There's something special about #40. His picks were harder. His whines were louder. His flops more dramatic. Of course (you are on a Pistons blog after all) we're talking about our muse: Bill Laimbeer.
He was the "Prince of Darkness," and was hated by everyone, including some of his own teammates. He was a player who could have only existed when he did, for the rule changes to defense in the Association today would have made his pummelling style of play impossible. He couldn't jump. He could barely dunk. And yet, if you asked some of the greatest players of the time -- Barkley, Bird, McHale, Worthy -- who they were looking for when Detroit came to town, it was #40. So allow us to indulge ourselves, and enjoy The Carnival of the NBA #40: the Bill Laimbeer Edition.
But, hold on. Matt and I aren't here just to reminisce over our Piston past. No, we've decided to dig down into everyone's dirt: the jheri curls, the "Divac for Bryant"ses, Run TMC, Kevin Duckworth. Yeah, it's all fair game. We'll give you the usual Carnival comprehensive list of who's who in basketball blogosphere. But on top of that, we're going to take some random guesses as to who you'd be obsessing over had you -- and this whole blog thing -- been married up 10, 20, 30 years earlier.
- Boston Celtics
M.O.: What happens when you combine one of the most prolific NBA bloggers (Jeff Clark) with one of the worst teams in the league (the Celtics)? Apparently, schizophrenia.
Probably would have obsessed over: Dino Radja. Out goes Kevin McHale; in comes Dino Radja. And just like that, 14 straight winning seasons become 8 straight losing years. Dino Radja, indeed.
Blog: Red's Army
M.O.: Noting that there's more to gain (cough, Oden, cough) than moral victories if the Celtics play hard and lose close games.
Probably would have obsessed over: Acie Earl? Eric Montross? Perhaps the Celtics should steer clear of drafting big men. Durant, anyone?
- New Jersey Nets
Blog: Nets Daily
M.O.: Worrying about real, on-court issues (like Jason Kidd’s longevity) while others are more concerned with Joumana’s tell all.
Probably would have obsessed over: Buck Williams. What’s not to like? He was hard-working, was productive into his late 30s, and to my knowledge was without any crazy-ass wife.
Blog: Joe Nets Fan
M.O.: Optimism ground to a halt with the news that Richard Jefferson could be gone for six weeks or more.
Probably would have obsessed over: [Note from DBB reader, LanierFan] "I gotta stick up for JoeNetsFan as the pre-eminent blog for all things Nets … back in the day, they would have drawn up a great "Poseidon Adventure" style caricature of Micheal Ray Richardson, going down with that ship that be sinkin’."
- New York Knicks
Blog: Bench Renaldo
M.O.: When he's not busy at The 'House, or at SLAM!, Mutoni is bringing his knowledge of Association on and off-court to Bench Renaldo. His focus this week: the new Nike Air Force 1 spot.
Probably woud have obsessed over: Hubert Davis, whose name and game would definitely have spawned a "Bench Hubert" blog.
M.O.: All David Lee, old, overrated, ring-less, fat-ass" analysts the next. Hey, if LeBron has multiple personalities, why can't the blogs that follow him?
Probably would have obsessed over: Larry Nance, who proved that not everyone who hails from Akron, OH believes dunking is "bourgeois." Nance won the first-ever NBA dunk contest in 1984 and currently makes his living as a drag racer. No, seriously.
Blog: YAYsports! NBA
M.O.: Becoming friends with Being plagiarized by ESPN writers, creating all those Rangers Corps T-shirts the kids are wearing these days, personifying basketballs and staying on top of Kwame Brown vs. Cake.
Probably would have obsessed over: Brad Daugherty. "King Brad will revolutionize the game. Hamburgers!"
- Chicago Bulls
Blog: Blog A Bull
M.O.: Coming to grips with the Bulls being decent again -- if they could only get that missing piece.
Probably would have obsessed over: Orlando Woolridge. Keep him? Trade him? Yeah, he's good, but is he what the Bulls need? He was Andres Nocioni back when Nocioni was still in kindergarten.
- Detroit Pistons
M.O.: Putting her Photoshop skillz to use mocking the opposition ... and inspiring her readers to do the same in real life.
Probably would have obsessed over: Were John Salley still playing, we'd probably be reading Salacious4Salley.com. Bill Laimbeer had Rasheed Wallace's distaste for referees, but Salley's colorful quotes were a bored reporter's wet dream.
Blog: Human Victory Cigar
M.O.: Lamenting, much as I do, over the Pistons lack of a suitable backup point guard. Also, mourning the death of the Pistons' D.
Probably would have obsessed over: Darrell Walker. Speaking of backup point guards, Walker stepped in for the departed Vinnie Johnson in '91-92. While his tenure with the Pistons was less than 100 games, this period sticks out as being particularly traumatic for me as a kid.
- Indiana Pacers
M.O.: Mildly amused at Golden State's excitement about acquiring Steven Jackson.
Probably would have obsessed over: Derrick McKey. A complementary player at best, but it wasn't until his arrival that the Pacers got past the first round. Mike Dunleavy, Jr., you taking notes? Bonus: McKey's nickname was "Heavy D," which would work for Dunleavy... well, sorta.
Blog: Miss Gossip
M.O.: Analyzing hair trends of the NBA in ways that push Microsoft Paint to the limits.
Probably would have obsessed over: Dennis Rodman. The dude was an innovator when it came to hair cuts.
- Milwaukee Bucks
Blog: MKE Bucks Diary
M.O.: Mixing old school nostalgia with new school stats: "That's a Chamberlain-like Eff48 of 53.05."
Probably would have obsessed over: Oscar Robertson. You want to talk about Eff48? The Big O filled up the box score like no other.
- Atlanta Hawks
Blog: Impending Firestorm
M.O.: Mimicking inconsistent Hawks with inconsistent posting, eschewing traditional expectations of blogs by doing actual interviews.
Probably would have obsessed over: Jon Koncak, who can thank Al Gore that the "blogosphere" didn't exist yet when he received his mistake of a contract that paid him more than Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. The team that signed him to the original offer sheet? Your Detroit Pistons. You're welcome, Atlanta.
- Charlotte Bobcats
Blog: Bobcat Bonfire
M.O.: Staying amazingly optimistic for a Bobcats fan by taking joy in the little things (a two-game winning streak! and employing a healthy dose of hyperbole ("Matt Carroll is a good player with the potential to be great.")
Probably would have obsessed over: Muggsy Bogues, the original overachiever.
- Orlando Magic
Blog: Orlando Magic Blog
M.O.: Hoping Brian Hill gets fired, or, barring that, hoping Hill's players start listening to him.
Probably would have obsessed over: Penny Hardaway, who knows a thing or two about getting Brian Hill fired.
Blog: Believing in Magic
M.O.: Ever the optimist, Todd has to be nearing wits end during the Magic's recent slump. Yup, says right here -- "stage two: comparing your team to Lindsey Lohan."
Probably would have obsessed over: Terry Catledge. Another of the seemingly endless stream of Bullets-to-Magic-to-Wizards. There has to be a reason for this, right?
- Miami Heat
Blog: Ira Winderman on Miami Heat
M.O.: Sun-Sentinel beat reporter proves that journalism school still teaches the fine art of the bullet point.
Probably would have obsessed over: Bimbo Coles, if for no other reason than getting to write his name 82 times a year.
- Washington Wizards
Blog: THE WIZZNUTZZ
M.O.: One word: BACON!!! 15 words: Proving their cryptic (yet hilarious) mindview translates from the computer screen to the silk-screen.
Probably would have obsessed over: Kevin Duckworth. Gilbert Arenas has been accused of having no conscience, and Duckworth lacked one as well ... at least at the dinner table.
Blog: Bullets Forever
M.O.: Actually caring about defense on a team featuring Gilbert Arenas, making Eddie Jordan's life easier by figuring out this whole rotation thing.
Probably would have obsessed over: Bernard King, the type of all-offense, no-defense player Antawn Jamison wishes he could be.
- Denver Nuggets
Blog: The Nugg Dr.
M.O.: While biding his time, waiting for ‘Melo to join up with AI, the Nugg Dr. has resumed his "historical glimpses." This time around, Eastern Michigan’s finest: George "Ice Man" Gervin.
Probably would have obsessed over: Alex English. The league's most prolific scorer in the 80's would be a perfect fit for today's squad -- give or take a dozen tattoos.
Blog: NBA Basketball and Other Unrelatedness
M.O.: Has the inside scoop on Carmelo's real letter to the fans, part-time personal fashion designer for Agent Zero.
Probably would have obsessed over: Darryl Dawkins. If there's any former player who could have inspired The Hype to reach new Photoshopperific highs, it's Chocolate Thunder.
- Minnesota Timberwolves
Blog: I Heart KG
M.O.: When Sonia isn’t hearting KG or arranging benefit concerts for Peace Players International, she’s bringing to light conspiracies. This time, it’s to do with the T-Wolves bobbleheads.
Probably would have obsessed over: Doug West. Aside from giving his formidable NBA years to the expansion T-Wolves, West also had the nickname Fresh. Why? I can take a wild guess...
- Portland Trailblazers
Blog: True Hoop
M.O.: It’s probably unfair to place True Hoop under the Blazers. After all, Henry does a phenomenal job of covering the entire league for us. But he’s been all over two recent themes with "Blazers" written all over them: Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Durant.
Probably would have obsessed over: Drazen Petrovic, who started his career with the Blazers before breaking out with the Nets. Look, for all I know, Henry was writing about Drazen for his middle school or high school newspaper back in the late-80s. Point is: Drazen was cool before being a Euro in the NBA was cool.
- Seattle Sonics
Blog: Sonics Central
M.O.: All over the Sonics, from stadium issues to shattering my dreams of a Dale Davis for Earl Watson trade.
Probably would have obsessed over: Jack Sikma. Hah! I'd like to point out that I was able to steal Sikma -- a personal favorite -- for the Sonics before Matt Watson (who is carnival-ing the Central Division) could use him for the Bucks.
- Utah Jazz
- Golden State Warriors
Blog: Golden State of Mind
M.O.: While the Warriors could probably make the Conference Finals if they played in the East, out West they're left breaking down the ramifications of the recent 8 player trade with Indy. Kudos for making it through an entire trade breakdown with zero stripper/guns/strippers with guns jokes. You’re a better man than I. And, in all seriousness, congrats to GSoM for their millionth hit.
Probably would have obsessed over: Terry Teagle. Because Terry was the "T" in Run TMC, right? No? Well he shoulda been.
- Los Angeles Clippers
Blog: Clips Nation
M.O.: Life isn’t nearly as good for Clipper bloggers as it is for the Staples Center roommates. Life lately seems to consist of accepting hoops lessons from the wifey and dreading the inevitable Dunleavy trade. Ouch.
Probably would have obsessed over: Benoit Benjamin? Olden Polynice? Gary Grant? Bo Kimble?
M.O.: Seems to be one of the few sites who feel that Corey Maggette is worth saving. That almost makes up for his use of "Midwesterner" as a derogatory term. Livingston’s still out; perhaps we should cut him some slack.
Probably would have obsessed over: Danny Ferry. Oh yeah, I went there.
- Los Angeles Lakers
Blog: Forum Blue and Gold
M.O.: When not jet-setting off to Kauai to escape the harsh Southern California winters, Kurt is enjoying the Lakers’ success without Lamar or Kwame.
Probably would have obsessed over: A.C. Green. Remember how cool A.C. was, with his jheri curl and energetic style of play? Man, I bet he got all the chicks…
Blog: End of the Bench
M.O.: Absolutely loving Kwame vs. Cake, pimping MVN's new look.
Probably would have obsessed over: James Worthy. Kwame Brown and Eddie Griffin have nothing on him: the goggled one once showed up to a game late after being arrested for soliciting a prostitute earlier in the day.
- Phoenix Suns
Blog: Bright Side of the Sun
M.O.: When your team is playing at a level such as the Suns are, you don’t worry about things like "trading deadlines" or "lottery picks." You worry about your fans being too damn spoiled to appreciate the ride.
Probably would have obsessed over: Tom Chambers. But then, who wouldn’t?
Blog: The Rising Suns
M.O.: Okay, so all’s not rosy in Phoenix with Kurt Thomas out 4-6 weeks. Lucas at The Rising Suns spells out how he thinks the Sols will adapt and goes back and forth with Kelly Dwyer of Sports Illustrated on Shawn Marion’s potential All-Star snub. Also, rumor has it that Rising Suns is now employing? WTF?
Probably would have obsessed over: Walter Davis, damnit. Why the hell don’t more people talk about Walter Davis?
- Sacramento Kings
Blog: Sactown Royalty
M.O.: The home of Artest is soliciting trade proposals on how to best blow up the team. Who saw that one coming??
Probably would have obsessed over: Vinny Del Negro. After filming several Karate Kid movies, Ralph Macchio decided to drop the pseudonym and get serious about basketball. Vinny Del Negro was the result.
- Dallas Mavericks
M.O.: Being the best blog about the best team in the league, still re-living last year's pre-ordained Finals loss.
Probably would have obsessed over: Roy Tarpley. Like Dirk Nowitzki, Tarpley was a talented 7-footer who knew how to party. A lot. Too much, in fact.
- Houston Rockets
- New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets
Blog: Hornets 24/7
M.O.: Showing a knack for knowing what hard-core NBA fans really want: cheerleader pictures.
Probably would have obsessed over: Kobe Bryant ... that is, if the Hornets didn't trade him on draft day for Vlade Divac. But those two seasons of Divac were pretty awesome, huh? No regrets there on this one. No sir, none at all.
Blog: Grizzlies FanHouse
M.O.: Ignoring the team's dismal record by taking joy in Barone-ball, six-year-old ballers and inflatable Pau Gasols.
Probably would have obsessed over: Bryant Reeves. Big Country was drafted one spot below Kevin Garnett -- kind of stings, don't it, Grizzlies fans? Hello? Is anyone listening? There are some Grizzlies fans reading this, right? [P.S. -- see that picture of A.C. Green above? Thank Jebus that the baggy shorts were introduced prior to Big Country's NBA debut.]
Blog: Pounding the Rock
M.O.: Writing in-depth game recaps that are still only half as detailed as his accounts of Las Vegas strip clubs.
Probably would have obsessed over: Judging by his gentlemen's club habit, it has to be Steven Jackson.
Free Agents -- General NBA Blogs
Blog: Free Darko
M.O. Preaching that the game is more than numbers ... especially when the statistics being used don't add up.
Probably would have obsessed over: Walt Frazier. Style and substance? Oh, the glory days.
Blog: Hoops Perspective
M.O. Comparing NBA teams to types of girls you used to date, milking YouTube for all it's worth.
Probably would have obsessed over: Keith Closs, a 7-foot-3 center whose YouTube highlights consist of getting flat-out destroyed in a street brawl.
Blog: Straight Bangin'
M.O. Lamenting the lost art of big men dominating the paint, examining the connection between athletics and music -- including commercials.
Probably would have obsessed over: Moses Malone, one of the finest lumbering big men ever to suit up.
M.O.: Analyzing the business of sports, crunching sponsorship deals, rewarding readers with gratuitous Victoria Beckham bathing suit pictures.
Probably would have obsessed over: Michael Jordan, who was equally fascinating as an economics case-study in endorsements as he was on the court.
Blog: 3 Man Lift
M.O.: Impressive knowledge of the Association at large. And I'm loving the suggestion to replace the dunk contest with a game of H-O-R-S-E.
Probably would have obsessed over: Richard Dumas. The guy could have won a game of H-O-R-S-E against anyone... were he capable of avoiding suspension from the league.
And finally, if you made it this far, you deserve something for your efforts:
That is all, folks.