The Houston Rockets-
Our collective national nightmare is over. We can all sleep now that Dwight Howard has decided to bolt from Los Angeles. What hinders Howard more than anything else is his goofy personality and the perception that he'd rather be having a good time and lose than be miserable and win. This year he was miserable AND he lost. But don't blame him for wanting to get the hell out of Dodge. The mercenary attitude Kobe Bryant exhibits on a nightly basis on the court doesn't translate well to civilian life, and this was never more apparent than last year when he showed the world (again) that he has serious issues playing alongside another player, especially a big man, who has the same talent and sense of entitlement as he does. These two pricks managed to buddy-fuck each other out of what could have been a formidable team, but I must lay the majority of the blame squarely on the shoulders of Bryant.
He never publicly supported Pau Gasol when Phil Jackson spent their last playoff run of any significance (against Dallas when they won the title), ripping him to shreds for the whole world to see. When Gasol aired a few grievances publicly, Bryant shrieked back at Gasol to "put his big boy pants on". This is what an insufferable prick he is. His abhorrent treatment of his personal staff is well-documented, and like I always say, that rape incident in Colorado was indicative of his personality. If I have a hot Mexican hoochie at home to plow every night, why would I have to go to a hotel to rape a hapless female staff member who was more than likely just looking for a photo and an autograph, and would have happily traded a fat blowjob and some dick up her ass for the privilege? He probably thought she enjoyed getting sexually assaulted, and only sued him to get some money. Well, she got paid lovely in an undisclosed settlement, but life for him arrogantly went on as if nothing happened.
This time, Bryant met up with a dude who wasn't having it. Howard didn't leave because he feared the bright lights of the big city. That happens only when you're a villain. Gangster rapper turned fake tv family man Ice Cube went onstage and called him a coward. If Howard had signed with LA this is the first guy who would have been sucking his cock, so take that for what it's worth. Houston has a bigger upside. They have Kevin McKale and Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon to mentor him, but Howard has to show more of an inclination to get better than just doing shoulder presses in the weight room.
Rockets royalty welcome Howard to Houston-Ralph Sampson, Clyde Drexler, Hakeem Olajuwon, Yao Ming and Calvin Murphy-
One thing that Howard has never uttered was his desire to get better. His game over the last nine years has stagnated, and he needs to improve his offense because if all he does is get the ball in the low post just to get fouled, that is a recipe for a quick first round exit from the playoffs. He's got two cats in McKale and Olajuwon who, in their prime as players, were the most sublime scorers of all time in the low post. Howard doesn't even have to go with them to the gym-all he has to do is study their moves via dvd and copy the ones he likes verbatim. That's it. How fucking hard could that possibly be? What the Rockets need to do now is get rid of point guard Jeremy Lin and center Omer Asik. Linsanity is over, and it turned out to be a mirage. He is best suited coming off the bench or packaged like a can of sardines with their other starting bum-ass motherfucker Omer Asik. The point guard who is best suited for this team is Rajon Rondo. the Celtics don't want him, anyway and they are looking to rid themselves of any large contract they can now that they are in full-on tank mode, so this will do nicely.
The New York Knicks-
The pestiferous stench emanating from Madison Square Garden isn't from the renovations. It's from the rotting corpses they've exhumed in order to stay relevant in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks traded away two bums (Marcus Camby and Steve Novak) in return for seven-foot stiff named Andrea Bargnani. How anonymous is this guy? He was the first pick of the first round in the 2006 draft AND I'VE NEVER HEARD OF HIM, and I follow basketball like a pimp follows his hoes down the street to make sure they're out there making that money. How could this happen, you ask? He played for Toronto, for one. Davis Stern, in his last act as commissioner, needs to make it illegal for the NBA to have a franchise in Canada. It's too cold, the taxes are too high, and the only players who wind up there are from trades and the college draft. No one goes there on their own volition except for Hedo Turkoglu, and that lasted less than one year.
You can bet your ass Bargnani won't be doing THIS for the Knicks this coming season-
Bargnani is such a "muerto", when news of the trade became official his agent called Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx to see if they had any mausoleums his client could convert into a Transilvanian condo-a solid cement structure with no windows and no ventilation. Directly below is a photo of him at the press conference to announce the trade, in all his sartorial splendor. Anyone requesting to be buried in plaid has to be a fucking burger* of epic proportions-
(*For those of you unfamiliar with this term, a "burger" is inner city parlance for someone who can't play basketball but plays anyway, much to everyone's chagrin. The phrase originated in the public high schools of New York City due to the quality of the rubbery, inedible meat substitute used in the burgers served at lunch. A highly insulting comment for anyone who considers themselves a baller.)
And it gets worse. Sources say the Knicks are in talks with Elton Brand, who, at 34 and perpetually hurt, hasn't been an impact players in the league for years. Brand was last seen averaging 6 points and 7 rebounds at a local morgue recreation league, the only league that lets customers leave the refrigerators they keep bodies in and suit up if they don't have enough live players to constitute a squad. Last year Brand received the Golden Cadaver Award for biggest, most inconsequential stiff in the NBA. First prize was a two-week stay inside a crematorium oven with the fire on full blast. Guess who got honorable mention? Andrea Bargnani. To have both on the same team is a mortician's dream come true.
Amar'e Stoudemire has been dead for the last three years, but the resident taxidermists at MSG keep stuffing him and propping him up so well he looks like he's actually running up and down the court. They've even managed to have him in uniform a few times a year and everyone's been fooled into thinking he's still alive, except when he has to play defense. Then the gig is up. But that was true of his game when he was alive, which is why no one has noticed that he's a cadaver. The Knicks are stuck with his contract, which is not guaranteed due to his egregious medical issues, for another two years, while Carmelo Anthony can opt out of his contract next year, which by all indications he's probably going to do and bolt for Los Angeles.
The Knicks have also re-signed Italian hobo Pablo Prigioni, who at 36 years of age is already at the tail end of his career, all of it with the exception of last season having been played in Europe. If you've ever seen him, he doesn't look like a ball player. With his huge Tuscan schnoz he looks like he should be working the counter of an Italian butcher shop serving old ladies slivers of prosciutto. Older and bummier is the Knicks' outlook for the near future, and it makes no sense talking about the rest of their roster. If you want a vision of what they'll look like this coming season, just Google "mass grave" and you'll get the picture.
One stromboli, coming up-
As time goes on, the news gets more absurd. The Knicks have signed Metta World Peace (the artist formerly known as Ron Artest) to a two-year deal. The fumes emanating from this special ed turd's declining skills are Chernobyl-esque, which will make him a perfect fit in New York. The Miami Heat have amnestied Mike Miller, a solid three-point threat who would have come cheaper than Bargnani, and despite being injury-plagued himself, would have been a fine addition to the Knicks' MASH unit. Now that Al Harrington has also been amnestied, maybe he has enough left in the tank to add some sorely needed athleticism to the Knicks front line if he can stay healthy, which was a a major issue for him last year. How many amnestied, retreaded bums does that make? I lost count...
J.R. Smith had off-season knee surgery that was more serious than expected. Not only did he have cartilage damage, but his patellar tendon needed work as well. Did the Knicks not have him take a physical before re-signing him? Regardless, they were competing against themselves for his services due to the abysmal performance on display during the most important playoff series for the franchise in years. The playoffs is when you have to come correct, not be seen partying it up at some nightclub with Rhianna of all women. So when she was blamed for his shooting woes, she immediately took to the internet to get her story out-
Now that's class for you. I'll bet anything Smith hurt his knee doing cartwheels in the bathroom of Rhianna's hotel suite from the excitement of getting all in that ass. Note to anyone who've never slipped and busted their ass on tile flooring-you can't do flips on marble. That's a landing Mary Lou Retton couldn't stick. Regardless, Rhianna is a cross between a piranha and a bronco bull-all titties, ass and an attitude to match. You can't ride her without risk of getting catapulted through the air like a rodeo clown. And if you don't handle your business (and even if you do), she's the type that will diss you in the worst way possible for the whole world to know.
J.R. Smith (right) and Rhianna on the night in question-
Smith has never met a party he didn't like. In fact, he's the type of cat that would stand in front of a new club until it opens, just to be the first one inside. There's a price to be paid for that lifestyle. Because of his horrific shooting during the playoffs, in combination with the injury and his relentless ass-chasing, he cost himself millions of dollars in a free agent market woefully bereft of perimeter scorers. I don't think he cares. At least the Knicks re-signed Kenyon Martin. Martin on fumes is better than Smith shooting 7 of 35 any day of the week.
There are rumblings that Sebastian Telfair would also like to join the team for the league's veteran minimum. This I'm in favor of. I've always been a Telfair fan, and believe he's one of the most storied players ever to waste his talent by going to the pros way too early. It must be tough for him knowing his best days as a professional athlete occurred between the ages of 13 and 18, but he still has plenty left in the tank. He's been woefully underutilized during his time in the NBA, never garnering starter';s minutes for some pretty bad teams and he's never suffered a major injury. The clock on his potential is soon running out. If he doesn't do something within the next two years to break out of his funk, he will forever be remembered as a marginal journeyman talent who too much too soon and lost it just as quickly.
The Oklahoma City Thunder-
They made one mistake, and it cost them dearly. They will probably never win a coveted NBA title because of it. They traded one of the best perimeter players in the league a year before his contract was up in James Harden. If they would have kept him, they could have utilized him as a starter when Russell Westbrook went down with a knee injury. The biggest piece of the trade for Oklahoma, three-point shooting specialist Kevin Martin, just signed with Minnesota as a free agent. So they got absolutely nothing for one of the best players in the league.
They also have not amnestied Kendrick Perkins, who is considered by many pundits to be one of the worst centers in the NBA. I have no idea what happened to this guy. He was supposedly a defensive anchor brought in to deal with the Andrew Bynams and Dwight Howards of the world, but because the center position has changed, a player who has no offensive skills and cannot hit an outside shot is basically redundant. They must get rid of him to clear some salary cap space to see who becomes available during this coming season. If not, they can very well say good-bye to Kevin Durant, who just signed with Jay Z's agency and will probably tell his client that he needs to go to a bigger market when he becomes a free agent. Way to go, OKC. You guys fucked up so bad your franchise may never recover from this series of idiotic moves.