Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mannings don't only play football

As you can see from the trailer, the Manning brothers are clearly prepared for a NFL Lockout. I suggest other NFL stars to join the acting movement. Both T.O. and Ochocinco have their own syndicated show and have had a number of cameos on other television series. I wonder who's next? Maybe Michael Vick and Plaxico Burress: Life outside bars...Just joking!!!! I like both players and I love what they're doing in turning their lives around. Not only are they trying to take advantage of their second chance, but are also serving as mentors and motivitaional speakers to stop others from making the same flaws they did. I'm praying for a squad to sign Plaxico. You never know; he may end up in the city of Brotherly Love.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Facial Fridays: Kobe flies over Superman

This video is always funny to look at because people forget that there was a time when Dwight "Superman" Howard was from from being the man of steel. After tasting a mouthful from Kobe in this game, he quickly learned this wasn't high-school anymore.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Worst Sports Jacket

Congratulations again to the Boston Bruins for winning the Stanley Cup Finals in a decisive 4-0 victory against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 last night. The more striking thing to me last night was the atrocious sports jacket as shown above worn by NHL analyst Don Cherry. This isn't the first time Cherry has worn a hideous outfit, but this outfit has to be the worst by far. NBA analyst Craig Sager, who's known for his distinctive and colorful attire, wouldn't even dare wear this. Not sure if Cherry has a stylist, but he's in dire need of one.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"The Decision" has no answer in 2011

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Danny Gilbert is ecstatic. Ohio governor John Kasich is happy. The city of Cleveland is thrilled. Basketball fans in Texas are joyful. Practically the majority of NBA America is blissful. The reason why all of these people have such a euphoric feeling under their skin can all be attributed to Lebron James coming short of gaining a NBA title again.
It wasn’t too long ago when columnists and analysts quickly sky-rocketed James to an invincible pedestal alongside the legend Michael Jordan after the Boston Celtics series. But like a flamingo, LBJ finally showed his true colors. James’ magnificent talent and dominance in the league is undeniable, but the one thing the mega superstar lacks is a killer instinct. There’s no point having a talent, if you don’t know how to use it. Jordan was never questioned for his performance in a series or of having cold feet when all the pressure was on or not. No. 23 showed up an innumerable amount of times; check his resume. Once Lebron attains at least one ring is when he can be considered to even be uttered in the same sentence as MJ. Additionally, when did Kobe Bryant hand his crown down? Compare No. 24 and No.23’s (Lebron) style of play. It’s evident who is a better well rounded superstar.
The most depressing thing about the 2011 NBA Finals is that the Miami Heat will never get another chance to win a title like this. To quote King James’ twitter, “It’s Now or Never.”After all the bashful comments and shots thrown at them after joining forces and creating this villain super team, the only way to silence critics would be the instant gratification of a ring. For a team without any chemistry to have come this close to winning it all is an accomplishment, but getting this far and dropping the ball is definitely a heartbreaker. As Dwyane Wade said in an interview, “It would be a failure if we didn’t win it all.”
The 2011 NBA Finals defining moment was in Game 4 of the NBA Finals when Wade drained a corner three to extend Miami’s lead to +15. An immediate timeout was called by Dallas. The Heat bench rejoiced while Lebron and Wade smiled thinking they were minutes away from taking a commanding lead in the series and one step closer to accomplishing their goal. The Heat celebrated too early and never recovered from their Game 4 downfall.
This series came down to mental toughness, heart and determination. It was special to see how hard the Mavericks fought to gain their first championship in franchise history. Game 6 was the worst of all games for the Heat. It was like watching a car drive off a cliff. Miami had an inevitable route since their Game 4 break down. Missed free throws after missed layups led to unforced turnovers, showing that Miami was not the better team nor were they ready for the big stage. Miami may be one of the best teams in the league when looking at their roster, but in the finals, the team that plays the best is the only thing that matters.
The careers of Chris Bosh, Wade, and James will never be the same after this defeat. This asterisk will be in bold and underlined. It doesn’t matter if the Heat beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2012 Finals, people will always remember how they choked in 2011. The only thing that can erase these cold sweats and nightmares is to avenge by winning multiple championships as they promised. This loss may haunt the team for now, but will only serve as motivation and fuel to prove everyone wrong whether they be critics or haters. I only hope that Miami is able to produce rings before South Beach turns against them.
Dallas fan or not, the Mavericks deserved this title. Their desire was unquestionable. Every member of this team contributed from Jason Terry to “The Custodian.” It was a great display of team effort and a great series to watch at that. This series should not be remembered for the collapse of the Big 3 or Lebron’s missing in action performance in the 4th quarter. The 2011 NBA Finals is the year that Dallas triumphed to their first NBA Title. Period.

Fresh Start- La Salle Collegian

Below is my news article that was featured in the La Salle Basketball Preview last November.

By Justin Walters
Collegian Editor

It may be Coach Jeff Williams’ first year as head coach for the La Salle Women’s basketball team, but he’s far from rookie when it comes to coaching experience.
Williams, who spent the past seven seasons at the University of Pittsburgh, including the last four as the associate head coach, was very instrumental in helping the Panthers rebuild their organization. In addition, he also guided the team to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in program history and led the Panthers to post-season appearances the past five seasons.
When asked about advancing Pittsburgh to their first tournament appearance, Williams stated, “It was great to see that their hard work paid off and for them to accomplish something they never had…The community was thrilled for them.”
With all of this on his resume, in addition to some coaching experience at Howard and Georgia Tech, it’s easy to see why Williams’ credentials made him qualified for the Explorer job. Coach Williams feels he’s fit for the role as well, and made the correct decision in coming here. “I’ve had a genuine feeling from the university from the time I stepped on campus to my interview…I’m ecstatic how I’ve been received”, said Coach Williams.
The Explorers seem to be heading in the right direction with Coach Williams on the bench.
“My long term goal is to make La Salle a perennial top 20 program and get them on a national level,” Williams said, “I want people in California and Georgia to know La Salle.”
Williams will be the program’s eight head coach and hopes to have better luck than last year, when the team ended the season with a 7-22 record.
In order to accomplish his short term and long term goals, Williams understands that there is a lot of work he must not only do on the court with his players, but off the court. “I have to take the time to get to know each kid because they’re more than basketball players. I’m more than a basketball coach”, says Coach Williams.
According to his former player, Shavonte Zellous, Pittsburgh All-American and 2009 WNBA All-Rookie Team with Detroit Shock, Williams is an effective leader.
“I love Coach Williams to death,” Zealous said, “He is like a father-figure to me and he helped me with my game to get it to the next level. Williams is big on getting to know his players from a personal level because he feels that players will give you more because you care for and about them.”
“Getting these ladies to be successful after college is my main job”, says Coach Williams.
Fans and spectators must be patient with Williams as he’s not only getting accustomed to the university and the players, but to the Atlantic-10 conference, which is one of the most competitive conferences in college basketball. The Explorers don’t have the easiest of schedules either coming off a lack luster performance last year. Not only do they have to play nationally ranked and division opponent Xavier, but eight teams that advanced to postseason play last year, including four that earned 2010 NCAA tournament bids.
Coach Williams isn’t scared by the daunting schedule at all and will keep the same coaching mentality which he states to be, “aggressive on offense and defense and be willing to take chances.”
Williams wants his players to have an aggressive mentality and play smart, but to know that they don’t have to set up each time down court and call a play. In conclusion, he rather his players attack than be timid and hesitant.
Williams transition overall is going to take time as his first year with the Explorers will be a learning process. He also mentioned the biggest change for him is being the “decision maker.” Williams previously held the assistant coaching position at Pittsburgh and now he’ll be the head in control making all the calls.
Any coach making a shift to another university would want instant gratification, but Williams realizes how unrealistic this is. “Our weakness is how young and small we are, but my players have bought into the system and are coachable which is out biggest strength.”
Only time will tell how the Coach Williams era will pan out, but the Explorers seem to heading on the right path.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists Awards Ceremony

This past weekend, I attended the 2011 Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists Awards Ceremony. It was truly a blessing to be selected for their collegiate scholarship. Congratulations to all the other recipients as well: Lorraine Branham (Trailblazer Award- Dean and Professor of Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications), Heshimu Jaramogi (Lifetime Achievement Award- Publisher, Journalists, Adjunct Professor), Jesse Washington (Journalist of the Year[Print]- National Reporter, The Associated Press), and Harry Hairston (Journalist of the Year[Broadcast]- Investigative Journalist and Anchor, NBC 10)

Turn up the Heat

The lampooning has just begun! From newspaper titles to hilarious photos like these above, Lebron James has created a whole new element of hatred after yesterday's loss in the NBA Finals and will be ridiculed forever until he adds a ring to his resume.

Sidenote: The last photo reads:

Name: Lebron James Height: 6'8" Weight: 270
Eyes: Brown Hair: Black
Last seen in Dallas on June 9th, 2011. Was supposed to meet his teammates in 4th Quarter, but never showed up. IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT US AT THE CRYBABIES HOTLINE AT 1-800-HE-DONE-QUIT

Friday, June 10, 2011

Facial Fridays: Wade over Varejao

I'm not sure which is funnier about this dunk: the fact that Anderson Varejao actually challenged Dwyane Wade or the way Varejao's body fell after getting dunked on. This type of dunk can deflate a player's self-esteem.

P.S. Don't forget to become a fan on SZG on Facebook. You can follow the link below or on the side column to like the page. Thank you!!!!/pages/Sports-Zone-Gossip/126138350759027

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Howard is the last of a dying breed

After 19 great seasons of dominance in the paint and unforgettable humor on and off the court, Shaquille O'Neal has finally called it quits. It’s sad to see of the best centers of the league hang up his jersey. Maybe even more depressing about the good-bye is that this may be the epilogue of true centers in the NBA. The era of the NBA big man has finally hit rock bottom.
Before messages get distorted through this fine print, I’m not saying that all the current big men in the league aren’t that good. Instead, I’m saying that the league has lost the art of having a true center. So what do I mean by true center? A true center according to the Sports Zone Gossip dictionary (this edition has not been published yet) is an individual that is able to create their own shot from post moves and be comfortable scoring consistently within eight feet of the basket. There’s only one name that fits these job requirements when browsing through the 32 NBA teams: Dwight Howard…and he’s still has a lot of more room for improvement.
The more this league changes to a guard-oriented and high-flying forward league, the less you will see the Wilts, Mikans, Russells, Ewings, Malones, Olajuwons, and Kareems. It’s rare now to see a center dominate the paint restlessly and demand the ball in the post possession after possession. A center’s job has now transitioned into protecting the paint on defense and taking up space inside the paint for offensive rebounding. In addition, three-pointers has provided a love hate relationship to the founding principles of this game. Too many times, players rely on outside shooting as if a force field is withholding them from passing that line. And if they do pass the line, it feels like they trespassed onto someone’s property, so they have to step back into the 3-point range which would be there safe zone. On the other hand, the three-point shot has also added a phenomenal new dimension to league and gives players a chance to showcase their talents better.
With flashy killer crossovers that lead to outside shooting and spectacular alley-oops, teams have faded away on the simple task of pounding the ball inside. Instead, constant isolations are ran by guards. As previously mentioned, the last person left to continue this legacy would be Howard. No disrespect to any other NBA centers, but there doesn’t seem to be anyone else in “Superman’s” class.
Some of the fault can be blamed on the coaches who surprisingly aren’t teaching these young men an easy art of the game. For example, why hasn’t anyone tried to master Kareem’s sky-hook? It may look awkward at first and be difficult to learn, but it can be unstoppable once attained. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA all-time leading scorer. I guess common sense isn’t really that common. Though the coaches can be liable for not molding centers correctly, most of the blame is attributed to the player them self. Every center doesn’t have to be putting up big numbers in the points column, but it would be helpful if big men were able to be somewhat efficient at scoring. NBA centers have progressively become taller and faster as years have progressed. The reason why some of these gentlemen limit themselves to defense with so much potential is unfathomable. Ultimately, today’s big men including forwards are just not trained in the same manner as the former NBA great big men were.
For better or for worse, the NBA has changed. Flashy and freestyle guards run the show. No more “dream shake” or basic fundamental baby hook shot. These duties of the center position have drastically changed. One of the most vital players on the team has now slowly faded into being part of the “other guys.”

Wade puts team on his back in Game 3

After a demoralizing loss in the final quarter to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 2, the Miami Heat was able to regain the series lead after edging out a victory in Game 3. As the series progresses, it is becoming more palpable who the most experienced player in the 2011 NBA Finals is: Dwyane Wade. The 2006 Finals MVP has always been an intricate part of this explosive Heat offense and aggressive defense, but due to the media’s exposure of the “Batman” of the team, Lebron James, Wade has been titled as the trusty sidekick Robin. In this series, it seems if the two have had a role reversal.
Ever since sparking a fuse late in their Game 1 victory, Wade has been torching and manhandling the Dallas defense. The scariest thing about it is that a large majority of his points are coming inside the paint, some of them uncontested at that. Layups, dunks, and mid-range shots for Wade will only give him momentum to knock down outside shots which puts the defense more at risk and on their heels. I’m not sure if Wade had an epiphany or so, but if he keeps up this play, it will only lower Dallas’ chances of winning the Finals.
With Wade riding his hot streak, it gives James a chance to play a different, but very comfortable role as a facilitator. It seems to be dismissed that James is completely fine with sharing the ball rather than light up opposing teams in the point’s column. All he wanted was some help and he has more than enough of this in South Beach. With James taking fewer shots, it may actually hurt the Mavs more. Despite how dominant of a force LBJ may be on offense, he is just as effective on the other side. As James focuses less on offense, it gives him an opportunity to put more effort on the other side of the ball which is catalyst to a lot of Miami’s offensive production. James additionally has improved his outside shooting tremendously which gives Wade another option to kick out to while driving. James is also scary slasher, so I don’t think Dallas needs him to get a full head of steam driving to the rack. Just ask Ian Mahinmi, who will probably become more popular after being slammed on by James. Hey, take it with a grain a salt; it even happens to the best.
While on the topic of perimeter shooting, credit should be awarded to Mike Bibby and Mario Chalmers. Both of them can be very beneficial to this offense when stroking from long-range. Their shooting can keep the Dallas defense honest as well as open up lanes for Wade or James to penetrate.
Though Miami may lead the series, they only took back home court advantage after the late debacle in Game 2. This series is just getting started and I’m sure each team has much more amazement in store for viewers.
Keep an eye out for how well Shawn Marion and Jason Terry play in Game 4. It’s obvious that Dirk Nowitzki needs help. I don’t know where it will come from, but this team needs to figure out soon because Miami knows that Dirk can’t do it by himself. There’s a problem when your bench is outscoring your starters minus Dirk.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wade and James lead Heat to victory in the 4th

It wasn’t the prettiest nor was it flashiest game we’ve seen the Miami Heat play in the playoffs this year, but it was their style of play. The Heat have been following the script of allowing teams to hang around in the first three quarters and then finishing them off with haymaker in the final period. The scary thing that seems to be misunderstood about Miami is how many ways they can beat a team. As ESPN analyst Jon Barry said, “They have so many different recipes.” The superstar triad of Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh don’t have to all play great every night to win. That’s the luxury of having an all-star supporting cast. Each player can make contributions where needed instead of doing the “one man show” that they all previously performed before joining forces in South Beach.
I said it before and I’ll say it again. Defense. Defense and more Defense. Despite a dreary 39 percent from the field for the Heat, the Mavericks shot 37 percent. Miami has prided themselves on doing everything possible to fluster and make each shot difficult for their opponents. Dirk Nowitzki may have scored 27 points, but it was a tough 27. Miami can be content with that because they understand how remarkable of a player he is similar to the players of Miami's Big 3. What the Heat can control and did in Game 1 was the performances from the other key Dallas stars. The players surrounding Nowitzki will need to come up big in Game 2 due to Dirk tearing a tendon in the middle finger on his left hand. It may be the German gunner’s non-shooting hand, but it could cause him difficulties in the early going.
Two integral parts of Dallas’ offense is outside shooting and bench production. The Heat won both of these categories. Miami additionally man-handled the Mavs on the offensive glass (16-6) which resulted in more second chance scoring. Tyson Chandler ending a game with only four rebounds isn’t a good look.
Every time Miami is involved in a close game in the final minutes, I feel inclined to play the theme music from the Rocky movie. Rocky similar to the Heat never blew anyone out in the beginning. It’s only in the 12th round or in the 4th quarter in Miami’s case that they show how dominant and deadly they are. Punch after punch and blow after blow is thrown by this squad. A Wade three-point shot here followed by a Chris Bosh block, ending with a James alley-oop dunk leads to knockout. Dallas was outscored 22-10 in the final period. The last thing Dallas needs is for Wade to spark a fuse like he did last night. His late-game heroics were reminiscent of his 2006 NBA Finals performance, which is not a good sign for the Mavs.
Three more wins and James’ will validate his decision to take his talents to South Beach. What better way to shut up all the critics than with the instant gratification of a ring? James is now one step closer to adding a great asset to his resume and his dream is in arms length. The Heat still remain undefeated at home in these playoffs and will look to take a 2-0 lead Thursday evening against the revengeful Mavs.