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L.A. Pride is a true sports enthusiast.  A former youth, and division II assistant basketball coach, who studied the martial arts, he enjoys and follows all sports, even hockey.  His quick wit and insight brings a fresh view to the world of sports. You may not always agree with him, but you will enjoy his highly opinionated thoughts.

Is it me …

Or did the Dallas Mavericks, the defending NBA champs, show less spunk than

The N.Y.  Knicks?  The Mavericks and the Knicks were facing elimination games

this past weekend and it was the Knicks who manned up and are still alive.

The Knicks had lost 13 straight playoff games and appeared ready to lie

down, but instead stood up and saved face.  Go NY, GO!

Where is the heart of a champion, Mark Cuban?  Not in Dallas!

Congrats to Dr. S. O’Neal for receiving his doctorate degree in education.  Shaq walks the walk when it comes to the importance of education.  Good job Dr. Shaq!!!!!!!!!!!

 The Knicks are quietly negotiating with Mike Woodson about a contract extension and the Knicks head coaching job.  I guess Phil Jackson stays retired for now and doesn’t complete the circle (Phil would like to end his basketball career in NY, where he started his pro career).

According to Sun Xiaochen of China Daily, former NBA MVP Allen Iverson is considering playing in the Chinese Basketball Association.

Xiaochen reports that Iverson was in Shenzhen last week for a seven-game exhibition tour and he addressed the possibility of joining the CBA.

“Why not?” he said soon after landing in China.

Iverson hasn’t played in the NBA since April 14, 2010, but he remains one of the most popular basketball players in China today. The 1997 Rookie of the Year, 2001 MVP and two-time All-Star Game MVP would be a big draw in China, but his agent tells China Daily that Iverson isn’t ready for game action right away.

There is no mention of the practice schedule.

Eastern Conference Playoffs

Chicago vs. Philadelphia         Philly leads the series 3-1 and are playing inspired ball.  If there were an award for coaching in the playoffs, Doug Collins of Philly would win going away. He has been excellent.

Boston vs. Atlanta         Boston leads series 3-0.   Atlanta lacks a home base.  Many of the people living in Atlanta are transplanted and root for other teams.  It wears on the players when every game seems like an away game.

Orlando vs. Indiana         Indiana leads the series 3-1.   Orlando, playing without D. Howard has been playing competitive ball, but just ends up short.

Miami vs. Knicks         Miami leads the series 3-1.  The Knicks won their first playoff game in 11 years, and avoided a sweep.  Stoudemire played in spite of a severely cut left hand.  C. Anthony scored 41 points for the Knicks.  Game 5 is in Miami.

Western Conference Playoffs

Utah vs. San Antonio         San Antonio swept Utah 4-0.  San Antonio considered an ‘old’ team has consistently surprised everyone in the league with their youthful and spirited play.  If not for L. James, we would have selected Tony Parker as season MVP.

Dallas vs. Oklahoma City         Oklahoma City swept Dallas, knocking the defending champs out of the playoffs, enough said.

Denver vs. L.A. Lakers         Lakers lead series 3-1.  The starless Nuggets are having issues at the end of the game.  They don’t have a closer and appear out of sync at the end of playoff games.  Unlike the Lakers who have the ultimate closer/assassin K. Bryant.

L.A. Clippers vs. Memphis          Clippers lead series 3-1 after taking another close game.  The series is becoming a little chippy and players are becoming more and more physical.  The refs and the league should keep an eye on this series, specifically Griffin and Randolph.  Cooler heads need to step up or there will be punches thrown.  Clippers bench has stepped up and contributed.

(The Tuesday night games are not listed because we went to press before the games were completed.)

Playoff Police Blotter:

R. Artist (World Peace-NOT), forward L.A. Lakers suspended six games for vicious elbow assault on James Harden, Oklahoma City Thunder.

Playoff Emergency Room Report:

D. Rose, Chicago Bulls, torn ACL, out for the playoffs

J. Noah. Chicago Bulls, badly sprained ankle, day-to-day

I. Shumert, N.Y. Knicks , torn ACL out for the playoffs

B. Davis, N.Y. Knicks, dislocated patella. torn AClL,  torn MCL out for the calendar year (could be career ending).

The NBA Playoff picture; Follow this link to the match-ups:

http://www.nba.com/playoffs/2012/series/index.html

Is it me…

Or is the NFL taking a break now?  The NFL has moved to the back burners after holding its draft and handing out penalties to current and former New Orleans Saints players for ‘bounty-gate’.  The teams are running their off-season programs trying to keep the vets in shape and bring the rookies up to speed.  Let’s hope there are no more crisis and camps open on time this summer, with everyone healthy.

NFL teams continue to adjust and shape their rosters;

A list of current NFL transactions can be found at:

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/transactions/

Is it me…

Or is it time to retire from boxing when your opponent is only one year older than your son?  Sugar Shane Mosely, who is 40 years old, lost a unanimous lop sided fight to  22-year-old  Canelo Alvarez.

The ring is brutally honest..  It puts all your strengths and weaknesses out there for the world to see.  In Shane’s case it exposed an older fighter who was slower and weaker than his opponent, but had the heart of a champion and fought as hard as he could until the end.

We can only hope that Mosely decides to promote fights , rather than participates in them in the future.

Is it me…

Or did Floyd Mayweather earn his money?

Mayweather was forced to weather his toughest opponent in years, as he fought through a bloody nose and busted lip and earned a unanimous 12 round decision  against Miguel Cotto.

In what could be his last fight, Mayweather demonstrated why he is an undefeated champion.  Adjusting his fight plan on the fly and being in superb condition proved to be the tools he needed to build that bridge to victory.  He remains a master craftsman and exquisite technical boxer. Only now he’s standing in the pocket, going toe-to-toe and even walking down other fighters. He’s still counterpunching with unbelievable speed and precision, and his famously artful defense hasn’t been compromised. He is a special fighter. It was  one of the finest displays of boxing in quite some time.

Is it me…

Or did we almost finally retire number 42 in baseball?  Mariano Rivera,the closer on the Yankees, is the last player in the majors wearing #42.  (Baseball retired #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson.  Rivera who wore  42 at the time of league retirement, was allowed to keep it.)

Rivera tore his ACL shagging fly balls during batting practice (pitchers shouldn’t be in the outfield, they belong in the bullpen if they are not pitching.  Quarterbacks don’t practice  tackling before football games).  At first there was talk of Mariano retiring along with his #, but he put that to rest, saying ‘he wasn’t going out like that.’  Rivera plans on having the surgery and returning to pitch next year.  Way to go Mo!

Is it me…

Or are hockey fans idiots?  Last week Joel Ward, a black hockey player for the Washington Capitals received a bunch of racist tweets from Boston fans because of his game winning goal against Boston.  This week the tweets are from the Washington fans.  Ward was called for a penalty with less than a minute to go.  The Rangers scored a game-tying goal and went on to win in overtime.  Now the local fans are showing their ignorance.  You’re only as good as your last play!!!!

Is it me…

Or is it with deep regret we note the death of Junior Seau?   Former NFL linebacker  Seau died last Wednesday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

He was 43 ears old.

Seau, a linebacker out of Southern California, was the fifth-overall selection in the 1990 NFL Draft. He played for 20 years with the Chargers, Dolphins and Patriots before retiring after the 2009 season. He was a 12-time Pro Bowler and a member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team.  Junior had the perfect name for a  linebacker Seau, pronounced  ‘Say Ow’.  Quite a few opponents would say ow, when  tackled by Junior. The Chargers will honor Seau, who spent his first 13 seasons in San Diego, in a May 11 ceremony at Qualcomm Stadium.

Resarchers have asked the family to donate Seau’s brain for research regarding concussions and head trauma related to professional football.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Edited by D. Pride.

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