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Posts tagged “Los Angeles Lakers

The NBA’s Biggest Surprises

The All New JH-2012
30.3 PPG highway,
24.1 stop and go.

We are now a full week into the 2012-13 NBA season and while it is still extremely early, there have been a lot of surprising stories that have surfaced.  Here is a poll for you guys to vote on to express what you feel is the most surprising story so far.


Dwight Howard to the Lakers…The Drama is Over!

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It’s Land o’ Lakers for Dwight

It’s about fucking time that we can all stop talking about where Dwight Howard will end up.  Late yesterday, a massive 4-team trade was accepted and the NBA’s hottest and most played out story line came to a conclusion with Dwight ending up with the Lakers.  A lot of you might be surprised that the Lakers got Howard, but if you are a true Sports Debaters fan then you probably read my article back on 7-18-2012 “https://sports-debaters.com/2012/07/18/the-lakers-dont-want-howard-they-need-him/” where I clearly stated the necessity for Howard if the Lakers wanted to dethrone Miami.  Nearly a month later my prediction rang true and now we are looking at possibly the best team I have ever seen on paper.

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Well, Howard you feel if you were dropped Dwight into the best damned team in the West?

In a masterfully manipulative way, the Lakers were able to obtain Howard without giving up much by involving a fourth team in the trade.  The Lakers received Howard, the Denver Nuggets got Andre Iguodala, the Philadelphia 76ers got Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson, and the Magic received Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic and one protected future first-round pick from each of the three teams.  That means that LA literally only lost a young and talented Andrew Bynum and a future first round draft pick (protected by the way) for arguably the best Center in over a decade.

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Just what LA needed! Even more beef than Kobe!

As a Knicks fan, I’m not to disappointed with this trade’s outcome because it moved the best defensive player in the league to the West coast.  What I am disappointed about is that with Dwight wearing the purple and gold everyone and their mother’s can predict who will be facing off in the NBA Finals for at least the next couple of seasons.  Since Shaq had left Miami, the Lakers/Heat rivalry has kind of fizzled out but with Superman coming to town you can expect the Miami vs Los Angeles game to be the hottest ticket in town once again.  It’s funny because we missed the first two month’s of last season due to a bargaining agreement where the league was looking for a solution so teams couldn’t stack all of the raw talent in one location…guess that shit failed, didn’t it?

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With luck it will be a strike-shortened couple of seasons and the Lakers will get fat and lazy and women’s beach volleyball will become a nightly national televised event.

This is what happens people, big market teams get big market players.  Unfortunately for fans of other teams around the league, there really isn’t any reason for you watch this season because the outcome is already set.  If you look at the Lakers roster right now I honestly don’t think there is a team in history with a starting 5 as overall talented as LA has now.  Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta Worldpeace, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard with Antwan Jamison coming off the bench…are you serious?.  That team in itself would win the Olympic gold guaranteed.

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LA likes to think of itself this way, but it really has the Center of the Universe now!

When Steve Nash was acquired by the Lakers, there were a lot of haters out there saying how his lack of defense would affect them in a negative way.  Well Steve, you can let your marked men run past you all day now because you will have one of the greatest defenders of all time standing in the middle waiting to block whatever comes his way.  Dwight is a 3-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and although he has had many media related faux pas’, the man is an absolute beast on the court and there is no way he will have a negative impact on the team.

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At least most of the country can watch the planes passing back and forth from LA to Miami and vice-versa for entertainment.

Rumor has it that while in London at the Olympics, Kobe heard the news of the Dwight trade and went directly to the local jeweler to get fitted for ring number 6.  That’s not actually true but I’m sure the thought went through his mind.  I know Miami is coming off a successful championship season and that Lebron finally got the monkey off of his back, but with Dwight joining Kobe and Nash my pick is for the Lakers to be champions once again.  Try and debate me, I dare you!


The Lakers Don’t Want Howard…They Need Him!

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For Kobe stakes are high. Land o’ Lakers times is running short. What is this, the food network?!

Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest player’s in the history of the NBA, but there is no denying that his career is on the down swing.  Already with 5 NBA Championship trophies as well as an NBA MVP award, Kobe has proven that he is a glorified winner.  Bryant turns 34 in August and unless you are the New York Knicks organization, you think that is getting too old for the NBA.  In my estimation, Kobe has two great years ahead of him and then possibly 2-3 average years, but his window for winning his coveted sixth Championship is closing fast.  The 14 time NBA all-star knows this and is all for his management putting together a Championship team for this season.

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Nash bridges one gap, but who else will get on the Buss?

Jerry Buss and crew started their off-season magic with the best Free Agent signing of the year in Steve Nash.  Unfortunately for the Lakers, they were more than just a quality PG short of winning the Championship last year.  After acquiring Nash, Buss continued to look for the pieces that helped his team win 5 Championship’s since 2000.  With some rumors flying, it seems as if the Lakers are about to sign Free Agent Antwan Jamison which will give them more great veteran leadership and a chameleon SF who pulls off the PF roll as well as anyone.  While the former UNC Champion Jamison will bring a quality perimeter shot to the Lakers and add 7-9 rebounds a game depending on his minutes, his lack of defense will be a cause of huge concern for a team that prides itself on tenacious defending.

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Antwan, an two, and three – Championship!

Nash has also been known for splotchy defense throughout his career and while Kobe has been named to numerous amounts of NBA all-defensive teams and Metta World Peace is literally willing to elbow someone in the face to stop them, the Lakers need more defense to win it all.  Andrew Bynum might be one of the best up and coming Centers that the league has seen in a while, but his skill set still can not match up with Superman Dwight Howard’s.  To win a Championship, you need big men defenders and while all the haters out there will say that Miami just won it all without a big man defender I will say that Lebron defends as well as anyone ever has…he is a freak and a player like him only comes around once every 20 years.  I mean there hasn’t even been a PG Defensive Player of the Year since Gary “The Glove” Payton won it in 1996.

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Dwight down their alley, Lakers picked Andrew a winner.

There is no better defender in the league than Dwight Howard and he will fit in perfectly with Mike Brown’s Lakers.  Although Howard has stated multiple times that he only wants to sign an extension with the Brooklyn Nets, maybe he would be comforted knowing that signing with Kobe and the Lakers would pretty much guarantee him a trip to the NBA Championship.  The loss of Bynum would be tough, but if Howard were to sign for at least 4 years than I’m pretty sure the Yellow and Purple will be able to cope with it.  Howard can defend not only the opponents Center but he would also be able to shut down the players that coast past Nash and Jamison on a regular basis.  Anyone that tries to say that Bynum has more potential than what Howard has to offer is a buffoon.

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Hey waiter! Can we get a cup over here!

If Kobe combines forces with Nash, Gasol, Jamison and Howard, than there will be absolutely no one that has a starting 5 who can match up with them.  If this team does form this superhero alliance than they will be ancient in 3 years, yet still younger than the Knicks current roster.  The Lakers had to be planning on restructuring their entire team once Kobe’s career comes to an end anyway, so why not go out with a bang and win a couple of more Championships.  For the NBA’s sake I hope this happens because I would like to see someone capable of putting out the Heat’s fire.  If this move doesn’t happen than you can expect no more than a second round exit from the playoffs for the Lakers once again.


The Greatest Sports Rivalries of All Time

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Sports is all about the love, just like marriage. It’s just that some of the divorces don’t go so well.

If you are a sports fan like me, then you are obsessed with rivalries.  With the anticipation of upcoming games or events against the people or teams that you dread the most, one can only get goosebumps.  Winning is great but winning against your rival is AMAZING.  A sports rivalry is an intense competition between athletic teams or athletes. This pressure of competition is felt by players, coaches, and management, but is felt strongest by the fans.  I can pretty much watch any sporting event when it’s on, but when that said event is a storied rivalry, I get to a whole new level of excitement.  Twice a year, and maybe an extra game in the playoffs, I wait patiently for my Jets-Patriots games and I enjoy nothing more than my Knicks vs Heat games but throughout the history of sports some teams have separated themselves from the pack when it comes to intense rivalries.  Below is a list of what I feel are the best rivalries in each respective sport.

Baseball:  New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox

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I’ll give ya baked beans! Try these!

From the curse of Babe Ruth to the greatest comeback in baseball playoffs history, these two teams have put together a century of heated battles.  There is no worse city rivalry then that of Boston vs New York and there is no better team rivalry between the two cities than the Yanks and Sox.  Sure the Jets and Pats and Knicks and Celtics have bad blood but what the Red Sox and Yankees bring every season is an absolute hatred for each other.  Although a lot of people consider when the Sox and Yankees finished tied atop the AL East in 1978, which the Yankees won an intense 1-game playoff for the pennant,  the most memorable moment in this storied rivalry, I have to disagree.  I feel that  the 2004 AL Championship Series is the most memorable moment when the Yankees led 3 games to 0 and ultimately lost the best of seven series.  The Red Sox comeback was the only time in baseball history that a team has come back from a 0–3 deficit to win a series.  The Yankees might be the greatest baseball franchise ever, but Boston always seems to get under their skin.

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Do you believe in Magic? Well, he flipped him the Bird!

Basketball:  Los Angeles Lakers vs Boston Celtics

The rivalry between the Lakers and Celtics involves two of the most storied franchises in NBA history. The two teams have met in the NBA Finals a record twelve times, with the first time happening in 1959.  The Celtics have won 9 out of the 12 Finals matchups between them.  These two teams dominated the league in the 1960s and the 1980s, and faced each other six times in the 60s and three times in the 80s in the Finals.  The greatest individual player rivalry that came out of these two teams hatred for each other was that of Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson.  Magic said of the games against the Celtics, “when the new schedule would come out each year, I’d grab it and circle the Boston games. To me, it was The Two and the other 80.” Similarly, Bird said that, “the first thing I would do every morning was look at the box scores to see what Magic did. I didn’t care about anything else.”  These teams seemed to brawl almost every time they met on the hardwood and that’s why there will never be an NBA rivalry that can compare to it.

Football:  Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears

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It’s so damn cold out there all we wanna do is hit something!!!

Even though a lot of people consider the Packers to be huge rivals with the Minnesota Vikings, I don’t think that there is any dispute that the Packers biggest rival are the Chicago Bears.  The Bears and Packers form the league’s longest rivalry dating all the way back to 1921.  They have played each other a record 184 times between the regular and post seasons.  Chicago currently leads the all-time series, 92–86–6 but Green Bay has won 6 out of the last 7.  With both teams playing in the NFC North division, we get two crazy competitive games between them a season.  I found an extremely interesting fact about this rivalry that makes it even more bad-ass then it already is.  This rivalry can be credited for the first ever ejection of players for fighting during a game back on November 23, 1924. The Bears’ Frank Hanny and the Packers’ Walter Voss were ejected because of words being said and then punches being thrown. Two years later, Hanny was ejected once again in a game versus Green Bay.

College Basketball:  Duke vs North Carolina

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UNC nothin’ until you see these guys Duke it out.

These two universities are only located only 8 miles apart.  Imagine having your worst enemy living in your backyard. Duke and UNC have been facing each other since January 24, 1920.  They have squared off a remarkable 234 times with UNC leading the series 132-102.  Both schools are also two of the most successful  programs in NCAA history with North Carolina as #2 on the list of all-time wins in Division 1 Men’s Basketball and Duke as the #4.  With coaches like Dean Smith and Mike Krzyzewski, it’s no wonder why these two programs have produced some of the best college and NBA players ever.  Though these teams have never met in the NCAA Tournament, their battle for the ACC crown year after year is enough to make them one of the best sports rivalries in the world.  While UNC has won the ACC regular season 29 times compared to Duke’s 19, Duke has won the ACC tournament 19 times while UNC only has 17.  Every season Duke vs UNC has the most watched college basketball regular season games because of how intriguing the rivalry really is.

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Come on, they call themselves REAL Madrid for Chrissakes! How can a fake city like Barcelona not get pissed (that’s what the F.C. stands for, right)?

Soccer:  Real Madrid C.F. vs. F.C. Barcelona

This rivalry is so famous that it has been nicknamed, El Clasico.  For all you geniuses out there, that means The Classic.  This rivalry was given the nickname The Classic because of it’s storied history and buzz behind every matchup.   These two star-studded teams face off twice a year in the Spanish La Liga and sometimes more if the teams meet in other tournaments like the UEFA Champions League.  Other than the UEFA Champions League Final, El Clasico is the most watched football club match in the world, watched by hundreds of millions of people.  Dating all the way back to 1902, Real Madrid and Barcelona have been facing off to epic battles.  Madrid and Barcelona are the two biggest cities in all of Spain and the two clubs are two of the richest, most successful and influential football clubs in the world.  Throughout it’s history, this rivalry has been extremely close as the record between to the two teams in the Spanish League is a surprising 69 wins for Real Madrid and 64 for Barcelona while the teams have drawn even 31 times.  Currently, the two teams each have one of the two best players in the world with Cristiano Ronaldo on Real Madrid and Lionel Messi on Barcelona.

I know there a ton of storied rivalries that I have left off this list, but it is my belief that these 5 are the best in the history of their respective sports.  Feel free to let me know if you think I unjustly left a deserving rivalry off and I will be more than willing to debate with you.

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We Love Our Fathers!

ImageThere is nothing in this world more enjoyable than sports, and there is no better way to enjoy sports than with your father.  For the Sports Debaters, we can give all the credit for our love and interest in sports to our fathers Bruce and Peter.  So first off, Happy Father’s Day!  Memories from your first catch in the back yard, to the first sports team you ever tried out for, to the first trophy you ever won will stay with you forever and we just want to thank our father’s for pushing us and always being there for us for these momentous occasions.  You may have seen either Bruce or Peter commenting on our articles trying to keep us on our toes and we couldn’t appreciate it more.  This article is dedicated to them!

ImageThe baseball great Harmon Killebrew once said, “My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say”, “You’re tearing up the grass.” “We’re not raising grass,” my dad would reply, “we’re raising boys.”  This is the sort of thing our fathers would have said, followed with a quick apology of course, so that is why this article is being written for them.  Below is a handful of the greatest father-son athletes in their respective sports.  The list is nearly endless so we chose one combination from 5 different sports and we would love it if you added to the comments page with famous duo’s that you think deserved to be on this list.

FOOTBALL: Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning

ImageThree unbelievable quarterbacks with a combined 15 Pro-Bowl selections and 3 Superbowl victories, the Manning’s are without question the greatest father-son’s trio of all time.  I know this article is for duo’s but how can you leave this family off of it.  Archie had the unfortunate disadvantage of playing for a terrible team his entire career.  Even though he had a losing record for his career, he was still respected as a very good quarterback.  As for Peyton and Eli, if you don’t know about them then you are probably on the wrong website.  Peyton is set to begin the second part of his career with his new team the Denver Broncos and Eli is coming of winning his second Superbowl.  Both Eli and Peyton have proved to be not only great athletes on the field, but they both showed their surprisingly funny comedy chops in numerous commercials as well as both hosting Saturday Night Live.

BASEBALL:  Ken Griffey Sr and Jr

ImageThese two amazing athletes not only mastered the same sport, but they actually played on the same team for a short period of time.  Ken Griffey Sr. started his career with the Cincinnati Reds where he went on to make 3 all-star teams and won back-to-back World Series (1975-76).  After traveling through the Yankees, Braves and back to the Reds, KG Sr went on to finish his storied career with the Seattle Mariners.  His final move to Seattle was historic because it paired him with his son Ken Griffey Jr.  I am sure that even Senior would admit that his son definitely had one up on him.  Junior, or “The Kid”, was one of the best all-around baseball players of all time.  6th on the list for most home runs ever and 10 Gold Gloves playing Center Field make Junior a shoe-in for Cooperstown.  After his retirement, the Associated Press went on to say, “In his prime, Ken Griffey Jr. was unanimously considered the best player in baseball.”

BASKETBALL:  Joe and Kobe Bryant

ImageJoe “Jellybean” Bryant was the greatest NBA player to ever wear the #23…just kidding, but he did go on to have an above average career both playing and coaching.  Drafted out of La Salle University by the Golden State Warriors, Jellybean went on to play for 3 different NBA teams and 5 different teams overseas between Italy and France.  He has most recently found himself as a coach in the WNBA for the Los Angeles Sparks during the 2011-12 season.  Now I don’t know if you have ever heard of his son, Kobe Bryant, but he is pretty good.  Kobe has won 5 NBA Championships and continues to be one of the best players in the NBA year after year.  He has made 14 all-star games and went on to win the NBA MVP back in 2008.  Kobe will go down as not only one of the best players in Lakers history, but NBA history as well.

HOCKEY:  Bobby and Brett Hull

ImageBobby Hull is considered the greatest left winger to ever play the game and arguably the best player period.   Bobby was famous for his blonde hair, blinding skating speed, and having the hardest shot, which is how he earned the nickname “The Golden Jet.”  He won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Black Hawks back in 1961 and went on to lead the league in goal scoring a remarkable 7 times in the sixties.  Bobby was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.  Bobby’s son Brett wasn’t too shabby himself.  Brett has the third most goals in NHL history (741), with one of them being the game winning goal on Dominik Hasek to win the 1999 Stanley Cup, which was the first one in the Dallas Stars history.  Brett went on to win the Cup with the Red Wings in 2002 and was appropriately nicknamed after his father as “The Golden Brett.”  Brett joined his father in the Hall of Fame in 2009.

NASCAR:  Dale Earnhardt Sr and Jr

ImageDale Earnhardt Sr is without question one of the greatest race car drivers of all time.  During the course of his career, Earnhardt won a total of 76 races, including the Daytona 500 in 1998. He earned seven championships, which is tied for the most all time with NASCAR great, Richard Petty.  His aggressive driving style earned him the nickname “The Intimidator,” as well as leading to his tragic death after a horrific crash while racing in the 2001 Daytona 500.  His son continued the family legacy by building a respectable career of his own.  With an estimated net worth of $300 million, Junior has gone on to win the “Most Popular Driver Award,” a record 9 times.  Junior won the Daytona 500 in 2004 and has done his best to honor his father in everything that he does.

We hope you enjoyed reading all of these great father-son duos in sports and we encourage you to call your fathers on a daily basis and remind them that it is them who have helped form who you are today.  We also want to give a shout out to our grandfathers Herbert Simon and Eugene Riback, for they have been fathering way longer than our dads.  Feel free to let us know about any other duos that you feel were unjustly left off this list and we just want to wish every father out there a Happy Father’s Day!