LeBron gets ready for return to Cleveland

The Miami Heat-Cleveland Cavaliers game on Thursday will be anything but routine for either team. It’s LeBron Jame’s first time back in Cleveland since “The Decision” that left most Cavalier hating their former King.

“LeBron James can go fuck himself,” lifelong Cavs fan Martin Gilden said. “Cleveland always sucks at sports, and just when we’re gettin’ good, he fuckin bolts it for South Beach. Fuck LeBron.”

Gilden’s opnion on King James is felt by many in Cleveland who felt betrayed when LeBron made his decision to take his talents to South Beach. But Thursday night’s game offers a chance for fans to tell him how they really feel.

“It’s going to be wild, probably out of control,” Gilden said. “Say what you want about Cleveland sports, but our fans are loyal. And you can bet that when the Heat come into town tomorrow night there’s going to be a lot of noise. There’s going to be rioting, finger pointing, garbage flying. It’s going to get creepy and weird.”

While Cavaliers fans are looking forward to a nightfall of boos and negative chants, LeBron is saying that he “won’t let the haters shake him.”

“If LeBron James let the haters shake him, then the haters won,” James said. “I can’t let the haters win. I can’t let anybody win if it’s not me. Now that I think about it, fuck the Heat. Even if they win, it’s not only me. I gotta figure something out.”

Rumors have it that some NBA teams have inside bets going on in their locker rooms about what kind of game James will have when he returns to the city that once loved him. Shaquille O’Neal expects LeBron to have a big game.

“I expect him to have a big game,” Shaq said.

The Cavaliers have warned fans that security will be beefed up and signs that are too negative will not be allowed into the Gund Arena. However, fans have formulated other plans to get back at the athlete that betrayed their city.

“I was thinking about, you know, how I can show my hatred for LeBron,” Gilden said. “And after a bunch of dumb ideas, a genius idea came to me. Unforuntately, I can’t tell you what it is. You’ll just have to tune into tomorrow night.”

 

LeBron-less Cavs win first game

Satire/Matt Driffill/10.28.10

The LeBron James era in Cleveland ended abruptly, but the team isn’t ready to stop their winning ways. Cleveland Cavaliers fans applauded, cheered and some even cried as their Cavaliers defeated the Boston Celtics Tuesday night in their season opener.

“It feels really good to win for these fans,” Jamario Moon said. “For real though. Once LBJ was out we was all like, ‘ya’ll know nobody’s coming to our games anymore.’ But here they were, cheering us on like we’ll still be a playoff team or something.”

The new-look Cavaliers were led by J.J. Hickson who scored 21 points.  Hickson was almost traded last season, but Dan Gilbert and the rest of the Cavs are happy they haven’t as it appears he is the heir apparent to King James’ throne in Cleveland.

“Who said that?” Hickson said after the game. “Please, nobody say that. I don’t need that shit in my life, man.”

The Celtics, who defeated LeBron’s Heat on Tuesday, couldn’t understand how they lost to them.

“I don’t really know what happened,” coach Doc Rivers said. “We showed up, saw a team of scrubs, and just didn’t bring our A-game. Pretty disappointing, but also pretty funny.”

“I’m happy for the people of Cleveland,” Celtics guard Paul Pierce said. “It’s not everyday you get to raise the spirits of an entire city. I’m glad we could help them.”

 

 

Will LeBron’s “Decision” hurt his legacy?

Jeff Van Gundy Talks About Miami Heat

There has been no shortage of media attention for the free agency frenzy that the NBA has experienced this summer.  Basketball analysts have been debating whether the Miami Heat’s big 3 will be able to succeed with 3 superstars on the team.  Questions about who the “alpha dog” will be at the end of games have led to some skepticism about the Heat’s upcoming season.

But ESPN NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy thinks that the Heat will be just fine.

“Are you kidding me?”  They are the greatest team ever assembled!” he said.  “They won’t win just 50 games, 60 games, or 70 games.  I think anything other than 82 wins this season will be a disappointment from them.”

"It's not too small, IT'S TOO THIN!!!"

Van Gundy, a former coach for the Houston Rockets has been working for ESPN as an on-screen analyst since 2007.  He is most known for his insight to coaching along with his commical undertones while announcing.  However, he says his predictions for the Heat’s upcoming season isn’t a joke.

“This is not a joke at all,” he said.  “They have assembled the greatest team in the history of sports.  You could grab the top 10 players in the league that aren’t on the Heat, put them all on one squad, and Miami would still beat them by 50.

“I used to suffer from ED.  It was bad, real bad,” he said.  “Especially since Stan (Van Gundy, Jeff’s younger brother) has received awards about his sexual abilities. My confidence was always killed whenever I got close to a woman.  That was until… ‘The Decision.’

“When I found out LeBron was teaming up with Wade & and Bosh in south beach I immediately became erect,” he admitted.  “In fact, it hasn’t gone away since that hour long special.  And now I have confidence in bed, and the Miami Heat.”

Jeff’s brother Stan seems to think otherwise.

“They’re probably not going to win every game,” Stan Van Gunday said.

KG vs Duncan

4/23/09- Matt Driffill

There has been a lot of great comparisons in sports over the past decade.  Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, or Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols.  However there are so many more compelling match-ups in the NBA (largely because these players actually play face-to-face against each other).  LeBron and Kobe, Chris Paul and Deron Williams, Dwight Howard and Yao Ming, Anderson Varejo and Joakim Noah, Stan Van Gundy and Super Mario, or even the new generation of big men in Blake Griffin and Hasheem Thabeet.  There’s been so many great mini-rivalries in the NBA, but have any ever come close to that of Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan?

Duncan is a month older than Garnett, but KG does have two more years of NBA experience (Garnett came to the NBA after high school and Duncan came after a standout collegiate career at Wake Forest).  They play the same position.  They have always elevated the play of their teammates.  They each average over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game for their entire career.  Aside from a few differences their careers, and stats are almost mirror images of each other.

So if there is two great players like there is here, then I am forced to ask the obvious sports fan question, “Who would you rather have on your team?”  And then a more intelligent sports fan would ask, “What makes you want that player over the other?”

So if you had to decide between two of the NBA’s best big men in the last 20 years, who would you choose?  There’s so many things to look at because despite having similar statistic careers they have such different skill sets.  Garnett is much better at posting up, but Duncan is far and away a better jump shooter from anywhere on the floor.  So I have broken it down into the following categories to decide who will be considered the best big men of this era of professional basketball.

1) Regular Season Statistics

There haven’t been many power forwards more imposing than KG and Duncan.  Big, strong, and athletic will obviously translate to impressive stats for almost 13 years, but either of these players could be used as the model of consistency.  For the last ten years they have little, to no, disparity in their statistics.  Over that course, KG’s most successful season came in 02-03 when he averaged 24.2 points per game.  His worst season during that stretch was 07-08 with 18.8 PPG (when he was finally given a decent supporting cast and wasn’t asked to carry a team like he did in Minnesota.  Over that same time, Duncan’s worst season was 18.6 PPG in 05-06 and his best was 01-02 with 25.5.  As you can see, there is little difference between their peaks and their valleys.  But there has to be a winner.

Duncan averages 21.4 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 3.2 APG, 2.3 BPG, .8 SPG and is a career .507 FG shooter.  Pretty fuckinpressive!

Garnett averages 20.2 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.6 BPG, 1.4 SPG and is a career .496 FG shooter.  Holy Cats!

These two are a lot closer than people tend to believe.  However, obviously Duncan has had a better career statistically so he gets the edge.

Duncan 1 – Garnett 0

2) Playoff Statistics

You may think this is a flawed stat because Duncan has made the playoffs every year of his career, but despite being on some awful teams in Minnesota, Garnett has made the playoffs 9 times compared to Duncan’s 10.  So that might make you think they might be pretty close in amount of games, but Garnett has only played 73 compared to Duncan’s 155 (Garnett has only made it out of the second round twice).  Regardless, the stats are all in averages not totals so it does even out in my humble opinion.

Duncan in the playoffs averages 23.4 PPG, 12.7 RPG, 3.5 APG, 2.7 BPG, .7 SPG and shoots .501% from the field

Garnett in the playoffs averages 21.6 PPG, 12.4 RPG, 4.4 APG, 1.6 BPG, 1.3 APG and shoots .470 from the field.

Again, there stats are eerily similar, but Duncan does get the slight edge over KG.  Although I would like to point out how these players both have elevated their playoff stats from their regular season stats.  It just goes to show how good these guys are and how competitive they are that they raise their game when it matters most.

Duncan 2 – Garnett 0

3) Defensive Skills

This is a relatively easy topic for anyone who is a real NBA fan.  Despite all of his awards, points, rebounds, individual accolades, titles, and everything else, Tim Duncan isn’t considered an elite defender in the NBA. cI would suppose a huge reason for that is because of his comparisons to Kevin Garnett.  KG plays the same position and has been named to that team 9 times (2000-2008) and only twice to the 2nd team (2006 and 2007).  KG also managed to take home the 2008’s Defensive Player of the Year Award with the Celtics.  It was the first time KG wasn’t forced to carry a team offensively and his defensive play improved greatly.

I suppose if you have been reading carefully up to this point you’re probably wondering why with more BPG and RPG how come Duncan hasn’t made an All-Defensive team yet.  The simple reason is he doesn’t bring the intensity that Garnett brings.  He doesn’t bring the help defense that Garnett brings.  And Duncan’s stats are flawed because he plays center.  A true center.  He is always the biggest man on the floor for the Spurs have been since he was drafted.  Duncan was considered a power forward when he was drafted because they had David Robinson, but he is a true center.  It’s cute that they have kept the name power forward, but he is a center.  Garnett however has played a true power forward position throughout his career.  Such position would allow for less blocks and rebound but more steals and assists.  So that’s the reason of disparity between their career statistics; they don’t truly play the same position.  Regardless, Garnett is one of the top-5 defenders in the NBA, and Duncan is not.

Duncan 2 – Garnett 1

4) Individual Accolades

These two big men have achieved a lot since the late 90’s, but who has a better resume.  I mean obviously they are both sure-fire hall of famers, but who’s going to be first on the ballot (Michael Jordan was billed ahead of John Stockton and Jerry Sloan this year and rightfully so)?

Duncan– NBA Rookie of the Year (1998), NBA MVP (2002, 2003), NBA Finals MVP (1999, 2003, 2005), NBA All-Star Game Co-MVP (2000 with Shaquille O’Neal), All NBA Team (First Team; 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007.  Second Team; 2006, 2008), and 11 time NBA All-Star (1998, 2000-2009)

Garnett– NBA MVP (2004), NBA Defensive Player of the Year (2008), NBA All-Star Game MVP (2003) NBA All-Rookie Team (1996) NBA Scoring Champion (2004), NBA All Defensive Team (First Team; 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008….Second Team; 2006, 2007), All NBA (First Team; 2000, 2003, 2004, 2008….Second Team; 2001, 2002, 2005….Third Team; 1999, 2007), and 12 Time NBA All-Star (1997-1998, 2000-2009)

No real surprises.  These are two of the top-50 players of all-time so obviously they’ll have rap sheets longer than Peter North’s porn scenes.  Although Garnett has obviously super-ceded Duncan defensively, Duncan has 3 NBA Finals MVP’s and is a first team All NBA 9 times compared to Garnett’s 4.

Duncan 3 – Garnett 1

#5) In the Media

Despite all their success on the court and lack of controversy and legal trouble off it, neither of these super stars have ever had mega-huge advertisement deals.  They are both under contract by Adidas and Garnett spent some time under And 1 early in his career.  Most importantly KG wasn’t recently referenced in The Lonely Island’s “I’m On a Boat” featuing T-Payne

Duncan 3 – Garnett 2

6) Elevating Play of Teammates

This is a fickle situation, but I have a theory to find the answer.  Tim Duncan has obviously had more success.  Four NBA Championships compared to Garnett’s 1.  But just as obvious is how much better Duncan’s supporting cast has been throughout his career compared to Garnett’s.  Between David Robinson, Tony Parker, Bruce Bowen, and Manu Giniobli Timmy Duncan has always had a lot of talent around him.  Duncan has always been the main piece of the puzzle, but it hasn’t been just him alone.

Then you look at the only two times in his career Garnett has had a healthy and talented supporting cast.  2004 in Minnesota (his MVP season), him Latrell Sprewell, and Sam Cassell became the #1 seed in the west and made it to the wester conference finals.  Then in 2007 he joined up with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce and they went on to win the title.  Whenever Garnett has had the chance to win he has won.  He’s worked in funky systems with several different coaches and dysfunctional teammates while Duncan has worked with the same nucleus of guys and one coach for his entire career.  It is much more of an achievement in my opinion for what Garnett has done for his career.

It’s like the Peyton Manning and Tom Brady argument in my opinion.  Many people argue the fact that Manning is better and that Tom Brady’s 3 Super Bowls is more so a product of the talent and coaching around him.  I don’t know if the Patriots would have won three Super Bowls with Manning, but I certainly wouldn’t bet against it.  And I don’t know if the Spurs could have won 4 titles with Garnett instead of Duncan, but I definitely wouldn’t bet against it.

Duncan 3 – Garnett 3

It’s a 3-3 tie, how appropriate.  These two have had such marvelous careers with so many accomplishments and awards it would be a disservice to say either was better than the other.  I do leave it open however for one to take over the other for the rest of their careers.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s even right now, but they have plenty of mileage left and I’m sure we’ll see more screams from KG and more stares from Duncan over the next few years.  At least for basketball’s sake I hope so.

Alright, I take KG cause he’s a badass.  Impress me during this postseason Timmy!

Darko Doin’ Work

*Fictional Story

5/14/09- Matt Driffill

It turns out Kobe Bryant isn’t the only NBA superstar that has been “doin’ work” lately.  In fact, he’s not even the only NBA player with a documentary about him that’s titled that.

NBA superstar power forward and European playboy Darko Milicic has teamed up with German director, Dietrich Haugk, to produce a documentary that some critics are saying is a can’t miss summer hit.

“Darko is really excited about this opportunity,” Milicic’s agent/translator Mike Jansen said.  “He’s really fallen out of the limelight since his breakout season in 2006.  This film could be huge for him.”

Milicic’s alleged breakout season was when he averaged 8 ppg, 4 rpb, and 1.2 bpg.  He started only 16 games.

Naturally Kobe’s film with Spike Lee is creating a lot more buzz than “Darko Doin’ Work” amongst sports news programs, but some critics are responding to the “Dark-O” side of things.

“Who wants to see a Kobe movie?” asks movie critic Lilli Tyc-Holm.  “He’s on the television every day doing silly things like throwing ball through hoop.  Darko is raw Yugoslavian emotion.  Can’t ask for more than raw Yugoslavian emotion.”

Milicic’s career has been nothing short of a let-down since the day he was drafted.  He was picked second overall in the widely talented 2003 NBA draft class.  After the Cavaliers selected LeBron James first overall the Pistons announced Milicic’s name.  The Pistons have since cursed the day as they passed over NBA greats Carmello Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, and Kirk Hienrich.

“Так, в ходе своей предыдущей поездки в Россию,” Milicic said.  “интервью у активистов Координационного Совета гражданских действий Ижевска, которые регулярно проводят массовые акции протеста, а также у активистов профсоюза “единство”АвтоВАЗа, которые поддержали забастовку 1 августа 2007 года в тольятти.”

Milicic has married four different women legally.  His last count of children was thirteen with eight different women in five different countries.  He has also started a close friendship with Travis Henry.

Lakers Sign “Hot Sauce”

*Fictional Story

6/11/09- Matt Driffill

Throughout the 2009 NBA playoffs, few teams have had an answer for Orlando’s point guard Rafer Alston.  Now, in the NBA finals, the Lakers have found that answer.  Early Wednesday morning it was announced that the Lakers have agreed to a deal with former AND1 streeball player Phillip Champion AKA “Hot Sauce.”

“I used to watch that show late at night on ESPN 2,” said Lakers coach Phil Jackson.  “He was a very skilled ball handler, he had quick hands on defense, and his name is hot sauce.  Well gee I love hot sauce.  Plus he can guard Alston.”

“Hot Sauce” played with Alston for three years while they toured on the show “AND1 Streetball.”  At the time Alston played under the alias “Skip To My Lou.”  He ended up getting cut from the AND1 team when he agreed to a deal with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2001.

“I can guard dat boi,” Champion said.  “Lissen ut.  I lawked heem dun fur lyke six yeerz.  Imma whoop his ass.”

Despite being loved by fans for some of the moves he did in pick-up games, no NBA team had wanted him until now.  Some say it’s because of his lack of a mid-ranger jumper.  However, others say it’s because he doesn’t know any of the rules of basketball.  He often slaps other players in the head, travels with the ball, and even runs out of bounds whenever he feels like it.

“Das streeetball!” Champion said.  “Not urrbudy can throw down at.  Gotsa ball and gotsa ball hard.”

Despite this late signing, Magic coach Stan Van Jeremy isn’t concerned.

“That guy is more of a joke than me,” Van Jeremy said.  “We got our point guard back, Jameer Nelson.  He’s the guy!  Hasn’t played since February you say?  So what, that’s only a couple of weeks and he’s right back in the swing of things?  You’re going to question me?  Stan Van Gund…erm, Jeremy!?  I didn’t think so.”

The series is 2-1 in the Lakers favor and with Hot Sauce sizzling up in the finals things are definitely going to shake up.

“Why you fink they call me hot sauce?”  Champion said.  “It’s because after I go through you, ya gonna feel like.  Or taking a shit.  Somethin’ like that.”