Friday, April 28, 2006

Odds and Ends- 04/28/06

It's that time of the week again. The week started slow and I didn't think I was going to find enough links, but eventually the pace picked up...

-I knew Colin Farrell played the gay Alexander the Great..but I had no idea

-Click on a picture and hover your mouse on it back and forth to discover the art of airbrushing

-People Magazine came out with their annual 50 Most Beautiful people

-Forget the Osbournes, this is my new favourite reality tv family

-Even Israelis are confused with Tom Cruise. Apparently, Tom Cruise's baby's name means "talk to the hand"

-Kobe never ceases to fascinate..now he's planning a number change

-Please be a friend and vote for Chamique Holdsclaw

Well, that's all for now...see you all next week.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

One and the Same

The WNBA and the NBA are two different leagues. That's not a big surprise to anybody. One league has enjoyed over 50 years of existence while the other is on it's way to a 10th season. In terms of style of play, salaries and revenues, the WNBA ranks nowhere close to the success of the NBA. However in terms of temper tantrums and rape allegations, the W takes a back seat to the L. Prior to the opening of the '05-'06 season the NBA went through an image overhaul by implementing an age limit and the dress code. The biggest controversy the WNBA will face leading up to its 10th anniversary will probably be the revelation of Sheryl Swoopes' homosexuality.

Yet both my sister and I are convinced that both leagues are paralled than most people think. After all, they both play the same game. So I asked my sister this question: Who are the equivalent NBA teams of the WNBA teams? After several minutes of arguing and bitching, we came up with our list. Some picks are unanimous while others are more arguable. Here are my final picks:

1. Charlotte Sting= New Orleans Hornets
Half of this comparison is based on my prediction that the Sting will (almost) make this year's WNBA playoffs, thanks to the rookie play of Mo Currie. Both teams sucked the previous season, earning the last spot in the standings. But both were also in the playoffs in 2003. This year, the Sting much like the Hornets will be playoff contenders. Currie will be to the Sting what Chris Paul is to the Hornets, minus the ROY.

2. Chicago Sky= Charlotte Bobcats
There's not much basis for this one since the Sky are yet to play a single game. But the logic was simple, expansion team to (recent) expansion team.

3. Connecticut Sun= Dallas Mavericks
I was decided this would be Sun=(Phoenix) Suns since both teams like to run and because they have similar names but I found a better match for the Suns. Besides, the Mavs are also known for their explosive offense. Connecticut and the Mavs both share playoffs predicaments year after year: always the bridesmaid never the bride. The Sun has been closer to the chip than the Mavs since they've been to two consecutive WNBA finals but the dynamics of the both teams are similar. Both teams have a killer starting five and both have great coaches.

4. Detroit Shock= Detroit Pistons
Best starting five in their respective leagues. Both won the 2004 championships. And then there's the Swin Cash-Rip Hamilton comparison. Both wear #32, both went to UConn, both have NCAA and pro championships and both were raised in Pennsylvania.

5. Houston Comets=Miami Heat
For the past couple of years the Miami Heat have acquired what the Houston Comets always had: an unstoppable duo. Tina Thompson and Swoopes for the Comets. D-Wade and Shaq for the Heat. Both are also powerhouses in their respective conferences and have legendary coaches.

6. Indiana Fever= Minnesota Timberwolves
I was going to pair up the T'wolves with the WNBA's Minnesota team, but then I came up with the analogy that Tamika Catchings is the WNBA's Kevin Garnett. Not in stlye of play mind you, but in career paths. First of all both players are probably the most passionate player in their leagues. No one goes all out like Catch and KG. Also, their teams have been quite successful (except this years T'wolves) in reaching the playoffs. And though both superstars have had years when they had good teammates (Catch had Natalie Williams, KG had Spree and Cassell), neither have really gotten the help they deserved to go further in the playoffs.

7. Los Angeles Sparks= Houston Rockets
The comparison does not go deeper than two seasons. Last season, the Sparks acquired Holdsclaw and the Rockets acquired T-mac. On paper both looked like the teams to beat. Both have all-star centers (Leslie, Yao) and yet both teams underachieved. I'm a Holdsclaw fan, so here's hoping the Sparks wont share the demise of Rockets this upcoming season.

8. Minnesota Lynx= Chicago Bulls
The Lynx just traded their star Katie Smith to Detroit while the Bulls have lost most of their better players (Brand, Curry and Crawford). Both teams are extremely young, but don't count the Lynx out of the playoffs just because of their youth. After all smart draft picks have propelled the Bulls to their 2nd consecutive playoffs. In Seimone Augustus, I believe.

9. New York Liberty= Philadelphia Sixers
Not too long ago, these two teams were basking in playoff glory. In 2001, both were in the finals facing against a highly favoured LA team. But since then, while both teams have had several playoff appearances, the franchises has been in a funk despite having one of the shortest but all-star caliber guards (Hammon and Iverson). Now Becky Hammon is all alone in New York as A.I. is in Philly, even with the company of CWebb.

10. Phoenix Mercury= Los Angeles Clippers
These teams have been sharing the same mantra for a couple of years: "This was supposed to be our year" but both have been coming up short until now. I believe Diana Taurasi will propel the Mercury squad to the playoffs in the same way Elton Brand did this year. Also both teams have point guards that made/will make immediate impact. Stand up Sam Cassell and Cappie Pondexter.

11. Sacramento Monarchs= San Antonio Spurs
Both are reigning champs. Both have MVP big guys. Duncan for the Spurs, Griffith for the Monarchs. Both have all-star point guards. Parker for the Spurs, Penicheiro for the Monarchs. Both have coaches of the year winners in Poppavich and Whisesnant.

12. San Antonio Silver Stars= Portland Blazers
I don't know what's happening with these two teams. A couple of years ago, both were regulars in the playoffs back when the Silver Stars were still known as Starzz in Utah. But now, both teams seem to be heading to a downward spiral direction. The Silver Stars were second in the bottom of the standings and the Blazers are also second-to-last this season.

13. Seattle Storm= Phoenix Suns
Playoff teams that are led by league ex-MVPs. This comparison is more reasonable if Stoudemire was playing, because both teams have one of the best 1-2 punches: Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson & Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire.

14. Washington Mytics= New York Knicks
Both teams have great coaches that transferred from playoff teams but the most defining similarity of these teams are the headaches. I pity anybody who is a fan of one of these teams, more so if you're a fan of both. The Mystics and the Knicks have brought more headaches to their fans than any other team in their associations. And I should know...I'm a Mystics fan.

There goes the WNBA-NBA comparison. If you look at it more closely, both leagues are more similar than anyone would think. Having said that, I predict that if LeBron James wins the MVP award this season that Diana Taurasi will get the WNBA MVP in the upcoming season. Think about it, both were #1 picks, both won ROY, both have new coaches and both have failed to lead their teams to the playoffs until their third year in the league.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Odds and Ends- 04/20/06

Towards the end of each week, I'm going to try to compose an entry I call "Odds and Ends". It's a compilation of links over the past week or so that are simply too newsworthy or fascinating to ignore. Enjoy...

-the inspiration behind this idea

-speaking of Lang Whittaker, he also writes a column for SI... check out his end-of-the year recap of the wackiest moments in the '05-'06 NBA season

-I don't care if they've reported that Katie Homes gave birth to some baby named Suri, I still believe her pregnancy was fake

-one of the best articles I've read this week regarding women's basketball

-on a lighter noter, here's a somewhat exaggerated yet effective antithesis to the chauvanistic notion that any guy can beat a WNBA player in a game of one-on-one

-congrats to Tennessee for landing this AND1 female baller

-Mike Vick's alias was Ron Mexico...find out yours here

-introducing one of the cutest (and i really mean this in a loving way) duos in basketball: Mugsy and Bugsy

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Love and Basketball

I wanted her to win it all. Cut up my skin and you'll see that I bleed Lady Vol orange. But inside, deep inside, I was rooting for her. Because she came back. Unlike Chris Paul, she turned down the pros despite knowing she would be a top 3 pick (also because the money aint the same in the W as it is in the L). But she never once regretted that decision. Because she has one of the meanest scowls in college basketball. I loved that look on her face. Because she is one of only three players in the WNBA who graduated with a master's degree. Because she wanted a chance to have that one shining moment. And just like that, I was sold on Monique Currie.

So when the Lady Terps threw up the ball in the air as time expired on the night of April 4th, I mourned. Just like the ESPN dude (Trey Wingo) beside Kara Lawson and Stacy Dales-Schuman said, "Youth is served." The unsurmountable exuberance of Maryland players, fans, and coaches was not enough to keep my gaze off her. Mo, sitting on the bench...eyes welling up....with a look of frustration (still not regret). And for the first time, I hated the look on Mo's face. Because I wanted her to win it all.

This piece maybe 2-weeks overdue, but I never forgot that look. The next day came. The day she chose to forego the previous year. The day after the most devastating day of her college career. And with the 3rd pick, the Charlotte Sting easily became my new favourite team.

p.s. Even with the emergence of the CPs (Candace Parker, Courtney Paris), the WNBA's tenth anniversary and extra media coverage, it was actually quite a sad season for women's basketball. R.I.P. Sue Gunter, Shawntinice Polk and Maggie Dixon. You are deeply missed.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Introducing me...

19 years is a long time. Along 19 years, one would hope to have found an identity. Yet after 19 years and counting of existence, I'm more confused than ever before. About life...about everything. After (almost) finishing my first year at Ryerson University, I find myself in awe for actually surviving it. My values, principles and sense of self have been challenged to its deepest end. But I'm still here and I continue to believe...

And before I utter (or type) any more words, let me apologize to my fave journalist, Scoop Jackson. Scoop, I'm sorry but I'm totally using your format for my first entry.

I believe...

1. a blog is not for everybody
2. but sometimes it is the only option for a yet to be published, aspiring journalist
3. in God and..
4. that basketball was HIS crazy tool that kept me alive back then
5. Chamique Holdsclaw will be the greatest female baller my eyes will ever see
6. but Candace Parker will not be too far along
7. that the ugliest experiences can turn out to be blessings in disguise
8. dunzo is the greatest word in all of reality tv history
9. you fail when you stop trying
10. this cliche is tired but always true: IT'S NEVER TOO LATE
11. my hard work will one day pay off...
12. in the form of happiness and cash
13.everyone should have a gaydar
14. I have one of the most accurate gaydars known to humankind
15. and hope that rap and hip-hop artists will redeem their political purpose in my lifetime
16.no one should be given another chance, if they didn't deserve one in the first place
17.Pat Summitt has forgotten more about basketball than I will ever know in 5 lives
18.no one should compromise their being for another person
19.unless they're willing to marry you :)
20.Taquan Dean and Gerry Mcnamara deserve a shot in the NBA
21. life's most important lessons can be learned by watching TV
22.that being a woman should never be a disadvantage
23. inspite of LeBron James or anyone else in the future, # 23 will always belong to MJ