Sunday, 30 January 2011


The Incredible Hulk.

By Tim David Harvey.

Oct 27, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (9) and forward Blake Griffin (32) react in the first half against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Staples Center. Photo via Newscom

Blake Griffin is having a 'Monster' 2010/2011. Just like fellow Midwest native Kanye West, but no one should have all that power?

"I shoot the lights out" Bon Iver- Kanye West: Monster

Well, get used to it, Blake does, "trippin' off the power" and making both of Hollywood's teams start studded. It's 'light's out' when they take off the Laker floor as well. Clipper nation is finally a destination fans want to flock to and future free agents will want to emigrate to. He just makes the game The ball looks like a grapefruit in his hands, just wait for the punch. The defenders look like children, waiting to be schooled. Sound familiar? Blake may just be the most imposing, exciting big man in Los Angeles, (or the league for that matter) even since Shaq...and he's not a Laker. Sure the Lake Show are glad to have Bynum back on the block but you know they would love to have Blake deep down in the paint.

"As you run through my jungle all you hear is rumbles" Rick Ross - Kanye West: Monster

Night after night Griffin re-designs the paint with his dunks. He cuts down frontcourt trees like a lumberjack. In fact as beautiful as Chick Hearn's coined phrase is, Blake makes this art-form look so powerful yet beautiful that it should be renamed in his honor. His damaging dunks are like dynamite, SLAM knows this. Sure there's still no one quite like Dwight but just wait for what Blake's got in his bag for this years Slam Dunk contest in front of his home crowd at STAPLES. Every game Blake punishes players with his post up, poster producing, power plays. From Tim Duncan to Timofey Mozgov and Amar'e Stoudemire to Tiago Splitter everybody can get it, with crotch rocked humiliation. In fact the leagues best San Antonio and the most-improved New York have been punished the most, (still everybody has) with countless STAT stuffing, splitting dunks.

Now how about that dunk, that's making the rounds on the youtube top 10's. You know the one were talking about. The opposition really doesn't and didn't matter however as Blake saw red, sprinting and running the floor like a bull (no it wasn't Chicago). He spun, floated like a butterfly, then dropped the hammer on a dunk that stung like a bee. Muhammad likes to rhyme, and Blake's game is like poetry, he's so agile, whereas all who try and break him down are merely fragile. Side-stepping back down court like Ali, that was no rookie confidence. He believes he's the greatest. It almost looked like this rabid talent was foaming at the mouth, but that was just his gum-shield. He's not the one that needs protection. Timeout. Yet another countless, timeless Blake dunk as this Griffin furthers his young legend. Another frozen moment in the time of NBA history. Where amazing, aerial, acrobatics happen.

"Everybody know I’m a m*********** monster" Kanye West: Monster

Griffin's really is a creature on another level. There's humans, role-player, superstars then monsters like Griffin. He averages as many dunks a game as James Bond averages women a film, but this agent is no secret. More Blake 7 then 007, Griffin is out this world. So advanced like science fiction, but this is fact and the basketball geeks just love it. Like Eddie Griffin (R.I.P. We miss you) before him, Blake is a young, raw but ready, talented, tall man that the league sorely needs. Like 'Blake Bad', Griffin's got a 'Crazy Heart' and a crazy game to match, with NBA, Oscar worthy performances night after night. Undeniable like Blake Lively, Griffin runs 'The Town' right now, sorry Kobe.

"Cause you will never get on top off this" Kanye West: Monster

Who can guard this guy? Literally, it's nobody. Sorry Howard it's the end. Sorry Garnett, you aint 'Da Kid' no more. Those images you see of Blake dunking around five guys aren't pictures. All the defenders can do is stand-around and look gormless in freeze-frame. Even the leagues best just look like the rest. From action replays, to poster and lap-top wallpapers worldwide, their humiliation is broadcast, but nobodies looking at them, their looking at B. Can't you see?

"Sasquatch, Godzilla, King Kong/Lochness, Goblin, Ghoul, a zombie with no conscience" Jay-Z- Kanye West: Monster

Shaquille O'Neal, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard, Darryl Dawkins, Vince Carter, Shawn Kemp with a conscienc, Blake is as bad as them all and you know I mean as in good. A hybrid of them all, this monster talent surely was crafted in a laboratory, that's why he was gone for a year. Sure he was a 'Naismith College Player of the Year', 'Oscar Robertson Trophy' and the 'John Wooden Award' winning stud in college, but these are the big leagues and he's no schoolboy. No one with all this power usually has the grace Blake has. His game is eloquent, he can switch it up from monster Shaq-like power to the athletic beauty of a guard. Just check out his pirouette's before he comes out of nowhere and beats everybody like the 'Black Swan'. Now that's a good look. From alley-oops that are going to turn Eric Bledsoe into a star and Eric Gorden into the next Jason Kidd, to off-balance impossible dunks like the one against Portland, Griffin is making everything look so easy. The only hard thing is to try and couple all his plays into weekly 'Top-Ten's'. He needs a separate category for himself and as for the rest of the league, forget about it.

Dec 20, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) is defended by Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) at the Staples Center. The Clippers defeated the Timberwolves 113-90. Photo via Newscom

"All I see is these fake f**** with no fangs/Tryna draw blood with my ice cold veins/I smell a massacre/Seems to be the only way to back you b******* up" Jay-Z- Kanye West: Monster

Still, of course the critics have something to say, 'he's this', 'he's not that', but he really is. Blake is more than dunks, and critics even called Shaq one dimensional but that didn't stop him from cutting a few championship shapes. Everyone in the league wants a 20 and 10 big man, well Blake is 22.6 and 12.8 and he isn't even a centre. The Clips still have Chris Kaman,and Gorden and Baron for that playoff bound matter. Blake is the centre of attention however and the Clippers may have started poorly, but right now they are looking as strong as the Lakers, Fisher buzzer-beater or not, and this writers a Laker lover. With career numbers like 47 points and 14 rebounds, how is this point making, rebound grabbing man not a monster? Critics can't deny him. They should give him the love like they've finally given Minnesota's Kevin because Blake could go for 30-30 one day two. Sure he isn't much of a post-game, quotable, im-presser, but this is a league where people games do the talking. So everyone else can shut up!

"So let me get this straight wait I’m the rookie" Nicki Minaj- Kanye West: Monster

He's the 'Rookie Of the Year', without a doubt. he shadows the opposition. Sure, sure he should be a sophomore, but his only slump came with the injury last year. Now is his time and he's making up for lost pine. No more suit and tie or bench days for Blake. No wonder he's not chilling, showing he can play with the smartest in the league and bench press even the most imposing, dominant, veteran big men. He's the first rook since Allen Iverson to have two 40+ games and you know what that guy did the league. There's more to come as well as Blake looks to change the game and answer the call. Who needs a new version of 'NBA Jam', when you've got the real thing on demand? Blake's on fire and beyond the excitement, hoopla and dunks his talent burns deep. Laker die-hard couldn't even fan his flames, Griffin is making it legitimate for Los Angeles to have two franchises and as for the lock-out looming league, he's saving it. Now that's a superhero we can all marvel at. A hulking talent that's turning the Clippers green with profit. Now only a creature on a whole other, out of this world level could do that.

"Aaahhhh, I’m a m*********** monster!" Nicki Minaj-- Kanye West: Monster

Saturday, 29 January 2011


Soon it won't be 'Miller Time'.

By Tim David Harvey

Swish, swish, swish! In a recent game it was Reggie Miller that was talking, while someone else was doing the playing. Reggie stepped into the Spike Lee role as Ray Allen was on Miller time. OK, so it wasn't as dramatic as it sounds, but just like Mars Blackmon and Michael Jordan, all Reggie can do now is watch as Ray Allen beats him and there's nothing nobody can do about it. SWISH! Noooobody!

You see Reggie took the bullets out his dead-eye, assassins gun a long time ago and despite a few inklings to pull an M.J., Miller didn't want to tug a hamstring two, so retired he stayed. Nowadays Reggie is a commentator and that's exactly what he was doing when he and his ESPN team watched Boston Celtic, Ray Allen nail bucket after bucket as he kept raining on Millers all-time three pointers made record a few weeks back. DAMN! Now that's got to hurt. Years ago they where talking about how Reggie was a better three-point shooter then Bird. Now that's all flying away as when it's all said and done, they may give the best three title to the member of Boston's big-three.

Still it was nothing put pride and joy as Reggie talked about Ray and his legacy. As the torch is being passed at least he can be rest assured that someone is keeping the shooters touch burning pure. Besides, from New York City to the pages of SLAM, Reggie always relished the villain role. Now what better a hero to overcome the villain then our saviour, Jesus Shuttlesworth? Spike Lee couldn't write it any better. Ray Allen's got game and he's about to get Reggie. Right now Ray's total of 2,545 threes is just 15 downtown buckets behind Reggie's 2,560. Give him a couple of weeks, games and quarters and he'll net it. Sure Jason Kidd's is in third place, but his bronze shot is almost a thou below Ray's. Plus Jason? Your kidding right. Solid, yep, but pure? This aint child's play.

Without doubt, it's going to happen, unless...nah we don't want to jinx it. Without question Allen is going to answer Miller's challenge. The bar was set a long time ago but Ray is going to pass it like law school as the books will get re-wrote. The one question remains however, which player is the better shooter? Is number 34 really one better then number 33?

Technically speaking yes...technically speaking that is. Both shots of course are historically pure, but there's something so fluid and pure about Allen's rays. From the hand and eye, plus body coordination and positioning, to the range of motion. Purity is this shooters devotion. It almost looks rigid, but it's relaxed. Honed after years of practicing at home. Like an EA video game before all that real DNA technology, but this is live in living colour. You almost expect every shot to go in, Jesus even shows those courtside miracles pre-game by turning sat down shots on the pine to water. Sure Reggie's flick of the wrist shot worked so well ESPN made a movie out of it, but Allen's just looks a bit better, and is looking even better by the game and the record breaking.

Statistically speaking Allen edges Miller two. Obviously in a matter of games, (or good runs of form) Ray's about to shoot down the greatest figure, but right now his stats across the board stack up better already. Allen (6,398) has taken less shots to get to this point then Reggie (6,486) but obviously Reggie has played more then Ray. Still at this point Allen's .398 percentile marginally passes Reggie's,.395. This is not a test.

Still, (and this isn't taking anything away from Ray) there was just something about Reggie Miller. You have to have love for someone who everybody hated. The bad guys are normally the ones you root for more in drama, whether fictionalised or televised. Seriously, who do you prefer? Batman or the Joker? Reggie played his cards right two, playing the bad guy to a tee like Tiger, just with love for the game. Now Ray Allen is a clutch king, who can shoot over anything, including prison walls, just ask Denzel, but compared to Reggie's clutch, forget about it. There's nothing between them, not even 8.9 seconds, right Spike? I'm sorry Spike who? Reggie had that, it's my game, killer instinct like only two others in history. Those being these two guys you may have heard about, Kobe and M.J.

The difference between Miller and the two greatest of all tine was that Reggie was more adept from three, as he routinely dropped F-bombs from behind the arc, two by two like Noah, three by three like M.J and Kobe trophies. Sure there was no ring, but their where plenty of classic, gold, 'Where Amazing Happens' moments that if the playoffs and conferences where different would have been perfect ends to NBA Finals. Sure Ray's threes impressed the hell out of people, but Reggie's scared the s*** out of folk. Just ask Spike Lee, Madison Square Garden and the city of New York. Allen may hold all sorts of three point records from the season (269) to the finals (8) but Reggie holds the heart of New York basketball in his merciless grip, right to the core of their rotten 90's playoff runs.

Sure, now where going further beyond the arc to Robert Horry territory, because that still isn't a determinant for how pure these guys three point shots are in comparison. It's merely just a hint. With this comparison where going into who is the better player range, mind over mechanics, which has only a little to do with the purity of the shot and more to do with everything else that comes later. As for the shooting however, critics, fans, bloggers and anyone else alike could take shots all day. The fact remains that both guys sniper shots where and are as pure as straight vodka with no chaser. Still, as Ray begins to down Reggie's milestone, another thing is as clear as Smirnoff. Statically (regardless if he's better or worse) Ray is about to shoot down Reggie. The gunslinger is about to draw. Swish, swish, SWISH!


A coach who has found his soul.

By Tim David Harvey

Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson gestures during a practice session in Barcelona October 6, 2010. The Lakers will play against Barcelona in an NBA Europe Live basketball game at Palau Sant Jordi on Thursday. REUTERS/Albert Gea (SPAIN - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

"Basketball, unlike football with its prescribed routes, is an improvisational game, similar to jazz. If someone drops a note, someone else must step into the vacuum and drive the beat that sustains the team."PHIL JACKSON, 'The Last Season'.

This is it, no album, no movie. The greatest figure in the game during the 90's not named M.J. is hanging up his smart shoes and dry erase board. No more smells of incense in the locker room, no more meditation at half-time. After this season in locker-rooms everywhere in the NBA, from the STAPLES centre to the staples of other teams, after this season a calm will have left the building. Where not talking about the lockout, but the retirement of the greatest coach in NBA history after the cigar smoke has cleared. Phil Jackson reiterated Thursday that this would be 'The Last Season', autobiography or no autobiography. It is written.

Appreciate him now, while he's still here. There will be no honour rolls throughout the league, there wasn't even one in Chicago. There will be no Jerry West press conferences, despite the jokes. This enigmatic man who loves the game, but doesn't suffer fools isn't one for the hoopla surrounding hoops. He'll appreciate his time, but will slowly and calmly go about and on his way. He's already had his Jordan moment, coming out of retirement. He's not going to do it again, he knows better. Besides your not going to want to disturb this man while he's in the middle of nowhere, finding peace love and understanding.

So let's celebrate and look back now as Jax looks forward to know press conferences and basketball politics as usual. The Zen is what has given the association it's spirit for the last two decades, from the eccentric to the sarcastic, the candor to the calm. He's the master who has taught two of the greatest students of all-time. Turned the "uncoachable" into the untouchable. Taking care of Chicago like Elliott Ness, guarding L.A's Hollywood stars like Kevin Costner.

Jackson has had a lot of different shapes to deal with in his time and he's turned it all into a beautiful triangle, whether you understand or not. From M.J. To Kobe, Scottie to Lamar, Rodman to Artest, Kukoc to Gasol, Kerr to Fisher and...erm, Longley to Shaq. No matter the talent Phil has made sure each man brought the best out of himself, whatever the frustration. Now that and the Zen calm is what makes P.J. The best coach ever, day or night. Besides Phil's seen Red and raised him a championship. Now that's a 10 out of 10 career.

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant and head coach Phil Jackson, pose for photos during the basketball team's media day at Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California on Sept. 25, 2010.  UPI/Jim Ruymen Photo via Newscom

Still Kobe's promising us and him one more. Kobe always wants to win but this year he's doing it for Phil, to show his appreciation. These two guys have had an incredible journey, with all the peaks, valleys, vestibules and alleys that you'd expect...and then some. When we all thought Phil was done, in more ways then one in 2006, it wasn't hinted it at it was stated in his best-selling, all-telling book ('The Last Season: A Team In Search Of A Soul') that his relationship with Bryant was in a state of disrepair. You would never believe in a million years back then that these two would lick their wounds, heal and be on the verge of a possible second three-peat and Jax's fourth overall.

Whatever went on between them since the death of a dynasty has rocked every critics argument that both men and their teams had seen their best days. Whatever was said will remain between Kobe, Phil and the bait when they go fly-fishing together and reminisce in years time. Still whatever was done renders his last book forgotten and somewhat obsolete (it's still a great read though). This is the 'real' last season and by changing his mind and Kobe as a player, Phil successfully re-wrote his own and his basketball second sons history. They really got it together. Thank God for the dream of Jeanie.

Jackson has proved that you can catch lightening in a bottle twice, or three times over even. Decades after Kob unlaces them one last time, the debate will rage over who was better, him or Mike. Still no one will quite know both men and have quite the qualified gospel to speak on them like Phil Jackson. He truly brought the best out of them and helped them become the icons they are. Now that's influence, now that's inspirational. Jordan was trying to dig his way out the East with Coach Collins but he didn't win anything until he was 'Dougless'. No offence to Doug Collins, but Jackson truly understood Jordan and together they made history, season after season, after championship, after championship.

June 16, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02205959 Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson during practice on the off day before game seven of the NBA Finals at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA 16 June 2010. The series is tied 3-3 for the best of seven games.

No man has ever been synonymous with two teams, but still regarded in his own legend like Phil Jackson. A legend on two coaches and a great role player in his on-court days for New York, Phil's always been reliable. They say the worst players make the best coaches but Coach Jackson is no average man, he's played his role to a tee, Basketballs true iron man in stark contrasts. Speaking of reliable Jackson is moulding a successor in the form of assistant and former three-peat champion role-player Brian Shaw. Normally an inexperienced head coach on a championship, calibre team would raise doubts but not when he comes with the tutoring and endorsement of a sheer legend of strategy. With this co-sign, you know there will be peace of mind.

Still for all the concern gone there will be commiseration aplenty because between the Windy City and the Californian sun, the calm and the storm, the red, purple and championship gold, the Eastern philosophy and promise and the triangle and the shape of things to come, there is, hasn't been and won't be anyone quite like Phil Jackson. Still rest-assured, he isn't done yet.

"I thrive on challenges, and there is no more imposing challenge for someone in my profession than winning an NBA title."PHIL JACKSON, 'The Last Season'.

Friday, 28 January 2011


Mind Games

By Tim David Harvey

Boston Celtics Kevin Garnett reacts after dunking against the Washington Wizards during the first quarter at the Verizon Center in Washington on December 10, 2009. UPI/Alexis C. Glenn Photo via Newscom

It's been said before, this game is as much about the mental as it is the physical. Skill versus will, motion versus emotion. During a recent water-cooler esque conversation about a game with a die-hard, this writer was further inspired by this notion.

A couple weeks past, in a prime Eastern Conference clash, the Boston Celtics took on the Orlando Magic, or should it be said Kevin Garnett took on Dwight Howard. A lot was to be said for what determined the game, beyond star players and key shots. The mental battle between Garnett and Howard played the most significant role however. The two differing sides of passion, from K.G.'s emotion to Dwight's smiling devotion. It was time to see and hear who was tougher then the rest. Sure there is nothing wrong with Dwight's fun and happy go lucky approach to the game but it was 'Da Kid's', snarling, growling, glaring, staring and chalk tossing and chest pumping, thumping passion that was King Kong. K.G. talked so much trash that he needed a sanitary towel. Sure trash talk is throw away but it's also an important way of throwing off your competitor and getting into their heads.

Sure on another night, Dwight's constant smiling at everything may have been Garnett and Boston's plight but not last week. Kevin's passion and heart was too much, attacking and screwing with Magic. Still this is just the tricks of K.G.'s trade, no foul play here. Just look at the highlight reels of this Boston great, you'll see just as many slow-mo jersey tugs, heart thumps and head pounds, as lay-ups, dunks and blocks (and there's a lot of those). Nine times out of ten the only thing not standing up about Kevin at the end of the game is the elastic on his jersey...and you can bet he'll still be talking, even after the presser.

See 'trash talk' is more than just 'your momma so fat she's sitting next to everyone in the Garden', it's more than jokes, it's a tactic not to be played with. Even Mr. T couldn't tell K.G. to stop his jibber jabbering, or Gary Payton for that matter. You best believe that the legendary point guards mouth was damn near as effective as his handle on defence. The D student was so good at getting under his opponents uniform mentally and physically that he frustrated everyone from Sam Bowie to Michael Jordan. It's this play that made sure 'The Glove' had his hand on more games then Goldstein.

Payton's one season team-mate on the Lakers, Rick Fox was another great instigator. A great defender and one of the best game changers that didn't show up on the stat-sheet. Sure it isn't recorded but everyone in the Los Angeles and Sacramento areas of Cali know how killer Rick's game was. Especially Peja Stojakovic who paid the cost for Fox's no holes barred D. In those legendary Laker/King series the Lakers where crowned victorious because Rick made it virtually impossible for Peja to take any shots at the throne. Stojakovic's killer three point shot was dead and out the water as the European sensation couldn't wet anything. This shooter was in the foreign territory of not getting his own way, thanks to Fox's sly off the ball defence. A style that is mental as it is physical, as will destroying as it is skill employing. Sure you have to be strong, athletic and fast to prevent someone from getting touches but it's vital to have a mental edge too. When this D is in effect the only buckets will be left for tears, because these mind games really get to opponents. Now who's left playing?

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant looks on during a break against the Houston Rockets in the first half of Game 6 of the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets Western Conference semifinals at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on May 14, 2009. (UPI Photo/Aaron M. Sprecher) Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom

Rick's dawg Kobe is a doberman on defence two and just think how much mental pressure comes with playing one-on-one with one of the greatest of all time? Knowing he's watching your every move and then you have to deal with every one of his. Kobe recently faced former team-mates Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmer in New Jersey just mere months removed from better days. Sure off court it was all love but on the floor Kob made sure there was "no mercy" just like he's reiterated before. This killer instinct, which we've talked about before is exactly why Kobe's murder game has so much conviction, for better or hearse.

Bryant's back-up, Shannon Brown has his back in more ways the one. From dunks to blocks and more dunks, Shannon is the true definition of a spark-plug, re-charging his teams energy in crucial lows, emphasis on crucial. You see every minute of a game is important and this underrated, spark of energy can sometimes be 'clutch' even with two quarters left in the bank. Bench legend, Vinnie Johnson was nicknamed 'The Microwave' during his Detroit days in the 80's. Nothing complicated here but sometimes it's the simple things, when the Pistons needed more fuel, they went to someone who could heat up and be ready in seconds, which sometimes in basketball is all the time in the world, all the time you have and all the time you need.

It can be argued that Chris Anderson has as much love as Carmelo Anthony in Denver (even before now). Sure he'll never average 30 or be a high-roller baller like his rap Birdman namesake but baby's got talent. From dunks to blocks, he gets the fans off their seat and puts the opponents on their backsides. He's a real momentum changer and just like gravity all you need is a little push for things to quickly spiral from one way to another. This jokers no clown he's the Nuggets ace in the hole. The high socks, tattoos, accessories and Vanilla Ice hair are all part of the unique mind-set of a guy who can bring the energy like M.C. Hammer. Energy is such an important factor of basketball and all spirits. When your bodies out of fuel and your running on fumes in need of a pick me up, the reserves of energy come from inside, the mind. That's how you then take care of business, by 'minding' it. Think on.

There are an infinite amount of examples here that we can not put it all in one, let alone two pieces. A sound state of mind speaks volumes and that makes the winners sing while the losers are left trying to hit the right notes. It's evident in any for of Basketball from Motown to California, it's supreme in all the three degrees, the college, the pro's and the streets. In high-school and college there's that undying passion from every contributor, one through to the fan sitting up top at the back. Everyone is passionate, excited that young exuberance that those past it wish they never passed on. From replica game sweats to instruments these guys are as bold as brass, with passion perspiring out of every pore. Same perspiration in the streets whether it's coming off a Jordan replica or a white tee that's now a shade of off grey. From one on one to 'I'm Mike your Mars'. From five versus, whoever you got, to next basket wins, it's all the same trend.

Some people wish they saw the same passion, the same exuberance in the big leagues, in the NBA. Trouble is they aren't looking. From the Birdman to the cash money of courtside, armchair fan Mark Cuban. From the guy taking the last bucket to the guy on the bench in a suit, just glad he isn't in the D-League, but just wishing he could play. From Kobe to the next 10 day. From the look in K.G.'s eyes to the white in Dwight's smile. It's all there. It's a state of mind.


BEIJING - AUGUST 20: Kobe Bryant #10 and Lebron James #6 of the United States look on from the sidelines during the men's basketball quarterfinal game against Australia at the Olympic Basketball Gymnasium during Day 12 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 20, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

24. The starters for this years All-Star game in Los Angeles have been announced. Once again Kobe Bryant is the best in the league leading all the vote getter's. With 2,380,016 votes Kobe was the best in the West, while slam dunk, entertainer, big talent Dwight Howard left everyone else in the East least with 2,099,204 ballots cast. Kobe will lead his Western squad in his home court of STAPLES in L.A. The team will also feature other top vote-getter's, including the Hornets' Chris Paul (1,281,591), the Thunder's Kevin Durant (1,736,728), the Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony (1,299,849) and also the Rockets' Yao Ming (1,146,426) who again draws a lot of votes from Asia but is injured. In the East joining Howard we have, LeBron James (2,053,011), Amar'e Stoudemire (1,674,995), Dwyane Wade (2,048,175) and Derrick Rose (1,914,996). As for the reserves they will be voted in by NBA head coaches who will vote for seven players within their conference, including two guards, two forwards, a center and two players additional players but not their own teams players. Will the right players get picked? After our 'Odom A Favour' campaign, will the Lakers Lamar will be returned the favour he deserves? David Stern also will pick the replacement for any player who can't participate. With Yao sidelined will the other Lakers great Bynum be picked? He is one of the last true centres left and is playing strong amongst all the Hollywood stars. The 60Th All Star game will be broadcast in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages on Sunday, Feb. 20.. Super...what?

48. A waiver and a signing kept the league rotating this week. As if the Dallas Mavericks didn't have enough firepower they acquired pure shooter Peja Stojakovic from free agency after his short Toronto career was made extinct. In hoping to supplement the injured Caron Butler, Peja has been drafted in but the Mavs have to be patient. Stojakovic has been out with a swollen knee since November 12Th. Still as long as he comes back soon with him, Dirk, third all-time in three's Jason Kidd and their sharp shooting bench, the Mavs may be the best behind the arc team, locked and primed for a deep playoff run. Shoot!

82. New York really is the place to be right now. If you where told last year that the mecca of basketball, Madison Square Garden would be a hoops hot-bed and the most sought after destination for the best of hip-hop through the ages you would laugh, but tell that to Kanye West, Q-Tip and Fat Joe. After Q-Tip got the MSG crowd going with his song 'Go New York' last year it was the turn for another N.Y. hip-hop legend to pump up the crowd and who better then DJ Grandmaster Flash on the wheels of steel. As the Knicks took on their rivals the Heat Wade may have wore tinted specs to play but no one looked cooler then New York. "There's an energy here. It's getting back to the way it was," Flash (the hip-hop Flash) told press. With the Knickerbockers and the Garden taking it back to classic times, maybe it's time for N.Y. to make a grand stand and put the Grandmaster on full-time. Time to get the message.

O.T. After violating the NBA's drug policy. The Memphis Grizzlies' O.J. Mayo's playing time will be garnished as he's set to miss 10 games...the Mavs almost blew out the Rockets, until Houston extinguished their lead, still after some soul searching, Dallas held on for the win in a Texan tight clash that was no piece of cake...Boston have started their West coast road trip by blazing Portland...Chicago's Derrick Rose's game may be hot but spicy food caused him ulcers, which have been irritating him like he does with defence...fellow Bull James Johnson has been assigned to the D-League...while Phoenix guard Dowdell is going to remain a Sun a little longer, signing a second 10-day contract...the All-Star game isn't going to be all fun and games as LeBron James is looking to attend the All-Star labor meeting to sort this lock out situation...league or no league next season Phil Jackson aint playing. This will be the (real) last season. So get ready to say goodbye to the greatest coach of all time and standby for the feature. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Thursday, 27 January 2011


Let's get academic as we report on how Kobe is taking the legends to school.

By Tim David Harvey

June 15, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02204291 Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant against the Boston Celtics during the second half of game six of the NBA Finals at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 15 June 2010. The Celtics lead the series 3-2.


A report on Kobe Bryant's rise up the all-time NBA scorers list, investigating how far he can climb with relation to an analysis of his offence and a comparison to the legends above him.


13 is an unlucky number for some, but not for someone called Kobe Bryant. 13 is the number of points that Kobe needs to pass Hakeem Olaujwon to become the 8Th leading scorer in NBA history. The Mamba is slithering up more than the average weekly Top Ten ladders. Kobe's next chance to shake the dream like Christina Milian is this Friday when the Lakers face the Sacramento Kings. Still, years from now, when Kobe calls it quits and retires, where will he be crowned amongst the all-time scoring royalty of the association? You can count on him being affiliated with the top guys.


Kobe hits milestones every season, he's being doing it his whole career going from youngest ever to best ever records. This year however Kobe's been drawing milestones and breaking records in his sleep. Despite recovering from a knee injury and some ill form, Kobe has still been playing sick, having one of his most successful years for achievements. Kobe's already made Dominique Wilkins (26,668 points) highlights look human in comparison, passing his position and his big offence already passed 'The Big O', Oscar Robertson (26,710 points) in the top ten scoring and now for the rest of his career he could pass even more. So let's take a look at who and how far he could really get up the scale.

June 17, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02208491 Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (C) shoots over Boston Celtics' Ray Allen (R) as Celtics Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett look on during the second half of game seven of the NBA Finals at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 17 June 2010. The Lakers defeated the Celtics 83-79 to win their 16th championships.


Kobe's got the best of the best to best if he wants to become the all-time greatest scorer. Here they are;

Hakeem Olajuwon-26,946 Points: Kobe's about to send one of the leagues greatest postmen to ninth place. As Kobe's offensive repertoire has evolved over his career so have his deliveries in the post. Example, when Robin Lopez was torching Bynum and Gasol in a recent Phoenix/Lakers game, Kobe still went hard posting up the seven footer, who had plenty of size and bulk on Kobe.

Elvin Hayes-27,313 Points: Hayes is one of the most underrated legends of all time and right now Kobe's scoring achievements aren't receiving as much praise as they should be. With Hayes you had a tall inside guy who could score in bunches, big bunches. Kobe's more of an all over the court guy, shooting and slashing inside. It's this kind of diverse play that will leave Hayes outside of Kobe's range soon.

Moses Malone-27,409 Points: The second Houston legend and the first of two Malone's is one of the greatest centre's ever. Goggles or not, it aint hard to see that. Kobe's number 24 isn't retired yet like Malone's but by the time this happens, Moses will have already parted from sixth place, allowing Kobe to pass through. This isn't rocket science.

Shaquille O'Neal-28,582 Points: As Kobe gets older and the scoring ladder gets harder to climb the mamba is going to meet an old friend as he tries to enter the top five. The question is will the corvette hit the brick wall? It looks like the red car could drive round the wall no matter how old the model. When Kobe passes Shaq sure everyone will try and make something big out of it, but in reality it's nothing.

Wilt Chamberlain-31,419 Points: As we get into 30, 000 territory will Kobe be out of bounds or will he find a home amongst the elite. Chamberlain's position is on a high stilt, that's what happened when you score a century in a game. Still Kobe's not far behind him as this current and one-time Laker have a lot in common. Kobe's career high of 81 has put him right behind Wilt in another scoring category and many critics have talked about whether he can go one better. In a game maybe not, but over a few more 82's? That will do.

Michael Jordan-32,292 Points: If you thought there was a lot riding on overcoming Shaq, how about if Kobe has a chance to enter the top 3? He could take M.J. Throughout Bryant's career the like Mike similarities and comparisons have been drawn out. Could it be that Kobe could actually beat Mike? Now this won't end the debate of who's better, or start it for those that know that Michael will always be king. Still with almost identical offensive skills and age not offending Kobe right now, number 24 could really be more than number 23.

Karl Malone-36,928 Points: now where going deeper does Kobe have the good to deliver more points then the Mailman? Or for that matter does he have the strength and conditioning to play into his 40's. When Kobe's goatee sports greys will he still be able to pick his spots and roll to the basket like Malone could. Karl ended his career playing with Kobe in L.A. and although things didn't end so well then, it's clear the conclusion of these two players hasn't been wrote yet.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar-38,387 Points: Records where meant to be broken and everyone wants the top spot, but can Kobe cap Kareem's and the leagues total, becoming the all-time Laker and the all-time player? 11, 453 is a lot of points for a guy who has already done this twice over but is way into the third act of his career. Still, if anyone in the league right now could do it, it'd only be Kobe. The guy is a scoring machine, and a regular franchise feature in the early Summer. Still, if only Kobe had a signature shot like Jabbar then the limit would be the sky. You know Kobe would then have this hook line and sinker. Now the question is, will he score big, or will he fadeaway.

Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant celebrates as the game clock ends and his team defeats the Boston Celtics to win Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals basketball series in Los Angeles, California June 17, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)


Kobe Bryant-26,934 Points: There are too many variables here to determine, for example injuries and playing time etc. Kobe's knee is a factor as are the team-mates he shares the ball with. How longer can Bryant play for and at a high-level to boot? 35? Maybe. 40? Perhaps if he puts on airs and mirrors the 'Floor Jordan' era. Still, the more time Kobe has left the more likely he is of climbing the charts. At 32, he could definitely still play at a high level for many years, perhaps until he's 37. With that idea in mind he could still make it. If he kept up an unlikely 30 point average to his late 30's he'd clear Kareem like a high jumper with 12, 300 more points in the books, just from regular season games of around 2, 460 points each year.

Now if we looked at this more realistic career average of around 25 points, (which he could more likely maintain) that would keep Kobe at around 2,050 points each season. Over 5 more years that would give the mamba 10, 250 points that wouldn't snake him the top spot. Still however this isn't taking in playoff games, that could take him further in more ways then one. With a more of Gasol, Odom, Artest and Bynum, who knows how far this Laker dynasty could go in the next five years. The more rings Kobe gets the more positions he'll take in this top-ten. Still taking playoffs out the equation makes up for the points that could be lost due to age, injury or ball-sharing (that's passing Kobe) that could help give us a more realistic conclusion.

So there are plenty of variables and things standing in the way of Kobe reaching the top, but he's going to make up more spots this year and he could definitely crack the top 5 or 3. As for going all the way, it may look doubtful in some degrees but it's still a possibility for a man who has defied the impossible. Winning is everything but you know in the back of Kobe's mind this is a mission he chooses to accept. Let's keep score, 11, 453 to go and counting. Catch up!


The Lakers right now could get by with a little help from their old friends.

By Tim David Harvey

Apr 27, 2009 - Los Angeles, California, USA - Laker's KOBE BRYANT #24 smiles with TREVOR ARIZA #3 in the fourth quarter as the Lakers beat the Jazz 107-96 to win the series during game five of a first round Western Conference playoff basketball game between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Photo via Newscom

It's no new news that the Lakers are in a spot of trouble right now. Sure they don't have a lot to worry about, there are always trials and tribulations and things will get better, but the Lakers could use a little help. Perhaps they could of got it from some old friends they should have never lost touch with. Here's the definitive list of the best Lakers lost after the post-Shaq era. The players missed the most and who could really be used right now. They sure do make a good team.


If it wasn't for Marc, there would be no Pau. Sure Marc's the younger brother but his draft rights held by the Lakers where part of the trade that brought Pau and all those championships to Laker land. Sure Kwame Brown was part of the trade where Pau Gasol was 'given' to the Lakers but in reality the way Pau's young brother has grown up, it has been a fair trade in hindsight. Sure Marc's the only guy on this list that has never donned a Laker jersey or logged a minute of showtime action but still he would of been valuable. This post power is the centre of attention in Memphis and a solid, strong, big, 20, 10 guy. Sure with Bynum, Marc's absence is by the by, but it sure would of been nice to see two great brothers on the same team.


Vladamir was always one of those talents that could have had more of an output. From floppy hair and bandannas to buzz cuts and from skiing trips to slides out the rotation, Radmonovic has had his ups and downs. Still with that all said and done this tall, versatile forward is one hell of a talent. It seemed liked the Lakers gave him away to Charlotte for the talented Adam Morrison, but that was until Shannon Brown developed. That doesn't mean Vlad isn't missed however. With a Nowitzki like inside/outside game Rad is tall enough to go inside and has had one of the sweetest strokes from outside by any Laker present and past over the last decade. Right now Radmonovic would be the perfect guy off the bench, supplementing Gasol, bringing both shared and different talents off the bench. The Lakers already have a decent B-team but with Vladamir it would be the best in the league.


The Dallas Mavericks have a lot of fire-power, but one of their best all round guys is Caron Butler. Now, however a knee injury has ushered Butler out of playing for the rest of the season. As this news broke it hot former team-mate Kobe hard who is a close friend of Caron. Kobe still reiterates his disappointment of how the Lakers traded Butler. The Lakers practically let him disappear to the Wizards for Kwame Brown, but then again Kwame did bring the Lake Show Gasol. It was another trade disappointment for L.A. when they lost Shaq to the Heat for Odom and Butler. Still despite the losses, Bryant, Odom and Butler made for a wonderful three that could have lasted and won together. The Lakers liked Caron so much at one point they where even rumoured to be shipping Odom to get their Butler back in the past. If Caron was to ever come back (trade or free-agency) he'd be the most welcome return to the Laker family since Fisher. A heralded defender in all aspects with an even more underrated, diverse offensive set. This strong player is built for all aspects of basketball and when he returns this Butler is going to be at it, for whoever he serves.


Of all the people on this list, Trevor Ariza is one of the most missed Lakers by fans. Even with the much loved Ron Artest and the Ariza look-a-like, play-a-like Devin Ebanks the Lake Show loved the rising talent of Ariza. The swingman, who does it on both ends of the floor is still one of the most underrated players in the L and he practically gave L.A. their first ring post new millennium, three-peat. With great defence on and off the ball, gazelle like speed and thieving steals, this tenacious, versatile talent was a fast-break starter. He was also a fast-break finisher, with rim rocking dunks and twine, tweaking threes for days. There's no one quite like this guy, expect one man. The Lakers had a problem when Ariza signed with Houston, so it was a good job they inked Ron Artest, because it takes an enigmatic man to replace an enigmatic talent.

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov (L) talks to New Jersey Nets player Jordan Farmar (R) and head coach Avery Johnson during an open training session in Moscow October 10, 2010. The basketball team, owned by Prokhorov, arrived in Moscow to take part in a masterclass session to demonstrate their skills and talk about their experiences to fans, local media reported. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva (RUSSIA - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL BUSINESS)


It still seems strange that this UCLA grad is now in the Garden State, sporting a New Jersey with other former L.A. story, Sasha Vujacic. See, Farmar was always the man meant to take over Fishers crop at point guard once the clutch retired, but not everything works out. The Lakers are doing more than alright with the tough, sharp-shooting Steve Blake but still Jordan's missed here like legends in Chicago. A starter for the future this man has speed, finesse, and savvy in reserve. With his complete Point Guard skills Jordan could become a franchise guy. It's just a shame it won't be for the Lakers.


Basketball teams these years are nothing without their sixth men and reserves these days don't come much better or more underrated then Maurice Evans. With Mo Evans, you have no problems because this swingman covers more spots then Clearasil. With speed, finesse and athleticism. This guy doesn't just look like a prototype ball player, he is one. The slasher cuts through to the basket like Wes Craven cuts through college kids. As for his finishing talent, where do we start, his dunks are amazing and his lay-ups and finger-rolls are amazing grace, whether straight-forward or off-balance. This guys put down so many circus-shots like they where nothing, it's a shame he couldn't be a ringmaster here in Laker land. Now wouldn't that be something.

So there you have it, five guys and one in reserve that the Lakers may have replaced but still wouldn't mind a reunion with. Players that not only make up a team but helped make up the Lakers squad and now make the most of their contributions to their current sides. At the end of the day, no matter the colour, there's nothing like the Laker family.


New York Knicks Amar'e Stoudemire and Danilo Gallinari slap hands after a time out is called in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics in the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden in New York City on December 15, 2010. The Celtics defeated the Knicks 118-116. UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

24. D.C. may be the capital but when looking at the best destination in the U.S. it's always been a toss-up between New York and L.A. Even in sports this West-Coast, East-Coast rivalry has hotted up. In basketball sure the Lakers are the better franchise then the Knicks, but the L.A. and N.Y. teams are arguably just as recognisable. Both clubs draw in a lot of money but it seems now that the Knickerbockers have taken over the Lakers as the NBA's most valuable franchise. New York went from $586 million to $655 million with a 12% rise in value. What a difference a few STAT's make. Ticket sales and sponsorships have risen as the Knicks have. The Lakers where no slouches either still going up 6 percent from $607 million to $643 million. Things may not be getting any less brighter in California but they sure are getting a lot fresher in the Big Apple. More then half of the NBA had a rotten year however. 17 of the associations 30 teams recorded a loss.

48. They'd love to have kept him, but when you have to find time at the point for both Jameer Nelson and Gilbert Arenas that's more than enough talent. The Orlando Magic waived backup guard Jason Williams, letting go of the white chocolate and trimming their roster. As the Magic left Orlando to play the Pacers in Indiana, J-Will didn't make the trip and now he is hitting the road in a different way. The guy who was a free-agent and re-signed by Orlando in the offseason averaged 2.1 points and 1.5 assists while being fourth in the rotation. Expect this talent to be spun more for the next team that picks him up for the next cycle of his career in the NBA. Jason is still one of the better points in the league, this white chocolate is good for you.

82. Even though the big trade didn't go down, Carmelo Anthony is still having his effect on the Detroit Pistons rotation. Talented guard, Rodney Stuckey has picked up an injury after colliding with Carmelo in a Denver/Detroit clash. Stuckey bruised his right shoulder and X-rays revealed more negativity for the D's favourite young talent. After being hit by Anthony's screen, Rodney rolled to the floor. It is unsure when Stuckey will return and be stuck back in the line-up. One things for sure the Pistons need him and are stuck without him.

O.T. Trey Johnson is getting the call up from the D-League to the Toronto Raptors for a 10 day contract, but in doing this he takes Reece Gaines place, who has now been released by the Raps...the big Miami/New York rivalry is back on this week in M.S.G. and things will look easier for Amare Stoudemire as Chris Bosh will stay chilling in South Beach with an injury. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant #24 chews on his jersey in the second half during game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets Thursday May 21, 2009 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Nuggets defeated the Lakers 106-103 Photo via Newscom

24. The Utah Jazz seem to be playing all the wrong notes at the moment. The Lakers beat them all throughout L.A.'s 120-91 win, Tuesday. Utah don't look worth their salt at the moment with a five game slide. This is their second-worst loss of the run, right now the Jazz sound flat. For the Lakers Kobe only needed three quarters to notch 21 on his record. If he had a spare quarter to make change, Kobe could of tramped up the all-time scoring list and pass as Hakeem Olajuwon as eight best. Kobe now needs just 13 points. More Lakers had points for proof as Gasol hit 20 and Bynum made his star shine, doubly bright with 19 and 11. Lamar Odom also furthered his case for leagues best sixth man with a Bynum jersey in points (17). The Lakers now also have an Odom jersey number for straight wins at home (7). The Lakers where up so much (38) that the crowd could even forgive reserve Shannon Brown for literally stuffing a dunk. Still despite this clanger the only turkeys Tuesday where Utah.

48. L.A.'s other team the Clippers where in Dallas, while the Lakers looked after the house at STAPLES. L.A. where Clipped as leading scorer Eric Gordon stayed at home with the Lakers as he is out injured for maybe a month. At one point the Clippers thought they'd lose star rookie, Blake Griffin two, as he hit the deck hard like his rookie trading card. Still, however all that was required was an ice pack as the Mavs healed a 15 deficit to recover a 112-105 win. Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 for Dallas while Tyson Chandler's 21, was a season-high. Jason Terry also recorded a season-high 28 points, while 25 points also came from J.J. Barea, as Dallas' bench looked polished and shined.

82. The luck of the Boston Irish is looking even better right now. Sure Shaq has definitely posted up big numbers and performances but the Celtics will be glad that Kendrick Perkins is front and centre back in green, starting for the first time since the finals. It's been seven months since Perk has seen time after a knee injury. Kendrick perked up with 7 points and 6 rebounds in just 16 minutes of play as him and his team impressively handled the Cleveland Cavs, 112-95 on Tuesday. "It felt good to be on the floor," Boston's paint patrolmen told press postgame. Still Perkins knows the best is yet to come, "I know I can do better. I can do more." We can't wait to see the better days from this underrated big men. There aren't many guys left in the L like Perk, team-mate Shaq knows this with retirement looming.

O.T. In other games Jackson and Brown banded together to claw their Bobcats past Sacramento...Portland can breathe a sigh of relief as the MRI on star forward Aldridge's hip is clear. With all the guys they've lost down on one knee to injury at least they haven't lost their best man. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


Apr. 23, 2010 - San Antonio, TEXAS, UNITED STATES - epa02129814 San Antonio Spurs players Tim Duncan (L) Manu Ginobili (C) Richard Jefferson (CR) and George Hill (R) wait for the game to start up against the Dallas Mavericks in the second half of their Western Conference first round playoff game at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, USA, 23 April 2010.

24. Just when things where going so well for the San Antonio Spurs, Tim Duncan became a concern. During a game against the Warriors, Texas state's Golden boy left briefly with a quoted, "hyperflexed left knee." still the injury isn't regarded to be anything more than a Duncan, cringe-worthy scare. After the T-Bot's knee buckled he returned to action. The guy really is a machine, he's not about to buckle under the pressure, especially when things are going so well. Just like the game, which San An won, 113-102 with Timmy's sweet 16.

48. It gets better for San Antonio however, much better. Their legendary coach Gregg Popovich will take Phil Jackson's seat in more ways then one as he will coach the Western team in this years All-Star game at the Lakers STAPLES Centre. This will be the second time that Greg will pop up to coach the leagues best out West. With the best record in the conference, Popovich is honored with the teams helm and it's fully deserved for one of the greatest coaches ever. He is fourth most winningest in L history and he has been the Western coach of the month every month this season. Look for him to win big with both of the Wests best.

82. The West's best are clicking right now but the beasts of the East are having even more injury problems. It may not be Texas but the Miami superfriends are going to have to focus on their lone-star LeBron James for awhile. Dwyane Wade may be looking cool in tinted glasses right now but migraines are still making his playing time a little less rosy. While Bosh is still not blooming due to a sprained left ankle that has been niggling him for a fortnight. Looks like Mike Miller will have to step it up again, especially with bench burner Eddie House also on the chilling list with another sprained ankle. So as the rest of the Heat take care of business Wade and Bosh will take care of the tweets.

O.T. It only took 0.5 seconds for New Orleans, David West to weather the Oklahoma City Thunder's agent Garrett Temple has got 10 days to show the Milwaukee Bucks all he's worth with career averages of 4.6 points and 1.1 rebounds in around 12 minutes a game, this guy makes the most of his time. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Monday, 24 January 2011


She's not got next, she has right now.

By Tim David Harvey

CANDOR:: can-dor Frankness or sincerity of expression; openness.

Let's be frank and fair here. Hype will always, eventually die down. It's a given. From Christopher Nolan directions to Kanye West outbursts, we'll anticipate, be excited, love every minute in it's moment and then ultimately move on and go about our day. That's the relationship between the common man and this machine called hype. This is especially true in the talent laden, promised haven of the basketball world. Even when hype is justified and major and not Harold Minor it will still calm down. Trophies will be polished and award shows will be tidied up and turned back into function rooms. Sad, but hey that's just the way it goes. Even some of the best guys in the NBA have to become free agents or go through some sort of change to re-establish a buzz. Just look at LeBron and Carmelo. It's not that any of these guys have lost any heat (pun not intended) but people in this entertainment consumer society are always looking for that new, hot thing.

So the worlds most underrated league and the worlds most underrated female sporting talent definitely don't stand a chance between Youtube and on demand networks making it virtually impossible to not watch exactly what you want, when you need. Still the WNBA should 'expect great' fans, boy do they deserve it. This isn't glorified Netball, you've seen the adverts and if you haven't you should really watch. This writer doesn't need to tell you how great it is, you should see for yourself. u need look no further then Candace Parker to see standout talent either.

CADENCE: ca-dence. Balanced, rhythmic flow, as of poetry or oratory.

Parkers game is like poetry. Flowing with perfect rhythm, balance and poise, while singing with the loudest noise. The Los Angeles Sparks number three has been playing big like a Laker for three years now. Sure her hands haven't touched a championship trophy yet, but they have caught, consecutive dunks and received not only a MVP, but the passing of the torch from WNBA legend Lisa Leslie. It was a pleasure to watch the master and the apprentice together, in their all too short time together but now the teacher is gone, the student is graduating to her own legend.

Sure you've probably heard all this hype before, Basketball's next great hope. Well the hype may have taken a hiatus, but why should it? Candace is current and now, established and proud. The LeBron of the WNBA, to Lisa Leslie's Kobe. A leader, no longer raw talent but still getting fresher. Like Michelle Wie in Golf or the Williams sisters in Tennis, Parker is showing that sports is not just a mans world. It'd be nothing without a woman and the promise of Candace's potential is screaming this notion loud like James Brown. Now get up off your ass and see what this writer means.

Sure Tamika Catchings may have the best right now tag, the Seattle Storm may have the championship and Diana Taurasi may have the legend and that hot like fire ESPN cover, but Candace has the future and the world of basketball in her hands, whether your handing it to her or not. A star player and one of the greatest, her best is yet to come. With Tina Thompson and Delisha Milton-Jones also plugging the Sparks, parade routes may be a regular traffic problem in downtown Los Angeles soon, look out for that red, double decker London bus. As the wheels of her career go round and round, the WNBA's CP3 is going to travel further and further up the ladder of greatness. Besides she's already a potent 20 and 10 threat, at 6,4. Sure WNBA ball is a short woman's game (Shaq would make them all look like kids) but Candace is still putting up power numbers that her power, potential, post man husband, Shelden Williams can't deliver right now (no offence, it's the bench). This Basketball's his and hers are in different leagues sure, but who would you pick in a one on one? Her big brother two, Anthony may be an off the bench great, but Candace is off the chain. Sure her Basketball family is linked with greatness but she commands the top.

CANDACE: can-dace. Basketball beauty, the genetic make-up of a true star.

You see Candace aint playing...oh wait a minute yes she is. With the WNBA season being a Summer fixture like extra classes, Candace has taken her basketball studies overseas. Taking the Brandon Jennings route, (but in different ways) Parker is making up time that would otherwise be lost by playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg of Russia. Just like B.J. before and Shaq and whoever else next (with the impending, potential NBA lockout), Candace doesn't need the money, but she does need the playing time. Why, because any great player, established like Shaq or establishing like Jennings need to constantly hone their game to be the best they can be, whatever the talent. Sure Candace could heave up 100 made shots before she leaves the gym in the warmth and familiarity of Los Angeles, but nothing beats real, competitive action, or the rise of international ball for that matter. It did wonders for Brandon Jennings when age restrictions prevented his seasoning in the league and now it's going to expand the world-wide appeal of one of the best female athletes even more. Candace is no slouch overseas either, exporting her talents on a nightly basis. Playing just like she does in the States increasing her status over two leagues. She's making her point, or should I say points two, dropping more 23's than the Chicago Bulls gift shop.

Sure the fresh feeling of Candace Parker's hype may not have been left out a little too long, but what does that change? There is nothing raw or in the refrigerator about this cool, cold player. She's as hot as the forecasts predicted on and off the court. Ever since her 34 point debut this girl has been putting up numbers Shaq size and now at 24 with a family and a legacy, this woman's work and best years are still ahead. This former WNBA Rookie Of The Year and MVP, is already in the elite company of NBA legends, Wilt Chamberlain and Wes Unseld. If you drop the W, Parker still loses nothing and with all that she's achieved and her extra curricula, European vacation, Candace is chasing and gaining even more. Male or female, it doesn't matter, this talented Naismith and Wooden award winner is Basketball. Anyone who doesn't believe that should bounce.

Sunday, 23 January 2011


Oct 14, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony (15) during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. The Nuggets defeated the Clippers 100-95. Photo via Newscom

24. It looks like Carmelo Anthony isn't the only one leaving contract offers on the table. After the New Jersey deal died last week across the Hudson, the New York Knicks have an offer for Denver. The Knicks who are hoping to craft a superteam of their own to rival their rivals Miami with Stoudemire, Carmelo and hopefully Chris Paul. They have presented Denver with these Knick nuggets, impressive swingman Wilson Chandler, Landry Fields, the expiring contract of Eddy Curry and possibly tlaent Anthony Randolph for a first round pick. Denver however have gone one better then Carmelo by not just leaving this contract on the table, but pushing it off, rejecting the Knicks deal. Chicago and Houston also are looking to be part of the 'Melo mayhem. As for the Knicks, they better try again or wait for the offseason, where Carmelo could end up playing out and being a free agent. Still, right now we ask you. Who's in control in this situation? Sond off!

48. Anthony Randolph may not be part of a Denver/New York deal but he's still looks like he could be trading places like Eddie Murphy. This raw talent is in hot demand by the Portland Trail Blazers who are missing more than a couple of players. This talented forward is out of the rotation but could go full circle for a roster spot out west. Portland however are only offering lottery picks. Sll don't gamble on New York keeping this guy past February 24th's trade deadline.

82. Some of the Miami Heats's superfriends are injured and out cold right now. Good for them one of their biggest free agent signings, not presented with fireworks has returned himself from injury with a boom. Mike Miller shot the lights out and dropped 32 on his return to play against Toronto. The Heat iced the Raptors 120-103 thanks to strong play from the former Rookie Of The Yaer who also rebounded from injury and ill-for with 10 boards. With Wade out of action with Bosh, it was Miller's time and as Mike stepped up Wade posted "Dwyane who?" on his Twitter, how about a re-tweet Chris?

O.T. There will be no Bird call for Denver who will miss Chris Anderson today. The Birdman is flapping with injury...Portlands Brandon Roy however is looking optimistic after surgery on both his knees. He expects to be back this season, still with all that cartilage damage do his legs have anything left?...meanwhile with all the inuries in the league right now somethings got to give like a Big Boi and Mary J. Blige song. A battered and bruised Eric Gordon believes the league is getting too physical and this stocky, strong guard is no shrinking violet. Maybe with these comments and his lower-back contusion, suffered against Golden State, this warrior has pinpointed the problem? TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Jun. 09, 2010 - Boston, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES - epa02194204 Los Angeles Lakers player Derek Fisher during press conference the day after game three of the NBA Finals at TD Gardens in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 09 June 2010. The Los Angeles Lakers lead the series at 2-1 for the best of seven games.

24. Derek Fisher couldnt recreate his clutch magic against the Clippers this weekend but he was up to his old tricks against Oklahoma hitting big buckets and threes. He scored a season-high, 15 points en route to the Lake Show's 101-94 win against Oklahoma City. Pau and Kobe also helped weather the Thunder, both collecting 21 points. The Lakers won their eigth of nine as Russell Westbrook (32 points and 12 assists) and Kevin Durant's (24 points)strong play wasn't enough. The team that almost beat the Lakers in the playoffs last year, showed they could still match up to the Lakers in this regular season game. Phil Jackson had a lot of respect for his opponent but also appreciated his own team saying, ."It's a good win for us. Our intensity was right on a back-to-back night. We had the energy necessary to win against a young and very active team."

48. The other Los Angeles team really are making a name for themselves and this is thank to their big rookie, Blake Griffin. After beating the Lakers the Clippers won again thanks to Blake's huge game. With a career-high 47 points and 14 rebounds, Griffin showed his offensive skill set with dunks, hooks and three-pointers. Behind this rooks grown man performance the Clips beat the Indiana Pacers 114-107. L.A. and Blake's 7 point win over the Pacers helped write off even more critics, "It's cool because all I hear is, 'He can dunk and jumps high,' " Griffin said silencing those who thought he and his team where limited. With his 33rd double, double this season Blake capped off an incredible run of form for him and his team. His new nickname should be, 'monster', because that's what he's playing like.

82. There's something about the Atlanta Hawks and guys named Wilkins. The ATL unit have signed swingman Damien Wilkins to a second, straight 10-day contract. D. Wilkins has played 17 games and is averaging 2.4 points per game. I guess the Hawks are liking their latest Wilkins, who is supplementing well in reserve for injured Joe Johnson. Maybe they should extend his contract to a full-time gig. He is Hawk legend Damien Wilkins nephew after all.

O.T. Russell Westbrook is hot right now, once again being named the Western Conference Player Of The Week. Derrick Rose took the honors in the East...more on the Miami Heat injuries. Bosh will sit out of the next game while LeBron will be a game time other injury news Brandon Roy has had the surgery on both his knees. Portlands new nickname should be the pain-Blazers. Get well soon Roy. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


Nov 1, 2010; Los Anglees, CA, USA; General view of the Staples Center exterior before the NBA game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers. Photo via Newscom

24. The last time these twin city teams met on the same (Clipper's turn) floor Derek Fisher hit a clutch lay-up to win the game. This time he was almost hit in the face as he tried to break up a scuffle to close out the game. The Lakers where obviously frustrated as this weekend it was the Clip show who owned STAPLES in more ways than one. As their 99-92 victory over the Lakers came to a head, Lamar Odom got into a shoving match with Blake Griffin after battling for a rebound, which also saw Ron Artest and Baron Davis get into it. All four players where ejected as this battle of Los Angeles rivalry intensifies. The hotter this Griffin/Gordon/Davis tandem Clipper team gets, the more heated this same city/same building rivalry gets. The Clippers have won 9 of their last 13 games and may soon rival the New York Knicks in the improvement scales. Kobe had 27 for the Lakers and Bynum a double, 18 and 13. Gasol however was held to an opposite, 13 and 8 as he was also whistled out the game for fouling out. The Clips were all fire though as in a great guarded game, Eric Gordon scored 30 points and Baron Davis had 14 and 8 assists. While Blake Griffin dunked and muscled his way to 18 points and 15 rebounds. Now that's strength from the young underdog.

48. Just when things were going great for Miami's superfriends kryptonite has hit voltron, but don't worry these heroes will rise again. LeBron James, Dywane Wade and Chris Bosh just all sat out of practice Monday for what Wade dubbed, "Heat history". This indeed was the first time all three sat out-bar a few shots. Wade was looking after a sore knee, while Bosh and James joined what seems like everyone else in the league with ankle injuries. All three however aren't looking at serious problems but want to stay fresh for an upcoming road trip that will be a real excursion, not in the sense of their opponents, but their time between games with gaps of around 5 to 6 days. Hope you like hotel rooms guys.

82. Congratulations are in order for Vince Carter who has reached 20,000th points for his career. The recently acquired, Phoenix Sun is only the 37th player in league history to do this (and the eighth active). As Vince climbs the scoring charts he shows he is still a potent force in the L, even though he constantly gets written off my disgruntled fans and critics who think he's all hops and no yeast. Still through all this get Carter hate, this better talent of the league keeps his love for the game going, dunking, scoring and achieving. Good on him. Well done.

O.T. On the 25th anniversary of MLK day, the NBA and the world remembers an extraordinary, genuine iconic, historical figure, Martin Luther King Jnr. Thank you and rest in peace...also to mark this day Willie Mays and NBA Hall of Famers Willis Reed and Lenny Wilkens were honored by the Memphis Grizzlies as they received the 'National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Award'. An honor that recognises the athletes who have made significant contributions to civil and human rights in the world. Congratulations and appreciations are in order...Joakim Noah hopes to return to the Chicago Bulls soon...while the Houston Rockets veterans will have to carry their own bags for awhile as they have assigned rookie guard, Ishmael Smith to the I know you want to know about Carmelo. Well he insists he'll still be a Nugget this week, while his Denver team have granted a meeting between the player and New Jersey. A meeting Net coach, Avery Johnson knows nothing about. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Saturday, 15 January 2011


Looking after number one...or in this case number 3.

By Tim David Harvey

Miami Heat Dwyane Wade dunks on a fast break against the Washington Wizards during the first quarter at the Verizon Center in Washington on November 4, 2009. UPI/Alexis C. Glenn Photo via Newscom

LeBron James made league, sports business and hater history by taking his talents to South Beach this Summer, while feeling the love in Florida but catching hell in Cleveland all at the same time. Using the same pen as Chris Bosh, James inked Miami's championship promise and the Heat's future threat. Still there was another big contact signed that very week. Sure it didn't come with a new jersey like maybe Carmelo Anthony, but it came with loyalty and respect. It was all about family and the catalyst of adding even more relatives to this portrait. When the name Dwyane Wade was signed on the dotted line, this super-future was certified.

Sure 'The Heatles' would be nothing without their Paul McCartney, but they really wouldn't be s*** without their John Lennon, their founder, Dwyane Wade (and just for the record Chris Bosh is no Ringo Starr). It all begun and could have ended with him. Imagine! Dwyane Wade's wheelchair to stair lift rise back from league purgatory to playoff victory really made Miami more than just a desirable location for holiday makers during Spring break. D was and still is the centrepiece to the birth and rise of this big three. With Wade and the Heat's resurgence the Heat re-tooled to re-try to relive 2006 Championship renaissance. Two players and two regular season months later it all came together as critics arguments fell apart. Now things look even brighter in South Beach. 'Here Comes The Sun'.

Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James show 10,000 fans their Miami Heat jerseys after signing 6 year contracts with the Heat at the American Airlines Arena in Miami on July 9, 2010. UPI/Michael Bush Photo via Newscom

LeBron's decision points where (for some) as unwelcome as George Bush's autobiography. Still as the hate boiled, LeBron's love for the game didn't simmer...neither did his talents. As he led this Miami side, he racked up the triple doubles, 'Player Of The Week' honors and 'Where Amazing Happens' moments. Still as James now relishes this villain role, let's not forget about Miami's original hero in a flash. Their real undisputed leader, a real Larry O'Brien heavyweight already holding a championship belt. "FLASH! AH, AH!"

Until LeBron takes the Heat to places Wade can't it's Dwyane's team. With that being said however, it isn't about rivalry there in Miami. The hate is left outside like the competition. LeBron and Dwyane (and Chris) will work together for their classics and their dominance like Lennon and McCartney wrote for theirs. Voltron doesn't form without all it's components. Kobe isn't scared of anyone, but he certainly isn't afraid of one man. Still years back, the one man who was able to run rings around Kobe, season after season, Christmas Day after Christmas Day was Wade. It will be Dwyane's presence two that helps give Miami the gift it really wants. To beat the Lakers and everyone else this year, when last Christmas is permanently in the rear view and next December 25Th is still around six months away.

04290117 date 15 02 2009 Copyright imago Xinhua Dwyane Calf Miami Heat left LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers centre and Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers get during the Half-time break the All Star Game 2009 Rings awarded as Ceremony for the Olympic victory in Beijing 2008 PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxCHN Vdig horizontal Close premiumd Le Bron La l A Players ceremony Ring Ceremony Olympic medalists Winner Victory OS Summer Olympic Summer Games Games national team NBA 2008 2009 Allstar Allstar Game Allstars Game All Star Weekend Stars Phoenix Basketball men Team USA Group photo optimistic Rand motive Human Beings Photo via Newscom

Sure everyone from blogging critics (except this one) to NBA legends have written James off. From soundbites to rap lyrics, people have bitten and put a wrap on the love for LeBron. Rocks have been thrown at the throne and billboards have come hurtling down like derelict buildings. Still, LeBron isn't the only guy to have been unfairly written off. Chris Bosh knows all too much about this injustice, but that's for another article (look it up. It's here). Dwyane Wade has also felt the lead of the ever changing perspective of a critics pencil. As a matter of fact, so have every player suiting up in the red, white and black. Still, just like his two 'superfriends' Wade's criticism comes with little ground. Look at everything this guy has made up and overcome over the years. From the cellar to a championship, and all the way back down the hill and potentially all the way up again.

'Bron, 'Bron may have the celebrity endorsements, but Jay-Z or no Jay-Hova, Wade has started this new dynasty. LeBron may be the star of stars, but Wade is the recruiter of stars and the saviour of franchises. James may be league MVP, but Dwyane was the best All-Star this year. Just ask a record number of fans in Dallas. LeBron may have the dunks and triple doubles, but so does Wade running the court like 'Ironside', no matter the affliction. From basket, to basket. Offense to defence. Spring sneaker blocks to air-born-again dunks. Circus shots to clutch shots. Wade has a world of talent. He has it all. Strength and speed, vision and savvy, will and unselfishness. A man with star power but a team player also. A true two-guard. Not a shooting guard in a point guards body but a real swingman like the expensive jerseys. Authentic and real, beyond a champion. See the point?

Feb. 14, 2010 - Dallas, China - (100215) -- DALLAS, Feb. 15, 2010 (Xinhua) -- East All-Star Dwyane Wade (C) shoots the ball during the 2010 NBA All-Star Game against the West in Dallas, Texas, the United States, Feb. 14, 2010. The East won the game 141-139. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun.

Sure LeBron may tweet about how "Karma's a b****", but it's the Kings dawg that really is getting what comes a good way two. LeBron can us Twitter to chirp back all he likes, (he's earned it) but it's Dwyane's character, across his NBA history timeline that really has earned him the full capacity of his just deserves. Wade has been through it all. From being a lottery pick on a post-Mourning franchise, who really thought they had punched their last ticket, to championship banners. From the downsizing of the big fella, to Pat Riley's slick exit upstairs. From Antoine Walker shaking the law instead of his shimmy, to 'The Glove' finally coming off. Wade's won and lost, saved a lot and paid the cost. Now he's boss. Time to fire back at the hate and trump the young apprentices.

Still, now with new friends, possibilities and hopes, this young fellas time really is now. He was before his time in '06 but now the clock still ticks in his favour. From the power of Bosh to the king's royal decree, Dwyane's next appointment could well be with Larry O'Brien. Sure no trophies have been engraved yet, but sometimes even the distant future already appears written. From 1 right through to 15, Miami can get it done. Still it's Miami's number trois that is the number one, first and foremost leader of their big three. As this Heat team show no signs of cooling down, the pressure will be on Wade to lead by his previous legacy and example. With everything this guy has done and will do however, the forecast is set for even hotter times in this boiler room of young talent in South Beach. Besides, D. Wade's been white hot ever since the American Airlines Arena gave out plain t-shirts before playoff games. Miami's two biggest purchases of the Summer may be what drives this Heat family to the championship, but still it's Daddy's favourite, Miami son that will have his hands on the steering wheel. Besides, it's Dwyane's world after all.

Friday, 14 January 2011


NBA: Kings vs. Trail Blazers OCT 20, 2008..October 20, 2008: C #52 Greg Oden and G #7 Brandon Roy of the Portland Trail Blazers in action vs. the Sacramento Kings at Arco Arena in Sacramento, California. The Portland Trail Blazers beat the Sacramento Kings 112-98...Greg Ashman/CSM Photo via Newscom

24. How many players do the Portland Trail Blazers want to lose to knee injuries? First and foremost over the last few years it was potential, franchise player Greg Oden, then more post players, then Jeff Pendergraph and then rookie Elliot Williams had surgery on both knees. Well now the Blazers real star player Brandon Roy is also having surgery on both his knees. If you think going down on one knee like an old romantic at Times Square on New Years is career threatening than try both. Brandon will have arthroscopic surgery next week and there is no timetable for his return but don't be surprised if he's done for the season. Still, however Brandon had similar surgery before the playoffs last year and made a remarkable return for a series against Phoenix. Roy is averaging 16.6 points per game this season but has missed 16 games due to knee soreness which is attributed to a lack of cartilage. At least the one thing this talent isn't lacking is toughness. Let's not count him out yet.

48. Brandon Roy isn't the only player suffering with injury, by far. Still, one new guy you can add to this list is Chris Anderson. The Birdman won't be spreading his wings anytime soon. Chris is expected to miss a week due to the need to rest a sore right knee and an ailing lower back. The Denver Nuggets, block party favourite has already missed the opening 13 games of this season after undergoing surgery to fix a torn patella tendon in that knee. Anderson also missed eight games after fracturing a bone in his back. The Birdman is averaging 5.0 points and 6.1 rebounds this season and without him things look to get even colder in the Mile High City. BRRRRRRRR!!!

82. It looks like the Minnesota Timberwolves loss is the Toronto Raptors 'Gaines'. After being waived by Minnesota to begin the year. Sundiata Gaines has inked a 10-day contract with the Canadian basketball franchise. The 6, 1, Georgia alumni point previously played for the Utah Jazz and the Idaho Stampede of the NBA's development league. Gaines is expected to make his Toronto debut tonight against the Pistons where he hopes to drive 10 days into a more permanent job.

O.T. Carmelo Anthony may have not have completed his best LeBron James impression yet, but his Nuggets routed James' Heat as The King sat out with an ankle injury...meanwhile it's expected this big 'Melo maneuver will happen next week as Denver, New Jersey and Detroit look to trade...also Kevin Garnett (a big franchise player no stranger to switching teams and their franchise futures) has returned to practice with his Celtics after overcoming his own ankle problems. TIM DAVID HARVEY.