Friday, 28 September 2012


It's Cheryl Miller Time.



Spike Lee leads the Madison Square Garden, New York chant against Knick villain Reggie Miller as the film director and his audience get under the three-point assassin's skin like he did in return, numerous times. 8 for 9, 18.7, 30 for 30 times before. Still on this night in the Garden of Basketball's Eden it wasn't 'Winning Time' for TNT's Reggie. This was no ESPN special. As Reggie misses shot after shot to Spike's "ice-cooold" cackles the focus is now on NBA TV and Reggie's older sibling Cheryl Miller. The sister who's career cast a shadow over her brothers...that was until he took it all out on the Knicks.

Revenge was sweet for Reggie as the hot-bed of hoops in New York became the place where 'Miller Time' was served on refrigerator ice, with a bitter after-taste for Knickerbocker fans who where left reaching for the Buds. You could see it in Reggie's killer eyes. That cold, hard down-the barrel stare. The same glare he gave, surrounded by his family on draft night as an interviewer said "as long as you bring the same intensity as your sister", as sais sister turned round to see little brothers reaction with a warm, joking smile, as the question was raised about just how good he'd be. Friendly, sibling rivalry at its finest. You see that's just how good Cheryl was. Reggie Miller is one of the greatest NBA players that has or ever will live, especially in the closing moments. Still, even this recent Hall Of Famer had to wait his turn after his sister.

It's Cheryl Miller time.

You see one of the best side-line reporters in the game today isn't someone who got her job because of her famous brother, just like Reggie isn't someone who got his explosive side-line gig thanks to his sisters recommendation. When it comes to the Miller family it's not a case of 'it's not what you know, it's who you know'. Instead it's simple and plain and known that Reggie and Cheryl where and are just that good themselves. What one had in on the outside, the other had on the inside. What one did for the men’s game, the other did for the women’s.

It's Cheryl Miller time.

You see even today after all the Candace Parker's, the Diana Taurasi's and the Maya Moore's the women's game is still cruelly disregarded and critically underrated by some. Even the worldwide fame Lisa Leslie brought it as the M.J. of the WNBA has been glossed over by the ignorance of those whose minds are already made up. Still, don't let the lipstick fool you. Before Lisa and before the exposure there was Cheryl. A USC, 32 point and 15 rebound per star who-like Michelle Wie in golf-was good enough to enter the men’s leagues. Nothing but a cruel knee injury could stop this women who unfortunately could only end up coaching (but what an inspiring, influential one she was) in the established WNBA. A woman who still, despite that has done more for the women's game of basketball then the record books or the water-cooler conversations of fans who only think women in basketball belong with skirts and  pom-poms can testify.

It's Cheryl Miller time.

Still you better believe the hype that turned into the promise that is now the legacy of a legend. A legend that made women's basketball and the Miller name a household name before Reggie and the great expectations of the NBA's sister act. The big in height and bold in personality Cheryl used to beat a young Reggie playing hoops in her garden like she bullied opponents with her blocks from school to her basketball graduation. The Hall Of Famer didn't just better her brother sometimes, she also beat Wilt by 5. Cheryl holds the record for 105 points in a single game...and that feat was televised. Still, why does it go ignored somewhat? It's just as legendary as Chamberlain's mysterious three-figures. Before this disregard turns to disrespect it's time we kept it 100 with someone that took over the century mark while she was still trying to hit the top-grade in class.

It's Cheryl Miller time.

Still as she schooled everyone Cheryl showed how she belonged in a class of her own. One that her name, the Hall Of Fame and the words of those who believe and know can't quite justify. Spike knows it, Reggie knows it. The multiple gold medals of the women with the voice for broadcasting and the experience to boot prove it. Revolutionising the women's basketball league like Drazen did for hoops in Europe or Yao did for roundball in Asia, Cheryl changed the game. For that very fact what she has done goes beyond gender or a surname. Like her brother she belongs with the basketball greats and it's all because of her. Now let us chant her name again in celebration and appreciation. "Cheeeeryl...CHEEERYL"!

It's Cheryl Miller time.

Friday, 7 September 2012


The Greatest Villain Of All-Time.


Let us take you back to the golden era of the 90's. We're just shy of summer and the Big Apple hasn't fallen far from the playoff tree in the winter of the NBA season. We're in New York City at a time where you can see the Empire State clear and Central Park is growing in amazing abundance. We're in the heart of Manhattan, just a few blocks away from the earth's core of Times Square. Like shimmers of electric light there at night, a sea of orange and blue is heading towards Penn Station and the eden of basketball; Madison Square Garden. All those Knickerbocker jerseys running deep and ascending the escalators towards the nosebleeds, live and breathe and die for New York basketball. All the Knick 33's and 3's expect it all, they just didn't figure for the one kid wearing the Indiana Pacers jersey.

It's Miller time!

The number 31 to be specific. Sitting courtside Spike Lee see's it. Who Spike? Who's that bald headed guard owning New York and M.S.G. like it was his own? He sure doesn't look like Jordan but right now it looks like he could toe the out of bounds line with him. This time and tide has a familiar wash for nighties New York no matter the year, but our man isn't Basketball's hero Mike. It's the greatest villain the league has ever seen; Reggie Miller. More of a villain than Vince to Toronto, or Kobe to Shaq in their and the Lakers prime. The Joker of the NBA who played his cards right, going left from the usual poster boy culture of the NBA and therefore a hero in his own right.

It's Miller time!

You just have to love the man some hated. A man who sank daggers into the opposition. A man who stared down Spike Lee and shot down the Knicks. A man who would make choke gestures but would never even cough himself. A man who is only rivaled in clutch by the greatest of all time. A man-who as one of the best ever himself-is rivaled only by former coach Larry Bird, former Finals foe Robert Horry and record breaker Ray Allen in behind the arc last second heroics. A man who lived by the three as others died by his sweet stroke hand. Let the goose neck hang, "this Turkey's done" they would cry as Reggie let fly and put forks in teams and games in refrigerators just as Chick Hearn had the jello cooling.

It's Miller time!

Spike Lee himself (who deserves his own place one day) could almost introduce this Knick killer to the Naismith Hall Of Fame, as Reggie follows recent nighties superstars Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, Chris Mullin and of course Jordan down the corridors of basketball greatness joining the smooth as silk Jaamal Wilkes, tough as nails Don Nelson and a class above the rest. Pound for pound (albeit a little scrawny) and 30 for 30 like a classic ESPN documentary, Reggie has earned and deserves his welcome place here. The team destroyer with one hell of a jacket now earns the heavenly feel of those million dollar arms going through the sleeve of the H.O.F. blazer. The man who turned the Market Square Arena into a cattle farm with his perfect precision has found victory once again. The basket was like a magnet to Miller and even though that repelled him from some his master stroke has now attracted him to the master class of basketball today in 2012.

It's Miller time!

The marked man was just that good on the clock, from 24 seconds to 48 minutes in 82 games until the final Finals buzzer rang out. Catching fire like 'The Hunger Games' sequel this 'dark knight' of the league owned this 'battle royale' with avengance and now it's his year. Now the it's time for the master of seconds and he can have all the time in the world to make his speech. Then again this man's said more in fewer, more precious moments before. Let's go back to nighties New York and turn the clock back to 18.7.

It's Miller time!

We're in the Mecca, it's '95 and Indiana are down 6. Reggie takes the inbounds pass off presenter Mark Jackson and drills the three, before then stealing the inbounds pass off Knick Anthony Mason and dribbling behind the arc for another three-ball drilling. Then after two clutch free-throws Reggie Miller won the game for Indiana, 107-105 in less than 10 seconds. 8 for 8, pound for pound this guy was just that epicly good and that's why he's one of the greatest of the greatest. The waning seconds was his time and that's what makes all of these 24 hours his day.

It's Miller time!

Thursday, 6 September 2012


Duhon, (That Thing).


The Los Angeles Lakers have been trying to make a point for their quarterback guard position ever since the magic of Earvin Johnson no longer had tricks up his sleeve and behind his back for the Forum. The Lakers have made some great points, but have been missing that true Point Guard, since the greatest they or the NBA have ever seen stopped running Showtime. From Nick Van-Exel's handles to Smush Parker's turnovers and Ron Harper's age to Ramon Sessions or youth they've tried. Or from Derek Fisher's clutch at brilliance, to Hall Of Famer Gary Payton's short trip down the corridors of STAPLES their has been a wealth of talent. David Stern even eighty-sixed the great Chris Paul out of the Lakers locker room and into the Clippers one last season. But now with their second biggest acquisition this Summer the Lakers finally have the best P.G. since the M.J. named Johnson, in Steve Nash.

The Lakers future looks to be run by the aging, fine wine brilliance of the 38 year old Canadian, but their biggest addition this Summer-Dwight Howard-looks to bare more fruit than just youth and a BIG, centre of attention, legacy making future. You know everyone's been talking about Dwight, so much that even Nash feels like an afterthought. Still, despite this blockbuster signing its the little things that's going to make this Kobe, Dwight, Pau, Steve and Metta World Peace team win the war. It's the battling bench players-like the "other" signing of Antwan Jamison-that will bolster this bold new teams championship front.

You only have to look closer at the Dwight Howard deal to see a real x-factor joining fellow, eager-to-impress newbies Jodie Meeks and Earl Clark. Joining Dwight in Lakerland, coming straight from Orlando's Disneyland is Chris Duhon, a true Point Guard with a real future as a STAPLES staple. The Lakers may now have the best backcourt in the league, but it's also the oldest. Meeks has got Kobe, but once the maple syrup in Steve Nash's legs goes sour the Lakers luckily have someone pure to back him up. The team has already lost it's young raw talent in Sessions, and three-point hit-man Steve Blake is a super sub but Chris Duhon could bring the comfort and stability for well balances stretches for the Lake Show.

The 30 year old Duke standout has impressed in Chicago, New York and Orlando but in L.A. it's time for this college star to shine in the big leagues with all the tools to make it, it's time for Duhon to do good on his trade. The Lakers would do good to not move this deal maker. He's a keeper, a sleeper. A chess piece that could spread the floor, handling the ball and opposition like pawns. If given a chance this former formidable Freshman and Louisiana Mr. Basketball could show the NBA what he and his cousin Jarrett Jack showed the NCAA.

You can't pass up on this assist man who holds the Knicks record for 22 in a game. The passing guard can get buckets as well as deliver them. Diligent on both ends of the floor and a true professional it's up to Duhon, along with Jamison, Meeks and Jordan Hill to make this Lakers B-team make the A grade, their star-studded starting five sets. With the college class, New York game and primetime experience of a true player, Chris Duhon really is something off the bench. Steve Nash isn't the only true point the Lakers finally acquired. You know what they say; you wait forever and then two come along at once.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


The Central Core Of L.A.


Dwight Howard's summer move from the Magic Kingdom to the next chapter of Laker legacy looks to cement his legend as the next great big-man at the centre of attention for Hollywood and the NBA's most famous team the Los Angeles Lakers. Let's take a look at those who came before him in the tales of the storied franchise.


Number 99 was basketball's first superstar and once more gave 100% to every game he played in. Before Shaq, before Kobe, before Magic, before Kareem, before Wilt and West and even before Los Angeles Mikan was the first great for the Minneapolis Lakers. Taller and stronger than the rest shot blocking and rebounding where made famous by George as the championships and awards where raised in his honor. Complete with Buddy Holly glasses Mikan's ambidextrous hook shot really was a spectacle, dominating before Kareem's goggles came out of the fog of the sky. That was the day. "Without 99, there is no me", Shaquille O'Neal said when offering to pay for the late, great Mikan's funeral. The basketball league may not have looked after him the same but George sure illustrated sport like the cover with Kareem and O'Neal.


He had the tallest house on the Hollywood hills giving him a view of the stars like no one else. He was L.A's biggest star himself. He claims to have had record numbers of lovers that could match his statistical breaking numbers in points and rebounds. He scored 100 points in a single game...A SINGLE game. He averaged 50's like change for a hundred too, which afforded him more respect. He dominated everyone but Bill Russell and he is the leagues greatest offensive force ever...even over Michael Jordan. Some consider him the true G.O.A.T. Others know he is the biggest basketball player of all time in some other ways. He never fouled out in his career and even if he was controversial he never sold out his constant effort and consistent master-class of roundball dominance. Take a tour round his old home and look out of the window of the ceiling and you just may see the Big Dipper out there with the rest of the stars.


Wilt Chamberlain may hold the record for the most points in a single game but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has recorded more career points than anybody. Catch him with your 81 if you can Kobe, 'Cap's number one. With the best shot in the history of the game. The unstoppable, unguardable sky-hook, sunk everyone and spread the floor as much as his pass happy Magic teammate Earvin Johnson. Number 33, together with number 32 formed arguably the greatest Laker duo ever and you can best believe Shaq and Kobe and Chamberlain and West can argue their point. Still behind those famous goggles revealed a man that saw the game like no one else. The author of his own legend this man wrote his career the right way, going toe-to-toe with anybody even Bruce Lee. Kareem's legacy still lasts today he tutored another big man great in Andrew Byum and now he's in charge of taking the next Laker legend to banner worthy certification. It takes a champion to make a champion...and an overdue statue too.


The Lakers are immortalising Kareem in bronze next year and they certainly need to do the same to the largest personality they or the NBA have ever seen too. Until then a jersey retirement will do. Through all the championships, certified rap albums, MVP's, movies, break up and make ups with Kobe the original Superman will finally soar to the rafters with George, Wilt, Kareem and championship banners he put there. Before Dwight Howard donned the cape, Shaquille O'Neal grew it out his back. The most dominant ever crushed them all with Kobe (see Portland, San Antonio, Indiana, Philadelphia, New Jersey etc) and despite breaking through in Orlando like Howard the Lakers was his true kingdom. Shaq may have sat on the throne in Miami but he became a king in California. Hollywood's greatest personality didn't quite have a time like he did in L.A. and the city of the worlds biggest stars and ballplayers never saw anyone like him...and they never will.


Now it's Dwight Howard's turn as Superman returns to L.A. for a sequel with Kobe. Will it be better than the original? Who knows but with Kareem's lessons learned the man who has followed the same trade path as Jabbar, Chamberlain and O'Neal looks for greatness as he comes to one of the greatest teams NBA has or has ever seen. With Kobe, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace and Steve Nash by his side Dwight Howard has all the right men by his side to create the next great Laker team for the next generation. It's the second coming of Magic-via Orlando-complete with the same huge smile. He's already proved he's the leagues best centre in Florida, with all due respect to Andrew Bynum (and of course fellow big great and greatest European Pau Gasol) who has already shown the Lakers have had a young big-man great (a championship certified winner too) who's followed in the footsteps of legend. Now like slapping a sticker to a backboard Dwight is looking to soar to the rafters himself with a more permanent legacy. This is his and the Lakers time. The big-man legend lives on.