Last Saturday, I had one of the great experiences of my life seeing Metallica at the Acer Arena. While I have a pretty wide musical palate, Metallica have always been one of my true loves ever since a bogan classmate loaned me a mix CD of their greatest work when I was 12 and we were working on a project together.

So naturally, for my next NBAMate article I had to try and figure out a way to bring them both together. Then I found myself looking at the setlist from the show online and realizing – hang on a second, how many of these songs can be applied in some way to this year’s NBA season? And if these can, how many of their other offerings from a near-30 year career can be?

In short, I came up with this.

I Disappear

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Chris Bosh has become everyone’s favourite punching bag in recent weeks, as the South Beach Scum have gotten off to a 6-4 start and all the talking heads are shocked and appalled that it’s not 10-0 after al the pimping they did of them in the off-season post-Decision.

Bosh is the easiest target for fairly obvious reasons, primarily because his stats have seen the greatest drop especially in the rebounding department. Plus, we all know now that no one had more to gain from teaming up than Bosh did – no longer does he have to carry teams to 40 wins when he can sit back, let LeBron/Wade do the work and just play his game with less focus. Only this hasn’t translated to an improvement in his game. Seems like belonging to the biggest trio in the NBA isn’t stopping the Artist Formerly Known As CB4 from disappearing.

Leper Messiah

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For the Los Angeles Clippers, who promised so much this off-season and have so far completely failed to deliver. After a terrific draft, 2009’s No.1 pick Blake Griffin fit and raring to go and Eric Gordon coming along, this was supposed to be the year they returned to the playoffs. Even though I didn’t think they’d make it, I still thought they’d be good for at least a .500+ record. Instead they’re currently 1-10 and looking at another high draft pick.

The slightly scary part for the Clippers is that with the way they’re going, it’s quite possible they could have three top-5 picks in the next two years (how dumb does that Sam Cassell+1st/Marko Jaric deal look now?). Surely they have to come good soon enough.

The Memory Remains

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This one could apply to any number of washed up NBA stars, but I have to dedicate it to one of my childhood heroes in Allen Iverson.

In the space of three years, AI has gone from being the co-No.1 guy on a borderline title contender to playing in freaking Turkey.

The saddest part is, it’s not like his game has declined that much. Sure, he’s lost a step or two – but that only means he’s as fast or only a little bit faster than everyone else in the league. It’s more the faux-character concerns that surround him, fueled by bottom feeders like STEPHEN A. SMITH (anyone who’s ever watched anything with Stephen A will understand why I all-capsed his name) who sought to make a buck off a troubled man. I just hope that AI gets another chance in the NBA, but if not, I’ve got my memories.

Seek And Destroy

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Dedicated, naturally, to my beloved Golden State Warriors who, at 7-4 are off to their best start in years. Of course it could have gone, probably more appropriately, to New Orleans or Boston or the Fake Show, but come on – I’m a pathetic fanboy.

The most satisfying part, ironically, is that the Warriors haven’t been destroying all their opponents. For the first time in my living memory, we’re managing to grind out games (a 79-75 victory against Utah a week or so ago speaks to this newfound ability) and get defensive stops when we need to. And all this while we have a coach who can’t seem to figure out a rotation other than a need to play Vladimir Radmanovic far more than he needs to play (i.e. at all).

I still think we need to make a trade to improve our bench before we can consider ourselves real playoff contenders though. Just wondering – would the Clippers bite on a Radmanovic/BWright/Bell trade for Baron? Even if he has to come off the bench, returning to the Bay might just revitalize his career, especially when he remembers just how much the fans love him.

Fade To Black

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This one’s especially hard for me to do, but it has to be done (sigh). It’s for the Portland Trailblazer’s title hopes.

As some of you may remember, I picked the Blazers to make the NBA Finals this year over the Fake Show. However, I made that prediction based on a couple of factors:

a)    That Greg Oden would return in November or so and beast it up

b)   That Brandon Roy would stay fit.

Now, as we know, Oden is out for the season and the doctors are saying that BRoy’s knees will never be good enough to return him back to All Star/borderline franchise player status again. And I feel like a moron. Just as well I didn’t put any money on it.

I still think they’ll make the playoffs – they’re too deep not to – and I’m hoping that this situation leads to Patty Mills and my other boy Luke Babbitt getting some increased PT.

But I’m not holding my breath.


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