Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tim Hardaway, Gay People LOVE You

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After Tim Hardaway went crazy with his outburst that he "hates Gay people" following John Amaechi's revelations that he went through his career in the NBA as a gay person (being the first to do so publicly), Hardaway tried to gain redemption.

Then, former Star Trek star George Takei came out with this hilarious response to Tim Bug:

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Blazers links: Magloire won't be back

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The Oregonian reports that Jamaal Magloire will not be back next season. Magloire has played well in the limited minutes he has been given and has been an adequate replacement as a starter primarily for the injured Joel Przybilla.

The key concern with Magloire, according to coach Nate McMillan, is his defense in combination with Zach Randolph.
"The combination of Zach and Jamaal has not been a good combination defensively," McMillan said. "And will Jamaal accept that reserve role next season? I doubt it."
After the melancholic news regarding LaMarcus Aldridge's condition and subsequent rehabilitation, The Feed jokes that the Knicks will have to try and acquire him.

The Blazers announced that Vulcan Inc (Paul Allen's management company), today completed purchase of the Rose Garden.
"This is a major milestone and a positive step for the franchise," said Paul Allen. "My efforts are focused on continuing to support the Trail Blazers and the long-term financial health of the franchise. By reuniting ownership of the Rose Garden and the Trail Blazers, we have moved another step forward in achieving those goals. We want to thank our dedicated fans, committed employees and loyal corporate sponsors for their continued support."
Wednesday night the Blazers take on the Rockets at the Rose Garden. Given that the Rockets are going through the Bonzi Wells drama, T-Mac and Yao have only just returned and the Blazers are missing key components in Przybilla, Z-Bo and LaMarcus, it will be an interesting outcome. At this point of the season, any further experience for Jack and Roy leading the team is cream on top.

Monday, April 09, 2007

NBA News Roundup

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Bonzi Wells flees the Rockets : somewhat disturbing news that Bonzi Wells has walked out on the Rockets. The season is almost over, but despite Wells' claims that he is not good for team chemistry, surely his walking out is worse. Perhaps the more admirable thing for Bonzi to have done would have been to try and fit in with the team for the closeout of the season, rather than creating an additional distraction. The injuries to Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady have already been enough for them to deal with. What disturbs me the most however was:
"He's not here tonight. I don't know where he's at. I haven't talked to him," Van Gundy said. "I want to make sure he's safe first."
Is there some issue with Wells mentally that we don't know about?

Julian Wright of Kansas announces that he's going pro.

Kevin Durant watch continues... Contrary to popular opinion, he did not make his NBA/College announcement at the team banquet the other night and Texas and the lower echelons of the NBA must continue to wait. Players have until 29 April to declare for the draft.

In an inconsequential decision, the NBA downgraded its previous flagrant foul call on Mo Pete, allowing him to play in tonight's game. Given the little impact Peterson has had on the Raptors this season, it matters little.

As if injuries to key Heat personnel were not enough, James Posey was arrested for DUI on Monday. The return of Dwyane Wade was meant to signal a push for a return to the Finals, but distractions such as this will not help the team as they are also missing Shaquille O'Neal tonight (grandfather's funeral).

James White really can fly, no REALLY

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I'm typically not one for hyping up non-Blazer players, but this kid James White can really fly. I just saw a video on youtube today of him dunking from the free-throw line, putting the ball between his legs (yeah, nothing special) and thought I'd have a look for more.

White was taken by the Blazers as the 31st pick in the 2006 Draft, before being traded to the Pacers and eventually making his way to the Spurs, after Rick Carlisle cut him, calling it the hardest decision he'd had to make in 23 years. The Spurs sent him to the D-League, as obviously there wasn't a lot of playing time available with the roster they have assembled. However recently he got the call-up and has to date played 3 games.

The main thing with White is his raw athleticism. He is a college sprinter and high jumper -- and it shows. Check out the video below and if it peaks your interest, have a look at this link which shows a wide array of White's dunk competition exploits and footage of him almost touching the TOP of the backboard (13 feet high) at Spurs practice.

The Blazers may or may not have lost a player with great potential, but either way, I hope he sneaks onto a roster next season in time to make the All-Star Weekend Dunk Competition.

Rasheed : "Both teams played hard"

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We know how much Rasheed hates talking to the media. I love his standard line, "both teams played hard." A quick video here of how the joke has spread around the league. Times like this I miss Sheed not being with the Blazers. However, when I think about where we're heading and the new image of the team, I soon get over it...

LaMarcus Aldridge diagnosed with heart disorder

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A press release has come through from the Portland Trail Blazers regarding LaMarcus Aldridge's sudden dizziness and resulting break from play:
Forward LaMarcus Aldridge underwent a series of tests today at Providence St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Portland. He was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (WPW) and was treated for the condition by Dr. Daniel Oseran at St. Vincent’s. The procedure was successful.

Aldridge will be monitored by a cardiologist and will miss the remainder of the season. He is expected to make a full recovery and be cleared to resume physical activity, including basketball, in the near future.
Aldridge, complaining of dizziness, left Portland’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Rose Garden on March 31 and has been sidelined since that time.
Wikipedia defines WPW as follows:
Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW) is a syndrome of pre-excitation of the ventricles of the heart due to an accessory pathway known as the Bundle of Kent. This accessory pathway is an abnormal electrical communication from the atria to the ventricles.

The incidence of WPW syndrome is between 0.1 and 3% of the general population. [1] [2] [3]

While the vast majority of individuals with WPW syndrome remain asymptomatic throughout their entire lives, there is a risk of sudden death associated with the syndrome. Sudden death due to WPW syndrome is rare (incidence of ≤0.6%[3] [4]), and is due to the effect of the accessory pathway on tachyarrhythmias in these individuals.

The guys at Oregon Live have been doing a bit of research on this as well.
Basically, all signals point towards the fact that LaMarcus should be fine to resume play next season and that he was very fortunate to have been diagnosed and treated when he was, as the condition can be fatal.

We wish LaMarcus all the best, not only for his return to basketball, but more importantly for his good health. Get better big fella.

Joel Freeland : Career stagnating

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Remember Joel Freeland?

Portland selected him with the 30th and final pick of the 1st Round of the 2006 NBA Draft. The athletic 6'11" F/C's game has been compared to Keon Clark by The Blazers then told him to return to Europe, add some bulk and more importantly gain valuable experience at the senior level (the big man is only 20 years old).

It turns out that his Spanish team, ACB Gran Canaria has only been giving him 7 mpg in 10 of their 25 games to date. It should be noted that Freeland is stuck behind former NBAers Jackson Vroman and Kornel David. Despite this, his career could be somewhat stagnated, should he not get some burn at the Vegas Summer League this coming off-season.

There is an interesting article here in British newspaper The Times, on the scenario which Freeland is in. Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard said, "I'm not concerned about him, but I am concerned about the situation."

“He is practising, probably getting stronger, but is he getting better? Is he ready to make that quantum leap from Gran Canaria to the NBA? We want to make sure he has all the chances in the world to be successful in the NBA, but I can’t tell you right now whether those chances have increased or decreased,” comments Pritchard.

Basketball players from the United Kingdom are few and far between. The rise to prominence of Freeland could help to promote the sport in the UK. Sure there has been Luol Deng, however he only moved to England after his Dinka tribesman father gained political asylum in '93. Ben Gordon was born in London, however moved to the States shortly after his birth.

To state the obvious, the Blazers would love to see Freeland show some development and add to the stable of young potential stars already on hand. When you bare in mind his age and the fact that he had only played 3 years of organised ball prior to his drafting, the upside is huge.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Darius Miles : What comes next?

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I'm interested to see what people think about the possibility of Darius Miles being back with the Blazers next season is? The team has been gelling really well this season with the array of young talent on hand. The swingman position is filled with a small group of talented players: Brandon Roy, Martell Webster, Travis Outlaw, Ime Udoka.
Miles missing this season could have been a blessing in disguise for the team. It meant more room for the development of the young guys. It meant a departure from the controversy surrounding the team in previous seasons. A negative image which was largely associated with Miles and the equally controversial (yet much more productive on-court) Zach Randolph.
There are many questions surrounding Miles coming into next season. How will he respond to the micro-fracture surgery which has had such mixed results for players over the years (Webber, Kidd, Amaré, Zach)? Will the Blazers choose to integrate him back into the rotation which seems to be developing a good cohesion? Will the same off-court dramas surround Miles?
Is it just me or does Miles look like he hs put on a bit of weight in his time off? Check out this video:

For more on Darius Miles as he tries to make an NBA comeback, go to a stern warning.

Player profile : Luke Schenscher

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Luke Schenscher

¦ 7'1" ¦ 255 lbs ¦
DOB: 31 Dec 1982, South Australia
College: Georgia Tech
Big Luke joined the Blazers in mid-March after it became apparent Portland's big man department was under a bit of strain. The season-ending injury to Joel Przybilla and injuries to LaMarcus Aldridge and Raef LaFrentz meant that Schesch was signed for the short remainder of the 2006-07 season.
Hailing from Hope Forest in South Australia, Schenscher went on to star at Georgia Tech and played in the 2004 NCAA Championship game with now NBA teammate Jarrett Jack.
To date Luke has only put up 2 points, 4 rebounds and 1 block for the Blazers, but hopes to crack into a full-time rotation for next season. He had a similar run of 10-day contracts with the Bulls last season. In the Blazers' win against the Jazz, Schesch had a chance to play against the top quality Utah frontline (Boozer, Okur, AK47) and did not appear out of his depth.
"It was good to get out there and have an opportunity to show what I can do in the minutes that matter", he said after the game.
Schenscher is not the type of player to possess amazing athleticism and thus will likely only find himself a permanent home in the NBA on a team that requires a big body to clog the lane. Then again, many serviceable big men have forged careers out of such traits.
Should he decide not to return to the D-League, there is plenty of interest in the big fella from the Adelaide 36ers in the Australian National Basketball League, who have been putting out feelers on him for some time now.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Ballhype : Hype, hype, hype it up!!

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If you haven't heard about it yet, well you need to check out Ballhype.

You will soon one way or another.

It's more than just a site which collates articles -- in the same way as it's current parent does. Ballhype joins people together in likeminded groups and allows you to vote on stories. Check the site out and join up... check out this review here, as well.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Random NBA Statistic of the Day

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Players averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds this season to-date:

1. Kevin Garnett ¦ 22.8ppg ¦ 12.9rpg ¦ Voted All-Star
2. Chris Bosh ¦ 22.7ppg ¦ 10.7rpg ¦ Voted All-Star
3. Tim Duncan ¦ 20.1ppg ¦ 10.7rpg ¦ Voted All-Star
4. Zach Randolph ¦ 23.6ppg ¦ 10.1rpg ¦ Not Voted All-Star
5. Carlos Boozer ¦ 21.1ppg ¦ 11.7rpg ¦ Voted All-Star

Task: Spot the odd one out...