Smack / Aug 20, 2009 / 3:39 am

Sizing up the real contenders, plus the real-life Juwanna Mann?

Vince Carter

Vince Carter

White Chocolate signing with the Magic yesterday likely signaled the last offseason move by any of the NBA’s legit championship contenders before training camp. (Assuming the Marquis Daniels-to-Boston deal is just a paperwork formality at this point.) So now that we know who’s working with what, why not start handicapping the field? … Orlando could very well run through the Eastern Conference postseason bracket again, but they probably won’t be doing it as a #1 or even a #2 seed thanks to Rashard Lewis‘ 10-game suspension. When the team will already be getting accustomed to Vince Carter and Brandon Bass and to not having Hedo Turkoglu, losing one of their All-Stars doesn’t help … But the matchup problems Orlando presented for Cleveland in the conference finals won’t be as exaggerated with the Cavs employing Shaq and Leon Powe to help keep Dwight Howard somewhat in check, plus Jamario Moon and Anthony Parker provide some length on the wings to help close out on those shooters. (Plus Mike Brown has apparently learned how to better handle a Stan Van Gundy-coached team.) If LeBron has a standard LeBron-type season, the Cavs will be right there come June … Boston is the San Antonio of the East, and vice versa: If their vets (KG/Pierce/Ray/’Sheed in green; Duncan/Manu/McDyess/Jefferson in black) stay healthy and productive, and if the defense imposes its will like usual, their young point guard (Rondo; Parker) can take them all the way to another Larry O’Brien trophy … The Lakers have to be considered the class of the West, though. Even if you think Ron Artest is a stylistic downgrade from Trevor Ariza, he’s still a top-level defender, a better offensive player than Ariza, and a guy you’d rather have on your side than not on your side. Kobe is still Kobe (unless his pinky finger falls off), Odom and Gasol will do their thing, and L.A. has shown that Andrew Bynum is just icing one way or the other … Denver got a lot of flak for not making any major offseason changes (they’re reportedly close to a deal with Wally Szczerbiak, but does that really count?), however there’s something to be said for rolling with the same crew that got you to the conference finals. Chauncey Billups can tell you about the benefits of such continuity, and since Chauncey can apparently find a way to guide East Tennessee State deep into the postseason, the Nuggets won’t be going away anytime soon. Ty Lawson as CB’s backup provides a nice change of pace, and Carmelo is officially in that highest class of superstars now. But can they depend on Nene, Birdman and K-Mart to play as well as they did last year? … After that, we think there’s gonna be one team to step up and be real dangerous in the West — we’re just not sure who it is yet. But between Dallas, New Orleans, Utah and Portland, one of them will catch fire and potentially make a surprise conference finals run … The Elite 24 high school showcase is in NYC this week, and we’ve been all over things leading up to the main event at Rucker Park. Last night we were part of an exclusive group invited to watch a “secret run” at Madison Square Garden at midnight, where some of the nation’s best high schoolers played with Brandon Jennings and Kevin Love on the Knicks’ court. Pretty sick. We’ll have videos and pics for you later today on DimeMag.com … In a story (presumably) unrelated to the lawsuit recently filed against him regarding unpaid jewelry debts (sounds like a “Judge Mathis” episode), O.J. Mayo has fired his agent and is going with a new guy named LaPoe “Smitty” Smith. Now we’re not trying to tell O.J. what to do — he’s a grown-ass man and all — but as a general rule, you don’t wanna trust your money with dudes named “Smitty” or “LaPoe” unless your “money” comes in the form of cigarettes … New trade rumor: Matt Carroll for Marcus Banks. We’re not even gonna tell you the teams involved, because it sounds too much like material for Charles Barkley‘s “Who He Play For?” segment …

Caster Semenya

Caster Semenya

Forget Usain Bolt‘s “Monsters Inside Me” performances, or Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva — the Tiger Woods/Michael Jordan of her event — failing to medal. The story of this week’s Track & Field World Championships has become that of Caster Semenya. The South African destroyed the field on her way to winning the women’s 800-meter gold medal, but soon after her victory, the news broke that she’s under investigation and being given a GENDER TEST. Yes, they actually want to make sure she isn’t a man. Dime’s Austin Burton is our in-house track expert, and he admits he was initially suspicious when he saw Semenya running in the prelims, but more about steroids and less about whether there are balls involved. No joke, though, the 18-year-old is built like Terrell Owens, and she burst on the scene out of nowhere within the last year and has been dominating the best 800m runners in the world. And for the most insensitive quote of the year, here is Semenya’s coach to a British paper: “We understand that people will ask questions because she looks like a man.” The Juwanna Mann jokes are just too easy … We’re out like Marcus Banks …

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  • yw

    1st. damn when ur own coach says that, that’s messed up, haha

  • FedEx

    Semenya totally looks and sounds like a man, I understand people being suspicious.

  • sh!tfaced

    Still no word about Wallyworld signing with Denver?

    Caster just had a Face/Off.

    Think the “woman turned out to be a man” has happened before, a ‘woman’ who was accidentally killed during a bank robbery turns out to be a former Olympic medal winner and was found out to be a man during his/her autopsy.

  • That’s whats up

    “Her” name is Semen-Ya for a reason.

    It’s like a question and answer all in the same word

  • AB_40

    about that 800 meter runner it’s dumb that they do this after she wins a medal. kinda dumb when you think about it. she’s been doing it for a full year now and NOW when she finaly wins on the big stage people start hatin? plus she walked two full secconds under the world reccord…

  • alf (from melmak)

    The only thing that will catch fire in Utah is the locker room. It is going to be very volatile with Boozer apprently staying and could explode anytime.

    I am a Utah fan since the Stockton-to-Malone days but I will not be getting my hopes high this season. A 30 win season would already be considered an accomplishment.

    A friend of mine claimed, and I do not know how accurate, that he heard on a radio talk show that Semenya was already found out to be a “he”.

    My meal allowance says it might be true as the surname Semen ya would indicate. :)


    Caster Semenya — The reincarnation of Kunta Kinte, coming back to haunt us all!

  • http://www.twitter.com/jahovah23 JHov

    Hey fellas peep 46 year-old MJ giving this “slamball” player the biz-ness! Mike is the g.o.a.t. no doubt


  • Duke

    How about Memphis potentially forfeiting their title game because Derrick Rose was too stupid to take a test.

  • the_don_mega

    maybe this would give steph an idea and try out for the WNBA…

  • ponky_alolor

    The top 3 for the east is locked. Boston, Orlando, Cleveland are going to finish close to each other. If KG comes back to full form, i’m taking boston for the first seed. I’d like to see how Shaq goes until we seed the cavs as #1 East. Shaq’s no Pau Gasol at this point of his career. Orlando will go as far as Vinsanity cares about winning.

    Out West, LA then SA, then the rest. Hope SA is healthy coz if they’re not, LA is running away with the west crown.

    Lakers versus whoever comes out from East in 6 games.

  • http://luckylester.com luckylester

    somebody prove to me that Wally’s +/- has been out of the negative since leaving college and I’ll gladly be interested in his signing – is their a worse defensive player than this guy?

  • http://myspace.com/neirbomij33 JOB33

    Man Szczerbiak is the NBA equivalent of your little toe..totally useless. Someone please cast him on the Hills. Whatever happened to ugly white guys in the NBA? Is Nash’s wandering eye enough so every other white guy in the L can be a pretty boy? I miss Bird’s trash-stache.

  • TJ

    TP has been in the league for 8 years. I think we can stop referring to him as a young point guard.

  • timmy d

    Nice ETSU reference, never seen them mentioned on here before. GO BUCS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Houston is going to shock many. Due to lack of “star” power they won’t be considered among the elite, but don’t sleep…please…don’t sleep.

    Denver blah blah blah. Get rid of George Karl and that will be the best off-season move ever.

    Say LeBron leaves and Shaq leaves Cleveland next year, how fast before their coach loses his job?

    Ol girl, well ol boy…well yea most def. looks like a man. Dang Gender test.

    They should do a gender test on some of the player always floppin lol.


  • rangerjohn

    between this sheMALE track star and “cyborg” Santos there are a few men doing very well in womens sports but then i guess it is to be expected.

  • Dagomar

    “We understand that people will ask questions because she looks like a man.”

    HAHAHAHA – amazing.

    The Raps trading Banks would only be a good thing (to the Mavs, by the way). The guy’s useless and the team could use even a marginal wing player for some security.

    As for the Magic, I’m still not sold on their moves. I think Turk was a big part of what made that team special last year with his length and passing ability. That said, there’s no doubt the team is stacked.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qtOTBQcbiM&feature=related rodnets

    “walking like a man hitting like a hammer she is a juvenile scam, never was a quitter, tracking like a raindrop”

    She’s got that look!!

    Semenya nananana nanana nana

    Lady looks like a Dude!!


  • showydisplay

    Yeah Houston will surprise a few this season especially if they acquire Iverson.

    Denver will be the most disappointing team in the West.


    ITS A MAN!


    They should do a Gender Test on Anderson Verajao, bet that guy has got a Vera-gina. Ray Allen elbowed him HARD in the nuts last season and there was no reaction at all.

  • That’s Whats Up

    the reports came out afterwards and stated that Ray Allen only struck shaft, therefore not much flinch

  • http://www.nukedasouth.net Chicagorilla

    @the Juawanna man jokes

    Not cool. Kind of an asshole move by dime. but to each his own.

  • PB

    As a Raps fan, I can attest that Moon and Parker are NOT going to help the Cavs defence very much, especially against Orlando. Remember two seasons ago when Orlando steam rolled over Toronto in the playoffs? Moon and Parker were the primary wing defenders on Hedo and Lewis! Adding Carter is only going to make it tougher!

    Moon is an over-rated scrub with no concept of team defence and Parker is getting old and can’t keep up with the quicker wings anymore.

  • rean pogi

    dallas all the way!

  • sh!tfaced

    Maybe Semen-ya’s Victory Lap song, Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like A Lady” gave them away…

  • gutiguti

    bahahaha @ 21

  • Smithy

    Will somebody do a gender test on the Williams brothers?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qtOTBQcbiM&feature=related rodnets

    Sasha BooYaChick is also a questionable dude.

  • JH

    Poppi Gee aka Houston UP!…Brooks/Ariza/& Scola will keep the Rockets in the playoff mix but I don’t see anything better than an 8 seed going their way.

    New Orleans
    Houston/OKC/Clippers (Yes…the Clippers)

    Eastern Conference? I don’t think it’s gonna matter this year.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    JH I can agree with that. My hopes are lying on Tracy coming back way better than most expect and also David Andersen putting in better work than most expect. I already know Brooks/Scola will do well. Ariza is a ?

    Really don’t want the 8th seed considering who the number 1 seed is. Really though no one wants to see the first 2 seeds of the west. Down through you might have a chance but them first 2 or gangbustas!

    Still Houston Up!

  • mellmeister

    semenya? thought it was avery johnson playin’ track… :P