Friday, December 30, 2005

Latrell Sprewell is Still Not in a Rockets Uniform (Day 36)

Back in Houston for the holidays and to kill birds with less stones, working on a story about Houston summer league legend Dwayne Rogers--who, incidentally, is now running with those ambassadors of red, white and roundball, the Globetrotters of Harlem.

Train, Duke and Co. scored tix to the New Year's Eve game tomorrow evening against the Warriors... actually, they weren't so hard to get. On the other hand, my littler brother, the A-train (a nickname given him during a bout of unoriginality), scored VIP tix to the game... a little harder to get. But a due reward for his recent acceptance to local Rice University. I will be going with the little train.

Spree, come through.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Stro' Show Finally Opens... In Previews

After weeks of calamitous test screenings and costly re-shoots, the long awaited Stro' Show opened to a preview screening Wednesday night against the Hornets.

With 26 points and 13 rebounds, Swift gave Rockets fans a little taste of what it might be like to live up to the hype. But matched up mainly with David West and Chris Anderson, it was still only a preview. Stro' still had that adorable lost puppy dog face for the duration.

And the Rockets lost, despite an additional 38 points from T-Mac. But they didn't lose from lack of want. They lost because... there's no one left on the roster who can shoot and teams aren't playing the Rockets so much as playing McGrady. Stro' tried to burn the Hornets for that but he would miss a chance to garnish his breakout performance with a shot to tie when his running baby hook fell short in the final seconds (a shot he says is easy for him) after a misdirection play drawn up with Mac as a decoy. To his credit, Mac didn't pull a Pippen. But this isn't the playoffs.

We tease Stro, but honestly, we want him to be his hype. We want him to live up to that 2nd pick in the draft. We even think he has the talent to be a star--we like Stro'... but give Mac the ball when the game's on the line. Double-teamed. Triple-teamed. Just get him the ball. Please.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Fists of Sanctified Fury: Nike Teams With God and Jay Chou to Bring Celebrity Basketball to Taiwan

Taiwan's only basketball correspondent, Chris Wang (Gizzoogle it, he's the only one), shows us that celebrity basketball is just as popular in Taiwan as it is here, 'cause international pop star and occasional rapper, Jay Chou--roughly the equivalent of an Asian Justin Timberlake--loves to ball, especially for Christ. And just what good is it, if Nike doesn't sponsor Jesus, too?

But what exactly does "promote human transformation" mean?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

She's Having a Baby

Rockets are finding new and exciting ways to lose...

Utah 82, Houston 74.
Yet another L at home.

So Mac left to be a good father--we can't hate him for that.
Can we?

Welcome, Baby Mac... to the outside.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Rockets Beg for Mercy... and Kobe Gets No Love

With Rockets casualties mounting, Van Gundy and Co. seek mercy from the NBA brass during this the season of giving.

Rockets lost badly... as in never had a chance.

Ryan Bowen's gettin' all gangsta with that goatee and shit. interviews The Hammer and Hammer plugs the PSP. Hells yea... gangsta.

Just finished watching the Lakers-Heat Christmas classic. Kobe gets no hug.

And so goes the holiday spirit. Merry merry... whatever the occasion.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Holiday Fists of Fury... DJ's Back

Just in time for the holidays, our favorite Battlegrounds king of the court, Darren Jiang, is featured again on

DJ's been here a few times... if you haven't noticed... so it's good to see him back for the holidays.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Kobe Gets Over Loss to Rockets

Each one game removed from the first T-Mac v. Kobe contest (really a lethargically played bore until the final seconds), Kobe goes cuckoo for cocoa puffs while Mac learns what it feels like to be Yao Ming.

2-11 for 7 points and on top of that a blowout L to the Raps? To his credit though, Mac should have had about 20 assists if the Rockets been able to make buckets down the stretch. And accordingly, the Chronicle wants Mac to take tips from the Black Mamba.

The Rockets' casualty rate has risen enough to play Lonny Baxter and Stephen Graham.

So another big road win for the Raps in a Houston and even bigger for Mike James who never wanted to be traded--a less than well-kept secret down here is that Mac wanted him out.

Somewhere, Mike James is smiling.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

New BPR is Up, Rockets Up

We're a little a late with this week's BPR Power Rankings, last minute holiday shopping and all... but here it is. No, here.

Rockets up to 17. We had 'em at 15.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Yao Watch '05-'06: Rogue Band of Dermatophytes Topple Great Yao of China

Break out the Lamisil 'cause Yao's big toe is acting up (in graphic detail), sidelining him not only for last night's squeaker against the Lakers, but... indefinitely. Indefinitely... I remember when Vernon Maxwell was on leave indefinitely back in '95. I wasn't sure what the word meant back then, all I knew was he never came back.

If everybody's favorite toenail monster has his way, Yao won't either.

Friday, December 16, 2005

T-Mac is a Golden God and Yao is His Fleece

We can't put last night's win any better than Jonathan Feigen at the Chronicle. Another Mac classic.

What we can say is that two of these five wins (@ Sac & @ Sea) are more indicative of serious decision-making time for the Kings and Sonics.

Sactown Royalty is already making a serious plead for Luol "Do Dat" Deng.

As for Seattle... a friend of mine, who is admittedly only a desultory basketball fan--though strangly, she worships Clyde Drexler--told me that while visiting Seattle on business and partaking in a Sonics game she noticed that Seattle had the worst home crowd she had ever seen. Too many of them waiting in the lobby for their tall decaf lattes, we guess.

So go ahead and send Rashard home to us. We still feel bad for taking Mirsad Turkcan ahead of him in '98. He's not coming back to you anyway.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Yao Watch '05-'06: Yao Most Popular Player in the World For Third Straight Year

Yao is once again leading the all-star ballot in votes this year... which only bolsters our suspicions that China's Red Guard has been converting prisons into sweatshops and forcing criminals of the state and Falun Gong to vote for the Big Red 11 at gunpoint in makeshift computer stations.

Zhu Rong-ji and the Red Guard at it again.

Stop... Hammer Time

We didn't want to write anything to jinx the little run Houston has mustered on the west coast, but after a grueling overtime comeback and what looked like an ailing second-half Mac, we don't really expect the Rockets to win tonight in Seattle. So, we'd like to take the time now to pontificate on last night's bizarre game.

The contest went from an elegant, efficient offense effort in the first half to... well, let's say brusque shot selection by Houston in the second (which received long range bombs by the W
arriors in rebuttal).

The Warriors basically held the Rockets off in the fourth, too. But somehow the Rockets managed to win on a little reversal of fortune. Warriors couldn't convert late in the fourth and our main man, Ryan "The Hammer" Bowen, sparked the Rockets in his distinctive way, finishing with a season highs of 13 points and 8 boards ( has a feature on Mr. Hustle). It was enough to get Mac to break out of his funk (which may have been a little karma for his "I can get any shot I want" remark at the half) by setting up Wesley for a three, and hitting one himself, late in the game giving the Rockets a shot. One that went to everyone's favorite rookie, Luther Head, who tied the game with a three with 2.7 left.

Yao, who was steady, with a quiet 30 and 16 in the manner in which only he can do, was big in OT.

Despite both Houston stars pulling Caspers until late, Rockets win--brutal but fairly entertaining (anyone see that oop from Richardson to BD? Gangsta).

Few things are more satisfying in televised basketball than watching Tim Legler and Greg Anthony eat at little crow.
Houston's won four in a row.

Rockets in Seattle tonight, 9:30p CT.

(AP Photo)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Steve Nash Is GQ's Cosplayer of the Year

Steve Nash is Gungrave's Brandon Heat. Click it.

Cosplayers... your leader.

We didn't learn much from reading Joel Lowell's recent interview with our favorite Canuck, Steve Nash. We already knew he was with his wife in New York City, we knew he played pick up in Tribeca, we knew he played for Phebe's at the "crappy soccer field" in Chinatown (which is Shangri-la compared to the crack vial and syringe paved concrete slab that used to be there), and we even knew Nashy would be named GQ's Baller of the Year.

What we didn't know was that Nashy was into cosplay. Already pandemic in Asia, it's been sweeping weekly RPG nights and comic conventions stateside for years. But to Nashy's credit (and GQ photographer Michael Thompson), we haven't seen cosplayers so tastefully rendered since Cao Fei's mushroom fuzzy, Asian milieu. And never has cosplaying had such a celebrity proponent.

We suggest that cosplayers around the world drop their game controllers, papier mache swords, shoulder rockets and/or dice and endorse Nashy as their official figurehead to further their cause... whatever that may be.

Actually, some of these cozzies are kinda purty... and then, some of them really aren't.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

T-Mac Handles the Truth

Van Gundy has tried to tell us the truth since training camp. The Rockets are too slow. But we ignored him as visions of Skip to My Lou and Stro-Show sugarplums danced in our heads and our expectations were... borderline delusional.

But after going 4-12, including a home debacle against Memphis where the 90-75 final score wasn't early indicative of how the Rockets got handled, we all began to see the light.

last night against the Celts, as T-Mac often does, the truth became a bit easier to bear.

Van Gundy went big going with T-Mac at the two, while Bowen got the nod over Luther Head in the starting five. And as expected, "The Hammer" (as one reader has branded our favorite hustla) brought his leather-tough accrued of floorburn hide to the Toyota Center, sparking a far livelier as compared to previously dead defensive rotation that limited the Celts to just 34% shooting.

Mac torched the Celts despite Ricky "Get Buckets" Davis' best attempts to distract with modern dance.

Rockets show some of that early season promise last night.

(AP Photo)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Still Bonafide!

New BPR is out... Week 3.

Here's our poll.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Fists of Fury... Darren Jiang: The Interview

Our favorite Chinese American streetball star... okay, our only recognizable Chinese American streetball personality... is online at in an interview with one of our own.

Recently, DJ sat in with King James in Cleveland
as his translator during a live webcast to fans in China. Kid got a pair of limited edition LB3's for his trouble.

Incidentally, Cavo at YAYbasketball!, if you're interested in a DVD copy of the webcast, I can burn you a copy. Holler at me.

Latrell Sprewell is Still Not in a Rockets Uniform (Day 10)

We admit we may have been a bit delirious with sentiment in our last post. We forgot that we're the ones that were laughing our asses off, lobbing alley-oops over the age-induced torpid of foot in church league, who for all intents and purposes play the game "the right way," even using this "play" they call a "backdoor cut."

It stands that we love our guys... but we still want Spree.

Rockets are 4-12.