I was reading this Rob Neyer article, and he was talking about how great Bo Jackson was. To this day he is one of my favorite all time Raiders. I loved his Tiger handheld game as well. He dominated Deion in the battle of the best two-sport athlete by a long shot. Unfortunately for Bo, and for us, his career ended far too early. It got me wondering why there aren’t more two sport athletes these days, but if you look at the salaries back then he wasn’t making close to what guys are today. Granted it was the early 90’s, and with inflation money was worth a little more than it is now, but his final year in Oakland he earned $1.6M, and in Kansas City he pulled in $2.6M. I’m not saying this is chump change, but the crappy players weren’t quite to the point of getting paid ridiculous amounts of money during Bo’s days, and even the best players weren’t completely paid. So my thinking was that as contracts rose in EVERY sport the need to play more than one sport lessened. The last guy I can even think of that stood out in two sports was Charlie Ward being the general for Florida State’s offense in football and basketball, but even he didn’t play two sports professionally, which I think proves my point that athlete’s don’t need to play two sports anymore because the money is so ridiculously good in whichever one they choose. The closest thing we’ve had recently is a Nike commercial with Lebron blocking a field goal for the Cleveland Browns. With the very real possibility of a lockout for two of our sports (NFL and NBA), I wanted to throw out some ideas for guys and types of players that I think would try to make the jump to another sport either out of boredom or the need to support the $500,000 a month spending lifestyle. Continue reading
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Whether you’re a fan of hip-hop or not, you have to be impressed by Eklips’s skills. I wish I had a talent, maybe one will develop by the time I’m 50… I’m out of breath just watching him go! Eklips is not a new player in the beatbox world, but the one above just hit youtube a couple of days ago and re-reminded me of him. Here’s another Eklips session for you if your in the mood.
It’s been a minute since I’ve dropped a list on anything, and being that we’re a quarter past the 2010-2011 NBA season, I thought now is as good a time as any to weigh in on my opinions on the most important position in the game. The point guard. Without further adieu, my top ten pg’s of the NBA season thus far.
Doin Lists PG Ranking Edition
A few quick disclaimer. As much as I wanted to insert John Wall somewhere into this list, I just couldn’t pull the trigger. This list is purely based on production, not potential. Also I completed this list prior to Rondo’s injury.
As with my NFL QB ranks, I couldn’t decide between two players to lead the list off, so once again, I went with both. Jason Kidd, now 74 years of age, is one of the main cogs on this Dallas Mavericks machine that ran off twelve straight before being upsetted by the Bucks on Monday. Despite that minor hiccup, the Mavs hold the second best record out west and Kidd’s 9 assists per game has a lot to do with it. As for Mike Conley, his development is partly to blame for the now sudden availability of once cornerstone piece O.J. Mayo for trade.
It’s a shame that Andre “I Just Woke Up” Miller’s attempted tackle on Blake Griffin and ensuing suspension is what people will most likely remember most on his season. But the eleven year veteran is the prime reason why the Hurtland Kneebreakers are over achieving. Miller won’t blow you away with his numbers, but for those of you who understand basketball know, he does the things that help you win games. Like try to tackle the opposing team’s best player.
It’s not really Steve Nash’s fault he’s so low on this list. He’s averaging 18.4 points, 10.2 assists and even 3.7 rebounds per game this season. That’s like Kevin Love numbers on the glass for Nash. Not to mention he’s shooting over 50% from the field (again) which is not typical for a point guard. So what more can he do to move up the ranks? Win. That probably won’t happen. And no, getting Robin Lopez back won’t be the answer.
7. Tony Parker
It’s hard to give Tony Parker too much credit for the Spurs holding the best record in the NBA. After all, Manu Ginobili now starts and is playing ridiculous, Richard Jefferson got his mojo back, the Spurs boast a solid second unit led by George “Naked” Hill, and of course last I checked, T.D. is still there. But Parker is having his best season in quite some time, and for an NBA team, it all starts with the point guard. Perhaps he’s got his “drive” back now that he’s newly single.
Who would have thunk this!? I know we all thought Ray Felton would have a chance to be a factor in Mike D’Antoni’s offensive system, but he’s down right unstoppable in it! I never bought into the “potential” of Felton, and this might just be a scenario in which an above average point guard is thriving in a perfect situation, but whatever the case, Felton’s putting up big numbers now and winning. Amare Stoudemire gets the headlines, but Felton’s the key to NY’s success.
I remember writing a piece last season stating CP3 would come back strong to take the point guard crown again after Charles Barkley told him he was no longer the best. Well not only is he not the best, but he’s not even in the top three. It’s not Paul’s fault. Like Steve Nash, there’s only so much he can do with a mediocre team in turmoil. I know for a fact that if the Hornets are making a playoff push 50-60 games in, Paul’s place on this list will be higher. For now, New Orleans is stumbling, and so the face of the franchise has to fall with them.
God I love to watch this guy play. He’s got an unbelievable combination of speed and power, he’s like a cheetah out there. And like many of the fresh, young talent at the point guard position the NBA is blessed with, he’s not satisfied with anything’s he’s done in his career. I love to hear stories about these freak athletes who actually want to work on their game and get better. That’s what separates the Kobe’s from the Isaiah Rider’s. Kevin Durant might be the Michael Jordan of the Oklahoma City Thunder, but Westbrook is the Michael Jordan 1A. Seriously, there’s no drop off in talent between the two. I’m really high on this kid.
Oh wait, you know how I just basically placed Russell Westbrook on a pedestal? Well Derrick Rose just high jumped and cleared that pedestal. That combination of speed and power Westbrook has, Rose has too. The passion and drive Westbrook has. Rose has too. Rose was out taking 1,000,000 (I don’t know the exact number) jumpers a day during the off-season to improve his range. Once again, a freak of nature athlete not settling with his God-given talents. I love it. One thing Rose has that Westbrook, or any other player doesn’t have is, his ability to jump while already in the air. How the hell does he elevate twice on a single jump!?
2. Deron Williams
Chappy and I texted each other briefly during the Utah Jazz/Golden State Warriors game on Monday night. D. Will and Monta Ellis were in a scuffle and being the Warriors faithful we are, we messaged each other on how much of a douche D. Will is. But of course, he’s a douche we’d all want on our team. Deron Williams torched the Dubs for 30 points and 10 assists that night, and he does it so smooth and easy. Games like that are a regular occurrence for him, and with the Jazz playing so well, I can’t put him any further than number two. D. Will, the cerebral assassin.
He can’t shoot a jumper. He can’t shoot free throws. He doesn’t score much. Is this some kind of a joke? Rajon Rondo is the top ranked point guard on this list? Yes. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a player dominate games without taking a single shot the way Rondo does, and I must say, it’s very impressive. Rondo makes up for his lack of shooting efficiency with superb everything else. He has disgustingly long arms and quick feet, which makes him a terrific defender. He has eagle eye vision and can spot a play before it happens. Most importantly, he already has a ring and commands the respect of three future Hall of Famers. He might not be the flashiest guy on this list, but in terms of being a great point guard, he’s the best.
During yesterday’s football Sunday all I could think about was the hoops season that is right around the corner. This years Warriors team is completely different than last year. Aside from Curry, Ellis, Biendris, Reggie Williams, and Branden Wright everyone else is new. Change isn’t a bad thing for us, which started this off season with the arrival of new ownership group, and a sort of new coach (sort of is because he’s been the W’s assistant for seven years). I was a little surprised that the Warriors made this many changes from last years team that we never really saw on the court together. The 2009 unit broke the record for games missed due to injuries, and half of our 9 man roster ended up being D-League call ups. Oh well, maybe management knew something, and this new crop of players can put up huge numbers in the games played column! I guess if you’re a new management team coming in, you’d want to get as far away from the Chris Cohan era as possible, so I don’t blame them for blowing up the team a little. I’m not expecting them to make the playoffs this year. I mean I could see that happening, but that would take a perfect transition with a lot of moving/new parts involved. I’m really just looking for improvement over the season. By had a much more optimistic expectations of them, putting them as the sixth seed in the west. I hope he’s right, but I’ll temper my expectations for the time being! Here’s the Warriors story lines I’m most intrigued with for the year.
Lee was our big long term acquisition this off season. I can’t lie, I haven’t seen him play very much. He seems to be a great blue collar type player that will give you Brian Cardinal type effort when he’s out there. In the limited time I’ve seen him play I can’t say he’s great at any one single thing, but very good at everything. It’s refreshing to have Lee and Curry as the franchise face after having quite a few slackers as our stars over the years. I do have one big question for Lee. Is going against true power forwards every night instead of going against centers going to hurt his productivity? While in NY, he was their center, going against opposing centers nightly, which he could out quick 90% of the time. I think that was a reason why he was able to put up such big numbers in scoring and rebounding. Now he will be guarded by quicker and more talented power forwards while also having to contain them on the other end of the floor. I’m not saying centers aren’t athletic, but forwards seem to be a lot more polished presently in today’s NBA. I’m also wondering how the roll on the pick and roll will go with Biens out on the floor. Center’s don’t really need to cover Biens because he has very limited offensive abilities. Will the sagging/cheating center leave Biens to clog up the lane making it tough on Lee to finish? We shall see.
Defense Continue reading
A month or two ago Sportsnation over on ESPN had a best dunk of the playoffs contest. This Pippen dunk barely beat out a dunk by his teammate MJ in another highlight dunk over Patrick Ewing. I have to say I remember the Jordan dunk more, but did agree with it winning the contest. This dunk had everything in it. Intimidation, rivalry (well, a one sided rivalry), FU mode, and Ewing was really trying to block that dunk! Anyways, I ran across this video of Pippen telling us a little more about the dunk, and thought it was worth sharing…
If you aren’t in a fantasy basketball league, and don’t follow the Warriors, you might look at their boxscores and not recognize many of the players. The Warriors have been infamous for bringing D-Leaguers up over the past few seasons, and unfortunately for them, it’s mainly due to the ridiculous amount of injuries they’ve sustained during the seasons. This year we found a couple of solid guys to jump into the lineup, although it’s not the picture perfect lineup, these guys are showing that they are worthy of the NBA. After getting to see some of the guys live last night, I thought I’d make a list of the top five guys that the Warriors called up from the D-League.
#1 Kelenna Azubuike – Buke is the best player we’ve pulled up from the D-League ranks. He flourished in the utility man role. Not many plays are called for him, but he still puts up productive numbers. He fills the boxscore by knocking down open jumpers, sneaking in for rebounds/putbacks, dishing the ball to an open man, and playing solid defense. He’s gone from a nobody out of Kentucky on the verge of going to the European League to a starter for the Warriors. Granted he’s been out for all but a handful of games this year, but when he’s on the court he effortlessly fills up the stat sheet. There’s just a lot to like about his game. He has one of those high basketball IQ’s that every fan likes to see in their players.
#2 Reggie Williams – I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen this guy play all that much, but that didn’t stop me from picking him up on my fantasy team last week. Last night I went to the Clippers-Warriors game, and he was much better than I expected. Since being called up to the NBA, five of his twenty games have been 20+ point performances, including 20+ in three of the last four games. I think he’s finally feeling comfortable in the league that he probably should’ve been in all along, and last night I was impressed seeing him in person. This guy has a great all around game, and he’s twice as good a defender as Anthony Morrow. Reggie is going to last in the league; even if it’s not with the Warriors he showed that he’s a complete player. I was surprised how he ran the offense so well, he must have one of those high basketball IQ’s. Taking it to the hole and dishing or putting up the shot, shockingly every time he made the right choice. He has been the floor general for chunks of games over the past week and a half.
#3 Anthony Tolliver – I wasn’t sold on Tolliver the first couple times I saw him play, but he’s grown on me a lot over the past month. He’s a very active guy on the defensive end which is something the W’s have lacked for a loooong time! I guess he hasn’t had his only NBA stint with the Warriors as he also had brief stints with the Spurs and Blazers, but the W’s gave him his first extended shot on the court, and is currently the starting power forward. I hope we keep him on when Randolph and Wright come back, he’s shown far more abilities than someone knew he had in him. He’s perfect for Nellie, because he plays hard and can drain his jumpers from deep, which is what Nellie loves in a big man.
#4 CJ Watson – I’m not sure how I feel about this third year former D-Leaguer. I’m just really hot and cold with him everytime I watch him play. He always plays hard, and never complains, so those are big check marks in the positive column. He’s been a nice fill in for the often injured Ellis. He’s outplayed all the guys that have come in to take that backup role such as Marcus Williams, Marco Bellinelli, Acie Law, and Demarcus Nelson. I don’t really see him as much more than a career backup, and has less upside than the top three on the list, who I feel could start for some teams, but he’s going to be on the team and in the rotation, unless we land the Wall sweepstakes. Would that make Ellis be the first guard off the bench?
#5 Anthony Morrow – Yeah, I know he wasn’t ever in the D-League, but since he was an undrafted signing I couldn’t resist putting him on the list. Besides, did you really think I was going to put Chris Hunter or Jamero Moon on here?!? In Morrow’s first start last season, Mceezy and I got to sit as close to the court as either of us had at Staples Center. Hell, we were a few rows in front of Mitch Richmond! Anyways, he scored 37 that day, and won both of us over. Nellie has even proclaimed him the best pure shooter he’s ever coached. I’m not sure exactly what that means since Nellie is crazy, and has coached some of the best shooters in the game, but there’s got to be something to it. He led the league in 3PT% last year. I probably would’ve had him higher on the list, but the guy doesn’t play ANY defense. He looks lost on that side of the court, and gets burnt more often than not, which is why Reggie is getting so much more playing time over him the past few weeks.