Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Day That Will Live in Infamy

October 1st, 2000. For most people, this date is meaningless. But for me, this was a monumental day; because this was the day that began the slow demise of the New York Knickerbockers. As you hoop fans should know (and I don't blame you if you don't), Patrick Ewing, Jr. has been traded to the Knicks. Part of me would like to share my thoughts on the idea that he's carrying on his father's legacy; but because of the most intriguing part of the deal, I have to address that instead. Son Ewing was traded from the Rockets to the Knicks for the rights to Frederic Weis. If you don't know who he is, this is Frederic Weis.* When I learned of this news, I was speechless. I don't know which is more remarkable: The Knicks still owning his rights or the Rockets requesting said rights? That can't be anything but an attempt by those two front offices to be funny...and it is.

This is just the latest in the sequence of events as the Knicks continue to spiral downward as a franchise. I wanted to find the moment in time that triggered, or at least signaled, the beginning of this state of turmoil. That is where 10/1/2000 becomes relevant. That was the day of the gold medal basketball game at the Sydney Olympics between USA and France. Team USA won 83-73, but everyone remembers what the French media called "le dunk de la mort," which means, "the dunk of death.*" Vince hurdled Weis, and Weis—whom the Knicks drafted before Ron Artest—was never heard from again. Because of this train of thought, the question that obviously formulates is: What if it didn't happen? What if Weis was able to come to the NBA and at least be serviceable? I have a theory...

If Weis, who was 22 at the time he was drafted in 1999, would have been somewhat productive as a big man, then there may not have been a need to trade lottery picks for Eddy Curry. There'd be no reason to sign Jerome James to a $30 million contract. Instead of drafting Channing Frye in 2005, that pick could've been Danny Granger; therefore, the Knicks wouldn't need to sign/trade for Jared Jeffries and Tim Thomas at the small forward position. The pick that the Knicks wouldn't have given up to Chicago would most likely have turned into either Brandon Roy or Rudy Gay. The possiblities are nearly endless.

Frederic Weis, after one embarrassing moment in which the entire world saw it happen to you, chose not to face that shame in the NBA. As a result, the Knicks, at least that's what I'll believe, were sent into a state of turmoil of which they have yet to recover. If October 1, 2000, is just a normal day for Weis, most of the Knicks' woes probably don't occur. To put it simply, the Knicks would be in better shape for their future; and my theory doesn't even address whether or not Stephon Marbury is on the team. Maybe his contagious loser aura wouldn't affect the team as much as it has now. Nah, I doubt it. He's severly allergic to winning. Not even a pep talk from Lou Holtz can help the Knicks anymore...


*Should I link to the infamous video? Yes...yes I should.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Other Winners In The [Jets QB #4] Trade

As you know, here at Fundamentally UnSound—when not ranking cartoon songs—I look to delve deeper into the stories to uncover the topics that go undiscussed in the mainstream media. And with [Jets QB #4]'s debut against the Redskins last weekend, I will share a few entities that are big winners from his trade to New York. I don't mean the Jets, [QB #4], or even Aaron Rodgers, because those are obvious. I will outline a few that people may know have been affected by [Jets QB #4]'s move to The Meadowlands.

Jeff Garcia

During the courting period for [Jets QB #4]'s services, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were one of the teams on the short list; although you wouldn't know it if you listen to the GM. Well, that definitely sit well with quarterback incumbent Jeff Garcia. He knew that if [Jets QB #4] joined the team, he would likely be replaced as the starter and probably released from Tampa Bay. While he probably would be picked up by a team in dire need of a veteran passer, Garcia doesn't have the time left in his career to be on a team in the process of rebuilding. The Bucs are probably his last shot to be on a Super Bowl contender, and he realized [Jets QB #4] would have messed that up for him. Who knew he was so vocal? I mean, by golly.

Eli Manning and The New York Giants

Peyton's little brother took a big step forward in his progression last year. Somewhere between his shoulder shrugs and sippy cup sips, he learned how to play quarterback. Part of the Giants' Super Bowl run last is attributed to the fact that there was no pressure on them to win. Outside of, maybe, the Tampa Bay game, they were the underdogs. Well, three road wins—and the greatest-broken-play-turned-catch ever later—Eli has a ring like Peyton, and a new douchebag fan in Eugene "Mercury" Morris. The reason why he benefits from [Jets QB #4] joining him in New Jersey York is because Eli doesn't seem to thrive under pressure. With [Jets QB #4] drawing mass attention from the media, Eli and Co. can fly under that proverbial radar again.

Adrian Peterson

He has no direct ties to the [Jets QB #4] trade, except for the reason that he is Purple Jesus; and he benefits from all things. By default, he and his disciples are the best team in the NFC North; and this allows for Tavaris Jackson to further grow into the leader of the Vikings without having to worry about a serious division race. Just turn around and hand the ball to #28, my son.


Once [Jets QB #4] became a part of the AFC, CBS immediately saw dollar signs. I'm placing the over/under on Jets' telecasts at eight, including the regular season opener against Miami, and both games versus the Patriots. I probably won't be able to see each of these games because I'm within the realm of the Ravens' market. This means I get to see Troy Smith's progression. Time to ghostride the farm in celebration! Somehow, I believe that there will be constant in-game cuts to Jets games in progress at every chance CBS gets. So now, the network with the eye has the three biggest-named quarterbacks in the conference with which they have television rights; and can juggle their coverage how they see fit. Pats-Colts? Check. Pats-Jets twice? Uber-check. Strangely, Jets-49ers won't be shown; which is probably for the best.

It was tough finding some good to come out of all this [Jets QB #4] coverage, but a good number of people have benefited from him stepping out of his Wranglers and back into pads. We'll just see how much he, "loves to play the game," when D'Brickishaw Ferguson misses a block and [Jets QB #4] gets obliterated on his blind side. Please, Purple Jesus, make it so.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Things To Do So You Don't Catch [Jets QB #4] Fever

We're coming to the end of Anti-[Jets QB #4] Week; but I'm getting the sense that this will be a season-long sackriding. Maybe the "s" in ESPN should be changed to "Sackriding;" but that may require the permission of Kyle Sackrider first (yes, he is a real person). With that said, I've decided to extend this to Anti-[Jets QB #4] Season. [Jets QB #4] Fever is spreading all over the media. But fear not; because I, through my extensive scientific research, have developed a list of antidotes to help you through this annoying season. Some of these things will be ridiculous, but hey! At least you won't be focused on [Jets QB #4]. To the list:

That's just some of the activities in which you can engage to avoid catching [Jets QB #4] Fever. If all else fails, you could just become a fan of the Knicks. But speaking from experience, I wouldn't recommend it.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Better Know An NBA Franchise: New York Knicks

I was saving my...*sigh*...favorite NBA team for last, but I don't know if I'll get through all 30 teams, and they're on the short list of franchises I want all of you to know better. Since this is Anti-[Packers Jets QB #4] Week, I figured I'd channel my utter disdain for the Wranglers spokesman into something that actually matters to me, even though I'm not quite over that Destiney thing: The New York Knickerbockers. Oh look, there's [Jets QB #4] throwing passes in a t-shirt and cargo shorts! Drool...drool. I think Aaron Rodgers should be on the "Eff Grandad" remix with the Lethal Interjection Crew.

Anyway, the Knicks, by divine intervention, are still an important part of my sports being. My loyalty for them began when I reached the to of SEGA Genesis' NBA Jam plateau (for the record, I'm still undefeated in that game). That was going on fourteen years ago, and the Knicks are still my favorite team through all their well-documented blunders. I've already written letters to/about them, and even threatened to file for fan divorce. This will be as objective and impartial as possible. Meaning, it won't be objective and it will be partial...
Players: Where do I begin oh this roster? Least Valuable Player Stephon Marbury has a lesser grip on his life than his sneakers have on the floor. Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry appear to be rigorously training to surpass Joey Chestnut. Nate "Mr. July" Robinson's biggest accomplishment is having his Summer League jersey retired...and then taken down by maintenance two hours later. Apparently, Quentin Richardson still hasn't gotten over Brandy. Add an Italian kid (Happy Birthday!) that got the draft hookup because he knows the coach, and has absolutely no idea what's in store for him, and this team fails Chemistry class with flying blue-and-orange colors. The only player I respect is Jamal Crawford. Hopefully, young players like Wilson Chandler and Mardy Collins will see more playing time; just because it can't get much worse than it already is with them on the floor.

Coaching/Front Office: This brings me to those in charge of fixing this Broadway mess. The Knicks are such bad shape that David Stern couldn't even fix the Draft Lottery for them again, like he did for Chicago this year and Seattle/Oklahoma City in '07, but don't tell anybody. Isiah Thomas has literally been paid to stay away from the team, and the new tandem of GM Donnie Walsh and Head Coach Mike D'Antoni look to get this franchise back to relevance. D'Antoni wants to run; but Eddy and Zach want to eat. We'll see how much patience he has with them this season. Also, we'll see how long it takes for Steph to be traded; but given his ability/salary, no one wants him.

Projection: With D'Antoni as coach, defense will definitely be non-existent; even moreso than it was in recent years. One would like to believe that they'll be better on offense, but that requires cohesiveness; and we know that they're definitely lacking in that department. Part of me wants to believe that not having Isiah nearby means instant improvement, but I just don't see it happening. The turnaround will be in process; but I don't know how far ahead of schedule Donnie Walsh's plan will be. Hopefully, they'll be in good enough shape to be able to make a play for Lebron in 2010, barring he doesn't go overseas.

Bonus: There aren't any good and interesting tidbits of information to share with you about the Knicks. Everyone knows Eddy likes cheeseburgers, while Zach is more of a steakums man. So I'll leave you with this link to a Stephon Marbury interview that substantiates my notion that he's completely lost his mind. I and the six remaining Knicks fans (Spike Lee and Woody Allen included) need to hold monthly meetings to help keep each other sane throughout this upcoming season...


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Things I Care About More Than [Packers QB #4]

Yes, I have decided to name this week, "Anti-[Packers QB #4] Week." There won't be any semi-intelligent posts regarding his situation; and how he's more selfish than Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens combined (maybe next week). Considering the trivial things regarding him that have become breaking news, I've compiled a list of similarly trivial things—questions and statements I mull over in my mind—that are vital to my everyday survival...

    Where can I get a square watermelon? I mean...they're square!

    OMG! They kicked Destiney off VH1's "I Love Money" O...M...G! Brandi C. so should have been gone.

    Who taught Steve Nash how to dance? He obviously didn't learn those moves in British Columbia.

    Would people still like Plies' music if they knew how he came up with his rap name?

    Why did Josh Childress have to look for a big payday overseas but Kwame brown still gets by on "potential?" He should definitely be bagging my groceries...paper and plastic, please.

    Where is Laura from "Family Matters?" I hope her life didn't become as traumatic as Judy's...

    What exercises do race car drivers have to do to keep their "athleticism" in tact? Calf raises? Vigorous sets of wrist rotations?

    Are you still thinking about Roger Clemens? Didn't think so...
Those were just some of the things that matter to me a lot more than constant sack riding of one [Packers QB #4]. But seriously, why'd they do that to Destiney? WHYYYYYY?!?!?!


Monday, August 4, 2008

Terrible Television Channels: Who Ya Got?

I'm delaying my ventilation over [Green Bay Packers QB #4] because a certain Worldwide Leader in Sports does it enough to last three lifetimes. I'll eventually do it, but just not today with [Packers QB #4's] return to training camp being a, "Developing Story." Anyway, I'll be comparing two major TV channels that have positive premises but are slowly deteriorating into brain-dumbing farces. Who ya got?

Name: ESPN

Short For: Entertainment and Sports Programming Network

Founder(s): Bill and Scott Rasmussen

Debut: September 7, 1979

Headquaters: Bristol, Connecticut

Claim to Fame: First and only 24-hour "sports" network

Major Flaw: Less about actual sports reporting, more about [Packers QB #4-like] reality shows

(Not-So-)Little Known Fact; Some of their anchors are douchebags
alcoholics, and per-verts
ESPN has cornered a very large market in the sports fan. It is the only channel that shows sports 24/7. However, right around the turn of the millenium, it has tried to adjust with the times and be more widespread in its coverage. Showing the updates on athletes that have legal troubles is fine, since that has the potential to impact a team on the field of play. Breaking news that [Packers QB #4] has landed in Wisconsin to show up to work? Ridiculous. Apparently, [Packers QB #4] is the only player that currently matters in the NFL, despite football season being less than a month away from beginning. However, once the regular season does begin, then ESPN will expand to include all things Tom Brady.

But tWWL's bias extends to all sports. The Yankees and Red Sox appear to be the only baseball teams in existence, unless it's time to make Cubs joke. Once the Celtics were relevant again, and especially during the Finals with the Lakers, ESPN couldn't go three minutes without having a segment on them (that's no exaggeration). The purpose of a sports network, to me, is to have a place where both small and big market cities can see their teams' results. Granted, some stories are more prioritized than others, and it's difficult to squeeze all of them into an hour-long show. This brings me to ESPN's wonderful invention, the "Bottom Line." This is the ticker at the bottom of your screen that shows the scores/injuries/updates of pretty much every major sport. Recently, ESPN's bias has made its way there, as there have been dedicated sections to the Patriots, Roger Clemens, and now [Packers QB #4]. The reason ESPN can get away with this partial journalism is because the network is the only game in town. There isn't anywhere else fans can turn at anytime of day to get the latest on sports. That doesn't mean it can't suck, though; and right now, ESPN sucks.

Name: BET

Short For: Black Embarrassment Entertainment Television

Founder: Robert L. Johnson

Debut: 1980

Headquarters: Washington, DC

Claim to Fame: First and only station for African-American programming

Major Flaw: Turning into Minstrel Show Television

(Not-So-)Little Known Fact: Now run by a White person

I have already outlined my frustrations with BET, so this won't be as long as the paragraphs for ESPN. The purpose of BET is to ensure that minority shows and ideas make their way to worldwide television. As with ESPN, things changed around the turn of the millenium. More frequently than gradually but not rapidly, more and more shows and music videos began to show the ignorant side of us as a Black people. There's many examples from which I can choose. The "Hell Date" little person, all things Soulja Boy, and "The Boot" are all microcosms of the direction in which BET is headed. A few questions for BET viewers: What the hell happened to "Teen Summit?" Who really watches "Baldwin Hills?" Did people really stop watching "BET News with Ed Gordon," too? What happened to that Sean Bell coverage "106 & Park" promised they would continue? I don't know...

My main beef comes with BET's contradiction. I understand that not every program needs to have deep thought and be socially conscious. However, if you're going to have a premise that entails showing Black people in an intelligent light most of the time, then you can't refuse to play a music video because it's, "too intelligent." That, plus the questions listed in the above paragraph, detail why TV One > BET. The network having two "Boondocks" episodes banned because of how the animated series portrayed BET is further evidence that the channel's ignorance is growing with each "Hell Date" midget appearance.

And that finishes the comparison. In my opinion, even though ESPN's bias is incredibly annoying, it doesn't have partial impact on the decline of an entire people. BET wins (loses?) in this "Who Ya Got?" Leave your opinion in the comment box. Also, I think this has officially become, "Anti-[Packers QB #4] Week." There'll probably be more posts with underlined disgust regarding the coverage of his situation...*attempts to gouge out eyes*


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Lebron vs. The World III: The Quest For The Lemonade of Truth

This is the third and final chapter of the "Lebron vs. The World" series. For those video gamers out there, this is the part of those one-player adventure/shooter/RPG games in which you go through a stretch of impossibly tough bosses and obstacles, without the opportunity of saving your progress. Each opponent will test Lebron's metal as a basketball player, and will force him to use every facet of his ability to claim victory. Has he done enough training in the pool to successfully make it through without a loss? The first opponent awaits after the random picture...

Rudy Gay: 6'8", 222 lbs.

If there's one thing that somewhat hinders Lebron's offensive onslaughts, it's a defender that's long and athletic. Until this point, only Tracy McGrady has possessed both traits; and even though that score didn't show it, he has given Lebron the toughest game thus far. Enter Rudy Gay, Baltimore Clinton, Maryland, native and rising star in the Association. Gay has all the tools to give Lebron all he can handle in a one-on-one game. Like his fellow Marylander, Carmelo Anthony, he can flat out score the basketball. The problem is that he, also like 'Melo, plays absolutely no defense, and would provide little resistance for Lebron's forays to the rim. Unfortunately for him, the rules are, "make it, take it," so Lebron would continue to get the ball after each bucket. Rudy would get his, and if he tried, could bother Lebron with his length and athleticism. I'm just not banking on it being enough for the win. Lebron advances. At least the NBA didn't ban his last name for fear of flack from a certain sexual orientation group...Final score: Lebron 11, Rudy 8

Vince Carter: 6'6", 220 lbs.

There was a time when Vinsanity would have been the final opponent for Lebron. For the early part of this millenium, he was widely considered to be among the NBA's elite swingmen, if not the best. And then there's this. I don't need to tell you what that is because you should already know (nice draft pick, Knicks Front Office). Personally, I never bought into the hype, mainly because I felt his flash outweighed his overall substance. Needless to say, those times where he was mentioned in the elite class have come and gone; and Vince is merely a lazy shell of his former, Air Canada self. So why does he make a cameo on the final chapter of Lebron's saga? Well, as previously stated in Rudy Homosexual's Gay's paragraph, length and athleticism can bother even the best offensive players. If Vince felt like doing it, he could be a pretty good defender. Would seeing The Prodigy get Vince's competitive juices flowing enough that he actually cared on defense? I say yes, but to a degree. This is a slight digression, but I don't think Vince plays lazily because he's not competitive. I just think that he, like a lot of players (and people, for that matter), got by on his raw talent for so long that no one made him account for the weaknesses in his game. With that said, Lebron would destroy Vince in the post, and that would be enough to give him the victory. Final score; Lebron 11, Vince 9.

Joe Johnson: 6'7", 235 lbs.

Known as "The Reverend" to those in my circle of friends because of his peroidic baptismal of others in NBA 2k8, Joe Johnson is Lebron's third opponent on this final tier of players. I'm partial to Joe Johnson because I like the way he plays. He is in the top five of players I like, way ahead of The Mamba; but that list will be revealed soon enough. Johnson is a two-way player. He works best in an isolation-type offense, so the one-on-one game suits him fine. He also guards the opposing team's best offensive perimeter player in clutch times, assuming that Atlanta isn't being run out of the gym. Up until this point of this section of Lebron's journey, he would be The King's toughest challenge. He'd push Lebron into overtime; but despite more points scored, he wouldn't be as tough an adversary as T-Mac. Lebron's overall ability would eventually get him past The Reverend. Preach. Final score: Lebron 13, Joe Johnson 11.

Kevin Garnett: 6'11", 220 lbs.

Initially, some of you may disagree with KG's involvement in Lebron's journey, citing that he's a big man. However, Garnett is the epitome of versatility and isn't your traditional seven-footer (aside from like four people, who still is a traditional big man?). Few people remember that Kevin Garnett entered the Association as an extremely raw small forward, and developed into the other forward position because of his height and team need. KG could probably be a swingman if he so chose, and could perform admirably as one. Because of that, he is Lebron's next obstacle on the mountain of one-on-one. You can't teach height, and because KG is taller, Lebron can't bother his fadeaway on offense. And being a perennial NBA All-Defensive Team winner and this past season's Defensive P.O.Y., I think he knows a thing or two about stopping Lebron. Now he isn't quick enough to consistently keep Lebron in front of him, as Lebron can change direction quicker than most small guards, but there would be times that Lebron would find himself struggling to get clean looks at the basket. It wouldn't surprise me if he was losing early on in this game. Lebron would have to rely on every aspect of his physical being—quickness and core strength—to win. It would he long, seesaw battle between them; but Lebron, I believe, would somehow pull out a victory. Besides, he still has two more opponents. How lame would it be for him to lose here? Final score; Lebron 18, KB 16.

Paul Pierce: 6'6", 235 lbs.

The Truth has become quite the fan of himself recently, and who could blame him? He's the reigning Finals MVP, and went toe-to-toe with both Lebron and The Mamba and outplayed each of them in those respective series. His performance this past season has vaulted him into the "elite" category, and that's why he's the second-to-last opponent in Lebron's journey. However, while he is great, he probably doesn't crack the top ten on most people's "Best Player in the Association" lists—mine included. With that said, the man did look Lebron in the eye and defeated him in a seven-game series; despite Lebron putting on his cape in the final game. With his improvement on his man-to-man defense, he would be up to the task of trying to stop Lebron. However, I have this memory of Lebron dropping 45 points in said Game seven, with most of those coming against Pierce. Yes, they did go back-and-forth for the entire game, but the fact remains Lebron outpointed him. This is a game of one-on-one, and while The Truth would play tough, Lebron would eek out a victory. Final score: Lebron 22, Pierce 20.

Kobe Bryant: 6'6", 205 lbs.

We're finally here. This is the matchup that was envisioned at the conception of this ridiculous idea. Lebron vs. Kobe, and it's not a thorough explanation of the reason to have the comparison like I did before. There'll actually be a winner and a reason for said winning. I've been mulling this idea around in my head for awhile now. I've examined every aspect of both Lebron and Kobe's games. I even let the computer play it out ten times on NBA 2k8's one-on-one feature. Each player won five times. Kobe, despite what Paul Pierce may think, is the best basketball player in the world. Lebron, also despite Pierce's opinion, is the second-best player in the world. But this is one-on-one, where it's more about the matchup than just pure skill. I maintain that these two have been blessed with the most natural talent that hoops has ever seen, including His Airness. The Mamba has completely polished his diamond-encrusted game to perfection. He truly has no weaknesses on the floor, so why even have the comparison? The reason is because Lebron's level of awesome is the only one that rivals Kobe's. I believe it even surpasses Kobe's based on the fact that he hasn't even reached his peak. It's really scary to think just how good Lebron will be once he's Kobe's six years. As far as the present, Lebron and Kobe would probably play the most exciting, competitive one-on-one game that could be arranged at this time. It's obvious that 11 points isn't enough to decide a victor; and most of the points would show the very definition of basketball. With the array of drives, jumpers, and post moves on display, one could make an instructional video on how to score. Kobe does have one distinct advantage over Lebron, and that is he plays the defense. He and Ron Artest are probably the only two people on Earth that could force Lebron into a bad offensive game. So, with all these factors in place, it's still tough for me to pick a winner. Does Lebron complete his three-post journey and walk away with a win? Or does The Mamba claim victory with his assassin-like precision? If they played one hundred games, Lebron would definitely win his share, almost to the point where they'd be considered equals. However, in a one-game scenario, there isn't one current player in the Association that I would bet on to win before Kobe Dean Bryant. And with that, he defeats Lebron in the most remarkable game of one-on-one this side of Jordan vs. Jordan. Final score: Kobe 39, Lebron 37.

And with that, Lebron's epic saga is complete. Losing to Kobe isn't so bad. Eventually, Lebron will be the gold standard for swingmen in the Association; but for now, The Mamba still reigns supreme. As always, debate in the comment box. Maybe this time I'll actually have some in there instead of the Facebook import.