3 TRUTHS #1: Melo, AFC/NFC West Norms and Kobe’s Roof

Posted: January 10, 2011 by The Cheap Seat Fan in NBA, NFL
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In another new endeavor here in the CHEAP SEATS this year, I’ll be doing dropping the straight dope on some of my opinions on what’s going on around me in the sporting world. This will be listed here in “3 Truths”, which is simply what it says it is: three quick points from conversations I’ve had individually, and I’m now spreading to the masses. This is my stance taken on the point and I’ve decided to pass them into the law of the land (or at least the law of land you’re standing on when reading this site).  I started this site to give both a common view, a quick read and to promote as much debate as possible, so COMMENTS are what this is all about.

Lets get at it.

1. THE NFC & AFC WEST: ONE IN THE SAME: All season, the NFC West has been treated as the reddest headed of all step children because it was a battle to just reach .500 all year. That’s fine, they all played inconsistent in one way or another all year. They deserve some criticism, and considering the division champ didn’t make .500 in the end (and technically still hasn’t now, even after a playoff win). However, the AFC West wasn’t too far behind them in all of those same categories elements. Take a look:

Juggernaut, er, Marshawn Lynch ran the Seahawks past more than just the Saints Saturday.

The favorites in both divisions were big disappointments, in the 49ers and Chargers, finishing 6-10 and 9-7 on the year. The Chargers’ 9-7 mark was only reached in co-op by a strong finish and an otherworldly year from Philip Rivers. This opened up the doors for some upstarts to jump in and take it, and boy did they. The three teams that competed for the division were the Chiefs, Seahawks and Rams, franchise that combined to go 10-38 the year before and take the first, fifth and sixth picks in the 2010 Draft. Not exactly beacons of success. However, the Chiefs and Seahawks pulled it together and took the West contingents of the NFL this year. Even after doing this, they were still the worst teams in the NFL in the playoffs by record.

Here’s the difference maker though, the Chiefs got drummed at home by 23 by Baltimore and the Seahawks, who were universally deemed unworthy due to not reaching the “magical” .500 mark (and how this is so much better than 7-9 is beyond me), only beat the defending Super Bowl Champs at home, with 4 touchdown tosses by the written off Matt Hasselbeck and a damn fine Juggernaut impression by Marshawn Lynch.

I’m not discrediting the Chiefs season, they played well and deserved all their success. But I am saying that there’s no way to say the AFC West is too far away in strangeness from the NFC West. Hell, the Raiders went undefeated in the division, but only won 2 other games and STILL fired their coach (the Al Davis exception is noted). So records aside, the same elements of weirdness are in both of these divisions.

2. KOBE BRYANT’S INVISIBLE ROOF: This past week, Kobe Bryant passed two of the all-time greats in NBA history on the career points scored list. His current total of 26,747, he shot past Oscar Robertson and Dominique Wilkins to enter the top 10 all-time. This makes sense, he too is an all-time great. And he should pass up Hakeem Olajuwon and Elvin Hayes this year as well, maybe even Moses Malone too to be sitting at #6 all-time. Next year he should take over Shaq (even though he may play until he’s 80 to keep this from happening) to be firmly rooted at #4.

However, then he reaches Mount Olympus at that point, with Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan looming next. Wilt is at 31, 419 points and His Royal Airness is at 32,292. Kobe can get Wilt, although it make take him another 2 years. He has a shot a Mike, but that would take about 3 years from now, with no dip in production or health. If that happens it puts him at #3 all-time and that’s where he will stay, unless LeBron or Durant or some kid in middle school comes to get him later. Karl Malone is set at #2 with 36, 928 and let’s not even approach Kareem.

The amazing race for Kobe to catch Mike may have a few too many steps, and years, in it for #24.

Kobe is 31 now and what it would take to overtake Jordan would be about 3 more years of playing at the same exact level he is at now, and I’m not sure if he has it in him physically, especially at 34 or 35 years old. He has been playing in the NBA since he was 17 years old, and a mixture of early entry, early success and superb play has enabled him to reach the totals he has. In 3 years it would be his 17th season in, and as a guard, his legs are already going to waste. Theres a reason that seven of the 10 top scorers of all-time are centers and power forwards, they don’t have to run as much as guards and have easier baskets to score. Kobe would have to dig deep in the well to pass Jordan, and most likely wouldn’t get half way to the Mailman. But it’s gonna be fun watching him try.

3. WHY IS CARMELO NOT GETTING ROASTED??? I’m not going to jump back into the reasoning, methodology and fallout of LeBron James’ saga this summer. I’ve stated frequently how overly emotional the city of Cleveland and much of the sports world, the just wants to take shots at LeBron for whatever self-empowered reason, has been towards that whole situation. However, I’m curious why there is no comparable shade being thrown at Carmelo. He’s in damn near the exact same situation. He’s a top 10 player in the NBA, the cornerstone of an entire franchise, refused to re-sign where he has been successful and the team is now suffering in results to make it worse.

How what's so different about Carmelo's self-general management than anybody else's?

Since the summer he has basically been trying to leverage his way out of Denver, and even said he wouldn’t play anywhere except where he wants to, which severely handicaps the Nuggets ability to get offers and at least better themselves by moving the greatest player in the history of their franchise. Way to be a team player Melo. I’m not saying Carmelo is bad guy by any means, I think he’s a tremendous player and is simply trying to take control of his career path. I applaud that. However, what I don’t see is how it is much different from what LeBron did and what he is charged with along the way, which includes tanking games and being a diva.

The bottom line is it isn’t. It’s no different from what Chris Paul did earlier this year or even what Kobe did years back when the Lakers couldn’t win after Shaq left. He’s just not as popular of a target as LeBron is, so it’s swept under the rug. I’m calling a spade a spade though. It’s the same hand, same suit just a different number.

And three things, my friends, are the law of THIS land.

  1. Oates says:

    1. Im not sure anyone ever argued that the AFC West is a superior conference and anyone that did should be smacked! I watched us all season & our conference would have the 2nd lowest RPI just in front of the NFC West. But stats dont lie & what the stats show is that the NFC West got pounded like a fence post all season. #1 rule is the exception never becomes the rule (which is why NCAA B-ball & NFL Playoffs are so horrible @ picking a true champion). If you would get it handed to you 99 out of 100 but you just happened to win on the 100 doesnt make you a superior team.

    2. I agree with your Kobe synopsis. The man has played way too many games & those legs are completely shot. Not to mention his absolute stubborness to get the needed surgeries during season & letting these problems fester (shot out knees & an arthritic shooting hand). Can he reach Jordan? I say not likely but should he, it would be one of the grittiest performances by a player ever. Between playing in 4 consecutive finals & then 3 consecutive finals + an Olympics, that man has a ton of miles on him.

    3. The simple answer is Chris Paul, Carmelo, Kobe, Shaq, Zack Greinke, etc etc etc made it known that “I dont wanna be here & you will have to understand” Didnt feed their cities BS about “Oh God, Im gonna bring you a championship!” and not to mention that he quit in the 2010 ECSF (not even up for debate seeing as the “Elbow” pain seemed to be a non issue immediately following the game). I dont think people have a problem with him leaving CLE just how he did it. I think thats the universal opinion of LBJ. If he just told CLE from jump “Im going to free agnecy & you honestly dont have a shot” (like Zack did w/ the Royals) it would be just another ticker on the Bottomline of the worldwide leader.

    • On the NFL: I’m a fan of the NFL’s playoff system in relation to their regular season above all other leagues. The MLB sorts itself out so early that half the league is out of play before half of the season is over, therefore making a huge part of the fan base not care anymore, and the NBA’s is too drug out. (We don’t have enough room for an NCAA debate here though). I’m just saying that both division were subject the same elements this year, and that the Seahawks have proved the NFC West didn’t deserve the stepchild treatment.

      On Carmelo: I’m not a fan of public maneuvering to get out, and the way he has handled this, and put restrictions on what he “will do” has been damaging and unfair to both the Nuggets and their fans, who have supported him for the same amount of as LeBron’s did in Cleveland. Same for CP3.

  2. entelleckt says:

    Fully agree with the Kobe Invisible Roof segment and the Carmelo segment. Only a matter of time before some Nuggets scandal is revealed to put the spotlight on Carmelo and his actions.

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