Posts Tagged ‘Michael Jordan’

Bosh, James and Wade in Miami together? I dont think so.

We are two days away from the day that every Cleveland Cavalier, New York Knick, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey Nets fan has been waiting for. But if you are a fan of any of those teams, you are probably not happy with the reports that are coming out about Lebron James and Chris Bosh going to Miami to team up with Dwayne Wade.

Reports are saying that the mini NBA summit meeting between Wade, Bosh and Lebron that took place over the weekend went very well, but that Lebron hasn’t “bought in” to the idea yet. Supposedly he wants to entertain offers from other teams. Translation: “I want to play on a team where I can be the man and maximize my marketing potential.”

That is a positive sign for Cleveland, New York, Chicago, Dallas and New Jersey. Personally, I don’t see Lebron signing with the Heat at all. There is no way that lebron would play on a team with Dwayne Wade who is already a top five player in the league and has a reputation for being able to carry a team on his back to win a championship.

If Lebron and Bosh went to Miami and the Heat won championships. Lebron wouldn’t be looked at as the one who brought Miami to the promise land. Either Wade would get credit, or people would consider it as a group effort amongst Wade, Bosh and James.

Lebron needs and wants to be the “man”. He wouldn’t be the man in Miami. If Lebron doesn’t want to be the man, Nike does and is financially banking on the fact that he is. Nike has built Lebron’s image on the fact that he is the next big thing to come along since Michael Jordan. Not to mention all of the other companies who have given Lebron endorsement deals on the belief that Lebron is “The chosen One.”

People already question Lebron’s ability to make plays in big games like Kobe and Wade routinely does, and his ability to take a team to the promise land. How much of a hit will Lebron’s on the court image take if he teams up with Wade and Bosh? How is Nike and every other company going to market and sell Lebron to the world as being “the man” if he goes to Miami playing in Wade’s shadow?

Some would say that Dwayne would have the same issue as Lebron if this NBA marriage happens. But I would have to disagree with that idea about Wade. Dwayne has already built his reputation as a clutch player and has a ring. He can play with other superstars now and no one will question him nor will his on the court image take a hit.

The NBA, who is an individual star driven league, will have a hard time marketing Lebron as “the man” down in Miami. People view the Miami Heat as Wade’s team. The NBA relies on having top level superstars who battle against each other every night to create marquee matchups. Not along with each other.

Not only do Nike and every other company need Lebron to be “the man”, but so do David Stern and the NBA.

I don’t believe in conspiracy theories unless it’s the JFK assassination, but I wouldn’t be surprised if David Stern’s wallet got involved somewhere during this Lebron free agency signing period.

Bottom line folks, don’t get caught up in the soap opera mess that’s going on right now. Lebron’s decision is a little more complicated than what some people realize. Yeah he wants big money via a NBA contract and wants to win, but he also needs to continue to build and maintain Lebron Inc.

Kobe Bryant doing his imitation of Michael Jordan after last nights win over Boston

Unless you are a Quaker or you just got released from prison or the county jail this morning. You probably watched the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Boston Celtics 83 to 79 to win back to back NBA championships last night by outscoring the Celtics 30 to 22 in the fourth quarter.

I am not a Lakers fan nor am I a hater. L.A. winning last night doesn’t piss me off even though I predicted that the Celtics would beat L.A. in seven games. I can admit when I am wrong and eat crow and be gracious about it. I can also give credit when credit is due.

The Lakers did what I didn’t think they had the ability to do. L.A. beat a team that was mentally, physically tougher and more talented than they were. Out of all of the championships that L.A. has won since Kobe has been there, this one to me is the most significant one and makes me respect them more than I ever have.

So congratulations to the Lakers and the city of L.A. and their fans. I hope the city of L.A. and every Lakers fans around the world enjoys this championship for as long as you possibly can. I am sure Ron Artest and the rest of the Lakers are.

Ron Artest is probably still sitting in a club or lounge somewhere in L.A. telling stories of how the greatest basketball player that he has ever seen or played against was a dude named Mike Chathway from Queens Bridge, New York who went to jail or died last year; or how Michael Jordan said that he wished that he would have played against him (Artest) in his prime. I swear that boy isn’t right in his head, but I am happy for him for some odd reason.

Somewhere Kobe Bryant is doing what God only knows Kobe does during his off time when he isn’t doing lame commercials of him doing soccer celebrations, participating in photo shots of him wearing weird all white outfits or jumping over Ashton Martins driving towards him at 60 MPH. Maybe he is at home with Vanessa planning his next attempt to immolate Michael Jordan’s mannerisms as he did last night after the game by jumping on the scorer’s table with the ball in his hands holding up five fingers like Jordan did after winning his fourth.

I have always defended Kobe when people would say that he tries to imitate things that Jordan did and said during Jordan’s career. I never saw what people were talking about until last night. That Jordan like stunt that he did after the final buzzer really caught my attention. Kobe has become just as consumed as we are as fans when it comes to comparing him to Mike that he seems to think that he needs to act like Mike at times.

The one thing that Kobe didn’t do a good job of last night was imitating how well Jordan typically played in NBA finals games. Kobe was horrendous all night long except in the last two minutes of the game when he hit a big shot and grabbed two key rebounds to help the Lakers complete the comeback over the Celtics. When he wasn’t missing shots, or dribbling the ball off of his feet, he looked out of sync and frustrated at times.

A good example of how bad Kobe was last night was displayed in the second quarter when he got the ball at the three point line and had Rasheed Wallace in front of him about three feet away. Instead of pressuring Kobe, Wallace backpedalled to go position himself under the basket for a rebound and let Kobe take a wide open three pointer which he missed. He was that bad at times last night. Ignore the 23 points that Kobe scored and the finals MVP award he collected. Those points and MVP award are very misleading of how Kobe actually played last night.

Overall the Lakers didn’t play well at all. They shot poorly from the field due to the Celtics tough defense and poor shot selection from several Lakers players, and L.A.’s free throw shooting wasn’t anything to brag about either except for in the fourth quarter when they needed every point to win. Besides hitting key free throws in the last three minutes of the game, there only saving grace was their great offensive rebounding, and Ron Artest and Pau Gasol.

Ron Artest and Pau Gasol stepped up and played big throughout the entire game and were the ones who led the charge late in the third quarter to come back from a thirteen point deficit. Derek Fisher didn’t play extremely well last night but he came through with a huge three point shot in the fourth with two minutes remaining to tie the game.

Despite Kobe’s off night and the Lakers overall average to subpar play. Game seven was by far the best game of the series. At the same time this game displayed what the entire series had been all about; two good teams who at times couldn’t find a way to put it all together to play a complete game.

For three quarters the Boston Celtics looked like the team that we saw in games two, four and five. Then at times they looked like the team we saw in games one, three and six. Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett came to play and played well at times and so did Rasheed Wallace. But they disappeared in the fourth quarter when they were needed the most.

While the Celtics were playing like the team we saw in games two, four and five through three quarters of game seven. L.A. was playing like they did in games two, four and five and pretty much played like that the entire game. The game basically came down to which one of the two underperforming teams could make big plays down the stretch in the fourth quarter since both teams had reverted back to old habits in the fourth.

Five years from now when people talk about this game. They are going to talk about how great both teams played defensively and how poorly Kobe Bryant played in maybe one of the biggest games in his career to date. Some may mention how Ron Artest played big for L.A. all night, then thanked his psychiatrist and promoted his upcoming rap album during the post game interview.

However people choose to talk or remember game seven of the 2010 NBA finals. It will ultimately be remembered as the night that L.A. got revenge on Boston for the loss in the 2008 NBA finals. Once again, congrats to the Lakers.

Kobe Bryant after a game five loss to Boston

Here we are eight hours away from tip-off of game six of the 2010 NBA finals and the question that has been in my head for two weeks now is; what is Kobe Bryant’s legacy going to be at the end of this year’s NBA finals?

In today’s sports world, players are scrutinized and judged and in some cases pre-judged minute by minute with every shot, catch, pass, pitch, rebound, hit, touchdown or home run they do or don’t make.

Two months ago during the eastern conference semi-finals, a few members of the media started to comment or ponder about Lebron James’s legacy. Most people including myself felt that discussing or even trying to make a legacy for Lebron was very premature despite the fact that he has been in the NBA for seven years now. On the other hand, discussing Kobe Bryant’s legacy or trying to judge it is very much okay at this stage of his career.

Thirteen years, four NBA championships, one finals MVP, one regular season MVP and one gold medal later, most if not everyone would say that he has lived up to the expectations that were placed on him coming out of high school. Kobe has come a long way since the days of not being able to beat out Eddie Jones for the starting two guard spot on the Lakers, or shooting air ball three point attempts in the western conference playoffs.

Kobe’s legacy as it stands now is very impressive and one that many NBA players wish they had attached to their name. Although, no matter what Kobe does or has done, he is always compared to Michael Jordan and possibly will always be compared to Mike.

The Black Mamba has accomplished a lot in his career and has done some amazing things on the court that are Jordan like. But despite winning four NBA championships, MVP awards and a gold medal, most people feel as if he needs to win six NBA championships like Mike did in order to be like Mike.

People like to mention that out of Kobe’s four NBA championships, three of those were won when Shaquille O’Neal who is considered to be one of the greatest centers of all-time, was Kobe’s team mate. Kobe critics and NBA fans say that the reason the Lakers won those three championships were because of Shaq not Kobe.

Some question Kobe’s ability to elevate his team and not just himself to a championship level like Michael Jordan routinely did with his Bulls teams. Then you have those people who simply question his greatness. Yes Kobe is known as the game’s best closer, but compared to Mike, some if not most people say that Kobe isn’t on Mike’s level.

Back in the 2008 after the Los Angeles Lakers came up short of winning the NBA championship by getting blown out by the Boston Celtics in game six of the NBA finals. Sports fans around the country said “Mike wouldn’t have gone out like Kobe and the Lakers did. There is no way Mike would have gotten blown out in a closeout game in the NBA finals.”

Kobe vindicated himself by leading the Lakers to a NBA championship last year, but as I stated in a previous blog before game one of the 2010 NBA finals. Last year’s championship has somewhat been devalued in the eyes of many non-Lakers fans. The Orlando Magic were not a serious threat to the Lakers last year. This is the series that non Lakers fans around the world want to see. It has become Kobe’s moment of truth. People want to see if Kobe is one of the greats of the game or just a great player.

So to answer my own question of, what will Kobe Bryant’s legacy be after this year’s NBA finals?

In my opinion, if Kobe goes on to bring the Lakers back from a 3-2 deficit to win the NBA championship. His legacy will go from platinum to elite status and I would have to seriously think about where he ranks amongst the NBA greats. I wouldn’t put him above Jordan, Magic or Bird. But he would be in my top ten for sure.

If the Black Mamba comes up short this year, his legacy will take a major hit and the comparison to Michael Jordan will almost be blasphemy if it already isn’t to some people. I personally will consider him one of the greatest players of all-time, although I couldn’t put him in my top five or ten of greatest players of all time. He currently is and will always be the sugar free version of Michael Jordan to me. Losing championships in a watered down NBA doesn’t look good on Kobe’s resume if he loses this series to the Celtics. Unfortunately in this country a player’s legacy is based on many things, but the most important thing is championships.

Lebron James

The countdown to the start of the 2010 NBA free agency period started long before the 2010 regular season ended or even started. Months before the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA championship last year, everyone was fully aware of who was going to be a free agent after the 2010 season and what teams had the most cap room available to sign one or two of the best soon to be free agents. Speculations as to what was going to happen to superstars like Dewayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and Carlos Boozer began to circulate. Those players were intriguing to some, but the man that everyone was infatuated with as to what his future would hold, was Lebron James. Many consider Lebron to be the best player in the NBA (not me) and the idea of the possibility of Lebron leaving Cleveland to go play for a storied franchise like the New York Knicks became a wet dream for all NBA fans to relish in until July 1st of 2010. Lebron helped feed into this dream by flirting with the media and anyone willing to watch and listen by making double sided comments to certain questions, wearing Yankee hats to Cleveland Indians games, hanging out with Jay-Z, etc, etc.

Fast forward to today, and Lebron hasn’t stopped with the flirting and teasing. In fact it has gotten worse and to the point that he is pretty much deliberately campaigning for teams to approach him and make him an offer he can’t refuse. This having a meeting of the minds with Chris Bosh and Dewayne Wade to see what their intentions were is complete BS and flat out unprofessional. I don’t ever remember a player of Lebron’s supposed/media driven magnitude that has done something like this. Dude! Who are you to act as if you are someone who people in the NBA truly respect? Your no Michael, Magic or Bird. Now two weeks after this meeting of the minds with Wade and Bosh, he has done an interview with Larry King that aired on June 4th. He also came out and said that Cleveland has the edge amongst all the other teams in the league of keeping him. Really Lebron? Really?

I don’t know about you guys, but I am sick and tired of hearing about Lebron James almost on a daily basis. It has become downright unbearable to hear and see anything about Lebron James unless you are a fan of Lebron James or the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks or New Jersey Nets. Am I surprised that he is the lead story on Sportscenter every night except when a 2010 NBA finals game has been played? No! ESPN has become hands down the worst sports network on the planet with its un-fresh, non hip, cheesy and uninformed/one sided sports analysts and non informational shows. Anything Lebron does or says will get coverage from ESPN including when and if he brushes his teeth. If it wasn’t for Lebron James, I don’t think ESPN would have anything to talk about except maybe the New York Yankees. Some people would say that ESPN did the same with Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. I beg to differ though because when Kobe and Jordan were at the peak of their career, ESPN was still somewhat of a good network and they found other things to discuss.

I am not blaming ESPN for the Lebron news all the time every time, he has nothing to do with what their small minded producers want to air day in and day out. It’s just that with the campaigning that Lebron has been doing for the past three months and ESPN. It’s gotten to a point to where you just want him to hurry up and sign somewhere so we can get back to discussing real issues in the NBA. You can call me a hater if you want, I really don’t care. Go put on your Lebron James jersey and shoes and sit down and enjoy a bottle of Vitamin Water XXX that’s endorsed by Lebron and stop calling me a hater just because I speak the truth.