Check out a new Blog from Chris Wysocki

Chris is a fine blogger, and a blogging friend of this fine blog, so, I urge you to go check out his new venture, “He’s Pretty Fly For a Jersey Guy”

Also check out Wyblog where Chris expresses his feelings on Jason Collins, Gay NBA player/Publicity seeker/hero of the Left

What team wouldn’t beat a path to his door, now that Jason Collins has courageously admitted that he’s gay?

Pardon my cynicism, but c’mon already, it’s pure marketing genius. Being homosexual doesn’t make him a better basketball player. But being The First Gay Basketball Player? When he’s a free agent journeyman nearing the end of his career? We’re talking signing bonus, baby!

If he’s not picked up, the NBA is homophobic.

If he’s not paid more than his team’s average salary, the NBA is homophobic.

If he’s benched, or cut, the NBA is homophobic.

Plus, having The First Gay NBA Player on your roster is guaranteed to sell lots of tickets. Or the fans are homophobic.

Brilliant!

I, of course, have my own thoughts on Jason Collins. First, and foremost. I had one reaction when I heard the media blowing this story out of proportion. That thought was “who freaking cares!” Sorry to let ESPN and the rest of the sports, and news media in on a secret, but America could not care less who this guy, or any other player sleeps with. I know the media loves to pretend that America is Homopobic so they can pretend that this story really matters. But, again, most of us do not care a whit about this story! I would also add that if the media really wants a BIG story, let them find the first WNBA player to come out as straight, now that might shock some folks.

Seriously though, look for Collins to have a book deal, and get some media spotlight. And while I am not saying that is all this is about, I am betting it is a large part of it. And no amount of the media calling this man a hero, or brave, is going to change reality. And that reality is no one really cares if he is Gay.

 

Thuggery you say?

A Nod to the Gods compares the bad behavior of NBA players and NFL players, and comes up with some shocking results

36 have been accused of spousal abuse

7 have been arrested for fraud

19 have been accused of writing bad checks

117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses

3 have done time for assault

71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit

14 have been arrested on drug-related charges

8 have been arrested! for shoplifting

21 currently are defendants in lawsuits, and 84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year !

OK, time to vote kids, which way do you vote?

If you said NBA, you are wrong

However if you said the NFL, you are still wrong

That abysmal record belongs not to the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, or any sports leagues. The real thugs do not dunk, run for TD’s steal bases, hit home runs or skate in hockey arenas. They inhabit Congress. And if you think that is a scary stat, just think about this. The people these folks are supposed to represent, keep electing them.

 

Heat outlast Celtics, move on to NBA Finals

The Heat finally won a close game late, as Bosh, Wade and Lebron James were too much for Boston

The Miami Heat are headed back to the NBA finals.

LeBron James had 31 points and 12 rebounds, Dwyane Wade scored 23 points and the Heat rallied from as many as 11 points down to beat the Boston Celtics 101-88 on Saturday night in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Chris Bosh finished with 19 points off the Miami bench, and made a 3-pointer that sparked a huge Heat run to end the game.

Next up: The Heat play Game 1 of the title series in Oklahoma City on Tuesday night.

 

Thunder rolls as OKC advances to NBA Finals 107-99

The Spurs looked unstoppable in the first two games, but the Thunder proved that this is their time 

Oklahoma City Thunder logo

Oklahoma City Thunder logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OKLAHOMA CITY – Kevin Durant had 34 points and 14 rebounds while playing all of regulation for the first time all season, and the Oklahoma City Thunder claimed a spot in the NBA finals by beating the San Antonio Spurs 107-99 on Wednesday night.

Russell Westbrook added 25 points for the Thunder, who trailed Game 6 of the Western Conference finals by 18 in the first half and erased a 15-point halftime deficit before pulling ahead to stay in the fourth.

Durant grabbed the final rebound, dribbled the ball across halfcourt and raised his right fist to celebrate with a sold-out crowd. The franchise will play for the NBA title for the first time since 1996, before relocating from Seattle. 

The final logo of the SuperSonics

The final logo of the SuperSonics (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The biggest problem with the NBA? The refs!

I first watched the NBA in 1976, I was 10, and was a big fan of Dr. J, one of the all-time elite players. After watching a few years, I became familiar with the rules of the game, and, as all fans, of all sports do I took note of how the games were officiated. In short, I have come to believe that the biggest issue most fans have with the NBA is the officiating. There is no consistency, at all, ever! The calls are all over the place. The difference between a block and a charge? Who knows, the only difference seems to be the whim of the referee. Instead of calling fouls by the rule book, it seems the refs call them, or don’t according to how big  a star commits the foul, what quarter it is, somehow what IS a foul in the first half, is NOT in the 4th quarter. Frankly, it is a joke, and has been for a long time.

BC, at I’m a Man, I’m 41 got me thinking about this today. Go read his post, and his link to this book for more like this

Relationships between NBA players and referees were generally all over the board — love, hate, and everything in-between. Some players, even very good ones, were targeted by referees and the league because they were too talented for their own good. Raja Bell, formerly of the Phoenix Suns and now a member of the Charlotte Bobcats, was one of those players. A defensive specialist throughout his career, Bell had a reputation for being a “star stopper.” His defensive skills were so razor sharp that he could shut down a superstar, or at least make him work for his points. Kobe Bryant was often frustrated by Bell’s tenacity on defense. Let’s face it, no one completely shuts down a player of Kobe’s caliber, but Bell could frustrate Kobe, take him out of his game, and interrupt his rhythm.

You would think that the NBA would love a guy who plays such great defense. Think again! Star stoppers hurt the promotion of marquee players. Fans don’t pay high prices to see players like Raja Bell — they pay to see superstars like Kobe Bryant score 40 points. Basketball purists like to see good defense, but the NBA wants the big names to score big points.

If a player of Kobe’s stature collides with the likes of Raja Bell, the call will almost always go for Kobe and against Bell. As part of our ongoing training and game preparation, NBA referees regularly receive game-action video tape from the league office. Over the years, I have reviewed many recorded hours of video involving Raja Bell. The footage I analyzed usually illustrated fouls being called against Bell, rarely for him. The message was subtle but clear — call fouls against the star stopper because he’s hurting the game.

If Kobe Bryant had two fouls in the first or second quarter and went to the bench, one referee would tell the other two, “Kobe’s got two fouls. Let’s make sure that if we call a foul on him, it’s an obvious foul, because otherwise he’s gonna go back to the bench. If he is involved in a play where a foul is called, give the foul to another player.”

Similarly, when games got physically rough, we would huddle up and agree to tighten the game up. So we started calling fouls on guys who didn’t really matter — “ticky-tack” or “touch” fouls where one player just touched another but didn’t really impede his progress. Under regular circumstances these wouldn’t be fouls, but after a skirmish we wanted to regain control. We would never call these types of fouls on superstars, just on the average players who didn’t have star status. It was important to keep the stars on the floor.

Tell me you NBA fans have not noticed this, go on tell me, that is what I thought. How about maker-up calls?

I remember one nightmarish game I worked with Joe Crawford and Phil Robinson. Minnesota and New Orleans were in a tight game going into the last minute, and Crawford told us to make sure that we were 100 percent sure of the call every time we blew the whistle. When play resumed, Minnesota coach Flip Saunders started yelling at us to make a call. Robinson got intimidated and blew the whistle on New Orleans. The only problem was it wasn’t the right call. Tim Floyd, the Hornets’ coach, went nuts. He stormed the court and kicked the ball into the top row of the stadium. Robinson had to throw him out, and Minnesota won the game.

[...]

Later that week, Ronnie Nunn told me that we could have made something up at the other end against Minnesota to even things out. He even got specific — maybe we should have considered calling a traveling violation on Kevin Garnett. Talk about the politics of the game! Of course the official statement from the league office will always read, “There is no such thing as a makeup call.”

The NBA really needs to address this issue.

Thunder hold off Spurs 109-103, even West finals 2-2

Everyone likely thought the Oklahoma City Thunder were done after losing the first two games to San Antonio but, the Thunder had a different view

Durant scored 18 of his 36 points in a scintillating final 7 minutes, Serge Ibaka added a career-high 26 points and the Thunder evened the series at two games apiece by beating the San Antonio Spurs 109-103 Saturday night.

After seeing his team’s 15-point lead dwindle to four, Durant took over midway through the fourth quarter by scoring all 16 of the Thunder’s points during a span of just over 5 minutes to keep the Spurs at bay.

“I didn’t tell myself that I need to go score because what we were doing was working,” Durant said.

“We were passing the ball and guys were making shots. … I just wanted to stick with what we were doing, but it started to open up for me and I could see some lanes that gave me some opportunities to make some shots.”

With All-Star teammate Russell Westbrook limited to seven points, Durant did almost all of the damage late to send the series back to San Antonio all square for Game 5 on Monday night.

 

Heat dust off Pacers, advance to Eastern finals

Miami woke up once the Pacers took a 2-1 series lead 

Image used at: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwyane_Wade

Image used at: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwyane_Wade (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

INDIANAPOLIS – Dwyane Wade scored 41 points, LeBron James added 28 and Miami finished off the Indiana Pacers, sending the Heat back to the Eastern Conference finals with a 105-93 victory in Game 6 on Thursday night.

Miami wrapped up the best-of-7 series and will face either Boston or Philadelphia in the next round starting Monday. Nothing less than an NBA title will make for a satisfying summer in South Beach.

 

Magic nip Pacers 81-77 lead series 1-0

What an awful game. This is the difference between the NBA and NHL playoffs. So many teams in the NBA post season have ZERO chance at winning the title, and so often the games are not competitive, or are as exciting as watching my neighbors car rust.

In fact, let me give you a fat-forward here. The Miami Heat are going to win the East. Yes, Chicago might have tested them, but now, with Derrick Rose out? Game over!

In the West, it is pretty much the Spurs and Thunder. Yes, Dallas is the defending champs, but, this years Mavs are not even close to last years team. The Lakers? DONE! They showed how much heart they had left last year when Dallas eradicated them, and that was when they had a coach, Phil Jackson! Now they have a hand puppet, Mike Brown on the sideline. The rest of the West? The Clippers and Grizzlies ought to be a good series, and the winner MIGHT give the Spurs a test, but, it is more than likely you can pencil in the Spurs or Thunder in right now.

And, in the Finals, PRAY that the Thunder make it. The Spurs are great, but remember their series wins? 1999 over the Knicks was about as exciting as curling. The 2003 series with the Nets? Dear Lord that was awful, almost as bad as the 2007 series with the Cavs. The 2005 Spurs-Pistons series was good, but, not as great as it should have been. Thunder-Heat? at least it will be exciting.

NBA Playoffs start today

The NBA kicks off its playoff race today and Sunday. Unlike the NHL Playoffs, do not expect a lot of upsets or near upsets. The higher seeds tend to advance in the first two rounds. But, you never know, recall that last year San Antonio was upset the Memphis, so, it pays to tun in.

Here are my picks

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, all series are best-of-seven

#1 Chicago Bulls vs #8 Philadelphia 76ers

Bulls in 6

#2 Miami Heat vs #7 New York Knicks

Heat in 5

#3 Indiana Pacers vs #6 Orlando Magic

Pacers in 7

#4 Boston Celtics vs#5 Atkanta Hawks

Celts in 7

Western Conference, all series are best-of-seven

#1 San Antonio Spurs vs #8 Utah Jazz

Spurs in 5

#2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #7 Dallas Mavericks

It pains me, but Thunder in 6

#3 LA Lakers vs #6 Denver Nuggets

Lakers in 6

#4 LA Clippers vs #5 Memphis Grizzlies

Grizzlies in 6

HOW ‘Bout Them Mavs!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Whoa baby, my beloved Dallas Mavericks are now the kings of the NBA!

All the smoke and glitter, laser shows and summertime hype generated in this building 11 months ago wasn’t enough to overcome the unifying force of energy the Dallas Mavericks unleashed on this night and in this series.

In the end, the Miami Heat’s Big 3 couldn’t overcome the Mavericks’ Big Team, from one through 12.

The old school bunch that fought off the demons that fuel its own collective history of coming up short, the missed opportunities from The Finals against the Heat in 2006 and all the other postseason missteps of the past five years, walked out AmericanAirlines Arena late Sunday night with that Larry O’Brien trophy they’d all dreamed of for years.

“It feels amazing now to know that nobody can ever take this way away from us again,” Mavericks star and Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki said, “and for one year we’re the best team that was out there. That feels amazing.”

 

What is almost as sweet as rooting for your favorite team to win?

Memphis Grizzlies logo

Image via Wikipedia

Rooting for a team you hate to lose. And last night, I enjoyed Memphis knocking the San Antonio Spurs out of the NBA Playoffs!

These Memphis Grizzliesjust keep making NBA history — and believers.

Zach Randolph had 31 points and 11 rebounds and the Grizzlies advanced to their first Western Conference semifinals and made NBA history in knocking off the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs 99-91 on Friday night.

Memphis had been the franchise best known for empty seats and the unenviable NBA mark for playoff futility at 0-12 after being swept in its first three appearances. This time, a third straight sellout crowd cheered every basket with a couple of signs begging the Grizzlies to “Finish Them” in a town desperately needing a hero.

Now if my Mavs can knock out the Lakers, I will be so happy!

Bravo Mr. Klavan

Andrew Klavan is one of my favorite thinkers, and a fine writer, a funny guy, and a genuine national treasure! Take his view on the Kobe Bryant “Gay Slur” debacle for example

That said… As everyone knows by now, Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant was fined 100 grand and the entire team was forced to make obeisance to the Gay and Lesibian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) after Bryant said “f—- faggot” about a ref who teed him up during the last six minutes of a game.

In my humble opinion, the Lakers should’ve told GLAAD to go to hell. I would like to here go on record as being officially sick to death of professional busybodies and tiresome prigs like GLAAD and NOW and all the rest telling people what they can think and say. Who appointed GLAAD the official representatives of gay people? Even if they were, who gave gay people the right to be loved or even respected? If Kobe Bryant lets off steam in the heat of battle with a slur, who on earth really gives a damn or thinks it affects the state of gay people in America? Only GLAAD, whose sole purpose on earth is to take umbrage. Well, let them get on with it and to hell with them.

Bryant made all the usual apologies – but what if he hadn’t? What if he had said: “Hey, sorry, I just don’t like gay people?” What if he feels they’re sick or sinful or just kind of weird and icky? Whose business is that? Why does GLAAD or even the NBA have any right to force him to change his private opinions? If the NBA wants to fine him on grounds of language, okay, I guess, but surely bad language gets spoken on such occasions all the time. Why make a point of this except to kow-tow to the GLAAD bullies.

The Lakers and the NBA should have had the guts to say something like, “Bryant used bad language during a heated moment. This happens a lot. That language doesn’t represent our organizations but what can you do? Take it up with Bryant.” And Bryant should have then told them to take a walk.

Absolutely perfect! I too, am sick of the Apolgymania that has swept over America, tired of the hypersensitivity, and certainly fed the hell up with these scripted apologies, and the race/gender/sexual orientation pimps that create firestorms so they can turn a profit!

DROP FREAKING DEAD INDEED!

As an afterthought here if we are to buy the line that says Kobe’s remark has no place in our world, and is intolerable and so on, then isn’t ESPN and other sports media just as guilty? After all they played, and re-played, and re-played the incident over and again.

DaleyGator DaleyThought: Shut up about Lebron already!

UPDATE! James has, as we all knew from reports today, picked the Miami Heat, and I wish him luck, I am not going to condemn him for his choice, frankly, there is no legitimate reason to fault him for it.