Only two entities can loss huge amounts of money ever year and still stick around; government, and the WNBA.

With the recent economic collapse and all the anger at bailouts of businesses that make no money you would think there would be some outrage directed toward the WNBA.  Please do not here me as being sexist, I am all for women playing basketball, and think they should have every opportunity to play at the high school and collegiate level.  My point simply is that there is no RIGHT to a professional league.

For over a decade the WNBA has been financially insolvent and a bigger failure in tv ratings than CSPAN (okay I am not sure about that but its really close).  No one wants to watch the sport, the arenas for WNBA games are about as well attended as the rec league soccer games by my house, and yet the league persists, why?

Well when you talk to the Commissioner of the NBA, David Stern about why he keeps subsidizing the league he gets cranky and gives a look as if he would like to lock you up in gitmo.  And most reporters do not want to grill him on the topic because they are afraid of being portrayed as sexist.

The perpetual existence of the WNBA is about more than just basketball, its about hyper political correctness.  Every year I am smothered by WNBA commercials during the NBA playoffs that tell me how amazing their league is and implicitly that I am sexist for not watching.

My modest proposal is this; could we please move past the trite argument that if someone does not like the debacle known as the WNBA then they are a sexist?  It could simply be that they do not like bad basketball.



This Is Huge. UNLV Gets Top Guard Anthony Marshall

I know that no one cares about UNLV basketball posts, except for Matt and I, but I believe this is arguably the biggest recruit signing for UNLV this decade.  Not because Anthony Marshall is a LeBron James or something, but this signing is the exclamation point that UNLV has arrived.  Now some may point to Wink as being our biggest get this decade, and I would agree that based on his performance that could be the case.  But I am strictly talking about recruiting here, and recruiting is all about momentum and image.  UNLV has now demonstrated that it can get quality transfers, and big name recruits.  After this year’s recruiting class, it will no longer be laughable to think that UNLV can compete with UCLA or Arizona for the best players in the west.  Marshall in many ways is a tipping point, that places UNLV on a larger stage in the recruiting world than it has been on in a long time.  Lon has truly got this program back on track.

Here is the story in the Las Vegas Sun.

Marshall is a top 50 recruit and a Las Vegas local, he has a high basketball IQ, great leadership ability, and all the physical skills you could ever want in a point guard or shooting guard.  But more than that is what Marshall symbolizes for UNLV.  UNLV has quickly been climbing back onto the national stage in the last few years and carving out an identity of a well coached, high energy, defensive team.  Big name recruits all around the country have begun to take notice and want to play for the basketball guru Lon Kruger.  They have seen how he can transform raw, mediocre talent into solid NBA players.  And getting to the NBA is what really attracts top high school talent.  When a coach demonstrates that they consistently know how to make that happen kids want to play there.

Marshall, who was being recruited by all the top programs in the country decided to stay home and play for UNLV (which is a major accomplishment in keeping top LV high school players in town) because he knows what Lon can do for him, and for his future.  Factoring in that UNLV has also pulled in UCLA 4 star transfer Chace Stanback, and 4 star Kentucky transfer Derrick Jasper in the last few months, UNLV is primed to become one of the dominant west coast basketball programs in the country.

I could not be more excited for the upcoming season, as we will get to finally see Beas Hamga and Willis, but the future looks even brighter!  Go UNLV.


Shawn Kemp’s Retirement Plan

If you do not remember Shawn Kemp he was one of the best basketball players of the early nineties.  His nickname was “The Rainman” and he led the Seattle Supersoncis to the NBA Finals.  In his heyday he was truly one of the most athletically gifted players to ever play the game.  He could jump out of the gym and take over games.  He was also a trailblazer in athletes going from high school to the pros, although his route was a bit more circuitous.

Yet Shawn Kemp was also a trailblazer in another athletic area; rampant fertility.  Shawn Kemp would become the butt of many Bill Simmons jokes for fathering 8 kids by 6 different women.  Athletes such as Holyfield and Travis Henry have since followed in his misguided footsteps.  In fact I know they even had Shawn Kemp come into the NBA rookie forum a time or two, and caution them about sleeping with every women you meet.

Well Shawn Kemp eventually ate himself out of the NBA and looked like he had swallowed a hot air ballon.  His career fizzled and the bank accounts dried up.  While I doubt he ever has run out of money I bet the millions of dollars in child support payments he has had to dole out have not helped his financial situation.

But have no fear for Shawn Kemp, it looks like the eldest of his 8 kids is now a big time college prospect and could have a bright NBA career ahead of him.

Maybe Lon Kruger can give him a call for UNLV?

So while Kemp may have gone broke paying child support payments for all those kids, he now has a son who likely has a million dollar future in front of him.  Let’s just hope his son does not fully follow in his father’s footsteps…

So “Where Amazing Happens” isn’t just a clever slogan

Anyone who loves basketball is salivating right now. The NBA is better, as far as talent and collective competitiveness are concerned, than it has ever been in my life. I mean, if I showed you a tape of the current Suns/Spurs series two years from now and you had no idea what round it was, you would be sure it was a conference finals. The competition, the skill players, the intensity; but no: FIRST ROUND. I told my Dad a few weeks ago that there were some sleepers even in the east. My sleepers: Orlando and Philly. And on top of this many young players are having playoff coming out parties leaving us with the hope that there is plenty more of where this came from in the coming years. Dwight Howard is going berserk, having two straight 20-20 games, and Chris Paul is averaging 34.5-13.5-3.5 (points-assists-steals), LeBron finally stepping up when called out. In the words of a 13 year old girl: OMG!!!

Last night I caught some of the 4th quarter of the Hornets/Mavs game (By the way, why has no one brought up the fact that the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Hornets should swap nicknames. Seriously. The Jazz originally came from New Orleans, and the Bee is Utah’s official state highway logo or something, or motto, or whatever. This makes perfect sense and that’s why it will never happen.)

Anyways, if you have never seen Chris Paul play then your life is incomplete. Ryan always laments that Chicago let Tyson Chandler get away, but I submit that Chandler, West, and the like wouldn’t be flourishing in other situations. I submit the following video. Now it just looks like a defensive mistake on video (which it is), but you need to understand the context. Paul has been scorching the Mav’s all game; breaking double teams, cutting out when they go under a screen, cutting in when they go on top of a screen, hitting guys at the absolute perfect times, nailing 19 foot runners, 12 foot pull ups, etc. It was ridiculous. So on this play he knows the defense is putty in his hands. He cuts towards the baseline, cuts back like he’s going to slow down get to the top of the key and run a play, and without hesitating, well you’ll see:



HT: needforsheed.com, for the bracket