Hail or Rail IV: Ray Allen, Aaron Rodgers, Ohio State, Otis Smith, Antawn Jamison, the NFL and fantasy baseball

Heeeeeeeeere we go again, people.


1 point – NFL

The NFL once again reigned supreme last Sunday, providing football fans with yet another exciting Super Bowl.  While most spent time afterward complaining about how Christina Aguilera botched the national anthem, the game itself was as good as any played this year.

For the longest time, the Super Bowl was a snooze-fest, existing mostly as an excuse for all of us to stuff our faces among friends while eventually losing interest in the game, but parity suits this modern NFL just fine.  We’ve been treated to four, consecutive classics: Patriots-Giants, Steelers-Cardinals, Saints-Colts and now Packers-Steelers.

An estimated 163 million people watched the Packers beat the Steelers which means, if my math suits me correctly, over half the country tuned in to see Terrible Towels turned into Kleenex.

The recent playoffs and their corresponding ratings (Super Bowl XLV was the most watched program in TV history) proved once again why the NFL is king of American sports.

2 points – Ohio State Basketball

Very quietly, or not so quietly if you live in Columbus, the Ohio State Buckeyes are coasting through their regular season schedule.  They are now 24-0, have seven games left to play before the post-season and are a virtual lock for a number one seed in the upcoming tournament.

Six-foot-nine, 280 pound, Jared Sullinger is averaging a double-double and is making the days of Greg Oden an afterthought.  With a much stockier frame, it’s also looking like he’ll be a more durable pro.

But Sullinger isn’t doing it by himself.  William Buford, David Lighty, and Jon Diebler are all averaging over ten points a game.  The Buckeyes are third in the nation in field goal percentage (49.6%) and fourth in the nation in points allowed per game (57.8), which is usually a good combination to have entering March.

Closing the regular season undefeated will be a tough task as three of the seven teams they’re about to face are ranked, including Wisconsin twice, however, I’m sure Buckeye fans will be okay with dropping one or two of those if it means winning a national championship in early April.

3 points (of course) – Ray Allen

It’s one thing to be a great NBA shooter.  It’s quite another to be the greatest three-point shooter in the history of the game.  That’s what Ray Allen, aka Jesus Shuttlesworth, became this week as he sunk three-pointer number 2,561 against the Los Angeles Lakers, besting Reggie Miller’s record.  Miller was in the audience and as a classy gesture, congratulated Allen shortly after the record was broken.

While Miller’s jump shot was an eyesore, Allen’s is perhaps the sweetest stroke ever.  Allen has worked on his game tirelessly over the years to ensure proper form and long-term success.  And before you think he’s done, Allen is only 35 and probably has a few good more years left on his career if he cares to play that long.

In this day and age of unbreakable records, Allen’s, which he continues to add to nightly in Boston’s quest for title eighteen, might stand for quite some time.

4 points – Aaron Rodgers

Well, he finally got the monkey off his back and nobody can be happier about that than Aaron Rodgers, except for maybe Ted Thompson.

For years, Rodgers lived in Brett Favre’s shadow, repeatedly answering questions he wanted no part of, but understanding they came with the territory.

Now, as Favre rides off into the sunset once again, his legacy tarnished with indecision and an explicit phone text he sent to a woman that wasn’t his wife, the ring-bearing Rodgers is having the last laugh as Super Bowl MVP.

Rodgers’ pass where he threaded a touchdown through the Steelers defense to Greg Jennings will forever make Pittsburgh fans wince.  His performance showed us all we needed to know about his will to win, which was the reason most of us without Steeler allegiance were rooting for him to do so.

Or were we just rooting against Favre?


1 point – The NFL

How does someone make both Hail and Rail in the same week, you ask?  Easily considering Super Bowl XLV may very well be the last professional football game any of us see for a while, unless you’re watching Arena Football or the Canadian Football League.

I don’t want to belabor this point more than I already have, since we’ll probably be talking about it for the next few months, but it just seems inconceivable that all parties involved in a nine billion (with a b!) dollar industry, might not be able to find a middle ground, destroying the image of the sport many of us have come to hold so dear.

In the midst of what ESPN is currently calling “labor uncertainty,” how ironic is it that as our nation faces one of it worst unemployment crises in history, millionaires are fighting over what most third world countries could live off for generations.  As much as we love our football, one would have to think a lockout will leave a bad taste in every fan’s mouth.  See baseball.

So cross your fingers, sports fans, in the hopes that the owners, players and Ringleader Goodell will ensure there is football for us to watch come September.

2 points – Otis Smith (I think)

I hate to say I told you so.  Actually, that’s not true.  I love to say I told you so, particularly when my predictions turn out to be spot on.

Months ago, I wrote that the Magic did the WRONG thing by uprooting their roster mid-season.  Some agreed with me, many didn’t.  Those who didn’t claimed Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis were inconsistent at best.  So far, Gilbert Arenas and Jason Richardson have yet to be any sort of improvement.

The blockbuster deal turned out to be a lateral move, technically making it a step backward considering the time an NBA roster needs to develop chemistry.

Orlando has gone from legitimate title contender to a team that now can’t beat the better teams in the league.  They can’t rebound, they don’t score consistently and they can’t defend.  The Magic started out the season 15-4 and have now lost eight of their last fifteen.  In fact, the Magic haven’t beaten a team with a .500 record or better in over a month and that was the Dallas Mavericks without Dirk Nowitzki in the lineup!

I’m still not sure who was ultimately responsible for this trade, Dwight Howard, Otis Smith, Stan Van Gundy or Rich DeVos but something will have to give if this team fails to at least make the Eastern Conference Finals.

Let’s hope it’s not Dwight Howard’s willingness to stay in Orlando.

3 points – Anyone who sends me a fantasy baseball invitation

Here they come.  There’s no hiding from the never-ending e-mail strings from friends, family and websites asking me to play ball.  No no no no NO!

Sporting News, Yahoo, ESPN, CNNSI, ugh!!!  I just say no to fantasy baseball.

The baseball season is already long enough.  I don’t need to be reminded of it daily by filling out some faux lineup.  With most of us looking through the classified section for jobs, who has the time to peruse every single sports section box score to rejoice that his team landed him three stolen bases and a save?

I don’t play fantasy baseball, fantasy football, fantasy soccer, golf or anything of the sort, although I did agree to join my buddy’s fantasy NASCAR league just to prove someone who knows nothing about the car racing can still eke out the occasional victory (Yes, I’ll take Jimmie Johnson again this week, please).

And one more thing.  To all you fantasy buffs out there, I kindly request that if you’re ever chatting with someone about what a steal your back-up catcher was in the 22nd round of your draft and you start to see their eyes wander off, have the decency to recognize they’re not paying attention and end the conversation immediately.

4 points – Cleveland Cavaliers

I debated whether to even include the Cleveland Cavaliers, losers of 26 straight, in this week’s Hail or Rail Scale, for I usually don’t like to kick a man while he’s down.  That was until their recent home loss to the team formerly known as the Detroit Pistons, where the Cavs just seemed like they were there to collect a paycheck.

If it weren’t for a hot start after LeDeparture, the Cavaliers would easily be in the discussion as one of the worst NBA teams ever.

If there’s any good to come out of this losing streak, it should at least put an end to any discussion of whether Antawn Jamison was a solid pick up last year.  A player of Jamison’s caliber should at least be able to take over a game every once in a while.  Jamison was selected fourth in the 1998 Draft.  Other players who were selected fourth over the years include Chris Paul, Chris Bosh, Stephon Marbury, Rasheed Wallace, Jamal Mashburn, Dennis Scott, Glen Rice, Chuck Person and ironically, the man who now coaches Jamison, Byron Scott.  All these players, at one point or another, were able to put their team on their backs and get them a well-needed victory.  Not ‘Tawn.

Although he’s averaging nearly 20 points per game (but shooting only 42% from the floor), Mr. Jamison is only one of twelve Cavs not getting it done.  If a team ever needed a win, it’s the 2011 Cleveland Cavaliers.  I mean, even LeBron must feel bad at this point.

5 points – My wagering

Why is it that whenever I get into a Super Bowl grid pool, I always end up with 8s and 6s and rooting for a safety?  I continue to throw money at the cause for camaraderie’s sake even though I’m a rather unimpressive 0-for-a-lifetime in winning them.

I know they’re based solely on luck yet it never ceases to amaze me that, with over 150 million people watching the Super Bowl every year, you still have to explain to everyone at the party how the darn things work.

After a week of indecision on how to bet the Super Bowl, I ended up going with Green Bay.  As I’ve mentioned earlier, to me, the Packers just seemed to want it more.  Even though Pittsburgh had been there before, desire always trumps familiarity in my book.

Everyone was surprised that Las Vegas made the Packers, a six seed, the favorite to win the Super Bowl before Championship weekend.  People also forget these lines are based on perception.

As it turned out, Vegas was once again spot on.  Croshere and I, however, were not.  We got greedy, liking Green Bay a little too much, stretching the point spread to 6.5 (and a theoretical payout of +160), only to lose by the hook.  Oh well, I guess I shouldn’t complain considering I was still up for the playoffs.

Now who wants to bet on whether there will be a season next year?

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61 Replies to “Hail or Rail IV: Ray Allen, Aaron Rodgers, Ohio State, Otis Smith, Antawn Jamison, the NFL and fantasy baseball”

  1. Pingback: Hail or Rail IV: Ray Allen, Aaron Rodgers, Ohio State, Otis Smith, Antawn Jamison, the NFL and fantasy baseball, NFL | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. Chris

    Phenomenal feat by Allen a certain first ballot Hall of Famer .

    Hail Rodgers , wail on Van Gundy !

    Sombering to know that Hades can’t be any worse than being in Cleveland and watching the Cavaliers play !

    Goodell and DeMaurice Smith are now coming up with more ways for me to despise them both ! I never thought I’d say that about those two as of now but I’ve got to say at this juncture I’d rather spend my time listening to the insane rants of Hugo Chavez , Harry Reid or Newt Gingrig than anything that’d be coming out of the mouth of either Goodell or Smith !

    If the Cardinals’ front office can’t resign Pujols before the preseason ends then they’re bigger idiots than I took them for !

    tophatal ……………..

  3. Chris

    Here’s my response to your comment concerning ‘melo .

    Let me know what you think ?

    Posted February 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Permalink | Reply | Edit


    Rate This


    Chris Humpherys

    The players ultimately hold the power in the league (NBA) ! Simply look at what happened surrounding the departure of Sloan from the Jazz ? That didn’t happen by design but out of necessity . It wasn’t so much about him but more about the fact Deron Williams and he could no longer see eye to eye on a number of things . Not only that but with Williams becoming a free agent in the off-season this ultimately was about Sloan falling on his sword rather than the Jazz front office losing the player to free agency .

    One way or another ‘melo will be leaving the Nuggets as their window of opportunity has past them by to win an NBA title . You buy into the fact that they’ve still got what it takes but look at how they were humiliated last season in the playoffs by the Jazz (4-2) ?

    They’re no longer a big draw at the Pepsi Center and the team has to build for the future and the front office knows it.

    tophatal ………

    There’s No Fool Like An Old Fool ………. And There’s Now One Born Every Minute ……

    tophatal …………

  4. It’s funny, Al.

    I forget who I was talking to back when the Celtics signed Allen and KG to accompany Paul Pierce. I think it was back in our Fox days.

    I simply mentioned that all three of those guys were sure-fire Hall of Famers. Whoever I was talking with at the time disputed that.

    Well, I don’t see how there’s any way in the world those guys aren’t headed to Springfield.

    I don’t know if this whole Magic experiment is SVG’s fault but if he doesn’t figure out how to win with this team, it might be his head. Think about it. Not reaching the Eastern Conference Finals will mean this team has taken a step back every year since making the Finals.


    I didn’t mean to kill ‘Tawn (okay, yes I did) but someone on that Cavs roster has to step up. It certainly hasn’t been him.

    Right now, there are no winners in these NFL negotiations, Al. The two sides are nowhere near agreement.

    Equally as asinine is the fact that Pujols remains unsigned to a new deal.

  5. I think we’re in agreement here, Al.

    I agree that the players call the shots in the Association. There’s not too much doubt about that. And you’re right, the Deron Williams-Jerry Sloan incident is a perfect example of that.

    That being said, if ‘Melo can make six, eight, ten million dollars more by staying in Denver, he might just do that.

    I’m not saying Denver’s a contender. Clearly they’re not. I’m just saying ‘Melo might opt for the money.

  6. Yaz…

    That deuce cost me money.

    By the way, is there a contest you DON’T win?

    Oh yea, that’s right, the Yahoo pick ’em contest which I led from wire to wire.

  7. I see all your points on the Magic, but I don’t think they would be in any better shape if Lewis or Carter were there. VC was over the hill and Lewis wasn’t playing defense, plus moving those contracts… it is what it is.

    Not going to say anymore, because I’m sure this comment won’t show up.

  8. My original point, Kev, aka TheWifeHatesSpam, is that for the longest time, teams in the Eastern Conference were adjusting their rosters to deal with Dwight Howard.

    To me, this move seemed like a concession by Orlando that THEY were making moves to adjust to Miami.

    We tend to forget that Vince only had one full season with this team. While flighty at times, he could still get to the rim, plus he was a bigger body than JRich.

    Arenas has been a total bust AND let’s not forget we lost Gortat in the deal.

    I guess we’ll continue to agree to disagree on this one until the Magic get bounced early and you come back here telling me I was right all along.

  9. Chris the magics record since the trade is the same as before the trade plus a couple wins. What is killing them is the injury to Brandon Bass. Their weakness at power forward is why the rebounding is off. Don’t forget they got Turk in the trade too. I could have lived without the Arenas for Lewis trade but whats done is done. Arenas had a strong game against the Clips and hopefully will continue to get in the groove with Van Gundy ball. Remember the Heat started the season pretty average until they started learning how to play together. The Magic will improve as well. The one surprising thing is guys that normally shoot lights out like Reddick have been missing alot of shots.That shouldn’t last. It’s a long way until playoffs. I’m keeping the faith.

  10. Here’s what deserves a “Rail.” The Super Bowl halftime show, which gets exponentially worse every year. This year’s made me try to rupture my ear drums with a pencil.

  11. SK…

    There’s no denying Bass being out has hurt the team. He’s really their only rebounder other than Dwight.

    That being said, is there nobody else on that bench than can crash the boards or be a consistent scoring threat in the post?

    Seth, Kev… This team is now a five seed and legitimately so. Do you think they can beat either Boston, Miami or even Atlanta or Chicago without home court advantage?

  12. A 2 point(Damon and Ramirez) hail for the Rays front office for turning a dismal outlook for the upcoming season to one of cautious optimism.
    My 1 rail would be for the absence of the much deserved Sports Chump cap on my balding little head.

  13. Aer…

    Glad to hear you’re still for the move, as am I.

    And there are plenty of SportsChump hats for sale (I’d give ’em all away if I could but the friggin’ things were expensive!) or you can take your chances in my upcoming March Madness contest where I’m sure I’ll be giving one away.

  14. Chris

    I’m assuming the person you were talking to about the Big Three in Boston hadn’t just come off prescriptive medication ?

    The Jazz front office may not have forced Sloan out the door but I’m sure that GM Kevin O’Connor was the one who opened it for him to leave !

    The Magic experiment may not have been Van Gundy’s fault but I hear that GM Otis Smith may have conducted a seance with Mary Shelley as how best to concoct a team made out of so many none working parts .

    This team may not be Frankenstein’s monster but they’re as clumsy as the monster was that’s for sure ! You’ve simply got to watch them play ……….. they lack poise physicality and above all they’re too damn soft ! I use to bit_h about how soft the Mavs were but the Magic now make a roll of Charmin seem like wired wool or sandpaper for that matter !

    tophatal …………….

  15. I never really talk about fantasy unless it’s about a trade that I may or may not accept or if that person is playing you in a given league. I pretty much play all of them, it doesn’t mean I’m checking the boxscores every day, but does make me pay attention to a lot of players I normally wouldn’t…

    Ray’s record is amazing. I can’t think of a single guy right now that would come close to challenging it. Maybe Durant?!? He averages almost two 3-pointers a game…

  16. Chris

    Former NY state governor Mario Cuomo will be asked to mediate the Mets’ vs Picard case concerning their profiting from the Madoff scheme to the tune of $750 million . I wouldn’t trust any New York politician to do anything just ………….. it’s simply not in their DNA !

    The Justice Dept will now reduce the number of charges Bonds will face in his upcoming case. It still doesn’t lessen the fact that they’ve spent close to $30 million on the case …………. what am I missing here ?

    Does Mark Sanchez have Charlie Sheen’s number on speed dial just in case Sheen comes to town to party ?

    tophatal ……………

  17. Chris

    If the Cavs lose more 60 games this season can that be considered a success ? And Byron Scott says he has every faith that the team can turn the corner ……… well he’s about fall off the precipice of Mt McKinley . This team and he aren’t going anywhere but over the side of a mountain. Whoever’s on the bus had better ask the driver to stop as of now !

    Carson Palmer still wants out of Cincinnati and he’s already sold his home there. Well if they’re no takers in the NFL does that mean that he can now return to USC ? I hear Laine might be in need of a really good qb this upcoming season ?

    tophatal …………………

  18. I think the Jazz proved they were willing to let Sloan do whatever he wanted to with that franchise. They better be careful. They devil they knew was probably a helluva lot better than the devil they don’t.

    And by the way, I love your Orlando Magic-Mary Shelley comparison. Nice work.

  19. Good call on Durant, Chap.

    I was actually surprised to see that Jason Kidd was so high up the list. I wonder how many shots he’s taken to get there. That guy can’t hit the broad side of a barn with a frisbee.

    And I’ll bet you anything you talk fantasy more than you think you do. But that’s okay, man. We still love you.

  20. I do feel for Scott, man. I almost expect him to pull a Sloan and just walk out.

    Byron looks like a beaten man at this point. If I were him, I’d march right into Gilbert’s office and demand they rebuild that team from ground up.

    A good start would be landing that kid Sullinger from Ohio State, that’s assuming the franchise isn’t cursed enough to not get the top pick in the draft.

  21. Chris

    I’ve got two tickets for an upcoming Heat game do you think if I sent ’em to Sanchez in lieu of him setting me up with one of his ex female co eds from USC that’d be OK ?

    Jazz GM Kevin O’Connor is simply proving that Al Davis , Jerry Jones and Bruce Allen aren’t the only idiots big time professional sports !

    Mary Shelley was a wonderful writer … pity the same can’t be said ’bout Otis Smith being a great NBA general manager .

    If the Feds can blow $25 million on case then it’s no surprise that they’ll probably go for 0 in the upcoming terrorists trials when they begin . These morons couldn’t get an indictment on a ham sandwich were they given pickles and mayonnaise as part of the evidence . Remember the OJ case with Marcia Clarke and Chris Darden prosecuting ? . Cochran ran rings around their a_s !

    I do now believe that Hades (hell) is now actually in the state of Ohio ! How else can you explain why all of their professional teams are so bad ?


    tophatal ………

  22. Al…

    I think you’re better off just taking the tickets. I don’t want to read about you in the tabloids somewhere.

    Re: Congress, Al, why is it that I have a feeling that it’s only a matter of time before they get involved in these NFL proceedings, while Goodell watches idly by.

    The Cavs were actually up on the Clips tonight. If they win, they can personally thank the Chump for blessing them with the reverse jinx.

  23. Either way, whatever happened in Utah, Al, it may very well have been time for a change. As good as they’ve been in recent years, have they ever been a legit title contender?

  24. Magic suddenly looked pretty good once Bass came back and the threes started to fall. This is the same Laker team that beat the Celtics and crushed the Knicks on the road in the last week. I’m not saying they’ve turned the corner but they certainly looked alot better. When the outside game is working its nearly impossible to stop Howard even with two of the top ten rebounders in the league(Gasol and Odom) and the longest arms since Manute Bol(Bynum). Arenas was slinging the ball around pretty well. If he starts to hit from the outside it could be scary! Homerism is alive and well in SoFlo!

  25. Chris

    There may well have been need for change in Utah but the way it unfolded makes the executives there seem really like a bunch of conniving fools ! Deron Williams didn’t help his case either with that less than trite statement concerning Sloan !

    If Congress gets involved in the NFL mess then it’ll only make things a hell of a lot worse . It’s not as if they can get their own damn house in order to begin with !

    I’d like to thank the Cavs for getting back to their losing ways ! What is it now one 1 win in their last 29 ? My God at least when the Bucs went through their bad run the fans still had something to look forward to. Hades(hell) can’t even to begin to look as bad as the Cavs at this juncture !

    The tickets will most definitely be put to good use . Funny thing is I don’t feel guilty for accepting them the way that U Conn and the faculty would feel about accepting gifts. They’re trying to force a judge in the state not to allow them to open up their books for financial scrutiny . What’ve they got to hide ? Furthermore as they’re in receipt of state funds they can’t hide behind the law by stating that them opening up their books will lead to donors being approached by unscrupulous bodies looking to defraud them.

    tophatal …..

  26. Chris

    Congress intervening in anything is like asking Octomom to give advice on teen pregnancy and abstinence !

    The front of the Jazz messed up big time but I understand why they did what they did in accepting Sloan’s resignation . Williams becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and they certainly don’t want to lose the player . But they handled this all wrong as I don’t believe that had Larry Miller been alive it would have been dealt in such a way. His son Greg who’s now the President of the team is somewhat naive !

    Glad to see that the Cavs are back to their losing ways ! What’s that now one win in their last 29 games ? They’re now taking losing to a whole new level that I don’t think has yet been described in Merriman’s Encyclopedia !

    Ohio St gets dumped on by the Badgers in men’s basketball and already Sullinger is acting like the D1 men’s basketball answer to Lebron by bitching and whining that the Badgers’ fans disrespected him ! What he expected them to kiss his proverbial a_s ?

    tophatal ……………….

  27. Chris

    The Jazz ought to be thankful that Sloan put ’em on the map. Fourteen straight winning seasons and twenty seasons in the playoffs of which another fourteen of those were in consecutive years . What other NBA coach can match that feat ?

    So lose the Cavs lose again ? Back to one and counting in terms of consecutive losses .LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    The only years they were legit contenders they ran into Jordans’ Bulls in consecutive NBA Finals . ‘nough said !

    tophatal ……..

  28. Seth…

    I got to watch some of the gam but not all of it, as I was working yesterday.

    For sure, Dwight had a great game and is a beast when they can get him the ball and he can score consistently.

    I figured everyone would jump on me after that victory.

    Let’s keep in mind, however, the Lakers are coming off a Thursday night win in New York and a Friday win in Boston.

    In a seven-game series, I still think L.A. is the better team.

  29. If the Jazz end up losing both Sloan and Williams, then I agree with you, Al. Bonehead move supremo.

    Sloan has had that team competitive for the better part of two decades.

    LeBron was at that Ohio State-Wisconsin game? I totally missed that. If he loves the Buckeyes so much, why didn’t he just go there for a year?

    I think I’ve been working too much.

  30. Chris

    The league (NFL) is hoping that should they not be able to avoid mediation through the NLRB then the US Supreme Court will preside over its case . I hear that Clarence Thomas wants to know if any females will be representing either side in the case ? It’s been rumored that he’s need of giving someone dictation as he’s not too technologically sound.

    Should the Cavs fail to win more than 20 games this season can Stern then fold the team or perhaps have them play in either the D League or WNBA ? Inquiring minds need to know ?

    Byron Scott will suit up for the team just as long as he doesn’t have to wear those Stockton nut-huggers .

    Albert Pujols says that 10 years $275 million isn’t a lot to ask to be paid. Barry Zito was heard to have said I can barely get by one my $126 million . La Russa on the other hand believes that the players’ union is making Pujols demand so much from the Cardinals. Is it me but when was the last time La Russa did anything of pertinence in the league ? I know he’s got a JD in law but wouldn’t he have been better off being an ambulance chaser instead ? Given his present terrain in terms of his managerial career I can’t see him winning another World Series with the Cardinals !

    Knicks’ GM Donnie Walsh says that the Nuggets are asking way too much for ‘melo ……… did I not say this thing could end up badly for both sides ? ‘melo and his agent are a bunch of blithering idiots !

    tophatal …………..

  31. Hear what you’re saying about the Magic but I’m not giving up on them yet. Orlando wasn’t going anywhere with VC and Shard.

    While there definitely have been some speed bumps during the past two months they still have a shot in the East.

    p.s. It would be nice if Arenas could get on track and make a few shots once in a while. That would certainly help.

  32. (Counter-rail… apologies in advance)

    Chump, you do know that Jamison is 34-year-olds, right? And that the third best player on his squad is a guy named Boobie? And that Chuck Person had his career year on a 28-win Pacers team? And that Dennis Scott spent the majority of his existence as a fourth scoring option? And that Scott played with Magic, Kareem and Worthy? And that Mash played on a 13-win Mavericks team and is universally despised in Miami for being a choker? And that Marbury… nevermind.

    I’d compare Jamison to unmentioned fourth-overall picks – Marcus Fizer, Eddy Curry, Antonio Daniels, Chris Morris, Mike Conley, Shaun Livingston, Tyrus Thomas, Drew Gooden, etc – but that would just extend debate on an irrelevant point. I mean, I don’t think anyone would accuse ‘Tawn of being a bust, right?

    And whether or not he was a good pick up last season really has nothing to do with this year’s trainwreck. Bosh turned Cleveland down at last year’s trade deadline and Amare – pipe dream that he was – would’ve, like Bosh, bolted after the season anyway. (By the way, none of these guys are capable of winning anything on their own.)

    For what it’s worth, I agree with almost everything else you wrote (we diverge on the Magic – no team is going anywhere with Vince Carter), and I don’t mean to go all batshit on a few throwaway paragraphs. But as long as you’re dishing it out… Think of this as throwing myself on Cleveland as you kick its bleeding body into submission.

    Rant over.

  33. Drew

    Arenas getting back on track ? Aren’t he and Cheney members of the same gun club ?

    The Magic’s problem stems from the fact that they’ve no real big man upfront to back up Howard !

    tophatal ………..

  34. Chris

    Autopsy Of A Season ……….. The San Diego Chargers …

    #23 Come On Down .. ……

    So Al Davis thought it prudent to cut his Pro Bowl cb Nnamdi Asomugha but then turns around in the offseason and offers Richard Seymour $30 million ? They could’ve franchise tagged Asomugha . But they’re sure as hell aren’t going to be able to get him back on the cheap …. not unless the player wants back in , in that damn mess ! It’s true that we may well have evolved from the apes but I do believe that the entire Raiders’ front office have yet to learn to walk on two feet !
    Am I right or am I wrong ?

    tophatal …………

  35. Al…

    Re: the NFL, I’m sure we’ll be talking about this plenty over the next few months.

    Re: The Cavs, I’ll give them a night off, as should you, considering they just beat the defending champions.

    Re: Pujols, I don’t know what to say. Obviously the Cardinals have a reason not to give him the money he’s asking for. We’ll see who ends up paying for it in the long run.

    Re: ‘Melo and the Knicks, I think his performance tonight merits why the Knicks should give up ANYONE on their roster (other than Amare) to get him.

    Just my opinion.

  36. Drew…

    I’m still not convinced this team can make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, despite them destroying Washington tonight. Washington is a disaster. Orlando had a mismatch at every position.

    When it comes down to playing against disciplined teams, they, as well as the Miami Heat, won’t succeed.

  37. Damn, Fro, I LOVE you keeping me in check.

    I won’t disagree with anything you said EXCEPT for the fact that you have to agree, coming out of UNC, ‘Tawn had way more promise than any of those guys you mentioned except for maybe Fizer (potential bust) and Livingston (who blew out his knee). If anybody expected anything out of Ty Thomas other than being a one-dimensional player (or maybe less than that), they should have their GM privileges revoked.

    Look, I am no Vince Carter apologist, but damn, give the kid a chance. He played 100 games in an Orlando uniform. Trading him out of him home town, give or take 40 miles, at his age sealed his fate.

    Or let’s put it this way….

    In a three-on-three game to the death, who do you put your money on (and on a side note, would you pay $9.95 to see it)?

    Gilbert, J-Rich and Turkoglu or Rashard Lewis, Vince and Gortat?

    And if you can’t say so convincingly (minus expiring contracts), then why even make the deal?

  38. Al…

    As Seth and others have commented, Brandon Bass is the key. If he can put up (a quiet) 14 points and (a workmanlike) 10 rebounds, then the Magic can compete… if he’s healthy.

    I still think this team can use another few bangers.

    Whatever happened to those 80s-90s teams that would randomly pick up a Charles Oakley-type player to pull down a few boards and tack on a few dirty fouls, just to add some toughness to a championship caliber team.

    Did Stern eliminate them entirely or are there no more players like that in the league?

  39. The whole ‘melo deal is asinine to say the least ! As for Nets now wanting to re-enter the fray …… has Prokhorov come off his meds ? Dolan and Walsh if they know what’s good for them should stick to their guns and not wait on as_hole like Ujiri (Nuggets’ GM) to dictate the terms.

    What may well end up happening is quite possibly a team like to Rockets offload some talent and rent ‘melo ’til the end of the season. At the same time they’ve money under the cap and I seriously doubt that Yao will be back with them next year . They’ve (Rockets) got to rebuild for the future .

    Well I’ve opined on the Chargers and their season with a piece titled Autopsy of A Season and I’ve done a piece on MJ and the Bobcats (#23 Come On Down) . So I thought at this juncture why not ask how it is that the Raiders can offer Seymour $30 mil for two years but simply didn’t franchise tag Asomugha . Those two together are the heart and soul of the Raiders’ secondary. Or hadn’t someone told that to Al Davis ?

    All Pujols is asking for is to be compensated as a player of his status should be . La Russa on the other hand is simply showing his naivete’ and his tendency to be looked at as a fool !

    tophatal ………………

  40. Chris

    If Stephen A Smith says it, it has to be so doesn’t it ? I mean other than Spike Lee knows more ’bout the Knicks ? As opinionated as his (Smith) a_s is I’d rather listen to Madonna tell me the # of men and women she’s had sex with ! Smith is as much an NBA insider as Bin Laden would be considered a credible candidate to convert to Judaism ! ‘nough said ! He merely says things for the sake of saying them and that’s it.

    Knicks need to make deal for Melo now

    With N.Y. reeling, the front office needs to do whatever it takes to make it happen

    Now that the 2010-11 NBA season has moved beyond its midway point and we’ve been inundated with everything the New York Knicks aspire to be in the months and years to follow, it’s time to accurately surmise who they are right now.

    Which is to say … not much!

    There’s no doubt the Knicks have inched toward the realm of respectability and, as a result, are no longer the moribund franchise that spent years staining our psyche. But maybe that’s part of the problem. Maybe, just maybe, if the Knicks recognized who they truly are at this moment in time — mediocre, and just an injury to Amare Stoudemire away from being the Cleveland Cavaliers — they’d shed their posturing and unfounded comfort and finally address the Carmelo Anthony dilemma with the urgency it deserves.

    Clearly they haven’t done so yet, and the reasons are nothing short of nauseating.

    When you have a chance to get one of the top five players in the game, you do it. Period.

    Click on link to read in its entirety.


    There was a reason they took Stephen A’s a_s off television at ESPN but they now have with him a syndicated radio talk show ? What Rush Limbaugh or Catherine Coulter weren’t available ? But then again I heard that ‘The Situation’ and ‘Snookie’ had auditioned for a slot on ESPN radio ? The four letter network’s credibility ranks up there alongside that of the US Congress , Senate and that of Obam and his cabinet ! Which isn’t actually saying a great deal at this moment in time at all !

    tophatal ……….

  41. Chris

    I’d rail on Goodell but I hear there’s a clamor from inmates inside many of the penitentiary’s up and down the country for them to have him visit so that they can take care of his a_s as if here were pedophile or rapist . Time gentlemen please !

    Who on the Knicks’ roster would you give up for ‘melo and at the same time if he hasn’t signed the existing extension with the Nuggets what makes you so sure that by him signing with the Knicks that makes them an automatic contender in the East ? At best with him and Amar’e there they’re no better than the fifth best team in the conference.

    Style over substance once again !

    tophatal …………

  42. I think we differ in agreement on ‘Melo’s worth, Al. I still think that along with Wade, Kobe, BronBron and Durant, ‘Melo is a top five player in the league.

    If I were Mikhail, I’d give up anyone, other than Lopez because I’d need size, to get him. If I were Dolan, I’d give up anyone other than Amare. And if I were L.A., yes, I’d give up Bynum. As far as the Rockets go, I don’t know why he would even bother playing there just to ride out the season.

    And the Cards are definitely playing with fire. Can you imagine the coup it would be if Pujols ended up in Chicago?

  43. … but you bring up a valid point. The Knicks do want to make sure he’ll sign a long-term deal.

    I don’t think that’s really a concern for them though. Why wouldn’t he?

  44. Chump, my intent in naming all those 4th-overall picks was to point out that, in the grand scheme of things, ‘Tawn A) fulfilled his potential and B) turned out to be a real solid value considering all the guys who don’t pan out… There’s not a GM in the league who would pass on him at 4 if you said, “the player you’re picking will have the exact same career as Antawn Jamison.”

    As for Vince… I did give him a chance. For 14 years, actually. He’s moody, he’s selfish, he’s never played in a Finals, and now he’s lost the only talent that made him special in the first place (namely, the ability to jump over seven-footers).

    At 34 – through no fault of his own – he’s the definition of “washed up” and you, good sir, are the definition of a Vince Apologist. Look, I get it – I watched the 2000 Dunk Contest as well. There will always be a spot in my heart for Air Canada… right next to the spots for Derrick Coleman and J.R. Rider and all the other guys who made me think “If only.”

    I conclude now with a joke:

    Q: When will the NBA go to 3 on 3?

    A: “It won’t. But I’m moving to L.A.” ~ Dwight Howard

    Um. Zing?

  45. Chris

    Money is the key to this issue and ‘melo is sorely being given some dumb a_s advice. As to the Knicks do you honestly believe that having ‘melo alongside Amar’e puts them in the same rarefied air as the Celtics, Heat , Bulls or Magic for that matter ? The team is defensively challenged and ‘melo can’t play a lick of defense even his life depended on it.

    You’re way too much into this move without thinking about the big picture. No team DAntoni has ever coached in the league has played consistent defense and that’s what has led to their ultimate downfall. Ergo it’ll be the same with the Knicks . Watch , wait and see ?

    See link for where they rank defensively NBA Teams’ defensive rankings

    tophatal ………..

  46. Okay, Fro, I don’t know that we’re getting any closer on this but let’s continue the Jamison debate, shall we?

    Did you, for any speck of a moment, think that Jamison was last year’s missing piece to the Cavs’ proverbial puzzle?.

    I’m assuming you didn’t. For some reason, Dan Gilbert or Jim Paxson or whoever is making the (uneducated) decisions in Cleveland did.

    Let’s go ahead and compare a certain 6’9 power forward named Jamison to a (homer alert!!!) 6’10 power forward, selected third only a few short years ago from the University of Florida, named Al Horford.

    Horford has already given the team that drafted him a lift, making them contenders ‘light.’ While Horford may have had slightly more legitimate promise coming out of college, I think you’re underestimating the hype around Jamison when he left UNC. Jamison racked up most outstanding player of the year awards. Horford never sniffed those ceremonies.

    Has Jamison ever contributed anything to any NBA team he was on? Has he ever been, or made any team he’s ever been on, a contender?

    I guess it sounds like I’m hating on the guy but I’m just keeping it real. I certainly didn’t expect him to be the missing piece in Cleveland. Nor am I now. I just thought a little veteran leadership might be in order during their losing streak.

  47. Al…

    If I’m Dolan, which I’m not, I make the move. If the Heat can afford Wade, Bosh and Bron, the Knicks can afford ‘Melo, Amare and perhaps Chris Paul.

    I’m sure Dolan could find backers to help pay that luxury tax and who in their right mind wouldn’t fawn over a renewed Knicks-Heat rivarly?

  48. So, Al… Pujols says he wants to be a Cardinal forever and that the media reports of his contract requests for ten years, three hundred million dollars were misinformed.

    If that’s what he ends up signing for, should we just assume those doing their jobs were just lucky in guessing that number?

  49. Chris, you honestly sound kind of crazy right now. You know that judging Jamison based on his performance this season is no different than me throwing darts at a 34-year-old Vinsanity… And I realize that you have a blog so you’re prone to exaggeration, want to start a back ‘n forth, etc… but your “Has Jamison ever contributed anything to any NBA team he was on?” question is seriously preposterous. He was the 6th Man of the Year on a 52-win Mavericks team. Does that count as contributing? He was also the second best player on a bunch of Wizards playoff teams, which had the same shot of winning it all as Al Horford’s Hawks (Look, I think Horford’s a nice player, but do you really think the Hawks’ chances of landing a title are above ZERO?). I remember when ‘Tawn was drafted because I was a huge Heels fan when I was 12… You’re overstating the hype (geeze, just look at the guys who were drafted ahead of him), and in fact, if teams thought he’d be a franchise player, he wouldn’t have been dealt for the still raw Carter (that was a surprise if I remember correctly)… For what it’s worth, that was an atrocious draft class (minus the sleepers at 9 and 10).

    Did I think he was Cleveland’s missing piece? No, but I think he was an upgrade over the current shit sandwich cast, and if you have a better retro-active suggestion for Dan Gilbert, I’d certainly like to hear it. Maybe they should’ve dealt JJ Hickson for Dwight Howard? Maybe swap Mo Williams for Kobe? Was Dirk on the market?

    We’re gonna have to agree to disagree. I feel like I’m arguing with a wall.

  50. Wall?

    I’ve been called worse.

    Prone to exaggeration? Me? Never.

    I just like write stuff like this so I can enjoy seeing that Tawn’s reading my stuff, inspiring him enough to first break the Cavs’ losing streak, then pour in 35 the other night against the Clippers.

    I’m Jamison’s muse, dude.

    I’ll see you at his Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

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