So much amazing is happening, and the Shootaround crew is back to help you keep track of it all. You'll find takes on moments you might've missed from the previous night, along with ones you will remember forever.
Chris Ryan: Since November 23, Portland has played in three of the season's best games: the Golden State shove-fest, Sunday's heavyweight title fight against Indiana, and last night's masterpiece of a regular-season showdown against Oklahoma City. OMG PORTLAND AND OKC SHOULD PLAY IN THE PLAYOFFS is probably getting a little dull, just like OMG OKC AND THE WARRIORS SHOULD PLAY IN THE PLAYOFFS, but come on. It's Christmas, we've been good, and we want what we want. Besides, there was something about this Thunder-Blazers game that felt so right. It was just a drag race of stupendous, young, mostly homegrown talent. And Kendrick Perkins. You had one of the point-guard battles of the year happening, with Russ and Dame, and from that faceoff you got one of the best moments of the night:
Rest easy, everybody. LeBron is not stopping his now-famed pregame dunk routine. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s a quick primer: For the past few weeks, the Heat have been holding impromptu dunk contests before games. Because no one gets to Miami Heat games before the third quarter, LeBron’s pregame craziness hadn’t been widely circulated until early this week, when a cell phone video started making the Internet rounds.
So much amazing is happening, and the Shootaround crew is here to help you keep track of it all. You'll find takes on moments you might've missed from the previous night, along with ones you will remember forever.
Pure and Easy
Today marks the start of my 24th month as an Angeleno. Much of that time has been spent in an office about 50 yards from Staples Center, where last year, a lockout-shortened NBA season meant a different basketball game just about every night. Of all the sports memories I’ll take from these two years, what I’ve gotten to see there will be at the top. I’ve seen LeBron James three times, and Kevin Durant one more than that. I’ve watched one of the 10 best players ever play his home games, often enough that it almost feels routine (it never quite gets there). Years from now, though, when I talk about my favorite part of seeing the NBA so close, I’ll talk about Chris Paul.
Serious life lessons were recently learned in New Orleans, and I need to talk about all of them right now.
I woke up Wednesday morning, the no-man's-land day of Super Bowl week, situated after Media Day but before the throngs arrive, without a single clue as to what to write about. An hour later, my one idea — "Whaddaya think are the chances I can get away with writing something today about how the onslaught of on-air personality ex-athlete commentators are now the most celeb-y people around New Orleans, which is creepy and weird?" — was scrapped because I'm not trying to beef with a bunch of bigger dudes with dad strength, many of whom are sharing the same workspace and wireless bandwith.
So I was back to square one. Nothing.
Slightly panicked, I did what any wise person does when they're in a tight spot:
In case you were out pretending like you've seen and have an opinion about Oscar nominee Amour, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday.
The Cleveland Browns have filled their vacant head coaching position, hiring Rob Chudzinski away from the Carolina Panthers. It has also been reported that Chudzinski is targeting former San Diego head coach Norv Turner to be his new offensive coordinator. "I can't imagine a more Cleveland set of hirings than Chud and Norv," said longtime Browns fan Milt Johnson. When asked to try harder and really push his imagination, Johnson let out an exasperated sigh, saying, "Fine, I guess that they could have hired like Chan Gailey and an old, overweight Golden Retriever named Honey, but I don't really know how having a dog as an offensive coordinator would work."
The Minnesota Lynx beat the Atlanta Dream on Friday to claim the organization’s first WNBA championship. The 15th WNBA season, in the books. So now what? While this assuredly isn't true for all of the players, I'm assuming some members of the Dream and Lynx will join the rest of us in what could be a long fall … and winter … and spring full of non-stop banter about the NBA lockout and the present and future condition of the fractured league.
Fortunately for the players of the WNBA, there is another option. An option that not only keeps these talents on the hardwood, but also irreversibly transforms the league from something that is oft overlooked to to a profitable, wildly popular enterprise.