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Smack / Jun 14, 2009 / 12:03 am

Dwight’s chips are on the table; meet the LeBron of the NHL

Dwight Howard (photo. Mannion)

Dwight Howard (photo. Mannion)

His team’s back is against the ropes and their legs are wobbly, so Dwight Howard pulled the only card he had left in the motivational playbook: He made a guarantee. Sort of. “You want me to get up here and say the season is going to be over tomorrow? That’s not what anybody should do or anybody should think,” Howard told reporters going into today’s Game 5. “I believe that we’re going to be going back to L.A.” So it didn’t exactly have the bravado of Jim Fassel‘s “We’re GOING to the playoffs” poker speech, or even Mo Namath‘s “We’re the best team in basketball” line from the Cavs/Magic series, but Dwight got the point across … Stan Van Gundy did his part (and aged himself) by telling the Magic the story of cyclist Greg LeMond‘s come-from-behind win in the 1989 Tour de France. “(LeMond) had come from behind and then taken the lead and then lost it on one of the late stages, and people started to write him off,” Van Gundy said, relaying what he told his players. “And at the end of the stage he looked beaten, and he and his wife were talking when they left, and they asked his wife what he had said. And he said, ‘It’ll just make the story all that much better when I come back and win it all.” … (Speaking of bikes, did you hear about UConn coach Jim Calhoun‘s ultimate badass bike ride yesterday? With 16 miles to do in a 50-mile charity event race in New England, the 67-year-old Calhoun hit a pothole, fell and broke five ribs — then FINISHED THE RACE. Current and future Huskies officially have no excuse ever to tell Calhoun they can’t finish a drill.) … Throughout these playoffs, we’ve repeated that Kobe doesn’t need to put up Hall of Fame numbers to get this legacy-defining championship, so long as his team is getting wins. And while it doesn’t even seem like he’s been dominant in the Finals, Kobe is averaging 33 points, 5.5 boards and eight assists in this series. Don’t be surprised if Mamba comes out tonight (ABC, 8 p.m. EST) trying to really put the nail in the coffin like he did in Game 1, gunning for 40 and wanting to deliver the fatal blows himself … It’s almost unfair that everybody in the world with a laptop or a microphone can raise hell about the poor officiating in the NBA, but guys like Phil Jackson — the ones actually being affected by the refs — still get fined $25,000 a pop for even the most tame referee criticisms. Jackson took a $25K hit for talking about the refs in Game 4, even though it’s clear to even an Orlando fan there were some terrible calls in that game and that the whole series has been called comically inconsistent. Do you think the NBA should stop fining players and coaches for talking about the refs? … Silver lining for the Magic even if their season ends tonight: Team president Bob Vander Weide said ownership wouldn’t be against stepping into luxury-tax territory in order to keep Hedo Turkoglu (if Hedo opts out this summer). “We’ve always avoided the tax, but winning has a crazy effect on people,” Vander Weide said … NBA Draft updates/rumors: Jrue Holiday is signing with an agent and staying in the draft; South Carolina guard Devan Downey and Texas forward Damion James are going back to school; the Bobcats (#12) like DeJuan Blair, so much so that Larry Brown compared him to Larry Johnson; and the Celtics really like Tyreke Evans, so much so that they may dangle Ray Allen ($19.7M expiring contract in 2010) as trade bait to move up and get him … What is it these days with people whining about superstar athletes and post-game handshakes? Ever since Friday’s Stanley Cup finals Game 7, there’s been a growing non-story about Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby not shaking hands with the Detroit Red Wings on the ice. And it’s not even that Crosby didn’t shake hands at all — it’s that he didn’t shake in a timely manner. “That’s ridiculous, especially as their captain,” said Detroit’s Kris Draper. “And make sure you write that I said that!” Who knew hockey players could be so sensitive? … We’re out like Downey …

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  • Hey!!

    After all the great series we’ve seen in this year’s playoffs thus far, it’ll be a shame if the Finals didn’t go at least 6 games.

  • Josh Tha roc

    prediction van gundy goes small big skinny and plays jame
    Jameer and raf with the 1 big and 2 skinnys

  • http://www.nba.com smoove chips

    Fines or no fines the crazy calls still stand.So hell yeah,fine they asses it keeps the bullshyt to a minimum and by “mininum” I mean the fans.

    If kobe goes into videogame mode and them shyts ain’t falling,there’s gon be a game six.Alternatively he could try to write history in a whole different way.How about the most assists in playoff history and a trip dub.

    10 rebs,10 points,and a staggering double-digit-call-your friends-and-em-assist number.we due for style points anyway.then he can text shaq and ask him how his ass tastes.

    i’m out like guarantees…

  • http://mikeshoopblog.blogspot.com/ Money Mike

    I hope Orlando can get a W and at least make it entertaining.

  • BRUCE

    D-Ho should have made the guaranteeD before the series.

  • AZ

    IT should be all about JIM Calhoun today, thats a REAL MOTHER fUc**R.

  • QQ

    Funny how, because of one boneheaded decision, Lebron’s name went from being synonymous to ‘the most dominant player in a sport’ to the ‘arrogant asshole who didn’t shake hands’. LOL.

  • http://www.nba.com smoove chips

    i would laugh my behind off if Allen got traded and ended up in cleveland AND THEN proceeds to bomb the living crap outta Boston next at next years ECF.KG would have a stroke.

    On another note what else can Vander weide say to the city of Orlando and more importantly,Dwight Howard ?

    “Well orlando,hmmph..Howard,seeing as how you were only a coupla mistakes from winning this whole thing and bringing a championship to this city we..ahem..cut Turkoglu…”

    He’d be dead by sunrise(Eastern time!)

  • AB_40

    haha dejuan blair and larry johnson ah hahahahahaha sorry man blair got what a 15 inch vert? him and sean may are gonna be two fat guys sitting on the bench all year.

    there’s no excitement in this series because van gundy let nelson play this series. that screwed up their rotation wich screwed up the mental mojo the team had with their roles. face it jameer nelson SUCKS this series which makes alston frustrated while he’s looking of the bench knowing he can do a better job. Dwight howard hasn’t had a single dominant game this series. To me Yao is still the best center in the leauge.

    let’s hope theres a fun game tonight and we’ll go from there. This will probably the first summer in a long time I won’t follow the free agent frenzy I’ll check it out once a week. everybody writes so much junk now a days that well it starts to bore me.

  • biggeddy

    Is it against basketball fandom to hope that the Lakers(my team since I first knew what basketball was)lose in game 5 so that they can win the title in game six? The main reason… I got tickets to the game and would love to be there for the ceremony. Any opinions?

    BTW, I still want a good game and for Kobe to do his thing and continue getting everyone else involved, but still… I want to go the the big game.

  • 3D Scott

    Put the house on a miracle, Magics in 7! Who is with me?!

  • YOUNGFED aka Black on black, wit dem d@mn 22’s

    I hope K-Hova finishes them boyz off today.

    YOUNGFED’S BANGER OF THE DAY: BG & Juve
    http://www.xxlmag.com/online/?p=48941

  • alf (from melmak)

    just for the record. i ain’t watching game 5. i will only watch if the championship reaches game 7.

    who will the magic management bring in this time? penny and shaq? also, please, someone get a restraining order against nick anderson and his shadow from coming anywhere near 100 meters of the arena.

    i am still rooting for the nice guys. hate the cockiness and arrogance of the laker team.

  • QQ

    I hope we give it our all… I mean, I can say I am disappointed with our Game 4 outing. Stan experimenting with things deep into the Finals where you should rely on what got you there, Dwight missing the free throws, Shard missing an open jumpshot with 39 seconds left, Jameer looking lost on offense and doing a JJ Redick impression. Damn. I ADMIT (You know that word, Austin Burton?) it, we blew it.

    I just hope we bounce back… GOOOOO MAGIC!!!!!! GOOOOOO!!!!

  • JuiceMode

    Funny thing is, this series could easily have been 3-1 the other way… That’s what makes it painful to any Magic fan…

  • dk

    You Orlando people are some real pieces of shit. I cant believe how you homos are throwin g SVG under the bus. I was in the O and the front page of TheOrlano Sentinel had SVG on itcalling him goofy and trashing the guy that beat B Boston and Cleavland. Thats real dick.Befrore the series started allyou fucks were psyched to have Nelson roaring to go. Now its a bad move and your coach sucks. These arent experiaments SVG isperforming there called adjustments you losers. Fromthe loiith two OT losses to thest team in the NBA and the greaest finisher ever next to MJ.toks of it hes doing a good job of making them too. W

  • ponky_alolor

    could dwight guarantee he’ll make at least 1 free throw next time? lol.

    @ smoove, yeah i would die laughing if jesus lands with the cavs and bombs the sh*t out of beantown.

    seriously trading rayray is not the way to treat the guys who got the ’08 chip.

  • flavur

    Dejuan Blair is not even fat he is the toughest guy in this draft and will be a beast in the NBA.

  • that’s whats up

    @dk

    you ever seen ANY New York newspapers?

    All they do is throw EVERYONE under the bus, no matter who….
    that’s how you sell papers.

    If you’d come up off Kobe’s nutz you’d realize other things are going on…
    …dkhead

  • http://hornetshype.com ticktock6

    @dk

    Like any of the fans on here wrote the paper!

  • RonNation

    man the nhl game 7 was awesome

  • gigi

    when coaches get fined doesnt that money go to charity and therefore it is tax exempt. if so, why would the coaches stop talking trash. anyways, sometimes things have to said with the way things are called. someone has to let the reffs kno they screwed up.

  • LAballer

    i dont think dk was saying anyone of the fans on here wrote the paper..but..im gonna brace myself for a whole lotta shit here but screw it..i actually think he brought up a GREAT point..i dont recall any magic fan on here saying anything about screwing up the rotation, or it being a bad idea to play nelson before the finals started and news broke that he may play..in fact i do remember everyone being happy about it cause nelson tore our squad up this year..

    i do agree that SVG is playing him wayyyy too many minutes and i think GEE said it a few days ago but i noticed it too..alston missed a couple defensive assignments..coach called time..and he argued with stan instead of listening to him..didnt see him enter the game after that again..nothing new here..skip’s attitude is always whats held him from being a truly reliable and good pg..

    also..AB’s article was on the money..stan didnt miss those freethrows..he has made a few stupid mistakes..but he has also made some GREAT coaching moves that got your team to the finals..how about thinking about that before you kill the guy for playing the starting PG that ALL OF YOU WANTED HIM TO PLAY TO BEGIN WITH.

    LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKERS =]

    ey..la dime people..see y’all at the parade baby

  • Rafa23

    if there will be a parade..
    city of LA is broke and probably cant afford it. lmao
    but i think jerry buss will have that 1 million. he just cant play that much poker in the near future. he was a big donator to the pros.

  • Heckler…formerly ‘yallallreadyknow’

    nuff respect to jimmy calhoun. if the story is true, he gotta earn everyones respect. nuff said on that.

    what the hell do the celtics need with tyreke evans? tyreke can’t shoot and they already have a point guard. tyreke is 6’6 (i think) so he has the size to play 2guard, but homey can’t shoot for shit. so where the celtics gonna play him? they gonna dangle a HOF and the best pure shooter in the game for an unproven rook?

    orlando should do a sign-n-trade with hedo. sign him then trade him to GS for stephen jackson. they’d get some perimeter defense. a playmaker. a shooter just like hedo. and some toughness. come to think of it….the Lakers could use stephen jackson too. them LA boys need some more toughness.

    DeJuan Blair aint no Grandma’ma.

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs Before Slamball

    @LAballer, actually a TON of orlando fans disagreed. And its not that people didn’t want nelson to play, its we, or at least I (go back last week and check my post) didn’t think he should be playin starters minutes. If they were gonna bring jameer back, he should of bein in the anthony johnson role. Resting rafer and keepin the offense flowing. Instead hes playing starter minutes and in the clutch after bein gone half the season. So if you call that an adjustment, you dont know shit. Thats experimenting…And adjustment would be “hey skip has been playing like shit and the lakers have been eatting up pgs, so lets switch it up and put jameer in” meanwhile skip was playing good until half time of game one and the coach decided to make jameer the focal point when he should just be the spark of the bench. So its not anything about throwing dude under the bus. If it aint broken dont fix it and skip was doin his thing. Even last game, skip was doin his thing and yet jameer played the whole 4th and overtime meanwhile he was having mad dumb turnovers, like one time he dribbled down the right side of the court and just tripped. And its not like hes hittin jumpers either, so if thats an adjustment, its a bad one. The fact jameer was even in during the last couple minutes says alot meanwhile skip and lee were the guys just a series ago. Jameer has been looking out of place the majority of the time but SVG keeps like tryin to force him to shine when its not needed. Go with whats workin and have jameer be the earl boykins off the bench.

    Plain and simple, magic win this game if their aggressive THE WHOLE GAME!!..none of this, 3 minutes left, just give the ball to hedo shit. Let rashard get some shots, let the pgs attack the basket. Let kobe do his thing and choke out the other guys. Cuz slowin the game down and force feeding hedo isn’t gonna work like that. the team works best off movement, their not a iso team. Shard/hedo both need to take about 12 shots this game.

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs Before Slamball

    Hedo for captain jack would be a waste..Jackson is good but hes toooo much of a gunner even for the magic and he can’t create his own shot..I’d rather try to get tmac back and even at 75% hes at least hedo level…and blair aint grand ma ma but those of us who have seen him at the combine can tell you hes him droppin 30 pounds has him lookin alot more athletic. Like young ben wallace type dunks as opposed to his college big baby davis dunks during the season.

  • bab

    If Fisher hits another game-winning shot tonight, does the MVP still go to Kobe?

  • dk

    @28 yeah einstein. because kobe will be doubled

  • K Dizzle (1 more then nuthin left to say)

    yeah…it still does. 33, 8 and 6 seals it.

  • K Dizzle (1 more then nuthin left to say)

    @ Bron
    did you really say Stephen Jackson can’t create his own shot? Dude plays with Crawford, Ellis and Maggette. He doin nothin but creatin his own shot cuz those 3 guys don’t make plays for anybody.
    If you were sayin play jameer only spot minutes during the finals, you were the only Magic supporter sayin that cuz i remember Magic fans talkin mess about Jameer killin durin the regular season so he was gonna come back after a 4 month layoff and pick it up right where he left off.

    After watchin what the Penguins did to the Wings, i don’t want this series goin back to LA. If we can finish em off in orlando, we need to. With Kobe and Fish runnin the show, I’m thinkin they gonna come after them and try to wrap it up.

    Why is Cleveland tryin to get Shaq so bad? Yeah, Z sucked in the series but the backcourt was way worse. Nobody in the l can really match up with Dwight, but Delonte, boobie, Mo and Pavlovic could have at least shown up.

  • M Intellect

    LOL – Derek Fisher for MVP.

  • M Intellect

    Imagine – Hedo goes to a team with the Tyreke pick, Ray goes to Orlando and the Celtics get the Tyreke pick and Orlando’s 1st Round pick.

  • K Dizzle

    It’s just about over…

  • K Dizzle

    who’s even gonna stop us for the next few years???

    Lakers all day

    YEAH!!!

  • yoda

    go lakers :DDD

  • Oscarisalakerfan

    WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ponky_alolor

    Congratulations to the purple and gold. Phil Jackson got up there with Red. Damn is there even any doubt that he’s an excellent coach with a winning system?

    Team effort by the lakers to close this out.

  • Duke

    Adam Morrison lol.

  • MoxWestCoastRep

    Lakers!! I need me a 09 chip hat!!
    WOOOO HOOOOO!!!

  • A.R.

    Wat can you say now? 09 champs!
    Kobe got that ring! Shaq tell me how my ass taste.
    He hasn’t been outta the 1st round since that one in miami.
    But thats all past tense. LA Lakers 2009 champions.
    Congratulations Kobe and Fisher. Those are the OG’s of the the team lol.

  • QQ

    @14

    WOW, this shit is getting kind of outrageous!! this faggot imposter is pretending to be me by writing posts like I would, LOL… Everyone please, don’t believe him. I mean, most of what he said does coincide with my beliefs, but that was still the imposter using my name. I might have to switch my name.

    Bigups to my homie Smoove Chips!!

    Didn’t you say we were gonna get on these females?? what’s da word brothaa?? just lemmie know and i’m on the first flight out there!

    GOOOOO MAGICCC!!!!!!!

    PS BURN THE IMPOSTER!!

  • QQ

    @16 – Fuck you DK!!! I oughta WHOOP yo ASS for talkin dat shit. You’re a FAGGOT!

    And FUCK dat IMPOSTER.

    BURN THE IMPOSTER!!!

    FUCK YOU DK!!

    DK = DickKisser