Posts Tagged ‘basketball’

A sloppy game 7 decided this epic series between storied rivals.  One thing I’m sure we’ll all recount is how gritty and unflashy this game was.  The “Green Machine” needed a little more oil, and the “Showtime”  Lakers looked more like “Slowtime”.  Who would come out victorious? Kobe and company! Not the team I was rooting for, but I’m not upset: I’m a Cubs fan, so I’m used to losing.
Image courtesy of Sydney Morning Herald
I want to talk about two players in particular.  So much can be said about the superstars of both teams, but i’m going to focus on two role players. Ray Allen first with his lack luster performance, and Ron Artest, jovial as can be and finally living up to his expectations.
One thing I must point out the abysmal shooting percentage of Ray Allen.  Wow, how can you be so good one series and then sink to the depts of your talent the next?  He missed way to many shots, not just 3 pointers either. “He don’t got game”. We got so used to seeing that beautifully crafted jumpshot go in 4-5 times per game. This game (not to mention that 0-13 game 3) was not vintage Ray Allen. Stop shooting 3s! 5-15 just isn’t going to cut it in the final game. Normally a very composed player, he seemed a bit tense tonight, as were many players on the floor.  Allen will be a free agent this summer.  There have been talks of him possibly joining the Chicago Bulls for a one year contract, thus a career wrap up for him. Can you imagine Ray Allen AND LeBron James on the same team.  Chicago is going to be burning with anticipation as the off-season hits.
Courtesy of sawxblog.com

It was very heartwarming to see Ron Artest celebrating the win he contributed to so greatly.  Without his rebounds, last minute 3-pointer, and hard-nosed defense, the Celtics might be hoisting that trophy up right now.  Remember the riot he cause in Detroit a few years back- it’s a thing of the past.  The legal issues he’s dealt with- not a problem.  Drinking Hennessy during halftime as a Chicago Bull- don’t mention it.  All these basketball sins seem to be washed away by a Lakers championship baptism.  After bouncing around from team to team, it’s nice to see him settle down and humble himself as a respectable player should.  Way to go Ron. We’re proud of you.

Courtesy of thelakersnation.com

And you dare to wear the number 23!?
I’m from Chicago, and anyone that wears that number is held up to some stringent judgment around here (cough cough, Michael Jordan).  If you want to wear the number that represents the the greatest player of all time, you have to at least give an effort. Ok, so you had a triple-double, big deal. Where’s your heart? We should be remembering this series for your  hustle in diving for the ball, how ferociously you dunk and your aggressiveness. Instead, you moonwalk your way out of Cleveland, easing out of a couple more hard years with your team.  Grow a pair why don’t ya?! Tough if out.  Did Michael Jordan walk out on the Bulls when they repeatedly lost to Detroit? What about when he lead the league in scoring, but came up short in the playoffs every time? NO, he stayed, worked with his coach and developed the team with dedication.  You should change your number to “0” to represent the amount of urgency and enthusiasm you showed in the last two games. Was he scared? Did the 17 championship banners in the rafters intimidate him? Or maybe he had a chest cold? I know, he must have “I don’t care about my reputation” syndrome- most common in players like gun-slingin’ Gilbert Arenas or janky Jamarcus Russell of the Raiders.
Here are my top 5 “smh” moments.
1. Fist bumping with the Celtic fans.
Are you seriously slapping hands with their crowd? You tossed your head band to the stands like you won the game. You showed no humility.
2. Stepping back to the half court after inbound passes
You did this more than once. I understand that plays may require you to hang around a bit, but in the last moments of the game, you should be demanding that ball. You are the team’s best scorer, right?
3. Not trying to block shots.
You had plenty of opportunities to make those plays. You know, the ones where you smash the ball off the backboard. You took it easy and saved your legs. That’s definitely not the right time… it’s win or go home.
4. Your indifference in the post-game interview
We know there’s a short time from the game to the interview; we don’t expect your answers to be put on 60 Minutes or anything. Boston Business Journal quoted you saying “I’m not going to start making excuses. I had opportunities to do thing I wanted to do, and it just didn’t fall for me. I’m not using the elbow as an excuse.” Well, even if you’re hurt, PLAY HARD. The great players of the past have done it before. Also, he was quoted saying “We left it all on the court”… I beg to differ. Anyone with eyes can tell that you left your passion at home, not on the court.
5. Lack of Swagger
This is more of a team issue. It seemed as if they lost all hope once they started losing games. Even though the situation is much more serious in the playoffs, you guys made teams fear your confidence.  If you play confident basketball, and stop playing so timidly, teams won’t roll over you. Turn your swag on.
Don’t get me wrong, I like LeBron. But I also like those who play hard until the whistle is blown. Give it your all, no matter what.