NBA Free Agency…ready, set…

July 1st is upon us and it’s time to get back into the what-what of the NBA, speculations, dollar$ and sense….or no sense.

Let’s start with the Heat!  That LeBron thing is settled in that as I said before that D-Wade opting in would settle that.   The man is not opting out of 42 million without guarantees that he is going to get to ride LeBron’s coattail a few years longer.  He will get a longer term deal that stretches out that money and saves him face.  Brian Windhorst reported that Bosh is on vacation after the Big Three (along with Udonis Haslem who also opted out on 10 million) broke bread over the weekend.  What does that tell you?  It tells me that since LeBron has never been the highest paid player of his team since he entered the league, that will change now with Bosh getting the second highest salary and Wade the third.

At issue is really what Riley will do with the roster… besides moving up two spots to get LeBron’s college crush Shabazz Napier.  I also suspect that LeBron’s contract may not be as long term as permissible. Being an astute business man that he is, he’s going to want to keep Riley and owner Micky Arison’s feet to the fire long term.

Sick of Derrick Rose!  I was off the Rose wagon after he got his first major injury two season ago, and while that team was struggling to play the Heat in the playoffs.  Luol Deng was having spinal tap issues while Joakim Noah and Nate Robinson were killing themselves balls to the wall for the Bulls, Rose is shooting jumpers and dunking in front of the cameras during pre-game.  ‘Oh he may be back or not.’   All along the word in the streets were he wasn’t going to play period.  As soon as the Bulls were eliminated he started talking shit about how explosive he was.  Fast forward he tears a meniscus, (a month long injury) and he again sits out the rest of the season.  Now that it’s time to get some free agency help with the roster, this primadonna out here talking about if Carmelo wants to come he will come but it ain’t his job to recruit.   Yea OK I see.  Hell I guess he doesn’t care seeing that in January of 2015 his broke body ass probably won’t be playing anyway.  If I’m Melo…. ‘F’ Derrick Rose!  I don’t want to play with Mr. Glass anyway!’

mr-glass-samuel-l-jackson-unbreakable

Does Houston have a problem?  There seems to be this talk about how the Rockets have such an attractive team.  But when I look at that roster I see problems.  D12 can’t be relied upon though he had a pretty nice 2014 playoffs.  And your most dominate personality and ball hogging handler on the team just refuses to play defense!  Just flat out refuses!  I see that as a hot mess more than an opportunity.  If they were in a bigger media market, they wouldn’t get the benefit of the doubt the way they do.  Some really good star free agent may take the chance (Melo) but being in the West, I don’t know how that’s going to ultimately work out in the end.  The Rockets are a great regular season team, I don’t see them being made for championships!

Lakers draft well!  Being a Laker man as I am, I am ecstatic with Julius Randle.  I just have to see more.  I suspect not having a head coach is all about remaining attractive to potentially Melo and James.  Funny as they don’t give a rats ass about what Kobe thinks. Letting Gasol walk would be a mistake.  And since Boston took Marcus Smart, Rondo has to be on the block and we need to see about getting him!  I’m far from trusting Jim Buss… so we’ll see!

**Andrew Wiggins is country as hell.  His daddy may be Mitchell, but his uncle must be CJ Memphis from A Soldier’s Story!

Feeling sorry for Jabari!  I bet JP has GOT to be thinking, “What kind of BS am I walking into now?  First the Bucks drafted me… they play in MILWAUKEE!  Cats from Chicago know how piss poor sorry Milwaukee is, especially for black folks.  They wear them ugly ass uniforms, they play on an ugly ass floor, and NOBODY wants to live there.   Losing in Philly is not as bad as at least the city is popping!  I’m just saying, I may elect to live in Cleveland before Milwaukee.  All of that is bad enough… now you got this Jason Kidd situation.  What the hell is THAT about?

parker

Jason Kidd to me is a rat fink!  Let’s look at the facts.  He gets a job in Brooklyn, NY of all places straight out of his playing days with no coaching experience.  He didn’t even sit at an ESPN or TNT booth and talk about the game like Doc Rivers, Mark Jackson and Steve Kerr did to give the perception he knew how to run a team while not dribbling the ball up the court.  Nets ownership put all this money into the team attracting free agents for him, KG, The Truth and Joe Johnson all got on board with him and even stuck with him during the Lawrence Frank debacle.  And now because Derek Fisher got more $$ than he did, he wants to flirt with his buddy in Milwaukee about getting the job there with more money and power.  Oh and wait a minute… here’s the really fun part: Larry Drew was coaching the team and was still under contract.  That didn’t stop Kidd… a narcissistic ‘BAN’ who went all the way O’Jays and won the BET award for back stabbing.  (I’ll deal with BET and other black award shows in another blog soon.)  Now he’s going from Brooklyn USA… to fuk’n MILWAUKEE…. with that team’s history, with that roster, with that dysfunction!  Good luck with that  cause in most NBA circles he’s done!  To that coaching fraternity, especially among the black coaches, he’s dead to them!  I’m sure Mikhail Prokhorov told him, “Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.  You ungrateful bastard!  And no you can’t come get your shit!  I’ll ship it to you if and when I damn well get ready!”

Anyhoo… all the major moves should be decided by the weekend!

Happy 4th!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wasting Away of Kobe, Ego Gone Wild, or OMG!, Get ‘Antoni Outta Here!

Real Talk: Yea yea the Lakers are older… Dwight’s back isn’t what it needs to be yet… (and he has NO moves in the post… obviously was NOT listening to Dream (Hakeem Olajuwon) when he worked out with him…

BUT…the REAL problem with the Lakers is this ego-maniacal coach ‘Antoni (no D)  This dude didn’t learn in NY that you can’t take pieces and make them what you want them to be instead of maximizing what you got and be successful.  The fact that Pau Gasol is playing on the perimeter like Leandro Barbosa is mortally stupid!

136016597JG035_New_York_Kni

‘Antoni’ was on the bench this past summer when Pau dominated the post the likes of Tyson Chandler during the gold medal game of the Olympics.  And yet, here he is hanging out like a lost child around the three point line.  Why in the hell would he NOT put Pau in the post with Dwight?  You know why?  Cause we are all fuckin’ idiots and he’s the smartest dick in the room…or so he thinks!

Say what you want about Kobe.  The bottom line he is is one of the greatest to ever lace them up.  He is all balls cold blooded killa 24-7.  His game while undisciplined a year or so ago when he was hurt, is as efficient as ever nowadays.  His fundamentals are flawless, and as he showed us last night with that flying stuff over CP3, can still rise up for the congregation when he needs to.  Obviously he’s too smart and likes ‘Antoni too much to criticize him publically.  But I sure as hell hope he’s in ‘Antoni’s ear in private.

I watched the game last night knowing that the Lakers were not going to win.  I had no doubt no matter how great Kobe played.  The Clips are doing their thing, playing to their strengths.  Not my boys.  Nooooo we are playing 2005 Suns style with a damn near 39 year old Steve Nash without the side parts he had in Phoenix.

Speaking of Gasol, he’s only won 2 championships right?  And how many has ‘Antoni won?

commodus

I’ve loved the Lakers since I watched my first NBA game in 1979.  Been with them through the ups and downs, never been fair weather.  Unfortunately the wisdom of the father (Dr. Jerry Buss) did not fall upon the son, (Jim) The way he tried to punk Phil Jackson while placing ‘Antoni in the mix after already hiring a no fit Mike Brown, shows that he is not invested in winning like his daddy.  While Dr. Buss built The Lakers into a dynasty, one of the most respected and revered sports organizations in the history of sports, Jimmy uses it as a toy; something to make him feel powerful and meaningful despite his obvious impotence.

He’s Commodus, wishing he was Maximus.  And thus… the Lakers are dead team walking getting fed to the lions on a nightly basis.

Welcome Back NBA!

2009 Lakers Championship Ring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glad to see the NBA is back and the Lakers are set to defend their championship.  They got things started with a win over the cross town Clippers without Pau Gasol who sat out with a minor injury. 

I think the Ron Artest thing is going to work out too.  Kobe looks like Kobe already.  Drew Bynum looks great and if we can keep him playing he may be an All-Star by mid season. 

On the other tip the Cavs suck!  Let me be clear, LeBron is great.  But the Cavs suck and the Celtics showed them that last night by punking them on their own court.  Shaq does not command the double teams he used to.  LeBron has to go 1 on 3-4 people. 

Daniel Gibson has not gotten any better whatsoever.  They miss Delonte West for sure.  I hope that he is able to settle his life down first and is able to return to the team soon. 

Paul Pierce dribbled into a screen set for him by Kevin Garnett (right), allowing Pierce to squeeze past Cleveland's LeBron James.

Redeem Team: Lakers Return to Greatness

 Kobe and family

***Memo to The Godfather: this is my last NBA Finals post. 

As I sat thinking about my view of the Lakers return to The Promised Land hours after their deciding Game 5 victory, I realized that I enjoyed the Lakers most recent success for different reasons.  Normally I am just fan.  The Lake Show has been my favorite for 30 years: win or lose.  

I enjoyed Magic’s five championships, and the return of Laker greatness with Shaq and Kobe.  There was something about this championship that got to me on a more human level though.  I connected with some of the players and coaches that I have watched over the years and felt good for their success.  I can tell by listening to them between games, in interviews etc. how much it meant to be at the top when the dust of the season settles.  

This is especially compelling when I consider the fact that most of our sports heroes make a tremendous amount of money and enjoy a level of fame that gives them privileges that most of us couldn’t imagine.  It makes me appreciate their commitment to excellence that much more. 

Then there is the defense against “hateration.”  In a way, the Lakers are compared to the Yankees for a societal theme that many people hate Goliath and cheer for the underdog.  I never agreed with the premise of, “I’m tired of seeing the Atlanta  Braves in the playoffs every year.  Why don’t they let someone else in it.”  In my opinion as long as no one is cheating dynasties are good for sports.  Excellence is something to be modeled.  Personally I don’t think the Yankees always spend their money wisely, but I respect that George Steinbrenner wants to win the World Series every freaggin year.

In my years as a Laker man, I’ve noticed that like many other dynasties people either love or hate them.  There is no middle ground.  When it comes to the more recent players, guys like Shaquille O’Neal were accepted because he was sort of a goof ball.  But cats like Kobe Bryant are horrifically crucified by Laker haters as a man who doesn’t have so much as a soul.  Part of that I think was his fault because he had a bit of a swag that people didn’t understand.  He came from a different country and became a superstar in a beloved American sport.  He had to compete with the likes of guys like Allen Iverson who sold more shoes than he did and Kobe tried to get street cred by not being himself.  He wasn’t a thug like A.I.  He was a sophisticated phenom who lived in Italy and traveled the world when kids like Iverson had barely left Hampton VA before going to Georgetown.  But he grew impatient and tried to be someone he wasn’t.  He didn’t come across well and youth was a part of that.  I think he wanted to do the right things.  But, but he didn’t have the maturity level and ability to bring people with him.  He isolated himself and when he caught that case in Colorado, it didn’t resonate with people to offer much empathy.

When you look at him now, I think he has come full circle in understanding the balance one has to have with being a mega star athlete driven beyond the level of most top level athletes, and being a person who can give and receive love and trust from others.  It seems like ages ago when Phil Jackson wrote that book about Kobe being uncoachable.  But over the last few seasons he has really grown up and I am happy to see that.  I love seeing redemptive qualities in people.  So I will put him as one of the people I am truly happy for in winning this championship. 

Kobe Bryant– for all the reasons I mentioned above.  Kobe is not just a basketball player anymore.  He is a man.  A respectable man with a beautiful family.  He teammates love him and I think he loves them back.  No more talk about him not winning without Shaq – which was ridiculous in itself cause it ain’t like Shaq led the Heat to the championship though he did run Stan Van Gundy in the middle of the season.  No,  that was pretty much Dwayne Wade killing the Dallas Mavericks in 2006.  Shaq was along for the ride.  Kobe was the man already, the best player in the league regardless of what “The Logo” Jerry West said.  This really puts his legacy in place regardless of whatever happens in his career from this day forward.  This team was horrible just a few years ago.  They were smashed in Game 6 against the Celtics last year.  And they redeemed themselves on the shoulders of their most talented player.  Kobe was the leader of the team in every sense of the word – including leading by example everyday.  I am sure he will remain classy during the offseason and we won’t be hearing any free style raps at local LA clubs where Kobe goes with a “Yo Shaq, tell me how my ass taste!” blast.

Derek Fisher– What can you say about D-Fish?  When I visited Staples in February to see the Lakers play the Hornets on my birthday, Kobe had his 39 but it was Fisher who hit the game tying three pointer to send the game into overtime as regulation expired. This guy has been through a lot since he left the Lakers years ago after their first three championships.  He played up north with the Golden State Warriors, then the Utah Jazz before his daughter became seriously ill.  Eventually the Jazz released him so that he could re-sign with the Lakers and be in a city where they had the medical facilities to treat his child.  Big ups to the late Jazz owner Larry Miller for that classy move.  Fisher is a business man, a hard core example of professionalism.  He’s a players rep with the NBA players association and has represented nothing but class during his entire NBA career.  This cat is so serious he put Luis Scola, a man almost twice his size on his ass and missed a playoff game just to send a message.  Remember that? How can you NOT be happy for this guy. 

Trophy

 Phil Jackson– This guy is hated on more than any other coach in basketball history.  The first thing people say is that he coached Jordan, then Kobe and Shaq.  Well I got three things to say about that.  For one, Jordan, Kobe and Shaq didn’t win a damn thing before he started coaching them.   Two, I have never seen a team with average players win any NBA championships.  I do remember after Jordan retired the first time, Jackson took the Bulls to the Eastern Conference Finals and was one Hugh Hollins phantom call that put Hubert Davis of the Knicks on the free throw line away from going to the Finals without MJ.  Three, when you look at a guy like Red Auerbach, hell he coached more Hall of Fame players than any other coach in the history of the game toward his 9 championship wins.  But you never hear anyone say, “Red had that damn Russell, Cousy, Jo Jo White, Sam Jones, and Havlicek – So how was he going to lose?”  No one said Doc Rivers couldn’t coach when his teams weren’t winning crap in Boston before they got Allen and Garnett to help Paul Pierce.  Think about this, in 10 NBA Finals victories Jackson’s teams have never gone to a Game 7 and have won deciding games on the courts of my Lakers, the Jazz, 76ers, Nets, and now the Magic.  To me that sounds like there is a lot of good coaching and preparation going on before the games.

Why is Phil criticized so much?  Because he is just smooth with his game.  He doesn’t scream at his players like Stan Van Gundy.  It’s not sexy television.  He has this anti-establishment tone to him.  It’s like he loves the game of basketball, is hyper competitive to be the best, but understands that it’s still a game and that there is more to life.  This is the same guy who after the Lakers won their third championship rode his motorcycle from Los Angeles to his ranch in Montana as a way to come down from the grind.  But look at the results.  He is his own man and that is why he left Chicago after their 6th championship.  Jerry Krause didn’t like the attention Phil got.  Phil didn’t give a flip anymore.  He gets it.  His players don’t tune him out, and his assistant coaches have remained loyal and stayed with him throuought his career.  And dammit he passed Red Auerbach.  Ten championships is ten championships.  Period.

I could go on talking about how I am happy too that Pau Gasol redeemed himself after having his manhood taken against the Celtics last year.  I called him Pau Gasoft.  Not anymore!  Or how Lamar Odom stepped it up when it counted and earned himself a ring.  I know they appreciate this.  Guys like Trevor Ariza don’t quite understand how hard it is to get to this place year in and year out.  He’s only 24.  But he played his ass off too and is about to get paid!

Mitch Kupchak got from underneath Jerry West’s shadow.  And his trade for Gasol was the reason why.  That is geting it done. 

So its for these reasons, the human factor to borrow a phrase as to why this championship for me means a little more.  Players are human too.  And though I don’t know these guys personally, I can still see some of the history, the background, the hard work, commitment and most of all the soul of the men who show that in spite of the multi-million dollar salaries, winning and winning the right way still means something.  It’s a great example for our youth.  It’s a great example for the nation.  It’s part of why I love sports.  Not merely for the sake of the sport.  But for the way sports brings people together, give of their talents, and sacrifice selfish motivation in order to accomplish a goal together

Congratulations 2008-2009 NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers!  You earned it!

Phil Jackson pregame

 

 

One Two Three Game Time Whoop!

How much longer?

Game 1 of the NBA Finals tonight.  You know who I’m wit!  I’ll side with The President on the prediction.  Lake Show in 6! 

Look!  As long as the Lakers play D and play hard they will win the series.  Period.  IF they don’t it will be from lack of focus and effort on D and on the boards. 

Not taking anything away from The Magic.  They can do to LA what they did to Boston and Cleveland if the Lakers don’t bring it for a full 48 minutes (plus if necessary.) 

Dwight Howard

The Lakers have the talent and skill to do it.  Only their commitment has come into question at times.  Still they rise however and they are here.

I do agree with this article however.  My man Kobe can only dominate like he is so much longer at the age of 30 with all of the NBA miles he has on him.  With free agency and uncertainty the way it is, unless the Lakers make a Kevin Garnett type of move, this may be his best look at a championship for the remainder of his career.

Kobe, Ariza, & Fisher Save the Day! Great Game 1

Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo was off the hook!  And I could tell by the body language and swagger of the Nuggets that they thought they had this game in the bag.  But they learned that you can’t sleep on a champion. The Lakers may have struggled some but they are NOT the Mavericks nor the Hornets.

This is shaping up like a great series!