Kobe Bryant NBA Superstar

Born on August 23, 1978, Kobe Bryant is a native of Pennsylvania and a graduate of Lower Merion High School. The son of former NBA player Joe ‘Jellybean’ Bryant, Kobe had no problem in making a name for himself after being voted a starter for the 1998 All-Star Game during his second season, which made him the youngest All-Star in NBA history at 19 years of age.

As with all athletes, Kobe Bryant had a life before becoming an NBA star. Eight years of his childhood, which was spent in Italy, led to Bryant being able to speak fluent Italian. His parents, who also have two daughters, Sharia and Shaya, named Kobe Bryant after a type of steak that they noticed on a restaurant menu. During his high school years, Bryant was recognized as the all-time leading scorer in Southeastern Pennsylvania history. His record, which was 2,883 points, managed to break the marks of both Wilt Chamberlain and Carlin Warley. During his final years as a high school athlete, Kobe Bryant was chosen by USA Today and Parade as the National High School Player of the Year. In addition, he was recognized as the Naismith Player of the Year and the Gatorade Circle of Champions High School Player of the Year.

During his rookie NBA season, which occurred in 1996-1997, Kobe Bryant played in 71 games and started in six. He was selected to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team and became the youngest player to ever start an NBA game when he was 18 years, five months and five days of age. By the 1997-1998 season, Kobe Bryant was ready for action as the points just kept racking up at each game. During the 1998-1999 season, Bryant was named to the All-NBA Third Team. The following season, which was held from 1999-2000, found Kobe Bryant remaining atop of the mountain on the NBA players list. In addition to being named to the 1999-2000 All-NBA Second Team, he was also honored with the NBA All-Interview Second Team, the NBA All-Defensive First Team and was named the NBA Player of the Week from April 10-16, 2000.

By the time the 2000-2001 season rolled around, Kobe Bryant was a household name. After appearing in 68 games and averaging 28.5 points per game, Kobe ranked among the league leaders in scoring. In 2001-2002, Bryant played in a career-high 80 games, in which he averaged 25.2 points each and was again ranked among the league’s scoring leaders. In 2002, he was named as the Most Valuable Player of the NBA All-Star Game.

During the seasons that followed, Kobe Bryant continued to score points both on the court and in the hearts of NBA fans. With an average of 24 points per game in the 2003 season, Kobe was selected to the 2003-2004 All-NBA and All-Defensive First Team. The 2004-2005 season found Bryant on the All-NBA Third Team. In January 2006, Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in a single game, which is the second All-Time in NBA history.

Fans who would like to request a signed photo or simply send Kobe Bryant their best wishes are urged to do so in care of his NBA franchise team. If you are requesting an autograph, be sure to include a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) along with your request. Letters and requests should be mailed to:

Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles Lakers

555 Nash St.

El Segundo, CA 90245

NBA Basketball Betting

Do you want to know a little secret? NBA basketball betting can make you a lot of money. NBA basketball is a game that has helped turn sports betting losers into happy sports bettors with larger bankrolls. It’s really no secret to winning sports bettorsNBA basketball is the easiest game to make money at. The game itself gives sports bettors plenty of opportunity and the ability to win right up until the end. Unlike Football, Baseball and Hockey, NBA basketball does not have limited scoring. In those other games you might see a handfulor lessof scoring executions per game. If your side gets behind too much, it’s over no matter how much time is left. However, in NBA basketball, your team is usually in the game until the end.

Think about it for a moment. If you were to bet a -8 point favorite in football and the game was tied with 6 minutes left and the other team had the ball, would you have a realistic shot at winning? The answer is probably not. However, let’s apply the same situation to an NBA basketball game and chop 4 minutes off the clockso there’s 2 minutes left. Would you have a realistic shot at covering the 8 points? You bet! Teams must shoot the ball within 24 seconds and each made basket is worth 2 or 3 points. You would only need 3-4 baskets to make the 8 points. Granted, the other team can score too, but in the NBA, two minutes at the end of a game is an eternity when the teams are close.

Let’s look at another scenario. Imagine that it’s half time in Basketball and Football, it’s the 5th inning in Baseball and it’s the 2nd period in hockey. Which of these four following scenarios have the best outcome?

1.The team you bet on in Baseball is down by 6 runs.

2.The team you bet on in Hockey is down by 3 goals.

3.The team you bet on in Football is down by 21 points.

4.The team you bet on in NBA Basketball is down by 22 points.

The answer, of course, is number four. Scores are hard to come by in the first three options. While comebacks happen sometimes, in the NBA, teams always go on runs. Each season is filled with games where a team was down 10,15, even 20 points and came back to win. There are many other games where the underdog was down by a lot and game back to lose by just a few points. With the NBA, you are almost always in the action right up to the end of the game. Can you say that about any other sport?

Finally, let’s talk about NBA basketball totals. You might find that betting the total points in a game (under or over) is your thing and you would not be alone. There is a theory out there that those who can get a feel for totals betting are among the most successful sports bettors alive. You could debate that theory, but it does point out a very important idea. Totals betting in NBA basketball is full of winning opportunity and the sports books don’t set them as well as the spread. Will this translate into more money in your pocket? That’s for you to decide.

If you are not on fire right now for some NBA basketball action, check your pulse. NBA basketball presents one of the greatest opportunities open to sports bettors. Don’t miss out of a great thing. Sports bettors and handicappers look forward to the NBA basketball season every year and now you know why.

NBA: Prolific Scoring

There are many professional basketball players who have many different talents, and some teams have players who specialize in the defense and others that specialize in offense. Yet there is one player who can do it all. This talented NBA player is Kobe Bryant. He is probably the best player in the entire NBA. During one game, he scored a whopping eighty-one points. This caused him to score nearly 60 % of the total score for the Los Angeles Lakers, which is an astounding percentage. Some people feel that he is merely a ball hog, and sometimes he may actually be a ball-hog, but being one isn’t a negative thing. It’s actually a positive thing because he’s doing a great deal to help his team make it to the play-offs. One pro basketball player can’t possibly win a game by himself, so obviously the entire team has to contribute, and they definitely do.

Although Kobe Bryant is an awesome player, and has scored such high amounts per game, there is another basketball player who has outscored him. This person is Wilt Chamberlain, and he is currently deceased. Chamberlain scored an amazing one hundred points in a single game. He played for the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, yet he retired from the Los Angeles Lakers.

Again, though, we can’t forget about the importance of the other players and their significance in assisting the team in winning the game, and ultimately the championship. Besides just scoring a play in defense, there are many players who contribute by assisting and getting rebounds and blocking shots. Every pro basketball player has his area of expertise. Some players don’t do well at making free-throw shots, but they may do well making regular baskets. On the other hand, a player may do excellent at making all or most free-throw shots, but not as well making regular shots. Wilt Chamberlain was famous for his ‘underhand’ free throw shot, which he did very well at.

Although Ben Wallace of the Detroit Pistons plays pro basketball very well, he doesn’t do very well with free-throw shots. Perhaps it is because of the pressure that placed on him in that moment, especially if scoring could mean the difference between winning or losing the game.

So, as you can see, there are some really prolific NBA players, no matter if they score immense amounts or block many shots

NBA Playoff Betting: Is the Zigzag Theory Valid or Poppycock?

About this time two years ago, I watched as on one of the fine betting sites there was a not-so-subtle back and forth of the validity of the so-called zigzag NBA playoff system.

The method simply says go with the team off of a loss. A critic came back after the first week or so gleaming over the fact the technique zagged and sagged more than it zigged. It lost money. Then as the playoffs went on, the proponent got the last laugh while the cynic wrote articles on other topics telling you he is smarter than everyone else.

Having been in the industry since the 1980s and having been a supporter of computer systems since prominent statistician Dr. Mike Orkin wrote his Pointspread Analyzer software, where does Center of the Handicapping Universe stand?

We agree with the theory, but less so the etched-in-stone considerations. First of all, let us give a quick refresher of the difference. A system can be measured objectively because the parameters are concrete. The zigzag is an example. Going with a double digit favorite off a single digit loss would be another hypothetical.

Of course there can be modest variances depending on when and where a database gathers lines, but over any statistically significant period it does not make a huge difference.

A theory is much like a system but does not have objective parameters. Our theory is the better the team is that the zigzag system favors and the bigger the margin the loss was, the more compelling it is to go with the team off a loss.

True one could come up with a system to measure our upgrading of the methodology. An example would be going with a team with a winning percentage of .575 or higher off a loss of eight or more. The problem is we believe a mental sliding scale combining and most importantly, weighing the two factors works best. It allows for a mixing and matching of the two parameters.

For example, this year as in most years, it would not apply or would only be weighed slightly if we are talking about the bottom three seeds in each conference off a loss. There is a reason they are called mismatches.

No. 4 versus five and the next three rounds of the playoffs (barring huge first round upsets), it is weighed much heavier. Remember we told you the mocker grew conspicuously quieter as the postseason went on. Now you know why.

It’s one of those theories that almost make too much sense. During the regular season of every sport we remind you of the Golden Rule to not merely go with the team that needs it more if said team is fighting just to make the playoffs.

We call attention to the fact if a team were proficient at winning must win games they would not be playing in must-win games late in the year.

Conversely, a one through five seed, especially as the playoffs go deeper, has shown the ability to rebound from adversity and respond when their backs are to the wall.

To the handicapper there is a titanic difference between desperate elite teams and equally desperate inferior teams playing in a crucial contest. It’s like the difference between seeing Jennifer Lopez and Rosie O’Donnell in a string bikini.

Okay, I don’t follow the analogy myself, but the exemplification of the distinction is infallible. From a handicapping standpoint one can’t measure the success of the zigzag if Phoenix coming off a loss is given the same weight (no pun intended Rosie) as Washington or Golden State following a setback.

Likewise, the margin of the loss is applicable for at least two obvious reasons. As we have said many times, nothing affects public perception more than the last game they have seen. It’s not uncommon for a blowout in the previous game to influence an opening line by 2-3 points and more times than not, the closing line by more.

Plus, no matter how motivated and well-coached a squad is, it defies human nature to approach a game with as much vengeance off a 22-point win as it is for the team off the huge setback.

So to friends and foes alike of zigzag, a .700 or better team off a loss is not even close to being the same as the below .520 teams zigging. Nor is mindset the same for a team that lost a game that went down to the wire the same as one that got humiliated on national television.

NBA MVP Voting is a Serious Issue

It is the time of the year when the NBA’s Most Valuable Player is voted for. This means 125 voters among who you can find media people that devote their entire professional careers to go across the country analyzing every move every game and sharing with the readers and viewers. It is comforting to have people of this knowledge on the sport voting for the best player in the NBA.

If you remember the 2005 MVP for the NBA was expected to be between Shaquille O’Neil and Steve Nash. Nash ended up winning by very little difference. That year the voting was so stretch that people ended up thinking if the race between them affected the voters. I personally do not think that was the case.

For the 2006 Season a similar thing is expected to happen. The reality is that MVP voters usually are reluctant to recognize young players or those from teams not considered cream of the crop. With the exception of the 1998-99 season, there hasn’t been an MVP winner from a team that won fewer than 50 games since 1982. That is not to say that 50 wins is a pre-qualifier, but it illustrates that voters tend to reward the best teams.

The playoffs are about a month away and there is plenty of suspense surrounding the final weeks of the season and the candidates to the MVP. Is it Kobe Bryant keeping the Lakers in the playoffs? Maybe Chauncey Billups get it thanks to his clear display of guidance in Detroit? What about LeBron James, who took the Cavaliers to a higher level? We will certainly find out sooner than you think.

The NBA Draft

Association’s (NBA) thirty teams (29 in the United States and one in Canada) can select young players who wish to join the league. These players usually come from college level, but in recent drafts a greater number of international and high school players have been drafted. As of the 2006 NBA Draft high school players gain eligibility for draft selection one year after their graduating class has finished high school, but only if they also are at least 19 years of age as of the end of the calendar year of the draft.

The NBA draft is currently divided into two rounds, with thirty picks per round. The order of selections is based on several rules. The first picks of the draft belong to the fourteen teams that did not enter the playoffs in that year’s season. These teams participate in a lottery to determine the order of the first three picks. Each team is assigned a number of chances based upon season standings to ‘win’ the lottery. After these three teams have been determined, the remaining picks are given out based on regular season record with the worst teams getting the highest remaining picks. This lottery assures each team can drop no more than 3 positions from its projected draft position. The lottery also prevents teams from throwing the season to ensure a top draft pick.

The next sixteen spots in the draft are reserved for the teams that made it into that season’s playoffs. The order of these sixteen teams’ selection is determined by their regular-season win-loss record, going from worst to best. Therefore, the team with the best record selects last. The team with the best record is not necessarily the champion for example, in the 2004 NBA Draft, the last pick did not go to the 2004 NBA champion Detroit Pistons, but rather to the Indiana Pacers (this is unlike the NFL Draft, in which the Super Bowl champion always draws the final selection of the first round).

The order of selections in the second round are also based upon season standings, with the worst team picking first and the best picking last. There is no lottery for the second round. Teams are allowed to trade future draft picks (first and second round) as they would current players.

League rules prohibit a team from trading away their own future first-round picks in consecutive years. This rule was created partially as a reaction to the practices of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the early 1980s. Ted Stepien, who owned the team from 1980 to 1983, made a series of trades for players of questionable value that cost the team several years of first-round picks. The trades nearly destroyed the franchise the NBA pressured Stepien into selling out, and in order to get a solid local owner (Gordon Gund), the league had to sweeten the deal by giving the Cavaliers several future bonus draft picks.

All U.S. players are automatically eligible upon the end of their college eligibility. Through 2005, U.S. players were also allowed to declare eligibility for the draft at any time between high school graduation and the completion of college eligibility. International players could declare eligibility in the calendar year of their 18th birthday, or later.

Starting with the 2006 NBA Draft, the eligibility rules have changed:

All players, regardless of nationality, must be at least 19 years old during the calendar year of the draft.

A U.S. player must also be at least one year removed from the graduation of his high school class.

This age limit for draftees is part of the new collective bargaining agreement between the league and its players union.

The NBA has established two draft declaration dates. All players who wish to be drafted, and are not automatically eligible, must declare their eligibility on or before the first declaration date.

After this date, prospective draftees may attend NBA pre-draft camps and individual team workouts to show off their skills and obtain feedback regarding their draft positions. A player may withdraw his name from consideration from the draft at any time before the final declaration date, which is one week before the draft. A player who declares for the draft will lose his college eligibility, even if he is not drafted, if any of the following is true:

The player signs with an agent.

The player has declared for and withdrawn from the draft in any previous year.

When a player is selected in the first round of the draft, the team that selected him is required to sign him to at least a one-year contract. Players selected in the second round are owned by the team for three years, but the teams are not required to sign them.

Players chosen earlier in the draft are generally regarded as better prospects than those selected later, but there is always a level of uncertainty around the selections. Past drafts are filled with examples of late-pick superstars and early-pick busts. Perhaps the most famous example of the uncertainty of the draft came in 1986, when Karl Malone was selected by the Utah Jazz with the thirteenth pick, but went on to become the second-leading scorer in NBA history and win multiple MVP awards. His teammate, John Stockton, was selected sixteenth the year before, but went on to become the all-time NBA leader in assists and steals.

The NBA And The Community

The National Basketball League has some excellent players on its teams. They train well, play well, and interact well. The players not only do these things well, but they also give to the community. NBACARES is a wonderful program that allows youths in need of role models and other types of assistance to receive this help directly from the professional basketball players. The players go out into communities and seek out young people in need. They hand-deliver gifts to children who would otherwise not have a Christmas, provide housing for families with children, as well as provide many other services to those in need.

NBACARES has also created a program to promote literacy in children, called ‘Read to Achieve.’ The program encourages youngsters to learn to love reading by having many types of community events, and also teaching adults to read to their children. They host fundraising events, which help to raise money for books and computers for local schools, and equipment for recreation centers.

NBA players not only participate in NBACARES, but some of them even have their own foundations. These foundations provide grant money for numerous non-profit businesses, which give to the community.

Children, as well as adults think it’s great that NBA players take time out of their extremely busy schedules in order to help those in need. Kids look up to the players as role models, and some players even ‘adopt’ certain youngsters, and become their personal ‘big brother’ and mentor. This is a really great thing, too, because some children have no one to look to for support. They may be an only child, or either their parents are too busy trying to work in order to make ends meet and may not have time to devote to their child. That’s why the mentoring is so important. Children need attention and guidance from a person who they trust, and what better role model could there be than a famous NBA player. This can help a child stay out of trouble, such as gangs and hanging out with the wrong crowd. It also helps to build children’s self-esteem, therefore, enabling them to excel in school, and anything else positive that they wish to pursue.

Thank you National Basketball Players, for caring enough about our youths to help to enrich and improve their lives!