Wish I’d known about this before the holiday shopping season: Reader Stu Taylor just tipped me wise to the work of Brooklyn illustrator Joel Kimmel, who specializes in really cool NBA portraits, like the one of Caron Butler shown above (you can see dozens more of them here). He’s cobbled a bunch of these illos into a book called Portraits in the Paint, plus he’s made them into T-shirts and sells limited-edition prints. All good stuff.
New ESPN column
today — link coming soon. tomorrow. Thought it was gonna be today, but they just decided to bump it back a day. I’ll have a full entry tomorrow (and a really good one, I might add) to make up for today’s short entry.
Paging Jeff Apple and Dan Luther: I can’t parcel out the holiday raffle prizes yet because two of the top four winners — the aforementioned Mssrs. Apple and Luther — haven’t yet given me their prize choices. Yo, Jeff and Dan, please check in asap, OK? OK.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Yesterday’s Ticker mistakenly stated that that all NBA teams playing on Xmas Day wore a snowflake patch. As several readers quickly pointed out, the Cavs pulled a last-minute uni switcheroo (because LeBron James wanted to wear the blue alts to match his new blue sneakers — jeez Lou-fucking-eze), which forced the Wizards to change uniforms as well, which in turn meant that neither team wore the patch. The weird thing is that when the NBA showed me samples of their new uniforms back in the fall, the snowflake sample was sewn onto a blue Cavs uni. But apparently at some point they decided to wear the snowflakes on their home whites — and then got caught short when LeBron had them switch back to blue. … In other follow-up news, yesterday I posted pics showing Al Harris wearing biker shorts and super-high whites. But that was just in the first half — Jeff Ash reports that Harris switched to super-low whites in the second half. … Still more follow-up news: Yesterday I linked to this catalog for a tabletop soccer game called Subbuteo. Turns out Jeremy Brahm is a Subbuteo enthusiast, and he pointed me toward several web pages related to the game. There are old boxes shown here, old uniforms here, and more uniforms here. … And yet another follow-up: Yesterday I showed James vanRiemsdyk and his small-caps/caps NOB. “JVR (as he is known on campus) also plays for UNH,” reports Adrian Kerrison. “We have a bold, italicized font on our nameplates so I don’t envy the staff trying to fit his name on there. Here’s a photo that gives a good view of the lowercase-uppercase mix.” … Why does this Michigan helmet have a gray facemask? Details here (good find by Jason Hillyer). … While looking for something else, I came across this shot of 1960s heavyweight boxer Buster Mathis shooting hoops. … Lots of you enjoyed Bryan Justman‘s recent entry about making his own DIY hockey jerseys. Here’s his latest creation: a Blackhawks Winter Classic jersey. … Something I’d completely forgotten about until I stumbled across a photo of it yesterday: Jose Canseco briefly wore double-zero during his 1998 stint with the Blue Jays. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: The rink setup at the Winter Classic will apparently look like this. Note the team logos in the on-deck circles. … Also from yesterday: When the Steelers’ medical staff took Big Ben off the field on Sunday, they removed his facemask but not his helmet, because they didn’t want to jostle his noggin. … Here’s an interesting find: This vintage basketball warm-up top has snaps on the back so a player’s nameplate could be affixed and then removed. … Really nice warm-up top here, too. … There’s a whole subculture of people whose hobby is to sneak into abandoned buildings and poke around (I’ve done a decent amount of this myself, although not nearly enough to qualify me as a full-fledged member of the club). One such person apparently snuck into the Aud in Buffalo last year and took a bunch of cool photos. Check out his story here (with thanks to Michael Joachim). … Reprinted from last night’s comments: a Scott Player imposter, complete with low-bar facemask (wrong helmet brand, though). … Like they always say, there’s no such thing as bad publicity (with thanks to the many readers who sent screen shots of CNN’s home page last night). … “I visited the Carnegie Science Center last Friday because I wanted to see the train display,” writes Doug Keklak. “I thought it would be relevant to share some photos of it, mainly the replica of Forbes Field. The man working the display said the stadium crowd was made up of over 20,000 hand-painted Q-tips.” Additional details worth savoring: the waving flags, the runner suspended in mid-slide (but did anyone slide head-first back then?), and the street lamps. And hey, one kid checking out the exhibit was wearing awesome striped sleeves. Sign that kid up!