Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dr. Pepper, Sunglasses, and Herpes

You remember that time about a year ago when I pointed out that weird thing where former Virginia Tech stand out A.D. Vassallo was desperately asking every basketball player he could find on Twitter about what to do since he went undrafted? Of course you do! Who could forget?

Well, did you ever wonder what happened to him? It doesn't matter! I'm telling you anyway! Don't worry; it's a happy ending. Last season, Vassallo was great for Paris-Levallois where he was fourth in the French league in scoring with 17.7 points per game. He also put together some pretty respectable all-round stats, while shooting the ball damn well. He led his team to the play-offs and basically played himself into the Euroleague by earning a spot on ASVEL Villeurbanne, which was apparently the once and future crown jewel of French club basketball these days. Tony Parker owns 20%! So, well done A.D. Vassallo, I'm glad your Twitter desperation turned out okay for you!

The real question: Why was I so curious about A.D. Vassallo's fate? Well, it's because I learned something silly about him and I had to share it with you: According to ShamSports, A.D. Vassallo was arrested during college for shoplifting a 12-pack of Dr. Pepper. Wow. This is beyond hilarious.

This brings me to the main point: ShamSports is amazing! I found that fun factoid about Mr. Vassallo while perusing a page dedicated to tracking the legal troubles of all the players in or on the fringe of the NBA. It is comprehensive and totally great. Check it out! So far, my favorite entry has to be Juwan Howard's page, which details how he was accused of stealing a pair of expensive sunglasses as well as knowingly spreading genital herpes. Twice. That's the kind of thing you'd only expect out of a dude like Troy Murphy.

I had always relied on ShamSports for the amazingly detailed salary information, but I had overlooked all the oddball stuff like the criminal histories page. I will not make that mistake again. It is a special delight for the obsessive compulsive freak-show fan to go through every team salary page and check the mouse-over of ever single player's name in case there is a hilarious hidden joke about said player's contract. Even better are the player cards for each and every NBA player and fringe prospect which feature lots of useful information and then an anagram of the player's name. Example: A.D. Vassallo = "Oval salads".

I know this sounds stupid, but anagrams are the best. As a reference, it's indisputably one of the very best basketball sites there is and the writing on the blog is sweet, sweet heroin to the overzealous basketball fan. It's a great place to find out what happened to players like (completely pulled-out-of-the-air example here) A.D. Vassallo. In these slow days of early August, ShamSports is a lifesaver to idiot obsessives who want to know more about Beno Udrih's brother and what the hell is up with Nene's contract. So, long story short, this one's for you, idiot obsessives, fans of anagrams, and people who like to steal Dr. Pepper.

If you are less interested in stealing Dr. Pepper and more interested in how Channing Frye spent his off-season, click here. Likewise, if you are less interested in anagrams and more interested in my drunk girlfriend's reactions to The Decision, you can click here. If you'd rather have my drunk girlfriend's reaction to the NBA Draft, that is here. If you want serious and trenchant analysis... well, it's a big Internet.


  1. A total of 5,171 people were observed simultaneously by two independent observers, and the inter-rater reliability use of sunglasses was excellent (Cohen's kappa = 0.83). Overall, 33.0% of people wore sunglasses when observed.

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