Monday, September 27, 2010


So I figured that since almost everyone had commented on their favorite teams and the rules behind them, I would add to that. Like everyone else I don't remember my first basketball memories very well. I'm pretty sure that it had something to do with NBA Jam, the NBA on NBC theme music, and the Jazz-Bulls finals. Like Gray, I cheered for the Jazz out of a combination between my liking of Stockton and Malone and my dislike of Jordan. But after that 1998 Finals which the Jazz should have won, I think I began to become a real fan, but not of the Jazz. I decided that I would become a Dallas Mavericks fan, and from what I can remember I had two main reasons, both of which were players. They had my favorite player on their team (Michael Finley) and they had the tallest player in the league, who also happen to be a mormon (Sean Bradley, who also had a sweet role in Space Jam!). I like to think of myself as a true fan, as I have loved the Mavs through some tough times, and have to continually endure their loss in the 2006 finals and then the biggest upset in the first round of 2007.

But I didn't write this post to talk about the Mavs. I wanted to comment on a continuing thread of our rules of being a true fan - when can you change your favorite team? This has been a tough question and I've been thinking it over for a while. I will freely admit that I am pretty strict in the reasons for changing your favorite. It shouldn't be an easy thing to do if you are a true fan. I've come up with a few reasons for being able to change, as well as some reasons that you cannot use.

First off, you can't change your favorite team based on players or coaches. If you are a fan of the team, it doesn't matter who is on the team for you to like them. My best example would be if the Mavs traded Dirk (my favorite player on the team right now) for Kobe (who I hate). I would be obligated as a true fan to not only continue to cheer for the Mavs, but to cheer for Kobe. As a side, this actually happened to me in the NFL. My favorite team (the Vikings) signed Brett Favre, who I can't stand, and I had to cheer for him. Players and coaches change too often for you to base you favorite team status on them.

I also don't think you can change your favorite team because of a logo or color change. I agree that you can have any reason to choose your favorite, but once you have done that, it should be deeper than a color. T-wah loves purple, but he didn't stop cheering for the Jazz once they changed to blue as their main color.

A tough one is the crappiness of your team. I think that you should cheer for them even if they suck, but I'm still not sure how long that has to go on for. Possibly forever (true Clipper fans are a good example!). With such a big league that constantly changes, the fortunes of most teams improve over time.

Now there are a couple of reasons that I feel are acceptable for changing your loyalities. The first, and best one would be if your favorite team moved cities. I think that if you were a fan of the Vancouver Grizzlies, Charlotte Hornets or Seattle Sonics, for example, you would not be obligated to be a fan of Memphis, New Orleons or Oklahoma City. You could be if you really wanted to, but I feel that those types of situations are a break in the trust from the team and can free you up to choose another favorite. Going along with this rule is if you happen to move to a city with an NBA team. I feel that cheering for the hometown team is pretty important, and could qualify as a reason to change favorites. This one is not as strong as the previous one, but it could be an acceptable reason, if you wanted it to be. There would be nothing wrong with Miller Regent living in Portland and being a Raptors fan.

When it comes down to it, I think that once you've chosen a favorite team it should be your favorite for good, with a few exceptions. It's all about loyalty, and unless your team breaks that loyalty, you should be a fan. Now I realize that I may be missing somethings, or you might not agree with me, but I think these are some good base rules for changing favorites. Feel free to comment and let me know what you think.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Bargnani Ultimatum

Sometimes I like to people watch. You know, when there's nothing better to do but sit wherever you are and watch people go about their business. I know it sounds like something a stalker or pervert might do but this is different. The way people interact with what is going on around them can be fascinating at times. For the longest time I thought I was the only one who did this sort of thing, but my wife also enjoys the pastime of people watching. Stefon from SNL put it best when he said, "it's like that thing where a hobo becomes a rich man so they take a big bubble bath." I do recall one particular time when I saw one of the most expressionless men ever to walk the earth. There was something intriguing about him, like his boringness was so boring that I couldn't stop watching him because he was so normal that something strange just had to happen to him. Nothing happened but it was definitely something.

Recently I attempted to read the whole Jason Borne series and only made it to chapter 3 of the first book. But I read enough to find out that Jason Borne was exceedingly normal looking to avoid people noticing him (unlike the stunningly hansome Matt Damon). You might also say that his appearance was boring, like the man I watched. However, underneath it all Jason Borne was a very interesting individual and a very intriguing main character which made for a cool story.

The boring man is not unlike Andrea Bargnani. If you can look past the fact that Bargnani's 7 foot frame and his nasty, patchy beard make him quite noticeable (ugly even..) you might notice that he is quite boring. Bargs plays with no emotion and has even been said (by The Grey Nathan) to have emotion comparable to an animal. Just imagine a cow eating some grass and you've got your 2006 number 1 overall draft pick. So, Bargnani is like the
boring man because he has a boring exterior. Yet he may be like Borne because underneath the boring exterior there might be successful NBA career. So if you haven't guessed it already this preamble is building up to the topic of this article which is, The three do's and the three don'tsof the 2010/2011 Toronto Raptors Starring Andrea Bargnani.


1)Do Rebuild

This upcoming season has the raptors in a no brainer situation, they have to start rebuilding with their young players. In an absolute best case scenario, the raptors could make the 8th seed in the east and get swept by Miami in the first round of the playoffs. The only reason I say that it is possible for them to make the playoffs is because after the 6th best team in the east, everyone sucks pretty bad. So if your team's ceiling is a 1st round sweep, why not focus on growth and development and not worry about the wins. That way a lottery pick is on the way and you get a full year of growth for all of your young guys.
I really think Demar Derozan, Ed Davis and one more good young point guard prospect (hopefully a lottery pick next year) would be a great nucleus to build around. The verdict is still out on Derozan, critics are saying his ceiling will be anywhere from Andre Iguodala to Kobe Bryant. This season if he gets more shots than his 512 (6.6/game) last year then we should have a better idea of how good he really is. Which leads me to "Do" number two....

2) Do trust that Derozan will be Toronto's next superstar

Alot of people have a lot of reasons as to why Derozan will not be a franchise player. Well I'm here to tell you that he has just as much potential to become a franchise player as Kobe Bryant did after his rookie season. Just look at Bryant's rookie stats and compare it to Derozan's last year. The main differences were that Derozan shot a significantly better FG% while shooting a worse 3pt%. Other than that, they are pretty even. And judging from this video (my favorite part of the video is when the song says Me O'Clock), it looks like Derozan has really developed a hesitation turn around fade away jumper, similar to what Kobe has perfected. Demar has the work ethic (I heard he starts out every day by going to lift weights and then make 300 3's in the gym), the athletic ability and attitude to be a star in this league. Is he going to be the next Kobe Bryant? Probably not, but out of all the superstar shooting guards in the league Derozan reminds me the most of Kobe. I am willing to bet money however, that he will be better and try harder than Vince Carter. I think if a young athletic player has a high FG%, can rebound and can get to the line, they will have a high probability of becoming a star. Derozan is good in all of those categories, we just have to wait and see and I think this upcoming year will really tell alot about what kind of player he is.

3) Do trade away any expiring contracts and the TPE for Picks and/or young prospects

This goes along with Do number one, but I just wanted to point out that the raptors have reggie evans, markus banks and a huge TPE to play with this year. It would be unwise to say that Colangelo won't use them to his advantage. Let's just hope he doesn't use these trade baits to get someone like Brian Scalabrine, let him play limited minutes to just foul people and then sign him to 5 years 35 million.


1) Don't trade away Jose Calderon just because he is not a starter

This one is simple. If there are no offers that are lopsided in favour of the raptors in trading Calderon, don't do it. The Tyson Chandler and Boris Diaw deal was a great deal for the raptors, too bad it got jordaned. The thing with Calderon is that he is an excellet second unit point guard. He is the perfect type of player to come in off the bench and lead a second unit with minimal mistakes. I just don't understand why the raptors want to get rid of a guy because they prematurely overpaid him. Bite the bullet and use him in the best possible scenario where he can be successful.

2) Don't Start Backup players

Just like Calderon, I think that Linas Kleiza, Amir Johnson and maybe Leandro Barbosa will be in over their heads next year. They are all career backup players who are now expected to start and be successful next year. This only leaves fans and the players frustrated and let down. What the team should do is start Ed Davis, Derozan and Weems. This way the team's young core can grow together facing the best lineups the opposing teams have to offer. Why develop backup players who will just end up being backups again in a couple years?

3) Don't believe in Bargnani

I understand why Bargs was drafted number 1 overall, because he played like this. Now compare that video to a more modern Bargnani. Do you see it? When Bargs was younger he would actually jump when he shot, he would go after rebounds and was actually really mobile for a 7 footer. Quite frankly he looks like a young Dirk Nowitzky. For some reason, over the last four years Bargnani has changed his playing style from Nowitzky-like to Okur-like. Which is a digression to say the least. So is Bargs more like the boring man I watched, boring and nothing happens, or more like Jason Borne (boring looks but dynamic) character? . I could go on and on about how Bargnani should be traded as soon as possible but this article is pretty good at going into more detail on the matter. My point is that I don't think Bargnani really helps the raptors win. I would rather see a high-energy rebounder than a mr. stretch the floor and clang three pointers center. It's like in pick-up basketball when you play with big guys who stand outside the three point line bouncing the ball in between their legs for 20 minutes before they heave a long distance three pointer, never to use their obvious height advantage to grab any rebounds. I mean what are us short guys supposed to do? Go and get all the rebounds? Only Boarding Beavis has the ability to outrebound guys 12 inches taller than him.
Bargnani is the boring man I stared at, not Jason Borne. This is because we have watched the emotionless animal for four years now just waiting for something fantastic to happen and nothing has.. or will. I honestly think that the only way for the raps to move forward is to either trade bargs or give him a lesser role. If I were GM, I would give Bargs one more year. This upcoming year is a defining year for alot of these young raptors, so if they don't win I hope they're not boring to watch. Or I may have to start reading Borne Identity again.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Least Favourite Team

Even though I have posted 3 of the last 4 posts, it doesn't mean I have to wait around. The offseason is an ugly time of year. Actually, it's the most beautiful time of year in the northern hemisphere but it's the time of year when NBA fans have the least to talk about (d'uh), which makes it socially and emotionally ugly. Now that all, or most, of the fun trades and signings have already happened we're left trying to talk ourselves into being MLB fans, or hardcore NFL fans. While I enjoy watching a few games, or highlights, here or there, I can't honestly say that I really care about A-Rod or Michael Vick. So, in memory of crapiness, I bring "Least Favourite Team":

First of all, why the name Bobcats? This is the NBA, not the NFL or MLB. We give teams weird/cool/funny/historic names, not animal names (I know we have animal names too, but I don't like them...well, except I do like the Hornets). If you're a baseball team, then you call your team a bird and everyone's happy. If you're a football team, choose a scary animal. If you're a basketball team, do something funny...Knickerbockers, Celtics, Magic, Nets, Nuggets, Clippers, Spurs. You already have the Panthers in Carolina and the Jaguars not very far away. According to my favorite website, "The bobcat, an expert at survival according to the North Carolina Wildlife Commission, is athletic, fierce and an indigenous predator to the Carolinas. Charlotte, already being home to the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League, made the cat-related name a natural choice for the area's new basketball team." Once again, way to be creative NBA. The other two choices were apparently the Flight and the Dragons. You can't tell me you wouldn't love to see the Dragons and the Raptors in the Eastern Conference finals.

Blue and orange...has anyone ever heard of the New York Knicks? Didn't they already claim those colours as their own like 700 years ago? Are there really not enough colors in the world to avoid using the exact same two colours as one of the most historic teams in the league?

Michael Jordan owns the Bobcats. I'm a Jazz fan. Jordan loves himself. I don't like cocky. I don't like the 'Cats. It's simple logic.

So the Bobcats have only ever had two good players; both of whom could still be debatable as being any better than  "good." Emeka Okafor won the Rookie of the Year in 2005. Have you seen him do anything since then? Gerald Wallace made the Eastern All-Star team in 2010. Is he fun to watch? Of course. Is he a good leader of an NBA team? I guess he got them to the playoffs. That says something...but then they got swept (I guess you could throw Stephen Jackson and Tyson Chandler into that conversation if you really wanted to). Since joining the league, the Bobcats record is .382. 2010 was their only season above .500.

And they drafted this guy.....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jersey City (not the store...or the city...but the column)

The Utah Jazz recently released a new colour scheme and "new" jerseys to go along with it. Do I like them? No. Nor do I like a lot of NBA jerseys lately (I think my last post gave that away).

Let's start with the Jazz... When the team was first introduced to the league, they began in New Orleans (Jazz music is popular there in case anyone missed that boat). Their colours were purple, green and gold and their name incorporated a "musical 8th note" as the "J," with a basketball at the base of the "J." Everyone loved these jerseys. For whatever reason, the team designed a new logo, leaving out the "Jazz note" and incorporating mountains, in reference to the mountain region of Salt Lake City. I personally liked that logo; it was the one I grew up with. The only thing I didn't like about it was how hard it was to duplicate. I couldn't just scribble the Jazz' mountain logo on my high school binder. The cool thing was that they kept purple as their main colour, and added turquoise as a secondary colour. Loved it! Then, out of the blue, they dropped the purple (which had been their colour since the beginning of time) and went with a light and dark blue scheme. It took me while to get used to, but I eventually came to love it. Apparently, for years, team management heard plenty of whining and complaints to bring back the "Jazz note." I was excited: EVERYONE loves the "Jazz note." No one told me they were going to make the colours sucky, though! Take the jersey shown above, change the purple for navy blue, then don't "fill in" the yellow in the word "Jazz" (as The Grey Nathan pointed out). I think they look disgusting, but maybe I'll come to love them as much as I've loved all of the others. The more I think about it, the more I think I actually would like them had they only FILLED IN.

As a lot of people know, I cannot stand the OKC Thunder jerseys. What are the first three colours that come to mind when you hear the word Thunder? I guarantee they are not blue, orange, and yellow. Does anyone in the world actually think this looks COOL? When you see this pool of blue fabric, with boring white writing, and ugly orange trim, do you say to yourself, "That looks AWESOME!"? No! Who got paid to design this piece of crap? Pay me a nickel, and I'll give you a better colour scheme and jersey design. In fact, I'll do it for free. For months, I have harboured a Thunder jersey in my mind, and today I am pleased to announce its unveiling. I present: The New & Improved Oklahoma City Thunder jersey.
If you honestly think that the original jersey looks better than my 10 minute creation using Microsoft Paint, then you're either colour blind, retarded, or have a strange liking for boringness. Enjoy!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fats' Exciting List

So as I'm sure you will all figure out as this blog goes along that I like making lists. They just seem to work well with my brain or somthing like that. So while I was thinking of what to write for my next post, the first thing that popped into my head was to make another list. I also remembered another article on a while back that talked about what they were looking forward to for the upcoming season. So I set out to make a list of the 50 things that I was most loking forward to for the 2010-11 NBA season. I first thought that I might not make it to 50, as that is a lot of different things, but I got to about 40 in like 10 minutes and figured that I could easily find 10 more things.

So this list is quite personal. I'm sure there will be some things on the list that many of you are looking forward to as well, and some that you may not agree with, which is just fine. That's what this is all about. Also, since my list is pretty long, each of the points are very short. It's just a fun list to get excited about for the upcoming season, as not a whole lot is going on right now, other than crappy role players getting signed only to be cut during the preseason, and the world championships, which isn't even being broadcast on NBA TV. Sucky!

So, in no particular order, here are the 50 things that I am looking forward to during the 2010-11 NBA season:

1) NBA and ESPN power rankings
2) EJ, Kenny and Charles
3) Crazy Buzzer Beaters
4) Not having WNBA games on the Raptor's channel
5) Getting more Raptor's games on Sportsnet
6) Continued trade talkes surrounding Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony
7)'s top 10 plays
8) Watching the sweet NBA commercials
9) Around the Horn and PTI talking about basketball topics
10) Matt Devlin and Jack Armstrong
11) 5 games in a row on Christmas Day
12) A real reason to wear my Dirk jersey
13) Lebron returning to Cleveland
14) Bosh returning to Toronto
15) Seeing Blake Griffen do a huge dunk on someone
16) Giant Dwight Howard blocks
17) The trade deadline
18) Actually being able to watch the Thunder on TV
19) Possibly going to see a Raptor's game in Toronto
20) Seeing one good dunk at the dunk contest
21) Wondering why Darko Milicic, Zaza Pachulia and Larry Hughes are on the All-Star ballot
22) Being able to watch court cuts at Christmas time (since I don't have The Score at home)
23) Seeing Dallas finally win the title (hopefully!)
24) The three point contest
25) Seeing how much everyone hates the Miami Heat
26) Having actual basketball stuff to write about for this blog
27) Trying to teach Jacquie (my wife for those of you who don't know her) to recogonize more NBA players
28) Another competitive All-Star game
29) The playoffs
30) The first regular season games overseas (even if the teams suck, and yes Miller Regent, the Raptors will suck this year)
31) Seeing one crappy team start out well and reading other "experts" explain how they can keep it up when I know they really suck
32) Any Dallas-San Antonio game
33) Watching the Heat try to get 70+ wins
34) Staying updated on injuries throughout the season
35) Barron Davis' beard
36) Seeing how old Greg Oden looks this year
37) Watching the Timberwolves try not to be the worst team ever
38) Game winning shots
39) The rookie game
40) End of the year awards
41) Seeing all the new players in their different jerseys
42) Seeing Jacquie ooh and aah over Dwight Howard's shoulders
43) Daily updates on the playoff race
44) Watching the TSN ticker for NBA scores and stats every morning
45) "Fear the Deer"
46) Finally being able to fill my sports cravings with something other than baseball and soccer
47) A healthy season for the Blazers (hopefully!)
48) More Bill Simmons NBA articles
49) Shaq in the Celtic green
50) Being able to watch NBA games with my son

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Jerseys. Really?

5 teams unveiled new jerseys for the upcoming season. Let's check them out then rate them.

Look, I know your best player EVER just left, but did you really need to make your jerseys look worse? Does anyone prefer Arial font over stylized writing? Rating: Barf

Red-Blue+White-Clippers+Los Angeles. Real clever. Rating: Was that really worth the effort?

Green, gold and blue don't go together. They just don't. Rating: They tried to add colour but it looks dumb. Props to the "Jazz note" and going back to your roots, but if you were just gonna' go back to your old jerseys, why not back to the old colours which actually do look good together? (purple instead of blue)

Wow, you went from dark blue to baby blue! Rating: Did you hire the same guy that designed the Clippers new jerseys? (However, I do prefer baby blue to dark blue. Listen up Utah!)

By far the coolest of the newly released jerseys. Orange and blue look disgusting together (yes, I'm talking to you Thunder and Bobcats). Blue and yellow look awesome together. Just ask The Used. And bridges are ALWAYS neat. Rating: Best Warriors jersey in decades!