NBA Preview – Eastern Conference

I promised an extensive NBA Eastern Conference breakdown, and here it is.  The Raptors are going to be the worst team in the NBA and the Heat are going to be the best.  I challenge you to name 3 players on the Toronto Raptors without looking up their roster…John Wells Stevens couldn’t even do it.  He confesses to this and lends his sports prowess to the show.  Please enjoy.

A-Rod and Kobe Visit German Doctor

We keep hearing about some of the greatest athletes in the world visiting Germany to have various procedures done on their injured bodies.

Kobe Bryant’s two visits during the off-season to Düsseldorf molecular orthopaedist Peter Wehling to receive a procedure that uses the his own blood, which is taken usually from the arm and put into a centrifuge to separate out a certain protein. The mix with the protein is then injected into the injured joint, supposedly to enhance healing in that specific area.   Now, reports show that Alex Rodriguez has made a trip across the pond to the same doctor for the same procedure on his knee and shoulder.

I certainly have no problem with these premium athletes taking care of their bodies and going out of their way to find the best possible care so they can perform at their highest levels.  Having said that, I have two questions….1) Why is it that only non-US doctors seem to be performing this procedure (Canadian, Anthony Galea being the other)?  2)  And didn’t the last doctor (Anthony Galea) that became famous for performing the same procedure on pro athletes (Tiger Woods…and…oh, A-Rod…) plead guilty for myriad federal offenses recently?

I am by no means saying that Dr. Wehling is doing anything that is illegal, but the situation smells funny.  Watch this closely…let’s hope this isn’t the next BALCO or Galea scandal.

Image: http://bossip.com/436074/party-time-apparently-alex-rodriguez-likes-coked-out-celebrity-poker-parties39204/

NBA Preview – Western Conference

I feel like the lockout didn’t even happen.  Couldn’t be more excited for opening day in the NBA this weekend.  We’re in for a thrilling and fast-paced season with plenty of story lines and more than enough phenomenal players.  This is part 1 of a two-parter previewing the NBA season, purely addressing the makeup of the Western Conference.  Find out why I think the Clips are going to be the second best team in the West this season.

Can the Lakers Still Contend?

The buzz around the NBA community all off-season was that Kobe Bryant has been voraciously preparing for this season because everyone has been saying that he had lost a step.  In his last press conference at the end of last season he told everyone how excited he was to start preparing so that he could prove he was still the best.

I’m not going to pretend like I don’t love stuff like this.  Kobe is one of the ten best players of all-time and seeing a guy like that perform in ways that no one else can is unbelievably enjoyable to watch and talk about.  You don’t have to like him.  I’ve never been a big fan of Kobe and the way that he handles himself, but as a sports fan, I love the fact that he is willing to offer up his firstborn child to win a championship.  That’s why we loved watching Jordan and Bird, and that’s why we love watching Tom Brady and Tiger Woods.  It doesn’t matter if you like them or love them, we will be forever interested in seeing what they do in that big moment because we know that they just might do something that we’ve never seen before.

That’s why seeing the Lakers (and David Stern) completely screw up this off-season has been so depressing.  Although I believe Kobe has actually lost a step, I still think he’s capable of being the alpha dog on a championship team, and I desperately want to see him try to take on Lebron and Wade in a seven game series.  Here’s what we clearly know: With the current makeup of this Lakers roster, they are going to be worse than they were last year.  There’s no way around it.  They obviously were getting older and slower, and the Mavs absolutely exposed them for what they were last year in the playoffs.  Well, the Lakers traded their third best player (Odom) to the team that rolled them in the playoffs and replaced him with….ummm….Josh McRoberts and Troy Murphy (yikes).

If Kobe was playing for the Toronto Raptors right now (Current Starting 5 – Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, James Johnson, Amir Johnson, Andrea Bargnani – check out the bench if you want to continue laughing… http://espn.go.com/nba/team/depth/_/name/tor/toronto-raptors) he’d still figure out a way to get that team into the playoffs.  Because of the state of the Lakers right now, maybe we’re in for another “screw this, I’m going to drop 50 every night” kind of a season from Kobe, which may be even more entertaining.  Having said that, unless the Lakers figure out a way to get Dwight Howard on the roster (seriously, give up Gasol and Bynum…you’ll immediately be better and be a title contender in 2012-2013…think how good Lebron, Bosh, and Wade were with a team full of “dudes”…the same thing would happen in LA with Kobe and Howard) they are a middle of the pack playoff team in the West.  OKC, Dallas, and the Clips are all going to be better, and the Trail Blazers, Spurs, and Nuggets are going to be competitive.  On the bright side, maybe we get to see Kobe drop 81 again….

Image: http://freddyo.com/kobe-bryant-slapped-with-100k-fine-for-homophobic-remarks/black-entertainment-television/attachment/kobe-bryant/