‘Speak On It’ is a collection of random rants, thoughts, and commentary. Read on…
Reportedly, Michael Jordan is considering Patrick Ewing as his next head coach. More of the blind leading the blind. For the record, in no way am I against Ewing being considered as a head coaching candidate for any position. My issue is with Jordan continuing to seek out ‘yes-men’ for his organization. Am I saying Ewing is automatically going to be some pushover? Yes, actually, I am. Ewing and Jordan have been friends for years. They played in the league during the same era, with Jordan’s Bulls coming out victoriously in literally every single big moment/game against Ewing’s New York Knicks. I mean, seriously, after Jordan did this:
can Ewing ever truly be the same? Alright, jokes aside, no matter what coach Jordan goes with, the real problem lies within Jordan, himself. The ultra-competitive drive and desire that fueled his legendary career is precisely what is plaguing him in the front office. While playing on the court, he could either use supreme skill to beat you, or simply ‘will’ himself to victory when not having the best of performances. Trouble is, #23 is not walking through that door (in terms of playing on the court) anytime soon.
Hell, the BobKittens would even take the older (slower) ‘Ground’ Jordan version on MJ from his Washington years. Gerald Henderson is arguably Jordan’s best player. Henderson’s PER () was 14. Just for reference, that is a rating that would rank him 172nd in the league. Yes, for the slower folks in the back of the room (no judging, just showing some love), that means there are 171 players with a better PER than Jordan’s best and most consistent player. That’s a problem, party people. Think I’m piling on Jordan? This is a man that not only selected Player Efficiency RankingKwame Brown with the 1st overall pick in the 2001 draft (Washington Wizards), but followed it up with selections of Raymond Felton (5th), Adam Morrison (3rd), Brandon Wright (8th)…among other highly questionable roster moves.
Look, it’s Jordan’s money, name, and reputation on the line, so no one can actually tell him what to do. I’m just saying, Sir Jordan may want to look up the clinical definition of ‘insanity’. Continuing to solely trust his instincts may have worked on the court, but repeatedly ramming your head against a brick wall with the expectation of varying result is just plain foolish.
‘Speak On It’ with Jabari A. Davis – weekly podcast coming in June. The podcast will feature opinions/thoughts/reactions to the NBA, NFL, College Athletics, Boxing, and even a bit of social commentary when news or events catch my attention.
Jabari A. Davis
@RealTalkOnSprts on Twitter
By this point, if you haven’t been exposed to the LinSanity, then I simply can’t help you. No need to rehash the compelling background and path every sports writer/blogger has already done 10x’s over. We’ve seen the New York Knicks win 7-consecutive games with Lin playing big minutes, and Lin has already proven to be a viable ‘international star’. Sounds crazy (after only 7 games), but that is the reality. Knicks fans, NBA fans, Asians, Asian Americans, anyone that loves a ‘Great American Underdog Story’…the world has taken notice of this young man’s exploits. All of the acclaim made me take a moment and reconsider Kobe‘s (now infamous) comments on Lin:
“I know who he is, but I don’t really know what’s going on too much with him,” said Bryant of the Chinese-American phenomenon. “I don’t even know what he’s done. Like, I have no idea what you guys are talking about. I’ll take a look at it tonight though.”
Asked about “LinSanity” and “Lin-ning”: “I don’t even know what the [fudge] is going on. What the [fudge] is going on? Who is this kid? I’ve heard about him and stuff like that, but what’s he been doing? Is he getting like triple doubles or some [stuff]? He’s averaging 28 and eight? No [stuff]…If he’s playing well, I’ll just have to deal with him.”
After Lin guided his Knicks to a victory over Kobe’s Lakers, plenty of folks (myself included) were left muttering, tweeting, texting “Hey Kobe, do you know who Jeremy Lin is, NOW?!?” Great for a laugh, but probably no more true at that point than before. Reason being, even though Kobe’s ultra-competitiveness would never permit him to acknowledge it, Jeremy Lin is definitely on Kobe’s radar…but not for anything to do with that Knicks victory. Once upon a time, Kobe was the NBA’s darling. McDonald’s, Sprite, and a line of other companies were falling over one another to have Kobe “pimp” their product. After his fall from grace, and subsequential loss of his major sponsors, ‘Team Kobe’ went into overdrive while carefully and meticulously reshaping his public image. Nike, whom Kobe signed with just 2 weeks prior to the Eagle, Co. incident, weathered the storm and opened the door to China for Kobe.
Even with national pride generated by Yao Ming playing well, Kobe has dominated the hearts of China for years. He’s made countless appearances, conducted Nike-endorsed basketball camps, and played in Nike-sponsored basketball exhibitions all over China. Kobe’s ‘Global Brand’ was never more evident than during the 2008 Summer Olympics (held in Bejing, China), where on a team chalked full of names like LeBron, Cp3, Melo, DWade, Kobe’s ovations from the Chinese crowds nearly dwarfed those of the other NBA stars (almost combined).
As competitive, prepared, and as calculated as Kobe is, do you really think Lin isn’t on his radar? Whatever you think of Kobe, a ‘fool’ is not something you can rightfully call him. In fact, when it comes to mental prowess and ‘mind game’ efficiency, you can place Kobe right alongside Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, and maybe Larry Bird as the unofficial ‘Mount Rushmore’ of basketball ‘mind games’. Kobe realizes his ‘star’ is fading, but much like Michael Jordan (before him), Kobe already has his post-career image and ‘brand’ in mind. It isn’t that he is “jealous” of Lin, rather he is smart enough to see how a 6’3″ combo guard playing beneath the brightest lights in the land (MSG) has definite potential to resonate with Asian and Asian-American fans more than a 7’6″ big man playing in Houston. Quite frankly, people relate to guards more than centers, because it is much less of a stretch.
Only time will tell just how radiant Lin’s ‘stardom’ will ultimately be. As is, he’s already grabbed the attention of basketball fans around the globe. How long, before he begins wrestling their ‘hearts’ away from this current crop of NBA Superstars?
Jabari A. Davis
@RealTalkOnSprts on Twitter
LeBron must have felt like it was coming at him from all angles, as two very different individuals came forth with some real talk about his personality and (most indicting) about his game. Kendrick Perkins, which should come to no surprise, finally responded (publicly) to LeBron’s tweets about the Blake Griffin dunk . LeBron, in case you forgot, responded to the Griffin/Perkins dunk with this tweet:
“Dunk of the Year!! @blakegriffin just dunked on Kendrick Perkins so hard!! Wow!! I guess I’m #2 now. Move over #6.”
That patented ‘Perkins Scowl’ must have been at playoff-level heights as he uttered these words about James:
“You don’t see Kobe tweeting,” Perkins said. “You don’t see Michael Jordan tweeting. If you’re an elite player, plays like that don’t excite you. At the end of the day, the guys who are playing for the right reasons who are trying to win championships are not worrying about one play. They also are not tweeting about themselves talking about going down to No. 2. I just feel (James) is always looking for attention and he wants the world to like him.”
Sounds like Perk isn’t ready to let his dislike for LeBron go, whether in a Celtics uni or not. Some would chalk Perkins’ disdain for LeBron up to competitive vigor, or maybe even a simply a case of contrasting personalities. Although, I do think some of Perkins’ anger stems from a natural sense of embarrassment that would come from being ‘posterized’ like that, I do think Perkins has some valid points on LeBron. Larry Bird, however, nailed it right on the head in this video:
LeBron is the most freakishly gifted player I’ve ever witnessed on the basketball court. As a proud, lifelong Lakers fan, it almost pains me to say that, but it is true. Anyone arguing otherwise, is simply permitting their “fanaticism” get the better of them. No one can question LeBron’s skill, but Larry Legend manages to question his “will” in a very polite and matter-of-fact manner. By his response, it’s evident that he’s given the subject a great deal of deliberation, and Bird encapsulated the opinions on so many basketball fans, historians, and ex-players. If LeBron were to ever “take his talents” and gifts as seriously as he takes himself, the league wouldn’t have an answer for him. Bird, like so many of the ‘All-Time Greats‘, values winning over anything else. He appreciates LeBron’s incredible physical capabilities, but (like us) seems to wonder if James will ever focus on winning above all else?
Jabari A. Davis
RealTalkOnSprts on Twitter
NBARealTalk on Facebook
Once Blake Griffin dunked on Kendrick Perkins‘ entire family tree, I figured this would be the perfect time to revisit some of the nastiest in-game dunks ever. Check them out, and vote on which was best:
This was a preseason game, but the Kobe broke his man’s ankles at the top of the key before unloading all over Ben Wallace. Wallace, for the record, did have a bit of revenge in the 2004 Finals…but we won’t go there.
We’ve all seen it at least 100 x’s before, but Jordan’s baseline dunk will always be mentioned in terms of the greatest ever. The sheer force by which Jordan threw it down is only upstaged by the fact that if you watch closely, you can actually see Ewing in great position to make a play on the ball, but Jordan’s ladder simply extended to another level. Commentator said it all.
I really hope Patrick Ewing (or a member of his family) doesn’t happen to click on this post, because it doesn’t look good for him thus far. Ok, where to begin…I don’t know what’s worse… the fact that Pippen pushes Ewing on his way down (after the THUNDEROUS dunk), or the fact that he walks over him while giving him the D’Angelo ‘How Does it FEEEEEL’ pose?
Not bad, and one of many from the Diesel. I’m always partial to this one, because of how much contempt Shaq had for ‘The Admiral’.
I can appreciate this one simply for the fact that BDiddy chose to show off the fact that a man with a gut just did that to you. BD: “Yeah, AK-47! Look at all that belly that just dunked on” Kirelenko: “NIET! I will not ” Yes, after that dunk, Kirelenko’s ‘sadface’ was actually audible.
This may have been the very moment LeBron decided to leave Cleveland.
Mr. Wade, if you dish it out…you have to be able to RECEIVE!
The commentator asked Goran Dragic “WHAT are you DOING?!?”…and I still want to know. I give the kid credit for trying to challenge…but come on bruh. You know where your ladder goes, and it obviously isn’t the same as Mr. Rose.
Old Man Bryant still had a little bit of spring left for Okafor.
Kenny Smith can’t even get his point out without laughing about it. GAWD, I miss those old Suns vs. Lakers battles. don’t miss Smush at the point, though. Neither does Kobe.
Why did Shawn Kemp have to do that old man like that?
Larry Legend took it to the chin on this one. I could make an entire post with just Human Highlight clips. Folks often forget to mention his name when discussing the 80′s greats.
May as well finish it off with Perkins getting Ginger Snapped.