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Friday, August 10, 2012

The Legacy of Superman Revisited

Now that Dwight Howard has officially become a Laker, we decided to revisit the following Court of Appeals post from October 2011 predicting the move to Los Angeles and its parallels to Shaquille O'Neal's path.

In the now-controversial interview with Esquire magazine earlier this week, Dwight Howard commented on his impeding free agency and future with the Magic. Among other things, he stated, "I just don't know what else I can do [in Orlando]."

How naïve, Mr. Howard. The immediate list that come to mind includes developing a mid-range game, restructuring Gilbert Arenas' $111 million contract, and visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, just to name a few.

But honestly, I'm in no position to tell Dwight Howard what he can and cannot do. He's the 3-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and I'm a defensive liability at my local YMCA. Shaquille O'Neal, on the other hand, holds a bit more clout...

and if Dwight has the same affinity for Shaq's leisure activities as he does for O'Neal's "Superman" moniker, then he should take after his namesake and indulge in the nautical scene of Orlando's own Lake Apopka.

It's as if he's yelling out, "C'mon in, Dwight! The water's great!!"

But if his interview is any indication, it's doubtful that Howard will actually mimic Shaq's aquatic ways. Unless, of course, you take aquatic ways to mean the joining the Lake Show, in which case it is far more likely.

After all, they both share the whole Being a 7-Foot-Tall Center Drafted First Overall by the Magic, Later Adopting the Nickname Superman and Losing in His First NBA Finals Appearance thing, so the logical next step would be Subsequently Pairing with Kobe Bryant on the Los Angeles Lakers Via Free Agency.

Let's just hope Dwight doesn't force a trade to team up with Dwyane Wade on the Heat in 2019 or he might find himself the defendant in a copyright infringement case.

Court adjourned.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Old School Pic of the Week 7.31

At long last, the Olympics are upon us. So, of course, I'm going to pull some picture from the '92 Dream Team and debate if this year's 20th anniversary edition could knock off the original because nobody has thought to address that point of contention, right?


The Olympics are not about the medal count, the pageantry, and certainly not about the sportsmanship.


The Olympics are a celebration of those indistinct athletes thrust onto to grandest stage with no business challenging the world's best. Forget LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Durant. Let's talk Antanas Kavaliauskas, Guilherme Giovannoni, and Fabien Causeur.

But this is the Old School Pic of the Week, and if there is a better way to commemorate these fine gentlemen than to dig into the archives and find a picture of an older obscure foreigner (namely: Zarko Paspalj) than I am not aware of it.

Happy Olympics from Zarko and Court of Appeals

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rock Out With Your Mock Out 2012

1. New Orleans Hornets - Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky

Move over Miami, there's a new big three: Eric Gordon, Anthony Davis, and The Unibrow. Is The Big Easy ready for the NBA's newest triumvirate? (Nickname suggestion: The Big Threesy?)

2. Charlotte Bobcats - Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas

There have been whispers of a scenario in which the Cleveland Cavaliers would flip their two first round picks (4 & 24) in exchange for the Bobcat's 2nd pick. The Cavs would do this only to snatch Florida's Bradley Beal before the Wizards can with Washington's 3rd pick. Whether they make the pick at #2 or #4, Robinson is likely the guy, especially after the very recent Ben Gordon trade. He could no doubt be a player for the Bobcats with superstar capability. He's big, strong and tough, yet has surprisingly soft touch around the rim. He can shoot from the mid-range, and runs the floor like no other big. He's a selfless and confident player, who thrives in doing the dirty work. If Robinson continues to develop like he has in college, he could be a Karl Malone-caliber player.

3. Washington Wizards - Bradley Beal, SG, Florida

The recent trade bringing in Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza ends the tumultuous Rashard Lewis era in DC, notable more for his $21 million annual contract than the 20 wins he helped the Wiz accumulate. With a new frontline of Nenê and Okafor, Washington is seemingly set down low and they will surely look for a guard in the draft. Beal has drawn comparisons to Ray Allen and Eric Gordon, and his outside shooting should be the ideal complement to John Wall.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers - Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina

Again, barring Cleveland moving up in the draft to get outside scorer Bradley Beal, the hands down next best scorer available is North Carolina's Harrison Barnes. Barnes averaged a tick under 20 points per game on a tier one NCAA team, and was one of UNC's main team leaders. He could have probably been a top 3 pick in last year's NBA draft, but opted to stay for one more year under Roy Williams, and he still remains a top 5 prospect this year, showing an invaluable consistency to his game. With Alonzo Gee, Omri Casspi and Luke Walton as their Small Forward options for 2012, Barnes looks like a much better piece for Cleveland as they continue to rebuild.

5. Sacramento Kings - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky

As with many of the teams at the top of the lottery, they could afford to upgrade at a few different spots. Another big man to play alongside DeMarcus Cousins could be useful, but the risk of taking the unproven and enigmatic Andre Drummond could be too great. With MKG, the Kings would get a solid wing player who can immediately add defense and rebounding to a team without a surefire starter at small forward.

6. Portland Trailblazers - Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State

Before Lillard even stepped on the court at any NBA combine or workout, a plethora of questions surrounded him: Has he played good enough competition to be legit? Can he play defense? Is he big enough? Why wasn't he highly recruited? So on, and so forth. But unlike many mid-major lottery prospects, as Lillard continued to work out for teams, the more he stood out. As for his workout with Portland, a source claimed that it was the best workout since the  team worked out Kevin Durant in 2007. Needless to say, the Blazers are impressed with what Lillard has to offer and will take him if he is still on the board at 6.

7. Golden State Warriors - Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse

Waiters is a controversial pick at #7 because he did not even crack Syracuse's starting lineup in his sophomore year. That said, this is the Warriors we're talking about, and their questionable draft decisions are well-documented. The have new management in GM Bob Myers, but as stated before, it's the Warriors.

8. Toronto Raptors - Austin Rivers, G, Duke

This is the Raptors' chance to take a risk and snag a possible franchise player at number 8. With a tough history of failing to retain their stars (Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Chris Bosh), Toronto has the opportunity to create a new culture surrounding their team. Austin Rivers is a dynamic player, and leader, with possibly the most potential in this draft class. His game is more fitting to the NBA style than college, and that is probably why he fell short of expectations at Duke. And while Austin would probably rather play for his dad in Boston, the Raptors could do themselves a favor and grab themselves a possible superstar.

9. Detroit Pistons - Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut

His story has been told time and time again: he has the physical tools to be the most dominant player in this draft but his motor and attitude are major red flags. At some point, though, he has to come off the board, and the Pistons would be elated to have him fall into their laps here at 9, much later than projected.

10. New Orleans Hornets - Terrence Ross, G/F, Washington

No other player's draft stock has risen more than Ross' in the last couple of months. The lengthy guard was initially pegged as a 18-25 pick, but now finds himself with a green room invite, and the opportunity to be a lottery pick. The Hornets just need to go "best-available" with their 10 pick having netted future all-star Anthony Davis at the #1 spot. Ross can relieve scoring pressure from Eric Gordon, and be an option as a scorer if Gordon continues to struggle with injuries.

11. Portland Trailblazers - Meyers Leonard, C, Illinois

After taking Lillard at 6, the Blazers will look to address their other need: the gaping void left by the departure of Greg Oden and his brittle knees. Portland and its fans held on hope for five years, but when he was cut earlier this season the Oden experiment finally came to a sad end. With his height (7'1.25" with shoes) and athleticism, Leonard gives them a solid player with whom to rebuild at center.

12. Milwaukee Bucks - John Henson, PF, North Carolina

With Meyers Leonard off the board, Milwaukee can just go with a pure defensive talent here. Their true need is Center, but with the two best off the board (Drummond & Leonard), Henson's fellow Tar-Heel Tyler Zeller would be too much of a reach to fill the position. Henson is all arms and legs, and if he can get stronger and tougher in the post, could be one of the best shot blockers in the league.

13. Phoenix Suns - Jeremy Lamb, SG, Connecticut

Steve Nash willed the Suns to within 3 victories of the playoffs, but he cannot be expected to re-sign in Phoenix if they don't add offensive weapons. Lamb is a talented shooter and scorer that could perhaps make Nash feel more comfortable finishing out his career as a Sun.

14. Houston Rockets - Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina

Kyle Lowry appears to be on his way out of Houston, and there is no guarantee Goran Dragic will be re-sign in free agency. Marshall will be the 3rd UNC player picked in the lottery. Marshall was 2nd in the NCAA in assists, and is a pure point guard which the NBA lacks. Marshall makes his teammates better around him. And with Houston's array of scorers and depth, Marshall could be a great NBA distributor.

Philadelphia 76ers - Arnett Moultrie, PF, Mississippi State

As long as the Sixers are able to re-sign Lou Williams, they won't really have any holes on the current roster. Moultrie offers a potential replacement for the aging (and overpaid) Elton Brand, who could - despite his production - be an amnesty candidate.

16. Houston Rockets- Tyler Zeller C, North Carolina

The Rockets own the 14, 16 and 18 picks, this would indicate that they are probably wheeling and dealing with other teams to acquire some veterans or scorers in exchange for young talent. However, we can't speculate on where these picks will go. That being said, the Rockets need a center as Marcus Camby is older than dirt, and Samuel Dalembert is up there in age as well. Zeller is a 7'0" cerebral big guy with a jumper and defensive prowess. Zeller has played with Kendall Marshall for a couple years at UNC, and the combo could bring instant chemistry to Houston.

17. Dallas Mavericks - Moe Harkless, SF, St. John's

The draft is far less consequential to the Mavericks than Deron Williams' free agent decision, but if D-Will chooses to return to his hometown and join the Mavs then they will need some help on the wing. Harkless is something of a project at this point, but his size and rebounding can be of immediate use. Even if Williams stays in New Jersey, Harkless can still serve as a promising successor to Shawn Marion and Vince Carter at the small forward slot.

18. Houston Rockets - Royce White, F, Iowa State

White's anxiety, and fear of flying will probably not deter teams on taking a chance on this unique talent. He can play 3 or 4 competently without being called a "tweener." I could see teams such as Boston, Orlando or Memphis attempting to trade up to get this pick from Houston. Either way, if Houston decides to keep White, he would fill the void that was created when the Rockets traded SF Chase Budinger to Minnesota for this exact pick.

19. Orlando Magic - Perry Jones III, SF/PF, Baylor

Perry Jones has seen his stock fall a long way from when he first stepped foot on Baylor's campus. He still has as much upside as any player in this draft, but his inability to show consistency or demonstrate an NBA position worries a lot of GMs. Orlando could be a good fit for Jones, where floor-spacing shooters JJ Redick and Ryan Anderson could allow Jones to thrive going to the basket.

20. Denver Nuggets- Tony Wroten Jr. PG, Washington

Wroten is probably one of the most fearless and best slashers in the draft. The dude gets to the bucket. He is also a great passer, drawing double teams and finding his open Husky teammates. Over the past couple months he has been speculated to go in the lottery, or all the way in the second round. His draft stock is somewhat of an enigma. With no holes to fill, and plenty of talent, experience and youth, Denver can afford to take a risk on Wroten. Stashing him on the bench for a few years will allow Wroten to develop his jump shot, and also be under the tutelage of another lackluster shooting, yet prolific point guard, Andre Miller.

21. Boston Celtics - Jared Sullinger, PF/C, Ohio State

Sullinger's exclusion from the list of green room invitees is telling about where the stock of the former top-5 prospect currently stands. Concerns about his size, athleticism, and bad back have caused the slip, but make no mistake, the kid can play. He led his Buckeyes to the Final Four this past season and something tells me the veteran coach Doc Rivers could find a way to incorporate Sullinger into his system.

22. Boston Celtics - Andrew Nicholson, PF, St. Bonaventure

Nicholson is a flat-out efficient scorer. He ranked in the top 10 in basically every scoring efficiency category this past year. The Celtics have the chance to take a bit of a risk as they own the 21 pick as well. Nicholson is a high risk, high reward type of selection. It will remain to be seen if Nicholson can be a solid NBA player, but scouts seem to be high on his skill-set.

23. Atlanta Hawks - Fab Melo, C, Syracuse

The Hawks have been trying slide Horford over to his "natural" power forward spot for a few years now. Fab Melo isn't a huge offensive threat but the Big East Defensive Player of the Year gives them a defensive stopper, which is a good value at the #23 pick.

24. Cleveland Cavaliers - Terrence Jones, SF/PF, Kentucky

If Jones entered the draft last year, he would probably have been a top 10 pick. After another year with Kentucky, Jones has not progressed like many had hoped. He seems to have plateaued in potential. He still possesses an incredible athleticism and scrappiness, but his inconsistent jump shot is a liability. Jones may still be worth the early pick because his game may adapt differently to the NBA.

25. Memphis Grizzlies - Marquis Teague, PG, Kentucky

Teague had a shaky start to his freshman season, but he righted the ship and was able to effectively run Kentucky's offense on their way to the national championship. He surprised many with his athleticism at the draft combine and few doubt that he could be a viable backup and potential protege to Mike Conley in Memphis.

26. Indiana Pacers - Jeffery Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt

Taylor is probably one of the best on-ball wing defenders in the draft. The Pacers are pretty much set on young scorers, in their front and back court, so they might as well improve on the defensive side of the ball. Taylor could be a great spark off of the bench to create fast break opportunities, while Danny Granger gets some rest.

27. Miami Heat - Quincy Miller, PF, Baylor

The world champion Miami Heat are pretty well equipped to defend their title. The prevailing thought during the season was that the Heat would need to improve at center in order to compete with the likes of Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, and Pau Gasol. Fortunately for Miami, they faced none of those players in the playoffs and they were able to succeed with Chris Bosh at the 5. As it stands, the only big worth selecting here is Vanderbilt's Festus Ezeli, but they are also in the privileged position to afford to stash a high-upside guy like Baylor's Quincy Miller on their bench.

28. Oklahoma City Thunder - Will Barton, SF, Memphis

The Thunder don't necessarily need anything, as their roster has great depth and its herd of superstars. They can use this pick as insurance in case they are unable to secure a contract for James Harden at the end of next season. Barton is another guy whose stock has soared. He is a great scorer, and could be the steal of the draft.

29. Chicago Bulls - John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt

The Bulls have needed help at the shooting guard position for a few years now. They went out and got Rip Hamilton in free agency, but he has proven to be a shadow of his former self so far. With Jenkins, they are getting a guy who can stroke from downtown and not too much else, but this late in the first round the Bulls don't need a star, just a role player to assist Derrick Rose once he returns from injury.

30. Golden State Warriors - Draymond Green, SF/PF, Michigan State

The Warriors lack defense, rebounding and toughness, which are the qualities that embody Green's game. Green stayed four years at Michigan State under one of best in the biz, Tom Izzo. Green would bring a much needed toughness to Golden State. I can see him as a DeJuan Blair type player.

Court adjourned.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Jam of the Week 6/15

Like seemingly everyone else and their dog, I've had an unexplained proclivity to root for the Thunder as they have continued to march on through the Playoffs. But this week I watched a documentary called, "Sonicgate: Requiem For a Team." The movie timelined the last couple years in which the Seattle Supersonics curiously became the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the film changed my whole perspective on the franchise. The unexplained sentiment of Thunder pride, drastically shifted in me. I didn't fully understand on what terms and in what way the OKC owners pulled the team from the hearts' of the Pacific Northwest. Now that I know, I can never root for the Thunder like I once did. Not because of their awesome, electric young players, but because of their scheming owner, Clay Bennett, and his group and what they did to Sonics fans. I want to dedicate this dunk of the week to the Seattle community who watch their team play for a foreign reign in these 2012 NBA Finals. Anyone remember when Durant donned the green and yellow? Here's to you SeaTown.

"A Big Ol' Tomahawk!"

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Old School Pic of the Week 6.12

This week's Old School Pic isn't that old, but it seems like a lifetime ago.
 Russell Westbrook, 4th overall pick in 2008, Seattle Supersonics

Friday, June 1, 2012

Jam of the Week 6/1

The New Orleans Hornets snatched up the number one overall pick Wednesday, thwarting DC and Charlotte for the top prize, Kentucky's Anthony Davis. Davis redefines the term, "athletic freak." He can score, pass, play defense, block shots. And while he's not the absolute answer in The Big Easy, he's definitely a step in the right direction. It will be fun to see how his game adapts in the NBA. There still one question scouts need to answer about Davis, is he ever going to shave that damn unibrow?

Fear the Brow

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mock Draft 1.0 (Post-Unibrow Sweepstakes Edition)

1. New Orleans Hornets - Anthony Davis
Move over Miami, there's a new Big Three in town: Eric Gordon, Anthony Davis, and The Unibrow. Is The Big Easy ready for the NBA's newest triumvirate? (Nickname suggestion: The Big Threesy?)

2. Charlotte Bobcats - Harrison Barnes
Though Barnes has been slipping on draft boards, Michael Jordan isn't shy about taking fellow Tar Heels and this is his opportunity. Luckily for Jordan and his less-than-impressive track record, Barnes should be a solid pro even if it is a reach to take him at #2.

3. Washington Wizards - Bradley Beal
The Wiz could definitely use a big man here. But drafting the high-upside Andre Drummond and putting him with one of the league's foremost models of inconsistency and lack of focus (Andray Blatche) is a pretty good way to ensure he'll be a bust. A backcourt-mate to pair with John Wall is also a high priority and Beal's shooting ability makes him the best candidate.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Alonzo Gee was the Cavs' starting small forward last year. You don't win championships with Alonzo Gee starting at small forward. If Dan Gilbert wants to make good on his guarantee to win a championship before LeBron James, he needs to not start Alonzo Gee at small forward. MKG can fix this.

5. Sacramento Kings - Thomas Robinson
As with many of the teams at the top of the lottery, they could afford to upgrade at a few different spots.  Another big man to play alongside DeMarcus Cousins could be useful with the backcourt of Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas seemingly set.

6. Portland Trailblazers - Andre Drummond
A player with an NBA body and athleticism but questionable skills and determination, Drummond is the biggest enigma of the draft. Then again, Oden was supposed to be a sure thing and we all know how that turned out. Maybe this time the Blazers score big with their lottery center. Hasheem Thabeet is on the roster, so at least Drummond is guaranteed to avoid the title of worst center in Portland.

7. Golden State Warriors - John Henson
The Warriors were willing to take Ekpe Udoh with the 6th pick two years ago to provide a defensive presence inside. After sending him off to Milwaukee with Monta Ellis they should have no problem taking Henson, a player with the same shot blocking prowess but a higher offensive ceiling. Though he struggled to put on much-needed weight while at North Carolina, I see one exquisitely tasty reason why that won't be a problem for him in California.

8. Toronto Raptors - Damian Lillard
The Jose Calderon era in Toronto seems to be winding to a close. By all accounts Lillard has impressed  in workouts, and his elite ability to score the rock is unique among the point guards in the draft. (Irrelevant factoid: Lillard will become the first Weber State player in the league since Willard Sojourner in 1975.)

9. Detroit Pistons - Perry Jones III
Joe Dumars has both been hailed as a genius and ridiculed as a buffoon in his time as Pistons' GM. Perry Jones is a selection that will certainly reinforce one of those schools of thought. He's got the size and skill to be the best player in the draft, but his lack of heart and assertiveness have made him a major question mark.

10. New Orleans Hornets - Jeremy Lamb 
After taking Davis with the top pick, the Hornets will want to improve at point guard in particular. But if Jeremy Lamb is available at 10, he is too talented to pass up, especially with Eric Gordon's health always in question.

11. Portland Trailblazers - Kendall Marshall
With all the mystery surrounding Andre Drummond, the one thing we know is that he can finish alley-oops. Portland would be wise to take college basketball's best passer, a player who can get Drummond the ball in position to score. As is, the three-headed monster of Raymond Felton, Nolan Smith, and Jonny Flynn doesn't exactly strike fear in the hearts of opponents, so Marshall's presence would be welcomed with open arms.

12. Milwaukee Bucks - Tyler Zeller
For three painful months since the Andrew Bogut trade, there has been a white, 7-foot, somewhat athletic, fairly offensively-skilled void in Milwaukee. Tyler Zeller simply  has all the requisites to fill that void.

13. Phoenix Suns - Terrence Ross
It remains to be seen whether Steve Nash will return to the Suns, and they would probably prefer to bring in his protegé, but both point guards worth selecting at 13 will likely be off the board. Grant Hill won't be able to play forever (unless he is the next Kobe robo-knee surgery recipient) so they'll need help on the wing. Ross is an excellent shooter and slasher and should fit well in an uptempo system.

14. Houston Rockets - Austin Rivers
Kyle Lowry appears to be on his way out of Houston, and there is no guarantee Goran Dragic will be re-sign in free agency. Rivers isn't a prototypical point guard -- if he can even be considered a point -- but he's got a rare ability to get to the hoop and has good potential for a #14 pick.

More mock drafts to come as the draft approaches.

Court adjourned.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Old School Pic of the Week 5.29

You thought Doc Rivers was getting a bit testy on the sidelines Monday night as his Celtics took on the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals? He begs to differ. The technical he received early on in Game 1 "has to rank as the worst I’ve ever had" according to Rivers.

Not sure if Doc got T'd up for the above incident, but in this installment of the Old School Pic of the Week we harken back to a time when Doc was undoubtedly deserving (against his future team, no less.) His Celtics will need adopt the mean streak Rivers displayed in this photo during their Game 2 matchup to have any hope of beating a Miami team that is, as the name would suggest, heating up at the right time.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Delonte West Twitpic Chronicles

From Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things to Boohbah Zone, the internet holds many wonderful hidden joys. One recent gem that I recently discovered is Twitpic feed of the Dallas Mavericks' Delonte West (@charleeredz13). For a player that historically gives his team 9.6 points and 3.6 assists per game, I had no idea that Delonte offers so much more to the general internet community.

This is Delonte West, and these are apparently his exploits.

Delonte writes: "No introducin.....Alex the lion...and...Meman...."                                                         
Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm pretty sure there are no lions anywhere in this photo. But maybe the joke's on me and Delonte was just being ironic and edgy when naming these captive giraffes. At least he was nice enough to take some time away from some of his other activities to feed these little fellas. I can respect that.

"Me and @VerneTroyer.... OCEANS 11 BOSS Sh#t!!"

This photo of Delonte and Verne posted in the club raises a couple pressing questions:

1) What was the topic of conversation between these two polar opposite gentlemen?

2) Why wasn't I invited?

"Got my fruit and maple oatmeal...if ya look closely...she put the 'HOT SAUCE n MY BAG...HOT SAUCE n MY BAG'....."

Can't tell if West was really amped or appalled that the drive-thru lady put the hot sauce in his bag. McDonald's employees beware about where you choose to place Delonte's hot sauce. He will feel passionately about it.

"For real ... that's how ya gon do me jo.imma get a pet bear this summer..tie him to the front porch. call um tony montana"

It's pretty frightening that the tires got ripped from Delonte's Caddy in his front yard. But even in the face of danger, there goes Delonte with the animal names again. Don't know if a bear named Tony Montana would be the model of professionalism though.

"Few people recognize me befor I walked in bathroom ..I think dey want an autograph..dey gon miss der flight waitin on me"

I give up.

Court adjourned.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Jam of the Week 5/26

This will mark Iggy's second time on the exclusive Jam of the Week chronicles, but this time his dunk came in the biggest game of his life. Iggy's Sixers forced a Game 7 on Wednesday, and will take on the Celtics Saturday for a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals. Behind the leadership of Andre Iguodala, the Sixers have made an unheralded playoff run after nearly falling out of playoff contention late in the season. I think an inspired performance in game 6 will trickle over into game 7,  landing Coach Doug Collins and his young Philly squad in the ECF.

"What an Attack!"

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Early Bird Gets the Worm: Premature NBA Free Agency Predications

We here at Court of Appeals love to speculate about new faces in new places. With the playoffs yet to unfold, we still couldn't help but get a head start on where the top free agents next year will land. Without a champion yet crowned, here are the predictions for next year's free agents.

Deron Williams PG, UFA (P) - Dallas Mavericks

The Brooklyn Nets only have themselves to blame for having Williams slip through their fingers. Not being able to land any other assets, mainly Dwight Howard, has rendered D-Will with no other options but to skip town. Attaining Gerald Wallace at the deadline was the last desperate attempt from the Nets to retain Williams, but was not nearly enough. Williams is a Dallas native, and has the opportunity to be the new face of an aging franchise. Mark Cuban isn't stingy with his money, and will happily shell out the big bucks to land, and probably overpay the superstar point guard

Andrew Bynum C, (P) - Los Angeles Lakers

Not exactly a free agent, but we're going to count it with all the options LA has with their two big men. With all the childish antics Bynum has put the Lakers through, he is still their project. With Kobe probably trying to stick around a few more years, I see the Lakers swapping Gasol for somebody like Kevin Martin, or the like to relieve scoring pressure. Big guys are a luxury and Bynum has the potential to be one of the best, even if he never grows up. His option will get picked up by LA.

Kevin Garnett PF/C, (UFA)- Boston Celtics

KG made 21.2 Million dollars last year in the final year of a loaded contract. While KG is one of the older guys in the league, he's still probably the most fiery competitor. With scoring and coming up big rebounding, he carried the Celtics through the late part of the season and in the playoffs. The Celtics will probably give him a couple more years with an an option. Garnett will be willing to take the pay cut considering his age, and having the opportunity to play a few more seasons with an elite distributing point guard.

Steve Nash PG, (UFA) - Phoenix Suns

Steve is probably the biggest question mark going into free agency. He's old, but still has it. He's loyal, but still has Championship ambitions. Nash has been mentioned in the same sentences as Miami, LA, NY, Utah, Orlando, and Toronto. In short, nobody knows. Steve is a guy who has garnered success on and off the court in Phoenix, and at this point in his career it wouldn't make sense for him to move his life away from Arizona. Steve will either go big, as in market, or play it safe and stay in Phoenix and finish out his career with the city and team he loves.

Goran Dragic PG, (UFA) - Utah Jazz

When teams start to contact "The Dragon," the talk will be about paying him the big bucks, the big bucks that Houston can't afford to match. When these whisperings start becoming more and more real, the Rockets will look for the perfect match to sign and trade. The Jazz are that match. The Jazz can offer them Devin Harris, trade picks, and a young talent in the form of Paul Millsap or Derrick Favors. They can also afford to take on another player to relieve Houston of some monetary obligations. Dragic fits everything Utah needs: a play making point guard, three point threat, and a solid on-ball defender.

Ray Allen SG, (UFA) - Atlanta Hawks

Allen will finally be 1/3 of the big three to leave the biblical Boston Three-Party. The Hawks are looking down the barrel of 8 unrestricted contracts for 2012, and will look outside their talent pool to get them over the second round hump. Allen makes sense for this team. He's a veteran, a leader and a scorer. He'll give Joe Johnson, Teague and Horford guidance, as well as relieve scoring pressures from Johnson. He still has a couple good years in him left, and the Hawks would be the perfect fit for Allen.  

Eric Gordon, SG (RFA) - New Orleans Hornets

No way do the Hornets let the key piece to the Chris Paul trade get away. They will match any offer that comes Gordon's way. And the potential of Air Gordon will be stymied by the basketball wasteland that is the New Orleans Hornets.

Chris Kaman C, (UFA) - Portland Trail-Blazers

Kaman made it no secret that he could care less about his future with New Orleans. With the ever-injured Greg Oden, Portland lacks a big guy. If the Blazers want to be contenders in the West, they're going to need to have a more solid center than Hasheem Thabeet, or Joel Pryzbilla. Imagine the mid-range majesty that a Kaman-Aldridge lineup would have. If Kaman were smart he'd take a pay cut and head northwest. The Blazers don't have a whole lot of cash to spend, but if they spend it wisely, they'll spend it on Kaman.

Jason Terry SG, (UFA) - Miami Heat

The Heat's blaring deficiency is their lack of depth. With a proficient scorer like Jason Terry coming off the bench, the heat could be even more of a contender. Terry is a cerebral player, who likes to be an emotional leader. I think he'll roll the dice, move to the dark side and join the Heat in the quest of another championship trophy. Who knows, he might even tat up his other bicep.

OJ Mayo SG, (RFA) - Brooklyn Nets

Mayo is ready to step into the spotlight for an NBA team, and begin his legacy. With Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, and Zach Randolph in the picture in Memphis, there is just no room for Mayo to blossom into a superstar. Memphis GM Chris Wallace tried to send Mayo to the Pacers at the deadline, but maybe his Rolex was running a little slow that day. Mayo can finally make his departure from Memphis, and join a team where he can start and turn himself into an all-star caliber player.

Nicolas Batum SG, (RFA) - Boston Celtics

The Celtics need to be on a mission to recruit elite young talent as the big three continue to count their days. The Flying Frenchman is a great scorer, lanky defender and lights out three point shooter. Portland has the #4 highest salary, and Boston has the #2. Unfortunately for Portland, Boston has the ability to spend the money that the small market Portland doesn't have. Batum would be a great fit with Rondo.

Tim Duncan C, (UFA) - San Antonio Spurs

The dude bleeds silver and black

Ersan Ilyasova SF, (UFA) - Toronto Raptors

With Ersan, there's no beating around the bush. Recently, he made the candid comment that, "Financially, whoever pays me more will be the team that I decide to sign with." There's only a few teams underneath the cap that would be willing to cut Ilyasova a giant check. Toronto's penchant for over payed mediocre foreign players makes them the prime candidate. Ilyasova's comment shows that he has no interest in winning, but is merely in it for the cash. Some guys are like that. Either way, the guy is a great rebounder and scorer. But his disinterest in winning leaves something to be desired. Get ready for Turkoglu 2.0 Canada.

Michael Beasley SF, (RFA) - Brooklyn Nets

The Minnesota Timberwolves will be happy to finally get themselves out of the Beasley era, finally opening the door for Derrick Williams to blossom. I don't think Beasley will be able to pass up the allure of playing in Brooklyn for rap mogul Jay-Z. The Wolves will have no problem not matching any offer, and Beasley could be up for a nice bidding war between a few teams including the LA Lakers, Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic.

Court Adjourned. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Amnesty Alert

As the season comes to an end for team after team, the front offices have to make the call on which players have a future with the team and which need to be sent packing. Following last year's lockout, the NBA implemented a provision that allows teams to cut players and not have their remaining salary count against the salary cap. These big-money players have been underperforming for their fat contracts  and have landed themselves on Court of Appeals' Amnesty Alert.

Chicago Bulls - Carlos Boozer

He was brought in to Chicago as a post threat to pair with Derrick Rose because of his offensive versatility, but he has hurt the team so much defensively that he can't be left on the floor in tight contests. Typically his ability to hit open shots and create his own offense would be enough to make up for his defensive shortcomings, but he has not been producing at the all-star level we are accustomed to seeing. Don't get us wrong, we love Carlos Boozer at Court of Appeals but he's going to need to do more than spraypaint his head and put out the occasional dismal hip-hop song to earn the $47 million remaining on his contract. Taj Gibson, though not the same scorer, makes peanuts in comparison ($3.2 million in 2012-13) and provides comparable stats per 36 minutes plus a definite defensive edge. For 15 million per season, he can't expect put up 3 points in an elimination game and feel any sense of job security. If Boozer is in fact amnestied, I only pray that he pairs up with the newly-unemployed Stan Van Gundy to form a duo with unmatched yelling capabilities.

New York Knicks - Amar'e Stoudemire

Speaking of underperforming power forwards with lackluster defensive skills... Stoudemire was worse in nearly every statistical category in his first full season alongside Carmelo Anthony. With the Mike D'Antoni era in the Big Apple ending only a tad more respectably than Isiah Thomas', the Knicks must be wondering if the Carmelo/Amar'e/Chandler trio is the right core to move forward with. They owe Stoudemire $65 million over three more seasons, a steep price to pay especially when that money might have to cover punitive damages to Amar'e's poor fire extinguisher or Jeremy Lin for his impressive performance in an incredibly small body of work. This is the same team that gave Jerome James $30 million based on one impressive playoff series after a season in which he averaged 5 points and 3 boards after all.

Los Angeles Clippers - Mo Williams

Mo was probably happy to escape the Post-Decision Cavaliers for the greener pastures of Los Angeles. Throwing lobs to Blake Griffin and popping trey balls in SoCal is quite a bit more enticing than running the pick and roll with Antawn Jamison in Northern Ohio. But in the offseason the Clips added Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups, bumping Mo Williams down the bench. Throughout the season Eric Bledsoe even managed to leapfrog Williams and now the Clips find themselves paying their fourth string PG $8.5 million. That doesn't bode too well for a team looking to become a legitimate contender in the Western Conference. Though Williams' days in L.A. are probably numbered, he's no lock to be amnestied because he's entering the last year and a team might look to trade for his expiring contract.

Miami Heat - Mike Miller

Mike Miller should probably be amnestied for his haircut and awkward tattoo placement alone, but in seriousness if the Heat come up short again this year Miller will likely be on the way out. He was signed to the Heat to be their fourth option but he hasn't met expectations in his limited time on the court due to injuries. Miami doesn't need Miller to make the playoffs, but they need his production in the postseason if they hope to win not 2... not 3... not 4... not 5... not 6... not 7 championships. 4.6 points per game in the playoffs is not cutting it, and the Heat may well cut the $18.6 million left on his deal.

Court adjourned.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Jam of the Week 5/18

The talk about town is how the San Antonio Spurs are getting it done quietly in the West with experience, efficiency and coaching. There's no doubt we can see the aging spurs before our eyes. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised to see Tony, Manu and Duncan lined up at the all you can eat buffet Early Bird Special together. But Ol' Timmy showed us last series against the Jazz that while he's no spring chicken, he's still got a little giddy up n' go in his game yet. I would love to see Timmy put one of these on Blake Griffin's head. Here's to 36 years young.

"Great Show and Go!"

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Old School Pic of the Week 5.15

Lost behind the headlines about Chris Bosh's injury, the 76ers' and Pacers' improbable wins, and OKC's blowout against the Lakers, was Jeff Green's graduation. Green is set to graduate this weekend from Georgetown after leaving school early in 2007.

Speaking of which, Lew Alcindor AKA Kareem Abdul-Jabbar walked at his UCLA commencement. See if you can manage to spot him in the photo. Hint: not the shorter white lady with the yellow cord.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Old School Pic of the Week 5.8

Rough, tough, and terrific probably aren't the first words that come to mind when thinking of the Charlotte Bobcats, who just finished their season with a 7-59 record. With the firing of head coach Paul Silas, Patrick Ewing has emerged as a primary candidate for the vacant coaching position. All the X's and O's in the world couldn't have made the Bobcats a winning time this year, as they sported far and away the league's weakest roster. Ewing may not immediately be able to fix the Bobcat's utter lack of talent immediately... or can he? If he is as good at manipulating the draft lottery as David Stern was the year Ewing himself was drafted then Charlotte fans can get a head start on buying their foam unibrows in anticipation of Anthony Davis.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

2012 NBA Should-Be Awards

It's that time of year again. With the conclusion of the regular season, the time to present the annual awards is upon us. Already, Gregg Popovich has been named the Coach of the Year and LeBron is a near lock to take home the MVP for the third time in the last four seasons. But since that debate has been all but settled, we are looking to decide the the awards that the people really care about. No, not the Defensive Player, 6th Man, or Rookie of the Year. I'm talking about the 2nd annual NBA Should-Be Awards, the obscure honors that the NBA does not recognize but we at Court of Appeals are proud to hand out.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hierarchy of NBA Players Turned Rappers

When we posted Carlos Boozer's new single "Winning Streak" on Monday it got us at Court of Appeals thinking about where he ranked in the pantheon of NBA players turned rappers. So we gathered a group of friends parading as the foremost experts in basketball and hip hop and compiled our top 10.

10. Gordon Hayward aka G-Time- "Too Big Yo"

To get a good understanding of the worst possible result an NBA player turned rapper can produce we start with Gordon Hayward, also known by his stage name G-Time. I could offer my own insight on this song but I believe the principal in Billy Madison really captured it best:

"What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

9. Carlos Boozer & Twista- "Winning Streak" (feat. Mario Winans)

If you've ever watched Carlos Boozer on the basketball court, odds are you've also heard one or two of his signature yells. But clearly audio snippets picked up by microphones at either end of the court can't do justice to the two-time all-star's vocal abilities. So Boozer got in the lab with Twista and Mario Winans and churned out this gem to show us his he's got more to his lyrical game than just "Gimme dat sh*t" and "AND 1!" Last week we wrote, I don't think the big fella will be winning any Grammy awards for the single, but on a scale of 1 to Shaq Fu (the vanguard of all NBA rap) I'd give it a Ron Artest and a half. As it turned out, Ron Artest jumped him in the rankings. Sorry Carlos.

8. Jason Kidd- "What the Kidd Did"

In Kidd’s first stint in Dallas, he wasn’t known for being a vocal leader on the floor, but a vocal leader on the microphone. In this sultry smooth ballad about himself, Kidd reminisces about how he was misunderstood in high school, his days at Cal, and even likens himself to football great Jim Kelly. If I were J-Kidd I’d focus less on gaining respect for my ring, and focus on getting respect for my rhymes. But hey, “Who said being a Kidd was easy?”

7. Kobe Bryant- "K.O.B.E."

Kobe’s penchant for the ladies is a pretty well documented, to say the least. In his critically acclaimed single, “K.O.B.E,” Kobe lets loose his issues with the womenfolk. From women using him for his money, to finding true love, to God, the Black Mamba pours his heart out. The man lives by a simple code, “basketball, beats and broads.” I respect the hell out of that. And when you Add Tyra Banks to the track, pshhh, game over. This beat is pure gold (and purple, I guess).

6. Tony Parker- "Top of the Game" (feat Fabolous & Booba)

Damn, I wish I were Tony Parker. The dude has it all, beautiful women, three NBA Championships, a finals MVP, charisma, charm, and above all else mad filthy French rapping skills. The video portrays a typical day for Tony. Chillin’ on some fire escape stairs, shootin’ hoops with friends Fabolous and Booba, spittin’ rhymes while fire and smoke drape over them. Ya know, classic French stuff. If I could understand what Tony was actually saying there might be some room for some lyrical criticism. But let's just face it, it sounds cool.

5. Ron Artest- "Champions"

Call it cocky, call it lucky, or call it Ron-Artest-is-so crazy-he-might-be-psychic, but Artest wrote the song “Champions,” a year before he and the Lakers took the title in 2010. It only took Artest about 5 minutes after game 7 to promote his single, and thank his psychiatrist. But with over 2 million hits on youtube, and a featured track on the video game NBA 2K11, the song is a hit. With a pretty catchy hook, sweet music video, and Artest’s Nostradamusesque allure the hit lands on our list at number 5.

4. Lou Williams- "Slow It Down" (feat. David Patten)

Lou touches on the topics of cribs, cars, and cash in "Slow It Down." Not exactly revolutionizing rap content, but you gotta hand it to the guy he's got a pretty nice flow, NBA player or not. And if this list were for the song featuring the best crooning from a white guy, it's a lock for #1.

3. Allen Iverson aka Jewelz- "Last Night"

There are a few questions "The Answer" has to address now that no NBA team is willing to give the former MVP another chance. How is he going to reconcile the massive debt he has incurred? And secondly, will he take his chances playing soccer, or hit the studio to make some scrilla? Admittedly, I would love to see Iverson strap on some cleats and hit the pitch, but I think Iverson has a better shot putting out an album. Ironically, Iverson's rap name Jewelz, is the exact vice that got him in this whole financial pickle. Iverson's track has nice production, and hilariously ironic name aside, he's actually pretty good. Unfortunately for Iverson he hasn't put out any new material for a while. It seems that much like his basketball routine, his rapping routine lacks practice.

2. Shaquille O'Neal- "I Know" (I Got Skillz)

Shaq is a jack of many trades and he's been known to dabble in the rap game. I'd argue Shaq's verse on Fu Schnickens' "What's Up Doc" is a better overall performance but as far as solo tracks go "I Know I Got Skillz" is the jam. Bonus points to the Diesel for his khaki vest suit thing in the music video.

1. LA Lakers Rap All-Stars- "Just Say No!"

Just watch. You'll understand.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Old School Pic of the Week 3.6

Today Shaquille O'Neal, AKA Superman, AKA The Big Diesel, AKA Wilt Chamberneezy, AKA Shaq Fu, AKA The Big Aristotle, AKA The Big Shaqtus, AKA The Big Shamrock turns 40 years old. Though his playing days are over, I am confident in saying Shaq will remain a prominent personality for years to come. With four championships, three finals MVPs, and two scoring titles, let us not forget Shaq's one crowning achievement was his role in Kazaam. Happy Birthday.

I am.... Kazaam!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Carlos Boozer & Twista ft. Mario Winans "Winning Streak"

If you've ever watched Carlos Boozer on the basketball court, odds are you've also heard one or two of his signature yells. But clearly audio snippets picked up by microphones at either end of the court can't do justice to the two-time all-star's vocal abilities. 

So Boozer got in the lab with Twista and Mario Winans and churned out this gem to show us his he's got more to his lyrical game than just "Gimme dat sh*t" and "AND 1!" I don't think the big fella will be winning any Grammy awards for the single, but on a scale of 1 to Shaq Fu (the vanguard of all NBA rap) I'd give it a Ron Artest and a half.

Make no mistake, I'm not suggesting Boozer should give up as an MC altogether. I'm just saying if he wants me to keep listening to his work he better A) address the mystery of his magically appearing hair on a song or B) toss up a track with the audio from his on-court screams as ad libs.

Court adjourned.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Old School Pic of the Week 2.21

After a less than stellar season in Turkey, Allen Iverson is back in this side of the Atlantic lobbying for a spot on any basketball team that will have him (well, almost any team.) However, hoops may not be the only option for Iverson, as one minor league soccer team has also believes he can be the answer (pun intended.)

But why limit himself to the narrow and utterly competitive world of sports? If he shares half the passion for women's shoes that Julius "Dr. J" Erving is displaying above, a star could be born in the retail sales world. On the plus side, he wouldn't have to worry about practice anymore.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Jam of the Week 2/17

Not only is Andre Iguodala's name fun to say, his game is fun as hell to watch. His unbridled athletic ability is jaw-dropping. Iggy's Sixers are now 20-10, and because of his team's newly found relevance, Iguodala has finally gotten his first All-Star bid. Iguodala has had his ups and downs with Philly, but they've stuck with him, and their loyalty is finally paying off. This week's dunk goes out to a patient player who is finally garnering the success he, and his team deserves.

"That's athleticism right there."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Rookie Report: Studs and Duds

If being a rookie was tough in a regular season setting, imagine playing in this year's back-to-back-to-back, road-trip after road-trip, bang bang shortened NBA season. In a rookie pool that many analysts declared as relatively weak, some interesting prospects have proven those analysts wrong, and some have verified their suspicions. Let's check out this year's studs and duds so far.


MarShon Brooks SG, New Jersey Nets

After seeing MarShon Brooks play for Providence last year, you could tell he was an NBA scorer. Brooks was great off the dribble, good from deep and had a nasty swagger about his game. When watching the draft, I couldn't believe that Brooks had dropped all the way to 25th. Alongside Deron Williams, Brooks has some of the best numbers among rookies with 14.8 points per game, 4.4 rebounds per game and is shooting 46 % from the field. As the Nets continue to find an identity, I would speculate MarShon will be a piece of the puzzle as they look toward the future

Ricky Rubio PG, Minnesota Timberwolves

Rubio is red hot in a place he once called, "too cold." Kevin Love and Rubio have teamed up to bring basketball back to Minnesota, a state which seemed to have fallen out of love with the sport since the organization traded KG in '07. During his short stay in Minnesota he has garnered solid number and holds a more than impressive +17.68 Efficiency rating. Not to mention, the kid is an absolute human highlight reel. Rubio finds himself alongside a young core of solid players in Derrick Williams, Wes Johnson and superstar Kevin Love. Look for the Wolves to not only be in the playoff hunt this year, but for years to come. Rubio will be a big part of this success.

Kemba Walker PG, Charlotte Bobcats

The spark plug out of UConn has stepped up big after rising star, and fellow point guard, D.J. Augustin sustained a debilitating toe injury. Thrust into the starting lineup early on Walker has been able to maintain a solid 11.16 Efficiency rating. The guy is known for his late game dramatics, and no further did he go then in his NBA debut to prove that he's the guy who is going to have the ball down the stretch.

Isaiah Thomas PG, Sacramento Kings

Standing at 5"9', ex-Washington Husky Isaiah Thomas was not taken in the first round. In fact, Thomas was taken 60th overall. For you counting at home that would mean he was picked last. Every draft there is a player that was overlooked and taken in the second round that turns out to be a diamond in the rough. Rarely is this player the last taken. Thomas can rip it from deep, as well as get to the tin. He averages 7.3 points off the bench, and posted a career high of 17 against New Orleans. He is truly outshining fellow rookie Jimmer Fredette, selected 7th overall. (see duds).Thomas will have a nice NBA career in the mold of fellow short guy, Earl Boykins.

Kyrie Irving PG, Cleveland Cavaliers

The number one overall pick, Kyrie Irving, is my Rookie of the year right now. The guy can flat out ball and has it all: Range, handles, not to mention he's clutch. I love his game. Not only can he score, which he does at 18 points per outing, he dishes the rock, averaging 5 assists. Irving has led the team to a 9-14 record, which at first glance may not seem impressive, but this is coming from a team whose starting lineup consists of Omri Casspi, Alonzo Gee, Antawn Jamison and Anderson Varejao. Without Irving, I don't think this team would have won a game by now. I hope he can avoid that injury bug that he had in college, because I think this guy is going to be special.


Enes Kanter C, Utah Jazz

After being ruled ineligible to play for John Calipari at the University of Kentucky last year, Kanter came into the 2011 draft as the biggest question mark. After the Jazz found themselves 3rd in the draft order, they couldn't pass on "The Big Turkey." Kanter has proven that he does have a nose for rebounding, averaging about 5 boards in 15 minutes of play and has also shown tough D on good players. But Kanter looks utterly lost on the offensive end of the floor. Like, Amelia Earhart lost. He possesses no offensive post game, misses easy layups and often gets muddled up by help down defenders.

Jimmer Fredette PG/SG

I can't seem to figure out the Jimmer. The guy has been doing what paid the bills at BYU, that being knocking down a few triples a game, but without getting a bunch of shots like he did in college he hasn't been the efficient scorer the Kings had hoped he would be. Not to mention his defense is worse than advertised. Jimmer is sitting with the duds right now because of my high expectations of him early on in the season. Also, Jimmer may not be the clutch NBA shooter Sac-Town had hoped for either, air balling a game tying three when he returned to Jimmerland, also known as Utah.

Jan Vesely SF, Washington Wizards

There's not much to say about the 6th overall pick. He's absolutely irrelevant. He averages a meager 2.3 points per game, 2.5 rebounds per game, and less than 1 assist. His irrelevance is increased two fold due to the fact that he plays for the Washington Wizards.Czech him off your list of future NBA All-Stars.

Iman Shumpert PG/ SG, New York Knicks

Don't let the numbers fool you. Although Shumpert boasts rookie averages of 9.9 points per game, 3.7 rebounds a game and 3.7 assists, Shumpert plays 31 minutes per game and shoots a miserable 33 % from the field. The dude shot 13 times in 22 minutes in his first NBA game. Granted, Shumpert brings some athletic prowess and solid D to the table, he shoots way too much and is a volume player. The Knicks are thin at the guard position and Shumpert has exploited that. Now that "Lin-Sanity" has hit New York, expect Shumpert's minutes and numbers to decrease.

Bismack Biyombo F, Charlotte Bobcats

Biyombo, the Danny Almonte of the NBA, has yet to impress after his HUGE performance at the Nike Hoop Summit in 2011. Biyombo is a physical specimen, toting a 7'6" wingspan. But what Biyombo has in size, he lacks in basketball IQ and awareness. For being the 7th overall pick, Biyombo has yet to impress head coach Paul Silas with only 13 minutes per game for a floundering Bobcats squad.

Alec Burks SG, Utah Jazz

Many analysts predicted that Burks would possibly be the steal of the draft (myself included). Burks was considered the best slasher/scorer combo in the draft, and was seen as a player who was waiting to explode. In limited playing time Burks has shown flashes of brilliance, but is not quite the scorer he was hyped up to be. After claiming his three point shooting was not a liability, Burks has gone just 33 % from behind the arc, letting actions speak louder than words.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Old School Pic of the Week 2.7

This week's Old School Pic of the Week isn't your father's old school pic. With all the talk this week about a team (most likely the Kings) relocating to Seattle, I got a wee bit excited and tossed up this hybrid Supersonics/Kings logo.

I doubt a potential new team would ever be dubbed the SuperKings, but hell, I'd be content with the Seattle Honey Badgers just as long as the NBA returned to the Emerald City.

Monday, February 6, 2012

NBA All-Head Case Team

The starting lineups for the NBA All-Star Game were announced this week, and though ten superstars made the cut, the vast majority of the league will instead be home watching. The coaches' selections have yet to be made, but we at Court of Appeals went a different route and chose to commemorate the players least likely to be selected by any coach. This is the NBA All-Head Case Team.

The criteria for selection to the All-Head Case Team is a player who:

1) In no way, shape, or form boosts his team's chemistry
2) Demonstrates outlandish behavior that overshadows positive on-court contributions
3) Is a liability to himself and others
4) Is bat shit crazy

PG - Delonte West
Yeah sure, Delonte posts career averages of 9.7 points and 3.6 assists per game, but he is better known for his (alleged) sexual escapades with LeBron's mom.

Even if we would rather give him the benefit of the doubt on that one, he is a liability to miss shoot around because as he states from 0:54 to 1:07 of this video, "I don't even wear a watch, I don't even need to know the time. 'Cause I get there when I get there. I'm on time. It don't matter if I'm late or early. I'm right on time when I get there so... I don't wear a watch."

Throw in the Three Loaded Guns On a Motorcycle Fiasco of 2009 and Delonte is a lock at point guard for the All-Head Case squad.

SG - Gilbert Arenas

Speaking of gun fiascos... Gilbert Arenas was the unanimous selection (among a selection committee of one) for the 2-spot.

Technically he is no longer an NBA player, but the legacy of his insanity lives on. The fact that Agent Zero remains a free agent less than a year after averaging 17 points per game for the Wizards is a testament to how psycho the man must truly be.

Though we can only hazard guesses at the full extent of his crazed mind, if his Twitter avatar pics are any indication, Gilbert Arenas redefines Criterion #4 for inclusion in this list (that is, bat shit craziness.)

SF - Metta World Peace
a) See name
b) See any or all of following links:
    World Peace on teeth
    World Peace in biggest brawl in American sports history
    World Peace drinking heavily
    World Peace & domestic violence
    World Peace attempting to decapitate JJ Barea
c) 15.2% 3-point shooting

PF - Andray Blatche

Versatility is the name of Blatche's game in the context of this lineup. He could give you 20 and 10 on any given night, but watch out if he approaches a triple-double as he's been known to steal rebounds from teammates and beg opponents for them.

Add the arrests for sexual solicitation and reckless driving on a suspended license and, boom, that power forward slot is all Dray's.

C  - JaVale McGee

Typically, on one of these All-Head Case Teams you don't want to include two teammates for fear that they might bring too much chemistry to the table. Fortunately for my hypothetical lineup, both Blatche and McGee are on the Wizards (who own a 4-20 record.)

He's garnered criticism for the occasional audacious dunk attempt in blowout losses, but his mom has gone on the record saying her son is "not a knucklehead." Mrs. McGee may be telling the truth, but her sheer presence could be a distraction to this squad as long as Delonte is around.


DeMarcus Cousins
Michael Beasley
Ivan Johnson
DeShawn Stevenson
Chris Andersen
Stephen Jackson
Zach Randolph (2001 version)

Court adjourned.