Holly MacKenzie

Holly Mackenzie

Holly MacKenzie is a lover of all things basketball, especially rookies and underdogs. She also enjoys the games, stories and triumphs of Stephen Jackson and Shaun Livingston. Getting her start interning for SLAM, the basketball Bible, her grandmother still has an issue of the magazine sitting on the mantle because it was the first time her granddaughter's name appeared in the masthead. The draft class of '96 holds a special place in her heart and she is currently wondering why she is writing in the third-person. For this slip-up, Holly is blaming the influence of LeBron James and The Decision and is wondering if this will result in James putting her on his list of haters. If so, she'll use this opportunity to say that it's all love over here, LBJ.

Recent Posts

Some of you might have spent your Saturday evening in the same glamorous fashion that I did: Camped out on the couch with a can of Coke beside me, eating a burger and fries while I watched Capital Punishment, aka the Drew League boys taking on the Goodman League boys. Yeah? No? Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

While the game was a ton of fun if you’re into street/pick up ball (not a lot of D, lots and lots of O and shot selection that can make you cringe, cry and then laugh all within the span of seven seconds), Twitter OG @Jose3030 was in attendance and he had his photographer hat on. While he snapped a bunch of amazing shots (check the Flickr album, there are some beauties of Kevin Durant dunking), I thought I’d post the ones he grabbed of DeMar DeRozan.

DeRozan had a pretty quiet game. We can’t find a box score for the affair, but do know that Durant finished with 44, Brandon Jennings with 34 and that the Goodman League took the 135-134 victory after Durant made his free throws and Jennings and James Harden both missed jumpers in the final seconds of the game.

After the game, DeRozan took to his Twitter account to tweet: The @drewleague came a long way & I’m glad to be apart of the bball movement with everything. Much respect!

DeRozan getting his Dwyane Wade pregame routine on.

going in for a dunk (attempt…don't think this one was completed).

another angle

looking on during a break in the action

we're approaching the beginning stage of DeRozan having a fro to fear. Exciting.

While the game was lots of fun to watch, and another example of guys just wanting to ball, it was also depressing to know it’s going to be awhile before we get any legit NBA games to cover. Small consolation: The two leagues are already talking about a rematch in L.A., tentatively slated for September. Who is in for a trip to Cali?

P.S. Love those uniforms. Also, check out DeRozan’s shoes. So clean.

Rafer Alston

The Ultimate Raptors Rankings are the Raptorblog editors’ attempt to rank the top 30 Toronto Raptors of all time. These rankings are obviously somewhat arbitrary and endlessly debatable, but they’re based on each player’s contribution, performance and longevity as a Raptor, and on how beloved they are by Raptors fans. We’ll count down a new Raptor every Wednesday on this blog.

Rafer Alston’s Raptors résumé:

  • First player to appear on SLAM’s Streetball issue
  • Raptors gave “Skip 2 My Lou” his first legit NBA chance
  • In return, he gave Sam Mitchell plenty of headaches
  • Joins Mo Pete on the list of former Raptors to have been caught on camera giving opponents a “love slap”

Something that most people don’t realize about me is that I never was a Raptors fan. Nope. Never. I didn’t grow up in Toronto and the Raptors were not the team I fell in love with when I was growing up. I was born in Nova Scotia and grew up in a town of 600 people where basketball was the second-last thing on the list of popular things, ranking only slightly higher than hip hop. As someone who lives for both, I was always the odd one out. If it wasn’t for Kobe Bryant and SLAM magazine, I definitely wouldn’t be here writing this today.

A small town girl with hoop dreams, basketball was my religion, hip hop my sermons, and SLAM my bible. It’s because of SLAM that I feel an extra special attachment to Rafer Alston. While you all likely know Rafer as the flashy and frustrating point guard that came to the Raptors after chilling on the bench with the Milwaukee Bucks and while he will always think of Toronto as the first franchise that truly gave him his first shot in the league, I think of Rafer not as Rafer at all.

Rafer will always be “Skip 2 My Lou” to me.

Read the rest of this entry »

What does an MVP and gold-medal winner wear post-celebration after the U19 championship? Cargo jorts. Why? Because he can.

After dominating his competition at the U19 championship, Jonas Valanciunas just wanted to chill. And party a little bit, too.  @DraftExpress tweeted that after the gold-medal game he responded to a reporter’s question about his NBA prep by saying he was focusing on celebrating for the time being. Today, thanks to Twitter, we get this awesome photo of Valanciunas at the team hotel post-celebration. Yeah, his tired eyes show the fun that was had celebrating his latest success. The sleek-suited guy posing with Valanciunas is Twitter user (and huge basketball fan) @Hugsis, who said Valanciunas was very cool and pleasant to interact with.

* Of note: The legal drinking age in Latvia and Lithuania is 18, so Valanciunas is in the clear.

We’ve spoken a lot about the amazing passion that Lithuanians have for basketball, but this video captures that love better than anything we could try and explain to you.

Many thanks to @Hendrix_Gizz for passing along this link of Lithuanian fans celebrating the U-19 championship, where they watched MVP Jonas Valanciunas lead Lithuania to the gold.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgyuZ7aTIIw

Just watch and try not to get goosebumps.

photo courtesy of Photo Riot

One of the greatest things about the internet is that you never know what you’re going to stumble over while looking for something else. Today I was looking for a photo of what DeMar DeRozan’s ‘fro currently looks like. I wasn’t very successful with finding a photo from Drew League action over the weekend — here’s the best I could find — but I did end up reading this hilarious story about DeMar doing work for his boy at the Drew League:

I really hope this is true. Seems like a chill bro thing to do.

A friend who not only pays your phone bill but also passes along your number to the pretty groupies hanging out at the Drew League? Those are the friends you value for life.