By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Kingdoms Are Never Built In A Day And King James’ Domain Is No Different
SAN ANTONIO — Some final thoughts about the NBA Finals, LeBron James and some other loose ends need to be said. Amongst those topics, I wanted to convey my respect and admiration to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ faithful for their passion and let them know that not everyone in this country thinks that they are a bunch of spoiled brats who didn’t get their way.
As with anything in sports, you are going to have a winner and a loser. The San Antonio Spurs winning this year’s NBA championship is no different. They were the best team at the end of the day and no one, and I mean NO ONE should be chastising them or the city for who and what they are (more on that in a bit).
The same can be said for the Cavaliers. Whether you like Danny Ferry or not, whether you think Mike Brown is a good coach or not, isn’t the question here. The question that each and every Cavs’ fan needs to ask him or herself is whether it is possible to come back to the NBA Finals next year.
If you believe your team can come back to the point of making the playoffs and going far, then you don’t question what Ferry or Brown can do for you but if you have doubts, then maybe you want to pay a little more attention to this off season and see what moves are made.
As for James, his game needs some refinement and it is time someone in his camp be honest with him and tell him so. The main reason why the Cavs lost this series stems from the fact that James and his teammates do not have consistent jump shots.
Running to the three point line does not constitute having a jumper so I don’t want anyone telling me that Boobie Gibson is the Scottie Pippen James was looking for because he isn’t that type of player. What Gibson needs to develop is a few moves that get him to the rack so that he can become a better passer and that is where James comes into play.
Everyone on that team, but especially James, needs a shooting coach to help them this year. James needs to look up a respected coach, hire him for the summer, and realize that dunks do not win you titles. If James or his entourage does not think this is the case, then call up Tony Parker and ask him how good Chip England’s advice was the past two seasons.
A consistent mid-range jumper James does not possess. A series of offensive moves that create scoring opportunities he does not have as well. A good shooting coach will not only assess his shooting style but also tweak it, adjust it and hone it so that it becomes an extension of his game. That is what James and his teammates need to do.
Last thing about the Cavs is this: it is time for the team to look at itself and determine if they have what it takes to win a title. To a man every player from this playoff team needs to address whether he is a good fit for the style of offense and defense that Brown and his coaching staff want to endocrine into this franchise.
There should be no excuses for not doing your job and every player needs to realize that and do what is necessary to ensure the success of next season.
WHITLOCK’S TAKE IS TOTALLY WHACK AND BASELESS
I am going to do something I rarely do in my writing and that is call out a fellow writer’s work. In this case I have to take exception to what Jason Whitlock wrote in the Kansas City Star and his assessment of what the fans want.
I’m calling out Whitlock because he’s not a basketball columnist and to suggest that he knows what fans want is about as disingenuous as me writing a political piece on why Haliburton and Dick Chaney need to admit wrong doing during this current Iraq crisis.
Unless I understand the full truth of the Iraq crisis, I cannot adequately comment on it. The same can be said about Whitlock’s piece entitled “Toast of Texas”.
I’m going to be perfectly frank and say that not only was Whitlock’s piece as about as accurate as my four dollar bill in my wallet, his assessment of what constitutes great players is laughable and typical of sports columnists who do not even know how to rate players of different errors.
And here’s another piece of information that most people do not realize. For the most part, the majority of the sports fans out there are more casual about their watching of sports and a great deal of them has the DDBI syndrome in them: deaf, dumb, blind and ignorant.
Let me explain the DDBI syndrome in a more detail for you. Those sports fans that have this syndrome have at least one, if not more of the following symptoms:
1. They are deaf to hearing anything negative about their team or any situation that the team is involved in.
2. They are dumb to the fact that their team could be in a bad situation and they would rather make believe that something is right and not deal with reality.
3. They are blind because their team is about as golden and innocent as they want to believe.
4. They are ignorant because they as fans just don’t want to hear the ugly truth about how bad their team sucks or something of that nature.
How do you spot such a fan? It’s real simple. Usually they are the ones who ask some ridiculous question or make an outrageous statement on a radio program or something to that effect.
But these so-called true fans are not the only ones with this syndrome; there are a few sports writers out there who have it too and Whitlock is one of them. His analogy as to who is a greater player is preposterous and his attitude towards which Spurs player is deserving of being mentioned with a great player or coach epitomizes this very concept.
For the record and just so that you know, I don’t have much love for Whitlock after what he said about C. Vivian Stringer down at Morehouse a while back and seeing him at the AT&T Center last Thursday confirmed my disdain of what I thought about him after trying exchange pleasantries.
I’ve had friends say that he was arrogant and my suspicions were confirmed when we both walked into the arena. Everybody else was friendly but this brotha here had his own agenda going on.
But back to Whitlock’s story. As mentioned earlier it is not something that I would hang my hat on. As Ronnie Nunn told me and a friend in a local mall, “It is unfair to judge today’s players by the greatness of players from yesteryear.”
To say that Tim Duncan is better than James Worthy is unfair to both players. To say that Gregg Popovich shouldn’t be considered as great of a coach as Red Auerbach is definitely irresponsible journalism.
What a set of players may have accomplished 20 years ago is not going to be the same for players of today are able to do. Today’s players aren’t playing by those same rules.
Yet, Whitlock tries to say that this Spurs team was one of the worse basketball teams he has ever seen. I’m sorry since when did the Star send out a columnist to cover the NBA exclusively? They haven’t. Since when did winning a game that was not your style of play boring basketball?
“The Spurs were terrible Thursday night.
Duncan didn’t score a basket in the first half. He missed all five of his shots. He finished the game shooting four of 15 from the field. He shot 10 of 32 in two games in Cleveland,” Whitlock wrote in his piece.
My question to Whitlock is this: have you ever seen a team that was more balanced when they won the title?
And people want to know why the Spurs aren’t getting any love from the national press. Well here’s an answer for you: maybe it’s because many in the national press don’t know what they are looking at the majority of the time.
And this is just one more example of a “national” writer trying to put his spin on a team he does not even cover on a frequent basis.
What this article proves to me is that there will always be a “playa hata” in this business. The Spurs may be boring but they are indeed a dynasty and just because Duncan doesn’t score his points doesn’t mean he isn’t a team player.
Maybe Whitlock needs to take a good look at how many assists Duncan had in the game. Maybe he needs to realize that for a championship team, it was all about being a team player.
I’ll say it again about being a columnist. You try not to rip the city of the opponent you are covering and you definitely try to get to know the local reporters so that you can have an easy time in doing your job and get to know more about your subject matter.
Whitlock didn’t do this in San Antonio and he definitely didn’t do it in Cleveland. But then again since when does a lone wolf ever think about doing this the right way?
After all if he had the nerve to attack Stringer and say she was using that awful situation as a recruiting tool, why should I expect him to show a team that had to battle four good teams?
Truth of the matter is that I shouldn’t have and neither should any fan of the Spurs or other teams that have been on the other side of his pen stroke.