By Eric Patten @ericpatten | | 4/6/12

Marty Glickman, Chick Hearn, Vin Scully, and the Clippers’ own Brian Sieman.

The collection of sports broadcasters are among industry icon Larry King’s favorites.

In part of an 11-minute conversation that began about the sale of the L.A. Dodgers with the Petros & Money radio show last week, King shifted gears and talked about the announcing profession. He praised Glickman, calling him the “best ever” and said with Scully and Glickman he could “see” the game while it was broadcast over the airwaves.

Unprompted, though, King, 78, mentioned there was an “unbelievable” young announcer that he likes.

Click the player below to check out the interview with King. He talks about Clippers’ broadcaster Brian Sieman at the 9:54 mark of the segment.
“I don’t know his name, but the guy for the Clippers,” King said. “This guy gives you where the ball is, who’s on the court, where the guy graduated from school, and what his wife’s name is, while dribbling. He’s a sensational basketball announcer.”

Sieman, who’s in his fifth season with the Clippers after previously working for the Minnesota Timberwolves’ radio team, said he was told about King’s comments prior to the Clippers’ March 28 home game against the Phoenix Suns.

“It was really flattering. It was mind blowing, to be honest.” Sieman said. “I don’t know how accurate his words were, but I certainly appreciate it.”

While attending the school of journalism at the University of Kansas, Sieman studied King’s interviewing technique. “I think [King] covers a great area,” Sieman said. “If he’s talking to a dignitary, he’ll ask very basic questions for those who don’t know him and then he’ll ask very insightful questions for those who do know him. So I studied him a lot and there are very few people that I think are more iconic than him in the world of journalism.”

Radio broadcasters are often anonymous, in part, because listeners cannot see their faces. Sieman says that’s how he views himself, but admitted one of aftereffects of King’s comments were that they resonated with a number of his family members who don’t follow sports or may not have been fully aware of his profession. Of course, they all knew King.

“I’m the kind of guy that I just assumed he was referring to somebody else,” Sieman added. “My favorite part was ‘I don’t know his name.’”

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By Eric Patten @ericpatten | | 3/15/12

With the NCAA Tournament tipping off this week, millions of basketball fans are filling out a bracket or 10. Prior to Wednesday’s win over the Hawks, several Clippers offered their Final Four selections. The overall No. 1 seed, Kentucky, was the near consensus choice.

Rookies Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie, who both attended University of Georgia, made identical picks, selecting their fellow South Eastern Conference team to win it all with Syracuse, Missouri, and North Carolina rounding out the teams that will make it to New Orleans, the site of this year’s Final Four.

Center DeAndre Jordan (Texas A&M) also had Kentucky winning it all. However, he has Florida, Cincinnati, and Kansas advancing. Villanova alum Randy Foye picked a Final Four of Kentucky, Kansas, Syracuse, and Marquette—two Big East schools—with the Wildcats raising their eighth National Championship.

Among the players not selecting Kentucky were Brian Cook (Illinois) and Blake Griffin (Oklahoma).

Both Cook and Griffin have Kentucky in their Final Four, but falling once they get there. Cook has Kansas as the champion with Syracuse and No. 7 seed Florida reaching the Superdome. Like many of his teammates, Griffin selected three No. 1 seeds. He has Missouri, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Syracuse with the Tar Heels upending the Wildcats in the championship game.

Of the 15 players on the Clippers roster, all of them attended schools from the so-called power conferences. However, just five, Eric Bledsoe (Kentucky), Caron Butler (Connecticut), Kenyon Martin (Cincinnati), Chauncey Billups (Colorado), and Mo Williams (Alabama), had their school in the field of 68.

Butler said he was filling out two brackets, “One with my head; the other with my heart.”

Of course, his heart told him No. 9 seeded Connecticut will upset No. 1 Kentucky in the third round of the South Region. Staff Picks

Of course, Clippers players weren’t the only ones getting in on the game of predictions. LACTV’s Madelyn Burke and yours truly also made our choices. Madelyn has Syracuse and Florida losing in the national semi-final with Kentucky beating North Carolina in the title game. I have a Big 12 showdown on one side of the bracket with Baylor toppling Missouri and North Carolina over Ohio State on the other side. My final: the Tar Heels over the Bears.   

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Ease Off the Panic Button
By Eric Patten @ericpatten | | 3/7/12

I know nobody wants to hear this. It’s far too easy to wallow in the misery of losing a road game by one point on the second night of a back-to-back and the fourth game in five nights.

But despite the myriad concerns about how the Clippers, now 22-14, have played since Chauncey Billups went down with a torn left Achilles tendon on Feb. 6… things are not as bad as you think.

In 14 games since Billups’ injury, the Clippers are 7-7. Ten of those games have come on the road and eight of the 14 have come against teams in the thick of the playoff race. Of their seven losses, four were by a combined 11 points. That includes a four-point loss to Dallas on the road, a bizarre overtime loss at home to San Antonio (a team with the second best record in the West), and Monday’s one-point defeat at the hands of Minnesota.

And wait, I know what the rebuttal is. That means they aren’t closing games out the way they did with Mr. Big Shot. Not so fast. Chris Paul, lest you forget, seemed perfectly adept at the role of closer in road wins at Philadelphia, Houston, and in an 18-point come from behind victory at Portland.

If Paul’s free throw in the final seconds that clanged short off the rim at Minnesota is still fresh on your mind, at least he was in position to take it. As the adage goes, clutch players likely miss far more shots than they make, but they never cease to have a willingness to take them. Others merely pass to Udonis Haslem.

Of course, the Clippers have endured stretches recently when the offense seemed fleeting or the defensive effort appeared lackadaisical. But that comes with the territory over the course of an NBA schedule. Condensed season or not, everything comes in context: fatigue vs. rest, hot vs. cold, home vs. road, and on and on. In no way am I suggesting anyone should be pleased with a .500 record in the last three weeks, but at the same time, it may be wise to lay off the panic button.

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Poppin’ off about the Clippers
By Eric Patten @ericpatten | | 2/20/12

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has seen it all. He’s a four-time NBA champion, former assistant under Larry Brown, and the longest tenured coach in all four major professional sports.

When “Pop” talks, everybody listens.

So prior to the Clippers-Spurs matchup Saturday afternoon, when the 63-year-old Popovich started talking Clippers it resonated.

Here are some of the highlights from Popvich’s conversation about Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and everything else Clipper-related:

Question: What is your impression of this Clipper team?

Popovich: “They’re a real physical team. They have a real edge. I love the edge that they have. They’ll knock the hell out of you and continue to play. It’s not just dunking the basketball but it’s knocking the hell out of you on cuts, grabbing at you and making the referees make calls. Rebounding and going after it.

That’s the first impression I get with these guys. Now they have the head to go with all the talent with Chris [Paul], obviously. I don’t know if there’s a better leader on the court or somebody who knows what the hell is going on at this particular time or this score or with this much time on the clock or this situation. He understands all those things intuitively and that’s a hell of a talent to add.

Q: Do you see former Spurs guard and current Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro as protégé? (Note: Del Negro played for Popovich in San Antonio during the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons)

Popovich: He’s not a protégé. We never coached together. I was able to coach him and some of the stuff we do on defense we actually have one thing we call on the pin downs we say we’re going to “Del Negro it” and that’s in his honor and we’ve done that for 15 years. We have a Del Negro defense out there because he couldn’t play a lick of D. At times we had to invent something just to hide him, so we call it “Del Negro” and you do certain things on the court and everybody has to make up for that guy who’s the Del Negro.

We’ve always kept in touch with each other. We’ll share things and try to support each other and everything because he’s a wonderful guy. He understood the game, he wasn’t very quick but he really knew how to play the game, especially pick and roll and that kind of thing. He knew what was going on out there on the floor.

When you’re around guys like that or Avery Johnson or Steve Kerr you know if they want to they can coach someday because they really understand what’s going on.

Q: Did you talk to Del Negro about coaching when he played for you?

Popovich: I assume I did. It was so long ago. I do that with a lot of my players to see what they want to do when they’re done. Some guys want to do and others guys are smart enough to realize they want to do it because there’s more to life than coaching.

Q: How do you defend Blake Griffin?

Popovich: You have to be aware of him [Griffin] in transition first, that’s the most important part, and you have to make contact with him. If you let him run free you have no shot. Because Chris or Mo [Williams] is going to find him and they’re going to throw it up in the air and he’s going to go up in the air and you can’t get there. So you have to maintain contact with him in transition at all times.

In the half court, you have help people. Do you want him going to the rim or do you want him to hit a jump shot? It’s something he works on all the time and he’s going to get better and better but given a choice you’d rather have him shooting a 20-footer than taking it the hole and you don’t have to be a genius to figure that out. And he knows that and that’s why he works on his shot. Once he gets that down, he’ll be impossible. He’s ridiculous now but he’ll be impossible.

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Mo Williams, Hockey Fan
By Eric Patten @ericpatten | | 2/7/12

Imagine a hockey line with Eric Bledsoe using his speed and athleticism on the wing, Blake Griffin as the enforcer behind him, and Reggie Evans as the tough-guy instigator.

If your imagination is not quite that wild, Clippers guard Mo Williams will consider it for you.

A couple weeks ago Williams attended his first hockey game. It was the first of two consecutive off days for the Clippers and the Sixth Man of the Year candidate sat behind the boards at Staples Center for Kings vs. Senators.

By all accounts, Williams loved the experience.

See below for a video interview with Williams and Fox Sports West’s Patrick O’Neal during the game. Here’s a snippet of what Williams said about how some of his current Clippers teammates may fare on the ice.

Question: If someone in your locker room on the Clippers would be a good hockey player, who would it be?
Williams: To me, I would probably say Eric Bledsoe. He learns so fast, and he’s so athletic, I think it bodes well. I don’t know what position he’d play, probably up front and be a scorer. But Blake [Griffin] would probably be in the back and be a bruiser, so those two would probably have the most potential to be hockey players.
Q: Who on your roster would be the worst?
W: Probably Trey Thompkins, he’s a big guy, 6-foot-10 and he’s too big to move on ice.
Q: We saw one fight tonight. We talked about the physicality, who on the Clippers roster would be the best fighter?
W: Reggie Evans, he probably could play hockey, he’d enjoy it. He’d skate around with no stick or anything.
Q: Who’d be the worst fighter?
W: The worst fighter on the Clippers would be DeAndre Jordan. He wouldn’t want to fight.
Q: If you were to play, if they were to say ‘okay, you’re the goalie tonight’ because these pucks are coming in at 98-99 miles per hour.
W: I think I’d fair pretty well, I played baseball growing up, so I’m used to catching fast pitches and hard hit ground balls. I don’t know if goalie would be my expertise, but if anybody on my team could do it, I could.

Video courtesy:

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George Karl Talks Clippers
By Eric Patten | | 2/5/12

Nuggets head coach George Karl rested in a folding chair Thursday in the hallway outside of the visiting locker room at Staples Center.

His Nuggets were about 80 minutes away from tipoff in their second matchup with the Clippers in five days and the 60-year-old Karl, wearing a track suit and sipping Mountain Dew from a 16-ounce paper cup, was candid and opinionated. His usual self by all accounts.

He told the media contingent about Denver’s depth, how they lost in Memphis two nights earlier, and the “impressive” 26 year-old average age of the 2012 All-Star starters, a group that was announced earlier in the evening. Still, Karl spent more time glowing about the Clippers than any other subject during his more than 15 minutes pregame.

Here are a few highlights.

About the Clippers’ ascension with Chris Paul at the helm:
“I think Chris Paul’s making a lot of guys out there pretty good. What I saw in the last two games (Oklahoma City and Utah) was how good they can play if Chris Paul plays that way. All these guys. They all have a team confidence that’s pretty powerful.”

Asked what it’s like to see the Clippers suddenly become one of the most talked about teams in the league:
“Why was it a surprise? It seems like everyone is surprised. [Blake] Griffin, I mean, everybody knew he was going to be special. It was just a matter of when. And then you throw Chris Paul in the mix. At least, it sped up [Griffin’s development]. Then they get Chauncey [Billups], which I thought was a great move. And they’ve gone from a team that was wobbly in fourth quarters last year to a team that now, I kind of like Chris Paul and Chauncey as their closers as much as I like Kobe [Bryant] as the Laker closer. I mean, one, Chauncey won’t miss a free throw. He can make a big shot, a big three. And there’s Chris Paul to make those other guys [better] and he’s a big shot guy, too.”

The uptick in long range shooting from the Clippers:
“They’re going to make some shots, they shoot the ball too well out there [from 3-point range]. To cover the 3-ball and the basket with Chris Paul handling the ball, come on. It’s not going to be done. There’s going to be some mistakes.” “You’ve got Mo Williams shooting the ball better than I’ve ever seen him shoot it. You’ve got [Caron] Butler thinking he’s going to make every shot he takes. And what’s this with Chris Paul making every 3-ball? I mean, I can buy Chauncey.”

Leadership, depth, and the invention of the word “veteranism:”
“I think their ‘veteranism,’ even though Griffin is big and [DeAndre] Jordan is big, you don’t understand after Griffin and Jordan, they’ve got veteran guys that know their roles. Chris Paul knows how to be the leader of a team. Chauncey knows how to be a stud on a team. And even other guys.

“Butler fits in as the fourth guy, that’s pretty good. Mo Williams and Butler can be your second or third guy on given nights. And then even if you go to Reggie Evans, he’s an amazing 15-20 minute rebounder. If that’s what you want he’ll get you three or four offensive rebounds, create a little of an attitude underneath the basket with referees and players. And then you’ve got [Randy] Foye and [Ryan] Gomes and all of a sudden they’re, what, 10-minute players, 10-15 minute players. They’re pretty good 10-15 minute players.”

A couple more tidbits:
“Of course, Paul and Griffin are this dynamic duo. And then you’ve got Jordan, who if you don’t cover him, he’s going to dunk it five times on you and block five shots and he can motivate the team into a win. It’s a fun team to play. I’m a little scared.”

“Chauncey has that veteran toughness that kind of is contagious with the other players. I think Chris Paul probably has that, too.”

Note: The Nuggets went on to win 112-91, evening the season series with the Clippers 1-1. They play again at Staples Center Feb. 22.

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Take a Look Around
By Eric Patten | | 2/2/12

The Clippers are worth the watch, just ask NBA TV.

According to notes from the league office, discussing various aspects of NBA television ratings through the first month of the season, the Clippers played in the three most watched games on NBA TV's national simulcasts. (See chart for specifics)

  • Lakers at Clippers, 756,000 viewers (Jan. 14, 2012)
  • Bulls at Clippers, 722,000 viewers (Dec. 30, 2011)
  • Clippers at Lakers, 686,000 viewers (Jan. 25, 2012)
  • This comes on the heels of the first Clippers-Lakers preseason game registering a larger audience than any preseason game in the network's 13-year history.

    The Clippers are not simply eye candy on the flatscreen. In seven games they are number one in road attendance, averaging 19,436 fans per game.

    It's not just about watching an alley oop sideshow, though. These Clippers are good. They're 13-6 heading into Thursday's matchup with Denver (a national exclusive on TNT) and have won 12 of their last 16 games, including four in a row over potential Western Conference playoff teams. Only the Thunder have lost fewer games (four) and one of those came Monday at Staples Center.

    And for all of the layup talk by Kevin Durant about Blake Griffin's Twitter-shattering DUNK over his Thunder teammate Kendrick Perkins... the Clippers don't really have to respond. They already did on the court and at the box office.

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    First Things First
    By Eric Patten | | 2/1/12

    Maybe it’s the carryover from their sleek new intro video that implores the crowd to “get loud.” Or a subtle measure of hypnotizing an opponent with athleticism and energy. Or somewhat like Mike Tyson in the late 1980’s, it’s about intimidation by association just from walking into the building.

    No matter, the Clippers have perfected the grand opening.

    Clippers by the Quarter

  • FIRST: 482 points (26.8 per game)
  • SECOND: 421 points (23.4)
  • THIRD: 439 points (24.4)
  • FOURTH: 399 points (22.2)
  • Including Monday night’s 36-point barrage against the league-best Thunder, L.A. has scored 29 or more points in the first quarter in seven of its last 14 games. All seven have been at Staples Center, six of them resulting in wins. Overall, the Clippers are 10-3 when leading after quarter number one.

    Since training camp, they have talked about setting the tone early in the season. Little did anyone know it meant doing it early in games.

    Their 26.8 points per game in the first is best in the NBA and is 2.4 points more than they score in any other quarter. In 12 home games, the Clippers have averaged 28.8 points—also tops in the Association.

    Following Monday’s 112-100 win over Oklahoma City, head coach Vinny Del Negro said he was happy with the team’s energy, focus, and ball movement in the initial stages of the game. All three points of emphasis have been key in the Clippers’ hot starts. It also doesn’t hurt to have first-quarter demolition man Caron Butler.

    The veteran small forward has topped double figures three times in the opening quarter since Jan. 14, averaging 6.5 points. Better than 50% of Butler’s total scoring output in that span has come in the first (65 of his 128 total points).

    Note: With 5:50 to go in the first quarter on Monday, Butler made a 3-pointer off a feed from Chris Paul. The hoop accounted for Butler’s 10,000th career point. He is one of 47 active players to reach the mark.

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    How do Blake Griffin and Kevin Love Stack Up
    By Eric Patten | | 1/21/12

    Blake Griffin and Kevin Love are both double-doubles waiting to happen.

    In their most recent matchup, Love scored 17 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, while Griffin went for 21 and 10, extending his streak of double-digit points and rebounds to eight games.

    The two, who are about six months apart in age, are linked in more ways than just their ability to fill up a stat sheet. They catapulted themselves to stardom as first-time All-Stars and award winners in 2010-11. They’re charged with turning around franchises that have combined to go 136-356 in the previous three seasons.

    And off the court, they’ve become affable product pitchmen, combining humor and a relatable sensibility in commercials ranging from Dove body wash to Kia automobiles.

    In the below video they team up to pitch an unexpected product with Love challenging Griffin to a “rematch.” No, not of Friday’s 101-98 thriller that was decided at the buzzer by Love’s 3-pointer, but a game of Jenga.

    The commercial is exactly what you ‘d expect of Griffin: Amusing, likeable, and shows him jumping over things.

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    By Eric Patten | | 1/20/12

    About 795 miles off the coast of Acapulco sits an island made for an alley oop.

    It’s an atoll, which is basically a coral oval that pokes out from the ocean and encompasses a lagoon, called Clipperton.

    The island was named after a pirate, John Clipperton, who I assume was named after either the Clipper ships he sailed or the ones he pillaged. Today, it’s under the authority of the French Government, but remains uninhabited. There is no dock, no footpaths, no WiFi.

    Apparently, though, the fishing and snorkeling are to die for. Note: while it is outside of the United States, it is still inadvisable to use high-powered rifles to shoot fish.

    You can regularly find dolphins and the rare Clipperton Angelfish in the waters nearby and according to the somewhat sarcastic entry on Wiki Travel, there are more than 115 species of fish in the territorial waters near the island.

    Despite its mere 3.7-mile radius and massive lagoon in the center, the island does have one structure, an old shack used by NASA to track a rocket launched from French Guinea. Sources say there is a Los Angeles Clippers flag tacked to one of the flimsy walls inside. I’m kidding, clearly, but the island might be the best and most ambitious spot ever for a “Clipper Nation” Facebook photoshoot. Just bring plenty of sunscreen.

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    By Eric Patten | | 1/18/12

    The Clippers have had their share of collectors. Chris Kaman collected knives. Reggie Evans collects rebounds. And, according to a Q&A in Maxim Magazine, Chris Paul is an avid collector of high-priced watches. He said he has so many timepieces that he can’t keep count. But when it comes to luxury watches, it’s safe to say CP3 really knows what time it is.*

    “I have 12 that I take everywhere I go,” he said.

    Because he doesn’t have place for safekeeping? No. It’s because Paul likes to look good. “I just never know where I’ll be going or what I’ll be wearing.”

    Check out more about CP3’s watches here: CLICK

    *(Yes, that was a reference to the piano ballad by Chicago… You know, Peter Cetera. The same dude that sang the love song on the original “Karate Kid”)

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    By Eric Patten | | 1/16/12

    It’s safe to say the next few days for the Clippers could be a little icy.

    Beginning the Nets Monday, the team plays their first of three games in as many days. And several players sound as though they’re prepared to spend a lot of time bathing in ice.

    Asked how they expect to deal with the dreaded back-to-back-to-back, Randy Foye and Caron Butler had similar answers.

    Back-to-Back-to-Back Results:

    76ers (home win IND, home win SAC, road loss NY) Bobcats (road loss ATL, home loss DET, home win GS) Bulls (home win DET, road win MIN, home win WSH) Hawks (home loss MIA 3OT, road loss CHA OT, home win CHI) Kings (road loss MEM, road loss DEN, home win MIL) Lakers (home loss CHI, road loss SAC, home win UTH) Nuggets (road loss LAL, home win LAL, home win MIL) Raptors (home win MIN, road loss WSH, home loss SAC) Rockets (home win SA, road loss MEM, home win ATL) Thunder (home win HOU, road win HOU, home win SA) Timberwolves (road win WSH, road loss TOR, home loss CHI)

    “I just got out of the cold tub,” Foye said. “Go home and try to at least drink a half a gallon of water and stay prepared, stay hydrated.”

    “Ice a lot,” said Butler as the contingent of media around him broke into laughter. “A lot of ice, staying off your feet, just try to watch a lot of film and don’t try to exert too much energy; only on the court.”

    So far the Clippers have played the fewest number of games in the league (nine), but with five games in the next seven days their endurance is about to be tested.

    “Everyone’s going through it, not just us,” Foye said of the extraordinary number of games crammed into such a brief timeframe.

    They take on New Jersey Monday afternoon, fly to Utah for Tuesday’s game against the Jazz, and return home to play the defending champion Mavericks the following night.

    Through the first 21 days of the season, 11 teams have played three games in three nights. Here’s a glance at how it’s worked out for them (Note: from now on we’re referring to back-to-back-to-back as b2b2b).

    *Teams have an 18-15 overall record within the b2b2b.

    *The Thunder and Bulls are the only teams to have won all three games of the b2b2b. No team has lost all three.

    *No team has logged all three games on the road. The Clippers, who are one of 12 teams with TWO b2b2b stretches, will face that task in March when they play consecutive nights in Indiana, Oklahoma City and New Orleans.

    *Seven teams lost the middle game. Jan Brady was right, nobody likes the middle child.

    *After the Bobcats 112-100 win over the Bobcats Saturday, eight of the 11 teams have won the third game of the three. That’s like saying a guy just jogged 25 miles of a marathon so he could sprint the final mile.

    *All eight of those wins have been at home.

    *During the lockout shortened 1999 season, teams went 28-36 in the third game of the set.

    *The Rockets lost four in a row after their b2b2b, while the Kings lost four of five after.

    *The Timberwolves played two teams in the midst of their own b2b2b stretch. In game two for Minnesota, they lost on the road to Toronto, who was in game one of their set. The following night Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio lost 111-100 to Chicago. The Bulls were in game two of three. Talk about six degrees of Mark Macon.

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    By Eric Patten | | 1/13/12

    Chris Paul wants to teach you how to take a Sheet.

    In a new commercial, which was actually directed by the Clippers point guard, he gives very detailed instructions on how to use Sheets Brand Energy Strips; a thin, dissolvable caffeine boost that you place on your tongue.

    The spot, entitled “Talking Sheet with Chris Paul,” shows him sitting at a desk in the company’s New York office, instructing new Sheet users on the various benefits of the product. The obvious puns are funny in their own right, but it’s even more hilarious to read the fine-print text that pops up every so often.

    Here’s the commercial in its entirety:

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    By Eric Patten | | 1/12/12

    Miami’s Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh who invaded the STAPLES Center to take on the Clippers are the most notable so-called Big 3 today. However, many have come before them. Here’s a look at some other Big 3s throughout history:
    Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen (Boston Celtics): This veteran Big 3 came together prior to the 2007-08 season after Garnett was acquired from the Timberwolves and Allen from the Sonics. Unlike the Heat trio, Garnett, Pierce, and Allen won a title their first year together. They have been to two NBA Finals in the last four years (2008 and 2010).
    Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs): Because the Spurs won the title in the lockout-shortened 1999 season and because of the tremendous contributions from role players throughout the years, the Big 3 of Duncan, Ginobili and Parker is often overlooked. However, the Spurs trio is arguably the most accomplished Big 3 of the past two decades. They have three championships (’03, ’05, ’07), boast perhaps the greatest power forward of all-time (Duncan), and won a Western Conference best 61 games last season (their ninth season together).
    Jimmy Chitwood, Buddy Walker, Rade Butcher (Hoosiers): Hickory High’s boys varsity basketball team was actually made up of seven members, after Jimmy gave the Huskers mid-season jolt like Michael Jordan wearing No. 45 on the Bulls. But we all know that Jimmy was hardly a one-man show. Despite an attitude problem early in his senior season, Rade made clutch plays with the ball in his hands and Buddy was fantastic defender. Throw in Everett Flatch, Shooter’s amiable son, and Hickory really may have had a big four.
    Raymond Stantz, Egon Spengler, Peter Venkman (The original Ghostbusters): Before they hired paranormal pessimist Winston Zeddemore, the threesome of Peter, Ray and Egon built their ghost-busting empire from the ground up in Manhattan. The task was made even more remarkable after coming on the heels of losing their research grant at the university, working out of an abandoned firehouse, and Gozers’ takeover of Dana Barrett’s upscale apartment complex.
    Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, Dave Grohl (Nirvana): When you consider that Cobain, Novoselic, and Grohl essentially created a genre of music, grunge rock, it’s hard not to consider Nirvana one of the most influential Big 3s of all-time. Cobain was an icon following the release of their major label debut “Nevermind” and Grohl went on to big things fronting the Foo Fighters.
    Sabrina Duncan, Jill Munroe, Kelly Garrett (Charlie’s Angels): The only Big 3 that can stop crime and look good doing it, too. Originally graduates of the Los Angeles Police Academy, the Angels quit and joined the Charles Townsend Agency. Charles, or Charlie, would deploy his crime-fighting trio via speaker phone and they would always get the job done albeit before encountering a great deal of drama and danger on their way to it.
    Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill (Allied Leaders in WWII): Probably the most important Big 3 of all-time, Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill were responsible for leading Allied forces against the Nazis in World War II. The Tehran Conference in 1943, which led to the opening of a second front in Western Europe, and the Crimea Conference in 1945 (to determine the reorganization of post-war Europe) were among the most notable meetings of the trio.
    Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson, Barry Zito (Oakland Athletics): For all of the “Moneyball” talk about Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane, it was the accumulation of three aces in his starting rotation that really made the A’s one of the best teams in baseball during the early 2000s. Mulder and Hudson had varying success after leaving Oakland, while Zito struggled to live up to his $125 million contract with the Giants. None of them would match the level of dominance they achieved together.
    Mac, Charlie, Dennis (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia): Whether they’re solving the gas crisis, trying out for the Eagles, remaking “Lethal Weapon,” or inventing things like “kitten mittens” or “the shot gun,” the Always Sunny gang is full of solid ideas for generating supplemental income. Of course, their primary business is Paddy’s Pub, a vintage Irish bar in South Philadelphia. As for how the Big 3 describe themselves, it’s still up for debate… the brains, the looks, and the wild card.
    Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith (Dallas Cowboys): Not one, not two, but three Super Bowls in four years is about all that you need to know. At the same time, though, all three are Hall of Famers and Smith is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. Although they did not play under the scrutiny of today’s internet media, they were arguably playing for one of the most recognizable teams in the world, meaning every move they made was under the microscope.
    Bushwick Bill, Scarface, Willie D (Geto Boys): Not only did this Houston Big 3 bring attention to rap groups outside of New York and L.A. but they also had staying power. Scarface doubled as a mainstream solo artist for most of his tenure and founded the Rap-A-Lot label. Despite a brief lineup change in 1993, when Big Mike replaced Willie D, the Geto Boys managed No. 2 on the “Hot Rap Singles” chart with “Six Feet Deep.” Willie D returned three years later and despite notable critical success, the group was unable to recapture their “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” magic of a decade earlier.
    Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman (DC Comics): The Man of Steel, the Dark Knight, and the Princess of the Amazons formed the “World’s Finest Trinity” to combat Ra’s al Ghul after he recruited two powerful allies in the name of world chaos. Of course, the heroic Big 3 would overcome evil by taking down each villain one-by-one. Superman may have been the star of this group. He disabled helicopters, tracked down Artemis, and helped Batman track down and defeat Bizarro.
    Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston: Probably the best-known love triangle in the entertainment world, Pitt, Jolie, and Aniston stole the headlines from every major gossip magazine for the better part of three years during the middle part of the last decade. Unlike the other Big 3s on this list, this three is by far the most divisive. Did Angelina steal Brad from Jennifer? When did Brad and Angelina meet? Who cares?
    Mike D, Ad-Rock, MCA (Beastie Boys): After starting as a hardcore punk band in 1979, the Beastie Big 3 began their ascent to hip-hop icons after the release of “Licensed to Ill” seven years later. “Fight for Your Right (To Party)” and “No Sleep till Brooklyn” were among the notable tracks from the album that Rolling Stone magazine’s Chuck Eddy famously dubbed a “masterpiece.”
    Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Curly Howard (Three Stooges): The Stooges are the original comedic Big 3. They were masters in slapstick and farce and remain wildly popular some half a century after they released their first film. They endured as a working class act that underwent several lineup changes, including Shemp Howard, Joe Besser, and Curly Joe. The one constant: Moe Howard (the Tim Duncan of the Stooges, in that respect).

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    Chauncey Billups Could Bake You A Cake
    By Eric Patten | | 1/11/12

    Chauncey Billups is one of the better all-around guards in the NBA. He can shoot from outside, handle the ball, run the offense, defend, and get to the free throw line.

    His skills, however, extend beyond the court. The 15-year veteran is apparently adept with a mixing bowl, makes Funk Master Flex seem like a prom DJ, and can knock around a golf ball a little, too. He’ll do it all in the name of charity.

    In the videos below, Billups helps raise awareness for his non-profit organization, The Chauncey Billups Elite Basketball Academy, by offering to bake you a cake, DJ your Sweet 16 party, or play a round of golf with you for nominal donations.

    OK, so the donations are far from nominal, but the videos are a funny and creative way to bring attention to his basketball academy. According to its official website, the academy, located in Billups’ hometown of Denver, “Helps shape young men’s lives by playing competitive basketball” and includes teams of students ranging from fifth grade to tenth grade.

    Billups Elite - Gluten Free from TDA_Boulder on Vimeo.

    Billups Elite - Sweet 16 from TDA_Boulder on Vimeo.

    Billups Elite - Golf from TDA_Boulder on Vimeo.

    Chauncey Billups Elite Basketball Academy

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