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In January 2017 Lonzo Ball was positioned well within the NBA lottery on multiple Draft-centered websites. DraftExpress.com had Ball going fourth overall, and the website had Ball ranked fourth among its top 100 Draft-eligible prospects. NBADraft.net had Ball as its first overall pick, and Aran Smith ranked Ball fourth on his list of the top 100 Draft-eligible prospects. Chad Ford of ESPN.com ranks Ball second on his list of the top 100 Draft-eligible prospects.

All of these website also had UCLA, Lonzo Ball’s team making the Final Four. The top 12 NBA prospects moved up the draft board, except for markelle fultz, due to their NCAA performance. Dennis Smith moved down the draft board, but he tore his ACL in August 2016.
Lonzo Ball had a weak NCAA performance scoring 10 points, being outplayed in every way by Kentunky’s De’Arron Fox, 39 points, but Lonzo still moved up the draft board. Lonzo was going to be drafted and he is a big time talent. Some people were concerned about his awkward shot and his horrible 65 free throw shooting percentage but on top of those concerns came the horrible NCAA tournament, yet he still moved up the draft board.
Why?
In The Gym Range had Lonzo Ball going 5th overall just before the March NCAA tournament and strangely enough that is when Lonzo’s father, the outspoken Lavar Ball began making regular appearances on well-known sports talk shows like ESPN’s First Take and Fox’s Undisputed.

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In March 2017, LaVar Ball remarked that Lonzo was a better player than current NBA MVP Stephen Curry. By mid-March he was asserting that Lonzo was better than Jason Kidd,  LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. The memes and videos of Lavar’s appearances spiraled out of control. By the start of the NCAA tournament some draft boards had Lonzo as the #1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. Meanwhile Lavar said that his son Lonzo was going to be a Los Angeles Laker, the Lakers had the #2 pick.
UCLA fell to Kentucky in the 2017 NCAA Division I Tournament, Lonzo Ball had two uninspiring performances in each game. Before the tournament T.J. Leaf UCLA’s Power Forward was projected in the top 10 of the NBA draft. After UCLA’s tournament performance some sites dropped Leaf to the 28th pick.
LaVar Ball said, “Realistically you can’t win no championship with three white guys because the foot speed is too slow.” After this causal sport fans began to question Lavar’s parenting skill and techniques. However, Lavar Ball was ratings gold and and must-see tv for morning sports shows. See the sports gods know that Lavar as two more very good basketball playing sons coming through pipeline. They were using him for ratings, but he was going to be around for awhile.

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LaVar was ready to handle any backlash thrown his way. Lavar knew that this promotion was tied to college basketball, so Lavar expanded his on-air boasting to include himself. “Back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one. He’s too light in the ass.” This boast prompted Charles Barkley to challenged LaVar to play one-on-one. With each appearance LaVar’s statements grew bolder, he said that he believed his three sons would be worth $1 billion for a shoe deal.
LaVar compared Lonzo to Magic Johnson and said his boy would bring showtime back to LA. There were circulating rumors that the L.A. Lakers wanted Lonzo and that Lonzo was a game changer. Most shows, articles and social medianites mused that Lavar had put too much pressure on his son and hurt his sons draft stock. In the tournament Lonzo Ball was outplayed in both of his match ups with top five picks at his position. Naturally, you would assume that draft boards would charted Lonzo (who was 5th) as losing ground to other top guards.

Lavar Savage
The big picture was that the NBA, the fans and the media want a light-skin toned ball player to promote. Lavar Ball was smart enough to realize that he was now part of the machine and his next moves proves it. In April, Lavar shifted from basketball and said that his family’s Big Baller Brand apparel company, would compete with Nike. The following week, Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas declined to sign an endorsement deal with Lonzo, according to LaVar.

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On May 4, 2017, Big Baller Brand announced its first signature shoes, the ZO2, with a retail price of $495 to be shipped on November 24. Shaquille O’Neal criticized Ball for overpricing the shoes. Dick Vitale took aim at the price by citing Lonzo’s performance against Kentucky at the NCAA Tournament. Social Media and sports talks shows were highly critical. Ball answered critics by posting on Twitter, “If you can’t afford the ZO2’S, you’re NOT a BIG BALLER!”
By now surely people had forgotten any remnants of NCAA tournament and Lonzo’s poor performances, but how could the man with the megaphone be sure…A week later he tweeted, “LaVar Ball: Lonzo Ball ‘Only Working Out’ For Lakers; Predicts Playoff Drought Ends With Son In L.A.”

Lakers

Lakers Ball

And on draft night the Los Angeles Lakers selected Lonzo Ball with the 2nd overall pick, and the fans rejoiced saying Lonzo Ball is the perfect fit. If Lonzo had fallen like he normally would have the Lakers could have traded down, gained additional picks and still drafted Ball. Lavar’s hype and the NBA’s need to have a lighter-skin tone person to train camera’s on prevented the Lakers from making additional moves.
After the playoff it was clear that the Celtics didn’t need a point guard and the other top point guards had outperformed Lonzo.

Lavar Is Trying To Get Off The Plantation

The Celtics traded the #1 pick. Magic Johnson said “Lonzo is the new face of the Lakers.” and then he signed him to a 4 year $33 million dollar contact. If Ball had fallen to #10 and the Lakers could have traded down, Lonzo’s contract would have been 4 year $14 million dollars…So Thank Dad.

Forbes NBA Salary List

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All of LaVar Ball statements and boasting elevated his son’s draft stock, an basically doubled his contract. The boasting also increased the spotlight on Lonzo Ball, increased the expectations and of course it has brought out the racist. I am sure that was a calculation by Lavar, get the psychos to hate him and not his son. Almost every negative commentary on LaVar Ball is about his parenting skills, his mouth almost of the comments are sprinkled with overtly or coded racist language.

The elder Ball has become one of the most visible figures in basketball due to his tireless promotion of his talented brood and his seemingly magnetic attraction to any microphone or camera pointed his way. The audacious absurdity of Lavar’s decades-long plan to get all three of his three boys to the NBA is exceeded only by the increasingly bold, eye-roll-inducing boasts that made him a one-man 24-hour news cycle.
Lavar raises the bar and his sons keep sailing over it, checking boxes, and stuffing their resumes with head-scratching feats, like LiAngelo 72 points and LaMelo 92 point games. Yes, all three brothers played on the Chino Hills high school national championship team, systematically destroying every scoring records they could find.

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LaVar toned it down during the NBA Finals, he even wore suits to his on-air segments while promoting his son’s $1,000 shoe (which are signed and come in a lighted case). He also claimed that he can’t play Jordan or Barkley one-on-one anymore due to he fact that he’s is ‘retired and now a CEO.’

People don’t even like Lavar due to his constant bombastic nature. He talks the way he talks to everyone, but when a women, especially a white woman is involved they call him sexist only because that’s the agenda Ace card to put him in his place. That’s how you turn all women against him, and that’s how you get his supporters to discredit him. You see the media used him as they elevated him, and they will use him as they lower him. At the end of the day Lavar is a Black man and Black men can’t behave as if they have no master, as if they set the rules, and they can’t talk anyway they want to white women…that’s a definite no-no.

Being sexist is easy for people to fathom, but believing that the NBA wants to promote lighter skin tone Black players isn’t. Although, fans do seem to accept that to sports shows must have two or three black athletes/ex-coachs/ex-presidents and one white person as the slave-mast, err moderator and that somehow little blonde hair, blue-eyed white women keep getting sports show gigs and side-line reporter jobs. not to mention how if you look really carefully that white sportscasters have their chair elevated, making the black ex-player commentator seem shorter…in hierarchy.

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Fans doesn’t want to believe that they just witnessed the NBA and sports media orchestrate colorism. We want to believe that these players marketability have nothing to do with it skin tone. To accept this we would have to also accept that we, the fan, the poster, the commentator, are apart of elevating lighter skin tone Blacks over darker ones, even if we didn’t notice.

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Instead of the NBA being concerned with the imbalance in conferences they are worried about racial politics. Here are some headlines from this years articles: “LeBron versus #TeamLightBright.”, “The Golden Skinned Warriors.” “the Splash Brothers look like they maybe have a splash of coffee in their cream.”, “Too Pretty to Play”
Sports Racial Politics

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“When i first met Curry, I thought he was white,” Kevin Durant said. He was the only one who said it out loud.
“I’ve never seen anything like that light-skinned dude,” Allen Iverson said.
“Steph is light-skinned, so they want to make him out to be soft.”- Draymond Green, Steph Curry’s teammate
“The Light-Skin Movement is very strong, “It’s Light Time,” Austin Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers

NBA players, including LeBron James have taken note of this ‘light privilege’ and have questioned the sports media and the NBA’s quick promotion of Stephen Curry, all the way down to his little daughter Riley. Klay Thompson can play and Curry had a great year, but soon LeBron James was taking a backseat to Curry.
Exploiting people’s internal biases is a marketing mainstay, before Curry it was the Los Angeles Clipper’s Blake Griffin, who because of his skin tone had a ‘broad cultural appeal’, he was advertiser’s golden boy.
Griffin NBA’s Golden Boy

After Stephen Curry won the NBA’s 2016 MVP Award Lebron James said “If you do it by a year-to-year basis, I think sometimes the word ‘valuable’ or best player of the year, you can have different results.” Curry ignored LeBron’s chaffing and most people chalked it up to jealousy, but LeBron, like Kanye at the MTV Awards, saw what was happening and wasn’t going to let it go down without saying something.
LeBron Doesn’t Like Steph…

Over the last three seasons the Golden State Warrior have won more games than any other team. The Golden State Warriors are fronted by Curry and Thompson, dubbed the Splash Brothers and both are light skin toned men who can shoot. They have won two out of the last three NBA titles, but in the off-season everyone talks about the Lakers, but now the Lakers has its own light-skin tone to promote.

Shot mechanics…suspect, ball handling…suspect, passing…pretty good but don’t worry because of course Lonzo Ball will have a little help to make sure he does well. NBA Summer League games are packed and Facebook is producing a Ball Family reality show, maybe this Ball hype and the NBA seems to be more alive than ever, so maybe hype is all the fans really want or need. Los Angeles is a major market, this historic team returning to greatest will be a big benefit to the NBA, fans and the Los Angeles Lakers will lead a lot of story lines, and don’t forget that Lavar Ball will be along for the ride.

 

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There are no accidents

The NBA likes to populate the good white players to play in Indiana, Utah and Boston. Right now the NBA is planning to separate Klay Thompson to another team, so this promotion will spread, rumors are already circulating.

The concert begins

on wood, dirt, blacktop, concrete

even packed snow.

Participants come in all shapes,

sizes and colors.

From all walks of life they come,

They come to show their affection,

Their love.

Do You have the love?

Center stage is 96′ by 50′

The performers are chosen

and take their places.

All eyes follow the orange sphere.

Running, spinning, leaping

Grunting, sweating, passing

Execution, chants, shouts

Breakaway! Explosive.

Timeout…

Do you have the Love?

Offense is Learned,

Defense is pure hard work.

Can you feel the ebb?

The flow?

The Momentum of game one

with 81 more to go.

Old, New, Schooled

Post up, cross over

“Nickname” take over

Pull up jumper, Power, Finesse.

The score is tied with 16

seconds left,

can’t rest.

Slam, Bank

Luck, Skill

Inside, Outside

Block, Steal

Cheers rain down from the sky

Cameras flash from nowhere,

Posterize.

Do You have the Love?

Penetrate, fake, jab step

hang time, foul

inbound, pass, dish

rebound, brick, barely miss.

Half court trap,

full court press?

Drive, Triangle, Isolation

Wrong guess.

Step back Three

silence

…swish.

Beautiful.

I Love This Game.

Should Olympics athletes be paid? You betcha

Once upon a time, Olympic athletes had to sign pledges affirmed that they were amateurs, because communist athletes were not definable, they weren’t amateurs, yet they weren’t exactly “pros” like Michael Jordan. What the Russians were doing a was labeled as unfair. So in 1986, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) changed the Olympic Charter (most likely to allow “all the world’s great male and female athletes to participate.” America has had a long tradition of patriotism and participating in the Olympics as a badge of honor. Unfortunately, the Olympics hasn’t been about patriotism for a long time. America has a few other long traditions of capitalism and of being self-righteous.

Recently former medalist Dwayne Wade and Ray Allen have suggested that athletes be compensated for Olympic participation.  In 1992 a Michael Jordan led Olympic “Dream Team” nearly boycotted the Olympics due to corporate loyalties. Wade and Allen are not the first to come out in favor of athletes being paid for Olympic participation, but this new controversy against them reeks of racism. You see the help is the one asking to be paid, while the plantations owner is saying you’ve been paid enough, while others are saying you have millions… Perhaps we are not asking the right questions…

Is Jerry Colanagleo running USA Basketball out of the goodness of his heart?

Is Mike Krzyzewski coaching out of sheer patriotism?

Are Nike and Addias donating the uniforms and footwear?

And if they didn’t are they seen as being less patriotic?

Games of the XXX Olympiad, take place in London, England from 27 July to 12 August 2012, will be a multi-billion dollar industry; so much for volunteerism, individual effort, just hurry up raise the national flags and add up those USA totals. This is not a matter of whether or not other countries are paying their players. When black players have a valid opinion on anything that isn’t sports related, it’s always a problem for the masses.  Track and Field athletes get paid to train year around for that one shining moment to represent 300 million plus people, not to mention the gold medal prize money because medalists do receive money.

None of the past US Olympians that have spoken out have asked for million, perhaps they are making a case for future amateur Olympic hopefuls. Because they should be paid, including the bob sledder and figure skaters. 190 plus participant nations support their Olympic athletes 100% financially, the U.S. government gives zero money to its athletes. All the host cities in the world, except those in the USA, have supported their host Winter and Summer Olympics with billions of dollars, the Olympics is run entirely from corporate money, the corporations have control. Hasn’t professional and corporate involvement in the Olympic’s dampened it’s spirit? If these citizens are so patriotic then, aside from asking the right questions, give these Olympians jobs, cars for their service or better still their company allow the use of their symbols and products in return only for favorable publicity and public good will. They should be paid just like the college athlete, whose coaches earn 5 million per year, should be paid.

By using pros isn’t the U.S. admitting that we are on equal footing with the rest of the world. That we can’t have our amateurs compete against the under developed countries of the world and have a change of winning. Sportscasters, bloggers and fans have hit these players on how much money they make, for what they do, “all they do is put a ball in a hole”, “they are crybabies”,”now they want to get paid when they should volunteer” is what is most commonly heard. A Professional Athlete by definition is: a person who is paid to undertake a specialized set of tasks and completes them for a fee.

Perhaps our overriding American bullying nature has caused us to forget the definition of things, but that’s not the truth. The truth is that White Supremacy subconsciously causes the populace to rail against blacks that stand their ground, not wait for whites to lead the way or say ‘I disagree’. Where is the spirit of the games that had America pushing its youth to compete against the youth of other countries? Where is the old adage that anyone could have a chance at glory? Regardless of who’s paying, money has never bought inner drive or passion. Speaking out when our society has lost it’s way, may not seem as patriotic as say urinating on Afghans, or torturing “enemy combatants”, but that is what citizens are supposed to do, that is what makes a good republic. So stop whining about purity and patriotism and use amateur hopefuls or pay the professionals.

by MG Hardie

In 2009 Kevin Love was taken fifth overall by the Memphis Grizzlies, on draft night he was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the third overall selection O.J. Mayo. That draft night trade is one of the worst trades in NBA history. Mayo is arrogant, flashy and pretty much uncoachable. Kevin Love just may be the best Power Forward of all time. So why doesn’t anyone know who Kevin Love is?

1. Hes’ White:

Love wont say it, the media wont say it…so I will. In his rookie season he was not selected to the NBA All Star Weekend Rookie Challenge. Though he finished his rookie the season ninth in the league in rebounding, first among rookies, and third in total offensive rebounds. He led all rookies with 29 double-doubles, the most by a Timberwolves rookie in franchise history. He was first in offensive rebound percentage. He was the first rookie to lead the league since Hakeem Olajuwon did it in 1984 Somehow he was only named to the 2009 NBA All-Rookie Second Team and finished a distant sixth in Rookie of the Year voting, O.J. Mayo was second.

The following season he finished the season ranked as the NBA’s best rebounder per 48 minutes (18.4), besting Dwight Howard (18.3)…But he has no flashy nickname. He became the 19th player to record a “30–30” game, when he recorded 31 points along with a career-high 31 rebounds, a franchise record and were also the most by a player in an NBA game since Charles Barkley’s 33 rebounds in a game in 1996. He scored a career-high 43 points and had 17 rebounds in December. Kevin Love had 34 straight double-doubles, averaging 21.4 points and a league best 15.5 rebounds per game and shooting 44% from 3 point range, yet with these numbers he was not voted to the All-Star game nor was he selected as an All-Star reserve, he had to be selected by Commissioner David Stern as a replacement for the injured Yao Ming. He achieved four 30-point, 20-rebound games in the season, and tied Minnesota’s team records for made and attempted free throws. In March Love’s consecutive double-double streak ended at 53 games. It was the longest streak since the ABA-NBA merger in 1976, surpassing Malone’s 51-game streak from 1979 to 1980,  yet he is not signed to Air Jordan.

Love’s 51 point game broke Kevin Garnett’s franchise high of 47 points, shooting 7 of 11 from three-point range and 16 of 27 from the field, 14 rebounds, a steal and a block in only 49 minutes and became the first player to score 51+ points and grab 14+ boards since Dirk Nowitizki in 2004 yet he is not a household name.

2011-2012: Love began the season with 15 double double, the first player to do so since 1992. To further punctuate this Kevin Love participated 2012 NBA All Star Three-Point Shootout and defeated Kevin Durant in the final tie-breaking round to win the contest. Now, Kevin Love is also the NBA three-Point Champion, yet he is not a video game cover athlete. He became the first player in NBA history to record 35 points, 10 rebounds and hit five three-pointers in consecutive games. He is the first player to average at least 20 points and 15 rebounds in a season since Malone in 1982. I don’t see these firsts or records breaking following Lebron James or Derek Rose. Even more telling is that best player in the NBA  does Not have a million dollar shoe contract with Nike, Adidas, Rebox and other companies with which the lesser talented and darker background players have signed with, Love has contract with China’s 361 Degrees.

2. He’s in Minnesota

Minnesota’s media market is about the size of Memphis’ and Milwaukee’s. Granted that Minnesote isn’t exactly the hottest vacation spot, but Kevin Love isn’t getting love on Fox Sports, NBA network or ESPN sport center highlights, even though they refer to him as “relentless” and “the most dominate rebounder” in the NBA. Once relegated to footnotes on the sports ticker, soon the media will latch on to him as his numbers become harder and harder to ignore, they will start to praise his game, his efficiency, yet never acknowledging their slowness was due to his race. Is Minnesota a small NBA market? Maybe, but it is also the same market that made Latrell Sprewell, Sam Cassell and Kevin Garnett (KG) famous. It is the same market where Garnett earned his MVP award. Kevin Love is putting up far better numbers than Kevin Garnett ever did. Kevin Garnett is revered for his blue collar worker ethic, consistency and hard work, in the same mold of Moses Malone. Moses Malone is heralded as not only the most dominant player of his era, but of all time. At present time Kevin Love best both of these players, so why doesn’t Kevin Love get a nod as being a hard worker in the midst of his season for the ages?

3. He’s not flashy:

Neither was Mark Price or John Stockton. Kevin Love doesn’t have an entourage. He doesn’t have an edge. He doesn’t have a sad or tragic backstory. He is not from a European or Asian country. He isn’t shooting threes and giving thanks to his god. He isn’t power dunking and yelling. He isn’t throwing no-look passes. He isn’t trying to break someone ankles…Everything he is doing, he is doing to win. Does this mean that his stats, points and rebounds are to be viewed as useless, empty?  He is also a Christian….why no Love…see #1

Americans don’t root for the underdog and sports commentators aren’t honest. Those with media credentials should be called to answer as to why not a single one of them gave him a MVP vote in 2011. His record breaking, record setting double-double streak in the 2011 season alone warranted MVP votes. His stats this season demand the MVP award, regardless of record. Why should Kobe, Durant, Lebron or Wade get the MVP Award? Kobe has Gasol and Bynum, Durant has Westbrook, Wade has Lebron. Each of the MVP favorites have an advertising campaign supported by the NBA to push these players to  the forefront. Why not Love?

The NBA is constantly pushing the much overrated Carmelo Anthony and underachieving Blake Griffin. Griffin is a spectacular dunker, but his game hasn’t improved in his time with the L.A. Clippers. Griffin should be leading the team, but he isn’t. Blake has zero low post moves, refuses to develop a mid-range jumper and when the pressure is on he shoots air-balls from the free throw line. Kevin Love has dropped 32 and 21 on Anthony, 38 and 17 on Griffin and this season through seven games he’s averaging 22 and 13 against Griffin. 42 and 10 against Dirk. 27 and 15 against Kobe, Bynum and Gasol. 51 and 14 against Durant and Westbrook. 42 and 10 against Portland’s Lamarcus Aldridge. As for the playing defense question neither Nowitski nor Durant play much defense and neither put up the kind of numbers Love has.

4. Losing record:

Each year with Kevin Love the Minnesota Timberwolves have improved their record. His numbers show that he wants to win. His overall game growth shows that he wants to win. And don’t say that he doesn’t make others better…because he does, he makes his team better, he makes the league better. Don’t say his team has a losing record…The NBA has given the MVP award to players on losing teams before. So why does the media keep overlooking Kevin Love?

Kevin Love isn’t staking a claim to the title of Best Power Forward and He isn’t the best power forward today. He has been the best power forward for awhile. Kevin Love has broken or tied records that have stood for more than three decades. He has created a need for geeks and commentators to track rebound percentages per minute and shot efficiency charts. If the media and NBA would acknowledge these debilitation racial blinders, they could focus on him, it would change the culture of basketball, especially the Power Forward position. Kevin Love has not been in any NBA television promotional commercials this year. Give these kind of stats to Lebron,Wade… hell if you give these kind of stats to Arizza and he would be regarded as the best to ever play the sport. It is deeply sad that the NBA has a legitimate basketball star, who plays the right way, who plays hard every night, a player who just happens to be white, they don’t know where he fits or how to market him.

Witness the fever over the New York Knicks Jeremy Lin. When Lin plays, the television broadcast  show China town, when Lin is not Chinese. ‘I get called everything you can imagine,’ said Jeremy Lin ‘Racial slurs, racial jokes, all having to do with being Asian.’  On the other end of the spectrum is Kevin Love, who has been called “The Best White Player in the NBA”, “His Whiteness” and “Great White Hype”… No this isn’t love. Sport, the NBA and the country has a race problem. The problem isn’t Kevin Love…the problem is us.

 

 

Well, well, in 2012 MVP voting Kevin Love received 58 MVP votes. Glad to know that my articles actually have some reach…even though uncredited.

Join the fan page 

Note: Kevin Love is not Shawn Bradley, Eric Montross, Bryant Reeves, Todd Fuller, Keith Van Horn, Raef Lafrentz, Wally Szerbiack, Mike Miller, Chris Mihm, Joel Prizibilla, Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, Kirk Hinrich, Fredette, Chris Kaman, Robert Swift, Andrew Bogut, Adam Morrison, Spencer Hawes, Tyler Hansbroughk or even Cole Adrich. Kevin Love has seven 30-20 games so far.

As the NBA Playoffs begin I reflect on the excitement of the regular season. Miami gets Lebron James, Shaq’s battle with father-time, The looming lock-out, the Sacramento Kings heading for Anaheim, the Lakers manic play, Kevin Love setting the NBA consecutive double-double record, the best dunk contest in a decade, Derrick Rose’s climb to the MVP,  the ridiculous fine David Stern unjustly levied on Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin’s High Fly better than Lebron’s Rookie-Non-Rookie season and oh yeah, the trade of Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. Carmelo Anthony’s summer wedding to television personality La La Vazquez, is where Charlotte Hornet guard Chris Paul toasted that he and Anthony should get together in New York, for their version of a dream team, since then everyone knew that Carmelo Anthony would be traded. Why?  Mostly because Anthony refused to sign a three-year 65 million dollar extension with the Denver Nuggets. Denver offered Anthony the extension only to over inflate Anthony’s value so they could dupe Mikhail Prokhorov the New Jersey Nets new Russian Billionaire owner into giving away the farm to get Carmelo. The trade talks swirled out of control with rumors that the Nets were sending as many as five first round draft picks as well as players to the Nuggets for Carmelo Anthony. The rumors stayed absurd until January when the Nets owner arrived in the states and showed the NBA exactly how he made his Billions. He shut down the season long trade negotiations, which shifted pressure on New York to get a deal for Anthony done.

Every fan and sandbox sports prognosticator, analyst and commentator said “Get Carmelo Anthony at any cost”, “Talent like Carmelo Anthony don’t come by often”, “Get him now and sort out the details later.” They asked questions like “could Anthony and Stoudamire co-exist” , “would there be enough basketballs to go around” and “could Anthony handle the spotlight”. As the trade deadline loomed the deal for Anthony formed. Denver received Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, the Knicks 2014 first-round draft pick, the Warriors’ 2012 second-round pick, the Warriors’ 2013 second-round pick and $3 million in cash. New York received Carmel Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman and Corey Brewer.  New York wanted Chanuncy Billups included in the deal to make sure that ‘Melo’ was comfortable in his transition. The Nuggets received a host of young energy players with potential, New York waived Corey Brewer. Since the trade the Nuggets have played with good offense and passion, and the Knick have played with a lack of defense, motivation and chemistry. All of New York’s issues I am sure that columnist and commentators from around the nation will find a way to blame Isiah Thomas for.

In the off-season Amare Stoudamire left the Phoenix Suns and signed a 100 million dollar contract with New York. He led a resurgence of a failed franchise. He had the commentators talking about the Knicks, but more importantly he had the fans believing. The Knicks were winning with Stoudamire leading the way. Amare wasn’t happy in Phoenix, always in Steve Nash’s shadow never getting the credit he deserved. He went to New York and was proving that his gripe was legitimate. Amare led the Knick to some stunning and amazing victories and he was the leading candidate for MVP, until the NBA trade deadline came near. The nearer the deadline, the more the newly resurgent Knicks began to falter. Never mind that trading away half of your team mid-season for a player who never defended is not a good idea. Never mind that the team could have waited and signed Anthony to a reasonable contract at season’s end, save for a lock-out.

No. The pressure was get Carmelo now, Do the deal now and What are the Knicks waiting for. Was it the media’s pressure? Was it owner James Dolan’s myopic focus on Denver that he allowed the a deal for Utah’s star point guard Deron Williams slip through his fingers? New York could have had Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams and still kept a player or two. In fact many in the media were surprised when Utah traded Deron Williams. Williams was abruptly traded to the New Jersey Nets and the Billionaire’s clinic was complete. Had any of these commentators actually seen Carmelo play? 22 million per year for Carmello when Lebron James and Dwyane Wade are earning 16 million per year. As a point guard Chauncy Billups is no slouch, but he isn’t two players either. Since the trade the New York has played a 14 -14 record and the Denver Nuggets have surged with a record of 18-6, Denver has also moved up two playoff positions, and it didn’t take a year to gel together like, Carmelo has said it may take in New York. The new Nugget players have played hard, fast and together. They run ten deep, share the ball and play defense. The real story of this blockbuster Carmelo Anthony trade isn’t the season long drama, it isn’t that the commentators were wrong or that New York win or lose may have to make a few more moves to get things right in the Big Apple. No the real tragedy here is how the Carmelo Anthony trade cost Amare Stoudamire this years MVP award. Now, Mr. Stoudamire wont suffer with his 100 million dollar contract, but if he never wins an MVP award he can look to the player standing next to him, to the owner and to the media.

MG Has Spoken on Twitta

In the 2012 NBA season, even with the addition of Tyson Chandler, have been having a horrible season and have been outplayed by those cast out to get Carmelo, particularly Danilo Gallinari. The Knicks traded everything to get Carmelo, but yet they are still losing. “Expectations are still high. Things will still be great,” he said. “I’m not down, I’m not regretting anything. I’m not regretting the trade.” Carmelo Anthony. With Jeremy Lin playing like not other guard before will Carmelo seed the helm of the Knicks to him…I don’t think so. Big dogs don’t like little dogs even if it is to their benefit.

There have been many discussions about who the top players are and who the best NBA players ever were. There is always the question of how does one compose a list, do you list them by emotion, stats, position, championships, impact or all of the categories. I am going to list my Starting 5. This list  should put the Top All-Time Players in perspective. (In their prime, all things being equal and with a minimum of  10 years in the league)

My Starting Five

Center-

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Wilt Chamberlain  7’1″ 280 lbs

I know people would like to go with Bill Russell, or Shaq here, but honestly Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain was the original “Freak of Nature”.  Yes he scored 100 points in a game, but Wilt, the player, forced the NBA to change so many rules its absurd and he also caused the NBA to widen the lane. Aside from his numerous records and awards he is the only player in NBA history to average more than 40 and 50 points in a season. In case you didn’t know Wilt Chamberlain played for the Harlem Globetrotters and he was the 1st athlete of note to bring volleyball out of the gymnasiums and onto the sand. He may not get the credit, but it was Wilt who gave birth to beach volleyball, it was he who made it popular. He also led the NBA in rebounds for 11 seasons and average of 23 rebounds per game and had 227 consecutive double-doubles.

Power Forward-

Dennis Rodman 6’7″  230 Lbs

I know, most people would have selected Tim Duncan, or Charles Barkley. Rodman at 6’7″ with a wingspan of 7’7″  led the league in rebounds for 7 straight years, including 19 rebounds per game during the 1991-1992 season. What he may lack in height he more than makes up for in pure tenacity. Rodman was  known as a rebounding machine, but even more so for his defensive toughness. Unpredictable, hardworking and unselfish that is what a great teammates are made of . Rodman’s defensive play was the stuff of legend. He made Scottie Pippen cry during the playoff no less. He took his counterparts completely out of the game, he did the dirty work, something that is beneath a lot of players these days. 1989-90, 1990-91 Defensive Player of the Year awards.

Small Forward-

Elgin Baylor 6’6″  225 Lbs

Most of the time I see Larry Bird in this spot, which is mostly due to the 80’s Celtics/Lakers champions games. Elgin was every bit a pure shooter as Bird was, but the key here is that Baylor could actually defend. You don’t get a career average of 28 points and 14 rebounds for nothing. Baylor a gifted shooter, strong rebounder, known for his acrobatic maneuvers on the court. The No. 1 draft pick in 1958, NBA Rookie of the Year in 1959, and an 11-time NBA All-Star.

Shooting Guard

Michael Jordan 6’6″ 220 Lbs.

Often referred to as the best NBA player that has ever lived, but that distinction goes to Wilt Chamberlain. Also known as MJ, or just Jordan. He has five MVP awards, ten All-NBA First Team selections, nine All-Defensive First Team selections, fourteen NBA All-Star game appearances, three All-Star Game MVP awards, ten scoring titles, three steal titles, six NBA Finals MVP awards, and the 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award to top it all off. Jordan holds the NBA records for highest career regular season scoring average (30.12 points per game) and highest career playoff scoring average (33.45 points per game). In 1999, he was named the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century by ESPN. His tenacity on both end of the court was unmatched, his selection is a no brainer.

Point Guard

Magic Johnson 6’9″  250 Lbs

At 6′ 9″ the man redefined the point guard position. Magic earned twelve All-Star appearances, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. He led the league in regular-season assists four times, and is the NBA’s all-time leader in assists per game, with an average of 11.2. He is a member of the 700 club,  assists, rebounds, and points in the same season. Three NBA, MVP Awards, nine time NBA Finals appearances.  Johnson was a member of the “Dream Ream”, which is a nickname for the U.S. basketball team that won the Olympic gold in 1992.

 

Bench (13 man  playoff roster)

 

Allen Iverson 6′ 0″ 170 Lbs  (Guard)

Kareem Abdul Jabbar 7′ 1″  250 Lbs. (Center)

 

Kobe Bryant 6′ 7″  210 Lbs. (Shooting Guard)

Tim Duncan 6′ 11″ 260 Lbs (Power Forward)

Shaquille O’Neal 7′ 2″ 325 Lbs. (Center)

Ray Allen 6′ 6″  210 Lbs. (Shooting Guard)

Larry Bird 6′ 9″  220 Lbs. (Small Forward)

 

Oscar Robinson 6′ 5″  220 Lbs (Point Guard)

 

Can your Starting 5 take mine?   

On December 2, 2010 Lebron James, now a member of the Miami Heat, returned to the Cleveland Cavilers and swiftly dropped 38 points on them. After the games Lebron James was asked for the 30,172 time if he wanted to apologize to the Cleveland Caviler fans by a Mustard Wine Jacket clad Craig Segar, a side line commentator for TNT. James quickly responded “I don’t want to apologize.”

Upon hearing these comments the sporting news world, including TNT’ commentator and NBA great Reggie Miller, quickly surmised that Lebron was only stroking the fire, but he wasn’t because he was right. Before the season began, a Free-Agent, Lebron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers, took less money and joined the Miami Heat, in a move that the entire sporting world has widely condemned. Apparently the fans and commentators are unaware that the NBA needs villians. The NBA needed a Bad Boy team. The NBA makes rules and penalties as if they don’t but they want controversy. All you have to do is look at the games and how they are promoted and the ratings that follow.  Post “The Decision” the game ratings and game intensity are way up. So it’s not personal, it’s business, for this and many other reasons fans owe Lebron an apology.

Multiple sporting venues from ESPN to the Sporting News to Yahoo Sports have written many articles on why Lebron’s move to Miami was a bad move for Lebron. The fans were livid, and called Lebron’s choice arrogant and these sport information entities echoed the same popular opinion. Now I will echo the Truth, regardless of whether or not Lebron and the Miami Heat win a title they all owe Lebron James an apology. Recently Baseball number 1 pitcher, Cliff Lee chose the chance to win and less money to join the Philadelphia Phillies and was celebrated, but Lebron is being vilified. Lebron James suggested that much of the venom towards him has a racial component to it, yet his feelings were quickly dismissed, look at the Cliff Lee situation and we’ll wait on the apology for that.

  • The Cleveland Cavalier fans owe Lebron an apology.
  • Charles Barkley owes Lebron James an apology. Charles has always had a big mouth, but calling the Miami Heat Big 3 “punks” is classless.

  • The fans who spent their hard earned money to buy Lebron James jerseys only to burn them in effigy owe all of us an apology, after all it is a recession.
  •  Radio station 100.7 WMMS, which brought in a witch doctor to cast an “injury” spell owe James an apology.

  • Dan Gilbert, the Cavs owner, owes the Cavalier fans an apology for his online rant and continuing to complain, even though he actually traded Lebron James to the Heat.
  • Dan Gilbert owes James another apology for trying to pressure the NBA to look into whether or not Miami tampered with James before “The Decision”.
  • Dan Gilbert owes the Cleveland Calvalier fans a very big apology, for not ever surrounding Lebron James with enough talent to win a title. Before Mr. James made “The Decision” what big free agent moves had Gilbert made to enhance the roster had Lebron stayed? Who did he sign to enticed Lebron to stay? What was his backup plan? If you look at the current Cavs roster, you will see that his back-up plan was the same as it was in previous years- “Ride Lebron until you can’t ride him anymore”. Dan Gilbert and the Cavalier fans should thank Lebron for his years of dragging their sorry teams through the playoffs.

  • The fans who printed up shirts calling him “Queen”and “Quitness”, the vendors selling them and the people who wear them owe James an apology.
  • The people who make videos that call James a quitter owe him an apology.
  • Countless radio station hosts, newspapers, magazine writers and bloggers all owe Lebron James an apology.

It was offensive after the second time Lebron James was asked to, or if he wanted to apologize for 7 years, 5 playoff appearances, 28 ppg, 17,000 points and 2 MVP awards.

If Dan Gibert had announced that he was trading Lebron James, would people be this upset? Nope. Think about that.

I know much of this ‘what he should have done’ commentary will die down as the wins mount, but will the apologies? This is not the first time these sports entities have got it wrong, remember Lebron’s 1st MVP award an award that should have went to Dwayne Wade, but sports writers didn’t have the guts to give it to Wade. Lebron James knew where that award belonged. Wade is Lebron’s MVP and that’s what really matters. I am sure that had plenty to do with “His Decision”. Lebron James knows to apologize when someone he cares about is slighted, he also knows that those who owe him an apology don’t care about him and probably never did. Now while you are thinking these things over, apologize to Chris Bosh also.

“It’s not Lebron’s team, It’s not Dwayne’s team. The Miami Heat is their team.”- MG