January 14, 2010

The Chargers are ranked 31st of 32 teams running the ball in the NFL. The Jets have the No. 1 ranked overall defense so it would seem to indicate a possible shut-down by the Jets. “HOW-EVAH”, I feel that the Jets might take the SD run game a little lightly to concentrate on pass defense, that could be a FATAL mistake- especially with Sproles and Hester….
More to come…    

Jerry Crowe, of the LA Times, wrote about the amazing Jerry Lucas.                                  
 “Jerry Lucas never abided the mundane.

It wasn’t enough for Lucas, in the early stages of an athletic career that would earn him enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame, to merely launch 5,000 shots a day as a youngster.

He challenged himself by visualizing a clock face atop the rim, not counting a shot made, for instance, unless it grazed 3 o’clock — or 9 o’clock or 12 o’clock,
wherever he was aiming — before falling through the net.

Other times, to improve his rebounding, he’d purposely miss shots while mentally cataloging where the ball caromed, insight that Lucas claims made boxing out unnecessary.

“I did things,” he says, “that I found out later on no other basketball player in the history of the world ever did.”

But Lucas didn’t stop there.

With an incredible capacity for retaining information that earned him the nickname Dr. Memory, he didn’t content himself with feats such as memorizing the Bible or the Manhattan phone book, which he did, or identifying hundreds of studio-audience members he’d only just met moments before appearing on “The Tonight Show,” which he did to Johnny Carson’s astonishment.

He wanted to share his gift.

For years he has traveled the country to demonstrate his Lucas Learning System, which is based on the ability to store pictures in the mind and retrieve them simply by thinking of them.

But that wasn’t enough either.

And now, his 70th birthday approaching in March and his final NBA season more than 35 years behind him, the restless Lucas says he is nearing completion on a Pixar-quality interactive website that will “totally revolutionize the education process.”

He and wife Cheri, a dog trainer who has appeared on TV’s “The Dog Whisperer,” live in a hilltop log cabin on their rural 20-acre property about 30 miles north of San Luis Obispo.

It’s an idyllic, peaceful setting, but Lucas is far from idle.

“My mind has never been inactive my entire life,” he says during an interview in a cozy den outside his home office. “When I had nothing to do physically, I
began to invent all sorts of mental games, hundreds of varieties, to keep my mind occupied.”

In basketball, the 6-foot-8 Lucas was a prodigy who led Middletown High to two Ohio state championships. At Ohio State, which he insisted on attending on an academic scholarship, he led the Buckeyes to a national title and two other championship-game appearances in three varsity seasons.

In 11 NBA seasons with the Cincinnati Royals, San Francisco Warriors and New York Knicks, he averaged 17 points and 15.6 rebounds, twice averaging
“20 and 20” in a season.

Later voted one of the top 50 players in NBA history, Lucas was the first basketball player to win championships at the high school, college, pro and Olympic levels, a feat that has since been matched only by Quinn Buckner and Magic Johnson.

Sports Illustrated, noting that his arching outside shot found the net so consistently that it became known as the Lucas Layup, suggested that Lucas “may be the best-rebounding shooter, and best-shooting rebounder, ever to play the game.”

Since leaving the Knicks after the 1973-74 season, however, Lucas has had virtually nothing to do with the game, even turning down offers to work as a TV commentator.

“I enjoyed basketball,” he notes, “but it wasn’t life-changing. What I’m doing now is life-changing.”

When he retired, Lucas says, he embarked on a 25-year plan to develop education curricula that would “make learning practically automatic” by giving tangible identities to intangible concepts. Thirty-five years later, he’s still at it.

“To do what I set out to do is an overwhelming task,” he says. “It takes time — like, when I did grammar and punctuation, I read 300 grammar books over a
period of a couple years — but the end result is going to be remarkable.”

Lucas says it probably won’t be up and running for two more years, but his animated website, Doctor M’s Universe, will highlight all he has written and
created over the last 3 1/2 decades in an effort to make learning “fun, simple and exciting.”

As Lucas explains the site, students will build their own planets on which they will virtually live, flying spaceships to learning destinations in the universe such as an alphabet planet, a reading planet, a spelling planet, a math planet, and so on.

So far, Lucas says, he has developed more than 120 games, created hundreds of characters and written lyrics to about 300 songs that will be incorporated
into the project.

“What Jerry’s been able to do,” says Jeffrey Varab, a Disney-trained animator helping to build the site, “is to take something incredibly complex and make it accessible to anybody.”

This year, Lucas notes, he will start to seek funding, estimating it will cost about $20 million to launch the site.

Lucas, though, says his pet project does not occupy his every waking moment. He has spent much of his time the last two years in Erlanger, Ky., with his younger brother, Roy, who has been diagnosed as having a malignant brain tumor.

Lucas continues to lead seminars, and he also found time to write a screenplay about a formative summer in his youth.

“I guess I’m a typical type-A personality,” he says, laughing. “Maybe quadruple-A, I don’t know.”

Bruce Jenkins is back from vacation and sent this piece that tells how he feels about LeBron James.                                                                                                                          
“Among certain aficionados of the rare and esoteric, there is a game known as I’ve Never Seen That. It applies to the history of the NBA, and it addresses the very few players who were outright originals. LeBron James, who graced Oracle Arena with his presence Monday night, is such a player.
The club might be more exclusive than you think. Kobe Bryant hardly qualifies, for he is a veritable clone (with full intent) of Michael Jordan. Shaquille O’Neal wrote luminous chapters of dominance, but we saw a better version in Wilt Chamberlain. Self-styled eccentric Dennis Rodman was a phenomenal rebounder, but not essentially different than the studious Jerry Lucas. Little-man Steve Nash gets to places on the court he has no right to visit, but it’s territory previously visited by Tiny Archibald.
Bill Russell was an original, for reasons that need not be explained. So was Elgin Baylor, who turned frontcourt play into an art form, and Julius Erving, who took the best of Connie Hawkins and added a singular style. You think of the George Gervin finger-roll, Bernard King’s jump hook, Wes Unseld’s outlet pass, the wild and wicked shot releases of Wally Jones and Lloyd Free.
There are people around today’s NBA who think that LeBron James is the fastest man in the league with a ball in his hands. Think about that: The man is
6-foot-9 and, some say, around 270 pounds. That’s a Karl Malone build. If he’s even among the top ten in the league for pure speed, it’s a ridiculous notion.
But No. 1 sounds more like it. You realize that when you see him in person.
Before Monday night’s game, somebody asked James how many points he’d average if scoring was his obsession. The question seemed to baffle him. As
unstoppable as he is, James was born to pass. In the manner of Magic Johnson, or any authentic point guard, he gets more satisfaction from gift than glory.
That’s the first thing people noticed watching tapes of his high school performances: the sensational passes from all angles of the court.
LeBron couldn’t really answer the question, because “My game won’t allow me to do that,” he said. “It won’t allow me to not find the open man, to not look
for my teammates.”
He paused, and broke a smile. “But I do score, like, 61 points in video games.”
So much of James’ performances border on the surreal. Against the Warriors, he broke out one of his specialties: racing from out-of-the-picture oblivion to
catch up with a solo-breaking opponent, timing his leap perfectly and blocking the shot without the hint of a foul or goal-tend. He did it to Stephen Curry in the first half, then sneaked up behind Monta Ellis for an encore in the second half, bringing gasps of astonishment from the crowd and a smile from Ellis, so certain he’d been cruising toward an easy deuce.
This has been a staple of LeBron’s game for the better part of two years, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve Never Seen That – not exactly, nor that often.
Even from Russell. That’s how it goes for the entire LeBron package, one that simply overwhelmed the Warriors on Monday night when it mattered most.
Cherish all moments with an original.”


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