Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The 2013-2014 NBA Season Starts Tonight

Today is October 29th, and it is officially that time again: tonight is the start of the 2013-2014 NBA season.

While there are three games taking place...Orlando Magic/Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls/Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers/Los Angeles Lakers, it should be obvious where my full attention will be. But perhaps what is not so clear is where my allegiance will lie.

Honestly, at this point, I myself have no idea. It is no secret that I have unconditional love for Lebron James (and therefore will follow him wherever he may go) but I am a Chicagoan through and through, and I cannot simply ignore that for one man! So for now, I will just go on record and say I am merely looking forward to a great game.

The Heat are coming off of their second championship run with the King himself, and obviously still have a ways to go before earning as many as will satisfy them-if such a thing exists. However, it goes without saying that the hype has yet to die down, going into this year.

"Our goal here is not to get bored." said Wade. "Don't get bored with trying to be great. We have to understand that we're champions and we're going to get every other team's best shot." 

But this does not mean that the Bulls have no fire lit underneath them as well. In fact, being the ones who have way more to prove might actually work in their favor.

Tonight marks the first regular season game that Derrick Rose will be playing in since having reconstructive knee surgery, last May. The Bulls went an impressive 8-0 during their preseason run, during which Rose seemed to be back in action, despite complaining about some routine soreness. 

Derrick, in a recent interview, claimed that his basketball IQ has only increased during his absence, and I do not doubt that. Anyone who is familiar with the kid-wonder knows that time off the court for him, is not time wasted. However, a knee injury is a knee injury, and there will be bumps in the road.

Right now I realize I am jumping the gun in acting as though these two teams will be going head to head in the Conference Finals; but if the Heat continue to be top dog, and the Bulls get their footing back...it could happen

Here's to a new season! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Not To Be Forgotten

(Before actually delving into this post, I do want to make it clear that although it's title does work for both Greg Oden, and myself, at this point I have accepted that I simply cannot post as regularly as I'd like. Therefore, from now on, I will hold my apologies, and hope they are already implied.)

Greg Oden. Center. 7 feet, 0 inches. 25 years old. First overall pick of the 2007 draft.

Sounds impressive, on paper, and even was during his college years at Ohio State where he was honored as "Player of the Week" by the Big Ten. However, the road to success has not been an easy one for the New York native, who missed his entire first season due to a knee injury, and was by default listed as a rookie during his 2008-2009 run. And things have not gone anymore smoothly since then; Oden has played a total of 82 games between 2007 and 2012, amounting to only a full NBA season. However, it seems as though things are about to change.

Last May, the number one draft pick announced that he would officially sit out the 2012-2013 season, choosing instead to focus on his rehabilitation. And it may be possible that his decision was a good one.

Oden has just signed a two-year, $1 million contract with the Miami Heat; a move that probably no one saw coming.

But then again, it sort of makes sense, doesn't it? For starters, the Heat are on a winning streak, and although it would be unrealistic to say they can't get any better, they certainly don't need too much help at the present time. Then there's the fact that Heat point guard Mario Chalmers has known the big guy since high school, which without a doubt made Oden's decision that much easier. And then there's the chance that maybe, just maybe, the baller will actually have a shot of turning into the star he was always supposed to be. And what better group of guys is there to boost an athlete's morale?

Only time will tell what this new partnership will amount to, but one thing is for sure: Greg Oden is not to be forgotten. Not yet anyways.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Lebron James: MVP Award Number Four

Well, he's done it again! Lebron James was just named the 2012-2013 Kia NBA MVP for the fourth time in his career. And to say he deserved it, would be an understatement.

This year the King averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 7.3 assists, while shooting a career high 56 percent. He also lead his team, the Miami Heat, to a league best 66-16 record.

Lebron is only one of four players ever to be awarded MVP at least four times. He was also the only player in the league to lead his team in points, rebounds and assists and had a record six games of scoring at least 30 points, while shooting at least 60 percent. Additionally, he was the youngest player in history to break the 20,000 career-point peak.

Well done LBJ. And I have no doubts there are plenty more accomplishments to come.

Here We Go Again...

With the Chicago Bulls taking on the Miami Heat tonight, in game one of the Eastern conference semifinals, I have to say it. Enough is enough.

Derrick Rose is not coming back, and the sooner he admits this, the sooner his fan base will come back to him.

Some may be angry at his hesitation to return, saying he's been cleared for over two months now, and there's really no time like the NBA Playoffs to help your team out. But not me. I understand. Such severe injuries can be crippling, both physically but even worse, mentally. Stepping out on the court that once left you keeled over, clutching your knee in dire pain, is much harder than it seems. And let's be honest, there's a slim to none chance that the Bulls will make it past the Heat.

But what I am angry at is his lack of honesty. And beyond that, his "clueless" facade that he's been using to cover up the truth.

First there was his statement about God letting him know when he'd be back. Now make no mistake, I'm a believer as well, and would never judge or criticize someone for their faith. But giving a response like that to the media, basically shuts down any chance of followup questions. Which in turn leaves the public with no answers.

Then there was the "that's my first time hearing about it, I barely turn on the TV" reply Rose gave when asked how he felt about the pressure to return. Not only do I find it hard to believe that a young guy like Rose doesn't watch television, but in this case, such a medium isn't necessary. In fact, neither is a computer or a telephone. All he really has to do is look up at the crowd at the United Center, signs in hand, or listen to the tone of voice any and all reporters have been using with him as of late. People are disappointed, and fed up. And Rose doesn't need the TNT or NBA TV crew to tell him so.

Rose was asked on Saturday, after the Bulls beat the Brooklyn Nets (how this happened, I'm still not sure, with Kirk Hinrich in a walking boot, Luol Deng floating in and out of the Emergency Room, Joakim Noah suffering from Plantar Fasciitis, and Nate Robinson getting over a nasty flu) if he would be playing in the next series. His response? "Who knows. It's still up in the air."

You know Derrick. It's your choice to sit out. And if that's what you need to do, by all means, carry on.
But for the love of everything, stop pretending "the return" will happen anytime before next season. You've (presumably) been honest with your coach. And your teammates. So isn't it about time your fans get to officially know the truth too?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Since Kobe Bryant is unable to play in this season's NBA Playoffs, he is doing the next best thing: live-tweeting.

Taking a look at the Mamba's feed from the Los Angeles Lakers' first match-up against the San Antonio Spurs, the posts go a little like this...

"What I would say if I was there right now? 'Pau get ur ass on the block and don't move till u get it' #realtalk"

"This game has a 'steal one' written all over it for us"

"Matador Defense on Parker. His penetration is hurting us"

Obviously, one can see how such comments could be a little disgruntling to both his teammates, as well as Coach Mike D'Antoni, who rolled his eyes when asked about Bryant's recent social media binge. It seems as though the superstar's Twitter page generated more buzz than the game itself, which is never something a team wants to hear.

So for now, @kobebryant has decided to take a step back.

"To tweet or not to tweet.. I CHOOSE not 2. Focus should be on the team not my insight. @georgelopez voice "Can't DO nothin!" #vinospeare"

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Playoff Appearance for Derrick Rose?

Now that the NBA Playoffs are officially underway (with the New York Knicks grabbing the win over the Boston Celtics earlier today, the Golden State Warriors and the Denver Nuggets currently going head to head, the Chicago Bulls and the New Jersey Nets tipping off at 7pm CT and the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers directly following...), many Chicagoans are still asking themselves "is Derrick Rose going to play?"

Well, the answer, in a less-than-shocking twist of events, seems to be no.

"He's most likely out but you never know, said coach Tom Thibodeau earlier. However, he also added that it'd "be fine," if Rose did decide he was strong enough to make an appearance.  "Whenever he can come back, he comes back."

Also absent tonight will be Joakim Noah, who is suffering from plantar fasciitis, as well as Vladimir Radmanovic who has a back injury.

As for Taj Gibson, sources say they are continuing to see improvement, since he sprained his MCL.

2012-2013 NBA Playoffs

It's that time of year again, ladies and (probably mostly) gentlemen. The regular season is over, and so post-season is upon us. Today marks the first day of the NBA Playoffs and I think it goes without saying, I'm excited!

Just in case any of you have been living under a rock lately, the matchups are as following:

In the East...

Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Brooklyn Nets vs. Chicago Bulls
Indiana Pacers vs. Atlanta Hawks
New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics

And in the West...

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors
San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers

There you have it. Let the games begin.

Shannon Brown Not A Happy Camper

Remember the good old days when Shannon Brown was Illinois' "Mr. Basketball"? And more recently, when he participated in Sprite's All-Star Weekend "Dunk Challenge"? Not to mention those two Championships he snagged with the Los Angeles Lakers?

Well right now, Brown is benched, and unhappy to say the least.

The 27-year old guard has been sitting on the Phoenix Suns' bench for roughly two months now, and has had enough.

"For some reason, they want to cut my legs from under me. I know I’m built for it. I did a great job of holding my composure and not letting it get to me to where I did something detrimental to my career. I showed a lot of character by sitting back while I was taken advantage of in a lot of ways. I’ve done everything asked of me in practice and made sure to show these people what time it is. It definitely hurts to sit on the bench, watching us lose night in and night out knowing I can help and being lied to. It’s been a crazy year. I’m just glad I made it through."

Obviously the Suns have a lot of work to do, and their problems go beyond having an angry player on the roster (I mean, seriously, their current coach is Lindsey Hunter...), but even so, one can only hope Brown figures out a situation for himself, and fast.

"The part that hurts most is, whenever I step on the court, I give whatever I got even though it might not be the best situation. I give it all until it hurts. It hurts even more when you’re always fighting an uphill mountain-climb battle with no gear, butt-naked out there, clawing and scratching."