Thursday, January 31, 2008

Links: Rudy's Dunk Blog, Sam Smith's Backtracking, Mascot News

Rudy Gay has had a pretty big year so far. On his All-Star Dunk Blog, he answered a few questions from the fans and thanked all the fans who have sent in entries for him to use in the dunk contest. He also had a strong statement for MVP candidate Dwight Howard:

Before I go, I have a message for Dwight:

You have that idea about moving the goal to 12 feet? If you want to do it, go ahead and do it. I'm pretty confident in my jumping ability. If you go before me, I'll leave it up there and do my dunk.

That, my friends, takes cajones the size of basketballs, given the known quantity that is Dwight's athletic ability. If anyone can pull it off, I believe that #22 can.

It appears that Sam Smith is reconsidering his well-known obsession with Pau Gasol. In a recent mailbag, he had the following exchange:

Chris Feldman, Dubuque, Iowa: What is with the obsession with Pau Gasol? OK, he's a big who can score. However, he's definitely not a superstar, and he's not tough. The last time the Bulls traded for a mid-level superstar who fit those qualifications (Jalen Rose), it cost them Ron Artest, Brad Miller, and other parts of the core, and the team still floundered. I'd almost rather see the Bulls pick up someone like Jason Kidd, who at least is willing to drive to the basket once in a while and make his teammates better, even though he isn't a big. Am I nuts for thinking that taking the best player off a team with a worse record than the Bulls isn't the answer?

Sam Smith: Not completely. I don't believe there's an obsession since they haven't gotten him. He's a nice piece, but it tells you something when the Bulls won't give up one of their starters. They know Gasol's flaws. Everyone does. After all, it's not easy to be 0-12 in playoff games in your career. That's why no team can give up much for him. He's injury prone and not a big rebounder. Defense isn't a priority. He's hardly well regarded in Memphis. I believe they end up keeping him because they don't get a big offer and maybe do something with him around draft time. As for losing Artest and Miller, it hardly made a difference and perhaps saved plenty of embarrassment. Jalen just didn't care to defend. He was hardly a big problem.

Well, well, well, doesn't Smith sound like the victim of unrequited love? Since there is virtually no way that Pau is headed to the Windy City, ol' Sam is backtracking to make it seem like they didn't lose out on anything now. Pau's 0-12 record in the playoffs will keep as many people away as stopped Danny Ainge from taking on KG's history of postseason failure. Not a big rebounder? He's averaging 8.8 rpg this season and 8.6 rpg for his career. To put that in perspective, the Bulls currently have zero players besting him in that department. That includes the great and powerful Ben Wallace. Pssst.....he also blocks more shots per game than anyone on their team, even though defense isn't a priority. But you couldn't use a guy like that, right Sam? In two years, expect a Rudy Gay to Chicago in exchange for Thabo Sefolosha and a 2nd round pick from him. He's nothing if not predictable.

The Grizzlies are doing something to improve the game experiences by inviting other teams' mascots to perform at games in the absence of Eric McMahon, the man behind the mask of beloved team icon Grizz. From

Beginning with Saturday’s game against Utah, a different mascot will be appearing at almost every Grizzlies home game through the end of the season. The schedule of appearances is listed below.

To show their support for McMahon while he undergoes treatment, each mascot is traveling to Memphis at their own expense or their team’s expense to help entertain Grizzlies fans at FedExForum.

Fans can show their support as well by purchasing a Friends of Grizz wristband for $3 from the Grizzlies Den Team Store at FedExForum. Proceeds from the sale of the wristbands will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The organization is also continuing the Friends of Grizz program, where patients of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and their families are invited on behalf of Grizz to each home game as a show of solidarity for their battle and his.

Fans can send get well wishes to Eric online, by mail: care of Grizz, to 191 Beale Street, Memphis, Tennessee, 38103, or via e-mail. Fans wishing to donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital can log on to

Obviously, this is great news for fans and should provide something to help lift the spirits of Eric and his family. Get well soon Eric.

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