The Moonball Blog

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Moving forward

Wow. Two thousand 'f-in' seven. If you had asked me when I was ten years old what the year 2007 would be like, I would have thought for sure we would only travel by jet packs, space ships or monorails. I will resist doing some sort of list but I will tell you a few things.

For starters, No more throwing each other under buses. When did this start? Who had the idea to equate dissing or calling-out your teammate/coach/noun with throwing someone under a bus. Gruesome. No matter how terrible commissioner Dave may be I resolve to never throw him under the bus.

Secondly, Red Auerbach in 17 NBA Seasons won 823 games and lost 426 for a .659 winning percentage. In the playoffs he was 91-60.

From the 1957 through his last season as coach in 1966 Red's Celts averaged 55 wins a year and won 9 out of ten championships. Red was the architect of all 16 Celtic titles. In the not too distant past Red lit-up one of his trade mark stogies in Boston restaurant Legal Seafood only to have a woman at a nearby table reprimand him. "There is no smoking in here," she said. "Read the menu," Red replied. The bottom of the menu indeed read "No smoking, except for Red Auerbach."

I am not sure I buy Orlando as a legit team. The East is awful weak and Dwight Howard is a terror but... Washington is better and more experienced. Also I am stubbornly convinced that Miami will get a lot better after the All-star break. Orlando has another secret problem that is no real secret at all. Brian Hill. Does anybody remember what a terrible game coach this guy was last time he was in Orlando? Never mind his stint with vancouver.

The Atlantic Division is the worst sports division I can remember in my life and I am a big baseball fan which has had some truly dreadful divisions in my time on this planet.

I am sad, for his sake, that Fratello got canned but I always thought he was better on t.v. than on the sideline. Since 1988, The czar is 2-20 in the playoffs.

I am sure that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are the best one-two punch of all time.

Check this tid-bit from Peter May -Boston Globe
Falling stars
Has there ever been a time when more "name" players were hors de combat? How's this for an All-Inactive List Starting Five: C-Shaquille O'Neal. PF-Bosh. SF-Lamar Odom. SG-Paul Pierce. PG-Chris Paul. A second team would be C-Yao Ming, PF-Kenyon Martin, SF-Peja Stojakovic, SG-Rashard Lewis, PG-Sam Cassell. Throw in the ne'er-do-wells from the Knicks-Nuggets contretemps (Carmelo Anthony) and other assorted guys (Troy Murphy, Bobby Simmons, Marcus Camby, Nenad Krstic, Brevin Knight), add guys who've missed time and come back (Tracy McGrady, Pau Gasol, Ray Allen), and you've had a number of marquee names on the sidelines. And if I've missed someone important, my apologies. No, Darius Miles doesn't count.

Happy New Year Suckers.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Speaking of Mexico

We are spending the week on the Mayan Riviera. Great family fun.

Long before James Naismith came up with his fantastic invention in the 1890s, the locals played a ball through the hoop game that would put our current heroes to shame.

I can just imagine Ben Gordon chucking it up from three-land.


Friday, December 22, 2006

New Skills, Old News II: Best Commish Ever

Our Commissioner sent me this gem about a month ago when I asked for some official acknowledgement that Yahoo! had ripped me off for 31.5 fantasy points courtesy of Mike Dunleavy.

New Skills, Old News: NBA, Najera Shill for Right Wing

So, until last night I did not know how to put images into a Blog entry. Yeah. Go figure.

But I have been wanting to post this f-ed up photo of Eduardo Najera presenting then not officially "elected" Mexican President Felipe Calderon a Nuggets jersey.

This photo is pretty old at this point. It actually ran on NBA.Com in the middle of August, at least a few weeks before Calderon was officially certified as Mexican President in a very suspect election. From what I have read it seems very likely his opponent Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador actually won. Here is Lopez Obrador's own break down of the election.

How confident was Calderon in his victory? Check his less than glorious inauguration just three weeks ago.

So how does Eduardo get the role of the shill? Well, Najera is apparently among the President's friend list. He was one of 136 guests at Bushies first State Dinner on Sept 5, 2001. Then Mexican President Vincente Fox (an fellow Bush prop) was an honored guest and that is what appears to get Eduardo in the door. Weird, huh? Couple other athletes (Anthony Munoz and Darrell Green) there, but the rest are some high rollers. Lotta media types from Mexico and some FOX folks from here. Probably was a hell of a party.

I wish I saved the caption, but it was some bullcaci about 'Najera welcomes the new President'. On, front and center on their main page. Weeks before he has even officially awarded the presidency. Meanwhile, millions were converging upon Mexico City in protest of the election fraud.

Anyhow, my point is there is some messed up shit is still happening in Mexico, and it would seems that Eduardo Najera is a total f*ck head, and the NBA is a happy prop for the neo-con agenda. I love this game.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

illadelph dynamite

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Wrong Answer

It's bad enough the Wolves didn't get him, but it fucking sucks that AI goes to a division rival with a punk like Carmella.

I like the Sixers getting Andre Miller in the deal. Their Andre x2 backcourt will be quite nice for a few years to come. And two first round picks to boot.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Replacements - but not from the bench

Hey, this may be one of the most off-topic posts ever...but I need help. Some of you Moonball people are into the Replacements, aren't you?

Mike Gunther and His Restless Souls were asked to record a track for a Replacements tribute album, coming up. Unfortunately, I'm severely Replacements-retarded, even though I'm from Minneapolis. I was always more of a Suburbs /Hüsker Dü guy.

I know some of their stuff...but the songs I know wouldn't really work for this. And the rest of the Gunther band, they're so young they may not remember those days.

I know some of you were more into the Mats than me -- any favorite songs?

On a side note -- I saw Tommy Stinson play at the Summit Brewery 20th Anniversary show with Soul Asylum this summer. That guy's a total rockstar. No wonder his other gig is with Axl!

Monday, December 11, 2006

2005: Year of the PG

Okay, Steve Nash and Jason Kidd still set the pace at point guard, but the Class of 2005 is staging a serious take over. Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Ray Felton and Jarret Jack (props ACC) are all running teams in their sophomore seasons. Paul has established himself as one of the League’s best players. Williams is playing like a veteran All-Star for the League leading Utah Jazz. The Bobcats have pinned Felton as their best young talent. And Jarret-come-lately has proven himself a serious gamer for the developing Blazers.

Being in Portland, I can particularly vouch for Jack. He can score in traffic, set up teammates, hit the jumper on the kick out. But most importantly, he can run a team. Portland held a season long three guard tryout last season between Jack, Sebastion Telfair and Steve Blake, and even as a rookie, it was clear that Jack was the keeper--likely a ten year starter.

Throw in Nate Robinson, Monta Ellis, Travis Deiner and Louis Williams as guys who will likely make some noise at pg over the next decade, and you have one the best crops of pgs in League history.

The teams that are for real

Here's my ten cents after the first quarter:

Dallas seems like the team to beat thus far. After their ridiculous 0-4 start, they have been mowing through competition. Dirk is doing his MVP thing, with everyone else taking turns scoring while killing on D. Even without Josh Howard, Avery Johnson seems to have his team locked on dominance. Dallas went on a streak from late November to early December in which they lead for every minute of every game they played. Erick Dampier is playing great, for the love of Pete.

Detroit also came out of the gates a bit slow, but the Champions once removed still have a swagger and cohesion that elevates them above the morass that is the Eastern Conference. Billups and Rasheed are having career years, Hamilton is an absolute assassin and Flip Murray has given his namesake coach a great offensive weapon on the bench. Kicking Orlando’s ass last week was a statement.

San Antonio has a healthy Tim Duncan and that means trouble for everyone else. With Duncan at full strength and Parker and Ginobili in full bloom, it is hard to imagine a more likely scenario than a San Antonio title run. Says here that Fabricio Oberto is big time for San Antonio as the season progresses

Phoenix Suns spent time with Detroit and Dallas on the slow train before running off a huge win streak (10 and counting). Amare looks pretty damn good. He is not yet his old self, but he is such a gifted offensive player and his team mates are so good about finding him that he remains a major scoring threat. Nash is redonk. Diaw is finally in shape. Marion is Marion. Deep as anybody, Phoenix looks game for deep playoff push.

Houston, Utah, the Lakers and Orlando are all pretty serious as well. Yao is playing at an MVP level, and McGrady and the rest of the Rockets have gelled around the big fella. Boozer would get some first quarter MVP votes himself. The ‘Taw is deep, and Deron Williams is the League’s most improved. Bad ass. Phil has the Triangle fully operational with the new style Kobe rollin with Odom, Walton, Brown. LA also has some fire off the pine this year. Orlando has the madness that is Dwight Howard. Wow! Grant Hill is crafty side-kick and the rest of the squad has a tight rhythm.

I want to include Cleveland and their MVP candidate in that crowd, but Cav bigs remain a serious question mark. Likewise Carmelo’s Nuggets. Camby is great, but we all know the history. What’s up with Nene? I like Minnesota’s chances for the playoffs this year, and I think both Indiana and the Bulls will have strong seasons.

The rest of the teams is suckas.

(yeah Miami, you too)

The Moonball Blog

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


The NYTimes has a piece on the new ball today...fascinating story.

Worthy of note is that Eddie Curry seems to have benefited from the change - he is putting up a career year posting numbers above his 5-year averages in points, rebounds and shooting percentage.

With results like these, I would predict Curry cheering Stern's move but Eddie joins the crowd: “The ball never leaves my hand the same way. It sticks to my middle finger. It bounces differently off the dribble and on the shot. I definitely notice a difference in the ball, but all my complaints won’t change a thing.”