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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Maybe LeBron James was Right about Winning "Not One" Championship

"I feel sorry for whoever gotta guard both of us."--Dwyane Wade, July 9, 2010 interview during the Miami Heat's preseason coronation

"We're going to challenge each other in practice. And the way we're going to challenge each other to get better in practice, once the game starts, I mean, it's going to be easy. I mean, with me and Dwyane Wade running a wing, Pat could come back and play like he was back in his Kentucky days. Just throw it up there, we're going to get it."--LeBron James, July 9, 2010 interview during the Miami Heat's preseason coronation

"Not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven."--LeBron James, July 9, 2010 interview during the Miami Heat's preseason coronation

Unless LeBron James is planning on playing in the NBA until he is 50--and somehow convincing Commissioner David Stern to allow him to team up with the other four members of the All-NBA First Team--it does not seem likely that he will fulfill his pledge to win more than seven NBA championships. Boston's aging, infirm Big Three (plus young Rajon Rondo) defeated James' Miami Heat 94-90 in Miami in game five of the Eastern Conference Finals to take a 3-2 series lead. We keep hearing that the Celtics are about to break up their Big Three but, ironically, James' Heat may be one loss away from seeing their Big Three broken up; the Heat were considered in many circles to be overwhelming favorites to win the East--if not the NBA title--as one potential rival after another (including Chicago and Orlando) fell by the wayside due to injuries but now they have to win two games in a row to stave off elimination. If the Heat fail to make it to the NBA Finals, team President Pat Riley will justifiably have to wonder if it makes sense under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement to pay max dollars to LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

In Greek mythology it is called hubris: an overbearing pride or presumptuousness that precedes dramatic failure. In the NBA, it is called the Miami Heat--specifically, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Winning a championship in any sport at any level is never easy--and winning a championship at the highest level of a sport is particularly challenging. That is why Andrew Bynum sounded like such an idiot early this postseason when he declared that closeout games are "easy"; Shaquille O'Neal got it right on TNT recently when he said that closeout games are the toughest games. Bynum should know better but maybe it is easy for him to talk out of the side of his neck because his primary role during the Lakers' 2009 and 2010 championship runs was to put up Luc Longley numbers before sitting on the bench in the fourth quarter and watching Kobe Bryant go to work.

Wade should know better as well; even if he got things twisted in his mind during the 2006 NBA Finals when he faced single coverage while the Dallas Mavericks focused their defensive attention on Shaquille O'Neal, the ensuing four year postseason drought should have reminded Wade how challenging the championship chase really is: after Miami's 2006 championship season, Wade did not win another playoff series until he, James and Bosh teamed up last year. James and Wade talk and act like all they have to do is just stroll into any NBA arena and the players on the other team will bow down to them; that approach may work to some degree against inferior teams during the regular season but--as Magic Johnson has repeatedly noted--the Heat lack toughness and mental fortitude: when the going gets tough, James, Wade and company don't dig down deeper and fight harder. They just seem to lack the indefinable but essential character traits of champions--but James and Wade lack more than just those intangibles: they also appear to be incapable of executing a half court offensive set against elite defensive pressure, instead running what I call a "clown car" offense because it is about as organized and efficient as clowns piling out of a car at a circus. It is easy to blame Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra but James is the best player in the NBA and Wade is supposedly a top five player--yet James and Wade are repeatedly stymied when the opposing team uses a basic zone and challenges James and Wade to move without the ball and/or consistently make an outside shot. I seriously doubt that Coach Spoelstra is drawing up sets that involve no ball movement and that station James in the corner as a passive bystander; the Heat's problem is that James and Wade are so used to just overwhelming opponents with their athleticism that James and Wade do not consistently have a good counter to opponents who get back on defense, stay in front of them and are not intimidated.

Yes, I predicted that the Heat would beat the Celtics--and it is still possible that the Heat will win the series--but I also said that the Celtics could emerge victorious if Rajon Rondo is the best player on the court for an extended period of time, if the Celtics execute the correct anti-Heat game plan (limiting Miami's paint points and free throws through good shot selection, a low turnover rate and excellent transition defense) and if LeBron James quits. So far, Rondo has performed magnificently and the Celtics have executed their game plan reasonably well. It would not be fair or accurate to say that James has quit but, despite his gaudy statistics, James has not made an imprint down the stretch in the past three games as the Celtics grabbed control of the series. All of the overheated nonsense about clutch shots is irrelevant; what LeBron James should be doing is what Kobe Bryant did during the 2009 and 2010 postseasons and what Dirk Nowitzki did during the 2011 playoffs: controlling games down the stretch, a quality that may not be definable by a specific score/time remaining parameter but that is more significant than just making clutch shots.

When James played in Cleveland, he had the support of a fan base that enthusiastically cheered for him, unlike the late arriving Miami fans who sit on their hands for most of the game. If James had been willing to commit to the Cavaliers the way that Kevin Durant committed to Oklahoma City and the way that Derrick Rose committed to Chicago, the Cavaliers would have been perennial championship contenders (and if James had not quit during the 2010 playoffs then he likely would already have won at least one championship); I said it right after James left Cleveland and I'll say it again now: while it is possible that James will win a championship in Miami, it is also possible that after James retires we will look back on his career and say that the best all-around teams he played for were the 2007-2010 Cavaliers. James handpicked his destination and his teammates in the summer of 2010 yet all we keep hearing is how he supposedly does not have enough help. Whose fault is that? James could have stayed in Cleveland, played for a team that annually won well over 60 games and then recruited any number of players to bolster the roster--and he could have played for Mike Brown, a defensive-minded coach who took the depleted Lakers to the second round this season, matching what Phil Jackson did in a regular length season with a deeper roster.

If the Celtics defeat the Heat in this series, the media spin will focus more on "Heat lose" than "Celtics win" so it is important to give full credit to Doc Rivers--the brilliant Boston Coach who was repeatedly and foolishly criticized for years by supposed basketball expert Bill Simmons--and Boston's players, particularly Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. As ESPN's Jeff Van Gundy mentioned during the game five telecast, Boston's star players mesh together well because their strengths and weaknesses are complementary. This is a marked contrast with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who arguably are the three most talented individual players in this series (when Bosh is fully healthy) but whose skill sets are not complementary: James and Wade are primarily isolation players, which relegates Bosh to a glorified Horace Grant role on the weak side despite his abundant skills as both a post player and a face up player. Even though James and Wade have yet to figure out how to fully utilize Bosh's skills, it is striking that the Heat's record is much better with Bosh (in both the regular season and the playoffs) than without him. While the Heat run the "clown car" offense and often loaf back on defense--a point that Van Gundy repeatedly emphasized during game five--the Celtics space the floor and maximize each player's talents on offense while also playing rugged, tenacious defense.

The Celtics are gritty and mentally tough; the Heat are, as Joakim Noah so memorably and aptly put it, "Hollywood as hell"--a team that values style over substance, a team that takes its cue from superstars who had a coronation party before they had even played a single game together and who used that occasion to brag about how the whole basketball world would have to bow down before them. What do you think Rivers, Garnett, Rondo, Pierce and Allen thought of that spectacle? I guarantee you that they were not impressed or intimidated by it.

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posted by David Friedman @ 4:54 AM



At Wednesday, June 06, 2012 10:59:00 AM, Anonymous yogi said...

"In Greek mythology it is called hubris: an overbearing pride or presumptuousness that precedes dramatic failure. In the NBA, it is called the Miami Heat--specifically, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade"

That is so cooold....

At Wednesday, June 06, 2012 1:28:00 PM, Anonymous boyer said...

Spoelstra is really getting ripped. Everyone's on him. I think the main thing in this series that you pointed out is the ability to grind it out, which james and wade just don't seem to be able to do consistently or are willing to do consistently. Pierce's performance reminded of some of Kobe's performances. Continually playing hard and contributing in many different areas, and not shying away from the big moment, even during a bad shooting game.

The c's have no business winning this series, especially with bradley out, they're only 7, maybe 8 deep, if that. And 3 of their big 4 are old players. But, they won't go away and will play hard til the end. And bass's shooting seems pretty awful this series. He's usually money from midrange, but isn't making many right now.

And this is one of my main complaints on james. Sure, he's been the best player in the series, but he just doesn't seem to be consistently willing to do the little things, which are often the difference in a series, to propel his team to a win. And where was he late in last night's game? He did make that long 3, but that was about it, and again he was wide open. Even though it was a defensive breakdown, I rarely ever see Kobe wide open like that. His defender, if not 2-3 defenders, are nearly always glued to him at all times.

At Wednesday, June 06, 2012 2:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy, talk about a stats system killer, as well, because that's what game 5 was. Rondo, 3-11 shooting with 5 turnovers. Pierce, 6-19. Ray Allen, 2-9. Compare the collective stats and I am pretty sure that the Heat had better numbers (PER-wise, etc.) than most of the Celtic players with the exception of KG. And yet, at no point did I feel like Boston was being dominated. They never paniced, never pointed fingers, and never gave up their game plan. They just worked harder.

As is mentioned in this article, the Celtics mental toughness level just seems so much higher than that of Miami. All season long, whenever my friends and me watch Miami, we always say if the other team just sticks with them and stays close to the end, the Heat will usually be the ones that blink at the end of a close game. Add that to the fact that Boston has the discipline and mental fortitude to ride out the Heat runs and stick with their game plan without panicing as well as turning 50-50 balls into seemingly 90-10 balls in their favor and you have a recipe for disaster when the Heat can't put away Boston for good.

Like you, I expected the Heat to win this series unless Boston was able to dig deep and hang tight with them. Unfortunately for the Heat, that is exactly what is happening.

Thanks for another good read, as usual.


At Wednesday, June 06, 2012 3:54:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


The Celtics have the right game plan and they have proven--thus far--that they are physically capable of executing that game plan despite their age and injuries.

Despite his gaudy stats, LeBron James has yet to reach Kobe Bryant's level in terms of understanding how to carry a team in championship level competition. James has been the best regular season player in the NBA for the past four seasons but the postseason represents a different level of the game that he has yet to completely master.

At Wednesday, June 06, 2012 3:56:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


The "stat gurus" have been completely wrong about James and the Heat and if the Heat lose this series they will have to scramble to explain what happened. "Stat gurus" say that coaching does not matter, so they cannot blame Spoelstra.

At Wednesday, June 06, 2012 7:34:00 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

I re-watched the fourth quarter of last night’s game to see if Erik Spoelstra really is at fault behind a lack of movement in the Heat offense. I read an article in Sporting News that cited that Spoelstra has an excellent mark when calling plays out of timeouts—he ranks third in the league, his team getting .930 points per possession on plays out of timeouts. Even from Tuesday night’s game, this was apparent.

Coming back in the fourth quarter, down five, the Heat got Lebron the ball at the high post and brought Wade off of a James Jones screen in the corner. Wade curled around the screen and got the ball as he was diving towards the hoop—fully maximizing his ability to finish. Wade scored easily off a wicked euro-step that shook Rondo.

After Chalmers got hit with his technical foul with 2:54 to go in the game, an official timeout was called. With the score 82-80, the Heat came out and ran an obvious set play that got Lebron the basketball in the post. He faced up and opted to drive to the hoop. Drawing three defenders, James kicked the ball out to Battier, who reversed it to a wide open Mario Chalmers. Splash.

In the game’s final seconds, coming out of a Miami timeout down four, Spoelstra ran a great misdirection play that got James a “quick two” layup with nine seconds left.

Other than the fact that most of the Heat’s successful offensive sets in the fourth quarter came directly after timeouts, what makes these plays work is that Lebron is attacking. He is aggressive. He’s making these plays.

During the last five minutes, Spoelstra ran four plays that looked to get James the ball in his optimal spots on the floor. Twice isolated at the right wing with the floor spread. Isolated in the post with three point shooters around him. Isolated at the elbow.

He managed to pass the ball (in some cases almost immediately after touching it) away from him and then went and stood in the corner. In fact, he did plenty of standing around. One glaring example, we got to see in super-slow motion when they reviewed the tipped ball from Haslem. Lebron is just watching underneath the basket as Haslem and Battier are battling for the rebound.

At Wednesday, June 06, 2012 7:34:00 PM, Blogger Jordan said...


Another crucial moment of standing around? After Wade made an amazing and unlikely layup over three Boston defenders, Lebron backpedaled down court as Rondo zoomed up and delivered a pass to Paul Pierce. Lebron stayed out near the three point line (to guard Rondo?) and watched as Pierce drove the hoop and got fouled.

One other example is when Pierce made a terrible pass that was tipped. The ball got loose and the 36-year-old Ray Allen was met on the floor by the 36-year-old Kevin Garnett as they battled to get the ball. The 27-year-old Lebron stood behind them and watched as his 31-year-old teammate Haslem dove on the floor.

You can’t blame the coach for a lack of testicular fortitude. For a lack of heart or a lack of desire.

And as for those people clamoring for the Heat to run pick-and-roll with James and Wade—a la Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant—there's a reason they don't do this. It's because neither of them are good at it. It is painfully obvious that Lebron and Wade just can’t pick and roll together.

As a defender, you really have no hope of stopping either one of them, but the scouting report tells you to sag off and let them shoot the jumper. Both are very streaky when it comes to 15 feet and out. Without that jumper threat in the P&R, defenses (especially disciplined defenses) sag back and clog the lane. Neither Wade nor Lebron can consistently hit that shot.

Also, Wade doesn’t seem to understand that he needs to wait for the pick to come. He goes while the picker is still in motion or goes the opposite way or passes out before the pick is even there. He did all of these to Lebron on at least three different occasions as well as to Haslem (all during the final frame).

P&R is like dancing. There's rhythm, timing, and patience. It's an art. Lebron runs around wildly when setting picks, picks that Wade doesn't use correctly. Wade goes when he should wait, and waits when he should go. It's ugly. And yet, P&R is basketball 101...

When things get tight, Wade forces his way to the hoop (how he earned his MJ comparisons during the 2006 Finals). While he has found success when the whistles are chirping in his favor, these wild forays to the basket often result in turnovers or bad shots if he doesn’t get to the line. He usually compounds this by complaining to the refs and not getting back on defense. Allen got a wide open three (that he missed) after Wade turned the ball over and complained about it instead of hustling back on defense.

When things get tight, Lebron James loses confidence. He got tight Tuesday. Just like against Boston two years ago and Dallas last year. While he made a couple of big shots early in the fourth, the difference between his play in the first half, and his play in the last five minutes was night and day.

At Wednesday, June 06, 2012 9:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

poeple waver so fast i never waver. i believe heat will win game six. stop trapping rondo defense make older celts beat u one on one which they cant do. i dont jump on bandwagon i believe lebron wil win multiple title and i believe this year is one of them. i think he gon put up a great game in 6 and 7 and they gon win series i believe david. they getting out coach in the sense of spoletra need to tell them to go to post more. or spoelstra need to yell at them when they dont get back.

u are tottaly right about lebron and wade ft and jumpshot and inconsistent moving without the ball. he need to hit up mj or isiah on working up that j in offseason. i believe that celts are out hustling them right now. i think all the critcim wade delivering is great for him and will motivate him. lebron played great for most part. they need some of the others playing better. three or four of those plays celts got were just hustle plays. i think heat will play better and suprise people like game 4 in indiana. i think like myself they were overconfident they woke up now. i see them winning i believe in lebron james.

i also think they will bring big 3 back for one more year. and spo back again

At Wednesday, June 06, 2012 10:58:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


I agree with your analysis and I have in fact written many of the same things about James, Wade and Spoelstra. Your observations about Spoelstra's play calling after timeouts, James' passivity at both ends of the court and Wade's slashing that either leads to free throws or turnovers (depending on who is officiating) are particularly on point.

Quite possibly the last thing that the world needs--or at least the basketball world--is Jon Barry and Mike Wilbon critiquing Spoelstra's coaching acumen; Barry and Wilbon could not coach their way out of a paper bag with a machete and a blowtorch. Barry should stick to making jokes and Wilbon should stick to writing general sports columns (which he actually is quite good at).

At Wednesday, June 06, 2012 11:05:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Have you ever heard "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds"? Yes, you have consistently said that LeBron James will win multiple titles--and you have consistently been wrong. It is possible that Miami will win the next two games but I would not bet on it.

Do you really think that Spoelstra is not telling them to get back on defense? James has a nasty habit of tuning out his coaches when they say things that he does not want to hear, like "Get back on defense," "Get in the post" or "Stop standing in the corner like a 6-8, 270 Steve Kerr." The Cavs tried for years to convince James to play in the post and he would not do it. This season he finally started doing it but as the competition has gotten tougher he has started drifting away from the hoop again.

James has tremendous talent but he just seems to be missing something that the "midsize" (6-6 to 6-9) players who won multiple championships--Dr. J, Magic, Bird, Jordan, Kobe--all possessed: the will to dominate games down the stretch against tough competition.

At Thursday, June 07, 2012 12:05:00 AM, Anonymous Gil Meriken said...

Can we starting ripping Tim Duncan now for losing with this Spurs team? Unlikely it will happen. It seems the media treat Mr. Duncan with kid gloves because of his geniality.

What is it with these guys who have great regular season teams but can't close the deal in the playoffs?

At Thursday, June 07, 2012 4:59:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


I'm not sure if you are being serious or if you are being sarcastic, but Duncan has not made the All-NBA Team since 2010 and did not make the All-Star team this season; the team's offense revolves around Tony Parker, who finished fifth in the 2012 regular season MVP voting. If any one player should be "blamed" for the Spurs not winning the title that player would be Parker--but the reality is that the two best teams in the NBA faced each other in the Western Conference Finals and only one team could advance.

At Thursday, June 07, 2012 12:38:00 PM, Anonymous KenOak said...

Hey David,
Gil was being sarcastic, I'm sure! I posed the same question the other night because if Kobe was on a team that was/is as good as the Spurs have been, then everyone would have been asking that question.

"Does Kobe's legacy take a hit because he couldn't take this team further?"

Best record in the league. Cruising in the playoffs and then....flop. Yeah those questions would have been asked about Kobe by the same people who claim Duncan is greater than he is. Kobe, love him or hate him, is probably the most polarizing player in NBA history which is pretty damn crazy because he patterned his game after the most universally loved player in history- Michael Jordan.

Great write-up, by the way! I completely agree with you that LBJ and Wade do not have complementary games and most likely will not win a championship together.

At Thursday, June 07, 2012 1:07:00 PM, Anonymous boyer said...

I don't necessarily agree with Gil, but he has a point, though Parker has been the best spur the past 2 years. Duncan won't get ripped much by the media, which almost any other great player would. However, I think Duncan would get substantial credit if the spurs would've went on to win the title, and his legacy would've been enhanced greatly, despite not even being an AS performer this year, and not the best player on his team this year.

The spurs seem to be similar to the bulls the past few years. Very deep teams with 3-4 solid players each, but while the bulls had rose, parker was a top 10 or near top 10 player this year, but you need that one true elite player to bring home the title as nba history has shown us, except in rare cases. The spurs were certainly contenders this year, but not the team to beat. Playoffs are different than the reg. season.

This is weird these last few years. We've had 3 teams that have been the #1 seed in back-to-back seasons, and in each case, these teams have failed to even reach 1 finals combined: 09/10 cavs, 11/12 bulls, 11/12 spurs. I can't remember this happening before, unless it was a long time ago.

The reg. season is clearly important, but obviously it hasn't helped these teams.

At Thursday, June 07, 2012 3:24:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Ken Oak:

Two wrongs don't make a right. Kobe Bryant could enhance his legacy by leading the Lakers to another championship and Tim Duncan could enhance his legacy by contributing to another Spurs championship but neither player's legacy will be diminished if he fails to win another title.

At Thursday, June 07, 2012 3:25:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


The Cavs' 2010 loss is tainted by the fact that LeBron James quit in the pivotal game five versus Boston with the series tied 2-2. That Cavs team was certainly good enough to win the championship and was in position to do so. Dan Gilbert has publicly said that he thinks that James quit versus Orlando in the 2009 playoffs as well, though I think that there is much less evidence to support that allegation (but Gilbert may be privy to information about James' attitude/performance that the public is not).

The Bulls suffered several frontcourt injuries in 2011 and then lost Derrick Rose to an ACL injury in the first playoff game this season. We still don't know what a fully healthy Bulls team would do in the playoffs, so we cannot say that their regular season record was meaningless.

Similarly, the Spurs were not fully healthy in the 2011 playoffs because Ginobili had a broken arm. This year's Spurs lost to a team that may establish the next NBA dynasty; when the Celtics lost to the Lakers (or vice versa) in the 1980s that did not prove that their regular season record was meaningless. When the two top teams in the league play, someone obviously has to lose; that is why even though I picked the Spurs to beat the Thunder I said that I would not be shocked if the Thunder win. Both teams are championship caliber.

At Friday, June 08, 2012 1:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I tild everyone lebron wasn't go. Let team lose. U think he played pretty well david. 40 18 9 pivotal game four confernce semi Down 2-1 now 45 15 5 down three to two conference finals. And this guy has no Heart supposedly. Im crazy for thinking he can win a title or two. He is amazing and he do got heart

At Friday, June 08, 2012 4:39:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


James authored a great performance last night. There is no doubt about that. If he had played that way in 2010 and 2011 he might have two rings now--but he didn't and he still has to lead the Heat to a game seven win against Boston just to have the opportunity to likely lose to OKC in the Finals. Your prediction of multiple rings for James is still a long way from coming true.

At Friday, June 08, 2012 6:37:00 AM, Anonymous Frankfurter said...

"Dan Gilbert has publicly said that he thinks that James quit versus Orlando in the 2009 playoffs as well, though I think that there is much less evidence to support that allegation (but Gilbert may be privy to information about James' attitude/performance that the public is not)."

Dan Gilbert behaved like a petulant, spoiled child when Lebron left so I wouldn't put any stock in _anything_ Dan Gilbert says.

At Friday, June 08, 2012 6:49:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Gilbert was understandably outraged that James quit in the 2010 playoffs, never tried to recruit players to come to Cleveland and then spit in Cleveland's face with that ludicrous hour long "Decision" show. I have no doubt that James quit in 2010--I witnessed it firsthand--but from my vantage point James' effort in 2009 seemed to be appropriate; however, Gilbert may know things about James' behind the scenes attitude/approach that the general public does not. For instance, it took a while for the information to come to light that James was almost left off of Team USA because he had been such a high maintenance diva the first time he was on the squad. If James did not practice hard or lead in the right manner during 2009 then that is tantamount to quitting despite the numbers that he put up.

At Wednesday, June 13, 2012 9:32:00 AM, Blogger Daelix said...

Mr. Friedman, as a staunch hometown Cleveland fan and a growing basketball aficionado, I really enjoy your articles for the great basketball stuff, and the well-reasoned unbiased analysis and fair criticism of our once-favorite native son. Everything out of Cleveland (and many minor sports outlets) is all bile and vitriol when it comes to the Heat; meanwhile, ESPN's apparent romatic arousal towards the Heat, their new major market showtime media darling, is equally disgusting. It's gone to the point where they've written subjective negativity about Cleveland in general in actual sports articles on ESPN, as if to say, "See? That guy SHOULD have left -THAT- place."

So it's good to have a refreshing point of view. LeBron's flaws infuriated me when he was here, even as he lifted us all to heights of electric sports fan euphoria not experienced since the Indians of the 90s and 2007 flirted with legend. I find it morbidly fascinating to watch the Heat devolve into a less complete, less rounded Cavs 2.0, and the satisfaction of seeing LeBron lose so his supporters can't unfairly justify loudly and obnoxiously his undignified exit from Cleveland, is tempered by a desire to see him 'get it' and change his attitude, his gameplay, his persona, and win - validating the fact that it wasn't solely the fault of Cleveland, of the Cavs' ownership, for the inability to win a title in those years. So it's good to have a rare good source of plain truth about the reality of the Miami Heat and the greatest athlete (thought perhaps not greatest player) in the NBA today.

At Thursday, June 14, 2012 12:56:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Thank you for your heartfelt comment. I take very seriously the challenge of providing objective commentary that is fair, logical and in depth, a combination of traits that I think is rare at both the national and local levels.


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