I Love Me Some Me!

I've long considered this to be my online home. Sometimes you leave home for a while. Home does, however, ultimately come calling. In addition to some semi-regular contributions (with the requisite multi-year vanishing) to Barça Blaugranes, SB Nation's FC Barcelona blog, I have previously contributed NBA pieces to various sites, including the outstanding Forum Blue and Gold. In the interest of keeping track of the names, ages and homes of the offspring of Hardwood Hype and providing those interested with a comprehensive archive...

July 22, 2011- Popped my guest blogger cherry at SB Nation's awesome Lakers' blog, Silver Screen and Roll, with a tribute to D-Fish and a suggestion for a potential point guard of the future for the Lakers: A Possible Solution To The Lakers' Point-Guard Dilemma.

August 1, 2011- Hey, someone gave me a column! My inaugural piece for Barça Blaugranes: Pleasantries, Messi Thoughts and My Road To Camp Nou

August 8, 2011- At look at the summer's departures from FC Barcelona, highlighted by Bojan Krkić. The time had clearly come for the club and the young striker to part ways, but not before he lived every kid's dream. Summer 2011 Departures, Starring A Look Back At Bojan

August 11, 2011- Didn't know much about incoming Barça winger Alexis Sánchez? Me neither. A look at the incredibly talented ex-Udinese man: FC Barcelona Summer 2011 Addition(s)- Quality Over Quantity

August 15, 2011- Popped in to the Asshole Convention at I Go Hard Now, with some thoughts on Hunter S. Thompson, along with a summer reading suggestion.

August 16, 2011- A look at Barcelona's acquisition of Cesc Fàbregas from Arsenal. While there's a case to be made that the move creates redundancy in the squad, I contend that the club is just doing what it does best: FC Barcelona Rebuilds On The Fly With The Acquisition Of Cesc Fàbregas

August 17, 2011- I had the opportunity to contribute to Hardwood Paroxysm's "Lost Season" series, with a look at Spencer Haywood's otherworldly rookie season in the ABA. If you read nothing else on this list, check this one out- I head a great time writing this, and learned a lot in the process.

August 23, 2011- Unfazed by a payer strike that delayed the start of the La Liga season by a week, I got down and dirty, taking a look at all 20 teams in Spain's top flight this season: 2011-12 La Liga Preview- More Than Just FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. If you have any interest in Spanish football, this is another piece I really encourage you to read. I went beyond Barça-Real and researched the hell out of La Liga's "other 18."

August 31, 2011- FC Barcelona's destruction of Villarreal in La Liga's season opener was hardly unexpected. Pep Guardiola did spice things up, thanks to some tactical inspiration from the days of Johan Cruyff- the 3-4-3 formation. A closer look: New Shape, Same Results- FC Barcelona's 3-4-3 Destroys Villarreal

September 8, 2011-
I had not yet written about La Masia's latest gem, Thiago Alcântara. He's young, and the hype around him is considerable, but given his performances on the biggest stages thus far, to call him "unproven" would be inaccurate: Thiago Alcantara: A Safe Bet to Emerge as La Masia's Latest Pearl

September 14, 2011- Are fans crazy for demanding loyalty from their players? Probably, but that's not to say that it doesn't exist or cannot be discovered. A look at Luis Figo's LeBron-esque move, from FC Barcelona to Real Madrid, and his quest for professional peace.

September 21, 2011- An ode to Lionel Messi. Barely 24 years of age, Messi is in the midst of an unprecedented attack on the Spanish record book, and is establishing himself as the signature star of this generation.

September 28, 2011- After a crushing draw in their Champions League opener against AC Milan and a string of disappointing results away from home, FC Barcelona looks to right the ship in Minsk. UEFA Champions League Preview: BATE Borisov v. FC Barcelona.

October 18, 2011- Thanks to an invite from Michael Schwartz at Valley of the Suns, I got to write about the successes, trials and tribulations of one of the NBA's most graceful scorers- and a favorite of mine from the 80s. Pain and Perseverance: The Walter Davis Story

December 8, 2011- The Broken Building Block? My debut post on Forum Blue and Gold, examining Andrew Bynum's checked track record of durability and viability as a franchise cornerstone.

December 14, 2011- In light of Lamar Odom's less-than-storybook exit from Lakerland, a look at a life defined by tragedy. A Fond Farewell: Wishing Lamar Odom The Peace He Deserves

January 6, 2012- Previewing the Golden State Warriors' (and an unselfish as ever Monta Ellis') visit to Staples and, with the Lakers on the cusp of a new era, a plea to an ultra-ultra-aggressive Kobe Bryant to "give an inch" and trust his teammates. Naturally, he responded with a spectacular 39 in a victory.

January 12, 2012- Breaking down an overtime win against the Jazz in Utah, in which clutch performance down the stretch by the Lakers' big men helped Kobe's 40 stand up.

January 19, 2012- Recapping an ill-fated trip to Miami, in which inefficient offense and LeBron James doing LeBron James things doomed the Lakers.

February 7, 2012- Kobe rides a devastating first half past Shaq in the record book and Andrew Bynum efficiently pumps out his second career 20-20 performance. Alas, turnovers, shoddy bench play and a lack of execution undo the Lakers in Philly.

February 9, 2012- Any win on Boston's parquet is cause for celebration in Lakerland. How about one powered by a massive 25 and 14 from Pau Gasol, on the heels of another Patriots' Super Bowl loss, with Kobe off the mark?

February 10, 2012- Riding the high of a win over the Celtics, the Lakers rolled into Madison Square Garden at the height of Linsanity. A look at what the Kobe and Company could expect from the Knicks' unexpected star. I thought I was being kind. About that...

February 20, 2012- A group effort at The Sports Fan Journal, in which Ben Swanson of Rufus On FireMarshall Ziglar of The Smoking Section and I talked many things point guard.

February 23, 2012- As the Lakers looked ahead to All-Star Weekend, I looked ahead to what could have been (but wasn't) their signature victory of the season's opening half, in OKC.

March 6, 2012- With the trade deadline fast approaching and (surprise!) the Lakers in need of a point guard and (gotcha again!) the target of much speculation, Forum Blue and Gold fired up the Rumor Mill. Here, a look at the options opened up by a sizable trade exception.

March 14, 2012- Coming off of their most impressive road victory of the season, a look ahead at a potential stumbling block against the Western Conference cellar dwellers in New Orleans.

March 21, 2012- Three games into his Laker tenure (I called it!), Ramon Sessions' mere competence at the point had sparked massive optimism in Lakerland. After this, his phenomenal coming out party in Dallas, the dial was turned up to full-blown delirium.

March 25, 2012- Previewing a national TV tilt between a pair of in-form contenders. Both rolling since the All-Star break, the Lakers and Grizzlies lock horns at Staples after a Heat-Thunder lead-in.

April 15, 2012- On Tax Day (-ish), the Lakers, winners of three straight without the services of Kobe Bryant, welcomed the Dallas Mavericks to L.A., where a heavy dose of Andrew Bynum seemed a solid recipe to keep the good times rolling. A preview. 

April 22, 2012- Previewing the next-to-last outing of 2011-12's lockout-shortened regular season sprint, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Lakers squared off in Los Angeles, each locked in a to-the-wire battle for the postseason positioning.

May 1, 2012- On the heels of an convincing victory in their postseason opener, a rather optimistic look ahead to Game 2 against the Denver Nuggets.

May 29, 2012- Fresh off the Lakers' postseason dismissal at the hands of the Thunder, J.M. Poulard, Dave Murphy and I try to ignore the smoldering wreckage, and focus on our favorite moments of the season just passed.

May 30, 2012- More book talk at I Go Hard Now. This time, a comparison between Andrew Bynum and an adult entertainer, accompanied by a Phil Jakcson-esque summer reading assignment for young 'Drew.

June 7, 2012- For Game 6 of Thunder-Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, Dave Murphy (of FBG and Searching for Slava) and I made a virtual man-date, during which we discussed the class of Western Conference and uncertain state of the Lakers.

June 27, 2012- The FBG crew convened to expertly handicap the final pick of the 2012 NBA Draft (and I stump for Draymond Green). The 2012 Draft Expresso.

July 25, 2012- In the euphoric afterglow of Steve Nash's arrival in Lakerland, a breakdown of the members of the Lakers' most likely beneficiaries of the Nash Effect.

August 21, 2012- And the hits just keep coming. In the afterglow brought about by the acquisition of Dwight Howard, a friendly reminder that sustained success in the NBA awaits not the team that wins every trade, but the one that wins the most important trades. Sacrifice the occasional battle, win the war - The Laker Way.

September 26, 2012- Amid the celebration, I took a moment to contemplate whether the arrival of Dwight Howard brought with it as many questions as answers. Chief among them: how does one reconcile the joy of adding a generational talent near the peak of his powers (and right there, when healthy) with the fact that said superstar might be, uh, well... kind of a douche? Conflict Resolution.

November 20, 2013- As a pair of highly-visible, massively overhauled teams prepared to do battle in Los Angeles, fellow FBGer Rey Moralde, Devin Kharpertian (of the excellent Nets blog, The Brooklyn Game) and I joined forces to preview the action.

November 21, 2012- Previewing the Lakers' lone 2012-13 outing (thus far) as a better-than-.500 team.

November 23, 2012- The Lakers looked to put the disappointment of two days prior in Houston behind them in a battle of presumed West contenders and front court powerhouses in Memphis. FBG captain, Darius Soriano, J.M. Poulard and I hooked up to look ahead to the clash.

December 4, 2012- Rolling into Houston in pursuit of .500, channeling my inner Tuna in hopes that the Lakers can locate, and make use of, their "big boy pants."

December 25, 2012- At the height of the holiday season, kicking around Kobe's "chuck wagon," efficient MWP and the revolutionary strategy that is the deployment of Steve Nash at the point. Oh yeah, and a preview of the Lakers' Christmas Day tilt against the Knicks.

January 12, 2013- Efficient evisceration at the hands of Kevin Durant and a regrettable farewell to Jordan Hill. Mass destruction in Lakerland- this IS happening.

January 25, 2013- "Franchise Mode" and real sports? Not the same. Non-previewing the Utah Jazz's visit to Staples Center.

January 26, 2013- With discussion of the state of our union on the horizon, Dave rallied the FBG troops to discuss the state of our once-great charges. Laker fans will do well to hide the scissors before diving into this one. Everyone else? I'd recommend a mild cigar and a nice single malt.

January 27, 2013- Phillip Barnett, Dave Murphy and myself, running a three-man weave ahead of another ill-timed (this season there is no other kind) visit by the Thunder. Memories of a recent humiliation still fresh, kidnapping and tasers were not outside the scope of my game-planning options.

February 8, 2013- Carrying on what's become something of a bi-weekly tradition - this time on the heels of a crushing blowout loss in Boston - under the guise of previewing the team's annual visit to Charlotte, I once again eulogize the Lakers.


Back in the game!

August 27, 2017 - With Neymar off to Paris on a mega-money move, Barcelona itself splashed nine figures on the acquisition of Borussia Dortmund's young superstar Ousmane Dembélé. Just as important, however, is that the club not lose sight of foundation on which this glorious generation was built, in favor of a misguided, short-term galactico strategy.

September 4, 2017 - With the 2017 summer transfer window finally shut, I considered what was, what wasn't and what could have been for Barcelona.

January 24, 2018 - Ronaldinho retires. On hearing the news, I reflected on the transcendent artistry, however fleeting, that he delivered to the Camp Nou faithful.

May 6, 2018 - From a bar in Barcelona, I watched Barça clinch the 2017-18 La Liga crown, and extend their then-historic unbeaten league run. The focus quickly shifted to the upcoming Clasico against Real Madrid - a disorienting version of the eternal rivalry that required a bit of a squint to see the stakes.

June 8, 2018 - Thoughts and reflections on the incomparable, iconic genius, Andres Iniesta, following the conclusion of his FC Barcelona playing career.

June 15, 2018 - Ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, a breakdown of the 14 members of the FC Barcelona squad that would take part in the tournament...

July 23, 2018 - And... a look back at how the tournament played out for each of them

In the run-up to the 2018-19 La Liga campaign, I took a slightly different approach to previewing the season, focusing not on Barcelona and the big boys from Madrid, but on the outlooks of the league's other 17 teams:

August 2 - The trio of newly-promoted teams

August 8 - Four holdovers that may be in for a rough season 

August 14 -  A mid-table quartet looking to build on recent success... and Bilbao

August 17 - Turning our attention to the league's top third, another group of five teams with designs on European qualification. 

October 18, 2018 - Amid yet another scuffling start to a season, Luis Suárez's decline could no longer  be denied, though he remained a fixture in the starting lineup - not unlike a certain fading superstar from another sport. 

November 2, 2018 - No sooner had I eulogized Luisito's run as a dominant force on the Blaugrana front line than he notched a spectacular hat trick against Real Madrid - a mea culpa and some other takeaways from a dominant Clásico performance by Barcelona.

December 15, 2018 - On the heels of Carles Aleñá and Riqui Puig making their greatest first team contributions to date, an examination of notable "Nexts" from La Masia, and enjoying Barcelona's latest home-grown prospects responsibly. Well, mostly responsibly.

At BarçaBlog

September 25, 2018 - An analysis of Philippe Coutinho's talents and his tactical impact of on Barcelona.

October 9, 2018 - An appreciation of FC Barcelona's underappreciated midfield star, Ivan Rakitić.