For those who visit often, it’s very clear that I’ve became a big fan of basketball (I’ve rarely written about anything else recently), and since having started watching full games - that don’t involve the Looney Tunes, Bill Murray or aliens voiced by Danny DeVito - just after Christmas of last year, I’ve also been reading up on various aspects of the league, its teams and its players at every available opportunity. Having watched many, many games and having absorbed more basketball information than I had ever thought possible in such a short space of time (thank you, Bill Simmons, for your wonderful book), I feel that it’s now a lot easier for me to form my own opinions on the league and have good reasons to back them up, instead of reading blogs on nba.com to get the general consensus as to what’s actually going on instead of writing my own.
This new-found knowledge of mine now helps when it comes to this stage of the season: now that the All-Star Weekend is firmly in the past, the push towards the playoffs becomes more prominent than ever, as the finish line of the 2011-12 NBA season draws ever closer.
It’s been eleven years since the New York Knicks won a playoff game. If the playoff seedings were based on today’s standings, they won’t make them this season either. And after a six-game losing streak, head coach Mike D’Antoni has resigned, with assistant coaches Phil Webber and Dan D’Antoni (Mike’s older brother) also leaving the team. What comes next for a Knicks team struggling to make the most of this season?
While Coach D’Antoni had less than half the season left to go, and while it seemed unlikely that his contract would be renewed after expiring at the end of this season, he decided to part ways with the organisation after discussions on Wednesday afternoon. In a conference on Wednesday afternoon, Knicks chairman James Dolan gave press details regarding D’Antoni’s resignation:
“He clearly felt it was best for the organisation if he were not to continue as coach of the team. He did offer to stay. After a long discussion, we did agree it was best for the organisation to have a new voice moving forward.”
Glen Grunwald, interim General Manager for the Knicks, called D’Antoni’s departure “a selfless move,” adding:
“I think he felt that he had done all he could and he didn’t really see another way for him to really positively affect the team. He felt that maybe it was time for another voice, another approach.”
That new approach, at least until the end of this season, will come courtesy of Mike Woodson.
Consider this: what if Rangers were owned by the SPL? It’s a weird thought, but when you consider the predicament that the New Orleans Hornets currently find themselves in, the idea suddenly make far more sense. It’s no secret that Rangers, have only secured new ownership through venture capitalist Craig Whyte last year for the princely sum of £1, are in the midst of continuing financial trouble. HM Revenue & Customs is in a legal battle with the club, over claims that over £49million is owed in unpaid taxes and interest payments, and if the court case is decided in HMRC’s favour, it seems very likely that Rangers may end up in administration.
As you might know, I co-present Chris and Darren’s Pick and Mix on Discover Radio every Monday from 12-2. This week, however, Chris was unable to co-host, so I hosted on my own for the first time! The reason I managed to play so many songs is because I was unbelievably nervous - it feels really weird speaking into a microphone in an empty room - and wanted to keep the level of chat to a minimum!
Despite not hearing my voice for any longer amount of time than 30 seconds, I managed to break our highest listener count record, which was a good confidence boost (especially when I stuttered my way through the entire thing) and I just wanted to thank everyone who listened and sent in requests, it meant a lot. Maybe I should keep quiet more often…
Anyway, if you want to get your requests in early for next week, just let me know on Facebook, Twitter or on my Tumblr!
DH. (Playlist below)
The votes were counted, and before the Knicks-Celtics game on Thursday night, the starting lineups for the 61st NBA All-Star Game in Orlando on February 26th were announced. Beforehand, I had my own ideas as to who would be picked for both the Eastern and Western teams. If I’m being honest, I expected my choices to match the eventual outcome perfectly. Here, straight from Twitter, are my selections for the All-Star starting line-up:
In case you don’t know, here’s the player, position and team list (for each side that I picked):
I love basketball. You may have already known this, but if not, you do now. While the sport itself is great fun to watch, it also has the best sports simulation game I’ve ever played (NBA 2K12) and I managed to pick up on how the game is played far quicker than I expected to, there are a few negative aspects to following the NBA.
As someone who likes his American TV, I can safely say, hand on heart, that I hate teen dramas from across the pond. The OC, Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries and “90210” don’t interest me in the slightest. In fact, they annoy me by their very existence. However, in November of 2011, I watched a full episode of One Tree Hill for the first time. I was enthralled.
With 2011 done and dusted, it’s time for me to have a think about the films I’ve seen released that year. While some were truly fantastic, there was one in particular I’ll make very sure to never see again for the rest of my life. Yes, there was a film I was that unfortunate enough to see that was that actually that bad. With some unexpected surprises, a couple of shockers, great original comedies, sagas coming to an end - and some just beginning - 2011 has been a mixed bag for film.
What I’m going to do is run through every 2011 film I’ve seen, give a short description of each one along with its director and starring cast, and finally give each film a star rating out of 5.
Without further ado, here are the films I’d seen last year:
I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an Emperor - that’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone, if possible — Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another; human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there’s room for everyone and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone.
The way of life can be free and beautiful.
But we have lost the way.
Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.
The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.
To those who can hear me I say, “Do not despair.” The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass and dictators die; and the power they took from the people will return to the people and so long as men die, liberty will never perish.
Soldiers: Don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you, who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel; who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don’t hate; only the unloved hate, the unloved and the unnatural.
Soldiers: Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written, “the kingdom of God is within man” — not one man, nor a group of men, but in all men, in you, you the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.
Then, in the name of democracy, let us use that power! Let us all unite!! Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie! They do not fulfill their promise; they never will. Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people!! Now, let us fight to fulfill that promise!! Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.
Soldiers: In the name of democracy, let us all unite!” —Charlie Chaplin - The Great Dictator. Possibly the best speech of all time.
As you may well have read from the sidebar on the left, I co-present a show on Discover Radio, the University of Dundee’s student radio station. Alongside all-round good egg Chris Robb, we present Chris & Darren’s Pick and Mix, which airs every Monday at 1-2pm. You can listen to us at Discover Radio’s website, or on iTunes, the process I’ll quickly jot down here so you can find it:
- In the Library section, click Radio
- Select the College/University dropdown menu
- Scroll down to Discover Radio
- Double-click and you’re ready to listen!
I’m really enjoying working on the show so far. Once the station gets the promotion it deserves, we’ll hopefully get more listeners so as many people can enjoy the show as possible. The play listing process I have is great - if I say so myself - I basically just jot down a bunch of songs I think would work in that show, with maybe a couple of songs that act as a discussion point, making way for a few minutes of chat about a particular subject before we play some more songs. We have some regular features planned for the show in the coming weeks as well, which should be interesting, to say the least. What’s most important is that we enjoy what we do at Discover Radio, and fingers crossed, if I get accepted to the University myself next year, I can continue being involved with the station for at least a few more years yet, because I’m enjoying it much more than I ever thought I would. Here’s the website we’ve set up for the show: http://www.discoverpickandmix.tumblr.com, where you’ll find all of our playlists and more. Hope you listen in next Monday!