while eating a Bastardly Certified lunch by Bowser0
Headline news from the NBA in the middle of August? Yes, it’s true. NBA fans actually have something to talk about during the least interesting time of the year for the league. That’s what happens when one of the league’s all-time greats is finally going to hang up the sneakers. Allen Iverson, despite not having played in the NBA since 2010, is set to officially retire in the coming days accoring to SlamOnline. Iverson’s last official game as a professional basketball player was back in 2011 while playing in Turkey and despite several offers (China, D-League etc.) he always wanted to play in the NBA once again. But it was simply past his time and there was never serious consideration from any NBA team to sign him to a contract. What can we look back at when it comes to Iverson’s career? Well, simply put: there will never be another like him. I think that the biggest thing that i’ll remember is that Iverson always left it all on the court. His actions off the court (practice?!) weren’t always the best but Iverson’s ability to play so hard for so long will always resonate with fans. I mean, the man averaged just over 41 minutes a game over his entire career. Add that to the fact that he was barely 6’0″ but drove past guys a foot taller than him to the rim on a regular basis. From his crossover on MJ early in his career to his step over on Lue in the 2001 Finals and everything in between. I’m going to miss Allen Iverson as one of the true warriors this game has ever seen.
In more official news, Clippers’ point guard Chris Paul has been elected as the president of the National Basketball Players Association. Or the Player’s Union as more people tend to call it. Paul has been an executive vice-president for the past four years so this is a logical step for him but lots of people are still a bit surprised by it. Not because Paul isn’t capable, he’s a natural leader off and on the court, but mostly because it seemed so sudden and it’s not exactly the most sought-after position in sports. The Union has been dealing with a tumultuous past year and half, starting with the lock out and ending with various firings, lawsuits and anything else you can think of. It’s a great move for Chris Paul but it’s going to be a challenge heading forward in trying to right the ship. Other than Paul, only LeBron was considering running for president as a big name around the league. LeBron discussed the position with Paul and other players but ultimately decided not to run for the position. How will Paul do as president? Most likely well because he’s really smart and his personality seems to fit perfectly but it will be very interesting to see how things go after David Stern is no longer commissioner (tenure ends in February) and Adam Silver takes over. Best of luck to Paul and the league as they move forward.
If you’ve got an hour to spare, here’s a nice documentary on Iverson
The stage was set before this season began: this is LeBron’s season. LeBron has the ring so he can play with ease. LeBron quieted the doubters. You get the idea. The best basketball player on the planet had his best season to date and for James it’s only going to continue to get better as he’s in the middle of his prime. There’s no question about it, this season’s MVP trophy is LeBron’s to lose but how much will he have to fight to get it? LeBron is having an excellent season so far statistically (26.4 pts, 6.8 ast, 8.3 reb) with his shooting percentages are also at all time highs but there is an apparent setback. He seems to be in sort of a “cruise control” mode, as silly as that sounds. Just watch the games. I can’t really blame him after the season he had in 2012. Considering all of that, which players around the league can challenge LeBron for the most valuable? No particular order:
Chris Paul: It was only a matter of time before Paul was a serious contender for MVP and this seems to be the season that it finally came to fruition. Paul has led the Clippers to be the best team in LA. Yes, for now, Los Angeles belongs to the Clippers and the western conference seems to be a legitimate toss up between the Clippers and Thunder. I’m very surprised that Paul and Clippers coach Del Negro have been able to adapt to several new role players on the team. The main knock on Paul is that his minutes aren’t heavy enough and he trails Rondo for the league leader in assists. Strong #3 candidate.
Kobe Bryant: I know, I know, the Lakers are in complete disarray right now. 4 games out of the playoffs with a bleak outlook really hurt Kobe’s 2013 resume. Or do they help him? Adrian Peterson factor is in play here. Kobe is probably the only reason the Lakers have a shot at the postseason because of his league-leading 30.2 ppg. Bryan’s Lakers aren’t very good right now but without Black Mamba, they’re probably worse than my Mavericks. Give Kobe the props that he deserves for being such a warrior at his age.
Carmelo Anthony: One of the biggest surprises this season is the Knicks and their ability to keep pace with the Heat for the best record in the eastern conference. It feels like a real team, with real chemistry and the ability to feed off each other. This team’s leader is Anthony and he is having one of his best seasons, especially in terms of scoring, trailing only Kobe by 1 ppg. The issue with Melo can be his health (missed a couple games) but he did bounce back nicely. Also, Melo needs to take his anger out on the basket and not Kevin Garnett (pictured above) after he crosses a line while trash talking. Honey Nut Cheerios anyone?
Kevin Durant: Durant is LeBron’s natural rival and the consensus choice for second best player in the league. He’s also the biggest threat to LeBron’s throne for the MVP. Durant’s Thunder are also the biggest threat to the Heat for the NBA’s crown come postseason time. Durant’s clearly having a jump statistically in his career on the court, finally hitting the elite 50-40-90 percentages from the field club this season. (51.7 FG, 41.4 3pt, 90.3 FT) Add the fact that the Thunder continue to be the top team in the west (or Clips, your choice) after losing James Harden is enough to know that Kevin Durant is giving LeBron his biggest threat for MVP. Going to be great to watch post all-star break.
Pictured: Gloria Govan (Matt’s wife), Matt Barnes, and Laura Govan (sister-in-law?); Chris Paul & wife Jada. Meant to get these up about a week ago, but kept getting sidetracked. Main reason for posting was that I think Matt Barnes did well w/ his wife & Chris Paul could do much better. L.A. fucks people up, so don’t be surprised if he upgrades.
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Photo Credit: Pacific Coast News Clippers star Chris Paul was spotted with his wife Jada Crawley at Greystone Manor in West Hollywood to celebrate his team’s big overtime victory over the Miami Heat. Blake Griffin & his lady were also there.
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Photo Credit: Pacific Coast News
Photo Credit: Pacific Coast News