Take the gel out of Chris "Birdman" Andersen's hair and cover up his tattoos with some street clothes, and he really dunks no better than some schlub out of the stands. (VIDEO)
In just the latest sign that Lebron James may not be committed to the City of Cleveland for the longterm, and that he is definitely not concerned about pandering to the city's residents, the superstar forward today denounced Cleveland's most famous and revered act: the Steamer.
"That sh-t is disgusting," James told reporters. "No pun intended. I've been here for six years, but sorry you won't get me near a Cleveland Steamer. I don't mean to offend anyone. But just the thought of it makes me sick. You people make me sick."
James' anti-Cleveland Steamer stance has many Cleveland fans terrified he is gone for good this summer when he becomes a free agent. In the past James has worn a Yankees hat to Cleveland Indians games and was linked to reports of a Nike shoe with the words "I Love New York" on it. Then this week he announced plans to change his number to No. 6 next season. And now this latest and most crushing statement.
"I think Lebron is 100-percent gone," said longtime Cavaliers season ticket holder Mike Blumpkins. "Would Tom Brady say he hates clam chowder or would Derek Jeter say he hates pizza? Would Kobe say he hates movies? Of course not. Those cities are known for those things and here in Cleveland we're known for our Steamers. Lebron knows that and I think he is just taking the first steps to emotionally separate himself from the fans here so he can leave more easily. Why else would he rip our beloved Steamers? They are amazing. They are everything Cleveland is about."
Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry said he doesn't feel Lebron's statement is anything to panic about, but admitted Cleveland's link to Steamers has hurt the team's ability to lure free agents in the past.
"That's the first thing players ask about when I talk to them about signing here," said Ferry. "They're worried about Steamers, about their prevalence in the city, about whether they'll have to participate. Although to some players it's actually a plus and enables us to sign them below market value."
Ferry stresses that there's no way to know Lebron's true intentions until he becomes a free agent in July.
"It's no use trying to read the tea leaves," he said. "We can't know what will happen. I would just encourage our fans to not panic. To just go on with their normal lives, dumping on their partner's chest. Cleveland Steamers have been here long before Lebron James, and they'll be here long after Lebron James. I know that gives me great peace."
With nearly half his league’s teams reeling from massive operating losses, NBA commissioner David Stern today declared that he would begin charging both players and fans for free throws.
“It’s an unfortunate result of our economic climate,” said Stern.“Right now, many of our teams are simply not generating the kind of revenue needed to preserve competitive balance within the league.”
Stern went on to blame the massive revenue losses on NBA players, whom he said earn a disproportionate amount of money in relation to league grosses, as well as NBA fans, who have declined to watch subpar teams such as the Grizzlies, Nets, Grizzlies, Wizards, and Grizzlies.
“This league was built on fans,” Stern said.“Without their support, we suffer.So really, it’s their fault.”
According to the new rules, any player who is fouled will face a surcharge before stepping to the free throw line (which will now be renamed the throw line).Fees will be based on a percentage of the player’s salary.Players making more will be charged more for the right to shoot two throws.If the player cannot afford the surcharge, the throws will be counted as missed and the fouling team will regain possession.Players such as Kobe Bryant, who is fouled nearly 20 times a game, are expected to lose tens of thousands of dollars per game.
Further, fans in attendance will be charged ten cents apiece for each throw.Fans watching at home will see the surcharge appear added to their cable bill.
Fans around the nation were outraged by the announcement.
“This is a disgrace,” said Knicks fan Mike Chester.“If Dick Bavetta is doing a game, I’ll be flat broke by the halftime.
But Stern defended the new practice.
“These throws have been free for far too long,” said Stern.“We have to diversify our revenue streams, and this is one of the least invasive ways of doing it.”
Stern also announced that Dick Bavetta will now officiate every NBA game in perpetuity.
February 19, 2010 Column
Tweet of the Week
Tweet of the Week
From @mw1ll AKA Memphis Grizzlies point guard Marcus Williams
And I thought real-life would never be more extreme than NBA Jam.
According to reports, a New York man named Nate Robinson has jumped up into the air and placed a basketball down through a steel hoop hung with netting.
An arena full of people were on sight to witness this incredible feat, and Robinson received an award at the conclusion of the show for his remarkable efforts.
"I can't even describe what I saw," said one dumbfounded eyewitness. "It was truly incredible, this slam dunk jam shot. If only such magic of exactly the same variety was able to be seen dozens of times each night on television, the world would be a far better place."
While Robinson failed several times to successfully complete a slam jam, his other attempts were enough to gain rousing applause.
"I was wondering if it was worth it to spend $175 for a ticket to come here," said another fan. "Oh, but it was. It definitely was. I mean, I saw a man dunk a basketball. With my own eyes! Live! I've got a story to tell for the rest of my life."
Other fans who have also recently come out of 55-year comas, or been released from jail for the first time since the mid-'50s were amazed, too.
"What's next? He jumped very high, almost up to the heavens," said one. "I believe anything is possible now. I bet humans could even go to the moon. And I bet we'll do it in my lifetime!"
Video Jurassic Park 4
Mascot eats cheerleader, doesn't chew.
In an effort to speed up the process of a proposed three-team trade, Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey and Washington Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld plan on inviting Knicks GM Donnie Walsh over for dinner tonight, with the ultimate goal of using alcohol to persuade him to join them in a three-way.
“We think Donnie’s great and I’m really into the idea of adding a formidable swingman like Caron Butler to our roster," said Morey. "So I’m hoping a little liquid courage will do the trick. I can tell in his eyes he wants to do this. He just needs a push.”
Friends of Walsh say he has been thinking about having a three-way with the two for some time now, but has not yet been able to pull the trigger due to concerns regarding his relationship with the Knicks when it’s over.
“Donnie’s worried the long-term effects of letting Al Harrington go will be too much emotionally. You can’t undo a three-way," said Glen Grunwald, the Knicks VP of Basketball Operations. "That’s something that stays with you forever. I know from my past. But I don't regret it. Any of them."
Grunfeld said this is the first time in years he’s entertained the thought of trading with multiple partners.
“I remember in 2005 Jerry West tried to get me into that five-way with the Hornets, Celtics, Heat, Jazz, and Grizzlies. But man, that’s just too much," he said. "I remember seeing Danny Ainge there, and he’s Mormon, and thinking it just wasn’t for me.”
Sources close to each organization said even if the GMs can’t reach an agreement in the coming days they still plan on trying anal during All-Star Weekend.