Friday, June 27, 2008

He Don't Need No Stinking Badges

“Since I suffered the injury on company time, why shouldn't I also be able to get surgery and do recovery on company time?” - Shaquille O'Neal

ESPN is reporting that Shaquille O'Neal will be forced to return another badge. This time to Bedford Virginia, yes they do not have an NBA team. However, I don't want to write about Shaq the player or even Shaq the individual. But since you asked, the individual is funny, the player is fat and lazy.

Shaq should have been THE greatest center of all time. Instead he has cashed it in year after year and relied on his mass and bulk down low. He was explosive and quick but could have been so much more. When it is all done he will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. But I have toi ask. How can a guy that good never lead the league in points, rebounds, or blocks in a season? I don't know. I told you I am not gonna write about it.

What I am really interested in is badges, nice shiny Sheriff ones. I myself once wanted to be a cop like my dad. But there was only one way to do it back in the day. You went to the academy, worked hard and graduated.

Now there is another way. It may seem a little more convoluted than the earlier method but this one has a little more moxie:

First get drafted to an NBA team. One that is fairly underwhelming at the time. Proceed to get the to the NBA Finals and lose. Now this next step is important.

Will the future Hall of Famer plesase step forward.

Not so fast Mr. Hardaway.

Leave that team. Get some fresh air. Make some movies. Record some albums. Now win championships on a new team, a couple, no three. Make sure to speak ill of your past teammate and co-star. Proceed to waive necessary surgery in the summer and save it for the start of the season. Be sure to come back more bloated for every new season. Now. Leave this team, demand it if you have to.

Still on my Netflix queue.

Go to a different team, somewhere similar to your last town but a little more humid and less culturally significant. Make sure to speak ill of your last city and your past teammates. Proceed to workout in the off season to win a title. A novel idea that could have been used in your past ventures, but never mind that now. It might be impressive if you get tired toward the end of this season and willingly pass the team off to a new up and comer. Win title.

Now get fat again.

Now demand a trade again.

Get traded to #1 team in Western Conference.


Help new team move steadily down the ladder of Western Conference. Lose in first round...repeat as necessary. As long as you follow these steps you will find your self with multiple Sheriff badges all over the greater United States.

One measuring stick of a great teammate is the lack of geographical movement in his career. Look at Favre, Tony Gwynn, Montana, etc. O'Neal has been traded and dealt a great deal for someone with his talent at such a valued position. Sure Kobe is egotistical and power hungry. The only thing I cared about is his work ethic. But Shaq gets a free pass. He always has.

In his Laker walk year, he dunked a ball in training camp ran up the floor and yelled for Jerry Buss to "pay me mother------."

The Lakers did pay him, at least they tried to. He rejected their offer to be the highest paid player and essentially painted Los Angeles into a corner.

So he left. Traded. Laker fans killed Kobe for it. Yet many in Los Angeles don't give Shaq the same scrutiny. He not only lambasted Kobe when leaving L.A. he threw the whole city and their fans under the bus. In relating to Los Angeles he stated "real, real fake. This (Miami) is a more real place." Yes Shaq, Miami has never been known as little Los Angeles. Things are much different there.

He has done this multiple times. Most recently ripping on Miami when traded to the Suns. In both cases his former employer sent him to warm weather and teams in contention giving him no reason to whine.

True, Shaq can make me laugh. The way he makes new monikers for himself is quite astounding. I just didn't think it was so unbelievable as to get him a free pass for so long. His latest transgression may have been blown a little out of proportion, but it is symptomatic of his career. Shaquille has never been the bigger man.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Boston Massacre

"It's humbling" - Lamar Odom

"It's a great run, we came up short" - Lamar Odom

"Are there any more chicken wings?" - Gabe Zaldivar

Now that I have had a few hours to digest the complete and utter Boston tea bagging we received, I am here to tell you what's next. Nothing. Bill Plashke and J.A. Adande seem to think moves must be taken to solidify our chance to win it all next year. That's a bit knee jerk, don't you think?

Last year we lost in the first round to the highly touted Phoenix Suns. With basically the same cast of characters, we made it to the sixth game of the NBA Finals. Please don't tell me we did so because of Pau Gasol. His dramatic exit from the series around game 1 has me thinking refund for the six pack of beer we got him for.

However, if you think the acquisition of Pau allowed for the real Lamar Odom to show up at the end of the season, imagine what Lamar et. al. can do with the presence of Andrew Bynum. Anything we can salvage from Bynum at this point is gravy. We went 6 games against a team housing three potential hall of famers and our solution is to jump ship. I find it hard to believe that Mitch Kupchak was stubborn enough to keep this team together when they were losing but will move vital parts after getting so close.

Can we recognize what a summer does for people. Jordan Farmar became a shooter, Sasha became a real scoring threat, and I gained more weight.

As for last night however...

Awful. It was a heightened illustration of what I knew all series. The Lakers were happy to be there. You could see it in the celebration after winning the western conference finals. They knew how good they were at the moment and what to celebrate. Boston was much more reserved after they took care of Detroit. They also happened to be much more poised throughout the series.

Except for Game 3, Boston was always the aggressor. They played like they were on the ropes. They played like they knew what was at stake. I just never felt the 07-08 Lakers deserved to win. But the 08-09 squad will be hungry.

How could they not be? The Celtics had an appetizer of celebration before the game was done. I don't know how big the bench area is but the there were kids and wives and still room for Pierce to disco dance. Then there was the Gatorade wash that necessitated Phil Jackson to call a time out. Granted classless, but the Lakers did not deserve to be treated with dignity last night. It was like the Celtics were sleeping with my grandmother and making me hive five them while doing it. I couldn't turn away. But I also couldn't stomach it either.

Here is to hoping the Lakers have the same bad taste in their mouths.


Game 6

It seems many in the media have seen fit to crown the Boston Celtics as champions. Just as Jack Kent Cooke filled the rafters with balloons and jinxed the Lakers out of a Finals berth in 1969, so too will certain Boston fans as they plan parade routes. Many have lost the fact that a game 6 will be played. No matter what, Tuesday night happens. This favors Los Angeles. A team that is playing to stay alive is dangerous.

Game 1

Neither team has played like champions thus far. Game 1 was a split for both teams, Los Angeles handled their end in the first half and Boston simply closed it out. Celtic fans also rejoiced the fact that Paul Pierce has some sort of regenerative powers not normally seen on this planet. We can only thank god that Eight Belles' trainers weren't nearby to take action.

Here we have Mr. Pierce suffering what seems to be a combination of gunshot wounds and his water breaking. After being wheeled off in a wheelchair, a device used for people that cannot walk, he mended in the wolverine time of ten minutes. Unfathomably he is the best player so far and will undoubtedly receive the MVP award if Boston closes this out.

I'm not saying he is faking, I'm just saying I would like some of whatever they are shooting him up with...or he is faking.

Game 2

Well the Lakers almost overcame a 24 point deficit on the road. It would have been a magical night and the series would have been most likely over by now. I remember thinking that I would never see a come back like that for some time. Life is funny sometimes.

Game 3

L.A. gets on the board. It wasn't pretty or flashy or dominant. But it works.

Game 4

There has been some speculation as to whether game 4 actually occurred. I am in the school of thought that it could not have existed if you do not refer to it.

Game 5

Another sloppy win. Neither team seemed to really want this one. Bad fouls and porous defense on both ends turned this into a street game.

My main beef with the series is how ho-hum it all is. Does anyone feel this magical rivalry we were all promised? After both teams clinched I was lead to believe all would be right with world. Instead we get a series where players cannot pump their fists for worry of a technical. David Stern has done extremely well in making the NBA the blandest of the top American sports. Kobe can't clear out, KG can't argue, players can't jaw at each other. I feel for the little kids that think this is all exciting. I can still remember when the NBA was a contact sport.

To the referees tonight, swallow your whistles. Better yet, how about call a foul only when one occurs.

To ABC analysts and commentators, can you please get on the referees. Game 5 included KG getting his 4th foul for blocking a Laker player. The replay showed it was an obvious bad call but Jeff Van Gundy decided to thrash KG for making an ill advised play.

Yes we have now come to a state in this sport where a player is admonished for making a great defensive play when the official gets the call wrong and penalizes him for it. This would never happen in the NFL or MLB.

Lastly, I, like ABC, would love to see a game 7. It gives me an excuse to drink copious amounts of liquor during the week without it being a social problem.

Oh and Boston, It's "Beat LA" NOT "Gotta Beat LA." I know it has been a while since your team mattered, but get it right.