Saturday, November 26, 2005

UNLV Memories

In college, my best friend and I used to stay up nights talking about general bullshit all the time. You know...stuff like, "What ever happened to Dwayne "Pearl" Washington?" We found out he was a UPS deliveryman after bouncing out of the NBA. At least that was the rumor. Looking for him on the internet now, all you find is fat jokes.

It's easy to pick those former NCAA stars, who seemed so great in their salad days, and wonder what went wrong? Some of them made the NBA and others simply faded into obscurity. I always thought Billy Owens should have been an NBA All-Star. I guess he just didn't care enough.

This article was inspired by the kind of thinking I just described. I was sitting at home, looking at an NBA box score when the name Stacey Augmon appeared. I thought to myself, "Stacey Augmon is still in the league? I haven't seen an Augmon highlight, or read his name in any game recap for years. I'll have to look into this..."

Sure enough Stacey Augmon is still an NBA player. Unlike the Billy Owens and Todd Days of the world, Augmon has stuck with it. Ironically, Stacey Orlando Augmon is now a member of the Orlando Magic. After spending his first 5 seasons with Atlanta, averaging double figures, he plummetted to average about 4.5 points per game over the next 11 seasons. For a man that was on top of the NCAA world, and a promising athletic small forward playing 30 minutes a night, how did he fall off so far, so fast? Why did he decide to hang around for 11 seasons as a shadow of his younger self?

Honestly, I don't understand it...but I admire it. What could possibly be better than playing on an NBA team? Yeah, he warms the bench most nights. He's a regular DNP-Coach's Decision, but I bet he busts his ass in practice. As I ponder the strange story of Stacey Augmon, I think about the great UNLV Runnin' Rebels team of the early 90's. Jerry Tarkanian's boys. That swaggering, point-shaving, cast of colorful characters that played on top of the world in Sin City, USA. Where are they now?

The man on that squad was none other than Grandmama himself, Larry Johnson. He was a ferocious power player that could drain the college three, and scramble across the court terrorizing oppents in the "amoeba defense"...Tarkanian's punishing pressure defense. LJ's story is famous. He was the most successful pro to emerge from the bunch and there's no need to get into his accomplishments. I'm more interested in the other guys....

The starting 5 on that team, in addition to LJ and Augmon, rounded out with Greg Anthony, Anderson Hunt, and a combination of George Ackles and David Butler at center. Greg Anthony was a draft pick of the New York Knicks, and played a solid NBA career for a number of teams. He's an intelligent guy by all accounts and I enjoy his commentary on the league for ESPN. For all the fame he achieved as a member of the Runnin' Rebs, and for all the games he played in the league, my favorite moment by far was his sucker punch on Kevin Johnson while wearing his pajamas.

Anderson Hunt is a sad story. The guy was named the NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player in 1990 and went on to have another solid season in 1991, when the team lost one game all Duke in the semi-final game. Someone told him he could be an NBA player and he went early-entry. That's the last we heard of Anderson Hunt from a basketball standpoint. He went undrafted by the NBA, and went in the CBA's 2nd round to the LaCrosse franchise as the 25th overall pick. Ouch. I tried to see if Hunt played in Europe or got into coaching, but the only thing I can find about him on the net is his 1993 arrest for marijuana possession at a traffic stop, and a 2002 attempted embezzlement arrest for which he was subsequently senteced to probation.

George Butler was drafted by the CBA in 1990 and played for the Rapid City franchise. Ackles was drafted by the Miami Heat in the 2nd Round of the same season, but never played a game in the show. Instead, Ackles played in Lebanon for the Beirut franchise, but returned home after a bombing scared some sense into him. He has spent a number of years playing for the Las Vegas Silver Bandits of the International League.

The other player of note on that club was Moses Scurry. He was an energizing sixth man for the Rebs that never missed a chance to scream bloody murder after grabbing a rebound. He was like a banshee. Along with Anderson Hunt and Butler he was also caught in a hot tub with notorious cheat Richard "Richie the Fixer" Perry. Ah, the good old days.....Scurry signed on with the Las Vegas Silver Bullets in the late 90's to play alongside Ackles. I don't know where he is now, but I bet he's noisy as hell.

There are others that I looked up, but honestly none of them are all that interesting. They had no pro prospects and most of them ended up in business or working for hotels and casinos in Vegas....imagine that. The legacy of that team will continue, and I won't forget the run they had over 2 years while I, too, was a college student.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


What's the over/under on how many games Marcus Camby plays this year?

I think 62 is a good number. Him playing in 75% of the games for Kiki's Nuggets sounds like a good year for the Candyman. Of course, him already outlasting Nene and K-Mart in terms of games played is a major psychological victory for Camby. Man, are the Nuggets gonna be hurting when (not if) he goes down.

Here is a bet for Mr. East: An old school Sonics hoops card says that I can predict Camby's number of played games better than you. I think he will appear in 62 games.

Somehow this whole thing is too good to be true. How does that trade for Antonio McDyess look now? Actually, it looks good for both guys. McDyess got a championship in Detroit eventually, and Camby is the best player in the league this year. Ugh.

The Nuggets are a pretty good team so far. If Camby goes down they will die. In light of that very delicate proposition, Kiki should be feeding Camby beer and massaging him like Kobe Beef.

I'll go out on a limb and predict that somehow the guy will play in 76 games this year and surprise everyone. He can't possibly keep up the pace he's at now, but he could be a 2nd Team All-NBAer if he stays healthy.

Mr. West: If I'm right you owe me an old school Charles Oakley Knicks card....(by the're getting a Michael Cage with Jerry Curl card if you're right).

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Will Choke for Food

Latrell Sprewell . Poor Spree, my heart goes out to him. Granted, my heart is stuck in the Knick season when they made it to the Finals and he appeared in And 1 ads as an “American Hero,” but I like the guy. Until Mr. East proposed we explore Latrell’s options, the last I had thought him was this summer when someone offered my the spinning rim version of his sneaker to use in a pick0up game….I shed a tear that day.

Good options for Spree and the team he plays for:

Phoenix Suns- Hell, the Suns were ideal for Spree of 8 years ago. So why not take a 2005 version anyway as a bench player who can score? He can pull up and hit better than James “I’m no Q Richardson” Jones. The Suns need scorers who can do a little everything and Spree has that in him. Plus, he can now pretend to play defense and that is accepted by everyone since it’s the Suns system. Plus Phoenix fans are ambivalent about everything so no bad local press.

Sacramento Kings- Sacto used to be deep but now they are rail thin. Go ahead and name their bench, please. Good luck. Enter Spree. The Kings need to score and Spree can kinda do that. Plus he has some savvy vet skills the youngsters on the pine need to know. And if they took Bonzi they can tolerate Spree. Finally, Sacto fans live on an island where they love the Kings no matter what they will embrace his ass.

Real bad options for Spree and the team he plays for:

Houston Rockets- Oh, I think I’ve read some rumors of Van Gundy reaching out to Spree and his cornrow mullet. Someone better cap that shit before it makes us all look silly. The Rockets already have too many shooters with limited extras who fill holes when McGrady is hurt. Spree would make them all cringe in horror. Plus he very well might offend Yao 1,800 ways to Sunday … wait, maybe it is a good idea for the Rockets to get Spree to bring out the monster in Yao.

Atlanta Hawks- So supposedly Latrell said he’d like to play in Atlanta. I bet that just warmed Joe Johnson’s heart. Plus about 6 other young dudes on that squad looking for PT. Atlanta may ballsuck their way through this season but at least no useless veterans are spinning their wheels. Our main man Latrell sees a crappy team and thinks “hey, they suck, I can get some run there,” a la Kendall Gill in NJ in the late 90’s. No thanks, Latrell, they suck enough on their own.

I have to agree with Mr. West on the Phoenix thing. Spree has lost a step and can’t play for a team that spends it’s offensive minutes in the half court. He also can’t defend the half court as well as he once did. On Phoenix that doesn’t matter. But, I won’t ride the coattails on this pick. Instead I’ll try my hand at a couple of other teams.

Good options for Spree and the team he plays for:

Washington Bullets- Yeah. I know. But Mr. West has me on the “Bullets” kick. Good call. Spree fits here to me. The Bullets are a team without a half court heavy offense, a thin rotation, and a need at shooting guard. Caron Butler is a 3, Antonio Daniels is a point guard, and the rest of the guys are bench material. The team isn’t so young that you need to worry about Latrell stealing time from a developing player, and he may actually bring you the extra toughness to get into the playoffs and win a round. Not that he’s going to do it by himself, but he’s kind of an electric enforcer personality that knows how to get to the rim, run the floor, and compliment Gilbert Arenas. How about a reunion of former Golden State players? Gil, Spree, and Antawn together in DC.

Dallas Mavericks- This is a team on a slow decline. I think they’re still good, but they are clearly the 3rd team in Texas now. No Nash. No Finley. Howard and Daniels are still inconsistent and incomplete players. Terry runs hot and cold. Enter Sprewell. Can’t you just see him chest-bumping Mark Cuban after big wins? That’s a match made in heaven. Cuban would probably think it was cool if Spree choked him. Toughness to go alongside Dirk, and a lot of pressure to produce would be lifted from the young guys. I think they’d actually thrive without the spotlight and responsibility on their shoulders.

Real bad options for Spree and the team he plays for:

Utah Jazz- At first I thought this was a great match. I almost made it one of my “good match” teams until I sobered up. Spree would get choked by Sloan, or he’d choke Carlos Boozer before he played 10 games. Sloan would call him out for dogging it, or dominating the ball and Spree would say, “Fuck you.” Sloan would beat him into the floor and all that would be left would be a bloody mess topped by cornrows. The other scenario would be Boozer in street clothes catching the ire of Spree. Spree would call Boozer a pussy, Boozer would say, “Fuck you.”, and all that would be left would be a bloody mess topped by chest hair. Forget Utah.

Toronto Raptors- As much as I’d like to see a starting 5 of Calderon, Spree, Rose, Villanueva, and Bosh re-enacting the 1991 Denver Nuggets, I think it would be too much to bear seeing Spree’s cornrows flowing in the breeze as he streaked down court wearing a purple dinosaur on his chest. Kind of a Bone, Thugs, and Harmony acid trip featuring Barney. By the way, do you remember the Paul Westhead Nuggets? Michael Adams with 26 and 11 assists per game? Orlando Woolridge dropping 25 night in and night out. Not pretty.

Good luck Latrell.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Phil Jackson's a Bum

As if there weren't enough reasons to hate the Lakers. As if Kobe Bryant's arrogant, rapist, poser, ball hog persona didn't do in the Lakers all by itself. Phil Jackson's egomaniacal, holier than thou, poser, over the hill attitude just adds fuel to the fire.

Scoop Jackson wrote an amazing piece the other day about Phil "McCrackin" Jackson on's Page 2. The comments that the Lakers' coach has made in recent years about hip hop and prison mentality have gone largely unchallenged by the mainstream press. Scoop rips Jackson a new asshole. Read and enjoy!

Mr. East

Fantasy Dicks

I was browsing the "new" NBA website recently and they've definitely stepped up their fantasy section this season. They almost ignored fantasy for a long time, but with the Yahoo league success it seems like they couldn't afford to get scooped on their own league anymore.

They imported a lot of blog guys to be their "experts" and there are more than a few names floating around at from the small-ish fantasy blogs that I used to read. Looks like they get their 15 minutes of broadband fame after anonymously hacking out fantasy opinions for a few years.
The biggest dicks by far, that MUST be mocked hard at East versus West, are's Rick Kamla and formerly respectable Matthew Berry of The Talented Mr. Roto. If you click here and look in the right hand margin, you'll see a section called "Resource Center". In that section there's a link to "NBA TV Previews". Watch all four 10 minute segments when you get a chance and tell me that you don't want to kill both of these guys.

Berry is actually smart. He has an idea. The PGs and PFs strategy that Mr. West employs is his mainstay and he actually knows his shit. He's just a regular slob that is way too into Fantasy Basketball like us. Too bad he's trying to polish his turd ass image to fit into the NBA "thing". He sounds like every other "too clever for his own good" SportsCenter host without the suit and the bad haircut.

The 1st person I will feed to alligators in life will be Rick Kamla. First, he doesn't know shit about fantasy hoops. He's the dickhead that picks Steve Francis with the 6th pick because he was a student at U of Maryland when Francis was playing know what I mean. He also fake laughs at everything Berry says, AND at everything he says himself. He puts on that SportsCenter voice like he's a legit broadcaster and like his opinion is worth two shits. He's the annoying guy that shows up once a month at the weekly hoops game and argues about everything. As I said, I will make him reptile bait.

Anyway, watch the segments. The info that Mr. Roto gives is decent, if annoying (He LOVES every player).

Mr. East