HOOP TALK WITH SLATER

Well internet, we(myself and Todd Slater) tried to do a March Madness hoops chat but it was the night Washington got upended by West Virginia in the sweet sixteen. It was late and I was out of it mentally and the conversation ran all over the road. So a full(or even edited) copy and paste of the conversation would be a tough read.

But if you’re curious, the bullet points of that discussion were thus:

Jon’s hates college basketball foul limits and officiating as it was a deciding factor in Washington’s loss to West Virginia, Todd’s parents are West Virginia Alums, a storm knocked out the power and Todd lost a very expensive Mac monitor even though he had it on a surge protector, Jon recommends A Serious Man with the caveat you are a Coen bros. nerd,  Jon likens the fan experience in the NCAA Tournament to a night of heavy drinking, Todd feels uncomfortable drinking alcohol, a fan once offered Todd a trade of Marijuana for a Wu-Tang poster at Flatstock….Todd declined the offer, talk about Squaresville.

To wrap it up, I gathered myself and shot Todd a  handful of pointed questions on the shit we were supposed to talk about from the get-go, here they are:

Jon: Give us a rundown on what blew your mind or got you mad in the portion of your bracket that busted. Villanova and Georgetown come to mind..

Todd: I’d watched Georgetown several times throughout this year and always felt like they’d step it up in the tourney.  They’re a real inconsistent team but I somehow convinced myself that the talent would gel at the end of the season.  In other Georgetown news Roy Hibbert, who was passed over by many in the NBA draft is slowly starting to develop into a dominant post player, and in a center starved league that can’t be overlooked.  I’m still pretty high on Greg Monroe’s NBA future as well…I think he’ll be a solid starter in the NBA for a long time.

On to picking Villanova in the Final Four… in short, I felt like the quickness of their guards would win out over Duke but it never got to that point.  For the record, I am one of those people that thought Duke was the weakest one 1 seeds and picking Nova to come out of that region had to do a lot with that.

Jon: Heh, I think everyone was calling Duke the weakest 1 seed. Look who’s laughing now. I forgot you like Duke, most hoop junkies end up sour on Duke just because they’re so squeeky clean. Why do you like Duke?

Todd: I do love and respect Duke.  Coach K teaches his players to play basketball the right way, to make the right pass, to take the right shot, to gamble at the right times on steals and blocks.  I’m a basketball fan first and enjoy watching the sport I love played in this way.  Watching the one man wrecking ball teams like Evan Turner at Ohio State and Mike Beasley at K State 2 years ago is fun too, I like watching those guys, but there’s something so pure about Duke to me… they are just perfection year after year.  Duke seems to favor a skill set over athleticism which is so rare these days.

Jon: Yeah, I always think of Peyton Manning’s Colts as the Duke of the NFL. Slightly smaller more athletic, smart players that most teams covet as much.

But anyway, how do you see the Final four shaking out? BTW big ups to your folks(you mentioned they were WVU alums) they are pumped, yes?

Todd: Well, I see Duke and Michigan State advancing, with Duke winning it all in a pretty weak championship game(NBA talent-wise).  My parents are WVU alums but they are on borrowed time and shouldn’t have beaten Kentucky.  It was a perfect storm of bad shooting form Kentucky and uncharacteristically good shooting from the Mountaineers.  I like what Huggins did in taking Cousins post-up game away but now they’re about to face the best jump-shooting team in the country and I don’t see them stopping Singler and Scheyer… if Duke loses it will say more about Duke’s performance than WVU’s.

Jon: Moving right along to Daniel Stern’s rickety, rambling, shadow of it’s former self, shark jumping farce of a basketball league. You still taking the Cavs all the way? How are your Mav’s holding up?

Todd: Yes, I am sticking with the Cavs. The Lakers have looked especially lazy this past month and my hate for everything purple and gold grows. I LOVE the fact that they could play San Antonio in round 1 too… I’m not saying the Spurs will win, but they’ll beat em up some.

Dallas is doing OK.  The second spot is there if they want it but it’s hard to picture them beating LA.

Jon: It’s painful but, can you give me a thumbnail on how the “Zombie Sonics” are doing? I saw Durant is leading the league in scoring….give me all the gory details, I can take it….I think.

Todd: Well Hell man, they’re basically the feel good story of the year.  I’m pretty sure nobody wants to face those young legs in the playoffs, and they are about 1 player away from really making it happen.  Aside from Durant, Russell Westbrook continues to develop into an elite, future all-star point guard.  I think they’ll be in the playoffs for a long time and you can basically use Sam Presti’s draft strategy as a blueprint on how to make a balanced NBA team. Of course a lot of that depends on the Blazers passing on Durant… can’t really imagine where they’d be if they had Oden instead.  So yeah, a little luck is needed as well.

I wonder how the Blazers would be with Roy at the 2, Durant at the 3 and Aldridge at the 4… sure has the look of a championship team to me.

Jon: I recently remarked that Brock Lesnar looks like the love child of Greg Ostertag and Jim McIlvane. You concur?

Todd: Haha, maybe a little Bryant “Big Country” Reeves in there too with the country boy flat-top.

Jon: Ha! I went to the open practice at the Kingdome of the Final Four when it was in Seattle back in ’95. Big Country shattered a backboard. That used to happen a lot in the 90’s, I remember Shaq going out of his way to break or jerk loose a backboard. A handful of guys did it back then and as far as I can tell it hasn’t happened in years.

Lastly, how are my Dawgs doing in the pro’s? I heard Nate Robinson is a Celtic, is that true? Spencer Hawes still developing? Brockman is still hurt, yes? Brandon Roy is still the shit?……and Bobby Jones is nowhere to be found right?

Todd: Roy is real deal for sure.  Looks like an 8-10 time all-star to me… a quiet superstar though.  Nate really hardly plays for the Celts and I’m still scratching my head on why he wanted to go there.  Spencer Hawes is done for the season today and had kinda been in Westphal’s doghouse the whole year, but for the record I still think he can be a valuable player.  Still too early to tell on Brockman.  Dan Dickau will always have a place in my heart sir.

What a note to end on, Dan Dickau played for GONZAGA. Worse yet, he was originally a Washington commit. He transferred to Gonzaga after playing 11 games for the Huskies. He sat out a year because of the transfer rules, the rest is history.

Anyway, I checked and Bobby Jones is apparently clinging to NBA caviar wishes and champagne dreams in the D League. Stick with it, Bobby!

In other news, RAY ALLEN is a saint. Love you Ray Ray.

For those of you who hate sports, I probably wont be posting anything “sporty” until the NFL draft. Next post will be an interview with Micah Smith, more art prints after that, still a lot of catching up to do…

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