Monday, June 30, 2008

Two Decent Flicks

It had been quite awhile since I have actually been able to watch a movie. The summer months have actually made my weekends pretty busy, and this past weekend might have been my last free one for awhile.

I have also been catching up on the Weeds' seasons, and have just finished Season 3. I am caught up, except for the two episodes that I have missed this season so far.

Anyway, my wife and I watched a pair of movies this weekend - the first of which was the Matthew McConaughey-Kate Hudson flick, Fool's Gold. I must admit, that whenever I go into these romantic comedy movies my standards are set pretty low. They appear to be basically the same story re-written in a bit of a different way.

I am, however, a McConaughey fan, and Hudson is nothing terrible to look at.

This movie is actually more of a treasure hunt-type film than it is a love story (although there is a bit of that going on as well). It's nothing like National Treasure or any other find the clue movies, but it was pretty decent. It was also nice to see Theo (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) in a movie, although with a weird Jamaican accent.

The movie had some fun action moments, some decent humor and a lot of gratuitous McConaughey shirtless scenes for the ladies - although in my wives' words 'he doesn't wear deodorant', so I guess he has lost some pizazz with her. The shirtless McConaughey shots more than outnumber the Hudson bikini shots (which I believe is only one).


The second film we watched was Bee Movie, the Jerry Seinfeld-driven cartoon movie.

The film also stars the voice characters of Matthew Broderick, Renee Zellweger, Patrick Warburton, John Goodman, Chris Rock and others.

Barry (Seinfeld) is a bee who has just graduated into the workforce. On a tour the day before he is supposed to start he finds out that once you pick a job that you are there for the rest of your life, until you die.

Barry decides that he wants to see the world first - and heads out to discover the world. One of the main bee rules is to never talk to humans, but after Vanessa (Zellweger) saves his life, he thanks her - and forms an odd friendship.

Through his visits with her, they go grocery shopping and Barry finds out that the humans are stealing the bee's honey. He tracks down the source of the honey and discovers that bees are being held against their will to make honey for the humans.

So, Barry sues the human race - and ultimately wins the case, forcing humans to stop using the bee's honey. But, because of this decision the world itself (including the bee's world) changes and it's up to Barry to restore the nature of things before it's too late.

The movie was pretty good, nowhere near Shrek or Toy Story quality, but good in itself. I found myself laughing out loud on a few occasions during the film. As for re-watchability, I wouldn't say it was good enough to watch over and over, but possibly a once a year watch.


Friday, June 27, 2008

NBA Draft - Recap

The 2008 NBA Draft was held last night, and like I predicted in my previous article, freshmen were the keys to this draft.

First off, I just want to commend - myself. I had a summer basketball game last night at 7:45, and managed to not only play the game, but had dinner afterwards and made it all the way home without hearing a single word on what was happening during the draft. So, I am pretty proud of myself - and somewhat surprised. I thought for sure someone would let it slip who Chicago picked at #1.

So, I got home late last night and fast-forwarded through the insanely annoying Stuart Scott, who was the host of the draft for ESPN, and caught up on the picks.

No real surprises in the top three picks: Derrick Rose (Memphis) goes #1 to Chicago; Michael Beasley (Kansas State) goes #2 to Miami; O.J. Mayo (USC) heads to Minnesota at #3.

There were some concerns that Miami was planning on not selecting Beasley at #2, but you have to take him when he is considered one of the best two players in this draft.

Some highlights throughout the night:
  • Darrell Arthur of Kansas slips to #27, despite being asked to attend. He sat in the Green Room for a long time before finally being selected by New Orleans. His roller-coaster ride was just beginning, however, as he was traded to Portland - then to Houston - and finally to Memphis (so far).
  • Brook Lopez of Stanford appeared to have tears in his eyes as he fell to the Nets at #10. He was projected to possibly go at #3, but no way the Bobcats pass over him at #9 - which they did.
  • Trades galore: the biggest coming after I finally went to bed. Memphis traded Kevin Love (#5 pick), Mike Miller, Jason Collins and Brian Cardinal to Minnesota for Mayo (#3 pick), Antoine Walker, Greg Buckner and Marko Jaric. Another huge trade for these two franchise - remember the Garnett trade? How about the Gasol trade?
  • Knicks fans will boo anyone. Especially a poor kid from Italy named Danilo Gallinari. But, according to experts, he is a player - they did say the same about Darko Milicic a few years ago though.
  • Robin Lopez (twin brother of Brook) has the best hair of the draft. Looking a little like Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons, only at 7'0" tall. He was drafted at #15 by Phoenix and it was absolutely comical as he tried to stuff his hair into his new team's hat.
The major point of last night's draft is the amazing job, again, that the Portland Trailblazers have done. They are truly building something special in Portland - look out for the Blazers.

Last night they picked up some major pieces to fill in some spots for their up-and-coming squad via trades. They landed Ike Diogu and Jerryd Bayless (#11 pick) from the Pacers. Bayless was considered to be the second best point guard (behind Rose) coming into the draft, but fell to the Pacers at #11. Diogu and Bayless will fit in perfectly with the young team.

They also picked up a couple of foreign players that will most likely stay overseas for a few years, and landed four more draft picks for the coming years. They seriously have figured this draft thing out.

I am not much for picking a winner and a loser for the draft, because it takes so long for some of these players to truly develop and get used to the league. I felt Portland did a nice job. The Rose pick for Chicago was automatic, but leaves them with a crowded backcourt. And I feel Beasley to the Heat gives them a solid 3 punch (including Dwyane Wade and Shawn Marion) for at least a few years.

As for a loser, I would have to say the Atlanta Hawks, and for only one reason - they didn't have a single pick. The Hawks have been on the cusp of something special with so much young talent on their roster. This season, they even snuck into the playoffs as the #8 seed, before falling to the eventual NBA Champion Boston Celtics. So, they are still a few players away - and not having a pick could hurt them as other teams appear to be getting better.

All-in-all a respectable draft, but of course we'll have to wait a few years to see how it really panned out.

NOTE: I also played my second summer basketball league game last night, and our team again rolled to a victory (our second in as many games). I again felt pretty good, scored four points again, but was 2-for-5 from the field (both made shots were layups), so my field goal percentage is now 50%, horrific.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

NBA Draft

The 2008 NBA Draft will be held tonight. For the second straight year the top two picks appear to be locks, and appear to be freshmen.

This year, freshmen will be dominating the draft boards as a record 12 are projected to go in the first round. Every year there is always a few surprises that have you shaking your head. Every year a guaranteed lock doesn't work out, while a player no one expected to pan out becomes a star.

I thought I would go through the past eight drafts (2000-2007) and select a player that was picked in the second round (or a late first rounder) that has developed faster than a few of those guaranteed first rounders.

2000 - Michael Redd, Milwaukee Bucks
Redd was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 43rd pick in the 2000 draft. He has since been an all-star and was named to the 2008 Olympic Basketball Team.

Other notable second rounders in 2000: Eddie House, Brian Cardinal, Jason Hart and Marko Jaric.

2001 - Gilbert Arenas, Golden State Warriors
Arenas was selected by the Warriors with the 31st pick in the 2001 draft. He has since been an all-star. He now plays for the Washington Wizards.

Other notable second rounders in 2001: Mehmet Okur and Earl Watson.

2002 - Carlos Boozer, Cleveland Cavaliers
Boozer was drafted 34th overall in the 2002 draft by the Cavaliers. He made a name for himself, and has since become an all-star for the Utah Jazz. He recently was named to the 2008 Olympic Basketball Team.

Other notable second rounders in 2002: Ronald 'Flip' Murray and Luis Scola.

2003 - Luke Walton, Los Angeles Lakers
Walton was selected 32nd by the Lakers in the 2003 draft. He has been both a starter and a notable reserve for the 2007 Western Conference champions.

Other notable second rounders in 2003: Jason Kapono, Willie Green, Steve Blake, Keith Bogans and Kyle Korver.

2004 - Anderson Varejao, Cleveland Cavaliers
Varejao was picked 30th overall by the Cavaliers in the 2004 draft. He is known mostly for his outstanding hairstyle, but is also high energy off the bench - providing defense and rebounding. He was the only notable second round selection in this draft.

2005 - Monta Ellis, Golden State Warriors
Ellis was selected 40th overall by the Warriors. He has developed into a full-fledged star for Golden State over the past two season's, combining with Baron Davis as a powerful duo in the backcourt.

Other notable second rounders in 2005: Ryan Gomes, Ronny Turiaf and Brandon Bass.

2006 - Daniel Gibson, Cleveland Cavaliers
Gibson was selected 42nd overall by the Cavaliers in 2006. Despite injuries, he has developed into a strong outside shooter for Cleveland. He captured the MVP in last season's Rookie/Sophomore Challenge during the All-Star Weekend.

Other notable second rounders in 2006: Craig Smith, Leon Powe and Paul Milsap.

2007 - Carl Landry, Houston Rockets
Landry was selected 31st overall in the 2007 draft by Houston. Landry is just getting his feet wet, but he helped a Rockets team off the bench make the playoffs after Yao Ming went down to injury.

Other notable second rounders in 2007: Glen 'Big Baby' Davis, Aaron Gray and D.J. Strawberry.

The NBA Draft begins tonight at 7 p.m. on ESPN. More of a wrapup tomorrow on all of the picks.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Guitar Hero

My good friend received both an XBOX 360 and Rock Band for Christmas last year. We had gone over a few times to play and he even brought it up to our house once for us to 'rock out'.

I really enjoyed the game. It was fun to play such enjoyable songs and it allows up to four people to play during a single jam session.

I, however, did not have an XBOX 360, so Rock Band was out of the picture for me. So, my wife purchased Guitar Hero III for our Wii system. And we were immediately hooked. It was actually pretty difficult when we first started, but since then I have pretty much mastered the Easy difficulty and completed the Medium difficulty. But, that is where I draw the line. The next difficulty up is pretty much impossible for me so far.

I was excited to see that Guitar Hero was releasing an Aerosmith themed disc, which comes out this Sunday.

Rock Band, however, was announced for the Wii system and released last Sunday. When it was announced, my wife and I were pretty excited - that is until I started reading what the game would include, or that is NOT include.

The game was being dumbed down for the Wii release, and would more resemble the PS2 game then that of the PS3 or XBOX 360. Gone was the create-a-character, the world tour mode and other various modes that made the game great - including downloadable content.

So, we reluctantly marked the release date on our calendar, but were unsure if we were going to purchase the game.

Guitar Hero, however, made my choice very easy. About a month ago, Guitar Hero announced it's next release entitled Guitar Hero: World Tour. Unlike previous releases that only included the guitar, World Tour would more closely resemble Rock Band with a guitar kit and a microphone. Not only that, but everything that Rock Band thought it couldn't include on the Wii - World Tour includes. So, come October we will be rocking out with the new Guitar Hero.

Rock Band made a huge mistake here. Instead of finding ways around the problems that could occur for the missing pieces - they just decided not to include it, and gave an inferior product. Guitar Hero, however, took the time to figure things out and may have cornered the market for rock games on the Wii system because of it.

The original Guitar Hero game for Wii that we purchased came with a guitar, and the Aerosmith one we are getting Sunday also comes with a guitar. When World Tour arrives, we will get the kit with the guitar, drum kit and microphone. It will be our last 'bundle' purchase, as we will have three guitars, a drum kit and microphone - then we will just have to purchase new games.

I am pretty excited about the new releases. Hopefully the Aerosmith version can hold me over until World Tour comes out.

Finding out the songs that will be included in each game is pretty exciting as well. I never thought I would be so into a music concept game - but I am hooked.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Top 10: Tom Hanks Roles

Alright, I figured it out. I have decided to do a Top 10 list about my all-time favorite actor, Tom Hanks. I pretty much like all of Mr. Hanks' work, although he has had a few duds in the mix. So, getting just 10 characters was a bit difficult. But, I did do it.

When I wrote down the characters he has played I actually came out with 12 that were my favorites, so I have to give Lawrence Whatley Bourne III from Volunteers and Scott Turner from Turner & Hooch an honorable mention.

So here is the list (reverse order as always):

10) Robert Langdon - Da Vinci Code
Synopsis: Based on the best-selling novel, Hanks takes over as Dr. Robert Langdon, a symbologist who is called into action of tracking down hidden clues inside Leonardo Da Vinci's paintings.

9) Jim Lovell - Apollo 13
Synopsis: Lovell is named captain of the Apollo 13 moon mission, and along with two other astronauts, will be one of the first few people on the moon. An explosion within the shuttle, however, makes this mission into a rescue mission.

8) Carl Hanratty - Catch Me If You Can
Synopsis: Hanratty is the main investigator in catching the con man Frank Abagnale Jr. During his pursuit he sort of develops a relationship with the young man - as sort of a father figure.

7) Chuck Noland - Cast Away
Synopsis: In one of Hanks' most brilliant performances, Noland is stranded on a remote island after a plane accident. For 2/3's of the movie, Hanks is forced to keep the audience interested with only his actions and his interactions with a volleyball named Wilson.

6) Mr. White - That Thing You Do
Synopsis: Mr. White of PlayTone Music is the new manager of The Wonders, whose hit single "That Things You Do" is climbing up the charts. But, friction between the band members soon puts an end to the magical run and the band becomes a one-hit wonder.

5) Josh Baskin - Big
Synopsis: The movie that really moved Hanks into the mainstream. Hanks plays Baskin, a 12-year old boy looking to grow up a little too fast. Making a wish on a Zoltar Machine, Baskin wakes up as an adult and is forced to figure things out on his own.

4) Forrest Gump - Forrest Gump
Synopsis: Easily one of the most quotable movies of Hanks' career. Hanks plays Gump, a man with a well-below average IQ, but even with his lack of smarts, Gump lives an extraordinary life and meets many fascinating people along the way.

3) Jimmy Dugan - A League of Their Own
Synopsis: Dugan is a retired baseball player, who during his prime was one of the greatest hitters of all-time. Drinking, however, got in the way of his playing career and he is given the chance to manage the Rockford Peaches of the All-American Baseball League - a woman's league. But it could very well be the best thing that ever happened to him.

2) Capt. John Miller - Saving Private Ryan
Synopsis: Hanks plays Miller, a school teacher who is in charge of men's lives during World War II. He is given the assignment of tracking down Private Ryan, whose three bothers had already been killed in the war. It's a gripping tale and one of the most realistic (so I'm told) war movies ever created.

1) Sheriff Woody - Toy Story
Synopsis: As stunning a career as Tom Hanks the actor has had, it's his voice work that has truly made the biggest splash. Hanks lends his voice to Woody, the jealous cowboy doll, in Toy Story. Which, along with being the first all-computer generated film in history, is also one of the best all-around movies.

Return to Basketball

I know today is supposed to be a Top 10 list day, but as of right now I haven't figured out one to post - but the day is still young, so perhaps there will be another posting later.

I did, however, have my first summer basketball game last night - and to my surprise, I didn't suck.

In my younger days (God, I sound old) I was a pretty decent basketball player. As the days have worn on, however, time to stay in shape and actually play basketball has become very thin. I have been slowly trying to lose some weight and get into shape - but it is just that, slow.

The last time I played basketball was in a pickup game at the local college - and I was horrible. My body was not ready for that type of up-and-down game. My lungs hurt, my legs hurt and my shot was WAY off.

Last night I was expecting more of the same. This is my fourth summer playing basketball, and with each first game I have come to expect that I will be knocking off rust and willing myself through the contest. A few years back I even got some dizzy spells due to my total lack of lung capacity.

As I am still nowhere near the playing ability I once possessed - my main concern is embarrassing myself in front of my much younger teammates.

The league is for anyone over the age of a high school sophomore. So basically anywhere from age 16 and up. A couple of years back, the league broke in half and an Over 30 League was started as well. As I am not quite 30 yet (a few more years) I am still supposed to be able to keep up with the 16 year olds.

I am, of course, the oldest player on my team. The next youngest, I think, is around 22. Most of these guys were in junior high when I was a senior in high school. I can honestly say that not one of them ever saw me play a high school basketball game.

But, the game was actually pretty decent - and my play was not embarrassing at all, in my opinion. I had been begging my team captain to not start me, but there I was in the starting lineup - and on one of the first few possessions I got an offensive rebound and was fouled on the shot. I missed my first foul shot (no surprise), but I drilled the second.

I only took one shot during the contest, a 3-pointer from the corner - which I nailed. So, I finished with a field goal percentage of 100%.

My defense was also pretty strong against a pretty quick guard - and one thing that hardly ever leaves me is my ability to pass the ball. That has always been my trademark, and something I am pretty proud of. I had two turnovers on passes that were just off - a lob pass to Brandon, and a bounce pass through three people that would have been sweet, but an opponent got a finger on the ball.

The young cats of the team did a superb job on the offensive and defensive ends of the court, and we won our first game of the year.

I don't get to get out too much anymore, so it was nice to be apart of the group again. And, thankfully, I am actually not too sore this morning. I will have to do some stretching and perhaps run a little, but all-in-all I feel pretty good.

We'll see what Thursday brings - our next game - but so far the team looks pretty good and the season should be fun.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Dream Team?

The United States has fallen on hard times as of late in basketball competition world wide. You can probably trace this all the way back to the original Dream Team of 1992. That was the year that 11 NBA players (and 1 college player) took the world by storm in winning gold in Barcelona.

That team, of course, consisted of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Clyde Drexler, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Chris Mullin, Charles Barkley and Christian Laettner.

The original Dream Team won each of their games by an average of over 40 points, en route to an easy gold medal victory. In doing so, however, that team may have inadvertently affected the coming years of Olympic basketball competition - you see, other countries started to model themselves after that team. Everyone wanted to be the next Jordan or Barkley. And thus, other countries started to get better.

Now don't get me wrong - I believe that the United States still harbors the best basketball talent in the world. But, getting that talent onto one team and allowing that talent to gel in time for the Olympics - pretty impossible.

The NBA season ends in June and starts again in October. For a player to play for the Olympic team, they are giving up their offseason - their time to heal. So for the past few years, the best of the best have been unwilling to do that.

Enter Jerry Colangelo, who had grown tired of the U.S. performance in the Olympics. He started a national team program - inviting a number of U.S.-born players to participate and be selected to the various teams that the U.S. will participate in, including the Olympics. This way, the stock is always deep, the players get to know each other - and no one is being added at the final minute.

Another thing that has been hurting the United States' performance has been the exclusion of the role player on rosters. Signing up 12 superstars and asking them to change their games is a difficult task, but bringing players that are known specifically for their defense, rebounding or passing could help the U.S. get over the hump.

Today, the 12-man roster was announced and here they are:

Photos (L-R): Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets), Carlos Boozer (Utah Jazz), Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors), Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets), Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic), Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat), Jason Kidd (Dallas Mavericks), Deron Williams (Utah Jazz), Michael Redd (Milwaukee Bucks), LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers), Tayshaun Prince (Detroit Pistons).

I like the roster, but my one complaint is this: the European game is driving, dishing and shooting 3's and of the 12 players listed above Michael Redd is the lone player is called a 3-point specialist. On the U.S. American Games team, Mike Miller was also available - but, this may be nothing - just wanted to point it out.

A complaint I have heard, however, is the team's lack of inside players. This team currently has three point guards, six combo guard/forwards and three bigs. An injury to any of those players could be serious, but again, in the international game bigger players mostly play on the outside. It's a more finesse game, so losing size for speed and shooters is not a big problem in my eyes.

So there you have it. The new U.S. Olympic Basketball Team. On paper they should restore the United States to gold, but we have thought that in the past as well. We can only wait and see.

Quick Rant: Olympics

The 2008 U.S. Olympic Basketball Team will be announced later today (I will have my thoughts on the team when it is announced).

The reason for this rant, however, is the recent news of WNBA basketball player Becky Hammon deciding to play basketball for the Russian Olympic Team.

I have tried to look up information on this, but I could not find any in time, so I will have to use just what I can remember. But, I remember a few years ago that Shawn Bradley - a United States citizen - played (or tried to play) for the German squad in the Olympics and there was no uproar about this.

Hammon, who plays professionally in Russia during the WNBA offseason, however has been getting some serious flack about her decision. Anne Donovan, a former basketball player and coach, has basically called Hammon a 'traitor' or 'unpatriotic' due to her decision.

My only question is this: Where was the outrage to all of the other athletes who have participated for other countries?

Hammon has stated that she only decided to tryout for the Russian squad after she had been repeatedly passed over by the U.S. Olympic team.

The main reason, in my opinion, for the outrage now is that Hammon is an outstanding player. She was one of the finalists for last season's WNBA MVP award. But, for some reason, she wasn't given a fair shake at representing her own country. So, who's at fault?

Where was the outrage when Hakeem Olajuwan - a native of Nigera - became a U.S. citizen so he could participate in the 1996 Olympics. Olajuwan earns his keep, and lives, mostly in the United States, so he should be able to become a citizen and represent his new country. But, Hammon also makes a good living in Russia - and spends a good part of her year living there. Why the hypocrisy?

The Cold War is over people. Russia is an ally of ours. Give it a rest.

If the powers that be wanted Hammon to be a part of the U.S. team, or at least would have given her a fair shot, this wouldn't even be an issue. But they didn't, and Hammon wants to be an Olympian. So she will try with another country. Will she be upset if the U.S. wins? I highly doubt that - unless of course it's against her.

So lay off the girl. She has the opportunity to take part in something magical in her life - something each one of us would love to partake in. Would she rather be waving the American flag? No doubt - but she wasn't given the chance.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Weeds: Season 1

I had recently been thinking about what exactly I am going to watch during the summer months on television.

Most of the television series that we watch are currently on summer hiatus. One of my favorite summer shows, Entourage, was pushed to September due to the writer's strike.

So, I started looking around to see what shows are being broadcast during the summer months that I might be interested in. There was a list of five possibilities, but one really jumped out at me. I had never watched it before, but had heard it was rather good: Weeds.

Weeds stars Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin. Season Four is due to start on Showtime (or has started already) and I had not seen any of the seasons. Lucky for me, Netflix currently has season 1 and 2 on Watch It Now.

So, I have just finished season 1. Nancy is a mother of two sons, who had just lost her husband to a heart attack. In order to continue their current lifestyle, Nancy must find work. She was referred to by her brother-in-law Andy (Justin Kirk) to a friend of his named Conrad (Romany Malco).

Conrad and his family are drug dealers, who help Nancy get started in the pot dealing business. Although, extremely green, Nancy begins dealing to a lot of the high-class citizens in her neighborhood, especially her CPA Doug Wilson (Kevin Nealon) and her best friend's husband Dean (Andy Milder).

The whole first season is about Nancy growing as a dealer and learning the ropes thanks to help from Conrad. It also shows her downfalls of trying to support a family, who have issues dealing with their father's death, while also learning her new career.

Parker, although I have never really noticed her before as an actress, is pretty good in the lead role. You sort of get right away that she is in over head, but must do what she can to get money for her family.

The greatest character on the show is Nealon. He is absolutely perfect in the stoner role, and his comic timing is brilliant. It's a lot like Happy Gilmore Nealon.

I am hoping to get caught up on this series so that I can watch at least most of season 4 while it is on this season. I really enjoyed the first season, although it isn't Entourage, I am definitely intrigued to see where things can go during season 2.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New Rating System

Hello blog readers. As I stated in a blog a few days ago, I have been thinking of updating my rating system. The whole 3-out-of-5 thing was just way overdone.

I am a frequent reader of Random Ramblings of a Demented Doorknob as well as Blog Cabins and both of them have come up with a ratings system that includes movie photos and/or movie quotes. So, with permission, I started thinking of quotes from films that could explain my thoughts on a movie.

And I have come up with a new ratings system of seven.

Here's how it works: every time I review a movie I will insert one of these photos at the conclusion of the review letting you know what I felt about the film.

The quotes and pictures have been added to the right side of my page, with a brief explanation. The movie picked doesn't mean I love or loathe it - for instance Wayne's World is not my favorite movie in the world, nor is 10 Things I Hate About You my least favorite, it's just that a quote in that particular film fit in that particular spot.

I hope that this makes sense to everyone - well everyone that cares. There is a possibility of changing the quote/photo if another comes to mind that might fit better - but for now, this is a good start I believe.

Thanks - c ya tomorrow.

You're 2008 NBA Champions....

There was never any doubt. The Lakers just didn't show up. It was actually quite embarrassing.

The Boston Celtics captured their 17th NBA Championship last night with a 131-92 drubbing of the Los Angeles Lakers. The worst loss in NBA history in a deciding Finals contest.

Paul Pierce was named MVP of the Finals, but I have to tell you - I would have been equally impressed with Kendrick Perkins picking up the honor. It's insane how much of a difference this guy made in the game. He missed Game 5 with a shoulder injury and Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom went off. He returns for Game 6, with his shoulder wrapped, and completely dominated the paint. It was amazing.

I guess technically there was no true MVP. The entire Boston roster at some point during the playoffs stepped up and performed. But, I guess the real honor would have to go to Kevin Garnett. As soon as the 'Big Three' were brought together it was him that truly brought the team together as one. He helped everyone embrace the defensive end (which is technically where they won the title) and shelve their egos.

Another tidbit: I don't want to hear the comparisons of Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan again. Jordan would never have allowed a team of his to be blown out in a game of this magnitude. Across the board, Kobe is no where near the player that Jordan was. In Jordan's day the game was much more physical - in today's game any bump is a foul. Kobe would have never made it in '80s or early '90s.

Of course, I didn't get to see the celebration live last night. I went to bed at halftime in order to wake up for work this morning. But, again, those on the West Coast enjoyed the game - I am sure. As long as they're happy. There is still a way to fix this, I know it. Someone needs to get working on it.

Finally, the Celtics made the greatest turnaround in a single season. The year before they won a measly 24 games and captured the title this season. The previous largest turnaround was the Blazers, who won 35 games the year before they won the title.

My main question is this: Is this good for the NBA?

Each team is allowed to carry 15 players on it's roster. The Celtics currently have just six players from last year's 24-win team (Pierce, Perkins, Rondo, Scalabrine, Tony Allen, Powe). So, they totally revamped the roster.

Granted, every team likes to go out and find a steal in free agency or in trades. But Boston shredded its entire team. Basketball, like football, has always been about building a contender through the draft and picking up small pieces to complete what you need (the San Antonio Spurs are perfect examples of this).

Baseball, however, for most teams has been about buying championships. You buy the best player for the right price to plug into your lineup and propel you to a title (Yankees, Red Sox, etc.).

But basketball has always been different. The Lakers tried this a few years ago with Karl Malone and Gary Payton (not to the Celtics extent, but still), but it didn't work. I just hope that teams don't start thinking they are a huge trade away from winning tomorrow, because the league shouldn't be like that.

A few perfect examples of how the league should work are the New Orleans Hornets and Atlanta Hawks. They have built their teams through the draft and picking up a few free agents - and are now on the brink of excellence. It's something you can be proud of - watch them mature in front of your eyes.

But, I am still very happy for the Celtics. For Garnett, Allen and Pierce. And that the Lakers and Bryant didn't capture the title.

It's great to see good people succeed. And Garnett and Allen have always been excellent human beings. People Bryant should try and model himself after.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Top 10: Syndicated Television

This is going to be a quick Top 10 list. I am pretty busy today, so this is the best that I will be able to do. Hopefully I will have more time in the future for better blogs.

Anyway, today I have chosen Top 10: Syndicated Television. Basically comedies that get me through the time before prime time, and those on late at night when I am not quite ready to fall asleep.

No synopsis this week, it's pretty self-explanatory. Comedies are basically watchable at all times, if in fact they can still make you laugh.

Here is my Top 10 list (in reverse order as always):

10) Futurama

9) Boy Meets World

8) George Lopez

7) Seinfeld

6) Two and a Half Men

5) Home Improvement

4) Family Guy

3) Everybody Loves Raymond

2) Friends

1) Scrubs