Archive for category NBA
“Wait, what did he just say?!?!”
Thats what everyone listening to The Jim Rome Show on Wednesday said as the world was entertained by a extremely awkward interview between show host Jim Rome and NBA commissioner David Stern. When asked about the possibility of the NBA Draft Lottery being rigged to give the No. 1 pick to the league owned New Orleans Hornets, Stern responded by first saying no then asking Rome “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”
When asked a valid question that many NBA fans have been wondering about for a few years now, Stern reacted like a child taking a absolutely unnecessary stab at the often controversial radio host that was so far out of left field.
Now Jim Rome could have presented the question to Stern much better that he did commenting to Stern “I know that you appreciate a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy.” that most likely rubbed him the wrong way to begin with. And as we all know Rome has a very loud and controversial voice that can get under some peoples skins, just ask Chris… I mean Jim Everett. But the question could have been answered very simply and Stern could have just moved on from it. But he didn’t. David after the wife beating comment he questioned Rome making a career off of cheap thrills making a very awkward interview even more uncomfortable.
The question about the NBA being rigged is a long shot from being true but there has been a few examples that lean towards a little tampering from the NBA head office. The most recent and most publicized example before the NBA Draft Lottery was the attempted trade of PG Chris Paul from the league owned New Orleans Hornets to the 17 time champion Los Angeles Lakers when at the last minute the trade was blocked by the commissioner for what they described as “basketball reasons”. Obviously more than just the fan bases were upset and the idea of the NBA trying to infulence the landscape of the NBA was brought up. The thought was that Stern wanted to keep Paul, one of the leagues best players, with the Hornets to make the team as a whole more appealing to any potential buyers. The whole ordeal rubbed all NBA fans the wrong way. Adding in the lockout that shortened the season makes Stern not a very popular figure.
As the commissioner of one of the biggest professional sports leagues in the entire world, Stern should know better by now to even make a comment like these on a nationally broadcasted radio show. Not only putting a black eye on himself, as a representative of the league it puts one on the entire NBA as a whole. It also sets a bad example for the players in the NBA. What happens when a player says something controversial on T.V. or radio. They could use the excuse that they are just following what their commissioner has done. Stern needs to set a good example for not just his players but the entire NBA on how to respond and handle questions asked by the media that they may not approve of or like.
David Stern should at least make a apology for the wife beating remarks towards Jim Rome no matter what his explanation after the interview were. Stern can’t act this immature again if he wants to ever regain the faith and trust of NBA fans.
Stern acted more like a bully rather than the principle of the NBA.
by Andrew Isaac
Derek Fisher, and Kobe Bryant joined the Los Angeles Lakers together during the 1996 NBA Draft. They’ve shared the same backcourt for the majority of their time spent in the NBA. Together these two have brought leadership to the organization that helped their team win 5 NBA Championships, and have made countless memories for every Lakers fan out there. The decision is understandable for basketball, and financial reasons but all in all it’s just a sad moment for Lakers fans who hoped to say goodbye to an old friend in a different way.
Fisher’s trade to the Houston Rockets yesterday at the NBA Trade Deadline marks the end to an era that will not be soon forgotten. Besides the greatness of stars such as Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and Pau Gasol, no other Laker has probably mattered more than Derek Fisher over this past decade. After 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers the only stats that’ll matter when mentioning Fisher’s name are the following: 7 NBA Finals appearances, 5 NBA Titles, and the uncountable amount of Lakers fans that’ll remember Derek’s character, and leadership as much as all his clutch moments.
One thing i’ll surely miss from D-Fish is his hard work, and contrubutions to the team. I know over time he’s slowed down considerably, but speed aside, he was always in the right place at the right time, he took charges to a whole new level, he hustled after every loose ball, he sacrificed his body game in, and game out just to help the team get a victory, and you cannot thank him enough for all the little things the man from Arkansas-Little Rock did for this organization.
One of the best parts about his 0.4 game-winning shot against San Antonio in the 2004 playoffs was the fact that he was likely the fourth option out there to shoot it. But as usual, he was ready when he got the ball, and the rest would eventually be history. Fisher’s made a living off big moment shots way before the 0.4 happened, and long after that too…He won Game 4 of the 2009 NBA Finals in Orlando with his two very timely three pointers, including one to force OT. His drive to win Game 3 of the 2010 NBA Finals capped an 11-point quarter in Boston. The man played with his heart on his sleeve, and he was always ready when called upon.
Seeing Fisher on the court in a Lakers jersey was a calming reminder that we’re in good hands. You knew he’d be a coach in the team’s huddle, a leader during practices, and a voice to be heard during meetings too. He cared about the team more than himself, treated everyone with the same amount of respect, and took pride in being a Los Angeles Laker. He’s been nothing but a first class act since the day he arrived in 1996, and I hope that the fans give him a standing ovation when he returns in April for all that he’s done for us. Derek Fisher may have never played in an NBA All-Star game, but that doesn’t mean you’re not a star, because in Hollywood we know a star when we see one, and Derek Fisher was, and always willl be a star to us Lakers fans. They say that there are plenty of fish in the sea. I disagree-you’ll never find another Fish (er) like Derek in the C (California).
By: Drew Kashmer
March 15th; that’s the date we’ll know where Superman has landed (yeah I called him Superman, sorry Shaq). As indicated with the photo on the left, it appears Dwight Howard no longer wants to be a member of the Orlando Magic, and would rather just say sayonara at this point, it would be best for all parties involved to go their seperate ways before bad becomes worse. The team has lost 4 games in a row, and 5 of its last 6. The more this team loses, the more the team’s superstar grows frustrated, and wants to leave.
6 games ago Orlando was crushed by Boston 87-56, just an awful performance by the Magic. They would go on to play the Celtics again a few days later with the same result; a loss. Orlando blew a 27 point lead in the first half to lose to a Celtics team minus Rondo, and Allen. The very next night Dwight Howard called out his teammates after getting blown out on the road to the lowly New Orleans Hornets; 93-67. He had this to say following the loss, “if you don’t want to play, stay home. People work too hard. I want to win a championship. I work too hard every night for anybody to not want to go out there and, play hard. None of the whatever, trade stuff, none of that stuff matters. Play basketball. That’s why we all get paid to do this, because we love the game, and it’s basketball, so why not give it your all.” It sounds to me Dwight is ready to leave, the whole trade debate, and all its rumors are just looming over every member of this organization in the worst possible way. GM Otis Smith needs to realize that his best move would be making a move, sooner rather than later. On a 4 game slide (most recent losses include Indiana, and Philadelphia) this team is headed toward a downward spiral fast.
Anybody remember the Carmelo Anthony/Denver Nuggets debacle last season? Just ask Coach Karl how that affected his players last year. The same exact thing is happening right now with these Orlando Magic (history repeats itself). After a recent game against the Los Angeles Lakers, point guard Jameer Nelson finally came out publicly with saying that the Dwight Howard trade rumors has affected him thus far in the season. I can only imagine it has affected most of that team in general. GM Otis Smith knows he needs to make a deal, but chances are he’ll hold off until after the All-Star game located in Orlando later this month takes place. Now the question is where will Dwight land? Howard reportedly has a list of teams he’d sign long term deals with. Among the list of teams are the New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Mavericks. So which best suites the needs of the Orlando Magic, and Howard?
The Brooklyn-bound Nets have a number of trading assets that could very well lure the Orlando Magic into a deal that would send Dwight Howard to the Nets…Sorry Jay-Z, but I don’t think that this move would be in Superman’s best interest. Let’s face it for this deal to even work the Nets would have to center a deal around their currently injured starting big man Brook Lopez, a future first round pick, possibly even their up and coming rookie MarShon Brooks, and Kim’s ex; Kris Humphries. This deal would leave very little left for the Nets team to contend with. Yes you would have the great combo of Deron Williams, and Dwight Howard, but other than that there isn’t much excitement left on this current roster. There’s just not enough pieces on this team for them to make a serious run at the quality teams of the Eastern Conference such as the Miami Heat, and Chicago Bulls. I don’t see this being an ideal place to play for the big man. Grading this destination for Dwight Howard I would give it a C+.
Dwight Howard to the Dallas Mavericks? The defending Champions of the basketball world would be significantly better with a starting Center of the likes of Dwight Howard. The Mavs are already a strong defensive unit despite losing Tyson Chandler in the offseason, but imagine if they could get Dwight Howard, this team would be a force on the front lines. Dirk, and Dwight’s combo would be almost impossible to stop. Dirk Nowitzki is getting older, but he has some good years left in him, and this team has enough time to make serious runs at Titles especially if that means Howard has signed a deal, and shook Mark Cuban’s hand. Dallas has plenty of veteran players, even some young intriguing talent that they could send back to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Dwight’s services. The only problem I see with a deal happening in Big D is there’s no way they’d ever trade Nowitzki, ever. So that basically means the Mavericks would have to find another team to get in on the trade for Howard to make this deal happen. But for the article’s sake let’s say some way, some how the Mavs find a way to land Howard, you would have to imagine Deron Williams would be very unhappy he didn’t land with the Nets meaning Deron is likely to opt out after season’s end, and test the free agent market out. This certainly means the Mavss could be in the running for Williams, along with a few other teams. The Mavs are aging quickly, and there time frame for another Title could be closing soon unless they make a big splash, and get the big fella to come to Big D. Grading this destination for Dwight Howard i’d give it a B+.
Years ago Shaquille O’Neal left the Orlando Magic, and signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. Orlando got nothing in return, and will regret that move for years to come. Shaq ended up winning 3 Championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, and 1 Title with the Miami Heat in his great 19 year career. Earlier in this article I noted that history repeats itself, well it’s bound to happen yet again whether GM Otis Smith likes it or not. I believe for Dwght Howard, his best interest would be following in the foot steps of Shaquille O’Neal. He’s already got the Hollywood personality (same as Shaq once had), he’s got the passion for the game of basketball, and is in need of a Championship badly. His best move would be to team up with Kobe Bryant who’s been an MVP of the league, a Finals MVP twice, and has won 5 NBA Championships among other accolades. The Mamba is still a big time threat on the court, he’s got the league’s best mid range jumper, he is fighting father time, but still has plenty in the tank for a few more Championship runs. If Dwight Howard wants to win a Title, L.A. gives him the best chance to do so. GM Otis Smith needs to realize that he’s not going to get equal value back for Dwight, but it’s certainly better than losing him for nothing, like they lost Shaquille years ago. Orlando likely would recieve Andrew Bynum in a deal for Howard. Bynum has been called the game’s best Center according to Shaq. Bynum being only 24 years of age, and when healthy he’s certainly one of the league’s best big men, and is a future All-Star that Orlando could build around. To me this is the best value the Magic are going to get in a trade for Dwight. It’s a no brainer, if Orlando wants a player to build around who better than a 24 year old Andrew Bynum who’s getting better, and better over time. For the Los Angeles Lakers, if they get the big man they’ll have another Superstar on the team along with Kobe Bryant, and Pau Gasol (if Orlando doesn’t demand Pau too). You’d have to imagine the Lakers would be in the running for another big name player in the following free agency period, possibly a better, young Point Guard? The Lakers could be an instant contender for years to come with the services of Dwight Howard, and when it’s time for The Black Mamba to step down from his Lakers throne, Howard will be the next Superstar to carry the torch. This deal just makes perfect sense for all of the parties involved. Grading this destination for Dwight Howard, i’d give it an A.
By: Drew Kashmer
12 quick predictions I have for the 2012 year.
1. The Buffalo Bills will draft Heisman trophy winner Robert Griffin III in the 2012 NFL Draft
2. Tim Tebow will struggle and will get benched.
2a. Tim Tebow will file a restraining order against Skip Bayless when Skip gets Tim’s face tattooed on his chest.
3. Lebron James will hit a game winning jumper to win game 7 of the NBA Finals to silence critics.
4. Albert Pujols will struggle in his first year with the Los Angeles Angels.
5. Peyton Manning will start the season as the New York Jets Quarterback after the Jets drop Mark Sanchez.
6. Tiger Woods will win multiple tournaments including a Major.
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will win 3 races in Sprint Cup.
8. Sidney Crosby will miss the rest of the 2011-2012 season.
9. A double digit seed will make the Final Four.
10. Dwight Howard will play for the Nets in the 2011-2012 season.
11. The SEC will win their 7th consecutive National Championship in Football
12. The Buffalo Bills will make the playoffs!!! (Hey I can dream right)
Happy New Year!
Taking a look back at this past year in sports, there has been everything. Stories of triumph and underdogs and comebacks were everywhere but seemed to be overshadowed by the dark events that have taken place this year. Tragic, horrific and disturbing stories that take the magic that sports can bring to people away and brings everyone to the realization that there is much more important things in sports.
Tragedy struck hard for me personally as me and a nationally televised audience watched a extremely talented driver and kind human being lost his life. Dan Wheldon’s life reached the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in 2011. Getting a one race ride together for the Indianapolis 500 was difficult for Dan, who was a former winner of the race in 2005. Getting into the race was hard enough but to compete and have a chance to win the race was a task that seemed unreal. But it was becoming real as the race continued as Dan was in second with one lap left in the race. Trailing rookie J.R. Hildebrand (the very driver who replaced Dan) heading into the final turn it appeared that a second place finish was in Dans future when the unthinkable happened as Hildebrand took a turn too wide attempting to pass a lap car and crashed into the wall coming off turn four. Dan made the pass taking first and his second Indy 500 victory. It seemed like a dream that a driver who everyone seemed to give up on and nobody wanted could reach the highest peak in his sport again. The emotion that race brought to Dan and his family made us all believe in the magic that sports can bring to us. Unfortunately the next time we would see Dan on a national stage would be the last.
At the season ending race in Las Vegas, Dan was racing for a $2.5 million prize if he won this race as well as the Indy 500 while other drivers were racing for a championship. It was learned before the race that Dan would replace Danica Patrick and race full seasons for Andretti Autosport. Several people around Indy Car and complained about the dangers of the high speeds the cars obtain on the oval in Vegas reaching over 200 MPH at times. At lap 11 running in a pack of about 15 cars, one car got loose, taped another car and all hell broke loose. Cars hitting other cars, getting airborne and flying everywhere. It was a mess. As the cleanup began, one by one drivers walked away from the accident until there was only one driver who did not. Dan was loaded into a helicopter and taken to a local hospital. As we all waited watching the accident again and again on tv and still not hearing any news about Dan, everyone started to fear the worse might have happened. At 1:54 PM PST Dan Wheldon was pronounced dead. Because of the events the race was called and the grieving began for the entire sports world. The sport lost one of its bright stars.
Losing faith and trust in coaches is a unfortunate fact that we all have had to cope with this year. The horrific atrocities that allegedly have occurred at Penn State from former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and his inappropriate relationships with young boys and the events that have taken place afterwords still shake all of us to the core that all of these acts can go undiscovered or just pushed under the rug for so many years. And knowing that head coach Joe Paterno knew about all of this and did not do everything in his power to make sure the truth came out and keep Sandusky away from his program and report him to the proper authorities is just as disturbing.
Having these types of stories at one organization is bad enough but to have more coaches from more universities now being brought to light pushes the issue of really knowing who is around your children. Former Syracuse mens basketball coach Bernie Fine sexual abuse allegations shows that this is and has been a problem all over and has been happening for a longer time than we first thought. Parents must pay attention to who they are letting their children around and really know who that person is.
Along with the NBA lockout that stretched into the beginning of the NBA season and resulted in lost games for the season, all of the colleges breaking rules for recruiting and obtaining illegal benefits showed that not all things in sports are nice and good and friendly.
Hidden behind all of the dark stories are the moments in sports that we all love to see.
The Vince Lombardi Trophy returning home in Green Bay as the Packers beat the Steelers in the Super Bowl. Aaron Rodgers escaping from the shadow of Brett Favre and reaching the potential greatness that people had projected him to reach. The unbelievable season that Tom Brady had and the unexpected exit that the Patriots had all lead to a exciting NFL season that lead into a lockout that scared all NFL fans into the reality that their might not be a NFL season in 2012.
The excitement of the final day of the Major League Baseball regular season and the craziness that ensued. Having two of the biggest collapses in MLB history with the Boston Red Sox and the Atlanta Braves falling to the Tampa Bay Rays and the St. Louis Cardinals. Who would have thought in August that the St. Louis Cardinals and the Tampa Bay Rays would be in the post season. As the playoffs continued the Cardinals continued their miraculous run all the way to the World Series to face the Texas Rangers returning to the Fall Classic for the second consecutive year. In game 6 the Rangers lead the Cardinals 3 games to 2 as the Rangers led the game in the 9th inning with one out remaining from their first championship. But David Freese hit a game tying 2 run Triple to send the game into extras. After the teams exchanged runs again in the 10th inning again the Cardinals coming back from the brink of elimination to send the game into the 11th inning. Again David Freese came to the plate and again he came up clutch. Smacking a solo shot to dead center over the fence sent St. Louis into madness and into game 7 and the eventual championship. The unbelievable events that occurred in game 6 have caused many people around baseball to call this one of the best games they have ever seen.
Several other examples of sports moments like the Mavericks winning the NBA championship over the Miami Heat and their superteam, The US Women Soccer teams run in the World Cup and falling short of the championship, the exciting finish to the NASCAR season between Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards, the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup, Derek Jeter hitting his 3000th hit in grand fashion with a homer, Cam Newtons rise to prominence and winning a national championship with Auburn, University of Connecticut winning the NCAA Basketball championship behind Kemba Walker’s impressive run, and of course the media’s obsession with Tebow Mania, are only a few of the events that made the 2011 sports year the one that it is.
What we all must remember when these type of scandals and tragedies occur is that there is much more in this world than just sports and we all have to remember that. At the end of the day it is just a game that gifted athletes play against each other and should not be taken so serious some times. You must take a step back and look at the bigger picture. But when sports can show us good in the world and make us feel good, that is when it is more than just a silly game. It can heal woulds and give hope to people without it.
Unfortunately all of the other events that showed what good sports can do to for people was overshadowed by the countless stories of tragedy, scandals, and accusations.
This is what the 2011 year in sports will be remembered for.
by Andrew Isaac
Heading into the 2008 NBA season the Los Angeles Lakers faced much adversity in the offseason. Their roster didn’t have many fans/critics on their side, many thought Kobe Bryant was due to get dealt before the season even started. All this emotion, and frustration loomed over the Hollywood hills for much of the summer. Eventually the Lakers were able to re-sign Kobe Bryant heading into the season to ensure him being a Laker throughout his NBA career. But Bryant had one request, and that was to have a competitive roster, and an improved team to have a shot at another ring. Team owner Dr. Buss, and GM Mitch Kupchak held true to their words, and brought in All-Star PF Pau Gasol from the Grizzlies right before the NBA Trade Deadline.
Gasol made an instant impact on this Lakers team who’d eventually find themselves on top of the Western Conference, and in the NBA Finals. After a dramatic summer they had themselves a pretty outstanding season despite coming up short to the Celtics in the NBA Finals. Defense was their major concern heading into the next season, mostly because that was the main reason they lost in the Finals to Boston. Moving forward to the next season in 2009, the team defense improved significantly with Gasol getting more physical, Odom, and Bynum’s presence in the paint made it tough for the rest of the league to get by these 7 footers. Granit, Bynum got injured during the season, and Pau Gasol stepped in, and did a great job. The depth of this team kept the ball rolling, and with help from Trevor Ariza on both sides of the ball, Kobe Bryant led his Lakers to an NBA Finals appearance against the Orlando Magic. The Lakers dominated the series, and won it all in 5 games. Kobe not only received his first regular season MVP that year, but the Finals MVP honor as well. A true Hollywood happy ending story.
After the celebrations came to a close, and it was time to buckle down on the team’s defense of their title, the Lakers knew they’d have their work cut out for them. The team made a major move in the offseason by getting rid of Trevor Ariza for Ron Artest; a defensive minded player who can also contribute on the offensive side of the ball. With the team keeping their focus on the goal, and task at hand the Lakers indeed found themselves back in the Finals for a third straight year. This time around they would have their chances to redeem themselves against the Celtics, the rivalry was renewed yet again. This series was a hard fought battle between rivals, and it went 7 games. During Game 7 Ron Artest was a major factor on both sides of the ball, and helped lead the Lakers to Back 2 Back titles. Kobe Bryant won yet another Finals MVP to add to his career hardware of success. Kobe had surpassed Shaq in terms of career Championships, and Phil Jackson reached the 10 rings plateau passing the great Red Auerbach. Once the parades, and celebrations came to an end, the Lakers had their minds of a 3 peat…
The journey for a 3 peat is a tough road ahead, and that’s why not many teams actually get it done. Chicago Bulls of the 1990’s, also the Kobe & Shaq Lakers of the early 2000’s are the most recent teams to achieve such a feat. Andrew Bynum got the injury bug again, Kobe had his share of problems, and the team just seemed less hungry at times than they looked in season’s past. Los Angeles beat the Hornets in the first round of the Playoffs but had a tough time sticking with CP3. During the next round, the team looked tired, and couldn’t stop the Mavs quickness with Barea, Dirk’s domination, and Dallas’ defense held its own. The Mavs would eventually sweep L.A. out of the Playoffs, Bynum took a cheap shot at Barea (he will be facing a 5 game suspension once the 2011 season starts), Matt Barnes got into an argument with the opposing team’s assistant coach, and after all these altercations, and shenanigans were put to a halt, Phil Jackson didn’t go out the way he intended to.
Heading into this upcoming season the Lakers have many questions about their current roster, and their future as well. Once the NBA Lockout ended the Lakers got on the phones, and reached out to the Hornets. They wanted Chris Paul, but David Stern took reign over the deal that would’ve traded Odom to the Hornets, Gasol to the Rockets, and Paul to the Lakers, and turned down the deal. This trade rejection sent chaos through LA-LA land. Lamar would soon be dealt to the defending champion Mavericks for basically nothing (draft pick, and trade exemption). Many thought L.A. would go after Chris Paul, and Dwight Howard this offseason. They did go after Paul, but failed to get him. Now their attention has been on Howard. But is Howard really worth it in the long run? Yes, they’d have a promising future with the league’s best Center playing for L.A. for years to come, to take over the throne once the King retires (Kobe Bryant). But having Howard means losing Bynum, and Gasol more than likely. In my opinion losing both the Lakers big men may not be worth it, call me crazy but maybe the deals that didn’t work out or yet to happen have been a blessing in disguise…With The Black Mamba (Kobe Bryant) coming off of an innovative knee surgery in Germany, he claims he feels better than ever, and he could be more dangerous than ever this upcoming season despite getting another year older. Pau Gasol is an All-Star PF, who can get you rebounds, quality passing, solid defense, and an all-around great shooter for a 7 footer, and Andrew Bynum has the makings of being one, if not the best Center in basketball in his future. Being the youngest player ever to be drafted in the NBA, he’s had time to develop, and this year is no different. I believe Bynum could be gearing up for his best season of his career, and solidifying his spot on this team for years to come. He is the future, and always has been. Andrew took care of his body this offseason, he did a lot of boxing with his trainer to keep in shape, and stay stronger with better conditioning. His trainer says he’s primed for his best season by far. Andrew Bynum has a better post game than Dwight does, yes I know Howard won Defensive Player Of The Year, and he’s the most dominant big man in the game today but Andrew does have better post moves, post game overall, and can be just as good on the defensive end. The key to the success of Bynum is whether or not he can stay healthy. Is his career going to be plagued by injuries or is he just having a bad couple of years? We shall wait, and see…
Los Angeles has been put down quite a bit over the offseason thus far, critics saying they’re too old, they don’t have the right roster to have a championship team, this, and that…Well look at the offseason this team had leading up to the ’08 season, many questions lingered then, and they made it to the Finals that year. I see this playing out the same way this season, I truly think this team is still just as talented as ever, but the bench is going to be a factor in whether or not this team can make a run. They have to play well in order for them to make it to the Finals, and they certainly have the potential to do so. Bryant is primed for a big year, Gasol, and Bynum are looking to clear their names from trade rumors, and focus on the task at hand. The Lakers have had more rest than they’ve had in years, and the team will be ready to answer the doubters. Maybe not so fast on the Hollywood tragedy, when there’s still a Hollywood happy ending looming over these Lakers…
By Drew Kashmer