Thursday, May 31, 2007


In case you were living under a rock yesterday, Wilt Chamberlain and Chick Hearn began rolling over in their graves due to wanna-be Jack Bauer's nonstop drama. Kobe Bryant opened the morning on ESPN Radio asking for a trade from the Lakers. He came back on the radio twice, each time further backing off his comments after speaking with Phil Jackson and Magic Johnson. A lot of analysis can and has been done on this subject, but let us make it clear that Kobe is NOT going to be traded.

Kobe simply is trying to orchestrate a Jerry West return to run the "mess" of an organization that is the Lakers, or force the current front office of Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss to make some type of trade to bring the team back to a contending status. Ironically enough, the great Seattle Sonic Ray Allen predicted this three years ago:

"He's going to be very selfish," Allen said of Bryant. "And he feels like he needs to show this league and the people in this country that he is better without Shaq. He can win championships without Shaq. So offensively, he's going to jump out and say, 'I can average 30 points. I can still carry the load on this team.'

"I think the point production is not going to be so much what people are going to look at because (Tracy) McGrady did it in Orlando, Allen (Iverson) did it in Philly. Can you win a championship? I think that's the question. Carrying guys on your back and making everybody better."

Allen was right about that, as it turns out, but get a load of Allen's crystal ball on this one.

"If Kobe doesn't see he needs two and a half good players to be a legitimate playoff contender or win a championship, in about a year or two he'll be calling out to Jerry Buss that 'We need some help in here,' or 'Trade me,' " Allen said. "And we'll all be saying, 'I told you so,' when he says that."

Man alive, that is some good stuff. He was almost exactly right. It took three seasons instead of two, but Kobe finally did exactly what Ray said he was going to do. Unbelievable.
- Frank Hughes, The News Tribune

Furthermore, Kobe is now claiming that he was not responsible for the departure of Shaq. While he may have never verbally asked the Lakers to rid of Shaq, let us not forget what Kobe has said before, leaving owner Jerry Buss no choice but to choose the younger attraction over the aging winner. The Big Fella has agreed, but this is after legends such as Bill Russell have adviced him to put the whole dramatic situation behind him.

Finally, another blog points out how it seems that Kobe is the type of person that strives to outshine everything else and be the main headline:
  • January 22, 2006: Kobe scores 81 points against Toronto on the same day that the Steelers defeated the Broncos and the Seahawks defeated the Panthers in the NFL Conference Championships.
  • December 29, 2006 and December 31, 2006: Kobe scores 58 and 35 (only 2 free throw attempts)..The final weekend of the NFL season.
  • March 16, 2007 through April 3, 2007: Kobe scores 65, 50, 60, 50, 43, 23(7-26), 53, 19(6-14), and 39. The NCAA tournament started on March 15 and ended April 2nd, and MLB had it’s opening days April 1-3.
  • April 6, 2007 and April 8, 2007: 24 drops 46 and 34 on The Masters which took place April 5-8. Kobe didn’t break 40 on the 8th for lack of trying. He was 14-25 from the field, but 1-5 from 3 and only got to the line 5 times.
  • May 26, 2007-May 30, 2007: Kobe starts the trade demands and calls them off. Then starts them again then calls them off all while the NBA Conference Finals, Indy 500, and Stanley Cup Finals are taking place.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The End of the World

Good thing we have Jack Bauer, otherwise this may really happen someday...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Portland & Seattle win Oden & Durant

  • The Pacific Northwest hit the jackpot Tuesday evening, as the Portland Trail Blazers and Seattle Sonics surprisingly won the draft lottery for the top two picks.
  • Ohio State 7-foot 280-pound beast Greg Oden will go first to Portland while Texas phenom (6'9" 220) Kevin Durant is coming to Seattle baby!
  • Portland last had the No.2 pick in 1984, selecting center Sam Bowie, a bust in comparison to the fellow who Chicago took next by the name of Michael Jordan. Deja vu anyone?
  • Seattle last had the No.2 pick in 1990, selecting living legend Gary Payton. A decade of winning seasons and playoff runs followed.
  • Oden was bothered with a broken wrist last year, but still managed to be an effective force in the Buckeye's run to the Final Four. Scouts compare Oden to Shaq, Duncan, and Dwight Howard, all number one picks who have completely turned around NBA franchises.
  • Durant just won the John Wooden Award after averaging 26 points and 11 rebounds. Durant has often been compared to Carmelo Anthony, while some believe he has the marketability of a Jordan or Lebron. Look for Durant to make more of an immediate impact than the more raw Oden.
  • The I-5 rivalry between the Blazers and Sonics will certainly heat up next year on a national scale. Portland's Nate McMillian is the former Sonic guard and coach and Blazers owner Paul Allen has strong ties to Seattle as the co-founder of Microsoft and owner of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.
  • Both Portland and Seattle are currently in the midst of arena problems. The Blazers are locked into a financially draining lease at the Rose Garden while the Sonics were recently sold to Clay Bennett, a businessman who is expected to move the team to Oklahoma City if the Washington government does not pay up for a new arena. Hopefully this new excitement and publicity will generate enough attention and revenue to keep basketball in these two great hotbed cities.
  • Look for Seattle's Rashard Lewis to leave as a free agent this summer. The franchise's uncertainty was already going to be the driving force, but with Durant coming in with a similar game at the same position, Lewis may be better off going to, say, Orlando with Dwight Howard and company.
  • Sonics President Lenny Wilkens will now turn his attention to hiring a general manager and head coach, even though he may have been the best candidate for either job. But seriously, all the GM has to do is sign Lewis and the coach just has to say, "Kevin, screen for Ray" every timeout.
  • Any sudden climate changes that occurred Tuesday can be attributed to the loud cheers from the caffeinated Northwest and collective groans in Boston, where after a season of tanking, the Celtics ended up with their worst possible scenario, the fifth pick in the draft. Remember that Boston was favored to get Tim Duncan in 1997 before being similarly screwed by the ping pong balls.
  • Thanks to the bounce of those balls though, the Northwest Division may suddenly be a strong one next year as the already superior Western Conference continues to add firepower. The Utah Jazz are still playing and have a bright future with Williams and Boozer while Denver has yet to play a full season with the Iverson/Carmelo combination. A nod goes to Kevin Garnett and a No.7 pick in Minnesota as Portland fans are dreaming of championships with Oden and rookie of the year Brandon Roy while Seattle's potential Ray Allen, Kevin Durant, Rashard Lewis can easily form the league's highest scoring trio...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Michael Wilbon checks in with yet another brilliant article, this time calling on David Stern and the NBA to reseed the playoffs after every round, forcing the best teams to play each other later on in the tournament. Wilbon also points out that basketball, more so than any other sport, is driven by its stars, most of whom have already been eliminated. With a likely San Antonio-Detroit Finals rematch looming, the most attractive star may be found on the sidelines...

UPDATE: Speaking of Tony Parker and Eva Longoria...

UPDATE TWO: Go Tony, Go!

Thursday, May 03, 2007


  • The Golden State Warriors shocked the Dallas Mavericks in six games becoming the first 8 seed to upset a number 1 seed in a best of seven first round series.
  • With Chicago's sweep of Miami, this means that both Finals participants were eliminated in the first round. And they say the NBA is too predictable.
  • Baron Davis was the man for the Warriors, constantly penetrating and knocking down shots. Looks like Bruins finally found their NBA star to follow after the Reggie Miller era.
  • Stephen Jackson stepped up big time this series, shedding his thug image in favor of a smart hard worker. We knew about the Warriors' big three of Davis, Jackson, and Jason Richardson, but who in the world saw Andris Biedris, Monte Ellis, and Mikael Pietrus turning into such ballers?
  • There are several more reasons why the Warriors won this series. Don Nelson will get a lot of credit for his unique coaching style, motivating his team at the right time, promoting organized chaos on offense, throwing a variety of defenders at Dirk, and switching all screens and using zone defenses to throw the Mavs off. As the former coach of the Mavs, Nellie definitely had an advantage.
  • Dallas, having clinched the top seed, were resting up and taking it easy going into April. On the flip side, Golden State caught fire and made a playoff push. Sports are all about confidence and momentum.
  • But none of this would not have mattered if it were not for those crazy lunatic fans up in Oakland...
  • The last time the Warriors won a series was 1991, with Avery Johnson, Tim Hardaway, Chris Mullin and Tom Tolbert. Oh, and they were coached by Don Nelson.
  • The Warriors were simply a team that had the Mavericks' number. They swept Dallas 3-0 during the season, including the final meeting in which Avery Johnson rested his starters instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to knock Golden State out of the playoff race.
  • I said it at the end of last year and I will say it again. Avery Johnson is not the great coach that we all think he is. A great coach does not blow a 2-0 lead in the Finals. A great coach does not fall to a lowly eight seed after such a great regular season.
  • The NBA should be ashamed to have Dirk Nowitzki as its MVP. The award should be decided and voted upon at a time much deeper into the playoffs, instead of at the end of the regular season as it is now. Dirk was criticized with choking during last year's Finals, and after this miserable disappearing act, he will be under further scrutiny.
  • With Dallas gone, only Phoenix and Detroit stand a chance against the San Antonio Spurs, my pick to win it all.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Indian Pride

Indians invented numbers. Irrigation. Navigation. Medicine. Hotmail. The Pentium Chip. Mahatma Gandhi. Aishwarya Rai. But this takes the cake.

2007 NFL Draft

As the amazingly entertaining NBA Playoffs rages on, the completely overhyped NFL Draft finally took place last weekend. Despite all the coverage, the draft is hard to judge until multiple seasons afterwards when the players have had adequate time to adapt and develop. Nevertheless, here are some of the main storylines:
  • The Oakland Raiders took LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell with the first overall pick, and is expected to sign a contract well over $50 million for the next six years. Good luck behind that poor offensive line.
  • The Raiders traded Randy Moss to the New England Patriots for a fourth round pick. The Patriots are the unofficial offseason winners as Bill Belichick prepares for one last push for a Super Bowl run.
  • The Detroit Lions could not get a satisfactory trade proposal so took freak athelete Calvin Johnson, wide receiver out of Georgia Tech.
  • Notre Dame's Brady Quinn free fall was well documented, as the Cleveland Browns passed on him at No.3 for dominant left tackle Joe Thomas. The Browns later traded back into the first round for Dallas' No.22 to nab the hometown boy.
  • In the biggest shock of the draft, the Miami Dolphins passed on Quinn taking the injured Ohio State receiver and returner Ted Ginn Jr. New head coach Cam Cameron, the genious behind the San Diego Chargers' powerhouse offense the last few years, was met with heavy boos at a press conference.
  • The 10th pick was 19-year-old defensive tackle Amobi Okoye of Louisville, by Houston. He's the youngest player drafted in the first round since the merger and will join last year's No. 1 overall pick, defensive end Mario Williams, on the line.
  • Teams were not afraid to draft running backs early, starting with the Minnesota Vikings selecting Adrian Peterson at No.9 and Buffalo Bills selecting Marshawn Lynch at No.12.
  • Ohio State Heisman winning quarterback Troy Smith was finally selected by the Baltimore Ravens with the final pick of the fifth round. Look for Smith, who is nothing but a winner, to flourish behind Steve McNair and a scary defense.
  • Sports Illustrated on the champs: Indy has lost defenders Cato June, Jason David, Nick Harper, Mike Doss and Montae Reagor this offseason. So they need to draft defenders, right? The Colts first two picks were receiver Anthony Gonzalez and offensive tackle Tony Ugoh.
  • The Seattle Seahawks, without a first-round pick because of the Deion Branch trade, went with a corner and defensive tackle for their first two picks. Their big splash was trading away Darrell Jackson to divison rival San Francisco for a fourth round pick. This puts Branch as the undisputed No.1 option, with D.J. Hackett the favorite to start alongside him, and Nate Burleson and Bobby Engram rounding out the still deep receiving corps.
  • Early Super Bowl pick, and note this has nothing to do with who they drafted: Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots.