Category — Phil Jackson
June 3, 2013 No Comments
It seems to be the only question out there when it comes to grading LeBron James now.
Is he better than Michael Jordan?
Clearly the best player in the game today, James can do a lot of things, even win a lot more rings, but it is different.
To me, he will never be Jordan for 1 main reason.
No, no longer in big games when a title is on the line. He has gotten past that now.
One ring shuts up a lot of folks.
But he flops on defense, when the smallest of players brush past. He admits to this. He calls it part of the game.
I can’t recall once Jordan flopping on the floor like a fish out of water just to get a call. Maybe James wants to be a part of the soccer revolution.
To his credit, James has never proclaimed he wanted to be like Mike, just wear his jersey number for most of his life until he took his talents to South Beach.
Who knew those talents were action skills as well.
Maybe this is a generation thing, because James is not alone in flopping. A good portion of NBA players do this and the league is even trying to make them pay with fines.
But the message is clear, players will pay to flop if it means getting the right call at the right time.
Crime might not pay but bad-act flopping sure does.
In Jordan’s NBA, flopping was looked upon as a weakness, a show you could not stand tall in the paint.
Jordan wouldn’t consider taking a step back let alone take a dive.
Nobody would. Not Magic, not Bird, not Barkley and surely none of the early Bad Boys from Detroit.
That seemed to change when the NBA went international. Maybe that was soccer’s influence.
I remember watching a young Laker center named Vlade Divac fall to the floor like he had been shot in the back because Kenny Smith ran into him. Smith was about 60 pounds lighter and 10 inches shorter, but Divac tumbled like a giant oak after being attacked by a chain saw.
His knees buckled and his body shivered as he dropped. Like a bad death scene in an old Western. Fit perfectly with the Hollywood crowd sitting courtside.
Magic Johnson looked stunned.
After getting the call, Divac jumped up and raced down court like a boy who just got away with stealing a piece of candy.
Flopping was suddenly the in thing.
Now it is James, a beast in shorts and a tank top, falling on demand.
He even complains when he is fouled hard in the playoffs going to the basket.
Has he not seen the video of the way Jordan was dismantled for years by the Detroit Pistons?
Jordan took it and then gave it out. Charles Barkley the same way.
Heck, James’ boss, Heat president Pat Riley, won with that style in New York before taking the monster to Miami. Now he says things are too rough, too.
The game has gotten softer on all levels. That is fine. But when you are playing for the highest of stakes winning is painful.
Jordan knew it, so did the rest of the guys back in the NBA’s heyday.
Now, it’s just an act they put on for us, a show that isn’t about to end.
Not when a flop can help lead you to a crown.
And another flopping crown might be fit for King James.
June 3, 2013 No Comments
Of course we would have picked Wilt, but that’s not the point here.
Phil Jackson has said plenty of things lately. He’s promoting a book. Still, we’ve always been fond of Phil’s commentary (and what he’s reading since his list of recommended books is always awesome). We can only imagine why the Lakers’ Jim Buss, a former horse trainer, and his henchmen aren’t.
But as much as he’s promoting his new book, Phil made some interesting observations over the past week. The latest 1 being that if he had to start a team he would take Bill Russell instead of Michael Jordan. Imagine that.
May 23, 2013 No Comments
We knew Laker fans would lower themselves to such things, but are you kidding us?
Although Laker fans are all giddy (hmmm, last time that’s happened?) with the No. 7 seed, do they really believe this squad is actually capable of anything in the NBA playoffs? Forgive us. I lost $5 to my old lady cuz I bet the Lakers wouldn’t make it, so maybe I’m a little bitter. And I surely forgot how the NBA sometimes figures into these things.
They don’t want to face my homies and the OKC Thunder. They want no part of that can of whip ass. Russell Westbrook again? Oh no, let’s take Timmy Duncan and his choir boy friends. Is that you T-Mac?
Some folks believe the Lakers are better off (is that you Magic Johnson?) making the playoffs instead of tanking for the lottery, like many of us dreamers gamble on everyday. But Dwight and the boys failing Kobe on the final night of the regulation…well the suicide hotline would have been working overtime.
The Lakers are 200-1 to win it all. Your point is?
We’re also pissed seeing the Spurs getting 8-1 since we bet them at 4-1. Someone trying to tell us something? Didn’t think so.
April 18, 2013 No Comments
We said months ago the Lakers wouldn’t make the playoffs. Ain’t no reason for us to punk out now. But does that mean Mike D’Antoni retuns as coach? Unfortunately, probably. Would the Lakers be on the hook for 2 ex-coaches? That plus a luxury tax? Probably not.
For Laker fans, that’s not a good thing.
Neither was that beatdown the Clip Joint gave the Lakers. With the win the Clippers clinch the Pacific Division.
April 8, 2013 No Comments
If you’ve got 30 minutes to spare, it’s a good interview with Phil, Jeanie, Shaq and Kurt Rambis.
April 3, 2013 No Comments
We’re trolling around in our 2nd home, the always entertaining Las Vegas. Hit the over (202.5) for the Spurs-Clips blowout, but due to a brief case of blindness at the betting window, we bet the Clips instead of the Spurs. And the old lady wondered why I was cussing?
Your favorites for the NBA championship? The Heat (+165) and the Thunder (+280) are the picks now, but we all know how quickly that can change. The rest: Spurs (5-1); Clippers (6-1); Lakers (13-1); Knicks (12-1); Bulls (14-1); Warriors (16-1); Pacers (25-1); Celtics and Nuggets (35-1); and Rockets (60-1).
Us? We like the Spurs. That could change too. If we’re wrong, we’ll plead another case of blindness. Seriously.
February 21, 2013 No Comments
Unlike ESPN, I could care less about the hoopla and the circus centering around Michael Jordan turning 50. But I couldn’t resist reading this awesome piece by the outstanding Wright Thompson, who pens some of the finest pieces I’ve read the past few years.
Of course it’s all about Mike, but Thompson, as he is prone to do, explains some of the nuances about Jordan, and even better, why he’s still an asshole. It just goes with the territory. Right Kobe?
ESPN The Magazine
February 18, 2013 No Comments
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.
February 18, 2013 No Comments
“When someone as celebrated and charismatic as Jerry Buss dies, we are reminded of 2 things. First, just how much 1 person with vision and strength of will can accomplish. Second, how fragile each of us is, regardless of how powerful we were. Those 2 things combine to inspire us to reach for the stars, but also to remain with our feet firmly on the ground among our loved ones. Dr. Buss embodied that compassionate entrepreneurial spirit. He strove to reach greater heights without forgetting his community roots. During his stewardship, the Lakers exemplified his personal standards of excellence and became one of the dominant teams in the NBA and a force of good within the community. The man may be gone, but he has made us all better people for knowing him.”
— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
February 18, 2013 No Comments