Greetings from the Hoodwood, where your scribe is making preparations for the Big Move…more details as they come.
NBA: Who’s taking the Heat?
Just a few days ago, I was listening to the wonks rail on and on about how LeBron James of the Miami Heat was pissing his legacy away in so many words. With his team seemingly falling apart against a young hungry but otherwise non descript Indiana Pacers squad in the East Semis, the sky was falling. Skip Bayless about nutted on himself in glee talking about how “Prince” James as he loves to deridingly call him was choking and the Heat despite a solid season and quick dismissal of the New York Knicks was being exposed for the sham and fraud he really was. Just as fast with the near triple double Sunday, the wonks who were so quick to bury Lebron were just that fast lionizing his 40 point, 18 point 9 dime performance. I think that Lebron while still having yet to prove to me that he is a money on the line clutch player, is taking a little too much…ummm…heat for having to take on so much. With Chris Bosh sidelined with an abdominal pull, James has had to do extra duty. James played nearly 44 minutes and people who knocked Bosh as a hanger on the ˝ of the so called big three have had their eyes opened as to the real dirty work that Bosh is doing. James has had to do the alley fights under the boards with Roy Hibbert, Danny Granger and David West cause everyone knows that butter soft players like Udonis Haslem and Rony Turiaf sure the fuck aint. Shane Battier? Don’t make me laugh, he’s more apt to play the perimeter and harass on the ball than mix it up underneath. People realize what Bosh brought to the Heat and James is absorbing and ungodly pounding because of it. The real focus should be on Dwayne Wade, as he goes so go the Heat and people who want to bash James are missing the real rudder of the Heat. Wade scored 5 point in the game 3 loss…5. That is 20 points below his career playoff average. His plus minus in game three was a stomach turning -25…for comparison four of the five Pacer starters were +20 or better. He was literally making his team worse while he was on the court that night. Say all you want about Bron Bron all you want good or bad, but DWade is the real reason that the Heat will ultimately win or lose.
NBA: Lake Show on its last legs?
The Lake Show got cancelled last night in OKC. The Thunder pulled away in the 2nd half and whomped the Lakers 106-90. Take a good look, cause this version of the Lakers you might not see for long, the Lakers were running on empty against a hungrier younger meaner Oklahoma City team that took the Lakers best shot in Game 3 and hit back with a thrilling rally to win game 4 Saturday Night the 16 point win last night was just an expected coda for an aging Laker team that might not be the top banana in its own building next year with the rise of the young Clippers.
Kobe has tried to channel his inner Jordan and wants so bad to be like Mike, he has regressed into the Jordan of the late 80s shoot shoot shoot and shoot some more. Teammates? They’ll get the crumbs if anything is left. Pau Ga-Soft...errrr. Gasol more than likely played his last game as a Laker, dogged all season by trade rumors he played like a man with other things on his mind all season. Bynum? Well lets put it this way, the supersoft big man was virtually non-existant. How the fuck you gonna be a 7 foot big man and get only 4 rebounds. 4??? You stand on the court for a quarter being that big and should accidently get 5. Kobe was defiant when asked if this was more or less the end saying that “he didn’t want to hear that shit.” They bleeped out the expletive of course but Kobe is living in a fantasy world if he thinks that he alone can carry the Lakers to anything more than a token playoff appearance by himself.
Lets face fact gang, the Lakers are old and they simply cant trade haymakers with a tougher opponent like the Thunder. Kevin Durant does as he wants and the Lakers didn't have the horses to stay with this deep team. Oh they have the names you know but Gasoft…errr Gasol has been MIA more or less the whole postseason and please don’t get me started on Andrew Bynum. Kobe Bryant’s bleating over Gasol needing to step up, but it seems that Bryant was pouting when the innocuous Steve Blake was jacking up a potential game winning three in winnable game 2. Bryant wants others to step up only if they are either deferring to him or making shots. Laker caddy....errrr coach Mike Brown seems to have really lost this team, not that I even think that he even had it at any time. Im thinking he may very well be getting the gate which leads me to…
NBA: Stan out on his rear
This came as no real big surprise. The Orlando Magic gave coach Stan Van Gundy and clueless GM Otis Smith the gate today in the aftermath of the disastrous finish to a fairly promising season. The whole Dwight Howard fiasco whether to trade or not to trade him and then his very public spat with the whiny Van Gundy was just another part of unfulfilling season. Howard was long rumored to have wanted Van Gundy fired and I for one was never a big fan of a coach who I labeled as one of the stupidest in the NBA, his abject failure to make the Magic a potent force with the young Howard magnifies that point so much more. Howard to be sure has some culpability in this matter, his airing of his grievences in public comes off more and more like a spoiled child, it just seems like Howard who wanted out of Orlando might be felina non grata (Cat not welcome) in too many circles. Who might be someone that could keep Howard in the Magic Kingdom? Don’t snicker it could be Patrick Ewing…as head coach.
NBA: Jocking the Spurs
Its no secret that your humble scribe is not a fan of the Spurs whom ESPN and the basketball media in general seem to lovingly fawn over. Yeah, I know the Spurs are riding an 18 game win streak finishing the last ten regular season games and sweeping their first two playoff opponents but really look at the two playoff opponents, A Jazz team grateful to have made the playoffs and Clipper team who blew a 3-1 lead on the Grizzlies and was running on fumes. Yeah I know the Spurs won 50 and had 3 separate 10 or more game winning streaks and the Tim Duncan is still one of the best players in the game, his vanilla boring game seems to get more yawn inducing all the time, mostly because it is so consistently good . I detest the fullback like charges down the lane of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, but they are so dangerous around the rim and play so machine like together. I abhor the always grumpy and grumbly no necktie wearing Gregg Popovich who just seems to always be in a bad mood and never suffers questions lightly. The Spurs are the most boring yet arrogant team in the NBA but are the media darlings because we as a sporting public overlook them and discount them, which is the reason why they are getting trumpted. With all my venom, hatred and contempt for them, I would be doing my writing a disservice by not acknowledging that they are simply a great team that could very well be lifting the NBA title trophy next month. That sound you hear is me throwing up in my mouth at the thought.
College Football: Florida State in the Big 12?
Just when you thought the college football world had settled down and the mess that is the BCS was finally getting cleared up here comes Florida State bleating that they would explore moving to the Big 12. The ACC long the raider of other conferences....errrr the Big East might be losing one of its flagship teams, at least in football. Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher has reportedly said that the Noles are stuck in basketball conference. Florida State might also have an eye on the bowl game that the Big 12 and the SEC are inaugurating in 2014, could this be the game that brings the Cotton Bowl back to top tier prominence? Florida State has held its own in ACC Basketball (though it was summarily dismissed from the 2012 NCAA tourney by my beloved Bearcats) but it is the big fish in a really little pond in football as it has dominated the ACC since they joined in the 90s. Though its easy to dream of a Florida State-Texas showdown every year and the Noles-Sooners meeting before New Years is delicious indeed, the geography stretching for the sake of football is way beyond ridiculous.
NHL: Kings last team standing in Staples?
Much ado was made about the numerous changeovers that were needed in the Staples Center as all three occupants were doing battle in the respective playoff series. To many a sports observer, your humble scribe included the team who’s stand will last at least one more game and could have four more appearances are the…Los Angeles Kings??? The Kings were an afterthought in the postseason and were supposed to be a warm up act for the Canucks who were the Presidents Cup winners. Ooops, the Kings won in 5 taking 3 games on the road, this leaves the door wide open for the Blues who were 2nd seeded out west. The Kings simply shrugged and dropped a sweep on the Blues before they even realized what hit them. Now despite a game 4 loss, the Kings are looking at putting the finishing touches on another series win which would send them to the franchises 2nd Stanley Cup final. I know that there are those that disagree but I would love to see a NY-LA Stanley Cup Final. And to see the ultimate underdog Kings bring a title to LA would be an ultimate fairy tale.
PHAT DAP/HEAD SLAP
One more soccer tidbit and I’ll trouble you no more with it for awhile. Didier Drogba of Chelsea gets dap for going from hero to possible goat to hero all in the span of an hour. Drogba headed in the equalizer in UEFA Champions League finale in the 88th minute forcing a 30 minute extra time. Drogba then looked to be fitted with horns after he took a senseless penalty that gave Bayern Munich a penalty kick. His horns were reprieved when Chelsea keeper Petr Cech made a brilliant save. Drogba then buried the winning kick in the penalty shootout to give Chelsea the title. Drogba was about as spot on money as you could get this weekend.
A dap also to Kerry Wood the former Cubs pitcher who hung it up after 14 up and down seasons. Wood struck out the final batter he faced (the only one he faced in his penultimate appearance) then walked off to the cheers of the Wrigley Field faithful. I remember being in broadcasting school in 1998 and seeing the report come off the AP wire that heretofore unknown rookie has struck out 20 batters. It made no sense, but Wood was a flamethrower cut from the Ryan, Koufax and Drysdale mold. He only went 86-75 in his career and was plagued by arm troubles. But give him dap for going on on his terms with a flame and flourish.
To the Soccer broadcasters that allowed Al-Jazeera to scoop up the broadcasting rights to the Spanish La Liga and Italy’s Serie A leagues these leagues once broadcast on Fox’s Soccer Net will be broadcast on an arm of the network that has given air time to some of the most despicable terrorists in the world. They really expect anyone in the US to watch anything that comes out of their pie hole they are sadly mistaken.
Thats the view from the Hoodwood, which will actually be relocating here soon (Im moving to Columbus in a few weeks, a Bearcat in Buckeye land...lol) . Until next post fellow Sports Fans!