Dusty’s Blog: In defense of Dwight Howard

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So I listened to the most recent Stunt Granny Sports Audio, as you all should. If you haven’t yet, scroll down a few posts and do it now. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Okay, good. Now, I have liked Eric2 since day one, and not just because he sounds exactly like Mike Ryan. I have always seen him to be smart and his arguments steeped in reasoning and logic.

But his rant on Dwight Howard in this most recent audio sent me through the roof and I feel like it demands a rebuttal. Eric2 must have recorded this audio from Mars or something, because he was out of this world with his opinions here. So off on my soapbox I go.

So often, people fall into the trap of labeling a player a “loser” just because they haven’t won a championship. It takes no foresight to say a player is a loser. He is a loser all the way up until he wins a championship, and then all of a sudden he’s a winner. Well, of course, common sense would indicate that there is a lot more nuance to it than that.

LeBron James is the perfect example. People were banging the drum for years that he was a loser, that he would never be able to carry a team to a championship, he was soft, he had no low post game, etc etc. One by one he checked off all the boxes and has proven what I, and many other people who don’t have their heads buried in the sand, have known for a long time: he’s the best player to ever play the game. Even better than that Jordan guy, absolutely.

The only reason why Derrick Rose won that MVP award a couple seasons back is because he was the second best guy in the league. The voters didn’t want to acknowledge LeBron existed, so Rose was left holding the bag, no matter how flimsy a case he may have had. No matter how dominant LeBron was over him in their match-ups. LeBron was a loser, he had no post up game, he couldn’t win a championship on his own, and they just plain didn’t like him.

Of course, since then, he has carried the Heat to two straight championships, with Bosh and Wade taking a back seat to his leadership, he’s developed a low post game to make himself even more dominant as an inside-outside threat, and the critics have all shut their big fat yaps, because there’s really nothing negative to bring up about the guy right now other than his receding hairline.

And so the No Vision Brigade turns its brain dead attention to Dwight Howard. Reality is that he might be the second best player in the league right now, behind only LeBron. That absolutely does not matter to the No Cluers, he’s a loser to them, and will continue to be one all the way up until he wins a championship.

Which he absolutely will do in Houston, provided a couple things happen. For one, the Heat’s Big Three (and it is a big Three, don’t try to pretend to me that Bosh isn’t a top 15 player in the NBA) will have to break up after this next season. (A season in which they will win their third straight NBA championship, and that big loser LeBron will win another MVP award.) There is no way Mickey Arison is going to want to eat that much money again in luxury tax hits. At least one of them is going to be leaving. (And it’s a column for another time, but there is no way LeBron is going back to Cleveland. Or anywhere other than Miami. It will be Bosh or Wade who leave.)  The Heat doing a mini breakup will level the playing field for the other top contenders, and open the door to a team such as the Rockets possibly winning the championship two years from now.

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Stunt Granny Sports Show #11

Yes indeed it is yet another Stunt Granny Sports Show. Jeremy and Eric2 are back and get right in to the big stories for a change. They discuss the Aaron Hernandez problem. How stupid is this guy? Is it worse t leave a trail of bred crumbs or a trail of chewing gum? Does the color matter? Just how does technology work? Does smashing your cell phone erase history? How happy is Tim Tebow that the spotlight is not on him for a change? Why was Tim Tebow hanging at a bar anyway? Manny Ramirez, remember him? Well he is back with the Texas Rangers on a minor league contract Problem is, um, wasn’t this guy suspended for a hundred games? How did he get around that? Does MLB understand simple arithmetic? Why is it acceptable for Ramirez to return to baseball in the states while MLB is actively pursuing removing layers they have no concrete proof of using P.E.D’s?  There is also some Dwight Howard talk. How much of a surprise is it that he chose not to return to The Lakers? Eric2 has some choice words on the matters wile Jeremy wonders just what is the difference between a zebra and a giraffe. Of course this leads in to a discussion on Giraffe fighting, hence the video. So enjoy.

Stunt Granny Sports Show #11

Dusty’s Blog: Following The Dwight Howard Sweepstakes

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Eagle Eyed Dusty on the case here, doing some investigative reporting work here like you’ve never seen before.

Dwight Howard is an indecisive chap. He couldn’t even decide where he was going to make his decision. (He finally chose Podunk, Colorado, because of course he did.) What follows is an itemization of his decision making process thus far.

UPDATED! See number six.

1. The Lakers are out. ESPN.com reported last night that sources within the Lakers camp expressed concern that Howard might not be re-signing with them. I ran that sentence through the Babelfish translator and it came back: “Howard told Kobe to piss off.” So they are out.

Let me take a second here to say something about that, though. According to the articles I read, during the Lakers pitch to Howard, Kobe basically lectured Howard on how he wasn’t a winner, but Kobe is, and Kobe can teach him how to become a winner by watching him. What amount of bullshit is that? How insulting, first of all. Second of all, this “Dwight is a loser” thing is rubbish. It’s just like Lebron James. He’s a loser until he wins, then he’s a winner.

I don’t think it’s all that far of a branch to go off on to say that Dwight already has to what it takes to carry a team to a championship. He almost did it with the Magic when their next best player was Hedo Turkoglu. If the luxury tax ever breaks up the Heat, Dwight is going to win multiple championships wherever he decides to go. Consider him the modern day Hakeem Olajuwon.

2. The Warriors are out. They managed to get the Jazz to take on the asinine nonsense contracts of Brandon Rush, Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson, thus effectively clearing enough cap room for Howard. So, of course, they immediately turn around and sign Andre Iguodola with that money.

I suppose they could still do a sign-and-trade with the Lakers for Andrew Bogut’s contract and Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes. Only two problems there. One is that the Lakers are not at all interested in doing business with the Warriors, from everything they’ve said or kinda said or not really said but really said. For another, the numbers still don’t work and the Warriors don’t have a fourth guy to throw in, and so logistically I’m not sure it really works at all.

And for a third thing, if that deal does go through, ho man is that a thin team after Howard, Iggy and Stephen Curry. Sheesh.  So they’re out.

3. The Mavericks are out. This headline just went up on ESPN.com. This marks the first time I’ve been wrong since ’82, because I totally thought he would go to Dallas to play alongside Dirk Nowitzki. Oh well.

Apparently Dwight’s people informed Mark Cuban that they are out of the running, and Cuban immediately notified the media via email. Howard did not give any inclination as to what team he did decide to go to.

4. So that leaves the Hawks and Rockets. I have been adamant during this whole thing that Howard is not going to the rockets. For one thing, I hate them. For another thing, it’s not really an ideal situation. They already blew their wad on Omer Asik to play center when they failed to get Pau Gasol last offseason. Unless they want to play two centers, they would have to unload Asik and his dumb contract somewhere else, and then all you have is Howard and James Harden and another paper thin team. So that leaves…

5. He’s going to the Hawks. I am going out on a limb and reporting this as fact. You can thank me after the fact. I was wrong, as I initially believed no sane person would ever want to play in Atlanta, but there you go. They are well under the salary cap, so they can basically mold the team around Howard however they see fit, with multiple other free agents coming in. They already have Al Horford and Kyle Korver as well, and Jeff Teague could be coming back. It’s really not a bad situation to fall into.

And it’s the one he’s going to fall into! You can take it to the bank.

(Dusty’s note: In this life, I play two games, and two games only. One is backgammon. The other is the lesser known, just as good, If I’m Wrong I’m Supposed To Be Wrong But If I’m Right I’m A Genius game. I’m not saying,  I’m just saying.)

6. He has informed everyone but the Rockets that he will not be going there. So I was wrong about the Hawks. That’s the first time I’ve been wrong since ’82. Interesting to see how this shakes out now, because you gotta believe Asik is going to be all “Uh uh, I ain’t having this.” The Rockets could prove to be a legit championship contender next season if they can get the right package in return for Asik and his Adam’s apple.

Dusty’s Blog: Five Very Important Basketball Opinionz 4 U

That’s right. I’m going to be inundating you all with blogs and nonsense until Jeremy completely takes away my posting abilities. Fuck everything.

In any event, the recent NBA Draft has renewed my interest in basketball. So here are five very important 04u concerning the NBA as it stands right now with offseason fury just about to heat up.

1. Bill Simmons is an idiot. No no no. You know what? I’m going to save this one for a blog tomorrow. Hold that thought.

1. The Decision 2.0. This one isn’t as important as Lebron James’ Decision, since it will lead to a grand total of 0 NBA Championships, but damn if there isn’t a lot of hubbub and excitement and general pants wetting about where Dwight Howard is going to end up.

It looks like he has five main options. Go back to the Lakers, or go to the Rockets, Mavericks, Hawks 0r Warriors. Now, the way I see it, the Warriors have a zero percent chance of getting him. They have next to no cap room, so they would have to do a sign-and-trade to get him. Problem is, all of their bad players are the ones making the most money. They would have to trade a bunch of their smaller contract good players to make it work, at which point it wouldn’t work at all, because all that would be left is Howard and the nonsense guys. Surely they know this, and the whole Howard courtship thing is probably just a PR move to show their fans they’re trying stuff.

I also don’t think he will be going back to the Lakers. He and Kobe supposedly can’t stand each other, and in Mike D’Antoni’s system, he and Pau Gasol occupy the exact same space. It’s just a poor fit. The Lakers will be better without him, too. Mark my words. And I don’t think it will be the Hawks, because historically, no player of any repute ever wants to go to Atlanta.

So it’ll come down to the Rockets or the Mavericks. I’m going to guess he chooses the Mavericks. And I haven’t been wrong about anything ever since 1982, so there you go. I can’t stand the guy – he thinks he’s funny when he’s not, he blocks shots into the crowd, and he’s just generally got an annoying way about him. I largely see him as a career good-player-on-a-bad-team type. But he’s got really good defensive advanced metrics, so you kinda have to want him if you got the money to get him. A Catch 22.

2. The Draft. I know the pick was largely panned, and there’s footage floating around the internet of the Bobcats fans booing the pick during the draft party in Charlotte, but I’m going to go out on a branch and say Cody Zeller is not only my favorite rookie this coming season, he’s going to win the Rookie of the Year award too.

He’s coming into a great situation. The Bobcats have no inside offense whatsoever. Bismarck Biyombo is good defensively but a black hole with the ball in his hands. Josh McRoberts is a solid role player, but nothing to write home about. Tyrus Thomas is a corpse. So there’s plenty of room for Zeller to get 20 points and 10 rebounds per game with enough playing time. He has a versatile, inside-outside game, and he can feed off the solid backcourt of Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson. I’m not saying this is all of a sudden a playoff team or anything, just that it’s a good fit for both parties. We’ll see. I’m on the record.

3. The 76ers trade Jrue Holliday. The official trade was Holliday to the Pelicans (the fucking Pelicans) for Nerlens Noel and next year’s first round pick, provided it isn’t picks one through five. I absolutely love this deal for the Pelicans. For one thing, Holliday is an all star point guard, perhaps the most important position in basketball now that the traditional seven foot post up center has gone the way of the dodo bird. For another thing, he’s only 23 years old. For a third thing, I think Noel is total garbage.

Sure, he was the most hyped dood going into the draft this year. But he has several things working against. For one thing, he has no offensive game whatsoever. He makes Biyombo and Hasheem Thabeet look like Shaq in his prime. Or even Shaq now, probably. For another thing, he appears to weigh less than Kate Moss in her prime. Or even Kate Moss now. And for a third thing, he had a real sour grapes look on his face as he watched five guys get picked ahead of him in the draft. Now, I’m not any kind of body language expert (oh shit, I promised to talk about Bill Simmons next time, I keep forgetting), but I want a guy who handles that situation better. Give me a Full Metal Jacket, I’ve seen that before that doesn’t affect me at all look. Keep that sour puss to yourself, son.

4. The Knicks-Nets pissing contest. Talk about a dick measuring competition. They are so busy trying to one-up each other, I’m getting dizzy. But are they really doing anything productive? Let’s take a look here.

The Nets just made a big trade to get Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry from the Celtics. I’m not a fan of this deal at all. Pierce might have something left, but Garnett is done and Terry sucks. If you do a straight up comparison of starters between the new look Nets and Pacers, the Pacers come out ahead everywhere except maybe point guard. Maybe Deron Williams is better than George Hill. But the Pacers have the other four spots on lock. And don’t even think the Nets are better than the Heat. Don’t make me laugh.

The Knicks are in even worse shape. They just traded a bunch of stuff (Steve Novak, Marcus Camby, Quentin Richardson and 832 draft picks) to the Raptors for Andrea Bargnani. This is complete insanity. I was telling Shahid the other day, I think Novak is better than Bargnani. He costs a lot less, is less injury prone and better looking. That point is debatable, but when you factor in everything else the Knicks gave up in order to get a really expensive injury guy who can’t play defense, it’s just dumb. It’s really fucking dumb. And what can I say about them courting Elton Brand. If ever there was a cry for help, there you go.

The bottom line is that neither team is better than the Heat and Pacers. The Nets are probably the third best team in the east again, and the Knicks take a step back. But man, they sure made some headlines!

5. The Clippers. I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk briefly about my childhood favorite team. Getting Doc Rivers for what would surely be a low draft pick, so that they can ensure re-signing Chris Paul was genius. And they just made a trade today, giving up Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler and getting JJ Redick from the Bucks and Jared Dudley from the Suns. I like that deal a lot for them.

I’m going all in here, saying the Heat beat the Clippers in six in next year’s NBA Finals. If I’m wrong, I will simply delete this post so that you have no proof I ever made the prediction.

Stunt Granny Sports Show #8

This has nothing to do with anything other than being awesome.

This has nothing to do with anything other than being awesome.

All right everyone are you ready for another edition of Stunt Granny Sports Show? Wait, where you going? Seriously stay here and listen. Eric2 and Jeremy are back again in continue their conversation from last week o gay and lesbian athletes in professional American sports. How convenient was it that Jason Collins came out a ere three days after Stunt Granny Sports Show #7 was posted? Was this part of a coup for Stunt Granny? Nope; it was mere coincidence. Anyway, the fellas talk about Jason Collins and his decision to open up about his sexuality.How does his former fiancee feel about this?  Now that he is out will he find it harder to find a job? Does his status as an “end of the bench player” hurt his job opportunities? Will anyone remember him once the next NBA season free agency period begins? How did Metta World Peace get in on the action?  Then here is Geno Smith?Is this guy really as bad as you are led to believe ? Is this just another poor decision by The New York Jets? Why does there seem to always be the on “it”person that receives mountains of scrutiny? Is it justified? Should we be thanking Geno Smith for ridding the airwaves of Tim Tebow talk? Kobe Bryant is kind of a polarizing figure and boy has he not helped himself now. Who sends out a cease and desist letter on one of his own mothers auctions? Well when the woman is trying to sell your stuff for a profit when you won’t give her all the money she wants for a house then you have your answer. Is Kobe obligated to pay outright for his moms house just because he makes ridiculous money? Does their icy history mean this is going to turn ugly? There is also a discussion about the NCAA and their failed practices of not offering health coverage for athletes according to The Atlantic. It is a startling read and should not be ignored like it has by ESPN and most major outlets. So read that and then listen to the show because he guys have their opinions on all this and much more so give it a listen.

Stunt Granny Audio #197

Sweet Jesus this has to be a special occasion as Stunt Granny presents Stunt Granny Audio Show #197: The Asshole Edition. Yes, that’s right it is Eric and Jeremy bringing all sorts of opinions that you won’t agree with at all. Well too bad, the boys discuss Eric’s plan to sell his Masters of the Universe figures. Is now a good time or should he wait for the movie? They also discuss WWE firing Abraham, Washington and why it was totally justified. They then take great joy in the comic stylings of Brian Jossie. Wait, did Stunt Granny join Tout? What the hell did Kevin Nash do this week to be discussed and how does he tie in to CM Punk and Kurt Angle. Not to be left out Ring of honor takes a beating as does their champion Kevin Steen. Why? Why would we do this? Well, all you have to do is listen.

Stunt Granny Audio Show #197

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