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Monday, March 19, 2012

KBA Season Preview (2012)

#1 M. Sawyer Hoopers (Mario Sawyer)

Lottery Pick: Antoine "C'mooon Man" Williams
Sleeper Pick: Eric Rawls
Best Shooters: Antoine Williams and Keith Harris
Best Scorer: Derric Roberts
Best Rebounder: Eric Rawls
Most Likely to Violate League Anti-Profanity By-Law: Antoine Williams

What the Experts Have to Say: "We really like what this team has to offer. They have all the ingredients for a championship team. Antoine Williams and Keith Harris are zone busters and Derric Roberts has the ability to score at will. With Sawyer running the show, we expect a prolific offensive attack. The other thing that should not be overlooked is that this team is comprised of high-character guys. Don't expect them to have any suspensions or no-shows which often times can derail a championship season."

What the Haters Have to Say: "Man, these guys are some bums. The only reason they are ranked number one is because a lot of them played for Coach Maley's basketball team. What does he know? He couldn't even get his team out of the first round."

# 2 T-n-T (Trent Wigley)

Lottery Pick: Korey Williams
Sleeper Pick: Anthony "TO" Love
Best Shooter: Trent Wigley
Best Scorer: Korey Williams
Best Rebounder: Thomas Vinson
Most Likely to Complain about Every Call: Thomas Vinson

What the Experts Have to Say: "Mr. Wigley's selection of Korey Williams and Anthony Love will give T-n-T an athletic advantage over just about every team they will face this year. Watch out for Thomas Vinson to have a breakout season at the power forward spot after participating in an off-season plyometric training regimen which has him dunking a tennis ball on a semi-consistent basis in his PE leaders class."

What the Haters Have to Say: "Kolojo Okanlawon and Trent Wigley couldn't coexist in art class, how they going to be on the same team?

# 3 Team Elite

Lottery Pick: Latrell Atwood
Sleeper Pick: Patrick Owens
Best Shooter: Latrell Atwood
Best Scorer: Chris Pride
Best Rebounder: Saitu Wilford
Most Likely to Be Late to First Game: Dre Weathersby

What the Experts Have to Say: "You can't go wrong when you have Latrell Atwood at the point. This team will lead the league in three pointers made and should shoot a fairly high percentage from the field."

What the Haters Have to Say: "Team Elite? More like Team WewontCompete. Maybe if they were playing against Canter Middle, but this is the big time now. This team has too many guns on their team to win. There won't be enough basketballs to go around."

#4 J. Webb Ballers

Lottery Pick: Saintario Mitchell
Sleeper Pick: Markus Mallet
Best Shooter: Jelani Sankey
Best Scorer: Remy Price
Best Rebounder: Markus Mallet
Most Likely to get a Tech for Dunking during Warm-Ups: Saintario Mitchell

What the Experts Have to Say: "Remy Price in the Second Round? That's like being set up on a blind date with Halle Berry. How in the world did Webb pull that off? This team is loaded with talent and could win it all if all the pieces fall into place. Expect this team to lead the league in highlite reel plays."

What the Haters Have to Say: "This team is weak. You know Remy and Santario are going to miss all the games because of AAU. Without them, it's over."

# 5 Big E's (Chianthony Lee)

Lottery Pick: Zack "the elevator" Clark
Sleeper Pick: Leo Blakemore
Best Shooter: Jeff Jones
Best Scorer: Chianthony Lee
Best Rebounder and Male Model: Kyle Begusa
Most Likely to Lock his opponent Down: Jo-Jo Hill

What the Experts Have to Say: "Leo Blakemore was the biggest sleeper in the entire draft. There is no reason for him not to be at least a second round pick. Zack Clark will lead the league in blocked shots and pre/post game dunks."

What the Haters Have to Say: "Chianthony Lee and Kyle Begusa are going to "Self-Make" their way to a below .500 record."

#6 Ten Trey (Josh Cleveland)

Lottery Pick: Nashid Puckett
Sleeper Pick: Ogunleye's Squared
Best Shooter: Xavier Edwards
Best Scorer: Nashid Puckett
Best Rebounder: George Jones
Best Haircut: Tie between George Jones and Josh Cleveland

What the Experts Have to Say: "You don't want to go soft to the hole against these guys because Ten Trey is loaded with shot blockers. While Josh Cleveland and George Jones get all of the credit, don't be suprised if the Ogunleye Brothers swat your stuff into the fourth row."

What the Haters Have to Say: "These guys simply don't have what it takes to make it through the long grind of the KBA season."

#7 Stars (Eric McCree)

Lottery Pick: Joell Davis
Sleeper Pick: Khensura Love El
Best Shooter: Joell Davis
Best Scorer: Joell Davis
Best Rebounder: Michael Dabney
Most likely dive for a Loose Ball: Eric McCree

What the Experts Have to Say: "McCree is young and inexperienced as a coach, but like Brad Stevens at Butler and Shaka Smart at VCU, he might have what it takes to build a KBA dynasty over the next four years at Kenwood."

What the Haters Have to Say: "I'm not even going to waste my breath on these guys."

# 8 3 Hunna (Dontae Richmond)

Lottery Pick: Terrance King
Sleeper Pick: Mister Mister
Best Shooter: Mister Mister
Best Scorer: Terrance King
Best Rebounder: Chiquita Bradley
Most Likely to get a Technical: Raynard Jones

What the Experts Have to Say: "Terrance King has the abilty to carry a team to victory almost single-handedly. Look for him to be named league MVP if he can lead team 3 Hunna to an above 5 Hunna record."

What the Haters Have to Say: "There's no way Coach Maley is going to sit by and watch Captain Richmond ditch his class again without any KBA consequences. I expect that a suspension is forthcoming which could leave this team in disarray."

#9 The Unexpected

Lottery Pick: Jovonne Barrett
Sleeper Pick: Bahati Kimondo
Best Shooter: Jovonne Barrett
Best Scorer: Toshaun Polk
Best Rebounder: Toshaun Polk
Most Likely to attempt a dunk even though he has no chance of making it: Marcus

What the Experts Have to Say: "Bahati Kimondo was a great pick-up. While all the other male chauveunists passed her up, Sykes was able to find gold late in the draft. Look for her to send a message to all the captains who made the mistake of not drafting BK."

What the Haters Have to Say: "Jovonne Barrett in the first round?"

#10 Double Trouble (Jusilya Scott)

Lottery Pick: Kristina Williams
Sleeper Pick: Gary Barker
Best Shooter: Kenny Hart
Best Scorer: Kristina Williams
Best Rebounder: Darell Irons
Most likely to complain about not getting the ball enough: Anthony Hollins

What the Experts Have to Say: "Kristina Williams. Enough Said."

What the Haters Have to Say: "Jovonne Barrett in the first round? Whoops wrong team."

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day 1 of 2011 Season

LaQuinn Parks and Xavier Edwards Come Through in the Clutch

Team Laquinn 27
Team Hassan 26

The 2011 season picked up exactly where it left off last year as team LaQuinn (1-0) used some late game heroics courtesy of Xavier Edwards and Captain Parks to pull out a thrilling last second victory. Even with point guard extraordinaire Mario Sawyer locked down by arch nemesis Christopher "Lil Chris" Pride (See May 13, 2010), Team Parks was able to find a way to gut out the win. LaQuinn Parks had a monster game, finishing with 13 points, 17 rebounds, and 4 blocks. His lay-up with 10 seconds left, put his team up for good and sent the rauc
ous crowd into complete pandemonium. As a senior, Parks will have to file his KBA retirement papers in mid-June. He's hoping he'll be doing so with a KBA championship and league MVP trophy in hand. Today's performance certainly has him headed in that
direction. Fortunately for all of Parks fans, the KBA league office is releasing commemorative LaQuinn tee-shirts to honor the illustrious career of the sure-fire Hall of Famer. You better get em while they're hot, because if Parks continues to dominate, these will sell out fast.

It was the Hassan Hall show for Team Hassan (0-1). The captain finished with 15 points and three steals on the day. Side-kick Chris Pride couldn't get it going on the offensive end, but he was marvelous at defending Sawyer. CP33 used his length and athleticism to limit Mario's scoring opportunities, and helped keep his team in the game. The energy that he expended on the defensive end however, stifled his normally reliable lefty J. If CP33 is to live up to the pre-season First Team All-KBA expectations, he will have to improve his conditioning to be effective at both ends of the floor. Adonis Hughes finished with four points, while Nashid Puckett added six.

Here's what KBA analyst Derric Roberts had to say about the first half via his Myspace page:

Opening Day KBA was DRY!! Team Hassan got talent but they were actually very scared. Christ Pride and Hassan tried but in the first half they couldn't do it alone. Team LaQuinn came out on fire with the trio of Trent, Laquinn, and Mario. You gotta turn it up!!!

Team McBride wins by Forfeit Over Team Justin

Team McBride 1
Team Justin 0

Team Justin (0-1) started off the year with a forfeit to Team McBride (1-0). Usually, we don't write anything about forfeited games and the ensuing exhibition games that take place, but an important point must be made.

After his performance in the exhibition, Mr. Derric Roberts came over and asked if we saw how much he was killin. I informed him that I never watch or pay any type of attention to exhibition games and today was no exception. Derric, undeterred, told me he had about twenty.

IMPORTANT POINT ALERT: Having twenty in an exhibition game is kind of like a circus performer walking across a tightrope with a net underneath them or someone winning 20 million in play money with an on-line poker site. While great in theory, without the pressure associated with performing with no net or having your own money at stake, the feats are not all that impressive. The pressure is what separates the pretenders from the contenders. Which one is Derric? We will have to wait until next week to find out.

Remy-Less Team Red Upsets Team Korey

Team Red 35
Team Korey 33

All the pundits predicted a blowout. Team Korey (0-1) was favored by 15 in Vegas. Even fans of Team Red were preparing themselves for defeat. Who could blame them? They were without super-soph Remy Price (day to day with a knee injury) and they were facing the pre-season favorite to win it all. Most thought that if Team Red (1-0) could lose by less than ten that it would be a moral victory. The only people who didn't think this was Team Red themselves, particularly Captain Red Washington and Small Forward Thomas Hood. Red scored 15 points and added 6 offensive rebounds. His huge three with a minute left put Team Red up for good and put a dagger into the spirits of Team Korey. Thomas Hood contributed 14 points and provided comic relief by hitting the top left corner of backboard on one of his first-half three point attempts from the top of the key. The most impressive thing about Hood's performance was that he was able to limit himself to a career low, 26 field goal attempts. Hood, normally a shoot first-shoot second guy, realized that he is more valuable to his team if he keeps his attempts below 30.

Team Korey struggled to find their rhythm today. This team has all the pieces, they just have to find a way to put the puzzle together. One guy who had it figured out and who appears like he has been working hard in the off-season was Antoine Williams. Toine dazzled the crowd by draining five threes and scoring 21 total points. I have to think Williams has been coming to school early to get shots up and work on his game because a.) as Cebron would say, Antoine looks like he's got a burner and b.) I've been opening the gym for him so I know that for a fact actually. Unfortunately for Team Korey, no one else really had it going today. Don't worry though, there is a lot of season left. With a the "W"-cubed nucleus of Korey Williams, Antoine Williams, and Rookie of the Year candidate JyBrael Wilson, Team Korey will be a tough match-up come
playoff time.

Where in the World was Chris Crawford?
Inconspicuously absent from Friday's festivities was KBA mainstay Chris Crawford. Granted, his team didn't play, but that's never stopped him before. He usually uses his off days to talk trash, bug the commissioner or assistant-commish, and do anything that he can to get mentioned on the blog. If I
had to bet, I'm guessing Crawford is having some sort of identity crisis. Should he stick with the Cebron moniker that worked so well for him or with his improved outside game, should he make the switch to Cimmer like he proclaimed he would in the preseason? Or maybe he should he should do a combination of both? Cimron or Cebroner sounds good, right?

.....Man, I can't even imagine would it would be like to walk in shoes of a KBA superstar like Crawford for one day. How Crawford manages to make such important decisions like Cebron or Cimmer is beyond comprehension. I guess that's why he's decided to take his talents to 49th St. Beach. He can handle the heat.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 15 Recap (With KBA Superlatives)

The Return of Tone and Cebron is of No Help as Cartier Brown Makes Case for League MVP

Team Cartier Brown 35
Team Kyle Bailey 31

I was extremely impressed with Cartier Brown's last performance against Team Parks, a game in which he scored 25 points. I was even more impressed with the dominance he displayed in Wednesday's encore in Team Brown's (5-4) victory over Team Bailey (2-7). Brown's back must have been hurting after this one, because he was carrying his team for the entire first half and a large portion of the second as well. He scored 14 of his team's 18 first half points. What I liked about Team Brown today was their unselfishness. They knew that Brown was on fire. Rather than try to get theirs, they continued to let the big dog eat. Besides, Dimitri Baker was too concerned about making sure he called everyone on the other team "soft" at least once, to even worry about trying to put up numbers. Brown ended up finishing the game with 21 points and 6 rebounds. Two of those 21 came with four seconds left as Brown sealed the deal by hitting back-to-back free throws to give his team a 4 point lead. Thomas Hood (9 points) was the only other notable scorer for Team Brown, however, Michael Darty did a brilliant job guarding Antonio Boyle in the second half, making him earn each and every one of his points. The victory gave Team Brown a much coveted third seed in the playoffs, while Team Bailey's loss resulted in a five seed. Cartier Brown was able to capture his first KBA scoring title in the victory. Note: Thomas Hood did something that has not been done in well over four weeks. He airballed consecutive free-throws a la Marques Hudson earlier in the year.

Even with the return of Antonio Boyle and do-it-all forward Cebron, Team Bailey had no answer for Cartier Brown. With this game having astronomical playoff implications, the loss was a crushing blow to Team Bailey's chances for a championship. This game was very winnable and has a lot of "what ifs" attached to it for The Bailey Bunch. Most notably, what if Antonio Boyle had just shot a lay-up instead of badly missing a dunk that could have extended his team's lead in the second half? I think if that were the case, the order of these two paragraphs would be switched around and we'd be talking about Team Bailey as a three seed. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. If you can't dunk, lay it in. Even with Boyle's faux pas, they still had a chance with under a minute left. Trailing by two, it looked like Derrick Gaddy was going to lay the ball in and put the game out of reach for Team Bailey. Bam Brisco had other plans as he skied into the air and beat Gaddy's ball off the glass at the speed of a scud missile. The KBA Block of the Year led to a transition opportunity in which Keith Spencer launched a three with less than ten seconds left. His shot came up short (Although Spencer argued for at least an hour after the game that he was fouled) and Team Brown was able to eek out a victory after Cartier Brown's free throws ended the game. Antonio Boyle finished the game with 15 points and Vinnie Sanchez added eight. While the loss hurt, don't be surprised if this team makes some noise in the playoffs. All they need is for Kyle Bailey to regain his confidence and start shooting the ball like I know he can.

Team Afure Shocks the World in Double OT!!!

Team Afure Obeabor 39
Team Denzell Hargrove 37

Danny Manning and the Miracles, Namath's Jets, and Buster Douglas are mere mortals in the world of the underdog after Team Afure's (1-8) shocking upset of Team Hargrove (6-3). Seriously, look back in the parentheses after the word Afure. The fact that the one looks so foreign and out of place proves just how monumental this victory was. The win certainly did not come easy. With the game tied at 36-36, Hargrove's Travis McBride strangely decided to foul, much to the dismay of Coach Hargrove. Rob Siler headed to the line, with a chance to win the game at the end of regulation. Siler missed the front end of the one and one, thus giving Team Hargrove their own chance for victory with four seconds left. Fortunately, the execution out of Denzell's Hargroves timeout was suspect, as they were not able to even get a shot off (Note: Not sure if Hargrove was able to communicate properly what he wanted as he spent most of the time out repeating the phrase,"Yall need to stop tweaking"). In overtime, it looked again like Team Afure was going to fall a bit short as they fouled Phaelen Lewis with zero seconds left on the clock. After making the first to tie the game, Lewis missed the second, and thus gave Team Afure new life. The second overtime featured a sudden death format where the first team to score wins. A Devonje Johnson steal at mid-court led to a wide-open layup for himself and ended the game in thrilling fashion. It's fitting that Johnson was the hero at the end, because he was phenomenal throughout. His 20 points kept his team in the game against the number one ranked team in the league. Without him playing his best game of the season, Team Afure may have been blown out. Instead, they will go down in the KBA history books, as the most improbable victor of all time. Afure Obeabor was the second leading scorer, finishing with 8.

With the number one overall seed locked up for the playoff's, Denzell Hargrove decided to rest himself and only coach in the last regular season game of the year. While this was great from a "this will provide great material for the blog" perspective, it was terrible from a "now we are going to head in to the playoffs with no momentum and show how vulnerable we are" perspective. Didn't Hargrove learn anything from the Indianapolis Colts who rested Peyton Manning for the last two games of the regular season and ended up getting upset by the New Orleans Saints in the Super Bowl? Or how about the Cleveland Cavaliers who rested Lebron James late in the year, only to get absolutely embarrassed by the Boston Celtics come playoff time? Apparently, Hargrove does not think that history will repeat itself once again. We shall see. What I do know, is that if Hargrove truly wanted to rest himself, then he should have not coached either. He probably expended more energy running up and down the sideline screaming at his players than he would have by playing. While I appreciate Hargrove's concern for my battle with writer's block, I do not think this bolds well for his team. Red Washington scored 12 points and Phaelen Lewis added 10 in the loss.

Team Jones finishes Up Year on a High Note, Team Conner Doesn't

Team Jeff Jones 47
Team Turean Conner 34

It's always nice to end the regular season with a victory, even if it has no impact on your inevitable first round defeat on Friday. Team Jones (3-6) will gladly accept the win even if it is technically irrelevant. They competed much harder and played much better than the completely disinterested Team Conner (5-4), who was more concerned with arguing with each other than they were about actually winning. Hassan Hall and Arieus Fitch each had eight points, but the big news was the emergence of Delando Dallas who finished with 13. Dallas, a free agent acquisition, kept telling Coach Rodgers before his first game last week how he used to kill it in my PE class first semester. He'd always want me to confirm this for the commish, but the fact that I did not remember him do anything of the sort made me think that he had far too high of an opinion about his game. After the way he play today however, it makes me wonder how I could have overlooked his scoring abilities and knack for finding the ball on the offensive glass. I guess it just proves that some guys slip through cracks on occasion during Gym Class.

Wow..........I do not even know where to begin with Team Conner so I'm not going to.

KBA Superlatives: Each year across the country, yearbooks are filled with senior superlatives highlighting the best students that their schools have to offer. In that same vain, I decided that we should do the same for the KBA.

Most Athletic: Cartier Brown

Best Defender: Michael Darty

Most Clutch: Travis McBride

Most Versatile: Patrick Glostner

Best Backcourt: Corey Williams and Remy Price

Best Dunker: Kevin Swanson

Most Likely to Hear the Phrase "If you can't dunk, lay it in" next year: Kevin Swanson

Funniest: Markise Wilson

Most Likely to not admit when he's wrong: Laquinn Parks

Most Underrated: Squirt Polk

Fastest Talker: Keith Spencer

Most Likely to co-star with Ice Cube in 2016's Barbershop V: Courtney Ealy

Most Likely to run for office: Cebron with Daniel Palm as running mate

Best Hair: Marques Hudson

Most Likely to Grow up and Dominate Everyone in the League: The Ogunleye Brothers

Most Likely to still be calling people soft ten years from now: Dimitri Baker

Most Likely to believe in the phrase, "If I'm hot, keep shooting. If I'm not, shoot until I'm hot": Three Way Tie- Cash Jones, Kyle Bailey, Denzell Hargrove

Most Likely to be asked "How Tall are You?" thousands of times in his life: Jermaine Johnson

Most likely to bench 500 lbs. first: Demario Lofton

Most likely to still be mad at each other at KBA 10 year reunion: Phillip Strong and Cash Jones

Least Likely to not Argue a Bad Call and thus most likely to get the next call: Michael Darty

Most likely to get criticized at a family reunion: Jeff Jones for trading cousin Cash

Best Family Guy Nickname: Stuey Salley

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day 14 Recap

Rodgers Makes Historic Decision

Team Afure N/A
Team Jones N/A

Due to both teams having many of their players not show up or others forgetting their jerseys, this game began as a four on four match-up. The guys that did play in the first half showed absolutely no effort and played like their lives absolutely did not depend on the outcome of the game and like there was definitely going to be a tomorrow. They left the equivalent to nothing on the court. As a result, Commisioner Rodgers called the game at halftime. At first, since Team Afure was leading, they were ecstatic, thinking that they had picked up their first win of the season. Then Rodgers hit them with the addendum to his decision. No, they did not pick up their first win of the season. Quite the contrary. The game was so lethargic and poorly played that both teams lost.

I must say as assistant commissioner, I could not agree more with his conclusion of handing out a double-loss in this situation. In fact, I believe it was a historic ruling not only for the KBA, but the game of basketball as well. It sets the precedent for next time two NBA teams to decide to cheat the fans and mail in their performance like Vince Carter, post Raptors. David Stern can now point to May 17, 2010 as the day that saved basketball. As assistant commissioner, I am proud to have witnessed that moment in history. Although I am not proud to have had to witness that first half. After the losses, Team Afure drops to O wins, 8 losses and Team Jones falls to 2 wins, 6 losses.

Team Bailey has "Technical" Difficulties

Team Denzell Smith 29
Team Kyle Bailey 26

Team Smith (5-4) was extremely fortunate to come away with a victory after shooting 10% from the free-throw line. Team Bailey (2-6) tried to hand this game over to them on a silver platter by committing 3 technical fouls, but Team Smith seemed determined to keep the game close. Maybe they felt bad for the fans after Afure vs. Jones and wanted to give them an exciting game, but in my opinion it had more to do with Coach Smith's lack of emphasis on foul shooting at their practices. I'm certain that Smith will make the necessary adjustments to his practice planing in the future and substitute shooting drills for the allotted time dedicated to "V" and "Go Home" segments. In all honesty, if they had even shot 50%, they would have won this game by double digits. Instead, they had to sweat through the last 2 minutes of the second half. Marques Hudson had 10 points, 8 rebounds, and four steals in the victory. Teammate Denzell Smith added 6 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 blocks.

Vinnie Sanchez had 11 points. The rest of his team didn't score much but they did a remarkable job of being able to restrain themselves and only commit 3 technicals after the absolutely atrocious officiating by Rodgers and Maley. I mean seriously, could we at least get guys to ref who have either played the game or coached before? Having those two bums ref is like having Lebron James and Dominique Wilkins judge a dunk contest. It just doesn't make sense. Team Bailey shot the ball unbelievably well from three, they played suffocating team defense, made every pass that needed to made, and boxed out on every possession, yet they still lost due to the men on the whistle. How unfair is that? Personally, I think the league should take a vote and make sure that Maley and Rodgers are never assigned to one of their games again. That way, Team Bailey will be able to win every one of the rest of their games. Otherwise, their team will continue to be cheated out of victories time and again.

Brown Explodes for 25 in Win

Team Cartier Brown 48
Team Laquinn Parks 41

Even though Cartier Brown seems to think that the further back you shoot from, the more points you get, its undeniable that his three point shooting was why his team came out on top. Trailing by two at halftime, Team Brown (6-4) decided that it would take a different approach in the second half. Michael Darty was assigned to shadow Mario Sawyer all over the court by Coach Brown. When Sawyer had the ball, Darty was in his grill. When Mario was without the ball, Darty did everything in his power to keep it that way. His defense was one of the main reasons why Team Brown was able to pull away in the second half and why many think Darty might be named defensive player of the year. The other reason for the victory was Team Brown's incredible knack for referee bullying. If Team Bailey wants to know how to get calls, they should look no further than Brown's squad. These guys were masterful in the way they were able manipulate the officials in the second half. I haven't seen better referee bullying since the last time these guys played. If their was one negative for anyone on this team, it was Dimitri Baker, who showed everyone on the league that you need to play physical with him, as evidence by Zarpka Bohn's body slam of him late in the game. Cartier Brown's 25 points were the best in the league this year by any one individual. His teammate Thomas Hood contributed 16 of his own.

Until Team Parks (5-4) is able to admit that trading away Kyle Begusa might have been a mistake, I refuse to write about their performances. All I can say is that they have not won a game since getting rid of big Kyle. Can you say the Curse of Begusbino?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 13 Recap (With Not So Subliminal Golf Outing Messages)

Team Rhodes Captures Bronco Division Title

Team Mr. Rhodes 32
Team Kyle Bailey 31

What a roller-coaster of ride this season has been for Mr. Rhodes (4-4). Starting off the year ranked pre-season #1, The Rhodes Scholars dropped their first two games of the season, causing many KBA apologists to question whether or not they could perform in a the big market, heavily media-scrutinized environment that comes with the Kenwood territory. Answering the bell (Speaking of Answering the Bell, selling spots in the Kenwood golf outing would be a good way for you to do some answering of your own), they got healthy, picking up wins against Team Afure and Team Hargrove in consecutive games. Just as they were starting to hit their stride, disaster struck. Team Captain, Mr. Rhodes, suffered what looked to be a season-ending injury. Rallying around their fallen comrade, Team Rhodes has gone on a two-game winning streak, including a thrilling victory over Team Bailey (2-5) on Friday which put them atop the Bronco division standings. While many, most notably Dimitri Baker, have been critical of the Jermaine Johnson prediction for making the All-KBA 3rd team, it was Johnson's rebounding and shot-blocking which kept Team Rhodes in the game in the second half. Nick Norals had an off-night, but his 8 points were much needed in the low scoring affair. Squirt Polk was the hero (Heroism comes in many forms. One such form would be a charitable donation to Kenwood Athletics) for Team Rhodes finishing with 12 points and 8 rebounds. Two of those points proved to be the game winner as Polk scored a lay-up with 14 seconds to go, putting the exclamation point on a ferocious last 2 minutes by Team Rhodes.

Jermaine Johnson was the best free agent pick-up at the deadline, however, Vinnie "Del Negro" Sanchez proved today that he is right on his heels for that distinction. Sanchez showed no signs of rust, scoring 8 of Team Bailey's first 12 points. He finished the game with 14 points as he cooled off a little in the second half as Team Rhodes realized that he was not some scrub that they could leave completely wide open. Funny that Sanchez shot so well considering that he was complaining vehemently about the ball we were using before the game, claiming that the one he was holding was the best ball (Best Ball = Format at golf outing as well. Thanks for giving me material to use Vinnie) for the job. Anyways, with 2:56 left, up five, it appeared as though Keith Spencer was going to put the game out of reach as he started coasting in for a wide-open lay-up. Instead, Spencer decided that he wanted to imitate his hero JJ Reddick and try to airball the lay-up. Unfortunately for Spencer, he fell short of his goal and barely nicked the rim. Unfortunately for Spencer's team, this was a turning point in the game and the moment when Team Rhodes realized that they still had a chance to win the game. Looking back, Spencer has to be kicking himself, and hoping that he could get a mulligan on that one. Unfortunately for him, mulligans are not allowed in the KBA, but are highly encouraged in the Save Our Sports Golf Outing on June 12, 1:00 Pm, at Joe Louis Golf Course in Riverdale, Illinois. Spencer finished the game with 8 points, 7 boards, and a whole heck-of-a-lot of should-of-could-of-would-of.

Reminder for those Who Need a little Extra Incentive: Even if you do not feel like giving or you have no altruistic bone in your body, the chance to sell spots in the golf outing is still not something you should ignore. Why?

1. For every four people you get to commit to the tourney, you will receive a $50 reward

2. For every ten people you get to commit to the tourney, you will receive a $150 reward

3. And if you are so lucky to get 20 people to commit, you will have the opportunity to kick
back and watch all the KBA highlights you want on your own flat-screen TV

The Message: Regardless of your motivation, this opportunity is not something that you should pass up.

McBride hits the McGamewinner

Team Denzell Hargrove 39
Team Turean Conner 37

Even with a poor-shooting performance, Team Hargrove (6-2) proved why they are the best team in the league as of May 14th. These guys absolutely attack the offensive glass. Almost all of their baskets in the first-half came off of second-chance opportunities thanks to the handiwork of Red Washington, Phaelen Lewis, and Kyle Begusa. As a result, they were able to survive, even when their offense was not clicking. While some teams in the league think they can turn the on and off button on their intensity throughout the season, these guys have been at full-go all year. Their hard-nosed style of play will serve them well in next week's playoffs. It was the Phaelen Lewis (18 points, 7 rebounds) show in the second half, as his huge start, propelled his team to a 24-16 lead with 12 minutes to play. Team Conner (5-3) roared back and took a one point lead after a Turean Conner slam with 15 seconds to go. Hargrove, having faith in his practice preparation, decided not to call a timeout and left the game in the hands of Travis McBride. T-Mac rewarded Hargrove for his faith by dribbling up the left side-line and cooly knocking down a three with four seconds to go, putting the Hargrovians up two. Immediately, they got a steal and layin off an errant inbounds pass by Team Conner which looked like it had sealed the game. Controversy ensued as referee Patrick Glostner claimed he had blown his whistle after the McBride three for a Team Conner timeout. This decision was met with an animated discussion by both teams which could have easily ended in every player on each side having to attend their own individual profanity clinics. Instead, order was finally restored and Team Conner was awarded the ball out of bounds, down only 2, instead of four. As Xavier O'Neil took the ball out and launched a beautiful full-court pass, all I could think about was the '72 Olympics in which a controversial call allowed the Soviet Union to get a second chance at defeating the Americans. As Daniel Palm came down with the pass, five feet in front of the rim, the name Aleksandr Belov kept scrolling through my head. I could not help but think of the ramifications of Palm making the shot and Team Conner coming up victorious. The entire reputation of the KBA would be ruined, Team Hargrove would file complaint after complaint to the commissioner's office, I may lose my hearing in both ears due to the yelling that would surely result, and Palm would never let anyone hear the end of it. "Please Don't Go In, Please Don't Go in," I said to myself. Thankfully, my prayers were answered. Palm missed the point-blank shot and the sanctity of the KBA as well as the personal safety of referee Glostner, assistant-commish Maley, and commisioner Rodgers were preserved. Phew, that was close.

Team Conner came out of the gates playing harder and with more intensity than I have ever seen them display before. Captain Turean Conner had his best game of the season and proved that when he is aggressive, he is one of the best players in the league. In a low-scoring first half, he had 10 of his team's 12 points. Unlike on June 12 at Joe Louis Golf Course where low score will win, in the KBA it only means one thing, losing. As a result of them being down, a Team Jones-like verbal dispute began to take place between point guard Chris Pride and small forward Daniel Palm. Apparently Pride was not happy with Palm's effort on the defensive end and wanted to let him know about it. The debate lasted for the last five minutes of the first half and all of halftime. Both players ultimately were able to settle their differences and reach the conclusion that they were right and the other guy was wrong. Even with all the team dissension, Team Conner found themselves trailing by only one with 20 seconds left. Turean Conner's steal and subsequent jam looked as though it was going to end the game in their favor and put the Pride-Palm feud to rest. Unfortunately, Travis McBride had other thoughts in mind as his three put Team Hargrove up for good with four seconds remaining. Turean Conner finished the game with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Chris Pride added 12 points and six assists in the losing effort.

Daniel can have them Eating Out of the Palm of His Hand: If there is one thing we all know about Daniel Palm, its that he is extremely competitive and can talk better than anyone. An opportunity to put these characteristics to good use is by selling spots and sponsorships for the Save Our Sports Golf Outing. It's clear to me that after college, DP has a highly profitable future ahead of him in Sales. By making a full commitment to the golf outing, he has an opportunity to add to his wallet, his college resume, and the athletic opportunities that will be afforded to him at Kenwood. It seems like a can't-lose situation. While I'm calling him out, I believe that there are others in the KBA fraternity with the gift of gab who could be just as good, if not better than Palm at getting commitments to the outing. Most notably:

- Derrick Roberts, Delando Dallas, Sheldon Blanton, Keith Spencer, Cebron, Chaz Thrailkill, Syid Young, Dimitri Baker, Denzell Hargrove, Cash Jones, Cartier Brown, Pat Glostner, Nick Collie, Nick Norals, Derrick Gaddy

Rhodes Scholars win Both Ends of Double-Header

Team Mr. Rhodes 48
Team Cartier Brown 43

I wrote before how Team Rhodes (5-4) victory over Team Bailey gave them the #1 seed out of the Bronco division. Apparently, after forgetting that they played the third game as well against Team Brown (3-4), that was false. Not wanting to go back and rewrite the first game summary, I left it as is. Make note that the victory against Team Brown was the actual division clincher for Team Rhodes. After trailing 8-19 early in the first half, Team Rhodes went on an incredible run charged by the sharp-shooting of Royale Jones. Jones, more known for his work on the wrestling mat, topped off his shooting performance by playing solid on the ball defense, making all coaches in the crowd question their teachings of the fundamental defensive slide. You see, Jones does not slide when playing D. Instead, he waddles like a wrestler, giving the impression that at any moment he is going to shoot in for a single-leg takedown. Fearing their own safety, the person who Jones guards, is usually quick to get rid of the ball. While Jones was able to stake Team Rhodes to a first half lead, it was Desean Lee who was largely responsible for holding on to it. Lee's ten second half-points included a 3 off the glass which gave Team Rhodes a 39-37 lead that they would not relinquish the rest of the game. Jermaine Johnson had 12 points and 13 rebounds, while Nick Norals finished with 10 points and fore (whoops I mean four) assists.

As previously stated, Team Brown got off to an outstanding start due to some hot shooting by Cartier Brown (18 points, 6 boards). I believe he might have even thrown a dunk in there when I wasn't looking. Up 19 to 8, Team Brown got complacent and started relying way too much on their long-distance shooting. Not only did this prompt an incredible Team Rhodes 20 to 4 run to end the half, but it also resulted in an entire half-time speech with "No more 3s" as the theme. They then proceeded to shoot 8 three-pointers in a row to start the second half. Apparently no one was listening. Ultimately, the living by the three mentality backfired and they suffered their fourth loss in their last five games. Thomas Hood complimented Brown by scoring 15 points and pulling down 7 rebounds.

One Last Plug: Even if the people you talk to have never played golf in their life and can't or don't want to participate on the 12th, they can still contribute to your school's athletic fund if they want. Depending on how much money you bring in, you can still receive rewards, even if you don't get actual participants.

Also, if by random chance, you have stumbled upon this blog or if word has spread across the globe about the basketball excellence exhibited in the KBA and you have arrived here intentionally, the athletic department at Kenwood and our students would appreciate your donations. We need to raise a ton of money in order to compete with the best in the city and suburbs. Small or large, your help would be greatly appreciated.

For more information on how to do so, you can contact Coach Rodgers ( or Coach Maley (

For those interested in selling, here are the links to forms and information that you need:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Day 12 Recap

(No Ealy + Awful Trade) X Improvement of Team Conner = Team Laquinn Loss

Team Turean Conner 48
Team Laquinn Parks 36

While some might point to Xavier O'Neal airballing two free throws as the highlight of this game (He pulled even with Marques Hudson for league lead), the real story was Chris Pride putting Mario Sawyer on lockdown. Granted, Sawyer did not have the weapons at his disposal like he normally does (Ealy was a no-show), but Chris showed some Pride on the defensive end and made it his mission to make it a long night for Sawyer. Super Mario looked more like Luigi tonight as he struggled to a season low of 8 points and four assists in the losing effort for Team Parks (5-3). You would think that with Pride expending so much energy on defense that he wouldn't have anything left in the tank for the offensive end. Much to the contrary, Pride was still able to drop ten points and seven assists on the sinking ship that is Team Parks. Team Conner (5-2) received solid contributions from Xavier O'Neil (Despite aforementioned airballs), Daniel Palm, and Turean Conner. X recorded his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Daniel Palm had 10 points, 7 rebounds, and one of the worst displays of ball hogging I have ever seen. On a 3 on 1 fast break, with both O'Neil and Conner ahead of him for wide-open layups (maybe even dunks depending on how O'Neil and Conner were feeling), Palm took it upon himself to take 4 more dribbles and try to finish it himself. Instead of his teammates having an easy bucket, Palm was absolutely clobbered to the floor on the way to the rim. Coach Rodgers and Coach Maley proved that they are Coaches 1st, Referees 2nd, and Impartial 3rd, as Daniel received no whistle on the foul. Teammate Turean Conner (10 points) had a late second half surge that spoiled a solid comeback effort by Team Parks, culminating in a step-back 3 which put the game completely out of reach with 1:26 left.

Team Parks was destined to win it all. They drafted a solid nucleus who was clicking on all cylinders. Then, their general manager decided that he needed to make a move just so he could say that he made a move. As a result, the team that used to work well together, has lost all the chemistry that made them great. Sawyer looked unSawyer-like, while Mister Mister struggled to find his shot. The only person who eclipsed any of their season averages was Parks who had 12 points and 8 rebounds. This makes me think. Was there an ulterior motive to the Begusa trade? It's quite possible that Laquinn knew he would get more touches with Begusa gone and thus he was willing to sacrifice a KBA championship so that he could make a run at an All-KBA 2nd Team Award. While we may never know what his motivation was, we do know that it was about as nonsensical as deciding to not dress for gym. As previously stated, super-star Ealy was not at the game, most likely in attempt to voice his displeasure at the direction that his team is headed or it could have just been his bi-weekly trip to the barber. Whatever the case, without him, Team Parks had no chance.

Team Glostner able to Hold On at the End

Team Patrick Glostner 53
Team Denzell Smith 50

The first defensive possession of this ball-game for Team Glostner (7-2) signified to me that they are for real. Each player on the floor was talking, calling out screens, and using other verbal directions to play solid team defense. While it only lasted a possession, the effort for those 13 seconds is what champions are made of. Team Glostner was able to stake themselves to a big second-half lead thanks to "Mr Consistent", Remy Price, who had 16 points, 5 assists, and 3 steals. Despite this, they began to squander the lead late in the second half due to some careless turnovers, bad shots, and another called timeout by Glostner in the midst of a Remy Price fast break (This was Deja Vu from their last game). Luckily, Jamal Sykes was able to save the day for Team Glostner with some late-game heroics. With the scored tied at 49, with under two minutes to play, Sykes converted a lay-up courtesy of a Price assist. On the ensuing possession, a phenomenal Cash Jones save found Sykes underneath the basket for another two, giving them a four point lead, and for all intensive purposes, ended the game. Korey Williams complimented Price well in the backcourt with 8 points and five assists. Cash Jones reluctantly finished with ten, while Patty Glostner added 11.

If it were not for a terribly slow start and a missed dunk by Denzell Smith (almost at Cartier Brown's level), Team Smith (4-4) could have just as easily won this game. Instead, they find themselves in the midst of a two game losing streak and searching for answers. One answer might come in the form of Demarrio Lofton who looked to be coming into his own today. He had a season high 11 points and 13 rebounds. Even though 6 of those rebounds came on one possession in which Lofton simply could not get a lay-up to go down, his numbers were impressive. Jeremy McClendon was absolutely killing it in the second half, igniting the comeback, and putting fear into the eyes Team Glostner. Of his twenty points, 16 came in the second half. In the end, they did not have enough, as they fell 4 points short of a victory.

Big Pay Day: I feel for Team Owners in the 2011 KBA season. Every time Jamal Sykes grabs a key offensive rebound or hits a big shot, I can hear the cash registering ringing and see the $ signs forming in Jamal's eyes. While Sykes is currently signed for the league minimum this year, his value has sky-rocketed after his last two games. While he may not be a max contract type player like Remy Price will be next year, expect this young man to get paid and get paid well.

Speaking of Cash: Is a ten points per game average since being traded to a contender good enough for Cash Jones' appetite? I'm still not sold. Being the third option does not sit well with Cash in my opinion. Look for him to be more aggressive in the next couple of games, even if it may mean taking a loss or two.

Hargrovians Decide to Try in Second Half

Team Denzell Hargrove 40
Team Jeff Jones 33

After a sluggish first half which had them trailing by three at intermission, Team Hargrove (5-2) decided that enough is enough, and took control in half two. Phaelen Lewis was the hero today, scoring 12 second half points with a couple of huge threes which put the game out of reach for Team Jones (2-5). Denzell Hargrove was quiet from a scoring standpoint (only 4 points), but his contributions on the defensive end and as a facilitator were crucial to his team's success. Travis McBride (10 points, 4 steals) and Red Washington (9 points and 5 rebounds) rounded out the attack, demonstrating the tremendous balance that this team has. Barring a loss on Friday, I'd have to expect that these guys will be ranked the number one team in the league come Monday morning. Beware though guys, you will now be the hunted, instead of the hunters. No team this year has been able to hold the #1 ranking for more than a week. Maybe you guys will be the first. With the parity in this league however, I'd have to think that an upset will be a brewing.

Team Jones had its best first half of the season, considering the competition that they were facing. Even with turnover happy Hassan Hall forcing Commissioner Rodgers to put a "No more no-look passes, you might poke someone's eye out" rule into effect, Team Jones led 18 to 15 at halftime. A large reason for this was a solid first half put together by Kevin Swanson, who clearly was out to prove that he should have gotten more PT this year over Kyle Begusa. While their first half output was very impressive, Team Jones' second half was equally disappointing. The unselfishness and sharing of the ball which triggered their early success in the game was replaced with a lot of 1 on 1 play. Some say that it may have been the ghost of former teammate Cash Jones at work, but I'm not entirely sold. Nonetheless, a more focused Team Hargrove capitalized on the change in mentality and ran away with the game in the closing minutes. Hassan Hall finished with 9 points and Kevin Swanson added 13 to pace Team Jones.

Early Predictions for Post-Seasons Awards:

All-KBA First Team

PG: Mario Sawyer
G: Remy Price
SF: Patrick Glostner
PF: Tarik Martin
C: Denzell Smith

All-KBA Second Team

PG: Travis McBride
SG: Cartier Brown
SF: Courtney Ealy
PF: Xavier O'Neal
C: Kyle Begusa

All-KBA Third Team

PG: Denzell Hargrove
SG: Jeremy McClendon
SF: Marques Hudson
PF: Kevin Swanson
C: Jermaine Johnson (I know he's only played one game, but that one game was huge)

Rookie of the Year: Remy Price

Most Improved Player: Dimitri Baker

6th Man of the Year: Jamal Sykes

Coach of the Year: Denzell Hargrove

General Manager of the Year: Denzell Hargrove

Co-League MVPS: Patrick Glostner and Remy Price

League Runner-Up: Team Denzell Hargrove

League Champions: Team Patrick Glostner

Note: There is still a lot of time left in the season. This could all change in the blink of bad game or in a fraction of a suspension.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 11 Recap

Jermaine Johnson's Dunk Sparks Team Rhodes' Comeback

Team Mr. Rhodes 35
Team Patrick Glostner 34

With the likes of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and Joe Johnson on the free agent market, this is shaping up to be the most monumental off-season in the history of the NBA. The signing of one of these top tier guys could change the course of history for four lucky franchises. Similarly, the signing of free agent Jermaine Johnson could alter the KBA forever and dramatically change the season outlook for Team Rhodes (3-4). The 6'8 Johnson dominated on both ends of the floor on Monday, finishing with 16 points, 15 rebounds, and 7 blocked shots. Down 3 with less than a minute to play, Johnson caught a pass from Nick Norals, took one step, and threw down a rim-rattling, earth shaking, momentum changing, opponent embarrassing, slam which almost brought the roof down in the upstairs gym. Play almost had to be stopped, as spectator Derrick Gaddy ran onto the floor screaming and proceeded to do some sort of break dancing move which pleased the crowd to the nth degree. This certainly rattled Team Glostner (6-2) and was huge factor in them folding at the end of the game. Combining Johnson with Nick Norals (Who has never committed a foul in life if you ask him) and Squirt Polk make The Rhodes Scholars an upper-echelon team once again. If team doctors are able to get Mr. Rhodes patched up and playing before season's end, they may be going to the ship. The best part about the addition of Jermaine Johnson to the league is not his ability to throw down mesmerizing dunks or the impact he has on his team's chances to win, but rather the comedy that results from his teammates and everyone else in the crowd expecting him to dunk every time he touches the ball. Nick Norals must have chastised Johnson at least 8 times after he laid the ball in instead of dunking. As Mastercard says, there are some things that money can't buy. Watching Jermaine score two points and still get yelled at is one of those such things, and truly is priceless.

Both Cash Jones and Patrick Glostner were suspended for today's game due to conduct detrimental to the school. Even without them, Team Glostner was still almost able to sneak away with a W. Little-used forward Jamal Sykes played big, finishing with 9 points and 8 offensive rebounds. His energy on the glass gave his team extra possessions that they dearly needed in this hard fought contest. If anyone knows who Wally Pipp is, you may see version 2010 in either Cash Jones or Patrick Glostner, while Sykes may "Lou Gehrig" his way into the KBA record books. At the least, he has clearly earned himself more playing time in upcoming games. Remy Price, Team Glostner's best and least suspended player, was solid once again, collecting 12 points and 7 steals. Ultimately, it was not enough though, as Jermaine's rim-rocker did them in at the end of the game. One has to question whether Glostner should turn over the "C" on his jersey to Price after this game until he can prove himself worthy and reliable to his teammates. Saying that his suspension was a result of him getting picked on as opposed to taking responsibility for his actions, just won't cut it.

Team Cartier Brown Bounces Back with a Vengeance

Team Cartier Brown 56
Team Denzell Smith 49

After a very rough last couple of weeks, some members of the media (and by some, I mean me) had written Team Brown (3-3) off as a non-factor in the league. Their win against the up and coming Team Smith (4-3) proved that there may be some fight left in these guys after all. Michael Darty, who had pulled a Houdini by disappearing in their last 3 games, made his presence known with 13 points on 3 of 3 shooting from behind the arc. Derrick Gaddy made the most of his limited minutes by rebounding the ball at a rate of 1 board/minute. He also seemed to come up with every loose ball and created mayhem on the defensive end with his stifling pressure. Dimitri Baker, who I have been highly critical of in the past by bestowing the nicknames of Imitri (for his lack of defense) and "The Elevator" (because it seemed like when he went in, the other team's score went up) on him, had an incredibly solid first half and earned the new nickname of "The Pupil." The reason being, is that Dimitri accepts the criticism he receives on the blog, learns from it, and uses it as motivation in his next game. When called Imitri, Dimitri stepped up his defensive intensity. After being dubbed "The Elevator" after his last game, Baker made sure today that his Plus-Minus ratio was positive. Clearly, this guy uses the blog as a learning tool. Teammate Cartier Brown was great once again, finishing with 18 points, although he could have had more if he attacked the basket more. Free agent pick-up Raylan "I'm the best athlete in my family" Jones proved to be a solid pick-up by pulling down 8 rebounds.

If it weren't for the Kyle Begusa trade by Laquinn Parks, General Manager Denzel Smith would have received a lot more criticism for trading pass-first point guard Keith Spencer to Team Bailey. Luckily for Smith, the Begusa trade was so unbelievably bad (will talk about it later), that the Spencer trade flew under the radar. Today, the short-sightedness of the trade became known to all as Team Smith struggled mightily. The message by Joni Mitchell and later restated by Janet Jackson "that you don't know what you got till its gone" is certainly apropos when thinking about this trade. Today, the ball did not move as crisply, the lack of a solid ball handler was noticeable, and guys looked uncomfortable as they tried to assume roles that they were unaccustomed to. Meant to be no knock on Jeremy McClendon (who Smith got in exchange for Spencer), but not having Spencer was and will be damaging to the offensive continuity that characterized Team Smith's success early on in the KBA season. Adding to the problem, high-scoring guard Syid Young, sustained a foot injury and his return for the rest of the season looks doubtful. If there was one positive today, it was that sharp-shooter, free-agent pick-up Nic Collie showed no signs of being rusty in his debut. Marques Hudson and Denzell Smith had 13 and 9 points respectively.

Worst Trade of the Year Allows Begusa to Get Revenge on Unappreciative Former Teammates

Team Denzell Hargrove 48
Team Laquinn Parks 39

When people think about the best general managers in sports, the Names John Schierholtz of the Atlanta Braves, Jerry West of the Los Angeles Lakers, Dale Tallon of the Chicago Blackhawks, and Bill Polian of the Indianapolis Colts usually come to mind. You may have to add the name Denzell Hargrove to that list because of his acquisition of Center Kyle Begusa at the trade deadline for reserve forward Rob Tyler. This move was so good that I'm not even going to mention Hargrove's offensive woes today. What I will mention is that Begusa had 16 rebounds and five blocks. Even better than the blocks, Begusa was able to alter the shots on the drives of players from Team Parks (5-2), more often than not, ending in misses. By the second half, Team Parks was so afraid to attack the rim that they continued to settle for bad three after bad three. Hargrove's ingenuity by acquiring Begusa has immediately made his squad the team to beat in the KBA. Travis McBride shot the ball well once again, finishing with ten points on very few shots (mainly due to the offensive woes of Hargrove that I'm not going to mention). Red Washington may have benefited the most from Begusa's arrival by exploding for 15 points. Usually, Washington had to shoulder the burden of being Team Hargrove's (4-2) top offensive and defensive rebounder. With the arrival of Begusa, he was able to focus more on showing off his entire offensive repertoire. He was even able to sneak in his first unnecessary rim grab of the season, although he still trails league leader Daniel Palm by four in that department.

The smartest thing Laquinn Parks did was not show up for the game on Monday. If he did, he would surely have been booed unmercifully by fans of Team Parks Nation for railroading their team's hopes and dreams for KBA glory by trading away the best center in the league. Adding insult to injury was the fact that Rob Tyler, who they obtained in the trade, did not even show up to the game. At first, even without Begusa, I still thought they might have a chance. That is until I saw the normally stoic Mario Sawyer salute the crowd after making his first three pointer of the game. When he did that, I knew they were going to lose. Those type of antics are not in Sawyer's demeanor and should be reserved for people whose game can not speak for themselves. That said, Team Parks got off to a decent start, but instead of attacking the basket, they were relying on three pointers. As the old saying goes, "You live and die by the three." They most certainly died today by falling in love with their jump shots and going cold in the second half. A large reason for their lack of attacking the basket was the intimidation put forth by the inside presence of Begusa. Still, Courtney Ealy, must use his athleticism to get to the rim as opposed to being a one dimensional player. While he finished with 13 points, it could have been a whole lot more. After this game, it appears that he may have slipped out of the Top Ten Freshman in the State according to CourtneyEaly'

Counterintuitive Thinking: After the game, Courtney Ealy defended the trade of Kyle Begusa by his team captain. Maybe he did not want to throw his coach under the bus to the media, but when pressed further, he gave a real perplexing quote. "All we need is a big man who can rebound, and we'll be straight." Hmmmmmmm. That's like................

- Trading Michael Jordan and saying "All we need is the greatest player in the history of basketball and we will be ok"

- Trading Lebron James and saying "All we need now is a 6'8 guy who has the size of a power forward and the skills of a point guard."

- Trading Peyton Manning and saying "All we need now is a coach on the field who prepares for opponents better than anyone."

- Trading Albert Pujols and saying "All we need is a guy who hits for both power and average."

- Trading Wayne Gretsky and saying "All we need is a guy who is the greatest goal scorer of all-time."

Courtney, you had that guy and got rid of him. Unfortunately, a trade like this may change your season.