Monday, May 3, 2010

Best hooper in the world? I'll take...

When it comes to talking about who the best basketball player in the world is, the conversation usually includes names such as Kobe, Lebron, D-Wade, Carmelo, and now Kevin Durant(whom I think has the potential to average 35 a game annually). They're all great names, can score at will, D you up whenever they want, make big shots, etc....

When I get asked the question, "Who do you think is the best player in the world?," my first thought goes to the same name every time...Tim Duncan.

Here's my argument...

At age 34, Duncan is the model of consistency. His career averages of 21.1 ppg, 11.6 rpg, 3.2 apg, and 2.3 bpg are fantastic alone. Any given year you can expect him to be right in the range of these. His teams have never won less than 50 games in a season (other than the strike shortened season of 1998-'99, when they were 37-13). He's won 4 NBA Championships, of which 3 times he was the Finals MVP, 2 NBA MVP's, is a former NBA Rookie of the Year, 12 time All-Star, 9 time All-NBA first team member (3 time second team), 8 time all NBA Defensive first team member (4 time second team), and 2000 All-Star game MVP.

Wait...those are just the honors he's won.

He has never finished outside of the top 10 in NBA MVP voting, and has only finished outside the top 5 three times!!! Incredible!!!

He possesses the best offensive move in the game (his patented 10-15 foot bank shot) since Kareem's sky hook.

He's the best post defender of the past 30 years. Yes post defender, not shot blocker! There's a lot more that goes into defending the other team's bigs than just blocking a few shots, like positioning on the block, base strength, and help defense. Hell, Samuel Dalembert is a good shot blocker but I could get position on him any day.

The guy is just a winner! And because he is not flashy, doesn't have tons of endorsement deals and television adds, he still flies under the radar when it comes to these conversations. That's Duncan's personality though, soft spoken, unassuming, fundamental. He'd rather not be in the middle of the debates, and just keep picking up the hardware and hanging up banners.

I can tell you right now, if there is one team in the NBA no one wants to play in the 2010 NBA Playoffs, it's Tim Duncan and the Spurs. They dispatched of the Western Conferences #2 seed Dallas Mavericks last week with relative ease, led by Duncan's 18.5 ppg and 9.5 rpg.

They're experienced, healthy, and know how to get it done. Being led by the best player in the league doesn't hurt either. That's why the Spurs will win championship #5 in 2010, and Tim Duncan will further support his case as the best player, post Michael Jordan.

But don't bring him up in your conversation, he likes it that way!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Family Matters

With the return of Tiger Woods to professional golf at the 2010 Masters, the PGA got the story it was so desperately in need of. The best golfer in the world, possibly ever, returning to the biggest tournament in the world, after quite possibly the greatest moral controversy sports has even seen. Let's face it, when Tiger isn't playing, who really cares what is going on in the golfing world. With this drama adding to the event, it was must watch TV. But with all the trepidation surrounding Eldrick getting back to "normal", and bets on whether his score under par would better his total mistress count, the gods of irony made sure their presence was felt... but in a good way!

Phil Mickelson emerged from the enormous shadow cast by Woods return, and shot a final round 67 to earn a three stroke victory over England's Lee Westwood, and capture his third green jacket and Masters Championship. The victory at the Masters, albeit a tremendous personal accomplishment and another notch in Phil's fantastic career, took a back seat to the real triumph of the tournament.

As Phil walked up the 18th fairway, championship all but in hand, fans cheering for the soon to be adorned winner, there standing at the green was his wife, Amy. Amy, diagnosed with breast cancer just 11 months ago, was there to greet her husband and embrace him in one of the most heartfelt moments in recent sporting times. It was the first time at a tournament that she stood next to the man, that stood by her through her tremendous fight, since her diagnosis. Although her prognosis is good, she is often week and drained of energy, so being in crowds such as the mass in Augusta is a battle on its own. Together though, the Mickelsons showed the strength of family, love, and commitment to each other can accomplish greatness.

I commend Lefty, who's absence from the PGA Tour over the past year was just as great as Woods'. Mickelson's however, was for all the right reasons. To be able to keep focus, maintain skill, and stay competitive the way Mickelson has over the past year, is an incredible feat. He is still ranked #2 in the world , is in the t0p 5 in tour earnings, and leads the Ryder Cup standings for the US Team. This all while helping his wife recover from numerous treatments and procedures, and constantly having her well being on his mind. I can tell you this, it would take a much greater man than me, and for that Woods, to do such a thing.

Woods wounds are all self inflicted. The criticism he receives is all justified. And as his wife Ellen sat at home Sunday, April 11 2010, probably contemplating her future with the world's greatest golfer, Phil and Amy stood triumphant together. On this day, not only did they better Tiger Woods on the golf course, but in the grand picture of life as well!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Big Ben

Really Big Ben? Again? I know the DA decided not to prosecute, and you're skating off scott free once again for inappropriate "relations" with another young women(this time at a nightclub in rural Georgia), but why do you keep putting yourself in these situations? You do realize that you are a two time Super Bowl winning quarterback of one of the most prestigious franchises in major sports. It shouldn't be that hard. I know guys that play in the Arena 2 Football League that have less trouble pulling tail than you. Here's a little advice, take it for what you will. Next time you decide to go celebrate your birthday, do it right. Take some of that multi-million dollar contract you have, go to Vegas, dress nice, get a private booth, make sure you have both of your Super Bowl Rings on, sit back, chill, and watch them flock to you. No need to have your body guards lock some poor country bumpkin in a bathroom with you to make it happen. If things don't happen to swing in your favor with the ladies that night just doing what I suggest, you can always "purchase" a good time later. It's Vegas!

Maybe one too many concussions last year I guess! Get it together man, before you ruin the great life you've been blessed with, or not, I hate the Steelers!

Sports Shorts

Welcome to my new blog! This little ditty will consist of my rants, raves, opinions, expressions, and overall point of view of the ongoing stories in the sporting world! Please feel free to join in and discuss, add, criticize, whatever. I will keep my points short as I know we all have better things to do other than ranting about our favorite teams, players, coaches, etc. So please, indulge and enjoy!