Archive for the ‘Cars’ Category

You know, just one of those days you stumble across former NBA center Jim McIlvaine’s personal YouTube account after somehow finding a Facebook album full of pictures of him surfing in Lake Michigan. Weird day, but hopefully you can fix your alternator now.

shaq-and-dale-earnhardt

During his playing days, which were a lot more recent than you remember, Shaquille O’Neal was notorious for playing himself in to shape. Whether it be due to an offseason surgery he scheduled way too late, some sort of injury setback that required on-the-job rehab or just pure laziness, Shaqueezy would play significant portions of numerous NBA seasons below peak conditioning while getting ready for the playoffs where it “really mattered.” This is pretty much the biggest knock against Shaq, just ahead of the fact that he never won a rebounding title despite being as big as a dumpster.

Turns out he should have just spent his summers driving NASCAR cars, because that’s apparently the toughest thing he’s ever done. From a NASCAR.com interview, as transcribed by From the Marbles:

In an interview with NASCAR.com, O’Neal recalled the time in 2010 when he raced Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the reality show “Shaq Vs.” And O’Neal came away impressed:

“Whoever said these guys aren’t athletes are out of their minds,” he said. “That was the toughest three hours I’ve ever had in my life. I was fitted for a car, me and Dale raced 50 laps, and I slept for two days after that. I really did.”

It wasn’t just the heat and the confined space. “I was terrified,” O’Neal continued. “I don’t really get scared by a lot of stuff, but I was freaking terrified. You definitely have to be in great shape to do this.”

Oh, and one other element: “You’ve got to be small. I don’t think a big guy like me would really survive out on the track. You’ve got to be smaller.”

You see, this would be a perfect offseason training regimen. Three hours of driving is way more efficient than, like, 50 squats or whatever. Just hop in a super-fast car that is hard to control, drive in circles for an afternoon, then sleep for two days — next thing you know, you’re in perfect basketball shape (I am assuming). I mean, if a 15-time All-Star with four titles is saying it’s a tough workout, you know it must be true. Shaquille O’Neal is definitely the one to trust on this. He’s played in Game 7s.

Or if you are feeling less generous — Shaquille O’Neal, a professional basketball player who was often criticized for being out of shape, says driving a car was the hardest three hours of his life. Oh, and he drove the car while he was still playing, but was still knocked out for two days after the driving. Choose your own adventure.

terrence-ross-car-off-road

Cars are a pretty smart invention and “Cars” is a pretty good movie. I think we can all agree on those two things. But when Henry Ford was coming up with the Model T, he probably didn’t ever consider the descendants of his masterpiece would ever weigh a ton-and-a-half, travel more than 100 mph or be used on roads covered in snow and ice. And if he did, maybe he should have made them less slippery. I’m not a doctor of cars, but that seems like a pretty good idea, in retrospect.

At the very least, I know Terrence Ross has my back with regards to cars on icy roads. From Sportsnet’s Holly MacKenzie:

Sportsnet.ca: How have you been dealing with driving in the snow in Toronto?

Ross: The first car I had up here was a Challenger. I was trying to get home quick. They were like, ‘Just get on the highway. The highway is clear, you can drive as much as you want, you’ll be fine.’ It’s just getting out of the parking lot. My car hit like a massive snow clump. It was like nine or 10 cars behind me all honking their horns. Quincy had to come and put basically like a blanket under my tires so I could get traction. It was at the airport. Everybody trying to get home and I’m holding up the line. It was crazy. On the way home, Kyle, we’re on a overpass going over a bridge and it kind of leans a little bit and Kyle was trying to drive like there wasn’t any snow and you hit a wet spot and you start sliding down so his car got stuck. We’re all on the highway trying to push him. This is late at night. Early in the morning, two o’clock in the morning. Everybody here is just like this is normal. Man, me and Kyle had to basically push our cars into the garage there was so much snow. I’m not used to that at all.

You always hear about how difficult of an adjustment rookies have to the NBA game, but you rarely hear about how hard they find driving in their new cities. Maybe that’s because half the teams in the league play in places where there isn’t terrible snow, but maybe it’s just something that’s gone completely unreported and should therefore become part of the NBA’s rookie transition program. One of the two.

Either way, Terrence Ross should be happy to know that my phone is predicting snow in Toronto for today and the next two days, despite the fact it’s nearly April and winter is technically over. He probably won’t need tire chains or Quincy Acy’s blanket, but a little warning never hurt anyone. Besides, it’s always a smart idea to carry an emergency kit in your car when you live in a snowy climate. You never know when that months-old Snickers bar will come in handy.

Also — slow down, Kyle Lowry. Don’t drive like there’s no snow when there’s clearly snow. For your health.

I’m sorry but I’m having just a tiny bit of trouble comprehending how a man who has a $100,000 diamond-encrusted replica of his own head also drives a giant A-Team van from Georgia to Milwaukee after he signed with the Bucks. I’m sure this is a very expensive van, but it’s still a van which can never be as flashy as a bejeweled head pendant because it is a van.

Just seems incongruous, but I guess everyone I’ve ever heard of who has a necklace with their own head and dreadlocks on it also drives a luxury van, so what do I know?

Almost a year ago, LaMarcus Aldridge wrecked a Ferrari and then went out and dominated the Denver Nuggets. At the time, I jokingly suggested the Trail Blazers figure out a way for Aldridge to safely wreck a luxury car before every game. Haha, jokes.

But it looks like they might have finally considered my genius strategy that was totally serious. From the Oregonian:

For the second time in the last 11 months, Aldridge on Monday was involved in a car accident on his way to the Blazers game, and for the second time, he played like nothing was awry.

Aldridge had 27 points, 10 rebounds and five assists to help the Blazers beat Orlando 125-119 in overtime, even though much of his pregame was spent dealing with insurance paperwork and frayed nerves from a fender bender two blocks from the Rose Garden arena. [...]

“I don’t know what it is, I keep getting hit by people,’’ Aldridge said chuckling. “I was like: ‘Not again.’ But this time it wasn’t as bad.’’

On Monday, Aldridge said he was in his 2013 Mercedes Benz – a car he purchased less than a week ago. “I don’t even have plates on it yet,’’ Aldridge said. [...]

His 2013 Benz is a special edition because it comes with a chocolate mocha paint.

“It’s the first one they made in that color,’’ Aldridge said. “That’s why I got it. Getting it repainted will be tough.’’

Though we don’t have complete collision stats for LaMarcus, going off of his performance in these two games, we can easily see that he’s averaging 28.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg and 5 apg, which would virtually guarantee him the MVP since those kind of numbers have only been seen six times in NBA history. And while the cost and danger of this technique remains prohibitive, we can also easily see that it’s hugely effective. At this point, teams are going to need to add “plays extremely well after car accidents” to their scouting reports, just in case there’s a lot of traffic in Portland.

Tough break about the car though. You don’t see a lot of brown Benzes and I’m guessing you see even fewer that have been through car accidents, since the people who drive them must be very careful with their investments. Lucky for LaMarcus, he’s making a cool $13.5 million this season, so he’ll be able to afford the finest car painters that money can buy. (Personally, I’d go with these guys, but I understand if he wants to stick with someone local.) And maybe he’ll get a chance to throw plates on that bad boy too. Safety first, unless you’re trying to score 30 a game.

You try getting Kendrick Perkins to sing about jeeps. Heck, try getting Kendrick Perkins to do anything he doesn’t want to do — shave his goatee, smile, wear less adornments on his shirt, whatever — and I’m guessing you’ll have about as much success as the rest of the Thunder had trying to get him to sing. Ever since he turned 50, he’s been such a curmudgeon.

Yo dawg, we heard you like basketball players, so we put a basketball player in your car customization shop so you can see a basketball player while you customize your car. From Project Spurs:

For those who live in San Antonio, you may have seen a huge sign along Huebner Road with “Black Jack Speed Shop” emblazoned with huge black lettering with a red flame design. And in case you didn’t know, that’s the future site of [Tim] Duncan’s car and truck customization shop with a focus on wheels and tires, suspension, performance parts and accessories. [...]

“We’ve hand many discussions about [Duncan working on vehicles],” he said. “Obviously, right now he’s focused on the business at hand, the 2012-13 NBA season but Tim is truly a car guy. When he has more time available, like the summer, as dedicated as he is to his profession, he’ll still be doing his workouts and everything else, but we’ve already talked about getting in there and having a project where he’s going to get his hands dirty and he’s going to get all the essentials of building a car from the ground up. That’s how committed and passionate he is about this particular business. Whether it be doing stuff in the front or going in the back and turning some wrenches.”

If we know anything about Tim Duncan, it’s that his custom creations will be very efficient, probably black and silver, definitely Punisher themed and people will complain that they’re boring even while agreeing that they’re some of the best cars available. Then, just when you think Black Jack Speed Shop is getting ready to close their doors, they’ll reinvent themselves and continue to be a successful business for a number of years after everyone thought they’d close down, and they’ll do this by hiring employees that no one else really ever noticed.

Oh, and they’ll definitely have a curmudgeonly store manager who never answers your questions but always gives you a really nice car. You might not like the Black Jack Speed Shop, but you’ll always respect it. Also, I’ve heard that all of their cars handle very well in wet conditions, but I’ve never seen any video evidence that this is true. Still waiting for that water performance documentation, Timmy.

(via SLAM)