Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Charlie T's Best of 09 | Albums

Here are my favorite albums of 2009, ranked in order, 1-10. I wanted to do a box score for every album, but my soul is not strong enough. Look for the Album Box Score to get a much needed re-birth next year. In the meantime, enjoy this list.

1 - AVETT BROTHERS - I And Love And You
This almost didn't make it as the top album until Kanye took me aside and said, "Fanfarlo is good, but the Avett Brothers had one of the best albums of all time." I really think this album has considerable staying power and timeless qualities.

2 - FANFARLO - Reservoir
This album made the hardest charge at the end of the year than any album this year...and that included some very stiff competition. Laura Gibson, The Swell Season, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Lots of great stuff. And like I said above, this album had all the makings of a number one, but I gave the nod to The Avetts.

3 - THAO AND THE GET DOWN STAY DOWN - Know Better Learn Faster
A strong follow up to a spectacular album last year. I still regret missing her shows every time she comes through town. Please consult with my important schedule next time...pls.

4 - DARK WAS THE NIGHT - Various Artists
The Dirty Projectors easily had my favorite song on this all-star compilation. The tune is great and it has lyrics written by David Byrne...in the 70's. Bon Iver had a monster song as well. Lets not forget great tracks by Arcade Fire, The Books, Feist and Ben Gibbard, The National, and My Brightest Diamond. Every time this double disc makes it back onto the player, there is another gem that begins to sparkle. Most recently, Yeasayer.

5 - HARLEM SHAKES - Technicolor Health
I rarely do this, but I bought this album based on the album art alone...and loved it from day one. The band had broken up by the time I heard it for the first time, which is a shame, but sometimes the best career move is death.

6 - MEGAFAUN - Gather, Form, and Fly
Like I mentioned in my live show list, this album would have been nowhere near my ears if it wasn't for seeing them live in Portland. Amazingly enough, the album does a good job of capturing the completeness of the live show.

Just when I think this album and its quirkiness has finally done me in, another part makes its way to the surface and gets me. Most recently, from the song Useful Chamber, the repetitive singing of "Bitte Orca, Orca Bitte" with a killer guitar lick mixed in.

8 - GRIZZLY BEAR - Veckatimest
I was talked into this album by the local record store owners. I really didn't want to get it, but they are so nice. The selling line was, "Its like a creepy Beach Boys album." It took about 5 times through but it finally caught on. I had tried in the past to get into their other stuff, and it failed miserably. I still can't get into Yellow House or Horn of Plenty, but Veckatimest is going to stay with me.

9 - THE SWELL SEASON - Strict Joy
This spot was reserved for Wilco (The Album) until about two weeks ago. The Swell Seasoners have unseated a end of year list staple for me. They managed to make an album almost as good as the Once Soundtrack, but they didn't remake the Once Soundtrack which now gives them a a wide open future. What they did is not easy to do by any means, which is why the landed on this list.

Maybe what got me into this album was the extended time I spent in New Orleans this year. Maybe it was my deep love for James Brown and the shades of "the hardest working man in show biz" that is found all over this album. Maybe it was both. Either way, they are both great reasons to like such a quality album.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Top 200 Albums of The Decade (41-75)

41. John Prine- Fair & Square
Years and years into a stellar career and maybe his best album?
42. Great Lake Swimmers- Ongiara
43. Postal Service- Give Up… with apologies to Owl City
44. Bright Eyes- I’m Wide Awake, It's Morning
45. Radiohead- Hail To The Thief
46. Travis- The Man Who
47. Rhett Miller- The Instigator
I'm not an Old 97s fan, but this album rules. And Jon Brion only makes it better. Take a listen to Our Love or Terrible Vision and tell me its poptastic goodness doesn't get you.
48. Feist- The Reminder
Let's not forget that, before the Apple spot, this album was supersolid.
49. Ray Lamontagne- Trouble
50. Rachael Yamagata- Happenstance

Trouble and Happenstance will always be connected for me- two of the unofficial albums of my "courtship." Best of Leonard Cohen and A Ghost Is Born are in there too.
51. Nada Surf- Let Go
52. Radiohead- In Rainbows
53. Teddy Thompson- As a giant Teddy Thompson fan, I couldn't pick just one. Having seen him about a dozen times while living in NY (and once, oddly, opening for Elliott Smith in Salt Lake City), I think I've earned the right to mix/match (which you'll see more of, trust me) . Here's to all of Separate Ways/his self titled debut/Upfront & Down Low/Piece of What You Need/I’m Your Man/Brokeback Mountain soundtrack. This is one of those cases of "How Did I Rank This So Low?" The answer is: "impetuousness and low I.Q."
54. Frightened Rabbit- Midnight Organ Flight
55. Death Cab For Cutie- Plansatlanticism
Continuing my artistic license of fusing albums. I loved Transatlanticism when it came out but a) their live show on that tour wasn't exactly impressive and b) Plans has stuck with me and borne more repeat listens over time.
56. Caitlin Cary/Thad Cockrell- Begonias
57. Joe Henry- Scar
58. Felice Brothers- s/t
59. Coldplay- Parachutes
Before they were trotting around in Gay Sgt. Pepper knockoffs, there was some real nuance to Coldplay (hey, A Rush Of Blood To The Head is in my Top 10, so clearly I have an affinity).
60. Mark Kozelek- Rock N Roll Singer
61. Once soundtrack
62. My Morning Jacket- It Still Moves
63. Pedro the Lion- Achilles Heel
64. Lucinda Williams- Essence
65. Atherton- Skyline Motel
66. Dan Bern- New American Language
67. Fiona Apple- Extraordinary Machine
68. Clem Snide- Soft Spot
Eef Barzelay is one of the unique voices (both literarily and aurally) of our time and this is him at his best. "I saw you, doubting yourself in the mirror. But you look good to me." Simple moments captured through a distinctly Eefy lens.
69. Whiskeytown- Pneumonia
70. Interpol- Turn on the Bright Lights
71. Damien Jurado- Caught In the Trees
I have listened to this album a ton over the past 2 weeks and have to say that my Top 10 of 2008 assessment was spot on.
72. Radiohead- Amnesiac
73. The Hold Steady- Stay Positive
74. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club- BRMC
75. Low- The Great Destroyer

Monday, December 21, 2009

Top 200 Albums of The Decade (11-40)

Continuing the list that is less definitive every time I look at it. (How's that for a vote of confidence?)

11. Wilco- A Ghost Is Born
12. Joe Henry- Tiny Voices
13. Elliott Smith- Figure 8
14. Gillian Welch- Time (The Revelator)
15. Aimee Mann- Bachelor #2
16. Cardigans- Long Gone Before Daylight
Some people think this band just has the hit. Those people are idiots. If you are an idiot, go pick up this album and get your mind all changed.
17. Broken Social Scene- You Forgot It People
18. Robert Plant & Alison Krauss- Raising Sand
19. Low- Things We Lost In The Fire
20. Jon Brion- Meaningless
This album/artist changed everything for me and I totally realize that this is personal bias with no objectivity whatsoever.

21. Patty Griffin- 1000 Kisses
Just for the fact that Long Ride Home is one of the best songs ever written. And the bridge on Chief.
22. Kathleen Edwards- Failer
23. Leona Naess- s/t
24. Johnny Cash- American Recordings (All, yes I'm lumping them. They are essentially the same in spirit and sometimes session. So I'm taking the liberty.)
25. Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
26. Doves- Last Broadcast
criminally underrated.
27. Flaming Lips- Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
It's hard to remember a time when this album didn't exist, before Wayne & Co. were singing Do You Realize and Yoshimi to the world.
28. Steve Earle- Transcendental Blues
Why is this album so low? Because I am not just a moron. I am a lazy moron who refuses to redo the list.
29. Sigur Ros- ( )
30. The Strokes- Is This It?
31. Fugazi- The Argument
32. Pete Yorn- musicforthemorningafter
33. The Weepies- Say I am You
34. Matthew Ryan vs The Silver State
This album would be higher if I didn't fear how recently it came out.
35. Iron & Wine- Our Endless Numbered Days
36. Josh Ritter- The Animal Years
37. Wilco- Sky Blue Sky
That's 3 for Wilco in the top 40. Kasey Casem would be proud.
38. New Pornographers- Electric Version
39. The Innocence Mission- Befriended
40. Arcade Fire- Neon Bible

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Charlie T's Best of 09 | Live Shows

The live show is an essential part to the Year in Music. More often than not, the live show makes or breaks an albums inclusion on the Top Ten list of that year, and really good shows can influence decision making for years to come. For example, Andrew Bird and his latest album Noble Beast would have been nowhere near my radar if I hadn't seen an inspiring performance out of him last year. And Wilco's failure to tour anywhere accessible to me this year undoubtedly led to their first even exclusion from my year-end praise.

On the other side of the argument, a disappointing album will keep me away fro seeing an artist perform. Case in point, Great Lake Swimmers. Their latest effort didn't grab ahold of me like their previous album did leading to me not making the effort to attend their show on their way across the country. Attending that show may have renewed hope in Lost Channels, but it wasn't going to happen.

In a related note, after watching the Kings play a time or two on TV this season, I am starting to look forward to our unavoidable date with them in the lower bowl. Spike, having fallen under the same spell, has already purchased an Omar Casspi jersey in anticipation for that game and a subsequent playoff run.

Having spelled that out, here is a rundown of the best and most important shows of 2009 and included is some of their video performances that compliment the live show. Show are in some kind of an order, from first of the year to end of the year.

*Irrelevant to this years Top Ten list, but still a good show

Delta Spirit*

Laura Gibson

Laura Gibson - Where Have All Your Good Words Gone from playgrrround on Vimeo.

The Hold Steady*

Josh Ritter*

Bon Iver/Jenny Lewis - Poor Jonathan Rice. He has to play the Elvis Costello part and the Roy Orbison part in the same set. In a way this show has no bearing on the list, but at the same time it has so much bearing. Bon Iver contributed heavily to the Dark Was The Night compilation, songs that he played at this show and killed.

Dark Was The Night - I didn't see this show but these Vincent Moon videos are in some ways better than a live show.

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - Maybe it was the extended amount of time I spent in New Orleans or maybe its the cross between Chris Rock and James Brown, either way the music is great.

Shawn Smith* reissues don't count

Megafaun/Bowerbirds - This show was interesting because had I not attended, Bowerbirds could have made the top ten and Megafaun would have been nowhere on my radar, instead it was the other way around. There was something off putting from the Bowerbrids. Likewise, there was something incredibly amazing about Megafaun.

The Avett Brothers/Heartless Bastards - This show brought Heartless Bastards into the race and cemented the Avetts near the top. Anyone who has seen either band knows why.

Frightened Rabbit*

The Get Up Kids* re-issues don't count.

Over The Rhine*

Fanfarlo - Possibly show of the year and because of that, possibly album of the year. They started out with a recreation of their video for The Walls Are Coming Down, complete with an escape artist hanging overhead in a straight jacket and then nearly brought down the house at the end of the show with I'm A Pilot. That doesn't even include covering Low's It Was Just Like Christmas in the encore.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Top 200 Albums of The Decade (1-10)

'Tis the season to be listing. So we'll add ours to the pile. This one? THE BLACK CONVERSE'S BEST ALBUMS OF THE 00'S (since Charlie T consulted and wisely opted not to compile his own). Yes, this is supposed to be a hoops and music blog, even if we don't always do the greatest job showing it.


200ish albums nominated in a manner so unscientific, so anti-methodical that it might actually be genius. Why is In Rainbows so low? I don't know. You're right: it should be higher. And what about this year's albums, why so low? Again, you're right, but I felt like they needed more time-testedness.

All in all, these are the albums that meant something to me/us this decade- a decade that saw me at two different colleges, in 4 big breakups, graduate, first big job, move to NYC, get married, move to UT, have a kid. Big stuff. Rather than elaborate on every single one, I've picked some at random to talk about and just listed the remainder. Surely this list will change tomorrow, maybe tonight. But I'll stand by it today.

So let's get to it. Ladies and gentlemen, "our" Top 10 of the 00's. (Notice how we don't make you rifle through a heap of albums before getting to the meat. Yeah, we rule. You can read the also-rans later on.)
10. The Hold Steady- Boys And Girls In America

We've never hid our love of The Hold Steady on TBC. And we ain't starting now.

This album was- poetically, considering the subject matter- my fist-pumping gateway drug.

9. Beck- Sea Change

Like I said, this decade saw 4 big heartbreaks. And this album was there for half of them.

The 1-2 combo of The Golden Age and Guess I'm Doing Fine still destroy me.

My favorite Beck album by a sampleslide. Or kitschslide. Or schtickslide. Whatever.

8. Sun Kil Moon- Ghosts of the Great Highway

Mark Kozelek's best record.

If you need more explanation than that, you need more Mark Kozelek in your life.

Particularly your ears.

Sad, mournful, nostalgic, gorgeous.

7. Ryan Adams- Heartbreaker

This album changed the way I listen to music forever. Most fans have spent a good deal of time wishing Ryan Adams would revisit this world. I spend that time just happy he ever did.

"Come Pick Me Up." Best Song of the Decade? Or Best Song Ever?

The album art, however, has always been baffling to me.

6. Coldplay- A Rush of Blood To The Head

Oh, Coldplay, we hardly knew thee.

5. Radiohead- Kid A

No Top 10 list is complete without it.


People think that In Rainbows was their groundbreaking move.

How about recording an amazing-but-not-particularly-radio-friendly follow-up to OK Computer?

It saved them from themselves. And gave us all an incredible record.

4. Arcade Fire- Funeral

All of these records are great,

but I think 20 years from now

this will be the one that was perhaps

the most game-changing.

Listen to Fanfarlo,

one of our favorite records of 09,

and tell me differently.

3. Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever Ago

Too soon, you say?

That's funny. I was thinking, "too low."

2. The National- Boxer

Everything about this album works for me.

Smart lyrics and melodies, especially in light of the mumbliness.

Incredibly moving and layered arrangements.

And if it has a weak spot, well, it doesn't so stop pretending it does.

1. Wilco- Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

T-Maq is Baq

When I saw that the Rockets had finally allowed Tracy McGrady to play last night, the knee jerk reaction was to revoke all of Daryl Morey's smart points. They guy is a basketball genius. Not the kind like Magic or Legend who who show their IQ on the hardwood, but the kind who seems to evaluate his team and his talent better than anyone and pull the right strings from behind the scenes. Inserting T-MAK back into the an aggressive and overachieving Rockets team seemed counterintuitive. Why put in a guy who is notoriously lazy, ruins the rhythm of any offensive team and plays no defense? Are you all of the sudden thinking the John Wall sweepstakes is worth it?

Then I came back to reality. This guy is smarter than that. I realized that there are two obvious scenarios. The first is that David Stern would rather McGrady get voted into the All-Star game as a starter rather than having to stuff the ballot box himself for Chris Paul or Deron Williams. The second scenario is that Morey is going to parade McGrady around the league in order to trick someone into trading for him.

Scenario 1
Currently the second leading vote getter as a guard in the Western Conference, t_maK making the All Star team would be almost as infamous as the 2002 MLB All Star game in terms of blunders. It would be even worse if he hadn't played a single game all year. So the Commish undoubtedly made a call to Morey's office and made a deal with him that was about as one-sided as a game between the Lakers and the Sparks. "Play McGrady." You don't question the Commish.

Scenario 2
Morey is trying to get his 1993 Corvette out of the shop and parade it around the neighborhood a little bit in order to get some sap in the midst of a mid-life crisis to offer him something, anything, for it. (The Corvettes of the late 80s and early 90's are by far the worst of any Corvette made. Every Corvette from that era all seems to be the same terrible maroon color. No car should ever be that color, but certainly never a muscle car. I like comparing McGrady to a crappy 90's "muscle car" because he is that era of muscle car. He is the NBA player people like who don't know anything about the NBA just like that Corvette is the car people get when they don't know anything about muscle cars. To them its a Corvette, or someone who scores a lot of points. Never mind the fact that he hasn't won a single thing in his career.) The timing is just right if you are going to parade him around the league, like bringing out the Corvette during the first warm day of the year with the top down. People get envious. Lets look at the teams/GMs coming up on the schedule between now and the trading deadline on February 18th. (note: all games mentioned are road games because that would all but guarantee that the other owner/GM will see him play)

Dallas - Cuban is always buying right?

New Jersey Nettes - His name is Tracy.

Cleveland - Just in case they want to add one more washed up All-Star or buy LeBron insurance

Charlotte - He would fit real well on top of the Scrap Heap

Memphis - Do I really need to spell this one out?

Miami - Rumors are building for this one, heaven help us. Dwyane might as well pack his bags now if the rumors continue.

Milwaukee - Last chance to see him before he is shipped out of town or back to the DL, could be the last time we ever see him in the NBA

There you have it. My guess it that both scenarios are true and that with any luck we can finally be rid of T-Maq for good. If you're listening Mr. Morey, it will be worth 50 TBC Smart Points.

Nettes v Jazz

Some storylines going into tonight's Jazz @ Nettes game:

The Road
The Jazz have to ask themselves: "Will this be more like Willie Nelson's road or Cormac McCarthy's road?" A pretty lousy road team lately, the Jazz will find out which way- Willie or Cormac- this trip's gonna go tonight. Atlanta/Charlotte*/Miami/Orlando. The teams only get tougher after the turnpike.

2 going on 3
The Jazz boosted the Kryptowolves from two to four W's. The Nettes are understandably rooting for a bump (some psychologists would say all women are, deep down, wishing for a bump) from the Jazz. And let's just say the Jazz should take all precautions to keep from making Jersey the babymama of another little L.

Lack of Estrogen
The Jazz are notably lacking in feminine (or even androgynous) names- Ronnie being as close as it gets. Some of the names could be morphed a bit, if that will help motivate the Nettes to get their claws out: Carla Boozer, Andrea Kirilenko, Geri Sloan (dare you to try that to his face)...

* A quick thank you to the Bobcats for adding to the Knicks' L column last night. A fruitcake is in the mail.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Knicks/Jazz/Wolves Grab Bag

Some random thoughts on the intertwined Jazz/Knicks seasons. Any true Jazz fan has a vested interest in the Knicks' stockpiling some L's.

I expected a little more from the Knicks. Which, as a Jazz fan, is to say: I expected a little less.

3rd place in the Atlantic/Titanic division? Yes, only the Celtics are over .500 and the rest of the division = the tragic Nettes, the glory-day-desperate Sixers, and a team that- let's be honest- will never be Canada's Team (but may very well be on their way to becoming Chris Bosh's First Team). Still, even in such a lousy division, third place is overachieving for what my Jazz Draft Expectations have in mind. With the Bobcats, Beat-a-bulls, and Clippers on the docket, this could be bad.

What can we do to turn this around?

Isiah Thomas should be given a second (third? eighth?) chance. Sign Spike Lee to a 10-day that he can film called Spike Going To Work or, alternately, Some Black Men Can't Jump Either. And why not bring back some former Knick to sell tickets? Ewing? Grandmama? I hear Sprewell is looking for work. And little Nate Robinson should be playing major minutes with an eternal green light (just remember, D'Antoni, how prominently green figured into Nate's dunk contest antics last season).

Speaking of Kryptonite...

The T-Wolves Own The Jazz
Kryptowolves have 4 wins this season, two of them against the Jazz, the most recent last night at EnergySolutions Arena, where the Jazz have formerly boasted a decent home court advantage. So much for building on wins against Orlando and The Kobes. Thank goodness Minny won't be a playoff threat. Now we just have to hope the Jazz are. Sheesh, it only makes me hate Mike Love all the more.

Johnny Flynn Has Wolves Fans Asking "Ricky Whobio?"
For one night, at least. I couldn't resist the headline.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Canada's Team/December Edition

Let's take another look into the Toronto Raptors' bid to become Canada's Team, both legally and in the hearts of the Canadian people. Of note this month: the rise of the Toronto Marlies and the regional popularity of Trevor Ariza's elbows. The current Top 10- based on a totally thorough and completely fake poll taken in Toronto- are as follows:

Toronto Marlies (Maple Leafs/Leaves farm team)
2. Toronto Maple Leafs (currently 11-14-7 and down a spot)
3. whatever team signs Trevor Ariza 'cause that kid has hockey moves to spare
4. Minor Midget Jr Canadians (supposedly best junior team in the world)
5. Canadian National Team (apparently ALL of them)
6. Edmonton Oilers
7. Canadian Bacon (Mike Meyers and Kevin Bacon's undefeated Fantasy Football team)
8. Calgary Flames
9. Ottawa Senators
10. Phoenix Suns (Nash-loyalty is at an all-time high)

Other notables
13. Toronto Raptors (11-15, a substantial climb from last poll
14. Vancouver Canucks
Skater Boiz (an Avril Lavigne-inspired, Hot Topic-sponsored glee club out of Saskatchewan)
Toronto Blue Jays (75-87)
47. Alanis Morrisette's road crew softball team, The Jagged Little Steals (steady)


Anyone who played NBA Jam in the 90s knew what it was like when Tim Hardaway or Reggie Miller (or Al Gore or P-Funk or Ad Rock, if you knew the codes). Same goes for anyone who's ever loved a team with a streak shooter. When they're on, life is good. When they're off, you deal with it. And keep praying for fire.

So goes this blog. Today, we're in for about 5 posts. But that's after 2 weeks of radio silence. Still, you gotta give it to Charlie T: the man is on fire.

The Clippers Stink, Blake Griffin

Many have tried to speculate as to what will finally make the Clippers not stink. Even more have tried to go and play for/coach the other team in the Staples Center with the only thing changing being that they end up leaving town reeking of Clippers. Often times, the player thinks they can come in become the Febreze the Clippers desperately need. Ask Elton Brand how that went. Ask Danny Manning. Try Shaun Livingston and his ACLs. Ask Bill Fitch. Ask anyone. The list goes on. (Darius MIles, Pooh Richardson, Zach Randolph, Olowakandi)

Needless to say, maybe have made guesses at the solution for the Clipps. So we decided to turn this fun guessing game into a game of Hangman. Over the course of the year there will be theories presented, ideas tested and letters guessed. Eventually this will reveal the secret as to how to get rid of that famous Clippers Stink.

The first guess is the much ballyhooed Blake Griffin. Everyone penciled the Clipps in for the playoffs and wouldn't you know, down with an injury. We are going to guess two letters for this one because of the overwhelming confidence. B and G. His initials.

Free Jazz

In tribute to Ornette Coleman (who played on an album of Joe Henry's, whose new record will likely crack my End Of Year Top 10), here's some free Jazz- i.e. random, non-associated thoughts about the Jazz.

I hate to say it, but BOOZER IS A MONSTER. I have long derided his ability to have the least impressive 20pt/10reb games in the history of basketball, sneaking in bunches of points during inconsequential minutes, making little impact on the game. But, after a shaky start to the season and- if we're being honest here- a completely douchey offseason, he's coming through in a big way. Of course, you'd have to be stupid not to see the "Contract Year" and "Trade-ability" in his eyes, not to mention "Shove It, Fanbase" and "Do You Remember What I Did To Cleveland?". But, after so much open hostility on my part and a large part of Jazz fans, it had to be said: BOOZER IS A MONSTER.

MILSAP? The question mark is the operative part. This season, after Portland basically weaseled the Jazz into throwing money at Milsap (and look at the karma you get, Blazers, for your conniving ways), we knew it'd be a tough go. Especially with fewer minutes and the insecurity of knowing that you have to- in some ways- defer to The All Star/Olympian On His Way Out. I'm not saying this is a Steve Young/Joe Montana situation, but you've gotta feel for Milsap. I still love his energy and hustle, undauntedness and athleticism, not to mention fearless ability to get points/boards WHEN IT MATTERS. But, again we're being honest here, he's been pretty quiet this year. Last year, as an understudy thrust onto the main stage, he proved himself. So we stopped paying him understudy money, only to continue giving him understudy minutes. Can't blame the guy for being a little lost.

BEST HOCKEY TEAM IN THE NBA. That wretched 4th quarter in L.A. proved it. 3 great periods. And an historically hideous one. Watching the ORL and (second) LA games, it felt to me- even in W's- that their play became more tenative. Haters blame Sloan, but I don't see that. I see a team tightening up. And, mostly, it feels like D-Will sometimes hits the brakes (fatigue? coaching? nerves?). It sort of feels like the old adage about "not playing to win, rather playing NOT to lose" which is an epic recipe for losing.

WES MATTHEWS. The Jazz aren't the best draft team in the league, but- like all-time leader John Stockton- they've gotten some steals. Wes Matthews is the latest.

EXCUSES, EXCUSES. "Kobe was hurt." "Short-handed." "Blah blah blah." The media has no shortage of AP Stylebook-approved excuses for bigtime teams losing to the Jazz. But a W is a W. Orlando was up 18 and couldn't hold on. The Lakers got a clunker from an injured Kobe. Guess what, league? Coming from a team that's had more than its fair share of injuries over the past few years (Boozer, Williams, Okur, Kirilenko, Korver, CJ Miles and on and on), let me just quote Justin Timberlake (who was borrowing from about 18 gazillion other pop culture aphorisms): WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND.

B-RUSS. I'm torn. I was never a big Bryon Russell fan in the first place (my brother would have me shot with rocksalt for saying so), but this whole publicity thing has me divided. Part of me likes that he's calling out Jordan (not that Jordan is listening to the little buzzing mosquito). And part of me is really sad at how desperate and smalltime it all sounds. My least favorite Beach Boy Mike Love called out the Stones (among others) during his Rock n Roll Hall of Fame speech. And the Stones didn't so much as bat a bloodshot eye. I'm not sure if Jordan is Mike Love in this situation (the speech part? yes. the talent/legend part? no.), but it seems like it fits somehow. And, by the way, is Mike Love really Kevin Love's uncle? Please say no.

Bango the Buck, Et tu Bogut?

Just when Bango thought he was back on top with all the Jennings hype finally wearing off, Andrew Bogut had to go out and do this.

Bango's career is starting to resemble that of one Julius Caesar. Once on top of the world, then a tragic fall from grace ended by a "friendly" knife in the back. It would be one thing if the fans came up with this on their own but when a player subsidizes a coup d'etat like this, well that's just cold.

Then again, the guy bankrolling this operation might not be playing with a full deck.

After a little research, I don't think you have much to worry about Bango.

Assault on Timberwolves History, part 2

Nothing but taillights for Terrell Brandon. A little like Springsteen's character in Highway Patrolman, minus the brothers angle. Here we are again, looking at Al Jefferson's ascent of the Timberwolves All-Time records.

T-Wolves All Time Points

8. Tom Gugliotta 4,201
9. Pooh Richardson 3,698
10. Anthony Peeler 3,622
11. Al Jefferson - 3,254
12. Terrell Brandon - 3,157

Meanwhile, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the Wolves can run production on those Tom Gugliota bobbleheads. Jefferson could pass Googs when one of his (Googs') former teams, the Warriors, comes to town in April. Jefferson has 363 points through 22 games, an average of 16.5 per game, which is well under his normal clip of 20+ per game. What better way to celebrate the long, storied history of the Minnesota Timberwolves and the great career of Tom Gugliotta than by having Googs himself in house, on Bobblehead Night, against a former team of his, while Al Jefferson eclipses him on the All Time Scoring list?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Assault on Timberwolves History

Much has been said about the storied franchise that is the Minnesota Timberwovles. (Googling....nothing....searching...still nothing....Wikipedia....KG something....nothing) Okay, fine. So not much has been said about the long history of the Timberwolves because there isn't much of one. Aside from JR Rider going between the legs, KG giving it his all, and Kevin McHale's sweaters, (it appears all evidence of his terrible wardrobe choices have been eliminated from the internet but I know I've seen him in this sweater on more than one occasion) it's slim pickings.

Flashback to 2+ years ago: Al Jefferson arrives in the Twin Cities as the savior of this franchise. Since then he's been skyrocketing up the franchise's All-Time charts.

Just this past week, he moved up to 7th all time on the rebounding charts. Who did he pass? Doug West and Joe Smith. There's a bit of irony with the current icon in 'Sota passing one of its past, prematurely revered icons. In case you forgot, Doug West was a huge pickup for the T'Wolves, being compared to the likes of Jerry West. As for Joe Smith, well who hasn't he played for and gotten about 1,500 rebounds? Heck, half of his rebounds were probably KG's but since they looked so much alike on the court, they just gave every 5th rebound to Smith.

T-Wolves All Time Rebounds

7. Al Jefferson - 1,582
8. Joe Smith - 1,561
9. Doug West - 1559

Congratulations Al. Look out, Terrell Brandon, you're up next...where ever you are.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

76ers - Glory Days

To start the season, we really loved the Sixers going back to their old logo and uniforms. In fact, we loved it so much that we were going to sift through the Sixers history and bring back more of the Glory Days. Then Andre Iguodala got on board doing his own artistic Glory Days impressions. The Sixers haven't stopped. They are fully embracing the Glory Days theme.

Glory Days is obviously a reference to one of the Boss' better songs. Some would argue that Springsteen is a prophet of sorts. You be the judge.

"My old man worked 20 years on the line
and they let him go
Now everywhere he goes out looking for work
they just tell him that he's too old"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Outdone By The Truth

Sometimes fiction and farce and fantasy is trumped by fact.

Case in point, yesterday Charlie T speculated with varying degrees of seriousness about who would be the Nettes' next coach. He tossed around some guys-with-girls'-names, some androgynous types, a bona fide, and some real deal women's coaches.

And then the Nettes gave the job to:


First, I'm bummed we didn't stick him on our initial list of candidates. Second, wow, thank you, New Jersey, for validating this little blog of ours. Third, was there no one named Roxy or Krystal or Fantasia or Cinnamon available?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Long Weekend Roundup

Sacramento Kings Wins: 6, 7, 8

The plate of crow, and the cost of seats, is getting a bit outrageous.

Bango the Buck

Lucky for Bango, he doesn't have to go on road games. The young lefty looking to upstage the most exciting thing in Milwaukee does. Advantage: Bango.

Actual conversation had between Spike and Charlie T.

CTH: "Did you see Brandon Jennings?"

SW: "No, what happened?"

CTH: "Double nickel vs Golden State and an 8-3 record."

SW: "Who else have they played?"

CTH: quickly googling the Bucks schedule and seeing teams like Minnesota, Knicks, GS, Nettes, Bobcats, Grizz "Uh, nobody really. Some real tests coming up though...@Spurs, @NO, Orl."

SW: "Well there is your answer. Talk to me in about a week."

Anybody on the Jennings bandwagon knows how that stretch played out.

Jay Bilas All-Stars: Anthony Randolph

My fantasy team (which is leading my league with a 27-9 record, a 6 game cushion over the second place team and coming off a 9-0 week all thanks to taking D-Wade with the first overall pick) is in a dilemma. I log on today to calculate my lead over the rest of the league and I see a trade has been proposed to me. Derrick Rose (on my roster) for Anthony Randolph. Straight up. No filler, nothing. Just Rose for Randolph. Its an easy decision really, unless your league gets points for upside, second jumpability, length, and freakish athlete. You know what, I'm not so sure he even outmeasures Rose in most of those categories anyway. Sorry Chazzmichaelmichaels, The Adam Keefes are keeping Rose and his fantasy points. Good luck with those length points.

A League of Their Own

The Nettes are rewriting the history books with every game this year. First, they were to the first team to make jump from the WNBA to the NBA. Then they tied (and should break) the record for most consecutive losses to start the season. Now they are in search of a new coach and could really be trendsetters there too. To help out the record setting Nettes, we have prepared a list of the top coaching candidates who are more than qualified to lead the Real Housewives into battle on the hardwood for the rest of this season.

10. His/her ability to relate to both genders on the team cannot be overlooked

9. Couldn't hurt to stack the deck a little more for the 2010 bonanza
(obviously its the person on the right)

8. Lawrence Frank was bad, but she has one of the greatest videos of all time
(also, cannot be overlooked that she is sleeping with management)

7. Has the WNBA pedigree and looking to break into the Association in a leading role

6. Whose name would look the best next to other "hot girl names"?

5. Probably the closest to the job on this list

4. Seeing this after every win would put people in the seats for sure...on second thought we would never get to see it

3. The best college coaches always go pro at some point

2. This is our favorite...only so we can watch our TNT doubleheaders in peace

1. Ladies and Gentlemen, the new coach of the New Jersey Nettes....Jimmy Dugan

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

You're Still Not Listening

The Wiz -

We told you how to fix the Wizards and apparently the message still isn't getting though. We will not stop until you have met our demands. Curse-ing is in full effect, just ask your fans.

- The Bullets

C-C-Courtney and Nettes

Quoted from the AP: "New Jersey guard Courtney Lee is available to play against the Denver Nuggets after missing the last seven games because of a groin injury."


Rose Family Reunion: Pete and Derrick

This summer TBC had an all access pass to the Rose Family Reunion in rural Iowa. As promised, this is the first bit of wisdom given to Derrick by one of his famous extended family members; Pete "Charlie Hustle" Rose.

When we found out Pete was going to be at the family farm we were ecstatic. Pete is a favorite around here, with my parents even giving me his namesake. I imagined hearing stories about the Big Red Machine, walking out onto the field in Atlanta as a part of the All Century Team and then pretty much telling Jim Gray where to stick it, and finding out who cuts his hair. None of our dreams came true and actually, we had a hard time tracking down Pete once we arrived.

Late into the first day we lost track of Derrick. We walked around and around the farm again and again, in vain attempts at locating the guest of honor. We checked in the barn. Nope. We looked in the tool shed. Again, not there. We checked in the cellar. Not there either. Then we went behind the woodshed and we found Pete with his arm around little Derrick, having a little heart to heart.

"You know Derrick, I was Rookie of the Year," said Pete.

Derrick is looking at him like he is speaking a foreign language, probably wondering why they are out behind the woodshed.

Pete continued. "I won the rookie of the year because I hustled. Nothing was given to me. It was a tough time trying to make it in the bigs back then. But the 60's were a great time, not quite as good as the 80's but pretty close. Anything beats those damn hippies. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, rookie of the year. Well if there is one thing I can tell you about the season after is that you are going to have anything you want. I mean anything."

Derrick stops gazing off into the distance and looks slightly interested.

Pete went on to talk about all the important people he met and all the women and just as he was about to lose Derrick's interest again he said this.

"Just make sure you go slide head first any time you can and remember the rule of Andy."

"The rule of Andy?"

"Yes. Andy. A - N - D - E. Admit nothing, deny everything. I forgot that one time and I will never, ever forgive myself for it. Oh and if that still doesn't work and you need anything else, I mean ANYTHING, here is Ronnie's number."

Take Me Back To The Omni

This Hawks team has me reaching back. Way back. Back to the days of Dominque, Spud, Doc, Willis, and some epic battles with the Bad Boy Pistons. The old Omni. The red/yellow/white wave unis. Human highlights. Why?

  • Best record in the East (tied with the defending EC champs who supposedly improved over the summer).
  • Rare source of agreement between ESPN's typically divergent Marc Stein (gut/faith) and John Hollinger (stats/reason). Stein and Hollinger are like Locke and Jack a few seasons ago on Lost, at odds but sort of needing each other. And I like them both for what they bring to the table/island. And somehow they (Stein/Hollinger, not Locke/Jack) both have the Hawks ranked #2 this week.
  • Cumulative and legitimate swagger. This team kicked it all off by pushing the Celtics around two seasons ago in the playoffs and have continued to parlay that swagger into experience and real-deal-ness. That kind of accumulated confidence over that much time can not and should not be discounted.

Euro Jazz

Who would've guessed that- with a booming record of 3-10- the Knicks would, at this point in the season, only be the league's THIRD worst team? The soon-to-be-Frankless Nettes are, by all indications, shooting for the January cover of Oprah's O magazine. As in O-for-the-season-so-far. And the Timberwolves? Well, nobody really expected much there, now did we, Mr. Rambis...

The combination of the Knicks' encouraging (for a Jazz fan) unimpressiveness and the breakout year of former Euroleaguer Brandon Jennings turns our hopeful eyes to Europe. Who are the top Euro-league prospects not named Ricky Rubio that the Jazz should consider?

Milenko Tepic? His profile here says he's not very athletic but has a "great attitude on and off the court." Oh great. If that interests you, my wife has a friend with a "really sweet spirit" she'd love to set you up with.

Nikola Pekovic? His profile essentially says he's a power player with almost no inside moves and terrible range. Add to that the fact that he's an undersized center who'd undoubtedly move to power forward in the NBA and suddenly I'm not that excited. Oooooh, but look at the notes:
Notes: A solid prospect, and one to keep an eye on

Come on, Europe. What about a Jennings-esque American who bucked Stern's "Can't Play Straight Outta High School" mandate? Is there one out there? Please?

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Bilas Bias takes on the Stephen Jackson trade

The Black Converse reached out to college hoops know-it-all and former Dookie Jay Bilas for his take on The Trade That S-Jax Forced. Here's what Bilas said:

"Now there's no denying the athleticism and wild cardology of a player like Stephen Jackson. He gives any team on any given night the chance to compete with his competitivenessation, intangibles, and streaky shooting. Just ask the Spurs and Pacers.

But Jackson wanted out. So what do the Warriors, who would really give any NCAA team a run for their money this year, get in this deal?

Vladimir Radmanovic- the former Laker/Clipper/Sonic (R.I.P) brings some bona fide beardability and a certain out-of-this-world quality. Phil Jackson called him "my favorite martian" and he was right: it's not hard to see real martianicity in Vlad's game. On the flipside, he's been proven to be a liability when it comes to truthiness, snowboardabilities, defense, and shot selection.

Raja Bell- Don Nelson has to be ecstatic with getting Raja, who's had the perfect combination of experience with old codger coaches (Jerry Sloan, Larry Brown) and loosey goosey run-and-gun coaches (D'Antoni). His upside is in his time-tested ability to knock down the following:
-vegetarian meals
-Kobe Bryant

Thanks, The Black Converse, for giving me the opportunity to put that Duke education in practice with some of these, um, letters and periods and stuff."

Weekend Roundup, 910 Conversation

Boston Celtics Countdown to 10 Losses: 4
Not only did the Celtics stumble yet again, but it was to another contender.

Memphis Thirtysomethings: 4
Rudy Gay had another thirtysomething point night. Ho hum. We might have to drop any following of this team since AI got cut.

Another instance where Detroit takes a page out of the Book of Kid Rock: Saturday vs. Utah / Sunday vs. Phoenix
Saturday the Pistons decided to pull the "they are calling for an encore but I'm Kid Rock and they ain't gettin' nuthin'". They then followed it up by sending their D-League affiliate to Phoenix for the next game. They gave all the blue collar fans their money's worth for sure this weekend...as long as you were in Salt Lake City for the first half of the game.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

TeeMAK Denied

TBC Smart Points for Daryl Morey: 6
That is 6 smart points for the season, up from 1 before this story broke. I really don't think this story has anything to do with him not being physically ready to play. It has to do with the 5-man symphony that the Rockets have on the court at any given moment. They don't need a guitar solo right now, nor ever.

Friday, November 20, 2009


We knew there would be some deviations from the typical Spur's season this year, but what has happened in the first 10 games has been a complete aberration.

A home loss to the Jazz. This is something that every team has experienced. But not the Spurs. Not now, not in this century.
This was Gregg Popovich this morning after he woke up for the first time in his own bed after a loss to the Jazz.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Real, Real Housewives of New Jersey

Courtney, Brook, Yi, Bobby, Chris, Rafer, and Devin. No, they aren't the model slated for the 2010 SI Swimsuit issue, they are the nucleus of the New Jersey Nettes, the first team to make the jump from the WNBA to the NBA.

At the onset of the season, we knew the Nets would be bad and just wanted to make fun of the fact that most of them have first names that attractive models would have. We never realized they would be this bad. Not only are they named like girls, but they are playing like them. It hasn't been easy starting out 0-12. Tensions are high in the locker room from losing games, but there are now problems outside the locker room credit cards are maxed out from all that post-loss, self esteem restoring, binge shopping.

Needless to say, life has been tough as a New Jersey Housewife trying to make a living on the hardwood. But we never thought the ladies would lose their composure and start acting like this:

This video was taken of the team at a restaurant in Milwaukee after losing to the suddenly resurgent Bucks.

We can only what will happen on Madison Avenue after a loss to the 1-10 Knicks on Saturday.

Right now I give the Nettes a 9 on their performance thus far, as in Title IX.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Charlotte Scrap Heap

This is what happens when you take trade advice from your main man Ahmad Rashad and Spike Lee.

Trips to the Island of Misfit Players this season: 1

The only way we could think to describe the Charlotte Bobcats at the start of the season was as a scrap heap made up of players from the Island of Misfit Players. With the addition of Stephen Jackson (6 teams in 10 years) and Acie Law (3 teams in 3 years) the scrap heap just got bigger. It is a shame that they had to send of Raja Bell, but he is the ubiquitous "throw in guy" in the NBA the last several years. Needless to say there is still room for improvement in the scrap pile.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend Roundup

Bango the Buck:
Scoring 55 points as a rookie is impressive, especially 8 games into the season. Brandon Jennings antics have just about upstaged Bango the Buck as the most exciting thing in Milwaukee, but doing it against the Warriors is about as impressive as this. I mean come on, he is using a trampoline.

Boston Celtics Countdown to 10 losses: 3
Mired in a two game losing skid to the formidable Hawks and Psycho T and the Pacers leaves RaSheed's prediction in doubt for the All-Star game let alone the entire season.

Sacramento Kings Wins: 5
Don't book that trip to Hawaii yet Spike, you might be using that money for courtside seats.

Atlanta Hawks - 'Nique or Keefe:
An 8-2 start with some really quality wins so far (POR, DEN, BOS) leaves us leaning 'Nique on this.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Henry Abbott agrees with TBC: CP3 could be the next KG (in a bad way)

TrueHoop contributor and all around smart NBA guru, Henry Abbott:
  • The Hornets are in a bind. They have an MVP candidate entering his prime in Chris Paul, a local market hammered by Katrina, an owner many people don't like, some very big bad contracts, and a feeling that they need wins now to increase revenues and convince their franchise player that he is not the next Kevin Garnett (an MVP-caliber player who doesn't get to win titles because of the constraints of his poorly run small market team). (via TrueHoop)

Fueling The Fire

Apparently LeBron James thinks Michael Jordan is the basketball equivalent to Jackie Robinson.

I've got a different theory on the whole thing. It is widely known that the Miami Heat don't have much of a franchise history. To their defense, there is more of a history than some of the other teams that joined the league with them. That aside, the numbers hanging in the rafters are 23, 13, 33, and 10. Jordan, Marino, Mourning and Hardaway. The latter two make sense, the other two? Not hardly. Now that we have established that Miami has retired the number 23, lets bring Mr. James back into the picture and add this theory to the long list of "Where will LeBron go in 2010" theories.

LeBron won't be able to have #23 when he goes to Miami next season. If he can't have it then nobody can. Nobody.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

FLIPping the script

The firing of Hornets' coach (and 2008 Coach Of The Year, but that's ancient history) Byron Scott got us thinking about our CP3 Is The New KG theory.

On the one hand, the firing flips (pun most definitely intended) the script and proves us wrong. Flip Saunders had a nice long tenure (96-05) for the T-Wolves. The coach-go-round, starring McHale and Casey, started after he left. In fact, to KG's credit, it seemed like he never blamed or even insinuated that poor team play was a coach's fault. (Ahem, Deron Williams and your comment that the Jazz barely practice playing or playing against the zone.)

On the other hand, the firing proves us right. The Hornets are clearly acting to keep their franchise player happy. They need to win and win now. As a Jazz fan, I can relate to this sentiment; all Jazz fans have this stomach-sick dread that we're squandering our D-Will years and are just making it easier for him to leave (but Jerry Sloan is going nowhere and I, unlike a huge contingent of Jazz fans, don't think he should be replaced). CP3 is the new KG because his franchise is being bold (OK. Not bold. Bold wouldn't make cost-cutting moves in the offseason. Bold wouldn't hope for the best. But it would seem this is some kind of repentance for their cheapskate offseason, no?) in their efforts to right the ship and keep him happy.

Good luck, Jeff Bower. Also, please give my regards to your wife for a nicely written Wikipedia page.

Bango the Buck

Before the start of the season we looked at every team in the league and tried to figure out what intrigued us. Milwaukee was difficult because there was nothing that intrigued us at all until we saw this. The mascot of the Milwaukee Bucks, Bango the Buck, seemed to have the most upside as far as intrigue for the season was concerned. And believe us, we consulted intrigue for the season on this one.

It has come to our attention that a newcomer, who shall remain nameless by request of a faithful reader who say "He hasn't done anything as exciting as get hit in the junk by a ball while standing on the rim", is trying to upstage Bango as the most exciting thing in Wisconsin this side of deep fried cheese curds. Bango, a faithful reader of TBC, is none to happy about fans not looking forward to t-shirt cannons, trampoline dunks, ferocious hand clapping, and (according to this) his signature pizza deliveries.

It looks like we'll have to keep closer tabs on the growing tension and potential one-up-manship going on in Wisco.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sacramento Kings: Apparently Faithful Readers Of The Black Converse

It's a bittersweet moment today at The Black Converse.

Sweet because clearly the Kings are our most faithful readers and have used our unfriendly wager as bulletin board motivational material. And it's working. City of Sacramento, you're welcome. We're happy to spur your boys on.

Bitter because, with a W last night (led by...Jason Thompson? Who? [hitting Wikipedia. No good. Hitting ESPN.com's profile page. He went to Rider? He makes $2 million this year?]), the Kings are now 4-4 and waaaaaaaaay ahead of pace to stick Charlie T and me in the lower bowl of Energy Solutions Arena on January 29. Against our will, but true to our word. I believe I heard Charlie T say these words today: "Well, I've never sat courtside at a Jazz game before." Ugh.

Is this guy to Sacto as Paul Milsap was to Utah the last couple years? The secret you hope nobody (aka: Portland) finds out about?

In other Sacramento news, Kevin Martin (since we know you and your Kings are our readership), you may want to brush up on your understanding of Bill Simmons' The Ewing Theory.

PS: Thanks for reading, Kings. The Princes jokes will stop soon.

Monday, November 9, 2009

More Potential Than You Were Ready To See-atle


That was the sound the Magic made when OKC rolled them last night. Fine, there were some injuries- VC (but who's to say he wouldn't be hitting the OKC Post Office anyway? He has played well, but can we really hit reset so soon?) and Rashard Lewis. But what team is at 100% these days?

So, if you're a once-and-always-but-still-sadly-"former" Sonics fan, how does it feel to see the team that you grew up with, that you watched through thick and thin, all of the sudden show a real glimpse of (forgive me) GetItDoneAbility. Where does it fit on our Parallels To Nirvana scale?

It might be a little like:

Watching that first Foo Fighters video- the one that's a Mentos commercial spoof. You know, you're happy that Grohl is making it; of course you are, you knew he had it. It just feels a little...a little sooner than you were ready. And it's lacking the punch that Nirvana had and why is he being so easy-funny instead of ironic-funny like Kurt liked? But- whoa, wait, that's funny. And the song is kinda good. But it's just not the same.

Win/Win or Lose/Lose

The Jazz are in NYC to face the Knicks, which means a win is a double win (a road win AND another loss towards the Knicks' lottery campaign) and a loss is a double loss (a road loss to a very beatable team AND another win against the Knicks' lottery campaign).

In a season where:

- the Jazz appear to be a very well-motivated hockey team (3 winning and solid quarters, lots of fouls. Come on. If there were no fourth quarter, this team would be killing it. Ah, but there IS a fourth quarter. And this team is getting killed.)
- the Jazz got a loss to a Kevin Martin-less team of misfit toys (potentially the tipping point to The Black Converse having to attend the January 29 Jazz/Kings game)
- the Jazz beat the Spurs on the FRONT end of a back-to-back
- the Jazz let Dirk believe his hair had Samsonian qualities
- the weak interior defense has led many Jazz fans to (silently) wonder what Greg Ostertag is up to

it's not too hard to see how a W against this particular Knicks team could be a bona fide must-win. Unless you're shooting for TWO lottery picks...

910 Conversation: Weekend Roundup

Psycho T Meter: 8
We promised to track the Psycho-ness of Psycho Tyler Hansbrough throughout the season as he tries to translate his college hustle to the pros. Due to a shin injury we have had to put this on the back burner until this weekend when he saw his first action.

In his first professional game he managed to find a way to dive after a lose ball into the stands. We also go our money's worth of Hustle Faces. All that adds up to an 8 on the Psycho T Meter. (see below)

Sacramento Kings Wins: 2, 3
We might have to adjust our wager at this point and change it to Jazz wins by the end of January. I thought the win vs. the Jazz was an aberration, but they backed it up by inching closer to .500 against the Jay Bilas All-Stars. We may be looking at courtside seats at this rate.

Celtics Countdown to 10 loses: 1
Minus the game against Orlando where they sent their "B" team, the Suns went 3-1 on a very difficult east coast swing. The Celtics on the other hand are lucky the Baby Wolves don't know how to finish a game or this would be the Celtics 2nd loss. 72 wins is still technically on the radar.

Memphis Thirtysomethings: 3
Rudy Gay drops 33 on the Clipps. This was without factoring in the Clippers handicap. So in reality he had about 17 which is a solid night. In other Grizzlies news, our favorite Thritysomething Allen Iverson will have to really pick up the pace to appear in thirty games this year.

Phoenix Suns: 1 (pending)
Though he hasn't quite gotten it, Shaq is currently working overtime trying to figure out how to steal this late career rebirth from Steve Nash. Hey Shaq, I might be going out on a limb here, but I doubt its in the Cuyahoga Police Department.