Smack / Jun 9, 2009 / 5:38 am

The Sickest Man in America

Courtney Lee (photo. NBA)

Courtney Lee (photo. NBA)

We’re pretty sure that when Courtney Lee visualized his first NBA Finals experience, this wasn’t how he thought he’d make headlines. Getting a heaping serving of blood pudding from Kobe Bryant? That honestly shouldn’t have been a stretch to see coming. But missing the biggest shot of his life and being called “The Next Nick Anderson for all the wrong reasons? That’s tough. In the aftermath of Lee blowing Orlando’s best chance at winning Game 2 the other night, opinions in the Dime office were split: Some of us gave the rookie the benefit of the doubt, considering the pressure-packed situation and the fact that the layup wasn’t as easy as it might have looked; others took the hard stance, believing that any NBA player should make that shot. Which side do you fall on? … One thing should be clear, though: Neither Courtney Lee or Nick Anderson should take sole responsibility for losing the games for which they’ve become infamous. Back in Game 1 of the ’95 Finals, Orlando blew a 20-point lead before Nick bricked those four free throws. On Sunday, the Magic had plenty of chances (before and after Lee’s miss) to put the Lakers away and just didn’t come through … For his part, Lee has handled the whole thing admirably. After the game he answered every question and admitted he simply messed up, no excuses — unlike the hordes of Magic fans who wanted a goaltending call on Pau Gasol for touching the rim in a way that didn’t impact the shot whatsoever. What happens from this point? This was Lee’s Jackie Smith moment, his “Kobe airballs versus Utah” moment; he can either respond like a champ or let it bother him the rest of his career … Going into Game 3, the Magic are obviously in a must-win situation. Two things they should have going in their favor: Whatever confidence they can take from a close Game 2 in knowing they can play with L.A., and a RIDICULOUSLY hyped crowd. The atmosphere should be crazy tonight (ABC, 9 p.m. EST) … The contract-year status of Lamar Odom, Hedo Turkoglu and Trevor Ariza has been talked about often this postseason. One guy who hasn’t been mentioned as much in that regard is Marcin Gortat. A restricted FA, the Polish Hammer is reportedly on the Knicks’ radar already, and Magic GM Otis Smith admitted he’s not gonna go crazy with the checkbook to keep him. “If someone wants to make him a starter and figures out what’s my breaking point, I’m sure teams will make a run for him,” Smith was quoted in the New York Post. Is anyone else seeing another Jim McIlvaine situation brewing here? … Also out of New York, there’s a rumor that the Knicks are shopping David Lee, and that Detroit is interested in a sign-and-trade. Lee fits rights into the pre-Iverson Pistons identity; he’d basically be a remix of Ben Wallace without the defense, but with all of the rebounding and energy and hustle … Tim Thomas is apparently trying to land on the Celtics this summer. He’s in for a rude awakening when he realizes “Ubuntu” doesn’t translate to “Whatever” … Speaking of dudes constantly moving at half-speed, please tell us you saw Antoine Walker on “Pros vs. Joes” last night. ‘Toine was introduced as “One of the greatest gunners of his generation,” and looked awful for a guy who was actually in the NBA just a few months ago. One of the Joes even cracked on him, saying Walker “looks like a big baby.” (This is especially hilarious considering the Boston Globe just cited an “NBA source” who claimed ‘Toine is in his best shape in years.) Alonzo Mourning and Eddie Jones were also on the episode. ‘Zo looked alright, but Eddie was doing the long-sleeves thing, most likely to hide some flab, and a couple of the Joes were running circles around him … Blake Griffin worked out for the Clippers, and the team brought in 100 season ticket holders to watch. So unless the Clips really are actively trying to piss off their fans — which is still a possibility — it looks like they’re not trading the No. 1 pick … And by the way, have you met Jordan Montgomery? His older brother hit us up yesterday on Facebook about featuring Jordan, the self-proclaimed best 8-year old in the country. Check him out and let us know what you think … … We’re out like KG being in the same practice with Tim Thomas…

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  • http://uoregon.edu sans

    Gortat’s already better than McIlvaine, but not by much–at least he rebounds.

  • http://uoregon.edu sans

    Oh, and two contested layups does not equal 4 straight misses at the stripe.

    Way to bring up KB8′s airball–everyone else forgot about it.

  • Lee

    He was behind the backboard when he caught it … it would have been a hell of a tough shot to make off an inbound play.

  • Johnny

    I agree with Bill Simmons..

  • YOUNGFED…”Still Stuntin’ Hard”

    I really hope we don’t give up our 15th pick I’d like to see us get Tyler. But Lee ain’t bad.

  • QQ

    Gotta admire our rookie.

    Taking all of this like a man.

    He gonna respond like a champ. In the reg, he guarded every elite guard, and most of the time, he admittedly got burned. But you don’t see him backing down now in Finals against the best player in the L, eh? That’s having a heart of steel right there.

    GOOOOOOOO MAAAAAAGIC!!!!

  • K Dizzle (2 more then nuthin left to say)

    CL Smooth gonna be alright. Kid came back from a broken face from that Dwight elbow so we know he tough. Good thing too tho….cuz Kobe’s comin to town. It’s like Santa except that nobody in a Magic jersey gonna get anything they asked for lol

  • http://www.kikaayacollegeschool.net smity far away

    “Tim Thomas is apparently trying to land on the Celtics this summer. He’s in for a rude awakening when he realizes “Ubuntu” doesn’t translate to “Whatever””

    nice.

  • dk

    Courtney Lee will never be the go to guy in the NBA, you heard it first.

  • dk

    Orlando will most likely extend their 2:00 am drinking curfew. I think ill drive up there to take some pics and video of the sobbing Magic fans. Plus ill hear more ignorance that Lee is the ROY.

  • http://manilatonight.com solomon (el latino machismo)

    well, if there’s anyone who can spark anything combustible with tim-tom, it might just be kevin garnett’s possessed self… the marbury thing proved haters like us (kinda) wrong (implosion, chemistry)… maybe it might just work… maybe…

    anyway… cut some slack off lee… if anything, svg and crew entrusted it to him… it’s a win or tie situation, anyway, not like a win, lose or draw shit… they still got 5 effin’ minutes to redeem everything and well, we all know what happened…

    i dunno, i’d take the polish hammer anytime of the day over mc-ill… he’s at least 100 pts above mc-ill’s hoops iq, which is ranging around single digits…

    and still, game 3 goes to the lakers, 4 and 5 goes to o-town, and the lakeshow will close it @ game 6… nothing beats closing it out in front of the homecrowd…

    we’re out like courtney in clutch

  • Rafa23

    @ 9. dk
    lol, breaking news
    sasha vujacic or jj redick will never win a slam dunk contest in the nba, you heard it here first

  • Celts Fan

    Lee’s miss probably shoulda been a make, but it’s not an easy shot and understandable. dude’s had a good year, I’m sure he’ll bounce back.

    Gortat’s only McIllvane if someone gives him $8-$10M per. At $4-$5M per as the first big (getting 20-25 mpg) I would call that fair. Man’s got skill and a GREAT nickname.

    KG would murder Tim Thomas. It’d be like MJ on Kwame all over again. Please don’t let this happen…

    Don’t the Pistons already have a David Lee? His name’s Jason Maxiell and if you started him in D’Antoni’s system, he’d get just as good of numbers. Not a knock on Lee as much of a compliment for Maxiell.

  • JuiceMode

    Give the rookie a break, it was an alley-oop under insane pressure – with Gasol in his face even… Spanish fly did a good job contesting the shot. If you really play basketball, those are missed plays you can probably live with. We wouldn’t be even talking about it if the Magic won in OT. Or if they didn’t execute the play properly, like if the ball was deflected or something like that. Still, it was a hell of a play…

    It doesn’t even compare to missed free throws, those are plays that you are supposed to make. We should all be ashamed for making Nick “The Brick” Anderson comparisons because he and John Starks are on an elite level of choke.

    Tim Thomas with the Celtics?! What for? Another player who doesn’t make much impact if he don’t hit threes… Rather have Scal than him, at least Scal will always make an effort, no matter what…

  • Kudabeen

    “Tim Thomas is apparently trying to land on the Celtics this summer. He’s in for a rude awakening when he realizes “Ubuntu” doesn’t translate to “Whatever””

    Fing Hilarious!

  • Kudabeen

    We can ride Lee, but what other Orlando guard stepped it up? It was a tough shot that he didn’t really look comfortable with. He said it seemed like the ball took long to get to him and he probably didn’t time it as well, but with Gasol closing and being under the basket it was just a tough play. When Lee plays he is the most aggressive guard as far as taking the open shot with confidence and attacking the basket.

    Magic should just start Jameer and AJ if Rafer is going to continue to wilt. Pietrus isn’t hitting 3s anymore and their whole guard core seems to be taking a step back. Hell play Lee/Pietrus and let them guard Fish/Trevor if Turk really wants to guard Kobe in the crunch. The pg play has been lame.

  • Sweet English

    @ 14

    OH SHIT. Someone just said something nice about Scal’ on Dime. Look son, don’t come on here praising Brian Scalabrine and thinking you can just get away with it.

    Someone show this guy the exit.

  • S-SiN

    All you cats who haven’t seen that 95 game 1, believe me when i tell u that Nick Anderson’s choke is in the class of his own. he one by one cemented his bricks with preparation, did fake smiles throughout and all that and in the end damn near cried cuz of disgust. hell no u don’t deserve to win after blowing 20 pt lead, but they would have had he hit from charity.

    Lee’s shot on the other hand wasn’t as easy as it looked going out of bounds, but totally makable and i give lotta credit to stan van for drawing it up

  • Dark

    give it a rest with the nick anderson freebies.

    remember, kenny smith still had to make a pressure-packed 3 point shot guarded by a guy taller than him (penny).

  • S-SiN

    @ Dark

    Kenny hit that 3 on Penny did he not, allowing them to win in OT on the Dream’s tip. Well, none of this would have happened had Nick Anderson while at the line stopped mimicking to the crowd, the cameras, himself… with the fake I’m cool scowls, head nods to teammates and smiles after misses. everything about him at that moment had me saying he’s thinking too much. can’t think about anything but the swish on a ft! he wasn’t focused AT ALL ON WHAT HE NEEDS TO DO, almost shaking and knew he was gonna miss, hence the fake i’m cool act for what was an eternity for Magic fans. that, my friend, is a DEFINITION of choke, so it’s hard to “give it a rest”

  • WINDYCITYBULL

    LOL, MORE THEN LIKELY HALF OF YOU CANT TOUCH THE NET ON A TEN FOOT RIM LET ALONE CATCH A OOP WITH NO TIME LEFT AND A 7 FOOTER IN YOUR FACE/WHILE GRABBING THE RIM AS THE SHOT TOUCHES THE BACK BOARD (GOALTENDING). LEE CAN BALL, HE DIDNT LOSE THE GAME VANGUNDY DID AS HE ALWAYS DOES BY PLAYING REDDICK IN OT LIKE HES GOING TO DO ANYTHING POSITIVE ON THE COURT SMH. PLUS THE REFS ALWAYS PLAY A GOOD PART WITH THERE TOP NOTCH CALLS.

  • SparkyJay23

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GiorHviM3c&feature=related

    nick the quicks meltdown in all its glory for you.

    Watch for Shaq indicating its over lol

  • QQ

    @ dk:

    Chris Paul will never lead the league in blocks and Tim Duncan will never lead in the L in assists. Mark my words. So much for these overrated superstars. You heard it here first.

    Wow dk. You really are a genius. A fucking, fucking genius.

  • QQ

    @ 21:

    Man, Van Gundy didn’t lose it for us. Redick was there to space the floor, for us to have more room to run the SF-C low post play that was effective, and that essentially saved us in the 4th. Problem though, Redick as always is full of nerves and looks like a fucking dimwit on offense, blew the only role he was given: to shoot the open 3.

  • Rafa23

    lol @ QQ
    dont say anything you cant take back…lmao

  • Drink the Haterade (LA LAKERS 09 Champs)

    “Whatever confidence they can take from a close Game 2 in knowing they can play with L.A.”

    Please tell me you guys @ dime don’t really believe that when they Lakers bring their “A” game Orlando can keep up with them. If LA brings it all no team can keep up with them offensively and their defense is top 5.

  • LAballer

    Scoop Jackson’s article on our next FINALS MVP =]

    Hello, my name is Hate. I’ve been around for a long time. Thanks for creating me.

    I’m here today to talk about Kobe Bryant. Yeah, you know, that dude. The one who keeps me alive, simply because of the way so many of you feel about him. You see, there’s hate, and then there’s the way millions feel about him. There’s animosity, jealousy, anger … and then there’s the way so many of you feel about him. And now that the conversation has come to the forefront — about his place in history if he wins Championship No. 4 — I have returned with a vengeance.

    Yeah me, Hate — I’m back. And it seems, thanks to you, I’m stronger than ever.

    The funny thing about me is, my existence has nothing to do with basketball when it comes to Kobe Bryant. When people say they are rooting for the Magic strictly based on their hate for Kobe, or they just don’t want the Lakers to win because of their hate for Kobe, 99.9 percent of the time basketball is not the reason.

    It’s his attitude — he’s arrogant and smug. He’s selfish. He’s phony. He thinks he’s better than everyone.

    The Colorado incident comes up — it sits in the back of people’s minds like a trump card in Bid Whist. The breakup of the Lakers dynasty? Blamed on him. Sides are still being chosen. Shaq comes up. Love him, hate the other. People have even said they like LeBron’s Nike puppet more than Kobe’s.

    Now that’s hate. That’s me on a whole ‘nother level.

    Lemme breathe. Ahhhhhh. Feels good.

    Kobe can’t even have his wife and kids meet him when he comes off the court after home games without me dominating people’s feelings. Why does he get to have his kids come give him a hug after the game, and none of the other players’ families are allowed? Without even knowing the reason — because it’s him, and not, say, Derek Fisher — I am allowed to reign over even his family portrait. And if he loses a game in this series, I’ll be the “I told you so.”

    Now, some people have given the people who hold me against Kobe a name. They call them “Haters.” Population in the millions. Outside of L.A., we stretch all across the globe. Now the Haters, they reach for reasons that do sometimes have something to do with basketball. He shoots too much. He’s not a team player. He doesn’t make anyone around him better. The 81 points didn’t impress them — that cemented their belief he’s a ball hog. The MVP award last year went to the wrong player. The 40-point performance in Game 1 of this series? Whatever. And Lamar Odom was the reason the Lakers won Game 2. The hatred continues.

    The Haters are blinded by one thing when it comes to Kobe: He’s not Michael Jordan and he never will be. And they’ll stand on that until the day they die.

    So here I am, back in the Finals again, making my presence felt. Doing everything I can to find fault with Kobe Bryant, and fuel the fire against him getting another ring.

    The problem with me is that, the more I’m thrown in his face — the more you all allow me to play a role, the more you hold me against him — the stronger I make him. I’m counterproductive when it comes to Kobe.

    See, Kobe loves me. He loves the fact that I, Hate, play such a large role in his life. He didn’t always feel this way — he used to have a hard time understanding why I was always around. He didn’t get it. What have I done to make people hate me so much? That’s what he used to say to me in private moments. All he ever wanted to do is be considered the best player to ever ball. He thought, if he pushed himself hard enough, the world would appreciate him.

    But it didn’t. And now he doesn’t give a damn. What you think about him is no longer one of his concerns. He’s driven almost to the point of obsession with getting this fourth ring, not in spite of me, but because of me. He wants you to keep hating him. He calls me Nietzsche.

    So please, people — if you don’t want Kobe to win this series, if you don’t want to see him get his first Finals MVP, if you don’t want to see his place in NBA history vault to an argument-free Top 10 All-Time status, then stop. Stop tossing me at Kobe Bryant. Because at this point, you all have made me the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

  • dk

    Orlando Magic fans are becoming very defensive as game 3 looms on the horizon. I sure hope that they havent lost that loving feeling and I hope Howard has that beautiful smile on his face tonight. Between him having that stupid grin, powering home a single dunk in 5 1/2 quarters, Hedo having some kind of disease that makes him lazy, Lewis not being able to shut down a lane, and Lee/Reddick missing countless uncontested lay ups, tonight should be one hell of a party!!! Go Fagic!

    Im out like Dwights FG% and the ball when Lee putrs it off the glass, late in the fourth…

  • Taj

    People need to ease up on Courtney Lee. He’s been a big reason why the Magic has got this far. It was a difficult but makable shot, but all the guys that are hatin on him, I GUARANTEE have missed easier shots in less pressure packed situations. All the greats have missed a big shot here and there, but that motivation to not let it happen again is what made them great! Hopefully Lee will grow from this, take the criticizm to get better.

  • QQ

    @ dk:

    Defensive?

    Naaaah…

    Irritated by the dumbass posting constant bullshit in this board?

    Yes!

  • dk

    @27 Haters are ok fuck, it makes people strive for 6 or 7 championships, a 100 point game, hogging the ball and single handlely bringing your team from down 30. Its no big deal. Kobe isnt the first star to be accused of a rape that didnt happen, its no big deal. If its in the back of somebodies mind its just some sick Carradinesque fantasy. The bitch wanted to sue to make a buck. She could have had a shot but evidently shes soome hybrid mountain ho. Its not a good idea to throw three types of semen into your panties ladies and claim your a virgin and were ass raped. Kobes good, but hes not that good… What it boils down to is that the haters will lose, lose, lose… The cool part Lakers fans is our team will be back intact and maybe even slighty better as a core and as a unit. We have to survive one more year of Kobe carrying us before the Diesel returns!!!!

  • dk

    @30 I feel your pain. Its tough to see the fun when your down 2-0 to the ” super team ” I wouldnt mind you guys making a series of it but Id rather just finish up as fast as possible and not take chances. Like I said I can not what for game 3! Before game 2. I was a little nervous during game 2 with about .06 left on the clock, but that was appeased. I do know this. It was the Lakers turn to make adjustments so I hope Orlando is prepared. Im a fan of SVG so I assume they will have some sort of counter ready, but we are dealing with Phil so we will see….

  • dk

    @29 He missed a crucial lay up a little while earlier too… ;)

  • JH

    While Lee may never be a “go to guy” in the L…he’ll always be a solid role player and good addition to any team. I can’t think of any team in the L who wouldn’t like him on their squad. That missed alley oop layup was difficult considering he had to catch and release the ball in under 1 second while in the air and with defenders around him. A missed opportunity…but not a horrible missed shot.

    Here’s to a good & competitive series…no matter who wins.

  • chris

    say it again – no reason courtney lee has to be making that shot, except alston/redick/nelson go 1/11 from 3, and kobe gets free throws with 2 1/2 minutes left for falling down in the lane with hedo standing 2 feet away.

    i hope orlando wins 1 or 2 at home, but can’t see it lasting much longer than that.

  • http://www.nba.com smoove chips

    nick anderson=uncontested shots
    lee=contested layup,behind the rim,with a 7 footer jumping at you.

    those two ain’t the same thing.Period.Rookie or not.

    lakers in six.i expect a rebound game from orlando.

  • K Dizzle (2 more then nuthin left to say)

    @ LABaller – great post. it’s really how Laker Nation feels and what unites the purple and gold. It’s like how Pac said, “It’s just me against the world, baby”

    @ Windycitybull – why you yellin? And you can’t honestly be blamin SVG for JJ, who had to face the fires on the road as a Dukie missin wide open 3s and then turnin it over. I been impressed by SVG’s coachin since the Boston series. Dude is legit.

    @ dk – I got no problem with the Diesel comin back home long as he knows 1)He’s there to back up and mentor AB
    and 2) It’s Kobe’s team

    Lakers all day…

  • dk

    @36 He was WIDE OPEN on the lay up before that one….

  • K Dizzle (2 more then nuthin left to say)

    Since we sh*ttin on Nick Anderson, I watched that stretch that Sparkyjay posted and Nick(22pts, 5as) really got screwed by his teammates and his coach both before and after his 0-4 showing. Magic were up 3 with about 20+ seconds. For some reason Penny and Shaq don’t touch it as 1) Brian Shaw decides to jack a three 2) Ho Grant boards it, under the basket by himself and decides to take it back out (Mike woulda sh*t on his head for not takin the insurance 2 to put em up 5)
    and 3) after Nick goes 0-4, the Magic coulda fouled Kenny on the ground, thereby only givin up 2 freebies, but Penny jumps at the pumpfake and Kenny cashes the triple…..so yeah, Nick choked lol

  • dk

    @39 The Magic have never won a Finals playoff game, lmfao, lmfao. But the Lakers experiance and D Fish being horrible ( Wheres super star Alston been since the Cleavland series, I guess Mo Williams and Delonte West are worse defenders ), wont matter.

  • dk

    @39 The Magic have never won a Finals playoff game, lmfao, lmfao. But the Lakers experiance and D Fish being horrible ( Wheres super star Alston been since the Cleavland series, I guess Mo Williams and Delonte West are worse defenders ), wont matter. The Magic can smile there way to a Championship.

  • JuiceMode

    @17

    Look Pops, that wasn’t praising Scal, it was dissing Tim Thomas who is so awful on a team that you’d rather have Scal…

  • Mr. A

    The kid just had his Kobe Bryant, welcome-to-the-NBA moment. that’s all. he’ll be better off for it.

  • http://dime sure

    Watched the play over & over last night. Kobe got away with a blatant hold. The momentum of trying to pull away and early jump led to him missing the pass along with basket interference. 2 Blown calls along with the phantom fouls on Kobe in the 4th that changed momentum. Way 2 go refs. You guys deserve awards and trophys as well for the roles you play in deciding games. Bottom line he should have made the lay-up. The game was taken away from Orlando. Pietrus 5th foul called was Kobe ruled to the maximum. Turkolou’s was the worst foul called also. They also allowed Ariza to continuosly bump Hedo with out calls. The quickest way to lose fans. Let the players play and decide what they work for. Definitely younger refs are needed to keep up with the game. The elder statesman should serve as trainers or consultants.

  • method526

    it was a tough shot. lee was coming from a tough angle with kobe right on his heels. it was a gamble shot instead of an easy alley-oop to dwight.

  • http://HSSSblog.com Pierce Hibma

    Lee has to make that shot but you’re right that you can’t put the whole game on him. What about J.J.’s terrible turnover on a no-look pass to Derek Fisher. That was a big possesion as well. The Magic need to learn like the Lakers already know who deserves the ball in crunch time.

  • LakeShow84

    @ Sure

    Waaahhhh Waaahhhh Waahhhhh.. thats all i hear.. how about watching your team get anally raped last year in the Finals with “tough defense” which is code for Perkins bogarting my nigga Pau.. And 2 feet away?? Hedo was on him and it couldve been a no call but Pietrus got called for the same foul 2 quarters earlier.. lets call it home cooking.. What about Dwights goaltend which WAS REALLY A GOALTEND.. or the play they said Kobe lost it off his leg out of bounds when Hedo really touched it, and that shit was crunch time.. It goes both ways so no more crying please..

    Good game ahead tonight.. If Orlando dont come out gunnin its a wrap.. we proved we could grind it out with them last game.. that was one thing i was worried about.. its hard to grind it out with a 3 happy team cuz they will bomb u for a stretch.. but even with Shard BOMBING us from deep we still handled it.. You hear that Magic fans?? you guys better come out sharp tonight!!

    if not Orlando will have officially died by the 3.. but i expect EVERYONE to chip in tonight.. From Lee to Alston to Nelson so we will see if we can take their best shot..

  • LakeShow84

    Lees solid and that play didnt COST them the game..

    They couldve done something in OT.. it aint like the game was over when he missed that..

  • the cynic

    the loss is definitely not his fault. The whole team lost in overtime, but some moments are everlasting and everyone who watched game 2 will remember the missed lay-up by Courtney Lee. If he makes that shot Hedo is a hero for doing EVERYTHING for the magic in the fourth quarter and the lakers are doubting themselves knowing there best player blew the assignment that cost them the game while forcing several shots in the clutch

  • LakeShow84

    @ The Cynic

    Yeah i feel u.. but we would doubt ourselves?? You mustve been on that “oh shit Houston took LA to 7 games so they done” bandwagon..

    If you aint figured out one loss dont mean shit to us i dont know what to tell you.. how about u go ask Denver..

    you dont go to the Finals twice in a row riding the beasts back and then start to doubt him because he had an off game.. Lol Kobe forcing shots.. is that really news??

  • LakeShow84

    And im sure had there been more than 1 second on the clock Lee wouldve hit it.. He couldnt hold the ball long enough to put the touch on it..

  • the cynic

    @lakeshow

    Orlando ain’t Houston. LA was just bored against Houston

  • dk

    kobe is strokin its ova

  • BigB

    Clearly blame for the missed lay up has to lie with Pat Ewing…

    He’s on the coaching staff and is responsible for one of the greatest chokes of all time – Anyone remember him missing a lay up in the finals back in the day???