lebron james


V.23 No.28 |

news

The Daily Word in engine snakes, LeBron's choice and 7/10

The Daily Word

Police are looking for 10-year-old Joseph Carlos Rivera, who went missing yesterday in Santa Fe.

Former New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman calls for reforms after a Vietnam vet died at the VA hospital while waiting for an ambulance to take him around the building.

Wanna celebrate 7/10 with some hash oil?

If I found a 9-foot boa constrictor in my engine, I'd die right then and there. No joke.

Another county clerk in Colorado is gearing up to issue same sex marriage licenses, even though it's banned in the state.

Find out what various religious factions think of President Barack Obama.

A teenager whose family was massacred in Texas found the strength, despite being wounded, to save her grandparents by calling 911.

Everyone's waiting on LeBron James to make a decision.

A Mississippi child who was thought to be cured of H.I.V. has started showing symptoms.

A cancer patient who is recovering from chemotherapy and radiation found God in her hair.

V.21 No.34 |

NEWS

The Daily Word in natural disasters, NM oil production, water wigs

The Daily Word

3 more New Mexicans diagnosed with the West Nile Virus.

Evacuations begin as Tropical Storm Isaac heads for the Gulf Coast. The hurricane threat is not putting a hold on the GOP convention.

In other weekend natural disaster news ... a series of earthquakes hit Southern California and El Salvador, and a powerful typhoon is expected to hit Taiwain and the Philippines.

Neil Armstrong dies at the age of 82.

17 villagers beheaded in southern Afghanistan for attending a party with music and mixed-sex dancing.

Oil production up in New Mexico by 13 percent.

Inspiring sports moments get me all emotional.

Bigfoot speaks.

If you're going to steal a phone from a quarantined man infected with the Ebola virus, you'd better be prepared to contract the Ebola virus.

Police say a man in Virginia stole an officer's shoes out of the back of his cruiser.

LeBron is down for Space Jam 2!

Crazy falls that the people who survived them should not have survived.

Water wigs are so much cooler than they sound.

V.21 No.26 | 6/28/2012
All eyes are on No. 6 tonight.

sports

King James' coronation nearly complete

Up 3-1, the Miami Heat have a commanding lead on the Oklahoma City Thunder. And the Heat are on the cusp of victory with game five kicking off tonight at 7 p.m. in Miami. In the history of the NBA, no team that has gone down 1-3 in a Finals series has ever come back to win that series.

So, with history on their side, it's time to start assuming that the Heat have won the championship, right? Well, not quite so fast. The Thunder are a more than capable team, and they won the first game in the series in a manner that most pundits termed convincing at bare minimum.

The Thunder's core of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have traded off between dominating performances, but the third member of their triumvirate, James Harden, has been lackluster—to say the least—for the duration of the Finals. His defense has been relentless, which perhaps explains the anemic performance on offense, but that doesn’t justify much, at least in the eyes of Oklahoma City fans.

Winning in Miami has not been an easy task for the Thunder, which had a significant lead in game three—nine points, on two separate occasions, but lost a wire-to-wire outing in game four. They'll have to muster the strength to not only hold a lead, but to do so at the end of the game in Miami at least once, in order to squeeze out a return home for the possibility of game six—much less force a game seven.

The statistical possibility of the Thunder mounting a comeback aside, there are serious repercussions to the idea of LeBron James winning his first championship. The laughable which critics love to throw in his face upon his yearly exit from the playoffs will stop being evidence of his supposed crimes and will start to look like eerie prescience from a phenomenal talent. The collection of superstars in South Beach will no longer look like greedy millionaires, but rather basketball players mature enough to put ego aside and play together. Most importantly, LeBron James will no longer have the strike of, "He doesn't have a ring." Most all-time greats in the NBA have championship rings, and it’s bizarre to think of the most talented player of our generation as not having one, not being capable of getting one.

That time period is almost through. Maybe the Thunder have a last gasp in them. Maybe they pull together. Maybe James Harden comes out and plays the game of his life. But even given the best possible outcome for a Thunder fan in game five, the odds and the historical record both say that the Heat will win the NBA Finals. Get ready for the reign of King James.

V.21 No.25 | 6/21/2012
Holm lands one on Mathis
Photo by Chris Cozzone

sports

Hangover Sports Roundup

Holly Holm gets revenge, Miami turns up the heat on Thunder

Boxing

Who's says revenge isn't sweet? Holly Holm got some much need retribution in a unanimous-decision victory over Anne Sophie Mathis on Saturday night at the Route 66 Casino. In December, the pair fought a back-and-forth affair that saw Mathis getting the better of Holm with a seventh-round knockout. In the rematch, Holm used a strategy to outbox Mathis instead of engaging in a brawl to avoid getting knocked out. The gameplan may have not been the most crowd pleasing but it got the job done and impressed the judges to earn the 97-93, 96-94, 99-91 victory. Now the debate begins over what move Holm will make next. Along with being an accomplished boxer, she's also had success with mixed martial arts. Despite women's MMA being relatively new, the sport has already made some popular stars and Holm could be next if she makes the full transition. But in the meantime, Mathis will most likely request a rematch away from Albuquerque and in her home country of France. For now, Holm looks to enjoy some time off, but whatever decision Holm makes, the Burque boxing fans will be watching very closely.

NBA Finals

Lebron James has been declared the best player in the world by many NBA experts. James has every basketball ability any player dreams of. But when the NBA Finals began, everyone was quick to declare Kevin Durant the new king. Because of James' past inability to perform in the Finals, it has opened the door for Durant to become the league's best player. Despite tuning the media out with antics such as reading The Hunger Games prior to a big matchup, James seems to have taken his game to the next level by averaging 30 points during the 2012 Finals. In the critical game three, James put his finals nightmares behind him, scoring 29 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. He proved the reign of King James has perhaps only begun by hitting a clutch three in the fourth quarter and outplaying Kevin Durant.

Durant did have 26 points and 6 rebounds, but was in serious foul trouble throughout the game (just like in game two). The Thunder made a run in the fourth quarter to cut the Heat lead, but Miami scored the final seven points to prevent any Oklahoma City comeback. The 85-91 loss puts the Thunder in a 2-1 hole and makes game four a must win. Luckily for the Thunder, it’s been in this situation before, being down 2-0 to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals. OKC will need to correct the mistakes if they are going to get back into the series. So far Durant has performed well in his first Finals appearance, but he'll have to find a way to outplay a more determined and focused Lebron James. Game might be the beginning of the King James era, or it may end before it even gets started.

The Heat and Thunder are all knotted up.

sports

NBA Finals rundown

Thunder pushed, lose home-court advantage

The NBA Finals have begun in an emphatic manner. After the Oklahoma City Thunder roller over the San Antonio Spurs, who were looking as near-invincible as any team can, they awaited their Eastern Conference opponent. And while it took seven games, the Miami Heat eventually triumphed over the Boston Celtics. This presents, of course, a sort of dream match-up for basketball fans. Commissioner David Stern has got to be giddy over the ratings prospects of the Heat in the Finals for a second year in a row, especially against some of the NBA’s youngest, most marketable stars. Old school purists must find something delectable about the way the Thunder have taken on characteristics of the Spurs after dispatching them, passing the ball in that crisp manner, and always deflecting individual praise in deference of the team concept. Finally, the drama-seeker in all of us craves LeBron James in almost every situation. Win or lose, love him or hate him, he presents compelling viewing.

Game 1 showed the tenacity of the youngsters in Oklahoma. The Heat poured on the points in the first half, but the Thunder hung on, and changed the game in a significant manner in the second half. Eventually winning by 11, it seemed as though the Thunder had heavy momentum heading into Game 2, at home.

On Thursday night, however, the Thunder came out flat. They came out uninspired. They came out looking like a team that thought, perhaps, the road to the trophy would be a bit easier than it turned out to be. They fell into an 18-2 hole, with just over seven minutes elapsed in the first quarter, and the game almost seemed out of reach by halftime, when the Thunder trailed 43-55.

However, after tying the second quarter, the Thunder proceeded to win both the third and the fourth quarters, eventually pulling within two points in the final minute.

The aforementioned hole, however, ultimately proved to be too much. In conjunction with the five fouls that Kevin Durant was playing with—having picked up that dreaded fifth foul only a minute and a half into the fourth quarter—the Thunder simply could not get the job done. They now face the daunting task of going into Miami and playing three straight games in South Beach.

The pressure now shifts from Miami to the young Thunder. Coming into the series, they were seen as slight favorites. Of course, it'll be very difficult for Miami to win all three in a row at home, but the Thunder have got to consider their backs to be up against the wall. Coming back home for the final two games of the series, and needing to win both, is a terrible place to be. On the other hand, there are worse options, such as Miami sweeping these middle three games, and closing the series out in Florida. The Oklahoma City Thunder have responded thus far in the Playoffs every time they've needed to, and the truth is, they need to now more than ever.

V.21 No.9 | 3/1/2012
Henderson nails Edgar with a hard right
Esther Lin

sports

Hangover Sports Roundup

Henderson edges Edgar, West takes All-Star honors

UFC Japan

The Ultimate Fighting Championship made its return to the land of the rising sun this past Saturday and delivered an entertaining night of fights featuring knockouts and comebacks. Despite having the shadow of Japanese MMA looming over the event, most fans will have fond memories over the potential fight-of-the-year featuring Frankie Edgar v. Benson Henderson for the Lightweight title.

Edgar has put on many exciting performances as champion but is considered undersized, while Henderson has been on a huge role since his loss against Anthony Pettis in 2010. Once the cage door shut, both men engaged in nonstop action with neither able to have a clear advantage in the first round. Round two featured Henderson scoring a huge up-kick which immediately drew blood on the champion, but like many times before Edgar continued to press forward.

When the final round started many experts and fans had the fight dead even. Henderson may have finished landing punches in the dominate position when the bout ended, but the round was still razor close. Surprisingly, all three judges scored the bout for Henderson and ended the “Edgar Era” in the Lightweight division.

Also shocking has been the support for Edgar to move to the Featherweight division and for Pettis to receive the next title opportunity. While Pettis is an exciting fighter with lots of potential, Edgar deserves his rematch, especially since B.J. Penn and Grey Maynard got their second chance. Other than Edgar no one in the UFC Lightweight division stands out as an immediate title contender. The current Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez is the only other fighter deserving as he has been the second-ranked fighter in the division for years. Hopefully UFC President Dana White will see the light and grant Melendez a chance to prove he belongs in the elite tier.

2012 NBA All-Star Game

No doubt this year’s edition of the NBA All-Star Game was somewhat overshadowed by the lackluster Slam Dunk Contest and Dwight Howard trade rumors. But the actual game still provided some noteworthy-enough moments to prevent fans from changing the channel to the Oscars. Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant was the focal point for his quest to become the all-time leading scorer in All-Star games. Bryant's 27 points helped the West dominate the East for most of the game until LeBron James caught fire in the fourth. James had 36 points and hit two huge threes to bring his squad within striking distance. But costly turnovers and bad execution in the final minutes allowed the West to escape with a 152-149 victory. Kevin Durant captured the game's MVP with 36 points and seven rebounds.

V.20 No.44 | 11/3/2011
Dirk Nowitzki has threatened to take his talents overseas

sports

The NBA blues

Tuesday night was supposed to be opening day for the National Basketball Association. Instead, we have headlines like "The Opening Day That Wasn't" and New Mexico residents got to see UNM beat up on NAIA Davenport. The defending NBA Finals MVP is saying things indicating that the NBA might lose some of their star power. And, of course, the long shadow of the dominant face of American sports (the NFL, of course) only grows longer.

Basketball should have learned its lesson from the National Hockey League. Even if NBA Commissioner David Stern had somehow succeeded in making basketball the most popular sport in America, he should have taken one long, hard look at what happened to the NHL after their lockout and done everything in his power to avoid this. Of course, there are those who claim that he still is. There are those who claim that this lockout is simply about greedy players wanting more money. The refuting of this point having already been done, let's go ahead and assume that people on both sides are working—just not hard enough.

An intermediary could not get the two sides close enough. The cancellation of at least one month of the season is not going to do it either. So what's it going to take?

The economics of the lockout have been broken down so many times that it feels a little frustrating to go over them again. Instead, a little speculation.

There had been talk that the owners were simply waiting for the season to start, for the players to miss their paychecks. This theory held that the owners felt that once money started not appearing, the players would break. With the dawn of new media and the way players are directly connected to both their fans and their sponsors, this seems like a shoddy argument to base your entire game theory around.

On the other hand, how many of the NBA players have super-popular Twitter accounts—or websites, failing that? How many of them have such airtight endorsements that they won’t feel the pinch once money is supposed to be rolling in?

The players can present a united front all they'd like (and they really, really, really want to), but there will surely be some cracks in the armor soon. It all depends on how large those cracks appear, and how violently they assert themselves. If guys stop getting together and planning flag football games, you'll know something else is wrong.

For now, the only thing that's wrong is that baseball's over, football's at its midway point and yet, for some reason, there is no NBA on television. It's a sad day for a basketball junkie.

V.19 No.38 | 9/23/2010

sports

Why we hate sports celebrities

Covering sports is getting to be harder day by day. There's the usual suspects (NBA players arrested on suspicion of domestic abuse and previously untouchably clean superstars turning out to be kinda-sorta scumbags), and then there's a little bit more.

Reggie Bush just became the first Heisman Trophy winner in history to give the trophy back. This will not put an end to the cloud of scandal surrounding the University of Southern California. Nor is that cloud limited to the football program and now-departed (but not fired, he just got a job in the NFL) head football coach, Pete Carroll. The USC basketball program, meanwhile, is dogged by accusations that its star around the same time, O.J. Mayo, who now plays in the NBA, engaged in essentially the exact same behavior.

To anyone who thinks the current trouble is SoCal-centered, look no further than Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl and the suspicion that is refusing to leave his side. In the pros, the recent NBA newsscape has been dominated by the fact that LeBron James' Q Score has fallen—drastically.

But is this really new? Are these things that didn't happen before? Are we living in some kind of deadly dark era, where athletes are misbehaving at a never-before-seen level? Is there something wrong with our generation?

Or, is it simply a reflection of the sped-up era in which we live? There have been numerous suggestions that the 24-hour cable news cycle makes it appear as though we live in a more violent world than is actually the case. With athletes hopping onto social networks like Twitter we get an unfiltered look at them and their lives. Few people will dispute that this is an interesting and probably positive wrinkle to the fan-entertainer relationship.

However, there is always a price to pay for closeness. (Remember the phrase about meeting your heroes?) With the media going full-tilt around the clock and the specialization of news organizations, we get revelations that we might not have in the past. Shaq's Twitter account is funny, but it's kind of sad to read about him stealing ideas for TV shows from teammates.

All this is merely to say: It's a shame about Reggie Bush. It's a shame that he essentially had to give back one of the most prestigious awards in the sport. It's a shame that there were suspicions about his time at USC since he was there. But the biggest shame of all is that the defending Super Bowl champs—the New Orleans Saints—are tainted, even if it's ever so slightly, by yet another negative news story about a sports star.

What's the solution? We refuse to live in blissful ignorance, and that's a good thing. But it feels like it keeps getting a little harder to watch sports, root for the same old kind of star, and read the same kind of story when they inevitably slip up.

V.19 No.28 | 7/15/2010

Sports

Hangover Sports Roundup: Spain and LeBron

World Cup 2010

Who would have thought when this thing began, America would care even after the United States was eliminated. Apparently, soccer took hold here, and the World Cup concluded on Sunday with Spain versus the Netherlands.

Most of match was a parade of yellow cards and physical play, and Spain had most of the clean score chances. But 90 minutes was not enough; the fate of both squads was determined in extra time. In the 116th minute, Andres Iniesta kicked in the deciding goal giving Spain its first World Cup Final victory.

The Cup slowly converted this causal styptic to a soccer believer. Don't get me wrong. Touchdowns, dunks, and knockouts will always be first on my list, but there's always room for something new. Only time will tell if Major League Soccer can use the popularity of the World Cup down the road in the U.S.

NBA

Finally, the Chosen One made a decision during a live television special on ESPN. Picking Miami over Cleveland turned LeBron James from King to villain in a matter of seconds.

Through this entire process, James put his ego on full display. He’s ignored the Cavaliers and promised multiple titles for the Heat. Its unknown whether the self-proclaimed greatest trio in NBA history will produce a dynasty or even a profit for the organization.

One thing is for certain: The Heat took all the pressure off the defending champion L.A Lakers and painted a big bullseye on their own back instead.

V.19 No.21 | 5/27/2010
Play Youtube Video

Sports

Hangover Sports Roundup

The Magic take a nap; Obama stumps for the Bulls

NBA Playoffs

Welcome to the playoffs, Amare Stoudemire. Granted, Stoudemire put up big numbers in earlier rounds of the playoffs, but he had yet to have a game like this. The all-star grabbed 42 points and 11 rebounds to help the Phoenix Suns defeat the Los Angles Lakers,118-109. Even Brooke Lopez had 20 points in game three, giving the Suns a chance to make the Western Conference finals interesting. On Saturday, the Orlando Magic looked like they wanted a early vacation because they basically didn't show up for game three against the Boston Celtics. The 94-71 Celtics' beatdown was perhaps spawned by Ray Allen's dunk over Dwight Howard in the beginning of the first half. Let's hope the Magic at least make game four competitive, or else this could be the most lopsided playoffs series in history.

LeBron Watch

This just got a lot more interesting as even President Obama presented his sales pitch to get James to the Chicago Bulls. Obama should be pleased as ESPN believes Chicago is James' the most likely destination. ESPN also says Lakers coach Phil Jackson could come with James if Los Angles cuts his salary. With former Cleveland coach Mike Brown getting his walking papers today, how does this affects James' decision to stay or leave? Brown failed to snag a championship for James but still was a decent coach by pulling the Cavs from a scrub team to NBA powerhouse.

V.19 No.20 | 5/20/2010
nymag.com

Sports

LeBron James / Knicks Fantasy Gone WILD

LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers are still in the thick of the NBA playoffs, but that didn't stop New York Magazine from getting a head start on luring the player to New York to play for the hometown team, the Knicks. The magazine put James on the cover, along with a list of 14 reasons why the reigning league MVP should come to New York.

NBA analysts have been looking forward to this and discussing it on television for at least the past three years, but New York Magazine has outdone them all in compiling perhaps the most complete and absolutely most outrageous overture to James. Most of the magazine’s 14 reasons are full-fledged articles that not only focus on basketball (reason No. 2: Of Course, Money Isn’t Everything: Six or Seven NBA Titles Would Be Nice, Too) but also on James's financial goals (reason No. 1: If You Want to Make That First Billion Before You Turn 30, This Is the Place to Do It) and the benefits of being a star athlete in New York City (reason No. 14: If You Win Here, We'll Name a Sandwich After You ).

Depending on how you look at it, the magazine either did its homework or is really creepy; it consulted a pair of New York's prominent real estate agents to pick out a house and an apartment for James, and the feature is filled with Photoshopped pictures of James in a Knicks jersey and a few New York-themed advertising mockups featuring James, including a six-frame storyboard for a potential Coca-Cola advertisement featuring the player. The entire series is so absurd, I can't tell if the “LeBron in 2018” slide show is a joke, even though it features James winning 10 straight NBA championships with the Knicks, extorting a U.S. Senate seat by threatening to retire if not elected, and leading the United States to an Olympic gold medal at 38 as a player-coach-senator.

V.19 No.18 | 5/6/2010
blog.cleveland.com

Sports

Was it LeBron’s Elbow?

Kinda Like a Big Deal

The biggest story of the sports week is the disappointing and completely unexpected performance of a once-thought-of-as-invincible juggernaut. Nope, not Shane Mosley— plenty of doubters called out an accurate prediction of the fight before it went down, and almost everyone seemed to be able to look back in hindsight and say they saw it coming. On the other hand, the utter and complete collapse of the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Boston Celtics on Monday night was a genuine shock to the system.

Although plenty of prognosticators called for an extended series, the consensus was the Cavs would be the team doing the pushing, and they'd be the ones who ultimately were going to lose some games, (as opposed to the Celtics winning a handful). The root of the debacle is anyone's guess. (Except for the theories about LeBron James’ elbow. I just can't believe that it's giving him that much trouble.)

The various things being blamed, in no particular order: LeBron’s MVP ceremony, the Cavs feeling entitled to win the game, LeBron sleeping through the first half, the disappearance of Mo Williams or, interestingly enough, the fact that the Celtics are only two years removed from winning a championship and play a brand of playoff basketball that not many other teams have historically been able to match, much less this season, this Cavaliers team.

For anyone who's truly shocked, though, have no fear: The Celtics have been beyond atrocious at home this year (where they were previously nigh indestructible) and are almost assured to take a split at the Garden—worst-case scenario for Boston fans.