Candace Parker Dunks In Consecutive WNBA Games

I wasn’t going to even write about this, but Candace Parker dunking in consecutive WNBA games deserves a little shine don’t you think? Personally, I’m not that impressed with a woman dunking in a basketball game. Not that I’m sexist or anything, it’s just not that exciting to me. I remember when they just gave her the trophy for winning the dunk contest at the McDonald’s All-American game in 2004 and I thought it was the biggest joke ever. But props to the other “CP3” for doing her thing not just with the dunks but she is absolutely taking the WNBA over right now. Check her out…

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Brandon Jennings To Play Overseas?

Did you hear the one about Brandon Jennings skipping college and playing professional basketball overseas for a year and then making himself eligible for the 2009 NBA Draft? No, this isn’t a joke…this is a true story and something that he’s considering. So much so that his family has hired an attorney should he decide to make this move. This all stems from two things; the first is that Jennings doesn’t agree with the NBA’s draft policy (he also feels that college athletes should be paid) and the second is his SAT scores. I think him playing ball overseas instead of attending Arizona in the fall sets a bad precedent should he actually go through with it.

I can understand his frustration with the NBA draft policy, but I personally feel like it’s actually a good thing. Look at what that policy did for the college game the last two years! If that rule wasn’t in place a lot of these young guys would’ve been playing sparingly on an NBA team instead of starring in college and raising their draft stock. In Jennings’ case, a year of school will help him because he really needs to get stronger. Look at what happened to Shaun Livingston. He was also a rail thin PG who jumped straight from preps to the pros and he’s been hurt from day one because he wasn’t ready physically even though he had the skills to compete at the pro level. And besides, it’s only a year! The NFL makes a kid wait 3 years before being able to apply for the draft. The only person who complained about that was Maurice Clarett and well, we all know how that turned out.

As far as his SAT scores..he’s already taken the test 3 times. The first time, acording to Jennings he didn’t even try (I think that says a lot about the kid right there). The second time he took the test he said he did try and he obviously got a much better score because it was red flagged as being too significant of a jump up from his first score, so he had to take the test again.

I know that some people will make the argument of how kids as old as 15 and 16 are allowed to play basketball professionally overseas, or how baseball players can go pro straight out of high school or how tennis players can play professionally at a young age, so why can’t a kid like Jennings have that option? I’m the wrong one to ask because I’m what you call a “purist”. I feel that the way the system is right now is in the best interest of the kid and college basketball. I know that there are some people out there who feel like the NCAA is nothing more than pimps who use these kids to generate revenues for themselves while offering the kid nothing in return. Hmmm, so I guess a free ride to school where the tuition is $20-$30K a year for a kid who isn’t an athlete isn’t enough. No, going to college doesn’t  necessarily guarantee that a kid will succeed at the pro level – hard work is the only thing that will guarantee that – but it does give the kid a chance to work on his game and put himself in position to be the best that he can be once he gets there. Some will argue that basketball is a business and this move by Jennings is a “business decision”…but I’m sure the people that make that argument don’t know that 90% of businesses fail in the first year. Good luck Brandon.

The Boston Celtics – 2008 NBA Champions

It was a Boston massacre and that’s pretty much all there is to say about that. The Celtics blew the Lakers out by 38pts last night to win their 17th NBA Championship. Paul Pierce took home the Finals MVP which really came as a surprise to no one as he was clearly the most dominant player in the series (sorry Kobe). Doc RIvers (Chi-Town!!) became the second African-American coach to win an NBA Championship since K.C. Jones did it 22 years ago with ironically, the Boston Celtics. P2 along with Kevin Garnett (Chi-Town!!) and Ray Allen finally got a chance to stand on the podium and hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy and it was a just a great night to be a Boston fan. Because I am such a big fan of the game of basketball in general, it was great to see Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett finally get a chance to win a championship. It legitimizes them as being three of the games greatest players and it cements their legacies as Hall of Fame players. They will also forever be a part of the history of the Celtics organization which is pretty special in itself and I’m really happy for those guys.

So as the NBA season comes to a close, think about this. Does it really come as a surprise that the Celtics won it all this year? I don’t know about you but once I found out that they had picked up KG and Ray Allen, I pretty much penciled them in as the champions. I will say that I didn’t expect the Lakers to make it this far. I do expect them to be back here next year once Andrew Bynum comes back and I see a rematch on the horizon. I guess we’ll find out in three and a half months! Congratulations to the Celtics, all of their fans, the city of Boston and the entire New England area.

Kobe Bryant – Dream Deferred

Take a look at this picture…take a long, hard look. Do you see that man’s face? The look of anger, the look of disappointment. The look of disgust at having to walk off the court in second place because when he needed them the most, his supporting cast just quit on him. That is the face of a man who I can promise you is driven to make it back to the NBA Finals next year and win this time. How can I be so certain? Because Kobe Bean Bryant is the second best player to ever pick up a basketball behind Michael Jeffrey Jordan and he’s every bit the competitor. Right now he’s probably in the gym, working out or watching film somewhere. So to all you haters, I know that watching him lose last night made you happy, but let’s face it…Kobe Bryant is the reason the Lakers even made it to the Finals. And I can guarantee you one thing, Kobe Bryant will be the reason they make it back.

2008 NBA Draft

Here’s a serious basketball question for those “basketball minds” out there. A week from Thursday in New York City the dreams of 60 young men (and their families) will finally be realized by them being chosen to play in the NBA. The question is, if you’re a GM or an owner of a team, do you draft based on need or do you take the best player available? I ask that question because I myself am conflicted on the issue; especially this year with the Chicago Bulls having the #1 pick. We all know the argument…Derrick Rose or Michael Beasley, which do you take? Most people feel that Beasley is the “best” player in the draft, but the Bulls really don’t “need” another 6’10” player on their roster. On the flip side of that is Rose who is a PG, but the Bulls really don’t “need” a PG because they have Kirk Hinrich. Very similar to last year where with Kevin Durant and Greg Oden. Me personally, I take Rose…but that’s because I have a Chicago bias and I feel like there will be another Michael Beasley before there’s another Derrick Rose. But I also think that Beasley can come in and help right away with scoring and rebounding too. Best player available or need…you decide.

Paul Pierce – The Truth

“Take this down, my name is Shaquille O’Neal and Paul Pierce is the mother******* truth. Quote me on that and don’t take nothing out. I knew he could play, but I didn’t know he could play like this. Paul Pierce is the truth.”

And that’s how it all started. The man who’s given himself more nicknames than Darryl Dawkins  gave his dunks pulled a Boston reporter to the side and gave him that revelation after Pierce put the Celtics on his back and beat the Lakers during a regular season game back in 2001.

I personally have never been a Paul Pierce fan. I remember reading about him when he was in HS and when I finally saw him play the first thing that jumped out at me was that he was kind of chubby. Not only that but he couldn’t run real fast or jump real high and he had a horrible looking shot. To me, he didn’t “look” like a basketball player and there was something about him that seemed kind of, well…goofy. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. There was no denying his talent though.

He was a McDonald’s All-American in 1995 alongside Kevin Garnett, Stephon Marbury and Vince Carter. He starred for Roy Williams at Kansas for 3 years. He was the 10th pick in the 1998 NBA Draft and he’s been an All-Star 6 times since then. But none of that mattered to me; I still couldn’t bring myself to like him. Why? Well for one, he played for the Celtics and two, he isn’t athletic and his game isn’t smooth. To me it’s very unorthodox and ugly at the same time. Even still, for almost 10 years P2 has been quietly going about his business as being one of the best players in the NBA and I’ve never given him one single prop for it…until now.

I’m a die-hard Bulls fan, so I didn’t watch a lot of Boston games this year. I wasn’t caught up like everybody else in all the hype around the team bringing in K.G. and Jesus Shuttlesworth either. It was obvious that Danny Ainge was being very aggressive in his pursuit of an NBA championship; I just wished John Paxson would do the same thing. So of the few games I did catch, those two guys are the only reason that I was even remotely interested. But during this year’s playoffs and especially in the Finals, I “discovered” Paul Pierce and saw that beauty can be found in something ugly.

Paul Pierce has been torching teams throughout the postseason this year and it seems like the bigger the name is on the other team, the more he steps his game up. In the first round against Joe Johnson and the Atlanta Hawks, he averaged 18ppg. In the conference semi-finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James, he averaged 19.4ppg including  a game 7 duel with “King James” where he scored 41pts to offset LeBron’s 45. In the eastern conference finals against the Detroit Pistons he averaged 19.7ppg and in the NBA Finals so far against the Lakers and Kobe Bryant he’s averaging 22.8ppg. See what I mean?

Paul Pierce gets it done; period. I can no longer deny him a spot in my book as one of the best players in the game right now and certainly one of the best to ever wear a Celtics uniform. I mentioned in an earlier post that if Boston won the championship this year I would be happy for Kevin Garnett because he deserves it; but Paul Pierce deserves it too. He’s been the face of that franchise for a long time now and should they win it all he would be the most deserving. I guess it doesn’t really matter how ugly your game is as long as it’s effective and you can step up and produce when it counts. 

My nom de plume is B.C., and Paul Pierce is the truth. I knew he could play, but I didn’t know he could play like this. Paul Pierce is the mother***** truth…and you can quote me on that.

NBA Finals Game 4 – LA Meltdown

 

Seeing as though I’m not an actual “reporter”, I’m not obligated to write about every single game that’s being played in this year’s NBA Finals. But after what happened last night in the Staples Center how could I not write about it? One word…unreal!! History was made last night…twice. The Lakers had a 21 point lead after the first quarter (history). They also led by as many as 24 points in the game and ended up losing by 6 points (history). I guess there are a few angles that one could take in breaking down the biggest choke in the history of the finals, but it all begins and ends with one man…Kobe Bryant.

Make no mistake about it, Kobe is my guy. I’m not only a fan, but a supporter as well. It’s hard for me to explain his performance last night though. The Lakers were up by 18 in the first half and Kobe only had 3 points. He didn’t make his first FG until the 3rd quarter and he finished the game with 17 points, 10 of those in the 4th quarter. That right there made it hard for me to sleep last night. The Kobe and Michael Jordan comparisons can officially be put to rest now because the G.O.A.T NEVER had a 3 point scoring half in the Finals! Imagine if Kobe would’ve had 15 points in the first half. That would’ve put them up by 33 points and we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation. Is the Boston defense really that good or is Kobe too focused on making sure the other guys stay involved? I believe it’s a little bit of both. The problem is that when the team needed Kobe to take the game over, it was already too late. Most great scorers need to get into a rhythm early in the game. Kobe needed to put pressure on the Boston D from the jump ball like he did in game 3 which would’ve made things easier on the supporting cast late in the game.

And speaking of supporting cast, where were they down the stretch? They were on fire in the 1st half and they were the ones who put the team up by 18. But when it mattered most they were invisible offensively and defensively. Sasha, how could you just let Ray “Jesus Shuttlesworth” Allen just walk straight to the basket the way he did at the end of the game? No move, not even a hard drive to the basket…you just let him go. Shame on you! How is it that James Posey’s 3 pointers in the corner were all wide open and virtually uncontested? LO, where did you go after the first half? Pau, you couldn’t even hold on to the freakin’ ball! The second half of that ballgame was an embarrassment to the Laker fans, the organization, the players, and the city of Los Angeles. It just goes to show that with the exception of Kobe, Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher – because they’ve all been here before – the rest of the team has the mental toughness of cotton and they have no idea of what it takes to be champions. No conspiracy here, the refs had nothing to do with what happened last night. In the post game interview Phil Jackson said that “It’s not over. This series is not over,”…yes it is Phil, yes it is.