by Craig Kwasniewski
Just a few random thoughts/observations this week in the NBA:
-Shaquille O'Neal's fourth-grade teacher from Fort Stewart, Ga., Annette Swann, 76, saw him play for the first time. "She was one of the first people to believe in me," said O'Neal, who arranged tickets for Swann and her daughter Amy Allyn, plus hotel accommodations and gifts from the Heat store.
Here's my question, if she was one of the first people to believe in Shaq then why did it take her 13 seasons to see him play? Did she think this whole basketball thing was a hobby? Was she waiting for discount tickets to the Heat's new promotion: Euthanasia Day?
-Speaking of the Heat, according to the AP, " Antoine Walker busted out of his slump with a season-high 32 points as the Miami Heat overcame Dwyane Wade's absence to beat Toronto 106-97 on Tuesday night"
Help me on this one, how is it "busting out of a slump" if you continually shoot poorly from the field your entire career? (His career field goal percentage is 41.5%) Any Antoine Walker fan (do they exist?) will acknowledge that his best overall season was 2001-02 when the Celtics were 2 games from the finals. Did you know he shot 39.4% from the field in 01-02? I've seen enough of his shots hit the side of the backboard this season to realize that he can no longer "bust out of a slump". A good game from him results from TON of garbage points or a planetary alignment (re. rare).
-There was a great discussion on John Hollinger (genius or fraud) in yesterday's post. He's another reason why The Daily Dime reigns supreme in unintentional comedy. Some of the quotes and news items (such as Shaq's teacher story), originally intended to inform are simply hilarious. Take for example, Marc Stein's quote from the weekend edition from Spurs Coach, Gregg Pockavich:
"I spend no time engaging in psychological bull----. What this game means and how motivated they are and we've got to bring the juice and all that crap ... I'd get tired if I did that before every game."
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, not exactly eager to help us hype up Friday's final Dallas-at-San Antonio showdown of the regular season.
This comes from the same guy who executed one of the biggest coachspeak/phychological ploys back in 2003-04. After winning the title in 02-03, to motivate the team the following season, Pock would not acknowledge the title. He went as far as to ask the Spurs PA announcer to stop calling the Spurs "the defending champions!" In press conferences he reminded those willing to listen that the 03-04 Spurs are not the defending champs, but rather they need to earn a new title. COME ON!!!
-I saw the Lakers beat the Golden State 111 to 100 last night at Staples. There's not really much to gather from the game. Kobe was trying for 50 from the get-go, but landed awkwardly on a drive in the second quarter and may have hurt his knee or ankle. (The injury didn't look too serious) He had 30 at half but pretty much laid low for the rest of the game as he finished with 31 points.
For the fans of Entourage, they were filming the show during the entire game with Jeremy Piven's character (Ari) sitting next to the Laker bench acting a scene with producer Joel Silver. The rest of the cast was sitting courtside across the way doing some scenes. Personally, I think it's one of the most overrated shows on television, but the game was a blowout so what else was I going to do watch Kwame Brown drop 4 or 5 passes?