Posts Tagged ‘ LeBron James ’

David West, the People’s Champ

David West is taking charge of the Indiana Pacers. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

David West is saying everything to rile up the Pacers fans. West is perpetuating the idea that they are indeed the underdog by saying that they deserve to be here.

As oxymoronic as it sounds, West is fiery about the issue of being underrated, furthering the idea of them being underrated.

After yelling at his team to get off the floor immediately after winning game two, West again demonstrated in his game three post-game interview that the Pacers will not go down easy.

“We will not back down or take anything from any team,” said West to “We are not going to be pushed around.”

In order for the Pacers to shed the tag of underdog, they need to avoid sounding like one in interviews. They should not just say they deserve to be in this position, but accept that they are in this position. Live in the moment and give the impression that this is how it was supposed to be all along. It goes back to the fundamental idea of walking the walk and not talking the talk. Actions speak louder than words. You know the drill.

West, meanwhile, is putting his stake in the ground as leader of this Indiana team in just his first year in Indianapolis. His leadership will be good for a team coming into its own and finding its identity.

For now, Indiana remains the underdog that refuses to be identified as such by hinting at the fact that they indeed are an underdog. Confusing, right?

However, as long as the Pacers continue to do most of the nation a favor by beating the Heat, I don’t see NBA fans complaining.


Six Things I Learned Watching Soccer

When I woke up this morning, I flipped on my television to see the highlights of the Nuggets and Lakers game, which I missed last night. I was upset to find the Norwich City v. Arsenal game – er, match – on my set. (I found out later I was on the wrong channel.)

I am no soccer fan. But since receiving a Manchester United jersey from my father last weekend before the Manchester Derby, I decided that maybe now was the time to find a team and learn more about the league(s?).

I made myself watch the entire Norwich City v. Arsenal match. I went into it thinking that it would end up like almost every other soccer game I had watched to this point (save World Cup matches) by me changing the station or turning the television off entirely out of boredom.

However, I found myself glued to the match. I even took my computer downstairs to the dining hall and stayed put until the conclusion of the match. The game was captivating.

Therefore, in honor of the first six goals I witnessed in my first day as a soccer fan (the match ended in a 3-3 draw), here are six things I learned watching soccer.

1.) More “serious” injuries happen in soccer than in any other sport. This is one reason I dislike watching soccer. On nearly every play there is someone falling down writhing in “pain” after a “foul.” (Commonly known as “flopping.”) What bugs me more is that flopping is invading the sports I have always enjoyed watching. Hardly any of the player control fouls (charges) called in basketball are full-contact. Now, even NFL players are faking injury as part of game strategy. Remember the Giants’ Deon Grant’s sudden injury and rapid recovery against the driving St. Louis Rams last season. Let us hope that the flopping ceases sometime soon.

2.) Soccer players have miserable hair. Arsenal’s Robin van Persie looks as if his hair never made it out of the third grade. His teammate, Abou Diaby, has some sort of dreadlocked combover. Should we even get into Alex Song’s wig?

Arsenal’s Robin van Persie, celebrates with teammate Arsenal’s Abou Diaby after scoring against Norwich City, during their English Premier League soccer match at Emirates stadium in London, Saturday, May 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Bogdan Maran)

Norwich City’s Wes Hoolahan (L) challenges Arsenal’s Alex Song during their English Premier League soccer match at Emirates Stadium in London May 5, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

3.) Soccer players have great names. Yes, his hair is woefully hideous, but how cool is the name “Alex Song”?

4.) Soccer players are not the best athletes in the world (basketball players are), but they are the best conditioned. In an athletic skills test, I will take LeBron James over almost any soccer player out there. However, the sheer level of conditioning of soccer players is magnificent. The amount of running done in one match would put me in my bed for a few days.

5.) Watching soccer makes me feel pretentious. This dawned upon me as I sat with my legs crossed watching the match, eating a parfait and sipping a hot beverage. Watching soccer while wearing a retro powder blue LaDanian Tomlinson Chargers jersey and sweatpants makes me feel less pretentious. This is fairly self-explanatory. And I was drinking coffee. At least it wasn’t tea.

6.) I think I can become a soccer fan. Most of all, this match was fun to watch. I never thought I could get excited about a draw in any sport, but this game kept me on the edge of my seat. I’m excited to watch the other matches this week when I can. And now that I have a Manchester United jersey, I have a vested interest. Who knows? This could be my gateway sport into liking hockey as well. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Bottom line, I enjoyed watching a soccer match today and I hope to enjoy more of the same in the future.

Are we really still booing LeBron?

Are we really still booing LeBron James? Really?

I guess I don’t get it. Just a few minutes into Thursday’s Heat v. Bulls game, Chicago fans booed LeBron each time he touched the ball.

I can’t believe fans aren’t over that yet. Why boo him? What did he do that hundreds maybe thousands of other NBA basketball players have done in the past?

He left Cleveland for Miami. Get over it.

What is being accomplished by hating LeBron? Does it make people feel that much better?

What people are doing by being anti-LeBron is missing out on one of the best players the NBA has ever seen. You don’t have to be his number one fan, but at least appreciate what the man does. He’s provided us with the spectacle of great basketball and he has an amazing story.

All but maybe 25 percent of NBA fans are taking that gift and crushing it into the dust. Why?

What’s wrong with LeBron having confidence? Swagger? The will to win? What’s wrong?

The bottom line is LeBron James is a great basketball player and a joy to watch. Why spoil it by booing him? Let’s watch and let’s enjoy.

Hot Hot Heat

LeBron JamesAre the Miami Heat being written off too early? It seems the “Big Three” project has been deemed a failure too early.

In their first season playing together, Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh pushed the Dallas Mavericks to six games in the NBA Finals. Is a second place finish that bad?

No, they didn’t win a title. No, they weren’t clutch. But if this is the worst we’re going to see Miami play, who’s to say they won’t win “not five, not six, not seven” NBA titles?

If this offseason is any indication, the Heat, James in particular, have a renewed focus. In an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, James addressed his villain status and ultimately pushed it away. He wants to get back to having fun.

What critics say is true, it appeared that James had almost no fun playing basketball last season. When people watched him play alongside fellow superstars in the 2008 Olympics, they saw him having fun. And judging by the Redeem Team’s performance that summer, superstars having fun on the basketball court equals trouble for opponents.

Why aren’t you watching Wimbledon?

roger federer

The Championships Wimbledon get a thumbs up. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

I remember a tweet a few weeks ago about how some are suffering from playoff withdrawal after what seemed like endless excitement provided by the NBA and NHL postseasons.

Well, it ended. What now? What are we supposed to watch? Baseball?

Not quite. For those like me, baseball is only exciting for the first week and perhaps a month in the middle of summer. In the past I found myself searching for something, anything to watch in the summer other than more humdrum baseball.

I fell in love with tennis, both playing and watching. The Grand Slam tournaments keep my summer exciting after the thrill of the postseason provided by the NBA and NHL.

As much as I wanted to be completely disconnected from the world last week (as I was in the mountains), I couldn’t help but turn on the television each morning to keep an eye on the Championships Wimbledon as I sipped my morning coffee.

Even though they were just the opening rounds, I found myself hooked on every point of nearly every match last week. I enjoy seeing the lower- and unranked players scrape and claw for a chance to play the big guns like Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.

The storylines heading into the final week of the fortnight are ones Hollywood would have a difficult time writing. Both the Williams sisters (Venus and Serena), French Open Champion Li Na and the top ranked woman in the world Caroline Wozniacki have all been defeated, leaving the door open for tennis’s starling Maria Sharapova.

Nadal is battling an injured foot while Federer is seeking to get back on top of the tennis world with what would be his seventh Wimbledon title. Novak Djokovic has gotten criticism comparable to LeBron James with his apparent inability to win a major tournament. And Mardy Fish is the last American standing in both men’s and women’s singles, trying to bring one home for the stars and stripes.

If you happen to be one of the many looking for a break from baseball and/or something exciting to fill the emptiness in your heart coming from a lack of playoffs, tune in to the Championships Wimbledon this morning and the rest of the week. And don’t be afraid to jump out of your chair.