towards their six through ten men. That bench and that BLATCHE have been ballin’.
Shout out Mason Plumlee and his baby Golden Retriever. All white everything.
My Giant featuring George Muresan and Billy Crystal Matt Geiger
Hey, Dell Curry
Fly ball up for grabs, Geiger’s gettin’ it
What’s a personalized version of the Taj Mahal for near half your $44 million in career earnings worth to Matt Geiger? Well, a reappraisal fee of $8 million and being Matt Geiger. What I’d do to tailgate with Matt Geiger.