Hey guys! I’m so very sorry for neglecting you all since Wednesday. I’ve had some crazy things going on here on my end combined with a hustle and bustle of the season.
I’ll be honest, I found it very odd to have had the majority of NFL games played on Saturday verses today. I understand the NFL’s logic, but I think it would have been received just as well had the games been played today. (At least we witnessed an awesome flip by Jerome Simpson of the Cincinnati Bengals)
Diehard sports fans like myself aren’t left without any sports today. The NBA is back in action with a set of five high profile games to kick off the season. Thats right, nearly six months after we last had an NBA game, the hardwood will be in use once again on Christmas Day. Heres how it sets up:
Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks, Noon, TNT: Carmelo Anthony begins his first full season with Amar’e Stoudemire. Tyson Chandler makes his debut for the Knicks as well. The Celtics, meanwhile, don’t have CP3.
Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks, 2:30 p.m., ABC: 2011 NBA Final rematch! Will LeBron James and Dwyane Wade be able to do what they couldn’t in June?
Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 5:00 p.m., ABC: Derrick Rose just received an extension and will go up against an injured Kobe Bryant.
Orlando Magic vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 8:00 p.m., ESPN: Dwight Howard is still in Orlando while the Thunder look to be front-runners for the NBA title this season.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors, 10:30 p.m., ESPN: Let the Chris Paul Era begin!
Oh yeah, for desert we have the NFL.
Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers, 8:20 p.m. NBC: Can the Bears find some sort of Christmas present under the tree on Sunday night, namely a victory over the Packers? Doubtful.
Merry Christmas and the happiest of holidays to each and every one of you and yours. Thank you so much for reading and for all of your support.
We all should be congratulating the Dallas Mavericks for winning their first NBA championship in franchise history. We all should be recognizing veterans like Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, and a 38 year old Jason Kidd on reaching the mountain top. Our thoughts should be on Mark Cuban and just how outlandish he will make the victory parade. Sure, we’re still doing that but in my opinion, it’s not getting nearly the amount of attention it deserves.
Instead, we’re left talking and writing more about why the Miami Heat didn’t win and why LeBron James failed to rise to the occasion as opposed to recognizing the accomplishments of the Dallas Mavericks.
Well, that has pretty much become the norm when LeBron James is involved.
LeBron James tweeted that God said it’s not his time to win an NBA title after losing the 2011 NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks. Shortly after the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals, Heat forward LeBron James took to Twitter to explain what happened.
“The Greater Man upstairs knows when it’s my time, James tweeted.“Right now isn’t the time.”
James, 26, is now 0-for-2 in NBA Finals trips. He also lost in the 2007 NBA Finals to the San Antonio Spurs as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. His Finals averages: 17.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists. For the postseason, James averaged 23.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists.
This loss will largely be pinned on his shoulders. The Heat entered the Finals as heavy favorites, with three of the best four players in the series in James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Nevertheless, Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki and a solid supporting cast that included Jason Terry, Shawn Marion and Jason Kidd pulled off the upset in stunning fashion, closing out the series on Miami’s homecourt.
For a guy so successful and popular, LeBron James of the Miami Heat can’t seem to say anything right publicly. No matter if it’s via Twitter or speaking to the media after the game, he always manages to stick his foot in his mouth. Even before referring to God on his Twitter page, James may have gone to a new low when speaking to the media post-game.
After his Heat lost the NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks Sunday, James addressed fans who’ve rooted against him since he publicly dumped his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, on ESPN’s TV special The Decision.
Miami Heat's LeBron James answers a question during a news conference after Game 6 of the NBA Finals basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks Sunday, June 12, 2011, in Miami. The Mavericks won 105-95 to win the series. Wilfredo Lee, AP Photo
“All the people that were rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that. So they can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal. But they got to get back to the real world at some point.” – LeBron James
Wow — think Pat Riley may have a little buyer’s remorse after listening to that?
Actually the remorse probably really kicked in after seeing LeBron pass up open look after open look in the fourth quarter, shying away from the big moment yet again.
For whatever reason James morphed into a shrink mode in the fourth quarter during Game 4 in Dallas and never recovered.
Come on now dude.
So called insiders within the industry say James is well aware of all the “negativity” surrounding him in the media.
When James was playing well, he was lauded, even lionized by the media. When he went in the tank, he was criticized. That’s called reporting.
It isn’t the media’s job to shield a fragile ego from the fact he has come up small in both of his Finals appearances. It’s certainly not the media’s job to cover up James’ fourth quarter failings, and point out that Dirk picked up his game when things got tough just as James took up residence on a milk carton.
Before Game 6 I wrote that it was too late for LeBron to play any sympathy cards, he was already the pariah. What could have helped the Heat was a maturity card or a leadership card.
In the end all LBJ could offer was the “I have a better life than you card.”
For starters, lets put a bow on game 4 by talking about… you guessed it, LeBron James.
In four NBA Finals’ fourth quarters, LeBron James has three baskets. He’s been outscored in the final quarters of this series by Dirk Nowitzki, 44-9.
In Game 4 he not only scored a playoff career-low 8 points — first time in 433 games he’s been held below 10 — he let Jason Terry blow by him off the dribble three times during the Mavericks’ rally from nine points down to an improbable victory that tied the series 2-2 and set the stage for tonight’s dramatic Game 5.
While Dwyane Wade once again re-establishing himself as an elite superstar and the unopposed leader of the Heat, James has yet to score a point in the final five minutes of a game in which the margin has been five points or less.
The self-proclaimed King has been humbled, if not humiliated.
After game 3, some chastised the CBSSports headliner Greg Doyel for asking what they believed to be a stupid, loaded question. Others disagreed with the notion that LeBron had a tendency to “shrink” when it mattered most, but applauded Doyel’s gusto and his courage to ask an uncomfortable question to a superstar’s face.
The only underlying sentiment that all participants shared, though, was that nobody particularly agreed with the central premise of Doyel’s question.
LeBron shrinks? What? Huh?
Sure LeBron only went one-of-three from the field in 12 minutes of fourth-quarter play during Game 3, but that’s just one side of the ball. He played great defense versus a guy he’s six inches taller than in Jason Terry, and he had that one nifty little pass that resulted in a Chris Bosh game-winning jumper. So there’s that, I guess. Plus, in Game 4, with the criticism at an all-time high, James would step up and be the self-proclaimed King that he is, right?
If LeBron went out with in a whimper in Game 3, he went out bound, gagged and unconscious in Game 4.
Wilting in the face of pressure (yet again), James put up the following stat line in his first post-Doyel showing: 8 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. The Heat lost the game, obviously, and did so largely because an undeniable lack of production provided by James from beginning to end. That, coupled with Dwyane Wade’s inability to completely carry Miami on his back in the wake of LeBron’s ineffectiveness, destroyed any shot the Heatles had at taking a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Dallas Mavericks.
Doyel’s question doesn’t look so stupid anymore, does it?
The truth is LeBron was fine in Games 1,2 and 3. He wasn’t stellar, clearly, but he was hardly a burden on his teammates. He made timely passes, good defensive stops and played well within the general offensive scheme that Erik Spoelstra gets handed to him by Pat Riley before every game. He paled in comparison to Wade, but then again, who doesn’t?
Doyel’s question wasn’t entirely appropriate when it was asked, and that’s why it garnered the reception that it did. Had the same question been thrown out there after Game 4, the CBS super-writer might have received a softer punch-back from LeBron and a little more support from all parties involved.
Still, let’s give Doyel a bit of credit for what he’s had to deal with.
The Dallas Mavericks rallied past the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-96 in game 5 of the Western Conference Finals and will await the winner of the Bulls/Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals in the NBA Finals. Dirk Nowitzki has dominated through out the entire post season thus far and game 5 was no different. Dirk hit a straightaway 3-pointer with 1:14 left that put the Mavericks ahead for good. After clawing back from down 15 with 5:06 left in Game 4, the Mavericks were down by six with 4:37 left when they rallied again, outscoring the Thunder 14-4 the rest of the way.
Mike Brown has agreed in principle to become the Lakers’ next head coach, according to an NBA official who was not permitted to speak publicly on the matter.Brown is expected to sign a contract Thursday. The deal is worth between $4 million and $4.5 million per season, NBA officials said. Brown’s contract is thought to be for three years, with a team option on the fourth season that would give him partial pay if he is not retained. Here is a statement from the Lakers:
“In response to rampant speculation and reports about our head coaching position and Mike Brown, we’ve met with Mike and are very impressed with him. In addition, we have an outline for an agreement in place and hope to sign a contract within the next few days.”
The Mets have chosen a limited partner — David Einhorn, according to major-league sources. Einhorn, the president of Greenlight Capital, a hedge fund, reportedly will pay around $200 million for a minority share in the club. The deal is expected to give Einhorn the first option to buy a majority stake in the team if the present owners — Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz — decide to sell.
Philadelphia Phillies infielder Wilson Valdez became the first position player to become a winning pitcher since Colorado catcher Brent Mayne on Aug. 22, 2000, STATS LLC said. Mayne went one inning in a 7-6 victory over Atlanta in 12 innings. Valdez, a journeyman infielder started the game at second base and ended up pitching and getting the win in a 19-inning marathon.
Dirk Nowitski led the Mavs with 32 points, but despite having the momemtum and history on his side the German star was taking nothing for granted.
He said: “We’re not good enough to relax or take the pedal off the metal. You don’t want to ever give a champion life, so hopefully we can have the same effort and the same crowd and a great game on Sunday.”