Saturday, December 28, 2013

"Andrew Bynum suspended by Cavs" is about the least surprising headline ever

Just before the Cavaliers were set to take on the Celtics at the Garden this afternoon, Cleveland announced that it had suspended center Andrew Bynum indefinitely for "conduct detrimental to the team."  Shortly afterwards Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski (who may be the most reliable NBA source there is) sent out this tweet:

If that sounds eerily familiar, there's good reason.  Over the summer when the Cavs signed Bynum I called him a "sneaky basketball hating genius" for manipulating them into a two-year $24 million contract, despite the fact that he sat out the previous season for no good reason (minor injuries he "couldn't" recover from), and once had a teammate say "I’ve never met another player in the league who likes basketball less.”

I also set the over/under on number of games Bynum would play this season at 35, with a clear bias towards the under.  At the moment the total stands at 24, and I like my chances.  The crazy thing is that Cleveland can decide to cut Bynum by January 7th and only pay him $6 million.  All he head had to do was suck it up and behave for another 10 days to earn the rest of his money.  Maybe he's not such a genius after all...

Friday, December 27, 2013

If I played in the NFL, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't rent out my place for the Super Bowl

If I were Cooper Taylor I wouldn't want strangers in my kitchen.
One of the top stories today on is about Cooper Taylor, a New York Giants rookie defensive back who is planning to rent out his Rutherford, NJ condo for a week during the Super Bowl (which will be played less than one mile away at MetLife Stadium).  He pays $2,700 a month for his two-bedroom, two-bath unit, and he's looking to get $9,000 for the week according to an ad on Craigslist.

I have rented short term furnished apartments from other people many times on Craigslist in the past, but I've always said I'd never want to rent out my apartment to someone else in that manner.  It's just not worth it to have to worry about people you don't know using all your stuff.  But, if somebody offered me nine grand for my place for a week I might have to rethink my policy.  On the other hand I also don't get paid $405,000 a year, the NFL rookie minimum salary which Taylor is making.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

My favorite childhood christmas tree ornament is even cooler than I realized

When I was little, every December my family used to go to a Christmas tree ornament fair in our town.  Each year my sisters and I got to pick out ones we liked and have them labelled with our names on them.  They always fit into the same theme; one year we got ceramic gingerbread men, another we chose little wooden figurines of different sports players.  But the greatest ones we ever ended up with were diamond shaped glass mirrors with our names painted on the back, and a picture of an animal on the front.  Here's mine:

It wasn't until many many years later that I first became aware of people using the expression "rainbows and unicorns" to describe something that is perfectly fun/happy/friendly/nice/sweet etc.  As much as I loved this ornament as a child, now it's even better.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The NBA's Christmas Day games are pretty terrible, they should have stuck with the Celtics

Bad games in strange uniforms.
For the last 5 years the Boston Celtics have played on Christmas Day.  My league sources tell me they were supposed to take the floor again this year, but after trading away Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett over the summer the NBA decided to pull them from it's showcased December 25th lineup.  That explains why they're off for nearly an entire week (which in the horrible Atlantic Division may actually help Boston regain first place), and also why a Celtics version of the official Christmas jersey was created (pictured on the right -- yeah, short sleeves, weird).  Anyway, here's the schedule:

12:00 pm: Chicago (10-16) at Brooklyn (9-18)
2:30 pm: Oklahoma City (22-5) at New York (9-18)
5:00 pm: Miami (21-6) at LA Lakers (13-15)

The night games get better with 18-11 Houston visiting 22-6 San Antonio at 8:00 pm, and the LA Clippers (20-9) taking on Golden State (16-13) at 10:30.  But the marquee matchups are supposed to be in the afternoon, and the 12-17 Celtics have a better record than half the teams playing.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My all-time favorite Christmas video: Donald Duck's snowball fight

In 1983 Disney released and animated version of "A Christmas Carol" (Mickey's Christmas Carol) starring Mickey Mouse as Bob Cratchet, and obviously Scrooge McDuck as Ebenezer Scrooge.  It was awesome.  Before the feature came on Disney also included three animated shorts -- one was The Art of Skiing (featuring Goofy, originally released in 1941), and another was Pluto's Christmas Tree (from 1951, where Chip and Dale live in Mickey's tree).  But the best of all was Donald's Snow Fight (1942), in which Donald Duck engages in a vicious snowball battle with his three nephews:

Random side note, who are Huey, Dewey, and Louie's parents anyway?

Monday, December 23, 2013

The roles of Carmelo Anthony & Jason Kidd in the sad state of New York basketball

Last year the New York Knicks finished 54-28.  Through one third of this season they are 9-18, almost a completely inverse record.  They have virtually the same roster, including Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith, Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni, Kenyon Martin, Iman Shumpert, and Amare Stoudemire.  Granted the Knicks have had more than their fair share of injuries, but they also expected to improve after adding Andrea Bargnani and Ron "please call me Metta World Peace" Artest.

New York has played 27 games so far, and Carmelo Anthony has been their top scorer in every single one of them; that's probably the first sign that they don't have a very good team.  To make matters worse (or better?) Anthony just sprained his ankle Monday night and may miss some time.  Last year they had seven different players lead the club in scoring at least once.

That team also led the NBA in threes (a huge part of their success), averaging 11 per game while shooting 38% from long range.  This season they are down to 8.9 per game and 35%.  The Knicks did lose two of their best three-point shooters from a year ago, Steve Novak and Jason Kidd.  Can that really be the difference?

There's also another team in New York that began the season with lofty goals and has stumbled to an identical 9-18 record.  Among other issues, the Brooklyn Nets have suffered through an embarrassing display of head coaching by none other than the very same Jason Kidd.  It's quit possible Kidd's transition from Knicks player to Nets coach has played a big part in sinking both NYC franchises.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Awesome Old Song of the Week (Christmas Edition): "All I Want for Christmas is You"

While thinking of my favorite Christmas songs I guess I sort of assumed this one wasn't old enough.  So I was a little shocked just now when I found out Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" was originally released 19 years ago, in 1994.  I'm partial to the decade old Love Actually version however, from Olivia Olsen in 2003.

Previous AOSOTW Christmas Editions by:
The Chipmunks
Bruce Springsteen

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