Around the Web...

From Salon: Anyone can break down the draft, but few do so like King Kaufman.

From Enjoy the Enjoyment: Shawn Kemp central--news about junior, with a few highlights from senior's prime.

From The New York Times: Maybe Mike D'Antoni reads Steve Danley?

From 100% Injury Rate: Everyone loves Barkley. Especially the Chinese, per the video below.

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posted by Doctor Dribbles @ 20:15, ,

Talking about playoffs, rapping about practice

If only Hillary liked turntablists, he might have had a shot. Over on You Been Blinded, a clip of Jazzy Jeff sampling AI's famous "practice" rant for his latest album.

It reminded me of this great Jim Mora/Allen Iverson cut-and-paste job that made the rounds a few months ago...the only regret, per With Leather, is that's it far too brief.

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posted by Doctor Dribbles @ 17:54, ,

Better than Harry Potter

Calling all D.C. locals: Thanks to a tip from the dude abides, get ready to watch Wizards-in-training on Comcast SportsNet in July.

Key dates/times, etc:

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posted by Crucifictorious @ 20:56, ,

Around the Web...

From Golden State of Mind: Jason Richardson will be missed.

From Sportszilla, All on the Field, and SonicsCentral: Ray Allen, not so much

From Tremendous Upside Potential: Joakim Noah, making new friends everywhere he goes.

From SactownRoyalty: Spencer Hawes might not be the answer.

From The Sporting News: A true class for the ages; NHL's latest Hall-of-Famers all shoo-ins. (Just making sure you're still reading).

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posted by Crucifictorious @ 16:30, ,

Post-hash post-draft

So, against our long-standing opposition, we seized an opening to participate in a mock draft as the Orlando Magic--a team the We Rite Goode crew wasn't especially attached to, but we liked the cap situation, the opportunity to pan for prospects in the second-round, the Dwight Howard. Also, Orlando was the only team still available.

When our mock draft ran a few days ago, the Magic held two second-round picks--nos. 44 and 54--although the team last night dealt both, mostly for cash considerations (and a no. 60 pick who's already anonymous). We weren't surprised; thanks to our encyclopedic research, it was clear going into the mock draft that the Magic are focusing their attention on Rashard Lewis, Vince Carter, and the inimitable Darko. So just like Otis Smith, we figured that anything the draft could turn up would be gravy; the team seemed thinnest up front, so we prioritized big men.

For the first 40 picks or so, there was litle doing...but when pick #42 came up (and our first selection was just two slots away), this was how our draft board stood:

1) Marcus Williams—SF/SG, Arizona
He didn't quite fit our need for a big, but Williams had too much talent to pass up if he slipped to no. 44. Sure, they call him a "lazy man's Steve Smith," with a game so smooth and silky he lulls himself to sleep. But get a Van Gundy brother in his ear and watch out: Dude may wake up and seize that starting-2 guard spot.

Failing that, we figured it was always good to have trade bait. Maybe Isiah would want another swingman.

2) Kyle Visser—C/PF, Wake Forest

Readers: Know this early and often--we love us some Hollinger. And J-Ho had Kyle as the 15th ranked collegian in his latest, greatest ratings system that sort-of predicts future pro success (Boozer: Called it; Luke Jackson: Err…).

Still, we knew that Visser's no intimidator or great rebounder, although we already had blocks and boards aplenty with Darko* (return pending) and Dwight. And Kyle's an ugly player, all layups and jump hooks with nary a J to befound. But truth be told, we felt a solid big man backing up the D&D boys would look beautiful down in the Magic kingdom.

3) Kyrylo Fesenko, C, Ukraine

We were saying "who?" after discovering him when scouting (aka: reading lots of websites) for second-rounders. But forget the name: Big man (7'1" tall, 9'4" reach) can play. Likely raised with Chernobyl superpowers, Fess is long, quick, and intense. And unintentional comic relief in the locker room.

But we were thinking outside the box. Namely, since the Magic are trying to lure back Darko (we are, which says more about the state of NBA big men than Darko) having a fellow escapee from the yoke of communism couldn't hurt. And there were no Cuban big men to be found.


Of course, Marcus Williams was immediately snatched up at #42, but we were delighed when Visser at no. 44 and later Fesenko at no. 54 fell to us. A Doleac-type big man for now; a Varajeo clone we can stash in Europe for a few years. Seemed like a pretty decent haul, all things considered.

But little did we know how wrong we were. In the opinion of Awful Announcing, who ran the Great 2007 Blogger's NBA Mock Draft:

Orlando- Kyle Visser, Kyrylo Fesenko
Grade: C+, I'm not sold at all on Visser (unlike Hollinger). He was an
average ACC player in a year that big men domintated. I have no idea who Fesenko

(Now, before biting the hand that fed us, let us express our gratitude to AA for including this little-read, of a venture alongside real bloggers. An enjoyable experience. We would do it again, in a second. Although not turn to Safari as our browser of choice.)

That being said...

Like the pre-med student attempting to up his score, we'd like a second review of our mock draft. Although we quibble with Kyle Visser's year--he was third-team All-ACC, not to mention All-Academic!--special exception is saved for the "I don't know of a player" rule to assess a draft. Forsooth, aren't the greatest draft winners those that unearth little-known prospects?

Alas, we were content to let history judge our performance...

...until Fesenko's selection at no. 38--16 slots ahead of where we actually stole him--began winning plaudits. Well, still not from AA. And admittedly, Visser slipped out of the draft. But today, thanks to Billy King's flyer on an unpronouncable Ukranian, we are still self-satisfied.

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posted by Doctor Dribbles @ 16:24, ,

Around the Web...

From the Soul of Baseball: One man's take on the AL All-Star starters. No Corey Patterson?

From Kobe and Kevin. Paul Shirley lionizes one, bathes the other in oil. Can you guess which?

From The Wizards of Odds: It's all about the kids...making the old men oodles of money.
From Deadspin: Does anyone feel a draft?

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posted by Crucifictorious @ 18:56, ,

Well, Simmons knows best!

So...a quick order of events:

* Bill "Sports Guy" Simmons was getting knocked for a few bad draft I stuck up for him.

* Steve Danley, burgeoning writer and ex-Penn basketball player, poked holes in a few top draft I criticized him.

But now Simmons just validated Danley's "surprisingly good take" on various prospects in's own mock draft today (scroll down to Atlanta at no. 11):


Well, good for Danley--Simmons just ensured that he'd get a lot more eyeballs, if not ink. But I'm standing by what I wrote: The article may be well-structured and interesting. Heck, it's even insightful.

But doesn't change the fact that Danley's an egomaniacal madman out to rule the world.

(To be honest--I'm more than ok with Danley's "I would take these players" argument; it's the "I'd stay away from these guys" part that needed some refinement--or tacit acknowledgment that, warts and all, he's not in their league).

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posted by Doctor Dribbles @ 15:58, ,

Around the Web...

From the dude abides: Beckham vs Bush proves better than Hatton vs Castillo...or at least, Dan vs. Dave.

From Yahoo! Sports: NFL Europa going hasta la vista.

From SPORTSbyBROOKS: Who needs to be Marvin Brando? Even Matt Geiger was living in the lap of luxury.

From CNN/SI: Best and worst GMs. John Paxson in awkward position to give MJ assists.

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posted by Crucifictorious @ 14:01, ,

We have become what we hate

So we were all set at We Rite Goode to go ahead and lambast the mock draft craze as inexorable, painful, and (generally) a waste of time.

Of course, when we saw the opportunity to be in a blogger mock draft ourselves...well, "threw ourselves at" doesn't do justice to how fast we tried to grab a spot.

Not to be confused with the mock blogger draft--we're still unsure what to make of that--nor an earlier blogger mock draft, Awful Announcing has organized an epic two-round, four-day, 800-blogger extravaganza (well, it just feels that way)...and AA promises an interesting wrinkle when all is said and done.

We're not sure what else we're at liberty to say, other than We Rite Goode is repping Orlando, but plan to return and offer some insight into our mock draft before tomorrow's real draft is done.

You know: why we picked who we did, what the pressure was like in the "war room" our witty comments kept getting rejected by the message board.

All the crucial, irrelevant details we know you can't live without!

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posted by Doctor Dribbles @ 12:58, ,

Around the Web...

From The Maestro of Mathmatics, the Professor of PER, John Hollinger finally delivers a system to project college players' NBA success.

From Gilbertology: Two more Arenas/Durant commercials that you'll be tired of by Friday, but amused by today.

From The FanHouse: Why interest in Kevin Garnett is going nuclear.

(And From the BasketballJones via WithLeather: Why you shouldn't bat an eye.)

From the Washington Post: The glamorous, glitzy life of the college basketball scrub-turned-Ukranian professional basketball player.

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posted by Crucifictorious @ 23:38, ,

Steve Danley...not quite the next Paul Shirley

Did you know that there over 360,000 NCAA athletes--and almost all of them are going pro in something?

Just like the rest of us, ex-collegians go on to diverse professional careers. Sure, you've got those kids who just aren't ready for the real world--like the law school wanna-bes, many get interested in the legal system. Then there are the practical ones interested in business, or the over-achieving high-flyers who display new interest in medicine. But some pretty boys turn to male modeling; the grungier folks may even become bricklayers. And for the most part, I don't want to stop these guys from following their yen. After all, they're the ones making bloggers' dreams come true.

But of all the jobs open to Rhodes Scholar finalist and graduating Penn power forward Steve Danley, his latest NY Times article makes me hope he'll avoid "professional writer."

The article--a "player's eye" view of current NBA prospects--is a well-conceived idea. It's strongly written. And, best of all, it's actually insightful. I *knew* McRoberts was a head-case that the 'Zards needed to avoid at no. 16; who better to scout him than his fellow player?

Unfortunately, just like Danley's first story for the paper--how being an Ivy League athlete sets him and his teammates apart from the rest--the piece feels a little pretentious. If there's sarcasm, it gets lost in translation. And here's my Doctor Dribbles diagnosis: Danley's articles *sound like* a bad case of Smug, which may be linked to acute Ego-itis.

Sure, his articles are interesting, and many sports fans are dying for articulate athletes who can share an insider's perspective. In many ways, Danley is ably positioned to be a junior Paul Shirley, who himself blogged onto the scene by exposing how average NBA players view their world.

But despite a quick reference to "desire slightly exceeding talent," Danley lacks Shirley's--how can I best put this--humility. Shirley's not ego-less, but he played up his lowly 12th man status when he started; he often would follow a put-down of others (e.g., the Hawks) by making fun of himself. Quite frankly, Danley would benefit from similar self-deprecation, especially in an article where he's strongly critical of players who are much, much better than him.

Oh yes. Among D1 players, Danley was closer to scrub than star. In the Jabbo Kenner summer league, the only points I remember Danley scoring were Tommys for his hustle. And while an above-average big man in the Ivy League, Danley came up real small against top teams, best seen by revisiting three of the four players he's critical of.
  • Danley knocks Brandan Wright ("we considered him the third-best player on [UNC]") but leaves out that Wright's 12 points and 7 rebounds, in basically half the game, helped UNC trounce Penn by nearly 40 points, thanks partly to Danley's no-show (1-5 FGs, 2 Rbs)
  • While McRoberts may be a head case (a point I want to be true, by the way), Danley was the one who looked rattled in Penn's loss to Duke: 1-5 from the field, 7 TOs, and 1 Shelden Williams-inspired concussion. Even if you throw the game out of the window because of Danley's injury and deal with his claim--that McRoberts was being tested to make an open shot--at least the then-freshman (in only his 8th game) canned half of them, helping Duke to the win.
  • Danley also criticizes Darryl Watkins of Syracuse as lacksadaiscal, but Watkins made all three of his shots in Syracuse's win over Penn this year. Danley, meanwhile, shot 1-3, grabbed 3 Rbs., and committed 4 TOs.
Obviously, analysts often have critical eyes that exceed natural abilities; witness the careers of Tom Tolbert and Jay Bilas, or even a Roger Ebert and especially a Doctor Dribbles. And it's hard to know if the Times editors are strictly trimming Danley's asides or giving him a voice he didn't intend.

But Danley's not a 40-year-old veteran of sports journalism or professional basketball; he's a callow, unemployed college boy who's weighing in on his much-stronger peers. And if the punk's going to wax on the weaknesses of others, I'd love to see him first acknowledge his own limitations.

(Update: So turns out that Bill Simmons loved Danley's piece today. This has the potential to cause all kinds of cognitive dissonance up in here.)

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posted by Doctor Dribbles @ 22:14, ,

Around the Web...

From Rumors and Rants: Yao and his old lady rushing into marriage.

From Mister Irrelevant: Forget weeping into your beer after every loss; Nats now explicitly driving fans to drink

From Winning the Turnover Battle: Flamethrowers who were flameouts, and other MLB sob stories

From the astutely named Lakers Blog: So what if the Lakers don't deal the pick...

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posted by Crucifictorious @ 22:01, ,

How can DC be a dismal sports town? We've got Steinberg!

Anyone who's read We Rite Goode these past weeks knows of our man-love for DC Sports Bog's own Dan "D-Steinz" Steinberg. The man is a multimedia powerhouse--Blogs, YouTube, TV. Oprah, watch out!

Of course, what transformed mere respect for Mr. Steinberg to full-on admiration was his selection of a WRG post--the ill-titled "Yet another reason for fast-food cashiers to love their jobs"--for the top spot in "Today's Top Five," his semi-frequent blog round-up. However, that was last Tuesday; shortly thereafter, Mr. Steinberg abruptly abandoned his post, most likely to get his head examined, if not to pick daisies until today. As a result, our post has sat atop the DC Sports Bog's page for a week...which we choose to interpret as Señor Bog's tacit recommendation that WRG has been a must-read for seven straight days.

Sir, we salute you. Your taste may be poor, but your generosity to young bloggers knows no bounds.

So it was with some disappointment that we learned of one "CBS Sportsline columnist" calling our fair city "comical" when it comes to the sporting front. Sure, the Redskins haven't been relevant for a decade, and yes, the Nats are suffering the predictable woes that make them Ex-Expos. But we've got a basketball superstar in Arenas, a flashy scorer in Ovechkin, a soccer powerhouse in United...and some of the best sportswriters. In part because the WaPo staffs the deepest lineup since the 1927 Bronx Bombers. Quite frankly, Wilbon, Feinstein, Mike Wise et al. wouldn't be as interesting without each other--you read the paper every day, you get incisive sports commentary. And can you imagine Kornheiser's shtick in Dallas or Miami? There's a certain je-ne-sais-quoi that would be lost...

(Not that we're against those cities! It's a stupid exercise by the columnist, who we won't link to to boost his readership, but speaks to the current sports wasteland between the NBA Finals and NFL season. Pundits need something to pund-ificate on.)

Plus, we've got Mr. Steinberg running all over town expanding the various sports options. Did "CBS Sportsline columnist" factor in poetry when slamming DC? Or was he too underhanded to include our professional softball team? And how about the shooting rise of our rock, paper, scissors scene?

(Yes, we submitted the RPS post to DCist too. Like the Beach Boys, we're trying to get around.)

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posted by Crucifictorious @ 18:04, ,

Dribbles on the Realests on Simmons, continued

Previously, on "We Rite Goode"
-Pedro Cerrano discovered that it's better to eat chicken than sacrifice it
-Crucifictorious explained his name to confused readers again
-Doctor Dribbles had beef with other bloggers

Yep, nothing new 'round these parts. On my end, I took issue with the Realests taking issue with the draft savvy of Bill "Sports Guy" Simmons. Not because of any great love for Simmons, but because picking a few examples out of years of coverage does not an accurate opinion make. Moreover, the included criticisms--such as Simmons somehow blew it by preferring Chris Paul to Deron Williams--were so lackluster that they undermined that blog's cherry-picked argument.

Still, I like the Realests and wanted to see if they were onto something, so looked carefully at one year of Simmons' thoughts on the draft. In a completely non-scientific process, I picked 2004 because we're far enough away from that draft to start separating the wheat from the chaff (who knows--Adam Morrison may still be a great player who had an awful rookie year), and Simmons already starts in the hole because he got Howard and Okafor wrong. Again, I'm using John Hollinger's rating system, where a PER of 15.0 equals an average NBA player, and taking into account where a player got picked versus the expectations/effusiveness of Simmons.

Simmons 2004 wrap-up, with links to guys whose stories you may not know
Got right:
Got wrong:
Clearly, a pretty impressive hit rate, although Simmons didn't take a lot of chances. Also, I didn't look closely at his 2003 or earlier wrap-ups; based solely on the odds, you've got to figure he did a little worse but that would still be a strong job of assessing talent.

In fact, let's compare Simmons--a guy who's by no means ESPN's NBA Draft "expert"--to the guy who was getting paid to be exactly that, Chad Ford. Obviously, Ford had a lot more opinions than Simmons and made tougher calls on guys that Simmons could afford to ignore or be unsure about.

Still, it's interesting to see how much worse Ford's hit rate was.

Ford's 2004 wrap-up, with links to guys whose stories you may not know
Got right:
Got wrong:
Whew! Man, if only real math was this "fun." But I'd hope the point is made: That I have way too much time on my hands. Plus, that while my analysis is far from comprehensive, Simmons is by no means the draft screwup that he's alleged to be.

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posted by Doctor Dribbles @ 00:16, ,

The cultural relevance of Emmitt Smith

So Doctor Dribbles tells me he's going to get into it with the Realests. Yeah, good luck with that.

Me, I'm taking the high road and not going to touch that mess. If anything, I want to give a "shoutout" to Selena Roberts of the NY Times for some pretty solid opinion-ating today.

For those who don't have Times Select or a copy of today's paper, Ms. Roberts uses her column to make a few connections, starting with the...

1) Slipping TV ratings for top sporting events like the World Series, prime time football, and basketball playoffs. Although in the case of the NBA Finals, I think not watching was a case of self-defense. By tuning out, the nation just saved our hospitals a plague of bleeding eyeballs.

Pundit-types have long said falling ratings for televised sports reflect "too much competition for viewer eyeballs," "too many sporting options to choose from," or even "a dip in quality of the play." Sometimes, they sort of say all three.

But Ms. Roberts then points out...

2) Strong TV ratings for reality shows like "American Idol" and various dancing shows, which offer live drama and talent-based competitions that basically double for sporting events. Ms. Roberts thinks their popularity reflects a cultural shift: these shows play better in an increasingly diverse workforce. In a male-driven office 15 years ago, maybe you stood around the water cooler and talked about Emmitt Smith's game-changing run. Now you talk about his cha-cha on Dancing with the Stars. This isn't some hypothetical; when my coworkers, all smart people with diverse interests, sit around waiting for a meeting to start, the biggest constant is reality TV...but that's another story.

As an example of how interests have changed, Ms. Roberts cites...

3) Apolo Anton Ohno, who recently won "Dancing with the Stars." I generally remembered Ohno from his short-track speed skating Olympic medals, in part because he's pretty camera-friendly. Apparently, though, I was in the minority; even Ohno feels he was just "another Olympic athlete" to most Americans (and that is definitely another post). According to Ms. Roberts, Dancing with the Stars has taken Ohno from "that guy" status--the Bill Rancics and Lark Voorhies of the world--to a star who's stopped by folks walking down the street.

I wanted to try something but Google Trends doesn't really have data on Ohno, since he won Dancing with the Stars just last month. The website did have data on someone else, however...

The Google Trends graphic above tracks both how many searches there were for "Emmitt Smith" (the top chart) against how many news stories were written about "Emmitt Smith" (the bottom chart). Note that there are two spikes--"B," when Smith, the NFL's career rushing leader and one of its greatest players ever, retired--and "D," when he won a kitschy made-for-TV event. Both events sparked an equal amount of press coverage--if anything, the media devoted more attention to Smith when he retired, as journalists tried to put him in context of the greatest players of all-time. But Dancing with the Stars resonated far stronger, as well as longer, with the public.


Given these shifting tastes, Ms. Roberts thinks Ohno just did the Olympics a favor by becoming more of a public face--in 2010, a good number of folks will tune in only to watch him. And in an era where pop culture reigns supreme, maybe other sports should push their own marketable stars onto reality shows and into blogs and YouTube clips, she concludes.

And why not? It's already worked for Gilbert.

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posted by Crucifictorious @ 16:48, ,

No no-no

So I'm sitting here, after reading on that Blue Jays pitcher Dustin McGowan is trying to close out a no-no, and completely failing at finding the feed...because the four major ESPN networks are showing pool (ESPN), ladies golf (ESPN2), some NASCAR run-down (ESPN News), and kickboxing (ESPN Classic). None of the various local stations showing sports are cutting into their programming either, but I expect that.

But ESPN News, seriously? You'd think a no-hitter qualifies as "sports news" and worth interrupting some NASCAR water-cooler talk.

There better be a good reason why some sports network isn't cutting into its coverage with the feed. Can someone tell me if this has to do with MLB's cable rights (i.e., MLB extra innings)? I just want to know who to be angry with.

(Update: McGowan blew the no-no in the top of the 9th. But I would've known that sooner if some channel aired it live).


posted by Crucifictorious @ 15:10, ,

Sir, I respectfully disagree

I'm a little nervous. I've been blogging for all of two weeks, and now I want to call out a much more tenured blog. Is there some sort of protocol to follow? Should I just head to the Heights of Weehawken (which has got some great oxymoranic style going on, by the way) now and get it over with?

If anything, I want to pick on lazy Pedro Cerrano, who's down in Cuba with Jobu and Michael Moore. But now I'm wading into it--albeit, in a polite way--with a heavy hitter like the Realests.

And I know The Realests. I like The Realests. Although he/they aren't friends of ours...and now probably won't be anytime soon.

It's this latest post--Sports Guy's Biggest Draft Blunders--that's got me riled. Kudos for looking...but really, what's the point?

Quoth the Realests:
But after repeatedly stating that Kevin Durant should be the No. 1 overall pick instead of Greg Oden, we can't help but call [Bill Simmons/the Sports Guy] out on some recent draft blunders he's made as an NBA columnist.

Let's just say he wouldn't make a much better GM than Danny Ainge based on his draft diaries from year's past.
The post goes on to lift previous entries by Simmons where he 1) Loves the Adam Morrison pick; 2) Mocks Utah for taking Deron Williams over Chris Paul; 3) Is excited that Joe Forte fell to the Celtics at #21; 4) Calls Orlando dumb for taking Dwight Howard over Emeka Okafor; and 5) In the worst blunder, compares Yao Ming over Jay Williams to Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan, etc.


There are some iffy calls--but there's exactly one idiotic one, and that's bashing Yao in favor of J-Will. Simmons is right that Deron Williams is a worse player than Chris Paul; everyone got Morrison wrong; Emeka was the "safe bet" after a few years of bad high school selections (Kwame Brown, anyone?); and messing up at #21 isn't a huge mistake.

So even if the Realests are onto something (more on this in a sec), they make a pretty weak case for it. As others noted in response to the post, if that's the worst he's done in all his years blogging the draft (again, see below), Simmons must have a pretty good track record.

But there's a bigger bone to pick with the Realests: Selectively going through a guy's huge archive of stories to make him look bad. With Simmons, who was putting out 5,000 words three times a week for 10 years and writes volumes on the draft, it's not hard to find something. It took me all of 20 seconds. Keeping in mind the Hollinger rating system--where a PER of 15.00 is considered "average NBA player"--I looked at his 2005 draft blog, where he calls Francisco Garcia and Luther Head the year's two best picks. Err...they were OK, I guess, given that they were late-round selections. But neither can hold a candle to David Lee or Monta Ellis, who were picked even later in the draft and have way outperformed expectations.

However, looking quickly at Simmons' NBA Draft posts, you get the sense that he hits a lot more than he misses. Some say he just spouts the conventional wisdom, but he disagrees with a lot of the "draft experts" and is usually proven right over time. I'll come back later and use his 2004 NBA Draft write-up as an example.

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posted by Doctor Dribbles @ 14:26, ,

Angel Cabrera not only golfer on fire

There's a reason I'm Doctor Dribbles and not, say, Professor Pars-a-lot (my uncontrollable bladder is not that reason). Quite frankly, if I play a round of golf, I'm not just hitting the ball off the green and into the rough--my course is the rough, with a few sand traps thrown in.

Thus, it's with a sense of sympathy and just a bit of schadenfreude, that I read about the golfer who hit into dry grass--and burned 20 acres trying to get out.

A wayward golf shot and the resulting chip from tall, dry grass sparked a brush fire near a Reno golf course. Fire officials say when [the golfer] tried to play back to the fairway, his club struck something that created a spark and touched off the blaze.

Sounds believable enough...except for the mysterious "something" that touched off the blaze. Could it be, perhaps, 1) a pyromaniac 2)with a lighter and 3) a terrible Emo soundtrack?

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posted by Doctor Dribbles @ 21:08, ,

Greatest swimmers of all time

My gym has pretty limited reading material, but I did enjoy the cover story in Men's Journal, which is all kinds of fawning over Olympian Michael Phelps. "Greatest Athlete of All Time" is a hefty tag to stick on anybody, but the case can be made that Phelps is in the running (or swimming) for the title among active athletes. The article concludes that, definitively, Phelps is the world's greatest swimmer and among the best ever.

Let me preface my next observation by saying THIS IS COMPLETELY UNRELATED, but all this talk of great swimmers made me remember up-and-coming music producer Ricky Lackey--an with a few kids on the way. Courtesy of (which lifts from the Cincinnati Equirer):

When Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Melba Marsh asked Lackey during sentencing Friday on a charge of attempted theft how many children he had, the 25-year-old said, "None, but I have six on the way."

A stunned Marsh tried to clarify. "Are you marrying a woman with six children?" she asked.

"No, I be concubining," he said.

Prosecutors said Lackey is the expectant father of six children with six different women. The women all are expected to deliver in August, September and October.

Yes, let me say again these two tidbits are completely unrelated. However, I just have this nagging feeling that when we discuss feats of great swimming, we can't leave Ricky Lackey out of the debate.

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posted by Doctor Dribbles @ 09:43, ,

Hail the method actor

Coach Reggie Theus's move to the NBA was a long time coming. Before the Kings, Theus coached in the ABA, at Louisville, New Mexico State...Deering High. It's been remarked upon before--and all over the Internet today--but a coach who gets a team with a girl small forward and a 250-lb shooting guard to a championship is the second coming of John Wooden. What's lost, though, is how Theus motivates his troops. Clearly saving his energy for his next job, Theus "inspires" his team with a laidback, laissez-faire attitude perfect for North California. And think of how his fatherly admonishments wil go over! I'm sure Ron-Ron is just waiting for a scolding right now.

With the exception of the too-easy Fred Thompson analogy, there aren't many comparisons to Theus's move from Saturday morning sitcoms to Sacramento's bench. John Stamos (Uncle Jesse) to be named Green Day's new front man? Mr. Belding for Secretary of Education?

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posted by Crucifictorious @ 01:24, ,

Yet another reason for fast-food cashiers to love their jobs

As a public service, WRG wanted to draw the attention of all college students/unemployed liberal arts majors/bloggers to the following promotion, courtesy of California Tortilla--a Mid-Atlantic company, naturally, that's our answer to Taco Bueno.

Sure, some SI columnist recently wrote about it, and a kooky art collector--is there any other kind?--used rock, paper, scissors to pick an auction house for his $18 million sale. But the game hasn't really been in vogue since, oh, 2004. (Although it did make for some great sports writing that we'll be reading for decades no doubt. Here's some breathless coverage from the New York Times.
My opponent and I faced each other across the white lines, separated by an arm's length in the dark, smoky bar. He planted his feet firmly, shoulder-width apart, while I fell into a fighting stance, right foot forward--a natural response from years of tae kwon do. The referee stood between us. The crowd looked on expectantly.

The rules were deceptively simple--rules that people all over the world grasp as young children.

Paper covers rock. Rock crushes scissors. Scissors cut paper.
Wow, whatever could have happened next?! Did the opponent throw...paper? Or maybe he threw...scissors?! Ah, the suspense is killing me.)

But at WRG, we won't pooh-pooh free stuff. Especially when it relates to tacos.

Naturally, every media outlet that ever covers RPS, as the in-crowd knows it, wants to give Joe Reader tips to fix the game. (For shame, NPR.) Even the Washington Post got in on the strategeizing this week, although their advice is conduct a spontaneous Myers-Briggs test.

But as you head to one of California Tortilla's locations, forget the paper of record and its followers. While Doctor Dribbles knows how to handle the rock, he also knows a few things about when to throw it. A few tips, culled from years of barroom experience spent nervously avoiding the opposite sex.

1. Tell your opponent that you're going to throw, say, scissors right before it's time to shoot. With only a second or two to think, he'll instinctively avoid whatever loses to scissors (paper) and probably throw scissors to tie or maybe rock to try and beat you. You run pretty good odds of winning, or at least tying, if you throw rock.

2. Give off false tells. Straight out of poker. Nervously clench and unclench your hand--you're screaming paper all the way. Then come in with the rock to nail your opponent's scissors. Ka-blam! (That is the sound that scissors make when smashed by a rock, I'd imagine).

3. Don't stare at your opponent for a minute and then throw rock.

You'll scare people. And probably won't get the $1 discount either.

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posted by Doctor Dribbles @ 00:58, ,

Mark Philippoussis needs a reality show to score chicks

There are a number of things that are just utterly wrong about "Age of Love," the new dating reality show that premieres tonight.

1) Mark Philippoussis is somehow on the wrong side of 30 years old. Barring some Agassi-like renaissance, his tennis career's basically peaked. Does anyone else remember when he burst on to the scene, the 19-year old with the killer serve upsetting Sampras at the Australian Open? I thought this guy would revolutionize the game...mostly because his name would give copywriters fits, but figured he'd win a Grand Slam event or two.

2) Mark Philippoussis, despite this blog's title, does not need a reality show to score chicks. Batman's got his rogue's gallery; who knows what Scud keeps to remember his past, ridiculously attractive loves.

3) Mark Philippoussis is being marketed, against a track record that screams otherwise, as a guy who could pick a "cougar" for his potential life partner. See NBC or this self-serious promotional video, courtesy of BuzzSugar.

(Oh, a social experiment? Why didn't you say so! Looks like NBC's found the solution to its ratings woes: Steal tactics from PBS's Frontline.)

I watch reality TV even less than I wager on it, but even I think it'd be a major upset if Philippoussis didn't choose a "kitten." This is a guy who got engaged to a high schooler when he was in his mid-20s. Of course, that didn't end so great, so maybe this is part of NBC's shtick--that the older women will have something he's never experienced before.

Man, the post-NBA finals, pre-football training camp period really is a sports wasteland, isn't it?

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posted by Crucifictorious @ 21:58, ,

Pardon my lack of unbridled optimism

So news comes that wunderkind skipper Joe Girardi is in the running to be the O's new manager, while Sam Perlozzo is kicked to the curb.

The man who got Perlozzo fired; if Guthrie had pitched worse, the bullpen's woes would have been less noticeable.

Perlozzo was no answer, it now seems clear. But blaming him for the Orioles' struggles is like making Doug Lute the Iraq fall guy--Sammy P may have just taken the wheel, but this ship's been sinking for a decade. The offense is anemic. The bullpen is a disaster. The owner is in need of a recall.

Not that Girardi or Davey Johnson--who never should have been fired in the first place--wouldn't be welcome replacements. But they wouldn't be working with much.

Given the parade of players, managers, and front-office talent out-of-town, it's pretty clear the problem lies with the bird-brain at the top.

posted by Doctor Dribbles @ 12:07, ,

PTI must be slipping

Just last week we pointed you to highlights from one of television's truly genius offerings--The Blog Show, a collaboration between DC Sports Bog's Dan Steinberg and Mister Irrelevant's Jamie Mottram. (And our high praise has nothing to do with that we, ourselves, are a blog and could stand to benefit from TV's fickle love. Rather, WRG liked these guys pre-regional cable stardom).

Anyway, the Blog Show--or by extension, "Washington Post Live," the umbrella for all sorts of high quality, awkward Post journalist-on-TV talk--caught the attention of THE Kornheiser himself. And TK was not amused.

posted by Crucifictorious @ 11:58, ,

As Philo T. Farnsworth rolls over in his grave

It's been noted by other, wiser bloggers--but still. A TV show dedicated to reviewing Internet blogs that post video clips? How meta.

Truthfully, quality stuff. And why settle for regional cable access television? I hear Rob Lowe smells a potential movie...

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posted by Crucifictorious @ 14:45, ,

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