Home > Basketball, The Final Buzzer > The Final Buzzer – Basketball and Other Random Thoughts (9/7/11)

The Final Buzzer – Basketball and Other Random Thoughts (9/7/11)

The Final Buzzer is back! I know what you’re thinking and yes, you’re absolutely right, it is about God. Damn. Time. Let me start off by apologising about the lack of write ups. My bad. There’s actually been quite a lot to talk about! First things first, let’s go back and talk about the NBA Finals.

The Dallas Mavericks captured their first NBA Championship in franchise history, led by the now immortal Dirk Nowitzki. Seriously, Dirk was unstoppable. You could very easily argue that you would rather have DWade or LeBron on your team before Dirk, but the way Dirk was playing/carrying that Dallas team was an incredible sight to behold and you now wouldn’t appear stupid to pick him first. Well, you probably still would but you’d probably rather Dirk take the last shot than either Wade or LeBron. Dirk deserves all the praise that’s coming his way. He’s been performing at an efficient and consistent level for years now but because he hasn’t had the post season success that some of his peers have had (Kobe, Duncan, Garnett, Gasol, O’Neal, maybe Nash-although Nash has never reached the Finals) people have often dismissed his success. They can’t dismiss his credentials now. League MVP, Finals MVP, All Star, All NBA team selections, best foreign player ever, one of the best shooters in NBA history, now a legit rival to being as popular as the Hoff in Germany! Even his rendition of “We Are the Champions” rivals Freddy Mercury during Freddy’s best day:

 

 

Of course as much as we celebrated Dallas beating the Miami Heat (I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see a non-Lakers team win), everyone equally began questioning LeBron James about just what the F#$k happened?!

 

 

The man came up short, choked, disappeared, shrank…whatever word you can think of, LeBron came up short and the Heat lost because of it. Well not just because of it, but it was a massive factor. When the best player on your team (is he even the best player on the Heat’s roster? That’s now a legit discussion) disappears and comes up short it raises questions. It’s like if Jack Bauer can’t stop the bomb and beat the bad guy in the last six episodes of 24. You just don’t expect that to happen. Jack always comes through damn it!

That’s the feeling you should have with LeBron. He’s got all these tools at his disposal to come through and save the day, but he came up short. There are a lot of theories being tossed around for LeBron’s LeCollapse (see what I did there?). Maybe it’s a mental thing? Maybe he went to Miami so he didn’t have to be “the guy”. Maybe he lacks the killer instinct that Jordan, Kobe, Dirk and Bird have (that’s what I found weird about all those Jordan comparisons that were coming his way from ESPN. It just wasn’t deserved).

Maybe he should spend more time working on his low post game instead of dunking on 12 year old kids. Maybe he should work on his 3 point shooting? Maybe Rashard Lewis did in fact sleep with LeBron’s girlfriend which caused the meltdown? Maybe he was just tired. Maybe Rashard Lewis supposedly sleeping with LeBron’s girlfriend brought back the memories of Delonte West becoming LeBron’s step-daddy which caused LeBron to mentally shut down. Kind of like a virus crashing a computer. Maybe LeBron made the wrong decision? Maybe he should make a new decision?

 

 

Moving on from all that, something that I want to briefly comment on before we get into the lockout is the Lakers hiring of Mike Brown. You can tell he’s obviously very happy about getting the job…

 

 

Now obviously, it’s tough to follow the greatest coach of all time in Phil Jackson and coaching the Lakers obviously brings an expectation of winning championships (especially seeing Kobe’s window is closing). This puts Mike Brown in a tough position. There’s a lot of pressure on the guy and considering his flameout when he was coaching the Cavs, and his apparent lack of offensive creativity (“let’s give the ball to LeBron and get out of the way”). So far, he’s said all the right things to the media, has been reported to have Kobe’s trust, although Kobe hasn’t said anything publicly about the Mike Brown hire (apparently that’s more of a message to the Lakers management for not including him in the selection process. Shame on you, Jim Buss). Brown’s also put together a pretty good coaching staff together and if the players buy into his system, then I don’t see why they won’t be competing for a title next season. We know Brown is an excellent defensive coach and if the offence he/John Kuester implements utilizes the height and length advantage that the Lakers possess then they should be fine. At least we know he can laugh…

 

 

Hopefully Dwight Howard pulls a Carmelo Anthony and demands a trade to the Lakers. He’s basically said it without saying if (if that makes sense). Make it happen Mitch Kupchak. If Dwight comes to L.A. it’ll be like when Shaq left Orlando in 1996…which will be a case of Déjà Vu especially when you factor in that they’re both nicknamed Superman. I wasn’t totally on board with trading Bynum for Dwight initially because I figured that Bynum was still a young guy and his accidents were freak accidents. But then I found out that Dwight is only two years older than Bynum (Dwight is 25, Drew is 23) and has never been injured so if they can make that deal happen then I’m all for it! As long as you don’t trade Bynum, Odom AND Gasol. I feel that’s too much to give up if you’re the Lakers.

Bynum could be the second best Center in the league with a more complete offensive game than Dwight and Gasol, and despite his own no show during the playoffs, is still one of the best PF’s in the game. And of course Lamar Odom is married to the ugly Kardasian so you can’t just simply trade that away! Do you really want to give all that up? You wouldn’t trade 3 Silver medals for a Gold med…well you probably would. Well you wouldn’t trade 3 rare Pokémon cards for an ultra rare Pokémon car…well I guess you’d do that too. Well you wouldn’t swap three good Transformers (Bumblebee, Ironhide and Ratchet) for Optimus Pri…well you definitely do that. Hmm. Maybe you do trade them all for Dwight?

Now usually around this time of the year, the NBA is in full free agency swing mode. But unfortunately this year we’re in a lockout. Now what’s a lockout? It’s basically the owners shutting out the players and refusing them service to the team facilities, not paying them and not communicating to them. Employees from NBA teams can’t even attend functions of players without League approval (such as player’s weddings). To sum up, there’s basically a disagreement between the players and the owners. The owners are claiming that they’re losing over $300 million dollars a year and the players are arguing that it’s the owners being irresponsible for giving out bad contracts to players. And you can’t really argue with that.

If someone offered you $66,000,000 over 6 years to play basketball, you’d take it… wouldn’t you?! Of course you would, anyone would. Eddy Curry ($60 million over 6 years) got paid to get fat! Jerome James ($30 million over 5 years) got paid for being tall! Luke Walton ($30 million over 6 years) got paid because they got him and his dad mixed up! Rashard Lewis ($126 million over 6 years) got for taking steroids and Gilbert Arenas ($111 million over 6 years) got paid because the Wizards management felt threatened he was going to pull a gun on them…too soon?

 

Seemed like a good idea at the time…now neither are in the NBA

 

And that’s the problem- some terrible basketball players are being overpaid and it’s resulting in teams losing money. There’s also a lot of little other disagreements involved (such as a hard salary cap) but they’re not as important as the profit sharing argument that the two sides can’t agree upon. Currently there is a 57/43 percent revenue split between the players (57%) and the owners (43%). The owners want that 57% the players receive reduced to help cover the losses that they’re facing. Currently both sides can’t come to an agreement which is why we’re in a lockout. Hopefully it doesn’t last long, because the worst case scenario is that we lose the 2011/2012 NBA season all together. In 1998/1999, they only had a 50 game season because of the lockout which introduced back-to-back-to-back games and cancelled the NBA All Star Weekend. The idea of three games in three nights is insane once you factor in having to travel across the United States. Hopefully this lockout business is resolved quickly so we can get the NBA back on and build on its growing popularity.

 

 

Random Thoughts

  • Ron Artest changing his name to Metta World Peace overshadowed the NBA Draft, which raises two questions:
  1. Is Ron Artest/Metta World Peace so popular that his actions transcends the actions of the NBA?   Or
  2. Was the 2011 NBA Draft really that bad?
  • People who complain about the new Transformers movie being nothing more than a mindless action movie with no story need to realise that the movie wasn’t made with the Oscar’s in mind! IT WAS MADE TO BE A MINDLESS ACTION MOVIE WITH NO STORY AND GIANT ROBOTS WHO DESTROY EACH OTHER! WE WERE LUCKY TO GET HUMAN ACTORS IN THE MOVIE AT ALL. INFACT, THE HUMAN ACTORS ACTUALLY LOWERED THE OVERALL QUALITY OF THE MOVIE! Although, I will admit that Shia LaBeouf is very good at acting with a green screen.
  • My friend (who’s a girl) is so alternative that she’s anti-feminist. She actually made me breakfast and told me not to do anything! Love her!
  •  Is anyone else already jacked up about The Rock headlining Wrestlemania 28?! There’s no way he loses right?! Surely he wouldn’t agree to come back unless John Cena put him over right? RIGHT?!
  •  Aren’t we over the whole discrimination thing when you consider Oprah, who is both African American and a woman (in case you didn’t know), is the world’s highest paid TV star ($315 million dollars in 2010)?
  •  The Hangover Part II SPOILER ALERT– Okay, anyone else find it weird Teddy (Stu’s future brother in-law) gets his finger chopped off and is okay with it even though he was training to be a surgeon as well as a concert cellist?! DOESN’T CUTTING OFF HIS FINGER JUST SHIT ALL OVER BOTH DREAMS?!
  •  Is a Ron Artest jersey now considered a Hardwood Classic?
  •  Cameron Diaz looked old in Bad Teacher

And that my friends, is The Final Buzzer.

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