[ShareBullets: links, thoughts, randomness, shares, Washington Bullets...]
John Wall turned 22-years old on Thursday, September 6. Kevin Willis turned 50 on Thursday, too. (Could’ve sworn he was 60 … he was still playing in the NBA less than 2,000 days ago.) Who else celebrated a birthday on September 6? None other than Pippa Middleton, Foxy Brown (the rapper), Jeff Foxworthy (the redneck), Rosie Perez, and Idris Elba (Stringer Bell from The Wire). Now let’s check out some John Wall birthday club fliers — Wall surely won’t become the next “Party All Dray,” right? (H/T DC Sports Nexus)
First, there’s New York…
And then Miami, where there will be girls holding boobs, clearly…
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Published in 2012 Summer
, 2012-13 Wizards
, Basketball Cards
, Indiana Pacers
, John Wall
, NBA General
, Randy Wittman
, chris kaman
, hilton armstrong
, JaVale McGee
, John Wall
, kwame brown
, mark cuban
, Michael Jordan
, Randy Wittman
ShareBullets = links and random tid-bits.
This old NBA Skybox card features Zarko Paspalj, who delightfully reminds me of Hans Klopek from the movie The Burbs. Zarko only appeared in 28 career NBA games, all with the San Antonio Spurs, so his relevance to the Wizards/Bullets is zilch. However, Zarko’s Wikipedia entry is one of delight. Namely, it points to a 2006 article from the San Antonio Express-News, which can now be found here. In being part of the inital wave of Eastern European talent to NBA, Zarko, in one of his early interviews, expressed his love for Pizza Hut and Marlboros. Classic enough as that may be, the Express-News article also relayed that when Spurs officials went to clean out the townhouse rented for Zarko, they found two pieces of furniture: a bed and a pool table — the place comfortably tied together with the smell of smoke instead of rugs. This guy could’ve been a blog star, probably would’ve extended his NBA career. Then again, likely not.
But as this pertains to the Washington Wizards, here’s to hoping that this collection of supreme basketball-playing structures has enhanced their eating habits over this past summer, as they relate to basketball performance. Athletes need calories, but they don’t always need bad calories. I’ve overhead players several times in locker rooms talk about getting greasy, fried food after workouts. Andray Blatche himself has revelad that he hasn’t always eaten lunch on gamedays and how that might affect his energy. And of course, there was that semi-infamous story in the Washington Post about John Wall, which included revelations of his pantry of junk food. Ted Leonsis was quick to say thereafter that the Wizards hired a personal chef for Wall, but he can’t be the papa-bear for his players all the time.
I’m sure all the culinary details will be attended to by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, but nonetheless, as we hope for a lot of things going into this season, aside from wins and development (such as free throws!), here’s to also hoping that there is no Pizza Hut and Marlboros with Zarko in the future of the Wiz Kids. Read more »
Wes Unseld doesn’t come around much anymore, and it has nothing to do with the lockout. We’re talking the house that Abe built, the Verizon Center.
Sure, he’s part of the franchise’s alumni group and has a seat “for life,” once blogged Ted Leonsis. This was in response to a oddity spewed by New York’s own Peter Vecsey in January 2011, saying Unseld’s season tickets had been “stripped” from him. Dan Steinberg aptly described the curious case on the DC Sports Bog, as both Leonsis and Unseld denied such; and as Mike Wise said, “Let’s put it this way, Tony Kornheiser’s not an evil human being. He has an evil side to him, but he’s not an evil human being. But Peter Vecsey is Satan incarnate.” Always nice to have Kornheiser involved.
Still, season tickets or no season tickets (after all, someone, somewhere had to be miffed enough to drop of a nugget for Vecsey to run with, unconfirmed), Unseld was no where near as present at games last season as he used to be, when Pollin was owner. And that’s okay. He was Abe’s guy. Constancy is neither sacred, nor a vice. Plus, sometimes in life there are other things to do.
New can always be found without the old, but often can’t be appreciated without what’s already been done. And that’s why on this Wednesday, we appreciate Wes, just as the Washington franchise and fans of the franchise always will. Read more »
If you follow @Truth_About_It on Twitter, you’ll often see a lot of random stuff, but lately you might have also noticed a personally renwed interest in old NBA collector’s cards, some of which I’ve shared with the hash-tag #oldNBAcards. Of course, “old” is relative — most of what I’ve shared comes from the 1990s. However, this past weekend I came across some even older cards (as in, from the early 70s, just under a decade before I was born), specifically pertaining to the Baltimore Bullets. And this Friday, I’m here to share with you Stan Love… perhaps the first bro/dude in team history. Let’s bask in the glow of a Love card from 1972, then a bullet point run-down on the former Bullet, and finally, another Love card from 1973. Enjoy and Happy Friday.
- Stan Love, from Los Angeles, California, was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets with the 9th overall pick out of the University of Oregon in 1971 — Love was also drafted by the Dallas Chaparrals of the ABA, but opted for the NBA.
- Love said he found out about being drafted on the radio while driving on a California interstate, said he had to pull over on the side of the road and look at a map to see where Baltimore was.
- Love’s older brother, Mike, was a founder of the band, The Beach Boys; other group members, Dennis Wilson and Brian Wilson, were cousins of the Loves.
- Love had a decorated college career playing for the Ducks (he was inducted into Oregon’s Hall of Fame in 1994), but his time in the pros was relatively disappointing.
- He played two seasons with Baltimore, was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for Truck Robinson in the summer of 1973, played a season and a half in L.A., at which point he was waived and later picked up by the San Antonio Spurs (then of the ABA) for 12 games before retiring from basketball in 1975.
- Over four pro seasons, Love appeared in 239 games, averaged 14.7 minutes, 6.6 points on .440 field-goal shooting, and 3.9 rebounds.
- He partied with Phil Jackson — from the 2001 book More Than A Game, co-written by Jackson and Charley Rosen, this part penned by Rosen: “I first met PJ at a postgame party in the spring of 1973 in his loft on West Nineteenth Street, brought there by a mutual friend, Stan Love, a six-foot-nine well-credentialed hippie and part-time power-less forward for the Baltimore Bullets.”
- Other terms across the Internet used to describe Stan Love include: flaky, kooky, goofy, feisty, wacky, California surfer dude, etc.
- Two stories on Love are conveyed in a 2009 piece on BaltimoreStyle.com: 1) “At a game in Milwaukee, he impersonated Tarzan by hanging on the rim after a dunk long enough for the Bucks to score on the other end. All he drew for his effort was a technical,” and 2) “Another time in Baltimore, he was knocked to the floor. [Gene] Shue sent in a replacement. Instead of rising and walking back to the bench, Love “rowed” himself across the floor like an Olympic skuller.”
- Love thought so much of teammate Wes Unseld’s ability, especially his rebounding and outlet passing prowess, that he made the middle name of his son, Kevin, “Wesley” — of course, Unseld’s first name is really spelled “Westley,” but the intent was there.
- Kevin Love, another of course, is that guy in the NBA you often hear so much about — like when he was a 2011 All-Star, the 2011 NBA’s Most Improved Player, and that 30 point/30 rebound game he had last November.
- In March 2008, after seeing Kevin Love play for U.C.L.A., Unseld had this to say: “Passing skill is something you learn. It’s not something you’re born with. Kevin’s had a good teacher in his dad. Stan was a very good player, but he was just a space cadet. Stan was completely different from me, but I loved throwing passes to him so he could score. If Stan scored you could keep him out of trouble.”
- When Love retired from the NBA in ’75, he went on to work as a bodyguard for the Beach Boys, also being tasked as an assistant to Brian Wilson, and to keep Wilson out of trouble and drug free. That didn’t always work out according to various well-known stories and lore, not necessarily by the fault of Stan, however.
- That’s life, kid.
- One Love.
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The faces on the cardboard classics below say: “Hey man, we’re trying over here.”
I’m not sure I believe them all. Or maybe one is trying more than the others … at least as much as a frozen facial expression can indicate. But who’s trying the most? Or which player’s face from the past provides the most hope in the present for the future? Study carefully and vote in the poll below.
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On a holiday weekend, where you will no doubt be eating in some sort of gluttonous manner, let’s take a quick look at just one of the rotund members of the Wizards/Bullets franchise’s past … Ledell Eackles.
I won’t be getting into too much of my own historical research and perspective on the player in this post … mostly because several great pieces on Eackles have already been written. Let’s take a look …
“A player so Ledell-icious”
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The Wizards’ season is over. And while there will certainly be reflections on said season to come, sometimes you gotta look way back on the franchise’s history via the basketball cards I collected when my fandom was being cultivated by the early 90s Washington Bullets.
One Summer Don MacLean worked so hard that his game improved with increased confidence. Well, at least that’s what this fake headline Upper Deck card says after he won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award in 1993-94, his second season in the league.
After being drafted out of UCLA by the Detroit Pistons with the 19th overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft, MacLean was immediately traded to the Los Angeles Clippers with William Bedford for Olden Polynice and two second round picks. But MacLean didn’t stay in his Los Angeles hometown for long. In early October he was sent back East, again with Bedford, to the Washington Bullets for John “Hot Plate” Williams. Bedford was immediately waived by the Bullets while MacLean spent the first three years of his career in DC.
People used to call MacLean a gym rat. In November of 2000 as a member of the Miami Heat, MacLean became the first player to be suspended under the NBA’s steroid policy, which was in its second season of testing. As a result, Charles Barkley famously said, “I’ve seen Don MacLean naked, and he doesn’t use steroids.” The two never played together, but were both in the 1999 Houston Rockets training camp.
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Published in Basketball Cards
, Bullets-Wizards History
, Washington Bullets
Tags: bison dele
, brian williams
, charles barkley
, don maclean
, jim harrick
, lamar odom
, mitchell butler
, most improved player