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Does gentle or not matter that much in a tough NBA game?

April 17, 2011 Leave a comment

The NBA fined Kobe Bryant $100,000 on Wednesday for using a derogatory gay term in frustration over a referee’s call.

“Kobe Bryant’s comment during last night’s game was offensive and inexcusable,”NBA commissioner David Stern said. “While I’m fully aware that basketball is an emotional game, such a distasteful term should never be tolerated. … Kobe and everyone associated with the NBA know that insensitive or derogatory comments are not acceptable and have no place in our game or society.”

Bryant’s words and actions were captured by TNT’s cameras during the network’s national broadcast of the Lakers’ regular-season home finale. It didn’t take long for the society to criticize on his words, which embarrasses the NBA – which has been trying to keep a proper image in public for long.

“What I said last night should not be taken literally. My actions were out of frustration during the heat of the game, period,” Bryant said in a statement issued through the Lakers. “The words expressed do NOT reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were NOT meant to offend anyone.”

The NBA – National Basketball Association has long become a show instead of athletic event, Commissioner David Stern has been pursuing in every aspect in an effort of making NBA a more financially profiting organization, and this includes setting up a positive image in front of public. From this point of view, the NBA has every right to fine Bryant for his furious words.

After all, the league is like a company with hundreds of player employees – when players do something that hurts the firm’s image, fine follows, just like what a employer would do to its employees.

For sure Kobe Bryant’s public reputation is going to suffer from this, especially within gay or lesbian community. But come on, we like him because of his talent in this sports, his spirit of overcoming difficult times in games. We don’t like him for manner, not that it’s the right thing to do to use these terrible words, but please, we like him because of his sport talent, why paying so much attention on his personal manner, especially if it’s only a sign of pure frustration?

On the other hand, if it wasn’t for the TNT national broadcasting, would Bryant’s “insensitive comments” not make such a big deal to public? We all know basketball is an emotional game where many players choose “dirty talk” to express their frustration or to disturb the opponent. Even Michael Jordan – a positive image representative of the NBA admit that he dirty talks a lot during game, no big deal.

Would the audience want to watch a game where players ask gently before shooting: “shall I shoot?” or “Excuse me, I’m going to block your shot, watch out please”?

Categories: NBA

Knicks Celtics first round preview – four elements

April 17, 2011 7 comments

Although Celtics doesn’t have a lineup of unity and stability as last year’s, their performance on the defensive end this season remains impressive: they were rated the best in lowering opponents’ scores, second in defensive efficiency. Celtics Big 4 remains the most important factor of which – Paul Pierce had a career high in most efficient performance in his thirteenth season.

the Big 4

Two different stages for the Knicks need to be taken into consideration: before Carmelo Anthony arrives and after. But even when the team finally got Anthony and Chauncey Billups, they are still not very stable. Before trading, the team’s record was 28 wins, 26 losses, their winning percentage after the transaction was half and half as the final record of 42 wins 40 losses. New York is the third fastest team in the league, only one team made a few more three-point shot and hit than the Knicks, the Magic. There were not only more than 5 winning streak, but also more than 5 losing streak, instability will be their largest constraints in the 7 game series against the Celtics.

Celtics swept Knicks in the regular season, following are the five elements that lead the direction of this 7 game series.

1. The recovery of Raja Raondo.

The defense strength of the Celtics is not going to decrease in the playoffs, if not stronger. But their performance on the offensive end is dependent on the state of Raja Rondo. Rondo’s performance in the early season marked him the best point guard in the league, but after the All-Star break, Raja Rondo had a long downturn time – his assists were three times less than before the All-Star break, FG dropped from 50.2% to 43.3%. In the games when the Celtics won, Rondo had an average of 12.4 assists and 51.1% FG, in Celtics’ loses, Rondo averaged 8.5 assists and 40.5% FG.

Although Celtics can’t blame all their loses to Rondo, the other Big 3 didn’t contribute much as expected, which results a downturn for Rondo. Generally speaking, Raja Rondo is not the type of player who can run the whole team.

If Rondo can quickly retrieve his best condition, Celtics is looking for a great enhance on offensive side

2. Big Apple Team – style.

One of the biggest problems for the Knicks this season is to set a tone for the team’s style. Knicks’ style used to be a group of shooters on the outside, with a strong insider. Although Anthony and Billups got great talent, they didn’t involve themselves into this style immediately. To challenge one of the best defensive teams in the league, Knicks need to unify their game style as soon as possible

3. Fatigue

The Celtics has been putting their bet on hoping for a team break out. But they don’t have Kendrick Perkins this year – Kendrick contributed to the team a lot with his tenacity and strong defensive attitude.

Moreover,. Coach Doc Rivers didn’t have the Big 3 rest a lot at the end of the regular season, so the Knicks have the opportunity to use off Celtics’ fatigue.
4. Anthony, weakness in the playoffs

nba_melo_knicks_576.jpg (576×324)

Except reaching the Western Conference finals in 2009, Anthony and the Denver Nuggets only made a first round trip every single year. We can’t blame Anthony himself on all these failures, but at least as the biggest star of the team, he has responsibilities to the team. The key problem was that Anthony never really fit in the team’s general style.

But this does not mean that Anthony and the Knicks can’t find a common ground and overcome the Celtics in the first round at all. The Celtics’ defense focuses on cutting off passing lanes to destroy opponents’ offensive line, but Knicks has the league’s most powerful offensive group of two. Moreover, Celtics is good at breaking the opponent’s entire team offensive system instead one single player – however, Anthony is indeed the kind of player who can carry the team on his shoulders on the offensive end.

Categories: NBA Tags: , , , ,

Social media lover? Basketball coach? —Mo Cassara

March 30, 2011 Leave a comment

It was an “unexpected” Tuesday morning. Mo Cassara received a call from Hofstra basketball athletic director Jack Hayes about an interview with the school president Stuart Rabinowitz. Followed immediately, Hofstra president Stuart Rabinowitz announced Wednesday that a multiyear contract was agreed, no details were given though.

“When they asked me if I wanted to be the head coach, I said I’m going to do this a little differently than they’ve done it. Nobody knows me at that time. I spent some time living in the dorms on campus and tried to know the guys on the team.” said Cassara.

Coach Cassara has a family tradition basketball, his father used to be a basketball coach, this certainly gained him experiences that other don’t. As a matter of fact, the assistant coach he hired as Hofstra basketball head coach – Wayne Morgan, used to be the captain on his dad’s team.

Mo Cassara is a terrific young coach who was adept in using social media. He came to Hofstra after serving for the last four years as an assistant coach at Boston College from 2006-10. This college coach experience made him know that the effective way to let people familiar with him is communication. He uses face book and twitter to contact players and fans every day.

“I answer questions on face book every morning, I think kids felt they could communicate with me,” said Cassara. “Not just the basketball program, they could interact with me. And when I respond back to them, I think that goes a long way.”

Mo has quickly gained the trust of hofstra student-athletes and athletic department staff after couple games. Of course, this is also a result of his well use of social media. “Social media, such as facebook and twitter, has become a powerful vehicle of recruiting and communicating, however on the other hand, is a thing that you need to be really careful about, there are certain things you can’t post there”, said Mo.

On Mar. 23rd, Mo joined a Hofstra journalism class and talked about the first year he’s been through as Hofstra basketball team head coach. When asked about pressure faced as a head coach, he said, “Everybody gets jobs, our jobs is in no way different than anybody else’s, we all need to work hard on our jobs. The only difference is that our jobs involve dealing with the media, everything we do is on television or paper media, which adds up a lot pressure”.

After class, Coach Cassara posted a new tweet on twitter: “Great night and class! Thanks for the discussion in JRNL 241 tonight! Was great.”

Categories: College Sports

A pioneer called ED Wang

March 23, 2011 Leave a comment

—As the first player of full Chinese descent in the National Football League, Ed Wang is looking to emulate what Yao Ming did for the National Basketball Association and to broaden his game’s appeal in the nation.

The first player of full Chinese descent in the National Football League (NFL), Ed Wang, is ready to expand his pioneering role by helping to promote the game in China. The NFL claims it is the most popular sport in the United States; however it has struggled to gain a strong foothold in China and lags well behind the National Basketball Association (NBA) in terms of popularity and exposure here. The NFL hopes Wang, the son of two former Chinese Olympians, can emulate what Yao Ming did for the NBA and broaden the game’s appeal at across the country.

Ed was taught about hard work and discipline at a young age. He began his physical and strength training when he was only six. And his mother urged him on every day. The giant’s modesty is the product of a strict family upbringing which used the best aspects of Chinese and American culture. “We raised and educated him with a combination of the Chinese and US way – strict in obeying rules but free in mind,” said Ed’s father, Robert Wang, who was a high jumper and represented China at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. After living in China for more than 20 years, Robert and his wife, Nancy, immigrated to the US at the end of 1980s and there they learn how to bring up their son the “right way.” “Parents in China are used to dote on their children and shield them from any challenge. We preferred to have our kid exposed to that a little bit,” said Nancy, who was a national team hurdler.

At 15.6 foot and 315 pound, Wang can bear the burden of weighty expectations as he has already broken the barrier for Chinese-Americans in one of the world’s most physically demanding sports. Wang preferred playing basketball as a teenager, but decided to concentrate on football when a doctor predicted he would grow no taller than 16 foot, not enough to tower over others on the court. Spending his college career as a three-year starter at Virginia Tech, Wang won All-Atlantic Coast Conference second team honors in 2009, and then made a quick impression on the Bills after being drafted. Wang played six of Buffalo’s 16 games last season at left tackle – a crucial position responsible for protecting the quarterback.

“I learned a lot from our veteran players about the system and now understand the game better,” said Wang, who enjoys video games and Usher Songs as he gets mentally in tune during the season.

“My Chinese identity is important to me. It (being compared toYao) is definitely a great honor for me. I am trying my best to live up to it. Yao has done a lot for basketball and the NBA in China. To achieve what he did is a big motivation. Hopefully, I can help to expand football here. That’s what I am aiming for” Wang said.

Categories: NFL