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Monday, February 20, 2006 

A Case of the Mondays (2/20)

Recapping the important events of the weekend...

- Lebron James scored 29 points to lead the East to a come from behind victory over the West in the NBA All Star Game Sunday. The Lebrons also contributed to the victory by fouling Tracy McGrady as he attempted a game tying shot with seconds left. Said LBJ, "On his way up I got a piece of his arm and a piece of the ball, which made it short." While his honesty might be refreshing, his game no longer is. King James, the man-child who would revolutionize the game as the second coming of Magic Johnson, is officially a chucker.

Sunday, he jacked up 10 three pointers and he averages 4.8 three point attempts per game in the regular season, hitting at 34.5%. Until yesterday, I believed that he was just hoisting up so many shots (22.9 per game) because he didn't want to pass to Drew Gooden or Damon Jones, which is somewhat understandable. Now, I am concerned that LBJ has learned that it doesn't pay to pass in today's NBA. He can get away with this, as he is a great scorer, but passing was the aspect of his game that made him so appealing and refreshing. Hopefully, LBJ will realize that the association already has a Kobe and put more of an emphasis on using his sick talents to drop dimes.

- Ricky Williams has failed his fourth drug test, according to reports. If true, the violation means that Williams will face a year long suspension, although it might as well be forever. Ricky seemed to have salvaged his career during the 2005 season and teams around the league had started to ask the Dolphins about the running back's availability via trade. In other words, Williams might have been a starter once again in 2006. I'm certainly sympathetic, but he has clearly smoked himself retarded. If he wanted to be a stoner, why did he come back at all? If he wanted to come back and make money, then why risk it for a bong toke?

- Steve Francis continues to be shopped around the league. The Knicks, Nuggets, Timberwolves, and the Sonics have inquired about the PG but the best fit for a deal is with the Lakers. A swap of Lamar Odom, Stanislav Medvedenko, and Aaron McKie for Francis and Hedo Turkoglu works under the cap and makes sense for both teams. The Magic get better value in Odom than the trash the T'Wolves, Knicks, and Nuggets have been offering, as well as significant cap space, the driving force behind most NBA trades. The Lakers get an impact point guard while Turkoglu replaces Odom capably. The Lakers would lose rebounding but would gain lineup flexibility and scoring. So why won't this trade happen before Thursday's deadline? Lakers GM Mitch Kupchek overvalues Odom, even though he hasn't proven the best fit with Kobe, and he won't part with a draft pick. Instead, the Lakers will play it safe and try to get under the cap in the summer of '07, when Chris Bosh becomes a free agent.

- Speedskater Shani Davis became the first black athlete to win a Winter Olympics gold medal. To do so, Davis declined to compete with the U.S. relay team so that he focus on the individual 1000 meter event that he eventually won. Teammate Chad "The Weiner" Hedrick took issue with Davis' decision, as it denied "The Weiner" a chance at winning 5 medals during one Olympic Games. Some critics have asserted that Davis was chosen as a member of the U.S. Team, and therefore should have no choice but to compete in every race available.

Let's take a step back here. First of all, Davis did nothing wrong or uncommon. Pacing yourself is a common (and successful) theme in sports. Roger Clemens doesn't pitch every inning for his team and Jarome Iginla isn't on the ice for every minute of every game. Second of all, the man just broke a fairly large racial barrier and made history. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt on this one. "The Weiner" has got it twisted.

- Due to sickness, Tiger Woods pulled out of the Nissan Open on Saturday after making the cut Friday. Tiger said, "I had a funny feeling in my stomach and then I just knew I was going to explode if I didn't pull out. It was just too risky, and it could have gotten messy. I had to pull out before it was too late or I might regret it for years." His partner for the round would have been John (J.B) Holmes. When asked if he would ever consider pulling out, John Holmes chuckled to himself and asked if there was a "map of Hawaii" involved.

- The Noob Sports Family

I'm going to disagree with your assessment of Davis. The individualistic attitude he displays does not just reflect him as a person, but "bad-mouths the United States of America", much like Dean Wormer in Animal House. Davis is immature, and it's a shame he represents my country.

I've been trying to figure Shani out myself, but I think I know now. He is an absolute jerk. He broke a smile after winning gold, breaking the black barrier in winter sports, and then shits all over his interviewer. She, and the other hosts were as blown away as I was...the guy was crude, stoneface, and mentioned nothing about his country...only himself. It was so hard to watch that I wanted to bust thru the tv and steal the microphone and spotlight away from this concentric ass and tell the rest of the world, "Hey, we're not all assholes like this guy, and we'd rather give the medal to a man who loves his country, who will practice with his country, and a man who will do whatever he can to help his country win more medals - not win a medal to spite." Man, I wanted so hard to be happy for the guy. He has shown that he has not one single ounce of Olympic or American pride. Sad story of individualism to fuel the pompous asshole American stereotype.

OK, I'm not going to pretend to care enough about speed skating to know all the details involved, but...

It's downright bizarre to have a team event in the Olympics that doesn't have a team already set before hand. Just whoever wants to skate can skate? He never agreed to skate in a relay. Bode Miller went on record saying he thought about not going to Torino at all and the guy is on the cover of every magazine short of Butt Pie, 'cause he's so "edgy".

NBC verbally crucifies the guy and expects him to be happy about it? The rimjob they gave Hedrick was re-damn-diculous. He gets along fine with the Chicago media who don't call him a bunch of names. Is he being childish in his reaction? Probably. Did the media react childly to his decision? Damn skippy.

What happens if he skates the relay, they don't win a medal, and he fails to medal in the 1000? Him skating guaranteed a relay medal exactly how? They lost in the quarters, if I recall correctly. He's THAT much better than everyone else? Then cater to him, like we seem to be willing to do to every other prima donna superstar.

Uh, and still waiting on the write up about the MSU whipping of UofM. Or at least a belittling of the Izzone jerkoff/UM benchwarmer jerkoff battle royale during shootaround.

I watch 80% of my Olympic coverage via "live" CBC feed. Shani gives his credit to the Canadians. The Canadian broadcasters think he is bent. The American broadcasters think he is bent. His teammates won't even look at him. Hmm, yea, this is someone we are supposed to cater to? Screw that. Damn glad to see the Italian kick his ass....that Italian has pride for his country and seems proud to represent his country. I can't believe the media is this nice to the guy really (Shani)...he basically gave them and the USofA a big middle finger. That isn't what wearing the red, white and blue is "supposed" to be about IMO. Who cares if the USA won a medal or not if Shani participated in the relay...he was undoubtedly a very huge cog to the team if they were to vie for one, and it would've meant we put our best team on the ice to compete. If you watched the race, you'd know that it would have made a very undeniable difference (we are talking about one of the fastest guys ever on ice)...the other two Americans were waiting and waiting for the guy who was Shani's replacement. At least Bode is being Bode and not bashing his teammates and country. Bode can be a drunk idiot stud if he wants, but he ain't bashing his own (that I've seen). I've never seen a bigger ass of an Olympian in my life. I've never seen an American athlete disgrace our character so badly.

I guess we have diffent ideas of how impartial the media is.

At the end of the day, it's an individual sport. Davis is skating for the US, winning medals for the US, and getting blasted all over the place. ESPN beat him up some more this morning. Now even Hedrick is saying it's not so much that he didn't do the relay, it's how he handled it. But story after never ending story is about what a "bad American" SD is. It's a free country.

He's giving the USA the middle finger by saying he loves training with all the kids in Evanston, IL and that he can't wait to get back to see them?

Now the fact that you're wound up about American pride and simultaneously celebrate an American losing, regardless of your feelings for that individual, that's an interesting concept. You're putting your feelings ahead of your pride in the country's athletes.

And if you're worried that Davis is ruining the image of America around the world with his antics, don't. Our current administration seems to have that pretty well under control.

BTW, Noobites: Newsweek came out yesterday...they mention the site and the BME. Nice.

He trains with Canadians in Calgary. He skates with some kids in his hometown - which was also stated in interview as a snub to everyone else IMO. I don't route against my countrymen. If three medals are handed out, the guy who is most likeable, no matter what country, is someone I route for. I route for many countries. Shani got us a medal...I didn't bitch about that (but would rather see Cheek have stood for the Stars and Stripes on the podium). I thought it was better to see a guy giving his best and all for his country win than someone who despises his teammates and coach. When they interviewed Cindy Klassen (now the most decorated athlete in Canadian Winter Olympics) after winning another medal yesterday, she said that it was great to see her teammate get a medal, set a great time to challenge her, and that she was happier for her teammate than her own gold. She mentioned that team was everything, seeing the team do well. She stated that with other countries not able to even train together, this was special. A blatant slam at the Americans inability to train together. Shani is the only one who left, and you are right, it is his life and decision. His medals are a whole lot tougher for anyone around the world to cheer for when he clearly doesn't respect his team and country. He wouldn't even smile for the camera right after winning gold. If you are confused about "my" pride...don't. I route for those with pride for their country and not out to just win a medal for themselves and snub the rest of their country (no matter where they came from). That doesn't bode well for the athlete, the country, or the Olympics. The Olympics are a showcase of each country's best for the entire world to see. No one likes T.O. right now in football because he doesn't give a damn for his team, coach, or fans...it is all about him. This ires many who enjoy sport and remember what loyalty, a locker room, and a coach meant. Shani seems to be replicating this mold...screw my team, my coach, and my fans. It doesn't do anything to help me route for him as representing what Team USA represents in the athletic elite. I hope this helps. If we start condoning our Olympic athletes (not professional sport) that pure individualism, with no concern for country or team, then we further ride down the bowels of the loss of the Olympic hero....the springboard of the young athlete to dream. A hero is someone who inspires us positively and collectively. Shani had every chance to be happy, to enjoy medals, to mend some fences, but...he is standoffish, stoneface, and further distancing himself from his achievements and country....not a hero in my sense of pride.

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