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About me

Let me introduce myself

A bit about me

"I am the straw that stirs the drink." -- Reggie Jackson

This is my portfolio page. Please look around and check out my work. Afterwards, I encourage you to reach out and connect for a conversation! (Hopefully over drinks!)



Personal info

Eduardo (Eddie) Maisonet, III

Lets connect!

Birthday: July 28
Phone number: 213.537.3873
Website: www.thesportsfanjournal.com
E-mail: ed@edthesportsfan.com


Know more about my past


  • 2014-future

    Fox Sports Digital @ Yardbarker Editorial Producer

    Editorial and digital strategist for FOX Sports interactive media team, focusing on Yardbarker's social media engagement, publisher relations and new media verticals.

  • 2010-2015

    SB Nation @ Senior Writer

    Contributed to the news desk and editorial direction for NBA and college football.

  • 2013-2014

    Google @ Operations Coordinator

    Led onboarding of small and medium-sized businesses onto Google My Business platform.

  • 2009-2011

    Nielsen @ Retail Consultant

    Served as a retail consultant and consumer market researcher with a focus on Kroger and Safeway.


  • 2016

    University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA

    Sport Management Masters Program

  • 2005

    Langston University Langston, OK

    Bachelors in Organization Management

  • 2010

    Media Bridges Cincinnati, OH

    Radio and Broadcasting Certification

Skills & Things about me

I Love Social
Social Reach
I Love Strategy
Clients & Counting
I Love Writing
9 Years
Writing Exp.


My latest projects

Who Was Luckier? Us or Shaq

Who Was Luckier? Us or Shaq

**Today's post is from our featured guest writer Phillip Barnett aka I'm So Hideous, check him out as a regular contributor at Talk Hoops**

You may have already read 7,635,425 blogs and articles answering the pressing question of: Will the Shaq for Cracker Jacks trade work for the Cavaliers. The short answer: No. And that's all you're getting out of me on that one. I'm here to answer a more interesting question: Is Shaq the luckiest big man of all time - or are we the lucky ones?

With Shaq moving to Cleveland, he is paired up with Lebron James, the fifth time the Big Something or Other (© Celia Kelly) has been paired up with a great parameter player. It started in Orlando with Penny Hardaway, he moved to Los Angeles to play with Kobe Bryant, moved back to Florida to play with Dwyane Wade, shifted his weight to Arizona and played with Steve Nash and is now with one of the most freakish athletes we've ever seen? Again, I ask, who has been luckier, Shaq or us?

NBA: FEB 26 Suns at Lakers

Off top, it seems like this answer would undeniably be Shaq. However, we've got to see the greatest center of this era, and one of the most candid athletes of all time, play with some of the most exciting basketball players of the last decade, and we're just months away from seeing him team up with the most exciting in the game now.

Has a center ever been more blessed to play with more future Hall of Famers than Shaq? Kareem got to play with Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson. Wilt played with Elgin Baylor and Jerry West. Russell played with Bob Cousy. Olajuwon played with Clyde Drexler, but that was at the end of his career. The most exciting perimeter player Robinson played with was Rod Strickland, and had Ginobili as a rookie as he was leaving the league. Ewing had John Starks, Xavier McDaniel and Larry Johnson. None of those lists jump out at you like Penny, Kobe, Wade, Nash and Lebron - no second name needed for any of them.

Was Shaq lucky when Orlando drafted the crafty, ultra athletic Penny Hardaway from Memphis in 1993? Shaq was drafted in '92 to bring life to a franchise that had been dead since its beginning and Hardaway was brought in to play Jake Hoyt to Shaq's Alonzo and tear through the league. Young Shaq and Penny made the NBA Finals in their second year together, establishing Shaq as one of the most dominate young centers the league had ever seen despite getting swept in the Finals. In Penny's first season, Shaq saw his scoring increase by six points per game, but again, maybe we were the lucky ones. Hardaway was one of those point guards who wasn't afraid to get in the lane and try and dunk on someone. It seemed like he made one ridiculous no-look pass every game and just had swag beyond his years. How could you top watching what some thought may have been the center position evolving with a 7'1'', 300 pound man who could run the floor and had a post game for half court sets? Sadly, just like Alonzo and Jake in "Training Day," Shaq and Penny had different views on the way things were supposed to operate and that made a disgruntled big man pick up his things and leave Orlando for Los Angeles to get paired with what would go on to be the best duo of the first half of the next decade.

Shaq's move to Los Angeles proved to be a huge one indeed. Was he lucky to be traded to a team that just drafted Kobe Bryant, the young wonder kid and the newest "Next Michael Jordan?" When they were on the court together it posed problems never seen before in the NBA. We had never seen a problem like the problem the Kobe-Shaq problem posed for NBA teams before they got together in '96. If you double-teamed Shaq, Kobe went to work, if you double-teamed Kobe, Shaq went to work. There was now way to double team them AND defend three other professional basketball players. With Kobe, Shaq earned an MVP, three titles and a Finals MVP for each title he won with Kobe. With Kobe as his partner in crime, he solidified his spot as a top three center of all time. Not only that, when they went to work it was exciting. So, maybe we were the lucky ones? You remember that lob Kobe threw to Shaq against Portland they have in those "Where Amazing Happens" commercials or when Shaq was shooting technical free throws against Sacramento or when Kobe took over in overtime against Indiana in the finals when Shaq fouled out. Then Kobe pissed him off and he moved on (we all know that story, so I'll move on).

Was Shaq lucky to be paired with Dwyane Wade after leaving Los Angeles? Wade came into the league and instantly took Tracy McGrady's spot as the best natural shooting guard in the NBA. Wade was relentless in his attack of the basket and Shaq was still dominant, yet willing to play second fiddle. He averaged 22 and 10 his first season there and won a title in his second, basically getting his revenge against Kobe with the new Kobe. Wade helped resurrect Shaq's career after it looked like he was aging after the Lakers' Finals loss to Detroit. However, the fans got much from Shaq going to Miami too. For those who loved drama, the networks fed that hunger with Christmas day meetings, documented accounts of those Kobe-Shaq handshakes, sound bytes from each player with commentary, each completely over-blowing the situation. Most importantly, the world was exposed to the greatness that is Dwyane Wade. I remember gushing over him while he was at Marquette. Shaq moving to Miami really brought Wade's unique game to the forefront. After Wade, did anyone think Shaq's career could be resurrected again?

Maybe Steve Nash did. Maybe Shaq was lucky enough to play with one of the three best point guards of the past decade. If you don't remember, Shaq's last season in Miami (07-08) he was looking ridiculously old. He had lost 309 steps, he couldn't get on the boards and he didn't have a healthy Wade to take the heat off of him (no pun intended). Fast forward to this season and he averaged 17.8 ppg (most since the '05-'06 season) and 8.4 boards. Once Nash learned how to play with someone who clogged the middle as much as Shaq did, Shaq's numbers became surprisingly good for a 37 year-old who had been carrying over 300 pounds for almost two decades (Shaq averaged 18.7 and 7.7 during their last 25 games as they made a push for the playoffs, which seemed unfathomable just a year and a half before that). While Shaq was in Phoenix, were we ever blessed with a better year and a half chalk full of memorable Shaq quotes?

-"The Big Shaqtus."
-"Kobe, tell me how my ass taste."
-"I know for a fact that he's a master of panic, and when it gets time for his team to go in the postseason and do certain things, he will let them down because of his panic."
-"I figured out a long time ago that the reason I'm a great athlete is because I'm a great dancer."

Speaking of dancing, what about that dance performance he had before the All-Star game? And speaking of the All-Star game, what about the co-MVP performance which included that gorgeous between the legs of Dwight Howard pass to Chris Paul that turned into a give and go with a classic Shaq dunk finish.

And speaking of finishing, is Shaq lucky that he may be able to finish his career in Cleveland with the best finisher (at the basket, not at the end of the game just to be clear) in the game? Should we have expected anything different in considering how his career has gone? We may be witnessing some highly entertaining basketball, especially with the team camaraderie they already have - which brings me to where the fans may be lucky. Remember when Shaq and LeBron were battling for the best pre-game performances? Now, we have the two best in the game working together, the possibilities are endless. It's already a fun loving team, and now they're bringing in the most fun loving big man of all time. Even though this is not going to turn into a championship for Cleveland (unless they sign a bigger defensive minded swing man, in which case this team is really scary), at least we'll have a season of very entertaining Cavaliers games.

I don't know who has been luckier, but it's safe to say that Shaq and the fans alike should be excited for what next season could potentially be.

-P. Barnett

The National FĂștbol League (Its Soccer People...)

The National FĂștbol League (Its Soccer People...)

About 3pm yesterday, I was sitting in my room watching the Confederations Cup final between our beloved (yeah right) United States soccer team go up against the equivalent of the Yankees, USC, or The Dream Team of soccer in Brazil, I witnessed Texas-bred midfielder Clint (Deuce) Dempsey put in the first goal of the game my blackberry went into spaz mode.




"Dempsey is the man!!!"


"Can we really win this game?"


"Yes, this is Andy with your Platinum Visa Credit Card..."


Anyway, the point is that I was getting text messages from folks that I had no idea even knew what soccer was, much less were that passionate about it. I am a HUGE soccer fan. I'm a GOONER, or for the common folk, a fan of Arsenal who are also known as the Gunners. I'm a big time fan of Thierry Henry (the other black dude in the Gillette commercial with Tiger and Federer) and of the Netherlands international squad. I've been known to fall asleep to soccer matches too. (Don't ask weird, it sounded weird even when I wrote it) Generally, I have about 2-3 friends that are big fans of soccer like me, now I had about 15-20 folks hitting me up about the game was almost overwhelming.

This is a good thing.

I'm going to tell you something, if you are not watching soccer then you are missing out. I've said this a million times, sports is the greatest reality show you could ever watch. If you want to see drama, comedy (ask Kenny how he feels when he sees a Brazilian player flop), action, and intensity...watch a soccer match between two teams with something on the line. There's nothing like it, and every goal matters SO much, its a pleasure (and pain) to enjoy.

Let's put what we watched last night into perspective. The US finishing 2nd in the Confederations Cup is the equivalent of a team like Cornell, SMU, Oral Roberts, or Pepperdine playing in the Preseason NIT against Duke, UNC, UCLA, UConn, and Kentucky. The Preseason NIT is a big deal, because you know some of the best teams in the nation are going to gear up and test themselves early and see how well they stack up against other great teams. Usually there are a couple of scrappy, feeder teams for the good teams to warm up on. What happened on Sunday was Bowling Green getting to the Preseason NIT final and losing to North Carolina after being up 15 at the half, and losing by 3 at the end.

US Soccer is on the map, now the casual fan will be paying attention. "But Ed, who should I be looking for?" Good question my loyal reader, let me help you out.

This team is about as scrappy as they come. You know how some folks love a scrappy, hard-nosed team. Well this team fits the bill. I'll help compare some of these folks to other athletes you might know.

#10, Landon Donovan - The leader of this squad. He's got the attitude of J.J. Redick back at Duke, cocky as hell and very very good. He's been known to urinate on Mexico's field aka take a "Dallas Knee". (Get on one knee and whiz, making a shield for no one to see you) For this team however, he is a faciliator first, scorer second. Steve Nash might be too lofty of a comparison, but his role is similar.

#17, Jozy Altidore - Think about how Amare Stoudemire was when he first came into the league; raw, strong, and instinctive. That's Jozy for you, one of the first attacking players the US has had who could probably go out and play wideout for a D-1 program. He's only 19, and he's currently playing overseas in Spain, but marketers are banking him becoming a star. He's got a long ways to go, but he's the truth and is only gonna get better.

#8, Clint Dempsey - Deuce! Probably my favorite player on this team, dude fits the description of "mercurial" and is probably one of the most skilled players on the team. Dude raps, breakdances, after he scores goals, and talks a lot of sh*t. He plays like a... brotha. How about that? LOL...Dempsey plays in the English Premier League (the best league in the world) and plays for the equivalent of the Grizzlies in the EPL (Fulham). He even did a video with Big Hawk representing that Texas mayne. DON'T TREAD!

#5, Oguchi Onyewu - Gooch, as he's more informally known, is probably the only dude on the team who could play D-Line for a D-1 program. Dude is 6'5", 230 lbs., and his mean as hell. You gotta understand, 6'5" in soccer is like 7'1" in basketball. Dude elbows folks in the ribs for fun but is a great athlete. As the United States' best defender, he generally defends the other teams best strikers. Think of Sean Taylor (RIP) hawking the middle of the secondary and cracking cats coming over the middle.

#1, Tim Howard - The Goalie, the one position where we are 2nd to none on the pitch (soccer field). Howard is one of the best goalies in the world, period.

This team is diverse, funny, and charismatic. Don't do anything drastic, but just read up on some of these guys. YouTube 'em. Know who they are, or as Ken would say, invest yourself. (I've made Kenny a soccer fan, ask him about it.) And when August 12th rolls around and they have to play their arch rival in Mexico...in Mexico City in La Azteca (think of Ohio State's horseshoe) which will not be an easy place to play. I challenge you, have a watch party. Enjoy watching something new and different, it could be fun.



The 2009 NBA Draft - Where It Begins At Pick #2 Happens...

The 2009 NBA Draft - Where It Begins At Pick #2 Happens...

(Booing from the crowd towards NBA commissioner David Stern)

The 2009 NBA Draft has begun!

David Stern's kinda snarky tonight...lol. While watching David Stern give his commissioner's address, hearing him speak about the Lakers made me realize that it is a supremely love/hate relationship with the Lakers. Either you LOVE them or you supremely hate them. Its good to know where I stand lol...

ESPN's Bill Simmons went into extremely fine detail to mention this but I'll bring it up again. They've had what...two ever successful draft picks since they've been in the league. TWO! Danny Manning in '88 out of Kansas (lets not bring up the '88 National Championship between Oklahoma and Kansas. lets just leave it alone) and probably Chris Kaman a couple of years ago. That's it! Will Blake make a difference? They've got to make it official first...

Clippers select Blake Griffin.

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK! Was hoping somehow someway that OKC could get the hometown kid. Happy for Blake though, holding it down for the Sooner State (and my homestate) and for an up and coming program at OU. However, dude is really rocking that purple. Maybe someone tricked him into thinking he's going to the Lakers, not the Clippers.

NOW THE REAL DRAFT BEGINS...Memphis is on the clock.

I'm going to say they draft Thabeet, but they have a decent center in Marky Marc Gasol. Maybe surprise pick Jordan Hill? Nahhhh....

Memphis takes Hasheem Thabeet...Dar Es Saleem, Tanzania stand up!

By the way, that suit is shiny but pretty damn fly. Ok could he go down as the worst #2 pick of all-time? Maybe...I mean at this point his ceiling is what...Samuel Dalembert? I dunno.

Now the fun begins, my Oklahoma City Thunder are on the clock...I've flip-flopped on this pick three times. I've went from Harden, to Curry, to Rubio, and finally settled on a two-way split on Curry and Rubio. How good does either one of those two players make Kevin Durant? An elite shotmaker in Curry who has 30-foot range, along with Durant's 30-foot range would be incredible. Rubio would live to make Durant better. Decisions...

OKC takes...James Harden.

Wow. I'm going to get kicked out of my building because I just let out a 100-decibel four-letter curse word when I heard that. Wow.

Sigh...okay, here's his best-case scenario. This isn't the worst pick in the world, not even a bad pick, but Curry and Rubio were the only other players I thought that were on the board that I thought could be great. However, after watching Harden enough, his college game reminds me of Brandon Roy. They both played within themselves and have an old-school game. Neither are overly athletic and don't have great measurables, but they know how to play the game. I'm going to pray that James Harden turns into something like Brandon Roy.

(Making a drink. Where is the vodka?)

Sacramento will take Ricky Rubio or they will be irrelevant for the next 10 years.

(Sidenote, why is Jay Bilas sucking Tyreke Evans so much. Jeez-us.)

Sacramento takes Tyreke Evans.

(Scratching my head...)

Ok, I'm going to say it. If a 17-year old kid can hold their own and not only NOT fold under pressure against the 3 of the greatest PG's in the NBA (CP3, Deron, and JKidd) but excel under maybe the greatest stage in the world (2008 Olympics) then you are special. Tyreke's probably going to be a great player, but maybe I'm just ultra-intrigued by the possiblities of Ricky Rubio.

Minnesota should take Rubio and Curry back-to-back. How ill would that be...

Pick 1 of 2 is in. Minny takes Rubio. If they could get the best passer and the best shooter in Curry? They'd have a great slasher in Brewer, cerebral post player in Kevin Love, and a monster post in Al Jefferson. I dunno...Minnesota, make me proud!

Great line #1 of the night - Marc: "Who in the NBA are you most like?" Ricky: "I'm only like Ricky Rubio, I'm not like anyone else."

Minnesota's up again, TAKE STEPHEN CURRY!!!!

Minnesota takes Jonny Flynn??? Ok, I'm extremely confused. They must be trading one of them. (Side note - Watched an interview of Flynn last night, he said his name in 3rd person at least 12 times in an interview with the great Lisa Salters. I'm like dude for real? You primetime now? LOL, okay lets find out)

Golden State is up...I will go on record as saying that I have no clue who they will take.

G-State takes Stephen Curry. The Knicks fans wanted Curry pretty bad I see. Should be interesting to see how Curry works with Monta Ellis. A 6'3 shooting guard who they want to handle the rock. Doesn't that sound familiar?

ESPN's crack reporter Ric Bucher informs us that Minnesota will plan on keeping Flynn and Rubio, and that they will be able to play together. How do you know this? Not really sure how this is going to work out. They better trade Sebastian Telfair asap before he does a documentary on being the 12th man for Minny.

Stephen Curry's momma and sister are bad as hell. Yep.

Isn't the West supposed to be the better conference? They just had the first 7 picks in the draft! Jeez-us.

I'm going with Jordan Hill here for the Knicks.

Knicks take Jordan Hill. LOL...a whole bunch of boos, F words, and "I need two more thumbs so I can give that a 4 thumbs down!!!" lol...but I'm going to say it right now, Jordan Hill will make the All-Rookie team. In the Knicks offense with Mike D'Antoni coaching? You see what other Arizona product did last season. Should be interesting.

You have to wonder when the Psycho-T watch comes up and have all the announcers start gushing all over him. I'd love to see OKC trade back up to get him, the problem is I think someone's gonna reach for him too high and then it's going to look dumb.

Toronto takes Demar Derozan. Where the hell is Lil Romeo????!?!??!

We're already at pick #10? Damn this is fast compared to the NFL, we'd be on pick #3 maybe at this point. Something to ask yourself at this point...has any of these teams made themselves significantly better outside of the Clippers? I mean none of these picks are making me feel like, "Ok, they might be a playoff contender now!" We saw the impact players like Derrick Rose had on that team, could anyone else? I'm thinking maybe OKC and Minnesota has a slim chance.

Milwaukee takes Brandon Jennings, hmmmmmmmm.....maybe Milwaukee don't feel that strong at about Ramon Sessions.

Ok, its official. All high school players, if you are a top 5 player in the nation and you do not want to go to college. Go overseas and make it happen for one year and get some bread, and as long as you don't F up, you still could be a top-10 selection. Plus, if you're a big man, I'd say probably top-5. Way to go Brandon, bad on the hood to the NBA for having a stupid age-limit requirement.

My boy Phil just texted me say Terrance Williams is the pick. With the recent news of the Vince Carter to Orlando trade, T-Will could play the 3. However, I see them going with Earl Clark who could play the 3 or the 4. Even though you don't like trading your best player, but they have a really nice young core of players with Devin Harris, Courtney Lee, Brook Lopez, and maybe even Chairman Yi. Let's see who they take...

New Jersey takes Terrence Williams. Guess my boy Phil knows what he's talking about. Another great Seattle product, he immediately starts at the 3. Wow. Harris, Lee, Williams, Yi, and Lopez? Not bad...probably need a better post player than Yi, but I really like their young nucleus.

And my frat brother just tried way too hard to make a funny joke about Terrence Williams watching ESPN...thanks Stuart.

Charlotte's on the clock. Seriously, I think they could go Psycho-T here...

The Bobcats take Gerald Henderson. Safe pick, really like him. The Dookie gets to play close to campus in Charlotte. Love that dunk he did on Maryland, nasty.

Indiana's on the clock, one of the few teams I've always liked. Heard they're not happy with where they are at PG, I say they go either Maynor, Holiday, or Teague...

Yep, clearly I have no clue what I'm talking about. Indiana takes Psycho-T. You know, bad on the hood for the Madison Square Garden tenants for booing him and yelling Overrated! at him. I've said this A LONG TIME ago, he is the next David West. Yeah, I said it. Its not that hard to figure out, he's a pretty decent athlete, knows how to score, and busts his ass on the court. Should be interesting in Indianapolis this fall.

Phoenix is on the clock...they just threw up a major trade rumor with Golden State where Amare would go to G-State and Phoenix would get Brandan Wright, Andris Biedrins, and Marco Belinelli. Wow. They said they can't do it until the free agent period begins. They've gotta pick a PG here if they plan on letting Amare go, go get a replacement for Nash. If they get a PG, they're blowing up the team.

Phoenix takes........Earl Clark from Louisville. Stern advises us that he's not here, but BRANDON JENNINGS is. WTF...I'm confused. I really like Earl Clark, except for the fact that the two players he's most compared to are Lamar Odom and Tim Thomas. aren't those the two players YOU WOULDN'T want to be compared to? LOL...jeez-us. Phoenix, just blow up the team, for real. We won't be mad at you.

Brandon Jennings just big upped going overseas. Lance Stephenson is boarding a flight to Spain asap.

Detroit Pistons take Austin Daye from Gonzaga. Hmmmmm...with Tayshaun Prince there they now have the two tallest, skinniest, super yella dudes of all-time. I heard he likes to play Madden. Get at me PS3 Gamertag - CoolBreeze5. He actually reminds me of Tayshaun Prince, most people forget that Tayshaun was soft as charmin back in Kentucky, now he's a lockdown defender. We'll see what happens.

Folks the lottery is over. If you're a rookie now, I wouldn't even be mad because now your going to a playoff team, and you have a chance to get some major success. (Dickie V just yelled at all of us for 2 minutes, what did he say?) Looking forward to seeing where DaJuan Summers (Kenny's guy), Jrue Holiday, and Eric Maynor (My guy) go to. I think all 3 players will be starting or getting major minutes for a playoff team in 2009-10.

Chicago's up, shout out to Celia out in Cali as this is her squad. She roasted OJ Mayo something terrible on here awhile back, lets see if she roasts this pick now...

Chicago takes James Johnson from Wake Forest. Hmmmm....I guess. Looking forward to seeing Celia's reaction on him...

Philadelphia's up, they need a PG. I'm going to say Ty Lawson...I'm probably going to be wrong.

Yep, I was wrong. Philly takes Jrue Holiday. This might be a great pickup for Philly, however, I think they should try and resign Andre Miller for a year or two so he can learn from someone. I've gotta say my guesses on draft picks have sucked horribly (pause) so I guess I'm not going to be the Mel Kiper/Todd McShay of the NBA Draft.

Minnesota takes a 3rd point guard in Ty Lawson. Is Matt Millen drafting for them? Does he think they can all play wide receiver? News is that they'll trade Lawson to the Denver Nuggets. He'll get to learn from Chauncey Billups? Oh boy...

Atlanta's up, they just traded for Jamal Crawford...they need a point guard bad.

Atlanta takes Jeff Teague, I like it. Thinking that if they could bring back Bibby to play for 1-2 years, it could be very influential on Teague's game.

Utah takes Eric Maynor. The Jazz have the best PG duo in the league.

Phil says NO should take Sam Young. NO takes Darren Collison instead. Shows what you know Phil. (This is "Chico" Phil, not "Spaz" Phil who writes at I'm So Hideous however unfortunately they are both Lakers fans. I now do not like anyone named Phil ever again.

I'm done with the draft diary, but here are the highlights from the rest of the draft and other things to consider:

Wasn't Dejuan Blair a "niche" pick in this draft? How bad did his medical records look? Someone told me they must've looked worse than OJ's background check.

All 4 North Carolina draft entrants (Hansbrough, Lawson, Ellington, and Green) all landed in great positions for them to succeed. Man, I hate North Carolina...

The Griffin Brothers might play against each other a bit, Taylor landed in Phoenix and I'm pretty sure he makes their roster.

Who had the best draft last night? Let us know your thoughts! Easy.

RIP Michael Jackson. The End.


ETSF NBA All-Decade Rookie Team

ETSF NBA All-Decade Rookie Team

The saga continues…LOL.

First off, I’d like to give a shout-out to Philip Barnett and Brandon Lewis for their contributions and insight to this particular post. This was definitely one of the most challenging (yet fun) posts we’ve ever done at ETSF. Once again, we’ve decided to keep the party going, and in honor of the draft, we’ve compiled every pick that was made in the past ten drafts, and constructed three teams. In order to avoid any confusion on how this was put together, this is how it has been broken down:

This list is similar to your typical All-Rookie Team. In essence, you hardly see five rookies on the first-team who were actually on championship-caliber teams in their given season. That is the format we have decided to follow, as it pertains to this list. It is strictly the best fifteen players (three point guards, three shooting guards, three small forwards, three power forwards, and three centers). It is strictly their “how good are you/how raw are you” individual game. There will be no preferential treatment for players who may have been drafted earlier in the decade over players who were drafted later. For example, Tony Parker was drafted in 2001, while Chris Paul was drafted in 2005. While Tony Parker has three rings this decade, he’s also had a much better team and better coach, so we didn’t hold that against Paul (same with Deron Williams). So while he’s had a better career (given his selection on our All-Decade team), Chris Paul’s a better player. Another thing, there are no undrafted players; we’re simply using players that were drafted.

First Team

Center – Yao Ming (2002 Draft) – In my opinion, Yao is the best center in basketball, injury-prone or not. His offensive skills are unlimited, he’s an underrated defender, good passer, as well as a solid rebounder. He won’t make many Sportscenter plays, but he does make the right plays, hence his spot on the top of this list.

Power Forward – Pau Gasol (2001 Draft) – Pau Gasol is one of the most consistent power forwards in the league, and easily the most consistent of his draft class this decade. He came in averaging 18/9/3 in 2001, and at the end of the decade, his averages were 19/10/4.

Small Forward – LeBron James (2003 Draft) – Top-three player in the league = best of your draft class in the decade.

Shooting Guard – Dwayne Wade (2003 Draft) – Best two-guard in the league, not named Kobe. This is a no-brainer.

Point Guard – Chris Paul (2005 Draft) – The consensus among experts and fans is that Chris Paul is the best point guard in the NBA (I disagree, but that’s another story for another day). Honestly, it’s hard to dispute it when the man has put up over 20 points, 11 assists, and three steals in consecutive seasons. If he’s not the best, he’s no lower than number two.

Second Team

C – Dwight Howard, PF – Amare` Stoudemire, SF – Carmelo Anthony, SG – Gilbert Arenas, PG – Deron Williams

Third Team

C – Al Jefferson, PF – Elton Brand, SF – Kevin Durant, SG – Brandon Roy, PG – Tony Parker


I was extremely close to putting Rondo on this list over Tony Parker, simply because I see them as damn near the same player, except Parker has played longer. After comparing Rondo’s first three seasons to Parker’s first three years, it’s pretty much a wash. Parker had better regular seasons and post-seasons, with the exception of Rondo’s play in the 2009 Playoffs. Another thing I noticed is how many raw dudes have been drafted this decade. A case can be made for plenty of players to be moved around, or cats who were left off, altogether, to be included.

Let the debate begin…

-K. Masenda

The All-NBA "WTF Happened To You" All-Decade Team

The All-NBA "WTF Happened To You" All-Decade Team

Noticing a theme here? LOL...

First off, just wanted to say thanks to the massive support we received in the last 48 hours.
Dr. Anklesnap from Hoop Doctors tossed us a major olive branch, big ups to him. I found out from a couple of our readers that we've again been nominated for "The Best Sports Blog" by the Black Weblog Awards, and since we won the judges vote in 2008, I think Ken and I would like to bring home that popular vote in 2009! Also, ETSF will be proactively and financially supporting 2 local youth sports programs this year, stay tuned for more on that.

Now onto more business, I've been hearing such a buzz on the draft and how much this drafts sucks, and how there's not any good big men in the draft, and there are no stars...but there are some folks that I think we all believe that are going to be good. Let's look at some of the previous year's draft history and take a look at the biggest duds in the draft.

2008: Joe Alexander, Milwaukee - Its a bit harder to judge some of these guys after only one year, but from what might be the best rookie class since '96, '99, and '03, the '08 class has some bonafide stars already in one season. Alexander has been a miss so far in his rookie season, and his organization is as much at fault that just him individually. However, as the #8 pick, only being able to average a paltry 4.7 ppg doesn't look too good. The Bucks have moved Richard Jefferson as of yesterday, so maybe Joe will get a chance to prove himself in 2009-10.

2007: Corey Brewer, Minnesota - Injuries and an inability to retain any sense of the T'Wolves offense has been a supreme hindrance on Brewer. The wunderkind from Flawda was a showstopper, do-everything wing who's game translated very well into the league. Great defense, decent jumper, and a cunning ability to slash into the lane and get to the bucket. Is Brewer done? With the recent trades of Mike Miller to Washington, the small forward starting spot is his to lose.

2006: Adam Morrison, Charlotte - BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...next. (MJ, come on man! You could've had Brandon Roy or Rudy Gay...yet you've successfully picked 2 of the WORST PICKS of all-time in Adam and Kwame Frown. Thank God you got raw ass shoes. Secretly though, I like Adam and I want to see him succeed, and I think he can. He's gotta get off the Lakers and go to a team that'll give him another chance. Golden State maybe?)

2005: Marvin Williams, Atlanta - I almost went with Martell Webster, the #8 pick, here from Portland, but after thinking about it...how bad was this pick for Atlanta? Think about it. When they drafted Marvin, a 6'9", 230-pound forward who alternates at the 3 and the 4, they ALREADY had Josh Smith and Josh Childress! AND THEY DRAFTED HIM #2??? They have had no semblance of a point guard since Mookie Blaylock left town (Mike Bibby RIP) and looking back at that draft, the fact that they passed up on Deron Williams, Chris Paul, and Raymond Felton makes that pick all the more egregious. Epic fail on the Hawks. (By the way, is Marvin Williams even any good? I feel like this is a legitimate question...)

2004: Shaun Livingston, LA Clippers - We know what happened to you, you can't put on weight. Thusly, your leg snapped like a pencil when you played the pencil thump game in elementary school. Shaun was supposed to be the blend of Penny and Magic, and he was, as he cheaply fooled us all in believing. He's now with the Oklahoma City Thunder, so I'm going to suggest that he go to Sonic twice a day and eat Chili Cheese Coney's until he hits 200 pounds. (If you're squeamish, don't watch the clip. But I know you folks, you're going to watch the clip.)

2003: Darko Milicic - BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...next. (Seriously, Detroit...you could've had Carmelo, Bosh, or DWade in the next 3 picks. You went with Darko. Epic fail.)

2002: Jay(son) Williams, Chicago; Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Denver; Dajuan Wagner, Cleveland - I couldn't decide which one of these were worse, because they were all supposed to set the league on fire, at the end of the day I guess their fans just set their jerseys on fire. First off, Jay Williams ended his career by changing his name to "Jay" Williams. Now, how many black folks you know with the name "Jay"? Now, it would've been raw he would've only went by "J" or J. Williams, that would've been raw. Plus, he needs to stay off motorcycles...forever. (Note to athletes, motorcycles aren't your friends. Looking at you Kellen Winslow, Ben Roethlisberger, etc.)

Bad on the hood for the Denver Nuggets just thinking that someone named Nikoloz Tskitishvili would be successful in the league.

As for Dajuan Wagner, dude...didn't you score 100 points in a game in high school? Weren't you a Rucker Park legend? You were the original Derrick Rose to come out of Memphis, and you flamed out quicker than a Black and Mild.

2001: Kwame Brown, Washington - BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...next. (Ok, real quick. I've heard some stories from folks that were close to Mike that suggested that he really wanted to draft Pau Gasol, who went #3 to Atlanta, who then traded him away...but the feeling was that the owners and the fanbase wouldn't be as supportive of picking a foreign player #1. Who knows, but bad on the hood for MJ again. Thank God you can sell underwear.)

2000: Stromile Swift, Vancouver - I could've easily went with Marcus Fizer or Darius Miles here, but I remember the hype Stromile Swift had when he came out of LSU back in 2000. "He's the next coming of Shawn Kemp" (minus the 38 kids) and to me that is a supremely lofty expectation to have, especially with being the #2 pick in the draft. Stromile proved to us that he could jump real high...and that's about it.



The NBA All-Decade Team

The NBA All-Decade Team

First off, Ed just got back from Kenny's hometown in Dallas (Arlington, Texas this weekend. If you don't know about getting Frankie, Ricky Bobby, and Ice Cream Paint Job then you need to get your weight up. Dallas, thank you for showing me a great time.)

Now, as the decade comes to a close, its time to start evaluating what has transpired in the '00s (what is this, the double-zeroes? The ot's? 2000's? I dunno.) We will start off with the NBA and its all-decade team. Debate and decide, let us know your thoughts.

Things to consider when looking at this list, how much of an impact did these players have on the NBA? Championships? Consistency? All-Star appearances? Simply being a dominant force for an extended period of time during the decade. All major factors here. Here we go...

The Boobie Miles All-Americans

The Boobie Miles All-Americans

About a month ago, Kenny and I dreamed of a scenario where we could build an all-time movie basketball team. We dubbed this the Jesus Shuttlesworth All-Stars as it consisted of 12 of the greatest movie hoopers of all-time. So of course, me being a football fan and a lover of movies, I said why not do it for the pigskin.

Let me lay some ground rules about this list. One, we weren't going to make a list about football players in movies when said person plays themselves in the movie or an actor is playing the role of a real NFL player. For example, we wouldn't use Ernie Davis (played by Rob Brown) from the movie, "The Express", because he was a collegiate and pro player.

So lets lay it out. Who would be a better running back? Boobie Miles or Darius Washington? Who's your QB? Paul Crewe? Willie Beamen? Sunshine? I left off SHANE FALCO! Paul Blake! Check out our All-Americans and let us know if you agree or disagree.

QB - Paul "Wrecking" Crewe, The Longest Yard (Burt Reynolds only, not Adam Sandler) - Quite possibly the greatest QB to ever live, Paul Crewe went into jail for a betting scandal which he got caught shaving points. Went into jail and played maybe the greatest game of all-time, going up against semi-pro football players who were all on horse steroids. Rallied his troops which comprised of murderers, rapists, and embezzlers. They had men dressing as cheerleaders, and the warden trying to cheat them the whole time. All I have to say is, "MEAN MACHINE! MEAN MACHINE! MEAN MACHINE!"
QB - Willie Beamen, Any Given Sunday (Jamie Foxx)
QB - Sunshine (Kip Pardue) or Rev (Craig Kirkwood), Remember the Titans

RB - Boobie Miles, Friday Night Lights (Derek Luke)
RB - Darnell Jefferson, The Program (Omar Epps) - Dude stole a starting runningback position and Halle Berry (MISS BERRY! MISS BERRY!) from the same guy. Was a Freshman phenom who came in ready to do work.
RB - Gavin Grey, Everybody's All-American (Dennis Quaid)

WR - Rod Tidwell, Jerry Maguire (Cuba Gooding, Jr.)
WR - Charlie Tweeder, Varsity Blues (Scott Caan)
WR - Phillip Elliott, North Dallas Forty (Nick Nolte) - For us young bucks, you might not have any idea about what this movie is all about, but Nick Nolte aka Phil Elliott was like the Ed McCafferey in this movie. Supremely tough, hobbled, always hurt, and played with a chip on his shoulder. If you haven't seen this movie (came out in 1979) then go get it ASAP.

OL - Billy Bob, Varsity Blues (Ron Lester)
OL - Manumana "the Slender", Necessary Roughness (Peter Tuiasosopo)
OL - Jumbo Fumiko, The Replacements (Ace Yonamine)
OL - Bud Kaminski, The Program (Abraham Benrubi)
OL - Andre "Action" Jackson - The Replacements (Faizon Love)

3-4 Defense

DL - Andre Krimm, Necessary Roughnessn (Sinbad) - Dude was a professor at Texas State and had one year of eligibility left, singlehandedly held it down for light skinned actors in this one role by himself! He talked sh*t and everything! LOL
DL - Ivory Christian aka "Preacherman", Friday Night Lights (Lee Jackson III)
DL - Steve Lattimer, The Program (Andrew Bryniarski)

LB - Bobby Boucher, The Waterboy (Adam Sandler)
LB - Becky "The Icebox" O'Shea, The Little Giants (Shawna Waldron) - Between "The Waterboy" and "The Icebox", were probably the two most devasting linebackers in the history of movie football. Forget STRONGSIDE, RIGHTSIDE! If you didn't have a lisp-talked cajun linebacker and an 11-year old female linebacker with a mean disposition, then you were in trouble.
LB - Julius "Strongside" Campbell, Remember The Titans (Wood Harris)
LB - Gerry "Right Side" Bertier, Remember The Titans (Ryan Hurst)
LB - Luther "Shark" Levay, Any Given Sunday (Lawrence Taylor)

DB - Stefen "Stef" Djordjevic, All The Right Moves (Tom Cruise)
DB - Brian Chavez, Friday Night Lights (Jay Hernandez)
DB - Earl Wilkinson aka "Ray Smith", The Replacements (Michael Jace)
DB - Trumaine Johnson, Wildcats (Wesley Snipes)

KR - Clifford Franklin, The Replacements (Orlando Jones)
PR - Wendell Brown, Varsity Blues (Eliel Swinton)

K - Lucy Draper, Necessary Roughness (Kathy Ireland)
P - Nigel Gruff, The Replacements (Rhys Ifans)



Hello, #85? Yes, This Is The Truth Calling...

Hello, #85? Yes, This Is The Truth Calling...

Yeah it's time. I've needed to write this piece for months. This article is not meant to offend, so please don't take it seriously. However, I'm going to write this in one take, no editing or punctuation either. Needs to be authentic.

For the large majority of football fans, when they hear "#85" they immediately cringe, spew venom, and cry foul. The general public has come to see #85 as more of a nuisance, a virus, or a scapegoat for their team's failures. However, I ask what is it that you really see and/or hear when they talk about #85? What do you really hear when you hear #85 speak? Do you see his actions? We'll see here in a minute.

The Cincinnati Bengals, in so many words, suck. They do. For a long period of time they were (and maybe still are) the laughingstock of the NFL. Be not for the efforts of the Raiders in Oakland would there be a clearcut #1 ugly duckling of the NFL. When #85 was drafted by Cincinnati in 2001, he was exactly what Cincinnati needed, someone to make them relevant. Within 3 seasons he made his first pro bowl appearance, and became the face of the franchise. Never known to shy away from the limelight, he brought some flare to a drab Bengals franchise. Endzone dances, golds consistently in his mouth, a defensive back execution list. A superstar is born.

What was the residual impact for the team, the city, and the greater NFL fanbase? Chad has been the #1 jersey seller in Cincinnati for years. When the "Ocho Cinco" jersey drops, it will be a top seller. (Just like he predicted) When was the last time you would pick the Bengals to play with on Madden? Don't worry, I'll wait. More than anything else, you waited with baited breath to see what he was going to say or do next. #85 had everyone in the palm of his hands. Cincinnati was improving, he had a QB that could get the team to next level, a coach on the rise, and a rabid fanbase that had been previously untapped since Boomer Esiasion, Anthony Munoz, and Ickey Woods ruled the land in the late 80's.

Then tragedy struck.

Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati. Carson's down for the count. Bye-bye Super Bowl run. Chad, you are now in the crossroads.

In the following seasons, the Bengals went 19-28-1. Chad in the two seasons following the Palmer injury, continued to perform at an all-pro level. (Third season, he broke his collarbone in training camp, still played in 13 games this year. More on this in a second) However, he wasn't happy. The team was struggling, the organization (which is known for being inept in their ways) was not putting any effort into improving the team, and Chad felt he wasn't in a place to win.

Now, here is where it gets dicey, and I tend to have to get in defense mode when it comes to #85. Your organization that you work for is failing to improve the team, if this were a job, you'd probably start looking for different work. After Chad went to his organization and asked what they were doing to make the team better, he didn't get a good response. He asked to be traded to a winner, or pay him more money. Its somewhat ludicrous to ask for a new contract after you just signed one in 2006.

From Wikipedia: On January 13, 2008, Johnson was a guest on ESPN's Mike & Mike radio show. During the interview, he addressed how the media and team treated him during the 2007 season, saying, "I was labeled selfish and a cancer, and it hurt...Fingers were pointed at me this year. If the team and the organization wants to further itself (make the playoffs), I think you need to get rid of the problem...It hurt me. To do me that way and not to have my back. Things were said, and nobody came to my defense."

(Yep, that's my school. Langston University stand up.)

I'd want to leave too! Who hasn't been in the same position at a suck @ss job? Yeah, we'll there to play the game. You're right, but please believe if he had an opportunity to go elsewhere he would've. He might've been happy, maybe not. The opportunity to win was big for him. If he was going to have to be miserable, then he wanted to make more money. I'm not mad at him for that.

Here are other points to consider with his actions:

- Everyone forgets that the Bengals are the new-age JailBlazers of football. They had something like 15 arrests in a 2-year period. Some thought Chad's antics were a good deterrent to some of the major issues going on in the locker room and the performance of the team as a whole.

- Changing the name to "Ocho Cinco" makes all of the Bengals fans have to buy the NEW Chad jerseys. Little Timmy doesn't want the C. Johnson #85 jersey, he wants the Ocho Cinco #85 jersey. Sounds like a profit gain for Chad and the Bengals to me.

- It would be one thing if Chad were a bad player, but he's exceptionally good. Plus, he doesn't get enough credit for what he did in 2008. He knew Carson wasn't coming back, and then he broke his collarbone and played 13 games and put up decent numbers (53 catches, 540 yards) with a bum backup QB. He didn't have to do that, he could've milked that injury, he didn't. He toughed it out.

- Finally, you know you enjoyed each and every single one of his TD celebrations. If you didn't, then you need to re-evaluate your fun quotient. LOL

Now reports are surfacing Carson and Chad will be residing in the same residence. Carson's place. He says he's in the best physical shape of his career. He feels like he has something to prove. Does he? Does he really? I say no, just go out there and do you @OGOchoCinco, we got our eyes on you. Make the world love you again. Some of us never stopped.

**UPDATE - Ocho Cinco's thoughts via twitter on today's post, "@edthesportsfan Wow, dude that article was awesome man, thank you and i really enjoyed that, headed to the boxing gym, again thank you." You can find Chad "Ocho Cinco" Johnson on twitter at twitter.com/OGOchoCinco


Make or Break: NFL Edition

Make or Break: NFL Edition

We’re about a month away from the most wonderful time of the year, but before we go any further, we’d like to do one thing, as we close the door on the NBA season.

Ed and I have caught hell for not giving the Los Angeles Lakers their due for winning their 15th NBA championship. I’ll speak on behalf of ETSF when I say congratulations to the Lakers for winning the Larry O’Brien trophy. You found a way to beat an overmatched team in the Finals with their starting point guard having a bum shoulder, a Denver Nuggets team who was never the same, once Carmelo Anthony rolled his ankle in Game Three, a Houston Rockets team minus Tracy McGrady, Dikembe Mutombo, and Yao Ming, and for beating an underachieving Utah Jazz team. Wow, what a journey.

(Ed's response to that last paragraph - BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!)

Now onto more pressing business; while there are 32 teams in the NFL, there are only about 25% of them who have a real chance to get all the way to the Super Bowl. Sure, you have your Arizona Cardinals’ of the world, but even with them, they were much better than people gave them credit for. If anything, they finally played up to their potential after all these years. I have decided to highlight three players in particular, all top-ten at their position, who will make or break their team’s success this upcoming season.

Philip Rivers - There are times when I truly think people don’t understand how much of a monster Philip Rivers really is. Granted, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle when people had the audacity to suggest he wasn’t even the best quarterback in his division last year, but after looking at his overall season, as well as the playoffs, its evident his play will be the difference between the Chargers being good and being special. LT’s best days are behind him, and while the defense is still solid, it’s going to be on Rivers if the Chargers are going to finally make it back to the Super Bowl. Last year, he threw for 34 touchdowns and only 11 picks, yet people cringe when you list him as a top quarterback in the league. I’ll give them the AFC West right now, just based on the fact that no one else in the division is worth a damn. Besides, they have bigger fish to fry, and it all starts with him. Dare say, he’s the most important player on their team.

Brian Westbrook - One thing I’ll say about Philadelphia is they seem to be doing everything they can to get back to the Super Bowl. They recently restructured Donovan McNabb’s contract, acquired Jason Peters, and drafted Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy (all moves for the offensive side of the ball). However, none of this means anything if Brian Westbrook is not the Westbrook the NFL has come to know and be terrified of. With the exception of McNabb, the Eagles have made moves to get younger on the offensive side of the ball, so they’ll need Westbrook, more than ever, to make the load easier for everyone to carry. We already know they’re in the toughest division in football, where it’s a realistic possibility that three teams can make the playoffs. Honestly, it’s the Eagles division to lose. Even I, as a Cowboys fan, can’t say we did anything spectacular to get better. Hell, the Giants let Plaxico go for nothing, and the Redskins are…well, they’re the Redskins.

Anquan Boldin - For the record, if people want to say Larry Fitzgerald is the best receiver in football, that’s fine with me. Personally, I still think that title belongs to Randy Moss, but whatever; it won’t be something I’ll argue to the death, but I hope people realize that a large reason why Fitzgerald is such a beast is due to who’s on the opposite side of him. Why do you think Fitzgerald, along with Kurt Warner, have been willing to restructure their deals, so Boldin will stay? Go ahead and put Steve Breaston on the other side of the field as a number two, and see what happens. I like Breaston, but he’s no Anquan Boldin, and deep-down, the Cardinals better realize that. With Boldin, the Cardinals win the NFC West, no question, and may even get back to the Super Bowl. Without him, they’ll be lucky to be better than San Francisco.


Be easy.

-K. Masenda

PS - Be on the lookout for the ETSF Rookie Diary featuring Jacksonville Jaguars' runningback Rashad Jennings as he looks to make his mark in the league. You can check him out on twitter.com/rashadjennings as he updates daily.

Fix A Team - The Orlando Magic

Fix A Team - The Orlando Magic

Oh, you thought I forgot huh? LOL

First off congratulations to the Los Angeles Lakers, (and to the Pittsburgh Penguins too - Rev, hope you didn't hurt anyone this weekend. Hey, it says "sports" fan. Not just basketball fan) on winning the championship. Well done. Kudos go to Phil Jackson for wearing a purple and gold (Ques what up) Malcolm X hat with "PJ" on the back. That hat looks like the kind you make a kid wear when he's in trouble and has to sit in the corner. Congrats to Kobe (I had about 17 curse words I wanted to spew after typing his name but I know better. Its women and kids that read this so I apologize) on winning his 4th ring, Fisher too. Really, congrats to all of you.

Ok...now that I got that BS out the way.

(By the way, could the Lakers have had an easier run to the championship than this year? The Spurs were down Ginobili, so they didn't make it. Denver and Houston gave valiant efforts, but clearly they were just overmatched. Boston had no KG (or Powe) and therefore had no way of stopping Orlando. Cleveland would've been ok, but Orlando is the carbon blueprint to defeat them. That means of the 4 teams that were heavily considered to play them in the playoffs. They played the 5th best team in the Magic. Kobe, here's your giftwrapped championship ring.)

So how do you fix Orlando? I'm not sure how realistically, but I'll give it the ol' college try. I did deliver some insight earlier last month on how they'll never win a championship...Thus, I got roasted so badly by some of the readers...ok not really readers, more like bandwagon frontrunners (Shaq told me to say it) who tried to get on the underdog gravy train and say they believed all along. Yeah right. I do think they could be fixed, here's a couple of points.

#1. RESIGN HEDO TURKOGLU - This is really not even worth discussing but I'll hit it real quick. He's the only one who can get his own shot, he's an additional ball handler, and distributor of the ball. If I'm SVG, do you consider bringing Hedo off the bench? If you could get a...Rasheed Wallace to come in and play the 4, could you have Hedo (or Rashard Lewis) come off the bench as the 6th man? Doesn't this team benefit from a legit PF? No offense to Tony Battie...Wait, in offense of Tony Battie, Dwight could use some help on the defensive end. How much more dynamic does the bench become if you have one of those studs on their bench? You keep your players legs fresh, and there's not as much pressure to have Hedo or Rashard locking up on defense all the time. I'm just saying.

#2. FIRE PATRICK EWING - Didn't he say he wanted to be a coach? He needs to coach someone on how to get Snickers commercials and teach folks how to get away with traveling. Dude's got frequent flyer miles. LOL...that was funny as soon as I typed it. Seriously, Patrick Ewing needs to let go. Yes, Ewing had a legit jumper and that 3-step hook move across the lane, but Dwight cannot do either one. Dwight's post move is jump real high and throw it off the backboard real real hard. Seriously, after the game, Dwight should've went to Pau Gasol and see if they could link up. Where is Bill Walton, Kareem, or Hakeem? You could put your stamp on this player and become an all-time great.

#3. GO GET A GOON - They need to just start jamming Plies, Three 6 Mafia, Lil Jon, UGK, and Mystikal and just get all aggressive. Seriously, don't think that Ron Ron getting up in Kobe's grill didn't have an affect not only on Kobe and the Lakers, but it puts something in your teammates. They have nothing like that on Orlando. I swear I would've sent in Tony Battie to go Stephen Jackson on Pau Gasol just one time. I mentioned Rasheed earlier, and I think he could be a great add for Orlando. Chris Andersen, Brandon Bass, or Chris Wilcox would be great role players. They've just got to get tougher, kinda like what we said about LA last year...

At the end of the day, in my heart I believe that this was their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win it. They are not better than Boston, and Cleveland will not let what happened to them this year happen again. Period.

Orlando must seize this opportunity now for what it is, they are a flawed team who has some really good parts. If they want to get over the hump, they've got to go for it now. Will they do it? Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....



He Gon' Cry In The Car

He Gon' Cry In The Car

Nick Anderson, you can be excused from the table, sir. Dwight Howard will now be taking your spot as The Goat of your unlucky franchise, after that atrocious performance at the free-throw line, late in the fourth quarter last night. Before we go any further into that, allow me to explain the title of this post. Surprisingly, there are still people who have yet to see Friday (‘hood classic, starring Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Tiny Lister, Jr., John Witherspoon, and Nia Long).

There’s a scene in the movie where Red gets his chain snatched by Debo on Craig’s front porch. When Debo walks off on him and leaves Red, Craig, and Smokey on the porch to ponder Red’s predicament, Red fusses about it being his Grandmama’s chain, and then runs off, which prompts Smokey to say, right on time…

“he gon’ cry in the car.”

Now see, there’s a reason this post is entitled that, and it’s because the Orlando Magic managed to lose a game due to God-awful, pathetic, repulsive, and a flat-out despicable display of free-throw shooting. Dwight Howard had a chance to pretty much seal the game with 11 seconds left (Orlando was up by three, mind you), but he missed BOTH free-throws, which allows Phil Jackson to draw up a play, and for Derek Fisher to hit a three to tie the game up. As it happened, I could just see the Magic players, especially Dwight Howard, look exactly like Red looked, when Debo snatched his chain, dared him to do something about it, and walked off on him. Shit, I can’t believe I just compared the Lakers to Debo. Anyway…

Part of the reason I’m killing Orlando today is because Ed said this would happen over a month ago, while Orlando was in the second round against Boston. But once the Magic destroyed what would have been at least a watchable NBA Finals by beating Cleveland, all these “Magic fans” came out of the woodworks, and crucified the homie. Some of them probably didn’t start watching the Magic until that series, and on top of that, don’t even know who the fuck Nick Anderson is (you know, the dude that wears his jersey over a dress shirt before your starting line-up is announced; yeah, that guy), and why I’m excusing him from the table in the first place. Since you probably don’t know why he’s excused, here’s the CliffNotes version:

1995 Game One of the NBA Finals; Nick Anderson has a chance to seal a Game One victory over the Houston Rockets. He misses not one, not two, not three, but FOUR free-throws down the stretch. The Rockets go on to tie the game in regulation, win in overtime, and even though it was only Game One, the series ended that night. For 14 years, he has been The Goat of your franchise, the ass of many jokes in regards to choke-jobs, and the definition of scared in the clutch.

As a basketball head, there’s one way of losing in my book that is totally unacceptable, and its missing free throws at the end of a game, especially when you’re ahead, and ESPECIALLY when you’re at home. I’m not about to place any fingers at coaching strategies, because I can see exactly why Stan The Man did what he did in the final seconds by not fouling. Shit, his team wasn’t making free throws, and it wasn’t like he could go out there, and shoot for them. With all that said, fuck the Orlando Magic. They had no business being here anyway, just as many of us knew before this series even started. They were simply happy to be there. May they rest in pieces.

Be easy.

Ken the Chivalry Man – The Sequel to Ed the Ladies Man

Ken the Chivalry Man – The Sequel to Ed the Ladies Man

**Its getting warm outside, and as much as I love sports I know Ken and I love the ladies! So what's better than adding sports and women together? Nothing...nothing at all. Ken, (pictured left) take it away.**

Today’s post is the sequel to the critically-acclaimed post from Ed, back in August of last year called Ed the Ladies Man – Dating Tips. (FOR HILARITY'S SAKE, CLICK THE PICTURE. Its embarrassingly funny lol) Since the beginning of ETSF, our following has grown quite a bit, and it’s definitely appreciated. We know it’s our duty to give you entertaining, original, thought-provoking sports content, and to even piss you off from time-to-time. However, we also try to use our vast array of knowledge in other areas, and today will tie-in sports, dating, and chivalry (trust, all this stuff works). Here are some things you could do with your lady, a lady friend, or someone who’s taking up the time in place of your lady while she gets some act-right (just kidding…kinda). You can thank us later.

1. Fantasy Football – Fellas, you would be surprised how many ladies participate in fantasy football these days. I’ve seen leagues where their competition can be downright cutthroat. To make it even more interesting, you could even take a few of her football-loving homegirls, along with a few of your homeboys, and put a league together (use Yahoo). The winners would get treated to lunch or dinner of their choice, along with your own version of the Lombardi trophy (the little Microsoft Word certificate won’t cut it; go to a local trophy shop, and get one made, just to make it even more entertaining).

2. Major League Baseball Game – Now this one can be tricky, because quite a few people go to baseball games, and don’t really pay attention to the game, but baseball is the one sport where you can actually get away with it. Where I live (in Arlington), the Texas Rangers tickets are relatively cheap, and they also have their “gimmick” nights; there’s $1 Hot Dog Night, and $1 Ice Cream Sundays. Every major league team has days just like these in their particular city. It’s recession-friendly, and has the potential to be pretty fun and romantic…as long as you or her don’t get hit by a fly ball.

3. Workout Together – There are arguably fewer sights more appealing to my eyes than a woman in the gym. I’m sure there are women who also say the same thing about men, so one way to win her over, or add some spice to your interaction is to workout together. I’m a 24 Hour Fitness man myself, but whichever gym the both of you have a membership at is ideal. You could hit up a class together (Cycle Class, Yoga, kickboxing for example); just make sure you don’t become entranced by her form while she’s on that squat machine.

4. Drive-In – This one isn’t sports-related, but it’s just something I’ve always wanted to do myself. This one may be difficult if there isn’t one nearby, but if there happens to be one, it has the potential to be one of the most memorable dates to take a lady. You could bring your own food and drinks (like you don’t do it already when you’re watching a movie at the real theater). You may start in the front seats, but you may end up watching that joint from the back seat, if you know what I mean.

5. NFL Training Camp – Now this is the one where all men will need to swallow their pride, especially if the lady has a raging crush on one of the players on the team. You could road-trip it the night before, get up on a room, and get up early the next day to watch your team practice. For one, training camp itself is free; two, its fun (especially if you’re a Cowboys fan), and three, a majority of the players are accessible. They’re down to take pictures, sign autographs, and are pretty cool. Like I said though, if she has a crush on one of them, swallow your pride, and let her have her moment. Besides, you’ll be thankful later.

6. High School Basketball Game – Think about how much conversation can be had, just from going back in time to the old days. Maybe she hooped too, or was a cheerleader, or maybe you hooped, or maybe you just warmed the bench. I have a homeboy who takes his wife to the state basketball tournament in Austin every year as one of their vacations every year, so let that be an indication this surely works.

Be easy.

**Predictions for Game 4: Ed - Lakers 110, Magic 96, Ken - Lakers 87, Magic 80.**

-K. Masenda

Wednesday's Why's? (Game 3 Recap - Lakers v. Magic)

Wednesday's Why's? (Game 3 Recap - Lakers v. Magic)

I'm going to ask a couple of questions out loud to myself, then answer 'em. (Yes, I probably need a straight jacket, thanks.) Feel free to play along and answer some too!

Why did Orlando win Game 3?

Simple, Kobe nutted up and the Lakers couldn't execute down the stretch. Never mind the fact that Orlando shot 75% in the first half...let me repeat, SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT in the first half and was only up 5 points. Orlando shot an NBA-record 63% from the field for the entire game as well, and only won by 4. Orlando also got major contributions from players not named Howard, Lewis, or Turkoglu. Rafer had 20 in his vengeance game against SVG and Jameer, and Pietrus had 18. Coincidentally, the two players also only made 1 three-pointer for the entire game.

Why did Kobe not "close" the game like he's supposed to?

Number one, he didn't make the underbite scowl face. I guess he didn't want it tonight. Number two, he missed FIVE free throws and couldn't make a dagger shot within the last 3 minutes of the game. Those two things never happen in the same game, so Orlando dogged a major bullet. Wait, more like the scene from Predator when Mac (Bill Duke) loses it and picks up Blaine's (Jesse Ventura) Gatling gun and goes thru about 1378 rounds of ammunition yet misses the Predator somehow. That was Orlando in the last two minutes. Amazing to watch.

Why does SVG keep playing Jameer Nelson?

I have no f@#$%&g clue.

Why did Kobe miss those free throws?

I think because he misses LeBron a little bit. Lil Dez too.

Ok, maybe not. LOL

Why should we believe Orlando will win Game 4?

Because believe it or not they can play much better. Its not really being said enough by the media, but Dwight Howard is being exposed to the nation. He has no post moves and any moves he has worked on he doesn't believe in it. Kinda like how LeBron can hit 20-footers regularly now, but in the clutch he doesn't believe in it. Dwight Howard can shoot free throws! He should be able to shoot a 10-15 footer. A baby hook. Something! Plus, I'm tired of seeing Hedo guarding Kobe. This should never happen, especially with Courtney Lee and Mikael Pietrus running like dogs to keep up with him. Turk's been getting exposed more than mama's claiming that some random dude to be the father of they child on Maury. "You are...NOT THE FATHER of Lil Dez!"


(wiping tear off of face)

Why does LA win Game 4?

Because Kobe can't play that bad again in the second half. Because Pau Gasol can't play another game where he only got TWO rebounds. Because Phil Jackson has to find a way to play Shannon Brown more in the rest of the series. All these things being considered, how great of a defender is Dwight? I mean, he can block and alter shots, but Gasol can get his shot off whenever because he's craftier and smarter. Its one thing to deter folks when they drive the lane, its another to play post defense against an offensive threat. Pau went 9-11 last night for 23 points! Kobe, pass Gasol the ball. He can help you.

At the end of the day, Orlando got lucky to win that game, yet they can still play better. SVG has to make some adjustments or its a wrap for the series. I say Orlando pulls it out but Kobe goes off for 40+ and doesn't get Gasol involved until game 5.

Orlando 115, LA Lakers 110



Will The Real Dwight Howard Please Stand Up…Or Are We Seeing Him As We Speak?

Will The Real Dwight Howard Please Stand Up…Or Are We Seeing Him As We Speak?

Let me say this right off the bat: I like Dwight Howard. I think he’s one of the best centers in the league (the best is still Yao); Superman is a terror on the boards, and a terrific defensive presence. With all that said, he’s being exposed, and done so in such a fashion, that it’s become disgusting to watch.

Coming into this series, I didn’t think he would have this much difficulty, but after viewing the first two games, something definitely has to change, and it starts with him. People can’t blame Stan Van Gundy for lack of touches, or for his teammates not getting him the ball in position to make his move. Granted, he’s getting Andrew Bynum in foul trouble, but what does that really mean? Andrew Bynum will get Andrew Bynum in foul trouble. However, what I have seen is the Lakers have decided to guard this man, with surprising success, with Pau Gasol.

Allow me to repeat that again: they are guarding Dwight Howard, the same man who murked Cleveland’s frontline, with Pau…Gasol.

Isn’t this the same guy that killed Sam Dalembert (Philly series), along Big Z, Ben Wallace, and Sideshow Bob in the Eastern Finals? Now the apologists will say that he’s getting doubled, and they throwing all sorts of looks at him, but hell, what dominant center hasn’t seen a double team before? He got doubled in the last series, and he destroyed those cats. Plus, it’s not like the Lakers aren’t sending immediate doubles when he gets the ball. It’s almost like he’s expecting the double to come instead of just making his move, so once it comes later than he expects, he doesn’t know what the *bleep* to do, and he ends up traveling, turning it over, or taking some awkward-ass shot. When Rashard Lewis gives you 34 points (on excellent shooting), and Hedo Turkoglu adds 22 (on excellent shooting), you shouldn’t lose a game. Granted, their guards stunk as well, but we expected Superman to be a huge factor, and he simply hasn’t been so. I really wouldn’t be so hard on him if it was expected for him to be playing mediocre, but when you go from dominating Cleveland, to not being worth a damn against the Lakers, you should be called out. 38% shooting is pathetic, especially for someone who makes a living at the rim. He also has to continue playing, no matter how much he gets hit, even when things aren’t going his way. There were a couple of possessions where he just stopped when the ref didn’t blow a whistle, and that simply can’t happen.

I think what’s happened is we’re seeing how limited his offensive game really is. This is something many people have been saying for a while now, and it’s on display during the biggest stage of the year. Ed said it his article about a month ago, which he’s been getting crucified for, but hell; we’re all seeing it with our own eyes. He got his FIRST DUNK OF THE SERIES last night, which basically means if he’s not dunking, he’s ineffective on that end. Either that, or Pau Gasol is First-Team All Defense. You be the judge.

We’ll see if Superman gets it together for Game Three and beyond, because they certainly need him if they have any prayer of making this thing competitive.

Be easy.

-K. Masenda


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