The Phantom City

Notes from our travels across a mysterious world.

Category: Basketball (page 1 of 4)

But the memories still haunt him…

Gerald Henderson moves on:

The Duke sophomore guard said he has moved on in the 11 months since 21,750 Tar Heels basketball fans and millions watching on television saw him break North Carolina star Tyler Hansbrough’s nose trying to block a shot at the end of UNC’s 86-72 victory.

In other news, I’ve moved on after my experiments as a child sent dozens of ants to their deaths in the jaws of hungry ant lions, Bobby Knight has moved on from slapping a police officer, and Microsoft has moved on from trying to crush all competition.

The two players had played against each other in AAU tournaments but didn’t really know each other before that call. When Henderson apologized, Hansbrough was “pretty cool about it” and told Henderson he knew he wasn’t trying to hurt him.

Oh, wait, that’s right. It’s usually the victim who “moves on,” not the perpetrator. Hmm, funny that. 😉

3 AM Curfew?

Jamaal Tinsley — point guard for the Indiana Pacers and apparently a bad person to party with — and his entourage were shot at after leaving a club around 3:30 AM, possibly with a .223 assault rifle. ESPN paraphrases Pacers’ coach Jim O’Brien with “Tinsley made an error in judgment by being out so late.”

Wow, so the real problem is that after around 3 AM, the streets of downtown Indianapolis are crawling with gunmen looking for cars to shoot? He would have been fine if he went home earlier? Dang, now I’m really glad we didn’t move there. 🙂

In other sports news, ex-Falcons QB Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in jail for dogfighting. According to the AP, Falcons owner Arthur Blank called the sentencing “another step in his legal journey.” I guess the next step is finding a prison girlfriend? Or maybe it’ll be like My Name is Earl, and he’ll solve prison problems while getting certificates for time off?

Coincidentally — maybe — today’s featured article on Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org, at least) is the Brown Dog affair.

Original Brown Dog Statue

Too much pedestal, not enough dog.

Who’s Number One?

Good times each year to see how useless media consensus really is in the sports world include the two drafts that count (NFL and NBA) and the playoffs of various sports. We’ve got the NBA Draft up tonight, and there appears to be two great players. Which one should go first to the Portland Trailblazers?

Greg Oden. Even though Kevin Durant looked better his freshman season than Oden, and has an NBA-ready game, you don’t get a chance for the combination of size and athleticism Oden supplies very often, particularly when it’s already proven on the highest level of college basketball. (This ain’t Kwame Brown or Andrew Bynum. Who both play for the Lakers. That makes me smile.) Durant’s likely to be a great player, but there might be someone like him available next year. That isn’t likely for Oden.

So, what’s happening? For a while, I kept seeing commentary after commentary about Oden as the presumptive #1 pick. Then I started to see sportswriters switching over to Durant…after all, he was a great player in college, can make an impact right now, and the Blazers need a small forward. C’mon, in most cases those recommendations have nothing to do with Durant’s qualifications; they have a lot to do with wanting to write something new and different from everyone else. Here’s a lesson: It’s almost impossible to be contrarian nowadays. Too many blogs and too many other writers specialize in it. Just write what you think.

Anyway, it’s not like it’s the worst choice in the world. You’re not looking at Sam Bowie getting picked before Michael Jordan; at worst, you’re likely to be looking at Akeem Olajuwon being picked before Jordan.

By the way, check out the NBA Draft tonight. For one thing, you might actually know who some of the players are, thanks to the new age limit. For another thing, there will likely be more talented drafts, but none more talented by design. The age limit pushed two entire classes of players together for one draft. And yet, somehow, Josh McRoberts is still going to go in the first round. 😉

Update: Oden went number 1. Stuart Scott just asked him “Who looks older: You or LeBron James?”

Yes, Attending a NBA Game is Exciting

I’ll agree this sounds strange, particularly as the first paragraph in an article about sports:

It’s easy to discount the spiritual impact of basketball crowds if you haven’t attended a playoff game with special fans before. There’s no way to understand it unless it definitely has happened to you. Then you know. As strange as this sounds, it’s like a woman being unable to tell whether she’s ever had an orgasm. If she thinks it might have happened, or it felt like it kind of happened one time … it didn’t happen. When it happens, they know. Then they feel stupid for all the other times when they thought it had happened.

Thank you, Bill Simmons, for your insight and sensitivity. 😉

Link courtesy of Kissing Suzy Kolber.

Imagine the recruiting standards

Apparently the University of Minnesota has turned down new men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith’s bid to hire Jimmy Williams as an assistant coach. The reasoning?

…Williams was on Bill Musselman’s staff during the period of 1971 to 1975 when the program was penalized by the NCAA for a number of violations.

Okay…I’m a huge fan of high standards when it comes to hiring coaches. Coaches have a lot of influence over the student-athletes under their tutelage, and their decision-making when it comes to who to recruit has an impact beyond the basketball court.

That being said — and since I’m too lazy to look it up — I’m not sure what kind of NCAA violation should keep you from getting a job 32 years later. Is treason listed?

Barton 77, Winona State 75

Wow. I was surprised when I flipped to CBS, expecting to see a Division I game, and saw Barton College playing in the Division II Men’s Basketball Championship. Even though they were five points down to Winona State, the defending national champion, with a couple of minutes left, it’s not every day you get to see a small school down the road — Wilson, NC — playing on national TV.

I’m glad I caught it. Barton fell to seven points behind with 50 seconds left, and then senior point guard Anthony Atkinson, who grew up in Wilson, commenced the best clutch performance that anyone is likely to see at any level this month. Atkinson scored 10 points and made almost every defensive play during those final seconds, including a breakaway layup as time expired to win the game for Barton. That kind of effort was fairly common during the tournament for Atkinson, who apparently just wanted to keep playing.

Update: Video of the final few minutes.

Takei on Hardaway

Hee hee hee… 🙂

Courtesy of PeterDavid.net.

Mysterious Keywords of The Phantom City

When you’re redesigning navigation on a site, one of the important tasks is to assess your most successful outside search keywords — those that keep people around the longest — to see what terminology your visitors use for your content.

For instance, looking at my search stats, I should have a Jackie Manuel section, dedicated to one of the greatest defensive basketball players in UNC history. Why is my site a frequent destination for Jackie Manuel searchers? Because I wrote an article in 2005 about Jackie going to a NBADL team that comes up third in Google’s search for “Jackie Manuel.”

That was the highest I’d seen my site rank in Google for any search terms that weren’t directly related to the words “Phantom City,” up until today. As of this moment, I am now the number one search result for…

…drum roll…

Snoopy vs. Osama

I have to assume they were looking for this. I don’t want to know why.

By the way, Jackie, congratulations. It looks like you’re doing well.

Update: More information on the Royal Guardsmen and their history of singing Snoopy-related songs.

UNC’s Jackie Manuel playing again

Looks like he’s on the Chicago Bulls summer league team, with Luke Schenscher and Not The Jason Williams. Go, Jackie!

Update: Jackie scored 7 points in 9.5 minutes yesterday against the Pacers.

David Noel to Milwaukee Bucks

Looks like senior leadership counts for something after all. 🙂

We’ll be pulling for you, David!

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