As annoying as it is when Lebron complains about a blatant foul, at least when it happens you know it’s one of those rare moments where Stern has slipped up and something is actually called against Queen James. I could watch Lebron complain, cry, and moan about calls all day, so long as it means he is losing. All aboard the San Antonio bandwagon. 3 more wins. Let’s go Spurs!
Well the Celtics season is over after a heart-breaking loss on Friday to the cocky and arrogant, New York Knicks. The next few months will really show where this organization is headed with the decisions they face with KG and Paul Pierce. However, this story is not about that. Lebron James won his 4th MVP this weekend. He became the second player to get 120 of 121 possible first place votes. Shaq did it 13 years ago. The lone voter, who decided to back Carmelo Anthony instead, was the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn.
To me, this is ridiculous. I know everyone in Boston hates LeBron, but the main reason why he wasn’t unanimous, was because everyone thought he would be. Just so happens that it was a guy from Massachusetts to snub him. We all know that he is the best player in the league and by far the most efficient. If he took as many shots as Melo, he would be the leading scorer, but he is more than that, clearly. Plus, Melo sucked against us during the last 3 games of the series and I really thought we had a chance to steal it from those scumbags.
Kevin Garnett did receive one vote for MVP, but not a first place one. This was enough to tie him for 12th in the balloting.
A Decade of Dominance: 10…that’s the number of years LeBron James has played in the NBA. It’s hard to believe, because it seems like just the other day we were still in awe watching astounding highlight tapes of a kid out of St. Mary’s high school in Akron, OH. Nevertheless, King James has enjoyed all the riches, spoils, and rewards a King could desire during this decade (aside from a few struggles along the way). But what about the next 10 years?
At 28-years-old, LeBron James is already in the prime of his career. Which is crazy considering he’s been making headlines and highlight reels since 2003. With this year’s NBA Playoffs right around the corner, so too is the Next chapter of LeBron’ career. But before we gaze into the NBA’ crystal basketball to see LeBron’s future, here’s a rundown of his reign as King:
Taking the Throne: LeBron’s Career Achievements, Awards, and Statistics:
2003-2004 NBA Rookie of the Year
2003-2004 NBA All-Rookie First team
Nine time NBA All-Star (2005-2013)
Two time NBA All-Star Game MVP (2006, 2008)
Two time All-NBA Second Team (2005, 2007)
Six time All-NBA First Team (2006, 2008-2013)
2008 NBA Scoring Champion
Four time All-NBA Defensive Team (2009-2012)
Three time MVP Award Winner (2009, 2010, 2012)
Three time Olympic Medalist (2004 Bronze Athens, 2008 Gold Beijing, 2012 Gold London)
2012 NBA Finals MVP
2012 NBA Finals Champion
One of eight NBA players to Win three MVP awards
One of eight NBA players to score 2,000 points or more in seven consecutive seasons
One of four NBA players to average at least 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists in their rookie year. (Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, Tyreke Evans)
One of five NBA players to average over 25 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists per game in a season (five times) (Oscar Robertson achieved it six times, John Havlicek twice, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan)
One of three NBA players to average at least 30 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists in a single season. (Oscar Robertson achieved it five times, and Michael Jordan)
One of two NBA players to average at least 27 points, six rebounds, and six assists for six consecutive seasons. (Behind only Oscar Robertson who had eight consecutive seasons)
One of three NBA players to average at least 30 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists in a post-season series. (the other two are Oscar Robertson and Larry Bird)
Only NBA player to average 26 points, six rebounds, and six assists for their career
Only NBA player to post at least 2,000 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists, and 100 steals in four consecutive seasons
Only NBA player to score 30 or more points while also shooting 60 percent from the field in six consecutive games
And that’s just some of the achievements, there’s over two-dozen other achievements I left out to save space for this post.
Stats: (Career Stats as of April 12th, 2013)
Points: 21, 037 (32nd on the NBA All-Time scoring list) Rebounds: 5,540 Assists: 5,287 (46th on the all-time list) Blocks: 649 Steals: 1,322 Double-Doubles: 255 Triple-Doubles: 36
Post-season: Points: 3,275 (16th on the all-time post-season list) Rebounds: 998 (44th on the all-time post-season list) Assists: 772 (22nd on the all-time post-season list) Blocks: 109 (53rd on the all-time post-season list) Steals: 195 (22nd on the all-time post-season list) Games: 115 (80th on the all-time post-season list) Double-Doubles: 48 Triple Doubles: 8
A King is Crowned: Last year LeBron James and the Miami Heat claimed the 2012 NBA Finals Championship and appear to be poised to win this year’s NBA Finals. Which would give King James another jewel to add to his crown, so to speak. This brings us back to the beginning of this post. With the beginning of this year’s NBA Playoffs, LeBron will put pen to paper (more specifically the rock to the rim) and write what will be the first pages of the next chapter in his already storied career.
So, what does the future hold for LeBron? The Answer: It’s entirely up to James himself.
While teammates Dwayne Wade (31) and Chris Bosh (29) are a tad older than LeBron and may call it a career earlier than he will (likely due to injury or age), this Big Three should remain intact for at least another 5 years. However, James could opt out of his contract with Miami after the 2014 season. Meaning he could make another big “Decision” via free agency.
Which could spark more than a few what if scenarios around league front offices, as in “what if we had LeBron?”. An even bigger question…what if King James returned to his old castle in Cleveland?
Imagine for a moment James playing with star point guard Kyrie Irving, and a talented power forward in Tristan Thompson. Throw in a couple of other free agents/role players and you’ve got a Cleveland team that could go the distance. Granted, it’s unlikely team owner Dan Gilbert would even consider allowing LeBron back, but the idea is stimulating enough.
Then there’s the more realistic route, which is James re-signing with Miami to finish out his career in South Beach. James could then be a key cog in continuing to build the franchise into a Dynasty if all were to go well. Even after Wade and Bosh leave, James could sway other top players to bring their talents to South Beach until he too retires.
Everlasting Empire?: LeBron James has certainly changed the landscape of the NBA in more ways than one in his 10 seasons thus far, and he will continue to re-construct it for years to come. Which leads to one final question…where will James rank among the greatest NBA players of all-time when it is all said and done? The Answer: The sky is truly the limit for LeBron.
Here’s a projected finish should LeBron play another 10 seasons based solely on his career averages:
(stats based on James’ career averages over the next 10 years in which he would play 800 more games, 80 games a season, without any major injuries.)
Points: 43,117 (finishing 1st overall surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’ 38,387)
Rebounds: 11,380 (finishing at 26th all-time just outside the top 25 behind Elgin Baylor’ 11,463)
Assists: 10,887 (finishing 3rd all-time behind Jason Kidd 12,079 and John Stockton 15,806)
Blocks: 1,149 (finishing well within the top 50 at 36th all-time)
Steals: 2,682 (finishing 2nd all-time past Jason Kidd’ 2,679 and under John Stockton’ 3,265)
Based on those regular season career projected stats, LeBron would likely finish at or towards the top of nearly every statistical category in post-season career stats. As far as the number of championships goes, like the post-season itself neither playoff spot nor NBA Finals trophy is promised to any NBA team.
However, consider this interesting stat: Michael Jordan won his 1st of six NBA championships when he was…28 years old. Meaning LeBron may just be getting started on his ring collection also.
Final Thoughts: Hypothetically speaking James has a chance to end up with insane career numbers when he walks away from the game. However, realistic thinking tells us that James will eventually not be the same King James at some point down the line, and as a result his career numbers will see a steady decline until his NBA days are done.
Nevertheless, James can continue to play at a competitive level for at least the next 5 seasons and can likely bring home some more hardware (MVP awards, NBA Finals trophies/rings, etc.) in that time-frame. Past that, only time will tell how long the King will watch over his throne. Until then we can only watch, wait, and debate.
Celtics Competing: I’ll admit I was one of the many who threw their hands up and said, “What are we going to do now?” when I heard Rajon Rondo was out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Well, since then the Celtics have responded to everyone’s questions the old fashioned way…by simply winning.
The Celtics have won eight of their last nine games with impressive victories over the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets, and Chicago Bulls . More importantly, and surprisingly, the C’s have done so without the likes of Rondo, Jared Sullinger, and more recently Leandro Barbosa (all out for the remainder of the season due to injury).
Winning Ways: With the loss of Rondo and Co., Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jeff Green have led the team on the floor along with assistance from Jason Terry. Here are their numbers for the month of February:
Pierce: 17.1 PPG with 8.9 RPG and 7.3 APG
Garnett: 16.6 PPG with 10.3 RPG and 1.4 SPG
Green: 14.4 PPG with 4 RPG and 1.7 BPG
Terry: 13.1 PPG with 3.7 APG
Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee, and Brandon Bass have also contributed, each averaging 8 PPG.
The Celtics have used a no “pure point guard” philosophy in their 8-1 stretch without Rondo, and so far it has worked well.
Playoff Probability: Although Boston is finding ways to win without a true point guard, they will have to add depth to their roster if they want to have a sure shot at the post-season. According to ESPNBoston’ Chris Forsberg, Coach Doc Rivers recently released his “shopping list” of what he felt the team needed to compete down the stretch:
“Well, I would say a ball-handling guard. It’s no longer a point guard, it’s just a guard. A guard that, if I had my perfect guard for this group right now, it would be a guard that can play multiple positions, that can shoot, and has some toughness. Then we need a big. You’re not going to find a center, so a 4. Obviously a 5 would be great, but a 4 that can stretch the floor, or a 4 that can rebound — just a great rebounding 4 that has skill. That’s the list.”
We’ll have to wait and see what kind of deals Doc and Danny Ainge can whip up in the weeks to come. As of today (February 15th) the Celtics are 28-24 overall and hold the seventh playoff spot/seed of the available eight in the Eastern Conference. Moreover, if the season ended today the C’s would make the playoffs. Of course, the season still has about 30 games to go and as we all know with any sport “anything can happen”.
Nevertheless, I whole heartedly believe Boston can continue their winning ways and place themselves somewhere between a fifth to seventh seed at seasons end. Honestly, at the rate the C’s are playing, they could even lobby for a fourth seed. We’ll just have to watch and see what happens.
Final Thoughts: With roughly 30 games left and only 10 healthy players on a 13 man roster, the C’s have their work cut out for them as they head down the final stretch. Will the Celtics make the post-season? If so, what playoff seed will they earn? Leave a comment below.
With the Boston Celtics 2012-2013 season opening next Tuesday, October 30th, against the reigning NBA Champion Miami Heat, it’s safe to assume most are excited about the season’s start. But this post is not about a start, rather a tale of Celtics great Paul Pierce’ career coming to a close. And it will be sooner than you think.
Unfortunately a sports career in Boston is not measured by blood, sweat, tears, determination, and heart. It’s primarily based upon numbers, accomplishments, awards, and, most importantly, championships. Luckily for Pierce, he’s given all the above and more to Beantown. Let’s recap what “The Truth” has revealed in his 14 year NBA career: Continue reading
With the C’s preseason coming to an end last night, the countdown to Miami is officially on. The intensity of this game will only be that much higher with Benedict Allen on the opposite side of the court. But who defines intensity more than KG, who has expressed his clear anger with the move by breaking off ties with Ray. So here’s to Kevin Garnett and the chase for Banner 18 one week from tomorrow.
Here’s a little mix to set the mood for tonight’s must win at the Garden. Grit and Balls.
Thanks to Devin for the tip.
Here’s a video that sums up pretty much how every Celtics fan feels right now…
Last night could have been one the most heart breaking playoff losses for the C’s thus far. Just utterly painful. Falling short of the win in OT to the Heat. The only positive was Rondo’s incredible performance, nearing a triple double with 44 points, 8 rebounds, and 10 assists, but even that gets overshadowed by the loss. When asked about his performance, Rondo responded, “We lost, simple as that.” Exactly why as much as I want to talk more about Rondo’s night, I just can’t. One of the biggest problems the Celts had and have had was giving up second chances. There’s no way they win giving the Heat offensive boards like that. It’s just not going to happen. Regardless, the C’s better come out firing on Friday when the Heat come to the Garden for game 3, a must win for the Celtics. And Leibo…we’re missing your boy Avery…bad.
Rajon Rondo must love playing on national television. I’m sure you’ve already heard but Rondo had his 18th triple double last night. Of those 18, 14 of them have come on national television. Rondo used and abused his way around the court against Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole for 16 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds. Pierce scored 23 for the Celtics, as all the starters had double figure points for the night. The Celtics won 91-72 to move to 30-22 overall and are in 4th place now with a full game lead over the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Heat fall to 37-14 on the season, LeBron James led the way with 23 points and Wade was 2nd with 15. Chris Bosh had only 4 points on 2-11 shooting. The Heat were -30 while LeBron James was on the floor.
The Celtics are quickly looked upon as title contenders. After weeks of talk of throwing this season away, they are now in danger of becoming overrated by the fans and ESPN. Since the injury to Ray Allen’s ankle, they have been on a 5 game winning streak. The combination of Rondo-Bradley backcourt has been phenomenal so far, and I wouldn’t be mad at Doc if he stayed with the lineup when Ray comes back. Doc has to get a lot of credit for the team this year, rolling with the punches and just continuing on.
The Heat shot 7-17 from the line; compared to 20-22 for the Celtics. Rondo has 13 consecutive games with at least 10 assists. LeBron had 0 assists for the 2nd time in his career.
Avery Bradley Alert:
Celtics are now 5-0 since Avery came into the starting lineup after Ray’s troubling ankle issues. He played Wade even last night scoring 13 points when Wade only scored 15. But Wade took seven more shots. Avery’s cutting has been big in the past few games, keeping defenders honest by back cutting and then surprising them with his ever improving jumper. His confidence just keeps growing and growing. He went 5-10 from the floor last night and 1-3 from 3.