Saturday, November 17, 2012

Basketball Legend Earl the Pearl

By []Eddie Delgado

Vernon Earl Monroe is a former NBA basketball player whose nicknames have included; Earl the Pearl, Black Magic and Black Jesus. Drafted in the first round of the NBA draft in 1967 to the Baltimore Bullets (now the Washington Wizards), Earl Monroe was well known for his playing passing and play-making style and for his flamboyant flowing dribbling.

Earl Monroe received the Rookie of The Year due to his scoring average of 24 points in a game and to later score 56 points in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers. He also set a record for scoring 13 points in one overtime victory against the Detroit Pistons. In 2007 his number 10 jersey was retired by the Washington Wizards.
In 1971, Monroe was traded to the New York Knicks, taking them to the 1973 NBA Championships. Monroe retired in the 1980 season due to serious injuries to his knees. A four time NBA all-star had played in 926 NBA career games and had an outstanding 17, 454 total points scored. The New York Knicks retired Monroe's number 15 jersey. He transformed the game of basketball to an art form. His style and unique playing on-court plays paved the way to how current players play today. Todays players must give a salute to Earl the Pearl bringing excitement and skills to the game of basketball. Players like Kobe Bryant and Lebron James all show skills that were learned thanks to Earl.

Earl the Pearl's career championships include; named of the 50 players on the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996, enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame, and was chosen commissioner of the United States Basketball League in 1985.

Eddie Delgado is the owner and writer for [] VSCM is the ultimate NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL sports card and memorabilia site for serious collectors.

Article Source: [] Basketball Legend Earl the Pearl

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

2012-13 NBA Preview and Predictions

By []Isaiah Abramson

The NBA is gearing up for another exciting season. Steve Nash and Dwight Howard's decision to join the Lakers continues the trend of "super teams". The increased concentration of talent in the NBA is controversial, but certainly makes for an interesting season.

The Eastern Conference will once again be dominated by the Heat, but the retooled Celtics will not make things easy for the defending champs. Out west, Kevin Durant took his team to the Finals last season but his job won't be any easier, as the Lakers added two talented players.

Here is how I see the season playing out.

Eastern Conference

1) Miami Heat

LeBron James finally won his first title last season and is poised to have an even better season. He will again be playing alongside Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

The Heat added Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, which allows them to stretch the floor more and open up the paint so James or Wade can get to the basket and still be able to kick it out to someone who can knock down a three.

With the best overall player in the NBA and the greatest three-point shooter of all-time, the Heat are the clear favorite to win it all.

2) Boston Celtics

Like the San Antonio Spurs, the Boston Celtics always seem to find themselves in the title race.

They may have lost Ray Allen, but they made numerous additions. Jason Terry and Courtney Lee were signed and Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo were drafted.

The two first round draft picks give the Celtics some youth, which they have lacked in years past. Doc Rivers' team may go through bumps in the road every now and then, but they always seem to be in the championship mix. That trend should continue this year.

3) Indiana Pacers

The Pacers got the three seed in the East last year and went relatively unnoticed until they almost pulled off a huge upset over the Heat.

Devoid of a superstar, the Pacers rely on a strong, well-balanced starting five and deep bench. Their size, starting with Roy Hibbert, can be suffocating. The Pacers lack a clutch performer who can take over a game when it matters the most, and that puts them a step below the Heat and Celtics.

They exceeded expectations last year and the question becomes can they repeat the success they had now that teams know they are one of the East's elite teams?

4) New York Knicks

A roster with Jason Kidd (even at 39), Amar'e Stoudemire, and Carmelo Anthony makes the Knicks a virtual playoff lock in the Eastern Conference, but just getting there won't satisfy Knicks' fans.

The additions of Kidd, Marcus Camby, and Ronnie Brewer certainly help, but the Knicks still can't compete with the elite teams in the East.

5) Brooklyn Nets

On paper, the Nets have one of the most well-balanced teams in the NBA. Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries make a formidable frontcourt, while Joe Johnson and Deron Williams give the Nets a solid backcourt.

But the Nets lack depth and that will prevent them from challenging the Heat or Celtics.

6) Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers gave up their best overall player for the second best center in the NBA. Andre Iguodala was a tremendous player who led a team that committed the fewest turnovers in the NBA last season. Andrew Bynum had a breakout season with the Lakers and finally put up numbers the Lakers knew he was capable of putting up.

Jason Richardson and Nick Young give the Sixers two outside shooters to play alongside Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner. The Sixers will be a playoff team that will not be taken lightly.

7) Chicago Bulls

Derrick Rose's injury is a huge blow to the Bulls. Rose won't return until he is 100%, which is certainly the right move. The rest of the Bulls squad is filled with Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, and Luol Deng.

That being said, if the Bulls can squeak into the playoffs, they could pose a threat to the top teams in the East because of Rose's return.

8) Atlanta Hawks

The departures of Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams leave gaps in a Hawks' roster that looked like one of the most promising teams in the NBA.

The Hawks have enough pieces to grab the final playoff spot in the East but won't be any threat once they get there.

Rest of the Eastern Conference

9) Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks will finish ninth in the Eastern Conference for the second straight year.

10) Toronto Raptors
The additions of Landry Fields and Kyle Lowry to go with Jose Calderon and DeMar DeRozan give the Raptors one of the deepest backcourts in the NBA, but that won't be enough, as they will narrowly miss the playoffs.

11) Washington Wizards
The addition of Bradley Beal to go with John Wall, Nene, and Emeka Okafor should propel the Wizards to a big improvement from last year.

12) Detroit Pistons
Greg Monroe is the only real bright spot on a team that will continue the rebuilding process.

13) Cleveland Cavaliers
Besides Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers lack game-changing talent and will finish near the bottom of the Eastern Conference again.

14) Orlando Magic
The Magic will go from a playoff team to one of the worst teams in the NBA in only one year.

15) Charlotte Bobcats
The Bobcats won't be as bad as their historic 2011 season, but they will still struggle to win games and will be looking forward to the draft again.

Western Conference

1) Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers made the most noise of any NBA team this offseason, signing Steve Nash and trading for Dwight Howard.

Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Dwight Howard give the Lakers something that no other NBA team has: an elite point guard, dominant center, and clutch performer. They should beat out the Thunder for the number one seed in the West and are poised for a deep playoff run.

2) Oklahoma City Thunder

Kevin Durant is the best pure shooter in the NBA but he has work to do in almost all other aspects of his game if he wants to be at Lebron's level. His 248 turnovers were the second most in the NBA, he averaged only 3.5 assists a game, and his defense was less than stellar. He has reportedly been bulking up this offseason and Thunder fans hope that helps.

Even with the Lakers making more noise this offseason, the Thunder will still compete for the number one seed in the West.

3) San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs just don't go away. Every year analysts and fans alike claim the door has shut for the aging Spurs but somehow they always end up with a shot at the Finals.

Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, and Tony Parker have led a team that has been the most consistent team in recent years and should again challenge the top teams in the West.

4) Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers made additions to their bench, which was a huge weakness last season.

Jamal Crawford and Lamar Odom, among others, will give the Clippers depth and take pressure off Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

Griffin needs to become a better overall player, not just someone who we enjoy watching on the highlight reel. He did average 20 points per game, but he took a step back from his rookie seasons, which ranks as one of the best all-time.

His rebounding average declined and he shot an abysmal 51% from the line.

Regardless, Griffin is a great player on a great team. The Clippers will be a dangerous team that nobody wants to face in the playoffs.

5) Memphis Grizzlies

A roster filled with Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol is capable of putting together a deep playoff run, but they still can't compete with the Thunder or Lakers.

The trend of making the playoffs and falling short of anything spectacular will continue.

6) Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets have one of the most high-powered offenses but their defense has held them back at times. Andre Iguodala is the well-rounded player the Nuggets needed and Ty Lawson is the bright young player teams look to build around. His development is a key going forward.

Unless the Nuggets make huge strides defensively, they won't make too much noise in the playoffs.

7) Golden State Warriors

Many Warriors' fans groaned when the Warriors traded Monta Ellis to the Bucks for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson. The Warriors were giving up one of the premier scorers in the NBA for an injured center and 33-year-old who was averaging 10.5 points per game.

Although at the time it may have looked like a bad trade for the Warriors, it will work out in the long run. The departure of Ellis opened up the door for Klay Thompson, who is ready to become a superstar.

Dorell Wright didn't follow up his breakout season in 2010 very well and was traded away. That should give Harrison Barnes significant playing time, but the real key is Stephen Curry. If he stays healthy, he is ready to become a truly elite point guard.

The Warriors have a great mix of height and versatility and youth and experience, which should be enough for a playoff berth.

8) Dallas Mavericks

After getting swept in the first round of the playoffs last year, the Mavericks made some moves this offseason. O.J. Mayo and Darren Collison give the Mavs two solid guards while Chris Kaman gives them an inside presence.

The aging Dirk Nowitzki has enough help to continue the Mavericks run of twelve straight playoff seasons.

Rest of the Western Conference

9) Minnesota Timberwolves
The Timberwolves are going into this season as one of the most improved teams and will challenge the Mavericks for the final playoff spot but will be on the outside looking in when the season comes to an end.

10) Utah Jazz
The Jazz don't have any standout playmakers on the outside and that will hurt them. They will just miss the playoffs.

11) New Orleans Hornets
The additions of Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers are a sign of good things to come, but the Hornets need a few more pieces if they want to be a serious threat to make the playoffs.

12) Houston Rockets
The Rockets lost numerous key pieces (Scola, Lowry, and Dragic) and the only big addition was Jeremy Lin. The Rockets won't be a threat to make the playoffs.

13) Phoenix Suns
The Suns future looks uncertain as they try to move on without Steve Nash. They will be near the bottom of the Western Conference.

14) Portland Trail Blazers
The rebuilding Trail Blazers have LaMarcus Aldridge to build around, but don't have enough talent to even think about the playoffs.

15) Sacramento Kings
The Kings have two talented young players in Isiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins but those are the lone bright spots on a Kings' team that lasts chemistry. They are in for a long season.


Eastern Conference

First Round

Heat (1) vs. Hawks (8)
Heat win 4-0

Knicks (4) vs. Nets (5)
Nets win 4-2

Celtics (2) vs. Bulls (7)
Celtics win 4-1

Pacers (3) vs. 76ers (6)
Pacers win 4-3

Second Round

Heat (1) vs. Nets (5)
Heat win 4-2

Celtics (2) vs. Pacers (3)
Celtics win 4-2

Conference Finals

Heat (1) vs. Celtics (2)
Heat win 4-3

Western Conference

First Round

Lakers (1) vs. Mavericks (8)
Lakers win 4-0

Clippers (4) vs. Grizzlies (5)
Clippers win 4-2

Thunder (2) vs. Warriors (7)
Thunder win 4-2

Spurs (3) vs. Nuggets (6)
Spurs win 4-2

Second Round

Lakers (1) vs. Clippers (4)
Lakers win 4-2

Thunder (2) vs. Spurs (3)
Thunder win 4-2

Conference Finals

Lakers (1) vs. Thunder (2)
Lakers win 4-3

NBA Finals

Miami Heat (1) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (1)

The Heat and Lakers both made two big acquisitions this offseason. Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis were added to the defending champions' roster while the Lakers signed Steve Nash and traded for Dwight Howard.

All four of these acquisitions are perfect fits for their respective teams. The Heat needed shooters who could stretch the floor, while the Lakers needed a true point guard.

The Heat's core will be playing together for their third year, while the Lakers core will be playing in its first year. That will be the difference maker in a Finals that will surely be entertaining.

Heat win 4-2

Article Source: [] 2012-13 NBA Preview and Predictions

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Why Do NBA Fans Love to Hate LeBron?

By []Frank L William 

 To some people he's a basketball demi-god, while to others he is the most hated man in NBA today, but whatever you want to think or say about him LeBron James is hard to ignore.

 The kid from Akron, Ohio first attracted attention when he was in high school and when, in 2002 he won the Gatorade National Player of the Year his now famous nickname was first coined - King James. And ever since then the name LeBron James has become not only a household name in the US but across the world as well.

 But it was not until 2010 and King James was about to become a free agent for the first time that he really began to attract the kind of negative reactions from some fans that he does today. On any given day if you check LeBron James' Twitter the negative comments directed his way often outnumber the positive - especially true after the Miami Heat lost Game 7 of the 2011 NBA Finals - and the crown they had promised to bring to South Beach - to the upstart Dallas Mavericks.

 Why all the hate for a player who some feel may be better than the great Michael Jordan? Partly because of his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers, essentially his hometown team, for the glamor of the Miami Heat and partly because of the way he made that choice. In the summer of 2010 Lebron James told the world that he would announce his choice of team on a live ESPN TV special "The Decision".

 His intentions were probably good, the money raised would got to the Boys and Girls Club of America, a cause close to his heart. It was just the flashy, maybe arrogant, way he did it that evoked all the ire of these who were not even Cleveland fans.

 "The Decision" was a bad idea from the beginning but apparently no one warned LeBron about that. Mark Cuban, the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks called the show "the big gets public humiliation in history" and ex NBA superstar turned analyst Charles Barkley a 'punk move" claiming "That was torture. I want that hour back in my life". The entire city of Cleveland seemed to turn against their former favorite son overnight, not so much for the fact he was leaving them to head to the beach but for the way he announced his intentions to the world.

 The failure of the Big Three - James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh - to beat the veteran Mavs did little to make things better. But Lebron does not seem to care too much. He is still the biggest star in the NBA today, Lebron James' Twitter has 2.4 million followers and counting, his talent is nothing anyone questions and his best years are certainly yet to come. Despite all of the haters, it is still good to be King James.

 Frank Williams is a die-hard basketball fan and a social networking freak who believes []LeBron James Twitter account will help every fan of his to develop an interaction and collect fresh information straight from LeBron's.

Article Source: [] Why Do NBA Fans Love to Hate LeBron?


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

NBA Free Agent Power Rankings 2011-2012

By []David W Murphy

These are the Power Rankings for the NBA's best free agents available for the upcoming season. Teams are officially allowed to sign free agents on December 9th, while the NBA season will begin on December 25th.

1. Marc Gasol - Many expect the Grizzlies to match any offer that Gasol gets, however he is clearly the top player on the market and should have no problems finding teams who want to invest in a young and talented center.

2. Nene - He was undervalued during his time in Denver. He will now get the chance to see that many teams value talented big men which will make it hard for the Nuggets to keep the offensively gifted Brazilian.

3. David West - He was the Robin to Chris Paul's Batman. CP3 looked to him often as West can shoot from anywhere on the floor and will make a solid addition to any team.

4. Jamal Crawford - He was playing behind Joe Johnson during his time in Atlanta, but has shown the ability to score points in bunches and should provide a boost to any squad looking for some outside shooting.

5. Tyson Chandler - It was no coincidence that Dallas was finally able to break through and win the NBA Championship once they found a true center. His skills came out in the Lakers series and made life very difficult for Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.

6. Tayshaun Prince - Prince may have become a forgotten man with the Piston's struggles over the last few years, but the athletic lefty can still guard the opponent's best player while providing his usual slashing/outside shooting skills.

7. Carl Landry - The former Purdue Boilermaker has worked his way into becoming a solid low post presence for NBA teams looking to add some offensive punch. He has been traded 3 times over the last 2 years, but is finally looking to cash in and become a stable force for the right team.

8. Wilson Chandler - While he is still under contract to play in China, the versatile swingman proved his worth after getting traded from New York to Denver in the Carmelo Anthony deal. He has provided constant energy on both offense and defense ever since he was drafted into the league.

9. J.J. Barea - Say what you want about the undersized guard, but the guy can score and played a key role in helping the Dallas Mavericks win their first ever NBA Championship.

10. Jason Richardson - While he is not the same player he once was in Golden State, J-Rich can still shoot the 3 and provide scoring to teams looking for a shooting guard.

11. Chuck Hayes - Never known as a flashy player, Hayes can rebound and play defense with the best of them. He was a tremendous asset for the Houston Rockets last year and always seems to be in the right place at the right time.

12. Thaddeus Young - Another lefty swingman who can play both offense and defense at a high energy level. He is looking for the opportunity to become a full-time player and there are sure to be some teams willing to give him that chance.

13. Kris Humphries - Known more for his failed marriage with Kim Kardashian than his basketball skills, the former University of Minnesota product was a double-double machine down the stretch for New Jersey last season. He provides size and strength to teams looking to upgrade their front court.

14. Tracy McGrady - T-Mac showed last season that he still has something left in the tank. He is likely looking to join a championship contender and the Chicago Bulls come to mind as a potential suitor to pair with Derrick Rose in the backcourt.

15. Samuel Dalembert - Dalembert has already been linked to joining the Miami Heat as they can use a lengthy center to control the glass and block shots. He should have other suitors as well as the talented Haitian can control the paint with his defense.

16. Vince Carter - Also not the player he once was, Vince is still capable of scoring 30 points a game on any given night. He needs to find the right situation where his offensive skills will overshadow his tendency to force contested shots.

17. Shannon Brown - The former Proviso East star and Michigan State Spartan has never been known for his lack of potential. He will likely look for a chance to start, while finally escaping the shadow of Kobe Bryant. Brown has really developed his game over the last few years and should find teams willing to give him that chance.

18. Caron Butler - He was starting to find his groove again before going down with an injury last year for Dallas. Rumor is he is hoping to resign with the Mavs and should land a one year deal to help regain his value.

19. Grant Hill - The suddenly durable forward showed that he can still provide a steady presence as he did for Phoenix last year. His veteran presence is something teams will look for when handing out contracts in the next few weeks.

20. Chase Budinger - The former volleyball star really came into his own last season with the Houston Rockets. His outside shooting and athleticism will have plenty of teams looking to add him to their roster.

Article Source: [] NBA Free Agent Power Rankings 2011-2012

Friday, December 2, 2011

The History of Memphis Grizzlies and Miami Heats Jerseys

By []Andreas Niklasson

Memphis Grizzlies

 The Memphis Grizzlies team was established in 1995 in Vancouver, British Columbia along with the Toronto Raptors as part of the NBA's expansion to Canada. It was relocated to Memphis in 2001. Nickname Grizzlies was chosen after the original name Mounties was abandoned following objections by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the name was kept upon moving to Memphis.

 The team logo is a snarling Grizzly's face in two shades of blue with yellow eyes. One of its stars is Spanish Paul Gasol who was originally drafted by the Atlanta hawks in 2001 but was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies where he played 7 seasons and won the Rookie of the Year award in his first season with the Grizzlies. He now plays for the Lakers.

The team colors are dark blue, powder blue and yellow. The Grizzlies sport a jersey in white for home games and blue for road games, both with light blue linings on the side.

Miami Heat

 Miami once played home to an ABA team known as the Floridians, and got its first NBA team in 1988 as part of a two-phase expansion that also included Orlando Magic, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Charlotte Hornets. It got its name after a contest where Flamingos was in close second. It made a major step in acquiring superstar center Shaquille O'Neal on July 4, 2004. Another important team player is Alonzo Mourning, who is simply known as "Zo". Zo has earned NBA Defensive Player of The Year Award twice and is always placed on the NBA All-defensive team. He made a comeback after undergoing a kidney transplant. The franchise won its first NBA title in the 2005-2006 NBA season against the Dallas Mavericks.

 The Heats home uniform is in white and the road uniform is in black. The team also sports an alternate red jersey, which was introduced during the 2001-2002 season, and is the unofficial Heat road uniform during the NBA Playoffs. They are also the only NBA team to place the NBA logo on the right shoulder instead of having it on the left.

 Andreas Niklasson is the associated editor to the website NBA jerseys [] - a website dedicated to NBA jerseys. Filled with interesting facts about your favorite NBA team jerseys, find rare photos and great deals on popular NBA jerseys.

Article Source: [] The History of Memphis Grizzlies and Miami Heats Jerseys


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