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When Champions Lack Class

Anthony DiMoro

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Every major sports league in the United States has the “poster team”. Some have a few “poster teams” that are held to a high standard, are expected to deliver far more often than every other team and are the teams the league relies on to maintain a certain standard.

Some can argue who exactly those teams in each league are. But the consensus thinking can narrow it down for many. In the MLB it can be argued that the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox are the leagues most popular teams. Each of these two franchises are held to a much higher standard. So much so that the Yankees have a “Yankee Standard” that even restricts hairstyles and clothing.

The NFL is a bit tougher to narrow down due to so much parody. But for many years it was argued that the Dallas Cowboys were “America’s Team”. The only other team in that distinction could be the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The NBA has one team that has that high standard of class, dignity and a rich history of winning. The Los Angeles Lakers.

But as the defending back-to-back champions were losing by more than 30 points (and essentially the series) to the Dallas Mavericks the evidence of a Championship quality quickly fluttered out of the building unceremoniously. Thanks to Andrew Bynum.

As his forearm cracked into the ribs of Dallas’ J.J Barrea and sent him to the floor in a terrifying manner, Bynum proceeded to take off his jersey and leave the court.

But those who have watched Bynum grow into the player he is today at this point in his career can attest, a true “Champion” has not been Bynum’s M.O.

At 7’0 and 285 pounds Bynum has all the hype, all the tools and the physical attributes that can give you the impression he will be a dominant center. For all 6 of his seasons he has also been in a system that is perfect for a big man to excel, the Triangle Offense.

Bynum has never had to carry the load on his own. He has had perhaps one of the greatest players of all time in Kobe Bryant, perennial All-Star Pau Gasol, All-Star Lamar Odom, defensive specialist and All-Star Ron Artest and a Coach with more than 10 championships in his trophy case, Phil Jackson. Bynum has also benefited from Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul Jabbar who has tirelessly worked with Bynum to help him reach his full potential.

But with all of that working in his favor Bynum has not turned into the Power House center he should be. Instead, as evidence once again in the Lakers elimination, he has become a lazy, oft-injured, classless player who reacts more often than not like a tantrum-throwing toddler than a 2 time NBA Champion.

As J.J Barrea hit the floor with a sickening thud I wanted to give Bynum the benefit of the doubt. Although his action was clearly dirty, bush league and unjustifiable I wanted to try categorize this display as a freak occurrence.

But after some research I found numerous incidents that Bynum has used his now famous forearm. And not for delivering a 30 point performance, but for cheaply and dangerously hacking NBA players in childish frustration.

Instead of taking his anger and filtering it as motivation to improve, Bynum uses it to showcase how immature he is and how he may never realize his potential.

At 7 feet tall and primarily a post player there is no excuse NOT to be grabbing 10 boards a game. Bynum has averaged 7.1 over his 6 year career. After posting a career high in points last year with 15.0, Bynum followed it up by dropping to 11.0 points per game this year.

And again, one may assume that Bynum is spending his time working vigorously to improve his now declining game. Instead he is unraveling. Putting other players in harms way and jeopardizing careers.

Take a look at the JJ Barrea cheap shot again:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsMprVOQToM

Very dangerous “hard foul”. And instead of showing ANY concern for Barrea, Bynum showed no remorse. He calmly looked the other way and walked off the court. During his trek to the locker room he took off his shirt in an obvious act of defiance.

So maybe this was a freak thing? Hardly. Take a look back to earlier this season when Bynum did a similar act to Minnesota Timberwolves‘ Michael Beasley:

A violent hit by Bynum who went out of his way to hit Beasley in an aggressive fashion. Bynum aimed to hurt Beasley.

But maybe these 2 occurrences were just “freak”. Hardly, Bynum’s forearm was not as effective in 2009, but had just as much intent. Gerald Wallace can attest to that:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbcjL7AVxMA

Clearly Andrew Bynum has not perfected the “sky hook”. Has not become the dominant interior offensive threat with a arsenal of moves. He isn’t even a potent shot blocker at his size.

Instead Laker fans, you get a 7’0 center who has perfected a vicious forearm cheap shot. A player who can’t improve faster than he declines. A player that puts the dignity and class of the entire Lakers organization at risk. A player who has yet to play a full season. A over grown baby who instead of working hard to improve himself, would rather jeopardize another players career.

Rant about the Los Angeles Lakers in the Lakers Forum

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media. Anthony DiMoro is a Contributor for 'Forbes' where he talks Sports, SEO, Social Media and Internet Marketing. Anthony also hosts the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast' and is a Contributor to the Huffington Post where he covers sports

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    Deanna Ferris

    May 11, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    The worst part about that Bynum hit was what he said about it afterwards. I understand the frustration and all but seriously he could have really hurt JJ and hurt the Dallas team in future games in this playoff series. It is shameful. He said something like I was sick of the smallest guy running all over the court so “I fouled him” FOULED??? More like laid him out for NO reason!

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Knicks’ Owner James Dolan Bans Heckling Fan

Anthony DiMoro

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New York Knicks owner James Dolan apparently has some thin skin when it comes to heckling over his horrendous run at the top of the Knicks empire.

According to TMZ, Dolan was heckled by a fan during the closing minutes of Saturday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings in which the fan told a departing Dolan to “sell the team.”

That didn’t sit well with Dolan, who called the mad rude and abruptly banned him from attending anymore Knicks games and followed it up by having the man escorted out of the building by security.

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NBA Announces Partnership with Puma

Anthony DiMoro

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The National Basketball Association has officially announced that they have agreed to a multiyear partnership with Puma, who will now be recognized as an official marketing partner of the NBA, according to an official league statement.

“We are thrilled to partner with the NBA to bring PUMA to the next level in our reentry to the basketball market,” Adam Petrick, Global Director of Brand and Marketing at PUMA, said in a statement. “This partnership is a testament to the continued resurgence of PUMA within the basketball industry.”

Per the new agreement, Puma will not be allowed to feature athletes in their respective NBA uniforms and team logos has the brand looks to regain it’s once prominent presence in the NBA.

“PUMA played an important part in the early footwear culture of the NBA,” Dan Rossomondo, NBA Senior Vice President, Media and Business Development, stated.

“As PUMA expands its presence in the basketball market with new player relationships and a new line of basketball sneakers, becoming an official footwear partner of the league was a natural next step to help amplify the brand’s return to the category.”

The NBA has been busy with partnerships as of late. Just last week we reported on their new deal for the NBA G League and Twitch, where Twitch streams will now broadcast NBA G League gameplay, and Twitch streamers will be allowed to participate, via a unique partnership with them.

 

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NBA G League Back on Twitch

Anthony DiMoro

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If you’re looking for more reasons to check out one of the endless amount of Twitch streams, look no further as the NBA G League is bringing real-life, live, professional basketball back to Twitch.

The NBAGLeague’s official channel on Twitch, stated the following about their renewed partnership with the popular streaming platform:

“Thanks to a new partnership, you can now watch and co-stream any NBA G League game that is streamed on Twitch on your very own Twitch channel! So bring your hot takes, play-by-play, stat breakdowns, and fan rants because it’s your chance to put your unique spin on the broadcasts”

The news means even more attention will be put on the Twitch marketplace, and one would assume that there may be interest in the future in leveraging Mixer streams as well, if there isn’t already talk of that occurring.

The focus on co-streaming is particularly interesting as it brings a new level of interaction to NBA G League action, and a way for fans, and other Twitch streamers, to get in on the action like never before via a new co-streaming element.

Per an official press release: “Co-streaming is a feature unique to Twitch which allows a streamer to share another channel’s video feed, but with their own commentary and community. The result is a more personalized social experience. If you’re a streamer and want to give co-streaming a try, you can find a commentary-free broadcast to use on your co-stream”

This could be, potentially, a big tool for Twitch streams featuring NBA G League content to get incredible exposure, and a way for the NBA to market G League action on other Twitch channels, and via other niches, such as IRL streams.

Furthermore, it presents a great opportunity to shine the spotlight on female streamers who have a passion for broadcasting, or sports commentary.

On the surface, it seems like a win win for all involved.

Everything kicked off, officially, on February 8th, but here is the remaining schedule of games.:

UPCOMING TWITCH SCHEDULE (ALL TIMES ET)

Saturday, Feb. 9 — 8:30 PM — Memphis Hustle vs. Texas Legends
Friday, Feb. 22 — 8 PM — Agua Caliente Clippers vs. Wisconsin Herd
Saturday, Feb. 23 — 8:30 PM — Iowa Wolves vs. Texas Legends
Friday, March 1 — 8 PM — Fort Wayne Mad Ants vs. Wisconsin Herd
Saturday, March 2 — 2 PM — Capital City Go-Go vs. Raptors 905
Friday, March 8 — 8:30 PM — Raptors 905 vs. Austin Spurs
Saturday, March 9 — 7 PM — Windy City Bulls vs. Greensboro Swarm
Friday, March 15 — 8:30 PM — Agua Caliente Clippers vs. Texas Legends
Saturday, March 16 — 7 PM — Erie BayHawks vs. Canton Charge
Friday, March 22— 10 PM — Agua Caliente Clippers vs. Santa Cruz Warriors
Saturday, March 23 — 10 PM — Agua Caliente Clippers vs. Santa Cruz Warriors

Viewers can watch the original broadcast at on the NBA G League’s official Twitch channel, or they can choose to watch Twitch Partners and Affiliates who are planning on co-streaming the NBA G League this year.

 

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