Monday, September 30, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

O.J. Simpson - Cookie Thief

Oh, O.J.  Damned racist prison guards, planting those cookies in your possession.

Where is Robert Kardash.....Johnny Cochra......oh nevermind.  Isn't F. Lee Bailey still alive?

The 100 Greatest Shooting Guard Seasons of All-Time (Kinda)

I got exactly 100.  There are some big holes in the analysis here - for example, to get rid of point guards like Magic and Oscar and Gary Payton and Sam Cassell (who kept fouling up the list since they were at least 6'3" tall), I had to remove all season with over 7 assists.  This, of course, knocks out Michael's 32-8-8 season, but let's be blunt here -- enyone who reads the blog knows that Michael is the best player of all-time (so far), so I really do not worry about that (sort the list by Win Shares - it is an amazing thing to see Michael at the top 9 seasons...even shorting him his greatest season).

 I also required a ton of shots per game, so I am sure there is a guy out there somewhere who got screwed by that.  (Update - there was - Sidney Moncrief had five amazing seasons, but only had 2 with 15+ shot attempts.  Sid continues to be overlooked as an all-time great NBA player).

But more to the point.  Of the top 100 seasons listed here, there are only 21 guys with more than 1 such season.  There are only 13 guys with 3 or more such seasons.

In the history of the league, there just haven't been that many great off guards.

Now, who is underrated?  Sam Jones (3) somewhat, but look at PAUL WESTPHAL!!!!  Westphal had 5 great seasons.  His career defensive rating and his career WS/48 are both in the top 80 of the history of the game.   He was a 5 time all-star and 1st team all-NBA 3 times.  3 times.  Think about that - Wade and David Thompson has each been 1st team all-NBA only twice.  Westphal has to feel a little bitter that his 5 very dominant seasons do not net him basically any HOF consideration (he has been retired 30 years - any buzz on making him HOFer?).

Overrated?  Dave Bing and Reggie Miller (1 and 2 great seasons respectively, but both in the HOF).

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Golden Age of NBA Point Guards

Kyrie Irving was an all-star last year, meaning he was a top 24 player in the league.  He is listed as the SIXTH best PG in the league. 

Ricky Rubio does not make the top 15.

What this would also tell you is that there is a horrible paucity of off guard talent in the league.  Kobe, Wade, Harden and...........

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Difficult Hall of Fame Case for Chris Webber

If it were up to me, I would vote for Chris Webber for the HOF.

I saw the guy play and he was outstanding when healthy.  At his best he was tough to stop as a scorer, had a great elbow jumper, was a great passer and played on many very good teams.  He was 5 times 1st, 2nd or 3rd team all-NBA.  He had 1 first team honor, 3 seconds and a 3rd.

For reference, Hall of Famer James Worthy was inducted in 2003, with only 2 3rd-team honors.  Joe Dumars had two 3rds and a second.  Chris Mullin had a 1st team, 2 seconds and a third.  These players were great player, all deserving of HOF honors, but none of the three were obviously a better overall player than Chris Webber.

So, if you count all-NBA selections, 5 all-star appearances and the eyeball test, I say Webber is in.  In fact, I would add in the fact that he played KG fairly evenly during KG's prime.

Now, the problem -- the Advanced Stats and the similarity scores on do not shout "Hall of Famer."  Webber's PER is 47th best all-time.  Which is good; for example, he is right behind Dan Issel who is correctly in the HOF.  But he is also barely ahead of John Drew and Al Jefferson, both of whom are correctly out of the HOF (Al is not eligible, but I cannot imagine him getting in).

Elton Brand and Alonzo Mourning are ahead of Webber, I don't see them getting into the Hall (though both have arguments).

Another problem for Webber supporters is that, ordinarily, we would like to be able to say, "Sure his last 12,000 minutes as a player weren't great, but he was hurt, look at the first 18,000 minutes."

But if you look real hard at the first 18,000 minutes, Webber wasn't really an all-time great either.  Let's compare apples to apples and start with 1993 when Webber joined the league, sort for seasons by a 6'8" guy (non-guard) above a 20 PER and a .140 WS/48. 
      CWebb is at 6 seasons, same as Elton Brand, same as Chris Bosh.  Duncan has 14; Dirk has 12, KG 11, Shaq 10, LeBron 9, Karl Malone 9, Pau Gasol 8.  (No Lakers fan wants to admit it, but Kobe got to play with two of the most productive big players of our generation who carried him to titles).

Let's raise the criteria to 22 PER and .17 WS/48.   You see the same guys way up high -- Duncan 13, Dirk 11, KG, Shaq, LeBron 9.
Webber drops to 3 such seasons, below Amare Stoudemire, Elton Brand, Tracy McGrady and Chris Bosh.  Tied with Yao Ming and Blake Griffin.

Then go up to a PER of 24 and a WS/48 of .2 or above.  Chris Webber disappears.  0 such seasons.

It becomes LeBron, Shaq, Duncan, Malone, Dirk, KG, Robinson and some stray seasons.

The sad thing for Webber is that he does not even have one such season (LeBron has 9).  Elton Brand has 1; Kevin Love and Amar'e?  Each has 2!!!!!!!!!!! 

For kicks - go up to 26 and .22 --  28 and .24 -  30 and .26 --   31 and .28 -

Anyway - do I have a point here?  Yes.  The most consistent big men in the past 20 years have been Duncan and Dirk and KG.  The most dominant big men over individual seasons in the past 20 years have been Shaq and LeBron and David Robinson. 

Webber does not fare real well on either list.  He disappears 5 sub-levels of greatness before LeBron's 3 best seasons.  Shaq and LeBron each has 7 seasons greater than Webber's best.   And for consistency, Webber just wasn't that good for that long.  He had 7 mid-level great seasons.

Are 7 mid-level great seasons enough to get you into the HOF?  I think so.  Some consideration has to be given to his college days (2 seasons, 2 title game losses).  Some consideration has to be given to the fact that he was EVER able to be first team all-NBA during an era that had Dirk and KG and Duncan.

I think if you line 'em all up and say, "In or out" - you put Webber on the side with Issel and McAdoo and Dumars and Worthy as "barely in."  On the other side you put Reggie Theus and Elton Brand and John Drew and Amar'e Stoudemire and Alonzo Mourning as "barely out".


Christian Ponder -- Slightly Better Than Cade McNown

Both were the #12 overall pick in the draft, and both have been wretched failures. 

McNown - 25 GAMES PLAYED (not starts), 16 TDs, 19 Ints, 67.7 career rating, 5.09 net yards per attempt, fantasy rankings - 35 and 25.

Ponder -- 29 starts, 33 TDs and 30 picks, 75.8 ratingm 5.38 net yards per attempt, Fantasy ratings - 28/22/24

So, Ponder on an overall basis is a smidge better than McNown.

And ask yourself, where art thou Cade McNown? 
McNown was traded during the 2001 preseason to the Miami Dolphins, along with a seventh-round pick, for a sixth-round pick, and a conditional 2003 seventh-round pick. In Chicago, he had fallen down the depth chart, below Miller and Matthews, competing against Danny Wuerffel for the third-string position. He would be named the third-string quarterback for the Dolphins, and saw no action during the season.
The Dolphins traded McNown to the San Francisco 49ers for a conditional seventh-round draft pick during the 2002 offseason. By then, Terry Donahue, former head coach at UCLA, was the general manager. Interest was briefly raised in McNown, as the 49ers were then searching for a quarterback for the west coast offense. Although he was initially competing against Tim Rattay, Giovanni Carmazzi, and Brandon Doman for the backup spot behind starter Jeff Garcia, McNown reinjured his shoulder during the preseason. When it was revealed he would require season-ending surgery, he was placed on injured reserve. McNown was released by the 49ers during the 2003 offseason. His rights were shortly thereafter acquired by the Calgary Stampeders, although he was never signed.


At least as of June 2013, McNown was in the financial services industry.

Tiger Woods Versus Jack Nicklaus "Major Wins" Chart

Tiger is still just ahead of Jack on the all-time progression.  A win by Tiger at the 2014 Masters or U.S. Open would put him slightly ahead of Jack, and two major wins in 2014 would keep him ahead.  (Jack won his 15th major at the 1978 Brithish Open at age 38 - Tiger will be 38 in December of 2013).

Jack's final 3 wins came at age 40 (2) and age 46 (the 1986 Masters).

Richard Pitino On Early Gopher Practices and on Jerry Kill

Let me add -- my daughter attends the University of Minnesota.  She said, "Dad, I cannot believe it, but I see Gopher basketball players walking around with books and backpacks, actually going to class." 

If Pitino emphasizes classwork, the Gophers will probably be up for some national awards for academic performance, because Kill's latest academic progress report (994 for 2011-12)  was an all-time record for the school.

Pitino mentions his "white" press.  This appears to basically be a man-to-man press where the guy on the ballhandler cannot permit his guy to hold the ball and must force a speed dribble.  As Pitino states, this is incredibly demanding for the guards defensively.  A full court man to man press is extremely effective in speeding up the game, but it wears out most guards in the space of about 6 possessions.  However, if done properly, there is no escaping from the press.  Unlike a zone press or any press that emphasizes a trap, if you pick the ball up against a man to man press, there is no where to turn.  All of your other 4 teammates are guarded as well.  And 2-3 of them probably do not want the ball even if you could get it to them.

I would hate to see the conditioning drills that Pitino will have to conduct to get his team ready to play this way (especially compared to Tubby's 55 point per game pace that he liked to play).


Friday, September 20, 2013

Ken Norton - Dead at 70

Once upon a time, title fights were 15 rounds, and if they went 15 rounds, both men were completely exhausted and pushed to the edge of human endurance. 

Example - Ken Norton v. Larry Holmes, June 9, 1978 (hit the full screen button). Holmes won the fight 143-142, 143-142 and 142-143, an unheard of score for a fight where the champion lost (generally judges are loathe to take the title from a champion in such a close fight). Norton was evidently NOT a big friend of judges because he defeated Ali three times as well, only getting the judges' nod in one fight. If 15 round fights were so great, then why don't we have 15 round fights today? Well, because of this (again, hit full screen): On November 27, 1982, I was home from college visiting my girlfriend Michelle and her father and I watched Mancini-Kim. I honestly thought Kim was going to win. Then he got stopped. Then he died. Round 14.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Greece Civil Servants Strike

This is an actual picture of the strikers.  Please advise me next time this group will be striking and I will be there to stand right Behind them, and next to them, and holding them on my shoulders, etc.

My Prediction for Tomorrow's headline: "Queens of the Stone Age Singer Found Dead, Riddled With Bullet Holes"

Sometimes, well, you keep your opinions to yourself.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Asked to Pick a "Perfect Age" Americans Pick.........50?!?!?


When I was 25, I was good looking, had dark hair, could run, could eat 3,000 calories a day and not gain much weight.  
In April I will be 50.  I will be 40+ pounds overweight, have no muscle, a bad back, sore knees, 90% gray hair, bad eyes,

 If I could live forever at any age, all other things being equal, I would be 25.  Now I would miss having kids.  And I would never be respected for my age and wisdom, but geez, physically, how can you select anything over 35? 

Men selected 47, women selected 53.  OK.  So in an ideal world no ideal man would want to date an ideal woman?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Jim Souhan, Jerry Kill, and Epilepsy.

In the Sunday Minneapolis Star Tribune, Jim Souhan wrote an article entitled "In Category of Health, Kill Falls Too Short to Continue." Souhan now, all so bravely, has disavowed the headline on Twitter ("I don't write the headlines") but let's review what he actually did say -- "How can the school continue to employ a football coach who has had four seizures during or after the 16 home games he has coached at the school, along with an unknown number of seizures away from the public eye?"

First of all, Jim, the law generally does not allow a person to be fired because they have an illness for which they are seeking treatment. Advised of that fact, Souhan has now backpedaled, saying that his actual position is that the Gophers should ASK Kill to quit, and Kill should do so. What a kind man - people with disabilities should not be fired outright; they should just be forced out.

 Jim Souhan, humanitarian. My lord, Ghandi and MLK must be somewhere blushing at the great humanitarian that is Souhan.

Souhan then states that his concern is not only for Jerry Kill, but for the fans who don't want to see "a middle-aged man writhing on the ground." If there has ever been a kinder and more caring way of describing an epileptic seizure, I doubt even Grantland Rice himself could have penned it. Jim, my 15 year old daughter has epilepsy. When she has a seizure, her involuntary body systems completely take over, causing her body to twitch and spasm and convulse. She has bitten her tongue and bled from the mouth, she has hit her head on the bathroom floor. I guess that next time a seizure occurs, my first thought should be, "I feel sorry for myself for having to watch this. Fucking kid - having an illness and all, making me feel uncomfortable." This thought, of course, should be followed with, "Jesus, I hope no one ever gives my kid a job, cuz if they do and she has a seizure, I sure as hell hope they either fire her ass or at least force her out as soon as possible."

I do not wish bad things upon you, Jim. You are just a selfish man who obviously doesn't know a damned thing about epilepsy. But imagine that you continue to be employed by the Star Tribune, and that once every three weeks or so you become so ill that you cannot write your column. Now, imagine that your bosses were fine with that, your co-workers were fine with that, most of your readers were fine with that, but there were a few people who thought, "Geez, yet another day without the gold that is a Souhan column! What to do?" Every morning that this occurs, they show up at the front door of the Star Tribune and demand that the person in charge immediately come out and explain what the Strib was going to do about your illness. You know what your bosses would tell these people? "Fuck off - we have numerous legal and privacy issues, we will issue a statement if and when we feel like it." They would not say "fuck," but they would otherwise tell the people to go to hell, and they would be right to do so.

As an attorney, would I EVER advise Norwood Teague to sit down and have an impromptu press conference about a coach who just had an epileptic seizure? Yes, if I wanted to commit malpractice just to see how the claims process works. While I am sure that Teague would have liked to have gone all Nathan Jessup and screamed, "I do not give a damn about what you think you are entitled to," he did the smart thing and simply said nothing.

There are millions of people in the United States who suffer from epilepsy.  I am really sorry that their existence is so inconvenient to you, Jim.  While Kill is lying on the ground, it is too bad that he cannot be simultaneously thinking, "Geez, I hope this isn't one of the 2 Gopher games a year that Jim Souhan is watching, because then I will have to send him an apology card."  Matt Limegrover, Gophers Offensive Coordinator (a man whose job duties actually ARE somewhat impacted by Kill's illness)  said the following:

"I think when people say that and write that, they're basically saying, ‘Hey, it's too bad. You people with epilepsy, don't shoot for your dreams, don't push and try and have goals because it makes me uncomfortable to see when something happens."

That is 100% true.  And what else do the Jim Souhans of the world say?  "People shouldn't have to see that."  Then don't attend games.  Vote with your feet.  If no one attends a Gophers game because they have an epileptic coach, then he will be forced out and you will have your wish.  "Other Big Ten teams use Kill's illness against the Gophers."  What people generally use against the Gophers in recruiting is that they haven't been to the Rose Bowl since John F. Kennedy was elected.  Jim Wacker and Tim Brewster, by all accounts, were healthy men.  Recruits should have been flocking to the Twin Cities.  But they weren't.  Do you really think Kill's opponents say, "Geez, they have a fucking epileptic as a coach, don't go there!"  You think that message would sell real well?  What they COULD say is, "Kill has health problems, Jim Souhan has real problems with that, so they may have to force him out...."

If Kill's illness is a recruiting problem (no evidence that it is), then wouldn't one way to reduce the problem be for the University to say, "Look, we stand behind the guy.  He is our coach, and we think he does a great job.  His assistants love him and his players support him."  Instead, the great Souhan suggests that the University force him out.  Well that will be a great boost for recruiting - "Hey, you better not have health problems when you come here. We don't like having sick folks around - they get forced out."

Let me even be so bold as to suggest this -- supporting Jerry Kill through his illness may actually IMPROVE Minnesota's standing in the world of football and HELP recruiting.  How much national attention has Minnesota received in football in the past 50 years?  The big Michigan game (loss) during Mason's tenure and the one year Lou Holtz coached.  Otherwise, virtually no attention.  You know who commented on Jim Souhan's column yesterday on Twitter?  David Axelrod - Obama's chief campaign startegist.  He called the column "ignorant" and said that the key is working to cure epilepsy.  Perhaps the administration at Minnesota, by just acting as caring human beings and honoring federal law, can use this as a platform to something greater -- maybe put some money into epilepsy research?  Have epilepsy foundation fundraisers. You know, try to help people.  Wouldn't it be nice to say 20 years from now, "When Coach Kill had his issues, we put an emphasis on epilepsy research, and now we help an extra 15% of people avoid seizures." 

Anyway, that is really all I have to say.  Oh, and fuck you, Jim Souhan.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Could I Be Mayor of Minneapolis?

For most of the ad I thought I could make it, then he disqualifies me 40 seconds in.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Alabama Football - Cheaters

I can save the NCAA a month of waiting here.  Here is what Alabama's internal investigation will show:

"We looked at the allegations, and we can say with 100% certainty that Alabama football has never done anything wrong, in any way, from the beginning of time up to the date of this report.  We have talked to the people supposedly involved, and they are now all either dead or living comfortably outside of the country.  The ones who are not dead deny any wrongdoing."

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

It Will Be 90 Saturday - I Should Go to the Beach

And by "the beach," I mean THIS particular beach....

Some Food For Thought On The Greatness of Gary Payton

9 times an all-star with at least 47 defensive wins shares and height under 6'7".

A few things to look at on the list -- how about Paul Pierce being up there with these guys!
How about Barkley having more defensive win shares than Payton!
How about Barkley having more overall Win Shares than Kobe in SUBSTANTIALLY fewer minutes!

Awesome - And the Sconnies Come Visit Minneapolis All The Time!

I would chuckle at the drunken Sconnies, but they will be transporting the bugs here during football season.  Shit.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Gary Payton - Hall of Famer

Payton was also the focal point of one of the greatest moments of NBA officiating I have ever seen.  Payton already had a technical foul against Minnesota and got into a jawing contest with KG.  Ref gives them each a T.

Payton is now tossed.

Payton looks at the ref and says, "Well, then, I am gone.  I got 2 (holds up 2 fingers).  I am gone!"  Basically, Payton was saying, "You fucking idiot. You don't toss me on that."  Ref rescinds the T......but only on Payton!!  KG still gets the T.