Now obviously this is a terrible, horrible, atrocious version of that classic dreidel song, but let’s at least give the tiniest bit of love to Dwight Howard and Terrence Jones for totally killing their portion. Jones be the next Rasheed Wallace, from a strictly beatbox skillz point of view, plus I’m willing to award him extra points for the probably-intentional “That’s a (w)rap!” pun right at the end.
All the other guys though? Yikes. Even an “Animaniacs” shoutout can’t save them.
First and foremost, enjoy our very own Leigh Ellis showing off that shooting stroke he’s always practicing, knocking down a whole mess of free throws while simultaneously earning charity donations for typhoon relief in the Philippines. Also, a turkey is nearby.
But then, once you’re done with that, lean back and enjoy some stuffing — that is, the top 10 blocks of the season thus far. The turkey is still there. Enjoy it!
On Wednesday’s live episode of The Starters, “Turkey Skeets” pays off his November Pick ‘Em loss, free throw coach Leigh Ellis raises money for charity, and the guys discuss John Wall’s speed, Dwane Casey’s clock management, and much more.
All that, plus our Top 10 Stuffs of the season.
Happy Thanksgiving, America! Be safe, and we’ll see you on Monday.
Shoutout: Take your pick between John Wall notching his third-straight 30+ point game and Nene tallying his career-high in points with 30. Couple of big performances from big money guys in a big win against a big opponent. (This sentence brought to you by the NBA is BIG campaign.)
Not so much: Not sure which is worse — Rudy Gay kicking the ball to Amir Johnson for a game-winning corner three attempt or Dwane Casey having Amir Johnson on the court anywhere that is not right next to the basket when the game is on the line. So basically, just that last Raptors play.
And finally: Just to sum up the end of the Nets-Raptors game and move on, here’s what Jason Kidd thought of the ending.
Pretty much exactly what we were all thinking. Good to see he’s standing up now.
I know that headline sounds like pure insanity, but you are going to just have to trust me that it’s true. Well, either that or read this quote from NBA.com’s Jeff Caplan:
“What I did was I joked with the guys that the safest place in the building to stand when we’re at the free throw line is right underneath the net,” Shaw said. “So I gave everybody on the team basically a chance to shoot a free throw with myself standing under the net with my hands down, where if they made it the ball would hit me on top of the head.”
“At this point I’m trying by any means necessary to get us shooting free throws better,” Shaw said. “The guys who hit me the most — well, Kenneth Faried actually got two hits on me — but the guys that haven’t really had an opportunity to play as much were the ones that were really, really aiming for me.”
I once sat near an old lady at a high school basketball game who repeated the call-and-response “What do free throws do? Win games” over and over like a mantra, and since then, I’ve always kept that in mind. And that’s part of the reason I think this is such a great idea — not only do free throws win games, people also love to embarrass other people. So basically, this is the greatest shooting drill I’ve ever heard of. Who wouldn’t want to bonk their coach in the head after he’s been yelling at them for a month? Exactly.
Plus, as Caplan mentions, the Nuggets are terrible at free throws, currently shooting just 70 percent from the line (27th in the NBA) while taking the sixth-most freebies per game at just a shade over 26 per. That’s quite a few extra points to leave on the table, which is worth mentioning once you consider that the Nuggets already have two losses by two points this season. If I’m Brian Shaw, I’ll take a few basketballs to the dome if it gets my team an extra win here and there. Especially because they’re a strong chance they’re going to miss anyways. Win-win.
Sometimes this job can send you on some pretty weird rabbit holes, and I had one today while trying to crack the case of if the guy holding a sleeping kid and yelling at the top of his lungs from yesterday’s show was the Lopez’s dad or brother. Turns out it was their brother, and it further turns out that said brother was quite the basketball player back in the day. And even back then, highly recruited basketball players had newspaper stories written about them
From a 1990 LA Times article on Alex Lopez, the Lopez’s oldest brother and then a 6-foot-10 14-year-old who was trying to decide which high school to attend:
Deborah Lopez, mother of one of Southern California’s best grade-school basketball players, was more than a little occupied with her 23-month-old twin sons. They squirmed and tugged as she walked into the gym at Campbell Hall School in North Hollywood two months ago.
But the twins were not the only ones competing for her attention.
Lopez was being followed by a man she had just met. He wore a blue jacket embossed with the logo of a high school all-star game. He was carrying a notebook and pen.
But he was not attending the game to take notes on the eighth-grade basketball tournament. He was there to meet the Lopezes.
After he had been introduced to Deborah’s husband, Heriberto, he turned his attention to basketball. At first, his up-tempo banter centered on the game in progress.
Then, the conversation turned to the Lopez’s oldest son, Alex, who was playing in the tournament. Before the family left, the man had dropped a few names–John Wooden, Michael Jordan, Don MacLean–and given his phone number.
Standard stuff really — giant eighth grader is good at basketball, which means people start recruiting them for whatever. No big deal. But did you catch that “23-month-old twin sons” part? Because Brook and Robin Lopez were born April 1, 1988 and this article was published April 29, 1990, which translates to “23-month-old twin sons” in parentspeak. We’ve found our boys.
Which is great, considering they come up again later in the article.
There are other things on Alex Lopez’s mind these days. He has a long way to go in developing his skills.
“We want it to remain fun for Alex,” Goldberg said. “We’re not trying to hurry him along. Alex is a kid who has a lot of interests. He collects Batman comic books.”
Lopez is the oldest of four boys–all of whom are expected to grow to 6-10 or taller, their mother said. He is the family’s first to experience the pressures of youth basketball.
First of all, LOL to the fact that even a profile of the eldest Lopez brother contains a reference to comic books. I guess it is a family tradition. Too good.
But even better is the part where the Lopez’s mom just casually mentions that all of her sons — including the other other Lopez brother, Chris, who also looks exactly like a Lopez brother and therefore probably really likes comic books too – are expected to be at least 6-foot-10. I am not sure what kind of alchemy goes in to predicting heights for babies (some combination of growth plate spacing and phrenology, I’m guessing) but it stands to reason that whoever made this prediction would probably be great at that carnival game where you guess a person’s size. Because this is quite the prediction, as both Lopezes ended up at a cool 7-foot-0. Impressive scientific guesswork.
The old saying goes that you can’t teach size, and that’s obviously true. However, it sure seems like you can predict it. So go find the longest baby you can and buy it a Batman comic so you can get in good with its family, because that kid just might be a hilarious NBA center someday.
On Tuesday’s live episode of The Starters, the guys talk Gasol-less Grizzlies, Rose-less Bulls, a rejuvenated D-Wade, the Derrick Williams/Luc Mbah a Moute trade, Kobe’s extension, and Schuhmann’s latest NBA.com Power Rankings.
All that, plus Brent Barry joins us to discuss NBA sportsmanship, superstar injuries, rookie coaches, and his favorite Thanksgiving Day food.
Shoutout: It only took LeBron James 14 shots to score 35 points in the Heat’s win against the Suns. He went 11-14 from the field and 11-11 from the line, both of which are good, plus he added five rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal. It’s only because he’s LeBron James that those stats seem minor.
Not so much: In the past four days, the Chicago Bulls have seen Derrick Rose tear his meniscus, lost to the Los Angeles Clippers by 39, found out Derrick Rose will be missing the rest of the season, and then last night, lost to the Utah Jazz, who had all of one win coming in to the game. Nice few days for Bulls fans.
Brighten the corners: Paul George did this dunk in a game.
The best part about this, besides the Pacers handling the too-tired Timberwolves to keep pace with the Spurs for the NBA’s best record (13-1), is that Paul George kept the lights on and you could actually see his slam. He’s really learning out there.
I don’t want to rush anyone, but we are exactly one month from Christmas, and that means it’s shopping time. Whether you celebrate this or any other winter holiday, you’re going to need to seriously start considering what kind of presents you’re going to get the people on your list. As we’ve heard so many times before, proper planning prevents poor performance pwhen pit pcomes pto pgift pgiving. Or something like that.
And since you’re reading this internet basketball website, I’m guessing you know a basketball fan who might be needing a gift this holiday season. Or maybe you’re that basketball fan who needs that gift. But no matter who’s the recipient, let me just tell you that I’ve found the best possible gift for any basketball fan: basketball-printed and basketball net-printed leggings.
They come from Been By D’Heygere and they’re pretty hilarious. I mean, when is the last time you saw a human being with basketball legs? Probably never, but that’s the effect you’ll see once you get these leggings on the lower limbs of your favorite basketball fan. And if you opt for the net print, you’re also getting the rim along with it, right at the waist. That’s two pieces of basketball equipment on one piece of clothing, which is pretty much the best equipment-to-clothing ratio you’ll see these days.
Even better, both the ball and net leggings have matching t-shirts to go along with them. Personally, I’d pair the basketball shirt with the hoop leggings, since it’d give you the appearance of being a gigantic human basketball going in to an elongated human rim, but that’s just me. At just $150 per pair of leggings — and $175 apiece for the shirts — you can afford to mix and match the looks. Because believe me, once you’ve had basketball legs, you’re definitely going to want to try rim legs. It’s a natural progression, because of gravity.
So you’re telling me that a guy who doesn’t “get” skinny jeans and does “get” football jerseys of basketball teams likes to dance to a song that is a duet by the world’s worst pop star and world’s most annoying rapper? That’s what you’re telling me? OK, well good, because that makes 100 percent complete sense. Thanks for clarifying.