Back Like I Forgot Something

Hey everyone,

Look I’m sorry about the sabbatical but as any student can tell you, midterms are a real kick in the luggage. I’ve been getting beaten about something fierce by a mix of academia and self-imposed idiocy but no one gives a damn, so lets move forward. Don’t think I haven’t been lording over the NBA like some sort of sleep deprived, obsessive, and cynical gargoyle because I have and there are some things I need to address.

Firstly, I absolutely LOVE the new NBA.com stats setup and it is about time! I’ve had to struggle through handfuls of different NBA websites to find all the obscure stats, information and tidbits to back up my continuous basketball arguments. Finally, NBA.com has caught up to sites such as Synergy, Basketball Reference, and others and are bringing the information that has always been available to those who look right to the proper format. I understand that 90% of people who read this post don’t care but to any basketball nerds or even you casual fans, go take a look and realize you can check any box score since 1946 and review advanced statistics on any player since 1996. If you find yourself bored and with nothing better to do, go look at Dennis Rodman’s superhuman rebounding rate or Michael Jordan’s 51 point outing against the Hornets at age 38 as a member of the Wizards.

Secondly, let’s just take a look at the outrageously good stretch of basketball Lebron James has played in the first 10 games of February:

30.2 PPG, 66.3 FG%, 45.9 3pt%, 3.7 3PTA, 1.9 steals, 7.6 rebounds, 6.7 assists

I know we’ve all been inundated with the stats from every media outlet possible, most of us already know all about them, and I don’t plan on writing another long winded tug job in which I reiterate to all of you how incredible this is. These numbers are mind-blowing and speak for themselves. For anyone to deny that they are witnessing history is ridiculous and to try to refute Lebron’s title as the NBA’s top player is silly.

  • ONE THING NEEDS TO BE SAID: The Michael Jordan comparisons need to stop as they’re not realistic and quite frankly, just getting  old. Lebron James is not Michael Jordan, he is not better than Michael Jordan, he is Lebron James and we need to appreciate his greatness for its own.

In its own light I want to explain the biggest philosophical difference between Michael Jordan and Lebron James:

  • Michael Jordan attempted to embarrass his opponents, Lebron James seems barely aware of their existence.

Shockingly simple I know, but its the blinding truth that somehow everyone hasn’t seen. This small concept is a tremendous part of each of these players unique greatness. I understand that it may seem contradictory to ask people to stop comparing these two as players and then proceed to do so myself but recognition of this difference has allowed me greater respect for Lebron James as a basketball player. Lebron plays like Lebron James. It doesn’t matter if he’s matched up against Carmelo Anthony or if he’s matched against Chandler Parsons. His style of play doesn’t change, the way he handles himself on the court doesn’t change as he’ll continually play with the same thoughts in mind. It truly is a hugely significant part of his greatness. His ability to continually affect games in so many dimensions is largely based on his uncaring of who he is playing against. I could go into way greater detail and outline a whole list of other ways this simple concept makes Lebron who he is, but I’d honestly love to let you guys think about it next time you get a chance to watch him play. If anyone has any ideas they’d like to share with me feel free to send me an email at alexsimons@live.ca or comment on the post. The best thoughts may get a place in my next piece.  Time to move on.

Thirdly, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD Toronto Raptors fans!! Please, I’m begging you, just stop and THINK for a second. I know we want to be  relevant and successful but let’s just use our brains and some simple thought processes for a second. If you truly think that this team, with the talent we currently have right now is better than ANY of the teams above us in the East at full strength; than we deserve it when this all inevitably  gets shoved up our backsides.The worst team that we sit behind in the East is Milwaukee at the moment and we’re just below Philadelphia in the standings. Don’t let that fool you, we are NOT a better team than the Sixers, let alone the Sixers with a healthy Andrew Bynum (he’s a headcase, and a Primadonna but the idea of Jrue Holiday with a great center makes my ears bleed). Milwaukee was a close one, but they just added a legitimate long range threat in JJ Redick to add in their already potent back-court and plan on making a run at Josh Smith in the off-season  The Raptors can only hope to move Andrea Bargnani this summer for something that doesn’t involve them taking on cap space and yes, the idea of adding Carlos Boozer is COMPLETELY ASININE!  Adding Carlos Boozer may make us better than Philadelphia and Milwaukee but his contract makes sure that we will stay a mediocre 7 seed i the standings while being at the threshold of the luxury tax. This isn’t NBA 2K, the new CBA is real, its enforced, and it’s exceedingly punitive. This year alone we have watched contenders like Oklahoma City, Chicago, and Memphis trade or part with key assets from their rosters solely to stay under luxury tax. These same rules apply to us and to act like being a 7th seed with the financial flexibility of Bulls who are beyond the salary cap and into the Luxury Tax is responsibly management or good for the our franchise is pathetic. To expect to be taken seriously in the NBA, you have to expect responsibility from your management. I want the Raptors to be respected  again in this league as badly as the next person, I truly do, I just want to see that sustained going forward. I’m just being real. If you want to see someone go into greater detail about what I’m referring to here check out this article from the mind of Uncle Serge.

Continuing on with the Raptors, let’s discuss the acquisition of Sebastian Telfair. Honestly, this is the first move from Bryan Colangelo I’ve 100% supported in a long time. Telfair is the backup PG  that we desperately need despite the fact that he’s now played on 7 teams in 9 years. He’ll bring some stability and he’ll allow John Lucas III to heartlessly jack up shots to his heart’s content (which frankly entertains the hell out of me).  Also we traded the 7’2 lump that is Haddadi, HUZZA!

If you really want a chuckle, does anyone remember this Slam Magazine Cover? I love Slam Magazine but this makes me laugh every time.

Boy.... This is REAL awkward

Boy…. This is REAL awkward

Hey speaking of Player comparisons, (which i was a long while ago) next time you want to find a comparison for Kevin Durant maybe you should look at Larry Bird….. Not really but it was a good way to segway into another overlooked aspect of this years season. Kevin Durant is on pace to join the elite 50-40-90 Club. This club is made up of players who have averaged over 50%FG 40% 3pt and 90 free throw shooting over a particular season. It may not seem significant but there are only 4  members and it includes some of the greatest shooters in the history of the NBA including Larry Bird (twice) Reggie Miller, Mark Price, and Steve Nash (4 times). Durant is on pace to achieve this feat with the second highest points per game averaged amongst any players in that group, behind Larry Bird who averaged 29.8 ppg in the 1988 season. Hey apparently I’m the only person who picked up on this or cared and I’ll be damned if this goes under the radar as long as I continue to be relevant and obnoxious.

Trade Deadline Thoughts:

  • This trade deadline SUCKED! I sat beside my laptop all day and the best player I saw get moved was JJ Redick! Are you kidding me?! I mean don’t get me wrong, the yearly tradition of Sebastian Telfair being traded at the deadline along with the Blockbuster swap of Josh McRoberts for Hakim Warrick did send a rush of blood to my nether regions, but I was hoping for something a little more substantial.
  • Once again Danny Ainge pulls a rabbit out of a hat and trade a man with a Torn ACL in Barbosa off to Washington in return for a young guard that the Celtics so desperately need.
  • Sami Presti in OKC traded  for the Forgotten Man in Ronnie Brewer in return for a second round pick. Brewer should give OKC’s Thabo Sefalosha some much-needed defensive backup on the wings.
  • I was moved when I heard that Marcus Morris cried when he heard that he’d been joining his twin brother Markieff in Phoenix, it doesn’t get much cooler than that.
  • The Knicks have gone a step further in recreating the 09-10  Denver Nuggets in signing Kenyon Martin, as JR Smith said ” This might be the most tattooed team of all time”.Yup  JR it very well might be, but it’s definetely the oldest team. I wonder if  Glen Grunwald is trying to band together a  team of old men to go and run roughshod over the young buck s at the YMCA. A lineup of Kidd, Rasheed, Kurt Thomas, Kenyon Martin, and Priglioni should definitely claim some scalps in the beer league.
  • The Utah Jazz inexplicably sat on their hands and will likely regret it sometime in July.

…there is more but I don’t think you guys would care because I barely did.

Lastly I’d like to say that I am REALLY ticked off that Josh Smith didn’t end up in Phoenix over the deadline. This has absolutely nothing to do with his well-being or that of the Hawks and Suns, I have him on my fantasy and I’ve been rosterbating to the gaudy stat lines he could have put up in the Suns offense with Goran Dragic for about 2 weeks now. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to do with Lebron.

See you guys soon and remember to share with your friends

Alex

PS. Can someone PLEASE bring Don Nelson out of retirement and off his island in Hawaii and have him unleash the Kraken that was once Anthony Morrow’s offensive game?! PLEASE!

PPS. C’mon Ron Ron, the jokes are writing themselves http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/metta-world-peace-awakened-20-police-cars-movie-191248894–nba.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

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