…is also known as the NBA Season Opener between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. And as I flip through my mental thesaurus, I can’t settle on one word to describe this game. But for the sake of this post, I’ll settle on the word epic.
This game will have tons of implications in it by the time its over. So many questions will be answered tonight by the time the buzzer rings, but plenty more will have been generated as well. This 2010 season quite possibly may be the most exciting season in decades, at least to my recollection. And like it or not, the off season charades and shenanigans ended up breathing new life into the sport. From ESPN’s shameless coverage to players’ twitter accounts, us fans and bloggers have made sure not to miss a beat of news or drama, all leading up to tonight.
There are countless reasons why you and I want to watch this game, and this particular match up to be more specific. Allow me to suggest the following questions to ask yourself and to keep in mind while watching tonight’s game.
- Will the urge to take over the game stop LeBron and/or Wade from letting team chemistry flow?
- Is Kevin Garnett really reborn?
- Can LeBron James really settle as the facilitator of the team, thus making him 2nd option?
- Which Miami Heat player will prove to be the 4th man on the court?
- Will Rajon Rondo show that he just may be the mostdangerous PG in the league?
- Can Spoelstra effectively handle the task of balancing egos and talent?
- Will Boston prove that they now have the deepest bench in the league?
- Will the O’Neals be what Boston needs to shutdown the Lakers, in less than 7?
- Has LeBron evolved on the court mentally.
- Which team will prove to be the most threat to the Los Angeles Lakers? And why?
These questions intrigue me the most. Answering them will give us more insight as to what we can expect to see in the coming months.
So there we have it, an unstoppable force and an immovable object, just like in a Batman movie. But just like in the end of such movies, there is always the next villain…waiting. They’ve been there, lingering the whole time…..watching and waiting.
We see you Laker fans. Taking notes.
Enjoy the game while you can. Because the truth is that while both Miami and Boston begin their epic battle tonight, it will be the first of many. The winner of their season long war will have grown stronger and even more dangerous than they were before tonight’s game. One will be left standing, hovering over their fallen foe of the East and then at that exact moment they will look up and turn their head…. towards you.
Dave E. Gold
Now this is one cool cat. Lanny Smith is as humble as they come and has ‘future NBA Star’ written all over him. Hailing down from the University of Houston, Lanny as been on the brink of NBA stardom ever since departing from the Cougars but unfortunately has been sidetracked by injury and rehab. But don’t think for one second that Smith isn’t turning his lemons into lemonade, no sir, this man is productive.MommaThereGoesThatMan.com got to talk with Lanny about all things basketball and he did NOT disappoint. Hear what he has to say about topics including his overall game, God, David Stern, Game 7 of The Finals and diva superstars.
1.) With your foot all healed up, is it safe to say that now it’s not a matter of health, talent or ability but of simply having the right opportunity to showcase what you can do out there on the court?
Right now I’m actually in the final stages of rehabbing my knee. Unfortunately after being the last cut from the Sacramento Kings in preseason I suffered torn cartilage from a collision in my 4th game of the Dleague season. It was misdiagnosed so I ended up playing on it for almost 2 months before finally finding out that it was torn and needed season ending surgery. Due to that I missed out on a possible call up opportunity with the Kings as well as the chance to play summer league. Now my days consist of rehab, strength and conditioning, and drill work on the basketball court. Its tedious and I was very disappointed but I got too close to my dream to stop and give up now. I feel like I’m right on the cusp of realizing that dream. I work extremely hard and im very strong in my faith so i believe it will all work out for me. It may not be the route i envisioned but if God has something for me then it will be there for me regardless of the path. There are so many guys in my situation who have NBA talent and or skills and it just comes down to having the right opportunity to showcase that. There are roughly around 430 players in the NBA. Many times it’s not a question of skill or talent but it becomes strictly a numbers game. Guys in my position have to have that undeniable belief in ourselves and our abilities so that when that rare opportunity comes, we will be able to take advantage of it. I’m looking forward to getting back on the court soon and being ready when that opportunity comes my way again. I actually started a video blog chronicling this journey to get back called Hoop Dreams that can be found on my facebook page or on my YouTube.
2.) If a scout were to ask you, straight up, “Which player’s game in the NBA, closest resembles yours?” who would you answer and why?
Honestly, I personally can’t think of a player that I can look at and say my game resembles. My playing style is different from any of the players that I grew up admiring. I don’t think I patterned my game after any one player in particular. As a student of the game I know I try to take bits and pieces from every player that I like and incorporate that into my game somehow. My college coach at The University of Houston, Tom Penders, used to tell me I reminded him of a young Gary Payton. At the time he said that I could see the similarities in the style somewhat, but obviously not his talent level or skill. I was flattered and humbled to have that comparison from my coach. I am a pure point guard in the sense that I’ve always looked to pass first and set up teammates before looking to my own offense. Something about breaking the defense down and creating for others or seeing plays develop before they happen excites me.
3.) When you’re stepping on the court, what can fans expect to get, see and experience by watching Lanny Smith?
One thing fans, coaches, and teammates can ALWAYS expect to get from Lanny Smith on the court is intensity. I have always played the game with emotion and a chip on my shoulder and I think that is evident in my game, especially on the defensive end. I’ve always taken pride in my defense and being someone who could disrupt the other team’s offense or shut down an opposing player. I had a great high school coach who instilled the importance of defense and playing with intensity at all times and that has stayed with me. I also feel like I bring a lot of heart to the game. Sometimes that energy and passion can be seen as me being a little fiery but I think that’s a good thing. Offensively I’ve always had a great handle and vision. So fans would definitely see some shaky moves and maybe a few no look passes. Nothing to be fancy, but I definitely use my eyes to lead the defense away from my intended target a lot. I also take pride in being unselfish. I’ve been told sometimes I’m unselfish to a fault so I’m working on that. But anytime you get a PG that enjoys making plays for others and being unselfish, guys enjoy playing with him. I’ve experienced having guys enjoy playing with me on every level because of that fact. I can score when I need to, but I’d rather have double digit assists than 20 points any day.
4.) You’ve played and hung out with Big Shot Bob a.k.a “Robert Horry”. What’s the man like and what were you able to take from that experience?
I met Robert Horry last summer on the inaugural NBA Asia tour. As a native houstonian who grew up a huge Rockets fan, it was an honor and privilege to meet him. He was a key part of the Rockets’ back to back championships and people in Houston have always loved Robert Horry. He was actually very down to earth and silly so that was cool to see that side of him off the court. One thing I was very impressed with was his humility. He mentioned that everybody asks him about his rings and how he has won wherever he went. His response was that he was blessed to play with dominant big men (Olajuwan, Oneal, Duncan) who always drew so much attention that he was able to get the looks he got and without them he wouldn’t have the rings or the opportunity to hit those big shots. That was great to see him acknowledge those great players and give them credit. So often in today’s society and in sports, we are infatuated with celebrating ourselves and what we have done. To see an athlete of his caliber be so humble and defer to his teammates was a beautiful thing. One thing I’ll always take away from my experience playing with him was something he said after one of our games in Korea. He said he didn’t realize the amount of talent that was in the Dleague and told me I had NBA talent and game. He told me to keep working hard and keep believing because all I needed was the right opportunity with the right team. To hear him say that he knew I could play on that level gave me so much more confidence and I’ll always remember that.
5.) Would you be able to say that playing for the D-League is beneficial in the fact that it gives you time to actually see the NBA from an angle that most don’t get to see. For instance, would you say that you’ve been able to observer financial and social mistakes made by rookies in the NBA simply because they weren’t prepared or quite ready to deal with certain situations?
Playing in the Dleague is definitely beneficial because it gives players the opportunity to play in NBA systems with NBA rules and have exposure to every team in the NBA. Some players’ situations are different than others but having that direct affiliation to the NBA and essentially being a minor league/ farm system to the NBA is great and you know that you are one call away from realizing a dream. As far as observing mistakes made by NBA players, we are privileged to the same player development groups and classes provided to the NBA players that help educate about handling finances and the other off court issues that being a professional player brings. I think some of those pitfalls can be seen across any pro league and is more a situation of the individual’s maturity level and the support group he has around him. I don’t think people on the outside understand all of the pressures and situations that come with being a professional athlete and the evils that exist because of the huge amounts of money and the status acquired. I’m glad the NBA and the Dleague have those programs in place to help that transition as well as provide support for those that need it
6.) What’s going on through your mind when you know you’ve got scouts and reps studying your game and watching you play?
I think it can be nerve wrecking if you let it be. But at the end of the day is a dream that I have worked my whole life for so i know that is a part of getting there. Though it is on a higher level and more intense, we have all been dealing with scrutiny on our games since we were young. Most of us were the best where we were from so the aau teams would scout your games. Playing AAU, and traveling across the country playing against the best in the country since we were in middle school, trying to get ranked etc. I was invited to the abcd all American camp twice in high school and you have every major college coach in attendance scouting you while you play for a scholarship. All of those situations growing up in the game have led up to this so it’s really nothing new. In my mind I know ive put in the work and done everything I can, so once I leave it all in the court I cant do anything else. You play hard and play to win and in the process hope that those scouts like what they see. We have a saying that goes, there are 30 teams in the NBA, but you only have to get one of them to like you.
7.) If Perkins was in game 7, not injured, do the Celtics take the title? One word, yes or no?
8.) Do you think it’s reckless for an owner/organization to allow their superstar/franchise player to have MORE than just an opinion in BIG decisions regarding the team? For example, decisions on the hiring of coaches and the trading of players?
As a player I don’t know all of the intricacies of these business decisions. I think the owners are well educated in business, obviously invested in these teams, and are looking to put their team in the best possible situation. I think it’s only natural for them to at least hear out the feelings of their franchise players but ultimately the decision rests on them and that’s what they get paid the big big bucks to do.
9.) What do you know about David Stern and what would you ask him, if the both of you were say…..stuck in an elevator?
Off top David Stern is the one man that every basketball player dreams of shaking his hand and having him call your name. I was born in 84 which happened to be his first year as commissioner and the same year Jordan was drafted. (Great year huh). I know that he has expanded the league by 7 teams in his tenure and was greatly responsible for the growth of the NBA into the global entity that it is. Under his watch the WNBA and NBA Development League were added under the NBA umbrella so it’s safe to say he has been important to the expansion of the NBA brand. From what I know he is passionate about the game and is a shrewd business man so I would definitely love to shadow him and pick up some things. With my own interest and love for the game of basketball and business, I’d ask him how he got started and what have been the keys to his success. I’d ask him if I could intern for him and possibly have a position in the NBA office when my playing days are done. And I’d definitely ask him if I could record him shaking my hand while I put on a team hat. Lol
10.) What’s on the horizon for Lanny Smith, what can we expect in the near future?
For one you can expect to see me back on the court soon pursuing my dream and hopefully, God willing, soon after in a uniform with Jerry West on the shoulder and Smith on the back. Other than that I am in the process of launching my own business. It is a Christian Athletic Apparel company called Active Faith Sports. You can check it out by searching Active Faith Sports on facebook, following @Active_Faith on Twitter or visiting the website, www.myactivefaith.com. The site is currently under construction but you can view some sample galleries as well as subscribe to get instant updates on the launch and when new products will be available. This isn’t just a business venture to me but something I’m very passionate about as it combines my strength faith and my love for sports. In a time where athletes of all levels and sports are more open about proclaiming their love for Christ, I believe the Active Faith brand is coming about at the right time. I have been in communication with athletes in the NBA, NFL, and MLB about representing the brand and we are definitely hoping to hear from or contact all athletes who are interested. I’m looking forward to launching Active Faith Sports within the next month and a half so it’s coming soon.
This journey of mine has definitely had it’s rough moments and people have wondered if I should give up. I have something burning inside me that won’t allow me to do that. At the end of the day I will have a powerful testimony. One thing that I have learned along the way is that the success isn’t necessarily a destination, and that for guys like me, the reward is in the Journey.
Follow me on:
Facebook: Lanny Smith
David E. Gold
Crushing stereotypes, Marquis Daniels is the first NBA Player to have legitimate talent on the mic. Daniels, who records under the name Q6, is really a breathe of fresh air in the studio. Having already dished out a couple of mixtapes, Q6 has the rap game on strings. But all that is just for fun. On the court, Marquis Daniels is an instant asset to whatever team he’s on. Off the court, he has his own foundation, set on bringing attention to a blood disorder that has hit too close to home. He’s quite the busy man as you’ll soon learn. And to think he still took the time to answer a couple of questions for mommatheregoesthatman.com about his found success in the NBA, music industry and life in general.
1.) Would you say that if Perk hadn’t gone down, you guys would have had that game locked up? Be honest.
“It may have made a huge difference but it’s said and done.”
2.) What were some of the things said in that locker-room after Game 7? What stuck in your mind the most?
“Really wasn’t much talking, everyone was upset. We played really hard and came up on the losing end. I don’t think about it.”
3.) Don’t you find it funny that the Lakers have been barking alotta shit since they’ve won? What’s your idea of how a TRUE champion should behave?
“Congratulations to them. If that’s what they choose to do so be it, champions celebrate differently.”
4.) How’s your body? Any changes in your offseason training?
“Im healthy. Unfortunately I had my thumb injury but now I’m healthy and ready to go. Just work on my overall game, alot of shooting.”
5.) You’re a starting caliber player, you proved that in Dallas when they needed you. As a FA, do you prefer to unite with a team where you will start or do you feel more comfortable coming in off the rotation?
“I just wanna play, regardless if it’s starting or being a reserve player.”
6.) What does having the ability to create music mean to you?
“Its a good outlet, a way of expressing yourself.”
7.) You’ve collabed with Gucci Mane on “Pussy and Patron”. Who else do you have on your radar that you’d like to collab with?
“1st I’d like to say free Boosie and Lil Wayne. I’ve done tracks wit Boosie and Trina as well as some other artists. I will work with anyone. I’m an athelete 1st. This a great hobby for me, so working with those that’s in the industry is a privilege.”
8.) When you make music, what kind of vibe or mood do you hope you’re setting for your listeners? http://www.datpiff.com/DJ_Smallz_Q6_The_6th_Sense.m21419.html
“I just talk about things that’s going around me. Things I’ve been thru or seen.”
9.) Talk about the R.E.D. Team/1090 Blokk Boyz
“That’s my squad. They go hard got a nice buzz going I’m just trying to help them go to the next level.”
10.) Talk a lil bit about the Q6 Foundation http://theq6foundation.com/ . Who is it aimed at and what goals do you have set for it?
“My foundation is aimed to help amateur sports and sickle cell in which my daughter has a trait. I myself need to know more about it and wanna inform others about it as well.”
11.) What’s next for Marquis Daniels the musician?
“Helping my 1090 Blokk Boyz get da exposure they deserve cause the talent is there.”
12.) What’s next for Marquis Daniels the NBA player?
“Keep working hard to better myself as a player.”
Big thanks to Marquis for doing this interview.
- David E. Gold
Definitely have been letting you tightass Laker fans sit on your “victory” from last week. For those of you that are desperate enough to actual enjoy the “win”, I’d like you to become a little bit more familiar with the following symbol:
Yes, it’s an asterisk.
I congratulated a whole lot of you Laker fans after the game, but while doing so I was amazed at how pumped and cocky you guys were about the outcome. Kinda disturbing, considering how much some of you people take pride in your “NBA I.Q.”.
Let’s not make a bigger deal than it is, but let’s definitely NOT ignore the facts surrounding Game 7. There’s a thin line between being bitter and being real. I sure do hope that you Laker fans can own up to the reality of what the “win” really means……but more importantly, what it doesn’t.
Dave E. Gold