If Stephen Jackson didn't get hit with a $25,000 fine last Tuesday for publicly requesting to be traded to Cleveland - as well as a handful of other teams - he just might have chimed in this week with a 'so what's up Cleveland, how about now?' Admittedly, I didn't read too much into the comments he made to Dime Magazine back in August when he first made them. But then again, back in August, Delonte West was still rolling with hot sauce in his guitar case bag.
Amar'e Stoudemire does not believe the Cavaliers' addition of his former teammate makes them the team to beat in the NBA. In the latest edition of Sports Illustrated, Amar'e sat down with Dan Patrick for his regular column, 'Just My Type.'
A transcript of the exchange is below:
Dan Patrick: Is Cleveland the team to beat now that LeBron has Shaq?
Amar'e Stoudemire: No, I think the Lakers are still the team to beat. Especially with Ron Artest.
Now I don't think it is necessarily surprising that he said the Lakers are still the team to beat, because, well, they are. However, typically athletes don't answer those questions as definitively as that. A response I'd expect would be, 'they are certainly better with Shaq, and I would rank them right up there in the top 3 to 5 - not naming any of those other 2-4 teams - and ending the comment with something like, however the Lakers are the champs and still the team to beat. But he didn't say that. He just said no, and his team just traded Shaq, and there've been rumblings out of Phoenix that Shaq was a bad teammate, some say Nash wanted him out, and they didn't make the playoffs with Shaq, so take the comment however you want.
There are some Cavalier fans who claim that the summer of promotion LeBron James' has embarked upon is a sign of complacency for the NBA's most recent MVP. They think he should be in the gym working on his game. They don't think he should be on a worldwide tour promoting MTAG, writing a book with Buzz Bissinger, plastering his face all over news outlets like GMA and the Daily Show, as well as making after school special appearances with the President of the Kanye West fan club.
And I am going to guess they are not big fans of the most recent news that LeBron James is scheduled to play himself in the upcoming comedy Fantasy Basketball Camp.
However, I can't disagree more.
This is the best thing to happen to Cleveland since Commodore Perry won the Battle of Lake Erie.
Standing 6’1” tall, out of Spokane, Washington, there isn’t an argument anywhere that claims John Houston Stockton is anything but a first ballot Hall of Famer. As such, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame this past weekend, along with David Robinson and Michael Jordan. Which got me thinking, will John Stockton be the last short, white, American-born, Basketball Hall of Famer ever? Ummm…yeah, looks that way.
In seeking to investigate this theory, we compiled two lists:
1. A list of the best American born whiteboys currently retired and not in the HOF.
2. A list of the active whiteboy ballers that fit this description.
The criteria used were pretty straightforward, but I’ll explain anyways: These lists includes players who are white, born in the United States, not already inducted into the Hall of Fame, and stand 6’6” tall or shorter.
These lists do not then include Steve Nash (6’3”) from Canada, Manu Ginobili (6’6”) from Argentina, or Ricky Rubio (6’3”) from Spain. It also does not include players like Chris Mullin (6’7”) - who is not in the HOF yet for some reason – because, while he is white, and was born in the US, he is not short. Lastly, it does not include some obscure guy from the 50s who hasn’t gotten into the HOF yet, but somehow ends up on the ballot in 2012...you pretty much had to be in the league at some point during the careers of the most recent HOF inductees. The lists are as follows:
Best Short, White, American Born, Basketball Players, Not in the HOF (Retired):1. Mark Price (6’0”): A 4-time All Star, and one of the best pure shooters of all-time, he is probably the most under-rated player in NBA History. If he didn’t play at the same time as Isiah Thomas, he would probably get the credit he deserves for popularizing the role of the shoot first PG – which every NBA team now employs. But he did play with Isiah, and lost to Jordan, and now everybody forgets about him. Has no real chance at the HOF.
2. Dan Majerle (6’6”): Drafted 14th overall in 1988, ‘Thunder Dan’ was a 3-time All Star in a career in which he played for the Suns, Cavaliers, and Heat. Bronze medal winner in the ’88 Olympics, he averaged 11.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game over his 14-year career.
3. Rex Chapman (6’4”): 12-year NBA vet and one of only (5) white-boys to ever participate in the Slam Dunk Contest. Chapman averaged 14.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game for his NBA career. Drafted 8th overall by the Hornets in 1988, he also played for the Bullets, Heat, and Suns while battling injuries throughout his pro career.
President Barack Obama is in Ohio today, so if you only have nine at your local Y, holler at him, he might run. And in honor of Mr. President stopping by the Buckeye State, I thought I'd re-post an old You Tube clip of the Flyin Hawaiian doing what he did way back when on the hardwood of Honolulu:
I wanted to shout out the good people over at Penguin Publishing for taking the time to send me out a review copy of the new Shooting Stars book, written by LBJ and Buzz Bissinger. I got it Saturday...and now that all football has ended for a few days...and Tuesday is upon us...I am looking forward to flipping through from cover to cover. A book review will follow in the coming weeks...no comments
I have heard this RUMOR now from multiple people, and I do not know for sure that it is true, but there are people saying that Mo Williams supposedly played QB this past weekend in the Saturday Co-Ed Recreation Division of the Cleveland Plays Flag Football League, played at Clark Fields in Tremont.
According to the rumor mill, most likely sent into high speed by post game beers at the Treehouse, he played in an early morning game on Saturday, and kept a low profile by wearing a hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses. Now I'm like you, once I heard the hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses part I thought it was complete bs, but at the same time, the people I have heard this from don't really have a habit of making things up, and have absolutely no reason to do so in this instance. Nevertheless, I thought I'd throw this RUMOR out there to see if anyone who was there could lend any credence to it or not.
If it is true, I really don't have a problem with it all. I think it would be kinda cool if he's in the Cleveland Plays League, if in fact he is. I know people will point to the possibility of injury, but this is a co-ed league, and he is a world class athlete, I really don't think he would be able to get himself hurt out there. Besides, if it is true - and I am not pretending to know if it is or not - its not like he's in a Westlake parking lot doing wheelies on a motorcycle. Either way though, if you're in that league, keep an eye out Saturday morning for the sickest co-ed Flag Football QB you have ever seen...it might be Mo Williams under that hoodie...or maybe just a dairy salesman named Jay.
I received an unconfirmed text message from a former CWRU lineman indicating that LeBron James was in the house for the Brownies game earlier today, and was dressed in Browns Gear for the occasion. I'm still waiting on a picture to confirm. What is confirmed however, is that he did receive a standing ovation from the sell-out crowd during the first half, and gave a couple of pounds to the heart amidst chants of MVP.
If he was rocking Browns' gear, I will go ahead and interpret the gesture to mean, 'I love Cleveland and will never leave.' I might be a little biased, and he may not have meant that specifically, but at least its a better sign than his choice of Cowboys apparrel for last year's opener. The Browns may have even been inspired by the support early, jumping out to a 13-10 lead at halftime, but then reality hit them across the face like a sledgehammer in the second.
On another note, tough weekend of football for northeast Ohio Notre Dame fans...such as myself. ND loses to Michigan in the final seconds, OSU steals a defeat from the throes of victory against USC, and former Golden Domer Brady Quinn looked a lot like last years version of Derek Anderson in his '09 debut...great to have football back in Cleveland I guess.
If you haven't read the Cleveland Frowns post on LBJ's NPR interview with Terry Gross as of yet it, is worth checking out. The podcast to the interview is linked up in the post, and as typical, the Frownies put together a solid collection of thoughts and analysis in the assembly of an ideastream that Diane Rheems would be proud to call her own: LBJ on NPR
The Cleveland Cavaliers did not announce plans to play a regular season game in Akron next year, but I think they should. One regular season game a year, starting in 2010-11, on December 30th...which just happens to the birthday of a certain somebody. No, not Tiger Woods. While this game in and of itself may not inspire LeBron to pick up the contract offer that has sat on the table since July 18th - and sign on the dotted line - it would certainly catch his attention. And that game, 'LeBron's Birthday Game Live from Akron, Ohio' would be quite an event. Even if only 5,500 people could be there to witness it.
I started thinking about this possibility when the Cavs announced plans to play their intrasquad scrimmage in Akron on October 3rd. Sure I know, its just a scrimmage, not a real game, but could a regular season game from the JAR be possible? With the LeBron sweepstakes underway, the Cavaliers would be wise to take advantage of anything and everything that the city of Cleveland offers LBJ- that other cities can't - specifically Cleveland's exciting nightlife, its bustling urban center, Tower City, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the fact that it is only 45 minutes north of his hometown.