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Welcome to the NBA Blog Squad, a varied collection of insiders, media members and fans from around the world who will share their thoughts about the NBA, WNBA, and whatever else comes to mind on an ongoing basis in online journals - or "blogs" - right here on NBA.com.

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    The views expressed by the Blog Squad represent only the views of the blogger; they do not represent the views of NBA.com, the NBA or any NBA team. NBA.com does not review the blogs for accuracy or otherwise approve of, or edit, the postings of the Blog Squad.

  • Jaleel White
    Writer, Actor, Producer
    Jaleel White began acting at the age of 3 and garnered national fame portraying America's favorite nerd, Steve Urkel, on ABC's long running sitcom "Family Matters" ('89 -'98) Behind the scenes, Jaleel wrote several episodes of "Family Matters." He would later serve as star and producer of the UPN sitcom, "GrownUps." More recently, Jaleel could be spotted making a cameo appearance as himself in Univeral Pictures' "Big Fat Liar." Having graduated from UCLA Film School in 2001, Jaleel currently works as a professional writer. But the self-effacing actor insists he's just a regular guy who simply can't get enough NBA hoops.

    Get Off The Ropes!!
    10 Things I Noticed About Game 2
    For 47 minutes and 58 seconds the Lakers looked like a team dead set on keeping up with the Joneses. That being every heavily favored Jones who has been stunned by a knockout blow in the last month... Roy Jones... Smarty Jones.

    Then came the dagger in the form of #8. One shot, so great, so timely, so life saving, it renders the opposing team paralyzed in every sense of the word. It happened to San Antonio with Derek Fisher's memorable shot and it could have very well happened here in Game 2 of The Finals. Detroit was so shell shocked by the doings of #8, the overtime momentum was set in stone before play even resumed.

    The sad reality is, the game is now over with, both teams are en route to Detroit and still the shot has to be lingering in the minds of all the Pistons. Right now, Larry Brown is a despondent corner man shouting to his fighter (who was winning the fight mind you) -- "Get off the ropes!"

    From here on out for the rest of the series, any time the contest turns tight and #8 gets a hot hand in the game's waning seconds, there will be a likelihood within every Piston to remember the dagger.

    The difference between #8 and the rest of the NBA is that he breathes confidence while the mortals around him breathe oxygen. With each amazing game winning shot, he fully understands the long term effect it has on his opponent. And he reminds you with his every smirk. If Detroit is truly the formidable foe I suspect them to be, I expect an outrageous media quote from Rasheed Wallace soon. If he was bold enough to guarantee a game two victory over the Pacers, he must be bold enough to stand in the face of #8, absorb his best shot, promise one right back and deliver. It's the only way to slightly diminish the amazing feat of Game 2.

    Until the same game on the line scenario presents itself once again. And the Pistons slay that dragon by producing a hero of their own, that memory will haunt them until a possible Game 7. And God forbid the moment of truth comes then. I'd have to bet on the dagger.

    10 Things I Noticed About Game 2:

    1. Tom Tolbert's suit. Kinda reminded me of a bedspread I once saw at a Ramada Inn. Please don't ask me why I was at the Ramada Inn ;)

    2. Luke (Walton) is the only Laker wise enough to consistently use The Force. The Force being Shaq, who is tantamount to the man eating plant from Little Shop of Horrors. Every game he bellows, "Feed me, Seymour." But Luke Walton seems to be the only Laker whose hearing aid is turned up.
    Keep feeding the plant. Often and early.

    3.Tom Tolbert's suit.

    4. Every team needs a go to guy. A player the entire team can rally around to take the big shot and more often than not, make the damn thing. For the Lakers, #8 has clearly answered the call... time and time again. For the Pistons, there is still some confusion. The answer? It has to be the collective effort of 3 guys (Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace and believe it or not, Tayshaun Prince). One of these 3 players could very well end up with the ball in a crunch time situation and they'd better want it. For the Pistons of old it was Isiah, Joe and the Microwave (Vinnie) for those who remember. And Adrian Dantley before him. Anybody else who took a shot in the crunch was looked at cross-eyed. And justifiably so.

    5. Tom Tolbert's suit.

    6. After Game 1, Larry Brown reminded his Pistons of his 2001 Sixers' collapse in every game thereafter. What that says to me is that Larry Brown is haunted by this memory more than his Pistons needed to be reminded of it. After Game 2's heroic regulation ending, Coach Brown might just have been the most shell shocked of them all. Why was Shaq not fouled the moment he touched the ball?

    7. Tom Tolbert's suit.

    8. Rip Hamilton, as great of a player as he is, does not need to take 25 shots to get 26 points. Sending Rip into a head to head superstar match up with #8 is team suicide. If anyone should force the scoring issue, it should be Chauncey.

    9. Tom Tolbert's suit.

    10. It is sad to note, but Karl Malone is a lot more injured than he's letting on. His will to play is incredibly admirable as I am a long time fan of The Mailman (He personally introduced me to my first Idaho potato). But just as the Pistons of old exploited the untimely hamstring injury of Magic back in the day, these Pistons must exploit the Lakers' weakness at the four. We all know the Pistons play great D. But scoring 90 points a game is what will ultimately keep them as contenders in this series. Put the ball in the hole.

    By the way. Did I mention Tom Tolbert's suit????????

    Posted by Jaleel White - Jun 9 2004 2:56AM

    Both Teams Played Hard
    Twelve Rasheed Wallaces must show up
    Why does Rasheed Wallace bob his head in post-game interviews like he's listening to rap music nobody else can hear? Cause he can.

    Why does Rasheed Wallace march five and six rows into the stands to yell and scream and vent his frustrations about blown calls? Cause he can.

    Why did Rasheed Wallace once conduct a post-game interview by giving the same answer to every redundant question asked by the media? "Both Teams Played Hard." Cause he could.

    Let's face it. There's nothing more entertaining than a guy who plays ball with a giant chip on his shoulder and has just enough talent to back it up. He'll either give you a great off the cuff quote or a cut above your eye. More often than not, athletes such as this are misunderstood, misrepresented and wrongfully antagonized by our geek infested press. Sorry fellas, I've been in plenty media rooms. It's Revenge of the Nerds in there.

    The truth is, the world is made up of characters- some boring, some captivating. Right and wrong, I leave that for God to judge. But as great characters go on a basketball court, they don't get much bigger than Rasheed Wallace. His unbridled passion for the game and blatant disregard for what anyone thinks of him makes him King Ding-a-ling as far as I'm concerned. Watch those Finals ratings soar!

    I had floor seats at last year's Finals and I'm not ashamed to say I nodded off completely at various points throughout the game. Me and TJ (Jason Kidd's son). And he was watching his dad. This year, I got no seats at all and I will be glued to my flat screen (yeah, I said flat screen) like a fat kid watching his favorite cartoon.

    Is Rasheed Wallace the perfect guest speaker for your child's third grade class? Probably not. I know for a fact he wouldn't bother to shave. But is Rasheed Wallace the guy I want battling the mighty forces of Shaq and Kobe? You bet your pantihose he is ;) What's even better is the guy on the opposite block, just as surly as Rasheed, only with Don King hair and he rarely speaks... Ben Wallace! If Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger could pass for Twins, then the Wallace Boys had to have been separated at birth. We couldn't have gotten a better NBA Finals if it was scripted.

    In fact, here's my Finals Prediction: If the Detroit Pistons don't ALL metamorph into twelve variations of Rasheed Wallace, they will lose to the Lakers in six. However- if Chauncey Billups is able to play like Tony Parker SHOULD have played for the entire Lakers-Spurs series, it will be very interesting. Simply put, the Lakers are arrogant. Why? Cause they can be ;) It's their swagger we find compelling, no doubt (Subconsciously, the Lakers will try to win it at home). The only team of assembled men capable of dethroning this deservedly proud bunch are Twelve Rasheed Wallaces, who won't be pushed around- who won't think twice about shots they've taken all year long- and who will wear their emotions on their sleeves. Love me or hate me, I'm here to beat you by any means necessary. I believe we've seen this team before. They were called The Bad Boys. I was 12 years old when they ruled the hardwood.

    If life is cyclical and the 2004 Bad Boys do in fact show up for at least 3 of the 7 games scheduled, things could get extremely interesting. And when it's all said and done, win or lose, each Piston would be able to sit at the podium and say to the media, "Both Teams Played Hard."







    Posted by Jaleel White - Jun 3 2004 4:27AM

    Beware of Cameras
    Shaq must guard Tim
    First off, let me start by saying the NBA throws the best parties! Always has, always will. And that's exactly what I was attending (Zach Randolph's Most Improved Player Party) when a guy in a tux comes up to me out of the blue, holding the Larry O'Brien Trophy. I flipped! To a true hoops fan like myself, the Larry O'Brien IS the Stanley Cup. The Holy Grail as coveted by Indiana Jones.

    And then the cameras arrived...

    Just in time to capture an indelible image of ME in my most electrocuted state. To all of my good friends at the NBA, I can only say, "You got me." The picture you posted of me for your DAILY NBA PHOTO on May 3rd could NOT have been my best flick taken... I mean, c'mooon. Let's be real here- I look down right constipated.

    What makes it worse is that there are Yao Ming fans in China who probably only know me from my reruns. They will invariably click on the NBA website, see my picture and immediately think -- Spongebob!

    But it's all good, really. Like I said- you got me. Better the NBA than some Florida college kid's random website. I guess internet humiliation is just apart of the new millenium game.

    ON TO HOOPS

    After watching Game 1 of the Lakers/Spurs series, I can't agree with Charles Barkley more. Superstars decide ball games. Over the years, I've noticed a miniscule flaw in Tim Duncan's game when matched against Shaq (and let's face it, Tim doesn't have many flaws).

    Tim has trouble scoring on Shaq, particularly when deep in the post.

    Oh sure, Shaq is very susceptible to Tim's very reliable, face-up, bank shot J. But I'm talking about take you to the hole, dipsy-do, up and under, I'm-gonna-work-your-butt-out-down-low vintage Hakeem Olajuwon moves. Against Shaq, it ain't happenin'.

    Problem is, when Tim drives to the cup, Shaq often bails Tim out with cheap reach in fouls as opposed to forcing Tim to actually shoot over him 100% of the time.

    If the Lakes have any hopes of getting past the Spurs, Shaq is going to have to play solid D on Tim D during the latter portions of the games. Not for the whole game, just during money time. If Tim is going to hit big shots down the stretch- the Lakes can't allow those shots to be made over the likes of Slava Medvedenko and Karl Malone. No diss, but it is what it is. Superstars decide ball games. And something tells me Shaq's big fly swatter will eventually emerge in the clutch... IF the adjustment is made.
    Posted by Jaleel White - May 3 2004 6:13PM

    Now It's About To Get Ugly
    Playoff Drama
    That's right. Now it's about to get ugly. And no, I'm not talking about Sam Cassell either. You're one of the coldest ballers alive, Sam. I love you, dawg, I swear. And I loved you even more in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

    But I'm talking about the SECOND ROUND of the playoffs here, baby!! Now that the riff raff has pretty much been sent packing, it's time to get down and dirty. No more "fugazy" participants. Now it's just a straight 8-Man Elimination Match. First cat to get tossed out the ring is a rotten egg.

    Is it just me, or does this year's playoffs have a throwback feel to 'em? I'm talking about the DETROIT BAD BOY DAYS when Isiah Thomas got hurt DURING The Finals and the Laker organization said, "Hellll naw you can't rehab at our training facility. Take your tail to Raiderville."

    I don't know about any of you out there, but that's exactly the kind of sportsmanship I WANNA see in my NBA playoffs. Fine 'em all, Stu Jackson, if that's whatcha gotta do. But hearing KG say, "I'd rather take this to the streets of Brooklyn" is exactly what'll keep me and a whole lotta viewers comin' back for more.

    No more asking about an opponent's wife and kids before the game. No more complimenting the other team on how well they play together. It's insincere and I don't wanna see it. Not past the first round at least. Bill Laimbeer never committed such acts. Sure, I may have hated Bill's guts back when he played, but now I miss him like Sanford and Son reruns.

    I Salute Latrell Sprewell for missing two clutch free throws at the end of Game 4 against Denver and still having the nerve to jawjack with Jon Barry at halfcourt after the game. Ain't no love!

    I Salute Karl Malone for droppin' 'bows on Houston like a Ludacris song. I mean who can possibly hate on a 40 year old man who is SO down to win a ring, he's managed to elevate The Swinging of The Elbow to a respectable artform? And for the trained NBA watcher- look closely and you might even catch a glimpse of the swifty-nifty, kung-fu kick Karl delivers when he drives the lane.

    I Salute Kevin Garnett for giving Francisco Elson a short chop to the 'nads right before an inbounds play in the recent Game 4. You know those cameras see everything, KG ;) But I feel you, dawg. It was in the heat of battle. Nobody told Francisco to leave his athletic cup in his Escalade. And besides, K-Gizzle wasn't trying to hurt the man. He was just trying to put the brotha' on pause for a second or two. Like TiVO.

    Who are we kidding here? It's Playoff Time... Lakers-Spurs... Ali-Frazier... Kenyon Martin and the Wallace Boys... Tell me that's not "the light skinned kid getting jumped after school."

    The NBA already coined the phrase. WIN OR GO HOME!! It's beautiful. And the best part about it all... it stays on the court.

    Oh yeeeeah... Now it's about to get ugly!

    Oh and one more thing. To my man, Kenny the Jet. If you're REALLY, REALLY hungry... you don't eat soup with a fork either. You eat air pudding with chopsticks.
    Posted by Jaleel White - Apr 30 2004 11:46AM

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