The New Southern California Basketball Server--SoCalHoops.com


Previous Hot Site Archives

Well, the Hot Site was a feature we had here on SoCalHoops for several months, which we've since sorta, kinda discontinued because we're now doing so many Daily Articles.  But many of these Hot Site Reviews are still worth looking at and the sites are still well worth your while.


Hot Site Archives:

June 1997

June 30, 1997  The PhilippineBasketball Assn.

June 23, 1997   On Hoops

July 1997

July 14, 1997   West Coast Hoops

July 3, 1997    The Coach's Edge Basketball

August 1997

August 1997 The Journal of Basketball Studies

September 1997

September 1997  Remember the American Basketball Association

October 1997

October 1997   Alleyoop.com

Remember the American Basketball Association

"Their ball looks like it belongs on the nose of a seal." Alex Hannum

If you're old enough to remember playing with this ball, then you'll really appreciate all the work and trouble that has gone into the creation of this web site. Arthur Hundhausen, who wrote and coded most (if not all) of the pages on this site, has created a virtual historical timepiece, one that is surely deserving of hours of browsing and study. If you're interested in the roots of some of today's NBA teams (Pacers, Spurs, Nets), and the roots and history of the looser, running-and-gunning style of play which seems to pervade modern basketball today, then you've come to the right place.

History, Wierd Balls, and Big Hair

The ABA was the league of 3-pointers, wierd balls, new rules (where players could get more than 6 fouls but never leave the game), wild teams, some of which folded even before finishing a single season, outrageous stars, quality play, and most of all, big 'fros (check out Dr. J. or a young Brian Taylor of the Nets--now a more conservative coach and Dean of Admissions at Harvard-Westlake in Los Angeles). It was the "outlaw" league, and did its best to live up to that reputation. As Hundhausen describes it in the introductory page to the site:

"This is the Web page devoted to the American Basketball Association. The last ABA game was played over twenty years ago, but the maverick league is still vividly remembered by its loyal fans. The ABA was the "outlaw" league of the 1970's with the psychedelic red, white and blue basketball. It was the "lively" league that adopted the three-point shot--the exciting "home run" of basketball -- as its own. It was the "frontier" league that brought (or returned) modern professional basketball to hoops-crazy cities like Indianapolis, Salt Lake City, Charlotte, and Denver.

The ABA featured dazzling above-the-rim players like Julius ("Dr. J") Erving, Connie Hawkins, George ("Ice") Gervin, David Thompson, George McGinnis, Artis Gilmore, Moses Malone, Roger Brown and Dan (the "Horse") Issel. Each of these electric stars first played professional basketball in the ABA -- with young legs and few limitations. The "frontier spirit" of the ABA also led to a group of memorable characters. The ABA had a coach named "Slick" and players named "Fatty" and "Goo." And, who could ever forget Marvin "Bad News" Barnes, "Mr. Excitement" Wendell Ladner, Warren Jabali, and Babe "Magnolia Mouth" McCarthy? But all of these brilliant ABA artists went on stage in front of notoriously small crowds. Most ABA teams had serious attendance problems and almost no national or local television coverage.

As a result, the colorful history of the ABA is almost entirely word-of-mouth. The purpose of this page is to preserve this history, and provide a much needed space for ABA fans to share their favorite memories. This web page is actually a "collaborative" work--all of the photos, uniforms, and memories on this page have been contributed by various ABA fans across the country"

Uniforms, Team Histories, Stats and Lots of Pretty Pictures

"Remember the ABA" really does have it all: There are web pages with entire collections of old ABA uniforms and warmups . There's an ABA Team Logo Gallery. You'll also find a complete Pennant Gallery, where each picture is linked to a complete team history for the selected logo or pennant. There's an All-Star Game Gallery, with photos of the ABA Annual Yearbook covers, information and stats. There are complete Year to Year League Standings, Year to Year Playoff Results, and Year to Year Post Season Award Winners (e.g. MVP, Coach of the Year, etc). There's a "humorous" bits page called "Only in the ABA" which is a lot of fun, and even an ABA Frequently Asked Questions page. There's even an ABA Multimedia page which is at present not working, but still "under construction", and on the main page there is an audio file downloadable featuring a Kentucky Colonels game from 1975. If Mr. Hundhausen devotes even half the creative energy and wit to the planned multimedia page which he has to the rest of this site, it should be spectacular.

Teams? You call those teams? You bet!

There are amazingly detailed team histories. Who can forget the Anaheim Amigos, who played for two years there, then moved to Los Angeles (becoming the Stars) played for two years there, then instead of moving to Albuquerque as was anticipated, moved to Utah, again as the Stars, and became one of the ABA's more successful franchises, winning the ABA Championship in 1970. Remember when there were no NBA teams in Miami (the Floridians, who moved from Minnesota where they were the Muskies), Dallas (the Chapparals, who eventually moved to San Antonio to become the Spurs). And who can forget the Denver Rockets, who eventually became the NBA Denver Nuggets, or the Pittsburgh / Minnesota / Pittsburgh Pipers who couldn't decide which city has the worst attendance possibilities.

So Much to See, So Little Time

Even though this league was comparatively short-lived, its really rich in history, and the Remember the ABA site has managed to capture not only the stark stats, but also the fun, spirit and sense of adventure that this league held for most of us who grew up with it. It was a league which seemed to take off at just the right time and in the right place, and the depth and breadth of the league's history is brought home here. This site is well written, well-organized, relatively quick loading (even when it's graphic intensive) and best of all, its refreshingly intelligent, unlike so many of the "fan" pages found on the web these days. It's a site you don't want to miss.

August 1997

The Journal of Basketball Studies

If you're a coach, fan or player, this might not be the first place you'd think of looking if you were trying to come up with ideas to improve your game play or your appreciation for the sport. However, let me assure you, that for unique insights and a very different perspective on the game, you've come to the right place, and L. Dean Oliver, the creator of The Journal of Basketball Studies (and the Mining Company's Basketball Site as well), has, over the last few years, created a veritable goldmine of information.

Basketball's not a game, its a science

Yeah, sure, I hear you say that it's just a game...Little did you know what can be done by applying a little bit of math and science. For example, this headline from this month's article: The Power of Parity:

"How strong is the pull of mediocrity?
How much should we expect a 20 win team to improve?
How much should we expect a 60 win team to decline?"

The answers to these questions might surprise and amaze you. In fact, here's the answer:

Got it? Good. It's really clear, don't you agree. In fact, the article, by Dean Oliver, the driving force behind the Journal of Basketball Studies, is refreshingly clear and concise, and makes a fine point about the mathematical likelihood of all teams tending toward that "well of mediocrity" of winning about .500 of their games. In other words, based upon the statistical odds and math, it's pretty likely that a sub-.500 team will improve by about 25%, where as a team which is winning will decline by about 12%, i.e., the tendency of parity in a league to cause mediocrity to proliferate. Interesting? You bet. It's a whole different way of looking at the game, and one that is probably empirically demonstrable in the NBA.

Coaching x scouting /applied mathematics=JOBS

The JOBS is a wealth of useful (and some not so useful) articles and information. Candidly, JOBS in their "Coaching" section acknowledges both Coach's Edge, Extreme Software, and The Basketball Highway for useful information, links and software on coaching, and truly, Oliver is correct that each of these sites has something useful to offer. But JOBS is perhaps the best and most technical of the coaching resources on the net. It's really not all complicated formulae and scary math though. In fact, most readers will find that it's written in Standard American English, contains some small words recognizable by even the most rudimentary of basketball coaches, and provides very readable material. My own personal favorite article of the last few years has to be Oliver's "The Effect of Controlling Tempo", which analyzes basketball as a game of an equal number of possessions and considers how an underdog team can improve its chances of winning from less than 50% when playing the game dictated by the stronger opponent, to around 50% over a much better team. Here's the explanation:

"By slowing down the game, a team reduces the number of possessions on which it can score. The variance of the team's rating and the variance of the opposition's rating both increase with fewer possessions. This is known from the binomial distribution, which is used to describe coin flips. This distribution says that the variance of the probability of success (the probability of scoring on a possession, or the variance of a team's rating) is described by

Var(observed probability) = p*(1-p)/n

where p is the "true" probability of scoring for each team (which gives us the basis for one team being the underdog, and n is the number of possessions. If you decrease n, you increase the variance of the "observed probability", or the probability seen by a team attempting to score on n possessions. If you can follow the math, you see how slowing the game increases the variance of the "observed probability" of scoring for both the offense and defense (which translates to a higher variance of offensive and defensive ratings), which then makes the term in brackets up above less negative or higher. Hence, an underdog increases its chances of winning to something closer to 50%.

Actually, the following example explains why a weaker team playing against a stronger team should always try to control the tempo of the game by limiting the total number of possessions which can occur in a game. How do you do that? By slowing down the tempo and limiting the number of shots being taken by the better team. Again, L. Dean Oliver presents the following example:

"In the extreme, this principal is easy to understand. Look at the Bulls and the 76ers. Over the course of a 95 possession game, it's an easy pick -- you take the Bulls to win. Now, consider a game shortened to one minute. The 76ers have a lot better chance to win, don't they? It's not uncommon for a losing team to go on a four point "run" over the course of a minute. But it is uncommon that a bad team like the Sixers will keep that run going over the course of 95 possessions. So, if the Sixers could just manage to slow the game so that only four possessions are used, they just might beat the Bulls... Of course, this is why basketball instituted a shot clock.

Great words to live by. As a youth coach, this is great advice, and has proven quite useful to me in game's that I've coached where we've faced a team which has clearly overmatched my players. The natural tendency is to tell your players that they'll have to hustle more up the floor, shoot quicker, and score more if they're going to have a chance to beat a bigger or faster team. Actually, Oliver demonstrates why this is really the wrong approach, and why the weaker team should do exactly the opposite, i.e., control the tempo and, if necessary limit the possessions of the better team.

There's so much more of these good, solid articles, and some pretty fun stuff too. In fact, there's so much information on this site that it would literally take months to absorb and review it all. There's information on Coaching and Scouting, an index and short description of the mostly weekly articles written by Oliver over the last several years, an index page for the "Methods" (i.e., the mathematical and scientific methods applied to basketball to make it a science, or to make predictive results more scientific), and links to Oliver's book, Basketball Hoopla, a book written over a two year period by Oliver while he was in college, which he admits he's not particularly proud of (at least in part) but which he is proud enough of to offer in complete text form in a pkzipped format file which is downloadable online.

Affiliated sites... and they keep growing

One thing you'll notice about the Journal of Basketball Studies is that some of the feature articles written by Oliver are actually located not at the Journal of Basketball Studies, but at the Mining Company's site (which, not so coincidentally, was--or is-- affiliated with Alleyoop.com (another site which formerly had a lot of college basketball information, but which is now apparently devoted entirely to NBA and Professional observations and information (which describes itself as the "The Basketball Page for Thinking Fans", and soon to be a Hot Site review-- but later for that).

The Journal of Basketball Studies is a unique perspective on the game, and one that you'll enjoy immensely. Don't miss it.

 

Weeks of July 14-31, 1997

West Coast Hoops Logo--Michael Miller's West Coast Hoops

[Ed. Note: Because of the outstanding reporting at this site during the week of July 21, in particular the news of the Vegas Shootout, the Nike Slam-N-Jam NIT and the Pump Brothers Classic tournaments (all of which were held during the preceding week), we seem to have been about one week early in selecting West Coast Hoops as our Hot Site of the Week (We've also been incredibly busy working--yeah working at a real job -- and getting ready for the LA Maccabi Mini Tournament, so we haven't really had time to update for the next "Hot Site". . . ah, a nice excuse, but that's another story). Simply stated, the reporting coming from Miller's site this week is so deserving of special attention that we've decided to hold it over for an additional week as the "Hot Site"-- enjoy it. . . And the original review, is still located below]

Original Review appearing week of July 14:

If you want original, insightful information about up and coming prep stars, college recruiting and scouting, summer camps for all-star caliber players, traveling team tournaments for high school age and college stars, with a big emphasis on Southern California basketball, then Michael Miller's West Coast Hoops is the place for you.

No pretty pictures here (yet)

If you are looking for graphics or other multimedia effects on this site, forget it. The logo you see above is as good as it gets. Instead however, this all text site delivers information about Southern California players like no other site, either on the web or in print. No other site delivers the depth of commentary found here. And, unlike other commercial recruiting services, Mr. Miller's insights are offered free of charge. While West Coast Hoops has no advertisements yet, they promise that they will, and hopefully this will underwrite the cost of the site so that Miller's columns will continue to be available without subscription.

The UCLA Connection

It's no mistake that West Coast Hoops is a collaborative effort of Michael Miller (who apparently does all or most of the scouting) and Rich Meyer, who maintains Rich's UCLA Basketball Page and Rich's Pac-10 Basketball Page. The history of the connection between Meyer and Miller dates to "early February" (they don't say what year they met, so I assume it was 1997). At that time, Miller, a UCLA and high school basketball fan, discovered Rich's page and started a conversation that Rich began publishing. By the end of the season Miller had become well known to UCLA Basketball fans, and to the high school players he has written about and their parents. Miller frequents the Southern California tournament circuit, knows and speaks with most of the local high school and college coaches (Steve Lavin included) and can be seen at statewide basketball events carrying copies of his latest columns.

Of course, with that celebrity, Miller also drew the attention of the NCAA, which informed him that they consider him a recruiting service. Having drawn that distinction, West Coast Hoops was born.

Columns, Columns, Columns

The wealth of this site is in its many columns, which appear almost daily, especially during the "off-season". Actually the concept of an "off-season" appears to be somewhat of a misnomer, and Miller is especially busy during the July "All-Star" and college recruiting period, when players looking to be recruited by Division I schools make themselves available at the more well-known camps, including the Nike, addidas/ABCD, Pump Brothers, and others. Miller's recent articles have included insight, information and observations about recent So.Cal tournaments (e.g., The Watts-LA Summer Games, the Southern California Summer Showdown, and the Intense City Summer All-Star Classic.) All of these columns (and most others) feature some tidbit on local prep stars who you'll one day probably see playing Division I basketball, if not the NBA.

While Miller is a great fan of the game, a promoter and scout of wit, insight and intelligence, he is not without criticism of the current "system" which promotes and trains current high school athletes in the "all-star" mode. He is not alone, and his criticism is shared by many coaches, including George Raveling and others who run many of the camps. Found in one of his recent columns entitled "Biting the Hand that Feeds You" was the following:

"At Carson High last week, when I was speaking to Jim Rice, the assistant coach at Long Beach Poly, and David Greenwood, the head coach at Verbum Dei, both of them emphasized that one of the down sides to all of this summer fun is that it's all playing (and some showing off) and no practice. Used to be, when the regular season ended and spring and summer came upon us, a kid could sit down with his h.s. coach or parents or someone else and review their play of the past season and figure out what they needed to work on to improve their game and how they should go about doing it. We've all heard stories about how kids would spend a whole summer in a gym all by themselves shooting 1,000 jump shots each day or lifting weights or practicing drills to improve their lateral quickness and footwork, etc. We don't hear those stories anymore. Not surprising since most kids spend these 3-4 months playing games instead of practicing.

"Players improve more through practice than through playing. It's always been that way and always will be. Countless repetition of basic drills = development of fundamental skills. Countless playing of games = repeating all the same mistakes the player was making during the regular season. It is certainly ironic, but also compelling enough for people to start thinking about, that the same system which has evolved to help players attract the attention of college coaches may be contributing in no small way to holding these players back from improving themselves so that they deserve the attention (or more attention than they're receiving."

A similar sentiment was expressed in Miller's July 2 column "Too Much Basketball" . The following excerpt perhaps best exemplifies the frustration which exists because of the current system:

I'm tired. The coaches are tired. The kids are tired. And the July tournament period is just beginning.

I was at the Artesia Tournament Friday night, the L.A. Watts Summer Games at Verbum Dei all day Saturday and then at Cal State L.A. Saturday night, at the Summer Games at Cal State Dominguez Hills on Sunday and out at Ocean View High Sunday night and then at Carson High all day and night on Tuesday. You can see the wear and tear on the kids' faces, and on the faces of their parents and coaches as well, everybody's been playing constant hoops for weeks and they're gonna keep on doing it through the rest of the month. Some of these kids wind up playing in two tournaments over the same weekend or during the week, playing 5-6 games in a 2 day span, and then doing the same thing after a break of a day or so. I'm as big a fan of basketball as there is, and I know that this is the current system by which many of these athletes attract the attention of coaches and scouts and thereby obtain scholarships, but at some point somebody is going to have to step in and put a stop to it. Kids either attend summer school or not, depending on themselves, their parents, coaches, whatever; some of these kids need to be going to school, studying for their entrance exams or just some time to be teenagers or they're never going to get into college in the first place, so I think the current system may be hitting the breaking point. I understand that every shoe company and every camp promoter wants a camp in every part of the country in their never-ending quest for competition (between themselves, not between basketball players) and you have only so much time to plug it all in so now April-July is more hoops intensive then any other time of the year. I also understand that many athletes are striving for competitive greatness for themselves, for the chance to play pro ball some day, and others for the chance to attend college, and it's hard to say to a kid that they should take a break when everyone else stays on the basketball treadmill (or Autobahn?), so there is definitely a positive side to all this frantic hoops-playing, but maybe somebody should take a hard look at this and figure out if there isn't a better way to do it. I am not wise enough to figure it out. Any suggestions are welcome.

Similar commentary has been seen around the country recently (e.g. in Frank Burlison's articles on the Nike and addidas camps, and in the Washington Post articles recently published). It's a bit refreshing, and maybe it will give the NBA scouts who attend these camps and the NCAA something to think about in the future.

Q&A, Q&A, Q&A

If this sounds repetive, it is. West Coast Hoops columns, however are not. And, best of all, Miller has opened a "Q&A" page, where he responds to 20-30 E-mail messages from fans, parents, coaches, and others each day. While he doesn't publish all of the letters, there is a representative sampling on the Q&A page which makes for great reading. There is also a well-stocked archive of his past columns.

Miller and Meyer have created something truly worthwhile. West Coast Hoops is creative, original, and is certainly one of the best sites on the net for youth and prep basketball. There is much to interest even the most jaded high school and college fan. Don't miss it.

 

The Coach's Edge Basketball

The Coach's Edge: The Complete Resource for Coaches

Ever wondered about whether a coach should teach his young players the "permanent left pivot foot" as John Wooden did, or whether it is better to teach alternating pivot foot technique with a cross-over to the basket off the inside foot? These and many other seemingly esoteric, but equally important questions are answered by the Coach's Edge. While the site has expanded in recent months to feature a broader range of topics, including links to most local newspapers, it is still relatively focused on the teaching of the game.

You'll Need Shockwave

The most innovative feature, and one for which the Coach's Edge was reportedly nominated for an Emmy by CBS for "Technical Achievement" is their now-famous "Coach's Edge Software". This remarkable product allows coaches and players to design moving plays on their computers, on-the-fly. This software is unique, versatile, and a great teaching and coaching tool, but it doesn't come cheap. It sells for $249.95, and can only (at least as of this writing) be purchased directly from the publisher. It's a shame that there is not a wider audience and that it is not available at retail outlets, since it could drastically improve understanding of the game for even the casual fan.

Visitors to the Coach's Edge Website can read about the software, and can also sample a complete archive of college plays for men's and women's teams, and professional plays. But be forewarned, you'll need to download the appropriate version of Shockwave's Plugin for your browser. The installation is quick and painless, and you'll wonder how you ever did without it.

Products, products and more products

In addition to the software features of this site, there are links to several other sources, including the Hoopstore, the Basketball Highway (which is a complete basketball resource site in and of itself, and Sysko's which is really the definitive resource (both on and off line) for coaching books, videos, and products. The Coach's Edge also features its own instructional video series featuring Modern Offense, In-Bounding and Program and Building Drills.

Who are the Coaches anyway?

The founder of the company is described on the site this way:

"Chris Davis is the founder and largest stockholder in the Coach's Edge. Chris conceived the original idea behind the Company and is the driving force behind its development. Since August of 1994, Chris has devoted his full energies to bringing his idea to reality. Chris has been a basketball coach since 1986. He coached at Whittier Middle School, and Sioux Falls Washington High School, (both in Sioux Falls, SD), and at the University of South Dakota. He created summer basketball camps in Sioux Falls and was camp director of the USD basketball camps between 1989-1994."

There are many others as well responsible for this site and the excellent software: They are all listed on the "Who We Are" page. Check it out.

If you are a coach, a fan, a student of the game, or just mildly curious, be sure to visit this excellent site. It''ll be time well spent. For questions contact about the Coach's Edge, you can contact them directly at craigj@coachesedge.com.

 

 

Hot Site for the Week of June 30, 1997

The Unofficial Philippine Basketball Assn. Website.

Well, at least the names are different

Welcome to the Unofficial PBA. No, this is not the Professional Bowler's Association, but the Philippine Basketball Association. It's been around since 1975; there are eight teams in the league, including the Alaska Milkmen (didn't know they were from the Philippines, did you?), the Pop-Cola Bottlers (a Sunkist sponsored team), the "Gordon's Gin Boars", the Shell Formula Zoom Masters, the San Miguel Beermen (they can brew beer, but can they play?), the Mobiline Cellulars, featuring Tony Boy Espinosa, but best of all, the Santa Lucia Realtors, (what a great name for a basketball team!) featuring Chris Jackson (yes, that Chris Jackson!). The real deal however, has got to be those ever-popular "Corned Beef Cowboys" sponsored by Purefoods. If this league had dance teams--and they might (but the web site doesn't let us know)-- one can only wonder what they'd be called... the "Pastrami Girls"? Actually, if you want to find out about that, you'll need to visit the "Official PBA Website". . . but that's another story.

But can they play?

Lest you think that this is a league which can't play the game (well at least not the same game we know here in the U.S.) think again. The PBA actually fields some pretty good teams, even if the names are a bit strange to us. Not everyone plays in the NBA/CBA or in European leagues, and this league seems to offer at least an option (albeit very limited) for some players who might never find a home in "traditional" big time professional basketball in the U.S. or Europe. One look at this year's draft confirms that the league is made up of not only Filipinos, but also some fine players from Division I Schools in the U.S. such as Nick Belasco (6-6, Notre Dame), and Andy Seigle (6-8, New Orleans). However, there are some limits (see below) and the Filipinos are not free from what we might call discrimination based upon national origin.

Just like their prediliction towards predominantly Filipino players, the PBA seems partial to size limitations as well. The league's tallest centers are both 6-9, rivaling the WNBA in height. Unlike the WNBA though, where the tallest player is Chinese, in this league the players almost all are natives of the Philippines (and you were wondering why it was called the PBA). Size-wise, the average height in the league is about 6-3, about that found in most Division III/NAIA schools in the U.S. In fact, some of the league's small "power forwards" are listed at only 6-0. The salaries might not be as astronomical, they might not be as tall as the NBA, but they can play the game.

League History

The history of the league, founded 23 years ago, is a bit dim to the uninitiated, but is described as follows:

"Frustrated and in conflict with the abrasive clutches of the Basketball Association of the Philippines (B.A.P.), the governing body of Pinoy basketball; nine clubs decided to band together and form the Philippine Basketball Association (P.B.A.). Toyota, Crispa, U-Tex, Royal Tru-Orange, Noritake, Carrier, Tanduay, Presto and Seven-Up were the charter members of the new league.

"It was the start of something big and great! Basketball fans came from near and far to witness the action in The Big Dome . Asia's first pro league had embarked on its remarkable journey."

Actually there is a reason that the league is "small". The league plays its "season" over a 10 month period, divided into three "Conferences". The PBA imposes a restriction on the number of "imports", i.e., non-Filipinos, permitted to play in these "Conferences", and no "import player" can be taller than 6'-9". In the Governor's Cup and Commissioner's Cup "Conferences", only one "import" can play per team competing. Presumably, the "All-Filipino" Cup Conference means just what it says, and no "imports" are allowed.

And some pretty wild links, too!

Actually this site is fairly sketchy about the history of basketball in this Island nation, so you'll need to look elsewhere if you really want to know about the why's and wherefore's of basketball in the Philippines. For that you need to check the "Links" page. There you'll find links to "Jampy's Pinoy Basketball" where the real story behind the PBA, the NCAA (no, not the one you think), the Philipine Basketball League, and the UAAP, are all told. There are some interesting links as well.

Again, this is a cleverly done site, presented in pretty straight-forward fashion, and yes, you'll need "frames" to view it properly (actually it's better with Netscape than it is with IE, but that's a matter of opinion only). There's no java, no Shockwave, but its still informative and entertaining. Be sure to check it out.

Hot Site for the Week of June 23, 1997:

On Hoops

One of the funniest, most insightful and creative sites related to Basketball on the web. "MattnSteve (mattnsteve@onhoops.com) the creators and maintainers of this site have brought to the WorldWideWeb some real side-splitting and guffaw-inducing humor about the game, spoofing the self-important seriousness of the NBA and those who make their living off the players (and while its hard to believe, mattnsteve claim that they do it for free).

The Main Page

The main page features articles and meanderings, and some pretty good observations from users and contributors in addition to Los Chucks and the members of Vidya Media Ventures, Inc.. Examples of recent articles include such thoughts as "The Loss of the Medium Range Jumper" and observations from a contributor who was upset that the Jazz may have lost their opportunity to tie the last game of the 97 Series Finals because the Bulls rushed the court with only .6 (six tenths of a second) left to play, and it was possible for the Jazz to make up a four point deficit in that time ("The Missing Six Tenths of a Second").

Who is this Guy and Why is He Smiling?

Actually, Its LJ, and we all know why... but you'll see a lot of him at On Hoops.

The Golden Chuck Awards

But the really hilarious (mostly hilarious because it's so right on) stuff is found on the Golden Chuck Awards pages. Here you'll find such stuff as "The Worst Career Chuck" (Derek Harper for unconscionably staying with Dallas over the 64-win Jazz, and then he couldn't even justify his decision to the press, saying "Well, would you want to live in Utah?") or the "Hair Stylist Chuck" ("Latrell Sprewell - went from the bald pate to the 'fro and back again this season", who won "because no one looks as great with long hair, short hair or no hair at all"). Very insightful and funny stuff, although I don't know why they didn't nominate Sam Perkins either for the hair award or a new category--"The Sleepwalking on the Job Chuck". Great 'doo Sam.

The Salary and Scouting Pages for 97

And be sure to check out the Salary and Scouting Spectacular for 97. Extremely funny bits. Here's a sample of what you'll find: This is from their Lakers salary selection (appropriate here since we are in Southern California, after all):

Los Angeles Lakers Payroll = $29 mill
*denotes free agent at end of season

S. O'Neal $11 mill Has been everything Jerry West hoped he'd be
E. Campbell $7.0 mil Can't shake those questions about intensity
N. Van Exel $1.9 mill The swagger of a veteran & the speed of youth
E. Jones $1.9 mill Ultra-explosive athlete with no ego problem
R. Horry* $1.7 mill Athletic forward who jams and hits the three
J. Kleine $1.2 mill White Stiff with unutilised Finals experience
C. Blount $1.2 mill Has played with Michael, Magic and now Shaq
S. Rooks $1.2 mill This loser is one reason LA are over the cap
K. Bryant $1.0 mill 18 yr old who knows he'll be the real deal
D. Fisher $610 thou Flyer first rounder who's a bench fixture
J. Kersey* $250 thou So underpaid that Shaq earns $200k every game
B. Scott* $250 thou A new lease on life in second stint in LA
T. Knight* $220 thou Fan favorite that the Bulls could really use

And this is not even the really funny stuff. Check out the Dallas Mavericks, or another of their favorites, the Indiana Pacers and Reggie Miller. Lastly, there's also a Fantasy Basketball League page, although I haven't gotten around to looking at it yet.

Other Features

All in all, if you've got lots of time to kill (and you must, or you wouldn't be reading this now), be sure to check out the On Hoops web site. They know the game, the players and best of all, they take it about as seriously as it should be taken.

The Swish Award

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Contact: jegesq@SoCalHoops.com