The New Testament
Posted Mar 1 2007 2:52PM
SECAUCUS, N.J., Feb. 24, 2007-- Last week, I decided that the triumvirate of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony needed a nickname. If they were going to be doing their thing and taking over the league for years to come, they needed a calling card worthy of their performance.
Plus, I was getting tired of typing L-E-B-R-O-N, C-A-R-M...
I threw BMW (Bron-Melo-Wade) out there because I had heard it before, and suggested "The Royal Family," seeing as LeBron is already the King and all, but I welcomed anything you all could come up with.
We'll start out this week's McTen with a top 10 list of your nickname suggestions:
1. LCD -- From Ish in Illinois and Ilias in Greece: "Does your BMW have a LCD (LeBron-Carmelo-Dwayne)?" I like it, but acronyms are pretty lame.
Those were all good tries, but the winner is definitely Doug in Alabama: "Something kinda going with the King James theme ... How about The New Testament! Because those three guys will definitely rewrite the way the NBA plays.
I love it. "The New Testament" it is.
And now, these are the 10 things I learned this week ...
1. Post All-Star Arenas
No, I'm not talking about Rosanne Barr's measurements. Those are Gilbert Arenas' point totals in three games since All-Star, in which the Wizards are 2-1.
The scoring outburst is a good sign for Arenas as he scored just 31 points in the two games preceding his trip to Las Vegas and it's also good for Washington which clearly misses Antawn Jamison, who is out with a left knee sprain for the next two to four weeks.
Jamison, as a power forward that can stroke the three, draws his defender out on the perimeter which opens up the lane a bit when Hibachi decides to drive. Despite the now crowded lane, it appears that Arenas is making a concerted effort to get to the rim as evidenced by his 46 free throw attempts over the last three games.
2. Trade dud line
Thursday's trade deadline came and went and the biggest deal that went down was Toronto swapping Fred Jones to Portland for Juan Dixon.
That's it? Really?
All of the unsubstantiated rumors proved to be just that -- unsubstantiated rumors. Kidd and Carter stayed in New Jersey. Pau remained a Grizzly. Bibby is still in Sacramento. Nothing changed. I haven't felt this let down since I saw Last Kiss. I mean, after Garden State, I expected a lot more out of Zach Braff.
3. Fun to say, fun to watch
Have you seen Kelenna Azubuike play for the Warriors yet?
The second-year guard out of Kentucky with the chiseled frame and the fun name (pronounced Ah-Zoo-Boo-Kee) is lighting it up whenever he gets a chance for the Warriors.
In the seven games in which he has received 25 minutes of playing time or more, Azubuike is averaging 18 points and 4.6 rebounds.
So the story goes, when Golden State GM Chris Mullin wanted to call Azubuike up from the D-League he spoke to coach Don Nelson:
"Mully called me on New Years' Eve and asked me if I liked sambuca, and I said 'Yeah,' " Nelson told the San Francisco Chronicle. "And he went out there and signed this guy, Azubuike.
"I thought it was a drink and he was talking about a player."
4. Chandelier no longer
My name for Tyson Chandler when he first played for the Bulls straight out of Dominguez High School was Tyson Chandelier. He was Calista Flockhart skinny and looked so damn fragile, what with a height of 7-feet and only weighing about 220 pounds soaking wet.
Things have changed. Now a Hornet in his sixth season, Chandler has grown to be 7-1, 235 pounds and downright Rodmanesque on the boards.
In 10 games in the month of February, Chandler averages 16.7 rebounds and has single-game totals of 18, 20, 22 and 23 boards. The glass cleaning has meant success for New Orleans/Oklahoma City as it has gone 7-3 during the stretch.
Forget Tyson Chandelier, he is now Tyson Handler of Rebounds.
5. Magnificent Mavs
Not much more to say about the Mavericks other than, "Wow."
Like Simon said about LaKisha on American Idol, Dallas is on another level.
The Mavs have won 10 in a row, their third double-digit win streak of the season, and have also been victorious in 31 out of their last 33 games. Spread that winning percentage out over a full season and that's a 77-5 record. The 31-2 streak started after a 101-79 drubbing vs. the Jazz on Dec. 11. I wonder what the postgame speech was like that night that turned things around?
6. You the Manu
When Jamal Crawford hit 16 straight shots for the Knicks earlier in the season, I got all giddy and started my column off singing his praises.
Well now's the time for some love for Manu Ginobili, who scored 24 points straight for the Spurs in the first half of Wednesday's 103-96 win over the Hawks. Ginobili finished with a season-high 40 points.
"I've had some good stretches in my career,'' Ginobili said after the game. "Today was kind of impressive. In those three or four minutes, or however many they were, maybe, yeah, it was some of the best.''
7. One step forward, two steps back
On Thursday everything seemed to be coming together for the Heat: Miami's record was back at .500, Pat Riley was back on the bench coaching, Shaq was having a vintage Shaq game with 20 points and 16 rebounds, and Dwyane Wade was rolling with 27 points in a match up with T-Mac.
But then it all came tumbling down.
Wade dislocated his left shoulder late in the game and had to be taken off the court in a wheelchair as he fought back tears.
This leaves Wade with the decision of opting for surgery now or trying to rehab for to meet his team for the playoffs. That is, if the Heat can even make the playoffs in his absence.
8. Boston cures L.A.
The Lakers were mired in a six-game losing streak, the longest of Phil Jackson's career as a head coach, and needed something to get them going.
That something was the Boston Celtics.
Kobe scored 22 of his 38 points in the first quarter to jumpstart L.A. as it rolled to a 122-96 victory on Friday.
With the Lakers making no moves on Thursday, they will just have to start playing better with the pieces there if they hope of making any kind of noise in the playoffs.
9. Dennis Johnson: 1954-2007
Some of my first NBA memories are from watching Dazzling Dunks and Basketball Bloopers on a loop when I was a kid.
One of my favorite players from the video (hosted by the surprisingly comedic duo of Marv Albert and Frank Layden) was Dennis Johnson because I was a little Irish boy with freckles, and DJ was playing on the team with the leprechaun mascot and had freckles too.
As I grew and got to know the game, I became familiar with DJ's permanent place in hoops history thanks to Johnny Most's legendary call ... "Now there's a steal by Bird! Underneath to DJ! He lays it up and in!"
DJ died of a heart attack on Thursday and left us as a legitimate NBA Legend. His resume reads: nine All-NBA Defensive selections, five-time All-Star, three-time NBA Champion (including Finals MVP in 1979) and the distinction of being named "the best I've ever played with," by Larry Bird.
10. The Electric Glide
The worlds of Reality TV and Pro Basketball have collided and the resulting inferno will be Clyde Drexler as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, starting Monday, March 19 on ABC.
With a moniker like "The Glide," Drexler seems born for this. If Jerry Rice could translate post patterns to pirouettes, then Drexler should certainly be able to transition from jump shots to the jitterbug.
Drexler has the cuddly retired athlete look that can win the hearts of America over, but here are the five former or current NBA players I would like to see on the show before him:
1. Mark Madsen -- Purely for comedic reasons.
Have a question or comment for The McTen or care to share what you learned this week? Get at me.