Saturday, February 28, 2009

Broadcasting, Only Child, NBA Playoffs - Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Athletes That Could Make a Successful Leap into Broadcasting
  • Chris Webber: Simmons also wrote about Webber’s appearances on TNT and he was raving about his abilities. I have to agree with him. He is smooth, intelligent, and has a good delivery. Random note, but when he was teamed with Juwan Howard on the Bullets he and Juwan did some one-off show about hip hop and showed videos (must have been on MTV or something) and I remember thinking: 1) Chris Webber is cool, 2) Chris Webber has great, great, great hip hop taste, 3) Chris Webber is very smooth in front of the camera with an easy smile and easy-going manner. I would love for him to feature prominently in this arena soon.
  • Kevin Garnett: Do you remember the Nike “Fun Police” commercials? KG was the lead dog for most of those and he had such a presence. He was funny (yes, the lines were written, but he pulled it off, easily) and seemed to really have a way about him. I also saw him on a former ESPN show called “The Life.” As much as he makes things look difficult on the court (because of his effort and intensity) he is completely at ease in front of the camera. I love the dude. As long as someone just lets him be him on camera, he’d be excellent.
  • Side note: If you’ve never seen “The Life” I feel sorry for you. The Ray Lewis episode in particular was unbelievably funny. One of the scenes is Ray back at home (in Florida somewhere) and his mom is throwing a BBQ. One of Ray’s friends at the BBQ is named “Kirby” and he’s the originator of the dance that Ray Lewis does (or did, not sure if he does it anymore). Kirby comes out wearing Ray’s Ravens jersey tucked into white jeans and Ray is begging him to do this dance and Kirby is laughing (giggling, really) saying, “don’t make me, Ray … don’t make me hurt ‘em…” and then all of the sudden he busts it out – spins around, hands in the air like a cat or something –and it’s awesome. Ray is dying laughing (because it’s hilarious) … anyway, they skip to another scene and Ray is asking Kirby to sing for him. Kirby starts his verse and it goes like this: “Take me to the motel, buck naked, take off yer draws take off yer draws, show me what choo wreck it with!” then he does the dance again and it’s over. Those two scenes with Kirby are the best of what TV has to offer.
  • Matt Hasselbeck: He’s perfect because he’s been very successful, but had to fight for what he’s got. He has a fantastic sense of humor, he’s sarcastic, he makes fun of people, he’s self deprecating, and he’s smart, he knows the game, and he’s very at ease in front of the camera— although I don’t think they’ll let him wear a hat when he’s in the booth. Once he’s done with the sport there is no doubt in my mind that he’ll be a national color guy for some network (if that’s what he wants). He’s too good not to.

Being an Only Child
I have a friend who is a twin and I'm infinitely jealous of him because he had playmate of the same age, same sex, same ability level, and who had similar sport interests. Growing up solo is extremely boring, but luckily I always had friends to mess around with, but there were always those summer days when no one was around and I was left to figure out something to do. On those days I’d probably ride my skateboard all over (when I lived in Okinawa) dunked on my neighbor’s hoop in the cul-de-sac (the hoop did not extend to 10 feet, so it was completely worthless after about 5 minutes) threw the football to imaginary people in the yard/punted the ball in the air and caught it (pathetic), played homerun derby by tossing a whiffle ball into the air and trying to punch it over the fence (unbelievably pathetic), did a lot of pushups and situps, drug the TV to the sliding glass door to watch games while still being outside. Anyway, I am really jealous my friend's twin-enhanced sporting childhood.

NBA Playoffs
I know that neither one of you care much for the NBA, at least I don’t think that you do. I generally don’t care at all until it gets to this point in the season. Well, that’s not entirely true, I used to care about the regular season when the Sonics were relevant (i.e. staying in Seattle or trying to win). But I always tune in for some games during the playoffs because it really is its own season (from the style of play to the actual length). Anyway, a few thoughts on what I’ve seen thus far:

  1. Chris Paul is unbelievable. He is such a talented player all the way around. Watching him control his team and the effect he has on the game, on both sides of the floor is very impressive. It’s almost like he does nothing wrong at all during the course of the game. He has a very good jumper, but rarely does he have to use it. He passes ridiculously well. I get the sense that he, like Tony Parker, can get to the rim any time he chooses. He plays fantastic defense. His lob passes are on the money all of the time. He rides dudes for doing stupid stuff. I love his game. He is the perfect point guard.
  2. Kobe Bryant is out MJing MJ. He is an incredibly dominant force on his team and make huge shot after huge shot, night-in, night-out. The guy is a complete dick, but he’s such a talented player that it’s hard not to be impressed with him. He’s as athletically gifted as anyone that’s ever played and he has huge stones. Hell of a player.
  3. LeBron James is a beast and is a big man for not just beating the life out of Brendan Hayward and DeShawn Stevenson. He could easily kill both of them with his bare hands for their cheapshots during their series, but instead he simply dominated their teams. He, right along with Kobe, is as athletically gifted as anyone that’s ever played because he’s 6’8 or 6’9 and weighs 260 and runs and jumps like he’s a world-class long jumper. I bet he could toss the discuss 300 feet if he dedicated his life to it.

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