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Found 8 results

  1. On Kobe Bryant's final game of his career, he tosses in 60 points on a career-high 50 shots. Yes, the Lakers were feeding him the ball and telling him to shoot, no the Jazz weren't playing their best defense, but who cares. All people will remember 50 years from now is 60 points in his final game. Congratulations on a legendary career, Black Mamba!
  2. Here is to the Wizards. They made the playoffs. Do you realize they have had the aggregate worst record in the NBA since 2000. They probably had one of the worst records between around 1980 and 2000. They have been a disappointing team. ....and I've followed them virtually all of that time. I started watching them way back....in Baltimore...When Wes Unseld turned them into a fearsome team and Earl Monroe was a one of a kind unstoppable offensive whirlwind. They had other great players back then including the incredibly powerful Gus Johnson. And then the team got BETTER. They won a championship in the late 1970's had an excellent team....and a couple of dismal decades.... So it is good to see this team with some young stars plus some wise stable veterans finally make the playoffs. The Washington Post has an astonishing statistical look at the Wizards season thanks to 6 cameras attached to the tops of arenas catching every moment of every game. Here is an astonishing little detail one might never know: John Wall basically controls the ball more than any other player on any other team. Lots of other little nuggets in the story. In any case good luck Wizards in the Playoffs. You would have made Abe Pollin proud. --- [The following posts have been split into separate threads: Wes Unseld (DonRocks)]
  3. Q: Who is San Diego State's all-time Assists leader? A: Tony Gwynn
  4. For several years, I was a Big Brother, until my little brother, Ali, his mom Iris, and his sister, Naimah, moved to San Diego to stake out a better life for themselves. I remember taking his family to the airport, and had to pay for their cat to get on the plane because they didn't have the money. I only saw Ali once more after that, a few years later when I went to visit their family out in San Diego. We drove up to Los Angeles because Ali wanted to go to the Spike Lee Store, where everything was overpriced and of questionable quality. I bought him a T-shirt, and paid twice what it was worth - I didn't want to drive back to San Diego without a momento from his hero. A few years before that, I had flown in from Moscow. Exhausted after traveling the better part of 24 hours, I was ready to collapse into bed, but checked my answering machine first. There was a message from Iris: Ali's best friend Frankie was shot and killed in a drug deal gone bad, and the funeral was in about one hour. Somehow, I found the strength to throw on a suit, and drive to Seat Pleasant, where I was the only white person at the funeral. Frankie's mom came up to me, and asked me to say a few words. To this day, I have no idea why - what the heck was I supposed to say? Fighting lack of concentration because of sleepiness, I fumbled through my speech, turned to Frankie lying in his coffin, and told him we all loved him - that won the audience over, and things went as well as they could have under the extreme amount of pressure I was under. Six years ago, I wondered what Ali had been up to, and I searched his name on the internet, only to find his obituary. I posted this. Frankie and Ali were both the finest young men. I loved them and miss them terribly to this day - their premature deaths are 100% attributable to the neighborhoods they grew up in - even though Iris tried her best to escape, it just wasn't enough. She didn't have the money. I did things with Ali and Frankie about once a week, and remember one day asking them where they went to school. "Taney Middle School," Ali said, which meant nothing to me, or to him, or to Frankie. But a few years later, I did a little research, and found that Roger B. Taney was a Supreme Court Justice. 'Okay,' I thought to myself, they had gone to a middle school named after a Supreme Court Justice. Then, I found out that Roger B. Taney was actually Chief Justice from 1836-1864, and was the person who wrote the majority decision in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857. These children were going to a school that was nearly 100% black, and the school was named after the Chief Justice who tried the Dred Scott case? I couldn't believe it, but over the years, I forgot all about it. Until recently, when it popped back into my mind, and I Googled to see if that school was really named after the same man who wrote the Dred Scott ruling - the ruling that said, blacks "had no rights which the white man was bound to respect." Fortunately, in 1993, someone had the common sense to change the name of the school from "Roger B. Taney Middle School" to "Thurgood Marshall Middle School": "School May Change Name to Thurgood Marshall" on articles.orlandosentinel.com This column came out today: "Out with Redskins - and Everything Else!" by George F. Will on washingtonpost.com Will mixed up some valid points along with some reductio ad absurdum, as he seems to have a tendency to do - he's a smart guy; I wonder what he would say about Roger B. Taney Middle School educating a nearly all-black student body.
  5. I recently commented on my seemingly non-stop run of good luck with American Westerns, but I've just come across two-in-a-row that I'd say were of the "good-but-not-great" variety: "The Magnificent Seven" and "Firecreek," and this makes me wonder - have I been good at selecting Westerns, or have I simply been selecting movies involving John Ford and Clint Eastwood? One problem I see in "Firecreek" is that there's no strongman (yes, the same can be said about "Shane," but I also didn't like Shane). The lead protagonist is a 70-year-old Jimmy Stewart, and the lead antagonist is a 73-year-old Henry Fonda, neither of whom - even in their physical primes - were particularly imposing. I love both of these actors, but this does conjure up notions of two elderly men shaking their canes at each other in the nursing home. Their age doesn't bother me per se (hell, I'm getting there myself), but we have people being beaten, killed, etc., and there isn't going to be any John Wayne riding into town to save the day. Still, the mere thought of Stewart and Fonda being together in the same picture is enough to give me optimism. Two out of the five bad guys played important roles on "Star Trek" episodes, and it's hard to get their Trek portrayals out of my head: Gary Lockwood ("Where No Man Has Gone Before") and Morgan Woodward ("Dagger of the Mind"): Halfway into the movie, I retract what I said about Stewart and Fonda - the primary antagonist has been Gary Lockwood (by a long-shot), and Henry Fonda has been wounded, and barely even noticeable in the film - so far, this is a classic "Wild One"- or "Born Losers"-type film about a gang coming into town (sometimes on motorcycles, sometimes on horses), and making trouble for otherwise-peaceful people who did nothing to ask for it. I'm pretty sure there's going to be something bad that happens, since there's so much movie left, and Jimmy Stewart seems like the one who may rise to the occasion, overcoming his normally gentle nature (refer to "Straw Dogs"). I'm liking "Firecreek" more than I thought I might - it's not a great film, but it does follow a classic model, and so far, is doing it pretty well. *** SPOILERS ALERT *** Uh, yeah ... something bad happened: Bad guys and whisky don't mix, and they were hammered when I wrote that last paragraph. Man, this "wake" the antagonists have is like something out of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (and I'm talking about the "family dinner" scene) - this is pretty creepy stuff while not completely going over the top. In many ways, this is what I would term a "small film" - a movie that deals with relatively minor issues on a less-than-grand scale. Not a boring, period piece, but just relatively compact in overall size. With that said, the music - scored by the well-known Alfred Newman - is arguably more ambitious than the movie. There are times when you notice the music, but shouldn't, and I'll go far enough to say that in a couple of spots, it's a bit maudlin - when a film's music is in balance, you don't really notice it, but there are a couple of times in Firecreek when you do, and I wish Newman had toned it down maybe just ten percent. The music is good, mind you, but it can be just a touch too amped up for the situation. One example is when Stewart leaves his wife (who is in false labor) and rides back into town - that whole scene is a little too dramatized, aurally, and would be better served by a more pensive score. (Of course, that dramatic music could indicate that something is about to, ahem, happen.) Oh my goodness, my "Straw Dogs" comment isn't all that far off. I don't read critics' reviews until after I finish watching films. I don't care what anyone says - of the previous two Westerns I've seen, neither "The Magnificent Seven" nor "Firecreek" are great, but both are good, and "Firecreek" is the better of the two. [I've now read what scant reviews are out there.] "The Magnificent Seven" is wildly overrated; "Firecreek" is slightly underrated.
  6. If you like NBA scorers, Dirk Notwitzki is and has been one of the best. He is currently 6th in all time scoring and only the 6th player to score over 30,000 points. Rarified air. He is also a horse. He is currently ranked 11th in all times games and 8th all time in minutes. He is still active. He has played a lot and scored a lot. He is a scorer, he shoots a lot and hits a lot, currently 11th in total field goals, 9th in attempts, 14th in total 3 pt shots, 13th in attempts and 7th in foul shots made. Completely a high production horse. Currently in his 19th season all for one team, The Dallas Mavericks. He is their all time star of stars. He is still effective. The other night in his 19th season he contributed to a Mavs victory at the Wizards scoring 20 points in 32 minutes. including some devastating 3 pointers. In his freaking 19th year!! Nowitzki has high value offensive attributes. He is the prototype "stretch 4" or big man that can shoot effectively from the outside. If he didn't invent the position he clearly defined it. He isn't just big, he is 7 feet tall. His outside shot is both deadly and unblockable. Put a tall guy on him, he can still shoot the fadeaway over the tall guy, or invariably drive by him. Put a shorter guy on him and the shot never gets blocked. Nowitzki has one of the games all time iconic shots. Interestingly Nowitzki's career virtually completely overlaps with that of Tim Duncan. Two guys with long careers for a single team, and coincidentally they played in the same state (Texas) in the same division, and matched up frequently: 57 times in regular season, 33 games in the playoffs. Personal statistics against one another pretty similar and characteristic of their strengths. Duncan has a big edge in regular season wins; its much closer in the playoffs. It is one of the league's all time rivalries if somewhat understated. Nowitzki has also been a winner, if not to the same degree as Duncan, still remarkably successful. During his time in Dallas the team had 11 consecutive seasons with 50 wins or more. 11 consecutive seasons. Phenomenal. Other teams have similar or even better streaks (Duncan's Spurs) and yet teams such as the Wizards haven't won 50 or more games since 1979. Nowitzki gave his team sustained excellence, including one NBA championship, two times in the finals, and endless times in the playoffs. Nowitzki is a scorer and a winner. During his "reign" Dallas never had another super star; accompanying good to excellent players but no superstars who played with Nowitzki at their primes. He carried the team. He essentially made Dallas "unmatchable". How do you cover a 7 foot guy who shoots from the outside and the far outside? You can't. Its been the defining element of the Dallas Mavs offense for most of the last 19 years. Quite a streak. Here are a paltry 4 minutes of some of his best and game winning plays:
  7. Please don't remember John Glenn only for his partisan politics - the man was, is, and always will be a great American Hero - just look at those tags in this thread, and there could have been more. I have total respect for this great American, and I hope everyone else does, too. Senator Glenn left us earlier today at the age of 95 - we lost a giant today: What a great man.
  8. Peter Murphy left Bauhaus and did his own thing. A friend gave me a listen. Went to see in in 86 or 87 at the old 930 Club (horribly distorted speakers and all) and he was great. A skeleton, but great. "Final Solution" (1986) "My Last Two Weeks" (1988) "The Sweetest Drop" (1992) Not as much a fan as I was back then, but still he did some interesting stuff.
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