You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2009.

I’m still waiting if my entry last week made the cut. Here’s my entry this week.

“Hello? Is this animal control?”

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My second Jordan book in three months. Halberstam delivers some incredible nuggets and anecdotes in the book. While “The Jordan Rules” was enjoyable, Halberstam digs deeper into the psyche and motivations of those Bulls teams.

The book did get me thinking about how things might have been different if the Sonics and Bulls had completed a Shawn Kemp for Scottie Pippen trade. George Karl wanted it, Jerry Krause wanted it. If I recall correctly, the deal was ready to be finalized on draft day on 1994 before then-Sonics owner Barry Ackerly got cold feet — bowing to fan pressure — and exercised his veto power.

If the deal had gone through, the Sonics’ starting lineup for the 1994-95 season: Gary Payton at point, Kendall Gill at the 2, Pippen as the small forward, Detlef Schrempf at the four, Perkins at the five.

I like that lineup, I really do. That’s a scary defense for any opposing team: agile, athletic, quick, versatile. Nate McMillan comes off the bench. Sure, the Sonics would be a bit undersized, but they make up for it by implementing a suffocating press initiated by their two floor generals, GP and Pippen. Karl’s dream team.

Offensively, Karl would have his favorite toys, a cadre of players who could bring the ball up or play off it. Back then (and now), Karl was all about playing uptempo; he relished a frenetic pace based on defense and transition offense. Pippen would step right in and fill the scoring void — the Sonics averaged 110 points per game that season — and create shots for every player on the floor.

The Supes lost to the Lakers in the first round that season. I blame the Tacoma Dome for the loss (the Coliseum was being renovated — poorly as we all found out — at the time). Tacoma is no place for NBA basketball (and neither is Renton). But what if we had Pippen instead of the Reignman? Cedric Ceballos would’ve been shut down, but Nick Van Exel still might vex GP. I might hop over to Whatifsports.com — my new addiction — to find out.

Of course, we can only play what if forever. Like, what if the Sonics were still in Seattle? Man, I miss my SuperSonics.

One of the storylines before and during the Olympics was the architectural wonders sprouting out throughout the city. On nearly every other block, there was a construction project or billboards advertising a future project. But no one ever asked the question, Who’s going to rent/buy/fill all that space? Nearly six months after the Games, we have an answer: No one.

From the LA Times:

Beijing went through a building boom before the 2008 Summer Olympics that filled a staid communist capital with angular architectural feats that grace the covers of glossy design magazines.

Now, six months after the Games ended, the city continues to dazzle by night, with neon and floodlights dancing across the skyline. By day, though, it is obvious that many are “see-through” buildings, to use the term coined during the Texas real estate bust of the 1980s.

The Bird’s Nest, the linchpin of the Games, is empty — even though it costs $9 million a year to maintain. The mammoth concrete Olympic plaza is empty. High-end apartments and homes are empty because no one can afford them. As the article states, at some point the banks that financed all the projects will have to “pay the piper.” And when that time comes, how will that affect China’s investments abroad? More specifically, China’s investments in the U.S.?

As Hillary Clinton said during her trip to China, the U.S. still needs China’s investements. Although I am no economist or financial guru, it’s not hard to envision a precipitous fall in China’s markets this year or next. And I wonder if China can still keep financing American debt if that happens. Perhaps we’ll find out once the piper comes out to collect.

My entry this week:

“This is what happens when you outsource work to the Spartans.”

I’m still getting used to ESPN.com’s redesign. It’s definitely taking some time to get used to the new layout and navigation. I’m on record for saying that I like the new look. Some of my friends, however, are not as enthusiastic. Here’s what my friend, right in ESPN’s wheelhouse demographically, had to say in an e-mail last week.

Subject:     you know what I don’t like about new ESPN.com?

When there is BIG, Breaking News…it’s relegated to the top of the “Headlines” section!

What the fuck!!

A-Rod confesses…and i got some dumbass picture of I can’t remember.

Miguel Tejada charged with lying to Congress and I get some big as picture of Kobe Bryant!

What happened to the timely, breaking news puns! Aigh. I hate it.

I know it is kind of old now, but I think you should know, I visit ESPN.com about 1/20 the time I used to. It requires too much time. It’s like it is only geared for people who stare at it for hours on-end.

It’s like having sex with a girl that you think is ugly.

My friend, passionate and eloquent, as always.