It's the feel-good story of the NBA season ... Former All-Star and Olympic gold medalist nearly loses everything because of alcoholism and depression, but fights his way back from the brink and has a great season on the way to being named Comeback Player of the Year!
Of course, it IS only two games into said season, but (compared to what we were seeing last year) there's every reason to be confident that Vinnie "Got a Sweet Tooth" Baker is going to have a pretty memorable season in Green ...
First, there was the 15-point 5-rebound performance on Opening Night which earned him a standing ovation from the FleetCenter crowd (of which I was a part, although up in the balcony seats it was pretty hard to see much of anything) ... and then last night, the Vin Man throws down24 (on 10-for-14 shooting) and eight boards against Memphis; at one point he made ten straight field goals (!!!)
Seriously, who would have imagined that Baker would EVER put up numbers like that for the Celtics after last season? Hell, I wasn't even sure he was going to be with the team at all ... Just a really heart-warming story; couldn't have happened to a nicer guy too.
I was so excited when the Vin-man first came to the Sonics because he was my favourite player in the league at the time that wasn't a Sonic. Of course, by the end of the strike year, which was also the last time I was really into some NBA action, I was tired of his obviously out of shapedness. Glad to hear he's coming back around.
Shawn Kemp, who was my favourite player, is another matter altogether. Man, that guy should have been so much more. Puzzling.
As I write this, insomnia has me up and watching a replay of the Blazers/Sonics game, and I really like what I see out of the Sonics. They're scrappers and really play well together. Too bad Collison is hurt and apparently out for the year. Maybe I'll be interested enough to follow them with a little more interest this year.
Of course, the NBA can't nearly replace my interest in College B-Ball, and Kentucky in particular, but not bad so far.
"You have the right to suffer. You have the right to feel pain. If you wish to have an attorney present, I'll hurt him too!" - The Big Bossman
Some memorable ones from Sir Charles: http://www.brainyquote.com/ quotes/ authors/c/charles_barkley.html EDIT: Even better: http://www.clintcam.com/barkley/ Charles Barkley, to TNT colleagues Ernie Johnson Jr. and Kenny Smith: