Posts Tagged ‘NBA’

 

I haven’t sticked around lately, and I thank you guys for being faithful to my blog. Anyway, I’d like to draw your attention on a new book who hit bookstores a couple weeks ago.

You guys are probably aware that Magic has just released his latest book. It’s entitled “32 Ways to Be a Champion in Business” and it looks like a page-turner. Back in the days, I read “My life” who I think was his very first book, and even if it wasn’t a mind-boggling book, it still was worth-reading.

I still didn’t get a chance to purchase his latest book, but I’m looking forward to doing so. I won’t read it on the spot, because actually I got a bunch of books awaiting to be read on my bookshelf (mainly some techno-thriller stuff…).

Maybe I’m dead wrong and this book is a crap one, I can’t say. But it’s not my point. My point is to underline how thriving Magic has been since leaving the NBA in ’96. If anything, you might state he’s as successful off the court nowadays than he was on the court back in the 80’s. And by sayin’ that, it speaks volumes about his current success!

Most of the former players don’t do half of what Magic did so far. They just settle for an easy life, doing basically nothing, apart from spending their money and playing golf.

Magic not only turned out to be an awesome businessman, but also did a great deal of things for his own community over the years. Off the top of my head, I think he hired something like 40.000 blacks people in his own business! For black people, who still remain in dire straits in the US, it’s kind of a blessing.

Of course it won’t change black folks’ plight in the US, especially when you think that former black athletes taking care of their own community are few and far between, but Earvin is definitely a rare and special person!

Unbelievable stories pop up every now and then. But this one involving Magic Johnson’s health is far from being laughable. Actually, I kinda went off the deep end when I read about it.

First of all, here are the names of the 2 infamous culprits: Chris Baker and Langdon Perry of KTLK radio in Minneapolis.

Those two morons just queried Magic’s health, saying his AIDS was faked all along. Just have a glance at the transcript:

Perry, “Like Magic with his faked AIDS. Magic faked AIDS.”

Baker said, “You think Magic faked AIDS for sympathy?”

Perry replied, “I’m convinced that Magic faked AIDS, because he’s the very first man to have recovered from AIDS.”

“Me too,” Baker said.

I think it’s pretty unsettling to read such foolishness. There’s no way in hell Magic faked his disease. I mean how in the world can you distrust a man who claims he’s having AIDS? And why would Magic have lied anyway? What’s the point? He was only 32 at the time and his career was ongoing.

Johnson reacted later and said he was baffled to hear a such thing, adding: “I poured my life into it and a lot of other people have poured their life into it, into getting out the right information so people can protect themselves and know what HIV and AIDS is all about.”

AIDS is a very serious issue and it’s an understatement to say those dudes aren’t the smartest tool in the shed. I assume they wanted to draw folk’s attention but it certainly wasn’t a very smart move to do.

About Team USA… and this blog

Posted: September 29, 2008 in NBA, News, Random, Sports
Tags: , ,

Some of you may have noticed, It’s been a long time I didn’t write something on my blog. Truth be told, I think a one-month hiatus was more than necessary. Why? Well, the answer is multi-faceted.

Even if my blog encountered a great start (about 4.000 hits in 2 months, that went better than I expected!), I’d say very few stories are newsworthy during the off-season. Besides, there wasn’t any blockbuster trades this summer, ala Garnett.

Maybe you guys think I could’ve talked about the Olympics Games, and the great achievement of Team USA, the famous “Redeem team” (I hate that moniker…). I don’t know about you but honestly USA hegemony proved to be boring down the stretch. I mean sometimes it felt like we were back in ’92, when Team USA was overpowering and trashing all its opponents. Back in the days, I used to appreciate that kind of show (hey, I was just a kid at the time!) but as a grown person I think a basketball game is much more appealing when the score is tight, when both teams are close enough to provide a good game.

Except for the final game against a gallant Spanish Team (I gotta admit it was an awesome game, actually one of the greatest game I’ve ever seen!), the gap between Team USA and his opponents was way too huge throughout this tournament. As a result, following Team USA was tasteless, to say the least. If anything, you might say it was a chore!

But don’t get me wrong: I didn’t want Team USA to be beaten up, far from it! I was just eager to get a little more of suspenseful moments, one of those “money-time” situation only basketball can provide.

That being said, and I think you guys will agree with me when I say we gotta pay tribute to this Team, who learned from its past mistakes. The bold behavior displayed in the past just vanished (even if James was, well… kinda irritating) and above all they finally understood a critical thing in basketball: you gotta play as team if you wanna be triumphant in the end. Oh, of course the passing games wasn’t flawless, but at least the good will was obvious.

Anyway, with the training camps about to kick off in a week or so, it was a no-brainer for me to revive NBA KINGDOM, with a brand-new appearance! I remind you this blog is not meant to provide all the latest news surrounding the NBA, but rather a space where I can share with you all the things in the L that catch my attention, things that I think are relevant or that… ticks me off.

So stay tuned on NBA KINGDOM… I’ll catch up with you guys later!

What do you guys think about it? For me it’s just pathetic! I’ve never liked this player, mainly because of his me-first attitude. But what was the New York Knicks point guard thinking of when he decided to get this shabby tattoo ala Mike Tyson?! I guess Marbury definitely lost his mind!

With the Olympics Games about to begin in Beijing, I found it relevant to show you the greatest dunk I’ve ever seen! It was in Sydney in 2000, during a game pitting the Team USA and the French National Team. Maybe you’ve already seen this, but you never get tired of it, huh?

At the time, I watched it live! I remember it vividly, I started to yell and leaped out of my chair! Even if I was naturally rooting for my country, I was amazed by this dunk.

Vince Carter just humiliated the French Center. His name is Fred Weis, and the guy is a seven footer! His exact size is 7″2. How in the world did Carter manage to jump above Weis?! His jumping skills are just mind-blowing.

As for the French center, rumor has it that after this humiliation he never really get over it. He became mentally weak, and lost confidence in his game. He was drafted by the NY Knicks a year before, but never made it to the NBA. Was he afraid to run into Vince Carter one more time?

That’s one of the main transfer in the NBA so far. Baron Davis has officialy signed a multiyear contract with hometown Clippers.
Davis, a nine year NBA veteran, comes back in the city where he grew up. For me that’s the only bright side for Davis. I guess playing for his hometown in front of his large family and of his childhood friends is a good source of motivation for him.
But signing with a rebuilding team like the Clippers is certainly less attractive for Davis! Actually it’s all but a good thing for him. Like every other veteran, Davis only craves for one thing: to win. And it’s obvious he won’t be able to do so with the Clippers, who are still considered by many as the worst franchise in sports history!

And to make matters worse, the Clippers just lost their top scorer Corey Maggette but also their cornerstone, namely Elton Brand.  He was their franchise player since ’01 and surprisingly decided to hit the road a few days ago. Like everybody else, I certainly didn’t see that coming!
While every folks thought Brand was bound with L.A, the undersized power forward finally changed his mind, and  decided to opt out of the final year of his contract. He’ll play ball in Philadelphia next season, and signed his contract with the 76ers last wednesday.

The thing is Baron Davis was completely unaware of Brand’s decision… and signed his contract with the Clippers thinking that he’ll team up with his buddy Elton! Well, that won’t be the case and now Davis finds himself in a very tough situation. It wasn’t meant to happen this way.
Of course, Davis doesn’t acknowledge publicly that’s he’s concerned about it. He talked at length with Brand, tried to convince him to remain with the Clippers, telling him they could create some havoc together… but Brand was adamant. Despite this waste, the two of them remain close friends, though. 

From now on, Davis tries to stay confident and to keep a low profile, and even says that he ain’t disappointed at all! To tell you the truth, I don’t believe him when he says that.
How could he possibly be content with a such waste? Basically, he’s just coerced to cope with his predicament, and that’s it. There’s no way in hell Davis can be satisfied with this awkward situation, especially after his hardships in Golden State.
With them, he was always complaining about their lack of success, was begging for the team to be refined, to no avail. Now he winds up with a rebuilding team who’s doomed to struggle for the next couple of years!

The Clippers are not excpected to sign a valuable free agent, so I hope for Davis that Chris Kaman, freshly naturalized German, will keep making some headway with his new point guard!

Gary Payton against John Stockton.

Come to think of it… with the Seattle Sonics being wiped off the map, where will former All-Star Gary Payton get his jersey retired?

I guess you guys are aware of it: when a great player puts an end to his career, getting his jersey retired in the arena where he performed well is a commonplace tradition in the NBA. You’ve probably already seen plenty of ’em… Y’know these are the jerseys you see hanging from the rafters in NBA arenas. It’s a nice way to pay tribute to the players, and to keep them in memory forever.

Concerning Payton, the logic would be to retire his jersey in Seattle, where he pulled off most of his feats. But there’s gonna be some sort of a “technical problem” about it, a big issue… given that from now there won’t be any basketball games in Seattle any more! Talk about a dilemma…

Just for the record, I’ve always despised this player. His me-first attitude often got on my nerves. He was cheeky on the court, a real asshole and most often he gave me the impression that he didn’t respect his opponents. It was a well-known fact that Payton was always using the infamous “trash-talking” on the court. You know, when you spend your time insulting your direct opponent, and bitchin’ about almost referee’s call. Trash talkers say it keeps them motivated, and the aim is nothing less to break down mentally their adversaries. Well, that’s not the way I envision sport, but it’s an usual practice in the league. Over the years this bad habit tends to disappear, though.

But of course, Payton wasn’t just this trash-talker that bugged me. More than anything else, he was a tremendous basketball player. I mean he really was. And I gotta give the guy a lotta credit for that. A great deal of folks were just stunned by his skills, including me. Basically, his stats with the Sonics were about 23 ppg and 8 apg.
He made several All-Star appearances, and along with his buddy Shawn Kemp even led the Seattle Sonics to the NBA Finals in ’96, against Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. The team of the 90’s proved to be way too strong for the young Sonics, but after that Seattle and Payton got the overdue respect they deserved in the L.

Like most NBA superstars, he even got a nickname, his being “The Glove”, stemming from his stifling defense, and his knack to steal the ball. Yeah, ’cause Payton didn’t settle for being an outstanding offensive player, he also was a real leech defensively. Moreover, he never forgot to involve his teammates on offense, with many assists per game, and with him on the court, his teammates kept getting better and better. A complete game! Making your teammates better is what makes the difference between a good player and a tremendous player.

Anyway, it’s hard to believe that Payton’s jersey will be retired in Oklahoma City. It wouldn’t make any sense. I mean he never played over there, and besides fans have never seen him playing… except on TV.

In Miami? Well, I can’t overlook the fact he won his single NBA title in Florida, but truthfully he was already done at the time. When he signed with the Heat, it was the beginning of the end for him. He wasn’t the Gary Payton we used to appreciate in Seatlle.
Sometimes, you even felt sorry for the guy, besides his stats were downright ludicrous: only 5.8 ppg, 1.6 apg with still an important playing time, about 24 minutes per game. In his second season with Miami, he only played 2 games, plagued by injuries. After his stint in Miami he wisely decided to throw in the towel, well aware that his old legs couldn’t take it anymore.
Nah, the highlights of his career were definitely in Seattle, no doubt about it.

So once again, where his jersey should be retired? Well, maybe you got a solution, as for me I just can’t figure out an answer to it. It’s such an uncommon situation, probably unheard of!