Monday, March 10, 2008

Is Dwayne Wade Overrated?

From the beginning, even with the Championship a few years back, Dwayne Wade has been an overrated player. Yes, I know that he won a championship, he was the finals MVP, and he scores nearly 25 points a game. Wade has been a great player for his entire career I agree, but when it was his moment to shine and put a team on his back in this season, he failed. Not only did he fail, but he failed miserably. This year he led the Miami Heat to league worst 11-50 record. A team with a so called "Superstar" is the worst team in the NBA. You can blame the supporting cast, you can blame injuries, you can blame Shaq, and you can probably blame Pat Riley, but even with all of this happening, a franchise player does not let his team go 11-50.
The first argument people have for Wade is that he won a championship and was the Finals MVP. Well, last year Tony Parker was the Finals MVP, but was he the real reason why the Spurs won, or was it because everyone was trying to stop Tim Duncan. This goes the same way for Wade, who benefited from Shaq being double and triple teamed. Wade was able to score because the Mavs were so fixed on stopping Shaq that they forgot Wade could score too.

Shaq was the reason for much of the Heat's success. In Wade's first season, the Heat went 42-40 with a mediocre team. The Heat acquired Shaq in the next season, they went 155-91 in the next 3 seasons with a healthy Shaq and went on to win a championship. In a season where Wade had to carry the load and hold the team together the Heat go 11-50 (Shaq playing in 33 games for almost 30 minutes per).

Let's put it this way, if you put another superstar in that situation; do you think the Heat would of won more than 3 games in the 2008 calender year. We know Kobe or Lebron could do it, but what about an average superstar. Last year the Celtics were the worst team in the NBA and in the first 61 games had a record of 18-43. This team had only Paul Pierce and Al Jefferson, who did not play the way he is playing now. This current Heat team has a far better supporting cast than the Celtics of last year, plus you had Shaq for 33 games. You should expect the Heat to have a far better record at any point than last years Celtics. So if you put a Paul Pierce in place of Wade and next to Shaq and now Shawn Marion, the Heat have a lot more wins than 11.
I'm not going to say Wade is an ordinary player, because he is not. He is a great player, but not a great leader. A leader leads his team to more than 11 wins in 61 games. He is a top talent in the league, but many people out there, including other expert analysts, seem to be fixated on Wade being a top 10 player in the league. If you write down a list of top 10 players in the league right now and you stick them on the Miami Heat, would you think that they would have the worst record in the NBA? I would have to say no. Now that Wade is gone, I will make a prediction that the Heat go 7-14 in their remaining 21 games. Then we can all question, how is Dwayne Wade a top 10 "Superstar"? Agree to disagree.

Monday, February 25, 2008

1st Annual Sports Oscars

In light of 80th Annual Academy Awards, I would like to welcome you to the First Annual Agree to Disagree Sports Awards, also known as the Sports Oscars. After examining the past year in sports, I would like to award those deserving of Sports Oscars. In a year filled with joy and drama I present to you this year's winners:

Best Picture...
... And this award goes to Tom Brady. The picture of him wearing a walking cast in New York was the talk of Super Bowl week. This picture had every newspaper and magazine questioning Tom Brady's health before the game and his choice in flowers. This picture was bigger than the super bowl itself, well until they lost.

Best Screenplay...
... And the award goes to George Mitchell. Mitchell wrote the best and most controversial screenplay to ever hit sports, "The Mitchell Report." This 400 plus pages names 89 current and former baseball players that are alleged to have used steroids or drugs. The full report shows shocking information about the game's biggest stars, including Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. Every director wants there hands on this script.

Best Supporting Actress...

...And the award goes to Jessica Simpson. Jessica is dating Dallas Cowboy's stud quarterback Tony Romo. Jessica has become his number one fan and even showed her support by attending the game against rival Philadelphia Eagles. At the game the cameras focused on Jessica and her pink Romo jersey. The Cowboys lost that game 10-6 and Romo finished with a career low 22.2 quarterback rating. Later in the playoffs, the couple went on a trip to Mexico, and the Cowboys lost soon after that.

Best Director...
... And the award goes to David Stern. The commissioner has done a wonderful job this year getting the NBA back in shape. With the MLB having the steroid investigations and the NFL dealing with Spygate, no even remebers the betting scandal with Tim Donaghy. Stern has turned things around and deserves to be best director, you can bet on that.

Best Makeup...
... And the award goes to Roger Clemens. Roger Clemens has been caught with steroids and is making up stories every time he steps in the courtroom. He tries to cover up all his lies with make up and they are now starting to finally catch up to him. Roger has been the best at making excuses and throwing everyone, including his mother, under the bus. You can only cover up so much with make up, regardless he wins this award by effort alone.

Best Visual Effects...
... And the award goes to Bill Belichick. Belichick's visuals in Spygate are the best I've seen since E.T. won in 1982. Getting an opponent's walk-throughs and game signals is not only hard footage to capture, but to do this consistently for so many years is amazing. Spygate is not only a breakthrough in NFL coaching, but in cheating as well.

Best Leading Role...
... And the award goes to Kobe Bryant. In Kobe's monologue, which was filmed in a shopping center parking lot, he discusses his aspirations for Jason Kidd. In this he also explains who needs to be "shiped out" in order to get him. In this one scene alone, he was able to score a great supporting cast with realistic championship dreams.

These are your First Annual Agree to Disagree Sports Awards winners. Let me know who you think should win what award.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Is the NBA is BACK?

The NBA is coming back everyone. The Association is hotter than ever since the Jordan era. After watching the Lakers - Suns game I am officially saying the NBA is making it's comeback tour. It started with the makeover of the Boston Celtics, one of the most important franchises and has continued with the recent trades with the Lakers, Suns, and Mavs. The Lakers - Suns game received a cable rating of 2.9 with 3.6 million viewers, the highest regular season rating since Yao's debut against Shaq in 2003. People have comeback to watch, but will they stay is the question. Although the NBA is stronger than ever in recent years, there are still improvements that need to be made before we can say it is here to stay. Here are some suggestions that could get the NBA over the top.

Get a Team in Las Vegas
This was huge talk last year when the all-star game was in Las Vegas. It seems that all those talks are dead, but getting a team in the city of sin would be huge for the league. Las Vegas is a great up and coming city that is dying for a sports franchise. I don't recommend another expansion team, but if we can get a small market team such as Minnesota or Milwaukee to move, would be better for the league. We can call the team the Las Vegas Card Sharks or Blackjackers. A great city needs a professional sports team, why not an NBA team?

Make the New York Knicks relevant
How is the most populated city in the US irrelevant in the basketball world? NYC is the one of the biggest markets in the world with rich basketball history, but is one of the worst teams in the NBA. Only if the Knicks just knew what a basketball was or if Isiah was excluded from the city like he was on the Dream Team the league would in better shape. The league always strives when the Lakers, Bulls, Suns, Celtics, and Knicks are doing good. A solution I have for this is to somehow find a way to get Lebron James in a Knick uniform, this would bring in other players and the team will be relevant again. If Spike Lee has to make a movie out of the James' to make this happen, then please do it. If the Knicks are not contenders soon, the league will never reach full potential. LBJ to NYC 2010, Spike Lee make this happen.

Cut the regular season games down
Let's face it, the regular season is a joke. Many would rather watch Women's College Bowling than watch on one the 82 regular season games. What makes the NFL so popular is that every game in the regular season counts. The western conference right now is in a rare situation where every game counts and two losses can get you from second seed to out of the playoffs. Now imagine if this were the case in every season, where every team saw each game as a must win. I'm not saying that they should only play 16 games, but if the league cuts the games to 62 instead of 82 then the urgency to win would be greater. The 82 game season also causes fatigue and injury that are costly for the playoffs, which is supposed to showcase the best teams at their best. Now would you rather watch a must win regular season game or women's college bowling? Unless it were topless bowling, nothing beats a must win game.

No more guaranteed contracts
I think by doing this, effort in NBA games will skyrocket and it will clean up the game's image as well. Players will have to play their heart outs and have to discipline themselves because money is not guaranteed to them. Teams like the Knicks will be able to get rid of everyone, including Isiah and start over. You can also see less strip club gun fights, acting out on coaches, quitting in games, punching fans, spitting at people, domestic violence, and whatever else laws the players love to break.

These are just some thoughts on how the League can improve and be the great sport I once was loved. Although these things will probably not happen, it would be fun if it did. What do you think would help the NBA to put them at the top again?