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MSNBC Writer Lacks Writing Skill, Hoops Knowledge

I hate to criticize (no really, I do!), but MSNBC's NBA preview is beyond awful. Michael Ventre, who writes (or wrote) for Variety and is an MSNBC and NBC Sports contributor, completely butchers everything. Here's one of many intriguingly terrible sentences:

Golden State has a legitimate chance this year of making the playoffs, although it'll be a longshot.

I just visited my pals Merriam and Webster, and they told me a "longshot" is "a venture unlikely to succeed." So, the Double-U's have a legitimate chance, although it's a venture unlikely to succeed.

Moving on.

On our beloved Kings, Ventre "writes":

The Kings' window of opportunity for winning a championship has probably closed, unless they somehow revamp their team in a hurry.

We'll leave the awkward word choice alone, though the Mrs. Mugg in us wants to break out the red ink. But um, hi Michael, this team has not been revamped in recent months? Have you not read the 203 stories referencing that only Peja Stojakovic and Mike Bibby remain from the 2002 squad and only Peja, Mike, Brad Miller and Kevin Martin remain from last season's opening night? What more can you revamp? Do we need to get new concession workers? Ticket takers? Television play-by-play guys? (Wait, that last one isn't a horrible idea.) Explain it to us, please.

I have to admit, though, that after I read this in the Suns capsule, I just started looking for crackpot statements:

The Suns had a bright future until Amare Stoudamire went down with an injury to his left knee. He had microfracture surgery and will be out four months, which means he likely will return in late January or early February. The team acquired Kurt Thomas and Brian Grant to fill in.

I sincerely hope to Jordan this was an "error introduced in the editing process." I'm pretty sure both Kurt Thomas and Brian Grant were acquired prior to the Amare news that broke last week, though it's possible I got mixed up on dates four months apart.

MSNBC is a major content provider on the web, and it takes itself pretty seriously. Crappy previews like this shouldn't be happening.

(On the subject of crappy previews, our own preview of the Phoenix Suns should be up this evening.)