Posted on: December 23, 2010 9:34 am
I suppose we should thank LeBron James. He certainly made it easy on us, what with his 26th birthday coming next week and all of us wondering, "What do you give the guy who has everything?"
No worries, people. LeBron took care of it. He's giving himself a birthday bash on South Beach, complete with a marketing campaign worthy of the spoiled, entitled, tone-deaf prima donna brat he has become. Don't believe me? Check out this link, which notes, among other things, that LeBron deserves -- and will give himself -- "a royal themed [party] fitting for a birthday celebration of a king, channeling an ambiance of extravagant court life."
And here, I was going to get him a pair of socks.
Why am I focusing on this birthday party? Because it's the latest example of how removed LeBron James is from reality, doing things because he can -- without ever asking himself if he should.
First there was The Decision, the way he ripped out Cleveland's heart on national television and was genuinely shocked at the reaction. Then came The Dissension, when James had one of his peeps leak it to ESPN.com that The King was unhappy with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.
Now, The Birthday. Reading from The King's brochure, I can tell you that this "event will attract Athletes, Models, and Musicians. As well political figures, socialites, tastemakers and affluent leaders from various industries including Art, Business, and Finance."
I can also tell you that "this happening will consist of a A-List crowd of multicultural, savvy trendsetters, and jetsetters that reinvent and set the tone for a chic lifestyle."
Because that's what I think of, when I think of LeBron James. I think of a savvy trendsetter, and a jetsetter who has reinvented and set the tone for a chic lifestyle.
Also, I think of a jerk who throws himself a million-dollar birthday party on South Beach, celebrating the late-December birth of his lord and savior.
Posted on: June 18, 2010 12:01 am
LOS ANGELES -- Kobe Bryant couldn't make a field goal. Pau Gasol couldn't make a free throw. Andrew Bynum couldn't play in the fourth quarter.
Anyone care? Lakers fans?
The Lakers won their second consecutive NBA title Thursday night by out-gritting Boston 83-79 in a Game 7 that had very few good individual performances but all sorts of hustle and effort. The Lakers dominated the Celtics on the boards, got rugged defense from Ron Artest on Paul Pierce, and withstood a late barrage of 3-pointers from the Celtics.
Rajon Rondo's 3-pointer with 16.2 seconds left drew Boston within 81-79, but Sasha Vujacic hit two free throws with 11.7 seconds left to seal it.
Posted on: June 15, 2010 11:38 pm
LOS ANGELES -- The Boston Celtics were bad on Tuesday night. As bad as Kendrick Perkins' right knee.
And Perkins' knee is messed up .
Perkins, the Celtics' starting center, went out for the game -- and probably the season, such as it is -- in the first quarter. Considering his counterpart -- Lakers center Andrew Bynum -- also left the game early, the loss of Perkins doesn't matter much. Lots of people will write lots of words today on Perkins. They're doing so only because they have to.
The real story from the Lakers' 89-67 victory in Game 6 wasn't the Celtics' injury. It was the Celtics' ineptitude.
Everyone on the C's bench was miserable, starting with the miserable human being that is Rasheed Wallace (0-for-7 from the floor) and extending to jovial Glen Davis. Most of the C's starting lineup was miserable too. Paul Pierce was decent, and Ray Allen had a good first quarter. And that's it. Everyone else? Miserable.
The Lakers, meanwhile, had balanced scoring, a great all-around game from Pau Gasol and a muted but effective performance from Kobe Bryant.
Add it up, and you have seven ... Game 7. Thursday night.
Posted on: June 7, 2010 12:03 am
LOS ANGELES -- Ray Allen had 32 points, Rajon Rondo had a triple-double and Kobe Bryant had a bad game, and that combination was enough for the Celtics to beat the Lakers 103-94 in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, evening the series at one game each before it heads back to Boston for Games 3, 4 and 5.
This game was nuts. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were horrible, and Boston won. Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum were awesome, and Los Angeles lost.
That's how good Allen and Rondo were. And that's how bad -- relatively speaking, of course -- Bryant was.
And that's also how bad Lamar Odom was. Love the guy. He's as nice as he can be. But holy cow has Odom been useless in Games 1 and 2. The Lakers overcame his putridness in Game 1. They couldn't do it again in Game 2. Odom had three points, five rebounds and one assist. He had five fouls. He played just 15 minutes, and the Lakers would have been better had he not played at all.
And Ron Artest wasn't much better. Artest was 1-for-10 from the floor and went one-on-one in the final minutes, wasting time before missing shots.
Even so, the Lakers could have survived had it not been for Allen and Rondo, who played as good as any backcourt has played, in tandem, in a long, long time in the NBA Finals.
Posted on: June 4, 2010 12:00 am
Edited on: June 4, 2010 12:29 am
LOS ANGELES -- Boston can't beat Los Angeles under most circumstances, but Boston definitely can't beat the Lakers under these:
With Kevin Garnett getting severely outplayed by Pau Gasol.
With Ray Allen contributing nothing but a handful of baskets. No rebounds. No assists. No impact.
With Rajon Rondo shooting poorly from the floor (6-for-14) and the foul line (1-for-4).
With Paul Pierce being a complementary player most of the game. Never mind his final scoring line of 24 points. More than half of that came in the fourth quarter, which was garbage time.
Add it up, and the Celtics lost Game 1 of the NBA Finals 102-89.
Going forward, the Celtics have to improve in just about every area -- scratch that; in every area -- or this series might not come back to Los Angeles for Game 6. No need, if the Lakers win it in five games.
Posted on: May 17, 2010 12:04 pm
I don't believe it. Not for a second. I don't believe any of the rumors of a LeBron James-John Calipari package deal, including rumors that haven't come out yet but will eventually. Whatever they are, whenever they are, I don't believe them.
The rumor today was printed in the Chicago Tribune by a solid NBA reporter, K.C. Johnson, who wrote that "noted NBA power broker William Wesley continues to work back channels to sell Calipari and James as a package deal" to franchises with room for both. I don't believe that. Not for a second. I'm not saying Johnson is lying. I'm saying Johnson was lied to , and yes, it happens. It has happened to me, way too many times. Sources who think they should know things make the leap from thinking something to knowing something, and they make that leap to a reporter, and the reporter prints it, and there you go. Rumor becomes fact.
But I don't believe this one. Or any of them, as they relate to LeBron and Calipari and the summer of 2010. And I'll tell you why.
Calipari won't allow it.
Hear me out. I'm about to win you over with some common sense, so wait for it. Here it comes ... Now:
Calipari has already gone on the record, via his Twitter account which reaches all of Kentucky Nation (and then some), that he will not coach in the NBA next season . If he leaves for the NBA this offseason, he's a liar. Cynics among you will note that Calipari made a similar pronouncement last year when he was quoted as saying he planned to be at Memphis -- and then days later he was at Kentucky. I hear that.
But this is different, and here's why: If Calipari goes to the NBA with LeBron, not only is he a liar -- he's a stooge, too. He goes to the NBA as LeBron's lapdog, and I have to tell you, I don't see Calipari as being anyone's lapdog.
Do I rule out Calipari's eventual return to the NBA, to coaching LeBron some day in the future? Nope. I don't. I can see a scenario where a season ends, the NBA team with LeBron makes a coaching change, and Calipari gets the call. But now? Riding on LeBron's coattails? Using LeBron to get a job in the NBA even as he has gone on the record to say he won't do just that?
Nope. Not gonna happen. Calipari's ego is way too big to let this happen. That's not an insult, either. A big ego is a healthy thing. It fuels you to succeed at a high level -- and it also prevents you from being anyone's stooge.
Posted on: February 11, 2010 2:24 pm
Rick Pitino to the NBA? That rumor is too easy. Writing it, reading it, believing it ... too easy. It's like tackling one of those beginning crossword puzzles. Finish the following phrase: Piece of ---- .
Cake. The phrase you're looking for is "piece of cake."
That's the Pitino-to-the-Nets rumor. It's a piece of cake. It's shooting fish in a ------ (barrel). It's a cliche, is my point. It's the easiest cliche in sports writing, and I'm not pointing a finger at the guy in New York who started it this time. I've been there myself, at least once and maybe twice. I'm pretty sure I once wrote that Pitino was likely to go to the Mavericks to replace Avery Johnson, and I almost wrote -- and maybe I did; I don't have the heart to search through Google -- that Pitino was going to the Heat to replace Pat Riley.
Sources say this stuff, that Pitino is going back to the NBA after all these years at Louisville, and they believe it -- but it's never been true yet. It's like that rumor of Urban Meyer going to Notre Dame, which Steve Spurrier spread last year and a newspaper idiot in Alabama wrote like it was the gospel. It's easy. Maybe too easy.
It'll happen again, this rumor. Pitino to (your NBA franchise here). Don't believe it. Not until you see him behind a podium at an NBA arena, meeting the media.
Posted on: January 7, 2010 12:48 pm
The Washington Post's update today is brutal. In a nutshell, the Post is reporting that Arenas was joking with Crittenton when he gave him an unloaded gun, but that Crittenton freaked out and grabbed his OWN gun, loaded it, and acted menacingly.
Understand something: Arenas started this whole business and deserved some form of suspension. I get that. But Crittenton, if the Post story is accurate, is the baddest guy here. And I don't mean bad as in good. I mean bad as in scary.
I stand by my column. Completely. More than ever, in fact.