Steve Nash reaches 10,000 assists

Steve Nash reaches 10,000 assists as the Lakers took on the RocketsSteve Nash is simply poetry in motion on the hardcourt. His latest accomplishment should lead him into the status of legend even for those who aren’t fans of the scrappy, 6’3” Canadian.

In front of an amped up crowd at the Toyota Center in Houston Tuesday evening, Nash joined a stellar and select crowd as he became only the fifth player in NBA history to reach 10,000 assists. It would be hard to argue that Steve Nash is one of the best when it comes to the pick and roll that the league has ever seen.  He reaches the 10,000 mark because of his incredible sense of vision on the court and his ability to deliver the ball with expert precision.

With this achievement, Nash joins John Stockton with 15,806 assists, Jason Kidd with 11,969 assists, Mark Jackson with 10,334 and Earvin Magic Johnson with 10,141 assists. Definitely a powerful group of individuals to join, establishing Nash as one of the absolute best in the business.

Nash has been a boost to the Lakers team, which is sorely in need of a boost.  After a dismal 9-14 start, the Lakers began progressing once Nash recovered from injuries and was able to take the floor and provide his much-needed leadership.  The Lakers saw a comeback over the next several games,  The Lakers evened it up to 15-15 before losing 4 straight games to dip back down to 15-19. The possibility of the team missing the playoffs is fast becoming a reality. Moreover, the woes of the Lakers have been increased because of the injuries to their two big men, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard. This puts the pressure on both Nash and Kobe Bryant to double their efforts because the scoring of the team will fall on their shoulders.

The Lakers difficulties aside, Nash’s 10,000 assist accomplishment is considered to be a legendary mark that several Hall of Fame point guards before Nash haven’t hit.  Nash is truly one of the best all-around players of all time which led him to win two MVP awards as well as three All-NBA First Team Selections.  Without question, Steve Nash is certainly one of the best floor generals ever to play the game, and this is a fitting achievement for him. Nash’s powerful combination of great vision, durability and an uncanny ability to make some impossible passes is the stuff of legends. Hopefully the Lakers will be able to capitalize on these skills and recover their season.

Phil Jackson asked about a return to coach the Lakers

Phil Jackson answers questions about a return to coaching the Los Angeles Lakers

Yesterday reporters from that hotbed of heady sports analysis, TMZ, bumped into Phil Jackson in Venice, California, and popped the question more than half of Lakers Nation has been pondering: “Would you go back to the Lakers now, if they offered you the gig?”

Definitely a legitimate question considering Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni has not fared any better than Mike Brown, the coach he was hired to replace in the second week of November.  Thursday’s loss to the New York Knicks puts the record at an unconvincing 4-9 under the coaching of D’Antoni.  Many consider the D’Antoni hiring a poor and rushed decision by Lakers management.  However the verdict is still out, as the Lakers have spent only a month with D’Antoni as coach.  Unfortunately, things are not looking any better and the general sense one receives from Laker fans is that an upswing is not expected anytime soon.

Phil Jackson’s storied success as an NBA coach has left him with more championship rings than he has fingers.  Of his 11 NBA Championship titles, 5 came as the coach of the LA Lakers.  In mid-November, the inside talk indicated Jackson was interested in returning to the helm of the Lakers.  Many hoped to God believed that Jackson would indeed be back only to be shocked with the announcement that D’Antoni had been hired instead.  As can be imagined, this has only fueled the disgruntled fans’ criticisms and applied extraordinary pressure on D’Antoni to make something positive happen, and quickly.

So, how did Jackson respond to the big question? Would Phil Jackson return to Lakers coaching?

Phil Jackson and the LA Lakers

“No,” was Jackson’s reply, accompanied by a sly grin.  When pressed on the Lakers struggles, Jackson followed up with a simple, “They’ll get it going.”  Not exactly oozing with confidence.
Just before Jackson stepped into the restaurant yesterday, the TMZ crew slipped in one more question.  When asked if he thought the Lakers could win the championship, Jackson looked back over his shoulder and quipped, “I don’t know about that.”  Another sly smile and the most successful coach in NBA history headed inside.

Alas, Lakers Nation, it doesn’t appear any Christmas wishes will be coming true for you in regard to Jackson’s return.  Looks like Lakers management might have misstepped and lost out on securing the coach that made such a powerfully positive impact on the franchise, not to mention the entire NBA.

So, what do you think? 

Can the Lakers “get it going” as Jackson said?

Are the Lakers championship material?

Can D’Antoni get the job done?

Did the Lakers management make a mistake?

 

 

New Orleans Hornets to become Pelicans, really?

New Orleans Pelicans

 

Finally, the ferocious pelican gets the chance to flex its mighty wings and flap its pointy, pouchy beak to intimidate opponents on the court.  Reports indicate that the New Orleans Hornets will be changing their name as early as the 2012-2013 season to the Pelicans.

No, this isn’t a joke, although I am certain Seth Myers and the Saturday Night Live crew are pleased to be served up new fodder for their punch lines on the Weekend Update.

What would possess Tom Benson, who purchased the team on April 14, to select the Pelican as a new team name?  Perhaps the fact that Benson, who also owns the New Orleans Saints of the NFL, owns the rights to using ‘pelicans’ as a team nickname.New Orleans Pelicans

Historically, the New Orleans Pelicans were a minor league baseball team with roots all the way back to 1887.  The team played professionally most every year through the 1959 season when it was sold to Little Rock.  The New Orleans Pelicans were revived briefly during the 1977 minor league season, when Tony La Russa was shortstop for the Trplie-A team.  The Pelicans won a total of 10 minor league titles, including the 1910 title when they were led by a soon-to-be-famous slugger named Shoeless Joe Jackson.

The history is ‘nice’ but couldn’t New Orleans come up with a more powerful nickname?  Imagine the opportunity to set the course for branding of a major sport franchise.  There are thousands of options, yet Benson is reportedly going with the Pelicans?  Pelicans don’t strike fear in the hearts of anyone, except possibly some fish swimming too near the surface.  They aren’t graceful, they aren’t ferocious, they aren’t even cool or trendy or hip.  In fact they’re downright awkward with those huge beaks.

I can’t imagine too many free agents excited about becoming a pelican.  It’s hard to think of what a cool pelican logo might even look like.  Fans shouting, ‘Let’s go Pelicans!’ from the stands?  All of this is a bit difficult to believe.  Then again, I don’t have a zillion dollars to invest in professional sports franchises, so what do I know?

What are your thoughts?  Do you like the Pelican? What would you suggest for a New Orleans nickname?  Leave your comments below, maybe Benson will get the idea.

Michael Jordan provides perspective on success

Michael Jordan Provides Perspective on Success

Michael Jordan is often looked upon as the picture of success, and rightly so.  Consider just a handful of Jordan’s achievements during his NBA career:

  • NBA Championship: 6 times
  • NBA Most Valuable Player: 5 times
  • NBA Steals Leader: 3 times
  • NBA All-Star: 11 times
  • NBA Slam Dunk Contest Winner: 2 times
  • Scored 30 or more points in a game: 672 times
  • Recorded 241 double-doubles
  • Named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year in 1991
  • Ranked #1 in Top 75 Players of All-time by SLAM Magazine
  • Ranked #1 in Top 100 Athletes of the 20th Century by ESPN

Michael Jordan also holds over 70 NBA records, including,

  • NBA Record for Most Seasons as Scoring Leader: 10 seasons
  • NBA Record for scoring 30+ points in a regular season game: 561 games
  • NBA Record for highest career scoring average: 30.31

Jordan was an incredibly talented all-around player, defensively as well as offensively.  Yes, he was a scoring machine, but he also holds a number of NBA defensive records, such as:

  • NBA Record for blocked shots by a guard: 893
  • 1st player in NBA history with 100 blocked shots and 200 steals in a single season: 125 blocks, 236 steals

Jordan was successful throughout his NBA career, both as a young rookie and as a seasoned veteran.  He is the only NBA rookie to ever lead his team in 4 statistics as he led the 84-85 Chicago Bulls in scoring with 28.2 points-per-game, 6.5 rebounds per game, 5.9 assists per game and 2.4 steals per game.  In Jordan’s final NBA season, he scored 20+ points 42 times, 30+ points 9 times and 40+ points 3 times.  In fact, Jordan is the only player in NBA history to score more than 40 points in a game at the age of 40 or older.

It might seem that, with all of the success he experienced year after year after year, Jordan is impervious to failure.  Yet he has seen his share of failure.  But here is what kept him going:

Michael Jordan Provides Perspective on Success

What do you think about Jordan’s perspective on success?