August 7, 2009
Welcome to the gun show. I bought mine at Walmart.
Rashard Lewis has been suspended for the first 10 games of the NBA season without pay for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. He claims that he didn’t know that the over the counter pills were considered steroids. He’s a key player on the Magic, and they will likely suffer without him, but maybe it will help resolve his recurring knee tendonitis. While the $1.6 million loss of salary is bad, it’s nowhere near the penalties faced in other sports.
The 10-game suspension for a first positive test in the N.B.A. is a little less than an eighth of the season. A first positive in baseball results in a 50-game suspension (about a third of the season) and a first positive in football results in a 4-game suspension (a quarter of the season).
– New York Times
On the plus side, the Magic’s underplayed bench will get some coveted court time. Lewis is only the 4th to recieve a suspension since the leagues drug-testing anti-dope program was initiated in 1999. The program is far from stringent, requiring no off-season testing. It is believed that the off season is when athletes benefit from the drugs the most, so if the Lewis scandal is at all indicative of a trend (unlikely), the NBA will have to reevaluate their policy.
June 25, 2009
Dwight Howard made his first TV appearance on Jimmy Fallon last night. Although he was only on camera for a short time, his infectious smile and easy going demeanor came through strong and he won over host and crowd alike. Fallon challenged him to a arcade shot contest, to which Howard replied, “Man, have you SEEN my freethrows?!” Howard was also presented with a copy of “NBA Live 2009,” which has him on the cover. He took a moment to take it in.
June 12, 2009
It’s as good as over. ORL lost Game 4 in overtime. How did it happen? I thought it was a sure thing! They came in with a great attitude, gunning to tie up the series, but lost it in a Failblog.org worthy overtime. Pietrus looked like he was hurting all night, and Howard just wasn’t on his game, but between Turkoglu, Lewis, Alston, and fresh-faced JJ, I really believed that we’d pull through. Enter Derek Fisher. How old is he, 40? The vet dominated and stole the game away from the Magic. Forget Kobe, Lebron…whoever the hell else. Last night, Fisher was King. I had to grin and bear it, sitting at a bar staring stupidly at the oversized flatscreen too shocked to drink my beer as Fisher scored that 3 to tie it up at 87, and Gasol DUNKed (that brace faced son of a…), and the crowd around me erupted into a grab bag of delighted screams and cheers, and belligerent drink induced boos. I weakly picked up my phone post game and tapped my Twitterfon app only to be informed by The_Real_Shaq that the winner of Game 4 has won the finals the last 9 of 11 times. So where do we go from here? ORL will no doubt regroup for Sunday night and come back with a vengeance, but so will LAL…they’ll be going into Game 5 with a 2 game advantage and the knowledge that they could close it out tonight. We’ll have to wait and see. Regardless, I’ll be back at a bar drinking $3 pitchers, watching the game, and cheering for Magic.
June 11, 2009
At some point in the last 14 months, I became a die hard sports phan. I blame my boyfriend; watching ESPN and sporting events non-stop when we first started hanging out drove me bonkers, but now I can’t get enough of it. At first I would watch anything and everything: baseball, hockey, lacrosse, football, soccer…but the holy trinity that is basketball got me hook line and sinker. I can’t say that I’m a dedicated audience member during the regular season – I’ll watch the games at the gym but am hardly hardcore about them – but Playoff season gets me all bothered and hot. Last year, I was gunning for the Celtics (born and bred a Bostonian), this year, I’ve been up in the air. Maybe being a chick watching the games I just get a little distracted by all of the men; Howard’s shoulders/smile, King James prowess on the court/general hilariousness, Artest’s height and obnoxiously manicured hair, Odom’s domination of the court and love for candy…well, you get the idea. I knew that without Garnett, the Celtics were up a creek for the post season, but I couldn’t settle on an alternative team. Enter again the chick-in-me, and I’ve sided with the underdog for each series. Celtics, Rockets, Cavaliers, Magic…I’ve just been waiting for the Cinderella story ending. Magic could be it. If they can rival their 75% shooting from the field in the last game, keep getting threes out of Turkoglu, Lewis & Pietrus, and throw in some crowd pleasing dunks from Howard, their chances at tying up the series are strong. They’ve come too far to let the clock strike midnight just yet. In Game 4 tonight, I really hope Howard and co. find their glass slippers. And for the record, I believe in Magic.