It was December 24th on Hollis Ave in the dark
When I seen a man chilling with his dog in the park
I approached very slowly with my heart full of fear
Looked at his dog, oh my God, an ill reindeer
– Run DMC, Christmas in Hollis
Nothing puts me in the Christmas mood more than hearing Run DMC’s Christmas in Hollis.
Now that i’m in the mood and I do think I was more nice (as in the last NBA finals) than naughty (as in the Lockout) this year I thought I would make up my Christmas wish list made up of 20 NBA related gifts.
1: NBA Games on Christmas Day: A few weeks ago my wife hit a parked car that belonged to a 8 month pregnant woman (true story up to this point) and all I said was “Like a good neighbor Statefarm is there…with a NBA season and a hot tub” and boom it worked minus the hot tub. I’m paying my deductible and David Stern & Billy Hunter came to an agreement to end the lockout and start the season on Christmas day. That means I have NBA games to watch as opposed to talking with the in-laws. But Santa Stern made it even sweeter by adding two more games so we now have 5 games to watch.
2: Latrell Sprewell Warrior Jersey: Christmas is about caring for your family and being thankful that you can provide for them but when family, friends and neighbors start to get a little obnoxious you are going to want to get a little physical. So a retro Warrior Sprewell jersey is what I need to feel like a special talent that can feed his children but choke somebody if it comes down to it. If you think that’s a little harsh just be happy I didn’t ask for a Jayson Williams jersey. I do own a Twolves JR Rider jersey but even that’s a little extreme for Christmas morning.
3: Case of Larry Johnson Ice Tea: I’m not into Energy drinks (especially when they have names like Pimp Juice), don’t drink Gatorade or Powerade, don’t even drink much milk or water but I drink a lot of Coke Zero, Sprite & Ice teas so when I came across these Larry Johnson “Grandmama Teas” on the clearance rack I couldn’t help but put up a big L, looking more like a loser than LJ, and grab every bottle I could. Nobody makes Ice Tea like your grandma and nobody ever looked so silly dunking like Grandmama.
4: Blake Griffin Bleacher Creature Doll: I collect toys and my favorite current player is Blake so when I saw this Bleacher Creature that is supposed to resemble the most exciting player in the league I had to put it on my Christmas list. The smile captures his funny personality and he looks like he was born with a full set of chromosomes that the real Blake sometimes looks like he lacks. Be honest, the man is not photogenic. It’s also made of a material that’s durable and wont break as soon as the season starts..I mean take it home.You can buy these at Sports Authority for $22. They also have Rose, LeBron, Kobe, Rondo and Melo. I bought the Melo and it was as soft as I thought it would be. Can’t wait for the Bosh one. That might be worth replacing your Pillow Pets with.
5: NBA Cologne. I had a friend that had over 20 bottles of cologne and when his apartment was robbed they took everything in the place including all of his cologne..except for a bottle of Michael Jordan cologne. If they left that I’m curious if they would be able to pass up on this NBA gift set which also includes Shower gel and a body spray. The best thing about this set is the back of the box has a some LeBron trivia. It says “Did you know? LeBron James loves cereal. Among his favorites are Fruity Pebbles, Frosted Flakes & Cinnamon Toast Crunch.” Smelling good learning that I share a love for Frosted Flakes with LeBron. How can you top that.
6: Some Ugly Sweaters. Aside from sugary cereals it seems LeBron and I enjoy ugly sweaters. I collect sweaters like people collect retro Ts. Maybe because I grew up watching the Cosby Show and wanted to have a wardrobe that resembled Bill Cosby or maybe because having your picture taken while you are drinking Hot Chocolate on Christmas morning with an ugly sweater on just makes me feel good. If you feel the same way then you might enjoy this new Statefarm Facebook app that allows you to take a picture with LeBron wearing an ugly sweater. If you use the app be sure to tweet us your pics. View App: http://on.fb.me/uJLQZy
7: Original 1992 Jam Session VHS: Before Ballislife, YouTube and DVDs, the NBA was releasing VHS tapes every year and the only thing cooler than watching Michael Jordan Come Fly With Me for the first time or the NBA Superstars Trilogy (> LOTR) is the original NBA Jam Session tape. I played and rewinded and played and rewinded that tape so much that it popped. It came out during the rookie year of Shaq, Zo, Walt Williams, Harold Miner when the Bulls were starting to become a dynasty and the Bird/Magic era was finishing.The songs were great too from Bel Biv Devo to a remix of Wreck’s N Effect’s Rump Shaker called Rim Shaker and finishing up with the late Heavy D featuring an upcoming rapper named Biggie Smalls. I want the original cover too with Shaq, LJ & Barkley not the silly 1997 update with Hakeem, Pippen on Malone.
8: Shaq CD: You Can’t Stop the Reign: Speaking of Biggie Smalls, Shaq and things I had in the 90s. I want my CD back of Shaq’s third LP that was stolen from my car along with my detachable CD player (yeah I know, i’m lazy) that was in my first car that I had when I was attending FSU and making stupid comments like “Tim Duncan will never do well in the NBA but FSU’s Corey Louis will make some noise.”Shaq’s first CD went platinum because it was novelty. His second and better CD, Shaq Fu, went gold but had a few ok tracks with guests Wu Tang, Warren G & Redman. His third CD remains the best hip hop album ever made by an athlete. Not only do I think the title track with Notorious B.I.G is good for a Shaq song it’s good for a Biggie song. The album also featured everybody from Mobb Deep to New Edition to Rakim to Jay-Z. The song “No Love Lost” would be rereleased later with Nas
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9: NBA Christmas Tree Ornaments: Sticking with Shaq items, who doesn’t want Shaq hanging from their tree with his trademark slam and testes in the face of some gingerbread man. Throw out the corny birds and get Larry Bird on the tree (low on the tree of course). Instead of watching some boring Jimmy Steward movie about miracles you can add Magic to your tree to remind you that miracles happen and unless you live in Colorado everybody wants to see Kobe when its Snow skiing weather.
10: John Wall Autographed HRX Video Card: Stale gum was bad. Holograms, die cuts & limited edition cards were cool. Jersey cards rocked and now we have HRX video cards that actually contain up to 30minutes of video footage inside a basketball card. This John Wall limited edition to 10 autographed version sells for over $1k on Ebay. Despite having one of the most exciting players in the leagues John Hancock being on a card that only has 10 in existence, I can’t justify the price only because the video doesn’t do the player justice. Now if it was a ballislife video inside the card and it was autographed and serial numbered than we might be talking about returning all of your gifts so you can afford the baddest card that ever existed…well except for maybe that banned C-3PO Star Wars card.
11. Slam Magazine Nov 1995 Issue: Maybe my favorite issue of any sports magazine. I’ve been buying Slam since the first issue came out with that ridiculous “Do The White Thing” article and this one particular issue featuring the Jordan heir Penny Hardaway on the cover with one of the sickest passes in NBA history around MJ is the mag I need the most. The reason why I need it is because my copy shows more damage than a Playboy magazine owned by a 11 year old boy that hides it under his bed. Outside of the cover we had a Shaq poster, a Cedric Ceballos article and a high school Vince Carter in the punks section talking about high flying game that included a 14 block game.
12: Ball Is Life Gear & Basketball Goal This sounds like a shameless plug right? Well, if I said I wanted some hot gear that I saw John Wall, Deron Williams, DeMar DeRozan and a bunch of the most popular and exciting streetballers and dunkers wearing would it be a shameless plug to say I also wanted to wear it? If I saw a hot shirt that looks like it could of been the inspiration for a hot Nike shirt that came out afterwards would I be a plug? How about if I said I wanted gear that shows off my favorite website, Twitter account and Facebook page? The answer is probably no but if I said be sure to check out http://www.bilclothing.com for the latest shirts, hoodies, hats and socks from Ballislife then it might sound like a shameless plug. By the way free shipping off orders over $50…tsk, tsk, tsk.
13: Chris Webber 1994 Nike Tshirt “You Got a Problem With That? This shirt just speaks to me. The only thing that could of made it better was a pic of Don Nelson in the back saying “I do” I don’t think there’s a bigger tease in the NBA than the GS Warriors. They gave us Run TMC for 2 years and then said that’s enough let’s get Billy Owens in here. They trade for Chris Webber, he wins Rookie of the year and then he’s out the door leaving you with Sprewell. Even recently they had Arenas, JRich, Hughes, Jamison & Troy Murphy on the same team. Right now they have Curry, Monta and Dorell Wright which just might be as deadly on the offensive side as Run TMC. Let’s see how long they tease us with that excitement before they decide they need another worthless big man. Yes I got a problem with that!
14: Shawn Kemp in my Family Portrait: The Reign Man might only be making it rain at The Mens Club in Houston now but back in the day Shawn Kemp was a natural disaster on all opposing teams when he was wearing that Sonic uniform. I collected his cards, had posters, recorded every Sportscenter clip I could and I also once photoshopped a picture of me as a kid into this group photo of a Shawn Kemp basketball camp and wrote Shawn Kemp Family Photo at the bottom. That pic ended up in the Recycle Bin a long time ago and Google will not allow me to find the original photo again. So if anybody can find a photo of Kemp with a bunch of kids in it please, please send it our way. As for The Reign Man who just celebrated a birthday last week, I hope he has a Merry Christmas and the mommas of his army of children each get a nice child support payment
15: NBA Lego Arena: When I saw this picture of a NBA arena with players and goals I literally wanted to cry. I tried to bootleg a basketball court with my mix and match Legos so many times as a kid. I had Darth Vader as Robert Parish. R2D2 as Charles Barkley. They were playing inside a shoe box and I had to use these extremely hot and dangerous table lamps as the lights. As for the three figures shown below is that Dirk from the Mavericks or Dirk Diggler from Boogie Nights? That #15 can’t be Vince Carter because Legos are durable and Vince Carter was like Mr Glass in Toronto. Vince would of been a better Transformer toy where he changes from totally awesome flying machine to a gun like Megatron which means he’s still dangerous but only with the help of somebody willing to be the aggressive one. How pointless is to transform into an item that is dependant on another person. Is that ironic for a leader. Wouldn’t the second in charge just throw him a box or something when he turns into the gun? Back to the Legos check out this video of great NBA moments Legoized
16: Baron Davis Action Figure: While we are on toys and action figures, the Li Ling Baron Davis toy is as bad ass as they come. Forget those Starting Lineups and Todd McFarlane figures this toy is mean. It looks like Hellboy and fear the beard Davis morphed into one. My only complaint is they could of kept the gut to make the figure a little more realistic. What would be nice is just a Baron Davis collection. Starting with a UCLA bald headed Baron to the roller skating with a boom box on his shoulder and tight shorts Baron to a pack with his step brother Steve Nash to the GQ filmmaker we know today. Each would also have one of his cool nicknames from B-Diddy to Boom Dizzle.
17: Be Marko Jaric For A Day: If I said if you could be one NBA player for a day you would probably pick a megastar like Kobe, LeBron, Jordan, etc. I’m picking Marko Jaric. I don’t need to be super duper rich just for a day he’s rich enough (he was bought out of a 2 year 15 million dollar contract) to buy anything I would want for a day not to mention his wife is a multi millionaire. Not to mention his wife again but she is arguably the most drop dead gorgeous woman in the world. Not to mention her without a name because the angle does have one – Adriana Lima. Not to mention his wife too many times but I could be seen with her out in public and not have a bunch of fans bugging me for an autograph because nobody knows who I am. So far a day I’m going to be a two time basketball champion (in Italy), a gold medal winner (of the FIBA under 20), an ex NBA player (that mainly sat on the bench) and married to the hottest Victoria Secret angel ever (no jokes to put here)! If I was Marko Jaric do you know what present I would give my wife? Remember that Justin Timberlake Christmas Skit?
18: DaDa Sprewell Spinner Shoes: These don’t belong on the feet. These belong in a museum somewhere. Some type of “Are You Serious” Hall of Fame. Let’s just break down the awesomeness of the name. DaDa …. Sprewell … Spinners ….Shoes. I already shared my love for Spree above but I just want to be able to wear these shoes, do a crossover on somebody, score and then stop and when the spinners keep going the whole crowd yells “Yo, they spinning, they spinning!” If you don’t remember DaDa they actually had some cool advertisements and high profile athletes. Check out this commercial for the Chris Webber shoes. If you want to see the Sprewell Spinners in action watch the end of the video below.
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19: The Ultimate Sprite Showdown Dunk Contest: Every year the NBA Sprite Showdown Dunk Contest travels through about 9 cities and finds the best dunkers that will end up competing at NBA Allstar weekend in front of LeBron James, dunk legend Daryll Dawkins and dunk allstars Reemix & Los. We have seen anybody who is anybody in the dunk world from Air Up There to Kenny Dobbs to TDub to Werm to Young Hollywood pull off dunks that have never been seen in a NBA dunk contest. The problem is we have yet to have all of the best dunkers in the history of the contest compete against each other at 1 event. I want to see the 2010 winner Air Up There against the 2011 winner Young Hollywood, 2011 Ballup Dunk Contest winner Kenny Dobbs & the following guys Justin Darlington, Werm, AirDogg, TDubb, Sir Isaac, Exile & Guy Dupuy compete in a “Who is the Best Dunker in The World” contest. Oh yeah and you have to throw in the judges Los & Reemix (most underrated dunker ever). Make it happen Sprite & the NBA. If you can find a way to end the lockout you can find a way to end this discussion.
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20: Tickets to Watch Kobe, Dwight, Chris Paul, LeBron, Wade & Bosh in the NBA Finals: Do I really need to say anything more. Well, I guess first the Lakers have to find a way to get CP3 and Dwight but if they do and the Heat make it back to the finals then this will be the biggest Nike event of all time.
I hope you enjoyed my list and if you can grant me any of those especially #17 then I would be eternally grateful. Merry Christmas and a happy new NBA season from myself and the Ballislife family!