Thursday, February 27, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Harold Ramis - dead

Who am I gonna call......now?

There she was, just a walkin' down the street, singin'.....

Ned Ryerson!?!?

Much as I love the work of Harold Ramis in general -- Year One is arguably the worst thing ever made in any medium.  Cave Paintings by 2 year olds using their own feces as paint constitute a far higher art form than Year One.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

MY Mount Rushmore of NBA Players

My "Mount Rushmore" of NBA Players:

1.  Michael Jordan - 6 titles, 5 MVPs, 6 finals MVPs, simply the best player I ever saw, and the Bulls' rapid descent into suckiness without him and return to greatness with him shows how dominant he was.  If you look at the advanced stats, he is #1.  If you look at some of his just raw stats over the course of seasons, he or Wilt is #1.  He was a frightening mismatch for his opponents on both ends of the court.

2.  Wilt Chamberlain - averged 50-27 in a season, won 4 MVP's while playing in a legue featuring  Russell, had 55 rebounds in a game playing against Russell, far superior overall player to Russell.  His 1963-64 season is arguably the greatest ever played.  He did not win a title that year, failing to get the most out of his second banana that year -- Tom Meschery.....I guess that means that Wilt sucked that year.  If you go through Wilt's career best to worst years versus Kareem's, Wilt has better advanced stats in 12 years.  Like Jordan, a frightening mismatch for opponents on both ends.

3.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar -- Durant put Kareem on his Mount Rushmore, and you really have to hand it to KD for that pick.  Kareem has the most MVPs (6), and he was a dominant force in the NBA from 1969-83, then a key cog on championship level teams until 1989.  Much as you may love Magic, the cold hard facts are that Kareem was the better and more dominant player.  His stats are better for individual seasons.  His stats are better for his career.  He had better longevity.  His 6 best years (the Milwaukee years) he was 30-15-4 with 4 steals plus blocks.  These are AVERGES!!  There has never been a great player given less of his due that Kareem.  Wilt said he didn't rebound that well, others faulted his defense.  Magic's tiles without Kareem - 0.  Oscar's titles without Kareem - 0.  Per Bill Russell, that makes both players shit and unworthy of consideration (recall that Bill, personally, won a lot of titles).

4.  LeBron James -- Any fair review of LeBron's 11 years in the league establishes that he has been a better player than either Magic or Bird.  He has been a far superior defender to either man.  He has more overall career Win Shares, better WS/48, better PER, more MVP awards.  And he is still playing at a high level.

Of guys who have at least 150 career Win Shares, LeBron has played over 100 fewer games than anyone on the list.  Career WS/48 - 4th, career PER - 2nd behind Jordan.  LeBron after this year will be 8X First team all-NBA, he is a 4X MVP and a 2X Finals MVP (I will give Durant the MVP this year, and I doubt the Heat even reach the Finals). 

Cleveland the year pre-James:  17-65, during James 349-225, after James - 19-63.
Miami the year pre-James 47-35, during James 170-60 (2 titles, 3 finals appearances)

As a playoff performer, James' teams have never suffered a first round loss; never; and have reached the finals 4 times. It is conceivable that after this year LeBron will have the 3rd most playoff Win Shares for his career of any player in the history of the game.  Even a poor 2.1 WS performance (he has averaged 5.5 the last two years) will move LeBron into 5th place all-time, ahead of Wilt and behind only Michael, Kareem, Duncan and Magic.

GUYS I FEEL BAD ABOUT SNUBBING

Bird and Magic -- These guys saved the league.  They won 6 total MVPs and 8 total titles.  But if you really, really stare hard at their numbers, they just are not top 4 numbers.  Plus each guy suffered an affliction that ended his career early (Bird back, Magic HIV).  So they also lose points for lack of longevity.  I think that the legend of Bird and Magic outstrips the actual reality of Bird and Magic.  Bird, in particular, has playoff stats that do not justify a top 4 placement.  Magic was the better player, so I feel worse about him.

Karl Malone -- no player has ever been as consistently "well above average" for as long as Karl was.  He had 12 seasons above 13 Win Shares (tied with Wilt).  If you look at that list, the ranking is Wilt, Malone, Jordan, Jabbar, James.  If you jack the number up to 17 (truly dominant season), Karl, sadly, disappears from the list altogether and you get Wilt, Jordan, Kareem, David Robinson, James, Mikan.  At his absolute best, Karl just wasn't as great as the other guys.  And the playoff deal, well.....

David Robinson and Charles Barkley  - If you look hard at the advanced stats, as I often do, you see that these two guys are wildly underrated.  David played with some REALLY shitty supporting casts, and Charles did as well.  Both are ranked extremely high on PER and WS/48.  Both were consistently great, and when teamed with great players, both reached the finals (David winning twice).

Tim Duncan -- Like Karl Malone, consistently really, really good.  And, unlike Karl, his play actually improved in the playoffs.  I have said, maybe the second best defender of all-time after Bill Russell.  He has a career Defensive Rating (lower is better) of 95.  Of the guys who started their career after 1979, there are three guys who have played 25,000 minutes and had a Defensive Rating under 97 -- Duncan, Robinson, and Ben Wallace.  That is it.  So, negatives?  Seasons with greater than 15 WS -- 2.  MVPs - 2. 

George Mikan -- There have only been 6 guys who have ever logged 20 WS in a season, the 4 guys on my list, Oscar, and Mikan.  Mikan did it 3 times.  Plus he had 5 titles.  But his career was really short, and he was playing basically in an all-white league.  His three top seasons match up with anyone's, but I just cannot say that he clearly had a better career than my top 4 guys.

I do not believe that Bill Russell merits a top 4 placement.  He was a one-end player, playing with multiple HOF teammates and largely against 6'7" white guys.  Look at his career shooting percentages and free throw percentages.  He also averaged 15 points a game in an era with a 131% pace of play compared to today's game.  Oscar Robertson, as well, is really not a top 4 player.  1 time MVP, very little playoff success, much lower production after his 8th year.  Guys like Jerry West and Elgin Baylor and Bob Petit probably deserve equal or more consideration than Oscar.

If you pushed me real, real hard, I would go:

Top 4 in order.
5 - Duncan
6 - Magic
7 - Mikan
8 - Bird
The rest



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Joe The Plumber - Paying Union Dues for Company Romney Said to Let Go Bankrupt

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2014/02/17/Joe-the-Plumber-Wurzelbacher-hired-by-Chrysler-Corporation.html

Oh, Joe.  (OK, his real name is Samuel, and he isn't really a plumber, but hey, he was Sarah Palin's best friend for a couple months).

Accepting a union job with union wages and work rules for a foreign-owned company that Barack Obama saved?   Wow.  This would be like me taking a job firing unwanted household workers and car-elevator installers at Mitt Romney's house.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Time - Why Do You Punish Me? Lindsay, Barbra, Kirstie

Lohan, Streisand and Alley -- who has declined the most?



Friday, February 14, 2014

9 or More Seasons With 10 Win Shares

1Kareem Abdul-Jabbar*19701986TOTNBA16
2Karl Malone*19882003UTANBA14
3Wilt Chamberlain*19601973TOTNBA13
4John Stockton*19882002UTANBA13
5Tim Duncan19982010SASNBA12
6Kobe Bryant20002013LALNBA11
7Magic Johnson*19801991LALNBA11
8Michael Jordan*19851998CHINBA11
9Reggie Miller*19902001INDNBA11
10Dirk Nowitzki20012011DALNBA11
11Oscar Robertson*19611971TOTNBA11
12David Robinson*19902002SASNBA11
13Bill Russell*19581969BOSNBA11
14Charles Barkley*19861996TOTNBA10
15LeBron James20052014TOTNBA10
16Bob Pettit*19551964TOTNBA10
17Jerry West*19621973LALNBA10
18Larry Bird*19801988BOSNBA9
19Kevin Garnett20002008TOTNBA9
20Shaquille O'Neal19932005TOTNBA9


Some observations:
1) The top 4 guys are, simply put, the best old guys to ever play the game.  Kareem was 22 in 1969.  He was putting up 10 Win Shares at age 39.  Malone took 4 years to reach 10 win Shares in a season, then he ripped through 14 out of 15 years from age 26 to age 40.  Stockton -- same thing, just one year difference.  And Wilt (except for being injured one year) NEVER had a season where he logged under 10 WS.   He was 36, leading the league in rebounding, and playing at a still very high level when he basically quit over a contract dispute.

2) Duncan finally appears unable to play at the consistent level necessary to put up 10 WS.  Of the bevy of players at 11 seasons, who'd a thunk that Reggie Miller would fit in with this crew???  If you had to grade these guys on a 1-100 scale you would say 95, 100, 100, 82, 94, 97, 98, 96.    Miller is top 15 on the all-time WS list, but 45th in WS/48.  Analysis -- he played a lot of minutes.  He logged 34+ minutes a game 12 times, tied for 15th most since 1979.  Is Reggie the 15th best player since 1979?  Uh, no.  But he was durable and consistent.

3) Russell - at the start of his career, he was about 70% Defensive Win Shares.  By the end of his career each season was over 90% Defensive win Shares.  1965-66, he had 0.3 Offensive Win Shares and over 11 DWS -- 97.436%!!  And people say he was a top 5 player?  Better than Wilt?  Come on.  There are two ends to the court.  Wesley Johnson so far this year has 0.4 Offensive win Shares.

4) You also see on the list the precipitous drop off in the career of Larry Bird and Kevin Garnett once they were injured.  Look'em up.  Bird's games played declined, and he wasn't ever as good per minute.  Same with Garnett, whose WS/48 went from .265 in 2007-08 to never reaching .200 ever again.

5) Shaq, oh Shaq.  If you ever want support for the folks who say, "Shaq wasted his greatness," look at this.  During Shaq's 13 years he only had 9 great seasons.  When you are playing 40-50 games, you probably aren't reaching 10 WS in a season.  His second year, Shaq had almost 17 Win Shares.  His 4th and 5th year -- 6.9 and 8.0.  Now, of the 4 sub-par years, one year was a strike year, but if you take the other 3 years and give him 7 extra WS per year, you are looking at a top 5 finish on the career WS list. 


Incognito -- Um, Racist

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/02/14/report-details-racial-abuse-of-dolphins-trainer/

I am most offended by the use of the term "dirty Chink."  Come on guys, he is JAPanese.  This is akin to calling a Puerto Rican a "wetback" or a lighter skinned black guy a "Spic."  Let's get our slurs correct!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Move Over LeBron James -- Blake Griffin Smack Bieber, Has Now Become My Favorite NBA Player

http://www.empiresports.co/blake-griffin-smacks-justin-bieber-at-hollywood-starbucks/

Now, let me say this however, should LeBron similarly physically assault Justin Bieber and send him running from a public situation in tears, I will quickly move back to LeBron as my favorite NBA player.

It is your choice, LeBron -- I would advise you to find and also smack the shit out of Bieber and regain your #1 spot!!!!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Greatest Click-Through List of Hot Celebrities I Have Ever Seen

http://www.rantlifestyle.com/2013/12/12/30-hottest-female-celebrity-bodies-time/?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=Outbrain&utm_term=Title6

Just one example, a picture of a young Helen Mirren:



X Factor - Canceled

http://www.etonline.com/tv/143312_The_X_Factor_USA_Gets_Canceled_Simon_Cowell_Leaves/index.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ETTopStories+%28Entertainment+Tonight%3A+Breaking+News%29

I will miss the show.  The problem they have had in the U.S. is their first two winners were terrible.  One of my favorite X Factor acts, Emblem 3, will be playing a super small bar here in Minneapolis soon.  So, yeah, probably time to go.

HM

Friday, February 07, 2014

A-Rod Drops His Efforts to Overturn the Arbitration Result

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-07/alex-rodriguez-drops-suit-challenging-his-suspension.html

As I stated here  I do not believe that A-Rod's efforts even passed the minimal test of being non-frivolous.  I would imagine that what happened here is this - counsel for MLB came to the same conclusion that I did and sent A-Rod's counsel a Rule 11 letter, stating that A-Rod's claims were frivolous and giving A-Rod 21 days to withdraw the claims or face a Rule 11 motion (where A-Rod and his attorneys would possibly have had to pay MLB's attorneys' fees if they lost the motion).  A-Rod withdrew the claims.

Could something else have happened?  Sure.  But the original item I did was January 13, and the case was withdrawn 25 days later.  If you assume that it took the law firm 7 days to put together the Rule 11 letter, the whole thing makes sense from a timing standpoint.

Or maybe A-Rod just decided that he needed to be classier and less selfish........

City of Miami - Lucky AND Unlucky for Paul George?

http://www.beyondthebuzzer.com/2014/02/05/report-paul-george-got-miami-stripper-pregnant-offered-1m-get-abortion/

Thanks to The K for the link. 

You wonder why a highly-paid athlete like Paul George would try to pick up a few extra endorsements and cash by being in the Gatorade Slam Dunk competition?  Well..........

Money not spent on condoms - $4
Money offered - $1M
Money eventually to be spent -- $15K per month X 216 months = $3.24M plus college at $450K = $3,690,000.

Should spent the $4.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

The 4 Greatest NBA Players With Under 600 Career Games Played

http://bkref.com/tiny/gPDpH

Durant is FOURTH!!! 

3rd -- Neil Johnston aka the most underrated player in the history of the NBA.  I really need to do an entire story on this guy some day.   There are few who know and love the history of the NBA as much as I do, yet until about 3 years ago I had NEVER heard of Neil Johnston. In his stint in the NBA, he was substantially better than Kevin Durant has been in his first 511 games.  4X First Team all-NBA, 1 time second team, his offensive efficiency stats place him freakishly above anyone in his era of play.   In well under 600 games, he STILL ranks 43rd in history in Offensive Win Shares.  He has more OWS than George Gervin or Dwyane Wade.

2nd -- George Mikan -- how about 109 Win Shares in well under 500 games?  Titles, MVPs, forced rule changes....

1st -- Chris Paul -- if the little runt could ever stay healthy, he would enjoy a reputation as maybe the greatest under 6'4" player in the history of the game.  Quick - who hit the most key shots and made the most key plays in the 4th corner against Spain in 2012?  It was Cliff Paul's twin brother.


Monday, February 03, 2014

RIP, Philip Seymour Hoffman

As a fellow Upstate New Yorker (Hoffman was from near Rochester), it makes me sad that another guy who made Upstate proud (like Tim Russert before him) has now died. While Hoffman played many great roles and reached the top of his profession (Best Actor in "Capote" in 2005) he was never above taking on a role for purposes of having a good time and making some money (e.g., "Hunger Game - Catching Fire" or the very small role in "Twister"). Here is an interesting scene from "Along Came Polly" in which Hoffman (playing a former child star who now was angry with his community theatre group about their poor work) is lectured about how to go through life by Ben Stiller's movie dad. I hope Hoffman enjoyed "the ride" for 46 years.