Archive for July, 2009

Button Mashing of the Future

July 30, 2009
Since we’re on a bit of a video game kick, lets continue with some news of a couple of upcoming games that are of interest to The Hoops Manifesto – NBA 2K10 and EA Sports: MMA.

First, some exciting news from our good friends at 2K Sports – NBA 2K10: Draft Combine. Rather than summarize it for you, here it is straight from the horse’s mouth. This press release was sent to me by 2K Sports:
2K Sports Announces NBA 2K10: Draft Combine, a Totally New Downloadable Game Experience

Get a taste of NBA 2K10’s all-new gameplay and My Player career mode while living the life of an NBA hopeful going through the real NBA Draft Combine.

New York, NY – July 28, 2009 – 2K Sports today announced NBA® 2K10: Draft Combine, a download-only title that will provide pre-season fun for basketball fans leading up to the fall launch of NBA 2K10. Planned for release this September on Xbox LIVE® Arcade for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®Network for PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system,, NBA 2K10: Draft Combine will allow fans to create their own custom player with the utmost detail and, for the first time in the NBA 2K series, begin their career by experiencing the on-court life of an NBA hopeful going through the NBA Draft Combine at the world-renowned, ATTACK Athletics gym in Chicago.

“We’re giving our dedicated NBA 2K fans an incredible opportunity with NBA 2K10: Draft Combine,” said Greg Thomas, senior vice president of sports development for 2K. “Gamers will have exclusive access to online content and get to test drive NBA 2K10’s new gameplay features, advanced player progression system and the all-new My Player career mode before the game launches this fall.”

Features of NBA 2K10: Draft Combine include:

· Building custom players by working with a mentor, the 2K Insider, and increasing their NBA stock through a variety of challenging basketball drills and 5-on-5 games.


· Over 300 different signature customizations, including player-specific shooting animations, dunk and dribble packages and more to allow each created player to have his own unique personal style.

· Ability to strengthen all parts of the created player’s game with a variety of drills, such as shooting, post offense and defense, attacking the basket, dribbling, challenging shots, boxing out for rebounds and more to progress through the NBA Draft Combine.

· Organized games that will allow players to gain valuable skill points and offer a variety of specific in-game objectives that will need to be accomplished in order to gain them. At the end of each game, a full analysis will be available for gamers to review their player’s performance and strategize their further improvement.

· All players created in NBA 2K10: Draft Combine will wear a special patch on their uniform throughout the rest of that player’s career to denote that they have completed the NBA Draft Combine.
· Online leaderboards to track the highest ranking custom built players, and where a player stacks up against the competition.

· Opportunity to unlock special achievements on Xbox 360 and trophies for PLAYSTATION 3 system.

· Fans can take their custom built players from NBA 2K10: Draft Combine and use them in the all-new My Player career mode in NBA 2K10 launching this fall, allowing them to continue their journey of becoming an NBA legend.

NBA 2K10: Draft Combine, developed by Visual Concepts, is planned for release in North America, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and India this September on Xbox LIVE Arcade for Xbox 360 (400 Microsoft Points) and PlayStation Network for PLAYSTATION 3 system ($4.99). For more information about NBA 2K10: Draft Combine, please visit www.2ksports.com/games/nba2k10dc.



Obviously that is very exciting news for hoopheads, video game addicts and draftniks like yours truly. The Hoops Manifesto will be all over this on its release and will give you a full review of it.

Also announced this week was some more news on EA Sports: MMA, which is scheduled to drop in 2010. Among the announced fighters for it are Fedor Emelianeko and Randy Couture, but with no UFC fighters on the roster, will the average fan be interested in buying it (especially considering how good a game UFC Undisputed is)?

If you can’t wait for either game to drop, here are links to the pre-orders:

Pre-order NBA 2K10 Here

Pre-order EA Sports: MMA Here

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Tiger Wood PGA Tour 10 Review

July 29, 2009

I suck at putting. Not real-life putting – I haven’t played real golf in over a decade, and I’m decent enough at the mini variety. No, I suck at virtual putting. And to add insult to my injury, the announce team in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 like to remind me of this fact.
My three and four-putt woes are in no ways a fault of the game, as the new “precision putting” feature, where you use the same putter regardless of the distance of the putt, is pretty easy to use. You basically line up your putt and pull back on the joystick to hit the ball. My main problem is that I rush through it and don’t take enough time lining things up. My lack of patience is probably why I don’t have any desire to play real golf either.

If you’ve played past incarnations of the Tiger Woods game you know what to expect – there aren’t a whole lot of massive changes to this year’s game. Now, I reviewed the game on the PS3 so I can’t comment on the Wii version of it (unless Nintendo wants to send me a free Wii system of course – holler at me Nintendo!). Most of the major changes this year for the XBox/PS3 version take place online, where you can play live tournaments with real-time weather conditions and even play real-world tournaments as they happen, matching up your scores with the pros. The U.S. Open at Bethpage Black is one of six new courses in the game, bringing the total number of different links up to 16. Another fun feature is the “dynamic attributes” of your created golfer. Depending on how you do during a round, your various skills will increase or decline. And Tiger’s long-time coach Hank Haney is in the game to give you drills to improve your skills.

The actual gameplay is pretty easy and intuitive, and with four different difficulty levels it is easy for anyone to pick it up and master it pretty quickly. The game pretty much offers all that you could hope for in a golf game. But, with that being said, it still is just a golf game, so non-golf fans might get bored with it pretty quick. As an added bonus, if you buy the game you’ll get a free subscription to Golf World or Golf Digest magazines (unless you live outside of the U.S. like me).
Now, excuse me while I go and practice my putting so announcer Scott Van Pelt stops making fun of me.

Buy it here:

My fellow Canadians can get it here:

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10

He Blew His Mind Out

July 27, 2009

Stephon Marbury is sabotaging any other story ideas that could possibly come into my head (as well as also sabotaging my attempts to go to bed at a decent time at night). Starbury is sleeping right now so I have a chance to write something quick. How do I know he is asleep? Because he is still living in front of his webcam.

This is society’s obsession with voyeuristic, reality television at its worst. If you haven’t caught any of the surreal scene that has gone down over the past few days, you’ve truly missed out. Most of it has involved a wild-eyed, shirtless Marbury rambling incoherently, getting his head shaved and dancing to music. The parts I caught of this train derailment last night involved Marbury sitting in a darkened room, blasting the same Drake song over and over and dancing while doing the #1 sign with his hand. When he did speak, he went into extensive details on how to wash a woman’s hair. Oh, and a few nights ago there were more than a few tears.

What has become obviously apparent is that this man needs help. He is in the throes of a mental breakdown of some sorts, with many speculating that it is chemically induced. I’d be called a hater by Starbury supporters for saying that, but this is based on facts, not hate. His emotions are all over the map, he is rambling about nonsense, his eyes are bugged out, and he doesn’t seem to sleep too much. All pretty much warning signs that something is amiss. The boys at SLAM were trying to convince me a few days ago that Marbury has always been like this, but that is not very believable at this point (plus NYC tends to be overly protective of their basketball products).

Regardless, someone in the Starbury inner circle need to step in and stop this tragic scene. While this is highly entertaining (in a voyeuristic way) for the viewers, it amounts to nothing more than career suicide on Marbury’s part. Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed as much in a column over the weekend – NBA executives are paying attention to this and are not in the least bit impressed. The free agent point guard was going to have a hard enough time getting himself signed as it was, even before this gong show. There are a few positions in sports that being a little loony is a good thing – hockey goaltender and closing pitcher are a few that come to mind – but NBA point guard is not one of them. Especially a 32-year-old who has a history of being a disruptive force on a team, shoots too much and still thinks he’s a star.

This whole saga is tragic to say the least. Marbury is in no way a bad person – he is notably charitable and his cheap shoe line – Starbury – is a godsend for kids from low income families. Perhaps he isn’t the best teammate or husband (see: backseat of truck, banging Knicks intern) but his heart seems to be in the right place. Which makes his descent into dementia a shame. With that being said, I better run – he’s bound to wake up soon.

"They’re Trying To Put Me In A Box"

July 25, 2009

Stephon Marbury continues to outdo himself. I never would have thought I’d write about him twice within a span of a couple of days, but I can’t resist. In case you haven’t heard, he recently did a 24-hour straight show on Ustream, which was as loony and contradicting as you could have hoped. If you missed the stream (like I did), here is a great site that transcribes most of the action along with links to the actual video. Some of my personal favorite lines:

“I’m going to set up a foundation for the world. I’m gonna take the money and start building cities all over the world. I’m a comet. My man told me I’m a comet. I said “I’m a comet?”

“We don’t have Ustream doing the feeds. They’re just doing the feeds.”

It’s truly mindblowing stuff. Enjoy.

Humpty Dunkty

July 24, 2009

LeBron James sat on a wall,
LeBron James had a great fall,
You admitted you smoked pot,
Stored the dunk tape to rot,
Can all The King’s advisers,
And all The King’s men,
Put LeBron’s reputation back together again?

P.S. – Don’t worry LeBron, its not like you got accused of rape or anything, you’ll bounce back (now concludes The Hoops Manifesto’s Daily Kobe Bryant Bashing Comment).

Staring At The Sun

July 23, 2009

I know this is my second video post of the day, but I couldn’t pass up the newly uncovered LEBRON GETTING DUNKED ON VIDEO!!!! Like I said previously, everyone gets dunked on and LeBron and Nike just made this a bigger deal than it should have been. So, without further ado.

Crazy Is As Crazy Does

July 23, 2009

We all should count our blessings and be thankful for the presence of Stephon Marbury in the basketball universe. No, not because of his on-court exploits – I’ve always felt his nickname “Starbury” was pretty ironic. No, we all need to give thanks and praises for Marbury’s too numerous to count crazy, bizarre quotes. The man was at it again this week, making a rambling appearance on Ustream, whose highlights you can read here. My personal favourite from this latest monumental appearance: “Can I rap? Yeah, I can rap. But I don’t. Rap is just fast talking”.

As a tribute to the endlessly entertaining man known as Starbury, I wanted to post THE GREATEST INTERVIEW DONE BY AN ATHLETE OF ALL-TIME. If you’ve already seen the video, it is worth checking out again. Make sure you watch it in full. Reminds me of a punch-drunk boxer trying to give an interview. I especially enjoy when he talks about kissing his sister.

I Still Love You

July 21, 2009

I’ve been real busy doing some articles for the upcoming Athlon NBA preview, so I haven’t had much time and energy for any meaningful posts on this here blog. Just wanted to let you that you are not forgotten and a more substantial post will be coming in the next few days. Until then, enjoy this video of the Dream 10 Welterweight Grand Prix finals straight from Japan.


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Feets Don’t Fail Me Now

July 18, 2009

Not surprisingly, it was announced today that Yao Ming will probably miss all of next season after undergoing foot surgery. Not surprising, but still disappointing news for Rockets fans and the millions of Yao supporters worldwide.

I called for the Rockets to cut ties with Yao and Tracy McGrady ages ago (well, maybe not ages), and this certainly hasn’t changed my stance. Yao still has $34 million left on his contract when you include the player option he has for 2010/11 and the Rockets should do all they can to get out from under his enormous shadow. While the Rockets won’t appear to be very compassionate buying a guy out of his contract while he is injured, they need to worry about fixing their franchise. McGrady and Yao are two huge albatrosses weighing the franchise down, and they must do all that they can to rid themselves of them. Yao wasn’t reliable enough even before this latest setback and even if he is able to get back on the court, it may only be a matter of time before the other shoe drops (in this case, the other foot breaks).

This is eerily similar to what happened to another legendary NBA big man, Bill Walton. The Big Redhead was one of the greatest college players of all-time and was on his way to being the same in the pros until fragile feet zapped him of his powers. Basketball is so demanding on your feet it’s surprising more players don’t have problems with their puppies (maybe today’s high tech shoes really are worth their money). In Yao’s case, his size probably compounds the problem, as each time he leaves the floor his feet take the brunt of the impact of his 300-plus pounds as he lands again.

While I’m no doctor, I have serious doubts whether Yao’s feet will ever be trustworthy enough for him to be a considered a franchise player. The Rockets can’t afford to wait around a year or even two to see if he is able to make it back. Its more than just a burden on their salary cap – it is also an emotional burden for everyone involved in the organization, including Yao. The waiting and hoping that he will be healthy again puts too much pressure on both the player and the organization. They weren’t winning any titles with Yao anyhow, so the time is now to cut ties and start rebuilding their franchise.

And on more cheerful note, if you haven’t heard the stories of the adventures of Mike Miller and his pet monkey, then you need to right now.


Tickets To All NBA Games

Fight Night Round 4 Review

July 17, 2009
I stopped being a boxing fan quite a few years ago. I enjoyed the sport back in the days when every Mike Tyson PPV was an event due to his boxing, and not biting, skills. Plus when my hometown hero Lennox Lewis ruled the roost I obviously paid attention. But the million different title holders in a million different weight classes and the rise of MMA pretty much squashed any enthusiasm I had for the sweet science.

So it was with a little trepidation that I popped in a copy of Fight Night Round 4 on my PS3 to review. The fact that I love the UFC Undisputed game made me even more doubtful that Fight Night would be able to hold my attention for long. As is usually the case, my concerns were unnecessary. Surprisingly, I love Fight Night as much as I love UFC Undisputed, perhaps even more. When I played an earlier version of the game years ago I found it difficult to master using the joystick on the controller to throw punches. Now it seems so natural, I can’t imagine button mashing instead. You want to throw a right jab, you push the controller up and to the right. A right hook, you hook the joystick up and to the right. Pretty simple stuff.

While the graphics aren’t as good as UFC Undisputed, they aren’t bad either. Most of the classic fighters that are in the game look pretty realistic, and if you want to create your own fighter you can even upload photos onto the game – nice touch. As you probably know if you’ve seen the commercials (or from the box for the game) Fight Night allows you to do “dream matchups” pitting some of the sports legends against one another, regardless of weight class or era. So if you’ve always wondered who would win, Tyson or Ali, you can now find out (sort of, in a virtual way).

My favourite part of the game is the legacy mode, where you create your own fighter and try to rise through the ranks to become a champion. Or if you can’t be bothered to create your own pugilist, you can use one of the legends in the game, with their skills stripped down, and try to bring them back to the top.

After playing Fight Night Round 4 for a while you will feel like you’ve actually boxed for 10 rounds. My eyes are bleary and my thumb sore as I attempt to write this post.

Grab yourself a copy here:

Amazon.com – PS3: Fight Night: Round 4

Amazon.com – XBox: Fight Night: Round 4

Amazon.ca – PS3: Fight Night Round 4

Amazon.ca – XBox: Fight Night Round 4

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