Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Lone Ranger

The Longe Ranger with Johnny Depp

Last night I saw The Lone Ranger with my girlfriend Sarah. We had both had eventful weeks, and so we wanted to start the weekend with a relaxing cinema date. We also wanted to see We're The Millers, Runner Runner, and The Heat, but ultimately we picked the anemically-marketed Walt Disney Pictures vehicle, mostly because it starred the always-entertaining Johnny Depp.

Friday, September 20, 2013

2013 Offseason winners: Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers add No. 1 Draft pick Anthony Bennett to their young core

2012-2013 record: 24-58

The youth movement continues in Cleveland. The team added another No. 1 pick in surprise selection in forward Anthony Bennett. He joins All-Star and former Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving, the team's other No. 1 selection, former No. 4 picks Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson, and former No. 17 pick Tyler Zeller.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"I learn by going where I have to go"

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

After tearing through And Quiet Flows The Don, I also read Kurt Vonneguts semi-autobiographical Slaughterhouse Five during my recent vacation in Turkey. I was introduced to the book via John Green's Paper Towns, and it has been on my Book Bucket List ever since. Slaughterhouse Five was published in 1969.

Monday, September 16, 2013

"The grass grows over the graves, time overgrows the pain"

And Quiet Flows The Don by Nobel Prize winner Michail Sholokhov

During my recent vacation in Turkey, I read And Quiet Flows The Don, an epic 1936 novel by Nobel Prize winner Michail Sholokhov. My girlfriend Sarah had bought the four-volume behemoth at a flea market during our earlier summer trip to De Panne. The Quiet Don is not quite easy poolside material, but it was definitely a fascinating trip through the life of the early 20th-century Don Cossacks.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

2013 Offseason winners: Houston Rockets

Dwight Howard joins James Harden in Houston

2012-2013 record: 45-37

After being discarded by the Thunder last year, former sixth man James Harden never looked back, upping his scoring from 16.9 PPG to 25.9 PPG as a full-fledged starter/All-Star for the Rockets. GM Daryl Morey must hope that three-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard can shake off an ugly year in L.A. and return to form.

Friday, September 13, 2013

2013 Offseaon winners: Minnesota Timberwolves

Healthy Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love are the key cogs for the Minnesota Timberwolves this season

2012-2013 record: 31-51

When the 2013-2014 season gets underway, Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio will be nearly 20 months removed from ACL surgery and two-time All-Star power forward Kevin Love, who has been working out with Team USA this summer, will benefit greatly from playing with a fully recovered hand. The duo combines for 171 games played out of a possible 296 (.578) over the past two seasons. Their health is crucial for the Timberwolves.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

2013 Offseason winners: Indiana Pacers

Versatile forward Luis Scola joins the Pacers frontcourt

2012-2013 record: 49-32

The pesky Indiana Pacers pushed LeBron James and the eventual NBA Champion Miami Heat to the brink in the Eastern Conference Finals, and their offseason wheeling and dealing suggest that they aim to take the East next season.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

2013 Offseason winners: New Orleans Pelicans

All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday joins a young core in New Orleans

2012-2013 record: 27-55

New Orleans basketball is starting a new chapter. Billionaire owner Tom Benson, who had indicated in 2012 that he wanted to change the name of the franchise, kept his promise as NOLA will take the court as Pelicans next season.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

2013 Offseason winners: Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets acquire Hall Of Famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from the Boston Celtics

2012-2013 record: 49-33

The tax-strapped Nets went all in for 2013-2014. They kept starters Deron Williams (who will receive tutelage from freshly minted coach Jason Kidd), Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, and they upgraded their SF and PF spots by swapping Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries (plus MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans, Kris Joseph and three first-round picks) for Hall of Famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett (plus former Dallas sharpshooter and Sixth Man of the Year Jason Terry). 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Adidas makes you jump higher

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose can jump. Late July, he rewarded London sneakerheads who can get up, too.

2013 Offseason winners: Los Angeles Clippers

Every year I select seven NBA teams that I believe will make a leap from the previous season in some way. It could simply mean more wins, but it could just as well signify increased playoff run positioning or a even jump to contender status. Sometimes I am right, other times I am horribly, horribly wrong. 

My 2013 Offseason winners are: