Posts Tagged ‘Magic’

LeBron James’ ill conceived “The Decison”  happened  on July 8th but the bad taste it left in everyone’s mouth is still here.  To be honest, I am not an LBJ fan and couldn’t care less where he decided to go unless it was to my beloved Clippers.  If that had happened, he would have automatically been my favorite player.  That didn’t happen but what did happen left most sports fans disillusioned with LeBron, ESPN and the state of sports in general.

The people of Cleveland beg to differ

I will tell you what I think about “The Decision” in a minute but if you want to get it from a pro please go to ESPN’s Ombudsman, Don Ohlmeyer, and read his magnificent piece on “The Decision”.  Ohlmeyer’s article is probably one of my favorite pieces of sports writing in a long, long time.  The only thing I would’ve added is that this wasn’t the first time ESPN blurred the line between being a news organization and self promotion.  The Adam James/Mike Leach saga last December showed that ESPN had trouble being truthful and objective when the story concerned one of their own.  Here’s Ohlmeyer’s take on that too.  Another good read.

But even before that there was ESPN’s promotion of baseball’s Home Run Derby between 1995 and 2006 and the Sosa-McGwire saga of 1998.  I have no problem with the Derby but I did have a problem with ESPN being outraged to learn that baseball players were on the juice.  I wrote a little about it here.  ESPN had specials on the Sosa-McGuire home run battle and they would even cut in on all Sosa and McGwire at bats late in the season but no one ever thought to question if these guys were clean.  Later, they felt betrayed by both Sosa and McGwire after the whole congressional hearings thing played out.  That’s an insult to all sports fans because we all had an idea it was happening but wondered why it wasn’t investigated more.  When Selig made his big announcement that MLB would be cleaning up the game of PED’s, the only people surprised to hear that players were on the juice were ESPN and MLB.  I could write a World Cup length piece on it but I’m on vacation and can’t be bothered right now.  I’ll wait until some big name star gets outed for using to write that.

Note to ESPN: A lot of people feel this way

Back to “The Decision”.  ESPN had to know that having an hour-long, prime-time show was overkill and wouldn’t go over well with anyone not living in South Beach.  If they didn’t, then they don’t know their audience and are out of touch with todays ever cynical sports fans.  Truthfully, I didn’t watch it but already hated the idea when I heard it.  I didn’t know all the details until I read the Ombudsman’s piece on it.  How did ESPN allow itself to be taken over by LeBron and his posse for one night?  What was the reward?  Sure they did mad numbers but at what cost?  They didn’t make any money because LeBron pretty much made them pay for the privilege of allowing him to be on their airwaves that night.  Plus, ESPN should’ve known that something was up when LeBron decided that he wanted the loathsome Jim Gray to conduct the interview of him on a show LeBron and Co. conceived.  My favorite quote from the Ohlmeyer piece has to do with Gray’s involvement.  Ohlmeyer writes, “if the interviewee also brings along his own interviewer, you cannot protect the integrity of the broadcast”.  Word!!!

Jim Gray? What, wasn't Stephen A. Smith available?

Not only was ESPN at fault but how did LeBron not realize what the backlash was going to be?  He went from a loveable man-child to probably one the most hated guys in the NBA.  He’s right up there with Kobe now.  I hate Kobe Bryant and now LeBron but I can’t deny these guys are talented as hell.  Oddly, I think Kobe benefits from this short-sightedness by LeBron.  I immediately wished Kobe was in the gym at the time of the broadcast and thinking to himself, “I’m gonna turn it up this year and there ain’t nothing 6-3-1 can do about it.”  Kobe somehow was more tolerable to me and another Lakers championship wouldn’t be as hard to swallow as a Miami Heat triumph.

Go ahead and win another title. As long as 6-3-1 doesn't I'm cool with it

LeBron James, for all his business acumen, seems like an insecure child sometimes.  He’s already defined his career and legacy as a failure is he doesn’t win a ring.  He needs that ring to be Michael Jordan or better.  The only thing is that Michael would never have gone to another team to get what he wanted.  Michael was going to make things happen on his terms.  People would have to join him and not the other way around.  Kobe is the same.  Magic and Larry Bird were also the same.  LeBron just wants to be part of something and if that gets him the ring, nothing else matters.  That’s why he’ll never be like Mike.

Jordan would've never joined The Bad Boys. It was his way or no way

Was it worth it LeBron?

Does Dwyane Wade realize that he’s gonna be LBJ’s lackey in Miami and not the other way around?

Be careful what you wish for Dwyane

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Currently the NBA dominates many of the main pages of sports websites, not just with playoff updates but with the upcoming Lebron sweepstakes. Beyond the upcoming free agency of Lebron, several significant things occurred over the last week that will make a difference in the remainder of this season. The fascinating part is that something major has happened at each level from ownership to players performance all within this time span. I will highlight the week in four categories: The Team, The Owner, The Coach, and The player.

The Team: The Celtics

Garnett: I get to be Bernie next time Paul!

Remember the regular season? You know the one in which the aging stars were taking turns being Bernie carried around by a couple of younger guys? Then something happened….some say it was Quentin Richardson’s shove on Pierce in Game 1 vs The Heat and other’s think they were tired of being over looked. Whatever the change, it has made a huge difference.

Series 1 MIA Heat vs BOS Celtics, Best player: Dwayne Wade, MIA

Series 2 BOS Celtics vs CLE Cavaliers, Best player: Lebron James, CLE

Series 3 BOS Celtics vs ORL Magic, Best Player:   Dwight Howard, ORL

Yet Despite not having the best player in any of the series, Celtics have simply out played everyone and if the playoffs ended today, Rajon Rondo would be the Playoffs MVP. Now I  know he did not have a great game, but he has been the drive force and put up some great games through out the playoffs. Although, Boston lost tonight with Pierce and Allen carrying the load, they are up 3-1 and the Magic needed OT to win one game. Rajon Rondo will come back strong next game, and it will be 4-1 series after Wednesday in Orlando, unless Matt Barnes get’s his fiance to come in and fight for him cause she can box! (As seen on Basketball Wives).

The Owner: Mikhail Prokhorov

It's affffirmatav I own you

Although the sale of the New Jersey Nets was approved on May 11,  Mikhail made last week his by appearing at the Draft Lottery and doing an interview with the Yes Network’s Mike Francesa on Mike’d Up (Formerly Mike and the Mad Dog). To his dismay, New Jersey didn’t land John Wall, I mean, they didn’t get the first pick in 2010 Draft, ending up with the three pick.  This could basically end the chances of getting Lebron to come in and play with Wall.  Unless the Wizards find that trash bag full of Rubles along with the 3rd pick in Belmont Harbor.  Mikhail made his fortunes on some insider deals and favors, so I don’t see him changing his practices now. Wizard’s GM go to http://www.xe.com/ucc/ before you start negotiating the terms.

The Coach: Mike Brown

Nice Cuff links, plenty of room to hide the buy off money from the Knicks

In an effort to keep their King, Mike Brown must be beheaded. Anyone who saw the lineup verse the Celtics would think Mike Brown was trying to land a job out of town. His line-ups with Shaq, Big Z, and the reemergence of Boobie Gibson while keeping his high energy guys, specifically Anderson Varejao, on the bench was so deplorable that I am surprised no one has mentioned the 1919 White Sox, someone should contact Donaghy’s Knick Friends for some info on the fix. I guess Coach Brown had seen all the exhibits at The Rock and Roll Hall of fame in Cleveland and couldn’t stand the thought of staying. Can we give more fire to the made up rumor about Delonte West and Gloria James, by saying Mike Brown actually video taped on four occasions? Good-Bye Mike, your coaching won’t be missed, but I hear your ability to capture a scene in wide angle might.

The Player: Amare Stoudemire.

"No Watery or Glassy Eyes Here"

After Game 1, Stoudemire called Odom’s game one performance lucky. Well turns out it didn’t matter what candy he ate cause the Lakers took  game two. Perhaps the Stoudemires’ were just unlucky with the first two games and his mom’s joy ride home, if that was the case yesterday luck changed for him as he poured in 42 points in a must win to keep the series relevant game (see NBA comebacks from 0-3, p.s. there aren’t any). Being shopped around mid-season to a crucial part of a finals contenders is quite the swing, he must have gotten a special pair of rec specs that have changed his fortune and cursed the Cavs for not picking him up.

The old ineffective pair

That’s just the tip.

Enjoy

The Bearded Guy