Thursday, February 28, 2013

And the Herb of the Night Award goes to...

...Steve Buckhantz, "DAGGER!"

SYNOPSIS: Steve Buckhantz Comcast Sports Net sportscaster & Washington Wizards' play-by-play announcer incorrectly calls a game-winning bucket (dagger) by Trevor Ariza and soon after retracts the 'dagger' statement — much to the amusement of analysts, announcers, commentators and reporters in the Sports World.
"Dagger, I retract!"

A Review of Cookoo, G-Shock and Other Smartwatches by The New York Times

Clockwise from top left: The Cookoo, I'm Watch, Meta Watch, Casio G-Shock GB-6900 and Martian.

Dick Tracy, Your Watch Is Ready, Almost
by David Pogue

Every time you look, our computers have moved closer to us.

In the beginning, they existed only in corporate headquarters. Then came the desktop PC — three feet away. Then the laptop — one foot. Then the smartphone — in our pockets. What’s next — computers on our wrists?

Exactly. As though by silent agreement, the gadget industry seems to have decided that 2013 is the year of the smartwatch.

The central idea is sound. You already have an iPhone or Android phone. Wouldn’t it be neat if your watch could communicate with it wirelessly?

Imagine: the watch could beep or vibrate whenever you get an incoming call, text message or e-mail. No more, “Sorry I didn’t get your call; my phone was in my backpack.” No more fumbling for your phone when that would be inconvenient or unsafe — like while you’re skiing, skateboarding or driving.

These watches can also make your phone beep loudly when it’s lost in the house. That’s much quicker than using Find My iPhone, which involves logging into a Web site.

They can also serve as a digital “leash”: if you wander away, accidentally leaving your phone on some restaurant table, the watch buzzes to warn you.

I tested the Meta Watch ($180), Cookoo ($130), Casio G-Shock GB-6900 ($180), Martian ($300), and I’m Watch ($400, coming in July). More, like a Kickstarter favorite, Pebble Watch, are on the way. (The Martian, Cookoo and Meta Watch also began life on Kickstarter, the Web site where inventors seek financing from the public.) Even Apple is said to be toying with an iWatch.

The designs are all over the map. Some have touch screens. Some look like regular analog watches; others are basically iPod Nanos with straps. Some require daily charging; others take watch batteries.

They do have some things in common. First, these early smartwatches are thick and chunky — a desirable quality in a stew, maybe, but not for the delicate of wrist.

Second, they communicate with your phone over Bluetooth. You have to “pair” the watch to your phone on the first day — and whenever you exit Airplane Mode.

Most models require a companion phone app for this purpose.

Most of these watches use Bluetooth 4.0, which means your phone will lose only a small amount of battery charge each day — maybe 5 or 10 percent — but only recent models, like the iPhone 4S and 5, are compatible.

Finally, the instruction manuals are terrible or nonexistent; it’s as if, in their zeal to make these things work, the companies forgot all about explaining it to you.

Wrists ready? Here we go.

Casio G-Shock GB-900
CASIO G-SHOCK GB-6900 ($180) 

This watch closely resembles Casio’s other G-Shocks: popular, masculine, rugged, waterproof digitals.

But this one can beep or vibrate when calls or e-mails come to your iPhone — though not, alas, text messages. There’s no Caller ID; a cramped scrolling display says only “Incoming call.” For e-mail, the sender’s address scrolls slowly. You can dismiss these alerts with a double-tap on the glass — that’s the only thing this watch’s “touch screen” does. The watch can also set itself as you cross time zones by checking in with your phone.

These limited functions are solid and power-stingy; one watch battery lasts two years. The watch has four buttons — the usual user-hostile digital watch assortment, like Mode, Adjust and Split/Reset — but they get the job done.

Cookoo Smartwatches

The round face and analog hands offer spartan good looks; only the watch’s alarming thickness (three-quarters of an inch) and four edge buttons let you know that it’s not a Swatch.

There’s no screen. Instead, icons dimly appear on the watch’s black background as notifications of incoming calls, calendar reminders or Facebook posts. (E-mail and text notifications are coming soon, says the company.) If you want to know what they are or who they’re from, you need your phone.

The Cookoo offers a bidirectional “find” feature and a low-phone-battery warning; it can also set off your phone’s camera by remote control, which is great for self-portraits. There’s also a weird emphasis on “dropping pins” — telling your Facebook friends where you are, for example. A standard watch battery lasts nine months, and the price is reasonable. But there are lots of rough edges and missing features.


The text and graphics are white-on-silver, which is sometimes hard to read. The setup instructions for iPhone are ludicrously complex. The phone alerts you when text messages or calls come in, but notifications for e-mail, appointments, Facebook posts, tweets and alarms are “coming soon.”

No instructions come with the watch, and even the online help page doesn’t tell you what the watch’s six buttons do.

That’s too bad, because there’s some promise here. The Frame model ($200) isn’t much thicker than a real watch. (The $180 Strata model is plastickier.) Both last about five days on a charge.

You charge the watch by clamping a USB clip onto it; the bottom jaw touches contacts on the watch. You can wear the Meta Watch swimming or showering.

The watch also runs widgets — the three Home screens hold four each — like stocks and weather. Someday, the company hopes, app writers will create new functions. For now, though, this watch feels like a prototype.
I'm Watch

I’M WATCH ($400 to $20,000, for jeweled versions)

Although this weirdly named watch runs an ancient version of Android, it looks like an iPod Nano on your wrist.

It’s the only contender with true touch-screen operation. You swipe through pages of tiny icons: Facebook and Twitter-reading apps, a compass, a calculator, address book, music player and so on. An online app store offers a couple of dozen very simple apps, some for a price.

Unfortunately, the I’m is big, baffling, buggy and slow, and the battery doesn’t last a day. You’re supposed to be able to use it to make calls, but you get nothing but garbled snippets.

Here’s a better name for this watch: I’m Unfinished.

MARTIAN WATCH ($250 to $300) 

This classy-looking watch has analog hands; a crisp, bright scrolling line of text appears only when the watch has something to say. It notifies you of text messages, incoming calls, e-mails, Twitter or Facebook posts.

On the iPhone, until the companion app is ready at the end of March, the Find Phone feature doesn’t work; the only notifications are for text messages.

Even then, you see only the first 40 characters of text messages and the first 20 of Facebook/Twitter posts; the e-mail alert shows only how many new messages you have, not what they are.

Cool: you can decline an incoming call by shaking your wrist a certain way. The watch can set off your phone’s camera remotely, and it can read incoming texts aloud. One USB charge lasts several days.

By far the most astonishing feature, though, is that the Martian is a full-blown speakerphone. It communicates with Android’s voice-dialing feature or, even more flexibly, the iPhone’s Siri. You press the top button and say, for example, “Call mom’s cellphone,” and bingo — you’re having a phone conversation with your mother through your watch.

You can also dictate text messages and e-mails or check your calendar by voice, all thanks to Siri. Audio is surprisingly clear on both ends, though it’s not powerful enough for loud places.

But seriously: what a giddy, useful feature. This is it, people: Dick Tracy. James Bond. The future.

Otherwise, though, you have to wonder if there’s a curse on this blossoming category. Why are these smartwatches so buggy, half-baked and delayed? (The Pebble raised $10 million on Kickstarter, but has long since missed its September 2012 shipping date.)

The Casio and Martian watches are worth considering. But if you ask the other watches what time it is, they’ll tell you: too soon. — The New York Times

Perez Hilton Confirms Daddy Status

Perez Hilton's Net Worth: $30 million

Celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton finally confirms publicly that he is indeed a father to a baby boy the openly gay blogger whose real name is "Mario Lavandeira Jr." took to his blog w/ the following:

A Very Important Message From Perez
A Very Important Message From Perez

"Dear Friends,

I want you to hear this directly from me, right here.

I am ready to announce that earlier this month I was blessed with the birth of my first child, a beautiful and healthy baby boy - with lots of hair on his tiny head!

My family is overjoyed at this newest and most cherished addition.

Thank YOU for welcoming into your homes, offices, classrooms, cell phones and wherever else you may read my five websites.

And thank you for welcoming ME into your lives!

I am so humbled to welcome this little man into my life. And I am honored and ready for the challenge of guiding him through his.

With love,



[Note: No other info is about the baby's name or daddy has been disclosed.]

Stephen Curry's Career-High 54-Point Game

Stephen Curry drops 54 points for the Warriors at Madison Square Garden but come up short against the Knicks.

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors played the full 48 minutes -vs- the New York Knicks on Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 and scored a career-high 54 points on 18-of-28 shooting — including a mind-boggling 11-of-13 mark on 3-pointers.

Top 10 NBA Plays of the Night: February 27th, 2013

Here are the best plays from an exciting Wednesday night in the NBA

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Talk With Ben Affleck and Tony Mendez by The New York Times

A Talk With Ben Affleck and Tony Mendez
by Shayla Harris

Melena Ryzik talks to Ben Affleck and the real life inspiration for his character in “Argo,” Tony Mendez.

Ang Lee on Directing ‘Life of Pi’ by The New York Times

Ang Lee on Directing ‘Life of Pi’ 
by Zena Barakat and Fritzie Andrade

The director explores how his roots in theater contributed to the making of “Life of Pi,” which received Oscar nominations for best picture and best director.

Game Of Thrones Season 3: Trailer

Game Of Thrones: Season 3 — Premieres 03.31.13 on HBO

Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

It will stretch from the south, where heat breeds plots, lust and intrigues; to the vast and savage eastern lands; all the way to the frozen north, where an 800-foot wall of ice protects the kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men...all will play the 'Game of Thrones.'

Rickey Henderson – Baseball's Greatest Lead-Off Hitter & Base-Runner

Rickey Henderson is Major League Baseball's Greatest Lead-Off Hitter & Base-Runner of All-Times!

10x All-Star appearances, 2x World Series Champion, 1 Golden Glove & 1 AL AVP


12x Stolen Base Champion


Major League Records — 130 Stolen Bases, Single Season & 1,406 Career Stolen Bases

Rickey Henderson's Jersey #24 Retired by Oakland Athletics

 Elected into the 2009 Hall of Fame

TODAY's WORD of the DAY is...

...FETE :: to celebrate or honor with an elaborate party or entertainment (fête)

Meet Baauer, the Man Behind the Harlem Shake by The Daily Beast


Meet Baauer, the Man Behind the Harlem Shake
by Marlow Stern

In his first interview since his song ‘Harlem Shake’ went viral, DJ and music producer Baauer opens up about his rise to stardom and the Internet craze he started. Baauer will also be participating in a Reddit AMA at 4 p.m. ET on Monday.

Move over, “Gangnam Style.”

Just days after a cringe-worthy Super Bowl commercial for Wonderful Pistachios sounded the death knell for Psy’s cross-cultural viral smash, a new Internet meme has usurped that once-ubiquitous horse-gallop dance.

It’s called the “Harlem Shake.”

For the uninitiated, it consists of users uploading videos to YouTube that last about thirty seconds in length and feature the opening of electronic music producer Baauer’s song “Harlem Shake.” The videos begin with the song’s sample of a man giving a shrieking siren call of “Con los terroristas!”—Columbian Spanish for “with the terrorists”—followed by one person, usually in a ridiculous mask or helmet, dancing to the song alone as the beat builds. He or she is surrounded by others who are stationary, blissfully unaware of the dancer. When the directive, Then do the Harlem shake is uttered about 15 seconds in, the bass drops and the video metastasizes into pure chaos—the entire coterie engaging in paroxysms of dance for the next 15 seconds in outrageous outfits, and wielding bizarre props.

The first video was uploaded to YouTube by amateur comedian Filthy Frank on February 2. As of February 15, over 40,000 “Harlem Shake” videos have been uploaded to YouTube, totaling over 175 million views. The cast of the TODAY show, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit models, and even a battalion of the Norwegian Army have gotten in on the act.

Baauer’s song “Harlem Shake,” meanwhile, has shot all the way to No. 1 on the iTunes Charts.

It’s Friday, February 15, and I am huddled with Baauer in a tiny bathroom inside the green room of Webster Hall, a 1,500-capacity venue in Manhattan. It’s the only place where we can find some peace and quiet for his first interview since the song went viral. The night also marks Baauer’s first show in his adopted home of New York since the song exploded. It is, predictably, very sold-out.

“It’s gotten absolutely insane,” he says. “All I did was make the song so it’s kind of a weird place for me to be at. I birthed it, it was raised by others, and now it’s like my weird, fucked up adopted teenage kid coming back to me.”

Baauer, 23, is a tall, slight fella with a boyish face and big, goofy smile. He was born Harry Rodrigues in West Philadelphia, but moved around a lot when he was younger due to his father’s job as “a financial consultant for international companies.” He lived in Germany from age four to seven, then London from seven to 13, then to Connecticut from 13-17, then one more year in London before heading off to college in New York.

“I got used to not having the same friends all the time and all that shit, but it got me to appreciate new places, people, and cultures,” he says.

While his father always played jazz and classic rock—in particular Led Zeppelin—around the house, Baauer took a shine to hip-hop as a 13-year-old in the suburbs of Connecticut, listening to Dr. Octagon, Madlib, MF Doom, and others. One evening, he stumbled upon videos of The DMC World DJ Championships on YouTube, which made him want to become a DJ.

His first DJ gig was at his local venue in Connecticut: Toquet Hall Teen Center.

“I was playing some Basement Jaxx, Eric Prydz’s “Call On Me” … I was so excited for it,” he says with a laugh. “It was basically my friends who showed up. That was a big, climactic moment for me at the time.”

Baauer moved to New York in 2007 to study audio technology at City College. After living in Harlem for two years, both on and off campus, he settled in Brooklyn in 2009, and currently resides in Bushwick.

“[Brooklyn] does have an attitude about it,” he says. “There are a lot of artists and musicians there so the general vibe is very creative, as opposed to Manhattan which is very business-y and rushed all the time.” He adds, “I really love New York and identify with it so decided to stay here.”

After getting involved in “millions of failed projects,” including a MSTRKRFT-ish duo called SX N DRGS (Sex and Drugs) and the DJ name Captain Harry, producing dance music, he became more influenced by hip-hop, particularly trap, which fuses hip-hop with electronic dance music. About a year ago, he changed his name to Baauer.

“It’s my middle name … I threw another ‘a’ in there to spice it up a little bit,” he says with a chuckle. “Also, there’s an ice hockey equipment company called Bauer. And I’m also more than happy to be associated with Jack Bauer.”

As Baauer, he rededicated himself to his craft.

“This time last year, I had just started the Baauer project and I told myself I was going to really commit to this one thing and pursue it full-time. So I just started practicing all the time making beats. I’d start a beat and make myself finish it by the end of the day.”

Back on May 22, Baauer released his now-signature track, “Harlem Shake,” on Diplo’s label Mad Decent.

“I just had the idea of taking a Dutch house squeaky-high synth and putting it over a hip-hop track,” he says. “And then I tried to just make it the most stand-out, flashy track that would get anyone’s attention, so put as many sounds and weird shit in there as I could. The dude in the beginning I got somewhere off the Internet, I don’t even know where, and the lion roar just makes no sense.” He laughs. “There’s the sound of flames in there, too, it’s just really low.”

Dave Chappelle - famed comedian
While the Harlem Shake is an actual, shoulder-swiveling, Harlem-originated dance that’s been around since 1981, Baauer says the name for his track is not an homage to this, or his two-year stint uptown, but merely the track’s sample, Philadelphia rapper Plastic Little’s “Miller Time.”

“A friend had shown me that track where he says, then do the Harlem shake, and it just got stuck in my head for a while, so I used it,” he says.

About a week-and-a-half ago, Baauer began noticing people posting the 30-second videos to his Facebook page.

“I thought, ‘Oh, that’s funny.’ But it didn’t strike me as the beginning of something,” he says. “There’s an underwater one that I particularly like. I really like any one where they try to do something crazy with it.”

Now that the song has gone viral, Baauer has seen a definite change in his live shows. The other night in Chicago, he describes a scene involving people dressed as Optimus Prime, a ram, and a goat, all going apeshit. While people always responded positively to “Harlem Shake,” now, he says, “it’s absolutely insane.”

Azealia Banks - female rapper from Harlem, New York

He even found himself in a Twitter beef with outspoken rapper Azealia Banks.

Banks released a remix of “Harlem Shake” to SoundCloud, which Baauer’s team subsequently had removed since she did not have permission to release it. Banks then accused Baauer of “cockblockin” on Twitter, and then later got more volatile, tweeting to Baauer and co., “you guys are all faggoots.... May you drown in faggotry.”

“I’m not happy about it,” says Baauer. “She had a version that we were going to release because I’m a big fan of hers. We knew she likes to beef with producers. So she laid something on ‘Harlem Shake’ and it was so/so. Didn’t love it. And that was a little while ago, and since all this video stuff happened, our plans all changed. Because of that, we decided to just release the song on it’s own with no vocal version. So we told her, ‘Please don’t release your version.’ And she said, ‘Well, I’m going to put it online anyway.’ And we said, ‘Please don’t. We’d really like it if you didn’t.’ And she did.”

Silly rap beefs aside, Baauer has big plans for the future. He’s already done remixes of everyone from No Doubt to Prodigy, and says he’d like to emulate Diplo, “doing my own thing but also contributing to major pop acts and giving them my sound.” His first full-length EP will drop sometime this year on LuckyMe Records and, according to Baauer, will feature Aluna from AlunaGeorge and Just Blaze. He’s had meetings with Columbia Records and hints at a potential upcoming collaboration with rapper A$AP Rocky.

In addition to recording, he’ll also be performing live at a slew of upcoming festivals, including SXSW in Austin, WMC in Miami, and Coachella in Indio, California, as well as a co-headlining tour with rapper Danny Brown in Europe and Australia, followed by a stateside tour with RL Grime over the summer.


The “Harlem Shake” videos, meanwhile, have totaled over 175 million YouTube views and counting. And, according to Billboard, Baauer and the label that put out the track, Mad Decent, stand to make quite a pretty penny with it since they, through various deals, will collect revenues for each and every one of these YouTube views. So as far as the “Harlem Shake” madness is concerned, Baauer couldn’t be happier about it. “I think it caught on because it’s a goofy, fun song,” he says. “But at the base of it, it’s my song and it’s making people want to dance. That’s the best feeling in the world to me.”The Daily Beast

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"One Of Those Nights" – Juicy J feat. The Weeknd. Produced by Illangelo.

" seems as if Canadian artists are the hottest imports in today's music scene and it seems as if The Weeknd can do no wrong — more specifically, tag-teaming w/ Juicy J (from Three-6-Mafia) w/ a Rap + R&B collabo that will have you bouncin' n' noddin' like you're hittin' hydraulic switches on a custom '64 Impala"KONGFUSION©

"One Of Those Nights" – Juicy J feat. The Weeknd. Produced by Illangelo.

[Intro: The Weeknd]
Hey, I'mma visit the sky today
Hey, I'mma dance on the clouds today
And make it rain, on everybody beneath us
Just cause they try, doesn't mean they can be us
No, nobody can be us

[Verse 1: The Weeknd]

I'm tryna sink in some gin
I need, I need, I need, I need
And all this Hennessy got niggas in here hating on me, on me, on me
But if the neighbors know my name then, then I'm doing something right
And if their mamas know my name, and if their homies know my name then
Then I'm doing something right
And if their girlfriends know my name
Just cos she loves me, don't mean she understands
I don't give a damn, I'll make her fuck the band
[Sample: I love the guitars]
I already know, I've seen her at my show banging out XO
And her friend's a freak
She can't feel her throat, she can't feel her knees
And I'm not tryna talk
And I'm not tryna walk
Just lift me out the club

[Hook: The Weeknd and Juicy J]

One of those, it's gonna be one of those nights
One of those, it's gonna be one of those nights
Weed blowing, champagne poppin
Got that drink flowing, champagne poppin

[Verse 2: Juicy J]

Pounds of weed, Sour D
That medical for my allergies
In the hotel with your girl
For ‘bout a week, shootin’ a shower scene
She a bad chick like Bonnie Parker
Rolled the blunts in my flying saucer
Juicy J - the new skywalker, I’ll put your ho in a body auction
When I’m having fun, I’m still getting paid
Got a whole lot of mud in my Minute Maid
Stay riding through the city with my twelve gauge
Hating ass niggas, get it any day
Got a house on the hill cost a couple of mill
Juicy J got bank like uncle Phil
Keep snow bunnies that like popping pills
Keep a double cup, I like cracking seals
Y'all niggas shit, I'm still going strong
Bought the loud pack now I'm in my zone
Rolls Royce got me feeling like King Tut
Got my codeine cups, bout to drink up
If you're talking about money, we can link up
Bad red boned bitch, body inked up!
Your girlfriend coming home with me
And when she alone with me, she gonna suck dick and she don't spit
Or I'mma put that bitch back on the streets
I'm kickin' it with girls that be going bi
Cos their pussy is the best and their head fire


[Outro: The Weeknd]
Hey, I'mma visit the sky today
Hey, I'mma dance on the clouds today
And make it rain, on everybody beneath us
Just cause they try, doesn't mean they can be us
No, nobody can be us

[Hook x2]

"One Of Those Nights" from Stay Trippy (2012) by Juicy J

adidas & Golden State Warriors Debut First-Ever Modern Short-Sleeve NBA Uniforms

adidas, Warriors to Debut First-Ever Modern Short Sleeve NBA Uniforms
New adizero short sleeve NBA Uniform System offers lightweight performance and bold, modern look for players and fans

adidas & the Golden State Warriors have unveiled the first modern short sleeve NBA Uniform System.

adidas and the Golden State Warriors unveiled the first modern short sleeve NBA Uniform System – the team’s lightest uniform to date.

adidas developed this innovative system to allow for optimal performance on the court while providing fans with a new and unique apparel option. The Warriors, one of the most aggressive and creative teams in the NBA, were the perfect partner for the new uniform.

Jersey includes armhole insets w/ 360°degree stretch
fabric that facilitates free range of motion for
the arms and shoulders.
“Players on every court like to have a unique sense of style,” said Lawrence Norman, vice president, adidas global basketball. “We were excited to work side-by-side for the last 18 months with the Warriors, one of the NBA’s youngest and most exciting teams, to develop this unique uniform system that helps maintain peak player performance while ensuring comfort, fit and style.”

In addition to being the Warriors’ lightest uniform to date, the adizero short sleeve NBA Uniform System features the first-ever super lightweight stretch woven short with maximum ventilation for player comfort. The jersey includes armhole insets with 360° degree stretch fabric that facilitates free range of motion for the arms and shoulders. The adizero short sleeve jersey allows for maximum movement in all phases of the game, equal with that of a traditional tank basketball jersey.

In addition to being the Warriors’ lightest uniform to date,
the adizero short sleeve NBA Uniform System features
the first-ever| super lightweight stretch woven|
short with maximum ventilation
for player comfort.
Throughout the evaluation process, adidas received positive feedback from players at all levels on the uniform’s performance and innovative style. “When adidas began working with us to develop the short sleeve jersey, I couldn’t wait to wear it in a game,” said Warriors forward Harrison Barnes. “I love the fit and style the sleeves give me on the court.”

“Partnering with adidas on this new uniform demonstrates the Warriors’ commitment to innovation and the progressive culture of the Bay Area,” said Rick Welts, president and chief operating officer of the Golden State Warriors. “The jerseys complement our players’ style on the court, but are also a nod to the style of our fans and the spirit of the Bay Area – innovation is ingrained in our culture.”

The adizero short sleeve NBA Uniform System is 26 percent lighter
than the Warriors’ current uniforms and is the team’s lightest uniform to date.

The uniform system is made from 60 percent recycled materials and features adidas’ Revolution 30 technology found in current NBA uniforms. Launched in the 2010-11 season, Revolution 30 technology is a lightweight uniform system that dries twice as fast to improve performance. The new uniforms also include a ClimaCool system and FORMOTION technology that combine to increase comfort for the players.

Top 5 NBA Plays of the Night: February 25th, 2013

Check out the 5 best plays from around the NBA on a 4-game Monday night in a countdown dominated by the high-flying Denver Nuggets!

Road to Recovery: NBA's Torn ACL feat. Iman Shumpert & Ricky Rubio

Iman Shumpert of the Knicks blowing-by Ricky Rubio of the Timberwolves

Hi –my name is Kong from theKONGBLOG™, and I (use to) belong to a New York Knicks Group on Facebook — it's a basketball fan discussion group and there's been pessimistic talk –as of late, about the slow return of Iman Shumpert — last year's "prized" rookie from Georgia Tech from his torn ACL suffered during the 2012 NBA Playoff Series between the New York Knicks -vs- Miami Heat.

Left ACL and meniscus tear suffered by Iman Sumpert in 2012 NBA Playoffs
Similar to the 2012 season-ending injuries of Chauncey Billups (Los Angeles Clippers), Ricky Rubio (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls), Shump is also recovering from a torn ACL — anterior cruciate ligament are long, rope-like bands that fasten bones together and helps give the knee its stability.

Although the injury is common among athletes, it is one of the most difficult to make a complete recovery — especially if the injured player depends on pure athleticism and physical skills to succeed.

Past notables who tore their ACL but made a complete recovery — coming back better and stronger than ever before were Baron Davis, Jamal Crawford and Al Harrington.

Perhaps the most awe-spiring & poignant recovery in all of sports was none other than Adrian Peterson — superhero running back from the Minnesota Vikings who returned ahead of schedule from both an ACL & MCL injury to capture NFL's 2012 MVP Award.

Unfortunately, there's a slew of NBA players who never made it back to their original form — Tracy McGrady and Michael Redd never re-captured their physical form to play at an All-Star level. Hopefully, Iman Shumpert can take a page out of Sport Illustrated's book article about the slow progress and eventual recovery of NBA's modern day version of Pistol Pete...

...Ricky Rubio.

The Fundamentals: After Slow Start, Ricky Rubio Looks More Like His Old Self

Players who capture the NBA world’s imagination have the misfortune of bearing the highest of public hopes, and it was under that burden that Ricky Rubio’s season seemed buried.

The point guard’s return from the ACL tear that he sustained in March was highly anticipated after his exhilarating rookie season. That the injury-plagued Timberwolves badly needed the spark he provided as a first-year player and the promise that his very presence might provide only added to the expectations.
Ricky Rubio pulls-up for a jumper against Derrick Rose

But when Rubio finally did make his season debut on Dec. 15, he looked to be a completely different player. Some rust was to be expected after nine months without game action, but as the weeks wore on, Rubio only seemed to grow more tentative. The charms of his game were unsettled by worry and likely by lingering soreness, and the Wolves did their best to compete alongside a poor imitation of their franchise-changing floor leader.

For 19 games, Rubio averaged 8.4 points (on 31 percent shooting from the field), 8.2 assists and 3.8 turnovers per 36 minutes — numbers that don’t adequately convey the uninspired quality of his play or his clear detriment to his team’s performance. Once a wizard with the ball, Rubio now looked to be uncomfortable when put in control of the offense. He deferred to backcourt mates Luke Ridnour and Alexey Shved far more frequently than one might expect, even as he logged more games and more minutes as his comeback progressed. The sight of an anxious Rubio was almost distressing, as it betrayed the exuberant style of play that is so central to his basketball identity.

Rather quickly, hope withered into tolerance, which decayed into concern. Many wondered how a player who seemed to have physically recovered from his surgery could be so fundamentally different from the one who made the Wolves playoff hopefuls a season ago. It wasn’t just Rubio’s production that had vanished, after all, but the joie de vivre that made his game so audacious and effective. Rubio was struggling and he knew it, and his spiraling frustrations left him as one of the least effective lead guards in the league. Things indeed grew that dire, until the quality of his play changed suddenly.

Ricky Rubio has played more aggressively lately as he seeks to regain his rookie form. (Jim Mone/AP)

I couldn’t tell you what happened to Rubio on Feb. 3 (a cosmic event? A particularly focused meditation session? An especially fulfilling meal?), but after that off-day he reverted to wonderfully spirited form. Yes, Rubio had shown glimpses of his full game on rare occasions, but it was in a 100-98 loss to the Trail Blazers on Feb. 4 that the Spaniard finally rediscovered his basketball self. He finished with 15 points and 14 assists, and the 22-year-old hasn’t looked back since. In the last nine games, Rubio has averaged 15 points, 9.9 assists, 3.8 turnovers and 3.2 steals per 36 minutes while playing far more aggressively with the ball.

The fact that his scoring has jumped so significantly isn’t a coincidence of hot shooting, but a product of Rubio’s will. The tentativeness that defined his first 19 games is mostly absent of late, as Rubio has consistently made it a point to probe and attack defenses off the dribble. That’s quite an adjustment for a player whose lack of confidence around the rim has occasionally deterred him from driving, but the payoff has been profound. Here are a series of half-court plays showing Rubio’s assertiveness in getting into the paint and drawing fouls.

He’s also made a concerted effort to seek out contact in the open court, particularly when his teammates aren’t in a position to score or the opponent plays him to pass:

As a result, Rubio has averaged 8.2 free-throw attempts per 36 minutes over that nine-game stretch — a mark that rivals the season averages of Kevin Durant and James Harden. What makes this aggressive streak especially beneficial is that the Wolves already draw fouls effectively as a team, making even the non-shooting fouls that Rubio is able to draw valuable in building toward the penalty. Add in the shots that Rubio creates for his teammates by penetrating more, and his comprehensive offensive effect begins to take shape again. That strain of Rubio’s performance may be a bit exaggerated relative to his rookie-year play, but it nevertheless allows him to take advantage of his handle, passing and ability to find openings in the defense in familiar ways. Ricky’s back, and he has the game at his fingertips once again:

And just as important, Rubio’s defensive timing seems to have improved rather dramatically over the last handful of games. Rubio’s defensive play a year ago was one of the NBA’s best-kept secrets, though his skills on that end understandably didn’t hold up well after missing so much time. He still has a ways to go in terms of finding that perfect chemistry with an overhauled Wolves team, but it’s reassuring to see him clogging the right passing lanes and making controlled gambles again after a few weeks of missing his marks. He’s not the quickest or the strongest guard, but Rubio has fantastic hands and an innate sense of how to impede the offense without abandoning his man. He has a knack for sliding over just enough to create a deflection or cause a shooter to hesitate, and though those instincts were still present throughout his struggles, his execution was unsure.

No longer. Rubio’s resurrected confidence has bolstered his entire game, though now the Wolves are learning to work alongside a player with whom they’re not quite familiar. It’ll take some time, and isn’t likely to pay off quickly enough for 12th-place Minnesota to return to the Western Conference playoff race. That’s a shame given all that the Wolves have endured this season, though I suspect they’ll settle for getting all of their core pieces healthy for a new season and seeing an animated Rubio in full command of his game once again. — Rob Mahoney | Sports Illustrated

Top 10 NBA Plays of the Night: February 24th, 2013

Check out all the best plays from Sunday`s 9-game slate in the NBA

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Iceman Cometh by Amasing

The Iceman Cometh
by Amasing

Forget Lance Armstrong!


Forget Alex Rodriguez!


Their doping scandal is nothing compared to the ludicrous policies of the United States Anti-Doping Agency or the World Anti-Doping Agency. At least those athletes had a $ million reasons to “juice” up. But ice fishing?

Yes, they try hard at aiming to ensure that no competitor, no matter the scale of the competition, has an unfair advantage. It’s just that ice fishing is not considered a physical sport per se. Bill Whiteside, a previous gold medal winner from Eau Claire, Wis., said that physical strength often had little to do with fishing success. “It’s not the best athlete that usually wins the events,” he said. “A lot of times it’s the experienced older guys.” To be fair, the World Ice Fishing Championship has requested that participants get a random test. The good news is that you can still ice fish and drink.

“We do not test for beer, because then everybody would fail,” said Joel McDearmon, chairman of the United States Freshwater Fishing Federation. Up next, bodies by Budweiser people get checked for doping.

50 Cent Attempts to Kiss Erin Andrews at Daytona 500 [VIDEO & GIF]


PLAY-BY-PLAY: Rapper 50 Cent surprises Fox's side-line sports reporter Erin Andrews by making a bee-line for her and went in for the kill kiss....perhaps Fifty the P.I.M.P. thought she was Chelsea Handler?

In GIF form

Recap: Academy Awards® Oscar Winners

Seth MacFarlane hosted the 2013 Oscars and donned the 'Jack Of All Trades' pseudonym;
cracking jokes, dancing, hosting, introducing, presenting & singing.

Christoph Waltz pulls a bit of an upset — accepting the award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Django Unchained (2012)

Anne Hathaway finally wins the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Les Misérables (2012)

Quentin Tarantino points his six-shooter at Samuel L. Jackson for winning Best Original Screenplay for Django Unchained (2012)

Ang Lee thanking the 'Movie God' for winning Best Director for Life Of Pi (2012)

Jennifer Lawrence's epic fall at the Oscars

Jennifer Lawrence regains her composure after her epic fall and accepts her award for Best Lead Actress for her role in Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Daniel Day-Lewis humbly accepts the award for Best Lead Actor for his role in Lincoln (2012) — becoming the first actor to win three Oscars for a lead role.

Ben Affleck frantically accepts the award for Best Picture — as an actor, director & producer for Argo (2012)

Jennifer Lawrence's reaction as being one of the only few Hollywood actresses who has yet to show her 'boobs' on the silver screen.

Actress Jennifer Lawrence talks about her fall at the 2013 Academy Awards and her win for best actress.

Jamie Foxx brings his gorgeous daughter Corrine Bishop as his Oscar date

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