Live streaming has been a welcome addition to the Irish basketball landscape in recent years and this year the Basketball Ireland Colleges finals were streamed live on the excellent www.BrightSky.ie service.
There was a number of great games on the day but there is no doubt what the ultimate highlight was. After being down most of the game Carlow IT managed to get the score level with 5 seconds on the clock. They got the inbound to Jimmy Ward and ….
There are approximately 91,848,063 slam dunks captured on film every year. If at any given time you manage to complete a dunk that is simply referred to as “The Dunk” you know that you are on to something special. During most of the 2011-12 season when someone said did you see “The Dunk” it was assumed you were referring to when Blake Griffin threw down his monster slam on Timofey Mozgov. A dunk that was as ferocious as it was unique we didn’t know when we would ever see the like again. Well we didn’t have to wait too long, just a season in fact, when Griffin decided he would “Mozgov” Kendrick Perkins with another ridiculous ‘throw it in’ style dunk. The video below shows both dunks and then a great split screen where you can see both dunks side by side and it’s amazing just how similar that they are.
14. The Return of Indiana basketball
When Tom Crean took over Indiana in 2008 the much storied college program was in a state of shambles. Rampant drug use, players facing academic ineligibility and star players leaving for the NBA (Eric Gordon) or transferring (Jordan Crawford), Crean was entering a situation where his entire squad consisted of two walk-ons, who had scored a combined 36 points for their careers. After three losing seasons Crean’s hard work paid off and last year Indiana where back on the basketball map, posting a 27-9 record and making it all the way to the sweet 16. With a top ranked recruiting class and the return of Cody Zeller this will be the first season in a while where the Hoosiers will be going in with legitimate chances of competing for a national championship. If there was one moment that announced the Hoosiers back on the scene then it had to be when they took down the number one ranked Kentucky with this last second buzzer beater.
13. Danny Granger Batcave Update
For the last number of years Danny Granger has been teasing us with periodic updates on the progress of his Batcave. (Yes, your read that correctly) It turns out it has progressed from an idea into a work in progress and the logistics of the Batcave are now configured as explained in an interview he gave to Sports Illustrated:
SI.com: I forget the exact nature of the Batcave. Is it based on the Batcave from any particular Batman movie? Or the old TV show? Or a mix of all of them?
Granger: It’s based on the Batcave from the first set of Batman movies — starting with Michael Keaton. It will have a few aspects from the Christian Bale movies, like a drive-in pathway or tunnel that lights up as you drive through it. It’ll also have this kind of circular island, where you park your car on this big circle, and the circle spins, so that you never have to back the car out.
Granger: I’ll also have something where the car gets lifted up on that circle, like an elevator, so that it goes up a floor and actually sort of into my house. My “Batmobile” will actually go into the house. It’ll be enclosed in clear glass near my gaming area.
Danny Grangers’ standard basement.
We then got a further update in February, turns out that the drive-in pathway was a no-go but i guess a moat(!) makes up for it:
“The builder called me and told me he found a nice little feature, a lift for my car, kind of like Batman had. It’s in the works, it’s a process. The superhero stuff is just a big thing I’ve been a part of. … I wanted an underground tunnel entrance. I had to take that out. I found out there’s so many state codes and laws against that [laughing] so we had to take that one out. But we still have the underground thing going on and I mean I’ve got cars and things that turn my cars and I even got sort of like a moat thing going on so it will be interesting to see.”
I want to go to Danny Grangers’ house.
12.The Travel Dance
I actually wanted to have this number one in the list, I love it, it’s brilliant. Picture the scene, it’s the playoffs, you’re on the bench, you’re team is up by 3 with 10 seconds left, the opposition inbound to their star man who looks to create space to attempt a three but . . . he travels! What should you do? What a ridiculous question, there is only one option – you gotta go straight to the travel dance!
Chris Duhon, terrible NBA point guard but amazing craic.
How do you announce your return to the NBA after a suspension for bringing guns into the locker room? With a gun dance, obviously.
11. Gilberts’ Golden Guns
This USA Today interview with Gilbert Arenas has to be the interview of the year, beating off stiff competition from the Chris Bosh interview we talked about in part 2 of the rundown. You should really read the whole thing which gives a great overview of what it must be like to be an Arenas teammate or what it was like to be on that crazy Wizards squad. Everything from changing names on jerseys to putting dog “doo-doo” (his words) in other players shoes. However, the highlight has to be when he goes into detail about what really happened over those federal gun charges in 2009, (that landed him an indefinite suspension at the time) turns out the argument that started it had nothing to do with him at all:
Then-Wizards center JaVale McGee had beaten Crittenton out of $1,100 in a card game. Wizards guard Earl Boykins loaned McGee $200. McGee didn’t immediately pay back Boykins as he won the money and an argument blossomed. Arenas says he wasn’t involved in the actual bet.
” ‘Pay the man his (expletive) money. You’ve got all my money,’ ” Arenas says Crittenton shouted at McGee. “So I jumped in, ‘Why you talking to your teammates like this? We family.’
“That’s when (Crittenton) started coming at me, ‘(Expletive, racial slur), just because you got all money, this and this and this.’ That’s when we started going back and forth. I didn’t owe him anything. It was over a $1,100 pot he just lost.”
Arenas pauses and sighs when asked how the situation escalated to the point of guns.
“Someone said they were going to shoot me. So since I’m one of those guys who says, ‘I want to see this happen. I want to see you actually shoot me,’ that’s where that came from,” says Arenas, declining to mention that someone by name. “I brought the four guns in and said (in a note), ‘Pick 1, so the day you want to shoot me let me know, I’ll be ready to get shot.’ That’s how.”
Oh, ok, so Gilbert is the kind of guy that wants to see if you will shoot him? That’s cool but I don’t think Javaris Crittenton is the right man to test – he is currently awaiting trial for murder after allegedly shooting a women from his SUV. We should also point out that later in the article it states:
According to a D.C. Superior Court document from Jan. 15, 2010: Several witnesses agree that during an argument on a Dec. 20, 2009, flight from Phoenix to Washington, Arenas threatened to shoot Crittenton in the face and set his Escalade on fire and that Crittenton threatened to shoot Arenas in the knee
Missed parts 1 and 2? What’s your problem!? Check them out here and here. Now on with the next part of the run down…
20. Disc! Why can’t you just say Disc!?
Something strange was going on in the NBA this year, something very strange, and it all involved the word disc or perhaps, more accurately, didn’t involve the word disc. It all started in January when the Charlotte Observer reported that Baron Davis had suffered what sounded like the most painful injury in NBA history. So ok, that report was hilarious, but it can be put down to a simple typo. Well the story gets a bit stranger when this NBA report was broadcast in March:
Ok so the same ridiculous mistake made twice in one, shortened, season could still be a weird coincidence, right? But what if that same mistake was made again, a third time? “No way” I hear you say, well yes way friends, courtesy of Andy Katz reporting live at the NBA draft:
19. Star Boys Beat the Buzzer
In the space of just a couple of weeks we managed to have two buzzer beating baskets from Belfast Star. Only one of the shots was caught on camera as we managed to capture the moment Scottie Summersgill’s shot off one foot took Star into overtime versus Killester. Michael McKillop’s turn around, three point, fade away three to beat North Star will live long in the mind and go down in the annals of Basketball Northern Ireland history but unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your viewpoint!) this one happened off camera. With Star not in the Superleague this year we are happy to have this moment immortalised in film, check it out:
18. A.J. Price is a Weirdo
Ok so you thought number 20 was weird? Well AJ Price says you ain’t seen nothing yet! This video popped up in March and since then I’ve tried everywhere online (ok, a couple of google searches) to find an explanation for what the hell A.J. Price was doing. It has been suggested that he may be just video bombing Hansbrough, but if that is the case then how would he even know that the camera is even on them? Anyone know whats going on? Answers on a postcard!
17. That Awkward Moment When . . .
I can hardly watch this, when i do it feels like my head is going to explode, it is one of the most awkward sports interviews you are ever likely to see. Reports had been coming out in the press that Dwight Howard had asked the Orlando management to fire Stan Van Gundy, a few days later at practice Stan Van gives this interview where he confirms the reports and confirms that management have informed him that it is indeed true. Cue the big friendly giant, Dwight Howard, gate crashing the interview putting his arm around Stan and making jokes about how it is all nonsense. Little did Howard know that Van Gundy had just confirmed the reports and after Stan quickly exits the huddle we are treated to a fantastic array of awkward facial expressions from Howard as he blatantly lies his way through the questions. Awkward….
The man that spawned a thousand puns, the Jeremy Lin story led to an extraordinary few weeks this season. Whenever a basketball player has President Obama talking about him and has featured articles in Time magazine you know that his story is about more than making some jump shots. I’m not too sure where to even start with this; The consecutive huge performances? The Asian factor? The trade and its fallout? The injury and decision not to return in the playoffs? The couch!? The story had so many elements to it that I couldn’t even start to give it justice in the limited space I have here. Check out Andrew Sanders pieces that he wrote during the Linsanity explosion here and here and know this – Jermny Lin will be a starting All-Star for at least the next seven or eight years!
Russia coaching staff rocking the Levis red tab and trainers look
Spain v Australia started off much more competitive than expected mainly due to an extremely sloppy start by the Spanish who looked like they were still on a siesta. Spain looked better as the first half wore on and it was quite an exciting game with seven lead changes before the half. In the second half Spain picked up the tempo and put on a passing clinic allowing them to stretch the lead out to 20 points and hold off a late comeback attempt by the boomers.
After the disappointing opening day loss to Argentina Lithuania needed to pick up a win in their match-up vs Nigeria. Lithuania v Nigeria was instantly forgettable, it was never in doubt that Lithuania would get the win as Nigeria again tried to revolutionise the game with their “no-offense” offense. Yesterdays stat of the day had team USA have an incredible 27 assists on 31 made baskets, well just as incredible was Nigeria having 3 assists as a team in this one. There was one highlight for Nigeria that you can see in the play of the day below.
One of the games of the tournament was GB v Brazil as the crowd really got into it and created a great atmosphere in the basketball arena. On paper this game should have been a blowout but GB looked like a different team to the one that had struggled so bad against the Russians. Deng was still drawing a lot of attention but he was now distributing the ball and the GB supporting cast where knocking down shots. Dan Clark started the game well, he actually drew a non-sarcastic Larry Bird comparison from the commentators, as Brazil were ice cold on their way to an unimpressive four point first quarter total. Brazil came back in the second quarter, with Splitter doing most of the damage, and from this point the game remained close right up until the last two minutes when the Brazilians hit back to back threes to seal the victory.
France v Argentina was up next and it was one of the best games of the day with France managing to pull out the upset win. Scola and Ginobli were good again for Argentina but, after his game one heroics, Delfino showed why he can be a frustrating player as he went ice cold in this one. Parker was good for France especially in the fourth quarter and Wizards fans will be excitied about the play of new signing Kevin Seraphin.
The most interesting thing about USA v Tunisia was the first quarter where Tunisia led for most of the way before coach K subbed off the sleep walking starting 5 and brought on 5 from the bench who immediately picked up the pace and the USA cruised from there. Interesting note: Anthony Davis had 6 shot attempts – 5 were completed alley-oop dunks and one was a tip dunk in which he was fouled.
Play of the Day
There are a number of candidates for the play of the day from day two, Ibaka had a couple of nice dunks but this ridiculous fast-break, alley-oop, jam was the pick of the bunch:
Nigeria are the worst team to watch at this years Olympics but they did manage to come up with a nice highlight yesterday as Alade Aminu came up with the monster block on Jonas Valanciunas:
But for the play of the day we have to go to the women’s games and of course the crazy Belinda Snell buzzer beater from her own half! Check out the madness below:
After playing so well in the opening game it was a shame to see Rachael not get off the bench for GB v Canada.
GB coach Chris Finch could come in form some criticism after Mike Lenzy had to leave the Brazil game with a recurrence of his calf injury. Lenzy was injured just before the tournament and bringing him was a huge gamble that hasn’t paid off and leaves GB short of players at the guard position as Finch controversially cut the talented young Devon Van Oostrum from the Olympic panel.
During the GB v Brazil game the commentators made a, non-sarcastic, comment comparing Dan Clark to Larry Bird, wow.
Two things I love about the BBC coverage – 1) You get to see the full warm up of the teams playing in the second game of the sessions which is great from a coaching point of view and 2) They always seem to leave the mics on when the commentators don’t know.
Gif of the day is a no contest:
Favourite video of the day is easily Kobe’s reaction to this Tunisia dunk: WAS the Kobe video down below until I found this cracker of the Tunisia coach bitch slapping one of his players!
Belfast Star are currently amidst one of the worst seasons in the club’s history (2 wins -15 losses), which is somewhat evident in the diminishing attendance figures during home fixtures in the La Salle Sports Complex. However, the faithful few that remain loyal to Northern Ireland’s only remaining Irish men’s Superleague team were rewarded with 25% more basketball than what they paid for and 100% better basketball than what they have been used to this season.
Early on it looked as if Killester were going to show no mercy on the last placed team in the Northern Conference. The Dublin side were hot early and went up 25-5 at one point in the first quarter. The undersized Star team could not handle Jermaine Turner in and around the basket, who had at least three dunks in the first half [Editor: the victims will not be named]. Although Star came back fighting in the second quarter, they were still in for a tough night ahead, entering the second half down 14 points.
What happened after that is mostly a blur. I remember feeling (regardless of what the scoreboard showed) that Killester were in control of the game. Then Belfast Star came alive: Michael McKillop knocked down a three, Stephen Dawson picked up his defensive intensity and Cummins looked like he was starting to feel it on the offensive end. The game was all square when Josh Johnson tied it up with around 20-seconds remaining. Killester looked to Turner for the opportunity to win the game but losing the ball on the way to the basket, McKillop ended up with a last-second heave from half-court to end regulation.
Then came an extra period of 5-minutes. Turner continued to dominate and finished a tough shot under the basket to put Killester up 2 points. Star would look to Scottie Summersgill and Paul Cummins in a pick & roll at the top of the key for the final shot. Summersgill ended up dishing off to Johnson (Belfast Star’s current US import) but Turner was able to recover and block the shot. There was only a few seconds left and Killester’s Robbie Clarke hustled to keep the play alive and the game-clock running, which would have ended the contest in Killester’s favour. The whistle blew a split second (or 10 split-seconds) before the buzzer, as Clarke failed to keep the ball in play (or did he?).
The referees decided to allocate 1-second to the game-clock. That was all Belfast Star needed. Coach Fulton drew up a play for Cummins in a time-out with Ferghal Toner to inbound. Killester locked down Cummins and Toner was forced to throw a long overarm pass to Summersgill on the weak-side. Off one-foot, Scottie sank the jumper from the corner to send the game into the second period of overtime with a score of 101-101.
[audio:http://thecourtsidecollective.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Scottie-talks-about-the-shot.mp3|titles=Buzzer beater breakdown with Scottie Summersgill]
Cummins stepped up with a step-back three to help the campaign early in the period while Toner’s fast-break lay-up solidified the home team’s lead. However, after a missed freethrow, Michael Westbrooks came up with an impressive shot to keep the game within reach. Killester were forced to send Dawson to the freethrow line, he was able to convert and put Belfast Star up 3-points with less than 8 seconds remaining. Westbrooks’ last second three-point effort fell short and Belfast Star finished on top – final Score: 112-109.
Belfast Star :
Paul Cummins 29; Scottie Summersgill 22; Josh Johnson 21