Forty Deuce is back up in this piece, and he's lookin' to waste a little of your time w/ some quick hitting links and some random grumbling and rumbling. So please turn up your volume and lets start off strong w/ one of my favorite links to get you prepared.
I'm really glad they finally started the NBA Finals. When did Marc Jackson start talking funny all the time? I noticed alot more accent, kinda like they voiced over him w/ Kenny Smith or something.
Watched quite a bit of the game, and after reading JT's column yesterday, I came to realize that I like the Spurs and dislike the Cavs! I used to think I hated Tony Parker because he was a Frenchy (born in Belgium). But now I really respect his uncanny ability to score in the paint at his size. And although the Big Fundamental's whining bugs me on occasion, I really do find myself pulling for him. And I've come to realize and accept why he was selected #1 in the 1997 NBA draft, and I somehow failed to be contacted by any teams. I will maintain that I'd have been a way better investment than Olivier Saint-Jean (aka the original Frenchy, aka Tariq Abdul-Wahad). Isn't that guy still getting paid by the Mavs? Or are the Nuggets still payin' him? Bet he could bench 185 back in 97', and that's what sold him to the Sacramento Kings.
FYI- Jacque Vaughn will always be a spazz. Scott Pollard, Drew Gooden, and Daniel Gibson are just way too annoying to be placed on the same team. It has to be the Kansas and Texas thing?
I listen to a little sports radio in the afternoons. Normally I'll listen to Dan Patrick, Scott and All - Off the Hook, and then toggle between Doug Gotlieb's - The Pulse, and Irv & Joe...now w/ Jim 'Okaaay' Armstrong too. Anyhow, I was listening to a FOD and heard him say that Kevin Durant couldn't bench 185 lbs. once. Did I hear that right? How's a skinny dude like that gonna survive in the Association for 82 games (and w/ the Sonics, I'm not even gonna worry about the playoffs). I know he's got long arms or whatever, but come on, 2 plates and a couple quarters, and you can't bounce that off your chest once? To be fair, Greg Oden didn't even attempt to bench due to his previously injured wrist. So it does say something that Durant attempted it at all.
My honest opinion on this is that I think it's a little suspect. Yes, we're talking about a 19 year old kid who's 6-9 and 215 lbs. w/ a crazy condor-like wingspan of 7-4. And it sounds like Kevin Durant has a tremendous work ethic and is genuinely a good person from articles and comments I've come across. There's no question that he's the 2nd pick in the draft. The individual numbers he put up over the course of his only season in the Big XII were nothing short of amazing.
It must be noted that the Big XII wasn't really that tough last year, but Durant did put up really good numbers against T. A&M, KU, and OSU. He played 35 games last year, and suffered some minor injuries over the course of the season. Now he's gonna be playing every night against guys just as long/quick/tall and he'll be giving up 20-40 lbs. to them. They still allow moving screens and some physical contact in the NBA, so I think he's gonna have a hard time rebounding and getting shots around the paint. With 10's of millions of $'s in his bank account after being the second pick, and having endorsements, I'm supposed to expect him to become more motivated? Right now I'm predicting season 1 for Durant to be a more Morrison-like (sans the mustache) 12-14 ppg. 4-5 reb. & under 37% FG% in a more Camby-like 63 games played.
But damn, he goes to Texas, and he doesn't know that he's gotta work out for teams, and that the weight room is kind of important? Several sources mentioned that this happened to TJ Ford as well? Isn't that more reason for Texas to correct that issue w/ a little bench press training? I mean really? He would probably be pressing 225 a few times if he spent any time on the weight bench at all. And the Sonics (as they did w/ Robert Swift), will prepare Durant for the wear and tear of an NBA season as well as they know how. Maybe the bench press isn't totally relevant to the evaluation of a basketball player. And it certainly doesn't have anything to do w/ basketball knowledge and skills. It's frankly a measure of strength and conditioning.
It raises a red flag that Durant wasn't willing to invest that time to improve in that area. And wise coaches and GM's will take note of this miniscule detail because we're talking about a possible make or break move for an entire franchise. I mostly blame Rick Barnes for everything related to this because it appears that he's not a very good coach (X's and O's, as well as in preparation for the NBA). Any recruits reading this please take note! Jeff Bzdelik worked 17 seasons in the NBA and he is the most qualified person in the college game today to prepare you for a basketball career after college. Consider Colorado, please, just come for a visit and see for yourself.
Label me a 'hater' or whatever, but I question whether Durant can play 82 games next season, I predict that he'll hit the wall and be susceptible to injury. This probably works out fine for the Sonics because they're used to having lots of injuries over the course of a season. Do you think they'll resign Rashard Lewis? Cause I see Durant being the same sort of player, or maybe like Marvin Williams w/ a better perimeter game.
Todd Jones is 39 friggin' years old, and Treavor Hoffman is older than that! Throw in Mariano Rivera and Bob Wickman, and you've got a quartet of old-ass closers. Add the oldest Japanese closer known to man in Takashi Saito (37) and I don't know what that says? Add up all those saves 15 + 17 + 6 + 10 + 16 and you've got 66 saves on 6/6/07. Figure in Al Reyes, Tom Gordon and Alan Embree 14 + 5 + 5, and you've got 90 saves and 20% of the 448 saves in mlb to date were made by guys 37 or older. I don't even know what to say about that?
This is a bad sign for any player, see if you can recognize what's wrong w/ this picture. Check out the player page for former Nugget, current Sun, and all-world practice player Nikolotz Tskitishvili. What happened to the Skitish?
JT made some amazing points with his last few observations on the basketball scholarships that have not been renewed by coach Bzdelik up at Colorado. This could really be its own column so I won't say much else on the subject right now. Otherwise, Quick Hits would move past 15,000 words and classify as printable bathroom reading material. And you can't really do that w/ links now can you?
Still searching for that Pyramid Curveball Seasonal Brew at Colorado liquor stores. You may or may not remember my link to it in the first edition of Quick Hits. Since then I've learned that my peeps in Iowa are drinkin' it regularly. Now, I thought Colorado had a little more beer variety than Iowa, but I must be sorely mistaken. I've checked Santa Fe Spirits, Wine Sellers, and a couple places online, and so far, NADA. But that won't deter me, I'll let you know when I hunt it down, or else break down and order some online.
Speaking of beers, I really liked the idea set forth on the Slushy Gutter site. The article is titled: There's No 'I' in Team (or Beer) If they are coming up a little short of the 5,280 beers, I'd be happy to help out!
Well, as long as this is turning into a beer drinkin' post I might as well give a shout out to the Bent River Brewing Co. in Moline, Illinois. Had a couple of their beers at some Midwest League minor league baseball games, and I must say, "That's some good stuff." And kudos to the Quad City Swing for having it flowin' at the ballpark, and for mixin' it up nightly w/ a different 'Get Bent' brew.
Well, I've surpassed my word limit on this entry and this can no longer be defined as 'Quick' so I'll sign off and begin accumulating more random thoughts. Please check back for more Homer wisdom.