Slow day but a busy morning
Vote early, vote often.
Well, as often as the rules allow and, let me tell you, the whole process of coming up with the 120 names on the NBA’s all-star ballot that was unveiled yesterday, isn’t as easy as you’d think.
An august panel of ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, Mike Breen of ABC, Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated, Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News and little old me (it’s a benefit of being president of the Professional Basketball Writers Association) had to come up with the names keeping in mind some tricky criteria.
We had to find 24 forwards, 24 guards and 12 centres from each conference and the one thing that made it hardest was the fact each team had to have three guys on the ballot. We also decided as a group that, outside of No. 1 pick Blake Griffin, we wouldn’t have any rookies on the ballot; in my opinion the right decision because they have to prove something before being considered. Griffin? An honour for being No. 1.
Sounds simple? Well, find us a third Minnesota Timberwolves rep, outside of Al Jefferson and Kevin Love. Or a Buck after Andrew Bogut and Michael Redd. That’s how guys like Ramon Sessions and Hakim Warrick end up on the ballot.
Adding to the difficulty was that we had to make our choices in October, for logistical reasons, which is why Marcus Camby got the nod over Chris Kaman, and why Brad Miller’s on the ballot and not Joakim Noah. I don’t think any of us, or many of you, saw the starts coming that Kaman and Noah have had.
The one that I wish we might have taken back is the decision to put Allen Iverson on the ballot. Yes, he probably deserves it for his body of work, and finding 24 Western Conference guards made him something of a default choice, but with what’s transpired in the last week, I sure wish we’d gone a different way.
The thing I kept thinking about as the process unfolded over a series of conference calls was that the choice of five starters probably comes down to picking from a group of about 15 in each conference and we got those right.
We need to do something important here.
Christmas is all about the kids, no? Yes, it is.
And that’s why we’ve established the Jim Proudfoot Corner of the Star Santa Claus fund and if you click here, you can help out. Please do; it’s a very important thing.
Some news about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar yesterday, wasn’t it?
A very private man taking a very big issue public in a very big way is something you don’t see every day.
I don’t know Kareem that well, I think I’ve spoken to him at length maybe four times over the years, but from what I understand about his nature, the decision to let the world know about his fight with cancer was probably a difficult one to come by. He was, by all accounts, quite prickly as a player and he’s still not one of the more “open” legends around the game.
Took guts to do what he did.
Just like it’s going to take guts to fight this fight and thoughts should be with him.
Sports figures, like actors I guess, are in a unique situation. Simply by virtue of who they are and what they do, the hold great sway with the masses. It’s a fact some find hard to come to grips with, it’s to be applauded when they step away from what they really are for the greater good.
Wild one in Chicago last night, where it took an extended look at instant replay before the refs ruled a last-second basket by Brad Miller came too late in what was a Denver win.
Saw the end of the game on TV and the fact that the Bulls announcers took the call quite personally and may have altered the opinions of people watching on NBA team by virtue of their, um, enthusiasm, I think the overhead shot showed the ball handed left his hands in time.
It was close, though.
And here’s what my man KC Johnson had to say about it.
Speaking of the Bulls, they’re here tonight and that means Chuck’s back and, yes, they will “honour” him in much the same manner they “honoured” Oak and Alvin a week ago.
Not sure what I think about this whole process of singling out guys for the 15th anniversary of the franchise.
Seems a rather arbitrary decision, it’s not like 15 is some magic plateau or anything and I can’t for the life of me think it’s going to sell even one extra ticket.
And the “honour” itself? A bit weak, no? A few seconds of clips, an intro, some applause. Good, I guess, but far from, you know, emotional.
Maybe it gets better as the season goes on but I somehow doubt it.
A leftover quote from the other night, courtesy of Chris Bosh, that’s a bit interesting and goes to the heart of the matter with this team:
“A wise man once told me a long time ago, I wanted to know the secret and art to rebounding. He’s like ‘You know what is? Just go get the ball.’ That was it, three’s not much you can say, there’s no science. We can sit here and break it down all day and whatever, whatever but it just comes down to who wants the ball the most.”
Trouble is, on lots of nights, no one on the team wants the ball the most, which leads them to affairs like Monday in San Antonio.
And, no, Bosh is not blameless in this matter.
Although he’s rebounding better – especially on the offensive glass – than he has in years, there are still too many instances where he’s a spectator rather than a participant.
He knows it, too. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard him say he has to be better, he has to be more aggressive, he has to be more consistent.
He knows it, and it’s time to do something about it but if you look at raw numbers – and they never tell the whole story – he’s getting better.
Averaging 11.6 per game, and 3.4 per game on the offensive end, isn’t too shabby.
But it’s not like he thinks he’s above the situation and the reason you always read his quotes on the matter is that, post-game, he’s the guy on the team who generally offers the best insight into what went on.
Oh yeah, remember this?
We’re getting closer to contest deadline and with such nifty prizes, I think we ought to make sure everyone knows how to enter.
Don’t forget, it’s game day so we’ll do a little chat this afternoon. We’ll get back to our regular time of 4 p.m. to make my day a little bit easier and more free-flowing. It remains, of course, all about me!
See ya then.