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NBA preview

There are no elite dominant teams in the NBA right now.  With 7 teams in the Western Conference and 6 in the Eastern Conference with a legit chance at making the finals the parody in the NBA is the most its ever been.  Last years was the most enjoyable regular seasons in the NBA and this year SHOULD be just as good if not better.  On to the preview…

ATLANTIC DIVISION

BOSTON CELTICS – Prediction 1st in Eastern Conference

Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will keep the teams intensity level high and their strive for greatness.  Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins and Leow Powe should all improve from last year.  Fantasy Player To Watch – the demise of Ray Allen

Key losses – James Posey and PJ Brown

Key Additions – Bill Walkers, JR Giddens and Patrick O’Bryant

PHILADELPHIA 76ers – 3rd in the East

Elton Brand is a consummate professional and will thrive in the Eastern Conference where he began his carear.  They will need to find an outside shooter to add to their rotation to compete in the playoffs.

Fantasy Player to Watch – Samuel Dalembert could be lesser version of Marcus Camby

Key losses – Rodney Carney and Calvin Booth

Key Additions – Marreese Speights, Elton Brand, Royal Ivey, and Kareem Rush

Toronto Raptors – 6th in the East

Jose Calderon has emerged as a great point guard.  If Jermaine O’neal can stay healthy and return to the level of play he is capable the Raptors could have one of the best low post combos with him and Chris Bosh.  Unfortunately they also have the worst starting wing players in the entire league.

Fantasy player to watch – Jose Calderon without splitting time with TJ Ford his numbers will go up.

Key losses – Primoz Brezac, Carlos Delfino, Maceo Baston, Rasho Nesterovic, and TJ Ford

Key Additions – Jermaine O’neal

New Jersey Nets – 12th in the East

REBUILDING YEAR…The Nets are preparing for a run at Lebron in 2 years.  If they can find a taker Vince Carter will be gone by the trade deadline.

Fantasy Player to watch – Devin Harris, Lawrence Frank will will get the best out of him.

Key Losses – Richard Jefferson, Desagana Diop, Nenad Krstic, Boston Nachbar, and Marcus Williams

Key Additions – Brook Lopez, Ryan Anderson, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Jarvis Hayes, Eddie Najera, Bobby Simmons, Yi Jianlian, and Keyon Dooling.

New York Knicks – 14th in the East

The roster is not the right type to run the D’antoni system.  Expect lots of losses and trades.

Fantasy Player to Watch – Jamal Crawford should fill up the stat sheet

Key Losses – Renaldo Balkman

Key Additions – Danilo Gallinari  and Chris Duhon

CENTRAL DIVISION

Cleveland Cavs – 2nd in the East

Any team with Lebron will be competitive.  Danny Ferry like Jim Paxon before him still hasnt put a good team around Lebron but Mo Williams should help carry some of the scoring load.

Fantasy Player to watch – Mo Williams will have the most open looks and lanes he ever had.

Key losses – Damon Jones and Joe Smith

Key Additions – JJ Hickson, Darnell Jackson and Mo Williams

Detroit Pistons – 5th in the east

The Pistons have dominated the Eastern Conference in recent years but that run is over.  Rasheed Wallace and Chauncey Billups are on the downside of their carears and the rest of the East is slowly getting better.

Fantasy Player to watch – Tayshaun Prince, does a little of everything

Key losses – Jarvis Hayes

Key Additions – Kwame Brown

Milwaukee Bucks – 8th in the East

Coach Scott Skiles will have the Bucks playing tough, but the 1st 2 months will be a little rough.  If they dont dig to big of a hole they will compete for a playoff spot.

Fantasy Player to Watch – Andrew Bogut, will improve on the double double he averaged last year.

Key Losses – Bobby Simmons, Yi Jianlian, Royal Ivey, and Mo Williams

Key Additions – Joe Alexander, Malik Allen, Tyronn Lue, Richard Jefferson, Luke Ridnour, Damon Jones, and Adrian Griffin.

Chicago Bulls – 11th in the East

2 players define how good this team will be, Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich.  Rookie Point Guards usually struggle and Hinrich had a bad year last year and is on the trading block.  If they can trade Hinrich for a legit low post scorer this team could make the playoffs.

Fantasy Player to watch – Luol Deng works hard and will fill the stat sheet.

Key losses – Chris Duhon

Key additions – Derrick Rose

Indiana Pacers – 15 in the East

The Pacers will score a lot of points and give up even more.  Larry Bird has several bad contracts to unload as he tries to rebuild the team.

Fantasy Player to Watch – Danny Granger will score a lot

Key losses – Ike Diogu, Jermaine O’neal, Shawne Williams and Kareem Rush

Key additions – TJ Ford, Roy Hibbert, Brandon Rush, Rasho Nesterovic, Jarret Jack, and Maceo Baston.

SOUTHEAST DIVISION

Orlando Magic – 4th in the East

Will benefit from weak division.  The Magic are hoping Mickael Pietrus lives up to his potential but he never did in Golden State.  Expect lots of up and downs for this team this year.

Fantasy Player to Watch – Hedo Turkoglu has no conscience

Key losses – Keyon Dooling, Carlos Arroyo, and Maurice Evans

Key additions – Courtney Lee, Mickael Pietrus, and Anthoney Johnson

Washington Wizards – 7th in the East

If Gilbert Arenas  can put his ego in check this team would be much better suited.  This should be Caron Butlers team now.

Fantasy Player to watch – Caron Butler will carry team while the other 2 stars recover from injury

Key Losses – Roger Mason

Key additions – JaVele McGee

Atlanta Hawks – 9th in the east

The Hawks have one of the best starting 5 in the entire NBA but also one of the worst benches.  If the front office turmoil ever gets settled this team could compete in the East, but that won’t be this year.

Fantasy Player to Watch – Al Horford is a man beast and isnt scared of anyone or anything

Key losses – Josh Childress

Key Additions – Maurice Evans

Miami Heat – 10th in the east

Unless Shaun Livingston is healthy they dont have a true Point Guard in their rotation.  Mix the lack of a point gurad with 2 selfish star forwards and a young 1st year coach and you would most likely have a team struggling to get to 10 wins.  Insert a healthy Dwayne Wade and you have a team that will compete for a playoff spot.

Fantasy Player to Watch – Shawn Marion, selfish player in a contract year.

Key losses – Ricky Davis and Jason Williams

Key additions – Michael Beasley, Mario Chalmers, and James Jones

Charlotte Bobcats – 13th in the east

Larry Brown likes to be merciless on his team for the first 8 to 10 weeks then make a few trades and have a good 2nd half to the season and build on that for year 2.  If Adam Morrison survives the season and isnt traded that’d be the biggest suprise in the NBA this year.

Fantasy Player to Watch – Emeka Okafor  when he plays he gives great blocks and rebounds

Key losses – none

Key additions – DJ Augustin and Alexis Ajinca

SOUTHWEST DIVISION

New Orleans Hornets – 1st in the Western Conference

The experience this team gained last year plus the addition of James Posey should be enough to put the Hornets over the top.  Not a fan of Byron Scott but the leadership of CP3 and Posey should be enough to overcome the coachs ineptitude.

Fantasy player to watch – Tyson Chandler gives great blocks and rebounds and loves playing with CP3

Key losses – Chris Anderson

Key Additions – James Posey

Houston Rockets – 3rd in the West

The NBA has become a Point Guard league and that is the biggest weakness of the Rockets.  As long as Yao Ming, tracy Mcgrady and Ron Artest remain healthy this team will win a lot of games though.

Fantasy Player to watch – Tracy Mcgrady, enjoyed being THE MAN last year, can he share the role?

Key losses – Steve Novak

Key Additions – Ron Artest and Joey Dorsey

Dallas Mavericks – 5th in the West

Rick Carlisle is a defense minded coach but he studied Mike D’antonis system and blended it with his motion offense which should suit Jason Kidd perfectly.  This team has a lot of mental obstacles that if they  can get past them they could be trouble and a tough out in the playoffs.

Fantasy player to watch – Josh Howard, if he can he put the off the court issues aside could fill the stat sheet.

Key losses – Eddie Jones, Malik Allen, and Tyronn Lue

Key additions – Desagana Diop, Gerald Green, and James Singleton

San Antonio Spurs – 6th in the West

Until Manu Ginobli is healthy this team will struggle.  This team was old last year and did nothing to get younger.  Despite it all this team will be rolling come playoff time and be a tough out.

Fantasy Player to watch – Tony Parker, will carry the load till Manu is back

Key losses – Brent Barry

Key additions – Roger Mason

Memphis Grizzlies – 13th in the west

The Grizzlies are 2 or 3 years away and thats if they can keep Rudy Gay and OJ Mayo while building around them.  They should have a top 5 pick in next years draft.

Fantasy player to watch – Rudy Gay, someone has to score

NORTHWEST DIVISION

Utah Jazz – 4th in the west

Slot this team for the 4th spot again.  Relatively the same roster with a few changes at the bottom.  Carlos Boozer is playing for a Huge contract and Deron Williams is the perfect point guard for Jerry Sloans team.

Fantasy Player to watch – carlos Boozer, Contract year

Key losses – Jason Hart

Key Additions – Brevin Knight and Kosta Koufos

Portland Trailblazers – 8th in the West

A lot of high expectations with Greg Oden and Rudy Fernandez being added to an already good roster.  Steve Blake would make a great back up point guard but he starts on this team.  Unless the Blazers make a trade for a legit starting point guard this team will be an easy out.

Fantasy Player to watch – Brandon Roy will only get better with more tools around him.

Key losses – Jarret Jack, and James Jones

Key Additions – Rudy Fernandez, Ike Diogu, Jerryd BaylessNicolas Batum, and Greg Oden

Denver Nuggets – 9th in the west

The worst defensive team in the league lost their best defensive player in a salary dump move.  Allen Iverson is in the last year of his contract and wants a championship badly, but it wont happen in Denver.

Fantasy Plater to Watch – Carmello Anthony, will score a lot

Key losses – Eddie Najera, and Marcus Camby

Key additions – Chris Anderson

Minnesota Timberwolves – 12th in the west

Kevin Mchale made his first good move as GM by trading OJ Mayo for Mike Miller and Kevin Love.  The T-Wolves are building a roster of hard working professionals.  Should be improved but will fall well short of the playoffs.

Fantasy Player to watch – Al Jefferson, Solid player

Oklahoma City Thunder – 14th in the west

Much like the T-Wolves this team is building for the future.  The Thunder will be tough at their new “home” but not so much on the road.  2 years from now look out.

Fantasy player to watch – Kevin Durant will have much better fg% this year

Key losses – Luke Ridnour, and Adrian Griffin

Key Additions – Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, DJ White, and Desmond Mason

PACIFIC DIVISION

LA Lakers – 2nd in the west

The lakers flaws were exposed in the finals.  A healthy Andrew Bynum helps but wont solve them.  The lakers will compete for the best record in the regular season but will struggle in the playoffs.

Fantasy Player to watch – Lamar Odom will pout as his minutes and numbers are decreased.

Key losses – Ronny Turiaf

Key additions – Josh Powell

Phoenix Suns – 7th in the West

Terry Porter is a defensive minded coach inheriting 3 starters that are defensive liabilities.  Expect Steve Nash to do his best to soothe Amare Stoudemire and Shaquile O’neals egos.  The Suns have a solid rotation and should be a tough out in the playoffs.

Fantasy Player to watch – Amare Stoudemire , coach will put him in better position to improve blocks and rebounds

Key Losses – Brian Skinner

Key Additions – Robin Lopez, and Matt Barnes

Golden State Warriors – 10th in the west

Expect Don Nelson to mail this season in.  When Monta Ellis returns this team will be fun to watch and competitive unless the Warriors takes a lead from their coach and gives up before then.  With out Baron Davis keeping Stephen Jackson in line will he be a loose cannon again?

Fantasy Player to watach – Corey Maggette, cares more for stats then wins

Key Losses – Baron Davis, Matt Barnes, Patrick O’Bryant, and Mickael Pietrus

Key Additions – Anthony Randolph, Corey Maggette, Ronny Turiaf, and Marcus Williams

LA Clippers – 11th in the West

This is a very Interesting team.  If Eric Gordon and Al Thorton develop fast they could compete for a playoff spot.  Mike Dunleavy has won the power struggle with the front office but may have lost his team.

Fantasy Player to watch – Baron Davis if healthy

Key losses – Elton Brand, Corey Maggette, and Brevin Knight

Key additions – Eric Gordon, DeAndre Jordan, Baron Davis, Marcus Camby, Jason Hart, Ricky Davis, Jason Williams, Brian Skinner, and Steve Novak.

Sacramento Kings – 15th in the west

By far the worst team in the league.  Even as loyal as Sacramento fans are this team will be difficult to watch.

Fantasy Player to watch – Kevin Martin, someone has to score

key losses – Anthony Johnson

Key additions – Jason Thompson

PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS

East finals Celtics over Cavs

West finals Hornets over Spurs

NBA Finals Hornets over Celtics

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Five defensive players to watch in 2008

I continue this segment with the other side of the ball:

5. Jared Allen – Minnesota Vikings – DE

Allen was making a name for himself prior to going to an already stacked line in Minnesota. Look for the Williams’ Boys in the middle to open things up for Allen on the end. With a only a few question marks on offense, this move could make the Vikings the team in the NFC come playoff time.

4. Adam Jones – Dallas Cowboys – CB

No need to rehash the history of problems from this talented young DB. Jones will eventually make his mark on the DEF and maybe even a little on OFF as he expects to play a little receiver for the “Boys”. Most people don’t get the amount of chances this guy has received, and hope fully he makes the best of it. I think he will…if he can avoid the temptation to “make it rain”.

3. Keith Willis – San Francisco 49ers – MLB

Willis was drafted with high expectations and has exceeded all of them. Poised to rise to the next level, this tackling machine should outdo his performance in 2007. Look for Willis to establish himself as the premier middle linebacker in the game.

2. Shaun Phillips – San Diego Chargers – OLB

With so much noise made about Shawne Merriman, Phillips quietly had the kind of season a DEF coordinator dreams of out of their LBs. Merriman elected to not have surgery and play, which is all the more likely going to solidify Phillips as an elite linebacker. This is the Chargers year and despite LT, they will do it on DEF if they get it done.

1. Mario Williams – Houston Texans – DE

“The Houston front office is crazy”, “Reggie Bush is a once in a decade player”, “This is why the Texans are not a winning franchise”, were all some of the things being said as Charlie Casserly selected Marion Williams #1 in the draft and not Bush. Well Williams is slowly proving them wrong as his stats and presence came of age last year. Williams should continue to grow and continue to make the nay-sayers eat their words.

Honorable mention – for fear of looking too biased I left off Leodis McKelvin, despite his stellar preseason and remarkable confidence. Look for this young DB to make Bills fans forget all about Nate Clemente…Nate Clearwater…Nate Cocco…whatever his name was.

*The above post will stir*

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Five offensive players to watch in 2008

Every year there are a few players who have breakout years that are unexpected. I am gonna tell you who its gonna be this year on offense:

5. Eddie Royal – Denver Broncos – WR

Royal earned the #2 receiver job this off-season with his play and consistency. With Cutler proving to be a burgeoning elite QB and Brandon Marshall a stellar receiver, Royal should flourish in Denver’s offense this year. Hopefully Marshall and Royal can make Denver fans finally forget about the Ashley Lelie debacle.

4.Ted Ginn Jr. – Miami Dolphins – WR

When Bill Parcells takes over a team it is without question that a house cleaning will soon follow. In true fashion “The Tuna” went to Miami and did just that, with one interesting exception. Many people questioned the selection of Ted Ginn Jr. in the top ten of the 2007 draft, but Parcells’ commitment to the young receiver tells us that former coach Cam Cameron may have known more than we give him credit for. Expect a big year from Ginn and his family.

3. Anthony Gonzalez – Indianapolis Colts – WR

Last year Reggie Wayne established himself as the #1 receiver and favorite target of Peyton Manning. This year Marvin Harrison once again will show that the aging process spares no one. Anthony Gonzalez is a playmaker that never seems to go less than 100%. By the end of the year he will be the #2 target in the Indy O.

2. Bryant Johnson – San Francisco 49ers – WR

For the last few years Bryant Johnson was in Arizona playing behind the best receiver tandem in the NFL. Finally a free agent, he toured the league and eventually signed with the 49ers. With J.T. O’Sullivan winning the starting job he will need a “go to” receiver and Johnson will fulfill the role admirably. Look for a him to catch nearly 100 balls this year and have a possible pro bowl nod.

1. Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – WR

How do you fill the role of a legend? Well for starters you handle yourself in the media like a pro and make all the doubters at least praise you for your demeanor. Rodgers looks to have the mental capacity and playmaking ability to be a star. He may not make people forget Favre, but he will establish himself as a very good QB and hopefully keep the Packers competitive in the NFC.

On a further note you may have noticed the omission of any RBs on the list, but I could not bring myself to have confidence in any rushers this year that may surprise. It will be more of the same at the postion with the typical guys making the typical plays.

*The above post will stir*

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The college season for me begins with….

Hawaii!!!

These days it is real good to be a Florida Gator. National Championships, top recruiting, great players and always fun to watch. So, with marked interest this year the Gators open up at home against a Hawaii team that is truly over matched after having lost a once in a score player in Colt Brennan.

Sadly there will be no Percy Harvin (my prediction for the Heisman this year), and no Brandon Spikes on defense. It shouldn’t matter as, in the words of the immortal ball coach, the Gators will probably “hang a half a hundred on em” and begin the season with a victory.

Did you think I would have him in Gator Paraphernalia?…Wooooooooooo!

Ranked #5 in in both polls, the gators are sitting pretty with no one gunning for them and a favorable enough schedule to bring them to our ultimate goal….

*The ablove post will stir*

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NFL Preseason Power Rankings

Ahhhh my turn:

32. Atlanta Falcons…RC QB, new starting RB and an organization recovering from chaos.

31. Chicago Bears…The DEF is good, but absolutely no weapons.

30. Miami Dolphins…Parcells has them in the right direction, but still no better than expansion talent.

29. Oakland Raiders…Al Davis still thinks a winner can be made out of retreads.

28. Kansas City Chiefs…When you take away a couple of potential HOF OL, it gets ugly.

27. Houston Texans…Schaub looks good, but will this team ever have a all-purpose back?

26. Detroit Lions…Wow makes me happy to be a Bills fan.

25. San Francisco 49ers…If Rogers in Green Bay fails, he and Alex Smith could be worst QB class ever.

24. S. L. Rams…Steven Jackson got his new deal, will it be enough to get this once powerful OFF on track?

23. Baltimore Ravens…Looks like Flacco will start afterall, is the DEF getting old?

22. Arizona Cardinals…Fast young DEF, QB turmoil, is Wisenhunt the answer?

21. Cincinnati Bengals…They believe in Chris Perry, but injured WRs need to get healthy fast.

20. Carolina Panthers…I love Jonathan Stewart, but something seems to always go wrong.

19. Denver Broncos…Shanahan may have a life deal, but it may be time for some new blood.

18. Washington Redskins…Great draft and I think Zorn will do well, but still a couple years away.

17. Tennessee Titans…Give Vince Young some targets, and Jeff Efeeshare and co. could be closer.

16. NY Jets…According to Vegas Favre is only good for a game and a half, I agree.

15. Philly Eagles…Might be McNabbs last stand, he deserves some love from the town that loves to hate.

14. Buff Bills…DEF looks fast, OFF rides on Edwards, a little early for playoff prediction, but you never know.

13. Tampa Bay Bucs…Hopefully with 317 QBS on the roster they can find one Gruden likes.

12. Cleveland Browns…Big time OFF, good DEF, consistency is a big issue.

11. Seattle Seahawks…Still have a lot of talent, but might miss Shaun.

10. NY Giants…No love for the defending Super Bowl Champs? It was the pass rush that got them there.

9. Green Bay Packers…I have faith that Aaron Rodgers will do well, can the fans move on with him?

8. Pittsburgh Steelers…Big Ben and co. will quietly make some noise in the AFC.

7. New Orleans Saints…Drew Brees is poised for a huge year with a new weapon in Shockey.

6. Jacksonville Jags…Consistent team that really needs a receiver to step up.

5. Indianaplois Colts…As long as Manning is passing they have a shot.

4. Minnesota Vikings…Oh how Vike fans are praying Tarvaris Jackson can play.

3. Dallas Cowboys…Will likely represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

2. San Diego Chargers…This may be their last shot at the title, and Merriman better not risk his career.

1. New England Patriots…Who else?

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What is wrong with the Cincinnati Bengals?

I read today that after multiple arrests and trouble with the law, not only did the Bengals resign wide receiver Chris Henry, but he is set to be the team captain in their final preseason game.

Now I understand that it is important to use positive reinforcement in an effort to help rehabilitate an oft-troubled character. What I can not understand is why NFL teams keep giving chances to these guys that give organizagtions and the NFL a bad name.

It would be as if a guy mugged me and beat the crap out of me and in turn I give him a key to my house and tell him to stop by anytime.

Seriously, when is someone going to set an example and make thuggary a death sentence to an NFL career?

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Football season is here!!!!!

I had my first fantasy draft, watched a preseason game and made plans on where I am going to watch the Gator Season opener. It is sad that the greatest sport has the shortest season, but I guess that is why we love the game so much.

It will be a busy season on this blog and I look forward to sharing all of my completely relevant and accurate opinions with all.

*The above post will stir*

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Breaking down the “Dream Team” vs. the “Redeem Team”

There is a lot of talk recently about whether or not this years U.S. Olympic Mens Basketball Team could stack up to the 1992 “Dream Team” that is a virtual who’s-who of current and future Hall of Famers. I myself was quick to say there is no way this years team could handle the power and ability of the stars from almost two decades ago. But I wanted to be sure so I decided to put it to a test and see if man-for-man the two teams stack up. Lets take a look at the position match up and then we will look at the intangibles to see who is more dominant.

PG: John Stockton vs. Jason Kidd

Kidd has averaged 14 pts, 7 rbs and 9 asts per game throughout fourteen years in the NBA while Stockton averaged 13 pts, 3 rbs and 11 asts per game over a nineteen year career. Now some would argue that Chris Paul is the real PG star on the team, but Jason Kidd has been at it longer to have warranted a starting nod. Stockton had his security blanket in Karl Malone all his years in Utah. Kidd has been on a multitude of teams yet still has remained constant.

Advantage: Kidd

SG: Kobe Bryant vs. Michael Jordan

I understand that Kobe is slowly creeping into Jordan territory, but no one to this day has been as consistent and clutch as MJ. While Kobe has averaged 25 pts, 5 rbs and 5 asts a game, Jordan similarly averaged 30 pts, 6 rbs and 5 asts, but six championships and numerous MVPs puts Jordan in a category like no other.

Advantage: Jordan

SF: Carmelo Anthony vs. Scottie Pippen

In his relatively short career Carmelo Anthony has put up quite the resume averaging 24 pts, 6 rbs and 3 asts per game. He is a star despite the a seemingly lack of leadership abilities that has plagued this new generation of superstars. Scottie Pippen has a Hall of Fame resume that includes six championships. His stats are moderate at 16 pts, 6 rbs and 5 asts per game. Overall Pippen was a great player that surely benefited playing next to MJ, but basing it purely on play I would argue that Melo has done more in his short career than Pippen accomplished in the same time.

Advantage: Carmelo Anthony

PF: Lebron James vs. Charles Barkley

The prodigal son, Lebron James has been a man amongst boys since his high school days. Averaging 27 pts, 7 rbs and 7 asts a game, he has put up numbers that we have not seen in some time and it is only a matter of time before he wins his first championship. Sir Charles, the sophisticated brute, who terrorized offenses and defenses with his all around game, averaged 22 pts, 12 rbs and 4 asts a game en route to the Hall of Fame. While on the surface “King” James has the numbers, Barkley dominated and some feel he didn’t even maximize his potential. Until James does is for a few more years the nod must go to Barkley.

Advantage: Charles Barkley

C: Dwight Howard vs. David Robinson

The center position may be the most pivotal on the hardwood and few have accomplished as much as “The Admiral” David Robinson. Averaging 21 pts, 11 rbs, 3 asts and 3 blks a game he dominated the opposition and did it consistently for many years. Dwight Howard is a pure beast and his potential is limitless, but at 17 pts, 12 rbs, 1 asts and 2 blks per game he has yet to achieve Robinson’s all-around dominant game.

Advantage: Robinson

Reserve Backcourt: Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Deron Williams & Michael Redd vs. Magic Johnson & Chris Mullin

While Magic Johnson is considered by many to be the greatest PG ever despite it not being his natural position tells a large story. But you can not deny the talent and accomplishments, even this early, of Wade, Paul, Williams and Redd.

Advantage: Youngins

Reserve Frontcourt: Carlos Boozer, Tayshaun Prince and Chris Bosh vs. Patrick Ewing, Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, Karl Malone & Christian Laettner

Carlos Boozer, Prince and Bosh can flat out play and are dominant in many respects, but the legends, even with a disappointing Laettner, are too much to over come.

Advantage: Classics

Coaches: Take Hall of Famer Chuck Daly against “The” college legend in Mike kryz…krzy…chef…well its just too close to call.

Advantage: Even

Intangibles: The main intangible to look at would be the opponents these teams played. With out a doubt the international players this time around are much more solid and many of them play in the NBA as well. The game has evolved. It is a game filled with highlights and dunks, and less of a team game that it used to be. But….when witnessing the amount of talent and egos on this team it is amazing they have come together to blow out their higher class opponents. While it is Hall of Fame vs. potential Hall of Fame, no one can deny that both teams are incredible.

Advantage: 2008

So ladies and gentlemen we have a tie. You might feel upset, but it really is too close to call and too difficult to tell.

Now on a note of clarification. I did not include Bird and Magic in the starters because I wanted to pair up each player as they were in their primes. Considering Magic and Bird were in the twilights of their careers it would not be fair to stack them up against players in their primes. Overall it is a debate that will continue, but one thing is for sure it looks as though both will ultimately achieve their goals…the gold!

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The business of evil

I came across an article today discussing the trend of what was called “murderabilia”. It deals in the auctioning and selling of items and relics from killers and muderers. Signed items from the likes of John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, David Burkowitz, Jefferey Dahmer and others is fetching eye popping prices at auction and in sales.

My first inclination was to draw my ire toward the seller thinking how could someone be so demented as to want to profit off people who have caused so much pain and suffering throughout society. The more I thought the less I decided to hold these people accountable. You see business is business and has been since the beginning of time, but if a product does not sell or bring profits it is quickly discarded and the merchant moves on. In my mind the real culprit of this tragic trend is the buyers who are willing to pay for these items.

What does it say about our culture when what we see as valuable, historical or not, is the shameful signature or owned item of this scourge of society? I wonder if in other countries or cultures, if people relish in the items of the criminals from that country?

As a society it pains me more and more to see the negative worshipped and the positive frowned upon and even loathed to some degree. I understand that this is not directly involved with sports but many of these items are sold in sports memorabilia auctions. Baseball cards, autographed balls, game-worn jerseys and John Wayne Gacy’s social security card. It just does not fit and one would hope this is only a passing fad and not an indicator of where our society has gone.

*The above post will stir*

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The White Josh Gibson

I never cease to be annoyed by the fact that segregation deprived us of seeing what some of the greatest ballplayers in history could have accomplished. I am too young to make statements such as “it would have been great to have seen…”, but I am not too young to say “I would love to hear stories of how…”. What if Satchel Paige faced Babe Ruth in the World Series? How many hits would Oscar Charleston or Judy Johnson have on their resumes? Would Josh Gibson make Feller look like a minor leaguer? All these questions make one wonder.

We made idols out of players that may have been great, even the best, but they were never tested or held to a standard of comparison to a whole race of players. It is unfortunate that we can not turn back time, but what we can do is remember and give credit where credit is due. We take for granted that we got to see Gwynn against Ryan, Griffey Jr. blast one off Randy Johnson and witness the Red Sox win the series led by guys named Ortiz and Ramirez. I love baseball history and every time I get a chance to here stories of Negro League players I sit mesmerized because they are usually tales untold. As one gentleman once told me as I sat awed “Many people referred to Josh Gibson as the Black Babe Ruth, but some like to call Ruth The White Josh Gibson”.

What a treat it would have been to see these guys compete.

**The above post will stir**

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