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Archive for the ‘TRACY MCGRADY’ Category

THE 10 COOLEST ATHLETES I’VE EVER MET

Posted by HG on June 22, 2007

I was 10 years old the first time I met an athlete. My pops had taken me to an N.C. State basketball game, and after the game he got us down to the Wolfpack locker room exit. It was the highlight of my life to that point. I got to stand there, talk to, and get autographs from Sidney Lowe, Derek Whittenburg, Chuck Nevitt, and Jim Valvano. Thurl Bailey slipped out but I’d catch up to him later.

 When I say I got to talk to, I might be slightly overstating it. Lowe and Whittenburg couldn’t have said more than 15 words to me..combined. And I was talking to Chuck Nevitt’s girlfriend more than I was talking to Big Chuck. She was telling me a story about Chuck buying a boat… Jim Valvano talked to me a little bit but the greatest thing about him was his consistency. He kept calling me A.C. instead of H.G. I met him about 10 years later when he was working for ABC and in town to call a Louisville/UCLA game. He kept calling me A.C. instead of H.G.

Since then, through work and dumb luck, I’ve crossed paths with a number of athletes. In the brief time that I’ve talked to any of them, I’ve always wound up with an impression. It’s probably not fair to judge somebody that quickly, but it’s all I get.

10. Bobby Bonilla: I met Bobby at a celebrity golf tournament. I was there as a member of the media, not being a celebrity, obviously. We talked Pirates, he talked cigars, and then we just stood around bullshittin’ for about 5 minutes. People passing by could only assume we had known each other for years.

9. Warren Sapp: 99 could be on the list or off the list. The first time I met him, he was still a Buc and Tampa had just signed Keyshawn. He was more than happy to chop it. He kept reiterating that Key was the key and now they were gonna win the Superbowl. The second time I met him, he was a Raider, and he didn’t have two words for me.

8. Lennox Lewis: I guess knowing you can knock out anybody in the building probably leaves you pretty relaxed. That’s what Lennox was. Real relaxed, real English, but he really didn’t wanna talk about Mike Tyson. He was still boxing at the time, so we mostly talked boxing. We talked a little music and he swore that when he hung up the gloves he was done.

7. Eric Karros: There’s no one time for EK. I met him a couple of times over the years and he was always cool. He didn’t take the business of baseball too seriously, but he loved the game. He always had time to talk baseball, and he’s good for a joke about an opposing team/player.

6. Tracy McGrady: I talked to T-Mac for about 10 minutes at a party. He had just joined the Rockets, which was precluded by rumors of Shaq going to Orlando to be teamed up with McGrady. T-Mac gave me his opinions on why the deal never got done, but said Houston was a good move too. We gm’d on what some of the other teams in the league should do, and he told me the things he was gonna miss most in Orlando. It was just an average conversation between an NBA player and some dude at a party.

5. Thurl Bailey: Meeting him wasn’t as cool as it was sentimental. I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet Thurl without Karl Malone arranging the meeting. We talked N.C. State hoops for a little  bit, and then I asked him to sign the “Go Pack” sheet that had the Valvano, Nevitt, Lowe, and Whittenburg autographs on it. I thought he was gonna cry. You should have seen how that piece of paper took him back in time. It was a great moment, and to this day those are the only 4 5 autographs I have.

4. Lenny Harris/Mike Sharperson/Darryl Strawberry: I went to the worst/best post game barbecue in the early 90s. It was bad because there wasn’t much food, the grill was on somebody’s patio, and there weren’t more than 3 ladies there. Then Lenny, Sharp (R.I.P.), and Strawberry rolled in and things livened up a little. Lenny Harris was in rare form, Sharperson wasn’t sure who they played next (it was Atlanta, and the games were important. The Dodgers were in a pennant race.), and they all wanted to get the hell out of there before Kal Daniels showed up. They were gonna go out on the town for the night and they didn’t wanna drag him around. Kal showed up to everybody’s dismay (I think even me and my buddies by this point). Darryl was cool as could be, and even sought us out before he left to say “nice to meet y’all”. He then got in his black Mercedes, cranked the beat, and bounced. He was dope.

3. Karl Malone and John Stockton: I didn’t meet them together but you can’t have one without the other. I got a chance to do some work with Karl, and I gotta say he pretty much is what you see on tv. A big country dude that prefers a small city and starry nights. He’ll say some shit that will have you dyin’, not neccesarily intentionally, but he was a cool cat.

I met John Stockton after a Jazz/Clippers game. It was weird… The Jazz weren’t in any hurry to get to the bus or anything like that and I ended up standing there, talking, to John Stockton… and Peter Vecsey walks over. It didn’t ruin the conversation I was having with Stockton although it didn’t make it better either. The best part of the conversation was when John was breaking down Utah’s pick and roll, explaining how they have limitless options depending on what the defense does, and basically saying Stockton/Malone= Unstoppable.

2. Chris Webber: I useta go out with a chick that thought Chris Webber was the finest man on the planet. You could call her a C-Webb Stan. When I met Webber, we started off talking basketball, and during the conversation I thought about Ms. C-Webb Stan. Camera phones weren’t around yet, but I did have my trusty recorder that I carried with me everywhere for work purposes. I told Webber that I had a friend that thought he was the biz and asked if he could say something nice to her on tape. He takes the recorder and does 1 minute 30 seconds of telling her how much he’d like to meet her and if things go well they can get married in his backyard. It was some of the funniest shit I had ever heard. As you can guess, she was pretty damn happy with that tape.

1. Derek Fisher: Probably one of the top ten coolest people I’ve ever met. You’d be hard pressed to find somebody with a bad word to say about D-Fish. I’ve met him through work and in social settings and he’s been the same all the time. Cool and down to the Earth.

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Posted in BOBBY BONILLA, CHRIS WEBBER, COOL ATHLETES, DARRYL STRAWBERRY, DEREK FISHER, ERIC KARROS, JOHN STOCKTON, KARL MALONE, LENNOX LEWIS, LENNY HARRIS, MIKE SHARPERSON, N.C. STATE, THURL BAILEY, TRACY MCGRADY, WARREN SAPP | 2 Comments »

KEVIN GARNETT, ALLEN IVERSON, OR KOBE OFFERED FOR #1 PICK?

Posted by HG on June 11, 2007

According to information provided by the Oregonian’s Jason Quick and my assumptive deduction, 2 players from the Garnett, Iverson, and Kobe trio were recently offered to Portland in exchange for the #1 pick. You can listen to Jason drop the hint here or just check out this quick excerpt:

“I know that two Western Conference teams have offered their superstars in return for the number one pick… And they are Hall of Famers and the Blazers have turned them down on both.”

There you have it. So how did I end up with Kobe, KG, and AI representing the players on the block? Walk with me.

NO CONSIDERATION: Portland and Seattle obviously. New Orleans, Memphis, Utah, Golden State, and Sacramento all have zero Hall of Famers on their rosters at this moment.

NOT YET: Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, and the L.A. Clippers all have players that are close or should play their way into the Hall of Fame. Dirk Nowitzki should be in one day, Tracy McGrady needs a few more solid years and he has to do some damage in the playoffs, Yao Ming could get in one day if he continues to improve, and Elton Brand has a legitimate chance if he continues on his current pace. I don’t have Steve Nash from Phoenix in the Hall of Fame yet. I know Steve has the two MVPs but his career numbers 14pts, 7.6ast, and 2.9rbds, are still lower than Stephon Marbury’s 19.9pts, 7.9ast, and 3.0rbds, even with Nash’s incredible 3 season stretch.

NOW WE’RE TALKING: San Antonio, Denver, Minnesota, and the L.A.L are the only teams in the Western Conference that have Hall of Fame locks on their rosters right now. Let’s go ahead and assume that the Spurs aren’t dealing Duncan. That’s a safe bet right? Well, that leaves Allen Iverson, Kevin Garnett, and Kobe Bryant as the only players that could have been offered to Portland.

So who were the two players? I could see Minnesota making that offer. They would set Garnett free and start over with a major chip in their pocket. The T-Wolves would have been looking at a young nucleus of Oden/Durant, Randy Foye, and Rashad McCants (depending on what you think of McCants’ game). The Nuggets would presumably move Iverson out, bring in Durant/Oden and piece either one of them together with Melo, Camby, J.R. Smith, and hold on to Steve Blake. What about the Lakers offering Kobe? I can’t see Portland turning down a trade offer that includes Kobe Bean Bryant unless they are so turned off by his off the court problems, and so wary of his emotions that they wouldn’t want the best player in the league on their roster. Plus, the Lakers would become a non-factor for a couple of years while their young roster developed. I can’t see the La-La land management doing that.

That means (to me) that Minnesota tried to trade K.G. and the Nuggets tried to trade Allen Iverson for Portland’s number one. I guess the Blazers figured why trade for aging superstars with a ton of mileage when they have the chance to draft a player that they could have for the next 15 years. Portland was right on with this decision. They’re not an A.I. or Garnett away from the championship so there’s no need to bite at the lure of a big name.

I originally peeped this story over at Henry Abbott’s True Hoop. It’s the ninth link down. Courtesy of ESPN and True Hoop

You can read the paraphrased version of Casey Holdahl’s interview with Jason Quick here, or you can listen to the entire interview here.

This is the snippet of Jason Quick on the two Western Conference teams offering Hall of Famers for the #1 pick.

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Posted in ALLEN IVERSON, DIRK NOWITZKI, ELTON BRAND, HALL OF FAME, KEVIN GARNETT, KOBE BRYANT, MISC., NBA, NBA TRADE, NUMBER ONE PICK, PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS, SEATTLE SUPERSONICS, SPORTS, STEVE NASH, TIM DUNCAN, TRACY MCGRADY, WESTERN CONFERENCE, YAO MING | 46 Comments »

BLOGGAS BE TYPIN

Posted by HG on May 7, 2007

Freddy Garcia attacks cart, then gets carted off. Courtesy of Babes Love Baseball

Jeff Van Gundy not leaving Houston? Courtesy of MSNBC (not exactly a blog but w/e)

Basketball can tear a family apart. Courtesy of Ball Hype

Did ESPN suspend Keith Olbermann? Courtesy of The Big Lead

Sopranos and Entourage vs. The Philadelphia Phillies. Courtesy of The 700 Level

Ashy Larry is having a bad couple of weeks. Courtesy of SOHH

Vernon Wells loves his detractors. Courtesy of Our Book of Scrap

Steve Nash is calling out somebody on his team. Courtesy of Larry Brown Sports

KG lets T-Mac know it wasn’t his fault. Courtesy of The Hype Guy

Floyd Mayweather Sr.= The Crypt Keeper. Courtesy of Concrete Loop

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Posted in ASHY LARRY, ENTOURAGE, FLOYD MAYWEATHER SR., FREDDY GARCIA, JEFF VAN GUNDY, KEITH OLBERMANN, KEVIN GARNETT, MISC., PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES, SOPRANOS, SPORTS, STEVE NASH, TRACY MCGRADY, UTAH V GOLDEN ST., VERNON WELLS | 2 Comments »

EA SPORTS: OUR COVERS ARE SAFE

Posted by HG on May 7, 2007

john_madden_football.jpeg

We’re all familiar with the Madden jinx whether we believe it or not. I’m a believer. Hell, I tried to have one of my ex-girlfriends put on the cover.. The EA peeps are kinda tight when it comes to the covers so I had to resort to voodoo… I guess my roots worked cause she just got sentenced to 45 days in jail…Anyways… There are some people that don’t believe in the Madden curse.. Namely the employees over at EA Sports:

While much has been made over the years for the “Madden jinx”, landing on the pack of one of EA’s high popular games has actually been a good omen for many of today’s biggest stars. Consider this:

  • Tony Stewart, a two-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion, has appeared twice previously as an EA SPORTS spokesman. After covering EA’s NASCAR franchise in 2001, Stewart won the 2002 title, while the driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet again won in 2005 after fronting NASCAR Thunder 2004.
  • After gracing the cover of MVP Baseball 2004, St. Louis Cardinals All-Star Albert Pujols went on to be named the MVP of the 2004 NLCS in leading the Cardinals to the World Series.
  • Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat won the 2006 NBA title after Wade covered NBA LIVE 06.
  • Tracy McGrady (NBA LIVE 07) averaged nearly 25 ppg to lead the Houston Rockets to the NBA Playoffs, where they are knotted 2-2 in the first round with the Utah Jazz.
  • Need we mention Tiger Woods?
  • I can easily shoot down EA’s argument by saying yeah but:

    • Tony Stewart tends to act like a jackass.
    • The Cardinals got swept in the World Series and are playing like crap now.
    • Dwayne Wade cried on the basketball court and his team got swept out of the playoffs.
    • McGrady and the Rockets lost game 7 at home.
    • Tiger Woods got married.

    If EA Sports really wants to prove they don’t believe in the curse I think CEO Larry Probst should be on the cover of the next Madden. He would probably end up getting eaten by an alligator, and the Madden franchise would become second fiddle to Tirico Football.

    Madden Jinx: EA Sports’ rebuttal. Courtesy of The Sporting News

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    Posted in ALBERT PUJOLS, DWAYNE WADE, EA SPORTS, JINX, JOHN MADDEN FOOTBALL, LARRY PROBST, MISC., PARIS HILTON, SPORTS, TIGER WOODS, TONY STEWART, TRACY MCGRADY, VOODOO | 1 Comment »

    I SAID IT WOULDN’T BE EASY

    Posted by HG on May 4, 2007

    tired-yao-and-tmac.jpg

    I’m not even a real Rockets fan and my stomach is in knots. Houston had the perfect opportunity to shutdown this series and they let it slip right through their hands.. Literally.. Turnover after turnover.. Bad shot after bad shot. It was like they said “hey we could win now, but let’s wait till we get home and share this with the fans”. At least that’s what I’m hoping they were thinking.

    I tried to be as positive as possible about game 6 and I thought it was working… 75-74, Utah in the lead, Houston has the ball with 8:15 left in the game.. Things were looking really good. Then Kirilenko decided to wake up. Andrei blocked a Juwan Howard gimme layup, forced a T-Mac turnover, and blocked a McGrady drive to the basket. Even with all of that, the Rockets were still in good position down 77-76, 4:45 left in the game… Little did I know, Utah would go on a 17-6 run to close the game. So close. So frustrating.

    Game 7. I don’t care what Tracy says, this is the biggest game of his career. This is his latest attempt to move on to the 2nd round so this has to be the most important game for him. Before this series started McGrady said it’s all on him. I’m gonna stick with that. Tracy, do this for you. Do it for Houston… And positively do it for my blog. A game 7 at home with the chance to shake off your playoff demons is all the motivation you need.

    Rockets and Jazz game 6 play by play. Thank you ESPN.com

    The Law of Attraction and the Houston Rockets. Thank me

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    Posted in ANDREI KIRILENKO, GAME 6, GAME 7, HOUSTON ROCKETS, LAW OF ATTRACTION, NBA, NBA PLAYOFFS, SPORTS, TRACY MCGRADY, UTAH JAZZ, YAO MING | Leave a Comment »

    TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT

    Posted by HG on May 3, 2007

    THE HOUSTON ROCKETS WILL DOMINATE THEIR COMPETITION

    Let’s Go Rockets!! Tonight’s the night Tracy and Yao will finally advance to the second round of the playoffs. I know the game’s in Utah and the Rockets have struggled there, but it’s going down tonight. At this point I can’t tell if I’m being positive or delusional. I just watched San Antonio and Phoenix close out their series (at home but so what), and now it’s time for Houston to do the same. Utah, thanks for the memories.. We’ll see you next year. The Houston Rockets are moving on to the second round.

    DIGG IT  *  DEL.ICIO.US  *  REDDIT  *  BALL HYPE

    Posted in 2ND ROUND, BASKETBALL, CHUCK HAYES, DIKEMBE MUTOMBO, HOUSTON ROCKETS, JUWAN HOWARD, LUTHER HEAD, NBA, NBA PLAYOFFS, RAFER ALSTON, SHANE BATTIER, TRACY MCGRADY, YAO MING, YOUTUBE | 1 Comment »

    GET THAT WEAK SHEEP OUTTA HERE

    Posted by HG on May 2, 2007

    Whew…. I got nervous when my buddy called me and said “yo, have you seen that video of T-Mac in a skirt tossing a sheep?” I’m happy to report that the video is just a commercial for vitamin water. At least this explains the chronic back problems. I’m pretty sure the PETA nuts folks will have some sort of mutton beef with the CGI abuse of a ewe… After they get done with Michael Vick’s cousin of course. 

    **POST UPDATE**

    A couple of my peoples got at me about not posting the Urlacher/Ortiz badminton vitamin water commercial. Yes I’ve seen it, no I didn’t want to post it because THIS IS ABOUT THE ROCKETS. Proving that I’m occassionally a nice guy (or that I have no backbone) here’s the commercial:

    T-Mac tossing a sheep. Courtesy of You Tube

    Brian Urlacher and David Ortiz dominating badminton. Courtesy of You Tube

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    Posted in HOUSTON ROCKETS, KILT, MISC., SHEEP TOSSING, SPORTS, T-MAC, TRACY MCGRADY, VITAMIN WATER, YOUTUBE | 14 Comments »

    1 DOWN 15 TO GO

    Posted by HG on April 22, 2007

    yao-1.jpg

    The positivity tour got off to a good start in Houston last night. Actually it got off to a slow start until Rockets head coach Jeff Van Gundy read my blog to his team at the half. Tracy McGrady, 1 point in the first half, was so inspired by my writing and support that he came out and scored 16 points in the 3rd quarter. T-Mac’s outburst combined with solid play from Yao Ming and Skip To My Lou led Houston to a 84-75 victory.

    I’m not gonna take all of the credit for this victory.. the players and coaching staff definitely did their parts. A lot of people say that you don’t need a coach in the NBA.. You can just roll the ball out and the guys will do what they do. Not true.

    Jeff Van Gundy is one of the best coaches invangundy1.jpg the league. He might not be as much of a pleasure to look at on the sidelines as Pat Riley or older brother Stan, but the dude can coach. Jeff has compiled a winning percentage of .574 in his 11 years in the league. He has only finished below .500 once when he has coached a full 82 game season.  I’ve had the opportunity to meet JVG twice. He pretty much yelled at me the first time (after the Lakers/Knicks, Kobe/Childs game), but he was much cooler the second time. That time we were heading over to Minute Maid Park for the All-Star game or the Homerun Derby..I can’t remember which. Regardless, we put the past behind us, and I’m looking forward to meeting him again when he’s the coach of the 2007 World Champion Houston Rockets.

    DIGG IT  *  DEL.ICIO.US  *  REDDIT  *  BALL HYPE

    Posted in BASKETBALL, HOUSTON ROCKETS, JEFF VAN GUNDY, LAW OF ATTRACTION, MISC., NBA, NBA PLAYOFFS, RAFER ALSTON, SKIP TO MY LOU, THE SECRET, TRACY MCGRADY, UTAH JAZZ, YAO MING | 2 Comments »

    THE NUMBERS EXPLANATION AND THE SECRET NBA TEAM

    Posted by HG on April 19, 2007

    I’m a fan of the Philadelphia 76ers. They didn’t make the playoffs so I don’t have a rooting interest in this year’s tournament. Since Philly’s out I can enjoy the basketball, but I don’t care who wins the title.. I’m just looking forward to some great series and incredible individual performances although it would be nice to pull for a team on a (every other) nightly basis. 

     I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with “The Secret”, but it’s the latest get rich quick scheme self-help concept spreading like wildfire. It’s a movie/documentary sort of thing that teaches about the Law of Attraction. To put the basic theme of “The Secret” in a nutshell, you are what you think and we all possess the ability to manifest things into our lives. According to the movie, in order to get your dream job, ideal mate, or happiness in general, you need to think positive, reinforce your positive thinking, and of course take action. You can check out the first 20 minutes of the movie below:

    This is the official website for “The Secret” and you can get the wiki11 here. As always, there’s two sides to every story so “The Secret” has a number people that think the whole idea is complete bullshit.

    What does this have to do with the NBA and sports? Nothing at all.. Until now. Lemme say thanks to everybody that took part in the “Can You Help A Brotha Out?? leave a number” post. I wanted to involve the masses because A) I’m a man of the people and B) I didn’t want there to be any suspicion about the validity of the team selected.

    Here’s what happened.. I put all of the teams that qualified for the NBA playoffs into a hat. I drew the teams from the hat one by one. Each team was assigned a number based on when they were drawn from the hat… For the slow people, I picked San Antonio from the hat first, so they were number one. New Jersey was drawn 2nd, so they represent the number 2,  et cetera. After giving all of the teams their number, I tallied the results of the CYHABO post to see which number received the most “votes”. The numbers 2 and 3 tied with 3 votes apiece. Here’s the breakdown of the votes per number:

    1. SAN ANTONIO (2 votes)
    2. NEW JERSEY (3 votes)
    3. HOUSTON (3 votes)
    4. MIAMI (1 vote)
    5. UTAH (0 votes)
    6. LA LAKERS (1 vote)
    7. DENVER (2 votes)
    8. CLEVELAND (1 vote)
    9. ORLANDO (2 votes)
    10. DETROIT (2 votes)
    11. DALLAS (1 vote)
    12. PHOENIX (1 vote)
    13. CHICAGO (1 vote)
    14. GOLDEN STATE (1 vote)
    15. WASHINGTON (2 votes)
    16. TORONTO (2 votes)

    To break the tie, I had to flip a coin (and throw the validity out the window). Heads was New Jersey and tails was Houston. The quarter landed on tails.

    yao-and-tracy.jpg

    So… I’m gonna test “The Secret”. Sort of. For the duration of the Rockets’ stay in the playoffs they are my “Secret” team. I’m gonna (and I encourage others to join me) try to only think positive thoughts about Houston. No Jeff Van Gundy humping Zo’s leg jokes… No reminiscing over Shaq dissing Asians welcoming Yao to the league, and definitely no “Houston we have a problem” references. I will post at least one positive comment about the Houston Rockets everyday until they win the championship.. Or get eliminated. I’m gonna have to be hella positive seeing as Tracy McGrady has never advanced to the second round of the playoffs, and the Rockets are facing a tough first round test in the Utah Jazz. The only glitch I can see with my plan is the “taking action” aspect. There’s no action that I could take that would increase the Rockets’ chances of winning it all. I don’t have 12  Jeff Gillooly’s aka Jeff Stone.

    There you have it. I wanted everybody to select a number in hopes of having one number dominate the polling. I didn’t wanna do the lottery on my own, pull SA, Dallas, Phoenix, Detroit, or Miami, and then have everyone thinking I rigged the contest. I guess “the best laid plans….”

    If you’re a fan of a team that didn’t make the playoffs or you just wanna have some dumb fun, join me in “secreting” the Rockets to a championship. 

    CAN YOU HELP A BROTHA OUT?? (apparently not many people could) Courtesy of You Been Blinded

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    Posted in BASKETBALL, COIN FLIP, EXPERIMENT, HELP ME OUT, LAW OF ATTRACTION, MISC., NBA, NBA PLAYOFFS, PHILADELPHIA 76ERS, SPORTS, THE SECRET, TRACY MCGRADY, YAO MING | 5 Comments »