Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chris Mihm: The Lost *NSYNC Member

Contrary to popular belief, the Lakers did not trade Chris Mihm to the Memphis Grizzlies for cash. They actually went back in time to 2001 and traded him to boy-band phenomenon, *NSYNC, in exchange for future amazing NBA mixes 'sync'ed up to flamingly poppish pop music - no strings attached. Well, ladies and gentleman, it's time to reap the benefits of such a transaction:

Probably the only highlight reel that includes clips of the showcased player being posterized.

This video mix ranks right up there with Yi Jianlian's "Beautiful Soul" by Jesse McCartney reel as one of the most obscure and awkward player-music choice mergers in NBA mix history. At the 30 second mark, when Mihm and Mbenga engage in a little scuffle during practice, the lyrics perfectly complement the intensity (and stupidity) of the moment. "It's hard to say I'm sorry. It's hard to make the things I did undone. A lesson I've learned too well for sure." It's only too fitting. And the constant one-second pop ups of DJ Mbenga saying "Daco" are merely extra icings on this already very...white...cake.

Please NBA Season, we 'want you back'.

The Fridge is melting,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Kobe Bryant Strikes Out for His Birthday

First off - Happy Birthday to the Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant! After being in the league for a thrilling 12 seasons, Kobe Bryant is finally ready to enter his prime years and defiantly prove to the world that 31 is the new 21...Congratulations Kobe, you can now legally drink.

In celebration, ESPN decided to randomly flash up a picture of Kobe Bryant in the middle of a Little League World Series game today during a strike-out replay (via ResultsInconclusive):

Kid: "Hey come back here, Kobe! You can't do that!"

I don't know about you, but I absolutely love watching Kobe Bryant leak out for those easy, break-away...home runs. In the meantime, this little kid can now forever happily say that he was once able to share some ESPN screen time with the great Kobe Bryant on the day of his 31st birthday. Now how many kids can say that? Happy Birthday to you too, little fella.

The Fridge Keeps Things Fresh Well Into Their 30's,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Friday, August 21, 2009

3-Year Old Kid Knows the Lakers Better Than Your Mom Does

I'm not even going to add some idiotic, witless intro to this like I usually do, so... just watch this whiz kid:

I bet the Celtic kid can't do that. This little guy is amazing. I'm pretty sure he's the main reason why Lamar Odom decided to stay in LA. Ironic that he had to spend like 24 seconds, the longest out of any player, to decipher Kobe Bryant's number, but only 0.5 seconds to cutely shout out 'Mbenga'. All I know is - impressive. How old are you? And did you even know that Kurt Rambis' jersey number was 31? I only knew he was white. I just hope the cute kid knows his ABC's and 123's just as well though, cus...knowing that #18 is Sasha 'the Machine' Vujacic will never get you very far in life. Neither will actually being Sasha Vujacic the person...

The Fridge Loves Educational Laker Learning,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Some Guy...Dunking

In the continual battle against the dog days of summer, I strive to not only bring you the most entertaining/amusing NBA content, but also do it in the most unwittiest of ways. So what better way to cure the summer drought than with a little bit of dunking madness from a guy who gets his due pay whenever his feet leave the ground - Guy Dupay. Probably one of the coolest names ever. And probably one of the easiest to clown on. Dupay attention (see, too easy):

The behind the back dunk over 3 peeps was my personal favorite. Just look at how far he takes off on every dunk. His dunking game surely raises his seemingly uninspired name to ever new heights, helping prove that, when it comes to aerial mastery, he's not just another 'guy' in the crowd. He's a guy with a capital G. Guy. Like that.

The Fridge is getting unwittier by the day,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Vindicating Videos

For the avid NBA fan in August who obsessively continues to stare at rosters and dream of the endless possibilities for the season and his team, there can be no vindication found for the incessant boredom and lack of NBA substance he feels anxiously waiting for the dream season to finally - well, wake up and become a reality. Luckily for Lakers fans, we're blessed and spoiled to have a variety of different quality resources to get us through the dry well of NBA news. Whether it be actual artists like Lil Wayne making rap songs for the team or even unknown talents rapping about the Summer happenings, or a massive variety of witty blogs/forums by which to choose from, or the insane amount of gifted video-editors that Laker Nation has at its disposal who are continually dishing out amazingly professional montages that put the typical NBA intros to shame, Laker fans still have the most to work with. Oh, and I guess winning a championship helps too.

Regardless, I have always been absolutely amazed by and in awe of the continual top-notch quality of Lakers' mixes, which are probably the best and most goosebump-inducing montages on youtube out of any other sports highlights. Well, ok, maybe Yi Jianlian's Jesse McCartney mix tape still tops out at #1, but Laker fan editors and their videos come in at a close second. Anyway, in a continual effort to help assuage Summer nothingness, I bring to you one of the best Kobe Bryant reels I've seen this summer. I know people always say that, but this video, with its seamless blend of music and film, is definitely up there amongst any other video you've once deemed epic. It's definitely emotionally stirring to say the least. Make sure to watch it in HD - it's so real you get to actually feel how it's like to futilely try to defend Kobe Bryant and fail. But feel Vindicated:

(Credit goes to 'theperson18' for making theperson24 the video he deserves.)

There's something about symphonic, string-laden, liturgical music with its continual climactic progressions that just makes everything seem quite legendary. Kind of just leaves you in a state of utter awe at how truly epic the Black Mamba has become. Now someone make a mix-tape of Kwame Brown to those liturgical chants and we'll see if epic and legendary still spew from my mouth in response. Good day to you all!

The Fridge has the best casserole mix-tapes,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stephon Mar-Barbie World

So we've come to the month of August. And while the end of June through all of July was a surprisingly upbeat and boisterous time for avid NBA fans, we've unfortunately hit that inevitable wall that is the NBA summer.

Luckily, NBA players know how to entertain. Or torture - depending on the type of person you are.

Stephon Marbury. As if we haven't seen enough insanity and spacey interviews from him already...He's a fan pleaser, though. And what the fans want, the fans get. So it's a no-brainer that he would eventually have to put up a video of himself shirtless, intoxicatedly dancing to 'I'm A Barbie Girl' in a dimly lit room that just screams - eerie.

He never fails to keep it absolutely disturbing, providing the viewers with a variety of awkwardly seductive moves and position switches that occur from the front, to the back, to the side, to the... 'what the H is going on'? But what can you do? Marbury has a knack for knowing exactly what the viewers want to see (sarcasm abounds from here on out). After all, can we really blame him when we as fans have so insistently been clamoring for him to do such a rendition as this for so long? I don't know about you, but it's always been my heart's desire to see fallen NBA stars emphasize their fallen-ness by dancing to such great classics like 'I'm A Barbie Girl'. Well, just like he once catered to his fans with his revolutionary $15 Starbury basketball shoes, Starbury has once again out-did himself and given us what we've always wanted - a little taste of MarBarbie World ( he clearly is in his own world at this point):

Who's down to see Mark Madsen and Stephon Marbury do a little dance number together to the sounds of Mariah Carey's 'Touch My Body' sung by an awkward Korean guy? Ooh, me, me, me!!

Don't look at me like that. It's not like this idea is any more out-of-the-blue than anything else we've seen from the great Vaseline-eating, Devil-blaming, Barbie Girl-Dancing Stephon. Life in plastic, it's fantastic. Or just downright creepy.

The Fridge hates that Barbie and Ken broke up,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Knock-Out NBA News Recap: From Powe to Pau to B-Diddy's Private Pics, Wow!

General NBA News:

- The Cleveland Cavaliers sign Leon Powe to a two-year deal. If he ever gets healthy and returns to his active 2008 form, the league better watch out. Boston will most likely regret the day they let him go, the day he poetically beats them in a wine and gold jersey, and the day Lebron James' decision to stay with the Cavs hinges solely upon Powe's improvement as a rising star. But let's not get ahead of ourselves - he still has till 2010 before he sees the hardwood.

This train has passed, Boston. Right through Powe's out-stretched legs. What.

- Ben Wallace returns to the Detroit Pistons just after seriously considering retirement. He will most likely back-up the great Kwamay Brown (my how the mighty have fallen). In other news, did you know that Ben Wallace first came into the league as a point guard? Him and Nash were point guard rivals in college. And him and the air were free throw rivals during this game:

Lebron knows what's up.


- Kurt Rambis nabs the head coaching job for the Minnesota Timberwolves. We wish him the best and hope he can somehow facilitate Ricky Rubio for Sasha Vujacic trade with the Lakers. What impact will this leaving have on the Lakers' championship hopes? Well...they did just get a little less white.

- Pau Gasol injures his left hand during Team Spain's practice and has subsequent surgery soon after. He will be out for 3 weeks and should be just healthy enough before the season begins to effectively resume looking awkward at the free throw line.

Double goose-neck - impressive. Looking like a sasquatch - impressively priceless.

- Someone suggested that we should bubble wrap all the Lakers players for the rest of the summer to insure nobody gets injured. Sounds like a great idea. While we're at it, let's go one step further with Sasha and place him into a nice UPS box and ship him off as well - nicely bubble wrapped and all.

Clippers News:

- A Ramon Sessions signing by the Clippers appears imminent after the Knicks have apparently dropped out of the race. If Dunleavy can nab this rising, young guard, the supporting cast of the future for the L.A. Blakers would appear to be filling out just nicely.

- The Clippers traded a pick to the Hornets for shooting wing-man Rasual Butler. They continue to get significantly deeper and deeper - by bench and by long-ball...especially if 6'10 shooting goddess Steve Novak accepts the current offer sheet being presented to him as well.

- Baron Davis has reportedly gotten his laptop stolen. He is also reportedly very concerned that some private pictures of his found within the laptop might be leaked onto the internet. His lawyers have gotten involved and have sent out a warning to the culprit that if Davis's privacy is violated and these pictures are released, a lawsuit will be filed. What's more perplexing to me is the fact that Baron Davis could possibly have any more embarrassing and disturbing pictures than this one:

Conan O'Brien: He's not afraid of people seeing any sexual pictures...He's afraid of people seeing him wearing a Clippers jersey. Ouch.

We can only hope that 1. Baron Davis didn't go Vanessa Anne Hudgens on us, 2. that he's not friends with R. Kelly, and 3. that every one involved in those pictures is of legal age to go to Dave and Buster's. In the end, who knows, maybe Davis is just hiding some embarrassing cue pictures that he took at an Asian place. In any case, we're all cue-rious.

The Fridge Neatly Packages NBA News For You In Nice, Witty Tupperware,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Rashard Lewis On Hyperizers: Suspended 10 Games for Hella Drug Violation

Well...someone's up to 'speed' with their game. On the day Rashard Lewis received his 10-game suspension from the league for violating its drug policy and allegedly using performance enhancing drugs, new video surfaces of him rapping about some Hyperizer product while sporting a cool new 'do that just screams - high testosterone levels.

They just be hyperizin'. Why ya'll be criticizin'?

What exactly are Hyperizers? Is that the stuff Rashard Lewis took during the playoffs? Or the stuff he put in his hair? Was he suspended for drugs or...for this commercial? The world may never know. Regardless, Rashard just wants you to know:

Being hyperized is hella fun. How much fun? I said, hella fun. It's not my fault you can't hang. Maybe basketball just ain't your thang.

Rashard is hella suspended. As suspended as his hair is in the air.

Don't criticize. Just hyperize. Here's the emcee list to this rim rockin', chart toppin', hot jam:

Fog Raw: Mo Williams + jerry curls
Velvet Hoop - Kevin Durant
Chief Blocka - Andre Iguodala
Ice-O - Rashard Lewis...on hyperizers.

I'm still honestly not sure what this song is about. All I know is...Someone should have laid a little more low. And that goes for his hair too, Ice-O.

Moral of the day: Listening to Scot Pollard has never gotten anyone very far.

The Fridge is Ice-O'd Out...And Suspended,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lamar Odom: The Missing Piece That Never Fit

Lamar Odom - The Goods, The CandyMan, The Enigma.

Riddle Me This, Candy-Man:

Lamar Odom's life has always paralleled that of a misshapen puzzle piece. Like an out-of-place segment with too many jutting curves, Odom has always been such an enigmatic player - so diverse in his skill-set that nobody could ever quite peg down his true player-type or properly define his game. His coaches have forever tried utilizing him in a variety of different ways: playing him here, playing him there - always hoping that he would somehow develop into the missing piece they needed. Analysts, on the other hand, continually went crazy over how such a creative talent as Odom could simply coast through entire seasons without scoring 30 points at least once a month (or even once a season). For fans, his consistent inconsistency and lackadaisical style of play simply drove them nuts...while Odom simply continued to drive left...and eat nuts (the candied variety). Perfect piece to the puzzle? Hardly; he seemed more like the stray piece to an entirely different one altogether. In the end, many will agree that such an analogous depiction of Odom has always extended far past the figurative comparisons and straight into the literal. Because for most everyone, Lamar Odom has always been, quite literally...puzzling.

Nowadays however, many will concur that he represents a good, unique kind of puzzling. For as frustrating as Odom can be for the team that has him on its roster, opposing teams who don't have him on theirs are equally as frustrated when it comes to defending him. And it's been that way ever since Lamar Odom entered the league...or started dribbling a basketball...or realized he was ridiculously long, lanky, and tall...or started referring to himself in third person...or realized candy was sweet. You get the 'picture'. But let's backtrack first, redo that horrible in-bounds pass with Lamar, and reevaluate the history of an enigmatic player who went from underrated puzzlement to well-deserved underrated-ness... in the 'bling' of an eye.

I'm in L.A., trick. I'm in Miami, trick:

Lamar's Game Winner in Rhode Island. Let the hype begin.

Coming out of Rhode Island and being drafted at #4 by the Clippers in 1999, Lamar Odom was immediately touted as a dynamic, game-changing player that one could build an entire franchise around. Odom was 6'10, with the lanky arms of an adept rebounder, the inherent mentality (and occasional ability) to hit threes like a dead-eye shooter, and the court vision and handles like that of a premiere point guard. His rookie numbers? Try 17 ppg, 8 reb, 4 assts, 1 stl, 1 blk, 36% 3pt. Numbers of a star. There was definitely nothing puzzling about those numbers, but up-and-coming stars usually tend to top their own impressive starts year-by-year, not plateau out as Odom eventually did. He showed flashes in his first few years in red and blue, but after awhile (after some unfortunate injury-riddled seasons and continual underwhelming performances), it became apparent that, even for the struggling Clippers of the early 2000's, Odom simply was not built to be the dynamic franchise player that everyone was demanding him to be.

As his rookie contract ran out, the Clippers inevitably turned their eyes away from Odom and set their sights towards more established franchise-pieces such as Elton Brand, allowing other teams like the Heat to take their own chances with the high-risk forward. The Heat did just that in 2003, signing him to a lucrative contract and bringing him to the warmer beaches of Miami (I'll make this quick in sensitivity to all of our recent apprehensive indignations towards a Heat-Wade Summer), a place where he experienced one of the most efficient and noteworthy campaigns of his career. For the first time, he confidently and successfully took on the role as the designated team leader, legitimately almost making the all-star team and nearly leading a young core of Dwayne Wade and Caron Butler to the eastern conference finals. It was a 'revival by Heat' of sorts, but just when he thought he had finallyfound his niche, he was sent packing once again back to Los Angeles - except this time, it was with the legendary Purple & Gold.

I'm in L.A., trick...again:

As if he hadn't been burdened enough with high expectations in the past...He was always expected to be the star, but a star on teams like the Clippers and the Heat (no disrespect). This was Kobe and the Lakers. Careers rose or fell based on championship involvement(or lack thereof). Somewhat fittingly at the time, the Shaq trade to Miami was remembered more by Laker fans as the deal that failed to include Dwayne Wade than the deal that garnered them Caron Butler and Lamar Odom. Typical Odom neglect. (Sorry, Brian Grant.)

Where the eff is Wade...

And it was neglect (and a larger feeling of disdain) that Odom would receive from Laker fans during much of his early years with the Lakers, as he and Kobe failed to mesh and, more importantly, make it out of the first round of the playoffs.

When the Lakers traded Caron Butler away to the Wizards and watched him blossom into an all-star, many wondered why the Lakers hadn't kept Butler and traded away Lamar Odom instead. In Washington, Caron Butler was seemingly morphing into the exact Scottie Pippen type player that people had always dreamed of pairing Kobe with, while Odom was simply becoming more and more known as the dead-weight player that took Dwayne Wade's spot in the Shaquille O'neal trade. It also didn't help that the guy the Lakers got in return for Butler was the great KwaMAY Brown, starting power forward for the Sucklahoma City Busts alongside Darko Milicic and Michael Olowakandi. Regardless, it became very clear during Odom's earlier tenure with the Purple & Gold that the Scottie Pippen/Magic Johnson labels continually being tacked onto him were never going to stick (his candy always had a better chance of sticking to him than those lofty comparisons).

Supporting Greatness:

Everything changed in 2008 when Pau Gasol got traded to the Lakers and Odom went from being second option failure to... role player (and eventually) bench player extraordinaire. For the first time in his career, even while Odom's stats dropped significantly across the board (from 14 pts to 11, 10 reb. to 8), fans finally began recognizing just how significant his contributions truly were to a burgeoning Laker team vying for contention. He literally did what was best for the team in every situation. Whether it was taking a backseat and letting his stats slip for the betterment of a deep, developing Laker squad, or being completely ready to take over the reigns as the starting power forward once Andrew Bynum went down (and doing a better job of it too), Odom once again displayed that stats never truly tell the entire story when it comes to describing true value.

In the latter part of the playoffs this year, and especially these past Finals, Odom stopped coasting and showed the world what a true force he can be on the court when he plays with a little more sustained focus and intensity. For once, instead of relying solely on his God-given talent to do just enough to get by, he relied on his God-given heart (the same heart that got him through two horrific deaths in his life) to summon forth his utmost effort night-in and night-out, despite also battling against an excruciatingly sore back, to play some of his best, most inspired ball during the latter part of the Lakers' playoff run. Through his gritty perseverance, Odom helped turn the Lakers' 'soft' label around by providing a much-needed toughness to a team constantly in search of brave souls (besides Bryant) who were willing to stand in the trenches and get their hands dirty.

In winning his first ever NBA title this past June, Odom displayed his true versatility in more ways than one - not only in his ability to play multiple positions on the court and display a full repertoire of skills, but in his ability to do whatever was asked of him to perfection. Coming into the NBA, he was supposed to be the go-to guy who could do it all, and when he showed everyone how effective he could be at doing less, we now realize...he can do it all. We were just focusing too much on the flashier statistics and honors to realize it back then.

The True Heart of a Candy-Man:

In reality, outside of adding a little more mental toughness and overall intensity to his play, Odom hasn't really done anything revolutionary to his game which he hasn't already done in any of his previous years with the Lakers. It just didn't work out back then because those previous Laker teams (Smush Parker, Kwame Brown, Brian Cook) needed him to perfect his scoring game, even when he had already perfected filling up every other statistical category in the game (including the weirdest turn-overs stat). And while a little more consistency and overall focus can always be asked of Odom, it's hard to stay mad at such a silly, down-to-earth personality who, despite all of his life struggles, has continued to live his life like a carefree, A.D.D. child who continually sees a more optimistic, hopeful scenario to every obstacle placed in front of him.

Odom brings so many small intangibles to the game whenever he's on the court, but his contributions often go under-appreciated because the fans and the media want what's tangible - and that usually means high scoring statistics and eye-grabbing highlight plays they can cling unto. But Odom has never been and never will be that dominant 20 pt scorer that people have always clamored for, even though he could probably avg 20pts in his sleep if he truly wanted to. He's that talented without trying, and maybe that's what's frustrated people the most about him - that someone with as much natural talent as Lamar Odom could never quite connect all the dots and fulfill his true potential as the complete NBA star that everyone else saw in him.

Things Hit A Sour Patch, But All things End Sweet for L.A.:

This past July, after experiencing what it's like for the first time to not have 100% clarity over Odom's future as a Laker for life, Laker fans can all humbly admit that they've greatly taken his presence here in L.A. for granted. Every summer since he's joined the team, Lamar Odom has always been the main trading chip that fans wanted to parlay over to other teams in exchange for more proven stars. Now he's the guy everyone wants to keep and secretly, we're terrified at the thought of seeing him in another jersey against us. And while at times, overall negotiations and even Lamar himself were as frustrating and puzzling as he's always been, Lakers' fans all knew inside that they did not want to lose such a solid, upstanding human being, much less a solid, versatile basketball player.

I want to win 6,7,8,9,10 more titles. (We always knew you'd play till 40.)

Fortunately for everyone repping P&G, cooler heads prevailed this Summer and the Lakers and L.O. sour-patched things up to meet in the middle, as Odom once again played his role to perfection by ultimately sacrificing himself for the betterment of the team. Except this time, his acts of humble unselfishness had nothing to do with basketball courts or playing time. In the end, Odom sacrificed not only his money, but a part of his pride as well, never opting to take things personally during negotiations even though inside, he was definitely hurt by Buss's first offer withdrawal. Despite what others may say, Lamar Odom was definitely the bigger man this Summer; as he usually always has been. Instead of confiscating tapes, eating Vaseline, blaming it on the devil, or crying and immediately jetting to Miami with Will Smith, Odom saw the bigger picture - the winning one. And Laker fans could not have been more overjoyed by that fact, as he finally re-signed with the Lake-Show on the 30th of July. Today, the only 'Lamar Sucks' insults you'll hear from Laker fans will be the ones accompanied by the word 'lollipop' at the end.

World Piece - World Championship Piece:

Kung Fu Panda's Furious Five Has Got Nothin' On Ours.

He's the piece that can seemingly fit into a number of different spots on the puzzle board, but can never quite fit into that one spot when you actually try. It's because of this reason that he's usually disregarded and kept to the side while the more important, less complicated pieces are assembled first. For too long, teams including the Lakers have tried fitting Odom into the more focal spots near the center of the puzzle board - even when his true place has always been near the corners. While we all know full well who the central pieces are going to be on the team this upcoming season(Kobe, Gasol, Bynum, Artest), we now also realize that the complementary corners are going to be the main points of difference by which sustained success shall hinge upon - especially when people are always so easily drawn to the more dynamic center to even notice just how important the supporting borders truly are. Today, Odom is no longer regarded as the confusing piece that never fit, but as the missing one that completes the whole picture - a picture that looks a whole lot like a championship dynasty with him in place. After all, he does want "6,7..8,9,10 more championships."

I have a feeling...that this year's gonna be a good, good year. Thank you Black-Eyed Peas.

The Fridge Is No Longer Puzzled,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)