The Knicks Went To London And Lost On A Buzzer-Beating Goaltend, Which Is International Marketing At Its Most Genuine
There's no two ways about it, this is just a hilariously fitting ending. I can't say the Knicks put their best foot forward on foreign soil, as they blew a 19-point lead by scoring all of 11 points in the 4th quarter before beating the buzzer by tardily swatting their way into the loss column. However, London was definitely left with the perfect impression of the unmistakably blue and orange foot they did manage to trip over.
Without doing much research, I'd say it's debatable whether or not the Mecca of basketball has even been a first-hand witness to a moment quite as Knickerbonkers as that one, which is certainly saying something given a recent history that's as deprived as it is depraved. If the goal of global marketing is to give the rest of the world an honest look at all the NBA has to offer then the rest of the world is well on it's way to knowing the nightmare that is New York Knicks' basketball. I just hope they aren't disappointed when the next improbable contribution to the tank isn't quite as creative.
The Saints Targeted Fletcher Cox On Taysom Hill's Fake Punt, Though I Highly Doubt Anyone Would Have Stopped Him Anyway
Some people are going to shame Fletcher Cox for taking the NFL equivalent of a smoke break while on the punt return team. For a multitude of reasons, I won't be one of them.
First of all, the Eagles' stud defensive lineman was hurt on the play (potentially due to not being fully prepared to get bulldozed by three blockers and ball-carrying battering ram), and I don't think the recipe for the fat 'L' he took calls for the addition of any more salt to the wound.
Secondly, I'm pretty sure the success of every fake punt in the history of fake punts has been dependent on the receiving team treating it like an actual punt, and I have a hard time believing that you'll find too many star players risking injury (yes, I see the irony) by busting their balls on every run-of-the-mill change of possession.
Lastly, even if this particular one did, Fletcher Cox would need cement feet and about 6 extra thighs to have held his ground strongly enough to bear the brunt of the bowling ball that is Taysom Hill and his brigade of blockers. Fact is, I saw that play coming from a mile away, due to both the score at the time and how unstoppable it seemed. Credit to Sean Payton for dissecting every tenth of a second of film to ensure its success, but it would be silly to act as if the Saints' Swiss army knife absolutely needed the help of a defensive player who was going through the motions to carve out a single yard of space for himself. If Taysom Hill slipped on the stairs he probably be two flights up by the time he completed his fall. Therefore, while I'm glad he wasn't, I'm calling bullshit on Fletcher Cox being able to prevent that momentum-swinging conversion even if he was fully engaged.
The Coaches Of Both UConn And Tulsa Got Tossed For Nothing More Than Exchanging Some Words And Attempting A Handshake To Smooth Things Over
One job. Literally one job, and - as anyone who has tuned into March Madness recently can attest - it's certainly not to get calls right with any sort of consistency. Instead, it's to handle any cantankerous situation that might arise during heated competition in such a way that allows for the show to go on featuring as many important characters as possible. In college basketball especially, figures don't get more key than those taking the temperature of their young teams from the sidelines, and these genius officials tossed them both over a disagreement that clocks in at about 2 clenched fists out of 10 on the aggressiveness scale.
Honestly, I've seen more impassioned arguments during a Sunday trip to ShopRite, and these refs decided that the only way to settle it was to make a huge scene out of an attempted handshake. I say the following not to discount any of the half-dozen block/charge calls that were undoubtedly botched in that same damn game, but that was one of the most egregious acts of officiating I have ever seen. Gross incompetence. A mountain made out of nothing more than an emotional molehill. You would have thought that Dan Hurley's 5 fingers violently struck the face of Frank Haith as opposed to being calmly placed in front of it as a peace offering. Never mind reading a rule book, these clowns couldn't even read the damn room, which explains some of the illiteracy we see written into the game script come tournament time.
A Humbled Kyrie Irving Called LeBron James To Apologize For How He Acted As A Young Player In Cleveland
All jokes aside, as there are plenty to be made, this is pretty cool. I mean that as both a moment of self-awareness in which two former teammates who together became legends in bringing a title to Cleveland officially let bygones be bygones after their ugly break-up, and as a reminder that dealing with younger people can be just as hard as their head.
I don't think there's too many people out there that thought LeBron James always went about his off-the-court leadership in the most unifying of ways. Therefore, the fact that Kyrie Irving now sympathizes with some of his passive aggressive power plays truly is a testament to how frustrating the process of turning children into champions can be. Kyrie Irving reportedly went multiple playoff rounds giving the team he helped deliver a championship the silent treatment, so it's fair to say he was sometimes a dick in response to LeBron monopolizing the management of the Cavaliers. As it turns out, nothing will paint you a clearer picture of your juvenile jackassery than the next generation. So credit to Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and the rest of a young Celtics team that's struggled mightily with maturation this season, as their understandably adolescent attitudes helped force a phone call that pride had previously cut the proverbial cord on.
I doubt that guilt had been weighing on Kyrie Irving as much as the Celtics struggles, but he certainly proceeded to put it to one the best teams in the conference like he had gotten something off his chest, back, or mind...
P.S. Talk about timing...
I'm just going to go ahead and say it. While it's cool to hear that two professional athletes, who happen to be amongst the best at their positions, have a healthy respect and appreciation for one another, that might have been the lamest thing I've ever listened to. There's nothing wrong with a little reverence between quality competitors, especially when one of them happens to have had a legendary career that literally dates back to the childhood of the other, but is saving the full-on fawning until after the game has gone final too much to ask?
As the Chargers were getting ran off the damn field, one of their biggest game-breakers was relaying the story of him getting a butt tap from Tom Brady with an amount of detail fitting of a kid talking to best friend about sharing a kiss with his first crush. It's unrealistic to expect athletes to have fire in their eyes for four full quarters, but I'd find it mildly concerning if the player I entrusted with terrorizing the opposing quarterback had dilating hearts in his. Joey Bosa isn't the first nor will he be the last to verbally fluff Tom Brady, but at least have the personal and professional pride not to do so while he is ending your season in emasculating fashion. Especially since that time spent cradling his proverbial balls could have been better spent looking at a tablet to figure out how to stop getting forcibly penetrated by him. The Patriots are already know how to neutralize a pass-rush, they don't need the help of a neutered pass-rusher.
In What May Go Down As The Bulls' Biggest Win Of The Season, They Pulled Out All The Stops To Reach 100 Points And Deny Lakers' Fans Free Tacos
While I find the concept of moral victories in a business as cutthroat as professional sports to be largely bullshit, I do have to admit that it's nice to see that the Bulls have decided to start somewhere. Seeing as they are a team that's as terrible as its organization is dysfunctional, that "somewhere" wasn't about to be in the win column.
Consider this for perspective, the last common goal the Bulls' roster rallied together to achieve was forming a mutiny against their drill sergeant of an interim coach and boycotting practice a day after losing by half-a-hundred. When you look at it that way, coming together in a desperate effort to deny an entitled fanbase free fast food tacos, regardless of a loss being inevitable at the time, is a pretty huge step in the right direction.
Who knows, maybe things are finally starting to look up for a franchise that was once the pride of Chicago, even if it's mostly because the sight lines from rock bottom are rather limited. If they ruin another fast food promotion or two they might actually learn to like competing for 48 whole minutes. Just imagine how many otherwise uncompetitive single digit losses they could be capable of if they no longer needed the snobbish faces of those that were a little too excited for the mediocre Mexican offered to them by a marketing ploy as motivation. The sky isn't exactly the limit, but the occasional gasp of breath during a season-long drowning might not be entirely out of the question.
The Mayor Of Atlanta Walked Back Her BountyGate-Inspired Jab About Not Wanting The Saints In Their Super Bowl, Like A Coward
Nope. Nope, nope, nope. Apology unaccepted. To clarify, absolutely no one who is interested or invested in the well-being of the residents of Atlanta should want New Orleans to win come Sunday. There's no umbrage to be taken with a political figure not strongly preferring that one of her city's long-suffering sports teams (and their dozens upon dozens of loyal fans) not be made into a punchline while having their rambunctious rivals take up real estate in their brain and residence in their facilities for an entire week.
That said, I think I speak for everyone from Sean Payton on down in saying that you don't get to simply retract a BountyGate joke. Pending a Super Bowl berth for the Saints, the piper is going to need to get paid for that low blow, and - in taking after a team that's as good at trolling as they are at football - there are very few fanbases more committed to collecting on that comeuppance than that of the Who Dat Nation.
I wouldn't even call that explanation "too little, too late" as much as I would call it a sign of weakness from an inferior football city. Apologetic in antagonization? Ha, New Orleans would never. You mess with the bull and you get the horns, so no point in trying to discard of that red cape now. If the Saints are coming to Atlanta then the Saints are coming to Atlanta with far more than a taste for trolling. That was already inevitable before Mayor Kiesha Lance Bottoms got cocky with her comic relief. Therefore, there's no reason to back away from it now that she realizes how emotionally emasculating it will be for Atlanta to potentially play host to a humbling from those that are as familiar with that word as they are with 25-point championship choke jobs or the need for fake crowd noise.
Marc-Andre Fleury Refused To Leave His Net Entirely Unattended While Being Pulled For An Extra Skater Last Night
Whatever happened to quality gamesmanship in sports?! Like, have we really reached a point in which referees feel the need to intervene in the clever arrangement of ice shavings? Being familiar with both the shit-eating grin and the workplace hijinks of Marc-Andre Fleury, he was doing this more for the laugh than for some sort of slight advantage that would only make an actual difference in an insanely rare circumstance. Still, I can't help but feel like he should have been awarded for his MacGyver-esque resourcefulness with the reaching-between-the-couch-cushions-type payoff of allowing his ant-hill of an inanimate extra man to stand.
You can't push a puck through a localized dusting of snow then you don't deserve the insurance goal, whereas if you do manage to stop a puck with a localized dusting of snow than you deserve the credit that comes with making more than just your ingenious thought count. It's just a damn shame that the officials had to go and take away the one-a-in-million probability of MAF's joke packing a punchline powerful enough to force a bunch of grown-ass professionals to have a closed-door meeting about the appropriation of ice shavings, as I thought we encouraged the incitement of frivolous debates in sports.
Michigan State's Interim President Doesn't Much Care For The Survivors Of Sexual Abuse That Make His Job More Difficult
DetroitNews- John Engler said the next president will have many challenges but work has been done so that person can come in and look ahead.
But he acknowledged it's been a tough time, "very emotional."
"You’ve got people, they are hanging on and this has been … there are a lot of people who are touched by this, survivors who haven’t been in the spotlight," Engler said. "In some ways they have been able to deal with this better than the ones who’ve been in the spotlight who are still enjoying that moment at times, you know, the awards and recognition. And it’s ending. It’s almost done.”
In fairness, the process of picking favorites is one that is innate to the human condition. I personally don't think it's one that should be employed amongst sexual assault victims, as humans shouldn't be conditioned to forget about multiple decades of gross negligence that allowed for some creepy old bastard to inappropriately put his paws all over hundreds of innocent, underage women. Still, for someone in the position of Michigan State's interim President, I can't pretend I don't understand why he might prefer those whose eternal silence could be bought.
Now, why he chose to go about saying so out loud into a microphone, as if getting "recognition" for being sexually abused isn't basically the same thing as spreading awareness in hopes of preventing the same damn disturbing thing from happening again in the future, I can't quite wrap my head around. It's not really a secret that Michigan State would rather society have a short memory, as it tends to do nowadays, thus bringing an "ending" to the PR nightmare that is Larry Nassar's tenure. However, seeing as it's an actual (and reoccurring) nightmare for so many young women who were made uncomfortable in coming forward by a mindset similar to the one required to think that something so traumatizing could be "almost done" in the time it takes to graduate from a Community College, maybe it's better left unsaid.
I don't know, I'm not exactly fit to run a university for any period of time without it turning into a Van Wilder production, but I'd think it might behoove someone who theoretically is to avoid publicly calling out victims for "enjoying" the spoils of surviving sexual assault. Especially if what he's most interested in is the story (of which he's actively made himself a villainous part of) going away.
I can't shake the feeling of deja vu, because it feels like just yesterday I was saying the following about Cory Schneider, but it's not entirely Keith Kinkaid's fault that the Devils have an uncanny ability to be almost instantly and entirely uncompetitive in games that he happens to start.
Now, that comparison is insanely unfair to the latter, as #1 has more heroic postseason pushes under his belt in the past year than #35 has wins. Also, due mostly to MacKenzie Blackwood's minor injury, it's more than worth mentioning that Keith Kinkaid has been bitten by getting the lion's share of the unfavorable match-ups as of late. I personally think it goes without saying that he hasn't had the luxury of winning a game during which he gave up a handful goals (like his understudy did against the Blackhawks just two nights ago) while trying to weather the storm against dominant teams that were repeatedly skating the Devils out of the building when Taylor Hall was actually in the lineup (i.e. Maple Leafs, Blue Jackets).
All that being said, for reasons that are both highly intangible and remain unknown, the Devils just look like a more engaged, energetic, and...well...exciting team when playing in front of their rookie netminder. That's probably somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy that's subjectively aided by the fact that each of his big-time, point-blank saves is a positive sign for his long-term future in net whether as those of Keith Kinkaid are seen as a dollar sign for his short term future in free agency. Especially since he undoubtedly gets a disproportional amount of bonus points for pissing on the Flyers' parade for their promising rookie goaltender. However, it's also an opinion that's aided by an eye-test for which MacKenzie Blackwood has set the curve with timely stops and a quiet confidence that appears to consistently rub off on his teammates.
Again, it's not Keith Kinkaid's job to motivate his dismal group of defenseman to not let a noted Devil-killer like Artemi Panarin whistle fucking dixie while gliding casually to the front of the net off an in-zone faceoff...
It is, however, his job to swing momentum by making up for their inexcusable mistakes from time to time. He's not currently getting that job done with an efficiency that allows for the final product to be anything more than channel-changing while MacKenzie Blackwood's command of that same crease has largely been must-watch television. Admittedly, it hasn't exactly been the fairest of fight, but the 22 year old with unteachable size and undeniable athleticism has taken full advantage of every single advantage that circumstances have offered him in battling his way to the top of an otherwise underwhelming card.
Steve Gleason Offering Malcolm Jenkins Some Love And Admiration After The Saints Beat The Eagles Will Have Your Eyes Sweating
I'm not crying, YOU'RE CRYING! Oh, who the hell am I kidding, you'd have to be jerk for your ducts not to get at least a little dusty while witnessing a unmistakable reminder that the bonds formed in and around NFL locker rooms are bigger than football. Saints' legend Steve Gleason, or your newest recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal, going out of his way to offer former Saints' safety Malcolm Jenkins an encouraging word and a show of admiration almost...almost...makes me forget how fun it was to watch the latter's team lose.
Sean Payton himself said it was a mistake to let the first round pick turned Super Bowl Saint walk, so if there ever were an opposing player deserving of sympathy from the most motivational of Saintly sources then it's the guy that won his breakup with New Orleans after, more or less, getting dumped against his desires. Especially since the Who Dat Nation - and more specifically, a profound pillar of it's supportiveness - has got love for anyone that contributed to the first ring in franchise history, even those that got rolled over in the quest to attaining a second one.
Some might wonder how the Saints managed to come out flat after laying first-hand witness to a pregame speech that, even when viewed through a computer screen, had each of my hairs fighting to be the one that stands tallest on the back of my neck.
I, on the other hand, think a level of execution that initially failed to match their effort now makes perfect sense. As far as I can tell from Michael Thomas staring at Drew Brees like some sort of psychotic, satanic being had body snatched him, they were simply too hyped. Too amped. Motivated beyond the proper use of their motor skills, if you will. I don't exactly know that to be true, I suppose, but I was about ready to run through a wall about halfway through hearing it and running through a wall is far more intimidating in theory than in the practice of playing out a game script. Drew Brees had the Saints seeing red while going up a team that wears green, so perhaps that's where the confusion stemmed from early on.
In all seriousness though, I truly think the Saints have played and competed their way into wholeheartedly believing they are lethal. It would sound just as good if it were nothing more than an insanely inspiring battle cry, but if the most dangerous assailants are those that can attack from a variety of angles then the squad captained by a newly 40-year old field general is probably the most deadly team remaining. That'll mean next to nothing if they don't put forth a more comprehensive performance the next time out, but - with all three phases having had brilliant moments, series, weeks, months, or even years - almost every player on their active roster has reason to take Drew Brees at his word. Objectively speaking, how could you not?
It's Undoubtedly An Issue To Be Resolved At A Later Date, But Mark Ingram Sounds Pretty Certain He'll Be Staying In New Orleans
The truth is, Mark Ingram's future as a Saint isn't really worth discussing at this juncture. For twenty-eight NFL organizations, the largely financial ramifications of free agency might currently be a topical topic, but not for one whose near 30-year old running back is locked in as a leader of a championship-caliber team, regardless of the status of his contract.
What is worth discussing, however, is the attitude, effort, and work ethic that Mark Ingram has somewhat subtly displayed in slowly-but-surely going from a fanbase's favorite fall guy as an underwhelming first round pick to one of the few faces of a resurgent franchise. Along with his fellow draft class mate in Cam Jordan, 'Deuce-Deuce' has helped to shift the culture in New Orleans both on and off the field. In time, he's developed into as much of a consistent, versatile, and trustworthy player as he has a selfless, galvanizing teammate.
We're talking about a guy who's absorbed the wrath of no shortage of stones in making his way within spitting distance of the Saints' all-time rushing yardage record while having already toppled the touchdown record, despite an entire career of splitting carries. Yet somehow, his intangibles might just be more missed than his stats.
A lot of factors - mainly the allure of money, an alarming age, and the leverage of a PED suspension - will play a role in deciding whether or not he returns to New Orleans, but it's honestly tough to envision a locker room that's bonded tighter than superglue without him in it. That's not something that can often be said of someone whose shelf life is inherently short while playing a relatively replaceable role in an NFL offense, but what's 'Zoom' without 'Boom'? The Ingram & Kamara bromance is bigger than business, and the start of it marked a massive shift in their team's trajectory. It remains to be seen how much that matters at the negotiating table, but #22 has - within reason, of course - earned the opportunity to play out the up's of high expectations after having suffered through the down's. Let's hope it works out that way, as he's easily become one of the more likable players and personalities amongst a roster that's chalked full of them.
In Classic New Orleans' Fashion, The Saints Continued Their Season-Long Parade Of Pettiness Right On Over The Eagles' Freshly Packed Grave
I can comfortably say that the Saints' foremost priority this past Sunday was to vindicate a promising postseason that Stefon Diggs turned to shit faster than his last poorly researched Mexican meal. Getting a win is what mattered most, as it brought them one step closer to the Super Bowl they rightfully or wrongfully felt robbed of last season.
That being said, it's pretty obvious that rubbing the Philadelphia Eagles' faces in said shit while jacking back their ski masks and their swagger wasn't far enough behind on the to-do list to be considered pushed entirely to the back of their mind. As they've done all year, the Saints spoiled themselves in victory by dancing all over their victims, and no team deserved to be made more dirty in defeat than the Birds. Shamelessly stealing New Orleans' celebrations has basically become a league-wide epidemic, and reigning Super Bowl Champs were pretty damn close to being Patient Zero. I'm not sure why they felt the need to do so, as a team whose championship culture had it's own soundtrack, but I'll be damned if it wasn't perfectly fitting of the Saints to play it for them at their funeral. There's a right way and a wrong way to troll your opponent. Between mocking their regional musical preference following a playoff victory and trying to claim their traditions as your own after they hand you a regular season shellacking, it's not too tough to tell which is which.
The only thing the Saints have known as well as winning this season is the Sean Payton-esque arrogance it's provided them in doing so with (Choppa) style. I presume that might be part of the reason why Marcus Peters thought better of instigating a team (and specifically, one prickly player) that both feeds off frivolousness and made him look 200+ receiving yards worth of stupid in their last meeting...
I have to be honest. I simply didn't expect it to be that close. Never mind the actual game against the Eagles, for - with 21 of the Saints' 22 opening game starters active on the practice field - the annual and timeless battle of rest versus rust appeared set to be dominated by the former. Credit to the ladder for taking advantage of it's opportunities, because it stormed back in a form and fashion that would have sent a six seed to the NFC Championship if not for the mental toughness of a particularly unflappable one seed.
That one seed, of course, being a New Orleans Saints' team whose belief in their ability to overcome even the most demoralizing of deficits would border on irrational if not for the consistency and versatility of the results it has returned. It certainly helped that they were the more talented group, regardless of what the run of play might have suggested in the early going, but the lack of panic after a first quarter that was nothing short of pathetic is what made a quick 14 point hole seem scalable. It's what allowed for Drew Brees to recover from what was a stomach churning start. It's what aided them in completely flipping the script to put forth a defensive clinic, sans Sheldon Rankins, against a quarterback who was came out of the gates waving his big old dick around like it was a magic wand. God bless him for playing through a broken hand, but it's what helped them drag an Andrus Peat-sized anchor over the finish line when his penalties just as easily could have sunk their season. Last but not least, it's one of the only things that could explain an 18-play, 112 yard touchdown drive that put them in the lead for good after spanning the better part of a third quarter that saw a game-breaking score called back by penalty and multiple disastrous down-and-distances defeated.
It's debatable whether or not a team's mental makeup matters as much as their roster makeup, but it's hard to argue that the immortal approach of one of the most complete and cohesive lineups in the league doesn't make them a tougher out. Highlighted by a conservative third down call that was out-of-character, inexcusably rushed (considering it came following a timeout), and - as a result - returned a loss of yards prior to an already intimidating FG attempt, the Saints made almost every mistake typical of an easy out. Therefore, the fact that they are very much still in has to be a testament to their tenacity as much as their talent.
Unsurprisingly, Michael Thomas and Marshon Lattimore were especially dominant, but their timeliness in turning the page on some shockingly uninspiring initial execution was just as representative of their sideline's overall temperament. The better team won because they were, in large part, the better team. However, that's rarely all it takes when you spot a defending Super Bowl champion the momentum of a two touchdown lead. A fake punt that was about as surprising than Taysom Hill's ability to convert it, a top-notch turnover, and a brilliant play call on 4th-and-goal helped in starting to make up the difference, but a formidable brand of fortitude as much as a superior brand of football ultimately helped swing it in their favor. This Saints team might suck from time to time, but there shoulders never slump because of it. They truly believe they are going to win every game they play, and - with how instantaneously Drew and the defense put an end to Foles' magic and got their swagger back - who can even blame them?
Kliff Kingsbury Once Said He'd Take Kyler Murray 1st Overall If He Could, So I Guess We Have To Talk About It Now That He Can
Quick question, what the hell are we doing? Like, in general, as sports fans, analysts, and opinion offerers alike, what in the hell are we doing? Are we not rapidly approaching the most intriguing weekend of the NFL playoffs? Are storylines really that lacking that we need to take an old quote that, like every football coach's pregame answer about a member of the opposition, was effusive in praise and try to shamelessly manufacture news out of it, despite it being offered under insanely different circumstances?
Kliff Kingsbury talking about taking Kyler Murray number one overall two entire job titles prior to be putting in the position to do just that is coincidental, and nothing else. It's like the average asshole halfheartedly making a list of the things they'd buy if they magically stumbled upon a million dollars. Unless you have the asset management of Allen Iverson, chances are the priorities on that list will start to shift if you actually fuck around and win the lottery.
That's not to take anything away from Kyler Murray as a prospect or to pump Josh Rosen's tires. It's just to say that taking them both in the top ten of back-to-back drafts would be completely unprecedented. Therefore, can we wait until we have a source more solid than "this super nice, context-less thing a then college coach once said about a Heisman Trophy candidate in preparation of playing against him" before trying to speak it into being a legitimate possibility?
Ah, finally. Not that I was waiting patiently for Vinsanity to approach going Vinsane after catching an errant elbow to the head. However, seeing as neither his appearance or his athleticism were going to do it, it was nice to see that he's not actually ageless.
That reaction to a complete accident screamed "goddamn kids!" louder than anything I have seen from VC over the course of a perpetually peppy career, so maybe being the NBA equivalent of a senior citizen is starting to take it's toll on him. That's not to say that anyone should be expected to flash a 1,000 watt smile after taking a blunt bone to the skull, but groveling under his breath like a grandfather that stubbed his toe on a children's toy is not something I expected out of Vince Carter. Poppa Vince maybe, as always being around younger people that don't respect the personal space of elders is liable to leave those elders grumpy, but not Vince Carter.
Tough look. That's just a tough, tough look.
To be more clear, I couldn't give less of a shit about a superstar player and relatively young coach firing back and forth at one another in the heat of the moment. Disagreements tend to be more demonstrative when those having them are embroiled in a physical game that's as competitive and emotional as the one offered by the NHL. It's far more likely than not that the argument we witnessed was over something laughably inconsequential to the future of a franchise that, other than having a rough go of it as of late, is trending in the right direction due largely to the two people involved in it. Therefore, the only uninformed conclusion to be drawn is to decipher who appeared more right from an outside perspective.
Unfortunately, that's where the tough look comes into play, because it's really, really hard to take Nathan McKinnon seriously after he looked like a kid who fell backwards off a swing set. I understand the concept of becoming so emphatic in your anger that you lose all control of your motor skills, but I also understand the value of appearing cool amidst chaos. I don't even know what case the Av's forward was trying to make, but it got dismissed as soon as he sat ass over teakettle while his head coach calmly stood there with a literal and figurative leg up. Almost impossible to feel smart when you know you looked stupid, so Jared Bednar was undoubtedly playing the upper hand when they inevitably hashed out their differences after the game. Can't toe drag around that harsh truth.
I'm not sure there was any doubt at this point, as I think most would be more shocked by James Harden showing up to the arena clean shaven than by him showing up stark naked, but I guess we can now officially consider his facial hair to forever be engrained into every fiber of his being. After all, If he was as only as attached to that chin mink as he is attached to his defensive assignment then the refs would still be trying to figure out how to get the smell of Nair out of a Spalding.
In all seriousness, that play instantly reminded me of the Jackass skit where they let professional Jai Alai players rip oranges at their ass, so I think that means that Giannis should legitimately have register his wingspan as a weapon...
Greek Freak indeed, as the human body is simply not meant to create that much momentum. I can only presume that was an off-target, cross-court pass to the corner, because you could just as easily convince me that Giannis was trying to potato launch the ball back to the team bus with the goddamn gusto he put on that thing. If not for a face that was made even more dumbstruck than it typically is on the defensive end of the floor, we might be talking about an innocent bystander being led from his seat straight to Sleepy Hollow as Houston's headless high roller. That clip is undoubtedly hilarious in the insult it eventually adds to injury as evidence of the hard-headedness of James Harden, but Giannis might want to get some accuracy lessons from LeBron before he causes any brain damage by playing catch with himself off someone's skull.
Sean Payton Didn't Waste Any Time Beating Around The Bush In Motivating His Team, As He Wheeled The Lombardi Trophy Into The Locker Room On A Bed Of Cash
Speak your BountyGate-inspired "pay for play" jokes now, or forever hold your peace...
Okay, everybody good? I know the New Orleans Saints are, because - as the Philadelphia Eagles keep barking about an underdog mentality like they aren't less than a year removed from winning a championship - the only form of motivation at Sean Payton's disposal is what comes along with it. No manufactured narratives about disrespect, or revenge, or some supposedly magical arm attached to an otherwise mediocre quarterback. Just the same damn thing a confident collection of players has been dreaming of hoisting since they first laced up a pair of cleats placed carefully on a heaping bed of bills that are the same color their emotional state was in watching a team other themselves celebrate a Super Bowl last year.
The truth is, this particular Saints' team knows all-too-well that they have a title-worthy level of talent. That's why this season's motto was to "prove 'em right", and that's why there are no angles of artificial inspiration to explore that could possibly be as rousing as an unmistakable reminder of what they felt robbed of last January. With the biological clock ticking on Drew Brees' time under center and a cohesive roster that's quietly as close to full strength as you could possibly hope for at this point in the season, the time isn't for convincing themselves they are capable of greatness. Rather, it's for capitalizing on that greatness, both monetarily and monumentally.
No one knows that better than an endlessly innovative Head Coach who has quite possibly done his best job yet in crafting a locker room culture in the likeness of his unapologetic personality and keeping his finger keenly on the pounding pulse of it. Therefore, long story short, you could probably safely bet approximately $225,000 in cash that you won't be seeing any ill effects of the bye week in the SuperDome come Sunday.