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498440 Posts in 16890 Topics by 3058 Members - Latest Member: Eno February 26, 2015, 09:58:31 PM
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51  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Thread for various insignificant questions that don't deserve their own thread! on: January 10, 2015, 08:58:11 AM

Nothing is sacred.
52  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: January 09, 2015, 05:00:31 PM

And, these guys have been surrounded by people who have done nothing but tell them how great they are, probably since they've been about 14 years old. Good luck getting through to somebody like that.

True. But it isn't even all bad. Again, that confidence works as a benefit to get you to where you are if you're that player. It isn't just the hangers-on trying to get something from you once you're rich. It's the thing that helps put you over the top to get you that good. You learn to trust yourself, your confidence. Not easy to turn off.

I remember many years ago, an analyst made a comment that really was spot on; he said that even the last guy off of the bench on an NBA team was the best player on his high school team. The league is all guys who at some point in their lives were more than likely the best player on their team. It's gotta be hard to come down from that high, and realize your weaknesses.

Very, very true. Simple math. The NBA has 390-450 players at any given time. Let's just say 450 for convenience of discussion. It is very safe to say they aren't the BEST 450 players in the world: there is always wiggle room on that based on players deciding to be a leading man overseas rather than a 15th man in the NBA; players from overseas preferring to stay where they are comfortable and maybe even making more money rather than coming over; guys making it over others on teams based on relationships with coaches or front office; and even just the numbers game of who needs what when and where. But let's be generous say there are 650 guys at any given time who are good enough to be NBA players.

There are 350 or so D1 college basketball programs, each of which can have 12 scholarship players. That's 4,200 players who were given college basketball scholarships competing for one of those precious spots, not including the thousands of players overseas also competing for those same spots.

But even those, say, 10,000 guys either playing D1 or pro ball overseas already "made the cut" by getting out of their high school or junior programs to earn that spot. It's an infinitesimal percentage of players who actually makes the NBA (or even that top 650 number that says you're in the mix for an NBA spot). What that means is, those guys were almost always not just the best player on their teams, but on the court at any given time. Better than anyone on either team every time out. In high school, they were the best players in their conferences. In their states.

Look at the McDonalds All America rosters over time. That's the best 20-24 players each year. Sure, the best NBA players were pretty much all in that game ... but the converse is not true. Players in those games pretty regularly do NOT make it to the NBA. Many aren't even college stars. Statistically speaking, nobody makes it. Nobody.
53  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: January 09, 2015, 03:59:33 PM
Great point. And in a weird one, a natural belief from the players. Part of becoming good enough to make the pros (or college, for that matter) is confidence in your ability. It matters A LOT that you are confident in your game. I won't pretend to make accurate scientific stats, but I would guess that a player who is a 6 out of 10 can play at an 8 out of 10 level based on confidence, and vice versa. Think about the dramatic fall of former NBA swingman Nick Anderson, who had a really nice career. He missed some key free throws in a playoff game and literally was never the same player. It wasn't injuries, it was mindset. Darko Milicic, I still believe, was an NBA All-Star hampered by the psyche of an adolescent. (Marko Jaric was along the same lines, but not quite so physically gifted as Milicic.) Confidence matters A LOT.

The result of this confidence is an unnatural belief in oneself. You would never believe the percentages of college--AND HIGH SCHOOL--players who honestly believe they'll be NBA players. I have known high school kids who didn't start for their mediocre high school programs but honestly believed they would end up in the NBA. You're a 6'1" power forward who averages 4.5're not making the NBA. But the reality is, kids think it. And if they think it, what do you think the kids who actually DO have the talent think?

Usually, they are absurdly confident in themselves. And that leads to delusion.
54  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Championship Game: Ohio State versus Oregon on: January 09, 2015, 03:54:50 PM
Now, if only the Buckeye basketball team could act like they want to be playing, at all.

Grrrrr. Sore spot, considering their win over the Gophers at Williams Arena this week. D'Angelo Russell, wow.
55  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: January 09, 2015, 09:50:41 AM
Definitely. The guys who are out now will have a huge impact. The team wouldn't have been a playoff contender regardless, but I do believe it could have been something approaching .500 on the season with great health and good luck. Maybe, say, a 35 win team (instead of being on pace for 15 or whatever).

That said, I want to be clear that I don't think we seem to have selfish guys on the team, or anything like that. Their inability to "play the right way" is mostly just inexperience and/or lack of talent.

The biggest exception in my mind, from my perspective, is Thaddeus Young. Again, seems like a great person by all accounts, but his game is befuddling at this point. He is extremely athletic, he has great size and length, and he has all the individual skills and traits (shooting, ball handling, passing, etc). But for some reason, he's maddeningly inconsistent in both style and results. He might be aggressive, he might be passive. He might crash the boards, but more often not. He can dribble, but takes that to mean he should grab defensive boards and lead the break, ending up with a terrible pass to someone badly spaced for a turnover. He could in theory be a great defender, but he's far, far worse than Kevin Love was in that regard.

I really can't explain it. Maybe he should have gone to school longer. Maybe the constant changes in systems and coaches in Philly hurt. Maybe--and I am not saying this is true, just one of many theoretical possibilities--he isn't capable of absorbing and acting on the information he's given via coaches. Whatever the reason or reasons, this prototypical NBA player seems to produce decent-to-good stats without playing good basketball. It's remarkable. I never really noticed it before this year, as I'd only seen him intermittently, a game here and a game there. Watching him daily drives me nuts. I hope he opts out of his deal after this year, as he can, and we try to figure out a new solution.

Unfortunately, that actually reminds me of the second-most frustrating guy, Anthony Bennett, our other PF! He is younger so hopefully it still can sink in. But his issue is, he loves the jumpshot, especially from 15-19 feet. And he's a good shooter, or at least a streaky one. The thing is, he uses that shot as his first, second, third option, very rarely even driving. He sets a pick and it's pick and pop, rarely roll. He almost never seems to post up. And worse, when his jumper isn't falling, his whole game suffers: rebounding, defense, everything. It's not uncommon for younger guys' offense to dictate their effort and defense, but you have to get over that.

Anyway, Rubio, Martin, and Pekovic would help a TON.
56  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Championship Game: Ohio State versus Oregon on: January 09, 2015, 07:25:58 AM
I'll have to be cheering Ohio St. on, being a Big Ten guy (MN). But not being specifically loyal to either team, I'm mostly just hoping for a great game.
57  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: January 08, 2015, 06:00:54 PM
Wolves, after a week or two of speculation on the subject, signed Serbian center Miroslav Raduljica. He had been with Milwaukee and I think LAC in previous seasons, but I got to see him with his national team at the Worlds last summer.

Not a major signing, obviously, but it helps. He's like a 2nd rate Pekovic, big (7 foot) and strong with a really good post game. Just knows how to play post basketball on both ends. We had been using 6-9 Jeff Adrien, whom we waived to make room, at backup center. Adrien was energetic, but undersized and not that skilled.
58  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: January 08, 2015, 05:35:16 PM
Knicks starters: Pablo Prigioni, Jose Calderon, Tim Hardaway Jr., Jason Smith, and Cole Aldrich. First two off the bench, Quincy Acy and Travis Wear.

Um.....ahahaha ha!!!!!!
59  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: January 08, 2015, 04:42:23 PM
Besides the fact that Pistons beat writers occasionally mentioned his 'dour locker room presence', I guess we have no 'real' evidence.

At any rate, it doesn't matter. The guy is mucking up Houston now. As for the motor-city madmen, they had a stretch of 3 tough games-San Antonio, Dallas, and Atlanta. The SA game was a buzzer beater; last night, they beat Dallas quite 'comfortably', I suppose you could say. Monroe had 27 pts, 18 boards, 6 assists.

On topic, this afternoon I had an NBA podcast on--ESPN's NBA Lockdown--and they discussed Josh Smith. One of the reporters (I forget her name) said she knows Smith and that he's actually a really nice guy, but that he also plays up or down to his situation. The better the team, the better he plays, and vice versa. The more you expect, the more you get. Thought I'd pass that along as it relates to our conversation.

That said, a couple people (I think Jeff Goodman was one) also called him a low-IQ player. And whatever the one who likes him said, fact is he was something of a chucker in Atlanta, too, even in the good years. That doesn't refute the "good guy" assertion, but it definitely does refute the "plays up to or down to the situation" one.

Oddly, I am almost interested in tonight's TNT game, Houston v NY. I get to see Smith in that situation for myself (as well as some Rockets I enjoy watching, like the Greek rookie, Patrick Beverly, Donatas Motiejunas, and my dearly departed Corey Brewer!) and I get to see the train wreck that is the Knicks. On that team, it's all about watching Minnesota native Cole Aldrich, who has been playing pretty well lately.
60  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: *Merged* Brian Wilson current album thread on: January 08, 2015, 04:00:36 PM

Amazon UK saying November 4th 2014 for import copies. Dang, missed it. Is it any good ?

Amazon US doesn't list it at all.

Rolling Stone included it in a spring releases round up. This is January. This is winter, not spring.

  I think right now it's Indian Spring

The blizzard outside--even accompanied by a pleasant upswing of temperatures to 10 degrees F--tells me it's full-on winter.

Seriously speaking, there have been discussions in this thread about the possibility of a surprise album drop. It does happen these days, with the most famous recent example being D'Angelo's very good album Black Messiah a few weeks ago. So it could happen. But will it? Eh, I don't know. I think they'll go a more traditional route and promote some future release date.

An advance single, though, that sure would be nice to tide me over while I wait...
61  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Question re Having Unavailable Content (for Insiders) on: January 07, 2015, 06:12:51 PM
On the flipside of all this, I've been fortunate to play actual Beach Boys unreleased music that they've never heard before -- and in a couple of cases, pieces that certain members have SWORN they're not on -- when in fact said piece either was co-written by them and/or they're prominently featured.

One of the coolest moments was the day that Stebbins and I sat Blondie down during the DW doc shoot and blasted a pristine mix of "Carry Me Home" for him -- a tune he hadn't heard since the day he recorded the vocal.

Him looking at Jon and I screaming: "Me?! Is that ME?!"

Major moment.

I love it. Thanks, Howie.
62  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: January 07, 2015, 06:09:33 PM
It is head scratching, for sure. I think it is proof, though, that Josh Smith wasn't just a problem on the basketball court.
You could say the exact opposite. You could say that in pure basketball terms, Smith was a problem. He shot in the 30s from the floor as a 6-9 or 6-10 combo forward and he was one of the most prolific shooters on the team. That is a purely on-court problem, and it was a real one. Often, I think chemistry problems are more on-court than off-court, and we just want to make the problems somehow translate into bad people.

That said, pure speculation. I have no idea. He may be the biggest asshole there is. But really, off the court, what evidence of that do we have? The issues seem like they can be contained to the court, if you ask me.
63  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Question re Having Unavailable Content (for Insiders) on: January 07, 2015, 05:43:14 AM
Thanks, that's exactly the sort of story I'm interested in.
64  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: January 07, 2015, 05:38:15 AM
I'm jealous. But that is awesome for you. It's so fun to watch a competitive team, and some wins? That's better yet. The turnaround is startling.
65  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Mike and Bruce Tour 2015 on: January 06, 2015, 07:20:19 AM
Scott, please run the idea of doing "all I wanna do" live past Mike, he seems pretty oblivious to the fact it's one of his, if not his great composition.

Such a beautiful song.

Great idea Shady!  I will...


Seeing/hearing that would be amazing. It's one of my favorites among songs I haven't yet seen live. Please please please.
66  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Question re Having Unavailable Content (for Insiders) on: January 06, 2015, 06:10:13 AM
I'm appreciating the on-topic responses. Can any of you now share past examples more specifically? For example, something then-unreleased that you were dying to talk about with so-and-so (but couldn't)? Some debate you could've resolved or weighed in on, but were prevented? A new impression others couldn't share based on the music you, but not they, had access to?

Seems this line of story isn't interesting to anyone but me, but I do appreciate whatever tales there may be that can now be told.
67  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: January 06, 2015, 05:53:15 AM
Something else occurred to me from the NY angle: not long ago, there were rumors of the Knicks and Melo parting. The rumors were squashed. But IN THEORY, such a trade would almost be a Melo-for-many deal, as there aren't many guys around that $ and most aren't available.

Could this be less a future cap space + tank move and more setting the stage for a trade like the opposite of the one that got him there (Mozgov, Gallinari, Felton, Chandler). Might we see him shipped for a handful of younger, less talented but potential-laden guys?
68  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: January 05, 2015, 05:48:41 PM
SJS, watch out: the Knicks look to be chasing that #1 pick with gusto! Reports have them moving JR Smith and Iman Shumpert to Cle as part of a 3-way that lands them Alex Kirk, Lou Amundson and Lance Thomas, all of whom have nonguaranteed deals and will be waived. To make room to complete the deal they will waive Samuel Dalembert.

That's 3 proven (though admittedly imperfect...) players moved for literally nothing.
69  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: January 05, 2015, 04:01:00 PM
I don't know why they don't hang his number up in the Breslin Center rafters right now.

Gotta give it a little room to breathe, you don't want to seem desperate! He'll be up there eventually.

Golden State is by no means the perfect team, but goshdarn is it fun to watch them play basketball. And they have a real shot. I do wish Andrew Bogut could stay healthy. David Lee, too.

Of course being a Minnesotan, I can't help but think about how it might have gone had we gotten Klay Thompson, David Lee, and something else for Kevin Love and Kevin Martin, as had been in consideration at least for some segment of summer. In hindsight, we'd probably have just had an injured Lee (and so been stuck with ... nobody, really, as our other PFs were gotten in that Cleveland trade) and an unhappy Thompson. Would have been a little bit poetic, in that his dad Mychal was a star here in the late '70s in college. But oh well.
70  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: January 05, 2015, 12:08:39 PM
Whereas I expect Denver to top the wolves tonight by, oh, 15-20. Just because it's been that kind of season since Rubio went down.
71  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Kanye fans don't know who Paul McCartney is? on: January 05, 2015, 05:35:08 AM
Who cares? How many Beatles fans in the 60s knew Max Roach or Bud Powell? There is no reason young, hip-hop loving kids should be expected to know Paul's name. 
72  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: New Beach Boys album in 2017 on: January 04, 2015, 04:06:21 PM

Actually he is not. No Pier Pressure was done under a completely new contract with Capitol Records. It has zero to do with The Beach Boys.

That's very interesting. Can you shed any more light on the circumstances around it? For example, was the NPP solo album some sort of replacement for an obviously not-gonna-happen second Beach Boys album, but (I assume) negotiated with less favorable terms to account for the solo-versus-Beach Boys name? Or for that matter, even how that would have come up in conversation that you came to know it? ("Hey, Ray, looks like the Beach Boys contract was voided because we can't deliver a second album as a group, but I'm working on a new contract anyway. Pass the ketchup.")

If you can't say anything further, that's fine as well. Your previous clarification was appreciated.

NPP is not a replacement for any BB product ; there were two albums delivered under The Beach Boys Agreement ; That's Why God Made the Radio and the live record. That fulfilled the agreement. As for how I came to know about it ; Brian called me after he got the deal ; he was happy about it. As for terms , I would never ask him , but he said he was really happy with it so that is all I needed to know.

As always, thanks.
73  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Tell YOUR Story. What was THE BEST Beach Boys related concert YOU Ever Attended on: January 04, 2015, 02:57:01 PM
btw, I've told that story a million times, several of which were probably here. Hopefully it retains some kernel of truth.
74  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Tell YOUR Story. What was THE BEST Beach Boys related concert YOU Ever Attended on: January 04, 2015, 02:53:54 PM
While I've got several shows under my belt from which to choose, I know I'm on the lower end of the spectrum in comparison to the longtime or more fanatical fans around here. Mine are all Brian Wilson shows, no Beach Boys shows. For different reasons, I loved several: the sheer wonder at my first one, in 2001 (Paul Simon tour); the energy in the TLOS show; and the excitement of Al and Dave joining the band in 2013.

But the most special show for me was my first of two Smile shows, which I saw in Glasgow in early 2004. It was my first overseas trip ever--a fantastic time in Glasgow and London--and just an amazing show. I had about four years of medium-intense Smile collecting and recreating behind me, but avoided the boots that were circulating in those early days so I could be surprised by the final results. (Actually, truth be told, I think I did listen to a few bits here and there, but not a whole show. I swear. I think.)

The first set struck me in how horrible it was. Maybe I exaggerate it in my own mind now, but there were so many songs that just didn't connect at all. "Time to Get Alone," admittedly not the easiest of songs, was horrendous. That disappointed me, being a favorite. I want to say he tried and mangled "Breakaway" that night, too, but that might not be true. Memory is a funny thing. What I do know for sure is that during the pre-Smile intermission, I told my traveling companion and friend that it wouldn't surprise me if we would receive an announcement that the show simply would not go on. I had never heard of such a thing with Brian's solo career, but it struck me as entirely reasonable that this might be the case on that night, off as Brian obviously was. I mean, it was not good.

We went back in and took our seats for Smile. Shows always are better live, and in our memories, than on tape, so don't believe the boots. That night was as close to religion as I get, from the opening notes of "Our Prayer" to the end of "Good Vibrations." That was my liturgy and I was in awe, reverently soaking in as much as I could. I laughed, delighted how this fit there and that fit here, the best puzzle I'd ever seen assembled, all so flawlessly by that fantastic band. And Brian performed more than admirably, especially considering his first-set lowlights.

Anyway, then we left, bought deep-fried pizza from some street vendor (what the f***, Glasgow? why do you hate me?) to devour with some Tennent's back in our room, and recounted our perspectives on the show before heading back the next morning (on a flight graced by some kilted--but not underweared--drunken Scottish guys).
75  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: New Beach Boys album in 2017 on: January 04, 2015, 02:39:44 PM
While I'd *like* to think that Mike would have been blissfully unaware, I'd find it reaching to think that lawyers would just decide to do this scheme on their own, unbeknownst to their deep-pocketed, powerful client. Logic would make me think Mike knew in some capacity. Thoughts?

With absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of Mike's intentions on this or anything else, ever, I would say that in my experience*, attorneys are pretty resourceful in seeking and finding ways to succeed ... especially with respect to deep-pocketed clients (and thus bigger paydays).

*Just under 20 years in a legal industry, with lawyers, of which I am not one.
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