Tuesday Morning Dimes – 2-16-16

You would have thought the doldrums of the major league baseball season drug on like water-boarding seminars at Gitmo, during this #NBA All-Star Break – it has.  For me, and I’m not sure I believe I’m saying this is, I miss basketball.

Look back a year ago at what we talked about here at the DiRT Canon, it was non-stop sports news of what seemed like epic proportions – even the NBA Trade deadline was huge – remember its glory here.

This no basketball, is tension and chaos.  I’ve resigned myself to naming ravens and crows outside the DiRT Canon Bunker Dumpster, creating action on who ends up with the most discarded food stuffs – Ol’Bossy has been killing it.  Funny thing about crows and ravens.  A pack of crows can destroy an owl or an eagle, but a single big bad Boss Raven will attack a whole gang of crows and rip the hearts out of its leaders – most crows would rather kamikazee into an oncoming windshield than go head-to-head with a Boss Raven.

It’s the downtime that’ll getcha – maybe that’s why D-Wade decided to get Kobe Bryant a year-long subscription to Netflix for his retirement-all-star-gift.  Could you imagine Mamba kickin’ back, filling his days with some binge-watching House of Cards?  You know he’ll commit and watch like no one else has before – he’ll dress up in his finest compression socks, drink some fine Italian wine and dig in to “Making A Murderer” like the “Boss” he is – evermore.


+ Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh has another blood-clot scare

Chris Bosh's status for the rest of the season is uncertain after another blood-clot scare.

Bosh pulled out of the All-Star Game and the 3-point contest over the weekend because of what he and the Heat described as a calf strain. He was shut down at the All-Star break last season because a blood clot had found its way to one of his lungs, and that issue is something that Bosh believes started as a calf problem.

He went to Toronto expecting to participate in All-Star weekend, then was examined there – presumably because of the calf pain – and the NBA subsequently announced on Friday afternoon that Bosh was withdrawing from the game and the 3-point event. Bosh remained in Toronto to cheer on his Eastern Conference teammates, then returned to Miami and met with team medical personnel Monday….

Source: Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh has another blood-clot scare – NY Daily News


+ Watch Every Perfect Score in Dunk Contest History

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Saturday night’s dunk contest was pretty much immediately dubbed one of the best, if not the best dunk contest of all time.

Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon put on a remarkable show, combining for a whopping eight 50/50 scores, five for LaVine and three for Gordon.

The question is, was LaVine and Gordon’s performance better than Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan in the 1980s? Better than Vince Carter in 2000?

To help you decide for yourself, a YouTube user has created a truly incredible video, a 52-minute compilation of every perfect score in dunk contest history.

Source: The Comeback  |  By Alex Putterman


+ From Projected Top Pick to Struggling Reserve: The Decline of Skal Labissiere

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The trajectory of Skal Labissiere since he arrived at Kentucky has been the equivalent of a hot new stock taking an unexpected nosedive once it reaches the market.

Labissiere was one of the top two prospects by every recruiting service, and both Rivals and Scout had him at No. 1 ahead of LSU’s Ben Simmons.

“As a junior-to-be, he worked Karl Towns over,” Rivals national recruiting analyst Eric Bossi told Bleacher Report. “The summer before out in Vegas, he was ridiculous. He looked like a guy who was ready to play in the NBA from a skill level right then and there.”

Labissiere had also impressed NBA scouts during the Nike Hoops Summit last spring and at Kentucky’s combine in the fall….

Source: From Projected Top Pick to Struggling Reserve: The Decline of Skal Labissiere | Bleacher Report


+ It’s All Outta Order…

Peyton Manning

Tis’ the political season and no one is safe.  Not even in your cozy little nook with nothing but your sports blanket keeping you warm.  People say they turn to sports to get away from “it”, without knowing what “it” really is and when you find out what “it” is, they go and change “it” on you, making you confused if you were ever with “it” in the first place.

Lately, and more specifically quarterbacks, have been dragged into a political arena were pundits demand you choose based on criteria no one should care about, except for performance.  The Sports-Media appears to be as much muck-rackers and click-baiters as their counterparts in politics – with equal parts of sewage-ethics and empathy.

Hypocrisy never knows no bounds and is on full display here.  Your opinion may vary by the tint of your glasses, but Daniel J Flynn from Breitbart, believes that Peyton has picked some fine enemies.

Read: With Enemies Like These, Does Peyton Manning Need Friends? – Breitbart

 

Weekend Update: #NBA All Star Edition

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Dunk the Magic-Dragon?!

LAVINE WINS EPIC DUNK CONTEST

“He’s a freak.” It was Saturday morning — about 10 hours before the most exhilarating dunk contest in NBA history finally concluded — when DeMarcus Cousins exhaled, shook his head and declared his prediction for the night’s main event.

“Zach,” he said. “He’s a freak.”

Two years in a row, the main takeaway from NBA All-Star Weekend is that the one person everyone really wants to see isn’t even an All-Star. LaVine isn’t a household name. He’s not even 21 years old and could possibly be the worst defender at his position. But in what’s quickly morphed into one of the most anticipated annual rituals in all of professional sports, the Minnesota Timberwolves guard spends 20 minutes tantalizing millions while at the same time supplying more than any could even imagine to ask for.

Who — or what — is LaVine? Is he “only” the Steph Curry of dunking, next in line on an evolutionary flow chart that connects Connie Hawkins to Julius Erving to Michael Jordan to Vince Carter? Or does he align with Harold Miner and Gerald Green? How much is there to unpack? What else is there to discover?

On Saturday night, LaVine’s epic head-to-head showdown against Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon — who also had some of the greatest dunks in history — somehow obscured those questions while simultaneously nudging them beneath a spotlight. But before I go on to explain, here’s a brief interlude for any who’ve yet to witness one of the most magical things that’s ever happened.

What follows is basically the basketball equivalent of “Apocalypse Now” being co-directed by Spike Jonze and Kanye West, and neither has slept in five days:

Continue Reading: Zach LaVine tops Aaron Gordon in epic slam dunk contest.

Thoughts I Cannot Put Anywhere Else:

  • During pre-game intros, both Kobe Bryant and Russell Westbrook spurn the bro-hug opp with Canadian Prime Minister Drake. Russ had the best All-Star Game entrance I’ve ever seen (at 2:15 above)
  • Could NBA All-Star Weekend have been more spectacular? It was hands down the best since maybe … forever. No league does exhibition events and games better.
  • Win Butler, an American who happens to be the lead singer in a Canadian band (Arcade Fire), is named MVP in Friday night’s Celebrity Game. Then he gets blocked in the postgame interview by Sage Steele (“So we’re talking about celebrity stuff, not politics.”)
  • That game also featured the NBA commissioner’s brother-in-law.
  • Ernie, Sir Charles, Kenny and Shaq make anything watchable. For example, the Talent Challenge. Subtract their hilarious commentary and answer this: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, what was that?
  • Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine put on arguably the best dunk contest duel since Michael Jordan versus Dominique Wilkins. Gordon loses to LaVine, but his dunk will have  a more lasting legacy.
  • From a sentimental perspective, the Rising Stars Challenge is my favorite event. I love giving the league’s emerging talent a platform to shine. Anyone else agree?
  • Vancouver Island native Steve Nash opens Sunday night’s festivities reminding all that Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian, invented the game.
  • How awesome was the revamped Skills Challenge, featuring the frontcourt versus the backcourt? And the close finish between Isaiah Thomas and Karl-Anthony Towns, with Towns winning, took it waaaay over the top for me.
  • The West scores 196 points in a 196-173 win. We are informed by Marv Albert (who works really, really well with Reggie Miller and Chris Webber) that the Air Canada Center scoreboard is not designed to put up a “2” in that spot.
  • Who knew Kevin Hart, a 5-feet-4 comedian and actor, would become the NBA’s No. 1 pitchman? From commercials to coaching to competing to commentating, he was everywhere.
  • I know it was Kobe Bryant’s final All-Star Game and everything, but were two video montages really necessary?
  • ALSO: Why didn’t we know keeping track of how many times Kobe mentioned “trying to stay loose” would be the unofficial drinking game of the night? #OldManProbs
  • Beyond stating the obvious about the All-Star Game’s halftime performance, Sting and the dancers? Nah.
  • Drake’s “Farewell Mamba” leather jacket: cool or creepy? #TeamCreepy
  • Back-to-back All-Star wins for Russell Westbrook (All-Star Game MVP) and Zach Lavine (Slam Dunk Contest). There’s gotta be a Drake versus Meek Mill joke in there somewhere, right?
  • The Minnesota Timberwolves sure put the basketball world on notice this weekend, didn’t they? They have some serious young talent: No. 1 overall draft pick Karl-Anthony Towns, two-time Slam Dunk Contest champ Zach Lavine and 2015 Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins. A bright future awaits them, and the loss of their coach Flip Saunders earlier in the season makes that incredibly bittersweet.
  • During a timeout, a 6’1″ white dude in long pants, Jordan Kilganon, performs a spectacular dunk as if he were inside a bouncy house. We’re still not sure how he did it.
  • Paul George scores 41 points. In the final two minutes the West seems to realize that the Indiana forward is just a bucket away from breaking Wilt Chamberlain’s 54-year old All-Star Game scoring record, so Coach Pop has Draymond Green face guard him.
  • Stephen Curry buries a 42-footer as time expires, but TNT/TBS cameras are too busy focusing on Kobe and miss it.
  • West scores big in NBA All-Star Game – The Western Conference shattered the record for points in an NBA All-Star Game with a 196-173 victory over the East. The previous mark was 163 points, which was set by the Eastern Conference in 2014 and tied by the West last year. Interestingly, a record total of 153 points by the West stood from 1961 until it was surpassed in an overtime game in 1984, and the mark was broken only once more over the next 29 years, also in a game that went to overtime.
  • George continues a recent trend, but Wilt’s mark survives again – Paul George led all players with 41 points. But like Russell Westbrook a year ago, George fell one point short of the All-Star Game record set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962. Seven of the 12 highest individual point totals in the NBA All-Star Game have been attained since 2011.
  • Chris Paul, Helper to the Stars – Chris Paul had 16 assists for the winning team, and he became the second player in league history to reach the 100-assist mark in NBA All-Star competition. With 106 assists, Paul trails only Magic Johnson (127). It was the seventh time in eight All-Star Games that Paul assisted on at least 10 field goals, setting a record for ASG’s with double-digit assists. Magic Johnson had six such games.
  • Bryant leaves with an All-Star record – Kobe Bryant was credited with seven assists. Assuming Bryant retires following this season, that will be the highest total in the history of the All-Star Game by a player in his final season in the NBA. The previous record was five by Julius Ervingin 1987.
  • Davis is nearly perfect from the field – Anthony Davis made 12 of 13 shots from the field (92%), which was the highest shooting percentage in an NBA All-Star Game by a player who made at least 10 field goals. The previous mark was 86 percent by Tim Duncan in 2000 (12-for-14), although it must be noted that Hal Greer was 8-for-8 from the floor in the 1968 All-Star Game.

Source: Recapping the 2016 NBA All-Star Game, Sting’s Halftime Show And The Joy Of Russell Westbrook

Source: IT’S ALL HAPPENING! | Medium Happy

Source: Elias Says: Sports Statistics – Stats from the Elias Sports Bureau

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What You Need To Know For #TNF & 4 More Things

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1.

1991 Your Table Is Ready…

The last time the Lions won at Lambeau, the year was 1991 – The First Gulf War was over before the baseball season started, I’ve been to parties that lasted longer – Bill Clinton said he wanted to be President – Twins win the World Series – Magic has HIV – There was a shooting at Iowa University that 5 people lost their life – The Cold War officially ended when the Soviet Union dissolved after Gorbachev’s resignation – basically a lot of things.  The last time the Lions swept the Packers, was also in ’91.  So you begin to wonder about parrelels and destiny for a team that looked to go 0’fer in 2015 and are looking at an outside shot at the playoffs – if……..too many things fall their way.

Finally, the Football Gods have given us a reason to watch the #NFL on #TNF that doesn’t require a lineup.  Not that we won’t have one with guys playing tonight – but you do not need a lineup to enjoy this one.

Look, it’s hard enough to believe the Lions can sweep the Packers, but there is something about this new offense from Jim-Bob Cooter, or the emergence of Ziggy Ansah, or something seems weird about Aaron Rodgers lately, that the Lions DO have a chance at home tonight – either way here is DC*3PO’s top 5 for tonight, and make mine nostalgia for a Detroit victory +3:

Guys to watch on #DraftKings for Tonight’s game, according to DC*3PO

  • Aaron Rodgers $7,200 – 20.3 – 63%
  • Matt Stafford $6,100 – 18.8 – 68.1%
  • Calvin Johnson $7,600 – 17.4 – 68.1%
  • Randall Cobb $6,600 – 14 – 52.1%
  • Golden Tate $4,800 – 12.4 – 70.4%

2.

F.U.E.S.P.N

That is Keenan Reynolds.  The best Navy quarterback since some dodger named Roger won the Heisman, back in ’63.  Why should you care? Well for 1) he is the all time rushing-TD leader in the history of college football and 2) He WAS the leading vote-getter in the ESPN/Nissan Fan Poll – but ESPN removed him from the ballot.  Why?  Because, ESPN doesn’t show the Army/Navy game – CBS does – and the WorldWide Leader does not want to promote someone they do not feature…see last Heisman rant re: Baker Mayfield.  ESPN has tried to explain it to Deadspin – but let’s face it, it’s sh*tty politics and smells as bad.  Maybe if he wore a dress he could get some recognition from ESPN – until then you can at least go here: and vote for Keenan to at least be on the FAN poll – just search for “American” under conference, “Navy” under team and then Reynolds.


3.

Pistol – ShaQ – Ben

That is Ben Simmons and hopefully he never has to play for the 76ers and will just trade in his amateur Purple+Gold for professional Purple+Gold.  He leads the nation in rebounds per game and just had a 43 pt game – without making a 3.  That’s Pistol-Pete territory, who never averaged below 43pts/game in all 3 years he played for the Tigers (no 3pt arc nor shot clock – Insanity).

Oh, and Steph Curry had 28pts last night……in the third quarter.  Even Kobe scored 31 on 10-24 shooting…….just sharing the rock of love.


4.

Kirby & Richt 

Both men prove you can go home again – Kirby back to Georgia and Richt back to the U.  Can Kirby bring with him the PROCESS and make Georgia more relevant than they have been?  It’s a tall order because, like Les Miles, championships will be what matters at UGA – If in 5yrs there is still no SEC title, then what?  The real issue will be who Kirby takes with him from Alabama and to me it will be enough for Saban to leave ‘Bama and get back into the NFL – Colts?

For Richt, it’s more about culture building at the U.  He was Jim Kelly’s backup when the U was beginning to create its legacy.  For awhile now, Miami has been irrelevant and has no foundation.  Richt is a great coach and the media and people who know him say he’s an even better guy.  If he does for Miami, what he did for Athens and can re-fashion that secret sauce, Miami will become important again.


5.

The Unionization of Baseball

Marvin Miller advised Curt Flood not to sue. It would end his career, he told him. Even if he won, the court would never award damages. Flood had nothing to gain by taking baseball to court.

“But if we win,” Flood replied, “it would help my teammates, wouldn’t it? And it would help all the players in both leagues? It would help all of the players coming up in the future?” That, as Miller would later say, was Curt Flood.

Flood was one of a long line of players who worked to bring down the reserve clause. He eventually would lose his case before the Supreme Court, but his actions helped spur changes that would topple the clause within a few years. On April 10, 1976, Andy Messersmith signed as a free agent with Atlanta, and the reserve clause that had bound players indefinitely to their owners for nearly a century finally was defeated……(continue reading)

Source: The Unionization of Baseball – The Hardball Times

What You Need To Know for #TNF and Other Stuff

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1. A Dolphin’s Tale?

Maybe the only thing to worry about – besides your lineup – is if Tom Brady takes a cheap shot.  The NFL Media and the Tennessee coaching staff went nuts on the low hit on Mariota, and it’s not inconceivable that Man Campbell hasn’t already ordered the “Code Red”!  Any team that Ndamukong $uh is on – you must keep a weathered eye…


2. When the Mountaineers Come Calling

7:30p EST FS1 – WV @ TCU
Trevone Boykin begins his push for the Heisman tonight.  Sure they haven’t played anyone yet and yeah, they get three opponents next month that are all in the top 14 currently – but the kid is fun to watch.  So in front of a primetime audience on the “FS1” at 7:30p EST check out the #2 guy in total offense and #5 in passing offense – because the only way this guy has a shot is to be undefeated.


3. #23 and Climbing

5:00p EST ESPN – UNC @ Pitt
Also tonight is the other college football game on that other network that sounds like mental telepathy from a sorority girl when she wears her Uggs to tight.  5p ESt on ESPN, UNC visits Heinz Field to take on a surprisingly good Panthers team from Pitt.  Nice job so far from new coach Pat Narduzzi who’s teams’ only loss is to Iowa.  Lots of coach speak will determine the outcome, such as: Special Teams will be important and who wins the turnover battle so should come out ahead as long as they score more points than the other guy.


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4. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down…0-2

Johnny Cueto tossed a complete-game two-hitter for the Royals as they defeated the Mets, 7-1, in Game Two of the World Series. Two weeks ago, Cueto pitched Kansas City into the ALCS by defeating the Astros in Game Five of the ALDS, allowing only two hits in eight innings. The only other pitchers who have had more than one postseason outing in their careers of eight or more innings in which they allowed no more than two hits are Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens.


 

5. Few Games In – C’Mon Man!

Are The Rockets Doomed – Is Ricky Rubio already an All-Star PG – Is New Orleans turr-able – Is Jahlil Okafor the next one – and finally, is this the Knicks’ time?!  All these overreactions and more…

Source: Biggest overreactions to first batch of NBA games


6. Vlade-dadi We Like To Parde

It has been…an interesting time for the Kings. No one knows what the hell is going on (including those inside of the organization!). For a quick recap:

Last Season: The Kings rushed out to lead the Pacific Division, home of the NBA champion Warriors, before the floor fell out from underneath the team. Star center DeMarcus Cousins was diagnosed with viral meningitis and was sidelined for more than a month. The Kings faltered without him, and their record fell to 11-13. And then the Kings’ Chernobyl of a season began to crumble when owner Vivek Ranadive fired head coach Mike Malone, who was not only a favorite of the players, but had Sacramento ready to play. Mike Malone was fired after only 24 games, and according to Adrian Wojnarowski, the move created a sense of contempt among Kings players, especially Cousins who loved Malone and his system. The Kings then later fired interim head coach Tyrone Corbin, and hired George Karl to coach the team after the All Star Break.

Source: House of Cards: The Kings, Jokers and Chaos in Sacramento


7. The Kobe Bryant Experience

Kobe Bryant, who is older than hell, crankier than hell, and shackled to a misshapen Lakers team, looked better than he has in years tonight as his Lakers fell to the Timberwolves at home 112-111. This game was stuffed full of cool shit: the two teams’ tribute to the recently passed Flip Saunders; Nick Young hitting a half-court leaner to end the first quarter; the debuts of Karl-Anthony Towns, Julius Randle (his 14 minutes last season don’t count), and D’Angelo Russell; Kevin Garnett yapping at people; and Ricky Rubio dropping 28 points and 14 assists. But most of all, there was Kobe.

Source: Old Man Kobe And The Young Lakers Are Fun As Hell 

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