Thursday, November 27th, 2008 at 12:12 am  |  77 responses

Links: What I’m Thankful For…

Fifty reasons for an NBA fan to give thanks…

by Lang Whitaker

Today’s the day here in the USA when we gather with friends and families and give thanks for what we have. With the economy the way it is these days, we can all use a mental health break, a day to sit and reflect on what we do have, instead of what we don’t have.

I spent the last few days coming up with 50 NBA-related things I’m thankful for. My list is below. Please post your additions in the comments section.


1. Joe Johnson’s sublime dominance.

2. That I’ve never written anything bad about Adrian Wojnarowski.

3. Yao Ming’s understated fist pump celebrations.

4. How Derrick Rose plays exactly like Stephon Marbury used to play when he came into the L.

5. Robert Swift.

6. That we’re about to get two years of stories about LeBron maybe leaving the Cavs. Wait…actually, I’m not thankful for that at all.

7. That Reggie Theus was able to successfully transition from Saturday morning TV to an NBA head coaching gig.

8. That Eric Snow’s wife is threatening to become a bigger star than he ever was.

9. That Doc Rivers is quietly keeping the Celts rested…and they’re still winning.

10. That even though the Grizz aren’t winning many games, they’re by far the best League Pass team in the NBA.

11. The enduring hilarity of the ABA’s press releases.

12. How Chauncey Billups is re-proving the value of a veteran point guard.

13. As a Hawks fan, I’m thrilled that the Wizards fired their one asset who wasn’t hurt and who wasn’t underperforming — Eddie Jordan.

14. That the Lakers are finally winning without any extraneous drama.

15. How Chris Paul is showing an entire younger generation of basketball fans how a point guard can completely control a game on both ends of the floor.

16. Shaquille O’Neal.

17. That I was right about Ricky Rubio.

18. Jerry Sloan.

19. Milwaukee’s tongue-twister of a roster (Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Gadzuric, Ramon Sessions, etc.).

20. How the Suns are proving that caring about defense won’t kill you.

21. How everyone’s disappointed with New Orleans so far this year, yet they’ve still got a .615 winning percentage.

22. Watching the Knicks play games with less guys than a rec league team.

23. How a guy who can’t run or jump is still averaging over 7 points per game.

24. The thought of Zach Randolph and his crew in Los Angeles.

25. Mark Cuban proving that even he can be wrong from time to time.

26. Orlando starting 10-4 despite Dwight Howard becoming an even worse free throw shooter. How he doesn’t get fouled every time he touches the ball is beyond me.)

27. Sam Mitchell.

28. That the NBA has the best blogosphere of any sport.

29. How Andris Biedrins is reminding Bay Area hoop fans of Mr. Mean right now.

30. That the Sixers finally look to be coming around.

31. How David Stern has somehow allowed the NBA teams in the NYC area to paint themselves into a corner until 2010 at the earliest.

32. That the Cavs just might grab a title before 2010, anyway.

33. That Greg Oden, slowly but surely, is proving his worth.

34. The BETcats.

35. The L-Wolves.

36. Mr. Ping Ping.

37. The Johnny.

38. That even though ESPN has about 3 million employees and unlimited funds, Turner (NBA TV and TNT) still manages to beat them with their coverage.

39. The DDenver Nuggets dance team.

40. That I was right about that Kevin Love/OJ Mayo trade.

41. Gravy.

42. That Mario West is averaging zero made field goals per game but they still sell his jersey in the Philips Arena gift shop.

43. How Rafer Alston is no longer defined by his streetball past.

44. That the most openly conservative player in the League, Spencer Hawes, somehow ended up playing for the owners who made their fortune via gambling and alcohol.

45. That somehow Steve Francis and Stephon Marbury are two of the ten highest paid players in the NBA this season.

46. (And tied in 27th place are LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh.)

47. That my preseason predictions of LA winning the title and LeBron taking the MVP still look likely.

48. That I was completely wrong about the BETcats being a surprise team. They’re way funnier as a terrible team.

49. Marc Gasol!

50. That even though Clay Bennett might have stolen the Sonics away from Seattle, he now might go down in history as the owner of the team with the worst single-season record in NBA history.

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  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    BTW, in the picture, D-Wade’s serving the feast.

  • http://www.vincecarteronline.net JAMS

    first? secondly, why am i still up.?

  • http://www.vincecarteronline.net JAMS

    Thirdly Im thankful for Bosh bustin his @ss so far this season.

  • http://www.bothteamsplayedhard.net BothTeamsPlayedHard

    Ramon Sessions is difficult to pronounce? Sounds like a mixtape, sure, but fairly phonetic.

    Great work though. And much like The Johnny, I’m thankful for Brent Barry’s American Chopper beard.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    This was awesome to read, Lang.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Things I am thankful for in the NBA:
    I’m thankful for the good start the Knicks had this season and the play Jamal Crawford brought to our team, before he was traded away.
    I’m thankful for Zach Randolph playing incredibly well at the start of the season for the Knicks, too.
    I’m thankful for T-Mac having recuperated so quickly from his injury.
    I’m thankful for Nate Robinson, David Lee, Quentin Richardson, and Wilson Chandler busting their @sses off, regardless of how difficult the games get.
    I’m thankful for the John Starks interview.
    I’m thankful for Clyde Frazier’s rhymes.
    And also ********:
    I’m thankful for Yao Ming showing the world and SLAM that he really is the best center in the league, by dominating Dwight Howard.

  • Anton

    51. The announcers having an orgasm every time LeBron dunks

    52. Shaq constantly providing quotes in a funny attempt to appear relevant

    53. Allen Iverson

    54. Allen Iverson

    55. Allen Iverson having a legit shot at a ring

    56. The Spurs sucking

    57. The Hornets’ new jerseys – cold as ice

    58. Amare Stoudemire’s mowhawk

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Also @ Lang: What were you right about, in regards to Ricky Rubio? I’m just curious because I don’t think I’ve ever read your thoughts on him.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I’m also thankful for:
    The fact that if Dwight Howard drops 30 points and 20 rebounds, the world goes wild, but Zach Randolph will do the exact same and be called “selfish”.
    The fact that Lebron James’ shooting form looked surprisingly better when he was back in high school.

  • I am the walrus

    I’m thankful for Amare Stoudmire’s goggles.

  • http://www.mybleedingfingertips.blogspot.com/ Myles Brown

    I’m thankful for new posts to read on the train home. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    ^^^^^^^^ True that.

  • http://chodrawings.blogspot.com/2008/01/pen-and-ink-portraits-nba-basketball.html M Cho

    I’m thankful for:
    1) Artest – on and off the court
    2) No longer seeing Iverson in powder blue
    3) Sheed – its crazy, but when Shaq’s gone, Sheed will be the funny elder statesman guy with the best quotes…
    4) parity starting to return, ever so slightly between east and west
    5) Dwade being back to form
    6) BDiddy and Nash’s offseason videos
    7) the President of the United States of America is gonna get rid of that bowling alley and install a hardwood court.

  • Cliff

    I’m thankful for:
    Gary Payton and Chris Webber when TNT isn’t braodcasting games.
    On that note, the entire TNT crew.
    George Hill, Roger Mason, and Finley acting like he’s in his twenties again.
    Shaq reclaiming his good name for all Twitter kind.
    Rudy Fernandez ready for a rematch with Kobe on day one.
    Trailblazers and Spurs basketball in general really.
    And Marv Albert’s screaming orange suit waking me up for the second half on Halloween.

  • http://violetsprite.tumblr.com/ Ulee

    16a: I’m thankful Shaq is on twitter.
    51: I’m also thankful for Teddy-the-Bear 12:50 am comment (especially line 2, minus the last line bout Yao).
    52: thankful that Andrew Bynum is healthy
    53: I’m thankful for the 4 years Jamal Crawford graced New York with his presence on and off the court
    54: I’m thankful for Slamonline and also that they have a comment system that is allowing me to submit this comment I am typing.


  • Anton

    now let’s slaughter some turkeys like the Cavs slaughtered the Thunder

  • Mike

    Im thankful for VC’s latest legendary performance against the Raptors…unreal!

  • Danny

    “4. How Derrick Rose plays exactly like Stephon Marbury used to play when he came into the L.”
    Lang, what has Chicago ever done to you?

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    I’m thankful the Hawks are actually good for a change. Get well soon Josh Smith.

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    And on a more serious note I’m thankful I wasn’t in Mumbai, India last night.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    lang, that oj\love trade was obviously going to benefit memphis more

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    im thankful manu GINOBILI!!!!! is coming back.

  • http://soulbanger.tumblr.com tapion786

    i am thankful for the nets remaining at .500 due to the play of devin harris and brooke lopez.

  • http://slamonline.com/online/media/2008/10/slam-radio-the-most-unlikely-preseason-venue/ James The Balla

    co sign what!!! R.I.P to everyone who died in the attacks in Mumbai … crazy.

    And also, I am thankful for Kobe, and his skill.

    And the Lakers going for 70 wins and a title!!

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    “We’ve got to try to get better,” Hughes said. “We’ve got to try to find our chemistry. We’ve got to guard dribble penetration and we’ve got to be tougher. We’ve got to be more physical in terms of boxing out and being men.”
    I appreciate quotes like this from interim coach, Hughes for the Clippers.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Im thankful that I can co-sign no. 43.
    Also that Yao and Tmac are not injured. Yet.
    Im thankful for being able to live in a wonderful country with people that care about each-other (most of the time) and for looking old enough to drink and get into pubs without needing an I.D
    I am also thankful for looking so sexy all the time.
    I am finally most thankful for family-blood and extended- this includes the slam family *awwww shucks Hursty* :)

  • tealish

    Danny: No, you are mistaken because way back when, Stephon Marbury wasn’t a punchline. Nope, it wasn’t always this way. In fact, he was one of the league’s best at his position. Hard to believe, I know — but believe it!

  • Kieran

    the fact that Marbury and Francis are 2 of the top 10 highest paid dudes in the league is ridiculous…. seriously read that again and take it in…madness

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    I am thankful for/that . . .
    1) Kevin Garnett’s pregame rituals
    2) Brian Scalabrine
    3) Dwyane Wade actually playing . . . and dominating . . . this year
    4) Dikembe Mutombo is still in the league
    5) Jerry Stackhouse’s opponent shorts
    6) LeBron James’s classiness, on and off the court
    7) Chris Bosh’s sense of humor
    8) Baron Davis’s sense of humor
    9) The Washington Wizards’ sense of humor (wait . . . firing Eddie Jordan WASN’T a joke?)
    10) That Rajon Rondo is living up to his potential
    11) How Chauncey is changing Denver
    12) Nate Robinson’s dunks
    13) LeBron James
    14) Kobe Bryant (I hate him, but respect is necessary. And it’s no fun if he isn’t there, right? Competition is what we want)
    15) The way David Lee plays basketball
    16) The Seattle SuperSonics
    17) Paul Pierce’s voice
    18) Hibachi 2.0
    19) SLAM magazine
    20) SLAM online

    Have a good thanksgiving, y’all. :)

  • Kieran

    @tealish damn straight hard to imagine but at the time Steph was dope I remember watching him play on his birthday against Houston? dude was killin it. I seem to remember an article in Slam a few years ago that had a rookie class on the front (possibly 2001/2??) anyway there was an article about the 96 draft and if it was better than the jordan draft.Im pretty sure it ended with somethng along the lines of “and theres one player who may just change your mind on the best draft class ever ……Stephon Marbury!!!
    No one could of predicted how different Nash and Stephs careers panned out.

  • http://www.myfreesport.com LexaB

    I’m thankful for SLAM and SLAMOnline !!! Cause we wouldn’t be in the same good mood every day without you guys!!! And I’m thankful for SLAMOnline slowing down the posts during the week-end… cause that allows us to have a real social life at least two days a week :)

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    I’m thankful for our readers. Have a good one, all of you.

  • jay

    I’m thankfull for eddy curry, who can clean all the leftovers from d-wade’s feast in 0,2 seconds. Flat!

  • stokesey

    I am thankful i hav the ‘net so i can get my daily dose of SLAM instead of once a month with the magazine….

  • http://www.hoopmixtape.com Simon S.Y Lawy

    i’m thankful for been a die hard lakers fan.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    Happy thanksgiving, unfournatly you are right about 48.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    I’m thankful that Obama might change stuff.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    Im thankful baby jesus discovered the pilgrims who then discovered america where they r@ped the indians of their land and brought my people here as slaves. And Barack Obama. IM Out

  • Greedy_Genius

    I’m thankful that lakers have the best winning percentage in the league and that Kobe is still considered the best player in the league in though he’s averaging less than 30 a game.

  • http://thearcoftime.com james

    as a hawks fan myself, i am thanking that big al’s rookie season wasn’t a joke, and marvin may be living up to potential finally

  • Pep

    I’m thankful for the Links too..!
    thanks Lang, keep on going. It’s appreciated!

  • B Deezy

    im thankful that the raptors will not be taken seriously in the play-offs once again…and for court cuts on the score!!!(what’s up cabbie!)

  • Bruno

    #45 and #50… i’m really thankfulll for that.
    and you know what i’m thankfull for, more than anything???
    1) free internet sites with live games every night, cause it really sucks to live in brasil and being unable to by NBA TV!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    im hopeful we get some damn quality healthcare and education in this country. folks, were spiraling the drain.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    moose, sadly deke is not in the league. damn you daryl morey!!!!

  • Tim Dennis

    can you make me thankful and tell me the Address’ for some of them sites? please

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    -I’m thankful that of right now, my beloved Nets don’t suck as much as they thought they would. Granted, they have problems, a lot, but there is some hope for this Nets fan.
    -co-sign Lang on Shaq.
    -thankful that the Spurs had injuries to their guards, so that two other guards had the opportunity to step up, George Hill and Roger Mason make the Spurs a little less old.

  • http://where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    I’m thankful for my fam, friends, and all my fellow Slamheads who make my life a little more enjoyable each day. Thanks guys.

  • http://where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    I’m thankful that the Lakers are on their way to the best regular season record in history. 8)

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Hmm. Firing Eddie Jordan wasn’t a move to improve, it was just a scapegoating measure. He’s taken an oft injured team with essentially no front court into playoff contention for the last half a decade. Their record isn’t gonna improve, but Eddie Jordan’s too good to not be snatched up by a decent team by season’s end, I think. (How about Torontooo?)

  • http://mcbias.blogspot.com mcbias

    Nice list, Lang! I’m thankful for Slam Online, which from 2002? to 2004 or so was the NBA blogosphere for me. Slam and Slam Online does a great job covering basketball wherever it may be found, and I appreciate that.

  • Phil B

    I’m thankful for not only a new President but an awesome one. The entire Blazers organization. And that the Thunder keep losing.

  • The Ghost of Wilt Chamberlain

    I’m thankful that I’m not American so I won’t be dissappointed when Obama does nothing to improve the country and it’s international relations.

  • jmoon

    i’m thankful for the minnesota timberwolves’ basketball court. weird stuff.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ Moose

    ^You obviously aren’t informed enough about the past election. Obama will clean this up, Wilt. He’ll at least start to.^

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Tarzan, he will be before the end of the year and its not all Morey’s fault. Very little of it is actually his fault.

  • jose

    Im thankful for Flash’s return to top shape. He still needs some help tho .prefferably id go with a center

  • jose

    and shaq too.even tho he aint in miami no more.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I’m thankful for the fact that BETCATS hasn’t really p!ssed me off yet since the new season has started. Pretty surprising, actually. Good job.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I’m thankful that Chinese food is so, unbelievably delicious.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I’m thankful that its going to be Christmas in a little under a month.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I’m thankful for the fact that Shaq p!ssed all over Greg Oden, but took the courtesy to compliment Yao Ming.

  • Gaz

    JIHAD ON BETCATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nashty

    I am thankful for SLAM CHINA. I went to Beijing 2 weeks ago and SLAM costs ony about 1.3 dollar per issue there. They also have more content than a regular SLAM issue trying to mix in different cover stories and stories on Chinese players and kicks.

  • jaywhy

    im just thankful that you dont write all the articles around here

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ Moose

    Moose checkin’ in from the family’s house in Brooklyn!

  • kanye

    51.) Jerome James
    52.) Steve Nash being a leader and getting into the fight against the rockets.
    53.) Chris Bosh (i’m from toronto, so you know whats up)
    54.) Greg Oden’s fake ID
    55.) DJ Mbenga

  • goat

    I’m thankful for poppa and son Colangelo, who have brought Team USA and the Toronto Raptors back to respectability on their own levels in the past few years. Losing on home soil in the world championships in ’02 was the low for the red, white and blue (even though they suited up a chubyy Vin Baker, they still lost to a young Ginobli and company….somehow). Right around the same time, it was very depressing as a Raptor fan too. Chris Bosh was still in high school (or maybe at Georgia Tech), and Vince spent half his time all iced up on the bench, and the other half moping around on the court and tapping into about 50% of his capability (and he admitted it when he left town!).

    There must have been a really nice Mrs. Colangelo out there somewhere, keeping these fellas on track, so I’m thankful for her too.

  • Samcobillibob

    what about KG?!?!!

  • http://heavyasheaven.blogspot.com Kid Presto

    Thankful that everyone is starting to realize that Darren Collison is the most overrated point guard in college basketball. (CB edition)

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Thankful that BET has a new site. hibachi!

  • King David

    im thankful A.I. is on a contender

  • Samcobillibob

    Im thankful for KG and his never-ending Superbadness

  • http://where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    I’m thankful that Charles Barkley had the balls to speak on LeBron when no one else would.

  • jrp14

    I’m thankful lebron said that about Charles when everyone thought it as soon as he said shut the hell up. All lebron has ever said is that when 2010 comes then he’ll worry about it, just stick to sayin funny/idiotic things chuck…wait I guess that kinda was that

  • vegas

    Im glad that Williams is back Boozers out and the blazers are doing good

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Devin Harris is establishing himself as one of the league’s premier point guards. He is really blossoming this season. One day he will be a top 5 point guard, if he isn’t already becoming one.