Archive for the Sports Category

Shaq needs Kobe Now!

Posted in NBA, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2009 by Rick

Let me just state for the record that I am a Lakers fan, I am a Kobe fan and self-appointed apologist. I am a Shaq fan and apologist but less so since he abandoned the tantalizing-tinge of Tinsel Town for the sun-soaked sands of South Beach in unceremonious fashion. Much of the NBA Finals build up will include numerous thoughts and theories on Kobe’s need to exorcise the demon of LA hitching their proverbial wagon to him instead of the former most dominant player in the league. There will, no doubt, be pontification over Kobe’s need to match O’Neal title-for-title and prove that he can win it all without the Diesel Daddy. What will be swept under the rug, is the fact that Shaq’s legacy hangs in the balance in a series he can do nothing more than stand helplessly by and  hope that Kobe & Co. bail him out…AGAIN (2002 playoffs: Kobe (vs. SAN) and Horry (vs. SAC)) . This may be blasphemy to some, but consider these facts.

howardshaq

Shaquille O’Neal is no fan of Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy. He has publicly acknowledged as much. Stan, O’Neal’s former Miami Heat head coach, has found new life in the NBA elite, coaching one of the best young rosters in recent history which boasts the games most powerful and entertaining athlete in Dwight Howard. Freshen up on the Van Gundy O’Neal story here. The sports world has been enamored with a tall, hulking, fleet-of-foot big-man with a toothy grin and playful spirit for nearly 18 years. They are even used to seeing that guy play on the NBA’s finest stage wearing Magic Kingdom blue, white and silver. He used to wear number 32, now it’s a sleeker number 12 and, man, does he make it look good!?

'93 Dream Teamer stepping out of a London phone booth.

'93 Dream Teamer stepping out of a London phone booth.

Shaq dreams about being this chistled.

Shaq dreams about being this chiseled.

Dwight Howard didn’t enter the NBA with the same brash bravado that O’Neal did in 1992 but his last three years in the league have seen him steadily emerge as a lost post headache offensively and, most prominently, a defensive nightmare. Howard’s rise has coincided with the setting of Shaquille’s 12-year reign of dominance (he’s played 17 seasons and “dominated” for about 12 of them). To add insult to injury, Dwight’s antics during the 2008 Sprite Slam Dunk competition earned him the nickname Superman, a moniker O’Neal wielded without challenge to that point. Howard stole more than a name from O’Neal with that performance, he also swiped the affections of NBA fans everywhere. Fan-voters were so entertained by Dwight’s flying feats that he received the highest number of All-Star votes of any individual player…ever (3.1 million)! Shaq has refused to acknowledge Dwight’s dominance and even his presence at times, but that was when his trademark smile and “Shaq-attack” dunk were the only things at stake. Now, Howard threatens the very legacy O’Neal worked so hard to build and that sends chills up the very long spine of the giant formerly known as Superman.

How does Dwight threaten Shaq’s legacy and what, if anything, does this have to do with Kobe saving Shaq? It’s coming! Shaq has won four championship titles now age and attrition indicate he may not win another ring. If Dwight wins this year…

-Dwight gives Orlando the ring that Shaq couldn’t deliver. Shaq took Orlando to the Finals in 1995 to get swept by Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets.

-Dwight wins a title without another future Hall of Famer playing a significant role. Shaq’s rings included major contributions from Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade. and Robert Horry, all likely Hall of Fame candidates.

-Dwight wins his first title at age 23, 5 years earlier than Shaq. Shaq won 4 rings in a 7 year span.

Dwight is a fitness freak! Barring injury, it’s likely that he will play for another 15 seasons or more and win more rings. Plenty of time to eclipse Shaq’s four rings. O’Neal’s conditioning and commitment to staying in top condition has always haunted him and likely cost him a ring or two.

With these things in mind, Shaq has tweeted “thats right i am saying it today and today only, i want kobe bryant to get number 4, spread da word” I believe Shaq needs Kobe to beat this young upstart so his legacy’s only contemporary will remain Tim Duncan with his 4 titles and nothing more. At this point, O’Neal and Duncan are arguably tied as the most decorated NBA post players behind George Mikan (5), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6), and Bill Russell (11). It’s early, but if Howard secures this one, he inaugurates a journey to be listted among the leagues greatest. The question is will he finish his career looking up at O’Neal or down?

Can Kobe borrow Nate Robinson’s green Krypto-nikes?

"Kobe! You might need deez!"

"Kobe! You might need deez!"

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A Great Memory of Wayman Tisdale!

Posted in Early Death, Life, Music, NBA, people, Sports, Tragedy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2009 by Rick

Another great memory of former NBAer and musician Wayman Tisdale, shared by his friend, saxophonist, Kirk Whalum. This is one of Wayman’s  first public messages after having most of his leg removed due to cancer. Inspiring!

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Wayman Tisdale: You will be missed!

Posted in Life, Music, NBA, people, Sports, Tragedy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2009 by Rick

R.I.P. to Wayman Tisdale. One of the few professional athletes that finish a very respectable career in sports and move on to equal or greater success in other areas. I enjoyed him as a basketball player but I laughed when I first learned that Wayman was a jazz bassist. I was too young and naive to believe an athlete could be great at something other than sports. That was probably my way of dealing with being good at music and bad at sports. Wayman was one of the guys that first alerted me to the simple reality that people often have more than one talent/gift and can be successful at various things with talent and hard work. He played the game of basketball and displayed his musical art with so much passion and integrity that many people will never know him (tragic truth of our society). We share a mutual friend and acquaintance and I hoped to have the chance to share with him how he inspired me. Alas, cancer claimed his leg and now his life. Thank you Wayman, for loving your wife and children with integrity and sharing your passion for the game and for music with a crazy mix-up kid and the rest of the world! God bless the Tisdale family as they grieve and bask in the afterglow of a strong legacy and a life well lived. http://www.waymantisdale.com/

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For The Record…

Posted in NBA, Sports with tags , , , , on March 9, 2009 by Rick

In light of the recent firing of Dan Leone I want to reiterate that my job as Public Address Announcer for the Memphis Grizzlies is incredible and I love working for this organization and with the NBA! Ticket deals available NOW! GO GRIZZLIES!!!

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Post As If…: The Horror of Social Network Irresponsibility

Posted in ESPN, Football, Life, NFL, people, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2009 by Rick

I have long thought about the new phenomenon of social networking, web logging and comment threads that has become a normal part of life for anyone that frequents the internet. Because it’s still fairly new, the rules/code of conduct are still being written. Most sites have a general, politically correct code of conduct forbidding crude and offensive language, hate-speak and such. But after that anything goes in most cases. This makes way for, otherwise normal people, to broadcast their brilliance, creativity, compassion and humor or their ignorance, shallowness, hatred, and lack of humor (and the death of English syntax). I’m sure time will produce more social networking norms and mores but until then keep the following in mind.

Things you post on the internet can normally be seen by anyone and are usually permanent. Years from now someone, with the will and desire, can dig up Myspace comments you’ve posted, blog posts, Tweets and Facebook status updates. With that in mind, don’t post anything that may get you divorced, arrested, expelled, excommunicated, or…drum roll please…FIRED! A recent ESPN report tells of a former part-time employee of the Philadelphia Eagles, Dan Leone, who was dismissed by phone for expressing his disappointment with the teams decision not to re-sign Pro Bowl Safety Brian Dawkins (this act falls a close 2nd to getting expelled via text message). This is what Dan’s Facebook friends saw that day: “Dan is [expletive] devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver … Dam Eagles R Retarted!!” Ironically, the last phrase of Dan’s criticism can be used to describe his act as well, right down to the insensitive and misspelled term ‘retarded'(maybe he wanted to add emphasis by misspelling the word).

Firing a, relative, peon in these tough economic times is not the best look for a sports franchise many people regard as overpaid. They could have handled this in-house, reprimanded the guy and allowed him to keep his part time position. But Dan could have helped his own cause by understanding that big businesses take crap from every direction and will not stand for harsh critical words from a person under its employ. Dan learns a tough lesson for the good of posterity. God bless him as he tries to make ends meet and love a team that spurned him. Maybe Brian Dawkins can shoot him a bone of support to a foolish fan.

When it comes to the internet, I post as if God is standing over my shoulder. If you don’t acknowledge God, post as if your boss is standing over your shoulder.

Social Network Rule #1. Don’t Trash Your Employer Online Unless You Have or Intend to Resign.

What do T.O. and Dan Leone have in common?

What do T.O. and Dan Leone have in common?

Chinese Basketball…They Don’t Play!!! the follow up.

Posted in ESPN, NBA, Sports with tags , , , , , , , on January 16, 2009 by Rick

After posting a a brief story about, what I thought, was a fluke in the Chinese Basketball Association, ESPN reports this story about escalating violence in the CBA and how fines are being levied to discourage on and off the court skirmishes.

A commenter thought the publicity of the far East physicality was overdone. I wonder if he still stands by these words?

guest Says: in response to my original post
December 8, 2008 at 12:23 pm e

“Actually this is very rare in China, they play a lot less physical and fight a lot less than in the US and other places. Actually the basketball is normally very passive and not at all physical. It’s hard to say why this happened, what led up to it…”

Chinese Basketball…They don’t PLAY!!!

Posted in NBA, people, Random Violence, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2008 by Rick

You may not hear this story because it doesn’t involve a multi-millionaire NBA player and it happened half-way around the world. Thanks for continuing to read. There’s nothing new about basketball players scuffling in the heat of play on the court, but after a November 28th game, former NBAer and current Yunnan Running Bull Gabe Muoneke (or as his momma calls him Nnadubem Gabriel Enyinaya Muoneke) was confronted with his wife, mother-in-law and three kids in tow, by members of the Sharks. Not the finger snappin’ thugs from Westside Story Sharks but the Shanghai Sharks Chinese basketball team. Gabe clashed with Chinese player Cai Liang on the court after they wrestled for a loose ball. After the game Liang, team captain Liu Wei and several others chased Muoneke into the corner of the arena parking lot and surrounded him. He was hit with a water bottle but was not assaulted any further. The entire incident was caught on a security camera. The team was fined and the instigators were fined and suspended ten games. This should serve as motivation for Gabe to sharpen his skills so he can get NBA attention again. At least in the US our athletes keep the violence to the court…and occasionally the stands…and sometimes night clubs…

"I hope he didn't take that personally."

"I hope he didn't take that personally."

alternate post title: When Sharks Attack