Tag Archives: Magic Johnson

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

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

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

Food for Thought 4-17-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Matt Kemp (pictured above) is playing out of this world right now. He has been the "Magic" that has the Dodgers sitting atop the baseball world.

By Josh Kramer

“Magic”  in LA?

No athlete has meant more to his or her respective city than Magic Johnson.  Ten games into the 2012 MLB season, it appears “Magic” has struck again in Los Angeles.  No team is playing better baseball than the Los Angeles Dodgers at the moment.  Yes, the same team that the villainous Frank McCourt owned until recently.  What is the difference between the 2011 and the 2012 edition of the Los Angeles Dodgers?

Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

After the days of Bill Russell and before the days of “His Airness,” there was Magic Johnson.  Magic and the Lakers were synonymous with the word “Winning” in the 1980s.  Though it is still very early, it seems that the new ownership has revived the winning mentality in a once very proud Dodgers organization.

Okay, I realize this is totally a stretch.  Magic and his partners bought the troubled franchise for around two billion dollars on March 27th.  There is no way they could have done much to completely transform this team into one of the MLB’s elite in just a few weeks.  I believe in the power of pep talks.  But ownership has to make baseball moves as well to lead a franchise to greatness.  Magic and Co. have not really had an opportunity to make any baseball moves.  The real “Magic” lies in the play of star center fielder Matt Kemp. 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 3-6-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Could Danny Ainge and the Celtics really trade Rajon Rondo (pictured above) after watching the show he put on against the Knicks on Sunday?

By Josh Kramer

Trade me?  You must be crazy.

This Sunday was definitely a “Fun Day” in the NBA.  Not only were there great matchups though, there were memorable performances.  Deron Williams dropped 57 as he continues to make his ploy for Dwight Howard to join him in Brooklyn (New Jersey heads to Brooklyn next year).  Kobe Bryant put on a heck of a show in which he scored 18 points in the first quarter to set the tone as LA handled Miami 93 to 83.  And of course there was the exceptional performance put on by the Celtics point guard, Rajon Rondo.

I seem to remember heavy gossip about a possible trade of a certain Celtic’s point guard before the March 15th trade deadline.  Well after watching the show that Rondo put on yesterday against the Knicks, could you really imagine trading this guy?  Three numbers sum everything up.

18, 17, and 20. Continue reading