LeBron James Wins Third NBA Most Valuable Player Award

Written by: Kidist Amanuel

The Miami Heat’s forward LeBron James was named the MVP of the 2011-2012 NBA season on Saturday, May 12, 2012, making this the third time James has won the award.

LeBron James became the first Miami Heat player to win the MVP award, and he graciously accepted the trophy in front of the media and his teammates. “I haven’t been nervous like this in a long time,” James said. “I don’t know why. I just think back to where I come from.” James, hailing from Akron, Ohio, is one of only eight players in NBA history to win the award three or more times. This short list of players includes legendary players like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Oscar Robertson. A great list to be a part of, right? Unfortunately, he is also the only player out of this eight that has not won a championship, which he addressed during his acceptance speech. “We have a bigger goal,” James said. “I want that championship. That’s all that matters to me.” He even mentioned that he would give all his three MVP awards back for a championship.

LeBron James wins third MVP award

LeBron James Accepts Third MVP Award

James received a total of 1074 points, including 85 first-place votes, in this MVP race that was tallied from 120 sportswriters and broadcasters and one NBA.com MVP fan vote. Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for second-place, five for third, three for fourth, and one for each fifth place vote. Rounding out the top five in order in voting are Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant, Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul, Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, and San Antonio’s Tony Parker.

In this shortened season of NBA due to the lockout, James posted impressive numbers and led the Heat to a 46-20 record and the second seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. He averaged 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 6.2 assists. He shot career-best 53 percent from the field and 36.2 percent from three-point field as well. He was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month in January and February and Eastern Conference Player of the Week six times.

When his career comes to an end, LeBron James might match and even pass the record for most MVP awards, which currently stands at six. He is one of the most versatile and arguably the best player in the league right now. As Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers pointed out, “LeBron is an MVP candidate every year. It is just who he is. He only does everything. So I don’t know what more you can ask from him.”

Los Angeles Clippers Win Playoff Series

Written by: Kidist Amanuel

The Los Angeles Clippers advance to the Western Conference semifinals after beating the Memphis Grizzlies on May 13, 2012 in game 7 of their first round series.

Just for the third time in the 41 years history of the franchise, the Clippers have won a National Basketball Association (NBA) playoff series. In this best of seven series, the Clippers led the series 3-1, but the Grizzlies hold off elimination twice to tie the series 3-3. Game 7 was a tough, physical game, but the Clippers defeated the Grizzlies on their home court to advance to the second round of playoffs and to faceoff the San Antonio Spurs.

Los Angeles Clippers Advance To Western Conference Semifinals

Los Angeles Clippers Advance To Western Conference Semifinals

This series had it fair share of dramatic moments. It ended up being one of the more interesting first round series this year. The first game featured one of the greatest comeback victories in league history. Down by 27 in the second half and 24 points with eight minutes left in the game, the Clippers put together an incredible 26-1 run to steal game one and thus home court advantage from the Grizzlies. The Clipper lost game two and the series was tied 1-1 when the teams went to Los Angeles for game three and four.  Similar to game two, game three was a closely contested game and the Clippers won the game by one point. The Clippers then went on to win game four of the series and get a commanding 3-1 lead, pushing the Grizzlies to the brink of elimination. However, the Grizzlies bounced back and got right back in the series with wins in game five and six by playing their brand of bruising style of basketball. Game seven, which was played in front of the Grizzlies home crowd, was another closely contested game, but the Clippers held on to win the game and thus advance to the next round of the playoffs.

The strong game of point guard Chris Paul during the series is one of the reasons the Clippers are advancing right now. The addition of Chris Paul during the 2011 off-season revitalized and automatically made the Clippers a championship contender team for the next few years. The addition of Chauncey Billups and Mo Williams has also given the team one of the best backcourts in the league. With star power forward Blake Griffin already on the roster, it was no surprise that the Clippers made the playoffs this 2012 season, even if many did not expect them to advance to the second round of the playoffs.

Defending Champs Dallas Mavericks Eliminated in First Round

Written by: Kidist Amanuel

The NBA defending champions, the Dallas Mavericks, have been eliminated from the first round of the 2012 playoffs after being swept by Oklahoma City Thunder in four games.

The number two ranked Oklahoma City Thunder, one of the best teams in the league throughout the season, were the clear favorites against the number seven ranked Dallas Mavericks when the series started. The veteran Mavs started the best of seven series by playing the first two games on the road. The Mavs lost these two games by a total of four points. They lost the first game on a heartbreaking game-winning shot at the buzzer by Kevin Durant, NBA’s leading scorer. Similar to the first game, the Mavs led in the final minutes of the second game, but once again could not close it out with a win. While the two games in Oklahoma City could have gone either way, game three of the series was a different story. Back in their home turf, the Mavs were expected to bounce back and win the two games at home. Unfortunately, game was not a close game. The Thunder led throughout the game and it was a rout from start to finish. The Mavs put on a valiant effort in game four, but behind the great game of James Harden, 2012 sixth man of the year, the Thunder won the game and clinched the series, effectively sweeping the Mavs.

Dallas Mavs Eliminated in First Round

Dallas Mavericks lose to OKC Thunder in first round of 2012 NBA playoffs

Just a little less than a year ago, the Dallas Mavericks hoisted the first championship trophy in the club’s history. So what happened? How did the Mavericks become just the second team in NBA history to be swept out of the playoffs the year after they win the championship? The roster changes that took place during the off season played a major role.  The Mavericks lost important role players that helped them during the championship run. Defensive and emotional anchor, center Tyson Chandler, was traded to the New York Knicks. Back-up point guard Jose Barea, who played a major role in numerous games, was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Mavericks traded these two players and a few others to open up cap space and prepare for 2012 free agency, showing that their main priority for the season was acquiring top free agents and build for the future rather than defend their championship. Will this pay off? We will have to wait and see in the 2012 off season.

2010 NBA Finals: Boston Celtics vs. Lakers or Suns?

Paul Pierce, 4th career playoff game with 30+ pts.

Paul Pierce lead the Boston Celtics to victory in Game 6 against the Orlando Magic with 31 Pts and 13 Reb.

I’m not going to lie; after game five of the Eastern Conference Finals, thoughts of the Orlando Magic tying and possibly winning the series was no longer unbelievable, but possible. The team was down 0-3 in the series and not looking to make a comeback. Their first win against the Celtics in game 4 had people thinking they got lucky. Then by the end of game 5, it was starting to look like the Magic might accomplish something that no other team in the NBA ever has… a 0-3 comeback to win and advance to the 2010 NBA Finals against either the Lakers or Suns. Unfortunately for the Orlando Magic that was not the case and Boston was able to use a little of their own magic to make them disappear.

The Celtics managed to avoid the biggest playoff collapse in league history. Boston clinched the series 4-2, beating Orlando 96-84. The Celtics are the first team in NBA history to advance to the Finals after having a better road record than home record during the regular season. It will be the 21st trip to the NBA finals for the Celtics organization, only the Lakers have more with 30. Now the next question is who will the Celtics play in the finals? Will it be the Suns or are the Lakers going to make their 31st appearance? The Lakers are currently leading their Western Conference Finals 3-2 against the Suns.

Regardless who their opponent may be, if Boston (17-3 all-time in NBA Finals) keeps playing the way they did in game 6 of the East Finals, they will definitely have a good chance of taking home their 18th NBA title in franchise history (no organization has won more titles than the 17-time World Champion Boston Celtics). Each game they have a different player that rises up to lead the team to victory. The win over Orlando in game 6 was their 17th straight game with a different leading scorer. Seriously! They have not had the same player lead them in scoring in consecutive games this entire post season. Game 6 goes to Paul Pierce, ending this Eastern Conference Finals in game 6 with 31 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists. Pierce was aggressive and assertive and it worked perfectly in Boston’s favor. Celtic’s guard Ray Allen followed Pierce with 20pts.

Robinson stepped up big in the second quarter

Nate Robinson had 13 Pts off the bench in the second quarter after starting point guard Rajon Rondo suffered an injury

It was Nate Robinson though that seemed to get Boston fans on their feet. After Celtic’s starting point guard Rajon Rondo took a hard fall, it was time for the little guy to step up in a big way. After the incredible season Rondo has been having, especially in the Finals (Rondo had 14 points and six assists before leaving the game), Robinson had some pretty big shoes to fill in a very important game. Luckily for Boston, he was up to the challenge. With 13 points off the bench in the second quarter, Robinson was making passes and nailing three’s that had the players he was sharing the bench with only moments before on their feet. Robinson had more points in the second quarter than he had in the previous 8 games combined. “There will be a game where we’re flat and need somebody to make something happen and Nate [Robinson] will do that. He’s going to win us a playoff game”, stated Doc Rivers, Boston Celtics head coach, back in April.

They now have just shy of a week to rest and practice until they hit the court again. This will be the Celtics second NBA finals appearance in 3 years. The first game of the 2010 NBA Finals is Thursday, June 3rd.

Colbert Chokes on the March-Madness Vasectomy Trend

The Leader of The Colbert Nation

Stephen Colbert chokes on a tongue-twister of a story, when he reports on the growing support for a gonad-less March Madness; that’s right, this year’s March Madness doesn’t just involve basketball, but it hopes to inspire male fans to go to their neighborhood doctor for a simple snip, medically known as a vasectomy.

A vasectomy, which is a general procedure for male sterilization, is now being popularly marketed by Doctor-endorsed March Madness free-pizza enticements, and a lifestyle choice that earns the right to watch basketball for ‘rejuvenational purposes.’

But, Stephen sees how a vasectomy  can translate into three days off work, and he raises the petty procedure to a full-out lobotomy, which would not only lay a man up for the entire season of UFC, but irreparably degrade his mind enough for him to actually enjoy it. And, fortunately enough, not only will the ‘vasectomized’ patient be thoroughly invested in the nourishing world of UFC and basketball, but he will also get a formal introduction to a more bad-ass type of chess game.

Check Mate!

Chess-boxing combines the wit of chess with the dim of boxing, to create a new hybrid-sport. In this trendy game, opponents first duel out four minutes of brutal chess, before they put on the gloves and duke it out rocky-style.

And to think, all that truly divides a man from manhood, is a vasectomy! Wow!