Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Reaffirming Our Faith... Loving the Players, Hating Their Games

We're keeping a concerned but distant eye on tonight's game against the Hawks via NBA.com's Live Stat Tracker. We can't make it back to the crib with League Pass so here we are online Christmas shopping and watching...

Needless to say, the 0-2 Turkey Day weekend has lessened our zeal to motivate to the F train, but Yao did show some signs of life in Chicago dropping 30 on the Bulls Saturday night. We thought boycotting the game might effectuate this kind of response. Yao knows when we're not watching and it gets him pumped, but not enough to get the W.

My girl, Dot, keeps repeating Jake Gyllenhaal's line, "I wish I could quit you!" from the upcoming movie adaptation of Brokeback Mountain. She likes the book but finds the delivery of those words hilarious. And herein, we find the sentiment fitting. Sometimes, we wish we could quit the Rockets... but we know we can't.

Here's the problem... we like the Rockets. We like this team, this group of guys.

They're veterans for one... who at least try to adhere to Van Gundy's system
. David Wesley would have been a prize fighter 30 years ago. Less Ali than Frazier, stocky and powerful, full of heart with a dome made for headbutting. He would have been the underdog hero of America's dispossessed. The son of Rick, Jon-boy, has got the savvy and flair that makes him every fan's favorite--just ask Sacramento and Detroit. Deke Mutombo the consummate professional... Juwan Howard the same... Bobby Sura... heart... and Ryan Bowen... every team needs a Ryan Bowen. Even Luther Head has the kind of game and facial expressions to be a truly beloved fan favorite.

Then there's Yao... who this off-season quietly negotiated his contract extension without even dangling his talents elsewhere trying to up his worth. He actually displayed... loyalty.

So they're not athletes.

They embody the work ethic, ball IQ and integrity that critics say is missing in today's NBA. Honorable gentlemen all of them, and thusly, they're 3-11. So what does that say about today's NBA?

What does it say that we'd give them all away, guiltily, ashamedly but eagerly nonethless, for one crazy-ass Ron Artest?

Maybe we don't deserve these Rockets... these gentlemen of the hardwood. So-called fans gripe about the purity of the game, its degradation, its corruption, its celebration of stars over team pl
ay, and yet here we have a real team, who by all accounts get along like family on and off the court, and they can't win. Over on Detroit's Free Darko, they have a saying, "Love the Player, Hate the Game..."

Like Motown itself, we second that emotion.

But with all that said, we counted the days until T-Mac's return. Ten. Without him, the Rockets are like Devastator without the headpiece, going nowhere. Unlike the entire city of Houston (or what seems like it), we haven't lost faith, not in Yao, not even in Derek Anderson... yet. Swift and Skip on the other hand... the grip is slipping.

Surely, with Mac back tonight, we can beat the Hawks?

Oh wait, page refresh, we won...

Friday, November 25, 2005

Latrell Sprewell Is Still Not in a Rockets Uniform (Day 2)

Latrell is watching you. And wondering why his rims aren't on your ride.

Lakers make their bid for Spree.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays...

Since we can't be home for the holidays--in fact, we're headed to my girlfriend's parents' house for Thanksgiving Dinner... which should be... interesting--we here at Globetrotter have decided to honor some of our hometown hardwood heroes in a little where are they now...

The Glide is the original Gulf Coast Legend, the pride of Sterling High. And now after a brief stint having it up to here with knuckleheads and NBA spawn George Gervin, Jr. and Moses Malone, Jr. at U of Hou, Clyde's found a nice cushy desk job as the new color commentator on FSN Houston next to good 'ol Bill Worrell. Hope he fares better than predecessor and fellow hall-of-famer Calvin Murphy.

It's no secret that we love TJ, Mo City's finest. Though he's slowed down a bit from his fast start, we stand by our prediction that he will make Milwaukee a playoff team this year, that is if he stops risking another spill trying to dunk all the damn time. We've seen it, we have video of it... please stop scaring the hell out of us.

'Shard is solid, despite our personal biases, and we do shake our collective heads every time we remember that the Rockets passed on him for Mirsad Turkcan. But he's the pride and joy of Alief and touts a fanclub full of little white girls (click here, here and here). To be honest, we always thought his Elsik teammate Shea Whiting was a better forward. But what do we know? At least now, we can say anyone he dunks on got "'Sharded on."

The second half of Mo City's finest backcourt and TJ's prep-mate in the Eagles' silver and blue, Daniel Ewing played the four in high school. But he's getting solid minutes now, showing a little bit of that Duke shooting touch in LAC, backing up Houston's favorite Alien.

DJ's got a sweet deal. Just sit back, hit open jumpshots, collect a paycheck. He doesn't even have to handle the ball like he couldn't do in last year's Eastern Conference Finals. That's what Lebron's for--to do everything. But it's just not sweet enough. DJ does his best TO.

This is Jake Voskuhl. Jake went to Strake Jesuit in Houston, a private school that supposedly breeds basketball players, but Jake is the only one to turn pro. Jake was a softy in high school and we enjoyed throwing floaters over his head. He was a good passer though, good enough to be a throw-in for teammate and All-American prep-star Mike LeBlanc to sign with UConn. Voskuhl would help lead the Huskies to a National Championship. As for LeBlanc... we have no idea.

Got Milk?'s 2004-05 Rookie of the Year, the Prince of Bellaire put up solid numbers last year, and with Sean May and Gerald Wallace, Charlotte's front court is looking a little decent. Funny anecdote: One of Train's friends back in Houston, we'll call him George, went to Bellaire High with Emeka. Every summer, Bellaire hosts HYCAC, a Chinese-American Christian youth basketball tournament. It's half-court 3-on-3, nothing special, but every team is allowed one non-Asian player. George chose good buddy Emeka. Needless to say, they won the tournament.

Here's a recent chat with Emeka... you can hear about his experiences on Wheel of Fortune, what video game he plays and why he hasn't opened his iPod yet.

According to ESPN, The Little Green Monster hasn't touched the hardwood yet. And he would have last night, had he not gone and hurt himself again showing off for the Lil' Phunk dancers.

For all you concerned fans, especially Eagle Cheng out there serving our country somewhere, no, Ndudi Ebi is not dead, though the Houston Chronicle likes to make it sound like he is.

We haven't been able to track down Ansu Sesay... he was the first basketball star we knew, taking his Willowridge team (yes, the same Willowridge that produced TJ Ford and Daniel Ewing, and Thurman Thomas for that matter, they're prolific) to their first State Championship and effectively crushing our freshman hopes of advancing in the playoffs. We haven't been able to find him on an NBA roster (we're a little lazy on Turkey day), but someone in Sierra Leone wishes he would return to his roots.

The most memorable thing about Alton Ford was hearing about him in high school. The Milby alum and former Texas High School Player of the Year was 6' 9" 260 lbs... when he was 14. After brief stints in the NBA, he has since been waived by the Polish as well. The Polish... that can't be good for the soul.

Happy turkey stuffing, folks... if that's what you're into. We'll holler.

Clyde pic courtesy of www.chez.com

Latrell Sprewell is Still Not in a Rockets Uniform (Day 1)

We have nothing to say about last night's game.

Spree is still not in a Houston Rockets uniform despite widespread discussion that he would be a suitable fit, despite his past with Jeff Van Gundy who has always liked him, and despite a likely starting position at small forward/shooting guard.

Perhaps it's because he and agent Bob Gist are completely delusional.

Why haven't the Rockets even talked to Spree yet? The Mavericks, Magic and Heat have all lost interest.

Come on, Spree. Take the midlevel. For the children... do the Rockets even have a midlevel?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Head in Fear Despite Mavs Laying Down on D

Ah hell, it wasn't so bad. It was actually an entertaining game. The Rockets showed a little heart out there finally. Head had his best game... Anderson, too. Swift showed some signs of something... until late. Moochie got some minutes and contributed. I think we still love Moochie.

But we'll always love Jon Barry... and hope he never gets discouraged throwing ridiculous alley-oop passes in traffic despite both Swift and Yao blowing them.

They started Head... like we suggested... and Derek Anderson came out of his shell... as we believed he would. But Yao, on the other hand, was Yao... he's really kinda making this hard on us. But keep the faith. Mo' City's already lost.

Luther Head played well and has a good attitude, but what we saw was a guy that has never had to play point guard in his life. He's not a natural ball-handler--maybe I'm spoiled out here in New York where every five-year-old can put it between your legs and bounce it off your ass--but Head dribbles like he's trying to get away from a court full of flesh eating zombies... But I'd still rather have him starting at the point than anyone else.

Mavs win 102-93 without Stackhouse and Van Horn (who Duke maintains is poison).

Other notes:

Early in last night's broadcast on NBATV, Dallas commentators reported that Bob Sura will not be returning due to back surgery to repair a ruptured disc. And there may be a reason why Rafer Alston's been in slo-motion after all.

Anyone see Stromile Swift hoist (and subsequently airball) a three-pointer late in the fourth when the Rockets were trying to make a run? We call this stupidity based on fear of failure/success... Here's how you do it: throw up a shot that is completely beyond you because taking a shot within your range and missing it would mean you failed... but make the impossible shot and you're a hero... miss it and well, you were never supposed to make it. Airball it, and you get a nice comfy spot on the bench next to Patrick Ewing.

Suns in Houston tonight... ESPN 7:30p

(AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Yao Watch '05-'06: Yao... Who Me?

............... So... uh... it's been awhile since our last post... because...

Well... we've had a hard time coping with what is growing increasingly factual, that the Rockets are awful. Derek Anderson and Rafer Alston are fool's gold so far... fool's copper anyway. I knew Skip wasn't fast, but he just looks slow out there. Anybody see the sequence in the Spurs game last week when Skip picks Tony Parker's pocket and races for the layup only to have Parker beat him down court and virtually take the ball back from him. It was almost like when Parker essentially pantsed Rod Strickland twice in a row last year in the fourth quarter en route to a Spurs victory.

We've never been fans of Parker though we do like his speed. Actually, we like his arrogance, too. But that's because we enjoy mocking him... Duke does a dead on impression... hilarious... and off the subject...

The subject is Yao Ming. Duke's talking trade--which is ridiculous, Duke's NBA is a personal rotisserie, but even the consideration is telling. Is it time to throw in the towel on Yao?
My brother Train in Houston admits that the hush hush on the Gulf coast is that most fans had given up on Yao last year. Even The Cavalier at YAYbasketball couldn't resist officially losing faith in our demi-god. We've had a roundtable discussion and some conference calls and this is what we came up with...

  • It's not time to give up on Yao. Remember that run during the second half of last season? It wasn't that just that his numbers were good--everyone knows his numbers are decent--he was a presence. Granted, he couldn't bring it into the playoffs, but it was still a nice run. Right now, he's a ghost. T-Mac should sit until he's 100% (and if he's gonna look like he did against Detroit). I don't even know if he's gonna play in tonight's game. I didn't bother to check, but he shouldn't. Yao needs tough love--some time without Mac will put the onus on him to be a leader and a presence.
  • Despite his complete lack of confidence in himself. We're not ready to give up on Derek Anderson either just yet. But Sura... get well soon.
  • How about a look at Earl Watson who's unhappy in Denver. We'd probably have to give up Ryan Bowen or Juwan Howard. We need Howard. Old and slow as he is, he's a pro. He gives all he can night in and night out. And Stro' still looks like a little boy out there who's lost his lollipop. In the meantime, start Luther Head at point. Like everyone else in Houston, we love Head.
  • Lastly, T-Mac is at his best with a good wingman... literally. He was never better than when he had Mike Miller as his sidekick... they can't get Mike Miller... but there is Latrell Sprewell. Yea, he's an old fart, but Spree can take up the slack on the scoring end when Mac's out and he could still be a good defender. And he's played for Van Gundy before.
One or all of these things may not be likely or even a fix, but they would be more interesting than watching David Wesley try to push the ball up in a one man fast break... God love him, he tries...

So Spree... keep calling. We need you. Your kids need you.
Rockets @ Dallas... where are the Hawks when you need them... 8:30p EST

Tony Parker courtesy of
Cyrille Grobost Blog

We're Bonafide!

After getting blurbs about our Yao coverage and the Luther Head fanclub from YAYbasketball!, we've been asked to join the YAYsports! BPR. Week 3 Rankings are up.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Game Follows Through On Flight of Fancy, Wasn't Kidding After All

Rapper, The Game, has bought a significant percentage of the ABA Inglewood Cobras and has named himself the starting shooting guard, effectively emulating and consummating the hopes and dreams of every overweight desk-bound fantasy leaguer with a chip still on his shoulder from getting cut off his high school team.

We know, we know... Michael Jordan was cut from the Varsity, too.

But it's a benevolent deed for The Game--who shared the backcourt with Baron Davis in high school--and he intends to make the most of the team, giving locals the chance to fulfill their dreams in the NBA and getting a little run for himself. You'd do it too if you could. I would anyway.

McGrady Decides Once Is Enough

T-Mac toyed with the idea of another 13 in 35 comeback, hitting a couple of improbable threes late, but ultimately he felt the Spurs had seen enough last year...

It's no secret, Big Shot Bob's distaste for Houston after the trade to Phoenix, but honestly, we never wanted you to leave... you were our hero, and we always wanted you back. But if you don't come home, can you stop hitting such timely threes against us all the damn time? For the fans...

Rockets lose 86-80.

Shit, Pistons tonight... are you serious?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Everybody Loves Head

My brother Train down in Houston got wind of this a few days ago and has been lobbying for a Houston based fan club ever since. All I could find was an alluded fan club during his Illini days. Then there was this t-shirt on eBay. But dAGO's comment on Train Deux shows how Head's come on in H-town:

I went to a Rockets preseason game last month. We were up by 15 points late in the 3rd qtr. and Luther Head had yet to see any playing time. All of the sudden a large echo of fans began chanting " WE WANT HEAD, We want head!". Van Gundy didnt realize the humor behind it until after one of our players kindly explained what the underlying meaning was. I agree, I will be buying a Head jersey in the near future.

Posted 11/16/2005 at 2:28 PM by misterdAGO
There's a self-annointed "President of the 'I Love Head'" fan club somewhere on Clutchfans.net.

Rockets in San Antonio tonight... 9:30p EST

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

TJ Tracker '05-'06

Clips-Bucks last night... reunion time... Cassell v. Milwaukee, Maggette hollers at Bobby Simmons, TJ reunites with fellow Willowridge HS alum D Ewing... TJ's lack of size again exploited in final minutes... Clips' best start in franchise history... blah blah blah... TJ FLUSHES CHRIS KAMAN!!!

Ewing finally gets double figures... maybe we should consider a Ewing watch.

T-Mac Saves

T-Mac does it again. Howard attempts new DDT hold. Rockets don't win so much as Timberwolves lose says Minnesota. Despite Mark Madsen's best petit jete, Swift still doesn't make a Sportscenter Top 10?

(AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

Monday, November 14, 2005

Fists of Fury... They're Back!!!

The Backdorm Boys are back.

YAYbasketball!'s favorite Rockets fans bring you another fine rendition of a Backstreet Boys classic. And homeboy is still playing Counterstrike...

Rashard Lewis Will Leave You Hanging...

It's always hard to say good things about Rashard Lewis because we played against him in high school and the rivalry, though somewhat one-sided, was a bitter one. We hated Rashard Lewis... and we laughed when we knocked him out of the playoffs his sophomore year and he sat crying to himself on the bleachers. We laughed hard and full. But who's laughing now?

got a bit of the Derrick McKey syndrome (anybody remember Casper?). Despite occasional god-like numbers--did anyone else know he dropped 50 once against the Clips?-- he has a tendency to disappear, but last night he dropped 40 on the Raps. Not too shabby... rebound numbers are down though. Yea, we can't let it go.

Raef LaFrentz is Not Retired

Rockets lose. Rockets lose...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

T-Mac Is Our Personal Savior

Sites we love to read like YAYbasketball! and The Get Buckets Brigade have never had any problem puttin' their beloved on a pedestal. So we here must also stake our claim.

We annoint T-Mac our God and Savior... and Yao our demi-God. Feels like the Middle Ages.

Rockets win. Rockets win.

Thanks to the students at the Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana (?) for our shrine.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Yao Watch '05-'06: Yao Tires, Rockets Lose... Again

Yao's mad as hell and can't take it anymore... Stro' and Jon Barry are afeared.

In the 3 losses since T-Mac has been injured, Yao has been called out to carry the load.. . obviously. The chubby oracles of TNT have agreed: Yao must dominate these games for the Rockets to reach the next level.

While Yao has put up good numbers (20 and 10 so far this year), admittedly, he hasn't exactly dominated. But he looked good last night, effectively dominating the first half, keeping the Rockets ahead, and even throwing it on Zo (obviously still reeling after Vince's how's-your-father).

But like the rest of the Rockettes, he disappeared in the 4th. He looked tired, but they stopped going to him for most of the fourth, even when he had position, only giving it to him late in the shotclock and further from the basket. You almost get the feeling his teammates don't trust him in the clutch...

And they will be Rockettes until daddy T-Mac returns.

On a lighter note... Yao makes the cover of Time Asia. Included on the website is an excerpt from Operation Yao Ming by Brooke Larmer:

"The faint whispers of a genetic conspiracy coursed through the corridors of Shanghai No. 6 Hospital on the evening of Sept. 12, 1980. It was shortly after 7 p.m., and a patient in the maternity ward had just endured an excruciating labor to give birth to a baby boy. An abnormally large baby boy."

More conjecture?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Yao Watch '05-'06: Yao Bears Suspicious Growth Under Chin

It's been around since the preseason, but no one seems to want to say something about it. I think its, its... it looks like a... a beard? Put it to a vote--does he look gangsta? Is the shameful Houston Asian community influencing him?

Pics courtesy of YaoMania!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Bucks Bid for Undefeated Season Stymied by Davis and The Warriors

BD took it to TJ last night and handed the Bucks their first lost, effectively putting an end to any speculation of an undeafeated season. Well, there's always the playoffs.

Franchise Comes Home... Leaves Burning Suspiciously Foul-Smelling Bag At the Door

Stevie comes home and gives 27 brown-bagged points to the Rockets. Skip puts up a good line (8 pts, 9 asts, 7 rebs) but its not enough. Yao only gets 4 rebs.

Franchise was booed during his introduction and every time he touched the ball, so the separation's gotten a little spicy since he was outplayed by Bobby Sura in last year's homecoming.
"I really enjoyed the win," Francis said. "It was a great victory, especially against the Rockets."

I've mentioned in the past that I would have been perfectly happy if the trade never happened. But with that said...

Tracy come back. Rockets are 1-2.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

TJ... P.O.W.!

The pride of Mo' City makes Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Some highlights from NBA.com:

Nov. 1 at Philadelphia
: Tallied 16 points, a career-high 14 assists and nine rebounds as the Bucks defeated the Sixers 117-108 in overtime.
Nov. 2 at New Jersey: Recorded a career-high 21 points, six assists and four rebounds in a 110-96 win over the Nets.
Nov. 5 vs. Miami: Had a double-double of 13 points and 11 assists, as well as five rebounds in a 105-100 win over the Heat.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Just One More NBA Prediction...

The Bucks of Mil-a-wau-kee will be the surprise team of the East--this year's Baby Bulls if you will. TJ, Mike Redd, new acquisitions Bobby Simmons, Jamaal Magloire and vets Mo Williams and Toni Kukoc off the bench... solid. And then there's this guy...

Friday, November 04, 2005

Fists of Fury... Battlegrounds Reprise

We've liked Darren Jiang since the very first episode of MTV's latest Nike Battlegrounds show hosted by Lebron James... how could we not? Anyone so authentically surprised and appreciative for making the best-of-the-best NYC amateur squad only gets love from us.

Now inside information (okay, DJ's Battlegrounds blog) has informed us that he will be teaming up with LBJ again for a promotional online conference with 1.3-sum-odd fans in China--or at least the 40 with internet access. Don't forget to tell them to remember you when those All-Star ballots start coming around like Gilbert Arenas last year.

Kubrick World has released a Battlegrounds designer toy--er, sculpture. We really can't say why... but what do we know about Kubricks, except that Frank Kozik is one of the designers. Who can argue with that?

But Kubrickheads must not play much. Battlegrounds Kubrick doesn't even come with a ball.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Fists of Fury: Tell Me Why...

Our cousins pronounce their love for Yao and Rockets...

I wasn't going to put this up... for obvious reasons. But this thing is spreading like the Avian flu and I figure why not spread the contagion and give these boys the hits they so crave. The best thing about this video is the roommate who just sits behind them like nothing's happening.

That motherfucker's numb... and playing Counterstrike.

No, actually, even better is an e-mail my girl received from her friend working abroad in China:

Subject: Re: You aaaaare....my fiiiiiire....my one....desiiire

Sorry, this appears to be blocked by the Chinese gov't. :(
Otherwise, I am sure I would've enjoyed it.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Just One NBA Prediction...

Contrary to Duke's prediction, Deron Williams will be the Rookie of the Year.

How anybody could pick differently is beyond me. "Texas-Made" is nasty...