Monday, January 14, 2008

Some Basketball Randomness Part 2

After Jordan retired, my entire focus was on the Lakers. The 1998-1999 season was the first season that Kobe showed that he could be a superstar for the years to come. Good players put up good stats. Great players perform like champions in the clutch. One particular game that season that I remember quite clearly was the game between the Lakers and Warriors. Kobe's tip in of the missed free throw was absolutely amazing.

The following season Phil Jackson arrived. The Lakers pretty much ran through the entire season and Kobe solidified his status as a superstar. It was probably also Shaq's best individual season. When the playoffs began the Lakers lit the entire city of Los Angeles on fire with excitement. I was fortunate enough to attend Game 2 of the first round series between the Kings and Lakers. Those were the days when Chris Webber was a monster. Later in the playoffs, the Lakers faced the Portland Trailblazers in the conference finals. That series was one of the best if not the best playoff series I have ever seen. That game 7 will be etched in my memory for the rest of my life. After the end of the third quarter, I was so down with disappointment. But Brian Shaw, Brian Shaw, Brian Shaw!!!!!! He just went crazy during the 4th quarter. "Kobe, to Shaq!!!" After hearing those words coming out of Bob Costas's mouth was aweseom. That Blazers team commited the greatest choke job I've ever seen.

I remember listening to a local radio talk station host hoping against all hope that the Knicks would play the Lakers during the Finals. Unfortunately for him, the Pacers prevailed. Pretty much the entire country did not give the Pacers any chance of defeating the Lakers, with good reason. But like many championship series, teams are faced with roadblocks. When a team has its back against the wall, it must respond like champions. Kobe Bryant proved once and for all that he will be a force to be reckoned with. In spite of an injured ankle, Kobe stepped up and delivered.

The following season the Lakers did not roll through the league during the regular season. But the playoffs were a different story. The Lakers rolled through the playoffs without suffering a defeat. Then came Iverson and the Sixers. IMHO, Allen Iverson in his prime is the most amazing athlete I've ever seen. A guy his size having the skills and ability to score as much as he does is mind boggling.

After defeating the Sixers, the Lakers were well on their way to winning it all for a third straight year. Like the years before, the Lakers just lumbered through the regular season and turned it up during the playoffs. This was the year of the epic Lakers/Kings series. My favorite moment was Robert Horry's shot.

During game 7 of that series the Kings proved that they did not deserve to go to the finals. Their team did not perform in the clutch. Most of the players looked that they were afraid to shoot. Mike Bibby was the only exception. He almost single-handedly carried the Kings to victory. The finals series between the Lakers and Nets was absolutely anti-climactic. After the Lakers won the championship that year I thought that the Lakers would never be dethroned. And that is my NBA viewing history up til the Lakers 3peat.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Some Basketball Randomess

I havn't had time recently to make any purchases and that will probably still be the case for a few more days. So I figured I'd talk about my basketball viewing history. I started watching basketball during the 94-95 season. I was very young back then so my memory of the season is a blur at best. I do remember however watching Hakeem Olajuwon's Rockets whoop the crap out of Shaq's Magic.

That was also the year that Michael Jordan made his comeback. The following season Magic Johnson made his comeback. I remember my uncle taking me to some type of sports bar to watch the Lakers Bulls game, in other words MJ vs MJ. The only thing I remember about that game was Nick Van Exel clocking one of the refs into the scorer's table. And then came the Bull's three peat. Being a kid and a victim of the NBA's marketing machine, I couldn't help but fall in love with the Bulls.

Jordan inevitably became my idol. All his memorable playoff moments certainly fueled my admiration for him. But since I lived in Los Angeles, I also naturally supported the Lakers. My support of the Lakers eventually surpassed my liking of the Bulls when Shaquille O'neal arrived. Kobe Bryant's arrival didn't hurt as well. During their first season in a Lakers uniform, my uncle took me to my first live NBA game at the Great Western Forum. The game was between the Lakers and Raptors. Eddie Jones was the fan favorite. I remember the game going to overtime and the Lakers eventually won. But despite Shaq's and Kobe's arrival, the Lakers were constantly met with playoff disappointments. I remember very well during Kobe's rookie year when he threw up airball after airball against the Jazz in the playoffs.

^Pardon the anti-Kobe nature of the vid but I'm just trying to illustrate the disappointment I felt at the time. Meanwhile, The Bulls kept destroying the rest of the league. They already broke the regular season win record with 72. They mopped the floor with the Sonics. The following year they defeated the Utah Jazz. And then during the 97-98 playoffs, the Bulls faced the Indiana Pacers. I remember watching that series and gaining a newfound respect for Reggie Miller. That man gave Jordan a taste of his own medicine: he stuck a dagger into the opposing teams hearts.

But of course Jordan's Bulls went on the prevail. Then came the infamous series between the Bulls and Jazz and we all know what happened after that. So that was my viewing history up till Michael Jordan's last days as a Bull.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Javaris Crittenton

A little while back I made a comment about how Javaris Crittenton is the real deal. The problem with him is that he rarely gets any significant playing time to showcase his talents. Well yesterday against the Sixers, Crittenton got his chance. I know it's just one game and it's against the lowly Sixers, but this kid can score at will. He looks like a scoring pg who also happens to enjoy creating shots for others. But like all rookies he still makes mistakes. My favorite aspect of his game though is his knack for not turning the ball over too much cough Kobe cough Bryant. Along with Andrew Bynum, Crittenton is the future of the Lakers(or the team that he gets traded to).

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Youtube Vid for this blog

I created a Youtube video as a way to increase the traffic to this blog. Slowly but surely I think its working. Daily traffic to this site is increasing, though by a modest amount. You can see the Youtube vid below. Enjoy!