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My Fear became reality May 31, 2007

Posted by dtenjo in Basketball, NBA, Sports.
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When I read the headline on NBA.com about Kobe wanting to play elsewhere other than in the Lakers, I could hardly believe it, my first thought was that someone had to be playing joke or something. Wait a minute, it is not April fools day, or anything like that!! So I went and actually read the full article, and other many many articles on the web that confirmed this. Kobe actually mentioned wanting to be traded…

I will admit that this had actually crossed my mind in the past as a nightmare. I thought this would be too unrealistic, and would never come true. Kobe would never leave this team, which made him a Superstar and which has enjoyed a good level of success thanks to him. However, yesterday this became closer to reality than ever before. This shocks me because ever since I’ve been a hardcore basketball fan I’ve related Kobe to the Lakers, and it is time for me to admit right now that even though I declare myself a life-long laker fan, I REALLy only started loving the Lakers deeply when I started admiring Kobe as a player.

Since Kobe has been playing with the Lakers, I have been with the teams in the multiple ups and downs, and at the same time I have been supporting and believing in Kobe, -who has had perhaps more ups and downs that the Laker team, although most of the “downs” have been non-basketball related. I foresaw when it was time to trade Shaq out of the team, it was really evident to everybody, so it seems irrational to now come and blame Kobe for this trade. Really, I am positive that this trade was actually beneficial for the Lakers. With Shaq still in the team maybe the lakers would have had anbother year in the Finals, but an unhappy Kobe, a shaky financial situation, and not even a future to foresee. So, I will say that on getting rid of Shaq, Dr. Buss did a good thing. however, unfortunately what the lakers got back from Shaq did not prove to be good enough, and that is what the problem was. Forget about blaming Kobe for all this, he had little or nothing to do.

It is evident how great Kobe is. In spite of his immense talent, he is as hardworking as anybody else, and wants to win over everything more than anyone. he has accepted to take responsibility for everything that happens in the lakers (Wins and loses), and I dare to say he’s tried harder than anybody else to bring this team into winning ways. I can hardly imagine what would be of the lakers without KB24 on the lineup right now.

So, what would happen to my love for the lakers if Kobe leaves the team?

After thinking about all this, non-stop ever since I found out Kobe actually talked about leaving the team, I am facing the fact that I will not stop liking Kobe Bryant. I am sure I would follow Kobe’s play on any team that he plays in, even if that team is the Phoenix Suns. However I am sure I will still love the lakers. over the last few years I have grown to feel for this team, and want nothing for them but to win, and I’ve recently found out, that is even if Kobe is not in the lineup.

But hey, let’s stop thinking about this as Kobe isn’t going anywhere. I know I can trust Dr. Buss that he will make the right moves, bring the right players, get rid of the right managers, and make Kobe actually want to remain in the Lakers for the next season and beyond that. Knowing this, all these non-sense thoughts about Kobe leaving the team are a complete waste of time, just a part of the nightmare that I’ve feared since Kobe and the Lakers started making me love them.

Laker Losing Streak February 22, 2007

Posted by dtenjo in Basketball, NBA, Sports.
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I know there are several events going on around the world that are of significant importance to all of us who care. I know England has decided to start the troop withdrawal from Irak– whatever implication that may have for the war going on in there; I know Iran has once more decided to defy the UN, and ignore its policies and reocmendations; heck, even Britney spears has decided to shave her head, and go koo koo…; but what is on my mind the most right now is the Lakers’ loosing streak, which is jeopardizing their playoff run , and the worst part is that I don’t think I see any light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Prior to yesterday’s game against Portland I read a couple of articles on the web about how bad the Laker defense is, so during the game I actually paid attention to it, and the point was so proven. Portland, a below .500 team shoot an astonishing 60% on the Lakers. That has got to worry anybody. Seeing how this Albright, or Aldridge or whatever his name is guy made all kinds of mid-range shots, and the Lakers were not able to stop him, that is really worrying; seeing the Laker defense scramble every single time that Portland had the ball, that terrifies me.

Are there any potential solutions? Well, everyone’s been talking about getting Jason Kidd, which I think would be a great move as long as the Lakers do not trade Andrew Bynum, or Jordan Farmar to the Nets, even though Kidd is more known for his triplr-doubles that for having a solid defense, I am sure the guy has got to be better than Smush…. Some have been talking about getting Pippen and getting him to play the triangle offence that he knows by heart; however this does not solve the defensive problems much either. So, is there anything else that can be done? I honestly doubt it, and that makes me sick to my stomach. This season was supposed to be a great one, and the way it started looked really promising, but I don’t know what happened to the guys in the last few weeks.

The only thing that gives me a little bit of hope is to think of the fact that we do have Kobe Bryant in the team, and even though I’ve enjoyed seeing him sharing the ball, and creating plays for his teammates, I think that the only thing that may take us out of this hole is Kobe getting back to playing the way he did last year. I know a lot of people got to dislike him because of that, which seemed selfish but with the ways things are around the Lakers these days, it seems like this is the only way out if this one, and everybody knows that if there is anybody who can single-handedly bring a team back into winning ways, that is Kobe. Now that Kobe got his All-star game MVP, I think it would be great for him and for the Lakers if he tried to take over games a little more, and bringing back the team into winning ways. Hey, maybe that will even get him the season MVP award!!!

What does the NBA have against Kobe? January 30, 2007

Posted by dtenjo in Basketball, NBA, Sports.
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Ok, I am pissed off. After being all excited all day long because the Laker game would be nationally televised here in Canada, I find out that four hours to go before tip off, NBA officials decided to suspend Kobe for an “Unintentional” elbow against Manu last Sunday.

What the heck? Is this even precedented? An unintentional elbow deserves a suyspension?…. why?

As of right now (like 2 hrs to tip pff), I hear the Lakers are trying to get this decision overturn…. This is an absolute Joke, I mean, from what I hear even the Spurs (Manu, Chris Bowen, Popovich), have admitted that the situation was completely unintentional. Plus, If you want to hit a game winning shot, would you really want to hit someone on the face in the process? … This is definitely something that the NBA has against Kobe, (and perhaps the Lakers?), there is no reason for a suspension here. And all I am hoping is that Stu Jackson and his boys really come into mind here.

The question I have here is: What does the NBA have against Kobe? He seems to get a lot of non-calls for fouls against him on games… Look at the stats, Wade, Le Bron, hitting way more free throws per game than Kobe. Is this mere coincidence, or is there anything there…. I really hate to be a conspiracy theorist, and would rather think that the NBA can’t have anything against Kobe, as he is the best player around, one who bring tons of publicity and fans into the league. But…

I officially became Andre Agassi’s fan last night September 1, 2006

Posted by dtenjo in Andre Agassi, Sports, Tennis.
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What a tennis match I saw last night. I stayed glued to the tv for the whole 3+ hours that the match lasted. Oh, how I admire Andre Agassi. you know, I was never really a big fan of his in previous years, mostly in part because my favorite player in the nineties was Pete Sampras, I really loved the guy’s game, so I grew to “dislike” Agassi’s style compared to Sampras’. Nevertheless, I’ve always thought Andre is a good player, without being the biggest fan of his.

All this changed over the lat two days. The day before yesterday I saw a replay on TV of last year’s match between Agassi, and James Blake for the 2005 US open. What a classic. I got all exited watching that game even though it happened a year ago. And then, last night, I could hardly believe I was watching a match that was just as good, but this time it was live. Agassi is awesome! It is not a cliché to say that he truly is a living Legend, like Baghdatis himself called his opponent right after he lost the game.

Last night’s game was truly inspiring, I was glad I watched the whole thing, and I saw the “legend” prolong his story for at least one more game. I now love Agassi, and declare myself a big fan of his for life.

Villeneuve out of F1 August 9, 2006

Posted by dtenjo in Formula 1, NASCAR, Sports.
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It wasn’t that surprising. To tell the truth, JV’s days in F1 were coming to an end, and it only happened a few months earlier than expected. Personally I’ve never liked Villeneuve too much as I never really saw him as an F1 winner. Back in 1997, when he was the world champion I didn’t really follow F1. Also, because JV was one of Montoya’s “enemies” in F1, I think I came to dislike the guy. I never enjoyed his racing style, or never saw anything exciting on him from his years in BAR, Renault, or Sauber. Villeneuve’s career has been going downward ever since he left the Williams team, and it was really funny seeing him desperately looking for a race sit in 2004 after he was fired from BAR.

Now they are saying he might go to NASCAR, like JPM did. Honestly I think it would be exciting to see him racing in NASCAR, and see another familiar face racing there. Since I haven’t been following NASCAR too much, I know very few names beyond Jeff Gordon, or Dale Earnhardt Jr.

In any case, Villeneuve in NASCAR would be interesting, but I doubt that he would have any success. I don’t think he has the same natural talent as Montoya does, or at least he’s lost the talent that he proved he had back in the 90’s. Plus, Villeneuve does not have a close relationship with a NASCAR team like Montoya does with Chip Ganassi. Even the North American media does not seem to be as positive on a potential NASCAR drive by Villeneuve, like they were when Montoya announced he would race the series. For some reason, it seems like the atmosphere is not as open for Villeneuve in NASCAR.

So, it seems like Villeneuve is not ready to quit racing just yet, and he is willing to race NASCAR if he has to. It would be interesting to see him racing a stock car, but I don’t think he would make a good race contender.

Montoya’s move to NASCAR: the end of a bumpy career, or the next stop to glory? July 12, 2006

Posted by dtenjo in car racing, Formula 1, NASCAR, Sports.
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I was very surprised, and perhaps sad to see Juan Pablo Montoya retire from F1 to go race in NASCAR. At first sight, the move looked like a downgrade for Montoya, and the end of his carreer. He is for sure the greatest South American Driver that has stepped on a race track after Ayrton Senna, and to see Montoya’s carreer end in that way looked to me quite sad. Then, the day after, when I found out that he wasn’t even going to finish the rest of this F1 season, seeing one of the people I admire the most (for what he’s done professionally, not for his personality), end in this way looked pretty ugly to me.

However, then, after analyzing what he is really doing, and the world’s reaction, I feel a lot of a relief, and realize that perhaps this is not a bad move at all. Thinking about it, Montoya’s good days in F1 are well behind. In the F1 world there was this constant tension against Montoya growing, nobody seemed to like his style, and good results stopped showing for him. Inexplicably, Montoya was not that good feared racer anymore, and he was looked more like a driver that had a big chance of crashing out of a race, period.

So, I am sure that the offers he says he got to stay in F1 were not the greatest, and his chances to fight for a world championship in the future got down to next to none. Viewing things in this way, I see that Montoya made a not-too-bad decision in moving to another really great series like NASCAR, which is so different to F1, that it can’t even be compared, or say whether it is better or “worse” than the world championship. Montoya’s words in saying that he is going for a new challenge seem very real. That is exactly what he is looking for, another way to show his greatness; and what an opportunity. If Montoya does well in NASCAR, he will go into history as one of the greatest drivers ever, being able to succeed at every single series that he’s raced, no matter how different they are. I am excited to see this happen, something that has never been seen.

Now, when you look at the reaction of the people here in North America, the relief is bigger as, unlike in Europe, Montoya still has a very good reputation, and his move is seen as an honor to those in the NASCAR world, and very few people doubt that he will be a great race contender in the Nextel Cup. It is great to see this. Many in Europe may believe that NASCAR is a series that fit Montoya very well. After all, those ‘fat’ cars fit his style a lot better, and in general bumping tires, passing aggression, and drinking Budweiser in Martinsville instead of fine Champaign in Montecarlo, make NASCAR match Montoya a lot better than the glamorous finesse of F1. There might be some truth in this, but we still have to remember that Montoya was a F1 star as well, who fought for World Championships, and won several races.

So, I am ready to see Montoya in NASCAR, and be a witness of his trip to glory, in a cereal box styled car. I am sure Colombians will now all declare themselves experts in the NASCAR series, including myself. The good thing for me is that now instead of having to get up at 5:00AM to see Montoya race every other Sunday, I will be able to see him in the afternoon comfortably sitting on my couch almost every week, and hopefully someday I will be able to make it to one of Montoya’s NASCAR races, like I did when he raced Champ cars.

Good Ending to the world cup. July 10, 2006

Posted by dtenjo in Soccer, Sports, World Cup 2006.
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I liked the final of the FIFA world cup. In the end, Italy prevailed, and that was my favorite team. As for the game itself, I think it was pretty good, although at times it seemed like Italy was giving up on he attack, and France seemed really dangerous. Especially Henry, who I thought was the best French player yesterday. Now, let Italians celebrate, they deserve it. Throughout the world cup this team grew on me after I didn’t even think they would make it past the group stage.

Now what is really interesting is the way in which Zidane decided to end his career. I mean, is this guy out of his mind, or what? How to explain his childish reaction? Zidane had the opportunity to retire in fashion, with the world at his feet, as a hero, but instead he chose to end his career as a jerk. I will never be able to understand how one of the “greatest” (or at least one of the most talented) players in history is able to loose his head like that and react in that way. Some say it is exhaustion, or all the pressure of the moment, etc. but still, I am sure he’s gone through similar situations before, so I don’t know how he could react like that in the most important game of his life. What Materazzi told Zidane is another thing that will remain as an enigma forever….

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Now, how can a guy like this win the Golden Ball of the world cup? This time I really disagree with the result. Zidane did not deserve this, especially after what he did in the final.

Unfortunately, the media will talk about Zidane’s stupidity as much as about Italy’s victory, when it should be all about Italy and their well deserved fourth world cup. 

So, good for Italy, bad for Zidane, great for Football all over ther world, what a great World cup!!! Now, waht are we going to do now with no world cup soccer every day?….  I’ll miss the world cup 

Just another world cup blog (world cup semis) July 6, 2006

Posted by dtenjo in Soccer, Sports, World Cup 2006.
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So I thought I’d write a few lines about the latest results on the world cup just because I haven’t commented on the topic in a few days, but really not because the results have me exited. Don’t get me wrong, I was relieved that Italy beat Germany, but as I’ve said before, I would have much rather seen Argentina there instead if Germany.

The Italy-Germany game was pretty good, I have to say. In spite of the 0-0 in the 90 minutes, I liked the game. And then, in the extra time, I loved what I saw. No midfields, just give-and-take football, from one side to the other, with desperation, exhaustion, passion… Both teams were giving everything they had. I really liked those 30 minutes of football. (Should they get rid of midfielders to make soccer faster-paced?… I know this is just a utopia.) And then, in the end, seeing two excellent goals to close up from Italy made me love this team, which was my favorite from before the game, and now makes it my preferred team to win the cup… Yes, I WILL BE CHEERING FOR ITALY.

There is really not much to say about the other semifinal. It was a much more boring game, nothing really to talk about, not even goals as France just scored on a penalty shot. I wanted Portugal to get through, but they didn’t really show much to deserve it. Not that France showed much more, but at least they had that penalty. Crsitiano Ronaldo showed some interesting stuff, and that is it. I don’t like the French team.

So, the final should be interesting (hopefully) I think Italy will win, but so far my predictions for this world cup have been pretty off, so I don’t know….

Broken Heart…. June 30, 2006

Posted by dtenjo in Soccer, Sports, World Cup 2006.
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What a heart breaking loss for Argentina… Unbelievably, after I thought it was a secure win, the Germans tied the game, and won in penalty shootouts. My favorite team is out of the world cup, so that, together with Spain’s earlier elimination, makes my two favorite teams of this world cup be surprisingly eliminated.

I really don’t know who to cheer for now, not that I care too much at this point. If logic prevails, (which it never has in world cups) Brazil and Germany would play the final. BORING. I mean, not that I have anything against Brazil, but really, personally I am a bit tired of seeing them always in the final, plus they are just starting to show some good soccer, after a pair of horrible games in the first round. As for Germany, I really don’t care at all for them. They have shown some force, and achieved results, but really I don’t like that team.

We will see what happens between Brazil and France, and England and England and Portugal. I have to say that of the teams still alive in the world cup, I would like to see England prevail. For some reason I like England in this world cup much better than any of the other teams.

Most of my interest for the world cup has gone. Argentina and Spain eliminated, I really don’t care too much for the remaining teams…. nobody to be exited about. I just hope there will be some good games left…

Spain… same as always June 27, 2006

Posted by dtenjo in Soccer, Sports, World Cup 2006.
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Good Bye, Spain, seems to be something very, very usual in world cups”

There is definitely something going on with Spain. They will never be able to win, or even get to a world cup final game. The story of today is nothing new: Spain, has a great team, but still gets eliminated in the early stages of the world cup. This has been the case for every world cup that I can remember. Really sad, if you ask me.

Let’s now wait to see what happens with France and Brazil… Looks like Brazil has better chances here, and as usual, they will find their way to the final, as I don’t think either England or Portugal have what it takes to beat Brazil. I hoped for Spain, but it’s been demonstrated that in World Cups it takes more than a good team to get far, something that obviously Brazil has, and Spain absolutely lacks.
Get set for an all-South American final, just like we saw in the Olimpic Games.

I know I am getting ahead of myself, but this is where things are leading us now….

D.