General Sports

Who is the littlest big man in the world of sports?

Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader who had a significant impact on modern European history. He was a general during the French Revolution, the ruler of France as First Consul of the French Republic, Emperor of the French, King of Italy, Mediator of the Swiss Confederation and Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine. At least that is what Wikipedia says we should know about him. Of course, like most meatheads, all we really knew about the dude was that he takes prissy pictures and angry, short people always get labeled with a complex bearing his name. And according to Undrafted Free Agent, these lil’ Naps have the biggest cases of Small Man syndrome in the world of sports.

10.Daniel Snyder
9.Jon Gruden
8.Juan Pablo Montoya
7.Tom Cruise
6.Danica Patrick
5.Eddie Gaedel
4.T.J. Ford
3.David Stern
2.Ed Wade
1.Nate Robinson

If Tom Cruise can make the list then there’s no way we’re leaving Verne Troyer off after he refused to put up with any of Paul Pierce’s B.S.


[Undrafted Free Agent]: 10 Biggest Little Napoleon Complexes in Sports

Houston Rockets

Around the Rim: T-Mac bounces back

1. No rocky road for the Rockets
Everyone figured the Jazz would trot into the second round once they made it back home after building a 2-0 series advantage in Houston. Everyone, that is, except the Rockets. Since the final buzzer of the second game sounded, Tracy McGrady has gone through the ringer, being called every synonym of soft in the thesaurus. But after totaling just one point between the first two fourth quarters, T-Mac came through in the clutch, scoring seven of his 27 points in the final 3:29 of the game to give Houston a 94-92 win. For Utah, it was just the fifth home floor lose this year and spoiled some great individual performances. Carlos Boozer (15 pts, 13 reb), Mehmet Okur (12 pts, 11 reb) and Deron Williams (28 pts, 12 ast) all recorded double-doubles. The talk going in was that McGrady simply had no gas left in the tank in crunch time, but Rafer Alston allowed him to coast more in Game 3, scoring 20 points, including four treys, to go with five assists.

2. Wiz kids win

The Wizards weren’t the only ones to gets shots in on LeBron James and the Cavaliers last night; so did the fans. In the third quarter, the Washington crowd began chanting “over-rated!” while LBJ stood at the charity stripe. And the torture didn’t end there as Washington ran off to a 108-72 win, pulling within one game of tying the bad-blood rivalry. James scored 22 points in the blowout, but got virtually no help from the rest of his squad that combined to go 19-of-54 from the floor. DeShawn Stevenson and his beard got a small measure of revenge after getting punked in Cleveland by scoring a team-high 19 points to lead four other Wizards in double-digit scoring. Washington is still trailing 2-1 in the series, but if it continues to force 23 turnovers in a game and shoot over 50 percent, like on Thursday, then we could be see everything get all tied up after Sunday’s Game 4.

3. Raptors roar back from near extinction
Dwight Howard is human after all. Following a pair of 20-point, 20-rebound contests to open the playoffs, Howard fell back to earth on Thursday and the Magic followed. The Raptors were victorious in their playoff home opener, winning 108-94 behind T.J. Ford’s 21 points and Jose Calderon’s 18-point, 13-assist double-double, cutting the Magic’s lead to 2-1 in the series. Howard totaled 19 points and 12 rebounds to compliment Hedo Turkoglu’s 26 and Rashard Lewis’ 19 points, but there was no stopping the hot-handed Raps. Toronto set franchise playoff records for points in a game and a half (61) by connecting on 12-of-34 3-pointers after opening the game with seven consecutive misses from downtown.

Thursday’s Player of the Day: Deron Williams vs. Houston 43 min, 28 pts (FG: 9-17, 3FG: 3-5, FT: 7-8), 3 reb, 12 ast

Buzzer Beater: After becoming the laughing stock of college basketball for getting fired from two different jobs for the same violations, Kelvin Sampson is taking his game to the pros. Rumor has it that the former Oklahoma/Indiana coach is heading to Milwaukee where he will attempt to pull the Bucks out of the gutter as an assistant to the newly hired Scott Skiles. There is still a ton of red tape for the leagues to sort through before the hire can be made, but after his multiple embarrassments in the NCAA, the pros are about the only people who will hire the joke of a coach.

Denver Nuggets

Around the Rim: Fight to the finish

1. No Answer for Iverson
The race for the Northwest Division crown reached a fever pitch with the recent reemergence of the Utah Jazz. But right behind Utah in the standings sits the Nuggets and the Blazers who just happened to be in action against one another on Monday night. It took overtime and 53 points between Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony, but the Nuggets snuck out of the Rose Garden with a two-point victory, increasing their lead over Portland to two games. The Answer’s 14-footer sealed the deal for Denver and broke the heart of Brandon Roy who spearheaded the Portland attack, scoring 26 points to go with seven rebounds and eight assists. Utah’s one game lead over Denver could evaporate into thin air on Wednesday when the team’s get together for the second of four meetings this season. On Jan. 17, Linas Kleiza dropped 41 points on Utah while Marcus Camby grabbed 24 rebounds and blocked 11 shots in a Denver victory.

2. Turkog-loser

Hedo Turkoglu is doing an awfully good job at make Eastern Conference coaches look like fools. Since being left off the list of All-Star reserves last Thursday, Turkoglu shot a combined 19-of-31 from the field, including 4-of-7 behind the arc, going into Monday night’s game against the Mavericks. Dallas kept Hedo in check offensively, but he recorded his first triple-double with 13 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds. Too bad it was in defeat. Josh Howard scored 28 points, helping the Mavericks to a 107-98 victor after letting a 19-point lead shrink to three in the fourth quarter. Dirk Nowitzki finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists as Dallas snapped a two-game losing skid.

3. Canadian celebration
The Raptors rocked the Heat last night by 32 points, but blowouts are as common as bikinis in South Beach these days. As usual, there were no highlights for Heat fans, but Toronto fans on the other hand were like fat kids in a candy store. Chris Bosh scored 24 points, Andrea Bargnani had 22, Anthony Parker finished with 18 and Jose Calderon went off for a double-double. But the cherry on top of the sundae came in the beginning of the second quarter when T.J. Ford stepped on the court for the first time since taking a nasty fall on Dec. 11. The little guy had a decent return with four points and four assists in 18 minutes of action.

Monday’s Player of the Day: Al Jefferson vs. Houston 38 min, 33 pts (FG: 14-26, FT: 5-5), 16 reb, 2 ast, 3 stl, 3 blk

Tuesday’s Game to Watch: Boston (36-8) @ Cleveland (26-20)
If the Cavs plan on making it back to the NBA Finals, they better get prepared to run into Boston along the way. So far, the home team has dominated the series this year with Cleveland grabbing a five point victory on their home court and the Celtics winning by 10 in Beantown. Tonight the Cavaliers will have more than home court advantage to benefit from because Boston will likely be without Kevin Garnett agains. Sounds like a lot for Boston to overcome considering the Cavs are 8-2 in their last ten games, but, so far, the Cs are doing all right being Ticket free. Boston is on a two-game roll, coming off a big win against Dallas last Thursday with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen scoring 26 points apiece.

Buzzer Beater: If chicks really do dig the long ball then Kyle Korver is getting some mad love from the Salt Lake City groupies right about now. Korver knocked down six 3-pointers, leading the Jazz to a team record for treys in a game, converting 14-of-22 in a 110-88 defeat of New Orleans. Mehmet Okur hit four while Deron Williams nailed three 3-pointers in the record-setter. The Hornets weren’t bad from downtown either, making 10-of-18.

Phoenix Suns

Around the Rim: Toothless aggression

Say cheese! Uh, nevermind.

1. For once, Steve Nash didn’t bleed
Remember a few years back when Karl Malone delivered one of his patented elbows to the mug of a pre-MVP, Maverick’s jersey clad Steve Nash? Well, it was déjà vu all over again for Nashty last night when the Mailman 2.0, Carlos Boozer, delivered one of his man-sized elbows to Nash’s choppers, chipping the point guard’s front tooth right before halftime. Hey, at least Nash is capable of transforming his pain into our pleasure. Looking like a true Canadian, Nash went on to score 29 points and dish out 11 assists in the Suns 103-98 home victory. The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Suns while extending the Jazz’s skid to a whopping five games. Boozer did all he could, including inadvertently making Nash’s smile as repulsive as his floppy hair, scoring 24 and grabbing 13 boards, but it wasn’t to be for Utah. The Jazz’s next opportunity to get a win comes on Friday when they travel to Portland and play against a team that won in Salt Lake City by eight points on Tuesday.

2. Ming’s motivation

Yao Ming stepped up and called out his club the other day, saying they were a bunch of softies. It turned out to be a good move because the Rockets ended up showing a little heart and won a grind-it-out game against a tough Detroit team, 80-77. Anytime someone calls out their teammates, that person has to produce and Yao did just that, scoring 21 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. And it always helps when your amigos buy in, which is what Tracy McGrady did, finishing with a game-high 29 points. Even though it was a gutsy victory, it wasn’t exactly pretty. Houston shot a pathetic 6-of-22 from the charity stripe that was spearheaded by McGrady’s 0-for-5 performance.

3. No point guard, no problem
T.J. Ford couldn’t play in Wednesday night’s game after he took a nasty, head-cracking fall on Tuesday, but the Raptors didn’t need their little big man as they spanked Dallas 92-76. Yup, the Mavericks could only muster up 76 measly points as they shot just .385. The reigning MVP continues to struggle with his consistency and just one game after dropping a season-high 36 on the Knicks, Dirk Nowitzki shot 6-15 for 13 points. Dallas has now lost three of their last five games with contests against New Orleans, Houston, Orlando and Phoenix looming on the schedule.

As far as Ford is concerned, he was released from the hospital and was even in attendance at Wednesday’s game. Luckily, it turns out he should fully recover and is expected to only miss about a week of action.

Wednesday’s Player of the Day: Steve Nash vs. Utah 36 min, 29 pts (FG: 10-12, 3FG: 3-4, FT: 6-6), 6 reb, 11 ast, 1 stl

Thursday’s Game to Watch: San Antonio (17-4) @ Los Angeles Lakers (12-8)
Could tonight be the night for the triumphant return of Tim Duncan to the Spurs lineup? We’ll have to wait until game time to be certain, but probably not. Duncan has missed three consecutive games with an ankle sprain, but it didn’t even phase San Antonio until the Warriors came along and snapped the Spurs five-game win streak on Tuesday. Trying to avoid back-to-back loses for the first time this season, SA heads to LA where Kobe Bryant is averaging 27.2 points for the season. The Lakers have struggled at home, dropping four of the 11 games in the Staples Center, but are riding a nice three game win streak in which they defeated Minny, Denver and Golden State. Should Duncan sit this contest out, we could be looking at a Bryant/Manu Ginobili highlight reel tomorrow morning which would be just fine by us.

Buzzer Beater: Glen “Big Baby” Davis got the first start of his career on Wednesday as the Celtics routed the Kings by 12, 90-78. Davis just missed out on a double-double in his debut, finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds in 27 minutes of work. And according to his coach, 28 might have killed the kid.

Baby was good after hyperventilating through the first half. He was terrific,” coach Doc Rivers said

Toronto Raptors

Around the Rim: Hopefully TJ is built Ford tough

1. Career in question
The Raptors won in Atlanta last night, but nobody really cared. T.J. Ford, in an all too eerily reminiscent manner, was taken off the court on a stretcher after being flagrantly fouled by the Hawks Al Horford with 1:32 left. As Ford drove to the basket for a layup, Horford took a hard swipe for the ball, unintentionally hitting Ford in the face, causing him to fall awkwardly and crack the back of skull on the floor. Ford was in tears as he lay on the court, his career possibly over. It is reported that he has full range of motion, but with his history of spinal cord injuries, his future is defiantly up in the air. You have to feel bad for Horford; after the game, it was obvious he meant no harm. Still, the foul was a big time blow to the Raptors who were finally forming an identity around Ford and superstar Chris Bosh. The duo combined for 46 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists against Atlanta.

2. Return of the King

LeBron James was back in the starting lineup lineup on Tuesday and, what do you know, the Cavaliers snapped a five game losing streak that started when LBJ was originally injured. James finished with 17 points, three rebounds and five assists off the bench in the 118-105 home win over the Pacers. So, is Mike Brown following in the footsteps of his mentor, Gregg Popovich, and boosting his bench by making LeBron the best sixth man in the league, similar to Popovich’s decision to bring Manu Ginobili off the pine? According to James, no.

That was one and done for me,” James said, smiling. “I will not be coming off the bench anymore.

3. Tim Duncan who?
Tim Duncan missed his third consecutive game on Tuesday after Gregg Popovich considered him to have a “50/50” shot of playing and the Warriors took advantage of the Spurs loss, picking up a 12-point victory in Oakland. Stephen Jackson led Golden State past his former squad, scoring a team-high 20 points while Baron Davis chipped in 18. But the real story of the game, besides SA being outscored 30-12 in the second quarter, came from the Spurs Matt “Red Rocket” Bonner who stepped up in Duncan’s absence. The 6-foot-10 forward/center had the game of his life in the loss, shooting 9-of-16 from the floor, including a trio of treys, for 25 points while grabbing 17 rebounds. Bonner’s career averages are 6.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.

Tuesday’s Player of the Day: Chauncey Billups @ Memphis 39 min, 28 pts (FG: 7-15, 3FG: 2-5, FT: 12-12), 5 reb, 14 ast, 3 stl

Wednesday’s Game to Watch: Utah (13-9) @ Phoenix (16-6)
The Jazz and the Suns are two of the favorites to make it out of the West this year and into the Finals, but, amazingly, they are both riding losing streaks into this contest. Phoenix is desperately looking to rebound from a pair of absolutely humiliating defeats at the hands of Minnesota and Miami. On the other side of the court, the Jazz are slipping down a slippery slope, with four consecutive loses, including defeats to conference powerhouses San Antonio and Dallas. Despite the losing skids, there isn’t a bad matchup to be found in this game. Deron Williams vs. Steve Nash, Carlos Boozer vs. Shawn Marion, Mehmet Okur vs. Amare Stoudemire, Andrei Kirilenko vs. Grant Hill. Ding! Ding! Let’s get this heavyweight bout underway already!

Buzzer Beater: Sorry Knicks fans, but you’re going to have to murder Isiah Thomas if you want a new coach in New York. No. Seriously. You must physically kill Zeke to get rid of him.

“I fight till I die,” the embattled Knicks coach said Tuesday after practice. “It’s not about giving up or quitting. To me it’s win or die, and I literally mean death. I don’t mean walk away, I mean death.

Orlando Magic

Around the Rim: Celtics streak snapped

1. Orlando really is “The Most Magical Place On Earth”
It must be an early Christmas miracle because we were certain the Celtics had 82-0 all wrapped up. Guess they’re looking at 81-1 now because the Magic just ripped the bow off that idea. Sorry ESPN.

Boston made a valiant effort to keep their pursuit of perfection intact but Paul Pierce’s miss at the end of regulation left the Cs two points short of forcing overtime. Pierce had 28 in the game, Ray Allen put up 19 and KG went for 14 and nine rebounds. The Magic were anemic in the fourth, going four minutes without a basket as the Celtics made their run to come back from 20 down. Still, all five Orlando starters finished with double-digit points, led by Dwight Howard’s 24 and Rashard Lewis’ 22. But the Magic failed to crash the boards in this game, getting outrebounded by 13, 41-28. Howard inexplicably finished with six despite ranking second in the league with 14.2 per game.

2. S-Jack is back

Golden State finally got off the schneid on Friday when they picked up their first win of the season by thumping the Clippers 122-105. On Sunday, Stephen Jackson returned to the floor after serving a seven-game suspension and helped his boyz grab their second consecutive victory. Jackson led the team in scoring with 17 points and collected a couple of blocks in the 106-100 win over the Raptors. The return of the team’s bad boy couldn’t have come at a better time. The Warriors start an east coast road trip on Tuesday, playing games at New York, Boston, Washington and Philadelphia before hosting Phoenix next Monday.

3. Stars struck
The All-Star 2008 ballots are out and thanks to some realignment of positions, Tim Duncan and Amare Stoudemire are getting screwed. Arguably the West’s two most dominant power forwards got plopped into the “Centers” classification on the ballot. So, obviously we can remove their names from the West’s starting five for the February 17 superstar showdown because the Chinese population will ensure Yao Ming gets the nod. We know that they will both find their way onto the team barring any major injuries, but it is a shame that they won’t get the honor of being voted in because the league is unfairly categorizing them. Sure, both play some center, but we all know they are 4s at heart. And the league listed them as such in years past. This is like throwing Kevin Garnett into the “Guards” because he brings the ball up the court a handful of times each game.

Sunday’s Player of the Day: TJ Ford vs. Golden State 33 min, 29 pts (FG: 12-22, 3FG: 0-1, FT: 5-5), 6 reb, 9 ast, 2 stl

Monday’s Game to Watch: Orlando (9-2) @ New Orleans (9-2)
The Magic are coming off the biggest win of their young season after taking out the Celtics in Orlando. Now the Magic must take their unblemished road record (6-0) into N’awlins against the cream of the Southwest Division. Chris Paul leads the Hornets’ attack, averaging 19.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 10.8 assists per game while Tyson Chandler is pulling down a double-double of his own every night with 11.4 points and 11.5 boards. But you can’t mention the phrase “double-double” without bringing up Orlando’s Dwight Howard. The 21-year-old accomplished the feat in nine of 11 games this year. Howard is really starting to develop some chemistry with point guard Jameer Nelson and the off-season addition of Rashard Lewis has paid dividends immediately.

Buzzer Beater: The NBA is truly losing one its legends with the imminent retirement of Gary Payton. The Glove had a great career and even though Michael Jordan kept him from putting on an ornate, diamond-clad band in the 90s, D-Wade gave him the title of champion that he earned over his 17 years in the Association. Payton’s all-time rankings are as follows: 21st in points, 8th in game played, 6th in assists and 3rd in steals. Needless to say, we all have our favorite memories of the guy. Unfortunately, as much as it pains us to admit this, ours is the same as J.A. Adande’s. Lord help us.

NBA General

Around the Rim: Steve Nash Splash

1. NBA Action Is Fantastic!
Last night’s game between the Mavs and the Suns was billed as the biggest game of the season. And neither team disappointed, as the game went down to the wire and took a pair of overtimes before Phoenix walked away with a much deserved 129-127 victory in Big D. The loss marked the first time this year that the Suns defeated the Mavs as Dallas has now lost consecutive games for the first time since opening the season with a four game losing streak. The Suns are now only three games behind the Mavs for the best record in the league. Has there ever been a less productive 17 game win streak in the history of the NBA? Despite their long run of victories, both Phoenix and San Antonio are right on the heels of Dallas. Steve Nash had an epic performance in the triumph that consisted of big free throws, big threes and big steals in the most important moments of the game as he put up 32 points, 16 assists and eight rebounds. And Nash wasn’t even the team’s most productive player on offense because Amare Stoudemire torched the Mavs for 41 points on 16 of 19 shooting to go with 10 boards. Only 18 more days until Phoenix vs. Dallas IV!

2. Built Ford Tough

TJ Ford has been playing at a spectacular level of late, but last night might have been his best performance of the season as he racked up 18 points and matched that with a career-high tying 18 assists. About the only thing that didn’t go Ford’s way against the Knicks was his half time buzzer beater that was denied by the officials after reviewing the play. With the way the Atlantic Division is shaking out, Toronto has already locked up the division crown and with it a guaranteed home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. But everyone knows that Chris Bosh is the T-Rex amongst these Raptors, averaging 22.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.38 blocks per game. There are a lot of great point/forward combos in the league right now and these two are right in the midst of the most promising duos out there.

3. This Is Getting To Be Boston Bad
It wasn’t too long ago that Indiana was in the thick of the playoff race with the possibility of pulling down a home court advantage in the first round. Well, those days are long gone now that the Pacers have lost 11 straight, one shy of tying the franchises’ longest streak of futility. Not even the return of Jermaine O’Neal could pull the Pacers out of their funk, but it wasn’t due to a lack of effort on O’Neal’s part (24 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks) in his first game back after missing three games with a sprained knee. With the loss to Washington last night, Indiana has fallen out of the top eight in the conference and now suddenly faces the possibility of making an early draft selection. Hey, Reggie, are you sure you don’t want to come outta retirement?

Wednesday’s Player of the Day: Steve Nash @ Dallas 48 min, 32 pts (FG: 11-25, 3FG: 2-6, FT: 8-8), 8 reb, 16 ast, 1 stl

Thursday’s Game to Watch: Los Angeles Lakers (33-31) @ Denver (31-31) The Lakers are struggling monumentally at the moment but records really don’t matter when the game sports three of the league’s top five scorers. Denver’s dynamic duo is combining for 58 points per game thanks to Melo’s league best 29.8 points per game average and his partner in crime’s 27.9. But that’s still not going to be enough firepower to count out the explosive one man scoring machine known as Kobe Bryant. One of these games, LA is going to break out of their slump and when they do it will probably be due to a huge offensive outing by the Mamba. Tonight is as good as any to drop another 50 point performance.

Buzzer Beater: Kobe Bryant feels that the criticism of his play is “insulting.” Phil Jackson referred to the negative media attention as a “witch hunt.” Bryant said that he doesn’t “need to be a dirty player” and doesn’t “want the image of a dirty player.” Well Kobe, if you don’t want to have your integrity questioned then don’t perform acts that bring your integrity into question. The high elbows, the awkward releases and the flailing forearms are occurring all too frequently to be considered anything but intentional. As a highly skilled athlete and one of the greatest basketball players to ever hit the hardwood, Bryant has complete control over his body’s every movement at almost every moment of every game. He can twist, turn, squeeze and shoot all while in flight, but for some strange reason he loses all control of his arms anytime they come near a player’s face? C’mon, gimme a break.