Monday, May 31, 2010

Repost: The Worst of Celtics-Lakers Part 2

Celtics-Lakers 2

This is Part 2 of our The Worst of Celtics-Lakers series. It's a decent sequel, I think. Not quite Ghostbusters II, but close. Wait...I should probably rethink that comparison...

1963 NBA Finals

Getting it wrong, Part I: In march of 1963, some big, throbbing brain at Sports Illustrated ensured himself a place in the Stupid Quotes Hall of Fame when he wrote that: "The Boston Celtics are an old team. Tired blood courses through their varicose veins." Which was a pretty off-the-wall viewpoint considering the five-time champions finished the season with the best record in the league (58-22) -- five games better than the second-place Lakers.

Oh, and those old, tired legs ran up 118.8 PPG (third in the league) while allowing only 111.6 PPG (second in the league). And their point differential (7.2) was easily tops in the NBA. What's more, seven players averaged in double-figures and Bill Russell was the league MVP for the third straight season. So I think the real issue was simply that SI -- and probably a lot of other people -- were tired of watching the Celtics win year after year after year.

Fun fact: It wasn't just the sports writers and their opponents who were getting tired of Boston's wining ways; their fans were too! Regular-season attendance dropped to 6,800 per game, which means there were about 8,000 empty seats in the Boston Garden every night. Wow. I guess back in the 60s, winning just wasn't enough. Ah, if only Bill Russell had been white.

Bob Cousy, quote machine. The Cooz appeared on The Mike Wallace Show and Wallace asked him how he dealt with playoff pressure. Cousy said, completely seriously, "Well, I go to the toilet much more often." Well, at least he was properly hydrated.

Bold predictions, Part I: Red Auerbach and his victory cigar made a lot of enemies back in the day. Oh, and the fact that he and his team spent the better part of a decade and a half kicking everybody's ass didn't win him many friends, either. A rival coach once had this to say about the cigar-smoking curmudgeon: "At first I didn't like Red Auerbach. But in time I grew to hate him."

Hate never daunted Red, though. He fed off of it. Well, that and the blood of his enemies. And the man had no fear -- except for grizzly bears, and who can blame him? -- which is probably why he gave the Lakers some bulletin board material after the Celtics won Game 4 in L.A. to take a 3-1 series lead. Said Auerbach: "We've never lost three games in a row."

That's the kind of statement that would get you in trouble if you were, say, Tracy McGrady. Of course, this was Red Auerbach, so it turned out to be true. Eventually.

The Celtics in Game 5: Red's plus-sized mouth got muzzled in Game 5, which his team lost at home due to a series of unfortunate events. Tommy Heinsohn got himself ejected. Bob Cousy fouled out after scoring only 12 points. And the Celtics had no defensive answers for Elgin Baylor (43 points) and Jerry West (32 points) as Los Angeles kept their playoff hearts beating with a 126-119 victory.

Getting it wrong, Part II: The media was as obsessed with Boston's composite age as Marilyn Monroe's suicide and the Cuban Missle Crisis. (Yes, those events happened during the 1962-63 season. Wild, huh?) After the rotten egg the Celtics had laid in Game 5, everybody was predicting the crusty leprechauns would disintegrate into dust under the Lakers' youthful feet. Good call, collective media!

Fun fact: I guess "old age" meant something completely different in the 60s. Sure, The Cooz was 34, but Sam Jones (29), Heinsohn (28) and Bill Russell (28) were all in their primes, and the Celtics even had a young crackerjack rookie named John Havlicek (22) on the team. As Cousy put it: "We are not the oldest men alive."

Bold predictions, Part II: With the media carving the letters on his team's tombstone, Bill Russell openly scoffed at the notion that the Lakers had taken control of the series and were going to overtake his Celtics. Said Russell: "No. Los Angeles is not going to do any such thing." That's a pretty ballsy thing to say, and he backed it up. But still.

Lakers fans: Man, those dudes were a combustible bunch even in the 1960s. Prior to Game 6, a 5,000-person horde descended on the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena to buy playoff tickets. When they found there weren't any available, the "fans" transformed into an angry, yelling mob. The situation fell just short of the pitchfork-and-torches treatment only after the Lakers offered to show the game on closed-circuit TV for $2.50 per person. So much for The Age of Aquarius, huh?

Jerry West: The Logo missed the final seven weeks of the regular season due to a hamstring injury, and it certainly limited his effectiveness in the playoffs. But his hammy wasn't to blame for his biggest boner of the of Game 7: With 2:48 remaining and the Lakers down only two points, West tried to force a pass to Rudy LaRusso. The pass was stolen by Tommy Heinsohn, who took it the other way for an easy bucket. That play killed the Lakers momentum and all but broke their will. A couple minutes later, Cousy dribbled out the clock on a 112-109 win and another Celtics championship. I'm guessing that's one pass Mr. Clutch would like to have back.

Red Auerbach, quote machine: In honor of Lakers owner Bob Short and the team's successful move to The City of Angels, the NBA staged the 1963 All-Star Game in Los Angeles. The day of the game, Short held a luncheon that featured plenty of back-patting and glad-handing, as well as a program that proclaimed L.A. to be the "Basketball Capital of the World." Too bad for Short that he had invited Red to speak at the event, right after Lakers coach Fred Shaus. And this is what Red had to say: "I suppose you people expect me to make some more nice chitchat like Shaus. You're a bunch of bushers. That goes for the club, the fans, and all the writers." Red held up the program and continued: "I come here today, and I see this -- it's ridiculous! What do you people think this is? Win a couple championships first, then talk about being the basketball capital of the world. Right now, the basketball capital is Boston. And it's gonna stay in Boston for a long time!"

It was against that backdrop that, after the Celtics finished off the Lakers in Game 6, Red said to the press: "Please tell me some of these stories about Los Angeles being the basketball capital of the world." Ah, Red...always the gracious winner.

Bill Russell, quote machine: While not quite as acerbic as his feisty coach, Russ made his own subtle dig to the assembled media: "It's nice to be playing with the old pros. The old, old pros."

Party pooping: After winning their fifth straight title -- and sixth in seven years -- the Celtics didn't break out beer or champagne. In fact, it would have taken an electron microscope to even find a trace of emotion in the Boston locker room, despite the fact that Cooz had played his final game. Said Heinsohn: "Why celebrate? We've won five in a row." Added Havlicek (years later): "We won, and I think people expected us to win. We had a breakup dinner, and we were gone within a day or two."

Wordiosity: While the Celtics were pretty ho-hum about their latest title, the Boston media wasn't. Grantland Rice, the great sports writer/poet, wrote the following: "With a farewell performance of supreme virtuosity, Cooz, the Magnificent, had led his Boston Celtics to a fifth straight championship. Thus did the Celtic captain complete his playing days on the triumphant note he deserved, still a champion among champions." Jeez, Grantland. If you wanted to sleep with The Cooz so badly, you could have just tried asking him.

Sources:, Wikipedia,, Ever Green by Dan Shaughnessy, and The Rivalry by John Taylor.

Repost: The Worst of Celtics-Lakers Part 1

Celtics-Lakers 1

Editor's note: I don't mean to cop out of a Worst of the Weekend post, but I took a rare but much-needed weekend off from basketblogging. What can I say that wasn't in this weekend's BAD comments? The Magic were worse than the Celtics and the Suns were worse than the Lakers. Orlando paid the price for letting their championship hopes rest on Dwight Howard's post move and Vince Carter's clutch abilities, and Phoenix simply wasn't as talented as L.A.

Anyway, leading up to the big Celtics-Lakers Finals, I'm going to repost all my old Worst of Celtics-Lakers entries. I will update this series with a final entry for the 2008 Finals. Hope this can tide you over until the Finals start.

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers faced off in the NBA Finals in 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1984, 1985, 1987 and 2008. That's 10 times, which is the same number of the Friday the 13th movie where Jason Voorhees was frozen, launched into outer space, and transformed from a zombie serial killer into a zombie-android serial killer. Coincidence? I think not.

The Celtics were 8-2 in those championship series. Those showdowns were filled with many classic moments, as well as some not-so-classic moments. I think you know which ones I'm going to talk about.

The 1962 NBA Finals

Wishful thinking: Even though they were four-time champions, Fred Shaus -- whose Lakers had already qualified for the final round -- had been rooting for the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. Why? Said Shaus: "In all honesty, we had no post game." In other words, Shaus and the Lakers felt more confident in facing Bill Russell in the pivot than Wilt Chamberlain...even though The Stilt had never, you know, won a championship. Guess that goes to show, once again, that you should be very, very careful what you wish for.

The Boston fans: By the time they made it to the 1962 Finals, the Celtics had already won three straight titles and four out of five. Not too shabby, eh? That '62 team averaged 121.1 PPG, compiled the best record in the league (60-20), and had just finished an exciting seven-game series against the monstrous Wilt Chamberlain and his Philadelphia Warriors in the Eastern Conference Finals. But not even all that couldn't draw the Beantowners to the Boston Garden for the championship round. Only 7,617 fans showed up for Game 1. For a little perspective, that was barely more than half of the Garden's 14,890 capacity. And there were plenty of empty seats available throughout the series.

Homecourt disadvantage: In retrospect, maybe the Boston fans knew what they were doing. Boston lost Games 2 and 5 at home, and the Lakers lost Games 4 and 6 at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. BASIC MATH ALERT!! That means the home teams were 3-4 in this series.

Fun fact: Game 6 of the '62 Finals was one of the Lakers most heartbreaking playoff losses ever. With a chance to win it all at home, the Lakers built a 10-point halftime lead before getting overwhelmed in the second half and losing 119-105. Game 7 in Boston? Yeah, that didn't go their way either...

Jim Krebs: Krebs was a 6'8" bruiser who was known for, well, bruising people. And then some. In his autobiography Go Up For Glory, Bill Russell said: "Jim Krebs was known in the league as man who was willing to go beyond the rules in getting his man." Krebs lived down to to his reputation in the Finals, breaking K.C. Jones' nose with an "errant" elbow.

Sam Jones: Sam had a Game 3 he'd probably rather forget. (And I'm sure all those championships worked better than a labotomy.) Not only did he get abused by Jerry West, who scored four points in the final minute to tie the game at 115-all, Sam threw a bad pass -- intended for Bob Cousy -- with four seconds left that was stolen by West. Mr. Clutch laid it in at the buzzer, giving the Lakers a 117-115 win and a 2-1 series lead. There was only one problem...

Clock mismanagement, Part I: Red Auerbach freaked out after Game 3 and insisted afterward that it was impossible for West to dribble 30 feet and score with only three seconds left. The Lakers' bench had thought it was impossible too; L.A.'s reserves were screaming their heads off for West to pull up and shoot. But West knew what he was doing. Just ask him. "I had deflected the ball on the run. I knew I would have enough time, because I knew what the shot clock was. Quite often I'm surprised today that more young players don't pay attention to the shot clock." Uh huh.

Boston's Game 5 defense: In 1962, the Celtics had the best defense in the league (111.9 PPG), but that didn't keep them from getting shelled in Game 5 at home. Not only did the Lakers put up 126 points, Elgin Baylor took a 61-point dump in the Celtics' championship stew. That, by the way, is an NBA Finals record that still stands. Now watch Elg make those leprechauns look silly.

Satch Sanders, quote machine: He was Boston's "defensive specialist," and he had been responsible for guarding Baylor in Game 5 and throughout the series. Word has it, he's never been able to grow any more facial hair after Baylor singed it off on that warm summer night in '62. Said Saunders: "Elgin was just a machine."

Sam Jones: He was The 17-foot Assassin before David West was even a twinkle in his mother's eye. Bill Russell often referred to Jones as "the best shooter in the world." This was not the case in Game 7, when Sam went 1-for-10 from the floor.

Satch Sanders, Tommy Heinsohn, and Jungle Jim Loscutoff: All three of these guys got fouled out by Elgin Baylor in Game 7 (Elg finished with 39 points). That, obviously, left Boston a little short-handed when the game went to overtime. Which, as it ended up, didn't matter. But still.

The "Almost" Shot: The Lakers had possession of the ball with five seconds left in regulation. The game was tied. Fred Shaus designed a play with Baylor as the first option, West as the second option, and "whoever else was open" as the third option. Since Baylor and West were both covered tightly, Rod Hundley passed the ball to Frank Selvy, who was open on the baseline about eight feet from the basket. His defender, Bob Cousy, had gambled for a quick double-team on West. Selvy took a shot that he supposedly hit "eight out of 10 times"...and missed.

Said Selvy: "I had to get it off fast. I sort of hurried it, but I thought it was going in. I get the blame for missing that shot, but I don't think that was the ballgame."

Clock mismanagement, Part II: Years later, Red Auerbach was still righteously pissed off because of what he saw as a clock error that gave the Lakers an unfair chance at winning the game in regulation. "We were cheated. The timer froze. There were three seconds left to go. They took it out at midcourt and threw it to a guy a midcourt. He took a bounce, then he threw it all the way into the corner. Now that goddamn thing is three seconds there. Selvy takes the ball and goes up for as hot and misses it. The rebound goes in the air and the clock still hadn't gone off. Baylor got the rebound and put it up and missed it. It was more than Selvy's shot."

Sour grapes: The Lakers literally missed their chance to dethrone the Celtics and win their first championship since moving to L.A. And afterward, Baylor lamented some Derek Fisher-esque no-calls. "Selvy thought Bob Cousy fouled him. I thought Cousy fouled him. He took the shot from a spot where he was very proficient. Cousy said he never fouled him. I was in a position to get the offensive rebound. But somebody behind me shoved me out of bounds right into the referee. There was no foul call there, either. I looked around and saw Russell and Sam Jones behind me."

Fun fact: Apparently, Baylor eventually obtained a copy of the game's film and confirmed that Jones had indeed shoved him out of bounds, away from the rebound. Jones later admitted pushing him.

Sources:, Wikipedia,, Ever Green by Dan Shaughnessy, and The Rivalry by John Taylor.

Memoirs of a Goldfish... a Review for Memoir Monday!

A Solitary Life for a Clever little Fellow...
until One Day ...

Memoirs of a Goldfish is, simply said, Wonderful! Written by Devin Scillian and beautifully illustrated by Tim Bowers, we are introduced to a clever little goldfish that loves his simple solitary lifestyle. He recounts 14 days of his life that start out simply as,

Day One

I swam around my bowl

Day Two

I swam around my bowl. Twice.

But life even for a goldfish can get complicated and as the simple little bowl that serves as his home starts to fill up with other "fishbowl" items, such as Mr. Bubbles the scuba diver (he's creepy), Mervin the disgusting snail, and plants which he knows he's going to have to "water now!", the little goldfish laments for the simple solitary life he once had- until his wish comes true and he then realizes being alone isn't really as nice as all that.

Children will delight in the beautiful illustrations of the ever crowding fishbowl. They'll meet a crab named Fred, 2 guppies named Rhoda & Clark, a diva angelfish named Cha-Cha, along with Mr. Bubbles & Mervin the snail. It's a sweet story, with memorable characters, where children will learn the value of friendship and the importance of sharing their lives with others as our sweet hero suddenly,

" With a whoosh, and a splash, and a clank and a plunge,"

is transported to a new home, void of all objects crowding up his old bowl. He begins to worry and miss everyone! No need to fret though, there's a very happy ending that will have everyone, including our little goldfish, smile! A sweet choice for children, but the adults in my household loved the story too! You will laugh, and you will smile, as you read the cleverly written Memoirs of a Goldfish. And Memoirs of a Goldfish will be available at your local bookstore June 1st!

I met the wonderful people from Sleeping Bear Press at BEA this year, and want to thank them for sending home a copy of Memoirs of a Goldfish with me to review & share with my readers! You can learn more about the other fabulous childrens books Sleeping Bear Press publishes at their website, Sleeping Bear Press.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Sunday Salon... Exciting New Books from Authors I Just Discovered! The Week in Review & a Sneak Peek at The Week Ahead!

It's Sunday Morning... time to sit back, relax and enjoy a nice steaming cup of Joe. Book Bloggers are getting together in that virtual library's reading room today, as they do every sunday, to chat about all things bookish... The Sunday Salon is books, authors, and the sharing of what's happened this week in that ever changing world of publishing. This week we book bloggers didn't just meet virtually, we were able to connect at the largest publishing event in North America, the BEA or BookExpo America! AND The Book Blogger Convention! It was an exciting week in New York! I was able to get a day in at BEA and was thrilled! Meeting favorite authors, discovering new authors, meeting the great people at the publishing houses, meeting bloggers & people who just love books all under one roof! And today's Sunday Salon is about 2 of those authors I "discovered" while at BEA! I am so excited about sitting down and opening the pages of these authors! And ladies, if you love being swept back in time, you are going to love the books I'm going to talk about today!

Jennifer Donnelly was signing copies of her newest book Revolution! She was so nice as we chatted briefly about the book and Chick with Books! The YA book, Revolution, is about 2 girls centuries apart and the diary that brings them together. As part of promoting the book, each book was given with a beautiful lanyard of red silk with a key attached inserted into the book as a bookmark, a reference I'm sure to the diary. And she signed the book, "Turn the Key"! What I discovered was that Jennifer Donnelly wrote 4 books previous to Revolution (one is a children's picture book)! Her previous book, A Northern Light, is the Winner of the Carnegie Medal, the UK’s most prestigious prize for children’s literature! A Northern Light is also a Young Adult (YA) book. Her other 2 novels The Tea Rose and The Winter Rose are part of a historical fiction trilogy that starts in East London in 1888. Now about Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly... Here's how Jennifer Donnelly describes her book, Revolution, on her website...

"As you might expect from the title, the book is about a revolution. On one level, it’s about the French Revolution and one of its smallest victims. On another level, it’s about the revolution inside, about the changes we as human beings go through as we struggle to make sense of our world and its tragedies. Here's how we described the story on the book jacket:

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape. Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present."

I am so excited to be able to read this! I love stories that deal with the conflicts of growing up, but the added dimension of being transported to another time centuries before and learning about Alexandrine through her diary and then possibly a shift in time is enticing! Revolution will be officially released in the U.S. October 12th, 2010 by Random House/Delacorte. I'll be reviewing this ASAP here too! Thank you to both Jennifer Donnelly and Random House/Delacorte for receiving the advanced copy of Revolution at BEA!

One of the other authors I met at BEA that I'd like to share today with you was Deanna Raybourn. She was signing her book, The Dead Travel Fast, at the Mystery Writers of America table on thursday. She was also nice and funny, especially when her signing line was held up because Alan Orloff, who was sitting next to her, ran out of books and everyone was waiting for him to try and find more books from his publisher to sign before proceeding to her.

Deanna Raybourn writes mysteries with romance in a time period that is historical rather than contemporary. Her books have been called "British historical thrillers" by Publisher's Weekly. Her newest novel, The Dead Travel Fast, is "the story of Theodora Lestrange, a young Scottish novelist, and her adventures in 1858 Transylvania". Castles, Counts, a decaying castle, superstitions and passions are what we are promised in The Dead Travel Fast! Prior to her newest novel, Deanna Raybourn has written a series called The Lady Julia Grey Mystery Series, in which the first book in the series, Silent in The Grave won a RITA in 2008 for best novel with "strong romantic elements" from the Romance Writers of America! This is the series of books Publishers Weekly referred to as "British historical thrillers". I always love a strong female character, and that is precisely what Lady Julia Grey is! And Kindle lovers... right now you can get The Lady Julia Grey Bundle in the Kindle store at a bargain price of $9.99! That's all 3 of the books in the Lady Julia Grey Mystery Series! The next book in the Lady Julia Grey Mystery series, Dark Road to Darjeeling, will be coming out in October and Lady Julia Grey will be traveling to India. Now getting back to The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn, this is what the Back of the Book has to say...

"A husband, a family, a comfortable life: Theodora Lestrange lives in terror of it all. With a modest inheritance and the three gowns that comprise her entire wardrobe, Theodora leaves Edinburgh — and a disappointed suitor — far behind. She is bound for Roumania, where tales of vampires are still whispered, to visit an old friend and write the book that will bring her true independence.

She arrives at a magnificent, decaying castle in the Carpathians replete with eccentric inhabitants: the ailing dowager; the troubled steward; her own fearful friend, Cosmina. But all are outstripped in dark glamour by the castle's master, Count Andrei Dragulescu. Bewildering and bewitching in equal measure, the brooding nobleman ignites Theodora's imagination and awakens passions in her that she can neither deny nor conceal. His allure is superlative, his dominion over the superstitious town, absolute — Theodora may simply be one more person under his sway. Before her sojourn is ended — or her novel completed — Theodora will have encountered things as strange and terrible as they are seductive. For obsession can prove fatal...and she is in danger of falling prey to more than desire."

I love novels set in that gothic time frame. And I can't wait to travel with Theodora in Deanna Raybourn's newest novel! And that's what is wonderful about going to event like BEA, a whole new world is opened up as a result of meeting just one new author! The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn is available now at your local bookstore! I want to thank Deanna Raybourn and her publisher MIRA Books for my copy of The Dead Travel Fast I received at BEA!

I'll be talking more about some of the great authors and books from BEA in the coming weeks, but in the meantime you can check out my post, BEA was HOT, from this past week! Also this week I reviewed Sounds Like Crazy by Shana Mahaffey, and wrote about Shana chatting about her book with my Reading Group! It was great getting the authors perspective on her own book and being to interact about how we as a group & individually reacted to her story. Thanks again Shana! And a quick note here, there's still time to enter the GIVEAWAY for The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith, that historical thriller taking place in the brutal Soviet Union in 1956.

A sneak peek ahead... Memoir Monday features an adorable guy from Sleeping Bear Press that you won't want to miss! Mother's in particular will want to make sure they stop by! But I really enjoyed his tale too! Jennifer McMahon is touring the blogosphere and making a stop here on thursday, June 3rd, and I will be reviewing her fabulous book Dismantled. (And it really is FABULOUS!) This weeks audiobook on my iPod is WAR by Sebastian Junger, and what book do I have my nose in? Ape House by Sara Gruen!

How was your week?! And what books have you found this week!? Did you go to BEA?! Share it all here! I'd love to hear about it! In the meantime... Happy Reading! Suzanne

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bawful After Dark: Weekend Watch

RIP, Gary Coleman.
(Though Scottie Pippen may not feel the same way... He might direct you toward this fantastically offensive tweet)

I had a coworker at my Clark Kent job joke that he was leaving early to go to a bar and have a drink in Gary Coleman's memory. I had to remind him that he better just drink a shot since he couldn't drink a tall one in this case.

Also, this comment at Deadspin is mandatory viewing.

Anyway, getting to the actual basketball part of this basketball blog... As passed along by AnacondaHL, Goran Dragic and Sasha Vujacic got into a heated argument and swore at each other in Slovenian during last night's game. Bill Simmons did a great job of breaking down why this happened: "FYI: Vujacic/Dragic is exempt from my "every NBA feud starts over a women or a card game" rule. You don't need a reason to hate Vujacic." Solid point.

Speaking of Simmons, he posted his latest mailbag article today, and this question alone was worth clicking on the link:
Q: Thought you would enjoy this 10-minute stretch on Twitter today:
3:50 p.m.: Hasheem Thabeet says: "Late LUNCH before i go for a NAP!!! Mhmmmm Yummy."
4:00 p.m.: Kevin Durant says: "Good workout..worked on ballhandling, finishing thru contact, pull up jumpers, pick n rolls, and making tough shots with a man on me!!!"
Can you tell which one of those No. 2 overall draft picks just spent time in the D League?
-- Brian Seboly, Memphis, Tenn.
Folks, if you ever question why Basketbawful must exist, you will realize how stupid you are for thinking that, and Hasheem Thabeet just told you so. (Oh snap!)

Also, while we're linking to Twitter posts, Jared Dudley channeled his inner Dennis Green for this tweet: "Man!!!!! We let them off the hook.. It's ok will go back home handle our business in game 6"

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

A combination of Alvin Gentry getting sick and facepalming? You know that's getting posted.

Kobe reacting to Gentry heaving into that garbage can on the sidelines, or to Artest's bawful trey near the end of the game. Not sure which.

Seeing Flea at a game makes me miss the days of MTV Rock n Jock Basketball...

All The Friday Games:
Magic at Celtics - ESPN, 8:30pm
Celtics lead series 3-2

It's a good thing the NBA rescinded one of Kendrick Perkins' technical fouls. A couple more injuries and they'll be flirting with the situation the Warriors found themselves in earlier this year when they ran out of players and people got to stay in the game even with six fouls.

* * *

All The Saturday Games:
Lakers at Suns - TNT, 8:30pm
Lakers lead series 3-2

My hatred for the Lakers burns with the intensity of a thousand suns. (Get it? ...Oh my God, that was an awful joke. This series is melting my brain and driving me gradually insane. I apologize.)

* * *

All The Sunday Games:
Celtics at Magic (if necessary) - ESPN, 8:30pm

Sounds like Crazy by Shana Mahaffey... a Review

Sounds like Crazy... ( by Shana Mahaffey)
And You'll Love it!

What would you do with 5 different voices in your head telling you what to do?! Well Holly Miller, who stars in Sounds like Crazy by Shana Mahaffey, calls her 5 voices "the Committee", and she's brought negotiation to a new level as she tries to deal with the life before her and the people in her head that each play a key role in how she handles different situations. There's Ruffles, who weighs a ton and eats Ruffle Potato Chips all day while sitting on a purple pillow. There's the Faceless Boy, who Holly can only see his red Converse Sneakers. There's the Silent One, who prays all the time, and Sarge who is like a drill Sargent and very protective of Holly. And last but not least there's Betty Jane, the diva, the dress to the nines and "Charmin only" control freak who everyone is generally afraid of. (yes, that's Charmin as in bathroom tissue, which she makes Holly carry around because she won't let Holly use anything else if she goes to a restroom!). They make her life hell for the most part, but they also make up her life as she's always known it. What's a girl to do?! Deal with it!

Having multiple personalities makes it difficult to navigate a normal life, but Holly has the "support" of her dysfunctional parents, a long distance sister, a sometimes boyfriend, and a job as a waitress. Yes, I put "support" in quotes because basically her father left her mother, and pays Holly's medical bills (she sees a psychiatrist now) out of guilt for being a horrible father, and her mother basically dropped her off across the country at college and left her there, but gave her an "emergency" credit card, which Holly uses to support her habits, which include food, living expenses beyond the low paying wages of waitresses, and Betty Jane's expensive tastes. That's until one day a customer walks in to the diner, Betty Jane takes over flirting (always good for tips) and loves the voice of Betty Jane for his new animated TV show. Things should be looking up, except Betty Jane is even more over the top with stardom, the rest of the Committee wants to throw her out, and Holly's psychiatrist is trying to heal her for good- AND it all works together beautifully!

Shana Mahaffey has written a smart, funny, and compassionate story. What you may suspect as being just another "chick lit" selection, is really an amazing story of the healing of a woman who was so traumatized at a young age that it left her with dissociative identity disorder, or what was once known as multiple personality disorder. The plot turns from the madcap life of Holly living her life with the Committee, to what caused her trauma and ultimately how she is healed in the end. And it's because of this that the story is so much deeper than what you first see on the surface. Shana's writing is fresh & wonderful. Her characters are all so well written and fully fleshed out. Their personalities are so unique and the Committee is a blast. The story will sneak up on you, grabbing you in the end... I know because it sure grabbed me! It's original and it's a great read! it's about sisters, dysfunctional families, and it's about healing... (throw in some Ruffles potato chips and Charmin bathroom tissue and you're all set!)...

Shana Mahaffey is also a great person! She took the time this week from her busy schedule and chatted with my reading group, who read Sounds like Crazy for our reading group selection this month, via Skype. The book made for a good conversation, but Shana was so much fun to chat with too! She shared her whole writing process, how she came up with the book (no she does NOT have multiple personalities!), and how she researched the book. Thanks Shana!

You can learn more about Sounds like Crazy and the author at Shana's website Plus you can find out how YOUR reading group can have Shana join you virtually to discuss the book while you're there!

Hey, I'm sharing this book review at Cym Lowell's Book Review Party! You get follow the link to Cym Lowell's Blog to read more great reviews!

Worst of Game 5 of the 2010 WCF

Lakers Suns Basketball
This game in a nutshell. A crazy nutshell.

Originally when I wrote my oft-misinterpreted Shrodinger's Playoff Team word of the day article, I imagined the term being applied early in a series, as hope for a win combined with a Game 1 loss can typically combine to the state of simultaneously dead and alive. By Game 5, I figured anyone could tell if a team still had a chance, or was in a hopeless situation.

I guess I didn't expect this case.

Officiating: So bad. So very bad. Tried to take the Lakers out of it early (similar to the Suns in Game 2), missed and inconsistent calls against both teams throughout, and of course missed Kobe out of bounds on that final play. What more is there to say? If your NBA team can't fight the opponent while keeping composure in the face of shitty refs, (or getting away with shit the refs can't see), you're not winning a championship.

The Los Angeles Lakers: Good work jumping to that correlation-with-success good 1st quarter, falling behind 17-11 with 3 minutes to go. Now of course the refs were not on your side for this stretch, so props for keeping it close to allow...

The Phoenix Suns: blow it, ending the 1st quarter at 21-24. The slaughter continued through the second, as the Suns found themselves down by 17. Shout out to Dragic for doing a pretty good job defending Kobe, only Kobe was hitting his stupidly stupid shots. (Also, loved the feisty Slovenian altercation). But hey, it only took until now to give that zone thingy another shot, leading...

The Los Angeles Lakers: close the half surrendering a 17-8 run. For the remainder, the Lakers kept letting the Suns hang around, making a 7 point lead feel like 20. Oh, and way to finally figure out the Vujachick and Farmar combo to disrupt Barbosa and Dragic. Of course running this combo more would require less of Kobe's head up his ass. *gets called for a technical by Bennett Salvatore*. Side note: that was a hilarious technical on Kobe. I wish more over-the-course-of-the-game-whiny superstars would get techs like that. Anyways, they were able to bring it back to an 18 point lead over...

The Phoenix Suns: ...with about 4 minutes to go in the 3rd. Seems about like the time for the Suns to quit, the way Suns guards not named Dragic quit attacking Gasol on pick-and-roll switches. In addition, Barbosa please stop dribbling the ball. Every time you hold the ball for more than 3 seconds, I die a little on the inside. Give the goddamn rock back to Dragic. Anyways, a special mention to ...

nash pass

Steve Nash: ...for continuing his stupid bullshit on these switches. Yes, I will continue to mention this every single damn game, because it's painfully obvious that Phil Jackson knows this, and is perfectly happy baiting Nash into stupid jumpers over Gasol. Sure, tonight he sank a good amount of the shots, but it's really aggravating to see the same thing we want done to Kobe being done to Nash. Well at least this time it sorta worked out, as the zone came back and a couple of crazy assists and shots later...

The Los Angeles Lakers: ...found the lead cut to 1, then to 3 with 1:21 to go in the game. And thus began the night that...

Defensive Rebounding: ...died. I'm sure everyone and their mother's statistical consultant will have looked at and memorized the end of game sequence, so since I'm still oscillating from the emotional roller coaster, I'll skip the recap. I don't think this sequence will top the Duncan 3 in terms of heartbreaking moments, but it sure was something.

I guess this is a reason why this wasn't as bad as the Duncan 3.
Oh and also that this win came off one of the purest Kobe Bryant Assists I've ever seen.

(Aside: Did everyone catch Artest walking back to the tunnel, and getting slapped in the butt by some guy and Artest snapping around with "that crazy look" in his eyes, before getting pushed forward by security? I wish I knew if this helped or hurt the Suns, but it's something.)

This was one of those games where it felt like both teams were doing their worst not to lose. And honestly, I would have thought Suns teams in the past would never overcome the mental break of this kind of game. This year's team? A slim, very slim chance. Which brings me back to the beginning: the birth of a Game 5 Shrodinger's Playoff Team. The Suns have looked good enough to win, and bad enough to be swept. They have a history of mental weakness, yet have shown exceeds-expectations chemistry this year. Smart enough to do the right thing, yet stupid enough to surrender bad turnovers, avoidable points, and winnable games.

And IMHO, what's the one key that can show these Suns are ready to fight for a championship?

Pride: Just suck up your pride for 2 games, Suns. The 2-3 zone works. Don't overthink this. However, do overthink eating...

Fried Artichokes: your next pregame meal. I have zero basis or evidence to support a "classy move, Lakers fans", but I want to say it anyways. Perhaps if we had some BasketBawful readers with experience in the food service industry, y'all could enlighten us with anecdotes and stories of how easy it is to mess with people and their fried food.

I mean this was Gentry's fault too. How could you not be following the Nash Diet on an away game in the playoffs? Also, I know that it was reported during the game that it was Deep Fried Avocados, but for what I hope is the last time in my life, I will trust Twitter for journalistic integrity, courtesy of Alexis Gentry.

Derek Fisher: Get your hand the hell out of Nash's face. *word that KG says loudly into sideline microphones* you, you're almost a more hateable Lakers player than Kobe right now.

Lacktion Report: Does chris offer his sympathies and advice for enduring the Lakersmug?

Suns-Lakers: Robin Lopez laid a little bit of an egg tonight as Phoenix's starting big man, countering two boards in 11:24 with a trio of bricks, a trio of rejections, two fouls, and one giveaway for a 3:2 Voskuhl. Jarron Collins joined the fray by earning himself a 1.3 trillion (1:17).

Despite being inserted in the first quarter as a momentum-shifter, Bill Walton's son Luke baked three bricks in 3:43 for a +3 suck differential.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

BEA was H*O*T!

Book Expo America
May 25th - May 27th!

What an experience BEA (BookExpo America) was this year! I want to thank all the wonderful authors & publishers who shared their latest books, signed copies and chatted books. I met a lot of nice bookish people too! Including Vicky from Ohio who I got to know as we waited to see Sara Gruen and have her sign a copy of her new book Ape House for us.

For those of you unfamiliar with BEA, BookExpo America, is the largest publishing event in North America. With over 500 authors and 1500 exhibitors, it's a way to celebrate our passion for books, find out what's new in the publishing world and what's coming around the corner. There are forums and conferences, presentations and readings. There are luncheons with authors, and breakfasts too! It's a wonderful way to see a favorite author, but also to discover new authors! And I did both!

Some of the HOT books this year were Ape House by Sara Gruen, who wrote Water for Elephants, and which I absolutely loved. And The Passage by Justin Cronin. Helen Simonson was signing her book Major Pettigrews Last Stand, and Lee Child was also at BEA signing his newest Jack Reacher novel, 61 Hours.

The Mystery Writers of America had some great authors to meet at their booth , including Alan Orloff, Cara Black, and Deanna Raybourn. Next door to the Mystery Writers of America was St. Martin's Press and Jonathan Maberry signing copies of Patient Zero and The Dragon Factory, his supernatural thrillers (yes, including some zombies) starring his character Joe Ledger. Michael Connelly was there today, along with Tess Gerritsen and Debbie Macomber. Unbridled Books had their new books on display, of which Elise Blackwell's An Unfinished Score and Joyce Hinnefeld's Stranger Here Below are two that have been on my "watch list".

There was a little romance at BEA too! The Romance Writers of America had plenty to look at as well as Kristi Astor signing her book Winter's Desire, which also has stories by Amanda McIntyre and Charlotte Featherstone as part of Harlequin Spice imprint.

I was able to talk with Jennifer of Zenescope whose Graphic Novels have gotten a lot of great buzz. She shared with me Grimm Fairy Tales, and Tales from Wonderland, in which the artwork is incredible and the storylines are very creative & a great read! More on this later...

Finally, wrapping up the day I chatted with Sleeping Bear Press, which publishes a beautiful selection of Children's Books. And I came home with something special for this coming Monday's Memoir Monday too! Thank you Sleeping Bear Press for the wonderful treat!

I'll be highlighting these books & other great books I came across at BEA in the coming weeks with reviews and blurbs so you can be on the lookout for them too! There was so much excitement at BEA, and even though I didn't get to see everything in one day, I still managed to put more books on my TBR list! I'll share those with you too!

Were you at BEA this week? Let me know what exciting authors you met, or soon to be released books you spotted! In the meantime... Happy reading! Suzanne

Bawful After Dark: May 27, 2010

Could be worse. It could be The Magic Hour.

My fellow gamers should be happy to hear this new rumor: Michael Jordan might be on the cover of NBA 2K11, and possibly even may be featured as a playable character. Or maybe this just means new features in a team ownership mode where you can draft scrubs like Kwame Brown and sign Larry Hughes while gambling and smoking cigars on a golf course.

Speaking of Jordan, Rajon Rondo hasn't really ever seen him play. According to this superb interview (h/t Jonah Keri for the link), he never was a fan of the NBA when he was younger. In fact, he grew up in Louisville only an hour and a half from Indianapolis (like me) and never once went to see them play a single game in person (also like me) However, he found he enjoyed basketball more than other sports and was really good at it (unlike me), so he made the NBA his goal because he knew that was the highest level of basketball. Wouldn't you rather be in the NBA rather than playing in the D-League or overseas, even if it means being Adam Morrison? (Okay, bad example, not even Adam Morrison wants to be Adam Morrison.)

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

I'm surprised they didn't slap Glen Davis with the first-ever quadruple technical foul or something for this

Hey refs, can you go ahead and "T" up Vag Carter next game just because? Thanks in advance!

All The Games:
Suns at Lakers - TNT, 9:00pm
Series tied 2-2

The Lakers have won seven straight Game 5 home games. However, the Suns have Barkley's-colossal-ass-running-downhill momentum, and their zone defense is melting the Spanish Marshmallow Pau Gasol. (Mmm... melted marshmallows...) Lakers home-court means they get some mojo back and a little friendlier refereeing, but this should be a high-intensity game.