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UTAH RAISES THEIR GAME, GOLDEN ST. FOLDS

Posted by HG on May 16, 2007

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Congrats to the Utah Jazz for moving on to the Western conference finals. The Jazz closed their series against Golden State with a 100-87 game five victory. Utah already defeated my Secret team, and now they’ve taken down Cinderella. These are my Utah Jazz highlights from the series:

  •  Derek Fisher showing incredible fortitude and heart after everything he’s been through.
  • Carlos Boozer opening the eyes of the people that didn’t know about him. He was serving people for the second straight series. 
  • Jerry Sloan getting Utah to the Conference finals again. He’s never been coach of the year?!?!
  • Deron Williams playing like a vet. Game 5 notwithstanding.
  • Mehmet Okur, Paul Millsap, Matt Harpring, and Gordon Giricek playing their roles well.
  • Andrei Kirilenko leaving his tears in the first round and causing havoc for Golden State’s offense.

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I don’t know anybody that’s not impressed with Utah. When the Jazz got out to the hot start at the beginning of the season, a lot of people didn’t believe they were for real. I was one of those people. The lack of playoff experience from key players had me thinking Utah would flame out in the playoffs regardless of their record. I admit it… I was wrong. Another thing I was wrong about is Utah’s style of play. I didn’t get to see them too much this season so I assumed they were a slow it down, grind it out type of team. They can play that way, but they just proved in the G. State series that they can run up and down the court too.

As far as Golden State is concerned, what can I say? They pulled off the great upset in round 1, but seemed to be out of gas and definitely over matched in round 2. Baron Davis put the league on notice for next season, and Stephen Jackson proved that the Kings have to trade Artest just to put some miles between Jackson and Ron-Ron. The unfortunate thing is, G. State was in game 5 until they started acting like the 3 point line was an alligator infested moat protected by a 12 foot, 100,000 watt electric fence. I couldn’t believe how the Warriors would stop at the line and jack a three whether they were on a fast break or 1 second into the shot clock. The Warriors need to grow up too. All of the complaining, technical fouls, and cheap shots really put G. State’s nice postseason story in an ugly light.

So again, congrats to the Utah Jazz. The winner of the Suns/Spurs series is going to have it’s hands full in the conference finals.

DIGG IT  *  DEL.ICIO.US  *  REDDIT  *  BALL HYPE

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Posted in ANDREI KIRILENKO, BARON DAVIS, CARLOS BOOZER, DEREK FISHER, DERON WILLIAMS, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS, NBA, NBA PLAYOFFS, SPORTS, STEPHEN JACKSON, UTAH JAZZ, WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS | 2 Comments »

KOBE BRYANT LEAVING LOS ANGELES?

Posted by HG on May 13, 2007

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I was watching NBA Shootaround on Friday night while waiting for the Warriors/Jazz game to get started. Stephen A. Smith dropped some interesting information:

I’ve spoke to several people in the league, believe it or not Kobe does have an abundance of friends in this league contrary to popular belief and they all said to me, you know what, he is completely disgusted and you can’t even measure the level of hostility he’s feeling towards the Lakers organization right now.

Go on…..

Listen to this.. Kobe Bryant, ever since he resigned with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to everything that I’ve heard he wanted Baron Davis before he got traded to Golden State. They didn’t get him. He had an opportunity to, they didn’t get him. He wanted Carlos Boozer because Larry Miller, the owner of the Utah Jazz, was on the outs with Carlos Boozer, they wanted to move him, the Lakers didn’t get him. He wanted Ron Artest, they didn’t get him. And then even when Kwaaameee Broooown was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for his best friend on the team at the time, Caron Butler, he didn’t learn about it until after the trade was consumated. Having spoken to Mitch Kupchak, the general manager for the Los Angeles Lakers in fairness to him, couldn’t reach Kobe earlier in the day, but I’m telling you everything that I’ve been hearing, if you think for one second that he is in love with Los Angeles, he loves winning more than he loves Southern California. He almost went to Chicago in a sign and trade, tried to force a sign and trade before he signed. You understand? He has absolutely no problem leaving if the Los Angeles Lakers, specifically owner Jerry Buss doesn’t get his act together. Do not be surprised at all if this stuff continues if Kobe Bryant some time around next year is asking to be traded.

 Now let’s be real.. Kobe’s not leaving the Lakers. Mitch Kupchak won’t let that happen. Not that he couldn’t let it happen, he has turned the Lakers  from contenders to first round whipping boys of the West elite, but he’s not gonna let Kobe get away. This has all the makings of a well timed leak of information from the Kobe camp. Like Stephen A. said, Kobe did talk about going to Chicago, and there were also the Suns and Clippers rumors when Kobe was a free agent. He didn’t leave then and he’s not leaving now.

The heir apparent to the Laker ownership throne, Jim Buss (son of Jerry) was on AM570 in Los Angeles this week and said not so fast on the Kobe trade talk:

Bryant needs to be aware that any trade involving him would require the other team to surrender its best player. For example, trading Bryant to Cleveland would cost the Cavaliers LeBron James. Any trade would markedly weaken Bryant’s new team, giving him no greater guarantee of a championship than he has with the Lakers.

Well.. That seems to take a little steam out of the Kobe trade talks, but KB can opt out of his deal in two years. He was asked about that in this exit interview and had this to say:

I’ve been a Laker fan my whole life. I hate to even think about me going someplace else.”

Notice he didn’t say “I won’t go someplace else”, he said he would hate to think about it. If the Lakers front office sits on their hands this offseason, I’m sure Kobe won’t mind entertaining the idea of bouncing.

I would bet the house that L.A. is gonna go out this summer and make a huge deal. Jerry West is no longer with Memphis so maybe he can do some consulting.. Teach Mitch how to pull off some of those miracle deals. I don’t know if it’ll be K.G., Jermaine O’neal, Jason Kidd, or any other name we’ve heard over the past few years but something is gonna happen. I would try to hold on to Lamar and Luke Walton (free agent), but I would trade anybody, ANYBODY, anybody else on the roster to become an elite team. Yes even Andrew Bynum. The young fella has shown some flashes but by the time he’s fulfiling his potential (if ever) Kobe will have some serious miles on his body. Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers don’t have that kind of time.

**YBB Kobe Update 5-29-07**

Meet the new Buss. Courtesy of the LA Times

Report Card/Exit Interview: Kobe Bryant. Courtesy of the LA Times

Listen to Kobe’s Exit Interview here.

DIGG IT  *  DEL.ICIO.US  *  REDDIT  *  BALL HYPE

Posted in AM570, BARON DAVIS, CARLOS BOOZER, CARON BUTLER, CHICAGO BULLS, JERRY BUSS, JIM BUSS, KOBE BRYANT, KWAME BROWN, LOS ANGELES LAKERS, MITCH KUPCHAK, NBA SHOOTAROUND, RON ARTEST, SPORTS, STEPHEN A. SMITH, TRADE | 14 Comments »

DEREK FISHER A.K.A. MAN

Posted by HG on May 10, 2007

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Game two between Utah and Golden State was more exciting than game one. Deron Williams picked up 2 fouls right before the game tipped off. Dee Brown, Williams’ back-up, was lost in the first quarter to a neck injury when Mehmet Okur fell on him. The Warriors played their uptempo style, led by the increasingly impressive Baron Davis with help from Richardson, Barnes, Harrington, and Jackson (what the hell is up with Monta Ellis?!?). Carlos Boozer continuesto clown Cleveland with his play, and Andrei Kirilenko looks like a completely different player from round 1. It took overtime to decide the game.. Utah came out on top 127-117.

The Jazz fans are doing their best to be a factor in the series, but who’s idea were those powder blue t-shirts? I kept expecting Roy Williams and the Tarheels to take the floor at some point. I don’t know how it goes down in Utah but pastels are not intimidating. I do know Golden St. can’t wait to get home, back to Oakland, back to the bright yellow tees and the craziness of the Oracle.

The game was great, but that’s not the story. The story is Derek Fisher. D-Fish missed game one and arrived at game two late in the 3rd quarter because he was dealing with a family issue. His 10 month old daughter Tatum was suffering from retinoblastoma, a form of eye cancer that required a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. Tatum had several hours of surgery in New York on Wednesday, and I’m happy to be able to say that the surgery was a success by all accounts. Things went so well that the family travelled back to Utah with baby Tatum Wednesday night.

Derek’s flight landed in Salt Lake City and he was whisked to the game, led by a police escort. He didn’t get a chance to warm-up or anything.. He entered the arena to a standing ovation and went directly to the scorers’ table to check in.

Fisher played great defense down the stretch of the game, and scored all 5 of his points in the extra session. He didn’t have the statistical game of his career but his presence was bigger than anything that happened on the court. Derek couldn’t put the experience into words after the game:

“I don’t know how I got through this tonight. I really don’t. My daughter’s doing very well. We had a successful operation in New York and I flew back, got off the plane, came to the game. I’m speechless.”

I don’t know how he got through it either. If you didn’t feel for Fish watching his post game interview then you’re a robot or completely heartless. It was a tremendous and special moment.

I hope this puts to rest all of the speculation about why Fisher missed game one. I can check a number of things through my blog stats. I can see how many views an individual post gets, I can see what sites link to my blog. I can also check what search engine terms people use to find my site. I was disappointed by these:

  • Derek Fisher suspended
  • Derek Fisher marriages problems
  • Derek Fisher arrest

I hope the people that were expecting the worst of a genuinely good guy feel like jackasses now. The truth is out, the verdict is in, Derek Fisher is a MAN.

Thoughts and prayers to the Fisher family.

Pure Hollywood. Courtesy of ESPN.com True Hoop

Retinoblastoma. Courtesy of Web MD

DIGG IT  *  DEL.ICIO.US  *  REDDIT  *  BALL HYPE

Posted in BARON DAVIS, BASKETBALL, CARLOS BOOZER, DEE BROWN, DEREK FISHER, GAME TWO, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS, MONTA ELLIS, NBA, NBA PLAYOFFS, RETINOBLASTOMA, SPORTS, UTAH JAZZ | 2 Comments »