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Brothers again but not as teammate since the media rained down criticism on Russell Westbrook and James Harden regarding their talent or… lack f it. It's a case of what have you done for me lately - (All-Pro Reels photo)

 

 

Los Angeles Rams receiver Kooper Kupp - (NFL photo)

 

Las Vegas Raiders receiver Hunter Renfrow - (NFL photo)

 

 

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith goes toe to toe with LaVar Ball when Ball claimed that he could defeat Michael Jordan one on one - IT WAS A SAY WHAT MOMENT - (FScreen shot - photo)

 

 

Los Angeles Lakers Magic Johnson and Boston Celtics Larry Bird in Game two of the 1985 NBA Finals at Boston Garden Date 30 May 1985 - Steve Lipofsky www.Basketballphoto.com

 

SPORTS NOTES - The Bashed Brothers - Harden & Westbrook

James Loving/National Radio Text Service

 

 

When it rains it pours, criticism that is. Since the New Year the media have been picking apart several players. We point out our observation regarding Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Kooper Kupp, Hunter Renfrow and ESPN's Stephen A. Smith having taken center stage in this arena. It seems it's a case of reverse racism in some cases and disrespect while ignoring situations are another. WHAT'S UP WIT DAT? READ ON… - NBA's ALL TIME BEST PLAYERS 1st and 2nd TEAMS

 

Tuesday March 15, 2022

Trials & Tribulations

Who would have thought when Russell Westbrook and James Harden who were teammates with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets that they would have accomplished what they have. The two have had tremendous careers including both being named the league MVP. What the two also have in common is neither have been a member of a championship team.

After 11 seasons with the Thunder on July 16, 2019, Westbrook was traded to the Houston Rockets for All-Star Chris Paul, two protected first-round picks, and two second-round pick swaps. The move reunited Westbrook with former teammate James Harden; they both expressed mutual interest and enthusiasm in playing together at this stage in their careers. Harden spent his first three seasons in the league (2009-2012) on the Thunder with Westbrook, and prior to playing in Houston, they last played together in the 2012 Finals.

Reunited as teammates in the 2019-20 season Harden has 34 ppg and Westbrook 27ppg. They made it to the 2nd round of the playoffs where they were eliminated by the Los Angeles Lakers 4-1. At that point Westbrook was off to the Washington Wizards in what was a disappointing season being knocked out of the playoffs in five games.

Throughout his career he has maintained playing big minutes per game between 32-34. Entering this season he had a 23 ppg average and 34.7 minutes a game playing time.

His stats remained virtually the same until this season's buzz saw with the Lakers. On August 6, 2021, Westbrook was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, the third time he was traded and his fourth team in three years; the Wizards acquired Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Aaron Holiday, Spencer Dinwiddie, and the draft rights of Isaiah Todd in the deal. The feeling was the Lakers gave away the farm or TOO MUCH for the aging star.

In addition Westbrook had to blend in with a team built around the skills of LeBron James and almost an entire new team that all had to get to know each others styles of play, timing and rhythms. Westbrook works best from the top with the ball in his hands. James likes to get in the middle on occasion which takes away one of Westbrooks strengths in driving the lane.

With all of the changes Westbrook has made an abundant amount of turnovers. The fans and local media have been verbally abusing him but he has toughed it out. The problem more than Westbrook is Laker management put together a team of aging former stars that haven't played together and must adjust to the vagabond King James.

Kevin Durant had it right when he was asked if he would leave his then presence with the Golden State Warriors to join James on the Lakers. His response was a player must give up a lot of his game to play with James. His comments weren't intended to be negative but it is a fact particularly for a super star. To compliment James a player's role is 2nd fiddle and to play around James' game. Durant's comments were succinct.

NEXT: JAMES HARDEN


ALL STAR GAME HILIGHTS

This season the change in format to having rookie and sophomore players having teams to play against each other was refreshing. It gave the viewer a chance to see more players display their skills in a challenging manner that meant something unlike the run and gun schoolyard format in the past.

The continued use of having the top two vote getters choose a team for the All Star game is a waste of time and meaningless. What happens is a run and gun situation that means nothing. Players are having fun displaying their Harlem Globetrotter skills and NOT playing a serious game TO WIN.

A better format would be for an International team to play against team USA. That would mean something and be more competitive. The challenge would be a cash prize that would be donated to the winner's choice of charity. The winning team should have double the amount of winnings which would make it more competitive.


ANOTHER BROTHER

Please excuse me as I am about the jump on the $8 million dollar ESPN man Stephen Smith. Smith has a tendency to rely on his hood speak and refer to THE BROTHER this and the brother that. Apparently he isn't aware that ESPN is viewed by more than black people. During the early part of the NFL season he made remarks about how the Los Angeles Rams receiver Kooper Kupp was being targeted too much and the brothers (black receivers) on the team were being ignored.

Smith also took a slight at the Las Vegas Raiders receiver Hunter Renfrow. When the season was over Smith toned his anti-white boy verbiage down a bit.

Both had excellent seasons with Kupp being the league's top receiver with 145 receptions for 1947 receiving yards and 16 TD's. Renfrow finished 21st with 103 receptions for 1038 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns. For a walk on in college Renfrow has worked hard to improve his game and be a worthy NFL player.

Smith has gone on to sound racist when he was angry that black coaches weren't given a proper break for coaching jobs. He then went ballistic when he suggested that a group of black men should buy and NFL franchise. The underlying factor here is can black owners and coaches communicate fairly with white players and not play the reverse racist game?

Malcom X, Muhammad Ali and Don King's business dealings are proof that the brother group ownership system doesn't work. Walter Payton and a black group failed to purchase an NFL franchise but were refused because they couldn't get along. Money matters. According to Forbes magazine the Dallas Cowboys are the highest valued team in the league at $6.5 billion. In 1989 Jerry Jones purchased the club for ONLY $150 MILLION.

The Buffalo Bills ranked 32nd are the least valued team at $2.27 billion. The average NFL team value is $3.48 billion, which increased 14% over the past year.

The NBA's Michael Jordan is the most successful black owner of a professional franchise with the Charlotte Hornets. He bought it from perhaps the most successful black businessman Bob Johnson who founded BET (Black Entertainment Television). The question is telling, is there a group of black businessmen that have the money, business intellect and experience THAT CAN GET ALONG on this earth? The answer is not hardly.

Here's the drill…. I'm not intending to rain on Smith's parade. I've recognized him since he took Phil Jasner's place with the Philadelphia Inquirer. He's a knowledgeable and appears to be good chap from afar. But… since he received an $8 million contract from ESPN he seems to sometimes go off the rails and gets extreme with his broth-the from the hood lingo as he usually directs his comments to another black man on a panel. It's cool BUT… sometimes it goes overboard and he needs to respect the non black viewers watching.

One of his best shows was when he went toe to toe with LaVar Ball regarding his comments that he could beat Michael Jordan one on one. Smith rolled his eyes and listened and then went for the juggler. It was a classic interview ad worth finding for those that haven't seen it.


THE NBA's GREATEST of ALL TIME
1st Team
Position
2nd Team
Larry Bird
PF
Elgin Baylor
SF
Julius Erving
Bill Russell
C
Wilt Chamberlain
Michael Jordan
SG
LeBron James
Magic Johnson
PG
Oscar Robertson
11th & 12th MAN SUBSTITUTES & Coach
C/F
C
Coach

NBA's 50 GREATEST PLAYERS of ALL TIME LIST

On October 29, 1996 In conjunction with the NBA’s 50th anniversary celebration, the list of The 50 Greatest Players in NBA History was announced. It included: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nate Archibald, Paul Arizin, Charles Barkley, Rick Barry, Elgin Baylor, Dave Bing, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Cousy, Dave Cowens, Billy Cunningham, Dave DeBusschere, Clyde Drexler, Julius Erving, Patrick Ewing, Walt Frazier, George Gervin, Hal Greer, John Havlicek, Elvin Hayes, Earvin Johnson, Sam Jones, Michael Jordan, Jerry Lucas, Karl Malone, Moses Malone, Pete Maravich, Kevin McHale, George Mikan, Earl Monroe, Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Robert Parish, Bob Pettit, Scottie Pippen, Willis Reed, Oscar Robertson, David Robinson, Bill Russell, Dolph Schayes, Bill Sharman, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, Nate Thurmond, Wes Unseld, Bill Walton, Jerry West, Lenny Wilkens, and James Worthy


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