Denzel Washington turns 60 today, and in his lifetime he’s played a lot of badasses. From Jake Shuttlesworth in He Got Game to Det. Alonzo Harris in Training Day, his characters have had a rough-and-tumble in history that’s given the Washington a reputation for being one of the grizzliest actors in the game. However, alongside that, he’s also been stacking his filmography with roles that’ve required of him inspiring speeches, self-sacrifice, and subtle sweetness, the kinds of roles that’ve essentially made him a kind of Hollywood father figure.
Who wouldn’t want an old man who could put you into place in one profound speech or risk his entire life just to ensure your safety? In celebration of his birthday, here are five times you wished Denzel Washington was your dad.
That time he brought together a segregated football team in Remember the Titans (2000).
Tired of the interracial fighting that’s destroying his football team, Washington’s Coach Boone wakes up all the players at training camp, runs their asses to Gettysburg, and lays out the pettiness of their prejudice. It’s so effective that it’ll even make you consider how much of an asshole you’ve been.
That time he almost gave up his life for his dying son in John Q (2002).
As the titular character, John Q. holds up an entire hospital when his son’s heart transplant is rejected by his insurance. When the doctors inform him they’re out of options, he offers to take his own life so he can give up his heart. Perfect, albeit absolutely insane, role model.
That time he helped a little girl get over her anxiety in Man on Fire (2004).
As a hired bodyguard, John Creasy (Washington) isn’t obligated to entertain the little girl he’s tasked to protect. Yet he softens his thick skin and does so anyway, here spooking her out of the fear that’s keeping her from achieving her potential as a competitive swimmer. Just imagine you as a nine-year-old, with your dad championing you this hard. You probably would’ve competed in the Olympics by now.
That time he set his personal beliefs aside and stood up against injustice in Philadelphia (1993).
Washington plays homophobic attorney, Joe Miller, hired to defend a man who was fired from his job for suffering with AIDS. Although his messed-up morals conflict with his job, he recognizes the injustice in the case and makes it his mission to bring the jury to this realization. Think about how awesome this kind of thinking would’ve been for you and your dad’s relationship during your goth phase.
That time he owned up to all of his personal failings and used it as a teaching tool to help others in Flight (2013).
Being celebrated for saving everyone’s life on plane that you were too intoxicated to fly in the first place is a huge blow to your entire being. How can you have ego after? Honor? Dignity? Here, as Whip Whitaker Sr., Washington gives a speech that exposes his vulnerability, admits his grave mistakes, and encourages his fellow inmates to learn from him. It’s like the convo you’ve always wanted to have with your dad around the campfire, except in prison.
The Lohan women—Dina, Lindsay, and Ali—appear to be distancing themselves from issue-plagued daddy Michael by all changing their names. Dina explains that Lindsay, first of all, will just be doing the one-name thing from now on. She says “Lindsay is dropping the Lohan and just going by Lindsay.” We wonder if that would have made any difference in Lindsay’s E-Trade lawsuit? That was the whole basis for it, after all. Her lawyer said at the time “Many celebrities are known by one name only.” Usually those celebs have a really unusual name like Madonna or Cher, but whatever, Lindsay is joining them, normal first name be damned!
As for Dina and Ali, Mama Lohan says, “Me and Ali will be officially changing our last names back to my maiden name, Sullivan.” No word on whether this has to do with Michael’s latest arrest for domestic violence, we’re sure it’s just a culmination of many years of his hard work tarnishing the name. Of course, name changes don’t often stick, just ask just Prince and the Triboro Bridge. We’re certain that no one will ever refer to them as anything besides Lohan, but we can’t fault them for trying.
This years trade deadline was an exciting one, with more moves than I can ever remember. Some were good, some were bad and some were just downright ugly. Lets break them down and see where the fantasy impact lies and what you should know with these players moving forward.
Knicks send Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, the Knicks’ 2014 first-round draft pick, the Warriors’ 2012 second-round pick, the Warriors’ 2013 second-round pick and $3 million in cash to the Nuggets for Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman.
The only real value change here is for Felton and Ty Lawson. Both are going to be a timeshare situation and will end up canceling each other out. I would personally look to cut both for someone like Chase Budinger or Luke Ridnour at PG. Gallinari and Chandler will both still have starting fantasy value, but Chandler looks more like a utility start whereas Gallinari is a full SF start.
Celtics send Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Thunder for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic
This is going to be one of the most talked about trades this season by far. Given that Perkins is going to miss 2-3 weeks with a sprained MCL and he still has to gel with his new team, He is still a double-double threat every time he is on the floor, but he could see sub 30 minute nights the rest of this season, so his value might take a slight dip. Green put up an empty seven points in 18 minutes in his first game with the Celtics. He will get better as he figures his timing and spacing out on the floor, but it will be a bumpy ride. Krstic is going to split minutes with Glen Davis and Shaquille ONeal, so his value is limited. If you are desperate at center, you can give him a look. Robinson is going to hold similar value with the Thunder as he did with the Celtics and shouldnt be owned in fantasy leagues unless Russell Westbrook is injured.
Celtics send Semih Erden and Luke Harangody to the Cavaliers for a 2nd Round Pick
Erden had been impressive this season with his inside presence, but he needs to improve his overall game and bulk up a bit this off-season. Harangody doesnt matter in fantasy circles, even in the deepest of leagues, so dont worry about him. Given how sad of a team the Cavaliers are right now, Erden might be a sneaky waiver wire add-and-stash. I am going on record right now and saying he has a 50-50 shot to start before the season is over.
Bobcats send Gerald Wallace to the Trail Blazers for Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham, two 1st round picks, and Sean Marks
Why did the Trail Blazers have to go out and create an even worse logjam at the wing by adding Wallace to a lineup that already feature Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum and Brandon Roy? Do they not know we are trying to win a fantasy title here! Wallace takes a fantasy hit with this move, but he still does enough with the other stats to keep him on the roster. Roy is going to be off and on as the minutes get figured out and he comes back from his injury. If you have been stashing him, you are in for a rollercoaster fantasy ride. Matthews and Batum both take a fantasy hit as the Blazers have basically set up a SG/SF by committee and they all cancel each other out. Gerald Henderson moves into the starting SG spot for the Bobcats and should be picked up in the 83 percent of leagues he is available in. Przybilla, Cunningham and Marks can all be ignored.
Rockets send Shane Battier to the Grizzlies for Hasheem Thabeet and a 1st Round Pick
Thabeet is a long-term project that has a 90 percent chance of never working out. Im going on record right now as saying that Thabeet is going to go down as a major draft bust and I wouldnt come within 10 feet of picking him up. Battier is a borderline player to own in most formats and pretty much holds the same value with the Grizzlies. Look for something in the range of 25-30 MPG with on and off nights from him. He is someone that will be added and dropped many more times in your league before the season is over.
Rockets send Aaron Brooks to the Suns for Goran Dragic
Brooks will back up Steve Nash for the Suns, just as he backed up Kyle Lowry for the Rockets. Back-ups dont generally hold fantasy value, so leave him on the wire. Chase Budinger is the real winner here as he moves into the starting SF spot and should be picked up in all formats. Lowry solidifies his spot, but his value doesnt really change going forward. Dragic is going to have to earn his minutes with the Suns and I dont want him on my fantasy squad until I see a clear reason to add him. Chuck Hayes was being touted as a sell-high candidate by some of the main-stream fantasy sights before the deadline, but he just got a big boost in value with the addition of Thabeet and the loss of Dragic. Since he is only owned in 39 percent of leagues, Id look to add him if you can.
Clippers send Baron Davis and a 2011 first-round pick to the Cavaliers for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon.
This is the worst trade of the deadline in my personal opinion. Davis clashed with Head Coach Byron Scott while both were with the Hornets. The secondary problem is that Davis has a long history of not being able to get excited enough to produce and he was just getting happy about throwing ally-oops to Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Williams wasnt happy about being traded, but I bet you dollars to doughnuts that all changes when he realizes that he gets to play with Griffin instead of Antawn Jamison and J.J. Hickson. When Williams comes back, he will be worth adding provided his head is on right.
Sunday night Troy Murphy reached a buy-out agreement with the Warriors. As part of the agreement, Murphy can only sign with an Eastern Conference team, so look for him to sign with the Celtics, Heat or Magic before Tuesday so he will be eligible for the NBA playoffs.
Mike Bibby is expected to meet with the Wizards on Monday regarding a buyout. The Miami Heat have been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Bibby, but shots there are limited to say the least. If you are desperate for a PG and Bibby is on the wire, give him a look and pray this happens.
START ‘EM PG Luke Ridnour: Jonny Flynn has pretty much fallen off the fantasy map and Ridnour is now a must-start going forward. He is capable of putting up starter numbers for your fantasy squad and I wouldnt hesitate to add him if you are in one of the 46 percent of leagues he is available in.
SG Landry Fields: Fields is on a team that is on the rise. Defenses are going to be focusing more on Melo and Amare, so Fields will see more open shots and that is good news for fantasy owners. He is still available in 32 percent of leagues, so he just might be available in yours. He isnt going to be a stud, but those with Mike Dunleavy or O.J. Mayo would get more use out of Fields.
SF Chase Budinger: Over the past week Budinger has averaged 22.3 points and 6.0 rebounds, good enough for a top 20 fantasy ranking over that time period. Budinger is one of the hottest waiver wire adds right now and I would sprint to add him.
PF Boris Diaw: After all the fallout from the Gerald Wallace move was done, Diaw was a winner because he had one less player to share touches with. The problem is that he went out and put up two points on 1-of-6 shooting with three rebounds, two assists and two steals in 29 minutes against the Kings on Friday night. What that does make him though is a great buy-low candidate from skittish owners.
C Marcin Gortat: I am going to keep pumping Gortat, just as I did with Ryan Anderson, because not enough people are paying attention to him. Over the past two weeks he has averaged nearly a double-double (14.0 points and 9.6 rebounds) vs. the 7.8 points and 4.2 rebounds a night Robin Lopez puts up. Even if Lopez starts, Gortat is the center to own from the Suns.
SIT ‘EM PG Ty Lawson and Raymond Felton: Its not that either one cant or wont have a good game. Rather, you dont know which one will win the PG battle and both played terribly in an overtime loss where they both saw 34 minutes. Like I said above, Lawson and Felton are likely to cancel each other out since you never know when either will have a good game or who will get the majority of the minutes.
SG O.J. Mayo: Mayo was almost traded to the Pacers at the deadline, but the deal fell apart and Mayo is back to being fantasy waiver wire fodder. Could someone ANYONE please explain why he is still owned in 73 percent of leagues despite averaging the emptiest 11.5 PPG you can average in 20:30 MPG over the past month?
SF – Carlos Delfino: Delfino is the starter with the Bucks, but he is shooting just 37.7 percent from the field for the season. Over the past two weeks he is putting up 14.8 points and 6.2 rebounds a night, but his shooting kills you in leagues that count FG, FT or 3-point percentages.
PF Rudy Gay: The problem with playing an 82 game season is that many fantasy owners take the Ronco rotisserie approach and just set it and forget it. Gay is out for at least the next month, meaning even if he does return in exactly four weeks, he will only play in roughly 12 games. Knowing that, he is still started in nearly 50 percent of leagues and owned in 80 percent of leagues. It is safe to just cut him loose.
C DeAndre Jordan: Chris Kaman is back and ready to take back his starting job at center. That is obviously bad news for Jordan since he is averaging just 5.6 rebounds and 4.9 points a night over the past two weeks. If you still own Jordan, and arent in an 16-team or deeper league, go ahead and cut him loose.
James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, N.M., and has been playing fantasy sports since 1997. In addition to writing the Timberwolves Fantasy Forecast, Morris also writes fantasy articles for the Boston Celtics, and Indiana Pacers, as well as the NFL fantasy forecast for the Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Arizona Cardinals. You can also find him on Twitter or get him on Facebook for all your fantasy sports updates.
Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace, Jeff Green, Carl Landry and Kendrick Perkins all switched addresses before today’s trade deadline, and all of them will still enter the Toyota Center as visitors.
The Rockets now own four first-round picks in a drained draft where franchises seem determined to avoid picking first. I was going to center my column about Daryl Morey’s inactivity around a Hasheem Thabeet joke. Yeah, they were even desperate enough to inquire about the seven-foot stiff with less game than Milos in the American Airlines commercials.
I then read the Rockets had indeed traded for Thabeet. Once I confirmed that Ashton Kutcher was not involved in the negotiation process, I needed a few hours to digest a stunning haul. Morey also acquired Demarre Carroll, Goran Dragic and a handful of first rounders.
The Thabeet-Dragic transactions qualify as “stunning” because I am not sure Morey could have predicted his Feb. 24 would end this way. His wish list began with Anthony, Williams and Chris Paul last summer. It ends, for now, with a former second overall selection who takes the concepts of “project” and “fixer-upper” to new levels and a Slovenian point guard with game-changing faculties.
Yeah, it was that kind of deadline day for the Rockets. I planned my response for most of the afternoon and remain unsure about it.
Houston departed Cleveland a dreary, ductile defensive team and will host New Jersey on Saturday with the same lethal flaws. They could not guard anybody before. With the roster’s top perimeter stopper shipped to Memphis, the defenseless kids will not guard anybody now.
A 28-31 squad will not experience the sudden awakening necessary for a playoff push. The only difference after a flurry of moves: the Rockets will teeter and stumble toward the lottery with Dragic and Thabeet instead of Brooks and Battier.
Morey did not find a taker for Jared Jeffries with anything valuable to offer. He pushed Charlotte to unload Gerald Wallace and tried to pry Omer Asik from Chicago. The Blazers swooped in with the extra picks needed to satiate the payroll-slashing Bobcats, and the Bulls refused to part with their backup center.
He was not going to give away Courtney Lee, his best remaining two-way performer, without getting back Asik’s considerable upside.
Battier and Brooks, in particular, carried their cell phones everywhere as if they were awaiting a childbirth notification. They never lost sight of them and kept the devices handy for when the inevitable news came.
Both reacted with professionalism when it did. Battier told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal he wanted to bring elusive playoff success to the city. Brooks said in a Houston radio interview that the opportunity to play behind Steve Nash, “a legend,” floored and excited him.
The Rockets will miss what both brought when at their best, but no trade was going to make this morose, comatose unit worse. It will take some effort to top the face plants at home against Philadelphia and Minnesota. They won in Cleveland but not without allowing the Cavaliers to rack up 119 points.
Thabeet has a lot of work to do to become a serviceable, NBA-level big. The Grizzlies paid the Rockets to take him with a draft pick, so they could wash themselves of such an embarrassing draft blunder. He can block shots and bump exit signs with his forehead, but he cannot defend without fouling or score on a bedridden grandmother.
The Rockets were desperate for size, and his 7’3″ frame will, as Houston Chronicle writer Jonathan Feigen suggested, make them look more impressive in hotel lobbies. The goal, though, was to look more impressive on the court.
Am I skeptical Thabeet can develop into a rotation cog? Put it this way: If Hakeem Olajuwon transforms this kid into a player, provided they work together again, someone should ask Dream about a cancer cure, the meaning of life and the key to world peace.
Jean de la Bruyere, a 17th century French satirist, once said, “Out of difficulties grow miracles.” Should we plant the beanstalk now?
Dragic, on the other hand, proved in Phoenix he could ball with anyone. He hung 23 fourth-quarter points on the Spurs in a road playoff game. Witnessing that shocking eruption live may taint my glowing review of the Slovenian reserve. A 6’3″ guard punked future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan with a variation of the Dream Shake.
All Suns coach Alvin Gentry could do that night was slap the scorer’s table and yell with irrepressible glee, “Jesus Christ!” All Spurs fans could do was grumble that this guy was demolishing the home squad in ways Charles Barkley, Olajuwon, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Amar’e Stoudemire never did.
I should not have been surprised Lon Babby jettisoned the young floor general once touted as Nash’s heir apparent. He did, after all, try to replace Stoudemire with Hedo Turkoglu.
Dragic can finish at the rim with either hand, plays aggressive, if frantic, defense, hits the long ball at a respectable rate and sometimes approximates his former teammate when delivering pick-and-roll passes. Brooks could not do any of that, but his agility with the ball and penchant for sticking triples from every angle confounded opponents.
He suffered an ankle injury in San Antonio and missed the ensuing 23 contests. He swore today he put his tenuous contract situation behind him long ago and abandoned his resentment that Kyle Lowry made millions more and usurped his accustomed starting role. It was clear he had not recovered from the toll of his first major career injury.
Brooks landed a fresh start in Phoenix, while Dragic can build on the role and approach he honed with Gentry.
Battier’s departure should hurt fans most because his plane ticket back to Memphis cements Houston’s recent championship push as a failure. Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady’s ailments made rebuilding probable. This move makes it official.
Morey would not trade the 32-year-old froward if he thought the Rockets were anywhere close to a third title. I hope Chris Wallace does the right thing and lets Battier walk to a contender after renting him for the Grizzlies’ transient playoff run.
The anti-Morey dissenters will now lambaste him for swapping Battier and Rudy Gay in 2006 and then teaming Battier with Gay years later. Such is the life of a general manager tasked with reconstructing a fallen wannabe empire.
The Rockets need to turn those draft picks into something valuable and do it pronto, even if lottery protections and other restrictions—Memphis surrendered a 2013 selection—complicate the equation. That Morey also pursued Jonny Flynn proves his options were limited.
I wrote this Wednesday night on my laptop, before the Chronicle and other outlets lowered the boom.
“Daryl Morey pushed Charlotte to unload Gerald Wallace and considered dealing for Omer Asik, draft picks and several other project players. He even—and I’m not kidding here—asked about Hasheem Thabeet.”
The joke was on me.
A guy averaging two points, two rebounds and two fouls for his career, which was highlighted by a D-League stint, will need to make the spectacular leap from space-taker to useful if Morey wants any return on his, albeit cheap, investment.
I should also mention that Dragic, for all his potential, posted a putrid plus/minus rating when he played alongside other Suns reserves this season, which is what he will often do in Houston. His seven-point, three-assist average will not remind fans here of John Lucas.
Carroll, a 6’8″ three-four hybrid, shone best for NBA scouts in scrimmages, not individual workouts. His average lateral quickness but improved handle as a developing slasher make him a mystery. I need to see more of him to render a proper judgment.
At what position does he fit best? Is he an adequate wing? If he cannot check small forwards, can he defend post players as he did in college?
If nothing else, today’s trades should open up plentiful minutes for Patrick Patterson and Terrence Williams. It would behoove Rick Adelman and Morey for those talented, simmering-in-the-crock-pot youngsters to sweat and smell NBA competition for at least 20 minutes per night.
Right now, Williams finds himself glued to the bench. Get him in the game, Rick.
Williams’ situation, though, mirrors the Rockets’. They keep wishing and waiting for the big break that will make them relevant again. That watershed moment did not arrive today.
Say this for Thabeet: He does indeed look good in a hotel lobby. He has to look good somewhere, right?