Wednesday, November 28, 2007

on the continuing case of jared jordan.

So, Rand Richards Cooper, the writer of the article that I linked to about Jared Jordan wrote me a great e-mail telling me a little bit about what had happened to Jared to lead to his current situation and explaining a little bit more about what exactly that current situation is. With his permission, here's some of the comments from his e-mail:

[H]e gets cut by the Knicks on the very last day before the roster announcement, and…

That’s basically it. Europe is still possible. But the season there is already more than a third over, the teams are well established, and nothing has happened so far. There’s also always D-League.

The unfortunate thing is that (in my view) Jordan really never quite got the chance fully to show himself. I still believe he would eventually be one of the league’s premier passers. But his defense remains a big question mark, and he’s not a deadly shooter.

There are still scenarios that lead to him getting into the league… but the odds jump up a lot when you don’t make it on the first pass. Pretty soon you’re reduced to hoping that you’re the next Kevin Ollie. It happens, but it’s one in maybe fifty.

So...what's the hold up? Let's get him to the D-League! It'd be great to have a situation like that, and I'm sure he'd love to play for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. (Really, you ask? Well, they're the team that's furthest east, and it's in close proximity to Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee. Get it?) Of course, they're 0-2, my teams 2-1, and won the title last year. we want Jared Jordan to come here? I don't know. I'd love to get to see him play in person. Some of the writing that's gone on about him has really been enthusiastic. And that's always a good thing.


In my initial post, I was more curious about what happened with a player's money in the situation he's in. But Rand cleared that up for me, and it looks like it's a simple matter of the poor kid getting some bad advice from his agent. So, really, what more is there from a curiosity standpoint?

His YouTube videos don't look all that impressive, which makes me sad. I'd love to see him play in person. What's going to happen?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

notes on the nba.

In basketball bullets, Basketbawful put up a great, great, great hit piece on the Mavs that has really made me re-think all the respect I give them. I only say hit piece because it points out a flaw that's pretty impossible to ignore. (For a reasonable basketball fan, as opposed to a raving mad Mavs fan.) It's not an unfounded hit piece. But it's a hit piece. And it's the best kind of hit piece, because it's true.

Secondly, TrueHoop has this great analysis of Andrew Bynum's complete and utter failure on the last play of the Nets vs. Lakers game the other night. The best part is the last line. It's worth mentioning here that Bynum's been doing a great job this year, and has been making quite the believer of me. However, that doesn't mean that he shouldn't get flaws pointed out.

Third, this piece on loving the Celtics made me sick to my stomach. I'll be the first to admit that I'm excited to see what they do, but if you find yourself rooting for them, how can you say you've got Lakers in your blood? It still kills me to see those colors, that stupid parquet court, everything about it!

And last, the Celtics lost for the second time tonight. I didn't get to watch the game, but I was keeping track of it on my Sidekick, and it was the most remarkable thing I've ever seen! I only get to see a little bit of info at a time, but here's what I saw: the Cavs were up, so LeBron went to go sit down. The Celtics opened up the 4th quarter on a 7-0 run, so LeBron comes back in. He immediately makes a 23 footer, and when coming back on defense, Sasha Pavlovic gets a steal, dishes to LBJ, who draws the foul. LeBron gets both of the free throws, so Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett come back in. The Celts miss their next bucket, so LeBron drains another bucket, LeBron gets a steal coming back on D, and assists Boobie Gibson for the bucket. The Celts finally halt the bleeding by drawing a foul off Z, but by this point, it was too late: the Cavs were back up by 2! LBJ finally misses on the next offensive possession, but the game eventually went to OT, and the Celts just couldn't keep up with Mr. Instant Offense. The kid's pretty remarkable.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

on the qt.

So it's been a while, and I'm fearful that it might be a signal of a downturn in my blogging, but, to be fair, it's been quite a week. We've had Thanksgiving where my relatives came into town. (My entire family lives here in town, except for one uncle, who had two daughters. So they got to come in, and that was real nice, and I spent a little bit of time with them, but not as much as I would have liked.) The Lakers have been on a nice little run of their own, which of course makes me real happy. And right now, as I sit here writing this, The Patriots are looking mighty vulnerable! I have no doubt that they'll win this game, but for God's sake, they surely haven't looked like their invincible selves. And that makes me worry more than a little bit. Not that I really care about football or the NFL in general, but I'd like to see some history, make my money on my bets, and see some amazing football in the meantime. And I think the Patriots are my best shot at doing all three.

Also, I read this story on a kid named Jared Jordan touting him as an amazing point guard. I'm quite interested in this guy and the promise that he seems ready to deliver on for (and in) the NBA, but upon following up, it looks like, according to Wikipedia, he was in fact drafted by the Clippers, then traded to the Knicks, and it looks like he's now been waived. What happens in situations like this? This kid's amazing, he was drafted, signed a contract, presumably, but now has been waived. Does he get his money anyway? If so, is that a good thing? I would presume not, at least for him, because he wants to play the game of basketball! So, I mean, yeah, he's got his money, that's great, but I'm sure he'd rather just be playing the game.

There's a lot of money out there in the world and a lot of people who have it, well, some of them don't want it, and some of them don't deserve it. I'm all for getting us some of that money, make sure that we re-appropriate it in the right ways. Hah.

For your viewing pleasure, on an ending note, here's Mark Cuban smoking mad after the Dallas collapse in the Finals. It's good stuff.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

on kindling fires?

The big news of the day is the just-released Amazon Kindle. It looks to me like it's going to be cool. I support these kind of things. However, there have been some concerns mentioned, specifically by Mark Pilgrim.

As we should all know, I'm a big supporter of the anti-DRM movement. I understand and agree with these people and their arguments. However, I just don't see eBooks and dead-tree books as the same. There's a difference between allowing people to borrow your books, copying a couple pages, stuff like that, and making wholesale copies of the digital version and flooding the market with those copies.

I guess my main point is that the more that I'm thinking about this, the more I'm thinking that there might be some room for me to rethink my music thoughts. The same argument that I post above could easily be made for CD's. And I'm a big fan of the physical copy. I used to have more than 500 CD's. It wasn't such a big deal for me to get rid of them because I saw the digital copies as offering much more utility, and the iPod made it easy. I'd have a much harder time getting rid of my books, even though it's been years since I've read some of them.

Monday, November 19, 2007

hereos 2x09 - cautionary tales run through.

Okay, I'm going to try something different here...

First off, okay Hiro, that didn't work so well last time. Are you sure you should do it? Oops, too late. Okay, well, that's cool, now he gets to see Daddy one more time.

Wow, Matt's powers are working a lot more effectively. Very nice. I like where this is going, but I'm worried they may try to make him a bad guy. That would be a bad move.

Are we supposed to be surprised that Suresh is getting teamed with Ell? I mean, did anyone not see that coming? As though this is some shock? Guess what?! There's another generation of heroes! Surprise!

Commercial break.

Claire and her boyfriend are fighting. I'm enthralled in how high school it is. This plotline actually works, but only because she's in high school. This is actually how high school girls kids are. (BTW, he's evil.)

Matt is putting together the pieces. But he's being held down by the system. Pity the poor cop. Uh oh, he's trying to use his powers for evil. And it's working. This is a dangerous path you go down Parkman.

Noah Bennett comes clean to his wife, but that's something that's been going on for a while. The paintings by Tim Sale are amazing and I'm glad they found a way to keep them in the show.

Suresh got called by Fight Club by Ell in the last scene. That's funny 'cuz now he's getting bossed around like Ed Norton did in the movie by Brad Pitt. Ew, seriously, Ell is gross. Veronica Mars is awesome as a bad guy! (Although she just got saddled with some terrible dialogue. As though anyone couldn't see the, "Can I keep him?" line coming?)

Back to Hiro in the past, Daddy's taking Mama Petrelli to task for being such a bitch! Hiro jumps out at him, they're talking, I don't understand. Oh wait, maybe he's a bad guy in disguise... Hmm, all the young kids are losing their moral compass and becoming just like their parents. They think it's okay to use their powers to play God. This is an interesting thread I hope they pursue.

Ah, Dr. Bennett, going to take the fight to the enemy, eh? Ah, too late, he got you!

Commercial break.

Flying boy takes Bennett. Stupid talking, and the kid flies all over, not thinking at all that anyone might ever see him. I mean, he's already been abducted by Noah, doesn't he stop to think that someone else might want him, too? (Oh right, that's because he's a bad guy.) Oh, diss, Suresh, he knows you're lying!

Claire, you're about to get big time jacked.

Suresh, stop talking to crazy Ell. I mean, really, she's crazy.

Hahaha! "You've gone native!" Mohinder sold out to the Company, but it's not like Bennett's exactly golden boy.

Claire sees the painting, this is getting kind of crazy actually. Bob knows Mrs. Bennett, but she doesn't remember anything sinister about him.

Bennett knows there's a super with Mohinder, but that's not going to help him. Only thing that can help him is Flying Boy. Here's to hoping he knocks her out. He did. Bennett changes his fate. Flying Boy talks him down. Wow, Bennett looks like he had a super kick there.

Mrs. Bennett is alone, Claire's gone, Bennett has Bob's daughter. Funny. Interesting. Keeping her in water limits her power? Electrocutes herself. Not that smart. Apparently it is your first day, psycho-Veronica Mars.

Commercial break.

Bennett knows all about Ell. Uh-oh, do they give people powers? She wasn't born this way? That would be a cool surprise. Damn, Bennett's ruthless. I'd be surprised if Bob would be willing to trade Claire for Ell. He doesn't seem to care that much about her.

Hiro and Daddy once again talking about taking things into their own hands. Hiro sees his older self and actually bumps into him! Shouldn't the universe explode or something like that?? Hahaha, little Hiro convinces big Hiro of the things his Dad couldn't. This show is wack. If you take him back, you'd damn well better see who kills him!

West and Bennetts. He's evil, don't trust him! Haha, that was a funny line, he is like her "real" dad. Nathan, not Noah. Interesting parallelism of the N-starting names.

Back to NYC, let's see the killer! Daddy Nakamura looks like he's going to cry. What a wanker! He didn't even wait to see! Now are we going to see a surprise? Man hands! Okay, looks like Hiro's still there. Good, who is it?! Okay, well, that's a big duh. Adam. Takezo. Well, Daddy Nakamura, if you didn't expect it to be him that's cuz you're a moron.

Commercial break.

Yay, Mama Petrelli again. Uh-oh, Matt, you're traveling down this dangerous path. Even Mama Petrelli knows that it's dangerous. Adam's 400 years old, duh, we know that. Who's the woman? His mom? I don't think that could be. Wow, she's bleeding. Good show. Is he going to do it anyway? We'll see in a second. I'm sure it'll flash back to them as one of the last scenes.

Bennett, Ell, and Flying Boy on one side, Mohinder, Bob, and Claire on the other. Bob already has Claire's blood. He's already won, so to speak. The girls walk toward each other. Ell gets Flying Boy and Claire, Noah gets Ell, Mohinder gets Noah. The paintings are all right.

Commercial break.

Oh diss, Claire, you left your Dad and now he's dead. No powers for him, either, so we know he's not coming back. It's okay, I had no doubt he was dead from the moment I saw those paintings. The paintings are never wrong. (Except when they show nuclear bombs. Or dinosaurs. Damn I wanna see Hiro fight that dragon!)

Hiro finally eulogizes his father. Even though he says he won't. But saying it doesn't make it so.

Mohinder is firmly part of the company now, staring at his gun, Ell and Bob have a little rift, and it looks like Parkman did, in fact, take that last secret from Mama Petrelli. Bad road we're headed down here. And Flying Boy is still there, he's still bad. Hahahah. They're going to bring Noah back to life with Claire's blood! Why you gotta make liars out of me, Heroes?

Preview looks good. Camps are being divided. I'd like to see a lot more of that.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

yes, this is, in fact, the best news of the day.

Barry Bonds has been indicted.

I just started to hear and read about this, but let me say these things now, before any of the other news gets in my way:

Barry Bonds is a dirty, dirty cheater and does not deserve to have the home run record.

Barry Bonds deserves to go to jail, not necessarily for lying to the Feds (I don't care so much about that) but for sullying the game of baseball. I don't even like baseball, but honestly, literally, Barry Bonds makes me sick to my stomach.

Barry Bonds is a clear cheater. This is different than point one, because someone might be a dirty cheater but not necessarily a clear cheater. Barry is both.

I hope that this unties Bud Selig's hands and he doesn't put an asterisk on Bonds' records, but rather just wipes it from the books.

More to come as I read more about it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

on heroes, journeyman, and time travel. oh yeah, and google, too.

So tonight I watched Heroes. It was another interesting episode, the third according to my count to deal with time travel. (If you don't count the ridiculous Hiro-in-ancient-Japan arc as anything other than what it was: ridiculous.) Regardless, after Heroes is this interesting show called Journeyman. It's got an interesting take on the issue as well, and it really reminds me of Quantum Leap right now, without the explicit lesson, the direct thing he's supposed to do. (But it does have another leaper! Let's hope she's not evil.)

Anyway, this issue is huge to me. Time travel is one of those things that I think about a lot, both philosophically and realistically. I think it's not only possible, but I think more than likely it either has happened in the past or is currently happening.

But here's the thing about time travel: as far as I understand it, we'll never know if it's really going on. If someone travels to my past and changes something, it could and should retroactively change my entire life. I should have no different memories, I shouldn't know anything different than anything I've ever known. And what I've always known should have been what I've always known.

This is one of the many reasons that I find The Terminator as terrifying as I do.

Heroes is taking this path as far as it possibly can, but I'll admit that it's very confusing. At least to me. Maybe that just means that I'm not as smart as I think I am, or maybe they're just not doing that good of a job. Either way, I think it's something that should be applauded. Not enough big ideas are being talked about, and with Lost still off the air, at least Heroes is taking steps back in the right direction, instead of just being happy to run literally the exact same season as they did last year.

Oh yeah, my BFF (who's soon to be gone from my beautiful city) sent me this NYTimes link that details a lot of the greatness of the new Google Phone OS. Looks like it's gonna be rad, I have high hopes for the open source future.

(Just as long as it's not constantly changing and no one realizes it. :])

Saturday, November 10, 2007

link of the day.

Just got linked to this from TrueHoop and it's hilarious enough that it deserves reprint here, despite its being four years old. What if LeBron had bought the Cavs upon his entry to the NBA? He clearly would have traded himself to the Lakers, been the fifth Beatle that magical year, and left every other team in the league in their wake.

(Actually, it's really sad how wistful this makes me. I can almost guarantee I'll be having dreams about this actually happening, the team going 82-0 in the regular season, and then crushing the playoffs.)

Friday, November 9, 2007

late to the party.

I'm pretty seriously considering making the leap from my Dell laptop to an Apple MacBook.

If anyone has any great (or terrible, I suppose is just as important) things that they think I need to know about either company, speak now or forever hold your peace.

Also, I'm interested in how I would go about syndicating this blog's feed into my MySpace blog. Anyone have any good words?

GrandCentral continues to not support extensions, therefore being essentially useless to me. Very sad.

Senator Dodd's beautiful campaign has posted this wonderful two-minute guide to a current piece of legislation that's being debated. This piece seems really important, especially considering the zeitgeisty things that are going on right now with Net Neutrality, and the Barack campaign. All good news so far, but the worry is that this sort of thing will slip under the cracks and before people know it, they'll be living in a society where this sort of thing is not only completely accepted, but less known about.

Knowledge is power.

Finally, FreeDarko (which I should have been following all this time, it might be the smartest basketball blog out there) has put up a fun story touting the virtues of my man Ronny Turiaff. I'm a big fan of Ronny, having been served dinner by him late one night at the Cog and I couldn't imagine a player more suited for my love than him playing for the Lakers. Always a good thing.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

on reign over me.

Just watched this movie, and I think there's lots to say here. The ultimate point of the movie, I thought, was the collateral damage done by the terrorist attacks. But I thought it was interesting that they didn't really come out and say it, which plane it was, how his family died, until at least half way through the movie. I thought it was intentional. I mean, of course we understood that it was the 9/11 attacks, but just saying those words gives them a lot of power. It's a very philosophical concept, that idea that naming something gives us some kind of power over it - or, conversely, that we lose power over things we don't know the names of. It's an idea worth exploring, that's for sure.

Regardless, the movie does an excellent job exploring the way everyone connected to this fine point of a tragedy feels its effects in some way. Even Don Cheadle's character, who hasn't seen the Adam Sandler character in years, is affected almost immediately, by the re-entry of this emotional earthquake. That earthquake acted much like all others did and will; it sent aftershocks throughout many others' lives.

Anyway, I'm getting away from the point I originally wanted to make, which is simply this: the movie was a good one. Strong performances and lots of emotional resonance. I would recommend it.

Also, I read this story about Kobe not being worth what we all think he's worth, and I think it makes some interesting points. The overall impression I'm getting on this season is that my original reading was wrong. Big time wrong. I don't think Kobe'll be traded at this point, because I think the Lakers are content with selling tickets. I think they'll make the playoffs (in the 7 or 8 seed) and I think they'll be gone in the first round. I think it's a sad time (and a hard time. God, lots of Kobe haters have really used him as an opportunity to just dismiss the Lakers outright) to be a Lakers fan. But that hasn't stopped me before.

Finally, I think it's worth mentioning that in the last two weeks, I've been literally moved to tears by the words, thoughts, and actions of two separate students of mine. When I get disheartened by a student turning in a plagiarized paper, it's nice to be able to remember that there's good kids out there, who are willing to tell their druggie friends that they're ruining their lives and that they want their old friend back, or that a basketball player is willing to give up his spot in the line-up for the last game for an injured teammate. It's awe-inspiring, really.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

on american gangster.

I got to see the movie yesterday night, with a good opening crowd, the theater was almost full. Cool to see that so many people were interested in it, but not necessarily that surprising.

The flick was great. Denzel did a great job and there were several parts of the movie where his sheer intensity surprised me so much that I actually jumped out of my seat. Minimally, but still. It was great. Russell Crowe did a good job of a sad sack, but I thought the character he was playing could have been developed a little more. Why was he still friends with his apparent mobster childhood buddy? Why wouldn't he take that money? I mean, was there some childhood reason? (Maybe this is the post-modern me talking, but it seems like this guy was way more complex than he was presented...) And what the hell was that about at the end with his complete giving over to Frank? I mean, it just seems that if you're going to be chasing this business so badly you're not gonna be charmed by the guy. I dunno. That was really my only complaint. RZA was great, T.I. was great, and Common is always great.

Having gotten the Jay Z CD by the same name a week ago, I really couldn't listen to it a lot before I saw the movie. But, now that I've seen it, it's practically all I've been listening to. And, I'm going to surprise myself a little bit here, but... I'm not sure I like it that much. There are great songs on here, there's no doubt about that. I think "Roc Boys (And The Winner Is...)" is maybe one of the best songs he's ever done, and if "Say Hello" isn't the next single, he's playing a fool with one of the hottest songs of this or any other year. However, I haven't gotten a feel for the story that he's supposed to be telling with the whole album. I see how it follows a loose rise and fall model, but it's not off the hook yet. Maybe when I have time to listen to the lyrics a little more carefully it'll come to me. Jay's always been one of the better lyricists of this generation, so I like that. Writing this makes me realize that maybe what I'm disappointed in is the production. The samples are sweet, but they could have been a lot better. Kanye would have been a natural fit here and Anthony Hamilton who did a lot of the music in the film would have been an amazing choice for a guest spot.

More to come on the music as I listen to it more, but I'll leave it on the note that on the way home from the movie, a girl got carjacked and threw herself out of the car almost directly in front of our bikes. It was perhaps the craziest thing I've ever seen in real life. Terrible things happen in this world of ours.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

on fantasy busket.

I kind of figure this is going to be a dominant topic on this blog now that the NBA season has opened, and while Kobe's still getting all this press.

But I had a specific thought.

Last night watching the Cavs game, I realized that LeBron and Kobe are both in the same situation: they play on teams that give them absolutely no help. So I thought, what about Kobe to Cleveland? I know Kobe probably wouldn't want to play there (lack of the lime light and all) and LeBron might be wary of playing with such a notorious ball hog, but who wouldn't want to see Kobe and the new 23 running together?! The Cavs made it to the NBA Finals last year with LeBron and the Nobodies! With Kobe by his side, wouldn't they become the favorite (other than the Bulls or Celtics?) to win again? I put Daniel "Boobie" Gibson, Larry Hughes, and Drew Gooden (in that order because that's the order in which I think they'd help the Lakers) through for Kobe on ESPN's Trade Machine and it says it works.

Am I the first person to think of this? Really? How could that be?