Tag Archives: Orlando Magic

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

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Food for Thought 5-22-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. LeBron James (pictured above) put on a remarkable performance in Game 4. Sadly, it is ring or nothing for the King this year.

By Josh Kramer

40 points.  18 rebounds.  9 assists.  That was LeBron James stat line on Sunday.  Recognition was given for a good 24 hour period.  Come Game 5 (tonight), the remarkable performance will be a mere memory.  People are still far from satisfied with the King.  In taking his talents to Miami back on July 8, 2010, James chose a different life.  A life where the criticism never ends.  Where the expectations grow at an infinite rate.  A life where the word “satisfaction” does not exist.  And of course a life where returning home is more of a chore than a celebration.

You all are quite familiar with the story.  Not  1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7.  It is a quote on the same level of the classic Allen Iverson “We talking about practice” rant of ten years ago.  This season, LBJ put up arguably the greatest season of his already amazing career, helping him earn his third MVP Award in the past four years.  The amazing thing is nobody seems to care.  All anyone cares about are his missed free throws at the end of Game 2 against the Pacers.  Or the fact that he dished the ball to superstar teammate Dwyane Wade for the final shot in Game 2.

Watching LeBron play this season and during the early going of the playoffs has been a treat.  The guy is doing once in a lifetime type of things on both ends of the floor.  Sadly, the expectations are so high on the King, if he does not bring home a ring, it will all be nothing.  His remarkable 2011/2012 season will be thought of as a failure.  Will the Heat cut down the nets?  I am honestly not sure.  A lot hinges on when Bosh comes back and if he is at 100%.  Haslem did his best impersonation of the injured Chris Bosh on Sunday.  When push comes to shove though, Haslem is not nearly the caliber of player that Chris Bosh is.  Plus, OKC or San Antonio would be stiff competition if Miami were fortunate enough to get by Indiana and then the winner of the Boston/Philadelphia series.

I am by no means a LeBron James fan (I am not a hater either).  I never have been.  But I am a fan of the game of basketball.  The way James fills up the stat sheet on a nightly basis deserves some praise.  What he did on Sunday was truly remarkable.  Sadly, if the Heat lose Game 5, it will all be forgotten.  Despite many saying Dwyane Wade is the leader of the Miami Heat, it is LeBron James who carries the team and the city on his shoulders.  It is LeBron James who took the brunt of the criticism when Miami came up empty-handed in 2011.  And it will be LeBron James who shoulders the majority of the criticism no matter how well he plays if the Heat do not capture a ring in June.  I guess that is the life of a King.  Things are great when you are winning.  Things are horrible when you are losing.  The life of a King is bittersweet. Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part XVII

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The Reds were in desperate need of a top of the rotation guy last year at this time. Johnny Cueto (pictured above) seems to have things under control.

By Josh Kramer

Welcome to the 17th edition of “Throwback Saturdays.”  This is likely the last one at least for the foreseeable future.  But let’s go back in time and see just how accurate I was with my insights.  What was happening on May 12, 2011?  How about on May 12, 2010?

One year ago..

#1 Starter:  Please Stand Up

Here is a snippet..

The Cincinnati Reds are no longer a sub 500 team or a ball club that strives to win as many as they lose.  They also are not one of those small market teams that will as they say,  ”get them next year.”  One of those “teams of the future.” The Reds are a franchise that has developed the “win now” mentality that their ownership, the Castellini Family, and their General Manager, Mr. Walt Jocketty thrive on.  And I for one love the direction that this franchise is heading.  Who doesn’t love a team with ownership who cares about winning first?

July 31st is the MLB Trade Deadline.  If the Reds want to make a deep run come playoff time, they must pick up a top of the rotation starter.  A number 1 guy.  One of those pitchers that other teams cringe at the thought of facing.  Currently the Reds are in a good spot.  They are sporting a record of 20-17 and are within one game of the top spot in the NL Central.  This team has a dynamic offense, a great fielding percentage, and a winner’s mentality in the locker room.  There is only one glaring weakness.  And that once again is at the top of the rotation.

Now this team is very good.  I do think they are capable of making the playoffs with the squad they have.  But there is a difference between making the playoffs and winning in the playoffs.  Do the Reds want to take that next step from “good to great?”  I think they do.  All I do know is Edinson Volquez is not cutting the mustard as a top of rotation starter.  And to be blunt, nobody else in the rotation is either (To finish reading this post, click this link). 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

Dwight Howard Soap Opera

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. If you were wondering, Dwight Howard (pictured above) wants to be the "guy" no matter who he plays for next year.

By Josh Kramer

Is it just me, or does it seem like something new gets added to the Dwight Howard story every day?  We get it.  Howard is a big deal.  Not only does he average nearly 21 points and 15 rebounds a night, but he is quite possibly the only “true” center left in the NBA.  Or at least the only great center left in the NBA.  Anybody with the nickname “Superman” is likely doing something right.

Now we are 40 games into the 66-game strike shortened season.  Dwight Howard is still in Orlando.  The Magic are currently sitting firmly in the 3rd spot in the Eastern Conference.  They are in contention.  Yes, I realize the trade deadline is less than a week away (set for next Thursday at 3PM).  I just want the game of gossip girl to stop.  Kobe had it right with the way he approached the “he said she said game” with Lakers ownership recently.  Make up your mind.  Either trade Pau Gasol or not.  Though I am not a teammate of Dwight Howard, I am sick of hearing about it.  Let me rephrase that.  I am sick of the ridiculous details that get added to the story each week. And believe me, I love to know rumor central as much as the next guy right as the story is developing.  It is one of the things that makes following sports these days so special.  There is so much information available right as events are happening.  But the way this story has transpired, we know no more now than we did on Christmas. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 2-27-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tennis season is getting ready to heat up. Is it time for Andy Murray (pictured above) to break through?

By Josh Kramer

So the dunk contest was a joke.  Ryan Braun somehow defeated the system.  RGIII once again proved that he is fast.  And College Hoops did not disappoint (I mean when does it at this time of year).  Last week was jam-packed.  But the week ahead should be pretty good in its own right.

5. One of the best tournaments in tennis (outside of the 4 Grand Slams) is just one week away.  I am of course referring to the BNP Paribas Open at lovely Indian Wells.  But before the tour makes the anxiously awaited stop in California, the players have to take advantage of the two tune-ups provided this week. Djokovic, Federer, and Murray will all showcase their abilities at the ATP Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, while the ATP Abierto Mexicano Telcel will also be taking place in Acapulco, Mexico.  Though most will not hold their breath in regards to these two tournaments this week,  they should.  Just like in any sport, the hottest players are the ones that take home the big-time tournaments.  Winning a tune-up typically signifies a “Hot-Streak.”  Who will get hot this week? Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 2-6-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Kentucky super freshman Anthony Davis (pictured above) has quickly become the frontrunner for the Naismith National Player of the Year Award.

By Josh Kramer

For the first time since the beginning of September, there will be no organized football games to speak of.  America’s favorite sport will now go into hibernation until training camp and spring ball begins.  After last night’s “Super” spectacle in which Eli Manning outdid Tom Brady, watching the pigskin get tossed around every Saturday and Sunday will be sorely missed.  But on to the next one.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Despite much indecision and turmoil in the form of a 130 day lockout leading up to the 92nd NFL season, the 2011/2012 NFL season did not disappoint by any means.  If anything, the sport grew in popularity.  ESPN proclaimed this the “Year of the Quarterback.”  I think without question, next year should be the “Year of the Tight End.” Continue reading