Through all the years that Jim Boeheim has been coaching men’s basketball at Syracuse University, he has never had a problem attracting basketball talent to the program. Many ‘talking heads’ have said that Boeheim has not done enough with the talent that has come through the program, but that is a discussion for another day. When a program like Syracuse attracts such basketball talent, the inevitable question becomes how many of it’s players make it to ‘The Show’ (aka: the NBA) and how well prepared are those players for all the demands at the professional level?…
With LeBron and the Miami Heat winning a 2nd NBA Championship in as many years (the Heat franchise has won 3 in their history), the inevitable talk is if the Heat can win it all next year, and what their legacy is within NBA history. Everyone’s favorite statistician Nate Silver from the NY Times 538 Blog has actually taken that conversation a little further and asked what is LeBron’s chances of matching Michael Jordan’s 6 NBA Titles.
Players like Jordan and James are so rare that it can be risky to compare them to anyone else. Still, one reasonably useful benchmark is to evaluate players who, like James and Jordan, had won at least one Most Valuable Player Award and at least one N.B.A. title as of their age-28 season, meaning that they had achieved the pinnacle of both individual and team success.
It’s tough to say exactly what James’s odds of catching Jordan might be, as the average conceals a wide range of outcomes among the individual players. Four of the players on the list – Magic Johnson, Moses Malone, Bob Pettit and Dave Cowens – would never win another championship after their age-28 season. But four others – Jordan, Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – would win four or more additional tiles.
While he does not definitively say one way or another if it is statistically possible for James to catch Jordan, he does hedge by saying that while the chances are small, it could be possible for James to snag an ‘easy’ one or two later on in his career depending on how he adjusts his game as he gets older and if the circumstance he finds himself in is optimal for winning a title.
And from the analysis, I was probably most surprised by the realization that all the championships that Magic Johnson won (5 of them) happened before his 28th birthday and after that, he never won another championship. Of course, having to retire prematurely doesn’t help things but still.
What I’m liking is the on demand element of the service. Whatever I want to watch is only a few clicks away. Its seamlessly integrated with Netflix, YouTube and many of the top video podcasts out there. I can easily buy/rent movies from iTunes, although Netflix somewhat solves for that. And it enables me to connect to online services like Flickr and other “cloud” services. One big downfall has been the lack of support for “have to watch live” events like sports…but that was recently solved with MLB.TV and NBA League Pass announcing deals with Apple where you can stream any and all league games via Apple TV. For someone like me who’s a Red Sox/Celtics fan living in pseudo – enemy territory (New Jersey…but I do like the Knicks. Long story.), this is a huge win.
But what really pushes it further for me is the seamless integration with the iOS “ecosystem”. Drop a movie in iTunes, and you can easily stream it to your TV via ATV. Want to listen to your music in your TV room via your surround sound speakers, just navigate to your music library and hit play.
I’m not going to get all “tech pundit” on you and say you “have to get it”. Go get a Roku box if you prefer. But go try it. Its only around $100 for either ATV or Roku. You won’t be disappointed.
And it is eerily so with the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers. How could they make the same crippling mistake, not once, but twice?!?
Back in 1984, they famously passed over a 6’6″ shooting guard from the University of North Carolina (er…Michael Jordan, only the greatest NBA player ever) to select the often injured Sam Bowie out of Kentucky. I think we can all figure out what happened.
Today, Michael Jordan is being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, along with C. Vivian Stringer, Jerry Sloan, John Stockton, and David Robinson. ESPN has put together a compilation of the 23 best moments of MJ’s career (Note: ESPN could have done a better job of this page by making the videos play continuously instead of the way they have it, which requires the user to click on every clip).
Recently it was announced that the Seattle Supersonics have moved to, of all places, Oklahoma City. (I won’t even go into the shock that Keven Durant must be having, going from an energetic city like Seattle to, with all due respect, a sleepy plains city like OKC.) But come on, could they not have done a little bit of a better job with the new team name and logo? The Oklahoma City Thunder? Thunder? What Thunder?. The logo is terrible. The team name…eh…its up there with the Magic, Wild, and Thrashers as inanimate objects masquerading to be sports mascots. Come on folks of OKC, could you not have gone with Cowboys? Yes, its boring, but OKC is a cowboy town.
This brings me back to when I was somewhere between 12 and 15 years old, watching Larry Bird and the rest of the great Celtics teams. This is great. Congrats to KG, PP, Ray Allen and the rest of the team. An amazing turnaround, from worst to first.