Mike D’Antoni resigns: Lakers fans rejoice

The Lakers will have a new coach in 2014-15. Mike D’Antoni resigned from the Lakers last Wednesday. D’Antoni coached the Lakers for the past two seasons. In those two years, D’Antoni went a subpar 62-82. This season the Lakers had their worst season in Franchise History under MDA at 27-55 and will have a top pick in the NBA Lottery draft. Every Lakers fan called for management to fire D’Antoni, however Mike made it easy on the franchise and fans by resigning from the team. D’Antoni signed a three year contract with the Lakers, but the Lakers had a team option for his fourth season. The coach wanted Lakers management to give him assurance that he would be back for his fourth season as Lakers head coach, but the Lakers would not cave in to his demands. Since the Lakers decided not to pick up his fourth year, D’Antoni decided to walk. The Lakers are now off the hook for the four million dollars that would have been owed to MDA next season under his three year 12 million dollar deal.

The Lakers are very fortunate that Mike D’Antoni resigned after this season and before the NBA draft and summer free agency period. Now that D’Antoni or “Pringles” (called by fans) is gone the Lakers will have great leverage in pursuing free agents to attract them to come play in LA for the Lakers. The Lakers will also be able to draft a possible future franchise player in the lottery whom they can groom to be the next heir apparent after Kobe Bryant retires. Most players and free agents did not want to play for MDA so the resigning of the former Lakers head coach comes as a blessing in disguise. Players like Carmelo Anthony had no intent to play for D’Antoni, now that MDA is gone, LA seems like a paradise destination. Dwight Howard left the Lakers after the 2012-13 season because he didn’t want to play for D’Antoni.

Pau Gasol also displayed his displeasure with D’Antoni this year as said that D’Antoni does not use him correctly in the offense. Gasol was leaning to leave the Lakers in free agency this summer, but now that MDA is gone, Gasol might return to the Lakers with Kobe and the gang. Gasol wants to win championships and he wants to play for a coach that he respects.

The Lakers will have the chance to draft highly touted NBA prospects such as Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Dante Exum, Julius Randle, and more. With the departure of D’Antoni they can rest assured that the Lakers are headed back into a winning culture once again.

Free Agents available this summer include Carmelo Anthony, Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce, Zach Randolph etc. In 2015 Kevin Love will be available if the Lakers are to pursue him, and 2016 Kevin Durant.

Coaching candidates for the Lakers include both college and NBA coaches. The Lakers are planning to make runs at the big and small names such as George Karl, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson (recently fired by GSW), Kevin Ollie, Tom Thibedeau, Byron Scott, and Derek Fisher.

After a very bleak 2013-14 season the Lakers are hoping to turn the ship around and once again be in contention for another title before Kobe retires. The Lakers mantra has always been to win championships and they plan to do that once again through the draft and free-agency.

FARMAR TO THE RESCUE

 

The Lakers turned a meaningless game on Friday into a riveting win. A home game at Staples Center vs the Sacramento Kings, the Lakers at one point trailed by 15 points to the Kings in the second half. The win snapped a 3 game losing streak for the Lakers who now sit at 20-39 for the season and are among the worst teams in the NBA. If the NBA Lottery draft were today the Lakers would have a high probability of having a top 5 pick in the first round. The Kings are not looking good either as they share the same record at 20-39. Both teams are last in the Western Conference.

The Lakers who haven’t played defense all season certainly did not on Friday versus the Kings. The Lakers gave up 122 points but still won the ball game. The Lakers beat the Kings 126-122. The win was fueled by the sharpshooting of Jordan Farmar who scored a career high 30 points and went 8-10 from the 3 point arc. The Lakers also set a team record with 19 three point field goals made as they were 19-27 and shot 70% from beyond the arc. The Lakers as a team shot 60% from the field. Not only did Farmar have the magic touch but so did Jodie Meeks who was perfect from the field at 8-8. Marshon Brooks also had a stellar game as he scored 23 points which was more than the Kings bench. Brooks provided late crucial baskets to put the Kings away with the waning minutes in the fourth quarter. Kent Bazemore called Brooks a young Kobe after his performance on Friday. Bazemore added 12 points on 5-11 shooting. Wesley Johnson had a double double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Pau Gasol also had a strong game as he scored 22 points 5 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. This comes after he criticized Mike D’Antoni’s system. D’Antoni fired back saying that Lakers players should keep things in house. The irony is that D’Antoni went to the media earlier in the season and threw Pau under the bus.

The Lakers were so much on fire that there lack of defense and turnovers did not keep them from pulling off the comeback win. The Lakers pulled off a miraculous comeback on the shoulders of Farmar, and the late plays of Brooks. In a meaningless game this game was pure up and down back and forth barn burner until the end. The Lakers hope to continue their inspired play as they head out on the road. In a trying and difficult season, these types of wins are memorable and special for the fans. Real Lakers fans stick with their team no matter what. Lakers fans bleed purple and gold.

 

Superman Returns! (D12 in LA)

The biggest anticipation of the whole 2012 season and summer offseason was where would Dwight Howard end up. Would D12 stay in Orlando, go to the Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, or the Los Angeles Lakers. Anticipation soon turned to frustration as the Dwightmare saga continued for over a year span. One day he would say he wants to stay in Orlando then the next day he would demand a trade. It was like Brett Favre’s retirement all over again. After months of trade rumors and the Lakers even considering offering Andrew Bynum an extension, I truly had given up on the prospects of gaining Dwight and believed that Bynum would be the future Center for the Lakers. Then splash the waters of the Red Sea had finally parted. On August 11th it was announced that the Los Angeles Lakers had acquired the Man of Steel Superman Dwight Howard in a 4 team trade with the Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic, and Philadelphia 76ers. The Lakers received Dwight Howard, Chris Duhon, and Earl Clark from Orlando, Philadelphia got Andrew Bynum from the Lakers and Jason Richardson from Orlando, Denver received Andre Iguodola, and the Magic received Aaron Afflalo and Al Harrington from Denver along with Josh McRoberts, Christian Eyenga from the Lakers, and from the Sixers Moe Harkless and Nikola Vucevic. Orlando has received future picks in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017. Many have said that Orlando got the short stick on this trade but I definitely disagree they were able to shed salary while get draft picks and young players to build for the future. The Magic are using the Sam Presti model in OKC by building for the future in the draft. In fact if Dwight Howard didn’t opt into his contract last season with Orlando they would have received nothing in return and lost him in free agency. I feel every team won in this trade and it is a fair trade on all sides. Everybody got what they wanted. The Lakers got that big man and defensive presence, the Sixers got a big scoring center, Denver got an All-star athletic wing, and Orlando got young, relieved salary cap and future draft picks. We are just fortunate that David Stern kept his nose out of vetoing this trade (CP3 hiding in the corner).

It is sad to see Andrew Bynum leave the Lakers. He was just coming off his first Allstar season and was the number 2 option in the Lakers offense.  He posted 18pg and 11pg with almost 2 bpg. He was a force in the paint, when he WANTED to be. That is the key phrase that Andrew Bynum has the Randy Moss syndrome “He plays when he wants to play.” I have always been a huge fan of Andrew Bynum and believe he has great potential but the fact that he would literally take himself out of the play if he didn’t receive his first touch was just upsetting to watch. I know that he is a young 24 year old kid and has much to learn and grow because I am a month older than he is, and let me tell you immaturity and learning how to control emotions is something that is a process that everyone even myself goes through. Dwight Howard as well is not mature as we have seen his flip flopping trade demands and removals this season so they both even out in that category. But when the Lakers were able to land Dwight Howard I was ecstatic.

Here is why Superman has entered the building ala Staples Center. Dwight Howard is an absolute force on the defensive side as well as catching the ball under the rim. He is literally the reincarnation of Shaquille Oneal. The reason why I like the Dwight Howard trade is because Superman brings it on D every night. Dwight Howard has already been 3 time Defensive Player of the Year and he is only 26. Howard has also been to 6 All-Star games and reached the Finals in 2009 losing to the Los Angeles Lakers. So Howard knows what it is like to reach the big stage. Howard needs LA just as much as the Lakers need him. LA will repair Howard’s image and make him an even bigger star and Howard in return will help Kobe along with Nash and Gasol bring home a title to Hollywood. Another giant reason why Dwight fits the Lakers is because of the acquisition of Steve Nash on July 4th. Nash now has a set of keys to his new toys. Nash will be able to run the pick in roll to perfection with Gasol and Dwight and there will now be a new “lob city” in LA and the Lakers own the rights to the airspace. D12 will see a lot of alley oops; lob passes, tip-ins and offensive rebounds. Dwight is a player who plays off the ball more than Bynum would. Howard is one of the best offensive rebounders in the game and he will have many opportunities to get easy baskets from boarding the glass and tip-ins. In Los Angeles Dwight will no longer be option 1 like he was in Orlando so there is a lot of ease and no pressure on him now. All Dwight has to do is play Defense, rebound the basketball and get easy dunks. It is the perfect scenario for Dwight he will be on a championship caliber team and the pressure is off him to score 25 and get 20 rebounds. Also adding Dwight Howard he has the chance to follow in the line of great Hall of Fame Centers from George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Shaq.

Shaq like Dwight was the first pick in the draft from Orlando and then moved to the Lakers. Shaq and Dwight both reached the Finals in Orlando and lost, both nicknamed Superman, both Dominant bigs, both gregarious personalities, and both wanting the chance to win rings. Well Shaq was able to win 3 titles in LA, and Dwight is looking to do the same.

Superman returns to LA and this time he has all the necessary pieces to ensure that the Larry Obrien Trophy returns to Los Angeles. Kobe Bryant is still one of the greatest players and scorers the NBA has ever seen, along with adding Nash who is the best passing point guard in the NBA, and Pau Gasol who is an athletic skilled 7 foot big man who can extend the floor. To add Dwight Howard arguably the best center in the NBA who is a force in the middle and a defensive block shot beast is almost incredulous to think about and literally makes the Lakers an unstoppable force and favorites to win the NBA Finals. Not to mention the Lakers still have Metta Ron Artest Peace who is still one of the best lock down defenders in the league with an improved bench of sharpshooter Jodie Meeks, backup point guard Chris Duhon, and resigning Jordan Hill and Devin Ebanks. The Lakers look to be very lethal and deadly just like the Black Mamba himself Kobe Bryant. If there was ever a statement that Kobe wanted to dethrone the Miami Heat and reclaim his glory as NBA champion it was acquiring Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. The Lakers have just taken the king out and said Checkmate game over. “Yall playing checkers, while we playing chess” –Kobe Bryant. That is why Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak are the best front office in all of sports, it’s because they are not afraid to make the big-time moves.

Kobe Bryant welcomes the return of Superman as he goes for his last hurrah as a world champion. This is the most talented team that has been assembled. I don’t believe that chemistry will be an issue because Nash, Kobe, and Gasol are all veterans and know how to win. Nash is hungry for his first title and Kobe is hungry to get his 6th. There could not be a better scenario for the Lakers than the upcoming 2013 season. Landing D12 to LA has made me giddy and brings the most anticipation for any season since the 2010 Lakers championship. Lakers fans are now rejuvenated and like Dwight said about his coming to the Lakers “excited.” Dwight is excited to put on the purple and gold and so are the fans. Not to knock Bynum but when you are not excited to be a Laker any longer and tell the world you could play anywhere well that means your time in LA is up buddy. Unfortunately we had to say good bye to a big-time presence but fortunately we get to say Hello to a larger than life Superman. The Lakers now have another chance to build a dynasty. They could possibly win not 1, not 2, not 3, well you know how the rest goes. Dwight has the keys to the franchise after Kobe retires and now can compete to win many championships here in LA. The Lakers don’t rebuild they reload.

Why the 2008 Superbowl Will NOT Repeat Itself

Nobody can forget the 2008 Superbowl matchup between the New England Patriots and New York Giants. The Patriots were entering the game with a perfect record at 18-0 and they were facing an underdog Wildcard team in the New York football Giants. The Giants clawed their way into the Superbowl as they proved why you should never count out a Wildcard team. The Giants won there first round matchup versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-14, and then they won again in the Divisional round versus their divisional rivals the Dallas Cowboys 21-17. There magical run continued as they made it to the NFC Championship game and knocked off the Green Bay Packers and the gunslinger Brett Favre in a 23-20 win. Then came Superbowl day, Feb 3, 2008, aka what everybody thought was Doomsday for the New York Giants. Terrific Tom Brady was strolling in the Superbowl with a record setting and jaw dropping season of 50 touchdown passes thrown. Randy “I play when I wanna play” Moss alone caught 23 TD’s which broke Jerry Rice’s record set in 1987 of 22 receiving touchdowns in a season. This Patriots team was the team of Destiny. They were going to be the first team since the 1972 Dolphins to go undefeated and win the Superbowl, and the first team to do it with a 16 game regular season. The ’72 Dolphins went 14-0 but they only played a 12 game season instead of the 16 games that are played nowadays. Tom Brady was looking to record his 4th Superbowl Championship win and tie the “immortals” Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the only Quarterbacks in NFL History to go a 4-0 in the Superbowl. With 1:15 remaining Tom Brady thought that his Patriots had wrapped it up with a 14-10 lead over the Giants. Then the miracle catch, happened. Eli Manning threw a long bomb to  David “God put some sticky gum on my helmet” Tyree who made a miraculous helmet catch on a 3rd down and 5 play that ended up going for 32 yards. That play alone singlehandedly shifted all the momentum and set up the Giants to score and eventually win Superbowl XLII. The miracle catch by David Tyree goes down as the greatest play in Superbowl history and it also cost Tom Brady his 4th Superbowl Trophy.

Something’s seemed to never change. This 2012 Superbowl rematch between the Giants and the Patriots has the same storylines as 2008. The Giants scraped their way into the playoffs by winning the division on the last day of the regular season against none other than the Dallas Cowboys. Wildcard weekend the Giants embarrassed a potential contender in the Atlanta Falcons 24-2, then in the Divisional round they knocked off the defending Superbowl Champion Green Bay Packers 37-20. Following that they played the surging San Francisco 49ers who had just came out of a barn burner upset against the New Orleans Saints in the Divisional round. However these Giants were hungry and they got after Aaron Rodgers sacking him 5 times and bringing heavy pressure with blitz and pass rush schemes. The Giants were able to beat the 49ers by heavy defensive pressure but mainly the miscues of Kyle Williams. Kyle William’s singlehandedly gave the Giants 10 points and ultimately the game. Yes I know that football is a team sport and yes 1 player does not determine the outcome of the game but in this case Kyle Williams changed that whole philosophy. His muffed punt and fumble handed the Giants 10 points on a platter, and in the NFL playoffs you can’t go around giving away free points like it was candy on Halloween. So the Giants pulled off a 20-17 victory in overtime and now we are here at Superbowl XLII, a rematch of 2008.

These 2012 Giants are so similar to that of 2008. Both Giant teams have a stout defense and rode it all the way to the Superbowl. The amount of pressure the Giants bring on defense is unreal. There defense with studs like Jason Pierre Paul, Osi Umenyora, Justin Tuck get after the quarterback and accumulate the sacks and hits. Eli “Rain Man” Manning (He doesn’t seem all there) had a great season with a completion percentage of 61% and passed for 4,933 yards with 29 TD’s and a 92.9 QB rating.

With all that said, the Giants will not repeat the 2008 Superbowl. These Giants are highly motivated and their defense is tenacious but Tom Brady does not forget. Tom Brady has not forgotten that he was 1:15 seconds away from a 4-0 record in the Superbowl. Tom Brady does not forget that the Giants took away “his would have been” 3rd Superbowl MVP. Great players don’t forget when they lose in the big game. Tom Brady is playing this game with a chip on his shoulder from the haunting loss of 2008. Kobe Bryant lost to the Celtics in 2008 and he remembered the horror so when he got his chance to face the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals he revenged it and claimed sweet victory on his home-court in Lakerland. Tom Brady is trying to do the same and shut up little brother Eli in big brother Peyton’s backyard in Indy. Tom Brady is coming off of a stellar season that is even more impressive than Eli Manning. Brady passed for 5,235 yards which would have been a record if not for Drew Brees (5,476). Pretty boy Tom also threw 39 TD’s had a completion percent of 65.6% and a QB Rating of 105.6. Tom Brady rarely has had any back to back games where he has played poorly and the last one he had was in the AFC Championship win against the Ravens where Billy Cundiff missed the game-tying chip-shot field goal. So Brady is highly motivated to bring his A-game and have one of his best performances of his career. Will the Brady of the Divisional round show up, or will the Brady who squeaked by the Ravens and lost to the Giants in the regular season show up? The Brady who threw for a record tying 6 TD’s against the Broncos in the AFC Divisional Round hopes to come through at Superbowl XLVI. The only back to back losses that New England has experienced this year was in weeks 8 and 9 when they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers and then none other than the New York Giants.

Everyone is saying that the big storyline is Rob Gronkowski’s ankle and if he will be able to play. Gronk twisted the ankle nastily vs. the Ravens in the AFC Championship game. The fact is with or without Gronk, Tom Brady will be Tom Brady. Tom Brady knows how to get the most out of his receivers and tight ends. He makes no-names into pro-bowlers. Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, Deion Branch, and yes Rob Gronkowski all are products of Tom Brady. Brady one of the most accurate passers in the NFL delivers the ball on target and threads his passes even in tight coverage. GQ Tom also knows that he can’t sleep on the sleeper New York Giants. He did that once before and it bit him in the 4th index finger.

The Giants gameplan is simple attack and pressure Brady on defense and throw the deep ball on offense while using there 2-headed monster running attack of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon “The Bull” Jacobs. Everyone knows that the Patriots D can’t stop anybody. So the biggest factor for Tom Brady to beat the Giants is to rack up points on the score board and keep his defense off the field as LONG as possible. If Tom Brady can be cool and collected and avoid the pressure and not get sacked, then the Patriots could win this game by a large margin.

All in All, Tom Brady does not forget 2008 so with that said the 2012 Superbowl will have a different result. You messing with an angry Patriot know and the last time we saw this was the Revolutionary War where the Colonists upset the British Empire.

Prediction: Patriots 30 Giants 21

Kobe vs Lebron. Lets Settle This Once and For ALL

Kobe vs Lebron. Lets Settle This Once and For ALL.
(Inside the numbers)

The age old question Kobe or Lebron who is better? The career averages of both players are actually quite similar to my disbelief but the biggest difference is RINGS. Advantage Kobe Bryant. Kobe literally has a handful of NBA Championship Rings at 5 while Lebron James is at a goose egg with 0. Kobe has been to the Finals a total of seven times where he has won it five of those times that’s a 71% rate. On the other hand Lebron has been to the Finals a total of two times and he has never won the title. I’m not to sure of the math but last time I checked 0/2=0. Kobe won his first title in just his 5th NBA season. Lebron James is entering is 9th NBA season and is still Ringless. So on the greatest stage off the basketball world I would pick Kobe Bryant because he knows how to get the job done and win the big game. Kobe Bryant has earned the title of “The Closer” and the “Black Mamba” because he is an assassin on the court and closes out games and series in the clutch.
James however has not had the same success rate as Kobe. Lebron lost in the NBA Finals both times he has been there. In 2007 Lebron James was not so kingly as his Cleveland Cavaliers got swept by Tim Duncan and the Spurs. Then nobody can forget last season 2011 when Lebron did a disappearing magic trick in the Finals and the Miami Heat and the so called “Big Three” lost to Dirk Nowitizki and the Mavs 4-2. In a total of NBA Finals games Lebron is 2-8; whereas Kobe is 23-15. Even in one of Kobe’s worst shooting performance games in Game 7 of the 2010 Finals where he shot only 6-24 he still scored 23 points but even more impressively willed his team to victory with 15 rebounds. In the 4th quarter of the 2011 Finals the time when the greats are supposed to shine, Lebron averaged only 3 points. For over 72 minutes of fourth quarter play LBJ only mustered up 18 total points when his team needed him the most. Kobe in the 2010 Finals averaged 28.5 points a game to Lebron’s 17 ppg.

Lets take a look at the regular season comparisons. The first few seasons for Kobe Bryant are skewed for the fact that former Lakers coach Del Harris did not give Kobe Bryant many minutes while Lebron instantaneously started for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kobe’s rookie season he only received 15.5 minutes while Lebron was averaging an astonishing 39.5 for a Rookie. Even in Kobe’s second year he only averaged 26 minutes a game to James’ 42. During Kobe’s first 2 seasons he only started 7 games out of 150 compared to James 159 games out of 159 (that’s 100% for you math geniuses).

Overall the career averages for Kobe and Lebron are alike. Kobe Bryant has averaged 25.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg (rebounds), 4.7 ast, .5 blocks, 1.5 steals, and 2.9 turnovers a game. Lebron James has averaged 27.7 with 7.1 rpg (rebounds), 7 assists, .8 blocks, 1.7 steals, and 3.3 turnovers. These figures may seem quite similar but who is more efficient? Well Kobe shoots the rock at a career average of 45.4% FG and shoots the 3-ball at 33.7%. Lebron averages from the field 48% FG with a 3 point FG of 33.1%. Both players are known for slashing to the hoop and getting to the free throw line which in turn creates foul trouble for the opposition and easy points for ones team. This should be a close comparison right? Not at all! In the easiest of all shot opportunities where the shot is called a “Free Throw” because it is basically two free points, Kobe Bryant annihilates Lebron in this category with a much higher efficiency. Lebron’s career free throw percentage is a measly 74%. Kobe on the other hand thrives to get to the line and make the most of his opportunities by shooting a career average of 83%. Kobe is nearly 10% better at shooting free throws than Lebron. For the amount of times that Lebron gets to the line you would think his free throw percentage should be higher. Its not. His free throw shooting actually hurts his team, while Kobe’s free throws have helped the Lakers win games. Another interesting fact is 2.9 to 3.3; those are the turnovers per game for both Kobe and Lebron. Lebron turnovers the ball more than Kobe as he tries to play the point guard position maybe more than he should be doing. At six foot eight Lebron should utilize his size more posting up smaller defenders and using his strength to get easy baskets. Kobe has perfected the post up as he took a full summer to learn from the great Hakeem Olajuwan. Kobe Bryant signature moves are going into the post and pulling out his turnaround fade-away jumper that is virtually unstoppable. Kobe picks his spots on the court where he knows he can get his shot off with a high success rate. The triple pump fake still gets defenders in the air as he coolly drains a jumper in between there eyes. Lebron far too settles on dribbling to the top of the key as shooting an ill-advised contested three pointer. Lebron James is at his best when he is driving to the hoop. But that begs the same question. Why if Lebron is so good at driving in the lane can he not make free throws?

Since we are talking about clutch factor lets compare Kobe and Lebron in the postseason when it really counts. Kobe and Lebron’s postseason numbers are nearly identical to that of their regular season. Kobe’s career postseason average is 25.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.8 ast, 1.4 steals, .7 blocks, and has a field goal percentage of 44.8% while shooting the 3 ball at 33.5% and has an 81.5% free throw percentage. Lebron averages 28 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 7 ast, 1.7 steals, 1 block, and shoots from the field 46%, 3 point FG 32.3%, and free throws at 71.4%. A big number that jumps out at me is 2.9 vs 3.6 and that is the turnover difference between Kobe and Lebron. Kobe has the lesser of turnovers which yields his team more opportunities to score and not let the opposition create easy transition baskets. The biggest number to this whole playoff comparison is 5-0 and that is Kobe’s championships compared to Lebron.

Lets take individual game performances now. We all now that Wilt “the Stilt” Chamberlain holds the record for most points in a game with 100, but where do Lebron and Kobe stand in that category. Well Kobe Bean Bryant is second all-time in most points in a game when he dropped 81 points on January 22, 2006 vs. the Toronto Raptors. Kobe also has dropped a 65 point game vs. the Portland Trailblazers back in 2007, a 60 point game against Memphis Grizzlies in 2006, as well as a 62 point game vs. the Dallas Mavericks in 2005 and Kobe didn’t even play in the 4th quarter of that game. How many 60 point games or more has Lebron scored? You don’t say. That’s right ZERO. Lebron has never cracked 60+ or over. Kobe has done that 4 times! How about we examine who has scored more 40 plus games in their career, Kobe or Lebron. Well Lebron has scored only had 46 40+ games compared to Kobe’s 111 and counting 40+ games. By the way Kobe has scored 40+ in 4 straight games this 2011-2012 season.

This season Kobe is entering his 16th season at 33 years of age while Lebron is entering his 9th season at 27 years of age. Kobe Bryant has battled an injury seemingly in almost every season but like the warrior he is he has powered through until the end. Kobe Bryant this season alone is averaging 30.5 pg, 5.6 ast, and 5.7 rpg. James is averaging 28.9 pg, 7.1 ast, and 8.1 rpg. I would say Kobe isn’t doing so bad for an “old timer” compared to the youthful whippersnapper. Kobe already has 2 scoring titles looking for his third compared to Lebron’s 1 scoring title. This season they are going head to head against each other to claim the coveted NBA regular season MVP award. This race will be neck and neck all season but I give the slight edge to Kobe so far because he is in his 16th season playing with a torn ligament in his right hand shooting wrist and still leading the NBA in points per game.

Here are some of the accolades and accomplishments that Kobe and Lebron both have received during their NBA careers. Kobe Bryant set the for the record of most 3 point field goals made in a game when he drained 12 in 2003 against the former Supersonics know the OKC Plunder I mean Thunder (Donyell Marshall tied Kobe’s record of 12 in 2005 against the 76ers). Lebron James career high of 3 point field goals made in a game is 8, which is still impressive but it doesn’t leave you awestruck like Kobe’s 12. When it comes to being the best in the NBA a player is named to the All-NBA first team and the defensive equivalent is All-NBA defensive First team. Kobe has been on the All-NBA First Team 8 times, All-NBA second team 2 times, and All NBA 3rd team 2 times. Defensively Kobe is also at the top of the NBA. He has been named to the All-NBA Defensive First Team 8 times, and All Defensive 2nd team 2 times. Contrary, Lebron has been named to the All-NBA first team 5 times, All-NBA second team 2 times, and 3 times All-NBA Defensive first team selections. Lebron has 2 regular season MVP awards compared with Kobe’s 1 (Steve Nash stole 3 away from Bryant). Kobe is a 12 time All-star and has won the All-star game MVP award 4 times, while James has been an All-star 7 times receiving the MVP award twice. The more important MVP award is the Finals MVP award because that means your team has been crowned NBA Champions. Kobe has received the NBA Finals MVP Award twice en route of his 5 Championship Titles, Lebron has been to the Finals twice and has not received the Finals MVP award, but instead has gone home (fishing) empty handed.

When it all comes down to it who is more clutch? Who do you want to have the ball in their hands with less than 5 seconds left? Kobe or Lebron? Here are the facts Kobe Bryant has made 38 Gamewinning shots. Out of those 38 gamewinners 8 of those were buzzer beaters! Kobe has also sank 23 game tying shots to send his team in Overtime. In the playoffs the most dramatic of all stages Kobe has hit 7 gamewinning shots, 3 game tying shots to send to OT, and 1 Gamewinner and 1 Game tying shot in the NBA Finals. The Black Mamba knows to strike the iron when its HOT. Lebron James has only 12 gamewinning shots, 0 in the Finals, 1 in the playoffs, and overall 2 buzzer beaters. It is CLEAR that when the game is on the line you want to have the best Closer in the game finishing it and that is KOBE! The biggest difference between Kobe and Lebron is that Kobe wants the ball in his hands in the final seconds of the game. Lebron does not, and he rather kick it out to the likes of Chris Bosh or even Dwayne Wade.

Let me give you 5 Championship reasons why Kobe Bryant is better than Lebron. Drive- nobody has the will and desire like Kobe. Determination- Kobe is focused at all times and his mission is NBA Championships. Kobe the Black Mamba and he is a killer on the court. You can’t tell Kobe he can’t do something because he will do it and prove you wrong. Intensity- Nobody has the passion and hunger to be the Best and Win like Kobe. Hardwork- There is no harder worker in the NBA than Kobe. He is in the gym from sunrise to sunset, always training always desiring to get better. Lastly natural raw Talent. Kobe is one of a kind. Sure everyone in the NBA is talented in the NBA but when you put your talent to hardwork, intensity, drive, and determination that my friend is how you become the BEST. Lebron has sheer talent, and he might be the most talented player in the league, but he does not have that same hunger, passion, and fire that separates Kobe from the pack.

“Kobe Bryant. I would have to say right now. He’s a really really good player. Individually he has some of the best skills that the NBA has ever seen in history. He’s shown year after year why he has been the best players in our league.”

“I try to get a dictionary and find a word that what he’s doing right now and I’m definitely just lost for words. I mean he is amazing. I’ve been quoted saying he’s definitely the best player in our league, to me in my eyes the best scorer in our league, and its unbelievable. I don’t know, its not another guy in our league that can accomplish some of the things that he’s doing right now.”

“’I’d give it to Kobe ,” James said. ”What he’s done this whole year, to carry that team to the No. 1 team in the West right now. He’s playing his best basketball all around. I’ve watched him the whole year. I saw it last summer when I played with him with USA Basketball and the sacrifices he’s made for the team and he’s done that with the Lakers.

“He’s someone I idolized in high school.”

“[Kobe] was someone when I was in high school I looked up to. [Kobe] going straight out of high school and seeing the success he had, I looked up to him. Like I said, its always a pleasure and honor to be out on the same court with one of the greatest.”

These are all quotes from Lebron James.

When asked who is better Kobe or Lebron? Michael Jordan responded with a simple answer, “Kobe Bryant.”

TEBOWTIME UP?

#TEBOWTIME UP?


Tebowtime, Tebowmania, Tebowing, Tebowlicious, “The Mile-High Messiah” (Tim Tebow does not endorse this nickname) the Nation is in a Frenzy over this once 2x NCAA National Champion and Heisman winner. Tim Tebow rose to heights of celebrity status as he surpassed the likes of the Jersey Shore, Tom Brady, the Kardashians, and even President Barack Obama, in popularity. Tim Tebow even got his own word in the dictionary: Tebowing. Tebowing- To drop to one knee in prayer during a sporting competition. Tebow who started the 2011 season as the 3rd string Quarterback got his chance at glory when 1-4 starter Kyle Orton was benched against Detroit Lions in a blowout 45-10 loss where Orton passed for only 34 yards with an interception on 6-13 completions. Apparently Head Coach John Fox had seen enough and decided to pull the plug on Orton. Kyle Orton then was released from the team and picked up by the Kansas City Chiefs. Cue Tebow. Tim Tebow an unproven second year Quarterback (basically still a Rookie) finally got his opportunity to shine and he never looked back. He led his team to a 6 game winning streak and reclaimed first place in the AFC North division. During the six game winning streak Tim Tebow orchestrated 5 Fourth Quarter Comebacks hence receiving the name TEBOWTIME. NFL fans were glued to their TV sets every week to watch the magic of Tim Tebow at work in delivering yet another fourth quarter comeback victory. But was it really magic or was it something more? Did God intervene on behalf of Tim Tebow and the Broncos? Tim Tebow gives all the credit to his Savior Jesus Christ. After every interview Tim Tebow says, “I like to give thanks to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” It seemed like almost every week Tim Tebow stepped on the field that the first 3 quarters were “throw-aways” but yet in the fourth quarter against all odds something clicked, the heavens opened and miracles flowed forth for Tim Tebow and Bronco Nation. Tebow played his best football in that 6 game win span as he passed for a QB rating of  96.2 with 7 touchdowns and 1 interception.

Why was Tebow, a running quarterback so successful? Well for one reason defenses have not seen a running option quarterback since that of Michael Vick with the Falcons. Tebow a bruising runner and an unconventional quarterback was able to hurt NFL defenses with his legs rather than his arm. When the pocket collapsed or Tim felt any sort of pressure he was able to extend the play and gain those extra 10+ yards on the ground. The Broncos even had designed running plays for Tebow and utilized an option first run attack. Tebow kept the defenses honest and on their toes because instead of always blitzing him they had to watch out for the run, and this created gapping holes in the running game for RB Willis McGahee who had one of the best seasons of his career with 1,199 yards rushing on 4.8 yards a carry. With the two-headed monster of Tebow and McGahee, 3 headed if you include RB Lance Ball, the Denver Broncos running game could not be stopped. This is the same team that started the year off 1-4 and were “throwing in the towel by starting their 3rd string quarterback and releasing there starter Kyle Orton. Almost every analyst determined that the Broncos had NO CHANCE of making it into the playoffs. The one thing that everyone forgot about was the will of Tim Tebow and how far his God would take him. Take November 17th 2011 for example, the Broncos were down 13-10 to the Jets at Mile High Stadium with less than 6 minutes remaining and the ball on the Broncos 5 yard line. Tim Tebow’s first pass of the drive was in his own endzone to Eddie Royal which should have been a safety but one missed tackle later he turns it to an 8 yard gain. From there Tebow uses a collection of option runs as well as passes to move his team into scoring position. With about 1:10 seconds remaining and the Broncos on the 20 yard line the Jets decide to blitz Tim Tebow and TEBOWTIME takes full effect as he does what Tim Tebow does best RUN. Tebow breaks out of the pocket and rushes the ball for a 20 yard touchdown as Bronco Nation erupts and the Broncos seal the win. The 95 yard game winning drive by Tim Tebow proved something to the nation, that with determination, resiliency, heart, and belief anything is possible. Tebowtime made skeptics into believers. Many have doubted the ability of Tim Tebow (including myself) but Tim Tebow proved them wrong by simply winning. The kid might not be the most polished, accurate, or skilled quarterback in the game but he gets the job done and knows how to win. Ultimately it all comes down to getting the W in the win lose column, and Tim does that just as well as anybody in the league.

The real question now is Tebowtime up? Is Tebowmania over? After having an incredible 6 game win streak and 5 fourth quarter comebacks Tim Tebow and the Broncos faltered to finish the season 0-3. The Broncos needed a miracle to make the playoffs and that miracle came in the form of an Oakland Raiders loss to the San Diego Chargers to help the Broncos clinch the division. Divine Intervention again? Well anyways in those last 3 games of the season Tim Tebow looked abysmal. He was a quarterback that looked rattled and shaken like a baby’s play toy. Tebowtime seemed like it was over with bad losses to New England, Buffalo, and Kansas City. Was this the same Tebow that led the Broncos to a 6 game win streak? In those 3 losses Tebow had a QB rating of 46.3 and he 1 TD and 4 interceptions. Most critics and analysts believed that the Tim Tebow winning streak fluke was over and the Tebow’s real colors were now showing.

Tebow not a very accurate passer finished the last 3 games of the season with a 40.7 completion percent. In case you were wondering that is really bad! Let’s put this into perspective Drew Brees the number 1 rated Quarterback finished the season with a 71.2 completion percentage and Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Tavaris Jackson at number 18 finished with a 60.2% completion percentage. A decent quarterback will finish the year with a 60% completion percent; where as a great QB will finish with a 65% and over completion percent. I’m definitely not saying that Tim Tebow should be compared to Drew Brees who had a record setting season and broke Dan Marino’s single season passing yards record with 5,476 (Dan Marino had 5,084). Both Drew Brees and Tom Brady beat Marino’s passing record this season. But back to Tebow. Blaine Gabbert, quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars finished the season with a completion percentage of 50.8 and had the 33rd worst completed passing percentage in the NFL. Who was the worst completed passer in the NFL you ask? No one other than the great Tim Tebow. Tebow finished the season dead last as the 34th worst quarterback in completion percentage with his 46.5. That is 4% lower than Gabbert who by no means had a good season with 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions and a QB rating of 65. What is most concerning about the decline of Tebowtime were his passing yards. Tim Tebow finished the season with only 1,729 passing yards that is 32nd among active quarterbacks in the NFL.

So the question you got to ask yourself is how did Tim Tebow play so well in the first eight games and then play so terribly the last three. For one thing we can dismiss it was the accuracy of Tim Tebow because he has shown that his inaccuracy as a passer doesn’t effect his ability to win games down the stretch. In his six game win streak Tebow had a completion percentage of only 47.8 percent and in his win vs. the Jets he was only 9-20. Why did Tebow play abysmally the last 3 games then? Two of the last three games were against non-winning teams in the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills. Tebow had his worst game of the season against one of the worse teams in football as he threw 3 interceptions on 13-29 passing. The fact is the NFL defenses were catching up to the schemes of Tim Tebow and John Fox. They figured out that if you take away Tebow’s legs then you have to make him beat you with his arm, and that’s exactly what happened. The Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots dropped everyone in coverage and made Tebow become a pocket passer which is totally out of his element. By bringing pressure from the front four and occasionally blitzing from the left side forced Tebow to roll to his unnatural right which caused turnovers, incompletions, sacks, and a lot of ill advised throws.

When it looked like things couldn’t get worse for Tim Tebow he had a first round Wildcard Playoff game vs. the Steel Curtain. The Steelers although plagued with injury were still a stout defense and opposing force. The only thing that could help Tebow and the Broncos to not get absolutely embarrassed was home field advantage and divine assistance from Tebow’s homie JC. Ben Roethlisberger one of the top QB’s in all of the National Football League and his Steelers thought that they would steamroll the struggling Broncos. Something so unexpected, so unpredictable, so miraculous happened Tim Tebow played the best game of his career. He competed at a high level against the Steelers top defense and made BIGTIME throws. This was not the same Tebow we had seen the pass couple of weeks prior to the playoffs, instead this Tebow decided he was going to “pull the trigger” and he sure did. Tim Tebow threw for a career high 316 yards in his first career playoff game with 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Although he was his regular inaccurate self 10-21 completions completed, Tebow averaged 31.6 yards per throw. Nobody expected the Broncos to even have a close game with the Steelers let alone go into Overtime. Yet that is what happened. The Denver Broncos won the coin toss in Overtime and elected to receive the ball. Where is Matt Hasselbeck when you need him? “We will take the ball and we will score.” Could Timmy pull out another TEBOWTIME? Would he receive another miraculous drive? That’s exactly what happened. In a record setting overtime pace Tebow delivered a strike to Demaryius Thomas who stiff armed his way to an 80 yard sprint into the endzone in a matter of 7 seconds. The miracle, TEBOWTIME was completed and the whole nation was in shock as Tebow had beat Goliath in the form of the Steelers in a dramatic overtime finish. Tim Tebow proved to me and proved to the world that he has the capability of making the big play with his arm. Everyone already knew Tebow could beat a team with his legs but nobody knew or expected that Tim Tebow could beat a team let alone the Steelers with his arm.

Tebow and the Broncos went on to face the even more star studded New England Patriots in Round 2 of the playoffs, and once again the Broncos were considered a heavy underdog. I had a feeling that Tom Brady would tear the Broncos to shreds and that’s exactly what he did as he threw for a postseason tying record of 6 touchdowns with 363 passing yards on 26-34 passing completions and a QB rating of 137.6. The Patriots proved to be too much for TEBOWTIME as they routed the Broncos 45-10 in an embarrassing loss for Bronco Nation. Most people would say that once again Tebow’s postseason win vs the Steelers was a fluke and that the loss to New England put Tim Tebow back in his lowly place. However through everything that I have witnessed, all the fourth quarter comebacks (6), miracle drives, huge kicks by Matt Prater, and Tim Tebow’s ability to extend the play with his legs but more impressively make big time deep passes to his receivers proves to me that Tim Tebow will be a lasting quarterback in this league. You have got to remember that this essentially is Tim Tebow’s first season as a starting quarterback in the NFL and he essentially is still a rookie. For how much Tim Tebow has been criticized and scrutinized he is still a first year starting QB. I think the more that Tim Tebow gains experience and learns to stay calm and composed in the pocket as well as letting his reads develop down field, he will become a very good maybe even a top QB in the NFL. John Elway the Vice President of Operations for the Denver Broncos and former 2 time Superbowl winner said that he will help train and develop Tim Tebow to become a more accurate passer. Tutelage from a Hall of Famer like Elway will only increase Tebow’s awareness, improve accuracy and make Tim Tebow into a very good starting NFL quarterback. Is TEBOWTIME up? I certainly think not. The future is bright for Tim Tebow as he learns and grows into the position of a starting NFL quarterback. Do I think that Tim Tebow will be an elite quarterback like Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Joe Montana, and Dan Marino? Only time will tell. But one thing I do know is that all Tim Tebow does is win, and he will be a winner in the NFL for a long time. TEBOWTIME like is Christianity is here to stay. So for all the haters get used to TEBOWTIME and Tebow mania.