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The Madhouse - Week of 8/16/19

Man this is starting to feel like a long offseason

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Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Clippers

I’d say that the reboot of The Madhouse is a big success so far. Thanks so much for the comments. I’ve followed through on many of the recommendations. I’m working on the kale. Oh, kale in the backyard is going to happen, baby.

Suns Stuff

On Monday Rod had a lot to say about the Suns 2019-20 schedule. Well as much as one can say without the actual schedule being revealed. It’s out now, and I’m sure you’ll get plenty of breakdown from the BSOTS team. So I’ll just say this, the Suns will go 4-6 in their first 10. I actually had it at 3-7, but I decided before I looked at the schedule that I would add one to the win total if only to put some positive vibes out into the universe.

Two of the questions that Rod posed to the Fantable pertained to what a .500 Suns team would look like and the team’s chances of crawling out of the NBA basement regarding rebounding numbers. These questions have everything to do with each other.

You can’t win no damn basketball games without rebounding. I told you last week that I’m not fond of advanced statistics. A week later I’m still not. So let me break this down for you in the most scientific fashion I can muster. You can’t win no damn basketball games without rebounding.

If you don’t think the Suns can improve on those numbers, then there’s no way you think they can be a .500 team in November. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, then you shouldn’t watch. The rebounding has to be better and I think the rebounding will be better, and if I didn’t believe that there would be no reason whatsoever to invest in the Suns in 2019-20.

And don’t hit me with “but Keith, the ’17-18 Nuggets finished dead last in the Association in rebounding and won 46 games. That’s an outlier and you know it. Knock it off. Two years prior Philly was last in the league on the glass and they won 10 games. For crying out loud, am I the only person that grew up playing basketball in Indiana in the days before the Internet? Just box out and get some damn rebounds.

I really don’t know who I’m mad at or even if I’m mad at all. I just feel very passionately about rebounding.

Rod also linked to an article where Basketball Insiders graded the Suns offseason to be a C+. I think that’s fair.

You know, when the regular season ended, the only way the Suns offseason could be graded as an A would be to land the number one overall pick and pick up Zion Williamson. I suppose getting Morant at two could have been good for an A-.

But those chance circumstances aside, it was never going to be an A. Phoenix simply didn’t have the assets. I mean look at who they moved on from:

Josh Jackson, De’Anthony Melton, Dragan Bender, T.J. Warren, Jamal Crawford, Troy Daniels, Richaun Holmes, Jimmer Fredette

The font is different because I copied and pasted. Please do not tell the Journalism Licensing Board.

It’s addition by subtraction. We’re better off without most of those guys. Criticism about how those guys got to Phoenix or the price the team paid to relocate them is fair. But they are gone, and that is good.

Lastly, Rod’s article included videos of Devin Booker playing basketball. You should go back and watch them, he’s very good.

NBA Stuff

Las Vegas broke DeMarcus Cousins. Torn ACL is what is being reported.

Team USA didn’t look very good this week. That could be welcome news for bettors who would like to see the odds of the Americans capturing the World Cup continue to fall from the -225 currently listed at the Westgate.

This week a thing called “The NBA Experience” opened at Walt Disney World Resort. Present at the opening:

“Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse cheered as confetti rained down toward the end of the ceremonial opening, which featured Naismith Basketball Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Grant Hill, along with NBA legend Dwyane Wade, Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez, Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley, Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon, Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem and WNBA legend Swin Cash, now the vice president of basketball operations and team development for the New Orleans Pelicans.”

I was working on a joke that involved Gregg Popovich being involved in some capacity and about how families paid a bunch of money to get there only to learn that the four or five best features would not be available but the joke never really came together and I have to move on.

Crazy Draymond Green thinks you’re crazy if you think the Golden State Warriors are going to miss the NBA Playoffs in 2020. If they do, send him a tweet and maybe you can watch the playoffs and get crazy together.

Last week Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai owned 49% of the Brooklyn Nets. This week we learned that he’ll soon own everything, once a deal with majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov is reached. That’s going to run $2.35 billion. That’s the highest bill for a sports franchise in U.S. history. For the Nets. The Nets. The second team you play in NBA Jam. A couple billion. For the Nets.

One-time Suns guard Sebastian Telfair is going to prison for three years on a weapons charge.

Stan Van Gundy is leaving ESPN and will be joining the team at Turner Sports. I spent several minutes trying to determine if I cared about this, and I concluded that I don’t. But it is a thing that happened.

There are rumors that Jimmy Butler is attempting to recruit Bradley Beal to Miami. Part of those rumors come from the news that Butler is now following Beal on Instagram which is absolutely an indicator that something is happening and not at all just two NBA players screwing with people because people are screwwithable.

The owner of the Washington Wizards, Ted Leonsis, called President Barack Obama to get some advice on how to fix the fortunes of his floundering franchise. Leonsis reports that B.O. sprinkled in words like “beauty of the game, teamwork, sacrifice.” While all of that might be true, they’re applicable to most things and I would have liked to hear an answer that included the word “buckets.”

There will be considerably fewer late starts in the upcoming NBA season than there were in 2018-19, clearly a move by the league to ensure that those on the East Coast can more easily consume Phoenix Suns basketball.

My Stuff

What I’m reading: I’m about halfway through this Bobby Bones book. It’s pretty good. I also enjoyed ESPN’s articles on the 1994 Major League Baseball strike and Purdue University’s Rondale Moore.

What I’m playing: Lots of the Raiden series. I also accidentally downloaded every TurboGrafx 16 game on my emulator so I purposefully downloaded every Sega Genesis game. I’ve got a lot to keep me busy for awhile.

What I’m listening to: Lots of Steve Winwood.

What I’m watching: Running back through Bojack Horseman.

Suns Swag

Obviously game used gear in any of the four major sports can run you a pretty penny. Unless you’re willing to compromise. I’ve got five options for you. Start your Suns memorabilia collection in the weirdest way possible and still have enough left over for a Kona Sampler Pack. The first four sellers will hear offers.

Viacheslav Kravtsov Shorts: 25 games in Detroit, 25 games in Phoenix, and Kravtsov was out of the league. That means they are ultra-rare. People probably won’t even know who you’re talking about. The Ukrainian had five points and three rounds in nine minutes against Golden State two days after Christmas in 2013. You’ll buy these shorts for $80 at worst, frame them, and tell visitors that he was wearing them when that magical night occurred.

Brandon Knight Shoes: Listed for $100. Brandon Knight was a player for the Phoenix Suns.

Kendall Marshall Warm-Up Jersey: You know, obviously I’m often skeptical of this stuff. A lot of times gear is bought and sold without and sort of back-up or certification. But I simply cannot imagine that someone would go to any length to create a fake Kendall Marshall warm-up jersey on the off-chance they might make $100. So we are going to assume this is real. It’s signed.

Suns Warm-Up Pants: Game-used as the seller tells it. Seller states:







The player name is not listed. But your ol’ buddy Keith has done a little research for you.

In one of the pictures a “20” is written on the tag. In addition, the logo featured on the pants was used by the Suns from the 2000-01 season through the 2012-13 campaign. So that narrows things down considerably. The players who wore #20 during that time include:

· Jumaine Jones (2006–2007)

· Jarron Collins (2009-2010)

· Garret Siler (2010-2011)

· Jermaine O’Neal (2012-2013)

The pants are 3xl. All the players above fit that bill. O’Neal is the most impressive of the group, grab those, tell your story, and I’ll bet nobody disputes you. Eighty bucks, but you can get that down.

Miles Plumlee Game-Worn Pants: Sort game-worn. Not really. Miles Plumlee wore these pants at the 2015 Slam Dunk Contest. It was a good contest. Plumlee did not participate in the contest. His brother Mason did. Mason Plumlee did not win the 2015 Slam Dunk Contest.

What I’m Thinking

I’m really not that excited about the upcoming NFL season. I’m just not. I’m a Miami Dolphins fan. That probably has a lot to do with it. My interests have tipped a little bit in the last month. Vegas Golden Knights hockey will still reign supreme during that time of year, but I’m infinitely more interested in the Suns than the Dolphins at this point.

A couple of weeks ago I rid myself of social media. So far it has been fantastic. I’m reading more, watching more television and moves, and playing more video games. I spent entirely too many evenings wasting time on my phone. I’ve definitely been making better use of my time recently.

I read a couple of articles this week about the decline in viewership with which the NBA is struggling. The most recent one was in The Athletic. You’ve heard about it. Basketball, baseball, football. It’s a constant discussion. How do we attract a more youthful audience? Why is live attendance down? How can we turn stadium seats into some sort of cocoon with it’s own private bathroom and every electronic entity millennials require to sit in one spot and watch athletic excellence for a couple hours?

Does it really matter? It feels like the discussion has gone stale. Do YOU care how many people are watching the Suns? Or the NBA as a whole? The Suns were 29th in attendance last year. The TV ratings couldn’t have been good. But do you care? Are you under the impression that in the very near future these numbers are going to dip to such lows that you’ll be unable to consume this product?

Logically, one day the NFL, NBA, NHL, and Major League Baseball will cease to exist if only because all things end, but it’s not going to be soon.

Attendance numbers and declining viewership do not impact my enjoyment of a sports at all. But that seems to be a frequent topic of discussion. I don’t care how many people are watching when Tim Anderson racks up an Aparicio double. Or when Devin Booker drills a three. Or when Marc-Andre Fleury makes a spectacular save. Or when whoever is playing wide receiver for the Dolphins catches a pass from that guy Miami got from Arizona because they drafted that kid from Oklahoma. I don’t care how many people are watching.

But we sure to talk and write about it a lot. Why is that so interesting?

Some Quote

“I am not afraid of commitment. I commit to things all the time. It’s the following through on that commitment that I take issue with.”

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