Annual NBA Cheese Dips
With the regular season done and my beloved Sacramento Kings poised to swagger deep into the playoffs, it’s time for my annual Cheese Dip Awards. Lucky winners receive a misting bottle of Havarti whiz, a free spicy personals ad, and two free copies of the CN&R!

“No he didn’t” award: Goes to the Nets’ Kenyon Martin, whose in-your-mug dunks reminded fans of the Dominique days. Close runner-up was this year’s slam champion Jason Richardson (Warriors), bringing some hops to Oaktown. I caught two of his best dunks live against the Pistons; one was a 360-breakaway, the other an oft-replayed one-handed under-the-rim reverse-side slam. Precious.

That ‘70s award: He’s a pesky little mother with the ball, but Steve Nash sports some greasy, BMX-winged hair straight outta the ‘70s movie Breaking Away. I’m surprised he doesn’t arrive on court riding an old taped-up 10-speed.

“Gods and Monsters” award: Virginia Union product Ben Wallace shocked everybody in Motown this season, rebounding like a behemoth monster truck. Leave him alone, he’s eating.

Burger King friendship award: Goes to fatback Shaq-Fu, who just missed the center for the Bulls with a gawky roundhouse punch. With the force of an elephant behind it, the blow would have surely evaporated skull—but we all know basketball fights are like watching stoned flamingos dance.

Best Euro import: Although I’d like to go with Sto-jacka-bitch, this one belongs to the blond bomber, Dirk Nowitski—that Aryan ham with in-the-gym range and moves to the rim. I hate you.

Vulgar display of cash award: The guy who made billions on the Internet so that well-to-do white kids could download the latest fecal matter passing for music these days, Marc Cuban bought some great players in the middle of the season. All he’s missing is a large spiral lollipop à la young Monty Burns.

Gandalf award: Course, this one goes to a true Wizard—M.J. The guy with “the most recognizable face on the planet” came back, however ill advised, and proved he can still ball near the top—instilling a professional attitude in the Washington organization.

The Memorial Vinnie “Microwave” Johnson Award: Sacto’s own Bobby Jackson, a little guard who rebounds among giants and pushes the ball like a halfback whenever he’s in the game. They don’t call him Action Jackson for nuthin.

You got punked award: Pound for pound, the Charlotte Hornets’ Baron Davis has the capability to embarrass just about anybody with his handles and explosiveness. The Hornets are my darkhorse in the East. You go boy!

Race relations award: To Kenny, Chuck and Ernie, the fun bunch whose barstool banter and antics made them the three kings of sports commentary. Baseball/golf/football commentary puts you to sleep quicker than a lethal injection, while these guys are better than most comedians. Barkley for Bama governor!

Weekly props
1. eX-Girls
2. Poker night
3. African drummers at Moxie’s last Saturday
4. Frank Black at Harlow’s (5/17)
5. Dogtown and Z-Boys