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How long can D’Antoni’s Rockets light up NBA Playoffs?

May 1st, 2017 · No Comments

Time has a nasty habit ‘O slippin’ away for your Senior Scribe Touchdown Tommy, as I had zero inkling that the Houston Rockets had a new Head Coach until this past March, just prior to the Playoffs.

D’Antoni’s fired-up philosophy has Rockets revved up

As I’ll confess, like I’ve done here before on Sportyblog, I typically don’t pay Attenzione to the NBA, or Stick “N Ball Sports in general, except vicariously when searching for stories to post here; but I digress…

Amazingly, it appears that the last time I wrote in earnest ’bout the current Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni was Wayback in Twenty-oh-Nine; Aye Karumba!

D’Antoni comes Home

As I was still reveling in the fact that D’Antoni, who I’d become enamoured with during his Phoenix Suns reign, where the mantra was Just Shoot, Baby! Err, shoot the ball in seven seconds or less, had been sent packing to the east coast to try revitalizing the New York Knicks, who’d won at the “Garden” on January 21, 2009 114-109 vs. the Suns.

As then Phoenix Suns President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Steve Kerr had apparently given up upon D’Antoni’s run ‘N gun philosophy. Having traded for the services of Shaquille O’Neal in February, 2008 via the Miami Heat, where Shaq’s relationship with who he called “The Great Pat Riley” had grown fractious.

O’Neal, playing on a two-year, $40m contract in Phoenix, quickly anointed himself as the Big Cactus! While his son Shareef has just committed to the University of Arizona Wildcats for 2018; but that’s a different story for another day.

Shaq was most complementary toward his ex-Head Coach D’Antoni, by stating: he was sad to see him leave for New York last spring. “He’s a great man, an honest man and the system really works,” said O’Neal, who then paid D’Antoni the ultimate compliment, comparing him with Phil Jackson and Pat Riley.”
“He’s the truth.”

With Kerr telling D’Antoni he was free to seek new employment in May, 2008, D’Antoni quickly accepted New York’s four year, $24m offer and quickly set about trying to right the Knickerbockers listing ship, then walloping from past coach Isaiah Thomas’s tenure.

After two losing seasons, the Knicks made the 2010-11 Playoffs, albeit getting clobbered by the Boston Celtics in Round One, before D’Antoni resigned in March, 2012, noting he’d clashed with Knicks Superstar Carmelo Anthony; Hmm? Sound familiar?

Next, the Los Angeles Lakers who’d tried luring Phil Jackson back, found their Board of Directors unanimously approving the sudden hiring of D’Antoni as their new Head Coach, where he was reunited with his past Floor General, All Star Guard Steve Nash.

Trying to rebuild a once mighty Franchise, it sounds like there were too many Stars on the team, as D’Antoni apparently scrapped trying to implement any system and just let them play…

And although the Lakers did make the playoffs under D’Antoni’s watch, they were swept in the first round by the San Antonio Spurs during the 2013 playoffs. And after the Lakers declined to pick up D’Antoni’s option for the 2014-15 season, he resigned once again, which is where I pretty much lost track of Coach D’.

Ironically, D’Antoni took over from Houston’s Interim Coach J.B. Bickerstaff, who I’d never heard of before, although I totally know the Bickerstaff name from our once mighty Seattle Supersonics, when his father Bernie was our Head coach Wayback during the “Tommy Gunner” (Chambers) era.

Karmically, D’Antoni, who’d scheduled knee replacement surgery after leaving New York, thinking he’d have time to recover prior to landing the Lakers Gig, had Y’all guessed it, Bickerstaff “Senior” Bernie serving as their Interim Head Coach.

Alas, naturally I’m very happy for D’Antoni’s resurgence, as it’s great to see him thriving whilst his past employers New York and Los Angeles definitely haven’t solved their Problems! For which I’ve recently read Steve Nash echoing similar comments.

Even stranger yet? Steve Kerr, who we know is now the Head Coach of the Golden State Warriors, has publically endorsed D’Antoni for Coach of The Year, which I’d wholeheartedly agree he’s earned.

As the Rockets have gotten off to a flying start, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in their first round playoffs vs. those Dastardly Oakey Dokey Thunder; Yeah, I know it’s Clay Bennett’s fault for stealing our Supersonics; Oh Never Mind!

As D’Antoni’s Just Shoot, Baby! Philosophy has taken a somewhat different approach, with Houston setting the record for most three-pointers during the regular season, as I’m not even gonna try dissecting the team’s current roster.

Other than I’ve noticed much speculation over who should be named the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) this season being debated over the Rockets James Harden or Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, who broke the great Oscar Robertson’s longstanding NBA record for most Triple-doubles during the regular season this year.

Yet with Houston having just won their round 1 matchup against the Thunder 4-1, does that change the MVP focus back upon Harden? As it looks likely that Houston will most likely face the San Antonio Spurs in the next round of playoffs, unless the Memphis Grizzlies win the final two games.

As it only gets harder each round, although it’ll be somewhat karmic if D’Antoni’s Rockets square off against his former boss Steve Kerr’s Warriors in the Western Conference Finals…

James Harden and Mike D’Antoni: Basketball Soulmates

→ No CommentsTags: Misc · NBA Basketball · Uncategorized

Change of Scenery, Seasons, Fresh Breezes from Hawaii make a World ‘O Difference…

April 6th, 2017 · No Comments

freya prumm, pro surfer

 Freya Prumm, Pro Surfer

 Ah, there’s nothin’ better for escaping the dreariness of our most biting, cold, wet, Winter-Percip, Ariel Flooding, multiple Severe Weather Advisories, Mudslides and Hail ‘N Brimstone; Err lightning winter here in Seattle than a two weeks Holiday on thou Big Island! As even better yet is Kona’s wacky 100% rain forecast each day which never arrived ‘cept for ’bout five-ten minutes total duration of overly warm & lite’ showers during my entire visit; but I digress…

Although I’d originally listened to the story via my NFB Newsline for The Blind telephone service the night before leaving, I’d not bothered to ride I-T all the way to the beach;

Hence, ARSE-Suming’ to forget the story title before returning home, which I’d expected to disappear from Thy Memory-banks - a la our “Magic Sands” or “disappearing Sands” beach, also known as White Sands, which has a nasty habit of Hangin’ 10 and Peeterin’ out during winter, leaving the beach just exposed to narly, cut inducing rocks!

Yet after our somewhat overly bumpy, turbulent six-plus hours ride, after an hour’s delay for “Maintenance” issues, as our Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-800ER Aeroplane began its initial decent into Kona-Kailua Airport, where our friendly “lead” flight attendant told us we’d A-L-L become three hours younger upon arrival; Hya!

My seat-mates, a very pleasant couple en route to warmer climes from their home in Fairbanks, Alaska began conversing with me. As we chit-chatted ’bout the usual topics, i.e.; where we’re staying, how long, how many times I’ve been to Hawaii, etc, before I asked him if he ever watched that TV Show ’bout Alaska “Bush Pilots?”

As I was curious if they flew any of the ancient, but totally revered Beavers; Nope! Not those annoying Dam building furry critters, but instead the De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, which I can still hear it’s throaty roar in Seaplane fair taking off from Puget Sound occasionally from home if the winds Ah-blowin’ the correct way!

Thus, being surprised to discover this magnificent Aeroplane went out of production a half century ago, albeit Viking Air on Vancouver Island, BC bought the Type certificates from Bombardier Aerospace over a decade ago, and now rebuilds original Beavers into upgraded turbocharged versions…

And after he told me ’bout being familiar with the show, he mentioned how their neighbor’s, who’s a retired pilot who enjoys flying vintage Warbirds, I launched into some nostalgic rhetoric ’bout vintage Warbirds.

As I regaled him briefly ’bout how those (Boeing) B-17 Aircrews were accustomed to flying in fully laden Fur suits, prone to their lectrics’ vests crapping out, ice developing upon their oxygen masks, etc.

Then noting how the B-29 was the first pressurized Bomber, ultimately leading to our being able to travel unencumbered in our T-shirts ‘N shorts these days, which is a far cry from the traumatic times occurring over Oahu’s skies three quarters century ago! Whilst he told me, it sure sounds like you know your Aeroplanes…

A Day of Infamy, 75 Years ago…

Oopsadaisy! Forgot this was a Sports Blog for a moment Thar’; Hya! Although that Surfin’ story I’d read the evening before came back up on my radar screen when he told me ’bout how they enjoy tent camping on the beaches in Hawaii, as how can Yuhs beat the scenery of stepping out of your tent onto the beach for breakfast Mates!

As The Guardian Sports article was about promising female Aussie’ Freya Prumm, who at 25yrs young is reinventing herself by living out of her car while pursuing cracking the Top-17 elite women’s Pro Surfer rankings Down Under at Boomerang Bay.

Pipe Dreams: Life On the Road in pursuit of Surfing Glory

Yet I was unawares’ thee original “Duke, aka Duke Kahanamoku was responsible for introducing the art of surfing on “long boards” fashioned out of wood over a century ago to Australia Mates, presumably at that very same bay.

But when I think of surfing and Hawaii, I inevitably think of the late Eddie Aikau, along with Garrett McNamara, both of whom I’ve scribbled ’bout here on Sportyblog previously, most recently I guess back in 2014; Aye Karumba!

Surfin’ Safari from the Big Island…

Alas, naturally, now surfing stories had my total Attenzione, thanxs mostly to the Freya Prumm story, which makes it hard to believe that in the year Twenty-seventeen, women were just being allowed to contest the Big Wave competition for their inaugural outing this past November!

Women compete in World Surf League’s Big Wave competition for first time

While lastly, another unknown professional surfer to Mwah, was back in the news, as Nick Fanning, who’d been the victim of a Shark attack when surfing in 2015’s World Surf League’s J-Bay Open made the Highlight reels!

Mick Fanning to make full-time surfing return to Championship Tour in 2017

As perhaps Y’all recall the Australian triple world surfing champion’s harrowing escape from not one, but two inquisitive Great White Sharks! For which Fanning had the audacity of punching one in the back to get its Attenzione to leave him alone during the Finals; CRIKEYS!

Mick Fanning escapes Shark Attack in South Africa

→ No CommentsTags: surfing · Misc · Uncategorized

A New Skiing legend is Born…

March 9th, 2017 · No Comments

Somehow, I’m doubting when Y’all think of Seattle, the word Snow comes to mind? Especially since typically all it does here in the Pacific Northwest is Rain, Rain, Rain… And then Rain some more!

And while I’m aware there’s places back east, especially the Midwest that have been hit harder than us, nonetheless, when’s the last time that Seattle has had more Snowfall than Minneapolis, eh?

Thus naturally this abomination of a winter we’re still experiencing, seriously? Snow in Mid-March; WTF! Made me get a chuckle out of the following story I blindly sledded into during one of my daily News Trawls.

Worst Skier ever has Best Explanation, He never trained on Snow

Haven’t ever heard of Adrian Solano? Neither had I , as the young Venezuelan who’s Day Job is Cook, had the audacity to believe he could learn to cross country ski underneath his countries’ blazing sun on roller skis in order to one day compete on actual Snow!

Thus, as the Finnish TV Commentators shredded Solano as the Worst Skier Ever! In what’s being called his “Back Story,” with Adrian having not only never skied on snow, he’d never even actually seen it in real life!

Hence, his performance at the Lahti Nordic World Ski Championships were perhaps a bit comical, made me immediately think of two other prime examples of courageous athletes who simply followed their dream of competing in Sports highest echelons, most notably “Eddie the Eagle,” closely followed by the Jamaican Bobsledding squad.

Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards: ‘My parents didn’t quite understand what had happened with the Olympics’

Naturally Solano’s Dreams were almost crushed before even reaching Finland, when Paris Airport Officials refused to believe the 22-year old Cook was a professional athlete en route to competition in Lahti.

Yet fortunately somebody believed in him, as Aleksi Valavuori, a Finnish TV personality set to work getting new funding to send Adrian back to Finland, raising over $4,000 Euros for the unknown Venezuelan, allowing Solano to actually contest his first ever cross country snow events…

Back in Venezuela, Worst Skier proud of accomplishment

→ No CommentsTags: skiing · Misc · Uncategorized

Area 51: ‘lil Blue ‘N White Men Crawl out of their Silver Capsule during Halftime Show, Cratering Falcon’s once Unsalable lead…

February 27th, 2017 · No Comments

So of the very few person’s I talked “Turkey” with; Err my predilections upon my hoped for outcome of this year’s Super Bowl LI, which equals 51, or SB51 for short, get I-T?

For All three of uze Sportyblog readers out Thar’, your Senior Scribe Touchdown Tommy was totally hoping that the Atlanta Falcons would do the unthinkable, and soundly thrash the New England Patriots; HUT-HUT, OMAHA! OOPS! Wrong Signal caller; Hooah!

As Y’all know who I’d wanted to win this year’s Soupier Dooper Bowl game, for which one of the few I’d emailed my riveting thoughts here upon Sportyblog, replied, saying: “What Happened?”

As I did the unthinkable and stuck to my day long ban of NOT watching any Super Bowl dribble, including the game, only asking my friend Jeannie to call me when it was almost Halftime, since I wished to listen to Lady Gaga’s performance.

As I’d first been subjected to copious amounts of Lady Gaga playing on the radio an eternity ago when visiting Sweden; Ya Sure Yuh Betcha!

As the funniest part was the radio station was plugging away ceasessly about her upcoming concert for The (2009-2011) Monster Ball Tour that was already Sold Out, while my friend Alvin thought it’d be funny to make me a Lady Gaga Mix CD; Ha-Ha-Ha…

And then I became a fan ‘O hers again last summer when she moved IndyCar’s needle by letting Mario Andretti chauffer her in the 2X Seater for the opening pace laps of the Magnanimous 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Although I had to ask Jeannie will it only be Lady Gaga, or is Taylor Swift joining her; Hya! Y’all know like the past few years, as I’ve been sucked into wanting to hear The Red Hot Chili Peppers, who instead were Bruno Mars “Backup Band.” Or last year’s Coldplay rendition with Beyoncétaking over the show, with that Bruno Mars guy in tow…

So the phone rang with Jeannie telling me it was 3:43 ’til Halftime, so I turned on Thy Telie’ Justin-time to see Tom Brady throw an “INT” that some Atlanta player rumbled back 82-yards for a “Pick-Six” TD giving the Falcons an eventual halftime lead of 21-3; SWEET!

And then I waited, waited and waited, and guess what; Yep! Waited a ‘lil more for the Coke Zero Frito Lay Slim Jims Depenz’ Pepsi Sugar Free Halftime Show presented by the Chevrolet Denali built Ford Tough Hyundai Super Bowl LI Concert…

Uhm, did I forget anybody? Oh wait, where’s Duh MUTE button as Jimmy “My Hair Doesn’t Move” Johnson, not the seven times RASSCAR’ champion; Oh Never Mind! Was banterin’ back ‘N forth with Terry Bradshaw: SHUT U-P! I just wanna hear Lady Gaga!

And then the Fireworks popped and Lady Gaga flew onto the stage, careening downwards on a wire I’m told, apparently with NO Janet Jackson “Wardrobe Malfunctions!”

And the entertainment was pretty funny since I only recognized two songs from the entire performance, appropriately being the show’s bookends, i.e.; first and last songs.

As I recognized Poker Face, Ja-Ja from those long forgotten Sweden days, along with another Oldie closing out the show, titled Bad Romance.

While the other song I enjoyed was Telephone, for which I’ve since discovered all three are from her first two albums The Fame, and The Fame Monster which was a reissue of her The Fame album with extra tracks included.

Lady Gaga Super Bowl 51 performance

Thus Mission Accomplished! I went back to serenely listening to my extremely long 18-dis CD Audiobook tome, simply titled Coolidge, by Amity Shlaes. Since naturally politics are on many people’s minds these days. Yet when the telephone rang later that evening, I could immediately tell by Jeanie’s strained tone that the unthinkable happened.

You’re NOT gonna tell me that the Patriots won? They Did, What? You’ve got to be FREAKIN’ Kiddin’ Me!

Atlanta zoo names cockroach after Tom Brady

Alas, since I only watched the last three-plus; Err it felt like fifteen minutes of the first half, I have ZERO idea how Atlanta melted down and let those Dastardly Patriots back into the game, having since learned that Atlanta led 28-3 in the latter stages of the game, before history was made, being the first ever OT Super Bowl; CRIKEYS!

Cheeky tribute: Patriots fan gets Brady tattoo on backside.

Did Atlanta choke? Sure appears so, having since heard somewheres ’bout it being the worst Flop since the Seahawks elected to pass on 4th & 1, on the One yard line against some team called New England; Oh Never Mind!

As Atlanta’s since made some coaching changes, the most intriguing to Mwah being the hiring of The Sark’, nee Steve Sarkisian, once Head Coach of the DAWGS’, aka University of Washington Huskies, who perhaps Y’all have heard of this past football season’s No. 4 ranked college football team, eh?

Yet Sarkisian jumped ship from Washington back to SoCal’ to become Head Coach of his Alma Matter USC before being fired. Then a brief stint at Alabama, as Offensive Coordinator of the losing National Championship squad before being hired to replace the departing Kyle Shanahan as the Falcons new Offensive Coordinator; Sheez! I’m tired after just typing all that…

And Dan Quinn, as I’ve belaboured being another ex-Seattle Alum, nee Seahawks Super Bowl winning Defensive Coordinator subsequently let two defensive coaches go, with Defensive Coordinator Richard Smith and Defensive Line Coach Bryan Cox being fired just days after Atlanta’s humiliating defeat.

Five reasons why Atlanta lost Super Bowl

As the Spoils of Victory go to the Winners…

→ No CommentsTags: Misc · NFL Football · Uncategorized

Are the Atlanta Falcons the New Seahawks? and is Seattle’s NFC West Division Dynasty Crumbling?

January 30th, 2017 · No Comments

Although living in the Belly ‘O The Beast, I cannot say that I’m a fervent Hawks’ Fan, although I do quite enjoy listening to “The Voice of The Seahawks,” aka KIRO 97.3FM’s Steve “HOLY CATFISH!” Raible, along with his colour commentator Warren #1 Moon.

Raible, an ex-Seahawks Wide Receiver, #83 if I’m not mistaken, played opposite some Hall of Famer named Largent, Steve Largent! As I truly enjoy his going Gonzo ‘N Yelling TOUCHDOWN SEAAAAA-HAWKS!

although I’ll confess, I turned off the radio quite early after halftime commenced in the Georgia Dome, where the Hawks went down in flames, losing to Atlanta 36-20.

As It’s easy to “Monday morning Quarterback,” especially now that we’re just ah-waitin’ the Ball Boys to blow-up ‘Dem Pigskins for some ‘lil ‘Ol Football game, which apparently Roger “Goody Two-shoes” Goodell sez’ he’ll be honoured to hand the MVP Award to somebody named Brady; OOPSADAISY, BUTTERFINGERS!

As surely the irony of Atlanta making it to this year’s Super Bowl isn’t lost uponY’all, as their Head Coach Dan Quinn was Seattle’s Defensive Coordinator between 2013-2014, ironically during Seattle’s Super Bowl reign.

And Atlanta’s drubbing of Seattle saw the Student giving his Teacher a good ‘Ol thrashing…

While much noise has been made ’bout whether or not Mr. Excitement, nee Pete Carroll’s Seahawks have gone off the boil? Or even worse, lost their once almighty superiority? Since I didn’t follow them on a weekly basis, but it sure seems like Sherm’, nee Richard Sherman has lost his marbles; Err his britches have gotten a tad too large?

And now there’s this whole ‘lil matter ’bout Carroll fumbling away the news that the All Pro Corner Back was playing with an unannounced injury; Huh? May be it was just his knee swelling up? As C’mon Pete, you guys simply got beat by a better opponent!

Since perhaps if you hadn’t lost to Arizona at home and managed to keep Home Field advantage thru the playoffs; Oh Never Mind! But is Seattle’s NFC West Dynasty coming to an end? And can they ever win another Super Bowl, which A-L-L of Seattle wants to desperately know…

Are the Seahawks best Days behind them?

As I haven’t listened to a peep ‘O football since turning off the radio during Seattle’s playoff defeat, which was really funny to Mwah, as it’d be quiet all afternoon until the Hawks finally scored a touchdown and my local 12S’ Yeahooz’ couldn’t resist, and by Gummit, we’re gonna blow off all these BOOM-BOOM Fireworks now, cause we won’t be winning today…

And know I’ll be in the minority, ’cause I definitely won’t be spending any time listening to Super Bowl LI, aka 51 from Houston, nonetheless I’ll definitely be rootin’ for Atlanta to thump those New England Patriots, so Y’all can witness Tom Brady crying on the sidelines; Boo Hoo-Hoo!

As ’bout the only thing I don’t like ’bout the Falcons is all of this dribble by the media over “Mattie Ice;” Uhm, like Yo Reporters, if there’s anybody with ice water in his veins it’s that Cat named Brady, who’s allegedly playing in his seventh Super Bowl, and has won four FREAKIN’ times; URGH!

Whilst lastly, and Y’all know it’s Ah-comin’, but; if Atlanta’s trailing by three in the 4th Quarter, on the Goal-line and about to win their first ever Super Bowl. will they attempt passing the ball or handing the rock off to their Running Back instead?

As we all know what Richard Sherman thinks about calling that play, right? As somehow I don’t think Seattle’s Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell was on ‘Ol Sherms’ Christmas Card list this past December…


→ No CommentsTags: Misc · NFL Football · Uncategorized

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