Tag Archives: Lebron James

A Ringless King No More: LeBron James is a Champion

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The King (pictured above) finally has his ring.

By Wesley Kaminsky

You didn’t want to admit it, but you knew LeBron James would be holding up the Larry O’Brien trophy one day. In fact, you had to know it was coming pretty soon.

It took him nine seasons, two NBA finals losses, two eastern conference finals losses, and three MVP’s, but James has finally reached his goal. A long, overdue goal. A weight off the chest of the guy who guaranteed he would bring multiple titles to Miami.

We all know the story of LeBron, and why there is now this cult as to why it is appropriate to root for him to fail. Believe me, I’m one of those guys. I could write all day about how I feel about the infamous “Decision,” in which LeBron became the most hated athlete in pro sports. I’m not getting into that today.

It’s time to appreciate his greatness. Did I just say that out loud?

After falling just short of winning a championship his first year in Miami, all the pressure was on James in the upcoming season. The Heat had just fallen to the Mavericks, dropping three straight games after leading 2-1, and the blame was all on LeBron. Rightfully so. It was LeBron who shied away from the spotlight in the fourth quarter of many of the games. It was LeBron who didn’t look like he wanted to be there. His poor finals performance fueled his haters and it validated all the criticism that he had been receiving throughout his career. Stuff like, “LeBron doesn’t have that killer attitude.”

Blah, blah, blah.

What you didn’t realize was that it fueled LeBron, and a monster was created. Continue reading

Food for Thought 6-12-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. It is finally time for LeBron James (pictured above) to win his first ring.

By Josh Kramer

Mark it down.  The third time will be the charm for the King.  Call this the championship of threes.  It is LeBron’s third appearance in the NBA Finals.  James is coming off of his third MVP award.  While Kevin Durant is coming off his third consecutive scoring title.  Each team is led by an outstanding “Big Three.” Plus the pressure seems to be three times what it was in the conference finals on the King.  As much as I and the rest of the world hate to admit it, it is time for LeBron to acquire a ring.  Oklahoma City is a great team.  They have proved that since December.  The Thunder are young, exciting, and have outstanding overall team chemistry.  But Miami won’t be denied this time.  Besides, if OKC somehow pulls off the impossible, there may be a nuclear like explosion in South Beach.

On paper, this matchup is about as even as it gets.  That is why I have been calling it a dream matchup for months now. Both teams finished second in their respective conference.  The Heat won 46 games and had an average scoring margin of six points per game.  OKC won 47 games and won by an average of 6.1 points per game.  Both teams are led by an outstanding “Big Three.”  And they split in their regular season battles.  It is safe to say that on paper, not too much is revealed.

One key in OKC’s favor is the fact that they have home-court advantage.  The Heat were nearly unbeatable at home this year, but showed their fair share of flaws when traveling.  Next, the last time an MVP faced off with an NBA scoring champion in the finals was 1997.  The scoring champ (Jordan) led his team to a victory over the MVP (Malone).  But Miami also played in the NBA finals last year, while OKC did not.  In addition, the Heat did better than the Thunder overall this year when their “Big Three” were healthy.  OKC’s “Big Three” is not quite at the level of Miami’s outstanding trifecta, though they are very close.   The agony of last year’s defeat will be a major driving force for the Heat.  Expectations in Miami are so high, that if the Heat lose, it will be as if they had a worse year than the Charlotte Bobcats did.  If the Thunder are to lose, there will be disappointment, but also a ton of pride in a very successful season.  Losing is not an option for Miami.

Finally, Durant is playing great, but nobody is even on the same stratosphere as LeBron James right now.  The guy is playing like a hybrid of Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, and Magic Johnson.  As his teammates said after Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, LeBron has that look in his eyes.  He won’t be denied.  He can’t be denied.  It is time for the King to finally take his seat on the throne. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 6-11-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Will Rafael Nadal (pictured above) make history today and break Bjorn Borg’s record with a 7th French Open Championship?

By Josh Kramer

Thank you, may I have another?  So I’ll Have another was unable to compete in the Belmont Saturday.  As usual, the race did not disappoint nor did the entire week in sports.  The playoffs are all about the finals now as there are only two teams remaining in both the NBA and NHL playoffs.  Plus the French Open is not quite done yet.  Last week was great, but this one will be good in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Rain, rain, go away.  Or keep the French Open going another day.  Maria Sharapova became the tenth woman to complete the career Grand Slam on Saturday.  Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are all looking to further stamp their imprint on history as the fourth set of the Men’s final continues this morning.  I would highly recommend waking up and checking this out now on NBC. Continue reading

The importance of Chris Bosh

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. At times, Chris Bosh (pictured above) gets lost in the shuffle on Miami’s loaded roster. People are beginning to realize his importance as Miami struggles to survive in the East without the third member of their “Big Three.”

By Andrew Wittry

From the start of the NBA season, the Miami Heat have been the Eastern Conference favorites.  After Chris Bosh’s abdominal strain sidelined him in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals things began to change. Then falling behind 2-1 in the series, the Heat were thrown into a must-win scenario in Game 4. It was the first time all season that Erik Spoelstra’s squad had been in danger of being eliminated by a non-elite team (any team outside of the Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, and San Antonio Spurs). Their one-game deficit also marked the widespread realization of how important Chris Bosh is to the Heat.  Bosh often gets discounted when it comes to Miami’s “Big Three.” Wade is the long-time hero of Miami who brought a championship to South Beach. LeBron is the four-time MVP who puts the Heat on his back night in and night out. And what is Chris Bosh? In reality, he is an All-Star level talent who has 20 ppg and 10 rpg potential; however, the former Georgia Tech forward is the third scoring option in Miami and does not get the credit he deserves for the role he plays alongside D-Wade and LeBron.

It was not until Chris Bosh had to miss the rest of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals that fans began to understand just how integral he was to the Heat’s success. Without Bosh, the Heat have the dynamic tandem of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, aging forwards, and inconsistent shooters. With Bosh on the floor, defenses have to pay attention to both Miami’s guards and forwards. However, if Joel Anthony is involved in a pick-and-roll offense, defenders can concentrate on James and Wade since Anthony is not a major scoring threat. Even if the Heat are Dwyane Wade’s team, Chris Bosh is a more important player. Without Wade this year in the regular season, Miami went 7-1.  Without Bosh, they were 4-5. Continue reading

Food for Thought 5-22-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. LeBron James (pictured above) put on a remarkable performance in Game 4. Sadly, it is ring or nothing for the King this year.

By Josh Kramer

40 points.  18 rebounds.  9 assists.  That was LeBron James stat line on Sunday.  Recognition was given for a good 24 hour period.  Come Game 5 (tonight), the remarkable performance will be a mere memory.  People are still far from satisfied with the King.  In taking his talents to Miami back on July 8, 2010, James chose a different life.  A life where the criticism never ends.  Where the expectations grow at an infinite rate.  A life where the word “satisfaction” does not exist.  And of course a life where returning home is more of a chore than a celebration.

You all are quite familiar with the story.  Not  1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7.  It is a quote on the same level of the classic Allen Iverson “We talking about practice” rant of ten years ago.  This season, LBJ put up arguably the greatest season of his already amazing career, helping him earn his third MVP Award in the past four years.  The amazing thing is nobody seems to care.  All anyone cares about are his missed free throws at the end of Game 2 against the Pacers.  Or the fact that he dished the ball to superstar teammate Dwyane Wade for the final shot in Game 2.

Watching LeBron play this season and during the early going of the playoffs has been a treat.  The guy is doing once in a lifetime type of things on both ends of the floor.  Sadly, the expectations are so high on the King, if he does not bring home a ring, it will all be nothing.  His remarkable 2011/2012 season will be thought of as a failure.  Will the Heat cut down the nets?  I am honestly not sure.  A lot hinges on when Bosh comes back and if he is at 100%.  Haslem did his best impersonation of the injured Chris Bosh on Sunday.  When push comes to shove though, Haslem is not nearly the caliber of player that Chris Bosh is.  Plus, OKC or San Antonio would be stiff competition if Miami were fortunate enough to get by Indiana and then the winner of the Boston/Philadelphia series.

I am by no means a LeBron James fan (I am not a hater either).  I never have been.  But I am a fan of the game of basketball.  The way James fills up the stat sheet on a nightly basis deserves some praise.  What he did on Sunday was truly remarkable.  Sadly, if the Heat lose Game 5, it will all be forgotten.  Despite many saying Dwyane Wade is the leader of the Miami Heat, it is LeBron James who carries the team and the city on his shoulders.  It is LeBron James who took the brunt of the criticism when Miami came up empty-handed in 2011.  And it will be LeBron James who shoulders the majority of the criticism no matter how well he plays if the Heat do not capture a ring in June.  I guess that is the life of a King.  Things are great when you are winning.  Things are horrible when you are losing.  The life of a King is bittersweet. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 5-21-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Due to rain, we are getting some bonus tennis today. Can Novak Djokovic (pictured above) handle Nadal on the clay in Rome?

By Josh Kramer

Saturday was not the best of days for the city of  Los Angeles to say the least.  As I have said before, people will soon stop calling Los Angeles “Lob City,” and start calling it “Heartbreak City,” if they haven’t already.   On Saturday, both of their basketball teams blew double-digit point leads. At least they have the Dodgers and the Kings. The NBA and NHL playoffs have been outstanding and the best part is there is still plenty to go.  In addition, I’ll Have Another would love “another” win at the Belmont to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.  Last week was great, but this week should be even better.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Bonus tennis.  What could be better?  Due to massive amounts of rainfall, the Rome Masters final showdown between the world’s top two players (Djokovic/Nadal) was postponed today.  I by no means am complaining.  The clay-court season has been a bundle of fun as usual as we get ready to head down the home stretch. Roland Garros is just six days away.  Get excited. Continue reading

Aside

By Josh Kramer Only 13 players have ever captured the MLB Triple Crown (has happened 15 times).  The last player to accomplish the phenomenal feat was Carl Yastrzemski way back in 1967.  That year, the Red Sox led by Yaz, were defeated by St. … Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part XVI

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. A year ago, Rashard Mendenhall (pictured above) made some inappropriate comments on Twitter. The importance of Twitter in sports continues to grow by the day.

By Josh Kramer

We have reached the four-month anniversary of “Throwback Saturdays.”  This is a day where we reflect on what was going on in the wide world of sports one year ago and two years ago.  In addition, it is an opportunity to see just how right or wrong I was at the time in my analysis.  So what was happening on May 5, 2011?  How about on May 5, 2012?  Let’s find out.

One year ago..

Twitter: A Best Friend or Worst Enemy of Athletes

Here is a snippet..

For the athletic forum, Twitter can also be a great thing.   People are able to receive news instantaneously from millions of sources.  In addition, people are able to interact with players, coaches, and various sports personalities through “tweets.”  What could be better than creating a way for fans to actually relate with the athletes they idolize and cheer for?  Guys like Chad Ochocinco have used the Twitter world and the whole forum of social media to their advantage increasing their popularity exponentially.  The majority of athletes have caught on to this by now and are doing what they can to create a greater appeal to a larger fan base via Twitter.

Some guys just don’t get it though.  And there is one guy that comes to mind when I think of those that are “Twitter Incompetent.”

Rashard Mendenhall.

Now, Mendenhall has turned into a fine running back that played a key role in leading the Steelers to an AFC Championship this past year.  But boy has he struggled with his utilization of the Twitter World.  First he made comments backing up already hotly contested comments by fellow NFL Player Adrian Peterson, which compared NFL Players to slaves.  Now he has spoken out against Americans celebrating the death of Osama.  Talk about two heavy topics to hit on the wrong end of the stick (To finish read this post, click this link). Continue reading

Food for Thought 5-1-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Rudy Gay (pictured above) is the main guy in Memphis these days. After suffering a heartbreaking loss on Sunday, the Grizzlies will rely heavily on Gay to help get Memphis back into the series.

By Josh Kramer

Today is a special day for “TheSportsKraze.”  Back when I started this blog in September of 2009, I never could have imagined all that I would learn from this experience.  Writing daily on this forum has truly been a blessing and helped me grow as both a writer and as a person.  When my roommate convinced me to start “TheSportsKraze,” I figured it would be a nice little hobby that may get some looks from ten to twenty of my closest family and friends a day.  These days, “TheSportsKraze” has become a major part of my daily routine and is read by hundreds of people from across the globe every day.  Well today, we have hit the 900th post.  Please take it in and enjoy.

Sleeping in Memphis?

All NBA fans had the Clippers/Grizzlies series circled as the one that would provide some fireworks in the opening round. Well the series opener did not disappoint by any means.  I turned the game off after the third quarter.  It was already kind of late, and the Grizzlies were absolutely making a mockery out of “Lob City.”  Shame on me for not watching the full 48 minutes.  The beauty of sports is no game is ever over until the final horn sounds or the final out is made.  I learned this as a young child when Reggie Miller ripped the hearts out of the New York Knicks by scoring eight points in nine seconds on May 7, 1995.

I have been high on the Grizzlies all season.  There is a reason why I picked them way back in December to play deep into the postseason.  The Grizzlies shocked the Spurs last year.  And this off-season, they only appeared to get better.  Through three quarters on Sunday, they looked the part as a major contender in the West.  Then the fourth quarter from hell struck. Continue reading

Is this the Year the Chicago Bulls Return to Glory?

Photo courtesy of hdnux.com. Can Derrick Rose (pictured above) lead Chicago to a championship this year? Our very own Wesley Kaminsky certainly hopes so.

By Wesley Kaminsky

Lately, I’ve been daydreaming in my head. It’s a pleasant dream, in fact. I envision Derrick Rose nailing an 18-foot jump shot from the top of the key over the outstretched arms of LeBron James to send the Bulls to the NBA finals.

In this glorified shot, Rose shuts up all the doubters who say he is a choker, while not in any way eliminating the criticism of that James guy. LeBron I think is his first name.

In this shot, I can hear Mike Breen proclaiming his infamous “Puts it in” call with an exclamation point, as Derrick Rose shuts the door on the Miami Heat, getting revenge for last seasons heartbreak.

Rose does this in Chicago too. Screw it, in Game 7. This is only a dream, right? Why not make it the best it can be? I see Rose showing little emotion after the shot, rather just staring down the Miami Heat bench.

Cold-blooded. The Bulls are headed back to the finals and get a chance to go for championship number seven, against say, the San Antonio Spurs. My daydream hasn’t gotten that far to think about the NBA finals yet though. I’m still trying to soak in what just happened against the Heat.

Then, I wake up from my daze. Wow. I’m a loser. Continue reading