The Dwight-Mare over?

dwight-howard-nets

Everyone hated on LeBron James for his decision to create … “The Decision”. Was it arrogant and probably a bad PR move? Absolutely, and he has come out and said that he regrets making his decision on national television. However, all of the money raised by that one hour television special, approximately two million dollars was donated to the Boys and Girls Club. Dwight Howard? He just created a huge headache for a few franchises over the past few seasons, while laughing about it and consuming the NBA world in his own “impress me more” campaign. Orlando had chosen yet another franchise center at pick number one and had found success through him, but he refused to change his attitude to match the coach, who had success in the NBA. Where is the hatred for Dwight? Why isn’t he being torn apart for how he handled his situation? He toyed with franchises and left one in shambles, because he didn’t hold an interview to tell the whole world where he decided to go?

Dwight Howard has spoken for years about how he wants to be in a place where you can win a championship, but his team came close in Orlando and then he was traded to a team with championship tradition. However, both weren’t “enough” for him even though both teams were focused on winning and were surrounding him with talent to the best of their abilities to get him his first ring. In my opinion it is as simple as this, Dwight wants to be the loudest voice wherever he goes and he wants to have a lot of fun. The problem is that his coach, Stan Van Gundy and his teammate Kobe Bryant have stronger and more determined voices than he does. Consequently, Dwight saw it fit to leave and he even got Stan Van Gundy fired and now the Magic are a mess and one of the laughing stocks of the Eastern Conference. Dwight has a great personality, but it’s his attitude that needs an adjustment. It’s his desires that needed to be straightened out. We will see how well he does with these young Rockets, but he’s going to have a lot demanded of him under Kevin McHale who knows exactly what it takes to win championships as a big man.

I think it’s time for everyone to stop and look and realize Dwight Howard handled this wrong and should have remained quiet. The guy talks about winning a championship, but really what he wants is to be the center of attention and he wants to be able to goof around without somebody first asking and then telling him to be serious. He doesn’t want his determination questioned. I personally like Dwight’s personality I think he’s funny, but I question his motivation these days. We will have to see where his head is at this upcoming season, but the Rockets will be fun to watch.

Those are my two cents … cash ’em in!

Anthony

 

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Back in the Groove

There hasn’t been a SportsGoneHam post since the end of the NFL Season, but now that has changed. We will get back into the swing of things ladies and gents. When we post and we will post more often, we will touch upon the most talked about topics of late in the sports world. You will laugh, you won’t cry, you will share, and most of all you will enjoy!

MADNESS

I give up on brackets. WHO CAN PREDICT ANYTHING ANYMORE? A 15 has finally made it to the Sweet 16, but let me tell you for sure that no seed lower than a 10 has ever won the National Championship (You’re welcome, Nick). However, this year somebody has busted a bracket (and again). I picked St. Louis banking on an emotional ride to the finals, but they ran into a pissed off Oregon team who was disrespected more than any team I’ve ever seen when they were given a 12 seed, well thanks a lot Committee! I think the Louisville Cardinals will win this whole thing now, unless Oregon just runs train on them too, then I just quit. La Salle and Florida Gulf Coast, or Dunk City, are “Cinderellas” that we can all not ignore. La Salle has two really good guards and can play close games as they’ve shown twice now, and FGCU is ready to run with the big boys. Sherwood Brown is channeling his inner Kenneth Fareid, more scoring but less rebounding, in order to lead his team to the promised land. When you know there will be upsets, but you pick the wrong ones:

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THE HEAT ARE ON FIRE?

As everyone, and probably their mothers know by know, the Heat have won 27 straight games. It’s all Mothership ESPN talks about on a daily basis, while they ignored the Denver Nuggets “modest” 15 game win streak out West. They haven’t lost a game since February 3, which means this streak is on the verge of spanning 2 months.  The past two games the Heat have been without Dwayne Wade, without whom over the past three years the Heat possess over a .700 winning percentage, kind of nuts when you think about it. Over these 27 games the Heat are shooting a ridiculous 51% from the field and outscoring their opponents by double digits. I don’t know if they’ll get to the fabled 33 games of those ’71-’72 Los Angeles Lakers, but they will certainly get close. I heard today about the talk of them being the greatest team ever if they break the streak and it’s simple, they aren’t the greatest team ever, period. Will they be up there in the talks if they break it of course, but they need at least one more ring to even be considered for that top spot.

Whattup Playboi??

Whattup Playboi??

NFL FREE AGENCY

Many guys found the market unfriendly to them, including defensive ends and defensive backs who could not find the money they were looking for. The Quarterback market, free agency or trades did not develop the way most had hoped besides Alex Smith being traded to the Chiefs so that Andy Reid would have a competent signal-caller as he took over the reigns of 2012’s worst team. The worst move in my opinion of this Free Agency Class was Joe Flacco’s contract because the other players on the Ravens saw this contract that Flacco was given and thought “hey, why can’t I get PAID too?” Boldin was traded for scraps, Ellerbe left, Ed Reed defected from the only team he’s ever known, and Paul Kruger left for the Cleveland Browns (ironically the team the Ravens used to be.) So way to go Joe! But talking about playing contract roulette by not signing the extension before last season huh? Big splashes were made by the Dolphins, Chiefs, Broncos, and Seahawks, while some have said the Giants have done well keeping their guys and adding depth. Head-scratchers are most certainly the Jets and the Cardinals, you think they’d re-watch their own debacle of a game to look at what they needed to add, but instead both teams didn’t make any moves in free agency. the Jets had an excuse in their little cap room, but the Cardinals have no excuse for their only splash being Rashard Mendenhall.

NHL QUICK HITS

The creme de la creme are the Blackhawks (who recorded at least one point in 24 straight games to start the season), the Penguins (who have a 12 game win streak of their own right now), and the Ducks who have been quietly the second best team in the West this season. Surprises include the Canadiens, the Jets, the Maple Leafs, and the injury riddled Senators who are without two of their best players, but still find themselves sitting in the middle of the playoff picture. The shortened season has provided for excitement, but desperation for many teams including the Rangers, the Flyers, the Caps, the Coyotes, the Sharks and the Preds. Many would say the Blackhawks made more people care “aboot” Hockey again, but it never left this blogger’s heart. I mean an eight seed winning the championship last year in dominating fashion was exciting for all, eh? Moral of the story watch some hockey and it won’t disappoint!

MLB OPENING

The Yanks are more banged up than bumper cars, the Blue Jays made some eye-opening moves this offseason, and the two Los Angeles teams look like well, Los Angeles teams with all-stars and big names ready to shine. The fact of the matter is, the baseball season is still too long and tenuous for most to keep track of day in and day out. This is why I will most likely opt to remain out of Fantasy Baseball this year. I will keep an eye on my Yankees and watch their games, but remember season’s aren’t decided in April or May, but in August-September. There will be a plethora of baseball stories as the season goes, which will most certainly include instant replay, PEDs, division races, trade rumors and much more. Tune in!

The OTHERS

  • Tiger Woods has regained the No. 1 ranking after his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, let’s see how long he can keep it and if he can win another title, we know ESPN will be all over that in 2013.
  • The USA seems to be struggling in the “football” front as Klinsmann and the boys can’t seem to play good enough defense to keep teams away from Tim Howard. The USA needs to make the World Cup if Klinsmann wants to keep his job, the problem is the countries around us are getting better.
  • NASCAR has brought back the stock car in their name rather then a drag racing car with a lip on it. It has already provided some excitement on the track and maybe it’ll keep up for this long haul of a season.

Those are my two cents … cash em in!

Anthony

(Please let me know if there’s any sports you want me to blog about and give my take on!)

Dwight Night at the Rock

Similar to Monday night’s game against the Knicks, it’s safe to assume Deron Williams and company have had tonight’s game circled on their calendar all season. Soon to be free agent center Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic are coming to the Prudential Center tonight. It is sure to be a very unusually festive and welcoming environment for the visiting Howard. Superman may very well get the vibe that it’s an extra home game for him.

Brook Lopez will also be making his second start of the season since returning from his foot injury that kept him out one game short of half the season. Lopez said over the weekend that facing Howard would be a good test for him to measure where he is at in terms of returning to his normal play. The underlining story here is that in a little over three weeks, this matchup of the leagues top center’s will take place with the possibility of Howard and Lopez wearing opposite jerseys.

It is no secret that the Nets want Howard, and according to his representatives, the potential partnership has mutual feelings. On December 9th, Josh Robbins, of the Orlando Sentinel, broke the news of Howard requesting a trade to the New Jersey Nets.

Since then, Nets fans have been ecstatic with the sheer thought of being able to have both Deron Williams and Dwight Howard on the same team headed for Brooklyn.

Nets brass has used subtle hints to suggest their strong interest in adding Howard to their franchise. Back in January, the team placed billboards throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn which read, “Believe The Hype” and “Welcome to Brooklyn ’12.”

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As tonight's game drew closer, the Nets even reduced the cost of tickets for their Loud and Proud section to $12.

These aren't coincidences. They are subtle hints to show the basketball world that the Nets are serious in their pursuit of the Magic center. Sources say the Nets feel very optimistic, if not borderline confident they will get their man whether through a trade before the March 15th deadline, or in July when free agency starts. And they have every right to be.

They will be moving into a brand new state-of-the-art arena in downtown Brooklyn next season, cap space to sign both Dwight and Deron to max contracts, and the richest owner in sports. Howard and Williams would have New York City in the palm of their hands creating a much anticipated rivalry with Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.

But they wouldn't be the New Jersey Nets if there wasn't a potential obstacle or two standing in the way. This comes in the form of the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Over the last few weeks, the Lakers have begun to fall out of the conversation for Howard due to a lack of cohesion in the front office. Reports from HoopsWorld writer Alex Kennedy have stated that during a conversation between Kobe Bryant and Howard, Kobe told him he would not be the first or second scoring option on the Lakers.

In addition to this, it is said Bryant went over how it would not be Dwight's team if he came to Los Angeles. Howard was reportedly turned off by those notions. The emergence of a healthy first-time All-Star in Andrew Bynum certainly makes the Lakers organization reluctant to part ways with him in favor of Howard.

This leaves the Dallas Mavericks as the only true threat to the Nets superstar foundation. Mavs owner Mark Cuban has gone out of his way to slowly position his franchise to sign both Deron Williams and Dwight Howard this offseason. The Mavs let 3 of their championship pieces in Tyson Chandler, Jose Juan Barea, and DeShawn Stevenson go to other teams during the abbreviated free agency period to clear cap space for next season.

The next moves get tricky. Dallas must amnesty Brendan Haywood, waive both Vince Carter and Lamar Odom, allow Jason Kidd and Jason Terry to leave the team as free agents, and then after all of that is done trade Shawn Marion in exchange of another small, expiring contract. If there is anyone in the NBA that can pull this off, it’s certainly Mark Cuban.

Even then, the Mavs would not be able to offer both Williams and Howard max contracts since Dirk Nowitzki's current contract pays him $20 million dollars per season. But whose to say they wouldn't take a pay cut to play with one of the best power forwards ever? That alone is a significant threat the Nets have to worry about should they not be able to trade for Howard before the deadline.

Jimmy Lips

(picture courtesy of http://www.brooklynfans.com)