Top 10 NBA Players Of All-Time

lebron finals

Upon Lebron James’ arrival to his 7th consecutive NBA Finals, I began brainstorming. If Lebron won the Finals (which no one in their right mind thought he would), where would he rank on the all-time list?? Lebron lost, however, his career accomplishments still rank amongst the greatest to ever play the game. Naturally, this leaves us with only 1 thing to do. Make a list of the top 10 NBA Players of All-Time. This list will consider everything these players have accomplished until present day. Since Lebron is still active, you must read this list as if the NBA were to cease to exist tomorrow. Do not take into account the potential for the rest of Lebron’s career, as that would create a bias. He’s not done climbing the list Lebron fans..relax.

Since the association became the NBA (National Basketball Association) in 1949, there have been a host of amazing players to grace the hardwood. However, a small group of living legends stand out from the rest. Why do they stand out?? What makes them the best?? It is a combination of their physical skills, ability to win, and intangibles (heart/leadership/will to win). I will take all of these factors into account. I will be looking at the complete makeup of each player and what made/makes them great.

Any list must start with honorable mentions. We must pay homage to the men just outside the top 10, for their contributions also brought the game to new levels.

Honorable Mentions

  • Oscar Robertson
  • Hakeem Olajuwon
  • Karl Malone
  • Elgin Baylor
  • Julius Erving
  • Jerry West

Oscar Robertson not making the list was the toughest decision I made today. The “Big O”‘s numbers speak for themselves, as he is the all-time leader in triple-doubles (181). Hakeem is next on my tough decision list. There are only 10 spots!! It’s not my fault!! Hakeem “The Dream” had the smoothest skillset we’ve ever seen from the center position. Combine that with amazing shot-blocking ability, and you’re looking at a top 5 center of all-time. Elgin Baylor and Karl Malone fall into the same category, no championship..no list. Sorry. The “Mailman” is 2nd on the all-time scoring list thanks to his scoring ability and longevity (19 seasons), however he had the unfortunate pleasure of playing at the same time as Michael Jordan. Baylor was one of the most talented players you never saw play, however was also unfortunate to play against the likes of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. Baylor made 8 NBA Finals appearances and came away empty handed. Julius Erving (“Dr. J”) could have made the list had he not played 5 seasons in the ABA. He was an innovator and should not be overlooked when discussing the history of the NBA. Jerry West IS the NBA logo. Enough said.

Now, without further a due, I present the top 10 NBA Players of All-Time:

shaq

 

10.) Shaquille O’Neal (Shaq, The Diesel, Shaq Fu, Shaq Daddy, Superman)
19 NBA Seasons – 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 58.2 FG%, 52.7 FT%

The Diesel. Enough said?? This nickname speaks for itself. Shaq was the most physically dominant force the NBA has ever seen. He was an unstoppable wrecking ball that could only be slowed (or fouled) but couldn’t be stopped. Watching Shaq, in his prime, was something special. For a man of his stature, he showed an amazing amount of offensive skills. He won a few games along the way too. He won 4 Championships, 1 MVP, and 3 Finals’ MVPs. It is no surprise he won Rookie of the Year in 1993. And who doesn’t want a strategy named after them (?)….’Hack A Shaq’.

history_summary_russell

9.) Bill Russell (Russ)

13 NBA Seasons – 15.1 points, 22.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 44 FG%, 56.1 FT%

Bill Russell will always be the ultimate winner. He led the Boston Celtics teams of the 1950’s and 60’s to 11 Championships in 13 years. While he played with some great teammates over the years, he is regarded as the best defensive center of all-time (Wilt may have something to say about that). He is also one of the best rebounders ever. It was Russell’s intangibles though, such as leadership, that put him head and shoulders above the rest. During Russell’s era, they didn’t keep track of Finals’ MVPs, however, I can safely say he would have won 4 of them (I did my research..don’t worry). In a time where Wilt Chamberlain dominated the NBA statistically, it shows how impressive Bill Russell’s Championship tenure was.

tim duncan

8.) Tim Duncan (Timmy, The Big Fundamental)

19 NBA Seasons – 19.0 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, 50.6 FG%, 69.6 FT%

Tim Duncan had (shhhh..very quietly) one of the most impressive careers in NBA history. He is without question the best power forward ever (sorry Karl). By they way, his nickname should be “The Bank”. Have you ever seen anyone shoot a better, more effective jump-shot off the backboard than Tim Duncan?? Without dominating the game physically, or landing on highlight reels, Tim Duncan did 1 thing better than most; win. He won 5 Championships, 2 MVPs, and 3 Finals’ MVPs. He also won the Rookie of the Year in 1998. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, “Timmy” was also one of the best defensive power forwards ever.

kobe

7.) Kobe Bryant (Black Mamba)

20 NBA Seasons – 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 44.7 FG%, 83.7 FT%

While there will only be one Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant came pretty close. Kobe emulated Jordan in as many ways as possible. That’s not a knock on Kobe, that’s just plain smart. Kobe was as talented a scorer as you’ll ever see, and was also one of the best on-ball defenders ever. Don’t forget, he jumped straight from high school to the NBA. The only other person on this list to do that is Lebron. Kobe was an assassin. His desire to win and cutthroat attitude was seemingly unparalleled. He liked to win, and did plenty of it. The “Black Mamba” won 5 Championships, 1 MVP (he deserved more), and 2 Finals’ MVPs.

larry-bird

6.) Larry Bird (Larry Legend, The Hick From French Lick)

13 NBA Seasons – 24.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 49.6 FG%, 88.6 FT%

Magic and Bird. The best rivalry in NBA history, and my personal favorite NBA era. Larry Bird is regarded as one the best shooters the NBA has ever seen (until Steph Curry that is, haha). Bird didn’t just shoot. He possessed a special all around skillset. He is the only player in NBA history to hold career averages of more than 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. He was also an extremely underrated defender, as his anticipation on the court was unmatched. Just like Magic, his career was cut short. Bird dealt with chronic back problems late in his career (he still averaged over 20 points per game in the last season of his career). His heart and competitive spirit willed his team to victory time and time again. Bird won 3 Championships, 3 MVPs, and 2 Finals’ MVPs. He also won Rookie of the Year in 1980.

lebron dunk

5.) Lebron James (King James)

14 NBA Seasons (Active) –  27.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 50.1 FG%, 74.0 FT%

Lebron James entered the NBA straight out of high school. The level of expectations put on his shoulders as a teenager was unparalleled. To say Lebron has simply exceeded expectations would be the understatement of the century. He is one of the most complete players..ever. He can do it all. If he wanted to lead the league in assists, he would. Rebounds, he would. Points, well I think you get the point. He just became the 1st player in NBA history to average a triple-double in the Finals. I don’t have enough paper real estate to list all of his accomplishments, so let’s understand his work in this league is far from done. Lebron has won 3 Championships, 4 MVPs, and 3 Finals’ MVPs. He also has the 2004 Rookie of the Year Award floating around somewhere. Stay tuned….

wilt-chamberlain

4.) Wilt Chamberlain (Wilt The Stilt)

14 NBA Seasons – 30.1 points, 22.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 54.0 FG%, 51.1 FT%

The best center of all-time?? Kareem or Wilt?? It is nearly impossible to definitively answer this question. Wilt Chamberlain was the most dominant force in NBA history. He famously holds the record for most points scored in one game (100), a record I doubt will EVER be broken. Another record that will NEVER be broken: Chamberlain averaged over 50 points in a season (and didn’t even win the NBA MVP – yeah the NBA knows what it’s doing). Oh yeah, Wilt didn’t like being told he couldn’t do something. When the buzz around the league was Wilt was a ball hog, he led the league in assists the following season. It’s a shame in Wilt’s era MVP’s were given to a player on the championship team, because no one knows how many MVP’s Wilt could have won. Even with that obstacle, he still managed to win 4 MVP awards, 2 NBA Championships, and 1 Finals MVP. Wilt was also one of those players who burst right on to the scene, winning the Rookie of the Year in 1960. Wilt was a transcendent talent. If you dropped him in the NBA right now, I’d bet good money he’d still be the best center in the league.

Abdul-Jabbar takes sky hook

3.) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Cap)

20 NBA Seasons – 24.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.6 blocks, 55.9 FG%, 72.1 FT%

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the centerpiece of the Lakers Championships of the 1980’s.  He was part of their 5 Championships in the 80’s. He also won a Championship with the Milwaukee Bucks prior to playing with the Lakers. He was a true innovator. He perfected an unstoppable move, the sky hook, which helped him become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. Kareem was a star from the second he entered the league and was named Rookie of the Year in 1970 (averaging 28.8 points and 14.4 rebounds). Of the long list of Kareem’s accolades, I find a center shooting over 72% from the free-throw line highly impressive. He was an outstanding all around player, showcasing offensive and defensive skills throughout his 20-year career. Kareem won 6 Championships, was MVP a record breaking 6 times, and won 2 Finals’ MVPs.

magic-johnson-lakers-fast-break

2.) Earvin Johnson (Magic)

12 NBA Seasons – 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 11.2 assists, 52 FG%, 84.8 FT %

As the leader of the “Showtime” Lakers, Magic Johnson reinvented the fast break. He revolutionized the point guard position.  Standing 6’9” tall, Magic was a nightmare match-up for anyone who tried to guard him. Well, they didn’t guard him they only slowed him down, sometimes. Larry Bird was his most formidable opponent, but the Lakers got the better of that rivalry. He brought power forward size and strength to the point guard position (and even played center in the 1980 NBA Finals). He is second all-time (to Oscar Robertson) in career triple-doubles (138). It is a tragedy Magic’s career was cut short due to his battle with HIV. Magic won 5 championships, 3 MVPs, and 3 Finals’ MVPs. Just like Michael Jordan, one can only imagine the potential accomplishments if he played another 4 or 5 seasons.

Michael-jordan

1.) Michael Jordan (MJ, Air Jordan)

15 NBA Seasons – 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 49.7 FG %, and 83.5 FT%

What can be said about Michael Jordan that hasn’t been said already?? Michael Jordan is hands down the greatest basketball player to ever walk the face of the planet. He was a one-time Defensive Player of the Year and regarded as the best defender at his position in NBA history. One of his most impressive feats is his perfect 6 for 6 record in the Finals. In each of those finals, he NEVER allowed a series to reach a decisive 7th game. If that is not the epitome of greatness, I don’t know what is. What you also have to remember is Jordan retired TWICE, in his prime, which caused him to miss nearly five full seasons. Imagine if he never retired and played straight through the age of 40 (where he averaged over 20 points)?! I think it’s fair to say he would have won at least 2 more MVPs and 2 more Championships. He won 6 NBA Championships, 5 MVP’s, and 6 Finals’ MVPs. Jordan won Rookie of the Year in 1985. All others can strive to Be Like Mike, but there will always be 1 Michael Jordan.

 

What do you think of my list?? Like it, love it, or hate it?? Either way, get your feelings off your chest in the comment section below. I’ll also be looking for your list, so make sure to post it in the comments as well.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Top Ten NBA Centers of All-Time

Throughout the history of the NBA, the center position has always been vital to the success of an NBA franchise.  As the game of basketball has evolved, the prototypical center has changed.  In today’s NBA, the position is not as important as it used to be.  NBA teams used to build around a center who could dominate at both ends of the floor.  This list is meant to rank the Top Ten NBA Centers of All-Time.

 

Honorable Mention

Patrick Ewing, Dave Cowens, Walt Bellamy, and Wes Unseld.

 

10.) George Mikan (Mr. Basketball)

mikan

6 NBA Seasons – 22.3 points, 13.4 rebounds, 40.1 FG%, 78.4 FT%

4x All-Star, 5 NBA Championships

George Mikan was truly an innovator.  He was Russell before Russell, and Wilt before Wilt.  He was the centerpiece to the NBA’s first dynasty; the Minneapolis Lakers of the 1950’s.  They won 4 NBA Championships in 5 years.  Mikan was known as a hard nosed player on both ends of the floor, and was known to play through broken bones.  As time goes on, his name fades into the background, but we must pay homage to those who helped paved the way for the future.  Without the innovation of George Mikan, there is no telling what superstars the NBA would have missed out on.

 

9.) Elvin Hayes (The Big E)

hayes

16 NBA Seasons – 21.0 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 45.2 FG%, 67.0 FT%

12x All-Star, 1 NBA Championship

Elvin Hayes was Bret Favre and Deion Sanders wrapped into 1 player.  He did it all.  Over his 16 year career, Hayes only missed 9 games.  He was also a great two way player, with his tenacious defense and consistent scoring.  Hayes is still top 10 in points scored, rebounds, and field goals made.  What’s most impressive about those numbers is that Hayes is the shortest center on this list, standing just 6’9″ tall.

 

8.) David Robinson (The Admiral)

robinson

14 NBA Seasons – 21.1 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, 51.8 FG%, 73.6 FT%

10x All-Star, 1x NBA MVP, 2 NBA Championships, 1990 Rookie of the Year , 1x Defensive Player of the Year

He was the definition of an all around player and as consistent as they come.  Standing at a lean 7’1″ tall, Robinson posed a threat at both ends of the floor.  If it weren’t for that guy Dikembe Mutumbo, there is no telling how many Defensive Player of the Year awards he would have won.  Robinson made up one half of the twin towers, along side Tim Duncan, en route to 2 NBA championships.  Robinson’s rise to stardom had to wait as he honorably served in the NAVY for 2 years prior to the start of his playing career.  Robinson’s all around talents produced one of the most impressive performances of all time.  On February 17th, 1994, Robinson became only the 5th player ever to record a quadruple double (34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 blocks).

 

7.) Willis Reed (The Captain)

reed

10 NBA Seasons – 18.7 points, 12.9 rebounds, 47.6 FG%, 74.7 FT%

7x All-Star, 1x NBA MVP, 2 NBA Championships, 2x NBA Final’s MVP, 1965 Rookie of the Year

Willis Reed was “The Captain” before Derek Jeter was even born.  Reed proved to be a leader and a clutch performer throughout his career.  As an undersized center, at 6’10”, Reed was able to bang with the best of them under the boards.  Offensively, he showed a rare combination of power and finesse around the rim.  This style of play led to many battles with Wilt Chamberlain and the Los Angeles Lakers.  The first of these battles came in the best year of Willis Reed’s career; 1970.  He was in the prime of his career, he won the regular season MVP, and was carrying his team through the playoffs.  Then he got hurt.  Up until that moment, Reed had dominated the first 4 games of the NBA Finals (averaging 31.75 points per game).  What transpired next turned Reed into a living legend.  Reed famously hobbled from the locker room during game 7 to score 4 of the most courageous points in NBA Final’s history.

 

6.) Moses Malone (Chairman of the Boards)

malone

19 NBA Seasons – 20.6 points,  12.2 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, 49.1 FG%, 76.9 FT%

12x All-Star, 3x NBA MVP, 1 NBA Championship, 1x NBA Final’s MVP

In 1974, Moses Malone became the first player to be drafted to the NBA directly out of high school.  After 2 seasons with the ABA, Malone transitioned to the NBA.  Over the next 19 seasons, Malone proved to be one of the best scorers and rebounders the game has ever seen.  Upon entering the league, Malone was an undersized 6’10”, 215 pounds, but that didn’t stop him from averaging 13.4 rebounds that year.  When Malone retired in 1995, he ranked in the top 10 in points scored, rebounds, games played, minutes played, and free throws made.

 

5.) Hakeem Olajuwon (The Dream)

olajuwon

18 NBA Seasons – 21.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, 3.1 blocks, 51.2 FG%, 71.2 FT%

12x All-Star, 1x NBA MVP, 2 NBA Championships, 2x NBA Final’s MVP, 2x Defensive Player of the Year

Here’s one #1 overall draft pick that lived up to the hype.  Hakeem Olajuwon possessed a unique skillset that may never be seen again from a ‘true’ center.  His smooth offensive game was a thing of beauty, while at the same time, he became the NBA’s most prolific shot blocker (he is still the career blocks leader in the NBA).  He is also the only player in NBA history to win the Defensive Player of the Year award, NBA MVP award, win a championship, and be named the NBA Final’s MVP in the same season (1994).  The only knock on Olajuwon is that he only won a championship when Michael Jordan was on hiatus from the NBA.  Other than that side note, Hakeem The Dream was everything you’d wish for in a center.

 

4.) Shaquille O’Neal (Shaq, The Diesel, Shaq Fu, Shaq Daddy, Superman)

shaq

19 NBA Seasons – 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 58.2 FG%, 52.7 FT%

15x All-Star, 1x NBA MVP, 4 NBA Championships, 3x NBA Final’s MVP, 1993 Rookie of the Year

The Diesel.  Enough said?  Shaq was easily the most physically dominant force the NBA has ever seen.  He was like an unstoppable wrecking ball that could only be slowed (or ‘hack a shaq’d’), but couldn’t be stopped.  Watching Shaq play in his prime was something special.  He showed an amazing amount of offensive skills for a man of his size.  Also, his 58.2% shooting from the field is the third highest mark in NBA history.  But most importantly, he may be the #1 interview of all time.

 

3.) Bill Russell (Bill)

russell

13 NBA Seasons – 15.1 points, 22.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 44 FG%, 56.1 FT%

12x All-Star, 5x NBA MVP, 11 NBA Championships

Bill Russell will always be known as the ultimate winner.  He was part of the Boston Celtics dynasty of the 1950’s and 60’s that won 11 championships in 13 seasons.  While he played with some great teammates over the years, he is regarded as the best defensive center of all time.  He is also one of the best rebounders in the history of the game (ranking 2nd all time).  It was Russell’s intangibles, such as his leadership, that made him stand out.  During Russell’s era, they didn’t keep track of NBA Final’s MVP’s, however by my research, I believe he would have won 4 NBA Final’s MVPs.  They also did not record blocks in Russell’s playing days, but it is said that Wilt and Russell would have had double digit blocks every night.  In an era when Wilt Chamberlain was the NBA’s best player, it shows how impressive Bill Russell’s run of championships was.  He continuously went head to head with Wilt Chamberlain and came out on top.

 

2.) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Cap)

kareem

20 NBA Seasons – 24.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.6 blocks, 55.9 FG%, 72.1 FT%

19x All-Star, 6x NBA MVP, 6 NBA Championships, 6x NBA Finals MVP, 1970 Rookie of the Year

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the centerpiece of the Lakers championships in the 1980′s.  He was part of all 5 of their championship titles in the 80′s, and also won a title with the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1970’s.  Kareem still holds the record for winning the most NBA MVP awards (6), while also remaining the NBA’s all time leading scorer.  He was a true innovator to the game of basketball.  During his career, he perfected an unstoppable move called the sky hook.  Kareem was a star from the second he entered the league and was the runaway Rookie of the Year in 1970 (averaging 28.8 points and 14.4 rebounds).  He was an outstanding all around player, showcasing his offensive and defensive skills throughout his 20 year career.

 

1.) Wilt Chamberlain (Wilt The Stilt)

wilt

14 NBA Seasons – 30.1 points, 22.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 54 FG%, 51.1 FT%

13x All-Star, 4x NBA MVP, 2 NBA Championships, 1x NBA Finals MVP, 1960 Rookie of the Year

One of the most difficult decisions I had to make was Kareem vs. Wilt.  It is difficult to definitively state who the best center in the history of the NBA is, but Wilt Chamberlain was one of the most dominant forces in NBA history.  He famously holds the record for most points scored in a game (100), a record that I believe will NEVER be broken.  During the 1961-62 season, Chamberlain averaged over 50 points for the entire season, another feat that will probably never happen again (he didn’t even win the NBA MVP that year!).  It’s a shame that MVPs were usually given to a member of the championship team, because no one knows how many MVP’s Wilt would have won otherwise.  Even with that obstacle, Wilt still managed to win 4 NBA MVP awards.  The different era’s of the NBA vary greatly, but I if you put Wilt in today’s NBA, he would undoubtedly be the best center in the league (sorry Dwight).  And, if all that isn’t impressive enough, Wilt led the NBA in total assists for an entire season!!  Oh yeah, and Wilt just happens to be the NBA’s all time rebounding leader as well.  These things make Wilt the greatest center to ever play in the NBA.

 

Please leave your comments or post your own list in the comment section below.  Thanks!!

 

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

NBA Talk Coming Soon….

DaveTalksSports.com is Back!!

Coming soon: My list of the Top Ten NBA Centers of All-Time

Also, check back for my breakdown of the New York Knicks less than stellar start to the 2014 NBA season.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Lebron James Returns To Cleveland

lebron

 

The wait is over!!  The most anticipated sports story possibly of all-time has culminated in 3 simple words: “I’m Coming Home.”  As you all know, these words were spoken today by basketball’s best player, Lebron James.  This announcement came not in the form of an ego driven, poorly thought out press conference, but in an essay, written for Lebron, by Lee Jenkins via SportsIllustrated.com.  The essay can be found here: http://www.si.com/nba/2014/07/11/lebron-james-cleveland-cavaliers   There is so much to dissect and express from this situation it is hard to know where to start, but let me try starting with Lebron the player.

Lebron James is the best player in the world and has been for quite some time now.  Lebron James would have been welcomed with open arms anywhere he decided to go, except for maybe Cleveland (which is what some of us thought before this decision).  We now know that is untrue.  Despite the most complicated player-city relationship in the history of sports, despite the burning of his jerseys, despite the angriest letter (compliments of Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert) we’ve ever seen, and despite The Decision 4 years ago, every person in Cleveland seems to be ecstatic, and there is a 100% approval rate that Lebron is returning to Cleveland.  Maybe I’m being too negative, or maybe I’m not giving people enough credit, but I’m SHOCKED that there isn’t ONE person that is pumping the brakes and saying, woah woah woah, you may be great, but we aren’t about to forget what you did to us just 4 short years ago.  Trust me, I understand the expression: ‘Forgive, but never forget’, but it seems like Cleveland has already done both instantaneously.  Now I also understand that Cleveland is not a city rich in championships, and they are a passionate sports city that would do virtually anything to end that drought, but where is the self-respect?  Do none of you remember those feelings of hatred and anger that filled your souls in 2010?  Again, Lebron James is the best player in the world and this move makes The Cleveland Cavaliers instant competitors, but something about it leaves an uneasy feeling in my stomach.  As far as where the Cavaliers stand now, the Las Vegas odds makers have already thrown Cleveland to the top of the favorites to win the 2015 NBA championship list (they are going off at 3-1 as of right now).

Next, let’s talk about Lebron James the man.  By all accounts he seems like a really good guy.  He came straight out of high school to the NBA (which doesn’t always end so well) and adjusted to that seamlessly.  He has never been arrested.  He isn’t running around drinking, partying, and getting in trouble all the time.  He seems to be all about basketball all the time.  And for those reasons, I, along with the rest of the sports world, love and appreciate his passion and dedication to the game.  When it’s all said and done he will be one of the top 10 players of all-time and potentially top 3 of all-time.  However, I am seeing a different side of this story than virtually everyone else in the world.  Sports writers, sports radio hosts, ESPN insiders, and just about everyone in the world are calling this a great day for sports.  I’m here to tell you why I’m not buying it.  Go ahead everyone, start killing me for it; I don’t mind.

Obviously this is certainly an amazing day for the Cleveland Cavaliers, that’s a no brainer.  There is just something about Lebron James, the actor, that doesn’t sit right with me.  I think that The Decision 4 years ago was a horrendous, slow-motion train wreck that should have been avoided.  It was a selfish act by the self-proclaimed king, who cared more about getting the ‘win an NBA title’ monkey off his back, than he did loyalty.  I know real loyalty doesn’t really exist in sports, but it does when you’re born and raised somewhere, drafted in that city, and then marked as the savior there as well.  I see today as a selfish act as well.  I think his essay was calculated from the title, all the way down to every last dotted i and crossed t.  He said what he had to say to Miami to keep them from jumping down his throat for leaving, and he definitely told Cleveland everything they wanted to hear for why he is “returning home.”  I believe he cares more about his image here than anything else.  If he truly cared as much about Cleveland as he claims, he wouldn’t have left in the first place.  Yes, everyone makes mistakes, which even he acknowledged, but I know what it’s like to have an allegiance and loyalty to your home, and I can’t picture ever leaving.  And I am not Lebron James (shocker I know).  I don’t effect my towns economy and the state of mind of every person in it.  Even a selfish, misguided, immature 25 year old can understand that.  As for the basketball moves he’s made over the past 4 years, first he said I can’t win a title by myself.  Okay fine, maybe that one isn’t so bad.  Almost no one has won an NBA championship by themselves, but did he really need to create his own personal all-star team just to capture his elusive first title?  And what I see today, rather than let me try to win a title for my city, is now that I finally have my own championship rings, let me make my way back home where suddenly my hometown is good enough for me again.   Again, maybe I’m reaching, nitpicking, and scrutinizing Lebron James’ every move too much, but I’m sorry, I’m just not buying what Lebron James is selling.

 

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

One Liner Fridays

tanaka

Good morning everyone, and welcome to the end of the work week (for most of us).  Every Friday, I like to infuse a little humor into everyone’s lives.  Here you will find the past week in sports wrapped up in one line, and one line only.  Enjoy!!

 

No no no, it’s okay Lebron take your time, your decision probably doesn’t effect anyone else but yourself…..

 

Do you think that Chandler Parsons wakes up every morning and throws darts at a picture of Lebron James’ face?

 

Side note that is almost related to what we are talking about: Do you think Chris Bosh knows he is the ugliest man in the world??

bosh-face

 

All you could muster up was 41 consecutive scoreless inning pitched, Clayton Kershaw??

 

Man do you suck.

 

I just want to say something, I’m gonna put this out there, if you like it you can keep it and if u don’t just throw it right back, “I am ready to take Masahiro Tanaka’s spot in the Yankees rotation.”

 

Still wondering how someone can win a fight in just 16 seconds???

 

I would explain it to you, but I figured I’d just let Ronda Rousey show you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kp1iYmbWCo

 

Wait, you are going to subject us to more soccer??

 

NO!!!!!!!!

 

Which was worse, watching a 7-1 rout or watching probably the most poorly played World Cup Semifinal match in history resulting in 0 goals in 120 minutes??

 

Surprise Surprise, MLB has changed the format of The Home Run Derby….again.

 

They change The Home Run Derby more times than Richard Pryor changed wives (this guy got married 9 different times)!!!!

 

No story was more entertaining this past week than the fat bastard Yankees fan who is suing the Yankees and ESPN for $10 million because he decided to take a nap at a baseball game.

 

I’d continue to make fun of him, but I think his picture says it all:

fat man

 

Well this has been another edition of One Liner Fridays.  I hope you enjoyed them.  If you have a One Liner of your own you’d like to add, please leave one in the comment section below.  Thanks for reading!!

 

 

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!     

 

Any Day Now……

NBA: All Star Game

 

It’s funny how in the world of Social Media and the instantaneous reaction it feels like we’ve been enduring the process of NBA Free Agency for forever now, but in reality, teams have only legally been allowed to talk to players for 9 days.  And players are only allowed to officially ink deals as of today, July 10th at 12:01 a.m.  It only seems like forever since Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James opted out of their contracts because we talk about it every second of every day.  Between sports talk radio, twitter, and the nonstop “updates” from Chris Broussard, Brian Windhorst, and Marc Stein on ESPN every 4 minutes, we have had Lebron speculation shoved down our throats all day long.  And that’s all this is; speculation.  Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, and the rest of this years free agents are taking their time with their decisions, and rightfully so, as this is potentially the biggest decision of their lives. 

 

We all know the rumors swirling around Lebron, Melo, and Chris Bosh:  Lebron could return “home”  to Cleveland (believe it or not Akron and Cleveland are not the same place), Chris Bosh could return “home” by going to the Houston Rockets (he’s actually from Dallas), and Melo can do the only thing he was ever going to do and stay in NY.   There are many other outside possibilities of what is going to transpire, but I unlike the rest of the world, am going to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.  That show should start today when Melo re-signs with the Knicks.  I mean, cbssports.com already prematurely broke the story that Melo will be re-signing with the Knicks, but hey maybe he’ll go play for the coach-less Lakers (because that’s a real option).

 

The most unfortunate part in all of this is that when someone wins (as in winning their free agent of choice), someone else has to lose.  And this is the part where you can bust out your violin for the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Cleveland is probably being duped once again.  Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice……you know how the rest of that one goes.  Not only is Cleveland banking on Lebron’s desire to return home, but they are clearing cap space to ensure that they have enough money to sign Lebron James.  Let me just say that the only way Lebron is going back to Cleveland is if Kevin Love somehow gets traded there this week and agrees to sign a long term deal.  Good luck.  As much fun as all this speculation is, we are just going to have to take a chill pill and wait out these decisions.  Once again, if you actually pull out the calendar, we haven’t been waiting that long.  The funniest part to all this is we are most likely going to watch all of this hype suddenly fizzle out when every major free agent ends up staying put.  That would be funny wouldn’t it?   

 

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!     

 

Eastern Conference Finals Recap: Game 1

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Well, who saw that coming?  Who expected an offensive explosion from the often anemic Indiana Pacers offense?  I know I didn’t.  The Pacers starting five averaged just shy of 38 minutes each and all scored in double digits (yes, even Roy Hibbert scored in double digits).  This helped lead The Pacers to a 107-96 win Sunday afternoon over The Miami Heat.  History usually dictates that when Dwyane Wade plays well, the Heat win, however, it appears that just Lebron James and Dwyane Wade isn’t enough to beat a Pacers team when firing on all cylinders.  With that being said, let us talk about what The Pacers accomplished in Game 1.

 

The Pacers managed an astounding 42.1% shooting from 3-point range.  Their regular season average from downtown was only 38.2%.  They also only averaged 92.5 points per game during the regular season, so the 107 points they put up in Game 1 was also somewhat of an anomaly.  The entire Pacers roster played well, and they do have the size to counteract The Miami Heat’s smaller, more athletic lineup, however, I don’t foresee The Pacers sustaining this level of offensive efficiency.  I also don’t believe that Chris Bosh will score only 9 points per game and continue to go 0 for the century from downtown (he went 0-5 from 3-point range in Game 1).  The Heat also have a very solid track record when losing the 1st game of a playoff series.  In the 2013 playoffs, they lost the 1st game in 2 out of their 3 series (against The Chicago Bulls and The San Antonio Spurs).  The Heat went on to sweep the rest of The Bulls series and they went on to beat The Spurs as well to capture their 2nd straight NBA Championship.

 

Today, most people will be overreacting to The Miami Heat’s Game 1 loss, but I, as I’m sure you have already figured out, will not be.  As much as I would enjoy The Heat losing in The Eastern Conference Finals, not only for my own personal enjoyment but for the mass hysteria that would cause, I just don’t see it happening.  I believe Lebron James (aka the best player on the planet) will put his team on his shoulders, and on Wednesday morning, everyone will be seated (with arms and legs inside the vehicle) securely BACK on The Miami Heat bandwagon.  You can catch Game 2 of The Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday night @ 8:30  P.M. on ESPN.  Can’t wait to watch more basketball until then?  Then tune into TNT tonight @ 9:00 P.M. to catch The Oklahoma City Thunder take on The San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of The Western Conference Finals.  That should be a highly competitive, fun series to watch as well.  Enjoy!

 

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!