A few days ago, I got involved in an argument over who was the 'better' pickup, Carmelo Anthony or Deron Williams? Even though the thread was dominated by New Jersey fans, I was surprised to be a minority in choosing Melo. Fortunately, tonight, Melo made a case for himself.
As Lebron James and Dwayne Wade looked up at the scoreboard minutes ago, they both eyed it disdainfully. That's because it read NY: 89 MIA: 86. There were only 7 seconds left, and it seemed painfully obvious who would get the ball; Lebron James, of course. As Dwayne Wade got looked off on a basket cut, Lebron came out to the top of the 3-point arc and squared up. Before he could shoot, a blue jersey smothered him and forced to pump fake and take a step to his left. The blue jersey followed. As Lebron bricked his game-tying attempt, Carmelo Anthony slowly strided off the court in the direction of Spike Lee. The Knicks rebounded the miss and won the game 91 to 86, sending a clear message to the Eastern Conference all star team, aka the Miami Heat.
Melo finished with 29 points (the top scorer in the game - as in - more than Amare, James, Wade, and Bosh) and had two great defensive stands on Lebron in the last 10 seconds of the game. He was the standout player and proved once again what a top level talent he can be.
This was all after Melo scored the last 10 points of the game in his Knicks debut on his was to 27 points and 10 rebounds to cap a 6 point win for New York. Yet, people still want Deron over Melo?
In his first two games with the nets, Williams is averaging 14 points and an (admittedly) impressive 14.5 assists after dropping 17 dimes on the Rockets. Still though, both of those games were losses by a combined 25 points. And if you were watching, neither of them were close. Now, I know Deron doesn't have much of anybody and Melo has Amare and Billups, but don't you think if Melo was in New Jersey those games would be a little different? I mean, the way Melo dominates a game is simply on another level than the way Deron does.
Even more, if you're going to analyze the trade as a whole, I think it is pretty plain the Knicks came out on top.
First off, the Knicks got Chauncey Billups too. I think this part of the deal was a little under-hyped. In case you don't remember, Billups went to 7 straight Eastern Conference finals and has been named MVP of two of them. Don't tell me is old either, because tonight I saw him put the dagger in the Heat with an enormously clutch three as his heels sat six inches from sideline and then seal the game with a steal. He has always been one of the best players in winning time.
Even more, Billups and Carmelo both signed contracts that are in the franchise's best interest. Deron could be gone after next season (and probably will be considering how the Nets look so far), but Melo and Billups have signed long-term contracts and will keep the Knicks good a lot longer. If thats not enough - Williams has started his career in New Jersey by blaming a wrist injury on his poor performance. He's either already being a baby or already being hurt, neither of which are good for the Nets.
By the way, did you see Melo tonight?
Article coming soon on this topic!
Why don't more people talk about this? Jim Rome is AWFUL. Every time I turn on his show he is trying to scrutinize some young and swaggerful athlete. He hates everyone that isn't Joe Mauer or Peyton Manning. I mean, how did the guy even get that job? Who the hell is he? Where is he from?
Well, I looked it up. He's a talk show host. A Radio host. And his show is the 21st most listened to sports show in America! That means there are 20 other Radio commentators that should have his job before him. Wait, you're not going to try and tell me he's good-looking or something, right? Or has good camera presence? Or a voice that doesn't make you want to puke? With that dirtball grin on his face? If you're not convinced he is a total punk who is so insecure he has to try and make himself feel better than all the athletes who did what he couldn't, check this little snippet out from his Wikipedia page:
"Rome gained notoriety for an incident in his ESPN2 show Talk2 in 1994 when his guest was NFL quarterback Jim Everett. Rome had previously referred to Everett as "Chris" (after Chris Evert, the female tennis player), suggesting that Everett shied away from getting hit. Appearing as a guest on the show, Everett warned Rome about repeating the insult. Rome continued his taunt, causing Everett to overturn the table between them and shove Rome to the floor while still on the air. This situation never resulted in a lawsuit for either party. To this day Jim Rome still considers this event one of his early career mistakes.
In 1997, hockey legend Gordie Howe announced an attempt to play a shift with the International Hockey League's Detroit Vipers, which would allow Howe to claim having played professional hockey in six decades. Rome challenged the 69-year-old ex-hockey star, offering a bounty of $3,000 to any player on the team playing against the Vipers to take Howe out of the game permanently by saying, "Putting this old fool back to reality." Howe and his wife threatened Rome with a lawsuit, and the bounty went away."
Here is the Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uczUKTwgqeY
And hey, don't try and say I'm a hypocrite because I'm really just jealous of Jim Rome...'cause I ain't. In fact, I think he is bad for sports radio and for television. He is the opposite of credible and continuously sparks rumors and false beliefs by making sly little insinuations on his tv show every week, "Jim Rome is Burning." Please, next time you see this clown on tv, just save your time and flip to cartoon network.
Taurasi Gets Slighted
When the bottom line on ESPN read “Taurasi tests positive” a couple months back, I just assumed it was the same old story: Another fantastic athlete succumbing to the pressures of the outside world to perform at an unbelievable level.
Surprisingly, this story ends a bit differently than you would expect.
Nearly two months after being accused of taking the banned stimulant Modafinil, according to ESPN.com, WNBA star Diana Taurasi has passed a polygraph in which she said she didn’t take the drug, her test results have been “retracted” by the Turkish lab that released them, and officials from that same lab are facing requests for their resignation and lawsuits from both Taurasi and the Turkish club she played for this fall, Fenerbahce. Surprised? Me too.
For Taurasi, the last few weeks have been a fragile and terrifying time. From Marion Jones to Barry Bonds, we’ve all seen the devastating effects that doping allegations can have on an athlete’s career. In this case, Taurasi lost her contract and she faced a possible two-year suspension that would have kept her out of the 2012 Olympics and the WNBA. Now, it seems she may be able to clear her name.
In case you missed it, Taurisi is sort of a big deal. The five-time WNBA all-star is almost unanimously regarded as the best women’s player in the world. Her resume includes two olympic gold medals, a league record four straight WNBA scoring titles, two WNBA championships, and most recently, a U.S. National Women’s Basketball World Championship back in October.
According to ESPN.com, the accusing lab, Ankara, had its drug-testing credentials suspended by WADA for three months in 2009 because of problems with its methods. Now, after making one of the boldest accusations in sports history, they have retracted their “positive” test but are yet to issue any sort of apology. Executives of Fenerbahce are calling it the biggest scandal in the world of sports. And they should. Taurasi’s teammates are demanding that the directors of Ankara lose their jobs. And they should.
And still, here in the states, every basketball program on television wastes 20 minutes of air time on Carmelo Anthony trade rumors, when they could be reaffirming my belief that there are still some honest athletes out there.
So, how does a doping lab with a tarnished record get away with something like this? Well, hopefully, they don’t. The lab should be shut down, for good. Every positive test that they’ve ever made should be reevaluated, and the people responsible should [at the very least] issue a very public and sincere apology to Taurasi, her family, and her fans.
Obviously, losing Taurasi hurt Fenerbahce’s chances of winning the Turkish Women’s Basketball League championship. The league, which is the top women’s league in all of Turkey, has been dominated by Fenerbahce, who has won the championship the last five years. So what of them? How much money did they lose by being forced to snip the best player in the world from their roster? I’d be willing to bet that they will take that to court, and I think they have a pretty good case.
Taurasi, who plans to return to the WNBA when the season begins in June, told the Associated Press on Wednesday that her return to the Turkish league was “pretty unlikely.” The WNBA allows players to participate in other leagues, but on the issue of doping a failed test in one league effects your eligibility in all leagues. I hope the media coverage will give her some reprimands, but somehow – I doubt it.
Taurasi says the second round of tests vindicated her, but the headlines in the United States aren’t telling her story. In fact, the news of her “false positive” has hardly caused a ripple in the sports world at all. In an age where Lance Armstrong is still giving urine samples every month, I’m surprised that people in the states aren’t making a bigger rumble about the recent news.
Of course, for all this to happen in less than two months, Modafinil must be a serious performance enhancer. Right? I mean, this stuff is what Bonds was shooting up when he ran out of HGH. Right?
Wrong. Drug manufacturers describe Modafinil is a “mild” stimulant used to counter excessive sleepiness due to narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, or sleep apnea. The problem is that you won’t find that in the headlines.