Performance Phenomenons

Performance Phenomenons

10. Adizero Crazy Light 3.

 

Price – $145

A shoe thats true to its name. The crazy light 3 is sibling of the first two crazy lights, and overall is a great performer and a likable shoe. If you want a breathable shoe, you’ve found it. The Crazy Light 3 offers ventilation all through the midsole. The price at $145 is reasonable ( as crazy as it sounds to say over 100 bucks is reasonable for sneakers) and is a pretty good pick up.

 

9.  Ektio Breakaway

Price-$130

A  shoe Brandon Knight probably should’ve been wearing. The Breakaway’s provide top notch ankle support and are comfortable and really provide a lockdown that is superior to other shoes. If you’re one of those players that wants a little more support around your ankles, whether  because of ankle injury or personal preference, then this shoe is for you. It also provides great traction. Honestly the shoe is an underrated shoe with a brand that really has no real name in the sneaker world. But because of its lock down ankle support its starting to make a name for itself.

 

8. Jordan SuperFly 2

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The National Basketball Association: Is it what it seems?

Considered the most prestigious basketball league on earth, the NBA has a certain appeal that other leagues lack. With its high level of play and stars that seem to do no wrong, how could it not? But is it possible that some of the best players and teams get a little help from the officials?

5 years ago, Tim Donaghy, a former ref for the NBA, was discovered to have been making bets on games that might have affected his decision making in calls. He denied his gambling to have affected his officiating, but was sent to court on charges of conspiracy to engage inwire fraud, and transmitting wagering information through interstate commerce. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison for betting on games that he reffed. His arrest unearthed a long debated topic about the NBA, it’s biased reffing, and slightly scripted feeling.

After his arrest Donaghy went public about his situation. He wrote a book, was on 60 minutes, and did multiple interviews with many radio stations. People wanted to know how was he so accurate in his bets? During the an investigation the FBI conducted, they discovered that out of the 100 games he bet on, he won a whopping 80% of his bets, a ridiculous percentage. To Donaghy however, it’s no surprise that he won so many bets. Donaghy had told the FBI, “You don’t realize how easy this was for me knowing what I know”.

In his book and his interviews, Donaghy explains how he could know the outcome of a game with the point spread, just by knowing who was officiating, and how crucial a game it was for either team. “I would call the referees the night of the game” he said. “I would pick their brain, and see if they had any vendettas against any player/coach/owner involved in the game that night, and based on the information, I could make a decision.”

During a YouTube interview, he stated, “I’m never going to say that the NBA is fixed, or that David Stern, NBA commissioner, is going to go out and completely screw teams but the way they program and train referees in meetings, it puts a team at an advantage or a disadvantage” He gives an example later on in the interview. “To use the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers as an example, the referees had talked about how important this game was to the Lakers. It’s a matter of them making the playoffs or not making the playoffs so if they are going to call a foul, they’re going to call them on the side of the Lakers because Houston’s already in, and if they make a call that ends up taking the Lakers out of the playoffs, there’s going to be big consequences due to fans. Not only for officials, but for the league losing millions of dollars because one of their main teams missed the playoffs.”

Donaghy gives another example of how the NBA is partially scripted in his book Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal that Rocked the NBA, by talking about current NBA ref Dick Bavetta. Bavetta is known for usually officiating close games. If a team was being blown out, he would alter his officiating, and instruct the other refs to do so as well. “Lets not embarrass anyone,” he would say. Donaghy knows first hand, as Bavetta has given him these instructions in the past. He says that during conversations with him, Bavetta stated that he was the NBA’s “go to guy”. Whenever they wanted a game to be really close, or a playoff series to go the 7 games, just to entertain fans, he would assign Bavetta to the game with instructions on which team to favor. What makes the situation even fishier is that when Bavetta was investigated, he was forbidden by the NBA to speak publicly about the case.

In an interview on WEEI radio, Donaghy was asked to elaborate on how refs might favor stars. Donaghy explained how sometimes if there was a foul called that would put an all star in a troublesome situation, they would try to find a person who was not as important, (maybe an 8th man to a team), that might have been involved in the play and give them the foul.

It can’t be denied that Donaghy did the wrong thing. But maybe it was all for the better, as it unearthed a controversial topic that few people were aware of. Many people now believe that the NBA does have a scripted feeling to it. If you have ever watched an NBA game, there is never a single game where there is not at least a couple controversial calls. Even the announcers pick up on it when looking at the replay.

I think it is very low of the NBA and the officials to pull this kind of stunt. Basketball is not a show; it’s a sport that should be played with dignity, honesty, and pride. The good teams deserve the wins they get, and the bad teams deserve the losses. There should be no unnecessary interference from the league or from the officials just because they want to entertain the fans. It’s just not fair to the players. Whether an All-Star, or a bench warmer, each and everyone of those players worked their butt off to get to where they are today, and the fact that the NBA is turning them into a show instead of letting them just play basketball, is just an insult to their dedication. The NBA should let the players just play basketball, no biased reffing, no extending a series for entertainment, just play basketball like it was meant to be played. Not for the money, not for the fans, for the competition and for the sport.

Should Lebron Return to Cleveland?

On July 8, 2010 Lebron James’ notorious Espn television special “The Decision” had shocked the sports world as he left his hometown Cleveland and joined the Miami Heat. Lebron’s desire to win a championship was strong and that is why … Continue reading

Memphis Grizzlies: Most Underrated Team in the NBA

Memphis Grizzlies

photo credits: Sean Davis

The Memphis Grizzlies have been counted out since the beginning of the year and now they are in the Western conference finals trying to take down the San Antonio Spurs. Throughout the year the Grizzlies have been looked down upon and not taken seriously at all. They have stayed steady throughout the year and didn’t really prove to be a playoff team until they traded their best player, Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors. After Gay was gone, the Grizzlies were counted out as any sort of contender in the playoffs if they weren’t already. Some people may say that the Grizzlies haven’t done better without Rudy. Before the trade deadline (with Gay) the Grizzlies were 29-16. After his departure, in exchange for Tyshaun Prince and Austin Daye the Grizzlies went 27-10 winning a higher percentage of their games without Gay. Overall, the team is better rounded and have shown having a superstar doesn’t always make you better. I’ll tell you why, Rudy Gay is a player who needs the ball. When he needs the ball to be effective that takes it away from Zach Randolph, Mike Conley, and Tony Allen. This interrupts the offense not getting the ball moved, or rotated enough , which in certain situations can really damage a team. The Grizzlies are an underrated team that has shocked the country. Their momentum in the playoffs can only lead me to believe they will win the series. Both previous series the Grizzlies have started the series off poorly. Against the Los Angeles Clippers they lost the first two games by a combined 23 points and after that swept the Clippers right out of LA. In series 2 the Grizzlies lost the first game to the Oklahoma City Thunder and then won the next four games to take the series. Now, the Memphis Grizzlies are down two games to none and the question that is asked is “What will happen next?”

Sneakers: Are They Really Worth It

To most people sneakers don’t mean anything but things you put your feet in. But to some people they mean much more. I wouldn’t hesitate to spend $250 on a pair of sneakers, but some people consider that crazy. To me and other sneakerheads out there, it would be worth every penny. The reason why I got into this craze is that it makes you feel elite. To me it is like getting a fancy new car. Everyone notices and immediately thinks that this person has class. Most of the time I judge people just by what kicks they have. Although collecting shoes is expensive, it is a fun hobby. The sneaker that got me into shoes were the Lebron 9 Breds. When I wore them I felt amazing. Even though they don’t do anything, you feel like you have purpose. I knew I needed more. The issue was, and still is, convincing my parents to let me buy them. For some reason, they feel sneakers are a waste of money, and I’ll always be interested in getting the next new pair. Although they are right about the later, to me sneakers are everything. It’s a sign of class, personality, and style. Whenever I buy shoes it comes right of my own pocket, so I don’t see why they would have an issue about it.

 

Shoes are not worth their price tags, but how much they mean to you. Most sneakerheads have a “Holy Grail” pair of sneakers, that they would give an arm and a leg for. Personally, mine would have to be the Galaxy Foamposites, but those are pretty much unattainable unless you are willing to pay $800. The main issue in the sneaker game is the crazy resale prices. If you aren’t willing to camp for a pair of sneakers, you will only be able to get them for double the price at a third party store. Sneakers mean a lot to me and lots of sneakerheads around the world.

Rondoless

Rondo Explosion

photo credits: Dustin Carbonera

The will to win, desire, perseverance, passion, toughness, a celtic. Not many people can point to themselves and say “I am all of those things.” Although there is one group of guys that can, the Boston Celtics. The Celtics are a team that live for the playoffs. Unfortunately, this year that did not work in their favor. There are many things you could blame for why the celtics lost. I personally think that the reason the celtics had such a hard time in the playoffs and lost to the New York Knicks is because their leader, their coach on the floor, their point guard, Rajon Rondo went down with a season ending injury mid year. Rajon Rondo is the heart of the Boston Celtics team. The 6 foot floor general is the leader of the team, just like a military general. Rondo’s job is to make sure everyone is doing their role. If the are not doing their job it looks bad on him. He quarterbacks the team distributing the ball and is the main decision maker on the team. Yes, Doc Rivers ultimately has the overall power, but the ball is in Rajon’s hands. What he does with the ball is his decision. Rondo leads the team in battle and is looked to in time of despair. You can only imagine how that can affect the Celtics’ organization on a whole. When your point guard who calls the shots and has the ball in his hands 75% of the time is out for the season chaos erupts. Its like a football team with no quarterback, or a country with no government, life changes. Life most certainly did change for the Celtics. Although, the statistics do not show it. Before Rondo got hurt the Celtics record was 23-20. The Celtics scored an average of 95 points per game and 23 assists per game. They were averaging 14 turnovers a game as well. Now, those numbers are not terrific. Which is surprising, especially the 14 turnover statistic considering Rajon’s assist to turnover ratio is 3.3. After Rondo was declared out for the season, the Celtics’ record was 21-17. Boston averaged 98.2 points per game (3.2 points higher than with Rondo) and 22.4 assists per game. The number of turnovers dropped by a slight 0.2 turnovers a game also. Overall, looking at these numbers it seems like the celtics did better without Rondo right? Wrong. Statistics are just numbers, you can’t define a point guard by their stats otherwise you would not know if you are getting a point guard with true leader qualities. In Rondo’s argument, the Celtics’ as a team have had more success with him in their lineup as starting point guard. Rajon Rondo is a true celtic, without him the Boston Celtics’ are missing a part of their family, their point guard.

Celtics

You didn’t really think that the Celtics could actually pull off a 04’ Red Sox against the New York Yankees, when the Sox became the first professional team to come back from a three games to zero in a playoff? Did you? Overall I believe that it is time for the old Celtics to come to an end. Paul Pierce needs to cut down on his minutes each game, and Kevin Garnett will retire after an outstanding career in the NBA.

Photo Credit: wyckeddreamz

Photo Credit: wyckeddreamz

After going down three games early to the New York Knicks we should have known it was over for the Celtics. In the history of over 100 NBA teams in the same situation of being down three games to zero all have lost the series and none ever have come back to win. The Celtics’s hope soon came back to life when the next two games where Celtic victories. The Celtics giving their last push to go through to the next round. Game 6 of the playoffs was a nail biter. The Celtics were down by over 20 points, but scored 20 unanswered points to close the gap. They had to be perfect to take the lead, but had a couple of missed shots and turnovers.  Pierce and Garnet gave their all, but they are just too old and could not come back to win.  It may be sad, but they will always be remembered.

The Celtics still have a bright future though. They will still have Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green one of the best players on the team right now. Next year will come with many different possibilities. Maybe they will shock us with a whole new team or even the same exact team. I guess we will just have to wait and find out.

NBA Playoffs

Image

photo taken by Mike

The NBA playoffs are finally here and I’ll tell you how the first round of the playoffs is going to play out.

In the Western conference I think that the 1 seed Thunder will beat the Rockets. The thunder have 2 very explosive players Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and they can not be stopped. The Rockets are just not fast enough and they do not have a good enough defender to cover Durant.

There is no doubt that the Spurs will beat the Lakers. The Lakers just lost their star player Kobe Bryant to an Achilles injury. The Lakers have one of the worst defenses in the league and the Spurs have one of the best offenses in the league. The Spurs are a great 3-point shooting team and they love to share the ball.

The Nuggets, Warriors match up is my favorite in the playoff tree. Both teams have some injuries, but I think that the Nuggets will win the series in 6 games. The Nuggets are a very fast, fun team to watch. They have a very good defense which is good because the Warriors have the top 3-point shooter in the league Stephen Curry.

The last match up in the western conference is the Clippers vs Grizzlies. I think that the Clippers will win the series because of their 3-point success, defense, and their great transition offense. The Grizzlies don’t have that star player to take big shots later in the playoffs.

Now I will say the eastern conference series winners.

The Heat, Bucks series is the easiest decision to make out of any series. The Bucks have the worst record out of any team in the playoffs and the Heat have the best record. I know that the Heat will win, and I think they will in 4 games. Their going to win because they have the former MVP LeBron James, great 3-point shooting, great defense, unbelievable transition offense and defense, and their the last years championship winners.

The Knicks and the Celtics are always exciting to watch. You very rarely see a team score over 95 points against the Celtics because of their defense and their patience on offense. I think the Knicks will win the series in 7 games because they are pretty evenly matched, but the Knicks have a star Carmelo Anthony. The Celtics are just to slow to beat the Knicks.

The Pacers and Hawks series is another easy decision. I think the Pacers will easily win the series in 5 games. The pacers are a great shooting and rebounding team. The hawks have good big men, but they need that star guard to be a great team. The Pacers are a very good team and should go far in the playoffs.

The Nets and Bulls series is another very tough decision to make. The Bulls center Noah is hurt ,which is very big for the Nets. The series is tied 1-1 and I think the Nets will win in 7 games. I don’t know very much about either of these teams, but I know their pretty evenly matched.