Monthly Archives: February 2012

Jeremy Lin – “Lin-sanity”

Jeremy Lin on the New York Knicks has been the biggest story in the NBA this past week. The young 23 year-old’s story is a remarkable one, and who knows where it will go from here.

Jeremy Lin is Taiwanese-American and was the captain of his team at Palo Alto High School in California, as well as the editor for his high school’s newspaper. He graduated high school with a 4.2 GPA.

When he was not offered an athletic scholarship he decided to go to Harvard. In the four years he was there he played  in 115 games for Harvard’s basketball team and started 87 of them.  Not only is he a good basketball player, but he has the brains as well. He graduated Harvard with a degree in Economics.

After graduation he was not drafted by any NBA teams, but on July 21, 2010 he signed as a free agent with the Golden State Warriors. During the 2010-2011 season he played in 29 games with a total of 284 minutes averaging about 9.8 minutes a game, and made a total of 76 points. But he spent most of his time playing on their developmental league (D-League). Then in December after the lockout ended he was let go. The Houston Rockets picked him up but also cut him shortly after. Finally he was picked up by the New York Knickerbockers (Knicks). During this 2011-2012 season he has spent most of his time sitting on the bench or playing in their D-League until this past week.

On Monday morning February 6, 2011 Amare Stoudemire received news of his brother’s death and rushed home to be with his family. That night New York had a game against Utah where Carmelo Anthony received a groin injury with about 6 minutes left to play in the first quarter. The New York Knicks have really been struggling to live up to the expectations everyone had for them with these two superstars on the team. Before Monday night’s game their record was 9 wins and 15 loses (9 – 15), a losing record that no one expected. Now the two superstars were going to be out for a few games.

It was this night that Jeremy Lin finally got his big chance to show his team what he could really do. Jeremy Lin played a total of 45 minutes and made 28 points. He also got 2 rebounds, made 8 assists, got 2 steals, and most importantly got a WIN for the Knicks over Utah. Since then the Knicks have played Washington, LA Lakers, and last night Minnesota. Jeremy played at least 36 minutes or more in each of these games and has pulled out wins for New York in all of them. With an impressive 4 wins in a row and Jeremy Lin in the game, the New York Knicks are now 12-15.

Jeremy Lin has really turned this team around. He is making assists, getting points, causing turn overs and really taking control in a non-selfish manner. Jeremy has great court vision, meaning that he has a talent of being able to see the court and tell who is open and get the ball to that player or find a path to get it in the basket himself. He is looking to be a great player and teammate. Jeremy has managed to bring up his teammates both on offense and defense.

But the real question is how will the team be when Amare and Carmelo return? Will these two players accept Lin and play with him, or will they step in and take away from Lin?

I believe that when Amare returns he will learn to play with Lin and will fit into this new team chemistry. I do not see that there will be any problems between the two and actually believe that Amare would make the team with Lin even better. Carmelo on the other hand I do see as a problem. Not only is Carmelo known as a scorer, but he is also known as a little bit of a selfish player as well. I do not see him being able to accept and play with Lin. If  these two players cannot co-exist the team may go back to the way they were before Lin, because Carmelo is the superstar and will get the majority of the minutes, but if they can the team may get even better and start to live up to what everyone expected the Knicks to be back in December. This will be interesting to watch.

UPDATE:  Amare Stoudemire returned to practice Monday February 13, 2012. Amare stated that while in Florida he continued to watch the games with his family and they all loved what Lin was doing for the team. Amare said “Lin is finding guys out there. He’s playing totally unselfish. He’s taking what the defense gives him. He’s studying, which is what you want from your point guard, a guy who wants to be that facilitator and get guys involved and get guys open shots. He’s passing the ball right on the numbers where guys can catch and shoot. That brings up high-percentage shooting.”   On Tuesday New York played Toronto, and on Wednesday they played Sacramento and now have added two more wins to their record.

UPDATE: Carmelo returned to the team February 20, 2012 for the game against the New Jersey Nets. The Nets played well but lost 92-100. Even though the Knicks lost it was clear that Carmelo was trying to play with Lin and the new team chemistry. Carmelo said, “My mindset was just to not try to come in and not do too much, try to fit in and try to play my game within the system.” Anthony said he wants to “play the way that they’ve been playing the last few weeks: passing the ball, finding the open man, making the right play.” This is good because Carmelo is telling people that he is open to play  with Jeremy Lin and be a part of the new team chemistry. Now fans will just have to continue to watch the Knicks play and see if this team turns out to be what they originally expected them to be.


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Super Bowl XLVI Giants Win!

Super Bowl XLVI turned out to be as close of a game as people expected it to be. In Super Bowl XLVI the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots. Both teams made great plays as well as a few mistakes, but it was exciting all the way to the last seconds of the game.

First I will talk a little about the entertainment and then I will talk more about the game. The musical performances were good. Before the game, it was a pleasure to see Miranda Lamber and her husband Blake Shelton sing “America the Beautiful” together. They did a marvelous job. Then to follow was Kelly Clarkson singing The National Anthem. She did just as well and in my opinion was probably one of the best I have ever heard sing that song. During half time was Madonna along with a few others mixed into some of the songs like LMFAO, M.I.A., Nicki Minaj, and Cee Lo Green. She sang “Vogue”, “Give Me All Your Luvin”, “Music”, and “Like a Prayer.” There were a few mistakes during this performance though. near the beginning Madonna almost falls while stepping back down off a step. M.I.A. was also caught giving the finger while she was on stage. The best part of the half time show had to be the graphics and the design of the lights. I loved how at one point it looked like the field was getting sucked into the stage. Amazing!

Now let’s get to the game talk.

While watching this game I was very impressed with a lot of the passes Eli Manning, the Giant’s Quarterback, made. He made some great passes that went right through some defensive players and into his teammate’s hands. The best overall, in my opinion, being his 38 yard pass to Mario Manningham running along the side line with defensive players all around him. He jumps to catch the ball, controls it, and then gets two feet down on the field to make it count. That is a rule in the NFL, a player that jumps to catch the ball must have both feet touch the ground before falling out-of-bounds to make it count. It was a great pass from Manning and an AMAZING catch by Manningham.

Some other important events of the game include the Patriots 96 yard touchdown drive in the 2nd quarter. If you include the penalty it actually made it a 98 yard drive. The Patriots offense took the ball 96 yards, that is almost the whole length of the field, and made a touchdown. With that drive the Patriots tied the record for the longest drive in the Super Bowl. Pierre-Paul, with the Giants, also was great on defense when he batted away two of Tom Brady’s passes. And I can’t forget Sean Weatherford’s punt that went out-of-bounds at the New England’s 4 yard line. What a great punt that forces the Patriots to have to make another long drive with only a few minutes left in the first half of the game. Blackburn with the Giants also makes an important play in the 4th when he intercepts a pass, being the only turnover of the game. And last was the hand-off from Manning to Bradshaw, who made an unintentional touch down. This was a memorable play because the Giants were down by two points with a little over a minute left. They needed to run off more time from the clock before they scored to be sure the Patriots could not come back. On ESPN Radio Mike and Mike this morning Bradshaw stats that nothing was said in the huddle about not scoring. Then when he got the ball Eli was yelling at him not to score. Manning said “I was telling to him ‘Don’t score, don’t score!’ He tried to stop but fell into the end zone.” If you saw this play you can see him try to stop and squat to get a knee down, but his momentum pushes him in for the winning touchdown. The Patriots did not come back so the Giants win 21 to 17. What a game!

Eli Manning was 30 for 40 with 296 yards. This means 30 out of 40 of his passes made it into his teammates hands. Also the 296 yards is all the distances of his completed passes added together. Tom Brady was 27 for 41 with 276 yards.

The Super Bowl was played in Indianapolis in the Cults stadium. That stadium is Eli Manning’s older brother, Payton Manning’s field. They say the stadium is “the home that his brother built” because Payton brought so much success to the Cults that brought in enough money to build a new stadium. Now Eli Manning has won his second Super Bowl, the Giant’s 8th, and his 2nd Super Bowl MVP award in his older brother’s stadium.

Super Bowl XLVI was full of excitement and ended up being a very close game. Congrats to the New York Giants on their win!


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Lamar Odom Takes Time Off

On Wednesday February 22, 2012 Lamar Odom, #7 on the Dallas Mavericks,  took some time off before the Mavs played the LA Lakers that night in Dallas which the Mavs had lost. Many that work for ESPN wrote in their blogs that a source stated that Lamar took the absence to attend to his father who was ill. Some say he was only expected to miss that night’s game and report back to the Mavs for their practice on Monday February 27, 2012 after the All-Star Weekend.  But Lamar did not report back to the Mavs that Monday, and that few days away turned into a week.

The Mavs played the New Jersey Nets Tuesday February 28th and the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday February 29th losing both of those games. During this time Carlisle said he hoped to hear from Lamar on Thursday with an update. Also rumors began to circulate that Lamar was looking for a buyout or wanting to retire. A buyout is when the Mavs pay Lamar some or all of the money left on his contract. The Lamar would leave the team and after a few days could talk to other teams about joining their team. Mark Cuban said, “We’re not going to do that (buyout). That’s not the way we work. We try to find what the problem is and fix it.”

Finally on Wednesday March 1, 2012, while the Mavericks were in Memphis for their game, Mark Cuban met with Lamar Odom and his agent Jeff Schwartz in Dallas. During the meeting Lamar and his agent asked Mark if Lamar could go to the D-League and play during Saturday’s game and then return to the Mavs on Sunday. They believed this would help him get back into shape and then return to the Mavericks. Mark agreed.

Friday March 2, 2012 the Coach finally spoke his mind. While speaking on 103.3 FM ESPN Dallas Radio on “Galloway and Company.” Coach Carlisle said, “I’m disappointed with the way the whole thing’s gone,” talking about the whole situation. He continued, “We’ve worked hard with this kid. I’m a patient guy, Mark is a patient guy, Donnie is a patient guy, our team is a patient team, but patience has worn thin here.” Rick also says, “When he comes back, we’re going to find out very quickly where things are at. He’s going to have to show us with his actions and attitude that he’s in.” Coach talks about how Mark Cuban, owner of the Mavericks, is a great owner. Rick says, “Mark asks a fundamental question of anybody that’s involved with our franchise: Are they in or are they not in?” Coach Rick Carlisle says, “Our players want to see the guy playing like his pants are on fire, and we haven’t seen that so far. And that’s got to change.” From this interview I got the impression that Coach Carlisle and the Dallas Mavericks are ready to see Lamar start playing like he wants to be a part of the team.

To listen to Rick Carlisle on Galloway and Company click here:

Also that Friday after morning shoot around in New Orleans Jason Kidd, #2 for the Dallas Mavericks, talked to Tim McMahon with Kidd said, “Trust factor is always big,” when asked about the situation with Lamar. Kidd continues, “For that, he’s going to have to earn it with a lot of the guys. But we all give second chances, third chances. For that, we just want him to be him and be comfortable and play.” After this, Friday night the Mavs lost their 4th game in a row, and headed back to Dallas to get ready to play again Saturday night.

Saturday March 3, 2012 before Lamar was going to attend the Maverick’s D-League shoot around to practice before the game, but was recalled back up to play with the Mavericks that night. It is said that the Mavs called Lamar back up because they need him. That night before the game Lamar Odom apologized to the team. He did not explain the personal issue that took him away from the team for so long, but Lamar did say, “Mark Cuban is a great owner for understanding. Sometimes we have to fix whatever’s going on off the court in order for us to fix what’s going on on the court.” Then Lamar Odom expressed how he needed his teammates.

The Mavs played the Utah Jazz that night in Dallas. The Mavs finally got a win. When Lamar was announced to enter the game the crowed was divided with boos and cheers, maybe even more cheers than boos. I was surprised by this, because I thought that his actions would have upset more fans. Lamar was not good in the first only playing 8 minutes and made 2 points and got one rebound. Then in the second half he did a lot better making 7 more points, 4 more rebounds, and even had 3 assists.

When the game was over Coach Carlisle described Odom’s game as “awesome” and said, “This is by far the most energy he’s played with the entire year and I don’t think it’s close.” Carlisle added, “He was into it. But now that he’s done it, he’s got to do it again and again and again. He’s got to do it 28 times before the playoffs, and he can do it. I’m fully convinced that he can do it.”

I hope the Coach is right and Lamar has figured things out and can stay focused on the court and play to his best ability again. With all that has happened he does not seem trustworthy. I don’t believe he will consistently play well for the Dallas Mavericks.  I feel that with what has happened it just shows everyone how much he really cares about this team. I feel that if you really wanted to be a part of a team you would not just leave for so long and would keep everyone posted about what is going on. I do not think it is right that he is being so secretive about his “personal issues.” Yes it is ok to keep it a secret from fans and media but not from your teammates, coach, and owner. The team has a right to not trust Lamar. Though I highly doubt it, maybe this time off helped Lamar and he is now going to be able to focus and play like he cares.


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Josh Hamilton Relapsed

Josh Hamilton with the Texas Rangers had been sober for three years before he relapsed last Monday night. He was out at a restaurant in Dallas where he ordered three or four drinks. Then he said he called his teammate Ian Kinsler to come join him, but he kept the drinks he had a secret. When Kinsler came Hamilton did not drink in front of him. After the restaurant closed they continued their conversation at a place across the street. Then after thirty minutes Kinsler took Hamilton to where he said,  “I needed to be” and made sure Hamilton was not thinking of going back out. Even though Hamilton told his teammate he wouldn’t, Hamilton went back out and had more drinks. Josh Hamilton said that no drugs were involved and has taken two drug-tests since his relapse the night of January 30, 2012, and has already made plans to meet with the right people and get the help he needs. Hamilton has also scheduled an apology conference at the Ballpark Friday February 3, 2012. He spoke in front of media and others with no script or notes and did not take questions. Hamilton wanted his apology to be from the heart.

Hamilton is a great baseball player with a career .308 batting average (gets 308 base hits out of 1,000 times at bat), 118 home runs, and 425 RBI (Runs Batted In). His life thus far has been filled with many ups and downs.

Josh Hamilton was a very talented baseball player in high school. In 1999 from high school Hamilton was drafted to Tampa Bay who then sent him to play in their minor league teams. Hamilton played so well on these teams that he was moved up quickly from Princeton Pirates of the Appalachian to Class-A Hudson Valley to the Charleston River Dogs. While with the Charleston River Dogs in July Hamilton injured his knee when chasing a fly ball. He had a torn lateral meniscus and needed arthroscopic surgery that some people said should end his career.

Hamilton still planned to play again but in February of 2001 he and his parents were hit by a dump truck that ran a red light. In this accident Hamilton hurt his back and his parents received injuries as well. Hamilton’s parents  had to return to their home town so that Hamilton’s mother could get the medical treatment and help she needed for her injuries. Hamilton stayed in Florida and was on his own for the first time in his life. Hamilton was with Class-AA Orlando by this time but his back was not completely healed. He was still feeling a lot of pain. While not getting to play much and having extra time on his hands, Hamilton fell into a crowd that made bad decisions and started experimenting with drugs and alcohol. He continued his career with having more injuries and experimented more and more with drugs and alcohol. Hamilton was then banned from baseball in 2003 for refusing to take drug-tests.

After all this Hamilton looked to meet with Mike Chadwick, a man who gave lectures on how he himself overcame the addiction of drugs and alcohol. During the time of talking with Mike, Hamilton got to know Mike’s daughter Katie and fell in love. They got married and before the birth of their first-born Hamilton got back into drugs. About a month after his daughter was born Josh Hamilton vowed he took his last drink on October 6, 2005 and cleaned himself up.

In January 2006 Roy Silver heard Hamilton was cleaning up so Roy offered Hamilton a job cleaning restrooms and taking care of the field at The Winning Inning complex. Hamilton was also allowed to use the training facilities. After this the League heard about Hamilton and were very impressed. They allowed him back into the Major Leagues but required him to have a drug-test three times each week. Hamilton made his debut in 2007 with Cincinnati who then traded him to the Rangers in 2008.

Josh stayed sober till January of 2009 when he had his first relapse. Right after, Josh took the right actions and got the help he needed. Hamilton then stayed sober for 3 years till his second relapse last Monday on January 3oth. Hamilton has not given a specific reason for his relapse but said it was due to “personal reasons.” This past year has been a pretty rough year for Hamilton. Some of the things he has been through this year include:

  1. Back in July Hamilton threw a foul ball into the stands where a fan reached too far over the rail and fell. He passed away shortly after. The man had attended the game with his son who was standing next to him as his father fell. I do not believe in any way that this was Hamilton’s fault, but I could not imagine how this would weigh on someone in Hamilton’s position.
  2. The Texas Rangers went to the World Series for the second time and lost yet again. This time they were so close and were one out away from winning it all, but lost. I bet this would be heartbreaking to be so close to a goal like that for a second time and not accomplish it yet again.
  3. Then Hamilton’s accountability partner, Johnny Narron left the team to be the Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach. Johnny was Hamilton’s accountability partner and the man Hamilton turned to for many years and now he is leaving. The Rangers are in the process of finding Hamilton another accountability partner. Hamilton was going to have Mike Chadwick, his father-in-law be his accountability partner, but Mr. Chadwick could not accept because he wanted to stay close to his family while his daughter finished high school.
  4. Last, Hamilton has been hoping for a contract extension with the Texas Rangers before spring training but the Rangers have not yet offered one. I wonder if this has a little to do with why they have not yet assigned Hamilton an accountability partner.

I personally do not know all that goes on with addicts and am not going to try. I feel that Hamilton made his own decision, but I also feel that he has been through a lot. I hope that Josh Hamilton gets cleaned up again, because when he is sober he is a great baseball player and seems to be a great person. I have never meet Hamilton but from watching him on T.V. and hearing his interviews he seems to be a positive and good-hearted guy. I love that he talks about God in his apology and says “my recovery is Christ.” I hope Hamilton means all this and cleans himself up again, but for good this time.


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NBA Orlando in Indianapolis Super Bowl Weekend

Oops! While creating the schedule is December, the NBA League scheduled the Orlando Magic to play the Indianapolis Pacers on Saturday February 4, 2012 at 7:00 in Indiana. I guess they forgot that the Super Bowl will be in the same city the very next day. Since this year’s Super Bowl was planned way before the NBA schedule was made it was impossible for the Magic team to find a hotel. I am sure the Orlando Magic was not surprised to hear the hotels were all booked. The  Magic is forced to fly to Cincinnati after their game Friday night and stay in a hotel there. They will then wake up and have their morning walk-through and practice there. Then later Saturday the team will fly to Indianapolis for the game that starts at 7:00. This might turn out to be a much harder game for the Orlando Magic then they first expected.


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Ron Washington Contract extension

The Rangers have offered a two-year contract extension to manager Ron Washington. Ron Washington has been the coach of the Texas Rangers since 2007. His contract would have expired after this coming season (2012), but now his time with the Rangers has been extended till after the 2014 season unless he is offered another contract extension after the 2013 season. Mr. Washington has had an amazing career as a manager with the Rangers. In the past four seasons he has increased their wins each year. In 2007 they had 75 wins, 79 in 2008, 87 in 2009, 90 in 2010, and 96 in 2011. It is stated in the Dallas News Blog that “He is the first manager in major league history to increase his team’s win total in four consecutive seasons after his initial year with a club.” Also in the past two seasons he has coached the Rangers all the way to winning American League Pennants and getting to play in the past two World Series.

With a coaching record of 427 wins and 383 losses these last 5 seasons, I believe this was the right move for the Texas Rangers. Ron Washington has been a great coach and I look forward to what this season will bring.


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Blake Griffin’s DUNK on Kendrick Perkins

If you are looking for a good NBA Dunk watch the LA Clippers play. Monday night on January 30, 2012 Blake Griffin performed what some say is “The Dunk of the Year” on Kendrick Perkins with the OKC Thunder. Later that night after the dunk, twitter blew up with comments from multiple NBA players past and present. Here are just a few:

  • Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41): “Watched blakes dunk over and over again. Almost makes me wonder if me and him even play the same sport. What an athlete”
  • Lebron James (@KingJames): “Dunk of the Year!! @blakegriffin just dunked on Kendrick Perkins so hard!! Wow!! I guess I’m #2 now. Move over #6″
  • Chris Paul (@CP3): “WoW!!! Just saw @blakegriffin dunk from 2nite…WHAT IN THE WORLD!!! Something is wrong with that guy…#GladHeIsOnMyTeam
  • Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson): “The @blakegriffin dunk tonight over Perkins made me realize that he’s one of the best in-game dunkers in @NBA history.”

After the dunk Kendrick Perkins deleted his twitter account.


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