Grab that Lakers jersey you haven’t worn since pretending to be a fan during the 2009 NBA championship run, fire up the online betting account, and tell your future ex-wife that the kids are going to be driving themselves to soccer practice for the next seven months. The most anticipated NBA season since 2009 starts today, and we’re here to tell you exactly how things are going to turn out with 25 predictions that are 100 percent guaranteed to come true (provided of course that you don’t know what the word "guaranteed" means).
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1. Detlef Schrempf’s Comedy Troop Will Sell More Tickets than the Sacramento Kings
Say what you will about German comedy, but Detlef Schrempf’s “Eins, Zwei… Laugh” tour is quickly becoming the funniest thing to hit the NBA since J.J. Redick’s assertion that he thinks there’s a team that will actually give him playing time. With dates scheduled across the country, it’s highly likely that Schrempf’s shows outsell the 12,000 fans that reluctantly attend the Kings games every night simply because both bars in the downtown Sacramento area get filled up pretty quickly after the church bake sale.
2. People Magazine will Name Adam Morrison the “Sexiest Draft Bust Alive.”
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In their highly anticipated “Creepy Moustache Issue” due out next month, the sports-inclined folks at People magazine will take a break from reporting on which D-List celebrities the unemployed vagrants on The Hills are pleasuring in a nightclub coatroom, in order to name Adam Morrison the Sexiest Draft Bust Alive, shocking 11-time recipient Ryan Leaf. The Gonzaga alum, who has become an NBA journeyman while still on his rookie contract, was unavailable for comment, as his people – with a straight face - said he was busy “practicing for the upcoming season.” Glad to see they all have a sense of humor about it! (And yes, he actually has “people.”)
3. I will Purchase Carmelo Anthony’s New Scent of Tag Body Spray “Step Up” as a Wedding Present For Any of My Friends Who Have the Balls to Invite Me to Their Destination Wedding
Nothing says “I’m not taking a week off of work to fly to Hawaii to see you make the biggest mistake of your life” quite like receiving a four-dollar bottle of body spray marketed by a sweaty basketball player that appeared in a “Stop Snitchin'” threat video by a Baltimore drug cartel. If you want to invite people to a destination wedding you know won’t show up in order to get more presents, you better not expect a legitimate gift. (No, I’m not the annoying guy at every wedding accidentally saying “you know, there’s a 50 percent chance they get divorced” to the bride’s parents… But I am the gentleman who asks what kind of over/under that guy is offering. I made bank on the Silverstein divorce!)
4. Much Like He Did With Michael Jordan’s Gambling Problems, David Stern Will Force Peja Stojakovic to Take a Year Off of Basketball in Order to Get His Body Odor Issues Under Control
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Ever wonder why the New Orleans Hornets, despite being a very talented team, never have fans in the lower bowl? It’s getting to the point where the team is travelling in Hazmat suits and holding two-a-day shower sessions during training camp.
5. Dirk Nowitzki Will Get Slightly Less Ugly Throughout the Season
After the recent success of the Dallas Mavericks’ “Win a Date with Dirk Nowitzki” promotion over the summer (congratulations 42-year-old knitting enthusiast Catherine Banks, by the way), many analysts including TNT sex symbol Jeff Van Gundy have discussed the possibility of Nowitzki leaving the “Chris Kaman degree of ugly” category and finally being able to do HD postgame interviews without a paper bag over his head. Although Disco Dirk, as both his friends call him, will have some serious work to do before this actually happens, it is safe to assume that should stop scaring children by the All-Star break.
6. The Mehmet Okur Gangsta Rap Album Will Do Surprisingly Well
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After his critically acclaimed hit “Turkish Delight” was rumored to be remixed by Jay-Z last summer, the buzz circling around the upcoming release of Okur’s sophomore release “The Other White Meat” is gaining momentum. Although he originally decided to pursue a music career in order to start scoring Matt Harpering-quality a**, Okur has blossomed into a very talented artist with hits like “Fat, White, and Ugly” and “I Banged Monica Seles in the Back of a Hyundai.” It’s the perfect Christmas present for anybody who already has the “12 Months of Boozer” calendar.
7. Bryant Reeves Will Not Make a Comeback
Speaking of Canadian basketball, me and my buddy Kaplan had our annual “useless human beings on the planet” debate, recently. The usual classics like Zach Braff, any chick with 11 percent body fat, Gary Bettman, and my creepy uncle that owns every season of Scrubs on DVD made the list. However, just before we started the “Rosie O’Donnel vs. Jared from Subway” argument the name Bryant “Big Country” Reeves came up. The 411-pounds of receding hairline that wore a 4XL Vancouver Grizzlies jersey with gravy stains on it might have been the single worst decision a franchise that couldn’t survive 10 years in their first city ever made. Now granted, after being out of the league for so long he’s pretty well rested. And it’s virtually impossible that his conditioning has gotten any worse since 1997. But I just don’t see that being enough to make it back into the league. It’s going to be at least another three years before Reeves signs another NBA contract.
8. Vince Carter will Look Like He’s About to Cry at Least Seven Times in the Opening Game
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As a disgruntled Raptors fan, I must admit that I talk about Vince Carter and the exciting race for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference with a level of objectivity previously seen when John Madden called Brett Favre’s four interception game “a disgusting display of receivers not trying hard enough.” But, even as the self-proclaimed leader of the “Vince Carter is half the player that Jose Calderon is” movement, I can say with relative neutrality that the Canadian defector looks like a 13-year-old girl who couldn’t go to the Hannah Montana concert every time he misses an 18-foot jump. I don’t know if he’s thinking “anyone can yell at the refs, but if I act like I’m crying, maybe I’ll get the call,” or if his nationally televised games always appear when he’s on his period, but Carter needs to sack up and be like Allen Iverson. I’ve seen him miss 22 straight strait shots, look at his coach with a prison-esque gaze, and then do it 19 more times – like a man!
9. Kobe Bryant will Continue His Six Year “Not Being Accused of Raping a Teenager” Streak.
It’s not quite Joe DiMaggio hitting safely in 56 straight games, but Kobe Bryant is putting together a very respectable run here (even though I may have just jinxed it).
10. Greg Oden will Receive the Senior Discount While Eating at Denny’s on a Road Trip
Sometime during his annual jaunt on the disabled list, Greg Oden (who has enjoyed courtside seats to most of the Portland Trailblazers games for years) will make his way to a local Denny’s to spend the paycheck he’s not earning on a Grand Slam breakfast and receive the senior discount. Think this won’t happen?
Fact: Denny’s senior discount begins at 55 years.
Fact: Greg Oden looks like he may or may not be a Korean War veteran.
Fact: Most waitresses at Denny’s are not Ivy League scholars working their way through college (that’s what strip clubs are for). Even if he hands them an ID, what are the chances they read the birthdate, or just look at a clearly elderly man and assume he’s telling the truth.
Fact: I love Denny’s and don’t want to get my food spat in for writing this.
11. Gilbert Arenas Will Not Be Involved in a Taiwanese Sex Scandal
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Going out on a major limb here, but after weeks of consideration I just don’t see this happening. A guy who spent $1 million building a grotto in his backyard just doesn’t seem capable of making poor life decisions.
12. The LeBron James-Darko Milicic 2003 NBA Draft Debate Will Start Heating Up Again
In 2003, every NBA General Manager that now serves fries to Yarolslav Korolev and Dujuan Wagner at Division III basketball games in Poland decided to chase the next Dirk Nowitzki like there was a pot of gold at the end of the inability to defense. And in this effort, many (seriously, a disgusting amount) of scouts actually formed a LeBron vs. Darko debate before the draft. Though the argument has seemingly shifted in the favor of LeBron, Darko has made a bit of a run to even the score. Darko is the player with an NBA title and playing in New York City, never having to contribute or apparently even show up to practice, while LeBron is forced to play in Cleveland and gives insane amounts of effort in a losing cause. Honestly, who sounds like the winner here?
13. Vegas Will Regret Setting the “How Many Times Will Mark Cuban Act Like a Whiny Special Needs Child” Over-Under Line at 67.5
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In 2000, Mark Cuban was a slightly overweight breath of fresh air. It was almost like your neighbor got rich, bought a team, and was living every disgruntled fan's dream. But nine years later, the rest of the basketball world realized that we all hate our neighbors and don’t want to see the middle-aged nerd with a bowl-cut, Sears-clad wardrobe, and Manute Bol charisma running his mouth every time he pays a reporter to publish his inane ramblings. Much like the Prom Queen with an eating disorder, Cuban is very insecure and needs attention constantly from people validating his actions. Think anything less than 67 times over the course of a season will do it? Of course not. Poor odds making, Vegas.
14. Chad Ford Will Bat a Very Respectable .182 with his “Insider” Trade Rumors.
From what I’ve heard, Ford has had an excellent offseason and is ready for a career year as the random NBA rumor guy. Sure, .182 seems like a pretty high success rate for Ford after his “Jason Varitek in the playoffs” performance during last year’s Vince Carter to the Kick’s trade deadline meltdown, but this could be the season that Ford really does some damage. He’s a sleeper pick for anybody in an ESPN analyst fantasy draft. (On a side note, I love Chad Ford. This guy’s job is to come up with mildly plausible trade scenarios that will never actually happen, and then convince people like me that a Shawn Marion to the Lakers trade is a real possibility so that we have something to talk about around the water cooler. Throw in a couple hookers and some nachos and this guy is living my buddy’s bachelor party.)
15. Feeling Sick of Basketball Fans, Kobe Bryant Will Attend a Clippers’ Game for Some Peace and Quiet
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There’s a lot of pressure playing for the league’s premiere team. Filing commercials, buying the wife you cheated on jewelry, and people looking to sell your autograph on eBay can be exhausting. But, as part of the Los Angeles Clippers’ recently launched “Get Your Own Row” promotion, Bryant can finally have a place escape basketball fans or sports reporters – something he’ll need if his aforementioned streak of six straight years without being accused of rape by a chubby teenager continues.
16. The San Antonio Spurs Will Successfully Ruin at Least Two Rounds of the NBA Playoffs
Not that 12 foot jumpers, stout defense, and Manu Ginobili flailing around every time somebody bumps him on the shoulder isn’t why hundreds of people tune in to watch the Spurs slow down the NBA postseason every year, but after what seems like 37 straight season of being held hostage by the possibility of a Detroit-San Antonio championship, isn’t it time the Spurs dismantle themselves for the good of the league? It’s getting to the point where Greg Popovich looks like he’s falling asleep from boredom in the second quarter.
17. The Halftime Show Fatality Rate Will Drastically Rise
Everyone knows that in order to attract the seven remaining WNBA fans to the men’s game, the NBA is going to have to make the halftime shows a bit more entertaining at the expense of the performers. Extremely dangerous versions of gymnasts, archery, and various other spectacles that nobody wants to see between Summer Olympic games have become the norm at NBA games. I actually saw someone shoot an apple off of a girl’s head with a bow and arrow once. Somebody is going to die, and it won’t be as funny as it sounds.
18. The Phoenix Gorilla Will Shock the World When he Checks into Drug Rehab for Cocaine Abuse
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I don’t know if I read this on the Chad Ford NBA rumors page or saw him at Kent Dana’s sexy Hollywood party with Sam Keller in the bathroom, but the word on the street is that the Phoenix Gorilla is getting a little too into the devil’s dandruff. Sure, having to watch Robin Lopez try to pick up chicks while he’s sitting on the bench for 49 minutes every game or having to tell Shawn Marion he looked great while struggling to pronounce the phonetically spelled words during his local furniture store commercial isn’t easy, but it’s just unfortunate that he copes with drugs.
19. Drafting European Players Will No Longer Be Cool
Back in 2003, everybody and Joe Dumars’ mother was flushing their draft picks down the toilet in order to take the ninth leading scorer on a Slovenian amateur basketball team. It was just like sniffing airplane glue -- exciting, trendy, everyone was doing it, and Chad Ford said it was awesome. These days, however, after the Minnesota Timberwolves traded away their third leading scorer for a teenage Spanish point guard that will never play a single minute for their franchise, this trend is officially over.
20. The University of Texas Will Sarcastically ask Tracy McGrady to Teach a Class on Postseason Success with Guest Lecturer Bob Stoops.
In five years with the Houston Rockets, Tracy McGrady has failed to reach the second round of the playoffs four times. Then, the season he gets injured and is unable to play in the postseason...and his team actually wins a playoff round. If he had asked to play in game six of the first round I’m pretty sure the coaching staff would've dropped a medicine ball on his foot to help the team win.
21. Various Gamblers Will Form a Class-Action Lawsuit Against the NBA for Tampering with Results During the Tim Donaghy scandal.
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As a card carrying member of the Degenerate Gamblers Association of America, I can wholeheartedly say that we have explored the option of suing David Stern. He was negligent in prevent the possibility of refs fixing games and even ignored my following email in 2005:
Dear Mr. Stern,
I swear to God I know your fixing games. There is no way this amount of ineptitude is coincidental. I don’t have the legal means to prosecute you. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you refund my Suns bet now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.
Yes. The Liam Neeson movie Taken was loosely based around a threatening letter I sent to the commissioner of the NBA.
22. Duke University Will Begin Holding a Weekly Support Group for NBA Draft Busts
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On Wednesday evenings, Trajan Langdon and J.J. Redick will welcome some of the all-time greats from Duke University (who aren’t exactly busy contributing to NBA rosters right now) in order to share the trials and tribulations of single-handedly destroying an NBA franchise. Christian Laettner will bake the brownies, Cherokee Parks can handle the punch, and Sheldon Williams can simply cry for the better part of an hour while screaming “I didn’t ask for this. I swear to God I thought I was going to be a second round pick.”
23. Rasho Nesterovic Probably Won’t Win the NBA MVP Award
Not that his 6.8 points per game, 3.4 rebounds and refusal to play “traditional” defense won’t warrant any “Rasho for MVP” talk, but the fact that he is stuck playing for a small market team really hurts his chances. Is Kobe Bryant a better player than Nesterovic? Maybe… but he does play in Los Angeles, a major market – meaning this year should be yet another example of why playing in Indiana won’t lead to anything good. Hell, Reggie Miller had to move to California before he was on national news programs for stalking (and subsequently getting a restraining orders issued against him) by married women. When he was harassing people’s wives in Indiana, people barely knew.
24. At Least Seven People Reading this Immediately Thought "Wait, Rasho Nesterovic is Still in the League?"
Not really a prediction about the season, but any chance to make fun of Rasho is a welcome opportunity.
25. The Los Angeles Lakers Will Make it Difficult for Parents to Teach Their Kids About Karma, When an Accused Rapist, Pau Gasol, and the Guy Who Beat Up a Fan Win an NBA Title
Yes, foreign guy at the sports bar crammed into a Kobe Bryant jersey four sizes too small with the tag still on it who makes it a point to say “I been Lakers’ fan my whole life brotha,” every thirty seconds – you’re probably going to get to take the day off romancing women online to go to another championship parade. The Lakers are once again loaded with talent and should repeat as champions. So go ahead and practice being obnoxious now, because as unfair as it is to those of us who have to listen to “Why is there that weird ice game on that small TV? In the corner” every time we try to watch the NHL playoffs, God has decided make the sporting world an unfair place.
25. At Least Seven People Reading this Immediately Thought "Wait, Rasho Nesterovic is Still in the League?"
Not really a prediction about the season, but any chance to make fun of Rasho is a welcome opportunity.