justin adler, blog, buenos aires, bahia blanca, university of arizona, brooklyn, basketball, travel, paul mcpherson

Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Cardinal cannot win in Arizona.

The University of Arizona won their second Pac-10 game and their 11th straight game defeating Stanford 89-75. The game was much closer than the UA-Cal game. Lute was forced to only play the bench 12 minutes of playing time, even with Marcus Williams in foul trouble. Jordan Hill continued to improve grabbing three crucial rebounds in limited minutes. Mustafa Shakur, Ivan Radenovic and Williams all had their usual solid game to lead the Wildcats over the Cardinal.

  • 19:45 Chase Budinger begins the game by stroking a 3 from the corner
  • 17:10 Former Deer Valley H.S. (Glendale, Ariz.) stand-out Lawrence Hill has seven of the Cardinal's first nine points.
  • 14:03 Marcus Williams has ridiculous footwork in the paint for a true 6'7'' sophomore. He earns himself an and-1 and makes it look easy.
  • 12:04 Ivan Radenovic leads a fast break off a steal and handles the ball extremely well for a 6'10'' forward. Until Mustafa Shakur's recent play I was sure Radenovic would be drafted ahead of 'Staf in the draft. Radenovic can work big men inside and spot up for an easy three, while up until recently Shakur was an inconsistent, turnover-prone point point guard.
  • 11:22 Daniel Dillon checks in for Budinger who looks confused on the defensive end.
  • 11:00 Stanford's Hill hits another 3-pointer to give him 12 points in the first nine minutes.
  • 8:51 Lute does not fuck around in the huddle, the Cats chase every time-out with a viscous trap, suffacating defense, or a play to hit an open three from the corner.
  • 8:22 Nic Wise gives Shakur his only breather of the night until the 19-second mark in the second half.
  • 5:51 Wise hits the most awkward three of all time. He catches the ball while running parallel to the top of the arch, then moves his leg like he's running in a three-manned race. His whole body does "The worm" while standing up and the ball somehow finds it way in the hoop.
  • 3:31 The crowd -once again consisting of only a handful of students - gets pumped while Radenovic gets an and-1, 41-31, Cats.
  • 3:00 Shakur crosses up his defender (lucky I don't know his name) real badly, kicks it out to an open Marcus Williams, who buries a trey. Shakur runs up the court shaking his head, like he just heard about a death. Since that analogy might not have made much sense, he basically had the "I can't believe that dude even tried to d me up" type of look on his face.
  • 1:53 Radenovic finds a back-door cutting Williams who completes the alley-oop lay-up. Had Williams been able to jump from outside the key and complete the two-handed slam, it would have hands-down been the best moment of my life. I dream that maybe in a year or two Jordan Hill will be able to land silly oops like that, just like Amaré Stoudemire did in his sophomore campaign.
    • Arizona leads 50-43 at the half.
    • Zona is shooting 65% from the field including 7-8 from beyond the arc
    • Stanford FG%: 50%
    • Marcus Williams has 17 points and six boards.
  • 15:30 Robin Lopez brings Stanford within two of Arizona 54-52.
  • 14:00 Stanford takes their first lead since the beginning of the game 56-57
  • 13:04 Jordan Hill checks in to help keep Arizona from being further murdered on the boards and also keep Williams from picking up a fifth foul.
  • 11:47 Shakur hits a 3-pointer to tie up it at 61. On the ensuing possession Shakur gets a quick steal then cuts throw the floor displaying some sick handles before getting fouled on a lay-up. He puts the Cats up two at the line.
  • The radio broadcaster next to me has a NCAA NIT gold watch. I don't even know where to go with that one.
  • 5:10 The my earlier praise jinxes the Cats who come out of a time-out and are victims of a shot-clock violation.
  • 3:58 The Cats lead 72-69, Radenovic grabs a defensive board and throws bows in every direction shaking up a Stanford big man pretty badly.
  • 3:19 Williams hits a needed jumper to put the Cats up 76-69, he walks up court a la Robert Horry when he crushed the Kings.
  • 2:20 Radenovic hits a huge two to put he Cats ahead 78-71.
  • :32 Skipping out the "horror show" that was the reserve-heavy line-up that played at the end of the Cal game, Lute kept in secure line-up to finish the game off. It paid off when Shakur got two steals the first leading to a Shakur dunk. The second steal went from the Shakur's hands to McClellen to the backboard to Williams for an off-the-backboard alley-oop. It's awesome that this happens in the final 17 seconds of the game. It's a shame McClellen's extra pass messed up Shakur's double-double.
  • The No. 7 Cats win their 11th straight, 89-75.
    • Williams: 23 points, 8 boards.
    • Radenovic: 22 points, 6 boards, 4 steals.
    • Shakur: 18 points, 9 dimes, 2 steals, 3 turnovers.
    • Lawrence Hill: 20 points, 7 boards.
    • Brook Lopez 17 points, 9 boards
    • FG% UA 61% Stan 45%
    • 3-Pt FG % UA 80% Stan 29%
    • Ft-FTA UA 21-26 Stan 4-7
Nic Wise Moment of the Game: I could give this moment to his crazy shot that was mentioned above, but Nic is better than that. This is the same man who came out in McKale Madness and jumped on the scorers table while throwing up the ROC. If Nic doesn't come out next game with at least a tear-drop tattoo or do a back-flip dunk I will devastated with the drought of gangsta moments. For the record, Nic wore the same taped-up socks that he wore against Cal on Thursday.

Sneaker Watch: Again disappointing, although I failed to mention earlier in the history of my blog that Radenovic wears black/blue Nike Basketball Air Max 180's...UNC better come with some heat when they play in McKale or else I am going to seriously have to re-evaluate my post-game categories.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Pac-10 Play

The Where's Paul McPherson's four-part series chronicling UA basketball games from my couch came to a screeching halt when I was given the chance to upgrade my sofa seat 15 minutes away from the McKale center to courtside seats at the scorers table two feet away from the court. Last night I worked for the Arizona Athletics Sports Information Department and was afforded this glorious opportunity. Free courtside seats, ballin' in deed. I've never sat that close to a real game and it really allows you to appreciate the speed of well played basketball.
I sat right next to the local radio broadcasters and this woman who was in control of any problems that were happening in the arena - flooded toilets, unruly fans, etc.
Before the game started the aforementioned woman told me to press the space bar on her laptop before the national anthem began. This was the most nerve racking moment of the night because I read the previous game had an anthem fiasco. The national anthem ceremony before the Memphis game went something like this:
Introduce musician to perform the anthem
Play recorded anthem over the PA system
Cut the anthem five seconds into it
Have musician come out and sing the anthem

I was afraid that I was going to press the space bar and cue the anthem when nobody was ready. Fortunately, all the space bar did was turn off the electronic advertisements along press row. Eventually some guy would sing the anthem in the most over-dramatized manner I've ever heard in my life.
  • It was a definite sell-out in the McKale Center, but there was no clear student section. This is really embarrassing for the No. 7 ranked team in the nation.
  • Kirk Walters who has suffered from everything short of the Bubonic Plague this season is in street clothes. I would also like to propose the first Where's Paul McPherson separated at birth: Kirk Walters and The Office's Jim Halpert
  • Worthless observation from sitting courtside #1: The tattoos along Marcus Williams' triceps read "M Will" on one arm and "Smooth" on the other. Williams also has a tattoo of the old And 1 logo (which I could not find a pic of on the Internet, but i did find this weathervane that is the And 1 logo and also the coolest weathervane of all time) with "Any questions" wrote beneath it.
  • UA opens up early with a full-court press that leads to Jawann McClellen getting a steal with a huge grin on his face. I can't stress enough how fun it is to watch McClellen play.
  • 15:50 UA has four turnovers, Cal has three. That's seven total turnovers compared to nine total shots taken in the first four minutes of the game.
  • 14:04 UA racks up another two turnovers, giving them six already on the night.
  • 13:40 Mustafa Shakur gives UA their seventh turnover. On the next play Cal's Theo Robertson puts back a missed three attempt for a sick two-handed dunk.
  • 11:20 Taylor Harrison misses an easy lay-in with nobody within five feet of him. I'm not quite sure how you mentally recover from that.
  • 9:56 Daniel Dillon hits a tough jumper to make it 18-20, Cal.
  • Worthless observation from sitting courtside #2: I somehow never noticed that there is an apostrophe after Radenovic's name on his jersey. Knowing nothing about the Serbian language, I have know idea what this means.
  • 9:36 UA's full-court press is broken by Cal leading to an open Theo Robertson dunk and a fit of insanity from Lute Olson.
  • Williams responds with a three pulling the Cats to within one 23-24.
  • 7:30 Shakur drove past everyone going coast to coast before missing an easy lay-up.
  • 6:41 The Cats shut down Cal forcing a shot-clock violation. Normally the Cats will give up an easy bucket or an open three with less than five seconds left on the shot clock, so it was good to see them actually finish out a defensive stop.
  • 3:50 Without me even noticing UA went up 11 points leading 39-28.
  • Not wanting to leave any time-outs unused, Lute calls a time-out with the Cats up 51-33 and 20 seconds left in the first half. It leads to a Chase Budinger miss from deep in the corner. Still a much better play than the usual Shakur trying to break the other team's point guard off the dribble and trying a difficult lay-up.
  • 15:40 McClellen hits his fifth three of the night going 5-7 from long range to put UA up 65-43.
  • 14:32 Lute still has his starting line-up with the Cats up 65-43. Cal is shooting 44% and UA is shooting 72% from the field.
  • 13:08 Cal has only shot two free throws. They would finish 6-8 from the free-throw line compared to UA's 15-28.
  • 10:40 Dillon misses his first free throw attempt and assistant coach Miles Simon yells, "Flat-footed," Dillon corrects his form and hits the second attempt. Dillon would only make 2-6 from the line.
  • 9:45 Ryan Anderson swats the hell out of a lazy lay-up by Nic Wise.
  • 7:45 Nic Wise fires up an air ball, the Nic Wise moment of the game is once again not looking good.
  • 6:00 Wise comes off a screen, finds himself open for the ball and shoots a great "whoo" a la Ronnie Who. Shakur gives Wise the ball so Wise can clank another three-point attempt.
  • 5:02 Jordan Hill rebounds a missed Shakur three and attempts a two-handed throw-down over everyone in the paint, it's not a clean dunk by any means, but it still finds its way in. 88-62 Cats.
  • Hill rebounds a missed Wise three and tries to throw it down with a vicious one-handed dunk. This time he misses. It's reminiscent of a young Amaré Stoudemire who tried to dunk anytime he had the ball in the paint - no matter where he was or who was in front of him. Eventually he will become more athletic and able to finish those dunks and he will be learn when a lay-up will do. Hill is just as raw as people say he is and he's going to be incredible to watch in a year or two.
  • The attendance is announced at 14,562 - a number made up by the woman who sat next to me. According to her, if the game is sold out the ticket office does not call with an official number and it's up to her or the UA information director to come up with the number, anything between 14,545 (McKale Center max seating capacity) and 14,580 (which she said accounts for all the press).
  • 4:15 Fendi Onobon and Mohamed Tangara check in for their first minutes of the night. Fendi killed the half-fro/cornrows and is back to the shaved dome.
  • 4:00 Unfortunately the fresh cut is not symbolic of a fresh start for Fendi, who air-balls an 8-footer on an ugly looking shot.
  • 2:28 David Bagga gets in the game.
  • :50 Bagga hits a left-handed lay-up causing the crowd to erupt.
  • Having all of the reserves in at once kills UA's big lead and almost causes Olson to kill the reserves. They allowed the 28-point lead to shrivel to a 9-point win 94-85.
Nic Wise Moment of the Game: Fortunately Wise made up for a terrible game - 1-6 from the floor - by rocking the white/red Nike Penny IV's with red socks. The Nic Wise part about it was Wise was covering the NBA logo on his socks with pieces of duct-tape. I'm assuming the NCAA prohibits other leagues' logos from appearing in their games. That or Wise is starting some insane trend that is so ahead of its time people are yet to comprehend it. Another question raised is how come nobody would let Wise borrow a pair of white socks, does the UA equipment room really have a billion pairs of shoes but no extra socks. How does this happen?
Nic, seriously though, step your game up these past two Nic Wise Moment of the Games have been miserable.

This might be the only blog in the world that places more importance on a back-up freshman's' socks rather than Gerald Ford dying, Saddam being hung, or anything going on in the Middle-East.
Sneaker Watch: Nic Wise the only player from UA to wear anything new...Cal being a Jordan Brand sponsored school had college-exclusive all-black Jordan Laney 23's with the Cal logo on the tongue...Jerome Randle all-black Zoom Lebron IV...Patrick Christopher black/gold Jordan XIX SE...Ayinde Ubaka and Theo Robertson all-black Nike Hurache 2K6.

Tales from the crib Vol. 2 UA vs. Memphis

This is what I would consider a blog b-side. I took notes from the UA versus Memphis Dec. 20 game and due to injury and apathy did nothing with them until more than a week later. Here you have the first -and hopefully last - Where's P-Mac b-side, feel free to treat it like any b-side compilation, run through it quickly than wait until real quality work comes out.
  • 19:00 Marcus Williams is everywhere with a quick lay-up, a block, and an outlet assist to Mustafa Shakur for a break-away dunk to put the Cats up early 4-0.
  • 14:00 6-12 Memphis is leading largely in part to UA being unable to get a rebound.
  • 13:05 Shakur triple pumps to make a lay-up 10 times more difficult than it needed to be. Luckily, the ball finds its way in.
  • 12:51 On the next possession Shakur puts up an even more ridiculous lay-up, this time missing the shot and a bail-out call.
  • 9:55 Shakur buries a long trey to pull the Cats within three, 19-22.
  • 8:00 Nic Wise checks in and a TV time-out is taken to allow everyone in the building to prepare for something epic.
  • 7:06 Memphis' Willie Kemp hits a three to put Memphis up 20-27.
  • The announcers tell a story about Chase Budinger being asked for an autograph in the mall by a little kid. According to the story Budinger says he'll only give his autograph if the kid gets David Bagga's (who Budinger was with at the time) autograph as well. I think about how ever if I ever had the chance I would snub the future NBA star Budinger and only ask for Bagga's autograph. Oddly enough I happen to run into the aforementioned tandem the morning after the game. I decide that I'm 20 years old and asking for Bagga's autograph and snubbing somebody who is a year younger and much more famous than me really is not funny at all.
  • 2:57 Jawann McClellen hits a long jump-shot to tighten the game up 31-33. McClellen then goes crazy like only McClellen can. It's really beautiful to see someone play with that much passion.
  • 2:37 Memphis' Andre Allen responds with a three to put the Tigers up five.
  • Memphis leads 33-38 at the half, Shakur leads UA with 13 points and Budinger only has three points, his normal numbers for the first minute of the game. Andre Allen and Willie Kemp lead Memphis with 11 a piece. I thought Memphis was killing UA on the boards but apparently Memphis only had five more first-half boards than UA.
  • Within two minutes of the second half the Cats tie it up at 38.
  • 17:00 UA takes the lead 43-42, their first lead since it was 4-2.
  • BJ ARMSTRONG is in the crowd. I'm assuming he is a scout for some team, it's just great he is at McKale. (I tried to learn about him on wikipedia, and his page is the first wikipedia entry I've ever seen that is badly messed up)
  • 11:19 Memphis' Jeremy Hunt hits a nice tear-drop floater. Can Stephon Marbury please make Memphis the first college sponsored by his high-quality kicks. I love the way the intro to the site says, "Get down with the movement and vote Starbury into the NBA All-Star game." In terms of movements, I would rank this right below the Civil Rights Movement and just above the Dipset Movement.
  • The announcer goes an entire game without making any cats versus cats references, I surely appreciate it.
  • The Wilcats won their ninth straight 79-71.
Nic Wise Moment of the Game: This is mainly the reason this blog didn't get made until a week later. I was mad depressed. Nic Wise did nothing noteworthy in the game - at least not from watching it from home. Perhaps at the game he did something too gully for TV. I just hope Nic does the Michael Jordan move - follow a 12 point game with a 50 point performance - and he does something incredibly gangsta in his next game against Cal.

Sneaker Watch: Still nothing new on the UA front...All of Memphis rocked the royal blue Adidas Pro Model S, not quite as tight as when the Pro Models were out in faux snake skin, but still respectable.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Fa la la la la! It's a Dipset Christmas!

Honestly, a young writer like myself trying to review Jim Jones' "A Dipset X-mas" is like a 3rd-grader trying to understand quantum physics. I've listened to hip-hop for the better part of my life, but even I am having trouble understanding the greatness of Jim Jones following his masterpiece "Hustler's P.O.M.E" with a Christmas album.

Obviously, Jim Jones a.k.a The Capo a.k.a One-Eyed Willy put out "A Dipset X-Mas" not to make a quick $100k from Koch Records, but clearly for the kids. The album booklet has perhaps the greatest quote of all time to not come out of Gilbert Arenas' mouth as it reads, "'I wanted to make a Christmas album for kids in the hood and shit like that' -Capo."

The album is a dynamic masterpiece filled with cocaine-altered allusions to a white Christmas, freshly baked pies, doves and any other Christmas related topic that can possibly be interpreted into a cocaine reference.

The album begins with Jim Jones declaring, "It's fitna be a good Christmas this year, Santa know when you good or bad and we ballin." over a less synthesized, more hip-hop infused version of Paul McCartney and Wings' "A Wonderful Christmas time." The lyrical masterminds of Dipset changed the chorus to:

"The musics tight
The block is stuffed
We here tonight
And thats whats up
Livin fast and ballin at Christmas time
Livin fast its a Dipset Christmas time"

Chalk it up to a poor education in public schools or just blame my ignorance, but I don't know every C-list Dipset member by their voice, but one of the Goons (Mel Matrix I believe) opens his 16 with "I'm tryna live everyday like it's Christmas/I shovel yay so every day a n*gga risk this" and then ends the song with "And everybody spaz out/get blowed homie 'til you fuckin pass out/it's Christmas!"

It's hard to comprehend all that and still have four more tracks to go, but I'm going to try. The second track titled "Have a Happy Christmas" does not have as many quotables. It's a darker song about growing up poor with no presents in a single-parent home, until your rap/trap-star career turned it around enabling you to cop a couple of Ranges for the fam, you know shit we can all relate to.

The third track titled "Wish List" starts with Jim Jones recalling "I lost my mind ma, all those broken promises on Christmas, Christmas got me going insane ma, I can't front, I used to want every gift under the book, but it just never came, December 25th was kinda crazy for me."

The entire track is underwhelming and it has one of the worst beats in the history of production, but the hook of "I'm losing my mind over this Christmas, trying to grind for everything on this wish list" saves the track.

"Ballin on X-Mas" is the best track on the album as Jim Jones, Stack Bundles (R.I.P.), and J.R. Writer tear up RUN DMC's "Christmas in Hollis" beat. Nothing puts you in the Christmas spirit mor than hearing Jim Jones spit "In all my years standing on 112th, I never seen Santa or no elf" then follow it with "You can tell Kris Kringle (tell him what), money ain't a party, he can bump my single."

Then Dipset unleashes the best hook in the history of music:
Deck the halls, it's a Dipset Christmas
We all ball, it's a Dipset Christmas
Fa la la la la! It's a Dipset Christmas!
We fly high, it's a Dipset Christmas
Christmas cheers, Dipset's here, Ballin every day!

On top of that J.R. Writer murks the flow as he compares himself to St. Nick, "Me and Santa alike, you know why I'm getting cake here, I grab a ho-ho-ho and make it rain dear. So fix your face queer." Then Mr. Writer lays down one of my favorite lines with the verse, "Cause it's kinda funny that my lawyer kinda clumsy the way he catches cases and drops it."

The Christmas portion of the mixtape concludes with "If every day was Christmas," a track where Hell Rell, Mel Matrix and Stack Bundles accompany Jim Jones over a "Jingle Bells" beat.
None of the verses are worth mentioning, but a nice soulful hook (below) makes the track enjoyable, well that and Hell Rell fitting "I'm that fucking n*gga" in every verse.

How I wish that every day was just like Christmas
On my list, got my everything my girl and my kids want
How i prey that my dogs will stay all about Christmas
'Til that day that we all got the power and riches

The rest of the album is another forgettable Dipset mixtape. The Capo follows the Christmas portion with a track titled "We get money," where he yells, "A message to you rap police, get off my dick, you smell me? You Donnie Brasco-ass n*ggas, Mike Lawrys, you shouldn't want to be like these n*ggas, you fucking faggots, snitches, dickheads!"

Well said Jim, a great message for the kids indeed.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Tales from the crib Vol. 1

14,545 fans, only 92 of them students. Thanks to the UA athletics ticketing office only making holiday-break men's basketball tickets available the week before Thanksgiving, only 92 students purchased tickets for $10 a piece to each game according to ticket sales provided by James Francis, the UA athletics assistant director in marketing and ticketing (wow, a real, albeit recycled, source in a blog). After the small window to buy student tickets closed, which was barely advertised, students were only available to buy general public seats for $18 or the holiday four-pack for about $84. I decided to forfeit my opportunity to drop 80 bones on a shitty seat in McKale and instead watch the game from my apartment. Here is the first of a four-part in-depth series that entails my notes from watching Wildcat games from my couch (no it won't really be in-depth, I just wanted to have an in-depth series on my blog).

  • 19:11 Houston's Lanny Smith throws up what would be his first attempt from deep beyond the arc clanking if off the back-iron. He would finish two of five from 3-point land, with all of his attempts coming a few feet behind NBA range.
  • 18:27 Marcus Malone, who the announcers say is from the CPT, hits Houston's first shot, a deep three, to give Houston the lead 2-3.
  • It's announced that Houston has 10 new players on their roster this season. Damn, what the hell happened to last year's squad.
  • 17:40 Mustafa Shakur jumps toward the basket, gets caught in the air and flips it to Chase Budinger, who then follows suit and gets caught in the air before tossing it out to the wing. Eventually Ivan Radenovic misses a jump-shot in one of the most futile plays of the game.
  • 16:11 Radenovic, who is tirelessly called "double nickels" by one of the announcers, has what appears to be a great block, but is really an easy defensive play after Rob McKiver goes in for the softest lay-up of all time.
  • 15:40 Radenovic hits an open three from the top of the arc, adding to his NBA potential and increasing his worth in the 2007 draft.
  • I really hope Houston's Jahmar Thorpe has some relation to Otis.
  • 14.25 Lanny Smith effortlessly goes inside and gets two making everyone wonder why he has been sitting outside jacking up and missing long threes.
  • The Just Sports 'dunk of the game' is presented with 34 minutes to play in the game. This is the most awkward in-game sponsorship since Al McCoy quickly interject "Now would be a great time for the great taste of a cold Bud-Light. The only beer that won't fill you up and never let you down" during the first free-throw of every Suns game.
  • Marcus Williams and Radenovic run a textbook backdoor give-and-go, which results in a Williams dunk.
  • 12:00 Nic Wise checks in and immediately there is a TV timeout to make sense of his presence on the court.
  • 11:30 The Confederate South still bitter over losing the Civil War commits the ultimate heinous crime when Robert Lee swats a Nic Wise jump-shot. Truly disgusting.
  • 9:30 McClellen hits a tough off-balance jump-shot to make it 24-19, Cats of Arizona.
  • For the record FSN's announcing crew did a good job throughout the night only making a lame Wildcats versus Cougars "cat fight" joke twice.
  • 9:00 Daniel Dillon and Jordan Hill, sans his white tee, check into the ballgame.
  • 7:30 UA only leads by one, 24-23, after several UA turnovers. UA has seven, Houston has one.
  • 7:02 Dion Dowell misfires on a three like Antoine Walker than holds his hand in the air and bounces on one foot like Antione Walter. Awesome.
  • The camera pans to Daniel Dillon on the bench. The announcer says, "Daniel Dillon (awkward silent pause) Australia" Wow, this is great as if the announcers don't mention that DD is from Australia every time he's on the court. It appears now that the camera man and announcer are simply playing word association games with random UA players. I would've loved to see them freeze on David Bagga.
  • Shakur leads two fast breaks to zero points, hurting his NBDL potential and stock in the 2007 NBA draft.
  • For a fast-paced game the half-time score is only 41-33. UA had long series where they would continuously turn it over, or fire up a quick miss. Houston played like a squad full of 10 new guys, coming up the court, oblivious of any organized offense, and jacking up long threes. The type of offense you run in a pick-up game when one kid thinks he is god and decides to ignore his four teammates.
  • The halftime interview with Lute Olson is typical Lute. Boring, dry, nothing new to say. Like all coaches they just wrap up the obvious and say what any educated fan has been thinking the whole game. This makes me wonder why somebody who has lead a team to the NCAA tourney for the past 22 seasons, whose in the basketball Hall of Fame, and who has a basketball IQ of Steven Hawking proportions cannot say something interesting. I one day want to hear a coach say something of such basketball intelligence that it only makes sense to people on his level and not 99% of the audience.
  • Houston comes out and does more of the same, missing a long three with about 33 seconds on the shot clock.
  • Lanny Smith again gets inside easily, causing me to again wonder why he is spending the majority of the night on the perimeter.
  • 16:01 Budinger swats Rob McKiver's lay-up attempt and on-cue comes a volleyball reference.
  • 14:45 Shakur tosses an alley-oop to Williams off the backboard on a fast break and somehow it's not all that cool. Maybe it's because it's made to look so easy and effortless or the fact that Jamaal Crawford does at least 3 alley-oops to himself off the glass a season or maybe Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady set the bar for backboard alley-oops way too high. Regardless, Shakur and Williams oop was boring 1/10 if I'm judging.
  • 13:00 Shakur proves why he'll have an average career in the NBDL and overseas when he tosses one of the worst alley-oops of all time to Juwaan McClellen on a break.
  • Jim Click comes on during commercial break for the eight millionth time. To bite Chris Rock, I hope that Mr. Click realizes that there are people in Scottsdale who would jump out their window and slit their throat on the way down if they woke up with Jim Click's money. Being the king of Tucson is like being....I can't even think of an analogy that would equal the lameness of being the king of Tucson.
  • 9:15 Williams throws a perfect pass to a cutting Budinger to make it 63-45.
  • 7:50 Radenovic convulses like he is being hit by 30 tasers and puts up a ridiculously ugly shot. Jordan Hill rebounds and puts the ball back in and everyone tries to forget the ugliest shot attempt of the season.
  • 6:40 Shakur connects on a prayer on a stupid double-clutch lay-up.
  • 4:01 Shakur gets fouled hard on a fast-break by Marcus Malone. It's a foul reminiscent of last night at the Garden, except Staf refuses to fight like his former teammate Channing Frye and Dunk Contest thief Nate Robinson and instead opts for boring free-throws as a result of the flagrant foul.
  • 3:55 Nic Wise checks back in for Shakur and UA takes a time-out to allow everyone to prepare for anything gangsta Wise might attempt.
  • 3:30 Lute gives H-Town some love by playing Fendi Onobon, McClellen and Wise together.
  • 2:08 Onobon turns it over and I can't imagine how much it tears him up inside. Here is a man who got significant minutes last year as a freshman, this year he gets no burn and in his four minutes to prove himself to the coach he turns it over twice. Damn.
  • 1:57 The most gangsta play in UA basketball history is ruined when Fendi Cent cannot complete a long oop from Nic Wise. Had Fendi been able to throw it down, it would have easily beaten the football Homecoming upset of Cal as the best sports moment of the year. At least in my mind.
  • After the botched alley-oop there is a time-out and Lute is verbally killing somebody, probably Wise for tossing such a ridiculous oop. Even up 20 plus Lute doesn't play.
  • 57 second mark David Bagga checks to fill a stat line as follows:
    D. Bagga 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
  • A board in a minute of play, if my calculations are correct he could've had 40 boards if he played the whole game.
  • Final, Wildcats win, going to 8-1 on the year, 87-62.
Nic Wise Moment of the Game: Already up a ton, Wise buried a three from a few feet behind the top of the arc. He then proceeded to go back up the court chunking the duece. I'm sure DJ Screw is smiling from heaven while he leans on his purple drank. If I could somehow chop and screw the Nic Wise Moment of the Game I would and retype it here.
Sneaker Watch: All of UA is waiting for Santa Swoosh to bring them some new kicks because nobody was wearing anything new. Props to Lanny Smith for making the best out of being an Adidas school and wearing Gilbert Arenas' Gil Zeros. Arenas is the first UA alumni to have his own signature shoe and this is the first time it's been worn on the Lute and Bobbi Olson Court. Bear Down.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Santa came early and delivered a great NBA fight for all the fans of gangster NBA hoops. The squabble in the Garden, I can't call it a "brawl" because Detroit and Indiana set the bar for what a "brawl" is. The most disturbing thing by far about the tonight's fight in the Garden is that it took almost four hours for footage to hit YouTube. If I'm Google and I find out it took my new baby almost four hours to get a sick NBA fight online; I'm a little pissed and wondering where my $1.65 billion is going. Finally at about 12:00 EST, YouTube delivered. This was already after I had seen it on Sportscenter and had to suffer through the analysis by some balding white dude, who looks like he should be talking about how tech-savvy he is at your local Radio Shack, and Kiki Vandewghe, who you think would have something interesting/new to say since he was the Nuggets' GM for the last five years. They both babbled for five minutes saying nothing. Kiki said the Knicks' and Nuggets' GMs must be shaking their heads in disgust and frustration; breaking one of the cardinal rules of sports journalism by assuming Isiah Thomas would do think and act rationally. For all we know this is phase number 423 of Isiah's grand scheme to turn the Knicks around and he told Mardy Collins to foul J.R. Smith that hard. I would never underestimate the man behind this.

dynamic duo also discussed how heart-wrenching this is for any fan of the NBA or sports in general. This makes me wonder where I fit in as a sports fan who lives for epic moments like these. Will I ever out-grow a classic sports fight, will I ever be that mature, where I'll sit back and shake my head at the television instead of screaming to myself at a recorded fight.

The sad part is Melo will now be labeled a thug for this fight and 30 minutes later on Sportscenter Barry Melrose will show the fight of the night from the NHL. Although I'd take being hated by the national media over being watched solely by Barry Melrose any day of the week.

Seeing as how Melo got thrown out of a game earlier this season for tossing his headband toward his own bench; I assume the Commish will give him nothing less than 25 to life for throwing a punch/slap at Mardy Collins.

The main thing this fight was missing that The Malice in the Palace had was Jamaal Tinsley coming out of the tunnel with a dustpan on a stick. Arguably the most gangster moment in NBA history. However, if I had to pick a gangster moment of the night, it would have to be Melo pushing over Channing Frye and towering over him with the look of death (apologies to the Wildcat in me). Melo's hit on Mardy Collins is somewhere between a solid punch and Rick James punking Charlie Murphy. Although it is weak that Melo back-tracked after hitting Collins.

Props to Jared Jeffries, not only for getting a silly $30 million out of Isiah, but for going after Melo after returning from a broken wrist. I'd like to have one of those cheesy inspirational posters that shows Jeffries in his stretched-out jersey being held back by three people reading: "Commitment: Trying to kill the NBA's leading scorer with your bare hands after coming back from a broken wrist."

Anyways I'm gonna go out and cop two purrs of the M3's to show my support.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Bloggin' D's

Few things piss me off more than when people who don't listen to hip-hop hate on rap music. Mainly because it's incredibly hard to defend a genre that buries itself so many times. How the hell can anyone defend half of the hip-hop world. It is insane and completely ridiculous at times, but that's the same reason I love it. I'd like to now make no sense out of everything I just said and describe the greatness of watching bullshit rap videos and mocking hip-hop myself. Bullshit rap videos always bring a smile to my face because I know the director made the video with a checklist in-hand reading: rims, bitches, grillin the camera, stacks of money, Cadillacs, shots of your projects, guns, drugs, liquor. It's great that a new rapper will think he can rise to the top by doing something that has been done 23,901,234 times before. I would love to hear the logic behind making one of these videos. I guess they could use the ol' "it worked for him." It's beautiful that as long as there is rap music there will be some dude trying to come up by using the same format that's been done countless times before. That being said my bullshit rap video of the week goes to Rich Boy (a great original, rap name) and Polow da Don's (which I will name at least one of my kids because this name is that great) video for Throw Some D's.
This video is epic in so many ways, that I would like to break down a few. I'm sure people have their own interpretations of this deep video the same way you could interpret any great piece of art.

You can watch the video

because youtube is against throwing d's on blogs.
  • The very start of the video shows a red Cadillac riding through the hood, a subtle foreshadowing of the theme of the video. Don't think I didn't catch that bullshit rap video director.
  • Walking out of the house grabbing two stacks of scrilla because you never know when you are gonna need that much cash, essential to any rap video. (side note: if any rapper ever said, "I got stacks of scrilla taller than Brad Miller," I would forever hold that rapper to be the best lyricist of all time.
  • Jumping straight into a hook that sounds chopped and screwed but really is just one of the worst worded rap hooks of all time. Genius. The hook which I had to look up:
    "Rich Boy sellin' crack dope niggas wanna jack shit tight no slack just bought a Cadillac THROW SOME D's ON THAT BITCH!"
  • Rapping in a field in front of a rented car, never seen that before.
  • Rapping while having cars drive sideways down the street, still never seen anything like that.
  • "Candy paint gator skinned seats/ call me Dundee" classic line
  • "Haters wish they could feel the wood in my '83/ Riding with no tint so the mothafuckas know it's me" classic line #2. Rich Boy I feel ya on that one, my 99 Altima don't got no tint neither.
  • Rapping on top of a house with a crowd below you, more originality.
  • Polow da Don spits his 16 with white hoes on his lap. Rap video affirmative action at its finest.
  • Polow's verse about getting hoes' numbers and not calling them. Genius again, basically every verse in this classic and easy to relate to for anyone who has ever wanted to throw d's on their Cadillac.
  • Who says this song is shallow, with this verse I feel Polow is trying express his plan to stop the war in Iraq and end global hunger with one fell swoop: "Every freak should have a picture of my dick on they walls"
  • Bullshit rap video cliché #419: Spitting rhymes while driving your Cadillac with your three boys in the back tossing their hands up.
  • Getting a haircut and rapping, unprecedented.
  • Rich Boy breaking away from the trendy Yves Saint Laurent/Luis Vuitton sunglasses and going with the 1992 Terminator 2 Schwarzenegger shades is only creative thing in the whole video.
Bullshit rap video scale:
Rims: 5/5
Bitches: 2/5
Grillin the camera: 4/5
Stacks of money: 1/5
Cadillacs: 6/5
Shots of your projects: 5/5
Guns: 0/5
Drugs: 0/5
Liquor 1/5
Total Score: 24/45
Hmm. I thought this was a classic bullshit rap video, but according to the official Where's P-Mac scale for bullshit rap videos, this barely cracks a 50%. Maybe he made the video aiming for 24 points because thats his favorite size of dubs on his Cadillac. One would think with the depth of creativity that went into this video he could have somehow worked in some guns and drugs. Drugs and guns are both essential to not only making a great rap video but also putting your people in a better situation just like throwing d's on a Cadillac does.

This video is obviously classic on so many levels. I never knew Polow da Don was such a big name until I read he has worked with Jamie Foxx, The Pussycat Dolls, Fergie, Ludacris and others, although I got this from Wikipedia, so it's possibly Polow could have wrote that himself. Easily the greatest thing about Polow is the fact that he dropped out of Morehouse College after his first semester "to pursue his aspirations to be a rapper with the group Jim Crow." I gotta wonder how many people drop out of Morehouse to pursue rapping/producing careers.
Phonte from the group Little Brother had his own take on this song in his blog where he brings up that Throwing D's can fit any situation:
" "My computer just froze up."

"The baby's crying."

"The Dems took the house."

For those of you thinking, "Well this blog was fairly amusing, but really I just came here hoping for a link to a chopped and screwed version of Throw some D's." Here you have it

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Arizona vs. Illinois 12/2/06

P-H-Onyx - Arizona versus Illinois for the first time since the most infamous day in UA history, which need not be talked about any further. The game was the back-half of a double header of Gonzaga vs. Texas and Illinois vs. Arizona. After Texas got worked in a game that was never really close, it was time for the main event. U.S. Airways center appeared to be almost 50/50 Wildcats fans against Illini fans, which is a testament to the amount of people from the Midwest living in Phoenix. Then I looked to the upper deck, which was a sea of Wildcat red, a testament to poor college kids who couldn't afford the high-dollar tickets. It's unfortunate that UA does not offer Seat Sneaking 101, because if it did I would get an A+, especially after my seat changing performance of the game, which upgraded my friend and I to five rows off the court, from our abysmal upper deck row 14 tickets. Everyone was amped for the game, especially the young, drunk Wildcat Alumni behind me who had the best exchange of the night.
UA alum to Illini fan: "Hey, what's you guys' record?"
Illini fan: "7-1"
UA alum: "Really? because I heard you guys were pretty terrible."
It would help the comedic value of the conversation if I could transcribe drunken slur better.
  • The Wildcats come out for warm-ups and are greeted with chants of "U of A," David Bagga comes out and looks the most fired up out of everybody, then again maybe he just knows this is going to be the only time he touches the court.
  • Marcus Williams warms up sans the iPod.
  • Fendi Onobon pulling the braids out and rocking the half-fro. Gangsta. Knowing Fendi will be lucky if he touches the court during the game. Not so gangsta.
  • The Illini come out wearing orange velour! warm-ups. This would have been fashionably gangsta circa 2001, now it just looks retarded.
  • Yes, I realized I just used "gangsta" three times in a few sentences, which was about as necessary as Mustafa Shakur's three behind-the-back passes throughout the game.
  • The Cats begin the game looking horrible, like final four minutes of an Elite-8 game in which you're up 15 horrible. They allow Illinois to get inside effortlessly.
  • Illinois' Warren Carter is working the Cats pretty hard inside making Radenovic seem invisible.
  • Carter also bears a resemblence to Mr. Eko from Lost, not that I'm going through Lost withdrawals or anything.
  • 11: 24 the Cats are down 11-25 after a horrible start, Chase Budinger who normally has a healthy 8 and 4 by now has been on the bench for the better part of the begining of the game after being replaced by Daniel Dillon at he 17-minute mark.
  • Despite being down 14 to the damn Illini on our own home turf (more of less), I am still in a good mood only because Phoenix Suns cheerleaders come out to Justin Timberlake medley.
  • It wasn't until the final five minutes of the first half that UA came alive and brought what was a 16 point deficit to a more respectable 36-41 halftime score.
  • 17:00 Shakur breaks the press by himself going coast-to-coast and getting fouled on a lay-up attempt. He would go 1-2 from the line.
  • It makes me happy that while the entire campus is studying hard for finals, Marcus Williams will be in the McKale Center shooting free throws. The life of an NBA-bound sophomore must be great.
  • 16:07 Juwann McClellen gets two strong offensive boards and follows the second with a putback, which he's fouled on. He celebrates with an Antione Walker-esque shimmy, which was the play of the game. Between the full-time hustle, the shimmy, the full-out, crazy spasm against New Mexico State, and the rumor that he gave his McDonalds All-American jersey to Paul Wall, Juwann is becoming my favorite player on the team.
  • 14:40 Bret Brielmaier checks in for Marcus Williams after a Williams series that went: 0-2 from the free-throw line, turnover, foul.
  • 12:51 the Cats get their first lead off a Shakur and-1.
  • 12:17 Time-out Illinois after Shakur burns his defender multiple times for a couple of quick drives to the lane for lay-ups.
  • The Wildcats seem to have things going there way as they're playing high-tempo basketball and honoring the suns by getting shots off in seven seconds or less.
  • 6:50 Illinois keeps it close with some outside 3's, Juwann McClellen fires back hitting a 3 of his own , then talking shit to his defender the whole way down the court. Arizona is still leading 64-61.
  • 4:55 Radenovic finds Williams under the basket with a quick pass. Williams misses the first gimme, then gets his own board, and misses again but this time he's fouled. Williams then promptly goes into a fit of insanity, before connecting on both from the line, 69-66, cats.
  • 3:34 Mr. Eko has a nasty two-handed dunk from the lower block.
  • 3:20 Williams strokes a three from the top of the key to make 74-70.
  • 1:11 Budinger hits a lay-up while being intentionally fouled, he receives chest bumps from Shakur and McClellen, while Onobon and Bagga go crazy from the bench. He then hits both his free throws and puts the Wildcats up eight 80-72.
  • The Illini keep it interesting, but the Wildcats win 84-72.
  • Arizona only used a seven man rotation, using only Brielmaier and Dillon off the bench, everyone else gets a nice DNP next to their name in the box score.
  • The biggest disappointment of the game by far was not UA coming out flat and being down 16 at one point, but the fact that Wilbur nor Wilma never interacted with the Phoenix Suns Gorilla.
  • I couldn't quite read it but somebody across the arena had a Chase Budinger sign with the logo from Chase banks. I'm not really sure where that sign was going, but I have a good feeling it was "Money in the bank." In which case it may be the lamest sign in basketball history.
Nic Wise Moment of the Game: Nic Wise is the most humble and giving man ever. Nic Wise saw Shakur struggling throughout the first 10 minutes of the game, knew that if Shakur kept playing this way it would hurt the Wildcats in the game and have possible repurcussions on the rest of Shakur's basketball career. Wise was able to recognize all of this in only his freshman year and make the executive decision to give Shakur his own headband (Nic Wise super powers included). If you don't believe me check the numbers.
Shakur before the headband: 1 point, 1 assist, 1 turnover
Shakur with Wise's headband: 15 points, 7 assists, 4 boards, 2 turnovers

Take away those 14 points from the headband and the we lose by 2. Nic Wise single-handedly won the game without leaving the bench. Skills.

Sneaker Watch: Marcus Williams, Mustafa Shakur, Jordan Hill Zoom Lebron IV...Juwann McClellen black/white Zoom Kobe 1...Every player on Illinois Nike Air Zoom Huarache Elite TB

G'd Up Fans: Yellow replica Salim Stoudamire Hawks jersey with fitted to match...Authentic Wilbur 01 jersey...3 dudes all with UA belt buckles (lame, but nice effort)...Replica Steve Kerr UA jersey...Two dudes wearing authentic Andre Iguodala jerseys (one white, one blue)...The most G'd up fan by a landslide: the dude rocking the signed authentic Fendi Onobon jersey