Why Kareem Abdul-Jabbar DESERVED a Statue Long Ago

The sports world was set abuzz yesterday when Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stated his displeasure with the Los Angeles Lakers franchises over what he perceived to be a lack of affection in his post-NBA career days. While Kareem  has his own set of gripes with the Los Angeles Lakers, I have a few points of interest i’d like to make. Also while discussing this particular case, I want to speak on the issue of recognizing former players in a timely fashion.

1.) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s ALL-TIME leading scorer.

At 38,387 points, he’s over 2,000 points ahead of number 2 scorer, Karl Malone. He’s also 10,000 points ahead of another former laker Shaquille O’Neal, who is the highest active scorer on the list. Kobe Bryant is 11,000 points behind Abdul-Jabbar. So we can safely say that that record is safe for the foreseeable future.

#2 Kareem is a six-time NBA MVP.

Yes, he has the most Most Valuable Player Awards. One more than Jordan and Bill Russell, and I doubt any current player will have multiple reigns as MVP. Four of these awards were won while donning the purple and gold. The league has new stars every year, last year it was the rise of Kevin Durant, this year it was Derrick Rose, who brought home the MVP award. I think we can saw this is pretty safe for a while too.

#3 Kareem’s career ended over two decades ago.

I doubt the Los Angeles Lakers will make Kobe Bryant wait nearly two decades to honor him with a statue. Kareem and Magic were the predecessors to Kobe and Shaq. Kareem and Magic won five Championships together, Kobe and Shaq won 3 together, and in those championships, both members of the runs carried their weight to produce championships for the Buss family.

Now, onto the bigger issue. Sports teams seem to take former stars for granted far too often. For a team as rich with history like the Celtics and Lakers, I can’t believe that honor to the giants who built or helped to build the brand to the heights they are currently at, decades to honor them. Bill Russell is being honored FORTY years after his playing career was over. Russell helped and was the key to ELEVEN championships. The Celtics franchise has 17. Enough Said.

When Michael Jordan retired from the Chicago Bulls after the first three-peat IMMEDIATELY they erected a monument outside of the United Center for “Hir Airness” and retired the number 23. Why is it that NBA teams choose to wait some absurd amount of time to honor  the truly great players for their contributions to that city. NOt every good player deserves that honor, but those among the greatest in NBA History: Jordan, Russell, Kareem, Magic, Bird, Chamberlain, and West; its almost MANDATORY. Lets learn to appreciate those we “love” when they can appreciate it back.

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Young Sixers Show Promise

This year for the Philadelphia 76ers has been a roller coaster of sorts.

After starting the year 3-13, the Sixers finished the season 38-28, landing at 41-41 a .500 record. After taking Ohio State swingman Evan Turner number two overall in last years draft, Turner’s minutes and production was typical of a rookie finding his footing in the league, inconsistent. Second year point guard Jrue Holiday made strides similar to his improving play last year. New head coach, and former Sixer, Doug Collins preached effort and hope.

The roller coaster ended last night as the Miami Heat and their “Big Three” disposed of the Sixers in their first round series. Looking at the surface a 4-1 series win seems pretty dominant. That was not the case. The Sixers collective effort kept them in 4 of the five games. Looking at the rosters, the Heat should have steamrolled the young, inexperienced team.

The Sixers have seemed to take on the Philadelphia tough-guy mantra. Much in the vein of fictional boxer Rocky Balboa, these Sixers are easy to count out or overlook, but they pack a pretty solid punch. Starting small forward Andre Igoudala played through a knee injury while holding the defensive assignment of either LeBron James or Dwyane Wade, two of the top 3 players in the NBA.

But the Sixers have reason to take encouragement from this season:

Evan Turner played big in the game 4 win, scoring 17 points and standing his ground against James when assigned to the superstar.

Holiday showing signs of a breakthrough

Jrue Holiday showed major poise. The 20 year-old Holiday, doesn’t have much post-season experience. This was his first NBA playoff experience and during his lone season at UCLA he was a reserve behind Pacers point guard Darren Collison. Holiday  averaged 14 points, 5.6 assists and only 2.2 turnovers per game, this against a defense that boasts both James and Wade and was a top 10 defense during the regular season.

Ultimately, the Miami Heat had an advantage in the series with the Sixers, but the fight shown by the young and promisiing Sixers is a point that shouldn’t be lost on viewers and importantly Sixer fans.

On the surface, this looks like another mediocre season produced by the Sixers who haven’t been to the NBA finals since the 2000-2001 season lead by NBA MVP Allen Iverson, but there is a big difference.

This team is young, talented and hungry. Seeing themselves matched up with the Heat should drive these players to improve. The potential is there, now its time for the Sixers to show the fans that they are ready to make that next step.

NBA Trade Deadline Winners and Losers

This years NBA Trade Deadline left a lot of us on the edge of our seats, and brought superstars to new cities. Some we expected others, we never saw coming.

Here’s my breakdown of the deadline winners and losers:

WINNERS

Oklahoma City Thunder

By grabbing centers Kendrick Perkins and Nazr Mohammed, they strengthened their interior defense without losing Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison their best in-house paint defenders. Losing Jeff Green should be offset with increased offensive production from James Harden, if not from him, Westbrook and Durant can make up the difference. New addition Nate Robinson should be another spark off of the bench.

New York Knicks

They thrust themselves into the Eastern Conference Playoff Picture, though they don’t have much depth, in the NBA, stars win games. Picking up Chauncey Billups was underrated, he lends the playoff experience/success/leadership that ‘Melo and Stat will need. They kept nice pieces in Landry Fields and defensive specialist Ronny Turiaf.

New Jersey Nets

This move has to be part of a bigger rebuilding effort, I list them as “winners” because they added the arguably the best point guard in the game to their roster. They only lost a second tier point guard and a rookie big man. A Relatively small cost for a superstar.

LOSERS

Boston Celtics

Forsaking the depth of a gigantic frontline is a blow. Perkins was their best defender and gave Dwight Howard fits the last three years. Perkins’ value was underestimated. Besides, why break up a starting five that has reached the NBA Finals two of the last three years? Jeff Green gives them youth, but I don’t see the point in losing the backbone of your defense.

Other Moves to Watch

Gerald Wallace to Portland TrailBlazers

Troy Murphy to Golden State Warriors

The Nuggets haul of young talent from New York (Gallinari, Felton, Chandler and future 1st round Pick from New York)

Lecrae: Rehab/Rehab Overdose Playlist

Christian Rapper Lecrae has seen an enormous amount of success and recognition over the past six months with his Grammy nominated album “Rehab” and its follow-up “Rehab: The Overdose”.

The theme of the two projects are indentical, and many of the songs from Overdose could fit into the frame work of Rehab. So I decided to make a playlist of the songs from the two albums and link the songs together to make a 28 song album. Check out my playlist and let me know your thoughts on song placement. Feel free to share your own versions as well.

1. Check In

2. Blow Your High (Feat. Canon)

3. Anger Management (Feat. Thisl)

4. Used To Do It Too (Feat. KB)

5. Killa

6. Strung Out

7. Divine Intervention (Feat. J.R.)

8. Just Like You (Feat J.Paul)

9. Chase That Intro

10. Chase That (Ambition)

11. Gotta Know (Feat. Benjah)

12. The Good Life (Feat. J. Paul)

13. Children of the Light (Feat. Sonny Sandoval & Dillavou)

14. Overdose 15. High (Feat. Sho Baraka & Suzy Rock)

16. New Shalom (Feat. PRo)

17. Battle Song (Feat. Suzy Rock)

18. 40 Deep (Feat. Tedashii & Trip Lee)

19. Walking On Water

20. God Is Enough (Feat. FLAME & Jai)

21. More

22. Boasting (Feat. Anthony Evans)

23. Background (Feat. C-Lite)

24. New Reality (Feat. Chinua Hawk)

25. Release Date (Feat. Chris Lee)

26. Going In (Feat. Swoope)

27. Like That

28. I Love You (Feat. Chris Lee)

Here’s a video of ‘Crae performing “Just Like You” at a Grammy showcase.

Caution!

When we think of people, does Philippians 2 ring true for us?

Philippians 2:1-4 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

This is a scripture that has been central to many of my thoughts this week.

When we get on Twitter, we have a lot of room and area to commentate on many things, but before we hit send, do we consider the people we talk about, whether they are public figures or not, our words many cause others to take drastic action.

Do we pray about our views before we post them?

In particular, an older interview I saw with John MacArthur came to mind. In the interview, MacArthur commented on Houston pastor Joel Osteen, calling him “the mouth piece of Satan. You don’t have to agree on the beliefs he has on scripture, but to publicly call a man a conduit of Satan is drastic and hurtful.

That made me think, I can’t recall any scripture in which believers called people heretics. Peter and Paul had a public disagreement, but neither called each other heretics. From what I remember Jesus, didn’t call the Pharisees or Sadducees heretics. Fools yes, heretics no.

Just caution before you say what you feel like saying, it could stunt someone’s growth toward Christ.

“I Used To Be Fat” – A Reflection


If you watch reality shows like Celebrity Fit Club and The Biggest Loser, you are introduced to a cast of people desperate to shed weight, often times in hopes of making oneself more attractive, saving a relationship, or just to avoid the health hazards of obesity. The show brings in a group of experts; doctors, trainers, and nutritionists, to guide the hopefuls during their journey.

As I sat watching MTV’s “I Used To Be Fat”, another show in the vein of “Made”, I realized just how much weight-loss parallels to the life change that a relationship with Christ produces.

The first thing the experts do is inspect the life of the client. They assess eating habits, living conditions, current relationships; anything that connects to the client. During this process the expert outlines the problem areas and instructs the client on how to eliminate the problem areas and why it is important to cut off the bad habits. The expert gives the client a plan.

Throughout the show you see the client begin to adapt to the new regimen, slide back into old habits, rededicate to the program, and more often than not, gain atleast partial progress toward their goal.

The Bible has the “plan” for our lives. Following this plan will bring the believer into spiritual fitness. The Bible convicts us of all sin and unrighteousness, pointing out the “problem areas” and explaining the depths of darkness and pain the effects of sin can cause.

Our lives are the show, and everyone is watching.

When many of us see the fit life that Christ offers, we want it. However, we don’t always calculate what that life will cost us (Luke 14:25-35). Because of that, we head into the pursuit of “fitness”, but when we realize what sacrifices must be made, the cost of following Christ, sometimes we slip back into old, familiar, comfortable habits.

I encourage us all to continue to train ourselves through the word of God (1 Timothy 4:7-8), and continue to press forward (Philippians 3:12-14) despite the old familiar habits that try to lure us back in (Romans 6:12-14, Romans 7:14-25).

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

Colossians 3:5-15 (NLT)
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

1 Peter 4:3-6 (NLT)
You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols. Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. But remember that they will have to face God, who will judge everyone, both the living and the dead. That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead—so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit.