Final thoughts on Miami/LeBron/Dirk

So today, I was going to get allergy tested to purchase a new dog [yes, this ties in].   For people with severe pet allergies, there is a breed of dog called the American Hairless Terrier which many find tolerable.   However, the breed is pretty rare, and to test, you basically just play with one for five hours.

Well the nearest person to test with was about a three hour drive away, so I spent six hours in the car.  Three in the morning, three in the afternoon/early evening.   Over that time period, I listened to ESPN's national radio for about six hours which encompassed maybe five different shows.   Everyone was talking about LeBron and the Heat.

Most of the conversation struck me as completely asinine.


Winner of the dumbest thing said in six hours was Brian Kenny

This guy seriously said the Heat have to trade LeBron.   Look, the assertion that any team would have to trade LeBron while he's locked in for another four or five years because they lost in game six of the NBA finals in the first year he was on the team has to be one of the dumbest thoughts ever thunk.

This doesn't mean they can't trade LeBron, or that under the right circumstances, it might help them to trade LeBron, but to think they have to trade him is patently ridiculous.

The Miami Heat are the favorites to win the title next year.   Seriously, outside of the Bulls, I doubt there is a team in the NBA that has a chance to stop them.   The East looks far weaker as there is no juggernaut on the rise, and most of the powers outside of Chicago are falling. 

The Thunder are the only up and coming team out west.   The Lakers lost a bunch of times with Shaq and Kobe before breaking through and winning three.  The Bulls lost with Jordan and Pippen plenty before winning a title.   There's no need for the Heat to do anything except realize they still have the most talent in the NBA and almost won the championship this year.

However, I haven't even touched on what made his comment so stupid.   The stupidity came around the packages he came up with to trade LeBron for.   His killer deal for the Heat?   Raymond Felton + Nene in a sign and trade.

Really?   You're trading LeBron for two guys who might not be in the top 50 players in the NBA?   That's the best you can get?   And you say this over and over and over again as if repeating it will somehow make it make any sense?

Seriously, you're Orlando.  Dwight Howard basically says win the title next season or I'm out of here.   You can Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson for Mike Miller and LeBron James.   Would you possibly say no to that?   LeBron is locked up for three more seasons, so you know you have someone to put butts in seats for at least that long.

Plus, you have the best player in the league, which isn't so bad.   For Miami, you now have the most fearsome team in the NBA, and your parts mesh 10x as well as last season.   Dwight Howard gets to win his ring, and stay in a warm weather climate.  Win for everyone except LeBron who's now pissed off that he's in Orlando not winning rings again.

Still, if you're going to trade LeBron, which you probably aren't going to do, because you probably win the title next year anyway, Dwight Howard is the floor of what you ask for, because there's no player in the league that's untouchable for straight up trade for LeBron James.

LeBron's quote about people going back to their lives and being happy he lost makes me bipolar

Ultimately, LeBron was basically just saying "Nyah Nyah Nyah, my life is all bad ass compared to your crappy life anyway" towards the people who hate him.   Honestly, I'd hate to be LeBron, so I don't even agree with his sentiment.

However, it's fairly symbolic of why we think the guy's an asshat, even if I can't blame him for wanting to thumb his nose up at a bunch of people who hate his guys anyway.. I'm not going out of my way to compliment a ton of people who want to do nothing but rip on me either.  

So in that sense I get it, and while I don't think it was a particularly bright thing to say.  I think it was an honest thing, and I hate the fact we rip on guys for being honest just because the honesty shows them off as selfish pricks.  We hate the cliches but can't handle truth.

The LeBron stinks stuff, really going too far

I don't like the guy, and he just wet the bed in the finals, but he's still one of the greatest players of all time.   He's still absurdly likely to win multiple championships, and despite coming up small in these finals, he helped carry the team through the first three rounds.

LeBron may or may not ever add a post game.  He may or may  not ever get considerably better at shooting, but he's still one fo the most elite players ever.   We're all drooling over Dirk Nowitzki right now, and Dirk's reputation of choking prior to this moment vastly exceeds where LeBron is right now.

It's fun to pile on right now, because we don't like the guy and he just lost.   However, make no mistake that LeBron is probably going to get a title soon and probably more than one.

I'm as psyched as the next guy that he lost, but I'll still be more scared of the Heat than any other team in the league next season.

Is Dirk the greatest Power Forward of all time?

On the surface, the question sounds ridiculous.    However, bring up the top PFs of all time list, and you'll quickly find that it's not so ridiculous.

If we count Tim Duncan as a PF, then he wins easily, but let's for a moment count Tim Duncan as a center where he played for much of his career.   If you do that, then who's left?

Karl Malone?   Couldn't win a ring as the best player on his team.
Charles Barkley?   Ditto.
Kevin McHale?   Always a second fiddle to Bird in that pecking order.
Kevin Garnett?   He needed teammates to carry the clutch load for him.

Dirk? 

He's now won a finals MVP by bringing home the championship on a team who's second best offensive player is Jason Terry.     To do so, he led his team through the 2nd best team not seeded in the top four, a sweep over the two time defending championship Lakers, one of the best up and coming teams in the Thunder, and the most stacked team in terms of individual talent in the league (and perhaps a generation).

Not only did the Mavs just slice through one of the toughest brackets ever to be sliced through, but they did so with one superstar and a supporting cast.   He Hakeem'd it.   Dirk with quality role players won the title.  

Simply amazing.

The difficulty of the task is so immense that it simply catapults him up the all-time greats list very quickly. 

Duncan is still ahead if he counts as a PF, but I don't know that ringless Barkley or Malone can be without winning a ring and playing with considerable talent.   Dirk's individual accolades have been high enough to put him up with those guys for awhile.

Now he has the hardware they lack.

Why does everyone keep saying Dirk will be in his prime a few more season?

Really?   He's 33 in six days.   I'm not saying the guy is done, but he's clearly on the way down in terms of physical abilities.  It doesn't mean he can't have a few more great seasons, but he's definitely already peaked in terms of what he can do individually.

Or maybe I'm just nuts in thinking that.   I would never look at a guy who's 33 in the NBA and go "he's in his prime" though.   Dirk's style of play should hold up well unless he gets back problems or some other issue that forces his play down.

He relies less on athleticism than just about any star in the league though, so he should play well for another three or four seasons.

Final thoughts

A great year in the NBA, one of my favorites in a long, long time.   Both for the outcome and the revival of the Chicago Bulls.  

I think the league needs to be careful now, they gained a lot of momentum with this season, and the lockout could take it all away.

Comments

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  • "His killer deal for the Heat? Raymond Felton + Nene in a sign and trade."

    I will never laugh at a MrHappy trade proposal again.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Maybe for Bosh...

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    He also had one which was basically Rondo and a pick for LeBron

  • Mr. Happy > Brian Kenney on the Trade Machine.

  • As impressive as the Mavs run might look in the near term, they have to be considered one of the weakest teams to ever win the title. They also showed how mentally fragile the Heat are really. Much like you, all the bulls need to do is get over their "fear" of the Heat.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    How can the Mavs be the weakest team ever to win? With a healthy Butler, this team had guys coming off of the bench that started last year... Barea, Marion, Haywood, Stojakovic, Terry, Stevenson... This team was crazy deep, and had so many weapons...

  • In reply to RC360:

    Agree, they are crazy deep with guys who can consistently hit shots. That's what the Bulls were lacking this year...sure, we were deep, but with one way defensive players, which is good enough to get past most teams, but not the Heat when they're hitting ridiculous shots.

  • In reply to RC360:

    You're kidding right? Haywood? Marion is 3/4 of what he used to be. Stojakovic didn't even play in the finals and how can you include Butler when he didn't play for the last 3 months of the season. And Stevenson makes Bogans look like a borderline all-star. Think about that. Barea is a nice player who hit some big shots, but will he ever sniff an all-star game? And Terry is a very good sixth man, but if your second best player can't even start, what does that say about your team?

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    This thought is based on what you think of the Mavs and not what they did.

    They went through one of the toughest gauntlets in the playoffs ever IMO.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Take a step back and look again. What the Mavs did was impressive, as any championship has to be, but they were also extremely fortunate. The Mavs greatest characteristic was that they just kept playing and let other teams fall apart.

    As far as who they played, Portland was a mediocre team and nothing special. The Lakers just didn't care. You don't sweep a team if they care, especially not one with the talent of the Lakers. And it wasn't like the matchups were unbalanced. If you think that the Lakers were playing well while Kobe was being guarded by a 38 year old Jason Kidd, then you are greatly overestimating the Lakers. And OKC consistently choked away double digit leads in the fourth quarter. Does that sound like something a great team does?

    No, the NBA is in transition again and the level of play is way down. 15 years of one-and-done or straight to the pro's AAU kids has totally watered down the level of play. And Dallas took advantage, but that doesn't make them great.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    What was so great about the Lakers in the last 2 years then? They beat a Boston team who lost its Center in the 6th game of the finals and some lucky shots from Artest. Why did the Heat choke? It was because they couldn't just out-talent the Mavs who refused to stop making shots. I was always on the Mavs bandwagon of competing(no...not winning a c'ship) for the title.
    Eventually, what matters is they probably went through the toughest path of all paths...Portland...who had beaten them a lot and who gave trouble to a lot of teams, Lakers--defending champs, OKC...two stars and enough said about Miami.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    The difference between the Lakers of last year and the years before that is pretty obvious. Last year's team didn't play to anywhere near the same level. Especially not in the playoffs.

  • Nowiztki is great, very great. He carried his team by himself until the championship without any star next to him. However i don't have much respect towards him because he is poor rebounder and defender. He is 7-0 but has never averaged 10 rebounds in a season. Beyond that, I think a big man is supposed to be a good defender. That's the reason i would put Kevin Garnett before him in the rankings of all-time PF.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    haha, he had 2 seasons with 9.9, and another at 9.7... As far as the big man being a defender, all players should defend... He's not as bad as Boozer, and is 4 years older...

  • In reply to deewaves:

    I wouldn't put Dirk that high on the all-time PF list.

    He's solidified his #5 spot on the list (including Duncan) ... and can now be in the conversation with Malone, Barkley and Garnett ... but let's not get caught up in the moment.

    Nowitzki is a very one dimensional player. And while he's exceptional at that one thing ... Duncan, Malone, Barkley, and Garnett are all much better defenders, rebounders, and passers.

    Dirk is the leader of this team, but that doesn't mean that guys like Kidd, Marion, and Terry aren't just as vocal and almost as important.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    Agree. I love Dirk's offensive game, but he is an average defender at best. Some would even say poor, depending on who he's matched up against. He's lucky that he doesn't have to defend the great power forwards of old.

    In fact, Doug is showing some serious NBA ignorance, when he only brings up Malone, Garnett, Barkley and McHale as other "great" NBA power forwards. And btw, most experts consider Duncan classify him as a power forward, and the dominant one.

    All these guys were also better than the Big German. Guys like Bob Pettit, who AVERAGED 26 points and 16 rebounds per game, Elvin (the Big E!) Hayes (when he retired, he was the second leading scorer in NBA history behind only Wilt Chamberlain at the time, even now he is still the sixth leading scorer of all time and the fourth all-time leading rebounder . . . and the dude was a sweet shooter), and lastly, even James "Big Game" Worthy, who was a great defender and unbelievable scorer.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    Barkley was a better rebounder, but passer and defender? No.

  • In reply to scottplummer:

    Barkley is a better passer than Dirk by far.
    Defense? It's about even, but I still think Barkley put in more effort on the defensive end of the court.

    I've never seen Dirk play good defense.
    Of course, at a time like this, it gets forgotten.
    We get all over Boozer for missing rotations and playing soft defense at times, but Dirk did the same thing over and over again in the Finals, and yet it doesn't matter when you win.

  • In reply to scottplummer:

    Dirk has never averaged over 3.5 assists in a season, Barkley did better than that 12 times. Assists aren't a perfect measure of passing, but when it's that far in one guy's favour I think it's pretty obvious.

    Also Barkley was the most efficient scorer in the league in his prime ... 6 years in a row with a FG% over 57%, lead the league in TS% for 4 years in a row.

    IMO as a scorer, rebounder and passer Barkley is well ahead of Dirk.

    Defense is arguable, neither have a great reputation there. Really I think having a championship is the only possible way you could put Dirk over Barkley, because stats wise the comparison isn't even close.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    Yo Doug,

    "there's no player in the league that's untouchable for straight up trade for LeBron"

    OK says no for Durant and Chicago says no for Rose. Definitely.

    If you were the Bulls, would you give up Rose for Lebron? I wouldn't.

  • In reply to scottplummer:

    I love Rose too. But let's step back and look at the numbers. There's nothing Rose can do that Lebron can't do. Scoring, passing, rebounding, defense. Plus Lebron is 6'8". You did see Lebron swallow-up Rose when defending him? You did see Lebron take over the 4th quarters when Rose fizzled?

    We are all still emotionally hung-over from the playoffs. But I would take Lebron for Rose. I think most NBA GMs would also.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Dude,

    It's not just one player's numbers. How would Lebron feel about landing in Chicago w/o Rose? He had that choice last summer (w/Rose and Wade or Bosh) and said no.

    Lebron has great talent, but it's 3 straight years he team has lost in the playoffs when having home court advantage. That never happened to Jordan.

    And guess what, I think Rose is going to improve significantly more than Lebron will from this point forward. Any gap will be closed.

  • In reply to scottplummer:

    And, it's these factors and coachability that would insure that Reinsdorf hangs up if Miami calls.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Maybe I'm just a D Rose-homer but Lebron was only able to smother him on D because no one could make a shot so Rose got doubled almost everytime he made a move late in the games. It wasn't just Rose v. Lebron. It was Rose v. Lebron & 1 or 2 help defenders.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    You may have noticed that Lebron also was often guarded by one or two help defenders.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Not usually beyond the 3pt line. Lebron's doubles came when he drove into the lane. Rose was doubled and tripled beyond the 3pt line because Miami didn't have to honor the other Bulls on the floor. Lebron is a great defender, but one on one, Lebron can't consistently stay in front of Rose. He's too quick once he gets going, but he never got the chance because he had 2 & 3 bodies in front of him 25-30ft from the rim.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    I don't see how anyone can think a healthy Rose isn't able to get past Lebron on an ISO. Rose was still messed up after all Indiana beatings, particularly his ankle. There's just no way Lebron is as fast and quick as a healthy and normally rested Rose (in these playoffs he was neither).

  • In reply to ironsam:

    That's exactly what I was saying

  • In reply to ironsam:

    Exactly. If Jason Terry is getting past Lebron then Rose sure as hell is. Plus Rose failed in the fourth quarter under weight of numbers and went down fighting against a team that knew he was the only offensive option. Lebron capitulated when Dallas had Wade and Bosh to cover. Barea even defended him one on one once in game 6 and Lebron decided to slowly back him down (then fouled him) rather than blowing by him or shooting over him. Think Lebron's quickness is over-exaggerated. He's quick relative to his height but he's not Rose-quick.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    You cannot compare LeBron to Rose. Rose is 22 and this was his 3rd year and first time out of the first round. And, he didn't have another "ball handler" on his team. Plus, LeBron is 6ft 8" and he should be able to have better vision.
    This was what they call the ultimate choke job of a supremely talented player. It is not the schemes or talent around him(that was the issue with Rose).

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    "you probably win the title next year anyway"????? about miami? wow, you are crowning them way before the season even starts. before any team makes their moves. They still have no room and may not even have the mid level exception to use for a decent center or PG. I still like Bulls odds and still 3-4 other teams that can take them out with the right moves.

  • In reply to bsampso2:

    Agree... Crowning them before the season started. A lot of people are doing it again. Even assuming they add Dalembert and some other pieces....if LeBron shrinks again because he is in mental coma during 4th quarters, Heat lose. The point is the media is again making excuses for LeBron. He has had every possible failure before(finals, ECF, EC semis) and now he had Wade/Bosh. Dalembert hasn't played in big moments before...who knows what he will do.
    LeBron will more desperate next year which means more anxiety/pressure...so does anyone think he will handle that pressure more easily? It is not inexperience like what happened to Rose or Durant.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Agree. What's with this 'Heat barely lost this year but they will definitely win 1, probably multiple championship' crap? Based on what? They're in contention, but Wade is aging & Bosh & James have been career underachievers.

    No crowning their ass here.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    + you can bet up and comers like us & OKC are going to be better, a lot better. Dirk's game is not predicated on athleticism, thats why he has 3 more top years left, and why Dallas should not be discounted.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    If you look at most teams who lose, it is because they do not have the proper talent or they haven't been in that situation like the 2010-11 Bulls. That was not the issue with LeBron and the Heat. People who blame Joel Anthony or Chalmers are not being truthful. Those guys did all they can and Dalembert is not going to get more shots. LeBron and Wade have to make their shots for them to win and I doubt that they will not choke again when a similar situation appears itself. FWIW,I think Wade has been over-rated for a long time and his "free trips" to the FT lane because of the refs + the presence of Shaq helped them win the 1st c'ship. He has not done crap after that like what Melo has been doing in Denver.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Not to mention that Dallas put out a blueprint to effectively defend Miami over a long series; throw in occasional zones to throw the Heat off balance.

    Any team that starts next year without some semblance of a zone in its defensive arsenal is not trying to win the title, in my opinion.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    completely agree. Wade will be 30 soon. The way he plays he will be on the decline soon. There is no gurantee this team wins more than 1-2 championships. sure as hell not 8 like Lebron predicted. Or did he predict 0? He is right so far about not 1

  • In reply to bsampso2:

    Bosh and LeBron can create a championship window even as Wade ages, so I think they have a fairly large window.

    However, once it's LeBron/Bosh with a declining Wade, they won't be dominating favorites anymore.

    They probably have 3-4 years where they'll be heavy favorites, and could have another 3-4 years where they're one of the legit contenders (assuming they stay together through the next contracts as well as stay healthy which isn't particularly likely).

    I'd say they probably won't win more than three titles after failing to get this one. They could certainly win 0 titles, but I'd predict 2 or 3.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The sacary thing for the Heat is if you look at scoring guards with no outside shot, they tend to decline sharply as early as 28-29. Pretty much none of them have lasted past 32 as a good player. Wade will be 30 1/2 by the time the next playoffs roll around.

    I think 3-4 years is the very, very high side of the Heat's window with Wade. If they can get another 2 years out of him at an all-NBA team level they should be happy.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I agree that the Heat trio is good enough to win more than just 1 championship. Talent-wise, I think they were good enough to win the whole thing this year. But, until they have some sort of a structure I have a hard time seeing them as a dynasty type team.

    Lebron and Wade combo haven't sync as much as I expected. When the Heat attacks it seems like Wade and Lebron are taking turns instead of a two men attack. Spoelstra is overrated, he isn't very creative with that roster. I think he relies too much on the raw talent his team have in Lebron, Wade and Bosh.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I'd have to agree with the window. But they could have some issues with getting the right role players if new agreement comes with hard cap. although i only see wade being dominant for 3-4 more years than having a pretty large fall-off.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I will gladly take any bets you'd like that the Heat win at least one title in the LeBron/Wade era.

  • In reply to bsampso2:

    yep, that's what I posted earlier. What's with this crap?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Everyone crowned them before this season started and we see how that ended so I don't think anyone should be crowning them before it's official anymore. I do think they have a good shot, but I wouldn't call them clear cut favorites.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    Agree. Doug seems to crown them already for next year and thinks its a forgone conclusion that lebron will end his career with multiple rings. There is no gurantee of this. Makes me mad to read it. Not sayin it wont happen but we got a good team here that can prevent them from winning any.

  • In reply to bsampso2:

    He's not crowning them, he's saying they're favourites, which they are. I wouldn't take them against the field like Doug said he would this year, but I think they're the team to beat.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    How are they the team to beat when they just got beat?

  • In reply to ironsam:

    A few reasons:

    * Dallas' key players are older, more likely to decline next season than the Heat.
    * The Heat had the best point differential during the regular season, which correlates the most closely to success the next season, more so than regular season or playoff wins.
    * Playoffs are a small sample, sometimes the better team loses. Play them again next year and the result can easily go the other way. Like I said elsewhere, a couple of breaks go the other way and it's Miami up 3-0 and from there they probably sweep the series.
    * If there is a lockout and a shorter season that favours the Heat a lot I think, a team that relies on so few players and has no depth would benefit from less wear and tear.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    They beat the bulls by a point differential of 0.2 in the regular season. so thats a crap argument for them over bulls. 7.5 to 7.3
    Your argument about them being up 3-0 is crap. I can say the same thing about the bulls. Bulls lost 3 games they could of and should have won in the miami series. They could have been up 3-1 and went on to win the series and miami would not have even made the finals.

  • In reply to bsampso2:

    Well I think the Bulls are right in there with a shot next year too, I never claimed otherwise. But the argument was "they lost to Dallas" so I was listing reasons I'd clearly take them over Dallas if I had to put money on it next year.

    As far as you can say the same thing about the Bulls could have won the series: many (including myself) have. What I'm against is people building this narrative that the Heat are failures and no good because they lost some games that, like always, could have gone either way. It's the playoffs, shit happens, Dirk knows that first hand when he got knocked out by a far inferior Warriors team.

    I'm glad the Heat lost this year but it doesn't mean that they're not still a major threat to win next year.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Everyone also forgets that Jason Terry had a flamethrower coming out of his a$$! What are the odds he shoots 58% from the field and 44% from 3 like he did the last 3 games of the finals when he is a career 45%FG/38%3PT shooter?

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I'm curious to know if there's an NBA GM who will do a trade that would help the Heat.

  • In reply to boogernights:

    Every single one of them I'd guess. I can't see them going "well, this improves my team, but that LeBron guy is kind of a douche, so I better not do it".

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    not Cleveland. guarantee that.

  • In reply to bsampso2:

    Too late, they already did the sign & trade with Miami to let LeBron get there. Pragmatism wins out in the end.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    he was signing there regardless. Cleveland had to do that just to at least get a pick out of it. There was no reason not to get a pick from it. But i gurantee they will not be doing them any favors from here on out.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    how is saying you probably win the title next year and saying Lebron will have multiple rings not crowning them? and how are you the team to beat when they just lost? and have little maneuverability to get better? vegas will make them favorites (they already did) but still think Doug is making it like they are leaps and bounds better then every team in the league with his comment.s

  • In reply to bsampso2:

    I said I don't agree with Doug's take them against the field approach, but I don't think he's crowning them, it's not like he's said there's no point playing the games. He also hasn't said the Bulls have no hope, in fact he's said he expects Rose to win at least one championship in his career.

    Doug seems to be one of the more optimistic that I read as far as the Bulls go, Kelly Dwyer and Mark Deeks seem far more downbeat about the Bulls chances of beating the Heat. So I don't really feel like Doug is that out there at all in saying LeBron will win titles at some point.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    What beats LeBron's teams: almost equal talent and mental toughness combination. This year in hindsight only Dallas had it. Last year,it was Boston. Unfortunately, for LeBron the teams which might have that combination are going to be more than one or two.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Oh mental toughness eh? This would be the Mavs team lead by Dirk who up until a couple of days ago was branded a loser and a choker for not being able to get out the first round 4 out of the last 5 years. But win a title and suddenly everyone forgets everything that was ever said about him and he's tough as nails.

    The victor writes history indeed.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Off-course, it is a little bit in hindsight. But, honestly after the come-backs against Portland and the way they dismantled Lakers, OKC...you could say they were determined. As I wrote, it is tough to tell who is tough mentally to handle those moments. Who knows, LeBron might start doing it next year. But, he has failed more than once or many times unlike other super-stars even with talent on his side.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    I don't necessarily think what Lebron said is true... Is he living "better"... Probably.... He has lots of money, but that didn't seem to matter as he sat at that press conference... He is a regular person, with extraordinary talent, lots if wealth, but the mind of a child... I don't hate him, never have... Its just sad when this guy is the self proclaimed "King" and face of the league and yet he carries himself in such a poor way... He needs to grow up, and until he does, he will be just another person with extraordinary talent that never lived up to his potential....

  • In reply to RC360:

    LeBron's new decision:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NHRD10DmCc

  • In reply to RC360:

    Agreed. If an athlete suggests that money buys happiness, then you question their dedication to the sport. LeBron does act like a big baby. A little more professionalism and he would be amazingly popular, probably even with Bulls fans. Talent deserves respect, but especially from the person with that talent.

  • In reply to RC360:

    LeBron is not growing up. Not now, not anytime soon, probably not ever. And he's dragging Wade down with him into his pattern of childish behavior.

    He is who he is, what you see is what you get. This will not change, imo. LeBron doesn't have the character to change, that would take admitting he was wrong as a starting point so you know how likely that is to happen.

    It's time to stop talking about him.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    Of course, one reason Barkley and Malone went ringless was a certain Mr. ...er...Jordan?
    And Hakeem won when Jordan was taking a tmie-out, so....
    Dirk hit some outrageous shots. Miami, like any other team, can't win when the other team is hitting crazy shots. That's basketball. It happens to every team sometimes, the other team is just making baskets that look like a horse game with a six-foot rim.
    I would have no real problem with Miami if Wade didn't argue EVERY call, and LeBron didn't pull his "in your face" pose after every basket.
    Save that stuff for the locker room.
    Strange, that Chris Bosh seemed to come off IMO as the most professional guy of the three during the play-offs. I never would have expected that.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    - Lebron's a great player and an immature, self-absorbed douchebag.

    - Don't know how you can work for 8 months, come so close to the ultimate success in your profession, lose in an upset and immediately say, "I'm Lebron James and you're not...my life is great." Christ, I get more upset than that when I miss a short putt.

    - Clearly, Dirk's stock in the all-time greats discussion went way up based on his playoff performance this season. For those who put what I think is undue weight on winning a championship, Nowitzki is helped by the fact that the '60s Celts and '90s Bulls didn't have a dominant PF. He's also helped by the ongoing disagreement as to whether Tim Duncan is a C or a PF.

    - It really sucks that so much of the NBA discussion in the coming months won't be about basketball, but rather about the collective bargaining agreement.

    Doug, great job and thanks for the opportunity to write for your site. I'll look for interesting offseason topics, but none strike me right now.

  • In reply to scottplummer:

    I agree.

    I do think the Bulls would say "no" to a Rose/LeBron swap, and if I owned the Bulls I would say "no" too.

    I am not as certain about OKC, but you're probably right there too.

    Still, it's an awfully small list of players isn't it?

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I'd say no to Lebron for Rose. no way. not many others though you could say that about.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    With all the twitter stuff, internet blogs etc.., there was too much outside pressure and self-induced pressure on LeBron which everyone knows. And, we have seen he is not good at managing that pressure. Call me crazy, he almost looked like somebody who was going to go "crazy" and do something stupid when he was on the podium after the game.
    It looks more of a surety that this thing will be repeated again next year. There is always another mentally strong talented team to give you a fight in professional sports. The Bulls were not this year but the Mavericks were. It might be Atlanta, Bulls, Knicks, OKC, Mavs, Grizzlies ....who knows. No other team/superstar has this pressure. And, I think Wade is due for a letdown anytime. He is really flirting with injuries. LeBron looks more like a guy who is ready to commit "basketball suicide" than win
    So, I don't think it is a guarantee that the Heat has a great chance to win next year.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    Sure guys like Kidd, Marion, and Terry are contributors. However, they're not star players.

    Dirk just beat a fricken murderer's row of teams without a secondary star. Barkley and Malone played with more talent and never won a ring.

    Hakeem is the only other player to win where the second best guy on his team was of similar caliber to the second best guy on the Mavs. Every other title team I can think of had a secondary player far better than the Mavs.

    I just think that means something. Garnett is kind of like a LeBron in that he couldn't win until he joined a team that had someone who could close in the clutch because he simply couldn't.

    Barkley/Malone never won the ring, and it's not like either guy was stopped by Jordan every year. Barkley only got far enough to be stopped by Jordan once, Malone twice.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The only reason Hakeem got his is because Michael retired, and even then if the refs don't make that BS call on Pip in the East Semi's, The Bulls win the title in 1994 and if the Rockets don't win in 1994, I don't know if they win in 1995.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    They may not be "stars" any longer, but do you really think discounting Kidd and Marion makes a lot of sense?
    14 all-star selections ... MVP votes for both of them in the past ... perennial selections to All-NBA and All-NBA Defensive teams ...
    Clearly neither of them can bring what they used to bring every night, but they were still vital pieces.

    And maybe we need to re-evaluate what kind of a "star" Terry is or isn't.

    Take Marion and Chandler off this team and do they win? Probably the 4th and 5th best players on the team and they were just as vital for what they brought to the team.

    '04 Pistons - Is Terry really worse than Billups or Hamilton? Whichever you'd prefer to call that team's second best player.

    '03 Spurs - Is Terry worse than whoever you want to pick as the Spurs #2 option? Tony Parker? In fact, Terry does almost the exact same thing for the Mavs as Parker does for the Spurs.

    I really don't want to discount what Dirk did, cause I think it's awesome.
    But I just feel like Dirk did his job on the team, just like a half dozen other guys did.
    And some of that has to do with the fact that Dirk's job is not as difficult when all he's asked to do is one thing.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    nice read Doug. I find it interesting that a decade ago the then-new-breed talented bigs were questioned for their ability to lead a team to championship with their more finesse than physical game, since then we have Kevin Garnett, Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki leading their respective team to championships. Rasheed Wallace was one of these finesse bigs and he was the Pistons best big in their 2004 championship run. I don't include Duncan in this conversation because he's closer to a traditional big man than most of his peers despite having a lot of finesse in his game. What I'm trying to say is I think with Nowitzki's championship run, this generation of bigs have finally prove their critics wrong. I grew up with the late 80s and 90s NBA, and I have to say that the Garnett and Nowitzki generation of bigs are among the best I've seen. While the 90s have better talent at Center, I'd go as far as saying that the 2000 generation PFs is the golden age of PF (more talent at PF, more rings won).

    Having said that, I wonder if Boozer with his traditional back to the basket game is our answer even when he's healthy? The game have evolved. People may stop reading this post when I say this, but I think Andrea Bargnani despite his deficiency might be the guy who can help DRose and the Bulls. Nowitzki is neither a great rebounder or defender. But he's surrounded with capable defender and scorer and it works. I'll definitely think about pairing DRose and Bargnani in the future.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    He just won the title by knocking off the Heat and Lakers without a second all star on his team.

    If you don't respect that, then that's a "you" problem.

  • I'm tired of people saying the Heat will probably win the title next year. Tired of hearing people say they will win at least one. Based on what? What have they done? Look, they have a chance just like all the top teams, but I'm not ready to annoint them as the lone NBA power house. Don't discount the Mavs next year either.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    What have they done? Come within two games of winning the NBA title in their first year together while having one of their key guys miss the entire season up until the ECF impacting their chemistry.

    They might not win next year, but I guarantee they are the vegas favorite when the season starts.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I literally cannot remember 1 team getting so much respect without having won a title already. I cannot remember a champion getting such little respect as Dallas. I was also not all that impressed with the playoff run Miami just went on, and against the only team they faced that could punch back, they folded. They're in the discussion, but its not like its them and then everyone else. Dallas is the team to beat, Chicago & OKC are up & coming, and LA & Boston could bounce back for another run. Also, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, & many other players this off season are going to have a lot to say about it. Why is the Heat deserving of such respect? That's all I'm asking. They haven't done anything.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Elvin Hayes was the greatest PF ever...how he is not in the mix when people speak of this amazes me.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Does anybody else think that LeBron is like the d-bag,arrogant version of David Robinson of the Spurs. Robinson was definitely one of the nicest people in the NBA...I am not comparing that part with LeBron and he was more educated.
    But, he kept losing in the playoffs and would shrink in crucial moments after his team had great records in the reg season. He was almost like LeBron in the sense of being very physically gifted. He didn't win a c'ship until Tim Duncan came along and took over that crucial stretches.
    Luckily, for Robinson he got a younger, improving Duncan when he was at the end of his career. But, LeBron is getting a great but on the downhill Wade. If they don't win next year, LeBron has to probably wait for somebody else to latch on to win a c'ship.

  • Gar Forman....."If you look at signings over the years, when there's been big free-agent signings, a lot of times the first year is a touch down and then guys come back the next year with a stronger year. That's been the trend, at least looking at it statistically.".

    Is this correct? Is the impact greater in the 2nd year?

    He's discussing Boozer.
    Although, if this is true, why wouldn't it effect Miami's 3 and The Knicks' 2 Free Agent signings as much or more.

    Sounds like a salesman trying to polish his goods.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    "trying to polish his goods."

    Is that a euphemism like "taking my talents to South Beach" is?

  • In reply to Waldock:

    This literally made me laugh out loud for some reason: "Win for everyone except LeBron who's now pissed off that he's in Orlando not winning rings again."

    Imagine if LeBron were traded for Dwight. He'd go from the top dog to the third-wheel (Chris Bosh) getting left out in a blink of an eye.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    God I hate how ESPN tries to turn all its Sportscenter broadcasters into radio personalities. They are trying to catch lightning in a bottle and repeat the magic of Dan Patrick. Scott Van Pelt is the only success outside of Patrick. I wish I could have listened to Collin Cowherd today, that fucking elitist prick should quit his job after all the BS he spewed throughout these playoffs.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    I was listening to Lebron's post game interview and felt uncomfortable as Lebron's words unfolded, it was like watching suicide. He tries so hard and as Doug said, he said a lot of good stuff, honest stuff. But he also says stuff like "it doesn't weigh on me at all" as if the general public will buy it. The members of the public have all experienced criticism, we know "sticks and stones" is an inaccurate metaphor. Its in these moments I see Lebron's complete lack of self awareness. Lebron is that guy who you listen to talk and wonder how the hell he doesn't realize how he's being perceived. I had a friend in college, who oddly enough is from Cleveland and was a HUGE Lebron fan, the guy tried so hard but never failed to come across as a dick, and he had NO idea. But Lebron's lack of self awareness isn't what I can't stand about him... I can't stand that Lebron hasn't, isn't, and wont live up to my expectations for him. We only get to see talents like this a few times in our LIFE! So I feel cheated when one of those god like talented players fail to reach their potential. A big part of me wants Jordan to still be the best player ever when I die, but another part of me would be ok with seeing Jordan's thrown taken. Its why I love sports, seeing greatness, seeing history made, witnessing legends. Its why I sports-hate Lebron.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    Well said. LeBron has become the poster child for going to college for at least a year...and in his case he would have needed at least two...as a person and a basketball player.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    Stolen poignantly from Bill Simmons!

  • In reply to nolebron:

    haha, I was just thinking that too!

  • In reply to nolebron:

    Haha I actually meant to mention Simmons as I did read his article but I've felt this way for a long time and have said similar things on this blog. I wouldnt just copy what Simmons wrote to sound smart.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    I don't think he realizes how he's coming across or he's such a prick that he doesn't care. Instead of saying "That stuff doesn't bother me, I put myself in the situation to be criticized by being in the spotlight and it doesn't bother me because I still am happy with the decision I made" and then leaving it at that, he goes on and rips the public and all non-Lebron NBA fans...such a classless move that a truly great superstar wouldn't make. It's childish comments like that that will always give him a bad reputation. He needs to learn to take the high road in situations like this and he'll always come out on top and be viewed as the bigger person. He's off to a horrible start!

  • In reply to Waldock:

    I was in hysterics when I read Gar's discussion of Boozer. Was he talking about our highest paid player who shoots 1-7 with 5 points in the biggest game for the franchise in 10 years?

    How about Gar offering Loozer for Lebron? I would even throw in Bogans and the #30 pick. (Half of the Boozer apologists on this board would probably skewer me for offering the Heat too much in this deal.)

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    I want to live in your imaginary world where there are actually people who like Carlos Boozer and think he's awesome on this board. Would make the arguments more interesting than watching people knock over straw men.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Huh? You must not have been paying attention to those posters who continually refer to getting back a "healthy" Boozer who will use next year's full training camp to get back to being a 20/10 stud. Talk about "imaginary worlds."

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    You are missing the point here. Nobody expects him to be a stud. That said, he was almost a 20/10 guy this year with injuries and whether you like him or not, the reality is he can be a 20/10 guy next year. That 20/10 might be garbage points/rebounds and might not come in the clutch moments or hollow stats.
    What Gar said is true too. It takes a year for him to adjust to a new PG,new system etc..to play to his full potential. It doesn't mean I wouldn't want a better player in exchange for Boozer. But, that is not going to happen in reality. And, overall since the Bulls are over the cap anyhow....it is better to have Boozer than not have Boozer as of now.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Disagree.I want Boozer off the team. He is a choker and a major liability on defense. Boozer's overall play must be looked at in relationship to his contract. That is to say, the Bulls will not be able to add valuable pieces because of what they are paying this guy. His poor defense and judgment (flagrant fouls) hurts the team. I agree that Gar would dump him in a minute if he could get something better than Arenas, Lewis or other terrible contracts.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    What are you disagreeing on? Off-course, he is a liability on defense and disappeared in key moments in the playoffs. The point is not that. We cannot go back in time now. He has a contract and that contract cannot be upgraded to a better player with another contract...Arenas is probably worse than Boozer in terms of what he can provide to the Bulls. So, if we cannot deal him for a good player/contract, than it is better to have him and use him optimally. If we expect him to be a 2nd option as a 2-way player on a championship team, it is not going to happen. There is no one formula for championship teams. Just because you have blind hate for Boozer doesn't mean what Gar told is wrong. I think Gar is partially right and off-course whatever the future for Boozer(as a Bull or traded), it is better to have him at his highest value. Plus, I think he has been a good teammate and we don't know how much he is helping Taj and Noah.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    My disagreement with your post is not only do I not believe he can return to be a 20/10 guy, but that his play actually hurts the team. That is the part that you don't understand about my post. I think the team is better with him off the floor (so it seems does Thibs at crunch time). I think we have a Ben Wallace type situation here where you need to bail on a player. Even if he is not a locker-room cancer, some players don't fit and you are forced to take back players not on your wish list in order to get more contractual flexibility.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    The Bulls need offensive oriented players on the team even if they suck on defense and don't play in crunch time.

    You can't have Derrick Rose just create every shot for the team all season long. You need some guys who can create and score. Boozer can do that some, more so than anyone else we have.

    I agree that he can hurt the team, but he saves Derrick Rose a ton of energy and work at times too, we need guys like that, it's a long season.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES FOR THE MYTHICAL 20/10 GUY! ENOUGH! Get rid of Boozer!

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    johnfriendly, you know what was most sad about the way Thibs tried to handle the Boozer dilemma was to cover-up his decision to keep him off the floor in crucial stages of the game by giving him an unlikely bench-riding partner in Noah. He didn't have the balls to show the world that Boozer was not capable of holding up his own end. Any top coach, comfortable in his own skin would have given Boozer what he deserved, A GOOD BENCHING! No coverup or accompanying scapegoat as in the case of Noah.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    BOOZER "HELPING TAJ AND NOAH"? In what areas? Excuses for a guy making a boatload of cash and underperforming is the low point in this debate.
    schaumburgfan, are you insane?

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    The only reason why everyone doesn't like Lebron's comments is because its true lol...i don't understand how ppl can hate a guy they don't even know, thats called a hater, HATERS: Having Anger Towards Everyone Reaching Success lol. I only hated Lebron for a few days because he didn't come to the Bulls. And like Doug said they probably will win it all next year because the bulls won't do shit to upgrade the roster. I believe we're the only team that could beat them next year only if we improve the roster.

  • In reply to calle3:

    the guy is an unlikeable asshat. Even Miami fans admit they don't like the guy.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    and its not his success, its how he treats other people, especially in elevating himself over others. The backlash he receives is completely justifiable.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    And after the fake cough....I doubt anybody really cares about LeBron and Wade even in the NBA fraternity. Honestly, I would guess Bosh is probably embarrassed of those two. That particular event showed their real character. It is not hate actually...both are scums who have to experience something more tragic before they learn their lesson.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Bosh should be embarrassed, because he's always crying. After losing to the Bulls in the regular season and then after losing the finals. Sure it's the Finals--the ultimate dream of every NBA player. Jordan cried, but those were tears of joy not sadness.

  • In reply to Jmax:

    That is totally different. He is not being a jerk to anybody else or making fun of anyone.

  • In reply to calle3:

    I think you're going to get a lot of disagreement on here from that post. I'm pretty sure that most people, like myself, agree that his comments are true...the problem everyone has with them is that it was very unprofessional of him to say it. He's acting like the little kid on the playground who doesn't get his way. All he needs to say is "I'm happy with the decisions that I've made in my life and I'm not worried about what the outside world says or thinks about it." He needs to take the high road and not act like a child.

    There's a difference between hating on someone because they're successful and saying, hey, he's the best player in the world right now, but he's done and said some very immature, stupid, and unprofessional things and I hope he doesn't win a ring until he grows up. It's like in a job situation where someone gets a promotion and despite being a great worker, he has a horrible attitude and puts down his coworkers all the time. If the coworkers don't like him and don't think he deserves the promotion, are they hating? or do they think he's a great worker but doesn't deserve it because his attitude sucks?

  • In reply to calle3:

    He refuses to admit fault or make any effort to better his character. I understand he doesn't enjoy being the villain, and regardless of whether or not we believe he brought it on himself--he did--he needs to admit his faults and change for the better. American's can forgive. The world can forgive, but not while he's making claims about his life, and how he won't change. True statements or not, he's repulsive. And lets not forgot his past. Cleveland, wearing 23, throwing powder up in the air. Chicago will always despise LeBron, because he's nothing but imitation--on the outside and inside. He wen to Miami to team up with Wade, share the responsibility of contending for a title. Great. However, his play in the finals--especially during the forth quarter--screams imitation, screams I just don't have it in me.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    CARLOS BOOZER IS GARBAGE! This is coming from a man who started out in his corner when he was acquired by the Bulls, one who was misled by what he did while he was with the Utah Jazz.

    Never had anything against the guy, In fact, it had always troubled me that coach K had no respect for him while was at Duke. In fact, I thought coach K had favorites when it came to that Duke NCAA title team. I even blamed coach K for Boozer being a 2nd round draft pick. But after seeing him up close with this Bulls team, he was an undoubted fraud, an actor. He was the main man on that Jazz team because he played in a system that hid his deficiencies and allowed him to exploit his strengths even to the detriment of others and the team as a whole. He's the worst kind player to have on a young team like the Bulls. GET RID OF HIM AT ALL COSTS!

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    I didn't want Boozer to start with. Now we've got him I want to get the most we can from him though. I think he will be better when he's healthy. I don't think that makes him a stud. I do think that makes him a useful player that is better than salary dumping him for nothing like some people are asking for.

    As far as I know I'm one of the most pro-Boozer guys on the board for simply not wanting to get rid of him for no return and thinking he can be a productive (but flawed) piece.

    And of course I'd trade him for LeBron. I'd trade anyone on the team for LeBron (yes, including Rose), no matter what happened this finals series. People are saying LeBron is a disappointment because he destroyed the #3 and #1 seeds in the East before not having enough juice to win the finals? Sign me up for that disappointment.

    We talk about how the Bulls series could have gone either way with a bit of luck in key moments, well if you apply the same generosity to the Heat then they were real close to being up 3-0 on the Mavs and probably on the way to a sweep. Then LeBron would have been the finals MVP and Dirk would have been the choker.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Careful, that sounds like a rational, well considered post. Not sure how well that will go down around here

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    True that.

    You said:

    I think the league needs to be careful now, they gained a lot of momentum with this season, and the lockout could take it all away.

    True that Doug, true that.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    Gar's still "handling his parts"

    If Boozer is to have a better year, why wouldn't James, Bosh, Anthony, Stoudemire, and for that matter Gilbert Arenas. For Christsake..

    They'd move Boozer in a minute if there was anything decent out there.

  • FWIW Lewis is an expiring contract next year, his 2013 year isn't guaranteed and there's no way any team is paying it. The Wizards aren't likely to be taking on long term salary when they're so crap right now (barring some improbably deal for Dwight Howard or something), so I don't see them flipping him for Boozer.

    Also Boozer averaged 12.6/9.7 for the playoffs and everyone said he was terrible. So the solution is to trade him for a guy who averaged 11.7/5.1 for the season?

  • Boozer for Lewis is definitely one of the better scenario. But, doubt we'll ever see it happen. The Wizards won't have any problem paying Lewis' salary for one more year. Boozer will be a bigger risk for the long term for the Wizards. I think they are more interested in bringing in long term core pieces to grow with Wall. Boozer don't strike me as a guy who give you that much in terms of veteran leadership; which the Wizards need.

    I'm willing to give Boozer another shot at least until the next trade deadline. Despite his declining production in the playoff, he's not a locker room cancer type that needs to be traded immediately. At the same time I think his value is pretty low at the moment.

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