French decide they've too many good players

You know the French have always defied explanation. From politics, and now apparently, to sports, they do and make decisions that are just… weird.

Take for example, this from the latest FIBA news:

FRA – France to travel to Japan without Noah

PARIS (FIBA World Championship) – American college basketball star Joakim Noah has yet to obtain French nationality and will not play for Les Bleus at this summer’s FIBA World Championship.

The New York-born ace, who led the Florida Gators to the NCAA title this year, is the 21-year-old son of former French tennis open winner Yannick Noah and can claim French citizenship through his father. However, this process has not yet been completed.

“There are two reasons for his non-selection,” said France’s technical director Jean-Pierre de Vincenzi in L’Equipe. “First of all, he is still not French which is a problem if he wants to play with the national team or the Under-21 side.

“Even if he managed to get his nationality, he would not be available because he has to follow a special programme with his university and take exams which he did not have time to do before because of his adventure in the NCAA Tournament.”

The rest of the story here.

I included the picture of him, probably grimacing after a missed shot, or roaring in happiness from a victory. But it might as well be annoyance at his father’s native France for bone head sports officials.

I mean the guy is a champion NCAA basketball player, the son of a legendary French tennis champion. He is eligible, and he wants to play for your team. So what do you do? Throw nonsensical bureacratic red tape at him, that’s what you do! Show some love, why dontcha?

Sigh. At least, this proves the Philippines doesn’t have a monopoly on self important sports officials. Vive le difference!

Rasheed shoots. With his mouth. Again.

  • After an 86-77 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Pistons Forward Rasheed Wallace guarantees a win.
  • “I know we’re going to win it,” Wallace said sitting on the scorer’s table following Sunday practice at Quicken Loans Arena. “We’re going to bust their [butt]. Tomorrow night is the last game here in this building for this year., quote from here.
  • Everytime Sheed makes one of his predictions, made I think, to fire up his teammates than to annoy scare the opponents, it pays off with a win.
  • Problem is, since he does it everytime, so what else is new?
  • So why is the press even covering it?
  • More importantly, why am I even blogging about it?!?

So okay, since I’ve run out of bullet points, might as well show a Sheed MTV cribs video, featuring his 10,000 square foot, 5 bedroom, 7 bathroom house, and then offer a link to a yugly blogspot website. I mean, why not? Nothing’s made sense in this post so far!

Seriously, I like the dude. Especially after I saw the 96 Bronco. Seems like a real guy.

Mad Dog Speaks on Kobe / NBA Blogs Worth Checking Out

Remember Mark Madsen, aka “Mad Dog”, Kobe Bryant’s ex-teammate with the Lakers? The Minnesota forward puts in his two cents regarding Kobe’s outing against the Phoenix Suns:

I felt badly after the game 7 loss that some members of the media tried to criticize Kobe for not shooting enough in the loss to the Suns…I guess if you are Kobe Bryant and you get 81 points you get criticized for shooting too much and if you only score 20-25 points then people say you are not shooting enough.

Quotation via True Hoop, an award-winning blog by sportswriter Henry Abbott. (Read the complete entry.) And while you’re visiting True Hoop, it won’t hurt to check out Madsen’s own journal, aptly-titled the Mad Dog Blog. Any blog written by a league insider — in this case, a player rubbing shoulders with the superstars — is definitely a great read.

There's more than one Tim in the playoffs

I’ve always been a fan of Tim Thomas. Yeah I know what you’re thinking – I’m saying that now since he’s been playing well. But truth is, I’ve always known he’s good, and hell so do a hundred other guys I’m sure.

But the problem is, like so many hundreds of other talented ballers out there, you watch him, admire his skills, expect him to do great things, and then – pfffft.

Continue reading “There's more than one Tim in the playoffs”

A tale of two series

The Los Angeles Clippers and the Miami Heat bounced back in their respective series in style. Both squads blew out the Phoenix Suns and the New Jersey Nets and were able to tie the series at one game apiece. Both had similar stats, with the Clippers and the Heat shooting at will from all angles, not to mention giving their opponents a dose of their own medicine on defense.

The Suns didn’t seem to have an answer for the Sam Cassell-led onslaught that included Elton Brand, Vlade Radmanovic, and Cuttino Mobley, who, in Game 1, had only three points on 20% field goal shooting. This time, Cuttino had scored 23 by the start of the fourth quarter and at the time “El-Ey” was able to maintain a double-digit lead and contain the Suns, the highest scoring team in the league, from using their high-octane, fast-paced game. On the other hand, Dwyane Wade led the hot-shooting Miami Heat in Game 2 to rout the Nets and eventually, went for the equalizer. The Head went into a barrage of threes, especially in the second half, where the Head had a 20-point plus advantage over their New Jersey counterparts.

Continue reading “A tale of two series”

Jerry West on Paul Gasol

from a FIBA.com article, entitled “ESP – Gasol looks to Spain to ease play-off pain.

MEMPHIS (FIBA World Championship) – Stung by defeat, and a realistic assessment of his talent by NBA legend Jerry West, Pau Gasol is hungrier than ever to make his mark in international basketball.

Gasol has plenty of time to get ready for the FIBA World Championship in Japan after he and the Memphis Grizzlies were swept by the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the NBA play-offs. Memphis’ President of Basketball Operations West, who shot to fame as a champion with the Los Angeles Lakers many years ago, spoke of Gasol in the aftermath of the play-off exit to Dallas.

“We have a very young player who is very good and that is Pau Gasol, but he is not a superstar at this time,” West said.

“He is an All-Star player, but there is a great difference.

Continue reading “Jerry West on Paul Gasol”

Videos: Kenny Smith checks out some major NBA Cribbage

Featuring the humble homes of Elton Brand, Tony Parker, Jermaine O’Neal and Kenny’s himself.

Check out O’Neal’s Rolls, Elton Brand’s empty home (they goofed on this one. The house isn’t finished yet), and my fave – Tony Parker’s face as he tells poker buddies David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Bruce Bowen and Robert Horry what his favorite show is. Man. Letting your poker buddies, who happen to be NBA stars, know you go out with the #1 hottest woman in the world has gotta be sweet.

See how they live here. Fast connection recommended.

NBA-news: Fast-scoring Suns run right over the Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers wanted to waltz. Phoenix came to boogie.

In the end, the Suns had their way in a 130-123 victory, outscoring the Clippers, 74-62, in the second half in the opener of their Western Conference semifinal Monday night.

“Tempo wasn’t exactly what we needed,” the Clippers coach, Mike Dunleavy, said.

Steve Nash, presented with the league’s most valuable player trophy by Commissioner David Stern before the game, had 31 points and 12 assists, and the Suns pulled away over a five-minute stretch in the fourth quarter.

Read the rest of the article here.

FIBA – FRANCE – Pietrus determined to shine

PARIS (FIBA World Championship) – France forward Mickael Pietrus has ruled out a departure from the Golden State Warriors despite their disappointing NBA season and is relishing the forthcoming FIBA World Championship with Les Bleus in Japan.

The 23-year-old French international, who has 17 caps for the national team and won a bronze medal at the EuroBasket 2005, has played in only 12 ties this season, with an average of 10.5 points and 2.8 rebounds.

The Warriors failed to qualify for the play-offs after finishing 12th in the Western Conference table, however, Pietrus insists that injuries were a major factor.

Read the rest of the articlehere.