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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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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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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Allan 'Bud' Selig, Basketball, Billy Hunter (NBPA), Commissioner Roger Goodell, David Stern, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, Phil Jackson, Sports, Sports Economics, Sports & Social commentary, Sports Commentary

Speak When You’re Spoken To ……………


Speak When You’re Spoken To ……………

I find it somewhat amusing that NBA Commissioner David Stern continues to treat the NBA as if it’s his own personal fiefdom ! He seems to forget it’s the players who make the game what it is albeit that he assisted in making the brand such a global phenomenon. Stern and the hierarchy along with the team owners have seen the brand grow exponentially into a multi billion enterprise and to where the players are handsomely compensated alongside the coaches within the league .

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Now as the postseason beckons and the 16 teams left to participate in the NBA’s postseason competitive play we now find the game’s most respected coach Phil Jackson amidst some controversy as he openly speaks his mind . The Los Angeles Lakers’ coach in a recent postgame interview which was the finale to the team’s season was asked by the convened press about his team’s chances in the postseason as well as his impending future as it regards the organization. It has long been believed that this may well be Jackson’s last season with the team that he’s coached to five NBA titles . Jackson in his response was forthcoming, saying that he felt good about the team’s prospects and that a final decision hadn’t yet been made as to his immediate future . But he coyly suggested that he may well return to the quiet life while spending more time with his family. That in of-itself would have been enough to satisfy the media there at the time but the coach went on to suggest that it is his belief that the league is now heading towards an imposed lockout because of the impasse that there now is between the NBA and NBPA (Players Union). Now this was merely Jackson’s view and as such it may not have been shared by any of his peers , so in effect it was a personal response and should not be seen as an attack on the integrity of the league as a whole.

In the aftermath of Phil Jackson’s public statement to the press on his feelings about a possible NBA sanctioned lockout David Stern saw fit to impose a $75,000 fine on the coach for his statement . Unless I’m mistaken , Jackson hadn’t contravened any of the league’s rules in making his feelings known nor was it a matter whereby he had spoken on the record as to any discussions that might be taking place between Stern and his union counterpart NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter . So herein lies my question , what was it that was said by Jackson that angered David Stern to the extent where he felt that he had to impose a fine on the Lakers’ coach ? Had he spoken derogatory about an official , player , owner or even an executive of another team ? No , that simply wasn’t the case in any of the premises mentioned . But somehow the narcissistic Stern has taken umbrage to the fact that the league’s most recognized figure in terms of a coach spoke his mind. Not in the case, where he’s being derogatory about anyone but merely from a point of offering his view as to what he believes is liable to happen between the two sides should there not be an agreement reached as it relates to the existing collective bargaining agreement.

I’ve long felt that the power that Stern has as the commissioner of the NBA makes him so autocratic and likened to dictator ! He may well be to my mind certainly the most powerful executive in any of the four major sports . He certainly has to be more powerful than NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman , most definitely more powerful than Bud Selig and in baseball and I simply know that he’s way more intelligent than his NFL counterpart Roger Goodell !

If David Stern is to have any real credibility in the league amongst the owners , team executives , players and even the referees themselves then he’ll have to know when to rein in that leash of his rather than coming across as a tyrant . His run ins with Dallas Mavericks’ team owner Mark Cuban have been well chronicled . Such has been the case to where Cuban has paid in excess of a $1 million in fines imposed upon him by the commissioner for many of his pubic utterances be they about the inconsistencies of the officiating during the regular season and postseason as well as Stern’s own inconsistencies when it comes to meting out punishment to the players as it relates to their professional conduct both on and off the basketball court . But such are the vagaries of the game and its perceived image. And that if anything has always been the premise behind Stern’s intransigence I believe and his wish to be viewed as omnipotent when it comes to the power he wields ! David Stern has always been about the image of the league but what he seems to forget is that image isn’t always everything , there also has to be substance and integrity to the game as well. And that has been in part his downfall and own making , wherein he’s created a monster that he no longer has power over. I mean how else can you simply explain the situation where the players or should I say state the ‘ marquee names’ we’ve all come to know can in essence act in such a way wherein their persona becomes larger than the game itself and to the extent that the fans can no longer identify with their teams but merely with the star on that team ?

Courtesy of Bloomberg.com

NBA Projecting $300 Million in Losses This Season, Commissioner Stern Says

By Mason Levinson

The National Basketball Association is projecting $300 million in losses this season as it approaches the end of the collective bargaining agreement with its players union, league Commissioner David Stern said.

The NBA owners’ labor committee, headed by San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt, has been given permission by the full ownership to make a new proposal to the National Basketball Players Association in the next week or so, Stern said today at a news conference that followed a two-day meeting in New York of the league’s Board of Governors.

The figure Stern cited for the 2010-11 season was lower than loss estimates he made earlier today on ESPN Radio for previous years. He said in that earlier interview that the NBA lost $370 million two seasons ago and $340 million last season.

NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver added that about 22 of the league’s 30 franchises are expected to lose money this season.

“Business has improved, nothing to be proud of, but we’ve reduced losses,” Silver said at the news conference. “We don’t believe, within this current system, we have the ability to move dramatically much more.”

While the NBA has had discussions with the union since the February All-Star Game, there have been no formal bargaining sessions in that time, and neither Stern nor Silver would discuss the specifics of what a new proposal might contain.

The league previously cited the need for a more favorable revenue-sharing agreement, a hard salary cap, the end of guaranteed contracts and shortening of contracts as the top negotiating points for the owners.

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Click on the above link to read this article in its entirety .


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When stars such as LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony can literally hold a team to ransom in order to get what they want it does to an extent send the wrong message about the game and what it represents. I know for the players money matters as well as well as success and long term financial security . But it’s now gotten to the stage where the marquee players around the league can earn way more off the court than they can on the court merely through endorsement deals and corporate sponsorship. OK so we have Stern , Michael Jordan and Nike Inc to be thankful for that , for without the that trio I’d dare say the game and in particular the NBA wouldn’t be what it is today ! That being said many teams are now struggling from a financial standpoint merely to remain financially viable and to an extent competitive . Something that Stern hasn’t really publicly addressed and that is even in the aftermath of the now impending move of the Sacramento Kings to now the greater Los Angeles Area . Ah well , it is what it is ! Somehow Los Angeles can suddenly find itself now with potentially a third NBA franchise almost at the drop of a hat but yet they can’t somehow entice an NFL franchise to make that city its home . Perplexing isn’ t it , wouldn’t you agree ?

As to any ongoing negotiations between the NBA and NBPA there has little that has been made public by Stern , by any of his subordinates such as Stu Jackson EVP , Basketball Operations , Adam Silver , NBA Deputy Commissoner & COO or for that matter from Richard Buchanan , NBA EVP & Chief Legal Counsel . On the opposite end of that spectrum we’ve heard rumblings of the NBPA quite possibly decertifying as a union and becoming a trade association just as in the same way the NFLPA has done in their stance , to the point where both sides are now in Federal Court trying to use the justice system to sort out their ongoing problems . The presiding judge , Judge Susan Nelson may well force the two sides to mediation but bear in mind that when they sought recourse through the FMCS that situation went about as well as the peace negotiations that have taken place between the Israelis and Palestinians !

Billy Hunter and NBPA President Derek Fisher along with the union’s Executive Committee and Players’ Representatives may well not be looking to be confrontational but the situation should it go on as is being perceived could very well be as contentious a fight as we’ve seen between two sides in a long time in the professional sport’s landscape. That being said the comedic value as to what can now be gleaned between the NFL and NFLPA couldn’t have been scripted any better had it been commissioned and produced in Hollywood . Where else can you find the two main characters such as Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith come up smelling even worse than a piece of elephant dung deposited on the ground by a pachyderm ?

At this juncture should there be a lockout imposed by the hierarchy of the NBA I for one won’t be in slightest have any empathy for either side ! The way I look at it much like the NFL if you simply can’t find a way of dividing the spoils of war , which in this case happens to be billions of dollars , then the impending fate should it be a long term labor disruption is one of your own making . No one else can be blamed but the parties involved !

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What thoughts if any do you have on the statement made by Phil Jackson and his belief that there could very well be an NBA lockout ? Do you feel also that David Stern overstepped his mark in imposing the fine upon the coach ? And should the union decertify itself and then challenge the league’s antitrust status within the Federal Court System should they be able to avoid mediation how do you see things playing out within the courtroom ? Simply proffer up any thoughts that you might have on this topic and anything else as it relates the NBA . Once again thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal …………………

http://tophatal.wordpress.com/

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(1) Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference shakes hands with NBA Commissioner David Stern after Bryant was named MVP for the fourth time in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game at Staples Center on February 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images/ Kevork Djansezian …….

(2) Head coach Phil Jackson (L) of the Los Angeles Lakers receives his championship ring from NBA Commissioner David Stern before the season opening game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on October 27, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America …….

(3) NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter seen here with the convened press . Hunter and his union are trying to avert a labor stoppage this off-season . But all signs appear to be that the deliberations between the two sides could become contentious . AP Photo / Richard Musgrave …….

(4) In this picture from May 2009 the big four of American sports commissioners discussed the economics of their respective sports in New York City on Wednesday. They are, left to right, the NBA’s David Stern, baseball’s Bud Selig, the NFL’s Roger Goodell and the NHL’s Gary Bettman. AP Photo / Richard Drew ……..

(5) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – APRIL 14: Former NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith (L) and linebacker Ben Leber of the Minnesota Vikings leave a court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on April 14, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mediation was ordered after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners when labor talks between the two broke down last month. Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images …………

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Mase …… feat’g …… Total ………”Tell Me What You Want From Me”

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Basketball, Bill Russell, Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, Los Angeles Lakers, Nate Robinson, NBA, NBA Playoffs 2010, Red Auberbach, Shaquille O'Neal, Sports, Wyc Grousbeck

Chances Are It Won’t Work Out …………… But Then Again Who Knows ?


Chances Are It Won’t Work Out …………… But Then Again Who Knows ?

The one thing that has perplexed me since the trade deadline has been the play of the Boston Celtics and the decision made by the Boston Celtics’ GM Danny Ainge in the trading of Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson . Now inasmuch as we’re told that this was done to benefit the overall strength of the Celtics’ roster I think in large part that the trade has been to the detriment of the Celtics that has provided a slump in their fortunes where they’re now the third ranked team within the Eastern Conference sitting behind the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat .

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Though the Boston Celtics’ coach Doc Rivers has stated that this trade was a necessity to give the team depth in strength I do believe that the decision wasn’t a prudent one and it has if anything made the team all the more vulnerable and susceptible in their chances of making it deep into the playoffs much less winning the conference finals or the NBA title itself. The Celitics’ Big Three of Ray Allen , Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in addition to point guard Rajon Rondo have been playing at a level not identifiable with a team that many thought if anything would be viewed as a serious contender for the conference championship as well as the NBA championship. Instead this team has struggled and the fact that Troy Murphy an addition to the Celtics’ roster was seen as an upgrade has me wondering what it is that Ainge was trying to do ! If anything the general manager of this storied franchise must feel that the front office and the ownership of Wyc Grousbeck and his partners who can’t be entirely happy with the current situation but as long as there’s a chance that the team can be thought of as a contender then they may well be satisfied with their predicament.

In the offseason after the playoffs has reached its culmination I do believe that several decisions will have to be made as to the personnel of this team in light of the age of the team’s “Big Three” of Allen , Garnett and Pierce , never mind the roaming mercenary on the team Shaquille O’Neal whose career of late has been one where he’s merely moved for the sake of the money , rather than what he says…… ‘ is the pursuit of a fifth NBA ring , having won four as well as multiple Finals’ MVP’s . O’Neal is no longer the once dominant center within the league and if anything his productivity has slumped over the past few years . Rivers may well feel that his playing a mere twenty to twenty five minutes a game will suffice in the Celtics’ quest for another title.

Last season’s quest where we saw the Celtics fall to the Lost Angeles Lakers </a. in the NBA Finals was one where the team having outplayed the Lakers throughout much of the series they’d would fall apart in game seven where we’d see Ron Artest perhaps play the game of his life and where eventual Finals’ MVP Kobe Bryant would show us why he’s amongst the game’s most accomplished players and has long been considered one of the best players in the game when it matters most , on the NBA’s grandest stage. If that wasn’t enough to show the Celtics and their fans why it is that they can’t afford to be complacent then the 2010 Finals was definitely indicative of that.

This season for the Celtics hasn’t been without controversy for the team with Kevin Garnett leading the way with his flare up with the Pistons’ Charlie Villaneuva in the aftermath of which Garnett would try to negate the response of the press with a rather trite statement concerning remarks made about cancer victims. Garnett has always been something of a lightning rod in terms of his on the court demeanor and often at times his apparent willingness to do whatever it takes to win even if there’s a question as to his sportsmanship.

As an offense the Celtics have struggled and though they’re often viewed as a defensive force it has been here where their struggles have actually manifested itself and much to the dismay of their fans and Rivers’ coaching staff . I’ve no doubt will make the playoffs but I’m not so sure that as of now that they can be viewed as the presumptive favorites to win the conference finals ! As good as the team has been throughout much of the season the loss of Kendrick Perkins may well be too much to bear for this team. You cannot simply alter the chemistry on a team thinking that you can make it better by bringing in players that in terms of their contributions simply have shown that they’ve no real heart. Ainge for his part has been reticent to address the reasons as to the team’s falloff prior to the trade and what it has meant overall.

If the Celtics are to actually make their presence felt over the remainder the regular season and in the postseason , then as of now , they will have to show a great deal more determination . And in terms of leadership then Garnett , Pierce , Allen but Rajon Rondo in particular will have to lead by example if there’s to be any chance of this team simply being in with a remote chance of winning the NBA title . Failure by the quartet to show some form of consistency in terms of their play then you might as well count this team out because they’ve become a mere shadow of what many believed they were capable of achieving .

The Eastern Conference has often been thought of as a conference where the quality of play has been somewhat lacking in quality of its play but if anything with a litany stars now within the conference there’s the feeling that they’re now capable of staying in touch with their counterparts in the Western Conference . Now it comes to the point where we’re going to have to ask the questions as to whether or not the hype created with the Miami Heat ….. will they be good enough to win it all ? Can Derrick Rose assume the mantel of Michael Jordan and lead the Chicago Bulls to unprecedented heights not seen since the Bulls were in their heyday under Jordan in winning six titles during a ten year span. Boston for its part will be looking to add to the legacy of Red Auerbach and Bill Russell the two names synonymous , most associated with success and what the Celtics have been about over the course of their history.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the Celtics’ present plight and where do you see them in terms of their chances winning an NBA title ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts on the Boston Celtics and that of the conference and the NBA postseason as a whole ?

Alan aka tophatal ……………………

http://tophatal.wordpress.com/

Picture and slide show details below.
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(1) Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce (34) shoots against Minnesota Timberwolves center Darko Milicic (31) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 27, 2011, in Minneapolis. Pierce had a team-high 23 points as the Celtics won 85-82 . AP Photo/ Mark Goodson …..

(2) Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jonny Flynn (10) looks to pass around Boston Celtics guard Carlos Arroyo (45) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 27, 2011, in Minneapolis. AP Photo/Paul Battaglia ……….

(3) Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett (5) goes for the loose ball along with teammate Paul Pierce (34) and Minnesota Timberwolves center Anthony Tolliver during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 27, 2011, in Minneapolis. AP Photo/Paul Battaglia ….

(4) LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 19: Shaquille O’Neal of the Boston Celtics with girlfriend Nicole ‘Hoopz’ Alexander sit courtside as they attend NBA All-Star Saturday night presented by State Farm at Staples Center on February 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images …….

(5) Wyc Grousbeck (right) is seen here with Red Auerbach at the team’s headquarters discussing the Celtics’ team . Auerbach who died last season built the Celtics’ dynasty into one of the NBA’s most beloved and successful franchises . Grousbeck is now the senior managing partner in the Boston Celtics’ ownership group . Paul Myers / Celtic Archives / copyrighted material @ all rights reserved …..

(6) Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge (L), managing partner and CEO Wyc Grousbeck (C) and guard Ray Allen celebrate after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6 of the NBA Finals basketball championship in Boston June 17, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Segar ……………..

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NBA News

NBA Results Saturday

Sunday’s schedule & results


Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics history

Boston Celtics front office

Boston Celtics roster

Doc Rivers Head coach — Coaching Staff

Celtics’ team Stats

Team splits

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By all means do take time to participate in the above poll .

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Eye candy ……………..

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Wiz Khalifa ………….. ” Roll Up ”
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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.  

 

 

  Continue reading

"Marathon Man", Basketball, Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA All Star Game, Portland Trailblazers, Sports

Is It Safe …………?


 

Is  It  Safe    ?  

 

 

Those  are the  words   uttered   in    thriller   suspense  movie  Marathon Man” starring  Laurence Olivier  and   Dustin  Hoffman. “Is It Safe ?”:  And  if one   can  remember  the  scene    whereby  the  villain  of   the  piece   Olivier  an  on  the  run  Nazi  war  criminal   subjects his   prisoner  Hoffman  to  some  undue  torture  by way  of  drilling  into  his   tooth    with  a  drill. 

 

 

Olivier (left) in  his  role  as  a   war  criminal   subdues his  captive  Hoffman  to  some  unspeakable  torture.   picture is a  scene  from the  movie  'Marathon Man'   (1974)  Columbia Tri Star Pictures  ..........
Olivier (left) subdues his captive Hoffman and then proceeds to torture his captive with some unspeakable torture. Scene from the movie "Marathon Man" released by Columbia Tri Star Pictures circa @ 1974 ...........

 

 

 

What  then   follows   is  an   unseemingly  tortuous   scene   that  one   can  only   lament.    As  too  was   last   night’s   abysmal   showing   by  the  Los  Angeles  Lakers   in  their   loss  to the  Portland  Trailblazers.  No matter  which   way  you  slice  and   dice  it  ,  analyze  it  or  whatever.  This  may  well  have  been  the  Lakers’   worst   regular    season  display.  And   one  might  question the  fact that  there’d  been   a  skirmish   during  the  game  between  the  two  teams.  But   it  oughtn’t  to  excuse   the  fact    that  they  were  handed  their   heads  on  a  silver  platter.  And  if  nothing  else   it  proves  the   point  that  the  assumption  being   made  that  they  possess  the  deepest   bench  in  the  league  can  no  longer   be   justified.     Based  on  last  night’s  performance    they   were   anemic  to  say  the  very  least.

 

 

Brandon  Roy  of  the  Portland  Trailblazers   dunks  over the Lakers' Jordan Farmar  during  the  game  played  at the  Rose Garden  Arena   in Portland,Or.
Brandon Roy of the Blazers dunks on the Lakers' Jordan Farmar during the game played in the Rose Garden Arena in Portland ,Oregon. The Blazers would go on to rout the Lakers 111-94. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Sam Forencich ............

 

 

 

 

As   for  the  Trailblazers   they’re   proving  to  be  a  very   young ,  hungry  and   tough  team.   Whatever   they’re   lacking  in     inexperience  they’re  more  than  making   up  for  with  their   very   determined  displays. To  my  mind  they  are   indeed   the   surprise   team   within  the  NBA  this  season  and   the   fact  that  they’re   now   locked   in  a  two way   tie   within  their division  alongside  the  Utah  Jazz (40-23).  It  shows  the  progress  that   they’re   now  making  under coach  Nate McMillan.  He’s  providing  the   stability  needed  and  the  players   themselves  are   buying  into  the  thought  process  and   teachings. If  nothing  else  it  has  proved  that  this   team   though  not   yet   tried  and   tested   they’re   now  proving  that  they’re   capable   of   contending   with  the  best.   Whether  or  not  they   can  convert  that  into  anything  sustentative  remains  to  be  seen.  At this   juncture   they’re   trying  to   play  themselves   into  the  playoffs  and   garner  a  postseason  berth.  

 

 

Bryant  goes  up   for  the  offensive  play  against  the   Trailblazers  during  the  game.
Bryant goes up for the offensive play against the Trailblazers . picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Sam Forencich .............

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In  Brandon  Roy  the   Portland Trailblazers    possess   one  of  the   better   young   players  within  the  NBA.  And   this  season  he  proved  that   point   by  him  being  named to  the  All   Star   roster  of  the  Western  Conference   for  the  NBA  midseason  showcase  event.  But  it’s  not   just   Roy alone  that   one   has  to  be  impressed  with   on  this  team. The  roster   has  a  nucleus   that   should   they   remain  together   over  the   next    five   or   six   years   can   contend   for   numerous   championships.  But   that’d  be   predicated   upon  the  desires  of  the   hierarchy  within  the  organization  and  the   financial   constraints   that  they  would  be   under.  If  nothing  else   this   team   has   become  a  pleasure  to  watch  as  they  set  about   doing  things   the   right  way.    They  play  with a  zest  and  zeal   not  often  seen   in  such  a  young   and  inexperienced   team. 

 

 

 

A subdued  Kobe Bryant (right) and  teammate Pau Gasol seated on  the bench  look  on  in  the  waning  moments of  the  game.  The  Lakers  would  go on  to  lose the  game  decisively  against  their  Western Conference rivals the Portland Trailblazers 111-94.   picture appears courtesy of   nbae/getty  images/ Sam Forencich .........
A subdued Kobe Bryant (right) along with teammate Pau Gasol left seated on the bench look on during the waning moments of the game. The Lakers would go on to lose the game decisively to the Portland Trailblazers decisively 111-94 . picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Sam Forencich ............

 

 

 

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Basketball, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

Gunfight At The OK Corral ………….


Well last  night  the  Los Angeles  Lakers and  the Cleveland  Cavaliers met  up for  what  was  meant  to  be  one  of  the  more  entertaining  NBA  games  taking place   on MLK Day.   The  two   teams  have  been  playing   so well  and  their  superstars  in the  guises  of   Kobe  Bryant and   LeBron  James   have  basically  been  dueling  as  to  their   supremacy  and  who  really  is   the  King  of  the  NBA.

 

 

 

 

LeBron James drives  for the basket  under the  defensive presence  of  Pau  Gasol of  the  Los Angeles  Lakers ............
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives for the basket under the defensive presence of the Los Angeles Lakers' Pau Gasol ............

 

 

LeBron James of  the  Cleveland Cavaliers drives  for the  basket  under the  defensive  presence of  the  Los Angeles  Lakers’ Pau Gasol. picture  appears  courtesy of nbae/getty  images/ Noah  Graham  ………………. 

 

 

 

 

Absolutely  no  one  doubt  either players’ talents  as  they’re  both  supremely  gifted.   And  in  light  of that  there  now  seems  to  be  a  controversy  building  up  amongst  the  fans  as  to  who  really  is  the  better player.  We  all  saw to  great  effect  what  each  was  capable  of whilst  they   both   represented  the  country   during  the  Olympics  in Beijing.  Team  USA  triumphed and  both  were  pleased to  come  back  wearing their  gold  medal.  That  being   said   gold  medals  are   not  what  they  are  judged  by when  it’s  all  said  and  done.  It’s about winning  titles  and  the  indelible  legacy that  they  leave  on the  game.    That’s  what  legends are  made  of  and  usually   how  they’re  remembered .

 

 

 

 

Well  last  night  at the  Staples  Center   we  saw   the   good  and  the  bad in  both  players.  But  then again that’s  to  be  expected  when  a  game   is  hyped  into  something  in  reality  is  completely  meaningless.   There  was  nothing   really  on the  line  other  than  a  perceived bragging  right.  And  that’s about   it.  But the  way  many  of  the  fans  in question  would   describe  the  matchup. One   would’ve believed  that  the  Earps and  Clantons  were  meeting   in  Dodge City  to  sort out their  differences.

 

 

Bryant  and  Gasol  acknowledge  each other  after a well  executed  play against  the  Cavaliers  .................
Bryant and Gasol acknowledge each other after a well executed play against the Cleveland Cavaliers ...........

 

 

Bryant  and Gasol  acknowledge  each  other after a  well  executed  play  against  the  Cleveland   Cavaliers.  picture appears courtesy of  nbae/getty  images/ Noah Graham ………………

 

 

 

 

 

The game  itself  was  bedeviled  by  some   poor  shooting  by  both  teams.  And   Bryant and  James  were  a  part  of  that  equation  also.   So make  of  that  what   you  will.  I   know that  some  excuses   will be  made   for   their   poor    output  as  far  as  their   shooting   goes.  But  then   again we’re  all  entitled  to  a  bad  night  at the  office  aren’t  we  ?   It  was  somewhat  reflective  of the  night as  a whole  as  the game stats bear this  out.  But  some  would   have  still   have  you  believe  that  was   a  thoroughly   entertaining  game  and  that   both  stars   played  exceptionally  well.  In  reality  they   were   good   but  most  definitely  not  exceptional.

 

 

 

James' jump shot over  the  outstretched  arms  of  the Lakers' Kobe  Bryant  ..............
James' jump shot over the outstretched arms of the Lakers' Kobe Bryant ..............

 

 

James’  jump shot over  the  outstretched  arms  of the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant   during  the  game  played  in  which  their  Eastern  Conference nemesis  105-88. picture appears  courtesy of  nbae/getty  images/  Noah  Graham  ……………..

 

 

 

 

The   game itself  resulted  in  a  105-88   win  for  the  Los Angeles  Lakers  and  with  none  other  than  Pau  Gasol  in a  starring role  for  the  men  in purple  and  gold.  The  player  chipped  in  with  22  points  and  played   well  on  both  ends  of  the  floor.  That being   said  for the  Lakers’   fans  this   was the  chance  to  seek    revenge against  a  team  that  has  had the    better  of  them  as  of  late.  But  I’d  dare  that  a  matchup  of  this might   would  be  more  meaningful  were  it   in the  postseason, with  everything  on the  line to  play  for  ?  But as   with  all  regular  season  games  as  such  this  merely  may  have been  a  joust  more  than  anything  else.    It may  not  have  amounted   to much   in  some   eyes.    But  to  some  it  amounts  to  a  great  deal.   As   to what  that   might be   is  open  to  pure speculation  and  conjecture . 

 

 

Bryant drives the lane against the Cavaliers' Mo  Williams .............
Bryant drives the lane against the Cleveland Cavaliers' Mo Williams .............

 

Bryant drives  the lane against the  Cleveland Cavaliers’ Mo  Williams  during  the game.  picture  appears  courtesy of   nbae/getty images/ Noah Graham ……. 

 

 

 

Last  night  instead  of  being   served  up   a  feast   it  was  merely   nothing   more  than appetizer  of  the  most   unusual  of  kinds.  Those who  sought to prepare  the  meal   clearly  forgot  to make  sure  that  the  utensils  in  question   had  to  be meticulously   polished.   As  for  the  main   course   of  the  rivalry   between   Bryan  and  James  it was  much  ado  about  nothing  at  this   juncture.  In  the end  it   pointed  to   nothing  more than  two  players    trying  to   outdo  each  other   and   coming up badly   not  necessarily  when  it  mattered  most.  It  did  little   to prove  who   really  was the  better  player  on  the  night.  And if  anything  it  merely   proves  to  us  that   we’re   creating   something   out  of  nothing.    Afterall  were this  a  real   gunfight    they’d  have both   come  out  guns a blazing  instead  of  merely  shooting  blanks.