The End of the Bench

Basketball blog with takes on basketball and anything related to basketball . . . as well as a haven for jingoists everywhere - in America.

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Thursday, October 30, 2003
Why I Hate Kevin Harlan

This was an exchange from tonight's Cleveland-Phoenix game on TNT:

Doug Collins: Over the summer, Suns assistant Mike Iavaroni showed Amare Stoudemire tapes of [Karl] Malone running the floor and told him, "You'll be a star when you can run the floor like that." He used to just beat other power forwards down the court for easy baskets.

Kevin Harlan: Iavaroni played with Malone in Philadelphia.

Actually Kevin, that was Moses Malone. Collins was referencing Karl Malone. Shouldn't your lead announcer recognize references to the best POWER FORWARD in the game and realize it's not a center? It's bad enough Harlan screams all the time about minor plays.

James Start Goes Off the Charts

Don't get me wrong, that was a hell of a performance by LeBron, but I have two words for everyone: One Game. One game does not a Jordan make. I understand it's exciting, but putting this guy in the Hall of Fame for one very impressive game is a bit premature. Hell, Tony Delk has scored 50 points in a game - twice - yet no one talks about him for the Hall. So let's all calm down a bit and see what happens over the course of the season.

New Record!

EoTB got 100 hits yesterday for the first time ever. First off I'd like to thank all of you for reading this. It's nice to know that this blog isn't me talking to myself. I hope you enjoy it and keep coming back. Second, I would like to thank the 5 main reasons this happened in order from least to most influence on this happening:

5) NBA Season starting

4) Shawn Kemp, Willie Anderson and all their kids

3) Eric McErlain linking me on OffWing Opinion

2) Tony Pierce linking me on the BusBlog

1) Doug Christie and Jackie Christie and their incredibly odd relationship.

For some reason I got about 25 hits from people searching for some form of #1. It was absolutely bizarre. They all came in one bunch. Pretty much 25 hits in a row were from that and they weren't all the same person or from the same search engine. It got to the point that I thought they did another article on how crazy the Christie's are and I went searching. Alas, therewas just a sudden flurry of interest in those nutty Christies.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Bill Simmons NBA Preview Part I

"7. Minnesota Timberwolves
During a preseason feature this week, SportsCenter called these guys "T-mendous!" I love dopey graphics like that. If I worked for them, I'd be sitting around praying for Marshall Faulk and Kevin Faulk to rush for 150 yards on the same day, just so I could write the graphic "ClusterFaulk!""

ClusterFaulk! had me laughing out loud. ClusterFaulk!!!!!!!! Sorry, I'm okay. These columns are the reason I suffer through all the sappy ESPN Mag columns about the Red Sox. By the way . . . ClusterFaulk!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2003
First Place Baby! (aka. Opening Day)

Sixers beat the Heat 89-74. The one good thing about working tonight was that I actually got to see some of this game cause the store's dish gets Sunshine network. Dwyane Wade looked good and Allen Iverson was dropping dimes and bricks (until the 4th quarter at least) everywhere. Also, could whoever had 8 minutes in the "How long will it take Lamar Odom to get injured?" pool come claim their prize. Seriously though, when did Lamar Odom turn into Marcus Camby?

Speaking of Camby, you think he'll go down 6 minutes into his game just to show Odom that he won't be replaced as the fragilest player so easily? I'll bet you he's awake right now in bed talking to his ankle saying stuff like, "You gotta come through for me. I can roll you, but I need you to meet me half way and get sprained."

Stats have it: Brad Miller better in middle than Shaq

"But the rating system — using last season's stats — that ranks players at each position against each other in 10 statistical categories doesn't weight any category more than another.

Miller's consistency in all 10 — field goal percentage, free throw percentage, three-point shots made per game, rebounds, assists, steals, blocked shots, turnovers, scoring average and team winning percentage — gave him the edge over O'Neal at the center position."

Two things -
1) Does anyone believe that all ten of those statistical categories are of equal importance? The correct answer is no. So then why are they all weighted equally?

2) If your system rates Brad Miller ahead of Shaquille O'Neal, shouldn't that tell you that your rating system sucks? Hell, in the article it even says, "And though there isn't an owner or general manager in the league who would take Miller if they had a chance to get O'Neal, Miller more than holds his own." If it's obvious to everyone except your rating system that O'Neal is better, fix your rating system.

Monday, October 27, 2003
Spittin Fire

Lang Whitaker had suggested in today's Links that maybe this whole feud was setup by Phil Jackson in order to draw attention away from Kobe's situation. After reading the interview transcript (linked in the post headline), I would say probably not. Take the following for example:

GRAY: Do you consider Shaq to be a leader?

BRYANT: Leaders don't beg for a contract extension and negotiate some 30 million [dollars] plus per year deal in the media when we have two future Hall of Famers playing here pretty much for free. A leader would not demand the ball every time down the floor when you have the three of us [Malone, Payton, Bryant] playing beside you, not to mention the teammates you have gone to war with for years -- and, by the way, then threaten not to play defense and rebound if you don't get the ball every time down the floor.

The rest of the interview had a similar tone from Kobe. I would think that for Lakers fans, the most distressing part had to be how he turned on Phil Jackson in the last quote there. Everyone knew Shaq and Kobe didn't get along (well, maybe no t to this extent), but now he's turning on the Zenmaster too. Not good times, bad times. Funny thing is that even if everyone hates each other, as long as they don't kill each other they'll still make the playoffs.

Rockets try to stay focused amid Griffin situation

Not looking so good for Eddie Griffin's option getting picked up. Eddie's accused of beating and shooting at a girl that was his grilfriend. His lawyers say she was trespassing. My question is that even if she was trespassing, how does that make it okay to shoot at her after you beat her? Either way, Eddie's got a big mess on his hands. No charges filed yet, but this is not what he needed.

Sean Kemp who?

Former Spur Willie Anderson is getting his cash taken for unpaid taxes and child support. However, that is not the reason for this post. This line is:

"During court hearings in 2000, it was revealed that he fathered at least nine children by seven women."

Sean Kemp has nothing on Willie. The best part is the "at least nine children," which implies that there may be more. I mean damn Willie, keep it in your pants.

Friday, October 24, 2003
Riley Quits as Coach, Stays as President

Pat Riley quits as coach of the Heat a week before the season starts. I know others probably agree, but does this seem a bit odd? A week before the season? He kind of leaves the team in a lurch. The best conspiracy theory I've heard so far is from Marty Burns at He says that Riley waited til now to quit so that the team wouldn't really have time to get an outside guy to be coach and so there wouldn't be any fighting from inside the organization when he named Stan Van Gundy his successor. There's also the free agent aspect. You think Lamar Odom signs on to play for Stan Van Gundy? Exactly. Either way, the players kinda get screwed (especially Odom) in this and the team is gonna be hurt by the timing.

Monday, October 20, 2003
Guess Who's Back?

CHARLEY ROSEN!!!!! finally cut his old, bitter ass loose, but the Sporting News picked him up. Check out the latest column where he shows his lack of knowledge while trying to sound like he knows what he is talking about. The best way I can describe it is the following: Same shit, different site.

Celts Send Walker to Mavs in Five Player Deal

Here's the particulars:
Celts Get: Raef LaFrentz, Jiri Welsh, Chris Mills
Mavs Get: Antoine Walker, Tony Delk

In terms of outright talent, I think the Mavs got the better end of this deal. The reality is that this trade was getting rid of guys that management didn't want around anymore. It had already be stated that Danny Fortson (he of the DNP - CD last year in Golden State) will be the Mavs starting "center". This made LaFrentz an expensive, underachiever who was gonna be growing roots on the bench. It had also been reported that Danny Ainge wasn't happy with Antoine Walker. I don't know anyone who was happy with his Rasheed Wallace-like propensity to avoid the paint when shooting and his horrendous shooting percentage on so many threes.

However, the worst part in the eyes of most people outside Boston and Dallas, is the plummeting fantasy value of Antoine Walker. The guy was a fantasy starter at F and now he is splitting time with Dirk Nowitzki and Antawn Jamison. As someone who had Toine pencilled in as the starter at SF, I'm not happy. At least I have plenty of guys who I can move around to fill the spot (hooray for multi-positional eligibility).

Overall, this trade simply seems like a dump. Not really salary, except for Chris Mills, but personality/dead wood.

Saturday, October 18, 2003
Sim League Basketball

I found this link over at AllThingsNBA and it was very tempting. You make rosters of guys from any era and the computer simulates the games. If it weren't for the many things already on my plate, I would be all over this.

It also raised many questions about how realistic the game really is. I mean do you get things like the following in your team news:

"Your SG is out for 3 months because he is serving his domestic battery sentence." Or maybe, "Wilt Chamberlain out 1 week with gonorrhea." Personally I would want ot see stuff like, "Sean Kemp out 1 game to attend his kid's christening - not that one, the other kid." or "Sean Kemp sprains wrist writing too many child support check, out 1 week."

The other key is whether Mateen Cleaves would have the same witchcraft like powers he does in real life. I could create a super team with Mateen, Donny Marshall and Mark Madsen all down at the end of my bench. That team would be unstoppable. I could also save roster spots by having two of them always out with "back spasms," or "sore knees" or something else undetectable like the real NBA. My team morale would never be low. I'm tempted to sign up just to test out my theory.

Thursday, October 16, 2003
NBA Plans to Realign to Six 5-Team Divisions

This shouldn't really surprise anyone. this is similar to what the NFL did recently when the Houston Texans came in. This simply balances the divisions out and the owners get to stick it to George Shinn for moving the Hornets. Actually they stuck it to him when he made the deal to move. The owners wouldn't let him move without him agreeing to get the team tossed over to the Western Conference when the expansion franchise came in. So Hornets fans, enjoy your playoff runs now because there probably won't be many if any after the move.

Friday, October 10, 2003
And Back For It's Second Year . . .

It's the EotB Fantasy Basketball League. Again, it's being run through Yahoo!. The league ID is 79435 and the password is "eotb". So sign up and tell your friends to sign up and tell them to tell their friends. Just don't tell them about how they'll be playing for second place behind me, cause then they won't sign up.

Thursday, October 09, 2003
Why I love Nick Van Exel

"The Warriors point guard Nick Van Exel is wearing No. 37, the spot at which the Lakers drafted him in 1993."

Gotta love that.

Also, I'm still pissed that i can't get my NVE #37 Warriors jersey yet. Get it together Warriors. I need one. Even more than I need this.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003
New Link

Basketball Rules - That green is brutal, but the links Rudy gives are definitely quality. Also gives you a quick line summary for most so you can get an idea of what the story is about. Check it out.

Sunday, October 05, 2003
Suns sign G-F DerMarr Johnson

This is actually from a couple days ago, and the signing probably won't make much of a difference in terms of wins and losses, but its good to see that Johnson has made it back from the horrific car accident.

Saturday, October 04, 2003
Nets Set to Buyout Mutumbo's Contract

This is the perfect example of a situation where the fan's point of view is way different than the player's. From my point of view, I see Deke getting paid $15M not to play. It's similar to the reaction I had to a similar situation that happened in baseball this summer. However, Deke probably sees it as the Nets saying his skills have eroded and leads him to worry about where his next job, if he gets one, will be and how much of a paycut he will be taking. Interesting to see how far apart the view points are.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I wish someone would pay me not to play. Granted you gotta play pretty well to get the big guaranteed contract so that when you start to fall off (read: suck) they will want to pay you off not to play. Either way, I wouldn't mind getting a 10-day contract and getting it bought out. That'd be a sweet chunk of change.

Friday, October 03, 2003
Tech Support Help Request

If any of you know how to get rid of the annoying space between the page title and the top post please tell me so I can get rid of it. Thanks.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003
Trade winds blow through training camp

I've been pretty busy, so I don't really have the time, nor the interest, to go over the two minor deals that happened. So in place of my analysis, I give you the quality analysis of Marty Burns of