After 13 NBA seasons Nowitzki is at the height of his game PDF Imprimir E-mail

For the first time ever, there was obvious tread wear on Kobe Bryant's tires this season. The cracks in Tim Duncan's foundation began to show several years ago.

Yet Dirk Nowitzki's game still looks timeless, like it could go on forever.

LeBron James and Chris Bosh bolted to the beaches of Miami. Amar'e Stoudemire fled to the bright lights of New York.

Yet Nowitzki never really considered setting one foot outside of Dallas.

Longevity and loyalty, it turns out, are a difficult combination to beat.

It wasn't just the 48 points Nowitzki scored in the Mavs' 121-112 Western Conference finals opener win over the Thunder that were jaw-dropping, it was the ease with which he did it, coming on just 15 shots from the field.

It wasn't the NBA playoff record for most free throws in a game without a miss -- 24-for-24 -- that took your breath away, but the manner in which Nowitzki ran through nearly half the Thunder's roster that tried and failed to stop him.

Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Thabo Sefolosha might as well have been trying to hitch a ride on the winds of a twister. Nowitzki filled the lanes on the fast break to finish. He drove baseline to rattle the rim with dunks. He came off the pick-and-roll time and again to bury jumpers and there was nothing anyone could do to stop him.

"He's been doing it for a lot of years against a lot of great players," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "He had a good rhythm. He got off to a good start. He was making shots and then we were fouling his jump shots and he's a terrific jump-shooter."

Perhaps the most surprising thing about his stat line is that Dirk almost bagged a half-century without even attempting a single 3-point shot.

But the amazing thing is that in his 13th NBA season, Nowitzki doesn't appear to have lost even a half step or the slightest elevation on that reach-to-the-sky extension on his shots.

"Dirk spends a lot of time of time working on his game, keeping himself ready," said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle.

Duncan is 35 and is just a shadow of the former MVP who carried the Spurs to four championships. Kobe, who has five championships on his belt, will turn 33 in August and at times this season and in the playoffs looked out of gas and out of ideas.

Timberwolves come so close again PDF Imprimir E-mail

Well, that's too bad. For a brief and shining moment, I thought we'd all be able to tell that smart-alecky Ricky Rubio, who apparently thinks he's too good to come to Minnesota, to go jump in a kettle full of steaming paella.

The player of the Wolves' dreams, point guard Kyrie Irving, was this close to being here. How close? When the camera cut to him at lottery headquarters in Secaucus, N.J., he already looked a little queasy. I'm sure he was thinking: Any chance of re-upping with Duke?

Relax, Kyrie. The Wolves took another hosing in the lottery on Tuesday. The team with the worst record in basketball ended up with the second pick in the upcoming draft. The overwhelming consensus is that the second-best player in the draft is Arizona forward Derrick Williams. However, the team already is committed to building around current forwards Kevin Love and Michael Beasley.

I'd say the best part of watching Tuesday's lottery show on ESPN was learning from Montel Williams that I could get cash fast. Up to $1,000 by tomorrow! Unfortunately, the commercials ended and we had to go back to the ping-pong balls.

Wait 'til next year. And, believe me, we'll all be back counting the ping-pong balls again next year.

"It is what it is," Wolves President David Kahn noted after taking his annual medicine, just like all the Timberwolves execs before him have done.

The ideal scenario - the just and righteous scenario - was for the Wolves to get the No. 1 overall pick, anhonor they so richly deserved. Then they could have traded Rubio's rights to New York or whatever other city the little "Principe Espanol" deemed worthy of his talents.

Granted, Minnesota has become something of a point-guard graveyard. But Irving seemed talented enough to come in and take charge on the floor, sooner rather than later. Of course, I was assuming Kahn would hire a coaching staff that could help the kid develop. You know, a coaching staff that knows how to teach defense. Scoring may be a God-given talent, but defense is teachable. And last season's Wolves team was the worst defensive team in franchise history. Maybe one of the 10 worst anywhere, ever.

But it's moot now. And I'm pretty sure Kahn has learned his lesson. Instead of traveling to Secaucus each year, only to wind up standing there on camera with a frozen smile congratulating the winner of the top pick, he'll start sending an arena maintenance man or security guard or maybe even a wino living under the Target Center loading dock to represent the franchise.

2011 NBA Mock Draft Donatas Motiejunas PDF Imprimir E-mail

Getting compared to arguably the greatest European export in NBA history is a tough one to live up to, and one plenty have been compared to, only to wind up as busts.

A classic European player, Motiejunas is seen as a somewhat soft guy with a picturesque jumper at 7’ tall. A project type with big upside, and a bigger potential bust factor. Needs to get a lot stronger to warrant any Nowitzki comparisons. Will need to play with a big who can handle life in the paint, rebound and block shots. Will be the complement to step out and stretch a defense with his shooting ability. Is he willing to work hard enough to shore up his deficiencies? The jury is definitely out on that one, but the talent is there if he truly wants it.

Boston Rob Scotty McCreery John Rich & Jesus Are Reality TV Stars PDF Imprimir E-mail

After ten years, four seasons, and over 100 days, Boston Rob finally won the million dollar prize on Survivor and I am so happy.  Rob is the reason I got hooked on Survivor all those years ago, and I think he should have won every time he played.  He is brilliant at this game, and it’s about time we can officially call him the sole survivor.

I love how he plays the game, love his interviews along the way, and love that he finally got to be a winner after being so gracious about his wife Amber being a winner when he never was.  It was a fun season to watch because of him, and the truth is Boston Rob was the only reason I kept watching after the fabulous/despicable Russell got the boot.

Having Russell and Rob come back and be pitted against each other was awesome, and it’s stupid Russell got eliminated so early.  Rob not only won the title of sole survivor and the million dollar prize, he also won the $100k fan favorite.  Congratulations to Rob.  He earned it, he deserved it, and I loved watching it.  In fact, I called it week one.

I’m going to call a couple more finales. Scotty McCreery is going to win American Idol.  I’m not a huge country music fan but I like it, own several country albums, and this kid is amazing.  He is super cute, super talented, incredibly charming, and an All American boy.  He loves God, the troops, his fans, and the United States of America.

I love this kid.  At only 17 years old, he is calm cool, collected, mature, serious, playful, and ready.  I can see him as a huge country music star and people will be listening to his records 40 years from now.  This is a talented kid who is sticking tight to his morals and values on his wild ride to fame, and he has my vote.  I think he’s got it.

As for Celebrity Apprentice, I think John Rich is going to win.  I love Marlee Matlin but I think John Rich has been a better player, been united with everyone he has worked with, not burned any bridges, and just overall more deserving through all the tasks.  I am not familiar with his music, but I love his work ethic and attitude.

There is something very American about country music people.  They feel safe, caring, generous, and humble.  They love God and country, and are not out to hurt anyone, just play the games and represent themselves in a manner that will make their families proud, and not make any waves.  Not a lot of scandals in the country music world.

I love reality television.  By love of course I mean I am addicted.  I sat down today and made a list of the shows I watch, or have watched, and I am not ashamed to tell you that I am a little ashamed.  I watch it, I like it, I write about it, and I get a lot of flack because of it.  People either love or hate reality television and sadly I love it.

I don’t mean sad in the sense that it’s pathetic I watch so much, I mean sad that my dating life is so nonexistent I am spending Saturday with my TIVO and reality television because that is more appealing than going out on yet another bad date with someone I have nothing in common with.  It’s horrible when flannels and TV trump a date.

As I was flipping through Survivor, The Real Housewives of Orange County, and Celebrity Apprentice on Sunday night, I realized who the most popular person in reality television is.  It’s interesting because this man has never been on a reality show, yet he is mentioned in every show by at least one contestant.  The most popular man in reality television is Jesus.

People thank him, credit him, praise him, confide in him, and give him credit for their not only being on the show, but for everything to happen in their lives before the show, during the taping, and for every day to follow.  There are a lot of people who have faith, but those who love Jesus like to shout it from the rooftop for all to hear.

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