Sunday, December 14, 2014

G.O.A.T: Do We Adjust For Era?

Gerald Wilkins, Michael Cooper, Orlando Woolridge, Xavier McDaniels, Mitch Richmond, Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars and Gary Payton. (feel free to add more in 'comments')
Those are a few of the Michael Jordan-era NBA players that served as competition for "His Air-ness". Superb professional basketball defenders, among their other talents.
Mitch Richmond and other elite players would be excellent in any era.
There is a movement afoot to claim that the current league is more athletic than Jordan's day. But are today's NBA players that much more advanced than two decades ago?

Let's examine the group of 2014 men who match up with the players listed above. We're looking at a listing of NBA small forwards who can defend on some notable level (among their other talents). The best you can give me is Luol Deng, Paul George, Kevin Durant when he cares, Rudy Gay, and Kahwi Leonard. (feel free to add more in 'comments')

Kobe Bryant? He is more of the bridge from then to now. It's hard to say that he is from an era removed from MJ. Neither
Maybe it is human nature to downplay what came before.
Maybe Wilt dominated simply because he was that good.
can it truly be said about the players of today. Not yet.

 And LeBron doesn't count, because in this scenario he is the "Jordan"... the acknowledged "best in the game."

Today's basketball players are above average to excellent. But not appreciably better than the 1980s and 1990s counterparts.

To say Jordan didn't play against great athletes is a myth. He did, wrote one fan.

At the end of the day the true measure of superstar basketball players is how they played on the biggest stage. The Finals and in that regard there is no question as to who was better... Jordan.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Doppelgänger: Danny Heffernan and The Miz

Everybody looks like somebody. Kinda.
Danny Heffernan, from the sitcom "King of Queens"

The Miz, professional wrestler

Friday, October 10, 2014

Should Children Be Exposed to the Limelight? Why Stop Now?

Young athletes have been entertaining adults for centuries. Some of them even got paid for it.

Every year that the Little League World Series rolls around, the question comes up: Are we exploiting these kids? Should we be putting this pressure on preteens? Can they handle the increasingly intrusive media, which the average blogger or social networker plays a part? Anybody with a Facebook comment is part of the press, in a way, even if only a few people see the opinion.

Sports played by children, primarily for amusement and profit of grown folk, have been broadcast internationally for years. We were watching LeBron long before he cannonballed the pro scene. And he didn't even play in college -- his high school progress was chronicled by giants like ESPN.

It goes deeper than you know. During the depression times, six-foot-two Inky Lautman started to play professional basketball in the Jewish League for the Philadelphia SPHAA's (South Philadelphia Hebrew Athletic Association). This league was the seed for today's NBA. The slender Lautman was only fifteen when he started pulling a check from the SPHAA.

Are some too young to be exposed to adult-level scrutiny on the playing field?

For those born in the 1990s, online social forums have been in the public consciousness from the start. There has always been a camera in their pockets -- though they don't really need those cameras, because cameras are already recording everybody.

This group of young people didn't have to accept that anybody in the world with access to the Web can see what you're up to. This was simply a fact. So a television network camera in the dugout, or a sit-down with the morning coffee crew at CBS, necessarily means less to a kid today. A Little League player has been emulating the major leaguers and other high-profile athletes. Real pros know how to act when people are watching.

Martina Hingis and Michael Chang each won a Grand Slam at seventeen. Ice skater Tara Lipinski was a fifteen-year-old gold medalist. High school football counts as must-see programming in some parts of the country.

The girls who perform best in gymnastics are around the same age as the Little Leaguers -- and the winners on the mat get endorsements and, sometimes, lasting noteriety.

Maybe because the young gymnasts are trained to appear so composed, while doing ridiculously difficult maneuvers. Maybe it's assumed these ladies can handle the omnipresent scrutiny, as they already are playing a role.

Invariably, once young 'uns reach such levels, they fall short, and someone cries or loses their head in front of everyone. Think about it: You made it that far, people are starting to recognize you, top of the world for a moment... and then it falls apart. It's over.

That is a huge release. Almost any twelve-year-old would feel like crying. A few overprotective adults always pop up to complain that the kids are too young for the attention. They say broadcasting children wiping away tears is exploitative. But why is it taboo to show a child mourning a big loss?

Weeping happens after professional losses, too.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Novel Giveaway: Precious Meddle by Chris DeBrie

Announcing a giveaway of Chris DeBrie's novella, "Precious Meddle." The first interested commenter to this post will win a signed copy.

Angel Lyman is a U.S. Marine with superhuman abilities and a troubled heart. Priya Blue is now boss over her late father's record label, adding to her already-stacked list of responsibilities and worries. Wolfe is an about-to-be-famous rap prodigy with no history in the industry and very little street credibility.... There is a collision on the horizon.

The winner will also receive "Selective Focus", the story that precedes "Precious Meddle".... Thanks and enjoy!
Ebook readers can download all DeBrie books at Smashwords. It's free....