Carlos Boozer working with his kids’ trainer

Carlos BoozerHere’s one we haven’t heard before. According to Ball Don’t Lie, a Yahoo Sports blog, Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer has an unlikely training partner: his kids’ trainer.

 During the summer, Boozer sought out a new basketball trainer to help him develop him into a more all-around player and touch up on his fundamentals. While the Miami-based trainer, Devel King, was an unlikely choice for Boozer as King had no previous experience with NBA players, Boozer believes this season will turn out differently because of his work with King.

“I felt like the trainer I had before, things I was doing before wasn’t getting me to be where I wanted to be at,” Boozer said. “I wanted to switch it up a little bit. Ran into coach King. He was actually training my kids at the time. I loved what he was doing with them, a lot of fundamental work, which is great, a lot of footwork, jabbing, different things I thought that I need for my game.

“Sometimes when you play so long in the NBA, sometimes you forget some of the basic stuff, and he was able to re-teach me some of the basic stuff that helps my game a lot. It’s simple, but it’s super effective. … I was in the gym a lot, in the lab a lot working on everything, man. Defense, offense, ball handing, shooting, rebounding, going to be a complete player.”

King said he nearly crashed his truck when he received the call from Boozer to work him out. But as much as King was shocked, he never treated Boozer differently than any of his other clients, who range from kindergartners to college players. King was critical of Boozer when he needed to be.

Knicks Sign Ronnie Brewer

Despite their flurry of off-season moves, the New York Knicks had yet to get their hands on a badly needed perimeter defender. They got one Tuesday, as they have signed ex-Chicago Bull, Ronnie Brewer, to a one year contract.

Brewer will make $1,069,509 this season, the veterans minimum for Brewer who has played six NBA seasons.

I like this move. It was imperative, especially with Iman Shumpert injured, that the Knicks go out and get a wing who can defend.

Brewer has the versatility and athleticism to guard both two′s and three′s out on the wing. I really like some of the lineups you could roll out with Brewer on the floor.

With Brewer on the court, the Knicks have the ability to play really big with Brewer at the 2, or they could play small with Brewer at the 3 and presumably Melo at the 4. Once Iman Shumpert returns, I think you could do a lot of interesting things schematically with Brewer. The Knicks could run both Brewer and Shumpert together, which would in theory give them an exceptionally strong perimeter defense.  Read more here…

Pau Gasol to the Bulls makes no sense for the Lakers

Pau GasolAnother off-season, another round of Lakers trade rumors. This time its Pau Gasol getting traded to the Chicago Bulls.

Of course its just a rumor but the Lakers are looking to trade Gasol. In fact, they have already trade him this season. Only David Stern un-traded him.

This most recent trade rumor doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for the Lakers. This first scenario involves Pau for Carlos Boozer. I don’t see the Lakers willing to take on Boozer’s huge contract when they are trying to lighten their payroll. Plus, Pau is a much better player than Boozer. The drop in talent will be too great.

The next scenario involves Luol Deng and Rip Hamilton in exchange for Pau. I like Den but the inclusion of Hamilton sours the deal for me. The Lakers need to get younger and with Hamilton, they get older. Read more here…

Chicago Bulls season filled with promise, ends with thud

Derrick RoseLast year after the Chicago Bulls were eliminated by the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, I wrote this ridiculously long ode to their storybook season. Yes it ended in disappointment, but the journey to get to the Eastern Conference Finals was some of the most fun I’ve ever had as a Bulls fan. I could not help but ramble on about Derrick Rose’s MVP season and the deep playoff run that ensued. Safe to say, I will not be doing the same thing for the Bulls’ 2011-12 campaign.

Honestly, I’m trying to forget about this season as quickly as possible. It started with so much hope and promise, but it quickly turned into a war of attrition as injury after injury piled up. Thanks to this season, I never want to hear the phrases “game-time decision” and “more than enough to win” ever again. Of course, we’ll probably hear that plenty next year as Rose and Luol Deng battle their way back from injuries. I guess at this point all we can do is laugh at Tom Thibodeau’s gamesmanship.

Despite injuries to Rose (FIVE of ’em), Rip Hamilton, Luol Deng, C.J. Watson and Taj Gibson, the Bulls were able to win 50 games and earn the top overall seed for the second straight year. We can thank “Thibs Ball” for this, although some may now question whether that will only lead to regular season success. But that’s a whole other discussion.

With the Bulls getting healthy heading into this postseason, we seemed destined for another clash between them and the Heat. I still questioned whether the Bulls could get past the Heat, but I figured a healthy Chicago squad would give Miami all they could handle.

Then Rose’s knee exploded and it was all over.

It was rather apparent that the Bulls were seriously affected by the Rose injury considering how awful they looked for the remainder of their 4-2 first round series loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Losing Joakim Noah to a severe ankle sprain compounded the problem, but it was still disappointing to see the Bulls bow out to a Sixers team that is simply not very good. I’m not going to say the Bulls sans Rose and Noah were a better team than the Sixers, but Chicago certainly had their chances in the series. Alas, it was not meant to be.

And now it’s time to stop lamenting what could have been and look to the future.

That future is somewhat murky, as the Rose/Deng injuries plus the sticky cap situation loom over the entire team. There’s very little money to play with, so barring an unlikely major trade, there’s slim chance of acquiring another star. Some people will want the disappointing Carlos Boozer amnestied to free up space, but even if that happens, there still would not be much money to use on a free agent market that is not all that inspiring. And with so many question marks surrounding the Rose injury, I’m not even sure if it’s worth making such drastic changes in a year where a title may be unrealistic to begin with.

Also, the Bulls have some tough decisions to make regarding some of their own role players. Will they match whatever offer Omer Asik receives? Do they try and extend Taj Gibson? Do they exercise the team options on C.J. Watson, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer? I’m sure the Bulls would like to keep these guys around, but it would not be surprising to see a completely different “Bench Mob” next year.

This will be quite an interesting offseason for the Bulls, although I’m not really expecting much to happen. Ultimately, there will probably be a few new faces on the roster next season, but the core will remain the same. The hope will be that the team can tread water with Rose and Deng out, and then perhaps they can make a run when those two guys come back healthy. This team at full strength is still very good, so we may just have to hope they catch lighting in a bottle.

Like Kevin Garnett, anything is possible.

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Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

Can the Bulls win a title without Derrick Rose?

Derrick RoseOn Saturday in Game 1 of the opening round of 2012 NBA playoffs the Chicago Bulls began what they hoped would eventually culminate into a championship run.  Those aspirations quickly went out the window when the reining league MVP, Derrick Rose, suffered a torn ACL that will cost him the rest of the NBA season; or did they?  Can the Bulls still win an NBA title without Derrick Rose?

Rose was injured while trying to jump off his left foot as time was running out in the Bulls 103-91 Game 1 victory against the Philadelphia 76ers.  The injury puts a serious damper on the Bulls title hopes but don’t count them out just yet.

Rose only played in 39 of the Bulls 66 games this season.  Despite his injury plagued season, the Bulls managed to secure the best record in the NBA without their best player.  Chicago plays exceptional team basketball; a lost art in the NBA.  Even in Rose’s absence the Bulls are the second best team in the East which puts them in the conference finals at worst.

The Bulls probable opponent in the Eastern Conference Finals would be the Miami Heat.  The Heat are a Jekyll and Hyde NBA persona.  You never know which one will show up.  If the Bulls are fortunate enough to catch the Heat off their game then they could very well advance to the Finals and as everyone knows, once there anything can happen.

The bottom line here is that the loss of Derrick Rose is a tremendous blow to the Bulls championship aspirations.  Despite Chicago having the best record in the NBA during the regular season with Rose missing almost half of the games, the NBA playoffs are a different beast.  I don’t know whether or not the Bulls have enough without Rose to beat the Heat four out of seven games with so much on the line.  But know this, if any team can, it is without a doubt the Chicago Bulls.  We’ll just have to watch this one play out.

NBA Supreme Court: Michael Jordan Drops 63 on the Celtics

Michael Jordan

Michael JordanIf you’re a fan of the NBA then at some time or another you’ve probably heard that Michael Jordan once scored 63 points in a playoff game against the Boston Celtics.  In fact, his 1986 double overtime effort still stands today as the most points ever scored in an NBA playoff game.  What you probably didn’t know was that Jordan foretold his stellar performance to several Celtics players the night before.

In 1986 Michael Jordan had began taking up golf.  In the early stages of the Chicago Bulls first round matchup with the Celtics the opportunity to play a round of golf between games presented itself.  The players were Danny Ainge of the Boston Celtics, Michael Jordan , and a couple of reporters;  Mike Carey from the Boston Herald and Mark Vancil from the Chicago Sun-times.

According to Ainge , Jordan liked to talk trash on the NBA hardwood as well as the golf course and on this outing things would be no different.  Jordan would talk but with his golf game still in its infancy, he wasn’t able to back up his talk with his play.  Ainge beat Jordan and this infuriated the competitive Bulls Guard.

As Jordan was dropped off at his hotel following his defeat on the golf course he left Ainge with a message to pass on to one of his teammates.  “Tell your man D.J. I got something for him tomorrow.”  Jordan was referring to his Game 2 matchup up with the Celtics Dennis Johnson, more commonly known as D.J.  Johnson was the Celtics defensive specialist and would have the primary responsibility of guarding Jordan for the remainder of the series.

Jordan went out and had the best game of his young NBA career torching the Celtics for 63 points while putting the majority of the Boston players in foul trouble as they attempted to slow him.  The Celtics would win the game in double overtime 135-131, but Jordan had won the war of words.  What he lacked in golf IQ, he more than made up for on the basketball court and made it a point to prove it in Game two.

The Celtics would go on to win the series and the NBA finals but an invaluable lesson was learned.  Don’t beat or piss off Michael Jordan when it comes to anything.

Jordan went on to win six NBA titles.  Twice as many as his Celtic foes of the 80’s.

You can follow Aaron on Twitter or Facebook @Da_Bear_Truth.

5 Owners that should not be running NBA teams

James Dolan

Behind every collection of players there is the team owner, the man who writes the huge checks players get for providing the entertainment aspect of their business. A large part of that business success is not dictated by an individual payer but rather an individual owner, sitting there in his office making the big decisions that mean the difference between an NBA franchise to die for and an NBA franchise that is dead.

Here we explore five of the worst owners in the NBA, and they are judged not only by the 2011-2012 season but also their actions of the last few years as well as how well they have manged the business they run. Continue reading

Jordan or Ali: The most iconic athlete of all-time

Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali

Michael Jordan and Muhammad AliThere is no doubting the greatness of both Michael Jordan, the Hall of Fame basketball player who played for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards, or Muhammad Ali arguably the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time.

No matter how one looks at their accomplishments they’re all-time greats in their respective sport, but what makes them iconic and still relevant years after?

I’m sure you’ve heard this one before; If a tree falls in the middle of the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a noise? Well, while you think about that, the whole world heard the noise Ali and Jordan made. While they both made quite a splash in the sports world, it’s safe to say they did it in their own way. Sure, they’re both similar in their competitive drive, but how they presented themselves in the public and media was different.

Ali had a very vocal personality. Even in the ring while another man tried to take his head off, Ali ran his mouth. He predicted rounds, demanded respect and all that jazz, but we’ve already covered that. What I’m getting at is that Ali was vocal outside the ring about social issues. In joining the Nation of Islam he changed his name from Cassius Clay, you know the story. In fact, you’ve probably already seen the multiple movies and documentaries of Ali. There is without any doubt still controversy surrounding Ali.

It was what Ali sacrificed that made him pulverizing. There was a time when Muhammad Ali was hated by many because he exercised his freedom of speech and refused to serve his country for the Vietnam War. Ali was drafted and asked to join the Armed forces but in a controversial act refused to join. Ali maintained that war was against his religion, which he did adopt long before he was drafted and saw no reason to kill any “VietCong”. This is when Ali gave a famous line while being interviewed by the media.

“I Ain’t Got No Quarrel With The VietCong…
No VietCong Ever Called Me N****”
Muhammad Ali, 1966

This case went all the way to the supreme court and even forced Ali to retire and vacate his World title as an undefeated Champion. Ali continued to voice his opinion over social issues like racism and the war itself. He was loved by some and hated by others because of his actions.

Do I agree with everything Muhammad Ali ever said? No, but I understand where he was coming from. He was in a position as the Heavyweight Champion of the world, at the time a prize that gave you a voice regardless of your color or creed. Ali’s voice on the war in Vietnam and social issues was heard by everyone around the world.

ICONIC: Ali vs United States Government

Soon enough as the death-toll kept climbing, public perception turned over the Vietnam war. Ali was able to return to the ring and fight around the world. The world was able to witness the love and admiration that was given to Ali by those who loved him. He was a clear favorite among the public in Zaire when he fought, then Heavyweight Champion, George Forman. As for those who hated Ali? Many still turned to love him and understand the man.

That one act and sacrifice Muhammad Ali made turned him into a global icon and while despised by some, he is loved by many.

As for Michael Jordan, his iconic status was much different than Ali’s. The one major advantage Michael Jordan has is that he is fresh in our minds and currently being compared with top NBA stars like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Granted, I don’t think Bryant or James hold a candle to Jordan, but the comparisons are out there and many fans are able to analyze that. This is something Muhammad Ali doesn’t really have.

It’s impossible to compare today’s heavyweights in boxing to Ali, while Jordan still has that. Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao can’t fill the void of Ali since they’re nowhere near the same weight-class. Some will fill that void with the likes of today’s boxing stars like the stars I just mentioned, but there is still a large gap in time. Boxing is also not a mainstream sport but once or twice a year anymore.

“Air” Jordan is much fresher than Ali. In fact, I watched Michael Jordan play live on television and witnessed his career growing up. I too wanted to be like Mike. Since most of us grew up watching Jordan play, we have first hand seen the impact he’s had in sports. His story doesn’t seem right out of a Hollywood set.

While Jordan wasn’t a vocal figure, he didn’t have to be. One, he played basketball in different times to when Ali was boxing. He wasn’t drafted to go to war, so we have no idea what Jordan would have done or how he would have handled a situation like that. All we know is what made him an iconic star and that was his commercial success. Jordan sponsored a sponsor, that’s how big he was. Nike created an entire “Jordan” brand which still exists today. In fact, I bet 1/2 of the readers right now are wearing Jordan’s.

ICONIC: Jordan’s commercial success

The multi-media marketing power that Michael Jordan brought to basketball turned the sports world upside down. You can’t ignore the fact that he revolutionized basketball and introduced it to a sea of people across the globe. Hanes still makes profit every time they say the name Michael Jordan, it seems.

Jordan refused to let opinion of social issues be out in public. He always kept things strictly on the game. Truthfully, that’s all Michael Jordan really had to do. He just wanted to be an athlete and let his performances on the court inspire those who watched him play. Future NBA stars will consistently get compared to Jordan. Even in other sports or businesses people say, “He’s the Michael Jordan of”, which is just another way of saying, “the best of”. Just about everyone has used that line and it will continue to get used. It’s become part of our culture. It’s said out of respect to the iconic Jordan who proved he was the best in a golden era of the NBA.

Just remember that before Jordan, “The Babe Ruth of” was part of American culture. Jordan is just, again, fresh on our minds.

Without a doubt, Michael Jordan has earned the praise that he gets. You can even argue he was a better basketball player than Ali was a boxer. I won’t dispute that Michael Jordan changed the sports sponsorship landscape forever. He was great, but he’s still not “The Greatest” Icon in sports history.

Be sure to check out other great articles by Eric Anaya at Rope A Dope Radio.

Top 5 Bulls of all-time: Pippen surpassed by Rose?

Jordan and Pippen

Jordan and Pippen

The Chicago Bulls have been an NBA franchise since the 1966-67 season.  Until the mid 80’s the Bulls had been little more than a mediocre franchise at best.  That all changed with the drafting of a 6’6 Guard from the University of North Carolina in 1984.  The Bulls would win six NBA titles in the 90’s and with Derrick Rose leading the way, again appear to be on the verge of dominance.  Here are the Top 5 Chicago Bulls of all time.

1.       Michael Jordan:  From North Carolina, a 6-6 Guard, Michael Jordan.  Jordan is arguably the greatest player that has ever stepped on a professional basketball court and without a doubt he is the No. 1 Bull of all time.  Jordan had it all: explosiveness, athleticism, creativity, length, defense, offense.  You name it, he had it.  He is the all time scoring leader for the Chicago Bulls with 32393 points.  Jordan averaged just over 30 points throughout his 15 year career and was the focal point during the Bulls six championships in eight seasons.  Jordan was also named league MVP five times during his 13 seasons with the Bulls.  By far the best closer in the history of the NBA.

2.       Scottie Pippen:  Every Batman needs a Robin and that’s what Scottie Pippen was to Michael Jordan.  Pippen played 12 of his 17 NBA seasons with the Bulls and as he and MJ formed one of the greatest tandems in NBA history.  Pippen averaged 18 points per game during the height of his Bulls career.  Capable of taking over a game offensively, Pippen was also known for his shutdown defense.  He was a first team NBA defensive player three times.  Pippen was a hybrid.  He had exceptional ball handling skills for a small forward and was often used as a point forward.  It’s debatable as to whether or not Scottie Pippen would have had the success he did without Jordan but the fact remains that he was an intricate part of those six Chicago championship teams.

3.       Derrick Rose:  This is no disrespect to Chicago Bulls’ players of the past but basketball royalty doesn’t come around often and Rose has that lineage.  In only his 4th season in the NBA, Rose has already won Rookie of the Year honors and a league MVP.  Only one other player on this list accomplished both of those and he sits at No. 1.  At a generous 6-3, Rose possesses explosive leaping ability and is fearless when he attacks the rim.  Rose is averaging just over 20 points and 6.8 assists per game in his young career.  In the 2010-11 season Rose led the Bulls to the NBA’s best record.  Despite being outplayed by the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, if Rose can stay healthy he will lead the Bulls to multiple Championships.  Again, the only other player on this list to do so sits at No. 1.

4.       Jerry Sloan:  A 6-5 Guard/Forward, Sloan was the cornerstone of the inaugural Chicago Bulls team.  During his 11 NBA seasons, Sloan played 10 with the Bulls.  He averaged 14 points per game over his career, appeared in two All Star games, and was named to the NBA All-Defensive team six times.  Sloan led the Chicago Bulls to numerous playoff appearances and in 1975 to their only divisional title before the Jordan.  Sloan would later coach the Bulls for three seasons in the early 80’s taking them to the playoffs in his second season.

 5.       Bob Love:  An ambidextrous 6-8 Forward, Love played with the Bulls from 1968-76. Love averaged almost 19 points a game, to include six consecutive seasons of more than 21 ppg, in his nine seasons with the Bulls.  Despite no championships, Love was a three-time all-star player with the Bulls and had his No. 10 jersey retired.  He is only one of four Bulls with retired jerseys.  The other three are on this list.

Aaron Moon is the CEO and a Featured Journalist for The Sports Blitz. You can contact Aaron on facebook or follow him on Twitter @DA_Bear_Truth. Contact Aaron directly by emailing him at

Chicago Bulls: Lucas steps into the spotlight

The 2011-2012 version of the Chicago Bulls certainly has it’s share of stars.

From reigning MVP Derrick Rose to the newest addition, three time All Star and one time NBA champion Richard Hamilton, the Bulls are for sure on e of the deepest teams in the league and seemed poised to make a big playoff run.

But every team has it’s bench players that can also not only serve as occasional role players or towel waving cheer leaders from the bench but can at times step up for their teams in ways that make them valuable signings rather then just another forgotten NBA practice player.

John Lucas III is rapidly becoming one such player for the Bulls, proving himself worthy of playing time after he scored twenty-eight points to go along with eight assists and eight rebounds in forty five minutes of action as the Bulls pushed past the Wizards 78-64 with starting point guard Derrick Rose and backup guard C.J. Watson both out for the game with injuries.

Although it was not the best shooting performance as Lucas made eleven shots out of Twenty-eight attempts, it does show that Lucas does indeed have real NBA level talent at the position.

Lucas has often been the butt of jokes for Bulls fans who have doubted his presence on the roster as anything more then a practice player. Most will forever recall the two missed free throws he put up in a close game with the Denver Nuggets during his first run with the Bulls in 2010. But he has begun to write the next chapter in a basketball career that has had both diversity and hardships.

John Lucas III is the son of former NBA player and coach John Lucas II, who battled through cocaine addiction and alcohol abuse during an NBA career that lasted more then a decade and a half. It is not hard to imagine that being the son of a man with such perseverance and a hard fought for positive legacy has helped shaped John Lucas III into a man who will not give up when the road gets bit bumpy.

Lucas III also had the misfortune of being closely tied to the Baylor University Scandal in 2003, in which one of Lucas’ former teammates, power forward Patrick Dennehy, was shot and killed by another Baylor basketball player, forward Carlton Dotson.

Despite a transfer to escape the fallout of the scandal, which included allegations of marijuana and alcohol abuse by the Baylor basketball team while the coaching staff looked the other way, even more challenges confronted Lucas after his college days were over.

After striking out on draft night in 2005, Lucas III was picked up by the Minnesota Timberwolves for their Summer league team and training camp roster but did not make the cut for the regular season, playing only two games that year for the Houston Rockets after being called up form the Tulsa 66ers of the Development League.

From there he played in Italy before returning to the Rockets on a three year contract, then again heading back to the Italian league in 2007. From there it was a road well traveled with appearances for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat, the Spanish ACB League for TAU Ceramica as well as a stint in China in the CBA.

It was then that the Chicago Bulls began signing him and waiving him throughout 2010 and 2011.

As Lucas said his role in the world of pro basketball has always been ‘a fight’, but it appears that after a long hard road that has meant playing around the world as well as struggling to make an NBA roster, Lucas might have finally found a home as well as a team that has allowed him to get past his hardships and begin to live the dream of being a useful member of an NBA roster.

With Rose and C.J. Watson both being listed as day to day it would seem that this will not be the last we see of Lucas this season for the Bulls and if Wednesday night’s performance was anything to go by it may be awhile before he ever again is short of work or time on the floor, towel waving be damned.

Thomas Willam Spychalski is a freelance writer for hire who co-edits the UK cult website Cult and has been published at such sites as Kasterborous, Whotopia and is also working on breaking into fictional works as well as a long term non fiction book project on the Amityville Horror. 

Did Cleveland alter the careers of Jordan and Lebron?

Lebron James and Michael JordanCleveland, the abyss of the professional sports teams.  A place where great players and coaches are more often than not hidden on bad teams before opting to go elsewhere in search of greater glory.    In baseball during the 80’s there was Joe Carter and later Manny Ramirez.  Both went on to play key roles in championships with other clubs.  In football Cleveland was so bad that even Bill Belichick couldn’t win there as he compiled a not so impressive 36-44 record during his five-year tenure as the Browns’ head coach during the early to mid 90’s.  Everyone knows what he’s done with the New England Patriots.  And then there’s basketball.  Lebron James was a homegrown prodigy who was deemed the savior of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the successor to an NBA legend.  For the most part Lebron carried his own and lived up to the hype as the “Chosen One,” but his inability to get bad Cavs’ teams over the hump in the playoffs and his subsequent decision to abandon them for safer ground has threatened to tarnish his legacy.  But what about Michael Jordan?  No, “His Airness” never played for the Cavaliers but he did play in Cleveland, and there was one particular game that catapulted him into the legend that he would become.

The year was 1989.  Jordan had been in the NBA for six seasons and despite multiple playoff appearances he had yet to get the Chicago Bulls past the second round.   It was Game 5 in the first round of the NBA playoffs.  It was a best of five series back then and after Michael and the Bulls took a commanding two games to one lead, the Cavaliers tied the series at 2-2 and forced a Game 5 in Cleveland.

Like the Bulls 108-105 overtime loss to the Cavs in Game 4, the outcome of Game 5 would hang in the balance with just seconds remaining.    Jordan hit a jumper with six seconds on the clock to give the Bulls a one point lead.  Chicago’s elation quickly turned to deflation as Craig Ehlo scored immediately for the Cavs on a lay-up with just three seconds left.  For Bulls’ fans, it seemed as if the basketball season would again end in disappointment.  But Jordan had other plans.

Jim Durham made the call over Bulls Radio –

“The inbounds pass comes in to Jordan…Good! The Bulls win it! They win it!”  Jordan had hit a floating jumper over the defending Ehlo as time expired.  He finished with forty-four points in the game.

Jordan and the Bulls would go on to beat the New York Knicks in the conference semifinals before falling to the Detroit Pistons in the conference finals.  Despite the Bulls eventual playoff dismissal, “The Shot” Jordan made against the Cavs to propel the Bulls into the second round would later prove to be one of those magical moments in time when greatness was born.  Jordan would go on to win six NBA titles and arguably would have won eight had it not have been for his premature retirement following the tragic death of his father.

Two megastar players, one team, two different directions.  For Jordan, the Cavaliers created NBA royalty.  As for Lebron James, the Cavaliers created NBA public enemy number one.  Luckily for James, the beauty of life and professional sports is that time heals all wounds and winning cures everything.  So if Lebron can string together three or four championship runs over the next five years or so all will be soon be forgotten.

As for the answer as to whether or not Cleveland altered the careers of Michael Jordan and Lebron James; it’s an astounding Yes. But with that said, like Jordan, James has control of his ultimate destiny and I would like to believe that when it’s all said and done he’ll go down in NBA history as one of the Top 5 greatest players of all-time and have the championship pedigree to support it.  He might want to get a move on it however as he is currently 0-2 in the NBA finals. Only time will tell.

Aaron Moon is the CEO and a Featured Journalist for The Sports Blitz. You can contact Aaron on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @DA_Bear_Truth.