Posts Tagged ‘Boston Celtics’

TEN REASONS TO HATE THE PATRIOTS THAT DON’T HAVE A DAMN THING TO DO WITH FOOTBALL

Saturday, February 3rd, 2018

by Gus Griffin

gus

 

 

 

 

NEP

The football related reasons have been covered: they are cheaters; they own my Steelers and they just win too damn much.

But there are even more non-football related reasons to hate the New England Patriots. Coming up with 10 was not hard. Deciding which reasons to leave off the list was near impossible.

So, feel free to reorder as you see fit. Here they are:

Reason 10: “New” England??? The name New England shows that the area suffers from Stockholm syndrome, which is characterized by an oppressed or kidnapped victim identifying with and even defending their oppressor or captor. Why on Earth would you name yourself after the tyrannical country you fled, if those circumstances were the primary reason you left? The only explanation for this is that their intention all along was to do to others the very thing they called unjust in England. In other words, they were not against oppression. They just wanted to be the oppressors rather than the oppressed.

TB

Reason 9: Brady gets the model wife. No jealousy here from me. I have never thought Giselle Bundchen was all that attractive. Throw a nickel out the window and you’ll hit 25 women by accident that look as good or better. It’s just that the storyline of QB marrying the super model is clearly hate worthy.

Reason 8: Ted Williams. The late Red Sox Hall of Famer said that Joe DiMaggio was the best player he ever saw. DiMaggio was truly great. But he was not Willie Mays, period.

Reason 7: Boston Tea Party hypocrisy. Taxation without representation is what we have always been taught was the rallying cry. And yet to this day, if you are a resident of Washington DC, you have no full congressional representation, despite being among the most highly taxed regions in the country. You would think the area of the Tea Party revolt of all places would be allies against this injustice, but noooooooo. Not a peep out of New England in DC’s defense.

Reason 6: The Red Sox. They were the last team in baseball to get a Black player. Jackie Robinson came up in 1947. It would be 12 more years, in 1959, before the Red Sox would yield.

Reason 5: The Celtics. Beyond beating my Lakers year after year, how the city treated the Great Bill Russell when he played for them was shameful. For years he would not return to the city of his greatest athletic accomplishments.

Reason 4: The annoying accent. All New Englanders should be mandated by law to learn sign language so that we wouldn’t have to hear them talk.

Reason 3: They gave us Dr. Seuss. a straight up bigot who reinforced racist notions through his cartoons.

Reason 2: School desegregation. It was every bit as vicious in the this northern “Liberal” city as it was anywhere in the South.

Reason 1: They gave us the Bush family. I do not subscribe to the notion that either daddy or baby Bush weren’t so bad just because of how bad the current president is.

There you have them. I could have written 20 or 30 but no time or space. Of course, whenever one is this vested in hating a sports team, rest assured that team is very good. In this case, for the better part of the past 20 years, the Patriots have been even better than very good. They have been great, which is why this amount of hate is actually the highest compliment you can pay them. Hate is too valuable of a sports commodity to be wasted on losers. You will never hear anyone express frustration over how much they hate the Browns.

Rings

Any reasonable person must give the Patriots their due. But reason and hate cannot occupy the same space. You must choose one or the other and when it comes to the Patriots, I choose hate. They will always occupy a special place in my HOF (Hate of Fame), alongside Notre Dame Football, Duke Basketball, and of course those damn LA Dodgers.

So, for all the reasons alluded to here, this Super Bowl Sunday, I’ll kick back, raise a Bud Light to salute and root for PHILLY, PHILLY!

 

Gus Griffin, for War Room Sports

2012-2013 NBA Preview

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

by Brandon Pemberton

 

 

Well it’s that time of the year again, the NBA regular season kicks off tonight and I’m here to give you my official NBA season preview and Predictions.  There has been a off-season full of moves and there have been some recent moves that have shaken up the NBA as well.  Make sure you listen to Sports Trap Radio every Saturday morning from 10am-12pm on http://ueradiolive.com, as Daniel Trawick and I give you the best two hours of Sports Radio possible on a weekly basis.

 

Eastern Conference

Atlantic

Celtics 52-30 *

Sixers 51-31 *

Nets 48-34 *

Knicks 44-38*

Raptors 32-50

 Outlook: The Atlantic division could arguably be the best in the NBA this season.  The Celtics took the Heat to the brink last season and even though they lost Allen to the Heat, they get the return of Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox, to go along with the additions of Courtney Lee, Jason Terry through free agency, and Jared Sullinger through the draft.  They still are lead by Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett.  This team is deeper than last year and barring injuries, they should be good.

The Philadelphia 76ers are clearly a different team than the one who beat the Bulls in the first round and took the Boston Celtics to seven games in the 2nd round of the playoffs.  Out is Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams, Jodie Meeks, and Elton Brand and in comes Andrew Bynum, Jason Richardson, Dorell Wright, and Nick Young.  I’ve watched the Sixers play during the preseason and it’s a big difference offensively this year.  This team, even though Bynum hasn’t played yet and won’t be ready for the regular season, can score it much better than last year.  They are talented and deep, but having a healthy Bynum is key to the team’s long term success this year.

The Nets made some moves to better their team, bringing in Joe Johnson, resigning Deron Williams and Brook Lopez, giving them a solid nucleus of players.  I see them making the playoffs this season, possibly a 5-6 seed.

The New York Knicks lose Jeremy Lin, but replace him with Raymond Felton, who when playing for the Knicks before, has had his best success.  When he is in shape and motivated, he is really good.  Carmelo Anthony, we all know he can score, but can he make his teammates better and lead them to a title.  Tyson Chandler is the team’s leader, tough, good defender and championship pedigree.  This team can score, but can they defend?

The Raptors enter into the 2nd year under Dwayne Casey and have made some good additions, but not good enough to contend just yet.  Philly native Kyle Lowry will run the point and Landry Fields will start at the 3 spot, giving the Raptors instant upgrades defensively and in the toughness category.  The Raptors drafted Terrence Ross in the first round, and he is just as athletic ad Dermar Derozen, but a much more polished shooter from distance and off of curls.  Don’t be surprised if Derozen is traded before the season is out to give Ross all the time at the 2.

 

Central

Pacers 54-28 *

Bulls 45-37 *

Pistons 36-46

Bucks 32-50

Cavaliers 29-53

Outlook: The Pacers return the nucleus of their players from last season, with the additions of Gerald Green and D.J. Augustin via free agency and big man Miles Plumlee through the draft.  They are battle tested, went through a tough series with the Heat and are good enough to get a 2nd seed, avoiding Miami.

The Bulls will play the majority of the season without star point guard Derrick Rose and in a 82 game season, it’s going to hurt them.  My question is who will be the go to guy down the stretch of games when they need a bucket?  We all know they will defend, but they are going to have a tough time getting baskets at times.

I like the Pistons’ drafting of Andre Drummond.  He has high potential, off the charts athleticism, and has gotten better as a player from draft day through the preseason.  He along with Greg Monroe gives the Pistons a solid frontline, and I like Rodney Stuckey and the improvement of Brandon Knight that I’ve seen during the summer.  I think they are a year away from being a playoff team.

The Cavs drafted combo guard Dion Waiters with the 4th pick overall and he will team with franchise guard Kyree Irving hopefully for the next 4-6 years.  This team also received the rights to Tyler Zeller on draft night as well.  Tristan Thompson showed some flashes at times last year playing the four spot, and Alonzo Gee has worked himself into a serviceable NBA player as a wing player.  The franchise is slowly working it’s way out of the hole Lebron James left them in when he left via free agency.

The Milwaukee Bucks are a team with a lot of similar pieces.  Their two best players (Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis) both like to play with the ball in their hands.  They drafted John Henson out of UNC, but drafted Larry Sanders two years ago, and got Ekpe Udoh in the Andrew Bogut trade.  I could be wrong, but this team is headed nowhere fast.

 

Southeast

Heat 62-20 *

Wizards 40-42 *

Hawks 37-45

Magic 33-49

Bobcats 27-52

Outlook: The Heat are the defending champs and have added more pieces to fit in around Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh.  In comes shooters Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis to spot up and make the open shots that are always there with the attention that Lebron James and D-Wade get nightly.  This team will still be one of the league’s best defensively, and even with a glaring weakness at center, they are still my favorite to win it all again.  Lebron James is that damn good…Bottom Line.

I really like what the Wizards did during the offseason.  Brad Beal is a talented prospect and will be a future All-Star in this league.  I think the Wizards make the playoffs as a eight seed this season, if John Wall can return soon from his stress related injury healthy and ready to go.  The additions of Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza bring defenders and veterans that the team lacked in prior years.

The Hawks hired Danny Ferry as general manager and he did wonders getting out of the contracts and Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams.  Josh Smith is in the last year of his contract as well.  I see this year as a semi-rebuilding job.  They still have Al Horford who is an All Star when healthy.  But I seriously don’t see them being any factor this season.

The Orlando Magic are finally moving on after trading Dwight Howard to the Lakers, and I know most think that they didn’t get enough in return for him.  But when you trade a player of his caliber, you never get the same value in return.  The Magic are in full rebuilding mode.  Honestly, does a team with Glen Davis as its best offensive weapon have a shot at winning?  They will play hard and be coached well under Jacque Vaughn on a nightly basis.

The Charlotte Bobcats are a long way from being a winning basketball team.  They drafted Kemba Walker in 2011, along with Bismack Biyombo, and drafted Micheal Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeffrey Taylor in 2012.  They will look towards Ben Gordon to be their go to guy, after he had a few mediocre seasons in Detroit.

 

Eastern Conference Finals

Heat over Celtics in 7 games

 

 

Western Conference

 Pacific

L.A. Clippers 55-27 *

L.A. Lakers 53-29 *

Warriors 41-41

Kings 38-44

Suns 30-52

Outlook: The Lakers added Nash and Howard over the offseason, but expect the Lakers to struggle early while getting used to playing together, similar to the Heat when they put their “Big 3” together a few years ago.  If they get it together and can avoid injuries, they could face OKC in the conference finals.  They must defend pick and roll better this year.  Howard is a big upgrade and should mask some of the Lakers deficiencies, especially Nash’s.

I really like what the Clippers did during the offseason, adding veterans to the young talent that they already have.  Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill, Lamar Odom, Matt Barnes, and Ronny Turiaf bring toughness, defense, rebounding and scoring off of the bench for the Clippers.  I think they have one of the deepest rosters in the league easily.  They really have a shot to make a deep playoff run, especially if Blake Griffin has improved his game with his back to the basket and from mid-range, and if he stays healthy all season.

I think the Warriors could possibly make the playoffs as an eight seed.  The additions of Andrew Bogut and Richard Jefferson gives their young team the much needed veteran presence that they lacked.  I like Stephen Curry a lot, but he must stay healthy.  Klay Thompson is already one of the league’s best shooters, and they also drafted Harrison Barnes as well, who’s game is more fit for the NBA.  I really think he has a chance to be a 17-20 point scorer in this league.  If this team listens to head coach Mark Jackson and defends, they could take that next step.

The Sacramento Kings have a talented roster.  DeMarcus Cousins, if he brings it nightly, could be an All Star and unstoppable.  The Kings need to decide what they are going to do with Tyreke Evans.  Is he going to play 2-3 or is he going to play the one.  Isaiah Thomas really played well last year at the one and I think the team would benefit as a whole with Evans playing the three spot.  He has the height and length to get it done defensively and would be a mismatch nightmare for the majority of the league’s threes.  I love the drafting of Thomas Robinson.  He is undersized, but he is strong, athletic, tough, and plays hard nightly.  The Kings needed a glue type guy.  This team could be battling down the stretch for a playoff seed.

The Phoenix Suns have a roster full of mediocre players, role players, no go-to guys.  I love Goran Dragic’s game, but I don’t expect him to be an All Star and carry a team.  Micheal Beasley has all the talent in the world, but he’s been a “me” guy and an underachiever from day one.  He can’t be trusted to carry or lead a team.  Luis Scola, I like him but he’s a role player as well.  Don’t expect much from this team, they will win 30-33 games at the most.  The post Steve Nash era, they should have ended 3 years ago, finally begins.

 

Northwest

Thunder 60-22 *

Nuggets 46-36 *

Jazz 44-38 *

T’Wolves  35-47

Trail Blazers 31-41

Outlook: The OKC Thunder shocked the whole NBA community by trading reigning 6th man of the year James Harden to the Houston Rockets for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb and two 1st round picks, while also sending Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook and Lazar Heyward to the Rockets.  Harden was in the last year of his rookie deal and recently turned down OKC’s 4-year, 55 million dollar deal, and reportedly will sign a max deal with the Rockets for 4-years, 60 million dollars.  Kevin Martin has been a legit scorer during his time in the NBA, who also excels at drawing fouls and getting to the line.  Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook may be upset about Harden’s departure, but K-Mart is no slouch and they should be right back in the Western Conference Finals barring a freak injury.

The Denver Nuggets have added lockdown defender Andre Iguodala to the mix.  He fits right in with George Karl’s system and he had the best season of his career when he played with Andre Miller, who is the Nuggets’ backup point guard.  Wilson Chandler is back after spending last season in China, and is a another key addition.  Denver signed JaVale McGee to a 4-year 44 million dollar extension, but he is having trouble beating out Kosta Koufus during the preseason.  This team is deep, at least two deep at each position, but they don’t have that one go-to guy who wins big games down the stretch in the playoffs.  The biggest problem is Iguodala believes he is that guy and will take those shots down the stretch, as he did in Philly.

The Utah Jazz made the playoffs as an eight seed in the 11-12 season, a huge surprise.  Ty Corbin did an excellent job coaching this young group of players.  There are going to be some big decisions for this team, especially at the trade deadline, as Paul Milsap and Al Jefferson are both in the last years of their deals and will be heavily coveted.  I think the Jazz will be a playoff team again, but not a title contender and will look to move one of those vets.

The Timberwolves were playing great last season before the unfortunate knee injury that rookie phenom Ricky Rubio suffered.  Kevin Love is out for the first 6-8 weeks with a broken right hand and the team will start the season shorthanded.  Brandon Roy has made a comeback after sitting out 2011-12 with knee problems, and has started all the preseason games and has looked good in limited minutes.  This team is going to struggle without their best players for at least the first two months and will miss the playoffs.

The Blazers have been bitten by the injury bug more than any team I remember recently.  They drafted well, had a nice young nucleus of players (Roy, Aldridge, Oden) but obviously we all know what has transpired with Roy and Oden.  They are officially in rebuild and reform mode and they drafted two players that I love as prospects, Damian Lillard and Meyers Leonard.  Lillard was the co-MVP of the NBA Summer League in Vegas and will come in from day one and be effective and a game changer.  Leonard is still young and raw, but he has the size, athleticism and potential to be very good.  Nicholas Batum and Wes Matthews are very underrated wing players in this league and will provide scoring, toughness and defense.  This team is a season or two from being a legit factor in the west.  Mark my words.

 

Southwest

Grizzlies 53-29 *

Spurs 48-34 *

Mavericks 46-36 *

Rockets 40-42

Hornets 28-54

Outlook: The Memphis Grizzlies are the favorite to win this division in my opinion.  They have all the tools to make a possible run to the Western Conference Finals.  Not saying that they do, but they are a really good team.  They have arguably one of the NBA’s best front lines with Marc Gasol , Zach Randolph, and Rudy Gay.  They all can give you 20 points on any given night.  I know most don’t think much of PG Mike Conley, but I think he’s underrated as a player, especially as a shooter and defender.  He does an excellent job feeding his players and keeping them all happy.  Tony Allen is tough as nails, defends and is the leader of this team.

The Spurs come back another year older, but every time I count them out and say they are done, they prove me wrong.  Can Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker stay healthy during the season and going into the playoffs?  They have won an NBA record 50 plus games in 12 straight seasons, a streak I believe stops this year.  I’m looking forward to seeing how Kawhi Leonard’s offensive game has developed during the offseason.  The Spurs are going to need points from another source consistently this year.

The Mavericks lose Jason Terry and Jason Kidd from last season’s roster and replace them with Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo.  Dirk Nowitzki will miss the beginning of the season after having a procedure to clean his knee out.  The addition of Chris Kaman gives Dallas a legit go-to guy in the post.  I actually like this year’s roster more than last year’s.  O.J. Mayo finally has the chance to be a starter again, and I’m looking forward to seeing how he plays.

The Houston Rockets landed James Harden via trade with OKC and signed him to a 4-year, 60 million dollar max deal.  Do the additions of Harden and Jeremy Lin make the Rockets instant contenders?  No, but they will be a little bit better.  Harden has a whole franchise on his shoulders now.  He’s not the third best player anymore, he’s getting paid to be the guy.  Let’s see how good he really is without Durant and Westbrook on the court.

The New Orleans Hornets had the first pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and obviously took Anthony Davis and then later on they drafted Austin Rivers.  They re-signed combo guard Eric Gordon to a max deal after he played in 9 games last season and hasn’t played in a preseason game this year.  When healthy, he is really good, but he simply can’t stay on the court.  Davis has shown the star potential during the preseason and barring any freak injuries, he will be an All Star, and one of the league’s more versatile defenders.  His game will really flourish with the NBA’s open style of play.

Western Conference Finals

Thunder over Clippers in 7 games

NBA Finals: Heat over OKC in 7 games

Awards Predictions:

MVP:  Lebron James (Heat)

Defensive Player of the Year: Dwight Howard (Lakers)

Rookie of the Year: Damian Lillard (Blazers) / Anthony Davis (Hornets) (Co-MVP’s)

Sixth Man of the Year: Nick Young (Sixers)

Coach of the Year: Mark Jackson

 

* – Indicates playoff team

 

Brandon Pemberton of Brandon on Sports & Sports Trap Radio, for War Room Sports

 

 

NBA Repair Kit

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

By Brandon McConnell

In America, we have three popular professional sports which are football, basketball and baseball.  The most popular of the three without a doubt is football.  Does anyone know why?  Because in football, every team has an equal opportunity to win a championship each year.  You can’t really buy a championship like in the other two sports.

In the NBA, they have a set salary cap and after you reach that particular figure, you are charged a luxury tax.  Luxury tax is being taxed one dollar for every dollar you are over the salary cap.  For example, if the Miami Heat are 5 million dollars over the salary cap, the NBA charges them a luxury tax of 5 million.  Now, under the new CBA, teams pay an incremental tax that increases with every $5 million they go above the salary cap/tax threshold ($1.50, $1.75, $2.50, $3.25, etc.).  Teams that have been paying luxury tax for at least four out of the past five seasons have a tax that is $1 more at each increment than the increments mentioned above ($2.50, $2.75, $3.50, $4.25, etc.).  After understanding the salary cap and luxury tax, you can come to the understanding that owners with the most money have no problem going over the salary cap in order to win.

In the last 30 years, the same nine teams have won championships in the NBA.  That is the biggest difference from NFL and NBA.  Most markets feel like their team has some type of chance to win in the NFL.  Last week, Dwight Howard signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, making them a favorite again to win the championship next year.  There are only about 4 teams in the league that have a realistic chance of winning a championship next year (LA, MIA, OKC and BOS).

To increase the level of competition in the NBA, I believe there should be a hard salary cap that NO TEAM can go over.  By making each team have the same salary cap, you put all cities on the same playing field.  This would put an end to the SUPER TEAMS we have seen develop in the last 5 years due to teams not being able to pay these stars and put a supporting cast around them.  This cap would make teams like Golden State, Sacramento, and Charlotte relevant, because the stars would spread out more in order to receive a max deal.  You would still have role players taking less money to play with stars, but you wouldn’t have stars taking less money to play with other stars.

If the NBA doesn’t incorporate a hard salary cap soon, they can just get rid of fifty percent of the teams and create 14 SUPER TEAMS.  I feel like a Republican right now, getting rid of jobs.  MESSAGE!

In conclusion, if the NBA wants to keep doing what they are doing, I will be fine.  You ask me why?  I roll with the boys in PURPLE AND GOLD.

Brandon McConnell of “Respect Da Game”, for War Room Sports

Michael Jordan: The Gift and the Curse

Friday, June 1st, 2012

By Brandon McConnell

The game of basketball has been around for years.  We have seen multiple teams win championships over the years using different ways of getting there.

In the ’80s, we had three teams in that decade that won multiple championships, which included the Lakers, Celtics, and Pistons.  All of these teams had something in common.  They were complete teams that played together in order to accomplish one common goal. 

The Lakers had a starting lineup that included:
Magic Johnson
Byron Scott
Michael Cooper
James Worthy
Kareem Adul-Jabbar

The Celtics had a starting lineup that included:
Dennis Johnson
Danny Ainge
Larry Bird
Kevin McHale
Robert Parrish

The Pistons had a starting lineup that included:
Isaiah Thomas
Joe Dumars
Mark Aguirre
Bill Laimbeer
James Edwards

All the above championship teams had players who came together and played team basketball.  These teams had productive bench play and no one was trying to outshine their teammates.

Then came the birth of Michael Jordan.  A player who took over the NBA by himself, taking on all teams.  He led the league in scoring almost every year.  If you grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, you wanted to “Be Like Mike”.  Michael Jordan, not purposely, taught little kids to be selfish and go after your individual stats to succeed in basketball.  After many years of losing to the Celtics and Pistons, Michael realized that it took a team effort to become a championship.  He finally figured it out, and partnered with Scottie Pippen and other great role players to win six NBA championships.

While becoming a champion, Michael Jordan birthed children like Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, and Tracy McGrady.  These and other players came into the league with the belief that they had to win championships by solely leading their teams and by putting up the majority of shots like Michael did in order to become great.  Kobe Bryant quickly learned, due to veteran leadership around him, that it takes a team to win championships.

The offspring of Michael Jordan has finally grown up to become great players.  They are finally teaching the up and coming players that team basketball is the way to go.  Just take a look at the 2012 Kentucky Wildcats, who were dynamic underclassmen that came together to achieve one goal and that was a National Championship.  The Kentucky Wildcats all compromised their individual success in order to gain team success.

The NBA is finally getting back to great team basketball.  The Dallas Mavericks won last year with great team effort.  They even had bench players like Jason Terry and J.J. Barea who really made the difference during the 2011 NBA Finals.  This year you have the San Antonio Spurs, who just had a 20-game winning streak snapped, playing the best team ball I have ever seen.  If you want to see basketball the way Dr. James Naismith designed it, watch the San Antonio Spurs.

We can all thank Michael Jordan, because he showed us how life was when you have all the individual honors and no championship and how life is when you make your teammates better and win multiple championships.

Brandon McConnell of “Respect Da Game”, for War Room Sports

LeBron James: Performance Befitting a King?

Monday, June 13th, 2011

By Brandon Pemberton

A dejected LeBron approaches the podium after Game 6 of the NBA Finals

Last night as I watched the Dallas Mavericks win their third straight game and capture the first NBA title in franchise history, I still couldn’t believe how LeBron James wilted under the pressure in the biggest games of the season.  James left the Cleveland Cavaliers to “take his talents” to South Beach and join Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in what was supposed to be a super power this season and for seasons to come.  I had no real problem with him joining the Heat. He had no shot of winning with the Cavs the way they were constructed and I thought it was big of him to go to a team where he wouldn’t be the sole guy.  It’s a known fact that it was Wade’s team and he had a proven track record of clutch play as he was the finals MVP in 2006. The only problem I had was with the whole “Decision Show”, and the WWE- like celebration the next day, like they had already won something.  He asked for all of the ridicule and verbal thrashing he received because of these things.

Everyone who has followed my sports blog knows that after LeBron’s performance against the Celtics and Bulls en route to the NBA Finals, I finally thought James had ascended to “that level” of a player.  I even went out and said he was now better than Kobe Bryant (http://warroomsports.com/blog/2011/05/12/lebron-scores-10-straight-to-close-out-the-celtics-is-that-clutch-enough-for-you/).
First of all, I would like to apologize to the “Black Mamba” for spewing that blasphemy from my mouth before LeBron even won a single title.  But I really thought I had seen him take it to another level.  He was closing out games down the stretch by hitting killer shots and after watching the way he defended Derrick Rose, I was sold.

But then came the NBA Finals and the unexplainable, passive play of the most physically talented athlete I’ve seen in my life.  It’s just a flat out choke job, no other way for me to explain it.  D-Wade said last night after the game that the phrase “choke job” is used too often in sports, and he might be right in some situations.  But in this case, his homie, his teammate, was a flat no show when the Heat needed him the most.  The Heat had a chance to take control of the series.  They were up by 15 points in the fourth quarter with seven minutes and change to play and coughed up the lead, being outscored 22-5 to end the game.  LeBron scored two points during the fourth period of the game, and didn’t make a single basket during the run Dallas went on to steal Game 2.

In six games, LeBron James scored 18 fourth quarter points.  He seemed to defer to Wade and even to his other teammate when he could have forced the issue.  He just seemed disinterested, passive, and scared to take over the game when he clearly was the most talented player on the court.  Last year in the playoffs, James clearly quit on his team in Games 5 and 6 against the Boston Celtics and I couldn’t believe it.  I can’t say he quit on his team this time around, but he wanted no part in making a difference in the outcome of this series.  Watching him drive and dump the ball off to the likes of Juwan Howard and Joel Anthony instead of taking the shot himself was frustrating to watch.

Scottie Pippen’s (who played with arguably the best basketball player of all time) unmitigated gall to say that LeBron James was (or could be) better than Michael Jordan was irresponsible.  I don’t know what personal vendetta he has with “His Airness”, but you see he later took those words back the next day. The lowest point outcome in an NBA Finals game by Jordan was 22 and I’ve seen him carry the Bulls to a victory and nearly pass out coming off the floor due to the flu. People also want to compare LeBron to Kobe Bryant, who might be the closest thing to MJ we will ever see, but Kobe never disappeared in the fourth quarters of games.  And one thing I can say about Jordan and Kobe, they never loss for lack of effort.  Yes, D-Wade made some costly mistakes in the 4th quarter of last night’s game, but he made those mistakes playing his game and going hard.

The bottom line is this: a player with his talent, the hype, the self-given nickname, the cocky attitude and arrogance, should expect to get ripped the way he is today and will continue to during this off-season and until he wins a title.  And his post-game comments aren’t going to help him either.  His whole “I’m better than you at the end of the day” attitude and the “my life is still better than yours” thing is just going to get him more” haters”.  He acts like the fans are the reason why he was out-played by Jason Terry in a Finals playoff series.  “Prince” James has no one to blame but himself for the lack of testicular fortitude it takes to win a title.  He had more talent than he had in Cleveland and he still couldn’t get the damn job done.  So until he wins a title, don’t dare compare this man to the likes of Jordan, Magic,Bird, Shaq, and Kobe.  He doesn’t deserve it.  You know what LeBron is?  He’s the equivalent of having a 12-inch penis (pause) that doesn’t get erect.  Ok, I’m done with this guy.  I’m looking forward to the NBA Draft and hopefully a full 16-game football season.

Brandon Pemberton of Brandon on Sports, Blogger for War Room Sports

How Soon They Forget: An Open Letter to Scottie Pippen

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

 

Wilt "The Stilt"

Dear Scottie,

I have nothing but respect for you my friend as an athlete and knowledgeable basketball mind. But you are way off in your assessment of who is the greatest player of all time and the greatest scorer of all time.  Your comments are off because of your limited perspective. You obviously never saw Wilt Chamberlain play who undoubtedly was the greatest scorer this game has ever known. When did MJ ever average 50.4 points per game plus 25.7 rebounds? (Wilt in the 1962 season when blocked shot statistics were not kept). We will never accurately know how many shots Wilt blocked. Oh by the way in 1967 and 68. Wilt was a league leader in assists. Did MJ ever score 100 points in a game? How many times did MJ score more than 60 points in a game? MJ led the league in scoring in consecutive seasons for 10 years but he did this in an NBA that eventually expanded into 30 teams vs. when Wilt played and there were only 8 teams. Every team had the opportunity to amass a solid nucleus.  Only the cream of the basketball world got to play then. So MJ has to be appraised in perspective. His incredible athletic ability, charisma and leadership on the court helped to make basketball popular around the world — no question about that. But in terms of greatness MJ has to take a backseat to The Stilt.

In terms of winning, Michael excelled as both an emotional and scoring leader but Bill Russell’s Celtics won 8 consecutive NBA Championships. Bills rebounding average per game is over 22.5 lifetime, MJs best rebounding years was 8 per game (1989). But we will never know exactly how many shots Bill Russell blocked because again, they never kept that statistic while he played. However, if you ask anybody that played against Russell they will just roll their eyes and say he blocked all the shots he wanted to block in the crucial moments of a game.

Bill played on a total of 11 Championship teams and as you very well know, Scottie, the ring is the thing, and everything else is just statistics. So I would advise you to do a little homework before crowning Michael or Lebron with the title of best ever. As dominant as he is, Lebron has yet to win a championship. I must say that it looks like Miami has finally put the team together that will change that circumstance. Its my hope that today’s players get a better perspective on exactly what has been done in this league in the days of yore.

The change in style to the game is not any indication as to how many really talented players there are in the game. So the fact that skilled players come from all over the world does not change the quantity of outstanding talent. Simply put the number of players that could have stopped Wilt Chamberlain in his prime has not increased.

Affectionately, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer

p.s. If you want to see some real legends arguing about the greats of the game check out my new documentary, On the Shoulders  of Giants, the story of the greatest basketball team you never heard of.  It’s available to watch instantly on Netflix.

www.kareemabduljabbar.com/championshipseason

Taken directly from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.com, the official website of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Green With Envy: Boston Celtics “What-if’s”

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

By Aquil Bayyan

Boston Celtics Defeated

I just want to take a minute to talk about some interesting observations I’ve made as the NBA playoffs come down to its final four teams.  Many people, including the War Room Generals, picked the Boston Celtics to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals this year.  Unfortunately for them, they were sent home in 5 games by the Miami Heat.  In noticing the manner of which the Celtics were easily bounced by the Miami Heat, I began to wonder, analyze, pontificate, cerebrate (which means to think, not celebrate), cogitate, evaluate, and even speculate, about what happened to the Boston Celtics this year.

Exhibit A:
Tom Thibodeau used to be an assistant coach and defensive mastermind for the Boston Celtics who went to 2 of the last 3 NBA finals, winning 1 and going pretty far in the playoffs without Kevin Garnett in 2009.  He is now coaching my Chicago Bulls and has led us to 62 wins, the best record in the NBA, and won the NBA Coach of the Year award in the process.  All I have to say is…Tom Thibodeau is still coaching right now.

NBA Coach of the Year, Tom Thibodeau

Exhibit B:
The NBA player we all know and love, and who probably gets way more attention than he should; Kendrick Perkins.  While we all agree that his skill set is weak and that he is not really as tough as advertised, he has helped his teams to 3 of the last 4 NBA Conference Finals and he still talks to Raon (I left the “J” out on purpose) Rondo every day, for what it’s worth.  All I have to say is…Kendrick is still playing right now.

The most important player in the NBA?

Exhibit C:
Nate Robinson; you all probably forgot that he was playing for the Thunder until you saw J.J. Barea cross his face off and fish-fry-bake “Lil Nate” in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.  I remember in last year’s playoffs when “Lil Nate” would come into the game and give the Celtics a lift off the bench, hitting key three pointers, finishing in the lane, all while jumping around, pounding his chest, and screaming while getting the fans fired up.  All I have to say is…Nate is still playing right now.

“Lil Nate”

Exhibit D:
Brian Scalabrine, now you may laugh and wonder why I am even talking about a player who averaged 1.5 points, 1 rebound, 0.5 assists, 0.2 blocks, and 0.2 steals for the Celtics last year, and followed that up with similar solid stats with my Bulls this year.  You can never underestimate the impact of an NBA player in a suit or warm up who has 0% chance of getting into the game, cheering his teammates on.  All I have to say is…Brian is still cheering right now.

The best dressed cheerleader in the league

All this thought has caused me to wonder if the Celtics would still be playing if this coach and these three players were still a part of the team.  I guess we will never know.

 

Aquil “Quil” Bayyan of The War Room, for War Room Sports

What Have You Done For Me In The Last 5 Minutes?

Friday, May 20th, 2011

By Devin McMillan

Stop Flip-Flopping

I need to address the “quick to judgment” nature of the society we live in…and though this notion applies to MANY aspects of our everyday lives, I’ll keep it in sports.  Why is it that every night in sports makes the general public forget about the night before?  For instance, why do we (and when I say “we”, I mean YOU)…why do we jump to conclusions after every single game we watch?  For instance, the whole world castigated the Chicago Bulls for their struggles in both the Indiana and Atlanta series’ while concurrently lauding the Miami Heat for the efficient manner in which they dispatched the 76ers and Boston Celtics.

Then, after Game 1 of the Heat-Bulls series, everyone now wondered how the Miami Heat could ever possibly match up with the juggernaut, 85 Chicago BEARS-like defense of the Chicago Bulls.  Heat “wagoneers” were quiet, Bulls fans were crowing, the world was in immediate disarray.  I even heard several “experts” hinting that the series might be over after Game 1 and after the first quarter of Game 2, they were almost completely convinced.

Then the other 3 quarters were played (like they usually are in a basketball game).  The Bulls couldn’t score on the Heat’s stalwart defense, Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller made significant appearances, Dwyane Wade was…Dwyane Wade, Lebron James scored a few clutch buckets, and the Miami Heat successfully snatched back control of the series by winning a game on Chicago’s home court.  The world was again turned upside down.  All I heard the day after Game 2 were Heat “wagoneers”…excuse me… Lebron protective cup holders…speak tales of legend in lure of their King.  I heard the SAME “experts” who had so adamantly proclaimed the day before that the series was over, now questioning the Bulls’ chances of winning the series.  Didn’t we just crown them Eastern Conference Champions after the prior game…GAME ONE?  On top of all that, I didn’t hear from any Bulls fans all damn day after Game 2.

So for all of YOU PEOPLE who flip-flop with the wind, IT’S A SEVEN GAME SERIES and it’s tied up at ONE!  Please folks, let’s allow it to play out and let’s refrain from making new CONCLUSIVE judgments after every single game…after every single quarter…after every single bucket.  Fans, “stans”, die-hards, and shameless wagon jumpers alike; try to see a bigger picture and stop basing your “moxy”, your fear, your sports knowledge, and anything else you have going on in those little brains, on one game.  Shut up and let them play PLEASE!

Devin “Dev” McMillan of The War Room, for War Room Sports

Game 2 Heat at Bulls: A Must Win for the Heat?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

By Brandon Pemberton

One of Taj Gibson's TWO highlight reel dunks in Game 1

The Miami Heat came out flat in game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Bulls and the play along with the final score showed.  Lebron James (15 points, 5-15 from the field) and Dwyane Wade (18 points 7-17 from the field) were flat out brutal, while Chris Bosh carried the team with 30 points and 9 rebounds.  When I watched James after the game 7 win against the Celtics on the ground resembling a player who had just won an NBA title, I thought to myself, “he is acting like the season is over and they’ve won it all”.  And he and his team’s play was a disgrace on Sunday night.

Yeah we all noticed that James and Wade played badly, but there was plenty of blame to go around.  The Bulls were the more physical team on both ends of the court and the Heat allowed Chicago to grab 19 offensive rebounds, which lead to 31 second chance points.  The Bulls also forced the Heat into 16 turnovers and held them to only 10 fast-break points.

The Bulls’ bench clearly outplayed Miami’s, outscoring them 28-15, providing solid defense and mistake-free basketball.  Taj Gibson scored 9 points off the bench, including two highlight reel dunks, one of them on Dwyane Wade.  Ronnie Brewer gave the Bulls some good minutes, drawing the assignments of James and Wade.

Look, I know it’s a seven game series and all, but the last thing you want to do is go down 2-0 and leave yourself in a spot where you have to win four out of the next five games.  I expect Lebron and D-Wade both to come out more aggressive and assertive, looking to go to the rack more and get the Bulls into foul trouble. There were too many occasions where they settled for jump shots instead of putting pressure on the defense by driving the ball.  It would help if the Heat could get some scoring from the bench, but at this point I don’t know if it’s really possible.  Mike Bibby, Mario Chalmers, and James Jones would help out greatly if they can hit the open shots available to them.

I’m looking at the Vegas line on this game and it has the Bulls (-2) as the home favorite.  That’s a Miami line if you ask me so I will take the Heat minus the 2 to cover and win the game.  If they don’t…they are screwed and the Lebron hate will be all over the place.

Brandon Pemberton, Writer for War Room Sports

The Miami Heat Are Officially a Problem: How Does It Feel?

Monday, May 16th, 2011

By Roy Burton

 

This one is for the haters.

For the people who hate LeBron James, despite the fact that he’s one of the best basketball players that you’ve ever seen.  For those who hate Dwyane Wade, who is pretty much just guilty by association at this point.  And even for those who hate Chris Bosh, who swears he’s tough, but in reality comes across as a man who – as Ghostface Killah would say – is softer than baby thighs.

For whatever reason, you may not like Miami’s “Big 3”, and you have every right to do so.  But deep down inside, tucked away in one of those places that you don’t want to talk about, you know the truth.

The Miami Heat are officially a problem.

To all of the haters, doubters and naysayers out there: How does it feel?

How does it feel to know that they’ve finally figured it out?  It took far longer than they (and some of us) expected, despite what they may have said at various points during the season.

But you can’t deny that they’ve turned it up another level this postseason, especially during their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Boston Celtics. 

A team that was routinely criticized as not being clutch came through when they needed to, outscoring the Celtics 55-31 during the 4th quarter and overtime periods of the final two games of the series.

The Miami Heat weren’t passed the torch of Eastern Conference supremacy last week – they ripped it from the Celtics’ old, dead hands.

Most of you don’t want to admit it. Maybe you still have some lingering resentment over “The Decision” (sponsored by Vitamin Water).

We can all agree that it was a poorly managed affair, spearheaded in part by Maverick Carter, who appears to have learned everything he knows about sports management from watching the first two seasons of “Arli$$” on DVD.

But who can blame LeBron for jumping at the chance to go to Miami? As a 26-year-old man, he gets paid an obscene amount of money to work with his friends during the day, and spend his down time enjoying the pleasures of South Beach.  If that’s not the American Dream, then it’s pretty darn close.

That being said, the situation this summer could have been handled better.  10 months later, James realized the error of his ways and apologized for the debacle that was “The Decision” (sponsored by Vitamin Water).  By that time, Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert was done penning missives in Comic Sans font, and busy sifting through the wreckage of a 19-63 season.

Perhaps you’re one of those still upset at the welcoming party/concert announcing the formation of the so-called “3 Kings.”  Shortly after signing the contracts that made their partnership official, James and Wade and Bosh proceeded to pose and preen and peacock their way through the American Airlines arena as they were greeted like rock stars by thousands of adoring Heat fans.

After the laser show ended and the last of the confetti fell from the ceiling, LeBron James made his now infamous “not one, not two, not three…” championship boast, predicting untold success for his new team.

Cocky?  Maybe a little.  But if their recent success is any indication, James might not have been too far off. 

And that bothers you.

It bothers you because your favorite squad probably can’t go the “superteam” route.  I’ve since reconciled the fact that barring an Act of God, my team of choice – the Philadelphia 76ers – can’t come close to a title in the foreseeable future.  I’ve accepted the Sixers’ place in the hierarchy of the NBA and have since moved on.

It might be hard for some people to come to grips with, but the reality is this: for the next few years, the fate of the Eastern Conference – and perhaps the entire NBA – lies in the hands of the Miami Heat.

Back in March, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra mentioned that a couple of his players were crying after the team lost its fourth game in a row.

It’s likely that this summer – and for several summers to come – there will be tears shed in the Miami locker room for an entirely different reason. This time, those tears will be dried with a T-shirt declaring the Miami Heat as the champions of the NBA.

Be mad.

***************

Roy Burton of The Broad Street Line, for War Room Sports

Roy Burton is one of the hosts of “The Broad Street Line”, a weekly sports podcast on Blog Talk Radio (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/broadstreet).  He also serves as a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, and is a contributing writer for several other websites as well.  You can follow him on Twitter at @thebsline.

“He’s the best player in the world, and he may not even be the best player on his team!”
– Dan LeBatard on LeBron James