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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Jordan’

We have seen this before…

June 15, 2011 Leave a comment

He has no answers...

With great power comes great responsibility. This is the phrase that I keep coming back to when trying to revisit the Miami Heat loss to the NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks just 3 days ago.

Since their victory the Mavericks have shifted to an afterthought and the story has become why did Miami and mainly Lebron lose this finals? Fairly or unfairly this story isn’t going away and it won’t for the foreseeable future. Not until Lebron wins a title.

Michael had it, Tiger had it, Kobe had it, Wilt had it, Ali had it, and Lebron has it. Freakish athletic ability that allows you to do things in your sport that few people are even capable of dreaming about. Like Lebron these other men all enjoyed their fair share of criticism. Because, like Lebron, they are and were so gifted athletically that winning was the only thing that the public would allow. Any sports fan, I can guarantee has made the comment, “Well if I was that athletic I would just go to the rim every time and dunk.” or “If I was that strong I would just run people over” or “Man I wish I had his ability I wouldn’t waste it.” But really would you?

People who have never had to deal with the things that professional athletes deal with have no idea what it is to have their lives. So here is the situation, you are a multimillionaire, you get paid to play a sport, shoot commercials, and make appearances, you get the money regardless, only you can’t ever say anything stupid in public, and by all means you cannot LOSE and if you do it is all your fault! I know that I get stressed out when I upset a friend or co-worker, now you are telling me I have millions of people who are pissed at me? And if I lose I am letting down millions of people who once believed in me?

Now you take the men I mentioned above, the icons if you will, who were held to an even higher standard. They are not allowed to let pressure get to them because we say so? How dare you act human in front of millions of people rooting for you to fail!! (Sarcasm folks!)

Now I don’t disagree that Lebron like all those guys before him hasn’t done the best job trying to gain our sympathy, but their was a time where everyone hated Kobe, Ali, Tiger(He is in the middle of his hatefest, maybe he and Lebron should go to Denny’s or Ihop and talk about it), Wilt, and even MJ. All of these men had their hiccups, their screw ups(or just screws TI-GERRR!) and all had reasons for being hated and all of those went away when they won.(Still waiting Tiger)

The past is forgotten by winning and winning a lot. It is forgotten by performing at the highest level when your team or your sport commands it. That’s why we love the icons so much, they delivered when they were supposed to deliver. The only reason they were able to do that time after time is because of the failures they went through to get them to that elite level.

So sure Lebron didn’t play in the Finals the way he did in the Boston or Chicago series. The way we have been dying for him to consistently play since he entered the NBA. But if both those series told us anything it’s that the ability to do so is in there somewhere.

Lebron has it in him to make shots and dominate games. To get to the rim when ever he wants, to get a triple double and be a lock down defender. The only problem is he only doesn’t when HE wants to and not when WE want him to . I think the greatest compliment that can ever be given to Michael Jordan is that he WAS Michael Jordan every time he stepped on the floor. He played his guts out and gave the fans and his teammates the same great player every single night no matter if it was in November or in Game 4, 5, or 6(haha little jab at Lebron) of the Finals , he was MJ, His Airness, the greatest of all time every single time he took the floor! If Lebron learns anything from this whole experience it should be that we want the 35 point, 12 rebound, 9 assist, 3 steals and 2 blocks Lebron every single night because anything else would be a waste of your great gift or power if you will…remember Lebron with great power comes great responsibility.

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It took time to appreciate Scottie

August 13, 2010 1 comment

Always in MJ's shadow right where he liked it.

Growing up in central Illinois in the 1990’s if you weren’t a Chicago Bulls fan you were pretty rare. There were usually two schools of thought on who your favorite player was, obviously most went with Michael Jordan and everyone else rooted for Scottie Pippen. I fell into the first camp. I loved MJ he was the man. I knew Scottie was good but he was just Robin to Michael’s Batman. He was my little brother’s favorite.

Years later Scottie Pippen has made it to the Basketball Hall of Fame. It wasn’t till a few years ago, after watching and re-watching countless games on dvd, ESPN Classic, and NBA TV that I truly began to appreciate Scottie Pippen as a basketball player.

He was truly ahead of his time. I myself have been guilty of being in awe of how much of a freak that LeBron James is but give me Scottie’s smothering defense and I like my chances. He was a 6’7 point forward that could literally guard all 5 positions. MJ could take chances on defense to get his highlight dunks because he knew Scottie had his back. Playing against the Bulls defense with all its length and Scottie as its anchor was like trying to throw a hardball through a tree try as you might you weren’t making more than a dent.

Scottie got steals, blocks, and for my money is the greatest player I have ever watched at taking charges. He would throw his body in front of anyone to get a stop. I can remember a playoff game in the late 90’s where he took 4 charges! That’s in one game! Find me a time a superstar took 4 charges in a playoff series let alone a game!

Offensively Scottie was ever improving. Originally a slasher and occasional spot up shooter. He turned himself into a reliable go to guy and good 3 point shooter. I can remember before Tim Duncan shot 18 foot bank shots Scottie used it as a lethal weapon. He also became the NBA’s first point forward.

Scottie deserves his place in the hall and I am happy he got in. He will always be one of my favorite players to watch and  now I truly appreciate all the things that he did on the basketball court.

Can the Heat reach 70?

August 10, 2010 Leave a comment

In the 1995-1996 season the Chicago Bulls took the NBA by storm and won a record 72 games. Let me start by saying this is my favorite team of all time. This was the summer between my 7th and 8th grade year and I felt like I watched every game(my 3 year old sister could say all the names in the starting lineups)It was MJ’s first full year back, Rodman’s first year with the team, Scottie Pippen was at his best, Toni Kukoc was the best 6th man in the league, Steve Kerr was the best shooter, and Phil Jackson was the best coach. It was an NBA record for wins in a year.

Earlier in the week Jeff Van Gundy made the claim that he thinks this years version of the Miami Heat can match or beat this record. I have examined both teams schedules and I have my prediction on how the Heat will do. Lets go month by month…

October

The better gel early, they play Boston in Boston on opening night and Orlando 3 days later in their home opener. But they also play the Nets and the Sixers. Given that LeBron lost his last game in Cleveland in Boston and the Heat were bounced from the playoffs by the Celtics last year and the immense pressure of starting off well I say the Heat start 4-0. The Bulls won their first 5 games before losing on the road to a good Orlando Magic team playing without Shaq. The Bulls were also without Dennis Rodman. Penny Hardaway poured in 36 points while MJ had a bad game and the Bulls lost by 6. 5-1 through 6 games.

November

This is the most important month for the Heat. It is important they get off to a great start taking advantage of teams still getting used to each other. The Bulls started their season by going 12-2. The Heat play only 4 road games this month 2 tough and two very winnable. They also play NBA doormats Washington, New Jersey, Toronto, and Philadelphia this month. Possible loss chance Dallas and Orlando on the Road, and Boston, Phoenix and Utah at home. My prediction through 18 games on the for the Heat 15-3 (the Bulls through at same point 16-2).

December

Last month was most important but December will be the hardest early on  and second hardest next to March. They have 10 road games this month which include, LeBron’s first game back in Cleveland, Phoenix, Houston, Sacramento, Golden State, Milwaukee, New York, Washington, Utah, and at the Lakers on Christmas Day. They also have to play Atlanta at home as well as Dallas again. If they can make it through this stretch the record could start looking real. The Bulls on the other hand won 13 in a row to start December before losing to the Pacers. Through 28 games the Bulls were a cool 25-3 my prediction for the Heat 23-5.

January

This month is highlighted by a 5 game road trip ending with their first trip to Chicago. They also play OKC for the first time at the end of the month which should be a great game. They have to play Milwaukee back to back games and also get the Clippers, Detroit, Toronto, and Cleveland again. The tough games are Golden State again as well as Portland on the road. January is when the Bulls hit 5th gear winning 18 in a row going 31-1 in 32 games.(This team was so good!) So if you are counting at home through 42 games the Bulls were 39-3. The Heat will be 37-5.

February

More road games for the Heat in February than home games. 7 of the 12 games they play. This is the month where the Heat will be able to get some rest for the home stretch. Tough games at Orlando, Boston, and Chicago are offset by home games against Indiana, The Clippers, Washington, and the Knicks. Plus winnable road games at Detroit, Indiana, Charlotte, and Toronto. Tough month to judge with the All-star break in the middle. February of 1996 was the only month when the Bulls lost back to back regular season games and it actually doubled their losses to 6. Through 56 games the Bulls were 50-6, I think this is when the Heat can keep pace or they will lose it completely my prediction 48-8.

March

Heading into March the Heat will hover close to the 10 loss mark which will motivate them just a little more. I think this is a big month for Mr. Wade. Playing only 5 road games this month that being said MARCH IS A BEAR! The start of the month goes like this in order Orlando, San Antonio, Chicago, Portland, The Lakers, Memphis, Spurs again, and finally OKC. 8 games in 14 days against tough Western conference teams and Chicago and Atlanta! That being said Wade turns it up a gear and I think LeBron goes on a triple double streak of 6 games. After March Heat record through 75 games 66-9 which was exactly the same as the Bulls.

April

Here is where it gets really interesting. The Heat gunning for history taking every teams best shot have 7 games for history. Do they go for it or rest for the playoffs? I say they go after it! Lets go back in time first, the Bulls finished 6-1 in their final 7 games. Which moved their record to 72-10. All the games were against relatively easy teams. The Heats final seven games look like this Minnesota and New Jersey on the Road, Milwaukee, Charlotte, and Boston at home, and finally Atlanta and Toronto on the road. My prediction they are 69-12 heading into the Toronto game. Toronto will be playing for lottery ping pong balls but will give the Heat one of their toughest games of the year. I think the Heat will win and reach 70 games. Final record 70-12. The Bulls record is safe but the Heat become only second team ever to reach 70.

super talent = mega douche nozzle

December 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Tiger is no different than his uber-talented forefathers.

With great power comes great responsibility…or a license for you to be an enormous Big Gulp sized jerkass.

Take a second to think about the biggest sports stars of the last twenty years. Not just your every day all-star, but the guys that you only have to say one name to know.

Here’s a list: Jordan, Tiger, Bonds, Favre, Gretzky, Magic, Agassi, Beckham, Kobe, and Tyson.

You could even go back farther if you would like: Wilt, The Babe, Mantle, and Namath.

So what gives? Why are these guys who are so highly regarded for their athletic abilities such complete and total shmucks?

I think that it is because they are constantly being coached and told what to say and do, and when they finally just don’t give a rat’s ass anymore they tend to act out against the persona that has been created for them.

Some gamble (MJ, Gretzky) some sleep around with some questionable women-folk (Magic, Tiger, Kobe, Wilt, Babe, Kobe, MJ), some turn to substance abuse (Babe, Mantle, Agassi, Namath, Bonds, Favre), some are just crazy and beat people up (You know who you are Iron Mike.), and some are just British. (Oh, Becks. You sexy futbol star.)

The problem is that we can never even imagine how these freaky uber-competative athletes feel. None of us can even come close to their wealth or talent level. I think that this is a trend that will continue as long as we live in an ultra-sensitive, mega informed society.

Think about some of the names that you may be hearing in the future: Federrer, LeBron, Nadal, Landon Donovan (Best American soccer player ever, maybe.), Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Dwayne Wade, or Kobe…again.

I think any or all of these athletes should be on watch and really think about how they are living their lives. Because if history has shown us anything it’s that it repeats itself. I have already stated in a previous article my future pick for athlete falling flat is the one and only Tim ‘Second only to God’ Tebow, now we just have to wait and see.

Dear McMahon, Wear Slacks Next Time.

December 9, 2009 Leave a comment

L to R : McMahon, Ditka, Jordan, Hawk Harrelson

How freaking awesome is this picture? Almost all of the prominent 1980’s Chicago sports figures in a single foursome. Just imagine that amount of filthy jokes and trash talk that this group could produce over the course of a four hour round of golf.  Palmer, Nicklaus, Trevino, Duval…you’re out, sorry guys. I just found my new dream foursome.

(No wonder they called Jim McMahon the ‘Punky QB.’ Homeboy is wearing hot pants and a safari hat at a golf outing.)