Grown Men Are Never Really Men But Merely Petulant Children ……. Have You Witnessed The NBA Lately ?
The NBA ___ season not yet in full stride but yet the furor seems to be over the expectation of the Miami Heat and that team’s recent additions . Given the Heat’s recent slump and the less than welcoming return for LeBron James at Quicken Loans Arena where the Heat met the Cleveland Cavaliers . It has to be said that the animus towards to the former player by the fans in Cleveland was to be expected . And it certainly hasn’t helped the situation any further that Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert has now lodged a formal complaint with the commissioner’s office concerning what he believes was tampering by the Miami Heat in acquiring James. Gilbert for his part after the player’s announcement that he was about to leave the Cavaliers as a free agent and ply his trade elsewhere was less than cordial and let his feelings be known about the player and his then impending move.
The Miami Heat under a wealth of expectation has had a less than illustrious start as their inconsistency and lack of cohesion has led to cries that the Pat Riley experiment has been a failure. Given that it’s still early in the season I do believe that over its course, James , Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh learning to play together , we will see an overall improvement of the team under their coach Eric Spoelstra . An inauspicious start and the berating of James as well his lack of candor at times has made the player something of a pariah amongst fans in general and something of a ‘fait-accompli’ in terms of the ongoing stories within the press. What has been really telling about the Heat as a team has been their complete lack of defensive capability shown and athleticism . Even more surprising has been the very fact that the Heat’s roster is amongst the oldest within the NBA with average age of 30.3 years . Experience may well count for a great deal but clearly when it looks as if this team is learning on the job the experience being shown isn’t what one would come to expect from a veteran team where we’re led to believe they were built to win with there being an immediate dividend.
Slide show for your perusal .
Clearly for the organization winning is of the utmost importance and the track being taken by Pat Riley as team President and General Manager is that the time is now. An NBA title would add to the value of the franchise and would hopefully reap the dividends of that triumph were it to materialize. For the fans in attendance at AA Arena it has to be said that they’ve taken their time to take in their duo of superstars and acclimatize themselves with the players in question.
Not living up to expectations and at the same time showing a great deal of immaturity by the trio it has to be said that with there now being talk should Spoelstra not be able to take control of this team and lead them in the right direction then it would be in the best interest of the organization to have Riley step into the coach’s role . How that might sit with Eric Spoelstra given that he was the general manager’s hand picked choice mightn’t sit well with many around the league ? However , what might be even more surprising has been Riley’s reluctance to openly address the speculation that seems to be fomenting in a number of circles around the league and within the press in general. Winning and winning with authority would actually negate much of the talk that’s now taking place and that has now become the real problem for the Miami Heat.
The ensuing spectacle that took place at Quicken Loans Arena wherein James was given a less than enthusiastic welcome by the fans wasn’t really a surprise . However what might be even more galling to my mind was the less than competitive nature brought to the game by the Cavalier players themselves. Byron Scott and his coaching staff either were completely ill prepared for the game or they simply felt that allowing James to merely swath through his former team like a marauding pirate to my mind was an affront to the Cavaliers’ fans who obviously had been expecting more from their team. If anything seeing James actually interact with his former teammates during the game as if they were at a late night party might be even more disturbing. Instead of this being a highly competitive game it essentially became a one man show as his James had a career night while leading the Heat to a lopsided victory (118-90) over their Eastern Conference rivals.
In his postgame interview LeBron James would be respectful in his comments as it related to the fans and former teammates but when it came to the front office one could discern that he wasn’t willing to be so appeasing, his comments were curt and emphatic in terms of a response. If there’s to be a turnaround for the Heat wherein they’re to challenge the likes of the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic for supremacy within the conference then he will have either lead by example or defer to Dwyane Wade in terms of leadership. James may well be viewed as the scorer on this team but as a leader he’s yet to show that he’s capable of leading with his teammates following en-suite.
The sky isn’t falling but yet there seems to be growing concern that the reigning NBA champions the Los Angeles Lakers had lost four straight games for the first time in Phil Jackson’s reign with the team and as a coach over the course of his professional career in the NBA. Remarkable as that statistic is concerning Jackson I do feel that in terms of the Lakers it’s much ado about nothing ! We all know that this team will rise to the occasion as the postseason beckons. The team’s biggest concern at present remains the health of its two best players Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol . As they go , so go the Lakers and any prolonged injury to either could actually bring about something of decline in the team’s form and success overall.
The prolonged absence of Andrew Bynum as he slowly recuperates from surgery that clearly should have been done during the off-season has as such hampered the effectiveness of the team. And although some of the bench players have stepped up to the task in particular Shannon Brown there’s no denying that without Bryant and Gasol the Los Angeles would indeed struggle. Lamar Odom has been his customary self merely slipping in and out of games as his productivity has mirrored that over the course of his career . Jackson has taken the approach that the team will overcome this obstacle and rebound to the form that we’ve come to expect from the Lakers.
Andrew Bynum for his part has reiterated his return is imminent and that he can’t wait to assist this team in any way that he can. This coming from a player who thought it best to attend the World Cup in South Africa rather than obtain the much needed surgery and slowly recuperate during the off-season. Instead the player merely thought about himself rather than what the organization expected of him as a vital part of this team . Upon his return it will be interesting to see what Bynum really does have to offer the Los Angeles Lakers by way of his play and productivity. Over the course of his career there has been flashes of brilliance but little else to suggest that he can become one of the dominant centers in the game and given what we’ve seen as to the careers of both Yao Ming and Greg Oden it would be easy to suggest that Bynum’s time may well be short.
John Wall may well have initially set the NBA alight with his play for the Washington Wizards this season but the Los Angeles Clippers’ ____ Blake Griffin has been searing hot as he’s simply been a one man wrecking crew as he adds some legitimacy to the Clippers as an organization. I might preface this by saying that these are the same Los Angeles Clippers long held up as what a professional sports franchise shouldn’t at all be like in terms of how it’s ran . Unfortunately for the fans Donald Sterling still hangs unto the reins of the team as an owner and even with the addition of Griffin and a core group of young and exciting talent one simply gets the feeling that when it’s all said and done the lack of ambition from the ownership will continue to remain. I’ve repeatedly said this time and time again ……. an organization built for success in order to win , starts with ownership and the supporting cast of management which then works its way down to the players recruited. Anyone who has witnessed the malaise of the Clippers over the years knows that over the course of time players there have come and gone on to do much better for themselves over the course of their careers. I get the feeling the feeling that Griffin will be one of those players if things aren’t turned around who’ll depart from this team and create further success for himself within the NBA. At this juncture there’s not much else that can be really said about the Los Angeles Clippers as their season unfolds. Whatever else happens let’s just hope that Blake Griffin can continue to entertain the long suffering Clippers’ fans as well as the rest of the NBA.
Picture gallery for your perusal
What if anything has been one of the biggest surprises for you within the NBA this season ? Merely chime in with a comment as to your thoughts on this topic .
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Alan aka tophatal 🙂
Eye candy ……. “Ms Cat” aka Catya Washington .