Posted on: September 28, 2010 8:11 pm
So NBA training camps are starting up again and we have the usual (recently) favorites in Orlando, Boston, LA. We have a team from the 90s making a resurgence in Chicago. And we have the interior defenseless, Miami Heat and their trio of egos, I mean stars. But out there, somewhere in Cleveland, is a little 6'2-6'3 guard with a chip on his shoulder. He's gone from 6th man to Robin to playoff dud and now he's in the role of "star" for depleted Cleveland Cavaliers. His name, is "Maurice" Mo Williams.
That's right, the player I'm rooting for most to have a breakout season and to really shine this year and do some damage is my main man, Mo. I know that I've spent the better part of two years calling him out, making fun of him at any chance, calling him the worst player in the league, the spawn of satan, and basically every other negative word or combination of words possible. Well, my attitude towards Mo has changed. And let me break it down for you.
At first I thought my hatred for Lebron and the Cavs was because of Mo. His ego even though he hadn't proven anything, his stupid sunglasses during interviews, his guarantee of victory against Orlando, calling himself better than Jameer Nelson, the list goes on and on. But this off-season, I realized, "I don't hate Mo". It's actually Lebron that made me hate Mo.
Mo is what he is. He's a very good 3 point shooter who is great for the first 46 minutes of a regular season game and the first 5 minutes of either half in a playoff game. Other than that, he's one of the most useless players on the court because he likes to choke and plays little to no defense. However, the dude made me a fan this off-season in his crusade against Lebron. His calling out of the world's largest douche bag, his confrontation in the airport. Mo, for the first time in his life, had a point and made sense.
The truth is, the passed few years, Mo has been a 15-18 ppg player who can give you 3-6 asssits per night, spread the floor with his shot, and not make retarded plays with the ball. He was actually a decent sidekick to Lebron, but he should've been the batgirl while a Carlos Boozer (sucks to suck Cleveland) or an Amar'e Stoudemire (it's OK, Hickson was vital in your playoff success) or a David Lee would've been a better Robin. Mo is a great number 3, an ok number 2, and a "?" as a number 1.
But I have high hopes for Mo this year. I hope he can step up and be a 20 point, 7 assist player. I hope he can sneak Cleveland in and then upset Miami. In fact, I hope in the game 6 to win, he hits a buzzer beating try over Lebron's outstretched ringless finger. That's my dream.
So here's to you Mo Williams. My hate towards you was misguided. You were never the problem in Cleveland. It was the 6'8 steroid driven primadona who made you his lapdog than ran away like the ego maniac he is. Go get em, Mo. Make Cleveland proud.
Posted on: August 17, 2010 1:28 pm
Well, for starters, I'd like to point out that going to the Heat is not a cowardly move, it's not a bad move for him, and actually, it took some balls. He HAD to have known there'd be backlash and he HAD to have known that his individual legacy will never be up on a high level w/ Jordan, or even Kobe for that matter because he just planted himself in the Scottie Pippen role. Miami is, was, and always will be Dwyane Wade's team, and because Wade is one of maybe 2-3 other players that can challenge Lebron as the best player in the game, Lebron just went from a 1 to a 2. So, I admire his move and caring more about winning a ring than individual glory, so kudos to that. If this Heat team does establish a dynasty (which I highly doubt they do, mostly because of Mr. 6's ego), then he will be part of one of the greatest team/dynasties of all time rather than one of the greatest players of all time. At least, that's how I see it, and unless he's a moron, that's how he had to see it. And Magic Johnson calling him out? For christ sake, he played with Kareem and James Worthy. Kareem > Wade, and Worthy > Bosh. So, please, just because you didn't have to leave to find a great situation, don't make it look like you brought that team from ground zero.
On to why I can't stand the guy. His ego knows no bounds. I mean, basically every player has nicknames. DWADE and Dwight Howard are "Flash" and "Superman" respectively. I don't think DWADE does anything with his nick-name, but Dwight does dress up for the dunk contest (did), and dances to "Crank Dat" by Soulja boy, but never have I seen him in a serious tone call himself "Superman". Maybe he's addressed it in a joking tone, or something like that, but he plays with the name, he doesn't engulf himself in it. Kobe is the Black Mamba, but how many times have you see Kobe mention himself as the Mamba in a press conference or something like that? I doubt that number is above 1. I mean, look at Kevin Durant. The dude is the new face of USA basketball (for the time being). Considering every other major star is out, and he's the only real top talent left (closest thing would be Andre Iguodala and that's a steep drop), he could be taking this opportunity to call attention to himself. He's not. In fact, any report you read says KD is shy, and tries to stay away from the camera and spotlights. Why? Because the kid is humble. Because he isn't all about himself. Durant is all about his teammates and making sure they get proper credit. He's the anti-Lebron and I can NOT wait until the rest of the media wakes up to what a breathe of fresh air this kid is. Back to Howard, there's a fine line between being an egotistical jerk, and someone who likes to have fun.
That brings me to Shaqulle O'Neal, who has taken on some Lebron-esque traits in the last few years. When Shaq first started, everyone knew that he had a little bit of an ego, but not only did he back it up with his play, he was likable? Why is that? Well, for starters, he was a prankster, he liked to joke with people, dress up in funny costume, poke fun at people. He was funny. He did a couple movies including that one with the Genie. I forget it's name, but it wasn't that bad. Shaq was on top of the world, and yes, he showed a HUGE ego, but people didn't have a problem with it because Shaq embraced his ego and made a positive out of it by channeling his "ego" into jokes, laughs, and entertainment. I think it was 2007, Shaq was at the all-star game and had a dance off with Lebron, Dwight Howard, and I want to say Jermaine O'Neal. That was funny. It was entertaining. It was Shaq being Shaq. However, over the past couple years, Shaq's game has deteriorated, and with that, so has his charm. He's not funny anymore. He's not big ole' lovable Shaq. He's become a jerk. His ego has grown just as big, but his game, along with his originality and charisma, has fallen flat. No longer is he poking fun at people because that's who he is. Shaq is now attacking people verbally for no reason. I mean, the entire spat with Dwight Howard was so childish, it wasn't even funny. When Shaq stopped caring about entertainment and picked up the "any press is good press" approach, he became a jerk, and right now, 75% of NBA fans can't stand the guy. Why's that? Because when you drop the entertainment value and keep the ego, that's where you lose your fans.
And finally, we're on to LeBron James. Or, if you ask him what his name is, he'll respond with "The King". A couple years ago, maybe even as far back as last year, Lebron was loved by EVERYONE. I mean, some people couldn't stand him because he was a threat to their team, but no one really was sick of him. He had hosted the ESPYs and done a FANTASTIC job doing it. He was hilarious. The skit where he sang and wore that crazy outfit was pure comedy. I loved every minute of it. He hosted SNL and again, was very funny in that too. Everyone knew that Lebron had a little bit of an ego, but the dude counter-balanced it with humor and fantastic charisma. I mean, we don't even have to go into how he had the entire state of Ohio, not only the City of Cleveland, wrapped around his finger. The dude had millions of people under his spell, and there seemed like no stopping him. But the, Lebron became like Shaq, and stopped with the humor and just became an arrogant a$$. Some people will call the pre-game dances unprofessional, but to me, they were teammates having fun. They were building chemistry, so good for them. But then there was the infamous game 6 against Orlando in the ECF. Not only did it seem like Lebron may have quit in that game, he disregarded shaking the hands of a single Orlando player. His teammate, Delonte West, the guy who played his absolute heart out that series and seemed to be the only one trying at the end, went and exchanged jersey's soccer style with his college teammate Jameer Nelson, and DWEST shook the hands of every Magic player. Lebron had a former "teammate" on the other side as well; his olympic teammate Dwight Howard had just dropped 40 and 15 to end the series. While Dwight looked around for his "friend" and Olympic teammate, Lebron was sulking in the locker room, no where to be found. A day or two later, he sent out some bogus excuse about how competitive he is. Whatever, some people gave him a pass for it. But then there was the talk in the off-season about the 2010 free agency. He never answered any of the questions directly, but he loved the open door. He loved that he kept the media open to speculation and such because, well, that meant more attention towards Lebron. During the season everything seemed fine, but then the Cavs ran up against the healthy and rejuvenated Boston Celtics. The Cavaliers lost in 6 games, and Lebron seemed like a turnover slot machine by the end. Put a quarter in, and Lebron gives you the ball. But what set people off was the way he ended game 6. Walking up and down the court, hanging in the corner or at the top of the key just to throw up a brick. This was a 8 point game with 2 minutes left and he QUIT on his teammates. There was no debate this time. Lebron James had given up on his teammates.
On to the off-season of 2010. After being himself and throwing 6 digit budget parties for himself, Lebron signed a contract with ESPN to do a special on "The Decision". Where the self-proclaimed "King" announced he was going to Miami. Again, I have no problem with that. In all reality, it looks like a good move on paper, especially to a guy whose lived his whole life on talent, and to who the fundamentals mean basically nothing to. However, did he really need a 1 hour special to sign a contract with the Heat? Absolutely not. But, it was feeding the ego. Then, he gets criticized for leaving Cleveland in the dust and blah blah blah. What does he do? LEaves Cleveland out of his appreciation speech, tell the City he hates it (in GQ), talk about how Dan Gilbert "didn't care about Lebron". Notice how there's no brackets there? That's because he legitimately talk about himself in 3rd person. Why? Because he's an ego freak. You get it? Lebron's "taking notes" on who calls him out and such. He's calling people out for doing their job and analyzing his move. His sense of entitlement and the fact that he thinks everyone should praise him is disgusting in itself.
Lebron James. Why are people sick of him? At first, he was a lovable, charismatic phenom. However, as time went on, his charisma lowered and his ego grew to the point where the slightest negative comment sets him off. So please, Heat fans, stop defending the guy you've been trashing for the passed 2 years and realize where everyone is coming from. No one doubts his talents. It's hard to. Everyone's just sick of his act. He may consider himself humble, but the rest of us really know the truth about "The Prince".
Posted on: June 22, 2010 6:46 pm
Number 5: Who overpays for Carlos Boozer and David Lee? Listen, not everyone playing the Free Agency game this off-season is going to get the Lebron's, Bosh's, and DWADE's this off-season. It's nearly a guarantee that the losers of those sweepstakes will panic and throw ridiculous money at Lee and Boozer. Very similar players actually, Boozer and Lee are both around 6'8-6'9 and have had to play a decent amount of center the last few years, putting them at a huge disadvantage against the trees of the league. However both are very good rebounders who are maximum effort guys that will try and mask their flaws with hustle and hard play. However, both play in systems which have padded their stats some. Lee plays in Mike D'Antoni's run n gun, no defense, try and score 200 points a game system in New York. Nearly all the way across the country, Boozer plays in Jerry Sloan's system in Utah which has always been about getting his PG and PF involved and their numbers. Boozer's back-up, Paul Milsap is arguably the better of the two anyway and he puts up decent numbers off the bench as well. In my opinion, Boozer is best served going back to Utah while Lee won't really have any choice other than to leave New York. In the end, I'm going to bet that..... nah, I'll wait until the end to put this puzzle together.
Number 4: Who does Chris Bosh follow? I really am on the bandwagon that Chris Bosh wants to win very badly. I think he's desperate to win after some horrible years in Toronto where nothing was accomplished. A fan-favorite theory is that he ends up in LA with Pau and Kobe. To me, that's a nightmare for the rest of the West. Gasol moves back to C where he is actually more effective in my opinion and where he played in Memphis. You have two guys who can post up, take their man off the dribble, pass the ball well, shoot from the perimeter. Really, they have two very similar players although Bosh does it more with his quickness and shot while Gasol uses his fundamentals a little bit more. Another popular theory is the one where he joins Lebron in New York. Lebron, Gallo, Chandler, Bosh, whomever would be a deadly line-up, no matter who is playing C (for those slow ones, Lebron will be the point guard). Maybe Bosh goes to Chicago to team up with Derek Rose and Joakim Noah giving Chicago that third star and an absolutely incredible future. Noah's defense, Bosh's offense, Rose's playmaking with role players like Deng and Hinrich, Chicago would be a contender for years. Now onto the Florida theories. You ask someone from North Florida and they tell you that Bosh will be in Orlando as a result of some miraculous sign and trade most likely involving Brandon Bass and Marcin Gortat, maybe J.J. Redick's rights as well in a sign-and-trade scenario. You go down to South Florida and all the talk is Bosh teaming up with DWADE in South Beach. Chalmers, Wade, Beasley, Bosh, and whomever else they can get gives the Heat a very bright future as well with two proven stars and two guys they're just waiting to emerge. Again, I'll wait until the end to put this together.
Number 3: Who joins Wade in South Beach? Anyone who thinks DWADE is leaving Miami doesn't know what's going on at all. DWADE will be on the Heat for life baring some Jordan/Wizards scenario. Beautiful weather, smart organization, no state income tax. There's literally no reason to leave. Above all though is the cap room that the Heat have to bring in a side-kick that Wade has desperately needed since he and Shaq split. Who will it be though? Will Lebron come up from the hell that is down Cleveland? Will Bosh join him there? Will STAT be in a Heat jersey? Or will they have to settle for Boozer or Lee? In either scenario, the Heat get better because when Jermaine O'Neal is your second best player, you have issues. DWADE needs a side-kick desperately and I could even see him waiting until the Heat make their move before he officially re-signs. If the Heat botch this one, DWADE might just leave or demand a sign and trade to a team that wouldn't have the cap room to sign him otherwise. Again, either way, DWADE will be on a better team next year than the Heat were this past season, whether that's still with the Heat or somewhere else is yet to be seen although I'd lean towards him staying.
Number 2: Cinderella's Castle. I mean, LeBron James will be moving but to where? Will he stay in Cleveland? No. Let's get that out of the air now. Lebron is way too cocky to stay in small little Cleveland his whole career. He's going to a bigger market or going to somewhere where he'll win a quick title which will just fluff his ego more. One thing people have to realize about Lebron is that it's all about Lebron, all day. 24/7. I mean, the dude went on Jimmy Kimmel's show and lost a pop-a-shot competition and was trying to distract the guy he was losing to. I'm pretty sure the princess was wearing sunglasses as well. He's inside a building, keep that in mind. The only thing larger than his talent is his potential. The only thing bigger than that is his ego. I wouldn't doubt that if he ends up in NYC, there's a Lebron television channel just showing clips of Lebron and Lebron commercials all day long. And stupid people will watch it because for some reason the world is fascinated by him. Lebron's leaving Cleveland and I'd almost bet my life on it. One thing though I don't see is Lebron teaming up with another mega-star Bosh or Wade, especially not Wade. There are very few players in the league who people will even attempt to make a case for over Lebronbron. Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, and Dwyane Wade. Wade and Bryant have the strongest cases. Me personally, think that Wade is the best player in the game with Lebron a close second. There's no way Bron-bron's ego would be able to take winning anything without being the clear cut man. Bosh and Wade are on the short-list for guys who could out-play him in a series, and that's the last thing Lebron wants. Who will he team up with? Where will he go? I think he's going to Chicago where he'll try and foolishly surpass Jordan's legacy. That leaves Cleveland in a horrible situation. I think Bosh will join DWADE in Miami. I see the Knicks and Jazz working out a sign and trade deal sending Lee to Utah and Boozer back to NYC who will then go and blow money on Rudy Gay in a panic move. As for Stoudmire, keep an eye on Oklahoma City or New Jersey. OKC needs a big to get over the hump, and Lopez and STAT make a formidable duo for the future.
Number 1: The Super Dream Shake. I'm going to take a ton of heat for this and I know it. However, as a Magic fan, I'm biased. Two and a half years ago at the All-Star game, Dwight Howard got to take time out of his day and spend it with Bill Russell. Russell taught Dwight the importance of defense and protecting the basket along with making up for what you lack offensively with rebounding and defensive play. After that talk, and I'm guessing a few others with the legend, Dwight went on to finish 2nd in DMVP voting that year. Since then? Dwight's won back to back defensive player of the year awards and became the first ever player in NBA history to lead the NBA in blocks and rebounds in the same year, for consecutive years. Orlando's defense also ranked top 10 in nearly every statistical category including first in opponents FG%, no doubt a product of Howard. As far as the other end goes, Dwight's been working with former NBA star, Patrick Ewing. Dwight has made progress but not nearly enough as he should to this point. During the Eastern Conference finals, down 3-0, Dwight received a phone call from none other than Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon. Olajuwon gave Howard advice on how to approach the game which seemed to work as Howard's game raised to new heights in game's 4, 5, and 6. The pivotal moment came in the third quarter, with Orlando down by 20 or so, his teammates had hung their heads and given up. Dwight posted up, took the ball, made a move, and was fouled. When heading to the line, Dwight, for what seemed like the first time in his career, yelled at his teammates. He screamed at them to get their heads, up, that it wasn't over. They could still win. The Magic lost, but from a leadership position, that moment confirmed what 2 and a half games leading up had proven, he had changed. This off-season, Howard will be working with Olajuwon on his offensive game. Actually, he has been for the last week or so, no word on how much longer he plans on meeting with Hakeem. Last off-season, Kobe Bryant met with Olajuwon to work on some moves in the post and many people noticed this off-season how good Kobe looked in the post this year. Orlando fans are hoping Howard can make similar strides. If Hakeem can even teach him 2 or 3 moves, not even tapping into the depth of the "dream-shake", Dwight will make steps in his offensive game that will make him borderline unguardable changing the NBA landscape even more so than where Lebron-bron decides to go or who Dwyane Wade pairs up with.
Posted on: May 22, 2010 11:27 pm
As I'm sitting here watching the worst display of basketball in the biggest game of the year by my Magic, I think to myself how different this team is likely to look next year, no matter what the current cap situation is. As great as Rashard Lewis has made Orlando during the regular season, he's shown in Orlando's last two playoff series losses to be a liability late in the playoffs. Against physical play, Lewis will be outrebounded by his counter-part by about 8 or 9 boards, outscored by 6 or 7, or completely out-hustled and out-toughed. This is me venting and assuming that Otis Smith will make a move. Here are the ones I've thought up that I could realistically see happening. I'll throw in one more at the end which I highly doubt, but it's the pipe dream.
Situation 1: Sign and Trade with Toronto for Chris Bosh - I've been on the Bosh to Orlando band-wagon for about 2 years now and I'm not giving up. Toronto knows Bosh isn't re-signing. Toronto knows that they aren't getting anyone of any relevance this off-season. Toronto knows if they sit back and let the bricks fall, they'll end up with Hedo Turkoglu and Andrea Bargnani and maybe DeMar DeRozan along with some other crap. Everyone on this board raves about how great Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu were together. Maybe Toronto feels like reviving some of that magic and creating a team that will throw up 100 3's every game. Orlando gave Toronto Turkoglu in a pointless sign and trade. Maybe Toronto feels like they can revive the magic that was there. Toronto does lose talent and increases pay roll, but it makes them a lot more competitive than without Rashard. For Orlando, they get rid of Lewis who creates mismatches but who's lack of physicality has killed them against the NBA Elite's in the playoffs. Bosh gives Orlando the league's best power forward along with the league's best C. He has a great shot so the spacing is still there, will give them a guy who can create their own shot. Most importantly, Bosh will actually body someone up and pull down a few rebounds, something Lewis has refused to do. I think Lewis' salary alone matches up, but if I'm Orlando, I see if the Raptors are dumb enough to take Ryan Anderson off our hands as well.
Situation 2: Sign and Trade with Heat for Dwyane Wade - I know this sounds crazy, but really, I'm praying for this one over any other. Although Carter can take over a game, he's too old to do it more than a couple times a year and he's not a 1 vs 5 win a game type player like he once was. In today's NBA, there are two players who can go 1 vs 5 and win a game. LeBron James (who we'll get to), and Dwyane Wade are those two guys. In this deal, Orlando sends Vince Carter Miami's way for the ability to sign Flash. In this deal, Miami gets a very productive player still, even at his age, and still has available cap room in order to add that second piece whether that be a Bosh or Stoudemire or whatever. Most importantly, if Miami really doesn't think they can bring Wade back, Carter's contract is up in 2011. Another name whose contract is up in 2011 would be one, Carmelo Anthony, who is now reported to be in talks with Denver about an extension, but one can dream. Carter can give the Heat one more productive year and paired up with another star, could probably keep Miami a top 5 or 6 team in the East. After that, go after Melo and use the current star as a bargaining chip.
Situation 3: Use that 8 million Dollar cap exception for something - I really don't know what it would be, probably a bench player, but it'd be something. I don't see Orlando just keeping that forever. 8 Mill is a lot of cash, expect it to be used somewhere along the line.
Situation 4: The Pipe Dream: Sign and Trade with Cleveland for Lebron James - God, this will never ever happen, but I can pray. If Cleveland looks as if they aren't going to get the Prince back, maybe they call up Orlando and take on the contract of either Lewis or Carter. If this situation were to play out, my bet would be on Carter considering the dude will sell some jerseys along with keep the team competitive. He won't have even close to the impact Lebron did (although Carter was Lebron before Lebron), but he'll do something. Matt Barnes' contract is up this year, so this move either puts J.J. Redick or Mickael Pietrus in the starting line-up. I'd prefer Redick as the dude is becoming one heck of a defender (yes, it's true). Also, Cleveland then puts themselves in position for the Carmelo Anthony 2011 sweepstakes and if there's a guy (not named Durant) that could fill Lebron's shoes at the SF position, it's Carmelo Anthony.
Situation 5: Ain't ever gonna happen, but a man can dream - A combination of my first 3 situations. I think Sit. 3 is a given, but if Orlando somehow pulls off the other two and has a line-up of
PG: Jameer Nelson
SG: Dwyane Wade
SF: Mickael Pietrus
PF: Chris Bosh
C: Dwight Howard
BN: Flip Murray (total guess on the trade exception)
BN: J.J. Redick
BN: Brandon Bass
BN: Marcin Gortat
I love my Magic and really truly believe that something big will happen this off-season and I can almost bet my life, it will involve Rashard Lewis playing in another team's uniform next year some way, some how. This series against Boston killed me because they just looked like they gave up and stopped caring. Only guys I saw competing were Howard, Bass, and Pietrus. I'll give Carter his due as he got 15 in limited action, but he was a non-factor although his defense was pretty solid. I'm keeping my hopes up that Orlando pulls off a miracle. I don't have internet access for all of July so I'm hoping by the time I come back, Dwight is paired with another top 10 guy.
Be Bold, be Blue, Be Magic.
Posted on: May 31, 2009 2:02 pm
s/playerpage/498287">Dwight Howard is still around." style="float: left;" />We all keep hearing the fuss over Lebron vs Kobe, Kobe vs Lebron. The media talks about it daily. There are the commercials. Vitamin Water ones where each side explains their points one after another with a montage of video footage and pictures showing the essence of each player, not exaclty their highlights. Then there are the puppets. Kobe and Lebron living together in some hotel. Kobe showing off his 3 chocolate chip cookies (or championship rings). Lebron spraying his baby powder all over the pad. Them playing one on one, and the latest and final installment, Lebron and Kobe babysitting some kid.