What in the blue hell was NewYork Mets principle owner Fred Wilpon thinking when he went on record in an interview and blasted his own players?? First of all, the article by the NewYorker was suppose to detail Wilpons own underdog story, not current Mets players, but I guess 'ol Freddy had other plans. I'm confused as to why he would put himself in this position, especially with the critics glaring spotlight already being shined on the Mets and Wilpon for being an investor in Bernard Madoff 's Ponzi scheme. What was the point of throwing your own players under the bus? To motivate? To just be heard? Wilpon came at his shortstop Jose Reyes saying he won't get a large 'Carl Crawford' type of contract because "he's had everything wrong with him." (In a year when Jose Reyes is on pace to have one of the best seasons of his career in terms of hits, batting average, and slugging percentage). Here Jose Reyes is not only healthy but contributing, and he has to hear his very owner saying this. What's the upside? I can't think of one. I've heard a reputible sports commentator saying he loved the honesty from Wilpon. Honest? Maybe. Pointless? Certainly. You would think an owner of a Major League franchise trying to pick up the pieces from misguided decision making would think a bit harder before making statements that he knows will turn into a national story.
As I'm sure most of you now know, former pro wrestler the 'Macho King', AKA 'Macho Man', Randy Savage died Friday morning in a car accident. Growing up I was a huge Savage fan. From ages 7-13 the guy seemed larger than life. Not all wrestlers have what Savage had. That 'it' factor. The guy would often wear blue and white tiger-striped pants, huge sun glasses, a jacket with foot long strands hanging along with knee-high boots. When he was the 'Macho King' for the first half of his career, dude would literally wear a cape and carry a king's sceptre. How can you not like a guy who pulls that off? You could never confuse his voice and his interviews were outrageous. You would have to decode what he was trying to say and Q and A usually ended with him storming off camera and you remaining confused. Savage would scream at the top of his lungs to emphasize a point, followed by whispering as low as possible in the following sentence. He would usually have his on and off-screen wife Queen Elizabeth next to him in interviews just to degrade her for two and half minutes. And Savage was as entertaining in the ring as he was outside of it. In a day where guy's didn't have buried alive or 'hardcore' matches, savage could wrestle with the best. Macho Man has long been established as one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time, and will surely be missed by all those who he used to entertain. "DIG IT"
This is a classic Randy Savage ramble from the 80′s. I'm nearly 100% positive Macho sniffed a "Sheen" amount of cocaine before shooting this interview. Listen to the absurd sentences he's putting together and try not to laugh. Rock on Macho!
Like most everyone, I was shocked when I heard Lakers all-time great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar speaking publically this week about just how bad his relationship with the Lakers organization has deteriorated. Aside from the claims I heard from Kareem, I have no idea of the details from the fallout (especially from the other side), but one point he did raise has legitimate validity. Currently there are five statues outside Staples Center in Los Angeles, and Kareem believes he's been slighted by not having one of his own considering all that he's done for the Lakers franchise. Now normally I would just write this off as egotistical ex-pro athlete talk, but I think Kareem is justified in his claim. Most of us understand what the career of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar brought to the Lakers, the NBA, and the city of Los Angeles so I won't bore you with the numbers. That being said, let me bore you with some numbers: The 7-foot plus, goggle wearing, sky hooking machine has scored the most points in the history of the NBA! Number one. First place. Nobody ahead. On top of that, he's third all-time in both blocks and rebounds! And if dominating 3 of the 5 major statistics in basketball isn't good enough for you, how about being an all-star an NBA record 19 times! Defense? Try 11 times on the first or second team all-league D. Measure somebody's success in championships? Kareem has 6! MVP's? Kareem has 6! All the numbers are silly. The cherry on top is that he actually played his college basketball at UCLA and won 3 National Championships and is widely considered the greatest college basketball player of all-time! And he did it in Los Angeles! What other criteria could one measure?!? So who the hell else could possibly have a statue outside Staples Center if this man doesn't? Thor? Zeus? Christ himself? Try Wayne Gretzky. Don't get me wrong, Wayn-o is the greatest to ever step on frozen water but he only played in L.A. for 8 years!! Gretzky never won a single championship in Los Angeles and literally went seasons without making the playoffs with the Kings! His best years were clearly in Edmonton with the Oilers where he won 4 straight championships. That's where Gretzky deserves a statue….Oh, wait…HE ALREADY HAS A STATUE THERE, erected in 1989! You want to put another one up in L.A. of 'The Great One'? Fine. But not before Kareem. And because Oscar De La Hoya is from East L.A. he too gets a statue outside Staples? Before Kareem?? No way. And I hate to bring it here, but I have to…As great as Magic Johnson was for the Lakers (In my opinion the best point guard to ever play), he has less championships, less MVP's, less All-Star appearances, less NCAA titles and less individual statistical records. Now of course Magic deserves a statue, but what I don't understand is that Magic retired years and years after Kareem did and gets a statue before him? I think this is an example of what Kareem meant when he said instead of being on the back burner, he didn't feel like he was even on the stove. For god's sake the former Laker's play-by-play announcer Chick Hern got a statue! I don't mean to take anything away from any of the great athlete's or personalities who have statues outside Staples Center, but the point is if Kareem Abdul-Jabbar doesn't have his likeness poured in brass permanently outside Staples Center, than nobody should.
How in the world do you guard Dirk Nowitzki? Everyone seems to be raising the question and for good reason. The German giant played out of his mind Tuesday night in Dallas, shooting an absurd percentage while putting up nearly 50 in a game 1 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. So what's the recipe for slowing this man down? Dirk's a 7-footer with a soft touch, an unorthodox arsenal, and uncanny range. But didn't we already know this? I'm not sure why it took another playoff outburst to get people talking about how good this guy is. RIGHT NOW dude is a top 25 scorer in NBA HISTORY and has scored more points than solidified legends such as Ray Allen, Clyde Drexler, Tim Duncan, Paul Pierce, and yes…Larry Bird. Just like any other great offensive player, when the shot is falling, no defender or scheme will outmatch it. With the talent that's in this league, good offense beats good defense every single time. But if you're the Thunder, you can't just hope he misses. How do you attempt to contain him? Personally, I think it starts with the defender. Within the first two or three possessions of the game Tuesday, when I saw Serge Ibaka guarding Dirk, I knew OKC had a problem on their hands. Forget Ibaka not being able to guard Dirk vertically on his jumper (because nobody can), but laterally Ibaka could not stay in front of him. In turn, Dirk was able to blow by him early for layups and get fouled in the lane. And that's not to take away from Ibaka, who's another near 7-footer that's athletic as all hell (remember how he wowed us in the dunk contest with his agility and leaping ability), and is a solid defender (leads 2011 playoffs in blocks). But when it comes to side to side footwork and staying in front of a wing player whose jumper demands respect and will also put it on the floor when you're too close…Ibaka is not your man for the job. As the game went on, Thunder coach Scott Brooks tried throwing 5 or 6 different defenders at Dirk, but by that time the beast had already grown larger than life. The Thunder also made the mistake of letting him catch the ball in good position while on his favorite side of the floor (the left side if your under the hoop facing half court). If you look at Dirk's shot chart from Tuesday, of his 15 field goal attempts, 12 of them were inside the paint or on his favorite/strong side. If the Thunder can make the hardest part of Dirk's offensive possessions before he ever catches the ball, while limiting his touches on his strong side, the Thunder will have a chance to win this series. Despite Dirk going nuts, OKC still had a shot to win coming down the stretch of game 1. Huge win for the Mavs, but I think we'll see 6 more games between the two teams.
When host of the "Noe Show" Brian Noe asked me to host his show this Friday May 13th, I was a wee-bit dissapointed to tell him I was going to Jamaica. Dissapointed to go to Jamaica? Sounds like a statement that should be banned from the English language. As much as I've been looking forward to another oppurtunity to hop on ESPN radio, the thought of sun, sand, and see-through water is pretty powerful. I don't know much about where I'm going besides that the climate/location is God's idea of a Hydroponics lab, and that if I wander too far off the resort my organs will proabably be sold on the black market within a few hours. If you don't see a post by middle of next week (May 17/18), it's been real.
When I first heard play-by-play caller Mike Tirico refer to Andrew Bynum's flagrant foul on JJ Barea as "One of the biggest bush league things I've ever seen" I thought he was using hyperbole for effect. After watching the replays over and over, I stand corrected. Bynum was handed a 5 game suspension, with a steep fine of over a half million bucks (Partly because he went G-unit and yanked his shirt off in front of the sold out crowd in case there was any doubt that "yea, I just did that"). But on Tuesday I heard it being discussed on national radio how this was the way the NBA used to be. The glory days. The days when Bill Laimbeer would truck stick you because you even thought about coming in the lane, Rick Mahorn would sharpen his elbows and Kevin McHale tried decapitating Kurt Rambis. I heard phrases like, "This was par for the course" when referring to Bynum's foul in connection with the 70′s and 80′s. I'm struggling to understand rationalizing Bynum's foul. You can plug what Bynum did into any era and it's a flagrant foul. The game used to be rougher? Tougher? Ok…and? Those reckless plays from the hard-nosed legends I named were equally flagrant then as they are now. None of it has anything to do with basketball. If that happens at the local park, expect fireworks. And furthermore, the league is lucky that Dallas isn't a short fused team because that could have gotten ugly. Barea's teammates stood around like, "Damn, that looked like it hurt." You commit a foul like that on a teammate of KG, Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, Kenyon Martin, or a handful of others and David Stern's playing Dr. Damage Control. At the end of the day Bynum made a horrendous decision that literally brought zero positives to the table. The worst part for me is I went back and looked at his other flagrant fouls and they all look similar. Forearm extended, intentional shiver, no play on the ball. Check out the 3 videos below. Deja Vu for Bynum.
One of my favorite games that has no beginning or ending is the look-alike game. You see a guy pumping gas and you say to your buddy, "who's that _____?" And you fill in the blank with a look-alike. Someone funny-looking on TV or movies, an obscure name from high school, or pretty much anyone you can think of who even half way looks like your target. Hit it right on the head and you have a good laugh. The other day I'm watching the Chicago Bulls and see backup center Omer Asik on the bench and call out Judge Reinhold from Beverly Hills Cop. Boom. You can be the overall "judge" for this comparison, and a few other athletes that came to mind.
You're telling me that if I put a jersey on The Predator you'd be able to tell the difference between it and Marquis Daniels? I don't believe you. Predator is one of the baddest creatures to ever hunt. I'd imagine our alien friend would have great success on the hardwood. Superior quickness and jumping ability sets Predator apart. The thermal vision wouldn't help his case when catching or dribbling the ball, but his laser-shooting capability would come in handy at the park or any other street ball setting. Marquis Daniels is the last of the Predator species known to pro sports. It was once thought that Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks had a direct blood link to the Predator, but it was later discovered his ties were with another alien species you'll see below…
Remember Popeye Jones from the Washington Wizards? If you're not sure, you haven't seen Popeye. Anyone who's ever laid eyes on this monster has that impression forever burned into memory. Listen, I'm not making fun of Pop in a mean-spirited way, genetics happen…But there's genetics, and then there's Popeye. Popeye's name is extremely fitting because when you first see him, your eye's literally pop open as if less eye lid will improve what you've seen. Dude's mother even has a tough time with birth ownership. The look-alike is easy. Sloth from the 1985 film 'The Goonies.' "HEYY YOU GUYS!"
At first I was under the impression that running back Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks began playing football after he shot several seasons playing the role of Worf from Star Trek. Only recently did I come to find out that these two men are not one. Marshawn was born in 1986 in Oakland, California, where as Worf was born in 2340 on the Klingon's home planet. The birth date for Worf is a bit confusing, and the actual location didn't show up on my planetarium, but I wouldn't be one bit surprised if Worf is the father of Lynch. Just saying.
Those who've watched any amount of basketball know Chris Kaman. The guy's got some game for sure. And although his play from 15 feet and in is pretty smooth, his appearance can only be correlated to either 1 of 2 things. The first is a Crystal Meth addict, and the second is a Wookie from Star Wars. Kaman lacks the overall hair to be officially linked with Chubaka, but the bone structure says otherwise. But at the end of the day, the sagging shoulders, sunken eyes, and jacked up jaw says Meth Head. You call it.
His birth certificate says he's from Barcelona Spain…but then again Danny Almonte's birth certificate also said he was 12. I looked hard and deep (pause) into the subject and found that Pau Gasol's original place of birth was on the African plains, the native land of the Ostrich. The correlation breakthrough came when I discovered that the Ostrich lays the largest eggs of any living bird, and Pau Gasol laid the largest egg in the 2011 playoffs of any living All-Star. When times got really tough in 2011, Gasol could be found burying his head in the sand, just like his ancestors before him. It was right under my nose/beak the entire time.
It seems playing too close to hollywood and having all those actors sitting courtside has rubbed off on the Lakers. Acting like they play defense, acting like they're desperate, acting like they have it under control. Joining the Celtics down 0-2 in the best of seven, the future in L.A. looks bleak. What happened to the Lakers? The same core group that won 57 regular season games and won the last two NBA championships isn't getting it done. How? This Lakers team seems like a shell of its former self, with the common ground with years past being the uniforms. Every Laker, top-to-bottom, is underperforming. It starts with Kobe still not snapping out of his over-assertive gameplan. Kobe has unique tools around him to build, but insists on trying to do it by hand. There was a couple of years there when Kobe didn't have those pieces around him and it made sense to try and bear the burden on his shoulders alone…MEMO: THOSE DAYS ARE OVER. He's hurting his team, and his chances of a 3-peat. In game 1 Kobe took more shots than Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum combined. We're not talking about Chris Mihm, Sasha Vujachic and Smush Parker anymore. I'm talking about the 6th man of the year (Odom), one of the best young centers in the game (Bynum), and an All-Star power forward (Gasol). And for as many folks who agree with this stance, there's an equal amount pointing the finger at those guys blaming their lack of initiative and confident play as well as lame duck defense. And I guess they're right too. Gasol, who my brother has now nicknamed 'Gasoft', has seemed distant on offense. And I literally mean 'distant' as in he's 7 feet tall and isn't scoring in the paint. Pau is looking at 13 points per game to go with 7.8 boards so far in these playoffs. Compare that to the sample size of 82 regular season games where Gasol was averaging just under 20 points and 11 rebounds. That's nearly a 30% drop in both categories!?! What happened? He's not attacking and doesn't look as active as he was. He needs to get back to the basics, playing with power, exploiting his advantages, and taking more than 1 shot in the fourth quarter (Game 2). Gasol's frontcourt 'brother' Andrew Bynum needs to be more aggressive as well. Of course he needs the ball first. On 78 offensive possessions Wednesday night, Bynum touched the ball 15 times. Inexcusable. Their inability to take advantage of their greatest strength (size, length and athleticism at the 4 and 5 positions) has Dallas on the verge of stunning the world champions.
The Boston Celtics have dug themselves into a deep hole, and the Miami Heat may finish the job by burying them alive. Boston, now down 0-2 in the best of seven series, showed serious signs on decay of what they once were on Tuesday night in South Beach. I've heard the reaction from several analysts after game 2 pointing to Boston's age factor, no 'pep in their step', or a lack of stamina in keeping up with Miami. Of any descriptive label I could throw at Boston, it would be their lack of competitiveness thus far. This, over anything else, to me is the most shocking. I became used to Boston being that team that would refuse to give in, back down, or go away. The team that you would have to over-kill just to make sure they were dead. Instead, after two games Boston now looks like the team who's shying away from a fight because they're scared to get punched in the mouth. Where was Paul Pierce? After the double technical and ejection in game one, I would have bet my life savings that 'The Truth' would come out swinging. Instead Inglewood's finest came out… to lay down. Pierce shot 0-5 in the second quarter and somehow attempted only four shots in the entire second half! Four? Where's the aggressive and assertive nature we've grown accustomed to? If you're going to bark, you better bite. And if Pierce is going to lay an egg, Boston certainly can't afford to have Ray Allen take two 3-pointers in 34 minutes of play. That being said, Miami had a lot to do with Boston's struggles. The Heat's committment to team defense was popping out of the television. Fighting through screens, communicating, and just an overall 'togetherness' was apparent. On the other end of the floor, King James was earning his nicknames. In the second half LBJ made 9 of 13 shots. When 'Bron is shooting 70% in the second half of a semifinal playoff game, you're in trouble. Like a headlining actor, LeBron stole the show. James and D-Wade were literally one point shy of outscoring the entire Celtics starting lineup. I've been of the belief that the Heat need at least one of the two most important positions on the floor in order to win a championship, that being a point guard or center. They lack both, but somehow they're still getting it done against a proven winner in Boston. Maybe the Heat don't need a PG or a Big. Maybe being stacked at every other position will be good enough (like Jordan's Bulls). I'm not yet completely counting out Boston though. If they go back home, take care of business, and let Miami's old nightmares of close-game losses creep back into their frontal lobe, who knows what can happen? Of course for that to take place, Boston will first need to get up off the mat before the ref counts to ten.
Zach graduated from St Rose in 2010 with a degree in
communications. After graduating he covered the same program in which
he played, the st rose mens basketball team for one season before
being hired as an analyst for UAlbany's division 1 football and