39 years ago today, Los Angeles Lakers guard Jerry West retired from the NBA.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: "Mr. Clutch" is one of the greatest, and most appropriate, nicknames ever.
The NBA playoffs are when we separate the good from the great.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: When the pressure is on, who stepped up and scored the most for his team, when it mattered the most?
Who's better the 71-72 Lakers or the 12-13 Heat?
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The season's not over, but comparisons have already begun. This one's a lot closer than Heat haters want to admit.
The question has been boiling to the service as the Miami Heat's winning streak kept growing. Now that it's over some comparisons are unavoidable. Both teams are clearly dominating the league, but lets go inside the numbers.
Win Streak: Lakers 33 games, Miami 27.
Overall Record: Lakers 69-13, Miami 56-15 (11 games left)
Big 3: Lakers (Chamberlain, West, Goodrich), Miami (James, Wade, Bosh).
Lead over closest team: Lakers 18 games ahead of the Warriors, Miami 11.5 ahead of the Knicks.
Points Per Game: Lakers 121, Miami 103.4.
Points Allowed Per Game: Lakers, 108.7, Miami 95.6.
Field Goal %: Lakers 49%, Miami 49.6%.
Computer Simulation: Gives the edge to the Lakers 54% of the time. (Got to love the age of computers)
Looks like the Lakers are the better team on paper. If these two squads went head-to-head it would be a match-up nightmare for both squads. Who does Miami put on Chamberlain? Who do the Lakers put on LeBron? Although both teams would put up big numbers the Lakers would eventually win. They'd dominate the boards and although Wade's quickness would offset some Laker offense, the big three of Los Angeles are more balanced in terms of skill sets. West, Goodrich, and Chamberlain are position players. LeBron, Wade, and Bosh are hybrid players that still today don't always know their roles.
Of course, all bets are off if the Heat don't win the championship at the end of the season. If we learned nothing from the New England Patriots almost undefeated season before they lost to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, it's that great regular season count for almost nothing if you don't cap it off with a ring.Read More
41 years ago today, the Lakers set an untouchable record.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: This is potentially the most overlooked record in all of sports.
To put the record into perspective, the Clippers 17 game winning streak that ended less than a week ago was little more than half as long.
On 1/7/72, the Lakers beat the Atlanta Hawks 134-90 for their 33rd win in a row. Two days later the streak was broken during a 120-104 loss to a Milwaukee Bucks team led by Kareem Abdul-Jabar and Oscar Robertson. If you're going to have an epic streak broken, it may as well come against two of the best players in NBA histroy.
Led by Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlin, Elgin Baylor, Gail Goodrich, Pat Riley and Jim McMillian (and including former Phil Jackson assistant coach Jim Cleamons), the 1971-72 Lakers are arguably the greatest team of all time.
On their way to the best record in NBA history (until the 1995-96 Bulls eclipsed it), the team culminated the streak by winning the NBA title, the first for the franchise since the move to LA from Minnesota. The Lakers didn't lose a game for over two months, going a combined 30-0 in November and December.
So is it the most impressive winning streak in American (because who knows what the hell is going on in Pakistan or Uganda; it doesn't matter) professional sports history? Let's compare it to the other major sports.
The MLB record for consecutive wins is 26 by the then baseball NY Giants. In the NFL, the New England Patriots won 21 in a row between 2003 and 2004. In the NHL, the Pittsburgh Penguins set the mark with 17 straight in 1993.
NBA wise, you may be surprised to know that the second longest winning streak is 22 held by the Houston Rockets in 2007-08. Nobody expected anything out of the Rockets that year and they somehow went off before showing "they are who we thought they were" and losing in the first round of the playoffs.
Do you think the Lakers record of 33 consecutive wins will ever be broken?Read More
The definitive Top 10 shooting guards of all time.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Some things are debatable, but these top 3 are a lock.
Off-guard, 2-guard, shooting-guard, no matter how you say it this is the position that has produced some of the most exciting players in NBA history. HoopsVibe sizes up the best of the best and put together this list of Top 10 shooting guards of all-time.
“I’m not going to let a few boos get me down, and I don’t expect a few boos to get our team down,” Lacob said. “I think everybody has to stay tough, these are tough times, we’re going to go out there and we’re going to compete and we’re going to win. And that’s my job as an owner, too, we’re going to do everything we have to do. Not going to let a few boos stop us. I obviously think whoever was booing is incorrect in their assumptions, but we’ll just let time heal all wounds. Winning will solve all things.”
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It wasn’t the time or place. And it ruined a celebration.
Golden State fans picked the worst moment to voice their displeasure with management/ownership trading scorer Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks for post Andrew Bogut.
They unleashed a parade of boos on owner Joe Lacob when he was leading - or attempting to lead - the retirement of Chris Mullin’s jersey. Mullin and Warrior great Rick Barry were put in the awkward spot of defending Lacob.
To be fair, Warrior fans should be upset. Just not with Lacob.
For years, the club was run like a banana republic by owner Chris Cohan. He hired and fired. He spent wildly and dumped salaries. He applauded and criticized.
In short, Cohan, was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde until selling the team.
Not surprisingly, the Warriors last made the playoffs in 2007, and that was the first time they had qualified for the second season in 14 years.
At least, Lacob has a plan. He hired the best possible consultant, Jerry West. Then he hired the best coaching prospect, Mark Jackson.
Together, West and Jackson wanted a tougher, bigger team, so they dealt Ellis, a fan favourite, for Bogut, an inside anchor.
Will it work?
Well, the jury is out. Lacob, West, and Jackson deserve more time, while Mullin deserved better than having his night overshadowed by fan anger.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Jerry West's words -- "The reason you 'can't play defense' is because you can't!" and "I don't think the Lakers will be good for much longer" -- stung the Lakers. Bryant nodded in agreement when informed of the substance of West's criticism and Derek Fisher offered the utmost respect for West, who drafted the veteran guard as a rookie in 1996.