Friday, November 30, 2012

R.I.P Sean Taylor

It was about 2:34 on a Saturday afternoon in mid November in South Florida and just like most Saturdays this time of year I was glued to the TV watching “The U” play. So what made this particular day about 8 years ago so special? I watched  Sean Taylor Light up a receiver coming across the middle for the 1st time on that day. I had fallen in love with defense that very moment. I knew then at 8 years of age that this guy was different then  most players…..He was Special.

This past week marked the 5 year anniversary of Former UM great and Washington Redskins Sean Taylor’s Death unexpected death. It was a shock to everyone in the world of football. I never knew Sean Taylor never met him but he seemed like a great person I heard nothing but great things about him off the field and saw nothing but greatness on it. When the Washington Redskins drafted him i knew they had found a leader and a franchise player for that defense for many years to come.He had some of the best instincts any football player could have, was a fundmentaly sound tackler, and had all the athletic gifts in the world  to cover the field he was a true quarterback of a defense.He was an incredible football player and had he not been shot there is no doubt in my mind that he would have went down as one of the greatest safeties to ever play the game of football. In sports it’s very seldom that we use the term “Class Act” when referring to athletes but Sean Taylor was a class act. He was a true talent and to this day it pains me to watch highlights of him because I think “What if” but every year around this time I feel its right that this man get his just due for being great on and off the field. To many times we criticize athletes for being one dimensional in terms of behavior off the field and performance on it this guy was consistent. So even though I know I am a bit late I feel it’s right that I respectfully say R.I.P to Sean Taylor My favorite UM player and safety ever!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Making Moves in Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee a city of what I like to call “Blue Collar Glamour”. Sure they have all of the Beautiful Lights on Beale Street but make no mistake about it this is a Blue Collar town. The Memphis Grizzlies play very close to Beale Street and people seem to be paying more attention to them and for great reason they are 9-2 sitting right atop the Western conference. it’s a great time around the FedEx forum these days and the Grindhouse is rocking on the regular. So with a 9-2 start and wins over the Heat, Thunder, Lakers and Knicks how good is this Memphis team? Well let me tell you they are all that and a bag of chips.


Many people may not recognize this fact but the Memphis Grizzlies coming into this season are the only team returning the same 5 starters for the 3rd consecutive season.
When you look at this starting five It all starts with Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph the best frontcourt in basketball. They are the identity of the Grizzlies they can beat you up in side they both can stretch the defense with 15 ft jump shots. Randolph is not your Blake Griffin type power forward that can jump out of the building, he plays below the rim and does just as good if not better then anyone else in the league using body positioning and instincts to rebound the basketball as opposed to athleticism. Marc Gasol who I truthfully believe is better then his Brother of the Lakers Pau is a top 5 center in this league posses many different skills to beat you out on the hardwood. He is tough and backs down to nobody, has great touch around the rim and hits floaters as well as hook shots in the lane But above all else is his passing. Having Marc Gasol on your team is like having an extra point guard on the floor his interior passing along with his jumpshot forces teams to double him which frees up the perimeter for Memphis Shooters like Wayne Ellington and Mike Conley as well as open the lane for athletic wing Players like Rudy Gay. So the Memphis frontcourt is as good as it gets in the NBA.



The rest of the starting line up contains guys like Rudy Gay, Tony Allen and point guard Mike Conley. Rudy Gay has always had the talent to be an elite small forward in this league and finally looks like he is beginning to put it together you can make the argument that he is the best player Memphis has. For the 1st time he and Randolph have been healthy at the same time so now we are beginning to see how good this team can really be. Rudy Gay can guard any player at the small forward position and is more then capable of guarding the power forward position. Tony Allen really brings that “Grindhouse” Mentality out at the shooting guard position. He isn’t going to drop 30 on you but he will guard your best player and make they’re lives a living hell for 4 quarters. Tony Allen is regarded as one of the best defenders in the NBA. To round out the starting 5 you have Mike Conley at point guard who Is one the most under valued players in the league to me. He is a very solid point guard can penetrate the middle of the floor and knows how to share the basketball but offense is hardly why myself or any NBA scout is impressed with when it comes to Conley. It is his defense and Ability to deflect and take away the ball from other players that impress people, he has really turned in to a good player.


So the Grizzlies starting lineup is good right? Well the Bench is also pretty darn good. Jarryd Bayless, Quincy Pondexter, Wayne Ellington, Marreese Speights are not sexy names to NBA Fans but these guys produce. They are the perfect guys to come off the bench for this team. Guys like Ellington and Pondexter are good 3 point shooters who bring it on defense night in and night out. Bayless in his 1st year gives Memphis a reliable floor general to spell Conley when they bring him off the bench which is something they have needed for years in Memphis. Speights brings a combination of toughness and skill at 6-10 he is able to play the power forward or center position, Stretch the defense and rebound. The Memphis bench is not to be taken lightly


So these guys know how to play basketball but more importantly they know how to win. Last year with Randolph not being 100% in the playoffs I picked Memphis to win the west and they wound up losing to the Clippers in the 1st round. This year is no different I picked Memphis and Miami in the Finals last year and I’ll do it again. The Memphis Grizzlies will win the west. Good ball Movement, Defensive intensity, Deep Bench and 2 low post presences I’ll take my chances Memphis.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

5 Things to be Thankful for

It’s November and the year is winding down and today across our nation we Celebrate Thanksgiving. On this day we give thanks for all of the positive things going in our lives and spend some quality time with our families and friends Induldging in food such as Turkey, Mash potatoes and of course Pumpkin Pie. On this Thanksgiving day I Give you the 5 things I’m most thankful for in sports this year.

#5 NHL Playoffs

This past NHL postseason is one of the best we ever saw. We saw the scrappy Florida Panthers make the playoffs for the 1st time in over a decade and take the eventual Eastern Conference Champion New Jersey Devils to a thrilling game 7 overtime. We saw the Blood bath that was Penguins-Flyers. Above All the 8th seeded L.A Kings became the 1st team in Sports history to win a championship as an 8th seed. It was sintulating and is a reminder of why we need to end this lockout and get the players back on the Ice.

#4 Rondo’s Assist Streak

Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics is the best playmaker in basketball today. Watching him slowly chip away at Magic Johnson’s 46 game streak of 10 Assist a more is a testament to his court vision and basketball iq on the floor. He is currently at 34 games straight with 10 or more assists.

#3 Jack Taylor

Jack Taylor of Grinnell College in Iowa dropped 138 points shattering an NCAA Record. The only problem was it was premeditated, The D3 school played 0-4 faith babtist and attempted to break the record listen to the video. He took 108 shots and 71 3 pointers. It was every Basketball purists nightmare. The reason this here is because everyone is suddenly a basketball purist now which is awesome.

#2 Bay area Baseball

Baseball in the the Bay area gave so many thrills to me and fans across the country. The Oakland A’s and World Champion San Francisco Giants proved 2 things right in baseball circles. The Giants once again proved that pitching wins championships and that you don’t need a bunch of homerun hitters in your lineup to win a World Series you just need guys who play the game hard and play it right. The A’s Proved that a Small market team on a shoe string payroll can win…in fact they proved they can win a division title over the 2 time defending AL Champion Texas Rangers and L.A Angles. I love when teams prove the world wrong.

#1 The Real Heroes

I know Veterans day passed but make sure you give thanks for our troops and our war veterans for putting  they’re lives on the line everyday. They will spend thanksgiving away from they’re families to protect our freedom’s. We can not thank them enough for what they do and we owe them a lot of respect and gratitude on this Thanksgiving day. They are Bigger and more important then sports.

So there you have it what I am most Thankful for  this year in sports. Have a happy and memorable
thanksgiving and Make sure you watch
lots of  football today…..LETS GO RG3!!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hell In Miami

Oh how we were fooled by the Miami Marlins and Owner Jeffery Loria. He and his Big headed stepson/President of the Miami Marlins David Sampson really gave the whole city of Miami a big middle finger. Today a trade was finalized to send Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonafacio, Mark Buehrle, John Buck to the Toronto Bluejays for Yunel Escobar and a bunch of no names. This was announced several days ago but was just finalized today and many Marlins fans and citizens of Miami are outraged and for good reason.

For many years it was promised that by Loria and company that with a baseball only facility and they’re own revenue stream would be viable contenders year in and year out. After increasing the payroll to 100 million dollars and some change they blew up the team in the middle of the season Finished in last place (AGAIN) in the NL East and proceeded to have the 3rd fire sale in team history. After hearing all these promises for years Many Marlins fans including myself thought things would be different. It was all just a very sick joke to trick taxpayers of Miami-Dade county into paying for 60% of the stadium. I remember walking into Marlins Park and I was in love with the park I truly had been brainwashed to think things would be different When Little did I know they were going to get worse.

This team is now once again the laughing stock of Major League Baseball I have seen more talent come in and out of the Marlins Organization then some fans do in they’re whole life time. I can name you almost 2 rosters full of all-stars who have been traded by our team. Gone are the days of being World Champions. Gone are the days of having any kind of pride in this tea,. Gone are the days me or anyone taking them seriously.

Last season at this time I and the rest of Marlins country were on cloud 9 we had signed and grossly overpaid for Mark Buehrle, Health Bell and longtime rival Jose Reyes. Many thought “WOW these aren’t your same penny pinching Marlins”. We had expectations, Hope, Hype and a reality TV show. I had every reason in the world to have though that the 2012 season would be special with the likes of Reyes, Hanley, Stanton, Bonafacio, Bell, Josh Johnson we had everything you could have wanted except Execution.

We got tagged for 93 losses and Ozzie Guillen was quickly dismissed. Need less to say it was an embarrassing year for Players and Fans. Former Marlin Mike Redmond was hired an I was actually a fan of the hire he is very baseball savy, A winner and was always a leader in his time with the Black and Teal but most important he was low-key and that’s what this team needed after last year. Unless This regime somehow magically spends money on some big time free agents and people in South Florida will not support baseball.

The Biggest problem with this organization though is the revolving door that is the Marlins Managerial position. Since 2006 Girardi, Fredi Gonzalez, Edwin Rodriguez, Jack Mckeon, Ozzie Guillen and now Mike Redmond. That 6 managers in 6 years talk about instability. I don’t care what sport we are talking about if you look at any franchise that is elite there is stability at the coaching position. The Boston Celtics have Doc Rivers, New England Patriots have Bill Belichick, The Lakers had Phil Jackson you get the point. The Marlins throughout the whole history have never had stability at the managerial postion which is why we only have 2 playoff appearances in 19 years. Until that happens they will never consistently win.

Then you have the Slew of Talent that they traded away like Miguel Cabrera, Luis Castillo, Jeff Conine, Dan Uggla, Dontrelle Willis, Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, Gary Sheffield, Edgar Renteria and Pudge Rodriguez. All those guys were all All-Stars when they were in a Marlin uniform. So when you don’t have stability at the managerial position you will most likely not have any stability on your roster and they will get traded away and go on to win triple crowns for the Detroit Tigers. Fans can never get attached to players because once they do they will be dealt.

It was so great for one season to see so much Marlins gear around the city and to go to a park that had people in it. This trade has Scared an already Battered fan base ands that’s who they hurt the most. They are not trying to win because if they were they would got some value in return in that trade. For general Manager Larry Beinfest to say “We think we brought in Championship quality talent” is an insult to anyone who still cares or supports this team. The Marlins are going to lose so many season ticket holders as well as they should. You have the World Champion Miami Heat right across town fans are better are of spending there money for an organization that cares about putting a quality product on the court.

I have been a Marlins Fan my whole life for 17 years I have bled nothing but Black N Teal but it is time for me to stop supporting this garbage and I urge fellow die hard Marlins fans alike to not support this team until Loria sells the team. When there were 500 people in the stands I supported. When we traded Miguel Cabrera I supported. When we fired Joe Giradi  I still supported. What I get back in return are last place finishes and an ownership group that just doesn’t care.

The Marlins let Miguel Cabrera go and he is the best player and most complete hitter this franchise has ever seen But a close 2nd is outfielder and slugger Mike Stanton. He has all the tools to win MVP awards and lead the League in HR’s and RBI’S. Mr.Stanton is not happy these days Expressing his frustration via Twitter after the trade saying “ I’m Pissed off plain and simple”. That is not a good thing this guys has more strength and raw power then Cabrera did at 23 years of age. although he isn‘t anywhere near the same level as him in terms of being a pure hitter.. He has the potential to become the best player this franchise has ever seen but odds are he either won’t have enough talent around him to win or he will leave to a New York, Boston, Philly or San Francisco to go chase rings and fulfill his potential like many Marlins before him. If he Leaves consider it one very last stab in the heart to the future of baseball in Miami.

I care deeply about this franchise I have spent
countless amount of time as a kid and now as a young man attending games, Spring training. All I want is a team I can be proud of that keeps it’s players and gives the fans a chance to embrace the marlins and the Marlins to embrace the fans. Most importantly though I want a third Championship ring just like many other people do……. Many other people did.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

End of an Era

For 82 years Twinkies has been a Pioneer in American junk food. Created in 1930 The “golden sponge cake with creamy filling” is beloved by many Americans but now “Hostess” the company and manufacturer of Twinkies has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and has layed off 10,000 plus workers. Soon this product will no longer be found on the shelves of your favorite supermarkets, Cornerstore’s etc. This news has sent many people (myself in particular) in a frenzy and scramble to indulge just one last time before Twinkies go extinct. This news directly Impacts the NFL and let me tell you How. Offensive linemen are the foundation to a productive offense in the NFL. While they are Athletic they’re position requires them to be bulky, William “THE Refidgerator” Perry -Esque. They need to be Wide loads who can protect the Quarterback and let me tell you one thing, The NFL and it’s O-linemen are not happy about this! This is one snack that is a staple in these massive men’s eating plan. Snack time just got a little worse around the league. Without Twinkies what other snacks can be depended on to fill the void for the NFL’s Men in the trenches? Snickers? Cheetos? I DON’T THINK SO!!!! No snack can replace what Twinkies does for guys like Jake Long, T.J Lang, Jamarcus Russell, Ryan Kalil. You have what looks like a cupcake with Vanilla cream on the inside I’m not sure how the Health &Fitness Staff’s around the league are going to adjust to this epidemic but it should be an interesting story going into the Off-season. These guys better get they're 4.5 grams of  fat before it's to late.

This has more of an impact on fans though, Twinkies for many people are the best snacks to consume while watching sports. I know when I settle in to watch My Charlotte Bobcats play on NBA League pass I love to have my bottle of Coke inconjuction with a nice pack of Twinkies on the side. I know many people that buy gangs of Twinkies on Super Bowl Sunday.For the first time in may people's life they have to buy alternative snacks on superbowl sunday.So this impacts so many people and in a way it feels like part of people’s childhood is being taken away just like that. You know what I’m going to the cornerstore to get some Twinkies right now Just one last time…….


Friday, November 16, 2012

Worst Nickname in Sports?

Doug Martin formerly known as "The Muscle Hamster"

Nicknames hold a lot of weight in the Sports World football in particular you have the likes of “Matty Ice”, “Revis Island” or “MegaTron” all names that fairly represent the assigned players and they are just plain cool. “Cool” is a  word seldom used when speaking about the nickname of Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rookie Running Back/Fantasy football sensation Doug Martin. That Nickname if you haven’t heard by now is of course “The Muscle Hamster”. The lack of toughness or flamboyance of that name probably knocked you socks off. Let me tell you the story of “The Muscle Hamster”. It all started back his Boise State days you see Doug had a girlfriend who was a gymnast  and she was allegedly more cut then Doug as far as Muscle tone so a Friend/Teammate of Doug called her a “Muscle Hamster”. Martin like any man stood up for his Women and said “ Hey! She is not a muscle hamster” his friend responded by saying “You’re a muscle Hamster too” and so it was born the Legend of the Muscle Hamster. Martin hates the nickname himself and was quoted in USA Today saying “It’s the worst nickname ever” At 5-9 215 pounds Doug Martin is short, Stocky and talented. Doug Martin had one of the best games in NFL History vs. Oakland Raiders Rushing for 251 yards in 4 touchdowns all in 1 game! He set a new Buccaneers record for rushing yards in a single game. I drafted him in several Fantasy leagues I play in and I firmly believe that he is worthy of enough of solid nickname and as a fan/Fantasy Owner of him I took the liberty of making some Nicknames of my own for Mr.Martin.

#1 "Dougie by the bay"
#2 "Dougie disater"
#3 "Dougie Smoove"

DING,DING,DING!! we have a winner From this day forward I and all football fans alike will adress Doug Martin as “Dougie Smoove”. If you don’t like my nickname for him Tweet me a better one @ThatBoyBtaylor on twitter or better yet Tweet him @DougMartin22 he would love a new nickname. Let’s shed the horror that is the “Muscle Hamster”


Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Queen City's Future: Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Hope- A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

There was not much of this in Charlotte last season for the Bobcats but when you watch Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist play you get to visualize and enjoy the hope these 2 bring to the city. Last night in a rare NBA TV appearance the Bobcats Defeated the Dallas Mavericks 101-97 in a OT thriller. A team they had previously been 0-16 against and in that game we saw just how dangerous Kemba and MKG can be. Kemba was just a monster with 26 points 6 rebounds 7 assists and 8 steals. MKG recorded his 1st double-double with 25 points and 12 rebounds. As you can see these two can fill up a stat sheet but there is more to them numbers. Kemba Walker looks rejuvenated after struggling last season he looks like the guy this nation fell in love with at Uconn he is playing intense, stress free basketball and its just enjoyable to watch. He lived in the gym this off-season and playing in  new coach Mike Dunlap’s system Walker has been what I said he would be in the July and that is a candidate for the NBA’s most improved player award, Refer to my “Vegas Summer league” article. MKG has great energy and does so many things well and is just a joy to watch. He finishes around the rim well and just gets after it defensively and being the youngest player in the league at 19 years old he has a tremendous amount of upside and time to work on that jump shot of his. The Bobcats are 2-3  with wins over the Pacers and Mavs playing tough, Physical, Respectable basketball and these 2 are a huge part of that. In my opinion playing in the East an 8th seed playoff appearance is not out of question for the young Charlotte team. They certainly won’t win any Championships this year but the Future looks bright in the QC and behind these 2 franchise cornerstones progress seems inevitable.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I know this isn't related to sports at all but Congratulations to President Obama on being Re-elected as President of the United States of America. Even if you don't agree or like the choice of President i hope eveybody excercised they're rights to vote. By the way just in case you didn't hear about it Obama was spotted playing basketball with Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen. Reports came out that in his pick up game of basketball Obama's team won by 20. If you have never seen the President ball out before enjoy some of these highlights.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cam vs RG3

In a society where we live with a "what have you done for me lately" mentality Cam Newton has kind of been forgotten about with everybody being goo-goo Gah-Gah over this years rookie sensation Robert Griffin III. Last year Cam exploded onto the scene breaking every rookie QB record imaginable it semmed like the Carolina Panthers had finally found a franchise QB. This season has been the definition of a "sophmore slump" for Cam only throwing 5 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. It's more then a stats thing though with Cam it looks like he isn't even having fun playing football anymore and he is dwelling on all his mistakes to the point where the post game press conferences are sounding like a broken record. The Panthers are 1-6 and have lost games in every way imaginable. With 10 games left there is still time for Cam to prove naysayers and critics wrong and salvage his season.

On the other side you have Robert Griffin III who has looked more like a QB as opposed to Cam who looks to use his legs more then his arms and you can see in the stats. RG3's QB rating is 13% higher then Cam's rookie season along with his completion percentage being 6% higher. Also The Redskins have half the wins that Cam did his rookie season at (3-5) with  9 game left. Cam went (6-10) in his Rookie season. It's more then record or statistics when comparing the 2 super athletic QB's. Griffin has looked more like a Quarterback then Cam and i feel that it's a mentality that seperates these two. When Cam drops back he is looking for a big play throwing the ball and if it's not there then he is looking to use his legs. Griffin on the other hand can do it all with checkdowns and play that short intermediate game but if saftey's or DB's creep up he will hit you over the top for a 50 yard Touchdown but he does have the ability to use his legs when the play breaksdown.

The Panthers take on the Redskins at Fedex Field at 1 as Cam Newton Takes on Robert Griffin III. It should be a good one i hope both Qb's Give us a great Show. Will Cam Rise above the hate or will Rg3 prove that he is the better of the two QB's?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Go Hard-en the Paint

So unless you have been under a rock for the last few days you pretty much know that James Harden is playing possesed. Since being traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Houston Rockets he has dropped 82 points which included a 45 point explosion in Atlanta last night leading the Rockets to 2 wins over the Pistons and Hawks. He has and Jeremy Lin have been complimenting each other well. Can Houston continue this winning trend led by Harden and Lin? We will see but it's been fun to watch so far and the Hometown fans will get there 1st look at this years Rockets they take on rookie sensation Damian Lillard and the Blazers i will definetly be watching!


Friday, November 2, 2012

Lebron James vs. Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is a name synonmus with greatness. During his era of play MJ Left an indelible mark on the game of basketball on all levels. Whether its hitting a game winning shot vs. Patrick Ewing and the Georgetown Hoyas to win the national championship or dropping a playoff record 63 points vs. Boston Celtics in the Boston record his airiness never seized too amaze us. While Mj’s accomplishments may be staggering he had no easy road to the NBA. Michaels hoop dreams began in North Carolina Emsley A. Laney high school where he was told he was to short to play basketball at the varsity level at (5,11). MJ Fueled by fire Jordan channeled his determination into becoming the leading scorer on the JV team accumulating several 40 point games. A season after proving his coach dead wrong Jordan grew over 4 inches over the summer and earned a spot on the varsity team as a sophomore. MJ would average 20 Points a game over the next 3 years in high school. He earned a spot in the prestigious McDonalds all-American game. All these accomplishments  drew the attention of the legendary UNC Tar heels where Jordan earned a scholarship too play basketball in chapel hill. He left his mark winning ACC Freshman of the year honors and hitting the game winning shot in the 1982 national championship vs. Georgetown Hoyas. In the 1984 NBA Draft the Chicago Bulls made Jordan’s hoop dreams a reality, little did they now how lucky they had just gotten.

Another guy who took a completely different route to the NBA and became one of the premier talents and cultural figures in the game today is Lebron James. This is a guy who athletically is a freak of nature. When in middle school Lebron was able too dominate the competition  he was a man amongst boys being able too dunk while in middle school. When King James got too St.Vincent-St.Marys he dominated basketball at the high school level. He was the 1st sophomore to be named “Mr. Basketball” in the state of Ohio. He would accomplish “Mr. Basketball” honors 3 times in his high school career while also leading the Irish to 3 state championships. They would have to get St.Mary to play in larger venues such as the Cleveland convocation center playing in front of crowds all because they wanted too see the teenage basketball phenom Lebron James. The high school games he played like the ones vs. power house Oak Hill were televised nationally by Espn. He had all the hype coming into the league and a Nike endorsement to back it up. He would skip college and declare for the 2003 NBA Draft at 19 years of age. He would be selected 1st overall by his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. LBJ Automatically reached cult like status when they put up a billboard  with James doing his powder ritual on the Sherwin Williams headquarters building with a black and white Nike Sign that read “ We are all Witness” . Lebron James was the city of Cleveland’s crown jewel and he was the heart and soul of Cavalier basketball.

Now although MJ and Lebron took different paths too the league they have both financially and culturally impacted the game more then any players in the history of the game. In the 1983-84 season the Chicago Bulls only averaged 6,365 fans. In the 1984 NBA draft they would select Jordan 3rd overall out of UNC.  His leaping ability and explosiveness to the rim electrified the city of Chicago. Attendance had steadily increased in Chicago and by the 1987-1988 season the bulls averaged a then franchise high 18,061 fans per game. Jordan wasn’t only selling out in the windy city everybody wanted a chance too see Jordan in action. Pat Williams a marketing guru and author of “How to be like Jordan” life lessons about basketball once said a San Francisco businessman purchased Golden State Warriors Season tickets just so he could see MJ play once a year in person. When Mike stopped playing he gave up the season tickets. The Bulls recorded 610 consecutive sellouts at home over a 13 year period (11/20/87-11/7/00).  MJ Transcended ticket sales he created a whole new market and spawned a whole new generation when in 1984 he and Nike teamed up to release Jordan’s 1st signature basketball shoes the Air Jordan 1’s. Nike Air Jordan was really the 1st massive player designed shoe to come out. Jordan paved the way for players like Charles Barkley, Larry Johnson,  Shawn Kemp to have their own signature shoes. The Jordan brand took off in now in 2012 Jordan brand apparel brings in 1 Billion dollars in revenue per year. In tapping into an untapped market and creating his own lane  and one for Lebron James  in the future Michael Jordan changed the game from a business perspective 

Now while MJ culturally and financially impacted basketball like no other player has Lebron James has made an impact and a name for himself globally as well. Lebron has a laundry list of endorsements such as Nike, Mcdonalds, Bubblicious,. LBJ also has had a song made for his “More then a game” documentary titled “Forever” which featured rap heavyweights Drake,Lil Wayne, Kanye West and Eminem. The song was a hit selling over 3,000,000 copies and reaching as high as #2 on the billboard charts. Lebron was making an impact on the court, TV and now radio. He is more then a marketing tool he is a ratings difference maker. The 2011 NBA Finals was the most viewed since 2000. Also the 2011 NBA Eastern conference finals game 7 generated a 9.1 rating the highest for any NBA game televised on cable. So LBJ had an impact on NBA business in his own right.

 Jordan is noted for winning 6 championships and never losing in the finals but many people forget his failures. As great as Jordan proved to be in the playoffs he and Scottie Pippen could never get passed Isaiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman and the Chuck Daly coached Detroit Pistons. In a regular season game on national television Jordan had an offensive explosion going for 59 points at the Palace leadings the Bulls to 112-110 victory. After that and another 61 point outburst Chuck Daly drew frustrated with Jordan’s scoring binges and created the “Jordan Rules” which forced him into operating from uncomfortable spots forcing him to dribble left which is his weaker side. They would use spacing in man to man sets to triple team MJ when he would attempt to penetrate the middle of the floor. This smothering defense applied by the likes of Joe Dumars, Bill Lambeer,  and Dennis Rodman forced MJ to either take shots, take hard borderline flagrant fouls or pass the ball and force someone else to beat them. In applying the Jordan Rules Detroit could successfully protect the paint and this strategically tactic proved to be valuable as the Pistons would defeat the Bulls 3 straight years in the playoffs. Jordan was scrutinized people said he didn’t have what it takes to beat the Pistons in a 7 game series.  At one point people questioned if Michael would ever win a championship and he was labled as a choke artist.

Michael Jordan's most trying times would come in the form of the Detroit Pistons. for three years the "Bad Boys" had sent the young upstart Bulls home in frustration to the dismay of Michael Jordan. From 1988-90 the Pistons defeated Chicago. Although the Bulls had inched just a bit  closer every year towrds beating them it just wasn't enough. Then the 1991 Easten Conference finals came along and no longer were the Bulls going to be bullied by the Pistons in fact  The Bulls had swept the Detroit and MJ finally had the Monkey off his back. He played a great series averaging 28 points per game along with 5 rebounds 2 steals 7 assists on 52% shooting from the field. Chicago would go on to face Magic and the Lakers but it didn't real matter Michael and this Bulls team now had supreme and unshakable confidnece and would make quick work of L.A in 5 games to Capture the 1st tittle in Chicago Bulls history. This would be the start of what would become one of the Greatest dynasty's of all-time with MJ leading the way.

Nothing says Chicago Bulls basketball like this dynamic duo. Whether you loved or hated the Bulls you knew about the classic combo of Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan. They were the foundation for a dynasty you had 2 of the most dynamic defenders in the league at the time on one team. When they finally got over the hurdle that was the Detroit Pistons it gave them unshakeable confidence and they would remain the team to beat for years to come. With Role playes such as John Paxson, Steve Kerr, B.j Armstrong, Horce Grant, Bill Cartwright, Luc longley etc over the years it wouldn't really matter who the the role players were MJ was going to put them in a postion to succeed. If he said "we are not losing tonight" then that meant at the end of 4 quarters and sometimes sudden death that the Bulls more times then would get the win. In the 1987 season the Bulls Drafted Scottie Pippen and finally they had a dynamic duo that could lead an elite team and grow together. The struggles against the Pistons allowed Pippen and Jordan to grow up through adversity and when they finally climbed that hurdle in 1991 it would begin an unfoegttable era in NBA history. The Bulls were the NBA's marquee team in the 90's because of these 2 extaoridnary players it allowed the bulls to compete in the East and win 6 championshps. Arena's across the nation from Miami to Seattle were selling out to see MJ, Pippen and the Bulls come to town. I could sit here all day and tell you all day on how great Pippen and Jordan were together but i'll let the numbers do the talking for me. Here are the combined numbers for MJ and Pip.

  • 21 All-star Selections
  • 4 All- Star Game MVP's
  • 51,232 Points
  • 14,166 Rebounds
  • 19 All NBA Defensive teams
  • 4 time league leaders in steals
  • 69 win season (1996-97)
  • 6 championships  (90-93) (95-98)

Ever since the day Lebron made the decsion this duo has been compared to Pippen and Jordan which i think makes sense but is stupid because i think that Wade and Lebron are better then the other duo. As good as Scottie was we all knew Michael was better but when you talk about Wade and Lebron it's different. Scottie was an All-star but he was never a threat for best player in the league you can make the argument through many times in Wade's career that he was better then Lebron, that was never a question with Pippen because Michael was always better. So based on talent Wade and Lebron are better because of the versatility of LBJ and Wade's ability to close out games,they just impact the gameplan for opposing coaches in ways Pip and MJ never did. With all that said will The Miami Heat today become a dynasty like the Chicago Bulls in the 90's? They took it all last season vs. OKC LBJ is stil 5 rings away from Jordan and Wade is 4. This years Heat team has as much talent if not more then thoe 90's Bulls teams. You look at the talent outside of Lebron and Wade and you got guys like Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers,Chris Bosh and then you add guys like Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis it just makes the best team in the league that much better. If this team is healthy for the most part i could see Wade and Lebron touching 6 rings or more. Here are the combined numbers for both of these 2 future hall of famers.

  • 34,035 points
  • 7,963 rebounds
  • 3 All-star game MVP's
  • 7 All NBA defensive teams
  • 2 scoring tittles
  • 2 Finals MVP's (Wade-2006 James-2012)
  • 3 Championships (Wade-2006,2012 James(2012)
  • 16 All-Star selections

Lebron James who wore #23 in Cleveland and was a Jordan fan himself has received more criticism then anybody in NBA history. This being for 2 reasons only

1. Lebron’s inability to closeout in the 4th quarter and perceived lack of mental toughness
 2. July 9th 2010 Lebron sent shockwaves through the basketball world where he announced on ESPN  to the world he would “Take his talents to south beach” and sign with the Miami Heat.

Cleveland was heart broken and moments later were seen burning is Cavaliers Jerseys, T-Shirts and anything else that had to do with him. It was kind of like that seen in the movie Bruce Almighty  where the whole city is on fire and people are in a frenzy. After a Celebration at the American Airlines where Lebron announced that the Miami Heat would win “Not one, Not two, Three, Not four, Not five, Not six, Not seven championships” . whether he was joking or not he had proclaimed the Heat a Dynasty before the roster was even filled out or before they played a single game.  This made Lebron and his new team public enemy #1 in every opposing arena in the NBA. When he made his return to Cleveland for his 1st game with the Cavaliers though the hostility was raised to another level. When he came back he was met by what many call the most hostile environment EVER for a regular season game in NBA history. Seemingly the whole city of Cleveland wanted to let James forget how they felt. You can tell they had spent lots of time in perpetration for this day conjuring up signs like “Lechoke” “Quitness” and my personal favorite “The lying king”. All the hostility in the world couldn’t have stopped LBJ that night. He silenced the whole Quicken Loans Arena crowd dropping 38 points en rout to a dominating victory for himself and his teammates . The Heat would enter the 2011 NBA playoffs as the 2nd seed in the eastern conference. They made quick work of the 76ers, Celtics and Bulls all in 5 game series. Lebron made winning plays and big time shots throughout those 3 rounds and was playing some of the best basketball of his career. When the Heat took on the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals Lebron was trying to get a 8 year monkey off his back. The monkey wasn’t going anywhere Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks would defeat the Miami Heat in 6 games and win the 2011 NBA Finals

Criticism on Lebron grew to new found heights after the loss. I’m sure the loss ate him up inside and in the offseason he spent countless hours working on his post game with 2 time Champion and hall of famer Hakeem Olajuwon . Implementing this into his game made him more lethal then he already was.

When the 66 game condensed season started Lebron James was a model of consistency and picked up his 3rd MVP Award. He averaged 27 points per game with 7 rebounds 6 assists on 53% shooting. When the Heat came into the 2012 NBA Playoffs Lebron once again had something to prove and you could see it on his face. The 1st round featured little drama with the Heat defeating the Knicks in 5 Games. The 2nd round presented much more of a challenge vs. the Danny Granger, Roy Hibbert and the upstart Indiana Pacers. The Heat would win Game 1 but in the process would lose key player Chris Bosh for the whole series to a groin injury. 2 losses to the Pacers which included a 94-75 Blowout had critics once again talking and Lebron and the Heat with their backs against the walls. May 20th 2012 would be one of the defining moments in Lebron’s postseason run in 2012. Coming in down 2-1 vs. the Pacers at the Conseco Field house Lebron had arguably one of his best game ever. Big time Players make Big time plays in Big games and LBJ had a historic performance dropping 40 points 18 rebounds with 9 assists on 51% shooting leading the Miami Heat to a game 5 road win to tie the series up 2-2. The Heat would win the next 2 games by double digits and go on to face the rival Boston Celtics.

The series began with the Miami Heat protecting home court winning game 1 and 2. When the series got back to Boston Rajon Rondo and company changed the whole momentum of the series. The Heat lost both games to the Celtics in Boston including a nail bitter in game 4 91-93. When the series shifted to Miami for game 5 The Heat would lose 94-90 behind the performances of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Mikael Pietrus. So the stage was set game 6 at the TD Garden Celtics up 3-2 with a chance to clinch a trip to the NBA Finals with the weight of the world on Lebron’s shoulders. Many people (Including Myself) thought this was just going to be another scenario for Lebron to choke in and that the series was over…But the king had other plans. In an arena that has never treated him well vs. a team that has derailed his title hopes many times Lebron rose up in the face of adversity. Playing with a possessed look the whole game he had one of the greatest pressure performances in NBA history. 45 Points 15 Rebounds and 5 Assists on 73% shooting. That’s ridiculous to put up those type of numbers with that kind of pressure on you. It wasn’t like he was just living in the paint either he was making an array of shots. Jab step jumpers, to fade away bank shots, floaters in traffic, pull up 3’s emphatic dunks. The only thing he didn’t do that night was sell peanuts. For a guy who’s been labeled a choke artist his whole career this was the turning point and leading Miami to a 98-79 victory was monumental in that series. The series would end in a double digit victory in Game 7 and the Heat would move onto the 2012 NBA Finals too take on Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook an the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Heat had battled and overcame more adversity then any other team to get to this point where they lost last year. The question was still asked Lebron finish the job? After a game 1 loss 105-94 those questioned grew even greater. But the next 4 games Lebron was the best player on the floor. He lead the Heat to 4 victories and captured the 2nd Championship in franchise history. More importantly for him the monkey was off his back and he was a champion. From game 2 to 5 James averages looked like this

29 Points per game 11 Rebounds 8 assists 47 FG %

Including a triple double in game 7
(26 points 11 rebounds 13 assists)

He was named MVP and presented the trophy by NBA Legend Bill Russell when asked about how he felt when the clock hit 0:00 in game 7 and he knew he was a champion he Immediately  responded saying “IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME”. He raised the trophy high and proud and the 1st championship of Lebron’s career was captured in his 9th season.

The work didn’t stop with just a finals ring and MVP, the Olympics were right around the corner and Lebron was trying to accomplish something only Michael Jordan had accomplished. He won the  Regular Season MVP, an NBA Finals, Finals MVP and a Gold Medal all in the same season since 1992. He is on top of the basketball world but still has a long way to to catch Jordan according to Dwayne Wade saying the sky’s the limit.

Before the Lebron even captured his 1st title many NBA Legends and executives had some choice words for the king both positive and negative. In an ESPN Interview Hall of Famer and Milwaukee Bucks great Oscar Robertson gave Lebron high praise. When asked if he is better then Michael Jordan he said “Lebron is in a class by himself” . WOW!!! Those are some bold words coming from a guy who was once and still is regarded by many to be the greatest basketball player of all-time. Jerry West “The Logo” and Laker great says “I don’t know if I ever seen a better athlete play this game, He is a great teammate, I think he has a chance to go down as the greatest player to ever play this game”. 2 of the best players this game has ever seen acknowledged the fact that Lebron has all the talent in the world to be better then Michael Jordan. Charles Barkley though had some negative comments about Lebron after taking his “Talents” to South Beach. Barkley said “He’ll never be as great as Jordan this clearly takes him out the conversation, he can win as much as he wants to”. Barkley recently just said that he thinks Lebroncould be better then Jordan in a recent episode of NBA TV's "open court" saying that"I do think he can be better than Michael"I thought I would never compare somebody to Michael Jordan. But this guy, LeBron James, he does everything well. Michael did everything well. LeBron James is just bigger, stronger, faster. That's the only difference."  Whether you agree with the “Big O” and Jerry West or Barkley or not there is no denying his talent and ability to challenge Jordan for the top spot.

At the end of this season was the end of Lebron’s 9th season in the NBA  where he captured his 1st NBA Championship at 27 years of age. Michael Jordan Did not get his 1st ring until he was 27 years old but in the 1st 9 years here is how both of these elite’s stack up vs. each other

Michael Jordan                                                           Lebron James

   32 Points per game                                                      28 Points per game
   6 Assists                                                                            7 Assists
   6 Rebounds                                                                       7 Rebounds
   3 Steals                                                                             2 Steals
   1 block                                                                             1 Block
   50 FG %                                                                            48 FG %

As you can see through his 1st 9 seasons in the league his airness Michael Jordan had better numbers then Lebron even the injury in the 1985-86 season, Most people don't average that in but i did for the sake of this ongoing debate to prove what i believe to be true that Michael Jordan is better then Lebron. Lebron is a great player no doubt about it but if people are comparing him and MJ Fairly at this moment comparing first 9 seasons between the two you can clearly see that MJ Through his first 9 years of basketball is slightly better then Lebron James.  People always say that "LBJ is a much better passer then MJ" the stats say he is only 1 assist better through his first 9 years. Although the stats say they are even because Jordan had 3 Championships to Lebron's one coming this year the edge goes to MJ. Lebron is still fairly young at 27 years old so he is gonna have time to catch MJ but for now you can't say that Lebron is better you can only do what many legends have said by saying that Lebron can be just as good if not better then Jordan.
There are many ways to dissect who is better or who you think is better but we won’t know entirely who is better until Lebron is done playing basketball. In my opinion I think Lebron will fall just short of Jordan because MJ was just to Dominant To the point where he couldn't even play 1 on 5 against the other team being the reason for the illegal offense rule.He never lost in the finals. He won Back to back to back championships twice and could have had 8 if he didn’t retire. As great as LBJ Is I just think the way MJ played is going to make it hard for  Lebron to really be accepted as the best ever because he broke a mold and sent many trends and was a game changer but I’ll tell you one thing if there is anybody who will give him a run for his money its Lebron. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m the furthest thing from a Lebron fan and could tell you that i hated the man so for me to even say that is big. I do know one thing though and that it’s going to be great to watch him chase after MJ’s greatness. I always said that Michael Jordan was the most talented player in the game combined the highest level of fitness, You can pretty much say the same for Lebron.So who's better? I'll leave that up to you hope this helps.

"Ever since i was a kid, i was always the winner"-Lebron James

"I'm not out there sweating for three hours everyday just to find out what it feels like to sweat"-Michael Jordan

"Ask me to play,I'll play
Ask me to  shoot,I'll shoot
Ask me to pass,i'll pass
Ask me to steal,block out,sacrifice,lead,dominate
ANYTHING"-Lebron James

"If you look up the definition of greatness in the dictionary, it will say Michael Jordan"-Elgin Baylor

"Don't be afraid of failure,this is the way to succeed"-Lebron James
"I've missed more then 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over again in my life and that's why i succeed"-Michael Jordan

"Lebron is in a class by himself"-Oscar Robertson


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