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    Showtime Superman Returns to LA

    August 12th, 2012

    Why are we all shocked? Did anyone really think that The Lake Show wouldn’t revamp the cast and draw every eyeball away from that soap opera down on South Beach? The Showtime Lakers are back. I grew up a Lakers fan, but I will admit that Miami is the sexiest city in America. The Lakers though may now have the sexier roster.

    The Lakers have a storied history of getting the guys they want on the cheap. Real damn cheap. The Lakers got Pau Gasol from Memphis for peanuts and a Happy Meal. Yes, you will say “Look at Marc Gasol.” Point taken, but look at him when the trade was made. He was drafted by LA solely on his potential and nobody knew that he was going to be the center he is today. LA got two titles out of Pau before Marc arrived at the level he’s playing at now. Remember how the Lakers acquired Kobe Bryant? Vlade Divac was the catalyst for that trade. Yes, Vlade was a VERY good center at the time. When’s the last time we heard from Vlade though? I remember seeing Kobe yesterday playing for Team USA.

    I don’t understand the logic behind this trade for Orlando. Rob Hennigan took over for the fired Otis Smith in an impossible position to succeed. I can’t really blame him, but really, why didn’t he take some of the better deals? Your team would have been better off with Brook Lopez and MarShon Brooks, that I can promise you.

    Here’s how the teams fared from this blockbuster.

    1.) Lakers – Obviously they are the gigantic winners from this. You get Dwight Howard for Andrew Bynum and a draft pick of someone who probably wouldn’t make the team to begin with. Oh yeah, it is lottery protected so the Magic can’t get a good player. They also get a good back up point guard for Steve Nash in Chris Duhon. The Lakers gave up a valuable asset for an even more valuable one with out giving up Pau Gasol. Unbelievable.

    2.) 76ers – They come away smelling like a rose. The 76ers are a team that was stuck in the doldrums. They were good, but were not good enough to win a championship with their current roster. They were stuck treading water. In the NBA that’s the worst place to be. You either want to be contending or the worst. Being stuck in Limbo is the death sentence for a team. That’s where Philly was. With the best big man in the East now in Philly they are the second best team in the conference. Yes, they have bypassed Boston as the second fiddle in the East. They also have what Miami doesn’t have, a premier big man who can dominate on both ends of the floor. I really like Philly and giving up Iguodala for Bynum and Jason Richardson is a small price to pay.

    3.) Nuggets – Denver gives up a very solid player in Arron Afflalo and a decent player in Al Harrington. Igoudala is a solid upgrade. I really like him as the best glue guy in the league. He’s a great wing player who can do a little of everything plus he can lock down elite players. Denver is a winner.

    4.) Orlando – Regardless, they were going to come out as the loser in this deal, but they could have had it a little less rough on them. They get pennies on the dollar for their trade. Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, a guy in Moe Harkless who will be out of the league in five years, Josh McRoberts (really?) and Christian Eyenga, who should be cut. Yes you get first round picks, but they are all lottery protected so they will never be anything great. Plus in the Lakers pick you are probably looking at the last pick of the first round. Great value. Why teams always fall for the Lakers’ draft pick is beyond me.

    The regular season games of the year will be January 17th when The Heat travel to Hollywood, then when Showtime rolls down to South Beach on February 10th. As T.O. would say, “Get yo popcorn ready!”

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    Hoops in Sin City: House’s Summer League Chronicle

    July 30th, 2012

    The NBA Summer League just wrapped up in the desert oasis of Las Vegas. Due to the lockout this was the first Summer League since 2010. The Summer League is for those of us who akin to the addict. Well, we actually are addicts. We yearn for that round ball of leather in our lives.

    The Summer League is not for the casual fan. Oh no, it’s for that hoops junkie. It’s for the guy sitting in his cubicle in Kalamazoo who is looking at the acquisitions of the Phoenix Suns on a Tuesday morning in mid-July. His co-workers think he’s gone mad, it’s the middle of the baseball season, plus football training camps will open soon. They care about the Pistons but not until October. “Is he on drugs?” they wonder, has he mentally cracked?

    Yes my friend, the Summer League is for you. It’s in the only place that people won’t think you are weird for being there for basketball in July. Las Vegas is the asylum for the addict in one way or another.

    When you go to Sin City you see every walk of life there. The gambling addict up at seven in the morning, taking long drags off his cigarette, watching the roulette wheel spins like hypnotist is controlling it. This man has seen better days certainly, but he’s soul still holds out for that one huge pay day, when all his problems will be gone. Many more like him are littered around the casino. This place will welcome you, and your addiction.

    I arrived in Las Vegas about noon, Pacific time. My flight on Delta had been quite pleasant. I have a superstition that I always sit on the left side of the plane. If I don’t, who knows, the damn thing may fall out of the sky. The guy sitting beside me was on his way to set up a convention. Hired hand, put up in Treasure Island he said. It was his second trip of the year.

    “Ready to party?” he asked me all wild eyed.

    “Not just yet,” I replied, “I must check into hotel.” I hoped dearly I wouldn’t have to see him again. He was surely to be arrested at some point of his trip.

    I arrived at the Luxor. It was a nice hotel, although I felt as if I was on set of the movie, “The Mummy”. Made my way to my room and deposited my belongings. It’s on now. I first had to make a bet for my friend. Before I left he hands me $20 and said, “on red.”

    I walk down to the roulette machine, lay $20 on the table and tell the lady I want it on red. She gives the wheel a spin, in my mind the scene from “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” comes to mind when Raul Duke lays down $20 and as the wheel spins he says, “make me rich, make me rich!” Well, I had better luck than he did.

    After collecting my winnings, I walked out into the heat and hailed a cab. The driver was from Honduras. In the short ride to the Thomas&Mack Center he proceeded to give me a lesson on foreign policy and told me that Honduras was the United States’ biggest ally. “Okay my man, whatever you say.”

    Once I got to the arena it was three days of hardcore basketball. Nobody really cheers at these events, you are there just to watch the games and evaluate the talent. The players that stood out the most to me were, Damian Lillard, Josh Selby, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Harrison Barnes, Jeremy Lamb, Kent Bazemore, Adam Morrison(just kidding, but he was decent) and Bradley Beal.

    I really liked their games. I was so bummed that MKG only got to play in one game due to his ankle injury, but WOW what a game that was! Twenty-two minutes of action he amassed 18 points, 8 boards, 5 assists and 4 steals. If anyone negatively speaks of him, it’s only because they are a hater. The guy can ball. Charlotte has a GREAT player of the future.

    Damian Lillard really showed up and in a big way. The guy can score and he can hoop. Portland will be his team soon. I’m excited to see him play with Aldridge. Myers Leonard is still a few years away.

    Bradley Beal showed everyone why he was the top choice of the Wizards. He will be a perfect backcourt mate to John Wall. He seems to grasp the feel for the game already.

    Austin Rivers showed nothing in two games before injury. I didn’t like him coming into the draft and he is adding fuel to the fire. I don’t think he will ever be an impact player. Also, New Orleans should get rid of Xavier Henry. The guy sucks. Sorry if you are a fan, but he does. I wish Darius Miller could have gotten some more playing time.

    Josh Selby could make Memphis look like geniuses by letting OJ Mayo leave. He was great. Go look up his stats and minutes if you are a Grizzlies fan and you will be smiling ear-to-ear. Very impressed by a guy who I honestly didn’t think could play in the NBA.

    Jeremy Lamb and Terrence Jones impressed for the Rockets. Lamb has a very smooth game and showed he can hit the mid-range jumper. Terrence Jones is a beast and has explosion to go with his tenacity. He played really hard and it showed.

    Harrison Barnes really impressed me more than anyone, and I hate to admit it. He showed that he can score at will and effortlessly. He has such a quick release and he so high on his jump shot. He showed some moves in the post, which was surprising. What impressed me most was his defense. He had really stepped up his game, make sure to keep an eye on him.

    The wild card name I’m giving you is Kent Bazemore out of Old Dominion. I remember him in a game against Kentucky and he looked great. He had a very solid Summer League. Watch for him to surprise this season.

    I left Vegas on Sunday after the games had concluded vowing to be back for it next season. If you are an NBA fan you will want to make a trip out to the Summer League. You will have an opportunity to see the games close up, and if you want to, you can meet some players who are milling around the strip when they are not playing. Go to the Summer League next year. You can thank me later.

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    Et tu Shuttlesworth.. Et Tu..

    July 13th, 2012

    The city of Boston is in an uproar. One of “their” own has just betrayed them. Ray Allen, the final piece of The Big Three when it was assembled has left for warmer, prettier…beaches. Allen turned down a two year 12 million dollar offer from the Celtics to take less money (3 years at a little over 3 million per year) to take his talents to South Beach. The Bostonians are outraged. They are likening it to the Biblical tale when Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve apostles, took thirty pieces of silver to deliver his master to the authorities to be executed. I guess if you factor in inflation it could come out to 3 million per ten pieces? The story of Judas then goes on to say he has a change of heart and depending on which version you put stock in, he either committed suicide by hanging or was persecuted by the apostles and stoned to death. Now I don’t see the first scenario as a possibility, but the second, yes. Well, not stoning but I could see the disciples of Red throwing beers on him when he returns to the Garden. The Celtics fans have it all wrong though. He’s not a Judas Iscariot; he didn’t sell out the franchise for money. He should be called a Benedict Arnold if anything.

    Benedict Arnold was an infamous general in the American Continental Army. He was passed over for promotion even though he committed many great and heroic acts, like commanding the Continental troops in the famous capture of Fort Ticonderoga. He saw the effects his work was had but he was not being rewarded when others were getting promotions. He was stuck. We can draw the parallel between Benedict (Allen) and other generals (Rajon Rondo). Allen was more important than Rondo when the Celtics won the NBA Championship in 2008. However, as the years went by Allen was always overshadowed by the favorite Celtic, Pierce, the loud and boisterous Garnett, and was now being overshadowed by the point guard. Rondo received the huge contract extension, Allen did not.

    Allen was always referred to by teammates as a locker room lawyer. He grew up in a strict military family and his whole life has been about discipline. That famous jumper, as he says in the commercial, is about shooting it the same every time. He is a machine. Rondo isn’t so much. He rubs people the wrong way, he is abrasive. He’s not afraid to yell at Doc Rivers. He doesn’t worry about stepping on toes. Allen is the opposite of that. They were bound to clash.

    So when the Celtics clearly took the side of Rondo, Allen was ready to jump ship down to Biscayne Bay. Can you really blame him? Wouldn’t we all leave a company that we felt was passing us by in favor of the guy in the next office who we can’t stand? Having your new job in the sexiest city in America doesn’t hurt. He’s a perfect fit with his new running mates. He has put aside his ego once before for a ring. He wants another desperately. If he was after money he would have stayed in Boston. Throw in the absence of a state income tax in Florida and it does make the deal a little bigger. I admit that. The best chance for a ring does as well.

    So now Boston fans, realize that his successor, Jason Terry, is actually a better player at this stage in his career than Allen is at this stage in his career. This is going to be an upgrade. Ray Allen is statistically coming off one of his best years. However he missed a good deal of time when he went out with an ankle injury. He looks brittle and stiff. Boston fans, however, fail miserably in remembering how they got Ray Allen from Seattle. I seem to remember how the Sonics were set to start rebuilding and Ray Allen was too expensive and even at that time getting up there in age. He was traded, but he had no intentions of staying there. Yes, Seattle got the best deal they could out of the trade. So did Ray Allen. He helped a collection of superstars win a ring. He did that in his first season there. Celtic fans, you should be THANKING him for resuscitating your franchise after being stuck in the doldrums for years. He gave your franchise four great years. He set the all time Three Point Field Goals Made record in your uniform. He did a lot for your franchise. Now, he’s doing what your team did to Seattle.

    “Et tu, Brute?” no, that would never come to their minds.

    So cue up Fitz, Tommy and Mickey at the pub. I can hear them now in that atrocious Boston accent – “Ray Allen is a soft bum.”

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    NBA Free Agency.. A serious case of SNL’s REAALLLYYY skit..

    July 6th, 2012

    The Los Angeles Lakers set off the Independence Day fireworks for the rest of the league Wednesday night by acquiring the former two-time MVP of the league, Steve Nash. The hoopla surrounding free agency to this point had mainly been in Brooklyn and Orlando with Dwight Howard and “Average Joe” Johnson joining the overrated Deron Williams, who chose to stay with the Nets rather than return home to Dallas.

    Let me say this about the Nets. That franchise is still a joke. When you get clowned by the Atlanta Hawks, a franchise that is known for making stupid decisions, you know you are about at rock bottom. Joe Johnson may have one of the worst contracts in the history of basketball. He has four years with $90 million left. The guy is worth $30 million for three years. He is a point forward who can score and distribute, but why do you need that when you just signed Deron Williams to a five year $98 million dollar deal? So you are paying Joe Johnson $90 mil to score 20 points a game? Really? If he was at his fair market price I would be praising the Nets for the move. I really would, because Johnson isn’t a scrub – he’s a nice player, but his game reflects his name.

    Let’s move on to Deron Williams. We have been told by the East Coast media that Deron Williams is a great point guard. Yes, he had a nice run in Utah. He was a top point guard in the league while there. However, a couple of point guards have risen since then. Chris Paul overtook Steve Nash as the point guard king around 2008. You could argue that Williams was better than Nash then. I’ll still defend him over Nash as a better point guard today, but he’s been passed by a couple guys.

    Point Guard Pecking Order:

    1. Chris Paul
    2. Rajon Rondo
    3. Derrick Rose
    4.  Deron Williams
    5.  Steve Nash
    6. Russell Westbrook.

    While Nash isn’t going to pass him due to age, Westbrook surely has the ability to do so. Factor number two – the Nets didn’t really improve much with him. Their wins went up, but after the 2010 season they had nowhere to go but up. I’m saying he’s better than “Average Joe” Johnson, but not someone I’d pay $98 million for.

    Next the Nets gave Gerald Wallace a $40 million dollar contract. This is absurd. Gerald Wallace should never make that money. I can list ten guys who are better than him at his position and who do more than he does. He’s an energy player who rebounds. Oh, that’s nice. Can he shoot? No. Is he really a good on the ball defender? Average. Does he make others around him better? Nope. So would you pay him $40 million over four years? Hell no! Oh yeah, after spending this money where do you think you’re going to get the cash for Howard? You think he’s going to take a pay cut to play with those guys? C’mon.

    Now let’s get to the juicy story of free agency. The Showtime Lakers are back!

    Jack Nicholson will think he walked into a hot tub time machine and woke up in the 80’s. This is going to be a prolific offense. If you are a Lakers fan you need to start emailing Mitch Kupchak and beg him not to trade for Dwight Howard. The Lakers are now a running offensive team. They are a score first, defend second team. Yes Dwight Howard is the cream of the cream of the crop when it comes to defenders, but on this team they need a better offensive player, oh wait, they already have the best offensive center in the league and one of the best power forwards in Pau Gasol. This team is going to be a treat to watch. It’s still early, but they may have overtaken the Thunder as the team to beat out West. Yes, I know that is a bold statement, but think about it. Steve Nash running the offense has never had a player like Kobe Bryant to facilitate. They have all been guys like, Oh say, “Average Joe” Johnson. You can argue Dirk but he was very young and regardless he’s not The Black Mamba. Nash has been making guys better for years. His career and Kobe’s have been prolonged due to this trade. I’m up in the air if they will resign Metta World Peace. If he takes a serious pay cut I would. I know Kobe trusts him to go into battle, but he is getting older. The only way I could see this train having trouble is if the conductor tries to throttle it down. Mike Brown is going to lose his mind with the way they are going to play. I have serious questions about him going forward as the coach. I’ve never been a huge fan and I don’t like how he will try to manage this squad if his track record holds true. Somebody better have the jet ready to fly to Montana.

    One last little note. Dallas Mavericks fans, stay away from bridges. Never have I seen a team fall so hard after winning a title. Will they even make the playoffs next season?

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    House’s NBA Mock Draft Ver. 1.0

    June 25th, 2012

    The Finals are over, the lock out shortened season has ended. We have crowned a new king of the league. So the long offseason awaits us. Oh, wait, the season starts Thursday with the NBA Draft. I could sit here and argue that the NBA has a bigger impact on teams than the wilder, more popular NFL draft, but seeing that America lives and breathes the pigskin and I want you to continue reading, I won’t go there.

    I do want to discuss what I think the lottery teams, should and will do if they want some success. I have looked at many mock draft boards, not just the one on the World Wide Sensationalism Leader’s website. I spoke with Ed Isaacson and got his opinions on some players. Ed runs the website I started following him on Twitter a few months ago and I really respect his opinion. I disagree with him on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, (FYI, I’m from Kentucky and went to UK), but I love his opinions. His website gives real analysis, not regurgitated opinions from the “experts.”

    Ed is very high on Harrison Barnes. I don’t want to be. I’ve been trying to find every flaw I can in his game. There is nothing I want to see more than Kentucky players going 1-2 in the draft. I want to rip Barnes. I can’t, though. Ed is not so hot on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. I’m a homer, I love everything Kidd-Gilchrist brings to the table. I will acknowledge his shooting flaw. However, I will stand by him at number two. Sorry Ed, we will see in five years–let’s wager a beer at the Summer League 2017.

    We both, however, are not big on Dion Waiters. The guy couldn’t start for two years at a program without a real bona fide star. He didn’t impress me from what I saw of him at Syracuse in his second season.

    So let’s jump right into the thick of things. This may not be how things all play out. I certainly expect a trade or four, but this is how I would script it:

    New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky.
    I have seen every one of his games, plus two practices. His skill set is unbelievable. He averaged 4.8 blocks per game to go along with 1.5 steals. He shoots 71% from the line. He has a 7’6 wingspan. I could go on and on, but it’s a no brainer.

    Charlotte Bobcats: Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina.
    I want to bash him for his tournament performance, but look at his body of work. The negatives are that he can’t create his own shot. It’s true. I personally don’t see a post game that will transfer to the next level. He has trouble defending a quick, athletic small forward. Having said all that, I think the Tar Heel connection will win out, but because of this, he’s a safe pick. His skill set is only going to improve and he is a smart kid. At the worst, Charlotte has a solid NBA player. Remember, not all guys who are drafted are going to be stars. They get hyped and compared to the elite players, but not every class is loaded with talent

    Washington Wizards: Bradley Beal, SG, Florida:

    The Wizards led the NBA as the Bone Head All-Star team. I love John Wall, but he made some dumb decisions last year. Beal is a very good player. He’s also the Anti-Wizard–he’s smart. A very cerebral player while at UF. I watched him play several times against Kentucky and living on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, we are in the thick of SEC country, so I saw them play many times. I am very impressed with Beal. He has a smooth shooting stroke, lethal in spot up situations. The only knock on him is that he doesn’t go to the rim with ease. He will help in more ways than just on the court with this team.

    Cleveland Cavaliers: Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas.

    I’m not a big of a fan of his. I know his game is still improving and he just finally got to start and look what he did. I saw him play twice against Kentucky and Anthony Davis really didn’t seem to be affected dramatically by him. However, Davis did a number to him. He’s athletic enough and has a motor that doesn’t stop. That athleticism that he has gotten used to getting by with won’t cut it at the next level. My two biggest knocks are 1) He doesn’t have post moves. He’s going to be living there, he needs to know how to play there, and 2) He does nothing to alter shots. He seems too worried about validating himself. Dude, if you are that good, we will all see. Stop telling us.

    Sacramento Kings: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky.
    A total beast. Plays with his heart and his motor at 100% all the time. Literally, he is everything you want in a basketball player when it comes to the intangibles. I could go on and on about him. I’m going to have to criticize him. His shooting HAS to improve. He can drive to the rim, but ask him to pull up or hit a fade away jumper and you are in trouble. His shooting also seems mechanical, which worries me quite a bit. I’m rooting hard for him. He will put in the time, he will put in the work. He is a champion and I think he will end up being a very good NBA player. He will never get complacent. Any team in the NBA would love to have a guy like him. I’m rooting for him.

    Portland Trail Blazers: Andre Drummond, C, UConn.
    Do the Blazers really want to draft a center? Really? If they bypass Drummond for Kendall Marshall or Damian Lillard, I would not blame them one bit. The franchise is snake bitten when it comes to big men. I think they will try their hand with Drummond, though. He’s a bit dicey. He has talent, but he’s very young and his work ethic and weight issues are a huge question mark for him. Bigger still would be the fact that he has ZERO moves in the post season. Let’s not forget that he only gets to the line 2.6 times a game and is a wretched 29% (yes, that is not a typo) from the line. I could easily see him ballooning once he is on in the league. Portland desperately needs a big man, so I think they take him. Fingers crossed, Rose City.

    Golden State Warriors: Damian Lillard PG, Weber State-
    The guy can score all night long. I like how he can attack the rim and create his own shot, as well. I LOVE how he goes to the line eight times per contest. Love that. However, he’s a combo guard, of which I am not the biggest fan. I want to see him against some elite talent. He played his college ball against guys who will be watching NBA games in their future.

    Toronto Raptors: Jeremy Lamb, SG, UConn-
    Jeremy Lamb can shoot from anywhere. He’s what you want in your two guard. Explosive, quick, laterally, as well as north and south. I really like his game. What I don’t like about him is that he drives to the left the majority of the time. NBA teams are not going to let him do that. He’s going to have to learn to go right. He is going to need to go to the rim more than just 3.6 times per game, as well.

    Detroit Pistons: Terrence Ross, SF, Washington-
    Big Ross fan. I love how the moment is never too big for him. He is never engulfed and swallowed by the bright lights on the big stage. He relishes it. He runs so well in transition. I would love to see the backcourt of Brandon Knight and Terrence Ross. He is the most underrated player, if you can call him that in this draft.

    Dallas Mavericks(via New Orleans Hornets) Kendall Marshall, PG, North Carolina-
    Yes I put in a trade. This is a perfect fit. Dallas has scorers, and it’s alright because Marshall scores about as often as Tim Tebow. He won’t scare anyone with his shooting, either. He will be able to be left and have help on a double team, which is a negative, but he makes up for it with so much more. He’s a natural leader. He is a true floor general who makes all the right plays. Look at UNC’s play with him out during the tournament. That helped his stock so much. With Jason Kidd now irrelevant as a starting point guard, they gamble on Marshall as Deron Williams’ insurance.

    Portland Trail Blazers: Austin Rivers, SG, Duke-

    Not a fan. Although he is a great scorer, he has so many negatives that I wouldn’t touch him. Portland will, though. My issue with Rivers is he is ball dependant, which means he must have the ball in order to be effective, which means that you must tailor your offense for him. Is he worth that? Not for a guy who has a 2.1 to 2.3 assist to turnover ratio, who has no interest in defending.

    Milwaukee Bucks: Myers Leonard, C, Illinios-
    Leonard may have jumped higher than anyone in just one season. Has some good post moves and runs the court well. The Bucks need to find a replacement for Andrew Bogut, who they traded away to the Warriors. That may just be Leonard.

    Phoenix Suns: Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse-
    Not very big on a guy who does nothing well. I’m very anxious to see how he plays in a man-to-man system of defense. He’s been atop the famous Orange Zone D and really has never played any man. This could be interesting. Not a fan and wouldn’t draft him.

    Houston Rockets: Perry Jones III, PF, Baylor-

    The guy has as much talent as Anthony Davis. I kid you not. He can do it all. Freak of nature. Scouts have been drooling over him for years. However, there is a reason he is down here and not competing with Davis for the top pick, that thing in your chest that beats and the thing in your head that makes decisions. The most fitting suit for him at the draft would be the one made famous by the villian from the Batman comics–the Riddler. It’s adorned with question marks.

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    Is Today the Day?

    June 21st, 2012

    The haters of LeBron James have two more days to get in their barbs and make their criticisms of him. If you are a LeBron hater, then you had better hit up your favorite sports bar tonight and get your last jabs in at him. Thursday night, the king will get his crown. The dream that started in Cleveland will be manifested in South Beach.

    Teams facing a 3-1 deficit are 0-30 in the NBA Finals. This is a REALLY good Thunder team, but not good enough to come back from that hole. I speak for all the fans that aren’t a big fan of either team, but rather are fans of the game. We wanted this series to go seven games. We wanted to see the Thunder (the “Good Guys”) battle it out with the “Bad Guys.” This is where we all diverge. Some of us wanted to see King James suffer through another Finals, where his play was sub-par and that when the limelight was cast directly on him in the 4th quarter, he would shrink and melt in the moment.

    The other side of the fence wanted to see his greatness rewarded. Let’s all admit it: I will go before you. I’m the biggest Kobe Bryant apologist out there. I love the Black Mamba. I justify every wild shot he takes. However, the crown has been handed down. LeBron is the greatest basketball player on this planet and I’ll go out on a limb and put him up as the best in our galaxy. (I haven’t seen a scouting report on any other galaxies lately).

    The Decision is now a dead horse that has beaten and buried. Let’s not exhume it and beat it anymore. The criticism for it was warranted all of last year. Most Americans can’t sympathize with a guy leaving a normal, average, working town and moving to the sexiest city in America. Yes, it’s Miami, sorry LA and NYC. Eventually, your ammunition runs out after you fire your machine non stop for months. The Decision was a terrible decision let’s now move on.

    You have to admire LeBron’s will to win. His performance in these Finals has been masterful. Had he not been lying by the bench in agony, he would have gathered a triple double. You know LeBron would have grabbed another board in the waning seconds. The other night’s show might have been his best in this showcase. LeBron enabled the struggling Mario Chalmers, who had Kevin Durant guarding him so he wouldn’t pick up fouls, to score 25 points. Chalmers is the team’s 4th option! LeBron had to be carried off the floor and yet returned with 4 minutes left to hit a 3-pointer with his team down by 2. That was his most impressive shot of the night. The entire Thunder team knew he couldn’t drive past anyone with his body failing him. They knew he was pulling up for a low percentage shot, yet they couldn’t stop him. “That 3 was just sheer will and competitiveness,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra remarked after the game.

    So Thursday night, let us all watch and appreciate what we have in front of us. I remember seeing the greatest player to ever play the game, Michael Jordan, play. I was too young to appreciate what he was doing. I didn’t realize the magnitude of his shot over Byron Russell. I didn’t understand his greatness and I didn’t realize I would never see this again live. Some of you reading this probably didn’t get that luxury of watching Jordan play. However, you get to watch the most dominate player of your generation play at his highest level. You are watching greatness at work. You may never see a player like him again. The power, speed, agility, and smoothness he plays with will be hard to be duplicated, likely impossible. So no matter if you like him or loathe him, watch him. Sit back, remove your bias, and appreciate the talent. We are taking it for granted.

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