Best Small Forwards For The 2008-2009 Season

September 1, 2008

by TJ Zwarych…

Small forwards are often the most under valued players on a basketball team. The are often high flying dunkers, great defenders and premier scorers. Usually these lists have big introductions, but hey, let’s get to the list of the NBA’s 5 best small forwards for this up coming season.

5. Tayshaun Prince

Tayshaun Prince is one of the best defensive players in the game. One of the best players on an Eastern conference titan in the Pistons, Prince has shown he can get it done time and time again on both ends of the floor. He is a clutch player, especially on defense. For example, Eastern Conference finals a few years ago against the Pistons. Reggie Miller gets the ball off of a steal to put the game in their favor in the 4th quarter and boom Prince comes out of nowhere to block the easy layup. Prince is already a great player and at 27 will still get better.

Projected Stats: 15.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.7 spg, 1.1 bpg4. Kevin Durant

We have always known Kevin Durant is a very talented player. Now, after winning Rookie of the Year last season, we know he has a high amount of potential also. Durant is a fantastic player who specializes in scoring. Durant is a good defensive player who can steal the ball and block shots. He can shoot threes and drive inside, if he would pass more, he would be the full package. Projected Stats: 23.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.8 spg, 1.5 bpg

3. Paul Pierce

Although his stats won’t be as high as Durant’s, we all know Paul Pierce is a stellar player. Pierce is a member of the NBA’s greatest trio and has stuck with the Celtics through thick and thin while winning his first NBA Championship last year. The Celtics will continue their havoc on the league next year too. Projected Stats: 19.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 5.9 apg, 1.1 spg

2. Carmelo Anthony

There have been many rumours about Melo being traded from the Nuggets, but wherever he is, he will do great things. Anthony is one of the most talented players in the league and if he can keep his head on straight legally, he will have a great season. Projected Stats: 26.7 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.1 spg

1. Lebron James

So it was pretty obvious who number one was going to be, and there isn’t much I can say here, Lebron is awesome. Not the smartest player, but the most talented player in the league. Projected Stats: 31.3 ppg, 8 rpg, 6.7 apg, 1.6 spg, 1.3 bpg

Ichiro quietly putting up another stellar campaign

September 1, 2008

by Ranhvir Samra…

In an era where Major League Baseball is struggling with rule changes and steroid use, the accomplishments of baseball’s best player lurks in the shadows. Each year Seattle Mariners superstar outfielder Ichiro Suzuki puts up “MVP like” numbers, 200 plus hits, batting average over .300, top five in stolen bases, triples and doubles. He has an outstanding throwing arm and covers the center field like the police presence at a metallica concert, top to bottom. However, his outstanding numbers almost remain unnoticed, more so this year than any of his previous 8 seasons. Could it be that Ichiro is so great that anything not record breaking is overlooked? Is it because of the city he plays in, Seattle, a small city (by U.S. standards) isolated in the Pacific northwest? Could it be that excellence has become expected of this man? It is a fact that the Mariners franchise have not enjoyed much success since their inception, even with Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey Junior and a young Alex Rodriguez the Mariners couldn’t even muster a world series appearance in the 1990’s.

When Ichiro arrived from Japan in the year 2001, the Mariners were struggling.

Seats were empty and rumours swirled that the team were going to move to another city. Ichiro, already a veteran of the Japanese league, came to Seattle and singlehandedly saved the franchise. He led the league in batting average, hits and stolen bases his rookie year and became the first rookie to win both the rookie of the year and MVP award since the early days of baseball (pre-1960’s). Since that time, his play has only climbed to new heights. He owns the major league baseball record for most hits in a season (262 in 2004), the highest career batting average among active players (.333) and with 25 more hits this season, he will join Willie Keeler as the only players to ever accumulate 8 seasons of 200 plus hits. Consider that Ichiro has had at least 200 hits every year he has been in the major leagues, this only exemplifies his greatness. In his first 8 years, Ichiro has done what Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn, Ty Cobb and the rest of the hall of fame members couldn’t. Yes, Ichiro has not caught the injury bug and has remained relatively injury-free his entire career, this hasn’t hurt his numbers, but Ichiro is a tough cookie. He doesn’t speak much and has a quiet, confident demeanor. He is a small man, but very quick, muscular, possessing the hand-eye co-ordination of a cat.

To say that Ichiro’s play goes unnoticed is an exaggeration, he has been a gold glove winner and a member of the American League All-star team each of his eight seasons, but one thing remains constant, the Mariners are still a losing franchise and an eternity away from making a world series appearance, let alone win. Fans in the Pacific Northwest readily identify the number 51 with Suzuki, but the rest of the baseball world aren’t so observant. If Ichiro played in New York, L.A. or Chicago he would be a household name, how else can one explain how Derek Jeter or Jason Giambi manage to make so much money in salary and endorsements, while putting up numbers that pale in comparison to Ichiro? Jason Giambi is a joke, just look at that moustache he grew to bring him luck after struggling at the onset of the 2008 season. Ichiro also struggled early this season hitting only .259 for the month of April. Instead of acquiring new facial hair growth, Ichiro stuck to his convictions and got right back on the saddle. As of late August 2008, Ichiro is batting .311.

Ichiro has to be the greatest leadoff man in the history of baseball, even better than Ricky Henderson. He is the youngest player ever to amass 3000 hits (including Japanese league) and If all goes well this season, Ichiro will have NEVER had a season in MLB where he batted below .300, had less than 200 hits or less than 100 runs. His numbers are Gretzky-like but nobody seems to notice. At 34 years of age, Ichiro has a few great years ahead but will he fizzle out after reaching a certain age (See “Aging Athletes“) or sustaining an injury? I sure hope not, Ichiro needs to be recognized as the most consistent and skilled baseball player today and perhaps of all time. In an era with instant replay, high definition television, satellite, television and radio coverage of all major league baseball teams, print media, blackberries and the almighty internet, how can it be that one of the all-time greats remains relatively unknown while the casual sports viewer knows who Jose Canseco, Babe Ruth or Barry Bonds is? Japan is known for creating high quality products which are reliable and high functioning, Ichiro Suzuki might be the greatest Japanese export and that is saying a hell of a lot.

Guess That Ass

September 1, 2008

Todays GTA comes to you all the way from Italy, an Italian Supermodel. She just got married to Formula One manager Flavio Briatore pictured below in the pink shirt. She’s your average good looking HOT babe that married for love, after all its love that makes the world go round, right? Wrong, Briatore’s worth like a gazillion dollars, those Italian grandpas have style! Not only in clothes, but how do you keep up with a young tight ass like that, save your pennies boys… and one day you too will score with an Italian Supermodel! Really!!