Sunday, 27 February 2011


Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) talks with teammates Matt Barnes, left to right, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol and Shannon Brown during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center in Chicago on December 10, 2010. The Bulls won 88-84. UPI/Brian Kersey Photo via Newscom

24. The new look Oklahoma City weren't exactly a breeze for the Lake Show today but the Lakers still took advantage of them on their own court with a 90-87 checkmate. This game came down to a last few seconds and chess moves as Kevin Durant and James Harden both failed to put winning 3-point checks on the board. Lamar Odom missed a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left but thanks to a cold final countdown of the game, the Lakers win and seed above the Thunder in the Western Conference was safe. The Lakers stand at third out west, 4 and a half games above Oklahoma. Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum coupled and doubled up for L.A. Pau had 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Bynum had 16 and 10. Kobe also added 17 as the Lakers overcame Russell Westbrook's 22 points and Kevin Durant's 21. The game was close throughout but when the Thunders last storm didn't turn to rain, the team of a thousand lakes whetted the competition.

48. Maybe the Thunder would have been able to tough it out with the Lakers if they had their centre in attention. New signing, Kendrick Perkins is expected to miss 2-3 weeks for his new ball club due to a knee sprain. Although this is his left knee, Perk missed the first 43 games of the season for Boston due to a right knee injury he picked up in last years Finals against the champion Lakers. As soon as Kendrick comes back and makes his Oklahoma debut sometime in March this new and improved Thunder team can really start their reign.

82. This aint 'Pirates Of The Caribbean', but with strange tides happening in the NBA we may have a mutiny on our hands. Sounds coming out of Motown say that coach John Kuester and former trade-bait Rip Hamilton have beef like a Sunday carvery special at a rest-stop. It still could be R.I.P for Richards Detroit basketball career as the star has been benched for many games and has even berated his coach as a several expletives failure. Many of Hamilton's team-mates are behind him however as Kuester loses his teams respect. Ben Wallace and Tracy McGrady even laughed at him when he was ejected in a recent game. Still Coach Kuester remains adamant this past week is behind him and the team, telling press "It was an internal thing. We're moving on. We're ready to go." Even before this looming lockout some NBA teams look in a state of disarray.

O.T. Despite their problems the Pistons motored past the new sounding Utah Jazz 120-116...Boston may have made solme alterations before the deadline but that isn't stopping them from looking at some new additions. They are looking at the talent of Troy Murphy, Dan Gadzuric, Sasha Pavlovic and Jason Kapono to add to their deep roster...after suffering from an ear infection the Miami Heat's Mike Miller is cleared to play against the rival New York Knicks. Now that's news Miami will be glad to hear...Carmelo will also play in the game despite an elbow injury...still Cleveland's new big trade acquisition Baron Davis will not play against Philly due to swelling in his knee. Still the player is glad to be in Cleveland and back with former coach Byron Scott, "It's a new beginning. I'm excited." This ends our beginning of this weeks 'Through The Wire'. Have a great day and join us tomorrow for more basketball news. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Friday, 25 February 2011


The feelings may be sour yet they still milk him for all he's worth.


It sure has been a busy couple of days in the association, but let's look back a week to the NBA All-Star weekend's Slam Dunk contest. Now that was quite a homage piece right? Recognise a couple of dunks? Like when Blake Griffin reached into the jar of honey? Or when a young Toronto Raptor dunking stud by the name of DeRozen put it between his legs? Sound familiar? They look even more so. Hey, I know the contest is clutching for some more creativity and a homage to history is a true gesture to the heroes, but minus the props this looked like the year 2000.

The year the dunk contest returned after a two year hiatus and even longer of a lull hit back Vinsanely by dunk after dunk from above the rim legend Vince Carter. Still these days there is more hate then love for Vince. Sure, it gets even colder when you go up further North to Ontario but still throughout the league words like 'over' and 'finished' are often whispered, but why? As the seasons change in basketball so do the hot and cold perceptions put on certain players by critics and fans alike. Sure Blake Griffin's the man right now and that's terrific, but what of next year? If people start to turn on him then that would just be terrible. This is what happened to Vince, sure he made some ill-advised decisions but he can still play and has been one of the most exciting players and electric scores the league has seen since Michael Jordan.

Sure, sure his cousin Tracy McGrady may have left and eclipsed him and Carter may for years have been living in the shadow of the dawn of the LeBron and 'Melo era, still his time in the sun is far from done. From his incredible Rookie Season, to the revolutionary way he dunked, to his second grounded more focused wind of his career, Vince has been the prince to many Kings throne. Still his place in NBA royalty is shamed by critics. Why is everyone so adamant to get Carter?

Can we not forgive and forget by now? Besides the same Toronto fans who hate claimed they where better off without him, when Chris Bosh was courting in Canada. Another situation that ended similair. So he's a quitter right? Well this same guy hasn't given up one bit over the last few years even after being unfairly bounced around the league as of late. So he's a cry baby then? Well, I see no tears but the reign of dunks he's dropped on the league season after season, from the Youtube's to the playground reenactments. From the windmill to the one handers with all their artistic creativity and athletic craftmanship. This is his legend but his legacy has much more to it then a dunk. Vince Carter can really play.

Sure when Air Canada departed for Newark, New Jersey all that Dr. J, M.J. hype died down. Still that did not mean this player was done. Jumpers knee or not, Vince was still down for the game in a matrimony of talent and desire. Just because people stopped being devoted to him didn't change that. Sure in his last 15.9 point season with the Raptors fans believed his effort was extinct. Sure it wasn't roaring but it was far from fossilised. Besides Carter was injured, plus he was being benched and left out of fourth quarters. What must that do to a franchise guys ego, confidence and motivation. Three things arguably a teams go to guy need to turn that killer instinct into a dead-eye victory (just see Bryant, Kobe).

While the Toronto Raptors where dreaming of an all Canadian, Steve Nash/Jaamal Magloire dynasty Vince felt shut out of the plans. It all seems that the love began to be lost in Carter's dubbed 'Graduation Game'. During the 2001 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the eventual East champion, the Philadelphia 76ers, the same day as a crucial Game 7 Vince attended his College graduation. Then at the game with 2.0 seconds left he missed a shot that could of iced the game. There was hell to play, but why so much heat? I know it's frustrating and maybe he could have handled himself better, but a missed shot is just another missed shot and his graduation attendance didn't effect his effort in game. Two seconds are just two seconds after all, what about the other 47 minutes and 58 seconds where he went hard? People don't talk about that. That's the thing about clutch shots no matter who's taking them (even Horry or Mike) you can never be sure until leather twinges twine. Everyone misses shots (see Bryant, Kobe).

As a Jersey boy Vince went through the four seasons as his team went from good to bad in the Meadowlands of the Nets. I witnessed a game against the Wizards in 2007 where Vince went bucket for bucket with Antwan Jamison, (the guy Toronto traded his right for in his Rookie of The Year season). Both guys looked like they could go for career nights as by the half they both had final game like totals. Carter (40+) and the Nets prevailed in the end, 96-92 and although this game was one that was passed over by ones featuring the LeBron's or Kobe's, it just went to prove that great players can always play like themselves of old if you give them half a chance, or half a possession. Carter formed a nice union with Jason Kidd out in the Garden State of New Jersey and although this duo wasn't to last it was one of V.C.'s more steady relationships in his career so far. One that saw a classic couple that with a few more years and team-mates on their side could of flipped the coin and dropped dimes all over the league.

Still just like with Toronto, things must come to an end and as they did Vince saw some time in Dwight's Magic Kingdom. Sure Air Disney's trip wasn't a long haul one, but it still featured some memorable moments and high-scoring games like his 48 point performance. Besides the Nets went 17-20 without Carter, dropping bricks without their sharp scorer. Vince still averaged a decent 16.6 point per game for the Magic and he wasn't even the second trick out their bag. That's top, you have to take your hats off to that.

May 18, 2010 - Orlando, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - epa02163669 Orlando Magic's Vince Carter reacts during the second period of game two of the NBA Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics at the Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida, USA, 18 May 2010. The Celtics won 95-92 to take a two games to none lead in the best of seven series.

Still by way of another trade this season Vince has found himself in new territory. Out in Phoenix, Carter is playing on a shaken up Suns team and is sporting a Rick Ross beard. Perhaps he didn't pack his shaver because this team looks to chop and change further, so Vince could be moving on yet again. It would be a shame if this star players career takes more of a journeyman role because with all due respect to valuable veterans, Vince deserves more. No one wants to see 'Air Freight'. If he gets shipped off again he will struggle to find an identity with a team and with all the hate and disregard he's received in his career, identity and familiarity to a ball-club has been something that's plagued him throughout.

It's no matter that he responded to Toronto fans shots, with killer, clutch ones of his own. No matter if he still averages 14.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists across the board (with 22.9, 5.3 and 4.2 for his career). No matter is he's shown he's one of the best scorers in the L, especially from behind the arc (he's got a playoff record 9 to prove it, he's pure). The doubt and the disregard continues. Sure people can write him off all they like, but the writing is not on the wall, whatever this basketball child's destiny. What's engraved in history is what can't be denied, not what's scrawled in blogs (I know, I know). An eight time All-Star, two times All-NBA. The statistics, the records, the ground-breaking moments, 'Le dunk de la mort'. It's all there, no matter how many people want to brush it aside.

So even if Vince doesn't burn his brightest in Phoenix. Or no one ever bounces a dunk between their legs or puts the ball right through the jar like Winnie the Pooh ever again, Carter's legacy is still apparent. It's one of everlasting talent that withstands all the neglect, criticism and hate over the years to show a loyalty, acclaim and love for the game that will never give up or quit. Laugh at him now, but cry later when you see what he's really achieved, despite what people may say. Yeah he could have been a lot better to Toronto I admit, but a lot of people could have been a hell of a lot better to him, but still it's not too late...yet.

Thursday, 24 February 2011


The Empires new core of Knick basketball.


Denver Nuggets star forward Carmelo Anthony missed his third straight game due to injury but cheers his team against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first half at the Pepsi Center in Denver on December 26, 2008. Denver beat Philadelphia 105-101 with a fourth quarter rally. (UPI Photo/Gary C. Caskey) Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom

New York, in the concrete jungle dreams have been made. After the months of back and forth, the 'if LeBron can do it', the speculation and rumour, this Carmelo Anthony situation ended in a New York minute. That Denver contract offer was left on the table only to pick up coffee rings, but still there was no 'melo yellow and Laker purple or 'Melowlands' in the Garden state. After all that 'melodrama' Anthony's new jersey would not be a Net one. Instead, this Monday Carmelo crossed the Hudson to another Garden, becoming an instant classic Knickerbocker. Thus forming a Mecca team for America's most popular sport in the worlds most famous arena. Entertainment is back on Broadway.

Madison Square Garden has never looked so good, (renovations pending), not recently anyway. Even before the Ewing era that shined with all his sweat, or when talent was Starks. Were talking back when there where players that dressed like pimps and pearls in those old locker rooms. Were talking about championship days, even if it only was one day in the franchise's storied history. Carmelo Anthony brings his top 3 game to the Garden, planting the roots of contention in the Big Apple with core-talent and free-agent pick up Amar'e Stoudemire, proving that the apple of New York basketball is finally fresh with two new picks. This N.Y. team is about to make the competition look like maggots, things might soon become a walk in Central Park for this classic franchise who may now be able to add a legendary era to their legacy.

Sure there is hell of a lot standing in the way of this heaven sent collection of trading card players, this is not a video game. The Los Angeles Lakers, the Boston Celtics and the league best San Antonio Spurs are still NBA reality and royalty. Everything must go through these seasoned, established NBA strong-holds. Still the Knicks have as good a chance as anybody and everybody, including their trend setters the Miami Heat. Now that the critics and the comments have caved a little (thanks in some part to Carmelo) LeBron and his 'superfriends' of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are making things like great expectations and predicted promises happen down in South Beach. Still as New York assemble their own 'superfriends' in Manhattan, superhero's are back in NYC like the reboot and return of Spiderman. Now that's something to really marvel at. This web of talent look to really challenge any big three, Miami's, L.A., San An or Celtic.

Amar'e Stoudemire speaks to the media at a press conference after signing a 5 year and nearly 100 million dollar contract to play with the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in New York City on July 8, 2010.    UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

Still this heated, Knick/Miami rivalry has been re-ignited and intensified for the first-time since the Ewing/Mourning, Georgetown graduated giants era. As the Knicks go from most-improved and playoff bound to direct contenders, it's hard to pick a finalist or a champion from this talented mix. Nothing symbolises this rivalry better then the friendly competition between Carmelo and LeBron. Part of the same '03 draft class of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, these two players came up together and have had mirrored careers, with some opposites however.

Throughout their seven and a half years in the league critics have tried to reflect on who's the better player. When Carmelo came out of college and LeBron high-school the two players have had great battles from their high-rating match-ups to their various attributes and achievements. Now as they both vie for a ring-playing for rival teams-the debate of who's the best will rage on for the next decade, especially when number 24 is deciding which jersey to retire. Both 'Melo and 'Bron turned basement teams into contenders and now their in the high-rises who knows how much of the sky they'll scrape. It was like this next chapter of the James/Anthony saga was meant to happen, like it was set by the NBA powers that be.

Some may think that the Knicks can't touch Miami or Boston for that matter, but the playing field is as wide as M.C. Hammer pants. The Knicks have a strong inside, out game, as Stoudemire chips away at the paint with his power plays, donut tag destroying dunks and STAT stuffers. As Carmelo takes care of the perimeter and everything between, bridging the gap between the 3's and the 4's of this league he makes the Knicks become a double or triple team nightmare. This isn't a dream. The league hasn't been hit by an inside, out one, two punch as strong as this since two guys named Shaquille and Kobe got it together.

Don't discredit the fact that New York have a three as big as any in the association. Sure all the hype on this trade has been on Anthony-like it has all year-but Chauncey Billups is a real important acquisition too. He may be getting older-and an down-grade in age from Raymond Felton-but Chauncey is still one of the best point guards in the league and a real upgrade for these Knicks. The quiet legend has hit many high-notes in his career, despite being an unsung hero at times. Still Billups has dished his way to a Championship, and set the table with an NBA Finals MVP. It's this type of invaluable experience and selflessness that affords the Knicks to be accounted for title contention. Billups may just be the Rasheed Wallace pickup of his 2003 championship Pistons to these 'bockers.

Denver Nuggets' Chauncey Billups of the 2010 USA Men's World Championship team shoots after practice in Tarrytown, New York August 13, 2010. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Still the orange and blue lost some colour in the transaction, (this was no Pau Gasol trade) including a core of young, promising talent. Italian hot shooter Danilo Gallinari will be missed by the fans and box scores alike, while Felton has proved his worth at the point. Tough and tenacious Wilson Chandler has been a great rising star for the Knicks, as has the Odom versatile but seldom-used Anthony Randolph. The loss of Timofey Mozgov, 3 mill and some draft picks hurts too, but the Knicks still gained a lot in return and also unloaded that killer contract of Eddy Curry. Which N.Y. wanted to get rid of as it was doing criminal damage to their books like Frank Lucas. Still the Knicks may have lost a lot of potential franchise talent, but they've rebounded from losses like this before (see Lee, David) and besides they got their man and with true grit and dedication they where prepared to give everything they had to get him.

Still, in any true trade what the Knicks lost they found in new talent. Shelden Williams is yet to show the NBA what he did in college, but time is on the side for this dependable, hard, dirty working back-up. Anthony Carter has been a great backup for Billups in Denver and expect one of the L's best reserves to continue this coming off the pine in the Garden. Renaldo Balkman also returns to the Knicks where his hustle and energy made him a favourite from the coaches to the nose-bleeds. In blockbuster trades it's important when many players come from one team to another to establish familiarity, unity and comfort with each other in a new situation, Balkman is the perfect bridge between old Denver players and current New York ones. Sending Randolph and Curry to Minnesota, the Knicks have also gained Corey Brewer. A spark-plug, dunking dynamo that gives N.Y. it's Shannon Brown. The type of energy booster any team looking to go far needs.

Rising rookie Landry Fields is still on board, as are Shawne Williams, Roger Mason and bench energiser Ronny Turiaf and all his passion, getting behind and rounding out this brilliant roster. Let's not forget that running this team is one of the leagues best and flashy, brightest coaches Mike D'Antoni. A man who gives this team the experience and flair to run and gun to the top. It doesn't end here though. The future is as bright as the Manhattan skyline on July 4th. This team doesn't have to appeal to lottery picks anymore, they won't be getting any. Free-agents are the ticket now and if Chris Paul gets his wish this team's Empire State reach could scrape the stars. The sky really is the limit as who knows what's next for a team that's achieved the unimaginable and the impossible twice. 'Superfriends 2' isn't just in the works. It's in production. Now who else will be cast in support?

Director Spike Lee (L) and Allan Houston sit while Amar'e Stoudemire speaks to the media at a press conference after Stoudemire signed a 5 year and nearly 100 million dollar contract to play with the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in New York City on July 8, 2010. UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

The most valuable franchise in the league are looking even more like a billion dollars hitting the .500 mark for the first time since 2000. This new decade belongs to them. What a difference 365 days make. This time last year the only star power New York had rested on Tracy McGrady's expiring knee and contract. The Knicks were still a joke, turning predicted potential into more broken promises and free-food give-aways to keep fans appetites. Now the MSG faithful are hungry for more as amendments have made this team. Now you can see this team rising even further then their sixth seed, especially after 'Melo's debut, game saving 11.4 seconds, in the teams highest-rating four quarters since M.J.s '95 return at MSG. Now the only things that could stop these rangers is for the roof to cave in with asbestos after a hockey game again. Still that would only postpone the inevitable.

The only losers now are the fans who decided to buy Mets tickets instead. The only donut's across the street, round the court from Fuse. The only similarity there to these Knicks is the dunkin'. Now Q-Tip's rally cry, 'Go New York' can be sung with pride. Now Kanye West wants a courtside connection. Time to book those Spike Lee seats, instead of imagine how you could trip a referee like Larry David did Shaq because now the Mecca of basketball is the hot ticket once again. As this team graduates to the high-life, 'Ball Players (and) rap stars (will be) addicted to the limelight". You don't want to be left without a seat in the Garden as New York is on the rise. Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan, Madison Square stand up! N.Y. is the city. Let's hear it for New York.


April 10, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..Bston Celtics Nate Robinson laughs with his teammates before the start of the game..Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Boston Celtics 90-105. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

24. Todays 'Through The Wire' may as well be a 'Through The Transactions' with all the trades going on at the moment before the deadline today, don't be surprise if this segment is updated again. Maybe everyones trying to keep up with the Knicks but right now the NBA has more moves then Dwyane Wade. First off the Thunder and Boston have dealt. Oklahoma have given up Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic for Boston's Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson. This makes the Thunder stronger with Perk and more energetic off the bench with Nate. Boston also get a great centre in the deal but with Jeff Green they get another budding star. Maybe these Celtics are looking to the future with Green, a future that was suppose to rest on Perk. The Thunder have also dealt Morris Peterson and D.J. White to the Bobcats for Nazr Mohammed as they get even stronger in the post and give Charlotte more runners. We're not done, keep up.

48. Michael Jordan and his Bobcats have been up dealing more then when Mike refused to lose a game of Monopoly back in college. It was on, then it was off but now it's official as Charlotte have sent their star player Gerald Wallace to the Portland Trail Blazers. The slashing, scoring machine has been with the Bobcats since the franchises expansion and inception after being selected from the Sacramento Kings. Now back out West he gives Portland a blazing hot talent, and another star and option, forming another potential big three with Aldridge and Roy and maybe a four when five Greg Oden returns. What a team that could be, a sleeper contender. To get Wallace Portland dealt Joel Przybilla and Dante Cunningham offering Charlotte some back-up talent. Still with Charlotte cutting costs this is definitely the Blazers trade.

82. Now how about this for a last minute deal? The Cavs may finally have some star power as they have acquired hot scoring guard Baron Davis from his home-town of Los Angeles, giving the Clippers dunking forward Jamario Moon and top guard Mo Williams. Out in L.A. Mo replaces Baron well, but the addition of fast-break Moon along with Griffin and Williams speed shift the showtime across Staples. "We're excited about the future here," former L.A. star and Cleveland coach told press. As he hopes he and his new Point Guard star can move his team forward. Byron coached Baron and New Orleans going through highs and lows and this experience will prove worthwhile. The Cavs also picked up some rookies from Boston. Any Celtic comes with a Certain championship clash and although it's not Allen or Pierce the acquisition of Luke Harangody and Semih Erden helps. In giving up a future second round pick the Cavs also made sure they remained deeper for the now. Speaking of Boston the Cavs also waived former Celtic Championship contributer Leon Powe, maybe Boston will pick up the man that brought them out of many a playoff slump. Still, this is Cleveland's time to rise, besides after hitting rock bottom they do say the only way is up.

O.T. NEWS JUST IN. Shane Battier is back in Memphis, traded by Houston for the Grizzlies Hasheem Thabeet. As Memphis get stronger so do the Suns who in a separate trade have received Rocket guard Aaron Brooks for Goran Dragic...Mike Miller is in the injury wars again, but this time he's on a no fly list with an ear infection that will keep him off his Miami Heat teams flight from the American Airlines arena to Chicago...Carmelo Anthony's Knick debut was the highest-rated Knick game since Michael Jordan's return in 1995. It's good for the Knicks this time the rating was on the thumbs up side for New a basketball world where players are more free these days, 2012 free agent Deron Williams has said he won't make a decision on his future until next year. New Jersey will now know what it feels to be like Denver. THE TRADE DEADLINE HAS OFFICIALLY PAST. TIME TO PLAY!! TIM DAVID HARVEY.


Denver Nuggets NBA player Carmelo Anthony arrives at the 2010 BET Awards in Los Angeles June 27, 2010. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SPORT BASKETBALL)

24. The 'Melodrama' started it's second season as Carmelo Anthony made his New York Knick debut last night. The MSG faithful loved it chanting "Me-lo, Me-lo," as Anthony iced the game with a dunk two free-throws with 11.4 to go. The Knicks beat the Bucks 114-108 at the Garden, despite Amar'e Stoudemire fouling out in the fourth. Still without STAT, 'Melo still stuffed the competition and the box-score with 27 points and 10 rebounds. "Just to get this 'W' tonight, that meant the world to me. That was a hell of a moment for the fans to react the way they did, to give me that ovation that they did," 'Melo told press about his Mecca moment at Madison. New Knick Chauncey Billups was also instrumental, hitting two free-throws and collaborating with former Nugget team-mate Anthony for New York's last 10 points. Anthony's wife told, LaLa Vasquez told press that when Carmelo was informed of the trade he told her, "Baby, we're going home," and what a homecoming it was.

48. Brandon Roy was Back in black, white and red for the Blazers but the Lakers beat them in black and white with a 106-101 win last night. After winning at home on November 7th, Los Angeles beat Portland on their trail. Kobe continued his latest Kobe like form with 37 points as the Lakers came back from 10 down to close out the Oregon team in overtime by two three's from Q.B.'s Lamar Odom and Ron Artest, a hook from Gasol and a clutch Kobe J that ended Portland's chorus. Despite LaMarcus Aldridge's 29 points and 14 rebounds the Trailblazers couldn't extend their hot, six game winning streak. At least their sell-out crowd saw their star back, as Brandon Roy received a standing 'O'. His coming back party was ruined by the Lake Show.

82. Joakim Noah's return to the Chicago Bulls was also ruined by formee team-mate James Johnson and his new side the Toronto Raptors. Johnson had 9, starting for the first time this season but Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan had 24 each and thanks to 17 dimes from Jose Calderon the Raptors dished the Bulls a 118-113 loss last night. "It's definitely not the result I wanted but we've just got to keep fighting," Joakim said after his teams win streak of four games was snapped. "We've got to come with a better edge." even 19 of Derrick Rose's 32 in the final innings couldn't stop Toronto from hitting this one out the park. Boozer also had 24 for the Bulls but the Raps had a more balanced attack as Amir Johnson had 17 points, Leandro Barbosa contributed 13 and Sonny Weems weened 12. Things may start taking a turn for the brighter in Toronto this Spring, whereas Chicago need to find their hope again.

O.T. Even without their star Tyreke Evans the Kings still triumphed over the Magic...without Deron Williams however the new look Jazz where blown out of town by the Mavericks...Tony Parker and the Spurs meanwhile put up their umbrellas to withstand the Thunder...Chase Buddinger caught a career night in a Houston win with 30 points...while in Philly, behind Holiday and Young the Sixers nicked last seasons win-total. With the NBA's vacatiion still months away, old problems in Philadelphia are history as the youth takes them further after the All-Star break. TIM DAVID HARVEY


March 12, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..Utah Jazz Deron Williams brings the ball up the court, Williams had 11 point and 9 assists tonight against the Bucks..Milwaukee Buck won over the Utah Jazz 95-87. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

24. More deals are being swung, before the trade deadline gavel is dropped. The New Jersey Nets may have not got their man Carmelo Anthony, but thy have still acquired an All-Star. The team traded for one of the best Point Guards in the league, Deron Williams but to get him they had to give up their own star Devin Harris and rising talent Derrick Favors. The pair head to the new look Utah Jazz to give more youth and potential to the Al Jefferson show. I guess nobody won out of the rumored Jerry Sloan, Deron Williams fall-out. Still D-Will gives Jersey it's league best player position since Jason Kidd, but just like when Kidd first landed in the Garden State who will this Point Guard pass to? Brook Lopez may be on the rise but they need more in order to rebound from the last few years. The team are looking to also deal for glass master Troy Murphy who currently boards out in California for Golden State.

48. 104-80. Now that's more like it. Speaking of rebounding the Lakers needed to bounce back and make a statement that they where still the reigning champion and by routing contender Atlanta they did that. The Lake Show had the talons to law the Hawks by 24 ending a 3 game losing streak. Coming off an All-Star MVP at home in Los Angeles, Kobe scored 20 in the Lakers return to Staples. Fellow All-Star Gasol added 14 points and 10 rebounds, doubling up in strength in numbers. All-franchise Joe Johnson scored 14 for the ATL, but Shannon Brown had 14 off the bench as the Lakers matched everything Atlanta had. The only bright-spot for the Hawks came before the game when reserve and last year Laker, Josh Powell was presented with his championship ring. Coach Jackson praised the hard-worker for his practice intensity and contributions to the championship.

82. The Portland Trail Blazers are in a state of flux right now. Sure they are in the fifth spot out West right now, but they have as much to work with in between their injuries as Brandon Roy has between his knees. Thank God for LeMarcus Aldridge who has stepped up his rising play even higher in the absence of the franchise of Roy and the power potential of Greg Oden. Still Portland can't just rely on him a they look to re-shape their injured roster. NBA.Com has reported that the team might try and make a deal for Gerald Wallace who would be the perfect potency for their powerful mix. Still the m.o. and the mission statement or this team is to use their bigger assets to get younger. So Andre Miller, Marcus Camby and Joel Przybilla may find themselves with new jerseys like Deron Williams. The doors of the NBA keep revolving.

O.T. This deal or no deal league keeps ringing up more trade ideas as Wizard guard Kirk Hinrich may find himself welcome in Atlanta in exchange for guards Jordan Crawford and Mike Bibby...while reports are saying that Sacramento have already pulled the trigger, shooting Carl Landry to Oklahoma in exchange for Marcus Thornton and cash considerations...meanwhile speaking of new changes, new, New York Knick Carmelo Anthony is 'Ready to accept all challenges' that face his new career in MSG...while former coach George Karl is embracing the Denver Nuggets new challenges without their star...looks like everyones happy with this deal. Or is that just relieved that it's over? We'll see. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11: (L-R) Carmelo Anthony and Boobie Smooth attend The Jordan Brand Athlete Carmelo Anthony Launch of Jordan Brand Melo M7 Performance Shoe in Harlem NYC at House of Hoops by Foot Locker on December 11, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Donald Bowers/Getty Images for Jordan Brand)

24. We told you there was more thrills and spills to come. Now the All-Star events are 'so' last weekend, as a blockbuster has hit our NBA TV screens. Carmelo Anthony is finally no longer a Denver Nugget. So all the talk will stop now right? NO! Believe me it's only getting started. The Showtime is now over in L.A, as 'melo has made his way out East, and not to New Jersey. Carmelo has headed to the core of Manhatten to play for the New York Knicks, making this most-improved team stellar and giving them a real good chance of overcoming Florida rivals Miami Heat and their 'superfriends' or even reigning Eastern champs, Boston. Chauncey Billups is also donning, blue and orange giving the Knicks another Mecca talent for Madison Square Garden. This sleeper part of the trade gives the Knicks, their own group of 'superfriends' and who knos Chris Paul may still be on his way this Summer too. More talent is coming New York's way with top backups Anthony Carter and Shelden Williams, plus former Knickerbocker favourite Renaldo Balkman is back in MSG. N.Y. still lose a crop of popular talent that helped them go far in the form of Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, and Timofey Mozgov, plus many draft picks to the Nuggets, but they also send Eddy Curry's expiring contract to Minnesota in exchange for the dunking, sparking talents of Corey Brewer. New York basketball is looking as bright and ignited as Times Square on New Year right now. It's another new day.

48. The New Jersey Nets may not be heading to London, England with a bright new star next week, but their opponents in the U.K. game, Toronto will land boasting a new trade. Sure this deal is more of a matinee next to the Knicks blockbuster but it's still a great one. The Raps have acquired sensational sophmore James Johnson off the Chicago Bulls for a second round draft-pick. This great forward gives this young developing Canadian team more youth and height. James Johnson is no stranger to playing in the U.K. either. Two years back in his Rookie season Johnson hit the big stage even bigger, hitting a buzzer beater to beat the Utah Jazz in a preseason friendly. J.J. will look forward to returning to a place that housed one of his earliest, favourite NBA memory.

82. Now we are into the second-half of the season the men will really be seperated from the boys, or the contenders from the lottery picks that is. The reigning top dog, the Los Angeles Lakers and their doberman Kobe Bryant look to bounce back after a disappointing first half to the season. After hosting the All-Star game in L.A., after his Staples MVP performance Kobe Bryant has a warning for the league, "You can’t beat me in June"! The whole purple and gold half of Los Angeles (Blake's really bringing out the blue and red) is behind their Lakers including, Snoop Dogg who has recorded a new song 'Purp & Yellow'. Following his 'Lakers Theme' of years past, the Doggfather hopes to bring L.A. more luck with his new track which features The Game. The video of the song features Laker players, Shannon Brown and Ron Artest. Two guys no stranger to music videos after vying for the beautiful, talented Toni Braxton in her clip last year. The video also features Matt Barnes who has returned to practice this Monday for the Lakers. The X-factor defensive back-up who can play the 2 or the 3 will be an assett for the Lakers to have back as they try and overcome their liabilities.

O.T. Maybe it's because he's bitter he lost. Or maybe it's because he's not the only one tired of the gimmicks, but dunker DeMar DeRozen is beginning to discredit the contest he took part in only just this weekend. DeRozen doesn't like the props used in the contest, not giving the spectacle any himself. Here's guessing he won't be back next year...he missed giving the Rookies a challenge this weekend and now reigning R.O.Y. Tyreke Evans will miss three weeks due to a foot injury...however as a door closes in Sacramento, one opens in Chicago as Joakim Noah is expected to return for tomorrows game against Toronto...Miami's Dwyane Wade should also play tonight as his ankle appears to be fine, even after he had to leave the All-Star game...expect more playing time for Steve Novak and the San Antonio Spurs as the player was given another 10 day contract by the team. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


24. Kobe Bryant isn't just the king of L.A. he's the king of the NBA. Bryant tied legend Bob Petit with four NBA All-Star MVP's (a record tie) on his home-court, the Staples Centre of the Los Angeles Lakers. The man who last shared the honors with former team-mate Shaq and also won in his hometown Philadelphia led the West to an epic 148-143 win over the Eastern All-Stars. Kobe tallied 37 points and 14 rebounds, going toe-to-toe with eastern rival LeBron James of favourite Miami who had 29 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, matching Michael Jordan as one of the only players to record a triple-double in an All-Star game. The East could have taken it but last years All-Star MVP, Dwyane Wade left with an ankle injury after scoring 14. One thing was for certain though, it was another classic All-Star for the ages and in what will probably be the last All-Star game for Kobe in Los Angeles, a fitting chapter closure to one of the stories of his L.A. times.

48. You just knew Blake was going to get it. The most exciting highlight of the All-Star weekend was as creative as ever on Saturday, as the dunk contest was a slam dunk of a success. Blake Griffin won the contest by jumping over a car as he caught Baron Davis alley-out the sunroof. OK, so he only jumped over the bonnet of the car but still he wasn't wearing Kobe's 'hyperdunks'. It was still good enough for his choir and everyone in the arena to believe he could fly. Blake also rolled out an impressive array of dunks, including a 10 out of 10, 360, a tornado of a windmill and a honey dip dunk, where he went deeper into the jar then Vince did, (he's got the marks to prove it). Runner up, Javale McGee was also incredible, dunking two balls in two baskets and then jamming three balls in one go. DeMar DeRozen also had a bag of tricks and Serge Ibaka represented Africa to the full raising flags, saving kids toys with his teeth and jumping from further away from the free throw line then Mike and the good Doctor did. Rim rock and roll all round.

82. In the other weekend highlights. James Jones of Miami took the 3 Point Contest crown, whetting the fire of greatest three point shooter of all time, Ray Allen. That's quite a man to beat. Still on some racks Jesus' shots looked as pure as the Virgin Mary. Boston teammate, Paul Pierce also had a dramatic run, being booed by his hometown Los Angeles fans. P-Double still was good with the triple adding, "I don't understand how you can boo me, but not Ray". One of the more interesting events of the weekend was the Celebrity Game. Despite some dodgy timeout acting the game was a thrill to watch and it was great to see 'Seinfelds' Jason Alexander, 'Modern Family's' Ty Burrell and Jimmy Kimmell join Bill Walton and Magic Johnson on the sidelines. It was also to former players, Rick Fox and Mitch Richmond on great form and Hall Of Famer, Scottie Pippen on dynamite form. Still the real pleasant surprise was Justin Bieber. He was always going to get the MVP but he played brilliantly amongst, older taller professionals. It was one of those 'Chappelle Show' moments like when Charlie Murphy played basketball with Prince, "don't ever judge a book by his cover, because this cat could ball". He crossed up Common (how many times could you say a 16 year old schooled a rapper?), he hit a high arching three which brought rain with it and he alley-ooped Romeo to finish the game on a high note, even though his team lost the game. The score didn't matter as Bieber earned his respect on the court.

O.T. Atlanta where the shooting stars winners with some ranger, dead-eye shooting from Hawk, Al Horford, the WNBA's Atlanta Dream's Coco Miller and legend Steve Smith. Another highlight was a half-court heave from analyst Kenny Smith that will have him talking more than he did as Blake Griffin's coach in the dunk-contest...Steph Curry paid the bills in the Skills Contest, owning his opponents and being warm and open with the lucky fans who got to sit next to him. A true professional indeed...the Rookies answered the Sophmore's challenge with a 148-140 win thanks to 33 points from DeMarcus Cousins, I bet he was glad his reigning Rookie Of the Year team-mate Tyreke Evans wasn't playing...this wraps up Basketball's most exciting filled weekend of the year, but please believe the thrills and spills aren't over yet. Just wait for what's in store this week. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Saturday, 19 February 2011


Ten For Ten

By Tim David Harvey

10. ISAIAH RIDER: Who shot J.R. that night in '94? Because whoever did got the perfect picture. As Isiah took it back ten years to the eighties and Orlando Woolridge. Rider rode the baseline and put it between his legs before he planted it in the hoop at the dunk contest in Minnesota, representing his Timberwolves. It's a shame that this man's playing career was also a royal flush because at one time the man could of been king. At least for that evening, he was on the throne.

9. HAROLD MINER: Sure his NBA career wasn't what people expected, but boy did Minor make a major mark on the dunk-contest. He may have never been the heir to Jordan's throne but he is in the elite company of 'Like Mike' dunkers who have won the contest more then once. Plus that between the legs reverse will always be re-winded between NBA TV and Youtube for decades to come. That's still a lasting legacy, shame about his league legend.

8. DEE BROWN: Gerald Green paid homage to Boston history with a little help from Nate Robinson and won the 2007 dunk contest by looking to the past and covering his eyes. Still as good as the Celtic's Green was, (birthdays and all) nothing beats an original. When Dee Brown took off and covered both his eyes with his forearm he not only dunked the basketball but he changed the way the dunk contest were seen in the NBA. From then on a new style of complicated dunks where ushered in. So we take our hand a little higher over our eyes and salute Dee.

7. KOBE BRYANT: Kobe's one of those guys that you wish you'd see more of in the dunk contest, especially in his air-balling, sky-rocketing, pre-fro' early days. Still these days the dunk contest seems as fashionable as throwback jerseys, but still both are cool. Plus, they both like to be enjoyed but not tried on, as Kobe has been one of the most upstanding spectators for performances like Dwight's in 2008. Still in 1996 it was this bald-headed rookie that was getting the fans out their seats. He didn't even take off his warm-ups for a complicated reverse jam. Still, it was no sweat, it was just Kob'.

6. NATE ROBINSON: If it wasn't for Spud Webb before him then Nate would have been higher. Still this little man with big hops, leads all winners as the only player to win the contest three times. OK, so popular consensus might not have liked the win last year, but everybody loved what Nate was doing en route to his first win in 2006, (despite those who thought Igudola should have been the reigning, rim rocker). In a new decade where tribute dunks have become the trend, Nate did one better and jumped over his idol and small, big dunk legend Spudd Webb. Then two years later Robinson went one better again, donning the New York Knick, ST. Patrick Green and some florescent green trainers to form 'Krypto-Nate'. Superman, Dwight Howard had met his match as Nate the great cleared him and took off to the rim. As Robinson dunked over Dwight he performed a little dance that told the crowd, it's over. He may not be in the contest this year, but best believe he will be missed. No matter what they say.

5. SPUD WEBB: The original, small man was there decades before Nate and even defeated team-mate and superior slammer Dominique Wilkins one year. Spud amazed the crowd with his dunks, as he bounced the ball and jumped like he had electric springs in his step. Webb has drawn all sorts of fans from the arena in 1986 all the way to Internet blogs today. Webb at 5,7 looked like a child dunking the peach but still showed he had the potatoes to risk looking like a fool in front of millions. What the audience witnessed however was genius and a dunking revolution.

4. DOMINIQUE WILKINS: When it came to the dunk, Dominique dominated and thanks to some epic battles with Michael Jordan he made the contest more then just exciting, he made it interesting. Taking the crown 26 years ago in '86, 'Nique was one of the first to do it and every dunk from this soaring Hawk-even in losing contests-was classic like the American Eagle. As Wilkins spread his wings the dunk was expanded into the basketball world. Now he may have done this in games every night but in the dunk contest Wilks was able to show it in all it's glory, victory or not.

3. VINCE CARTER: Vince Carter may be one of the most important Slam Dunk winners of all time. Why? Because with Air Jordan gone and the contest on a two year hiatus, Air Canada needed to really arrive in Oakland for the new millennium...and boy did he arrive taking the contest out it's departure days. He brought a tornado reaction with his windmill, had people spinning with his 360, and brought people like bee's to his sweet, honey dip. He damn near broke his arm on that play. These where the type of moments that made a man who is now the most hated in Toronto one of the most popular basketball players of all-time. His dunks where so good that he even made us forget about Steve Francis great stuffs and those of cousin and then team-mate Tracy McGrady. Still, when T-Mac threw the alley and Vince got it between his legs for the oop, Carters to-camera reaction was all she wrote. Vinsane!

2. DWIGHT HOWARD: Dun, Dun, DUUUUUUUUUUUUH! Just when you thought it was over for the copycat, routine dunk contest, Dwight Howard channelled Vince Carter's redefinition and revolutionised the dunk contest in 2008. The previous year, Dwight stickered a 12 foot, bible-belting slam, but '08 would be a real testament to his pure power. Not only did he show poise and finesse, by tapping the ball of the glass to himself and slamming home, the big joker also drew trademark smiles by switching from a small basket to a big one. Still, the real big one of the night, was when he donned a superman vest and cape and took off from the free-throw line. He flew so high he literally threw the ball in the hoop. A year later he went one better and dunked on a 12 foot rim and entertained everyone from Phoenix to the rest of the world. 'Krypto-Nate' may have beat him fair and square but at the end of the day without Superman Lex Luthor would have no challenge.

1. MICHAEL JORDAN: Mike is the best ever period, in any game (well, maybe not rounders) and back to back in 1987 and 1988, Mike showed the NBA that the real high-light of the All-Star weekend might just be on a Saturday. Mike duelled, duked and dunked it out with Dominique, turning him into the dunk contests Los Angeles Lakers to Jordan's Boston Celtics. In beating all his opponents, Mike didn't just give us a show, he put on a clinic. Even doctors and scientists couldn't figure out how this man did what he did. Even if you argue that there has been better dunks, try and think of what image best represents the contest,(or hey, even Jordan's career) then the one of him taking off from the free throw line, with his arm raised, legs cocked and gold chain glistening and flying. Can't think of anything? That's because the whole reason you watch this sport and even want to dunk begins with this man and with that this ends here.


Hey now, that's an All-Star!


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.

If you can't wait for tomorrows big game, why not 'Take 5' and reminisce the five greatest All-Star games of the last decade? From self-assisted dunks to political statements, it's been a great and important 10 years for the NBA's favourite, weekend holiday. Now that's entertainment. Let's take a look back at the times when amazing really did happen.

5. DALLAS-2010: NBA history was made last year to the tune of 108, 713 record breaking, screaming fans. It took a couple of Dallas Cowboys to usher these hoop dreamers into an NFL stadium. Dwyane Wade took his deserved MVP award with LeBron James standing right behind him (who would have thought back then?) and with a 141-139 thriller over four quarters it felt like M.J was back in the building. It was Team Jordan that showed the flashes of brilliance however as Wade's performance looked as good as the half-time show featuring the beautiful Alicia Keys and Shakira. A big, big night all round. The NBA broke new ground with this sell-out as timeless basketball truly touched down. Forget the Superbowl, this was the sporting highlight of the first quarter of 2010.

4. PHILADELPHIA-2002: Out in Philly where Kobe Bryant was born and raised, the MVP made this court his playground with most of his plays. Despite the boos, Kobe's 31 point, 5 assist and 5 rebound performance could not be denied. As he took top honours the West cracked the East 135-120 at Philadelphia's First Union Centre. Home-team hero Allen Iverson may not have turned home-court advantage to a game, set and match, but by donning number 6 in honour of Sixers legend, Julius Erving he served up another special moment in a game of many. This was the last game where the players wore their respective team jerseys, but more importantly Michael Jordan's first All-Star game since coming out of retirement with his Washington Wizards. Mike played great, but on a break-away run to the basket, floor-Jordan clanged a dunk off the rim for a hilarious and unfortunate moment. Still, when Tracy McGrady passed the ball off the backboard glass to himself from just beyond half-court and slammed it home he gave the game it's greatest moment and re-set the trend for dunks and All-Star spectacles to come.

04289223 date 15 02 2009 Copyright imago Xinhua Shaquille o Neal left and Kobe Bryant both Western Conference will as MVPs the NBA All Star Game 2009 excellent PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxCHN West Shaq Oneal Vdig horizontal Close premiumd Highlight Cup Trophy Award Ceremony Award ceremony Award Player Award Ceremony Players ceremony MVP Most Valuable Player NBA All Star Weekend 2009 Stars Allstar Allstars AllStarWeekend Game Allstar Game Basketball men Team USA Group photo optimistic Rand motive Highlight Human Beings Objects Photo via Newscom

3. PHOENIX-2009: Nothing beats big-game side-stories and everyone likes a tale of redemption, even if you have to go through a desert to find it. Thanks to the Phoenix Suns, the 'Big Cactus', Shaquille O'Neal played on the same team as Kobe Bryant for the first time since their death of a dynasty out in Los Angeles. The last time these two played together in an All-Star game, the two Lakers combined for a Jerry West esque, 44 points, cementing the dynamics of their duo at their home-hosting Staples. Still, a lot had happened since then, but in Phoenix all those past problems dried up as the thought of foes showed they where really friends. Under the coaching of Phil Jackson it all felt like 2001 again as the West took a 19-0 run with Shaq and Kobe on the floor together. The pair combined for the West's 146-119 drubbing and co-MVP honours, in a story that sounded as good as John Legend's half-time show.

2. NEW ORLEANS-2008: It was a close 134-128 win for the East and LeBron James took the MVP honours with 27 points and was 1 assist and 2 rebounds away from a triple-double. New Boston Celtic player, Kevin Garnett was the top-vote getter while Dwight Howard put on a classic show, re-invigorating and revolutionising the dunk-contest. Yao Ming didn't play and Kobe Bryant almost joined him on the bench. Still none of this mattered compared to the biggest story of the weekend, where the game was played. New Orleans held the 57th All-Star game in the New Orleans Arena in Louisiana. In a statement of solidarity that then President George Bush couldn't muster, the NBA showed they really cared, proving it wasn't just about basketball, or golf for that matter. Now watch their food drives. In return New Orleans as a city, just three years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina proved they where perfect hosts. This wasn't just one of the best All-Star games it was also one of the NBA's finest and most proud moments.

1. ATLANTA-2003: Michael Jordan hit a fadeaway jumper over Shawn Marion with 5 seconds to go in overtime putting the East up by a bucket, showing that even with the future of The Matrix, Jordan's basketball creation was present and correct. In his last ever All-Star game, this signature move looked to score a storybook ending to the most legendary of careers. That was until the heir to the airs throne, Kobe Bryant re-wrote history. As Jermaine O'Neal sent Kobe to the line, Bryant's killer instinct must have felt a little bit merciful for his hero's last All-Star moment. Still, Kobe's no coward and he sent the game into a second overtime, where MVP Kevin Garnett did the rest. Still everything about their thrilling, hard-fought, long 155-145 Western win was classic. From Vince Carter standing aside to let Mike start, to the resurrection of the classic, East and West All-Star jerseys. Even the way the court and the lighting looked gave the evening a vintage feel and as for the basketball itself, timeless.

Now enjoy tomorrow!


Never doubt the Texas Ranger.


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.

Welcome to the Wild-West. Now there's plenty of gun-slingers in town, but only one can be at the top. Even in the Southwest, there are plenty of Texan Rangers shooting and duking it out with each other. Now the Houston Rockets may be taking off and there may be Mavericks down in Dallas, but the real Texan titans are the San Antonio Spurs. Sure this old dog hasn't learnt any new tricks but so what, if it aint broke, don't fix it. This veteran team have re-tooled a little but are still so together as these Spurs are really clicking in the associations saloon of contenders.

It all starts with the sheriff. The frontier of this franchise. The old hand who still knows how to draw...a double team that is. Sure there are young shooters that may challenge, but this dead-eye talent and associations two time most valuable still rules the roost like Cogburn the West. With one foot on either side of the paint, this man can take it to the rack or bank it in from deep. That's a real rifleman right there. He keeps his distance but isn't afraid to get up close and personal to get his man...and he always gets his man too. Shaq, Kobe, the best of the West and the best of the best have been pursued and caught by T.D. An admiral before him taught him and now Tim Duncan is more then just a 'Cowboys & Aliens' esque robot, he's a machine taking the league to school with educated, grown up basketball. Just try and stop him.

January 18, 2010: Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs in action against the New Orleans Hornets during an NBA game in the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, LA. Tyler Kaufman/CSM.

Still, every sheriff needs his deputies and with Tony Parker and Manu Ginoboli, Duncan has his. Together they form a tried and tested big three fro America that came years before those in New England or Florida. Two former young steeds-who came in from out of town-who now wear their Spurs with a hometown pride. First came Parker. A man with a foreign translation but a game that spoke victories language and still echo's that to this day beyond Texan borders. Quick to draw, he is this band of brothers silver bullet, reducing the opponents to teardrops. Then there's the South American, cowboy wild, tenacious talent. With skill and flair this talent tears through defenders like his fellow, Argentinean sportsmen who kick for a living. Sure he's no longer young and wet behind the years, but as he seasons over the campaigns his talent shows no sign of drying up. Even after hard fought battles in the Phoenix desert year after year, or international duty. If anyone is a testament to this teams old but far from done ideal it's Emanuel.

Still this posse isn't just cut there. Sometimes to be at your best you've got to look outside and when the Spurs enlisted the help from a silent assassin from out of town, that's when their boots really shined. Gunman, Richard Jefferson gives this old hand some young palms. This underrated talent is one of San Antonio's most deadly weapons. Not only does he come with the experience of taking charge in two other States he is also incredibly underrated. Sure he goes about his job without a sound, but haven't people learnt with Duncan that sometimes silence speaks the loudest. R.J. never leaves a job undone, write this man off or disregard him and he'll just go about his business without a word...and finish you.

Apr. 14, 2010: San Antonio Spurs forward Richard Jefferson during an NBA game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX Dallas defeated San Antonio 96-89.

How about the old hand with a firm grip on his offensive weapon? This may be Antonio McDyess last call of duty, but the retiring, former injury prone outlaw can still dust off the Stetson and kill the enemy with just one tip. Just ask those folks down in Los Angeles. Or how about long-range ranger, Matt Bonner? A red hot rifle-man, capable of gunning down opponents from the most unbelievable distance. That's real 'True Grit' right there, just ask Matt Damon, or his beloved Boston Celtics, or any town in this civilisation for that matter. There's also Brazilian, Tiago Splitter, a real-big addition at 6, 11. Yet another South American addition for a Southwest team never afraid to seek help from friends afar. This former Spanish league MVP is well-travelled and was on the most wanted list, but San Antonio got their man. Sure with time not on San An's side they have big Spurs to fill once those veterans become lone rangers. Still young backcourt, guns for hire George Hill, Chris Quinn and Gary Neal have learned from the best, showing promise and a right to wear the teams shield with pride and promise.

As fierce as a coyote, this band of men have their mascot, fans and the whole town behind them. Led by legendary, lasting, lawmen Greg Popovich and R.C. Buford, these black, silver and whites colour the West, proving that old age is on their side as of right now. This is why at 0.821, in 56 duels the team have answered every challenge with only 10 setbacks. With 6 games ahead of their nearest Texas rival and more then 8 above the reigning Laker, these guys are running all their enemies out of town, with no return in sight. Follow the stream of success down the River Walk and you may soon see a parade in this town to boot. Even with a looming lockout there would be no asterisk this year, just a certified reward, worth more than $1000. 'True Grit' isn't just a movie that portrays the classic, timeless Western tale of American literature, it is also the embodiment of one of basketballs storied, principle and traditionally minded teams, the San Antonio Spurs. Their legend has already been engraved. It's time for the tales next chapter and you know just like the Cohen's these brothers will write it the right way, by the book. Now will the duke be beaten this year? The hell they will!

Friday, 18 February 2011


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

24. With the All-Star game being played in Los Angeles this weekend, let's keep Friday's, 'Through The Wire', Laker themed. It's about time the logo's legend was cemented in stone in Los Angeles. The Lakers have given Jerry West the Magic Johnson and Chick Hearn treatment, immortalizing him in a bronze statue. The Lakers golden Hall Of Famer was enshrined in the Star Plaza along with Wayne Gretzky and Oscar De La Hoya. Jerry reiterated the fact that he was uncomfortable receiving the attention but thanked the Los Angeles Lakers and the Staples Centre for the honor. The statue depicts, Mr. Clutch dribbling. The ice to Jerry's fire, Elgin Baylor was on hand as was Laker legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Pat Riley and Shaquille O'Neal and Boston foe, but good friend Bill Russell.

48. Usually blockbuster trades and the All-Star weekend go hand in hand but don't expect much noise out of Los Angeles on the transfer front. Ron Artest was rumored to be hitting the road, like a fouled out Jack at the Staples Centre and Carmelo Anthony was supposed to be the next Pau Gasol and make the Lakers list of stars look that much more elite. Still, you should expect the only blockbusters to come out of Hollywood to be Matt Damon films as Mitch Kupchak is telling us to not expect much by the February 24th deadline like kids who have forgot that homework. "I think it's unlikely," the former Laker Power Forward said about 'Melo turning yellow. "But there's eight days to go. All of the general managers are here in Los Angeles this weekend, and there will be a lot of yapping. There will be a lot of guys moving off to the side, and there will be a lot of phone calls. ... I stand by what I said, that it's unlikely, but I don't think any general manager can stand here and say there will be absolutely no changes in eight days, in particular at this time of year." the Lakers have lost more form, since the rumors first started as they've just come off three straight losses to end their road trip including one embarrassing loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. This would of been acceptable last year, but not now, times are a'changing, do the Lakers need to? As Kupchak quoted, "Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can climb up."

82. Keeping it Lakers and legendary it looks like good friends and great rivals Magic Johnson and Larry Bird are off to New York. The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtic legends and Basketball pioneers are set to have a Broadway play written about them. Hey if the company ENRON and the rapper Jim Jones can have a play done about them then why not these two icons? The production will centre around the relationship between the two icons which started as their two colleges went head to head and lasted through their battles in the NBA and to this day. The writers who wrote the 2010 smash 'Lombardi' will pen tnis Earvin and Legend piece. Time to book that ticket to JFK, this is one show you won't mind taking your girlfriend to see.

O.T. Even more Lakers now. Sure Ron Artest may not be playing in Staples this weekend and rumor has it that if he returns there it may not be for long (It would be the Lakers loss) still the enigmatic man has more important plans at the moment. Ron, Ron ha visited Washington D.C. to raise more awareness about the need for help in the area of mental health. We salute his work...the New Jersey Nets have reiterated their stance that Carmelo Anthony won't be heading to the Meadowlands before or after February 24th...injured, reigning Rookie Of The Year, Tyreke Evans won't suit up for the Rookie challenge tomorrow. The injured star will be replaced by James Harden...San Antonio and Western All-Stars coach Greg Popovich says that Tim Duncan will start for the West for Sundays big game. The Robot has been a cog in the All-Star team for practically his whole career, plugging the Power Forward position...enjoy the All-Star weekend and check back on BASKETBALL 24/48/82 on Monday for our recap. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


Cleveland Cavaliers' head coach Byron Scott watches from the sideline during the first half of the Cavaliers game against the Boston Celtics in Cleveland, Ohio October 27, 2010. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

24.Former Los Angeles Laker, showtime legend and current Cleveland Cavalier coach Byron Scott will be honored this All-Star weekend, but outside Los Angeles and outside the NBA. His former college Arizona State will retire his jersey. Scott's number 11 will be retired, a number he wore in college in honor of his favourite player Bob McAdoo (also a former Laker). Byron later on got to play with his hero for the Lakers, but that meant he could no longer wear his number 11. Byron adopted the number 4, another number that deserves to be retired. It took two years for Byron to work up the courage to tell Bob he was his hero. Lets hope it doesn't take the Lakers too long to realise that some of their best role players deserve more recognition and status too.

48.Someone better get the Fonz on the phone because happy days aren't in Memphis right now. Their star player Rudy Gay is expected to miss 4 weeks with a shoulder injury. This month long infliction could really claw away at the Grizzlies playoff opportunities. Rudy picked up this injury during his teams in against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday. A day later an MRI revealed a partial dislocation of the shoulder. Gay will be evaluated in four weeks but if there is little improvement he'll miss more time. This news is only good for the Utah Jazz and the Denver Nuggets who are battling with Memphis for the last playoff seed out West. Right now Memphis are just in a bad spot.

82. Keeping it between Byron Scott and the Lakers. You know things are bad when you lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is one weary road trip that the Los Angeles Lakers will want to forget quick. Putting a 25 plus losing streak behind them and avenging a 55 point drubbing by the Lake Show earlier in the season, the Cavs took care of the Lakers 104-99. Former Laker and Cleveland coach Byron Scott ended the showtime as he sent in guard Ramon Sessions, who had a season-high 32 points to go with 8 assists off the pine and into the prime time. All the zen mater had after the game was more stress as he told press, "I think (the Lakers) took their All-Star break before the game. They left before this game started. I'm not happy with the way this trip ended, that's for sure." Kobe Bryant had a season-high 12 rebounds but was taken out the game on D by some Cavalier players. Kobe committed 7 turnovers and 4 fouls and was an old jersey/new jersey number 8 for 24, en route to 17 points. Pau Gasol may have had a big 30 points to go with Derek Fisher's 19, but the Lakers ended their 7 game road-trip with their third straight loss to the worst team in the league.

O.T. Brave Orlando Magic VP, Pat Williams has told press that he will beat cancer. We have faith in him, get well soon...Mike Miller injured his head during a Miami game but tests have revealed nothing serious for the oft-injured, shooting swingman...the Charlotte Bobcats have offered interim coach Paul Silas a one-year deal. Still a full contract, if a little interim-ish...Blake Griffin will be the first rookie to ever partake in all three days of the All-Star weekend in his teams native Los Angeles. The big talent will smash more records, playing in the Rookie challenge, the Slam Dunk comp and the All-Star game itself...also the Clippers other big talent, Chris Kaman is back from an ankle injury, so it's all looking good in Los Angeles this weekend. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


24. Bill Russell has received many honors during his career, just look at his fingers. Still, he received a real special one this week, thanks to basketballs most famous fan. President Barack Obama rewarded the Boston Celtic legend with the Presidential Medal Of Freedom. This honor is the United States' highest civilian award and well deserved for such a great man, on and off the floor. This honor is quoted as recognising those who have, "made an especially meritorious contribution to (1), the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors." The White House issued a statement about Bill, saying in one part , "(Bill Russell) The first African American to coach in the NBA—indeed he was the first to coach a major sport at the professional level in the United States—Bill Russell is also an impassioned advocate of human rights. He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and has been a consistent advocate of equality". Russell stated humbly that his father was his real hero but also stated that he was, "I am very, very flattered by this honor". You deserve it sir.

48. Bill Russell isn't the only member of the NBA family honored this week. Kobe Bryant will put his hands and feet in concrete outside Hollywood's famed Grauman's Chinese Theater, joining the likes of everyone from John Wayne to Adam Sandler. As Kobe just goes with it, during the Los Angeles held All-Star weekend, the Lakers duke will be honored by vearious celebrities. With the Celtics and the Lakers making honor roll news this week it looks like the two storied rivals are competing yet again. With all due respect however Obama beats George Lopez and Jimmy Kimmell, who will be speaking at Bryant's ceremony (no offence). Lopez a life long Laker fan will be a key-note speaker and Jimmy Kimmell's ABC late night show films across the road from the theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Get this though, Kobe is the first non-Hollywood star to have his hands and feet in cement. Now he just needs to have a star on the Walk Of Fame.

82. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the senior vice president of the Orlando Magic Pat Williams. The long-time NBA executive has been diagnosed with a form of blood cancer. The condition is known as multiple myeloma and the Doctors are optimistic that they have discovered this cancer early. Here's wishing a speedy recovery for this hard-worker. All the best, get well soon.

O.T. The Milwaukee Bucks are close to being back in the Redd. As their star guard Michael Redd looks to come back after a long knee injury. The Bucks look to score big as their star and his shot returns...on the flip side of the injury coin. Michael Beasley of the Minnesota Timberwolves will be out of the woods for the teams next game with an ankle injury...yeat another big event has been named to the All-Star weekend. As the league owners and player plan to have a meeting in L.A. regarding the labor situation. Let's hope this is one of the big highlights of the weekend. We don't want a lockout next season. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


The genuine article.


(Continuing Our 'Laker Legacy' Series)

"He was one of the most spectacular shooters the game has ever known"-Jerry West, HOOP Magazine, 1992.

This forthcoming All-Star weekend is big for all of the NBA, right down to the logo. The Los Angeles Lakers are hosting the game at the STAPLES Centre and are also using the weekend to unveil their latest statue. Joining Magic, Chick, Wayne and Oscar will be Mr. Clutch himself, Jerry West. Now with all due respect, where respect is due, ( the Lakers had someone East of West too. Standing right next to the fire of Jerry was the ice of Elgin Baylor, one of the coldest players to ever grace a basketball court. Elg's influence has been huge. R&B superstar Ginuwine was named after the megastar. The singer even drops his latest album entitled 'Elgin' this week. How fitting.

Before, new revolutionary forwards like Pau Gasol, before Shaq and Kobe, before 'Cap and Magic, before Wilt. Before even fans chanted West's first name like Springer audiences, before even purple and gold. Straight out of Minneapolis, right to to Los Angeles, Elg was there in blue and white, with stars around his Lakers shield. Los Angeles first officer was a force, making Laker fans feel better about Mikan's retirement. Taking them higher, right before the days of the 'stilt'. After 13 years, when Elgin called it a final game, Los Angeles Times reporter Mal Florence, put it even better then the legendary Jim Murray, eulogising his career by stating that, "no man has contributed more to the success and popularity of the Lakers since they moved to Los Angeles from Minneapolis in 1960 than Baylor".

Still for every Magic and Kobe, there's a Gail Goodrich and James Worthy. Los Angeles have had so many stars over the decades, and were not talking about Hollywood ones. With so much talent it's easy for some of these guys to avoid the limelight or the recognition that they truly deserve. Think about it, list your top five Laker players of all-time. Does Elgin make the cut? Well he should. Baylor isn't just the Lakers all-time rebounder (11,463). Out in California, he walked more than boards. This classic player ran the show a generation before Earvin learnt the tricks of his Magic trade.

Way before Kobe, Elgin was using his speed, wide offensive set and Basketball I.Q., to get past any defender in his way, en route back then to hanging more jump shots on opponents then anyone in the association not named Chamberlain or Robertson. Baylor took bites out of the Big Apple, making Madison Square Garden his Mecca way before Kobe's high scoring nights faded past performances away. Kobe may have dropped a cool, classic 61 points two years back, but Baylor once notched a tremendous, timeless 71 in New York. OK, so Kobe raised Baylor's all-time scoring performance silver by 10-hitting 81 against Toronto-to lie just behind Wilt Chamberlain's 100 (Baylor's still the highest scoring forward). Still the point is, both these legends have been just as important to Laker legacy.

"I hear people talking about forwards today and I haven't seen many that can compare with him." Jerry West, HOOP Magazine, 1992.

Before the STAPLES Centre let Shannon Brown dunk his 6, 4 heart out, the inch higher Baylor had as much vertical, dazzling the Los Angeles crowd and other forums league wide with his athletic, acrobatic, aerial assaults. Taking it out of L.A. this guy is one of the best all-time players in the whole history of the league. At 6, 5 and 225 pounds he was affording way more rebounds then his size could spend, way before Charles Barkley made the mound. Most teams would love to have a 20 and 10, double, double machine at the 4 or the 5, but sized like a 3, Elg averaged 27.4 points 13.5 rebounds for his career (24.9 and 15 as a Rookie playing like a veteran to boot as well). That's almost 30 and 15. In fact one season Baylor brought 34.8 points and 19.8 rebounds to the end of season box-score. That's Wilt numbers.

Decades before last years Boston/L.A. Finals and way before Magic and Bird helped re-vitalise the NBA and the Lakers/Celtics rivalry, Baylor and West where doing it with their own historic Boston match-ups, ensuring that arm-chair sports fans didn't adjust their sets. Amongst all these heated, historic rivalries, Baylor and West may have achieved circle digits in relation to championship rings, but they sure did win a lot of respect. Sure there was no love lost between these East and West Coast team but Elgin had his own personal Boston rivalry with all-time forward Bill Sharman. Sure they had their battles but amidst the war Shar' admired Elg. The pair played the game the way it was meant to be played and were friends, professionals, warriors, basketball purists and true sportsman.

OK, if your done with the history lesson then how about some maths? The stats speak for themselves, especially since this player recorded all these numbers in just 170 games over 13 seasons. Even injuries couldn't chill this legends place on the all-time lists. During his 14 years (all with the Lakers, now that's loyalty), he was an NBA All-Star 11 times. The Rookie Of The Year was so big from the outset in what was also the Lakers debut year in Los Angeles. He hit more than 50 points 17 times in his career and hit around 60 as much as most top players today hit 40. One of many highlights was his 1962, 61 point, 22 rebound Finals performance against Boston when Jerry West was out injured. The glass cleaner once polished off 30 rebounds against Cincinnati, just another crowning achievement for NBA royalty.

So sure Jerry West is getting his just deserves out in California this weekend, but the Lakers better make room and stone for many more Laker legends who's jerseys are already raised to the rafters. Especially Elg, as this man of the Hall needs to be monitored more by the eye of NBA history. Sure Jerry West is the logo, but Elgin Baylor is a symbol. A symbol of the birth of the Lakers out in Los Angeles and the real rise of African-American players in the NBA and the leagues popularity itself. Elgin scored big on many points, even beyond the stat-sheet. As for the respect for this loved game, just hear what the fans and the coaches alike at Elgin's rookie, 55 point performance against the Knickerbockers said and, 'Give it to Baylor'.

"Elgin Baylor should be there," Jerry West, 17th February, 2010.

Monday, 14 February 2011


24. This years Western and Eastern Conference players of the week really are big guys. Out East Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic was given the honor after a huge week. The All-Star was all numbers over the last seven, with a 16.8 rebound average to go along with four double, doubles (four of his 14 straight) en route to a 3-1 week for his Magic side. Dwight's statistical vision was a perfect, 20/20 (points and rebounds) against the Clippers. This is the fifth time Howard was seen stats like this, this season. Despite the criminal All-Star snub, Portland's stud talent LeMarcus Aldridge led the one time Jail-Blazers, to a scorching hot undefeated week. Blazing a trail of 3 points or more in all three games, the big forward pushed his Portland Trail Blazers further up the Western elite. Showing true grit in his performances including 42 points against Chicago. Aldridge joins fellow player of the week Howard and probable Rookie of The Year, Blake Griffin as the only player to average 22 points and 9 rebounds. All these bigs numbers really do add up and equate to something...recognition.

48. The Lakers, engines are only purring on their road-trip at the moment as they couldn't claw a victory against the Charlotte Bobcats. Coach Phil Jackson was so upset after his former player, Michael Jordan's Charlotte franchise blew the Lakers lights out, 109-89. The second coming, Kobe had nothing to say to the press to go with 20 points in contest that was matched and bested by the fierce cat, Gerald Wallace. He also had 11 boards and Gerald Henderson pulled away with 18. This makes it 8 out of 10 in favour of the city that used to house the Hornets. They used to be a tough test for the Lake Show but these Bobcats appear to be a bogey side for L.A. in fact in 13 unlucky contests the Lakers have only picked away 5 wins to Charlotte's 8. The only other team the L.A. Lakers have a negative record with is the Boston Celtics...and we all know about the history of those two teams.

82. The Orlando Magic may have been fishing for big names recently, still one of their best contributors is real, role playing talent, Brandon Bass.Bold as brass, Brandon is a crowd favourite and ever the dependable player. The star has been out injured recently with a sprained ankle, but he was turned things over and is looking to get might healthy and well-balanced in the second half of the season and playoffs. One of the contenders biggest contributors returned during the Magics weekend win over the Lakers. "It felt good just to get back on the court and to be out there playing with the guys," Bass told, giving instead of fishing for compliments. He doesn't need to, it's clear his team and his fans love him.

O.T. Following his suspension, Sacramento rook, Cousins will now have to relate his wrong with some money, as the Sacramento star has been fined by his team...the injury problems are getting worse for the transitional Utah jazz. Their versatile forward, Andrei Kirlienko missed the teams game against Phoenix with injury problems...Speaking of the Suns the team who have been re-tooling over the years almost looks nothing like that of the past when their Point Guard was a two-time MVP and they where out-right contenders. Still their star player Steve Nash still believes he won't be traded. This season or the next. Good, because the Suns would be burnt without him. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


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

24. The Los Angeles Lakers have been up to their old tricks recentely winning games again, however they had no Magic up against Orlando last night. Dwight Howard pulled 31 points and 13 rebounds out of his hat as the Magic made the Lakers disappear with an 89-75 win. The Orlando Magic showed they where still a contender with a convicting win over the defending champions that beat them in the finals two seasons back. The Lakers where held to their lowest point total all season as Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum had 17 each, while Lamar had 15 and Pau 11. "Offensively we were really stagnant. Defensively we could have been a little better. But they had 89 points. It was a winnable game as far as points go. But we didn't put any up," Bynum told the press-post game. Time for the Lakers to step and freshen it up.

48. The Showtime/Magic perfromance wasn't the only clash of contenders this weekend. The reigning Boston Celtics hosted the pretenders to their throne, the Miami Heat. The Celtics where without Shaquille O'Neal, Jermaine O'Neal, Delonte West and Marquis Daniels and Paul Pierce points as the star shot 0 for 10. Miami almost rallied from a 13-point deficit, but they proved unlucky as the luck of the Boston Irish made it a green evening. "We also can't afford to come in the third quarter and not have our motor going," LeBron told reporters after the King and his men where denounced by Boston. The forward knows that against the best his team will have to power up more, or heads will roll. As of right now out East, nobody is taking the Conference leading, Celtics crown.

82. Speaking of dethroning. The Kings left their young apprentice, DeMarcus Cousins at home-court as they embarked on a three game road-trip. Cousins will have to become real familiar with time off as the Rookie has been suspended for fighting with teammate Donte Greene in the teams ARCO Arena tunnel. The top Rookie was angry that he wasn't receiving much possessions in the clutch and after arguing his case, apparantly he tried to strike out, swinging for his teammate. Cousins and Green where pulled apart and then Cousins was pulled from the teams plane. So what's next? Reconciliation, trade, it's time for these Kings to act like men and not the Shaq dubbed, Sacramento 'Queens'.

O.T. After Pierce's clean sheet of no buckets against Miami, the Boston legend is planning to have an MRI in his injured foot...Washington have a revolving door of injuries at the moment as Josh Howard has returned only for Rashard Lewis to hold his suit on the sidelines...still the Wizards are looking a little better,m after a healthy blowout win agaisnt the Cavs. They ended a 25 road losing streak as they pushed Cleveland's continung losing streak closer to 30...he may have been snubbed for the All-Star game, but LeMarcus Aldrige isn't stopping. His 36 points drove his red-hot Blazers past the Detroit Pistons. TIM DAVID HARVEY.