Monday, February 25, 2013

Lakers Honor Late Owner

Playing with real intensity since the beginning, it seems that the death of Lakers owner Jerry Buss was what the slumping team needed. Ever since the All Star Break and the tragedy of Dr. Buss, the Lakers have gone 3-0. They look like playoff contenders.

Image credit to
Dwight Howard finally is ready to work hard. All season, he seemed to be the one bringing them down. But over the last three games, he was getting aggressive on the board as well as on defense. D12 actually looked like he belonged on the LA franchise.

Kobe Bryant was in a slump, which is why people thought his assists went up. But after playing the Celtics and Mavericks, he proved that the Black Mamba can pass and shoot. Bryant had team high assists and points all three games after his owner's death.

It's been an emotional ride for everyone on the Lakers' staff, but they all seem to only thrive. Only 2 1/2 games behind Houston, the Lakers look like a team that could actually go to the playoffs this year.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

It's All About The Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs are good. How good? They have the best record in the league, three games ahead of the Thunder and six over the Heat. Yet, they're always left out of the Finals talk. Why? Clearly, they have one of the most talented lineups in the NBA, but don't have drama. The Heat have LeBron, the Thunder have KD, even the Clippers have Chris Paul. But the Spurs? Filled with veterans like Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, coach Gregg Popovich clearly hasn't build a team to last the ages. But they have.

Image credit to
As soon as Duncan joined the Spurs in 1997, he became a dominant force. He's stayed with them ever since, acquiring Manu Ginobili and Parker. No one talk about the Big Three. They created the term, even if it were popularized by the Lakers and Heat (most recently). How do they do it?

The Spurs are at the bottom of the league when it comes to rebounds and first in assists. They put up high score numbers, but allow other to score a lot as well. How does a team this good make it look so easy? They avoid drama.

All through the off season as well as regular season, the Spurs were not plagues by drama. The Lakers made all the headlines. The Heat seek attention. The Clippers are suddenly LA's best. The Thunder have a chance at a ring. And on it goes. But San Antonio? They focus on the game. The Spurs don't need flashy headlines or a billion dollar team. They are doing just fine quietly building up a quest for championship ring number five.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Opinion: LeBron's Not Michael


Michael Jordan is one of the best, if not the best, players in NBA history. When a new player comes along, they're held to the Jordan standard. He did what few men did before him. The Jordan era was long uncontested by anyone to try to stand in his shadow. Then Kobe Bryant came and for once it seemed that someone could finally match the greatness that encompassed Jordan. Now, suddenly LeBron James is in the running for the next big thing.

Image credit to
There's no doubting James's greatness in his own right. But just because he's shooting well for the past six games does not mean he can even compare to Jordan. Michael Jordan and LeBron James could not be more different. James is an elite player, and very young as well, but as of now, he's not better than Kobe or even Mike.

When Michael Jordan played, the players around him respected him. They knew the magnitude of Jordan's legacy and felt honored. With LeBron, no one feels that way. Except maybe Kevin Durant, no players have voiced opinions on how great James is. While what he's done is stunning, it's selfish. When someone like Kobe Bryant makes over 30 points consecutively, people call him a ball hog. So why is that when James does it, people call it legendary? If Bryant is a ball hog because he makes shots, so is James.

LeBron James is good. He's great. But he's not Michael Jordan. Not yet.

Pistorius Charged With Murder

Paralympic superstar Oscar Pistorius was charged Thursday with the murder of his girlfriend, who was shot inside his home in South Africa, a stunning development in the life of a national hero known as Blade Runner for his high-tech artificial legs.

Reeva Steenkamp, a model who spoke out on Twitter against rape and abuse of women, was shot four times in the predawn hours in the house, in a gated community in the capital, Pretoria, police said.
Hours later after undergoing police questioning, Pistorius left a police station accompanied by officers. He looked down as photographers snapped pictures, the hood on his gray workout jacket pulled up, covering most of his face. His court hearing was originally scheduled for Thursday afternoon but has been postponed until Friday to give forensic investigators time to carry out their work, said Medupe Simasiku, a spokesman for the prosecution.

This Article orignally appeared on ESPN: Oscar Pistorius charged with murder.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Opinion: Blame Howard

The Lakers looked good, for the first time this season. With Gasol back on the court, they looked like a championship contender. But one key player was missing. Dwight Howard, the Lakers' big man was out with shoulder problems. Since he was out, the Lakers did nothing but win. Then he came back. And then things went downhill.

Howard was supposed to be the Lakers' new face. With an aging Kobe Bryant, high hopes were placed on D12 to carry on the LA legacy. So far, he's done nothing to prove that he is not the player he was in Orlando. Dwight Howard is a good player. But he's not great, he doesn't fit in Kobe-World, where when Bryant talks, you listen. Steve Nash took some time, but he figured it out. Metta World Peace and Pau Gasol thrive in a system where Kobe runs the play and Gasol goes hard in the paint.

Howard whines. He doesn't listen, he talks. And in LA, the guys with the most experience and the best players do the talking. Howard doesn't deserve to talk without acting. He calls for togetherness on the team yet does nothing to try and talk to Kobe and move on. Granted, he's not the only one to blame. But he's a huge part of the problem. Look at the numbers.

When Howard's out, Gasol's in and the Lakers do fantastic. They went 3-1 on the road, and won six of eight when D12 was out with a shoulder injury. He came back earlier this week. Then the Celtics ran over the Lakers and the last place Bobcats did some serious damage. Doesn't help that Gasol is out, but that's something the Lakers can overcome. And they need to overcome the biggest obstacle, trading Dwight Howard. He's not worth the trouble now if it means a legacy later.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Opinion: SB XLVII (49ers)

It was the Quest for Six. They were going to be perfect. Jim Harbaugh would prove to the world why Colin Kaepernick was given Alex Smith's starting job. As expected, they got off to a terrible start. Outscored 21-6 in the first half, things looked terrible when in the first possession of the second half, the Ravens scored a 108-yard punt return touchdown. Shortly after, Kaepernick was sacked to give the Niners a 3rd and 13. But then a miracle happened.


A 34 minute power outage in the Superdome was exactly what they needed. The momentum shifted. It was no longer about when the Ravens would win, but when the Niners would get the lead. In the third quarter alone, they scored seventeen points. But it wasn't enough.

Inside the 10-yard line with two minutes to go, if Kaep could make the throw, the Niners would have been successful on their Quest and won Super Bowl XLVII. But, Ray Lewis rallied his team and shut down Gore, Crabtree and Kaepernick. They couldn't convert on a 4th and 5, and watched their championship rings fade away as Kaep made one of the worst throws of his career.

An announcer for CBS had said that if you take away the interception he threw early on, Colin Kaepernick played a superb game. He did. But the score didn't show that. And at the end of the game, you either have a Lombardi trophy to show your efforts, or -->

you don't. Kaep missed a lot of opportunities that cost the Niners easy points.

(Personally, I felt that Alex Smith could've fixed the situation and needed at least one play in the fourth quarter. He's experienced, he would've been calm and collected. He could've won the Super Bowl for his team. But it's Kaep's team now. Smith is just an extra guy on the sidelines.)

Opinion: Super Bowl XLVII (Ravens)

It was all about Ravens. From the first snap to the last few seconds, Joe Flacco in the offense and Ray Lewis in the defense showed why John Harbaugh's team made the Super Bowl. Harbaugh repeatedly told reporters that the big game was about the players, not the coaches. His statement held true.


Flacco carried the Ravens team on his back. His throwing was nearly perfect and he made big plays on third down conversions. He played San Francisco's defense extremely well and ultimately was the best guy on the field. It's obvious why he was chosen as MVP, Flacco kept his cool throughout everything. When their twenty-two point dwindled down to five, he was collected and played good football.

Where Flacco fell short, the defense led by veteran Ray Lewis picked up. When the 49ers tried to come back, Ray Lewis showed them why there was so much hype around him. The defense kept the Niners to few good plays, and made few mistakes.


John Harbaugh was the better coach, but as he said, coaching doesn't win a game. Players win a game. And it was evident that the Baltimore Ravens had the better players and deserved the Lombardi trophy that Lewis didn't allow his teammates to touch.