Houston Rockets

Around the Rim: Rocket powered rejection

1. Spurs get Pop’d in the mouth
In a Southwest showdown, the Rockets bounced back from a road loss to the Mavericks and defeated the Spurs 89-81 in Houston. The loss knocked San Antonio from the ranks of the unbeatens and left them to ponder bigger problems than the eight point differential in offense. Led by Bonzi Wells and Yao Ming, the Rockets outrebounded the Spurs by 27 (55-28), including a 25-4 advantage on the offensive glass. Then again, in order to get a bunch of offensive rebounds you have to miss a lot of shots and that seemed pretty easy for the Rockets in the early going as they missed 25 of their first 37 shots. But the second chance points added up and sharing the ball paid off as the Rockets dished out a season-high 25 assists. Making the win even more impressive was the fact that Houston survived while Tracy Mcrady was going 4-of-14 for 12 points.

2. N’awlins goes nuts

Peja Stojakovic and Chris Paul went absolutely berserk against the Lakers. En route to a 118-104 Charlotte victory, Stojakovic scored 36 points with a team record breaking performance in which he nailed 10-of-13 from behind the arc. Most of his shots were the products of Paul passes and by the end of the game, Paul had a franchise-record of his own to cherish: 21 assists! Paul was just one point away from tallying a 20-20 performance which isn’t easy to do with points and rebounds, let alone points and assists. Throw in his three rebounds and three steals and you have another blooming performance from the point guard of the future. Oh, Kobe Bryant was there too and he turned in a pretty solid performance in a losing effort with 28 points, six rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

3. SC’s Neat-o Stat of the Day
Actually, we’re going to give all the credit for the crunching of numbers, but did you know that the average price for a ticket to see Kobe Bryant play a home game is $89.24? Ouch. Now, here comes the fun stuff. According to The Fan Cost Index, the average price across the league to take a family of four out to a game is $281.90. That includes “four average-price tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four regular-size hot dogs, parking for one car, two game programs and two least-expensive, adult-size adjustable caps.” Well, if you want to see Bryant ignore his teammates and jack up 40 shots in front of Jack then it’s gonna cost you $453.95! For that much money, that package better include Demi Moore sitting on our laps for the entire game!

Tuesday’s Player of the Day: LeBron James @ Golden State 42 min, 24 pts (FG: 9-16, 3FG: 1-2, FT: 5-7), 14 reb, 9 ast, 3 blk

Wednesday’s Game to Watch: Denver (2-2) @ Boston (2-0)
So, do you like freakishly large collections of freakishly skilled players? Well, then you’ve come to the right place because the TD Banknorth (we can’t believe we said it either) Garden is gonna be popping at the seams. Everyone knows about the big trio in green and white and the visitors aren’t all that shabby either. A couple of guys named Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony will join the defensive player of the year, Marcus Camby, and a pair of bad boys in J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin. This is a poor man’s all-star game and has all the makings of a barn burner. So, enjoy it because these two aren’t hooking up again until late February.

Buzzer Beater: If you were hoping to tune into Tuesday night’s game between the Knicks and Nuggets and see round two between the teams then you were probably pretty disappointed with your evening. There were no flagrant fouls called, no techs, no Carmelo Anthony hit and runs, and only two players (Nene Hilario and Marcus Camby) fouled out. Lame. We expected more with Zach Randolph in the lineup.

Houston Rockets

Skip To My Lou claims he’s not a spitter

Rafer Alston was arrested on charges of misdemeanor assault and public intoxication on Sunday in Houston for allegedly getting into a war of words with a parking lot attendant after Alston’s car was towed. Alston was also accused of grabbing, shaking and spitting on the attendant during the altercation. Apparently, his car was illegally parked and he didn’t pay which tends to get under the skin of most parking lot guys from our past experiences.

On Monday, Alston was outta the slammer and he was not to happy about his unscheduled detour from the big ballin’ lifestyle and says that he was falsely accused and arrested.

We got into a shouting match. My car was towed and I was basically asking the parking attendant where he had my car towed to,” Alston said in a story on KRIV’s Web site. “There were no hits, nothing transpired. The guy runs off and yells down the street, like, he needed an officer over here. Before you know it, the officer puts me in cuffs and takes me downtown.”

“I asked the guy what was I being charged with and he said public intoxication and assaulting someone, and I said, ‘I am neither of those,”‘ Alston said.

We’re not quite ready to sentence Skip To My Lou to a ferret leggin’ just yet over the supposed saliva slinging; after all, parking lot dudes don’t usually have the sunniest dispositions in the first place. In fact, we can totally see how this has the possibility of being a case of a nobody trying to get some free cash from a somebody. While we going to hold off on labeling Alston as the next Roberto Alomar, we are going to figure that the public intoxication charge will probably stick. After all, at 1:45 a.m., there’s not much reason for a pro athlete to be out and about other than getting blitzed.


[]: Rockets’ Alston: `I am neither of those’
[]: Rockets’ Alston calls report of assault exaggerated

Houston Rockets

Yao Ming does not have jungle fever

(Does anyone still use the term jungle fever anymore? That movie was like what… 1992?)

There’s a rule about lying. If you’re gonna make something up, make it so preposterous that it’s believable. is rumor-mongering (thank you Al Davis) that Yao Ming is dating 5’2″ Nia Long because he became a huge fan of hers while watching The Fresh Price of Bel Aire in China. First of all, did Fresh Prince of Bel Aire even air in China? Second, wasn’t this the plot of the Borat movie?

Reuters (slightly more credible than MediaTakeOut) has Yao denying the story:

Isn’t it too ridiculous? I saw the news on Internet. The writer is so good at hoaxes. What’s that? She’s only 1.57m. I’m 2.26m. Does it sound reasonable?

Reuters also reports that his long term girlfriend Ye Li is living with him. So if Yao is really dating Nia Long… then kudos to you Yao. Just don’t get caught in Colorado on a rape charge. You’ll never be able to score 81 points.

[Reuters ]: Basketball star dismisses love interest as tall story

Houston Rockets

Van Gundy says Yao’s shoes are the problem

Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy is blaming Reebok for keeping his franchise center off the court.

This is a reoccurring issue with Yao’s feet, and he’s not getting the shoe on time from Reebok,” Van Gundy said. “He is not getting the shoe fitted properly so he doesn’t have reoccurring issues with his toe and feet. Yao’s got to be more demanding of this company. He’s not getting the results he wants. It puts him at risk.

It’s the same issue here this year. Nothing’s changed. It’s problematic. Some things can’t be prevented. This one I think can be with more attention to detail on the shoe he’s getting from the company that really should care about him.

Yao, having 8 million reasons to live defend Reebok, said that his shoes are fine — “I use the same kind of shoes. It never brings me any problems.”

[Houston Chronicle]: Shoes blamed for Yao’s toe woes

Houston Rockets

Yao Ming Wildlife PSA commercial

Yesterday, we told you about Yao Ming’s campaign to protect wildlife and him swearing off shark fin soup. Well, here’s the video where jumps onto a basketball court to block a bullet fired at an elephant.

Houston Rockets

No shark fin soup for you!

It’s been a while since Yao Ming has been in the news. But he’s back to tell you to lay off the shark fin soup and save other wildlife.

As the human population increases, many wildlife species are decreasing, and the primary reason is that humans fail to treat animals as friends.

He also taped a television commercial where he jumps onto a basketball court to block a bullet fired at an elephant. Think about this for a second folks. This is like a David Lynch movie. A 7-foot-5 Chinese guy jumps onto a basketball court to block a bullet fired at an elephant. And in the background, a monkey wearing lipstick masturbates and falls off the rim.

In actual basketball news, Yao Ming says he is at 80% and looking forward to praticing with the Chinese National Team in advance of the world championships in Japan. Meanwhile, the Chinese team just lost six of seven games in a mini-tourney in Europe so perhaps Yao should be worried more about human rights violations to his teammates and coaches than protecting sharks.

[USA Today]: Yao Ming swears off shark’s fin soup
[Reuters]: Yao putting best foot forward for world champs