Grantland takes us back to the younger years through the latest installment of their “Story Time with Jalen Rose” series.
In this episode, Rose recounts his experience playing against a Wizards-era Michael Jordan. Watching Jordan play during his championship run with the Bulls, Rose found himself surprisingly confident when playing against Jordan in a different context. With an already notorious penchant for expressive commentary, Rose succeeded in his quest to challenge Jordan, but ultimately, committed some ‘personal fouls’ in the process. Enjoy the humorous video above.
There is one approach that has not yet been tried with North Korea. Where sanctions, shows of strength and pressure from Beijing have failed to cut much ice with the regime, Dennis Rodman, the maverick basketball player turned maverick diplomat, is going another route. “I’m calling on the Supreme Leader of North Korea, or as I call him ‘Kim’, to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose,” he tweeted.
Bae is the American citizen who has just been sentenced by a Korean court to 15 years’ hard labour for allegedly “attempting to overthrow the government”. At the time of writing, he remains in prison.
Yet there can clearly be no doubt about the depth of the rapport between Kim Jong-un and Rodman. A couple of months ago, the two men met in Pyongyang, hugged, watched basketball together and became what Rodman called afterwards “friends for life”. It may be instead that Kim is puzzling over the meaning of “do me a solid”, which would even stretch some people who speak English.
The phrase appears to have its origins in America in the 1980s, with “a solid” being any fairly demanding favour that one (usually male) friend might do as a mark of friendship for another, such as buying a crate of beer, lying to a girlfriend or releasing a political prisoner. In 1991 it was used by Kramer in an early episode of Seinfeld, which Kim – being North Korean and only seven or eight years old at the time – may have missed. (The episode also contains a reference to the Korean war, which may besome subtler part of Rodman’s plan.)
Since then, “do me a solid” has had time to go right out of fashion and now come a little way back in again, with an ironic tinge. It was spoken, according to the Urban Dictionary, in the movies Derailed (2005) and Juno (2007). A 2011 episode of the animated series The Regular Show was even dedicated to the sacred exchange of “solids”.
Which raises the question: Is Rodman ready to do a solid in return for Kim Jong-un? What kind of solid might the leader of an embattled nuclear state request from an American citizen? If Rodman gets his wish, the CIA may want to look into that.
George Karl led the Denver Nuggets to their best season in team history, earning him coach of the year honors on Wednesday.
He received 62 first-place votes, followed by Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat with 24 votes from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters. New York’s Mike Woodson finished third and San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich, who won the award last season, was fourth.
The Nuggets went 57-25 — the league’s fourth-best record — and captured the No. 3 seed. But the Nuggets were eliminated by the Golden State Warriors 92-88 in Game 6 last Thursday night.
Following the departure of Dwayne Wade for Li-Ning, Jordan Brand is expected to formally announce Blake Griffin as a Jumpman squad member.
Griffin, who signed with Nike during his rookie season in 2009-10, was wearing a royal blue version of the Jordan Brand Super Fly sneakers during the Clippers’ season opener at home on Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.
If this indeed marks a partnership, it will find the high-riser joining the likes of recent Jordan Brand member Russell Westbrook and long tenured endorses Carmelo Anthony and current teammate Chris Paul under Michael Jordan’s line of shoes and apparel.
Gilbert Arenas is on his way to join Tracy McGrady in China, according to sources close to the former All-Star.
Sources on Monday confirmed a Yahoo! Sports report that Arenas is on the verge of signing a one-year deal with the Guangdong Southern Tigers. Earlier this month, after a similar struggle to secure a guaranteed contract in the NBA, McGrady agreed to join the Qingdao Eagles.
ESPN.com reported late last month that Arenas had begun to assess his options in China for this season because he could not secure a guaranteed contract in the NBA.
The Boston Celtics added another versatile piece to their backcourt personnel Wednesday by signing veteran combo guard Leandro Barbosa, according to a league source.
Barbosa will come to Boston on a veteran minimum contract. The Celtics have 17 players on their roster, including two camp invitees.
The 6-foot-3 Barbosa has averaged 12.5 points and 2.4 assists over 24.6 minutes per game in his career and averaged 8.9 points in 22 games last season with the Indiana Pacers. He’ll join a backcourt that already includes Jason Terry, Rajon Rondo, Courtney Lee, and Avery Bradley.
The NBA has announced a new policy for flopping. The league defines flopping as “any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player.”
Players will be given a warning for their first offense, followed by a $5k fine for their second offense, $10k for their third, $15k for their fourth and $30k for their fifth fine.
For violations after the fifth incident, players can receive an increase fine and/or suspension.
Dwyane Wade has departed from Jordan Brand for Li-Ning according to a source familiar with the situation, as well as Li-Ning sponsored basketball player Evan Turner, who tweeted a message welcoming D Wade to the brand.
There had been much speculation that Wade would depart from the brand after news that he would not be debuting a new signature shoe.
Wade’s landing at Li-Ning now leaves the Chinese brand with a growing roster of talented players in the NBA.