Archive for June, 2012


As reported by ESPN Chris Broussard, Dwight Howard has told Orlando Magic management that he would like to be traded, and preferrably to the Brooklyn Nets…again.

Not that I don’t think this is news worthy, but how many times are we going to report Dwight Howard changing his mind? I mean there has to be a point where we just wait and see what the Magic do with him right? Or will we be the village in the story of the boy who cried wolf and respond every time Howard changes his mind between paper or plastic.

We all know, and have known that Howard doesn’t want to be in Orlando, and the only way he stays is if Brooklyn finds way to relocate itself to the south. Howard will eventually be traded, the Magic just have too much to lose to just let him walk for nothing in return. However, I don’t want to get text message alerts every time Howard changes his mind.

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With so much talk about loyalty in sports and players not staying on one team for their entire career nothing is ever said for when teams ship out players like cargo across the pacific.

Well, Jim Thome who signed with the Philadelphia Phillies in the off season, was traded to the Baltimore Orioles according to an ESPN report. The Phillies acquire right-hander Kyle Simon and catcher Gabriel Lino, while the Orioles hope to obtain a needed jolt to their offense that has been lacking as of late.

Jim Thome who is one who claims he is all about loyalty, was traded from the team he thought he’d end his career with, kind of fitting for a guy who left his initial team the Cleveland Indians after he said he was ‘loyal’ to them.

Assessing how the trade will help the Orioles; he should add a needed power threat, and considering Camden Yards is a hitter friendly park I can see why the Orioles were intrigued. Thome also being a great locker room guy can provide some stability to the locker room and be a big brother type that the younger guys in the locker room can look to. I don’t think it will put them over the top to win the division, however they should have a good shot at the wildcard spot.

It’s always fun to go back and look at what people were wearing years back and say ‘ you used to wear that?!’. From funky color patterns, to the box top fade, there are just somethings some athletes will never be able to live down. And 20 years from now we’ll look back at the draft class and ask the same questions. Until then, let’s enjoy the hilarity that is this photo of Jim Jackson (drafted by the Dallas Mavericks), Shaquille O’neal (drafted by the Orlando Magic) and Alonzo Mourning (drafted by the Charlotte Hornets).

 

In Cleveland from the athletes, to musicians, to the everyday working man, the city has always had alot of camaraderie.

That is no more evident from the relationship that has seemed to formed between Cleveland Browns Josh Cribbs and Bad Boy recording artist Machine Gun Kelly, who both rep the city they call home to the fullest.

Cribbs who celebrated a birthday on June 9th was invited on stage by Machine Gun Kelly during his Cleveland performance. Below is a video of how their relationship has come to be what we see today.

Through out the NBA playoffs there were rumblings that Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade was suffering from a knee injury, however there was never an official announcement. Well today it was announced that Wade will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery and will be sidelined for 6-8 weeks and will have to miss the 2012 summer Olympics.

Have to give Wade some credit for pushing through with such an injury, know it has to be satisfying that it was all worth it having an NBA championship to show for it.

Bright side, at least Wade doesn’t have to answer questions all summer long about Olympians being paid and can sit back and enjoy the summer off with his family.

Related: Wade Says Olympians Should Be Paid

H/T To RealGM.com and Tim Reynolds

Cavs Draft Possibilities

The NBA Draft takes place on Thursday and the Cavs currently hold the 4th and 24th overall picks. With the Wizards, Bobcats and Rockets all making trades the last few days, the options for the Cavs have really opened up.

The Cavs who are in dire need of a wing player will more than likely have their choice between Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Harrison Barnes at the small forward position. The Cavs cant’ go wrong when choosing between these two soon to be rookies, even though they provide different contributions. Kidd-Gilchrist is thought to be a defensive maven, dangerous in transition and excellent at moving off the ball and driving the lane. While Barnes is a solid defender, excellent mid-range offensive game, and can catch and shoot with the best of them.

My fear with Barnes is, he struggled last year creating off the dribble, and creating space against competition that was smaller and slower. Now while that can be attributed to growing pains of a young player, I’m not so sure how quick he will improve that part of his game, once he starts consistently playing against guys who are stronger and faster than his counterparts at the college level. I’m not going to completely out rule the possibility of growing, but for most players that have the same struggle; it’s something that follows you to the league. However, many believe that Barnes has a game that will translate to the NBA, given his height and big frame and that is sure to fill out once his body matures.

With Kidd-Gilchrist, the knock on him is, his jump shot is pretty weak. While this is something you can improve on, his shooting motion may be something that delays the process. What works in his favor is, defensively he’s 100% committed on that end of the floor. As previously stated, he’s good in the open court and in space. He’s also a solid rebounder, which poses a threat to the defense when you have a 6’7’’ guy barreling down the court on the break.

Rumblings have been the Cavs could take Bradley Beal, who at 6’4’’ is considered to be undersized to play the shooting guard position. However, is a lights out shooter who has the ability to take you off the dribble and get to the rim and finish strong. Scouts say he’s a willing passer and plays with a high basketball IQ.

While Beal is an option, I just don’t think you can play with a backcourt of two players that are 6’4’’ with Beal and Irving. You leave yourself open to, too many mismatches on the defensive end when it comes to playing against some of the bigger guards in the league, as well as pick and roll situations with switches.

The Cavs as a long shot could choose to take one of the big men that will fall to them at #4 between Thomas Robinson and Andre Drummond. Though they are in need of a solid center to allow Andy Varejao and Tristan Thompson to play more at their natural position of power forward, I don’t think that would be wise considering you’re already grooming one young big guy. I’m not sure you want to bring in another one in considering we know typically big guys take a little longer to develop than other positions, based on all they have to develop, post game, foot work, help defense etc.

If I were the Cavs picking at #4 I’d go with either Barnes or Kidd-Gilchrist, while leaning hard on the side of Kidd-Gilchrist. I believe the fact that he should come in and be a solid defender from day one helps the team immediately. I have more faith that you can fix his jumper faster than you can fix Barnes’ issue with creating his own shot. Kidd-Gilchrist at the moment is a better ball handler and they both finish well in the transition. However, I’d prefer to see Kidd-Gilchrist in a Cavs uniform.

 

 

Video game maker 2K sports has released the cover for the latest basketball game 2K13, which has scoring champion Kevin Durant, high flyer Blake Griffin and currently injured Derrick Rose gracing the cover. While the 2K series is a great basketball game, a game that I’ll probably purchase again when its released. Their covers are quite lame, when compared to other big games. Not that a lack luster cover is going to stop me from purchasing, however, there’s something about cover art that is nostalgic to shopping experience.

Nevertheless, I wonder what changes they’ll make to the game this season, the addition of the Jordan mode last year was pretty neat, and from friends I’ve heard the online experience is really nice, especially compared to other games.

ESPN sat down with LeBron James after winning his first NBA title and broke up the conversation in 3 parts. In my opinion in this interview he comes off humble, understanding that he can’t as narcissistic as he has before. From the earned not given  t-shirt, I thought he did himself good with this interview for those giving him a fair shot to earn his way back into their good graces. For those who don’t like him, and look for any reason to discredit him, the interview will do nothing.

If you haven’t seen the interview, check out the video below of the full interview.

During the offseason in any sports you’re prone to hear any and everybody’s name in some kind of trade rumor, whether valid or not. Remember the summer where Kobe was rumored to be on his way to Chicago? So if there were once rumors about Kobe, what makes you player x so special. Which brings me to Luol Deng who is basically admitting that all the talk of being moved is getting to him. Here’s what Deng had to say to an ESPN reporter.

“I believe there is always to some extent truth behind rumors, but as an athlete, if you get caught up in them, you are really wasting your time because it’s not something you can control. If it’s not true, a GM could always come out and say it’s not true. But if a GM doesn’t come out and say it, there are probably talks. And there should be. If I was a GM I would be shopping players around, too. I’ve got to show that I’m doing something. As much as I want to stay on the team — I love Chicago, I love the Bulls — at the same time, I know the business part of it. Sooner or later, all the rumors are going to come up.”

From that quote, it would be easy to jump on Deng as being an overly sensitive athlete, but he does admit to understanding it is a business, the only thing I would criticize is his stating his undying love for Chicago and wanting to stay on the team. None of that would matter if he was offered an opportunity to go to a team with a better chance at a title. Would he still hold that same love for the Bulls? What about when it comes to contract time, is he going to be willing to take a pay cut for the ‘love’ of Chicago and the Bulls?

I’d venture to say no. I appreciate his candor, however, I can see his words being used against him one day. And whether right or wrong, that’s the way the business that Deng is involved in works.

It would be interesting to see if they do move Deng who the Bulls would bring in. Though a solid player, Deng doesn’t provide enough scoring for the Bulls in my opinion, and though he stands 6 foot 9 inches, he’s merely an average to above average defender. You would think the Bulls would want someone younger that can average 20 points, something Deng has never done in his 8 years as a pro.

For 18 years people have wondered and speculated on the 1994 shooting of rap artist 2Pac. Was he set up, was is it a robbery gone wrong, etc? Well question no more, according to Hip Hop Wired & Village Voice, Jimmy Henchman CEO of Czar Entertainment, admitted to government officials that he indeed did arrange for 2Pac to be shot in the lobby of Quad City Studios in New York City.

From the Village Voice;

“Rosemond secretly admitted to involvement in Tupac’s ambush during one of nine “Queen For A Day” proffer sessions with the government last autumn, court transcripts show. (In such sessions, suspects under investigation choose to enter an agreement with the government to confess knowledge of certain crimes with the agreement that the information won’t be used to prosecute them.) His confession unfolded as he was trying to carve out a cooperation deal that might lead to a reduced sentence, according to federal prosecutors.

“Rosemond apparently came clean about his involvement in Tupac’s ambush shortly after his former best friend, Dexter Isaac, stepped forward last summer to publicly confess that he had led the attack on Shakur in 1994. Isaac released a statement on June 16, 2011 to allhiphop.com, saying it was Rosemond who had paid him to rob and pistol-whip Tupac.”

After years of denial, its nice to see someone be somewhat accountable for their actions, in what led to the untimely death of one of the greatest artist of the last century.

I pose the question, with Henchman admitting to this crime; does this validate more of what 2Pacs’ account of what happened on that night? Does it also lend more validity to his assertions that he was set up because he was willing to tell the truth about all the dirt everyone was involved in and was basically shot as a warning to not rock the boat? And let’s assume this shooting never occurs, does 2Pacs’ life and career still take the harsh and cold tone that you heard in his last two albums released before and after his death?

 

One can only wonder what else Henchman has admitted to and who else he possibly has implicated. 

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