Who Is the NBA’s All-Time Best? Jordan, Bryant or James?

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Michael Jordan may be 50, but his confidence hasn’t suffered. If you ask MJ who the greatest MBA player of all time is he’d probably tell you “number 23,” without missing a beat.

The whole hoopla started on Monday when Lebron James told the media he strives to be the greatest player that ever played on the hardwood. There’s no question Lebron is the greatest player on the court right NOW, but greatest player ever to play basketball is a different competition.

In a different media interview on Tuesday by Ahmad Rashad promoting the NBA 2K14 video game, Michael Jordan said he wished he could have played against Elgin Baylor, Julius Erving, Jerry West, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and James (no love for DRose from MJ).

He then went on to say that in his prime he believes he could have won one-on-one against Lebron James, but not necessarily Kobe Bryant because, “he steals all of my moves.” Said of course with a big MJ million dollar smile.

The two NBA stars took to twitter to deliver their responses (James’ response was tweeted by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst):

Kobe MJ Tweet

Lebron tweet

In your opinion, who is the greatest NBA player of all time?

HE’S BACK: Rose Confirms Return Next Season

It’s been over a year since we began following Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose’s dramatic road to recovery. On Sunday, Rose put any lingering doubts to rest about his long anticipated return next season. THANK GOODNESS. After the whirlwind of “Rose Returning” rumors during the playoffs, I don’t think our Bulls-loving hearts could take anymore disappointment. It’s time to dust off your DRose jerseys and get ready to watch our favorite Chicago Bull make his triumphant comeback.

Rose who is currently touring Europe to promote his Adidas clothing and shoe line told the media in Spain, “I should be able to play in the first game of the season,” according to HoopsHype.com. “I know I’m anxious right now to play. My health is everything right now, it’s 100 percent. But right now, the first game … I will definitely be playing it.” Rose also gave a shout-out to coach Tom Thibodeau for his constant support throughout last season as well as working with him so much this off-season.

The bad news, Rose’s big debut is most likely going to be in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil during the Bulls’ preseason game against the Washington Wizards (he hinted to it on his website). The Bulls are one of a few teams handpicked by NBA Commissioner David Stern to represent the NBA in a foreign market.

Although we’d prefer DRose make his comeback on the hardwood floors of the United Center, we’re ecstatic that the former MVP is finally truly returning to the court.

And queue Derrick Rose hype video:

Read all of my Bulls posts at SportsDivasInc.com via HE’S BACK: Rose Confirms Return Next Season | SportsDivas Inc..

Future NBA Super Star

If you’re having a tough day, this video will bring a smile to your face. It looks like we have a future NBA superstar on our hands. Titus is a two-year-old little munchkin who started shooting baskets as soon as he could walk. It’s almost too good to be true!

Jabari Parker Makes His Collegiate Choice

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Simeon basketball star Jabari Parker has accomplished quite a bit at the age of 18. He’s ranked no. 2 in the country, he’s already had his own spread in Sports Illustratedbeen named the Gatorade National Player of the Year and is one of the most anticipated high school players since Lebron James. Last night Parker finally made his collegiate decision and our Chicago native has decided to play basketball for Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils next year.

6634_10151197712561429_1404530589_nThey were all lined up like ducks in a row, a Stanford hat, a Michigan State hat, a Florida hat,   a Duke hat, and BYU hat. Media was literally almost drooling to see which brim Parker put on his head. In the end, Duke represented the “best fit” for the young player’s talents, personality, and academic goals.

To Jabari the quality of the education he will receive is just as important as the quality of competition he’ll see on the basketball court.

During his Thursday afternoon press conference Parker said, “It’s been a blessing just to get an opportunity to be able to go to school for free. It’s a good thing for me as well as my family to be able to save them a couple of dollars in their pocket.” I don’t think he’s looked at the bigger picture yet…if he performs up to expectations he’ll be able to pay for 100 kids tuition with his NBA salary. What a modest young guy.

images (3)One thing that sets Parker apart from the rest of the new recruits is his devote Mormon faith. At the end of his freshman year in college Jabari will have to decide whether he will declare for the NBA draft or—like thousands of other Mormon men who turn 19—embark on a two-year mission to spread the faith in the U.S. or a foreign country. This missionary service is considered an obligatory “priesthood duty” in the Mormon faith.

That’s a pretty tough decision for someone with such strong religious beliefs. We’ll all see what Jabari chooses when the time comes even though we all know deep down inside he follows in the footsteps of Derrick Rose and choose to play for his hometown Chicago Bulls :-).

Blue Demons to the UC?

It looks as though I stand corrected. DePaul University has switched gears and is now considering moving their men’s basketball home games to the United Center instead of the All State Arena in Rosemont, reported the Chicago Tribune on Monday. Back in March the reports were saying DePaul president Reverend Dennis Holtschneider wanted to build an arena in Chicago specifically dedicated to the Blue Demons, but now it looks like DePaulians will be sharing a house with the Bulls and Blackhawks.

It’s definitely time for a change. The bus ride from Lincoln Park down to Rosemont in weekday rush hour traffic is pee-your-pants kind of tragic. DePaul has played at the arena in Rosemont for the past 30 years – it’s since gone through some name changes Rosemont Horizon and currently the AllState Arena. 

Here are a few things to consider:

  1. The United Center is closest to UIC’s campus – definitely not DePaul in Lincoln Park.
  2. There isn’t a direct CTA bus/L route from LP to the UC. I’m sure students will get bussed, but driving through city traffic can be just as rough as traffic on the expressway. The United Center is most accessible from the Loop on the lovely express Madison bus.
  3. DePaul fans barely filled up the All State – we’re going to look pathetic at the massive UC unless we significantly build up our fan base – maybe get a team with a winning record.
  4. Playing at the United Center has a prestigious aura since players like Derrick Rose and Michael Jordan have played/are playing on the very same court. It may very well be an excellent recruiting tool!

So all in all, we will see. More to come soon!

James Keeps His Promise and Brings a Title to Miami

Well, it finally happened, LeBron James has won his first NBA Championship and led the Miami Heat to their second title. The Heat destroyed the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106 in Game 5. Despite my extreme dislike for “Bron Bron” as a person, as a player he gave a truly admirable playoff performance – he was unstoppable. James had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists, a triple-double in his final playoff appearance. As he took his talents to the bench with 3:01 remaining, the crowd at AmericanAirlines Arena chanted “MVP.” He was undoubtedly the unanimous candidate for playoff MVP.

He told ESPN, “This is a dream come true.”  Yes, that is unless you live in Cleveland or in one of the many other pockets of “LeBron Hate.”

Miami is the NBA’s 2012 Champs. LeBron is MVP. The most controversial and tacky (that ESPN special still makes my skin crawl) career move in NBA history has been vindicated.

After last year’s playoff loss, LeBron went home and didn’t come out for weeks. I honestly think it was a time for some self-reflection for the talented but ever cocky forward. And then he did what he needed to do, he worked on his identity as a player. “Last year I played like I had something to prove,” he said. “I played with a lot of hate. That’s not the way I play. I play with a lot of love.” I think it’s time the rest of us let go of the hate as well, because honestly it’s just bad karma.

I wanted the Thunder to win, mainly because I love watching Kevin Durant and his lanky arms dunk like a maniac and I think Oklahoma City would cherish a title. Miami is a narcissistic paradise that doesn’t need the ego boost, but I bet they sure knew how to throw a sweet after party. I think we’re going to see quite a few Thunder-Heat match-ups  in the finals for the next few years because neither team is lacking any talent.

The one criticism I’d like to throw out there is about the championship t-shirts. I thought Miami was a stylish trend-setting city for fashion? Those tees are NASTY – and not in a good way. I know you can’t do much with the logo, but the retro red horizontal stripes in the background are awfully ugly. Adidas you can do better than that.

Big Three? Child, Please…

I don’t mean to live in the past, but this picture is awesome :-)

Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Derek Fisher (now on the OKC Thunder) of the LA Lakers have nothing on the real big three. Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman (we’re going to ignore his current status for the purposes of this article) circa the 1990s Chicago Bulls dynasty will forever resonate in my mind as the best trio in the NBA.

DePaul Interested in Building Arena in Chicago

DePaul University is trying to get back on the NCAA maps for men’s basketball, and the first step in their strategic plan is creating a new arena near the school’s campus in Lincoln Park. YEAAAA! Reverend Dennis Holtschneider (the school president) is making moves!

This plan requires approval from the university’s board of trustees and will be on the agenda for their May meeting. They currently have two rumored potential locations: the Finkl Steel property which is walking distance from the DePaul campus and the Morton Salt Company property on Elston Avenue near both the Kennedy Expressway and the Chicago River.

DePaul’s current contract with the All State Arena in Rosemont only runs through 2015, if approved, this project would move forward in a very timely manner. The new arena is part of the master plan to attract Chicago area basketball stars to choose DePaul for their collegiate careers. Chicago has plenty of talent in this city, but DePaul did not have much to offer in comparison to other universities around the area, “Come play at our school and take a 20-minute bus ride to your arena” – yea no thanks. From the late 1970’s through the mid 1990’s, DePaul was one of the nation’s top college programs and completely dominated the Chicago area, bringing back this success is the ultimate goal.

As a DePaul alumna, this idea is thrilling. DePaul students do not want to get on a bus, sit in traffic on the Kennedy Expressway for over an hour (I had a few bathroom scares during that trip – it’s so long), and go all the way out to Rosemont to cheer on their Blue Demons. There is a true disconnect having the stadium so far away from the actual school, it definitely didn’t help promote school spirit. I also have a little theory, the two programs that currently house their stadiums on campus, Women’s Basketball and Women’s Softball, are DePaul’s most successful programs…I say, bring on the new stadium! I would love to one day get the chance to cheer on my alma mater during March Madness!

A Big Night for Thibodeau

Go Get’em Thibs!

Tom Thibodeau reached 100 wins tonight as an NBA head coach.  He is the fastest head coach to reach his 100th victory in NBA history with an overall record of 100-30, not to too shabby. Back-to-back Coach of the Year?

Say it with me, “DEFENSE! DEFENSE!” And with great defense, comes many victories in basketball, you obviously need a little offense as well.

Coach Tom Thibodeau is known around the league for his defensive coaching ability, his reputation holds true as the Bulls defense has continued to improve and destroy it’s opponents. Tonight they trounced the Orlando Magic without MVP Derrick Rose (he sat his fourth straight with a groin injury), 85-59. Who holds Dwight Howard and his boys to only 59 points!?!

Both Carlos Boozer, 24 pts -12 rebounds, and Howard, 18 pts -12 rebounds, had double-doubles. Thank goodness the Booze-Cruise showed up against a dominant team in the Eastern Conference, it’s time our big-man shows his opponents who’s boss. The Bulls shredded through Orlando, punishing them for every offensive basket missed. Joakim Noah had a sick dunk and his finger pistols going, “Bang Bang” as Stacey King likes to say.

In my opinion, the Magic don’t utilize Howard enough, pass it to him under the basket and he could score every time – if you haven’t noticed he’s enormous! I mean, no need to listen to me until after the playoffs though :-).

 

3-Peat for the Hersey Huskies

The Hersey High School Huskies are the Illinois Special Olympics Basketball Champions for the third year in a row, and man was it a fight to the final second!

First, let me introduce you to the crew. Chris Marques – a man of many names on Facebook, you may know him as: Waterbender, Cuban Missile, Clark Kent Boy, ChicagoBlackhawkpartynation, or CMarq, but he has the wing-span of a falcon. Joel Gomez is so speedy quick, he can be up the court in a flash and he’s CMarq’s right-hand man. Tim Cooley, Edmund Woodbury, Harry Fisher, and Jose Lopez are the glue that keeps this unstoppable team together.

Here’s how it all went down – The Hersey Huskies headed to Bloomington for the Illinois Special Olympics Semi-Final game to take on the Argonauts of Argo High School. The Argonauts gave the Huskies a great game, but Hersey came through with a win 57-41. It was a great team effort, Marques had 34 points (must be the D-Rose Adidas shoes), Gomez had 13, Woodbury had 8, and Fisher had a bucket as well. With the victory, the Huskies advanced to the Championship game.

The Huskies took on the Hope Bulldogs Saturday morning for the gold medal. Let me tell you, it was March Madness. The two teams were a perfect matchup of skill and strength; the game was neck and neck throughout all four quarters. After a tough battle, the Huskies pulled off a remarkable 61-60 win. The last 30 seconds were nail biting.  Hope was up 60-57 and with 13 seconds left on the clock, Marques was fouled on his layup attempt, swished both free throws and the Huskies were down by one. Hope’s inbound pass was picked off by Marques, who passed to Gomez for the game-winning bucket. The crowd went nuts! Marques finished the game with 35 points, Gomez added 24, and Lopez contributed 2.

This weekend’s tournament was a great way for graduating members Chris Marques and Joel Gomez to finish their time with the Huskies.  They will be moving on to a new league.  I can’t wait to see what great chemistry this pair will have in the North West Special Recreation Association next season!

Congratulations Hersey Huskies!!