This is the archive for June 2007
In my honest to God opinion, you can't top the NBA Draft for high drama.
Seriously people, you can't. I mean, if you're a first round pick, you're in like Flint. Period, no questions asked. However, if you hear your name called after David Stern leaves that podium for the night...you better ball your ass off because nothing's given to you son.
Honestly, I like it a lot better than sitting through two days worth of picks and then banking on the 'I was watching when such and such got picked, then blew up like Chernobyl aka The Brady Quinn Factor'. I mean, my personal belief when reading most 'grades' and such is that folks grade on first round talent alone because they don't believe the second round picks will amount to anything in the grand scheme. Go on and tell that to Carlos Boozer, who really didn't go nuclear until this past season for the Jazz acting like he was Karl Malone on crack. Tell that to the Live 08 cover guy, Gilbert Arenas who's probably one nuclear scoring year away from winning the MVP award...eventually. I'm not throwing Daniel Gibson into this discussion because until you make some type of relevant regular season contribution like these two, you get nothing for doing nothing. Anyway, I watched this stuff unfold last night and there were a few things I'm gonna go off on right now.
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06/29/07 | Posted by Len | Category NBA
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Remember The Magic.
That's what needs to be ringing through the Cavs' heads right now. Not
'Remember the Alamo' or 'Remember the Frenchie' or even 'Remember Eva', Remember The Magic. Allow me to explain...
About 12 years ago, the last time before 2002 a team got swept, there was a fairly young and inexperienced team with a really great young stud that made its Finals debut. Much like the Cavs, they ran into a team from Texas that was hungry, battled its way back to the Grand Stage ready to make its mark on the world. The Magic had Game 1 in the palm of their hands and because Nick Anderson couldn't make a single free throw, they blew the game and never recovered. The Magic were swept away and by the time they could look up, the team they dispatched of so effortlessly to get there, the Bulls...were back. Jordan and company took Orlando out in short order the following year, Shaq and Penny never got back to the Finals. Matter of fact, the year after that Finals fileting, Shaq went Hollywood and the rest was history. Orlando hasn't won another postseason series since then. So why do I mention this? Because the similarities between the two teams are flat out frightening...to a point. The Magic back then were much better than the Cavs. Penny didn't turn into Peso and many believed would be part of the reason Orlando stayed competitive for many years to come. Shaq was Shaq, before he became the Fat Diesel and blah blah blah. Still, a cautionary tale was set in stone for all young teams with that one great star and to this day...it's barely looked back on. Even now, with the Cavs reeling from being dismantled and dissected like a frog in biology, many will feel the need to pencil the Cavs back in to the Finals next season. For what? To get blown out of the water again by whatever heavyweight the West throws at them? Just think about how much worse these games could've been if a team that actually had offense could've been here in San Antonio's place. Either way, the Cavs said all the right things all week. Said they were going for the title, said they were confident that they could beat the Spurs in spite of being down 2-0, then 3-0. But I harkon back to something my Dad always and still tells me to this day.
"You can show me a lot better than you can tell me."
The Cavs told me in no uncertain terms, they won their title and were simply content with having their name appear next to the Spurs. I have no respect for anyone or thing that's merely content with finishing second. I won't do this often, if at all, but I agree with Isiah who said a few years back...
"Winning is the only thing I respect."
For a bonafide loser through and through as a coach and executive dumbass, that's just flat out profound. And let's look at these moves for the Cavs shall we and see exactly why they WON'T be back next season.
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06/17/07 | Posted by Len | Category NBA
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Old School Indeed.
Cleveland had no business being in the 2007 Finals. None.
Bill Simmons, I couldn't have put it better myself. This week, I've had to endure with a lot of medi...no, let me start this over.
Growing up, there have been two legitimate constants that I have loved almost without fail. Basketball and wrestling. This week, I've seen low points in both that have me flat out loathing both on a grand scale. In wrestling, in the latest attempt to get people talking about it as if necrophilia and old women birthing hands wasn't enough, we got a lame car bomb and a phoney "who killed Vince McMahon" angle.
In basketball, we've got the Cleveland Cavaliers passing themselves off as the best team in the Eastern Conference. So in light of the recent mediocrity that's befallen both, I felt compelled to put thought down on paper while I of all things...work. In terms of wrestling, well, I guess it's a lot like basketball in a lot of ways. They're pushing some guy to the moon that the people clearly don't like in John Cena. Almost similar to how they're pushing "Prince" James the same way. Only over the long haul, he'll find that "push" will meet a resounding thud in his quest to win titles. Those aren't handed to you on a silver platter, Prince, you've got to earn those. Still, this Finals series has been brutal in every sense of the word. The last time I saw a mismatch this bad was back in 2002, when the Lakers manhandled the Nets in four rather repugnant games. Not that the Nets didn't deserve to be there, because they did. They were the best team in that conference and I have the Slam Magazine cover with them on the cover to prove it. However, they ran into the best two man act in NBA history in Shaq and Kobe which well... weren't gonna be denied at all. In this case, LeBron's every foible, every weakness is being exploited for the world to see. The Cavs as a team is having their every achilles put on mega blast by the Spurs and simply put, every last word I've said about the Cavs to this point has been validated in full. The Cavs are NOT title worthy. Hell, I'd be hard pressed to simulate the Cavs to this point in NBA Live 07 unless I put a souped up version of myself on the team and that would probably be the ONLY WAY Cleveland's beating these Spurs in a game.
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06/15/07 | Posted by Len | Category NBA
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The End Is HERE!!!
So it's officially D-Day for the Cavaliers. All these months of passing themselves off as "title contenders" will all come to an end today, when the Spurs ultimately punch their tickets and keep them home for the duration of the summer. No coronation for Prince James, no end in sight for the never ending suffering of the people of Cleveland. Nada. And ya know what? For a proud Jerseyan like myself, I'm happy.
I take delight in seeing these clowns suffer, especially when they got their jollies at watching the Nets go down in 6. Well, here's the funny thing. Four years ago when the Nets faced the Spurs, at least the Nets took two games from the Spurs before going down in six. The series didn't end in New Jersey, as it's looking like it will in Cleveland tonight. At the end of the day, what everyone wanted wasn't what they got. They wanted to see its bright star on the big stage and they got that.
Unfortunately for Prince James and company, the league's best were waiting and they weren't exactly awe inspired by what they saw. In the end, I'm sure the spin machine will be working overload justifying how the Cavs deserved better. How they deserved a fair shake and here's what I say to that.
"Two tears in a bucket..." Y'all know the rest.
The Spurs were the better team. Period. They had the better team and while a really good player can get you to the Finals, history shows really good players don't beat great teams. The Spurs are a GREAT TEAM. Take Game 3 as a prime example, when the Texas Three Step was a little offbeat, Brent Barry, Michael Finley and even Bruce Bowen stepped up to ensure the Spurs are one win away from celebrating their fourth title in nine years. Oh and the comparison to the C's is more than justifiable, Jade. Look at their history and while they didn't go back to back over the nine year stretch, they were either punched out by the Mavs (fluke last year, thanks Ginobili) or the Lakers who were the be all end all until Kobe decided to end it all. Guess hoisting that gold trophy got a little tedious after three straight years and he wanted some time to enjoy life on the mediocre side of the tracks for a change.
As for the Mavs, well, they're clear cut proof that just cause folks want to see you get there doesn't make you a guarantee that you will win when you get there. So yeah, the Spurs aren't flashy. Tim Duncan's about as exciting as Martha Stewart before she went to jail, despite the little known fact that he was the cover guy for NBA Live 2001 for EA Sports. Tony Parker's marrying Eva Longoria next month and he'll have to make room for ring number three on top of his wedding band.
Pops will work his team into very ELITE company. One of only three teams that will be able to say they have four or more titles. The Bulls, Celtics and Lakers are all presiding in the Platinum Penthouse as it were with four or more titles. The Pistons are sitting on three, but I think there's a greater chance of hell freezing solid before Flip Saunders gets them to four.
Oh and on a side note, Joe D keeping Flip while McHale had enough sense to fire him after nonachieving with the Timberwolves is rapidly lowering his GM IQ to Isiah-esque levels of ineptitude. I mean, he went from Carlisle to Brown to Saunders. So he essentially took his franchise from 'knocking on the door repeatedly' to 'kicking the door in' to 'incapable of getting back in even when the door's left ajar for easy access'. To put it into shifting gears terminology, they went from second gear to Carlisle to fourth and fifth with Brown to going in reverse and throwing the clutch out of whack with Flip.
Anyway, Pops is on the verge of entering an elite fraternity of coaches with the likes of Red Auerbach (who would have to respect what Pops has done and how he's done it in San Antonio), Phil Jackson aka Big Chief Triangle and Riles as the only coaches to have more than three rings.
As for Mike Brown, well, I guess there's always next year right? And oh, as for building a franchise along the lines of the Spurs' blueprint? Step 1 is not wasting your money on bums like Larry Hughes. He's spending more time on the pine than he is on the floor. And to think, this is what the Cavs and Danny Ferry were banking on to help LeBron get to the "promised land". They're getting more meaningful contributions from Boobie and Sasha whose combined salaries probably don't even add up to HALF of what Larry's total contract is worth.
Either way you slice it, this series was over when LeBron got that silver trophy from Bill Russell. Hell, I think even Bill was probably thinking that the second he handed LeBron that trophy. It's like he and everyone else were laughing at the Cavs only the Cavs didn't get the joke until now. Thanks for coming Cleveland. And thanks for giving me the single funniest Finals series I've seen in a long, long time.
06/14/07 | Posted by Len | Category NBA
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Two Moves, Mate.
Dear Cavs And Fans,
It's over. Yes, it's over. I know what most of you are probably saying...
"Len, you're a hater."
No, I'm not. Yes, the Cavs put the Nets out of the playoffs this season. Yes, they've got the most marketable player in the league not named Bryant (until he cheats on his soon to be wife with some broad he just met) and yeah, he wears #23. (Which everyday I see it, has me tipping my hat even more to Gary Bettman for banning people wearing the numbers of retired athletes.)
"Len, you just want to see the Cavs fall so you can laugh at us."
No, that's not true either. I'm laughing at you even as we speak, because
you're the only people that's not seeing what the rest of the world is seeing. That being, simply put, your team's JV. You've got one really good JV player and a bunch of nobodies going up against a trio that's drawing very favorable (and in two games will be mentioned in the same breath as) comparisons to Bird, McHale and Parish. You know, the last actual time Boston fans could hold their heads up high as Celtics' fans? Sometimes, it's good to lose. This year, would've been perfect for your team to lose to the Pistons. Sure, the ratings
would've sucked for this Finals series because the small minded types who the ratings
are geared towards would've tuned out real basketball. But the truth is, in a craptastic conference, you emerged as its "best". And how ironic is it that the only person on your team with Finals experience was on a similarly constructed team that was blown away in 2001 against a powerhouse similar to the Spurs this season.
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06/11/07 | Posted by Len | Category NBA
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Happy Birthday Earl Boykins!
Ahh, our best friend Earl Boykins. I still remember the time you and Andrew Bogut hopped onto a bicycle to escape from the FBI. Good times, good times. Happy birthday, little buddy. May they finally let you ride the roller coaster without making you bring a signed permission slip from your mom!
06/02/07 | Posted by Ron | Category NBA
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One Move, Mate.
That's all it is now in the Eastern Conference Finals. One move.
One win and Cleveland will do what I previously thought until last night was unthinkable. That being, win the Eastern Conference with LeBron in uniform. Or even at all, I mean, their 90s teams with Nance, Price, Ehlo and company couldn't do it...now Adolf Stern's made it possible for these putzes to do this? Well, one win gets Cleveland in to smell the roses right before the hungry Spurs put them under while TD tosses black roses on their grave. Cleveland's not beating San Antonio, no matter how badly the media and ESPNis leads you to believe otherwise.
One loss sends Detroit home early AGAIN, second time since Larry was sent packing and well, maybe Flip's proving that not everyone can truly coach great teams. Check that, after last night's performance I've got to call BS on that one. Larry Brown had a GREAT TEAM here, Flip's turned them into a 'fairly good' one. Flip, sir, why take out Rasheed in the third and allow the Cavs to go on a run that gets them back into the game when the idea is to apply the knockout blow. Wasn't in foul trouble or anything, so what's up with that? Then, when LeBron was just flat out burning your team, any reason why you didn't instruct your players to...I dunno, SEAL OFF THE LANE AND MAKE HIM KICK IT RATHER THAN SLAM IT DOWN FOR THE GAME TYING AND WINNING BASKETS?!!!
I'm seeing why the smartest move that McHale's made since coming to Minnesota was canning your ass. You suck. Rick Carlisle would've had the Cavs's nuts on his wall by now and we'd be 24 hours away from the Pistons returning to the NBA Finals. Betcha Joe D's got his number on speed dial, just waiting to hit it after your boys blow this.
Two wins for the Pistons will, more than likely mean the 'small minds' that constitute the Nielsen viewing clowns with those "Ratings Boxes" are gonna tune out what should be a great series between the Spurs and the Pistons. It will also mean checkmate for them to, because simply put they're not the same team from two seasons ago that took the Spurs to seven. I'm not seeing that same grit, the same blue collar, we're just gonna shut you down and beat you silly mentality that made them Eastern Conference Champions two seasons ago.
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06/01/07 | Posted by Len | Category NBA
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