Mikan Drill – 29 April 2011

  1. Chauncey re-signs with the Knicks.  You can breathe a sigh of relief, NY fans.
  2. Iron Man Andre, spending his holidays in Compton eating burgers.
  3. Kevin Durant.  You freak.
  4. Missed the Patty Mills feature on ESPN? Check it out here.
  5. Ron Ron keeps changing shoe companies.
  6. In case you missed it; MJ, a year later.  Maybe not such a bad GM… although we’ll reserve judgement on that one.
  7. Trying to use basketball to fight violent crime in the UK.
  8. Fresh off a killer 4th quarter vs Memphis, Tony Parker talks about France’s national team.
  9. Oh Zo, if only you were still ballin.
  10. David Falk.  If you’ve been an NBA fan for a while, you know the name.  Read the story.
  11. The greatest story ever told.  Bird/Magic.
  12. We feel so bad about Nash. He deserves a ring, deserves to have someone seriously hurt Richardson, deserves to not have his soon to be ex wife spilling all of their history and story out on to TV through the Real Housewives… Spurs, get Nash.  Now.
  13. Hoopseak takes on The Last Season.
  14. Douby in China.  Yes, you need to know more.
  15. Not to keep coming back to the SA-MEM game, but notice how many minutes Tiago finally received?
  16. Dwight for MVP? Ethan!
  17. BADASS.  He really became a bit Jordan-esque in his attitude as he grew older, right?
  18. Where for art thou, Iggy?
  19. What you know about Purple Nurples?

From The Bleachers – Zach Harper

Welcome to the latest edition of FTB!  Today we’re covering Zach Harper.  Zach runs the wonderful “Cowbell Kingdom” blog, a blog dedicated to the Sacramento Kings.  His work has been a 3MW fave-read for quite a while, so we’re very excited to have him answer a few questions for us!

  1. How did you get into blogging?
    I got into blogging because I was egotistical enough to think my opinion mattered as much as or even more than the people I was reading every day. Like many young writers four or five years ago, I wanted to be another Bill Simmons or a better version of Bill Simmons or friends with Bill Simmons or something equivalent to that. So after a couple of contributions to various sites, I decided to start my own blog and be my own editor/boss in June of 2007.
  2. Do you also write for any print outlets?
    I do not write for any print outlets. I do freelance work for ESPN.com on occasion but that’s the closest I get to print.
  3. Do you find blogging easy?  Why?
    I don’t find it easy, which is why I love it so much. With the NBA, there is always something happening and always something to prove correct or incorrect. I think the challenge of trying to be thorough, correct and entertaining is something I will never feel like I’m truly accomplishing all at once. But I love a good challenge and love the fact that this just isn’t easy.
  4. Have you studied journalism?
    I studied journalism a bit here and there but for the most part, I just read a lot of articles.
  5. Who are your favorite bloggers?
    Trey Kerby, Kelly Dwyer, Matt Moore, Rob Mahoney, Beckley Mason, Ethan Sherwood Strauss, Bethlehem Shoals, JE Skeets and Tom Ziller are all my favorite bloggers. You learn a lot about a lot of different things reading them every day.
  6. Did you play/do you play basketball?
    I did play basketball for a long time before various knee and ankle injuries grounded me quite a bit. Now I play whenever I can but it’s not as often as I would like.
  7. Fondest memory of the game growing up?
    I just loved watching guys like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Hakeem Olajuwon rip the heart of their opponents out in front of people that hated them doing it. Probably my absolute fondest memory is Jordan’s Flu Game because it was a true testament to what the greatest of all time was capable of, even when he was physically incapable of accomplishing it.
  8. Favorite team? (can be a particular season)
    The 1999-2000 Minnesota Timberwolves were probably my favorite team. Kevin Garnett had truly emerged as one of the premier players in the NBA, Terrell Brandon was deadly from mid-range and Malik Sealy finally seemed to have a place in the NBA. That team was 50 games despite not being all that deep and they were fun to follow throughout the entire season.
  9. Favorite player, past or present?
    Kevin Garnett is always going to be my favorite player. He has a mixed/bad reputation now but I’ve never seen a player play with more passion than this guy. A few players have matched his passion but nobody has ever exceeded it from what I’ve watched of him. He’s given everything he has to the game of basketball and I appreciate him for that.
  10. Tell us about whether you see basketball in a social context; is it important, is it useful, does it break down barriers or is it another way to exclude people?
    It has the potential to be transcendent throughout society. The fact that Allen Iverson and Latrell Sprewell could influence society as much as they did, Michael Jordan could have everybody wanting his insignia and players can be so close to fans in so many ways every night shows the power the NBA has. But unfortunately, we see business get in the way of the spirit of the game too often. This is a good and a bad thing in many ways.
  11. What teams in this new season are you looking out for?
    I honestly am looking out for all of them. Every team has a unique and interesting story. Watching Larry Brown try to steer a team without a point guard into back-to-back playoff appearances is just as fun to me as watching the debacle/revolution in Minnesota, the rebuilding in Sacramento, the rebranding with the Warriors, the shot for the 3-peat with the Lakers, and the insanity surrounding the Miami Heat. If I’m forced to pick just one team, it has to be the Heat. No matter what the outcome of their season, it’s an aspect of an experiment that needs to be covered, analyzed and enjoyed.
  12. Player to watch? (any league)
    John Wall is going to set the world on fire. Watch him at every chance you get. You won’t be sorry.

Mikan Drill – 5 November 2010

  1. Since it’s early in the season, let’s start with some Rockets Love.  Gotta love the hopefulness.
  2. By now you’ve heard of KG’s ridiculous cancer rant (can’t say we’re fans of KG anymore here at 3MW).  George Karl, beloved Coach and all-around good guy, albeit kind of grouchy, weighs in.
    “Asked about Garnett, Karl said: “My initial response is: it’s disappointing and crossing the line. I don’t know if cancer is an epidemic in our country, but we accept it as a problem and it’s a very dangerous part of life for everybody. Making fun of it, that’s part of (some people’s) sarcastic side of trash talk. . . . I also believe that competition makes us do things that we don’t have our total mental morality (in check). We act like children at times, even coaches.”
  3. Vin Baker and his alcohol problems.  It ain’t all money and parties in the NBA.
  4. DO NOT call Patty Mills this nickname.  For our sake.
  5. Rondo can’t shoot, so should you lay off him and cut down the drive?  Um, No.
  6. Games to watch on OneHD (in Australia) this month, starting tonight.  Come on over, 3MW will be glued to the set.
  7. The saga of T-Mac continues.
    “Does McGrady think that sometimes the situation is mind over body — that his mind is telling him he can do things that he no longer can? “That happens all the time, yeah, as you get older in this league a lot of players will learn that,” he says.  Teammate Ben Wallace understands what McGrady is going through. “I mean it’s tough,” says Wallace. “You know going from being one of the premier players in this league and now having an injury that’s stopping you from doing what you know you capable of doing. I mean, it’s tough. All we can tell him is that the team gonna support him, we gonna be behind him 100 percent. Regardless of what he do on the floor, we gonna be with him, we gonna back him.”
  8. For the love of AI.
    “I am too young to truly remember Jordan’s debut. But, I imagine that Iverson’s impact on my generation was a reasonable facsimile of what MJ did to teenagers in the 1980s when he showed up with his bouncing gold chains, wagging tongue and obnoxious shoes. Just substitute tattoos, cornrows and arm sleeves for the aforementioned accessories”
  9. Matt Hubert’s pick for the NBA Champs.  We’re going to try to hold all our FTB guests to their picks come playoff time… ROckets over Spurs?  Come on Matt…
  10. If you’ve ever lived in Europe, you know George Eddy is THE basketball guy.  A broadcaster with the Canal + France sports department, George Eddy has covered basketball and the NBA — in addition to the Olympics and the NFL — since January 1985. Eddy moved to France from the U.S. in 1977, playing and coaching pro basketball for 12 years. In addition to his on-air broadcasts for Canal +, Eurosport France and others, Eddy has written six books about basketball as well as contributing to numerous magazines and radio stations. Eddy also organizes a shooting camp each summer near Paris.  This is a collection of his blogs from 2004 and older; check out some of his commentary from way back when…
  11. The Association’s predictions for this season.
  12. For the Fantasy Freaks (3MW included) a list of top PF’s.
  13. Do the Thunder need help on D? Interesting views on the impact of Tom Thibideau, long considered the NBA’s D specialist, yet never a contender for Head Coach, so far as we know.
  14. The 1st FIBA Championship.

Mikan Drill – 25 August 2010

  1. Wow Magic, awkward
  2. If you haven’t heard by now, Australia won last night against France.  AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE!!
  3. Ginobili-less Argentina beats Turkey.  This is going to be an awesome world championships.
  4. What on earth are you doing Sasha?
  5. The incomplete story of Kwame Brown.
    “In 2001, Kwame Brown graduated from a Georgia public high school and was drafted by the Washington Wizards first overall in the NBA draft, the first number one pick to come straight from the prep ranks. In retrospect, there were on-court red flags the Wizards should have heeded.
    First, Brown was a 19-year-old high school senior, so it’s likely the already dominant high school player had even more of a physical edge on the 18-year-olds trying to “contain” him. Second, much of his appeal was based on his quickness and agility packaged in a tall frame, but in order to withstand the NBA post game, he’d have to bulk up, which made him too stiff to use those gifts. There was more, but consensus holds that what did Brown in was the mental strain of playing in the best basketball league in the world and, more specifically, the hurt Michael Jordan put on him day in and day out in Wizards practices.”
  6. Henry Abbott looks at MJ’s year in baseball.
    “There’s something we don’t do well in sports media, and that’s tell stories of vulnerability.
    If athletes are butting heads, dominating, humiliating, pumping iron, dunking, trash-talking or doing anything else high-adrenaline … we have that covered.
    But when those same people are in love, sad, making friends, traumatized, soul-searching, homesick — any of the softer human experiences — we’re just not well equipped to discuss it. We’re about winners and losers, about kicking ass and taking names, figuring out who’s alpha dog and all that. ”
  7. Speaking of alpha’s, Kevin Durant… More from NewsOK.
  8. Kyle Stack on another conspiracy theory.
  9. Are you in the US and have hoop dreams?  D-League tryouts.  Just sayin.
  10. Maybe the WNBA just needs more tv coverage.
  11. So MJ is in NBA 2K11… so are his shoes
  12. Remember the Skybox ’92 cards?

Mikan Drill – 11 August 2010

  1. The NBA heads to London.
  2. Ricky Grace, the basketball legend, is to be inducted into the NBL hall of fame.  Via A Stern Warning.
  3. The NBA is losing money?  That’s bad news for fans…
    “If the NBA owners and player’s union don’t reach an agreement with the collective bargaining agreement that expires after next season, the NBA could lockout on July 1st, 2011. Insiders and experts are anticipating a lock-out which would delay training camps and possibly the season.”
  4. Must be because of contracts
  5. Who wants to go to the Basketball Australia Hall of Fame Dinner?  On hand will be Ricky Grace, Patty Mills, Andrew Gaze, and the Australian Men, Women and Wheelchair teams.
  6. The Dream Team is cheaper than before.
    The average 2009-10 NBA salary for the 15 players now on the roster is about $5.8 million, just 30% above the average annual salary of all NBA players. There’s never been a gap that small in the eight other major international events that featured NBA stars. The next-cheapest team was in 2002, when the average salary was 56% above the league average. That team came in sixth place.  The 1992 Dream Team’s average NBA salary was about $3 million, more than triple the league average. Via Wall Street Journal.
  7. Social change through hoops.
  8. DO.  NOT.  MISS.  THIS
  9. Games to watch out for in the next NBA season.
  10. Isaiah Thomas as a Knicks consultant.  Lots of buzz and discussion about this controversial re-hiring.
  11. Speaking of which, buried among the bad blood there is still love for Thomas.
  12. Scottie Pippen will be inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame this month.  Guess who’s introducing him?  Now there’s a speech to look out for.
  13. Rasheed is retiring.  Could he be the most underrated PF in history?
  14. No.  I refuse to post this link.  It’s just trash gossip, with no real impact on the game we love.  Nope.  Will not.  Cleveland will win a championship before I post this link.  (Sorry Dan Gilbert.)  No No No.  Dammit.
  15. Kevin McHale had a temper.  Via Basketbawful.