In The Land Of Milk And Honey !

In The Land Of Milk And Honey !

By tophatal ………

With a mere three weeks left before the culmination of the NBA regular season it is interesting to see the many situations being faced by a number of teams jostling for position in terms of a playoff berth and those simply on the outside looking in . Perhaps no one team amongst the so-called contenders best represents a franchise in disarray than the Orlando Magic . In what appears to an ever heated relationship between All Star center Dwight Howard and head coach Stan Van Gundy , have the two seemingly at odds over allegations that the player tried to have the coach fired . Howard , it has been reported appealed to Alec Martins , COO of the Orlando Magic . Though the front office and General Manager Otis Smith have quickly put to rest the allegations it would appear that this has drawn the ire of Stan Van Gundy . What might be even more asinine is the very fact that the head coach earlier this month stated that he wasn’t concerned about being fired . Well that no longer appears to be the case with this latest “blow up” within the organization .

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Slide show for your perusal .

In the aftermath of this whole debacle was the very fact that in the Magic’s last game immediately after these events was the team’s anemic display against conference rivals the New York Knicks in a sixteen point loss (96-80) . Such was the ineptitude shown by players during that game played at the Amway Center in-front of their home crowd that it prove to be an absolute embarrassment for Van Gundy , his coaching staff as well as the players who seemed to be willing participants in this “comedy of errors ” . .

Dwight Howard for his part has denied any culpability in any of the claims now being made by the Orlando Magic head coach. It begs the question once the off-season comes around will there be room for either the Stan Van Gundy or his All Star center ? The players now hold all of the power within the NBA over the head coaches but there is the exception to the rule in such a case , where that coach has some semblance of success . As now you can count those currently coaching who have won an NBA title on one hand . It all comes down to the lack of respect by the player for that coach . Does anyone now question that premise as it relates to Dwight Howard and his relationship with Stan Van Gundy ?

While I find this to be nothing new I do feel that both parties are to blame in this latest spat of stupidity within Orlando Magic ! Dwight Howard had the chance to leave the organization as a restricted free agent at the trade deadline earlier this season but instead he chose to remain with the franchise . It was widely known that the player was dissatisfied with the play of the team and had sought Van Gundy and Otis Smith’s input in perhaps acquiring a number of free agents to bolster the team’s roster . Instead , no major moves were made by Smith and it would appear that if anything they sought actively to trade the center by gauging the interest of the Los Angeles Lakers and New Jersey Nets . The Nets were willing to part with Brook Lopez as part of a multi-player , multi-team trade but because of an unforeseen injury that placed Lopez in the sidelines for a prolong period , nothing ever came of that scenario. Mitch Kupchak , though not making a public statement had made inquiries as to the availability of Dwight Howard and it would appear that the Lakers’ general manager was quite prepared to trade either Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol as part of any such envisaged deal . The Lakers earlier this season sent ….. Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks and Derek Fisher to the Houston Rockets , only for the latter to have his contract bought out but he would then sign with the Western Conference leading Oklahoma City Thunder , where the point guard has made a determined contribution to the team .

The Los Angeles Lakers recently have had their fair share of woes over the course of their season but much of it has been with regard to the ever-increasing divergence in the relationship between Mike Brown and his center Andrew Bynum . The player was recently fined an undisclosed sum by the head coach for conduct unbecoming and a violation of team rules . Earlier in the season it was felt that Bynum was showing signs of maturity , something that many questioned in the early stages of his professional career. Drafted by the organization in 2005 (10th overall 1st round ) the player has had his fair share of criticism and praise . But with this recent setback , one has to wonder whether or not Bynum can be the face of this franchise as the playing career of Kobe Bryant begins to wind down . If Andrew Bynum is to assume that lofty mantel then the issue now becomes whether or not he’s retained by the franchise or possibly traded . Clearly for the Los Angeles Lakers they would like to see that maturity level come into being and with the center being more focused . In a recent stretch of 8 games in the latter part of March , Bynum was amongst the most productive centers within the NBA .

When you consider the players that have graced the Lakers’ purple and gold , most notably names such as Jerry West , Wilt Chamberlain , James Worthy , Kareem Abdul-Jabbar , Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant , himself . And as we know the Lakers’ franchise much like the Boston Celtics have a very storied history built upon a foundation of greatness and under the custodianship Red Auerbach who gave us a litany of Hall of Famers . It’s almost a certainty that Bryant and O’Neal will be enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in , Indiana .

The Los Angeles Lakers for their part lead the Pacific Division by a mere 2.5 games over the second placed Los Angeles Clippers (32-22) . Mike Brown’s team find themselves in third place within the Western Conference , behind the Oklahoma City Thunder (40-14) and San Antonio Spurs (38-14) . Were the standings to remain as they are presently , the Lakers would have the first round playoff meeting with the sixth seeded Dallas Mavericks (31-24) . A playoff series , if their Lakers’ regular season meetings are anything to go by would indeed be an intriguing match-up. If the Los Angeles Lakers are to succeed then the combination of Kobe Bryant , Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol are most certainly needed to be at their very best if they are to go deep into the NBA playoffs.

Now while I’m in no doubt that the position of center is to be greatly admired within the NBA but I’ve long-held the contention that the play has deteriorated because over the since the heydays of Hakeem Olajuwon , David Robinson , Patrick Ewing and Shaquille O’Neal . Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard are deemed to be the two best players in the game today at the position and within the respective conferences. However , there’s no denying what we are now seeing is a growing level of immaturity of many of today’s most prominent stars within the NBA . The actions however of Bynum and indeed Dwight Howard brings into question not only their maturity but whether or not the financial rewards are justified among the players but especially those who are part of the “one and done ” element within collegiate basketball who make the jump to the professional ranks of the NBA . Neither Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum played at the collegiate level having entered the league fresh-faced high school players prior the mandate brought in by the league hierarchy in conjunction with the NCAA .

With the Kentucky Wildcats having won that program’s eighth national title in defeating the Kansas Jayhawks in the NCAA Tournament and sweeping through their schedule with consummate ease . With head coach John Calipari now getting that “1000lb gorilla off his back “ with his first national title , the mindset is and has always been that is programs simply produce the players that have fit into the criteria earlier mentioned. His championship winning team will see three , if not more players from that stable who were participants in their championship run declare their eligibility for the upcoming NBA Draft . Consensus player of the tournament an AP Player of the Year ….. Anthony Davis , Michael Kidd-Gichrist and Doron Lamb are all likely to make the jump to the professional ranks and to be lottery picks or mid-level first round draft picks in this Draft .

We may well decry the NBA and the NCAA for not doing enough concerning what widely known to be rampant violations of the rules as set by the NCAA . And it certainly hadn’t helped that the sports agents , athletics directors and coaches in essence profited greatly from this all . In light of the scandals that have blighted the programs (basketball) of the U Conn Huskies , USC Trojans and most notoriously the Miami Hurricanes of which the latter has yet to receive any penalties levied against it for the gross violations of the basketball and football programs . It begs the question in light of Nevin Shapiro’s now proven allegations , what is it that Mark Emmert is waiting on , even in light of the NCAA’s investigation ? I mean it’s not as if Shawn Eichorst or university President Donna Shalala for that matter are said to be doing anywhere near enough to clean up the image of the university after the now incarcerated felon’s claims to his malfeasance . Shapiro was given unprecedented access and a wide latitude to the athletes on the campus , much of it with Eichorst and Shalala , present . And there have been those who have questioned Calipari’s honesty and integrity when it comes to the program where he has been a head coach . Repeated violations , sanctioning of the programs in question all adds to the perception and in many respects the demeanor and behavior of the players .

Billions of dollars are at stake annually , at the collegiate and professional level in the NBA . With that comes the expectation of success , much of it under the premise of being ” the immediacy of now ” . I hasten to add , there are some players at the collegiate level who have made the jump to the NBA as underclassmen and made their impact while at the same time showing a great deal of maturity . It is somewhat unfortunate to see the behavior of Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum , now tarnish their image with a complete lack of maturity ! Much of what we perceive and see may well be determined as to how the their seasons pan with their respective teams . And as of now it appears that things are not that necessarily clear for either of basketball franchises in question . Stan Van Gundy may well see his tenure with the Orlando Magic come to an abrupt end , albeit that his situation wasn’t aided by the his star player’s behavior and the poor form of his team through much of March and the beginning of April.

For Andrew Bynum , with the organization having sought to extend his contract . I am not so sure his situation will improve between now and the end of the regular season given the inconsistency of the Lakers and the very fact that the window of opportunity for this team to win an NBA title appears to be coming to an end .

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By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in its original formatted size .
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Picture gallery for your perusal .

In light of the issues of both Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard where do you see their immediate future in terms of being with their respective organizations ? By all mean chime in with a comment as you see fit .

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Picture and slide show details below . ==========================================================================================================================

(1) Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins , right, talks to Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy before an NBA basketball game, Saturday, April 7, 2012, in Philadelphia. The Magic won 88-82 . AP Photo/Michael Perez ….

(2) Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, right, and Dwight Howard smile at each other as Howard comes off the floor in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Saturday, April 7, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Michael Perez ….

(3) Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, left, talks with Dwight Howard (12) during a timeout in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Thursday, April 5, 2012, in Orlando, Fla. AP Photo/John Raoux …..

(4) New York Knicks’ Toney Douglas (23) makes an uncontested lay-up on a fast break against the Orlando Magic as teammates Steve Novak (16) and Landry Fields (2) look on during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, April 5, 2012, in Orlando, Fla. New York won 96-80 . AP Photo/John Raoux ….

(6) Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike Brown instructs his team against the Phoenix Suns during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, April 7, 2012, in Phoenix. AP Photo/Matt York …

(7) Los Angeles Lakers’ Andrew Bynum (17) slips past Phoenix Suns’ Robin Lopez , center, and Channing Frye during the first half of an NBA basketball game , Saturday, April 7, 2012, in Phoenix. AP Photo/Matt York … ….

(8) Los Angeles Lakers’ Andrew Bynum (17) spins around Phoenix Suns’ Jared Dudley during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, April 7, 2012, in Phoenix. The Lakers would go on to lose the game 125-105 . AP Photo/Matt York …
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NBA news

NBA standings by division & …… conference

NBA transactions 2011-12

NBA results 5th April 2012

NBA results 6th April 2012

NBA results 7th April 2012

NBA schedule 8th April 2012

Los Angeles Lakers news

Los Angeles Lakers’ roster & team stats

Los Angeles Lakers team splits

Los Angeles Lakers team payroll

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Orlando Magic news

Orlando Magic roster & team stats

Orlando Magic team splits

Orlando Magic team payroll

18 thoughts on “In The Land Of Milk And Honey !

  1. Bynum is beginning to outlive his welcome in Los Angeles with the Lakers . As for Dwight Howard if he and Van Gundy believe that their joint statement is proving that their dust up is now over and done with then they’re bigger fools than I took them for !

    tophatal ………

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  2. You forgot the greatest original big man George Mikin. he won five rings with the lakers-Minnesota. The players rule the roost. Let the players coach. Stupid is as stupid does. Howard is a great basketball mind- he’s the grestest NOT in this life time-He’s good but Chamberlian or Russell. Even with that they took coaching. The NCCA is crooked as the day is long In professional sports there is no pretense.

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    1. Mikan was indeed great during his era but in all sincerity he would never be considered the equal of Chamberlain , Russell or Abdul-Jabbar for that matter .

      We know the NCAA to be crooked and it will remain that way no matter what edicts Mark Emmert tries to initiate . The NCAA as an organization , its bark is far more worse than its bite !

      The NBA is awash with far too much money in terms of the team and players’ salaries . You’ve got guys earning in excess of $15 million a year and their productivity in all honesty can be best described as being mediocre !

      tophatal ……

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  3. As you’all know NBA holds no interest for me….only casually interested in MLB….but it is as in all things: a damn business.
    Players want all that they can get while underperforming while ignoring fans….how many of them interact with what gives
    them jobs….fans. With no fans, there would be no games etc

    Like

    1. al clements

      Many of the top stars within the game in spite of the money earned can be a downright pain in the ass ! And the recent displays of immaturity of both Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard bears out the fact they’re both so f$cking immature ! . In terms of their annual salaries both of these players are richly rewarded in comparison to the players within , baseball , hockey and football (NFL) .

      ” Mike Brown and Kobe can kiss my black a@s I run things now ” ! Bynum

      😉

      ” Stan can’t coach a lick of basketball , if anything he can either choose to ” suck ” on my left nut or my d_ck whichever he seems to feel comfortable with ” . Dwight Howard

      The NBA players and specifically the union (NBPA) have more power than the league hierarchy and team owners think that they themselves deem to have .

      tophatal ……………

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  4. Watching Bynum play this year makes me wonder how a 7footer can be so dense and immature. Forget about the cheapshot administered in playoffs last year against the German. Replace Stern with equally incompetent Goddell and he’s gone for a few games. I watched in amazement when Bynum threw up a 3 with 15 seconds on the shot clock and trying to preserve a lead late. Metta WP, not to be confused with Lloyd “World Be Free, make similar bonehead plays. Think nothing of it and highfive Col. Jessup on his way to the bench. Mike Brown do you really want this job? You’ll be sorry.

    Talking of big men? Starting a new team? WILT!!! Just ask Riley. He played with both Wilt and KAJ.

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    1. Ronbets

      It’s assholes like Bynum and Howard seem a complete anathema for the vast majority of fans . There’s no denying that both guys have an exceptional talent when their games are at optimum level . But I’ve now become completely sick and tired by this continued “it’s all about me mentality ” by both of these frigging morons and then so many dumb ass apathetic fans coming to their defense !

      As for Stan Van Gundy he’s simply overrated as a NBA coach to begin with !

      In reality what were the credentials that Mike Brown brought to the Lakers ? What because he coached LeBron for a few years that gave him the credibility and made his resume` look all the more impressive ?

      Mitch Kupchak , Jerry Buss and Stephen Buss are idiots in making this hire ! They could’ve gone to the collegiate ranks or better yet , they had a ready made replacement in Brian Shaw but somehow they went with a ” butt-head ” like Brown ! . That Lakers’ locker room has become divided and Bryant may .. well want out at the end of it all ! I can tell you this , once Kobe announces retirement that Lakers will languish because beyond Kobe Bryant there’s absolutely no one on that roster who shows any god damn signs of leadership !

      As ‘ MWP ‘ that ass’s game is on the decline !

      How ’bout suckling on these goodies ?

      tophatal …………..

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  5. I feel like both Howard and Van Gundy are both hiding from the truth. Neither of them really wants to admit that they want out, and are just keeping their comments related to the small picture when in reality, all they seem like they are thinking about is their futures.

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    1. Sam’s Sports Brief

      Jack Nicholson’s character from the movie ” A Few Good Men” explains it best ………… ” you can’t handle the truth” . And you’re right both of these idiots ( Howard & Van Gundy) are now in complete denial ! Dwight Howard was an idiot for remaining with the Magic when he could’ve gone elsewhere . At season’s end dependent upon how they fare in the playoffs I firmly believe that should the Magic not make it out of the first round then he will leave and play elsewhere !

      Van Gundy at best is a good regular season coach but not a great NBA coach by any stretch of the imagination .

      tophatal ….

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        1. Sam’s Sports Brief

          Makes things worse ? It was that way from the beginning with the whole way that the Magic dealt with Howard and their wanting to trade him and then not trade him . And then the player demanding a trade only to recant . What does that indicate to you as to how much of a damn mess that front office , coaching staff and Otis Smith are said to be in ? Never mind the fact Howard doesn’t come across as being all that intelligent to begin with ! Another overblown athlete , who has a God given talent but continues to make a complete ass of himself with his continued schtick !

          tophatal ….

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  6. The Orlando Magic are a complete joke for an organization…I’m not sure if Howard really did tell the front office to fire SVG or not… but why the hell would you tell your head coach that when you are getting ready for the playoffs? Such a stupid move. How can SVG even coach with that kind of info. As for Dwight…he is such a baby, im getting sick of his ass. He needs to shut up and jus play.. He also needs to stop taking plays off…the fool gets lazy at times. I feel bad for his teammates having to put up his constant whining. I think it’ll be BS if the front office gives Dwight all that power and let’s him decide on personnel decisions..the fool needs to prove himself first. He struggles to score in crunch time situations and isn’t a leader in my books.

    As for the Lakers….I don’t think their players respect their coach. I personally think Mike Brown is garbage and was only successful in CLE cuz of LeBron obviously.

    Just watch out for my Spurs. I think we have the depth to make a run this season, compared to last season.

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    1. jgome

      Other than the years when Shaq was playing for this organization there isn’t much to really talk about concerning the Magic . This is an NBA franchise that believes it belongs amongst ” the elite of the NBA” when they are clearly not !

      I will continue to maintain that Stan Van Gundy is overrated as an NBA coach , much like his brother Jeff Van Gundy .

      Dwight Howard is a pompous and immature asshole ! And given the money he’s being paid he’s simply showing that he’s not a leader in the true sense of the word !

      Mike Brown has brought absolutely nothing to the Lakers as a coach and it’s becoming apparent that he was the wrong hire to begin with ! The team has been very inconsistent in terms of team defense within the NBA throughout much of their season .

      This much is certain , once Bryant leaves the Lakers to be a future Hall of Famer this franchise once again become an afterthought and reside in the bowel of Hades !

      Like you I’m an avid and diehard Spurs’ fan ! I think that they can and will give the Thunder a run for their money in terms of the conference title within the Western Conference .

      tophatal ………

      Like

  7. Al…

    I think I’m officialy going on strike, refusing to talk any more about the Dwight-Van drama. I know for one, I’ve beaten it to death.

    I’m going to wait until playoff time, analyze their play and see how far Van can take them before ultimately getting fired.

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    1. al clements

      Art Modell ? I mean isn’t he a man to be admired in comparison to a ” jerk-off” like former Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt ? Your thoughts ?

      Ell Macpherson . Oh bubba !

      Still looking good wouldn’t you say ?

      Elle Macpherson looks great as she approaches 50 (48) . I’d love to “butter her biscuits” …. big time !

      tophatal …………

      Like

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