With the new NBA season approaching, Southern Californians have much to be excited about. This upcoming season has as much promise as any other Laker season. After and early exit from last season’s playoffs and a long off-season the Lakers pulled of enough big moves to have the picked as the favorites. Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Jodie Meeks, and Antwan Jamison have Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol chomping at the bit to get back to basketball.
The team to beat is still the Miami Heat and these Lakers haven’t played together or won anything. Who knows how they will gel, or how some of the older players will last through a full 82 games season let alone another 16 for a championship run. However, this team has so much potential players that compliment each other with a great mix of veterans and youth. Players who have won and been there before and those who are hungry and motivated to win.
The best scorer in the NBA still might be Kobe, the best defensive player is by all means Dwight Howard, the least selfish player is Steve Nash, and the player with the most finesse is Pau Gasol. Pieces everywhere with a bench that can score and build on leads as opposed to last season that fell apart at every chance.
This NBA season can’t start fast enough.
As the Olympics are in full swing Michael Phelps has officially become the only person with 19 medals. That raises the question, is he the greatest athlete ever?
The knee jerk reaction is for most people to say no, but an argument can be made. Name another athlete that has dominate his sport they way he has. Jordan has 6 Championships but that’s a season long team sport. Tiger Woods has 14 Major Wins but again he’s constantly competing and if he loses one he has another three chances that year.
What other athlete has to train and practice for four years to have their whole event happen in a matter of minutes. Most of the best competitors are judged how they do in crunch time. You could argue that every moment that Phelps competes in a crunch time. There isn’t four quarters, nine innings, or twelve rounds. He hops in the pool and its crunch time no room for error.
I don’t know that I can say he’s the greatest athlete but in some ways he deserves to be in the conversation. Without him competing in a mainstream sport it will be hard for him to be considered that way. He is one of the greatest American athletes of all time.
The ringless king is no more Lebron James finally has his championship. The Miami Heat downed the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games, and ever though they were close Miami pulled it out every time. The Heat played more desperate, with a true sense of urgency. After being scorned by the Dallas mavericks last year you could see the Heat were not going to be denied. So what does that mean… Lebron got his first ring.
Let’s take that in for a second, Lebron has won a ring and is a Champion and no one can take that away from him. However if I hear one more person compare him to Jordan or Kobe I might go on a shooting rampage. Jordon is the best that ever lived and played the game, end of conversation. Kobe is a close second I would go as far as to say 1A. The both control games run their teams and have more to the NBA that anyone else. Both won and dominated in a time where there were some amazing players on other teams. There are the class of the NBA… Lebron isn’t there yet.
That being said he’s on path to be there if he wins three or four more rings, gold medal, all defensive team and plays at a high level I will allow his named to be used in the same sentence. That hasn’t happened yet so stop it! He has won one ring that’s all let’s not over do it he may never win again. How many people in the NBA have one ring? Lebron is great but so were Patrick Ewing, Allen Iverson and Charles Barkley. Also let’s be fair I’m not hating on him joining forces with Dewayne Wade either, Kobe had Shaq, and Jordan had Pippen. People forget how amazing Pippen was, shut down defender who could score at will. He doesn’t get any credit he needed Jordan to be the guy so he could flourish without being in the spotlight but he was a great player.
Let’s see where Lebron’s career goes from here now that he’s won a ring will he fall off? Not be as aggressive? Will the team get worst because they can’t afford anyone? All possibilities next season here we go!
Growing up a fight fan and even competing on the amateur ranks you’ve always heard that boxing is a dirty sport. That with so much money being laid on the line for one event one night that lasts only 36 minutes it attracts cheating. I figured like most sports it was semi dirty we’ve heard the scandals of point shaving, refs being paid off and I’m sure a lot more that never get caught.
All this being said the Pacquiao v Bradley fight was insanity. I mean it was pure insanity. Without being accused of hyperbole I can’t say that mind was blown with the decision. It made no sense to me, I couldn’t wrap my brain around it and I still can’t. Bradley lost the fight! He honestly lost the fight nine rounds to three but if you gave him everything under the sun within reason, benefit of the doubt an all, he still lost the fight seven rounds to five. But checks the scorecard because he got the decision.
I know the powers to be control what happens here, and let speculation occur. Maybe it’s because Mayweather is in jail so the need a rematch with him, maybe they don’t want to fight Marquez or Cotto because it wouldn’t attract anyone. It could be that the judges were mad at Manny for prolonging the fight to watch the Celtic play. Maybe the sport desperately needs a new face and with Manny and Floyd on their way out the Bradley is the choice. Who knows? What I do know is Bradley caught a beat down lost clearly and some how still won, makes me not want to watch boxing anymore and seems like the dirtiness in the sport is becoming more clear.
This weekend was tough for LA fans. The Lakers lost putting them in a 3-1 hole against the much younger more talented Thunder. The veteran and crafty Spurs swept the Los Angeles Clippers right out of the playoffs. Then some how the Kings who were running though everyone lost a game to Phoenix. I can’t remember a time a city was slapped by reality so quickly.
The Kings will most likely be fine they control the series and might of lost their closeout game but will have plenty of chances to finish the job and get the Stanley Cup. However the Clippers showed whom they really were by getting out matched by the Spurs. After a gutsy series with Memphis they got man-handled by the Spurs and never won a game.
The Lakers deficiencies finally got caught up with them. They were older, slower, and less cohesive then the Thunder. And not to forget they were completely out coached as well. Its sad to say but the team will likely be dismantled and everyone can be trade bait with the exception of Kobe. As sad as it might be, it is needed that then lacks depth and character. Andrew Bynum who is supposed to be a budding star doesn’t even seem to care if he’s there next year or not “It really doesn’t matter to me. I’ll play anywhere. I think for the most part I had a pretty decent season and an OK postseason, so we’ll see.”
The coming weeks will be telling when it comes to the future of the Clippers and Lakers. With fans let down and a new CBA in effect who can make the most efficient moves will prove the winner. For the Lakers if a Championship banner isn’t hung the season is a failure, something the Clippers don’t know yet. But if the team gets stuck in 2nd round purgatory to use Max Kellerman’s words a Championship will be the only definition of success.
With the Mayweather vs. Cotto bout in the books the only thing left to do is reflect and speculate on a hopeful Manny vs. Floyd Fight. I use their first names because and this point with all the hype in the world on this potential fight, if you don’t know their first names you’ve been living under a rock.
The fight went exactly as I and most expected it would, with Cotto fighting hard landing some shots but simply not being enough to compete with the best fighter of my generation. The first few rounds were classic Floyd picking his spots moving well and showing his amazing defense and hand speed.
The middle rounds became more interesting though. Cotto for a while turned the fight into a brawl using Floyd’s cockiness against him. Having him on the ropes for a few occasions and landing some strong blows. Even to the point where Floyd was bleeding from the nose and mouth. However, Floyd is still Floyd. He battled right through tagging Cotto right back and letting him know you can hit me but you probably can’t hurt me. After the middle rounds were complete things went back to Mayweather’s pace.
As the fight went on you simply realized Cotto was out matched. He is an amazing fighter who will go down in the history books as a great one. That doesn’t seem to matter when you’re in the ring with arguably one of the greatest fighters ever! Floyd has every skill you need to be the best: speed, chin, arm length, stamina and an attitude that matches.
This leaves only one thing left for Floyd and Manny to figure it out and get in the ring. They seem very far apart to be realistic though, upfront money and drug testing seem to be sticking points and neither really cares to bend for the other. Sadly, as they end their careers both don’t need money or any “add to the legacy” to prove their greatness. The best thing is that they are both running out of opponents, they’ve both beaten everyone. Tim Bradley will fight Manny next month but this doesn’t seem to be anything worth seeing. No knock to Bradley he is a great fighter who stands a chance at winning, but there is only one fight on peoples mind.
As Cinco de Mayo approaches many will be making plans to BBQ, meet up with family and enjoy a much-needed day off. I will be doing the same with one much anticipated addition the Mayweather Cotto fight. Even though this isn’t the fight most want with Pacquiao, this fight could result in something even more exciting. For those who watch boxing it’s a known fact that styles make fights, and this could be a clash of styles.
Floyd has speed and skill on his side; he is the ultimate boxer and tactician. His counter punching coupled with amazing head and body movement make him a challenge for anyone. Cotto is a bruiser and a boxer you can hit him and get to him and long as you understand he’s going to hit you back! He likes to make exciting fights with lots of exchanges. With the fight being at 154 Cotto will attempt to use his size and strength to his advantage in hope to slow and hurt Mayweather.
This fight tears me down the middle these are my two favorite fighters and it’s going to be a battle. Cotto is the pride of Puerto Rico(my heritage) and has in my eyes only lost to Manny in his career. I subscribe to the Margarito use weighted gloves theory. Then there’s the issue that Floyd is Floyd he doesn’t lose, take that back he hasn’t ever lost. With an unblemished record he has beaten everyone and everything in front of him. Although it breaks my heart I have to pick Mayweather as he says 42 have tried and 42 have failed.
As the NBA shortened season is coming to a close a very important question needs to be answered. Who is the best point guard? The league seems to go through flows of being center or big man driven to smaller point guard driven. We are at a stage where the league it littered with high-flying exciting guards. There are only really two great centers in the league right now Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum after them it falls off hard.
So within all these great guards whose the best? I’ve compiled a list of the top five. So let’s go from the bottom up and you tell me where you think I went wrong. To be fair all the guards are amazing but let’s pick them apart anyway.
5. Deron Williams- Deron is a complete player he can score, defend, shoot outside and can distribute the ball. He’s a bigger guard who uses his muscle to his advantage. However the bad, which isn’t much is that, he’s a score first point guard who can fall in love with his own shot. Some might say he is the only real option in New Jersey but the best guards are the coaches of the floor and I don’t get that from Deron. Plus he’s in New Jersey, which is a handicap, whether people want to admit it or not they’ve won 19 games all year long. Heading towards being 20 games under .500 isn’t how you prove you’re the best guard.
4. Chris Paul- The more traditional type of guard, he is pass first controls a game and gets everyone involved. That being said he can score and score at will. Master of the pick and roll and forces teams into a mismatch and takes advantage. The issue is that sometimes he forgets he needs to score and he needs to keep the other team honest. Every month he throws in a couple of under 10 point games and that can’t continue going into the playoffs. His other man issue is health. Knee issues plague him and will continue too and to be the best you have to be there every game.
3.Russell Westbrook- He starts narrowing this list and making it hard. Russell can do everything and anything he wants on the court. He scores at will he can drop dimes and will take over games for stretches. He leaves his mark on every game and will make other teams adjust. The issue is his mark can be a bad one; Russell loves to shoot and wants to be the star. This becomes an issue since he has the leagues MVP to his left. Kevin Durant needs to be the first option and needs to lead the team Westbrook doesn’t always allow that. He takes bad shots a lot because of such a high talent level he can fall into the trap of trying to do too much.
2.Rajon Rondo- Rondo…. Rose…Rondo…Rose. This is hard but I have to give the edge to Rose. Rondo somehow dominates the ball and the game and can’t shoot a lick. His shooting has vastly improved but most teams give him enough room to pull up when u wants daring him to shoot. That being said with all that extra room he still gets to the hoop and still get’s everyone involved. His ball handling is insane reminding me a little of Magic Johnson the way he simply manipulates the ball and the defenders eyes. Even with his deficiency at shooting he still scores and is leading a very old team back to prominence in the East.
1. Derrick Rose- Now I know your first statement will be, I knock Chris Paul for his health and Rose hasn’t played much this year. And even at more so his team did very well without him, holding the fort down and keeping the wins rolling. However Derrick Rose is explosive, can score and finish at the rim with real force and dominance. With his speed and aggressiveness when he passes the ball his teammates are in much better spots to be wide open and have their defender sucked into the paint trying to stop Rose. He then put in the work and extended his range to three-point range. He can dominate a game for 48 minutes, has a motor that won’t stop and can’t beat you in so many ways that when he’s on the court your simply trying to keep him under control. He is the best guard barely but nonetheless he is number one.
Peyton Manning is a Denver Bronco! This is the end of a saga that went on way to long without any action. Than within a couple of weeks was completely settled. Peyton and the Indianapolis Colts were at a stand still for months. They seemingly were amicable but they also seemed to be taking quiet shots at each other. Talking through the media can become a choppy situation nonetheless.
A few weeks back the Colts finally said they were going to release him not pay him, and allow him to sign with another team. A few days later Peyton went on a trip to visit the few teams he was interested in like the Cardinals, Broncos, and Titans. Then without much talk after that he told his agent to make the deal with the Broncos and now his jersey will go on sale done and done.
One domino fell and the rest came down instantly after it, like it usually does in sports back door deals are always being worked and options are always being weighed. The one domino left standing out in the cold is Tim Tebow.
What does this mean for him? The team will most likely trade him by the end of this week. Contrary to many people who are saying who would even want him he actually has some options. The Jaguars are in first position needing a quarterback since Blaine Gabbert isn’t working out. Also Tebow played for the Florida Gators and for a team that is struggling to stay relevant Tebow would be a much injection of energy.
The next couple of weeks will be interesting, as Tebow will be moved the draft will be getting closer what will teams address and where will some of these players in free agency end up.
The NBA All-Star Weekend has come and gone, and like most All-Star sporting events it wasn’t anything to remember. The events aren’t exciting anymore mainly because it doesn’t count for anything and the players are going through the motions. The games are simply players running around playing no defense and jacking up whatever shot they feel like. However, this game had an incident to be discussed. Dewayne Wade for a split second decided that after Kobe had drove past him, he didn’t want to let him just score and was going to make him earn it from the foul line. I say that only because no one fouls anyone in these games and it’s an unwritten rule that everyone pretty much has a free lane to the hoop.
Now Kobe was let past Dewayne, he didn’t fight him on the way to the hoop at all he waited until he was past him through his hands over his head from behind and slammed his face. Now this would have been a hard foul in any game but because when he grabbed Kobe he broke his nose and gave him a concussion things get taken to the next level.
Was it fair or foul? Or even worst was it intentional? Wade has never been deemed a dirty player and no one really thinks that he meant to hurt Kobe. The circumstances could have been a simple accident, but I ask why did he even grab Kobe at all? There weren’t any other plays similar to that, where a player was beat and then decided that he wanted foul last second. No one really knows why it happened but there is one thing everyone knows, Kobe plays best when he’s mad and a little banged up. This could be a good thing for Lakers fans.