When he played for Villanova, Allan Ray (later of the Celtics and now playing for Lottomatica Roma) endured one of the nastiest moments in basketball history when his eye popped out of his head. It was on international television -- you can probably find the video online, but I'm not linking, even though everything turned out to be A-OK. It happened again last night in the WNBA, to poor Chicago Sky forward Chasity Melvin, who tells the AP, from behind sunglasses: "It was kind of traumatizing. I really felt my eyeball coming out. I felt it coming out and I felt it outside of my face. It's going to take some time to get over this.'' And they say the WNBA isn't tough.
In the New York Sun, John Hollinger is hammering away at a bunch of NBA owners. It's great! But it's all in a context of pointing out how bad things are in Seattle. Minority owner Aubrey McClendon's comments that they'd happily move the team to a city where it will make less money, points out Hollinger, open a big can of worms: "McClendon is saying the team will make less money in Oklahoma City but he'd like to move it there anyway? How do you suppose that one will go over in the commissioner's office? Remember, this is a league that shares most of its revenues, so a team moving into a less profitable situation is an issue for the league's other 29 owners - the same people who have to approve the Sonics' application to relocate. Maybe this just means it will take a bigger buy-off to get approval, but that's still a cost. Then there's the players association. The league's salary cap is set as a percentage of basketball-related income. This means that the amount of money the Sonics make (or don't make) directly impacts how much money every single player in the league will make as well. The players association is sure to find it interesting if a team isn't working to maximize its income by playing in the most profitable city, as McClendon seems to be admitting."
This video is contagious. You probably shouldn't even watch it. If the nasty chest cough of the guy with the camera doesn't get you, the wicked case of the yips that infects Shaquille O'Neal and his Chinese pick-up teammates certainly will.
Larry Bird, Chris Mullin, and Lenny Wilkens are bullish on Team USA, but as Sam Amico reports for ProBasketballNews, they can't just play NBA basketball and expect to cruise. Quoting Larry Bird: "There's also the actual style of game that's played in Europe and throughout the world. It's a different game than what's played here. But we're seeing that it's effective, and that (the U.S.) will need to adjust."
A conference in New Orleans, with Dave Zirin as keynote speaker. He's a guy who writes stuff like this: "'You can't throw money at the problem.' As a former public school teacher in Washington, I heard this cliche from countless bureaucrats. It was code for 'Stop whining about ancient textbooks and prehistoric classroom materials, because there is no money.' Imagine my shock when the city announced it would be spending more than $500 million on a new baseball stadium. Clearly when it comes to the needs of billionaire sports owners, there always seems to be money available to be thrown. This is hardly a D.C. story. The building of stadiums has become the substitute for anything resembling an urban policy in this country. The stadiums are presented as a microwave-instant solution to the problems of crumbling schools, urban decay and suburban flight. Stadiums are sporting shrines to the dogma of trickle-down economics. In the past 10 years, more than $16 billion of the public's money has been spent for stadium construction and upkeep from coast to coast. Though some cities are beginning to resist paying the full tab, any kind of subsidy is a fool's investment, ending up being little more than monuments to corporate greed: $500 million welfare hotels for America's billionaires built with funds that could have been spent more wisely on just about anything else. The era of big government may be over, but it has been replaced by the Rise of the Domes. Reports from both the right-wing Cato Institute and the more centrist Brookings Institution dismiss stadium funding as an utter financial flop, yet the domes keep coming."
Gheorge Muresan cologne! The man is a comedic genius. As further evidence, for the millionth time, I will also refer you to this. By the way, that first link came from TrueHoop reader Luis who blew my mind by delivering a reason to read TrueHoop that I had never imagined: "Big fan of the blog, amazing job. You and your colleagues always keep me entertained when I should be working. Also helped me woo the ladies with my basketball IQ (that I borrowed from all of you through this blog) and I would like to say thank you!" That's right, ladies and germs, TrueHoop can transform your love life.
As long as we're linking to ESPN commercials, here's one with Dikembe Mutombo I had not seen before.
The 1978 NBA Finals, when a scheduling conflict with mobile home show caused the NBA to use an unusual 1-2-2-1-1 travel schedule.
If I'm understanding this video interview correctly, we're all invited to try out for the Timberwolves' dance team early next week.
Clearing up some misconceptions about bacon. And some dance party videos.
Eva Longoria doesn't look like that without some digital assistance. (PG-13 for language.)
Ivan Carter of the Washington Post expects a Juan Carlos Navarro deal soon, and has this to say about Andray Blatche: "As for the Andray Blatche situation, it's impossible for me to know what exactly [Washington GM Ernie Grunfeld] is thinking because he's not talking. My best educated guess is that Ernie is going to sit back and chill for awhile but both sides will come together and get something done. I know this: any leverage Andray and his agent enjoyed is now gone. Teams weren't lining up to sign the kid before the arrest went down and now every other team is just about out of money. In the end, the whole situation may have worked to Ernie's advantage."
A book telling players, among other things, how to select an agent. Surprise, surprise, the author does not recommend hiring "whoever gives you the most expensive gifts."
YouTube is changing the world. Because now we can all watch dumb stuff like this.
Joey from Straight Bangin' is not G-rated at all on the topic of the referee scandal. Here's an excerpt: "Does Tim Donaghy make Tracy McGrady any less intriguing? Does he make Kobe any less of a marvel? Will you no longer care about the Golden State takeover merely because one idiot white dude who is admitting his guilt f---ed up a few games? It's terrible that he did it -- don't get that twisted. But has he devastated an entire league? As far as I can tell, he devastated David Stern's summer vacation. But I survived Hurricane Bob while on vacation once -- these things happen. Betting on the games is one individual's unforgivable offense. It falls short of original sin."
Knick fans, what are you willing to part with to get Ron Artest?
Jazz fans, looks like you'll be enjoying a whole bunch of Kyrylo Fesenko. UPDATE: The deal is done: Fesenko is a Jazz. Jazzman? Jazzer?
For the moment at least, NBA.com's approach to the news of the day: Who's Tim Donaghy? No mention of the guilty pleas. But Chris Duhon's trip to Paris is spelled out in detail.
UPDATE: Ryan, a TrueHoop reader, points out that Yi Jianlian's Milwaukee Bucks will open the preseason in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. And darn it all to heck, they'll miss the town's famed Oktoberfest by a few days.
UPDATE: What happens when your local sports columnist draws a paycheck from the owner of the team he covers?