Sports Goggles

Archive for June 2007

NBA Draft Night, 2007: Every Pick, Every Team

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1. Portland: Greg Oden, Ohio State. Raef LaFrentz, Jamaal Magloire, Luke Schenscher, and Joel Przybilla are officially on notice. I say Przybilla stays. Just more chips for the Blazers to play with.

2. Seattle: Kevin Durant, Texas. Will Rashard Lewis be on the move now? Nick Collison? Chips, baby, chips. Also: Ray Allen to Boston for #5 pick (Cees will take Jeff Green and send him to Seattle) Delonte West and Wally World to Seattle, too. DAMN! The Sonics are doin’ thangs!

3. Atlanta: Al Horford, Florida. Al’s cool, no, he’s potentially a monster, but the Hawks better know they can get Acie Law at #11. Now, who is moving from the Ha

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Written by dwil

June 28, 2007 at 1:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Kobe, Barry, Adam, and Tank: The Black Villains Club

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bendrunk1.jpgOn ESPN radio and television simulcast show, Mike and Mike in the Morning, baseball guy Buster Olney, sitting in for Mike Golic, called Kobe Bryant, “the biggest baby in sports.” Further, he implied that Bryant is a cancer with the rhetorical question: “Is Kobe Bryant a cancer?”

Olney’s question comes on the heels of word from Bryant’s camp (whatever that means) that regardless of whether or not the Lakers trade for Kevin Garnett, Bryant wants away from the Lakers. “If you’re the GM of the Bulls, do you want to invite all that [referring to Bryant’s trade demands] into your team,” Olney asked.

That Olney will omit truths or lie to make a point makes him part an alarming general trend in the sports reporter ranks. Remember, Olney is the reporter who outright lied by calling Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams’ Barry Bonds indictment of a book, Game of Shadows “Pulitzer prize-nominated” on ESPN News when the veracity of the authors’ claims were challenged. It escaped and apparently escapes Olney that Game of Shadows reads more like an extension of a National Enquirer story than a book of proofs that Bonds used some combination of performance-enhancing drugs to aid him in blasting home runs and maintaining his high level of performance late into his thirties.

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Written by dwil

June 27, 2007 at 4:41 pm

Posted in NFL

Andrew Bogut Media Blackout: Crimes of Omission

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censor.jpgAndrew Bogut spoke out in a Sydney Morning Herald newspaper feature by David Sygall on his perception of the state of America and it black NBA mirror. I included Bogut’s words and my opinion of them in a Friday collection of sports briefs.

People got – angry. They went off on Bogut. Slammed his words. Attacked him personally. Attacked his game. The comment section here at The Starting Five (TSF) was crazy heated. I defended Bogut’s view of the U.S. and his general view of NBA players. This is one time the Internet served “the better good.”

If we were all at a BBQ things might have been a different story. The heat of the day and the Q and the conversation might have resulted in fractured relationships, seconds and third thoughts about each other’s motives, and willingness to think beyond race or concentrate on race. But since we’re writing and at a monitor and geographic distance, heads ultimately cooled, though we all knew and know this is just the beginning of more intense dialogue.

Yet, there’s something wrong with this picture.

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Written by dwil

June 26, 2007 at 1:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Spotes Notes, 6.25.07: Chauncey is Free; Kevin Durant with Adidas

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chauncey.jpgA couple of quick notes (I’m not writing much today if I can help it – it’s my birthday)…..

Chancey is Free

Is Chauncey Billups the point guard Phil Jackson seeks? Jackson loves big point guards and Billups fits the mold. Why the conjecture? Just five minutes ago (12:35 EST) the ESPN crawl announced that Billups has opted out of his contract with the Detroit Pistons and will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Billups was due $6,819,000 from the Pistons next season in the final year of his contract.

Durant to Adidas

Kevin Durant and Gilbert Arenas are featured in the newest NBA Live 08 video game commercials. Guess what this means? Adidas won the cost-friendly shoe sweepstakes with Nike.

This isn’t a first for Adidas. Andre Agassi, a longtime Nike endorser left for Adidas when Phil Knight of, “Americans don’t want to make shoes,” fame, refused to sign off on a new deal wherein Nike resigned Agassi with the understanding that the shoe company also donate substantial funds to Agassi’s school for underprivileged children. Agassi turned to his wife Steffi Graf’s brand, Adidas. Faced with the same demands, Robert Louis-Dreyfus, CEO of Adidas said sure, and the rest is history.

Once again, Knight, the same fella who refused to accompany Michael Moore to Knight’s Nike sweatshops in Indonesia, shows his true colors. And Adidas makes a sound social business choice.

Written by dwil

June 25, 2007 at 4:45 pm

Posted in Detroit Pistons

NBA Draft Preview: The Starting Five-Hoops Addict Mock Draft Podcast

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durant.jpgIt’s NBA Draft time so Ryan McNeill of Hoops Addict and I took some time to chat about how we feel the first round will shake out. We break down who we feel are the right picks  for each team. Some of our picks are in line with the consensus, some will surely surprise you. Below are our first round picks, but make sure you click here for the podcast

Hoops Addict Podcast Mock Draft:

1. Trailblazers – Kevin Durant, F
2. SuperSonics – Greg Oden, C
3. Hawks – Acie Law IV, PG
4. Grizzlies – Jeff Green, SF-PF
5. Celtics – Brandan Wright, PF
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Written by dwil

June 24, 2007 at 10:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Sammy Sosa, Hall of Fame? Not

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I’m going to piggy-back on jeiler’s excellent post on Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. Sosa just hit number 600 against the Chicago Cubs and number 601 against the Houston Astros. The question now rages in earnest, does he belong in the Hall of Fame?

Let’s take a brief look take a brief look inside Sosa’s numbers and his all-around play, and compare him with other greats in an attempt to discern whether or not he is Hall worthy.

Two expansion teams in 1992 Colorado and Florida brought a National League-wide jump in ERA of over half a run per game. That and smaller ball parks, and according to players, a harder baseball brought on an average increase in home runs of about 600 NL-wide, per season. Combine those factors with the same natural jump in athletic ability we see in the NBA and NFL plus a jump in training methods, and without shrouds of uncertainty we have the recipe for monstrous numbers.

Compare Cal Ripken, the first 6’4” athletic SS, with his next generation’s likeness, Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod, statistically and in the field (that is, in total) is the best SS ever, plus, he’s proven to be damn good as a third baseman. Like Ripken he is 6’4” but like Tiger woods to Jack Nicklaus, Rodriguez is playing a game with which Ripken is unfamiliar.

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Written by dwil

June 24, 2007 at 6:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Spotes Notes, 6.22.07: Bogut on NBA and U.S. Culture; Steroids and the PGA; Jeff George on NFLN; Dr. Harry Edwards Drops Gems

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tiger1.jpgAussie Aussie Aussie – Oh Oh No! 

“The public’s image of NBA players is true. A lot of them get caught up in the hype and do video clips with rappers and all that crap….

…and you’re thinking, ‘awwww shizizzizzit, the dude who said this is about to get absolutely — Kilt! That’s right, K-I-L-L-E-D, Kilt!!’

As Mr. Smith Comes to Bristol says:


I agree with the person who uttered these words. That’s right, I a-gree —– from his perspective, I totally agree; from mine, for the most part.

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Written by dwil

June 22, 2007 at 6:32 pm

The Dave Zirin Interview

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zirin.jpgDave Zirin is a lightning rod for trouble. He is a white man who boldly stepped into the arena of sports and race and politics – and took the side of the underdog. He has been attacked by writers like me (dwil) who questioned his conviction, his purpose, and his motives; questioned why a white man would chance the comfort of his skin color’s privilege to champion female athletes and athletes of color. He is still attacked by the other side who question his politics, mistaking his beyond progressive politics for the overly simplistic label of liberal-leftist.

By withstanding these attacks through plainly facing his critics, Zirin stands even taller than most allegedly insightful sports writing peers. What separates him from them is the depth of his understanding of the intersection of race and sports and politics, and society.

Now, he is feared by shallow members of the sports media, respected by thinkers who too see beyond the games into the dark morass of the corporate fray; into the fear-based sickness on which rests the pillars of institutional racism and sexism.

Dave Zirin is one sports writer who is unafraid to place his beliefs before the glare of the sun’s harsh light and unafraid to search moonless nights for hidden truths. In the following interview we explore these beliefs and these truths with him.


dwil, mizzo


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Written by dwil

June 22, 2007 at 12:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Good Day Sunshine: Adam Jones, Barry Bonds and the Burden of Proof

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barryyoung.jpgWe have a serious disconnect here in the land of the not-so free and the home of the brave few in the sporting world. This is the arena where judgment is laid down before the judging is done. This is the place where opinion matters far more than truth. The place where strangers swear they know – and those knowing are far too often silent.


David Roger of the Clark County district attorney’s office (Las Vegas, NV) has charged Tennessee Titans cornerback Adam Jones with two counts of “felony coercion.” Jones is charged with punching a woman (stripper) in the face “two or three times,” with biting a man (security guard) on the leg, and making a gesture that the same man interpreted as pulling a gun.

Jones, according to Rich Eisen of NFL Network, alleges that Jones was the chief instigator of the fight.


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Written by dwil

June 21, 2007 at 8:07 am

Black Jesus Wears #24

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kobemitch.jpgThe person becomes the persona until the persona crushes the person.


On the basketball court he is a lyricist like no other. His flows resonate so deeply with his audience that they are left gasping at the end of his show. In between, syncopated beats go well beyond the set 16 bars, sometimes shortened to 12, eight, and then in a moment when he seems to hang there while the world stops…

the bars go on forever.

They hate his West Coast sensibilities. ESPN must stay awake each time he plays a concert because no one knows when the 50s might drop – like they did last year. Fifty after 50 after 50 after 50 after…. like there was a little red suit Chapelle demon sitting on his shoulder screaming, Win nigga win! Win, damn you! Wiiiiin!!!

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Written by dwil

June 20, 2007 at 6:12 am

Posted in LA Lakers, Phil Jackson