I attended my first NBDL game yesterday. I would tell you that LA D-Fenders play in front of friends and family, but that would mean they don't have much of either. The Jewish Community Center draws an equivalent amount of fans, although I do put on a good show.
The actual basketball isn't bad. Of course this is coming from a guy who can name where every NBA player went to college, and most high schools for those who apply. There are a number of very good former collegians including Syracuse' Darryl Watkins, who unlike the other D-Fenders doesn't have his last name on the back of his jersey.
Former Seton Hall star Andre Barrett of the Bakersfield Jam just has Andre on the back of his.
Others included former Georgetown and Westchester star Brandon Bowman of the Jam and USC's Erick Craven for the D-Fenders.
Ex- Arizona and Lakers center Sean Rooks is an assistant coach for the Jam. Jim Harrick is the head coach.
In addition, the Jam have a guy named O'Neal Mims, a combination of Shaq and the rapper behind the "jam" this is why I'm hot. Two last names also, a rare combination.
At my courtside seat, I peer over to my right to find AC Green. I can't picture AC without the whole abstinence thing he's known for, so talking to him was out of the question, lest I accidentally bring it up. But I'm glad that he's now getting "his", if you know what I mean.
The D-Fenders won 117-101, not that it matters, and my interview subject, former Canoga Park player Cecil Brown scored 10 points.
Most of my postgame highlights involved walking by Lakers and Clippers.
As Chris Kaman walked by, he almost elbowed me with the backswing of his left arm. The Caveman, AKA Big Silly, does not avoid physical contact.
Here's the full list of people I walked by: Corey Maggette, Brevin Knight, Ronny Turiaf (Note: In my head I told him I was the only one rocking your jersey at Thursday's game), Sasha Vujacic (I almost hit him, and I suspect he would have flopped).
As for the Laker game, which I missed because of my mom's birthday (plus I wouldn't have had a seat), the Lakers beat the Clippers 113-92. Thanks Tivo for your effort. I actually just watched the game today without knowing the score originally. I impress myself sometimes.
A few things that stood out:
Kobe +31 in 36 minutes, almost a full point up per minutes. Guarding him for most of the game was Cuttino Mobley who had a game low-22. Second highest + rating was Andrew Bynum at +17.
Also Brevin Knight is really, really bad. I already despise point guard who can't make an 18 footer, but Knight proves that guys who can't make a 14 footer can still play in the NBA. He was 1-for-6 all on short little jumpers with four points in 24 minutes.
As for the Arizona game, there's not much to report aside from Fresno State doesn't belong on the same court with the Wildcats. Arizona handily tossed the Bulldogs aside 69-50.
Fresno State scored one field goal over an 11 minute span at one point, missing 15 of 16 shots. Freshman Jerryd Bayless, who led the Wildcats with 21, has scored in double digits in every single game. Even for a highly touted freshman, that's impressive. Neither Derrick Rose or Eric Gordon have done that, though Gordon did get hurt.
By the way, Bob Elliott thinks Chase Budinger "doesn't have his legs." If so, that's a problem this early in the season. With all the work Budinger put in, maybe a rest in between would have been beneficial.
Up next for Arizona: at UNLV, Wed. 7 p.m. PST
And then also: I think I speak for all Brian Westbrook owners, when I say: WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING, ARE YOU KIDDIN ME?
Plus: Rich Eisen is the man
As always, an updated Lakers +/- (through 22 games) Lakers: 14-9, 6th in West
Up Next: at Chicago, Tuesday 5:30 p.m. PST