Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Michael Jordan vs. Lebron James debate

I grew up watching and idolizing Michael Jordan. I think he is the greatest player in the history of the NBA. I have also been a huge Lebron James fan since his rookie year and he has lived up to all the hype since he entered the league. I love both of these players and am getting a little tired of people always arguing over who is the greatest player.

I've been guilty of ranking players by order of greatness in the past and will probably continue to share my opinion about it in the future, but one thing I 've learned when doing this is that there are many very passionate fans out there. We all have our preferences and favorites, but some of these fans have some serious blinders on and can be very close minded and angry if they don't agree with you.

One problem with this debate is how to define greatest. Is it the best player, most successful, highest skill level, most records, most amazing highlights? Winning championships is definitely part of the equation but I don't like putting too much stock into that. Bill Russell is amazing with his 11 rings, but you also have to remember that Sam Jones has 10, Tommy Heinsohn, K.C. Jones, and John Havlicek all have 8. Jim Loscutoff and Robert Horry have more rings than Jordan too.

I think Lebron is a better all around player but Jordan has more tenacity and killer instinct. They play at different positions, in different times when there have been changes to how the game is played, and one of their career's is still not over yet so this further complicates the debate.

Anyway, I think as of today that Jordan is still the GOAT but Lebron is right on his heels. I also have no doubt that by the time Lebron retires he will be the undisputed GOAT. I love both players and don't see the need to bash either one. I think Kobe best summed it up this week when he tweeted "We can enjoy one without tearing down one. I love what he’s doing. Don’t debate what can’t be definitively won by anyone."

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Mark Eaton- Shot Blocker and Author

I love shot blocking! One of the greatest shot blockers in the NBA was Mark Eaton. He led the league with an average of 3.5 blocks per game. Here is a sample of his work from a monster night he had against Chicago in 1986.




Mark recently came out with a book called The Four Commitments and you can check out the details on the Amazon link below.

The Four Commitments

Friday, March 16, 2018

I Love The Current Jazz Squad

I first started watching the Jazz in the early 80's. I loved how Adrian Dantley played so big for his size at only 6'5" and he could post up on anyone and always get to the free throw line. I loved Darrell Griffith and his exciting dunks and high arching three pointers, as well as Ricky Green's hustle and assists. Frank Layden was just as entertaining as any of the players.

Over the next several years Mark Eaton, Thurl Bailey, John Stockton, and Karl Malone joined the squad and were the core of what I remember about Jazz basketball. In the early 90's Jerry Sloan took over as head coach and I loved his no-nonsense style. By the mid 90's Jeff Hornacek and Byron Russell joined the team as the Jazz faced the Bulls for 2 NBA finals.

In the early 2,000's Andrei Kirilenko and Matt Harpring joined the team but this was also a sad time as Stockton and Malone retired and that left a huge hole. Shortly after Carlos Boozer and Darin Williams were the star players but things were not quite the same. I later enjoyed what Memhet Okur,  Paul Millsap, and Kyle Korver brought to the team.

In 2010 Gordon Hayward came along and I loved his hustle and style but I was upset with how things were going and with the pressure that led up to Jerry Sloan leaving. I have to admit that by the 2011-2012 season I didn't care to follow the Jazz like I used to.

What changed this for me was when Quin Snyder was made the new head coach. I like his style and this was around the time they acquired Rudy Gobert. Some might call me a fair weather fan, but I am finally in love with the Jazz again. I've always appreciated Ricky Rubio's skills but I really think his game has flourished in Utah, Joe Ingles has proven to be an amazing sharp shooter from behind the arc and I like his personality. Derick Favors has great hustle, and Gobert is amazing when he can stay healthy. My favorite surprise has been the rookie Donovan Mitchell. It's hard to make comparisons to prior players for his unique style of play. He is so fun to watch and I am finally happy to be a Jazz fan again and watch this entertaining squad. I hope they can keep playing like they have over the last month and solidify a good playoff spot.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

All Star Weekend

I recently enjoyed the highlights from NBA Allstar Weekend and was glad to see Donovan Mitchell win the dunk contest this year but I still have a couple problems with the event.

1) The Judges- Back in the mid 80's I remember being baffled and couldn't figure out why Joe Piscapo and Martina Navratilova were judges for the contest. They took it a step further this year with DJ Khaled, Chris Rock, and Mark Whalberg. Seriously? A couple years ago they got it right when they had all past dunk champions judging the event. Despite the unqualified judges this year, I took comfort in the fact that they were probably cheating off of Dr. J. after each dunk. Even so, there were way too many 50's given out. A perfect score of 10 needs to be reserved for spectacular dunks that blow your mind, not just every good dunk.

I saw this online and thought it was a good recap of the event.

2) The size of the field- This bothered me even more than the judges. I felt all of the participants were great dunkers but why only start with 4? They don't do that with the skills challenge or 3 point contest. There should be 6 to 8 good dunkers participating in the event at the beginning and then eliminate a couple each round like in the olden days. It's like playing 3 on 3 half court for the All Star Game.

I'm sorry if I'm a broken record each year complaining about the dunk contest but this is the NBA and they should be able to figure out what makes an amazing event for the fans.

Friday, January 26, 2018

The Greatest Dunker of All Time

I love watching the great dunkers of the game and there are many of them, but Vince Carter has been the absolute greatest in game dunker of all time. I honor of his birthday today I am sharing this video of him commenting on his favorite dunks from his career. There is an obvious Olympic leapfrog dunk that has been omitted but these are just from the NBA.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Cringemenator

I've been watching the NBA top 10 highlights since they started the feature a long time ago. I enjoy being able to spend 3 minutes on Youtube and get a recap of the top plays from the prior night's NBA action. When they originally started this feature they'd just play the audio from the games when they showed the highlights but eventually commentators were used. I've seen several commentators come and go over the years. The first commentator I remember was the enthusiastic Kyle Montgomery. I enjoyed his style but he disappeared a couple years ago.

Montgomery was eventually replaced by the greatest commentator ever aka the Goatmentator. His real name is Beau Estes and this middle aged white dude could rap and rhyme if he ever needed to find another job. He sometimes will incorporate a theme into the highlights like when David Bowie died or make some subtle Arrested Development references during his commentary. Here is a sample of his skills from a couple years ago.

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The NBA uses several commentators for this feature and rotates them around. Some have been boring and bland and others with more personality. One guy that made a splash a couple years ago was an older guy with a gruff voice and long pauses who sounded horrible. He was dubbed the "Pireatemenator" at first due to his voice and style but he eventually grew on many viewers over time with his catch phrases like "Ricky Rrrrrrrubio."

Something happened recently that made viewers stop complaining about the Pirate. Several months ago the NBA hired a new young kid who is very obnoxious. He is known as the Cringemenator since he usually causes viewers to cringe 5 or 6 times during the highlights with his commentary. Here is a quick example of how obnoxious and distracting he can be.



When I see the likes and dislikes on the videos I can immediately tell who the commentator is. This year is the first time I have seen more dislikes on the videos than likes and it is all because of him. Some nights I think he reads all the hate comments and tones it down for a day or two and he is actually tolerable but then he will come back full force obnoxious by yelling "screet, screet" or a plethora of cringe worthy noises and comments. Some viewers complain about all the negative comments and ask why people get so caught up in the commentator. I say it is because we have no choice. Why ruin something good like basketball highlights with horrible commentary. Time will only tell what Cringemenator will do next with his "top ten to win,"

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The NBA on TNT

I love the NBA on TNT. This would be my dream job to hang out and talk basketball while making each other laugh. Charles Barkley is the MVP of this show. I love his honest opinions,  personality, and ability to laugh at himself. Shaq is also usually pretty funny. Kenny is my least favorite, but still offers some variety and a different perspective. Ernie is knowledgeable, and has his work cut out for him trying to keep them all on track when they are screwing around.

I really enjoy Inside The NBA when they have on other past players like Dominique, Chris Webber, Brent Barry, KG, Kevin McHale, and others. This show is awesome. I haven't had cable for over 20 years but I watch these guys on YouTube regularly. There is such great chemistry, commentary, humor, and entertainment.