BASKETBALL PARTY TWENTY!

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BASKETBALL PARTY!

BASKETBALL PARTY episode TWENTY retains its position as the premier NBA podcast featuring two adult women talking to one another. We delve deep into what the future holds in Eastern and Western Conference Finals, discuss whose child is the OG of the presser, and wonder why Beyoncé was wearing a DRose leotard in the “Feelin’ Myself” video, as well as a sneak preview of what we’ll be talking about if we end up with a Hawks-Rockets finals.

Erin M. Routson is an art director & freelance writer living in Los Angeles, CA. She still hasn’t had Lebron’s Mix this playoffs season and she is mad about it. Follow her running commentary on Twitter @dietcokeforever.

Kim Huston is a copywriter based in Louisville, KY. While she’d probably drink a Lebron’s Mix now that she’s a Cavs fan (sorry Bulls), she prefers Radlers.  You can attempt to follow her on Twitter @kimpossiblydire.

Chris Paul Falls Short of Greatness

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Chris Paul will play for a chance to make it to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in his career later today.  Regardless of if he achieves that goal, one thing will always be true: he will never be an all-time great player.

Think of the unquestionable all-time greats: MJ, Magic, Bird, LeBron, Russell, WIlt, Kobe, Duncan, and Shaq. Maybe you include Hakeem and Abdul-Jabbar. Maybe you include Malone or Robertson. It doesn’t matter who you include on that last. Chances are, they have something Chris Paul doesn’t have.

They are much taller than the average person.

Jordan was 6-6. LeBron is listed at 6-8 but might be taller. Shaq was extremely tall. He was and still is 7-1. That’s over a foot taller than loser nobody stupid head Chris Paul.

That’s right. Chris Paul is listed at 6-0, but come on. He’s probably more like 5-10 or 5-11. That’s a really unimpressive height. Even recent MVP winner Steph Curry had the foresight to be 6-3, which is a good three to five inches taller than Paul.

I don’t know what other accomplishments these greats had, and I don’t care. If I wanted to watch some average-height guy play basketball, I would keep watching myself play ball in the mirror. No matter how much my wife said it was “weird.” I can do that any time I want.

Basketball is about watching guys who are much taller than me do stuff. Of course, someone my own height has the coordination to not fall on his face when trying to run. Humans were designed to be a Chris Paul height.

But to watch a guy like Hakeem not fall on his face — that’s amazing. That guy is seven foot flat. Try being coordinated at THAT height, Chris Paul. What? You can’t? That’s because you are not an all-time great, dummy face.

But it’s not too late. If Paul actually decided to work on this weakness in his game, he could ascend to the level of point guard all-timer Magic Johnson. That’s right, he could be 6-8. All he would have to do was try.

He could use one of those devices they used to use to torture people where they tied ropes to their hands and feet and stretched their bodies. It was called “the rack,” and it could be the perfect device for Chris Paul to train himself into being taller.

Or he could learn to play on stilts. It would probably be against the rules, but if he made his shorts long enough to cover the stilts, nobody would notice. He could tell them he had a growth spurt. A similar option would be shoes with extremely thick soles (sort of like basketball versions of platform shoes).

If “the rack” method doesn’t work and he wants to be truly a tall guy like the greats were, he could try some sort of aggressive surgery where they add bones from some bone doner into his legs. Maybe even replacing his existing bones with the bones of a much taller person.

There are options out there for Chris Paul to raise his game from average to at least 6-6, but so far Paul has been unwilling to take that path. I don’t want to call him lazy. I don’t want to call him soft. But the previous two sentences had the words “lazy” and “soft” in them, so those words are out there. Who am I to argue?

If Paul wants to keep his career below the threshold of greatness, I guess that’s on him. I can’t force him to take the leap into being taller. That’s something he has to decide on his own when he’s ready.

BASKETBALL PARTY NINETEEN!

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BASKETBALL PARTY!

BASKETBALL PARTY episode NINETEEN returns from its life changes and upheavals as the premier NBA podcast featuring two adult women talking to one another. As we discuss playoffs thus far, we get into the very satisfying removal of inevitability in the Eastern Conference, wonder whether or not the West is actually in play, and debate the merits of billboard advertising when it comes to winning over fans. And just for good measure, we wonder who else will possibly get fired this season.

Erin M. Routson is an art director & freelance writer newly living in Los Angeles, CA. She traditionally listens to Jay-Z’s “On To The Next One” with the bass jacked up when the Cavs advance. Follow her running commentary on Twitter @dietcokeforever.

Kim Huston is a copywriter based in Louisville, KY. When the Bulls get eliminated, she mourns to the soothing melody of Boyz II Men’s “Water Runs Dry.”  You can attempt to follow her on Twitter @kimpossiblydire.

I GO HARD NOW WEEKLY ALL-STAR BONANZA FEATURING THE I GO HARD NOW BALLERS – Episode 19

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Episode 19 – Cavs and Simmons

This week, Mike is joined by fellow baller Lee for some grown-ass basketball chat.  Although the internet will probably hate us because we talk about the two worn out stories possible: The Cavs and Bill Simmons.

Film Jam: Hoosiers

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HoosiersTeam

Imagine the immeasurable odds. The year is 1952. Schools in Indiana have only been desegregated for three years. The population in the state is nearly 96 white people for every four people of color. An overwhelming difference between the powerful majority and marginalized minority.

Here is an innercity school with talented basketball players of different races and backgrounds who have one major hurdle: overcoming the internal and external pressures of integration. It’s not enough that these kids with conflicting cultures and upbringings and histories find common ground on the basketball court. Outside the team, the pressures of racism still loom like terrible monsters stepping out from under beds and behind the cover of clothes in bedroom closets.

Somehow, despite all the odds that are against this team, they make it to the State Championship Game. They find they aren’t so different after all. They’re all just people, and they don’t care what the racists say about them or their team. They are brothers all the same.

This team is the final villain in the 1986 film “Hoosiers.”

The hero team of the movie is a small town team full of unathletic white kids. The towns people are close-minded bullies who hate change and love watching high school hoops.

The coach of the team got kicked out of the NCAA forever because he attacked one of his players. He also got banned from coaching high school basketball in the state of New York for this incident. It’s so bad, the only team that will take him is this small town team full of unathletic white kids. Even then, he only gets the job because he knows the principal.

Besides the coach who batters his own players, the most likable person in this town is a basketball junkie who is the dad of one of players. He’s a raging alcoholic, so the coach makes him his assistant coach. He’s okay at it for a little while but ultimately fails his son and his team by showing up drunk to a game.

The coach’s love interest in the story is mostly okay. She’s a strong, independent woman who could do better than going back to this insignificant and dying small town, but returns home anyway. She hates basketball, which is the one thing the entire town loves, so it’s kind of weird she insists on going back after getting her master’s degree. Her mistake is rewarded by the end, though. She gets to be principal when the old principal has a heart attack. She finds love when this old, wrinkly basketball coach comes into town. We are to assume she settles on him because in a town so small, he’s the only person to whom she isn’t related.

The team makes it to the State Championship Game by abandoning their team-first, motion offense when the town’s only good player joins the team. At this point, they change their offense to the only good player taking isolation 18-foot jumpshots. There’s no three point line at this time to provide spacing, so maybe this was considered a good shot in 1952.

This is when they come across the big bad of the movie: an integrated team of talented players with NBA height and skill. An integrated team that overcomes so much adversity just to play in the big game. A team who learned to play together and work as a single, unified force. All the odds were against them, but here they are. Their dreams coming true!

And that integrated team loses to the team of small-minded farmer kids. How do they lose? The small town team’s one good player makes a bunch of contested jump shots.

For most of the movie, I was on board with the small town team finally succeeding despite every character being unlikable pieces of shit. I mean, that’s why you watch these movies. To see a team with all the odds stacked against it somehow win the big game.

That was until the State Championship Game, of course. How backwards thinking is this movie to applaud a bunch of dickhead white kids for beating a team who overcame race issues to get to the big game? The racial overtones in this movie are equal parts uncomfortable and puzzling — even for a movie made in the still-very-racist-1980’s.

Furthermore, this movie isn’t even good at its racism. The coach of the small town team preaches team play the entire movie then rides on the back of his own good player over and over again. The integrated team relies on true team ball and loses. A movie that’s good at racism would have that flipped, implying that white people may not be as skilled but they can win playing the right way. Obviously, that would be a lie, but at least it’s racism that makes sense.

Is this movie really saying that white people are so much better than everyone else that they don’t even need to do things the right way to win? The whole thing was confusing to me and felt icky the entire time. The movie doesn’t show a person of color until the State Championship Game, holding that card until the end in a show of the true, ultimate evil. It was weird.

And once I saw that brave integrated team playing, I couldn’t help but think that’s the movie. That’s the truly interesting movie. Instead of a movie about a bunch of irrationally angry small town dicks, I want to see an Indiana basketball version of “Remember the Titans.”

Even the integrated teams’ coaches were people of color, and I thought that was very uplifting. The small town’s people got mad the entire movie that their coach was from some place other than their inbred town. Look at the other team! In 1952, there are white players being coached by people of color! That’s a big deal! I have so many questions about it. How do the white parents feel about that? Does the community they live in support it? What hurdles did they overcome?

The villains in this movie must have had such an inspirational path to the big game, and yet we get a story about how a town full of white assholes win yet again. Why? Who cares. They’re white, so yey white people. It makes me sick.

I don’t care if the integrated team still loses in the end, that’s the movie I want to see. That’s the movie that gives me hope about the innate goodness of mankind. That’s the story about overcome immeasurable odds.

A movie about white people winning despite being less talented and playing the wrong way? Fuck that. “Hoosiers” is the worst.

NBA Confirms Mike Dunleavy Jr. is a White Dude

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Chicago Bulls v Milwaukee Bucks - Game Four

Tom Lynn – Getty Images

 

The NBA shocked basketball fans around the world today by confirming Mike Dunleavy Jr. is, in fact, a white person. Sources around the league have been saying for years that they suspected Dunleavy was white based on his light complexion and Aryan-dirty-blonde hair, but it was not until Dunleavy knocked out Michael Carter Williams’ teeth and hit Giannis Antetokounmpo in the neck while avoiding any significant punishment for these acts that those suspicions were finally confirmed.

Our sources point out that Dunleavy has been a dirty asshole for years now and got away with it, which should have been the first and most relevant clue to Dunleavy’s whiteness.

“Just like most rich, white guys in America, Dunleavy has been getting away with acting like a bag of human feces for years now,” one high-ranking NBA source said.

“Fuck that guy,” said another source.

It should be noted that Dunleavy was not called for fouls in Game 6 where these offenses occurred, but the NBA did give him a Flagrant One for them. Just like other rich, white guys, he gets a slap on the wrist and a fine for physically hurting his fellow NBA players with the reckless abandon of someone who will never have to pay for his mistakes.

It should also be noted that the before-mentioned NBA sources may or may not have been a single, ranting homeless man who lives under a bridge in a nearby park. That doesn’t make those quotes any less true.

I GO HARD NOW WEEKLY ALL-STAR BONANZA FEATURING THE I GO HARD NOW BALLERS – Episode 18

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Episode 18 – Cavs and Mavs

Mike is joined this week by Kirk from Mavs Moneyball and Noted Baller, Demetri.  We talk mainly about the Cavs and the Mavs.  Because that’s something logical this group of people would do.

I GO HARD NOW WEEKLY ALL-STAR BONANZA FEATURING THE I GO HARD NOW BALLERS – Episode 17

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Episode 17 – Bucksetball

Ever think about the Milwaukee Bucks and wonder “what’s up with them?”?  Well here’s your answer.  Frank from Brew Hoop and Mike talk nothing but Bucks. Milwaukee is pretty cool and so is this podcast.

BASKETBALL PARTY EIGHTEEN!

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BASKETBALL PARTY!BASKETBALL PARTY episode EIGHTEEN continues as the premier NBA podcast featuring two adult women talking to one another. In our playoffs eve eve preview, we discuss the mystery of who the 8th seeds will be (now solved!), make our blind picks (subject to change), find out Mikhail Prokhorov has one more year before he has to give up bachelorhood, talk MVP yet again and then get on a tangent about the forever-controversial Chief Wahoo. He’s horrible, but so hard to quit.

Erin M. Routson is an art director & freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY (for now.) She is still looking for that youth Kyle Korver Atlanta Hawks jersey. Follow her running commentary on Twitter @dietcokeforever.

Kim Huston is a copywriter based in Louisville, KY. She is anxiously awaiting how ZZ Top Pop’s playoff beard will get. You can attempt to follow her on Twitter @kimpossiblydire.

Thunder Missing the Playoffs Shouldn’t Hurt Waiters’ MVP Chances

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Let’s look at some career numbers. Player one: 2.7 turnovers per game, 2.6 personal fouls per game, .327 3P% and a 103 defensive rating. Player two: 1.8 turnovers per game, 2.0 personal fouls per game, .326 3P% and a 110 defensive rating.

Who are these two players? I’ll give you a few hints. They both are considered once in a generation players. They both are shooting guards. They both have slept with my wife. They both are synonymous with the number 23.

Give up?

Player one is Michael Jordan. Player two is Dion Waiters. You probably guessed the second player from the title of this article. You probably knew Waiters is a special talent. You probably didn’t know he was putting up career numbers that equal and sometimes surpass Michael Jordan.

I don’t blame you for not realizing just how special Waiters is as a player. The Thunder missed the playoffs this season in a brutal Western Conference. I bet you think (like most people) that Waiters is good, but he’s putting these kinds of numbers up on a team that missed the playoffs.

Empty numbers, right?

Let me spit some knowledge at you.

Waiters is not to blame for the Thunder missing the playoffs. They traded for Waiters too late in the season for him to save the team. By the point he joined the Thunder, they were already a struggling, injury-rattled mess. They were already in a relentless fight for the eight seed.

The Thunder lost three of four games to the Pelicans, but two of those losses came before he could carry the team to victory. The Thunder lost their playoff spot to those Pellies on a tiebreaker. Not having Waiters for those first two games was the difference.

And Waiters aside, things only got worse.

Kevin Durant was supposed to be the perfect Robin to Waiters’ Batman. Durant is as tall as a center and can shoot the lights out. He’s a perfect player to help spread the floor for the mad scientist creator Waiters is. Durant is also an improved playmaker the last few years. Not Waiters-level, but good enough that Waiters could play off the ball some.

Anyone who watched the few games Waiters and Durant played together could not deny the chemistry the two had together. It was electric. Like two players sharing one genius mind. Or no. Like Waiters’ genius mind was able to control Durant’s body while simultaneously controlling his own. Or no. Not that either. Waiters was like a basketball God, and Durant was his creation.

It was all supposed to work, but Scott Brooks happened. He refused to play Durant anymore. Then he refused to play their defensive linchpin, Serge Ibaka! Those were two of the Thunder’s best three players the last few years, and Brooks sat them on the bench.

As inexcusable as that was, at least Waiters would have been able to carry the team if Brooks had enough sense to give him the ball and tell everyone to get out of the way. Instead, he gave the ball to his “point guard” (I’m putting “point guard” in quotations so you know I mean it sarcastically) Russell Westbrook and let him destroy the team.

Waiters had a usage rate of 26.9% in 2013-14 and 24.0% in 2014-15 when he was with the Cavs. That rate dropped down to 21.7% with the Thunder! Meanwhile, Westbrook’s usage rate exploded to 38.4%. That includes five games with a usage rate of 49% or higher and many, many more at 40% or higher.

I don’t know what Westbrook and Brooks were thinking, but I have an idea. Two people with the word “brook” in their last names. Clearly this is some kind of “brook” conspiracy against a player who may be the best basketball player of all time. The “brook” brothers took advantage of Waiters’ innate unselfishness and coachability to destroy his MVP chances.

They went as far as risking making the playoffs because Waiters and his non-brooksian name threatened them to their core. Nothing is more petty than to risk an entire season because someone without “brook” in his name is the most talented player in the NBA.

I am willing to bet once the sun sets on the careers of the coaches and players on this Thunder team, some stories will come out about the Waiters Thunder. And I am willing to bet, those stories will not be pretty.

A good coach or teammate sees the greatness of Waiters and doesn’t try to squash it like a tiny, basketball playing bug. Maybe like a bee. That seems like a bug that would be better than other bugs at basketball. Plus Waiters is sort of shaped like a bee.

That Waiters could have a Michael Jordan-type season while his own coach and teammates jealously tried to destroy him is amazing. Scott Brooks benched the two players who best complimented Waiters’ game. He gave the ball to a far less talented ball hog and had his team effectively play keep away with him. Yet the greatness that is Waiters still shined brightly.

So call his numbers empty if you want. Call it amazing numbers on a non-playoff team. Call that useless. But know you are speaking from a place of ignorance when you do so. That Waiters could put up numbers I compared to MICHAEL FUCKING JORDAN while all that bullshit was happening? That’s amazing.

That would crush a lesser man.

Waiters will never be a lesser man.