Monday, June 28, 2010

Not a fan of the Dog Days of Summer

For a lot of people the beginning of summer signifies great weather, pool parties, and vacations. It's a time for relaxation and fun in the sun. While I like being outside as much as anyone, for me summer represents one thing: the beginning of the worst sports period of the year.

The day the NBA Finals ends to the day football season begins is torture for me. Look, I like the Red Sox and all, but even baseball fans will admit the sport is boring.  The season is too long, there are about 15 minutes between pitches, and we expect everyone as being on or having been on steroids. Hell, Ken Griffey Jr., one of the best hitters of his generation fell asleep in the clubhouse. I'm sorry,  I tried to hold off on baseball bashing for as long as I could but there it is.

This offseason will be especially hard after the tough loss to the Lakers a couple weeks ago. Now we have to deal with the "where will Lebron go" drama and fear that a possible dynasty might be on the horizon. We also have to think about the Celtics future as a whole. The Celtics are in a difficult position right now.  Do they keep the core players in tact and add one or two role players for one more run at a title? Or do they blow it up aside from Rondo, Garnett, and Perk and try to get younger. I wouldn't want to be in Danny Ainge's shoes that's for sure.

At the end of the day I don't care what the Celtics decide to do as long as basketball starts again. I already miss the chilly December nights sitting in front of my TV watching Rondo dish out assists and Tommy scream at the refs. I miss Garnett's scowl and Ray's threes. I miss watching Celtics basketball. The best part of the year for me is November when basketball starts and football is in full swing. Let's hope this next couple months goes by quick so we can start gearing up for another run at the title.

Friday, June 25, 2010

DC is becoming superstar city

DC area sports fans are a long suffering fan base. The district hasn't won a major sports title since before Bill Clinton was president. The Redskins are the champions of the off-season every year before ultimately crumbling into mediocrity. The Wizards have the dumbest name in sports, and haven't been truly relevent since they were the Bullets. The Nationals have been bottom dwellers since they came to DC in 2005. The Capitals, while brilliant during the regular season, have continuously choked in the playoffs. Yes, the DC sports scene has been downright depressing.

Better days look to be on the horizon. Steven Strasburg has looked incredible in his first few weeks as a starter, and has single handedly brought baseball to the forefront in Washington. Alex Ovechkin is the best player in hockey and has brought the Capitals onto the national scene. With the selection of John Wall last night, the Wizards have their point guard of the future and look to be well on their way to bouncing back from the nightmare season of last year. Even the Redskins seem to be making good moves, with the addition of proven winners Donovan McNabb and Mike Shanahan. It all looks good on paper, but as we in DC know, it's a little early to get too excited.

To really turn the page and change the culture of sports here in Washington D.C, we need to get rid of a couple players. Those of course would be Albert Haynesworth and Gilbert Arenas. The first player is obvious. This guy is lazy, out of shape, and thinks he's god's gift to the world. Can he be a dominant force on the defensive line? Of course he can. But if the Redskins truly want to compete for championships they need to do away with signing these high priced free agents and bring in more character guys.

The Gilbert Arenas situation is a little more cloudy. One thing I think we can all agree on is the guy is not the sharpest tool in the shed. I don't think he's a bad person for what he did, just an idiot. The way he handled himself afterward is why people are so pissed. But the gun situation isn't the main reason I think he needs to go. I'd be willing to give him a second chance if he started becoming a leader on this team. With John Wall coming in, I'm worried having Gilbert around will hurt his progression as a point guard. Gilbert can say all the right things, but at the end of the day he wants the ball in his hands all the time. Also, let's not kid ourselves and think Gilbert is going to bring the Wizards into title contention. The guy had a couple spectacular years but is always injured and doesn't bring it every night. I say cut our losses(that contract truly is horrific) and move on to the John Wall era.

One more thing. I think John Wall is legit and will be a better pro than he was a college player. The guy has all the intangibles you need in a great point guard and I'm excited for what the Wizards can do next year if they put a few more pieces together. Though I'll always be a Boston sports fan at heart, I always have supported the DC area teams and hope the superstars can help Washington's teams live up to the hype.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Kobe/Jordan debate is ridiculous

We live in a "what have you done for me lately" society. People have short memories and often think whoever is hot at that moment is the greatest ever at whatever they do. No segment of the population is guiltier of this than sports fans. We proclaim everything as the “greatest game" or " greatest player". We are so quick to judge everything the day after it happens without putting it in any kind of context. This is exactly what is happening right now with Kobe Bryant.

Look, as much as I hate the guy, Kobe is one of the 10-15 best players of all time. But to compare him to Jordan is silly. What's even more ridiculous is making all of these comparisons before the Finals. If Kobe loses that will make him 4-3 in championship series’ and 1-2 without Shaq. That will also mean he has lost twice to his most bitter rival and three times as a favorite.

For anyone who forgets, Jordan was 6 for 6 in Finals appearances. Why are we so eager to anoint everyone the next Jordan? More than likely there will never be another player like him because the game has changed so much.

Even if Kobe wins the title this year, I don't think the Jordan comparison is applicable. Kobe spent the first part of his career as a secondary player to Shaq. Also, don't compare Scottie Pippen and Shaq please. Pippen was a great player and one of my favorites to watch, but he wasn't Shaq. Shaq is one of the most dominant players of all time and was in his prime during those title years. Also, I think we can all agree that it is much easier to win a title with a dominant big man than it is with a swing man.

At any rate, the simple fact is it's ridiculous to make statements like Kobe is better than Jordan when the facts don't back them up. The truth is if Kobe loses to the Celtics again those same writers will talk about how he has lost 3 Finals and is overrated. They will go right back on the Lebron bandwagon again. I wish people could just be more patient. These debates are fun but only when they make sense. Let's hope the Celtics crush the Lakers and end this debate once and for all.