The weather was perfect last night and all day yesterday, so I could not sit in front of my television for very long. One thing I watched was part of the HBO documentary on the history of UCLA. I was hanging out with a friend who is the second biggest Bill Walton fan out there, other than myself, and we felt the joy. The exuberance. The gift of life that flows from the rivers of James Naismith’s vision. Sorry… got into my Walton zone there.
The documentary is really interesting, as it deals more with the social upheaval and political climate of the UCLA campus during the Vietnam war and the Black Panthers than basketball. It explores the philosophies of Coach Wooden, but it is the goofy genius of Bill Walton that pushes it over the top. Try to DVR it or catch it when its on. There is some pretty good basketball, shot with what looks like a super 8 camera to give it that dramatic Wonder Years feel.
In other viewing excitement, yesterday the posters for the most anticipated and feared movie of my lifetime hit the internet. CGI Transformers. I have already blended those two images together for my new desktop wallpaper, replacing a scene from 300. Hollywood, there is a lot of pressure on you to not mess this up. There is a whole generation of people like me who learned what death is from the real (cartoon) Transformers movie. Fast forward to about 4:23 into this clip if you’re emotionally capable of handling a traumatic experience.
And now for the NBA. The big news is that Kobe Bryant finally had a human night, against a team that he lit up for 60 on his recent tear. How about this quote, “They played a box, and I haven’t seen that since high school. Other than that, I was able to raise up and get good looks at the basket. It just didn’t go in for me.” What? Tony Barone made a defensive adjustment to shut down a scorer on a hot streak for the ages? I didn’t know they even practiced defensive sets in Memphis. This season is wacky to say the least. The Grizzlies got the win 88-86, getting a big night from Tarence Kinsey, who scored 24 and hit a big three late to put the game away. Rudy Gay had 20 and 12. Kobe shot 7 of 26, but the bizarre line of the night goes to Lamar Odom with 16 boards, 11 assists, and just 3 points.
DALLAS 105 NEW ORLEANS 89
Chris Paul did not have his best game, shooting 1 of 10 and the Hornets had no chance in this one. Dallas now has another streak mounting, this one is 7 games. Dirk had a flu bug or some kind of illness, and he didn’t have to play that much in this walkover. Josh Howard led the Mavs with 25 and 10.
CLEVELAND 105 INDY 94
LeBron kicked Mike Brown out of a meeting, gave a speech – perhaps warming up for hosting the ESPYs duty? – and after the game was quoted as saying “This is my team, that’s my responsibility to make sure everyone’s on course.” He is correct. Just enjoy the free courtside seat, Mike Brown. Rick Carlisle’s quotes were even better than LeBron’s, on the topic of Jermaine O’Neal putting up big numbers (32 points) in a loss again. “He’s been a horse and a warrior. He’s played through a lot and he had a mammoth game tonight.” Warrior? Mammoth? What’s with the epic language? I think Carlisle’s been playing more God of War II than me. LeBron had 27-7-6, and his son was not lying on the floor in front of the bench as far as I know, so the Viper can relax today. Cleveland has clinched a playoff berth. Tonight they are at MSG, against the Knicks, who have become the ultimate Stephon Marbury team. Great individual play from Steph, a million injuries, lots of losing, excuses and blame yet also praise to go around. My new nickname for him is Stephon Martyrbury. Think about it.
SEATTLE 114 MINNESOTA 106
Rashard Lewis got to the free throw line 17 times and hit 16 of them. Will the star treatment never end? KG nearly had a triple double with 20, 12, and 9. The T-Wolves were up by 25 in the third, and finished with a Carolina-like collapse, getting outscored 25-2. Rashard had 21 of his 35 in the fourth, and Earl Watson had a career high 24. With the win, Seattle is poised to give up some lottery balls to its rival team the Blazers. Sonics without Ray Allen or Blazers without Zach Randolph? Jeff Van Gundy was right as always. The lottery based on win-loss records is stupid. (Even if Zach’s absence is not tanking related.)