Saturday, June 28, 2014

I'm worried Julius Randle will be the next great Laker, and the Celtics let them have him

First off, I'm not complaining about the Celtics drafting Marcus Smart at #6.  I'm excited to have him here.  And quick sidebar -- Boston choosing Smart doesn't for one second mean Rajon Rondo is going to be traded.  The Celtics were a bad team this year, and all they're doing right now is trying to improve.  There are a wide variety of possibilities in their future.  And as Brad Stevens told me, they just wanted to get the best player they could in the draft, and the C's felt Smart was that guy.

Me, I'm not so sure.  While I'm happy with Smart, I was slightly disappointed Boston didn't select Julius Randle.

Before last season started, there were three freshman phenoms that everybody was talking about.  Three "can't miss" guys who would all be heading to the NBA this year.  Two of them, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, just went first and second in the draft respectively.  The third, Randle, carried Kentucky all the way to the national title game; but somehow his draft stock fell.

The Lakers were almost as bad as the Celtics this season, which earn them the #7 pick in the draft, their highest selection in 32 years (since they chose James Worthy #1 overall in 1982).  After Boston passed on Randle at #6, the Lakers wisely snatched him up at #7.  If Randle becomes a star in LA, the Celtics will only have themselves to blame.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Fake news articles on facebook may be a new low for society

If you haven't had your time wasted by one of these yet, consider yourself lucky (here's the example pictured).  But it will probably happen to you soon, and you're going to be pissed.

It's bad enough that websites like AOL feature ridiculous misleading headlines and stories to try to suck you in, and now we have to deal with straight up lies too.

I don't understand why anybody would get enjoyment out of this.  How invaluable does your time have to be if inventing fake news seems like a worthwhile use of it?

In my book the creators of these things are on the same level as people who don't clean up after their dogs.

And for the record, I knew this one was a hoax before I clicked on it; my NBA sources are too good not to have already been informed of something like that...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thoughts on the Celtics and NBA draft day 2014

In the 25 years or so that I've been paying attention to the NBA draft, I've only even been really excited about one Celtics' pick: Paul Pierce in 1998 (the list of players they've taken is fairly unimpressive).  When he fell to Boston I remember being certain that Pierce was an absolute steal at #10.

Barring something highly unusual, or the C's deciding to use the 6th selection on unproven Indiana big man/local boy Noah Vonleh, I'm expecting to be pretty pumped about whoever the Celtics end up with tonight.  It's either going to be Julius Randle (Kentucky), Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State) or Aaron Gordon (Arizona), and all of them could be a lot of fun to have in Boston in the years ahead.

In case you're intending to watch the first round as closely as I am this evening, here are some players likely to be selected:

This is not a mock draft.  I hate mock drafts.  It's just a sort-of rankings list you can follow so when the Celtics are picking at #6 and #17 you can point to it and say "Whoa, that guy is still available?!" or "I can't believe they went with that guy" (unless my order turns out to be right, then it is a mock).

Of course trades are also a very real possibility.  If Boston isn't able to deal some of their picks for Kevin Love, they might go the other way and swap Rajon Rondo for more draft choices.  I'm not convinced that's a wise move.

Along with my distaste for draft predictions, I also can't stand all the garbage that qualifies as news in the days leading up to it.  I'll believe things are going to happen when they actually do.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

R.I.P. to the "Sizemometer"

The red line summarizes the path of the "Sizemometer"
Admittedly I stopped tracking Grady Sizemore's fantasy points over a month ago, but his stats basically flatlined in June.

For the month he went 4-for-30 with just one RBI, one extra base hit, a .133 average, .212 on-base percentage and a .167 slugging percentage.

Last week the Red Sox designated Sizemore for assignment (which means they cut him), and yesterday his Boston career officially came to an end when he signed a minor league contract with the Phillies.

At least we'll always have this...

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Apparently there have been startling advances in Power Bars over the last 15 years

1999: Gross.
In the late 1990s I spent my summers as a counselor at Nike Tennis Camp.  One of its sponsors was Power Bar.  We used to get cases and cases of them shipped in every year.  I tried one once.  I believe it was called something like "Berry Blast."  It was disgusting.

Each week we'd award them to kids as prizes during various competitions.  At first they'd be excited to win, but by they end of the week they'd be annoyed any time victory meant receiving a Power Bar.  Eventually we couldn't even give them away.

There was one game where we'd put prizes out on the court for the kids to win if they could hit them with the ball; by the end of the contest there would always be a tennis court full of melting unclaimed Power Bars.

Fast forward to 2014.  I ran a 10-K race over the weekend, an event that was sponsored by Power Bar.  They gave them out at the finish line, and I figured "what the heck," I'll give one a try.

It was wonderful.  Almost as good as a candy bar.  I don't know what Power Bar did in the last decade-and-a-half, but I'm impressed.

2014: Awesome.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Werewolf + former NBA player = US soccer star

I was impressed with the play of Jermaine Jones in this World Cup even before he scored his spectacular game-tying goal yesterday:

Ever since the start of the USA's opening match against Ghana I'd been trying to figure out who Jones reminds me of.  Last night I came to the conclusion that he's a combination of the werewolf on True Blood and former NBA player Brian Grant; definitely a good mix for creating soccer talent:

And yes, even though I hate True Blood (and I'm worried Game of Thrones will suffer the same fate), I still watch it.  I've come this far, might as well see it through...

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Summer Vacation" by The Party

In 1990 the Disney Channel made a pop band out of some members of its Mickey Mouse Club TV show, calling it "The Party."  It stood for Positive Attitude Reflecting Today's Youth.


The 13-year-old version of me used to listed to their cassette of the same name in my walkman on long family car rides.  I had a huge crush on the girl in the hat.

Their debut single was called Summer Vacation, an appropriately timed choice for this week:

However, I was a much bigger fan of I Found Love:

And now for the most depressing thing you've ever seen -- the teenage band broke up in 1993, but reunited two decades later to create this video last summer as a bunch of 38-year-olds:

Smart decision by the girl in the hat to bail on the comeback...

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