Saturday, May 24, 2008


Quotable: "City of gold...'gold' translates as 'treasure.' But their treasure wasn't gold, it was knowledge. Knowledge was their treasure. " Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford)

Famed archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is called back into action after stumbling upon a Soviet plot to possess the power of the legendary crystal skulls. A revisit to the cult classics Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, and The Last Crusade, Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls is a nostalgic, roller coaster ride that blasts you ‘Back to the Future’ while giving you a not so modern taste of the ‘Supernatural.’ What makes the original and sequels cult favorites is the unique blend of history, otherworldly elements and action packed adventure that each Indy film hits you with. When director Steven Spielberg and writer George Lucas team up, you just know there will be close encounters of the first, second if not the third kind. Not to mention little green men, parallel universes and or characters and ideals that make one explore the far reaches of the imagination. Ok, so I went deeper than a touchdown pass from the legendary Joe Montana. Forgive me for dropping a spoiler that registers at least 8.0 on the Richter scale.

Things go awry for Indy when Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf, Transformers) enters his life informing him of the abduction of his mother, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen, original cast member,Indiana Jones:Raiders of the Lost Ark) and the duo's long term friend, Professor 'Ox' Oxley (John Hurt, V for Vendetta and Hellboy 1 and 2)by villianess, Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth:The Golden Age and Notes on a Scandal). The fists and witty remarks fly and the bad guys give chase on a mission that sends the globe trotting team on expedition from the US to England to Peru.

Without revisiting Indiana Jones 1-3, Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls is a fair revival of a storied franchise that has just enough umph to stand-on its own two feet without getting away from the very things that gained the franchise the massive cult following it still enjoys today. Harrison Ford is obviously not in tip top shape but he manages to reprise his wisecracking, whip cracking role quite well for his age.

"You know, for an old man you ain't bad in a fight. What are you, like 80?"
Mutt teases Indy.

Then of course there are the special effects and CGI that save the film. Another plus for sci-fi fans is the authencity of the legend itself. It seems that the crystal skulls actually exist and are thought to be extraterrestial and were first found in the 19th century. The skulls have been linked them to various cultures including Pre-Columbian tribes like the Mayans and Aztecs. The mystery of the crystal skulls still has many archaeologists and scientists speculating their origin and purpose. On the flip side, there were a few unsurprising fleeting moments that almost killed some of the action and storyline such as question of paternity, devices that obviously didn't exist during the 1950's in which the movie was set, sometimes corny dialogue, and extended chase scenes (damn catch him already!) but for the most part the movie did what it set out to do and that was entertain, which my not be enough for die hard Indiana Jones. For a sequel 20 years in the making, there is huge margin for disappointment! Just ask Rocky Balboa, another addition to a classic franchise that managed more to disappoint than to delight.

Here's to hanging up your whip Indy!

Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls Trailer

Indiana Jones Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls is in theaters now!

For More Movie Magic, Headlines and More,
Visit Indiana

Friday, May 23, 2008


Quotable: "A lot of the teams they played in the postseason and the regular season were scared of them, as far as KG and Ray and Paul. They are good players, but we have good players, also." Rasheed Wallace, Pistons forward.

Boston Celtics vs Detroit Pistons.

Sound familiar? It should. It's the most predictable yet still widely anticipated Eastern Conference match up in the playoffs. Both teams have so much in common. For one, they both soar above other contenders in the East and even though I hate to say it, my Pistons also share the Celtics' lack of intensity and focus at times. There are some major differences though. Starting with the fact that Boston is hungry, having never won a ring and never playing together collectively in the playoffs let alone the Eastern Conference Finals, they have a lot to prove. Then again so do the Pistons after being dethroned by the Spurs in the 2005 Finals, the Heat in the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals and the Cavs in 2007 Eastern Conference Finals.

Home Court Advantage

Detroit handed Boston their first home loss, 87-85 during the regular season. Add that to the can of whoop ass they unleashed on Boston at the Garden Thursday and the once invincible Celtics are now 10-1 at home against the Pistons in the post-season. Pistons have won three road games in the playoffs whereas the Celtics are flat out zero away from "Beantown", going 0-6 on the road. Detroit shutdown their series against Philadelphia in six games and against Orlando in five games while Boston allowed teams hang on for 7 games in both series (Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers).

Winner: Boston Celtics or Detroit Pistons

Big Man Matchup

The matchup to watch of course lies between Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace. KG and company have outrebounded the Pistons each time they've met in the regular season.

Winner: Boston Celtics


The argument can swing either way on this one. If Ray Allen doesn't show up, the Pistons have the perimeter on lock! In the Cavs series, Allen was 32.8% from the field, averaging a measly 9.3 ppg, an 8.1 difference between his normal stats. The usually 3 point threat's noticeable decline falls from beyond the arch, dropping to 16.2% from the field or 6 for 37.

If Tayshaun Prince can't get open shots, Boston can edge the Pistons out the paint. The Pistons third leading scorer outside Rip and Chauncey only brought in 16pts during the team's previous games. Now that Chauncey close to 100% scoring, however after suffering a hamstring strain that had him sitting out for two games.

Winner: Boston Celtics or Detroit Pistons


While the Celtics have the "Big Three" consisting of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, the Pistons have the "Big Six", Rip, Chauncey, Sheed, Tayshaun, McDyess and now X factor, rookie Rodney Stuckey -- a key role player doing damage against the Celtics' defense in critical, scene stealing moments. You do the math!

Winner: Detroit Pistons


Detroit is tried and true championship winning team with veteran coach,Flip Saunders at its helm.

Winner: Detroit Pistons

Best of 7 Series Winner: Pistons in 7

Game 1 - Celtics 88 Pistons 79
Game 2 - Celtics 103 Pistons 97

Related Articles:

Pistons pull even, Win Game 2

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


It's that time again! The NBA Draft Lottery, held Tuesday, May 20th in Secacus, New Jersey, had more bells and whistles than the Super Bowl half-time show. Not that there were any fireworks, half naked dancers or superstar entertainers wailing into a microphone centerfield, but there were some initial surprises in choosing the top three that left many scratching their heads. How the hell did the Bulls at a 1.7% chance of landing the coveted #1 draft pick, end up with just that, the number selection in the lottery? Equally interesting enough, notable rapper turned mogul, Jay-Z sat suited up representing for the New Jersey Nets (soon to be Brooklyn Nets) among Dwyane Wade and Kevin Durant for surprise, the Miami Heat and the Seattle Supersonics (soon to be the Oklahoma City SuperSonics),ex-BET CEO, Robert Johnson, majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats; NBA legend, Larry Bird for the Indiana Pacers, among others came out to hoping for a visit from "Lady Luck."

From the best to the worst positions, here's how the teams fared.

1. Chicago Bulls
2. Miami Heat
3. Minnesota Timberwolves
4. Seattle SuperSonics
5. Memphis Grizzlies + LA Lakers 1st round pick
6. New York Knicks
7. LA Clippers
8. Milwaukee Bucks
9. Charlotte Bobcats
10.Indiana Pacers
11.New Jersey Nets + Dallas Mavericks 1st round pick
12.Sacramento Kings
13.Portland Trailblazers
14.Golden State Warriors

Notes* Portland Trailblazers won the first selection in the 2007 NBA Draft Lottery. The last lottery pick for the Pacers was in 1997. Scott Skiles is the new head coach for the Milwaukee Bucks. The LA Clippers have had 18 consecutive lottery appearances. The New York Knicks have had 7 consecutive losing seasons. The Seattle Supersonics and Miami Heat have never won a #1 pick in the lottery. The Chicago Bulls, to date, have not filled their head coach vacancy.


Related Links

NBA Draft Lottery

Early Entry Candidates
What Teams Need

Monday, May 19, 2008


Quotable:"It's the dream of every man, every boy to be able to give their mother everything they want, so that was my dream and that is her dream to, that makes this perfect." Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat

"Today is the crossover,"
professed Jolinda Wade. "We're in here today because of God's goodness and God chose to use the heart of my son to do this for us... and he trusts the heart of his mama. Ain't that something?"

And what a big heart he has! Dwyane Wade or "The Flash" as they call him, has surpassed giving his mother the lavish gifts (e.g. cars, houses, clothes, jewelry etc.) most professional athletes shower their mothers with upon raking in the million dollar contracts and endorsements. He's now giving her the keys to the kingdom, God's kingdom. Recently, Wade bestowed a blessing upon his ex inmate/drug dealer/drug addict/ mother by purchasing a church in her name. The 'Temple of Praise' is a place of praise and worship, drawing in the hundreds, filling row for row of pews including notable patrons such as Shaquille O'Neal's mother and Magic Johnson's mother.

Jolinda's journey to being a reborn Christian and Baptist pastor is nothing short of miraculous. Once strung out on drugs, she bounced from jail to prison,essentially leaving behind Tragil, one of her daughters, to raise Dwyane. Tragil recalls the anxiety she felt everytime she heard of someone being found dead in Chicago's abandoned buildings, praying it wasn't her mother. It was in prison that God called to Ms. Wade and she started her first ministry, growing 'Temple of Praise' from just 47 members in a cramped room to hundreds in multi-room building after receiving time served for her participation in a work release program.

"Today is one of the greatest moments in my life." revealed Ms. Wade.

Like the saying goes, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Dwyane Wade began being his humanitarian efforts early in his NBA career, founding his non profit organization, Wayne's World Foundation in his rookie year. Wayne's World holds a week long summer camp for 600 kids and an annual Christmas party for 250 kids at a local amusement park. Wade recently teamed up with Staples to give 18 South Florida communities the chance to compete for $25,000 in improvements to their favorite community park in the "Staples Dream Park Challenge." Voters who entered also were placed in a drawing giving away five Wade autographed jerseys and five chances to meet "The Flash" in person.

Sunday, Dwyane sat in the first pew of his mom's new church home, overcome with emotion. This time crying tears of joy at his mother's accomplishment and his ability to make it happen for her. Wade never turned his back on his mom even when she was between a rock and a hard place.

A true testament to the power of forgiveness and the bond between a mother and a child.

"I respect my mother so much, from the life that she used to live and to see her today in the life that she lives. I'm so proud of her," Dwyane Wade told The Associated Press before the service. "Everybody thinks I'm the miraculous story in the family. I think she is. I think what I've done means I've been very blessed, but she's been more than blessed. She's been anointed."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Quotable:“There was no bugging of locker rooms. There was no manipulation of communication systems. There was no crowd noise violations anywhere that he was aware of. No miking of players to pick up opposing signals or audibles." Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner

It was only a matter of time before a scandal as infamous as Spygate reared its ugly head again. Come on, can anyone really pass up the chance to further knock the Patriots’ “perfect” season after an embarrassing loss to the New York Giants in Superbowl XLII? If Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania had his way the whole National Football League would go down hook, line and sinker.

Former video assistant, Matt Walsh met with NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell in a three hour plus conference Tuesday to further investigate “new information” presented in the Patriots’ spy games, in which he was caught red handed videotaping defensive signals from the sidelines of the New Jersey Jets’ camp last season. Walsh handed over 8 tapes he had in his possession since January, when he casually hinted at the possibility of being able to shed further light on the scandal. Apparently, Walsh wised up to the fact that the NFL could sue his ass from here to kingdom come for withholding what is technically their property and came to an agreement to relinquish the tapes in exchange for immunity from legal action in the foreseeable future. The penalty came after a short lived investigation and resulted in a $500,000 fine for Patriots’ coach, Bill Belichick and a $250,000 fine for the Patriots organization in addition to the relinquishing of a first round draft pick in the 2008 NFL draft. To this day, coaches, fans and players still scream bloody murder at the leniency of the penalty Goodell dished out against the organization.
All naysayers needed was one more nail to crucify the Patriots with and when the rumor leaked that there was another blemish in the Patriots progressively perfect season, the chickens came home to roost. Word spread like wildfire of a ghost tape of the St.Louis Rams walk through practice prior to Superbowl XXVI and they dying embers of public uproar came roaring back to life. Another log to add to the fire… surprise! surprise! Well guess what? None of the 8 tapes confirmed this allegation and what Walsh revealed corresponded with what has already determined, Belichick cheated and at first refused to even acknowledge the fact, later giving a lame brain excuse to have misinterpreted the rules and vowing that there was no wrong intent being that the tapes weren’t used on game day. Highlights of the 8 tapes were even shown to the media, one of which consisted of tacky close ups of San Diego’s cheerleaders. There was NO tape of the St.Louis Rams walkthrough before Superbowl XXVI! Just like when Spygate began, Goodell was quick to put a kibosh on things before they “got out of hand.” Already notorious for botching the previous investigation by destroying material submitted by Belichick, a mishandling of the latest chapter in the Spygate saga would be just another botched up job by Goodell in a long list of screw-ups that have become the commissioner’s legacy.

“As I stand before you today, having met with 50 other people, I don’t know where else to turn . . . we hope that with Matt’s disclosure, everyone will finally believe what we’ve been saying all along and emphatically stated on the day of the initial report: 'The suggestion that the New England Patriots recorded the St. Louis Rams' walk-through on the day before Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002 is absolutely false. Any suggestion to the contrary is untrue.' "Goodell declared.

One of those witnesses interviewed was Greg Daboll, ex-Patriots receivers’ coach who now ironically is the Jets quarterback coach. Despite Walsh’s revelation that he did provide beneficial information to the Pats, to the tune of relaying signals to an unnamed Patriots’ quarterback for future reference until game day, when the signals were delivered to Charlie Weis to hand down to the field. The Patriots admitted to taping five teams over six games between 2000 and 2002: Buffalo, Miami, Cleveland, San Diego and Pittsburgh in the 2002 AFC Championship game, forever shrouding their 3 Super Bowl wins and nearly perfect 2007 season since then with a black cloak of suspicion. Too bad for Tom Brady, Laurence Maroney,Michael Vrabel, Kevin Faulk and the rest of the gang over in New England. Despite what Specter and his minions would like you to believe, there is the element of sheer talent and will that New England’s roster possesses that even with a Blockbuster Video store full of recorded defensive and or offensive signals no team would be able to execute. Of course one could chalk that up to dumb luck but then again you’d be blowing more smoke than Specter demanding an independent investigation.

Football fans would like further action taken to ensure that cheating to this magnitude doesn’t happen again and I agree but government involvement on any level is seldom if ever necessary and neither is discrediting or “downplaying” the talented Patriots player’s performance(s). All this coming from a man with his own personal interest(s) vested in blackballing the NFL. Specter is well known for being backed by Comcast (Specter’s second largest campaign contributor at $101,750) who are currently involved in a head to head debacle with the NFL network over its distribution. Guess who his number one supporter is? Blank Rome LLP, the law firm that represents Comcast (they are the largest contributors to his campaign at $ 258,550). If that isn’t a V for Vendetta, then I don’t know what is. Just the hard cold facts my friends.

As Goodell has mentioned, the evidence presented by Walsh “is consistent with what we disciplined the Patriots for last fall.” The only other thing previously known offense that was uncovered was ticket scalping (8-12 Super Bowl tickets) for Patriots players over two seasons and the participation of an injured reserve player in practice during the season. Hardly earth shattering news I’d say, another slap on the wrist at best with the penalty being, perhaps one game suspensions of the players involved.

In all fairness, the scandal was quite overhyped, spanning six months or the equivalent of a full season. I have to give it up to Walsh, holding on to the tapes for this long as if he had a Desert Eagle instead of a cap gun built up momentum in his favor to totally exclude himself from legal recourse he might not have been granted had he copped out early. Priceless.

Face it…. Yawngate, I mean Spygate has thankfully run its course. Not because Goodell says so or the Pats administration wants it to be, but because without overwhelming evidence to suggest further disciplinary measures should be taken, there is nothing left to discipline the Pats team for!

“With the war in Iraq raging on, gasoline prices closing in on $4 a gallon, and Americans losing their homes at record rates to foreclosure, the United States Senate should be focusing on the real problems that Americans are struggling with,” Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts said. “I'm looking forward to another great Patriots season where they can let their play on the field speak for itself.”
Amen, Mr. Kennedy. Amen.

Related Patriots Spy Games Articles:
Specter Calls Patriots’ Spying Wider Than Stated
Specter Wants Independent Investigation Into Spygate
Suspending Belichick will bring closure to Spygate
Herald Reporter: Devastating leap of logic led to story
Walsh Dismisses Pats Attempts To Diminish Minimize Illegal Taping

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Quotable: "I would just like to know if I did [get money], where did the money go? I was a struggling college student like everyone else. I bicycled to class. The truth will come out, even though the perception is reality." O.J. Mayo

There's something about Mayo.

And these days it's not about where he will fall in the first round when the NBA Draft rolls around on June 26th. Like many student athletes before him, Mayo seems to have fallen into the pitfall of taking gifts,money and or other favors from agents and or their representatives. According to NCAA rules and regulations, student athletes cannot receive any form of gifts, cash or benefits while attending a college or university and in California it’s a misdemeanor for agents to bestow gifts of any sort to a student athlete. It has long been a “hush-hush” standard in college sports recruiting for college athletic programs and agents scouting for that next NBA eligible mega star to woo them into signing with them by making the money, gifts and other perks rain. Agents and other bottom feeders being paid to befriend rising high school and college athletes is as classic to sports as is the All-American football hero from a small town or the basketball phenom from the ghetto turned Franchise megastar.

Recently ex-confidant, Rodney Guillory, a Los Angeles event promoter, came forward alleging that he showered Mayo with $30,000 dollars in cash, various gifts and benefits including a flat screen TV for Mayo's dorm room, cell phone service, clothes, a hotel room and meals with a few similar benefits being bestowed upon one of Mayo's relatives and a few friends during Mayo’s senior year in high school and during his one year tenure at USC. Mayo ofcourse denies receiving any money or benefits from Guillory, stating, "I don't know anything about it. It caught me by surprise. I've got to get to L.A. to see what's going on. I'm just focusing on the draft."

In a statement released on Mother's Day, the NCAA commented,"The allegations of improper benefits received by O.J. Mayo before and during his enrollment at the University of Southern California -- as outlined in ESPN's May 11, 2008, segment of 'Outside the Lines' -- are new to the NCAA. This information was not available when the NCAA examined Mr. Mayo's academic and amateurism status prior to his collegiate enrollment, and we will review the information in conjunction with the institution and the Pac-10 Conference."

Lou Johnson, an associate of Guillory, revealed to ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” that Billy Duffy & Associates, whom Guillory reports gave him a total of $200,000 split up into monthly payments along with a new $50,000 Infiniti SUV, denies knowing Guillory or Johnson, let alone putting Guillory on payroll. Johnson even provided store receipts to the news show as proof. Considering that the receipts are from purchases made with a credit card from a non-existent charity organization called, The National Organization of Sickle Cell Prevention and Awareness Foundation, I’d hardly be flashing those around town to prove my credibility.

"We didn't give O.J. one dime. I was told that O.J. had an exemplary year on campus and was riding his bike to class. We've got 80 clients who we put our heart and soul working for and we're not in a position where we have to buy clients."
Billy Duffy of Billy Duffy & Associates commented.

Sort of gives a new definition to the term “snake in the grass.” You’d be hard pressed to convince me that this isn’t a vendetta in a sweet deal that went south. With Mayo hiring Billy Duffy & Associates’ agent, Andrews and foregoing his sophomore year at USC to enter the NBA Draft, it seems awfully convenient timing that Guillory and Johnson would unload their “guilty” consciences on the media now. While Mayo certainly isn’t a saint, he did his due diligence when he accepted Denver Nuggets’ tickets from Carmelo Anthony last season and donated $460 (the value of the tickets) to charity. He probably did what many other kids do from broken homes whose talents can carry them further than any hustle the streets or even sometimes a job from a college education can often afford them, take the gifts being offered. It’s certainly not illegal nor the first time this has happened.

Is it me or does this story seem redundant like Hilary Clinton’s campaign attempts for presidency? Similar accusations have been thrown at Heisman Trophy winner and breakout Oakland Raiders quarterback, Reggie Bush also an USC alumnus and countless others such as Fresno State’s, Tito Maddox to name a few. Where is the accountability by the educational institutions, the college athletics department and staff? Hell! What about the agents and their representatives who paint the picture of the “Great White Hope” (or in Guillory’s case, “Great Black Hope”) coming down off Mt. Messiah to save a young promising kid from the hood from the hard knock life by supplying them with all the “bling”, cash and perks their hearts desire in exchange for a big payday when they hit the big time?

The jury is out. And if Mayo is founded to be liable, the cost to pay the boss could be vacating of games and records while he attended USC and North College Hill Highschool. The question is did USC know? Honestly, how could they not? Certainly, flashy new clothes and kicks and a flat screen TVs are blood red flags if you’re known for pedaling around campus on a bike! Let the investigations by the NCAA, the Ohio High School Athletic Association and USC begin! As even NBA commissioner David Stern acknowledges more is needed to be done to “protect student athletes,” if not from themselves but from predatory hustlers that prey on their talent.

If anything don’t hate the player, hate the game

Related Articles:
Mayo Demonstrates That NBA Rule Is A Disaster
Mayo Got The Money, But Others Cashed In
NCAA Has “New” Information On Mayo
Mayo Denies Ex-Confidant Claims Of Gifts, Including TV and Cash

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Quotable:"I don't know anybody who's ever deserved this trophy more. I don't know anybody who's ever worked as hard to accomplish what he's accomplished." Phil Jackson, Lakers coach

Hate it or love it, in a unanimous decision on Tuesday night, Kobe Bryant officially popped his cherry as league MVP (Most Valuable Player) in a high energy ceremony at the Staples Center that ended in a promise that the Lakers will “play until June.” The first time MVP winner was anything but selfish with the recognition of his achievement when he paused for the cause long enough to acknowledge the contributions of his teammates.

"This is not an individual award," Bryant replied. "The special thing about this award is we have done it together."

It wasn’t too long ago when trade rumors swirled around the Lakers’ franchise and Kobe’s whines for a trade resulted in boos echoing from the Staples Center as soon as the First All-NBA Team Champion stepped foot on the court opening night. With the injury of promising Lakers center, Andrew Bynum and inconsistent performances by Lamar Odom and Luke Walton, the Lakers were far from the force to be reckoned that swept the doomed Denver Nuggets in the first round. In what was the plot curve in a well written Hollywood script, Lakers’ general manager, Mitch Kuchpak answered the cries of his superstar in distress by enlisting a trade for Paul Gasol (one of the blockbuster season trades alongside Phoenix’s acquisition of Shaq and Dallas’ acquisition of Jason Kidd.) and Trevor Ariza.

Throughout his 12 seasons, Kobe has never been ranked above 3rd place in contention for league MVP and in the race for MVP, analysts weighed in on whether Kobe was deserving of the honor simply because he is one of the greatest players in the game. Tuesday all doubts were set aside with Bryant running away with 82 first-place votes and 1,100 points in the media vote. He was followed by New Orleans' Chris Paul (28 and 894), Boston's Kevin Garnett (15 and 670) and Cleveland's LeBron James (1 and 438). Kobe joins other past Laker MVP winner Shaquille O’Neal and three time Laker MVP winners, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson.

And so the story comes full circle as Kobe and Co. make a play to return to the status of champion elite, currently leading the Utah Jazz 2-1 in Round 2 of the NBA playoffs. Ball hog? No more. While Kobe only averaged a modest 5.4 assists and 6.3 rebounds this season, he was able to accomplish what has held him to the stigma of not being a team player for so long – the ability to connect with his teammates. Taking newer recruits Ronny Turiaf, Sasha Vujicic and Jordan Farmar under his wing while involving veterans Lamar Odom and long time friend, Derek Fisher, has resulted in a gelled Lakers’ team non existent during the Lakers’ respective 00’-01’ and 01’-02’championship runs.

"He's deserving in this particular season with all of the question marks and everything going on coming into the season and the uncertainty,"
teammate Derek Fisher said. "Not only did he statistically have an MVP-type of season, everybody can reasonably say they were better this year because of what he did. He met the so-called criteria, elevating his teammates' games."

At first glance, it would seem Chris Paul or Kevin Garnett would be more ideal candidates for the MVP award. Kevin Garnett has turned around his team in one season, forming a menacing triple threat in the East that has won them the both the league best record and the best record in the Eastern Conference as well as a very real contention for the Championship. Not to be out done, Chris Paul’s Cinderella story is an awe inspiring proof that experience is no guarantee to winning in the Playoffs. His leadership over the young and hungry, New Orleans’ Hornets has given a Katrina ravaged city hope and a reason to be proud again such as sending the Dallas Mavericks home in the first round. Despite a torn ligament in his finger and an upper respiratory infection, Bryant played ALL 82 games this season, giving up shots and reaping the fruits of his labor with a more productive supporting cast, the best record in the Western conference (66-25) and a berth in the NBA Playoffs. A testament to Kobe's preseason vow of sacrifice and ecommitment in mending a relationship on the rocks with a team he has played with his entire career.

"The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it."
Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, May 5, 2008


Quotable: "Sometimes you gotta run before you crawl." Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.)

From a long line of superhero movies adapted from comic book series comes “Iron Man”, an action packed adventure laced with great comedic timing, killer special effects and a classic good vs. evil plot but with a technology twist. Robert Downey Jr. is playboy billionaire genius, Tony Stark, a technology and weapons inventor who has inherited his father’s legacy of developing advanced weapons systems for the U.S. government under the guise Stark Industries. Stark delights in developing newer more advanced deadly weapons and a carefree, no responsibilities lifestyle filled with shameless womanizing and showboating. When a demonstration in Afghanistan of Stark Industries latest “merchant of death”, the Jericho missile is intercepted by terrorists, Stark is not only mortally wounded by the missile but is taken hostage to create the weapon of mass destruction for his captors.
Robert Downy Jr. is the most darkly human “superhero” I’ve seen since Christian Bale reprised the role of the Dark Knight in the 2005 blockbuster, Batman Begins. His air of sarcasm, witty humor and ultimately social consciousness is something I along with many can directly relate to.

Gwyneth Paltrow
and Terrance Howard round out the cast as Stark's sidekicks and confidants, Virginia "Pepper" Potts and U.S. Airforces officer , Jim Rhodes who keep him from the brink of disaster and recklessness that has become his life. While in captivity, Stark is exposed to the dangers that his weapons presents and it is this self-realization and sense of responsibility that he experiences that makes the movie so real and so current with the war in Iraq still raging, suicide bombers and Al-Quaida still terrorizing and the "weapons of mass destruction" still threatning a global apocalypse from North Korea.

Having grown up on Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, the (Uncanny) X-Men, Fantastic Four, the Avengers, Captain America and the Incredible Hulk to name a few, Iron Man was originally lost on me along with other pre released comic book hero adaptions, Daredevil, Electra, Punisher, Spawn, Blade and Ghost Rider until recently. The first fully financed project by Marvel Studios has raked in $100.4 million in its opening weekend making it the 10th biggest opening of all time and the fourth biggest for a superhero movie. Among non-sequels, it came second to the first "Spider-Man," which premiered with $114.8 million. Critics are stark raving mad, heralding it a “Fun summer blockbuster.”

“‘Iron Man’ has several advantages over a lot of recent efforts in the superhero genre. It features a solid cast, snappy dialogue, some pleasant surprises, expectedly impressive special effects and even a hint of subtle social commentary. But most importantly, it’s fun.” Dan

“One of the hippest, best-written and best-directed superhero movies ever -- a splendid way to kick off the summer movie season.”
Lou Lumenick – New York Post

“Hollywood has unearthed an unlikely weapon of mass destruction: Robert Downey Jr.” Claudia Puig - USA Today

After being exposed to lackluster previews sporadically prior to the release, I’m thankful that even a sleepless night of blog updates and web design work couldn’t keep me away from being exposed to the gem that Iron Man is. The critics and fans all agree, Iron Man is a must see and a welcoming change to the seemingly endless slump of mindless dribble that has been in theaters of late.


A superhuman movie that has been noted for its brawn and brains, Iron Man is in theaters now!

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Quotable: “From day one, I told this team that anything is possible when you get into the playoffs – and this team believes that,” -- Atlanta Hawks’ coach, Michael Woodson.

The decibel level in the Philips Arena reached the highest level it had been since the Hawks faced the Bulls in Round 1 of the 1998 NBA playoffs. Whether it was the record breaking 20,425 fans that packed into Philips Arena, chanting and hollering ‘Seven’ after a passionate speech by Zaza Pachulia proclaiming Atlanta’s game seven inducing performance or a byproduct of Hawks’ coach, Michael Woodson’s own brand of tough love locker room pep talk before the game – the Atlanta Hawks are on the brink of creating NBA history. As Hawks fans will tell you, Atlanta is down BUT their NOT out! With 1:07 left to play, a three pointer by Hawks shooting guard, Joe Johnson clinched a 103-100 victory for Atlanta and forced the series to Game 7 today. You have to give the Hawks credit.

Said Garnett: "Joe Johnson is the most underrated player in our league besides [Detroit's] Rasheed Wallace. He's underrated ... I'll give it to him. He played his [butt] off."

The Celtics are not the only ones stunned into silence at the prospect of a seven game series in the first round. They seem to have bought into ESPN analysts’ theories that they will simply steamroll through the Eastern Conference for a picture-perfect finish where they will lounge lazily awaiting their Western Conference opponent in the Finals.

From the beginning of the season to after the Celtics' acquired underestimated veteran Sam Cassell, I held fast to my no bandwagon jumping policy. Sure the Celtics held the NBA record for the best 1 season turnaround, showcasing a 42 win improvement (also an NBA record) which brings us to their 66-16 record, they have the best win-loss record in the league. Impressive to some, to me they’re lack of intensity on the road is an indication that all that glitters is not gold. The more experienced Celtics’ still have some lessons in championship contenders to get under their belt. The Hawks' have fought tooth and nail to force a potential sweep into a jaw dropping seven game series, shell-shocking Boston Celtics and basketball enthusiasts everywhere. Should they pull of a win today, A 37-45 Atlanta would be the worst team to advance since the 1976 Pistons, and the first losing team to beat a No. 1 overall seed in a best-of-seven series.

While a win at the Garden to advance to round 2 seems highly unlikely, the unexpected fight from secondary players like a usually underperforming Zaza Puchilia and a recently injured, Marvin Williams gave Atlanta an edge to counter the 3 consecutive 23, 19 and 25 point losses to Boston on the road. Saying that Atlanta has found a way to get under Boston's heavily guarded armor is an understatement -- the Hawks' have managed to crawl under the Celtics' skin! Despite pressure cooking defense by the Celtics’ to force the Hawks to beat them with secondary players and to put up tough shots, the Hawks’ rallied from behind an 8pt deficit with 16 straight possessions in the second half of Game 6. The inability to maintain their notorious intensity on the court has analysts focusing on what they deem as two key weaknesses in Boston’s killer arsenal. Namely Kevin Garnett’s tendency to disappear in close games away from the Garden and Boston Celtics’ coach, Doc Rivers musical chair tactics in maintaining a consistent lineup.

These two key weaknesses will of course be swept under the rug now that Kevin Garnett and company have dominated the Atlanta Hawks 99-65 and advanced to the second round to face the Cleveland Cavaliers. All and all this has been a surprisingly must watch series up to the bittersweet end as the physicality of the first six games boiled over into a flagrant 2 foul called on Marvin Williams for virtually clotheslining Rajon Rondo to the floor, a move that ignited a 28 pt Celtics lead and Williams’ ejection from the game. It’s clear that the Celtics were out to make a statement.

"Play hard, play defense, win at home."

Round 2 Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Monday, May 6th @ 8:00pm - The Garden, Boston MA