I would like MLB to change the format of Spring Training. Let them start camp like they always do, even start playing spring games as normal. But, on the third week of spring training games, teams in the grapefruit league should visit teams in the cactus league for a week, then return back to Florida and resume games amongst each other. The following year the cactus league could then go to the grapefruit league for a week, and then alternate years. This would give fans from both states who actually live there the opportunity to see teams they wouldn’t normally see in person.
Watch out college coaches…There is a new kid on the block, his name is Philip Stephen Martelli, and he might be looking for your job someday.
This is just priceless. I’m just glad CBS showed the human side of college basketball, and what makes it so special.
I was reading a magazine that had articles on conspiracies in sports, and one article which got my attention was the MLB steroid conspiracy. Now if you read my blogs in the past, I personally don’t care what a player does with his body. The reason behind it, is because I always believed it was baseball players, managers, sports agents, general managers, owners and even the commissioner who allowed steroid use after the strike of 1994. Or so I thought. In those days steroids were legal in MLB but illegal elsewhere. Steroids were banned by MLB in 2004. So if baseball allowed it back then shouldn’t McGwire and Sosa be allowed into the HOF? They did play by the rules of MLB….
Gee all of a sudden Carmelo Anthony is willing to change his game if Phil Jackson believes he has to do so to win a championship. Why should he change now. He couldn’t play defensive for Syracuse under Boehiem, and he sure hasn’t played any for Denver or New York. I kind of think its to late to teach an old dog new tricks.
I know its not easy when your stadium holds 110,000 - 115,000 per game, but you have to give credit to Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon for not scumming to bring alcohol to the Big House. Can you image all the $$$‘s that would have been generated if he allowed it. But the downside was the nightmare that could ensue if you had 60,000 drunken fans around a lot of young people, let alone the possibilities of underage children getting alcohol.
Sports labor attorney Jeffrey Kessler, on behalf of a group of college football and basketball players, filed an antitrust claim against the NCAA. Jeffrey is arguing that the association has unlawfully capped player compensation at the value of an athletic scholarship. There is no monetary fines for the lawsuit, just change the compensation players get. "The main objective is to strike down permanently the restrictions that prevent athletes in Division I basketball and the top tier of college football from being fairly compensated for the billions of dollars in revenues that they help generate," Kessler said.
Now we have debated this at the Gab, and while most of you agree, players should be compensated. I ask you how much more compensation should they receive? Scholarships aren’t cheap. I will say players should receive food vouchers while they are practicing and from the beginning of when the football or basketball season starts to when it ends.
Do we also increase scholarships for baseball. Most college baseball players only get half a scholarship because there are only 15 scholarships to be given out. Is that fair? NO. What about track and field, softball, tennis, lacrosse?? Golf, cross country, swimming and diving?? All of them are just as worthy as the football and basketball players.
If athletes are going to get compensated then it should be for all sports athletes, or none should be.
Just when I thought I couldn't hate basketball anymore than I already do a team does something that stands out and shouts…"Yeah, We're Douche Bags". For the second game in a row the NY Knicks all showed up at MSG wearing black suits for what they described was the Celtics funeral. Now this is hardly the first time we've seen a team be cocky or more than arrogant predicting a win in a series or a championship game. I remember Anthony Smith from the Steelers talking shit about how he guaranteed they were going to knock off the Patriots in a playoff game. That not only didn't work out too well for Pittsburgh, but I think Anthony Smith is the guy that asks what scent you want at the car wash now. The Texans went to New England wearing Varsity jackets and found out that doing something like to the Patriots is a sure way to be embarrassed on national TV by Brady and Co.
But with what just happened in Boston at the Marathon this move was extremely tasteless. Given the hospitalization of a number of victims, the loss of life, the still unfinished business of searching for suspects and the motive of this cowardly act, not to mention 3 more arrests were made the same day of this game this really disgusted me. How did this work out for the arrogant douche bags? Not so good, again…the Celtics forced a game 6 back in Boston. I don't give a hoot about basketball and it's predetermined winners, but I can't think for a minute that Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce heard this and had anything positive to say about it the first time around, but doing it twice, this just makes you look like a bunch of fuckin' morons and you could have just motivated this old guard to eliminate your ass out of principal…oh how I'd love for this to play out that way. It would be the best UP YOURS card ever for that punk Carmelo Anthony, and you can bet he's going to hear it at the Gahden on Friday night. But let's get real, the NBA and their predetermined winners protocol will never allow this to happen. I'll say it right now, if the referees start to see the Celtics overtaking the Knicks they'll be blowing whistles on Garnett and Pierce and forcing them to the bench so the Knicks can easily redeem themselves, because the NBA wants to work the Knicks into a matchup with the Heat. It won't matter if it happens in game 6 or game 7… but I'll say game 7 because it's what works best for the wallets of all concerned.
Regardless of how this plays out, the Knicks put on a demonstration of arrogance that's so rampant in the NBA it's the reason it has become known for a bunch chest thumping punks, acting like their dunks are some great feat, or that they sunk a free throw and it was another act of outstanding athleticism. You run up and down a court and throw ball through a hoop, not much intelligence here, and not much competition when it really boils down to one or two key guys, the rest are a bunch of role playing schmucks who never get any credit from the prima donna's who make the bucks. This league is a complete joke.
Is Hockey back?? Wes Welker’s wife rants on Ray Lewis?? Two MLB Hall of Famer’s pass away. All this and more in this weeks edition of….
There is something wrong with the Rooney Rule, when you have a coach that won 10 games and not one team hired him. Lovie Smith in 144 games was 81-63 with one NFC Championship. Hoe could that be?
Syracuse University basketball will retire the jersey of Carmelo Anthony on Feb. 23rd. Number 15, Anthony‘s former number, holds the Cuse records for freshmen with 22.2 points and 10 rebounds a game. Carmelo led Syracuse to the 2002-03 NCAA Championship. He was the Most Outstanding Player at the 2003 Final Four as well as the Big East Rookie of the Year. Over 30,000 tickets have already been sold for the event.
Syracuse University does not retire basketball numbers, but to honor the player’s jersey. The Orange have retired the following jerseys: Dave Bing, Derrick Coleman, Sherman Douglas, Billy Gabor, Vic Hanson, Billy Owens, Wilmeth Sidat-Singh, Rony Seikaly and Pearl Washington.
Former Baltimore Oriole manager “Duke of Earl,” Earl Weaver, passed away at the age of 82. The Hall of Famer was the greatest manager the Orioles have ever had, winning 1,480 games, 4 American League Pennants and 1 World Series. He was a feisty manager who was noted for his confrontations with the umpires. Earl was ejected 91 times for his run-ins with the umpires.
One of the greatest ballplayers to ever play the game, Stan “The Man” Musial passed away at the age of 92. He was one of the greatest hitters of all-time. He had 3,630 hits (4th all-time), 725 doubles (3rd), 177 triples (19th). 475 homeruns (28th), 1,951 RBI’s (6th), 1,949 runs (9th), .417 on-base percentage (22nd) and a .331 batting average (30th). Musical won 7 NL batting titles, 3 NL MVP awards and was the driving force behind the Cardinals winning 3 World Series titles.
I have never seen him play, but from reading about him, I read that he was very popular with the fans. He would do magic tricks for the kids and he liked to play the harmonic to entertain crowds,
Too bad more players can’t be like “Stan The Man.”
ESPN’S Profile:60 They did a feature on Ray Lewis. I will give ESPN credit they did mention the murders in Atlanta.
You know that people have missed hockey, at least in the North, when the New York Islanders sell out their first game against the New Jersey Devils and then for their second home game draw over 15,000 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Oh, by-the-way. Islanders have 2 points.
Anna Burns Welker took a shot at Baltimore Raven LB Ray Lewis. This is what she had to say:
"Proud of my husband and the Pats. By the way, if anyone is bored, please go to Ray Lewis' Wikipedia page. 6 kids 4 wives. Acquitted for murder. Paid a family off. Yay! What a hall of fame player! A true role model!."
She has since apologized for the comment.
I don’t think she should have to say she is sorry for what is the truth.
Melo not listening?? Buck Showalter lets it all hang out?? A-Rod does a good deed?? Do I have anything else to say?? Its here in this edition of Rants and Raves.
Sorry this is a short one. Gearing things up for my annual WrestleMania Party. 16 people will be attending and coordinating who’s bring what is a chore, considering they work during the day and I work at night. Makes for a long day. I hope you all get a chance to read my WrestleMania predictions which I posted Wednesday. Last year I went 7-2. I also would be interested to read who you think will win at this years event from Atlanta, Georgia.
Maybe it’s a good thing the Nets didn’t trade for Melo. In a losing effort to Milwaukee this past Saturday, it seemed that Anthony wanted nothing to do with the Knicks bench after a time-out. He stood away while the rest of the players were listening to the coach. Its not like this hasn’t happened to Carmelo before. He very rarely listened to Coach Boeheim while at Syracuse.
What does Buck Showalter have in common with Derek Jeter and the Boston Red Sox? Nothing, Zero, Zilch!! Wow wee, what’s even more surprising is Buck Showalter being aggressive with his mouth. In an article in Men’s Health, Showalter had the following to say about Jeter:
"The first time we went to Yankee Stadium, I screamed at Derek Jeter from the dugout," Showalter said. "Our guys are thinking, 'Wow, he's screaming at Derek Jeter.' Well, he's always jumping back from balls just off the plate. I know how many calls that team gets -- and yes, he [ticks] me off."
And then on the offensive against the Red Sox:
“I'd like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay payroll. You got Carl Crawford 'cause you paid more than anyone else, and that's what makes you smarter? That's why I like whipping their butt. It's great, knowing those guys with the $205 million payroll are saying, 'How the hell are they beating us?"
” -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter, quoted in Men's Health
You think the Yankees and Red Sox aren’t waiting for the Orioles???
It’s not often that you read about Alex Rodriguez doing a good deed. Its usually because he’s got his foot in his mouth. But, he did the good deed last weekend when he invited Julianne Ramirez, and her family, of Tampa to a Yankee game. A-Rod spoke to the youngster for 25 minutes. Last year, Julianne notice a 3-year-old friend Bella Villa had stopped swimming and was sinking underwater at a pool party. Ramirez rescued Villa from the pool, and having learned CPR in the Girl Scouts, began chest compressions on the youngster. Rodriguez surprised Ramirez with a phone call about 25 minutes before the Yankees played the Pirates. He extended the invitation for a game against Minnesota in Fort Myers. "I have a little surprise for you," Rodriguez told Ramirez from an office phone near the clubhouse. "We would like to invite you to a game tomorrow as our special guest. Would you be interested in coming down and watching us?" Ramirez quickly said "yes" and added "thank you." "We're going to make sure that it's a very, very special day and a day you'll never forget," Rodriguez replied. "We're very proud of you. It's a remarkable story and it's one that I shared with my teammates. I'm inspired by it and can't wait to hear more about it, and really enjoy a great day with you tomorrow." The Yankees and Twins honored Ramirez in a pre-game ceremony at Minnesota's spring training home this past Sunday.
Joined my first fantasy baseball league last week. Had the draft this past Sunday. Got $400 to spend on 26 players. It was interesting trying to bid on players. Didn’t get everyone I wanted but I am happy with my team.
Thanks goodness baseball is here. Today starts the MLB season and my team gets to lead it off on ESPN. Yankees against Tigers. Go Yanks!!
At least baseball will take away the thought of not having the NFL around come August and September. Right??
Pictures by : Derek Jeter - zillow.com, A-Rod - style.popcrunch.com, Buck Showalter - bohsandos.com, Carmelo Anthony (Knicks) - assets.gearlive.com, Boston Red Sox Logo - minot43.homestead.com
When the Knicks replaced Isiah Thomas with Walsh, Dolan never parted ways with Thomas. He reassigned him under the ideology that Thomas would be was banned from having contact with any Knicks' players under the rationale that he could willingly or unwillingly undermine Walsh and head coach Mike D'Antoni.
It looked good on paper at least.
Anthony had already said he was wanting to be a Knick well before the big trade that acquired him. He had been a Denver Nugget since he came into the NBA in 2003, but the four-time All-Star grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and has family in New York City.
Another reeason for his interest in the Knicks is the realty television show "La La's Full Court Wedding", since his wife, La La, is a television personality based in New York City. Putting his needs ahead of his team is nothing new for Anthony, known as a player who did little more than shoot the ball while in Denver.
The Knicks had a young team with promise before the trade. Amar'e Stoudemire was the unquestioned leader already, despite being barely halfway into his first year with the team, and an assortment of role players were complementing him. Point guard Raymond Felton was having the best year of his young career, looking like a brilliant signing by Walsh.
While Anthony spent much of his time in Denver politicking for getting traded to the Knicks, word was Walsh and D'Antoni were not interested in giving up what it would require to attain his services. Then rumors of Thomas getting back into Dolan's ear grew louder and louder as the trade deadline approached.
Then, in a move many say Walsh was not in full agreement with, the Knicks pulled off a blockbuster deal to get Anthony and a pair of very old point guards named Chauncey Billups and Anthony Carter. Denver got four young players, a first-round pick, a pair of second-round picks, and $3 million in cash.
"I'm glad it is over." is what Nuggets head coach George Karl said.
Since the trade, New York has gone 6-10. Anthony's need to toss up 10-20 shots a game has taken away from D'Antoni's system and Stoudemire's game. Factor in his unwillingness to pass, rebound, or play defense, the trade looks like a bigger mistake with each day that passes.
He has recently been seen sulking, hiding from the media, and sniping at teammates for not passing him the ball. Where Stoudemire took on the bright New York lights head on to reinvent himself, Anthony appears to be wilting already.
“He has a career worth of bad habits. They weren’t going to change in a month.” said one NBA coach.
This move has appeared toxic to the Knicks so far, and it appears to have evolved from Thomas. A man whose whole Knicks career can be termed as toxic.
Anthony is where he wanted to be. He is not the only NBA player right now who maybe should have been careful in what he wished for.
When Wade became a free agent at the end of last season, he said he would stay with the Miami Heat if they showed a commitment to winning a championship. The owner of the Heat heard him loud and clear.
On the day Miami re-signed Wade, they also signed free agent Chris Bosh. The next day saw LeBron James sucker ESPN into broadcasting his announcement that he was taking his talent to the Heat.
While the season has been filled with various results, the Heat have already won more games than they did last year. Yet it hasn't been the 82-0 record many ran off at the mouth predicting the days of the signings.
Wade still scores at about the same rate as he always has. All of his stats seem the same, except he is rebounding the ball a little more. James has his lowest scoring average since his 2004 rookie year, but the rest of his game is accumulating about the same statistics. Bosh is having his worst season statistically since his 2004 rookie season, but is still putting up more than respectable numbers.
Yet with all the offensive output, something appears to be missing with the Heat at times. That something is any semblance of a post game. While the Heat's big three is great crashing towards the basket off the wing, they have no players who can just sit in the paint while rebounding and blocking shots. If they had this now, they might be even more unstoppable than they are already.
Wade had a chance to go home to Chicago, where he could have paired up with Derrick Rose in the Bulls backcourt while guys like Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah provided the paint work. He chose to stay with the team where his NBA career started in 2004. A team he has already won one championship with.
Though money bought some of his loyalty, Wade should be commended for staying in South Beach. Heat owner Micky Arison deserves a major pat on the back for opening his wallet and gambling that overpaying his three stars will get the team more championships.
It is a move that does not always work out. Some brought back memories of Ted Stepien, the Cleveland Cavaliers owner who made similar gamble that destroyed the team when the moves failed to work, when Miami signed their three stars. While Arison's gamble has not tumbled yet, the trio will be responsible for a lot more than winning a few regular season games.
The playoffs usually slow the game down to the point a post game becomes a necessity. If Miami can overcome their hole in the middle and win it all, Wade's plea to Arison will have been just what was needed.
No one questioned the talents of LeBron James. His ego and IQ? That is debatable.
When the Miami Heat coaxed James to leave the state of Ohio for sand and surf, as well as playing next to All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
He went to a posh neighborhood in Connecticut, set up by ESPN, and took part in an overblown ceremony to pamper his ego which made his look more asinine that ever before with the opening sentence, "In this fall, this is very tough, in this fall I'm going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat."
It really should have come as no surprise from a guy who once belittled Stephon Marbury for selling shoes and clothing at an affordable price, saying he would "never have a discount line".
The move to Miami may give him the rings he seeks, but it has ended his chances of a legendary legacy reserved for few NBA stars. His image has been sullied to the point that the stuff he hocks has lost market value in big portions.
NBA legends were unhappy with his move, but it is a move James will have to live with. Yet he was so embarrassed at one point that he tried to play the race card. This move was met with resounding criticism. So the excuses are now out of the way.
Now he approaches the playoffs and anything less than winning the title will get him ridiculed. While he brought all of this upon himself, these next few weeks may interest more than just LeBron James.
Perhaps the most underrated trade at the deadline this year is when the Oklahoma City Thunder got their hands on Kendrick Perkins. The one thing the young team had been missing was a post presence. Perkins provides it.
While he is still recovering from an injury suffered before the trade, the Thunder are bringing him along slowly. He has averaged about 23 minutes in his four games, but Perkins is pulling down almost nine rebounds per contest.
Giving up Jeff Green wasn't easy for Oklahoma City wasn't easy, but the prospects of securing the post was too tempting. James Harden has also stepped up his game since the trade.
With the driving force of point guard Russell Westbrook and the nearly unstoppable scoring ability of small forward Kevin Durant, a healthy Perkins could all the Thunder needs to make a serious run at the title.
Stoudemire came out of the 2010-11 blocks as a front runner for the MVP Award. The Knicks were well above .500 and he was an All-Star setting team records.
He went nine straight games with scoring 30 or more points, as well as nine consecutive games of shooting 50 percent or better.
He had come to the Knicks with questions about his leadership and defense. Stoudemire quickly quieted his critics, and is scoring the most he had since the 2005 season. After he hurt his leg in 2006, having to have a then-experimental micro fracture surgery, no one thought he could do this again.
Now he will have to change his approach to the game with the addition of Carmelo Anthony. Where he was once the first scoring option, his looks will lessen drastically by the always ready to shoot 'Melo.
Addition By Subtraction
Ever since the Denver Nuggets dumped Carmelo Anthony, they have been on fire.
Where before the strategy was give it to 'Melo and watch him shoot, Denver is now pass crazy. Nuggets are making sure everybody in a Denver uniform touches the ball and contributes to the team. The four newcomers they got in exchange for Anthony gives Denver 43 points, 14 rebounds, 9.4 assists, and two blocks per game.
Since the trade, the Nuggets have gone 10-4. All losses have come by six or less points, meaning they have been competitive each contest. They are also now playing the type of basketball head coach George Karl always wanted from the Nuggets.
Where they go in the playoffs will be fun to watch because they are a versatile bunch. They have a large group of players who can handle the ball and shoot jumpers from anywhere. They also still have enough in the paint to where they are not pushovers at the post.
If there ever is a darkhorse who could shock the NBA universe in the playoffs, it is the Denver Nuggets.
If they actually do go out and win their first ever title this year, flowers of thanks must be sent to Isiah Thomas.
Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O'Neal played much of their careers getting hacked as the games were nearing their end, especially if the opponent was trying to catch up on the scoreboard. It worked at times because neither big man was great at the charity stripe.
Now Dwight Howard, of the Orlando Magic, is not nearly as big as Chamberlain or O'Neal. He is more of a power forward than center, but there are less than a handful of centers in the game today so he can dominate at the position. One thing he does have in common with Wilt and Shaq is that he struggles with free throws.
Come playoff time, we will see the old time tested strategy. Howard, who already has been reprimanded by the league for losing his temper over these extra hard fouls, will need to keep his composure. The deeper in the playoffs Orlando advances, the harder the hits will come.
Orlando retooled their team at the trade deadline, so they are hoping everything gels by playoff time. They won't match their 59 victories of each of the last two seasons, but they have won seven of their last 11 games and are a team no one wants to face.
Howard has expressed his dislike for the hacking. One way to solve it is to hire a Calvin Murphy or Rick Barry this summer and shoot free throws daily the entire time the NBA is off.
Gil Shoots Himself To Save Nick
Since being a first-round draft pick of the Washington Wizards in 2007, Nick Young spent most of his first three seasons riding the bench. He had 30 career starts, with 23 coming in the third year. It was easy to see the 6'6" shooting guard could score, he just spent most of the time buried on the depth chart.
Gilbert Arenas knew he had worn out his welcome with the Wizards before the start of this year, especially with longtime owner Abe Pollin having passed away last season. He had a huge contract the Wizards didn't want to pay him and no other teams wanted to touch. He was coming off micro fracture surgery that limited him to 47 games over the last three years.
During a summer league game, before the start of this season, Arenas told the team he was hurt when he was not. He then told the media of his actions, explaining he wanted Young to get more minutes on the floor. After averaging over 17 points in his first 21 games, Washington got the Orlando Magic to accept a trade for him.
In order for the trade to happen, Arenas would have to give up a ton of money because the Magic didn't want to pay it. He accepted the paycut for a chance at a title, something he had little chance at winning in Washington this season.
That opened the door for Young again, though coach Flip Saunders initially hesitated initially. Finally given a chance, Young has taken hold of the opportunity and shined. He is first in the team in points scored and second in minutes played. His 17.7 points per game average also leads the team. He has scored over 30 points eight times and over 20 points 30 times with a high of 43 points.
Still just 25-years old on a young team, he could be an important cornerstone on a rebuilding team. At least the Wizards finally found out all he can do, even if it did take Gilbert Arenas faking an injury so they could find out.
A New Star Is Born
Kevin Love was drafted in the first round of the 2008 draft by the Memphis Grizzlies, he soon found out Memphis preferred O.J. Mayo. The problem was that Mayo was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves two picks earlier. Yet the Grizzlies were so intent on Mayo, they orchestrated an eight-player trade that subsequently swapped the rookies.
The move has turned out to benefit Minnesota much more than Memphis so far. Mayo is now coming off the bench and Love is the leader of a young Timberwolves team that could be on the verge of winning soon with a few extra players.
Love was first a backup to Al Jefferson, but stepped in when Jefferson got hurt and was named Rookie of the Month in February. This play eventually allowed the Timberwolves to trade Jefferson to the Utah Jazz for two first-round draft picks before that start of the season.
Love had already played steady, averaging a double-double in points and rebounds, in his first two years. With Jefferson now gone, his game has exploded on the league. Love currently leads the NBA with 15.4 rebounds per game and is also scoring a career best 20.3 points each contest.
He went on a historical run this year where he had 53 consecutive double-doubles. It was the longest streak since Elvin Hayes had 55 for the Washington Bullets, then known as the Capitol Bullets, in 1974 and the longest streak since the NBA merged with the ABA in 1976.
One of the key ingredients in the surge in Love's play is the work he does with assistant coach Bill Laimbeer. Laimbeer is just about the same size of Love and played a similar game that led to two championships and four All-Star games as a player.
Like Love, he had an excellent outside game. He led the league in rebounds twice and averaged a double-double in six seasons. Yet Love has more range to his jumper. Laimbeer made 202 three-pointers in his career, with a season best shooting percentage of .361. Love has already drained 125 three-pointers and is shooting an impressive .423 percent this year.
If having Laimbeer, a WNBA Coach of the Year Award winner who won three titles, wasn't enough, Love has Kurt Rambis as his head coach. Rambis was a hustling overachiever who won four titles with the Los Angeles Lakers as their tough power forward.
Before him, Love had Kevin McHale as a coach. McHale won three titles as a power forward for the Boston Celtics and is listed as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Then there is his own father teaching him.
Stan Love was a first-round draft pick of the Baltimore Bullets in 1971. It was no surprise to some that his son's outlet passes have drawn comparison to Wes Unseld, one of only two men to ever be named NBA MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same season, because he played next to Unseld for two years.
Ironically, he also played with Elvin Hayes. After leaving the Bullets, he played with such legends like Jerry West and George Gervin as a member of the Lakers and San Antonio Spurs. When he retired, he had a wealth of knowledge to pass on to his son.
With all of these legendary mentors in his corner, Kevin Love could be on the verge of a career that ends up in the Hall of Fame. He has a support system not many people in the history of the game can claim, and one can only guess his game will get even better.
Flushing The Dunk Contest
One of the worst moments of the 2010-11 NBA season was watching the fans hand media darling Blake Griffin the All-Star Dunk Trophy. It helped Griffin that he plays in Los Angeles, is loved by the press, and is a spectacular athlete.
But he did not win the contest.
After the first three rounds were scored by real dunking experts like Julius Erving and others, the NBA decided to let the morons watching at home text in on the final round to decide a winner. All it proved it that the viewers have a short attention span and an even shorter memory.
Griffin won by jumping over the roof of a toy car that was as tall as a child's tricycle. Sadly, it was probably the best dunk he had in the entire contest. Most of the event droned on, because fans only were familiar of Griffin.
Yet JaVale McGee pulled off dunks never seen before. Dunks that maybe the greatest dunkers in the game could not have duplicated in their primes because McGee stands near seven-foot tall and has a wingspan that gets him close to 7'5".
After dunking with two balls in two baskets at the same time, the trophy should have been given to McGee then. Yet he wasn't done. On a dunk that, in retrospect, he should have saved for his final attempt, his mom helped.
Pam McGee is one of the greatest women basketball players ever, a fact that probably escaped most of those viewing on television. She gave her son, already holding two balls, a special ABA-style ball. JaVale then proceeded to dunk three balls at one time, a feat never attempted before.
But there was one more round. The one that involved the "fans". The round that undeservedly handed the trophy to Griffin for jumping two feet in the air over a car most grown men could not fit comfortably into.
The NBA Dunk Contest is in trouble. It already was looking iffy when Nate Robinson won it or Dwight Howard wore a cape and won without actually dunking the ball. Why the league wastes the time of legends like Dr. J when his work will get ruined by the television viewer makes no sense.
The NBA MUST let the experts judge the ENTIRE event and leave the television viewer where they belong. Plopped on a couch watching the event on television.
The NBA only needs to look at the NFL to see where the event is headed. The Pro Bowl was once an event players wanted to play in. Those honored wore it like a badge and played as hard as they could. Players and coaches, the ones who best knew who was worthy of the honor, were the ones who did the voting.
Then the NFL made the mistake of letting the "fan" get involved in the voting process.
Pretty soon you saw guys going because they ran their mouths, perpetrated clownish antics like signing balls or placing phone calls during the games, or just shooting commercials. Soon guys were piling up Pro Bowls in huge amounts too because the fans had no idea who was the best. Positions along the line of scrimmage certainly saw this spike.
Now the game is ruined. No one plays hard in it. No one wants to go or even get honored. The game has become such a disgusting joke that it is played before the Super Bowl, which means the best are not represented in this game and it is not a Pro Bowl anymore.
The NBA needs to make a choice. Kill this event or let those who know decide. Otherwise it becomes just a popularity contest based on commercial image. Just as it was this year.