It's Being Reported That LeBron James Is "100%" Leaving Cleveland, And He's Shockingly Disputing The Report
Look, I take the report that LeBron James is "100%" leaving Cleveland with a grain of salt. I think there is a extremely high likelihood that the most hard-to-please superstar in basketball is less than a year away from taking his talents to LA, but nothing in professional sports - not even NBA collusion - is set in stone 11 months ahead of time. If I absolutely had to put a number on it I would probably say there's about a 95% chance that 'King James' crop dusts Dan Gilbert on his way out the door next July, and that is what makes these conflicting reports so hilarious. LeBron isn't upset that someone is making proclamations about his future...he's upset that they are doing so in an exaggerated manner.
You ever been put in a situation where someone is telling an embarrassing story about you to a group that includes you, and you step in to argue the mild liberties they are taking to make you look just a littttttle bit worse? LeBron's camp claiming that the forever-unnamed source is "totally off" is like interjecting in a story about you getting far too drunk and projectile vomiting on four strangers by angrily pounding your fist on the table and saying "it was only three strangers!". It's obviously self preservation, but it's self preservation in its pettiest form.
Combatting this report wasn't an attempt to make him look committed to Cleveland. It was an attempt at combatting ever-so-slight hyperbole. That outright denial of a blatantly dysfunctional relationship with the billionaire buffoon in the Cavaliers' front office? Nothing more than a little white lie to salvage some good will with a fanbase that shouldn't exactly be betting the house on the 1:20 odds that LeBron James wants to stay in an organization whose championship aspirations were strangled by Dan Gilbert's purse strings. The two sides are basically bickering over a small discrepancy in percentage points for a sweepstakes that's a year away from taking place, and somehow that makes the perfect microcosm for the shamelessly frivolous reality show that is the NBA offseason. I say something is "100% happening" when - in actuality - it's closer to 85% happening just about every single day, and that same stupid concept has the best basketball player on the planet and the professional team that employs him arguing over the difference between "probably" and "definitely"...
God, I love this game.
Did I just join Team Kyrie? I'm pretty sure I did. I know he had nothing to do with the making of this video, but there's something about perfectly setting the funniest aspects of the most high-profile NBA drama to one of the most infectious songs of a generation that just makes you want to agree with the person being voiced in it. Shit, you might be able get me to side with Roger Goodell if you turned him into a caricature and had him penning angry letters to outspoken neurologists with the angelic harmonies of Dido playing in the background. Okay fine, probably not, but I would be more likely to laugh at his blatant lies if someone turned them into an animated parody over a nostalgic Eminem beat.
I'm not sure, but I think a satirical representation of Kyrie Irving's thought process (according to sources of other sources that may or may not be close to him while he passive aggressively SnapChats) just somehow did a better job humanizing him than any candid interview he could ever give. Well, it's either that or the NBA offseason is such a goddamn soap opera that I now have a distorted view of how professional athletes truly interact with each other on a personal level so I have taken to choosing sides in sports beefs by way of expertly produced cartoons that serve as mockumentaries. Oh well, as is always the case, as long as it's got a catchy hook I don't feel bad nodding my head along to it.
Shaq Has Absolutely No Idea Who Plays For The Sacramento Kings, Despite Being A Minority Owner Of The Team
“They’re close. They’re close. Great year last year. I still think they’re one or two pieces away. They lost an important piece, Otto Porter. He’s now playing for my team in Sacramento, but they’re close.”
Dammit, I really want to rip Shaquille O'Neal here. After all, he's paid handsomely to be a part of the preeminent NBA show on television without having a damn clue what's currently going on in the NBA. That show may temporarily be on hiatus and he may not have serve as anything more than it's resident idiot, but hopping on a popular podcast to talk about a lineup that only exists on someone's PlayStation4 is still pretty incompetent as far as professionalism goes. And as if that weren't negligent enough, he's apparently the minority of a professional basketball team whose roster he's as familiar with as the board full of NBA players that he just blindly winged a dart at on a public forum. All in all, it took an astounding about of obliviousness for Shaquille O'Neal to live in a world where Otto Porter Jr. is a Sacramento King. Unfortunately, I can't be too harsh, because the astounding lack of fucks he gives about the league he covers and the team he invested in is a testament to his success.
Seriously, Shaq is basically living the American dream. Ignoring damn near everything that has to do with his career the second his career grants him some down time. Checking up on the status of his business ventures as often as you or I check the spam folder of our e-mail account. Hell, I can't be the only jackass that had no idea that 'The Big Aristotle' had equity in the franchise whose glory years he turned into a living hell, and I'm pretty sure that speaks to how "highly" he values his ownership stake in a professional sports team. If his command of their offseason acquisitions is any indication, Shaq bought up a notable piece of the Sacramento Kings with the flippancy with which the average person scoops up a street side slice of pizza mid-bar crawl. Most of us could only be so lucky to have the job security to ignore our jobs for months at a time while still having the capital to buy expensive crap that we have a fleeting interest in.
In The Most Self Serving Way Possible, Penny Hardaway Declared That Kawhi Leonard Isn't A "Superstar"
UPDATE: Penny Hardaway apparently did NOT say anything of the sort. That said, if - and only if - he did then I would stand by the following...
Wait a second here. Are you telling me that Penny Hardaway, of all people, use's the on-screen presence of professional athletes in things that aren't professional athletics to determine their "star power"?! He thinks being a well-known brand ambassador is equally as important to an MVP candidate's standing in the NBA as is his on-court performance? The player whose Nike commercials were made famous by an ankle-tall doll that was crafted in his likeness and voiced by someone far funnier and more personable than him (Chris Rock) makes us forget that his injury-riddled career seemingly came and went faster than a shooting (...wait for it...) star. That's the same guy that believes that being a recognizable spokesperson for a corporation is a difference between being a "good" and "great" member of 'The Association'?
Hmm. That seems like a pretty odd way to characterize a title that a vast majority of people largely equate with a player's talent and resume. Wonder what could possibly make Penny Hardaway think that marketability is a more desirable skill than lockdown defense and an ever-evolving offensive game? I can't imagine it's the convenience with which you could use easily use that very same criteria to call a guy whose biggest accomplishment was losing in the NBA Finals as an incredibly interesting aside in the young career of Shaquille O'Neal to be an "superstar". No sir, if I know Anfernee Hardaway like I think I know Anfernee Hardaway then he would never be superficial enough to over value his own endorsements while comparing himself to players who had a much larger and more lasting impact on the hardwood.
In all honesty, as a writer I have no choice but to respect what Penny did by semantically creating a logical way in which he could make it sound as if his short stint of excellence shined brighter than Kawhi Leonard's laundry list of accomplishments. In no way do I agree with his ridiculous rationale. I do, however, commend his architecture. He did a helluva job building that straw man argument out of insanely subjective opinions and cleverly worded definitions. Hell - if you didn't know any better - he would have you believing that even a young Tyra Banks looked forgettable when standing alongside his incandescent career that was unfortunately only slightly longer than a flash in a pan...
Cheer Up Cavs' Fans, Kyrie Irving Reportedly Went Days Without Speaking To His Teammates During The Playoffs Too!
LBS- In a recent appearance on “The BBall Breakdown Podcast,” ESPN’s Dave McMenamin was asked about the Phoenix Suns’ interest in trading for Irving.
“I’m not sure,” said McMenamin, per Ryne Nelson of SLAM Online. “Phoenix, of course, hired James Jones this offseason. He’s been inside that locker room. He saw Kyrie in the playoffs this year — in between the first round when they beat Indiana and the second round when they played Toronto — go consecutive days without speaking to a teammate at practice. On that stage.
“It’s one thing for people to go through your ups and downs during the regular season,” McMenamin continued. “But when you get to the playoffs, the main thing is the main thing, and we’re brothers, and we’re pulling together to get this thing done. Even at that level, there were things that made him sullen or reclusive from his teammates.”
Maybe I am more skeptical than most, but I have a hard time believing that Kyrie Irving gave his entire locker room the silent treatment - for days at a time - in between rounds of running train on the Eastern Conference. As a former player that made a living as LeBron's right hand man, James Jones would know better than I, but something tells me that this story has gotten slightly exaggerated in translation. That's not to say that there wasn't tension between strong-willed teammates, but if you want me to accept something as ridiculous as the starting point guard of playoff team going full mute then it better come from a source that doesn't have a vested interest in making Kyrie Irving look bad/less valuable.
I'll tell you what though, if this tale isn't as tall as it appears, then this might be the first bit of good news that Cleveland Cavaliers fans have gotten this summer. As an introvert that thinks verbal communication is wildly overrated, it's good to have the NBA Finals runner-up to point to as proof positive of that. I know this story is being used as an aggressively passive way to widen the divide between Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, but my main takeaway from it is that they don't even have to remotely like each other to be successful. Consider this, the following GIF couldn't possibly do a better job of illustrating the phrase "IDGAF" and it took place about three months before the players involved in it led their team to the biggest comeback in Finals history over the winningest team in NBA history...
If I am a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers' braindead front office, why would I worry about an unspoken beef that is fitting of a group of teenage girls who are all interested in the same boy when the people involved in that beef immediately proceeded to casually go 8-1 en route to the championship round? If Kyrie Irving was so unhappy after waxing the Indiana Pacers that he was too pissed off to talk then it looks like Kyrie Irving plays his best basketball when he's acting like a petty, petulant child .
Again, I think this is being wildly overblown to make Cleveland's tumultuous situation look like even more of a shit show than it actually is, but if - on the off chance - it's true? It should only give the Cavaliers more incentive to hold on to their biggest asset instead of shipping him off for less than he's worth. I suppose it's preferable if people that are working together to accomplish a common goal address each other's presence vocally, but - considering it took the formation of the most dominant team in basketball history to spoil their chances of repeating - apparently it's not really all that necessary.
Zach Randolph Was Arrested For Possession Of Marijuana, And Unjustly Charged With The Intent To Sell
TMZ- NBA star Zach Randolph was arrested in L.A. on Wednesday night -- igniting a crazy disturbance that required cops to call in the cavalry for backup, TMZ Sports has learned.
LAPD officers were called to the Nickerson Gardens area in L.A. around 10 PM -- and when they arrived, cops found a large crowd of people smoking, playing loud music and blocking the roadway.
Law enforcement sources tell us 3 people were seen grabbing their waistbands and running -- so cops went after them.
Three people were detained -- including Randolph, who was eventually arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to sell, A FELONY. We're told the "intent to sell" part was due to the large amount of weed found.
Wait, you can get arrested for having weed on you in Los Angeles? I guess I knew that legalization didn't mean you could skip around a major city with blunts tucked behind both ears, but I also thought it was one of those "slap on the wrist" offenses. Like, try not to jay walk and also don't flaunt your recreational drug usage during a rowdy, unlicensed block party that's looks like it features multiple smoke machines and takes place on an active roadway. I suppose the whole "crazy disturbance" factor didn't help their case, but I still feel like going outside outside and getting high with your friends in California should at least require a initial warning before the cuffs come out.
More importantly, who the hell are these officers to make the outrageous assumption that Zach Randolph - of all people - intended to sell? I sure as hell hope they found a bunch of crinkled up $20's in one pocket and carefully portioned zip lock bags in the other. We are talking about a longtime professional athlete whose famously known for having an iron lung. The fact that he had an excessive amount of marijuana on his person at a large get together doesn't automatically make him a terrible drug dealer. In fact, it's far more likely that it makes him a great fucking friend. Z-Bo should have turned right around and placed that ignorant cop under citizen's arrest for stoner shaming. I suppose you can give an NBA player a misdemeanor for blowing trees by the street lights, but there better be a bit more evidence before you go handing out felonies after weighing a man's intent to distribute (to anyone other than his closest homies) solely by the o-z. As far as I am concerned, the most criminal activity that took place was underestimation at the hands of law enforcement, because I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable questioning the former 'Jail Blazer' if he said "hey, I was going to finish that".
This 'Foot Locker' Commercial Tried To Make It DeMarcus Cousins And Ndamukong Suh Likable, And Was Only Partially Successful
I've got to tip my cap to 'Foot Locker', they almost got me here. They've done a stellar job of making polarizing athletes more likable by getting them to make light of their own flaws (See: DeAngelo Russell, and Lonzo Ball), and were pretty close to succeeding yet again by getting DeMarcus Cousins and Ndamukong Suh to embrace their inner asshole. Unfortunately, getting people to laugh at your scripted, socially unacceptable behavior only works when it's truly an exaggeration of why people think you're a terrible person in the first place.
DeMarcus Cousins came away looking better because - no matter how many officials he verbally assaults - I would never take him for the type of person to kick fallen groceries away from an exhausted housewife or shut an elevator door in an elderly woman's face. The same can't be said about 300-pound Ndamukong Suh "accidentally" stomping on the injury prone leg of someone much smaller than him, because he has literally already done that...
I can buy that DeMarcus Cousins' reputation as selfish and difficult is slightly magnified by how emotional and impassioned he gets on the court. However, if you're trying to sell me on Ndamukong Suh being anything less than a recklessly dirty dickhead whose intent is to do anything but injure then you might as well move on to a more likely sale by putting a price tag on the Brooklyn Bridge.
“He handled the situation exactly like he was supposed to. He went to Dan Gilbert privately and told him that he thought he would be happier somewhere else. The absolute worst thing this guy could have done was pretend to be all-in and sink the ship from within. Most guys don’t have the courage to do what he did.”
Courage, really? It sure as hell takes confidence to talk your way off a team that - at least for the next year - rosters a player that basically guarantees you an appearance in the NBA Finals, but courage? I think that word choice could have used some tinkering.
I get it. It takes pretty big balls to waltz into the office of your jackass of a boss and start making outrageous demands, even if players of Kyrie Irving's standing in his industry have turned that into a fairly common occurrence. Those balls obviously could have used some emptying first since someone clearly wasn't thinking clearly when he offered the dumpster fire that is the New York Knickerbockers as his preferred destination of choice, but preempting LeBron's inevitably departure from Cleveland was a bold move none the less. A bold move that will undoubtedly prove that the saying should be altered to "fortune favors those that affix their tongue to the King's anus", but not a move so bold that it has me considering a guy that would rather not honor his contract as a candidate for a 'Medal of Honor' or something.
Let's just say what this was. This was David Griffin letting his opinion of the franchise that stupidly decided not to remain relevant by paying him boost his opinion of a player that also wants to get out of dodge before said dodge makes a hard left into irrelevance. I don't blame him - just as I don't blame Kyrie Irving for looking out for his future - but demanding a trade and then passive aggressively pushing for it to happen by way of social media jabs and dance floor mockery doesn't exactly meet my mediocre standards for courage.
If This Clip From The Drew League Is Any Indication, Then The Houston Rockets Are Going To Make Quite The Soap Opera
Look, I'm not going to hop, skip, and euro-step to any conclusions here. All I have to go on is a GIF that lasts about seven seconds and provides about as much context as it does audio. Maybe Chris Paul wasn't scolding his new teammate during a glorified scrimmage. Maybe he's just become so accustomed to bitching on the basketball court that literally every word that comes out of his mouth on the hardwood instinctually comes in the form of whining.
It certainly looks like one of the most demanding players in the NBA was yelling at his new backcourt mate to take a fundamentally sound lay-up at a meaningless event that is meant to spice up the offseason by giving players an opportunity to display their full range of individual talents, but what do I know? If I had to guess I would say that 'Club James' was working on his dance moves prior to his nightly visit to the titty bar before getting rudely interrupted by his anal retentive point guard. I would imagine that Harden only threw a friendly arm over Paul's shoulders out of desperation in hopes that some palling around would get him to shut the fuck up, but it's tough to tell without hearing the conversation.
I just know that if I see a similar visual play out a couple dozen times this season than I will consider this unlikely union a success. That's exactly how I envisioned a heated, on-court interaction between the most exhausting NBA superstar and the most apathetic NBA superstar to look. Maybe things aren't as they appear in a video, but I hope they are as they appear when this same scene gets reenacted following a late game possession in which James Harden dribbles the air out of the ball before hoisting a 32 footer while trying to draw a foul. It that's a preview for what it's going to be like watching the Houston Rockets attempt to defy the inevitable clash of opposing personalities to form chemistry then I might have to invest in 'League Pass', because that will be nothing short of must-see TV.
A Couple NBA Personalities Told Us What We Already Knew, Basketball Would Have Embraced Colin Kaepernick
Mark Cuban -
“I don’t know what his status is in the NFL, but I’m glad the NBA doesn’t have a politician litmus test for our players. I’d like to think we encourage our players to exercise their constitutional rights. The NBA is such a global game, I think our players exposure to different political systems among their teammates may help them appreciate our country even more and encourage their participation.”
Jeff Van Gundy -
“Commissioner Silver embraces all kinds of different ways of thinking. I think he encourages activism. And because of that, I believe, some of our players in the NBA feel very empowered to speak their mind. That’s healthy that we embrace different thoughts. You can agree with Kaepernick, you can disagree with Kaepernick, but what I don’t think you should believe is that he doesn’t have the right or he should be muzzled in any way.”
What's sad is that the only thing that's newsworthy about these quotes is that there aren't at all newsworthy. I don't think there is a skill set that the NBA values as highly as the NFL values the ability to play quarterback, but you can bet your ass that Colin Kaepernick wouldn't be long for the unemployment line if he could hit open threes as well as he can hit open receivers. To think otherwise would require such a way of thinking so disjointed that it could give Roger Goodell's moral code a run for it's money. We are talking about an Association whose owners allowed some of their most prominent players to take a much more direct and far less inconspicuous jab at the police force by wearing "I Can't Breathe" tee-shirts in the the most public of forums. Something tells me it wouldn't take them to long to get over a peaceful protest that ultimately started the conversation that has scared at least a couple cowardly NFL executives away from improving their team at it's most important position.
Now, analyzing the NFL through the same lens as the NBA is a bit disingenuous, because - despite holding some very matchable cards - it's not exactly an 'Apples To Apples' comparison. Professional basketball's popularity is at the mercy of a select few players whose personalities and opinions make them a much bigger draw to the casual fan. The same can't be said for a league whose success is dependent on largely replaceable talent. With how many foreign players are currently contributing to the NBA's multi-cultural landscape, it's in Adam Silver's best interest to be the most progressive commissioner in professional sports. The same can't be said of the jackass in charge of the league whose attempts to expand international interest overseas have been limited to largely unwatchable match-ups that are hosted on a playing surface that makes your rich friend's backyard look like a more suitable venue.
Still, it seems stunning that two leagues that are predominantly run by elderly white men and predominantly employ black athletes hold such bi-polar views on letting those athletes express themselves. I know that the NFL's viewership is much more...uhh...conservative, but it's also big enough to withstand the loss of the select few stubborn assholes that love 'Murica so much that they would stop watching football on behalf of an honorary, inanimate piece of cloth. Proportionally speaking, an NBA team would stand to lose just as much as an NFL team would by signing Colin Kaepernick. Just don't think for a goddamn second that would stop said hypothetical NBA team from bolstering it's bench with the addition of an unjustly polarizing figure whose resume warrants a roster spot.
A Dayton Basketball Player Got Detained For Being Drunk, Stripped Down, Peed On The Floor, Slapped An Inmate, And Got Knocked Out
TheBigLead- Sam Miller did not make the best choices over the weekend. The forward on Dayton’s basketball team was arrested for public intoxication, underage consumption and disorderly conduct at 1:21 a.m. on Sunday. Then things got much worse for the 20-year-old.
Miller was taken to a holding cell at the local jail where he proceeded to urinate on the floor. But he wasn’t done. Miller then walked over to another inmate and slapped him. That inmate, John Watkins Jr., turned the tables on Miller, landing several vicious punches in retaliation, and knocked him out.
Look, I don't know Sam Miller. Maybe he's just a run-of-the-mill college kid that had far too many shots and his show of belligerence was a rare, out-of-character occurrence that was enabled by the pressuring of his good buddy (and bad influence) Jack Daniels. We have all woken up with a massive hangover wondering "what in the fuck was I thinking?!?", so I don't want to be too, too harsh of a critic here.
Unfortunately, I have to be. You see, in all my years of drinking heavily I have never gotten detained by police, only to strip down to my boxers, pee on the floor, and start an unnecessary fight with a goddamn inmate. Therefore I have no choice but to believe that Sam Miller's beer muscles were aided by the intoxication enhancing drug that is undeserved cockiness. I suppose it's entirely possible that he's always been an entitled douchebag, but I have reason (common sense) to believe that that the dealer of that drug - the D1 school that gave him a full ride for being tall with mediocre basketball skills - had him feeling like he and his jaw were untouchable. Perhaps that flurry of fists were exactly what this Dayton Flyer needed to realize that he averaged 3.2 points and nearly as many turnovers as rebounds per game in the A10. Maybe that cold, hard floor of a holding cell served him a cold, hard dose of reality that all college athletes aren't created equal. Then again, maybe all it did was make him say "I'm never drinking again" for the next two days, but that's at least two days in which a bench player won't be using his false confidence to run roughshod through campus like he owns the place.
Chauncey Billups Had To Tell Darko Milicic To Shower With The Team, And I'm Beginning To Understand His Struggles
ESPN- At first, he was just a teenager, an ocean away from home in a culture he didn’t understand. For example, Darko would go home to shower after practices or games instead of staying in the locker room to clean up; he didn’t realize that in America, the players all showered together.
“So I had to teach Darko,” says Chauncey Billups, who played in Detroit from 2002-08, “like, no, when we’re done playing, when we’re done practicing, you put your towel on and you go get in the shower. That’s what we do here.”
Obviously there's a lot of steps that a complete bust of a lottery pick has to take to get from the NBA Draft podium to a 125 acre apple tree farm in Serbia, so I am most certainly not about to "Dr. Phil" one of the most uneventful, yet interesting careers in all of sports. I will, however, paint this picture for you...
Imagine you're a gangly European teenager that was selected between the most can't-miss, elite prospect in decades and a one-and-done college player that was coming off a National Championship winning performance. You walk in your new locker room and meet a team that rosters a host of veterans with strong personalities and championship aspirations who play a defensive-minded system that's already set in stone. Never mind that you aren't particular sure how much you love basketball, because trying to get acclimated to playing a totally different style of it at a far higher level while facing the inherent pressure of being the #2 pick is already causing you massive amounts of anxiety. Then, one day, you're getting ready to walk to your car to take another sweaty, introspective ride home after yet another rough practice, and the leader of the team comes up to you and says "hey man, in the NBA we all shower together".
By all accounts, Darko Milicic was very much a deer in the headlights during his first season, and that deer got unexpectedly led into his first ever group shower that was occupied by Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace, and Tayshaun Prince. I'm not even sure that "intimidated" is the right word, because I would only be mildly surprised to learn that that particular experience has him traumatized to this day. We are talking about someone that almost certainly wondered "what in the fuck am I even doing here?" on a daily basis, who then begrudgingly sauntered in to the showers to see his shit stirring starting power forward scraping the floor with his 3rd leg. When I was a teenager I would turn my back to the room to put my jock on, and Darko Milicic was washing a thick layer of shame off him while standing next to a guy with big enough balls to earn the nickname 'Big Shot'.
It's very obvious Darko Milicic was never able to steady himself after the initial culture shock, and his passion for the game clearly never matched the size he happened to be born with that allowed him to play it at a high enough level to get drafted before Dwyane Wade. That said, a literal, unspoken dick measuring contest that he wasn't at all prepared for probably didn't help. I may be exaggerating here, but imagine being an 18 year old that's dealing with a lack of confidence who accidentally catches eyes with a soaking wet, nude Ben Wallace. I'd probably be ready to pack up my balls and catch the next flight to the opposite side of the world too.
Steph Curry Walked Back the Video Of Him Mocking LeBron's Dance Moves In Vintage Steph Curry Fashion
TheAthletic- “I’ve been watching that video twice a day since it happened because its my favorite video in the entire world. He made a song popular by making a video. And that lives. So now every time I hear that song, that’s all I think about. And I’ve been doing that dance because of him, at my house, at dinner. When something good happens, I pull that out, because I like it and it makes me laugh and it makes me happy. Not making fun of him.” - Steph Curry
How could we have been so stupid?!? On behalf of everyone that saw that wedding video and immediately thought it was a dig at apparently one of the only NBA players not in attendance, I am absolutely ashamed of us for jumping to the conclusion that Steph Curry was making fun of a player that he has openly traded subtle, passive aggressive shots with over the years. I know it featured a teammate that LeBron is currently in an active, extremely contentious feud with, but that flawless reenactment of an objectively idiotic dance wasn't an act of mockery...it was an act of homage!
Hey Steph, BOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I sure hope you took a look in the rearview before backpedaling faster Deion Sanders in primetime. Wouldn't want you trip over the politically correct bullshit you've spewed all over your career path.
Just when you think the NBA's favorite family man has a fun, relatable side he tries to spin an obvious parody of an NBA superstar that he's formed a clear rivalry with into some celebration of LeBron's ability to promote music via terrible, Zumba-esque dance moves. Oh well, just another chapter in the novel idea of false villainy that the Golden State Warriors are writing. One more example of how the most hatable thing about them is that they care so much about not being hated. Someone take the beer that Steph Curry just spilled down his shirt while trying to look cool out of his hand, because we're going to have to be a lot drunker to believe that he and Kyrie Irving weren't having a laugh at the expense of LeBron James...
I can honestly say that I have never been more firmly strapped in on the "LeBron James is the best player in basketball" bandwagon. That's not only because anyone with half a brain and thus the ability to recognize that playing for a team that won 73 games without you makes your job exponentially easier can see that he quite clearly is, but also because I refuse to admit that someone who comments on YouTube comments is the NBA's top talent. The Association has simply created way too "cool" of a culture for the face of it to go digging through and diving into that trash for all to see.
Never mind that the most fashion forward professional sports league already has to explain why it's Finals MVP has his t-shirt tucked in and his unnecessary long white socks crinkled up like a 50 year old white guy as he makes the most stereotypical dad joke of all time....
...because - as bad as that is - it's not nearly as frowned upon socially as openly identifying as the type of person to engage with 14 year olds that spell on a kindergarten level and racists/sexists who somehow feel at home hiding behind a pseudonym on an easily accessible website. LeBron James might be just as lame as his biggest competition for NBA's best, but at least he shamelessly showcases his corniness on social media platforms that don't host internationally attended Klan meetings on a daily basis. If that doesn't give him a leg up in the discussion of best basketball players on earth then the fact that he's obviously the best basketball player on earth certainly should.
SI- In a phone interview Saturday, Rockets GM Daryl Morey raised questions about the MVP voting process, which involves a panel of 100 media members casting their votes at the end of the regular season.
“I don’t know if this is a good process,” Morey told The Crossover. “The ones that are decided by players or executives or media, they all have their strengths and weaknesses. I honestly don’t think there’s a good process. You could argue for eliminating the awards altogether. I don’t really see a good way to do it that doesn’t have major issues. I like clean answers. If there’s not going to be a set criteria and there’s going to be issues with how it’s structured, for me it might be better to not have it.”
“We thought James was the MVP but there were a bunch of very good, deserving candidates,” Morey continued, before making an apparent reference to Westbrook’s triple-double achievement. “I didn’t like how a different MVP criteria was used this year, compared to the last 55 years, to fit more of a marketing slogan. People thought a different criteria for selecting the MVP this year was the way to go.”
Let's get one thing straight here. Daryl Morey is being a whiney little baby who is comically overreacting. The NBA's system for deciding the winners of individual awards is far from perfect, but the Rockets owner's suggestion to scrap individual awards simply because he didn't get his way after one year is the product of nothing other than hurt feelings that somehow haven't healed yet. Obviously everyone wants a boss that is going to fight to the brink of logic in hopes of getting them some well deserved recognition, but even James Harden has to be well past saying "enough already" at this point.
That being said, I think we can all put ourselves in Daryl Morey's shoes here...
Who hasn't gone through a brutal breakup and immediately questioned the plausibility of monogamy?
Who hasn't has one awful dining experience and completely written off a restaurant that was otherwise fairly consistent?
Who didn't drink a certain type of alcohol all throughout their college years only to swear off of it the one time it had them up all night violently vomiting away their stomach lining?
Are you taking your trusty shortcut again if the last time you did you ended up in standstill traffic for 2 hours?
If you've successfully traveled with United Airlines for years, and then one day they beat you bloody and drag your unconscious ass off the plane would you not look into other means of transportation moving forward?
Just because Daryl Morey and his superstar shooting guard weren't wronged by a process he once had faith in doesn't mean he can't feel as though they were. I would think that supporting the runner-up to someone that gave us a statistically historical season wouldn't be enough to have you hypothetically tearing down the entire framework that gave your player a theoretical silver medal. However, I also didn't think that one misplaced shirt - out of hundreds - would make me up and switch dry cleaners. The truth is that we let our shortsighted biases affect our opinions damn near daily.
Now, I wouldn't put those shortsighted biases out into the world by way of an interview with a widely disseminated news outlet that was sure to make me sound like an overly sensitive ninny that can't let go of the past. I probably would have went with a more rational approach to fixing the voting for the MVP award than by voting against the existence of the MVP award. But while Daryl Morey's self-serving bitching is worthy of all the eye rolls, it just makes him a more radical version of the intolerant asshole in all of us.
P.S. What's that Blake?
Okay, point taken.
Oh, Clippers: Danilo Gallinari Fractured His Hand Punching An Opponent In A Meaningless Game Overseas
I got to say, when I heard that the Los Angeles Clippers were going to undergo some cultural changes after the departure of Chris Paul I thought they would be slightly more drastic than this. I mean, if you are judging on a scale in which the increments of measurement are the feet of children who are literally too small to wear shoes with laces then I suppose this could be considered a step in the right direction. I guess what I am trying to say is that the franchise probably could have benefited - on and off the court - from going a couple seasons without having one of their most important pieces break a bone or two throwing a senseless punch at someone that doesn't even play in the NBA.
Oh well. Rome wasn't built in a day, so I am not so sure we should have expected the Clippers to go from assaulting employees to saving all their destructive aggression for games that actually matter. They probably could have addressed "unnecessary haymakers" in their new organizational handbook. However, if you want to look at silver linings than having a secondary scorer sacrifice his offseason to surgery after predominately making contact with the air surrounding the face of his intended, basketball-playing target is more excusable than having a star power forward sit out half the season after destroying his fist on the face of a trainer half his size. Danilo Gallinari still looks like an idiot after fracturing his hand with a half-assed sucker punch during a meaningless "friendly", but at least he doesn't have to look very far for an example of a similarly "friendly" situation turning contentious that makes him look relatively less stupid by comparison.
"You're either with us, or against us.
You have to be tough to thrive here.
And if you don't want to be part of our story, that's fine. This city belongs to The King. ...
Oh yeah, enjoy the ring."
There's only one thing funnier than a local news station prematurely taking an undeniable shot at an incredibly gifted player that is still very much on the roster of a team that just leisurely won the Eastern Conference for the 3rd straight time. That is the fact that it's somehow been the best attempt that someone associated with the Cavaliers has made to keep to LeBron in Cleveland after next season.
Take a quick second to think about that...
Dan Gilbert has done such a piss poor job setting himself up for next summer throughout this summer that a commercial which further drives a wedge between the two players most responsible for bringing the city their first championship in over 50 years plays as a desperate plea to the most insatiable superstar in NBA history. At this point....
...it became pretty damn clear that the relationship was unsalvageable, and it's now all but a guaranteed that the best basketball player in the world will take his talents to whatever city gives him the best chance to win. However, the organization that is putting their pride on the line to keep him home isn't the one that's exponentially more valuable when they employ him. It's the one that covers his socially-handicapped antics on the nightly news. Fox 8 just chose sides in an unwinnable battle that will ultimately result in the outright destruction of the franchise they follow, but that's more than can be said for the people in charge of said franchise that stood idly by as this Civil War ignited on their own turf. This commercial was super petty and will be worth more than a few laughs when LeBron inevitably breaks Cleveland's heart with his impending decision, but at least someone is willing to risk looking stupid in order to say relevant.
Kyrie Irving Reportedly Wants To Be A New York Knick, And Apparently We Have Given Him Far Too Much Credit
And just when you thought that Kyrie Irving was "LeBroning" LeBron James in an effort to preemptively put himself in the best position going forward, he turns around and pushes for a trade to an organization so self-mutilating that they have managed to bleed New York City dry of all it's basketball cachet.
He was doing so well too. The passive aggressive slight at a teammate from "sources close to him". Ridiculously unsubtle social media posts. The flat out refusal to answer or return phone calls. All very LeBron-esque moves to be partaking in during the summer before the 'King' of posturing and planning chose where to next take his throne. This is going to read like a weird thing to say about a guy who asked out of a partnership with the best player on the planet after going to three straight NBA Finals, but it was almost commendable of Kyrie Irving to see the writing on the wall and frantically attempt to get out of the building before his career got REDRUM'd. That is, until his preferred destination became public information and it became clear that he's the type of person to walk directly into an early death during the first scene of a horror movie (not entirely a black joke, btw).
The Knicks? The fucking Knicks? The franchise that is run so poorly that it doesn't even have the assets to work a trade for the one superstar that is apparently too dumb to take notes from the catastrophic career trajectory of Carmelo Anthony? James Dolan has dumped so much gasoline on the dumpster fire that is his organization that it's literally saving a 25 year old with instant offense, absurd handles, and an ability to finish at the rim that defies physics and geometry from himself.
I thought Kyrie Irving was pulling a "LeBron", but this would be like LeBron making 'The Decision' to leave Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and the Miami Heat to go play with Larry Hughes and Delonte West after the latter had an unforgettable night with his mother. Of all the places to request a trade to, Kyrie Irving chose one of the only teams that has the potential to be worse than the Cavaliers after next summer. Literally the only organization that is under worse management than one that has basically called the Uber in the process of driving it's championship-caliber talent out of town. He might have aspects of LeBron James' incredibly contrived exit strategy down pat, but the poor bastard must be color-blind if he thinks the barren wasteland ironically known as 'The Garden' that's been poorly landscaped by the contracts of Joakim Noah and Tim Hardaway Jr. has greener grass.
Dan Gilbert Continued His Hot Summer By Putting Out An Extremely Caucasian Ad For His Detroit-Based Real Estate Company
TheComeback- It’s been a bad summer for Cavs owner and real estate mogul Dan Gilbert. While he’s been busy blowing up a potential Cavs dynasty to rival the Warriors, his Detroit real estate company, Bedrock, put out a controversial ad in downtown Detroit that started a public firestorm.
According to a 2010 census, 83 percent of Detroit’s population is African-American. Bedrock put out a new ad campaign, captioned “See Detroit Like We Do,” displaying a very different image of the city, in which almost everyone is white...
What else can ya say, really? When you're hot you're hot, and I'll be damned if Dan Gilbert is going to leave a heater. I'm not sure the father-in-law from 'The Hangover' had executive incompetence in mind when he dropped that timeless quote. However, you can bet your sweet ass that the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers has turned up the heat on himself this summer with what can only be considered business so bad that it could masquerade as professional trolling.
Honestly, shame on us for thinking that it was impossible to top (well, to be more accurate, bottom out) decision making so poor that it has almost guaranteed the impending departure of the best basketball player on the planet. We should all slap ourselves on the wrist from believing that Dan Gilbert couldn't do worse than somehow getting his All-Star point guard to demand a trade away from LeBron James during his ongoing streak of seven straight NBA Finals appearances. How could we be so dumb? Of course the man who has singlehandedly given morons a reason to believe that they too can beat stupidity's odds and become rich as fuck was capable of signing off on a casually racist advertisement that basically took a predominantly black region of the country and draped it in the country club's most ivory of linens.
Say what you want about the absurdity of having a caucasian jazz musician represent Detroit, but don't say that 'Bedrock Real Estate' didn't paint a whitewashed picture so "pure" that it could double as an ad for Benjamin Moore's newest shade of privilege. I mean, if you're going to drastically misrepresent the population of a predominantly African American city then you might as well push your agenda so far that it's impossible to dismiss. Dan Gilbert's might be unfathomably dumb, but you can't say that he doesn't own his absence of a functioning brain through the way he conducts just about all of his business ventures.
I don't know if the point was to pander to Klan member clientele, but if it was then he's pretty much begging for his Yelp! reviews to turn into a proverbial torch burning once his customers meet the neighbors. The fact that he apparently views Detroit as whiter than Kyrie Irving's yacht parties is either a testament to the prescription on his billionaire-colored glasses, or a testament to his lack intelligence. Either way, it's so impressively tone deaf that it almost makes you forget that we are talking about the same guy that essentially set the clock on the ticking time bomb that is his own professional sports franchise, and I truly didn't think that was possible.
Kyrie Irving Has Reportedly Asked To Be Traded, And Dan Gilbert Has Lit The Fuse Under His Own Championship Team
I can't sit here and say that I knew what LeBron James intended to do next summer when this offseason began. Only the most calculated player in NBA history knows that, and he's probably known it for months (maybe years) on end at this point.
That being said, you really just have to sit back in awe at the level of complete and total organizational incompetence that has all-but-guaranteed that a team that has gone to three straight NBA Finals will be left to rot in NBA purgatory in just 12 short months. Dan Gilbert refused to pay David Griffin - the man most responsible for helping to build Cleveland's first champion in half a century - and by doing do he essentially dumped gasoline on his entire own damn franchise and started flicking lit matches at it. It's literally only a matter of time before the relevance of the Cavaliers goes up in flames, and it's solely because a multi-billionaire didn't want to pay a couple extra million to the person whose efforts exponentially increased the value of his product.
Just take a second to think about this. Kyrie Irving is currently on the second best team in the NBA and on the same roster as the otherworldly player that turned his entire career around, and - because that roster is under the watchful eye of a man so goddamn stupid and stubborn - he preemptively wants off of it. It's almost unthinkable to imagine someone demanding a trade away from LeBron James, but apparently it's only equally as unthinkable as doing almost everything in your power to neglect the wishes of LeBron James prior to the last season that you have him under contract. Dan Gilbert has taken executive buffoonery to such an asinine level that I can't help but prematurely picture what is sure to be a messy aftermath that is tentatively scheduled for the Summer of 2018...if not far sooner.