Category Archives: Sarcasms

The NBA Spelling Bee

via Flickr

Peter Rukavina | Flickr

With the Scripps National Spelling Bee concluding last night, I thought I’d give winner Arvind Mahankali the challenge of spelling some of the toughest names in the NBA. Spelling words like humuhumunukunukuapua’a and knaidel can’t be that much harder than spelling Kevin Love, right?

All we need now is a “Roundball Rock” remix and name it Roundball Spelling.

I divided the spelling contest into four levels, sort of like a video game where it (hopefully) gets more difficult after each one. I apologize in advance for not researching the definitions of names, alternate pronunciations, language of origins, and how they’re said in a sentence. I don’t have all day and I’m sure neither do you.

Here are the names I came up with:

First Level: Sneaky first names

  • Antawn Jamison
  • Dwyane Wade
    • The easiest way to tell if someone is a Lakers or Heat bandwagoner is if they spell these two names incorrectly.
  • Greivis Vasquez
    • I feel like this causes more trouble among writers and journalists than I think, or maybe it’s just all in my head. Spelling: it’s a mental game.
  • Aron Baynes

    • Just weird. Pronouncing the ‘ron’ part of his name like Ron Artest would make him sound like a total badass.
  • Marreese Speights
    • One of the underrated media nightmares is Marreese Speights. The first two letters are easy shmeezy, but then it’s a murderer’s row from there. Scary stuff.

Second Level: Tricky last names

  • Andrew Goudelock

    • Pronouncing his last name might be more difficult than spelling it, but it’s still questionable enough to place Goudelock on the list.
  • Tim Ohlbrecht

    • Another weird one with some silent letters.
  • Jonas Valanciunas

    • Just a totally normal U.S. first name mixing with a totally normal overseas last name. No big deal.
  • Rodrigue Beaubois

    • Knowing a Rodrigue from college made this a little easier to spell. Beaubois sounds like some awesome foreign meat or something else that’s utterly delicious.

Third Level: Confusing mix of both

  • Timofey Mozgov

    • Whenever I read or hear his name I imagine he has two super-sized front teeth.
  • Luc Mbah a Moute

    • Most underrated part of this is that it’s four words. Note: Serge Ibaka’s name would trump all if he stuck with entire eight-word name. Twitter would have to double the maximum amount of characters to tweet just to fit his name in.
  • DeSagana Diop

    • Diop. Jeeop. Jeep? French for Jeep? Probably, and DeSagana reminds me of lasagna which, when looking at Diop’s year-by-year stats, there’s a legitimate chance he ate a few servings five minutes before every game. Michael Beasley knows what that’s like.

Fourth Level: Names from the Google-less, grammatical hell

  • Tornike Shengelia
    • Close, but not exactly related to Darius Songaila. I can’t help but say Shengelia in a Dr. Evil voice though. Don’t ask.
  • Donatas Motiejunas
    • If I saw his name as the author of a sappy romantic novel, well, I would definitely spend a rainy day reading it with a bottle of wine.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
    • Pat yourself on the back if you can spell that name in one try.

2013 not-so lottery mock draft 1.0

nba-draft-lotteryEvery NBA squad has a need to address this summer. Some examples include a pass-first point guard for Sacramento, a center who doesn’t bowl or dance for Philadelphia, and a psychiatrist for the Lakers. The NBA Draft is a chance to fill those holes on the court or in the head of Dwight Howard for a cheap price.

And with everyone and their moms composing a mock draft lately, I decided to join in on the fun.

I conducted extensive research before publishing my mock draft, trust me, though it only addresses teams in the NBA lottery. What’s the point of venturing any further? My adroit analysis tells me that draft picks outside the lottery are essentially worthless. Right, San Antonio?

With that in mind, here are my expert 14 picks:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers– Alex Len (Maryland – 7’1″ 225 – Center)

Cleveland’s reaching in the draft gets more weird every year, but it will prepare them for their biggest reach of all time next summer (though that will happen in free agency).

2. Orlando Magic – Dario Saric – (Croatia – 6’10” 223 – Power Forward)

He has that Fran Vazquez potential.

3. Washington Wizards – Jeff Withey  (Kansas – 7’0″ 222 – Center)

Withey teaming up with Jan Vesely to create the most terrifying frontcourt in NBA history, at least in the nightmares of every Wizards fan, is too good to pass up. This pick is a no-brainer.

4. Charlotte Bobcats – Giannis Antetokounmpo  (Greece – 6’9″ 215 – Small Forward)

“He has the name of a winner” – Michael Jordan, probably.

5. Phoenix Suns – Trades the pick to Seattle’s future expansion team for cash considerations

Seems logical in Sarver Land.

6. New Orleans Pelicans – Otto Porter (Georgetown – 6’8″ 200 – Small Forward)

If Porter’s still on the board, his tantalizing unibrow potential makes him a must grab at #6.

7. Detroit Pistons – Times out and forfeits draft pick

Joe Dumars fell asleep while looking at this year’s draft prospects.

8. Sacramento Kings – Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA – 6’6″ 222 – Shooting Guard)

Muhammad should mesh well with every other shoot-first player on the Kings.

9. Minnesota Timberwolves – Cody Zeller (Indiana – 7’0″ 230 – Center)

Because Minnesota needs another ridiculous argument that the Timberwolves are too white.

10. Portland Trail Blazers – Nerlens Noel (Kentucky – 6’11” 215 – Center)

Noel falls right into the injury prone lap of Portland.

11. Philadelphia 76ers – Rudy Gobert (France – 7’2″ 238 – Center)

Huge risk here. While Gobert makes sense to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of drafting Shawn Bradley, there is a chance that because Gobert’s from France that he knows how to flamenco dance. I’ll be rhyming here all day.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder – Brittany Griner (Baylor – 6’8″ 208 – Center)

OKC upgrades at center after amnestying Kendrick Perkins.

13. Dallas Mavericks – Allen Crabbe (California – 6’6″ 197 – Shooting Guard)

The Mavericks will trade this pick to the Lakers for cash considerations. Given his name, Allen Crabbe would fit in perfectly with the Lakers. This is a win-win trade for both teams. (Edit: Well, unless it’s really not pronounced ‘crabby’. Oops.)

14. Utah – Kelly Olynyk (Gonzaga – 7’0″ 234 – Center)

I feel like every player from Gonzaga is automatically affiliated with the Jazz.

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