November 26, 2008

Quick Little Bits of Knowledge

  • There will be no Blowtorch Presents this week, since it's Thanksgiving. But don't worry, next week will make up for it. There's going to be a new second banana that's not actually a banana. I'm quite excited.
  • Not sure if there will be anything happening here Thursday or Friday. I'd say it's a 50/50 proposition.
  • Lastly, enjoy not sleeping again. Ever:

November 25, 2008

Choose Your Own Adventure

SO MANY great options for a caption to this picture that I can't just pick one. Ergo, here's a few choices:

a) This picture would be so much cooler in the year 2000.
b) Ranking levels of irrelevance from left to right.
c) Behind the scenes action from the recent Excessively Groomed Facial Hair Quarterly cover shoot.
d) Drew Gooden + Larry Hughes = Common
e) Provide your own.

November 24, 2008

For Your Reference: Basketball Nicknames

Wikipedia is a glorious and entirely accurate resource. For Your Reference highlights the best parts of this completely true learning tool. The picture will come from searching for the Wikipedia term in question.First up, the List of Nicknames Used in Basketball.

The List of Nicknames Used in Basketball is quite handy. Perhaps you'd like to buff up on some of the seemingly forgotten AKAs for your favorite players. Maybe you're curious about what people actually called Donyell Marshall. More likely, however, you like laughing and smiling. Those are the best.

I find it most advantageous to break this plethora of sobriquets in to categories to keep them organized. Please note that all the nicknames are taken verbatim from Wikipedia.

Nicknames No One Has Ever Actually Used
  • Air Zaire - Dikembe Mutumbo
  • Apollo 33 - Jamario Moon
  • Big Snacks - Jerome James
  • The Blonde Bomber - Dirk Nowitzki
  • The Boston Celtic Mascot - Brian Scalabrine
  • Boshinator - Chris Bosh
  • Flop - Manu Ginobili
  • Go Go Gadget Arms - Kevin Garnett
  • Ko Ditty Ko - Kobe Bryant
  • Mr. Perfect - Jeff Green
  • The Money Man - Mehmet Okur
  • Nickel - Anfernee Hardaway
  • PG2010 - Pau Gasol
  • The Riddler - Zydrunas Ilgauskas
  • Troy Toy - Troy Murphy

Nicknames Where the Definition is Better Than the Actual Nickname

  • Baby Gramps - Greg Oden ("He is a remarkably old looking young man.")
  • Baby Shaq - Sofoklis Schortscanitis ("From his alleged resemblance to Shaquille O'Neal, plus he is slightly smaller in size than O'Neal.")
  • The Beast - Patrick Ewing ("Due to his appearance.")
  • Buffet of Goodness - Channing Frye ("He has described himself as a buffet of goodness because of his all around skills.")
  • DaWhite Howard - David Lee ("Reference to him being a white player, and his similar penchant for snarring rebounds ala rebound king Dwight Howard.")
  • Hot Plate - John Sam Williams ("Normally referred to as simply John Williams; nickname from his large girth, and to distinguish him from John "Hot Rod" Williams. Both of these John Williams's entered the NBA in 1986 from colleges in Louisiana ("Hot Plate" from LSU, "Hot Rod" from Tulane). ")
  • The Italian Stallion - Andrea Bargnani ("Italian translation – 'The Magician'")
  • Memo Man - Ramon Sessions ("Because of the career highs he sets every game.")
  • The Rain Man - Ray Allen ("His shots always drip, like rain.")
  • The 'Stache - Adam Morrison ("For his much-scrutinized mustache.")

Nicknames I Wish I Knew Existed Earlier

  • Big Red - Arvydas Sabonis
  • Buc the World - Greg Buckner
  • Captain Crunch - Jalen Rose
  • Earl the Squirrel - Earl Boykins
  • Garbage Man - Michael Bradley
  • Grits n Gravy - Ricky Davis
  • Hungry Hungry Hilton - Hilton Armstrong
  • The Rash - Bruce Bowen
  • Mongoose Quick Rick - Ricky Davis
  • Ghostface - Joel Pryzbilla

Nicknames Created by the Internet

  • Agent Zero - Gilbert Arenas
  • Kid Delicious - Kevin Durant
  • The Armadillo Cowboy - Joe Johnson
  • The Poo God - Manu Ginobili
  • Timmy Deucecan - Tim Duncan
  • The Medicine Man - Chris Quinn

There's a whole lot of goodness over there, have a look and chime in with your favorites.

November 23, 2008

I've Made a Huge Mistake - Week 3

Mike D’Antoni
- Things were going so well for Pringles. He’s got the Knicks playing over their heads. The team is entertaining. People are starting to forget about the Isiah Thomas Era (NEVER FORGET). Then Donnie Walsh realizes that he’s got some decent players who make lots of money. Money that could be better used on the best player in basketball. Trades were made, money was saved, and now the Madison Square Mustache is left with a team that features Wilson Chandler and Chris Duhon. Plus he has to coach Tim Thomas. Plus he probably has to play Eddy Curry now. Plus Stephon Marbury will keep bugging him about playing time. Plus he could be coaching Derrick Rose. Not the best week for Mike D’Antoni.

Detroit Pistons
- Though the Pistons were the first team to knock off the Lakers, this week made it more apparent that the team is currently not a serious title contender. Losses to the Suns and Celtics proved the Pistons to be out of sorts and have highlighted Michael Curry’s limitations as a coach. It’s hard enough to deal with Rasheed Wallace, but adding AI to the mix can’t help, especially for a first time coach. Of course, it would help if Curry could design a play every once in a while.

Washington Wizards
- The Wizards went 0-4 this past week. They currently rank 24th in offensive efficiency and 28th in defense. Their star player (who hasn’t been 100% since 2007) is saying that he’s okay with rooting for a high lottery pick. Their lone bright spot is a rookie who has averaged 8 points and 5 rebounds a game. They continue to employ Eddie Jordan. The Wizards are not good. On the plus side, at least Gilbert mentioned Kerry Kittles in the foreword to the FreeDarko book.

Ricky Davis
- If Ricky Davis isn’t giving you scoring, he’s not giving you much. In 4 games last week, Ricky scored a combined 9 points on a combined 23 shots. However, he did lead the Clippers to their lone win of the week, by going 0-5 with 0 points. Of course, he’s now their starting two guard after the trade of Cuttino Mobley.

Andres Nocioni
- A thirty percent success rate in major league baseball is phenomenal. In the NBA, it’s Andres Nocioni. And it’s not good. But still, Nocioni shoots, and still, Vinny Del Negro plays him heavy minutes. But hey, he hustles, right?

Great Successes in NBA Basketballing - Week 3


Greg Oden
- Not only did Greg Oden make it through another week in the NBA without being injured, he’s also started playing some basketball. He followed a 22 point, 10 rebound victory against the Warriors with a second double-double the next night against the Bulls. Sure, he didn’t really do much against the Kings or Suns, but it’s just nice seeing him on the court. Well, it’s good that he’s playing. He’s still pretty terrifying to actually look at.

Dwyane Wade
- For the week, D-Wade averaged 31 points, 9 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and 3 blocks. Averaged. For a week. Dwyane Wade is in another stratosphere right now. There were some doubts that his Olympic showing was simply a matter of playing with superior teammates, but he’s proven that completely false. The Heat are playing pretty decent ball so far this season, and Dwyane Wade is the catalyst.

Donnie Walsh
- Just like the Heat, the Knicks are overachieving to start the season. That being said, head honcho Donnie Walsh realizes that this team is playing for a more important prize: LeBron James. Over the weekend, Walsh rid himself of $27.5 million in an obvious power play for the services of James in 2010. With the Nets stadium in limbo, the Knicks become that much more attractive to the league’s biggest star. Walsh has put himself in the running while not completely jeopardizing the progress that Mike D’Antoni has made this year.

Stephon Marbury
- While still 4th on the Knicks depth chart behind such luminaries as Anthony Roberson and Cuttino Mobley, anytime a guard leaves the Knicks, Starbury comes that much closer to the court. It’s not likely that Steph will ever see the court, but maybe he can get some practice time. He’s got fresh legs!

Jamal Crawford
- If ever there were a player destined to play for Don Nelson it was Dirk Nowitzki. But if there were ever a second player destined to play for Don Nelson it was Baron Davis. Somewhere down the line, thought, Jamal Crawford was made for Nellieball. Traded in the midst of his best season while in Mike D’Antoni’s freewheeling offense, Crawford goes to the only place more freewheelinger, the Dubs. His defensive gambling will be embraced, his skinny frame will be exalted, and his lack of conscious will be totally normal.

Marko Jaric
- A quick Wikipedia search confirms that he’s still engaged to Adriana Lima. There remains no bigger stud in the NBA than Marko Jaric.

November 21, 2008

The Monkey Is In The Basketball!

Why wouldn't it be?

Note: this is an actual show on an actual network.

via Videogum

Stephon Marbury Reacts to the Trade of Jamal Crawford

Ey yo Mike MIKE HEY MIKE is Steph aka the Motherland aka Stephonious aka Stereophonics on the ones and twos aka Peace to Bambaataa you know I hear we traded Jameer Crawfish or whateva and Ima just lettin you know that Stephybaby is ready baby I been workin this game HARD this year mustache you don't even know I been down in the streets gettin this game right like a Republican and Im lookin tight yo no homo but my game is killin right now jus the otha day I put up 35 on fifteen a fitty shooting thats nice mustache but then like I also been watchin Knicks games and know you want us shootin in seven seconds which is NOT a problem trust me so now that we got rid a that Crawster dude Steph ready to play point again the fat dude on the bench is buggin out yo get me away from him but I promise Ill pass to the new wrinkle head cat if he wide open or somethin itll be off the hook son holla.

November 19, 2008

Mike D'Antoni's Having Sympathy Pains

Oh, my back hurts because I'm sooooo sexy. Want to comb my mustache?

First, it was Danilo Gallinari:

Rookie Danilo Gallinari did not travel with the KnicksNew York Knicks on their two-game road trip, staying behind to have a battery of tests on his back to rule out possible surgery, according to a team source.

The source said an MRI will be among the tests performed on the 20-year-old, who has suffered from a bulging disc since mid-July. The pain level in the Italian Stallion's lower back and leg increased the past few days, causing growing concern among the team's medical staff that new treatment may be needed for the 6-foot-10 forward from Milan, who was selected sixth overall in this year's draft.

Now, it's Mike D'Antoni:

If Mike D’Antoni is a few degrees shy of upright and grimacing, it is not because he is feeling the strain of coaching the Knicks. It is because his lower back is killing him.

D’Antoni has been dealing with debilitating back pain for more than a week. It became so bad last Friday he thought he might miss the Knicks’ home game against Oklahoma City.

I've heard of protecting your young players from the media, but this is ludicrous. Just because D'Antoni is friends with Gallinari's dad doesn't mean he should be faking injuries to make his son more comfortable. And that's obviously what's happening.

Oh, you Italians with your weak backs and womanizing ways. That's what you get for stealing our women and trying to make mustache's cool.

November 18, 2008

The Spurs Diagram Their Final Play

Roger Mason: you sure you want me taking this shot? I'm happy to take it, it's just a little weird that you're asking me. Just hold up one finger if you want me to shoot it.Gregg Popovich: I wouldn't have called the play if I didn't want you to shoot it. Also, I'm still bearded. I'm wise. I'm WISE! So, I guess, let's see...(raises finger). There, good?
Roger Mason: Yeah, cool. Just like me. I was just surprised. Tim, do you think this makes sense?

Tim Duncan: (robot noises) BEEEP BOOP BOP BEEP...CALCULATING...ROGER MASON BALL SHOOT CONFIRMED BEEP BOOP (robot noises)Tony Parker: He shood zhoot zee ball, no? Zees Vrogers Mason vith hees Charlie Oakley hairs, must-a make-a zee three. Oui?

Eva Longoria: I'm useless.

Tony Parker: BAGUETTE!

Roger Mason: Here goes nothing.

(shot falls)

Whoa, sweet. It went in. No more, Junior!

Tim Duncan: (robot noises) BEEEP NOW COMMENCING SMILE....SMILE INITIATED (robot noises)

November 17, 2008

Shaq Want Eat Ref

Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh. What do I do? He's coming. He is so going to eat me. Think. Think quickly. Okay, in Jurassic Park, they stayed totally still. I'll try that. Did he notice me? I think he did.

What if I hold my breath? That'll help. That's got to help. Oh Lord, please let it help. I don't want it to end this way.

He's getting closer. I can't hold my breath much longer. Maybe a hand over the mouth will help. It's not helping. I'm going to explode. C'mon. Just a few seconds longer and he won't know I'm here. Fingers up the nose. It's my last chance.

He's going to swallow me whole. At least that'll be quick and painless. Well, quick at least. Tell my family I love them.

Wait. I'm still here. What happened?

Oh, Steve Nash, you're the best!

Is Anthony Morrow a Real Person? - A Blowtorch Investigation

Evidence for

Evidence against

There are only two logical results:

  1. Anthony Morrow is a real NBA player, who plays for the Golden State Warriors. He can only play for the Golden State Warriors, since his main skill is scoring. Upon joining another team, he would be Damien Wilkins (read: shoots too much, hated, annoying).

  2. Anthony Morrow is a construct. Concocted by a Dustin Hoffman in Wag the Dog type, "Morrow" was created to assuage concerns by the Golden State faithful. His existence is predicated on the concept of fairness. After Monta Ellis' injury, "Anthony Morrow" was created so that Warriors fans can have something to be happy about. Upon Ellis' return, "Morrow" will cease to exist.

The truth is out there.

November 14, 2008

Even More Rasheed Wallace Greatness

Last night, I was thinking that Sheed's tattoos were starting to fade. However, he's apparently had all the ink transferred to his back (:20 mark).

Wow. Sheed is just wow.

via Alana G, by way of Yardbarker

Occasional Observations on Several Subjects - the Free Darko Book Launch Edition

  • Whilst at the Free Darko book launch, some humans ended up watching the Warriors-Pistons game. This guy came in the game. I had never seen this man in my life. It was the first time I've been stumped on a player in a long, long time. To make things worse, every time the cameras were close to showing the back of his jersey, they'd cut away or he'd turn around. It was as if he was taunting us with his anonymity. Turns out, he's named Anthony Morrow, an undrafted rookie signed by Golden State. A player so unknown that has no picture or bio for him. Of course, he ended up playing significant minutes down the stretch.

  • Outside of Stephen Jackson, Andris Biedrins, and Corey Maggette, watching the Warriors is no longer fun for me. I think it's mostly due to Nelson and his refusal to settle on a rotation. There are only three possible explanations:

    1) He's trying to prove that the roster he's been given is in adequate in a push to have Mullin ousted.
    2) He's tinkering and trying to find the right combination of players to keep the ship afloat until Monta gets back.
    3) He feels his system can account for the severe talent drop-off after his three best players.

    He won't settle on a point guard. He plays Azubuike a lot of minutes at a position where he takes a lot of jumpers, even though he's a terrible jump-shooter. He's just now figuring out how to use Brandan Wright. He's running Stephen Jackson in to the ground. Frankly, his lineup choices are terrible and I help thinking that it's because he's selling out Mullin.

  • It's WAY too early to tell, but the Iverson trade has really messed up the Pistons. They are a mess on defense and his propensity to dominate the ball, coupled with the Pistons deferrential nature seems like a bad mix. I'm a big, big fan of this team (and the majority of the players on the roster) but I have a bad feeling that Curry's inexperience and subsequent lack of respect will be the Pistons' downfall. To get through to Wallace and Iverson AND get the most out of their young players, they need a very strong coach. It's unlikely that Curry is that guy.


  • The Free Darko party was everything I expected and more. The pizza was great. The awkwardness whenever anyone would enter the room was even better. I am continually amazed at how open and friendly and receptive bloggers are in person.

  • It seemed like a joke in the post, but we really read the manifesto in unison. Surely this frightened the party in the next room. Most strange is that the first few lines of the manifesto, when read aloud, definitely sound like an altar call from a church.

November 13, 2008

1000 Words: Meanwhile, at Spurs Practice...

Gregg Popovich (second from right, striped shirt) looks on while the Spurs prepare for the Houston rockets.
image via Kottke

The Blowtorch Presents ... Injury Reports

Play The Blowtorch Presents...Injury Reports


  • A second banana is introduced.
  • Injuries are discussed.
  • Josh Howard battles inner demons.
  • Music from Little Joy.

November 12, 2008

The Beautiful Mystery of Basketball

Kevin Love: Oh, it's so magical. I've never seen anything quite like it.

Andris Biedrins: Yah, ess vunderfawl. I like-a ze vay zat eet lukes. Vhat ees eet?

KL: Ha. Like I'm going to tell you. Idiot.

AB: Comes on, Kayvuhn. Jahst tell me. I promeice zat I vill not tell anyvahn.

KL: I don't trust foreigners.

AB: Kayvuhn, tell me. Tell Andris what zat magic ees. I have nayvor seen anyseeng like zit.

KL: Man, get your hands off me. The Love Doctor only sees female clients.

AB: But Kayvuhn, who can tell Andris vhat eet ees?

KL: Ask that drunk guy by your bench.


AB: Vhat a vaste.

Mike D'Antoni is Dismayed

Are you kidding me? What do I have to do to beat the Spurs?! I mean, seriously, what? This is getting ridiculous. I hate those guys. It's stupid. UGH! I hate my life.

Let's run down the list of reasons that I shouldn't have lost this game:

a) the Spurs suck right now. I coach the God-forsaken New York Knicks and WE HAVE A BETTER RECORD! The Knicks. My team. Better record than the Spurs and we still lost.

b) Balki isn't playing. I hate that no good, flopping, balding piece of garbage but at least then I can understand why I'd lose. But Roger Mason, Jr.? Gimme a break.

c) The smelly Frenchie isn't playing. I still don't get how Tony Parker's the French one, while Jacque Vaughn is an American but whatever. He's out too!

d) My mustache is WAY sexier than Popovich's old-timey Civil War beard. He looks like a fat Donald Sutherland.

I can't figure it out. I mean, it's definitely NOT my system. People wrote books about how good this thing is. Does Castaway have books written about his system? Didn't think so. Oh great. He's coming over here. Play it cool, Mike.

Hey, Coach! Great to see you! Oh, you guys looked great tonight. Great, great game. I hope Tony and Manu get healthy. I'd hate to see you guys without them for too long. And let me say, I LOVE your beard. It looks excellent. Well, gotta run. Good luck this year.

(whispering as Popovich walks away)
I hate you so much.

November 11, 2008

When Isiah Thomas Says to Play It Smart, You Better Play It Smart

Oh, Internet. Thanks for existing and having a searchable database of public service announcements.

Obama Balling on Election Day

The teams were named "That One," something John McCain called Barack Obama during one of the debates and "This One."

Hail to the chief, he's the chief and he needs hailing.

Stephon Marbury Reminds You to Vote

Ay yo this Stephon Marbury aka Starbury aka the Starchild aka the Mothership Connection aka America I'm just reminding all y'all to get out and vote today just like every year on the second Tuesday of Novemba we gotta elec a new President so make sure you get that vote out son we only get to do this once a year but this year we gotta do it right so go getcha vote on go in that booth and make your choice either for that old dude with the hot chick that I wanna get in the truck or that black dude who balls out and chills with that other old dude with the big teeth either way make sure you get yo self to the voting today and choose our President for the next year we do it again next year but for reals this important yo holla.

November 10, 2008

A Tribute to the Worst Signature Shoe Ever

I spend a lot of time thinking about what would be the worst signature shoe ever, usually between three and four hours a day. That's why it's really weird that I forgot that they had already been created.

That's right, those are Master P's signature Converse. You remember Master P, right? He's probably the worst rapper ever and he played in the preseason for the Raptors.

It's hard to imagine why Converse went bankrupt.

(Side note: I'm slowly becoming convinced that the Raptors are the funniest NBA franchise. If the internet had been around during their inception, we'd be regaled with some hilarious, hilarious things.)

(Other side note: Here's the entire No Limit discography if you hate your ears.)

The Billtorch

This video is unbelievable. It features:

  • A Bill Wennington alley-oop over (not on) Alonzo Mourning, which is probably Mourning's lowpoint on an NBA court.
  • Another Bill Wennington dunk on a backdoor cut.
  • Alonzo Mourning's flat-top.
  • Bill Wennington's flat-top.
  • Jordan wearing the four-five.
  • Toni Kukoc doing Kukocian things.
  • Seriously, Bill Wennington catching an oop on a fastbreak.

And yes, I do perform a Youtube search for Bill Wennington daily. If that's wrong, I don't want to be right.

Today in Shaquille O'neal's Lunacy

Quoth Shaq: (Note: if this Twitter feed isn't really Shaq (likely), then this stands for the people behind it.)

Now, look at Erick Dampier:

Now, look at the definition of "goatee" from

Ergo, Erick Dampier is bearded. Ergo, Shaq (or his Twitterers) are stupid. You do not mess with the sanctity of the NBA beard. Not on my watch.

Furthermore, Erick Dampier is certainly not the best comparison for Andrew Bogut. Here are two better reference points:

a) Kelly Dwyer (he loves this comparison)

b) a less hairy Jim James

Please, be careful when discussing NBA beards. It's a touch subject for me.

Brought to you by the Society for Basketball Facial Hair of America.

November 7, 2008

Andre "Grimace" Iguodala Tries to Smile

A lot of people say to me, "Iggy, why don't you ever smile?" After I slap them in the face for calling me Iggy, I have to explain my problem.

The thing is, it's not that I don't smile. It's that I can't smile. Seriously. Here's what happened when I tried to smile during a game last year.

That is not a good look. I really don't even understand why I can't. I tried pulling my mouth down to show my teeth, but for whatever reason, my upper lip wouldn't let them show. It sucks. I really want to smile.

Sometimes, I just try to sneak up on the smile. Like, I'll act like I'm not trying to smile, then at the last second, I'll bust one out.

Of course, I end up looking like I should be in an all-male R&B group from the year 2000. It's really frustrating. I just want to show you guys how happy I am.

And why wouldn't I be happy? I'm rich. I'm obviously the best player on my team. There is seriously no one in the world that should be as happy as me.

Wait. I just had an idea. What if I flex ALL my muscles and try to smile? Would that work? Here goes nothing.

Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh, it's working. Everyone look quickly. I am so smiling right now. This feels so awesome. I just want to smile forever. Just keep flexing, Andre. Flex and smile. Flex and smile.

Tell me you guys are seeing this.

Great. Lost it.

November 6, 2008

The Blowtorch Presents ... Upgrades and Downgrades

Play The Blowtorch Presents...Upgrades and Downgrades


  • Various aesthetic changes across the League are assessed for their quality.
  • An impromptu dance party is enjoyed.
  • A call from Robin Lopez to Brook Lopez is intercepted.
  • Music from Black Milk and Royce Da 5'9"

November 5, 2008

Scott Williams Reacts to Election News

Are you kidding me, Sacramento? Kevin Johnson is your mayor? Kevin "I Don't Have Any Titles While Scott Williams Has Three" Johnson? That guy?

Can a Scott Williams get some love around here?

I mean, sure, whatever, Kevin Johnson was good at basketball and a legend in California, but how many titles does that guy have? None. How many does Scott Williams have? Three.

Three is more than zero. I can balance that budget.

It's not like since I have three championships I don't understand the little guy. I had to work hard to win those three championships. Trust me, I know what it takes to succeed. Three times.

Am I out of line here? Is there some reason Scott Williams can't be the mayor somewhere? I get that Sacramento is probably still pretty upset that I averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds a game against the Kings during the '99-'00 season, but that's no reason to not vote me mayor.

Is it because I don't have a mustache? I can grow one if that's the case. Just let me know.