Fourth Quarter Meltdown

Eternally Optimistic.

Archive for the month “June, 2012”

The NBA Draft: Trademarkability, Having a Better 19th Birthday Than Bradley Beal & The Conundrum Of Meyers Leonard

Welcome to Portland 2012 draftees! Trail Blazer fans are a rough and rugged lot but we tell it like it is.

So NBA Draft Day in Portland is kinda something.

Evidently, my pals from back in the day treat it like Christmas, throw a Draft Party called “Draftmas”, and all sorts of shit goes down.  Well, that’s how it historically went down.  Now everyone is all growns up, is married, has kids, all that stuff.  So what to expect of my first Draftmas was hard to figure out.  In the span of two days I was instructed to: 1). take a taxi to the destination (in anticipation of shit goin’ down), 2). Be cool due to it being a family event, 3). Told not to ride my bike because there would be a good chance I would be too drunk to ride home.  So…Christ.  What should I have done?  I ended up getting dropped off by my dad (like any rational, grownup man would do) and played it safe…perhaps a #Burnout hashtag is in order after that last sentence.

The attire was to be Blazers themed, but of the “one-up” variety.  Meaning, we had to try and pull off the most obscure, old school, or rare Blazers gear at the party.  I was led to believe that if I showed up with my Drexler jersey I would be ridiculed (as Drexler would be too obvious), so instead I rocked my disheveled 1990 Blazers Playoffs t-shirt, that has basically turned into a rag. But some patrons wore Spurs (George Gervin), Warriors (Earl Boykins), Cavs (World Be Free), Sixers (Daryl Dawkins), or Suns (“Thunder” Dan Majerle) jerseys.  They were just being awesomely original. 

Well goddammit.  If I knew that would be accepted I woulda rocked my Drazen Petrovic New Jersey Nets jersey…obvi.

Anyhoo, I tracked this draft with great anticipation, and took great pleasure in knowing that everyone in attendance was just as anxious as me.  In fact, my pal Mike damn near passed out five minutes before the draft because he was so nervous of “what could go wrong”.  This is the life of a Blazers fan.  It’s nice knowing that I’m not the only one.  So…I took notes from the draft, picks 1 through 11, went home, and wrote up a saucy diary of the goings on during the draft in real time. 

Shall we?

Hello Newark. Your team was relocated under my watch. You’re welcome.

Note #1: GREAT move to hold the NBA Draft in Newark, New Jersey.  So, to be clear, David Stern openly allowed for a team to be jacked from New Jersey in a long anticipated move to Brooklyn.  As a consolation, he holds an NBA Draft in their city so they can observe other teams/cities gaining new talent.  Not knocking the move or anything, but you don’t dump a girlfriend for another woman, then include her in a Facebook group about all the fun things your new GF and new friends are doing in extravagant places.  That’s just rude.  Anyhoo, David Stern’s reaction to the crowd’s boos?  He mocks them.  Of course.  Because he’s just that kinda guy. 

Note #2: When Stern speaks, he stumbles over honest to goodness comments, clumsily reading from his notes…like who will be making the first pick, or when he congratulates future players.  He’s totally at ease though when he’s being booed (like when he congratulated the Heat for winning the Championship).  The dude is a sadist.

Note #3: Well…shit.  ESPN is rolling a clip of #1 overall picks for “big men”.  Greg Oden will be mentioned in 3…2…1….

Note #4: Guys.  Make note.  You can never say “brow” or “unibrow” again.  Anthony Davis’ management team has trademarked everything about unibrows.  If you’re a proud unibrower, you have been cheated.  Write a letter to David Stern, he might help.  Or maybe he’ll send you a cellphone pic of his testes with the note: “Suck on deez nutz!”

Stern: “This whole ‘unibrow’ craze has really taken on a life of it’s own, huh?”
Davis: “You just said ‘unibrow’. You owe me $20.”

Note #5: It’s so obvious that Jay Bilas has made a New Year’s Resolution to NOT say “ability” at the end of every word.  I’ll help ya out Jay, for old times sake.  Davis has hat-wearingability.  Grow-fastability.  UnibrowTrademarkAbility.  Start adding “ability” at the end of words, Jay.  You’re messing up my drinking game.

Note #6: They just showed a pic of Michael Jordan with his babe.  He looked like hell in the Dream Team documentary.  But even still.  He’s locked down a TEN even after his playing years.  Jordan: 1.  World: 0.

Note #7: MKG just got picked second.  Sooooo…are we doing a weird new thing this year when we pick the best player available?

Note #8: Bradley Beal just got selected #3 overall on his 19th birthday.  On my 19th birthday, I got attacked by some dorm room pals who threw me into the LMU fountain (a birthday tradition) and ended the night getting shitfaced drunk on Coors Light and Charcoal Filtered Vodka.  Hey Bradley Beal…I WIN.

Note #9: Ha!  Dion Waiters at #4.  Not sure what to say.  Reach comes to mind.

Gotcha suckaz!!!

Note #10: Waiters just said he’s got a lot of trust in his agent.  As he should.  A 6’3” sixth man going fourth overall.

Note #11: Coach Calipari is mic’d up.  Thank God for that.

Note #12: Sacramento just picked the best story of the draft: Thomas Robinson.  As my buddy Mike pointed out – how’s he gonna react to playing with bozos like Tyreke Evans and Demarcus Cousins? 

Note #13: King’s management may have just screwed themselves.  If there’s one man’s man superhero (in the guise of a common man) out there that will force the Maloofs to keep the Kings in Sacramento…it’s Thomas Robinson.  He’s the closest thing to Batman I’ve seen since I looked in the mirror and lied to myself.

Note #14: Heather Cox is forcing an interview upon Robinson’s little sister.  Note to Heather Cox: Disneyland is not close to Sacramento.

Note #15: There’s this “holy shit!” moment going around at the draft party.  Everyone half-hoped that Drummond would be swooped up by the #5 pick so the Blazers brass wouldn’t have to think about it…they’d just take Lillard.  But now, we can choose between Drummond and Barnes.  The vibe around here is the same.  It goes as so: “Please…for the love of God…choose Lillard.  Call it a hunch.  Save this rant forever in case it backfires on me.  I don’t care.  Give me Lillard!”

Note #16: Reaction at the draft party when Damian Lillard was selected: cheers so loud that the little kids started to cry.  We seriously scared the piss outta them.  I broke down why I wanted Lillard way too much in my post with Endo’s Garage.  Although there were great picks available, this was the perfect pick for the Blazers…hopefully I’m not drinking any Kool Aid.

Lillard is an All Star!

Note #17: Text exchange with Endo after Barnes fell to the Warriors:
Me: “YUGE pickup for you guys”
Endo: “No.”
So…enough said.

As anticipated, this was Endo’s reaction to the Warriors pick.

Note #18: Terrence Ross just went to Toronto at #8.  As a Portland native, it is my obligation to say kudos to the young man, and wish him the greatest of success.  But…Christ meng.  A bit of a reach?  Maybe.  But this is good.  Is there a chance that Andre Drummond falls to #11?

Note #19: Dag nabbit you, Detroit.

Note #20: Austin Rivers goes to New Orleans at #10.  THANK GOD.  I did not want to be in a position in which we had to consider Rivers.  He may be a scorer, he may be a baller, he may have the genetics…but he strikes me as a guy that fancies himself a Kobe when he is really a Jerryd Bayless.

Note #21: A new pal of mine has just declared that he will leave if The Blazers choose Meyers Leonard at #11.  Reason being: he hates guys that have “two last names” and hates “stiff white guys”.  Our host counters the argument, and says, “I love stiff white guys, especially if they’re lefties”.  The booze is kicking in at the party, obvi.

Note #22: The Blazers select Meyers Leonard.  My new pal buries his face in his hands.  He disappears for several minutes, and we all believe he has left until we glance out the window and see that he is shooting layups by himself in the driveway, with a cigarette dangling out of his mouth.  It’s a very “funeral” thing to do.  In fairness, this is the general reaction to Meyers Leonard being picked:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01vfavRV_aE

RECAP:

The “WTF” Award: Cleveland
Greaaaaaat job Cav’s Dan.  You could’ve traded down for Waiters, got more picks out of it, or maybe some cash.  But no. You reached very far for an undersized shooting guard that never started in college.  Kudos.  Also, you could’ve not traded for Tyler Zeller (and actually kept Jared Cunningham, Bernard James, and Jae Crowder) but no.  And you wonder why LeBron ditched you. 

The “GODDAMN!” Award(s): Houston, Boston, and Dallas
Seriously?  How did you do this?  Three highly respected teams with respectable/good records coming out winners with some very legit late picks?  It’s criminal.  You’re taking advantage homies.  Don’t do that.  Houston & Boston, you were savvy.  Dallas…you basically rufi’d Cleveland.  They’ll feel ashamed tomorrow.  How dare you.

Next day Note: I have officially convinced myself that the Meyers Leonard pick was excellent (a complete 180 from yesterday).  Between Lillard, Leonard, and Will Barton I kinda felt like doing this when I woke up. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfPg5LjGYz8

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Discussing the NBA Draft with Endo: Internet Sensations Collide

“Whoops. I just queefed. It’ll be my dirty little secret.”

Oh hey amigos.

Not sure if you’ve caught onto this, but I’m a bit of a basketball fan.  As such, today marks an ever-important day in the NBA offseason: the NBA Draft.  For weeks, there have been countless Mock Drafts by very intelligent people (http://www.draftexpress.com is my fave) and a bunch of goddamned bozos that don’t know anything about the sport and/or how the draft operates (I won’t name names (Bleacher Report) because I’m bigger than that and don’t care to sully anyone’s reputations or knock them for jumping in on the Mock Draft fun). 

So, how did Chunk’s Revenge prep for the big day?  Simple.  I recruited an old pal that blogs over at http://endosgarage.blogspot.com and baited him into doing a week-long email back and forth about the draft, its prospects, and all the nonsense that goes along with it.  If he refused, I threatened to do very foul/angry things, like fart on his pillow.  Thankfully, he complied with my request.  The following is what transpired beginning last Thursday, while we emailed each other during non-working hours (read: drinking hours). 

As an aside: as a blog that prides itself on helping the working stiff procrastinator hone his craft by wasting valuable company time, this is my finest hour, as it’s the longest post to date for Chunk’s Revenge.  It’s still way shorter than a Bill Simmons column, though.  That man is my white whale. 

Last thing – if you’re looking for a legitimate Mock Draft: run.  This is not for you.  If you want to witness jaded Blazers/Warriors fans talking about GrownAssMan things, by all means, proceed. 

#1: Chunk’s Revenge – June 21st, 2012 at 12:56PM

I get to do a blog collaboration with Endo’s Garage…Joy!

Hello Endo.

I write this to you during yet another breathtaking summer day in Portland: a gentle breeze brushes through the cherry laurels and the hummingbirds float through the crystal blue sky, their wings aflutter.  Anyways, I’m writing this to tell you how fucking agitated this time of year makes me.  We’re exactly one week away from the NBA Draft.  I have too many thoughts about the Draft to come up with any coherent message, so I figured it was high time that we partnered up and took the interwebs by storm by doing a WordPress/BlogSpot collabo to discuss the hope and misery of being a Lottery team. 

Sound good?  Cool!  I’ll start.

The Portland media is definitely hyping up this Damian Lillard character, so much so that I might just cry if they lose out on him.  I’ve never been too keen on a scoring PG (I was once led to believe that Jerryd Bayless would be the Blazers point guard of the future…barf) but RussyRuss Westbrook is changing my tune.  Here’s the problem: some pundits believe that Lillard is not worthy of a #6 pick, but will definitely be gone by #11.  So…WTF?  If you like a guy don’t you just take him and stop worrying about the perceived “value” of the pick?  A year from now we’re all going to do the age-old “re-draft” thing and talk about who should’ve gone sooner.  So if a year from now you believe you have a solid contributor, who cares if people ridicule the decision now?

As for your Warriors, how excited are you to see Joe Lacob’s smug face on camera after they select Tyler Zeller at #7?

#2: Endo’s Garage

This is what Endo looks like. Except he has ginger skin and ginger hair.

Mr. Fancy Pants Gaveen,

Thank you for starting this thread. I’m relying on you and your internet fame to actually post this in a public forum. Not that I mind it being “just” an amazing gmail back and forth, but I feel the world needs to read our awesome words about the one subject we can actually claim to know something about. Or aboot.

Let me start by saying that I will focus solely on the NBA draft. I’m sure I’ll have many things to say about the actual, on the court, NBA action that happened tonight, but this is neither the time nor the place to discuss.

When it comes to thinking and evaluating players in the draft, I like to think of different tiers. The way I see it the 1st tier of prospect(s) is Anthony Davis. Cookie-cutter, slam dunk #1 pick. My 2nd tier includes Michael Kidd Gilchrist, Thomas Robinson, Bradley Beal, Thomas Drummond and Harrison Barnes. Let me elaborate on this for a second. In a vacuum, MKG and Thomas Robinson are the 2nd and 3rd best players available. However, MKG won’t make as big as an impact with Charlotte as Thomas Robinson will. Not a knock on MKG at all, but I think the Bobcats should take Robinson at 2. Beal, Drummond and Barnes I am not 100% sold on. I saw roughly 0 mins of Beal on the court this year, so I’m relying on all the scouting reports that claim he’s the next Ray Allen. Drummond is huge, therefore, you have to take him top 6. Barnes I’ve seen plenty. He is as talented as they come but seems to lack motivation.

Harrison Barnes’ official response to Endo’s Garage: “Whatevs, Endo. Motivation, shmotivation.”

Now, since your Blazers are drafting at #6, I don’t think they should hesitate to pull the trigger on any of these guys. Reports recently seem to imply that the top 4 will be Davis, Robinson, Beal and Barnes. Sacramento is a total wild card and I won’t even pretend to know what they’re thinking of doing at 5. But, in my scenario, if MKG or Drummond are there at 6, I think Portland has to draft one of them. MKG might not be the best “fit” in PDX, especially since I assume they’ll bring Batum back, but he’s WAY too good of a player to pass up at 6 if available. Drummond, who’s said to have a floor of Kwame Brown and a ceiling of Dwight Howard, is not even close to being ready to play fulltime 5 in the NBA. But he’s huge and can move, and with PDX already having LMA as the go to big man he won’t be relied upon to make an immediate impact.

My 3rd tier of players includes Lillard, Waiters from ‘Cuse, YOUR BOY Terrance Jones, and a few others. Now, Lillard seems like he passes the eyeball test, but I’d be very worried about drafting a guy who played in the Big Sky conference so early. That’s why I think your Blazers should stick to my top 6. As for my Warriors, barf. Seriously just barf.

Here’s my main concern with the Warriors draft position: as I’ve just outlined, there are 6 guys in the draft who I think are no brainers. If one of them fall to the W’s, they should draft him. The reason guys get drafted from 7-20 is because of certain issues. No doubt these are all talented players, but most players drafted in the 7-20 range don’t make it as solid NBA players, and for the most part this is because they are a bad fit for the team they play for. The Warriors are a bad fit for ANYONE.

Take Terrance Jones for example. To me he seems like the best available player, talent wise. But he’d be terrible on the W’s. This isn’t only because they are in love with David Lee and Jones wouldn’t get a chance to play his natural power forward position, but because Jones lacks natural motivation and leadership and needs someone constantly pressing him, and my W’s have NOBODY to provide that. So look around at the players projected to go 7-20 and name 1 would be a good fit for the W’s. All are either smallish shooting guards (the last thing the W’s need) or guys with motivational issues (and in case you forgot, Mark Jackson is still the head coach).

This was long winded for a first response, but you get where my mind is at. I’ve told you before that I HATE Tyler Zeller. But at #7, you’re getting a 7-footer (who may be less athletic than Biedrins) who at the very least has fundamentals (re: is white) and will be able to contribute immediately (“contribute immediately” is teams-that-shoot-for-the-8-seed-GM-speak).

I hope we take Waiters.

#3. Chunk’s Revenge

I suppose it’s justifiable that we acknowledge that the Miami Heat were crowned champions tonight.  I’m so unhappy aboot this that I may just pre-funk tonight by myself (all night long) in anticipation of a big shindig I am to attend tomorrow evening at RonToms.  RonToms is a spacious bar in Portland with an excellent beverage selection.  I’ll be judged for being “that guy”, if you catch my drift.  But that’ll be my own doing.  So it’s okay.

If MKG is available at #6 I will shake my mom like a degenerate hobo, screaming things like “CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS???” and make her watch me as I fire off 4 straight Jagerbombs (#ThatGuy).  I don’t care if MKG fits or not.  Last time I got into this whole “does he fit?” mess it was 2007, and…well…I don’t care to talk about that. 

I’m assuming he’ll be gone though, so the way I see it is there will be a choice between Drummond and Lillard at #6.  Here’s the thing: Drummond is a monster, and could become a force of nature.  But I’m skeptical these days of choosing a big man with question marks (care to guess why?).  As I see it, the biggest issue for the Blazers this past year was their lacking of a playmaker, a guy that would just take it to the rack when things got stagnant.  Lillard could be that guy, and I say that knowing absolutely nothing about him as of three weeks ago (note: I Googled him when I saw him in initial mock-drafts).  

As for him playing in the Big Sky…I kinda like that.  Outside of the Top 5, I’d rather have a hungry guy with a chip on his shoulder rather than a bozo that had an early growth spurt and got fluffed like “whoa” by the time he was 16 years old. 

I suppose my ideal scenario would be getting Drummond AND Lillard, but it sounds like Lillard won’t be there at #11.  My pal Mike came up with an ideal (possibly wishful thinking) scenario in which the Blazers traded the #11 pick, the #40, and the rights to Joel Freeland or Victor Claver (overseas talent…duh) to Toronto for the #8 pick.  So, Drummond would go #6, Lillard #8. 

Thoughts? 

I’ve been on record as saying that the Warriors are my 2nd fave franchise.  Maybe that has a lot to do with my besties being fans of theirs, but still.  Great fanbase, fun team to watch…all that shit.  Your boy Joe Lacob is throwing a big ol’ wrench into that though (I know I shouldn’t be talking, being a fan of a ruined franchise and all, but the Charlie Bell Expiring-4MillionDollarContract-Amnesty was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen).  You may hate me for saying this…but what’s so wrong with John Henson, Austin Rivers, Jared Sullinger or Perry Jones (trading down in some scenarios, of course)?

I agree on Terrence Jones.  The tough part for a guy like that is an ideal team for him is a place like Boston, where KG would ridicule him about everything.  Call him “chump” and things like that. 

If this was your mentor, would you: a). dance a happy dance, b). be internally giddy while making a tough face, or c). jump off a fucking cliff?

So here’s a fun question.  Have you heard of any possible trades for the #7 pick?  Would you take Waiters, if say, Evan Turner was available?  I ask because Chad Ford has tweeted that the Blazers could get Darren Collison, Evan Turner, Eric Bledsoe, or Paul Millsap for the #11 (tweets are considered legitimate resources, yes?). 

So, are there any rumors that would make you trade the pick, and do you think any of my proposed trades are viable?

#4: Endo’s Garage

Let me first address your fun trades for the #7 pick question. If I’m the W’s, and Kevin O’Connor, who undoubtedly is high on bath salts in this scenario, calls and offers Paul Millsap for the pick, I’m accepting and high stepping all the way to the bank!

The white hot rumor right now is that the W’s want to get in the Luol Deng sweepstakes and the trade package would have to include the #7 pick. The only problem with this, and it is a very minor problem, is that to match salaries in this trade the Bulls would have to take back Andris Biedrins or Richard Jefferson. I like to joke that I’m smarter than NBA GMs, but even the most KAHN-Y of all Kahns wouldn’t simply take back cap filler for one of the best all around 3s in the game.

“Yes I would, Endo.”

I want to talk about YOUR BOY Lillard for a quick second. John Hollinger, who I respect greatly because of his use of advanced (re: nerd) stats, does not project Lillard to be worth a top 10 pick, let alone the #6 pick overall. His point is essentially that he is older than most of the prospects at that range (older, therefore closer to his athletic peak, meaning lower ceiling) and that his stats were put up against lesser competition than most prospects. I agree with this assessment. Especially knowing that he’s more of a scoring point and less of a playmaking point, I think you gotta pass and go with the big guy. Drummond has as many red flags as anyone, but a wise man once said “you can’t teach size”. I’d much rather take a risk on a guy who’s gigantic than a guy in Lillard who might be Rodney Stuckey v2.0.

I want to talk about John Holllinger’s ratings a little more, because he has a lot of the guys the Warriors have brought in recently to be busts in the NBA. Since my last email, the W’s have worked out Meyers Leonard and Moe Harkless and have also been strongly linked to Terrance Ross. Hollinger specifically singles out those 3 guys as having big bust potential. You thought I was mad when the W’s picked Udoh over Monroe and Klay over Kawhi, just wait and see how mad I’ll get if we take one of those scrubs.

My favorite player who nobody is talking about (Hollinger agrees) is Quincy Miller. I was on him early in the NCAA season because my beloved alma mater SDSU Aztecs played Baylor early in November, and Miller was a monster. Baylor won easy, with no PJ3 out there, and Miller was by far the best player on the floor. He’s a young player, so he might not be “NBA ready” off the bat, but I’m confident he’ll be a solid player.

Speaking of solid players, I want to single out a few guys who I KNOW will be solid NBA players, but won’t be sexy picks. Draymond Green is one of those guys who does everything well but not one thing great. He’ll get drafted at the end of the 1st round by a team like Boston, Memphis, OKC and will be immediately productive, and everyone will say things like “how did 20 teams pass on this guy?!?” The reason is simple: bad teams need to take a risk on guys who will be stars, whereas good team can pick guys who know how to play and can immediately find a role. I think this goes for Royce White too. He has some personality issues that bad teams (cough cough Warriors cough) wouldn’t be able to overcome. But put him on Boston, for example, he has a chance to be a very good player. Kendall Marshall fits in this category too, though he is a much more known commodity. Btw, Marshall is thought of to be a young ‘Dre Miller. I KNOW you like that.

Last thought before I pass this back to you. I’m going all in on Dion Waiters. And this is a total leap of faith since I saw maybe 10 minutes of him play in college. But Hollinger loves him (I sound like Hollinger’s agent right now don’t I?) and the W’s need to draft the best player available. Our knucklehead owner Lacob seems to think we are “set” at 4 of the 5 positions, but all we saw of Klay last year was at the end of the year in essentially meaningless games. To say he is “set” as the starting 2 seems quite bold (just to clarify I don’t think any of our starters should be considered “set” with a team that is as desperate for talent as ours).

“Bogut! Lee! Curry! Thompson! We’re thisclose! THISCLOSE! Respect the cock! RESPECT THE COCK!”

If we can’t get one of my top 6 players (even then I’m thinking I’d rather have Waiters than Harrison Barnes at this point, I am NOT sold on Barnes) and we stay at #7, I’m wanting Waiters.

Bring it.

#5: Chunk’s Revenge

This is why I both love and hate debating with you on things like this.  You always bring “statistical data” and “rationale” into the mix.  I’m a Blazer fan, Endo.  As such I make my decisions based on my gut feeling and whether or not the draftee seems like a nice guy.  Quit throwing advanced stats into the mix you big bully!

Don’t bully me!

That said, perhaps some clarification is in order. 

In a perfect world, Lillard would stay where he was initially projected to go: late in the Lottery or just outside the Lottery.  Picking him #6 is a reach, indeed.  But I do believe that he is the optimal guy that could help now, and I have concerns that he will not be there by the time the #11 pick rolls around.  So why am I so enamored with Lillard, you may ask?  Because it was painful to watch what happened to the Blazers offense when Aldridge started getting double and triple teamed.  There were few, if any, players on the Blazers that could create offense on their own and hardly anyone that could take it to the rim with consistency.  With a guy like Lillard, he can shoot from three and is aggressive in getting to the hoop.  I’m not predicting that he’ll become the #1 option or anything, but at the very least he’ll keep defenses honest, which right now, the Blazers don’t have. 

Which brings us back to this: if I can only have one of them, why take Lillard over Drummond?  I have this gut-wrenching feeling that we’ll pass on the big man and he’ll grow into a force on another team.  But I’m okay with that.  Reason being is if you look at the track record of the Blazers when selecting a). a big man, and b). a young and raw big man, they aren’t that great in development or preventing injury.  Drummond is ultra-talented but hasn’t proved to have much of a post game.  With their star player just hitting his prime I’m not convinced that the franchise will be too keen in waiting on Drummond to develop and endure the growing pains of adapting to the NBA game.  Whether that’s right or wrong, we’ll only know in hindsight.  But bottom line, development isn’t exactly their strong suit. 

As for preventing injury, I’m being Captain Obvious.  I may be reaching in Drummond’s case, but I have a sneaking suspicion that he’ll need a halfway decent medical/training staff to help him grow and get stronger.  My buddy Mike showed me Drummond’s workout with the Kings so we could ooh and aah over his freakishness.  But Mike pointed out one thing in passing that I couldn’t really get over.  After every dunk, Drummond never landed cleanly, and stumbled in getting his footing.  Having no medical or training background, take this point for what it is (blogosphere bullshit).  But my immediate thought was one of two things: a). he isn’t done growing, or b). he hasn’t reached his peak in physical strength.  Both points should make me drool over his potential…until I look at the track record of the training staff. 

If it seems like I’m piling on the training staff, it’s probably because I am.  But less than a week ago former Blazer Channing Frye was on a local radio show and talked about the Phoenix training staff, calling them “unbelievable”.  According to him, they “correct bio-mechanics” and that their philosophy is all about “learning your body”.  Well no shit.  I can only be led to believe that the Blazers staff doesn’t do the same.  So how will a raw 18 year old big man that hasn’t yet grown into his body do when partnered up with a staff that doesn’t focus on bio-mechanics or help strengthen player’s weaknesses (but prefers band-aid solutions)?  My guess is “not well”. 

Point being, I think the guy is a great prospect and seems like a good character guy.  But the sad reality is that we may not be equipped to help him succeed.  It sucks, but it is what it is. 

So considering the two biggest needs are at the 1 and 5 spots, I’d go with the 1 in this case.  Lillard probably should go #11 but between Toronto at #8 and New Orleans at #10 I’m not convinced he’ll be there.  So I say take him early just to be sure (for the reasons listed above). 

Kendall Marshall, I love him.  But for immediate need I’d rather have an aggressive offensive player that can shoot and finish at the rim.  I’d be speaking differently if the Blazers had a guy like that, as Marshall is a great facilitator.  Any guy that averages 10 assists a game in college is good in my book.  Without the attacking presence on the current roster though, I’d prefer Lillard.  Marshall’s strength as a facilitator would be cheapened if the entire offense right now is predicated on throwing the ball into Aldridge while everyone else stands around the perimeter.  Lillard’s game would be a welcomed curveball to that mentality.  (Note: if the Blazers were in “rebuild” mode, I’d be good with Marshall as our point guard of the future.  But they seem hell-bent on “re-tooling” to maximize Aldridge’s prime years).

As for your notes on quality players projected to go later in the round, I’m with ya.  Which begs the question.  Earlier today you indicated you’d be upset if the Warriors traded #7 to pick up #14 and #16 from the Rockets.  Why would that be so bad?  The guys projected to go between 14-21 meet your criteria of helping now, for the most part.  Wouldn’t it help to stockpile assets of quality players rather than take Waiters?

#6. Endo’s Garage

Before I answer your questions, I want to do a little blind taste test of draft prospects. Who would you rather?

Player A: 6’3, 6’8 wingspan, 2011-12 stats: 34 mpg, 15 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.2 apg, .445/.339/.769 (FG%/3pt%/FT%)

Player B: 6’3, 6’7 wingspan, 2011-12 stats: 24 mpg, 12.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.5 apg, .476/.363/.729 (FG%/3pt%/FT%)

Pretty much as similar as it gets. Player A seems to have a little better rebounding instincts yet Player B is the more efficient scorer. Yet for some reason Player A is looked at as a “lock” of a top 4 pick whereas Player B is just now picking up steam in terms of being considered a top 7 prospect.

Player A: Bradley Beal & Player B: Dion Waiters

I’m sure by now you’ve realized that Player A is Bradley Beal and Player B is Dion Waiters. I’ve heard talk of Beal being a “prototypical 2 guard”, a “sharpshooter”, and “the next Ray Allen.” Not only did Ray Allen never shoot anywhere near 34% from 3 in college, he was never under 40% in his 3 seasons at UConn. Now I’m not saying that Beal will be a bust, or Waiters will undoubtedly be better than Beal, I’m just confused as to what everyone sees in him. If I’m a team in the top 5, I would not for a second consider taking Beal over Thomas Robinson or MKG, or Harrison Barnes for that matter.

As for the Warriors trading down from 7 to get 2 picks in the team, I did in fact say that I’d be upset. My thinking is this: the Warriors need as much top end talent as they can get. I do NOT think they draft players based on their ability to help out now. Decisions like that cause teams to draft Ekpe Udoh over Greg Monroe. They need a guy who has serious talent. Whether that be Waiters, or if Drummond slips to them, they need to take advantage of them and draft them. The odds they get a guy at #7 who will become THE guy for a team is very slim (though Drummond could become that guy) but there is no one on the W’s roster right now who is a real #1 guy, and adding role players (aka guys drafted in the teens) is nice, but they need top end talent.

Now, as for Portland and Lillard, all I can say is, good luck (in my C Webb voice). I completely understand why the Blazers should draft him, and your concerns with Andre Drummond. It looks as if there is a VERY good chance Lillard will be available when the Blazers draft at 6, and after listening to the rational Blazers fans call in to sports talk radio in Portland I am assured he will be welcomed in Rip City. But I also remember those same rational types falling in love with Ray Felton, Jerryd Bayless, Dan Dickau, and other supposed point guards of the future. (Don’t know why I felt the need to throw Dan Dickau under the bus there, but I did, so there. I’ve also been partying tonight, so there’s that.)

All that said, knowing that Austin Rivers is the “hot” name on teams draft boards, PLEASE draft Lillard. At the very least you can justify that he’s an Oakland point guard and make irrational comparisons to Gary Payton and Jason Kidd. Austin Rivers is said to have an ego that rivals Kobe Bryant, so to whomever drafts him, I offer my most sincere, C Webb voice, good luck.

(Editor’s note: if you haven’t seen the following video of Chris Webber interviewing David Kahn, it’s a must watch)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGZebWRJWg4

24 hours from now we will know how everything plays out. This is my final email in our little back and forth we’ve had so I guess I should do some sort of sign off. The Hornets are obviously going to come out as the winners here. They’ll get the best player (duh) and another solid player at 10, and I’m going on the record here as saying they’ll make the playoffs before the Warriors. Houston obviously will be the team to watch, and they might even make a trade with my W’s. Charlotte, Washington, Cleveland and Sacramento are all fairly hopeless franchises and will more than likely doom whomever they draft. You guys in Portland are in the middle of a retooling (not rebuilding, CEO speak, boom) and if I were you I’d be very anxious going into tomorrow. As for me and my W’s, barf. I am a grown ass man, I’ve been around the block many times with this team, so I am already angry at whatever happens tomorrow night. Drummond will be on the board, we’ll pass on him, someone will swoop and he’ll be a superstar. These are how these things happen.

Live shot of Endo after every Warriors draft pick. (Note: coincidentally, this happens to be the same look I make every time a Blazer goes down with an injury).

Well Sir, this was big fun. Good luck to your squad tomorrow night. I’ll be sure to blow up your twitter feed with my rants and ramblings of all things NBA tomorrow.

Party.

#7: Chunk’s Revenge

Endo, it’s been a goddamned pleasure.  Did we resolve anything?  Nope.  Did we create any semblance of a mock draft?  Not a chance.  Did we have a righteous time drinking brews over nightly emails and adequately showing how fucking frustrating it can be to root for a disoriented franchise?  You betcha.  Best of luck tomorrow.

As if your rantings and ravings about prospects (complete with advanced stats and statistical comparisons of comparable players) weren’t enough, it’s worth pointing out one thing.  You – a Warriors fan living in Los Angeles – live streamed John Canzano’s “Bald Faced Truth” radio program in Portland to listen to a mock draft with me during working hours.  If that’s not a basketball junkie, I don’t know what is. 

Apparently we share an admiration for the sport.  Perhaps we should play H.O.R.S.E. sometime.  Or do this again after the draft concludes. 

Fare thee well you saucy scoundrel.

YouTubing: Chris Farley Pick Up Lines, Worst Fight Ever, Playing “Where’s Waldo” with Van Damme & My VHS Collection

Oh hey amigos.

It’s Tuesday, I’m on a lunch break and kinda bored.  Thus, I have perused the interwebs to find some awesomeness to watch over my bowl of bento.  But I mustn’t hog all of the fun from my dear readers, so let’s do a quick little blog post with video links, shall we?

Video #1: Chris Farley picking up chicks (circa 1992, pre-Tommy Boy)

If that title doesn’t intrigue you, then you are a lifeless, unfunny mule. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOjIDQ95pp4

Video #2: Worst Fight Scene Ever

I’m late to this one, I know (considering it’s been viewed a few million times).  But I don’t care.  Hopefully JJ Abrams is taking notes for the sequel to Star Trek.  The people want more fights between Captain Kirk and Gorn!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1eFdUSnaQM

Video #3: Steven Seagal – Hard to Kill Quotes

Hard to Kill was one of the first VHS’s I owned (I brought a 13” television with built-in VCR to college with me, along with a video collection that included Hard to Kill, Wild Things, and a pirated version of Jerry Springer: Too Hot for TV.  I know what you’re thinking, and no.  I’m not kidding at all).  Thankfully Seagal’s effortless delivery and his nut-hugging jeans live on forever in the form of my VHS collection and a 3:25 video blessing us with one of the greatest scripts of all time. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2u06eAyDKM

Video #4: Where’s Waldo – Find Jean Claude Van Damme in the 1984 smash hit Breakin’

Breakin’ looks like all kinds of awesome, but the main fun in this is to see if you can find an unknown extra dancing like a badass in the background.  That meathead desperately trying to get into the shot who is rocking a black leotard and tube socks: that’d be JCVD.  Need some help finding him?  Click here.  That’s what he looks like.  Now: go find JCVD!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VxtEGsssxE

Poking, Prodding, and Baiting My Dad: A Grownup Thing To Do

 

So there’s this thing you should know about my life prior to my delving in to today’s subject matter.  I’m a 29 year old married man that grew up in Portland, I have an official address in California (with my wife) but for now I live in Portland while I work on a new project.  The project has two employees: me and my dad.  For the sake of saving money, I don’t rent or sublet a place up here, but instead live in my childhood home with my mom and dad (this is the primary reason for why I include the hashtag #GrownAssMan in the title of this blog). 

Taking all of this into consideration, one thing you should know about me is that I spend every waking minute with my pops.  Whether it’s for work, blowing off steam by taking bike rides through Portland, or lounging around the house at night watching some shit-ass movie of his selection (Bringing Down the House with Steve Martin and Queen Latifah was the feature presentation this evening). 

My friends liken my dad to “Big Tom Callahan”, Brian Dennehy’s character in Tommy Boy.  My dad hates this comparison, mostly because he takes offense to being compared to Brian Dennehy (in terms of physical stature).  But, let’s be real.  He kinda looks like Brian Dennehy.  I say this knowing full well that I could get into a serious tiff with the big man if he knew I said such a thing, but I’m quite confident that he doesn’t read this blog, and I trust that any of you bozos that reads this and actually knows him won’t sell me out.  Seriously, don’t do it.  I can be a very intimidating man.

Your valiant blogger: Kicking ass and taking names since 1982.

So, back to the “spending every waking moment together” thing.  If I’m speaking in broad terms, our relationship is similar to Big Tom Callahan and Tommy Boy’s (yes, I just compared myself to Tommy Boy).  The one difference is we’re both hard-headed sumbitches and once in awhile our being together non-stop pushes us to the brink of this kind of nonsense.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM16afDRbPM&feature=player_detailpage#t=14s

When we bicker, it’s always over nitpicky bullshit.  We bitch at each other, stew over it for about an hour then bury the hatchet over a hottub session.  You know.  Father/son kinda things. 

Now, another fun tidbit about my dad is that he comes up with some of the most epic one-liners you’ve ever heard, usually after a tense moment.  The most classic one I can think of was when I was 20 and in a rough patch with my then-girlfriend, and he’d overheard one of our classically raucous telephone arguments.  When I hung up, I threw my cellphone into a pillow (being macho, and all) and I heard a light knock on the door.  In walked my dad, calm and collected.  He gently told me, “Son.  The fucking you get…better be worth the fucking you get.”  I just stared at him, completely dumbfounded.  He nodded philosophically and walked out the door like he was motherfucking Confucius dropping his knowledge of virtues on the world.  I never forgot that.  I also started making note of his advice.  Both for the wisdom imparted and for the hilarity in how he relayed his message.

All this got me to thinking.  Rather than get sucked in to the nitpicky crap that we argue about for 3 minutes, only to forget about it forever, why don’t I take a deep breath, realize the absurdity of the moment, and bait him into giving me hot-headed advice about life? 

These opportunities will be few and far between.  In reality, we hardly ever argue.  But next time we do, I’m going to seize the moment and shift the subject to absurd generalities about life, preferably a gripe that should never be coming from a 29 year old man. 

Right now, I’m leaning towards shrieking about how unfair it is that “I’m so fat”.  It should catch him off-guard.  But God willing, he’ll blow off some steam by offering up some sage advice about weight loss.  Hopefully he can one-up the “fucking you get” quote. 

So, this should go without saying.  Do not tell my dad about this.  It will ruin the fun in the blog.  And it will make for legitimately tense working conditions.  And I’ll probably get thrown out of the house.

Tough Guy vs. Tough Guy: A Valiant Blogger Tells Raymond Felton How It Is

The veteran leadership and sage advice of Raymond Felton will be sorely missed in the Blazers locker room.

Pre-note: I LOL’d mightily at this meme when I stumbled across it.  Got it from this young man, who blogs for Blazersedge: http://www.sbnation.com/users/thankyouforblaze/blog . 

Oh hey guys! 

Say…is it my birthday?  Nope, but it may as well be.  Raymond Felton has made his way back into the Portland news cycle with this gem of a quote:

“I’m a free agent so maybe those bloggers and those people who write won’t have to see me again. Maybe they won’t, until I’m coming in on the other end and droppin’ 50 on ’em. We’ll see what happens. Who knows. Still no bad taste in my mouth with Portland. I still got a lot of great relationships there with the owner, management and as well some of the players. Who knows what might happen. I still might go back there. We’ll see what happens.”

He’s talking about me.  I just know it.

So why am I so giddy about this?  Because it’s funny.  He’s an ornery, underachieving point guard that refuses to look in the mirror and realize maybe, just maybe, the issue isn’t everyone else.  At this point his chest-puffing bullshit only elicits the following reaction from me: “Tee-Hee!  :)” (emphasis on smiley icon).

Now, it must be noted: Chunk’s Revenge is by no means a blog that sits here judging the quality of work by any professional.  Whether that’s a mechanic, painter, basketball player, or marginally employed blogger, we don’t judge.  Not here, bozos.  Everyone has bad days, weeks, or even years.  So Raymond: you had a shitty season.  But you’re a grown man.  I won’t judge you for that. 

Thanks for understanding!  I like you Chunk’s Revenge.

But…

“Don’t you dare white boy.”

What’s your deal man?  For a Blazer to faceplant this badly in Portland in such a short time is mind boggling.  People around here still talk about re-signing Jeff Pendergraph.  And about how great Juwan Howard was for the locker room.  Dude…Dante Cunningham still gets rousing ovations when he returns to Portland.  We’re overly supportive.  We dislike nobody.  So…WTF?  How did this happen?  Let’s examine:

Observation #1: Everyone has bad days.  Not everyone acts a foo’ while they do it.

Ray – I immediately liked you for two reasons: your pedigree as a national champion at UNC and because we are exactly the same size.  Six Foot One, Two Hundred and Five Pounds (wink, wink…I know how it is, baby boy).  But that junk in your trunk reared its ugly head pretty quickly.  Believe me…I sympathize.  Then again, I’m not a professional athlete.  The thing is, you didn’t appear to lose a pound during the season.  Whatever.  But, you also made some very bad plays.  Around here, you can make boneheaded plays and still not have the crowd dislike you.  In the last four years we’ve rooted for Sergio Rodriguez, Patty Mills, and Armon Johnson.  When they blew it, this was our reaction:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1valYG9IVI

You though, didn’t help us out in offering out that response.  Why?  Because you acted a foo’, and played the role of a victim. 

Observation #2: I’m trying my hardest!  Trust me!  I’ll be good soon!  For reals!

Dude, come on.  You’re a grown man.  When you got picked up by the Blazers the word was they’d be a fast break team.  And holy shit man…I spotted Nate Freaking McMillan yelling at you more than once to push the pace.  Mr. Slow and Steady Nate Fucking McMillan.  But you didn’t push, you slowed it down.  My hunch?  You couldn’t do it because you were out of shape, Nate called you out, you got fussy, then you sulked and blamed all of your struggles on a coach that was trying to push you.  I have a good source (aka, my hunch) that the tipping point was when you complained about “doing your best”, then Nate hit you with this line:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3UQwyKrTtI

Then you got pissed.  Then you acted like a cancer in the locker room and got him fired.

Observation #3: Care.  Just a little bit.

I remember early in the season, when things started going bad, Jason Quick started getting on your case about “not being Andre Miller”.  Fun fact: Quick didn’t like Miller during his first few months in Portland.  Not that he hated him…just thought he didn’t “fit in to the team”.  It took him some time to like him.  Why did Andre win him over, you might ask?  Because Dre didn’t give two shits about what Jason Quick said about him.  He took the early struggles of adapting to a new team and played the game.  He didn’t bitch and moan about “bloggers” being jerks, or shun reporters that gave him guff.  The only time any inkling of frustration came out was when he and Nate got into a shouting match behind closed doors, which was overheard by the media. 

You see, Andre won over the media and the crowd because he cared about winning, and made his teammates better.  He didn’t sulk on court or make gawd-awful plays.  Not saying you did, but…you did. 

“Gaww! Come on coach! Why won’t you trust me??? Just let me get this…I GOT this!” (dribbles ball off his foot as he’s yelling).

I’m half tempted to give you an out because you probably got that Seasonal Affective Disorder.  It’s no picnic, that disorder.  But sweet Jesus, meng.  Don’t expect sympathy when you’re making $8 Million a year and brought in to be the next big PG.   

Observation #4: At some point, you have to recognize that it’s not everyone around you, but maybe it’s just you.

This relationship wasn’t going to work out.  So, just swallow your pride and acknowledge that.  You seem more intent on doing this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UloScKnQgKI

Final Observation:

Thanks for nothing you big bozo.  Wherever you land next just realize that you get to play ball for a living.  If you play poorly, that’s fine.  Just don’t expect sympathy for it when you use Blazersedge columnists as motivators.  The only way to make them eat crow is by “dropping 50” when you were still playing for their team.

As for your next trip to PDX?  You’ll pull a 14-4-3 statline for the Brooklyn Nets, you’ll lose, and I’ll invite you to Sassy’s, where I’ll hound you about following me on Twitter (you’ll oblige when we bury the hatchet during a latenight grubfest and “airing of grievances” over RoboTaco).

The NBA Finals: Sith Lords, The Bosh Scream, Syrian Beards & Naked Bike Riding

Upon the realization that either the Thunder or the Heat would be crowned as champions, your valiant blogger held this face for a week and a half straight. That is, until now, when he made the executive decision to get his head and his ass wired together to go in for the big win. You know what I’m talking about.

Ahoy amigos!

So, for weeks I’ve posted running commentary about the NBA Playoffs. And yet, aside from a few vague/clumsy tweets comparing the Thunder & Heat to Sith Lords I have yet to comment on this Finals matchup.

Why, you might ask? Well, sadly, it’s because I don’t like either team. To me, both franchises represent a disturbing trend in which players & ownership chooses to talk outta two sides of their mouths. Out of one, they fluff their fanbases with commercials about how they’re all about the community. Out of the other, they shit on them the first chance they get (Cleveland as a result of “The Decision”; Seattle as a result of the Sonics hijacking). This is me being Captain Obvious.

Captain Obvious: at your service.

But alas, we are here now. One of these two teams is gonna be crowned CHAMP so it’s high time that I jumped on board and actually acknowledged this series. I can’t miss out on basketball homies. Especially good quality basketball.

How’s about some Game 4 notes?

Note #1: Thank God Russell Westbrook doesn’t seem to listen to, or care about, the naysayers claiming he takes too many shots. As legit as Kevin Durant is, there are large stretches that he floats along the perimeter and isn’t aggressive in getting a shot (could this be because LeBron James is guarding him? Quite possibly.) Anyhoo. Russy Russ was the only guy that really kept OKC in the game. Anyone that wants to pin the loss on him for his boneheaded foul at the end of the game, take a look at his statline. Also, try for one second to claim that he didn’t singlehandedly keep them in the game. If you do that and still think he’s to blame, I know who you are.

(All one sentence…) HI MY NAME IS SKIP AND NOBODY WILL LISTEN TO ME UNLESS I MAKE ABSURD STATEMENTS AND YELL ABOUT IT AND I HAVE CONVINCED MYSELF THAT PEOPLE RESPECT ME AS A JOURNALIST AND THAT I WILL NOT LEAVE A SHIT-STAINED LEGACY FULL OF POPPYCOCK OPINIONS.

Note #2: I watched tonight’s game with my brother. He made an excellent note of James Harden’s beard. It’s a Syrian beard. I, for one, love the image of James Harden going out on the town in Oklahoma City with Trina (Da Baddest Bitch) on his arm while sporting his Syrian beard.

Disappointing news amigos. My brother wasn’t only making a hilarious observation. He was also showcasing that he’s much smarter and more cultural than me. Apparently he got the term “Syrian beard” from a 19th Century French Realist painter named Gustave Courbet. In this painting, he paints himself on the right, and boasted of his Syrian beard. Fun fact, indeed. Point being, don’t run away if someone starts yapping about 19th Century French Realism. Something good may come of it. Actually, no. Just run. Unless they lead with an awesome description. Like, “Hey, that James Harden has a Syrian beard!”

Note #3: My mom noted that she thought James Harden’s beard looks ugly. I resisted the urge to ask if she’s seen Harden without the beard and chose to point out that he is dating Trina Da Baddest Bitch, so it can’t be all that bad. Apparently my mom wasn’t aware of the existence of this Trina Da Baddest Bitch.

Note #4: My brother rocked a Syrian beard for quite some time. My mom wasn’t a fan, obvi.

Note #5: Has Chris Bosh always been “that guy” that pumps up the crowd and screams at them to “get up”? I never noticed this until now. I admire the tenacity, but two things:

1). Miami fans probably aren’t the best people to rile up. Miami etiquette calls for you to “act cool” and “force the excitement come to you”, especially during Playoff basketball games.

“Listen Bosh, I don’t know what else you want from me. I have my stunna shades on. I’m chewing an unlit cigar like a bigwig fatcat. This is me EXCITED, okay??”

2). I can’t possibly differentiate Bosh’s in-game “get up and cheer!” tactics without thinking of the show he put on during the Big Three’s “Welcome Party” in Miami. This is not a good thing.

Chris Bosh’s internal monologue during the Miami Welcome Party: “Act cool Chris. Act cool. Cross your arms like Bron. Or smirk at the shawtee in the corner like DWade. Resist the urge to…oh f*ck it. BANG-A-RANG!!!”

Note #6: At some point I stopped admiring Harden’s beard and realized he’s been playing like shit. Even worse, he seems to know this and resorted to not taking open jumpers, hesitating, and drifting aimlessly into the lane for a contested shot. I’m a fan of his, and think he’s a good addition to the National Team, at least deserving of a tryout. But good gracious meng. Where’d your swag go?

When all else fails, blame the girlfriend.

Note #7: I considered tweeting some hater-ish things about LeBron when he went down with leg cramps in the 4th. Then I realized…he’s been playing 45 minutes a night for quite some time and he spent the entire night guarding Durant. Although KD’s stats looked good, LeBron kept him in check, and never let him have a chance to dominate the game…all while LeBron put up a near triple double. Add to that the fact that he plays in Southern Florida, I suppose cramping is a reasonable injury to sustain. Kinda like how the frigid air of Cleveland causes spontaneous elbow tendinitis.

Note #8: I won’t apologize for the dig in that last note…it was too easy of a setup.

Note #9: Paging the #DuhPolice – Fisher seems washed up or washing up fast. But aside from that, does it seem like his opponents aren’t giving him the same respect he once had? Methinks Billy Hunter is winning the internal debate among the Players Union as to who is most responsible for the shellacking they took during the last Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Note #10: Some food for thought – what if Eric Maynor was healthy and playing Derek Fisher’s minutes?

Note #11: My brother posted a picture of Portland’s Annual “Naked Bike Ride” on Facebook, and one of the people looked like my brother (tall, white, with dark hair…that’s about it). Of course, my mom is one of his Facebook friends, and this caused some confusion amongst her own Facebook friends as to why they got a dong-shot from their friend’s son (even though it wasn’t really him). Just another fun little side conversation during the game.

Not sure how other Naked Bike Rides go across the world, but in Portland 5,000 people ride, they’re escorted through town by the Portland Police Department, and I’m pretty sure it’s the only one that had a Playmate of the Year ride along topless (Don’t believe me? Google Sarah Underwood Naked Bike Ride. Your boss and/or HR Compliance Person will totes understand).

Note #12: To my dismay, the role players for Miami are stepping up at the exact right time. When Norris Cole hit some threes and even James Jones hit one, I figured it was Miami’s game to lose. So the lesson here is…you can build your team around scrub role players on their last leg and unproven rookies just so long as you form a Big Three by swaying the superstars of small market teams to join forces in a sunnier/larger market? Barf.

Note #13: Looks like Miami will be crowned CHAMPS unless one of them gets coaxed into pulling a Tracy McGrady. If this series ends soon…then what?

Note #14: Ahhh yes. The NBA Draft is next week. I’ll save my thoughts on this for a later time but allow me to point out one thing that should upset you greatly. The Minnesota Timberwolves will not be participating in the Lottery, which means David Kahn will have a more difficult time in gracing us with his presence through stellar draft strategy and draft-day trades. I’m gonna miss his face. But I suppose I can get my fill by watching reruns of Big Love.

Alby Grant (fundamentalist Mormon in “Big Love”) and David Kahn could be long lost brothers or an ultra smug father/son duo.

Fare thee well amigos. Enjoy the rest of the work week. And remember: procrastination is an art form. Work on it. Cherish it.

When Wankstas Collide

So…just to make sure I have this right:

Chris Brown and Drake were involved in a bar brawl.  Both are now considered “rappers” (either I’m out of the loop or the rap game is going to hell).  So, this constitutes a rap beef.  Which begs the question: what the f*ck has happened to rap beefs?

It used to be when self-made men with established street credibility let their egos collide and began beefing with their fellow rappers in a battle for supremacy.  Now, apparently, it’s when two wankstas in a desperate effort to garner their own street credibility act a foo’ in public places; ruining the very douchey practice of ordering bottle service. 

Fed up with the 800% markup prices, Drake and Brown rebelled against the institution of “bottle service”, throwing $300 bottles of Smirnoff to and fro. They figured if they improved upon their street cred in the process, that would just be gravy.

Because we all know who these guys are, I’m not gonna waste any time explaining what they do (make shitty music) and who they are (studio-gangsta goobers).  On top of all of this, there is no freaking way we can sort through what actually happened.  This is no legal blog, amigos.  It’s a man’s man blog.  We talk about manly things, like child prodigies turned R&B pop superstars turned wannabe-tough guy rappers.  

For Monday afternoon funsies, let’s just assess the fallout, shall we?

Fallout Item #1: Take My Eyes, But Don’t Take My Bottle Service

I alluded to this earlier, but NYC club owners threw together an emergency meeting to discuss the practice (and possible end) of bottle service.  (Note: That sound you’re hearing?  It’s every yuppie socialite in Manhattan shrieking like banshees over the very suggestion that they won’t be able to pop their collars and order bottle service for their weekly Wednesday night “hump day” celebration).  For all of those that are hoping that “cooler heads will prevail”, thus restoring the sanctity of bottle service, there may be a wrench thrown into the equation.  It comes in the form of a quote from Meek Mill, a rapper acquaintance of Drake who stated, “Things just happen in the club.  I seen girls in there throwing bottles, all types of shit.  All types of people.” 

Hey!  Meek Mill!  SHHHHH!  If you blame bottle service then it can be taken away from everyone!  With that gone, how will the douchebags really cool guys of the world pretend to be high rollers??? 

(Video below: Scott Disick’s future reaction if bottle service is discontinued)

Fallout Item #2: Drake Blatantly Choosing to Not Keep It Real

The rap beefs of yesteryear usually entailed a successful rapper ignoring his sudden wealth and fame in order to keep it real with the people that stood by him when he was nothing.  He’d then surround himself with old confidants with suspect pasts, which at times could cause issues.  But Drake…Drake has very much sold out his former crew.  The former cast of Degrasi: The Next Generation weeps for what once was, sir.  You have forgotten where you came from, only rather than abandoning bad eggs and “hangers on” when you found success, you have added them and ditched your friends from a tweener drama in Canada (not familiar with Degrasi?  Think “Boy Meets World”.  He was the star of a show like “Boy Meets World” when he was a kid). 

Note: do I care that he doesn’t seem to associate himself with Degrasi alums?  Nope.  Did I feel the need to point out that this supposed tough guy was once the star of a stupid tweener sitcom/drama?  Yep.

Fallout Item #3: Chris Brown’s Street Cred…So Hot Right Now

Chris Brown had a little incident a few years back (but don’t ask him about it okay?  He blacked out, he can’t remember it happening) after which he lost his sponsorship with Double Mint gum.  Most would be devastated by the news, and would run into hiding.  But not good ol’ Chris Brown.  He just redefined himself as a rapper, started being more outwardly offensive (no need to worry about having your instagram username be politically correct when you don’t have to worry about pleasing those yahoo’s at Double Mint headquarters!), and worked on his street cred.  Between beating up his girlfriend, ripping up his dressing room at the Good Morning America, and now being involved in a fight with Jimmy from Degrassi High, the guy is the next 50 Cent.  So much street cred right now.

Fallout Item #4: My Credibility

OMFG guys…I’m so sorry.  Allow me a mea culpa in publishing Fallout Item #2 too early.  I didn’t realize that Drake had so much street cred.  He said some very tough things at a concert on Friday night.  Observe:

“You were having a good night so far, you done had a couple drinks, you done met a couple thangs, and then the ni**** in the corner start looking at you funny and you feel a motherfu**in’ way about it.  And then somebody going to the bathroom bumps you with their elbow and you like, ‘What the f**k?’ At that time in my life, there’s really only one ni**** that I wanna hear.”

This is obviously a case of me speaking too soon.  I don’t know him.  So who am I to judge that he’s playing the part of a studio gangsta now?  Perhaps, my friends, after a childhood in which he grew up in an affluent suburb of Toronto and starred in a Disney-esque tweener sitcom/drama, he is finally, finally getting the opportunity to “keep it real”.

I guess, at the end of the day, my point is this.  This is the single most pathetic and annoying rap beef of all time.  Thanks a lot for that you bozos.

A “How-To” Guide to Scaring Off Unwanted Solicitors for the Rest of the Summer

“Hello. We are seeking one-time donations so we can allegedly use it to cure every possible problem in the world. You want the world to be a better place, don’t you? You don’t have any money on you? Shame on you.”

As a kid, when summertime arrived I’d go batshit crazy.  Nothing was better than summertime.  It was just three months of carefree fun, and the only concern in the world was wondering if I would be sneak attacked in a water balloon fight (this is why I always stay on high ground, even today). 

Now that I’m a prickly son of a gun with bills and rent to pay, I still like summertime, but I also recognize the good and the bad of the season.  The good is obvious: sun, vacations, etc.  The bad: it’s not quite so carefree, and compounding this is the fact that I know for the next few months I’ll spend it dodging solicitors outside of grocery stores and every possible street corner you can imagine. 

That’s a minor downside to the sun coming out.  Special interest groups can now send some poor saps out into the streets and get them to ask for donations for every non-profit group under the sun.  I’ve spent years trying to figure out how to avoid these bozos.  They’re well versed in being pushy, and making you feel like an asshole if you don’t comply with their request.  A typical interaction goes like so:

Solicitor: Would you like to help (insert well-to-do cause here)?
Me: Not today, sorry (read: Of course I’d like to help, but not until I get my own life in order).
Solicitor: Every dollar helps!
Me: Maybe next time (read: No, no, no, no, no.  If I donate now, you and every other special interest group will continue to harass me when all I want to do is take my groceries and go home).
Solicitor: (insert some douchey guilt trip here, such as, “Come on…you just have to skip Happy Hour one time this week”.)

It’s not that I’m against donating to good causes.  It’s just that I don’t care to be treated like an elitist dickhead when some random special interest political group asks for a donation, when I’ve already contributed to a few causes over the last month.  There’s only so much donating a grown ass man can do, especially when he’s a broke grown ass man. 

Of course, you could just ignore them and walk away.  The downside in that is that they’ll still be there the next time and will continue with their hard sell.  The best way to get rid of them for good is if they remember you, and think twice about approaching you again. 

So, here are some simple methods in getting them to leave you alone for good.

Option 1: The “sub for sub” method

There’s this obnoxious trend in the social media world that I like to call the “sub for sub” method or “#TeamFollowBack” method.  People that post YouTube videos on the reg create their own channels, and the more subscriptions they get the more they can pursue their dream of being a wannabe internet celebrity.  These people send messages to larger channels and shamelessly request “sub for sub?”… meaning, “I’ll subscribe to your channel if you subscribe to mine.”  A similar and more well-known tact is on Twitter when one Twitter user asks you to follow them, and they’ll follow you in return.  They usually include the hashtag #TeamFollowBack.  It’s a major turnoff, which can actually come in handy during face-to-face interactions. 

How to apply it to unwanted solicitors: When approached, quickly change the subject and tell the solicitor of a great business proposition.  Talk about “win-wins” and feel free to say “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”.  The longer you talk the better.  If your business proposition sounds like a blatant pyramid scheme, that can’t hurt either.  Eventually, you are hard-selling them and they won’t like it, and will most likely break off the conversation and leave you alone forever.

Don’t hold back in your salesmanship. Say things like “this is a cookie cutter slam dunk” and offer a “one-time buy-in” of just $250.

Option 2: Act like a crazy hobo

Do exactly what this guy does.  Consider carrying an empty bottle around to really capture the moment.  If you seem mentally unstable, they’ll want to move on to their next patsy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irZelZxvElI

Option 3: Stare at them as creepily as possible

If the solicitor is a man, try one of these faces.  Important note: keep your eyes wide and smile broadly.  Resist the urge to blink.  It will just add to the aura.

If your eyes bulge like a de-Muppetized Bert (from “Bert and Ernie”), open wide and stare deep into the solicitor’s soul. If not, focus on the solicitor’s hairline. Feel free to giggle under your breath in a deep baritone.

If the solicitor is a woman, try this face.  Bonus points for staring straight at her chest.  Continually ask her to repeat herself.  By doing this, you make her believe that you are not paying attention to what she says, but rather are more intent on taking a mental picture.

Now, this option may prove to be difficult if you are a graduate of Handsome Boy Modeling School.  The downside to being handsome is that channeling your inner creeper may not come across in the desirable manner.  Don’t project a Patrick Bateman aura.  Even considering your dire circumstance, that’d be a little messed up.  Instead, do like Dennis Reynolds.  Be fake-nice/charming, but give her “an implication”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZ1lc6KASWg

Option 4 (for the ladies): Flip the f*ck out

Women are at a disadvantage when acting creepy.  You’ll either come across as funny or sexy, maybe both.  So, in lieu of Option 3, do this: get your PMS on, and fast.  Don’t even let them finish their initial pitch. 

Example-
Solicitor: “Hi!  Would you like to donate to…”
You: “Oh…oh!  Isn’t this just great!  Some day I’m having.  First my boss yells at me for something I didn’t even do, then my husband forgot to pick up the dog from the vet and now we have to pay for an additional two hours of his time, and then my mom called and…”

You get the point.  Rant like hell.  Make up minor personal problems, and overreact to them more than you can possibly imagine.  If the solicitor is a man, believe me, he’ll run the first chance he gets.  If it’s a woman, she may sympathize initially, but will quickly recognize that it’s not worth the effort.  If you’re loud, she’ll probably get embarrassed by the scene you’re causing, which will speed along the process before she makes a mad dash to her next victim. 

“I CAN’T CHANGE THE WORLD! I’M ONLY ONE PERSON! MY SON IS SICK! I GOT A FLAT TIRE TODAY! MY SISTER IS IN TOWN AND SHE WILL NOT SHUT UP! WHO ARE YOU?? WHAT DO YOU WANT? WHAT???”

Conclusion: So there you go.  Enjoy your summer free of harassment from undesired solicitors.  Now you will only have to stop when you really want to. 

You’re welcome.

Can a Live-Blog of Game 5 Between the Celtics & Heat Be Posted Two Days Late? Chunk’s Revenge Says Yes.

Your valiant blogger wrote a half-assed post two nights ago during Game 5 of the Celtics/Heat series, and is just now posting it. An official Chunk’s Revenge press release states: “Sorry, I have a life bozos.” (Important note: “having a life” entails getting fat and hurting himself doing minor tasks around the household).

Am I posting this late?  Yes.  And I would give an excuse but there isn’t much of one.  So leave me alone.  But in anticipation of tonight’s Game 6 between the Celtics and Heat, here is my live blog of Game 5, which doesn’t have a whole lot to do with the game itself. 

Thought #1: The Miami crowd is getting an “F” for not booing Rondo loudly whenever he touches the ball.  Hey Heat fans: he openly mocked your team during a live halftime interview!

Thought #2: These Adidas floating shoe commercials are baffling.  They are reaching for commercials without Derrick Rose in the Playoffs.  Methinks that’s the sign of a shoe company that needs some more spokespeople.  (Editorial note: my suspicions have been confirmed.  Woof.)

Cash Rules Everything Around Me, C.R.E.A.M.!! get yo’ money, dolla dolla bills ya’llllll.  Note: is this from a potentially unreliable online source that acts as an Encyclopedia open to the public? … Maybe.

Thought #3: I’m not much for the PA attempting to instigate “D-Fence!” chants during games, much less must-win playoff games.  I’m very much not for the playing of pop music during timeouts.  I’d rather listen to some shitty high school band than that.  At least that creates some sort of live sporting atmosphere.  In Miami, they just came out of the timeout to Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”.  It’s not fitting or appropriate given that it’s Game 5 of a series that’s tied 2-2.  But if you’re expecting me to rip the decision, think again.  That song could have easily started a dance party.  If you don’t find “Call Me Maybe” to be catchy and awesome then you’re a damned liar.  (Note: Carly Rae Jepsen’s music video had a 30 second ad.  Not OK by Chunk’s Revenge standards.  In lieu of her official music video, Chunk’s Revenge has made the executive decision to post a video of the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders dancing around to “Call Me Maybe” in bikinis.  It kinda makes LeBron’s and Bosh’s free agent decisions make a whole lotta sense.  Safe for work, but you may look like a weirdo creeper.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIfbghHdG1s

Thought #4: Hey!  We’ve had a Greg Stiemsma sighting in Game 5! 

Hi. I’m Greg Stiemsma.

I’m a big proponent of having reality shows for NBA players (not involving a Kardashian).  My top 3 subjects are: DeMarcus Cousins, Delonte West, and JaVale McGee.  Greg Stiemsma is #4 on the list, if for no other reason than to watch that weirdo interact with his prickly sumbitch teammates.

Which reality show would you rather watch?
Option 1- Khloe: “Love you babe!”
Lamar:”Love YOU babe!”
Or…
Option 2 – Greg: “Kevin, will you follow me on Twitter?”
Kevin: “F*ck you Stiemsma! You pu$$y a$$ b*tch!”

Thought #5: This should come as no surprise, but the Heat crowd has another strike against them for that weak ass ovation they gave Chris Bosh when he entered the game.  So, if I have this right…your All-Star power forward that has been sorely missed over the last two rounds returns and you lazy jackasses can barely muster a “woop!” as he checks in.  Lame Miami. Very lame.

Thought #6: It only took 20 years for someone to get off their ass and make a documentary about the greatest basketball team ever assembled, the 1992 Dream Team.  In order to maximize the effectiveness of the doc, Chuck Barkley should narrate.  If he’s not, I’ll be thoroughly disappointed right off the bat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3umkSmzILKU

Thought #7: Whatever genius had the totally rad idea of having Stephen A. Smith act as an intermediary for Sportscenter fans during the cross promotion of the upcoming film Prometheus, f*ck you pal.  I was excited to see that.  Associating with Stephen A. Smith is never a good idea.  If you have a second round of ads featuring Skip Bayless I’m driving the 3000 miles to Bristol, gallantly puffing my chest to the decision makers at ESPN, and getting my whine/snivel on.

Official statement from Stephen A. Smith: “ACTUALLY, I can ruin more than SPORTS TALK. I can smother Hollywood BLOCKbusters with my stink, TOO. #holla”

Thought #8: Great news amigos.  I discovered the first benefit associated with Heat home games.  Baby, aka “Birdman”, aka “The Numba One Stunna”, (of the Cash Money Millionnaires crew, duh) sits courtside.  Some yuppie Miami socialite probably shit himself when the usher guided him to his seat.

Thought #9: Mike Wilbon just mentioned during the halftime show that a friend in attendance texted him saying that the crowd is acting like this is the French Open.  Magic offers a justification that “they sense the tension” and the importance of the game.  As if the same can’t be said for Boston’s, San Antonio’s, and Oklahoma City’s fans, who are all very, very loud.  But in comes Chris Broussard to the rescue, by pointing out that Miami is “not the best crowd in the league”.  Let us not forget, the Miami Heat had to start a promotional campaign (“Fan Up Miami!”) to get the fans excited for games, to which they got fussy. 

Heat: “Fan Up Miami! We’ve got LeBron, Wade and Bosh now! Wheeeee!”
Fans: “Don’t tell me to fan up you big jerks!”
Heat: “OK, fine.”
Crickets living in American Airlines Arena: “Thank goodness! Our voices will still be heard!”

Thought #10: I’ve waited a long time for this, and finally someone has answered my prayers.  During casting for its newest commercial, Sprint found the black Napoleon Dynamite.

“Gaww!”

Thought #11: Mickael Pietrus is one of the most frustrating players to watch in the league.  He can have an absurd turnover, get called for an illegal screen, have a great steal, turn it over again, then hit a backbreaking 3 all in the span of 2 minutes.  I don’t even like Boston, and it still drives me nuts.

Thought #12: So Mr. Rondo has had a turrrible shooting game.  But he’s still having an impact on the game, especially when it counts most.  Hussle plays galore with this guy (poking a loose ball to Pietrus for 3, rebounding his own miss and putting it back, getting another loose ball resulting in a Garnett jumper that put the Celts up 1).  He’s certainly sensing the tension.  He just has the complete opposite reaction of the Heat crowd.

Thought #13: Pop quiz!  You know what the most anticipated movie in years is?  Prometheus.  A Hollywood advertising agency just said so.

Thought #14: Pietrus just had a shameless flop, got Mario Chalmers T’d up in the process, and Jeff Van Gundy is beside himself.  JVG hoots and hollers about Pietrus needing to be fined ONE MILLION DOLLARS!  I hate flopping more than anything.  That said, the Chalmers technical probably wouldn’t have happened if he didn’t bitch at the refs all game and complain about obvious fouls.  Methinks if he kept his mouth shut, there wouldn’t have been a tech called.  But se la vie.  It’s not like JVG was complaining about Chalmers’ shenanigans earlier in the game, and pontificating on the possible late-game repercussions of partaking in the aforementioned shenanigans.  Oh…wait…

Thought #15: Less than 2 minutes left, the Heat down 2, and yet…no sign of life from the crowd.  The PA just started a “Let’s Go Heat” chant to help them out.  Christ almighty meng.  You guys are all familiar with what the supposed benefit of having home court advantage is, right?

Thought #16: Less than a minute left, Heat looking to comeback, and the PA just had to start his second “Let’s Go Heat” chant to get the crowd going.

Thought #17: The refs are about to break the backs of the Heat by ruling that Udonis Haslem knocked the ball out of bounds, so it will be Celtics ball.  JVG believes that the crowd will come “unglued” if the call is overturned.  Not so sure of that homey.  I’m thinking it will be more like David Putty’s reaction when he found out he was going to hell. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-8GIEQjqW8

Final Thoughts: Celts win and go up 3-2 in the series.  MVP’s of the game are Garnett and Rondo (who shot like shit, but always seemed to make a play when it was needed most).  MVP’s from the crowd were The Numba One Stunna and the kid that yelled “Good Job!  Good Effort!” to the Heat players as they left the court after the loss. 

Until next time amigos, I’m out.

“Eh”: The Emphatic Response Upon Hearing of the Blazers Newest GM

Qualifications: a). Good at dealing with difficult people, b). Shows ability to hob-knob with dickhead elitist owners, c). Considered to be a “wheeler and dealer”, d). Graduate of Handsome Boy Modeling School. Am I describing the banished-from-Portland Kevin Pritchard? Yes. But the same can also be said for my new BFF, Blazers GM Neil Olshey.

I’ve been out of pocket for several days, amigos.  I was on a trip ripe with 100 degree weather, terrible wakeboarding tricks, and overindulgence.  I return to the world farmer tanned, feeling like a slug from days of feasting on BBQ and beer, and completely out of the loop in all that is going on in the world.  The sporting world always seems to have some major shift while I’m gone.  This time, the Conference Finals are were suddenly tied in the East and West, but more importantly for Blazers fans, there was some bigger news: The Portland Trail Blazers hired a real life General Manager for the first time in over a year. 

The man for the job: Mr. Neil Olshey, formerly of the Los Angeles Clippers

News of his hiring was met by a resounding “eh” by yours truly. 

The jury is still out on Olshey as a GM in general.  There will be plenty of time to nitpick the details, starting with this month’s NBA Draft.  That said, I’m feeling like a bit of a hater this evening, so join me as I rid myself of a weekend hangover by sipping on a vast amount of Haterade, countering the positives listed for his hiring.  What right do I have in doing this?  None.  But we live in America, pals.  So off-base opinion pieces from unqualified blogs are just a part of the culture.  Try to mute my voice, and this is what you’ll get.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDoGqZUHVEI

Shall we?

Haterade Observation #1:

Yes.  The guy put the dramatic final touch on morphing the Clippers into Lob City by acquiring Chris Paul.  Regardless of the circumstance, kudos should be given, and rightfully so.  That said, the circumstances surrounding that situation were that of a “once in a lifetime” variety: a league-owned club on the brink of losing their lone superstar for nothing while they were desperately trying to sell the team.  They had to trade him.  And they couldn’t just dump him to any old team.  With a player option for this coming season, he had to agree to opt-in for year two in order to make a deal work.  Point being, superstars are rarely available in trade discussions.  No team in their right mind would trade them unless it was an absolute necessity.  You may find yourself asking, “But what if they are?  Shouldn’t there be a savvy GM at the helm who has a track record of pulling it off?”

Haterade Observation #2:

As frustrating as it can be to the sporting purists out there, many elite superstars have figured out a brilliant marketing maneuver: cross sell the bajeezus outta themselves and turn their names into a brand.  Behind this is a Hollywood agency called CAA (Creative Artists Agency).  Think like this: Ari Gold decides that he wants to broaden his clientele from just actors/musicians and move into the sporting landscape.  This is the kinda shit they’re selling:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F613dbnA_WE

Cheesball?  Yep.  Effective?  Apparently.  Just look at what LeBron James is doing.  His entire focus isn’t to drive shoe sales for Nike.  It’s also to drive traffic to his Twitter feed, Facebook page, and most importantly his own website (which actually makes him pretty freaking smart…but that’s a story for another time).  When he gets enough hits he becomes an effective marketing tool for advertisers.  For example, have you noticed a lot of celebs, athletes, and even sports writers opening up Facebook fan pages?  That’s not just to be interactive.  They can attract advertising dollars by having a bigger social media footprint.  The more “likes”/subscribers the more attractive they are, and the more money they can potentially make.  It’s all about opening multiple avenues of income, amigos.  It’s brilliant, actually.  I know this because if I had more than 59 Twitter followers I would try to do the exact same thing. 

So what’s that have to do with CP3 going to the Clippers?  Simple.  He went to Los Angeles.  Brands are built with exposure, and by being in one of the largest media markets he has a better chance at promoting his brand there, than say, in Houston.  A bigger populace, more television exposure, and more highlight reels by teaming with Blake Griffin.  The Lakers trade would have been ideal, but if that wasn’t happening then another Los Angeles franchise would still do the trick.  Just so long as the parts were in place to garner more exposure. 

 As a fan of a small market team I want to say that new world media makes it so big markets shouldn’t matter as much.  But the truth is it does.  Getting a city like Los Angeles into a frenzy is more attractive to ESPN producers than watching Portlanders unbutton their flannels and partying with their pants off.  It’s not fair, per se, but it’s the truth.  The big cities get more coverage because they’re…big.  “Big” drives viewership.  Viewership drives exposure.  Exposure drives that internet money.

By demanding that he get some of that internet money, Stephen Abootman proved to be quite the forward thinker.

Full circle: what does this have to do with Olshey?  One of the “positives” in his hiring is his relationship with CAA’s Leon Rose, which in theory, should pay dividends when big names are looking to land elsewhere.  Maybe he’ll break the mold with his move to Portland.  But I’m skeptical.  Unless superstars are jonesin’ for a guest spot on Portlandia.

Haterade Observation #3:

The blueprint in succeeding as a small market franchise is building through the draft, maximizing each pick available.  Everyone points to the Spurs and Thunder, and there’s one thing you’ll notice when perusing their rosters.  Their cornerstones were drafted by the teams they play for now.  Every team will have trades along the way, but the Spurs didn’t trade for Tony Parker or Manu Ginobli.  That was just some good drafting by the Spurs brass.  As a small market team, you need to know what you are.  The splashes that are made in the trade and free agent markets are important, but certainly not earth shattering by any stretch of the imagination.  You can’t believe that swinging for the fences and landing an elite talent will fall into your lap. 

So knowing that, what is Olshey’s track record in the draft game?  There isn’t much to work off of, as he took over in 2010.  That year he selected Al-Farouq Aminu and traded a future first-rounder for Eric Bledsoe.  Not bad at all, considering Aminu was included in the CP3 trade and Bledsoe has some promise.  But in 2011 they had no first rounder.  Olshey traded for Jamario Moon/Mo Williams in exchange for Baron Davis and an unprotected 2011 first rounder…which ended up being the #1 overall pick.  Translation: he traded Baron Davis and the #1 overall pick for Jamario Moon and Mo Fucking Williams.  This made the Clippers the second most popular NBA franchise in Cleveland last year.

It’s worth pointing out, that one of the finalists for the Blazers GM job was David Morway, the GM for the Pacers.  That’s another small market team, that just so happened to rebuild their franchise from scratch through the draft, and nearly all of the players were selected outside the Lottery.  But I digress.  What would he know about building a competitor out of a small market team?

Haterade Observation #4:

Rumor has it that Larry Miller, the Prez of the Blazers and alleged “basketball man” was pushing internally for Morway.  Paul Allen’s BFF, Bert Kolde, was a staunch supporter of Olshey.  The talking heads at Vulcan Inc. from Seattle won out.  This isn’t a good thing. 

So Neil, you seem like a nice enough guy.  I’m a diehard fan of the Blazers and am now in a position in which I have to trust you, and I will comply.  But I beg of you, don’t just settle for that half-assed backhand compliment I just offered.  Smack that Haterade outta my hand and punch me in the face.  Beat the hell outta me and yell things like “How you like them apples!” by way of being savvy and brilliant.  A bruised ego would be a small price to pay if my ranting and raving is completely off-base.

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