Anthony Davis: Be Mine?

On this Valentine’s Day, I’m writing an open letter to my prospective date. He’s a tall, confident, young man who means a lot to me. He’s given me hope when I had none left. He makes each day a little bet better for me. And most of all, his drive and visible improvement with each day pushes me to improve myself.

Of course I’m talking to you, Anthony.

New Orleans Pelicans Media Day

Hey there. My name’s Karl. I’m a 22-year-old from LaPlace. I’m really into writing, football, basketball, soccer, beer, chicken and being emotionally unavailable. I’m requesting you be my valentine because I love you. Not romantically or anything, but like in a totally normal, friendly way. I just think we should hang out and play Xbox and maybe eat some Dippin’ Dots together. Do you like Dippin’ Dots? I remember when I was eight and I would go to the mall with my mom, she would buy me Dippin’ Dots and I would just be fucking PSYCHED. But seriously, Anthony, you should be my true best friend and we can do a lot of fun stuff together.

I know it gets lonely out there with the long road trips, the every day grind of a professional athlete. I can relate cause right now I’m going out there in the streets in the every day grind of a delivery biker. No days off, I know how it goes. I’ve been cleaning up my pedaling fundamentals so I can really wreck house and get accolades next year. We even have more in common, AD. I too left college after one year. Sure, it was cause I transferred (FROM NYU JUST AN FYI #ELITISM), but it’s just another shared history. We’re basically the same person, except my arms don’t extend across the entire English Channel.

But similar backstories and the promise of true friendship aren’t the only reason we should hang out and play Madden 25. We have a history, Anthony. We shared a moment. It was the most real thing I’ve ever experienced aside from when I crossed over my friend in 7th grade and made him fall. February 3, 2014. I’m sure you remember it just as fondly as I do. We (I’m basically a member of the Pelicans at this point) were up 12 on those god damn old, creaky Spurs going into halftime. My knights in shining armor (that’s you guys just so you know) were walking back into the tunnel. I yelled “GOOD JOB ANTHONY KEEP IT UP!” And then you looked up and saw me. And I saw you. Two men, four eyes locked, three eyebrows. We made eye contact and I imagine that’s what dunking a basketball feels like. It changed my outlook on life. Before I thought I was a worthless post-grad with a vendetta against my liver; afterward I thought that I was the most special person in the world and I could write my way into the hearts of America and even the world (SHOUTOUT TO THOSE READERS IN AUSTRALIA AND GREAT BRITAIN WHO READ MY LAST POST ABOUT BARKLEY. HOLLA @CHA BOI).

After those fucking geriatrics came back in the fourth quarter and beat my beloved Pelicans, you stiffed me. I was right there by the edge of the tunnel with my hand extended, but you were so mad you didn’t want to slap hands. That’s okay though cause I was also pissed off about the loss and I can respect that. It just hurts because I’ve been hurt before. There was this…this guy. He was here for seven years, but then he skipped town. He really meant a lot to us and was special. But he left me like all those times I got drunk and yelled stuff at the TV meant nothing to him. I understand that it wasn’t working out, though. Better yet, if he doesn’t demand that fucking trade and start Lob City then we don’t get the first pick, and I wouldn’t know you. I guess you can say from that immense hurt came a new joy, and you are that joy.

Okay, this is getting long. Just know that we should hang out sometime. I’ll even buy beer for you since you can’t do that yourself. I know you want to focus on basketball but beer tastes good and it’s fun to drink and relax sometimes. But I can help you with basketball too! I love playing it and I think we would do well together. Just putting it out there, but I get called “Rubio” when I play. It’s because I look like him and I like to do cool passes and I too cannot pass for shit. But we could play together and then run a sweet pick and roll and then I’ll lob it and then you’ll DUNK ON SOME POOR FUCKER’S HEAD LIKE HE WAS BIG BABY’S COUSIN. And that’ll be every play for about 3 hours straight. Just think about it and hit me back. My twitter is @myroommatekarl and we’ll be in touch because I tweet at you 50 times every Pelicans game.

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CHARLES BARKLEY + SNAKE AND JAKE’S. THIS IS THE OBJECTIVE.

Residents of New Orleans and the greater metro area, I come to you with a simple plan.

The plan involves getting this man:

Image

 

to go to this bar:

Image

 

 

WE MUST GET CHARLES BARKLEY, THE FUNNIEST HUMAN BEING ON THE PLANET, TO TURN THE FUCK UP AT SNAKE AND JAKE’S. In case you’re unawares, Mr. Barkley will be in town this weekend for the All-Star festivities. I’m sure he’ll be galavanting around New Orleans. In case you’re even more unawares, Snake and Jake’s is a bar Uptown. It’s dinghy, it’s dirty and it doesn’t get fun until 2 AM. More importantly, it’s OUR bar. It accepts and houses all sorts of New Orleanians. Hey, frat bro, mad that your very intricate strategy of grinding on 37 asses in the Boot and the Palms didn’t work out for you tonight before they closed? SNAKES WAS THERE FOR YOU. Oh, hello there, hipster. You just walked by said Boot and Palms, stared for a moment before releasing a sigh and sending a tweet out about how the bars represent everything wrong with the monoculture. Now you’re mad that tweet has gotten no RTs and 1 favorite and that was from your aunt who favorites every one of your tweets. AIN’T NO THANG, SNAKES GOT A SCHLITZ READY FOR YOU. Oh, you’re a 46-year-old career musician, and you want to see old friends and maybe even make some new ones? WHAT YOU THINK SNAKES CHANGED? NAH PLAYBOI, SNAKES AIN’T CHANGE.

When I’ve floated this Chuck + Snakes idea to friends, some respond with, “Eh, that doesn’t really seem to be his crowd. Too hipster-y” Does this seem like a man who couldn’t get down with the eclectic Snakes crowd? Furthermore, the hipster crowd is precisely how we can appeal the Snakes move to Chuck: it’s a bar where you can turn up and avoid all the celebrity hounding. All those fucking hipsters will either A.) have no god damn idea who he is, or B.) see him, but say, “He was overrated. I’ve always been more into Mark McNamara anyways.”

I don’t give a shit how this happens, but it has to be a communal effort. We all have to go downtown and find Chuck. CHECK THE CASINOS. If you see him, go up to him and tell him to go to Snake and Jake’s. Give him all the bullet points as to why he should be there after all the NBA player parties end and it’s 4 AM and he’s still got drinking to do. Send me a text and then I’ll commandeer a car and drive there and double park (it wasn’t my car) and drive the point home. WE CAN SELL THIS TO BARKLEY, NEW ORLEANS. 

DO THE RIGHT THING. CHUCK + SNAKES 2014.

The real Keep Gettin’ them Checks team

By Etefia Umana

As Father Time marches on continuing in his undefeated streak against NBA players (and athletes in general), many get released or make the wise move of retirement. Some, however, are lucky enough to continue their income under the moniker of “veteran”. With this title bestowed upon them they are allowed a nice minimum salary and an opportunity (as Jalen Rose puts it) to “keep gettin’ ‘dem checks”. In honor of this tireless craftsmen who’ve remained dedicated to the game (and a steady paycheck) I’ve crafted an all-star team in honor of the upcoming all-star weekend. I’m not even mad. Go feed those kids and pay those bills.

 

Rules:

  • Two players per position

  • Must be born in 1980 or earlier

  • Minimum of 1 DNP

  • Guard requirements (Jarrett Jack standard): <10 PPG, <4.0APG, <3.0 RPG

  • Forward benchmark (Demarre Carroll Standard): <10 PPG, <2.0 APG, <7.0 RPG

  • Center benchmark (Samuel Dalembert Standard): <10 PPG, <1.5 APG, <7.0 RPG, <1.2 BPG

 

The Starting Five

Derek Fisher, OKC (PG):

Paid Like: Reggie Jackson Numbers Like: Tyshawn Taylor

 

DNPs

MPG

PPG

APG

RPG

PER

Fisher, Derek (39)

1

15.9

4.0

1.3

1.4

7.5

 

The shining knight and floor general of the Keep Gettin’ ‘Dem Checks All-Stars is Derek Fisher. He’s never had a PER at the league average (currently has 7th worst among point guards). Fisher’s Defensive Rating has always been outside of the top fifty of players. He’s associated closely with probably the singular best veteran buzzword, leadership, and the best group of veteran buzzwords: playoff experience. If Oklahoma City wanted an okay Laker point guard they should have gotten Jordan Farmar…for cheaper…which they could have. D-Fish, keep gettin’ ‘dem checks.

 

Gilbert Arenas, China (SG):

 

Paid Like: Dwight Howard Numbers Like: Allen Iverson

 

DNPs

MPG

PPG

APG

RPG

PER

Gilbert Arenas (32)

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

 

“He’s not in the league anymore” you may be thinking. Tell that to the Orlando Magic accountants. Here is a man who will be getting paid the third highest salary of all players: $22.3 million. He paved the way for players to get more money in 2005 having a rule named after him. Arenas (aka the real Gunplay) embodies what this team is all about. Underperforming to the highest extent possible while still managing to get an astounding large check. Everything about Agent Zero matches his now removed jersey except his paycheck. He is the undisputed leader and captain of this team…even if he was born after 1980 (another Gilbert Arenas Rule).

 

Matt Barnes, LAC (SF):

Paid Like: Paul George Numbers Like: Omri Cassipi

 

DNPs

MPG

PPG

APG

RPG

PER

Barnes, Matt (33)

19

21.3

7.3

1.5

4.2

10.1

 

He is the NBA’s patron saint of West Coast swagger. Barnes has completed the California grand slam by playing for the Warriors, Clippers, Kings, and Lakers (a rare feat). Nine other players have achieved three of the teams but no others four. He’s the current league leader in ejections and was in the top three last year. He’s been waived four times in his career and become a free agent over ten times in his career. Despite this, teams still take him in. It’s gotta be the swagger (ask Blake Griffin). This team needs some of that swagger.

 

Kevin Garnett, BKN(PF):

Paid Like: Serge Ibaka Numbers Like: Trevor Booker

 

DNPs

MPG

PPG

APG

RPG

PER

Garnett, Kevin (37)

5

22.1

6.8

1.5

6.9

12.2

 

The Kid seems like a really ironic nickname now. Garnett didn’t just lose a step in the off-season, he lost two. His scoring, assists, rebounds, defensive rating (points given up per possession) are all near career lows along. That adds up really nicely with his career worsts in PER, plus/minus, and a negative offensive win share. He may even have reached a career low in confrontations (I haven’t seen many this season). The Dream Shake is shifting towards a nightmare. The new, slower, and grouchy old man is not as intimidating as the KG of years’ past.  He’s still a solid rebounder though.

 

Nazr Mohammed, CHI (C):

Paid Like: Gorgui Dieng Numbers Like: Hasheem Thabeet

 

DNPs

MPG

PPG

APG

RPG

PER

Mohammed, Nazr (36)

2

7.6

1.5

.3

2.3

9.5

 

Eric Snow, Robert Horry, Bruce Bowen, and Earl Boykins probably showed him the way. The last remaining center from the 1998 Draft. Nesterovic, LaFrentz, even Olowakandi. He outlasted them all. He got his ring seven years ago and his dedication to getting a paycheck has never faltered. He’s now part of a very obviously rebuilding Chicago Bulls who will pretty much give any player a low contract to make cap room (much to the chagrin of Tom Thibodeaux). Despite how low his numbers may be, he still demands that veteran minimum.

 

Bench

Chauncey Billups, DET (PG/SG):

Paid Like: Avery Bradley Numbers Like: Nick Calathes

 

DNPs

MPG

PPG

APG

RPG

PER

Billups, Chauncey (37)

21

16.7

3.9

2.2

1.5

5.9

 

Chauncey Billups is still in the NBA. Mr. Big Shot’s reputation could be a factor as to why that statement is still true (probably is). Definitely was among the top reasons the Pistons welcomed him back.  A member of the quickest disappearing “dynasty?” (what happened to the Pistons after the 2006 Eastern conference finals), has devolved as a player.  He’s barely playing, constantly getting injured, and his numbers are down significantly. Welcome to the team Chauncey.

 

Keith Bogans, BOS (SG):

Paid Like: Lou Williams Numbers Like: Dionte Christmas

 

DNPs

MPG

PPG

APG

RPG

PER

Bogans, Keith (33)

35

9.2

2.0

.5

.5

10.1

 

Keith Bogans is amazing to me. How he parlayed a $15 million dollar deal with a negative plus minus (-48 & -37) and an approximate value averaging below three (about 1.96) over the past two seasons is incredible. He also has less than one defensive win share in the last three seasons combined (.7).  Let’s not even talk about the offensive stats or the less than ten minutes a game playing time this season. This sort of underusage and high pay deserves a spot on this team.

 

Shane Battier, MIA (SF):

Paid Like: Paul George Numbers Like: Alonzo Gee

 

DNPs

MPG

PPG

APG

RPG

PER

Battier, Shane (35)

7

20.0

4.3

.5

1.8

8.4

 

Battier is the smirking, frustrating, charge drawing, corner three point specialist. He’s done the smartest thing a veteran can do: found a niche. He’s a good wing defender who can shoot threes (3 and D). Long gone are the Rudy Gay wishes of being a superstar. He stays in his lane.  That dedication to getting a dependable payday is admirable. Your hard work has payed off Batman.  (On a side note, go back to rookie you and come back to the Grizzlies)

Elton Brand, ATL (PF):

Paid Like: Greg Monroe Numbers Like: Jan Vesely

 

DNPs

MPG

PPG

APG

RPG

PER

Brand, Elton (34)

8

20.0

3.8

.5

3.8

14.1

 

One of the more underrated players of this generation. A very solid 20-10 guy for the overwhelming majority of his career. That phase has ended. Every year after 2011 seems to be rough for Elton Brand. His points, rebounds, blocks, win shares, and minutes are all crashing down. This season in Atlanta, Brand has shown flashes of his former brilliance like getting 8 blocks against the Jazz. Sadly, E.B. knows that father time is lurking over his shoulder as he explains here .

 

Brendan Haywood, CHA (C):

Paid Like: Steven Adams (for now) Numbers Like: Joel Freeland

 

DNPs

MPG

PPG

APG

RPG

PER

Haywood, Brendan (34)

41

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

 

Baby Huey is full grown now. Largely forgotten this year because he has not played in a single game due to a foot injury. DNPs from injuries are a vital part in the swan song portion of a player’s career. Haywood has been leading the way for this all-star team in that category. The Bobcats, who have the fourth best scoring defense, aren’t missing much on the offensive end. Four points, five rebounds, and a block a game are the numbers Haywood posted. He’s still due $10 million in 2015. He owes Mark Cuban a huge thank you.

 

Antawn Jamison, LAC (UTIL):

Paid Like: Donatas Maniejunas Numbers Like: Donatas Maniejunas

 

DNPs

MPG

PPG

APG

RPG

PER

Jamison, Antawn  (37)

41

11.3

3.6

2.4

.3

6.8

 

Antwan has had a tough year to say the least. If you have watched him with the Clippers at all this season you would see why he has made this team. I don’t see what could have been expected from him considering he was coming of a horrible shooting year. 46% of his shots are from three and he only makes 20% of those. He’s a three and D guy…except not because he’s bad at both. In spite of this, he managed to obtain a roster spot on a championship contender.

 

Rashard Lewis, MIA (UTIL):

Paid Like: Donatas Maniejunas Numbers Like: Donatas Maniejunas

 

DNPs

MPG

PPG

APG

RPG

PER

Lewis, Rashard (34)

3

18.4

4.8

1.1

2.0

10.6

 

The Last of the SuperSonics. Not the Kevin Durant and Nick Collinson ‘Sonics. I’m talking the Ray Allen SuperSonics. The honor of being on this roster cannot be ignored. The self-proclaimed “Sweet Lew” is having the second worst season of his career (his rookie season was really bad). He’s replaced Juwan Howard as the old guy from the Miami bench I’m excited to see play NBA basketball. Just like Howard he continues to get checks. Maybe he’ll move on to become an assistant next season.

 

Cut Players

Unfortunately, not every player that came to tryouts for this team was able to make it. Here are the players who came out, but sadly did not make the cut.

 

Point Guards

The position of point guard was one of the more competitive positions for the team this year. Submissions came in from Derek Fisher, Andre Miller, Steve Nash, Chauncey Billups, Earl Watson, Jannero “randomly added an extra N to my name” Pargo.

 

DNPs

MPG

PPG

APG

RPG

PER

Miller, Andre (37) DEN

9

19.0

5.9

3.3

2.4

13.9

Nash, Steve (39) LAL

36

22.5

6.7

4.8

1.5

16.0

Pargo, Jannero (34) CHA

32

3.9

2.0

.4

.1

9.9

Watson, Earl (34) POR

30

5.4

.2

1.0

.4

-2.7

 

Jannero Pargo made a very solid vye to be on this squad with a change in his name. Sadly there has been a very consistent level of play and contract amounts attached to both identities he’s had: low. Jeremy Pargo’s brother was cut very early.

Nash’s decaying body and steady decline (yet still high contract) would appear to make him a good candidate for this roster. His DNPs are on the rise with his PER constantly lowering. He’s still earning a check through his high level of minutes (get your money’s worth L.A).

Earl Watson… yeah… have fun at home with Claire from My Wife and Kids. His family finances are fine. With that PER, I hope they are.

Andre Miller is number nine all time in assists. He’s missed six games his entire career. He still has a very solid PER. That sort of stability and dependability are not what we are looking for on this team (or Brian Shaw on his). Plus, we can’t have a guy in the latter part of his career lashing out for getting a non-injury DNP. That’s part of being a keep gettin’ dem checks guy and if you can’t handle that, you can’t handle being on this team.

Shooting Guards

Shooting guards were much harder to find for this team. Only four showed up to try out: Jason Terry, Ray Allen, John Salmons, Keith Bogans.

 

DNPs

MPG

PPG

APG

RPG

PER

Allen, Ray (36) MIA

5

25.9

9.5

2.1

2.7

13.0

Salmons, John (34) TOR

3

25.1

6.5

2.4

2.5

9.5

Terry, Jason (34) BKN

15

15.8

4.5

1.4

1.1

7.1

 

Ray Allen has has hit a low point in his career PER wise, but this may be more of a result of him moving into a role as a three point specialist (the last two seasons with Miami have each been his highest rate of three-point attempt rate). This transition to a role player has somewhat hid how father time has affected him as a scorer. He stills shows flashes of his offensive arsenal, but I think he’s hiding from who he is as a player. Shuttlesworth didn’t make the cut this time.

John Salmons’ statistical downward spiral has been impressive (probably all those playoff minutes, 40+ MPG for two runs). His points, rebounds, and assists are decreasing to negligible rates, yet he still finds his way into the starting rotation of NBA teams. That sort of usage makes his $7+ million a year (almost)  explainable. We aren’t looking for starters on this team though. Salmons didn’t swim strong enough (I’m sorry).

The Jet is going to have a crash landing at the rate he is going. A member of the Old Men’s Club (commonly known as the Brooklyn Nets) is having a terrible season. The stats he is posting this season are career lows across the board (even turnovers, which is good). He’s still getting over $15 million over the next three seasons. Mikhail Prokhorov cuts checks like no other. The jet may be flying low, but not low enough.

Small Forwards

Small forwards came in a large bunch with ample candidates to choose from.

 

DNPs

MPG

PPG

APG

RPG

PER

Jackson, Stephen (35) N/A

5

11.9

1.7

.6

1.1

.2

Jefferson, Richard (33) UTA

0

27.6

10.6

1.9

2.9

12.6

Prince, Tayshaun (33) MEM

3

26.2

6.4

1.7

3.0

8.4

World Peace, Metta (34) NYK

17

15.0

5.5

.7

2.1

12.4

 

The artist formerly known as Ron Artest has lost some of his crazy and his playing ability. Aside from the fake crazy he delivers on Key and Peele what’s the last outrageous thing he’s done?  A name change? A hair cut? He’s also undergoing knee procedures in what seems like a weekly event. Give me that old pants pulling, fan punching, psychiatrist loving Ron. Artest has a spot on this squad, Metta World Peace cannot.

His teammate from the most entertaining NBA team off all-time, Stack Jack, is fresh back in the NBA after taking a brief hiatus. Sadly, after being cut by the Clippers recently Jackson is no longer collecting a check. His current inability to get ‘dem checks makes him ineligible for a spot on this team. Best of luck Cap’n Jack, go choke out Steve Francis again if it makes you feel better.

Richard Jefferson being a member of the Utah Jazz starting lineup is just one of the many reasons why that team is where the are: the bottom of the league. The third highest scoring Net of all-time (crazy right?) and a member of the two greatest Nets teams ever (go back and look at that team) has made his way back into the starting rotation of a team…just not this team. His numbers just aren’t quite where they need to be.

I’ve never understood the front office of the Memphis Grizzlies (my team). I don’t get it. Why is Tayshaun Prince starting? Why is Lionel Hollins gone? Does this team want to just be old and slow (except Mike Conley)? Whatever. Prince is another member of that ridiculously fast disappearing “dynasty?”. Currently having a horrible season on one of the slowest teams in the NBA (fourth worst in transition points per game), Prince appears to be a solid choice for this team. Sadly, he just didn’t impress me enough in tryouts. He didn’t bring enough West Coast swagger. He’s from Compton. My expectations were higher.

Power Forwards

 

DNPs

MPG

PPG

APG

RPG

PER

Evans, Reggie (33)BKN

12

13.7

2.5

.2

5.3

8.8

Harrington, Al (33) WSH

31

18.6

7.9

1.0

1.4

7.4

Martin, Kenyon (36) NYK

10

20.3

4.2

1.6

4.4

11.9

O’Neal, Jermaine (35) GS

24

18.6

6.2

.3

4.5

11.4

 

Baby Al is pretty far from birth now. The former Naismith high school player of the year has played at a high level for most of his career, but after a staph infection in his knee last season he has continued to have issues. Dahntay Jones’ cousin still sits without an All-Star game to his name (although he’s averaged 20 and 6 for two teams now). It would only make sense if this trend continued.

K-Mart is on the decline just like his nickname’s namesake. They’ve both seen much better days. Martin’s productivity levels are down (except assists) but yet he’s managed to have a win share listed on his stat sheet this year (on the Knicks). I hope he finds a new girlfriend to tattoo her lips on his neck. At this stage in his career he needs love from somewhere, but he won’t get it from this roster.

Another member of the most entertaining NBA team of all-time, (for those interested in violence AKA Americans) O’Neal has been showing off the suit game this year in Oakland on the sidelines for Golden State. In the past he leaves behind the cornrows, streetwear, and his better years as a player. As much as I wanted him on this team, I feel an all or none approach should be taken toward the 2004-2005 Pacers players.

Reggie Evans is doing what he always does: getting more rebounds than points. The ratio this season is around even with his career high at about 2:1. He’s not quite having the worst season of his career, albeit his numbers are down. The Collector is collecting what he collects best: a paycheck and rebounds.

Center

 

DNPs

MPG

PPG

APG

RPG

PER

Andersen, Chris (35) MIA

6

18.5

6.3

.5

4.5

17.0

Collison, Nick (33) OKC

1

17.3

4.3

1.1

3.4

11.1

 

Sometimes I feel like people don’t realize that Nick Collison has been in the league for a while. Starting next year he can demand the maximum veteran’s minimum, putting himself among the likes of Derek Fisher and Jermaine O’Neal. There hasn’t been too much of a decline in his performance during his tenure, except rebounding that’s been on a steady decline. Aside from that, he’s been a consistent performer on  consistent contender. Maybe next year Collison, Maybe next year.

Birdman brings a lot ot the table. He’s got personality. He’s done drugs. He’s got tattoos. However, he’s having one of the best seasons of his career. On the band of old men that makes up the Miami Heat ( the oldest team in the NBA), he’s on the upswing. This increase in productivity is not quite what we’re looking for.

Scouting for Next Season

Of course, not every person given the honorable title of veteran was able to receive an invite to tryout for this prestigious team. Here are some names to look out for that may get a roster spot next season.

 

  • Paul Pierce (we’re starting to handle the truth)

  • Kobe Bryant (Franzia)

  • Shawn Marion

  • Dirk Nowitzki (that shot is saving you for now)

  • Manu Ginobili (your bald spot will match your play soon)

  • Caron Butler

  • Vince Carter

  • Tim Duncan (ONE DAY TIME WILL CATCH YOU!!!)