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Carnival of the NBA #39: Holiday Edition

It's the most wonderful time of the year
NBA Bloggers are typing
Their stuff is enlightening
Carnival #39 is here
It's the most wonderful time of the year

Welcome to Carnival of the NBA #39!  In case you don't know, the Carnival of the NBA is a semi-monthly look at some of the best recent material of the NBA Blogosphere.  Sit back and enjoy the ride!

This edition of the Carnival is extra special because it's that time of year.  Yes, it's the holidays, which means gifts for loved ones, new year's resolutions, and, unfortunately, re-gifting and long, random stories from your crazy uncle.  Still, the holidays are an incredible time of the year.  It doesn't matter what you believe in, because there's something for everyone.  Chrstians have Christmas, Jews have Hannukah, African Americans and Pan-Africans have Kwanzaa, and even those who don't have any beliefs have Festivus.  

For most people, basketball and blogging are the last things on their mind during this time.  Family and loved ones always come first at this time of year.  However, there are some dedicated basketball bloggers who have demonstrated the ability to tranfer the holiday spirit onto their laptops and desktops.  Their work is commemorated in this edition of the Carnival of the NBA.  Let's get started.

  • The holidays have always been a time for personal reflection, and two of the NBA's biggest bloggers did just that.  Free Darko discussed aloud his heightened affinity for basketball compared to all the other sports (UPDATE: he further clarifies the point here), while Need4Sheed reminds everyone and herself why she loves the one and only Rasheed Wallace.
  • They may blog mostly about the NBA, but some NBA bloggers literaly got into the holiday spirit on their blogs.  Although it may be a bit late, Give Me the Rock gives five great NBA Christmas present ideas, including one you can't find anywhere else.  Speaking of gifts, Golden State of Mind has expanded their clothing line, including these cool clothes for the ladies and the fellas.    Other bloggers got into the act in different ways.  Cornrows played the role of crazy uncle, telling us a story about a personal encounter with former Phoenix Suns star Tom Chambers.  Finally, Mutoni from Bench Renaldo has a special Happy Holidays wish from lookalikes Vladimir Radmanovic and Al Pacino.
  • Without bloggers, how would we know about the way some of the NBA's craziest personalities celebrated the holidays?  How would we know about some of the strangest displays of holiday spirit?  Need4Sheed gives us this hillareous holiday video featuring Jason Maxiell, Will Blalock, Amir Johnson, and the aformentioned Sheed.  I Heart KG directs us to a radio interview featuring the crazy Mike James, while Sports Biz discusses a lack of holiday spirit on the part of Bobcats owner Bob "Scrooge" Johnson.  NBA teams such as the Memphis Grizzlies have also displayed some strange showing of holiday spirit, as Hoops Addict's Ryan McNeil tells us.  I guess "holiday spirit" has a very loose definition.

  • There was some actual basketball news going on in the past couple weeks, and your basketball bloggers have been all over it.  As everyone probably knows, a Philadelphia superstar was recently traded to an up-and-coming Western Conference contender.  No, we ain't talking about Charles Barkley, we talking about Allen Iverson.  Golden State of Mind was all over the trade, breaking down winners and losers from every which way.  One team that failed to land The Answer was Minnesota, increasing the chances that superstar Kevin Garnett will be dealt.  Blogabull has the latest KG to Chicago idea, and it doesn't involve Ben Gordon.
  • While even the most casual NBA fan knows about Iverson the basketball player, even dieharts don't quite understand Iverson the person.  Suffice to say, there's never been a superstar like AI, and there's never been one more misunderstood.  True Hoop gives us a wonderful gift of a piece discussing who Allen Iverson really is deep down.  This piece is simply a must-read for any basketball fan, and if you only read one of these links, it should be this one.
  • They may not be as well-known as Iverson, but two other stars are officially on the trading block, and many proposals have them being traded for each other.  Yes, we're talking about Corey Maggette of the Clippers and the combustable Ron Artest of the Kings.  Sactown Royalty begs the Kings to pull the trigger on this trade, while Cornrows remembers Artest's Indiana Pacers tenure.  
  • Two teams were recently not in the holiday spirit during a meaningless fourth quarter blowout, and the results were damaging.  No doubt about it, the brawl between the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks was a black eye on the league, and it resulted, among other things, in one of the league's brightest young stars, Carmelo Anthony, being suspended for 15 games.  Straight Bangin' and Your New York Knicks break it down, while Hoops Perspectives discusses the one guy who will benefit most from the suspensions, Earl "T.A.R.D.I.S" Boykins.

  • The holidays are also the time where struggling teams are starting to throw in the towel.  Blazers Blog and Courtside Times identify some of those teams with their unique power rankings formulas.  Blazerblog's Tier Trauma system laments the overall mediocrity of the league, while Courtside Times' OTTER model places every Atlantic Division team in the bottom 10.  Fans of some of those bad teams are already lamenting their team's position.  Hornets 24/7 holds out scant playoff hopes for the league's most injury-prone team, LOY's Palace wonders whether Doc Rivers' horrible coaching is really a conspiracy, and the Charlotte Blogcat attempts to find solace in yet another Bobcat blowout loss.  Meanwhile, Bobcat Bonfire is using this time to focus solely on blogging for her struggling team.  
  • No carnival, not even this one, would be complete without highlighting some great interviews some bloggers have been doing.  Hoops Addict drops these great interviews with Paddy on the Hardwood author Rus Bradburd and BYU assistant coach Walter Roese.  Golden State of Mind also has this great two part interview with Warriors play-by-play man Bob Fitzgerald.
  • Finally, in what will officially be known as the greatest return the NBA blogosphere has seen, the Cavalier and Yay! Sports are only days away from their triumphant return to the blogosphere.    

If there's any link I forgot, be sure to drop me an e-mail quickly.  

I hope you enjoyed Carnival of the NBA #39: Holiday Edition.  Happy Holidays everyone!

UPDATE: Raptors HQ has this long wishlist to Santa Claus, including lots of wishes on their favorite team and other general NBA wishes.