Archive for the ‘NBA’ Category

Shaquille O’Neal will go down as one of the great immovable forces to ever play in the NBA. Obviously it starts with his sheer size. He was 7’ 1“ and weighed somewhere over 325 pounds. He was a self-made cultural phenomenon: an athlete, entertainer and businessman. He learned early on how to market and present himself.

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Dirk Nowitzki’s game Tuesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder will go down as one of the greatest playoff performances of all-time. It’s not just that he scored 48 points, and led his team to a convincing win, but it’s how he did it. Nowitzki missed only 3 shots all game, and was 24 for 24 from the free throw line. It was a dominant, career-defining performance for a guy who for whatever reason has never really gotten his just due.

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This year challenged many of our beliefs about sports issues and the athletes who play the games. The highlights and the lowlights of 2010 offered us important insights into what athletes face, and what fans expect and are willing to accept. How the games are played and what we think about sports going forward will most certainly be shaped by what happened in 2010.

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Hating the Heat

Posted: 28th December 2010 by DavidBurnett in Basketball, NBA
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Still, of all the professional athletes in the universe LeBron has had more leverage than Magic, Bird and Jordan had combined – particularly so in Cleveland – to affect the caliber of personnel of his team. He clearly didn’t’t have to leave Cleveland to play with great players; he could have simply had them come to him. More importantly the history of the league shows that no assembling of dream team players has ever resulted in the awarding of the Larry O’Brien championship trophy.

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One can only wonder why Greg Oden will be sidelined yet again. But there may never be a good answer. Sometimes things just happen. But the fact is, this once promising seven-footer, who some saw as the second coming of Bill Russell, Hakeem Olajuwan, and Patrick Ewing, has now been injured for most of the last five years.

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LeBron James and his talents will be dissected all season long, especially in defeat. Every game, like Tuesday night’s season opening loss to the Boston Celtics, will be reviewed and scrutinized. The new Big Three, led by LeBron was supposed to take the NBA by storm, but the Heat will most certainly be a work in progress.

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What we learned during the hour-long prime time “Decision” is that Cleveland will never be the same again. But neither will LeBron. The city’s native son is finally leaving home. He is taking his basketball to Miami where he will join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to become the newest and perhaps best Big Three of all time. That’s the basketball and business part of this. The rest is personal.

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The Right Job for Michael Jordan!

Posted: 20th March 2010 by DavidBurnett in Basketball, NBA
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No, Michael Jordan is not the guy who should manage the daily operations of a pro basketball team… But he is the icon who should Own one.

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It would be easy to say that the Washington Wizards’ Gilbert Arenas is an idiot, a manchild who has not come close to growing up. But that overlooks troubling issues and many unanswered questions. Understandably the hammer had to come down on Arenas, who was suspended indefinitely without pay by NBA commissioner David Stern on […]

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Crying for Acceptance

Posted: 4th December 2009 by DavidBurnett in NBA
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For many other players it would have simply been a happy homecoming. Another feel good end of a career story. But we’re talking about Allen Iverson. Iverson is one of the greatest one-on-one talents to have ever played the game of basketball. If there was a pound-for-pound, inch-for-inch crown, the 6 foot tall 175 pound […]

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The other day NBA superstar LeBron James said that starting next year he would no longer wear number 23. Further he says all NBA players should relinquish wearing number 23 – out of respect to the greatest number 23, Michael Jordan. Actually I have no problem with that. But young Mr. James, don’t go around […]

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Finally: Common Sense On Steroids

Posted: 24th October 2009 by DavidBurnett in NBA, Steroids
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The other day Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban suggested that some sports need to embrace a clinical approach to the use of steroids. But even as he made that statement Cuban predicted that he would be widely criticized for his belief that athletes should be allowed to use steroids under a doctors care as a […]

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The Los Angeles Lakers have just won their 15th NBA title.  And because of his obvious importance,  a lot of people believe the Lakers are Kobe Bryant’s team.  After all he is their best player, and he did win the Bill Russell Most Valuable Player Award.  But does that actually mean the Lakers are in […]

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I had just about written him off as another playground punk but I’m glad that at least for one game, the man known on asphalt courts as Skip to My Lou, was the main catalyst for his team.   It was good to see Rafer Alston turn things around. Alston played an outstanding game Tuesday night […]

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Even without the expected showdown of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James in the finals, the NBA is as healthy as its been since the end of the Michael Jordan era.   The NBA Finals which tip-off on Thursday in Los Angeles are being aided by growing public interest in the NBA, which saw each of the […]

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