Saturday , Sep , 27 , 2003 C.Y. Ellis

4th Edition – 09/29/03

As I sit here and ponder what the topic of this article will be I’m drawing blanks. I mean in terms of what really matters (the actual games), there’s nothing going on in the world of basketball. Since the season is upon us, things are quiet. All the teams in the league have made their major transactions, so right now they’re just trying to fill in the small gaps. General Managers throughout the league are executing (or at least trying to) their Plan C-Z options to sure up the moves they made earlier in the off-season. So as the start of NBA training camp is just a few days away–I sit waiting–impatiently.

4th Edition - 09/29/03

Whoever said patience is a virtue? As a matter of fact, being patient can be frustrating. Sitting around waiting for something that may or should benefit you, but not knowing when it will come. Meanwhile, by the time whatever it is you’re waiting for comes around it may be too late!

Forgive me y’all, I apologize for babbling about absolutely nothing (too much Seinfeld), but as I stated, there isn’t much to work with.

Nevertheless, I hope I’m not boring anyone–Lord knows I wouldn’t want to do that. Speaking of the Almighty (segue), one of my favorite basketball movies is “He Got Game.” I know that was random, but I’m watching it as I write this joint. Anyway…what a dope film! The cinematography, the story, the message and the symbolism are on point. I thought Spike did a great job of conveying the importance of individual growth and responsibility all centered on basketball. Ray Allen did a good job in his debut (Jesus Saves!), Denzel was Denzel and Rick Fox was hilarious… “Brooklyn is definitely in the house!”

There’s a thought. Maybe I need to get out of the house and do something to occupy my idle mind. I mean for the most, my life isn’t this EMPTY but on this particular day…lets just say I need a refill.

About an hour or so later…

After making a few runs around the town (I really did leave by the way.), I’m back to the subject at hand. I stopped by a newsstand and checked out a few basketball rags. The new SLAM with Carmelo Anthony on the cover was cool — but the new KICKS with the adidas crew (Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Tracy McGrady) gracing it had my complete attention. Inside I saw pictures of some of the upcoming basketball shoes. And I must say the new Vince Carter’s had me open — especially the white versions that will be out early next year. Unfortunately the price is rather steep, Vince is dope and all but I don’t think he should have a $150 shoe–that’s Jordan territory. For obvious reasons, only his joints (and I mean his signature line, not the Brand Jordan) justify spending that kinda dough on sneakers. So after flipping through a few more publications, I decided to end the field trip.

Why prolong the agony by reading various prognostications and theories about who’s going to make the playoffs and who’s taking home the glory in June? Everyone knows they don’t mean anything. As legitimate fans of the sport, we all know who the REAL contenders are compared to the squads whose only aspirations are to make the second round (Minnesota and Orlando). Granted the post-season is what it’s all about, but this regular season is shaping up to be monumental.

Except for the Nets, Pacers, Pistons and maybe the Sixers every team in the east will be trying to be a game or two above .500. The west will be WILD (no pun intended), especially with the powers that be getting stronger. The LeBron Show is set to air, continuing coverage of Kobe’s court time (on and in it), draft busts and the many other surprises this season is sure to bring will leave fans even more indebted to the basketball gods–not to mention being able to watch SportsCenter in its entirety an enjoyable occurrence again.

That’s a lot to look forward to and rest assure I am–but right now–I’m bored as hell and there’s NOTHING I can do about it.

What’s the Haps?!

• How about the Detroit Shock? They are the first WNBA team outside of Houston and LA to win the title…Congratulations! And did the fans come out to watch or what? The fan support in Detroit (2 consecutive sellouts) was great and the WNBA views it as a possible shift in the public’s apparent disinterest in the league. Then a few days later, a BIG FAT FOR SALE sign was hung on the Cleveland Rockers logo. Bygones.

• Up in Tarrytown, NY the NBA is having its annual weeklong rookie seminar. The players are schooled on how to conduct themselves on and off the court and how to manage their finances. I think it’s a great idea, but with so MANY players getting in trouble recently, I’m wondering if some of those cats played hooky. Just a thought.

• ABC has announced that Monday Night Football announcer Al Michaels will be the lead play-by-play guy this season. His broadcast partner has yet to be determined, but if it’s not Bill Walton (the man!) I may actually protest. Seriously, I might consider watching every basketball game on that network with the mute button in full effect.

• Paul Silas, head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers has gone on record by saying LeBron will not run the point and that his natural position is shooting guard. So that means you have him, Ricky Davis, Dajuan Wagner, and possibly Darius Miles all vying for the same spot. The only question I have is: Who’s getting traded? Because we ALL know who isn’t.

• After 14 seasons, Brian Shaw has decided to end his playing career. Shaw who helped lead the Lakers to 3 consecutive titles will now work in the organization’s front office as a scout, coach, and consultant. A well deserved appointment if you ask me.

• Remember Stephen Jackson? Well he was the starting 2-guard for the Spurs last season. I say, “was” because after San Antonio won the title, he became a free agent. Even though he drove head coach Gregg Popovich crazy with his erratic play, he was rewarded with a 3-year $10 million contract offer. But Jackson turned it down and opted to test the market for a better deal and the Spurs (wisely) moved on. Unfortunately for Stephen no other team was looking for a marginal role player at his asking price. His bad!

• What’s the big fuss over Converse’s new shoe the “Loaded Weapon?” Apparently some “marketing experts” feel the name is inappropriate in light of some NBA players’ (Jayson Williams) legal problems involving guns. According to, a Dr. Leonard Moore, a professor of history and director of African-American studies at Louisiana State University said, “It’s problematic when you look at the level of violence in the African-American community.” “To try and capitalize on misery and fratricide is reprehensible.” Are people REALLY this dense? We’re talking about a sport where players are referred to as “shooters” and are praised for their “killer instinct.” Give me a break! And the argument about capitalizing off the misery in the Black community is surdiculous (absurd + ridiculous). It’s not that serious.

• Kenny Anderson signed with the Pacers, Raja Bell signed with the Jazz, Darvin Ham signed with the Pistons, Donnell Harvey signed with the Magic, and Bimbo Coles signed with the Heat. Like I said–small gaps folks, …really…small…gaps.

• Sixers center Todd McCulloch who is sidelined indefinitely because of a nerve condition (Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease) in his foot isn’t ready to call it a career. Despite the negative outlook, he still wants to try and play. It’s an admirable notion but…

• And finally Rebecca Lobo, one of the first players to join the WNBA is closing the book on her playing days. Lobo, a big time ball player in college, never realized her potential in the pros due to various injuries. I guess she figured after exhausting every resource available, she had nothing left to work with.

Sort of like this installment.