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Goon Squad Classic: Fun for the Fans

Tonight was a lot of fun for all those who were able to attend.

Donté, JT, Spencer Hawes, and Jimmer played against Tyreke, DeMarcus, Matt Barnes, Hassan Whiteside, and Isaiah.  John Wall was also in the building, but did not play.  I don't know why, and I assume he had a minor injury or something.  There were also a few other players for each team, but they weren't NBA players and I didn't remember their names, although I'm pretty sure one of them was Donté's brother or cousin.  

The game itself featured no defense whatsoever, but nobody really cared.  There were dunks galore, three pointers every other possession, and some crazy dribbling stunts you'd never see anyone attempt in a real NBA game.  It didn't matter.  This wasn't about who won or who lost. Everyone won, especially the fans.

Donté has earned a special place in my heart for putting this game together and making it come into fruition.  He didn't have to do this, and yet he did, and he did it for a good cause too, giving all proceeds to charity.

Perhaps it was because I've been so desperate for the NBA to come back, to watch my Kings once again, but I'll never forget this game.

After the jump, some highlights and observations that stuck out to me.  Feel free to share your own observations in the comments below if you attended.

  • Rumors of Tyreke's "weight gain" have been greatly exaggerated.  Tyreke looks to be in good shape, and showed some extra explosiveness with a huge dunk in the first quarter.
  • Tyreke's shot also looks MUCH improved. He still fades away too much for my liking, but he seems to have compensated for it a bit, as he was drilling shot after shot for most of the game.  He hit at least 8 threes in the first half alone.  They stopped falling as much towards the end of the 4th, but considering he had played almost all 48 minutes at a breakneck pace with barely any stoppages, that was understandable.
  • Jimmer is going to be a rock star in Sacramento.  Every time he touched the ball the crowd buzzed, and whenever he was past the half court line, fans implored him to "shoot it!", and shoot it he did.  Dude makes shooting look effortless.  He's going to be just fine (if not moreso) on offense in the NBA.
  • Jimmer and Isaiah got a little bit of rookie hazing at halftime as Donté made them have a dance contest.  Jimmer won with some pretty hilarious moves, handily beating Isaiah's dougie.  Our friend Blake Ellington got it on video:

    The chant you hear at the end is "John Wall", as the crowd wanted him to do his trademark dance.

  • Spencer Hawes was doing Spencer Hawes things, shooting threes and throwing nifty passes.  He did have one "oooh" moment, when he wrapped the ball behind his back and between his legs while dribbling to escape two defenders.  Mainly, I was just disappointed he didn't show up in his Peaches shirt.
  • JT looked more explosive to me than he has before, and his stroke appeared smooth as well.  
  • DeMarcus has slimmed down, but is strong as ever.  Of course, this being a charity game, he spent a lot of the time shooting jumpers and playing Point Guard, as well as clowning around with several of the other players.
  • Hassan Whiteside reminded me why I was so thrilled when we drafted him.  He has the talent and physical gifts to be special.  There were a couple sequences that were just absurd, one in which he missed a block with one hand then reached over with his other hand and got it, the other where he dunked the ball and stuck his elbow through the hoop, all while still holding the ball.  He's an athletic freakshow, and I hope we'll find a way to put those talents to good use.
  • Donté had one particularly "swaggeriffic" moment in the first quarter, where he shot a three, and then turned around and ran back down the court before the shot had even gone in. It did go in, of course.
  • There were a LOT of great dunks, by almost every NBA player.  Isaiah only had one or two to my surprise, barely missing a few, and even Jimmer attempted, and almost got one, but the ball rimmed out.
  • One of the cooler sequences in the game was when Tyreke pulled up from 40 feet and drilled a three.  Then Jimmer gets the ball, takes it down the court, and pulls up from the same spot 40 feet away on the other side of the court and drills it right back.

In conclusion: END THE LOCKOUT