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Shanghai Nights

Bonzi's Blowing up in China

Bonzi's Blowing up in China

Pop quiz. Where do basketball fans throw water bottles and missiles on the court at players? Detroit seems like the answer here but you’re wrong. Where do teams pay the fines for unruly fans and rowdy behavior? Where do players like Bonzi Wells average 44 ppg and dominate night after night? If you said the CYO league at the local Catholic school, you’re still wrong. The answer is the CBA in China. It seems that the basketball out in China has adapted a more physical style of play that has the CBA handing out heavy fines to players and teams. This appears to be happening all because of some remarks Yao Ming made after China’s disappointing exit in the Olympics. He claimed the Chinese style of play was not physical enough and in order to compete with the best in the world, they would need to adapt a new standard of aggressive, tough basketball in the country.

Well the CBA has responded with over $140,500 in fines and more brawls on and off the court than ever before. With fans not understanding the reasoning behind fouls called and assuming bias towards their players, they respond by throwing water bottles and rioting. CBA chief Liu said “The league has not done a good enough job in getting the message about physicality out.” They need some proper training for their officials because with the physical play, referees are unsure of what is considered good contact and what is considered an actual foul. NBA referees are expected to appear and assist in traning sessions with the Chinese referees to aid the adjustment process.

Americans have also commented on the level of play in China saying that it was not much impressive at all. Not to mention, some players like Gabe Muoneke, former University of Texas player who now plays for the Yunnan Running Red Bulls, got jumped by several Chinese players after a game. He even said the beating wasn’t bad at all. He is one of many Americans who find success in China, but is that necessarily a good thing? With a guy like Bonzi Wells averaging 44 points per game in the CBA, this really doesn’t give him accolades in the NBA. It shows how much more developed players in the NBA actually are and how far behind some countries remain to be.

With the NBA looking to develop new arenas in China in the coming years, look for an increased level of play in China. Yao told a country to be more aggressive and the whole country responded. Imagine what he could do as president, not to mention his giant stature in society. Would Kim Jong Il ever have the guts to stand up to Yao face to face? Can you imagine the priceless photos and video you would get from that meeting? In time maybe the CBA will be a competitive league for D-league NBA players to work on their skills. As for right now, the league is still adjusting and learning to protect it’s players and teams. I’d take Bonzi Wells out of there ASAP. Actually on second thought, let him bask in his greatness while it lasts!

RaginRondo

January 16, 2009 Posted by | NBA, Olympic Sports | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tim Tebow, Meet JJ Redick

 

Pigskins J.J. Redick

Pigskin's J.J. Redick

Tim Tebow already solidified his place as one of the top 5 greatest college football players in history.  His name will have to be mentioned alongside Herschel Walker, Doak Walker, Barry Sanders, and Red Grange.  What happens in his pro career remains to be seen.  Will he saunter the road taken by Danny Wuerffel or the one taken by Roger Staubach.   While Tebow won’t be an all-time great NFL QB, he also won’t be a complete bust.  Instead, he’ll be a fair to middling player whose glory will always be two horrible looking, yet game winning,  jump passes from his collegiate days.  All athletes should be so lucky. 

Tim Tebow, allow me to introduce you to your NBA doppleganger.  His name is J.J. Redick; you may have heard of him.  Mr. Redick spent his collegiate career being adored and worshipped by folks like Dicky V, Tim Brando, and a bunch of others looking for the great hope.  Redick finished as the ACC’s all-time leading scorer and that will be the pinnacle of his career.  Redick now rides the pine for the Orlando Magic as he quickly found out that his collegiate dominance quickly gave way to professional mediocrity.  C’est la vie.  Redick has skills, but can’t compete on the next level.  Similarly, Tebow has tremendous gifts on the collegiate level, but on the next level his gimmicks just won’t cut the mustard.  He’ll make a nice backup QB or backup TE, but the glory days will be a thing of the past once he declares for the draft.  Keep your skills up and keep healthy and you’ll be able to collect a pro paycheck for a few years.  Don’t get too big for your britches.  Bust a J.J. and know your role.

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

January 9, 2009 Posted by | College Football, Features & Opinions, NBA, NFL | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NBA News sponsored by Chris Paul’s Pits?

Chris Paul

Chris Paul

Has anyone seen the new Chris Paul Right Guard commercial where only his lips move on his frozen picture? The commercial for Right Guard continues to get more disturbing as they claim themselves as “the official sponsor of Chris Paul’s pits”. Personally, we know what deodorant is for. There’s no need to sponsor someone’s pits or even highlight the pit region. I always thought that was an area of the body that we knew existed but never focused our direct advertising towards. I’ll compare it to Gold Bond coming out with an ad campaign that features Julio Lugo scratching his balls then using Gold Bond to soothe the pain. Gold Bond, official sponsor of Julio Lugo’s cantaloupe balls. Yeah, I went there. Let’s keep the pits and balls off our TV screens, for the kids sake of course.

And now some NBA news:

The Celtics end their West Coast trip 1-3, leaving a lot of questions about their bench depth.

Lebron and D-Wade went at it last night in a matchup of the top two MVP candidates. Lebron put up 38 pts but D-Wade had 21 pts and 12 assists in the upset over the Cavs. (Lebron’s record on his birthday 0-3)

Sir Charles Barkley was arrested then released on suspicion of DUI Wednesday morning. Story says he drove through a stop sign in Arizona and was pulled over immediately after. He refused the breathalyzer but was given a blood test. Maybe Chuck should have put a taxi’s number in his fave five.

The Houston Rockets have signed Dikembe Mutombo for the remainder of the season. No big surprise here with all the injuries plaguing the Rockets. He is now the oldest NBA player in the league and continues to hold the best catch phrase at the clubs; “Who wants to sex Mutombo!”. Nice to see him back.

Baron Davis does not want to leave the misery that is the Clippers. The rumor began when Stephen Jackson spoke earlier this week about sitting down with Davis. He claims Davis wants to rejoin the Warriors and misses playing with old friend Jackson. Baron can thank Stephen for blowing up his spot in LA and letting the media feast on this story. Now Davis denies all these claims and says he is not jumping ship on the LA ride called the Titanic. It’s a feeling out process, but it’s still a process.

Have a Happy New Year!

RaginRondo

December 31, 2008 Posted by | NBA | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘Twas the Week Before Christmas

Ho Ho Ho

Ho Ho Ho

Twas the week before Christmas so grab your salt shakers,
No NBA team was challenging Boston,
Not even Kobe and the Lakers.
All the banners are hung In the Garden with care,
In the hope Red is watching and the 18th will appear.
KG and the Truth, Perk, Rondo and Ray,
15 in a row, what a sun shiny day!

Then what to my wondering eyes should appear,
King James in the east with a bench who did more than cheer,
They picked up a point guard and I picked up a glass,
I would love for Perkins to beat Varejao’s ass.
But they’ve learned to play defense so will it all last,
Maybe bring the Celtics a challenge like one of year’s past,

Now the Lakers start is what everyone expected,
Oh they’ll win it all, with Bynum uncontested?
But just wait and see when their true colors are showing,
Their Euro players at the disco with their whistles a blowing.
So while Odom and Luke are enjoying the sun,
Toughness remains a question but no denying their run.

So there’s the top 3 and the pot still stirs,
The Magic, Mavs, Nuggets and the still mighty Spurs.
6 coaches now fired and trades yet to be working,
Only Chauncey and the Nuggnutts truly been lurking.
So if you got a ten piece now don’t be Stingy,
After all it’s christmas season, drink booze and binge!

Down the chimney he came with a leap and a bound,
But went straight to work with not even a sound.
He ate all his cookies and none went to waste…,
And as I remember he yelled out…”Kobe how’s my ass taste!”

Spread the cheer, have a beer!

RaginRondo

Test out your NBA Trivia!

December 16, 2008 Posted by | Features & Opinions, NBA | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Knicks’ Mobley Forcefully Retires

Cuttino Mobley

Cuttino Mobley

Trades in the NBA usually benefit franchises and excel players’ careers. However a recent trade between the Los Angeles Clippers and the New York Knicks has ultimately saved one shooting guard’s life. If it wasn’t for rigorous physical exams by the Knicks, Cuttino Mobley wouldn’t have known he was a victim of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – A critical heart disease.

Though Mobley knew there was some irregularity with his heart, an additional MRI exam and several specialists convinced him that his heart had worsened. In fact, if he continued to play the condition would constantly cause the heart muscle to thicken and make it difficult for the heart to pump blood.

It’s a bittersweet moment for Mobley, because though he’s learned about his condition he is giving up the one thing that got him out of the bed everyday…Basketball. He was set to start as the Knicks’ shooting guard and improve their roster. He will now have to watch from the sidelines with his 8-year old son.

Skrybe – Keep it Fly

December 11, 2008 Posted by | Features & Opinions, NBA | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Basketball Players in China are Older than they Appear

China - Yao Ming

A professional basketball league in China and thirty-six of its players are under investigation for age fraud. According to China Sports Daily, athletic professionals are commonly accused of altering players’ ages for various tournaments. This became apparent to most Americans (and foreigners) during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when China “used” underage women on their gymnastics squad. I quoted used because the case was recently under investigation – And gymnastics cases from the 2000 Sydney Olympics still are.

The Chinese hosted the Olympics this year and won second place overall. Much press was gained from the events – So investigating age fraud isn’t all that important to the committee. Not to mention the Chinese already received the severest punishment they possibly could – Losing to the Americans.

The Chinese basketball situation is slightly different though. Players have been listed much younger than their actual age. My thoughts immediately shift to Yao Ming – Could the man possibly be older than stated?

Personally, age fraud isn’t worth it. It’s cool to use a fake I.D. when trying to get into bars, but legally? It only serves as an embarrassment when you can’t perform a few years down the road. The basketball association has “understood” this and promises to be stricter in the future when enlisting athletes.

Skrybe – Keep it Fly

December 9, 2008 Posted by | Features & Opinions, NBA, Olympic Sports | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Crying on the Bench? Weak Sauce.

 

The FlyMaster is sensitive and passionate.  Sympathy, empathy, coarse through his veins.  The sight of newborns, homeless kitties, multicolored lilacs, and layered jello concoctions are silently held pleasures.  Is the FlyMaster soft?  By no means.  Sensitive yes.  However, there was a scene in the Boston Celtics vs. Portland Trailblazers game last week that can harden even the most understanding of men. 

During their win over the Blazers, the Celtics bench began to give up a big lead.  During a timeout Kevin Garnett started berating the bench players and at one point, Glen “Big Baby” Davis walked away from the huddle and started crying.  Crying!  He got yelled at and started crying.  Unacceptable…even by sensitive guy standards.  Now we know why he’s the “Big Baby.”  What did Garnett say or do?  Did he threaten to douse him in baby powder?  Did he yell “Anything is Possible,” loudly in his immature ears?  Weak and weaker.  Davis has no cred anymore.  Check this.

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

December 8, 2008 Posted by | Features & Opinions, NBA, Stupid Athletes, Talkin Trash | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where are they Now?

Ah, as High School basketball draws to a close we should anxiously anticipate the unveiling of the next “sure thing” moving through a year or two of the NCAA’s into NBA fame.  Names like Chris Webber, Kobe Bryant, “King” James, and Dwight Howard, all of which have done all but dissapoint.  But what about the ones that did disappoint, the ones that carried that world of potential to, well, not to the NBA.  Where are THEY now?

 

Jewish Jordan

"Jewish Jordan"

Tamir Goodman: Tabbed the Jewish Jordan, Goodman was recognized by Sports Illustrated, 60 Minutes, and ESPN after averaging 35.4 points per game at the Talmudical Academy of Baltimore, and was dubbed the 25th best HS basketball player in the country.  Goodman received a full-ride scholarship to the University of Maryland in 1999, but was released from his verbal commitment since the school could not accommodate his religious need to have Fridays and Saturdays free.

Goodman transferred to Towson University, but had a separate falling out as he thought his coach was Anti-Semitic.  Goodman finally had the opportunity to showcase his “Jordan-esque” skills when he was signed by Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel.  In 2005, Goodman went on to serve in  the Israeli Defense Force, as a requirment of Israel.  After numerous knee injuries, Goodman returned to America, trying his hand with the Maryland Nighthawks of the PBL, yet today has has returned to Israel to play for the Maccabi Haifa team back in Israel.  Tamir is a motivational Speaker for youth in the Jewish Orthodox religion

Felipe Lopez

Felipe Lopez

 

Felipe Lopez: One of the most heralded players in US High School basketball history, Felipe landed countless accolades including Gatorade, Parade, and USA Today Player of the Year, McDonalds All-American MVP, and the cover of Sports Illustrated.  At 18, Lopez attended a conference with Jim Brown, Bill Clinton, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.  He went on to have a little success at St. Johns University, inlcuding a 17.8 PPG Freshman Year then managed to squeak into the NBA, where he averaged a career total of 5.8 PPG over 4 years.

Felipe has gone on to play ball in the Domincan Republic, where his family immigrated from, The NBA’s D-League, Germany, Spain, The CBA, Brazil, and today in Venezuela for Gaiteros del Zulia.

The Greatest of All Time

The Greatest of All Time

 

Earl “The GOAT” Manigault: Who could forget, when legendary Laker center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had his number 33 retired in the Los Angeles Forum, he was asked who the greatest player he ever faced was.  His response, yes Earl the GOAT Manigault.  

Earl was a basketball legend renowned for his dunking ability, even at 6 ‘-1”.  Rumored to have been able to touch the top of the backboard and execute on the Double-Dunk (Dunk with one hand, then with the other, all while remaining in the air).  Aftering receiving scholarships from Duke, North Carolina, Indiana and more than 70  more Universities, Earl opted to attend Johnson C. Smith University, where he lasted only one semester because of bad grades, which led to less playing time by his coach.  Earl fell into drug usage, catapulting him into prison on 2 separate occasions, but rebounded by starting the “Walk Away from Drugs” tournament held in Harlem, NY, still around today.  Earl passed away in 1998, but will always be remembered as the Greatest Of All Time!

Honorable Mention: Damon Bailey, Jerod Ward, Donnell Harvey, Sebastian Telfair, Leon Smith.

December 5, 2008 Posted by | NBA | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Brothers in the NBA?

I once read that there are more than 375,000 Varsity level high school basketball players in any given year, of which, less than 600 are offered scholarships to play Division I basketball. One could only imagine the rarity of a proud parent, being able to watch their child beat the odds and land a lucrative NBA contract. How about more than one?

Since Dr. James Naismith started throwing a round ball into the peach basket, we could look back and literally count the number of brother tandems to have played in the NBA on our fingers & toes…at least those worth mentioning. I have compiled a list of the Top10 brother tandems in NBA History:

Mr. Basketball

Mr. Basketball

10. George & Ed Mikan: Before there was Wilt or Shaq, there was George, who brought the Laker franchise there very first NBA championship. Little brother Ed, pitched in a modest 6.7 PPG and 5.5 REB over 300 or so games.

9. Jim & John Paxson: We all remember John Paxson draining a 3 to beat Phoenix in the closing seconds of the ’93 championship, but did you know older brother Jim had more than double the career points amassing over 11,000 with Portland & Boston?

8. Brent & Mark Price: Too small, too slow & too deliberate, Mark ended his career as the greatest Free-Throw shooter in NBA history. Brent, not nearly the success, had one fine 10.0 PPG and 5.1 AST season with Washington.

7. Jon, Brent & Drew Barry: The only trio of brothers to make the list, none could match the success of Father Rick’s, but all managed to have enough success to make the list. Brent was the first, and still only, “white guy” to win the NBA slam-dunk championship

6. Albert & Bernard King: Bernard established himself early as one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history by shattering all NJ Nets records in his rookie year. With a quick release jumper, Bernard holds the torch in the King family, although Albert threw in 12.1 a game over 9 seasons.

5. Chuck & Wesley Person: The Person combo drained a combined 2370 3-Pointers over the tenure in the NBA, led by The Rifleman, Chuck.

4. Horace & Harvey Grant: By raw stats, this duo may be high on the list, but with Ho’ Grant’s 6 NBA Finals appearances, 4 Rings, and 4 All-NBA Defensive accolades, coupled with Harvey’s modest run of 3 18+ PPG seasons with Washington, they are well-deserving of the 4 spot.

3. Dick & Tom Van Arsdale: Never heard of them? Well, having dominated this list in scoring (except for #1 of course) , Dick & Tom knocked down a combined 29,311 points over there combined careers.

Human Highlight Film

Human Highlight Film

2. Gus & Ray Williams: Although my heart wants to put Gus, and his 1979-1980 championship ring from my ex-Seattle Supersonics at #1, Little brother Ray had an all too short run of success with the NY Knickerbockers.

1. Dominique & Gerald Wilkins: Who could argue, the “Human Highlight Film” and little brother Gerald. 38,404 combined points makes Mom & Dad Wilkins the NBA’s all-time leaders in points scored by their sons. (Sorry Mr. and Mrs. Alcindor, 38,387)

Honorable Mention: Calvin & Kenny Natt, George & Derrick Gervin, Purvis & Eugene Short, Rodney & Scooter McCray, Charles & Ed O’Bannon, and Brooke & Robin Lopez.

December 4, 2008 Posted by | NBA | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Knicks Lead the NBA

It’s no surprise that the New York Knickerbockers, also known to the un-savvy as the Knicks, have been crowned the most valuable team in the NBA for the fourth straight year. The Knicks are worth $613 million, close to $35 million above its second place followers, The Los Angeles Lakers. Both teams are a given to me solely because of their history and demographic market size.

However two teams that showed the most value change are the Portland Trail Blazers, worth $307 million and the defending champs, the Boston Celtics, worth $447 million. You would think that with Paul Allen as your owner, you’d have a higher net worth. I guess Oden is making a bigger impact than Allen ever will. And what about the Celtics? With so many rings that you need four hands to put them all on, the Celtics have fallen to the likes of the Cavs, who rank fifth and are worth $477 million.

Any guesses who third and fourth are?

Skrybe – Keep it Fly

New York Knics

New York Knics

December 4, 2008 Posted by | Features & Opinions, NBA | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment