Friday, June 19, 2009

It's almost officially summer!! Watch the vid and celebrate. lol

Summer might be my favorite season. For many it has already started, but officially it starts June 21. In celebration of the oncoming heat and beautiful women, I humbly submit for your approval the single biggest Summer anthem of my lifetime:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

LOL the end of the MVPuppet Ad campaign for this season...

NBA Finals Wrap up- He finally did it.

Well, it's over. Lakers win #15, Phil wins #10, and Kobe Wins #4. Can't say I am surprised, the Lakers had the better team and Orlando was a team living and dying by the jumper in their first finals since Shaq was relevant in Orlando. As I watched the celebrations, I couldn't help thinking that Kobe Bryant finally got the monkey off his back of winning without Shaq. What's left for a Kobe hater to talk about? (Except his Jordan-like mannerisms, arrogance, fakeness.) I stopped long ago trying to criticize him for his game, because dude can flat out play basketball. Others kept criticizing him about making teammates better, etc. Well, what now? What are we going to pick on now? I honestly think the Lakers are going to repeat next year, and may very well, barring injury and losses to free agency, win again after that. What happens if/when Kobe gets to 6? Will we have to put him next to, or above Jordan. Is he now getting to the point of taking the crown of the best player in NBA history. These are the thoughts I mulled during the commercial break after the final buzzer. Perplexed, I turned to Twitter (@slaihingpg3blog) and posted the following question:

Quick question, help me out. Im doing a final blog wrap up, does this ring make u view Kobe or his career any differently? hurry and answer!

Some responses:

trniii@slaihingPG3BLOG differently? No. He's a great talent, but not epic like Jordan.

till a snitch, an adulterer, and a terrible rapper in my eyes.

BlackMambaSwag@slaihingPG3BLOG yea, a lil bit, just for the haters though, he just as good a player either way.

It would seem now, that Kobe is not only fighting the slightly uphill battle to get to Jordan numbers of rings, but also has the task of getting the respect he deserves from the basketball viewing public. People have long memories, and during this series it didn't take much Laker's success for the Colorado jokes and rape comments to come out. For whatever reason, people choose to hate on Kobe Bryant. It's something enjoyable, something that makes the world seem right. I doubt there is anything Kobe Bryant could ever do now to receive the love that Michael Jordan received (still receives!). And I think that's ok. Because as my co-blogger said, part of Jordan's greatness was seeing the struggle, the uphill fight to get to the top. Losing against the Pistons and Celtics all those years. Kobe Bryant came in as an undeveloped rookie and within 3 years was winning Championships (Thanks Shaq!). Where was his struggle early in his career? A p
layoff game against Utah with 3 airballs? Please. I mean real struggle. Getting swept year in and year out and taunted struggle. Michael Jordan's personal story and journey he took to get there could never be replicated by anyone, including Italian-speaking-son-of -an- NBA- player Kobe. And that's why most Jordan fans scoff at the notion that Kobe is better. Because we saw Jordan fight and claw his way, and know that Kobe hasn't seen that type of adversity. While his off court escapade in Colorado was a big deal, it was all over and settled within a year. We knew that in a fantasy matchup, the personal stores and motivation Jordan would call upon against anyone who ever lived would not be matched by any opponent. He simply worked harder.The past 7 seasons post Shaq has been the first time we have seen Kobe struggle since he got into the league, and it has been refreshing. Watching him walk away under a sea of green confetti last year and seeing him have to deal with questioning afterward is one of the highlights of any Kobe Bryant hater's memory (sidenote: Lebron, you can't run from the press after a loss. They will find you). However, after seeing the events of these finals (lower rated then last year) any true basketball fan/Kobe/Lakers Hater must ask themselves three questions: 1) Did Kobe really learn anything and buy into the team concept? 2) Will the Lakers be able to keep it together through a big free agent offseason to repeat? and 3) Now that this is over, when is the Mixtape Tour

Have a good summer NBA fans, and try to find something to fill your time until the preseason in October.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I can't even type this, I'm so mad at the Magic.

After seeing the incredibly dumb coaching job last night from Stan Van Gundy, I am so mad I am going to let other people talk for me. Here are some user comments from ESPN and Slam online concerning the loss last night to the Lakers and SVG's decision to bench Starter Rafer Alston in favor of a maybe 80% Jameer Nelson.

From ESPN:

"SVG should of never left Nelson in the whole 4th quarter. You stick with the point guard that got you to the finals and that has played well for you. SVG is the pinnacle of bad coaching during important games."

"I said after game 1 and also last night that SVG was gonna cost the Magic this series from overplaying Jameer Nelson. D. Fisher cannot guard Rafer Alston. Skip to my Lou has him whenever he wants him like a prison b*tch. SVG said in his interview Nelson wasn't hurting the team, but in the final 5 of regulation, the Magic had no ball movement because Nelson was not doing what Alston had done which is create open looks by dribble penetration. Then the Magic put on that unnecessary full court pressure to leave Fisher open for a 3 when all they had to do was guard against a 3 and give a layup away. Dumb....hate seeing teams choke games away, but makes me sick to my stomach to watch a coach choke also."

"I'm not sure who to blame more... Nelson or Van Gundy. I'm sure in the timeout they had to say give up anything but an uncontested 3 and that's what Nelson does. Why was he in the game though? Alston can be streaky but he was hitting shots tonight and is always active on D. If he is in that play, Fisher passes... if he is in earlier they probably would have had the game in hand. I was completely baffled during the game and promised to never question Stan again if they can win this way... but it turned out to be as foolish as it seemed."

"The look Nelson gave the bench after Fisher tied it with a 3 was classic? It was almost like he was looking at Van Gundy and saying.. "see coach, I warned you I'm not 100%"

Fisher was off all night because Skip to my Lou was ballin' and Fisher was tired from chasing him around.. plus he is taller then Nelson which makes shots harder..

SVG is an #### for playing a guy who didn't get them to the finals...

this smells of favoritism.. Nelson must have a few years left on his contract or pictures of SVG in drag cause there is no other way he should be on the court."

From SLAM:

"This was bizarre."

  • "The craziest was how obvious it was. This was not a case of second-guessing. Me and many other commenters spent the bulk of the 4th quarter and OT last night asking where Skip—who had been giving Fisher fits—was."

  • "t seems like shaq was right. Stan is the master of manic. The Magic are going to lose this series because of bad coaching."

"Street Ballers don’t get respect and it’s sad, I grew up with Skip and to see him come this far despite what he has been through is enough for me. Stan will reap his coaching plans but I will say this “you must have confidence in your players”. Phil Jackson went with Fisher the whole series and he was stinking it up! But look where confidence got him."

"SVG is a literal idiot for not playing alston late. playing a guard who has been out for MONTHS is questionable especially when you choose him over a guard that BROUGHT you to the finals."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Check out this ESPN clip!

Good clip talking about Rafer Alston (Skip to my Lou) and his journey to the NBA Finals.

Friday, June 05, 2009

The most important game in Magic History.

This is IT.

If the Magic can't take game 2, this series is over.

Really. It's true. If they allow the Lakers to come to Orlando up 2-0, they can kiss the ring goodbye. LA would just have to win once in 3 games in Orlando, and once in 2 games in LA to take the ring. Easy enough. Orlando? They would have to take all 3 games in Orlando and one game in LA, or 2 out of 3 in orlando and BOTH in LA. Not happening. They need this one. Desperately.

Some random thoughts about last night:

I like the "California Love" intro for the game, nice to see someone with a pulse is putting these intros together. They will never be as good as NBA on NBC was for me, but they are improving in my opinion (ABC).

Anyone know how much a courtside seat in LA is going for?

I got a number of texts after the camera showed that scowl on Kobe's face after bumping into Ariza celebrating a play along the lines of "Uh oh, Kobe has his Colorado face on!" When does that joke get old and played out? Just asking.

Dwight Howard does not have the weapons necessary to make him a threat at all times during a game. He has to add a jumper of some kind, as well as better passing or we are watching his ceiling. Patrick Ewing should be working on this with him this summer, I hope. Seeing as he has already improved his free throw shooting 15%, something Shaq nor Wilt could ever do, tells me he should be able to add more facets to the game. He will need it if the HOF is his goal.

Orlando finally had a bad shooting game. And it cost them the game. Because of their offense completely relying on shooting 3's, they will face the same issues whenver they are not reggie miller-like from beyond the arc, which, sadly, will happen more times then not according to the law of averages. This LA team is going to close out quickly on their shooters and make the shots as tough as possible.

Skip Alston had a bad game. Ditto for Howard and Turk. These guys need to pick it up, they are key components on what Orlando tries to do during games and need to get their teammates involved.

I was greatly amused that Nike was able to recover quickly enough to put out a Lebron commercial with Lil Dez (the kid) making fun of the situation. I wonder if Nike had a contingency plan if Kobe lost to Denver?

I'm throwing a NBA Finals game 2 Viewing Party this Sunday. Suggestions for decor would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Show Me Somethin’!

I’m not a Kobe fan. It’s easy to figure out if you’re not.
  • Did you celebrate more than usual when the ’06 Miami Heat won the championship (even if you were a Mavericks fan)?
  • Did you laugh to the point of breathlessness when Shaq offered Kobe a taste test in a freestyle last summer?
  • Did your reaction to the Celtics winning the Finals last year in any way resemble Kevin Garnett’s?
  • Have you in any sports argument brought up Kobe’s total Finals MVP trophies?
  • Have you in ANY sports argument called Kobe a name that he was not exactly “convicted” of in Denver a few years back?

If you answered yes to…really, any of those…welcome. We share a common bond.

It’s really easy not to like Kobe. His father was an NBA player, he speaks four languages, he’s extremely rich, his wife is gorgeous, he plays basketball for a living (!!), and he has been extremely successful in just about everything he has touched over the last decade.

But none of that is why it’s easy to not like him. The reason you (or I) find it easy is because…all those things seem to make him come off as much more entitled than the average NBA player.

Think about it. We love Michael Jordan, not just for the 6 rings, the MVPs, the scoring titles, the success—but for the losing years, the 7 seasons of Celtics/Pistons beat downs, the retirement(s), the flu game. We love him because we saw what he had to fight through, and with the mounting challenge of each obstacle he seemed to raise his game even further, and reached each one of his goals.

Kobe came straight out of high school into the league, seemingly entitled to the core, and whether it’s true that he demanded to be a Laker or not, something happened, and he got there. Then he paired with the most dominant big man (ever?) of his generation and found himself in 4 NBA Finals in 5 years, with 3 rings for his efforts. All that came to an end, and a 26-year-old Kobe Bryant was still so immature and ego-driven that he feuded with Shaq over control of the team, eventually forcing the Lakers’ front office to make a choice between the two, and taking the side of their younger, flashier superstar.

Since that moment, Kobe has been trapped in an involuntarily cathartic journey. He has paid/is paying the price for his wishes of basketball autonomy. Losing, bad teammates, a book written by his coach, and the success of the Miami Heat put his early success in perspective, and the feeling of entitlement that seemed prevalent in his demeanor and play seemingly gave way to a by-any-means-necessary hunger for winning his elusive fourth ring.

Last season, as we saw him fall to the Celtics, I believe we were seeing some of the last big chunks of his unflappable confidence armor being chipped away. Kobe came into this season—remember, bad pinkie and all—with a drive to get right back to the top of the West, and the league. This season their team has overcome injuries, crappy guard play, and the self-inflicted sugar overdoses of Lamar Odom to climb through the West and over the bar of expectations we all had for them (something Orlando can also say, but Cleveland can’t).

And now we’re here—Lakers-Magic, seven-game series for it all. Every team I’ve rooted for this season and playoffs is gone, and the two teams I honestly had NO desire to see win a championship remain.

And to be honest…I’m at a crossroads of sorts. For the first time in my life, I just might…be watching a game for KOBE.

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s a stark difference between rooting for a player and watching for a player, and it’s been a tough compromise for me to even reach the latter.

But at this point, the drama is done. The young, brash, unflappable Kobe Bryant has been replaced with a balder, more Triangle-loving version of himself. And as much as his “act,” the tongue wagging and bizarro attempts at being like or better than Jordan, seem to have eased up (though I still contest that Kobe has been trying to manufacture a “Flu Game” for the last 6 seasons), so has my utter hatred and disgust for everything he is as a basketball player.

I…respect…Kob(coughing uncontrollably)

(BLECH!!!!!!) That was hard to say!

Maybe if I add something negative at the end it’ll help.

I respect Kobe Bryant, even though his First-Team All-Defense could not be more overrated.

There it goes!

So now that I…respect…him (cough)…here’s how I feel about this series:

Kobe, show me somethin’. SHOW me somethin’. Show ME somethin’. Show me SOMETHIN’.

I don’t love you, I don’t hate you. I don’t like the Lakers, and I don’t really care for the Magic. Right now, I want to see what YOU can do. Your team is young, talented, and finally healthy. You are, albeit tired, at the top of your game on every level, just finishing off the Nuggets with 35 and TEN assists, the most LeBron-like numbers you’ve probably ever put up in your playoff career.

I’m not gonna hold all the fake Jordan crap you’ve pulled against you. I’m not gonna hold your years bickering with Shaq against you either (heck, I think we all know it wasn’t all your fault back then by now anyway). I’m completely wiping the slate clean and giving a great player a chance to write his own legacy. No comparisons to other people, and there’s no disregarding the hardware you pick up from this series. This is the big one.

Realizing that a) I’m nobody important, and b) Kobe will NEVER read this article, I just had to express what’s going on in my head about this series. As a non-Kobe fan, I realize more now than ever that many great players were either overlooked or overhyped in their time. And even as many have overhyped him as a basketball deity, I don’t want to mirror their ridiculousness by disregarding his abilities and his importance as a player.

Instead, I’ll be watching this series to see a legacy cemented. In this series we will find out if Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest basketball players of all time, or if he is simply one of the greatest scorers. It’s that critical.

Kobe, let’s see it.