Tag Archives: Larry Bird

Weekly Nickel 6-18-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Wimbledon is just a week away. Will Roger Federer (pictured above) capture his 7th title at the All England Club this year?

By Josh Kramer

Great golf, basketball, and baseball defined yesterday’s Father’s Day.  I hope you all enjoyed.  Last week started out with a bang when Rafael Nadal captured his record 7th French Open title and the week continued to pick up steam.  Last week was great, but this week will be fun its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  The Dale Earnhardt Jr. winless streak finally ends after 143 races. Next stop Sonoma.  The NASCAR Sprint for the Cup continues next Sunday at Infineon Raceway as Kenseth, Earnhardt Jr., Biffle, Hamlin, and Johnson all fight for that number one spot.  There is still plenty of season left, but the competition continues to heat up.

4.  Tommy Haas may be old, but he isn’t dead yet.  Yesterday, at the ripe age of 34, he knocked off Roger Federer in the finals of the Gerry Weber Open.  The most prestigious tournament of them all is just a week away.  Will Novak Djokovic defend his title at the All England Club?  Or could Roger Federer capture his 7th championship at Wimbledon and his 17th Grand Slam title?  Can Andy Murray finally breakthrough at a major in front of his crazed-fan base?  A tune-up is occurring in Eastbourne.  Get ready for the best tournament in all of tennis.  It is just around the corner. Continue reading

All he did was win

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. In a jersey, all Michael Jordan (pictured above) could do was win. In a suit, all he has been doing lately is lose.

By Josh Kramer

Once upon a time Michael Jordan and the word “winning” were synonymous.  Everyone wanted to be like Mike.  There truly was not a more well-known athlete.  Since the turn of the century, times have really changed for “His Airness.”  The post playing career has not exactly been one of triumphs and successes for the man commonly referred to as the GOAT (Greatest of All Time).

Jordan, the current majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats took another loss last evening.  After posting the worst record in terms of NBA history in terms of winning percentage, the Bobcats got the shaft in the 2012 NBA draft lottery.  They will not get to build their team around can’t miss prospect, Anthony Davis.  Instead, they will be saddled with pick number two.  Though there are plenty of talented players that will be drafted on June 28th, none even rival the potential possessed by the one with the infamous unibrow.  Ironically, the team with the NBA’s worst record has not won the draft lottery since back in 2004 when the Magic earned the right to draft Dwight Howard.  That marriage continues to get sweeter and sweeter (just kidding).

The Bobcats really could have used the former UK prodigy.  Any team that goes 7 and 59 obviously has a wide variety of holes, but Davis appears to be one of those franchise type players.  Michael Jordan without question had a better playing career than Larry Bird.  The same cannot be said in terms of post-playing career though.  Bird is currently dominating Michael Jordan in terms of front office prowess. Continue reading

To do it all

Photo courtesy of inflexwetrust.com. Larry Bird (pictured above) added an NBA Executive of the Year Award to his already impressive resume yesterday. What can’t this legend do when it comes to basketball?

By Josh Kramer

Some people can just do it all.  Larry Bird is one of those people.  Yesterday, Bird added to his already amazingly long list of basketball achievements in taking home the NBA’s Executive of the Year Award.  Bird not only excelled as a player, but he saw  great success as a coach, and now is thriving as Indiana’s President of Basketball Operations.  Bird is the only person in NBA history to be named MVP, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year.  I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Bird would trade the latter two awards for the 1979 NCAA Basketball Championship though.  But I digress.

What Bird has accomplished is absolutely mind-boggling.  Just ask Michael Jordan how difficult it is to transition from a player to an executive.  Jordan’s Charlotte Bobcats set an NBA record for the lowest winning percentage of all time this season.  Sure plenty of former players have turned into great coaches.  Phil Jackson, the “Zen Master,” is one of those guys.  But was Jackson half the player that Bird was? Continue reading

Dream Matchup

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. There is no better matchup in the NBA today than LeBron James (left) versus Kevin Durant (right).

By Josh Kramer

LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Russell Westbrook, Chris Bosh, and James Harden.  Fathom that for a moment. I vote Miami Heat versus Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals 2012. After watching Wednesday night’s throwdown in South Beach, you would be extremely hard pressed to create a better matchup in the present.  Now I am fully aware the Chicago Bulls currently possess the best record in basketball, despite the prolonged absence of their star.  But let’s get serious.  Unless you are a Chicago Bulls fan, a James/Durant battle over the course of a seven game series would be as good as it gets (yes, even better than James versus Bryant).

The NBA has and will always be about entertainment.  In other words, people want to see high scoring shootouts.  Both OKC and Miami can score with the best of them.  The Bulls win with an old-school fashion, relying heavily on rebounding and defense.  What fun is that to watch?  No two teams feature greater star power than Miami and OKC.  Find me a better duo than James/Wade or Durant/Westbrook.  How about a better trio than James/Wade/Bosh or Durant/Westbrook/Harden.  In 2012, there are none. Continue reading

Food for Thought 2-14-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. "Linsanity" has taken over the sporting world during the course of the past week. Jeremy Lin (pictured above) is a true Cinderella story.

By Josh Kramer

Happy Va’Lin’tine’s Day.  A week ago , Jeremy Lin had 114 total points in his NBA career.  Since February 4th, he has scored 134 in five games. No matter what happens for the rest of Jeremy Lin’s life, nobody can ever take away his astounding first five “real” games with the New York Knicks (games he actually played significant minutes).  This little-known player that went undrafted out of Harvard has truly shaken up the basketball world with a real-life Cinderella story.  In doing so, he has opened up the door for hopefully more Asian-Americans to star in the sport of basketball.  I thought what Tim Tebow did this past season was insane.  Something that truly defied logic.  And it was.  But what Jeremy Lin has treated NBA fans across the globe to over the past week and a half is truly a miracle.

Let’s take a step back for a minute and fully understand where this guy is coming from.  Lin was a high school star who led Palo Alto High School to a state championship in California. This kid willed his team to a victory over nationally renowned Mater Dei High School. Yet he received no division one offers.  In addition, not even the Ivy League schools had an interest.  After much debate, Harvard eventually caved, and decided to take a chance on Lin.   After an outstanding career in which he proved to be one of the best Ivy League players of recent memory, Lin went undrafted.  Then Lin was eventually was signed by Golden State.  After going back and forth between the D-League, Lin was waived on the first day of training camp following the 2011 Lockout.  Houston claimed the former Harvard star off of waivers and then waived him on Christmas Eve.  A few days later the New York Knicks took a chance on Lin.

The first couple of months of Lin’s stay with the Knicks were not exactly eventful to say the least. Jeremy was living on his brother’s couch, and recorded a total of 55 minutes through February 3rd (23 games). Continue reading

NBA Preview 2011-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Kevin Durant (pictured above) took over Rucker Park this past summer. Now I expect him to take over the Western Conference and bring home the MVP.

By Josh Kramer

Welcome to “Lob City.”  Though it seemed highly improbable just a little over a month ago, we are going to have an NBA season after all.  Granted we will be off to the races with 66 games per team in the next 123 days (nearly a game every other day). I think most of you remember what the 1999 season was like, resulting in a Cinderella run by the 8th seeded New York Knicks all the way to the NBA finals.  But hey, as the great Andy Roddick would say, “If sports were predictable, they would be like watching a DVD.” Just a hunch that this shortened year will be anything but predictable.  

Main Storylines:

-What effect will the infamous “Stern-Veto” have on the overall scope of the League, especially out in LA?

-Will a 66-game season lead to a crazier postseason than we had in 1999?

-Will LeBron finally capture a ring in year two of the “MonStars” experiment?

-Can the Dallas Mavericks repeat despite the loss of their bruiser inside, Tyson Chandler?

-How will the Celtics do in what is likely the last season of the “Three Musketeers?”

-What young star is ready to take the next step?  Derrick Rose or Kevin Durant?

-Will SportsCenter have to invent a new top ten strictly for the Los Angeles Clippers? Continue reading

“Sorry Brian”

Brian Shaw (Center) appeared to be the man who would get the opportunity to succeed Phil Jackson as the 22nd Head Coach in Laker's history. Sadly for Shaw, he was overlooked for the job.

Have you ever been stood up by a date?  Canceled on at the last-minute? Led on by a girl that you liked? Mistreated by your family or significant other?  If so, which I am assuming most of you have, you know that none of these instances lead to a good feeling.  Well ask Los Angeles Lakers Assistant Coach Brian Shaw about getting led on.  The man just got ditched by the biggest game in town.  One of the NBA’s proudest and most storied franchises, the Los Angeles Lakers. Continue reading