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Sports Watching & Wondering

Black news - sports commentary on basketball, baseball, football and moreBasketball fans on both the East and West Coasts are ecstatic. They were hoping to see a championship series between the Celtics and the Lakers. They also knew that this was unlikely to happen. An upset here, or an upset there, and some other teams would be playing for the Championship. There was plenty of suspense along the way, as each team had more than its share of problems. However, in the end, it turned out the way that most of us wanted. The Celtics and the Lakers, does it get any better than that?

Two years ago, the Celtics massacred the Lakers in game six at Boston Gardens. The actual score is too painful to recall. Let me just say that it was a monumental blowout, and the Lakers and their fans are still smarting from that.

It has now come the past. These two storied franchises will meet again. The professionals are picking the Celtics to win, and they have some strong arguments to support their decision. The Lakers have their own true believers, and they do not believe that Kobe Bryant will allow the Lakers lose to this team, or to any other. That is why they will play the games, and why we will feel compelled to watch them.

From a purely technical standpoint, the Celtics appear to be a deeper, stronger team. They regularly play as many as ten men in each game, although only five at a time. All of their players have made strong contributions a throughout the season. The Lakers get most of their play from just seven players, including Lamar Odom. Their bench players don't play often, nor do they log significant minutes. It appears that not much is expected of them, and that is what they deliver.

The Lakers have come to rely almost completely on the superb talent and the iron will of Kobe Bryant. He can make himself better, when he needs to be. When he shoots the basketball, he seems to will it into the basket. The ball itself is afraid not to go into the hoop, because if it did not, it would likely be punished by Bryant. From the mental health point of view, it might not be a good thing for Bryant to have obsessed over that defeat of two years ago. However, he has, and he has stated that he does not just want to win the Championship; he also wants revenge against the Celtics. There is a general rule in sports that big-time players are the one who win championships. For the Lakers, that would be Bryant, Fisher, and Gasol.  Some of the supporting players like Artest, Odom and Brown may have their moments, but it is the stars who will decide the outcome. The Celtics will depend heavily upon Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, and Ray Allen. Kevin Garnet is still an important emotional leader, but a series of injuries have diminished his effectiveness on the court. They also get important contributions from Big Baby Davis and Nate Robinson. All in all, this is the matchup that most of the nation wanted. All of the planets aligned themselves properly, so now we have it. Enjoy!


Sooner or later it had to happen. A baseball player had his leg broken during the celebration that ensued after he hit a game-winning home run. The only thing that surprises me about this is that it did not happen many years earlier. Many players celebrate victories by jumping on each other, or by leaping into chest bumps. You have athletes who are each making more than $1 million per year risking injuries, if they don't land properly. Also, make me the Commissioner Baseball, and I would prevent players from leaving the bench or the bullpen to join in to any of the little fights that they have. There is a non-written rule in baseball, that when two opposing players exchange some unpleasant words, all the players on each team have to rush to the field to show that they are eager to fight. If any of them would not join in childhood activity, they would likely be ostracized by the rest of the players for the remainder of their careers. Basketball has found a way to prevent most of the fights, and to prohibit other players from leaving their benches, when they occur. Baseball is the least well run, in my opinion, of major sporting leagues. So, if they are to learn anything, it takes painful experiences for them to do so.

Former USC Trojan football star LenDale White was dropped from the roster of the Seattle Seahawks. They had just acquired him in a trade from the Tennessee Titans.

This was a reunion between him and his former college coach Pete Carroll. For whatever reasons, White does not seem to be the player that he once was. In addition, he is likely facing a four-game drug suspension. White has been in the NFL for about five years.It appears now that his career as a professional football player may be over, and thus he will have to find another way to earn a living. The irony of having the use of illegal drugs end your career is that you will longer be able to afford them. 78 percent of all former NFL Players are near Bankruptcy, within two years after they leave the NFL. Right now, unless things change for the better, White may become member of that group.

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