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

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A very trill day

Today Where's P-Mac takes a break from hoops and normal WPM shit to present the lamest kind of blogging, blogging about your day.

Outside of the University of Arizona I could easily count the things I like about Tucson on one hand. Bookmans, a used book store, is one of those few things.

The last time I went to Bookmans I was set on going to law school and I purchased the The Princeton Review's LSAT prep book.

I read 100 pages of the book before I put it down on my shelf where it still sits and collects dust under a Ron Artest cd.

For the time being I have abandoned the law school idea and I currently have no clue where I will be next year or what I will be doing. Today's Bookmans dilemma was much more serious than any life plans though.

I stood in front of the glass display case with my fixed college budget and had to make one of the toughest decisions of my life.

Do I buy Wave Race 64 or Pilot Wings 64? At $8 a piece, buying both was pretty much out of the question.

I settled on Pilot Wings because the hippy dude who helped me out said it was "pretty fuckin' cool."

Before I hit the register I stumbled upon dope toy figurines. I hoped they had a Chicago Bulls one before I found the Dennis Rodmans.

$2.50 a piece, I don't have a choice. It's Dennis fucking Rodman with two differently dyed domes. If someone told me that same $5 dollars could feed 800 kids in Africa, I still would have bought the Rodmans. Again it's The Worm (I couldn't find a YouTube clip of him kicking a camera man in the groin or head-butting the ref).

As I went to purchase two Rodman figurines and the Pilot Wings game the weird dude ringing me up said, "Pilot Wings, that's a gangsta-ass game. Or as I like to say that game is gizzy."

This is why I support Bookmans. If you are ever unsure if you are buying the right N64 game, the Bookmans cashier is there to reassure you.

"Yeah I'm trying to make the most real-ass purchase of all time," I responded to the cashier.

"That is definitely a real-ass purchase," the Hispanic chick with crazy tattoos, who may or may not work at Bookmans, said.

Pilot Wings and two Rodman figurines for $13, that's a very trill purchase.

All this praise for BOOKmans and I'm not even talking about their books, which fill the massive store. The store also sells used magazines, cds, electronics, pretty much everything you need.

One day I hope to have enough time and discipline to read half the books I need to read before I die and I hope I can buy those books from Bookmans.

You are probably saying, "Wow, that is a trill experience, but would you say this is your trillest Bookmans experience ever?"

No. My trillest Bookmans experience ever occurred when I was visited my uncle and aunt in Tuscon with my family when I was about 12. I bought a used copy of Puff Daddy and the Family's "No Way Out."

To which my uncle promptly asked me "What did you buy that shvarzer crap for?"

To add to the trillness of the day, I made my first CraigsList transaction as I bought this fine elk art. I needed some art for the common area of my apartment and the elk seemed pretty cool in the same way Bret McKenzie's sweaters are cool.
Completely unrelated to the above is the best interview ever.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fuck Shawn Marion

Have fun getting blunted with ugly broads elsewhere

You average the most shots on the team, the most minutes on the team. You were set to make $16.4 million this year, that's almost $3 million more than Amaré and over $5 million more than Nash. You're an NBA all-star on a title contender in one of the most beautiful cities in the country. WHAT THE FUCK ELSE DO YOU WANT?!

Thanks for many years of putting up ridiculous numbers and constantly bitching the entire time. Fuck you. Thanks again for now publicly demanding a trade which will allow the Suns to now get a solid 60 cents on the dollar, if we are lucky. Fuck you again.

Peace Shawn Marion, here's hoping you tear your ACL in a Jazz uni on opening night.

Random Sneaker Link of the Day: Native-Americans can now get to stompin' in they Air Native N7s.

Brandon Jennings Hype Machine Article of the Day: I might come back to school in '09 just to watch Jennings.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Salads and no more madness

So I get a shout-out in SLAM's online newsletter and what I do? Blog more stupidly. Seriously, getting a little love from SLAM online was the crowning moment of my journalism career, unfortunately mad school work and real work (blogging never paid the bills and I can barely remember the days when it filled kegs) have got in the way of any semi-regular posting.

Truth be told I'm not even sure the point of this post. Can I really base a post on Nic Wise falling in love with Caesar salads?

How about making a post about Lute Olson taking away Midnight...err 7-o'clock Madness. I understand how a true midnight practice could hurt the next day's practice, but is a bullshit dunk contest and even more bullshit scrimmage at 7 p.m. really gonna hurt the next morning's practice that bad? Probably not any more than these activities.
I only went to two, but my favorite Midnight Madness moment was when one of the women's players, Suzy Bofia I believe, tried to get in on the dunk contest. She barely got one with one hand and the women's team went nuts. Then she went up for another, missed, fell and crashed on her side. Hard. Quieted the whole crowd, except those who were trying to fight back laughter. For better or worse, she ended up being OK. It is still one of the funniest things I have ever witnessed and I would kill for a YouTube clip of it. One day I'll put up a random list of Suzy Bofia rumors, for being a no-name Cameroon basketball player, the broad has some crazy rumors about her.

While I'm on the note of women's hoops. Props to my Phoenix Mercury for winning it all.

There's no need to blog about the football team as they getting murdered in the papers (Greg Hansen killed them after the New Mexico loss) and on the message boards.

Marcus barely has a chance at the NBA. Hassan isn't doing much better.

There really isn't much more out there. Basketball season needs to start ASAP, it's getting ridiculous to the point where I had a dream that I got a D.U.I., but I was excited because I was with Gabe Pruitt and I'm not even a Gabe Pruitt fan.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Reason # 12,104 to love Oregon

The Oregon Donald Duck mascot is suspended for Saturday's game after keeping it way too real. In the Sept. 1 opener against Houston, Donald beat the shit out of Houston's mascot, Shasta. Please note the people's elbow, the tea-bagging, the brushing of the shoulders, and the nonverbal "Now What?! Motherfucker!" implemented by Donald. Gully as hell.

Props to Roman Veytsman for getting in touch with his inner Diddy after college. Because really what else are you going to do with a journalism major?

Also props to me for two consecutive posts celebrating Pac-10 colleges I don't attend. Wait, I think I'll give UA a little shine with my final sample of Where's P-Mac the comic. This one is the most WPM-ish of them all (click to enlarge).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Yo homes smell you later

As most of my friends know I have pretty much quit journalism, but it's stuff like this O.J. Mayo piece makes me wonder if I really have any clue at all what I am doing in life. The only reason I declared journalism as my major was because Lang Whitaker's job seemed like the coolest gig of all time, that and a high school econ course scared me out of business. If you can't be an NBA player, covering it is the next best thing, right? Three years later, three years deep in the journalism world and I'm soured on all of journalism except for SLAM.

Seven years ago, the highlight of my day consisted of coming home from school, pouring a massive bowl of cereal and dialing up the internet to read Lang's "Links" which is the inspiration for "Where's P-Mac." Five days a week I was given a behind-the-scenes look at the NBA, random great links around the web and if I was lucky my e-mails would get published. Today SLAM's website is dramatically different, with updates every 30 minutes, I still attempt to read every article and I will always read "The Links" religiously.

Currently my days are pretty much consumed with internet literature. I don't even want to guess how much time I spend reading blogs, message boards and sports sites on a daily basis. The number would depress me and probably make you wonder how I pass classes or have any social life.

All this is getting to the $10 million college question of "What the fuck am I going to do in life?" If journalism paid more than $30 grand a year I'd be down 100%, no questions asked, but it doesn't so I'm asking a lot of questions.

In the mean time I read Ryan Jones behind the scenes take on current SLAM cover boy O.J. Mayo. Flying out to L.A. to set up a sick photo shoot and interview the most-hyped freshman in the game, sounds like a career I could handle.

I don't think people understand just how sick O.J. Mayo is. The kid's had the media spotlight on him since 7th grade, which is equal parts utterly disgusting and pretty dope. Mayo had me as a fan after I read this article from the March 21, 2007 New York Times. (I'm running the article in it's entirety because I can't link to it and it's worth the read)

N.C.A.A. TOURNAMENT; Don't Call Me. I'll Call You.

By Lee Jenkins

It sounds like a fairy tale.

A stranger walked into the University of Southern California basketball office one day last summer and asked to speak to the head coach. The stranger did not make an appointment. He did not call ahead. Tim Floyd, the U.S.C. head coach, cannot explain why he agreed to see him.

Nine months later, as U.S.C. prepares for the regional semifinal of the N.C.A.A. tournament, Floyd recounted his version of that conversation.

The mysterious man got right to the point. ''How would you like to have the best player in the country?'' he asked.

Floyd tried not to roll his eyes.

''Have you heard of O. J. Mayo?'' the man asked.

Of course Floyd had heard of him. Everyone in basketball had heard of him. Mayo was first mentioned in Sports Illustrated when he was in the seventh grade. He was considered a future lottery pick by the time he entered high school. He once talked trash to Michael Jordan during a pickup game at Jordan's camp.

Mayo was entering his senior season as a point guard at Huntington High School in Huntington, W.Va., but Floyd said he did not bother to call him. He did not even send him a U.S.C. brochure.

What was the point? Major universities had been courting Mayo for four years. Floyd had been at U.S.C. for fewer than 18 months. Besides, Floyd had only recruited two top-100 players in his life. He had no business going after Mayo, the No. 1 player in the country, especially being from a football college that was 3,000 miles away.

''O. J. wanted me to come here today,'' the man told Floyd. ''He wanted me to figure out who you are.''

Floyd was desperate enough to play along. His starting point guard, Ryan Francis, had been murdered two months earlier. The backup, Gabe Pruitt, was in academic trouble. The third-stringer, a walk-on, was leaving college.

''Why aren't you at Arizona or Connecticut?'' Floyd recalled asking.

The man explained that Mayo wanted to market himself before going to the N.B.A., and that Los Angeles would give him the best possible platform.

''Then why aren't you at U.C.L.A.?'' Floyd asked.

The man shook his head. U.C.L.A. had already won 11 national championships. It had already produced many N.B.A. stars. Mayo wanted to be a pioneer for a new era.

''Let me call him,'' Floyd said.

The man shook his head again. ''O. J. doesn't give out his cell,'' he said. ''He'll call you.''

Floyd remembers the meeting lasting 45 minutes. He learned that the man's name was Ronald Guillory, and that he was an event promoter in Los Angeles who had befriended Mayo. Other than that, Floyd learned absolutely nothing.

''There was no way that kid was going to call,'' Floyd said. ''There was no way.''

College basketball recruiting, especially when it comes to the top players, is a famously shady business. Coaches deal regularly with handlers and street agents. When they land a top prospect, they are immediately open to questions and accusations.

Floyd is no different. Hours after he met Guillory, at about 6:30 p.m., Floyd was at home in Santa Monica when his cellphone rang. He gave his version of his second landmark conversation of the day.

When Floyd answered the phone, he heard a teenager's voice on the other end: ''Coach, this is O. J. Mayo. I'd like to come to your school.''

Mayo had not been on an official campus visit. He had not seen the new arena, the Galen Center. He did not know anything about the current roster.

Floyd did not believe it was possible to get a verbal commitment from a player he had recruited for less than one day, especially when that player was a 6-foot-5 sharpshooter with blue-chip strength, quickness and passing ability.

''I want to be different,'' Floyd recalls Mayo telling him. ''I want to leave a mark.''

Mayo said that if he did not go to U.S.C., he would probably enroll at an African-American college. Such colleges are renowned academically, but they do not typically produce pro basketball players.

Mayo's mind was apparently made up. He was already looking ahead. ''How many scholarships do we have for next year?'' he asked.

Floyd stammered. ''After this,'' he said, ''I guess we have three.''

Mayo went through the priority list in his mind. ''Don't worry about recruiting,'' he said. ''I'll take care of it.''

Before Floyd hung up, he asked one more time for Mayo's cellphone number. ''No,'' Mayo said. ''I'll call you.''

When Floyd put down the phone, he turned to his wife. ''This ain't happening,'' he said. ''But we've got to act like it is.''

Never has a verbal commitment carried less weight. Mayo is one of those basketball prodigies famous for his large entourage and his erratic behavior. In the past six years, he has moved from West Virginia to Kentucky to Ohio and back to West Virginia. He has been suspended at least three times for fights and other violations.

But every six weeks, Mayo called Floyd to check in. He persuaded one of his friends, Davon Jefferson, to join him at U.S.C.

''O. J. has a lot of people in his ear, but he is just not a follow-the-herd kind of guy,'' Floyd said. ''He never, ever wavered.''

On Wednesday, Nov. 15, Mayo faxed his letter of intent to Floyd. It was a bigger story in Los Angeles than U.C.L.A.'s opening game. On Friday, Nov. 17, Mayo finally took his official visit to U.S.C., accompanied by a documentary film crew.

Floyd solicited the help of a coach more familiar with five-star recruits. Pete Carroll, the U.S.C. football coach, gave Mayo his pitch. As usual, it worked.

''It was the craziest thing I've ever been a part of,'' Floyd said. ''I kept thinking, 'Either this kid is nuts, or he's got the biggest vision I've ever seen.' ''

Like a true point guard, Mayo saw everything develop a split-second before it did. At the time he faxed his letter of intent, U.S.C. was a mess. Players were still mourning Francis' death. Floyd could not persuade anyone to care about defense. The starting point guard, Daniel Hackett, graduated early from high school so he could fill in.

''We were miserable to watch,'' Floyd said. ''Our guys wouldn't even shake their heads if they threw the ball away or let a guy blow right by them. They would only shake their heads if they missed a shot.''

As a high school senior, Mayo obviously could not help the Trojans cover the perimeter and work the ball inside. But Floyd believes that Mayo's signing improved the team's overall attitude. Mayo gave validation to a program that always trails U.S.C. football on its own campus and U.C.L.A. basketball in its own city.

''Now we're getting as much love as those guys are,'' forward Taj Gibson said.

The Trojans had reason to listen to Floyd before, based on his N.B.A. experience coaching the Chicago Bulls and the New Orleans Hornets. But when he showed that he could sign Mayo, his locker-room credibility rose even higher.

Fifth-seeded U.S.C. will play top-seeded North Carolina in the Round of 16 on Friday in East Rutherford, N.J.. The Trojans have a tough-minded defense and a selfless style. They always had players who could create -- and make -- their own shots. Suddenly, they have players who are willing to do more.

''We understand what it takes now to win games,'' said Pruitt, who was academically ineligible for the first semester. ''We like the results.''

This was all supposed to happen next year, with Mayo leading the team deep into the N.C.A.A. tournament and then bolting for the N.B.A. lottery.

Until he shows up for freshman orientation, U.S.C. will have to wonder if Mayo is for real, or if he will skip college entirely and wait the required one year for the draft.

''I used to think about that, but not anymore,'' Floyd said. ''This guy wants to play for it all.''
Despite Mayo's on-and-off the court problems, his cockiness and what some may consider his pimping of the college game. You have to love the kid. He's 19 years old, could chose any school in the nation, knows he'll just chill there for a year maybe two, before making a couple mil in the league. He chooses a football school, a school located in nation's second biggest city/market, with arguably the best weather and women. Not a bad option.

Watch Mayo's final dunk in high school before he was ejected from the game.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sunday Funny

In between NFL play and gratuitous commercials of Ford trucks stopping, check a poorly-drawn-but-still-better-than-the-shit-in-the-Wildcat WPM comic (click to enlarge).

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Nam Son

Since the basketball season is still a few months away and UA football isn't even worth anyone's bandwidth. I'm gonna run a little something I wrote for a bullshit English class last semester. It's the not the best writing in the world, but reading this still beats doing whatever homework you should be doing right now. Allow me to get my food critic on...

I have always been fascinated by Nam Son, a restaurant located just off campus that few students even know exists. Nam Son resembles a post-Hurricane Katrina Third Ward project house and is located on the southeast corner of Park Avenue and Sixth Street. It is nestled between the seedy U of A liquors and a filthy alley littered with an open dumpster and a thrown out couch. I have been intrigued by Nam Son’s ability to stay in business since I began walking past it every day on my way to classes. While walking past it countless times during the fall semester of my sophomore year I saw a grand total of three customers inside the restaurant. I just assumed it was a money laundering front for a Vietnamese Mafia. Surely no fine establishment would allow itself to become so weather-beaten and stay under the radar by not even advertising in the Arizona Daily Wildcat. Nam Son’s utter apathy for its appearance coupled with its clientele base of three people made the restaurant a must for me to try out.

One day I decided to test out Nam Son in hopes that the restaurant would make up for its horrendous appearance with some quality cuisine. The restaurant was kept clean on the inside and the cashier was polite and patient as I perused the menu which offered Chinese and Vietnamese meals. I chose off the Chinese menu and ordered the sesame chicken plate ($4.49), which came with my choice of fried or steamed rice, and an egg roll. I enjoyed Ellen Degeneres’ mediocre talk show as it played from the television sitting in the quaint dining area meal while my meal was freshly prepared.

My meal was brought to me and I was immediately impressed off appearance alone. The plate overflowed with rice and there was a bountiful amount of chicken, unlike Panda Express which at times shafts customers with light helpings of their main entrees. A small egg roll was gently placed on the side of the meal to complete the trifecta of Asian cuisine. The chicken was exceptionally average. There was nothing memorable about it and I believe I could prepare the same quality of food from home. I will not comment about the rice, because you have to go out of your way to mess up white rice and fortunately Nam Son did not. I am not the biggest fans of egg rolls, so my opinion is slightly biased, but I was not overly impressed with Nam Son’s egg roll. I found the vegetables to be less than flavorful or fresh.

Overall the meal was average and a decent value for the price. I was not overly ecstatic about the meal and at the same time I was not disappointed. Nam Son is restaurant equivalent of the ugly girl with only a decent personality, not offering enough to keep you wanting more.

Nam Son offers combo plates, which come with rice and an egg roll for $4.49 to $5.49. It also offers dinner plates, which are the same as combo plates, with larger proportions for $5.49 to $6.49. Its specialty dish is the Nam Son dish which comes with barbequed pork and shrimp covered in Vietnamese fish sauce served over steamed rice. Nam Son’s bi-national menu also has Vietnamese noodle bowls which range in price from $4.99 to $5.99. Nam Son serves freshly squeezed lemonade and canned juices, healthy alternatives to the soda they additionally offer. The only special they currently have is the Saturday two spring roll special for $3.49.

The indoor dining area holds room for 18 guests and proudly displays a Pima County Health Certificate of Excellence. Unfortunately upon closer inspection the certificate expired in December of 2001. However, the cashier showed me a current health certificate which showed they are still receiving an excellent rating. The restaurant also features outdoor seating which has 12 seats in addition to four benches.

According to the very friendly cashier, Bang Nguyen, Nam Son has been open since 1997 and has been under new ownership since October of 2006. Their main source of customers is University of Arizona students and faculty. They are open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. The cashier claims their busiest hours are between noon and 2 p.m. on week days, however I can’t imagine ever having to wait in line at Nam Son. They are not open on Sundays due to slow service.

Overall I would definitely not recommend Nam Son unless you want some middle-of-the-road food and a quiet place to study by yourself. College students must make the most out of every penny they spend dining out and Nam Son is simply not worth it. Until Nam Son renovates its menu and its sordid exterior I see it continuing to sit lonely with its sleazy surroundings waiting for someone to give it a shot and discover what average Asian cuisine tastes like. Nam Son’s odds of becoming a popular, respected restaurant will be as successful as the boring, ugly girl’s shot at finding a date to prom.

Quick Hits:

Because Where's P-Mac supports anything that is barely legal. Vanessa Hudgens. Much Respect.

Also this ripping of Avril Lavigne is brilliant.

Just a minor fuck-up by the U.S. Air Force.

If Bin Laden really has a few billion dollars in oil money, why can't the man get Hype Williams to do a little work with the video, a few tigers, vinyl suits and spitting Cristal never hurt anybody.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Sactown and Dame Dash

Dame, you're a god amongst men

I covered some more minor league baseball last night as I did a little freelance work for the Sacramento Bee. Here's the article I wrote on the Sacramento Rivercats clinching the Pacific Coast South Division. I don't know why you would read it because even I don't give a fuck about that.

The highlight of the game was walking toward the locker room after the game and inhaling the aroma of shitty champagne from 20 feet outside the room. Even though it's only Triple-A baseball it was still kinda cool to be in a locker room as they spray champagne and beer all over each other. I even got my fair share as some no-name yelled "Hey we're celebrating here!" before blasting me with champagne.

Granted it was nothing like Dame Dash pouring Cristal on Brazilian models atop one of the most stuntastic yachts of all time, but one should never need an excuse to run a picture of Dame Dash dousing bitches in Cris.

Where's P-Mac ramblings about Dame Dash of the week: About two years ago Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Dame Dash had a reality show on BET called "Ultimate Hustler." The show was a blatant rip-off of "The Apprentice," except Dame substituted for Donald Trump. Before Dame would eliminate any contestant, he would give this speech talking about how when you die on your gravestone it reads "birth date 'dash' death date" and how what's important in life is what you do with the 'dash.' I guess any speech with the word
'dash' in it worked for Dame. Sidenote: Dame once kicked a guy off the show for being a quote, "bum-ass n*gga."

Fast forward a year later, after Dame's show fizzled off the air, I'm at the unveiling of my grandfather's gravestone (in the Jewish religion, it goes burial, wait 11 months, unveil the gravestone, or something close to that). Point of the story is the rabbi gave the exact same speech Dame Dash always delivered and I thought to myself, "Wow. I can't believe this rabbi is an 'Ultimate Hustler' fan."

Oh, and just for the fuck of it here is another sample from the never-quite-was Where's P-Mac comic strip (click to enlarge):