Monday, May 31, 2010

Game 6: Lakers defeat the Suns and Memorial Day weekend in Phoenix

What did you do over Memorial Day weekend?  I was fortunate to be able to go to Game 6 of the Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns series at the US Airways Center...  By now, if you follow sports, you already know what happened.  Even though the Phoenix Suns lost, it was a great game and I enjoyed checking out my 69th venue!

I landed in Phoenix early on Saturday morning and rested for a bit before getting a 75 min massage at the Bliss Spa, located at the W Scottsdale.  Why did I need a massage?  Because on the way to Phoenix, I connected in Minneapolis, and on the way to MSP I faced the triple threat: a seat kicker, a fatty (I.e. Who took the arm rest and 1/4 of my seat), and a sleeper who tried to use my shoulder as a pillow.  Oh well, it happens.  I used my skymiles for a free ticket so it really didn't matter to me.  I was just thrilled to be going to the game and to be on vacation!

After my massage I finally felt relaxed and hung out for an hour before my friend, Brittany, came and grabbed me at the hotel.  We caught up on the way to the arena (i.e. she and I met years ago through mutual friends, in Miami, during the NBA Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat).  We separated at will call.  My only complaint about the arena, was that the will call line needed to move faster, but who knows ~ it could be the patrons' fault as to why it was moving so slowly.  Another suggestion is to put more team shops around the concourse.  As I was racing to my seat, I didn't see that many locations for Suns merchandise, so I never did get my Suns hat.  Aside from those 2 things, I like the arena.  Lucky for me, I made it to my seat just in time to take a picture of the opening tip.  Perfect!

I watched the game with Mandy, and we had a great time ~ even though Mandy was rooting for the Lakers, and I was rooting for the Suns. The Suns fought a good fight, and made a run at the end of the game, but the Lakers over-powered them to put an end to the series.  The final score was 103-111.  I never expected to see the Suns have such a successful season, and I was pulling for them to make it to the Finals.  It'll be interesting to see how the offseason plays out for the Suns with free agency. 

As for me, I'm looking forward to watching the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics battle for the NBA Championship, starting on June 3.

A sea of orange at the US Airways Center

Kobe Bryant at the line

Both teams strategizing during a time-out

Mandy showing Suns fans keys, since they're heading home...

Meeting up with Brittany after the game.

After the game we went back to the W, since that was the place to be and we were hungry.  ****  Since I was staying at the hotel, it was easy for me to change into evening attire, before dinner at Sushi Roku.  The sushi was yummy and just what we all needed after the game.  After dinner we went up to check out the scene and people watch over by the pool area, under the stars, and the music had the place jumping.

Running into Kenny "the Jet" Smith

Right before I called it a night!

The next day, I ended up sleeping in.  I spent the day at the pool, where the hotel was throwing a luau-themed pool party.  I met Alex, Kat, and Dave and we had a lot of fun spending hours at the pool.  There aren't any pics of the pool party because I'm not about to risk ruining my camera in a pool, but I did manage to get this picture of me and one of the many birds they had on "display".

Today is Monday and I'm finally home.  I connected through Atlanta today and ran into my friend Susan.  I also would be willing to bet cash money that I saw my ex-boyfriend, Jason, and his wife at the gate across from me boarding their flight home to Miami.  Best of all, I ran into Scott (i.e. who was also connecting on his way back to California) and we spent our 2 hour layover chatting the time away in the Samuel Adams bar planning our next adventure. 

Life is good!


Friday, May 28, 2010

Why do we even know the names of referees and umpires?

I'm not that old and I'm not that young, but I remember the days when I didn't know the names of the refs or the umpires.  I long for those days...  Through all my years of watching and following sports, I've learned the names of a few - the respected, the notorious, and the history making.

An example of the respected is, Dick Bavetta.  I came to "know" by watching him on TV and seeing him in action.  I've never met him, but I respect the way he carries himself and I was amused with his personality when he agreed to race Charles Barkley up and down the court over All-Star Weekend.  I was in Las Vegas during the race and ALL the TV's switched to the race. It was awesome and I can still hear the crowd cheer when Dick Bavetta dove at the end.  I've never met Dick Bavetta ~ but he seems like a good guy.

Here's a video of the hyping up the Charles Barkley vs. Dick Bavetta race from the 2007 NBA All-Star Weekend:

Here's the actual race:

An example of the notorious would be Tim Donaghy.  If you don't know who he is, then you don't follow professional basketball and you should probably click the link.  Now I recognize that with the degree of interaction of among coaches, players and referees that there can be tension.  However, should I really know the names Steve Javie, Joe DeRosa, etc.?

An example of history making referee is Violet Palmer.  She was the first African-American, female to referee an NBA game.

I did a quick google search using the terms: terrible NBA referees and this post by Bill Simmons came up.  In it he mentions Joe DeRosa and Bennett Salvatore.  We all know about Joe DeRosa, since he recently received a one-game suspension after throwing a basketball at a fan.  As for Bennett Salvatore, I'm going to include Simmons' quote here for your convenience:

To quote Bill Simmons' post, "Bennett Salvatore -- Always one of the worst, he took it to another level this season. If you see him on the court at the start of the game, get ready for about six technicals, two near-brawls and both coaches having to be restrained by their assistants at various times."

I realize those are only basketball examples, but we all know there are baseball ones also.  Today I was watching Pardon the Interruption and earlier in the week I was watching SportsCenter.  I keep seeing and hearing about Umpire Joe West, Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle, and Chicago White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen.  I watched the clip and the Buehrle's move that was called a "balk".  I saw both Buehrle and Guillen get tossed.  Now I'm not going to argue whether Buehrle's move was a balk or not, but I keep asking myself why I even know Joe West's name.  Alright already.  He's an umpire.  Umpires and referees need to do their jobs and stop trying to steal the spotlight and make situations about them.  That's just my 2 cents.

Earlier in the year I went to an NBA game and I saw a ref throwing souvenir balls into the crowd.  This was surprising to me, since I remember the days in the tunnel when the walkways cleared since the refs were going to pass through.  The refs were more or less sequestered in their own locker room like jurors, and I'm sure that helped to maintain their objectivity.  There should be no personal bias between officials and players. 

But hey, that's just my 2 cents...  Seriously?  Are we going to be able to buy officiating jerseys with referee and umpires names on them soon?  Are the referees and umpires going to get trading cards and their own shoes now?  Just saying.  Alright, I'm going to wrap up this post since I want to download all of Cowboy Joe West's music tracks...  What?!?!  You do, too?!?!  Ok - here you go:

Lastly, if anyone can tell me why the NFL referees sport "candy-striper" (i.e. red and white) uniforms at times, drop me a note.  I'm sincerely interested in the explanation.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ron Artest: Zero to Hero ~ Lakers defeat the Suns, Game 5 Western Conference Finals

The Phoenix Suns' Jason Richardson banked his 3-pointer to tie the game at 101, but the story of the game is Ron Artest's buzzer beater.  Ron Artest went from zero to hero in less than a minute! Kobe Bryant launched the ball, and Artest was in the right place at the right time to get the rebound and shoot a bunny shot as time expired.  What a finish! The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Phoenix Suns, 103-101, to take Game 5 at the Staples Center.

Did you see Artest shoot the 3 to go 1/8?  Then did you see Artest get the rebound and put in the game winner?  WOW.

Who do you have winning Game 6?  Who do you have winning the Western Conference Finals?

****  Better question:  Has anyone ever eaten deep fried avocado?  I know how Alvin Gentry feels about it, but I am still curious!  Here's the video I snagged from youtube of him getting sick.

I've already been to the Staples Center, so I'm not over-zealous about going again...  I was there for the Utah Jazz v Lakers game back in April 2009.  Seems like that game was ages ago!

Rooting for the Lakers to beat the Jazz

Game 6 is in Phoenix, on Saturday, with the Lakers up 3-2.  I'll be there at the US Airways Center, and I'm definitely excited to check out a new venue.  FYI - I need to buy a new hat, because I'll be rooting for the Suns!

Will you be there, too?!?!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A-Rod threw me a ball! Yankees v Twins ~ May 25, 2010

The game was suspended  (i.e. both teams were scoreless after the top of the 5th) because of rain but who cares?!?!?  I was sitting in the first row by 3rd base, and Minnesota Twins 3rd base coach, Scott Ullger threw a ball to me.  The lady to my right, more or less took it out of my hand.  To be honest, I couldn't believe he threw it to me.  Turns out that the guy to my left told me that he was motioning for Ullger to toss it to me.  Anyway, score one for the lady to my right.  BUT, wouldn't you know that I'd end up with a better game ball?!?!  That's right.  I was sitting in the first row by 3rd base and A-Rod was heading into the dugout...  Sure enough, I stood up and he threw me a ball!!!!  How awesome is that?!?!

By the way, I think Derek Jeter's dad was sitting in the row behind me.

Here are some pics from the game.  What a great night!

Derek Jeter at bat

Brett Gardner at bat

Brett is a cutie

Derek Jeter

Alex Rodriguez

A-Rod and Scotty Ullger

A-Rod and Scotty Ullger


Right by the NY Yankees dugout

A-Rod threw me a ball!!!

Great seats = great pictures

It's raining, but I should've worn make-up for this picture!  Ugh.

My centerfield crush

Ok, I've also decided that A-Rod is hot

Who cares?!?!  I have my first game baseball from A-Rod!

Like I said, what a great night.  Fortunately I was sitting next to a group of really great guys (i.e. brothers and their dad and uncle), who let me wait out the rain delay with them in the 3rd Base Club.  Lucky, lucky ME!!!

****  While in the 3rd Base Club an older gentleman who is a Yankees fan wanted to see my baseball.  When he went to touch the ball, I instinctively moved the ball away from his hand.  I wasn't going to let another ball get away!  He offered me $200 for the ball, and I turned him down.  He went to $300 and was denied again.  One of the guys I was hanging out with, said I'd sell it for $700.  I shot that offer down also.  Memories like the one I had are PRICELESS!

Last night's game is being finished today at 4PM (CST) at Target Field.  I already have Marcus, the scalper, working on a ticket since the people who have tickets to tonight's game have access to both games today.  If he can't pull it off, I have Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals as my fallback option.  Either way, I can't lose!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

2010 NBA Draft Prospects working out this week in Minneapolis

When I checked into my hotel yesterday morning, I remarked to the desk person that the hotels were packed this week.  She volunteered that there were a bunch of people staying at my hotel from the New York Knicks.  Huh?!?!  She mentioned there was a lot of activity at the Target Center this week.  Huh?!?!  Well, needless to say that information made no sense to me at the time, so I had to do some digging.

Evidently, aside from the New York Yankees being in town to play the Minnesota Twins, Minneapolis is the place to be this week, if you're a coach or a GM looking at the 2010 NBA Draft prospects.  The Target Center is the site (i.e. from Monday morning to Thursday afternoon), and the Minnesota Timberwolves will host seven workouts.  There are at least 40 players "auditioning" (i.e. think combine) for their prospective new teams, as June 24, 2010 is the night of the draft.

Per Jonah Ballow (i.e. the Timberwolves Editor/Writer) the following is the schedule for the week:

Group 1: 9:00-10:30 a.m.
Group 2: 2:00-3:30 p.m.

Group 3: 9:00-10:30 a.m.
Group 4: 2:00-3:30 p.m.

Group 5: 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Group 6: 3:30-5:00 p.m.

Group 7: 9:00-10:30 a.m.

According to, TWolves blog, here are the prospects working out today:

Morning Session:
Manny Harris, G, Michigan
Sylven Landesberg, G, Virginia
Lance Stephenson, G, Cincinnati
Stanley Robinson, F, Connecticut
Ryan Richards, F, England
Jarvis Varnado, F, Mississippi

Afternoon Session:
Andy Rautins, G, Syracuse
Denis Clemente, G, Kansas State
Tommy Mason-Griffin, G, Oklahoma
Donald Sloan, G, Texas A&M
Craig Brackins, F, Iowa State
Latavious Williams, F, Tulsa 66ers (NBDL)

****  As I type this, someone is talking about someone they ran into and by the description ~ I'm thinking it's Pat Riley.  I hate when other people are my eyes and ears.  Ugh.  I need to get outside!?!?!

So I went outside around lunch time (i.e between sessions) and yes, there are plenty of men running around with the Spalding portfolios.  For those of you that want to look the part, you can buy one autographed by NBA Commssioner, David Stern.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Cleveland Cavs fired Mike Brown ~ Who's the next Cavs coach?

Looks like SamAmico's tweet was on target last week.  The Cleveland Cavs have fired Mike Brown (i.e. who I will now nickname, Cleveland's "Ollie North") and they did it right before the deadline in which they would have owed the coach $4.5 million.  Mike Brown coached the Cavs for the past 5 years and won 61 (i.e. I think) games last season.  He has the highest winning percentage in Cavs history (i.e. .663 with a W-L record of: 272-138).

I'm realistic.  I'm not about to put all the blame on Mike Brown's shoulders for the Cavs poor playoff performance.  However, I do believe that he could have done more with what he had.  I've never coached a day in my life, but I know my rotation would've been different and that after 5 years, I'd have drawn up more than the "Give it to LeBron" play.  I do realize that there are some no talent assclowns on that team that need to go.  With the July 1st deadline looming and everyone watching the LeBron countdown, I'm curious who else leaves/retires/stays...

Who do you want to see Coach the Cavs?  I'll tell you right now, and I didn't need a statement from Duke to tell me it, but I really don't believe Coach K will leave Duke ~ regardless of the Danny Ferry and LeBron James connection. 

Do you see Calipari leading the Cavs?  What about if Stan Van Gundy gets fired?  Voice your thoughts.  I'm interested in knowing what you think...

Oh, and if you read the following article on, you can't help but notice the following sentence, "Ferry, too, has an unsure future in Cleveland as his contract is set to expire next month."  Interesting...

Lastly, I just saw this quote, "Obviously, we didn't achieve what we set out to achieve, which is to win a championship," Ilgauskas said, according to The Plain Dealer of Cleveland. "But if you're going to lay all the blame on coach Brown and think that's going to solve everything, you've got another thing coming."  Don't worry, Zydrunas.  I blame you, too.  Just kidding!  Kind of, but not really...  Haha.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

DC101 Chili Cook-Off: Alice in Chains and Stone Temple Pilots rocked!

Yesterday I was told that I'm missing out on some great NBA Playoff games, since I haven't been devoting my attention to the Eastern or Western Conference Finals.  Perhaps...  However, yesterday I decided I wanted to do the "music thing" and check out the 2010 DC101 Chili Cook-Off and check out Alice in Chains and Stone Temple Pilots.

I'd never seen either band perform before, at least I know for sure I hadn't seen Alice in Chains before last night.  I'm a little hazy when it comes to STP, but regardless I wanted to see them yesterday.  My brother is more of a music guy than me.  He's probably the only person I know of that still hits Lollapalooza.  Who even knew that festival was still going on?  But I digress.  Regardless, I know what I like but I asked my brother if both bands were still relevant.  He replied, "They're cool, but it's pure nostalgia ~ STP only recently back together and Chains has been touring with new singer for a few years since Layne Staley is dead." 

I knew Layne Staley had died, but I'll never forget the image of the guy with his eyes sewn shut in the "Man in the Box" video, so I wanted to check Alice in Chains out.  STP's new self-titled album, "Stone Temple Pilots," is in stores on Tuesday.  It's the 6th album, and their first in 9 years.

I took the metro down to the Stadium Armory with my friend, Brian to meet our friends.  Brian was psyched to hear Alice in Chains perform, "Would?"  He started to play it a little bit of the song on the train (i.e. with this iPhone) and the 2 teenagers across the train immediately smiled.  They were headed to the event also.

Arriving at the event, I was surprised with how big the space was and how many people were there ~ yet it wasn't too crowded/packed.  There were crowds of people walking out while we were walking in.  We arrived at 5:30 (i.e. Alice in Chains was just coming on or had just started).  I'm guessing from the looks of the people heading out of the event that they'd arrived early and partied too hard, so it was time for them to go.

My friend and I tasted no chili, but the chicken on a stick was great.  It was huge ~ seriously, almost an entire chicken.

We indulged in a funnel cake, and then the rain started.  It didn't matter.  The weather was warm and the rain wasn't going to ruin the fun.  With our beer tickets we got our beers and met up with friends.  Brian heard Alice in Chains perform "Would?" and their other hits, and he was thrilled.

Alice in Chains

In between Alice and Chains, I went to meet my friend closer to the stage, and she and I caught up.  I watched  about 30 mins of the STP set by the stage.  STP opened with "Vasoline" and sounded awesome.  I was curious to see how Scott Weiland would look, and he looked sharp.

Scott Weiland

Scott Weiland

Scott Weiland

After about 30 mins I decided I wanted to move back into the Sound Stage VIP area (i.e. closer to the exit), since the plan was for my friend and I to catch the rest of Game 3 of the Boston Celtics v Orlando Magic series and wanted to get out easilly.  Here's one of the pics I took of STP from that area. 

Stone Temple Pilots

Stone Temple Pilots came out strong and performed well.  My brother was right.  It was pure nostalgia, and I loved every minute of it! 

On the way out I saw this guy, lying in the lawn, so remember to party responsibly.  Haha.

Don't be this guy

If you've never been to the DC101 Chili Cook-Off, definitely check it out if the bands or chili interest you.  It's a great event, and it's for charity (i.e. benefits the National Kidney Foundation).

****  Oh, and I have to mention that Scott Weiland used to live in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.  In college my friend, Paul, drilled this fact into me so I'd be remiss without stating it.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

NBA referee, Joe DeRosa, suspended for playing catch with a fan

Referee, Joe DeRosa, is suspended for 1 game without pay for throwing a ball at a fan, during halftime of Game 2 in the Eastern Conference finals between the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic.

Here's the video, in case you've been living in a cave or have been trapped under something heavy and missed it.

Enjoy the 1 game suspension, and remember that, if you throw the ball, then it'll probably be thrown back to you.


Airplane and airport etiquette ~ It's not rocket science

**** I travel a lot, and it's always the same story. I always have the same questions and run into the same situations, so I decided to post about it.

1. Can anyone tell me why people have to line up and crowd the gate area when other people are trying to board a plane? Why can't these people sit down and wait for their zones/rows to be called?

The gate agent gets on the speaker and announces that he/she will start the boarding process shortly. Then the next thing you know, everyone has to load up their 15 carry-on bags and try to race to the front of the line. It's like the opening of the concert gates for a general admission concert and everyone is trying to get to the front of the stage. Give me a break. They all aren't traveling with small kids, and they all can't possibly need that much time to board the plane. If you're guilty of this behavior, please sit down and wait for your zone/rows to be called (i.e. like a reasonably intelligent person).

2. How difficult is it to place your metal objects in the trays?

I'll never understand why people can't remember to take the metal objects out of their pockets before they go through the metal detector. Cell phones, money clips, chunky metal jewelry, large belt buckles etc. will set off the machine. It's a METAL detector. Come on, people. It's not that tough.

3. Why do people think they can move forward, when asking someone to switch seats with them so that they can sit with a traveling companion?

If you're going to ask someone to switch seats with you so you can sit next to your traveling companion, you should make sure that the other person isn't being penalized for their willingness to help. If you have a middle seat and want to sit next to someone who's closer to the front, your travel companion should be willing to move to the back. Let me clarify. No one likes the back of the plane, because the lavatory is right there and it makes catching a connection challenging with the "church exit" departure. Bottom line, your travel companion moves to the back and someone else gets promoted to the front.

4. Why do people stand in the ticket kiosk line, but don't move to the empty machine?

If you're not going to use the ticket kiosk machine, get out of that line.

5. Why are you using the first class cabin "amenities" (i.e. overhead bins, any pillows or blankets, the lavatory), when your seat is in coach?

Bottom line: Respect the curtain.

Whew. Now that I got that off my chest, I feel much more relaxed. Traveling can be frustrating, but I really believe that if people would act "right", the entire process can go much smoother for everyone. It's not rocket science.

Typical boarding cluster...

Here's one more story about a "smarty" at the airport, that I had the "pleasure" to experience.  An older guy, who admitted to an airline employee that he had a cracked rib, requested to sit in the emergency exit row.  The airline employee had the sense to deny his request, and the injured guy had the nerve to argue with her.  Score one point for the airline.  Great job!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Baseball Mickey Mouse statues to Southern California ~ 2010 MLB All-Star Game

I got bored watching game 2 of the Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers series and started looking for panda hats.  Yes, my mind works in myterious ways...  Panda hats.  Why?  Because, I saw them when I was in San Francisco at the Giants game and I thought they were cute, so I wanted to see if I could snag one on-line.  As I clicked various links to get to the SF Giants on-line store, I noticed that there was a 2010 All-Star Game Mickey Mouse figurine being sold to commemorate the 2010 MLB All-Star game (i.e. held at Angels Stadium this year). 

I did some more digging and came across the following article, written on April 19, 2010:

**** For those of you that will never click the link, let me summarize.  According to the article, "Major League Baseball Properties and Disney Consumer Products unveiled on Monday 36 designs of MLB-themed Mickey Mouse collectible statuettes and related apparel and merchandise in celebration of the 2010 MLB All-Star Week festivities taking place July 9-13 in Anaheim as part of a new collaboration between the organizations. "

The 36 Mickey Mouse statues will be decorated using the same logos and designs as the MLB statuettes (i.e. in the baseball team logos). The MLB Mickey Mouse statues are 7 1/2 feet and weigh 989 pounds.   The Mickeys will begin to appear at landmarks throughout Southern California as the All-Star Game nears (i.e. the game is on July 13), but the exact locations have yet to be released.  Trusr me, I've looked...  I still can't find the information, but I sure as hell intend to find these statues!

If you ask me, both MLB and Disney hit homeruns!  Mickey Mouse and baseball ~ I might be dreaming!  Don't you dare pinch me...


Prokhorov promises NJ Nets fans playoffs next season and a title (within 5 years)

Craziest quote I've heard today:

Mikhail Prokhorov, "...playoffs next season and championship in 1 year minimum and maximum 5 years."

I'm sure he said more, but the monotone threw me and I think I dozed off a little.  I'll have to rewatch the clip after the game, and use the video as a "bed time story".  Quick question: Do they drug test, NBA owners?  If not, perhaps they should.  Just kidding!  Maybe...

Here's another quote, "Tell me lies.  Tell me sweet little lies."  Thank you, Fleetwood Mac.

Great interview, by David Aldridge, of the New Jersey Nets new owner.  I'm sure it was difficult for him to handle all the charisma in the room.  Just kidding.  I actually need to "Google" Prokhorov and see what's out there about him.  Entrepreneurs interest me.  Billionaires interest me.  But I digress...  Needless to say, I'm sure the man can tell some good stories...  Regardless, it's very exciting to see the NBA go "global" in terms of its ownership especially with a dense European population of basketball talent.

Speaking of global basketball ~ the 2010 FIBA World Championship is in Turkey this year.  The dates are August 28 - September 12, 2010.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Is/Was the NBA draft lottery rigged? Depends on who you root for...

The multi-million dollar question this time of year is: Is the NBA lottery rigged?

The correct answer is NO, and I'm inclined to believe it NOW.  However, "back in the day," or when it counts, you better believe I'd argue YES.  People like me who were Patrick Ewing fans and were/are New York Knick fans remember 1985 fondly.  The New York Knicks were the winner of the lottery in 1985 and selected Georgetown University standout Patrick Ewing, with their first overall pick.  Conspiracy theorists believe that the NBA had rigged the lottery so that the Knicks would be assured to get the first pick.  Back then envelopes were used to determine the picking order.  This method was highly criticized, and replaced by the weighted lottery system in 1990.

Was the envelope method flawed?  You be the judge.  Have you seen this video? 

Check it out.  Why would Pat O'Brien (i.e. the announcer) say the 7 sealed envelopes will be "gingerly placed"?  I don't know about you, but my eyes tell me that when the envelopes are placed in the drum, one of them gets "slammed" against the drum and a corner is bent.  Further, when David Stern pulls the envelope, from the drum, you can see that the envelope he selects has a bent corner, when it's pulled from the drum.  Looks a little fishy to me, but I'm a was a  Ewing fan so I didn't care.

Now think about the current system as to how the draft order is determined.

According to Wikipedia: To determine the winner, fourteen ping pong balls numbered 1–14 are placed in a standard lottery machine and four balls are randomly selected from the lot. Just as in most traditional lotteries, the order in which the numbers are drawn is not important. That is, 1-2-3-4 is considered to be the same as 4-3-2-1. So although there is a total of 24 (4!) orders in which the balls numbered 1-2-3-4 can be picked, they are all treated as the same outcome. In doing this, the permutation of 4 balls from 14 becomes the combination of 4 balls from 14. That is, the total of 24,024 (14! / 10!, or 14x13x12x11) possible permutations is reduced by a factor of 24, to 1,001 combinations (or 14! / (10! x 4!)). Of these, 1 outcome is disregarded and 1,000 outcomes are distributed among the 14 non-playoff NBA teams. The combination 11-12-13-14 (in any order that those numbers are drawn) is not assigned and it is ignored if drawn; this has never occurred in practice.

The lottery is conducted with witnesses verifying that all 14 balls are represented once as they are placed in the lottery machine. The balls are placed in the machine for 20 seconds to randomize prior to having the first ball drawn. The remaining three balls are drawn at 10-second intervals. NBA officials determine which team holds the winning combination and that franchise is awarded the #1 overall draft pick. The four balls are returned to the machine and the process is repeated to determine the second and third picks. In the event that a combination belongs to a team that has already won its pick (or if the one unassigned combination comes up), the round is repeated until a unique winner is determined. When the first three teams have been determined, the remaining picks are given out based on regular season record with the worst teams getting the highest picks. This assures each team that it can drop no more than three spots from its projected draft position.

Well, that's all fine and good.  I just don't understand why the public can't watch the ping-pong balls go into the machine and get selected.  I realize that I'm a natural skeptic ~ but if everything is as described, I'm willing to take the time to see the NBA draft lottery ping pong ball process with my own eyes.

Another year I found interesting was 2003.  I'm from Ohio and was living in Cleveland for many years, so of course I knew about LeBron James.  Actually, I could have been living in a van down by the river, and I probably would've known about him.  Regardless, in 2003, the Cleveland Cavaliers won the 1st pick in the NBA Draft and ultimately took LeBron James.  All I'm saying is that I knew that Cleveland would have the first pick in the draft, when I saw the actual placement of personnel from the various teams.  You had the Knicks in the back (i.e. I could be wrong, but I doubt it), but Gordon Gund was sitting in a prime location very close to the podium.  I found that interesting since he's blind, and his prime real estate definitely made it easier for him to make it to the podium.  The minute I saw the seating chart I knew the Cavs would have Lebron.  I swear on my life...

Just something to think about since the NBA lottery is tonight...  By the way, I never did like ping pong...

The NBA draft lottery is tonight at 8PM.


A quick Sunday in San Francisco...

On the Sunday before leaving California, I realized my sunglasses were broken!  The sun was out and the weather was gorgeous...  Sure enough, it was my last day out West.  Oh well.

The convertible top was down and The Rick and I only had a few hours to visit with friends and then head into San Francisco before we had to catch our flights.  Here are some other pics from the winery, the time in San Francisco (e.g. Fisherman's Wharf, a quick picture of Alcatraz, a trip to Boudin and In and Out Burger) and the legendary drive down Lombard Street.  I changed the track on the video to "Can I Kick It," by A Tribe Called Quest.  Trust me.  I did you a favor.  You don't want to hear my commentary from the car.  For those of you that view the video before youtube completes the swap, my apologies...  Haha.

Amongst the barrels

Very detailed barrel

Heading back into the city

It's me and the Golden Gate Bridge


Fishermans' Wharf

Clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl for me

In and Out Burger for The Rick

The drive down Lombard Street, behind a mini-van...