Tag Archives: Los Angeles Lakers

Thunder youth movement

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. With yesterday’s Serge Ibaka contract extension, the Oklahoma City Thunder youth movement continues.

By Josh Kramer

Most of the attention regarding the Western Conference this off-season has been focused on the newly revamped Los Angeles Lakers.  Rightfully so.  In adding two-time MVP Steve Nash and the best center in the NBA, it appears Kobe has the pieces in place to nab #6.  But who won the Western Conference championship last year though?  Who went to the Western Conference finals the year before? Oh yeah, that team out of Oklahoma City.  With yesterday’s four-year contract extension of 22-year-old swat team captain Serge Ibaka, the youth movement continues on in OKC.

In this day and age defined by free agency, blockbuster deals, and unhappy players, core groups rarely stay together for an extended period of time.  Oklahoma City is looking to defy the odds and build a dynasty out of a group of guys that they drafted, molded, and groomed. Continue reading

Remember Us? Don’t Count out the Chicago Bulls in 2012-2013

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The Bulls have become an afterthought due to Derrick Rose’s injury, but with Tom Thibodeau (pictured above) running the show, don’t count Chicago out just yet.

By Wesley Kaminsky

In the wake of Dwight Howard going to the Lakers, Andrew Bynum going to the Sixers, and Joe Johnson going to the Nets, the 2012-2013 Chicago Bulls lie somewhere in the desert.

This is the team that had the best record in the NBA over the past two seasons and lost their superstar Derrick Rose to a torn ACL in the first round of the playoffs last season.

This is the team that was the biggest threat to Miami in the Eastern Conference before that injury.

Yeah, that team. Remember them? It seems like a lifetime ago in which they were championship contenders. Continue reading

Food for Thought 8-14-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Aroldis Chapman (pictured above) is looking to become the first relief pitcher to win a Cy Young since 2003 and perhaps the first Cincinnati Reds pitcher ever to win the prestigious award.

By Josh Kramer

The Reds may be the oldest team in professional baseball history (established in 1869), but there is one thing this proud franchise has never done.  No Cincinnati pitcher has ever claimed the Cy Young Award.  Just to put that into perspective, the Diamondbacks (established in 1998) have sported five winners of the prestigious award for the best pitcher in their respective League.  I know there is a still a month and a half left in the regular season, but a pair of serious Cy Young candidates currently reside in Cincinnati.  I will give you a hint.  One is a starter, while the other is a relief pitcher.  Despite the absence of star Joey Votto, the Reds have somehow managed to go a remarkable 19 and 8.  So much for staying afloat and playing .500 ball with the all-world Votto sidelined.

Sure plenty of players have stepped up in the absence of the MLB’s best all-around hitter (such as Ryan Ludwick and Brandon Phillips), but two players have been getting the job done all year.  Johnny Cueto has not only proven himself to be a formidable number one starter, but he has also proven to be arguably the best pitcher in the National League.  Cueto currently is tied for the NL lead with 15 wins and ranks third in ERA (2.45).  Make sure to note that the two pitchers with better ERA’s than Cueto in the present have 10 wins and 9 wins respectively (Vogelsong and Zimmermann)  Then there is the Cuban Missile.  Outside of one short-lived rough patch just before the All-Star break, Aroldis Chapman has been the most dominant pitcher in baseball. Chapman has been simply unhittable as of late going a remarkable 22 straight appearances without allowing a run.  Also, in 51.2 innings against National League foes, Chapman has surrendered one earned run.  Lastly he has given up just 25 hits.  Really think about those statistics.  Could we be on the verge of the first relief-pitcher to take home the Cy Young Award since Eric Gagne in 2003?  Or perhaps the first Reds Cy Young Award winner ever? Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 8-13-2012

Photo courtesty of zimbio.com. Dwight Howard (pictured above) is the latest great big man to suit up for the Los Angeles Lakers.

By Josh Kramer

Happy Monday to you all.  It wasn’t easy, but Team USA went all the way and handled Spain late in the fourthAbby Wambach and Co. handled business.  Tiger Woods, well you know the drill (at least Rory was good).  And Andrew Luck demonstrated that it wasn’t “luck” that he was drafted number one in his professional debut.  Last week was a great one, but this week should be fun in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Marcos Ambrose came out victorious in a wild race at the Glen.  The countdown to the Chase is down to four.  There are just four more races before the big boys battle it out for the Cup.  This Sunday, the gang heads to Michigan International Speedway as Kyle Busch looks to defend his crown at the Pure Michigan 400.

4.  The history is well-documented:  George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O’Neal.  Add Dwight Howard to the list.  I am not sure how the Lake Show pulled this blockbuster deal off, but Kobe Bryant’s chances at number six improved immensely when Superman signed with Jack Nicholson’s favorite team.  Watching Team USA bring home gold at the Olympics was exciting, but the prospects of a LeBron/Kobe finals matchup has me even more excited.  It may only be August, but the 2012/2013 NBA seasons is shaping up to be a memorable.  Plus, the “Dwight Howard Soap Opera” has finally come to a close. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 7-9-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tony Stewart (pictured above) had his way at Daytona this past weekend. Will he stay hot in New Hampshire on Sunday.

By Josh Kramer

Andy Murray has officially established himself as the “GOAT (Greatest Of All Time)” to never win a Grand Slam.  His tears and pain were felt by an entire country.  The MLB enters the All-Star Break with both the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals sitting atop their respective divisions.  NBA free-agency has every team around the League on high alert.  And guess what?  This week is going to be jam-packed in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  The countdown is on.  The whole world will focus their attention on one place in a mere 18 days for arguably the greatest event in sports.  Get ready for the London 2012 Summer Olympics.  It should be one for the ages.

4.  Big Tony Stewart thoroughly enjoyed his stay in Daytona.  Now it is time to head to New Hampshire.  Not exactly Daytona, but still an important stop in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  Last year, Ryan Newman came out victorious at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  Newman currently finds himself ranking 15th in the current standings with one win on the year.  A repeat of last year could go a long way in helping Newman solidify a spot in the Chase come September. Continue reading

Number One

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Steve Nash (pictured above) is joining forces with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles. Will he capture his first ring?

By Josh Kramer

9,916 assists.  Eight All-Star Games.  Two MVP’s.  And it all comes down to this.  The man who made the 50-40-90 term (50% from the field, 40% from three-point range, 90% from the free throw line) relevant is going for the only number that matters.  One.  As in “one” championship.  Just ask the “King” what that feels like.

In a shocking twist of events, Steve Nash was shipped off in a sign and trade to the Lakers yesterday to join forces with Kobe Bryant.  Go figure.  Heading into this offseason, it seemed unless the Lakers won the “Dwight Howard Sweepstakes (Soap Opera),” Kobe Bryant’s pursuit of number six would be all for not.  Now winning the “Dwight Howard Sweepstakes” might just be a cherry on top.  Kobe is coming for Jordan’s six. Continue reading

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