Tag Archives: New Orleans Hornets

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

Food for Thought 12-13-2011

Photo courtesy of sportsillustrated.cnn.com. UK lost for the first time this season on Saturday. Still there is no reason for John Calipari (pictured above) and Big Blue Nation to panic by any means.

By Josh Kramer

The past few days in sports have been anything but ordinary.  In fact, it has been an extraordinary past few days in regards to sports, just the way we like it.  Here are the items that have caught my attention.

Have no fear, UK is here

-Any of you that know me personally are well aware that I am not the biggest advocate of the Big Blue Nation (University of Kentucky).  By no means am I a guy that you will find at Rupp Arena for a showdown on a Saturday afternoon.  But I will admit one thing; this year’s version of the “Calipari All Stars” is the real deal.  Yes, I realize it is ironic that I am talking about this team following their first loss of the year.  A heartbreaking defeat at the hands of an Indiana program that finally appears to be back from the dead. Continue reading

Looking ahead to NBA free agency (if and when it happens)

Photo courtesy of watchesbydesign.com. Yao Ming (pictured above) could be a potential bargain pick up for a contender when the CBA situation is eventually figured out according to our very own Nick Craddock.

By Nick Craddock

With a Thursday midnight deadline looming, NBA owners and the NBA players union appear nowhere near close to hammering out a new collective bargaining agreement that would allow for free agents to start negotiations, as regularly scheduled, on July 1.

However, whenever the 2011 free agency period does commence, there will be some talented ballers available for general managers to sign. How a new CBA affects player contracts is yet to be seen, but here is a list of this summer’s free agents who are overvalued and in line to start taking baths of Benjamins. On the other hand, potential bargain players could reap huge rewards for teams:

5 overvalued players

1. Jose Juan Barea (Dallas Mavericks): The diminutive Puerto Rican point guard won many admirers for his performances during the Mavericks’ 2011 championship run, but whether or not this former undrafted player and star from Northeastern is ready for primetime is yet to be seen. Sure, Barea sliced-and-diced the Lakers during the playoffs, but could this career bench player sustain such success for 82 games a year in a more demanding role? Regardless of my skepticism, his playoff heroics will be the most recent memory general managers have of Barea and, consequently, he will undoubtedly cash in with a hefty pay raise. Once Barea receives a bump in pay, one can only hope he will follow the path of fellow Puerto Rican Jennifer Lopez; although he used to have a little, but then a lot, he’ll remember where he came from because he’s J.J. from the block.      Continue reading

“Is This the End of the Laker Dynasty?”

The Kobe and Phil Laker Era appears to be coming to a close. Will it be a happy ending?

The door is almost shut, but it is not entirely closed yet. Anybody who says they saw this coming is full of it.  I realize that Charles Barkley makes his outrageous and obnoxious picks, and makes sure you know it.  But outside of Sir Charles, who I struggle to give credit for predicting this, I do not know anybody who saw this coming.  Things were not supposed to end like this.  This was supposed to be the epic finale to Phil Jackson’s illustrious coaching career.  It was supposed to be Kobe’s time to tie the greatest player of all time with his 6th Championship ring and to start the arguments of whose the greatest.  Everyone knew the LA Dynasty was heading down the home stretch.  But nobody foresaw it ending before June. Continue reading

“Food for Thought 4-26-11”

Do not be surprised to see former Florida Gator Head Coach Urban Meyer (pictured above) patrolling the sidelines in Columbus in the near future. It is turning into a real possibility as more Tressel allegations continue to arise.

What is not going on in sports this week?  Playoffs, MLB Action, NFL Draft Mayhem.  It is a crazy week in the world of sports as was noted in yesterday’s version of the “Weekly Nickel.”  But here are the main topics that have been catching my eye.

Could it be Meyer Time in Columbus? Continue reading

“Are the West’s 5-8 that Great?”

Allan Houston (pictured above) played a key role in helping lead the 8th seeded New York Knicks to the 1999 NBA Finals. Do not expect the Memphis Grizzlies, despite a big time win today, to roll all the way to the Finals. But the Western Conferences 5 through 8 teams are pretty solid.

2 shockers already on this first Sunday of the NBA Playoffs.  The top 2 seeds in the Western Conference went down at home.  Could the Spurs and Lakers legitimately lose these series and turn the NBA Playoffs into April/May Madness?  It would be totally awesome with a capital A, but it will not happen. Continue reading

“NBA Playoff Preview”

As I predicted in the preseason, I am taking Kobe, Phil, and the Lakers to complete the 3-peat with another amazing playoff run. Will this be the end of the line for Phil Jackson?

The grueling 82 game regular season is finally over and playoff time is upon us.  Most casual fans do not invest a heavy interest in the regular season, but come playoff time, the NBA takes center stage.  There is no questioning the effort of these amazing basketball players at this time of year.  It is all or nothing.  This is where the men are separated from the boys.  As promised, I am going to provide my predictions on how this year’s postseason will play out. Continue reading

“Stars Aligning: Is this Good for the NBA?”

 

With the major move of Carmelo to New York and Deron Williams to New Jersey, could Chris Paul (pictured above) be next? Our very own Wesley Kaminsky touches on the current state of the NBA.

Wesley is a sports expert and journalist out of Philadelphia that writes for Bleacher Report.  You can check out all of his work at  http://bleacherreport.com/users/88810-wesley-kaminsky or follow his twitter @Wesley_Kaminsky

 

Remember back in the old NBA days where stars wanted to compete against one another and not join forces for the sole purpose to win a ring? I am talking about back in the days of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird. These guys did not want to play together and dominate the NBA for years to come, they wanted to battle it out and compete against each other. No, I was not around during the days of Bird and Magic, and was a baby while Jordan was in his prime, but I do know one thing, that the NBA has completely changed since then. Continue reading

“Weekly Nickel”

Amare Stoudemire (pictured above) has put the Knicks on his shoulders and led them to 8 straight wins. Can he keep the Garden buzzing with two major matchups vs the Heat and Celtics this week?

It is Monday.  And you all know what that means.  It is the beginning of another amazing week in the wide world of sports.

We got NFL action.  College Football minutia and Bowl Madness debates.  NBA Action.  NCAA “totally awesome time.”  MLB blockbuster signings.  And we even got hockey hysteria.  It is a great time to be a sports fan.

5.  NHL Action continues on.  And on Tuesday night, the battle for the state of Pennsylvania takes center stage.  The two top teams in the League, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers square off in Philly.  Can the Flyers make a statement and slow Sid the Kid and the seemingly unbeatable as of late Penguins?  Make sure to tune in for this one.

4.  So it is not the greatest week for College Hoops.  There is only one matchup of ranked foes all week.  This game pits #5 Kansas State vs #24 Florida next Saturday.  But College Hoops are College Hoops.  The unpredictability and excitement are always there.  Plus, if the men’s game is not that appealing this week, you could always tune in and watch Geno Auriemma’s Lady Huskies continue to make history next Sunday at Madison Square Garden right?

3.  The Bowl Game Madness begins this weekend.  We got some barn burners set for Saturday.  Here is a closer look.

-New Mexico Bowl: BYU and UTEP square off in a hotly anticipated matchup.  Okay, this game is not on everybody’s “to do” list, unless of course you attend or attended one of the schools.  I am not quite sure how either of these teams find themselves in postseason play.  But they both won the mandatory 6 games to get an invitation.  Other than a 4 game losting streak early in the year, BYU has played pretty solid football.  I expect their overall depth to prove too much against a UTEP team that are losers of two straight coming in to this one.  BYU wins this very lackluster matchup by 3.

-Humanitarian Bowl: A tough Northern Illinois team squares off with the always dangerous Fresno State Bulldogs.  This is definitely the marquee matchup of the day.  These are both pretty solid teams that have each taken down some decent foes this year.  NIU had won 9 straight games until being shocked by Miami in the MAC Title game last weekend.  The Huskies feature a special running back in Chad Spann.  He is one of the best backs in the country that you have probably never heard of.  Expect him to put on a show in his last collegiate game.  Fresno State on the other hand has been extremely Jekyll and Hyde all year.  I have not been able to figure them out.  Sadly for them, I do not see their good side showing up in this one.  Expect NIU’s blend of an outstanding rushing attack and a solid defensive unit to defeat the Bulldogs by 6.

-R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl:  Hey, at least this game is being played in New Orleans.  One of the most fun cities in America.  Sadly, the caliber of the teams participating in this game are not the greatest.  Troy has a lethal passing attack, but OU was a game away from playing in the MAC Championship.  I am going to go with my conference rankings on this one.  The MAC is a stronger conference than the Sun Belt in my eyes.  Go with the MAC team.  The Bobcats will win this less than stellar matchup by 9.

2.  The NBA is full of major win streaks.  Will they continue for another week?  There are some great matchups as usual all throughout the upcoming week.  Here is a look at the “key matchup” of each night.

Monday

New Orleans at Miami:  The South Beach boys appear to finally be getting it together.  Winners of 8 straight.  They look outstanding.  Lebron and D Wade claim that they have figured things out.  Well it appears that way.  New Orleans on the other hand is a team heading in another direction.  They are losers of two straight, and the hot start appears to be a mere memory.  Can New Orleans cool off the trifecta in the heat of South Beach?

Tuesday

Orlando at Denver:  Orlando is no longer in first place in their division, or in the state of Florida.  They trail the Miami boys by half a game.  The Nuggets are coming off of a tough loss at MSG and appear to be in for more tough losses in the near future.  It is likely that the Nuggets will be “Carmeloless” at any time now.  So the Magic are dealing with the soaring Heat while the Nuggets deal with a star player’s outcry. Which team will overcome and conquer?

Wednesday

Boston at New York:  The two hottest teams in the East square off at the “Mecca.”  Boston appears to be the cream of the East again while the Knicks have now turned into a playoff bound team.  It is always exciting when a good team comes to Madison Square Garden.  Which team will go cold first?

Thursday

Atlanta at Boston:  Following a date at MSG, the Celtics head home the next night to take on a high-flying Hawks team.  Will Boston once again show the Hawks that they are not quite at that “elite” level yet?  Or will the ATL guys take another step in the right direction?

Friday

Miami at New York:  To cap off the week, one of the best rivalries of the late 90s is renewed.  This is the first time in a decade where both teams sport winning records.  And you know that Lebron always gets up to play in the Big Apple.  You better believe that LBJ will not receive the warmest of welcomes.  This may be the most hostile crowd he faces all year, outside of Cleveland.  Are Lebron, D Wade, and Bosh up to the challenge of yet another very hostile environment?

1.  NFL Football.  Enough said.  It is Week 15.  There are teams looking towards next year’s draft.  There are teams clinging to a last hope of desperation to make the playoffs.  There are teams looking to secure home field advantage.  And I could go on.  Key matchups next week feature the Jaguars looking to stake claim on the AFC South against the Colts.  The Jets looks to wake up after a two-week nap against the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Could it be a rude awakening?  And of course Green Bay heads to Foxborough to take on the NFL’s best team of the moment.

There are also plenty of other things going on in sports as well.  MLB Free Agency continues featuring the “Cliff Lee Sweepstakes.”  The NFL impending lockout discussions continue.  And of course there is High School Basketball going on in every one of your hometowns. 

So enjoy the sports for the week.  It should be another memorable one.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“The Real Terrific Trifecta”

Could these two bitter rivals on the court and good friends off the court land in New York City next season?

Just when we thought the aftershock of “The Decision” was over. Today started murmurs about the possible departures of Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony from their current teams, to the Big Apple. New York would truly be the city that never slept if this happened. The Knicks have been craving a winner for the better part of a decade. A once proud franchise has really been at a standstill or a steady tread downward for 10 plus years now. Well that could all end in the very near future if the General Manager for the New York Knickerbockers (Donnie Walsh) puts on a David Blaine act. And a guy can dream right? I mean how far-fetched did most think it would be to see Lebron James and Chris Bosh join Wade in Miami?

In the words of the famous Disney Movie, “Angel’s In the Outfield,” “It could happen.”  So without even looking at the actual logistics and possibility of this momentous move, today, lets just dream big and look into if this actually happened. First of all the effect it would have would be amazing. Because these 3 players actually would have the pieces to gel. They are not just 3 random superstars. You take the best point guard in the game in CP3. Put him with the best small forward in the game outside of “King” James, Carmelo Anthony, and add in the highlight reel that is power forward Amare Stoudemire? You better believe that you have a great mix of guys that could really play together.

Amare was acquired by New York to bring other big names with him.  Stoudemire failed in a big way in July at helping acquire big name talent with him.  Well July is over and it is August now. Carmelo is an East Coast guy who thrived at Syracuse. And CP3 wants to play on a winner and even hinted at this trifecta heading to NYC at Melo’s wedding. The consequences for the East would be mind-blowing. The old Knicks vs Heat rivalry would be renewed. And probably more exciting than ever.

This would probably even lead to the power shifting in the NBA from the West to the East. In the East, you would now have the Celtics, the Magic, the Knicks, and the Heat as 4 very strong teams.  Not to mention a 5th very solid team in Chicago. The West would be left with the Lakers, the Mavericks, and the very young Oklahoma City Thunder. The Nuggets would never be the same without Melo. The Hornets were not a contender anyways. The Jazz loss of Boozer hurts.  The Trailblazers are always a major question mark due to injuries. The Spurs are becoming old and decrepit. This move would honestly lead to many believing in the East as the superior conference for the first time since the days of his “Airness.”

And I will say this. On paper, Lebron, Wade, and Bosh are the more skilled trio according to most.  Not to mention that Pat Riley is surrounding them with a decent supporting cast considering his lack of funds. But I will state that the New York trio would have a far better chemistry and would have a better shot at bringing home the title in my eyes.

The NBA game has had a reawakening at the point guard position.  Look at the contending teams from last year.  The  Celtics, the Magic, the Lakers, the Nuggets, the Mavericks, and the Suns and I could go on.  Want to know what they all had in common?  A big time point guard with playoff experience.  I mean think about it.  These teams had Rajon Rondo, Jameer Nelson, Derek Fisher, Chauncey Billups, Jason Kidd, and Steve Nash.  Do the Miami Heat have a real legitimate point guard next year?  I guess Wade could do it.  But I would rather have Chris Paul running my offense.

So could this second terrific trio be formed, and would it be the “Real Terrific Trifecta?”

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze