Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I Give Thanks

It has been 336 days since the last post on Patrick Ewing's Knee Pads. We basically missed an entire season...I'm not going to let that happen again.

Yesterday was Canadian Thanksgiving. Yesterday was also the Utah Jazz' first preseason game. Between the 2 events happening simultaneously, it caused me to reflect on what I was thankful for this NBA season. Here are 8 (weird number...but that's how many came to mind right away) of those reasons, in no particular order:

1. James Harden's Beard - It's just big and cool. It makes me happy every time I see it, and I can only hope to replicate it one day.

2. a) No Lockout - This time last year I felt like every hocky fan today: depressed. I don't have to hope for a repeat birthday present from last year, which was the day they announced the end of the lockout.
2. b) No Hockey - I don't specifically have anything against hockey other than it overwhelms every media source in Canada and we miss out on more NBA coverage.

3. Steve Nash and Dwight Howard on the Lakers....psych!

4. Blake Griffin's dunks - I have to admit, some of the novelty has worn off, but I haven't been this excited about watching someone dunk since before Vince Carter gave up on his career. We all know that he will have at least a few dunks that we will see on the highlights more than 50 times this season.

5. Jonas Valanciunas - I don't have super high expectations for him, or the Raptors, this year but I think this is someone who will change the future of the franchise for the better (I hope).

6. The Utah Jazz - It's nice to cheer for a team who either makes, or comes close to making, the playoffs every year. If only they could make it past the first or second round again. At least their future looks like this

7. Lebron's NBA Championship - I am thankful for this for 3 reasons: 1) I like Lebron. He seems nice and cool. 2) We can finally stop hearing everyone in the media talk about how he has never won a title. 3) It puts him one step closer to stealing Michael Jordan's title of "Greatest of All Time." Speaking of which...

8. Michael Jordan's Charlotte Bobcats - I don't wish for bad things to happen to ol' MJ, but I have to admit that it is extremely satisfying to see the man who "single-handedly" stole two championships from my team be the absolute worst at something. Remember how the Bobcats were the worst team of all time last year? Yep, Michael Jordan helped that happen.

I can only hope to be thankful for even more by the time American Thanksgiving rolls around.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mark Cuban Peeing in a Urinal With Larry O'Brien's Trophy

It's time for Miller Regent's most Ultimate post of all time.

Taking a break from the Previews for one second, I thought I would just drop the greatest blog post ever written. Then I realized that there's nothing to write about.... There's nothing going on in the NBA and the next best thing (NFL) just isn't the same.

Yesterday (Monday) I finished my last mid-term of the semester. I am so accustomed to winding down from mid-term season by catching the Raptors play at around 7 ET 5 our time that by habit I ended up watching Monday night football with Michael Vick's Eagles taking on Erlacher's Bears. Other than championship games, this was one of the first times I have ever sat down to watch an ENTIRE football game from start to finish. Starting from watching some of the pre-game show to the starting cinematic I was more than pumped to see som pigskin flinging, bonecrunching action. I felt as excited as I ever have been for a regular season NBA game... so much so that I almost forgot there was a lockout and I almost believed that I could get into the NFL and completely forget the NBA. I even wanted very badly to forget the NBA and replace it with the NFL so that I could boycott the NBA to show my hatred for the greed on display in what they call the LOCKOUT.

However, after the first quarter I was bored. I wanted to fastforward to sportscenter after the game and just watch the highlights. Football just doesn't offer what basketball does. On rough estimate, there is a dunk or 3-pointer every 2 minutes in the NBA (including commercials and timeouts in the time). Every time there is a momentum-changing play in the NFL? Probably every 10 minutes (on average). It's the stoppage of play, a necessary evil, but terrible for those of us who want to maximize their TV sports watching experience.

Despite it's pitfalls, the NFL has it's place. I would argue that it is the best sport to watch when you get together with the buds. There is ample time for catching up, eating, belching and (of course) Farting the Big Farts. But as far as watching a football game by yourself?? It will never be as good as the NBA.

So why am I telling you these things my friends? Well, I'm not too sure (but I'm willing to bet Cam's Penis might know). Maybe it's because there is nothing to talk about in the NBA right now. I should be coming home to the raptors game raring to go at 5pm on Monday's Wednesdays and sometimes Fridays. I should be watching game highlights on my laptop at school while I should be paying attention. I should be looking forward to catching a couple games at The Grey Nathan's Parent's house over the christmas holidays but then never actually getting around to do it. We should be talking about how much we hate the Mavs because they are only good due to a wealthy owner. And we should be debating right now whether the raptors and jazz have what it takes to squeak into the playoffs or not.

But, we are not doing these things. And we might not be able to this year. And I can't decide whether I hate myself for liking the NBA too much or I hate the players and owners for loving money too much. Let's just hope something changes soon.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Cleveland Cavaliers and the NBA Lockout

(I might as well join in with Sam)
The 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers are proof that Lebron James should have been the season's MVP. With him they were one of the best teams in the league (maybe the best - they might have had the most regular season wins, I don't remember and don't feel like looking it up). After losing him and little else, they instantly became the worst team of all time. That might sound like an exaggeration, but as far as I'm concerned, setting the all-time record for the longest losing streak (something like 30, maybe the highest in all professional sports) makes you the worst team ever.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are much like the Chevrolet Cavalier I drive: they're both poorly put together. Anytime a team completely disintegrates after losing one player - no matter how good that player is - it's safe to say the organization was flawed. Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson aren't going to turn things around any better than Cam's penis would. I was about to say they're on the right with those draft picks, but I'm not so sure. I still don't understand why Irving was the consensus number one pick after having only played half a season of college ball. I won't say he'll be a huge bust, but I think he'll struggle. I don't know much about Tristan Thompson other than that his first name is my middle name and he's Canadian, so I think he'll be just fine.

But a prediction: the Cavs will be the worst team in the league next season, and it will be a while before things start looking up for them. Some NBA experts will pick them to be a surprise, but they won't be.

Another team that won't be a surprise: Minnesota. They'll be in the running for the worst in the league. Another prediction: many NBA experts actually will pick them to be a surprise. Another team that won't be a surprise: the Toronto Raptors, as much as I hate to say it, and as much as I'm really trying not to say it.

I was going to go on for a while and try to say something interesting and creative, but with the Cleveland Cavaliers as a subject, that is difficult to do. I was also going to post this a long time ago, because it has been finished for a long time, but I couldn't force myself to do it. I can't get excited about the NBA because I hate the NBA. Considering the NBA is actually my favorite thing on earth, that last statement isn't a true one, but yet it somehow is. As this lockout continues and millionaires continue to squabble about money, my anger grows. And I'm not mad about not watching basketball. I don't think anyone is. We're mad that this thing is happening at all. It's so disgusting that I've even had the thought that I don't want to watch it whenever it comes back. Now, I know that I won't be able to do that, but the fact that I've thought about it says a lot. Why should I associate myself with this abstract giant that is so greedy, selfish, manipulative, and uncaring towards me and all the other people who support it - the people who, were we to stop supporting it, could bring about its demise?

But I love basketball. I love watching it played at the highest level. And there's nothing I can do. That might sound pathetic - that I actually cannot separate myself from it - and it might not be completely true, but I feel it. Following the NBA has become part of my identity. The NBA means nothing, it's pointless, and it's even stupid - we spend hours watching, dissecting, and arguing about grown men throwing a ball through a hoop - but it's part of my life. Some of my best memories involve the NBA. But the memories aren't about the NBA itself. They're about the people who experience the NBA with me: my friends and family. They're the people I get excited with, argue with, text to, scream to.

I had actually thought I could leave the NBA behind, until our old friend Bill Simmons pulled me back. Item 55 in his recent "Proactively Mourning the NBA" column says, "Those random nights when three straight awesome crunch-times happen within a frantic span of 45 minutes, with my buddy Hirschy's inevitable 'Are you watching?' text happening somewhere along the lines." That's what it's all about. Those texts, and those phone calls before texts existed, and those next day conversations before we thought to use the phone, and those re-enactments on NBA Live when the actual games weren't happening, and the constant discussions we have anytime we meet up, and this blog.

That's why I care about the NBA. But the NBA doesn't care about me.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Part 4: The Chicago Bulls

My wife got mad at me the other day for using the word penis too much in my blog posts. Since she hates basketball I am surprised that she even read the pads. But she is probably right. In the last 5 posts the word penis was probably the most used out of any individual word. And of those penis appearances, many related to Cam's penis and Greg Oden only knows how embarassing it is to have your penis all over the internet. So as a warning to all you pad lovers, expect less penises popping up on the pads in the future. On that note, many things have happened in the last week. School started. The NFL just kicked off (literally, I just watched the kickoff). Andrea Bargnani pretty consistently grabbed double digit rebounds in the Euro tournament. Valanwanker has made the most out of his extra alotment of minutes at the euros and has already shown that he can play with the big boys. AND the NBA has increased their labor talks which is a good sign. There have been many hints that these talks are promising and the likelihood of an NBA season has gone from 10% to 90%. I'm excited.

So what does this all mean for the cinderella chicago bulls? Nothing much. I think of all the teams the Bulls probably wouldn't be affected whether there was an NBA season or not. The players aren't aging and they are all pretty much under longish term contracts. The only thing might be that they would lose some momentum gained from last years dramatic turnaround, the MVP and Coach of the year award. There is lots to debate about the Bulls but not much will change for them going into the future so this might be one of the least exciting previews but one of the most debatable.

Current Situation: It has been widely documented that the Bulls need a shooting guard of the likes of Ray Allen. But couldn't every single team in the NBA use Ray Allen? Even the Lakers (not to replace Kobe but to play with him.). I agree with the idea that the bulls need a shooter to an extent. Yes they need a knock down shooter, but don't they need a shooter AND pseudo creator to take the load off of Rose? Someone like Joe Johnson (but not Joe Johnson). This is why the Bulls had high interest in Demar Derozan. He is a good mid range shooter who can somewhat create plays and get to the line with lots of room to grow.

Here's a question: If Lebron had stayed in cleveland and had the exact same stats as those he had in Miami, would he have won his third straight MVP? The answer is YES! So The Bulls have a pseudo-MVP, a defensively defficient all-star PF and a borderline all-star C. I just don't see this team ever being a contender unless they get another allstar player and I can't decide whether it has to be a BIG or a WING. This team is just a strange mix that seems to work out.

Moving Forward: It's hard to improve on the best record in the league and Chicago won't. Barring any major trades after the lockout the Bulls will wind up second in the east. Miami will be better next year and I don't think anyone will catch them. At this point they have to either find a diamond in the second round next year  or make a steal of a trade if they want to contend with miami. If they could swing a deal with the Rockets in the likes of Boozer and a shooting guard for Martin and Scola then the bulls might be set to seriously contend. Sadly the bulls would probably have to give up Deng in that deal to make it work, which wouldn't be worth it.

On the flip side, the bulls could just sit pretty and consistently make it deep in the playoffs, which isn't a bad plan. This way they have a good chance of catching a break every year and going all the way. You never know what could happen in the playoffs.

I can't decide if I like the bulls or not. I hate Boozer and Noah but like Rose and Deng but if Full team trades (coaches included) were possible, I would trade the raptors for the bulls in a second.

Stay tuned for the Cavaliers preview from The Grey coloured Nathan.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Part 3: The Charlotte Hornets, I mean... Bobcats

I have two favorite things to do on youtube. One, I like to look up literal versions of famous music videos. It is hit or miss whether it is funny or not but when it's a hit, it's a homerun like this one. Sometimes I wish that more things in life were more literal. If more things in life were literal or atleast thought through in a literal way maybe we wouldn't do so many dumb things. Take the Charlotte Bobcats for example. A running list of things they have done in the past may include:

- Choose Bobcats as a team symbol

- Decide that Orange and pale blue are the best team colors (because bobcats are orange and blue)

- Draft Adam Morrison

- Peek at Cam's Penis

- Trade away any all-star calibre player the year right after they make their first ever playoff appearance so that the only player anyone can recognize on the team is Michael Jordan (oh wait, he doesn't play)

We may have the benefit of hindsight in looking at the bobcats this way but I remember when they did some of these things and couldn't believe it. It's just too bad the bobcat's literal description doesn't turn out as funny like the Youtube music videos. It's just sad.

The second thing I like to do on Youtube is watch this guy. I mean, how credible can you be when someone dubs farts in after everything you do? It's hilarious, but in the case of the bobcats it's a reality. Everytime they take a step forward someone in management farts on it.

Current situation: Can you name a single player on the Bobcats? How about Steven Jackson or Gerald Wallace or Tyson Chandler, oh wait, they got traded last year. I guess I can't name a single player on Charlottes team. The Bobcats are the most unlikeable team in the NBA BY FAR! They have made the playoffs once in their entire existence and Michael Jordan keeps trading away any decent players they have for cap space. WHY would you aquire cap space in CHARLOTTE???!!! Was Lebron James on the verge of signing with the Bobcats but they just didn't have enough money? It's funny that despite all of their shortcomings if you were to dash a little purple on their jerseys T-Wah would consider them one of his favorite teams. So where do they go from here?

For the Future: The Bobcats did get some interesting picks in this years draft. Bismack Biyombo who could be at best the next Ben Wallace but has also been famously described in draft workouts as the guy who played 1 on 1 vs himself and LOST! They also got Kemba Walker who I actually wish the Raptors had drafted. He could be anywhere from a TJ Ford to a Chris Paul type player but he won an NCAA championship which sometimes speaks louder than anything else. If I were GM of the Bobcats I would make a three way trade with Utah and N.O. to make all the names actually make sense. Charlotte Hornets, Utah Bobcats and New Orleans Jazz. Then I would change the look to Black and Yellow jerseys and trade anything and everything to get as many lottery picks in next years draft to get Harrison Barnes and this guy keep in mind that this guy is 7 feet tall and a center. Of course I don't want them to employ this strategy so that the Raptors can.