The people have spoken, and despite Lower The Rim’s best efforts to discuss the serious issues and the nitty-gritty, there’s but one subject that is the apple of our readers’ eye: HAIRLINES — heyoooo! Came across this video tonight and got a kick out of it. Not sure how the measurements were taken, but the results surprised even us here at the receding hairline capital of the internet–just check our scalp transplants. But first, we give you the EPIC journey of perhaps the most popular, most scrutinized, most used and abused of sports apparel. The king of cranial cover-up. The most whack of all wig wrap-arounds. Put your hands together and raise your freakin’ eye brows for the one and only, LEBRON’S HEADBAND, BABY! 2003-Present:
Jerry Sloan is old – fossil old. And now, like the calcified carapace of a long-dead barnacle, he’s been found clinging stubbornly to the side hull of the USS NBA. Not back in the boat yet but probing the surface. But still, in all honesty, he’s really old. His earlobes hang and his eyes don’t have much sparkle these days. He’s just old like that, and looked every bit his age when he announced his resignation in February last year as he reported that his “energy had dropped”. And really, what more is there for a man to do when his energy has dropped than return to long hours of manual labor. Returning to ride tractors and rustle cattle back in McLeansboro is the obvious natural response to old age and fatigue. We at Lower The Rim see the clear logic, and approve. Heck, if any of us had a hard working bone in our bodies we’d probably have established a small cluster of hen houses here at headquarters by now.
But wait! It would appear that a few months at the farm with the boys has recharged the old man’s battery. And really, how long can you ride your tractors around when you really don’t have to before the brain turns to mush? So he quit the bottle and the Marlboros and the YooHoo and he’s back… like Batman. Unfortunately his reentrance has been met by the miserable brass of the miserable Bobcats. However, Gordy Chiesa—long-time assistant coach for the Jazz (1991-2005) under Sloan—opined on ESPN 700 radio in Salt Lake City last week that Sloan would be coaching in the NBA next year and most likely in Portland. We concur. Portland is the best spot for crusty J-Slo. It’s a medium market, he knows the mix of young and old players, and he could make a difference. No way he wins anything with any of the teams that are coach searching, but that probably isn’t the point. And a ring probably doesn’t have much to do with it either, and that Lazarus Sloan isn’t coming back to fill that gap—OKC has that covered for the next decade anyway, heyoooh! But in all seriousness, the old guy just wants to coach.
We at Lower The Rim are in full support of Portland hiring the old fart. The more senior moments from the bench per game the better as far as we’re concerned. We’re hoping that Sloan returns and his aged synapses misfire him into calling plays in Portland’s huddle for Karl “Kah” Malone, dawning his old Bulls shorts and taking the court to shoot his teams technical free throws, or finally snapping and pile driving Dick Bavetta after one too many offensive foul calls. Now that would be glorious. Either way, if he comes back, we’re all winners.
That’s straight pita for your freakin’ humus.
Take away The Decision, take away the preseason rally, take away the mocking of Dirk Nowitzki during last year’s finals. Take away everything we’ve grown to hate about the Miami Heat, and it’s still tough to root for a player like this:
What Rajon Rondo said during halftime of Game 4 is spot on, and Lower The Rim commends him for it. The Heat play the refs more than they play the game, and if they wind up winning the championship it will be a black eye for the league.
Let’s face it, neither player has ever made you feel warm and fuzzy inside, but Dwyane Wade has long hidden in the shadow cast by Lebron James‘ recent collosal unlikability, and it might be time now to hold Wade’s feet to the flame, because we at Lower The Rim have noticed the Heat veteran acting increasingly douchey over the past few seasons on a number of fronts:
– He’s made a habit of grinning smugly after missing big shots, and he’s missed quite a few this year. And when he does happen to do something good on the court–to marginal degrees–he can’t help but strike the above pose.
– He spends more time on the floor than on his feet, and if he’s not on the floor he’s screaming bloody murder at the rim.
– He routinely withholds praise from teams that have managed to challenge or beat the Heat.
– He doesn’t respect authority, or at least his coach, as we’ve recently seen–although we have to say that Spoelstra’s spinelessness contributed to that perception. If Deron Williams had ever tough talked Jerry Sloan like that, Sloan would have curb stomped him as part of the halftime show.
In short, Wade has become a camera loving flop artist who struggles to pay compliments to those who outplay him, and in the right situation might actually headbutt his comparatively tiny and reserved coach into a comatose state. Wouldn’t you agree? Vote below. And if you’re having trouble making your decision, use the compilation of punk plays beneath the poll as a guideline.
You get the feeling that no matter what Doris Burke asked Rondo, this was going to be the answer…
Unfortunately Burke moved forward with the questioning without the presence of mind to follow up on the answer. Typical ESPN protocol: turn tail and run at the sight of anything remotely controversial.
Let this be a lesson to superstars who supposedly want to win a championship so bad, that they somehow find their way to New York, or the Clippers, or to Miami, as if any of those destinations were ever known for their roundball superiority. The verdict is in: chasing a championship is without substance. The idea that you can manually move yourself into contention is still just a figment of a superstar’s imagination. And to top it all off, the major markets have now reached a saturation point. The musical chairs is all but done with, and Deron Williams has been left with only one seat to bolt for.
Consider Dallas the “last frontier” of this Manifest Destinty-type shift of stars to major markets. There’ve been rumors of Williams to the Lakers, but the notion that LA would trade Andrew Bynum for anyone but Dwight Howard is sheer lunacy. The Lakers are old, and Bynum is their golden playoff ticket for the next decade, well into the retirements of Bryant and Gasol. And just for kicks, say they do make that trade. Indeed, a Williams/Bryant/Gasol combo may be championship caliber, but it would function along the same lines as the Garnett/Allen/Pierce hookup: a one year banger, maybe two, and if the Celtics hadn’t lucked out by landing Rondo they’d be staring futility in the face right now, and likely would have never won the thing in the first place. Long story short, any owner or GM with half a brain would take 10 years of sustained contention over a one year championship push that jeopardizes the long term health of the franchise. It’s Dwight to LA. Deron Williams will not be a Laker.
So where else is there to go, with the migration of all the major stars coming to completion? LA is taken. New York is taken. Miami is taken. Chicago is taken. It leaves Dallas. By default—unless he chooses to hang around with the dreadful Nets—Deron Williams will be a Maverick next year. And while that may be the case, don’t expect to see him hoisting the trophy any time soon. Unification has proven absolute fools gold.
Who would have believed that two years after The Decision, the Miami Heat would widely be considered only the third best team in the league; that two small market squads would be thought of as far and away better? That the Western Conference finals is the actual NBA Finals of these playoffs? It’s certainly a win for the integrity of the game, but it’s a major loss for those who followed in the footsteps of the Heat. Look at Chris Paul with the Clippers. Outside of Memphis laying an egg in Round 1, Paul essentially finds himself in the same spot he was last year in New Orleans. And can it possibly get any easier over the next few years? Do we see the Clippers suddenly being better than Oklahoma City? Better than the Heat? With the Draft Lottery now done, it’s not far fetched to suggest that New Orleans has a greater shot at winning a title in the next 5-10 years than the Clippers do, because a dude who doesn’t care if he has a unibrow isn’t a dude who will bail on his team for the bright lights of a major market. New Orleans might be in good shape for a while, and in retrospect—assuming the Spurs or OKC win it all this year—Lebron James, Chris Paul and Deron Williams all might be better off going back to their original teams. And we won’t even bring up the catastrophe that is the New York Knicks. Outside of an undrafted Harvard grad showing up off his brother’s couch and saving their season, the Knicks were a sub-.500 team.
Deron Williams will be in Dallas next year. You can take that to the bank. But as this game of Superstar Musical Chairs comes to an end, it’s the small markets that are getting the last laugh.
Word on the street–more like a shady back alley–is that Allen Iverson has been spotted in the Charlotte area, and according to at least one questionable and meandering blog post, this could mean Iverson and MJ have something in need of discussing. Could this be so?
FOR OPTIMISTS: Yes, this is definitely so. It makes perfect sense. If Iverson is to ever make his long awaited return, it will most certainly come by way of a bottom feeder, as it is clear no contending squad wants anything to do with him. Being that Charlotte is now president of the all-time suck club, it seems a nice landing spot for a guy who has come to terms with the fact that he likely won’t be playing heavy minutes for a contender at this point, and would like at the very least to quietly re-eneter the scene and catch a few GMs off guard. ALSO, those of us who love AI know all too well that Iverson and Jordan have a history. Iverson once punked His Airness twice in the one sequence. Iverson was also on the court during Jordan’s final game, and the two appeared to have fostered a mutual respect for one another. And to top it off, Iverson is a superstar “past his prime” who still thinks he can play. Jordan was once the very same, and it’s possible he empathizes with The Answer’s plight. AND AT THE VERY LEAST… what’s the worst that could happen? Honestly, the Bobcats are still anywhere from 5-50 years away from contending, meaning the only thing Bobcat brass can hope for is to fill the seats. Ipso facto, Iverson’s your guy. I honestly can’t think of any other player within the realm of attainability for a team like the Bobcats that would provide that kind of revenue boost just by showing up.
FOR SKEPTICS: In this day and age, most inquiry and preliminary correspondence takes place long distance. Reasonably speaking, the only point at which it would make sense for a team to literally bring in Iverson would be the point at which a workout is in order, or documents need signed. And if this were the case, we certainly would have heard all about it by now. Sorry everyone, it’s probably more likely that AI is visiting some new love interest for the weekend than it is he’s sitting down for a chat with the worst owner ever.
LOWER THE RIM‘S TAKE: Quite frankly, we’ve been thoroughly confused by our favorite player’s exile for some time now. There’s most certainly a place for Allen in the league, even if his skills are diminished. Think about all the older guards still hanging around. Are you going to tell us that Derek “I Used to Wear My Headband Like Earmuffs” Fisher is better than Allen Iverson? Is Chauncey Billups better? Jason “Punched My Wife in the Face Once” Kidd? God awful Mike Bibby? We’ll take AI at half speed over any of those guys. And if you’ve listened to him at all lately, clearly he’s been humbled by what he’s been through the last few years. He’s not Detroit AI. He’s not Memphis AI. He’s definitely a guy who’s willing to come in and be a spark off the bench. Look at the Miami Heat. They’re a little bit of bench production away from multiple championships. Are you going to tell us that a team like Miami wouldn’t benefit from having The Answer coming off the bench for 15 to 20 minutes a clip? And he’ll probably do it for next to nothing at this point! For a guy who puts butts in the seats the way he does, it’s almost a business no brainer. Bring in Allen Iverson. He’ll probably help your team, and even if he doesn’t, he’s likely to pad your team’s bankroll. With all that said, here’s a flashback–set to the appropriate music–to wet your appetite. We’re hip.