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1493 days ago

First of all, I'll say it's not totally outrageous that Andre Igoudala was named Finals MVP . However, LeBron James, in the opinions of many including myself, could have and most likely should have been named MVP of the series, which would have made him the 2nd player from a losing team in the NBA Finals to win a series, the other being Jerry West in 1969.

Now there are those people who will ask: "How can the series MVP come from the losing team? If the player was that valuable, his team should have won the series and that's why the series MVP should come from the winning team. " And I understand that argument.... to a certain extent.

But let's take a look at LeBron's 2015 Finals performance and I'll explain why LeBron should have been the Finals MVP.

Let me preface my arguments by saying before the 2015 NBA Playoffs began, I had picked Golden State and Cleveland to reach the NBA Finals, and I picked Golden State to win the series in seven games. If you don't believe me you can check my twitter page (https://twitter.com/jy826). But after Kevin Love, the Cavs' third leading scorer and best rebounder during the 2014-15 regular season suffered a shoulder injury (after nearly having his arm ripped off by Kelly Olynk while chasing a loose ball in CLE's first round series with Boston) I figured CLE wouldn't reach the NBA Finals, thinking they would lose to either Chicago or Atlanta. However CLE still managed to win both those series, against two very fine Eastern Conference ball clubs.

Now I will say that the loss of Kevin Love was mitigated because CLE could insert Tristan Thompson into their starting lineup who is a productive player who is a big-time rebounder and can also score 10-15 points a game and also had a good finals series but by no means a superstar player, but after it was announced Kyrie Irving was out for the series after injuring his knee in overtime of game one, I figured the Cavs would be swept by a much deeper and more talented Golden State team.

However the Cavs extended the series to six games, and we're competitive in every game for the rest of the series (OK they did flame out in the fourth quarter of game 4), because of the efforts of LeBron James who was now playing with a team , after the injuries to Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, that looks like would've broken the record set by the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers for most losses in an NBA season. Or heck looks like it might have struggled to defeat Kentucky or Duke if you had placed this club without LeBron into the NCAA tournament.

During the Finals, LeBron's per-game series average was 35.8 points, 8.8 assists and 13.3 rebounds which made him the leader in all three stat categories FOR BOTH TEAMS, and he was the first player in Finals history to do that.

LeBron's 38.3 points per game, meant he scored 38.3 % of Cleveland's points during the Finals, that is the second highest mark in Finals series. The highest mark belong s to Michael Jordan when he scored 38.4% of Chicago's point total during the 1993 Finals.

But perhaps the most significant stat of LeBron's impact during the series was how LeBron's teammates performed when he was NOT on the floor, which was not very good.
First of all let me give you this stat, during this series LeBron, played 272 minutes during the Finals, where he averaged 45.3 minutes per game, or he was on the floor 92% of the time.
Now let's look at Cavaliers players shooting performances when LeBron was NOT on the floor during the ENTIRE series.

JR Smith 0-for-9 FG
Mathew Dellavedova 0-for- 7 FG
James Jones 0-for-3 FG
Terry Shumpert 0-for-2 FG.

That's right, During the ENTIRE SERIES, the primary four Cavs perimeter players COMBINED to shoot 0 for 21 from the field when LeBron was NOT on the floor. Yes, you read that correctly. The primary four Cavs perimeter players missed 21 of 21 shots when LeBron was NOT on the floor. A coincidence? I think not.

Now there are the pessimists that say he can point out during the series LeBron field goal percentage was only 40.3 percent for the series (he took 166 shots during the series, making 79 of them) but I think that's understandable given that The Warriors were the number one defensive team in the NBA this season and with the Cavs missing Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving (after game 1) during the Finals, in other word's the team's second and third leading scorers during the series, this meant Golden State, again the number one defensive team in the NBA, could focus on stopping LeBron during the series.

Some other slight negative from LeBron's play during the series were
1) his free throw percentage during the series, where he was 46-67 (68.6%) from the charity-strip.
2) he missed a jumper at the end of regulation of game one which would have given the Cavs the win.

Well LeBron, is human after all. Or he does a pretty good job of imitating a human being when he's not on the court.
But let's also say LeBron, and not Kyrie Irivng, had been injured in game one and had to sit out the rest of the series, and Kyrie Irving has to play the role of alpha-dog (as Bill Simons would say) for the Cavs, I am guessing then Golden State definitely sweeps the Cavs, and CLE would have been lucky to stay competitive in any game of the series. That's not a shot at Kyrie Irving at all, he's a great player, but that's how strong a team Golden State was, and how great a player LeBron was during the series.

So again let's review:

After losing game one of the Finals, the Cavs were without their second and third leading scorers,(or you can also say their second and third best players) in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, and were going up against the team with the best record in the NBA this season (67-15) and had the number one defense in the league and an explosive offense, with a team that without LeBron looked like they couldn't have beaten the New York Knicks in a best of seven game series and yet still managed to win two games in the series, and stayed competitive in the other three games of the series.

So if we again ask the question can a Finals MVP come from the losing team?
If you look at LeBron James performance during the 2015 NBA Finals my answer is a resounding yes.

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1654 days ago

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2201 days ago

I don't write this as an angry Laker fan although I am certainly disappointed that Dwight Howard chose not to re-sign with the Lakers but I think it's clear he wasn't completely happy here playing for the Lakers so as a matter of fact I (along with other people here in LA) think it might have been better for the Lakers in the long run that he didn't re-sign with them) but this is an incredible insult nick name (although I don't think of Howard as someone who is a coward but he just wasn't comfortable in LA) and it speaks volumes on how he is perceived around the NBA and given how it rhymes perfectly with his name (and you can bet this will probably wind up in a rap song soon, probably one by Ice Cube and check out Ice Cube's obscenity laced rant at a performance at the Greek Theater shortly after Howard signed with HOU although I certainly don't condone the language Ice Cube uses in his diatribe) a lot of other Laker fans, who are disappointed and angry with his play during the 2012-2013 season and that he didn't return to the Purple and Gold (although maybe this nickname was invented when he was with the Orlando Magic, but I don't think it was) have been using this nickname since he chose to put his name on the dotted line for the Houston Rockets and he will probably be hearing this one for the rest of his career, especially from Laker fans.

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2272 days ago

The question always asked about Shaq and Kobe when they were on the Lakers were why couldn't these two get along? The question really should ask now is how on earth were these two teammates for eight years? These two never got along with the issue coming down to one simple issue: Whose team is it/Who would get the ball more? For the first two years tensions were kept in check but in the 1999 season Kobe and Shaq get into a brief fight at pratice at training camp before the 1999 season,  Shaq then complaining about Kobe's shot selection in the 1999 season (although he didn't mention specifically mention Kobe by name but it was quite obvious the Dissel was complaining about the Mamba), then the two ripping each other constantly in the media, and a report about the New York Times emerging that Shaq had given other Lakers hand signals on when not to give Kobe the ball and Shaq and Kobe both requesting trades during their tenure with the team because they were unhappy with each other. Then, even after Shaq was traded to Miami, the two kept taking shots each other in private and public, with the most recent example being in June of 2008 with Shaq ripping the Kobester in a free-style rap after the Lakers loss to Boston in the 2008 NBA finals. This is the ultimate of team-mate feuds in sports history.

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2382 days ago

Upon learning that he was part of the aborted Chris Paul trade, Lamar became very unhappy/upset/hurt and makes a trade request to the Laker front office and he is sent to the Dallas Mavericks, for a first round pick. As a Laker fan, I (along with many other Laker fans) were shocked at how little the Lakers got for Lamar Odom, the NBA's reigning sixth man of the year--for just a first round pick (OK they get a 8.9 Million dollar trade exception also)-- while also sending him to a Western Conference rival.

However what was more shocking then the Lakers decision to trade him to Dallas for a first round pick was how horrible Lamar Odom's play in Dallas was where he averaged just 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds, while shooting just 35.2 percent from the field (after averaging 14.4 points, 8.7 rebounds on 53% shooting for the Lakers during the 2010-11 season).

His play was so poor for the Mavs during the 2011-12 season, after missing three games to personal reasons in March he was assigned to the Texas Legend's (DAL's D League affiliate) but the stint was cancelled. But even worse he sits out a 104-87 against San Antonio on March 24, loss due to Coach's Decision and in April, the team decides to make Lamar inactive for the rest of the season.

Reports of a clash Lamar had with Mavs owner Mark Cuban also surfaced when during half time of a game against Memphis on April 7, were Cuban questioned his commitment.
I know Lamar had to deal with a lot of personal tragedy (during the summer of 2011 his 24r year old cousin was murdered and later he was a passenger in a car that collided with a motorcycle where a 15 year old pedestrian later died) and that probably affected his play (and that affected his play that's certainly understandable) but it appears that his bigger problem was he just hated being in Dallas and missed LA from what I've read and heard.

But even if he was unhappy in DAL, it's still shocking that his play dropped off as much as it did during the 2011-2012 season and even though I'm not a Mavs fan, its disappointing and surprising to me that he didn't have a more professional attitude while he was in DAL and that is NOT understandable--and again I say that as Lakers fan and not a Mavs fan.

If there's an Anti-NBA Player of the Year Award, Lamar wins this award hands down, and he still gets a five star rating for me for 2012 Anti Athlete of the Year and very strong consideration for 2012 Anti Athlete of the Year.

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3026 days ago

As a Georgetown fan, this was my favorite Hoya team of all time. Unlike the Patrick Ewing era teams, this Hoya squad was not dominant team by any means, as it was in rebuilding mode as it featured an all-freshman backcourt in Dwayne Bryant and Mark Tillmon, a 6-4 power forward in Perry McDonald (who was a natural guard) while lacking a dominant center (now telling how good this team could have been if they had a Patrick Ewing, ALonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, Roy Hibbert or even Othella Harrington the middle) and used just a 6-foot-8 center Ronnie Highsmith (although Ben Gillery started at center a majority of minutes went to Highsmith) along with Sam Jefferson who came off the bench.

On the bench were players like Charles Smith, who at the time was a defensive specialist who came off the bench and was not yet the leading scorer for the team and the Big East MVP that he would become in his senior year.

Thus It didn't seem like a team that could challenge for a national championship, but it did because all the youngsters overachieved and also it featured Reggie Williams, who was the only senior on the team, who played the same role that Danny Manning did his senior year for Kansas, who led the Jayhawks to a national championship.

Reggie not only led the team in scoring, he set the then single season scoring mark for the Hoyas by averagin 23 points per game, but did all the little things to help a team win and providing immense leadership in the same way as the afore-mentioned Danny Manning did, and also the same way as Magic Johnson and Larry Bird for the Lakers and Celtics, and this team became known as "Reggie and the Miracles"

This team made several exciting comebacks during the season to pull out wins and won the Big East regular season championship along with the Big tournament championship and I thought this team could really win the championship but however the magic ran out for this team, in the East Regional Final as the team picked the wrong time to play one of the worst games of the season as the lost to Providence, a team they had beaten twice during the regular season and a third time time in the Big East Tournament, and I was absolutely heart-broken after the game.

Had the team beaten Providence, they would have faced Syracuse in the Final Four, another team they had beaten twice in the regular season and a third time in the Big East Tournament and had they been able to beat that game they would have faced Indidana, which I feel they could have beaten, or the team I wanted them to play, UNLV who had lost to Indiana in the other final four game. However even though they did not win the national title, again it is my favorite Hoya team ever and provided me so many great memories.

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3088 days ago

The run-away-Hesiman trophy winner by passing for 2859 yards and 28 TD's and Rushing for 1409 yards and 20 TDs--thus finishing the season with an astonishing total of 4268 yards and 48 TD's, while leading Auburn to a national championship while also having to deal with the distraction of his "pay for play scandal" on the account of his father trying to sell Cam to college programs, and you can argue that Cam knew about it and/or shouldn't have been allowed to play in Auburn's remaining games including the national championship game vs. Oregon, but Cam Newton is the easy choice for the 2010 RIA Athlete of the Year in my opinion and I'm sure a lot of other people too.

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3088 days ago

If there was any doubt at the start of 2010 about Manny Pacquaio being the no. 1 pound for pound boxer in the world, he erased them with dominant performances over Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito, with his fight with Margaroito being one of the more impressive wins of his career thought the fight went the distance (although the ref should have stopped the fight by round 11) given the enormous size advantage Margorito had on him, but Manny's offense and speed was just too much for Margarito to handle.

If Manny had beaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2010, he undoubtedly gets a five-star rating for me, but of course Floyd backed out of the fight ( by blindsiding Manny with the demand that there bea blood test AFTER the original negotiations happenedalthough Floyd will try to tell you it was Manny's fault that the fight didn't happen) so that was hardly Manny's fault.

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3091 days ago

LeBron again has a great regular season--winning his second straight MVP but unfortunately has an awful playoff series against the Boston Celtics--most notably Game Five (15 points on 3-14 shooting) in which was an absolute must win for the Cavs. So despite his strong individual stats and him being able to lead the Cavs to the best record in the NBA for the second year in a row, the Cavs can't reach the NBA Finals and although LeBrondoesn't have a great group of teammates surrounding him, his short comings during the playoffs prevent him from winning the Athlete of the Year in my opinion.

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3092 days ago

After signing a 7 year, 100 million contract, you would think the least Albert could do would be to report to training camp in camp shape. But he wasn't able to, failing several conditioning tests before finally being activated by the club.

But given the way he played, recording a career low 13 tackles, and just 2.5 sacks, maybe Washington would have been better off by having him stay out of bad shape so couldn't be activated. One play that stands for Albert was during the MNF game against the Eagles when Michael Vick had arguably the greatest start ever by a QB in NFL history. During that game in one play summed up Albert's whole season as he rushes the QB gets knocked down to the ground, the play is still going on as Michael Vick still has the ball looking for a receiver but Albert makes no effort to get up and just stays on the ground, making it very reasonable to assume for anyone who saw that play that Albert was still not in top physical shape and/or he quit on the play and/or he doesn't care about being a great player and helping his team win. In December the 'Skins suspended Albert for conduct detrimental to the club and it was hardly a loss for the club.

Other NFL owners must have been thrilled by Albert's play this year as with the CBA expring in March, his bloated contract helps the owners make a strong case why NFL players contracts should never be fully guaranteed.

Hey Albert, don't worry about it. Even if you don't ever play football again, perhaps you can start an acting career and you can be the star of the new "Fat Albert" movie.

Oh and Congrats to you Albert on being the 2010 Rate It All Anti Athlete of the Year.

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By the Numbers