Tuesday, March 31, 2009

On Calipari

I have never liked former Memphis Tigers Coach John Calipari. He has an impressive record, but I don't like him in spite of his recent accomplishments.

During Calipari's first season in Memphis - my last year living in Memphis - I was a Tigers season ticket holder. I attended many games in the Pyramid, and I remember thinking, "Are we really paying this guy this much money to teach these players to pass the ball around the three point line for 25 seconds?"

Years later, I remember thinking "Are we paying him this much for annual appearances in the NIT?" People forget that it took Calipari 6 seasons to coach Memphis out of the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament.

He was charismatic, and a damned good recruiter. And he seems to create a good environment for the players.

But there was always something that rubbed me the wrong way. He was always too slick, and he never said anything that made me think he had a strong basketball mind.

In 2005, the NBA added a rule that forced the Amare Stoudemires and the Lebron Jameses to endure at least one year in college before entering the NBA draft. That season, Calipari's Tigers progressed to the Elite Eight and the coach's skills as a recruiter increased significantly.

With the best college player in the country, Calipari took the Tigers to the NCAA finals.

On the most public stage in college basketball, the Tigers then suffered the most miserable, embarrassing defeat imaginable, losing to Kansas after leading by 9 with 3 minutes left in the game. When winning the game was inevitable, the team choked on possession after possession for three excruciating minutes plus overtime.

That is the memory of John Calipari's Tigers that stands out most in my mind. When the team needed a leader to pull them together, Calipari was not able to do so successfully.

Now that memory is Calipari's legacy for me.

As for the Tigers, with Calipari gone, and the recruiting class decimated, the Tigers are just as close - at least two to three seasons - to relevance as they were when he arrived.

In fact, they may be further from relevance since CUSA has also been decimated since then.

You can't argue with Calipari's results. He almost won a championship.

You can't argue with his choice to leave. I would leave my job if I liked another opportunity better.

But when I think of John Calipari, I'm not impressed.

Who's your Haddadi?

I returned from Spain to see the Grizzlies defeat the Warriors in Oakland.

Little did I know, Hamed Haddadi would have his career best game. The highlight of the game was when I got Haddadi's attention as he exited the court after the game. I wanted to be sure that he knew the fans appreciated a job well done.

I also want to give a shout out to the other Grizz fan (there was only one other) wearing a Rudy Gay jersey who I met on BART. He represented White Station class of 1993. Go Spartans.

Did you know that the Grizzlies have only won 19 games this season?

Did you know that 4 of those game were against the Warriors?

Do you think that the work of Bay Area Grizzlies fan blog David Love the Grizzlies may be having an impact?

Something to think about...

Here I am dominating the Warriors:

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I'll be travelling to Spain on Friday.

My goal: Become the first Memphian living in the Bay Area to have his photo taken with "La Bomba" on two continents.

I will also keep an eye out for any Gasol monuments / billboards.

Look for updates here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bear Hug

Watching the Grizz - Nugg game. Rolando Balkman just bear hugged Marc Gasol from behind, and the refs called a jump ball.

When I made that play on in my buddy's driveway, he always used to say it was a foul.

I will have to update him.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"Grizzlies suck"

Last night, during the Celtics vs Grizzlies game, my buddy, Dave,  from the Boston area texted me: "Grizzlies suck".

I thought his analysis was spot on so I thought I would share it here. 

This is the life of a Grizzlies fan - friends constantly remind you how terrible your team is.

On an unrelated note, one reader, Curt asked for an analysis of the Marko Jaric sexual assault situation, in which the Philadelphia DA decided the was no merit to the case. 

My analysis is that there is no merit to giving Jaric playing time. I never thought we'd find a Serbian player in the NBA more overpaid and less talented than Darko Milicic, and then give him significant playing time. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

DVR Blogging: Griz vs Wolves

DVR blogging is like live blogging only the blogger (me) is watching the game on his DVR instead of live at the game. 

I'm delayed by an hour. It's 6:30 PM and I have just finished watching the first quarter.

Here is my 'analysis':

The Grizzlies are losing 35 to 14. Mike Miller and Kevin Love are destroying the Grizzlies. Also, someone called Ryan Gomes seems to be trying to woo Adriana Lima with his skillz.

Please don't spoil the ending for me.


Brian Cardinal has hit a 3, and the announcers just said that the Timberwolves (who are up by 18) are more short-handed tonight than they have been  all season. 

The Grizzlies are shorthanded too. They are missing Amare Stoudemire

I feel like someone has just thrown a bag of dog feces at me.


In Q3, we learned that Candace Parker is the more attractive of the Candace Parker / Sheldon Williams relationship.

Also we had this quote: "Mayo shut down! Mike Miller holds the Mayo!"


I have lost interest.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Conditions for Taking Monte

Per my previous post, here are my conditions for trading for Monte.

Will not accept:
  • Corey Magette
  • Stephen Jackson
Will not trade:
  • OJ Mayo
  • Rudy Gay
Will only begrudgingly accept:
  • Andres Biedrins
  • Ronny Turiaf

Friday, March 06, 2009

Here's the Deal

Make this happen.

I would not mind a backcourt of Mayo and Ellis, with Gay on the wing. 

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Grizzlies Still in Business

Last week, I linked to Bill Simmons' recent article about the financial state of the NBA

Simmons claimed the Grizzlies were throwing dog feces at nonexistent fans and bleeding money. 

Both Chris Wallace and Michael Heisley have publicly responded to Simmons. 

Wallace indicated that the Grizzlies did not throw dog feces at anyone on Chris Vernon's radio show.

Michael Heisley confirmed that the Grizzlies are breaking even in an interview with the guys from 3ShadesofBlue.

It turns out that trading conditional 2nd round draft picks for cash is a profitable venture. Now, if only the team was better than dog feces.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Kevin McHale: Class Act

"Corrections need to be made," McHale said. "We're kind of in the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac era of subprime loans. There's some subprime contracts. We've got to be able to have the government absorb them."

McHale thinks the players need to take a pay cut because the NBA's revenues have declined.

"I think you'll see a lot of changes coming down the road," McHale said. "I think that the players' association knows it. You've got to put up the good fight, but I mean, you're not going to get a lot of sympathy from fans for the amount of money and stuff. But there will be changes."

McHale is correct. The owners shouldn't bear all of the losses.

However, what McHale fails to point out is that no player has more of impact on the Timberwolves' bottom line that McHale. 

If fans aren't buying tickets to see the Timberwolves play, is it not in large part because they are a terrible team? (The macroeconimic situation is not the only driver of NBA revenue.)

Who has more on fluence on whether the Timberwolves are competitive than McHale? Maybe 2 people? Certainly no one from the player's association.

You might say the players need to take a pay cut because the owners have done such a terrible job of building teams worth watching. (eg The Timberwolves)

But I liked how McHale, a former player, went ahead and took the owners' side. 

The truth is that a more sensible revenue sharing system would be healthier for both the players and the owners than simply asking the players to take less money. With better revenue sharing, more teams would be competitive, ticket sales would increase, and there would be more money for both sides to share.

I'm not saying you could sign Marko Jaric for whatever McHale decided to pay and have it make financial sense. I'm just saying there are more problems than the players contracts and more solutions than having the players give in.

But I can see how McHale would make the connection between billionaires negotiating with millionaires and poor people losing their homes.

At least the Mayo-Love swap doesn't look as bad anymore.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Grizzlies Feeds

Ever wonder where I get my Grizzlies news? 

Below is an inside look at my NBA Feed subscriptions ordered from fewest subscribers to most subscribers. This is where I get the most up-to-date information about to whom the Grizzlies lost and by how many points.

I'll bet you didn't know I was the only person in the world who subscribed to Videos at Grizzlies.com.

Another interesting fact: if DavidLovesTheGrizzlies gets 7 more subscribers, I will have as many subscribers as Geoff Calkins!

Please comment below if you'd like to suggest a Grizzlies Feed.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Darius' PER

If my blog were Twitter, this would be today's tweat:

"Was wondering what Darius' PER was this season so I looked it up at ESPN.com. Turns out this is his best season as measured by PER."