Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Changes at ESPN 700

   So, this afternoon, I was working out and listening to the Bill Riley show on ESPN 700 here in Salt Lake.  I had been listening for quite some time, when an ad caught my attention.  It just mentioned that on April 25, ESPN 700 would be welcoming a "Utah radio legend" to its lineup.  No other details were given. 

    Being a sports radio junkie, I tweeted @espn700bill to confirm what I had heard.  He responded with "yes". 

    I then presented this to my twitter followers and asked for guesses as to who this might be.  Here are some of the their responses.

    The first response I got was from @jdartute, who (thankfully) admitted that it was not him and guessed Brad Rock.  I have listened to Brad Rock fill in from time to time on 1280 the Zone.  Brad is my favorite local columnist and I think he always does well on the Zone.  Could it be him? He isn't exactly a "radio legend", but its as good a guess as any. 

     My personal guess (first one at least, ha ha) was Tom Barberi.  Tom has been with KALL in the past and frankly on the radio forever.  (His daughter, if I am not mistaken, does "radio from hell on X96).  My good friend @nate5107 voiced his opinion that he would not be a fan of that move.  I am with you Nate!  Tom, though he could be considered a "legend" is past his prime and I can't imagine ESPN 700 bringing him back.  (Hey idiot, you just slammed your own guess!)

     @davidwilbur was next in with his hope that it would be Steve Klauke, aka @slbeesradio.  I have always enjoyed Steve.  He could be considered a legend.  But coming to ESPN 700 would mean he has to give up being the voice of the Bees (I think, they are competing stations).  I have no idea if Steve is thinking of hanging that up or not, but it very well could be him.

     One of my favorite byu fans, @bhein3 suggested that it might be the guy "who was on 1320 who has been on ESPN national radio for a while".  My first thought was that this was Ian Furness.  I googled him, and it looks like he is in Seattle.   Can anyone help me on this?  This sounds familiar, but I just can't think of the name. 

     @davidwilbur also suggested former 1280 the Zone personalities Jim Fuchuck and Kevin Graham.  Fuchuck was fired and Graham left for a gig in Arizona.  Graham now runs the website Sports Mashup.  Fuchuck is still hanging around the market, or so I have been told.  Both would be nice additions.  Fuchuck is the only one I have heard who can have a competent conversation about professional baseball here in town. 

     @UtahProgressive weighed in by saying he had a feeling it might be David Locke.  This thought had crossed my mind too.  He and Wilbur went on to have a back and forth about how Locke "blows".  (If there is a more accurate description, Id like to find it).  Locke is a Jazz homer, and ESPN 700 is the middle ground in Utah.  (1320 is far too nice to the Jazz, 1280 is too harsh, ESPN 700 gives you the middle ground.)   I fear Locke coming over would tip the scale too far in the Pro-jazz direction.  At the same time, maybe getting away from KFAN would let Locke tell us how he really feels.  The guy works hard, but he is a jerk at times to callers.  Would he be willing to give up being the "Voice of the Jazz"?

    Wilbur and @hatufan came in asking about the logistics of this move.  Is the new person joining Bill Riley as a co host?  Are they getting rid of a syndicated show "Mike and Mike", "The Herd", or "The Dan Patrick Show" to have another local one? Or, and this made me nervous, are they bringing someone in new to replace Bill Riley? 

     I had thought about the replacement thing recently.  In the past, these things usually work out such that if a host is leaving, he leaves before a replacement is named.  So, if Bill was to leave, @espn700jimmer would probably take over his show until a permanent replacement was found.  Additionally, Bill has it good here.  He is the voice of the Utes and RSL.  I think he is staying for the forseeable future. 

     @Ublender44 suggested that the voice of Weber State, Carl Arky would be the man.  Carl does a nice job when he is asked to fill in on the various stations.  I like this option.  

      Here is my opinion:  I think that ESPN is putting pressure on ESPN 700 to drop the Non-ESPN Dan Patrick.  Dan Patrick gets pretty good ratings, but he does come from a competitor (not to mention his FORMER role at ESPN).  Anyway, if Dan is dropped, ESPN 700 would be looking to fill that with a local show.  I think Bill stays.  What is my opinion based on? Nothing.  If I have to pick, I would guess that they are going to go with an out of towner returning.  Someone like Ryan Hatch or Furness perhaps. 

    Stay tuned on April 25 for that big announcement!

    Final Thought: I wouldn't go to the track and bet your lifesaving on Greg Wrubell.....just saying. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ranting and raving on the sports world.....

                                                           Look! Its Jared Sullinger, the man who
                                                           the Jazz will NOT draft this year!

    A lot on my mind today.....hope you enjoy it!

   First of all, as a Jazz fan, I enjoy reading what others are saying about my team.  I frequently check out to see the latest projections of who they think the Jazz will take in this summer's draft.

    I had to laugh when I saw that they had projected the Jazz to take Jared Sullinger in their mock draft last week.  Really? Jared Sullinger?  Anyone who even remotely follows the Jazz knows that the Jazz have a real problem in their front court.  They have two established veterans who start and play big minutes.  They have two immensely talented young big men who are going to be very good someday.  They have more people who deserve minutes than they can find time for on the court. 

     So these draft "experts" think that the Jazz are going to use a top 10 pick on ANOTHER front court player?  Really?  With the long term uncertainty at point guard, and the log-jam up front, the Jazz are going to draft Jared Sullinger?  

     The only way the Jazz draft a big man in the lottery is if Lew Alcindor is there.  And he is not.  And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.  And my teachers in school always told me that you can't start a sentence with "and" and I have now done it three sentences in a row!  IN YO FACE!

     These internet hacks ought to do some research before they make these projections.  They sure look awfully foolish. 

    Speaking of the NBA draft......there is some talk out there of changing the requirements to come into the league.  I want to propose my own way of changing things. 

    As it is now, players have to be one year removed from high school to enter the NBA.  You can play college ball or in Europe for a year, but you can't go "preps to pros" anymore. 

    If it was up to me, I would change it to be similar to the MLB model.  There are a few players in the NBA who have nothing to gain by playing college ball.  They are as ready as they can be for the league and they should be able to jump right in.  Currently playing in the leauge, I can think of only a few.  LeBron, Kevin Durrant, Derrick Rose, and Kobe Bryant.  Every single player in the NBA not in this group should have gone to college.  So basically, in my model, when that rare player comes along, they can be drafted right out of high school.

     I realize that a lot of kids out there think they are LeBron James, because everyone has told them so.  To prevent owners from taking every kid out of high school, I would propose that owners be required to pay a tax if they draft a high school player.  Maybe 5 million.  That way, only the truly elite get drafted.  Otherwise, you go play college ball.

    Now, once you are in college, you have to stay for at least three years.  For my examples of why, I refer you to Perry Jones, Harrison Barnes, and Jared Sullinger.   All were considered top five picks last year after their freshman year.  Feeling that the lockout might not end, they chose to come back to school. 

     In each case, their stock has fallen.  Which means less money for them.  BUT, there are advantages to being taken later.  Look, scouts have had an extra year to find their weaknesses and aren't as excited about them.  Being taken lower in the draft will decrease the pressure on them.  They go to a team that is more ready to compete. 
    And their stock dropping is artificial as well.  They haven't regressed in terms of playing, its just that the scouts see less upside than before.  In reality, they are more mature, and better skilled players who are more ready to compete in the NBA.

     Look at Perry Jones.  Last year, he probably gets taken top 3.  Top 5 minimum.  But he just wasn't ready.  He would have been barbecued.  Now, he will be a later lottery pick.  The spotlight won't be as bright, and he can develop at a more natural rate. 

   Forcing these guys to stay in college will help NBA owners make better decisions.  It will also help the quality of college basketball......which leads me to my next point.

    Can we please stop the "Kentucky could beat Team X in the NBA!"  No they couldn't.  They would lose to any NBA team by 30+ 10 out of 10 times. 

    I just love the argument that "Kentucky has four NBA players! They could compete!"  That is cute.  Each NBA team has 13 NBA players.  Good luck to Kentucky! 

    With the "one and done" rule, college basketball has become less competitive.  You don't see the elite teams anymore.  Kentucky is good, but they would have a hard time beating any champ from the 90's.  In fact, if this Kentucky team had played during the 90's, I don't see them even reaching the final four. 

     On to the gridiron now.....

    I have rambled on far longer than I intended, so let me simply say that Roger Goddell needs to bring the hammer down on this bounty scandal.  He needs to make a statement so that players and coaches understand that this is not acceptable.  Yes, football is a violent game.  People will get hurt.  But to give incentives to hurt someone permanently is deplorable.   Heads need to roll on this.  I would even consider lifetime bans.  This HAS to stop. 


    Dwight Howard.  This guy has held his team hostage for a long time now.  Recently, the news broke that he has asked management to fire coach Stan Van Gundy.  The Magic should have shipped this loser off a long time ago.  This isn't your team Dwight.  You don't call the shots.  You are a spoiled brat with an ego the size of Disneyworld.  Why don't you shut up and play ball?  If you want to win so badly, why don't you cut your salary in half so the team can sign some other good players?  But nope.  Dwight is a beans for brains buffoon. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

How People Trying to be Like Jimmer are Ruining Basketball


This time of year, my Thursday nights are filled with basketball.  I am either playing in my team’s game, or I am at the score table keeping the stats.  I like it, it’s a fun thing to do.  

          These church league games are always fun to watch, because of the wide variety of people that you find there[i].  In the last couple of years, a disturbing habit has crept into these games that makes me want to start ejecting everyone.  

          Some guy will dribble the ball up the court, stop his dribble about 30 feet from the hoop, yell out “IT’SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS JIMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMER TIME!” and launch the ball hoop-ward.  Of course the shot isn’t anywhere close.  Usually it’s an airball or it goes flying out of bounds off the backboard.  

          Nice job moron.  Not only did you just hand the ball back to the other team, but you irritated all of your teammates.  Sadly, every team seems to have one of these “Jimmer groupies”[ii].  It makes me want to pull a Bobby Knight and throw the scoreboard out onto the court.  

          As I watch this play unfold, again and again and again, I think to myself “Curse you, James Taft Fredette.  Curse you, your brother who makes those stupid rap songs, your whole family, and everyone out there who idolizes you.”[iii]  

          Ok, Ok, it’s not Jimmer’s fault….at all.  I want you to go back and watch tape of when Jimmer was at BYU.  Did he EVER bring the ball up the court and haphazardly fire away from 30 feet out?  No.  

          And this brings me to my main point.  We have become so fascinated with highlights that as people who play the game for fun, or young kids learning the game, we ignore the fundamentals and try to copy what looks cool on the highlights.  Only, we blow it big time.  

          The same thing happened in the 80’s with Michael Jordan.  The NBA had emerged out of the cocaine-filled 70’s on the backs of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird (NOT Michael Jordan, as some would have you believe).  ESPN was new on the scene and each night you could watch MJ dunk, dunk, and dunk some more.  How cool!

          Kids in the backyard would try to copy him.  “Hey, I could get on SportsCenter sometime too!”  

          But what ESPN doesn’t show you is that there is more to MJ than just his dunks.  How does he get himself open so often?  MJ was fundamentally sound.  More kids should have copied that.  But being fundamentally sound doesn’t get you on TV.[iv]

          The same thing is happening here locally.  And that’s what is so “Amazing”[v] about Jimmer-mania; most people have no idea how good he really is.  It’s not just that he is a good shooter who can make shots from anywhere.  What makes Jimmer, Jimmer is that he works hard.  He knows where to go to get open.  Go back and watch him.  I have never seen someone who was so good at catching the ball at any angle, turning, squaring up and releasing.  He did it with lightning quickness, which allowed him to dominate players who were bigger, stronger, faster, and more athletic.  

          He also has a complimentary ability to drive to the basket.  If you want to watch something “amazing” (oh darn it, there it is again…..I hate you TJ Fredette.) watch a Utah v. BYU game from Jimmer’s time.  Watch him embarrass 7’3” Dave Foster with drives to the basket.  And Foster is one of the top 5 shot blockers in the country!  

          People see him do these crazy drives and make these crazy shots and they go “wow! He can play out of control and make shots! I can play out of control too!  I can be like Jimmer!” 


          Another aspect of Jimmer’s game that goes totally unnoticed (and this is a real pet peeve of mine, so be prepared now) is that he improved DRAMATICALLY over the course of his career at the most underrated skill in basketball; the entry pass.

          This is a pet peeve of mine, because I play center.  My job on offense is to post up and try to score near the hoop.  You small guards have no idea how difficult establishing and maintaining position is.  None.  The other night, I had to battle a guy, on both ends of the court, who was 6’4” and 300 pounds.  Add to that the fact that he was reasonably athletic.  (I should not here that I am the Kurt Rambis of the team.  Kurt Rambis without the goofy goggles.)

          I had to fight him for every single inch.  I would try to back my way in, and he would push me back out.  On and on and on over the course of the whole game.  

          From a big man’s perspective, once that position is established, I need the ball NOW.  It’s too hard to maintain it.  Add to that a little rule called “three in the key”.  There is a skill for a guard in being able to say “my guy has position, here is the ball”.  Additionally, you have to know how to pass it in.  What angle to take.  How can I throw it so that it hits my player in a spot where he can catch it and shoot as soon as possible?  The biggest mistake on entry passes is when it is throw in such a way that I have to give up my hard fought position or my opponent will steal the ball.[vii]  99.9% of guards are clueless about this. 

          Why? Because it’s cool to bomb 3’s and drive the lane like you are LeBron or Dwyane Wade.  Passing it into the post isn’t cool.

          However, this skill can be the difference between playing professionally and washing out.  Andre Miller is still getting close to triple doubles at the age of 35 because he is a master of the entry pass.[viii]  

          Jimmer learned to master this skill, and as such, he is playing in the NBA.  And he has a nice career in front of him.  (not nearly as nice as Andre Miller, but hey……..)[ix]

          If you want to copy the great players, copy them.  Study the how and why, not just the what.  And please, don’t shoot the ball from 30 feet.  You just might get clobbered over the head with a scoreboard.  

[i] There are plenty of types of guys that each team has.  There is “I didn’t make the high school team, but I am good enough to be in the NBA (in my own mind) and I’m out to prove you all wrong” guy, “I think I still have it” guy, “I’m just playing for fun and exercise” guy, “scream at the refs no matter what” guy, etc.

[ii] “Jimmer groupies” deserve an entire blog post themselves. For years in Utah, we had “Korver groupies”, the girls who would buy the pink Korver jerseys and come to the games with signs that said “Marry me Kyle!” or “The future Mrs. Korver.”  They didn’t know basketball, they were there for Kyle.  When Korver left, these “fans” left too (and Energy Solutions Arena has improved as a result).  “Jimmer groupies” are an entirely different breed.  This group is comprised of men my Dad’s age who skip work to try to get an autograph.  Or they followed him around campes.  Straight up, flat out creepy.

[iii] At this point, there are a lot of people who are saying “surprise, surprise, more BYU hate from Ben.  No, it’s not like that.  Just give me a minute….you’ll see.

[iv] Just ask Tim Duncan

[v] I’m sorry, no more TJ Fredette references; I promise.

[vi] That’s the sound of a buzzer going off, as in “if you think like that, you are wrong.”

[vii] There are not words to describe how this irritates me.  Fortunately, the team I am on now does a good job.  You could say that they are part of the 0.1%.

[viii] This is a tip for all you guards out there.  Despite what you think, your big guys are the key to your team defense.  Not you.  If you want them to play hard on defense, give them the ball in the post often.  They will play harder for you.  Believe me. 

[ix] What? You really thought I’d make it through a blog praising Jimmer without one “Utah is still better than BYU” jab?  In the words of Chad OchoCinco, “Child, please!”

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Breaking down the contenders and the pretenders

    I have always laughed when people stated, this early in the season, that "if the playoffs started today, this team would be in!"  But, we are getting to that time when separation starts and we begin to have a  good idea of how the races will go. 

    Today, I look at the Northwest Division teams.  I will ignore teams that, in my opinion are already hopelessly out of it. 

     Oklahoma City Thunder:  
    What I like:  

    It's easy to just put "Kevin Durrant" here and be done.  Put that is not all there is to this team.  They have a lot that I really like.  I really like Kendrick Perkins and Serge IBLOCKa up front.   They compliment each other well.  Perkins is a lockdown post defender.  Serge is a guy who can guard the fleet footed athletes, and also provide excellent help.  Additionally, big Perk might be the best screen setter in the league.  That skill is undervalued as far as what it does for an offense.  The bench is nice with a guy who can get his own offense (James Harden), a long range bomber (Daequan Cook), a steady backup point guard (Eric Maynor, until he went down for the year), and a couple of decent bench bigs (Nazr Mohammed and Nick Collison).  It should be mentioned that Thabo is a top wing defender and Westbrook is a scoring guard to take pressure off Durrant. 

    What I don't like:

     They don't have a great individual rebounder.  Kevin Durrant leads the team, and Serge Ibaka is decent.  As long as you rebound well as a team, you are ok.  But the Thunder have a negative differential right now.  That needs to be improved come playoff time when every possession becomes more critical. 

     Adding a better post scorer to come off the bench would help as well.

     Utah Jazz:

     What I like: 

      This team is like the Denver Broncos in that they defy logic in winning games sometimes.  They are deep, with a nice mix of young and veteran talent.  They are winning games that they should, which is something that Jazz teams in recent years struggled with at times.  This team is a few years away from really contending, but this nice start has been a pleasant surprise to fans. 

     What I don't like:

     While the team is an impressive 6-1 at home, they are 2-3 on the road.  The schedule will get brutal down the stretch and it will be difficult to keep afloat.  This team is just to average in so many ways to really compete.   I predict they will finish right around .500 and maybe sneak into the playoffs.

     Portland TrailBlazers:
     What I like:

     LaMarcus Aldridge is really putting it together and becoming the star that made him worthy of the 2nd pick in 2006.  Gerald Wallace  continues to be the all-around player he has been over his career.  Still boggles my mind that this guy was once a third string player on the Kings.  Wesley Matthews is as blue-collar as they get.   Nicholas Batum and Jamal Crawford provide a nice scoring punch off the bench.

      What I don't like:

      Painfully thin up in the front court.  The center position is manned by the ancient Kurt Thomas and Marcus Camby.  Can that duo last an entire year?  Raymond Felton's shooting is atrocious.  And he keeps jacking up shots at an 11+ per game clip.  Hard to see the Blazers as anything more than a one hit wonder come playoff time.  Still, have to give the team credit for holding it together with the loss of Brandon Roy.

      Denver Nuggets:

      What I like:

     I love the depth and balance of the Nuggets.  With five guys averaging in double figures, defenses have to pick their poison.  They also have a nice blend of strengths to keep opponents honest.  I love to see them leading the league in assists, after years of seeing the ball be passed to Carmelo and watching him do his thing.  Denver isn't the biggest team around, but they will be a tough out come playoff time.

      What I don't like:

      Who is the closer?  Who takes the game by the horns when its their for the taking?  I am not sure Ty Lawson or Danilo Gallinari are that type of player yet. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dirk Nowitzki v Kobe Bryant: Motivation

Kobe v Dirk


The NBA is filled with stories, will Deron Williams stay in New Jersey/Brooklyn, the Dwight Howard saga continues, Bosh’s GQ blip about Wade needing to take the last shot and B.J. Mullens is an emerging star in the NBA. The NBA is a different animal in that most of the excitement happens away from the court instead of on it. At times on the court stories are buried, or not even thought of. However, there are two on the court stories going on right now one nationally known, and the other flying under the radar. The first story is about Kobe Bryant’s video game stats, and the other is Dirk Nowitzki becoming a role player. These stories are similar in one respect, motivation.

Kobe Bryant

During the off season, Phil Jackson came out and said that Kobe could not win without more help on his team. On ESPN, Kobe was rated the seventh best player in the NBA by the fans. We heard more and more about his failing knees, he had surgery to repair those issues, and how he was losing his athleticism. The criticism of the super-star was becoming endless and this after completing three finals runs in a row before being dispatched in embarrassing fashion by the champion Dallas Mavericks.

All of this criticism led Kobe to one motivation; to prove that he is still the best. In the past five games he is averaging 39ppg with 5.4 rpg and 4.6 apg. He is doing all of that on 50% shooting from the field and nearly 30 shot attempts per games as well. He is also playing 41 mpg during that stretch. Here are his season stats thus far this season

14 GP

14 GS

37.7 MPG

11.6-25.1 FGMA

.464 FG%

1.1-4.5 3MA

.254 3FG%

7.6-9.1 FTMA

.835 FT%

1.0 OR

4.9 DR

5.9 TR

5.4 APG

.4 BPG

1.2 SPG

2.3 PF

3.9 TO

32.0 PPG

His points per game totals are the second highest of his career, his shot attempts per game are also the second highest of his career. Usually when Kobe has this many shot attempts the Lakers tend to lose games. However, they are 3-1 in their last four games. He has scored 40 plus points in each of those contests. If Kobe continues on this tear he could wind up averaging over 40mpg for the season. His most since the 06-07 season. In a compressed 66 game schedule this will have a lingering effect, especially for a player that has played in over 1300 career regular and post season games for his career.

Dirk Nowitzki

Last year Dirk finally got his title after 13 years in the NBA. He exercised a lot of demons and answered criticisms of not being clutch enough, not being good enough to win a title. The pressure has been lifted so to say. For the first time in his career he did not spend his whole offseason getting criticized. He came into the season a little bit more out of shape than he normally does.

The lockout effected this a little bit, but there is a curiousness of his play and how he is being used, and how he is using himself. In about every statistical category Dirk is at almost career lows. Here are this season stats.

13 GP

30.1 MPG

6.5-13.8 FGMA

.469 FG%

0.4-1.9 3MA

.200 3FG%

4.4-4.8 FTMA

.905 FT%

5.2 RPG

2.50 APG

.50 BPG

.9 SPG

2.2 PF

1.6 TO

17.7 PPG

His points per game, minutes per game, field goals attempted are all the least since his sophomore season. There is no doubt he is not a declining player. He only made a game winner against the Celtics in which he drove the lane and came up with an and 1, he took a much younger and quicker Kevin Durant. Here are the videos to prove it

Boston Game Winner

Taking Kevin Durant (0:20)

So it appears like he still has moves so why are his stats so low? It is one thing motivation. Last year he proved he was among the best players in the world as he dispatched the best players in the world from the playoffs. This year his motivation is getting back to the playoffs and being fresh for another deep run.

The Mavs have put themselves in position to make it so Dirk does not have to carry the load as much this season. They added tons of PF depth in Lamar Odom and they still have Shawn Marion who can play the position as well. Dirk’s minutes per game are at 30.1, which is about 7 minutes per game less than Kobe. Over the course of the 66 game schedule that is like playing in 10 extra games for Kobe Bryant.

Dirk also recognizes that this team has a lot of turnover from the championship roster. He knows that it will be imperative especially in a condensed schedule to make sure his new teams are full acclimated to what the Mavs do. If this means he acts as a decoy for the regular season then he will do it. He will be there when they need him most, as evidence of the Celtics game.

These two superstars definitely have their motivations for this season. One is out to re-prove himself as the best in the world. The other on top of the NBA right now wants to ensure that he can get there again.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Find us on Facebook!

A big hello to all of our loyal readers out there!  You can now find us on facebook, just search "The Nation of Sports Domination", and "like" us today!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Andrew Bynum's Audition

By: Bryan Visser

Kobe Bryant has gone jaw-face over the last three games. He is clearly in F-U mode as he tries to prove to the fans, his peers, and himself that he still has "it". After the first of his 40 point games he said "Not bad for the seventh best player in the league". The moral of the story: Kobe is the hardest working player in the NBA and when he is criticized, he works even harder.

Kobe's recent seven game stretch is more than just a way to help prove his own worth, but is also his attempt to make his team better. He is sending a message to Dwight Howard saying "Look at what I can do without you, imagine what I could do with you?". As Kobe leads the Lakers ahead of the other teams in the running for Dwight, he wants to narrow Dwight's vision to LA, and only LA. If Dwight insists on moving to LA, the Magic will be in a similar situation to Denver last year. They will have to take what LA offers, or risk losing everything. This would give LA all of the leverage and could include a simple trade of Dwight and one unwanted Magic contract for Bynum.

The only wild-card in this scenario is Otis Smith. He has proven that he will do something, for the sake of simply doing it. He has acted emotionally and has ignored common sense. If Otis develops a "down with the ship" attitude, all of this could go up in smoke. While this could easily fall apart, I don't think it will.

What is the one thing that Shaq and Dwight have in common, besides the nickname? Ego, they care about being stars as much as they do about basketball. Andrew Bynum has proven over the last three games that he doesn't have ego. Shaq would have complained during a similar stretch, Andrew has had decent stats (13 pts, 9.3 rebs, 53.3 % shooting, over the last three games) and has kept his mouth shut about having diminished touches.

If Orlando is trying to avoid the mistakes of their past in Shaq and Howard, they need someone without the baggage of stardom. Bynum is that player. He might actually be willing to stay in Orlando and let the team build around him. He has the post skills that Patrick Ewing, Orlando's assistant coach, could work with to make him an elite big in the league-something that Dwight doesn't have. Dwight relies entirely on his athleticism. What happens when he loses it? Bynum could have a much longer career. Bynum's injury riddled past, while still a risk, would make him a cheaper player than Dwight and would help the Magic in the long run avoid the steep luxury tax penalties that are coming into effect. Bynum has been auditioning for the Magic for the last three games.

If Bynum wants to stay in LA, he needs to start complaining. If Dwight wants the star treatment, LA is the place to be.