My column that appeared in my hometown newspaper, today.
My goodness. Where do I start? There is so much to talk about regarding Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Do I start with the outcome of the game? Do I start with the play of LeBron James? Or do I start with talking about my admiration for the man I call, class personified, Tim Duncan?
What a game. What a series. As most of you know, I am very vocal about my overall dislike of the NBA. I do not find the quality of play to be as good as it used to be. I think players are a lot more selfish than before. I also think the game is a bit boring at times. However, if I can get the quality of play in the regular season that I see in the playoffs, I would be glued to the tv almost every night. This NBA Finals series was full of everything you could want. Suspense. Drama. Buzzer beaters. Blowouts. Wow moments. Runs. Things that make you go hmmm.
So after Lady Luck helped the Miami Heat escape Game 6 with a win, everybody knew that in order for the Heat to have a chance to win the championship, both James and Dwayne Wade would have to have huge games. Apparently James likes Games 7’s since he is averaging over 31 points per game in them and he did not disappoint last night. Did he ball out or what? He hit 12 of 23 shots for 37 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and had four assists. Oh and he sealed the deal for Miami by hitting a jumper with less than 20 seconds left that put the heat up by four. Unfortunately, for San Antonio there would be no miraculous comeback reminiscent of the Heat’s game 6 turnaround. In a game, that in the mind of many was make or break for the legacy of James, James proved to all his doubters why he was crowned King James many years ago. This was a big time performance by a big time player on the NBA’s biggest stage. Unfortunately, it might not do much to quiet the naysayers but hey as James said, “he ain’t got no worries.” Carry on.
Now as much as I want to be thrilled for James, I can not help but be sad for Tim Duncan. What a class act. With less than 40 seconds left, Duncan had a chance to tie the game, add another line to his already extensive and impressive resume and quite possibly get San Antonio one step closer to another NBA Championship. However, it was not meant to be. Duncan missed a bank shot, that he normally makes 99% of the time. To make matters worse, he rebounded the ball and could not get his follow up shot to fall. Afterwards, in a surprising display of emotion as he was getting back on defense, Duncan slapped the court in a moment of frustration. In that moment, the respect I have for Duncan rose another notch. He is always the source of jokes for his lack of emotion. We have all seen Duncan go out and score 30 plus points on numerous occasions. We have seen him dunk on players. We have seen him win games at the buzzer and very rarely do we see him display any type of excitement regarding what he just did. Typically, he will just turn around and run back down the court. No bells and whistles when it comes to him. So to see him that upset just proves to all who were watching that he is serious about his craft. He should be. He is arguably the best power forward to ever grace an NBA court and according to him, he still has gas left int he tank. Duncan will be back in uniform next season. Can not wait to see what season number 18 has in store for him.
So there you have it. Another NBA season has come to an end. All we have now are hockey(the Stanley Cup Finals are amaze this year, as usual), baseball(neither of my favorite players, Josh Hamilton and Matt Kemp, are having good years) and Wimbledon. At least it is summer time!!! Get out and enjoy this beautiful weather.
Before I leave, I must give a shoutout to my boy, my friend, CJ McBath. He is McDonald’s newest star and his commercial aired during the game last night. Do you all understand how huge that is to have your commercial air during the NBA Finals?? Game 7 at that. I am so proud of him and the people at the restaurant thought I was crazy when his face flashed up on the screen. Ask me if I cared?? CJ is more than a friend, he is family and when anyone in my family has a cause for celebration, I am right there to celebrate too. So cheers to you Snook!! Hahaha! #FamTite
Until next time….TOODELLS.
Yep, I am still dragging. I have made peace, for the most part with my 9ers losing. I am still somewhat avoiding ESPN. You do not realize how much they talk about the SuperBowl after the fact until your team loses. And if that “I’m going to Disney World” commercial chases me down one more time, I am going to scream. Thankfully, I have had the remote near by every time and I have managed to avoid hearing those words.
Since I have made peace, I am sure you are wondering why I am still dragging. Football season is now officially over. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! Say it ain’t so!!!! What am I going to do?? No Olympics coming up to keep me occupied during the summer months. I do love college basketball and baseball though so I guess I will immerse myself in those. Although, my Wolfpack is not doing so well. *insert sigh* I have faith in them though! We will bounce back.
Last night there was not much to watch on tv, as usual. However, March Madness came early. I managed to catch the last nine minutes of the Michigan-Ohio State game. That was good stuff!! The back and forth. The barrage of threes. The defense. Overtime. Last second shots. Two of the biggest rivals in collegiate athletics. You could not ask for much more on a Tuesday night. Although, I am sad about football season being over, last night’s game was a great reminder of why I love March Madness. If last night’s game is any indication of what is to come in March then we are in for a treat.
Yeah, that is all I have for today. Until next time, TOODELLS!
Approximately 23 weeks until NFL Training Camps open!!!!!
Hey! Hey! Hey!! Welp, I did not like the way I structured The Weekender last week so I am back to my old format. Here we go!
All it took was three days for “The Lake Show” to implode. They fried Coach Mike Brown on Friday, let rumors swirl that Phil Jackson was coming back then announced the hiring of Mike D’Antoni this morning. I have no words.
The Falcons fell from the ranks of the unbeaten. Mercury Morris popped open another bottle of champagne.
My 9ers tied the Rams, 24-24. Yes, I said TIED!
Texas A&M went into Tuscaloosa and ended(maybe) Bama’s hopes of repeating as national champs. The legend of Johnny Football continues to grow.
The college basketball season kicked off on Friday. Watch out for the Wolfpack!!
Kansas State & Oregon are now 1-2 in the BCS standings. I want Oregon to play for the championship because I know their uniforms for the championship game are going to be tiiiiiiiiiiight.
It was announced this morning that Lance Armstrong resigned from the Livestrong Board of Directors on November 4. Even though I understand why he did it, I wish he had not and I hope he can now live in peace.
Antron Brown made history this weekend becoming the first African-American to win a major racing title. You may now refer to him as Antron Brown, NHRA Top Fuel Champion. Respect.
Three stating QB’s left the game yesterday with concussions: the 9ers Alex Smith, the Bears Jay Cutler and the Eagles Michael Vick. Prayers going up for all.
Brad Keselowski held onto his first place spot in The Chase for the Cup. He can clinch the cup next week with a finish of 15 or better but that was nothing compared to what happened off the track…
Four time champion Jeff Gordon intentionally caused a wreck with Clint Bowyer…then the pit crews threw down on pit row. Wildness!!
The Texans marched into Soldier Field and punched the Bears in the mouth, in the rain. As Roland Martin likes to say, #BullsOnParade.
It has been reported that the maximum number of years the Texas Rangers will offer Josh Hamilton is three. Looks like Hambone will be playing somewhere else.
Former Washington State receiver Marques Wilson quit the team on Saturday after alleged abuse by Coach Mike Leach and his staff. Why do I feel like I have heard this story before?
The Panthers lost to the Broncos. The Panthers O-line were the biggest losers, allowing Cam Newton to get sacked seven times.
My Wolfpack is bowl eligible. I hope we do not get a “cold” bowl!!
Until next time….TOODELLS.
Oh! What a weekend!!! Here is your rekap…
HOW BOUT THAT WOLFPACK?!?! Taking down the #3 team in the country. I am not big on rankings but hey beating the #3 team on a Saturday night on primetime TV is always gonna be BIG! Not sure why many did not expect the game to be close. I guess those folks have not paid attention to the PACK-fsu games over the last 10 years. After running 20 miles that morning, spending Saturday night at The Carter was the perfect ending to my day. REDANDWHITEFORLIFE.
Boston Red Sox fired Bobby Valentine as their manager after only one season. I guess Cupid missed on this one.
Matt Cassel, QB for the Kansas City Chiefs, got injured in their game against the Baltimore Ravens. The fans cheered. That is never cool. The fact that it happened at home is sickening.
The Colts battled back from an 18 point deficit to beat the Packers in their first game since learning of Coach Pagano’s cancer diagnosis. Reggie Wayne had a mind boggling 212 receiving yards.
Nine top 25 teams lost this weekend including #3 Florida State, #4 LSU and #5 Georgia. Crazy football weekend.
The Texas Rangers, the two time defending American League champs, were ousted from the playoffs on Friday night by the Orioles. *insert sad face*
The Falcons improved to 5-0. Now watch them mess around and lose next week to the Raiders.
Terry Francona was named the new manager for the Cleveland Indians. The recycling continues.
The NBA preseason has started. Um, yay.
Matt Kenseth won at Talledega. Brad Keselowski increased his lead in The Chase.
Nothing changed in the NHL. Still frozen.
My 9ers beat the Bills 45-3. Poor Bills, punching bags of the NFL right now.
Drew Brees threw a touchdown in his 48th straight game, breaking a 52 year old record set by Johnny Unitas. Oh and the Saints finally won a game.
Geno Smith and the West Va. Mountaineers won a shootout versus Texas 48-45. Smith continued his Heisman campaign passing for 268 yards.
Until next time….TOODELLS.
I present to you my 12 favorite athletes of ALL-TIME, in no particular order…
1. Ken Griffey, Jr~~I can admit, I was a little obsessed with Junior back in the day. I have a Griffey pennant on my wall(at my mom’s). The first pair of hi-tops I ever bought were the original Griffeys. I had a VHS tape full of his highlights and Home Run Derbys. I would watch SportsCenter over and over just to see Junior. And I still stand by a statement I made a couple of weeks ago: the man has the prettiest swing. EVER.
2. Jerry Rice~~This should come as no surprise. When you think of the 9ers, you have to think of Jerry. The man holds bookoo(is that how you spell it?) records: most TDs scored with 208, most career TD receptions with 197, most career receptions with 1549, most career receiving yards with 22,895 and the list goes on. Add to that three Super Bowl rings, a Super Bowl MVP, Offensive player of the year honors, numerous pro bowl selections, a spot in Canton and you have the G.O.A.T.
3. David Thompson~~Man oh man. How I wish I was alive to see him play. Or how I wish he was playing when I was around :-}. The stories I have heard about Skywalker are just mind boggling. His athleticism, precision, vertical abilities and sheer domination are reasons enough to You Tube him. Need more convincing, Google David Thompson blocks Bill Walton. If you do not have Skywalker in your list when it comes to college basketball’s G.O.A.T. then you really do not know roundball at all. And if you have Michael Jordan on that list and not DT, then you have LACK credibility. It is that simple. GO PACK!
4. Kristi Yamaguchi~~You would have thought I was dreaming of being a figure skater as much as I loved to watch Kristi skate. Her routines were flawless!! She was flawless! And her last name was flawless!
5. Michael Johnson~~I have been a track and field fan since I was a tiny tot. Loved participating. Loved watching. And I loooooooooved watching Michael Johnson obliterate the competition every chance he got especially in the ’96 Olympics. Other than Namath claiming a Super Bowl win, I have never seen a more bold proclamation than when Michael Johnson stepped onto the track in Atlanta in gold spikes. His then record-breaking 200m run is still my favorite Olympic moment.
6. Josh Hamilton~~If you have been around me the last few years then you know how I feel about Josh Hamilton. God-given extraordinary abilities, #1 pick out of high school, develops a bad drug habit, suspended from baseball numerous times, during a “high” moment stumbles into his grandmother’s house, she welcomes him in, he tries to go to sleep in her spare room, notices a Bible, flips through it until his eyes land on James 4:7, decides to dedicate his life to Christ, gets sober, gets back into baseball, finds a home with the Texas Rangers, sets a record in the 2008 HR Derby with 28 homers in the first round, 2010 AL MVP and is still adding to his resume. And his explanation for it all, “It’s a God thing.” Now do you understand why he’s one of my faves? Btw, if you have not read his book, Beyond Belief, do so!! Life changer.
7. Steve Young~~Yes, I love me some Joe Cool. However, Steve Young was my guy in the 90s. Dude was smooooooove, calm, cool and collected. Could scramble, throw on the run and was not afraid to talk a little trash. Plus he had that curly hair. My man.
8. Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway~~Talk about a throwback. Just like I was with Griffey, I was a little obsessed with Penny. I did not have highlight tapes but I did have his name plastered all over my wall and I used to record Lil Penny commercials. If only those injuries had not plagued him…
9. Gail Devers~~This was my girl!! That hair! That speed! Those nails!!
10. Russell Wilson~~Gamer. Baller. Professional. Hardworker. Resilient. Determined. Playmaker. Gamechanger. Anklebreaker. Humble. Kind. Leader. Wolfpacker for life.
11. Vince Carter~~I know. I know. Feelin a little bit like a traitor. He is a smerf but even I have to be honest when it comes to VC. Between ’99-’06, there was no baller player I enjoyed watching more than Vince. His athletic ability was like other worldly. Once he truly developed his game to go along with his athletic prowess, dude was nearly unstoppable. That 2000 dunk contest?! Best. Ever.
12. Peyton Manning~~Now normally, I would make the smerf LAST on my list but I can not let a smerf occupy my favorite number. I am sure ya’ll were wondering where #18 was. Do I even need to explain why he is on the list?
Until next time…TOODELLS.
Aw man, the weekend is over. Five days until the next one!! And your weekend rekap is as follows….
The Cincinnati Reds clinched the NL central title. Hip Hop Hooray!
Taylor Heinicke, QB for Old Dominion University, passed for 730 yards in a 64-61 win against New Hampshire. So this season we have had a QB pass for 736 yards(all-time divisions record) and another pass for 730 yards(Division-I record). That is crazy and deserving of more than three sentences.
Gio Gonzalez is the first pitcher to reach the 20 win mark this year. #Natitude
Arkansas lost to Rutgers. It is amazing what a motorcycle ride will do to your program.
The Saints are 0-3 and the Cardinals are 3-0. No, that is not a typo.
Chris Paul revealed that his preference was the Clippers over the Lakers. Oh and he is still upset about Pau Gasol “sonning” him.
According to my mother, the cowgirlies won(I refuse to call them by their government name until they win 10 games) and the 9ers lost. Unfortunately, she is right.
22 year vet, Jim Thome, doubled in the go-ahead run in the Baltimore Orioles win against the Boston Rex Sox. The Orioles remain one game behind the New York Yankees in the AL East.
Jamaal Charles rushed for 233 yards and had 55 receiving yards. So glad he is on my fantasy team. *fist pump*
Oregon leaped over LSU to take the number two spot in the AP Poll. They remain number one in the gameday apparel poll.
After predicting a victory, Denny Hamlin made good on his promise winning in New Hampshire. Jimmie Johnson is now The Chase leader.
The NFLPA sent an open letter to the NFL owners asking them to reach an agreement with the locked out officials. Both sides met this weekend and the owners are still locked into their position.
The Texas Rangers defeated the Mariners 3-2. They maintained their four game lead over the A’s in the AL West.
Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 43 yard field goal as time expired to lift the Raiders to a 34-31 victory over the Steelers. No one lifted the 6’1, 258lb kicker during the post game celebration.
St. John’s men’s basketball coach Steve Lavin is eager to get back on the hardwood after missing most of last season recuperating from prostate cancer. Cheers to a great season Coach!
FSU defeated Clemson 49-37 on the backs for strong performances by EJ Manuel and Chris Thompson. Speaking of backs, Thompson broke his last year….
Stephon Marbury voiced his opinion saying he does not think Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire are a good fit for the Knicks. When was the last time Marbury’s opinion was relevant?
Bill Gillespie resigned as men’s basketball coach at Texas Tech, citing health issues. Sooooo, that NCAA investigation had nothing to do with it????
The Wolfpack won!! Whoop!
So much to say about the Ravens-Patriots game. The courage and perseverance that Torrey Smith displayed despite learning of the death of his youngesr brother was truly inspiring. He had six catches for 127 yards and two TDs. The game ended with the Ravens Justin Tucker kicking a 27 yard FG that came as close to the upright as I have ever seen. Bill Belichick thought the field goal was no good, chased down a ref, grabbed him then sucked his teeth throughout his press conference. Too funny.
Until next time…TOODELLS.