Posts Tagged ‘lebron james’

When you hear LA, NBA, and king, you would sooner think of Kobe Bryant before Blake Griffin. I agree. Kobe has 5 championship rings, all with the LA Lakers. Blake Griffin is playing in his rookie year.

I say King of LA in comparison of course to LeBron James. I wrote an article a week or so ago about which of the two(Griffin or James) had the more impressive highlight reel. Watching Blake Griffin play basketball will remind you of LeBron‘s style. Griffin stands 2 inches taller than LeBron at 6’10” and can jump unlike anyone besides “King James”.

Griffin has averaged 22.8 points per game and 12.9 rebounds per game through his first 44 games as a pro. James averaged 20.9 PPG and 5.5 RPG through his rookie year. Granted, LeBron was 18 years old his rookie year, 4 years younger than Griffin this year. Griffin is by far the rookie of the year and possibly even MVP.

LeBron has already seen his numbers take a hit at the cost of playing with 2 other NBA stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. It’s unlikely that Kobe will win the MVP this year either as his Lakers have slowed a step or two since last season. Dirk Nowitzki and Derek Rose are competitors for the title thus far as well, but one thing is for sure, Blake Griffin is the real deal and as long as he can stay healthy (he missed his “would be” rookie year in ’09-’10 season with a knee injury), he has the potential to not only win the MVP this season but be dominant in the NBA for a long time.

The could-be “trump card” that Griffin holds over all other MVP candidates this year is that Nowitzki and Rose types all have good to great supporting casts. Griffin, does not. Griffin’s pure talent has earned him his numbers. His play-making and sharp-shooting abilities are phenomenal.

Like LeBron, Griffin uses his size and athleticism to overpower and just plain outwork the opposition.

Griffin deserves all the praise and attention he has received so far and if the Clippers can draft or trade for some promising players, who knows? Maybe the Clippers can become the ’06-’10 Cavaliers of the West

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Whenever anyone asks me who my favorite NBA team is, the answer is always “whoever LeBron James is playing for.”

So many people began to hate LeBron James when he announced he would leave Cleveland to go to Miami and play for the Heat.

Personally, I don’t think it was that big of a deal. Yes, he might have received less negative reactions had he told the Cavaliers privately first his intentions to leave, but he also made a lot of money by announcing it on the ESPN special “the decision”.

Let’s not forget… basketball is his job and I would have sold out for much much less than LeBron received so I can’t judge. I think people forget that LeBron has been famous since his junior year of high school. He is very much used to the spotlight and if he acts a little differently than you or I would, it’s got a lot do with that. And honestly, if the worst thing that LeBron James has done in the 6 years he’s been in the league is the way that he announced his decision in free agency, then that’s a stand up guy.

He doesn’t have gambling problems, hasn’t shot himself in the leg, hasn’t killed someone driving drunk, hasn’t been accused of sexually harassing anyone. He just handles his business on the court. LeBron has the skill and ability to be the most dominant player the NBA has ever seen. He can score at will with amazing ball handling and shot accuracy from short to deep, deep range. He can jump through the roof and is one of the best defenders in the league as well.

LeBron’s most amazing talent, I think, is his court awareness. At any time, it seems LeBron knows the exact location of every team-mate and will dish an around-the-back pass to one with perfect timing and accuracy. LeBron draws the attention of not just his defenders but the entire building. Everyone wants to see what LeBron will do and it’s easier to break off and get open as a teammate when LeBron is driving to the hoop, easily capable of throwing it down, but instead kicks it out to the open teammate for 3. All because of the attention he draws on offense.

Alone, yet surrounded by a cast of competent enough players, James can beat 85% of the teams in the NBA and showed that the last 3-4 seasons with the Cavaliers. Now that LeBron has all-stars around him nightly to give an outlet pass on the breakaway to, it’s a thing of beauty.

The Heat are now finally in their groove and have won 21 of their last 22 games.

LeBron is making himself most useful as a facilitator. James will get his whenever and however he wants, but Wade, Bosh, and even the rest of the Heat are benefitting from James’ ability to draw off defenders and make a good player look great and a decent player look good. Given 2 of his teammates are great players already, safe to say the Heat are the top contender in the East.

Plus, have you seen the Cavs lately? They went from best record in the NBA 2 years in a row, to last place in the NBA halfway through the first year without James.

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What a year 2010 turned out to be in sports. From the Alabama Crimson Tide winning the national championship to the Giants winning the World Series.

2010 saw Tiger Woods’ first full calendar year without notching a single victory, neither in majors nor non-major events.

2010 was host to both the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the World Cup in South Africa. Surprisingly, South Africa seemed to handle the role better with seemingly less to work with. Really, the only negative throughout the World Cup were those Vuvuzelas (they haunt my dreams).

2010 was the year of the media. Endless talk of where LeBron James would play the ’10-’11 season and beyond hijacked every sports radio station, column, channel, etc. until finally, it built up to “the Decision”, a poorly thought out plan by the LeBron James group to publicly announce his contract plans live on ESPN.

“The Decision” badly backfired when James chose against returning to Cleveland, where he was drafted 6 years ago, and left to play in Miami with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. The backlash was instant in Cleveland and soon even the media, which profited greatly from “the Decision” threw James under the bus, calling his actions classless, selfish, and pretty much all the things the audience was wanting to hear.

Nearing the end of the year, and with the season under way, many of the media are forgiving of James and are more focussed on his play on the court.

2010 was a shaky shaky year for college football. It started with expansion rumors out of the Big East and the Big 10. The Big 10 fired first, inviting Big 12 member Nebraska into their ranks. Nebraska accepted the invite. The PAC-10, not to be outdone, fired next. They invited Colorado, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas A&M. Colorado was the only school to accept. They later invited the University of Utah, who gladly accepted.

BYU, being passed over and no longer sharing a conference tie with rival Utah, left for far greener pastures as an Independent in Division 1A football, and far browner pastures in everything else, joining the West Coast Conference in all other sports.

TCU left for the Big East, and the top half of the WAC in football shifted over to the Mountain West Conference, to fill the holes left by the power trio that had, for nearly a decade, ruled the top of the conference.

Cam Newton burst onto the scene, dominating all in his way to winning the Heisman trophy and leading the Auburn Tigers into the national championship game. Looming over his accomplishments, however, were allegations that he was involved in a pay for play scheme with his father and an agent. Cam was ruled eligible for lack of evidence that he knew anything about the scheme. Let’s hope 5 years from now that we don’t have another Reggie Bush situation.

2010 was the year of the pitcher in the MLB. Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, Cliff Lee, and numerous others were in the spotlight this season. The Giants’ pitching staff received praise all season and they showed why. Solid pitching and late season play from Rookie Buster Posey led the Giants into the playoffs and hot bats at perfect times in the World Series sealed the deal for them.

The Lakers won their 2nd straight title, beating the Celtics and avenging their 2008 defeat in the finals to that nearly identical Celtics team.

Jimmie Johnson won his 5th straight Sprint Chase for the Cup title in a row (first ever to do so).

The UConn women’s basketball team broke the once thought impossible win streak record of 88 wins, set by the UCLA men’s basketball team under coach John Wooden. The lady Huskies’ record ended at 90 games.

All in all, a very crazy year. Can’t wait to see what 2011 brings.

I know the title of this post will probably offend a few people but I think this is a valid argument. I will not sit here and say that soccer players are not athletic. In fact, soccer is one of the most trying sports on the body and rarely do players stop moving throughout the game that often goes for over an hour and a half.

That being said, there’s a lot to say about why the United States can’t compete with the Brazils, the Argentinas, and the Spains of the world on a regular basis in world competition in soccer.

Most all professional athletes today have started their athletic careers from a very early age. There are those exceptions where they didn’t play for a team until the senior year in high school and turned out to be naturally gifted but for the most part, athletes today begin with kid leagues and rec leagues.

If you were to ask 100 random people in the states “who is the most athletic person in England?” most everyone would name Wayne Rooney or David Beckham (both soccer players for those of you living under rocks). The same can be said of other European countries (Portugal: Christiano Ronaldo, Holland: Sneider or Robben, etc.)

But if you were to ask those same 100 people “who is the most athletic person in America?”, you will assuredly get mixed opinions ranging from LeBron James to Kobe Bryant to Chris Johnson. Whoever that American might be, I would be surprised to hear Landon Donovan or Freddy Adu or Jozy Altidore. Although each of these men is extremely athletic, they just don’t belong in the same sentence when talking about pure, athletic, talent. Could they beat the tar out of Kobe, LeBron, or really any other NBA or NFL star when it comes to conditioning and cardio endurance? Sure! But that’s just what it is, conditioning.

If NBA players were required to run around for over an hour and a half, I’m sure their conditioning would match that of our soccer stars. The plain and simple fact of the matter is, America’s 50 greatest athletes are playing in other leagues.

You tell me who on the soccer pitch is going to out-jump LeBron James for a header. You tell me who, on the USA World Cup team, is going to beat Chris Johnson in a foot race for a free ball. No one. Landon Donovan looks like “George” from “Seinfeld” next to these guys.

The fact that the United States can make it as far as they do in the World Cup tournament is a tribute to the type of athletes we do have in this country because if we had a roster filled with the Kobes, LeBrons, and Ochocincos of the country, well, I think we all know who would be taking home the World Cup every 4 years and it sure wouldn’t be Spain or Brazil or Argentina.