Brian Windhorst Accidentally Updated His iPhone During The Draft, And I - For One - Feel Bad For Him
Look, there's plenty of reasons to poke fun at Brian Windhorst. For starters, the entirety of his successful career has become hinged on the tongue that he has firmly planted in LeBron James' tight little buttocks. You want to laugh at him for occasionally falling asleep on the air then have at it, but to criticize him for accidentally updating his phone during his version of the Super Bowl is disingenuous at best and undeniably hypocritical at worst.
Having fallen victim to an itchy texting finger when the pop-up that potentially serves as a temporary prison sentence to your ability to communicate, I refuse to do anything other than feel bad for the NBA insider who unintentionally locked himself outside during the NBA Draft. That mistake is one that is so easy to make that I swear it was the last joke that Steve Jobs left this world. I would honestly be surprised if he wasn't eternally laughing at every person anxiously staring at their screen after they frivolously smashed the wrong button to continue whatever meaningless, self absorbed narcissism they were partaking in at the time. Considering it's a "smart" phone that bar sure recalibrates rather slowly once it's time for a update, so I have no choice but to think someone is fucking with us from beyond the grave.
In all honesty though, this kind of slip-up is what separates the Brian Windhorst's of the world from the Adrian Wojnarowski's of the world. No way any true news-breaker is walking around without an 'Inspector Gadget' jacket full of WiFi-compatable devices when the game is on the line and time is of the essence. If anything, the fact that LeBron's personal consultant was one inflated thumb away from being off the grid is proof positive that being so closely linked with 'The King' allows him the professional wiggle room that his desk chair doesn't.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, I'm calling timeout. I'm absolutely here for the character assassination of the Chicago Bulls front office, because - after having flipped Jimmy Butler for a return that would make 'Home Alone 3' seem worth the wait - they deserve even the most harshly worded of criticisms. I just can't sit here and let the moral compass of the entire street pharmaceutical industry get dragged due South in an effort to comparatively make a dysfunctional organization look more incompetent. I don't exactly run with any drug runners, but I'm not sure I agree with the implication that it's impossible to conveniently get your fix without the fix being in. Travelle Gaines is in the inner circle of an NBA superstar so - despite being a personal trainer - he probably shouldn't be shedding light on his interactions with those pushing weight. That said, I find it much more egregious that he lumped them all together as a "profession" while hinting that they are anywhere near as terrible at doing their job tactfully as the jackasses that are making Michael Jordan happy to be a part of the Hornets.
In all seriousness, I think there might be some legitimacy to the claims of Travelle Gaines. In most cases I would just assume this was a little self preservation on behalf of a client that probably didn't mind being moved, but it's the person doing the preserving that has me rethinking that notion. We aren't talking about an agent or a business manager whose role is to maintain the reputation of a professional athlete. We are talking about his trainer whose role is to maintain the core strength of a professional athlete. You know you have truly fucked up as a franchise when you have indirectly offended a brick shithouse of a man into uncurling his kettle bells and loading up his Twitter fingers. When your gym supervisor starts worrying more about how your career will be defined than your abdominals you know the man who threw a wrench into how things were supposed to work deserves to have his nobility questioned. Especially when his defense of his shoddy hustle is reminiscent of that of a drug dealer...
Apparently Phil Jackson Kept Falling Asleep Courtside As A Potential Lottery Pick Worked Out For The Knicks
You know what, I find it pretty difficult to fault Phil Jackson here. Of course this alleged on-again, off-again snooze is fitting of the unrelenting executive incompetence/senility that he has displayed since arriving in New York. Sure, it could soon be joined by him stubbornly/stupidly undoing the one thing he's actually done right since taking over the Knicks front office (trading Kristaps Porzingis). However, if I were a 71 year old man with two fistfuls of championship rings to my name and very little incentive to turn around a broken franchise then I wouldn't bother staying awake to watch a 19 year old run up and down the court taking mildly contested jumpers either.
The real problem here isn't that Phil Jackson's old ass is slipping in and out of daytime comas when he's supposed to be intently studying the pros and cons of prospective players. The real problem is that a professional organization is still tasking him with doing so. What does that crazy, possibly hallucinating son of a bitch have to do to get fired? I'm pretty sure he's spent the last week combing the trade block while on 'shrooms. You want me to blame the guy who has been dancing on the clouds with the sugar plum fairies and shit for his continued employment?
This is on James Dolan. Phil Jackson has all-but-begged to get shit canned. So much so that now he's literally falling asleep on the job. At some point, the employer has to take responsibility for the massive, repetitive fuck ups of the employee. I think we past that point when Phil Jackson stepped to the mic and took a proverbial poop on the market value of Carmelo Anthony while in the midst of trying to trade him. Am I supposed to be surprised that the doddering dumbass needed a little shut eye? Sabotaging a sports franchise in a major market is exhausting work, and the guy who seems to be successfully doing so has basically been asking for someone to put his front office career to sleep for months now.
KD Took Out A Page In The Local Paper To Thank The Warriors And Their Fans...In The Most Corny Way Possible
Let me start by saying that I am fully aware that the chances of Kevin Durant sitting around lining up letters in an effort to thank all worthy parties that helped him achieve the title that he preemptively won a year ago are slimmer than his stature. The last few sentences may have been a word-for-word quote, but the top was more than likely put together by some lazy intern with the personality of Klay Thompson.
That said, it is exactly the type of thing I would expect from someone that suffers as badly from a lack of swag as Kevin Durant. For instance, if KD were just a "diehard", bandwagon Warriors fan instead of their Finals MVP he would be the kid sitting in the crowd, proudly hoisting a sign that haphazardly spelled out E-S-P-N via the middle letters of some stupid, hackneyed slogan that he probably made up himself as if it were the most clever thing ever assembled.
I immediately cringed when I saw that full page ad from the 'San Francisco Chronicle'. I don't exactly think it's a coincidence that that very same expression mirrors the one I make when Kevin Durant tries to intimidatingly thump his chest after a made three, or gets snarky with the media that has been kissing his bony ass since he's came into the league. He may have a well deserved championship pedigree and a historic finals appearance under his belt, but - in my eyes - he'll always be just enough of a boob for the possibility of piss poor acronymity to exist.
Okay fine, it's probably more than likely complete bullshit that is the direct product of nothing more than one teenager's poorly recorded revisionist history.
Whatever the case may be, the long awaited, much anticipated, previously forbidden fruit of 'The Process' has apparently been trusting it since before one man first decided to let his career die on behalf of the sins of Philadelphia's professional basketball franchise. That's got to count for something, even if that "something" is just a largely fabricated tale to tell the kids as they watch the number of Sam Hinkie's immaculate conception (Markelle Fultz) get raised to rafters of the 'Wells Fargo Center'. Somehow, that eerily ironic story of questionable truth required more of an honest effort than the 76er's have put into winning games since 2013, so the city might as well embrace it as fact as they face the one daunting opponent their team has been actively avoiding all these years - expectations.
Dwight Howard Got Traded To The Hornets For Peanuts, And I Wonder What The Hornets Have Against Peanuts
I know the news circulating throughout the beginning of the NBA offseason has seemingly been minute-to-minute, so this ironic turn of events shouldn't be too, too surprising. That said, Dwight Howard checking his mentions on trade ideas only to find out he had been traded during the initial wave of unquestionably rational and poignant Twitter responses is honestly something that could only happen to potentially the most disrespected talent in NBA history. This is the most harmless thing that a professional athlete has ever posted on social media, and yet it still - somehow - ended up being used as a punchline against the player that has become a walking , talking, and now tweeting parody of himself...
Unfortunately, I think we have arrived in a place where I actually feel bad for Dwight Howard. When I first read that the Atlanta Hawks traded down and picked up a goddamn Plumlee just to shed the inflated contract of a homegrown star my instinctual reaction was "there is still a team out there that wants Dwight Howard?!". It was only then that I came to the realization that I am being too hard on the automatic double-double who already has a spot saved for him in the basketball 'Hall Of Fame'.
Now, I still think he's an enigmatic, overgrown child that refuses to accept that the only thing dumber than running your offense through a big man who has his back to the basket is running your offense through a big man who - objectively speaking - stinks with his back to the basket. His laughably belated decision to start working on his three point shooting as someone that still can't consistently make a foul shot certainly hasn't swayed that opinion. I maintain that if I were concerned with winning games or harboring a healthy, happy locker room then the disease that is Dwight Howard is still the last guy I would inject into my organization.
Regardless, I can't - in good conscience - act like the Charlotte Hornets lost a trade in which they moved up in the draft, got rid of a white Dukey that can't shoot, and added one of the best rebounders and rim protectors in the league. That doesn't mean they won't regret making the deal the first time he decides to be himself and shows the true colors that lie beneath that forced, disingenuous smile. On the other hand, it does mean they can puff their chest out for the months leading up to the moment they realize why literally every other team has treated a productive player like the plague.
A Couple High School Basketball Coaches In Oklahoma Were Fired For Using A School Bus To Make A Beer Run
TheComeback- Two high school basketball coaches in Tishomingo, Oklahoma have been fired from Tishomingo High School after using a school bus to go buy alcohol.
The two men purchased beer during an out-of-town trip with the team, according to KFOR: “It sort of just disappointed us all,” basketball player Kyle Miller told reporters.
The team was at a basketball camp at Connors State College in nearby Warner, Oklahoma, about two and a half hours from home. While there, the beer run took place at a local convenience store.
What the coaches did was completely wrong, but they were smart enough to not bring minors along for the ride with them.
“We noticed that the school bus was gone but he had told us to stay in our dorms and so we proceeded to do that and we just didn’t find anything out until the next day,” Miller said.
If the players didn’t know where the coaches were going and the coaches didn’t bring anyone along, how exactly did Tishomingo High School officials find out? According to KXII, someone who worked at the convenience store reported the coaches to officials at Connors State.
“We were pretty upset because we paid money out of pocket to go to that camp, because we had to stay for three nights and we had to end up leaving on the second day,” Miller said.
Ahhh, the casual reminder that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Slightly weird that it took a bunch of grown men hijacking a school bus to cruise for some booze when they were supposed to be watching over minors for me to truly appreciate that semi-nonsensical saying, but - hey - here we are I suppose.
The fact of the matter is that sometimes you just need beer, and it's during those times when you'll do literally anything to get it. I would think that a (hypocritical) high schooler like Kyle Miller would understand that as he has surely benefited from plenty of fake ID's and unlocked liquor cabinets, but such is the selfishness of our youth. Little assholes can't just look in the mirror, picture themselves 20 years older, and equally as desperate for alcohol. Just too in their own world to realize that social anxiety that can only be cured by substance abuse isn't something that you grow out of. In fact, I could argue that the only people more in need of beer than awkward teenagers that are trying to touch each other's privates is school officials that just completed a day of making sure that the stupid children of others didn't die.
Now, they probably should have parked their predominantly scholastic mode of transportation around the corner to avoid a visual that surely looked like kids lying in wait of their questionable supervision while taking up half a liquor store parking lot, but that's not the point. The point is that feeling compelled to do what it takes to guarantee yourself a well deserved drink is a desire as natural as the one that's ultimately responsible for the bitchy, ungrateful kids that were tasked with staying out of trouble for 15 minutes. And If you ask me, these coaches didn't need some snitch ass, bitch ass of a liquor store clerk to take time away from selling eventual DUI's in Podunk County, Oklahoma to insert himself in that all-too-prevelant process.
Did Dan Gilbert Just Admit Defeat In Next Year's LeBron James Sweepstakes By Refusing To Pay David Griffin?
The funny thing about pride is that it can be an unrelenting son of a bitch if it's powers of persuasion aren't closely monitored. Dan Gilbert's pride has gotten him/is getting him into more problematic situations than even the most drunken of erect dicks. First the letter that was littered with lies that were poorly disguised as pipe dreams, and now the cutting of ties with the one person most likely to do what's necessary to keep LeBron James in Cleveland? The owner of the Cavaliers is willingly letting his dumbass dignity become his downfall by preemptively pushing the best player in basketball off into West Coast sunset before he's even decided to do so on his own will. He's like the dude in 'She's Not In Your League' in the sense that he's setting the groundwork for a breakup because he's not confident enough in his own organization's ability to avoid another one in the near future. It's almost as if he's attempting to turn the likelihood of a second disastrous departure into a complete certainty so that he can confidently spend a full year crafting the next literary takedown of the man that finally brought him his long awaited championship.
I'm far from a LeBron James' apologist, and usually I would roll my eyes at one of his passive aggressive subtweets, but his boss basically begged for this one...
Planning for life after LeBron while you still have LeBron is like sitting at home mourning the death of a loved one while that loved one is laid up in a hospital bed wondering when the fuck you are going to visit. It's going to hurt just as badly when they actually are gone so you might as well do everything possible to appease them while they are still with you. I can't imagine a billionaire is used to getting bent over the barrel by someone who is a subordinate (in theory much more than in practice) on a yearly basis, but if Dan Gilbert thinks he's doing his franchise any favors by tightening his sphincter in relation to next year's roster then he's got another (much more unforgiving) thing coming. If their future doesn't include LeBron James then there is no amount of assets that will keep it from becoming a barren basketball wasteland, so those assets might as well be spent frivolously in hopes of dethroning the Warriors. Another title could be the only thing that keeps the King's reign in Cleveland alive past next summer, and that reign - as up in the air as it might be - is much more valuable on the court and in the front office than whatever Dan Gilbert refused to pay David Griffin.
This move reads like an admission of defeat, and the only thing worse than losing is quitting.
Say what you want about how Paul George basically threw the entirety of the organization that drafted him under the bus throughout alllllll of the four games they lasted in the playoffs, but don't say the guy hesitates to rip a bandaid off. Indiana clearly doesn't give a crap about his candidness now, but in the long run they'll be slightly more appreciative of not being led astray by a bunch of self-preservative politically correct quotes that do nothing but drag out the pain of uncertainty. Think about all those times you've stayed in a relationship long after it had broken and how much you wish you had that wasted time back, and then try to tell me that Paul George crassness isn't a positive development. PG-13's exodus might be messy enough to be rated 'R', but at least he properly categorized it beforehand. You need not look further than the 100% discount on literally all of his personalized merchandise for proof positive of that.
I don't even think I am speaking in hyperbole when I say that this is the most a professional athlete has ever foretold his departure. Christ, compared to Paul George, Carmelo Anthony might as well have had a Rocky Mountaintop tatted on his forehead throughout his very subtle midseason negotiations with the Knicks. Do you realize how far gone a contracted player of his caliber has to be before a retail outlet that invested actual capital in a player essentially sets that capital on fire? Johnny Manziel jerseys were still going for $2 while he blowing coke off his egregiously large bar tabs. I remember doing holiday shopping after Mark Sanchez's ball security was compromised by his own teammate's asscheek, and stores still wouldn't knock more than 50% of his jerseys. Obviously it's a bit different because these shirts are largely in support of a pissed off malcontent instead of his (soon to be former) team. Still, that Free.99 price point is a credit to the brutal honesty of a player who has given not a single grand illusion of a miraculous makeup since the beginning of his preemptive breakup.
P.S. Loyalty to the Pacers < Free shit, apparently...
The President Of A Lithuanian Basketball Team Had Some Less Than Progressive Thoughts On Black Players
I don't want to make light of racism that is so over-the-top that it feels like it's the script of a parody that the 'Chappelle's Show' left on the cutting room floor, but I'm going to do it anyway because the entirety of that quote is too stupid to process as anything other than a piss poor attempt at shock humor. So with that being said...Donald Sterling, eat your goddamn cold, black heart out! Time to let Phil Jackson's career as an braindead executive sleep with the fishes, because he has officially been let off the hook!
I imagine that Gedvydas Vainauskas team building strategy reads a little something like this: "One black. Two blacks. Three blacks?! NO MORE!", and the sad part is that he probably considers that a step in the right direction. Honestly, what are the odds that his organizational limit for African Americans was set firmly at 1 before someone explained to him that excusing your melanin deficient roster by referencing a token black is a tell tale sign that you are - indeed - a racist? They've got to be even higher than the pedestal he's placed himself atop of. I bet he thought that employing two black guys would have him mentioned in the same breath as Abraham Lincoln. That is, until their posse snuck on the team, sabotaged the postseason with their inherent thuggery, and had him sounding like Paula Deen drunkenly discussing the ingredients she uses when cooking up racial tension. We are talking about a guy that stopped himself mid-sentence to soften the blow of what he was about to say...before immediately stating that his carefully crafted research shows that African Americans are genetically predisposed to committing felonies once they form a 'Big (black) 3'.
Now, I don't doubt that a group of black players treated some Lithuanian program like their own personal playground because they reached rock bottom in terms of their careers. I just think that migggght be more an indictment on the state of basketball in Lithuania than it is an indictment of an entire race that dominates the sport in harmony on continents where people actually care about it.
“We put in work, man. Stop telling that it wasn’t earned or we didn’t work for it, man. We were the most disciplined team all year, we preached teamwork and togetherness all season, and it’s hard to do that with a bunch of egos in the league, and we peaked at the perfect time.
We got better when I got hurt. We struggled at first, then, as a smart team does, that plays together, that’s unpredictable out there, they figured it out, and when I was hurt, they took it to another level. And then when I came back, we just kept going from there.
But we were disciplined, we had a message everyday – it was always just about us.” - Kevin Durant
I have to admit, this is quite the revelation. Here I was thinking that the Golden State Warriors dominance had more to with having an unforeseen level of talent on their roster and it turns out the real key to their success was the laziness of literally everyone else. Honestly, I couldn't feel more silly. Of course the biggest difference between the team that employs four of the top 20 players in the world and the other 29 teams that share the other sixteen is work ethic. Want to compete the 73 win juggernaut that then added one of the best scorers of all time? Don't concern yourself with forming a superteam, just try super hard!
All those other organizations are out there worrying about doing the impossible by matching up skill-wise, and they are ignoring the one thing that truly makes the dream work...TEAM WORK! Why waste your time trying to make up for a vast disparity in ability when it's better spent giving your shitty players more reps! Everyone knows success in the NBA is predicated on effort. The Warriors didn't win because it's literally impossible to guard three of the best shooters of all time at once. They won because those shooters preached togetherness. Nothing evens the scales of competitive balance quite like practice. It's really a shame that more franchises in a league full of professional athletes don't realize that.
In all seriousness, it's time for Kevin Durant to shut the fuck up. His finals performance was nothing short of awe-inspiring and he proved he deserves the ring that he all-but-guaranteed himself last summer, but in prematurely securing that championship 11 months prior he lost the ability to talk about how hard doing so was. The Golden State Warriors ability to sacrifice for the greater good is impressive, but the fact that their egregiously lopsided talent put work in to their profession like literally every single one of their peers is not.
Damian Lillard Really Wants The Trail Blazers To Sign Paul George, And There's Only One Small Problem...
I feel like some people might take this opportunity to bash Damian Lillard for being being unaware of the landscape around the league that employs him, but - as far as I am concerned - these tweets say more about the player that's dying to get to free agency than the player that was convinced he was already there.
Consider this, Paul George has done such a good job portraying himself as a eligible bachelor that his own peers have prematurely started to assume he's a single man. He's basically the athletic equivalent of the chick whose relationship is falling apart so she's out at the bar without her boyfriend so much that interested parties don't even ask if she's taken anymore. She might not be going home with any guys, but she's preemptively got a plethora of penises lined for when she's not restricted by the constraints of a shitty situation.
I guess it sounds kind of fucked up when you put it like that, but there's something to be said about being given signs that are so 'can't-miss' that they might as well be neon and Paul George has made sure the Pacers' road to the future is more well marked than the strip club scene in Tampa Bay. His bags are ready to be packed, and it's up to his current team as to when they eventually will be. Until then, the anticipation of the inevitable is only going to have suitors wanting what they can't have even more so than one NBA All Star already does - even if it does get under the skin of scorned Indiana fans...
Kevin Durant's Attempt At Drinking A Beer Is Proof That The Most Villainous Thing About Him Is His Inability To Be A Villain
Now, without further ado, the leading villain for the team that you love to hate...
Sigggggh. What the hell man? How am I supposed to garner legitimate disdain for a guy that can't finish a domestic beer that looks like a goddamn 'Tic Tac' in his freakishly large hands without spitting the entirety of it all over the floor? Honestly, the most hatable thing about Kevin Durant is that he looks more deserving of pity than hostility. I should have been slamming my hand against the table when the guy that ruined the entire NBA power structure was channeling his inner-Stone Cold Steve Austin. Instead I was left with my shaking head placed firmly between my hands as he clapped closed beers together like he's never actually been to a party before. I know KD wasn't treating kegs like they were a source of sustenance like most Longhorn freshman, but would it have killed him to crack one beer during his college year?
I just want him to embrace the role of the villain that he knew he was accepting when he joined a historically successful team, but - to this point - the most villainous thing about him is his inherit inability to be an intimidating antihero. It looks like the NBA is about to be held hostage for the foreseeable future by a Golden State team that is currently without equal, and the man sitting in his lair slowly tapping his fingers on the arm of his oversized chair makes Dr. Evil look like a competent heel. The player who served as the foil to competitive balance can't even dump celebratory beers down his face without looking like a complete dork, and that makes me hate his unhateable ass even more.
LeBron James Said He's Never Played For A Superteam, And He's So Much Easier To Root For When He's Not Speaking
Honestly, it was only a matter of time. Did we really think that the King of searching out the best basketball opportunity for himself was going to make it through an entire series and the postgame press conferences without reminding people that he makes an awful underdog? Did we really expect him to concede a title to a franchise he despises without somehow downplaying the talent on the championship team that he - himself - basically put together? This nonsensical comment was basically enabled by us. We gave the guy an inch by constantly talking up the Goliath-like nature of the Golden State Warriors, and LeBron took miles and miles of leeway in speaking about himself as if he's always been the prototypical David.
Of course it's absurd that the man who sat on stage and said "not one, not two, not three, not four...." doesn't believe he's ever been part of a "superteam" when the following picture should basically accompany the term in every single basketball encyclopedia, but are we really surprised that he's painted a much different picture in his head? For all his calculated basketball genius on the court he's insufferably irrational off of it. Admitting that he formed a superteam (in Miami, Cleveland, or both) would be the same as admitting that the Golden State Warriors did something better than he did, and owning up to defeat has never been one of his plethora of talents.
Look, I get it. I'm either supposed to be trumping Kevin Durant as the best player on the planet, or declaring that his championship doesn't even count because of the shortcut that he took onto East Street to attain it. That just how this type of thing works these days. If people wanted their opinions to be rational and lukewarm then an egomaniacal reality star wouldn't be running the country, so I understand why there is pressure to either kiss KD's feet or form an angry mob outside his residence. Unfortunately, when it comes to the Finals MVP that put on an absolute show throughout the last five games of the NBA season, I still fall somewhere in the middle.
I'm not going to ignore what was an unbelievable performance on the sport's biggest stage, but I'm also not going to pretend that it wasn't aided significantly by playing with a group that was only one crunch time possession away from back-to-back titles before he arrived. I know this sounds like blasphemy, but I can respect the fact that Kevin Durant had the right to do what he did, and still roll my eyes at him for doing it. I can appreciate his otherworldly stats and shotmaking, and still wonder where they were when he had three separate chances to close out the same team that he inevitably joined.
The way in which Kevin Durant made the best regular season team of all time "his" was nothing short of impressive, but I can't really say the same about that team winning a championship. Obviously no one can take this title away from him or question his eye-popping contributions to it, but this series didn't prove anyone's criticisms wrong. I think it's a fair prognostication that Golden State would be looking back up at LeBron on that podium had they not added their eventual MVP, but that doesn't make me view that MVP in some new light. Everyone knew Kevin Durant had this type of performance in him...they just wish it was used to challenge for a championship instead of simply guaranteeing one.
I don't want to take anything away from Kevin Durant. After all, he already lost all credit for what is about to be a season that culminates with him walking away with his first championship as the unquestionable NBA Finals MVP the second he signed with a team that was a dick punch away from back-to-back tittles without him. Plus - as casual as that game winning shot looked last night - it took massive balls. The difference between this year and last year came through in the biggest of ways when his team needed him the most, so there's nothing I can do but tip my cap to a great player making a great play when the pressure had peaked. That said, as clutch as it was, didn't it all still feel sort of inevitable? Perhaps it's a product of Kevin Durant being a 7 foot physical specimen that is somehow capable of making everything look effortless, but - for a hard fought game that they were losing for a vast majority of the final minutes - having it end in their favor still seemed easy for the Warriors.
Consider this: The Cavaliers had everything working for them last night. The role players who looked lost in Golden State returned from their sabbatical of being completely unsupportive to hit shots. LeBron James was LeBron James. Kyrie Irving was in one of those zones where he makes your head spin so many times that it hasn't even rotated a full 360 degrees before he's making another play that has you looking like the demonized girl in 'The Exorcist'. They were undeniable on the right side of a vast majority of the whistles. Cleveland couldn't have asked for a better set of circumstances, and when push finally came to shove...when the Warriors finally took back a one point lead...with under a minute remaining...Steph Curry instantly decided to pop a squatty over an invisible potty while pretending to defecate on their front court...
I know that professional athletes deal with pressure much differently. However, I don't think I am going on to weak of a limb when I say that the guy who reacted to a lead changing shot that he didn't even make by dropping a faux-deuce on the hardwood instead of getting back on defense wasn't exactly feeling anything other than the sudden urge to poop on the Cavaliers pride. Golden State knows how good they are and thus knows how large their margin for error is. You don't have to believe me though, because Steph Curry engaging in shitty charades before the game was anywhere near over couldn't be more symbolic of a team that literally looks like it doesn't believe it can crap out anything other than victories.
Ahhhh, summoning the short term memory in undying search for a narrative. One of the guilty pleasures of almost every sports critic in 2017. I mean, seriously? Is this what we are going to do? Criticize LeBron James for making the smart, high percentage play? Crap on him for trusting a proven teammate with the ball in crunch time? Extrapolate a relatively mediocre 4th quarter statistically to be more than it was? LeBron James doesn't need my sympathy but if you're going to point fingers at him for last night's late game performance then you are simply pointing a finger at him for being himself, and being himself has made him arguably the best, most versatile player in NBA history.
I suppose you can use it against him in a nauseatingly repetitive, non-formulaic comparison to Michael Jordan, but kicking that ball out to a player who was put on Earth to take open corner threes was basically a foregone conclusion. Driving and dumping to an open guy who is not that far removed from averaging over 26 points a game during an NBA season wasn't some desperate plea to get the ball out of his own hands. They weren't even voluntary decisions as much as they were a product of LeBron's basketball brain instinctually making the "right" play. Those passes are in his DNA, and they have always been in his DNA.
Now, he quite obviously didn't have the greatest quarter of his career in the final period of a game that inevitably all-but-ended what was already a pipe dream. He almost definitely could have demanded the ball and got a better look than Kyrie Irving ended up with, and I'm sure he'd like to take back the unorthodox three pointer that he had surgically blocked by the man that he is a year removed from putting on the 'Top 5' highlight reel of NBA history. As a proud, yet unbelievably sensitive professional he'll never admit that playing basically the whole damn game took it's toll, but I don't exactly think it's any sort of excuse to say that it probably did.
Still, the LeBron we watched last night is the same one that mounted a historic comeback from down 3-1 against the winningest team of all time. That team is exponentially better now so he's almost certainly not going to be doing the same from down 3-0, but that doesn't mean he shied away from the moment as much as it means that the ball didn't bounce his way when he did with it what he has essentially been programmed to do with it. The better team won, but the best player lost. It's absolutely insane that some people are one Kyle Korver made jumper away from comprehending that.
Yes, finally! After getting run out of Houston for trying to be a dominant post-up player with limited post-up moves and a distinct inability to make free, unguarded shots from half as far away, Dwight Howard has finally decided that he's going to be a viable three point threat! If only versatile big men who were able to stretch the floor weren't a brand new phenomenon that literally just started to become a primary focus in the NBA then he could have started working on his triple years ago! It's really unfortunate when you think it. He was just trying to bang away in the paint and his preferred style of basketball was unknowingly antiquated and completely inefficient. If this were common knowledge prior to his season ending then I have to imagine that he surely would have stopped begging for the ball with his back to the basket.
I guess we should just let the past be the past and focus on the future, because Dwight Howard is about to make Steph Curry look like DeMar Derozan. It's only a matter of time before he feels at home from long range, and makes us forget about a decade's worth of missed jumpers. You heard the man. He's officially focusing on shooting now, and that will surely make up for the last 13 years in which he apparently wasn't. The man whose known for stretching the truth is about to stretch the floor, and every team that will gladly leave him standing all by his lonesome 30 feet from the basket is about to find out the hard way that Dwight Howard can do anything when he puts the effort that he inherently lacks into it.
Do You Think That Mark Jackson Appreciated Having Steve Kerr Credit Him With Golden State's Defensive Success?
Reporter: How did you make this such a good defensive team while keeping up the pace [offensively]?
Kerr: I didn’t. I didn’t; Mark Jackson did. Honestly. When I was in TV, I was doing Warriors games for years; every year they were one of the worst defensive teams in the league. Mark came in and made a focus of being a tough defensive-minded team.
The trade for Andrew Bogut, to me, changed the identity of the team. The year before I got here, the Warriors were the fourth-ranked defensive team in the league — already top-five. We knew what we had. We didn’t change one thing defensively. We started switching more when Draymond [Green] took over that power forward role. But for the most part, our schemes — everything — stayed the same.
We already knew they had established that defensive identity. Our job was to improve the offense — to get more movement and more flow. And that was my focus.
Obviously Steve Kerr's complimentary words were meant as a proverbial tip of the cap to a guy that could surely use them as he's forced to sit idly by watching another man (well, men) benefit greatly from the fruits of his labor. Mark Jackson could most certainly use a pat on the ass with how often he must dream of what could have been, but do you that Steve Kerr is the guy he would prefer to get it from?
Isn't this kind of like your ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend coming out and thanking you for teaching her all the kinky shit she does to him in bed? It's technically a show of praise, but it's also oddly an unintentional rubbing of salt in a ghastly wound that has to have bled Mark Jackson dry of whatever pride he had left. Steve Kerr basically just said that he didn't make single adjustment to what amounted to 50% of the Golden State Warriors' game plan, and the guy that concocted that game plan has nothing but a little bit of credit from the man that's using that blueprint to run train on the rest of the NBA to show for it. Not only does Mark Jackson have to essentially sit in the corner watching Steve Kerr and Mike Brown tag team his metaphorical "ex-wife", but he has to fucking narrate the positions as if half of them weren't originally his to begin with. Honest to God, if I were him I think would prefer to go unsung and have people hopefully/eventually forget my affiliation with a franchise that looks to be embarking on a historic, dynastic run instead of reminding them how badly I got cucked.
Reefer? Huh? Who's asking? Does Roger Goodell have his nose to the door or something? What does "imbibing" mean? Does asking this many questions make me seem paranoid? Where exactly is the snack table again?
Jeez, can't a couple professional athletes that are facing a challenge more stressful than any we have seen in the history of the NBA imbibe, imbibe, pass some naturally grown muscle relaxers around the locker room without having to remind media members to...
After all, they would probably get a little high too if their profession had them going up against something as harrowing and daunting as this Golden State Warriors roster. I almost felt like I needed to light up in support of the Cleveland Cavaliers once that third quarter started to get away from them. I don't know if sparking up is going to be what readies them for Game 3, but they can't be worse at passing the dutchie than they are at passing off defensive assignments. Weed probably stands about as much of a chance at success at whatever they did that had them giving up 40 points in the first quarter last night. I know Tyronn Lue said he was happy with the effort, but something tells me that opinion was the result of him dipping into the stash during the pregame.
I suppose in a perfect world they could have at least waited until they boarded the bus before fading off into the night, but I can't - in good conscience - fault them for partaking in some herbal remedies when the Warriors' dominance also has me searching for alternative sources of entertainment once it gets clicking.