Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Kobe Is a Chucker, But It's Better Than Being A Statutory Rapist

Newsflash: Roger Clemens is a scumbag and a liar. If all of the years of throwing at people's heads, taking steroids and lying about both, and negotiating into contracts that he not travel with his teams weren't enough to convince you, now it appears that when he was 28, he began sleeping with a 15-year-old girl. He was married and the affair lasted 10-years. He denies every word of the story; she says every word is true. Does anyone buy his good 'ole country boy honesty in his steroid/lying to Congress story now - it's like Cush's dad saying his word is stronger than oak and then signing a contract with Bob Sugar the night before the draft.

Speaking of adulterers, I had to watch the Lakers-Nuggets game last night as the profanity censor for KCAL again and Kobe Bryant has not changed his one-man show at all. It is a popular thing to say he has grown up and sees he needs teammates now. Not even close. Before the game, Lamar Odom said in an interview that things in the clubhouse are better because they're winning. That's it.

The Lakers held a solid lead for basically the whole game. About mid-way through the third, the Lakers had an in bounds play, up by 6. They stacked up right in front of the ball and Kenyon Martin walked in and shoved his way in the middle of it. Kobe was obviously pissed and they did a close-up of his little "I am gonna make you pay" smile. Here is the succession of the his 5 plays:

Fall-away three pointer missed
Turnover (drove in and jumped up with no shot and no one to pass to, threw it out of bounds)
Fouls J.R. Smith shooting a 3 (Smith makes all three free throws and the game is tied)
Missed three pointer
Turnover (stolen while dribbling at the top of the key)

Yes, he went nuts and put together a 7-0 run that wound up winning the game, but all three shots in that run were early in the clock on isolation plays. He stops running the offense and takes over. If the shots fall like they did late in the game, he is a hero. But for the entire third and beginning of the fourth, the same ill-advised shots did not fall and the Nuggets climbed into the lead. This won't work against a good team.

Carmelo Anthony is now in league with the worst post-season performing superstars of all time. He fouled out of yet another playoff game. He made almost no contribution while he was in there besides a few big dunks (and one missed dunks that may have swung the entire fourth quarter). His career post-season record is 4-20 with five straight first-round exits. But at least he seems like a good guy off the court.

And when talking about epic chokes, how can I not mention that Barry Zito, the $126 Million Dollar Man, is now a middle reliever for the worst team in the league? Apparently the Giants are not happy with his 7.53 ERA, 0-6 record, 81 MPH fastball or the fact that opponents are hitting .338 off of him. When I think that the Mets went after him and lost out, then signed Johan Santana a year later with that money, I feel all warm inside. To his credit, Zito said all the right things after the move and I think he really is a good guy. I do hope he finds his stuff again.

Great Moments In Announcing: April 28, 2008 - Stu Lantz took about five minutes to explain to all the kids out there watching that if you jump into a person's chest, you will foul them. Instead you want to jump to one side or the other when you are running at a jump-shooter. He also explained that the key to the playoffs is getting out of the first round. Some would say it is defense, or foul shooting, or winning the championship, but modest, patently obvious goals are important too.

I try to do the right thing and serve my community, and I was really tempted to just hold down the mute button for the entire Laker game to spare Los Angeles from Stu's arrogance, stuttering and insanity. I would do that for the Dodger game tonight, but if Charlie Steiner is announcing, no one would notice anyway. No one allows more dead-air between sentences than Steiner. But at least when he does speak, he shows a deft grasp on not knowing anything about baseball.

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