Regular readers will know I grew up with an unordinary obsession with Bonzi Wells. I still can’t pinpoint where it came from. He wasn’t a star – instead, he was a solid player who could be spectacular for stretches or a complete nuisance for coaches. He wasn’t a hyped high school player – unlike someone like O.J. Mayo, who’ll forever have a following in the NBA because he had so many young fans latch on when he was still trying to get a date for the prom. And Wells didn’t win either – although he played in some big playoff games throughout his career. Read More »
TAG: Bonzi Wells
I never called Nick Van Exel shy. Too many jumpers early in shot clocks proved he had no conscience. I never called him timid either. Too many arguments with Del Harris proved that. I also never called him faint-hearted. He had enough street cred to get name-dropped in a song by Jigga. I figured he had a little Cypress Hill in him when he shoved Ron Garretson into the scorer’s table. And busting out “the monkey” midgame, against the Jazz no less (I doubt anyone on that team had even heard of “the monkey”), should’ve been all the evidence needed to sum it up: Van Exel had himself some big ol’ Sam Cassell-sized balls. Read More »
Asking Kobe Bryant to sit out with an injury just isn’t happening anymore. Some of us want to believe he’s doing it for the fame – “Not even Jordan could play through this!” – but at this point, it doesn’t matter the motives. Mike Brown says he can’t even tell Bryant is injured at practice, and Kobe is promising he will play this weekend. Kobe is Christian Bale and Gary Vitti is Morgan Freeman. So what will happen? We’re not doctors, but NBA 2K12 took a stab at it for us … Read More »
I have no problem saying Burger King makes the best fries. But McDonald’s won’t send me back home shuffling through my refrigerator at 2 a.m. on a Saturday night either. One version is crispier. The other feels like it needs another two minutes in the oven. Both do the job. Both taste really good. Try comparing NBA teams. It’s nearly impossible when those squads are coming from differing situations. From the players, ownership, the fans and even the style of play or storylines surrounding a team, no two situations will be entirely alike. You can’t compare style. Playoff teams? We’ve seen 65-win juggernauts, lousy 40-win teams getting in only because their timing was so good, and then everything in-between. Read More »
Bonzaaaiiiii. I used to yell it all the time, post someone up, take one or two dribbles, turn over my right shoulder, plant my left foot, jump back and launch a fadeaway. It felt so good whenever it would fall, the kind of shot you always marvel over because it appears so easy yet almost always promises to be impossible, the kind of shot that makes you feel like you can do anything when you’re young.
I wasn’t much of a post player, even when I was one of the tallest kids. I wanted to play on the perimeter, shoot wing jumpers, pass from the high post, bring the ball up. But I changed pretty quickly, if only for a short time. It was an obsession. Read More »
There’s only so long an NBA career can last and LeBron James has officially reached a crossroads. Yes, he’s only 26 years old and in his eighth season, but that’s almost a negative. How’s this all still going on? 11 points through 60 fourth-quarter minutes in the Finals. A lower scoring average than Chris Bosh in the biggest series of your career. Being thoroughly dominated and overshadowed by Dirk Nowitzki. Being outscored in a game by DeShawn Stevenson. Being guarded often in the second half of two games by a 38-year-old, 6-4 point guard and doing NOTHING about it. Read More »
Sports fans in cities like New York and L.A. don’t know how good they have it. With multiple franchises across the four major sports leagues, there’s always a team to cheer for or a game to go to. In Portland, Ore., on the other hand, everything revolves around the Trail Blazers. And this month, the Rose City’s illest sneaker spot, Compound Gallery, is holding a Blazers-inspired group show titled, Blazer Mania. Curated by 138creative founder Nathan Tabor, Blazer Mania showcases pieces from local and regional artists that touch on everyone from Brandon Roy to Rasheed Wallace to Kevin Duckworth. On view through the end of the month, if you can’t make it out, check out some of my personal favorites below. Read More »
Over the weekend, rumors surfaced suggesting Trail Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard‘s days with the team are numbered. This would have seemed crazy not too long ago, when Pritchard was treated like a rock star in Portland and credited with building one of the League’s hottest up-and-coming young contenders. So what’s the problem now? Two Dime writers debate just how important (or expendable) Pritchard is to the Blazers: Read More »
These days, the business of basketball is good for the Portland Trail Blazers. However, not too long ago, the City of Roses tagged their only pro sports team by another name: the Jail Blazers.
The era of the Jail Blazers is an interesting and lengthy time period, through which it extends from J.R. Rider’s heyday, until really 2005. Whereas, the Blazers had been branded with this label for a while, I chose to further examine Burnside’s best from ’01 through the ’04 season. Read More »