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NBA formula to win the Championship

This post continues my thoughts from yesterday on how to win in the NBA. I friend of mine wrote this in response to yesterday’s post. (I know that there are some of my regular readers who are aghast that I’m not talking about politics/world events, but don’t be. I’ll be on politics soon. I needed a little break.) (Running a little late this morning. Will add links later.)

While I agree with the thought that the NBA is better when certain signature franchises like the Knicks are relevant, the formula to win the title since the Magic/Bird era has been just as ET outlined with two interesting exceptions: the Bad Boy Pistons and the Pistons who ended the Lakers’ winning streak. I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how both of the exceptions to the formula came from Detroit, but I think it may have to do with the only thing ET left off the list: a smart coach who’s respected by the refs. For detroit, Chuck Daly and Larry Brown.

If we are to believe the formula, then these are the only teams as currently constructed that can win the title this season:
LAKERS
megastar/closer: Kobe
Pippen guy: Gasol
bomber: depends on the night but someone always hits big threes for them in the playoffs
enforcer: Odom (don’t laugh, look where he ranks in rebounds-per-minute)
coach: Phil

CELTICS
megastar/closer: Pierce (don’t laugh, something happened to him three years ago, does everything the star does but will never get credit for it)
Pippen guy: Garnett
bomber: Allen
enforcer: should be interesting with Perkins gone, will combo of Kristic/Shaq work?
coach: Rivers, maybe not smartest guy and may struggle with his defensive guru now coaching the Bulls, but the refs love him

SPURS
megastar/closer: I actually think it’s Parker now
Pippen guy: Ginobili
bomber: Matt Bonner
enforcer: DeJuan Blair
coach: Pop
… and I didn’t even mention the best power forward ever, who on this team can fill any of those roles except bomber. (more…)

By |2011-03-08T08:09:03-04:00March 8th, 2011|Sports|Comments Off on NBA formula to win the Championship

General Odom points out the errors in Right Wing arguments

Photo:API missed this OpEd in WaPo last week.  The OpEd by General Odom was titled – Victory Is Not an Option.  Well, I guess one could argue that no more needed to be said.  General Odom then lays out why we can’t accomplish the mission, point by point.  (William E. Odom, a retired Army lieutenant general, was head of Army intelligence and director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan. He served on the National Security Council staff under Jimmy Carter. A West Point graduate with a PhD from Columbia, Odom teaches at Yale and is a fellow of the Hudson Institute.)

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The new National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq starkly delineates the gulf that separates President Bush’s illusions from the realities of the war. Victory, as the president sees it, requires a stable liberal democracy in Iraq that is pro-American. The NIE describes a war that has no chance of producing that result. In this critical respect, the NIE, the consensus judgment of all the U.S. intelligence agencies, is a declaration of defeat.

Its gloomy implications — hedged, as intelligence agencies prefer, in rubbery language that cannot soften its impact — put the intelligence community and the American public on the same page. The public awakened to the reality of failure in Iraq last year and turned the Republicans out of control of Congress to wake it up. But a majority of its members are still asleep, or only half-awake to their new writ to end the war soon.

Perhaps this is not surprising. Americans do not warm to defeat or failure, and our politicians are famously reluctant to admit their own responsibility for anything resembling those un-American outcomes. So they beat around the bush, wringing hands and debating “nonbinding resolutions” that oppose the president’s plan to increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq.

For the moment, the collision of the public’s clarity of mind, the president’s relentless pursuit of defeat and Congress’s anxiety has paralyzed us. We may be doomed to two more years of chasing the mirage of democracy in Iraq and possibly widening the war to Iran. But this is not inevitable. A Congress, or a president, prepared to quit the game of “who gets the blame” could begin to alter American strategy in ways that will vastly improve the prospects of a more stable Middle East.

No task is more important to the well-being of the United States. We face great peril in that troubled region, and improving our prospects will be difficult. First of all, it will require, from Congress at least, public acknowledgment that the president’s policy is based on illusions, not realities. There never has been any right way to invade and transform Iraq. Most Americans need no further convincing, but two truths ought to put the matter beyond question:

First, the assumption that the United States could create a liberal, constitutional democracy in Iraq defies just about everything known by professional students of the topic. Of the more than 40 democracies created since World War II, fewer than 10 can be considered truly “constitutional” — meaning that their domestic order is protected by a broadly accepted rule of law, and has survived for at least a generation. None is a country with Arabic and Muslim political cultures. None has deep sectarian and ethnic fissures like those in Iraq.

Strangely, American political scientists whose business it is to know these things have been irresponsibly quiet. In the lead-up to the March 2003 invasion, neoconservative agitators shouted insults at anyone who dared to mention the many findings of academic research on how democracies evolve. They also ignored our own struggles over two centuries to create the democracy Americans enjoy today. Somehow Iraqis are now expected to create a constitutional order in a country with no conditions favoring it. (more…)

By |2007-02-18T13:36:48-04:00February 18th, 2007|Congress, Domestic Issues, Iraq|Comments Off on General Odom points out the errors in Right Wing arguments
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