Thursday February 26, 2004
KG GETS SLAMMED
WOLVES STOP STREAKERS
BASEBALL, BASKETBALL AND MORE TV!!!
You may have noticed yesterday in looking at my ďHit CounterĒ on the left side of this screen that this site went over the 25,000 hit mark! That may not seem like a big number when compared to the 400,000 that Aaronís Baseball Blog just surpassed, or the 500,000 hits that Baseball Musings flew by, but I am happy with it. I want to thank everyone who has stopped by my site daily. I would like to encourage everyone to tell 3 or 4 people about this website today and encourage them to stop by the site and if they like it, they could tell three or four more people about it. It could be like the concept on Pay It Forward!
Iím kidding, of course, but I really do appreciate everyone who reads this site, especially those who take the time to e-mail me feedback. You donít know how much that helps and encourages me. I wonít name names, but I also want to thank all the other bloggers who have been very supportive to me! Be sure to take a look at the sites on the left side of this webpage and then check out their work.
Hereís to adding another 25,000 to that counter!
Next, Iíd like to thank all those who responded to my steroid and weight loss article yesterday. Very great points were made, things I hadnít thought of, or things that really complimented what I had written very well. So, thank you!
Aside from the BALCO issues, there is not a lot of baseball news. Well, unless you consider Daryl Strawberry resigning from his job with the Yankees to spend more time working in the ministry! Training camps are all started, and more and more position players are arriving and that is definitely exciting! Speaking of drug problems, Baltimoreís 2,000 yard rusher Jamal Lewis appears to be in some serious trouble! What an idiot!
So anyway, I am going to just touch on a few different topics. In the Twins Thoughts section, you will see that I have linked to a number of great articles written by a couple of the Twins beat writers. I think the Star Tribune has great Twins beat writers in Jim Souhan and Lavelle E Neal! What a great job! I would give anything for an opportunity to do that for a living, especially for the Twins! I donít know what it all entails, but to get to be with the Twins the entire season and write about their goings on for a living would be incredible. So, if anyone out there is hiring such a position, please e-mail me and let me know what I can possibly do to get an interview!!
KEVIN GARNETT SLAM-MED
I Love This Game! It is the saying or slogan of the NBA. I love the NBA. The best basketball players in the world, from all over the globe play in the League. Some think college basketball is better to watch than the NBA. Thatís insane! There is no one to watch in college because the good players go to the NBA (with apologies to Omeka Okafor!). I could understand that thinking back when players went to school for four years and you could develop a sort-of relationship with a college team and some of its players. But not any longer.
I subscribe to SLAM Magazine, a monthly publication dedicated to basketball. Yes, it covers the NBA with great stories, but it also does feature articles on college players, high school players, street ball players, legendary players from the pros, college or the streets. There is also a rookie diary (this year by Carmelo Anthony) and they have a high school playerís diary as well, something Lebron James did his junior year of high school. Sebastian Talfair also has written a diary for them. It certainly has an urban edge to it. This month, SLAM celebrates its 10th anniversary. If you like reading about basketball, be sure to buy this issue! It gives their history in the magazine and shows the history of the game over that time frame.
In the pages of this monthís issue, they celebrate a number of different players, giving each player a title. For instance, Vince Carter is called The Dunker. Michael Jordan is called The Legend. Allen Iverson is called The Miracle. Lebron James is called The Phenom.
Why am I writing about this? Well, as you know, Kevin Garnett is the best, most complete player in the NBA, so there was an article on him. They titled the article on Garnett ďThe FirstĒ. It is obviously in reference to him being the first player to go from high school to the NBA in 20 years. It discusses how even the people at SLAM questioned how much he could possibly contribute when he entered the draft. They, and everyone but Kevin McHale and Flip Saunders probably, were wrong. KG has continued to get better and better each year since he was eased into the starting lineup his rookie year. But as Iíve mentioned before, KG is far more than just a great basketball player. He is clearly the heart and soul and the leader of the team, on and off the court. His charisma and smile light up a TV screen and fans canít help but like him.
But these are all things you know about Kevin Garnett. I wanted to share a couple of quotes from KGís interview with the SLAM staff. I should point out, as the writer Russ Bengtson noted, that Garnett showed up for his interview early and stuck around far longer than he was asked to. So, letís get to the quotes starting with his love of the game:
"It (Love) comes through the pores, it comes through the heart, it goes through the blood. You canít front that. You canít front love, man.Ē
When KG talks, you canít help but feel the sincerity and thoughtfulness in his words. You can tell he doesnít just throw out old, tired clichťs, yet really says what he is thinking. Next, his thoughts on coming into the league:
I was following the Chris Webbers and the Malik Sealys and the Magic Johnsons, just being a fan. I really didnít have anybody to pattern off of. You come into the League, man, itís on-job training.
I love that he brings up these players, especially his good friend and former teammate, the late Malik Sealy, who clearly had a great impression on KG. But the respect he has for his elders and the gameís history is also clear and evident:
Iíve achieved it. Because I gave it. And I still give it. I respect every player in this League. And at the end of the day youíve gotta demand it, too.Ē
Garnett understands his influence on the other players that have come out of high school to the NBA:
Itís built this way up to where LeBron is right now. I did it, Kobí did it, Tracy did it, AlÖDeShawnÖJermaine. So we sorta set the bar. Now all this-not pressure, but expectations- are on LeBron to sort of, ĎHey, they did it, what can you do with it?í And heís doing well. Heís handled himself really well.
Itís almost like this, man-if you in fifth grade, and you know some kids in ninth grade, you get enough stories and you see enough that when you get to ninth grade you know how to be. So by the time you get to high school, you know, you might know how to talk to the girls, you might know how to dress-what book bag to have, what hat to match what kicks-and I look at LeBron as sort of being like that kid.
I love the KG stories. He tells so many of them. I always start out thinking ďWhat is he talking about?Ē But by the end of it, it makes complete sense and really illustrates well what he wants to say. Kevin Garnett is special. He is mature and thoughtful, making him even more of a favorite person to players around the league and the fans. It is those gifts as much as his incredible basketball talents, that made Garnett able to make the leap!
Garnett comes across as very humble and always crediting his teammates and showing respect for others, but he does know how good he is and knows his status in the NBA:
Nine (years in the NBA) is-to be where Iím at, to play at the level I been playiní at, to be consistent, thatís whatís important to me, man. Still enjoyiní what I do.
And anyone who enjoys basketball has to enjoy what Kevin Garnett brings to the game. Seeing that joy. Seeing him finding joy not in scoring, but in getting his teammates involved, and in contributing in so many ways.
And finally, again after spending more time than necessary with the interviewer, Garnett gave him hugs and pounds and said:
Iím just happy you guys cover me.
Again, just showing appreciation for where he is at, the status he has reached, and those who have helped him get there.
Overall, I just think this was a great article showing how amazing Kevin Garnett is as a player, a leader and as a person, and really as a great ambassador for the game of basketball. I wish NBA and especially Timberwolves fans would really completely understand just how special KG is and how lucky we have been to watch him play these nine seasons, and with him signing his contract extension, we will get to see him at least four more seasons.
The Wolves are fun to watch. Kevin Garnett is their star, but he is happy to have Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell on the team. He has made players like Trenton Hassell, Oliver Miller, Gary Trent, Fred Hoiberg and others better by just being on the floor with him. That is the sign of a true great!
WOLVES END NETS STREAK
The Nets came into Target Center having won 14 straight games. The Wolves would need to play them without the services of All-Star Sam Cassell due to tendonitus in his ankle. It all looked like a recipe for another Net win.
I was thinking that it would be a great game. In reality, it was a really ugly game. There were too many turnovers. There were a lot of missed shots. Sure, there was a lot of hard-nosed defense played, but it just wasnít a pretty game. At the end of the first quarter, the Wolves were down 20-12. At halftime, the score was tied at 32! Thatís terrible! The Wolves had a one point lead going into the fourth quarter. But that is when Sam Cassellís replacement in the starting lineup took over. Troy Hudson was on fire in the final quarter. He ended with 29 points on 11 of 19 shooting (including 4-7 from 3 pt range). I have to admit, that when I see Hudson running a one on three break, I start chanting, ďNo! No! No!Ē, because when I do that, T-Hud knocks down the shot. It is great having T-Hud back and healthy.
Speaking of back and healthy, Wally Szczerbiak played a key role in keeping the game close in the first half. He ended with 14 points, but at times, he really was the lone Wolf scoring.
Latrell Sprewell missed his first 5 shots, but with just under two minutes remaining in the game, he hit a big three-pointer from the corner to ice the win.
Kevin Garnett was 8-14 from the field for 18 points. He also added 9 rebounds and 6 assists.
It was a great win for the Wolves, showing that even without one of The Big Three, they can compete and beat great teams. The Wolves depth is absolutely amazing. Nine players played a significant role in the win. Most games, Flip Saunders gets contributions from 11 or all 12 players on the roster. This is not just a good team, but a great team! A team that finally has the firepower to get past the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. A team that many respected basketball insiders feel has a chance to compete for the NBA Title. In any case, they are so fun to watch, and I would encourage anyone that can to watch them play as frequently as possible. Especially if you like watching unselfish, team basketball!
Any thoughts on Kevin Garnett or the Timberwolves? Iíd love to hear them! E-mail me.
Radke: Leader of the Pack - A Mark Sheldon/MLB.com article on Brad Radke essentially saying that he is the leader of the Twins, especially the Twins pitching staff. So many people want to call Johan Santana the ďaceĒ of the Twins staff. I am definitely not one of them. Brad Radke has pitched 200 innings so many times. He has been with the Twins since 1995. He is the Twins ĎAce.í I have to say that I believe Johan Santana is the Twins best, most dominating pitcher, but that alone does not make an ace. Letís just let Johan pitch a full season in the rotation first. Letís let him pitch more than 160 innings in a season before crowning him the ace. I guess it all depends on your definition of the word.
Guardado Gift - Also from a Mark Sheldon article, Eddie Guardado sent a package to Ron Gardenhire the other day:
When Gardenhire received a gift-wrapped package in the mail from former Twins reliever Eddie Guardado, he was at first wary because Guardado was a notorious practical joker during his days in Minnesota. The manager asked some of his players to open the box for him but found no volunteers.
"Of course, I'm thinking he's going to blow me up," Gardenhire joked.
Gardenhire did unwrap his gift and found a treat instead of a trick. Guardado and his wife, Lisa, got him a nice white Tommy Bahama short-sleeved shirt and included a card.
"Thanks for everything."
Several players in camp have been on the clubhouse phone talking to Guardado, who signed as a free agent with the Mariners this winter.
"He calls the boys all the time to talk," Gardenhire said. "There are a lot of good friendships."
This is just some of the clubhouse chemistry that has been in the Dome the last few years. It shows the relationships that players develop with each other through being teammates. Itís not easy to leave.
Yesterday Lavelle Neal wrote a great article on the Twins (probable) new closer, Joe Nathan. I have no doubt in my mind that Nathan is very capable of doing the job well. I think 40+ saves is very realistic. With his ďstuffĒ he will be very successful!
Mr. Neal also had some interesting comments in his Twins Notebook yesterday. I canít wait to see Torii Hunterís McDonaldís commercial. It sounds hilarious! Michael Cuddyer lost 17 pounds this offseason and is down to 215, which he believes will help him stay more healthy.
Today Lavelleís article focuses on the player I think is going to be most intriguing for me to follow this Spring, JD Durbin. I think that Durbin can be a star. He has that cockiness that I think a pitcher really needs to have. I think heís got two major league pitches and throws hard and can get some strikeouts. I donít like the talk of moving him to the bullpen eventually, just because of his height (he is under 6 ft.). I think that he can be great as a starter. I think he could vie for the 4th or 5th spot in the rotation. If he doesnít make the squad out of spring training, I would think that he could be up by mid-season and help the Twins down the stretch. The best part of the article is Nealís last two paragraphs:
It's already interesting to see Durbin in the clubhouse. While a reporter chatted with Mauer on Wednesday, Durbin walked over and tapped Mauer on a shoulder.
"Hey, talk about me!" Durbin said.
If nothing else, heíd be fun to see in the clubhouse and read about from the Twins beat writers!
Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press has been writing great articles on the former Twins at their spring training locations. Today, he discusses Denny Hocking in his new digs with the Colorado Rockies. I enjoy Powers writing style. This article includes a comical story:
Driving into Tucson on Interstate 10 ó speed limit 75 ó with his wife and kids last week, he was pulled over by a state trooper.
"Do know how fast you were going?" he was asked.
"Yes sir," Hocking said respectfully. "Eighty-seven."
"Eight-six," the cop said. "You're a little too honest."
He still got a ticket. So there's no moral to that story. He might as well have said aliens were chasing him.
Good stuff! I am interested to see how Hocking fits in with a new team. I think he should be able to play seven positions for the Rockies, proving himself a viable tool off the bench. He sure does not hide his appreciation for Terry Ryan and the Twins organization for everything in his life! Itís a good story!
AMERICAN IDOL SHOCKER
First, here were my American Idol picks from yesterday:
The two that I would vote for are LaToya London and Leah Labelle.
The two that will probably advance are LaToya London and Leah Labelle.
Well, LaToya London received 32% of the vote to advance to the final round. However, last night all three judges predicted that Leah Labelle would be the second to advance. She did not even receive enough votes to get into the Top 3. Instead, Amy Adams and Jon Peter Lewis were in the final three. How did Jon Peter Lewis get in there? He was absolutely terrible! Fortunately, he was not in the top two, as Amy Adams will join the final 12. It was funny to see the disappointment on Leahís face, in her tears, when she was not chosen. She seemed convinced that she was a lock. That said, I fully believe that she will be brought back to the competition when it expands to 12.
Any thoughts? E-mail me.
THE BACHELORETTE SHOCKER
I have to admit. I wasnít as into this version of The Bachelorette because I was/am not a fan of Merideth at all. I find her boring. I donít think she is attractive, and maybe I just wish Kelly Jo would have been the new bachelorette. As I watched episode after episode, I really cared less and less how it ended.
Last night, I watched Matthew go to Portland and spend some time with Meredithís family. I watched how close she was getting to Matthew. I noticed how Matthew was clearly the right choice for Meredith. It wasnít even close. Ian seems so confused. He doesnít speak well. He seems like a drifter. He has no job.
So as you can imagine, when it was Matthew who rolled up in a limo first, and Meredith had to tell him that she was in love with Ian, I was shocked! I just shook my head and said, ďHow dumb is she?Ē over and over!
At the next commercial, my sister called me, also in shock. She asked a favor or me. She asked me to write that if anyone knows Matthew (or if Matthew himself reads this site), to please e-mail me. We would like to get you in contact with my sister. She is very interested!
You know, I hate to do that, but I guess Iíve done that for myself before. Remember the Kansas City girl that I bumped into at the Vikings game in December? How about me saying that if anyone knows Zoe from The Littlest Groom, or Randi from My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance, to let me know and get me in touch with them! So, I can use this site to help out my sister too, right? I really hope you donít mind!
Yesterday, MSN had an interesting article listing the Top 10 shows that were canceled too soon. Of those appearing on the list, I totally agree that Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared were both really good shows that were canceled too soon!
Freaks and Geeks was about some high school kids that werenít in the popular groups. It showed what school was like from their perspective. I thought the show was really funny. Plus, it starred the very talented Linda Cardellini who is now on ER after starring as Velma in Scooby Doo. Another interesting bit of information tells us that Linda Cardellini was born on the exact same day that I was, June 25, 1975. Could that mean something?
Undeclared showed college life through the eyes of a freshman. I really found the show to be very interesting! However, it didnít even last a full season.
Now, here is my list of five shows that did not last long enough. Maybe you agree?
1.) Unhappily Ever After -
This WB show was an almost direct rip-off of Married with Children. Unhappy parents and a couple of kids that nothing really goes right for. The best part of this show was that Nikki Cox, who is now on the NBC hit Las Vegas wore a lot of revealing clothing. Strange trivia regarding this show? Bobcat Goldthwait was the voice of Floppy, a stuffed dog that talked to the father on the show. The 42 year old Goldthwait got married to the 26 year old Cox. Anyway, this show actually lasted from 1995-1999, but I would have continued to watch it!
2.) Inside Schwartz -
This show was given a Must-See-TV position for NBC, but never really made it. I personally loved this show because I am a fan of Minnesota native Breckin Meyer who starred in Road Trip and currently is on Married to the Kellys. However, his character was a sportscaster, so there were sports jokes and other hilarious jokes. However, it didnít get ratings and also didnít last a season in 2001.
3.) Hermanís Head -
I remember being in high school. Sunday afternoons consisted of watching football all day, but when the last Fox game was done, I would watch their Sunday night lineup. I have included two shows from that evening. The first is Hermanís Head. It was in an office setting, but we got to see inside the brain of Herman. There were four characters inside his brain, Angel (Sensitivity), Animal (Lust), Wimp (Anxiety) and Genius (Intellect). So as you can imagine, different events throughout the show created some great fighting inside his brain. Hermanís Head lasted from 1991-1994.
4.) Good Grief -
The second Fox Sunday night show that I really enjoyed was Good Grief. It made me first realize how funny Howie Mandel is. His character and gay brother ran a funeral home and were visited by their fatherís ghost frequently. As an inside joke to those who do remember this show, ďI love my horse, and my horse loves me!Ē Good Grief lasted just one season.
For the record, The Simpsons, Married With Children and In Living Color were also on during that time period, and I loved those shows too!
5.) Time of Your Life -
Another show that didnít even last a full season and Iím not sure why. I loved this show! The reason- my girlfriend, Jennifer Love Hewitt was the star. I had fallen in love with her during her time on Party of Five. This show followed her character into her new life in New York. You may recognize her roommate on the show as well, one, Jennifer Garner, the star of ABCís Alias. How does a show starring those two Jenniferís not get a second season??? I just donít get it!
Anyway, those are some of my favorite shows that didnít make it. I know there are others that I have started watching in the last couple of years, only to see them get canceled shortly thereafter. A good example this year is The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H..
Do you have any shows like this that you loved and donít know why they didnít last longer? Let me know. Send me an e-mail!
That is it for today! Thanks again for stopping by the site. I hope you will continue to stop by daily and feel free to give me your comments. Have a great day!
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