The Zip Is Back!

After about a month long summer vacation the zip is back. We missed many events and happenings that will hopefully be covered in some posts to come, but for me we go to one of the biggest issues that is the Mike Vick indictment.

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One Giant Leap for the NBA

With Four remaining teams left in NBA playoffs, my support is going to the underdog Cavaliers, who cut the Pistons’ series lead in half yesterday with a 88-82 victory. If the Cavs rally past the Pistons, and the Jazz somehow manage to steal the series from the Spurs, LeBron could conceivably capture his first ring, maybe. Crazier things have happened in sports lately right? And what could be better for the NBA after a relatively miserable season than the young King James getting his first ring and making the more reluctant older fans want to watch the NBA again. It would create a need to see if this guy holds a candle to the stars of the golden age of the NBA, which I was unfortunate to barely catch the tail end of. And seeing as Stern has no problem rigging various aspects of the NBA, mainly the lottery to screw the Celtics, the Cavs taking this thing down should seem more likely than it does.
But to get back on topic, it was in last night’s game that phenom LeBron James took his first step towards maturing into one of the best players in the game. He was out of his mind down the stretch. What makes it more amazing is that he made the Namath-esque prediction that it would be the biggest game of his life. I just can’t wait for 25 years from now when LeBron is being interviewed at a Cavs game, absolutely wasted, hitting on Cheryl Miller. You just have to love this guy though, the prediction, nailing a 92 footer in pre-game warm ups, hitting step-back, fade-away 3’s down the stretch in a must-win game 3, and finally, his clutch jumper to seal the deal.
I’m sure he will spark whispers about another basketball player who wore the number 23, but I want to say right here that I don’t think he is the next Jordan. He is a hand and a finger’s worth of rings, and about 99 monumentally clutch playoff performances away. That isn’t meant to take anything away from LeBron. In this era I don’t think any team can recreate the dynasty the Bulls had. Also, take a look at Jordan’s supporting cast. Pippen, Rodman, Kerr, incredible all-around player, rebound machine, and dirty 3 point shooter respectively. Guys like Luc Longley, Toni Kukoc, and Bill Wennington were all great role players. Jordan was an incredible leader, crunch time player, and overall one of, if not the most unstoppable offensive players ever to play the game. But he did have a lot of help. It’s not that hard for a professional driver to look good flooring it in a high performance well-oiled machine. LeBron could grow to become as good of a leader as Jordan, but with his supporting cast his best analogy would be Jeff Gordon driving a 1971 4-cylander Ford Pinto, there’s only so much he can do with it. In the current state of the NBA, imagine Bron Bron with a supporting cast similar to MJ’s. There is no one quite like pippen, but call Josh Howard LeBron’s Pippen. Jason Kapono is his shooter waiting on the elbow, a big upgrade from bricklayer Donyell Marshall. Give him some big men who, unlike Zydrunas Ilgauskus, my mom couldn’t box out and out rebound. She played her college ball at St.Michael’s in Vermont thank you very much. Think how scary that team would be. My point is the Cavs need to get this guy better help for him to get some rings. And don’t even get me started on Eric Snow and Larry Hughes.
So instead of drawing Jordan comparisons, take this clutch performance for what it is. I mean he was out of his Gord last night. Let’s all cheer for James to get his first ring with a less than ideal supporting cast and join Wade as the second of the next generation of superstars to win a championship. And if he does that, then maybe we can start calling him the air apparent. Maybe we can start to put the Silhouette of LeBron throwing it down over Rasheed Wallace on jump suits. Crazier things have happened in sports, right?

News Around the Leagues

Before we take a look at the NBA playoffs (again), lets take a look at whats going on in sports. Clemens looks like either between Mel Clark before Roger and JP brought him angels or the other rocket Chet Stedmond before gardenhosen rejuvenated his spirit. He just couldnt find the strike zone. Against THE PAW SOX. I can’t wait til we see what our boys are gonna do to him. Also in baseball, Ichiro told reporters that when he reaches age 40, he wants to take up pitching. This guy is an animal. I’d take him over Clemens right now. He has also said in the past that if he hit for power he would easily have 20-25 Jacks a year. Maybe pitching could “revive the dormant fire in his soul.”
In the NBA, the Knicks are showing interest in pursuing Vince Carter should he become a free agent. Absolutely shocking that the Knicks want to overpay an underachieving, over valued semi-superstar. A lot of over unders in there, huh?
In other news, Mike Vick just purchased Paris Hilton’s dog, Tinkerbell.

In Case You Were Wondering

Just to erase any lingering curiosity, turns out Nick Collison still does play basketball in the NBA. He is on the Sonics and averages 9 pts in 29 mpg… I wonder what he’s doing during the summer of ’08?

Sunday Stories

  • The Magic were finished off yesterday in Orlando by the Pistons. Not much of a series, kind of like the rest of the Eastern Conference series. The Cavs took a commanding 3-0 lead over the depleted Wizards squad. The Wiz have hung in there in the last two games, but haven’t had the scoring down the stretch to beat the Cavs.
  • In the West the Spurs took one from the Nuggets in Dever 96-91. The Spurs trio of stars got it done again last night. While Iverson had a bad shooting night, and Melo’ couldn’t hit from the free throw line (6-11). In the nightcap the Jazz looked strong at home vs. a homesick Rockets team. I thought this was the year that T-Mac was going to get out of the first round? Look for the Rockets to bring their A game in game 5 in Houston. I see this series going all 7 games.
  • The Yanks ended their seven game skid yesterday. With a solid pitching performance by some unknown Igawa guy. Who pitched six scoreless innings. Then Rivera was able to come in and get the save with some nice defensive help from A-Rod. The Cubs took another from the rival Cardinals by a score of 8-1. The man that I say will hit .400 this season, Derek Lee was 2-4 and is now about .390. Ok maybe I am going out on a little bit of a limb here!
  • Michael Jordan’s son Jeffrey is planning on going to the University of Illinois, and becoming a walk-on player. We’ll see how this one plays out, he should receive plenty of media coverage. I don’t think he will do much there, but he will definitely see time because of the name on the back of his jersey.
  • I guess I should mention the NFL draft. Detroit took another WR high in the first round. I’m still not sold on Calvin Johnson. When is the last time a WR single handily won a game. Sure he can be a game changer, but he really isn’t going to turn your franchise around. Russell was the correct pick for Oakland to make at 1. Cleveland redeemed themselves by going out and getting Brady Quinn after passing up on him the first time around. He may be a bust, but when you are in Cleveland’s spot and he is available then you have to take a shot.
  • Some great NBA games lined up for Sunday. Kobe will try to beat the Suns again, but don’t count on that happening. Miami looks to at least save a little bit of its pride vs. Chicago. The least that they could do is win a couple of games like they are capable of. I will be surprised if Riley lets those guys throw in the towel. Jason Kidd will try to become the second player ever to post back to back triple-doubles in the playoffs (Baron Davis being the other). While the Raps need this win or else their season is just about over. Saving the best for last…..the Mavs look to get back on the winning track that they are accustomed too. The Warriors are just the Mavs kryptonite. This will be a great game to watch, because you can guarantee that the Warriors fans will be as loud as ever and they will push this Warriors team to do great things. I just can’t wait for this game. If GS is able to take another one then you have to believe that the Mavs just can’t beat this team, and GS is just a hot team right now that anyone else would lose too. Just a tough break for the Mavs to play them in the first round when GS is pretty much the only team in the league that has their number. Enjoy folks!

The SZ is living the dream

Just want to throw out a big thanks to all readers. The SZ had a record number of views yesterday, and was one of the top growing blogs. This was the contract year breakthrough performance that we were waiting for. Thanks for the viewing and we will be sure to keep the good stuff coming. We’re the Sports Zip and we’re just living the dream.

response to fans

in response to anthony riccioti of brownlove.com:
all SZ writers do take breaks. as hardworking, good looking, and perfect we all are, its hard to believe, but yes, we are human. we will try to pump out as many articles as possible but we can only do so much. expect business to pick up in the summer