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by djp

Greatest of his generation!! Yet still 2nd best..

January 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

Kobe Bryant is leading the NBA in scoring at the moment!!

 Yeah man, not MVP candidates Lebron James and Kevin Durant. Nor is it Carmelo Anthony who many bball experts feel is one of the (if not the) best all round scorers of the basketball in the league today. Nope it isn’t him either!! It’s, playing with a wrist injury – can’t jump & move like he use to – 33yr old Kobe Bryant. And the American black mamba is just as dangerous as the African reptile and he still has the ability to strike fear into opponents also much like the serpent.

 

The last couple of seasons a lot of people wondered when we’ll see the demise of the Lakers superstar as he’s on the wrong side of 30 and few athletes have the privilege of calling it a day at the height of their prowess.  But so far Bryant is defying all odds and winning his fight against father time and it’s not just because he’s blessed with basketball talents but coz he’s got the will and determination to be the best baller he can be, much like another shooting guard that almost single handedly put basketball on the world stage in the early 90’s. As unfair as it is to compare Kobe to Michael Jordan, I don’t think it will ever go away and here are just a couple of reasons why:

-          They play (ed) the same position

-          Both are the greatest players of their eras (in my opinion)

-          Both have that competitive drive & will to win that few players have or had

-          The individual honours, awards & titles they have

-          Playing style

The list goes on and on..


When I started playing ball in the late 90’s I was a Kobe fan. Emphasis here on when I started playing. MJ had the titles and the unstoppable back-to-the-basket-and then-fadeway jumper but Kobe had the hops and that was enough for me at that time. Much like the ’98 All Star Game where Kobe had the highlights but MJ walked away with the win AND the MVP trophy. But the more I played and studied the history of basketball I began to realize that there was a reason why you could ask any jock on the street who’s the best basketball player, the answer will be Jordan. Watching highlights of what MJ did back in the day made me a believer that no one could touch this guy, not the Birds, Magics, Chaimberlains or Russells before him or the Kobes, O Neils and James after him.

 

But I got to give Bryant his props and the respect he deserves. I don’t like him as much anymore coz I felt he disrespected Jordan during the 2003 All Star game where MJ fouled him, the ref blew the foul and Kobe walked past Jordan and told him that he gets the calls now. I understand why did it:

it was he’s time to shine and what better way to show it than to chirp he who you do not chirp!? But I still didn’t like it. 

 

At the end of the day, winning is the only thing that matters to these guys. MJ have 6 rings compared to KB24’s 5 and you can bet your ass that he will play in a wheelchair, let alone injured, this season to get championship nr. 6. It’s going to be difficult though with young & talented teams like the Bulls, Thunder & Grizzlies as well as veteran & star studded teams like the Heat, Mavericks & Spurs. And make no mistake, he’s time is running out.

 

Nr. 24 will stroll into the hall of fame as easily as it is for hot chicks to get into clubs whether he wins another title or not. He’s already being hailed as the greatest Laker EVER!! That in itself is such an unprecedented achievement considering that players like Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chaimberain, Magic Johnson and Shaq also donned the yellow & purple jersey too. So even if he’ll always be hailed as the second best shooting guard ever to play in the NBA,  

I think Kobe can live with that because very, very few players had the career Bryant had and with the 4 consecutive 40 point games he had the last week and a half, it’s obvious the black mamba is far from finish.

 

Ps: check out this blog just to see how much a like MJ & KB really are: http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2012/01/18/mj-kobe-and-everybody-else/?ls=iref:nbahpt1

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by djp

My world nr. 1 bowler & batsman

January 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

After reading all the Protea articles & news I could get my eyes on, I decided to finish my reading with what must be one the best feel good stories on Sports24 today simply titled: Morne back with a bang: http://www.sport24.co.za/Cricket/SriLankainSA/Morkel-back-with-a-bang-20120112

 

And he certainly was as well as (deservedly so) the M.O.M!! I think we’ve forgotten about him a little bit or haven’t been that appreciated of the lanky fella. Mind you, he didn’t exactly bowl the heat out the sun this summer either but after going through the ICC rankings again, I noticed that MM currently lies 6th on the rankings in the Tests as well as the ODI formats of the game and he’s been in there for some quite some time now. So what I decided to do was to add players rankings who falls under the top 10 in both formats and the results (for me anyways) wasn’t that suprising.

 

  1. Dale Steyn – 1538
  2. Graeme Swann – 1444
  3. Morne Morkel – 1392
  4. Daniel Vettori – 1344
  5. Shakib Al Hasan – 1340

 

Few would argue that Steyn is the best bowler in the world but he’s only ranked 10th in the ODI format of the game. Swann on the other hand is ranked 3rd in Tests and 4th in ODI’s and he STILL doesn’t come close to the nr. 1 ranked test bowler if you combine their rankings. Hasan, I have to be honest, I don’t know much about him but I think Morkel & Vettori (if you consider the last 2 seasons or so) definitely deserve to be under the top 5.

 

Yes, I know, no aussies as well as no Anderson & Broad but even the though the 2 Englishmen have been brilliant in the test arena, they’ve struggled a bit in the shorter version of the game. Anderson (test ranked nr.2) is even struggling to get into the ODI 11 sometimes.

 

On the batting side, there were only 4 batsmen that featured under the top 10 on both rankings and I was pretty chuffed when I saw who’s on top as this guy is also my favorite player as has been from virtually the first time I saw him bat:

 

  1. AB de Villiers – 1606
  2. Kumar Sangakara – 1602
  3. Jonathan Trott – 1548
  4. Michael Clarke – 1496

 

AB de Villiers, my boyee!!! This guy can easily become the nr. 1 batsmen on both rankings and he isn’t that far off either. It’s still too early to tell how the captaincy will affect his batting but I’m sure that just like on the field, he’ll deliver the goods, in style!!! Funny to see Sangakara up there but he was obviously helped with his nr.1 test ranking. Trott has quickly become one of England’s star batsmen and it looks like the responsibility of captaining his team has improved Clarke’s batting.

 

Notable guys that’s missing: No Indians!!?? The country that boasts the likes of Sehwag, Dhoni & Kohli.. Kohli, my favorite Indian batsmen (apart from you know who) remarkably just can’t cut the mustard at test level. Well not yet anyways, currently ranked nr.105. I really hope India sticks with him coz I think they’ve got an AB in that guy!! And then also no Hussey, Cook or Bell either.. Having said that I still believe that the prize wicket in world cricket is still Kallis and Tendulkar and Kallis I think is distancing himself from Tendulkar with every knock he plays lately. Having said that Tendulkar is still one ton away from 100 centuries so every bowler that prevents him from doing that will be pretty chuffed with himself.

 

I’m outy

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