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January 27, 2011 9:04 AM

Column Awards of the Week (1/19-1/25)

By updating RealClearSports I read hundreds of articles every week but sometimes there are particularly passages that need highlighting. And to make these passages more palatable I'm doing them in award form! The awards are completely random and will change weekly (though some may become reoccurring).

Column Awards for slide.jpgCarmelo Anthony wasn't traded today. What's the hold up? The Nuggets NEED to trade Carmelo. The Pistons NEED to trade Richard Hamilton. The Nets and Knicks both NEED to get Carmelo. Can't we just be done with this already?

That's the type of stuff I've been reading for weeks now. It's beyond idiotic. The hold up to these trades are a million moving pieces and a lot of weighing of options. These players don't NEED to be traded. The teams don't NEED to make a trade just because fans are getting tired of all the rumors. And why write article after article saying the exact same thing? How about you find something else to write about or find a unique angle on these trade situations.

The biggest loser in all of this nonsense tends to be the players themselves. Carmelo's image has taken a major hit, and for what? It's not like he's delaying the trade. It's on the Nuggets to work out a deal that is in their best interest and those in charge are trying to get it done. I can understand Nuggets' fans getting angry that he wants to leave. That makes complete sense to me. What I don't understand is how Anthony has become the next LeBron and is getting booed at every venue he visits. This isn't "The Decision" people. He has made his intentions relatively clear and hasn't been too forward as to completely tie the hands of the Nuggets. It seems like he has handled it relatively well (much better than LeBron). So let's take a step back, allow the teams to negotiate, and wait until a deal is done so that we can then slam one side or the other for the horrible decision they made. On to the awards!


Old Man Argument Award

Last week, Bruce Jenkins of the SF Chronicle argued the dunk contest should be abolished. This week it's Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe with his problems with the competition: Tell me why anyone over 6-6 is allowed to enter a dunk contest. As an aside, I saw Nate Robinson, who might be 5-8, touch a piece of padding that was a good foot above the rim at Celtics practice the other day. Now that's jumping.

Nate Robinson? That's really who you're going to mention? Do you even remember 2006? Remember when it took him 17 attempts to make a dunk??? He should've been banned from ever competing after that. And you conveniently make the mark at 6'6. Hmm. Wonder why. Is that because Jordan is 6'6? Do you really not find Blake Griffin entertaining? Somehow I doubt it. He might be 6'10 but his dunks are electric. They're much more electric than any I've seen from Donkey this year.

Cheesiest Joke (Literally)
Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times must've been thrilled the Packers made the NFC Championship game so he could write a story about those foam cheeseheads and use this line: And the rest, as they say, is cheese-tory.

He's already crossing his fingers the Steelers win the Super Bowl so he can write something like, "PITTed against a tough Steelers defense, Rodgers and his teammates PACKED it in as Pittsburgh STOLE this one." Cheese-tory doesn't even work! HIS doesn't rhyme with CHEESE. You just completely changed the word.

Athlete Quote of the Week

I've been focusing on column awards and ignoring some hilarious quotes (sometimes intentional, often not) from athletes. Well, no longer. Here's the first of what I think will become a weekly addition to this posting: "I know for me, it was all about winning," Kobe Bryant said. "In my situation, we weren't spending the money to get players [to the Lakers]. They had me playing around with Smush Parker."

Kobe takes a swing as Smush! I'll be waiting for your response in the Greek Gazette.

Most Interesting Metric for MVP Consideration

Rick Reilly of ESPN believes Derrick Rose should be MVP. But it's not for the reasons you might think:
He's my MVP so far, not just for the way he's carried the limping Chicago Bulls the way Penn's carried Teller. And not just for the way he jumps like a frog bred with a kangaroo. And not just for the way he scores, defends and passes like he's going to the electric chair tomorrow. He's my MVP for moments like this:
Three young fans are walking alone after leaving the United Center. They're the last to go, so they're all alone. A white SUV pulls up next to them. This part of Chicago could use a shave and a clean shirt, so somebody rolling up on you isn't usually happy news. The young men try not to look. The window comes down and who is behind it but Derrick Rose himself, The Heir to Air.

Is Reilly aware the NBA gives away the NBA Cares Community Assist Award? You don't give the MVP award to the nicest guy in the NBA. In fact, this type of story should have no bearing on MVP voting. If you want to write about how great of a guy Rose is - fine. But don't make that a reason he should be MVP.

Most Blindly Incentive Comparison

Terence Moore of FanHouse wrote a column about the possible redemption of Roethlisberger. He doesn't say whether he thinks Big Ben has changed but he does offer up this comparison: Marriage supposedly is on the horizon for Roethlisberger, who hinted of becoming John Belushi from the movie "Animal House."

John Belushi's character, "Bluto", was a degenerate but a lovable one. He was also never accused of RAPING someone. He also ends up being the hero in that movie. Let's not use a comedy reference to descibe Big Ben's alleged misdeeds.

Best Point

Jerry West had recently made comments that the Lakers were getting old and wouldn't be good much longer. Mark Heisler of the Los Angeles Times disputes that claim and brought up some interesting facts to back him up: "I don't think the Lakers will be good for much longer. You can keep a car running for a long time by changing the tires, et cetera. You can't change a player's tires."

On the other hand, Jackson can take a team a long way on one set of tires. This Lakers team has only one rotation player -- Derek Fisher, 35 -- who's older than 32.Jackson won his last three titles in Chicago in 1996-1998, starting Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, Ron Harper and Scottie Pippen, who were 34-36-34-32 by the end of the run.

Sign the Cavs Have Hit a New Low

You know it's bad when the local paper begins to wonder if the local college team could beat the local NBA team. Jim Ingraham of the Cleveland News-Herald wonders: Could Ohio State's men's basketball team beat the Cavaliers?
Could the best college team in the country beat the worst professional team in the country? What kind of a gap are we talking about here? And in which direction?

He ultimately concludes that any NBA team would crush a college team but the fact that he even brought it up shows how bad things have gotten in Cleveland.

Bill Simmons' Pop Culture Reference Rundown

Here's the rundown from his article about how this year's NBA All-Star game is going to be one of the best ever:


(The Wire) -All of them were looking for the upper hand like Marlo after Avon went to the clink.
-Your starting five should feel like Clooney teaming up with Damon and Pitt for "Ocean's Eleven," but if the other two leads had been Crowe and DiCaprio.
-This would be a reputation pick. Like when you start watching an Ed Norton movie you've never heard of on cable just because Ed Norton was starring in it. And if Ed Norton was making $120 million to be in the movie.
-Does it look like an episode of "Bad Girls Club" on paper? Sure.
-I know, I know. That should be the plot of the "24" movie -- Jack Bauer goes to China to try to stop them from voting Yao into the All-Star Game.
(A Few Good Men) - I'm like Lt. Kaffee after the Code Red -- I just weakened the country. Sweet dreams, son.
-putting Blake Griffin and Chris Paul on the same All-Star team is like setting up Antonio Cromartie with Octomom.
-which I will only be able to watch in person if the people in front of me are covered with that same protective fabric Tony Soprano used to cover his boat when they killed Big Pussy)

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