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Tuesday, 30 September 2008

One of the best jobs in the world


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EA Sports has given an Orlando man possibly the best job in the world. He is being paid to watch NFL games all season long. Every single game.

Why are they doing this? This is part of EA's commitment to making their games as realistic as possible. They need people to monitor the real NFL games in progress to ensure that their Madden counterparts are on par with reality.

From where I'm sitting, that is one of the best jobs you can get -- outside of playing professional sports yourself. In short, what I'm saying is, if EA needs someone to watch every NBA game this season to keep up to date with their NBA Live franchise, my hand is squarely up in the air for that one. After all, with the launch of NBA 365, they certainly will need to ensure that their players are up to date. EA's Peter Moore, my email is on the right!



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Toronto Raptors : Media Day Audio


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Ryan McNeill at HoopsAddict has some great audio of interviews with the Toronto Raptors at Media Day. There are exciting times in T-Dot, with the arrival of Jermaine O'Neal raising expectations, along with the return of a healthy silver medalist José Calderón and gold medalist Chris Bosh. Whilst the news of Nathan Jawai's health scare is not good, things are upbeat north of the border. Click the links below for audio from each of the media scrums:

* Chris Bosh
* Jermaine O'Neal
* Andrea Bargnani
* José Calderón
* Bryan Colangelo
* Sam Mitchell
* Nathan Jawai

Bonus Retro Video

Check out this footage of Pete "Pistol" Maravich in an NBA retro special. "He tried to make his game look haphazard."












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Jayson Williams : racial slurs to be investigated


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The court room trials of former New Jersey Net and Philadelphia 76er, Jayson Williams, are not over. The lastest instalment in the tragic sequence of events sees his legal team gaining court approval to investigate the fact that an investigator on his case used a racial slur to describe the former NBA power forward.

Williams was originally involved in the death of Costas "Gus" Christofi, 55, a driver who was hired to drive Williams' NBA charity team. Reports allege that Williams accidentally discharged a firearm whilst at his large property, which killed Christofi. Williams was ultimately charged with covering up the killing (along with other members of the charity team who were in attendance) and he currently is involved in a retrial on the charge of reckless manslaughter. This is where the evidence of racial slurs may come in to assist his legal team on the basis of an unfair investigation.

Williams has previously attempted to make an NBA comeback, after originally retiring from the NBA in 1999 with injuries. However his CBA stint did not end with the double-figure rebounder making it back into the league.










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Rudy Fernandez : Media Day (Video)


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Rudy Fernandez looks somewhat overwhelmed and like most of these Portland Trail Blazers, very humble. Despite his fantastic Olympics campaign with the Spanish National Team, he still realises that he has a lot of work ahead of him to battle into the rotation on this team and make his mark in the NBA.

Raw video: Rudy Fernandez at media day







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Stephon Marbury : Born Again (Video)


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Steph, shown here at Media Day, is putting as brave a face as possible on the fact that he may well yet be ostracised from the New York Knicks. He says that this "is just like the day I was drafted."





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Competitions... Competitions... Competitions


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It has been a little while coming, but what you are looking at above is the winner of ...a stern warning's competition to find a better logo for the OKC Thunder. The announcement of the winner has been a little delayed due to my having to sift through the thousands of entries that were received from all over the planet.

The designer of this simple yet effective masterpiece is Ethan aka The Ethanator over at NESW Sports. Who better than E himself to describe the vision behind the work of art?

"All of the factors are there. You have the OK sign. You have the “C”. You also have Thunder in the background. So I will be expecting this on some throwback jerseys in about 25 years."

What does Ethan win? Well... a big pat on the back from Mr Stern. That's what.

Caption Competition

Here's one for fans of Australian basketball in particular, but it really only needs a bit of creativity to come up with a response on this one and you could win a nice prize from JR, On Fire. Check it out and come out with a better caption than the one I fabricated.

Battle of the Bloggers : Fantasy NBA

The rivalry is hotting up as the tenth and final spot has just been filled in the Battle of the Bloggers Fantasy NBA tournament. We are 11 days away from draft day, so further updates (including a list of all the entrants) will be forthcoming in the countdown to game day. Bring it on!!

Media Day - Boston Celtics Big 3 Video


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The Celtics' "Big Three" saying all of the right things ahead of training camp:





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NBL : Round 3 tips off with Hawks at Wildcats


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Round 3 of NBL action tips off with the Wollongong Hawks visiting the inhospitable Challenge Stadium to take on the Perth Wildcats.

The Hawks have had plenty of rest after not playing in Round 2, whilst the Wildcats are coming off a 14 point win over the Gold Coast Blaze at the same venue. The Hawks will have to see a strong performance from homecoming boy Glen Saville if they don't want to fall to the same fate as the Blaze. Boosted by the addition of Dusty Rychart in the frontcourt this season, along with Sav, the Hawks will not be the easybeats that they were last season. Still, a formidable Wildcats team awaits them.

Stacked with talent across the board, notwithstanding the injury to captain Paul Rogers, the Wildcats will be tough to defeat. Darnell Hinson leads a steady charge of big men, along with the exterior firepower of Peter Crawford.

A Stern Prediction: Wildcats by 9

Other NBL Notes

As discussed here a couple of days ago, Tony Ronaldson has been a big part of the New Zealand Breakers so far this season, despite being 20 seasons into his career. His teammates recognise that contribution.

Highlights which John Rillie has watched too many times by now, of the Crocs v Sixers:







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Today's Warnings : 30 September, 2008 (from the blogs)


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Here are a few more blogs to sink your teeth into in the world of basketball:

  • The Basketball Professor, Dodge Taylor, brings us a look back at the under-appreciated Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, aka Chris Jackson. Dodge has a great focus on the pure shooters in basketball -- well worth looking around his blog.
  • Glockers reviews the Charles Barkley book, I might be wrong, but I doubt it. Sir Charles definitely is unrivalled as far as player-writers go... perhaps Paul Shirley can claim to have a shot against him in the writing stakes, but is Shirley really a player? Maybe when John Rillie comes out with his autobiography we can open the debate again! In the meantime, I have to commend CB#34, as Glockers does, on his entertaining, thought-provoking words. His previous book, Outrageous was un-put-down-able for me...(yep, that's a word).
  • Cuzoogle is all over the place with his coverage. He covers basketball, a lot of American football, a range of other sports that pop up, oh yeah, and girls. Today he had a great list of things that might tick off Raptors coach Sam Mitchell, who has recently vowed not to swear any more.
  • Boyd at Thoughts From The Jockstrap takes a look at which NBA players he wouldn't mind meeting in a dark alley and those that he would avoid... I think I'd avoid most of them myself.





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Today's Warnings : 30 September, 2008 (NBA edition)


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Heading around the NBA, here are Today's Warnings:

  • Hoopsworld: Things already aren't sounding very rosy in Denver, where Allen Iverson is doing his best to spin the company line in one breath and in the next is talking about his impending free agency next summer and how he can decide where he wants to go. It's going to be a long season in Nuggetsville, methinks.
  • Lamar Odom does not like any talk of him coming off the bench this season in LA. "He must have woke up and bumped his head. He probably hit his head on something -- boom," Odom said about Jackson. "To start off like that, you've got to be out of your . . . mind."
  • Ben Gordon's contract status with the Bulls is still up in the air. However, after an off-season of uncertainty and European-innuendo, it appears that he will be staying in Chicago. With few other options, he will take the $6.4m qualifying offer and look at his options again at the end of the season. However, until that contract is signed, he won't be on the Bulls practice court.
  • About.com's Dennis Velasco has all of your fantasy NBA rankings ready to go, as it's time to get your draft preparation hat on. Speaking of Dennis V and fantasy basketball, the Battle of the Bloggers fantasy tournament will be taking place this season. We've started putting together a tournament on Yahoo's Fantasy NBA portal and a fine group of nine basketball bloggers have come together for it. We just need one more basketball blogger entrant to tip things off, so if you're interested in showing your fantasy wares, let me know. More on the Battle of the Bloggers will be forthcoming.
  • Auctions are almost coming to an end on the NBA's listing of game-worn Olympic gear. So if you have a spare $4k lying around you could wear the sweaty jersey that Kobe beat the Spanish in. Or perhaps Diana Turasi's jersey is more your scene... check it out on here on the NBA's official auction site.
  • The Portland Trail Blazers have had plenty going on with Media Day. You can check out chat and video with all of the Blazer players here on the official site. Around the 29 minute mark we get to see Jerryd Bayless, the rookie who dominated Summer League. He strikes me as the hardest to judge character in the league at the moment. He oozes confidence. Is it cockiness, unfounded self-assurance, or does he just know that he can back up that swagger with his game. According to Bayless during the chat session, he is just misunderstood. The Blazersedge had a nice comedy on Bayless addressing the media.






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Nathan Jawai : scary news of heart irregularity


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Somewhat scary news has come to light as Nathan Jawai has been held out of Toronto Raptors training camp after a heart irregularity came to light in routine screenings done at the team facility.

Training camp is due to start today, Tuesday, in Ottawa, but the big Aussie will not take part as further tests will be performed this week before the Raptors staff allow him to take the court.

Whilst the news is troubling, there may be no reason to panic, but rather it is fortunate that this testing has been performed as a preventative measure ahead of any serious incident for the 6'10" PF/C. It should be noted that LaMarcus Aldridge was held out of action for the Portland Trail Blazers with a similar scare previously, which was diagnosed and he was allowed to continue playing. New York Knick Eddy Curry has also had heart problems diagnosed which have not inhibited his play.

Here's wishing all of the best for the former Cairns Taipan from far north Queensland.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Today's Warnings: 28 September, 2008 (from the blogs)


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Today's Warnings are coming in a new format. The idea being to give some love to the blogs which keep me going on a daily basis with their great content, provided by even better people. There will just be a few today, but this will be a regular feature to highlight the great work of some of my friends out there in the blogosphere:
  • John Rillie just keeps on upping the ante on his blog, as he now is covering a meaty array of NBL and NBA links -- all with that unique perspective of being a pro player himself. As mentioned in his most recent podcast (check it out if you haven't), the Australian basketball landscape has found a way to promote itself, and the majority of that promotion is now coming from fans, players and former players. Whilst Fox hasn't come to the table in the same way as we've seen in previous years, JR has his podcasts going, Hoops TV has some great weekly youtube action going and Andrew Gaze's http://www.gaze.com.au/ is putting together some weekly footage with Drewey and Hoges on camera. Derek Nielsen's Ozhoopsboards.com remains a great forum for the fans, with a massive following, showing that basketball is well and truly alive. Add to that the bloggers out there that are promoting the league and we have the new generation of media content for the NBL. The NBL site itself, http://www.nbl.com.au/ has copped some flak in recent times, however it has improved significantly and must be given credit for that.
  • Carolyn at And One has to be the best NBA historian blogger getting around at the moment. She keeps on digging up juicy pieces of basketball history, that in my opinion, should be getting her a call from the NBA's archive department at some point. Check out this post where she finds some old basketball amusement machines from over half a century ago.
  • World Hoops Blog has had a facelift recently and is looking a million dollars/euros/pounds/pesos. Paulie D (the man who never sleeps) has the news that Danilo Gallinari will miss more time than first thought for the Knicks -- as if there aren't enough problems with that team.
  • As I have said on more than one occasion here, Ethan at NESW Sports brings the best sports videos out there right to your eyes, with a minimum of effort on your part (which is great for people such as myself). Whilst I'm mainly a fan of the basketball videos, he covers all sports and updates frequently, so check out the site for a daily video fix.

  • That's all for today. But, as I say, the warnings will keep on coming on a daily basis.




    Today's Warnings : 28 September, 2008 (NBA - Early Edition)


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    It's amazing how much basketball news you miss out on in a few days of AWOLness from the Internets. Today's Warnings will come in a few parts, as there is just so much to catch up on:

    • Great video from the SacBee of Kevin Martin working out one-on-one with super-coach David Thorpe. It's always good to get a rare behind-the-scenes look at how players go about their training regimen. In this case, Thorpe explains how he highlights to players like Martin the little things that are missing in their game. "Thorpe, Martin's behind-the-curtain coach since the summer after his freshman season at Western Carolina, estimates 10 to 25 percent of NBA players rely on outside consultants/coaches. Some players spend as little as $10,000 in a summer for detailed offseason workouts. Others employ a full-time individual coach who lives in their adopted home city and travels to away games for what often is a low six-figure salary."
    • The Plain Dealer lists the things to look out for as the Cavs open training camp.
    • Gilbert Arenas, master of self-worship, has been fined for not showing to a media availability session, to parodoxically take the emphasis off himself and get the focus more on the team.
    • By now you've probably heard that White Chocolate has called his career at an end. It does seem somewhat premature -- it will be interesting to hear what his perspective on it is.
    • The Bobcats have been looking to cut back costs in a big way, meaning that they had to show the door to about 35 employees, according to ESPN.

    More later from ...a stern warning's favourite blogs.



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    Continuing with your usual scheduled programming


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    Well, I didn't exactly promise that I'd Be Back, but I am. There has been a little hiatus here at ...a stern warning, as I didn't have Homicide's portable modem to keep my basketball links chugging along whilst I was on the road in France. But, it's all systems go now... so I hope you're on your toes, as there will be more than the usual content coming your way.

    Let's start out with a review of Round 2 of NBL action.

    The 36ers and the Spirit played each other twice, once in Adelaide (with the Sixers coming away with a 10 point win) and once in Canberra (as the Spirit obviously won't struggle enough this season without giving away home games) where the Spirit managed to pull out a 7 point win behind some strong play from Derrick Low and the big man Julian Khazzouh.

    The NZ Breakers showed that the Melbourne Tigers are definitely beatable, with a 9 point win on the other side of the ditch (I was actually a little upset with myself for not predicting that one). An all-round scoring performance from the Breakers' starters was the catalyst for the win, with CJ Bruton, Oscar Forman and The Bear all putting up 23 points each, relegating Kirk Penney to fourth fiddle with 20 points. Tony "The Bear" Ronaldson has been the story so far in my opinion for this team. He seems to have fit into his role perfectly and has been dishing out assists like a 16 year old McDonalds worker dishes out french fries. Could this be a renaissance season for the biggest butt in Aussie basketball?

    True to John Rillie's word, the Townsville Crocs came back with a vengeance to knock off the South Dragons on their own turf, by 2. Whilst JR's shooting form is not back just yet, he did some dirty work to pull in 7 rebounds, leaving Homicide Williams to put up 22 points and Brad Williamson to chip in 16 in what was a fairly low scoring match. Rosell Ellis and Russell Hinder both had quiet scoring nights inside as well. Mark Worthington put up a very healthy 20-14 line for the Dragons, but Joe Ingles' 2/13 night wasn't of much support.

    On Saturday the Crocs continued their winning ways at home, as they took out the Cairns Taipans by 4. JR's head games may have paid off, as the Snakes allowed the Crocs to get back in the contest with a 30-13 fourth quarter behind a Corey Williams explosion of 16 points in that term (31 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists overall). Hinder came to the party with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Stephen Black (28 points) and Martin Cattalini (18 & 15) toiled admirably for the visitors, but there was no stopping a determined Homicide in the end, as he shot 10/16 from the field and 11/14 at the line.

    The Perth Wildcats hosted the Gold Coast Blaze and the expected result, a 94-80 Cats win, came to pass. As NBL.com.au reported, "The Blaze shot just 35 percent from the field and 25 percent from three-point range and that was never going to be enough against a Wildcats team that nailed 12-from-23 from long distance and 50 percent from the field." The Hammer put up 28 to lead the Blaze charge, but they clearly would like Luke Whitehead to be back in uniform and will hope to see improvement from James Harvey as he continues to regain form after his ankle injury. The Wildcats had a solid performance across the board with six players in double figures, as Darnell Hinson set the table nicely with 11 assists.

    So, how did the Stern Predictions for Round 2 hold up?
    In short, not as well as I would have hoped. 3-3 was the record for the round, bringing the total so far to 7-6. Perhaps that sort of record is good enough to get you into the Eastern Conference NBA playoffs, but it's not good enough for ...a stern warning, so Round 3 needs improvement!

    Monday, 22 September 2008

    NBL : Round 2 : Busy Dragons to take on Crocs


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    Round One of NBL action is over and the South Dragons have been busy little ballers. The only team to play three games in the first week of the season, Brian Goorjian's troops managed to come out with two wins -- both of them against the reloaded Perth Wildcats, who are smarting after the loss of captain Paul Rogers for more weeks than first thought.

    Goorjian even managed to rack up his 700th career win at Challenge Stadium, after rallying his troops from a season-opening loss to the Cairns Taipans up north. Swingman Joe Ingles appears to have returned strongly from his Olympic campaign and new additions Mark Worthington, Adam Gibson and Mika Vukona have been absorbed into the side well. Imports Cortez Groves and Tremmell Darden look like they have an easy squad to work with where they won't have to shoulder the full load every night.

    John Rillie's Townsville Crocodiles have recovered from their tough loss to the Adelaide 36ers and are ready to take on the Dragons in Melbourne on Thursday. The 36ers are stacked (like many teams this season) and may surprise many observers in 2008/09 (including the Stern Predictions made this preseason on this site), so the Crocs' loss to them should not be a major disappointment. It must be remembered that Townsville is in an adjustment process after a few injuries rocked their preseason preparation, along with the addition of key piece Russell Hinder and almost-addition of Rosell Ellis. In short, the Crocs are a team to be feared -- there won't be many nights this season where JR let's the opposition off that lightly.

    Meanwhile Wednesday night sees the 36ers host the Sydney Spirit. This match could be a complete demolition job by the boys from South Australia if they play the same way they did versus Townsville. With Brett Maher knocking them down from all over, Aaron Bruce running the point, Mark Tyndale doing his best Julius Hodge impression and Luke Schenscher and Adam Ballinger filling up the paint, it will be tough for the Spirit to walk away with anything better than a 10 point loss. The Spirit will however get a chance for revenge if they do fall to the Sixers, with a return gig on Saturday, albeit in Canberra at the AIS, as they try to spread the NBL love back in the nation's capital.

    In one of many very entertaining games this round, the New Zealand Breakers will host the Melbourne Tigers at the NSEC. This will be a very good test for the Tigers to see how strong their title credentials are. NZ are over-brimming with offensive talent, particularly from the perimeter, as CJ Bruton and Kirk Penney absolutely destroy teams on three balls. Rick Rickert will be a handful for Chris Anstey inside. But the real measure of the Breakers will be their interior D, as there isn't much going on inside apart from Rickert. Anstey, Rod Grizzard and Sam Mackinnon may well test that aspect of the NZers.

    Friday night sees Shane Heal lead his Blaze boys over to Perth, where both teams try to rack up win number one for the season, as both squads find themselves at 0-2. It will be a struggle for the Blaze, as the Wildcats certainly know how to throw a party in WA and have the firepower to scare any team in this league. Meanwhile James Harvey is returning from injury and Luke Whitehead is still somewhat of a question mark.

    Home cooking is always sweet. That is what the Crocs will be serving up on Saturday as they welcome the Cairns Taipans to the Swamp. Don't expect any niceties from JR, Homicide and the crew as they take on the 2-0 Taipans. Cattalini, Black and co have been firing well so far, but they will need to have rested well in their week-long break for this QLD matchup.


    Round 2 Matchups and Stern Predictions

    36ers v Spirit : 36ers by 11

    Breakers v Tigers : Tigers by 3

    Dragons v Crocodiles : Dragons by 2

    Wildcats v Blaze : Wildcats by 13

    Spirit v 36ers : 36ers by 1

    Crocodiles v Taipans : Crocs by 6

    Review of Round 1 Stern Predictions

    Here are the results of Round 1, with my predicted winner with the margin in brackets, followed by the actual result in bold:

    Taipans v Dragons (1) : Taipans by 6

    Spirit v Tigers (12) : Tigers by 10

    Dragons (4) v Wildcats : Dragons by 16

    Breakers (10) v Hawks : Breakers by 21

    36ers v Crocs (3) : 36ers by 27

    Blaze v Taipans (11) : Taipans by 10

    Wildcats (4) v Dragons : Dragons by 4

    Tigers v Blaze* : Tigers by 16
    Hawks v Spirit* : Hawks by 12
    * No Stern Predictions were made for these games

    Total Record to date: 4-3

    Not doing as well as might be hoped so far -- I'm sternly warning myself as you read this!

    Saturday, 20 September 2008

    NBL : Round 1 return of Wildcats v Dragons


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    Round One of NBL action is almost at an end, with tomorrow's re-match of the Perth Wildcats and South Dragons being the finale to the round. The Wildcats will be looking to avenge their 16 point loss to the Dragons of three days ago, as Brian Goorjian's troops visit Challenge Stadium. The Wildcats are certainly missing the presence of injured centre Paul Rogers, but coach Connor Henry will have to pull them together to get the win. The Cats will be looking for a better second half performance from star Shawn Redhage this time around and behind the Boomer forward, along with Darnell Hinson and Alex Loughton, they should come out victorious. NBL official match preview here.

    A Stern Prediction: Wildcats by 4.

    Other games from Round One

    There were no Stern Predictions made for the following games, due to time restraints, but today saw the following results:

    Tigers 92 def. Blaze 76
    Hawks 111 def. Spirit 99

    JR was somewhat disappointed with the Townsville Crocs' loss to Adelaide the night before, in what sounds like was just an off night -- they happen to even the best of us sometimes, John.

    Tomorrow we'll recap how my Stern Predictions have fared at the end of Round One.







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    How to Climb a Mountain – Boston Celtics Edition


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    Perhaps you know the great author Paulo Coelho from Brazil. He wrote the international bestseller, The Alchemist. Recently I was reading a collection of short stories by Coelho, Like The Flowing River. One of the many stories in this book that touched me was How to Climb a Mountain.

    The same principles in that story can apply to the Boston Celtics of 2007-08, I realised. So, without further deliberation, here is the ...a stern warning interpretation of How to Climb a Mountain – Boston Celtics Edition.


    Choose the mountain you want to climb

    After several dry years, the Celtics craved NBA title success again. The fans of Boston have seen many titles over the years and accept no less than the best as a measure of a team. So management of the team in green set the mountain they had to climb as the NBA title. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were complicit in this aim.

    Find out how to reach the mountain

    Years of suffering and hard work by the Celtics' new Big Three had taught them exactly what was needed to reach that mountain – the NBA title. They knew that to win they had to give up any personal accolades, in favour of a greater team goal.

    Learn from someone who has been there before

    In order to climb a mountain, you need to get advice from someone who has mastered that achievement in the past. The Celtics realised this and brought in the help of previous title winners in James Posey and Sam Cassell, to add that winning touch to their array of talent in the leadership group. Not stopping at that, Kevin Garnett also took on the personal tutelage of perhaps the greatest mountain climber of all time, Bill Russell.

    Dangers, seen from close to, are controllable

    When you are climbing the mountain of your dreams, look out for imperceptible cracks and things that may trip you up. If you keep out an eye for potential problems as they approach you, you will reach your goal without issue. The Celtics achieved this through the guidance of Doc Rivers and through the veteran presence of the Big Three, who had experienced plenty of media scrutiny in their time. They did not allow the media or fan expectations to hinder their reaching the top of the mountain.

    The landscape changes, so make the most of it

    On the way up the mountain, you must never forget your objective – to reach the top. However, you should also enjoy the view on the way up, as you may otherwise miss things that you have never seen before. The Celtics had an unbelievable regular season, punctuated by a successful run through the playoffs. It was a special group that was put together and you could tell that they were enjoying themselves on the way up the mountain.

    Respect your body

    If you want to get to the top of that mountain, you must treat your body like the temple that it must be in order to make that climb. Nobody in the NBA exhibits that dedication to one's body better than KG. His single-minded resolve to win surely rubbed off on that Celtics team.

    Respect your soul

    Whilst perhaps no coach has ever exceeded Finals opponent Phil Jackson's ability to enter the soul of his players, Doc Rivers certainly did an admirable job of moulding this group of newly connected stars into a cohesive group that went all the way.

    Be prepared to go the extra mile

    At the beginning of the off-season, this Celtics team was group of young, exuberant also-rans. Danny Ainge was not prepared to settle for mediocrity and acquired not just one, but two superstars to add to the group – in short, he went that extra mile to climb that mountain.

    Be joyful when you reach the top

    There was no shortage of celebrations in Boston upon the Celtics' title win, which coincided nicely with a year of victories in the greater Boston area. All you had to do was look at the joy and relief on KG's face when it was all over to know, this team were indeed joyful about their achievement after waiting so long to get to the top of that mountain.

    Make a promise

    The Celtics have not (to my knowledge) made one of those tired public guarantees of a repeat title, but you can bet that they are all dedicating themselves internally to doing it all again. After all, the most important promises are the ones you make to yourself.

    Tell your story

    This is where all of you have come into play as team members of the Celtics. All of the great bloggers from CelticsBlog to Red's Army to Loy's Place to Green Bandwagon have done a fantastic job of proclaiming the success of the C's in this wonderful run they have had. Even in the lean years, the Celtics have always enjoyed one of the strongest armies of bloggers. Success breeds success.

    Credit inspiration for this post: Like the Flowing River, Paulo Coelho, Harper (2005) pp 12-15.





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    Friday, 19 September 2008

    Will there be Homicide in Adelaide tonight?


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    John Rillie's Townsville Crocs have made the journey to Adelaide tonight to take on the revamped 36ers. Adelaide is sporting new recruits Luke Schenscher, Aaron Bruce, Mark Tyndale along with the old face of Brett Maher, the consistency of Adam Ballinger and the return of Jacob Holmes. Can they combine all of this into a winning team immediately? There is no better backcourt than that of the Crocs -- Rillie and Homicide Williams will be looking to turn the City of Churches into a cemetary, with the help of Rosell Ellis inside and the refreshed Russell Hinder. Adelaide are ALWAYS tough at home, but JR would kill me if I didn't give this one to the tight-knit boys from up north. NBL official match preview here.

    A Stern Prediction: Crocodiles by 3

    The Cairns Taipans make the trip down to take on the Gold Coast Blaze tonight also. Cairns are looking strong after a first-up victory over the South Dragons and despite the addition of Shane "the Hammer" Heal, the Blaze are suffering too many injuries with James Harvey and Luke Whitehead having ankle niggles. So expect the Taipans to get away with a decent win on the Gold Coast, as the Blaze warm up for the rest of the season. NBL official match preview here.

    A Stern Prediction: Taipans by 11






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    Thursday, 18 September 2008

    Doug & Jackie Christie : Charitable People (and Today's Bonus Warnings)


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    By now everyone knows about the financial crisis going on in the business end of town. You may care about it, you may not, but you've heard about it.

    What you may not have heard about, is that Doug and Jackie Christie have been doing everything in their power to avert the crisis. To the tune of $9,000 USD.

    Wow, that's a lot of money. If you're not a retired NBA player with a similarly famous wife, it is.

    Perhaps I'm being cynical, perhaps it's the self-promoting nature of this couple in the past, but this news didn't leave me immediately with a warm and fuzzy feeling, as perhaps it was meant to.

    "NBA star Doug Christie and his wife, Jackie, announce that they will purchase 3,000 shares of corporate stock to help with the AIG financial crisis. The Christies, who are no strangers to helping people in need, have graciously used their star appeal to bring awareness to the issue."

    "We encourage all our fellow men and woman to buy at least two stocks to help with the global economic crisis," said Jackie Christie. "We want everyone to step up and help in any way that they can. This is a huge crisis we face, but together we can make a difference. Do not just sit by and watch."

    As I say, perhaps I'm just being cynical and inherently, this is a good idea. It's more a matter of once bitten twice shy (or the boy who cried wolf) when it comes to some celebrities trying to look wholesome, when meanwhile they have recently released another book which they would like to sell.


    Today's Bonus Warnings

    * If you haven't already, don't forget to get your submissions in for our OKC Thunder logo: Can you do better? competition. Two days left.

    * JR is back in the podcasting booth with Episode 2 of his already successful new gig. Give it a listen.

    * New PSP game, NBA 09: The Inside, is reviewed.

    * SLAM has Rasheed at No. 34 in their Top 50 Players breakdown.

    * Ziller has some great reading essentials over at Fanhouse.

    * You may have heard that Gilbert Arenas is getting surgery again. Yep. I loved this quote from the Examiner: "Grunfeld did note Arenas will be put on ice therapy immediately, which sounds like a fancy way of saying NBA Live '09 on a comfortable couch..."

    * HoopsWorld examines the possibility that the Utah Jazz may let AK47 walk if indeed he does have an offer on the table from CSKA Moscow.

    * WHB looks at the NZ Breakers' comfortable win over the Wollongong Hawks.



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    Another sad chapter in the history of Starbury


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    "We got a younger youthier player, within young... within Zach Randolph."

    Yes, words of wisdom like that could only come from one Stephon "Starbury" Marbury.

    Take a step back in time and watch this footage as Steph boasts about the signing of Zach Randolph to the Knicks a little over a year ago. I am still not sure how Randolph was younger or "youthier" than Channing Frye, who has been a lovely addition to the Trail Blazers, but Starbury (and his boys) certainly seemed pleased with the move.



    Flash forward to now and it is questionable as to whether both of them will even be in Madison Square Garden this season at all. Perhaps under Mike D'Antoni the Knicks will find some even younger, youthier players.



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    Today's Warnings : 18 September, 2008


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    Things have been a little crazy around ...a stern warning headquarters in the last few days and they will continue to be for the near future, as non-basketball activities obstruct solid basketball commitment, in much the same way as pretty much the whole of Isaiah Rider's career panned out. You've been warned...
    • Hugging Harold Reynolds takes a brief step out of the baseball diamond to point out that behaviour on the basketball court can be somewhat questionable, in a, you know... umm... intimate way.
    • Where art and basketball converge (two topics very close to my heart): Aaron Hazel interview with And One.
    • Mens Wheelchair Basketball gold goes to Australia over Canada, with legend Troy Sachs contributing 19 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals in the victory. Great Britain pipped USA for the bronze. In the Womens, USA beat Germany, whilst Australia beat Japan for bronze.
    • Portland Trail Bloggers with the crazy notion that Sheed should come back to the Blazers. I love Sheed as a player, but I don't think I could even think for a second about him landing back in PDX again...
    • Brewhoop has a whole mess of Bucks links to dig into.
    • Whilst the final two NBL team previews for season 2008/09 have been a little delayed here, who better to tell you exactly what to expect (from a totally unbiased perspective) from the Townsville Crocs this season than John Rillie.
    • Thoughts From The Jockstrap comes out with some great NBA lookalikes, Part 1 and Part 2.
    • Roger the Dodger weighs in with his views on whether you follow a player or a team.

    After I took a dig at JR Rider above, let's leave you all warm and fuzzy with this highlight of one of the greatest "shots" ever:



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    Wednesday, 17 September 2008

    Ater Majok : Future NBA Prospect


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    Junior basketball in Australia has been fuelled to an extent in recent times by an influx of African refugees to Western Sydney. As reported in today's Daily Telegraph, Blacktown coach Edward Smith has been instrumental in training these youngsters as basketball players, with many of them coming from a zero-base in terms of roundball experience.

    "To date, he has been able to field 17 Australians in US colleges with a further 11 players this year attending US high schools, where they could hone their game and life skills."

    By far the most exciting and successful of these new Australian youngsters is Ater Majok. Now 20 years old and standing 6'10", Smith first introduced Majok to the basics of basketball four years ago. Now he is in a situation where he has been heavily recruited in the USA, having a choice of colleges and choosing ultra-successful UConn as the next step in his journey.

    Majok has the athleticism, touch and work ethic to be a star. He has been pinned as a top 10 power forward prospect and there is no doubt that the NBA is firmly in his sights. Watch the footage of Majok in 2006 (below), when he was just 18, and you can see the potential for a solid NBA career. His spring around the basket is strong, his work ethic appears solid and for a player with such little basketball experience, he has a nice touch on his hook.

    The Telegraph article questions how many of these refugees will return to Australia with the skills which they have acquired under the tutelage of Smith, after breaking into the US College and High School scenes. Great Britain is currently benefiting from another Sudanese refugee, Luol Deng, in their National program. In the case of Majok, it sounds very likely that he will have the talent to don Australian Boomer colours one day. More than this, it sounds like he has the will to be a Boomer and wants to return to Australia with the spoils of his US experience.

    In this March 2008 Telegraph aricle where he was deliberating over which College to attend, Majok reveals his three main goals in basketball: "win the NCAA division one title with whatever school he commits to, make it into the NBA as a first-round draft pick and play for Australia at the 2012 Olympic Games."

    This is great news for Australian basketball, as Majok's future sounds bright. And with a name like that, no doubt there will be many in the media knowing his name in the near future and possibly affixing the nickname "Magic" to it.

    Ater Majok in 2006, upon his arrival in the United States:



    A recent highlight reel of Majok moves in high school:












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    Tuesday, 16 September 2008

    NBL : Dragons to be tested by Wildcats


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    17 Sept: Tonight the South Dragons host the Perth Wildcats, in what will be one of their biggest tests of the season. Brian Goorjian is calling this a do-or-die encounter for the Dragons in what is only their second game of this very young season. The Dragons lost a tough encounter in Cairns in the opening game of 2008/09 and though much is expected of this team, few would call this a desperate game to win. Perth will certainly push the Dragons, however the likely unavailability of captain Paul Rogers and the home court advantage should put the Dragons over the top. NBL official match preview here.

    A Stern Prediction: Dragons by 4.

    18 Sept: The Wollongong Hawks travel to New Zealand to take on the Breakers. Behind the addition of CJ Bruton, the Kiwi mob are looking to take on all comers this season and don't expect to find any challenge too great. Always a tough proposition to visiting teams, the New Zealand crowd will be itching to see the new-season version of this team in action. Meanwhile, Eric Cooks has been preaching defence to his charges during the off-season and hopes to restructure this team, which is led by the scoring punch of Kavossy Franklin. Unfortunate news came for the Hawks in that Steel City golden boy Glen Saville has a broken finger, however he will play through the pain. The Hawks still will not have enough to top the home squad.

    A Stern Prediction: Breakers by 10.



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    Has our sport really become that boring?


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    This evening I stumbled across a random blog entry, on a random blog, from a random blogger. He was your average Joe, not a basketball fanaticist lunatic like the rest of us that read and write what you see on ...a stern warning.

    This man attended an NBA game and seemed stunned by the level of pageantry and spectacle that goes on at a basketball match, outside of the sport itself.

    Here's what It Blows My Mind! had to say:

    Last week I went to a variety show in Atlanta and in the middle of the dancing and singing a basketball game broke out. I was chaperoning a busload of teenage hormones on a field trip in Atlanta. One activity was an evening at a National Basketball Association game. It was hard to think of the evening as a sporting event.

    The warm-up before the game included dribbling, shooting and running. In addition several players were prone on the court and having their legs bent back over their head, twisted and messaged. It was apparently a chiropractic demonstration for the couple of hundred in attendance in case they should injure themselves exiting the game.

    A game did begin, but only after an introduction of players that was accompanied by dancing searchlights, raucous music and flames belching out of a rafter-mounted cannon as each player was introduced. The heat from the flames melted my ice cream cone.

    Part way through the game, one team called a timeout and the floor was flooded by a dozen mini skirted young ladies who danced and sang to some hip hop tune. I assumed it was modern music, as I could not understand a word. When they dashed off the court, the floor was quickly mopped by another group of scantily dressed nubile young girlies.

    The huge scoreboard TV screen continually distracted the audience from the basketball game with contests, quizzes and mini biographies of the dancing girls we had seen earlier. During other breaks in the action (on the court) the screen encouraged the audience to dance and kiss their companions and play a game like the Price is Right. I was just getting into the swing of things when the damn game started again.

    During half time we watched a five-minute game played between two teams of eight year olds, which was far more entertaining than the actual game. The grand finale was the Flying Hawk, a man dressed in a hawk’s costume, who raced down the court, jumped on a trampoline, did a summersault and slam-dunked a ball into a basket. He received the largest ovation of the night.

    I don’t know who won the NBA game but nobody seemed to care. We had had our fill of pretty girls, fireworks, dancing, singing, gymnastics, explosions, and an endless menu of drinks, hot dogs and cotton candy. And I won’t even begin to describe the antics on view the next night at a National Hockey League game.

    Oh, what has become of professional sport? When did it
    become a circus sideshow? It blows my mind!


    This all got me thinking. Why is it that basketball has always found itself dedicated to a sideshow performance at every game? Does basketball not warrant the same level of respect as other sports? Do we as basketball fans not value our sport in the same way as other sports fans? Or perhaps, did the invention of possibly the most famous basketball team ever, the Harlem Globetrotters, forever assign basketball as a sport of sugar-puff entertainment to the masses?

    What do you think? Am I being too sensitive as a basketball fan and defending my sport -- do other sports suffer similar degradation in their half-time entertainment? Set me straight.




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    Today's Warnings : 16 September, 2008


    A Stern Warning has a brand new site!! Click the logo or go to http://www.asternwarning.com


    These are the true doldrums of the year for North American basketball fans. Proceedings are under way in Australia's NBL, but the NBA Summer League is over, training camp has not yet started and the Olympics feel like they were months and months ago. Despite all this, the blogosphere is still keeping you entertained. Check out Today's Warnings:

    • You want some kicks with bling? Well what is more money than Monopoly? Carolyn at And One dedicated this post to me, as she knew I would love these shoes. You might have to mortgage a couple of your hotels to pay for them though, I'm guessing.
    • There has been a lot of speculation flying around Australian basketball circles about the possibility of the Melbourne Tigers (amongst others) exceeding the salary cap. John Rillie has had enough and wants everyone to get on with it and play. As a player, he makes a very good point, that if you start thinking these types of thoughts at this stage, you might as well give away the season.
    • Remember the Lil Penny Hardaway ads? They were fantastic. I still don't really understand what Tyra Banks is doing in this one, it's kind of creepy and strange in a way -- or maybe it's just me. Once again, fantastic work by NESW Sports, bringing us the goods from the world of youtubery.
    • You may have been following the ...a stern warning NBL Season Previews (which were cut short today by the wonders of technology inhibiting inspiration). Glockers has also been previewing the recently commenced NBL season over at his site.
    • Ballerblogger takes us back in the time machine to the 2001 NBA All-Star Game.
    • You want world basketball links? Here you go.
    • The Hoop Doctors diagnose the fate of Lamar Odom.


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    Monday, 15 September 2008

    OKC Thunder : Can you do better?


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    There has been a lot of criticism out there of the new Oklahoma City Thunder logo. We've seen everything from detailed critiques to hilarious cartoons about the saga.

    Good friend of this blog, Jeff Wong (formerly of Hoops Addict and The Score) came up with a very good question: CAN YOU DO BETTER?

    What we're asking here today is, if you can do a better job of designing a logo for the Thunder, then please step up to the plate. There is a veritable treasure trove of great designers out there in the world of NBA fans -- we've seen them time and time again.

    So if you have the skills, please post a link to your re-design of the OKC Thunder logo in the comments here, or email them to me at mookie (at) asternwarning.com and we will post all of them here. Submissions will be taken up until September 20th.

    Who knows... when the time comes to revamp the OKC Thunder logo again, perhaps Clay Bennett will come knocking at your door, with a cup of Starbucks in hand...

    Actually, scrap that bit about the Starbucks, that's just taking it too far.

    -- Mookie










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    NBL 2008/09 Season Previews : Part 3


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    Here is Part 3 of the ...a stern warning NBL 2008/09 Season Preview. This was to be the final part in the series, however in a frustrating turn of events, the blogger software decided to delete half of the Spirit and the entire Townsville Crocs and Wollongong Hawks posts before publishing. So the final two teams will come tomorrow! Frustrating actually isn't a strong enough word...

    SOUTH DRAGONS

    The Dragons have burst from the flames of last season's disappointment to clean the slate for a new and exciting beginning behind the signings of all-time great coach Brian Goorjian, Boomers star Mark Worthington and a host of other pieces. After a 5-25 finish to 2007-08, the Dragons will be looking for a complete turnaround of fortunes with the new team put together this season. There is no reason that this team should not be pushing for a title claim.

    GUARDS

    Cortez Groves has spent enough time in the league to know the lie of the land. A solid scorer who enjoys gambling on defence, Goorjian will be looking to transform him into the player he was in Wollongong, rather than the one he was in the Dragons' season to forget. If he can return to his 22ppg 5apg 3rpg form, the fans have an exciting backcourt to rely upon this season.

    Joe Ingles is still in South Dragons colours, which makes for a happy ball club. Whilst there has been talk that the super-versatile 6'9" swingman could be Europe-bound this season, there has been nothing concrete on that front as yet and it appears that he will play in the NBL this season before making his big shot at the NBA in 2009. His size allows him to do almost anything he wants on the court and he demonstrated during the Olympics that he is not afraid of playing in big games or taking on quality opponents, despite his slight frame. The coaching of Goorjian will only continue to develop his game to the level required for that next step.

    Adam Gibson was one of the most prized youngsters to become available during this off-season. Viewed as a future Boomer, he has improved in all of his three seasons with the Brisbane Bullets until the team's collapse meant that he needed a new home. A good ball distributor, last season he averaged 11.5ppg, 4.0apg and shot well from all over the court.

    Nathan Herbert and Rhys Carter were two of the best-performed players in pre-season games this year. The two youngsters shot the lights out for the Dragons whilst two of their teammates were playing on Boomers duty and their imports were not in town. They are unlikely to get the same sort of chance to shine with the full compliment of talent on board, but Goorjian-led teams always get the green light to shoot the three, which should suit these two just fine.

    FORWARDS

    Tremmell Darden comes into this league as a relative unknown. However the 6'5" swingman will no doubt be moulded into the Goorjian defensive mould, or else he wouldn't be in town in the first place. He is known as a strong athlete, with a good ability to penetrate. In short, a very similar player to teammate Cortez Groves. He will likely spend most of his time at small forward, whilst also playing off guard at times.

    Mark Worthington has proven himself to be one of the premier players in this league and he will only improve this season after a solid Boomers campaign in Beijing. This guy does not back down at either end of the court (just ask Shawn Redhage) and will be many teams' nightmare this season. Capable of putting up 20+ points on a nightly basis, whilst also shutting down opposing forwards of all sizes, he'll likely be required to start at power forward.

    Mika Vukona is the type of glue player that Brian Goorjian loves and was no doubt targeted by Goorj early in the recruitment process. He's not a big time scorer but will pull down double figure rebounds in a short number of minutes and plays solid defence. He is the perfect player to bring off the bench for energy down the stretch.

    CENTRE

    Nick Horvath is looking for a reawakening. Another player that appears to have been trapped in a South Dragons "Heal era" induced lull, he started his NBL career as an extremely dominant big man. Already in the pre-season and first up game against the Taipans he has proven that he is back on track for regular 20-10 nights and the Dragons will expect no less of him if they want to meet the lofty title expectations of their fans.

    Matt Burston is as good as they get in terms of backup centres in this league. His early career in Perth promised much and it has only been injuries which have held him back from being a serious shot at the Boomers squad. The tutelage of the Boomers coach will definitely help his cause though. Look for a very strong resurgence from Burston this season.

    A STERN PREDICTION

    End of regular season prediction: 3rd

    There is a recurring theme in the above analysis, Brian Goorjian. The arrival of the most highly regarded coach in Australian basketball history has set expectations high for this squad immediately. Goorjian's winning mentality and track record have made for his "homecoming" being the revival of Melbourne's basketball cross-town rivalry. The fact that be attracted Worthington, Gibson and Vukona into the fold helps as well. It is not often that a team that finished last is expected to challenge for the title, but I can't see them falling behind more teams than Perth and Melbourne this season.


    SYDNEY SPIRIT

    The name West Sydney Razorbacks may no longer exist, but the reputation as a hustling, never-say-die team that coach Rod Beveridge established last season will still be there. At least, it better be if the Spirit hope to avoid a wooden spoon finish in 2009. "Bevo" has put together a solid squad of youngsters that rely on defence and team work to win games. The two new imports this season will have their work cut out for them to save this team from the bottom of the heap.

    GUARDS

    Derrick Low has already stated in the media that he enjoys playing for an underdog, as he did in college, and the Hawaiian may get the chance to surprise some teams. Low seems to be the type of player who was born to lead a team from the front. He has a great outside shot which he put down in bunches during the NCAA Sweet Sixteen and he'll have to bring that to step into the ample shoes of the departed Darnell Hinson. The Spirit could have done a lot worse than bringing in this guy to lead the team.

    Jason Smith was a publicity signing, if nothing else. After the finalisation of the Sydney Kings collapse and the Razorbacks' decision to become the Spirit, the approaching of Smith was the best marketing ploy the team could make to try and bring the basketball fans of Sydney together. Unfortunately for the team the Boomers defensive stalwart will be injured for the first half of the season, but his leadership from the bench will be a boost in the meantime. When healthy, there is no better defender at the two position and his outside shot is a constant threat.

    Damian Martin's injury ten games into last season killed the momentum of this team, proving how valuable the terrier is to this club. His defensive intensity gnaws at opposing offences from baseline to baseline and he forms the core of Beveridge's plans to take teams by surprise. He is not much of an offensive threat, but knows how to get on the boards and is the type of player who will help out a team by his very presence.

    Drew Williamson was a solid addition to the club from Townsville and will likely get a chance to show off his outside shot whilst Smith is still out injured.

    FORWARDS

    Matthew Knight is the standout of this team and had a spectacular rookie campaign, averaging close to a double-double. He will definitely follow that up with improvement this season as he tries to stamp his authority as the commander of the boards.

    David Gruber is not the most heralded import signing that this league has seen, but he is a solid blue collar worker in the paint who will use his undersized frame to get on the boards and put in his share of dunks, as he has shown in his time in the SEABL.

    Liam Rush at the three position is a player on the verge of making the Boomers and just needs to take an extra step in his development to become that player that teams key on defensively. An athletic player who can get to the basket, his outside shot has become reliable enough and he helps out on defence -- a must on this team.

    Graeme Dann has been described by many as one of the most frustrating players in the league due to his outstanding potential and talent which he never seems to capitalise on. His big body and ball handling ability allow him to play anything from point guard to small forward and he shows flashes of brilliance intermittently but has not shown the consistency to be a regular contributor in this league.

    Clint Reed can fill up the hole, however he will not get the minutes he needs to do that on this squad.

    CENTRE

    Julian Khazzouh is a young centre with a scoring touch inside, who probably doesn't rebound as much as he should. However with the presence of Knight and Gruber down low, he can afford to do his thing on offence and at the other end is a good enough shot blocker to cause some problems.

    Tony Rampton has proven himself in many seasons of Australian and New Zealand basketball as a quality rebounder and interior scorer. He is the perfect big body to have coming off the bench.

    A STERN PREDICTION

    End of regular season prediction: 9th

    This team lacks a quality scorer and thus, despite the defensive and teamwork principles that Bevo preaches, it will be hard for them to move out of the lower estuaries of the ladder. They will cause their share of upsets over the course of the season, but will not be the winning team that Sydney requires for the fans to get involved.



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    Sunday, 14 September 2008

    Injuries-R-Us : Blazers now looking at Livingston


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    Not content with the injuries that have befallen the team already in the past year, the Blazers are currently looking at cover-your-eyes-horrifically-injured Shaun Livingston this week.

    After enduring a season without prized lottery pick Greg Oden, the Blazers saw injuries to stars LaMarcus Aldridge, followed by Brandon Roy requiring surgery this Summer, Channing Frye having bone spurs removed from his ankle and this week's news that Raef "Contract" LaFrentz will miss most of this season with shoulder surgery.

    On the back of all of that injury misery, Blazers fans were surprised to hear that the team has this week been working out point guard Livingston as a potential fit for their 15th roster spot. The Blazers have already invited former Oregon forward Luke Jackson, popular Summer League centre Steven Hill and Jamaal Tatum to camp to compete for the final roster spot, but Livingston offers something none of the others do -- the chance to steal a player that was once viewed as one of the brightest young stars in the league.

    Livingston was injured in February 2007 in one of the most vomit-inducing incidents in recent NBA history. The video of the fast break injury is featured below, however those with weak stomaches should avoid viewing -- Livingson himself has never watched the footage, nor does he plan to. Standing 6'7", he makes for a unique option at point guard and showed much promise in his time with the Los Angeles Clippers prior to the injury. Kevin Pritchard maintains that the Blazers are only taking a look at Livingson and refuses to comment on the progress that he has shown.

    In other Blazers medical news, Travis Outlaw has been quarantined from the practice facility after contracting a golden staph infection. The Blazers can only hope that the doctors need not be called upon again in the near future, as they have encountered problem after problem.

    On the bright side of things, the current situation gives newly acquired Ike Diogu a chance to contribute at power forward as well as the glut of swingmen including Rudy Fernandez, Jerryd Bayless and Martell Webster.









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    Friday, 12 September 2008

    NBL : It's Game Time!


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    The NBL season is here

    A firey matchup is likely ensue tomorrow (13th Sept) as the NBL tips off with the Cairns Taipans v South Dragons. I'll keep a log of my predictions here on the site, so that I can be named and shamed when they are shown as awfully wrong as the season progresses. NBL official match preview here.

    A Stern Prediction: Dragons by 3 on the road.

    On Sunday, 14th Sept, the Sydney Spirit are visited by the Melbourne Tigers. Whilst this does not have the same punch as Sydney v Melbourne used to, it would be great to see a large crowd at the game. NBL official match preview here.

    A Stern Prediction: Tigers by 12 on the road.

    Other bits and pieces

    Check out the first entertaining instalment in John Rillie's podcasting adventures.

    Part 1 and Part 2 of the ...a stern warning NBL season previews are there for the criticising. The final part will be up tomorrow.

    Do you remember British Knights shoes?

    Shawn Kemp is in Italy now and he likes the sea.

    New Dragon Adam Gibson is shamed by WHB's fashion police.

    Hey kids, do you like Facebook and Luke Martin? Well then join the group to get the NBL to let him back into the league.

    Should Coach K be leading an NBA team?

    Keep up with the latest on NBA 2K9 here.




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