Episode 11 – Old Friends
This week Mike gets together with IGHN Vet Lee and Amin (of Hardwood Paroxysm and Bullets Forever) to talk about the trade deadline, the Wizards and how getting wings with JR Smith would be fucking awesome.
I’d never really liked Kendrick Perkins. He always rubbed me the wrong way. Moping around on the court, making dumb faces. And that little triangle goatee thing he had for awhile was so gross.
He’s never had an above average PER in the league, and has been below 10 since 2010-2011. He’s a whiner. He’s never even sniffed hitting 70% of his free throws. He headbutted Tyreke Evans. He hasn’t shot over 50% from the field since the 2011-2012 season. He is sometimes called “Perk”…I don’t know if I actually hate this or not, but it’s a silly name for a guy who tends to look a bit under rested.
And remember that time he got upset when LeBron tweeted about Blake Griffin dunking all over Perkins’ sulky face? I mean, how are LeBron and Kendrick ever going to make amends after such a scandal? I guess maybe Love can give him some help with getting over it.
Now that Perkins has signed with Cleveland (hey Perk, thanks for the heads up a few days ago on your Twitter), I’ve found myself forced to try to like a guy that I’ve spent so many years disliking. When Perkins broke the news he was signing with Cleveland, I had to face it… Perkins coming to the Cavs after his buyout with the Jazz is what it is — a great addition to the Cavs big man rotation. Perkins will probably never be getting much over 20 minutes a game with the Cavs, and if he does, it will be because of an injury or absolute blowout. If the Cavs had Mozgov go down at this point in the season without Perk, they’d be forced to rely on Brendan Haywood after moving Thompson to the starting line up. I’d say Perkins is quite a nice upgrade to that possibility.
In further searching my soul for reasons not to [sports] hate Perkins, I remembered this story I had read a few years ago about how Perk befriended two Bostonian blogging half-bros that ended up in his post-2008 Finals family photo. Shit, Kendrick actually has a heart and seems pretty cool.
And apparently one of his nicknames is “Swamp Thang”. That’s um…Cool?
It turns out maybe I need to stop being such an asshole and saying players have stupid faces, especially when they probably aren’t even as big of an asshole as I am.
Welcome to Cleveland, Perk. Maybe I’m the one with a stupid face after all.
This season has been a real puzzler to figure out. At the risk of sounding too offensive, it’s been a humdinger! For this reason, I asked several of the boys from the I GO HARD NOW staff important questions to help suss out what to expect during the second half of the season. It’s plum exciting!
Of the teams you consider contenders to make the Finals, which team in each conference is best equipped to stay competitive in the playoffs if one of their top two players got injured? Could you still see either team making the Finals? Which team in each conference is worst equipped?
Triz Gallo: Best in the East – It’s has to be the Cavs. Assuming the injured player is Kyrie, Lebron could carry that Cavs team to the finals. JR Smith, Kevin Love and Mozgov are a way better supporting cast than in 2007 when Lebron had Sasha Pavlovic and Ira Newble starting alongside him. God, that 2007 team, aside from Lebron of course, was atrocious.
Best in the West – I’m going with the Rockets in the West. They are without Dwight Howard now and are still doing well. James Harden is a bonafide star, crunch-time scorer and can singlehandedly lead a team to victory. And then there’s Josh Smith, who is probably only good for giving you some sort of disease, figuratively and literally. But, hey! James Harden is REALLY good and could absolutely lead a team to the Finals.
Worst in the East – Assuming the injured player is Derrick Rose, I think the Bulls collapse the quickest out the East. It’s obvious he is the heart and soul of that squad. Without Rose, the Bulls probably will give someone fits for a game or two by way of defense, but no way do they advance much past the first round.
Worst in the West – I hate to say it, but it’s the Thunder. If either Durant or Westbrook are gone, that team stinks. I’m not sure subbing Dion Waiters into the starting line-up is a good thing if the missing player is Westbrook. I love Dion. But I’m pretty glad the Cavs got rid of him. If the missing player is Durant, Westbrook is going to take 30 shots a game and things are going to unravel quickly.
Earth is about to explode. You have five seats left on your spaceship. You must fill these last seats with current NBA players to repopulate basketball when you reach the spacecolony. The science is there to clone players and even create new basketbabies from two players’ genes in a lab. Which five current players do you choose for this space adventure? Explain your reasons why. Assume the new planet is extremely similar to Earth in size, mass, atmosphere, etc. Remember, you have to also hang out with these assholes every day.
Mike: Ok, so there’s a lot to unpack here and I would like to set some ground rules first for the intergalactic basketball utopia known as Mikelatica (if you thought I wouldn’t be the type of pompous fuck to name a planet after myself, you need to get to know me better):
Ok, with all that hashed out, let’s not fuck around anymore… without any further adu… The Mikelatica Mikes!
PG – Mathew Dellavedova
Pros: Plays the game The Right Way. Never been arrested/in trouble. Coaches love him. Strong fundamentals. Always gives 100% effort on defense. Four year college player. Pass first and only shoots when wide open. A real point guard. Great character guy.
Cons: Kind of looks like a retarded fifth grader.
SG – Wesley Matthews
Pros: Very good outside shooter. Very strong defender and gives great effort. Never been arrested/in trouble. Prototypical shooting guard size, looks the position. Four year college player. Plays the game The Right Way. Great character guy.
Cons: Not Klay Thompson, but Klay Thompson was arrested for weed in college so he can’t get on my rocket ship.
SF – Kyle Korver
Pros: 2015 NBA All-Star. Great shooter. Never been arrested/ in trouble. Four year college player. Plays the game The Right Way. Gives excellent effort on the defensive end. Great character guy.
Cons: None. Kyle Korver and the 2015 Atlanta Hawks are perfect.
PF – Tim Duncan
Pros: Four year college player. Learned the game from The Great Gregg Popovich. Never been arrested/ in trouble. Nicknamed The Big Fundamental for his fundamental play. Plays the game The Right Way. Great character guy.
Cons: Might become the president of Mikelatica over more qualified political candidates, but he’s Tim Duncan so it should be fine.
C – Roy Hibbert
Pros: Real NBA center (a dying breed). Great size. Strong defender. Doesn’t need the ball on offense. Plays the game The Right Way. Never been arrested/ in trouble. Great character guy.
Con: Once shot a three pointer in an NBA game and that is not acceptable. Centers play under the basketball. Can be overlooked because of his coachability.
The recently deceased are rising from their graves, and one of them has stolen your girlfriend. Not like… literally. She chose to date one of them instead of you. In fact, all women are dating these undead monsters instead of the living. It’s the cool thing to do. Your mission is to choose three current NBA players to help you sever the heads or destroy the brains of these creatures before all human reproduction stops completely and mankind goes extinct. Who do you choose and why?
A quick clarification question, before I answer your question. if I were to become zombified myself, would she come back to me? I mean, she’s already proven by dating the unundead version of myself that she’s into me, so if I become undead myself, would that be enough to get her back? That sounds a lot easier than having to kill a bunch of zombies to me.
(Editor’s note: To answer your question, she’s happy with her first zombie boyfriend. She respects you less for becoming one yourself. Stop copying her boyfriend. It’s pathetic.)
But alas, I’m sure that’s not the answer you were looking for. So with that said, here’s what I’m thinking.
1. Paul Pierce. Dude was stabbed eleven times, had lung surgery, and still played all 82 games that season. I could really use someone with that kind of tenacity to go out and kill some zombies. That said, I’m a bit hesitant after that whole wheelchair game thing, but still, getting stabbed that many times and still playing an entire season is pretty impressive. Gotta give him that.
2. Dwight Howard. Why? Because I hate him. I think it’s safe to assume that, if I were to venture out into the undead masses with three NBA players, not everyone would make it back. Simply because Rashard Lewis and Ray Allan aren’t currently playing, someone else from the 2008 Celtics or 2009 Magic will have to do. So Dwight Howard gets the unfortunate nod. Of course, I can’t guarantee that Dwight would be the one that doesn’t make it back unless I pull some kind of “Shane shooting Otis and leaving him to die while he escapes the zombie hoard in the second season of The Walking Dead” type shenanigans, but if things came to that, that whole Dwightmare thing makes it a bit easier for me to justify taking those kind of drastic actions to ensure my survival. And even if that doesn’t come up, he’s a pretty big dude. That’s gotta come in handy at some point in time.
3. Chris Kaman. Look at him. Dude’s totally a doomsday prepper. I’ll guarantee you that he’s stashed bugout bags all across the US as he’s travelled. This guy also totally has an arsenal somewhere. I mean, he shot and killed a Bobcat solely to make a joke on Twitter. He’s as redneck as they come. Those guys are always the dudes that start up the redneck motorcycle gangs that go around killing zombies and looting other people’s encampments in these kinds of movies. Sounds like exactly the kind of guy I need on my side.
An alien fleet is orbiting Earth. They will blow up the entire planet unless you sacrifice one NBA player to their alien Gods who live in a volcano on Venus. They will replace that player with their own alien player of equal talent, so it will have no effect on the actual talent on the team. You will pretty much be removing a player you don’t like aesthetically and/or personally. And to be clear, the replacement alien will be the same level of talent but a different skill set (maybe even better suited to that team, but maybe not). Who do you choose and why?
We do not know a lot about aliens. We do not even know if they exist. At some point, I am going to have to hedge my bet that aliens do not have a sense of humor or emotions. I don’t know that they don’t have a sense of humor or emotions, but the mere fact that there is a possibility that they do not makes me have to go with Dwight Howard on this question. He’s simply the worst. Never mind that he’s not particularly fun to watch on the basketball court, but his off-court persona is the definition of insufferable.
The idea of watching an NBA that doesn’t have Dwight Howard being demonstrative while complaining about officiating or trying to be funny would make the league a better product. I know it’s not a given, but I’d take Alien Dwight Howard over Dwight Howard any day.
BASKETBALL PARTY episode thirteen enters its rebellious age as the premier NBA podcast featuring two adult women talking to one another. This episode we can’t agree on anything, really, from Kevin Durant’s sassy comments to the press to the function of Twitter on #NBATradeDeadline day. We go long on what was one of the most insane ten minutes of trading in recent NBA memory, focusing on KG’s “homecoming” and the narrative arc of someone’s career, not to mention what wine baths are like in Dallas. BASKETBALL PARTY’s alright for fighting!
Erin M. Routson is an art director & freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY. She never thought she’d see the day that her Jerebko Pistons jersey went obsolete. Follow her running commentary on Twitter @dietcokeforever.
Kim Huston is a copywriter based in Louisville, KY. She wants to know when local spas will begin offering bourbon baths. You can attempt to follow her on Twitter @kimpossiblydire.
Episode 10 – Talking to the Lost Blogger
We tracked down Emile from Hardwood Hype, who is taking a long sabbatical from the Internet. Topics include the shitty Lakers, the Cavs and what it’s like to walk away from Twitter. Oh yeah, and Emile promises to write something for Hardwood Hype soon, so that’s exciting!
BASKETBALL PARTY episode twelve finishes off our tweendom as the premier NBA podcast featuring two adult women talking to one another. This episode we discuss Kim’s major distaste for the act of subtweeting, how to repurpose the All Star Game so it fits our particular interests and needs, and the confrontational commentary style of Charles Barkley, among many other tangents including our future arena plans. Seeya in 2032.
Erin M. Routson is an art director & freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY. She would fail miserably at a literal Taco Bell Skills Challenge unless it involved picnics on a Taco Bell lawn. Follow her running commentary on Twitter @dietcokeforever.
Kim Huston is a copywriter based in Louisville, KY. Her favorite song to hear in a Taco Bell late at night is Extreme’s “More Than Words” and will lead a singalong if prompted. You can attempt to follow her on Twitter @kimpossiblydire.
The NBA has a name problem. Utah Jazz. Toronto Raptors. Washington Wizards. These team names are nonsensical. Stupid. Lame.
For years, NBA pundits and fans alike have insisted teams change their names to something that makes more sense. They pointed out that there is nothing “jazzy” about Salt Lake City. Witchcraft isn’t exactly “prevalent” in Washington DC. There is no such thing as royalty in America and especially not in whatever a “Sacramento” is, so “Kings” doesn’t make sense as a name.
I get it. I even agree that it is stupid that these team names have nothing to do with the region, but it isn’t quite as simple as just “changing the name.”
The most important difficulty is that changing the name of an NBA team isn’t easy. First a team has to think of a new name. All the assholes who complained about the previous name will scrutinize the new name even if it’s pretty good.
That’s the easy part about the hard part.
Next, a team has to tell the NBA about the new name. They have to call them up and maybe even have the team’s lawyers sign some documents. Probably a lot of documents, actually. I don’t know the exact amount of documents, but I have bought two houses in my lifetime. Both of them involved a lot of documents, and I kind of thought that sucked. I bet changing a team name involves a similar amount of documents if not more.
That’s not all, though. The team also has to pay money for someone to design new uniforms and courts and merchandise. People will scrutinize these things, too. Maybe even on Twitter. Sure, the team will sell a lot of merchandise to recuperate some of the costs, but it all sounds like so much work.
If that wasn’t terrible enough, many fans are already attached to their team’s names. Tell Los Angeles fans you want to change the team’s name from the “Lakers” to something that makes sense. I don’t know. The “Los Angeles Fake People Who Moved Here from the Midwest” or something. Watch them all freak out even though LA is not at all known for their lakes.
Between all those fucking documents and the heartfelt attachment the fans feel towards their favorite teams’ names, changing the name doesn’t seem like the most elegant solution to these nonsensical names. But we can’t let these names continue to be so damn stupid, either.
So what do we do?
Teams can instead force the issue. If a team name doesn’t make sense, make that name make sense. Terraform the environment to fit the team name.
Los Angeles doesn’t have a lot of lakes. So what? Build a bunch of lakes. Make LA the city of lakes. The place is known for its sprawl. Build a bunch of skyrises, knock down a bunch of shitty 1970’s ranches and build some lakes instead.
Sacramento has absolutely nothing to do with monarchy. That seems easy enough to fix. Change the local government from whatever the hell it is now into a local monarchy. Make Kevin Johnson the King of Sacramento. Really embrace the feudal system on a local level.
Surely geneticist have been holding out on us. I can’t imagine that we really can’t take dinosaur bones and hatch a bunch of dinosaurs in a lab. This is 2015. Our phones are computers more powerful than actual desktop computers were five years ago. I am absolutely certain we can fill the streets of Toronto with man-eating raptors.
How hard would it be to bring a bunch of grizzly bears and put them in Memphis? Seems like the easiest solution of all.
Utah is going to need to change their name. Jazz will die in Salt Lake City no matter how hard anyone tries to make it a thing. But no solution is perfect. This is the one exception.
Conversely, Washington DC needs a real life wizarding and witchcraft school. A big one. People still love Harry Potter, so it would probably make money. It’s a good idea anyway.
Other than the before mentioned Jazz, every stupid team name has a solution. It’s really not that hard to create a situation where these names make sense, and it’s a brilliant piece of marketing too.
Let’s forget about changing team names. Let’s embrace the madness.
Oh, and the Thunder should change their name too — not because it makes no sense but because it’s plain stupid no matter how much thunder occurs in Oklahoma City.
Embrace the madness.
Episode 9 – Reflecting on the Sweet Sweet Past of the NBA
Mike is joined by Rich and Jason from the Over & Back Podcast to talk about NBA books, dunk contests of the past, what hooked us as young NBA fans and point guards. It’s pretty good if you like basketball. And you should, since you’re listening to an NBA podcast.
BASKETBALL PARTY episode ELEVEN returns from worldwide traveling as the premier NBA podcast featuring two adult women talking to one another. In this back-to-an-hour-ish episode, we discuss Adam Silver’s proclivity toward chiaroscuro-based portraiture, ESPN making calls on whether or not you watch the Knicks or celebrity bowling, and how we will all deal with the possibility of Pop retiring. Spoiler alert: you are not allowed to cry. No one can cry. LAKER BROS FOREVER!
Erin M. Routson is an art director & freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY. She doesn’t consider Penn Station a total dealbreaker, but she respects someone who does. Follow her running commentary on Twitter @dietcokeforever.
Kim Huston is a copywriter based in Louisville, KY. She may look like Ilana to you, but she isn’t blowing any smoke into a file cabinet – she identifies with Abbi. You can attempt to follow her on Twitter @kimpossiblydire.
Episode 8 – A Podcast About Dion Waiters’ Team
Jon Hamm (no, not that one), Demetri and Mike all get together to talk about the OKC Thunder. For being such a good team, it’s strange how much stuff really isn’t known about them. Jon fills us in.