Basketball, BCS, Brian Shaw, Florida Gators (Football), Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, Mike Brown, NBA, Phil Jackson, Sports, Sports Commentary, Uncategorized, Urban Meyer, Will Muschamp

I Wanna Be That Guy But Not The Guy Who Succeeds The Guy


I Wanna Be That Guy But Not The Guy Who Succeeds The Guy

Well the Phil Jackson era is now said to be over in Los Angeles with the Lakers having said good bye to their much beloved coach for the second time over that coach’s illustrious career . And under the auspices of the team’s owner Jerry Buss , senior executives EVP Jim Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak have hired former Cleveland Cavaliers’ coach Mike Brown . Surprising as it may seem I felt that the organization would stayed in-house and hired one of Jackson’s assistants either Jim Cleamons or Brian Shaw , with the latter in most circles believed to be have been the heir apparent to Phil Jackson. But as the saying goes …… ‘ out with the old and in with the new ‘ . As this clearly seems to have the mantra best felt that would serve the Lakers’ hierarchy and the team as they now move forward.

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Slide show for your perusal .

Now there’s no denying that Brown has some big shoes to Phil when one considers Phil Jackson’s legacy within the city and with the Los Angeles Lakers . Five NBA titles over the course of his tenure with the organization and seven appearances in the NBA Finals . Not bad at all but it’s going to be one hell of an act to follow for an experienced coach such as Mike Brown. From my own perspective I think that the hire is a good one although as I alluded to earlier I felt that Brian Shaw would be Phil Jackson’s successor. I’ve got to wonder whether or not Kobe Bryant perhaps the team’s most respected player had any say as to the organization’s next hire might have been . The player himself , hasn’t yet issued a formal statement as to Jackson’s successor but Mike Brown , himself , has made it clear that this is still Bryant’s team . And if anything the newly installed coach will have to prove his worth to the player , who may well have felt somewhat slighted that his former teammate wasn’t hired . That being said , I do believe that there’s room for two to co-exist and form a successful partnership . As to whether or not it is as successful as the one that was attained and sustained between Bryant Phil Jackson remains to be seen. Certainly if Mike Brown is able to continue the level of success achieved by Phil Jackson by winning at least a pair of titles , his hiring will undoubtedly be viewed as being an initial and instant success.

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There is no denying that the fallout in light of the demise of the Lakers in the postseason with their series loss (4-0) to the Dallas Mavericks was if anything a surprising one. One might be even more inexplicable was the lackluster effort of the team by anyone not with the last name of Bryant . If you could tell me that the likes of Pau Gasol , Lamar Odom , Ron Artest and Andrew Bynum would be an absolute non-factor in the series I would be laughing at you ! But low and behold this was the type of effort where the Los Angeles Lakers were complacent , they looked old and simply didn’t give a damn ! OK you had the atypical postgame interviews from the players but in reality I believe that the players were not only dumb founded but they were outplayed in absolutely every facet of the game ! Mike Brown has a tough off season ahead of him as he and Mitch Kupchak will have to assess the needs of this team and also look to get rid of the dead weight on this roster . I certainly do believe that this might be the last time that we will see Derek Fisher in a Lakers’ uniform ! And certainly the Artest experiment has to viewed as a ‘ dud’ after his postseason travails this year. Steve Blake cannot be considered a starting point guard in this league , at best he’s simply an adequate backup. As for the so called role players on this roster well let’s just say that they knew their role in during this series against the Mavericks . They were bitch slapped and showed their immaturity during the series , enough said I think !

Given the expectations of the fans in Los Angeles the scrutiny with which Brown will be placed under and his every moved analyzed and judged . I just hope that he has the mindset and temperament to last the length of his contract . I’d hate to see him flame out much as in the same way that Rudy Tomjanovich did in his shortened tenure with the Lakers ! Egos asides , anyone who undertakes such a task in coaching an organization such as the Los Angeles Lakers with all of the brouhaha , then having to deal with the Hollywood A list celebrities , fans seated at the Staples Center and all that it brings , that type of pressure cooker atmosphere can’t be at all good for one’s psyche .

As I alluded to earlier I believe that the Lakers will have to look to bolster this roster be it through free agency or through the NBA Draft . From my own perspective these crop of players within the draft seem extremely short on real talent with one or two exceptions . The Lakers for their part do not have a draft pick in the first round of the upcoming draft having traded the rights to that pick (25th) to the New Jersey Nets . However, in the second round they will have multiple picks which ought to prove to be fortuitous for the organization if they make prudent choices .

Now don’t get me wrong I have the utmost respect for former Florida Gators’ coach Urban Meyer . But in all honesty his departure from the program the second time around left a great deal to be desired . Health issues or not, Meyer flip flopped as to whether or not he was departing in the same way that John Kerry and Mitt Romney would go about making political decision in order to seek out the public’s sympathy. What might be even more asinine was in light of his departure he still wanted to remain a part of the program’s decision making process even in the advent of his successor being named ! The AD of the school’s athletics program Jeremy Foley knew that he had to cast his net far and wide in order to seek out a high profiled and proven coach. The hiring of former Texas Longhorns’ assistant Will Mushchamp seems to have gone over well amongst the fans of the Gators and it has been met with a great deal of positive vibe from the state’s sports print , radio and television media that cover the football program .

A great deal is being asked of Will Muschamp in having to succeed a successful coach . Urban Meyer’s record with the Florida Gators simply speaks for itself , with two national titles , two SEC championship game titles and a number of All Americans , never mind the recruits to the NFL from one of the most respected programs in the SEC . In light of that one has to admit that last season was something of a disappointment for this program. Having finished the season 8-5 within the SEC Eastern Division a non BCS Bowl appearance in the Outback Bowl against Penn State was in reality all the team had to show for the year .

One of the main reasons I believe for the letdown last season with the Gators was the loss of Tim Tebow to the NFL and the mere fact that Meyer simply hadn’t adjusted or completely comprehend the magnitude of the loss would mean to the team overall. John Brantley , Tebow’s understudy along with Jordan Reed and Trey Burton may well have been viewed as suitable replacements but it was belied in the fact that their statistics and performances didn’t bear that out. However , in saying that I also felt that there was a great deal of complacency which the coach at the time would fail to admit . And with such teams within the SEC as Auburn , Alabama , South Carolina , Arkansas , LSU and Mississippi State all looking to show their dominance within a powerful conference you can well understand why it is that the Florida Gators have to be a formidable team in all aspects .

Muschamp along with his coaching staff will most certainly look to assess the roster looking for its strength and weaknesses. And certainly from a defensive standpoint I expect to see an improvement by this team . It will also be interesting to see how the juniors and seniors on the team perform this upcoming season . I’ve no doubt that we will see an improvement in the play of Chris Rainey , Jeffrey Demps , Moses Jenkins , Deonte Thompson , Jonathan Bostic and Dominique Easley . If these players can instill a sense of leadership and maturity then I firmly believe that the Gators can be seriously challengers within the SEC and quite possibly for a major BCS Bowl berth .

Now as many of you are aware Florida Gators fans are about as passionate as they come and in terms of bragging rights within the state especially when you have the likes of Florida State and the Miami Hurricanes no one when it comes fan worship wants to left on the outside looking in . College Football within the state in terms of its supports plays second fiddle only to the NFL with baseball (MLB) bringing up the rear . The passion for the game at the collegiate level is almost as bright as an incandescent light bulb. And speaking as an outside observer looking in I have seen heated debates between all three sets of fans . So much so, that I would never want to interject and make a case for any of the teams in question . Hence the reason I feel that there will be so much pressure placed on Will Muschamp to succeed and should he fail by the program’s own lofty then there’s no doubt in my mind that he will be ran out of town faster than a registered sex offender in a rural town. Does anyone remember how Meyer’s predecessor Ron Zook was treated not only by the Gator fans but also the print , radio and television media across the state ? He was persona non grata and a pariah within three years of accepting the position , solely because he was unable to win with any great consistency . The fact that he was one of hell of a recruiter simply didn’t seem to matter to the press or the fans at all as he relinquished of his duties as coach . It was unfortunate however that he had to succeed a coaching legend , Steve Spurrier . I know winning is meant to be everything but it also takes time for the coach to acclimatize himself with his players and the environment of that program but within collegiate athletics and in particular college football , winning means everything not only terms of the success it brings the numerous financial bounties and the notoriety for that sport.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit and thanks as always for the continued support !

Alan aka tophatal ………….

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) EL SEGUNDO, CA – MAY 31: Mike Brown, (L) the new head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, shares a laugh with owner Jerry Buss (C) and Buss’ son Jesse Buss after Brown’s introductory news conference at the team’s training facility on May 31, 2011 in El Segundo, California. Brown replaces Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who retired at the end of this season. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images…..

(2) Jim Buss, (C) executive vice president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers, team owner Jerry Bus and player Matt Barnes listen to new coach Mike Brown’s speech during his introductory news conference at the team’s training facility on May 31, 2011 in El Segundo, California. Brown replaced Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who retired at the end of this season. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images ……

(3) Mike Brown, the new head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, speaks during his introductory news conference at the team’s training facility on May 31, 2011 in El Segundo, California. Brown replaces Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who retired at the end of this season. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images …..

(4) Phil Jackson, coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, leaves after his last official Lakers news conference at the team’s training facility on May 11, 2011 in El Segundo, California. The Lakers were swept out of their best of seven series with the Dallas Mavericks four games to none. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images ……

(5) Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers leaves a news conference at the Lakers training facility on May 11, 2011 in El Segundo, California. The Lakers were swept out of their best of seven series with the Dallas Mavericks four games to none. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images ……

(6) Jackson (left) is seen here on the sidelines along with his former assistants Brian Shaw (center) and Jim Cleamons during an NBA game earlier this season . Courtesy of ESPN …..

(7) GAINESVILLE, FL – APRIL 9: Coach Will Muschamp and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis of the Florida Gators direct play during the Orange and Blue spring football game April 9, 2011 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images ……

(8) Running back Chris Rainey (3) of the Florida Gators runs upfield during the Orange and Blue spring football game April 9, 2011 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images ……

(9) Quarterback John Brantley (12) of the Florida Gators runs upfield during the Orange and Blue spring football game April 9, 2011 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images ……..

(10) Will Muschamp, center, the new head coach for the University of Florida’s football team and his wife Carol, right, are escorted to the media room by Florida’s athletic director Jeremy Foley, left, where he is to be introduced to the media at a news conference in Gainesville, Fla., Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010 . Muschamp comes to Florida after being the coach-in-waiting at the University of Texas since Nov. 2008. AP Photo/Phil Sandlin ….

(11) Tim Tebow (left) is seen here with Urban Meyer celebrate the second of the duo’s two national BCS titles . AP Photo / Robert Phillips ….

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Basketball, Boston Celtics, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, Portland Trailblazers

Stripper Poles Or NBA Polls ………… Which Gets Your Direction And Immediate Attention ?


Stripper Poles Or NBA Polls ………… Which Gets Your Direction And Immediate Attention ?

I’ve never been one to really put much store in polls unless it’s pole that’s actually being adorned by an exotic dancer . Needless to say that with the NBA __ season now in full swing and but a quarter of the way through already some fans out there are already putting up their polls as to who they believe are the best in the league given the teams’ records. That may well be all well and good but anything can be read into a poll given the amount of information stated at the time. To my mind we don’t really know much about the teams until we are at least a third of the way through the season. But realistically we can as such say that a number of teams are merely now there only to make up the numbers .

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Slide show gallery for your perusal .

Unfortunately teams such as the New Jersey Nets (6-17), Washingtion Wizards (6-16), Detroit Pistons (7-17), Los Angeles Clippers (5-18), Sacramento Kings (5-15) and the Minnesota Timberwolves (6-17) are having a torrid time this season within their respective divisions . Needless to say that their fans while being somewhat disheartened are no doubt hoping for better things down the line as the season progresses. That feeling no doubt holds true also for the other teams around the NBA and of their fans also.

Here within the state of Florida where the NBA essentially comes down to the hype surrounding the trio that makes up the Miami Heat and its remaining roster of accouterments merely there to provide some sort of support and applause for Chris Bosh , LeBron James and Dwyane Wade while team President Pat Riley basks in the glory . He’s either the most despised person within the NBA or one of the most respected given the views of some across the league . I’m sure that there are a number of fans in the city of Cleveland who’d place Riley right up there alongside LeBron James at this juncture as amongst the most hated ! The Heat having got off to an ignominious start to their season now seem to be rebounding into the form many had expect. James and Wade seem to be playing up to their expected standards while Bosh just seems to be going through the motions. I’ve seen cardboard cutouts with more life than this guy seems to portray on a basketball court. But then again this was the best that Riley felt possible given the talent allegedly on the market at the time of the acquisition. You don’t say ?

The other team within the state happens to be the Orlando Magic coached by the always animated Stan Van Gundy . Now the expectations have been high for this team over the past few years and they’ve repeatedly come up short for one reason or another . To my mind it comes down to the lack of leadership shown and the very fact that this roster beyond Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson is like milque- toast , not quite tough enough to get the job done but the effort put forth at times gives you the impression that on a given night they can be world beaters but on other nights they can look extremely bad. And while I’ve no doubt that Van Gundy will find a way to will get the Magic into the playoffs I for one don’t feel that they possess the aptitude or mentality to deal with the team I believe are the favorites in the Eastern Conference the Boston Celtics. Doc Rivers perhaps the most understated coach in the NBA has a roster of veterans as well as young players that have gelled together and seem to be getting the job done and not only that but that bench of theirs might just be about the best and deepest in the league . The same I don’t believe can be said for the Magic or perhaps the perceived favorites , the Miami Heat within the Eastern Conference.

In the Western Conference while some seem to be impressed with the run of the Dallas Mavericks and their play. I’m wondering how the hell a number of people are overlooking the San Antonio Spurs ? OK so no it’s to be expected that the Spurs given their pedigree will be in there at the end and in Gregg Popovich they have the best coach in the league outside of Phil Jackson of the Los Angeles Lakers . However when it’s all said and done whatever the Mavericks are presently doing you can’t get over the fact that come the postseason this is a team that simply melts like butter off a hot knife . And I for one don’t believe that will change at all this season should they make the playoffs. Rick Carlisle I’ve no doubt is a good coach but he’s not a hard-nose coach who’ll get at his players when they’re failing to get the job done. I simply look at his resume’ as a coach in Indiana with the Pacers and it tells me all I need to know ! Now even with the Mavericks not much to my mind has really changed …… they simply are a team that essentially boils down to one thing go out and put up the numbers on the offensive end and then as they do so often struggle on the defensive side of things. And while they have had their plaudits it goes without saying that as their season progresses we will actually get to indeed see what this team is really made of.

The reigning champions the Los Angeles Lakers seem to have their own problems at present having lost four straight games for the first time under Jackson’s reign as a coach with the team. Hard to believe that such a thing has happened now for only the first time under this esteemed coach and the Lakers. And while there are some naive enough to think that this may well show some cracks in the vulnerability of the Los Angeles Lakers . You would be foolhardy to think that Jackson won’t find a way to fix things. Point being Phil Jackson knows how to win and one seriously doubts that Kobe Bryant won’t actually get at his teammates and tell them to pull their fingers out their own ass and get the job done . He’s as determined as anyone to prove those out there that he and not James is the rightful successor to assume the mantel as the face of the NBA since Michael Jordan’s departure. I think that 5 NBA titles, league MVP award and 2 time NBA Finals’ MVP awards gives him sort of credibility don’t you ? The team merely has to stop being complacent and simply play to its strengths rather than down to the level of their opponents . If they can do that then there’s no reason to believe why they cannot play themselves back into contention and make a return to the NBA Finals .

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Picture gallery for your perusal . By clicking on a frame you can view that picture in its original formatted size.


From my own perspective this season and in particular within the Western Conference we could very well see a number of surprises within the divisions . I’ve no doubt that the likes of the Portland Trailblazers and Oklahoma City Thunder can stake a claim that they ought to be feared and be a major part of the postseason if they play up to their potential. For me , the most exciting duo in the league at present is the tandem of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant . There’s something to suggest that given the right set of circumstances these two players could lift this team to unexpected heights this season . But for their inexperience in the playoffs last season they could have pulled off a major upset in their first round loss to the eventual champions the Los Angeles Lakers (4-2 ). Coach Scott Brooks and his coaching staff had to have been encouraged by what they had seen and have no doubt put those lessons learned to good use this season as his team looks to improve on last season’s showing. I for one would like to think that somehow a team like the Thunder can be the future of the NBA . They seem to be going about things in the right way and have the fervent support of their fans and the city of Oklahoma behind them.

As I’ve stated in terms of polls unless the information there is succinct and subject itself is something that is substantive I tend not to put much store by it. Polls can be made to sway or detract from an objective. Strippers adorning a pole on the other hand …… well is there a reason not to look and enjoy ? As to the NBA season so far and how it has progressed what thoughts if any do you have on what you’ve witnessed so far ? Chime on in with a comment .

😛

Alan aka tophatal …………………… 🙂

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Sasha-Del-Velle

Eye candy ………. Sasha Del Velle Kicks anyone ?

Basketball, Cleveland Cavaliers, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, Sports

Is It Really That Much Of A Formality ……… ?


 

 

 

 Is  It  Really  That  Much  Of   A  Formality   ….  ?

 

 

 

It’d  appear that  the  common thinking   when  it’s  all   said  and   done .  It  will   be  the  Los  Angeles  Lakers   facing  the  Cleveland   Cavaliers   in  the  NBA   Finals   for  the   2009   season.  And  that’s  as  it   should   be   based  upon  their   regular  season  records.       

 

 

 

But  here’s the  caveat    there’s  such  a  thing  as  the  playoffs    and that’s  where  the    fortunes  and   tide  of   fate   can  be  determined   for  the teams .     If  it’s  to  be   believed   then   the   Cavaliers   shouldn’t   have    much   trouble  at   all  marching  through  the  Eastern   Conference  playoffs.   

 

 

James  addresses members of the  convened  press  in the  postgame  interview.
James addresses members of the convened press after his team's victory over the Detroit Pistons in game one in the first round of the seven game series playoffs. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Matt Sullivan ...............

 

  

As   good  as   LeBron  James  and  his   supporting   cast   have   performed   during  the  season   attaining   a  66-16   record.    The   Los   Angeles  Lakers (65-17) have   been   equally  effective   in  marching  to  supremacy  within  the  Western  Conference.  And  led  by  last   season’s   MVP   Kobe  Bryant  the  team   has   played   well .  But   at  the  most  inopportuned  of   moments   they’ve   shown  their   frailties  as  a  team.  But   this   came   from the  inconsistency  of  their   bench  and   unwillingness  to  step   up  to  the  plate  and  be   counted when  it  mattered  most.    Now  there  are  those   amongst  us  who   feel  that  this  is  nothing   more   than   a  passing   phase   for  the  team.   However  a  passing   phase   shouldn’t  be   repeated   as often  as  we’ve  seen  from the  Lakers  as  of  late.

 

 

  

 

 

The  loss  against  the  Portland  Trailblazers   as  inexplicable  as it  was .   It   shouldn’t go   unnoticed   by  those  more   astute   in the   nuances  of  the  game  that  the  Trailblazers  have   had  the  Lakers’   number.  And they’ve  proven  to  be   the   Lakers’  nemesis   and   achilles’  heel.

 

James  of  the  Cavaliers   and   the  Pistons'  Antonio  McDyess  and   Tayshaun  Prince ..................
James seen here tries to evade the defensive presence of the Pistons' Antonio McDyess in game one of today's playoff game at the Quicken Loans Arena , Cleveland , OH. Also pictured is McDyess' teammate Tayshaun Prince. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Matt Sullivan ..............

 

  

 

While  we  can  all   agree  that  the  events  of  the   regular  season   shouldn’t  as  such  be  an  indicator  or  precursor   of  things  to  come.    With  a  Bryant  led  team  and   all  the  marbles  to  play  for   it’s  the  Lakers  that   everyone   appears to  be   favoring  at  this   juncture.   Cavaliers’  fans   obviously   feel    differently  as  to  the   unwavering  support   as  to   the  concensus  seems  to  be  growing  for  the  likelihood  of  a  Lakers triumph  in  the  NBA  Finals.   

 

 

 

 

Those   within the  city  of  Cleveland  and   LeBron  James’  fans  across the  state   are  no  doubt    hoping  that    should  the  two   teams   meet   in the  Finals.  Then   all  of the  questions  put   forth   will  be    finally  answered   once  and  for  all.  

 

 

James  takes   the  jump  shot   during  the   game   against the  Pistons.
James attempts the jump shot in the game played against the Detroit Pistons . picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Matt Sullivan ............

 

  

We’ve all  witnessed  the   capabilities  of   both   players this   season   with the  exploits   of   both  Bryant  and  James.   If  nothing   else  we  can   agree  on  one  thing   ,  these  two   players  have   brought   a  great  deal  of   excitement  to  the  NBA.     And  though    we’ve  seen  some   stellar   displays   by  the  Miami  Heat’s  Dwyane  Wade.    The  game’s  regular  season    MVP  award   will  come  down to  a  choice  that   will  have  to  be  made   between  Bryant  and   James.    The concensus  is   that    James  is    the pre-determined   favorite.  Rightfully  so  perhaps  at  this   juncture.

But   I’d   dare  say   that  if    it comes   down  to    a  choice   then  both  players   would  willingly  accept   not   winning  the    regular season   MVP  award  and  pursue   their   goal  of   winning  an  NBA  championship   and   ring.  

 

 

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