Sports Commentary, Media and Vegas

Category — George Maloof

Spurs Of The Moment

    The Heat are the overwhelming favorites to win the NBA title again, and why shouldn’t they be? We’re hard-headed though. Actually, we’re sticking with our betting slip.
    Eastern Conference
    Heat over Bucks in 5; Nets over Bulls in 7; Pacers over Hawks in 5; Knicks over Celtics in 6.
    Heat over Nets in 5; Pacers over Knicks in 6.
    Heat over Pacers in 6.
    Western Conference
    Thunder over Rockets in 6; Clippers over Grizzlies in 7 (the Charles Barkley factor); Nuggets over Warriors in 7; Spurs over Lakers in 5.
    Thunder over Clippers in 6; Spurs over Nuggets in 5.
    Spurs over Thunder in 6.
    Championship: Spurs over Heat in 7.

April 19, 2013   3 Comments

The Powers That Be

    Where’s Arte Moreno? Magic Johnson?
    The usual suspects such as Roger Goodell, David Stern and Bud Selig are among a list of the 50 most powerful people (only 3 women) in sports. But Ed O’Bannon? That’s right. The former UCLA star could change the landscape of college sports with his suit against the NCAA.

March 6, 2013   No Comments

Legends Of Showtime (Plus A Freeloader)

Of all the statements Magic Johnson made today regarding the death of Dr. Jerry Buss, none struck a cord (because he’s so accurate, but Dr. Buss’ son Jim is too full shit to realize it) with me more than this one: “I hope Jeanie Buss takes over the team.”
Though Magic and Dr. Buss operated on a much larger platform, I couldn’t help thinking about Barry Switzer and Billy Sims. Back in my days in Norman in the late 70s, there were always stories about the off-the-field exploits of Barry and Billy.
But this was a much larger party. And a lot more of them. Magic and Dr. Buss, regardless of your opinions of either, were the origins of “Showtime” and the legends of it crossing a ton of barriers, the Hollywood element, the Laker girls (Paula Abdul among the most famous), the parties (did we mention the parties?) and Johnson stunning the world years after the high times when he announced he was HIV positive.
And those are just starter pistols.
Having moved to L.A. in 1986, during the height of Showtime, I was as consumed with it as any basketball fan. And this was as a time when the Herald-Examiner, particularly the sports section, was the best read in town.
Before Buss purchased the team in 1979 from Jack Kent Cooke, the Lakers were practically 2nd city to the Dodgers, Rams, USC football and UCLA basketball. Imagine that now.
Columnist Bill Plaschke scratches the surface with some quick-hitting recollections from Magic.
L.A. Times

February 18, 2013   No Comments

Another Sonic Boom Makes Some Green With Envy, But Let Us Indulge In A History Lesson

    Hey Seattle, how ’bout them Sea Chickens?
    The Sacramento Kings are only a few signatures away from moving to Seattle. How ironic. Many Seattle fans have cried a river about how the Sonics were hijacked to Oklahoma City, which, in some sarcastic irony, serves as headquarters for Sonic.
    What frequently gets my blood to boiling, though, is how the story of Seattle and the Sonics parting is often written with revisionist history. Sportswriters and columnists are the worst.
    For years, Seattle refused to build the club a new arena. As much as I applauded its refusal not to sacrifice taxpayers’ money for what its former ownership could have built with its own funds, anyone with a brain knew the Sonics’ days in the Emerald City were numbered. When the man who owns Starbucks sold his team because the city wouldn’t build him an arena, couldn’t you see the handwriting on the wall? Did you really believe Clay Bennett was going to build 1 out of the goodness of his heart or his deep pockets to please fans in Seattle?

    As soon as Bennett inked the deal I, like many others, would have bet the farm they were headed to Oklahoma City. Blame David Stern. And blame Bennett, if you like, but he knew he had the commissioner’s blessing. Blaming the good folks in Oklahoma City is totally misguided. Do you see them hanging your 1 little raggedy championship banner or any the Sonics’ retired numbers in the rafters?
    And while we’re on the subject of the NBA setting up shop in OKC, consider yourself lucky New Orleans. The Hornets and their ownership would have killed for the opportunity to stay there after their 2-year run, the fanatical support and sellouts stunned even Stern, who initially advised city officials to go searching for an NHL club. OKC didn’t have the big boy pants the NBA wears, he said. We know now how small-minded and out of touch he was.
    Now the Kings are close to checking out of Sacramento because the Maloof family reportedly is nearing a deal with a Seattle group. To their credit, many folks in Seattle oppose the deal. But at this point, that doesn’t matter to Stern and the powers that be.
    For Stern, it’s like killing 2 birds with 1 stone. First, he can rightfully (or wrongly, depending on your view) return a franchise to Seattle, where he will always be a villain for his shady role in the Sonics’ fiasco. Second, he can rid himself of the Maloofs, who have caused him more headaches than Mark Cuban has ever dreamed about.
    Doesn’t make it right. But like the old cliche goes, it’s just bidness.

January 14, 2013   No Comments

Vegas: Sights & Seen

    Three 6 Mafia rapper DJ Paul partied Monday night at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, where the resort celebrated its “Dark Side of the Moon” Halloween bash. The Academy Award winner was dressed as Destro from Marvel Comics’ series “G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.” Joined by 3 friends at a table near the DJ booth, they sipped Ketel One.
    Image courtesy of Aaron Garcia

October 31, 2012   No Comments

Funking For Jamaica

    Brown sugar…
    Sexy and sassy Wynter Gordon packed the house Friday at the Palms Casino Resort’s weekly “Ditch Fridays” affair in Las Vegas. The Jamaican beauty dazzled with her performance of popular hits “Til Death,” “Buy My Love” and “Dirty Talk.”
    Images courtesy of Joe Fury

September 8, 2012   No Comments

Vegas: Sights & Seen

Father-to-be and multi-platinum selling recording artist Wiz Khalifa performed for thousands at the popular “Ditch Fridays” pool party at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas on Friday. Khalifa arrived at the pool sporting a black fedora, jeans and combat boots, yelling to the crowd, “Sorry I’m not in swimming attire, I just left the poker tables!”
Coming off the recent announcement of his fiancé’s pregnancy, Amber Rose, Khalifa partied with 20 close friends and acted as if it was a last hooray before he gets married. The group started drinking as soon as they arrived and sucked down bottles of Bombay Sapphire, Hennessy, Cîroc, Red Stripe and Peroni.
Images courtesy of Erik Kabik/

September 1, 2012   No Comments

‘Dwightmare’ Now Everyone’s Nightmare

    Imagine being Ramon Sessions today. Imagine his regret. If my agent had killed a deal for $4.5 million to play another season with the Lakers because of greed and stupidity and I had winded up with the Bobcats, I would have fired him before the flight came within sniffing distance of Charlotte.
    My boy Leon Scobey didn’t miss a beat.
    “Y’all still ain’t got no bench,” he said Thursday night as we yapped about Dwight Howard being traded to the Lakers. “I still like my boys.”
    His boys, of course, are the Thunder, the defending Western Conference champs and the NBA’s most exciting club. They spanked the Lakers something fierce in the playoffs. They were faster and quicker to the punch. They also had a swagger that championship teams exhibit. In addition to their entertaining up-tempo style, something the “Showtime” Lakers would applaud, they wanted to knock the Lakers on their ass. Mission accomplished.
    Just to throw more fire on the rivalry before the playoffs, Metta World Peace lost his mind again, slamming a wicked elbow into James Harden’s head. The Thunder couldn’t wait to deliver the big payback, smacking the Lakers in 5 games and advancing to the conference finals, where they manhandled the Spurs and advanced to the Finals before succumbing to the Heat.
    I recycled all that garbage above to make a minor point. Mr. Scobey is right. Despite picking up Antawn Jamison, the Lakers bench remains suspect. But it has potential, particularly if Mike Brown, or someone else on the Lakers’ staff with an offensive brain, gives Andrew Goudelock and Devin Ebanks some major minutes and allows their development. Jordan Hill could be a key contributor, too, but hey, who’s nitpicking here?
    The bench is the least of the Lakers’ worries now. They have the baddest man in the middle—Howard—after the blockbuster 4-team trade Thursday sent Andrew Bynum to Philly and left Pau Gasol in L.A. Go figure. Three of the 4 teams involved in the deal benefitted. The Magic? The club holding all the trump cards? Still trying to figure that thinking. If you know, email us.
    Mitch Kupchak, though, would be the 1st to tell you that ain’t his problem. He and the Lakers have Howard in hand and the attention of everyone in the NBA. Howard’s addition obviously puts the Lakers back in the mix. He creates major problems on talent alone, but for the Thunder it’s their inside game and lack of scoring from their center position. The same could be said for the Heat, who also have no center of note. Imagine the Lakers in this year’s Final with the Heat and what do you see. What hurt the Thunder most (besides LeBron, c’mon dawg) was its lack of an inside threat. Serge Ibaka is obviously talented and it’s scary imaging his potential, but Kendrick Perkins gives them nothing scoring-wise inside. And he’s foul-trouble waiting to happen against Dwight.
    See where we’re going here?
    And despite his deficiencies on defense, how huge now is the acquisition of Steve Nash? Howard also will be huge when Nash is getting broken down by Russell Westbrook.
    It’s foolish to crown the Lakers. They need much time to jell, and that could take more than just 1 NBA season. They also must prove they can handle the younger and hungry Thunder, who, as we hear it, shook off the Howard news like water in the shower. They’re thinking we’ll run his big ass, too.
    Still, the Lakers and their fans can almost vision banner No. 17 (ironically, Bynum’s number) being raised to the rafters. It appears more of a reality today than it did before. However, they will be forced to go through the Thunder, the Spurs, the Bulls and maybe the 2nd-city Clippers, who again take a backseat to the Lakers despite all of their wheeling and dealing during the off-season, and the Heat before another parade marches down the streets of L.A.
    The thought of it, though, has Laker fans drooling. They’re already barking again much to the disgust of many. “Fakers” is popular with my homies in OKC. Or as my man Scobey says, you’ll always know when the Lakers do something. Because they’ve got to tell everyone.
    For Sessions, though, the sound of it is deafening. He could have been a contender.
    Still, I’d rather hear what Mark Cuban said. Talk about silence.

August 10, 2012   No Comments

Spring Chicken

    Actress and producer Vivica A. Fox, shown with N9NE Steakhouse Executive Chef Barry Dakake, celebrated her 48th birthday Monday night at the restaurant at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.

August 1, 2012   No Comments

Vegas: Sights & Seen

Yelawolf was the featured performer at today’s “Ditch Fridays” affair at the Palms Casino Resort’s Palms Pool & Bungalows in Las Vegas. Also poolside: Carson Kressley, Joey Fatone, Sabrina Bryan and the rest of the “Dancing With the Stars, LIVE in Las Vegas” cast. Bryan and others helped dancer Iveta Lukosiute (shown on the right with a friend) celebrate her birthday.
Images courtesy of Aaron Garcia
9Group Las Vegas

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June 29, 2012   No Comments