Saturday, February 1, 2014

It's infuriating that yet another NBA team is going to pay Andrew Bynum to play basketball

This picture is too good not to bring back.
Here's the Andrew Bynum timeline over the past year:

February 26, 2013: Sixers coach Doug Collins really seems to hate Andrew Bynum

July 11, 2013: Is Andrew Bynum a sneaky basketball-hating genius?

September 18, 2013: The "sneaky basketball hating genius" is still up to his old tricks

December 28, 2013: "Andrew Bynum suspended by Cavs" is about the least surprising headline ever

January 7, 2014: The Bulls trade for Bynum, then immediately cut him to avoid paying the remainder of the ridiculous contract Cleveland signed him to (discussed in the July 11 link above).

Today: Indiana agrees to pay Bynum $1 million for the remainder of the season.

The Pacers are suckers.  Only bad things can come from this.  When you have the best record in the NBA, why on earth would you add a potential cancer to your team?  There's speculation that Indiana may have signed Bynum just to keep him from going to Miami, who doesn't have much in the way of centers to compete with Pacers All-Star Roy Hibbert in an all but guaranteed Eastern Conference Finals series this spring.   If that's the case, Indy shouldn't even allow Bynum to show up; just tell him to go home and forget about playing basketball.  He'd probably be much happier that way anyway.

As his last duty as NBA commissioner David Stern (who retired today, exactly 30 years after getting the job) should have forced Bynum to call it quits as well.

Friday, January 31, 2014

My computer is reading my emails, should I be worried?

Last season there was a somewhat comical news story surrounding a Celtics vs Knicks game in which Kevin Garnett's trash talking allegedly included telling Carmelo Anthony that his wife La La tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios.  The other day La La Anthony released a book (I don't even want to get into that...) in which she states Garnett never actually said that to her husband.

I floated this out as a potential blog topic in a Celtics Life email chain, and the next thing I know Honey Nut Cheerios ads began to appear on websites all over my computer.  Combine this with facebook's super creepy photo recognition software, and we can't be too far away from the internet becoming self aware and deciding to take over the world.  According to Terminator 2 that was supposed to happen way back in August of 1997, so at least we've lasted this long.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Celtics Tankometer continues to rise...

It just occurred to me that I have been looking at this backwards.  It's called the "Tankometer," not the "Try-ometer"; I'm measuring how hard the Celtics are tanking.  So while the needle continues to point in the same direction, I have reversed the direction of numbers.

Having said that, the dial is up 5% from last time, going from 57% in the tanking direction to 62%.  Boston had a pair of blowout losses this week, in New York (where the Celtics won by 41 points earlier in the season) and at the Garden vs an OKC Thunder squad that was missing their two best players (Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook).  The C's also fell at home last night to a terrible Philadelphia team (that basically announced their intentions to tank before the season even started), which in turn moved Boston past the Sixers for the 3rd worst record in the NBA.

The Celtics are 0-6 in games Rajon Rondo has played this season, prompting me to wonder if he and Danny Ainge could possibly be in cahoots on what is best for the future of the franchise.  Since his return Rondo has also sat out the second game both times that Boston has been scheduled on back to back nights.  They're saying it's a precaution as part of his recovery, but it could also be considered an excuse not to field their best lineup.

Despite all of this the players on the floor were clearly still attempting to win in the finals seconds of yesterday's one point defeat, hence the 38% "trying" factor.

Click here for the complete history of the Tankometer.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Can anyone still keep track of the conferences in college basketball?

Tonight my Richmond Spiders travel to St. Louis to face the Billikens in an "Atlantic 10" college basketball matchup.  It doesn't seem that weird because they have both been in the A-10 for a while; unless you start wondering what Missouri has to do with "Atlantic," or how the number 10 represents the 13 teams in the conference.

Tomorrow Houston visits UConn in an "American Athletic Conference" clash (and don't worry if you've never heard of the American Athletic Conference, it's new and includes parts of what was the new Big East two years ago).  Last week Notre Dame made the trip to Florida State for an Atlantic Coast Conference showdown (there we go again with the word Atlantic applying to the middle of the country), and in mid February Florida Atlantic University will fly to Texas to take on the University of Texas El Paso and UT San Antonio in a pair of riveting "Conference USA" tilts.

Memo to the NCAA: This is stupid.  Blow it up next year.  Start over from scratch.  Or just jump in a time machine back to 1990 when the conferences actually represented geography and rivalries.  I know both those plans are impossible pending some sort of Die Hard 3/Fight Club terrorist attack where all the money in the country is destroyed and the economy resets itself, but hey, I can dream...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Malt vinegar is an offensive condiment; reminds me of this scene from the movie "Big Trouble"

Usually if you're eating a meal in a restaurant you don't really care much about the condiment choices of the people around you.  If the lady at the next table wants to put way too much ketchup on her plate, what's it to me?  There is one exception to this rule however: malt vinegar.

If one person decides to use it, everybody in the room knows it.  Plain and simple, the stuff just stinks.  I actually don't mind the taste of it, and am happy to eat it with my fish and chips from time to time.  But it doesn't add enough flavor in my opinion to warrant subjecting everyone else in the area to its odor.

I propose malt vinegar should be banned from all restaurants for the common good of the people, kind of like smoking.  Obviously that's a huge jump to make (and this scene is an extreme example; Big Trouble is an underrated movie by the way, and a hilarious book by Dave Berry), but the principle is along the same lines.


Monday, January 27, 2014

I was crazy not to rank Paul Pierce as one of the five greatest Celtics of all-time

I'll never forget Pierce jumping onto the scorer's table
after the miracle comeback in Game 3 of the 2002 ECF.
I owe Paul Pierce an apology.

He and I are the same age.  I remember watching him as an All-American at Kansas during our junior years of college in 1998.  On draft night the following summer I was thrilled that the twenty year-old superstar who left school a year early had somehow fallen all the way to Boston at #10.  Since that time Pierce and I have grown up together.

After a string of 8 consecutive losing seasons for the Celtics (three with Pierce), I recall being somewhat shocked when Boston blew out Cleveland on the road on opening night in 2001 (behind Pierce's 29 points).  That team would end up going all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, and even take a 2-1 lead over Jason Kidd's New Jersey Nets after the greatest 4th quarter comeback in NBA playoff history (the Celtics trailed by as many as 26, and by 21 entering the final period).

Late last night I re-watched the last 15 minutes of that game on youtube (and about a million other highlights from throughout Pierce's career as well).  It was unbelievable.  Pierce could do anything he wanted to in that 4th quarter.

I'm not going to continue listing all of my spectacular Pierce memories, because that would go on forever.

I knew Pierce and Kevin Garnett's return to the Garden last night was going to be highly emotional, and it was the one game on the schedule this year I couldn't wait to attend.  But somehow I wasn't fully aware of the impact Pierce's Celtic career has had on me until this video ran on the jumbotron.  I pretty much lost it.

Last spring when there were rumors that Pierce and Garnett's time in Boston could be coming to an end, I wrote an article for Celtics Life called "Where do Paul Pierce & Kevin Garnett rank on the list of all-time Celtics?"  I also posted rankings on this site of the 18 greatest Boston Celtics of all-time.  I had Pierce slotted at #10.  Many people told me he should be higher, but for whatever reason I didn't see it.  Now that he's gone it's become clear to me that I was wrong.  Very wrong.  Pierce is in the top 5 (Russell, Bird, Havlicek, Cousy, Pierce), and I just needed last night's experience to realize this.

And that's why I owe Paul Pierce an apology.

Also make sure to read my Celtics Life article from today: "For Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and the Garden crowd, it was a game unlike any other"

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The return of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett inspired Awesome Old Song of the Week (known as "Gino Time")

Tonight Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will step foot on the Garden floor for first time since being traded from Boston last June.  You can read my thoughts on the subject in this ESPN Boston article (and series) I contributed to over the summer.  There is a 100% chance I am going to cry during the pre-game introductions, and I'm pretty sure they both will too.

In honor of their homecoming, this weeks' awesome old song is "You Should be Dancing" by the Bee Gees.  The video from the arena scoreboard referred to as "Gino Time" was Garnett's favorite moment during blowout home victories, and one of the defining images of KG and The Captain's time together in Boston.  My eyes just welled up while writing that sentence.  Here's a clip from the best "Gino Time" I ever attended (or anyone else for that matter), Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals.

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