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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Five things I think about the NBA season

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If you’re a basketball fan, March is like 31 days of Christmas.

High school’s are crowning state champions, the NCAA Tournament begins and the NBA is in the thick of a shortened, yet exciting season. I thought after the lockout, the NBA would be slightly watered down.

I was wrong. I’ve been surprised at the intensity of games, impressed by teams’ improvement and excited about the playoffs. Following are a few of my NBA thoughts.

I think with Kobe, the Lakers are still a threat

If anyone thought Kobe Bryant wasn’t upset about getting his nose broken and a mild concussion in an All-Star game, you don’t know much about Kobe Bryant.

He was mad. So mad in fact, Los Angeles Lakers fans should thank Dwyane Wade’s elbow now because it is the reason the Lakers will not only make the playoffs, but compete in the playoffs.

The Lakers are not a bad team and they showed that they’re still to be reckoned with in their 93-83 win over the Miami Heat last Sunday. When you have Bryant, there is always a chance. But, when Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace and Andrew Bynum play well, the chance is even greater. Do not count the Lakers out.

I think LeBron James is having his best season ever

LeBron James’ stat line is off the charts: 27.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists. What amazes me is that this is his average; what he normally does on a nightly basis. He’s also shooting 54.8 percent. He ranks in the top 10 in 23 NBA statistical categories, and the Miami Heat (at Recorder press time) are the third best team in the league behind the Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder. James is criticized like no one in sports, yet he brings it every night. If the MVP vote were today James would win.

I think Lamar Odom shows life is more than basketball

I know most of you don’t watch Dallas Maverick Lamar Odom’s reality show with his wife Khole Khardashian. If you did, you would have great insight on what he’s going through right now, and how for some NBA players life is much greater than money and basketball. Odom returned to the Mavericks last weekend after taking time off to be with his ailing father. He’s also admitted that he hasn’t yet recovered from when his 6-month old son died of SIDS four years ago or the accident he was involved in last June that killed a young man. Add to that the trade from the Los Angeles Lakers after helping them win two championships and being named Sixth Man of the Year last season. After a week-and-a-half absence, he returned against the Utah Jazz last Sunday and played his best game of the year.

“It felt good to be back, playing basketball, doing what I’m so blessed to have done for so long,” Odom said after the game. “I just told (teammates) to stick with me, and that at this point in time in my life I need them.”

I keep thinking: why does Michael Jordan own a team?

Michael Jordan owns the Charlotte Bobcats and they are a terrible, terrible basketball team. Jordan – as much as we adore him as a basketball player – is a terrible, terrible basketball owner. At Recorder press time, the Bobcats were a measly 4-31. The team is last in offensive efficiency and 29th out of 30 teams in defensive efficiency.

Charles Barkley called out Jordan in an interview with ESPN Chicago’s “Waddle and Silvy Show.”

“I think the biggest problem has been I don’t know if he has hired enough people around him who he will listen to. One thing about being famous is the people around you, you pay all their bills so they very rarely disagree with you because they want you to pick up the check. They want to fly around on your private jet so they never disagree with you.”

Who knew there could be a worse NBA executive than Isiah Thomas?

Why I think “Linsanity” has cooled off

I like New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin. I think he’s a good player and will have a nice future in the NBA. The bottom line is, the Knicks are still the Knicks, and that is why at Recorder press time they were 18-19 and in the eighth playoff spot. They need a lot more help than Lin to win.

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