Sunday, April 22, 2012

Steve Nash Chronicles: The Perfect Fit

     Rumor has it that Steve Nash is most likely going to be on the way out of Phoenix before the start of next season.  The two time former MVP despite his loyalty to the Phoenix Suns has made it clear that he plans on going elsewhere unless the Suns improve vastly.  With the chances of the Suns vastly improving being rather slim, the question of "where to" arises.  Most people assume that Steve will join a title contender in hopes of finishing his career with that illusive championship ring.  I however believe that Steve, though probably too old to be the star of a team, still has a lot of game left and shouldn't settle for a small role on an already elite team. With that being said, I believe that Steve Nash will be taking his talents to a somewhat mediocre team and creating Magic with them (hint hint).
     Throughout his career, Steve Nash has established himself as arguably the best pick and roll point guard the league has seen since perhaps John Stockton.  His exceptional court vision, along with his adept shooting touch puts the defense at a disadvantage regardless of how they may chose to defend the pick and roll.  This ability ultimately transformed the Phoenix Suns into a championship contender after several years of failing to make the playoffs.  Obviously this dream was short lived, as that team was dispersed after a few failed experiments, however I believe that Steve Nash could re-live this dream if he decided to become a member of the Orlando Magic.
     The Orlando Magic is a perfect fit for Steve Nash for many reasons.  First off, the presence of Dwight Howard immediately makes the team a piece or two away from contending.  Howard, who is a much more dominant force than Amar'e Stoudamire was in Phoenix, will provide Steve Nash with a perfect pick and roll partner.  His mobility and ability to finish around the rim ferociously will be a gift to Steve Nash, as he will have met a Blake Griffin to compliment his Chris Paul.  As we all know, Dwight still has a long way to go in terms of becoming a prolific scorer in this league; I believe that Steve Nash could make this transition much easier for Howard by giving him many easy shots to boost his scoring average and ultimately his confidence.  As I mentioned earlier, Steve will not be in Orlando to become "the guy" but rather just a guy with enough abilities to make the Magic a contender.
     Another big reason why the Magic will be a good fit for Steve Nash is the fact that he will be surrounded by a variety of shooters.  It's no secret that the Magic are highly dependent on the three point shot; the addition of Steve Nash will make it much easier to get high percentage shots from three, due to his pick and roll abilities.  Ryan Anderson, JJ Reddick, Q-Richardson and Jason Richardson (both ex teammates of Steve back in Phoenix) are bound to make a living from the three point line if this move is to be made.  Despite the success that these players currently enjoy from long range, it's nothing close to what they will experience if Steve Nash was to become the commander-in-chief of the Magic attack.
     Finally, Steve Nash should become a member of the Orlando Magic due to the possibility of being reunited with the man who orchestrated the offense that made Steve a back-to-back MVP: Mike D'Antoni. It is a well known fact that Stan Van Gundy will not return to the Orlando Magic next season, which opens up a coaching vacancy that could very well be filled by Mike D'Antoni.  If Steve Nash was to become a member of the Magic organization, that would increase the chance of D'Antoni following in the same path.  This would benefit D'Antoni himself, Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, and the entire Magic franchise.  Overall, the addition of Steve Nash could be the change that may bring a championship to the city of Orlando.  It is bound to be the perfect fit, out of all other possible options, given the circumstances listed.

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

What is Love?

Love is blind, love is irrational

Love is when you care about another as much as you care about yourself

Love is commitment, love is an investment

Love is giving it your all in hopes of getting the same in return

Love is unconditional, love is persistent

Love is fighting through the ups and downs and never giving up

Love is sympathetic, love is unselfish

Love is willing to make sacrifices just to make your significant other happy

Love is patience, love is passion

Love is fondling even after a heated altercation

Love is honesty, love is trust

Love is assurance that your significant other has your best interest at heart

Love is comforting, love is relaxing

Love is reliance on another individual for emotional support

Love is beautiful, love is indescribable

Love is a feeling that can't be sufficiently expressed even with the use of "I love you" 

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

NBA MVP: And the Winner Is _________?

     This NBA season has been unique in many ways.  Besides being one of only four shortened seasons due to a lockout, this season has experienced lots of unusual stories, occurrences, records, etc.  From Linsanity, to Kobe becoming the all-time leading scorer in All-Star history, to Kevin Love's historic performances; this NBA season is one that will forever be remembered by loyal NBA fans.  With the regular season coming to a close, the question of who is this season's MVP is one that has become a hot topic.  Many players are deserving of this honor, however no one player has emerged as the clear-cut winner of this award.  For this reason, I wouldn't be surprised if NBA history was made in regards to this award as well.
     According to most people, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder should be this year's MVP.  Although very deserving, I don't think Durant is the obvious pick for this award.  My main argument against Durant winning this award is that his teammate, Russell Westbrook, is arguably the most valuable player on that Thunder team due to his all around play.  Durant, to me, is solely a scorer who happens to pull down many rebounds due to his 6'10 frame.  Despite his effort to be more of a team player this year, he still averages more turnovers than assists.  His impact on the defensive end is also mediocre at best.  Nevertheless, Durant is putting up about 28 points per game with over 50 percent shooting on the best team in the Western Conference.  That alone is good enough to make him very deserving of the MVP award.  His incredible performance against LeBron James in the first match-up between Miami and OKC this season also made a case for that MVP trophy, however as I mentioned before, I don't believe that all these achievements have made him the clear-cut pick for the honor.
     The other player who many consider a deserving candidate is LeBron James of the Miami Heat.  Statistically, LeBron has had the better season, as he averages as many points and rebounds as Durant (28 and 8 respectively) but with twice as many assists (close to 7).  LeBron's versatility on the defense end definitely adds to his campaign, as he is also a candidate to win the Defensive Player of the Year Award.  Like Durant however, LeBron has another superstar in Dwayne Wade who many could argue is also deserving of the honor (though not as deserving as Westbrook).  Although Miami is 9-1 without Wade, his fourth quarter heroics in many games this season slightly devalues LeBron's impact.  That unfortunately hurts LeBron's chances of winning the award.  LeBron's tendency to disappear in some big games or even big moments has also hurt his chances of being named MVP.  His performance against OKC in the second meeting of their regular season battle made up for his sub-par performance in the first, along with other mediocre performances in big games; this however isn't enough to make him the clear-cut favorite for the award either.
      In most cases, the best way to break a tie is by flipping a coin; in this scenario however, I propose that this tie should be left knotted up.  I propose that for the first time in NBA History, Kevin Durant and LeBron James should be named co-MVPs for the 2011-2012 season.  I believe that it is the most fair decision to make in this case, because neither player has clearly separated himself from the rest this season.  One could argue that if anything Kevin Love is that one player who has had a remarkable season that separated himself from the other NBA Elites (based on statistics), though the record of his team eliminates him from contention in my opinion.  With that being said, why not make this NBA season even weirder than it already has been?  Instead of giving the MVP award to a player who isn't an obvious pick like Derrick Rose was last year, this award should go to the two players who deserve it the most: Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and LeBron James of the Miami Heat.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Power of Words

     When considering the most powerful tools available to mankind, we primarily consider things such as hammers, or even rocks, knives etc.  These items are known to have the ability to effect many things, due to the fact that they can alter the state of being of an object.  As far as I'm concerned, having the ability to change the state of anything; whether in a physical or emotional manner, personifies power.  Power in this sense can be demonstrated in  many actions, ranging from the ability to start a fire to the ability to put a smile on someone's face.  In almost every situation, a physical action is triggered by the expression of an emotion which is usually demonstrated in the form of words.  The way an emotion is worded has the ability to provoke a reaction from another individual, whether good or bad.  For this reason, words (whether spoken, written, or signed) are the most powerful tools available to mankind.
     Let's start off by looking at the power of words in a positive context.  I'm sure all of us, at one point or another, have received a compliment praising something about us or something that we did.  A simple compilation of those words that were expressed by a kind soul uplifted our spirits and gave our morale a boost.  A gesture such as a compliment can go a long way toward making an individual feel better about themselves.  Through the expression of those words, the individual who complimented you has exerted power over you; not because they own you or have control over you, but simply because their spoken words were able to alter you emotional state of being and cause a reaction.   In this case, the reaction is in the form of morale uplifting which can go on to affect your entire day.  This goes on to show how powerful words can be in a positive context.
    Words don't always have to be in the form of a compliment in order for them to be considered powerful in a positive context.  One major way of exerting power positively in the form of words is through encouragement.  It isn't unusual to go through a day of feeling hopeless and alone, and feeling like nothing you do is right.  Times like these are when words are most influential on a person's life.  A simple word of encouragement, whether from the Bible or a fellow human can immediately alter your state of mind and give you the inspiration needed to strive to achieve whatever task is at hand.  Though those words might not physically move your arms and legs and push you toward one direction or another, they initiate the the impulsive reaction that do indeed cause you to push toward one direction or another.  For that reason, words can be a powerful tool of positivity in one's life.
     Despite its ability to impact life in a positive way, words are often used as a tool to put others down and inflict major damage to a psyche.  Words are arguably at their most powerful state when used in a negative context.  Depending on how condescending or torturous a group of words are, they can  lead to the infliction of physical harm to an individual.  Take for example bullying:  there have been many occurrences of bullying in this country that have been known to cause many problems in the lives of teenagers.  The continuous use of insults, name-calling, and taunting can go as far as causing an individual to commit suicide.  If that doesn't show how powerful words can be, I don't know what else could possibly demonstrate that! 
     The power of words in a negative context isn't limited to insults alone, as words can also be used to persuade an individual to believe falsified statements.  Though persuasion is sometimes good, it is often used in negative manner to alter a person's mindset on a specific subject.  Take for example that step-dad who constantly reminds you that your goals of becoming a professional baseball player is merely a fantasy that will never happen.  Through his words, he can get you to actually believe that you aren't capable of pursuing a career as a professional baseball player.  Though this isn't necessarily condescending or insulting, it can alter your state of mind and perception, and cause you to lose confidence in your ability as a base-ball player.  This can ultimately lead to you giving up your dream and pursing a normal 9-5 job, when you could have possibly became the next A-Rod or even Jeter.  Through his words, he has exerted power over you, due to the fact that he altered your perception and changed what you once believed was reality.
     To sum it up, words are very powerful and go a long way toward making or breaking an individual.  A simple compliment can cause an individual to smile for the rest of the day and relieve stress.  Conversely, an insult can be the reason why a young lady may feel the need to starve herself in order to reach the standard that your words seem to set.  We have all been given bits of power in the form of words that can alter an individual's state of mind and ultimately lead to physical reactions; therefore use these words wisely and be the reason why someone feels good about themselves and their abilities on earth.  Ask yourself, what impact have your words had on someone today?

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