July, 5, 2011
By Henry Abbott
- Nets part owner Jay-Z has one of those lyrics from his drug dealing days where he gives the address of his old "stash spot," an apartment building where he really lived in Brooklyn (and where he is said to have been a good neighbor). New York City M.C. Skyzoo, on SLAM video, reminds us that address where Jay-Z used to live is literally a block from where the Nets stadium is well under construction. "To hear him in the song saying you know, the stash by 560 state street, and then the arena's right there, it gets no realer than that. I don't think it will ever get realer for any rapper on the planet."
- Kenneth Faried has all the signs of becoming one of the most beloved players in the NBA, thanks to his relentless work ethic and toughness. For that he thanks Allah, his mother Waudda's resilience in the face of an almost-fatal kidney disease, and the fact that he was raised by a lesbian couple. Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post: "Over the years, Waudda's resilience made Kenneth resilient. And while his father, who lived in Jersey City, was an important inspiration (and will be moving to Denver), it was his mother who arguably taught him the most about love. There she was, insurmountably suffering, and by her side was a person with an unwavering heart. The person just happened to be a woman. 'I consider her as my mother,' Faried said of Copeland, whose bond with Waudda Faried became legal in a 2007 civil union. 'It wasn't like I didn't like the lady or didn't respect her. I love her. I was really young when she came into my life. It was extremely easy for me to accept. There's a big gay community out there (in Jersey). It's made me able to accept anything in my life.' Faried, indeed, faced the cruelty of kids. 'Growing up,' he said, 'people would say stuff to me about my mom being with another woman. They'd talk about how it would affect me, that I would become a crazy child. But it affected me in a good way. I'm able to adapt to anything.'"
- If, like most NBA owners, you're in the business of paying players to get you wins, then the Bulls, Heat, Thunder, Spurs, Knicks and Grizzlies did the best job in the NBA last season, according to a cool analysis by Arturo Galletti at Wages of Wins. The Mavericks were the 24th best at getting value out of contracts, but that's where sports analysis gets wacky. If your goal is a title, their season was perfect.
- How to turn your kid into a one-man NBA store inspired video dance party.
- Derek Fisher points out that if you're tearing up contracts to rid the league of big deals for the likes of Gilbert Arenas, you may well also find yourself tearing up below-market deals like those for Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant. Also, a hard cap would tear apart the Lakers and Magic, but potentially also teams like the Thunder.
- Clay Kallam, varsity girls' basketball coach and SLAM writer: "The rate of ACL tears, arguably the most devastating knee injury and arguably the one with the greatest chance to have long-term impacts on knee health, is four times greater for women than men. Anyone involved in the sport for any length of time has seen far too many players go down in pain, from WNBA all-stars to freshman girls trying the game for the first time. And at some point, we all have to come to terms with this painful sacrifice that so many women and girls make for the sport. Yes, women are tough and strong, but it’s also true that a variety of factors make them much more vulnerable to crushing, debilitating injuries. I have to say I still struggle with it, and I still cringe any time a girl goes down. I can’t watch their pain, and if I’m the one who has to go on the court to comfort them as they sob in agony, I have nothing to say beyond meaningless platitudes. Yesterday, one of the top young players on the West Coast hurt her knee in a warmup tournament for the summer recruiting circuit. She came back from the hospital later in the day, her leg wrapped, and the word was she heard something pop in the back of her knee. When she walked by, I struggled for words, and finally settled for a sympathetic pat on the back. Sure, she’s tough enough to have babies, and tough enough to deal with any guy who challenges her on the court-- but if she did tear her ACL (and here’s hoping she didn’t), that will be cold comfort in her year of rehab and the very real possibility that she will never be the player she was before she crumpled to the floor."
- Keeping an eye on official team websites, where good content has essentially been banned during the lockout, the Spurs have some breaking 1973 Dallas Chaparrals news, complete with yellowed newspaper clips.
- Just saw a list of celebrity presenters at this year's ESPYs. Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin and Jason Kidd are said to be attending, but no NBA players among presenters.
- This is basically a prediction that NBA owners will cave. My hunch is essentially that players will cave, too -- at least enough to get a deal before games are missed.
- Kevin Pelton's analysis says Jimmer Fredette joins Kyrie Irving as favorites for rookie of the year. For the record, Fredette's coach says he'll be coming off the bench.
- Looks like Shawn Marion is eating dominoes for breakfast. (Memo to toddlers: That's a joke.)
- Andrew Bynum was criticized for scrapping instead of playing basketball as the Lakers were eliminated by the Mavericks. Now he's prepping for next season with boxing training.
- DeMarcus Cousins reportedly gets riled up at a Goodman League game.
- The yin and yang of Ted Leonsis. He is said to be among the NBA's hard-liner owners, but he's also touting the the benefits of the Dalai Lama's peace-loving ways.
- John Calipari invites all former Kentucky players back to campus to work out, in case they need a lockout gym.
- Jack McClinton is a good basketball player, but he's not so good at keeping his overdue car registration low-profile.