THE FANTASY DISH By: David Kovsky, Pistonsforum.com Staff Writer Edition I (11-4-2006) Welcome to the first of what will become a weekly installment of The Fantasy Dish. It's been a while since we last spoke and I didn't want to wait until Sunday to deliver the goods on the start of the 2005-2006 season, so here is an early edition of The Fantasy Dish. In the future, look for my column to be posted every Monday with my take on what just happened in the world of fantasy hoops and what to look forward to in the coming weeks and months. As I get ready for the first weekend of the 2005-2006 NBA season, I thought it would be a good time to recapitulate where I have been for the last week, what I have been doing and how the young fantasy season is starting to take shape. FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2005 I spent most of the afternoon on Friday staring at the clock. Saturday was “auction” day for my fantasy league and 10 of the 12 teams were gathering for the epic event in New York City. I couldn’t wait. For those of you who don’t know what a fantasy auction is, let me briefly explain. My league has 12 teams with 12 roster spots. We assigned each team $240 that could be used to bid on any player that gets introduced but at least $1 must remain available per position to fill out your roster. Drafting players in this method eliminates the luck-factor of getting one of the top picks in the draft. This was my league’s first year doing an auction, so as you might expect, nerves were frayed, emotions were high and the last few weeks have been spent trying to set artificial market values in the hopes of duping your opponent. I arrived at Penn Station around 9:00 p.m. My good friend Pro Fantasy and I more or less went straight to McSorley’s Old Ale House to get some day-before-the-auction drinking started. What a place! McSorley's, it is an original 1850's pub in Manhattan that serves two drinks. Light beer or dark beer. And, they serve them in cute little pairs. Trust me, before you know it, you have had 16 beer and the saw dust on the floor starts looking really soft. Ten teams were represented at the bar and we all pounded light beers by the dozen. Who was going to take LeBron, Garnett, AK-47? Nobody would show their hand. Would anybody risk a roster spot on Amare, especially after Yahoo eliminated the injured list? I was pumped! SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2005 Auction Day finally arrived. Scheduled start time was noon which meant there was ample time to wake up, get a cup of coffee, pick up some food and start working on a few cases of beer. By noon, my friends’ apartment at 14th and Avenue A was abuzz with the whirl of laptop fans and bellicose taunts being launched from one side of the room to the other with the hope that they would throw off someone's auction tactics. We stuck giant post-it notes on the wall with each team's name and space to write in the players selected and the team's remaining money. Even as the auction was afoot, predictions were abound, and excitement, oh the excitement. One task remained before the auction started. We had to determine the player introduction order by drawing names out of a hat. First name, David Kovsky. I got to introduce first! I stared down my nemesis, The Kaiser, and immediately put Zaza Pachulia on the table. Even before I got to New York, my number one goal was to get The Kaiser to overbid his players. I knew he wanted to get into the action quickly and sure enough, I swindled him into dropping $18 on Pachulia. A great pick, but way too early and for way to much money. After one player, my nemesis had $222 dollars and Pachulia, everybody else $240. It was a great day that featured Caron Butler going for $25, LeBron for $86 and Bonzi Wells for $1. In the end, I drafted well. I successfully purchased the services of: Antawn Jamison, Shawn Marion, Elton Brand, Brad Miller, Chris Paul, Andrew Bogut, T.J. Ford, Bonzi Wells, Cuttino Mobley, Raef LaFrentz, and Nene. My nemesis dressed like a clown for Halloween that night. I berated him over and over again about his purchase of Marcus “Cotton” Camby for over $30. Together with his costume, the assault was relentless. Oh how karma has a funny way of showing its ugly face on the Nuggets first night of action and on my roster. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2005 After some obligatory meet-and-greets, I headed back to Philadelphia with Pro Fantasy. Literally the entire two and a half hour commute home was spent analyzing the auction. The pros, the cons, the successes and the failures. We both came to the same, immutable conclusion. We wanted to do another auction immediately. Still two days and two nights until the start of the new season. I tried to watch Desperate Housewives, you know, to see what it is Tony Parker gets to enjoy and what I miss out on. That show has become awful lately. Seriously, it took a nose dive with that whole lock-the-crazy-man-in-the-basement story line. Fortunately, it was a rerun so I just stared at my new players for a while. Then, around 10 o'clock I called Comcast to order League Pass. Great move. Called them back five minutes later to make sure the order went through. You can't be too sure, right? MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2005 Halloween. All together, Monday was a pretty uneventful day. I went to work, went to school, set my lineup for Tuesday night and watched some reality TV. The Real O.C., also known as MTV's Laguna Beach has been on fire lately. The tryst between Promiscuous Jessica, Playa Jason and Dateable LC was money. Best part about Laguna Beach…you don't have to feel bad for checking out high school girls/boys anymore. Thank you MTV, for a couple of decades now you have been bringing out and putting into the mainstream the perverted voyeur in us all. Salud. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2005 Kick-off day in the NBA has finally arrived. I spent much of the work day sending instant messages back and forth ranking the relative attractiveness of the girls on the previous night's Laguna Beach. The top 3, by nearly unanimous decision are as follows: Kristen, LC, and in a distant third, Jessica. By the time the afternoon rolled around, I had to leave work and go to school. While I was packing my bags for a fun filled night with the federal tax code, I started breaking out into a cold sweat. How the heck was I going to get from North Philadelphia to Washington Square West sans subway or bus in time for tip-off? You see, SEPTA is on strike right now and it has made commuting a major nightmare with gridlock and major delays all over town. Fortunately, I was able to bum a ride and was only a little late getting to Pro Fantasy's apartment. WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2005 Forget about trying to commute across the city without mass transit. I decided it would be much easier to just skip class and ensure that I got to see every second of the 9 minute Darko Rejuvenation Project. One word described it: disappointed. Come on Flip, unleash the beast, don't pull a Pound-for-Pound on me, I thought we were past those days. Sitting next to a die-hard Sixers fan during the game was great. Not only was Pro Fantasy screaming for Billy King's head every time Chris Webber stepped on the floor, he readily admitted that the Pistons and Sixers are in two very different classes. Here is how a typical conversation went, Pro Fantasy: "I thought nobody would ever take Chris Webber's contract and I still think that, which means we are stuck with him. What were we thinking? Argh!" Me: "You love the Pistons" Pro Fantasy: "No I don't" Me: "Just admit it, you love the Pistons" Pro Fantasy: "Stop saying that, I hate the Pistons…but…I love all five starters individually, just not the team." Me: "What does Philly need to do to become a contender?" Pro Fantasy: "It would never happen, but I think it's time to trade Iverson…Damn it!!... Did you see that? Prince has made a career out of beating us, arghh!" Good times! THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2005 I DVR'ed a portion the Miami/Indiana game so I could watch the return of the O.C. It's been so long since I got my weekly dose of Seth, Summer, Ryan and Marissa; I felt like I was starved for oxygen. The show came roaring back from its mid-season hiatus to feature a cabal between Seth and Summer against the dean of the high school, Ryan attempting to run away from home and the budding of a good old fashioned love triangle. As good as the show is, I have one urgent plea for the writers. Stop the rehab/stalker story line! It is so Beverly Hills 90210 after the show got bad. How many times did Kelly Taylor go into rehab only to be stalked, hit on, abused, or come out doing another drug? After the O.C. was done, I caught up on Miami/Indiana and found myself asking my wife, to her dismay, how on earth are Stan Van Gundy and Jeff Van Gundy related? She doesn't know who either of them are and dismissed the question with a shrug. But, when I started opining on whether Jermaine O'Neal would get center eligibility, and if Ron Artest gets ejected from 15 games each year, could he ever be considered a first round draft pick, she left the room in a huff. More couch space for me, I suppose. The early game was followed by a showdown between Los Angeles and Phoenix. I love seeing two teams score 110 points-plus. Great night for stats.