Archive for June, 2012

Posted: June 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

Just wow. Really? Wow.

NBA.com | Hang Time Blog



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HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS — Talk about an odd couple.

Stoic Spurs superstar Tim Duncan and live-wire Celtics superstar Kevin Garnett have lived at opposite ends of basketball’s emotional spectrum for their entire careers.

But could they be on the verge of joining forces in silver and black?

If we are to believe the rumblings coming from San Antonio, it’s not as crazy as it sounds. The two veteran, free agents to be are both on the Spurs’ radar, per the great Buck Harvey of the Express News:

Now they are unrestricted free agents, and, as always, contrasts. While Duncan is expected to quietly re-sign this summer with the Spurs, no one is sure what happens next in Boston. Garnett added to the uncertainty Saturday night, leaving the locker room without talking to reporters.

Garnett could retire. He could sign another contract with the Celtics. Or the…

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I like Scott Brooks’ use of his bench this series. He has limited Parker and Ginobli’s points in the paint and guarded the perimeter well. The superstar that is Kevin Durant has done what superstars do: raised his level of play and inspired his teammates to do the same. Westbrook tried to give it away, but Durant took control late in the fourth quarter for the second straight game. I don’t know what happened to the Spurs. Wait, I do. Adversity showed up.

NBA.com | Hang Time Blog



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HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS — It’s easy to focus on the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Big 3 Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden when they’re playing as well as they have in the past three games of the Western Conference finals.

But to focus solely on the stars would overlook perhaps the most startling development in this series. The Thunder’s role players, commonly referred to as the “others,” are outplaying their Spurs counterparts considerably in the past 12 quarters of this series.

Praised by many as the deepest and most balanced team in the league, the Spurs haven’t been able to lean on the likes of Matt Bonner, Gary Neal, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter or any of the extras who helped them roll to 20 straight wins since April 11, and that includes those two wins over the Thunder in Games 1 and 2…

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One of the craziest Naughty Show episodes I’ve seen. Live BDSM with a dominatrix and her slave.

Nice move. Still not trusting Jim Buss when it involves Bynum. If Dwight is available for a straight up trade, will he pull the trigger?

ProBasketballTalk

There was never a question whether or not the Lakers would pick up their $16.1 million option on Andrew Bynum. He was a lock to stay.

The question has always been what is next?

The Lakers made it official Monday that they picked up Bynum’s option for next season. It’s not the smart move, it was the only move. You don’t let young All-Star centers walk for nothing.

But now what?

Bynum can be a free agent next summer. The Lakers need to either convince Bynum to stay — he says he wants to, but they need to make sure he knows he is the post-Kobe heart of the franchise. Which leads to the question of if you want to do that, he is temperamental and injury prone. Is he really the future anchor.

The Lakers also can trade him. They would for Dwight Howard, but that’s the long…

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NBA.com | Hang Time Blog



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SAN ANTONIO – The pick and roll was the primary weapon in their offense that carried the Spurs to 50 wins in the regular season and a 20-game winning streak through the first two games of the Western Conference finals.

Now, after back-to-back losses in OKC, the Spurs are hoping to pick the lock on the Thunder’s pick and roll defense in tonight’s critical Game 5.

“It’s been the same defense that started with the Clippers. They’re showing that big wall and trapping and stuff like that,” said point guard Tony Parker following Monday’s pregame shootaround. “I just have to keep playing, attacking and stay aggressive.

“The bigs are coming more up to make sure I don’t get that pocket shot. We were doing the same thing on Chris Paul, make sure don’t get any pocket shots. It has nothing to do with Thabo (Sefolosha). It’s…

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I remember when I first discovered the comedy of Joey Coco Diaz. I was watching and episode of Def Comedy Jam. The DVD series had just come out and I was the only one that had it. I thought he was white (He’s Cuban.) when I first saw him in 2001. I knew he would have to bring the funk in front of the Def Comedy crowd or it was going to be like the Apollo. I don’t remember a specific bit or joke. I just remember thinking, this dude is funny as shit. He was bat shit crazy and the crowd ate it up. Fast forward to present day and he’s one of the best guests on my favorite podcast: The Joe Rogan Experience. He has his own podcast called Beauty and Da Beast and recently released a documentary, Where I Got My Balls From. If you’ve never heard of this guy, you need to check him out. Some people live that life so you won’t have to. That’s Joey Diaz. He’s fucked up. He has a fucked up past and he’s not afraid to talk about it. Like Charlie Murphy, he has some behind the scenes of the industry stories to tell. Here’s an excerpt from one of the JRE where he “just remembered” selling coke to Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown and Ricky Martin.

He’s hilarious and you never know what you’re going to get with that guy. Check him out at beautyanddabeast.com His documentary and his comedy album “It’s Either Me or the Priest” is available on payloadz.com and soon to be on iTunes.

 

When I was younger, I discounted the basketball ability of superstar players on other teams. As I got older and more limited while playing pickup games, I learned to appreciate the ability of players like Dirk Nowitski, Karl Malone and Tim Duncan. All have a history with my favorite team, the Los Angeles Lakers, and until I got older I couldn’t see past my allegiances. Dirk beat my Lakers last year and went on to win a championship, thus earning my respect. Karl Malone joined the purple and gold for a year and a half, before falling to injury in the Finals. (Might have had a chance if he was 100 percent. Still won’t let it go.) I didn’t appreciate what The Mailman could do until he was on my favorite team. And Tim Duncan’s playoff performances this year have been off the charts. I didn’t appreciate him until I got older either.

When you’re a young ball player and fan, you respect dunks and flash. If it made ESPN’s Sports Center, it mattered. While I appreciate a nasty dunk (preferably on somebody popular)  like the next man, I have learned to appreciate excellence in the sport. Not only athletic excellence, but the X’s and O’s. Setting screens, boxing out and hitting a cutting teammate in stride for a layup, hold equal value to my basketball mind. Largely due to my declining athletic skill while playing pickup basketball, this new found appreciation for the technical part of the game came to me over time. When I was younger, I could run games for eight to ten hours, often times back-to-back. I would watch players and try to recreate their moves on the black top. I jumped and contorted into a pretzel and scooped shots over my head. I shot way beyond my jump shot range and tried to block shots I knew I had no way of reaching. Well, old legs brings new found responsibility. Now older, I found I had a limited amount of jumping, shooting and running per outing. Limitations make you refine existing talents.

Much like a blind man developing a keen sense of hearing, I found success with a pull up jump shot and a optional hook or fade away jump shot over my right shoulder. But I digress. My point is I don’t like hype and players that get hype I habitually discard or patiently wait for them to fail. I called Tim Duncan “Paper Tim” after seeing Marcus Camby manhandle him in a college matchup pitting Wake Forest against UMass. He’s the only guy I’ve ever predicted to be a bust and he became a superstar, multiple ring holder.

LeBron was hyped more than anyone in basketball history. He got a fat Nike contract and had high school games televised on ESPN. The Chosen One was the first pick and averaged 25 ppg 7 and 7 his rookie year. I argued Carmelo Anthony, who also posted a 20+ point rookie season and led his team to the playoffs, deserved co-Rookie of the Year alongside James. In hindsight, that would have been a mistake. LEBRON JAMES WILL BE THE GREATEST PLAYER EVER. I did not say the best winner ever. He will not win as many championships as Michael Jordan. He will not be considered the BEST EVER. But he will break records. He will win at least one championship, if not more. And, he will do it all while getting his own shot, shutting down the opposing team’s high scorer and making teammates better by getting them the ball. He can literally do everything on the court RIGHT NOW. All of the basketball greats (Bird, Magic, Jordan) have said LeBron, not Kobe, will be the greatest player to ever play based on his skill set. However, all disagreed publicly about “The Decision” to leave Cleveland for Miami.

“You know, Kobe [Bryant] was always my favorite since I got out,” Bird told ESPN’s Bill Simmons recently. “But LeBron James is by far our best player in this league. I don’t really think there’s anyone next to him. I think he’s there, and then you go down the list.”

His jumper is a little unreliable. He avoids the ball in the 4th quarter. He misspeaks during interviews. He made “The Decision” and hurt Cavs owner Dan Gilbert’s and the national media’s feelings. Basketball purists lost respect for him even though he went to the Finals ala Allen Iverson, just him and four picks. He drew more hate when he promised multiple championship rings to the city of Miami. He, along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh rose through the floor in a plume of smoke and flashing lights like a SuperBowl Halftime show. He’s been accused of not having “the clutch gene”, “killer instinct” and for his inability to hit game winning buzzer beaters in crunch time.

He finished the season with 27.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg and almost 2 steals per contest. He’s been in the league nine years. He has two Finals appearances and three MVP trophies. RIGHT NOW, he’s averaging 29.9 ppg, 8.9 reb and 5.5 assists. The media is calling for this guy’s head. Why? Because he didn’t tell anyone where he what team he was going to play for during his free agency. The media looks for holes even when there really aren’t many. If he had a 50 point game with 20 assists, LeBron would draw comparisons to Jordan and come out on the short end, because he doesn’t have one, let alone six championship rings. He had 40 points and 18 rebounds against Indiana and it was largely overlooked by mainstream media. SURPRISED? Hate him as a fan, understandable. Hate him as a man, understandable. But hate him based on ability, you are being biased by the aforementioned two reasons. There will never be another MICHAEL JORDAN. That’s the media’s trump card. No one wins that debate. Kobe is arguably the closest to rivaling Jordan’s legacy, holding five championship rings. But if he ends without a sixth title, talking heads will crucify him for being less than. Don’t fall for the misinformation. You don’t have to hit buzzer beaters to be great. Magic only hit a few of those in crucial Playoff wins. His five rings make up for it. The ring for LeBron will silence some people. But the Jordan comparison will always trump any basketball achievement. What if Magic was compared to Jordan? Would he be as beloved? He only won five championships. Basketball fans need closure about this. It’s like a break up. You start remembering all those moments as a fan with Jordan winning and become nostalgic. JORDAN IS IN A SUIT. He doesn’t suit up.  JORDAN DOES HANES COMMERCIALS. He owns the worst team in basketball. I know you remember “The Shrug”, “The Shot” over Ehlo and “The Last Shot” over Russell. I know you remember the battles with the Pistons and Knicks. The Dunk Over Patrick Ewing was classic. I GET IT BRO. My advice is to get over it and get on with your sports life. LEBRON JAMES is the BEST PLAYER in the game RIGHT NOW. And half of ya’ll are missing it, because you’re listening to what the media says and wants you to believe.

When you think of basketball and winning an NBA Championship, who do you visualize hoisting the trophy? Most people associate winning at the highest level in the NBA to Michael Jordan. With the exception of the Celtics’ Bill Russell, Jordan’s six championship titles with the Chicago Bulls is the most ever with one franchise of any living player. (Don’t say Robert Horry.)  Jordan won scoring titles, league and Finals MVP awards. If superstars followed the cookie cutter formula I call the Jordan Blueprint, they would win their first championship in year seven and be afforded all the accolades that come with the preceding Three-Peat. Then, they would retire and take up another sport. Only after the pleading of their superstar coach and the millions of basketball fans AND The President of the United States personal request for said superstar’s return, would he return to the game he loved. He would get bounced early in the playoffs only to return for a second Three-Peat. He would cap this off by shooting the most prolific final Finals shot in the history of basketball. He would hug his coach, smoke a stogie and be doused with champagne. Unfortunately, he would return once again for “the love of the game” and make fans wish for the magic that he created, but could no longer create because of his advanced age. Again, he would retire, get fired as an executive, only to be hired again as an executive for another franchise. He would be spectacularly incompetent when scouting talent and would eventually own the god forsaken franchise he already personally dismantled. He would give a bitter Hall of Fame induction speech, challenging unknown nemeses and even threatening to make another comeback. Obviously, the blueprint will never be duplicated. It’s a movie, begging to be made. And I didn’t delve into his off the court troubles. Why does everybody want to Be Like Mike? Because the closer you are to Mike, the closer you are to perfection as a ball player. It almost takes on a religious tone. If you are Jordan-like then you are walking the right path in the basketball world.

Superstar Criteria

  1.  Ability to raise his level of play and control the outcome of games. Specifically,  during adverse situations
  2.  Statistics; points per game, assists and rebounding (blocks)
  3.  Championships. Rings won as a contributing starter on a championship roster. Not coming off the bench, John Salley style.

After watching Kevin Durant dismantle the San Antonio Spurs over the past three games in this Western Conference Finals, I see someone, like Dwyane Wade before him, who will shatter the cookie cutter formula Jordan created to become a champion. So far, he’s played it the right way. He’s unselfish, sometimes to a fault. By all accounts, he’s a good teammate. And, he knows his role as a superstar in the NBA. Still in his early 20s, he will soon bear “The Next Jordan” two thousand ton crown. If he can lead the Thunder to an NBA championship, Kevin Durant will feel the weight of such lofty expectations. And it won’t take him seven years to do it.