Monthly Archives: May 2009
The LeBron/Kobe match-up won’t be happening this year. And what becomes of that commerical with the puppets? Has anyone thought of that?
Lots of chatter about LeBron walking off without shaking hands and not doing any press last night. Joel Barker at the Bleacher Report:
He left the court without congratulating or talking to a single member of the Orlando Magic. Then after all was said and done he did not show up to the post-game press conference.
This is the same LeBron that has been eager to talk after sweeping each of the Cavs first and second round opponents. The same LeBron that “doesn’t do radio” yet went on the Dan Patrick Show two weeks ago to interview with the best show on the radio.
Of course it didn’t hurt that the interview would end up in Sports Illustrated either.
No, this LeBron James seems to hate losing so much that he won’t even consider an interview, a post-game handshake, or even as much as a wink and nod letting Cavs fans know that he’ll be back next year going for that same elusive title.
Jay Mariotti at Fanhouse:
The King looked lethargic in the final game, unable to muster otherworldly dominance as he did late in Game 5, when he scored or assisted on 32 consecutive points. Can we rescind that Coach of the Year trophy given to Mike Brown? James never should be reduced to exhaustion — 8-of-20 shooting and 25 points in 45 minutes — because he carries too much of a burden. The burden must be lightened with an offseason makeover — Shaquille O’Neal, anyone? — or else James will be sitting there in the summer of 2010 in an 0-for-7 titles rut and wondering if it’s time to bolt. Consider it a warning to Cleveland, which must brace itself for its next possible sporting calamity.
Afterward, LeBron refused to attend the news conference. He put on his headphones, left the locker room and walked straight to the team bus. I will interpret that not as a slight at the media but as his way of conveying disgust about an inferior supporting cast. Should he have showed up for the gathering? Sure, it’s crybaby stuff not to. But I get it. James never will say as much, but Orlando’s Rashard Lewis spelled out the problem in Cleveland.
“LeBron’s a great player, but at the same time, you need more than one or two guys,” he said. “You need five guys, guys off the bench, a good coach. It’s a combination. We have that in Orlando.”
Eric Kane at The Bleacher Report will absolutely be stoking a great deal of controversy for writing this:
Maybe people should start realizing LeBron James isn’t as good as people make him out to be.
In Game 6, Delonte West had 22 points on almost 50% shooting. Mo Williams had 17 on 50% shooting. Varejo had 13 points on 5-7 shooting. Zydrunas didn’t show up at all and neither did Wally, but that can happen on any given night, more often than not.
Before the game, I pointed out to my friend that LeBron James doesn’t play that well on the road. Yes, he still gets his stats (mainly because I swear he guns for them, as evidenced by some of his teammates deferring rebounds to him), but his shooting percentages are awful. He shot 8-20 from the field in Game 6 and 7-11 from the line.
The excuse? Fatigue. Yes, he plays long minutes, but no one made that excuse last year against Boston when he almost beat them. Again, it’s an excuse.
So I told my friend that LeBron would have a bad game and the media would make excuses for him. Sure enough, the announcers and people on Sportscenter said he was tired. Three of his other teammates were in double figures, one of them over 20 points, shooting a very high percentage, but he didn’t get any help? That’s ridiculous.
EARLIER: Cleveland Should Be Worried
Blogosphere on fire over the Obamas’ date night in NYC.
It’s bad enough that the taxpayers were left with a bill for hundreds of thousands of dollars for staff, security, military and police time. It’s also the fact that all these people had to give up their Saturday night with their families to spend it so the Obamas could cause massive traffic jams all over New York inconveniencing thousands more.
But the real foolishness was the Gulfstream and helicopters for the media. Are we to believe that the national news media has no reporters in New York City? The BIg Apple isn’t exactly the Badlands of the Dakotas, or the remote peaks of the Rockies, in terms of media saturation. It looks like Obama wanted to make this a media event and didn’t mind using three planeloads of taxpayer money to stage it.
As a fan of the “imperial presidency,” this is one conservative blogger who does not have a problem with our president living the high life. I remember the Carter presidency, what with its
hair shirtscardigan sweaters, beige limousines, and all-around oppressive gloom, and I want none of that. Obama is doing it right, as far as I’m concerned, and I have no problem with us paying for it, either. Given the things that politicians spend money on, this does not seem particularly wasteful and it is admirably free of long-term engineer-our-society consequences.
But, I am very much with Rob. If you believe, and President Obama says he does, that the production of greenhouse gases will lead to global catastrophe and therefore that we have a fierce moral urgancy to give up our energy-intensive ways, flying three planes to New York to take in a show is nothing less than outrageous. Imagine the entirely different pro-Gaia message if the Obamas had taken over a few cars on an Accela Express and ridden it up to Penn Station Biden-style?
Jazz Shaw at Moderate Voice:
To be fair here, our first observation should go out to our Republican and conservative friends who were supporters of President Bush for the last eight years. If you didn’t complain – and do so loudly and often – about President Bush shattering all previous records for presidential vacation time in the midst of two wars that he began and various other crises, you should know how you look if you complain now. All those trips to Crawford and other destinations were on the public dime, involving Air Force One, staffers, supporting crew, etc. And they cost a fortune. If you take to the streets in manufactured outrage over this evening out, you are hypocrites, and there’s really no other way to put it.
Now, for the rest of our friends, if you were critical of President Bush for his vacationing ways, will you really just shrug your shoulders and say this is “no big deal” since it’s Obama going out on the town? The trip still involved three Gulfstream Jets, a large staff and press corps following, blocking off traffic for hours across several blocks in Manhattan on a Saturday afternoon and evening and a total taxpayer bill which the White House couldn’t even estimate for us. And it took place not only in the midst of two hot wars, but on the eve of GM likely going bankrupt and a rising unemployment rate where millions of Americans are wondering if they’ll be able to afford all their groceries next month. Could the optics of this Broadway fiasco possibly be any worse?
I don’t, however, blame the Obamas for this but rather the culture of security we’ve built around the presidency, especially, but to other high offices as well. Since we can’t expect — and shouldn’t desire — for our leaders to live in seclusion for the entire tenure of their offices, we really need to figure out a way to let them get out and about without inordinate inconvenience to the rest of us. There’s got to be a way to simultaneously provide them with reasonable security and not shut down the town around them.
And it wasn’t even a musical! What the Tommy Tune is up with that?… “Midnight, Not a sound from the pavement, Has the moon lost her memory?….” sob…sniff….oh, Grizabella, you are so very wise in the ways of the world….
#1 Sonia Sotomayor
#2 North Korea Rocket Launches
#3 GM Headed For Bankruptcy
#4 LeBron Out Of The Play-Offs
#5 Jay Leno’s Final Tonight Show
Building our temple…
Earlier this week, Pakistani troops entered Mingora in Swat.
Bill Roggio at Long War Journal:
The Pakistani Army has just made its initial advance into the Taliban stronghold of Mingora, the main town in the insurgency-racked district of Swat. Soldiers appear to have encountered lighter than expected resistance from the Taliban, who were reported to have entrenched in the town and mined the roadways.
Pakistani troops moved into the district’s main town after securing the Kambar Ridge to the west over the weekend. Five Taliban fighters and three soldiers were reported to have been killed during the opening round of fighting in Mingora, Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told Dawn. Fourteen Taliban fighters were captured and six soldiers were wounded during the fighting. Security forces encountered 12 roadside bombs during the advance into the town.
Now it looks as if Pakistan controls the area.
Nadezhda at Attackerman:
Via Dawn, the Pakistan Army has announced that it has secured “complete control” of Mingora, the main city in Swat, and is continuing search and control operations in the region. Exactly what has been accomplished will be unclear for some time, since even the military admits that many of the Taliban have melted away as the Army has moved in.
What does seem clear, with the bombings in Lahore and Peshawar this week, is that Pakistan can no longer view the threats from militant violence as capable of being restricted to the tribal regions. The Taliban and their allies may escape to the mountains in order to fight another day. But they may also make their way, along with some 2.5 million plus IDPs, into the urbanized areas of Pakistan’s main provinces.
One traditional safety valve for Pakistan, the eastern regions of Afghanistan, is likely to become less available as the US beefs up its military presence there. In theory, the hammer of US/NATO forces will strike the Taliban, forcing it back against the anvil of Pakistan’s own military presence.
The anvil now seems to be getting a bit worried.