First off, I just want to address why I am starting this blog. While it can't be reduced to one reason, there certainly have been a couple particular motivating factors. First, it is a way for me to get my thoughts out on sports (and sometimes other things). Second, it gives me something to do when I'm bored out of my mind.
For those of you who do not know, although this will probably never be read by anyone who doesn't, my name is Daniel. I am from Northern Kentucky, about 20 minutes from Cincinnati. I went to Notre Dame for college, and played tennis there for a couple years. Just to clarify, when I say play I mean I rode the bench. Now, I live in Chicago and work at a consulting firm. Even though I played tennis in college, my favorite sports has always been basketball. If you haven't already stopped reading and decide to check in here, you will quickly see I am obsessed with the NBA, and the Bulls in particular. I also am a big fan of the Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds, so for all of you who have already called me out for being a bandwagon Bulls fan, I would just like to point out that my other two teams have yet to win a playoff series/game since I can remember being alive. I had always loved the NBA, but never had a hometown team. Once I knew I would be living in Chicago, I adopted the Bulls. This was before they signed Boozer and improved their bench, and before they were more than a lower level Eastern playoff team.
But enough with the intro. On to the first post...
As I just mentioned above, I love the NBA. I mean, I LOVE the NBA. So the fact that my first post is going to be something extremely negative about the NBA might be a little surprising, but I have to talk about what's been on my mind. Along with being lucky enough to observe the best post-Jordan season in the League, with superstars emerging everywhere, I have gotten incredibly annoyed with one particular aspect that has become far too prevalent in recent history - yelling.
Now, I have to clarify what I mean by this. I am not talking about complaining. As some of you may know, the Commish made it a "point of emphasis" to cut down on outward displays that showed up the refs. Unfortunately, this has resulted in players getting T'ed up for a thing that most of us know as emotion. How can you expect to have the general public to believe that players actually give a shit, and simultaneously expect them to keep a straight face when they disagree? I think under the current rules, Sam I Am would probably have received a lifetime ban. I personally don't have a problem with complaining. Thus, Dwight Howard will not be receiving the MVP award on my All-Yelling team just because he led the league in technicals.
Being a defender of the NBA, I am going to give the benefit of the doubt to the players, and assume that they have begun to yell as a more creative way to get attention from the refs. However, I think it is pathetic and ridiculous that players have begun to start yelling everytime they want a foul called. NONE of them did this in college/high school unless they truly got hammered, and it was a primal sound out of pain or exertion. Nowadays, you hear so much yelling and moaning that you'd think this guy had made the league. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, watch one of the playoff games this week and just listen for it. Almost every foul, especially on a star player, is inevitably accompanied by a random glitch where your TV draws the audio from the pay-per-view channel just in time for some guy to be popping wood.
Now that the definition has been established, here is my NBA All-Yell Team.
Center - Pau Gasol
Also the MVP of my team, Pau literally yells every time he touches the ball. It is borderline impossible to explain. I have thought about it for awhile, and only been able to come up with one possible story. Undoubtedly as a young child Pau must have touched a hot stove and burned his hand, yelling out in the process. His mom must have quickly taught him that to touch a hot stove would always bring about the same reaction. I think the odds are 50-50 that when Pau came to the United States, the Spanish translation of "stove" must have been "basketball". This would explain why he yells like a little girl everytime he wants the ref's sympathy. That's it, that's all I have. Pau famously has said he would be a doctor if he was not a pro athlete, but if every touch on him makes him yell, you can only imagine his howls of anguish the first time he had to operate on a wounded patient.
Forward - Dirk Nowitzki
This team is quickly looking eerily similar to the "All-European White Guys who are Ridiculously Talented but also Notoriously Soft" Team, but Dirk definitely belongs. Just to make this clear, I hate Pau, but I am a huge fan of Dirk. He has continued to improve his game over the years, going from an actual soft player to a clutch killer in late game situations and is willing to bang in the paint. He has averaged over 25 points and 10 rebounds in the playoffs FOR HIS CAREER. That is absurd. Everyone who blames him for the Mavs blowing a 2-0 Finals lead seems to forget that the Heat had arguably the two best players in the league that year. Dirk didn't guard Shaq and D-Wade. His scrub teammates did. So stop piling on the man. That all being said, he does scream and yell quite often. If you watch a Mavs game, look in particular for the awkward-off one leg-fadeaway he has somehow mastered, which he yells on almost automatically. To his credit, the shot is so awkward that it looks like he has gotten fouled every time, so yelling in this case somewhat makes sense. But I can't let him completely off the hook. If it's not strategic, maybe he's just yelling because he has closed his eye and is fantasizing about the good ol' days when he could has two other hilarious looking white dudes with him. Who knows.
Forward - Carlos Boozer
The runner-up for the MVP award on this team, it pains me to have to include him. When I was younger, I was a huge Duke fan (because they were good at sports and at school), and he is the first legitimate (alleged) big man that the Bulls have had in years. But his yelling can not be denied. He is also the only member of this team to take it to another level, not just yelling constantly, but yelling out a single, clearly audible word. "HEY!" is heard a minimum of twenty times every Bulls game, assuming Booze is even playing. You know it's sad when I type in Carlos Boozer on a Google image search and almost half of the pictures are of him in a suit on the sideline. His yell must be attributed to fear. He is so injury prone that perhaps he truly is scared that any contact will cause injury, and his yelling is just anticipating the inevitable pain. When this is your worst nightmare, then perhaps 7 foot black guys being near you is an understandable reason to be yelling.
Guard - Kobe Bryant
The deepest yell on the team goes to Kobe. I don't really need to give this one much explanation. Everyone knows he bitches and complains to refs overtly, but he too is guilty of the yelling syndrome. Along with the guard to follow, he also has developed a ridiculously loud scream when attempting to draw a charge. I didn't mention this for the above 3 players because, frankly, they don't play defense. What drives me most nuts about Kobe's yells, and subsequent bitching, is that he does literally everything on the other ends that he complains about. Like Boozer, he must be yelling because he has day terrors that mimic what his nightmares must look like. I mean, who wouldn't hate themselves when they got accused of taking advantage of this chick when they have Vanessa to go home to every night. At least Tiger cheated on a smokeshow with other really hot chicks. But I digress...
Guard - Paul Pierce
The last member of my team is none other than the Celtics leader. Side note: no one should buy that Garnett is the leader of that team. For one year he could qualify for that because he brought a renewed interest in defense to the C's, but besides that year it is Pierce's team. Paul isn't one of the most frequent yellers, but he certainly is one of the most ridiculous ones. He is like a less consistent version of Gasol. He yells, but mainly to get bullshit calls to go his way. He also has one of the most absurd "I'm fouled" faces I have ever seen. I can't help but laugh when I see it. It looks like he is getting stabbed to death. Why is that funny? Because people ACTUALLY TRIED to stab him to death. Is he serious!? Can he seriously be yelling and making that face because a player (who is usually a smaller guard/forward than him) bumped him a little after he was tough enough to survive getting stabbed multiple times?! The NBA, where death happens!
That wraps up my All-Yell team. Again, it is not the all-bitch team. If it was, guys such as Dwight, Garnett, Lebron, and Bosh would be taking some spots. If you don't watch the NBA or watch the NBA and haven't noticed this pathetic trend, good for you. I'm jealous. I love the NBA, and it is probably my biggest complaint about it. Pretend you never read this. But somehow remember to come back for more. Thanks for reading.