Art En Masse: Kobe Bryant
(Courtesy of YihTak Wong)Hey everyone!So if you read my post yesterday, you know that I'm no longer going to be writing about fantasy basketball everyday on this site. But... I'm not going away completely. I'll chime in with a random fantasy post from time to time, or, I may come in with a post about something completely foreign to fantasy hoops. Either way, just know that I'm not abandoning Broken Leagues. (And also, you're all more than welcome to ask me any fantasy questions you may have in the comments section of the most recent post, per usual.)And because this site isn't going to die, I decided to do something I've wanted to do for a while on here, as a way to sort of lighten the mood. If you've been on here for any length of time, you know that I use a lot of art on this site. After a considerable amount of effort, I've compiled an awesome collection of illustrations from professional artists that can be used any time I post something -- which is awesome. But here's the thing: I actually have too much art. I have amassed so many illustrations of Michael Jordan and LeBron James and Kobe Bryant and James Harden that at my current rate, I'll just never be able to get to them all.However, these pieces of art deserve to have their day in the sun, because they're all quite excellent. So... I've decided to display a slew of them all at once in a segment I call "Art En Masse." Today's subject: Kobe Bryant. Feast your eyes on the following illustrations which I have been given permission to use on Broken Leagues. Also, enjoy!(Courtesy of Wang Tao: Who wouldn't love to see a one-on-one duel between the old Kobe and the new Kobe?)(Courtesy of Ptitecao Studio: The smartest thing Kobe ever did was reinvent himself with a catchy nickname.)(Courtesy of Krzysztof Domaradzki/Nike: Hocus pocus, keep your eyes on the ball.)(Courtesy of Mike Harrison/Nike: Real men wear purple.)(Courtesy of Neto78: Jafar, eat your heart out.)(Courtesy Davide Barco: It reads like a backhanded compliment, but coming from MJ, it means something.)(Courtesy of Tyson Beck/Posterizes: Here's Kobe as a Duke player, as if Coach K needed more W's.)(Courtesy of Roger Huang/Posterizes: Remember when Kobe had the mini-fro? He should totally bring that back.)(Courtesy of Maddison Bond: He looks so serene when he's not glaring ominously at players.)(Courtesy of Sebastian Correa: Gaze at the cloud of destruction left in the wake of his dunks.)(Courtesy of tmaclabi: Remember when Kobe demanded a trade and was nearly shipped to Chicago? Me neither.)(Courtesy of Gihoon Hong: Behold the cuteness of chibi Kobe Bryant!)(Courtesy of Ptitecao Studio: 24 is one more than 23. I can't help but think that's why Kobe wears it...)(Courtesy of Melvin Rodas: I gotta say, I don't know how to feel about Kobe's, uh... phallic logo.)(Courtesy of Michal Cwiek: Graphing greatness.)(Courtesy of Gihoon Hong: Cartoon Kobe wants to devour your soul.)(Courtesy of Art Mobb: The Black Mamba in a Team USA uni.)(Courtesy of Mike Harrison/Nike: Kobe... with a lil' bit of LeBron thrown in for variety.)(Courtesy of Maddison Bond: You know how you score 81 points in an NBA game? You do this.)(Courtesy of Kumail Rizvi: Shocking, ain't it?)(Courtesy of Roger Huang: Kobe V. Kobe, once again.)(Courtesy of Stephen Calvillo: I've actually used this one once before, but figured I might as well repeat.)(Courtesy of Timothy McAullife/ESPN: Another repeat, this time more gladiatorial.) (Courtesy of Art Mobb: We all know Kobe would wear a crown in an NBA game if he were allowed to.)(Courtesy of YihTak Wong: Kobe's other, less-well-known snake-like nickname: "Vino.")
Day 67: Second and third thoughts
("Promise Land," by one of my favorite minimalistic illustrators: FaustSketcher)Hey guys. We need to talk.I've been doing this blogging-everyday thing for a little over two months now, and there's still about 100 days left in the NBA season. And... well, I've done some soul-searching. (I know, uh-oh right?) And I've decided that while I love this blog and don't mind writing about fake hoops, the rate at which I've been doing it is simply unsustainable. It takes me about an hour to an hour and a half each day to go over what happened in the NBA the previous night, and to gather the stats, and to then make a guestimate on what those stats mean. For that effort, I'd like to think I've provided a pretty comprehensive service, especially in a field like fantasy basketball -- where there seriously aren't a lot of good fantasy basketball blogs. (Erik from Points in the Paint recently closed up shop, which is quite the bummer.)I had something of an epiphany this morning, as for the first time in a long time, I realized that I really didn't feel like writing about fantasy basketball today. And yet, I also felt that I had to, that it was an obligation, which is a problem. You see, even though I don't mind all this writing I do and would honestly love to be able to make money from it, the return-on-investment for this fantasy basketball blog is very, very small. It's not practical to do this much writing when the returns are so minimal. In the beginning, I was able to look at what I considered mediocre site stats and disregard them, because surely -- as time went on -- the site would grow in popularity, and the numbers would go up. But in fact, the opposite has occurred.The number of visitors Broken Leagues gets has dropped steadily over the past few weeks, and I finally figured out why. At the beginning of the season, fantasy basketball advice was in high demand, since everyone was still alive in their league, and they were unsure which dudes were good and which ones sucked. So, this site had some amount of appeal. But as time went on, a lot of people either fell into a good comfort place with their teams, or they started to do so badly that they more or less abandoned their leagues, and thus no longer were interested in getting advice about it. And so (I speculate), the only people who'd still be interested in fantasy basketball advice this late into the season are either diehards or people who genuinely enjoy my writing (if so, thanks!) or both. (It also probably has a lot to do with my schedule, which has forced me to get these articles out later and later in the day, but there's not a lot I can do about that.)No, I'm not pulling the rug completely out from under you, dear reader, or at least I'm not trying to. I'm not totally going away; I'm going to try to post things basketball-ish every few days. But I just can't keep up this once-a-day commitment anymore -- at least, not while this site is independent. I realize that in breaking this rhythm, I may lose some of the visitors who actually do come here fairly regularly (since the once-a-day thing is kind of the selling point of this blog), and that's unfortunate. But what can I say? Such is life.The frustrating thing, if you don't mind me bearing my soul for a minute, is that I know I'm a good enough writer to babble about fantasy sports for a living, and yet there's like this impenetrable wall between me and all the sites I'd like to write for because the editors -- the gatekeepers for those sites -- are incredibly difficult to get in contact with. Even if I could get in contact with those people, it's really, really, REALLY hard to find a writing situation that doesn't suck ass, as zombie Lincoln would say. Editors are finicky, annoying, bitchy people to deal with, and unless you already have a name or resume that they're totally smitten with, there's a good chance they'll forget who you are, and why you want to write for them, and generally disregard your very existence. You'd think that people who are on the computer all the time would be really good at checking their emails and getting back to you in timely manner, but oh would you be wrong. (I can go more into specifics if you want, but I'd get totally side-tracked, so I'll cut it off there.)Essentially, I'm calling it quits on The Dailies. The day could very well arise when I'll want to resurrect it, but consider these the last Daily blurbs you're get on here for a while, ever. So soak em' up!Iman Shumpert decided that he'd make me look bad after I poo-pooed his awesome performance on Thursday night. Shump was almost better on Friday, dropping 26 points on 6-6 shooting from downtown to go with 5 assists and 4 rebounds. He had scored a grand total of 42 points and had 6 three's in the span of 12 games, but in his last two, Shumpert has scored 53 points and has gone 12-14 from three-point range, which is astonishing. So long as he plays on a team with Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, Andrea Bargnani and no point guard of note, I can't fathom him being that great of a fantasy option, though I'm happy to eat my words after being so negative towards him yesterday. Way to go, Shump.Kendall Marshall was extraordinary in his first ever start with the Lakers, scoring 20 points and adding 15 assists in what I would term a MCW-esque debut in their starting lineup. Marshall, obviously, is a must-own player over the next month or so, and if he can actually maintain such a high level of play, it's not impossible he could keep the job outright. There are way too many variables and other point guards on the Lakers to determine how good he'll be in a month or two, but the important thing isn't to worry about that and to just pick him up now while you have the chance.Chris Paul will be out for 3-5 weeks, becoming yet another high-profile point guard to catch the injury bug. And so begins the era of Darren Collison, who should be quite excellent over the next month or so for the Clippers. He's a must-own guy as well, although, I would much rather own Marshall, if only because that Lakers roster is so barren right now that he could put up some tantalizingly good numbers over the next few weeks.Pau Gasol went bonkers against the Jazz, scoring 23 to go with 17 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 blocks. This could very well be the last great game he'll ever have in a Lakers uniform, as it's entirely possible he'll get dealt to the Cavs next week for Andrew Bynum. Either way, it's a much-needed great line from him, which was likely helped from him playing against the worst team in the NBA.Ryan Anderson left yesterday's game on a stretcher and he was taken to the hospital after a scary fall against the Celtics. Any time a player has to leave the playing area on a cart, you know you're dealing with a pretty severe injury, and hopefully Anderson will be able to recover from whatever it is he suffered. Assuming he'll be out for at least a few weeks, Al-Farouq Aminu becomes a viable option in standard leagues, as with Jason Smith also out, he should be in line for plenty of minutes for quite a while.By the way, you guys are always welcome to hit me up at @reetae_ on Twitter, if you're ever so inclined.
Day 66: Stephen Curry, Iman Shumpert have awesome nights
(Shump. Illustration courtesy of Marcus Allen Design)One of the things I really don't like about fantasy basketball analysts is that they view just about everything as a trend. There are no statistical anamolies or flukes. Players can never just be on a good run, either. No, every great performance becomes proof that a player is capable of playing that well again, which undoutedly makes him someone to invest in. But that's just not always the case. Sometimes, a great performance is a great performance and nothing more.I bring this up because Iman Shumpert had a curiously terrific game against the Spurs last night, scoring 27 points on 10-13 shooting to along with 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 6 three's. Shumpert is a player I actually like quite a bit in real life; he can do a bit of everything, he's a terrific rebounder for a guard, he gets a lot of steals and can even hit a three. But he's just not that great a fantasy option. In fact, he hadn't scored more than 9 points in any of his previous 12 games, and yesterday served as the first time all year that he scored more than 17 points in a game.So is this a trend? Is Iman Shumpert going to start performing like a stud on a regular basis now? I highly doubt it. He gets a ton of playing time, so it's not like he's been underutilized this season. I would say it's vastly more likely that he'll string together more single-digit duds before he even approaches what he did against the Spurs. His 27-point performance was, to me, simply an outlier, a flash in the pan, an anomalie, etc. These things happen in sports.Now saying all that, this is what Rotoworld wrote about him after yesterday's game -- and yeah, I don't like picking on Rotoworld all the time, but come on: "We're not quite ready to put too much stock into this game, but if you want to add him for Friday's game against Jeremy Lin, James Harden and the Rockets, it's not a terrible idea." See how they cover their ass, just in case Shumpert actually does something awesome in his next game? That's weak. Analysts shouldn't be afraid to stick their neck out and label something as flukey and irrelevant if that's what the signs point to it being. Saying that it's "not a terrible idea" to add Shumpert is nonsensical advice, considering he's been an underwhelming fantasy player for most of the season. For crying out loud, he averaged 5 points and rebounds a game in December, and now -- because of one crazy performance where he shot the ball unreasonably well -- now, all of a sudden, he's a worthwhile fantasy prospect? I don't buy it.Again, I'm actually a member of the Iman Shumpert fanclub. I think every once in a while, like once a month, he's capable of having a crazy fluke outing like this, akin to how he scored 17 points on 5 three's to go with 6 rebounds back on Dec. 5. But no, he's not worth your time if you're in a standard league, great recent performance or not.Okay, now let's get to blurbs, shall we?Stephen Curry was sensational yesterday, dropping 36 points, 12 assists, 8 three's and 4 steals on the Miami Heat. He's quite good, huh?J.R. Smith moved back to the bench yesterday and mustered a meager 4 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Because Smith has such a crazy personality, and because he's gotten into confrontations with coach Mike Woodson on multiple occasions, he's hardly the most reliable fantasy contributor. Still, he remains an integral cog on the Knicks and is going to be quite useful in fantasy basketball more often than not.Mario Chalmers had a great game on Thursday, scoring 17 points to go with 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Chalmers has very little room for growth on a team that has multiple superstars, and yet he's very quietly been a fantastic rotisserie player. The assists and points are a tad underwhelming for a point guard, but he hits three's, he's a good rebounder and he's getting almost 2 steals a night, which makes someone who should be owned everywhere.With Kyrie Irving sitting out with a knee bruise (taking his first DNP of the year), Jarrett Jack filled in at point guard for the Cavaliers and was awesome -- tagging the Orlando Magic for 14 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds in 42 minutes. Jack is a proven commodity and would be an outstanding fantasy guard if Irving were to ever miss a lot of time, perish the thought.Anderson Varejao was exceptional on Thursday, scoring 18 points to go with 25 rebounds in what was easily his best game of the year, and one of the best games of his career. Varejao, who's always injured and always in trade discussions, has an ever-evolving fantasy value. At the moment, he's a terrific man to own in the wake of the Cavs' banishment of Andrew Bynum. But Varejao isn't all that trustworthy, for the reasons I just stated, and if it were up to me, I'd use this opportunity to try to nab an Andre Drummond for him if it were at all possible.Good lord, is Kris Humphries... relevant again?!?!?!? The Celtics forward put up 9 points and 11 rebounds versus Chicago, marking his second consecutive game with double-digit rebounds. Humphries is one of the best rebounders in the league, and if he can continue to get 25-30 minutes a night, he could really help out a lot of teams. The problem is that the Celtics have a rotation that's constantly in flux, and while Humphries is getting the minutes now, that could very easily change in a few games. So I'd wait off on adding him if you're in a standard league.Joakim Noah continued his renaissance in the wake of Derrick Rose's injury, this time lighting up the Celtics for 17 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. Nicely done, Noah.The Nets went with an incredibly small lineup on Thursday against the Thunder, with Kevin Garnett starting at center and Paul Pierce starting at power forward. And, amazingly, they won. But that's bad news for Mirza Teletovic, who was banished to the bench and played only 10 minutes. Even without Brook Lopez, the Nets have so many different power forwards between Garnett, Andrei Kirilenko, Mason Plumlee, Reggie Evans and now even Pierce that -- with all of them healthy -- it's going to be difficult for Teletovic to be useful on a regular basis, especially if the Nets continue to roll out such a diminuitive starting five.Carmelo Anthony returned to the lineup for the Knicks and was terrific, scoring 27 points on 10-20 shooting, grabbing 12 rebounds and dishing out 4 assists. Amazingly, the Knicks and Nets won in OKC and San Antonio on the same night, so if you managed to see that coming, by all means, go to Vegas.Ed Davis was pretty useful yesterday, notching 16-and-11 off the bench for the Grizzlies. Sadly for him, there are too many other power forwards and centers in town for him to be that good on a regular basis, which really is a shame since he's so talented.Luke Ridnour played beside Brandon Knight in the starting lineup for the Bucks and was pretty solid, scoring 12 and handing out 8 assists. This latest rotation change from Larry Drew should be seen as nothing more than an experiment, and like all experiments, it's bound to end sooner or later. Ridnour will undoubtedly move back to the bench at some point, but while he's getting this run, he's not at all an awful option if you need assists -- since Knight is more of a shooting guard anyway.
- Jan 02, 2014 Day 65: Bill O'Brien lines his wallet and Kendall Marshall gets his turn
- Jan 01, 2014 Day 64: Kyrie Irving might be hurt, maybe, I dunno
- Dec 31, 2013 Day 63: Could Gasol be bound for Cleveland?
- Dec 30, 2013 Day 62: Learning to spell Giannis Antetokounmpo's name
- Dec 29, 2013 Day 60-61: Catching up on the Horford, Westbrook injuries and Bynum's suspension
- Dec 27, 2013 Day 59: Larry Sanders is back. But what does that mean?
- Dec 26, 2013 Day 58: Recapping the Christmas day games
- Dec 25, 2013 Day 57: Merry Christmas
- Dec 24, 2013 Day 56: Raymond Felton doesn't like you, so I don't like him
- Dec 23, 2013 Day 55: Who's been naughty in fantasy basketball this season?
- Dec 22, 2013 Day 54: Brook Lopez is done, Aaron Brooks would like your attention
- Dec 21, 2013 Day 53: Danny Granger gets on the court
- Dec 20, 2013 Day 52: Rage quitting on Kobe Bryant in fantasy basketball
- Dec 19, 2013 Day 51: Asik stays, Davis and Chandler return to action
- Dec 18, 2013 Day 50: Iggy is back and Asik is getting traded somewhere tomorrow
- Dec 17, 2013 Day 49: Joe Johnson hates you and everything you stand for
- Dec 16, 2013 Day 48: Kevin Love dominates on slow night of NBA action
- Dec 15, 2013 Day 47: Hey, Brandon Wright did something decent!
- Dec 14, 2013 Day 46: Jumping aboard the Terrence Ross bandwagon
- Dec 13, 2013 Day 45: The Steve Blake era comes to a close
- Dec 12, 2013 Day 44: Steph Curry made a good decision not becoming a real estate agent
- Dec 11, 2013 Day 43: D-Will ain't dead yet, and Paul Millsap is awesome
- Oct 25, 2013 Suns trade Marcin Gortat to Wizards for draft pick, sack of potatoes
- Oct 23, 2013 Evaluating the 2013-14 Yahoo! fantasy bball rankings (Players 51-150)
- Oct 21, 2013 Evaluating the 2013-14 Yahoo! fantasy bball rankings (Players 26-50)