LA Lakers

Around the Rim: Just like the good ol’ days

1. Boston beat the pants off L.A.
The Lakers completely humiliated themselves on the court last night. Forget all about the 19-point plunking they received from the Celtics, we’re talking about their numbskull decisions to wear the old school short shorts. Talk about motivation, there was no way in hell that Kevin Garnett and the “Boston Three Party” were going to get beaten by a group of guys wearing purple and gold nut-huggers. The Showtime wannabes came to their sense at halftime, donning the contemporary parachute shorts, but it didn’t make a lick of difference as Boston won easily in L.A. 110-91. Paul Pierce had 33 points, Garnett finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds and Ray Allen added 19 for the Leprechauns. The Lakers four-game winning streak went down the tubes as Kobe Bryant shot six-of-25 for 22 points and Lamar Odom went six-for-17, scoring just 14 points.

2. No Answer

On Friday night, Allen Iverson scored 39 points and Carmelo Anthony chipped in 30 as the Nuggets escaped Oakland with a 124-120 victory, but in the home-and-home rematch it was the Warriors dynamic duo that stole the show. Baron Davis (28 pts) and Stephen Jackson (23 pts) combined for 51 points and Golden State snapped a seven-game losing skid in Denver despite being outrebounded 56-42. Anthony finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds, but Iverson couldn’t find his rhythm, missing 10 of his 12 shots for just 13 points. After starting the season winless through six games, the Warriors are 18-7 and now own the eighth best record in the West.

3. That’s a wrap
The NBA season is only about two months old, but the Spurs and Grizzlies are already done with each other. San Antonio took the season series 3-1 with a 111-87 victory deep in the heart of Texas on Sunday night. Tim Duncan had 17 rebounds to go along with a game-high tying 24 points, matched by teammate Tony Parker who also dished out nine assists. Michael Finley chipped in 22 as he continues to pick up the slack for an injured Manu Ginobili. The Spurs trio of wins were by a combined 40 points while the only loss to their division rival came by way of a Rudy Gay buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Needless to say, Memphis is sick of seeing silver and black.

Sunday’s Player of the Day: Tim Duncan vs. Memphis 33 min, 24 pts (FG: 10-20, FT: 4-7), 17 reb, 7 ast, 1 stl, 3 blk

Monday’s Game to Watch: Portland (18-12) @ Utah (16-16)
The last team Utah wants to bump into right now is the Trail Blazers, so, as fate would have it, the Jazz are scheduled to face the white-hot Blazers twice in the upcoming week. Portland is riding a 13-game winning streak into Salt Lake City with two of the franchise’s second longest string of victories coming against Utah. The Jazz are currently three games behind the Northwest Division leading Blazers and desperately need a quality win to help snap them out of their current 3-11 slide. Knocking off the league’s hottest team would be a perfect cure to what ails them.

Buzzer Beater: Scottie Pippen doesn’t like Scott Skiles, but don’t take our word for it.

I didn’t like him,” Pippen said.

See. Well, now that Skiles got a pink slip from the Bulls, Pippen wants to his shot at dropping the “Baby” from the Bulls. And, according to Pippen, no experience is no problem.

What’s the key to this good ol’ boy system they have?” he asked. “You’ve got to go to Europe and coach two years? Sit next to someone for a year? And then looking at someone like me and trying to figure out how your team did it, how you got there every time? Guys like Skiles have never been there. Can he give a motivation speech like someone who’s been in those games? I’ve played for championships.

“What experience do you need? You have assistants who have been there. If I made a mistake, I wouldn’t be the first coach to make a mistake. I’d love the opportunity to be part of the organization now that Skiles is gone. I’ve won championships with this organization and been in the competition when everything was on the line. I was a coach on the floor. Why isn’t that experience?

NBA General

Scottie Pippen isn’t playing but he’s still committing horrible turnovers

You know what they say about guys
with big hands…they’re horrible with

It’s a good thing that basketball worked out for Scottie Pippen because he never would have made it in real-estate. Last month Pippen sold his estate in the Portland area for $2.95 million. Sounds pretty good, right? What if we told you that he paid $4 million for it? Yeah, that’s not a pretty sight.

The house is on a 2.28-acre plot of land that was purchased back in 2000 when Pip was playing for the Blazers but he moved out in 2003 when he made one of the dumbest decisions of his life and returned to a pathetic baby Bulls franchise. But when you’re as rich as Pippen, you don’t sell right away; no, you let the mansion just sit there for a good two years before putting it on the market. Scottie listed it at $3.9 million in 2005 and, obviously, they just sold it last month at a million dollar loss, so it’s pretty safe to say that Pippen didn’t exactly Flip That House. (Oh, geez, how embarrassing; did we just really reference a girly TLC show? Sorry, spent the weekend at Mom’s house.)

You’re trying to find a buyer that wants that location in a house that big,” said Veronica Story, the agent who sold the house. “Those buyers are few and far between.”

The 1996 house has a gated entrance, circular driveway and fountain. A detached building houses an indoor sports court, weight room, aerobics room, fully wired media room with a kitchen, a locker room with a steam shower and sauna.

Hopefully LeBron James doesn’t fall into the same money pit should he ever decide to split from Cleveland.


[]: Pippen takes $1M loss on Portland mansion

NBA General

Around the Rim: The Human Torch

1. He did it again!
Only three players in the history of the NBA have scored 50 points or more in three consecutive games; make that four players. Last night Kobe Bryant joined Michael Jordan, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain in annals of the league after he scored 60 points against Memphis last night to give him a three game total of 175 points (65 versus Portland; 50 versus Minnesota). Nobody has scored more points in a trio of games in the last 40 years and that was his second 60 point game in his last three outings, giving him four for his career which ties Michael Jordan for the second most ever. Only Wilt the Stilt has more with 32 games of at least 60. Bryant was on fire as he drained 20-of-37 from the field and 17-of-18 from the line as he scored 24 points by the half and 43 after three quarters. It’s a disgrace that Bryant probably won’t sniff the MVP because he’s not on the best team in the league.

2. One day closer to the slammer

Some predictable news was handed down to Ron Artest on Thursday as a Placer County Superior Court judge ordered Artest to stay at least 100 yards away from his wife and children until further notice is given. That should be more than enough space to keep his old lady out of slapping range. One of the only things that Artest said during yesterday’s official proceedings was “no” to the question of if he owns any firearms. You do know what being “under oath” means, right Ron? And talk about a bad day, after getting out of court Artest had planned to meet up with his team in Phoenix for a game against the Suns but his plane was diverted because of thunderstorms. Then after some more delays, Artest was told to just go home by Kings GM Geoff Petrie. The team found out shortly before tip off that they would be without Artest and then promptly got blown out by 18 points.

3. Looking for a top pick or just crappy?
Milwaukee needs some victories; they just don’t want to get any until next year. In a late season lottery push, the Bucks have sidelined two of their most important pieces for the remainder of the season. Andrew Bogut has been told his season is over because of a sprained left foot while Charlie Villanueva will have to have surgery on a nagging right shoulder injury. There’s not a lot you can do about needing surgery, but automatically benching a player for the remainder of the season based on a sprain is a bit odd. Currently only Boston and Memphis are more pathetic than Milwaukee, but not by much. In fact, the loss of two starters could be just the thing the Bucks need to slide all the way to the bottom of the list.

Thursday’s Player of the Day: Amare Stoudemire vs. Sacramento 37 min, 33 pts (FG: 12-17, FT: 9-16), 21 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl, 3 blk

Friday’s Game to Watch: Detroit (43-24) @ San Antonio (47-20) This is the third time that the Pistons will be playing a Texas team in their last four games with losses to both Dallas and Houston. But Detroit is still playing some great ball and they have won six of their last eight games as they enter into the rematch of the 2005 Finals. But the Bad Boys are going to have their hands full against the Spurs who are 23-9 at home this year. After winning a season-high 13 straight games, SA has been on a bit of a slide losing two of three since. But Tim Duncan is in playoff form as he is back to his old ways with great post play and defense.

Buzzer Beater: If Phil Jackson is turning down the services of his old superstar as the team enters the end of the season, then it’s probably time for Scottie Pippen to give up his dream of ever playing professionally again. Seems like Jackson would know better than anybody whether Pip was in game shape, after all he did win six rings with guy. Somebody out there still might give Pippen a shot, but the decision by Jackson will probably be a big factor to look at for all the other interested franchises.


Odds and Ends: Eagles fans – here’s your English soccer team

Remember when Bill Simmons went about looking for an English Premiere League team to cheer for and ended up taking Tottenham Hotspur? Well, Philadelphia Eagles fans now have their very own British soccer team to root for. Unfortunately, they play in Football League One which is 2 levels below the EPL. Why Millwall? Because “unnamed investors – thought to be linked with the Philadelphia Eagles American football team – want to sink an initial £5million into the Lions.” (Mirror UK)

And, as Bob from the Offside (and fellow Eagles fan) tells us, “Millwall’s fans have a reputation for thuggery much like the Eagles fans. A marriage made in heaven.” Well, that clinches it for us. Go Lions! (Now, to do something about those Cowboys colors…)

In other news…

[]: Cricket player is willing to cut off his injured finger… Ronnie Lott says, whatever

[LA Times]: Dodgers pitcher owns rock quarry worth billions

[The Offside]: Barcelona midfielder likes his hookers… take that, Lasorda

[Steroid Nation]: Are the Little Sisters of the Poor using that much Winnie and HGH?

[The Big Lead]: Scottie Pippen on Deal or No Deal is just sad

[SI]: Grocery store clerk indicted in last year’s dirty bomb hoax

[The Onion]: Report: Almost Nobody Raped During Duke’s First Lacrosse Match

[Valentine’s Views]: Schilling just can’t shut up

NBA General

Around the Rim: It’s a Ring Thing

1. Lord of the Rings to Be?
Now that the trade deadline has passed, the only interesting move left for teams to make involves the veteran champion, Scottie Pippen. Looks like the two leading candidates in the Pip sweepstakes are the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers. Pippen would be an excellent addition to either team, but he could probably adapt to Phil Jackson’s system a little bit quicker since he has some past experience with the Zen Master. San Antonio would offer a better opportunity for Pippen to get his seventh ring. He’d be joining a veteran team and most likely assume a role similar to the one Robert Horry has filled for the past few years. Pippen can’t be the player he once was, but any team would be happy to acquire a guy who has big game experience as the season is reaching its end.

2. The Nowitzki Experience
The Mavericks franchise tried to give their superstar a push for MVP last night by passing out about 20,000 T-shirts to the crowd. But Dirk didn’t really need any help as he scored 31 to go with 11 rebounds, six rebounds and two blocks. There’s lots and lots of big-time talent in the league this year, but Dirk has outshined them all. The Mavs have been riding on the back of Dirk all year en route to the league’s best record on three separate 10+ game win streaks. With one of the sweetest strokes in the game today, Nowitzki has been shooting the lights out all year long as he is averaging 25 points per game. And considering that the award usually is simply handed to the best player on the league’s best team; Nowitzki is definitely in the driver’s seat for the NBA’s most prestigious individual award.

3. Headbandless Hero
Remember at the beginning of the season when everybody thought that something was wrong with Ben Wallace? Well, that doesn’t seem to a topic of conversation anymore. Big Ben might have had the greatest game of his career last night against the Cavaliers when he had 14 points, 19 rebound, five assists, two steals and seven blocks. After a slow start to the year, Wallace has methodically increased his rebounding average back to double digits (10.5). But the Bulls are still sitting five games behind the Central Division leading Pistons. Chicago could have probably benefited from a trade, but Luol Deng and Ben Gordon just have too much potential for the Bulls to let them go.

Thursday’s Player of the Day: Gilbert Arenas vs. Sacramento 45 min, 43 pts (FG: 12-22, 3FG: 3-8, FT: 16-17), 7 reb, 7 ast, 3 stl

Friday’s Game to Watch: Utah (35-18) @ Denver (26-26) Every game involving the Nuggets is interesting as everybody is waiting to see Carmelo

Anthony and Allen Iverson finally gel. So far, it hasn’t happened. In fact, the two have still yet to even play in a significant number of games together. Overall, the Nuggets are 9-4 over their last 13 games with the latest loss coming while the dynamic duo was intact. Utah hasn’t been the team they were when the season started, but they are still a very dangerous club. The Jazz have won six of their last seven as Mehmet Okur and Deron Williams continue to pick up the slack while forward Carlos Boozer continues to watch from the bench.

Buzzer Beater: As usual, we approached the trade deadline with lots of talk about superstars changing teams. But, as usual, the deadline came and went and nobody of significance was involved in a swap. Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, Pau Gasol, Mike Bibby and Ray Allen were just a few of the names dropped in the weeks leading up to yesterday. And what about Corey Maggette? Trade rumors have been swirling around him for months now as his relationship with Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy seemed to deteriorate daily. Apparently, they are going to have to tolerate each other for a few more months. In the end, only lower tier players got new addresses; Anthony Johnson to Dallas, Fred Jones went to Portland in a deal for Juan Dixon who got sent to Toronto and the Jazz picked up Alan Henderson.