Radio Show Hangs Up on Bill Walton

The morning after the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, a radio show invited Bill Walton on as a guest and then hung up on him.  Any idea what city that radio show was based out of?  If you guessed Boston, then good for you.

Fred “Toucher” Toettcher did on Friday morning what Mike Francesa should have done to Steve Phillips when he came on the air and claimed he’d trade Stephen Strasburg for Roy Oswalt straight up — cut him off and move along with the show.  The Toucher and Rich Morning Show, 98.5 The Sports Hub Boston’s morning slot, decided a few games back in the series to have Hall of Famer Bill Walton appear as a guest when the series ended.  When Walton got on the air on Friday morning and began gushing about how happy he was for his son (who logged a whopping zero minutes, zero seconds in the game) for winning his second championship and bragging about the Lakers, they cut him off like he was some pee-on caller.

Apparently “Toucher” assumed that the former Celtic — who won a championship with Boston in 1986 — would be slightly more objective and act as more of an analyst than a proud daddy.  Keep in mind that as a Celtic fan I’m extremely biased with my reaction to this, but it honestly could be what gets me through my day today.  They gave Walton a pretty fair shot and let him talk for a few minutes until it became clear he was only going to salt the wounds of the show’s painfully disappointed fan base.  Bill probably didn’t help his own cause when he said something along the lines of, “After stealing Game 2 in LA, the Celtics had a chance to come home and win three straight and couldn’t get it done.”  Three straight in the NBA Finals.  That easy, huh Bill?

Kobe Bryant to Shaq: I Have Five Rings!

One thing lost in all the celebration of the Lakers winning their 16th championship in franchise history, the 11th title for coach Phil Jackson, and 5th for both Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant, is that Kobe has now passed up Shaquille O’Neal for more rings. Maybe we didn’t hear too much about the issue prior to Thursday night because Boston gave the Lakers an excellent push, taking them all the way to the seventh game. Once the Lakers had won it all and Kobe Bryant had about an hour to soak it all in, he reminded us what winning the 5th title means to him. In a way that only he and Shaq can, Kobe let us know that winning the title means he has one more than Shaq. Let’s go to the video:

Translation: Shaq, tell me how my ass tastes! Thanks to LBS contributor S.S. for the heads up and credit to You Been Blinded for the find as well.

Kobe Bryant: I Got One More Than Shaq [You Been Blinded]
Video Credit: YouTube user getsomevideos

Ron Artest Thanks His Psychiatrist!

There’s no doubt that Ron Artest is a wacky dude. If you didn’t already know it, his speech after winning the NBA title during an interview on ABC confirmed it. In the interview with Doris Burke, Ron Artest gave his thank yous and in the middle of the list was his psychiatrist. He failed to actually give any comments on the game, instead he spent the time promoting his music. This is Ron Artest at his finest — check out the video of Ron Artest thanking his psychiatrist:

Video Credit: YouTube user DrD00CKTORDEATH

Ron Artest Gets His Back-Breaker

Ron Artest was heavily derided for his poor shot selection at the end of Game 5 between the Suns and Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. Artest missed two jumpers with his team up by three 101-98 and a minute left in the game. He wound up being the hero getting the miracle put-back on a Kobe Bryant miss at the buzzer but he was looking like the goat up until that point. Ron explained his reason for taking those outside shots by saying he was going for the back-breaker. I understood his logic, realizing that if his three fell, the Lakers would have locked it up. Well Artest had the exact same opportunity in Game 7 and he nailed it. With the Lakers up by three, 76-73, Ron Artest made a three to put the game out of reach. Here’s a video of Ron Artest’s three-pointer in Game 7 to beat Boston along with several other highlights (Artest’s three-pointer is at the 1:15 mark):

If Artest doesn’t make that shot, the Celtics would have had a good chance to come back and tie things up, so to me it was a back-breaker. Luckily he made it otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to hear Ron Artest thank his psychiatrist after the game.

Video Credit: YouTube user Navjoent

Best Shooters May Win Game 7

The Boston Celtics were able to steal Game 2 of the NBA Finals from the LA Lakers at Staples Center for one reason — Ray Allen had an incredible shooting night. They could certainly use another if they want to win Game 7 and bring home their 18th NBA title. With news surfacing that Kendrick Perkins likely will not play in Game 7 with a sprained knee, the Celtics have to come to the realization that they are losing their best low-post defender. On the defensive end, they’ll have to make adjustments. However, with Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom also nursing themselves back to full health, there’s no need for the Celtics to hit the panic button.

Before the Finals began, Boston had to have prepared for a situation in which they’d be without their starting center. Perkins’ six technical fouls were a huge story to watch heading into the series. No one can predict an injury, but fortunately for Doc Rivers he was forced to prepare his team to lose a player that they indeed have likely lost, albeit for a different reason.

With three combined players from the two teams ailing — all of which happen to be around 7-feet tall — Game 7 of the NBA Finals could turn into a situation in which the best jump shooters win. Without Perkins, the Celtics will have a lot of shooters on the floor for the better part of the game. Rasheed Wallace, while not nearly as good as Perkins on defense, is a much more capable offensive player. His range extends to the three-point line and he adds an element on offense that the Celtics lack when Perkins is on the floor — an effective turn around jump shot. Kevin Garnett can provide a baseline turn-around jumper at times, but he’s a much better catch-and-shoot player.

[Read more...]

Wall Street Journal Analyzes Lakers and Celtics Whining Tendencies

The Wall Street Journal has conducted an interesting little study that examines the amount of belly-aching the players have done in the 2010 NBA Finals.  Some of the numbers are actually pretty surprising.  Maybe it’s just because Celtics-Lakers is such a heated rivalry, but there seems to be more complaining about officiating in these NBA Finals than there has been in the past.  I know, NBA officials take a ton of heat now — especially in the post-Donaghy era — but this year it has been noticeably bad.

The fact that Boston has two players (Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace) that are one technical away from a suspension has to say something.  What it probably says is that the Celtics cry to the officials more than your usual team, and that is indeed what the Wall Street Journal found.  Check out “The Whining Index” that they came up with by studying the first five games of the NBA Finals:

[Read more...]

If The Finals Ended Today, Would Kobe Be MVP in Defeat?

In 1969, the Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in an NBA Finals series that went seven games.  Lakers guard and 14-time All-Star Jerry West was named the NBA Finals MVP — in defeat.  It was the first time the league issued an award for a Finals MVP, and the only time a player on the losing squad has ever be given the honor.  Ironically enough, as the same two rivals face-off once again for an NBA title, we could find ourselves in a similar situation for the first time in over 40 years.

I’m not saying the NBA Finals are over and Boston should start celebrating; the Celtics have pushed LA to the brink of elimination, but the series now returns to the Staples Center for Games 6 and 7 (if necessary).  What I am saying is that if the Finals were to end after Game 5, Kobe Bryant would have to be named the MVP of the series.  Let’s have a look at the average stats of the MVP candidates through the first five games, not including Shrek and Donkey:

Kobe Bryant               30.2 (PPG)           6.0 (RPG)                4.4 (APG)                    2.0 (SPG)
Paul Pierce                 19.0                        4.6                             3.4                                0.6
Pau Gasol                   18.8                        10.0                            2.6                                0.8
Rajon Rondo              14.2                         6.2                             7.4                                1.6
Kevin Garnett            15.6                         6.0                             3.2                                1.8
Ray Allen                    14.0                         3.0                             1.4                                0.4

[Read more...]