Points in the Paint

» March 16, 2009 9:54 PM | By Brandon Hoffman
  • Kobe Bryant has never been a model teammate. I’ve watched Bryant religiously over the last twelve years and I can count on one hand the times I’ve seen him point to himself and admit to making a mistake on the court. There have numerous instances where Kobe’s chided Pau Gasol for one reason or another when the resulting turnover was clearly Bryant’s fault. But it’s one thing for me to criticize Bryant. It’s another for Smush Parker to do so. Parker appeared on MSG last summer and declared that playing for the Lakers was an “overrated experience.” When pressed to explain his opinion, Parker stated that he never had a problem with Phil Jackson, his issue was “with 24.” Parker added that “the problem” with the Lakers “start and end” with Kobe. The Kobe-Shaq feud will be won by the player with the most rings. The Kobe-Parker feud was over before it began. Kobe led the Lakers to the NBA Finals and won the MVP award last season. Smush was the 12th pick of the D-League draft after physically assaulting a female parking attendant during his stint with the Miami Heat. Game over.
  • Former Michigan State Coach Jud Heathcote on Magic Johnson:  “We just had our 30th reunion and it’s amazing, they put on the Notre Dame game and Magic knew every single play before it happened.  We challenged him on that and he said ‘I still watch those tapes whenever I’m flying from business meeting to business meeting’  in his airplane. So not much has changed with Magic, he’s still a basketball freak.”
  • Capitalizing on Nate Robinson’s performance in the slam dunk contest, Nike unveiled a LeBron James like billboard of Robinson outside of Madison Square Garden today. Alan Hahn has the scoop.
  • If this isn’t a sign of the times, I don’t know what is. The Los Angeles Lakers, who sold out all of their games last season and own the league’s highest average ticket price, have decided not to raise ticket prices next season. From Elliott Teaford of the Los Angeles Daily News:  “Following the lead of several other professional teams, the Lakers announced today that they will not raise the price of tickets for next season. ‘With the current state of the economy, we feel that increasing ticket prices would add to the financial burden that most families and individuals are suffering at this time,’ said Jeanie Buss, the Lakers’ executive vice president of business operations and daughter of team owner Jerry Buss. ‘We are determined not only to continue fielding a team that enjoys a high level of success, but also to keeping our games affordable for our loyal fans, who are the heart and soul of the team,’ she continued in a statement released by the team. ‘Although we are freezing prices for the upcoming season, rest assured that we will continue to do whatever is necessary to bring another NBA championship back to Los Angeles.’”
  • Like millions of kids, Michael Jordan was my favorite player growing up. But I had a special appreciation for guys like Reggie Miller, John Starks and Gary Payton. Miller, Starks and Payton didn’t give Jordan an inch. A lot of guys were deferential to Jordan, but not those three. They competed tooth and nail with MJ. Of those three players, pre-Lakers GP was my favorite guy to watch. ‘The Glove’ talked a good game and he backed it up. I’ll never forget Payton’s steal and dunk on MJ in the 1996 NBA Finals. Payton held Jordan to 41% shooting in that series, which was the worst NBA Finals performance of Michael’s career. Payton’s mentality served him well as a player. But it also got him into trouble at times, like when he almost hit former Seattle SuperSonics beat writer Jim Moore with an “overhand right” before Game 3 of Seattle’s first round series with the Sacramento Kings. Moore recounts the incident here. (Via Supersonicsoul)
  • Spurs.com has a great video featuring Tim Duncan at home in his native St. Croix. Duncan gives viewers a tour of “the jungle,” the outdoor court where Duncan played all of his high school basketball. The more I think about it, the more I’ve come to realize that some of the greatest players in the history of the game have come from atypical beginnings. Jordan was cut from his high school team. Bird wasn’t sure if he wanted to play college basketball after dropping out of Indiana University. And Tim Duncan, the greatest power forward of all-time, honed his game on a basket that wasn’t even ten feet tall.

2 Responses to “Points in the Paint”

  1. Tsunami Says:

    You know that logic you used to pretty much eliminate Smush Parker from saying anything negative about Kobe Bryant?

    Can we extend that logic to include:

    DeShawn Stevenson and the Washington Wizards talking about LeBron and the Cavs?

    Barkley talking about anything serious?

    Bill Mahr talking about anything serious?

    I sure hope so.

    I agree with your logic – when someone makes a fool of themselves continuously their opinions on serious matters should be completely ignored. Barkley the model politician is such a farce – he can’t even be a decent citizen.

  2. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    Tsunami:

    Are you asking me or telling me you apply the same type of logic to those situations? Lol.

    There are a few differences between what Smush did and what Deshawn and Chuck said.

    Smush can say whatever he likes. But it’s kind of like the pot calling the kettle black when Parker says that the Lakers problems started and ended with Kobe. Contrary to what Smush is trying to sell now, he didn’t get along with Phil Jackson. And he’s brooding eventually led to Jackson’s decision to bring off the bench in favor of Jordan Farmar in 2007. Phil was forced to make that decision because Parker had become a distraction.

    Kobe’s success sans Smush, and Parker’s complete implosion since leaving the Lakers pretty much destroys any credibility he has when criticizing Bryant.

    Deshawn Stevenson called LeBron James overrated. Like Parker, Stevenson is entitled to say whatever he likes as long as he can back it up. Stevenson got the better of LeBron after getting in James’ face before that game in Washington. I’m good with that. Say whatever you want afterwards, but you better continue to back it up. James torched Stevenson in the playoffs. Deshawn admitted that James isn’t overrated and to my knowledge, hasn’t said anything since. End of story.

    I think Barkley was right for calling out James for flirting about his free agency with the media. Barkley never did anything like that. If he had, it would have been like the pot calling the kettle black.

    As for as Chuck’s political aspirations took a hit because of his recent behavior. But the one thing I can say about Barkley is that he’s brutally honest. You can’t say that about too many politicians.

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