Archive for March, 2013


27 Mar


Ever watched a movie and thought to yourself, “this movie would be happened if this happened”, “how in the world, did the movie/screenwriter/director  think they could get away with that”, or “what the hell, was this character thinking.” We all have right? Well I call these head-scratchers and movie notes Movie Musings, and in this first edition I present you 10 of my most profound (to date):

Enjoy, and beware the SPOILER ALERT!!!!

  1. LOOPER- Instead of the nice ending where the boy doesn’t witness his mom die, and thus doesn’t grow up to destroy the World, how about a darker one, where the World is destroyed. This is accomplished by the boy not being the one of two prospective child killers Bruce Willis’ character narrows down, but rather the other kid (the little girl) who watches her prostitute mom bite the big one in the sleazy motel floor. Having this ending in place, makes not only for much darker picture, but also aligns with the movie’s premise that the grand killer is pissed because they watched their mother die as a child.
  2. Jaws- Why do they keep going in the Water? I know there is no movie without it, but if you know there is a tyrannical monster in the Water, why do you keep going in? I hate this movie, if I am near any body of water I don’t go more than ten feet past the shoreline because of it.
  3. Inglorious Bastards, Dhjano Unchained, Kill Bill etc.- Why exactly Tarantino movies are so popular I will never know. I supposed they are decent in terms of production, but to me they are all mostly comprised of over-the-top violence and non-sensical speak.
  4. Spiderman 2- Hey Spiderman, why do you keep taking your mask off, aren’t you aware that everyone on the train now knows your identity and will dime you out at the drop of a hat for a) fame b) money c) to save their own skin.* Spiderman Bonus- in the first Spiderman in the Tobey MacGuire Series, why does Spiderman turn down a job from Norman Osbourne?? Parker you are dead broke, your aunt is sick as hell and dead broke and you were just received a lucrative job offer from your friend’s dad. 99.9% of people get their jobs based on people they know, welcome to the real World Spidey. Also he wasn’t giving him the job because he is a pal, Parker was the best student in class and thus he earned it, so get off your po’ high horse.
  5. The Amazing Spiderman- Building on my frustrations with the Spiderman movie franchise, not only does the Andrew Garfield Spiderman build on the Tobey Macguire one by revealing to the World who he is via his constant penchant to take his mask off, but he also commits several other atrocities along the way. Two of the biggest are certainly having a large role in unleashing the Lizard villain on the city and being the person most responsible for getting his girlfriend’s dad whack. One knowing the latter how does she stay with him? He must be amazing.
  6. Skyfall- What was the point of going out unarmed in the middle of nowhere alone with the old MI6 woman and leaving a trail of bread crumbs behind? Was the point to allow possibly the best M16 agent of all time an opportunity to assemble dozens of other men like him and come at you fully armed with two helicopters blasting your childhood home? Granted Bond does an admirable job fending them all off with only a tank of propane he did not know existed, but in the process he got the old lady whacked anyway. Job failed. As I have said before, Skyfall was a decent action movie, but a poor Bond movie.
  7. Doubt- zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  8.  The Devil Wears Prada- After Anne Hathaway and her boyfriend (easily one of Vinny Chase’s finest performances) break-up, Hathaway proceeds to given in and sleep with the sleazy guy (played by the Mentalist) who has been pursuing her the whole movie. Of course, the Mentalist Sleaze promptly reveals just how sleazy he is and Hathaway storms out of the room on some kind of moral high horse. Newsflash Queen Hathaway: HE STILL BANGED YOU!!!
  9. Life of Pi- If that creepy mystery island is truly poisonous at night, how can a full-sized fish be seen floating in the mystery island pond at night. For that to happen the island must be a fake and Pi a no good dirty murder.
  10. Flight- What type of movie was this exactly? Was it a Drama? Was it Suspense? Was it a Comedy? I don’t get it. The movie was so turbulent from one moment to the next that it seems like the plane sequence itself was a metaphor for the entire movie. Also there is no way after he lives his life like a sleazy then at that exact moment at the tribunal where he tells one more harmless lie (harmless because even if he was sober he does the job no one else can) and get millions of dollars (book-deals, endorsements, appearance fees etc.), all the booze he can drink, all the coke he can snort, and all the women he can handle for the rest of his life, that he chooses to tell the truth. Look I’m all for telling the truth, but a guy like that doesn’t pull that chivalry move. If he reforms, that’s great, but he doesn’t pick that moment.
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14 Mar

In my previous piece, I looked at some of the pressing issues of some of the NBA’s most pertinent teams (as well as our local Raptors). However, given that there are more than 4 teams in the NBA I have decided to look at a few more.

CHICAGO BULLS-When will Derrick Rose be Back?

Currently the Bulls sit at 35-29 which is good for 5th place in the Eastern Conference. Although their record is not fantastic, it is remarkable considering they have been forced to play without former MVP Derrick Rose for the entire season. It is tough for any team to compensate for 21 points and 7 assists a game, but in the case of the Bulls it is especially difficult because their entire team game is built around Rose as he is both their lead scorer and facilitator. Without him you think they would be totally lost (like they were in the playoffs last year), but somehow this group has pulled together and are a remarkable 14 games over .500.

While the Bulls have some talented players, Boozer is incredibly inconsistent (especially when it matters) and both Noah and Deng are defense first guys. The offensive spark the Bulls are supposed to rely on from game-to-game is supposed to come from Rose, only he is not there. And while I get that an ACL injury is no joke, Derrick Rose by Derrick Rose’s own admission is healthy enough to play basketball. In fact, Derrick Rose has been good to go from some time now, only he isn’t on the court.  

Only Derrick Rose knows the real reason he is healthy yet refuses to play, but if the comments made by his manager and brother made towards Bulls management over their decision not to pursue any meaningful deals are any indication, the reason seems to be totally dubious. However, this vengefully motive aside, another perhaps more frightening reason Rose is not on the court is perhaps that he is just plain scarred. Rose has not only indicated that he is physically fine, but amazingly also indicated he is mentally conflicted and terrified of getting hurt again. I may not know everything there is to know about basketball, but no franchise player and no former MVP should be talking this way, and if he is I would be worried if I was affiliated with this organization.

Therefore, Bulls fans you should officially be terrified because even if Rose does come back this year, his lost confidence in both himself and his frustrations with the organization are a toxic enough mix to kill any deep playoff hopes.

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS- Is this team for real?

The real question should maybe be can this team contend for a championship? The reason for the change being that the Clippers are for real, in that they are a young and talented team with a great record, but do they posses all they need to contend for a title this year? The pros for the Clippers again are that they are young, that they are talented and of course that they have the best point guard in the NBA in Chirs Paul leading their team on the court.  Furthermore, their front court leapers of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan make them one of the most entertaining and most hyped teams in the league. Unfortunately, for the Clippers however, they not only seem to lose too many games they should be winning, but that they seem far too one dimensional in that no one in their front court can shoot decently 5 feet from the basket or make free throws. Even more troubling for the Clippers is that Chris Paul is the absolute heart of this team and if he goes down at any point this team is lost.

As such, because of the significance of the aforementioned strikes, I do not believe that we are going to see any conference finals let alone NBA finals out of the Clippers this year. However, with a couple of tweaks via some key veteran signings, a SG or SF who can shoot, and especially a decent back-up for Chris Paul, this team could take the next step very soon.

SAN ANTONIO SPURS- Just how good is this team?

The short answer is excellent. The long answer, more descriptive.

Many people seem to forget that during various points of the Spurs playoff run last season, that a lot of people were calling them the greatest playoff team ever (YES THIS HAPPENED). In fact, the Spurs looked so good that it appeared they were poised to steamroll an injury plagued Heat team in the NBA finals. The problem for the Spurs was the Oklahoma City Thunder. After the first game, the Thunder came storming back in this series (no pun intended), and although they were youthful, they seemed to have answers to all of the wily veteran moves the Spurs could throw at them. Unfortunately, for the Thunder and Lebron-haters everywhere, youthful exuberance was fleeting and the Heat were able to thoroughly dominate the Thunder in the finals. But the question you have to ask yourself is what if the Spurs had matched up with the Heat, would the result have been so one sided? My honest belief is no and I think that series would have gone seven games.  It was therefore a very tough pill to swallow if you affiliations with the Spurs.

The past is the past however, and if you fast-forward to this season, the Spurs are right back to where they usually are; flying under the radar, atop the standings and, Tony Parker’s ankle injury aside, are pretty healthy. I have not seen any reason to believe that this Spurs team is not as good as the one from last year, and if anything, they are more determined than ever to win a title.

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER- Is this the year they take the final step?

As previously mentioned, the Thunder did something truly amazing when they came back to knock of the Spurs in the conference finals. In that last game of the series it looked like nothing was going to stop the Thunder and they were at least going to give the Heat all they could handle. Unfortunately, as LeBron James could have told every member of this team, being a young gun in the NBA finals is not an easy thing to cope with. You are hit with a pressure not seen all season and likely that you have not faced in your entire career (which was certainly the case for the Thunder’s big three). And while Kevin Durant remained a semblance of the Kevin Durant we all know and love, James Harden completely imploded and when the core of your team is made up of jump shooters and this happens, you have got serious problems.

However, just like San Antonio, the past is the past and the Thunder have looked great all season. And while they may have lost James Harden, things have not been terrible as Kevin Matrin has quietly stepped in to fill the shooting void (plus, if he can remain consistent in the playoffs and not implode the way Harden did the decision to deal Harden might prove to be the right one). Other bright spots for the Spurs include Durant continuing to being Durant, the Derrick Fisher signing (I always like the move to sign a championship seasoned veteran close to the playoffs) and Serge Ibalka playing up to the expectations the Thunder had when they kept him and dumped Harden. Unfortunately, for the Thunder their two biggest tests remain in tact (i.e. the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs) so for them to win it all this year would be very difficult. Furthermore, if the Lakers continue their hot streak that would mean another likely hurdle to jump over.

Therefore, even though they have the tools to make the Finals I do not believe that this is the year they take the final step in winning a championship. I do absolutely believe this team will get there, but likely not this season.

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11 Mar

Well, it looks like there are more Jordan fans then I thought. Not only did some of my friends give me grief about my dislike of Michael Jordan, when I commented on a  ESPN OTL article on Jordan ( that was published recently I received some serious heat. To be fair, while my first piece only looked at Jordan the franchise, my response on the OTL piece was considerably more focussed on Jordan the man. In sum I stated that although Jordan was considerable player on the court, I had some serious quams with Jordan’s off court behaviour (Well basically, I called him a failed human being because I absolutely cannot stand when a vile person is reverred and Michael Jordan might just be the most exemplary display of this revolting societal phenomena).

The following is my response to the heat taken and it begins with someone citing Michael Jordan’s “benevolent” “chartity” work (sorry those deserved thier own quotes:

Every athlete gives to charities, but giving to charities in one hand and taking the tax receipt in the other isn’t much. As Jim Brown said of Tiger Woods, as an athlete and a public figure just giving money ain’t nothing, what are you doing for your community personally? What rights are you standing upfor? What important stance are you taking for the people who need it?

Athletes today are so scarred of jeopardizing their brand that they don’t speak up on anything are a just content to get the tax write off or host a charity golf tournament which is paid for by sponsors and nets them only pats on the back.

However, that aspect is not unique to Jordan so I will not fault him for that, all athletes are like that.

What I am speaking of Jordan as a failed human being, is the way he treats others. He has looked down on others for years and treats everyone (inside or outside his inner circle) like dirt. For years the service industry pegged him as the worst and/or cruel celebrity going. He has let his feelings of inadequacy due to his perceived belief that his father loved his brother more turn to rage and manifest itself into a need to belittle or destroy others just to make himself feel big. For years this worked as millions of dollars, a circle of yesmen and the media constantly patting his back made himself feel invincible, but as the years since his retirement mount and others like LeBron and Kobe threaten his on court legacy, his feelings of inadequacy and resentment are only further crippling an already emotionally damaged individual. This is of course to say nothing of his absolute failure as an NBA owner which no doubt comounds the problem.

In sum, you ask me why MJ is failure I gave you my reasons. We are all asked on a daily basis to continually slurp a man who has not played a game of competiitive basketball in 15 years (his years in DC are a farce), why because the man can dribble a basketball and dunk? Please.

Jordan is not Gandhi and never will be. It is time for people and the sportsmedia to wake up and stop treating him like he is. All the trophy wives and expensive liquor are not enough to take the edge off when you are dead inside. Doubt me? Ask Jordan the last time he got a decent nights sleep.


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08 Mar

With the conclusion of the All-Star break and with only about a quarter of the NBA season remaining, there are some very important questions remaining for a few of the NBA’s most prominent teams.


Toronto Raptors- Was worth Rudy Gay worth trading for?

While I have not been a big fan of some of the moves made by the Raps over the last couple of seasons, this was a move I liked. A lot of people were up in arms that Toronto traded away Ed Davis and Raptors staple Jose Calderon, but what these people don’t realize is that the NBA is a star league and in order to compete both on and off the floor (i.e. marketing), you need a big time player who can light it up on the court. Is Rudy Gay one of the top 5 Superstars the NBA has to offer? Maybe not, but given Toronto’s situation he was the best player the Raptors could have realistically acquired for the long haul. And while some concerns persist since the Raptors have been slumping of late and Rudy Gay is shooting 39 percent from the floor, next season the Raptors have a solid chance of not only making the playoffs, but cracking the top 6 in the East as well. If this Raptors squad can continue to mesh well, and they can get anything out of Bargnani (either on the floor or in a trade) they might even be able to attract another quality player to Toronto and then who knows. In short, Rudy Gay was worth trading for.

New York Knicks-Will they continue to fade or will they be able to turn it around?

When the season began there was no hotter team in the NBA than the Knicks. Maybe they didn’t have the best assembly of on-court talent, but they were racking up the wins and their praises were amplified to deafening levels by the New York media. Fast-forward to now and the Knicks appear to flat-lining and the initial weeks of playing above their heads seem to be over. Among the latest in travesties for Knicks fans aside from their mediocre play is their recent implosion against Miami despite being up by double digits at the half, and Mike Woodson’s reprehensible decision not to take his franchise player out of a game after (badly) hurting his knee and begging his coach to come off the floor. The latter event was especially atrocious because if anything happened to the Knicks main 100 million dollar man (sorry Amare), the season was over.

Fortunately for the Knicks, Carmelo’s injury doesn’t seem to be serious, but the handling of the injury as a whole speaks volumes about the Knicks situation as a whole. The Knicks are poorly managed and are one injury away from kissing their season good bye. Add to this that the Knicks as currently constructed do not seem to be made from the mettle needed to win championships (i.e. they are poor closers down the stretch, they rely too heavily on one person for their offensive output, their two highest paid players cannot co-exist on the court together, their point guard is 167 years old etc.) and there are big problems for Knicks’ fans in the longrun. So if you ask me if the Knicks will continue to fade down the stretch, my answer is a definitive yes.

Boston Celtics- Are they the Biggest Threat to the Miami Heat in the East?

When Rajon Rondo was found to have a torn ACL almost every sports media personality was pounding their fists and saying it was time to blow up the Celtics. I however did not feel this way and immediately tweeted that the Celtics were actually better off without Rajon Rondo. How could I make such a statement when Rondo was averaging 11 assists a game (tops in the NBA) and on any given night could take over a game and give you some crazy triple double that looked more like Kate Upton’s measurements than a player’s boxscore? The answer was simple: KG. The way KG plays is that he might be content to sit back and watch other people do their thing for a while, but when it really matters and/or if his team is in distress he performs like the KG reminiscent of his MVP days in Minnesota. No matter how old he is.  Not only that but his infectious do-or-die persona spreads to his entire team and everyone plays better when the chips are down. This has happened every season since the Celtics were written off after winning their first championship in the big three era, with the only exception being two seasons ago when KG himself was lost due to a knee injury and the team was left in total disarray. And so far since Rondo went down with his injury, this season has been no exception. The Celts have not only played their best ball of the season since Rondo went down, but their March 6 comeback win against Indiana (who many have slotted as the number 2 seed in the East) should dispel any notion that the Celtics are done. Can this team beat Miami in a 7 game series? Maybe not, but given the fact that they took Miami to 7 last year and are playing some of the most inspiring basketball in Celtics history, I think they are still Miami’s biggest challenge to repeat.

Los Angeles Lakers-Can this Team Make the Playoffs?

Of all the issues debated and questions which have flown around the NBA this season, the Lakers prowess and their ability to make the playoff have remained right at the top. And justifiably so, as four months into the NBA season the Lakers remain the league’s biggest question mark.  When this squad was first assembled in the Dwight Howard Coup many projected the Lakers to win it all or, at the very least contend with Miami for the NBA crown in the Finals. However, as the season began the Lakers’ prospects have taken a steep downward trajectory that has seen the once mighty Lakers franchise reduced to a laughing stock. Notable among the reasons for this implosion are both Dwight Howard’s schizophrenic persona and the Lakers unbelievable decision to pass on coaching guru Phil Jackson and his 11 titles for offense only Mike D’Antoni and his no titles.

However, despite the best efforts of Lakers brass to undo the legacy of Dr. Jerry Buss in a single season, Kobe Bryant has been playing like a man on fire and seems to have strapped the entire franchise to his back. To say that Bryant is anything short of astonishing for a player in his 17 year in the league would be a total understatement and could only be uttered by someone who knows nothing of basketball. In this era of basketball however, the results for a team who rely too heavily on one player speak for themselves. Example after example shows us that all too often this type of team is destined to see its season end in heartbreak. If Bryant can get some more help from Dwight Howard like he has of late maybe the Lakers can sneak into the playoffs. Unfortunately, even if they do chances are they will face either San Antonio or Oklahoma City, so unless Steve Nash rises from the ashes and plays like he did in Pheonix the Lakers seem poised again for an early exit from the playoffs.

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01 Mar


Have you ever wondered why the mainstream sports media can never get enough of Michael Jordan? I mean Jordan as great a basketball player as he was, has not played in an actual NBA game in over ten years now (15 if you dismiss his meaningless stint on the Wizards). However, despite his lengthy absence from the court, his Air-ness still seems to be mentioned at least 50 times a day by the sports media and the talking heads.  Strange isn’t it?

Last Weekend was All-Star weekend in the NBA, and it was the NBA’s opportunity to present a showcase of the NBA’s best and brightest. Last weekend also happened to encompass Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday. The result? If you happened to tune into any portion of All-star weekend you would promptly be bombarded with nonstop praise, banter and arguments related to why Jordan is God’s gift to basketball (if not the world). Again Michael Jordan has not played a meaningful game of basketball in over 10 years.

Usually, when a star retires there is a huge fuss made about said star, and over the next few years his spotlight tends to shrink and the focus is made on current superstars and their achievements. For whatever reason, Jordan seems to be the exception to this rule.

If one delves into an explanation into this phenomena, the easiest response is that Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player who ever lived and as such his legacy much be constantly engrained in our minds even over a decade after the man’s retirement. However, in order to accept this argument one must submit to the notion that Michael Jordan is in fact the greatest player of all-time. Playing devil’s advocate and looking over Jordan’s achievements we see that in the most relevant statistics Jordan is actually matched or even eclipsed by many of his peers. For example, with respect to Championships, Career Points Per Game, and Career Total Points respectively he is easily overpowered by Bill Russell in title total (11-6), tied with Wilt Chamberlain in PPG (31.4) and is a substantial distance behind both Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and Karl Malone (36,928) in career points (at 32,292). However, at this point I will give Jordan-heads and Stat-heads a break, and just rationalize that perhaps Jordan is universally acclaimed to be boss of basketball because as a composite of all relevant statistics, maybe he is on top. It is a scenario that while still close with many Kings of the Court, I can accept.

However, what I cannot and will not accept is the notion that Michael Jordan is so much more dominant than his peers (players like Magic, Russell, Wilt, Kareem and even Kobe), that we must universally associate greatness in sports (and even greatness in general) with Michael Jordan. Is Michael Jordan more relevant to his sport and so much more dominant in comparison with his peers than Wayne Gretzky, Muhammad Ali, Roger Federer or Jim Brown? The answer on both counts is no, and as such to my everlasting confusion I do not understand why Jordan’s name is pounded into our heads with such veracity on a daily basis.

The aforementioned confusion however, is predicated on the naive belief that the push to constantly affirm Jordan’s legacy is based on nothing more than his on-court achievements. Unfortunately, when you look at the financial interests at stake, things quickly start to clear up. Despite being way past his prime as an athlete and not playing on the court in some time, earlier this year Yahoo estimated that Air Jordan still takes in approximately 80 million dollars a year. 80 million!! For a guy, who again has not played a meaningful game of basketball in over 15 years this amount is incredible. Where does the money come from you ask? Well if you guessed the majority of it comes from his investments and his ability to run the Charlotte Bobcats into the ground you would be wrong, as the lion share of Jordan’s income is derived from endorsement deal and his partnership with Nike (the Nike deal alone nets him 60 million a year!). Again Michael Jordan has not played a meaningful game in over a decade!  However, this fact apparently matters not to Nike and the general public as “Brand Jordan” currently accounts for 58 percent of the basketball shoe market (much larger than even the rest of Nike which sits in the 30s). Clearly, having Jordan attached to basketball for has long as he has has been a huge boon for Nike.

The next step in solving this mystery is asking, who exactly is Nike? The simple answer is that Nike is the world’s largest shoe and sport apparel company which earns hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year. However, they are also one of the biggest advertisers on some of the most well known media outlets around from Sports Illustrated to ESPN and everyone in between.

Naive or not I hope the dots are beginning to connect. Without question having his name mentioned ad nauseam has been great for Michael Jordan. But it has also been great for the World’s largest sporting goods brand, media outlets and all of the people they employ.

In sum, I do not doubt Michael Jordan’s achievements on the basketball court, but given his performance relevant to his peers both within the sport and to other greats in many other sports, I have a hard time believing that Michael Jordan’s legacy can be constantly perpetuated on that alone. No doubt you should as well.


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