Congress Threatens To Leave D.C. Unless New Capitol Is Built
WASHINGTON, DC?Calling the current U.S. Capitol "inadequate and obsolete," Congress will relocate to Charlotte or Memphis if its demands for a new, state-of-the-art facility are not met, leaders announced Monday.
"Don't get us wrong: We love the drafty old building," Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL) said. "But the hard reality is, it's no longer suitable for a world-class legislative branch. The sight lines are bad, there aren't enough concession stands or bathrooms, and the parking is miserable. It hurts to say, but the capitol's time has come and gone."
"If we want to stay competitive, we need to upgrade," said House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-MO), who has proposed a new $3.5 billion capitol on the site of the current edifice. "Look at British Parliament. Look at the Vatican. Respected institutions in their markets. But without modern facilities, they've been having big problems attracting top talent."
Pat Riley and Shaquille O'Neal have some parting words for each other. Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel: "It's funny, when Shaquille O'Neal left the Heat, some asked about the team eventually retiring his jersey. Now the question is whether they will burn it. Or give the number to Earl Barron."
O’Neal said he’s adjusted to the Suns looking for Stoudemire as their first option, and the Suns have been careful not to forget about O’Neal in the offense or go to him too much. O’Neal is fine with his new role.
“It’s obvious I can’t do the same things I could when I was 26 and I’m not going to try and be the first experimental case,” O’Neal said. “This team was winning 50, 55 games without me. I don’t want to come in and push my way, push my style on them and force us to possibly go down and really take the blame.”
HOUSTON?Reports from several NBA teams indicate that cheap, flimsy Chinese basketball players frequently break down and fall apart when faced with the normal wear-and-tear of an NBA season. "We got one a couple years ago, but the foot broke," said Rockets GM Carroll Dawson about Chinese center Yao Ming. "Now it just sits there. We don't even use it anymore." Said Bucks guard Michael Redd: "It was fun playing with Yi Jianlian for the first few weeks, but then it seemed like every time we got too rough, he stopped working and we had to get him fixed. Maybe we just got a crummy one." Some NBA GMs, however, claim that it is still worth it to buy Chinese players, as European players remain expensive and many domestic models are unreliable, unrefined, and occasionally malfunction and shoot someone.
★リアリティー番組大好き リアリティー番組が好きなことについて、チャニング・フライ「言ってしまうけど、俺はRock of Love, Flavor of Love, Me Amore, Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, Making the Band 4, and finally, The Road Rules Real World Challengeのファンなんだ。・・・リアリティー番組はあまりに準備がされすぎている。出演者はただで一日中酒を飲んだり、まともな仕事もしてないし。実際はよくわからないけど、俺は本当のドラマが見たい。今のリアリティー番組はわざとらしいものを見せられている感じだ。なにかと準備されすぎている。でもこんな不満を言っているけど、俺は（誰かが勝ったり、成功したりする）最終回まで毎週見るんだよな。」
Oden, the top pick in last year's draft, is out for the season after microfracture surgery on his right knee. He said he played two games Wednesday night when he was at the fitness center with friends.
"I was going to play one, but I lost the first one," the 7-footer said.
Oden said he didn't dunk eight or 10 times, as was reported on an Internet forum. But he did get in a few -- and he didn't need to jump.
"It was a 9-foot goal, so it was pretty easy to dunk on," he said.
Trying to emphasize his harmony with his coach, Mavs owner Mark Cuban wore a T-shirt that read, “Avery’s Team.” The two had a heated discussion in Johnson’s office after a loss to the Lakers earlier in the week.
Howard sat much of the game in foul trouble, finishing with three points and 14 rebounds. “I was on the bench?that was their defensive stop right there,” Howard said. “People can beat up on me and nothing happens. But when I touch somebody I get calls.”
“We have Brendan, who can match him eye-to-eye, which is pretty rare in this league when you have a veteran center who can meet Dwight eye-to-eye and knows how to really play him,” Jordan said.
Of all the players in the NCAA tournament, James singled out Davidson sophomore Stephen Curry as the one he’s most eager to see play at the next level. “He’s a very, very, very, very, very good basketball player,” James said. “I don’t know if he’s coming out (in the draft) this year. When he does, he has a spot.”
Raymond Felton is finishing off his third season with the Charlotte Bobcats and for the third year he believes his team gets no respect.
“No question. We get written off every year,” said Felton, whose critical baskets in the final minute Friday lifted the Bobcats to a 96-93 victory over the Seattle Supersonics. “That’s what people have been saying ever since I’ve been a Bobcat.
“We’re still trying (for the playoffs). That’s still our goal,” said Felton, whose team is four games out of the final playoff spot with nine games left. “It’s possible some other teams lose and we slip in there. We are in the East.”
"I asked him, 'How are the practices? Are the practices long?' " Hill recalled. "He said, 'You know, boy, I can't lie to you.' I said, 'OK, thanks.' ''
One of the difficulties of acquiring O'Neal on Feb. 6 was that coach Mike D'Antoni didn't dare try to work him into the lineup with long practices. O'Neal is 36, Hill is 35 and Steve Nash is 34.
"When you have a veteran team, you don't need to practice so hard,'' Hill said. "We've seen it all, we've done it all. The poor rookies, they probably miss out because they need to practice.''
"In Orlando last year -- and this wasn't a problem, I'm not being critical of Brian Hill [who coached the Magic last season] -- we would have come in and practiced hard today. Even after a tough game last night," Hill said. "When you've got a young team [as the Magic had last season], that's good. But when you're older, it's hard during the grind of the season. Mike has a good read on his guys, and just understanding the big picture, understanding I need you for game time. Like today, he put in a new set and we didn't have to go against competition [in practice]. A lot of stuff we put in for Shaq, we don't even practice it. Our practices have been the games. That's why it took us a little while to figure it out.''
"His butt muscles, that was the biggest thing,'' Suns athletic trainer Aaron Nelson said. "He knew that. We do manual muscle testing to show if a muscle is weak or strong, and it was pretty much nothing there.''
Shaq's base, Nelson said, affects "everything that he does, from being able to run straight ahead, to go side-to-side, to pivoting, stuff that he does normally. Rebounding and coming down, he's got to be able to stabilize. That muscle is a very important muscle, and if that's weak then you've got a lot of other compensations.''
Shaq credits the Suns' training staff with extending his career. It employs a system called Optimum Performance Training, based on a scientific understanding of how different parts of the body help or hinder each other.
"A lot of these teams have got the old trainers, who I consider 'analog trainers,' and they just go with the stim [electric stimulation] and the sound [ultrasound],'' O'Neal said. "But that don't really work no more. Your body is like a building, and if certain things are off [in the foundation] then the whole thing's going to be off.
O'Neal is bitter that the Heat didn't diagnose the relationships between his muscle groups.
"They didn't see that,'' he said. "That's the stuff that you can't see in the MRI. So they would take MRIs and they wouldn't see anything. Because of what was going on, they would make excuses -- 'Oh, he's getting divorced, his career's over, he don't want to play ... he's faking.'
"I had a freaking pain right here,'' O'Neal said, grabbing below his right hip. "I'm sort of old school myself, so I'll suck it up a few days. But then if it all hurts, give me a shot. And then usually when the shot don't work, something else is wrong. But we were taking MRIs and nothing else was wrong. I went to a so-called expert in California and he didn't know what was wrong.''
O'Neal showed improvement in the first days of treatment.
"Originally, we were doing a couple of hours a day [of therapy and exercises],'' Harris said. "He even came back from the All-Star break early to get some extra work in before we got into that week of practice, which was the week that he ended up playing [in his Suns debut]. He put a lot of time in early, and now we manage it anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half a day of a combination of the manual therapy and the corrective exercises.''
"I've been here a month, I haven't had to take no drugs, I haven't had to get no shots,'' O'Neal said. "They touch me, they stretch me and I do real simple weights.''
After that, I was asked to keep my pants down and to urinate into a cup while he watched. I was pretty lucky that I had no issues and it came quickly. Last year I was so nervous that I couldn't go for minutes. The guy kept flushing the toilet expecting that to help me along, but it didn't. Having another grown man stare at your Oscar Meyer while you attempt to go can be quite nerve racking. This time I was unfazed by the direct stares of the old man. I did what I had to do and it was done.
The funny thing about drug tests that I don't understand is how anybody could ever beat the system. They check the pH levels right there. They check the temperature right there. They check the color right there. The guy makes you drop your pants, lift up your shirt and do a 360 right in front of him, eliminating the possibility of a Whizzinator. For those that don't know (I looked it up), a Whizzinator is a fake penis that is somehow filled with someone else's urine and looks like you actually went #1 on your own. Crazy right? Remember Onterrio Smith (pictured above)? He was caught with one, which was probably the single most embarrassing thing to ever happen to him. It makes you wonder who has used this thing and passed? Did Miguel Tejada? Bill Romanowski? What about Soumaila Samake? He was caught with steroids. Did he use the "tan" colored Whizzinator instead of the "black" one? (By the way, they also have a color called "Latino.") Who knows? It would just seem that the test is impossible to beat.
When I was all done with my test, I was talking with the administrator. He told me that they expanded drug tests in Texas to include high school athletes and that they would be very busy in 2008 conducting over 44,000 tests. I said to him, almost accidentally out loud, "Wow, that's a lot of 360's." He laughed it off, but it's true. How could someone sign on to look at the privates of so many athletes? The guy last year said that he also checked out Amare Stoudemire and Tim Duncan. I thought it was odd that he would mention that. Maybe there is a certain glamour to this business. I asked him what led him to such a job and he said that he was a retired athletic trainer who wanted to stay busy and that this was the easiest way. Maybe it's a combination of money and the ability to say that only you and 20,000 women saw the real Wilt Chamberlain. Still, I'd have to think that the job is one of the worst on the planet, but that's just my opinion.
Miller says: "There's no better advertising for them than having NBA players. They do a great job. I trust them. Now I'm having a '64 Lincoln done and I'm excited to see what comes back."
Stoudamire says: "They cater to the customer. I really like the job they did. It's great, inside and outside. They really made it look nice."
Swift says: "They started out just by doing some local people, some of the guys from Memphis. But word got around how well they did stuff. So I let them do my car. It turned out real nice. Chucky is going to give you a real good deal and take care of you."
Remember, after Stevenson called James "overrated" folllowing a game between the teams last Thursday, James responded by saying he is above such mess because that would be like his hero, Jay-Z, lowering himself to respond to the rapper, Soulja Boy. So, in one neat quote, James dissed Stevenson and Soulja Boy. Well, Stevenson is embracing the Soulja Boy role. "I hope we play Cleveland," Stevenson said. "I'm going to get Soulja Boy courtside seats and have him wear a DeShawn Stevenson jersey. Maybe (James) can have Jay-Z there since LeBron's all on his (shorts) anyway." Stevenson wasn't done. "And tell LeBron to cut that beard off and stop copying me."
Houston forward Tracy McGrady was impressed by the job teammate Shane Battier did while defending Bryant. "If Shane Battier's not on the All-Defensive team, I'm protesting," McGrady said. "I'm boycotting the All-Defensive team, seriously, because this guy did a phenomenal job on the best scorer in our league."
When Allen Iverson stepped on the court for warm-ups, the first thing he did was kiss the "S" on the "Sixers" logo at center court.
"Looking back on it, I wish I didn't react the way I did," Iverson said of his exit. "Somebody lives their life in one place for so long, and goes through so many things there and not really wanting to leave and feel like you were forced out, it was tough for me to deal with.
"People can talk about how ugly things went toward the end, but I think when you have a marriage and you get a divorce, it's not peaches and cream in the end. You're not the same way you were when you got married. But, as time goes on, I still have kids with the organization."
Iverson had his own odd moment, being in the visiting locker room for the first time.
"That's a locker room I never wanted to end up in," said Iverson, who had wanted to play his entire career for Philadelphia.
But plenty else seemed familiar.
"Just seeing the ball boys and seeing the security, a lot of familiar faces," Iverson said. "Walking in here, it don't seem like nothing changed. . . . It even smells the same."
"I didn't actually have tears in my eyes, but they were burning," Iverson said. "At one point, I was holding my head up so they couldn't fall because my teammates were telling me I was going to let it out and I didn't want them to tease me."
"But when I'm back at my hotel all by myself later tonight, they'll come out."
Yes, that's right, our very own DeShawn has made what we're calling an "undisclosed wager" with the formerly ducktailed Cavs forward Gooden, who began growing his own beard over the summer. Both guys live in Orlando, and they saw each other socially. Gooden had a beard, Stevenson made a comment, and so Gooden challenged him to grow facial hair of his own.
"So I said all right," Stevenson said. "He said 'who cuts it first,' I said let's do it," and the rest was history.
"Probably look like Teen Wolf," he said one time. "Probably Moses," he said another time. "Moses with an even cut."
Teammates came up with other metaphors.
"He's going into his Rocky mode, I guess," Caron Butler said. "Remember when Rocky was training to fight the Russian and he had the big beard and everything?"
SLAM's Lang Whitaker, of course, has already e-mailed Gooden to tell him he looks like Abraham Lincoln.
Bulls forward Drew Gooden and Washington Wizards guard DeShawn Stevenson checked out each other's beards when they went to dinner Thursday. The high school friends have bet $20,000 on who will give in and shave first.
''He had the ducktail last year, he said he was going to do something new with a beard,'' Stevenson said. ''I didn't think he was going to do it, so I challenged him. His is growing faster than mine, I don't know why. His is everywhere. I've got to win.''
Gooden said he has passed the itchy/scratching stage. ''I'm in the food stage, where everything gets caught in it,'' he said.
Gooden has a $20,000 bet with Wizards guard DeShawn Stevenson over who will cut his beard first. Told that former college teammate Hinrich mocked its length, Gooden fired off this classic: "My goal is for him to try to grow a beard."
Kobe Port Earthquake Memorial Park; Kobe, Japan "I jumped out of bed when I felt the earthquake and had an experience where I felt the possibility of death. The fear, the crushed feeling form the lost lives, the cruel spectacle of what the city I knew so intimately had become?all those things I can't forget to this day.
"Seattle has tradition, the Space Needle, and there's water here," Shaq said. "Oklahoma City's a college town. You're not going to have the TV market there." He was just getting warmed up. "When I think of Seattle, I think of G.P., the Reign Man, Sikma, Lenny Wilkens," Shaq said. "The Oklahoma City Sonics? When my son asks me about that, I'll say there's no such thing." Seattle Post-Intelligencer
When you listen to Hill and Shaq, you determine that most NBA players prefer Seattle to Oklahoma City.
"That's a bad road trip," Hill said of Oklahoma City. "It's cold. This shouldn't happen. Seattle's a great market, a great city, and I would think there's a lot of money in this city. It's a shame. They had a good product."
"When I think of Seattle, it's hard to see what's going on now. When I came into the league, it was rockin'."
Hill summed it up better than anyone, saying, "The people who get shortchanged here, of course, are the fans."
Wells denied the trade?which sent him and Mike James to New Orleans for Bobby Jackson?had anything to do with his effort to take over a game that was tied at 59 after three quarters.
“I’ve been on five different teams so it doesn’t really matter,” Wells said after helping New Orleans (46-21) pull even with the Los Angeles Lakers atop the Western Conference. “We’re really fighting for something here and if you can’t get motivated every night you shouldn’t be in this league.”
★私が外人フェチになった理由 スパーズのポポビッチ監督は大勢の外人選手を起用している。その理由について、記者「セルビア系移民の孫であるポポビッチは、エアフォースアカデミーでソビエト研究を専攻した。1970年代初期に彼は軍人としてヨーロッパで過ごした。「多くの優れた選手がいることに驚いたよ。」とポポビッチは語った。Lブラウンのアシスタントとして過ごした後、1988年に監督としての道を歩み始めた。そしてドイツでの世界選手権でスカウトをするべく、フロントにかけあった。彼とドン・ネルソンだけがそこにスカウトに行ったNBAの幹部だった。彼らは（Vlade Divac, Drazen Petrovic and Toni Kukocを擁する）ユーゴスラビアのドリームチームのプレーに度肝を抜かれた。ヨーロッパのチームの、自己主張がなく、熱心で、基礎がしっかりしたところにポポビッチは感銘を受けた。彼は言った。「彼らがNBAでも通用するのは誰の目にも明らかだった。私はわくわくしたよ。」」
The grandson of Serbian immigrants, Popovich majored in Soviet studies at the Air Force Academy. He then spent the early 1970s touring Europe with the Armed Forces team. "I couldn't believe how many great players were over there," says the former guard. In 1988, after landing his first NBA coaching gig as a Spurs assistant under Larry Brown, Popovich convinced the front office to let him scout the world championships in Cologne, Germany. He and Warriors coach Don Nelson the only other league exec who showed up sat wide-eyed as they watched a Yugoslav dream team that featured Vlade Divac, Drazen Petrovic and Toni Kukoc. Popovich was taken by the Euros' low-maintenance, hardworking, fundamentally sound game. "You didn't have to be a genius to know these guys could play in the NBA," he says. "I was like a kid in a candy store."
Noting the balance of the Western Conference, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said before the game: “We’re two game out of first and we’re two games out of eighth.” With the conference so close, he predicted that home-court advantage would not be as big a factor in the playoffs. “The first seed could be the eighth and the eighth seed is as good as the first and that’s no exaggeration,” he said. “None of us is better than the other. So the seeds are really irrelevant this season more than any other time.”
1. * LA Lakers -- 2. * New Orleans 0.5 3. Houston 1.0 4. * Utah 3.0 5. Phoenix 1.0 6. San Antonio 2.0 7. Dallas 3.5 8. Golden State 4.5 9. Denver 6.5
★野球英語 ・NA or N.A. National Associationの略。3つの組織をさす。 ?the National Association of Base Ball Players（1857-1870） ?the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players（1871-1875） ?the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues（1901-to-date）。現在のMinor League Baseball。
・ nail-biter 接戦。爪を噛んではらはらしながら見守る、というようなニュアンス。
・ nailed ?死球。drilled, plunkedなども同義。 ?勝ち試合の最後を締める投球。 ?走者をアウトにすること。例・・・"Sizemore nailed him at the plate."（Cサイズモア、彼をアウトにしました。）
・ nails 勝利を決定付けるような、素晴らしいパフォーマンスをした投手。例・・・"As the season has progressed, you can see that he looks forward to that 9th inning and he has been nails lately."（シーズンが進むにつれ、彼が9回を楽しみにしていること、そして最近のっているのがお分かりでしょう。）
・ nickel curve スライダー。回転の輪がニッケル（5セント硬貨）サイズだから。
・ nightcap ダブルヘッダーの2試合目。
・ Nintendo 3回の投球で三振を取ること。
・ NL or N.L. National Leagueの略。
・ NLCS or N.L.C.S. National League Championship Seriesの略。
・ NLDS or N.L.D.S. National League Division Seriesの略。
Howard might be an All-Star starter and the NBA's Slam Dunk champion, but he still is far away from getting the kind of calls superstars Kobe Bryant and LeBron James get, he said.
"I get some calls, but I guess it's still going to be a couple of years before I get those calls," Howard said. "I talk to (Magic assistant coach) Patrick (Ewing) about it all the time and he tells me that if I want to get those calls I have to attack the basket. And if I'm going to get the calls that Kobe and LeBron do, I have to play the same way every night. The refs know how those guys are going to play every night."
"Me and the ref were talking and I asked him to name the five players who he calls the most offensive fouls on," Howard said, breaking into a laugh. "He could only name two of them . . . Shaq and me.
The Jazz were 28-3 at home and just 14-19 on the road entering Tuesday’s game, and coach Jerry Sloan had an explanation for the disparity. “I think it’s the altitude,” he said. “We’re at 4,200 feet.” He laughed. “Does that sound like a good reason? If it is, I’ll use it.”
After a game against the NBA-leading Celtics, Seattle SuperSonics star Kevin Durant said Wednesday night that Oklahoma City could easily support pro basketball. "I was fortunate enough to play there for the Big 12 Tournament,” said Durant, the presumptive Rookie of the Year, after an 111-82 loss to Boston. "A lot of people came out, and that shows a lot; it's a sign of how much they love sports in Oklahoma City. It was a great place to be for basketball.” Oklahoman
"But wherever we do end up, we're still the same team.”
Nick Young had just that kind of night Tuesday, scoring a career-high 22 points to lead the Washington Wizards to a sorely needed 105-97 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
“I’m tired of (teammate) Brendan Haywood calling me a practice dunker and all kinds of stuff,” said Young, who shot 9-for-15 and had pair of three-point plays in the decisive fourth quarter. “So it was my way to kind of show them that I belong here?and I can jump a little bit.”
Young even picked up his first technical foul for going at Bogut after a dunk. Young didn’t get his money’s worth?the big center knocked the rookie guard aside like a rag doll.
“He got the best of me,” Young said. “They say they’re going to put me in the weight room.”
“He’s a natural scorer,” point guard Antonio Daniels said. “We kid him about it all the time. He has blinders because all he sees is the rim.”
★だって言われたもん NCAAのスカウトに行くことについて、ライリー監督「（オーナーの）ミッキーの要望だ。独断ではない。上司が言うことなら、私はそれをやるよ。」 "This is something that Micky wanted me to do," Riley said. "It wasn't just a popular decision on my part. I do say, if the boss asks me do something, I'll do it."
Wallace doesn’t want to play power forward anymore, and feels the position change will limit his exposure to concussions. Which sort of begs the question: Why was he playing power forward to begin with?
"He's so eager to play," Webster said. "He's like a little kid in a toy factory. He's antsy, fidgety. He wants to get out there and play so bad. He's taking it slow right now, taking the right measures, and that'll be vital for his comeback."
Kevin tells me that his life isn’t glamorous enough to start a blog, and that he could never keep up with Gilbert Arenas and the like.
When I tell him that I write for SLAM, he mentions that Lang recently sent him a text message telling him about some strange Japanese gameshow called Ninja Warrior. Nick had no clue what Lang was talking about.
Over on the Toronto side, Sam Mitchell, dressed in athletic shorts and a t-shirt, is chatting up a couple of writers and discussing the battle between Hillary and Obama to win the Democratic Party’s nomination. He’s really into it, and is spouting off all kinds of stats and percentages.
Politics are a popular topic for the Raptors today, as I find Jose Calderon discussing some big election that’s taking place in Spain today.
(As Brezec passes our group, he raps (loudly), “She said she wants a hood ni**a!” We all stare at each other for a few seconds trying to decipher what just happened, leading to Colangelo apologizing for the Slovenian’s gangsta ways, and everyone doubling over in laughter.)
Colangelo, by the way, made it explicitly clear that our chat was strictly off the record. But know this: In those five minutes or so that we spoke, I learned more about the NBA and some of the juicy League wide back-office politics than I could have ever hoped to glean in a lifetime of following and covering the sport. Really eye-opening stuff.
Primoz Brezec emerges from the showers and we begin discussing music for a little bit. He tells me that he usually listens to DMX, T.I. and … Slovenian hip hop (!!!) to get himself pumped up before games. When I confess that I had no idea that such a thing as Slovenian hip hop existed, he claims that it’s actually pretty good.
Primoz, who is exceedingly nice and accommodating, says that it’s great having a fellow countryman (Rasho Nesterovic) on the team.
You’re a new actor. How do you approach this new career after being a seasoned veteran ball player? Is it tough to star over?
People get paralyzed because of the fear of beginning again. You’re a rookie, so you’re not as good as you want people to see you. I say, allow yourself to be a beginner and allow yourself to grow. I had a 14 year career as a ball player ? won 3 NBA championships, made a great living. Retired at 36. Now I have to begin my career again. A lot of athletes struggle because they wonder a) do I have enough time to be great again? b) what happens if I fail? Am I willing to face the criticism and go back at it again and again and again? Truthfully, the thing that helped me was examining why I wanted to act. My answer was ? to be expressive and create a message. So I accept this as a marathon, not a sprint. And when I look at actors I respect, the Morgan Freeman’s, the Denzel’s, Samuel L. Jackson and I looked at their ages, I said ‘if I’m 36 now, twenty years from now would I be unhappy to look back and reflect on having had to begin again? The answer is no.