Archive for the ‘Olympics’ Category

I’m not sure how I didn’t notice it until John Schuhmann alerted everyone to Alexey Shved’s FIBA profile picture, but there it is — Alexey Shved is a white George Hill with Adam Morrison’s 2010 hair, no tattoos and a not-at-all-weird cat fetish. I blame the goatee.

I’m not sure if this should make Timberwolves fans more or less excited, but I am sure they’re hoping that it’s just the hair that’s the same as Adam Morrison’s. “Exciting combo guard who is actually just a solid player” seems to fit Hill and Shved pretty well, but those flowing locks could be a horrifying omen.

Pretty cool last few months for LeBron James. He got his third MVP trophy, won his first NBA championship, got his first Finals MVP, and yesterday, led Team USA to the gold medal under the watchful and approving eye of international action star Vin Diesel. As Chris Paul said, “It’s the best summer ever.” So naturally, Nike is hooking one of their signature athletes up with some special shoes, as yesterday’s game against Spain gave us the first glimpse of LeBron’s 10th signature shoe, the LeBron X.

As you can see, these LeBrons are the latest in a series of gradually changing sneakers that started with the LeBron 7, which were the first of LBJ’s shoes that we saw with the drastic heel-to-tongue angle that has become a mainstay of the line. As usual, LeBron’s getting the best technical stuff the Swoosh has to offer: Flywire, Hyperfuse, the brand’s first full-length visible Zoom Air cushioning, Nike+ sensors that send information to an app that tracks your performance and cetera. Also as usual, the shoes look really comfortable, though I imagine they’d be bulky on little guys. It’s hard to design a shoe that looks right on a guy the size of LeBron, while also still making sense for a guy the size of Tom Cruise. I like them though, and the tiny United States flag is a particularly nice touch.

In particular, these remind me a lot of the LeBron 8 PS, which are one of my favorite shoes to ever play in and are still out on my balcony, just in case I ever need some comfort food shoes. The upper, the triangles, the red sole all feel familiar. The big difference is on the left shoe, where the swoosh is facing the wrong way, as the fat part is usually towards the front of the shoe. You don’t often see that on Nike shoes, and while it may seem minor, it’s the kind of thing people notice. Doesn’t bother me personally, but I can definitely see how some people don’t like it.

So yeah, new shoes for LeBron James at a pivotal moment in his career. No surprise there. The shoes are due to release in January, with the standard model going for a standard $180 and the super technological Nike+ ones going for a rumored whopping $315. Hit the jump for more shots, including some of a golded-out version that reminds me of the “Watch the Throne” cover and are probably LeBron-only. Let’s hear what you think in the comments.

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Team USA winning gold: very cool.

Team USA winning gold, followed by an uproarious dance party that Kevin Love seemingly refuses to participate in, thereby making him look like the most humorless on Earth: hilarious.

And when such a clip is set to “Boom Boom Boom” by the Vengaboys? Even better.

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Join The Jones on the sonic journey that is The Overdose Olympics!

On today’s final London 2012 podcast, the guys recap an entertaining gold medal game between Team USA and Spain. Topics include: La Bomba’s hot start, Marc Gasol’s fourth foul, Durant’s three-point shooting, Chris Paul taking over the game late, Espana’s zone defense, Ibaka, Coach K’s celebration, and that LeBron dude.

We also discuss Team USA’s next coach, the tournament MVP, players we’re most excited to see in the NBA this coming season, and our favorite “peripheral” men’s basketball moment.

All that, plus brothels, wrestling challenges, broken fibulas, and volleyball.

Thanks for listening, team.

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Subscribe to The Basketball Jones video show on iTunes | Download the .m4v directly
Subscribe to The Basketball Jones audio show on iTunes
| Download the .mp3 directly

Join The Jones on the sonic journey that is The Overdose Olympics!

On today’s show, our national Dwightmare ends in a four-team trade. Does the addition of Dwight make the Lakers odds-on Larry O’Brien favorites? How did the Magic manage to get neither the 2nd nor the 3rd best player in this deal? Will 76er fans eat Andrew Bynum alive? With the addition of Iggy, is Denver the new “Lob City”?

We also breakdown the Olympic semifinals including, America’s three-point dominance, Spain’s gritty bench, the disappearance of Andre Kirilenko, and a sad Olympic goodbye to Manu Ginobili.

All that, plus the return of Ol’ Jasper, BMX bandits, and a 320-pound nose-picking Polish man.

See you on Sunday after the U.S.-Spain gold medal game.

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Subscribe to The Basketball Jones video show on iTunes | Download the .m4v directly
Subscribe to The Basketball Jones audio show on iTunes
| Download the .mp3 directly

Thanks to Grant Hill, we know that Olympic basketball players who have great games are randomly selected for postgame drug tests, with the quotiest quotation marks ever around the “randomly.” Still though, solid info from Grant Hill, who always seems to have our well-being in mind. Thanks for that, Grant Hill. I still own one of your jerseys (a red Pistons alternate from eighth grade), so we’re cool.

With that knowledge in mind because that is where we store it, consider this little factoid regarding Kobe Bryant’s 20-point half against the Boomers. From the New York Post:

So what was Kobe Bryant’s reward for his 20-point second-half outburst in Team USA’s quarterfinal victory over Australia on Wednesday night? An Olympic drug test.

According to a source, Bryant was the USA player chosen to take the mandatory random drug test after the late-night contest and was unable to ride back to the team hotel with his teammates. With the game beginning at 10:15 p.m. here, Bryant didn’t arrive back at the hotel until 2 a.m.

Even though it is protocol that each team’s leading scorer gets the drug test, I like to imagine that officials were like “Whoa whoa whoa. Kobe Bryant scored 20 points IN A HALF? After sucking for the first however many games? That seems weird. Drug test that guy.” I think you’ll agree that sounds logical.

And I’m sure Kobe loved being held after the game for two hours, getting his blood tested and hoping that the blood the Germans shot in to his knee didn’t accidentally have anything wrong with it. He’s a pretty mellow guy who absolutely loves being hassled and told what to do, so I’m sure that went over very well.

That being said, when you “activate the Black Mamba,” you have to imagine someone is going to think you got a little extra Mamba juice in there or whatever activating the Black Mamba entails. When you turn yourself in to a human snake, that is one of the risks you have to be willing to take.

If you listened to our latest Olympics podcast, watched the game or read any reports, you know Kobe Bryant went bonkers in the second half of the United States’ quarterfinal win over Australia. 20 points, six threes and one awkward version of Neil Diamond’s “America” in just a half of basketball proved that when Kobe needs to turn it on against inferior competition, he still can.

It’s just a simple matter of, in Kobe’s words, “activating the Black Mamba.” Seriously, he said that. From the Los Angeles Times:

Bryant certainly needed no conscience to perform as he did in the second half after his sluggish statistics. Through the first five games, he had only 14 field goals and 15 personal fouls, and he missed his first five shots against Australia.

“I was just kind of searching for something to get me going, searching for something to kind of activate the Black Mamba,” he said.

I don’t mean to be crude, but in light of Tas’ gold medal performance last night, it has to be mentioned that “activate the Black Mamba” could be a terrible euphemism for getting a boner. It sounds like a line from Mad magazine. Now that we’ve all addressed the deadly snake in the room, let’s marvel in the fact that Kobe continues to refer to himself as “the Black Mamba,” even when it’s just in his own head.

We’ve all heard the old adage that “you can’t give yourself a nickname,” and that is still the case. However, something needs to be said for the diligence with which Kobe is pursuing this. It was four years ago that Kobe gave himself the nickname, seemingly inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” films, and he’s still trying to make it happen even though we all agree it’s silly and that you don’t really need a nickname when you’re already a one-name superstar.

The fact that it sounds like he actually calls himself “the Black Mamba” when he is just thinking about himself is even better. I imagine there’s a lot of “Oh, the Black Mamba doesn’t know where the Black Mamba left his keys” and “the Black Mamba needs to remember to brush the Black Mamba’s fangs before the Black Mamba heads to the gym” and stuff like that going on in Kobe’s head while he’s puttering around the house. And while I’m not necessarily on board with the nickname or how it came about, it’s still kind of impressive that Kobe is so devoted to it that he’ll even even call himself Black Mamba when no one is around. It’s that dedication that’s made him one of the best players ever.

Plus, and this is a total guess, I bet Kobe Bryant does snake motions all the time when he’s alone. Stuff like sitting up and wiggling side-to-side and eating ice cream by shooting his face at the cone. Don’t put it past him, he’s really in to this snake persona thing. Total Slytherin.