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nba lebron james dunk.jpgNow that the parades have happened, Championship and MVP trophies given out its time to check where every NBA player I've seen stands with these ever adjusting legacies. For my lifetime I'm going to go from 1982 to now. So this eliminates Wilt, Kareem, Oscar, Russell and those players I never really saw at all or enough of to add to my list. Also others who haven't played long enough or sustained long enough like Chris Paul and D. Wade who may be on this list soon.

In reverse order:

10 - Lebron James - There has not been a more physically gifted player. Of all the players that have come out of high school he was clearly the most ready. And unlike the others he came right in and made a difference. His game right now is based on athleticism and his knowledge of the game. And with that he already has a league MVP and arguably is the best player in the league. Once he develops a jump shot and or a reliable post up game he has the ability to rise to the top of this list.

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Goodness, it feels like the playoffs have been going on for months. Thirteen days to be exact. But wow, some of these series just kept going. In a perfect world, every series would have been a best-of-five, but the Bulls-Celtics series would be a best-of-seventeen. And I think we'd still be going into over-time every night.


The first round is ALMOST done, but we've already seen some things that have opened some eyes. The Rockets finally won a series! the 76ers have some kick to them. The Hornets are a disgrace to basketball, and quit on a good man. Byron Scott will be fired this summer because nobody on that team listens to him. Lebron is a beast. The Detroit Pistons are desolate (at least they have hockey). Tim Duncan lost his first ever first round series. Jerry Sloan might finally say goodbye to the NBA. Jason Kidd in Dallas worked out after-all. The Nuggets are scary. Brandon Roy is a top five guard in the NBA. Dwayne Wade is a G. So is Ray Allen. Oh, and Rondo was the first player to drop 19 assists and no turnovers since Norm Nixon...and they still lost. And the list goes on.

But let's take a look at some pretty interesting themes revolving the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

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Among many NBA followers, both on the East and the West... there is a large consensus that the Western Conference Finals is already a given. It will be between the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs. Early on in the season, many teams were discussed. New Orleans was said to be the front runner in fighting Los Angeles for the Western Conference Champion title this year. San Antonio is there every year, but with Ron Artest coming to the Rockets, they too, looked like they were ready to step to the next level of competing and fight both the Lakers and Spurs to the Finals.


Alas, the season is finally coming to an end, and it still isn't clear which eight teams will be in the playoffs to begin with. While Phoenix looks like it's finally on its way out, the inconsistencies of other teams could give Phoenix a small boost. Injuries have hurt the West considerably with many high-profile players being injured (Andrew Bynum, Manu Ginobili, Tracy McGrady, Tyson Chandler, Josh Howard, Amare Stoudemire, Greg Oden, Carlos Boozer). Practically every playoff team has had to deal with a major injury at some point this year, and for the most part, it has hurt them.

But injuries aside, can anyone:

A) dethrone the Lakers as the Western Conference Champions?
B) get past the preconceived notion that the Spurs and Lakers will be battling it out to get to the NBA Finals at the end of May?

Let's take a look.


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BSO Writer, Scott Koral started the dialogue about Nike shoes at this year's All-Star game. (see article here.) So let's go off of that and detail who's wearing what this year.

I went through most of my sneaker blogs last night and have compiled a pretty good list.

So for all the sneaker heads out there, much appreciated.

Check out Lebron's and Kobe's special edition kicks after the jump.

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We already know the starters for the NBA All-Star game this year. But let's re-cap:

West:
F - Amare Stoudemire (PHO)
F - Tim Duncan (SAN)
C - Yao Ming (HOU)
G - Kobe Bryant (LAL)
G - Chris Paul (NOH)

East:
F - Lebron James (CLE)
F - Kevin Garnett (BOS)
C - Dwight Howard (ORL)
G - Dwayne Wade (MIA)
G - Allen Iverson (DET)

Reserves have been announced today by the NBA, via TNT & ESPN.

West:
F - Dirk Nowitzi (DAL)
F - David West (NOH)
F - Pau Gasol (LAL)
C - Shaquille O'Neal (PHO)
G - Chauncey Billups (DEN)
G - Brandon Roy (POR)
G - Tony Parker (SAN)

East:
F - Danny Granger (IND)
F - Rashard Lews (ORL)
F - Paul Pierce (BOS)
C - Chris Bosh (TOR)
G - Joe Johnson (ATL)
G - Jameer Nelson (ORL)
G - Devin Harris (NJ)

Some regulars like Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter and co. aren't on the team this year, and is Carmelo Anthony an all-star snub? Lebron James thought that teammate Mo Williams was a sure for the All-Star game. There's a lot of talk that players on bad teams (Granger, Bosh and Harris) shouldn't be an All-Star because their teams aren't doing anything...out in LA, they called it the Elton Brand curse. EB rocked it year after year, but because he was on the Clippers, and there were so many other power forwards on the West in front of him, he never made it.

Other possible snubs: Andre Iguodala, Hedo Turkoglu, Kevin Durant, Al Jefferson, David Lee, Steve Nash, LaMarcus Aldridge, Antawn Jamison, Marcus Camby, Rip Hamilton & Ray Allen.

Oh yeah, Stephon Marbury is the biggest snub of the year.

Just kidding.

e-mail aamir
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Besides being personally invited to the inauguration by President Barack Obama himself, what does All-Star Dunk Champion, Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic have going for himself that other All-Star team members don't? How about the most votes by any player in All-Star game history! Of the 66 starters and reserves, Howard shattered All-Star ballot records by being the first player to reach the 3 million vote mark in All-Star game's 58 year history! Howard had a whopping 3,150,181 votes, followed by Lebron at 2,940,823 votes, Kobe at 2,805,397 votes, D-Wade at 2,741,413 votes and Tim Duncan at 2,578,168 votes to round out the top five most voted players.

People weighed in around the world to cast their vote for their favorite player(s) for the Eastern Conference vs Western Conference showdown aka NBA All-Star Game taking place Sunday, February 15th in Phoenix.

In case the words "Superman Dunk" don't mean anything to you, you might want to check out these highlights from last year's dunk contest. You might just learn something!

Dwight Howard 2008 NBA All-Star Dunk Contest - "Superman Dunk"

You see that vertical? SUPERMAN! Dan-dan-da-duhhhh, dun-dun-da-da-duhhhhh, dan-dan-da-duh-duh-duh-da-duhh!!!! (*playing Superman theme music)

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I feel like Chicken Little! I've been yelling about the sky falling for so long that when the proverbial falling of the sky happened last night it seemed that the impact was somehow worst than I foretold. I'm speaking of the fall of the Kobe vs MJ conversations that have dug their way into every sports show, column, blog from here to Croatia.

You see, with the 6 for 19, 17 point shooting performance of Kobe Bryant, I see a lot of people running from their greatest player to ever play the game tag, they'd bestowed upon Kobe Bryant all season. Don't get me wrong, he's the best scorer the NBA has to offer at this time, but my opinion was that he was not better than Jordan (sorry Mark Jackson) and he was not the greatest to ever play the game, by far.

Sure, he's up against one of the best, if not the best, defensive team this year. And yes, Boston's had his number even during the regular season, but seriously, 6 for 19 in what was a route until Doc Rivers reminded his team they could play defense. They then shut the Lakers and Kobe down for the 2nd half of last night's game. By the final horn, Kobe and the Lakers surrendered what supposed to be the biggest route in NBA Finals History. And again looked exposed as being the all offense and no defense machine that they were.

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Unless you live in San Antonio, you are breathing a sigh of relief that Joey Crawford decided to exact his revenge on the Spurs for getting him suspended last year for the Tim Duncan laughing incident.

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First let's make one thing clear it was a foul. No matter how you spin it, there is no question that Derek Fisher fouled Brent Barry (you can watch it here).

The problem lies in the age old question: why is a foul in the 1st quarter not a foul in the 4th quarter? Also why is a foul a foul if it is Manu taking that hit as opposed to Brent Barry?

The NBA is suffering from a perception problem in the fact that people think games are rigged. Are they rigged? Probably not, but is it fair to bring up that officials may have some bias against certain players and/or teams? It is most definitely is. The fact that there are different sets of rules in the 1st quarter and than the 4th quarter will always lead to speculation that something is going on behind the scenes.

It shouldn't matter if it is Brent Barry getting jumped on or Michael Jordan famously pushing off on Byron Russell, you have to be consistent. The fact that the refs all night were giving the Spurs calls on fouls with very less contact only underlies the problem with the system that is currently in place. Maybe "Racist" Stern likes it this way. You know the saying, bad publicity is better than no publicity and everyone today is talking about the game, but in my opinion for all the wrong reasons.

The Lakers outplayed the Spurs and if not for some boneheaded decisions by them down the stretch as well as some favorable calls that went the Spurs way (the goaltending that shouldn't have been and the non-shot clock reset that should have been reset), the game would not have come down to that last play. With that being said, though, regardless of what happened in the past, you still have to make the proper call. The proper call was Barry on the line for two shots to tie the game.

Just like majority of you, I am happy the call didn't get made because honestly who wants to see the Spurs in the Finals again. But in the end, you can just add this to the long list of reasons why the NBA's popularity is declining quicker than George Bush's popularity.

Written By Robert Littal
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You would think you would have learned your lesson by now. When the Spurs were being pummeled by the Hornets in the first two games of that series, here are few things I heard:

"The Spurs are too old."

"The dynasty is over."

"Now we will see who is the real MVP Chris Paul or Kobe Bryant."

I could go one but you get the idea. I, being the voice of reason tried to explain to everyone that this is the Spurs we are talking about and they have more resurrections than Jason Voorhees. Even when it got to Game 7, I warned people to ignore the fact that the Spurs had been blown out in the previous three games in New Orleans because they were more than capable of pulling out a Game 7. Low and behold when the pressure was on, the Spurs didn't flinched and the Hornets did.

Now that everyone has seen the Lakers destroy the Spurs over the last six quarters guess what I am hearing?

"The Spurs are too old."

"The dynasty is over."

"When Kobe wins the NBA Finals, is he in the discussion with Jordan now?"

Just like before I would caution you that the coffin hasn't been nailed shut and don't be surprised if in a week or so we are looking at Game 7. Then, who do you think is going to flinch?

Written By Robert Littal
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With the recent trade pickup of Kurt Thomas, the Spurs are definitely one of the three oldest teams in the league, if not the oldest. But, can the Spurs repeat as champions with this squad? I think they have a really good chance. They already won the championship last year without Thomas. Now they add Thomas, another big man with a significant defensive presence, to Bruce Bowen, one of the best defensive players in the league. Plus you know what Duncan, Ginobli, and a healthy, (whipped) Tony Parker can do. And let's not forget Big Shot Bob Horry, (you don't need to be young to make the 3 - think Sam Perkins or Bill Lambier). Of course with the West being as loaded with good teams as they are, the road for the Spurs will certainly be hell with gasoline drawers on, but there's still a chance they can tap into that championship thinking from last year. A lot of people are talking about the Lakers, (which is my favorite team) being the best in the West, but the jury is still out. If the Spurs get through the West battle tested, any team coming out of the East will be easy.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Tim Duncan category.

Tiger Woods is the previous category.

Tim Tebow is the next category.

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