Category Archives: Just For Fun

The Don Nelson All-Star Team

Hanging out with Hoopism‘s Bailey brothers (Jason & Matt) and Harold Shanafield of Haystack Scouting on Friday night, we had a great conversation about the “ultimate teams” of a given coach. The idea is this: if you had a certain coach, and you had to play a pickup game in his signature style with players from NBA history, who do you pick to play?

Specifically, we were joking around and picking Don Nelson all-stars, thinking of freakish lineups with a SF at the 1, a PG at the 2, a SG at the 3, a SF at the 4, and a PF at the 5. Jason had a few too many beers and picked Travis Outlaw as his PG, I called on Antoine Walker’s services at point forward, Matt built a team around Anthony Mason, and I also think Wang Zhizhi was somehow involved. This was all for fun, but what if we actually picked the players who put up the most Win Shares while playing for Nelson?

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Searching For the NBA’s Version of the Charlie Sheen Fiasco

In the wake of the ongoing Charlie Sheen chaos, I was (of course) racking my brain to find a comparable NBA analogy. Ideally you’d want to find a situation with the following parallels:

  • It involves a winning team. Although I have personally never seen an episode, Sheen’s show Two and a Half Men is apparently wildly successful, as Sheen is quick to point out to anyone who will listen. So any NBA equivalent would have to involve a good team, probably one that had been a contender for multiple years.
  • It involves that team’s best player. Monetarily speaking, Sheen is the #1 scorer on Two and a Half Men, and in fact the league’s top player — he made $1.8 million/episode in 2010, making him the highest-paid actor on television. The basketball equivalent would have to deal with a similar star in his prime.
  • The team releases that player mid-season. Production on Two and a Half Men‘s 8th season was halted midway due to Sheen’s behavioral problems, so an NBA version would have to involve a team waiving their best player in the middle of the season.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a single situation in NBA history that meets all of those requirements. In fact, as far as I can tell, there are only a few remotely comparable situations:

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Fantasy Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Tim Hardaway, Class of 2010

Back in early May, I conducted a poll asking our readers to vote on who should be inducted into the inaugural Fantasy Basketball Hall of Fame class, and you responded very well, registering almost 1,000 votes. According to the rules of the HoF (based on the Baseball Hall of Fame process), a player had to be named on 75% of ballots to be inducted, which left us with two players (2 point guards, actually): Kevin Johnson, and Tim Hardaway. KJ was honored in July, so now it’s time for the original king of the killer crossover…

Timothy Duane “Tim Bug” Hardaway
Position: Point Guard
Height: 6-0 ▪ Weight: 175 lbs.
Born: September 1, 1966 in Chicago, Illinois
High School: Carver in Chicago, Illinois
College: University of Texas at El Paso
Draft: Selected by the Golden State Warriors in the 1st round (14th pick, 14th overall) of the 1989 NBA draft.

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Fantasy Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Kevin Johnson, Class of 2010

Back in early May, I conducted a poll asking readers t0 vote on who should be inducted into the inaugural Fantasy Basketball Hall of Fame class, and you responded very well, registering almost 1,000 votes. According to the rules of the HoF (based on the Baseball Hall of Fame process), a player had to be named on 75% of ballots to be inducted, which left us with two players (2 point guards, actually): Kevin Johnson, and Tim Hardaway. Tim Bug will get his ceremony later in the summer, but today I think we’ll give KJ the love he deserves as a charter member of the FBHoF…

Kevin Maurice “K.J.” Johnson
Position: Point Guard
Height: 6-1 Weight: 180 lbs.
Born: March 4, 1966 in Sacramento, California
High School: Sacramento in Sacramento, California
College: University of California
Draft: Selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1st round (7th pick, 7th overall) of the 1987 NBA draft.

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Playoff “Quarterbacks”: Rajon Rondo or Tom Brady?

As an announcer, Mark Jackson sure loves to repeat himself. Whether it’s “Mama there goes that man,” “Hand down, man down,” or my personal favorite, “Grown man move” (clip unavailable), Jackson’s canned go-to phrases are a staple of any ESPN broadcast — especially when cutting to a commercial break, serving to punctuate an important replay with, well, words that have lost all meaning.

Recently, though, Jackson’s been repeating another comment he began to make during Rajon Rondo’s triple-double vs. Cleveland two weeks ago. Here’s a variation from Saturday night:

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Poll: Vote for the Fantasy Basketball Hall of Fame

A select few in the annals of the game will be elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, but those who don’t make the cut shouldn’t despair. If you compiled great conventional stats on losing teams, or powered many a fantasy league championship despite never quite getting over the hump in the real NBA playoffs, this idea is for you…

The premise: create a Hall of Fame for the best fantasy basketball players of all time. The requirements:

  1. Only stats compiled from 1990 to the present are considered, because fantasy hoops was not really a mainstream activity until the nineties.
  2. Players must have played at least 5 years as a fantasy starter in a 12-team league (or similar) from 1990-present.
  3. The player must be retired and/or out of basketball in 2010 (no current players allowed).
  4. Only consider fantasy value in standard league setups — i.e., 12 teams, 8 categories, roto, head-to-head, or basic points. In other words, no super-shallow or deep leagues, and no exotic scoring systems.
  5. Players are ineligible if they have more than a remote chance of making the real Basketball Hall of Fame.

To be enshrined, players must receive at least 75% of the vote; those with 5% or fewer will be dropped from future elections. Here’s the inaugural ballot (voting will close in 1 week):

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YouTube Finds: Get Your Classic NBA Live Music On

Back in the mid-to-late 1990s, EA Sports composer Traz Damji put together a series of ridiculously funky (and catchy) background songs for the best years of the NBA Live franchise. They became synonymous with video hoops action for a generation of young, impressionable gamers, and now they’re available in all their old-school glory courtesy of YouTube:

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Lost in Translation

Over the past year, I’ve dabbled a bit in the realm of what I like to call “translating” stats — that is to say, the process of taking a player’s numbers out of one context and plopping them down in another context. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean the usual “what would Player W from Year X have averaged had he switched places with Player Y in Year Z?” strain of time-travel fantasizing, but more like, “given that Player A’s averages were worth B wins in Year C, what would have had to average in Year D to create the exact same number of wins?” The difference is a nuance, a shade of meaning, but still very important, because typically we’re in the business of making value judgments in the latter sense, and we leave the former to the alternate-history crowd.

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Finals Memories

Sometimes I mark the passage of time in my life by the sporting events that happened in a given year. Is that weird? Maybe so. But still, I’m prone to associating particular years with certain happenings from the world of sports — for instance, I hear 1997, I think of Tiger Woods’ historic victory at Augusta. 1998? Michael Jordan’s “last shot”. 1985? The start of the Celtics’ dominating run to championship #16. Oh, and I was also born that year, can’t forget that. But mostly I think of the Celtics.

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