Tuesday, December 30, 2008

PJ lives where now?

Greatest PJC pic ever by Garbage Time All-Stars (via BDL)

The Seattle PI recently spoke with Thunder legend/scapegoat/punchline PJ Carlesimo and curiously, he now lives in Seattle again.

That's weird. I guess I just assumed he would continue living in OKC and spend his time collecting canned goods for food banks. I mean, he did say moving to OKC was the “best thing to ever happen” to the Sonics, so I’m a bit perplexed over here. He also said Oklahoma City is “infinitely better geographically” than Seattle. I know that because Darnell Mayberry devoted an entire article to that quote.

Hey, great point PJ and the Oklahoman. Being relatively closer to certain NBA cities is a major credit to Oklahoma City. “OKC, we’re closer to the east coast than half of America”. We don’t have the jet lag and we save money on gas. Maybe we should just put all NBA teams in the geographic center of the country, or better yet in Oklahoma itself. ZERO JET LAG. Why don't they do this already? Say, for example, you like visiting both New York and Los Angeles. Where should you live? Nebraska.

Although on second thought this is the kind of thought process that might get you browbeaten by David Stern for being "such an American":

Ugh, Americans are the worst. I mean....I applaud your vision, taxpayers!

But anyway, why PJ decided to go back to Seattle is anybody’s guess. It's hard to even find a place that's infinity-times worse than any other place. Now he's living in one? I just figured he would want his kids to grow up in a town that promotes family values and not a 19th century fur-trading outpost run by Windows Vista. Everyone knows Vista sucks. Maybe he had an Earl Watson-type club incident or something? Lotta folks round here don’t take kindly to the bearded. But that’s only because they think they’re better then everyone. God-damned beardos and their bearded agenda will be the death of this country. C'mon, it's not like you’re born bearded or anything, it’s a lifestyle choice. So, what the fuck? Sorry the whole thing just grosses me out.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday's Musings: 12-29

OKC talk...
Nenad To the Rescue
All of us Boomer fans received a much needed Christmas miracle when the Thunder made one of the most significant moves since the Celtics acquired KG and Ray Allen. Signing the 7 foot Serbian gangster was so significant that Presti and Clay left nothing to chance. Instead of over-night mailing the offer sheet to the Nets, "They sent a guy on a plane to hand-deliver it," Rod Thorn explained, with some amusement. "I'm sure that's been done before, but I really can't think of another time. I guess they were in a hurry." I'm glad we're amusing you.

Not Your Avg. Joe
Yet another insightful report from your and my favorite sports writer, Darnell Mayberry, caught my eye this week. My diminutive colleague recently revealed, "What went untold is the impact the (trade) report had on Smith and his family." How true, how neglectful we are in the media to dehumanize these hardworking gangly court-warriors. Just think how devastating a move would be on Yolanda Smith. How would the family cope with a completely new city, home, etc? A move to a 12th team would be truly shocking. But DM is right, Joe Smith is a "hot commodity" because of his "veteran savvy and skills"....or maybe it's just his expiring contract.

24 Seconds or Less
Proving to be the Yin to Jerry Colangelo's Yang, mastermind Sam Presti is building a team of giants to eventually dominate the NBA. Instead of speed, skill, or athleticism, Presti is banking on height alone. As the gaudy Chris Wilcox observed, "Right now, we've got nine big men. ... Something has got to happen." Yeah, like draft another one.

Around the NBA...
The OG
Speaking of Serbian gangsters, Darko Milicic was recently sent back to the IR for a broken knuckle. As a teammate once observed, “I’m telling you, Darko is a Serbian gangster,” Rasheed Wallace said. “Darko’s got some bodies back there. He can go psycho on guys.” No report on the cause of the injury.

The Stern Way
The NBA Cares. David Stern cares. And to prove it the NBA boasts at least 89 stand-alone player charities. The Salt Lake Tribune found: "Only about 44 cents of every dollar raised actually reached needy causes. The average NBA player foundation put just 51 cents of each dollar it spent toward charitable programs, well below the 65 cents most philanthropic watchdog groups view as acceptable...Up to a quarter of NBA player charities analyzed lacked even basic documentation required by the Internal Revenue Service." Hmmmm...public financing, charitable tax write offs, and gambling referees -- David Stern's family is looking more and more like Tony Soprano's.

Mr. Monday is an irreverent wit and anonymous foe to those he deems fit. When he's not busy anointing hippies "leafy-green" or "hybrid-driving, carpooling, mountain-climbers", he splits his time between the oklahoman and BiLB to keep those outside the truth filter in check. To read his oklahoman archive, pay a visit to blog.newsok.com/mrmonday, or refer here to his newest home in the blogosphere for the wry and the whimsical.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The 2nd Worst Show on Earth

“It will enhance public perception of the entire state,” gushed Brad Henry, Oklahoma’s governor, when we spoke. “We’ll be on SportsCenter every night.” (NY Times)

Just another PR triumph for Oklahoma City's second favorite NBA team.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Kid Delicious v.1's

The new KD's. Put some spring in your ill-advised men's league 22-footers or shutdown 6 year-old bday parties. Your call.

UPDATE: More perspective on KD 1.0's set to debut tonight. Marketing 101: No press is bad press:
  • Deadspin: "Finally... sweet Jesus, Kevin Durant. Do you design your shoes in the dark?"
  • FanHouse: "Kevin Durant Came Out With These Shoes, Ronald McDonald Immediately Pissed"
  • FanIQ: "Kevin Durant's Shoes Are A Complete Nightmare"
  • RealGM Wiretap Archives: "Durant's Nike Shoes A Ronald McDonald Disaster?"

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Introducing your Springfield Excitement!

The Simpsons had an terrific episode last Sunday. Here's the plot: First, Mr. Burns acquires a professional basketball franchise (the Austin Celtics) from that billionaire cowboy and moves them to his hometown of Springfield. Soon after he decides the only way to bring in the fans is with a brand new arena at the taxpayer's expense. So far, awesome. Next, the noble townspeople hold a referendum on building this "decadent monument to excess". Behold as the liberal naysayer is crushed by the awesome power of #1 draft pick and dominant Ketchikan center, Mok Mu:

Kiss Cams? Draft picks?? This debate is over. Make way for the new home of the "Springfield Excitement"!

Almost as good as "Energy" (Darnell's choice) but not quite as powerful as "Thunder" if you ask me. Singular is in. And I dig the blue and orange jerseys. Here's the scene on opening night, which was no doubt the greatest night in Springfield history:

"Welcome to the American dream, a billionaire using public funds to construct a private playground for the rich and powerful!"

Doesn't look like they won, but that's cool. Everyone's just pumped to have a team. They've got an exciting young nucleus and a potential superstar in Mok Mu. Not to mention an energized fanbase with impressive bee-attendance figures nearing 500,000. Hopefully they can sustain it as the season progresses.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Guess who got named Oklahoman of the Year? (Updated)

This is how you sell merchandise

That's right, yours truly has been named the best person our state had to offer this year. No joke.
"No one came close to Clay Bennett as we set about selecting this year’s Oklahoman of the Year,” said Louisa McCune-Elmore, Oklahoma Today editor-in-chief. "His accomplishment presents an extraordinary moment in the life of Oklahoma, probably among the most important achievements in our capital city’s history.”
Yes, bringing the 2-24 shell of a basketball team to OKC at the expense of another region's fanbase, civic heritage and cultural identity is quite possibly the most important achievement in our city's history. That should fill us all with pride. They weren't "Real America" anyway. And it's good to know we have our priorities in line.

I'm also honored by Oklahoma Magazine's dedication to that most Christian ideal: "The end justifies the means". Who gives a shit how we got a team? We got one, didn't we? They're right there in the blinding rainbow uniforms getting their asses kicked. Who cares if we had to lie, cheat, steal, deceive, extort, and kiss ass to get it? Jesus would have done the same thing, because Jesus is major-league. Sure, our state ranks 47th in teacher salaries, but maybe they should have worked harder on their jumpshots in the off-season. Oklahoma media circles know that the people who truly need greater recognition are the uber-rich profiteers who feed at the public trough. They're the ones getting us all this national respect, at least according to the vague assumptions in my wife's newspaper. You're welcome, Oklahoma.

UPDATE: More national respect from Deadspin!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Clippers Lower the Boom

And lower the Boomers to 2-24. With the Thunder's second home loss of the year to the lowly Clippers, Scotty Brooks is now 1-12 as head coach. That's the same record achieved by mentor PJ Carlesimo that led to his firing and the end of his illustrious NBA career. Does this mean Brooks is next on the chopping block? I have no idea, because I'm in way over my head.

It was cool to see Eric Gordon light us up, though. Presti decided to pass on him because Westbrook is more defensive-minded. So far that approach is working out great. The defense under Brooks, as "Thunderguru" shows, is "historically bad". Seems like it's a lot harder to build a San Antonio-style defensive power without Tim Duncan. Will Kevin Durant become the Duncan-esque lynchpin of a suffocating team-defense? I prefer not to think about it, because it only reminds me that I have no business owning a basketball team.

At least the Thunder faithful were once again out in force, with 18,275 in the stands. That's pretty good even though it once again wasn't a sellout. Wait, what? Oh, Mike Baldwin says there were actually only "around 16,000" on hand. I guess that's around 2,275 less good. And as far as I know is a new season low. Good thing they don't report actual attendance figures, am I right?? Lolz.

If it's any consolation, I've spoken with Big Stern and he's assured me we're getting the first pick in the draft. Suck it, bitches. Obviously we'll take hometown cross-dressing hero Blake Griffin and play him, where, center? So we can complete our undersized front-court of Griffin and Green? Or we could play him at his natural PF, moving Jeff Green to the bench? Or putting Durant back at the 2? I don't have the first clue. One thing is clear, and that is I have severely overestimated my ability to run a sports franchise.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


So...who's thinking about renewing season tickets? I'm sure everyone's still Thunder-psyched about what Nick Collison calls "the most miserable season I've ever been a part of." Many of you already know what a great bargain season tickets were at only 30% 36% above last season's prices in Seattle. I'm here to remind you that a real fan would renew. You're a real fan aren't you? Well, I guess that depends. Sure you could find tickets online for a fraction of the cost and could probably fish some out of any number of local dumpsters, but then you'd be a total pussy. You're not a pussy, right?

Let me tell you, you won't want to miss a second of the action. Who knows what you'll see on any given night? Take Wednesday night for example. On Wednesday, the Boom squad was coming off its worst loss of the year, which you probably know. A complete joke of a performance. So then the schedule throws us a softball and gives us a shot at Memphis at home, one of only two teams we've beaten this year. Memphis sucks. Now, you might think that any team with a shred of dignity would make sure they came out and put that game into the win column, especially before they head out to Dallas and San Antonio. You might also think that once you build a 21-point lead over the Memphis Grizzlies at home you will probably win the game. But that's what makes Boomer basketball so unbelievable.

Instead, the Thunder managed to get routed in the fourth quarter to complete a truly epic collapse. Exciting stuff. Let's see what Scotty Brooks has to say for himself:

Look at that, another "life lesson". I guess Scotty Brooks is like the Zen Master now. He's Phil Jackson with one career win. Hey Scott, maybe your next lesson should be teaching the Thunder how to score more points than the other team. Worth a shot, right? Or you can just continue making an ass of me. Either way.

So here we are with a 2-21 record and no idea where our next win will come from. It's been 38 days since our last (only) victory at the Ford Center.

But they say it's darkest before the dawn. It's probably darker when you're asleep though. No wait, dead. It's darkest when you're dead, and your rotting corpse of a team is decomposing deep underground. I think that's the expression.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Everything is under control

Don't panic, Thunder fans. Stay with me. I got this. I GOT THIS. Your boy Clay is on top of this shit right here. Don't you bail on me, don't you dare goddammit. Are you reading this, Darnell? You fucking Judas, you. You like your job don't you? You like getting paid to watch NBA games and then spend ten minutes writing piddling observations for money, right? I thought so. Oklahoman writers wanna get tough now, huh? "Get used to the cellar"? What is that shit? That kind of talk does not move merchandise. "9 win season"? Thanks for the history lesson. Here's another bit of recent history for you to chew on, smart guy:

Sucks to get clowned by Berry Tramel. And now I got John Rohde writing "Shame on the Thunder". Cute. I'm about 2 seconds from walking up into that building and cleaning house.

Everyone needs to chill the fuck out. We're right where we want to be. The rebuilding plan is working to absolute perfection. The future's so bright I have to wear Ray-Bans when I'm sitting courtside. I need some SPF 50 just to write Robert Swift's check.

Yeah we're 2-20. Yeah. Good one. So what? Are you saying you want to fight me? Say something else, I am 100% not fucking around anymore. Dudes, that was a tough game tonight against a formidable opponent, and we came up short, that's all. We faced a quality 5-15 team riding a nine-game losing streak and missing their three best players. At home. And were down by as many as 21 to a team that lost by 35 two days ago. And we couldn't pull it out despite 41 points from Kevin Durant. No big deal. You win some, you lose some. You play games with the team you have, not the team you may want or wish to have at a later time. Don Rumsfeld. The fans don't care about wins and losses, they just like watching a bunch of back-ups fuck around for 48 minutes. Plus the season-ticket holders already wrote their checks. Money talks. The fans were like, "I want to give you my hard-earned money so you can give it to Chris Wilcox. Keep some for yourself, too." Done.

We also had our lowest attendance to date, with a reported 17,854 in the stands. But that's neither here nor there.

But don't worry everyone, Mike Baldwin said that the team would go 8-7 in December due to how weak the schedule is. So far we're 0-4. Guess that means we're looking at an 8-3 run. Get your tickets Boomer fans! They're like $3 on Craigslist.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

National Attention!

Today, ESPN dedicated their NBA front page to showering Oklahoma City with glorious attention. God it feels amazing. As I noted yesterday, ESPN will be following the Thunder this season in their pursuit of history. John Hollinger notes:
"Although this is still terrible, it's a big improvement on the 1-12 mark and minus-12.3 margin under Carlesimo. (And as one Seattle jokester noted, Brooks already tied Carlesimo's record for the most wins by a coach in Thunder history.)"
I don't know who this "jokester" is, but he certainly has an impressive grasp of NBA history.

Also, you won't want to miss David Berri's darn fine rebuttal to the Thunderworld's assessment of Russell "Derrick Rose" Westbrook. I guess they'll just have to agree to disagree about reality.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

MC Last Place

Great news today for fans of both the Thunder and forgettable, derivative rap music. Oklahoma City rapper 'Flame' has written a song about the Thunder Boomers, and it's every bit as good as you're probably thinking. There's no better way to boost your street cred than by putting 'Clay Bennett' in your lyrics. Props to McC for finding this gem:

Now, don't get me wrong. I am not a fan of hip-hop music or hip-hop culture, and I think it leads directly to the moral decay of society. I am by no means open-minded to things outside of my comfort zone and live my life in a state of perpetual fear of the unknown. I am, however, a big fan of anyone with a delusionally optimistic take on Thunder basketball.

Sample lyrics:
"They realize what we doin' now Seattle fans switchin"
Oh shit, Sonics fans dissed by a guy reading lyrics via text message. I OWN A CELL PHONE, BITCHES. That must be because you have such a successful rap career.
"History in the making".
"Hotter than Brooke Hogan".
Is that like being cooler than David Stern?

What's your favorite Flame lyric, Thunder fans?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Scotty Brooks makes Thunder History

Scotty Brooks etched his name into history this weekend by becoming the Thunder's all-time winningest head coach, tying the mark previously set by Thunder legend PJ Carlesimo. There were approximately 156 people on hand in Memphis to witness the event.

I went to check out the "Thunder History" page at the Oklahoman and saw that they've noted the recent coaching change, but have neglected or forgotten to update a lot of other stuff. Check it out here. Or better yet, take a look at this word cloud I made of the page and see if you can spot what I'm referring to:

I went ahead and made those corrections:

Feel free to use that, Mike Sherman.