Mon. Oct. 13: Fantasy Preview

, on October 13, 2014 , 7:53PM


Subscribe to The Starters on iTunes | Download the .mp3 directly


We’re back! And we’re talking fantasy! On The Starters second season debut, the guys discuss fantasy basketball sleepers, players to avoid picking, James Harden vs. Steph Curry, whether Anthony Davis is “Akeem Olajuwon 2.0,” and what in the world you should do with an injured Kevin Durant on the board. Oh, my little nerdlings, it’s good to be back.



Subscribe to The Starters on iTunes | Download the .mp3 directly

Matt Bonner went frolicking in Germany

, on October 10, 2014 , 11:52AM

matt bonner on bike


The NBA Global Games tipped off earlier this week, with the Spurs losing their world championship belt to Alba Berlin on a buzzer-beater in a game that was actually hotly contested. As such, the team was in Germany with a little time to explore Berlin. And that’s when our pal, Matt Bonner, did what any NBA player would do — throw on some cords and hit the streets for some frolicking.


Now, from careful research, it appears Bonner was lucky enough to enjoy two separate frolics: a street frolic and a water frolic. The details of these two frolics follow.


matt bonner posing on bike


The Street Frolic


matt bonner helmet


Attire: Navy crewneck, brown corduroys, some grey and red adidas that I’m pretty sure say “Red Mamba” on them, bike helmet (for safety).


matt bonner signing autograph


Activities: Biking, posing on bike, signing autographs, stopping in the park to eat a sandwich.



matt bonner bridge


The Water Frolic


matt bonner sailor hat


Attire: Black crewneck, grey Spurs pants, those same “Red Mamba” adidas, sailor hat (for laughs).


matt bonner by wall


matt bonner gazing


Activities: Strolling, gazing, listening to Yacht Rock playlists, yelling “Land Ho!” a bunch, sandwiches at sea.



What can we learn from these two frolics? Well, for one, it’s always important to have the right headwear when you’re frolicking. Sometimes you’re going for safety, sometimes you’re going for style. Either way, make sure to cover your head.


And secondly is the Joey Tribbiani Rule: it’s never a bad idea to pack a sandwich, because you never know when you’re going to need it. Take care of those two things and you’re good to go, even if you are 6-foot-10 NBA player.

Manu Ginobili is not an ambiturner

, on October 9, 2014 , 12:10PM

manu ginobili ambiturner


For reasons that will eventually come apparent, earlier today I was looking for a picture of Manu Ginobili with his right shoulder a little bit towards the camera but still facing straight ahead. I’ve been in the blog game for a minute now, so I did what I always do when I’m trying to find a head for a Photoshop — pop in to the Getty Images database and search for the player’s Media Day pictures. And that’s when I discovered it.


Manu Ginobili is not an ambiturner. He’s a uniturner.


As if you need it, a quick refresher course on the ambiturner.



So yes, a uniturner (the opposite of an ambiturner) is a person who can only turn one direction. Just like Zoolander, Manu only turns right, always pushing his left shoulder forward for Media Day headshots.


I already know what you’re thinking — we’ve seen Manu Ginobili do all kinds of wobbly leg spinnish style moves going both ways for a long time, bro. That’s true, but further investigations have shown that “uniturning” only affects the afflicted during modeling sessions. Maybe it’s a psychological thing, maybe it’s a “this is my good side” thing. Beats me, but I didn’t get in to medical school.


But what I did get in to, as I mentioned earlier, was the Getty Images database and that’s where I made my discovery. I’m now going to show you every slightly-turned headshot image in the entire gallery available to my subscription along with links back to the source images so that you can see it’s true.


Joakim Noah finally got that chest bump from Tony Snell

, on October 8, 2014 , 9:55AM


Remember that? Well now there’s this.



Wow. With rapid improvements like that one, Snellycat’s second season should be quite a delight. Because if we’ve learned anything, it’s that practice makes perfect, even if it’s during celebrations.


(via Reddit)

A personal history of hated NBA teams

, on October 7, 2014 , 1:10PM

bill laimbeer whining


I don’t really consider myself a “hater” or someone who holds grudges, but this post is going to tell you all about some teams I’ve hated and held grudges against. We’re all humans and we all contain multitudes, so sunglasses deal with it. Besides, if you’ve spent a couple decades as a Bulls fan, you probably feel the same way.


As such, here are the teams I can remember hating, in chronological order, since I’ve become a basketball fan.


1988-91 Detroit Pistons

Level of hate (1-10): 4

Reasons for hating: To be totally honest, I was a little too young (just four years old in 1988) to really hate the Pistons when them and the Bulls were beefing at the end of the 80s. This is more of a built-in hate that every Bulls fan with a Bulls fan dad has, and one that only grows the more you learn about the Bad Boy Pistons. Unfortunately for them, there are books and documentaries and TV specials that detail how they thugged out constantly, so you’re reminded time and time again about how detestable they were. And really, that’s the true mark of a villain — an ability to make people hate them even after they’ve gone away. So yeah, I hated the Pistons, but only because how could you not?



NBA players showing you some basketballs

, on October 3, 2014 , 12:05PM

blake griffin ball hold


Hi, I’m Blake Griffin. And this is a basketball.


jarrett jack ball hold


And I’m Jarrett Jack, and THIS is a basketball. Don’t believe me? Look for yourself.


jarrett jack closeup ball


See? Total basketball.


DeMarcus Cousins has a five-technical limit this season

, on October 2, 2014 , 1:05PM


You want maturity from DeMarcus Cousin? How’s this for maturity.


From the Sacramento Bee:


[Reggie] Evans took to Instagram on Tuesday to keep the pressure on Cousins, posting a picture of a sign in Cousins’ locker that read “5 Technical,” as in technical fouls, for the 2014-15 season.


Cousins has been among the league leaders in technical fouls since entering the league and missed the season finale last season after picking up his 16th of the season.


“In order for me to be a better leader, I can’t be getting ejected, getting these technicals,” Cousins said. “Without me on the floor, it’s hard for this team to win games. (Evans) challenged me and told me no more than five this year, so I’m accepting the challenge.”


This is going to be a fascinating thing to track all season. Is it possible for DeMarcus Cousins to turn in a five-tech season when he’s never had fewer than 12 in a year? If he goes over five, will the Kings fine him in a kangaroo court? Is the key to DeMarcus Cousins being widely accepted as an NBA superstar simply getting less technicals? Will he still get to wear hilarious hats?


I don’t know the answer to any of those questions, but I do know it’s going to be awesome watching DMC trying to do his best to not get technicals this season. It’ll be like watching a dad on a road trip trying to deal with his kids asking him questions from the back seat for hours upon hours, until he finally has to pull over and “go for a walk.” Seems to me there might be a lot of pent-up tension this season, and that only leads to fireworks. Can’t wait.


(via Tom Ziller)

The Indiana Pacers have cornered the market on C.J.s

, on October 2, 2014 , 10:00AM

 three cjs


You know the old saying — “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” But something you might not know is that there is a lesser-known saying that is nearly identical to that one which goes something like, “In the land of no C.J.s, the team with all the C.J.s is the king of the C.J.s.”


You can see why it’s not as popular, but it’s certainly applicable for our needs today. From


The Pacers managed to play 46 seasons without someone named C.J. donning a uniform. Now, suddenly, they have three of them.


C.J. Watson was signed as a free agent last season, and now C.J. Miles and C.J. Fair have been added to the roster. That’s sure to cause some confusion among the coaching staff when addressing players. “C.J., get in the game!” just won’t get it done any longer.


Miles, a nine-year NBA veteran, has laid claim to the name.


“I’ve got seniority,” he said. “I get to keep mine. C.J. Fair has to take whatever he can get. He’s the rookie.”


Assistant coach Dan Burke has solved the problem by referring to each by his hometown. So Miles is “Dallas” and Watson is “Vegas” and Fair is “Baltimore.”


The irony is that none of the three have a middle name beginning with the letter J. Miles is Calvin Andre, Watson is Charles Akeem and Fair is Carl Keith. All three have fathers with the same name, however, so the J comes from Junior.


According to Basketball-Reference, there are four C.J.s who have ever played NBA ball, three of whom are active right now (plus C.J. Fair, who will be a rookie this season). And since C.J. McCollum is on his rookie deal with the Blazers, it sure seems like the Pacers are as C.J.’d up as they can be. Which is to say, turbo C.J.’d up.


It’s a move we haven’t seen since the Nets had all those Williamses, and I’m all for it. If it’s confusing for the coaches who seem them every day to keep track of all those C.J.s, think about how confusing it is going to be for opposing players. It’s hard to tell, but I can see this being worth a basket a game from a “Oh, I was supposed to be guarding the other C.J. My bad.”


My only quibble, however, is that C.J. Watson should definitely get to be the official C.J. of the Pacers. I know C.J. Miles has a couple of years experience on C.J. Watson, but Watson has a (very, very) long year of experience with Indiana, which I think counts for more. Not to mention, I’m sure Frank Vogel called him C.J. all last season, so there’s no need to make things needlessly complicated by getting a new official C.J.


But what do I know? I’m not the one who has 75 percent of the league’s C.J.s on my team. Sounds like a coach job (CJ) to me.

The Washington Wizards are like a box of sexual chocolates

, on September 30, 2014 , 1:45PM


That’s a real Marcin Gortat quote, which is kind of a perfect way for him to start the season considering he’s one of the league’s best quotes. And honestly, when two teammates show up with two very different but still quite fetching mohawks, I think it’s only natural to call them both different kinds of sexual chocolate.


wittmans sampler


And while these nicknames aren’t new, it got me thinking — what if the entire Wizards team grew mohawks and became a box of sexual chocolates? You know, a Randy Wittman’s Sampler. Thankfully, there’s Photoshop.


How I Spent My Summer Vacation: J.R. Smith

, on September 29, 2014 , 12:30PM

jr smith profile


As y’all know, things went bad for us last year. Everybody got hurt, we didn’t make the playoffs, Steve Kerr didn’t want to be our coach and I got in a bunch of trouble for untying some shoelaces. I’m no stranger to trouble, but I think we can all agree that something needed to change coming back this year. Major changes.


And that’s why I spent my summer working on two specific things:


1) Stepping my golf game up;

2) Figuring out how to untie shoelaces without getting in trouble, cause y’all know I love untying shoelaces.


These kind of go hand in hand, to be honest. Untying shoes costs a lot of money for some reason, then you got mad green fees when you’re hitting the links like I do, so if I can save some money while untying laces that’s a double-win for ya boy.


And yo, I think I figured it out.


shoe untier rube goldberg


So you open a window, let a kite catch a breeze, which pulls a string and releases moths, which then eat a flannel shirt (very on trend, I also went to Fashion Week). As them moths keep eating the shirt, it weighs less and less, which means the shoe it is attached to (not the one we’re untying FYI) turns on a switch that starts heating an iron. Eventually, that iron will burn a hole in some pants, and then the smoke from the pants will enter a tree, driving an opossum out because they hate smoke. If it doesn’t play dead, it’ll jump in to a basket, which will pull a rope and lift a cage that will release a woodpecker who will go to work chewing on a pencil until it breaks, which will yank on a knife that slices whoever’s shoelace I’ve secretly attached it to.


It’s a foolproof plan. Not only will it be pretty effective, I get to keep a distance from the actual act which means I should be safe from the fines, which means I should be good to go on the greens. I’m still kinda working out how to get some moths and a woodpecker to hang out at Madison Square Garden, but I seen some bats hanging around some games so it should be fine.