Posts Tagged ‘Israel Guiterrez’

LeBron, Heat Keep Moving Forward

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — If you ask LeBron James, 2011 seems so … two days ago.

Longer than that, actually, for the most publicly prosecuted player in the NBA, someone who endured constant fan abuse despite not committing a crime or being a menace to society. Plenty has happened since, all for the good according to LeBron, who ushered in the New Year by announcing his engagement to his long-time girlfriend, Savannah Brinson. The couple has two children together.

Of course, even this will bring out the skeptics as Israel Gutierrez of the Miami Herald mentions. Such is life for LeBron in the wake of “The Decision” and a few other public stumbles. Anything he does, even if it seems heartfelt, will be dismissed as a staged production by someone desperate to make the public think he’s a changed man, if only to get more endorsements in his pocket and the boos off his back.

His commercials with State Farm and McDonald’s and even Nike have a community relations flavor to them, where LeBron is seen helping kids or stressing education. He’s pushing his charitable foundation and making contributions to other causes. It’s all part of LeBron getting back to his “old self” as he said, all part of LeBron living up to his preseason pledge, when he said:

“For me personally, I’m a totally different person than last year. I’m just back to loving the game of basketball, not taking too much for granted, playing with a smile on my face and just understanding I’m just a kid from Akron, Ohio, in the NBA. I lost that last year.”

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No Stopping The Heat

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Maybe Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was right.

The Miami Heat just might be the best team in the NBA right now. They certainly aren’t doing anything to hurt their cause. They continue to steamroll the competition in ways that didn’t seem possible just three weeks ago, when many people were questioning their union of superstars.

The only legitimate question surrounding this team right now is who is going to stop them?

Winners of nine straight games after Monday’s win over the Hornets, the Heat’s hot streak could hit 14 by Christmas, when the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers take their talents to Staples Center to face the crew from South Beach.

No offense to the Cavaliers and Wizards, but if the Knicks can’t get them Friday in New York and Cuban’s Mavericks don’t slow them down Dec. 20 in Miami, that Christmas Day showdown with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers will take on even more epic proportions for both sides.

If the Lakers can’t stop them, a home game against the Knicks (Dec. 28) and a road game in Houston (Dec. 29) are all that stand in the way of the Heat finishing December without a blemish.

It’s a stunning turnaround from that .500 start, even for a team that boasts two of the best players on the planet in LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

We know it’s taboo to look too far ahead, but the way this Heat team is playing right now they could run off a string of wins that challenges the 1971-72 Lakers’ NBA record 33-game streak.

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