Saturday, May 31, 2008

I don't know how I missed this the first time

Tim Kawakami just re-ranked the future of the western conference in the NBA. It's too bad I didn't see it when it was first written, but the re-ranking is still a fun read. Here's my favorite part:
2. Portland Trail Blazers.

-Feb. 18 rank: 1. (Net loss -1.)

-Why it changed: They could be the New Spurs… and still not be good enough to knock off the Lakers for two or three years.

-Assets: Greg Oden 20, Brandon Roy 23, LaMarcus Aldridge 22, Martell Webster 21, Travis Outlaw 23, and they have the 13th pick in the June 26 draft.

-Possible problems: You don’t know about Oden’s knee and they’ve got to get a quality point guard.

-Potential solutions: Management has already put together a ton of talent and has the will to wheel and deal for more.

-New crystal ball: Some great playoff battles with Kobe are coming up. But who guards him?
Even though he has us at second, I agree with most of what he says and can't wait to see it play out.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A great take on the lottery

I posted this to the Kay House wall already, but I thought it was good enough to share again with everyone.

I still love Rasheed

Say what you want about Rasheed Wallace and people saying things about the referees – I usually respect people who don't complain about them – but I appreciate what 'Sheed had to say after the game last night. This is from Need4Sheed via Ball Don't Lie.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

José Calderon

A lot of Blazers fans think that we have a chance to get Calderon from the Raptors. The thought is that Toronto will have to move him or Ford, and since Ford has the injury concerns and the 8 million plus contract and Calderon wants to be the starter (and could command that much money even as a restricted free agent) the Spaniard is the one that will be traded this off season. If he is moved, it will have to be in a sign-and-trade. If that's the case, he'll probably get around what Ford is getting now. Also, they'd probably want an expiring deal back, which Portland could send with Raef LaFrentz. That would mean that the Raps would have to send someone else back, too.

If Toronto signed Calderon for $8,000,000 – which I think would be too much, but that might be what it takes – they could trade him and Rasho Nesterovic to Portland for Travis Outlaw, Jarrett Jack, Raef LaFrentz, and the Blazers number one pick. It would work with the CBA, but I don't think I like doing this. We'd be giving up a ton for him, and paying him more than I think we should for too long. Jack might be a good backup point guard in Toronto, Outlaw could partner with Bosh in the front court for more scoring, and they might like trading one expiring contract for a much bigger expiring contract. Oh yeah, and they'd get a lottery pick. Again, I don't actually like this deal, but I think it's possible, and I think a lot of people in Portland would like it a lot. Then again, quite a few people in Portland fell in love with Outlaw this year. I like him a lot, too, actually.

Friday, May 16, 2008

He just keeps pushing himself up the list

1.(1) Arvydas Sabonis

2.(2) David Robinson

2.(2) Tim Duncan (tie)

4.(5) Brandon Roy

5.(4) Clyde Drexler

6.(7) Bill Walton (He'd be higher if I had actually ever gotten to watch him, but the sentimentality puts him up this high. He also moved in front of number seven because we're in the playoffs, and that makes me pine for the glory days of the Blazers.)

7.(6) Rasheed Wallace (Seriously, I love this guy.)

8.(8) Terry Porter

9.(10) Steve Nash

10.(9) Video game Derek Anderson (He was just too good.)

And here's just one more reason that Roy has overtaken Drexler. (Oh yeah, and this is my first ever all-time favorites list, but I had to guess on what the previous rankings were.)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I still love Ime

As the title of this blog suggests, I'm a bit of a sports bigamist. I'm not a complete sports bigamist, but I have cheered for the Spurs since the early '90s, as long as they aren't playing Portland. Well, I'm happy they won tonight. But even more than that, I love that one of my favorite Blazers from last year did a great job for them. Ime Udoka – who played high school ball in Portland, starred at Portland State, and then had a Rudy-like rise to the NBA last year to become a starter for the Blazers – was five for five from the field, including three for three form the three point line as the Spurs beat the Hornets tonight. He also had three rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block, all in 19 minutes. I love that guy, and I'm really happy he's an important contributor on the team I still believe will win the NBA championship this year.

The Sports Guy has a backbone

My friend J-Lew first alerted me to this with a status change yesterday on facebook. Then today he actually posted it on the wall for a group of my college friends. Here's the story from Deadspin. And here's the money quote:
I really did believe that we had hashed out all the behind the scenes bullshit and come to some sort of agreement on creative lines, media criticism rules, the promotion of the column and everything else on Within a few months, all of those things changed and certain promises were not kept. It's as simple as that.
I was talking to my roommate Eric about the way TSG is responding, and I don't know if he can really do a much better job. If he just writes what he wants, as far as content goes, the editors will chop it up, make it suck, and his relationship with them will go – or continue to go – downhill. So instead, he's chosen to cut his production down. And he is also publishing on his own again. Well, at least he has published one thing on his own. It's a story he wrote way back in 1996, and you can find it here.

In one of the deadspin comments someone mentioned that this would be breach of contract or something like that. But if he feels like they screwed him, I don't blame him. Especially since he has such a cult following, a lot of friends with good connections, and clout on the internet.

I hope that the outcome of this is that either his situation at ESPN improves to the point he's hoping, or he parts with the worldwide leader and ventures back out on his own.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Not your Vidas

I've enjoyed Luke's tumblr so much that I'm finally starting my own. Hopefully this means I'll actually write more about sports here and actually link to cool things there. We'll see.

Of course, the name comes from what several of the SportsCenter guys used to say when talking about my favorite NBA player of all time, Arvydas Sabonis.
Anchor 1:Not your vidas...
Anchor 2:Not my vidas...
Yes I know that Arvydas is spelled with a "y" and I used an "i," but I think that's the right way to do it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Making trades for some teams that need it

Okay, it's time to figure out how to fix some teams. My two main teams to fix are New York and Dallas. This is what I was thinking about for each team.
  • New York:
    1. Needs a point guard who can run and get people involved in D'Antoni's system
    1. Needs to dump the slow big men who will just get in the way

    2. If possible, they need to dump some long term bad deals

    3. If possible, they need to keep their good guys/fan favorites like David Lee and Jamal Crawford

  • Dallas:
    1. Needs to give up any of the big contracts that they can

    2. Needs to find a low post scorer who can draw some people from Dirk

    3. If possible, needs to find another shooter who can hit shots when Dirk passes out
With that in mind, I looked to see if there were some things I could do. I already had the idea that Milwaukee might be a destination for one of those two big guys from New York, and since they were unwilling to do the deal for Randolph, I thought that maybe they'd take Curry. I also thought that if the Bucks were going to be involved, they would need to dump Mo Williams and his long contract, since that signing doesn't look like it will work out very well for them.

Having said that, here's the deal I did.

Why New York does it: Like I said, D'Antoni needs a point guard who can run. As much as Kidd has lost a step, he can still push the tempo and he can still create. Desmond Mason doesn't have a great shot, but it's not that bad, and he might do well as one of the guys that comes in for a little while, in addition to the already potent shooting duo of Jamal Crawford and Quenton Richardson. The bigger reason New York does this, though, is that they would be able to get rid of both Curry and Randolph. Oh yeah, the Knicks would have to give up cash and future first round picks. But really, to help fix some of the huge mistakes already made and clear up playing time for the young guys who could run and work in a D'Antoni system, I think it's worth it.

Why Milwaukee does it: They need to do something, and what they gave Mo Williams was way too much for what he brought them. This might not be a great deal for them, but they had already thought about a deal for Randolph because of the low-post offense he could bring. Owner Herb Kohl didn't like Randolph, but maybe he'd be okay with Curry and his similar offensive game. I don't know how well Curry would work alongside Bogut, but if it does, having the added inside presence should be really helpful for Redd. Shipping out Williams would open up a need for another PG, and while Nate Robinson isn't a great pure point guard, maybe he'd be able to fit the bill. Oh yeah, New York would need to send at least a future first to Milwaukee, and since they wouldn't do this deal if they got the first pick – and thus picked Derrick Rose to run the D'Antoni offense instead of Kidd – they would be able to trade this year's first round pick to Milwaukee as well.

Why Dallas does it: The Kidd trade obviously didn't work out the way they hoped it would. Dallas is still desperate. Randolph would give them the exact sort of low post offensive presence that they've been missing. There might be some doubt about how well he could share touches with Dirk, but having read enough about how sad he was to be in New York's terrible situation, he might actually be more willing, at least for a year. Listening to the Sports Guy's podcast from last week, I just found out that Mo Williams was actually a really good shooter last year on open shots. He might be a good complement to Dirk and Zach, even though he's not a great point guard. Bringing in those two guys would pack the Mavs with offensive firepower. Sure, it would do it in a way that I mocked for the Knicks, namely five guys who all need the ball to be effective. Maybe not all, but at least four (Dirk, Zach, Mo, and Jason Terry) of them have traditionally needed the ball in their hands to be effective. But again, what they tried wasn't working, and maybe Carlisle can convince them to work together, share the ball, and really feed off of the strengths they all bring to that end of the floor.

Oh yeah, the one caveat to this whole deal: if New York wins the first pick then they don't make this trade. They'd still try to dump Curry and Randolph, but they'd draft Derrick Rose and go from there.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

This is part of the reason I hope I hear I have the job

OK, you and I are officially not happy. Wednesday's quiz, taken during the half day, demonstrated that you do not, after 8 months in a high school math course, know how to do arithmetic, not with fractions, not with square roots, not at all when I put a variable into any of those arithmetic operations.

Ok, I started this page off announcing that you and I were not happy. I know why I'm not happy...I don't like realizing that I have only one month left to make sure you can do arithmetic, before a summer comes and I lose contact with you. I hope that the reason you are not happy is only 20% because of what it is doing to your grade, and what the next 3 weeks will end up doing to your grade if you don't get this fixed, and 80% because you realize that being able to do arithmetic is a fundamental skill to someone who is planning to take math the rest of your high school career, and that plain old arithmetic is an essential part of your knowledge base as you later decide to join the adult world. That's the real reason to be're entering a world that you will be victimized by, because of a lack of understanding of how numbers work. Monetary decisions involving anything other than single digit positive numbers will be made by you with less knowledge than the people competing for your money will will not win those encounters. Don't let something trivial like whether or not it's sunny out, or whether or not the boy or girl that you're smitten with is equally smitten with you. Smitten-ness for a 15 year old is invariably temporary...being ignorant is far more likely to be lifelong and doesn't change without intense effort. Focus.

I like you all; you're fun people, but I'm trying much harder than you are lately, and it's showing.
So well said, so well reasoned, and so focused on what's best for students. I haven't heard yet, but Don is part of the reason I really want to be back in Roseburg next year. Oh yeah, it doesn't hurt that he's a huge Blazer fan and we can have well reasoned discussions about the most promising team in the league.

*I took that straight from his website.

Clyde Drexler was awesome

This video comes via Sean over at the Oregonlive Blazers blog.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Not quite as sick, and an update on my interview

Yesterday afternoon I had my phone interview with Roseburg High School. There were six of them, all on speaker phone, talking to me on my cell phone. As the assistant principle opened the conversation, he told me that he'd be asking all the questions – since he was the closest to the phone – and that the other five would just be listening. Then he told me the other five. I know all five of the others who were on the line.

I think that it went well, although I certainly didn't say things to try and paint myself as anything that I'm not. Then again, since five of them have actually worked with me, it wouldn't really make much sense to have tried to make them think I'm better than I am. Instead, I told them about things I did well this year and the things that I really struggled with. Hopefully their knowledge of my strengths and my personality will be more than enough to solidify the job for me. There are three other applicants, I believe, and they said I should know by the middle of next week whether the job is mine or not. That's pretty fantastic, and pretty exciting as well. So we'll see.

I'm finally feeling a little bit better, but it's pretty frustrating that this virus hit me so hard this week. I missed four of the five days. Yeah, four of the five. Terrible. And since I'm not 100% yet, I think I may end up heavily medicated all next week at school. But I have to be there. It was so ridiculously frustrating to miss so much time. I was excited for this week, too, because I felt like I had good plans for helping my students prepare for the CST, a test they'll be taking for the next two weeks. And I still set it up for the substitute to go through it with them on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I doubt that much happened. That means that I'll be trying to do as much as I can with them on Monday, and for the periods that I'll have before the math part of their test on Thursday I'll try to review even more. It is pretty crazy, though, that I have two weeks of testing, then four weeks left of school, and of those four weeks there's even more testing.