Tag Archives: Kobe Bryant

Weekly Nickel 6-4-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Curtis Granderson (left) and Derek Jeter (right) are two of the main reasons why the New York Yankees are right in the thick of things in the AL East as usual.

By Josh Kramer

Can you say playoffs?  The past month and a half has been defined by playoff action.  Last week though, Grand Slam tennis in Paris was added to the slate.  Not to mention Tiger Woods tied Jack Nicklaus with PGA victory number 73.  I thoroughly enjoyed last week, but this week will be even better as we delve deeper into the playoffs and action at Roland Garros.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  A 20-minute long red flag at Dover on Sunday.  12 cars were involved in the massive collision that occurred on the exit of Turn 2.  Hopefully next Sunday will be a little less eventful at Pocono Raceway as Jimmie Johnson looks to jump Greg Biffle atop the Sprint Cup Series.

4.  It took 8,020 and games and 134 pitches from Johan Santana.  But the Mets finally have a no-hitter.  Both Roy Oswalt and Dustin Pedroia are making two very different types of comebacks.  And after a stellar career in which he posted a career .309 batting average, Magglio Ordonez is officially hanging up the spikes.  Also what is the deal in the East?  All teams are within striking distance in both the AL and NL East, with no team trailing first place by more than 3.5 games.  The matchup of the week will take place in the Bronx.

Tampa Bay Rays vs New York Yankees:  Every team in the AL East is very much in contention at the moment.  Amazingly, all five teams have a positive run differential.  The AL Central currently only has one team with a positive run differential (Cleveland).  But let’s be entirely honest.  Does anyone truly think the Orioles or Blue Jays will be in contention come October?  The AL East has been a three-team race for years now and will continue to stay that way into the foreseeable future.  The Yankees and Rays happen to be two of those three teams in contention each and every year.

As is typically the case in New York, the Bronx Bombers have been dropping bombs all year long, leading the American League in home runs.  Tampa Bay on the other hand has won in a much different fashion, relying heavily on their very talented pitching staff.  David Price and Jeremy Hellickson have both been stifling the opposition since the beginning of April.  For the Yankees, the Captain (Derek Jeter), who actually just celebrated the ten-year anniversary of becoming the Yankees captain yesterday, has turned into a modern-day version of Ponce de Leon, discovering the baseball fountain of youth.  Also, Curtis Granderson’s insane power has been another key to New York’s success.  The Rays swept the Yankees to open the season back in early April.  New York returned the favor by taking two of three at the beginning of May.  Look for Tampa to turn the tables yet again taking two of three, with Hellickson and Price starting two of the games. Continue reading

Food for Thought 5-15-2012

Photo courtesy of clippers.topbuzz.com. Chris Paul (left) and Blake Griffin (right) are two of the main reasons why the Clippers currently find themselves in the Western Conference Semifinals. Can they advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history?

By Josh Kramer

The opening round brought the city of Los Angeles to a fever pitch.  Round two will bring heartbreak.  In a little over a week, people will be referring to Los Angeles as “Heartbreak City,” rather than “Basketball Central.”  Even if you are not a fan of the Lakers or the Clippers, you have to admit that an all LA Western Conference Finals showdown would be special.  “Lob City” versus the Kobe Bryant Show.  What could be better than that?

Unfortunately, I am going to go out on a limb and say that it isn’t going to happen.  This is not the same Lakers team that made three consecutive finals appearances from 2008 to 2010.  They are full of flaws, lacking the effort and determination to lay it all on the line every night. The Clippers are not only tired and injury riddled, they are overmatched against a very experienced and well coached San Antonio team.  Gregg Popovich is arguably the best in the business for a reason.

Kobe Bryant will have to play out of this world for LA to stretch this series more than five games.  The Nuggets made the Lakers look like they were standing still at times during the opening round.  What do you think the Thunder are going to do?  Not to mention the Thunder are much bigger inside than the Nuggets with Ibaka and a now healthy Perkins.  I tip my hat to the Clippers on taking down a very good Grizzlies team.  But the Spurs are even better than Memphis.  Plus, both of the star players on the Clippers are currently struggling with various injuries.

It has been a great year for Los Angeles in terms of NBA basketball.  As a consolation prize though, the Kings appear unstoppable in terms of the NHL and the Dodgers currently boast the best record in the National League.  In terms of basketball though, Los Angeles should start thinking about the 2012/2013 season. 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

Throwback Saturday Part XV

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Andre Ethier (pictured above) was a main reason for the Dodgers solid start in 2011. The real cause for LA's mild success though by the end of the season was Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp.

By Josh Kramer

We have hit the 15th week of “Throwback Saturdays.”  It has been fun taking a trip down memory lane every Saturday.  What was happening on April 28, 2011? How about on April 28, 2010?  Let’s find out.

One year ago..

Loan Bright Spot in Dodgertown

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The Los Angeles Dodgers have not exactly had a story book season thus far.  Really not much has gone right on or off the field.  Surprisingly though, the team has not completely flopped.  Or at least not yet.  Sitting at 13 and 13, they are still in 2nd in the NL West. With a run differential of -16, they are not exactly competitive every night.  They either win big.  Or they lose big.  A weak run differential normally catches up with a team as they get a couple of months into the season.  So the odds do not look to be in LA’s favor.

But there has been one lone bright spot in Dodgertown. That bright spot is not Kobe Bryant, though his courage and amazing toughness is a shining light in that city.  Say hello to Los Angeles Dodger’s star right fielder, Andre Ethier.  Ethier has been simply phenomenal this season, and is a main reason why the Dodgers are currently playing 500 baseball.  Without him, the entire ship may have already sunk on this season even just 26 games in (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading

It’s Melo Time

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Carmelo Anthony (pictured above) is playing is best basketball as of late. It has become "Melo Time" in New York.

By Josh Kramer

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. New York Knicks basketball relived the glory days of the early 1970s during the 1990s.  The best was when they made the NBA Finals in both 1994 and 1999.  The worst times for the Knicks during the 1990s were declared “Miller Time.”  Now this had nothing to do with Miller High Life.  It dealt with the villain, Reggie Miller, stealing games away from the New York Knicks during the postseason.  With Miller in the broadcast booth these days, the thought of “Miller Time” has been extinct for nearly a decade.

There is a new time now in New York.  And this one has a much happier ring than “Miller Time.”  No it is not “Linsanity,” though that is joyous occasion for Knicks fans as well.  It is the recent emergence of “Melo Time.” Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part XIII

Photo courtesy of cleveland.com. A year ago, Kobe Bryant (pictured above) was not a happy camper for a number of reasons. Will things brighten up this Spring for the LA superstar?

By Josh Kramer

Lucky number thirteen.  Over three months later and “Throwback Saturdays” are still going strong.  What was happening on April 14, 2011?  How about on April 14, 2012?  Let’s find out.

One year ago..

A Rough Go for Kobe

Here is a snippet..

The past couple of days have been an absolute whirlwind for Lakers superstar, Kobe Bryant.  First, a key piece of the Lakers championship puzzle, Andrew Bynum, goes down with yet another knee injury.  Then, later in the game, Kobe picks up a technical foul. But the technical was not out of the ordinary for Bryant, who is 2nd in the League this year in technical fouls to Superman himself, Dwight Howard.

Bryant frequently argues with referees and actually has ranked in the top ten in the League for technical fouls each of the past six seasons. I do not like when guys jabber at opposing players or whine to  the referees.  But I do respect Bryant’s drive and his ability to “Refuse to Lose.”  He is emotional.  The man just hates losing.  It is a trait that Michael Jordan had.  It is a trait that Tiger Woods had.  Losing is not something that any of these guys ever seem to think is possible.  So they each have had their fair share of temper tantrums over the years.  And do not think for a second that guys like Jordan did not cry to the refs or that the other stars in today’s game remain mum towards the referees.  It just isn’t true.  Stars complain.  And they complain frequently.

But in the San Antonio game, Kobe made a big time mistake to go along with his technical foul.  He appears to have directed an offensive gay slur towards the referee.  Cursing is one thing.  When racist, religious, or gay slurs get brought into the game, it takes things to another level.  Kobe crossed the line (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 4-9-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Cody Zeller (pictured above) is projected as a sure-fire lottery pick. Yet, he is on the fence about whether he should stay in Bloomington or take his talents to the NBA. He has 20 days to make up his mind.

By Josh Kramer

Sunday was truly a “fun” day in the sporting world. Masters insanity.  Carmelo put on a Broadway-esque performance in the Big Apple.  And John Isner led the US Davis Cup team into the semifinals.  It was a wild Sunday to say the least.  Last week was fun.  But this week is poised to be every bit as entertaining.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Should I stay or should I go?  Many college basketball players across the country are pondering this question as they heavily weigh their options on if they should spend more time at the collegiate ranks, or try to take their talents to the professional level.  Every year there are guys that declare, that really have no business departing. Also though, there are always guys that could have left, that decide to stay for another year and continue to refine their skills 20 days remain for the non-seniors to make up their minds.  Remember, only 60 players will get drafted come June 28th. Continue reading