Opening Night

This Is the Night

I don’t think I turned the television set in my basement on since the Miami Heat won the 2013 NBA Championship in June. This is my basketball-watching basement. Not much else happens down here, unless you count laundry.

We fans have been counting down, and tonight the countdown hits zero. The 2013-2014 NBA season tips off in just a few, if God so wills.

First, the NBA on TNT guys live from New York City talked up a pre-game show storm. Summarizing the moves that took place in the summer, Shaq, EJ, Kenny, and Chuck (and guest Mike Breen!) got everyone up to speed.

The Ring Ceremony from Miami starts right now. The Heat players and coaches are set to receive their Championship rings, and the American Airlines Arena will raise its third banner. This all leads up to the main event of the night—the opening tip, the Miami Heat host the Chicago Bulls, and yes, Derrick Rose returns.

Once again, it’s finally time.

The Work of a Journalist

The New York Times Building at night
Photo Credit: Jonathan Bell

Time and time again, I will browse through my previous posts keeping an eye out for typos, broken links, and inefficient tagging. As I continue to check statistics on this blog, I realize image search engines are the source of many clicks. Naturally desiring more views, I’m slowly adding images to my many past picture-less posts.

This morning, I was editing my post titled “Filling in the Blanks” and was searching for an appropriate image to accompany the words. Since I quoted Michael Jordan on his success, I thought an emotional display of him with his first championship trophy would do the trick, but I didn’t want to just copy and paste a picture from someone else’s blog when there was a photographer who was responsible for snapping that shot back in 1991.

I figured I’d be able to find an article from 1991 announcing the Chicago Bulls first NBA Championship with an image giving credit to the photographer on the Internet. NYTimes.com has all the Michael Jordan news under “Times Topics.” You can search for keywords from all the articles about him–so I typed in “championship.” I selected “Oldest First” to organize the search results.

I didn’t find the image I wanted on NYTimes.com, but after a few Google searches I stumbled upon it with the photo credit properly given and used it in the aforementioned post.

Nevertheless, I did indeed find the words of the article I was looking for–you know, that one that was published before I was born:

INGLEWOOD, Calif.— FLYING back to Chicago this afternoon, one could reasonably expect to look out the window of the airplane and see Michael Jordan flying right alongside, smiling and waving in his basketball suit. After all, we’ve recently seen Jordan flying in other places, like Chicago Stadium and the Forum here, so why not in the clouds, too?

What a picture columnist Ira Berkow’s lead paints! Mr. Berkow, Sir, I have no words. I obviously have a long way to go.

I want you to think about this year for a second: 1851. That’s the year Moby-Dick by Herman Melville was first published and the year Northwestern University was founded.

It was also the year The New York Times was founded. Articles like this printed in The New York Times in 1851 are scanned and posted as PDFs for everyone to see. As in right now, you can read a casual article that the people who walked this American soil over a century ago read fresh off the press. EIGHTEEN FIFTY-ONE, PEOPLE. Wow. To think a journalist’s work from 1851 is available, searchable, and readable for the world in 2012–that’s pretty dang cool.

Rise Up NYK

Rise Up NYKIt was a sad start to the 2012 NBA Playoffs this weekend…for me anyway.

I had some family gatherings to attend pretty much all of Saturday. Seeing my extended family was awesome–don’t get me wrong. But, sitting in the backseat of a Toyota Camry directing my mom to switch in between from 1050 ESPN Radio New York and 1040, which sometimes gives a better signal, was not my idea of watching Game 1 of the Knicks and Heat series. Plus the backseat makes me nauseous.

I didn’t expect to keep hearing the word “crush” to describe what was happening to the Knicks in the American Airlines Arena Saturday afternoon. I avidly checked Twitter for game updates while sitting in the car, unable to get to a TV set. When I saw the following tweet, I realized “crush” may have been used lightly.

What’s worse is that the Knicks’ defensive weapon, Iman Shumpert collapsed to the floor and tore his ACL, ending the rookie’s season. Chicago point guard Derrick Rose is also out for the rest of the playoffs with the same injury suffered in the Bulls’ Game 1 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Today, I found out LeBron James flopped all over the court in Saturday’s game–which made sense of the “Flop of the Night” TT on Twitter.

I just saw the clips of LeFlop’s masterpieces from Saturday on the MSG Network’s pregame show, and I’m gonna jump on the Stop the Flop train. It’s disgusting. Cut the act, and play some ball.

With just under three minutes left in the first quarter of Game 2, New York trails Miami 18-14.

Good to see Tyson Chandler on the court. Carmelo Anthony is off to a better shooting start than Saturday, and Jeremy Lin said in an interview fans may see him suited up with the ball in his hands down the road in the first round.

Rise up NYK. Let’s do this.

NBA East All-Star Starters 2012

Why I Love Basketball & Hate WordPress

The following is a list I’m compiling to illustrate why I love basketball (for the SECOND time because WordPress stank this morning). I had the whole list completed with pictures, videos, commentary, perfectly formatted–everything done, but WordPress decided to make my post go blank as I clicked preview. This kind of thing happens to me way too often.

Nevertheless, the past seven or eight days of basketball were simply awesome, and I won’t let the glitch ruin that. /saves draft.

#1- January 29: The King of Basketball, LeBron James, jumped OVER John Lucas of the Chicago Bulls, resulting in a major slam dunk.

#2- January 30: Blake Griffin’s MONSTER posterization of Kendrick Perkins. Beast mode.

#3- January 31: Knicks won for once, beating the Detroit Pistons 113-86.

NBA East All-Star Starters 2012#4- February 2: 2012 NBA All-Star Game starters were announced, and the Knicks played their second game in two nights. The NYK hosted the Chicago Bulls at MSG, and came up short at the end of the game. I wasn’t too disappointed, however, because rumors were spreading that Knicks head coach, Mike D’Antoni might get fired the Saturday before Super Bowl XLVI if the Knicks kept stinking up the place. Why Saturday? Because everyone would be preoccupied with the New York Giants versus New England Patriots Super Bowl XLII rematch. SPOILER ALERT: Mike’s still the coach.

#5- February 3: Anthony Morrow of the N.J. Nets put on a show in Newark versus Kevin Love and rookie Ricky Rubio’s Minnesota Timberwolves. Despite Morrow’s career-high 42 points, including an insane 4-point play, the Nets still lost. The Knicks lost their game in Boston versus the Celtics, too. One step closer to a new head coach, right? See above SPOILER ALERT.

Jeremy Lin's Career-Night
AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

#6- February 4: Two words– Jeremy Lin. I first heard of Lin when I watched NigaHiga’s YouTube video, parodying the NBA Lockout. All I learned was that Lin was on the Golden State Warriors, had a sense of humor, and knew Ryan Higa. On Dec. 27, he became a Knick. The Harvard grad-turned-New York Knickerbocker played a career-night at MSG on Saturday putting up 25 points, seven assists, and five boards in 36 minutes. He led the desperate NY team to a 99-92 win over the soon-to-be city-sharing Nets with his and-ones, splitting the defense, and enthusiasm off the bench. Being the girl that I am, I couldn’t stop smiling when I saw the grin on Lin’s face, heard the congratulatory remarks he received from his teammates, and felt through my television screen the chants of “Jeremy” echoing throughout the stands at The World’s Most Famous Arena.

A Lot of Stuff

Ricky Rubio arrives in Minnesota
Photo credit: David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images

Winter break has officially been a part of my life since Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 2:10 p.m. YAY. (plus all the other mixed feelings from a couple posts ago…)

EN BEE AY. Trades and signings and wow.

So. Much. Has. Been. Happening. This is just some of the stuff that’s been on the top of my mind:

  • The Knicks acquired Tyson Chandler to make their frontcourt even stronger. They got Mike Bibby too. And Baron Davis.  
  • Chris Paul joins Blake Griffin in L.A. to help the Clippers for about a year.
  • Derrick Rose signed a 5-year extension with the Chicago Bulls.
  • Brook Lopez broke his foot and will be out for at least 2 months after his surgery.
  • Who Kris Humphries is totally flew over my head…until a few hours ago.
  • Vince Carter is back with Jason Kidd, this time in Dallas, and Lamar Odom, too.
  • Ricky Rubio made it over to Minnesota.
  • Metta World Peace is actually referred to as Metta World Peace. (True, this is old news, but I think this is the first time I read his name in an article without his previous name mentioned.)
  • Big Baby is on the Magic.

A lot of movement. A lot of new jerseys. A lot of time off. And come Sunday–a lot of basketball. To put it in the words obsessively overused by the official Twitter of the NBA:

BIG things are coming!

Season’s Greetings!

My winter break just got a billion times more exciting, and I was already counting down the days. Alhamdulillah.

CHRISTMAS DAY it all ends, if God wills. The Boston Celtics vs. the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden will open up the 2011 (a whole 7 days of it) – 2012 season.

YAY! The NBA IS BACK. And I have no schoolwork to distract me from the amazing that can happen on Dec. 25, Insha’Allah.

The Knicks game will be followed by an NBA 2011 Finals rematch with Miami at Dallas. The third game of the triple header features last year’s MVP Derrick Rose and the Bulls visiting Kobe and the Lakers in L.A.

I was getting tired, sad, and hungry for the past 140-something days of being locked out. But finally, FINALLY, I’m relieved and pumped up. Motivated too, because now I can fill up another category on this blog besides “Lockout.”

82 Games in a Season

Photo cred: Knicks.com

Yesterday, the 2011-2012 NBA season schedule was released. November 1st marks the first day of the regular season with the reigning champs, Dallas Mavericks playing host to the MVP, Derrick Rose’s team, the Chicago Bulls. To air live on TNT, with game two of the double header etched in as LAL vs. OKC, Kobe vs. KD. Perhaps.

The Knicks have graced the second night of the NBA season, sharing the national screen-stage with the Miami Heat, the team that stole all the hype last season and the team  the Mavs decided to “turn off” in the Finals. The New Yorkers in orange and blue landed 29 nationally televised games. I would be more delighted when and if: (1) the lockout ceases to exist, and (2) I didn’t have MSG Network.

The excitement of the ’11-’12 season has been contained due to the Lockout, no doubt. And with one of the latest Real GM headlines reporting negotiations between players and owners have been postponed until August, I’m becoming more distraught. I need my NBA games. All 82 of them.

-H2

Is It 2006 Already?

Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat, 2011 Eastern Conference Champions
Nam Y. Huh-Pool/Getty Images

In my previous post I wanted to witness amazing. Boy, did I get what I asked for.

The Heat stole Game 5 from the Bulls and claimed the Eastern Conference Champs T-shirts, hats, and trophy. Though the Bulls had a (you would think comfortable) lead with around three minutes left in the fourth, that margin disintegrated in mere seconds. LeBron did his thing, reminiscent to his moves in the Cavs uniform versus the Pistons during the final minutes of previous playoff games that made your eyes widen. Every time the ball left his fingertips tonight in the fourth, you knew he’d hit it. His three tied the game at 79, and it was pretty much downhill from there for Chicago. It feels good not to hate James and just enjoy his play. I can’t help but have a smirk on my face each time he drains the basket. He’s LeBron, and I’m not surprised. Four-point plays never fail to make my jaw drop, and Wade’s was no exception. Props to him, too. He looks all too familiar in that Eastern Conference Champion hat.

To the Bulls, much respect. It just wasn’t going their way this series, but they had an awesome season. They can only build on and improve from here, and I expect them to come back next year stronger and more experienced.

So now, it feels like 2006, and I’m watching the NBA Finals with the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat once again. Dirk, Jet, Avery, Cuban in the blue and occasional green on one side, and D-Wade, Shaq, Mourning, Riley sporting flames on the other. Except it’s 2011 so we’ll subtract Avery and Shaq, throw in a little Spoelstra, Bron, JJ, and shift some of the job titles around, and God-willing, we’ve got an entertaining NBA Finals coming our way.

-H2

I Dare You to Move

I feel a Game 3 coming on. Tonight at 8:30 PM et on TNT (they know drama), Chicago Bulls @ Miami Heat. Eastern Conference Finals, Game 3, Series tied 1-1.

Let me dedicate this post to the Heat. I am not a fan, Miami. I’m really not. I’ll admit, I hated big time on the team down in FL; I did in the summer, and I did in the regular season. Heck, I hated on ’em last week. Every time the Heatles lost, I celebrated. But, they knocked out Boston, and I’m glad. Some new jerseys in the conference finals are looking good to me; it’s adding fire to the ever-so-common green and yellow I’m used to seeing this time of year.

LeBron James The Decision
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

I need to put aside my beef with LeBron, as do all others who felt stabbed by The Decision in July 2010. The man took his talents to South Beach; it’s done. I loved watching LeBron play while he was in the Cavs uniform, and I loved watching D-Wade when he was the face of the Heat. Match-ups like that would be on national television because all the stars would be on the same court at the same time. Now, they’re just sporting one team name on their chests, walking into the same huddle during a timeout.

It took a while for me, but now I’m finally moving past my Heat-hating days. Still not a fan, but I’m gonna allow myself to enjoy their play, because they can play. I’m more of an NBA fan than a Miami hater, so I’m gonna sit back and watch some basketball. My team’s already out, so I’m just watching to witness amazing.

All I want is for amazing to happen.

-H2