In case you were to enthralled with Justin Beiber doing an Amanda Bynes impression** at the Miami Heat game on Monday, then you already know that the Heat decimated the Indiana Pacers and have advanced to the NBA Finals to take on the wily vets, the San Antonio Spurs.
**Best celebrity couple ever? (If you can still call Amanda Bynes a celebrity). What would their celebrity nickname be? I love these things: Jamanda Byber? Amastin Beibynes? Jumandin Bebyners? Jumanji, for short?! The possibilities are endless! I must make an iPhone app that does this for me.**
ESPN posted that great video from illustrator Richard Swarbrick. Now, I don’t know this illustrator from any other illustrator, but clearly he has an appreciation for the history of Basketball. From Willis Reed playing on his hurt ankle to Michael Jordan celebrating his six championships and the most famous layup of all time to Magic Johnson’s skyhook. I would buy posters for every single one of those images, but the one image that stood out among the rest – LeBron’s cramps.
Swarbrick, you crazy son of a gun, you illustrate some of the most historic and glorious moments in NBA History and then give a little backhand to Bron Bron? Is he a Cavs fan? Did he hate the decision as much as the rest of the world? Or he hates male baldness? Maybe he doesn’t like that LeBron is being compared to Jordan. Whatever it is, it’s hilarious. When his artwork for this inevitably comes out I shall frame LeBron writhing in pain.
No homo, No offense, Bron Bron.
My only question: Where was the iconic Paul Pierce getting wheelchair-ed off the court from the NBA Finals against the Lakers?
Other than the one LOL moment from the video, it’s pretty awesome. But, seriously can we get Beibs and Bynes to date already? She might throw her bong at him though.
In case you’ve been living under a rock the past couple months, Kobe Bryant has taken up social media in an unprecedented way. After rupturing his achilles tendon, Kobe has embraced the 21st century and has quickly ascended my Power Rankings of Favorite Tweeters and Instagrammers. Congrats Mamba, you’re my number one!
Recently, he’s been giving updates on his rehab as he tries to prove his haters wrong and comeback from his most devastating injury of his career. But Kobe crossed a line this past week. A social media line, that is usually reserved for the creepy people on the internet not named Kobe. He Instagrammed a picture of his achilles surgery and it was the most disgusting picture I’ve seen since Kevin Ware’s broken leg made its way on the interwebs.
At least he’s got the #hashtagging down. #Graphic is an understatement, Kobes.
While perusing my Instagram and eating lunch, this popped up. So, after I puked profusely and woke up from my Instagram induced blackout (I didn’t faint! I swear!) I thought we should set a couple guidelines for celebrities and their Instagram’s.
Do post #selfies of yourself. Honestly, if you’re a celebrity that means you’re probably pretty damn attractive. As much as I hate #selfies, if you’re good looking I won’t complain. Unless you post an inspirational quote as the caption to your selfie, then I will pray for your soul.
Do post pictures of you with other celebrities. Do I want to know if you’re out partying with Lindsay Lohan, Dennis Rodman and Charlie Sheen? Hell yes I do. That would be a fun game of Marry, F*ck, Kill*
*Marry: Charlie Sheen because you know he’d at least keep it interesting. F*ck: Lindsay Lohan, well she’s a girl, I’m a guy, it’s physics. Kill: Dennis Rodman, no explanation needed.
Do post behind the scenes looks at your prolific life. If you’re an actor, take some pictures that will give us an inside look on your new movie that I will probably download. If you’re an athlete, take a picture of your teammate passed out on the plane ride. We eat that shit up.
Don’t post gruesome pictures of your injuries! It is disgusting and will make the collective nation sick. We get it, Kobe, you’re a warrior, you play through injuries and you speak your mind. But, please spare me seeing the insides of your body. It just ain’t right.
Don’t tweet out a picture of your instagram that you Facebook’d. That is confusing and annoying and I will probably hate you.
Don’t like pictures that people have tweeted just of you. You’re a celebrity, so I’m sure you’re naive and need the attention, but just do a Google image search of you and bask in the glory that is yourself.
I don’t have to tell you how amazing March Madness really is, but I will anyways. It is the greatest playoff system in sports. Easily. No doubt about it. Where else can you root for a school you’ve never heard of beat a team that you hear entirely too much about? We’re Americans, we love underdogs. There was a time when we were the underdogs, alas we are far from that now, but we see a little bit of us in every mid-major school that has a ton of
white boys less than stellar athletes that will never play in the NBA and when these non-athletic players demolish the dreams of the McDonald’s All-Americans, we eat that shit up. Now, if only another college sport had been smart enough to implement this, but I digress.
The latest team to take over March Madness and captivate the millions…and millions of March Madness fans is none other than the FGCU Eagles. No, that is not a random assortment of cool looking letters in the English alphabet. It’s actually Florida Gulf Coast University. More importantly, they have reached a very special someone, someone that is void of having a team in the March Madness race, a man that can reach literally dozens of people through the internet and social medias. That man is now the conductor of the FGCU Bandwagon, that man, is of course me! (or this column would suck). Call me Conductor Cartelli of the Fly Like an Eagle Bandwagon!
As I watched the FGCU Fly Like an Eagle all over Georgetown, I was angry. Not only did I lose a Final Four team, I lost it to a 15 seed that I’ve never heard of, thankfully according to their name I assumed they were on the Gulf Coast. I’m definitely smarter than Siri. My anger didn’t last long, how can you hate a 15 seed upsetting a 2 seed? And they did it in amusing fashion. They were flying all over the place. They were even coined “Dunk City”. DUNK FREAKIN’ CITY! What a great name, I bet you $5 in Monopoly money that Blake Griffin is sitting in his Kia thinking, “Why didn’t I come up with that? Lob City is child’s play compared to DUNK CITY?!”. Blake, you are correct.
Since I crowned myself the Conductor of this Bandwagon, I had to learn more of this majestic place. FGCU was established in 1991! That makes me 4 years older then the school. They just turned 21, I hope they are enjoying an ice cold one after these sweet victories. According to ESPN, they are the only team to be undefeated in the NCAA Tournament! That means that 32 teams have lost more tournament games this weekend then FGCU has. Ever. FGCU motto happens to be – “Truth, Knowledge, Wisdom”. This tournament they are dropping some major knowledge and blessing us with some wisdom, because they are the truth.
OH YEAH, THEY DANCE LIKE THIS:
POLO. SHIRT. GUY. THOUGH.
You know who FGCU’s second biggest fan behind me is? SEAL. Want proof? You got it.
Seal dedicated his 1997 hit song, “Fly Like an Eagle”, from the second greatest movie soundtrack of all-time*, Space Jam to FGCU. I should have seen the signs sooner, when Seal is dedicating songs to you and you dance like Polo Shirt Guy, how can you lose? They are no longer a 15 seed, they are THE Seed.
**1. Garden State**
Now that they are in the Sweet 16 and take on in-state rival, the Florida Gators aka The Monstars, they have all the confidence in the world. When those lights dim and the FGCU Anthem hits…”Fly like an eagle and let my spirit carry me…”, that spirit will have them soaring above their competitors.
#FlyLikeAnEagle FGCU, fly, fly.
– Lance Cartelli
The Chargers and Padres are licking their chops of how easy it has been for the
4th time in a row San Diego Sockers PASL champions yet again! The Sockers clinch
their 14th banner in Sockers franchise history. Ryan Mathews was in attendance and
broke the trophy though.
Padres played another spring training game that went like this (snoreeeeeeeeeeee)
San Diego State University Men’s Basketball finishes it’s season 21-9 overall with a tough rematch at Thomas & Mack center versus Boise State this Wednesday night. The Aztecs had no answer for their own terrible free throw shooting problems and field goals all game and couldn’t even get toilet paper to roll their way. Heck, Boise fell asleep with less than thirty seconds to go and somehow couldn’t get that easy lay-up to go in. Critics are still iffy on the Aztecs getting an invite to the “Big Dance” feeling that they could use a few more stable wins to the resume and defeating Boise on the year would be a good start. Regardless, their record on the West Coast defeating all California teams is pretty impressive. The San Diego Chargers find themselves looking on the outside in with free agency. Last year trying to find diamonds in the rough with signings like Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem did not pan out at all. I mean, it went just horrible. New General Manager Tom Telesco says they won’t focus all their attention on big free agents but you still should sign your rock and anchors from a dreadful team. Guard Louis Vasquez and Wide Receiver Danario Alexander (who was low tendered) should be suitors to other teams with free agency under way. It would be very Charger-like and wouldn’t be surprising if they let these guys walk but hopefully they work out something to stay. Let’s not get off on the wrong track Tommy-T.
– Someone other than our cherished and beloved Ron Burgundy finally made SportsCenter on Monday for his ridiculous dunk versus Oklahoma City. Kawhi Leonard made SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays of the night at number one!
– USD Men’s Basketball coach Bill Grier is now on the hot seat after their season
ended Sunday night versus Saint Mary’s (SF) in the WCC tournament. It’s a very
“Norval-pickled” situation now for USD with wins over Pepperdine and a surprise
defeat of conference elite BYU. Look for them to probably give him one more shot
after no NCAA bids the past few years since his first year as HC. Just seeing this
reminds me of so much grand memories.
So, Kawhi so serious?
In case you missed the awful NBA All-Star Saturday Night, you didn’t miss much other than missed dunks in the Slam Dunk Contest, but you did miss a betrayal for the ages. In an effort to get San Antonio Spurs Forward Matt Bonner into the Three-Point Contest, Kobe Bryant bequeathed the nickname the “Red Mamba” to him. Needless to say I was heartbroken.
Let’s go over the facts: Kobe Bryant is my second favorite basketball player of all-time behind Michael Jordan. The Lakers are my favorite team. I have red hair. Those three factors alone put me on the short list for greatest nickname ever, “The Red Mamba”.
Not only did Matt Bonner — whose name is really close to being Matt Boner — get the greatest nickname on Planet Earth and probably the Milky Way Galaxy, but he also got a shirt of a Red Mamba in attack mode?!
That is my shirt. I understand your mistake Kobe, so I’ll take that shirt in Men’s Large, does it come as a tall tee? I am ready to terrify the little kid that was jumped over in the Slam Dunk Contest.
Now after being bestowed the “Red Mamba” nickname and an equally awesome and horrifying shirt, the Red Mamba has to run away with the Three-Point Contest, right? There’s no way the Red Mamba could lose!
At this point, I was torn. Do I root for Mr. Red Mamba even though he stole my rightful name? Us Gingers do have to stick together, you know. Or…has this man become my mortal enemy — the Joker to my Batman, the receding hairline to my LeBron James — and I must destroy him to regain what is rightfully mine? I decide to go with the former seeing as he’s a big, white guy with red hair, he’s just too damn lovable. Damn you Bonner!
The Red Mamba comes out nailing everything. Maybe Kobe was right. Bonner advances to the finals against Kyrie Irving.
Unfortunately, being tall and white and a Ginger caught up to big Bonner in the Finals where he ran into the buzz-saw that is Kyrie Irving.
The Red Mamba loses, which gets me thinking – I lose all the time. I could’ve lost at the Three-Point Contest, I could lose a lot of things for the right to be called the Red Mamba by Kobe Bean Bryant. Lance “Second Place” Cartelli doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. Therefore, the twitter campaign #Lance4RedMamba begins, it shall be trending in no time.
At least Kobe still has his back right? The guy that created the nickname and started the campaign to get Matt Bonner into the Three-Point Contest wouldn’t just turn his back on him would he? Never turn your back on a Mamba!
After being stabbed in the back by Kobe, I doubt Mr. Bonner wants to keep this nickname that is tainted by the 2013 NBA Three-Point Contest. Which means the reign of Lance “Red Mamba” Cartelli is in full affect. Hopefully the power doesn’t go to my head and I become Joffrey from Game of Thrones.
I had to do more research on this Red Mamba. Like a Method Actor, I had to do more research to get into the role of a lifetime.
First, a Google search. The seventh thing on the list is a movie called “The Red Mamba” made in 2002. I don’t even need to read the plot summary I know that this will be the best movie ever made (sorry, Highlander) and that if there is a God, it will be streaming on Netflix. But, I get sucked into the IMDb page. A movie written and directed by James Jackson – whose other credits include: Actor – Aliens vs. A-Holes and he was also a Cinematographer for Blood, Guts, and Cleaning Supplies: The Making of “The Janitor” – well, that’s two more movies on my Netflix queue. Still perusing around the IMDb page, I get to the plot summary and it is everything I’ve ever wanted and more.
A bright sunny day in the deep wilderness fades to black for Oz and Lucy, two teens on a quest for a magical sex drug which grows wild in a mythical mushroom field known as Cloud 9. Oz assures her that the story about a man who claims to have seen a caveman in the woods was either a delusion caused from his eating a similar but poisonous variety of the sex drug known as the “Red Mamba”, or more likely a spook story to keep poachers clear of the treasured fungus in Cloud 9… Or is it?
Why did Christopher Nolan not write and direct this? There’s always the sequel. I am available, by the way.
Unfortunately, there are no reviews or even any message board comments. How can this be true? But, from eight satisfied patrons it is rated 8.4 which would effectively put it as the 50th greatest movie of all-time according to IMDb. I’m sold.
But I digress, I finally return to my Google search to realize there is no Wikipedia page for the Red Mamba and that it doesn’t even exist! Time to genetically mate a Black Mamba with a Ladybug to create the #REDMAMBA.
Kobe – I know you will read this and I just want you to know I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.
– Lance Cartelli
Before San Diego State Head Coach Steve Fisher arrived on the Mesa, Aztec basketball was the laughing stock of the Mountain West Conference. The year he arrived, he would have to pass out tickets to students personally just to get maybe a couple thousand at then Cox Arena. A few years later, there are about a handful more Mountain West and NCAA banners hanging in the rafters at Viejas Arena, otherwise known as the “Madhouse on the Mesa”.
You can thank Head Coach Steve Fisher for creating what once was a tradition-less program to a now a sold out 12,000 crowd each home game with a sea of red and black. Aztec Basketball is the new frontier of San Diego sports; you can’t go anywhere nowadays without hearing about the Aztecs in the local newspapers, TV and radio stations. Now does this have to do with the Chargers struggling of recent? Yes and no. Aztec basketball year-by-year has had more season ticket sales grow, even with the Marty/Norv short periods of success in Chargers football, Aztec basketball always got better instead of worse.
Recently, the Aztecs were coming off a two game losing streak to, under the radar power, Wyoming and rival UNLV Runnin’ Rebels. They beat up on the Nevada Wolf Pack in Reno, NV, 78-57 and stomped conference powerhouse New Mexico 55-34 forcing the Lobos to 17 turnovers and their lowest points in the shot-clock era.
OTHER LOCAL NEWS:
- Phil Mickelson has been in some heat with his comments about moving out of California due to high tax rates of the upper class with high incomes. He has since apologized, but for what? Golf is a rich sport after all.
- New Head Coach of the San Diego Chargers, Mike McCoy has retained Defensive Coordinator John Pagano and has hired a completely new staff for 2013. Former Special Teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, with the team the last two years, is now considering taking the same position with the Dallas Cowboys after leaving for the University of Auburn for the same position.
– Ryan Pedersen
Hello, hello everyone! This is Kyle McCarthy here. Lancer has entrusted me with a recap of the last week or so in sports, so here it comes! Let’s go ahead and start with the most recent week in college football!
I’ll leave the BCS talk alone for just a minute and reflect upon the Conference Championship weekend that just occurred.
In the most exciting game of the weekend, the Alabama Crimson Tide pulled out a close victory over the Georgia Bulldogs. I actually thought this was Georgia’s year to overtake the Tide because of their stud freshmen running backs and very stingy defense. The final score ended up being 32-28 in favor of the Tide; some may do a double-take after reading this score because the SEC is known for their defense. But this was a great game for any type of football fan. Georgia actually had an 11 point lead with 6:31 left in the third quarter, but Alabama has been there before and responded quickly with two touchdowns in a row. The final minute may have been the most exciting, if Georgia had one timeout left they may be the team in the national championship. Aaron Murray had a pass that was tipped and caught by a teammate at the six yard line, and with the first down yards away and no timeouts, all the Bulldogs could do was watch as time expired and the Crimson Tide began their celebration.
In the other Championship games my UCLA Bruins came close but ended up losing to the very good Stanford Cardinals in the Pac 12 Championship game 27-24. Stanford’s victory gives them their first Rose Bowl berth in over 10 years. Their opponent will be the Big 10 Champion Wisconsin Badgers. Although the Badgers have five losses, this will be their third consecutive Rose Bowl appearance representing the Big 10. Kansas State beat the Texas Longhorns to clinch the Big 12 division. Florida State defeated Georgia Tech to clinch the ACC championship. And lastly Northern Illinois University beat Kent State in double OT to clinch the MAC Championship. Some of you may be wondering why I even mentioned Northern Illinois, and here is the reason why…
After defeating Kent State, Northern Illinois jumped high enough in the BCS to earn a spot in the Orange bowl against Florida State. ESPN analysts faces were classic upon the news, and of course twitter blew up as well. I personally root for the underdog in a lot of circumstances, but this is absurd. To say that a team like Northern Illinois deserves a spot in a BCS bowl game over other deserving teams like Georgia, LSU and even Oklahoma is ludicrous (I rarely use that word)! Thank God a college football playoff is in the works because the BCS system is flawed and this is another prime example of it. As I discussed earlier the Rose bowl will be played between the Stanford Cardinals and Wisconsin Badgers. The Florida Gators will play the Louisville Cardinals in the Sugar Bowl. The Fiesta Bowl will feature Kansas State taking on the Oregon Ducks. Keep in mind these were the number one and two ranked teams in the country just a couple weeks ago! And lastly the BCS National Championship game will feature the undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish against the second ranked Alabama Crimson Tide for bragging rights as the best team in the nation. Luckily, most (if not all) could agree that these are the two best teams in the nation and deserve the right to do battle for supremacy in college football.
With the upcoming Heisman trophy I thought I would share my top candidates and ultimate prediction for the prestigious trophy. I really feel there isn’t a run-away candidate this year which could make the race much closer than people think. I see this as a three person race. First you have Manti Te’O of Notre Dame. This guy is exciting to watch and very deserving of the award. What helps Manti is that his team is number one in the nation, and regardless of what anyone says, your team’s record does play a big factor in how people vote. As a linebacker Manti has seven interceptions on the year, for a linebacker, or any college player that is incredible! I have seen him play in a few games this year and he just has an instinct for being at the right place at the right time. What works against him is that he is a defensive player. Voters tend to show much more love for offensive players, no defensive player has won the award since Charles Woodson in 1997. The next candidate for the award is Collin Klein, quarterback of the Kansas State Wildcats. Collin had a very strong year. He threw 15 touchdowns with only 7 interceptions, but also added 22 rushing touchdowns to his resume. Having a total of 37 touchdowns definitely means you should be in the conversation for the Heisman. Working against Collin is that he lost against an unranked Baylor team, which ultimately cost his team a shot in the National Title game, and a TD to Interception ratio of just over 2:1. My last candidate is someone that came out of nowhere and is in my opinion, the front runner for the award. Johnny Manziel, or Johnny Football as he has been come to be known, had a record-breaking year. Johnny Football totaled over 4600 total yards, breaking the SEC record for total yardage, AS A FRESHMEN!! Not only did he break the past records of other Heisman winners Cam Newton and Tim Tebow, but he did it as A FRESHMEN, in the SEC, and in two fewer games. This guy is exciting as it comes in college football today, and with him under center Texas A&M has a bright future. His Heisman moment had to be when he went into Alabama and beat the Crimson Tide, great game! The only thing working against Johnny here is that he is ironically what makes him so intriguing, HE’S A FRESHMEN! For whatever reason some voters won’t vote for him just because of this. I find this downright stupid, and feel that a person’s tenure ship in college shouldn’t factor into their eligibility for an award. All three great candidates, but here is my prediction of how I would vote, and how I think it will realistically play out…
My Vote: WINNER- Johnny “Football” Manziel, second- Manti Te’O, third- Collin Klein
How it will turn out: WINNER- Johnny “Football” Manziel, second- Collin Klein, third- Manti Te’O
With the playoffs inching closer and closer, each and every game becomes much more important for each team, here is a re-cap of each game.
Falcons Defeat Saints 23-13: The Falcons defense did enough to stop Drew Brees’ legendary consecutive TD streak at 54. The defense played so well that they also forced Brees into a career high 5 interceptions. This was a big win for the Falcons as they close in on the number 1 seed in the NFC.
Bills Defeat Jaguars 34-18: The Bills win to move to 5-7 on the year and keep their small playoff chances alive. Big day on the ground by Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller.
Seahawks Defeat Bears 23-17: It took the Seahawks an OT period to do it, but they got the job done nonetheless. Russell Wilson threw 2 touchdowns and no interceptions to lead the Hawks by the Bears. The loss puts the Seahawks in great position for a wild card berth, while also taking away the division lead the Bears had over the Packers.
Packers Defeat Vikings 23-14: With this win, the Packers are right back where everyone thought they’d be, the top team in their division. Adrian Petersen had a big day on the ground with over 200 yards, but not enough to provide the Vikes with a W.
Colts Defeat Lions 35-33: What a game this was. The legend of the young Andrew Luck continues. Luck threw a game-winning walk-off TD pass to Donnie Avery to win the game and further prove why there was so much hype about him coming into the year. This makes the Colts now 8-4 on the season, who would have predicted this???
Texans Defeat Titans 24-10: The Texans continue to roll and defeated the Titans by a couple touchdowns. The win secured a playoff spot for the Texans.
Chiefs Defeat Panthers 27-21: In a game some didn’t think would be played, the Chiefs, who were the emotional favorite after the murder-suicide of one of their young linebackers, beat the Panthers. Truly a tragic story. Not much to say, but glad that at least for a little while residents of Kansas City were able to think of something other than the tragedy that just occurred.
Patriots Defeat Dolphins 23-16: The Patriots clinch their 4h straight AFC East title with their win over the Dolphins. The Patriots are known for finishing the second half very strong, and they held true to that by keeping with that trend. They will be a force in the AFC playoffs like they have been for years now.
Rams Defeat 49ers 16-13: In one of the more controversial decisions, Jim Harbaugh decided to give the starting nod to second-year QB Colin Kaepernick over their previous starter Alex Smith. I don’t agree with the move because I don’t think someone should lose their starting position to injury. Not only this but Smith led them to nearly a Super Bowl last year and leads the NFL this year with a 70 percent completion percentage. Regardless, these teams tied the last time and nearly did again. The Rams scored their only TD of the game on a fumble/bad pitch by Kaepernick after Janorris Jenkins scooped it up and fell into the end zone. The 49ers had their shot in OT with David Akers but he missed a field goal, then the Rams drove downfield and trusted their rookie kicker Greg “Legatron” Zeurlein, and he delivered.
Jets Defeat Cardinals 7-6: No highlights for this game. Sanchez threw 3 interceptions and was replaced. Only highlight is that TebowTime may be quickly approaching in New York.
Broncos Defeat Buccaneers 31-23: The strong MVP type year for Peyton Manning continues. Manning threw 3 TD’s and this win helped clinch the AFC West for the second year for the Broncos.
Bengals Defeat Chargers 20-13: The Chargers have done it again! They let a 4th quarter lead go and end up losing the game. Just like so many games before, the Chargers let me down. By the time I went to voice my frustration on twitter, “#FireNorv” and “#FireAJ” were already trending. I wish I could say that I was more optimistic coming into the year. But this is what Charger fans have come to expect under leadership by Norv Turner and AJ Smith. I would be embarrassed to have Norv coach another game. IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE!!
Browns Defeat Raiders 20-17: Unless you are a Browns or Raiders fan you probably didn’t watch or care about this game. Since I am neither, that’s it.
Steelers Defeat Ravens 23-20: In one of the more surprising games of the day, the Steelers went into Baltimore and beat the Ravens without Big Ben, and had their third string QB Charlie Batch play a great game in leading them to the win. A win for the Ravens would have secured a playoff spot. Furthering my point that Joe Flacco IS NOT an elite QB. Regardless of how much Flacco thinks he is.
Cowboys Defeat Eagles 38-33: Romo set the all-time Cowboys TD mark by beating their classic division rival. The Eagles may be the only more disappointing team other than the Chargers and Lions. It appears that Andy Reid’s days are numbered in Philly.
Not a whole lot to comment on with the NBA right now. Playoffs are too far away and no big trades have happened yet. Here are my rankings of the Top 5 in the league right now!
- San Antonio Spurs- Despite putting out a bunch of scrubs on Thursday night against the defending champion Heat, in Miami, they almost won! This just shows how deep and well-coached the Spurs are. They will be a tough out in the playoffs
- Memphis Grizzlies- Another deep team in the same division playing very well. The only reason they aren’t number 1 in my rankings is because they just lost to the Spurs on Saturday. Somehow they lost OJ Mayo and appear to be a much better team. Just like the Spurs, the Grizz will be a tough team to beat in the playoffs this year.
- Miami Heat- The defending champs have played solid to start the year. They have the best player in the game today and should dominate the Eastern conference just like the last couple years.
- Oklahoma City Thunder- They made a big splash to start the season by trading away James Harden when he refused their extension offer. The trade for Kevin Martin is working out well so far and the Thunder have an impressive 14-4 record.
- New York Knicks- Rounding out the top 5 are the Knicks. They have been one of the more surprising teams to date. Without their $20 mill/year star Amare Stoudemire they are off to an impressive 12-4 start. They have beaten several good teams and appear to have finally righted the ship in NY. Melo is playing at an MVP level to start the year.
Out of my top 5, and if I did a top 10 they’d be out of my top 10 is my favorite professional team, the Los Angeles Lakers. I don’t think I have ever been more excited for a season to start than this one. The additions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash put huge expectations on a team that has a “championship or bust” mentality every year regardless. After 17 games the Lakers hold an 8-9 record. This is a record even though the team has had about two-thirds of their games at home to start the year. This is a record though of a Lakers team without their top two point guards in Steve Nash and Steve Blake who are both out with injuries. The tip of the iceberg came last night when they lost to Dwight’s former team, the Orlando Magic, at home. I couldn’t name more than 3 players on the Magic to be honest. Yet, the Lakers let a bunch of no-namers come in and embarrass Lakers fans. Where do they go from here? Sure the offense will be much more efficient once Nash comes back, but it appears to be their defense which is struggling. Do we trade Pau Gasol? One of the top power forwards in the league and great passer? I’ve been a big Pau critic for a while, because I don’t think he plays to his potential a lot of the time. But the trade rumors I hear for him I don’t think make sense. Josh Smith’s name is talked about a lot, he would be an upgrade defensively, but to play the 4 in D’Antoni’s offense when he doesn’t have a consistent jumpshot, I say no. I think it ultimately is up to D’Antoni and Kobe. They need to get the team to play hard each and every night like it’s the championship. A prime example is last Thursday when the Spurs play the Heat without their starting five (Duncan, Ginobli, Parker and Green sent home, and Leonard is still hurt) and nearly won in Miami. That is a team that regardless of who is on the floor gives you everything they have every single night. Who they play doesn’t matter, and I think the Lakers have a bit of cockiness in several of these games they’ve blown. And it has cost them. Only time will tell, but I think they can turn it around!
– Kyle McCarthy
What Happened in Sports This Past Week? Well Let Me Tell You…
– After the Los Angeles Lakers fired Mike Brown, they moved quickly to hire Mike D’Antoni to a three year deal. Previous fans of teams coached by Mike D’Antoni famously removed the “D” from his name, for his lack of coaching on the defensive end. Don’t worry Laker fans — Mike ‘Antoni will coach Wight Howar and the rest of the Lakers in Hollywoo to eliver a ecisive NBA Championship.
– The Knicks came back in the 4th quarter to defeat the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday to remain undefeated at 6-0. After not resigning Jeremy Lin, the Knicks have been playing the best defense in the NBA. Said star Forward Carmelo Anthony, “Once Coach ‘Antoni resigned, we realized there was 26 letters in the alphabet, so from now on you can call me D’Carmelo D’Anthony…It’s been a pleasure playing for the D’New D’York D’Knicks in D’Madison D’Square D’Garden”. I think he’s getting carried away after finding out that “D” is an actual letter.
– The Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays consummated a blockbuster deal that allowed the Marlins to dump over $180 million in contracts. After the trade, there was a huge public uproar over the deal that decimated the Marlins roster…oh wait, there wasn’t? People in Miami didn’t even know the Marlins were a team? Oh, well in that case…Go Heat? Oh..Miami residents didn’t know that the Heat season started either? They must still be at the beach or watching the new season of Dexter.
– As many as four Quarterbacks suffered concussions this past week in the NFL, including Mike Vick and Jay Cutler, who will not be able to play this week. The only fans really disappointed by this outcome are the Fantasy Football Owners who had circled this date on their calendar because their Defenses was going against Vick and Cutler.
-The San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams tied 24-24 for the first tie game in the NFL since 2008. Once the clock hit 0:00 in overtime and the teams and fans started to exit, a fan came running onto the field with a microphone yelling, “WHERE IS EVERYONE GOING? THE GAME ISN’T OVER! FOOTBALL CAN’T END IN A TIE!” It was actually Donovan McNabb who had been admitted to an insane asylum after having a mental breakdown over his last tie four years ago.
– The #1 team in the Nation, Alabama, was upset by Texas A&M on Saturday. Texas A&M was led to victory by Freshman phenom quarterback “Johnny Football”. Wow, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Football, got really lucky that they named him that and he played Football. It would’ve been really awkward if Johnny Football played Cricket or Bat-mitten. Crisis Averted!
– Miguel Cabrera won the AL MVP after receiving 22 of 27 first place votes to defeat Rookie of the Year Mike Trout. Cabrera won in large part due to becoming the first hitter since 1978 to win the Triple Crown. At his press conference to accept the MVP, Cabrera wore three crowns and said, “As King of the American League and Ruler of the three realms of Batting Average, Runs Batted In and Home Runs, I demand that you all bow to me at once!”. After slamming his mace into the ground, National League MVP Buster Posey busted the door down and stabbed Cabrera with the World Series Trophy. It was a bloody day for the King of the American League, but the rightful heir to the Realms stood over the bloody corpse of the Triple Crown Winner and showed his supremacy.
– Lance Cartelli
Well, that was fast. It only took one death stare and 5 games into the regular season for the Los Angeles Lakers to fire their Head Coach Mike Brown. As you all know, the Lakers won the offseason with trades for perennial All-Stars Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. They improved the depth on their bench with signings of Sixth Man Antawn Jamison and three-point specialist Jodie Meeks. Installed the new “Princeton” offense, veering away from the Triangle Offense that has brought the Lakers six championships. But winning the Offseason Championship doesn’t win you games, the Lakers and Mike Brown have gone 2-16 since the start of the Oklahoma City Thunder series in the Playoffs last year (including Preseason) and a change was made.
The Lakers have seen a team stacked with potential Hall-of-Famers fail before (2003-2004 Lakers when they brought on board Gary “The Glove” Payton and Karl “Mailman” Malone), so the Lakers Management (mainly the Buss’s) gave Brown the quick hook and are now in search of a coach that can lead this team to a Championship, not a promising start for the season that looked so bright just five games ago. There will be a long line of coaches interested in the coveted Lakers coaching position, but who should take over?
- Mike D’Antoni – The former Phoenix Sun and New York Knick Head Coach resigned from the Knicks last year and has been out of coaching since. D’Antoni would bring instant offense to a team that is built to run up and down the court. D’Antoni coached Lakers Point Guard Steve Nash during his MVP run and the offense would clearly run through him. D’Antoni mainly focuses on offense and his prior teams have lacked on the defensive side of the ball, not good when you need to stop the Thunder, Spurs, Clippers, and potentially the Heat in the Playoffs. Also, D’Antoni just underwent knee surgery that will keep him off his feet for the next six weeks, but that may not stop him from accepting the position if offered. Verdict: The Lakers would be one of the most fun teams to watch on offense, but would be maddening on defense and not a team that could compete with the more athletic teams defensively in the playoffs.
- Brian Shaw – The former reserve Guard with the Championship Lakers in their first three-peat under Phil Jackson and former Assistant Coach with Jackson, Shaw is a player favorite with the LA Diva Kobe Bryant and would re-install the Triangle Offense that Phil employed. Bryant was upset when Shaw wasn’t under consideration to take over for Phil Jackson after he retired, because the Buss family wanted to steer away from Jackson’s legacy and the Triangle Offense. We saw how that worked out. Verdict: Would be a great fit for the Lakers, but the Buss family doesn’t seem to want to go back in that direction.
- Jerry Sloan – The Hall-of-Fame Coach has been out of Basketball since resigning from the Utah Jazz in 2011. Sloan would bring a gritty toughness that former Jazz teams always exhibited, and would run a deadly pick & roll with Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, and Pau Gasol. Nash would be his John Stockton and Howard/Gasol would be his Karl Malone. An extremely dangerous team on offense and Sloan would make sure the Defense is up to par as well. Sloan has been out of coaching waiting for an opportunity like this and doesn’t want his storied career to end with a feud with Deron Williams and resigning from the Jazz. Verdict: I think he would be the ideal coaching candidate to utilize the talents the Lakers have on offense and to take this Defense to the next level, will it happen?
- Phil Jackson – You know he had to be brought up for consideration. You have to think the Lakers are faxing (do people still fax?) over a blank check for Phil to name his price to return to coaching Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. He still has a great relationship with the players and a relationship (hehe) with Jeannie Buss. The question is does Jackson still have the desire to coach, he’s already the greatest basketball coach of all-time, does he really want to come back? Verdict: I think if all other options are exhausted the Lakers would be willing to pay the man whatever he wants. The only problem is the Buss family (again) wants to take this team in a new direction away from Jackson’s philosophy.
No matter who the Lakers choose to replace Mike Brown, it will be a daunting task that not every coach is up for. The bright lights of Hollywood and Showtime, we know Phil Jackson could do it, but can any of the other coaches? D’Antoni faded away in the spotlight with the New York Knicks, Brian Shaw has never been a Head Coach on such a big stage, and Sloan has been tucked away in Utah for over 20 years. There are still 77 games to get this team right, but can they do it?
– Lance Cartelli