Archive for May, 2011


The Miami Heat will face off with the Dallas Mavericks in the in a rematch of the 2006 NBA Finals. The Heat come in playing arguably the best basketball of any one and definitely their best of the year. With Udonis Haslem returning from injury giving them a better rebounding and interior presence so the Heat no longer have to rely on Chris Bosh to grab the crucial rebounds and be their mainstay in the paint. Also Mike Miller who has struggled all year has found his stroke since the Bulls series and gives Miami another player that can create their own shot from the outside. Dallas also comes in playing at a high level sweeping the defending champs and disposing of the youthful Oklahoma City Thunder. Dirk has played like the MVP of the playoffs so far and shedding the label of soft that he’s fought since his 2006 NBA Finals appearance. The Mavericks have had the most consistent bench of the playoffs with J.J. Berea and Jason Terry carrying the scoring load for the second unit with Brendan Haywood giving them an inside scoring threat to keep the defense honest. This series will come down to how well Dwayne Wade plays, though everyone will say all of the pressure is on LeBron. I saw the pressure is on Wade because LeBron is the greatest front runner ever; and I mean that as a compliment. When he plays with confidence and sees blood he can go for the kill. Just reference the close out games they had against Boston and Chicago. LeBron is the guy that is the greatest street fighter with his crew behind him, but when fighting by himself, he can’t hold off foes but for so long. Notice how when Wade plays well it relaxes LeBron. It allows him to know that if he makes a mistake, having a bad stretch that someone has his back. This is what has allowed LeBron to be the best closer of the playoffs. So as long as Wade plays well, LeBron will continue to do what he has done all through the playoffs. The key for Dallas is to take us their height to their advantage. Dirk, Shawn Marion, Tyson Chandler and Haywood are mismatches for just about anyone that will guard them around the low post. Tyson with alley-oops and back door cuts, Marion with that face up jumper, Haywood with his decent post up game and Dirk with his overall game should give them an advantage that should open up the outside for their shooters. Dirk will have to score 28 points and Terry 20 points every night for the Mavs to win, period. Dirk will have to continue his MVP like play. However, for as much as I’m rooting for the Mavericks to win in 7, because that’s what I believe it will take. My head won’t allow me to pick against Miami. I didn’t think they would come together this fast with the flaws they had. LeBron is playing like the school yard bully knowing that Wade is his sergeant at arms. The Heat have figured it out, and they will win the NBA Finals in 6 games. LeBron will win MVP honors and make everyone swallow the venom they’ve been spewing at him since July 2010. For the 9-8 start, crying in the locker room and rumors that LeBron and Wade would clash, they put their egos to the side for the purpose of winning a title. Exactly how they planned it.

I’ve learned to discover in my adult years that things are never as easy as they seem. Life is not only about making decisions that make you happy or that bring you the most success and adoration. However at times doing what is right, even when

you will be the one to suffer the repercussions. So when I read the Sports Illustrated article on Jim Tressel, I wasn’t shocked. I wasn’t appalled. I understood.

To think that any of us really knew who Jim Tressel was from a few press conferences and book signing interviews are crazy. Some will say we were fooled and duped into believing in an image that wasn’t true. Ok, if that’s the stance you want to take, then turn the mirror on yourself and think of how people would view you if they knew your most inner dark moments and mishaps of your life.

By no means should we have believed Jim Tressel was perfect in the first place. Shame on us for placing him on this pedestal that we now are trying so hard to kick him off of.

From all reports, yes it does look like Tressel is a liar, a repeated one and someone that had no intentions on stopping. Someone who knows the game very well and will play it to his advantage.  Although in this most recent situation, the Tressel we believed in is what did him in. His most honorable act is what caused him to lose a $3.5 million job and leading of one of the most prestigious athletic programs in the country. Tressel wanted to protect his players from a potential investigation that would’ve damaged their reputation at the first site of their names being mentioned at all. Noble cause; but that doesn’t mean that if you break the rules foimage

r being noble that there won’t be consequences to face.

Tressel was placed in a situation that he could’ve slowed down, but not prevented. Whether Tressel told on these six players shouldn’t be the big issue, but rather he started enabling too much, which gave these players the feeling of invincibility. They knew Tressel would take the fall for them. It’s like a three year old who knows mom or dad isn’t going to let them fall, so they continue to jump.

Tressel is guilty of perpetrating an image that he was the last good guy standing, that he would never do these things. When in reality, he would if his lively hood depended on it and if he saw it fit to protect others.

Death before dishonor; in this case unemployment before dishonor. Tressel will recover from this one day, but nationally his image is a wreck. People hate to feel as if they’ve been made a fool of. And that’s what Tressel has done considering how hard he sold his clean cut image and how much people bought in. Lost in this is what now will happen to Ohio State. What penalties they will face from the NCAA over their stance of ignorance in a slew of transgressions that have been described as systemic. Ohio State may receive some mercy now that Tressel is gone, but they will pay a hefty price and will be set back for a year or two.

The wrongdoings of Ohio State and Jim Tressel are nothing new, you could investigate every major sports program and find NCAA rule violations.

The NCAA needs to look hard at changing its rules to attempt to decrease the scandalous culture it has created. These latest allegations may not tell the whole story of whom or what Jim Tressel stands for, however it may be the only excerpt the critics will read.

What’s the Rush?

As a kid I remember I never wanted the game to end, if possible I would play from sun up to sun down. Now that I’m older and understand the essence of time, I wish I had that kind of time again. Now, all I hear are people complaining that baseballs games are too long. Are you serious? Yes, occasionally we’ll have our 3 1/2 hour game that just seems to drag on, but what do you expect from a baseball game. The very attribute that makes it special is the very thing you’re complaining about. The fact that baseball doesn’t have a clock or time limit is unique. The game takes on its own pace, there’s no limit to how fast or slow the pitcher has to work. It’s also a form of strategy, a pitcher that works slowly could take a batter out of his normal rhythm. Alternatively, a pitcher that works fast to the benefit to his defense so they don’t get lulled to sleep with a slow pace. I think the issue is not so much the length of the game, but the quality of the game. Does anybody complain about a 3-hour movie if it keeps you the edge of your seat? No. So if the baseball game were a 3-2 nail biter would you complain then? I highly doubt it. The fact of the matter is with all the expansion talent is spread out so teams have less chance to stockpile talent to keep the product on the field consistently competitive and entertaining. Just think, if there was a time limit or some form of clock management, that 20-inning thriller the Mets and Cardinals just showcased last season would’ve never happened. Moreover, that’s what makes baseball so different. The game could go on forever, and it’s up to those on the field to get the job done. In addition, remember if you didn’t want to spend 3 hours being entertained watching baseball, just think of the last movie you watched that was a dud.

Who is number 41 for the Dallas Mavericks? Yes I know his name is Dirk Nowitzki, but who was the guy that dropped 48 points on the Thunder in game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. Zone, matrix, whatever you want to call it Dirk was feeling it in game one only missing three total shots out of 39 all night. Do you know how hard that is? Some people miss more than that shooting paper balls at their trash can. This new improved Dirk that we’re watching in these playoffs is no joke. Lost in all the hype of the Miami Heat coming together and the Lakers chances at a three peat we didn’t see that Dirk was sharpening his knife he’s been using to stab in the hearts of defenses that attempt to guard him. In the first round Dirk made sure not to let the Blazers back in the series by winning the last two games and closing the Blazers out on their home court. Then the unthinkable happened, Dirk and the Mavericks swept the two time champs and reduced Kobe the black mamba to a gardener snake. Not saying that nobody picked the Mavs, but for certain nobody picked them to sweep the Lakers. Even the 2006 Mavericks that made it to the finals didn’t appear this good. Dirk is playing up to the mentality of that 2007 MVP Award he won. He’s not letting teams’ breath. When the opportunity comes, it is Dirk who is stepping on throats and hammering nails in coffins. I must admit I never thought I would see Dirk play this well, but the man appears to be in a space that will not allow him to stirred, rattled or shaken. Furthermore, behind this play, since my initial Finals prediction was swept by the Mavs, I’ve found myself looking for a seat upon the bandwagon. Dirk said it himself in an interview on ESPN, “It doesn’t really matter who’s on me”. YES! This is the Dirk I’ve been looking for. Where did this guy come from all of sudden? He’s now saying he has to stay in attack mode and he’s the go to guy. If he keeps this mind state I’m not sure who can beat the Mavs. Moreover if the Thunder don’t figure it out they’ll be home real soon and we’re also going to see how good of a defender Kevin Durant is because he may be the one that needs to guard Dirk due to his length. Not being a prisoner of the moment, I like the Mavs chances to win it all. They’ve taken on the attitude of their leader Dirk who I think it’s fair to say has shaken off the ‘soft’ moniker with his play thus far. Like they say the playoffs are where legends are made and Dirk is looking to add an NBA title an accomplishment to t

The NBA had their Draft Lottery today…and I didn’t watch one bit of it. Why, because it means absolutely nothing right now. The NBA Draft is not until June 23rd. So a lottery to determine the order of the draft on May 17th isn’t anything that’s going to cause me to throw some big party with chips and dip. Nonetheless, this is a day for teams that are on the bottom of the basketball totem pole and most are in need of an impact player to turn around their fortunes. The Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers were the two teams with the highest chances to receive the number one pick. And in a turn of luck the Cavs received the number 1 pick and number 4 pick (pick that belonged to the L.A. Clippers was received by the Cavs in a mid-season trade) which should help them in filling the void the Mr. I’m taking my talents to south beach left. Now I know what this means for the Cavs, however as I listened to talk radio in Cleveland you would’ve thought they won the rights to draft M.J. in his prime. Let’s put this in perspective; yes this is very good for the Cavs, they should get two impact players that in a year or two will catapult them into the playoffs. BUT, the draft is not an exact science. Yes, Kyrie Irving is expected to be very good yet, who really knows. His toe that he injured in college could fall off and then Cleveland fans will then be screaming they’re cursed. Let’s hold your horses until we see who they draft and give them time to develop before you start stitching banners to hang in Quicken Loans Arena. Yes, be excited, although let’s not forget, you still have no center and no consistent scorer, problems that will not completely be solved by Kyrie. So don’t let little ole me put a damper on your celebration. Still all I ask is that you hold off on lighting fireworks and throwing ticker tape. Remember the Cavs won the NBA Draft Lottery, not the Rolling Cash 5 in the Ohio Lottery.

Turning Up the Heat

4 games to 1. 97 to 87. Big 3 versus big 2 & a half. Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh finally did it. The signing parade and pep rally in early July has finally seemed to pay off for the Miami Heat. Wade, LeBron, and Bosh have been criticized all season for joining forces in Miami. But this was the goal, to beat the Boston Celtics en route to a championship. A task none of them could do on their own. The Heat had their struggles this year and most analysts had next year as the season they would put it all together. However, the Heat have been playing their best basketball so far. LeBron and Wade have finally figured out how to play together and every time Bosh gets his emotions together he proves to be the piece that completes the Heat’s big 3. The Heat may not get much from their bench, but with Wade and LeBron playing like this, there aren’t many teams that can match their scoring prowess. For the Celtics there should be no shame. They were just beat by a better team. They got old, injured and just couldn’t fight the good fight anymore. Kevin Garnett this series showed that at this stage of his career that he can no longer carry a team for multiple games at a time. Paul Pierce didn’t play well this series, Ray Allen had his hands full with Wade and with Rajon Rondo being injured the Celtics just couldn’t muster up enough to overtake the Heat. Fast forwarding the conversation, for Heat haters, they better hope and pray the Bulls take care of the Hawks, because that is their only hope for giving the Heat some competition in their quest for a ring. As for now, let’s hope the Heat don’t break out the ticker tape and fireworks seeing as they’ve only made it to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Costumes & Disguises

The saying is legends are made in the playoffs. It’s the time of year you’ll show your true greatness, or be exposed as the guy that just can’t close. The difference between Joe Johnson and Dirk Nowitzki, they’re the villain with costumes while Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade have disguises. No one is afraid of them, they don’t strike fear in anyone when the game or series is on the line. No one worries about then taking over and willing their team to victory. It’s like Joe and Dirk went to their linen closet, grabbed a white sheet, cut holes in it, and decided to be ghosts. While Kobe and company decided to go for elaborate disguises to intimidate the opposition. Dirk has been fighting the label of being soft for years, and it hasn’t helped that his team hasn’t gotten past the second round of the playoffs since they made the NBA Finals in 2006. Joe Johnson has been getting flack for not being assertive enough. Now could this the reason their respective teams haven’t had the success their talent has brought them? Probably not, but it’s definitely an aggravating factor. The Hawks have never been out of the 2nd round and have been looked at as a team with talent, but don’t show up ready to play every game. Even with the Dallas Mavericks holding 2 games to none lead over the Lakers, until the series is over, no one is truly sure that Dirk and the Mavericks will close out the series. Everyone still remembers 2006 when the Mavericks won the first 2 games of the NBA Finals and went on to lose the next 4 games. Though this year is starting to look different for Dirk and crew, until we see them win we won’t believe they can. And with Kobe on the other side it’s kind of hard to count him out. So until Joe Johnson and Dirk win when they’re expected no one will place any faith in them.

Here’s my interview I did with Devin the Dude after his show in Cleveland, Ohio on the Fresh Brew Tour with the Coughee Brothaz

Devin the Dude

Here’s my interviews with Rum, Jugg Mugg and Smit D of the Coughee Brothaz

To check out the new album click the picture below to buy it on I-Tunes.

Coughee Brothaz

Could you imagine needing therapy for your job? Ok maybe bad analogy. Better yet, could you imagine needing therapy to perform the job you loved? How would you feel if the pressure to perform just became too much to handle and you had to step down? Well this is the very disorder that has caused Tom Durkin to step down from his job of announcing the Kentucky Derby, The Preakness and Belmont Stakes for NBC. Durkin said he took medication and even tried therapy but nothing helped and that he would feel a wave of stress and nervousness during the three months of these events. Stress and anxiety is a problem many of us may face and not know it. According to anxietymatters.com around 13% of the population will suffer from some kind of anxiety. Though anxiety is what helps keep us aware of danger and allows us to feel trepidation when taking on certain tasks, it is still important to know how to manage your anxiety. Ricky Williams once suffered from anxiety so much that he at one point couldn’t talk to reporters without his helmet on. Tom Durkin will still announce horse races for the New York Racing Association three tracks Aqueduct, The Belmont Stakes, and Saratoga. However, he has no plans to do them on a national level, saying it’s more important to look out for your personal life more than your professional life. So for all of us let this be a reminder that nothing is more important than your health and that no one or anything is in more control of your mood than you. If you wish for more information of dealing with anxiety, below are a few links that deal with preventing anxiety and some self help steps to take to help deal with stress.

http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/preventing-anxiety

http://helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_self_help.htm

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