Back in the summer of 2010, LeBron James actually had the NBA landscape figured out and knew what he had to do to build his legacy: he needed to create a super team in order to win championships.
Like it or not, the James’ experiment in Miami resulted in four straight trips to the NBA Finals, two titles and a really weird perspective on how to view his legacy given that he didn’t deliver a championship on his own in Cleveland. Now, two years after his second scorned city in four years, James and the Cavaliers are on the verge of their second straight loss to a clearly superior Golden State Warriors team that is arguably the greatest team of all-time, and a looming summer of what to do with the end of his prime.
So this brings the question of if James loses his fifth Finals trip where does this place him in regards to his legacy? I had a hard time placing this until I came across a comments thread on ESPN’s website, and it hit me like a ton of bricks: he is the Wilt Chamberlain of his era. Continue reading
When I was a kid, basketball was my favorite sport. I grew up in what a lot of people consider the golden era of the NBA, I idolized Kevin Garnett, mimicked my game after a hybrid of Penny Hardaway and Dennis Rodman, had a jersey for a every Knicks’ starter and would watch somewhere in the vicinity of at least 150-200 NBA games a year from 1992-2001. There were only two problems: Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
Growing up and having to watch them during that time period was awful. You knew during their dual threepeats that no matter who your team was, it was hopeless because Chicago would ultimately win.
Those Bulls teams were great, you can’t win six titles in eight years (it would’ve been eight straight if Jordan had not “retired” (AHEM! GAMBLING SUSPENSION THE NBA WIPED UNDER THE RUG) the first time) if you aren’t. You don’t win 72-games in a season without being really good. But therein lies the problem, for a lot of people, time stopped for NBA greatness after the Bulls won the 1998 title. And they were dead wrong.
The threepeat teams never really were tested. They never had an opening round go five games, and had to play just two game sevens, and never in the Finals. Continue reading
LeBron James versus Steph Curry, that was Adam Silver’s dream rematch for the end to one of the more memorable NBA seasons in recent years. Now, with the Golden State Warriors down 2-1 to the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Cleveland Cavaliers in a fight for their lives against the only team the Association let in from Canada, the ratings dream is about to be a nightmare of a possible Thunder/Raptors NBA Finals.
Usually the NBA playoffs are the only playoffs where the best team wins. A best of seven series weeds out the weaklings (the only exception being the 1999, eighth seeded New York Knicks, and even that wasn’t a true representation because it was a strike shortened year) and the best team takes home the prize. Take a look back over the 10 years: Warriors, Spurs, Heat, Heat, Mavericks, Lakers, Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Heat, see any trend aside from the Mavericks?
The Warriors and Cavs have come back from the brink the past few years, but if Silver and his plans on legalizing sports gambling want any part of getting any public interest heading into next year, he better pray that Curry and James find a way to meet again, because while I may not know a whole lot about ratings, I do know that no one is going to watch the Raptors.
Bryan Schools has gone to defend his home planet from invaders. He sent us this message to share with you in the meantime.
Anyone who knows anything about futility in sports knows that Cleveland is one of the most destitute locations of all-time. Currently, what Google has deemed the saddest place on the planet, has gone 52 years without a professional championship in any sport, and now the Cavaliers are trying to dupe the population into one more ride.
As much as I have been on LeBron James’ side since he atoned for taking his talents to South Beach, the chosen one is now leading the Cavs into a potential onslaught by either the Golden State Warriors or Oklahoma City Thunder when the real NBA Finals (the Western Conference Finals) are done.
Just from knowing history, and how Cleveland has come so close before before losing in ways only Cleveland can (The Drive for the Browns and losing to the Marlins while being up with two outs to go in the 1997 World Series), this team is destined for an epic collapse. Because, well, that’s the only thing it can do well.
The following was sent to us by Bryan Schools, who is currently on a vision quest somewhere in Arizona.
Over the years of this column, I’ve made it no secret that I am not the world’s biggest hockey fan. Needless to say, the mid-Atlantic region of the east coast isn’t exactly the world’s biggest hockey hotbed. This year (and as I am writing this, I am particularly excited because they are down 3-1 in an elimination game) the Washington Capitals are once again on the verge of being eliminated after being favorites to win the Stanley Cup.
Why do I take such joy in this for a sport I don’t care about? Four words, Elliot in the Morning. Pretty much, if you have a radio station in your home town anywhere from Maine to Florida, you get this show. And by and large, I have absolutely no issue with it at all. That is, until host Elliot Segal brings up one of two things, Alex Rodriguez or the Washington Capitals.
Every year some time between January and February, Segal brings on at least one member of the Washington Capitals per week and talks ad nauseam about the Caps and how “this is the year that’s different and we don’t choke in the playoffs.” It seems like a trivial thing to get ticked over, but when it’s the first thing you listen to every morning, and the Caps have been choking in the playoffs for oh, about a decade, you just wish you would stop hearing about it.
So now, after months of hearing the same story, again, tomorrow will give me a much deserved break from the Washington Hockey Team, at least until the beginning of 2017.
With the NHL playoffs in full swing, the least popular of the four major North American sports is getting it’s annual buzz, and being in the minority amongst a lot of my friends, I could care less.
Aside from being the equivalent of soccer on ice, hockey to me, is one of the least cerebral sports on the planet. It’s purely reactionary, involves no apparent strategy, and I’m pretty sure was created out of boredom by people in Canada who had three items: ice, branches and a frozen piece of poop.
While I know the common saying around the sports world is that there is nothing more exciting than a Game 7 in hockey. While I wish that I could see that, to me it gets trumped by baseball, basketball and the almighty NFL
Sure, I’ll catch flack for it, but even that beats trying to see where the puck is on the ice.
As many of you know, The Guys (mainly Bryan McBournie and myself) are avid Boston Red Sox fans, and today marked the final opening day for one David
Arias Ortiz. Of course, being the big, round, mound of trotting around, Ortiz blasted off a home run to kick off his final season.
If the Sox season goes down the toilet, the focus of this season will turn into what the 2014 campaign for Derek Jeter did, and just be one farewell celebration after another. And for my money, as my all-time favorite member of the Sox, no one deserves it more.
Especially, because even at 39, he’s going out at the top of his game.
Ever since his arrival in Boston in 2003, Ortiz has easily been the most likeable member of the team (his flare for postseason dramatics helped) which is why it’s going to be so tough to see him go, since he can still play. Continue reading
Roughly 21 years ago, if you were able to have conscious thought at that point, on October 2nd, 1995 you were hovering around a television waiting to hear the verdict of the O.J. Simpson trial. What was incredible was that every conceivable bit of evidence pointed to a guilty verdict for Simpson, but the defense poked so many holes in the credibility of the LAPD, that Simpson was found not guilty and let go.
As horrible as the brutal murders were, somehow the whole thing blew up into a media spectacle that made Simpson the must see TV event on a daily basis. It made compelling television in 1994 and 1995, 21 years later it’s still got everyone’s attention.
Last year FX assembled an all-star cast for “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” nabbing Cuba Gooding Jr., John Travolta, David Schwimmer, Nathan Lane and Courtney B. Vance to headline a 10-part series going behind the scenes of what most of America has known about the case. Is some of it embellished? Of course. Is some of it deviating away from what really happened? Probably. But what has come across, at least through the first six episodes has been arguably the best acting on television, and a story stranger than fiction. Continue reading
Like many of you, I thought I had written my last column on Peyton Manning last month after the Broncos dispensed the Carolina Panthers to win Super Bowl 50. That’s how it was supposed to end, Manning wins his second title and rides off into the sunset, yet here we are now having reports leak that Manning may want to give it another go.
While it is annoying that the story doesn’t end, I can honestly see why Manning would want to come back, I do understand that he won’t want people’s final memories of him playing were of him limping to the finish. Continue reading
Now that we are in the post-All-Star Game portion of the NBA schedule, there are really only a couple of storylines left: the Warriors’ chase of the Bulls for the best regular season win total of all-time, and the Kobe Bryant farewell tour. There’s plenty of time left for us to talk about the Warriors this year, so I’m going to give Bryant his due and give him the spotlight for one column.
For the record, I’ve never been a huge Bryant supporter. His antics and attitude while Shaquille O’Neal literally dragged him to his first three titles was just downright nauseating. Then, when the whole Colorado rape accusations came out, it made Bryant easily one of the most deplorable and unlikeable figures in all of sports. Somehow, in the decade-plus since, him having the 81-point game, getting within one title of Michael Jordan and him becoming almost an ambassador for a former generation have seemingly erased what a class act jerk Bryant was from when he entered the league basically through 2008.
The Bryant farewell tour is reminiscent of the Derek Jeter lovefest of 2014. Iconic player, iconic franchise that is being shoved in our face. But what people forget is how close Bryant came to not being a lifetime Laker, and more than likely not getting the rings that put him within striking distance of Jordan. Continue reading