Monthly Archives: February 2012

Clippers want ‘Clipper Darrell’ to drop his Nickname

Clipped wings

The Los Angeles Clippers are a historically flawed organization. Since moving to L.A., they have been the bumbling fools of the Western Conference. From top to bottom, the team and its management has seemed completely uninterested in establishing a successful, or even relevant, second franchise in Los Angeles. Instead, they were content to let the Lakers bask in the Southern California sun.

This season seemed to be shaping up the same way despite the team drawing more attention with its young and talented core. Then Chris Paul was added to the mix in a trade with the New Orleans Hornets. Suddenly, there was hope in Clipperland. Perhaps the organization was changing its losing ways. Maybe this is the turning point that will bring the team into continued relevance. The front office finally did something good for the team.

In terms of what the Clippers are doing on the basketball court, the team is good. They are winning and Paul and Blake Griffin are leading “Lob City” to regular wins in a deep conference. For once there is hope. Only the Clippers could screw up such a good thing, and they have.

Through all the tribulation that the Clippers organization has put its fans through over the past decades, there has been on man who has stood by the organization for the past 15 years. Darrell Bailey, known to the world as “Clipper Darrell,” has been the face of Clipper fandom. For more than a decade, he has been a season ticket holder and has attended 400 plus home games. As the Clippers have been in the dumps for much of that time one would assume that they would celebrate Clipper Darrell’s dedication to the organization. However, as Clipper Darrell noted on his blog on Wednesday, that is simply not the case.

The Clippers have told Bailey to drop the “Clipper” from his nickname as it infringes on the organization and allows him to unduly profit because of his unofficial association to the team.

MediaBistro has the details from Bailey:

According to Bailey, the Clippers offered him an additional free season ticket if he dropped the Clipper nickname.

“That’s when everything went haywire and they said I was trying to make money off sponsorships,” Bailey added. “If people are going to pay me to do some things, why not do it? I don’t see any harm in it as long as I’m not hurting the brand itself. I’m going to high schools, charity events, I do it all. They told me at the end of the conversation that, ‘We would like you not to be Clipper Darrell anymore and would like you to go back to Darrell Bailey.’”

Yeah. Way to go, Clippers.

Here is their official statement, via the OC Register:

“The Clippers have done absolutely nothing wrong or inappropriate as it concerns Darrell Bailey. His claims are absurd and unfounded. He has never been an employee or representative of the Clippers organization, and therefore cannot be terminated. The Clippers have never engaged Mr. Bailey’s services. When he has been in need, the organization has regularly provided him a seat for games. No good deed goes unpunished.

We have had multiple conversations with him concerning his inappropriate use of the Clippers’ team name and trademark for his own unmonitored commercial gain. We have spoken to him repeatedly about his desire to make public appearances in ways which improperly suggest that he is officially affiliated with our organization. In all cases and over a long period of time, he has consistently rejected our efforts to operate in consultation.

In a conversation with an authoritative and tenured Clippers’ executive last week, he was asked again to either consult with the team on all public appearances and/or commercial ventures, or stop undertaking those opportunities representing himself inappropriately. His response was an offer to stop representing himself commercially in that way and his offer was accepted in principle.

The next thing we heard was the baseless claims he has made today and the ensuing media rush to judgment.

We hold all of our fans in the highest esteem and we have been patient and generous with Mr. Bailey. He has not returned our support in an honorable way. He is not actually a fan of the Clippers, but a fan of what he can make off of the Clippers.  We are no longer interested in that kind of association with him, and that is why we accepted his offer to remove our team name from his stage name.”

What a smug statement. One has to wonder if it was originally written on a Donald Sterling eviction notice letterhead.

Obviously, the next logical step for the Clippers’ front office is to send a cease and desist order to Bill Simmons for regularly touting that he is a season ticket holder. He is also clearly trying to profit off the Clippers’ name and product.

So, well done, Clippers management! Now that your team is relevant you scorn your most recognizable and likeable fan. Surely, no backlash will come from this. Oh, wait, the internet picked up on this story and ran with it. Not only that, but three of the biggest stars on the Clippers, yes, actual players, tweeted their support for Clipper Darrell.

Paul, Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan all issued their solidarity with Clipper Darrell. Griffin tweeted, “Bring back #ClipperDarrell.” Jordan chimed in with, “I love Clipper Darrell….#ClipperDarrell.” And Paul tweeted directly at him, “@ClipperDarrell WE GOT YOU!!!” Since the tweets initially went live Wednesday afternoon, both Griffin’s and Jordan’s have been removed from their profiles.

It was not just Clippers’ players who sided with Darrell. The Milwuakee Bucks’ Andrew Bogut also showed his support via twitter saying, “@clipperdarrell mate that is terrible. If you want to be Buck Darrell you are always welcome. The NBA needs more fans like you!”

“Am I going to go back as Clipper Darrell? I can’t. It’s kind of hard to get back into a groove again. Honestly, it tells me they really didn’t care about me from the jump. They just used me for their advertisement and that’s the hurtful situation,” Bailey told MediaBistro.

Clearly this move by the Clippers can be called boneheaded and that is keeping it PG. Was it not obvious that they would somehow ruin their success? Most probably thought it would be with player management but this is a public relations disaster. It should take a while for them to clean up this mess…about as long as it takes Donald Sterling to do the needed repairs on one of his slum tenements.

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Midseason Report: Geedorah’s Reign

King Geedorah has escaped from Monster Island to spread terror from Miami

The brisket is finished not smoking. As the second half of the shortened regular season has just begun and because we like to procrastinate here at the Beef, I take a look back at the entirety (well the tasty bits at least) of the first stock of  games. This would have been written earlier but I had to let the Linsanity settle in my belly. Phew, OK, now that it is nice and digested, it could have used a little spice actually, let us recall some of the notable moments so far and while we are at it make some projections for the second half, shall we?

Best in the East:

Well, this is Miami’s conference. Hands down. No question. Other such clichés. They begin the second part of the season with a 27-7 record which is tied for the best record in the league. None of this should actually surprise anyone though, well maybe someone in Kazakstan, but no one who follows the sport.

Coming off their Finals loss, King Geedorah and company were heavy favorites to return to the Finals and win it all this season. At this point is seems like a sound bet that they will. Yes, Chicago is just behind them in the standings but something just does not seem right about their chances. I cannot quite place it but they seem to lack the explosive power that Miami has, oh, and LeBron James jumped completely over John Lucas earlier in the year.

Best in the West:

Sigh. It irks me to say this but the Thunder are the best team in the West but I will add a caveat to make myself feel better. They are the best because they have the best record. If you read this blog ever you have probably surmised that I have a number of doubts where the Thunder are concerned, especially with their drive or bailout jumper style of offense. This does not mean that I do not respect the talent that Sam Presti has assembled in Oklahoma City, but as a Texan I can never credit anything in Oklahoma as desirable. Sorry. (Actually, I’m not sorry.)

Scariest team in the East:

In West Philadelphia born and raised…yes, that is right. The Philadelphia 76ers are the scariest team in the East. This is coming from someone who is also an unabashed fan of the Pacers but Indy has been stomped soundly by the Heat a couple of times this season already.

Philly, as the trend seems to be with teams on the rise this year, has the ability to strike from almost anywhere on the floor as they do not rely on a single star to carry the team. Instead, almost every player down the roster is capable of scoring when presented with the opportunity. However, it is on the defensive end of the floor where the Sixers make their mark.They lead the NBA in defensive efficiency and also hold their opponents to the lowest effective field goal shooting percentage in the league. The Fresh Prince would be proud of his home town team.

Now if only Spencer Hawes would get healthy…

Scariest team in the West:

Never discount the old dogs. San Antonio is the scariest damn team in the league possibly. Their Rodeo Road Trip seems to have renewed the team team…again. Who saw that coming? It isn’t like it happens every year like clockwork. Yet, this is not your slightly older sibling’s Spurs. No, this incarnation of the team is all about offense. Toss out the defense.

Oh, and they are scoring buckets on buckets on buckets with Manu Ginobili suffering two separate injuries thus far. Too bad for the Spurs that they are second in the West because their best match up in the first round could be the Thunder. San Antonio completely smoked them last time they faced each other.

MVP:

LeBron. No brainer.

DPOY:

I am completely in favor of term limits so it has to go to Tony Allen this year. He might not have all the flashy numbers to back up his ability to defend, but he is, in my opinion, the best perimeter defender the league has seen since Metta World Peace was named Ron Artest and playing for the Pacers.

ROY:

With just half the season over it is a tie. (Sorry, I know that is a cop-out but I doubt you actually read this far anyway.) Ricky Rubio and Kyrie Irving.

MIP:

Jeremy Lin. I don’t think I need to explain that one. However, I should make reference to players who were making a strong case, at least to me, for most improved before Linsanity: Ryan Anderson and Ersan Ilyasova.

Sixth Man:

James Harden. Yawn.

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Lamar Odom is Being a Little Baby Bitch and Everyone Knows it.

This will always be just too damn funny.

If you live in the Dallas area or are a fan of the Mavericks, you’ve probably heard that Lamar Odom has been having a rough season emotionally.  He was traded from the Lakers, a team he loved.  He’s been performing close to half as effectively as he did last season (14.4 ppg to 7.7, 8.7 rpg to 4.5, and his fg% is 35.7%.  Seriously).  He’s a versatile player, seems to be a nice guy, we all felt a little bad for him.  No one likes to feel unwanted.

So when I heard that he’d be missing the game against the Lakers last Wednesday because his father had a serious illness, I didn’t think anything of it.  Those things happen, personal matters do not revere the NBA schedule as much as we fans do.  Let the guy take care of his dad, it’s one regular season game, and that’s that.  He’ll get back to the team as soon as he can (he also had a 5 day break due to the All-Star Game).

It’s that kind of understanding that makes you feel duped in the end.

As I drove home from work Friday afternoon, feeling energetic and excited, I put on 97.9 The Beat and instead of sweet, sweet jams, I was serenaded by a quote from Lamar Odom’s father.  A quote where he says he had a “stomach virus” and had been alright for a while.  At first, it was almost laughable, the DJ poking fun at how Lamar couldn’t deal with playing against the Lakers.  He was painted as someone who ran into his ex-girlfriend in a social situation and it broke him.

Last night, rumors started flying that Odom is desiring a buyout of his contract, presumably so that he can go back to the Lakers.  My first thought was, “Let him go!  He hasn’t been productive for the Mavs all season, and there hasn’t been much inclination that he will.”  But the more I sat and mulled it over, there is absolutely no way the Mavericks organization could do that and save face.  Instead of the probable truth, which is that Lamar likes the Hollywood aspect of playing in Los Angeles, it would appear as if the Mavericks organization is flawed.

This is a very unfair situation to place Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban, let alone the rest of the players on his team.  To be very honest, it doesn’t feel fair to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

Lamar, let me break it down for you:

During your toughest struggles, this city supported you.  Meanwhile, your beloved Lakers organization has forgotten you.  They have their eyes set on Dwight Howard, even if it’s not a feasible goal.  They are cutthroat in regards to moves, and always have been.  Do you really think that if you had stayed, you would be better off?  You wouldn’t.  Right now, you’re playing for the NBA Champions, the team that swept you out of the playoffs last year.  If you were a Laker right now, you would be another piece of big man trade bait like Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.  At best, you would have sweetened a package proposed to Orlando and you would be playing there, while Kobe Bryant and Dwight team up, once again, forgetting you.  They traded you for pennies.  PENNIES.  They are more interested in signing a retired, 37 year-old Rasheed Wallace (a former Celtic, if that says anything) than getting you back.  It’s over.

I’m sure it’s tough being married to a transsexual, and I’m uncertain of logistics in such a relationship.  But what LA plastic surgeon hack took your balls, my man?

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Jeremy Lin hits Game Winner against the Raptors

Believe it. Linsanity is real and it continues to grow momentum. In a game in which it looked like Jose Calderon was the solution to all things Jeremy Lin, Lin found a way to persevere and come up big with the game on the line. Lin scored 27 points, dished 11 dimes, grabbed two rebounds, and had a steal. His points did not come easy on the night, though. Toronto’s defense met Lin each time he drove into the lane, banging and knocking him to the ground frequently. However, the physicality of the paint did not faze Lin as he returned there again and again.

It was this aggressive play that led the Knicks back into the game to eventually tie it. With the game tied, the ball was in Lin’s hand. He checked the clock as it ran down, casually took a dribble forward and knocked down a three to win the game. The Air Canada Center erupted as the Knicks swarmed their unlikely superstar. Right now, Lin is the talk of every town. His fame, seemingly out of no where, reaches new heights each time he steps on a court. Unfortunately, with such success, jealousy is sure to follow.

Since Linsanity began, there have been a number of detractors, boneheads, doubters, haters, veiled racial slurs, and general ignorance towards Lin. That is unfortunate because what we are all witnessing is the pure joy and elation of why we are addicted to sports in the first place. Lin is, by all accounts prior to emerging against the Nets, an underdog. In fact it is amazing that he is in the league at all. Even the Knicks were thinking about waiving the second year point guard before he exploded and propelled New York to six consecutive wins. This is the stuff of legend, this is what dreams are made of.

Let the detractors wallow in their own empty words as they fall on deaf ears. We are here to take part in a dream. We are here to celebrate and look on with wonder and amazement at the feats of Lin. If you do not feel an overwhelming sense of joy for Lin then something is wrong because this is the epitome of every child’s dream when they play sports growing up. They want this opportunity and in each one us there is that child. We wanted this success at one point but for some reason or another, sports is not our profession. Yet, it is deep seeded emotion that causes us to be so thrilled for Lin, or any other come-from-no-where success story.

What Lin is doing is astonishing, there is no doubting that. He has galvanized the country with his play. The Knicks have gone from bottom feeders to back in the playoff hunt with Lin at the helm. Lin’s is a remarkable story and the sports world is more enriched because of it. This is something special. This is something to enjoy.

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Jeremy Lin dunks on the Wizards

From the slums of Shaolin,  Jeremy Lin strikes again!

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Linsanity

Jeremy Lin has always been a good player with a good story. He attended Harvard and played well enough there to make the Dallas Mavericks’ Summer League team in 2010. He did not make the Mavericks but did turn enough heads with his play to land on the Golden State Warriors. He only played in 29 games with the Warriors but was a fan favorite having grown up in Palo Alto. At best he could be considered a minor figure in the league with his modest playing time and production. However, that is no longer the case.

Over the past two games with the New York Knicks, who signed him as a free agent in December, Lin has become a cult hero. New York has struggled to find any sort of rhythm this year without a player who can step in and successfully run the point. Mike D’Antoni tried a number of different players in the starting point guard role but none has worked until now. Lin has stepped in an filled that role. He broke out against the New Jersey Nets, coming off the bench, scoring 25 points, dishing seven dimes, and pulling in five rebounds. Each of those numbers were career highs. Due to this outburst, Lin was inserted into the starting lineup the following game against the Utah Jazz.

For an encore performance, Lin dropped 28 points and had eight assists, establishing new career highs. He was everywhere in the game and he had to be. Amar’e Stoudemire missed the game to be with his family after the death of his brother and Carmelo Anthony strained his groin early on and did not return to the game. With the Knicks being shorthanded, Lin played 45 minutes. It was the Lin show.

He broke down the Jazz’s defense and got into the paint where he just craft moves to either score or find an open teammate. Unfortunately, early on his teammates were not finishing around the rim when they received the pass from Lin. The crowd at Madison Square Garden appreciated the effort that they were seeing as they broke into “M-V-P” chants on several occasions for Lin.

While Lin might not be a permanent solution for the Knicks’ point guard issues, he is doing everything and more to help his team win. Seeing a player breakout with such a bang is always enjoyable especially when it is a player who is as likeable as Lin. It is safe to say that even with the recent Giants championship, Lin will be stealing the headlines across New York.

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Carmelo Anthony is Afraid of Cats

No, but seriously. Carmelo Anthony said that he is afraid of cats. Matt Moore, doing his weekend duties at ProBasketballTalk, brought the news to light on Saturday afternoon.

In a recent “Kid Reporters” video posted by the New York Knicks’ website, Melo, when asked what he is afraid of, responds that he is scared of cats and more specifically, alley cats. Okay…

As Moore points out, the video does not contain an embed code so you have to click the link. Maybe they don’t want this video going viral but it is clearly too late for that.

I can understand being frightened of big cats like lions and tigers since they are, well, fearsome animals who stalk and kill to survive. Yeah, that would be understandable. But regular feral cats? Well, we each have our own phobias I suppose. But for Melo’s sake, I hope he stays off the internet which has become a success story for everything cat.

Be sure to shower him with Lolcats presents at his next birthday. Maybe those cheezburger loving felines will help him get over his fear.

Play him off, Keyboard Cat!

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