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About me

Let me introduce myself


A bit about me

"I am the straw that stirs the drink." -- Reggie Jackson

This is my portfolio page. Please look around and check out my work. Afterwards, I encourage you to reach out and connect for a conversation! (Hopefully over drinks!)

Profile

@edthesportsfan

Personal info

Eduardo (Eddie) Maisonet, III

Lets connect!

Birthday: July 28
Phone number: 213.537.3873
Website: www.thesportsfanjournal.com
E-mail: ed@edthesportsfan.com

RESUME

Know more about my past


Employment

  • 2014-future

    Fox Sports Digital @ Yardbarker Editorial Producer

    Editorial and digital strategist for FOX Sports interactive media team, focusing on Yardbarker's social media engagement, publisher relations and new media verticals.

  • 2010-2015

    SB Nation @ Senior Writer

    Contributed to the news desk and editorial direction for NBA and college football.

  • 2013-2014

    Google @ Operations Coordinator

    Led onboarding of small and medium-sized businesses onto Google My Business platform.

  • 2009-2011

    Nielsen @ Retail Consultant

    Served as a retail consultant and consumer market researcher with a focus on Kroger and Safeway.

Education

  • 2016

    University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA

    Sport Management Masters Program

  • 2005

    Langston University Langston, OK

    Bachelors in Organization Management

  • 2010

    Media Bridges Cincinnati, OH

    Radio and Broadcasting Certification

Skills & Things about me

I Love Social
~10K
Social Reach
I Love Strategy
27
Clients & Counting
I Love Writing
9 Years
Writing Exp.

Portfolio

My latest projects


Cavs New Strategy - Get LeBron The Ball, Get Out The Way

Cavs New Strategy - Get LeBron The Ball, Get Out The Way


Tony Montana had more help in the last scene of "Scarface" than LeBron has had in this series. We are all witnesses.

I really don't have too much to say today, other than the fact that last night's performance by Bron Bron might have been the craziest thing I've ever "witnessed" in my basketball watching life.

Here's what (I believe) Mike Brown said in the huddle before the start of the 4th quarter...

"Delonte, Mo, Z, Sideshow Bob....move towards the sidelines. King, I mean...LeBron, go to the top of the key and save our season."

Yep, that's what he said.

So the mythical "EJ's Neato Stat-o-The Night" was that Bron Bron scored or assisted on Cleveland's last 32 points in the fourth quarter for the Cavaliers last night to help them stay alive in the Eastern Conference Finals against the 3-point Unibombers Orlando Magic.

WTF

You know what...I have no F'n clue what's going to happen on Sunday. Clearly LeBron's gonna get a triple-double, Cleveland will go up by about 20 points in the 1st half. Orlando will come back in roughly 3 minutes. Pietrus will hit about 5 3's and do the Parisian head nod. Mike Brown will still attempt to try and have Sideshow Bob guard Rashard Lewis. FAIL. Mo Williams looks like he got in a cat fight and lost. Boobie Gibson everybody. I secretly wanna see Dwight and Sideshow Bob fight, and Varejao breakout in Capoeira dance fighting moves lol.

The series is going 7, who's gonna win it? Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

Cavs.

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

Startling Fact #1 - Ed Is A Genius & Moron Simultaneously

Startling Fact #1 - Ed Is A Genius & Moron Simultaneously


I'm going to be brief here, mostly because I am back on the plantation and I'm behind on my work. Until someone sponsors me or picks me up...ESPN, I'm talking to you...then I gotta keep pushing at this 8 to 5. By the way, why is it that when you are clearly on vacation that people still send you requests and want them completed before you even come back to work? Didn't you see my OUT OF OFFICE up??? I'm clearly hitting the craps tables and dancing on random soft booties in Vegas, ok? You hear that? Ok, thanks.

LOL

Now...I've been known to write an "out-there" article every once in a while. Or as some readers like to say, "Ed, what the f*ck are you thinking?"

Two articles come to mind, one being slammed for no one thinking they had a shot and the other for me completely writing them off entirely. Here they are:

The Denver Nuggets Will Win The 2009 NBA Championship

The Orlando Magic Will Never Win The NBA Championship


First off, there isn't a person I've met in life that would have picked Denver OR Orlando at all even to get to the Conference Finals, much less having a legitimate shot at getting or winning the championship. No one has said this. Not even Orlando fans. Not even Denver fans.

Yet its funny how sports play out, they can make you feel like a genius and a moron in a split second. The two most heart-staking thoughts I had coming into the end of the NBA season and the playoffs is that Denver really could make a run and that Orlando is lacking that one piece to take them over the top.

My realization was that Denver is one of the few healthy teams in the playoffs and have added maybe one of the top 3-4 clutch players in his generation in Chauncey Billups. They have 3 legitimate bigs who can all rebound, defend, and get you ugly points. They have numerous shooters that can shot you out the building in JR Smith and Linas Kleiza, and that they have the one burgeoning star that has the chance to be in the class of the big 3 in Carmelo Anthony. The fact that I realized this in February however, made it absurd, and you the reader let me know about it. As you should have.

The other thought is that Orlando as currently constructed wouldn't have a shot in hell to go far in the playoffs. They have no one to be tough with Dwight Howard, they don't play great defense, and I really had no faith in their coach. You the reader, agreed with me for the most part. However, Ed didn't do his research on Orlando for one thing, they've always had Cleveland's number, period. Ed didn't do his research on Boston, who although put up a valiant effort were undermanned versus the healthier Orlando squad. KG and Leon Powe would've greatly helped the C's, thus not burning out Ray and Pierce. I also didn't foresee Stan Van Gundy (no more Ron Jeremy references, he's earned it) learning to become a better coach. There's something to be said about learning on the fly, and I think he's figured that out a bit. He's got a potential 10-year starter in Courtney Lee, and why Mikael Pietrus hasn't been used as much as possible is crazy to me. Rashard, Hedo, and Dwight are making all the right plays, and their entire squad is contributing. Brian Windhorst from the Cleveland Plain-Dealer said it on Mike and Mike early one morning and its stuck with me, if you could draw up a team to take out the Cavs, its the Orlando Magic. Hyper-athletic big man, a forward who can take advantage of Cleveland's non-athletic bigs (looking at you Varejao), and a stable of 3-point shooters who can pick and roll and spread the floor for said athletic big man, Dwight Howard.

So for you the "Anonymous" commenter who wants to pile onto the Denver argument for "knowing" they could do it and say "The Nuggets are the best "team" in the NBA, and I believe they will win if they believe in themselves." HAHA...and for the "Anonymous" commentor who wants to pile onto the Orlando argument and say that Ed should, "Leave the writing and stick to short fictional stories and grocery lists..." HAHA

With all that said, isn't that what we really want from the playoffs and sports in general? Trust me, Orlando beating up on Cleveland isn't the biggest upset story in the world. The UEFA Cup final between Manchester United and Barcelona was mega-huge. Barcelona upsetting ManU created drama worldwide because everyone penciled in ManU to win, drama ensued. Just like everyone penciled in Kobe v. LeBron. We're 5 days away from seeing if someone can shock the world one more time.

THAT WASN'T BRIEF AT ALL WAS IT? WAS I OUT OF LINE? WHY WOULD YOU COMMENT ANONYMOUSLY ANYWAY? LOL...

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

The Cleveland Cavaliers Will STILL Win This Series

The Cleveland Cavaliers Will STILL Win This Series


(Just for the record, Ed is still alive. Came to work and got over 600 emails, so no post from Ed today. Ken got it though. Oh, and I'm saying this so that you can focus your ridicule about this article at him and not me, lol)

Yeah, I said it. The Cavs will win this series, and go to the NBA Finals.

“But Ken, they’re down 3-1.”

“LeBron can’t do it by himself.”

“Why don’t you just give the Magic credit? Isn’t this the same website that said the Orlando Magic will never win the championship?”

Yes, I understand the Cavs are down 3-1 right now. Orlando is playing some damn good ball right now. They’re showing Cleveland (just as they showed Philadelphia and Boston previously) that they are never out of a game. If you have a lead on Orlando (much like Denver), you better bury them, because if you take your foot off the gas, they’ll be right back in the game.

I’ve watched every game in this series, and I can see why Orlando is one game away from The Finals. I can also see how Cleveland is still in it to win it. Last night, Rafer Alston had 26 points, including a stretch in the third quarter, when he pretty much kept the Magic from getting their thang busted wide-open. Maurice Williams (I’m refusing to call him Mo, until he starts playing some ball) is getting thoroughly outplayed at the point right now, but there were some signs of life last night. Delonte West played well for Cleveland (which I see continuing), and Daniel Gibson hit a couple of early threes as well. If those two keep it going, and Cleveland plays a full, 24-second possession on defense, this thing will go back to Orlando for Game Six.


LeBron is averaging over 40 points, 7 boards, and 7 assists a game in this series. He’s not taking care of the ball as much as he should, but that also has something to do with people needing to help him out more, which I saw the Cavs do a better job of last night. At this point, I honestly don’t think there’s anything else he can do. His teammates are going to have to stop being witnesses (seriously, they’re around dude every day. They shouldn’t be amazed by what they see anymore), and step up. If they do, which I think they will, Cleveland will be alright. There’s a reason Ron Jeremy Stan Van Gundy keeps saying he’s not comfortable with a 3-1 lead right now. He knows his team (and how the playoffs go), so he’s not relaxing one bit.

Be easy.

-K. Masenda
www.edthesportsfan.com

ETSF in Vegas, 2009 Edition...

ETSF in Vegas, 2009 Edition...


Folks, I just wanted to hit you all up and let you know that Ed is okay.

Vegas has consumed him once again. Gambling, libation, salacious women, and occasional sleep are the only things on the agenda for Ed and his crew of bandits.

Vegas is great. Yep, great.

Ok, I'm up $350 and by far Vegas has been a star-studded occasion. Ran into (literally) Reggie Bush on Friday night at Prive in Planet Hollywood. Prive, I give it to you, you get the pretty ones to come out. Yessir.

Last night we were in Pure in Caesars and all the stars came out. I think Pigskin Loving Lady would've had a field day if she were there lol.

Terrell Owens, Larry Johnson, Jermaine O'Neal and Damon Jones all made guest appearances at the spot. Method Man and Redman came and did 5-6 songs and almost broke all the furniture in the place. Good times were had.

Readers of ETSF, I tell you this...the next I tell you we going to Vegas...come with, I promise you it'll be the time of your life. Yessir.

Coming home tomorrow night, back to the plantation. BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Let me know if there's anything else I need to get into this weekend? Oh, and the playoffs have been bananas. Kobe, LeBron, Carmelo, and the Magical Triumvirate (that's what I call them. You like it. Rashard, Hedo, Howard) have all been putting in major work. Hopefully they keep it up.

Time to put my feet in the pool and drink a mojito. Yessir.

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

Hard luck athletes - toiling in obscurity

Hard luck athletes - toiling in obscurity


**Ed's note: In preparation for another mammoth of a trip to Las Vegas for Memorial Day weekend, along with some personal sadness that I'm dealing with (read below to find out) one of ETSF's biggest supporters, JAG, will bless us with a guest post today. You Cincinnatians, you need a teeth cleaning? Hit him up!**

I was feeling for our great leader, Ed, yesterday when I heard that his Oklahoma Brother, Blake Griffin, would likely become a Clipper since they secured the #1 pick in this year’s NBA draft. I hope he’s not another great player who is never given his just due because he plays for a team that makes GM and Chrysler look like successful Blue Chip Corporations.

Now it doesn’t happen as much today because players have free agency and can get out of a bad situation. Kevin Garnett is a prime example of this. But, back in the day, your only options were to play for a loser or retire (more on Barry Sanders later). Who were the hardest luck players in sports? Here are my selections.

Baseball: Ernie Banks

Mr. Baseball is the Godfather of power hitting middle infielders and was a true ambassador of the game. A hall of famer who hit 500 homers back when hitting 500 homers meant something. Unfortunately, he had to buy a ticket to any World Series games that he wished to attend because he labored for the lovable losers, the Chicago Cubs.

Hon Mentions: Nolan Ryan – Could you imagine how incredible this “7 no hitters” fireballer would have been had he played in his prime on some decent teams? It’s also worth mentioning that in 1972, Steve Carlton went a mind boggling 27-10 pitching for a Phillies team that was 59-97 overall.

Basketball: Oscar Robertson

I admit that I might be a bit biased being from Cincy, but I consider the “Big O” to be the most under -appreciated player in sports history. Yes, I know he won a “past his prime” championship in ’71 when he fed a young Lew Alcindor (note to the youngbloods; he changed his name to Kareem Abdul Jabbar later that year; perhaps you know him better that way). But Oscar spent the ‘60’s putting up ungodly numbers in a half empty Cincinnati Gardens arena, (in 1962, he AVERAGED a triple double) and played third fiddle behind Cousy and West because he could never get past the Celtics in the playoffs.

Hon Mention: Like I said earlier, Kevin Garnett was headed for this list until Kevin Mchale took pity on him and shipped him to beantown. It’s often noted that Charles Barkley never won a title but he doesn’t really qualify since he played on several good teams and didn’t exactly toil in obscurity. Let’s be frank; Charles Barkley doesn’t do anything in obscurity.

Football: Barry Sanders

Here’s a typical stat line from Barry’s rushing plays:

-3, 0, 1, -1, 0, 80yd TD

In other words, if his usually inept offensive line gave him an inch of daylight, it was all over.

Mr. Sanders shocked the NFL world when he retired and left at least five prime years on the table (not to mention $10-15 mil). The rushing record was his for the taking but he was just fed up with losing games and making three guys miss just to get to the line of scrimmage. Barry was a true artist on the field, a great combination of speed, elusiveness and strength rivaled only by Jim Brown himself.

Hon Mention: Walter Payton was headed for this list until the late career arrival of the ’85 Super Bowl Shuffle Bears saved him. However, he was on his last legs then and everybody including the fridge got to score a Super Bowl TD except Sweetness. The fact that Mr. Payton was not blessed with longevity and has been taken from us is a great loss for the NFL and society as a whole.

Hon Mention II: Carson Palmer – unless he gets some help, he is a prime candidate for this dubious distinction.

Let’s hope that Mr. Griffin can turn things around for the Clips and not have to be considered for this list in the future.

Who’d I miss? Marino? Stockton and Malone? Hank Aaron? Let me know!

Ice cold regards,

JAG
www.edthesportsfan.com

The Return of Michael Vick

The Return of Michael Vick


Today marks the release of one of the most exciting, dynamic, and polarizing players the NFL has ever seen. For some people, he revolutionized the quarterback position, and was a few pieces (and a Donovan McNabb-led Eagles team) away from being in a Super Bowl. For others, he’s considered overrated, a waste of money, and plenty of other undesirable things. For someone like me, he’s simply one-of-a-kind.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge Michael Vick fan, and he’s easily one of my top-five favorite football players of all-time. On top of that, I will go to my grave feeling he OVERPAID his debt to society, no matter what anyone says. All things being said, Vick has a long road ahead of him, but getting back to the league, making a team, and staying on a team will not be impossible. Two immediate examples come to mind when I think about players, who were pretty much left for dead by the mainstream, but came back and, arguably, are better than ever.

Ray Lewis was charged with double-murder, back in 2000, during Super Bowl weekend, in Atlanta. At the time, he was 24 years old, and one of the best young players in the league, but it didn’t stop people from calling him every name under the sun (and none of them was a child of God. It was more like thug, hooligan, miscreant, deviant, and a whole bunch of other words that would cause Ed to censor this blog). Even though he was acquitted of all charges, he still had plenty of work to do, in order to repair his reputation. These days, people rarely bring it up (except for that suck-ass trick that plays receiver in Buffalo, but that’s another story). More than anything, they talk about him being one of the best linebackers that’s ever lived, but it took a lot of sacrifice, a lot of winning, and a lot of hard work for him to get that back.

The other immediate example is Chris “Birdman” Andersen. In 2006, The Pride of Iola, Texas (I don’t expect people who aren’t from Texas to know where it is. Hell, some people that live here don’t even know where it is) got booted from the NBA for violating its drug policy, and once again, was pretty much written off for dead. He got back in the league, and has become one of the biggest pieces in Denver’s run to shock the world, and make it to the NBA Finals. Of course, people will say “they did no jail time,” which is true, but the point is these two dudes were left for dead, but were able to come back, and are better than ever.

Skills-wise, there is only one other quarterback that comes close to Vick, and that’s Donovan McNabb. Other than that, no other quarterback can dominate a game with his arm and his legs. People say Vick couldn’t read a defense, but isn’t making a play with your legs, instead of throwing some jackass pass to get picked off (Exhibit A: Brett Favre, Tony Romo, or any other QB that makes those type of bone-head throws) an example of reading what the defense gives you? If so, then he did it as well as anyone, seeing as how he rushed for over 1,000 yards in his last full season. He can be labeled a running-QB all day, but that running QB was also one of the winningest QBs as well (38-28-1 as a starter for the Atlanta Falcons). His biggest threat on offense was Alge Crumpler (can we get a Where Are They Now, please???). Roddy White wasn’t nearly as nice, in those days, as he was last season, and he damn sure didn’t have Michael “The Burner” Turner, or anything close to it (as much as I love Warrick Dunn, he wasn’t a grind-it-out back). So for people who say he can’t read a defense or that he sucks or he’s a loser obviously haven’t watched too much football.

I’ll keep it 100 on this; right now, he’s not better than any starting quarterback in the NFL. He’s been in the joint since December ’07, so there’s no telling what kind of shape he’s in. When you don’t get to work out with your team (Exhibit B: Stephon Marbury), it’s impossible to just walk back into things, and be what you used to be. He’ll hopefully get on a team where he can be someone’s back-up, get in game shape, and get used to the speed of the NFL again. Once that happens, there’s no doubt in my mind that Michael Vick will regain his place as one of the best quarterbacks in the game, and when that happens, a lot of haters and non-believers will be forced to eat their words. The journey begins today.
Be easy.

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

The Blake Griffin Sweepstakes Are Here!

The Blake Griffin Sweepstakes Are Here!


Look, Nuggets vs. Lakers has been beaten to death over the last 48 hours. Will the Lakers play with some heart in this series? Are the Nuggets ready to dethrone the Western kings? Is Melo now in the same breath as Kobe, LeBron, and D-Wade? Is Bynum healthy?

BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH...

If you've been paying attention around here on ETSF you should already know a couple of things on how I feel about this situation.

1. Ed really dislikes the Lakers
2. Ed really Really dislikes Kobe Bryant
3. Ed really Really REALLY dislikes folks that are overhyped Lakers fans who have absurd reasons on why they like Kobe Bryant. (This rule also applies to folks who dislike the Lakers and have absurd reasons on why they dislike Kobe too)

Now...

The fact of the matter is, there's another game going on this evening. The Blake Griffin Sweepstakes, or whats more commonly known as the NBA Draft Lottery. If you're not aware, the Draft Lottery basically gives each of the non-playoff teams a chance to reverse their suckitude and getting a stud player in the draft.

However, after thinking of the absurdity of a "Draft Lottery" I came up with a striking parallel of this event.

NBA Draft Lottery = Banks and Car Makers Receiving Bailout Money

Yeah, I said it.

Anyway, as you also may know, I am a card-carrying member of the Light Skinned Coalition and my homestate just so happens to be Oklahoma as well. (BOOMER SOONER, thank you) So the destination of Blake is somewhat near and dear to my heart. NH. For the sake of great basketball being played around the world, lets hope that Mr. Griffin doesn't land in Sacramento, LA Clippers, or Memphis. Let a decent team like uhhhh...the OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER get him! WOOOOOOOO!!! Ok sorry, I got excited. Or even the DC Wizards, my boy Average Bro wants this to happen so bad. Let's hope he goes to the Thunder. LOL.

Anyway, what team would benefit from Blake the most? What about Ricky Rubio? Thabeet? Harden? Brandon "I Left High School to wear Gucci all day" Jennings? Let us know!

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

Fix A Team Double Feature - Celtics & Rockets

Fix A Team Double Feature - Celtics & Rockets


Talk about a letdown of Game 7's, neither game was really competitive save for a few minutes in the Magic/Celtics game. If you called a sports book to lay a couple of dollars down you might be sad this morning. As the saying goes, "It takes money to get money." For today's Fix A Team article will be quite brief, but I do think some of these two teams finances will affect their offseason acquisitions and prove how savvy the general managers of the Celtics and Rockets are. Oh yeah, they do need one other thing to happen...

Get healthy.

No KG, no Yao, no McGrady, no Powe...these two teams looked like a MASH unit. Truth be told, these two teams have the resolve of champions...just not the healthy personnel. Can they make a run in '09-10? Lets find out.

Boston - Aside from getting healthy, they've got to find a way to revamp their second unit. Tony Allen, Mikki Moore, even the human question mark Stephon Marbury are all very replaceable, and more than anything else they have no versatility to help them off the bench. As much as Eddie House is the truth, he's still a defensive liability, hell for that matter he's still an offensive liability as he can't really handle. Moreover, their two best bigs off the bench Leon Powe and Glen "Big Baby" Davis are both free agents this year and they are already committed to $72 Million for next year plus they would already be over the luxury tax as well.

So what do they do?

#1. Hope and pray that Shawn Marion will sign the mid-level exception with the C's.

Do I really think this will happen? No. However, remembering what James Posey brought to Boston 2 years ago could be had with a similar impact with Marion. That impact being the ability to go big or small, having an extra shooter/athlete/defender on the court and someone with a veteran presence on the court.

#2. Resign Stephon Marbury.

Get him in shape and go let him play in the Rucker all summer, I really think dude lost a bit of his moxie before he returned to the court for Boston. He lost his killer instinct. If he could find a way to get that back, he could be a great compliment for the whirling dervish of Rajon Rondo.

If they do those things, and figure out a way to get KG back...they've got a major shot at winning it all again. Just my 2 cents.

Houston - Who saw this coming? I surely didn't. The Rockets are interesting because by showing us this different brand of basketball with Yao and McGrady out, Houston essentially has two basketball teams on its roster. The half-court sledgehammer offense of Yao and McGrady, and the full-court blitz of Aaron Brooks, Shane Battier, and Artest. Its almost great and ridiculous simultaneously. Can they make a run next year? Well...

#1. Resign Ron Artest, immediately.

I liked what ESPN did as a story last week when they labeled Shane Battier and Ron Artest as the new dynamic duo for the Rockets. They are exact opposites but are unifiers for their squad. He might not be as great of a defender as he used to be, but he's a great asset for their squad. However, he does NOT need to be their main perimeter option, ever. That's not his game. Sign him for a reasonable 2-3 year deal and keep it moving.

#2. Get a backup center, ASAP.

RIP Dikembe Mutombo, on the basketball court. You will be missed. We look forward to seeing you on the sidelines of future NBA All-Star Weekends. For the sake of the Rockets, they need a backup center, someone who can give Yao more than 5-10 minutes of rest a game. I think Yao will be taking it easy next season so they can have him come postseason. Crazy as it sounds, getting someone like a Rasheed Wallace to buy in and come off the bench would be great for the Rockets. If Ron and Rasheed are on the same team??? I would be online betting that they could get at least 35-40 technical fouls in season immediately! The possibilities are endless...

Anyway, these two teams aren't far away but their windows of opportunity are closing soon, can they win a title? Let us know your thoughts!

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

My Podcast Alley feed! {pca-f8847bd622c8579a0601600c9eb30456}

Clutch City Reloaded

Clutch City Reloaded

Before this series began, I didn’t give the Houston Rockets a snowball’s chance in hell of beating the Los Angeles Lakers. My reasoning was based on a number of factors. Number one was the loss of Tracy McGrady, the one person who could go point-for-point with #24. Two, I didn’t give Houston’s front-line a lot of credit, outside of Yao Ming. He was the one match-up problem the Lakers would face, but I’d seen enough Rockets games to know they forget he’s even out there at times. Their front-line is solid, but I didn’t think they would be able to match the output of Odom, Gasol, and Ariza (I left Bynum out purposely), but I can tell you, right now, that I’ve never been happier to be 100% wrong. I also didn’t like how they completely would forget Yao was out there, and try to play one-on-one instead. You just don’t do that, when you have Yao, who’s 100% unguardable, on your team.

I picked the Rockets to get by the Portland Trailblazers, due to their experience, but the buck was supposed to stop there. They have a starting point guard, who seems to be more of a scoring guard (hell, I’m already not a fan of “combo guards,” let alone undersized, shoot-first point guards), and scoring forwards who seem to forget they have the best center, BY FAR, in the NBA. But what have the Rockets done? They found a way to extend this thing to seven games, because they play defense, they play hard, and they play together. On Inside the NBA, Kenny “The Jet” Smith said this could realistically happen over a week ago, and I wanted to laugh in his face. Now, I just want to shake the man’s hand, because he was right-on-the-money.

Now I find myself admiring a player who went to Duke, which, if you’ve frequented ETSF enough, you will see that rarely ever happens. Shane Battier should be on everyone’s favorite player list at this point, for taking on the challenge of guarding the best offensive player on the planet, and giving him hell. There aren’t enough words to describe the small forward of our All-Goon Team, Ron Artest. He said they would play hard, win fair-and-square, or lose fair-and-square. Kyle Lowry, Carl Landry, Von Wafer, Luis Scola, and Chuck Hayes all contribute, and their effort and hustle is never in question. On top of that, Aaron Brooks picked up where Deron Williams left off, and has turned Derek Fisher into his personal man-bit*h. They are all making Hakeem the Dream, Vernon Maxwell, Sam Cassell, Rudy Tomjanovich, and The Jet proud right now.


I haven’t heard one Rockets player, coach, staff member, or hell, even a Rockets fan make any excuses about them losing their starting center, their back-up center, or not having T-Mac in this series. They just lace up their shoes, and go hoop. If that can’t be appreciated, especially in a playoffs where I’ve seen more excuses than I’ve ever seen in my whole damn life, I don’t know what to tell ya.

Ed went ahead and killed the Lakers in his previous article, and rightfully so. I vowed to him I will never write an article on them again in my life, so the point today is to show it may not be so much about what the Lakers aren’t doing. It may just be that the Houston Rockets are pretty damn good. They could go out, and lay an egg on Sunday, but they won’t, since they actually have the balls to go out and play hard for 48 minutes. Dare say, these boys could mess around and shock the world.

Be easy.

-K. Masenda
www.edthesportsfan.com

The Los Angeles Lakers Should Be Ashamed of Themselves

The Los Angeles Lakers Should Be Ashamed of Themselves


Yeah I said it. Commence to send all Kobe, Bynum, and any other irrelevant Laker hatemail to ed@edthesportsfan.com but you know what I don't care, this display of basketball has become downright preposterous to watch, and if I was a Laker fan (thank God I'm not) then I'd really be questioning the heart and soul of my team.

Let's state the obvious first, isn't this supposed to be the team that was supposed to go straight through to the finals and be the dragon slayers that should've beaten the Celtics last year? I mean, they do have Andrew Bynum back right? Oh wait, they do have Trevor Ariza back right? The Lakers go 11-deep with ease, yet they look lethargic (I'm looking at you Derek Fisher) and more importantly than that, they seem disinterested. What the hell???

I remember when I watched Remember The Titans last week and the two main players, LB Julius Campbell (Wood Harris) and Gerry Bertier (Ryan Hurst) got into it on the field. Bertier screamed at Campbell about reading a play, and called him selfish. Campbell's retort:

"Attitude reflects leadership, captain."

Is there anybody in Laker land listening? Kobe...I'm talking to you buddy.

Its a reason why I really like LeBron way more than Kobe, its because he makes his team play hard, makes them believe in each other, and he's a selfless player. Its his natural personality to be that way. Everything from Kobe seems contrived, planned, and mimicked (i.e. I stole all my mannerisms from MJ). Kobe will win something though, he will win Best Actor in his upcoming "documentary" by Spike Lee.

Ok let me stop, that ain't the point. The point is this, the Houston Rockets are a very good team, and maybe I'm selling them way short, but they don't have their two best players on the court. Their best player is a marginal shooter (Artest) and their best post defender is probably about 6'5" (Chuck Hayes), and they are getting abused beat by a man that has half of the athletic ability than the Lakers frontcourt has (Scola) collectively. Aaron Brooks couldn't even make my fantasy basketball team this year. Yet, this Rockets team is on the brink of maybe the biggest upset in years. Yes, this is bigger than the Sonics losing to the Nuggets, or the Warriors beating the Mavs, this is odds-on favorite to win it all and they are one game away from the conference finals. Plus the other team lost its 2 best players. I'd say its a major upset.


Even Phil Jackson deserves tons of blame for this, I think he thinks that he's been in so many of these games that he'll be able to rally the troops and bring home the bacon once again. However, I know that the worst people to deal with are those folks who really don't give a f*ck. They don't. They have nothing to lose. These are your Houston Rockets, and they're coming to play ball, period. If the Lakers had any heart, they'd do something about it. Will they? Or is it already too late?

Am I going to hard on these boys? I mean, I am a Laker hater, I'll admit it. But I try to do a good job of recognizing the real. Pau Gasol is the best player on the Lakers, yeah I said it. He's out there balling, he should be getting 40 a night real talk. The collection of PG's on the Lakers have been a haphazard crew to say the least. Is Andrew Bynum even alive out there? He seems like a walking corpse for real. Shannon Brown's been a big surprise, Ariza's been pretty good, but Kobe...Kobe...Kobe...ok, maybe he's been leaving it on cruise control for too long. I get it, he's going on 31 years of age in August and he's saving his body a bit, I get it. But look, he's going to the line just 6 times a game? Really? He's got arguably the 2 best on the ball defenders in the league guarding him and he can't make plays to get other folks the ball. I dunno, his teammates gotta step up, but he's gotta step up.

My wish? Sigh...I really want Houston to win, because I'm just not a Laker fan. I'm honest at least. Sadly, in my heart I'd almost rather see L.A. win so they could play Cleveland for the Grand Finale. Come on L.A., show me what you got.

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

Fix A Team - The Dallas Mavericks

Fix A Team - The Dallas Mavericks


Dallas you're up next, the thorough demolition you received from the Denver Nuggets really puts your team under the microscope. I mean lets look at this realistically, last month this team was left for dead, yet they scraped and clawed their way to the #6 seed in the playoffs. Then, they dethroned everyone's favorite to challenge the Lakers in the West Finals (The Spurs) easily winning in 5. Now, they've just come off a humbling 4-1 loss to the Nuggets and they probably have no clue on how to fix their current dilemma. Thankfully, Ed is here to save the day.

#1. Get Rid of Erick Dampier

I don't care what they have to do, sell they soul, trick on they mama, let the opposing player's family sit in owner's suite...wait a second...anyway, courtesy of Hoops Hype Erick Dampier will be the 2nd highest paid player on their team for the next 2 years. WHAT??!??! He's scheduled to get roughly $23M over the next 2 years. What does he do? His averages are 5.7 ppg and 7.1 rpg with 1.2 bpg. Again, what does he do? He's stealing money. He'll turn 34 over the summer, and is on the hook thru 2011. I don't care what you've got to do, get rid of him.

#2. Sign Jason Kidd to a reasonable contract

The Mavericks have about $28M coming off the books this year, $21M of that was from Jason Kidd. I'll admit this, I thought the Jason Kidd for Devin Harris trade was one of the more stupid ones I've seen in years, and I still think its a great move for the Nets. However, Jason does distribute the ball very well, and he's a capable "I'm open and no one's in my face" shooter. But how much is that worth nowadays? Sign Kidd for about $5-6M/year for 2-3 years and call it a day. Otherwise, Andre Miller can come in and do the same thing for the same amount of money.

#3. Consider trading Jason Terry for other upgrades

Jason Terry is my main man, been rocking with him since 'Zona and the double socks. Hell, I know some of his family. So JT, if you so happen to read this then I'm just saying it to be honest. Jason Terry is great, but he limits Dallas for their growth potential. What? Let me explain...Terry's getting about $32M over the next 3 years to pretty much be a hired gun for the Mavs. Believe it or not, this was a career year for Jet, highest scoring average (19.6) since is 2nd year in the league, and had great shooting percentages. But this is $32M for 3 years!!! Can't you turn that into a great post player? Say, a Carlos Boozer? He could start for the Jazz or be a scoring option off the bench. Signing a player like Rasheed Wallace couldn't hurt either. Trade for Z-Bo? Something. No low post scorers hurt any team, the Mavericks need it.

I also think signing a Shawn Marion player would be huge for this team, as it would give them the option of going big or small versus any lineup. (See Lakers, Los Angeles) They have no real flexibility, besides player Jose Juan Barea at guard or small as hell guard. (PUERTO RICO STAND UP)

Maybe I'm wrong, but this team is old, not flexible, and doesn't score any easy points. Dirk puts in his lionshare on the offensive end, and on defense is a liability. One reason is that he still is a power forward, and that isolates the support defensively for the frontcourt onto the center. Two, it takes away the toughness angle of a team. I've never said the words Mavericks & toughness at the sametime. Ever. Plus, they're paying Erick Dampier $23 MILLION over the next 2 years. Sounds real real bad.

What you think, am I totally off base? What else should we do to fix the Mavs?

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

The Greatest Movie Hoopers Ever (Jesus Shuttlesworth All-Stars)

The Greatest Movie Hoopers Ever (Jesus Shuttlesworth All-Stars)

This is what happens when a blackberry messenger conversation goes too far. I digress...

After watching Ray Allen morph into his alter-ego, Jesus Shuttlesworth, again last night. Kenny started fantasizing about some of his dream matchups.

Who would win in a game between Jesus Shuttleworth and Kyle Watson?

WOWZERS...then Ed's brain exploded due to the possibilities of such a legendary matchup. Since this mythical game could never take place, the least we could do is come up with an all-time greatest movie hoopers team. Something we are known for doing here at ETSF. Anyway, this is open for debate and I expect you to disagree with me, lol. HERE WE GO!

Point Guard: Kyle Watson, Above The Rim - Quite arguably the most revered PG in movie hoops history, dude witnessed it all. He was bought out by one of the biggest legends in the drug game in Birdie (Tupac), he was recruited by one of the greatest basketball scouts ever (Pee Wee Kirkland) and teams ever (Georgetown). Kyle's game was already super nice, but then he got some added tips from none other than city legend Shep (Leon). At the end of the day, he overcame the advances of the pussy opposite sex, seeing Flip (Bernie Mac) get chopped up put away by Avon Barksdale Motaw plus finally seeing Bugaloo (Marlon Wayans) aka Kenny Tyler (6th Man) get his pride hurt made him an all around killa. Plus hitting the game winner over Seton Hall in the Big East championship his freshman year didn't hurt.

Shooting Guard: Jesus Shuttlesworth, He Got Game - Was there any doubt? Jesus was the #1 prep player from Abraham Lincoln High School (New York), and under constant pressure (two salacious white women waiting in his room) to decide which college basketball scholarship offer he will accept. Jake Shuttlesworth (Denzel) tried to sway his son's decision to go to Bigg State, by way of that being the governor's alma mater. Jesus quite possibly balled on the livest high school team of all-time, with Coleman 'Booger' Sykes (Hill Harper) running the point, Sip (Travis Best) running the 2-guard, Jesus at the wing, Lonnie (John Wallace) at the 4, and Mance (Walter McCarty) at Center. Moreover, his girlfriend was THE ORIGINAL LaLa (Rosario Dawson) and even then she was a turncoat. At the end of the day, dude was named Jesus, not after the almighty, but Black Jesus aka Earl "The Pearl" Monroe. Legendary.

Small Forward: Jimmy Chitwood, Hoosiers - When we start to talk about the upset special, the underdog, and in more current times, "WE SHOCKED THE WORLD" and "NOBODY BELIEVED IN US" methodologies, they begin with the story of Hoosiers. From a team of only 7 players, one of which was the trainer because they had so few players, their unquestioned leader was Jimmy Chitwood. Chitwood didn't play for about half the season because of their previous coach passing away, however, after the shaky past and beginning of the season by new coach Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) brought the town to a fever pitch, Jimmy rallied the troops and announced he'd play again. Chitwood probably is the only person in movie-sports history that could challenge Jesus (Shuttlesworth) for the greatest stroke ever. Demanding the ball for the game winning shot over powerhouse South Bend Central for the Indiana State Title sealed his legacy.

Power Forward: Saleh, The Air Up There - Quite possibly the most slept on movie-hoops player of all-time, Saleh was a man amongst men. Dude was about 6'9", with a 40+ inch vertical, yet he hooped with no shoes on whatsoever (hell he didn't hardly have any clothes on except for some warrior paint and some koala skin covering the twig and berries. When Jimmy Dolan (Kevin Bacon) came to Africa to recruit him, they became the most dynamic duo on the continent. Dolan also taught him "The Jimmy Dolan Shake and Bake" move which if done in real life would get you immediately laughed at, however it worked for them, and ended up making Saleh a worldwide legend.

Center: Neon Boudreaux, Blue Chips - They found him in the backlands of Louisiana, they had to wade through swamps, alligators, and hootenannys to find this man, but when they found him it was definitely worth it. Neon Boudreaux (Shaquille O'Neal) was listed at 7'4", 335 pounds and was a beast in the lane. However, admittedly not an academic achiever or surprisingly had never played organized basketball makes you wonder how the hell did he even get into school. Regardless, he got recruited by fake UCLA Western University and coach Pete Bell (Nick Nolte) to formulate one of the greatest recruiting classes ever since the Fab 5 of Michigan. Butch McRae (Penny Hardaway) and Ricky Roe (Matt Nover???) plus Neon were given more lavish gifts than Donald Trump's kids. This includes giving a Lexus to Neon Boudreaux (a la Adrian Peterson), a house to Butch's mother (a la Reggie Bush), and also a tractor to Ricky's father as well as "bags of cash," just to sign these players up. Besides his name is Neon Boudreaux, how great is that?

Bench: Monica Wright and Quincy McCall (Sanaa Lathan & Omar Epps - Love & Basketball, however, Monica must immediately tear her ACL and forced to watch the games from the box for fear she'll make every guy on the team want to make it rain on her she'll ruin the team's chemistry.), Kenny Tyler (Marlon Wayans - The 6th Man), Sidney Dean & Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson & Wesley Snipes - White Men Can't Jump), Butch McRae (Penny, Blue Chips), Jamal Wallace (Rob Brown, Finding Forrester), Spaceman (Terrence Howard, Sunset Park)

Coach: Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson, Coach Carter), only he has to coach in his Snakes On A Plane/A Time To Kill Voice. "YES they deserved to die, and I hope they burn in Hell!"

Referee: Micky Gordon (Billy Crystal, Forget Paris), just for diversity's sake.

Is there anyone I'm forgetting? Of course there is. Who else belongs on this fabled squad? Let us know!!

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

Fix A Team - The Atlanta Hawks

Fix A Team - The Atlanta Hawks


Clearly my motivation for this new feature at ETSF was watching the Atlanta Hawks get shellacked, bamboozled, murdalized, molly-whooped, slap-chopped (VINCE), and massacred all over the court by LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers. I want to take a moment to highlight quite possibly one of the funniest commercials of all-time (ok its a reach but still) by Nike. Featuring your past two MVPs, Kobe and LeBron.


The funny thing is, this is exactly how I think Kobe and LeBron act. LOL...

Ok, back to reality. The boys from Inside the NBA made a fantastic point about the Hawks last night and it stuck in my brain. Kenny Smith said that there's nothing worse than an organization (team) being where Atlanta is right now. They aren't horrible enough to feel like they can make wholesale changes to their team and give their squad a new outlook. Yet, they aren't good enough to feel like they could make a major run at a championship. If I said that Orlando wouldn't win a championship, well how do you think I feel about Atlanta? They've got to make some hard decisions in the off-season, lets go through this accordingly.

#1. Make a decision on Mike Bibby

The same reason that Atlanta was able to become a playoff is what restricts them from becoming great. Bibby brought stability, steady handle, and an ice cold 3-point touch to a Hawks team that maybe outside of Joe Johnson had no clutch performers. The 2007-08 Hawks made a run to the #8 seed last year and played the future champion Celtics to 7 games in the first round, Bibby hit many clutch jumpers and consistently found Josh and Joe for easy buckets by penetrating and dishing. However, Bibby can't do that too much anymore. He was never really fast, just decisive and steady, and he's a free agent so what does Atlanta do?

Trade for Raymond Felton. Felton would be a great add for the Hawks, he can penetrate, he can defend both guard positions, and is an improving jump shooter. You can pay him about $6-8/year and solidify your backcourt for years with Joe and Ray. (By the way, did anyone play NCAA March Madness on PlayStation? Raymond Felton was like super unstoppable on that game, doing 360 dunks and everything. I'm just saying.)

#2. Make a major run for a Power Forward

Look at all the great teams in the playoffs, they have people that can go inside and get them easy buckets when they need them. By either penetrating to the bucket, or by posting up on the block, if you can't do one or the other you are in trouble. Well, let's look at Atlanta...do they have ANYONE that can do either one of those things? Their best penetrator is Flip Murray, who's your 6th man. Your best post player is Al Horford. (Career PPG avg. 10.8) They've got to get someone who can go and draw fouls, lots of them. Get you buckets around the rim and open up space for your shooters (Joe Johnson is raising his hand) to rise and fire.


Go get Chris Bosh or Amare Stoudemire. Both are prominent scorers who can get you 20 a game, and are real matchup problems. How much better would one of those players make Horford? Joe Johnson? Josh Smith?

#3. Make some position changes, ASAP

Ok, here's a problem. Everyone thought they were going to miss Josh Childress after he got his $20M over 3 years in years. Thought wrong, they already had a logjam of people who play the small forward position for the team. Problem is, THEY STILL have a logjam at the small forward position. Additionally, the best person they have to play small forward ISN'T PLAYING SMALL FORWARD! Why do they keep trying to force Josh Smith at the 4? He's an uber-athletic small forward who needs to work on his jumper. Period. You can conceivably trade Marvin Williams, see what you can get for him, and keep Maurice Evans as the backup 3. Are we done here? Yes??!!? Thanks.

#4. Act Like Your In Bankhead, not Buckhead

Does Atlanta scare you? Is there anyone on their team that looks like someone you really don't wanna F with? No, not one? Zaza Pachulia maybe? Ok. That's a problem. Kenyon Martin causes problems for other teams. Not just because he's a great defender and energy guy, but because he's got a mean disposition and has LIPS ON HIS NECK!!! Me personally, I'm not messing with him. Same with Ron Artest, Sideshow Bob Varejao, or any big man from the Celtics. (Seriously, seeing Big Baby, KG, Powe, and Perkins and his turtle face would be an issue)

Atlanta needs to sign some super grimey, like Rasheed Wallace (even though they had him a couple of years ago) or Zach Randolph, somebody that looks like they'll "relieve themselves" on your Maserati for fun. LMAO.

Does this fix Atlanta? Do they become contenders instead of pretenders?

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

1st Annual ETSF Grown-Ass Man Team

1st Annual ETSF Grown-Ass Man Team


Once again, we’ve come up with another original here, something you will never see anywhere else. From the folks who brought you the first-annual ETSF All-Goon Team, we’re bringing you the first-annual ETSF Grown-Ass Man Team.

Having a grown man’s game is one of the biggest compliments you can give a basketball player. For one, you will see no jump-shooters, or three-point specialists on this list. The only one-dimensional types I consider to have a grown-man game are rebounders and defenders. In order to have a grown man’s game, you have to be willing to mix it up, have a nice balance of old-school and new-school style in your arsenal, and you cannot, by any circumstances, allow anyone to punk you, or even think they can hold you. Basically, when they look on the schedule, and see your team and your name up, the only word that will fall from their mouth is “sh*t.”

PG – Chauncey Billups – Mr. Big Shot has occupied this spot for the past four-five years. He’s the prototypical grown-ass man point guard. He can shoot, play D, go to the hole, back you up in the post, and is the definition of a leader. Just look at what he’s done with Denver; this team was forgettable last season, but they are smashin’ everyone in their path right now, and it’s largely because of Billups. On top of that, he’s about nine games away from having Ed change his name from The Sports Fan to The Soothsayer, since he picked them to win the championship, before it was popular to do so (Back-up PG: Deron Williams).

SG – Dwyane Wade – Honestly, you can go either way with this pick. For me, I go Wade for the simple fact he can do everything you want a two-guard to do, on top of play good on-ball defense, help-side defense, and will dunk on you in a split second. He’ll also do it with that half-smirk/half-dead look on his face, which, in my opinion, translates to “bit*h, you can’t hold me.” He doesn’t have to say it; he just lets his game do the talking (Back-up SG: Kobe Bryant).

SF – LeBron James – The King has been a grown-ass man ever since his first dunk in Arco Arena, back in 2003. Since then, he’s added something new to his game that pretty much solidifies his standing on this list for the next 100 years. He can beat you in so many ways, and, on top of that, can make it look pretty damn easy (Back-up SF; Caron Butler).

PF – Kevin Garnett – KG was born for this position, and while some people may get it twisted by looking at his numbers, look at the fact he literally changed the game when he came in the league. Honestly, I can’t think of another player who can play the three, the four, and the five-spot, and play ALL OF THEM GREAT. Don’t waste your time trying to think of someone who has, who can, or who is: there simply isn’t another man like Kevin Garnett in the game of basketball (Back-up PF; Big Al Jefferson).


C – Tim Duncan – The Big Fundamental’s nickname says it all. He’s the one person who can embarrass the hell out of you without even leaving the ground. He even found a way to make bank-shots look cool. If that can’t be appreciated, then I don’t know what to tell you. Tim Duncan has one of those games where, if he wanted, he could still be a monster at 40 years old, and if he chooses to leave the NBA, he’ll just go to any 24 Hour Fitness, any rec center, or open run, and bust everyone’s ass in there, without even trying (Back-up C; Shaquille O’Neal).

Coach – Gregg Poppovich - Have you seen the way this man scowls on the bench? That's enough of a reason to be the coach of this team alone. Plus, he blatantly says he's going to win the championship on every odd year. Ok that was made up but still, he's a great coach, and coached Mike Brown over in Cleveland to be the best in the East. (Assistant Coach; Jerry Sloan)

Who's on your Grown-Ass Man Team? Let us know!

-K. Masenda
www.edthesportsfan.com

Know Your D@mn Role...

Know Your D@mn Role...


I've been on a bit of a wrestling kick recently. I sat here and watched Wrestlemania 18 with The Rock vs. "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan. Icon vs. Icon. Anyway, after watching Eddie House go off it made me thing of the Rock's theme music...
Do you smell-lllllllllll what the Rock is cooking?
The Rock says, The Rock says, The Rock says, The Rock says
The Rock says, The Rock says know you damn role...
- The Rock

This is what makes teams that are perennially bad, to decent, to great. Its why teams get those cagey veterans in hopes for a ring, to fit a specific need for a team. Its why some teams have great chemistry and why some teams don't.

Know your damn role. Thank you Rock for clarifying that for us.

The playoffs help you notice the role players because its the reason that teams become great. For every Jordan there was a Steve Kerr, for every Isiah there was a "Microwave" Vinnie Johnson, for every Magic Johnson there was a Kurt Rambis, for every Hakeem, Shaq, and Tim Duncan there was a Robert Horry.

You get the point, that point is that those players were always ready and seems to make big plays for their teams in times when it was needed the most. In the 2009 playoffs, a couple of players come to the light and definitely "Know Their Role" and are helping pave the way for "The Rock" of their teams.

Chris “Birdman” Andersen - When this dude comes in the game, it seems like everything kicks up a notch. Denver is already pretty active as it is, but the defensive intensity picks up, people crash the boards, hands are in the passing lanes, and of course, the crowd goes nuts. If you think I’m lying, watch a Nuggets home game, and see the reaction when Birdman enters (they need to start playing The Clipse and Birdman’s hood smash, What Happened To That Boy when he gets in there).

Eddie House - "That's what happens when you start bustin' somebody's ass, they resort to bush league tactics." Well said Ed(die House). Dude went off tonight for 31 points, but in many ways he is the most dangerous when he steps on the court. As Eddie House's biggest fan J. McFly would say, "Eddie House is ready anytime he's on the court. He's excited. He's just happy to be on the court and shoot the 3." Point well made sir, he's a hired gun in a Celtics uniform, and as the Magic found out you have to account for him or he's going to end your night early.

Trevor Ariza - Play defense, shoot 3's, be an athlete on the floor. Check, check, and check. Who doesn't need a player on the court like that? Ariza definitely is a gamebreaker for the Lake Show because if he starts to get off then it becomes a long night for the opposition. Truth be told, he's probably getting the main defensive assignment ahead of Kobe (all Kobe supporters can send hate mail to ed@edthesportsfan.com) and gets no plays run for him. Its okay though, I think Phil Jackson knows his real value.

Delonte West - Member of the ETSF All-Goon Squad as he (should be) was nominated for the missing member of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Delonte Red-Bone? Ok, maybe not. However, at 6'4" he is the PG for the offense up in Cleveland, the long range threat LeBron looks for when he penetrates and kicks, and takes on all of the two guards defensively as well. Delonte takes a lot of pressure off of Mo Williams and LeBron by bringing up the ball and being a clutch player, thus becomes an integral part of the squad.

One thing you will notice is these players usually don't try to do more than what they are capable of. Why do you think people cringe when Tony Allen comes into the game for the Celtics. When Ricky Davis tries to get his own triple-double off his own backboard. When DeShawn Stevenson tries to battle against LeBron. These are all mistakes. Those 4 players listed above bring good energy and are usually great in the locker room. See how much impact each of them have in the rest of the playoffs.

Did we forget anybody, let us know your thoughts!

-Ed & Ken
www.edthesportsfan.com

The Orlando Magic Will Never Win a Championship

The Orlando Magic Will Never Win a Championship


That statement came from me, about 10 hours ago as the Cleveland Cavaliers executed finished off the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal matchup. The question came up that does Orlando have a realistic shot (if they were to get by Boston) to beat Cleveland in a best of 7 series. Being the candid, extroverted, egotistical, uber-maniac that I am, I came back with a simple retort...

Orlando has no chance of beating Cleveland, The Orlando Magic will never win a championship.

(Let the hailstorm of hate, vitriol, and utter angst against Ed begin mercifully)

Now, I wouldn't make a blanket statement like that without some thought behind it (although that's not always the case) and lets look at this point by point.

#1. Their best player on the court doesn't have one legitimate post move or jump shot. Now let's be real, Dwight Howard is the dude. A devout christian, great sense of humor, and is a freak of an athlete. I would want my (future, like in 4-5 years) son to learn a thing or two from D-Ho. So I mean this no disrespect, but Dwight Howard has no post moves, he cannot shoot a 10-12 foot jump shot, and is a horrendous free-throw shooter. We see how he scores his points, alley-oops, put-backs, and dribble-penetration passes from his teammates that lead to a dunk. Who regularly gets the ball in the 4th quarter? Hedo Turkoglu.

#2. They can't afford the most important players on their team. I have shared the philosophy with Ken on this and I'll share it with you. Your 3 best guys should align with who your 3 highest payed players are on your team. I'll give you some examples. In San Antonio: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili. Highest paid, best players. Boston: Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett. Highest paid, best players. Now, lets look at a couple of teams that don't follow the rule. Philadelphia: Andre Iguoadala, Samuel Dalembert, Elton Brand. Those are the 3 highest paid, however the most important player to that team is definitely Andre Miller (which he's in a walk year, he will be a Portland Trail Blazer). Golden State: Monta Ellis, Andris Biedrins, Jamal Crawford. Yikes! Stephen Jackson's the 5th highest paid on his team, that's a problem.

So here's my point. They originally signed up a core 3 players of Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, and Hedo Turkoglu. Jameer Nelson is probably the 2nd or 3rd most important player on the team, yet how good is Jameer Nelson really? Rafer Alston came in the offense looks no different. Rashard Lewis's contract ($109M/6 years) is utterly ridiculous. The simple fact that he gets paid more that Dwight Howard (until at least 2013) is mind-blowing. Furthermore, they cannot afford to resign Turkoglu, who arguably, is the most important player to their team. They don't get out of the first round without him, and they have no one else on that squad that can create their own shot. Its their own fault, they should've never signed Rashard to that horrendous contract in the first place (which they overpaid by AT LEAST $20M) and THEY HAVE NO POWER FORWARD ON THE TEAM!!! Can Dwight Howard get some help on the boards? I know he's Superman and all, but dammit can he get a goon to do his dirty work. He shouldn't have been the one to elbow Dalembert in Game 5, someone like Jermareo Davidson could've chopped Big Sam in the back of the neck and it wouldn't have been a big deal.

#3. They are being coached by legendary porn star Ron Jeremy Stan Van Gundy. Big Shaq attacked the man to no end a couple of months ago. Everyone said, why is he going hard on him (nh) like that? Well, let me ask you all this. When's the last time Stan Van Gundy's coached his team to a big game victory? Ever? Why is it that every single time Orland gets a huge lead, the opposition always finds a way to get back in the game. Orlando was up 28 POINTS against Boston on Monday, yet that game was a Ray Allen 3-pointer way from being 1-0 Boston. Orlando is so obsessed with shooting 3's and playing a run-and-gun offense that they usually let teams get back in the game, great teams do not let that happen. Besides Turk, I see no killer instinct on their team and their attitude reflects their leadership.

Let me say this before I get tons of Orlando hate mail, I actually really like Orlando, but they are just fatally flawed. I can't sit here and be realistic with myself and look at them and say, "They could win it all." It's not happening. Believe in Orlando if you want to, you willing to bet your $20 on it? I didn't think so.

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

3-Point Play (Early Edition)

3-Point Play (Early Edition)

ONE - You Got Knocked the F**k Out: Pac Man Murks Ricky Hatton

Last Saturday night, I saw something that was very, how can I say this without angering Ed??? I saw something very Tyson-esque in Las Vegas. Manny Pacquiao beat the TRASH out of Ricky Hatton, and it did it in quick fashion. It was the first time I’d seen Pac Man in the ring, and my God…this man blew me away. After the first minute of that fight, I knew Hatton was in big trouble. I can see why people say he’s the best, but in order for us to really know what time it is, he’ll have to beat The Pretty Boy, and that won’t be an easy task, not one bit.

TWO - They Got Yao…Too Bad it Doesn’t Matter: Rockets v. Lakers Recap

The Rockets just beat the Lakers in Game One of their series, and all over my Facebook page, folks are changing their statuses, talking about “Go Rockets,” “My Rockets did work,” “F**k Kobe,” and all other craziness. If one didn’t know any better, you would think they just won the championship. Now anyone who knows me knows I strongly dislike the Lakers, but they’re not about to lose this series to Houston. I love Yao Ming, and think he’s the best center in the league, and I realize he’s a matchup problem for the Lakers, but that’s their only advantage. I’m no fan of Houston’s backcourt, and can easily see the combination of Fisher/Farmar/Brown being better than Lowry/Brooks, even though the latter had the advantage in the first game. The only way I’ll begin to think Houston can actually win this series is if they can win Game Two as well, and while it could happen, it probably won’t.

THREE - All Hail The King: LeBron James wins the MVP

Well, was this really a surprise? It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that The King would win MVP this year. I’ve been vouching for Dwayne Wade all year, but I have no problem with LeBron winning this award. It was pretty cool seeing them do the press conference at his old high school, too. There’s something about this dude that no other player in the league has, and I’ve been trying to put my finger on it ever since he came in the league, but it’s so hard to pin-point. All I know is this man is on top of his game, and when you can average 28/8/7, and STILL have room for improvement (namely, a mid-range jumper), it’s scary to think how nice he’s going to be, once he truly masters the game.

-K. Masenda
www.edthesportsfan.com

Mark It Down - Floyd Will Fight Manny Pacquiao

Mark It Down - Floyd Will Fight Manny Pacquiao


First of all, you all know I do not post on Saturday. In fact some of you will probably read this Monday morning while I'm writing my Monday column LOL. So let me explain, when I got in late last night, I was super tired. Like you ever tried to watch SportsCenter and will watch a basketball highlight and next thing you know you've slipped into golf highlights and got a drool stain on ya shirt? Oh, that's just me? My bad...

Anyway, on the ESPN Bottom Line I saw something that make made wake up with the quick...

"Floyd Mayweather, Jr. will come out of retirement to fight Juan Manuel Marquez on July 18thLas Vegas."

WTF

Let me tell you something right now, that one sentence on the Bottom Line told me everything I needed to know on what we might be able to witness in the next 12 months. Floyd wants to fight Pacquiao, period. There's no other logical reason for that news to break. Let's break this down accordingly.

#1. Realize that they announced this fight THE NIGHT BEFORE the Pacquiao vs. Hatton fight. They essentially tried to put Pacquiao on notice. Floyd is a shy guy...LMAO...that sounded funny just typing it. Floyd LOVES attention. Whenever a dude comes into a ring with mink shorts on then that lets me know all I need to know about him being an "extrovert". All the buzz will now be shifting about Floyd coming back, and it points the arrow squarely on a Pacquiao vs. Mayweather bout.

#2. Understand that this fight is in roughly 2 months. They've probably been planning this a bit sooner and Floyd and Juan Manuel Marquez have both probably been training for awhile now, so they'll be ready. I'm going to tell you exactly when they'll fight too if Manny beats Hatton and Floyd beats JMM. Mark it down, December 5th, 2009. That first weekend in December is a hayooge one for boxing, I guarantee they'll fight then.


#3. Juan Manuel Marquez is no punk, in fact he's arguably one of the better lightweight fighters of his generation. He's responsible for the only draw on Pacquiao's record, and although he lost the second fight after going a full 12 rounds, he never stopped fighting and was able to consistently connect on Pacquiao. There is a strong possibility that Floyd doesn't beat Marquez. Did you hear me? FLOYD MIGHT LOSE TO MARQUEZ, this can happen. To Floyd, picking this fight makes sense, he gets his benchmark on JMM to see if he can matchup well with Pacquiao, and if he wins then we have a new fight of the year.

At the end of the day, it shouldn't have taken as long for this to happen. However, with the ascension of Pacquiao (and him moving up to Floyd's weight class) of the last 2-3 years, Floyd can't ignore that everyone's crowned (including myself) Pac-man as the new pound-for-pound champion. Will it happen? For boxing's sake, for our entertainment purposes, and for Floyd's bank account (I would bet money that his funds might be lower than he expected and he could use some change, just a hunch) lets hope and pray that this works out.

AM I NUTS? TELL ME YOU WOULDN'T WATCH THIS FIGHT! GET AT ME!

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

One of the greatest weekends ever...

One of the greatest weekends ever...


I just need you to understand the way I feel right now about the upcoming weekend. We have arguably 3 of the greatest sporting events that can happen going on in one evening. The Kentucky Derby, Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton fight for the Junior Welterweight Championship of the World, and then...Game 7, Bulls vs. Celtics. Maybe the greatest (opening) round series of all-time.

Those are just the 3 big events for the weekend. I'll break all of the events down for the weekend and make sure you know what's what.

Must See Friday
Hawks vs. Heat, Game 6 in Miami, Hawks up 3-2 - This series should probably be getting more love than it has, but when you've got that slobber-knocker that's going on between Beantown and Chi-town, the focus might miss this series just a bit. This has been a supremely intense series, ESPN.com says that there have been 100 fouls called in the last 2 games. Dwyane Wade has hit the deck frequently, and the Heat have defended him justly. (Did you all see the Jammal Magloire sighting on Wednesday?) However, someone's going to need to step up for the Heat to force a game 7 back in ATL. Jermaine O'Neal is the key (all the Heat fans just threw up in their mouth) as in the 2 wins he's averaged 20.5 ppg, 8 rpg, & 3.5 blocks to boot. In 3 losses, 13 ppg, 3.6 rpg, & 0.6 blocks. The pick? D-Wade goes for 40 tonight, Heat win.

Honorable Mention: MLB - NY Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies, NHL - 2nd Round Playoffs, Anaheim Mighty Ducks vs. Detroit Red Wings

Must See Saturday
The Kentucky Derby - If you've never kicked it in Louisville for the Kentucky Derby, then you are missing out. I've been roughly invited to about 37 house parties this Saturday (sorry, not going to any of them) and been invited to actually go down to the Derby itself. I've never seen so many people get together to do stuff BEFORE THE ACTUAL RACE quite like this event. People will be playing cornhole (its a midwest thing, look it up), drinking mojitos (YES), and grilling all types of food that might have swine flu in it (Jesus help us), have fun at this event. I'm putting my money on Pioneerof The Nile to win, get at me!


Pacquiao vs. Hatton - This fight is going to be one for the ages. Boxing has gotten a bad rap because some of its more recent champions (Floyd, Roy Jones) took more pride in not getting hit then making it more entertaining and engaging in a good fight. Well my friends, you will not have that problem with these two fighters. Pacquiao (from the Phillipines) and Hatton (from the UK) are both, what Lil Scrappy might say, some headbustas. They do not mince words or punches, and should be a good benchmark for Pac-man as this fight would do wonders for his legacy, meanwhile for Hatton it would solidify his place in the boxing circle. One of the best fighters, or one that can't get over the hump. PAY THE $55 (get it in HD) AND WATCH THIS FIGHT!! The pick? Pacquiao KO in Round 10.


Bulls vs. Celtics, Game 7 in Boston, Series tied 3-3 - I feel really bad for you if you've missed out on this series. I'm going on record right now in saying that this series is neck and neck with the Kings-Lakers series in the Western Semis for greatest series I've seen in the last 15 years. Boston is on wounded knee, yet The Truth and Jesus (Shuttlesworth) have strapped the C's on their back, can they do it one more time? How about Beans Gordon, Pooh Bear Rose, Salmons, Noah, Hinrich, and the rest of the Unbelieva-Bulls? Remember that this team is 18-11 after the Brad Miller/John Salmons trade, and how hard was it for Miller to knock down 5 consecutive free throws in the 4th quarter and 3 OT's? I've heard that Ken won't be watching the game, he can't bring himself to do it. However, stop whatever your doing and watch this game, could go down in history as something special. Who do I have? Bulls 95, Celtics 93.

Honorable Mention: NHL - 2nd Round Playoffs, Pittsburgh Penguins (Sid the Kid) vs. Washington Capitals (Ovechkin) in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semis (this should be epic, trust me)

Must See Sunday
Hawks vs. Heat, Game 7 (if necessary) - For our entertainment, lets hope it goes 7.
Dallas at Denver, Game 1 of the Western Conference Semis - This series has the chance of keeping up with the Bulls/Celtics series. To have the chance to see K-Mart go up against Dirk might be a highlight within itself. The Nuggs totally took the heart and soul away from the Hornets, and the Mavs might've ended a dynasty in San Antonio. Plus, the JKidd vs. Chauncey matchup should be fun too. Oh boy.

Honorable Mention: Tiger goes for win #1 in Quail Hollow - Tiger's baaaaaack. The PGA shall feel the wrath of Tiger Woo (that's what I call him) this summer. Look out.

ANYTHING I FORGOT? WHAT ARE YOU ALL LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS WEEKEND? LET US KNOW, AND BE SAFE!

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

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