Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Playoff Hustle: Kobe Really, Really, Really Wants That MVP Trophy

I'm really starting to like this series. It's getting nice and heated... in the first round no less. I just wish the Lakers were in the eighth spot so Kobe could unleash the fury on the Spurs. I want the Suns to stay in the playoffs, but Kobe's really making a point of this MVP thing by proving that he too has teammates. He's trying to out-Nash Nashy now. Say that three times fast.

If Kobes had decided to try this whole "team concept" thing after the playoff break, they might have won 50 games. Or am I overselling it? Our boy at YAYsports NBA has a different take on it.

Making us not care that LA isn't whooping on SA is Sac. Kings won a doozy last night. We're loving this Kevin Martin... like Duncan Pincushion... if you get that reference... you need to watch better television.

But once again, we see evidence of Darwin's survival theory upset... never underestimated the mid-Majors. The pic is from Sactown Royalty, who are still stunned, the way you are when you see the Madonna crying blood.

Lebron is back... making ugly faces... breaking records... making it clear that he too would have enjoyed that little MVP trophy. Gilby missed a shot he hits in his sleep. Yay NBA is understandably giddy.

Kobe pic from Reuters.

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Week in Yao: Zhang Ziyi is Yao Ming

What broken foot? The phenomenon never stops truckin'...

The title of this article is "Really proud of being Chinese": Zhang Ziyi. Wow, we don't even know if that counts as a title, but do we sense some insecurity from The Worker's Country about maintaining the loyalty of their outsourced labor? Zhang is "Hollywood's Yao Ming." We couldn't make that up.

Still Number One with a bullet. Yao tops the personal value ranking in China once again. How do you define self-worth? Personal. Value. Ranking.

The Daily India says 98-year-old Sun Qian from China IM chats about Yao with her friends in the U.S.

Slow news day or evidence of international espionage?

Kimora Lee's got the Baby Phat celly line. Yao laces you with his joint... A line we call the Diamond Dynasty Series... with Heather Locklear screensaver... you know, Dynasty... never mind.

Nick Faldo says Chinese golf needs a Yao Ming. We say China needs a Nick Faldo.

Of all places, this is news in Turkey. Does it seem strange that the Turkish press seems to think Turks care what Nick Faldo has to say about Chinese golf?

It's strange that Nick Faldo knows Chinese golf. We've never even heard of Chinese golf.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Playoff Hustle: Kobe Shares... His Fury
Rocket-less in '06

So it's been leaked that Steve Nash will repeat as the National Basketball Association MVP. We're not much for predictions. And we didn't do any of those end of season picks most sports fans & bloggers & journalists do, mostly because we're lazy, but also because we were rather conflicted. But Duke and Train always liked Nash as the pick. I actually think Duke preferred Lebron.

I, on the other hand, think the MVP is Kobe Bryant. I could go into the reasons, but Bill Simmons already did the legwork. Anyone who gets the Lakers into the playoffs, scores 81 in one game, 62 in three quarters of another, overcomes this proclivity of the press to shun teams barely over .500.

The fact is I don't even like Kobe. If I had to pick my least favorite player in the NBA it would be... Tony Parker. But Kobe's no slouch. As it were, if pressed to chose one favorite player, it would be Nash, which
should validate this decision in some convoluted way. But Nash deserves MVP as much as Shawn Marion does. Or Chauncey Billups.

Anyway, that's beside the point. The point is that the leaking of this MVP business only throws fuel on Kobe's fire which he needs like a burning Iraqi oil field. Kobe's going to do to Steve Nash and the Suns what Hakeem Olajuwon did to David Robinson in '95 when The Dream thought he got snubbed for MVP.

You don't think Kobe knows? He knows. He knows everything.

He has the kind of glint in his eye that says "I have a booth tucked away behind the walls of my bedroom accessible only by a revolving bookcase that's decked floor to ceiling with flatscreen televisions and LCD computer monitors that keeps tabs on everything you ever say about me." Count on it, like the Lakers getting to Round 2.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Gatorade Embarks on Pacific Theater

American sports drink manufacturer, Gatorade, enlists Filipino athletes to join their campaign to conquer the Pacific rim. All draftees will be put to Gatorade's infamous "sweat test," where it is assumed the professional athletes from the Phillipine islands will be forced to sweat.

Click here for more.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Fists of Fury: Guangdong Southern Tigers Win
...But Man, Do They Win Ugly

The CBA (Chinese Basketball Association) wrapped up its '05-'06 season with the Guangdong Southern Tigers taking the chip for the third straight time beating the Bayi Rockets, the last team to chip three straight. I watched a couple of these games via NBA TV--my first real taste of China's top level of comp... and man... it was ugly. It was like watching a middle school game, when you're sitting on edge just waiting for them to do something right. I'm actually not as offended anymore by Charles Barkley's remark that all Chinese people sucked at basketball.

Disclaimer: The Tigers are the youngest team in the CBA (at an average age of 22.7 years) and younger than any NBA team. So, the middle school thing kinda fits and makes sense, but what about the rest of the CBA?

On that note, 19-year-old Tigers star, Yi Jianlian (7'0" 230 lbs.), already touted as the next Yao Ming has passed on the NBA draft, declaring that he has not yet reached an NBA standard, which has apparently been part of a growing concern for Chinese basketball officials that want their players to get burn no matter where they go. He's already got Yao's endorsement.

But he's right about passing. Yi's athletic, but he got that Stromile Swift lost puppy dog look a little too often in the games we watched. The occasional resemblance was chilling.

Our boy Sun Yue, on the other hand, thinks one year in the ABA (yes, the American Basketball Association) is enough and has apparently declared for the NBA Draft. This is according to Asia-Basket who says they caught the news of but they don't sound so convinced:

Sun's size, agility, ballhandling and defensive skills intrigue NBA scouts, but his shooting ability and shot selection are suspect... If he cannot learn to shoot better under defensive pressure, Sun does not have an NBA position... Sun benefit[s] in that [he] can be marketed in China.

So a team which sees no other true prospects in their late pick could select Sun to sit at the end of their bench for a season for marketing purposes, hoping that [he] will improve. (from Asia-Basket's Arthur Volbert)

Past players drafted for marketing purposes... Manute Bol, Muggsy Bogues, Gheorge Muresan... they didn't do so bad. But we actually can't find the story on so we don't even know if its true. I guess we'll look into it. Maybe.

Wang Zhi-Zhi goes home.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bullets in the Head: It's Over! It's Finally Over!

Yes, that's right Houston. Rockets Sputter '05-'06 is finally finale, and christened with another futilely fought loss no less. So now what? Well, we've already started prospectin' at Yao Central on

John P. Lopez of the Houston Chronicle wants Van Gundy's head and not just for decoration.

Even though we think it'd be the best damned decorative severed head we've ever seen... like for Halloween or something or to plop on a stake after invading the New Lakewood Church.

Rather unceremoniously the Battle of Tokens comes to a close with less than 50 votes but Rockets Power Dancer Maria is the clear winner in a landslide 34 votes to 12 over Sonic Boom Boom Room's Carolyn. But we got a feeling this ain't over.

Well, I guess that's it. Signing off another NBA season. All kind of seems small and petty now... meaningless... and missing the point... you know, with no playoffs. Next year then.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

China Mobilizes Terra Cotta Army
Houston Rockets' Van Gundy Principal Target

"Slowly but surely," says General Chen Hua-Ping, commander of China's renowned Terra Cotta army in the Shanxi province. The soldiers built literally of terra cotta to protect the mausoleum of the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty, Qin Shi Huang, and since relegated to "tourist attraction" have now been reinstated. To find and capture Houston Rockets coach, Jeff Van Gundy.

With China's million man army pre-occupied with subverting Taiwanese, Tibetan and East Turkistanian bids for independence, as well as staged war games to intimidate capitalist nations, Chinese retribution on Van Gundy--whose poor judgement and "capitalist manipulation" forced China's recent Model Worker of the Year, Yao Ming, to break his foot last week in a basketball game against the Utah Jazz--will have to depend on the 8,099 or so 2,216-year-old terra cotta soldiers.

"The actions of this capitalist pig will not go unpunished. But he is on the lower end of our to-capture list," says General Chen.

Until the Terra Cotta army makes headway, China will continue to lightly carpet-bomb cyberspace, as it has all last week.

"Our bloggers and message board browsers are working harmoniously to condemn [Jeff Van Gundy's] heinous act," says General Chen of China's finest virtual sweatshops, "matching the volume of our NBA All-Star voting offensive."

Thursday, April 13, 2006

A Whole New Blog, A New Fantastic Point of View

Two weeks ago, an editor from the Houston Chronicle sent me an e-mail asking if I would like to do a Yao Ming blog for them on their website, Whether due to Yao's recent surge of dominant play or a sudden lack Rockets fodder (i.e. playoff implications), the Chronicle, who probably should have already had a Yao blog, chose the tail end of a playoff-less season to start this thing.

I agreed. What the hell, the whole thing could be all Yao all the time. Where he eats, what kinda ride he's got, where his crib is, what he does on the bench during blowout losses, who he be with, things that make him smile, what numbers to dial...

Then he broke his foot. So I have a blog about a guy with a broken foot. Visit this blog... not just out of pity, but because I would do the same for you.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Bullets in the Head: Stephen A. Smith Has Cursed the Houston Rockets

It figures that just as we publish last night's Stephen A. Smith is the Devil post that Yao breaks his foot. I mean, it was almost the exact same moment I pressed that "Publish Post" button.

So Yao's down, and it's his foot... again. Which really means that the peace accord that Yao signed with the Dermatophytes has been breached. Rockets lose to Jazz 83-85.

Houston looking good for that eighth spot, though... in the draft. The joy of speculating begins... ESPN's Chris Ford has Al Horford at eight right now. Yea, we could go for Horford. We think he has a little more Dwight Howard in him than Florida let him show. Speculatin', speculatin', speculatin', speculatin'... don't blow it Morey. And CD, don't you go blowing it on purpose just 'cause you're out. has more fans on location. I've heard of starting them young, but... actually, is this ridiculous... I mean if you were really a fan... and you knew your son was going to be a fan... YES. The answer is yes... it's ridiculous.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Stephen A. Smith is the Devil

We had put it out of our collective heads through sheer concentrated denial and then in one of those Freddy Kruger nightmares that haunts everone in the same night--or because we saw Stephen A.'s interview with The Score today--it hit us.

Last week, when we visited the set of Quite Frankly, Stephen A. Smith intimated, in his stern and conjectural way, that Tracy McGrady may never return to the Houston Rockets.

"He has three herniated discs," he said. "I would be surprised if he ever came back."

As you may know, we here at Globetrotter annointed The Mac our golden calf last November, not just because he plays for the Rockets but because we genuinely like the guy--I mean he married his high school sweetheart and doesn't do anything but eat and sleep, and on the occasion he does want to go out, he goes bowling. He would be us if we had high school sweethearts.

Nevertheless, this speculative desecration of Mac's future has us joining our Canadian brethren in misguided hatred if only until Mac proves him wrong... or right.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Rockets Power Dancers Are Dunking
...Except for the Asian Girl

With all the commotion (that has since died down we think) around Candace Parker's "dunking" an unprecedented two--not one--but TWO times in a blowout game back against Army in mid-March, it seems the Rockets Power Dancers have decided to re-invigorate that buzz by contibuting a spectacle of solidarity. If that sounds a little sarcastic, it's not at the idea that Candace's half-dunks could hardly be considered dunks (I mean, honestly, I've done that, and I'm a 5' 9" Taiwanese American, even if it was on a rim that was suspect of being a couple of inches less than 10'--I never measured it so I can't speculate--but no self-respecting dunker would claim those dunks as dunks, so I'm still not a dunker).

No, what we deride is the proponents of women's basketball proclaiming these mere four points as one great turning point in their game--as if basketball fans across the nation will suddenly be interested in women's basketball when they start dunking. They won't, especially the men. Because, to most straight, red-blooded, "I played Varsity or Jr. Varsity basketball in high school so I know what I'm talking about," American males, there's nothing worse than watching women play basketball than watching them do things they can't.

For the most part it's true, women's basketball isn't as exciting to watch, but then, neither is European basketball or the Asian American basketball leagues I sometimes run in (which I often compare to women's basketball) or... baseball for that matter. That doesn't mean they can't play. Women's basketball is women's basketball. As long as it aspires to be men's basketball it will always be a lesser god. The fact that a girl can't dunk--or even a guy for that matter, thank you Mr. Nash--shouldn't make him or her any less of an athlete--in the whole adaptation of skill and functionality sense.

I had a discussion with Train a few weeks ago about whether or not we should classify athletes by gender. I said, I personally did not and added that regardless of whether or not Candace Parker will ever dunk in her career as much as say... Stromile Swift has in one good game, she might be a better basketball player than he is... she's got a helluva lot more charisma. But we pick on Stro' because we love him... like an absent-minded little brother... and we're not dumping on him, as much as the bandwagon has been taking all comers, because we never thought he was going to be a big impact like all those bandwagoneers first imagined... not immediately, anyway. We already went through Kelvin Cato, but even he eventually matured into a solid defensive contributor and complement to Yao (until the Rockets, of course, traded him). Does Stromile Swift have this potential? Maybe. Is he as good a basketball player as Candace Parker? Well... he's a better dunker.

I don't know what inspired this sudden rhetoric on women's sports and Stromile Swift, but the Rockets Power Dancers are dunking... and doing that clap, clap, fist-in-the-air, hand at the hip pose that cheerleaders do after a flip and stuff.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Bullets in the Head: Yao Still Best in the West
Rockets Still Pushing for Worst

That's right! Yao Ming was chosen once again as the NBA's Western Conference Player of the Week, his second this season, and third of his career. The pic above is from The Psychedlic Groove House of Rockets Basketball Love. You read it right.

When did Chris Wilcox usurp Kevin Garnett's mojo? We've heard of players thriving in a different system but this is ridiculous. 26 pts and 24 rebs?!? Are you kidding me?!?

I admit to being pretty high on Chris when he made the jump to the League--even going so far as thinking for a moment that the Rockets might want to trade down the No. 1 pick (which was Yao) for Wilcox and another first-rounder. Dirty thoughts. Sacrilege... it was after Maryland won the NCAA chip, but there it was... just for a moment, a run and gun team, former Terrapins, Stevie Franchise, Chris, Terrence Morris and The Wizard.. was he still there? But alas, it was not to be... and Wilcox goes and disappears long enough for us to forget about him. Well, we remember him now. (Original AP Photo/Ron Wurzer)

Seattle's announcers couldn't shut up about how much Wilcox has thrived under Seattle's system... what system? Seattle Strikes Back 104-87.

Barkles is in. No doubt.

Ryan Bowen is blogging... because he has nothing else better to do. Visit the Hammer.

Hey Joa... What the F*ck, Dude?!?

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Florida Gators win... blah, blah, blah... improbable run... blah, blah, blah... first NCAA Basketball chip for the state of Florida... big frickin' deal. Joa... what the f*ck dude?!?

This is how it was supposed to happen. You were supposed to make a strong showing in the early stages of the tourney and then have a quiet Final Four. That way you'd drop back down to the 11th or 12th spot in the draft, where the Rockets should be. See, 'cause you'd fit kinda perfect next to Yao on the block. 'Cause you can do the things he can't.

But no... you had to go and break records and sh*t. And get all conspicuous. Hey Joa... What the f*ck, dude?!?

More What the F*ck, Dude?!? ...1, 2