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Posts Tagged ‘Magic Johnson’

Questioning LeBron’s Need for Rest

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LeBron

I have no doubt having your superstars fresh and full of energy is the way every coach wants to enter the NBA Playoffs. That’s understandable. However, the fact the Cleveland Cavaliers gave LeBron James the last three games off — games the Cavaliers lost, by the way — to rest him before the postseason starts begs a question: Did Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, or John Stockton, to name a few, ever take games off to get some rest? If they did, I certainly don’t remember it.

Granted, my reaction is a little knee-jerk-y, but I did check out some stats from Basketball Reference.com, and while these players missed various amounts of games, Bird and Magic especially, the reasons were injury-related, not to simply give them a break from the regular season grind. I’ll further grant the Cavaliers have nothing to play for either. No one in the East is going to catch them for the NBA’s best record, nor is anyone from the West.

Nevertheless, if the Jordan/Pippen-led Bulls had a game against the team that stomped the Bulls out of the playoffs the year previous, you’d think Phil Jackson would have to physically restrain Jordan and Pippen to keep them out of the game. Perhaps I’m simply being nostalgic, and my glowing memory is overreacting, or simply remembering it wrong, but for the life of me, I do not remember seeing this next to Michael Jordan’s name during the regular season: DNP Coach’s Decision (Rest).

Not ever.

This includes the Bulls’ 72-10 season as well. In fact, during the final two games of their record-breaking regular season, Jordan played 31 and 24 minutes, respectively.

ESPN Nails NBA Finals Promotion

NBA Finals
Click for bigger image

Here’s a nice find by Awful Announcing demonstrating the Disney brand’s creativity when it comes to promoting the NBA Finals. Coming from a person who is beginning to despise the Kobe/LeBron meme, it’s nice to see the folks at ESPN/ABC/Disney get this one right. Granted, if the Lakers and Cleveland do happen to make it the Finals, I can see this image being altered to feature alternating pictures of King and Mamba.

You know it’s true, so you might as well embrace it.

In case you are having a hard time figuring out who’s who — if so, it might be time for a remedial course in NBA basketball, but I digress — we have Jordan, Alcindor, Bird, Garnett, Shaq, Russell, and Magic… Just not in that order.

Correcting M&Ms

MMs Ad

Earlier today, Darren Rovell introduced to a March Madness-related ad from M&Ms. In it, they used the likenesses of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird to celebrate the occasion. Unfortunately, the guys at Mars, Inc. used their professional colors instead of, you know, their college colors. Magic in yellow is, of course, a nod to his Laker years, much like the Celtic green with Bird. The problem is, Bird’s college colors are blue and Magic’s are green. I understand the mistake–to a point.

Yes, both are synonymous with their professional teams, but seeing how they took part in one of the most important National Championship games ever–in effect, bringing March Madness to the masses–wanting to see Bird and Magic’s M&M avatar in their collegiate colors is only natural. With that in mind, I thought I’d do some quick-and-dirty color alterations in an effort to correct this oversight. Magic’s green is a little light for Michigan State, but you get the picture.

It’s better than using professional colors for a college basketball event.

See the original ad and the same complaint here. And here.

NBA Finals: Magic and Larry Give Way To Kobe and KG

NBA Finals

Hey, look. It’s the IF NBA Finals preview post. Well, not so much a preview but more of an “It’s about damn time” post. If you are a follower of the sports blogosphere, you’ve undoubtedly seen a number of NBA previews already. Some are discussing the history between these teams (30 titles between them… if you count the Minneapolis days) and the players involved, while others are looking directly at the two teams playing each other.

One thing’s for sure, this trip down memory lane, reliving my formative years growing up on Lakers/Celtics/Magic-versus-Bird NBA Finals before that gave way to Michael has been an absolute blast. However, there’s real basketball being played tonight and while it’s nice to reminisce, it’s time to embrace the present and future of the NBA, which will be on full display tonight.

In the home court advantage corner, we have the Boston Celtics. You know the players — KG, Pierce, Jesus Shuttlesworth, Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins. In the other corner, we have the Los Angeles Lakers. Phil Jackson, Kobe, Pau, Lamar, Fish, Vlad Rad and the rest of the gang. There are no mysteries here. No surprises. It’s time to get this damn thing rolling.

Finally.

So, who ya got? Boston? LA? KG? Kobe?

If you wondering about me, check out With Malice’s preview because they asked a number of bloggers about who we got (yes, that’s really bad English) and I was lucky enough to be amongst those asked. Although, if you aren’t the patient type, I picked the Lakers in six games and my reasoning had to do with too much Kobe and the Derek Fisher/Rajon Rondo match-up.

I have a feeling Fish will abuse Rondo this series. We’ll see. However, the most convincing argument I’ve heard for the Celtics almost made me change my mind. Last night, Tim Legler mentioned Boston’s inside advantage and that got me thinking — are you really expecting Pau and Lamar to stop Perkins and Garnett? Really? Granted, no one is going to stop Kobe, but that’s the only place the Lakers hold a clear advantage when it comes to personnel — Rondo and Fish, notwithstanding.

For me, the Rondo/Fisher thing has more to do about experience than it does ability. Obviously Rondo is more athletic than Fisher but even more obvious is Fish’s level of experience when it comes to Rajon’s. Derek Fisher already owns three rings. He knows about what it takes to win on this stage and if Rondo gambles too much, Derek Fisher will punish him and the Celtics.

In closing, all I can say is, “Damn, I’m glad it’s Thursday.” I’m tired of waiting, thinking and talking about what’s going to happen in this series. It’s time to find out.