Sunday, February 26, 2012

Other Things Charles Oakley Mastered

Charles Oakley waxed poetic about a dear old friend, Sir Charles Barkley, in a recent radio interview. He recalled grander times, when both men were in an NBA fugue of toughness, grappling for respect. Of Charles he said:

Barkley for his size was a good player but he's a coward, though. ... He wasn't a leader and wasn't a role model. Now he talks so bad about younger guys, I don't respect that from him. … He wants to be funny, that whole TNT thing and all that, they're like some clowns on that show.

And of Kendrick Perkins, Oakley had this to assert:

If Kendrick Perkins would play basketball, Oklahoma City would win a championship the next three or four years. … You're a power forward, you don't let guys dunk on you. I played 18, 19 years I got dunked on three times ...

Charles Oakley, in 18 years of playing professional basketball as a starting power forward, got dunked on a mere three times. He was a man of many accomplishments, the most unique of which are too often overlooked.

TFPP has compiled a list, at Mr. Oakley's request, of his other lesser known accolades, all nearly comparable.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

NBA Unveils Santa Fe New Mexicans Logo



ON THE HEELS OF the Miami Heat torching the league with an uncommonly brilliant start, Commissioner David Stern has announced the arrival of a team specifically constructed to beat them. Since no actual basketball players can outrun, outscore or outplay LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the league office was forced to enlist the help of fictional characters in order to assure balance in the Association for the next decade.

Michael Jordan's expertise was indispensable in drafting the perfect termination squad. Having spent hundreds and thousands of games playing against villains big and tall, Jordan selected the Monstars of Space Jam fame because of the potent match-up difficulties these 11-foot-8-inch behemoths would present to their NBA opponents. The Monstars will suit up for the expansion Santa Fe New Mexicans, who are owned by Warner Brothers Family Entertainment. LeBron James, like his legendary counterparts, tends to have trouble against all manner of fiend, whether it's fire-spewing dragons, vicious hell hounds or bedroom-haunting bogeymen.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Inside the NBA Knick-Names Guard Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin is unprecedented. So a lot of stiff, uninspired, shiftless wordsmiths have been trying to apply our limited language to his seemingly limitless feats. Where two weeks ago, the Knicks were a listless squad, roaming the wilds of Herald Square in search of assist skeletons, the flesh of teamwork, Lin has suddenly transformed them into missionaries of Clyde-era fluidity, grooving and hugging their way to seven wins in nine games. But there's no nickname for He Who Uplifts the Masses. The Four Point Play got a rare invitation to join TNT's Inside the NBA cast for a live taping as they conferred a fitting alias on to, one, Jeremy.
As I approached their glowing quartz desktop, I spotted Ernie Johnson reviewing notes from a shot sheet filled with Andrew Weil quotations. He shuffled the papers in their anchor-ly order, before tapping the stack, looking over at Charles Barkley's donut-sugared paws, and wincing. Kenny Smith and Shaquille O'Neal were trying to see how many of their crumpled notes they could throw into a trash can at one time. Kenny set the bar with 3 in one shot, while Shaq struggled to locate the can itself. Some producer kept urging him to try it underhand, but to no avail. Jeremy Lin was in their green room, stage left, reading Augustine's Confessions by a lit candle that was draped in beads. I was stunned to see him, and dashed away though he was beckoning me thither, awash in luster.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Clippers Are Four Point Play Team of the Year

Chris Paul, despite his bullish personality, is a likable figure on this Clippers platoon. He sets the landmines, wires the dynamite and explodes into truculent lectures when team demands go unmet. He is the cliché floor general, but never has his mission been so clear, his weapons so potent. Essentially, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan aim to change the way basketball is played from the pro level down. Much of TFPP philosophies, the scrolls handed down from visionaries and then inscribed on the gums of Kevin Durant, are an attempt to predict where basketball will be in ten years. When will point values change to meet the growing relevance of long high-value shots like the three pointer? (1, 2, 3 and 4-point lines) When will passes that precede assists be measured in the game tally? Charges taken? Possession swings that result in 8 point fluctuations? The Clippers, famously cheap as a franchise, will always challenge conventions in the name of squeezing production out of an inexpensive roster. And with the NBA pressed to protect its lowly and/or thrifty owners from its profligate spenders and/or maniacs, the cheapos, at their best, get creative about roster building. Perhaps the Clips would have liked to keep sharpshooter Eric Gordon, or even defensive (slow) scorer Chris Kaman, but the opportunity to swipe Chris Paul from the Hornets, with an optional buy-in after trial season, was undeniable. Mainly, the Lob City Experiment is an innovator's brainchild. Donald Sterling thought critically about the trends in basketball, and how to get a season turnaround in an abbreviated time, while still paying pennies on the dollar for his second bona fide star in Blake Griffin.