Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Original Kevin Love

Many a season before Kevin Love was lauded for his ground-bound, boxscore-filling effectiveness, Troy Murphy toiled in relative anonymity for the 36-win 2008-9 Pacers. Unfortunately for Love, there seem to be similarities between his Wolves and Murphy's Pacers, as his team has spent most of the season in the NBA "dead zone" - too good to earn a high lottery pick, not good enough for the playoffs - that the Pacers finished in 5 years ago.

That said, Love himself is having an amazing year, resulting in a well-deserved starting spot for the West in this year's All-Star Game. He's also on track to join Murphy as the only 2 players to average 10 rebounds and make 2 3's per game for an entire season, a testament to his mastery of two usually exclusive skills: rebounding and long range shooting.

If Love can continue his incredible routine of posting 25 and 13 a night, and his cursed team can get some luck, we'll probably see him in the playoffs come May. Murphy and his Pacers never got over that hump, and he had stops in Toronto, New Jersey, Boston, Los Angeles and Dallas before being released at the end of 2013. He remains unsigned.

Baseline Leaner would like to recognize Troy "The Pelican" Murphy for setting new standards for "stretch 4's," standards that Love has met (and exceeded) in becoming the new prototype for big men with range. We're also anxious to see if the Wolves can build a winning team on this rare skillset, something Murphy's couldn't do

Who Punched It Better? Kevin Garnett vs Paul Pierce

The other night, The Truth and The Big Ticket received a stirring response from the Celtic fans in their first return to Boston since the off season trade.

So, we thought it would be fitting to run our first edition of "Who Punched It Better?" featuring the two Celtic greats. Whilst these two are more known as 'jaw-ers' than brawlers, there have been moments when they both have used their fists to best express their emotions.

It is probably no surprise to most that KG, one of the most intense figures to ever play the game, has been known to give himself an uppercut now and again.

Pierce however, has bigger fish to punch. Namely NBA official Eddie Rush during the 2010 Finals series.

BONUS: Scotty Palmer told us to keep on punchin', so we will. Carlos Boozer on Danny Crawford, March 30, 2013.

Scot Palmer 4 Lyfe

Happy Birthday Jalen Rose

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Exum on Exum

Below is an extract from a 1993 interview with Dante Exum's dad and former Tar Heel, Cecil Exum. At the time of the interview, Cecil had recently moved to Australia, playing for the Geelong Supercats in the National Basketball League.

I chose Australia, if nothing else for the fact that English is the major language. And while I miss Carolina, where family and friends are, Australia is very much home now.

In fact, I am soon to become a father, and like the idea of raising a child in this country. When he or she grows up and wants to go to college, however, I'd love him or her to go to North Carolina.

Cecil, congratulations, your boy is going straight to the big dance.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Jersey of the Week: Happy Birthday Andre Iguodala

A very happy birthday to Andre Iguodala, an elite defender and incredible athlete.

During his first couple of years in Phili, Iggy smashed on anyone and anything that stood between him and the basket. Marko Jaric for one. Rasheed Wallace for another. Kelvin Cato above.

The league sat up and took notice, selecting him to compete in the 2006 Slam Dunk Contest aka The Crime of the Century. "We got robbed" is a pretty succinct summation of what went down that night.

Not to be discouraged, Iggy continued to posterize his way through the league, even finding time to baptize the likes of Brian Cardinal.

By the time his tenure as a Sixer was up, Iguodala had compiled one of the great dunking portfolios of the 2000s.

Anyway, before Chris Webber came along and stole his jersey, Iguodala, as a rookie, wore the number 4.

There is an example of this jersey currently going on eBay for $25, and we'd buy it if we didn't already own one.

Happy Birthday Tony Delk

Happy 40th to Kentucky Wildcats royalty, Tony Delk.

Delk was the other guard drafted by Charlotte in the famed '96 draft, and is probably best remembered in the NBA for dropping 53 on the Kings back in 2001.

Oh, and he had sneaky hops.

Happy Birthday Michael Cage

Happy birthday to the big rebounding southpaw.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Air Jordan IX aka The Statues

Apparently Tinker Hatfield selected the Air Jordan IX for the MJ statue (The Spirit) outside the United Center "because the shoe represented MJ being a “global superstar”.
The shoe also represents an item of footwear Jordan never wore in an NBA game.

Though this selection makes the statue somewhat historically inaccurate, we've always liked the 9s. Here is the original Nike print advertisement from 1994, featuring Mike in Air Jordan VIIIs. Click through for high resolution.

Bill Woods and Steve Carfino

Sunday, 26 January 2014

They Used To L.O.V.E. Him

Vince Carter: One Night In Oakland

Vince Carter: Hoop Magazine

Hoop Magazine, 2001 (Signed)

Vince Carter: Happy Birthday from Morris Peterson

Before 'The Slap'.


Vince Carter: Nike Shox VC II

Vince Carter: Happy Birthday Sports Illustrated Scan

Vince Carter, Sports Illustrated (Signed)
February 28, 2000

Vince Carter: Happy Birthday Gallery

A visual tribute. Click through for higher resolution.

Vince Carter: Happy Birthday SLAM Scan

SLAM Scan: No. 7 (September 1995)

Vince Carter was first featured in SLAM No.7, provided here for your reading pleasure. Click through for higher resolution.

Vince Carter: Happy Birthday GIF

Vince Carter vs Orlando Magic (December 21, 2005)

Vince Carter is the greatest dunker of all time, and this particular example, whilst not his best, is the only one we have had the pleasure of seeing live.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

GIF of the Week: Scottie Pippen & Nike Air Flight Maestro II

The forthcoming All Star Weekend will mark the 20th Anniversary of Scottie Pippen's MVP performance in the True Red Nike Air Flight Maestro II. This was long before flamboyant new releases were a staple of the weekend's festivities.

1994 was Pippen's year. With Mike gone, he led the Bulls in pretty much every category that mattered including massive dunks on Patrick Ewing and requests for removal from the final moments of Playoff games.

Scottie took home All Star Game honours, finishing with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 4 steals.

Friday, 24 January 2014

No Retro

Jersey of the Week: Henry James

If you hate money, your own or that of another, please do not hesitate in pulling the trigger on this signed Henry James jersey for the paltry sum of $460.

As we recently learned, Henry James sold drugs to the community.

Available here, for reasons we cannot explain.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Happy Birthday Haywoode Workman

Happy Birthday to Haywoode Workman, former Indiana Pacer who now plays for the NBA officials.

SLAM Scan: No. 102

DeMar Derozan dropped a career high 40 points on the Mavericks last night and is a serious candidate for MIP.

From his Compton HS days, as a P. Miller Baller (SLAM No. 102):