Anything Else, Your Highness?

Anything Else, Your Highness?

“We need a (expletive) playmaker,” said the so-called “king”.  Do you think that when the Chicago Bulls dropped 5 of 8 games in January of 1993 Michael Jordan took it upon himself to publicly proclaim that the champions of ‘92 needed to revamp their roster if they planned on defending their crown? No. Jordan actually came out recently and praised Russell Westbrook for his loyalty to the Thunder. Subtle shots fired? Most likely. LeBron has been to the last 6 NBA finals, but when was the last time he did it without another 19 ppg scorer on the roster? That would be in 2007 against the Spurs in the only 4-0 NBA finals in the last decade. Unfortunately for basketball fans, LeBron’s recent words cannot better describe what the NBA has come to. I understand that it’s a business. Players typically care for two things when it comes to signing with a team: winning and money. An athlete’s legacy in every sport is becoming more and more defined by the amount of rings they earned during their playing career. This isn’t to say we don’t look at guys like Allen Iverson and Patrick Ewing as two of the best to ever step on the court, but current players know that when its all said and done, the amount of times they’ve held up that Larry O’Brien trophy will partly define the ultimate “success” of their time in the league. There is a fine line between a player’s desire to chase a ring and the claims LeBron has made this year. If you’re Anthony Davis in your prime, playing basketball...
Why Westbrook’s All-Star Snub Is Being Overanalyzed

Why Westbrook’s All-Star Snub Is Being Overanalyzed

It won’t be long until someone claims that Putin and the Russian government hacked the NBA All-Star voting polls as well. That, or Kevin Durant sat by his computer one night and casted a few million fan ballots without Westbrook’s name on one of them, just ‘cause. This could very well go down as one of the biggest all-star snubs in the history of sports. Not only does Russell Westbrook lead the league in scoring, ranks second in assists, and is the only guard to rank in the top 15 in the league in rebounds, but the MVP caliber performance that he displays on a nightly basis is consistent enough to go down as one of the best statistical seasons this league has ever seen. This isn’t to say that we aren’t impressed with Steph’s ability to shoot the three ball the last couple years or that Wilt Chamberlain’s rebounding ability will ever be matched, but no one in the last 50 years has managed to succeed with flying colors in all aspects of the game like we have seen Westbrook do this year. He is on pace to average a triple double, something that the NBA has yet to see since Oscar Robertson’s historical season in 1962. Westbrook had 18 triple doubles all of last season. So far this season, he’s racked up 21. The 10 all-star starters combined? Only 19 (13 of which belong to James Harden), but you are way off if you think I’m about to sit here and argue for five paragraphs on why this is such a big deal, because truth be told,...
The Rockets Appear to Be Ready for Liftoff

The Rockets Appear to Be Ready for Liftoff

Houston, we do not have a problem. However, the rest of the Western Conference most definitely does. What exactly is this problem, you might ask? It happens to be the team that squeaked their way into the playoffs last year on the last day of the season only to get slaughtered by the eventual conference champion Warriors in the first round. Yes, I’m talking about the 30-9 Houston Rockets, a team that didn’t get their 30th win until March 2nd last season. The Rockets are 19-2 in their last 21 games, the best record in the league over that span and show absolutely no signs of slowing down. This pack of shooters is led by the current favorite for MVP, James Harden. Unfortunately for Harden’s publicity, there happens to be a guy in Oklahoma City having a season for the ages. Unfortunately for Westbrook, at the end of the day, people care about winning and that’s what James has continued to do so successfully this year. There are plenty of superstars in this league who would be opposed to changing their style of play for a new coach’s system *cough cough LeBron*, but not Harden. He has added on to his ability to score at will and has morphed into one of the games premier passers. Sure, he still averages nearly 30 points per game and he remains the guy that the Rockets want shooting the ball in the clutch, but he has managed to successfully add a new regimen to his game that allows him to play at such a high level. He is able to lead the...
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

To help get you guys in the holiday spirit, I decided to take a look back at some of the more “interesting” parts of this young NBA season, Christmas style. ‘Twas the night before Christmas, ranked 15th in the league, It appeared quite obvious that the Hawks missed Jeff Teague Oh, losing Horford is not a big blow! Let’s settle for a crybaby who can’t hit a free throw Memphis signed Parsons to dig them out of a trench, Now he gets paid to watch games from the bench “Please be worth it,” Chris Wallace prayed But Chandler has worn more V-Necks than games he has played Cuban thought his team would come ready to play, But they might fare better in the NCAA Cuban thinks he is known for his craft, But he’ll forever be known as the Grinch who can’t draft Two successful draft picks in 22 years You wonder why Dallas fans are always in tears Being worse than the Pelicans is probably a sign That something is wrong on the Mav’s sideline Matt Barnes, still pissed D-Fish got the dub Took it out on a woman at an NYC club Boogie Cousins said to Matt, as he’s his biggest supporter “Next time just take it out on a reporter” “Now, on Lebron! On, Love! On, Kyrie! Lue continued to scream LeBron then poilitely asked, “Sir, who runs this team?” James then explained to the man called Coach Lue, Kevin and I are going to take the day off, and Kyrie will too As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, Phil’s choice of words...
Craig Graham Sager: Icon, Legend, Inspiration

Craig Graham Sager: Icon, Legend, Inspiration

Thursday afternoon, we lost more than a broadcaster who wowed us all with his perseverance, love for the game, and sideline attire. We lost a true legend, one that will never be replaced. There could be another star who plays like Michael Jordan. One day, there could be another guy who shoots the ball like Steph Curry. We could even have another person who flails his legs in the air when he gets touched in a certain spot like Draymond Green, but there will never, never, be another Craig Sager, someone who touched the lives of everyone he encountered. Craig Graham Sager always knew how to leave a mark wherever he went. From his time as the Northwestern Wildcat’s mascot, to interviewing Hank Aaron after homerun 715, to the guy court side flaunting one of the most illustrious outfits you could imagine, Craig always knew how to stand out. As he continued to build his legacy, he became much more than another sportscaster and sideline reporter to players and coaches in the NBA. He became a friend and more importantly, he became an icon. He was nothing less than loved by everyone who crossed his path. I’ve always wanted to be like Craig. Reporters can be known for how they interact with guys, their humor, their love for the game, or even what they wear. Craig was known for all of that. As much as it hurts to be writing this tribute to Craig a little over 65 years after the day he was born, what Sager did in that amount of time is what most of us would...
Attacking The Rim Is A Lost Art

Attacking The Rim Is A Lost Art

Do you remember the first time you fell in love with the NBA?  Was it Julius Erving’s reverse lay up?  Was it Michael Jordan dunking from the free throw line in the Slam Dunk Contest? Was it Baron Davis dunking over Andrei Kirilenko? Or maybe it was as recently as Lebron James having no regard for human life over Kevin Garnett?  The one thing we have in common is there was one particular play where a player took it strong to the rim and wowed everyone watching.  Everyone enjoys a good dunk. But does dunking resort to winning?  With the paradigm shift in the style of play the NBA has taken on over the past few years, more and more teams are turning to three point shooting because analytics explains that it’s more efficient to play that style of play.  To break it down for those non math geeks, if you shoot 40% from three point range, this is better than shooting 50% from within the arc.  Here is a simple break down with 10 attempts: 10 Three Point Attempts x 40% = 4 made three pointers for 12 points 10 Two Point Attempts x 50% = 5 made two pointers for 10 points This is the meat and potatoes behind the analytics to suggest you are better off shooting three’s than twos.  Of course this is all contingent if you make them.  Which brings us to the point of this article. Why do certain teams drive and why are they doing it less? Or are they doing it less? In the 2013-14 season, the Chicago Bulls took the...