Archive for May, 2012

So 57% of Americans sports fans, according to today’s USA Today, believe that last night’s NBA lottery draft was fixed – pfft, of course it’s fixed because if you could pick anybody to win it, you’d want chronically corrupt, small market, financial mess New Orleans to win it right? Haha! Yeah, a bad organization that is so terrible the NBA had to take it over a year ago…that’s who I want winning the lottery (sarcasm). Yeah!! Let’s fix something on national television. Folks, frauds are something you hide, not televise. But again, people in life have their narrative picked, whoever wins the lottery – if you believe the lottery was fixed, you could’ve had your argument and I’ll give you an example.

I’ll take 7 teams that could’ve won the lottery last night and if you really believe this NBA lottery was fixed – and many do, because it’s easier to say that, it’s always easier to blame somebody or to blame the ref’s or to say that the government is against you than to be accountable and look in the mirror and say to yourself “wow, I haven’t worked hard enough to succeed” That’s unfortunately the new Canada and the new America “point fingers, don’t look at mirrors”. But let me give you an example – if you believe the NBA lottery is fixed, I can surely make that argument with 7 teams.

If Charlotte wins it last night – and they were the odds on favourite, wouldn’t all you say “ohh the lottery is fixed” people drop a line and say “well, I mean of course! It’s the commissioner taking care of MJ. I mean, you knew that they were going to win it…he’s the all-time icon of the sport! David Stern wasn’t going to let Michael Jordan lose that one” If Cleveland had won it last night “well I mean, that’s just David Stern’s way of repairing the Lebron mess! You know and its soo obvious …first they get Kyrie Irving and then they get Anthony Davis, it’s just David Stern’s way of cleaning the Lebron mess!” If New Jersey had won it last night “well that’s Stern taking care of big market Brooklyn, you know that Stern is not going to let the richest owner in the league, the Russian billionaire, fail” If Sacramento had won it last night “ohh that’s David Stern trying to keep another franchise from leaving, I mean they already had that New Orleans mess…you know he’s going to make Sacramento the winner of that lottery” If Golden State had won it last night “ohh perfect, Jerry West!! Jerry West becomes a part of the Warriors and you want me to believe that a year later they win the lottery. Ohh and they have a new arena going into the bay area at the Pier! You know David Stern wanted to take care of Jerry West – they’re old friends, I mean…he is the logo” If Portland had won it last night “ well I mean David Stern…like Portland is 5 minutes away from Nike! That’s where all the Lebron’s and Chris Paul’s and Melo’s…that’s where they all hang out and Michael Jordan and Kobe are taken care off! Plus he feels bad for Oden and Brandon Roy”

I could make that argument with every team that had a shot at the 1st overall pick last night. If you pick a narrative in life, it doesn’t matter what I present to you. Whether your narrative is “the NBA lottery is fixed, Lebron is over-rated, Obama wasn’t born in the U.S or Tebow is the man” I could present you with any real data and you wouldn’t want to hear it because it doesn’t fit your narrative. Men are stubborn; they like to pick sides, put on the right and wrong hat and won’t take it off. Yeah, because the NBA wants the New Orleans Hornets to win the lottery – a small market, financially challenged city which according to the New Orleans Times, there was a mayoral press conference last Tuesday where the New Orleans Times ,when covering that story, reported that New Orleans is the “#1 murder/homicide city in America” not my opinion, but there’s.

Come on people! Conspiracy theorists – no matter the data presented will find a new conspiracy. There are still wacko’s that think 9/11 was an inside job by the U.S. Government. It just doesn’t matter what you present though, of course it was fixed…listen, you don’t put fraud on prime time television but rather hide it like Bernard Madoff did for years and hope that it’s never unveiled and when it is, then it becomes public. You don’t promote it and put it on a billboard, have a host and bring everyone to watch it.

So the Miami Heat beat the Celtics and staying with the “narrative” theme on this rant, of course the ref’s want Lebron to win championships and the ref’s are suddenly against Boston. Here’s Doc Rivers, after his team lost a heartbreaker last night saying “it is what it is you know,  Lebron James took 24 free throws and our team took 29. Paul Pierce fouled out of the game where he was attacking the basket. It’s just tough but listen, we just gotta keep playing. I tell our guys that it doesn’t matter and we can’t get distracted – we will not get distracted in this series. I can guarantee you right now that they are distracted in our locker room right now. But we have got to get it out of us and move on. Whatever happened happened and we just got to move on and be ready to play the next game”

Alright, so let’s bring up the ref’s! Lebron shot 24 free throws – you want to know why? Because he attacks the basket! Wade and Lebron are both “attack the hoop” guys, translation?  They draw fouls! Miami in the regular season ranked 8th in free throw attempts, what was Boston? 27th! near the bottom of the league. So I guess the ref’s were against the Celtics throughout the regular season, a historic franchise and the ref’s decided to pick on the Celtics this year. This goes back to what I just said; that you’ve made up your mind as Celtic fans “it’s the ref’s fault” you’re not going to acknowledge that out of the 16 NBA playoff teams, Boston is 12th in free throw attempts. Who’s #1? Memphis! Yeah because you know, the league wants Memphis to win. Why does Memphis shoot the most free throws? Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, O.J. Mayo – guys who attack the tin. You get fewer free throws when you shoot jumpers and Boston right now is primarily a jump shooting team. Even their big, Kevin Garnett really has become a jump shooter in this series. Every year here at I Want More Rants, I take out the book and slowly read it to my audience to explain the free throw disparity issue.

Every year I’ve got to explain it! Boston was near dead last in free throw attempts – watch the games, it’s nothing new, it has nothing to do with the ref’s but rather everything to do in that they are a jump shooting team. Pierce, Ray Allen and Rondo were shooting jumpers and not drawing fouls. Lebron this year, statistically, has stopped shooting jumpers and has become more of an “attack the basket” guy, which has always been Dwayne Wade’s game. When Chris Bosh plays, they get even more free throws. “Andrew, well what about Tim Donaghy?” he’s an outlier! He’s a bad dude. Nobody is saying here that there aren’t any bad ref’s in the league. There are bad cops but do you really believe all law enforcement is on the take? Of course not!


Tonight is going to be a bizarrely good television night! It’s May 30th and when you think May 30th, you don’t think about it as a great TV night. Yet tonight is going to be unbelievably amazing on television. I’m not a hockey guy but I’ll watch the Devils and the Kings in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. U.S. vs. Brazil in soccer – the U.S. have closed the gap on Brazil, not sure the Americans will win but I like soccer, so I’ll be watching that as well. Then at 8:30pm EST you’ve got Lebron against Boston, I’m definitely in!

But the little gem that nobody talks about – and I find it utterly fascinating is the event at 8pm EST tonight before Lebron and the Celtics square off, the NBA Lottery otherwise known as the Ping-Pong Ball show. I’m actually into it more than the NBA draft itself and certainly more than 90% of NBA regular season games. For every television executive, from Hollywood to New York and Dallas to Chicago, if you’re in the television executive producing business, you need to watch the NBA Lottery show tonight. You’ll have 14 teams watching ping pong balls in a popcorn popper. The worse you are, the more balls you get in the popcorn popper and one by one, teams get eliminated from the 1st pick. It is pathetically fascinating and I’ll most definitely be glued. It is like watching a lottery show if 14 family members sat in those chairs. Every TV exec – I personally don’t watch any sitcom shows regularly, but every TV exec who’s trying to find the next gem – I don’t know what it is but whatever the NBA ping pong ball show does and provides, you should figure it out. This year it’s the Anthony Davis lottery, so even college basketball fans like Kentucky, Duke and Carolina will watch to see where Anthony Davis goes. I am absolutely fascinated by it!

Chris Broussard was on the Scott Van Pelt Show yesterday on ESPN radio and he said something about the San Antonio Spurs – a team that is not that nationally interesting though very very good. He dropped the “gem” I would call it about the San Antonio Spurs by saying “…the San Antonio Spurs have 1 lottery player in Tim Duncan, the league average is 4 or 5 and of all the teams remaining in this post season, Oklahoma and Boston have 6 lottery players each and Miami has 7. On top of that, the Spurs have 7 2nd round draft picks which is more than all but 2 teams in the league” isn’t that amazing? They are on this incredible run with the likes of Matt Bonner, Boris Diaw, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Gary Neal basically C+ players who haven’t lost a game since early April.

I would say there are 3 franchises in the U.S. that do it differently than anybody else. The San Antonio Spurs, the New England Patriots and Boise State Football – they win with less talent. Patriots had 18 undrafted guys in the Superbowl, nobody else does that! Boise State does not get 4 or 5 star recruits yet they can beat Oklahoma, Georgia, and Virginia Tech often on the road. They can beat Oregon at home, where nobody historically beats Oregon, how do they do it? When it comes down to the Spurs, Patriots or Boise State football, it all begins with an egoless culture. The Spurs are basically the opposite of Allen Iverson’s career; the Patriots do it differently – not quite sure why more teams don’t copy it. It’s interesting who we copy or emulate in sports – kids want to be Derrick Rose, they want to buy his jersey yet has never won a title and probably won’t in my opinion, yet Tim Duncan’s jersey is on the sales rack at 80% off. But it is amazing to watch the Spurs, the Patriots and Boise State football.

In all 3 cases, there is just 1 – 1 ½ stars but it’s the upstairs where leadership is very much at the forefront. What do I usually say on this blog, what is the montra of this blog? “Celebrate rarely, grind regularly” Patriots win? Head down and grind it again for next season. Spurs win? It’s what they are suppose to do! Boise State throws no bowl parades after another bowl win. If you look at chronic losers in sports, it all starts because it’s bad upstairs in management and ownership. Bengals historically, Raiders in the last 10 years, Lions forever and then look at who wins: Steelers, Patriots and Spurs where it’s great upstairs. Maybe the guys upstairs are underpaid; maybe the guys on the floor, the ice, the arena, the grass are all overpaid. Tony Parker talked about it – the team that spreads the ball most like nobody in the NBA “…when you have coach Pops screaming at you everyday to pass the ball. He always tells us that we have to always find the better shot, the better shot, the better shot and said it all season long, extra passes and we have great shooters on the team who fit that model too…” it’s amazing! They are less athletic than Oklahoma City in my opinion, aren’t as young either but Parker can get his 30 points or more along with his 10 assists, play good defense – it’s not about getting a star but the right star who is selfless and it’s fun to watch!

So I saw something last week – for people who say that New York sports fans are harsh, I think they are incredibly tolerant and Exhibit A is Mark Teixeira. Mark Teixeira doesn’t even get booed at Yankee Stadium. Mark Teixeira has become a .230 hitter with an on-base percentage that has eroded every year…never gets booed! In fact, if you criticize Mark Teixeira, I was talking with some baseball guys at Real Sports Bar two weeks ago – all sent me emails after our meet up. “30 home runs, 100+ RBI’s, great defense” If a guy makes $22 million a year, should his best talent be defense?

I can find all sorts of guys in baseball that make a million a year that can play 1st base better than Teixeira. Justin Smoak of Seattle doesn’t make anything! Yet he plays really good defense. There’s that kid in Kansas City who’s really good – he’s cheap.  Don’t tell me “Andrew, it’s the Yankees where money doesn’t matter” How much are you paying for that Heineken, how much for those seats in the first 5 rows at Yankee Stadium? I’ve got news for you, somebody is paying for Mark Teixeira and it’s not the Steinbrenner’s.

Finally the Yankees acknowledge that Mark Teixeira is a disappointment because they moved him to 7th in the batting line up…it is about time!! In baseball history, nobody puts their best defensive player at 1st base…there’s a reason! Yeah he’s got a nice corner glove, though I think it’s more important to have a good 3rd base glove than 1st base glove, pfft the Cardinals put Mark McGuire at 1st base…enough said! “But Andrew, he gives you 100 RBI’s…” have you seen who hits before and after him? Have you seen who is on base ahead of him? Jeter, A-Rod, Cano and sometimes Granderson –guys who get on base in a hitters park, he should be a 135 RBI guy.

The truth is, the Yankees paid for a .300 hitter. Starting from 2005 – 2008 he hit .301, .317, .358, and .308 for all sorts of different teams like Texas, Atlanta and the Angels but then the Yankees got him. Since then its .290, .250, .248 and .227 with an on-base percentage that has gone from .383 to .280 and you’re paying $22.5 million for that? With Teixeira, you were always giving up 2 major things anyways: speed – which he has none and the months of April and May – he can’t hit in either but now you’re starting to give up on-base percentage and hitting as well??

You were already giving up speed and pre All-Star break, but now you’re giving up his batting average in the most competitive division in baseball? I’m sorry, but I’m amazed at the tolerance of Yankee fans. Maybe it’d be one thing if he hit 45 home runs with 130 RBI’s, then I’d tolerate the .230 and lousy on-base percentage, but I would gripe silently. The last 4 years of Teixeira’s deal are starting to look like the last 4 years of A-Rod’s…awful!! I’m reading a columnist Jeff Bradley who writes for the Star Ledger and he says “blame the annoying upper respiratory ailment that’s had Teixeira hacking up a lung for 6 weeks” he’s not a tri-athlete, he’s standing up at 1st and has become a .235 hitter, that is what he is in the American League East!!

If you’re playing football in the SEC, you can have a great arm but you can’t throw a bunch of picks. In the end, Teixeira is what he is, but everybody is still like “oh but he plays great defense” he’s at 1st base!!! Not a center fielder, he’s not a shortstop, not a catcher, 3rd basemen or 2nd baseman…he’s a 1st baseman. Years ago, Kansas City put John Mayberry at 1st base – like look who baseball likes to put over at 1st base, they tend to put a lot of stiffs at 1st base. It’s not a key defensive position “but Andrew, Jeter’s getting old and he bounces balls when throwing over there…” please, Jeter is not 70, he’s having a very good season, he’s not bouncing that many over there. It’s amazing, like I’ll defend Yankee fan to the end because they have been incredibly patient. They paid for a .318 hitter and got a guy closer to .218.

I’ve always felt that the highest paid person in American sports should be the NBA star player with the top NFL quarterback being second. I believe that you should be paid in both Canada and the U.S. not on how hard you work, it’s not about that. It’s how smart you work and it’s how replaceable are you. The truth is that outside of a quarterback, a really good one in the NFL like an Eli Manning or an Aaron Rodgers – really the toughest guy in sports to replace is a Lebron James, a superstar NBA player. That’s why really smart guys who own teams in the NBA have often been handcuffed and made horrible decisions.

The Devos is really wealthy; they are really smart yet with Dwight Howard they have basically put the blinders on. How many reports do you have to see and read that Dwight Howard is not totally into your franchise? According to , Chris Sheridan says that Dwight Howard wants out of Orlando despite the Van Gundy firing. Although the Brooklyn Nets are still considered the frontrunners “it is not going to be a one horse race” the source said. Listing Dallas, the Knicks and to a lesser degree both the Clippers and Lakers as a possible destination that would appeal to Dwight Howard. When the news first broke Monday that Van Gundy had been fired and that the GM Smith had agreed to leave, the knee jerk reaction was “Dwight is staying!!” But in fact the source said that he wants out of Orlando more than he ever did before in order to start a new chapter to his career.

Of course, an organization – any organization is going to protect their star in the media until he is gone. For now, Dwight Howard is part of the Orlando Magic and they are going to protect him. So when Magic’s CEO Alex Martin stepped up on Monday after firing Stan Van Gundy, it was all about Van Gundy and his rough personality “strategically, we may not be able to find anybody better. But there is another part of the job that I do think that as we look for a head coach, we’ll be focused on in terms of how the coach relates to his players, other coaches and the rest of management in the organization” Translation? Stan Van Gundy doesn’t suffer fools gladly, Stan Van Gundy would not coddle the superstar and Stan Van Gundy was brutally blunt – 3 things that I admire.

Ric Bucher was on the Mike & Mike Show Tuesday morning and talked about Otis Smith and his problem, his willingness rather to say “maybe we should trade Dwight Howard” a year ago saying “…that was the issue! Otis, after his conversations with Howard and looking around the league, realized “you know what? I need to make the best out of a bad situation” as nobody wants to trade their superstar. He had looked at every possibility of changing that dynamic and realized “ you know what, I can’t wait any longer…I need to move him” So when he made that decision, that did not fly with ownership, they didn’t want to see that happen” I have to be honest, if I ran the Orlando Magic, I would’ve been fired Monday. I believe a year ago that the signs were there

Malcolm Gladwell writes books, one of them was called Blink about thin slicing ( go with your gut instinct; it’s almost always initially right. Come on, how many articles do I have to read that Dwight Howard is sort of not interested? Otis Smith told the owners – and maybe I’m reaching here, but a year to 18 months ago “guys, the signs aren’t good here! Let’s move him – get as much as you can for him now, let’s not wait til the deadline and get more desperate” I would’ve done the exact same thing. Here you are with the tail wagging the dog because if Dwight Howard leaves – you’ve not only lost an elite head coach but also a superstar, you now are Sacramento! You are Dwight Howard’s gut feeling/ Dwight Howard’s decision away from being a franchise rumoured to be moving, be very careful on who you make your star in this business.

So here’s the good news about LA sports! The Dodgers are having a great year, have you noticed their 29-13 record? It’s the best in all of baseball. A lot of other major market teams like Chicago, New York, Boston and Philadelphia are really struggling. Andre Ethier, all these years that we’ve been waiting for him to pop…he has finally popped! Hitting .315, 9 homer’s, they have a great young staff…how bout former Blue Jay Ted Lilley, he’s 5-0. The other sports team in the Staples Center ( not the Clippers as they are done as well) the LA Kings are on the verge of going back to the Stanley Cup finals since the Gretzky years! Before Sunday’s game, they’d won like virtually all their playoff games. We might even have the chance to see the 2 biggest markets in the U.S. going at it in one of the most irrelevant sports in the U.S. If Tortorella can just stop yappin and get his offense going in New York, we might actually see it.

More good news for LA sports fans – USC’s pre-season rankings, 1st, 2nd or 3rd, depending on the poll. If you follow recruiting, and I do, Lane Kiffin is the every bit better than Pete Carroll was in every department. The Clippers are no longer a league joke as they made it to the 2nd round with Chris Paul – which will only attract more free agents. So there’s a lot of good news…but now, for the rest of the story, here’s the bad news! In the last 2 years, the Lakers have played 9 second round playoff games, they are 1-8! I’m not talking about Conference finals – those are the really good teams, I’m not talking about the NBA finals as those are the 2 best teams, the Lakers are 1-8 in the 2nd round!! They are not – as predicted by yours truly, close to winning a championship. They have 4 players alone in Metta, Kobe, Gasol and Bynum that hog up all the cat room. They are old, expensive and temperamental while Oklahoma City is the opposite – young, cheap and consistent.

But I said it weeks ago, the Lakers needed to lose and to lose quickly and ugly! To remove the doubt, erase the hope because hope is a dangerous thing. But now everybody in LA can clearly see what the more objective fans knew last year “time to bring in the old dynamite and blow her up!” it’s an old roster that at times doesn’t even get along. Said Metta World Mishap after Monday’s game “you know, this year, we weren’t as committed collectively and that really hurt us” pfft, you also said that last year after getting swept by Dallas. There are a lot of questions surrounding this team right now. In regards to Andrew Bynum, can I just give you my 2 cents on Bynum? Well, I’m going to anyways. Rule #1 with 7 footers – when they get hurt or injured often early in their career, it is highly doubtful they have a healthy ending to their careers. How many examples do you want? This is the perfect time to move him!

In the last 4 years, he’s been hurt in 3 of them and this year with great health, it’s not going to last. He’s got huge talent…should be easy to move him. 7 footers who can drop 25 points and get 20 rebounds always interest GM’s…they’ll be lined up, start from there, get younger, find some shooters and get more athletic. You’re the Lakers, stars and non-stars want to play there. Your bench is pathetic as they only had 2 points in Game 5. This is not a roster that needs tweaking but rather a major overhaul. Bring in the moving vans because you need an entirely living room of furniture. Attitude to me is 90% of life, that’s why the only guy I wouldn’t consider moving is Kobe. He cares every night, he’s got passion every night, and he’s got intensity every night. So Monday night he didn’t have an assist – who does anyways? He brings it before the game – first to the arena, during the game and after the game. He even got into a feisty confrontation with a reporter after the game.

In the last 4 playoff elimination games, Kobe has had: 26, 31, 34 and 42 points Monday night. Yeah he’s past his prime but he’s never cared more so you have to surround him with players who care! He’s the voice of reason, the voice of coaching and the voice of determination. Dirk Nowitzki is past his prime, but there’s no other Dirk’s in the draft. Kobe is past his prime, there is no other Kobe’s in the draft or in this league!

So generally when I see lawsuits, I’m usually not a fan of them but there are times – like if you own McDonald’s and a new burger place comes out called McJohnson’s, you probably have to sue. But I saw this lawsuit and I laughed – even texted a good friend writing “seriously?” So Saints suspended linebacker Jonathan Vilma filed a defamation lawsuit Thursday against the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. He claims that Mr. Goodell relied on, at best, “heresay and circumstantial evidence and lies” in suspending Vilma. Then Vilma’s attorney, Peter Ginsberg, said “By making these false and public statements, he has significantly harmed Jonathan Vilma’s reputation and ability to make a living” ohh please! As if single defensive coordinator in the NFL would not hire Jonathan Vilma because of Bountygate.

People who have killed people have been given second chances in this league – Pacman Jones was in the league last year. He’d either been arrested, apprehended, citations, twelve times with cops. If you can make us better …you’re in! Want another example? Randy Moss – played on 4 teams within 2 years. The NFL is a “win games for us” league. Nobody in this league is going to say “you know, Jonathan Vilma was reportedly in this thing, they called it Bountygate and he was going to hit people even harder! No room for him here” pfft please, Randy Moss keeps getting work. You can be a jerk, you can be indignant, you can be temperamental. Terrell Owens, OchoCinco…it doesn’t matter; it’s a “win games” league because if you can help win, you’ll get a job.

Now, is Jonathan Vilma angry? Yes, but let’s be honest here, he’s been in the league for almost 8 years, it’s on fumes, he’s not the player he once was. His biggest issue, and I get it, is that “I got about 2 years left and your taking one of my years away” dude, invest your money better. Lester Munson this morning was on the Mike & Mike Show and said that this is a very uphill battle for Vilma “…he must prove, not only that the NFL was incorrect in what it said about him, but he has got to show that they did it deliberately and maliciously. Vilma, under the law, is a public figure and to succeed in any defamation case, he has got to show malicious – and that is an overwhelming burden for Vilma” So it’s unbelievably hard to prove.

In order to win that lawsuit, you have to believe that Roger Goodell thought “you know, I want to pick on one guy in this league…ahh, let’s go after Jonathan Vilma, I want to end his career!” Really? You’re not going to prove that. Remember, when you’re a public figure, it’d be very difficult for any public figure to sue somebody and it would be equally difficult to sue a public figure. I heard recently that a prominent sports talk radio guy on ESPN received a letter during last year’s finals claiming from a Dallas based attorney claiming “slander on Dirk Nowitzki! I don’t like your comments. I am considering in my law office to take legal action against you” why? Because he’s a talk show host who has an opinion on Dirk Nowitzki, if that attorney could sue him then Barack Obama could sue Sean Hannity…it’s not happening!

The NFL is loaded with bad dudes who have jobs – don’t tell me that nobody is going to hire Jonathan Vilma because of this Bountygate stuff, it’s totally irrelevant! It’s not a PR hit either because he’s a long time defensive player so it’s not a PR hit. He’s not running for public office or anything like that, he’s not an elected official, and he’s a football player and is a defensive player who lights people up! Got the Greg Williams audio tape – it’s the culture of the NFL.

So over the past couple of days, 3 of the 4 best players in the NBA have butchered the end of a game. Lebron missed free throws, D-Wade missed a layup and Kobe was just playing bad for 2 minutes.  Do you see a trend here? Even for the top players in the world – end of the game basketball is very tough. It’s amazing how many people watch these games and you think that the last second shot is suppose to look like Hoosiers where it all happens in slow motion and the clock is taking an eternity to count down from 3, 2, 1 – then you have a jumper and it ends in a swish!

Folks, this is not the 50’s nor a movie – do you want to know what the last 10 seconds of a game is like? You’ve got 10 world class athletes, eighteen thousand people screaming at you and you can’t hear, a lot of clutching, grabbing and pushing – you get the ball to anybody who can shoot that is open and who can win you the game…that’s the reality! It’s not Hoosiers, that’s why 3 of the 4 best players in the league were exhausted and have struggled at the end of games because it’s not easy! We want our athlete’s to be perfect at the end of a game when they’re most exhausted. Lebron James is forced to guard David West for 40 minutes – he’s an All-Star forward. You’re surprised Lebron is a little tired by the end of the game and that Wade is not perfect.  Since I listen to a lot of sports talk radio, you probably have people waiting to talk for almost 20 minutes yet when they’re on the air, they can’t even get through a sentence! And you want perfection after 40 minutes of basketball from these players??

Everybody was banging on Metta World Mishap Thursday morning! Excuse me; isn’t goal #1 as a trailing team, with only seconds left, to get an open look from a top shooter? Isn’t that goal #1? Open look, top shooter. If I said to any Laker fan Thursday morning – as the players came out of the time out Wednesday night “You’re going to get a wide open jumper, on the road, to win the game” who wouldn’t take that?? “Well Kobe…” who cares! It doesn’t matter who, you get a wide open shot, doesn’t matter who! Didn’t Steve Blake win you the Denver series? Kobe didn’t hit those jumpers! That was all Steve Blake!! Three nights ago, Mario Chalmers, last night it was Steve Blake – they’re paid multi-million dollars a year, not to defend at the highest level but to hit jumpers. The Lakers brought in Blake just for that shot! They didn’t bring him to LA to rebound or to distribute or to stop Dwayne Wade! They brought him in to shoot jumpers and that’s exactly what you brought Steve Blake for, to shoot that jumper! He did it against Denver, now you’re killing Metta World Mishap?

If you’re a Heat fan or a Laker fan, you can’t do better than the last 2 nights than the shot you got to win or tie the game…you can’t do better than that!  Everybody is like “Well Kobe was open…” if the definition of open is a long looping pass to the opposite corner over Serge Ibaka, if that’s open, then the Redwood Forest is the Great Plains! I’m here to tell you that that is not the definition of “open” in the NBA and it doesn’t look like Hoosiers. Rick Carlisle was on the The Herd on ESPN radio Wednesday – one of the best coaches in the league, Mavs’ head coach. He was asked about last second shots – he studied some tape and said “…We did a loop of about 80 different plays that teams have run throughout the league over the last year to get 3 point shots when they need a 3. I went through the entire thing and virtually never do you get the shot that the play is set up for, teams are just too good defensively”

Too good!! You just can’t do it and everybody in the arena knew that Kobe was going to get the ball. Afterwards Steve Blake, to his credit, said “…Kobe was coming up the floor to get into the middle, I was just in the corner to just be an outlet and Westbrook kind of ran off me so I was wide open – you gotta take it and make it!” Gotta take it and make it! He did against Denver but didn’t against OKC – come people, it’s not Hoosiers. It’s hard enough just getting the ball inbounds much less to get a wide open jumper! Now if you’re a Laker fan, you can be negative/positive but here’s the thing. Some problems in a playoff series are unsolvable. Ramon Sessions against Westbrook is unsolvable, Lakers bench is unsolvable. Now you can bounce back on psychology in the series – if Westbrook tweaks an ankle, Kobe goes nuts, now its 2-1 Oklahoma City, they’re gripping about Westbrook’s ankle and are a young team on the road…series can change!

Now I don’t think it will, I think it’s asking a ton from the Lakers, I don’t think you’re ever going to hold Oklahoma City to 12 points in a quarter. I don’t think you can win back to back games against a young fresh team. I don’t think you can beat them in 4 out of 5 games, I just don’t think you can. I think they’ll play really well going forward, but the major issues I don’t think are really going to change –  Ramon Sessions being over his head and the Lakers having the 2nd best bench in a 7 game series, you just can’t do anything about that. A couple of days ago – and I got drilled for saying this, but I was basically apologizing for Lebron because he just looked tired at the end of Game 2. No excuses on the missed free throws, but I just simply thought he and Wade looked exhausted. I’m not sure now if they can beat Indiana (Gm 3 had just concluded when writing this) and I don’t think they are winning the East with just 2 players and almost certainly not beating a San Antonio or a Oklahoma City.

I also thought – not that it’s an excuse, but that Kobe also looked tired after Game 2. That has to be the worst 2 minutes I’ve ever seen Kobe play in crisis…ever! He just simply never plays like that, where he takes a terrible 3 ball, had a ball go off his arm, had a turnover – I mean, just really bad judgment which to me, is just fatigue. I said the same thing about Lebron because I like both Lebron and Kobe – so maybe that’s the fan in me defending them. But when you’re asking these star players like Kobe to carry teams, Wade to carry teams and Lebron to carry teams – in Philadelphia, you’re not asking any one guy to do it nor are the Pacers asking one guy to do it or Oklahoma City. The Lakers and Miami are asking their star to play 40 minutes and literally do everything perfectly and I just think both Lebron and Kobe were different players.