Rockets Sign 2nd Round Pick Nick Johnson (DUNK VIDEO)

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Nick Johnson's poster dunk...in the summer league.
If there were a Hall of Fame for highly valuable second round picks, it would likely be located in Houston, perhaps as an annex to the Toyota Center.

In the modern-day edition of the NBA draft, where the value of a draft choice has odd contractual ties to the round in which he is selected, no team has done better on draft night than the Houston Rockets.

(I was going to say no team has "taken better advantage of" the second round than the Rockets, which may still be true, but it's hard to feel like they've gamed the system when Chandler Parsons just walked for nothing after the team turned down a fourth year at $964,000. Probably semantics.)

Chase Budinger, Carl Landry, Parsons, hopefully Isaiah Canaan.

And if Daryl Morey's words about Nick Johnson match the actual output, we may have another plaque in the second round HOF.

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Dre Watch 2014: Andre Johnson Reportedly Spotted at NRG Stadium

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Photo by Groovehouse
The Andre Johnson watch continues.
Where will Andre Johnson be come Friday?

That's the question on every Texan fan's mind as we head toward the end of the week and the beginning of Training Camp 2014. Will he remain away from the team, working out on his own at home? Will he happily just trot out with the wide receivers, get in line and begin drills?

My personal preference: I'm hoping Andre Johnson just sits at the top of the scissor lift in a black trench coat with Crow face paint, à la Sting in WCW 1997, and when the time is right, he drops down from the sky and starts belting the coaching staff and front office with a black plastic bat.

(Have I also mentioned I'm on vacation this week and I'm quite possibly drunk right now?)

Well, if you're looking for any indicators as to how this whole thing plays out, we may have gotten one early this week.

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NFL Rookie QB Update: Mettenberger Sucker-Punched, Manziel Smitten, Madden Ratings Reaction (VIDEO)

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It's in the game.
At the risk of sounding like Chris Berman (which is a horrible risk to take, nonetheless...), there's an old lyric in the Eagles' iconic hit "Hotel California," you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.

It rings true for so many things, not the least of which is the status of "SEC football player."

Yeah, you can get drafted into the NFL, you can sign that first contract, attend OTAs and become a full-fledged member of an NFL roster, but to most of the mouth-breathing psychopaths in the SEC footprint, you'll still always be "that moppy haired asshole who plays for our archival."

Zach Mettenberger found this out the hard way.

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Houston Texans Update: Cushing, Nix, T. Williams to PUP List, Brennan Williams Released

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Changes on the eve of camp.
On Friday, everybody reports for team meetings, and come Saturday, it begins.

The Texans' first training camp of the Bill O'Brien era will be under way, and by Saturday morning, we will have confirmation on just how entrenched Andre Johnson is in his stance against the team. That will be the story line that has everyone buzzing on Saturday.

In the meantime, the final pre-camp transactions and decisions are being made, some of which were expected and some of which sound more dire than they actually are.

Here's the latest...

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Fantasy Crime League Update: St. Louis Rams LB Arrested With Former Houston Rocket

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It's crunch time now, the time when the true greats show why we revere them so.

Yes, the NFL offseason is merely days away from ending, and while this year's police blotter has been more sparse than usual in terms of overall crime, the race to the finish is highly compelling. It's almost like we are in a tight pennant race during the "dead ball" era -- short on offensive fireworks, but still drama-laden.

The chalk right now to take the 2014 Fantasy Crime League crown is the two Harbaugh brothers and one of their squads, the 49ers and the Ravens, trailed closely by the Bills, who've been buoyed by the one-man crime wrecking crew that is defensive tackle Marcell Dareus.

And late in the game, don't look now, but here come the St. Louis Rams! And this criminal incident has an NBA flavor to it, with a former (briefly) Houston Rocket involved!

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Rory McIlroy's Dad Cashes $340,000 Ticket Gambling on His Then-Teenage Son

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Best bet ever or BEST BET EVER!
As parents, true belief in your child is a difficult thing to quantify.

As parents, if our children have hopes and dreams, we outwardly believe in them and we encourage them unconditionally to chase those dreams until society, an employer or the authorities tell them not to.

But what if we had to put our hard-earned money where our hearts and mouths are? Would we be as steadfast?

In America, it's never come to that. We can't bet on our kids (sadly). However, overseas, you can apparently express and quantify your convictions via that most clarifying of routes -- the futures bet!

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LSU Head Coach Les Miles's World Cup Analysis Goes Sideways at SEC Media Day (VIDEO)

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God bless Media Day.
I've been working on a piece for next week's print edition of the Houston Press on the sport of soccer in the aftermath of the World Cup.

In doing some of the research, I've been gathering the usual cadre of statistics, quotes, historical information and expert speculation (thank you, Glenn Davis and Rob Stone!). As someone who grew up in a soccer family, the sport definitely feels like it's as well positioned as ever to really take off in this country.

Gargantuan television contracts, plush new stadiums, league expansion, all these things are happening. These are all great things.

Then, on top of that, the mere soccer awareness across other sports certainly signals heightened relevance for the beautiful game.

We saw some a couple of examples at SEC Media Days:

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Stuart Scott's ESPY Speech Receiving the Jimmy V Perseverance Award Brings Down the House (VIDEO)

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Not all that long ago, I was complaining to a buddy of mine with knowledge of the inner workings at ESPN about the "shtick" of some of the anchors/hosts.

Specifically, I told him that I was not a huge fan of Stuart Scott's work and that Chris Berman's gravelly barrage of jokes that were fresh in 1989 made me want to jam a crowbar through my brain. My friend proceeded to tell me that if anyone was going to have to change in my relationship with ESPN, it would be me because those two guys weren't going anywhere.

"Berman and Stu are the most powerful guys in the building," he said.

Let me just say that I'm still trying to reconcile my feelings with the two of them (both are, by all accounts, pretty nice guys, for what it's worth), but I struggle.

As it pertains to Scott, I respect his longevity, I respect his professionalism, I definitely respect his ability to build a brand. I'm just not wild about the brand.

I'm still not, but after last night's ESPY's, I am a huge fan of Stuart Scott the person and Stuart Scott the father.

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Are the Raiders Aware They Traded for Matt SCHAUB?

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Yikes.
In sports talk radio, there is a running joke about the "Matts."

The Matts are a gaggle of NFL starting (or recently starting) quarterbacks who coincidentally all fall somewhere between, like, tenth and 45th among quarterbacks in terms of their perception around the league. It's a huge chunk of the tier that ranges anywhere from "just good enough to fool you into thinking they can win a Super Bowl" to "just horrible enough to get you fired." (Somewhere, Gary Kubiak nods.)

Also coincidentally, most of these quarterbacks have the first name "Matt."

Matt Ryan, Matt Stafford, Matt Hasselbeck, Matt Cassel, Matt Moore, Matt Leinart, Matt Flynn. And yes, Matt Schaub.

I bring up the Fraternal Order of Matts for a reason, and it's because I'm fairly certain that the Oakland Raiders think that they've traded for one of the actually-somewhat-decent Matts, like Ryan or Stafford, not one who did this last season...

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Zapruder Analysis of a Pool Dunk With LOTS OF FIRE (VIDEO)

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Like a KISS concert with a pool and a basketball.
In the mid to late '90s, professional wrestling's popularity was skyrocketing with a battle between two huge companies on Monday night television.

In order to win the ratings battle, among many tactics, both companies tried to up the ante of gratuitous violence. The use of chairs begat the use of barbed-wire baseball bats, which begat the use of fire, which begat the use of....

You get the point.

Eventually, the ante was escalated so high that the audience became desensitized to the violence, and what at one time caused a huge reaction became white noise in the middle of an innocuous segment. In short, performers were hurting themselves in career-limiting fashion for very little viewership payoff.

I hope that suburban swimming pool dunks aren't headed down that same road.


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