“NBA rivalries are dying”. I have heard this so often lately, that sometimes I am almost brainwashed into thinking the phenomenon, made most popular by Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell, is on its way out. But then I thought again. These are men, and at that, competitive men with nothing to do but train hard and play ball. This leads me back to my original conclusion that NBA rivalries aren’t going anywhere, I don’t care which one of the homies you’re following on Twitter. Everyone RELAX.

In the NBA, there have always been two types of rivalries: one that is built out of respect and stiff competition, and the other “Kobe vs. Shaq” type. You all know what I’m talking about: the “I am not playing if he’s playing!” diva-driven ‘tudes that several players (cough-KOBE-cough) are so well known for, and that give pro athletes a bad rap for being “hostile” or “high-maintenance”. The majority of pro-ball players are simply playing a game they love, and trying to keep their noses clean.

Admittedly, I don’t know quite as much about other NBA teams as I do my very own Rockets; however, I’ve been around long enough to notice a good one-on-one rivalry when I see one. Thoughts of my sister and I jumping on the couch in our 1994 XXXXL Rockets World Champions shirts and undies incite memories of some of the best of the best rivalries that ever were in the world of basketball. With that said, let’s take a peek at some of the NBA’s greatest matchups.

Round 1: Bill Russell [Celtics] vs. Wilt Chamberlain [Warriors, Sixers, Lakers]:

Arguably the most famous rivalry in NBA history. Story goes Russell had been doin’ his thing for many years before Wilt’s arrival. There was a lot of speculation at the time that Wilt would end Russell’s reign over the league; but au contraire, Wilt actually pushed Russell to his greatest potential.  It has even been said that Chamberlain and Russell are the greatest centers of all time (now y’all know my money’s on Hakeem, though). These two played 142 games against each other over a span of 10 years. Stats show that Chamberlain outplayed Russell the majority of the time; however, in the 10-year span, Russell won nine championships, compared to Wilt’s one. I would call this particular match-up a respectful one, which will go down in history as for sure one of the best rivalries of our time.

 Round 2: Ben Wallace [Pistons] vs. “The Ball Player Formerly Known as Ron Artest” [Pacers]

This needed to go into the pot simply because it created one of the best brawls of all time. It even had a nickname, “Malice at the Palace”. Wallace pretty much started the whole thing, pushing Ron-Ron in the chest in response to a foul committed by Artest. Cut to a Diet Coke to the face, the fans started rushing the court, prompting a huge fight, and a slew of suspensions and fines ensued. Even legal charges were brought against a few players and fans alike. Nothing beats a good fight, which is why this matchup made the cut.

 Round 3: Isiah Thomas [Pistons] vs Larry Bird [Celtics]:

Friendly sportsmanship would not be the term to describe these two lovebirds. This rivalry was mainly due to the 5 playoff series between the two basketball starts in the late 80s. The “Bad Boys” were out to teach the Celtics a lesson, and to add insult to injury, Thomas insinuated that if Bird had been black, he would not have won nearly as many accolades. Them’s fightin’ words, wouldn’t you agree? In the end, it looks like Larry’s got the last laugh; Bird, Pacers President in 2003, fired Thomas from the head coaching job at Indiana. Boom.

Round 4: Isiah Thomas [Pistons] vs Michael Jordan [Bulls]:

Isiah decided to make enemies all around the league during his stint as a Piston, even going up against the king himself, MJ. Year after year, the Bulls and Pistons were pitted against each other during playoffs in very physical, heated series. And so, the rivalry between these two giants was born. It was rumored that during the Eastern Conference All-Star game, Thomas had persuaded his teammates not to pass the ball to Jordan, who at the time was making his very first All-Star appearance. Fun idea, but I seriously doubt this could have been followed through with, since among his teammates were the likes of Bird, Malone, and Dr. J. But alas, the rumor spread and this matchup was definitely on for the long-haul.  Jordan shot back, saying that he wouldn’t play on the Dream Team if Thomas were among his teammates.  #HOP!

Round 5: Magic Johnson [Lakers] vs Larry Bird [Celtics]:

This rivalry has got to go up there with the Russell and Chamberlain matchup. Magic and Larry first battled during their college careers, when Johnson’s Spartans beat Bird’s Sycamores in the 1979 National Championship.  Don’t fret; Magic and Larry are friendly rivals. They have respect for one another, as the both of them are credited with bringing popularity and fame back to the NBA after it had dwindled for some time.  So even though Magic most likely still chuckles about Larry’s amazing Indiana team pic [seen here] the two remain friends.

Round 6: Shaquille O’Neal [Magic, Lakers] vs Kobe Bryant [Lakers]:

This is where it gets ugly….no pun intended (see what I did there?) Here’s how it went down: golden boy pairs with golden boy, they take a few spins joy riding together, and then one golden boy gets pissed off that the other golden boy is grabbing his spotlight. Kobe pulled yet another #HOP moment, giving the Lakers his best Naomi Campbell impression: “Either he goes or I go!”  [Sighs…] Diva got his way, and Kobe spent the next several years unsuccessfully trying to prove that he could win the championship without Shaq until very recently. You think Shaq just rolled over? Think again. Shaq famously took to the mic at an NYC nightclub and rapped about his favorite former counterpart:  “Kobe, tell me how my – – – -tastes.” Sheer poetry, I tell you.

Round 7: Hakeem Olajuwon [Rockets] vs David Robinson [Spurs]:

Think back to Clutch City days and you’ll remember this matchup for sure. Our Rockets defeated the Spurs in the 1995 conference finals, and this, of course, included MVP David Robinson. With his signature, “Dream Shake”, Hakeem outplayed Robinson and ended the series in 6 games, going on to clutch the 1995 World Championship, their second in a row. Robinson was later interviewed by LIFE Magazine. The question was posed as to how a team is supposed to solve a player like Olajuwon. To which Robinson admitted, “Hakeem? You don’t solve Hakeem.” Ain’t it the truth.

Photos via

Is it September yet? While we may still be several months away, my mind is still on football, like most of the female population. Any guesses on where the Texans take us next season? Well, besides Waikiki, where J.J. Watt and I will be basking in the sun after his undying attraction to me is finally realized. …All in good time.

But for now, my most pondered question, in terms of the upcoming draft and free agents, is who the Texans will attain as a new star WR for the 2012-2013 season. Notice that a lot of the credit for the Giants winning Super Bowl this year goes to the emergence of Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham. Teams with great O-Lines, such as the Saints or Packers, have an arsenal of good wide receivers that cushion their teams quite nicely.

As for our Texans: Andre Johnson, a fan favorite, got injured mid-season, causing the team to struggle tremendously in their passing game. Second string WR Jacoby Jones, although seemingly decent during the regular season, didn’t exactly put up a stellar performance during the playoffs, even famously (and completely unfoundedly) receiving threats on his life for dropping that pass. (Let me say here that those people are idiots and have no life). And then there’s Kevin Walter, cuter than heck, but more of a complementary WR than a starter, easily defended by most teams’ D-Line. So pretty much that leaves us with Andre as the only saving grace of our receiving team, and this needs to change.

Let’s start with the draft. I pulled the top 5 prospects from for a quick rundown:

Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State): Top 5-10 pick, but likely will not fall into Texans’ selection.  Premier WR in this class.  Slightly shorter version of Terrell Owens, but without the attitude problems.  Bottom Line: Would take a lot for Houston to move up in the draft and grab him, but would be a perfect fit for the Texans attack.

Kendall Wright (Baylor): Had a spectacular senior and was the favorite target for quarterback Robert Griffin III, a surefire top 5 selection.  Wright should go in the mid-late first round, and is very comparable to Steelers home run threat Mike Wallace.  Bottom Line: Wright would make for an outstanding receiver to play alongside Andre Johnson.

Michael Floyd (Notre Dame): A physical specimen at 6’3”, Floyd could possibly be the best wide receiver of the bunch with his incredible athleticism and a surreal ability to make the circus catch.  He did, however, have off the field trouble plague him in college, which is why his stock could take a hit come April.  On pure talent alone, Floyd is a Top 10 type of player.  Taking into consideration the baggage that comes along with him though, Floyd could slip as far as the early second round.  Bottom Line: Would be a great addition to the Texans offense.

Mohamed Sanu (Rutgers): Very raw WR who converted to the position from safety.  Possesses great size and athleticism, but will need work on route running and being more consistent at the WR position.  Would be a nice pick-up for a team who can afford to wait for Sanu to pick up the pro game and better learn the position.  Bottom Line: Given the Texans are in the market for someone who is able to contribute right away, Sanu may not be the best fit, needing a bit more time to hone his craft.

Alshon Jeffery (South Carolina): Physically imposing WR with elite size (6’4”, 230 lbs) and strength.  Much like Sanu, Jeffery needs much improvement on the fundamentals of the position, mostly route running and blocking. Jeffery also lacks the top speed to continually beat cornerbacks deep.  That said, his size and raw ability will entice someone to select him as early as the late first round or sometime in the second round.  Bottom Line: Would not fit the Texans offense as well as a Kendall Wright or Michael Floyd would.

#DraftCrush: Michael Floyd.

Now, before moving on to the free agents, I bring you a short #DreamShakeBarbie lesson in football.  

For those of you who do not know or understand the meaning of a “restricted” versus “unrestricted” free agent, let me break it down: unrestricted is like being “single”, free to go find someone else to court, while restricted means you’re pretty much still on lock, even though your chick could possibly break up with you at any point in time in the near future. Both slightly scary, but with great possibilities on the horizon.

That being said, here are the names as listed on and my thoughts on each:

Mike Wallace (Restricted) Steelers: Likely will not be leaving the Steelers anytime soon.  Fits Houston: Yes, but will not leave Pittsburgh.

Dwayne Bowe (Unrestricted) Chiefs: Underrated WR who has played much, if not all, of his Chiefs career without even so much as “consistent” quarterback play. Despite this fact, Bowe found a way to put up numbers time after time.  If the Chiefs were to let him go, Bowe should have no problems landing a big time contract, which could eliminate the Texans from obtaining Bowe for their O-Line. Fits Houston: Yes.  

Vincent Jackson (Unrestricted) Chargers: Physically dominant player who, at times, has looked downright unstoppable playing in the Chargers offense.  Jackson could be a Top 5 WR if he were more consistent. Let’s just say on a scale from 1 to diva he’s Naomi Campbell. When not heavily involved, he will even take himself out of games. High-risk/high-reward type of free agent should he get a large contract. Fits Houston: Maybe.

Marques Colston (Unrestricted) Saints: One of Drew Brees’ more reliable targets since his rookie season.  A possession receiver who doesn’t have game breaking speed, yet always seems to produce in the end zone because of his 6’5” stature. If he leaves the Saints, it will be up to the teams to decide: is Colston a bona fide top WR? Or is he the benefactor of the Saints’ killer offense? Fits Houston: Maybe.

Wes Welker (Unrestricted) Patriots: Even though Welker dropped a catch that could have ultimately sealed Super Bowl XLVI for the Patriots, the 5’9” WR out of Texas Tech is still one of the most consistent receivers in the game.  No one runs better routes or get wide open with the same frequency as he does. Fits Houston:  Yes, but unlikely to leave Pats.  

DeSean Jackson (Unrestricted) Eagles: Congratulations to Jackson, who seems to be a big pain in the ass all across the board.  When he is focused and happy, he produces, as evidenced by his season in 2010.  On the opposite end, he proved to be a major distraction, disrupting chemistry on an Eagles team who played well below their expectations in 2011.  With his small stature, he may be better suited playing as the #2 wide receiver on a good team – but it remains to be seen if his ego will allow that.  If he could buy in to a team’s philosophy, he could be a major contributor on offense. Stress on the “if”. Fits Houston:  No.

Steve Johnson (Unrestricted) Bills: Similar to Jackson in pretty much every attribute but size.  Johnson has a lot of talent, but doesn’t have the maturity to be a team’s go-to player at the WR position.  Johnson is often impetuous, and may require a change of scenery on a more veteran-laden squad in order to mature in a hurry.  Fits Houston:  No

Reggie Wayne (Unrestricted) Colts: Peyton Manning’s favorite target can still produce when needed, but one has to wonder how much Wayne has left in the tank at age 33.  Would be an ideal #2 WR for a team with a need at that position, a consummate pro on and off the field, Wayne would be a quick fix for the Texans. Fits Houston:  Yes 

Brandon Lloyd (Unrestricted) Rams: A WR who seems to only perform to his abilities and skill set when he is playing in Josh McDaniels offense. Fits Houston:  No

Laurent Robinson (Unrestricted) Cowboys: [#EyeCandyAlert] Robinson performed amazingly well for the Cowboys all season after the Chargers released him. As the season went on, Robinson became Tony Romo’s go-to guy.  He may just stay in Dallas due to this newfound chemistry between him and his QB.  Should he leave, though, he could be a rather underrated athlete for a team like the Texans. Fits Houston: Yes

Mario Manningham (Unrestricted) Giants: As the Giants Super Bowl XLVI run played out, Manningham made an even bigger name for himself.  Each passing victory eventually climaxed (yes!) in the biggest catch of the Giants season.  However, having two top paid WRs in Manningham and Victor Cruz creates a quandary for the Giants: do they pay both, or let one walk?  What will probably happen if the team is faced with this decision will be to choose Cruz over Manningham. This will allow him to leave in free agency. Manningham is a dangerous deep threat, with a knack for making a big catch. I think he could be just who we are looking for to play alongside Andre Johnson. Fits Houston: Yes.

#FreeAgentCrush: Mario Manningham.

I know that this was a lot of information to take in for one post, but to be fair I think all prospects need to be looked at in order to have an O-Line that truly matches up to our beastly #BullsOnParade D-Line.  What are your thoughts on the prospects? I’d love to see your feedback on my picks.


For those of you who don’t follow Houston hockey, you’re in for a surprise: your Houston Aeros might just be the busiest and hardest working team in the AHL. Am I biased? Perhaps. But by the time you’ve read this article, you might be, too.

Currently, the Aeros, or #roadwarriors, as they refer to themselves on social media, just embarked on an over month-long 11-game road trip taking them from the Great Lakes to British Columbia, back to Texas, and then back across the northern border again. As if that wasn’t enough, they have been going through endless transitions with NHL affiliate, the Minnesota Wild. In the span of just 2 weeks, the Wild has called up and reassigned over 15 different times. Two of the Aeros top performers, defenseman Nate Prosser and forward Matt Kassian, are now on the Wild’s active roster.

Despite the constant turnover and a notably demanding schedule, our Aeros continue to perform. Currently, their record stands at 23 wins and 13 losses, ranking them number 2 in the Western Division, and number 4 in the Western Conference. And although I’d like to credit my signature, “Shake your tits for the Aeros!” game chant, I can’t take all the credit. It’s the team’s mentality and perseverance that keeps them going.

I spoke with Jody Green, Head Athletic Trainer for the Aeros, in the hopes that I would get some insight behind the curtain. “You have to know that stuff’s going to happen throughout the year, and you’ve just got to roll with the punches” Green says, explaining to me the fluid and constant movement between the Wild and the Aeros.

Green reflects, “If you lose one of your top scorers, it places the burden on other players. But when you’re not at the top of the food chain, you’re subject to that type of stuff.” “In the end, you’re there to develop players for the National Hockey League.”

After pressing Green with a few more questions, he finally admits, “It does hurt” to lose a top scorer. “It’s a huge rollercoaster.” But it’s not all bad. RW Jed Ortmeyer is back with Houston as of yesterday. Green describes, “With Ortmeyer clearing waivers yesterday and him being reassigned to us, that’s a huge boost. We’re getting a key part of our team back.”

On March 10th, your Aeros will finally be back at home to play Grand Rapids, who they’re also set to face tonight and tomorrow. I better see all of my readers there with (cow)bells on. If you haven’t been to one of these games, you are missing out! And no, not because of my signature chant or the eye candy on ice, but because of the sheer display of talent you’re sure to witness at every game. Tweet me and let me know you’ve got your tickets, and I will give you a big ol’ shoutout.

Tickets available at

(Stats via,

“It’s hard to change a man’s mind when his heart is in it.” For those of you who follow this man on Twitter, you might know these words belong to him before I even reveal the author. Houston Texans RB Arian Foster is a continual font of inner reflection and wisdom. With his incredible performance and dedication to Houston Football on and off the field this season, he has slowly built himself into what I like to call, a bona-fide Houstonian, the absolute heart of this team.

The end of the 2011 season has left Foster a restricted free agent. Although he has expressed his desire to stay in the Texans uniform, the question arises: does Foster merit a multi-million dollar contract that puts him among the ranks of his competitors?

Let’s take a look at some stats: In 2010, Foster was first in the league in rushing yards, with his longest rush at 74 yards, 16 rushing touchdowns, and 89 first downs. Fast forward to the 2011 season, with Foster completing 1,224 rushing yards, putting him 5th in the league. With 10 rushing touchdowns, and 48 first downs, and his longest rush at 43 yards, Foster rounds out the season with quite the impressive resume. But, how does Foster compare with the league’s elite? 

Running backs Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans and Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings famously signed contracts in September of 2011, launching them into multi-million dollar salaries. Each were awarded with lucrative new deals for outperforming their rookie contracts. Johnson, an East Carolina grad, signed a six-year, $55.26 million contract, with $30 million guaranteed and a $20 million signing bonus. Peterson, a 5-year veteran out of Oklahoma, inked an even bigger deal with the Vikings, banking at $96 million. $36 million of the contract is guaranteed, $32 million guaranteed for skill, and $4 million for injury. 

In 2010, Johnson clocked in at number 4 in the league, with 1,364 total rushing yards, 11 touchdowns, and 55 first downs. In 2011, Johnson dropped down to number 14, with just 1,047 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns, and 47 first downs. For Peterson, 2010 reflected him as 6th in the league, with 1,298 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns, and 70 first downs. Peterson also downgraded in 2011, coming in at just 970 rushing yards, with 12 touchdowns, and 49 first downs.

Did your jaw drop?

Mine did. Foster has these guys beat by a landslide. Keep in mind that Arian only dropped 4 slots between the 2010 & 2011 season, while Johnson and Peterson dropped by 10 and 12 slots respectively. Combine this information with the fact that Foster is personable, humble, centered, and now, a hometown hero, there is absolutely no stopping him.

So does #23 merit a multi-million dollar contract? In this girl’s opinion, the answer is a definite “yes”. The stats and “Holy Moley” fans speak for themselves; but, then again, so does Arian. The spirit in me respects the spirit in you, my friend. #namaste.

(Stats via,

“Patrick Patterson is absolutely the best defender on this team.” Quite a big statement, coming from Mr. Bill Worrell. Bill happens to have some clout when it comes to basketball: the play-by-play voice of our Houston Rockets since the 1986-87 season sure knows talent when he sees it.

 At 22, PF Patterson stands 6’9” and weighs in at 235 lbs. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, he was selected as #14 overall in the 2010 NBA draft by the Rockets, despite a serious injury to his left ankle. Patterson’s 2010-11 season with the Rockets was a vitally developmental time in his career. This season is his time to shine, and he is doing just that.

In an interview with Jason Friedman in June of 2010, Patterson said, “I have so much to work on. I want to be a better defender. My defense on the perimeter (needs to improve), guarding smaller players, being stronger in the post and also play better defense there.” (via So how is PPatt playing now, a year and a half later, you ask?

On Wednesday’s game against the Trail Blazers, Patterson scored 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting, 7 rebounds, and one block in just 24 minutes of game play. As of Thursday, February 9, PPatt is averaging nearly 11 points, 6 boards, and a block in 25 minutes over his last five games. How’s that for improvement?

Despite his self-confessed sweet tooth, you can tell that PPatt’s been putting in time at the gym – he is the epitome of solid, slightly reminiscent of a Greek statue, perhaps……anyway, before my brain gets off track, let me say this: Patterson is proving himself to be an exceptional athlete, and a definite asset to the Houston Rockets.

Needless to say, with rookies like Chandler Parsons and vets like Kyle Lowry to play alongside this powerhouse PF, #RedNation is, without a doubt, back in business.

(Stats via,

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