Friday, December 31, 2010

Keep Your Mouth Guards In!

I'm sure you've noticed the recent trend in seeing 3-4 amazing highlights from Blake Griffin every night he plays. I appreciate the fact that despite such awesome plays, he seems so low key and doesn't have to scream or pound his chest like many other players when they celebrate.

Unfortunately, there is also a down side to his highlights. He has developed the habit of sticking his mouth guard out and chewing on it after a good play.

Gerald Wallace has the same habit and it drives me crazy watching him. I have yet to see a Gerald Wallace highlight that doesn't feature his mouth protection. It's also a common sight with Lebron, Derron Williams, James Posey, Dirk Nowitzki, Shaq, and others. It's not that I think it's gross, but it just bugs me. 

So my plea to the NBA players is this: Please keep your mouth guards in your mouth. Nobody wants to see you chewing on them or taking them out and tucking them in a headband, waist band, or sock. I'm worried that NBA stars are setting a new trend and young punks will think it's cool and start imitating them at the gym. I won't be able to handle that.

However, if I have to watch Blake Griffin stick his mouth guard out and chew on it after each amazing play, I am willing to do so, but he is the only player that I'll say that about.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Getting Undercut Sucks

Last week I was playing in a pickup game and the team I was on kept winning, so I kept playing longer than I new I should. As I went out onto the court for what I told myself would be my last game, I mentioned to a team mate that it's not smart to play too long because you always get injured when you are tired. During the game, the guy I was guarding broke away from me and was going for a baseline jump shot. I sprinted towards him and jumped as high as I could to try and block it. As soon as I left my feet, he decided to fake the shot instead and ended up ducking under me and taking my feet out.

My time in the air passed in slow motion and seemed like an eternity as I tried to figure out how to get my feet under me or land in the least vulnerable position. I ended up slamming hard onto my back on the floor. After rolling around in pain for a minute I was finally able to limp off the court in pain. I later tried to explain to my kids what happened but they didn't know what being undercut meant so I tried showing them with some examples on YouTube.

I was telling them that the first clip was not as bad as mine, then I came across this second clip which is by far the most dangerous basketball fall I have ever seen in my life. It's a miracle that he wasn't paralyzed after this. If you don't cringe or scream while watching this, then you have no soul. I was feeling bad for myself until I watched this clip and it put things in perspective.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Is Missing a Dunk Really That Embarrassing?

Yesterday while watching NBA highlights, I noticed the clip below of JaVale McGee missing a dunk. He had a break away and decided to try to dunk it from the free throw line. He lost control of the ball and ended up  missing the dunk. You can see it below.

Now it's time for my expert commentary. The announcer ripped on him for trying to show off, but I'm pretty sure he didn't decide to try a dunk he had never attempted before or that he was not capable of doing. He could have just as easily have made the dunk and been on highlight reels all month. If I'm reading the clock right, there were 16 seconds left in the game and there was a 25 point differential between the two teams. This wasn't the kind of scenario where the game is on the line.

Over the years I've heard many people comment on how embarrassing it would be to miss a dunk. I disagree. Is it embarrassing to miss a free throw or a jump shot? If it's a close game and someone tries to pull off some incredibly difficult shot and they blow it and their team loses as a result,  then they should be embarrassed, but for most of these guys, making a dunk is like making a layup.

So the next time you see someone miss a dunk, just chill out. You don't jump all over guys for missing three pointers because it's a long shot and hard to make, so why do it when someone takes a close up shot. By the way, one of my favorite pictures on this blog is the one of Shannon Brown jumping out of the gym. He missed the dunk, but I still put the picture up for such an impressive attempt. You can feel free to call me the dunker's advocate.