Friday, January 26, 2018

The Greatest Dunker of All Time

I love watching the great dunkers of the game and there are many of them, but Vince Carter has been the absolute greatest in game dunker of all time. I honor of his birthday today I am sharing this video of him commenting on his favorite dunks from his career. There is an obvious Olympic leapfrog dunk that has been omitted but these are just from the NBA.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Cringemenator

I've been watching the NBA top 10 highlights since they started the feature a long time ago. I enjoy being able to spend 3 minutes on Youtube and get a recap of the top plays from the prior night's NBA action. When they originally started this feature they'd just play the audio from the games when they showed the highlights but eventually commentators were used. I've seen several commentators come and go over the years. The first commentator I remember was the enthusiastic Kyle Montgomery. I enjoyed his style but he disappeared a couple years ago.

Montgomery was eventually replaced by the greatest commentator ever aka the Goatmentator. His real name is Beau Estes and this middle aged white dude could rap and rhyme if he ever needed to find another job. He sometimes will incorporate a theme into the highlights like when David Bowie died or make some subtle Arrested Development references during his commentary. Here is a sample of his skills from a couple years ago.

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The NBA uses several commentators for this feature and rotates them around. Some have been boring and bland and others with more personality. One guy that made a splash a couple years ago was an older guy with a gruff voice and long pauses who sounded horrible. He was dubbed the "Pireatemenator" at first due to his voice and style but he eventually grew on many viewers over time with his catch phrases like "Ricky Rrrrrrrubio."

Something happened recently that made viewers stop complaining about the Pirate. Several months ago the NBA hired a new young kid who is very obnoxious. He is known as the Cringemenator since he usually causes viewers to cringe 5 or 6 times during the highlights with his commentary. Here is a quick example of how obnoxious and distracting he can be.



When I see the likes and dislikes on the videos I can immediately tell who the commentator is. This year is the first time I have seen more dislikes on the videos than likes and it is all because of him. Some nights I think he reads all the hate comments and tones it down for a day or two and he is actually tolerable but then he will come back full force obnoxious by yelling "screet, screet" or a plethora of cringe worthy noises and comments. Some viewers complain about all the negative comments and ask why people get so caught up in the commentator. I say it is because we have no choice. Why ruin something good like basketball highlights with horrible commentary. Time will only tell what Cringemenator will do next with his "top ten to win,"

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The NBA on TNT

I love the NBA on TNT. This would be my dream job to hang out and talk basketball while making each other laugh. Charles Barkley is the MVP of this show. I love his honest opinions,  personality, and ability to laugh at himself. Shaq is also usually pretty funny. Kenny is my least favorite, but still offers some variety and a different perspective. Ernie is knowledgeable, and has his work cut out for him trying to keep them all on track when they are screwing around.

I really enjoy Inside The NBA when they have on other past players like Dominique, Chris Webber, Brent Barry, KG, Kevin McHale, and others. This show is awesome. I haven't had cable for over 20 years but I watch these guys on YouTube regularly. There is such great chemistry, commentary, humor, and entertainment.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Bad Injuries

Over the summer I was sad to see Gordon Hayward leave the Jazz, but was still wishing him the best and hoping he’d have continued success in Boston. This morning I saw a headline that he had broken his leg early in the first game of the season. I thought that sucked, but when I saw the picture of his injury online my heart just sank and my eyes started to tear up.

I felt sick to see his foot twisted in the wrong direction.  I dislocated a finger several years ago playing basketball and it kind of freaked me out seeing one finger bend a completely different direction than the others, but that was child's play compared to his ankle. 

The first thing I thought of when I saw a photo of it was Paul George when he broke his lower leg a couple years ago. After that happened I thought George's career was over. I was surprised and impressed to see him battle back and play at such a high level afterwards. This gives me hope for Hayward. This injury was not as graphic as the ones experienced by Paul George or Kevin Ware but it still made me sick. 

I have decided not to post the picture but I think the picture below sums up the severity of the injury. When you see opposing players turn away unable to watch you know it is bad.


Any injury is frustrating, but serious ones are particularly hard to witness. I would not wish an injury like that on anybody and hope Hayward is able to make a full recovery.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Super Teams

With last year's Championship, the Golden State Warriors proved to be one of the most dominant teams in NBA history. After compiling the best winning NBA record of all time the year before, they added an MVP and got even better. Many people have given Kevin Durrant and the Warriors grief for this but from someone who was rooting against them in the playoffs, I'm OK with it.

Creating super teams may be opening a can of worms for other teams to follow their lead.  I'm sure there will be many others to follow. Lebron has a way of bringing good players over to the Cavs and that will continue for the rest of his career where ever he ends up playing. (I actually started typing this post several months ago before Derrick Rose and Dwayne Wade recently signed with the Cavs.)


Any team that is good with a deep roster is a super team. The Celtics and Lakers in the 80's were super teams. They just went about creating their teams differently than the players today who are more apt to make alliances, financial sacrifices, and deals to improve their odds of winning a ring.

I really don't have a problem with the super team concept. In fact I think it would be interesting if we took things a step further. What if the team that won the title got the first round draft pick each year? The main reason I say this is because I hate seeing bad teams give up towards the end of the year so they can draft a better player for the upcoming season. Imagine what mediocre teams would do to stay out of the cellar towards the end of the year if they were actually penalized for being bad. Teams with poor records would stop tanking in order to improve their odds of a high lottery pick at the draft.

I know that incorporating such an extreme and unfair practice would disrupt balance to the force. It might take teams like Brooklyn or Philadelphia 5 years or more to slowly improve while the top teams just ran dynasties for years. One problem with the Super team concept is that it eventually turns your favorite stars into villains. Some people who loved the excitement of the Splash Brothers years ago now look at the team like they are a bad guy in WWE.

A handful of super team will dominate the league in the future, but that will make it even more exciting to see upsets when they are defeated by an underdog.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

My Favorite Players

I started watching the NBA in the late seventies. I have had many players who I admire for a variety of reasons, but I thought I'd list my 10 favorite players over the years. I am not listing them by who I think is better, but rather who I enjoyed watching play the most.

1- Michael Jordan. I watched Jordan's entire NBA career and was always in awe of the crazy moves he pulled off and his desire and ability to win. He dominated and could have done even more had he not toyed with playing baseball. I enjoyed watching his dominance (except for the 2 titles he took from my Jazz.)

2- Dr. J. He was my first man crush. I remember watching The Sixers take on the Lakers in the playoffs and watching his behind the backboard swoop shot live. Julius truly changed the game with his exciting play and showmanship.

3- Lebron James. I have been watching him and the hype behind him since he was in high school and he has lived up to it. I am baffled that he has haters. I love his solid game. He can do it all. He could move to any team and I would cheer for him. I regularly track his stats each season as he continues to move up in the record books as one of the greatest players.

4-Karl Malone- When the Jazz drafted Malone I was upset they didn't take better known players at the time, but he has impressed me with his efforts since his rookie year. His work ethic and ability to stay in amazing shape year round is impressive. I would have loved to see him play a couple more years and surpass Kareem's all time scoring record. I think he could have kept playing even after his knee injury with the Lakers.

5- Charles Barkley- I loved watching him as a young player. He defied physics with what he did at his height and weight. I have enjoyed him even more as a commentator. I know he is opinionated and can be controversial but I find myself agreeing with him most of the time and I just really like the guy and what he has done for the game.

6-Vince Carter- Vince was the greatest in game dunker in NBA History. He constantly amazed me with his leaping ability. I still enjoy watching him play even though he is now one of the currently oldest players in the league.

7-Dominique Wilkins- Dominique was one of the first to pull off dunk contest caliber dunks in close games. He was the king of the power windmill dunk. I loved watching his highlights.

8- Magic Johnson- Magic was a great all around player and one of the first multi-dimensional players that could do so much. He was the man behind showtime. He was a great competitor with a great smile.

9-John Stockton- I loved his hard nosed no nonsense style of play. He quietly became the all time assists and steals leader by a long shot and he did so without ever drawing any attention to himself. I admire his work ethic and humility just as much as his game. He was a very refreshing contrast to a league of prima donnas.

10- Shaquille O'Neal- Shaq has been dominating and owning the paint since he came into the league.
I imagine watching him is the closest thing to watching Wilt Chamberlain play. Shaq was also a funny character.

Honorable Mentions:
Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant, Clyde Drexler, Isaiah Thomas, Darryl Dawkins, Moses, Malone,

Friday, September 1, 2017

Jimmer in China

I have enjoyed watching Jimmer Fredette play basketball since he caught everyone's attention at BYU and winning the NCAA player of the year in 2011. I could not believe the shooting range he had and was shocked at some of the deep threes he made in games.

It was frustrating watching him at the next level in the NBA. I think he could have done better with certain teams or in different systems than the ones he had a change to play with but I also I understand it's a challenge to continue to perform at the same level when he has to guard bigger or faster players who expose his weakness on defense.

It has been interesting to see how he struggles in the NBA but dominates when he has gone down to the D-League or over seas. He had a great year in China leading the CBA in scoring and winning the import MVP award. I'm just glad to see he's doing so well with the Shanghai Sharks and hope he can continue to have success there. I'm sure he'd prefer to be competing in the NBA but he's on top of the world in Asia for now.