February 21, 2008
Before Michael Jordan retired for the first time talks have been circling around the NBA and fans panicked uncontrollably asking and questioning who would be his airness apparent heir? There are a bunch of players slowly showing signs with the likes of Jerry Stackhouse who at that time played for the Philadelphia 76ers. He was a consistent scorer but he was no where in Jordan’s league. The heir would be describe as a player who could score 40 or more points in almost all games and his jump would be describe as flying rather than a vertical leap and of course he has to have a smile that could launched a thousand ships and break every girls heart.
Grant Hill was the second player who tried to be the apparent heir. Hill was a charismatic player and a working force in the Pistons team but it was cut short because of an injury that almost ended his once colorful career. Grant Hill now played for the Phoenix Suns and is very much contented to be a role player.
And there was Vinsanity… Vince followed Jordan’s career path with a scorer’s mentality and revolutionized the slam dunk competition with his out of this world dunks. He was in every way a Jordan like player but without a Scottie Pippen, Vince Carter never got close in winning a title up to this day. Injuries hindered the Vince we know and love as he is the Jordan at age 40 who is content on shooting rather than doing a kamikaze dunk.
Kobe Bryant has all the right to be called the heir to his airness. Kobe won championships and to top it all that he could score and pass at the same time. And with years still ahead of him before retiring he is arguably the best all around player in the NBA right now. Not to mention his 80 points outing against the Raptors. Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in an age where there are no 3 seconds or 24 sec. violation, with Zone defense and at 7’1 there are little distractions at that time. So Kobe could even surpass Wilt in that manner.
Lebron James is another candidate and an up and coming sensation of the NBA. Lebron brought his team to the promise land in just his second year. Although it was cut short by the Spurs I could see a big bright future for Lebron. He is a good passer and people love him to death but I love to see Lebron join the slam dunk competition next year. With the thought of a Dwight Howard/Lebron James duel it made me salivating and drool endlessly (hehehehe).
Michael Jordan for me is the best player who ever played the game of basketball. He would always be the player who flies and glides his way to stardome. There would never be the next Michael Jordan. Stackhouse, Hill, Carter, Bryant and James have there own identity. It’s just unfortunate that they are born on the same era.
February 18, 2008
When Galileo theorized the world in perspective is round. People started to question his insanity… Before the moon were just parts of some silly rhymes and was virtually impossible to go there but years later Neil Armstrong made a giant leap for mankind as he set his foot to become the first man in history to go to the moon.
Galileo and Armstrong are two different individuals but bonded in one common goal to make the impossible possible…
A virtually unknown player from the Toronto Raptors Jamario Moon signed a 3 day contract with the Raptors. In his first game he scored 12 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes and made a lasting impression by the Raptors that he was given the starting spot.
But it was not all bed of roses for the young Raptor. He had to undergo the impossible first to make his dream a reality. Graduated in a sub Par College school averaging 20.8 points peppered with 8.7 rebounds he immediately listed himself in the 2001 NBA draft.
But no team wanted him and was forced to play in the CBA, LNBP, USBL and the Harlem Globetrotters. A typical journeyman so to speak but Jamario never gave up and worked hard every game he played. Playing in the Harlem Globetrotters made him discover how great he really is… there were times they would throw the ball so high and Jamario just give his all and jump as high as he could and catch the ball. He made jumping as a sanctuary for all his frustrations. When things don’t work out for him he just jump his way out of it literally…The Raptors gave Jamario some redemption and eventually carve his way in the league and became a defensive specialist breaking a club record of 1 block per game for 12 consecutive games. Highlights and impossible dunks slowly showing up in youtube and myspace. And fans are slowly recognizing his talent as he was named the NBA eastern conference rookie of the month for February.
Jamario still has a long way to go and a good career ahead of him.
Galileo, Armstrong and Jamario made a commitment to never gave up and made the impossible possible…
Fly me to the moon Jamario…
February 13, 2008
With the recent trades of Pau Gasol and Shaq from the West, teams are almost pushing the panic button. With recent acquisition of Damon Stoudamire to San Antonio and the undying trade talks of Jason Kidd. NBA teams are trying to shop their players in order to find stability and have a good run in the upcoming second half of the season.
This time teams are not just trying to land a playoff spot but are trying for a championship ring. Right now I only have 5 teams in mind that are gunning for a championship run…
- San Antonio Spurs- The reigning defending champions have the entire arsenal to be on the top but with all the movements being made by other western teams San Antonio needs another veteran Point guard and a Power Forward/ Center to help Duncan in the paint. Damon Stoudamire was a good pick up for San Antonio since Tony Parker’s health is questionable. But with Big Shot Robert Horry still injured San Antonio needs another help who could defend the likes of Shaq and Pau.
- Phoenix Suns- A move to get Shaq was a risky but rewarding move. Amare’s back with his original position and with Shaq the Phoenix became an instant contender. The question would be how long they could sustain their magic.
- Detroit Pistons- A solid team that don’t need much changes. They are a veteran team but they should have a good bench since injury is inevitable… A solid lineup should always have a good backup like San Antonio
- Boston Celtics- The most exciting team to watch who rallied 40 wins with 5 games without their star forward Kevin Garnet. Rondo developed to be a good point guard but playoff time would be a different scenario. Games would be more physical and I’m afraid if Coach Rivers would gamble on his raw point guard he could dearly pay the price. Sam Cassel would be a wise decision to sign him up. The wily veteran is a tested general. If I were Boston I would do whatever it takes to get hold of Sam. Jason Kidd would be a much better acquisition though but that’s over the kill for Boston.
- Los Angeles Lakers- with Andrew Bynum’s fast recovery the lakers would be a team to beat with Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant. They have all the ingredients of a championship team. A mixed of veteran players and a good bench. They are the no.1 off the bench scoring team. I always dreamed of a new Celtics-Lakers rivalry right now it’s almost becoming a reality….
With fingers crossed….
February 8, 2008
When Miami was desperate of winning an NBA championship they went shopping and move heaven and earth just to get Big Daddy Shaq. Miami won the championship on that same year and the emergence of a new superstar Dwane Wade was recognized.
But it was only a pinch of taste of what Nirvana was like after they were easily handed down defeat by a young resurging Bulls team in the playoffs and what followed was a string of defeats, frustrations and doubts as Miami became from one of the championship contenders to one of the worst record team in the NBA right now.
Miami became desperate and the need for change is eminent. Shaq’s invincibility is slowly depleting and the once dominating center is averaging below his average numbers and to top it all a series of hip injuries made the fans question about his ability and whether he would still deliver a second championship ring to Miami.
Beating the trade deadline Miami made an unexpected move by trading Shaq in exchange for the versatile Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks from Phoenix. I was thinking no one in their right senses would accept a trade from Miami since Shaq had 20 million a year Salary left in his contract which could add up the remaining salary cap of the team thus making the team non eligible for signing free agents. Shaq with all the injuries is not the same dominating Shaq we know. He maybe has some left in his pockets but at age 36 injuries could very well play a vital role in conditioning and readiness since recovery is not that promising compared to young players.
Shawn Marion from the start of the season wanted out of Phoenix with All-stars Steve Nash and Amare Stoudamire… Marion was just left out of the picture.
Versatility is what Shawn Marion gives to Miami as he can play from point forward, small forward, power forward and even the Center position. He can guard Tony Parker, Dirk Nowitzki and even Kobe Bryant with quickness and sport a deadly shot from mid range. The question would be why Phoenix gambled on Shaq and all I can say is just two words… Championship ring… with the recent trade of Pau Gasol to the Lakers the Phoenix couldn’t afford to sit on their backs and wait for their season to be over. Phoenix was a championship contender in the West but because they lack the size they are just over powered by Tim Duncan, Carlos Boozer and big Dirk Nowitzki. Shaq could add up the hole in the center position for Phoenix. With Amare Stoudamire shipping back to his natural position (power forward)… Phoenix could very well have a big chance of winning the coveted ring. Phoenix have the youth in Borris Diaw, Leandro Barbosa ,DJ Strawberry and Amare Stoudamire mixed it up with the veterans in Steve Nash, Grant Hill and Shaq and to put it in an equation youth+veterans= ring. Phoenix could still run an up tempo game even with Shaq so there wont be any problems in terms of offense.
I believe Phoenix will have a shot for the championship this season. But nonetheless like Miami they will have to suffer some major setbacks in case everything turned sour and Shaq with his nagging injuries re occur.
But it’s not bad to taste a pinch of Nirvana anyways.
February 5, 2008
Last Saturday Z Gorres and Vic Darchinyan went toe to toe in an eliminator bout with the winner going to a championship match with the reigning IBF champion Dimitri Kirilov.
Z went into the fight with the usual Black with white trims of the Ala Boys… but one thing I notice about Z’s attire… he is wearing a shade of fear behind his smiles and machismo look while walking across the aisle before a boisterous and critical crowd. Z was a tactician and a good boxer but never in his caliber did he face a brawler and a puncher like Vic… I was amazed how big Vic Darchinyan went into the fight while they were listening to the referee’s instructions. Z’s eyes was not the usual fighter I saw in all his fights… he was somewhat afraid and intimidated of the raging bull.
The fight started out with a bang with Z moving side to side confusing Vic with Jabs and ducking in whenever Vic approaches with his power shots. The first round ended with a controversial knock down which was clearly a slip by Gorres and the referee counted Gorres with debris of coins and mineral waters flying to his direction.
Z caught Darchinyan with a good right to the jaw that down Vic in the second round… But like on his match against Montiel… Z went in for the kill… swaying haymakers neglecting his game plan in favored Vic and the raging bull was back on his game.
Z could have made Vic look stupid with his speed and defense but instead he went toe to toe and got tired. Vic is a telegraph fighter in which you could easily see his punches. But Z failed to capitalize it and paid dearly.
Although the fight ended with a controversial split draw but I thought Darchinyan won the fight. Gorres gave his heart in the fight and proved to everyone that he deserves to be in that caliber with Vic. But in spite of Vic’s dirty tactics Z went into the fight neglecting his game plan. Vic would always be what he is…. He was awkward and dirty but Z was not the Z Gorres we saw while conquering the likes of Eric Ortiz and Fernando Montiel.
He wasn’t the confident boxer we know going into that fight.
A rematch is being penciled out and I guess this time Z would come in the fight prepared and confident. The fight with Vic would be a stepping stone and learning experienced for Z… Z has to learn that in this cruel world of boxing it’s a dog eats dog thing.
February 4, 2008
Last Saturday while I was browsing the internet… I was thrilled and amazed of the news I found… Pau Gasol got traded for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton and some future draft picks for Los Angeles. Pau is an intelligent big man who could pass the ball pretty well. A good low post player and a perfect fit to the triangle offense. Kobe is elated about the news that he went on a rampage scoring 46 points in their game against the Toronto Raptors. With the fast recovery of their young center Andrew Bynum the Lakers could very well be one of the top contenders in the Playoffs.
Pau doesn’t have to carry the load in the offense like what he did in Memphis. He doesn’t have to feel the pressure to exceed the expectations people have on him. He just has to play the game he loves and be himself.
Memphis has a dismal season (13-34) and with a depleted roster it was a good decision to rebuild the Grizzlies and trade their focal point in offense to clear the salary cap and hoping to get a good free agent player or a young versatile talent in the next draft pool.
Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum could very well spell trouble to other teams with both of the big men can cause double teams in post up and both men have good defense ability.
NBA teams are surely having headaches with the triple threat of Bynum, Gasol and Bryant and with the rest of the Lakers team jelling smoothly sky is the limit for these talented young Lakers.
Miami, Chicago and New Jersey should follow suit with Memphis. Superstars and franchise players are expendable they have to be practical if they want their team to prosper.
New Jersey has Jason Kidd and Miami has Dwane Wade the problem would be Chicago since they don’t have a legitimate superstar in their roster for trade baits…With the deadline for trade transactions is nearing to an end. I hope Kidd would land to a championship contender team and although Kidd being a Laker is a faded wishful thinking but still my hopes are high…
With the emergence of the Boston team… I can feel the rebirth of the Boston-Laker rivalry in the 80s but the question would be how well these teams play in the playoffs… and would Pau be the solution to the riddle in LA? I don’t know… but Pau is surely happy to be in a team he can surely jell…
February 1, 2008
The Star of David symbolizes a lot of meaning and a highly respected symbol by the Jews… But the Star called David West symbolizes hardwork and success…
This Feb. a resurging star David West will be on the hardcourt together with all other stars as we celebrate the NBA All star Weekend.
David was second to Boris Diaw in the 2005-06 season as the league’s most improved player even though his New Orleans team suffered set backs as hurricane Katrina destroyed not only the hopes of the people but the team’s morale going into the season.
This season the New Orleans Hornets have all the reason to celebrate as the team rose up to a 32-13 standing and leads the Western conference division.
Chris Paul, Tyson Chandler, Coach Byron Scott and David West made the Hornets a title contender for this season a feat that astonished all the critics and expectations exceeded as they rally each and every game they play.
David West was the X factor for the Hornets as he registered double doubles and average 19.6 ppg, 9.4 rebounds and 1.3 block shots per game. He isn’t a Tim Duncan or an Elton Brand type of player but what I like about him is he makes the job done.
Chris Paul maybe the backbone of this team but David is the energizer bunny who works his butt off in every game.
With the constellation of stars showing up in New Orleans a star will be shinning brighter than ever as his home town fans cheering and shouting out his name…
This is David West first all star game… a spot he clearly deserves…
Next year is a different story but David knows how to get that coveted spot again…
By working hard and making the job done… like his tattoo in his arm “DX” which means my life, my way… you sure did it your way David…