Trade Rumors

EL CAJON — Erik’s team and Kerry’s team attempted to execute a last-minute deal on Monday that would have sent power forward Adam to Erik’s team, but talks between the two sides ended, because a key third player involved in the trade never arrived to play, a source familiar with the negotiations said.

Erik’s team effectively ended their pursuit of Adam by agreeing to terms with journey-man Gary on a one game contract, a league source confirmed to Gary, who was nursing a cold, hadn’t even planned to play that day, but he happened to be hanging out by the court, and agreed to join the game to make the teams more fair.

Erik had offered to send Darin to Kerry’s team in a exchange for Adam. The move would have then opened enough cap space for Erik to sign free-agent Mark, the source said. The two sides had arrived at what appeared to be a win-win deal, but Mark was mysteriously absent. He is usually late for shoot-around, and so tip-off was delayed for a for a few minutes to see if he would show up. The deal was officially called off at 12:23 pm, so that the game could start.

In a show of professionalism, Darin and Adam were unfazed by the drama, and both appeared to give a full effort for the teams that had just moments earlier tried to deal them away. League officials have yet to comment on Mark’s whereabouts on Monday.

One-on-One: G-Money

Lunchsketball commissioner G-Money sits down to talk about 3-pointers, the Dream Team, and the Hilltop Deli among other things in this tell-all interview.

LBall: You’ve had quite a run and it isn’t over yet. What is your secret to playing so long?

G: My secret to playing so long probably would be pacing myself, and not doing anything that I can probably get hurt from. I do take some chances, but those loose balls on the ground that most guys dive for? I stay away from those. Those high passes, that you have to jump really high and get? I try to avoid those as much as possible. And taking the ball inside is kind of a no-no for me. Number one, for size, and number two, for longevity of playing time, I think’s it’s best that I avoid the contact that goes with going under the basket and getting beat up.

LBall: Talk about what you eat to get ready for the game. What is your “breakfast of champions”?

G: I try to eat as much protein as I can before the game. I stay away from burritos because the fat content is too high.  At my age you have to be really careful. I’ll have chicken in the morning; either a patty or a small chicken breast sandwich -plain with nothing else. And then I’ll snack on some granola or trail mix. Then an hour before I play, I’ll go out and get something with protein in it.

LBall: From McDonald’s?

G: Yeah, sometimes Chicken McNuggets. I’m supposed to stay away from those. That or just a Carl’s Jr. burger. A plain burger with cheese on it, and that’s it. Protein.  Post game, anything goes. After the game I can carb up all I want. I have to refill my body.

LBall: We all know that you’re a big fan of the Hilltop Deli. Tell us a little bit about that.

G: Every now and then I get a sandwich. Sometimes when I feel like a nice big turkey sandwich, I’ll get the Californian.  The chicken cordon bleu sandwich is pretty good too. It’s a warm chicken breast with honey mustard and swiss cheese in there. It’s pretty good.

LBall: Who is the greatest basketball player of all time?

G: There are so many great players that I admire. The easy answer for most people is Michael Jordan. Myself, I wasn’t a big Jordan fan, and I have a lot of guys that I really admire, like Larry Bird, and Bill Russell, and John Havlicek – I’m not just going to name Celtics – Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaq.

LBall: Ok, name the three greatest basketball players of all time.

G: Jorge [Lunchsketball’s own] is one. Steve Nash. And LeBron James. Jordan doesn’t crash my top three.

LBall: To which NBA player would you compare yourself ?

G: Steve Nash. That’s the guy that I admire the most. I like  a guy that plays to make his team better. He sacrifices himself in every way to make his team successful. There’s a new guy now that Steve Nash is kind of getting up there in years: Rondo. Rajon Rondo is kind of the guy I like, because he’ll throw his body in there. He’ll play an entire game if he has to when the other guys are resting.

LBall: Other than Jorge, who is the greatest athlete that you ever played basketball with?

G: The guy that I felt was one of the best players that I ever played with… [broadcasting legend] Jerry Usher. I liked playing with Jerry Usher. He’s a good guy. And he could do everything: he could rebound, he could steal, he could post people up, and he could hit all day from outside.

LBall: If there’s one thing you could change about Lunchsketball, what would that be?

G: I wish we had an indoor court. Only because my biggest weakness is, because of my age, when the sun’s hot it beats down on me, and I’ll start out good, then once my legs go because of the heat, my whole games starts to suffer. And I think the games would be a lot longer and a lot more productive if we played indoors. So if we had an indoor court, that would be perfect.

LBall: You versus Kerry. 1-on-1. All 1’s. Game to 11. What’s the final score going to be?

G: 11 – 2.

LBall: You’d win?

G: Of course. Wouldn’t even be close.

LBall: Recently, you successfully lobbied to change the scoring in Lunchsketball from 1’s and 2’s, to 2’s and 3’s. How are you feeling about the change now that it is in place?

G: Yeah, I’m pretty happy about that. I’m very happy about that. And it’s not for any other reason other than that I just wanted to see an equitable way of scoring. I know people probably look at it like I was being selfish because I don’t shoot a lot of twos. Honestly, I look at my soul and I say I wasn’t trying to be that way. I just wanted it to be more fair. And I’ve had people come up to me and say they’ve had to change their game plan because of that, and they can’t just stand back and shoot twos all day long like they did before. You can chew someone up quicker with two 2’s than you can with one 3, so I feel pretty good about that.

LBall: Why don’t you ever shoot from behind the arc?

G: Because I’m not comfortable. I don’t have the accuracy from that point. I kind of have to push the ball a little harder than normal. Maybe it’s psychological  And I don’t like to hurt the team. See, that’s that Steve Nash/Rondo part of me.  If I take a bunch of threes and I don’t make them, then I make my team have to work harder on defense to get back in position to stay competitive.

LBall: There has been a lot of talk lately about a “Dream Team”. You have expressed some strong opinions on the subject. Which 3 players would you add to a Dream Team with you on it?

G: George, Erik and the third person could be just about anyone. I would probably say Jimbo. With George, Erik and Jimbo, we could probably take any other five Lunchsketball players out there. A little short, but I think we make up for it in hustle. Three hustle guys out there.

LBall: What is your favorite lunch-basketball themed website?

G: Lunchsketball is awesome. The creator is completely talented in the aspect that his choice of words are very impressive. Very entertaining. It’s at the point now where people are actually looking forward to it. Every Friday they are checking the website just to see if there have been any updates. I mean it’s one of those things; it’s almost like Christmas. You want to open up that present; you want to see what the next story is going to be.

LBall: Is there anyone you would like to see me interview next?

G: Jimbo. Only because he’s the most vocal critic of everything I put forth when it comes to time-playing, points scoring, amount of people on the court, time it takes to warm up, how much time to play, argued calls… all that stuff.

LBall: Alright. Do you have any questions for me?

G: Is there any point where you feel like sometimes that you have to take the team on your back and win the game? Do you ever feel like there’s a point where if you don’t take over the game yourself, kind of like Kobe Bryant does, when you feel like your teammates are not doing what they’re supposed to do? Maybe they’re falling short on their passes, or the shooting level drops, do you ever feel like ok, I’ve got to take this game over and I’ve got to bring my team to victory?

LBall: Yes.

G: I could just ask you, as a Lunchsketball player, do you always play with the same intensity, or do you gauge it by the amount of competition, or the amount of points that you are either ahead or behind during a given game?

LBall: I do not always play with the same level of intensity. It varies for all kinds of things.

G: What would you say is the key thing that raises your level of intensity? What are the triggers that spark in you that push you to the edge like that?

LBall: You can read all about this on my player profile at

New Player Profile: Matt

Matt is one of the “regulars” and usually appears in one or two games each week, except when he has dislocated his shoulder. He is one of the taller players in the game, and the other team will usually complain that Matt’s team has a height advantage, aka, “all the size”.  In addition to being tall, he is fast. He’s got as much hustle and speed as any other player in Lunchsketball.

Having said all this about Matt’s height and speed, he is surprisingly block-able, even by much shorter players and Kerry. Matt has an accurate shot, but it takes a while to deploy. It is a process, and sometimes there is a point in his delivery where the basketball is lowered to about knee level before beginning its assent toward the hoop. This is the most fun to watch when he’s shooting a layup; he approaches the basket with long, deliberate strides accompanied by a pendulum motion with the ball, sort of like he’s on a bowling lane.

Throughout each game, Matt gets lots of constructive input from his teammates, who consider Matt’s time on the basketball court a golden opportunity for him to learn from the very best. Even though he has never directly asked for this kind of help, the youngster is offered a constant stream of free advice on all parts of the game; where to cut, what he should have done on the last play, even what kind of  attitude to keep on an upcoming play. When he is dribbling the ball, expect to hear lots of helpful suggestions offered loudly to Matt, in case he doesn’t have any of his own ideas about what to do next.

PLAYER STATISTICS: Name: Matt, aka “Matty Ice”, aka “Bieber”, aka “the Biebs”, aka “Tidy”
Avg. Dislocated Shoulder per Game: 0.0435
Favorite Law & Order Spin-off: SVU
Drives or Walks to the Court: Drives

Matt has been an outspoken critic of the Lunchsketball blog. He has accused the blog of turning the game  for the worse, by leading the players to become self-conscious under the national spotlight. While this post is by no means a reaction to Matt’s far-fetched and unfortunate comments, the addition of his own player profile is expected to address the real heart of the protest.

Adam Drains First Career 2-Pointer En Route to Victory

EL CAJON — A team of Adam, Jorge, Matt and G-Money matched up against Kerry, Darin, Jim, newcomer Evan and Tim aka “Benjamin Button” in the first Lunchsketball game ever to be scored by 2’s and 3’s.

During the early days of Lunchsketball, there was no “3-point arc”. Back then, every basket was worth one point, simply because there was no line on the court. A 2009 repaving, however, left the court with a new surface, some new paint, and a new argument: Should the game to be scored by 1’s and 2’s, or 2’s and 3’s?

It was somehow decided that 1’s and 2’s were to be used, and so it remained for years, until Thursday morning, when the decision was made to try playing a game scored by 2’s and 3’s.

Darin had the honor of making history by sinking the first 3-point shot ever recorded in Lunchsketball, with an open look from left of the key that caught nothing but net. It was a great all-around game for Trip, who excited the crowd with two ferocious blocks on Jorge and Matt. The effort was wasted however, as his team went on to commit a crippling 137 turnovers, eventually losing the game by a final score of 39-60.

Jimbo did not meet his customary quota of one shot taken from behind the line, but otherwise, the change in scoring method seemed to have little to no impact on the rhythm of the game. Darin said afterward that he had no idea what the score was the whole time, and so in that respect, nothing has changed.

The game was also notable for the debut of Evan, who showed that he is a strong defender and a ball-handler, and appears to have serious potential to become a contender for Adam’s “painful-looking-collisions-with-the-pavement” title. In just his first game, Evan managed to fall to the ground at high speeds on two separate plays.