NBA Scrambles to Replace Player Photos During Lockout

July 22, 2011

The NBA lockout arrived seemingly without warning, leaving webmasters of NBA.com and NBA team websites having to scramble to replace content for entire sites, thanks to a stipulation within the expired collective bargaining agreement that requires images and videos of players to be removed from all NBA-owned digital properties.

However, there’s a lot of grey area in these rules, and according to the report, “different teams have different interpretations of this particular stipulation.”

Unfortunately, webmasters are an inherently lazy group of people, and if given the option to take a shortcut, they often will.

This has resulted in some shoddy patchwork to replace photos containing the likenesses of NBA players, as in the case of this pregame workout photo taken from the Detroit Pistons website.

The webmaster has obviously swapped out the active NBA players in this photo with the Harlem Globetrotters from Scooby Doo, thinking no one would notice. And they’d have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for…well, you know.

Here’s another example. Look closely at this photo supposedly taken from this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk Contest.

This one’s a little more tricky. If you focus your eyes on the scoreboard at the top in the background, you’ll notice that it has “Beavers” listed as the home team. Everyone knows there are no “Beavers” in the NBA. An obvious forgery.

Hey, Dallas Mavericks fans, did you enjoy your team’s improbable and inspirational run to the title? Well, I hope you took your own pictures of the downtown parade and championship celebration.

That‘s right, because they’ve all been replaced on the Mavs’ site with pictures of the winning screen from Double Dribble.

I don’t even know how to explain this one.

All I know is if the purpose of swapping out photos was to avoid a lawsuit, this one is not going to help.

Some photos have also been replaced by images of WNBA players, which has not caused as much of a stir because no one has been able to tell the difference from the old images.

The WNBA images are usable though. The league has been free from labor strife since 2003, when a last-minute collective bargaining agreement was reached that included perks like free deodorant and hair brushes following practices and games.


Artest Name Change Raises Eyebrows, Q Score

July 15, 2011

It’s not part of his stand-up comedy act. And as far as we can tell, it’s not an homage to World B. Free. But it’s definitely for real. Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest has petitioned to have his name legally changed to Metta World Peace.

While not as disastrous of a name change as say, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf for example, given Artest’s checkered past, it’s sure to cause some confusion among NBA fans.

Now you might hear announcers say things like, “A sucker punch by World Peace, and Peace has been ejected from the game!” On the road, he’ll probably be showered by opposing fans with taunts like, “Hey World Peace, you suck!”

After all, isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Artest…I mean Peace…the infamous Malice at the Palace?  Imagine if this had been the headline resulting from that night:

And it wasn’t too long ago that Artest wanted to be called by a different name, after his floundering record label, which at first glance seems to conflict with his current choice.

Tru Warier…or World Peace? Well Ron, which is it? I guess I should just be happy it isn’t “Whirled Peaz” or something to that effect.

The best thing about this whole name-changing situation for Artest is that it yields the kind of publicity and awareness that can launch an acting career. Playing for the Lakers, Artest is already on Hollywood’s doorstep. If he ever wanted to make the transition from NBA goon to big screen star, now is the time. And I think I’ve got the perfect debut role for him:

Okay, so it’s no “Kazaam” starring Shaquille O’Neal, but it’s still pretty good.


Blake Griffin Props Up NBA Dunk Contest

February 24, 2011

Check out this great column from one of our favorite blogs, Joe Sports Fan. What makes it so great? Well, to be blunt, I wrote it.

In case you didn’t know (and you sure as hell wouldn’t from reading this blog) a little over a month ago I started contributing to Joe Sports Fan: an online publication that celebrates the absurdity of professional sports.

The column above is about Los Angeles Clippers rookie Blake Griffin and his super-human ability to leap small, sporty sedans in a single bound, which he demonstrated at the NBA’s All-Star Slam Dunk Contest last weekend.

And if none of this is enough to entice you, there’s a lot of wild and – dare I say – crazy pictures, including one of a giraffe. Enjoy.


Griffin’s Dunk Deserves Props

February 24, 2011

At the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest, Los Angeles Clippers rookie Blake Griffin elevated himself over a car, and in the process, some say he elevated the exhibition to new heights.

ESPN.com columnist John Hollinger was so inspired by Griffin’s dunk over the hood of a Kia Optima, he wrote that it helped save the event, and did so without featuring “the same dunks embellished only by increasingly hokey pranks” or “bizarre, attention-seeking props.”

Wait a minute. A car isn’t a prop? Sans the Kia, wouldn’t the dunk have been…hokey?

Hollinger did hit on one truism: The slam dunk contest is all about entertainment. Every year, players try to one-up what the last guy did. And now that bizarre, attention-seeking props–unlike in stand-up–are officially in vogue in the NBA, it gets me thinking: What kind of dunks can we expect in the future?

Following the contest, LeBron James gave us a peak at what lies ahead. LeBron said he could have beaten Griffin by dunking over a giraffe.

Yawn.  Is that really better than a car? A giraffe is a gentle, timid creature–nature’s pushover.
Ever see a giraffe pick a fight with a rhinoceros? Me neither. No, we need something a little more dangerous like…

Fighting lions! Much better. Slamming a basketball over two man-eating, bloodthirsty beasts locked in struggle beats a stupid giraffe any day.

Mother Nature herself would also make for an interesting prop. After all, no one has ever attempted to throw the hammer down on a natural disaster before.

A dunk of this caliber would certainly impress the judges, but if I’m Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro, I don’t want my star rookie dunking over an exploding pool of molten lava. What if he burned his elbow on a hot piece of ash? (Coincidentally, I just like saying, “hot piece of ash.”)

At this point, I’m not sure where else future dunkers can take it, unless they forgo the bounds of reality. Perhaps Hollywood should get involved, specifically George Lucas.###MORE###

This next one I call “Jock Jam”. It’s accompanied by loud, annoying music that was popular 20 years ago, and it makes you simultaneously want to stab your ears with a plastic fork and stand up and cheer.

Hmm…that might border on the bizarre. Let’s just stick to dunking over a Car.

See, I think Mr. Hollinger has it wrong. Bizarre, attention-seeking props, when used wisely, make everything better.

But in the hands of Carrot Top, they cause murder.