Skip Bayless Seems to Think There is Some Truth to the "Report" of James Harden Leaving Practice in Tears After CP3 Made Fun of His Man-Boobs
Incredible. Just simply incredible. It can't imagine it gets anymore satisfying than watching the consummate troll wander aimlessly into the internet's unforgiving forest of fiction only to get the wool pulled over his eyes by a much more creative troll. A patently ridiculous "report" that reads as though the reigning NBA MVP has basically been a tumultuous teammate's mood swing away from receiving an atomic wedgie at any time throughout the last two seasons? Talk about having your britches beat off you in your own game.
I honestly don't know what I appreciate more, that the current age of social media allows us to trick contrived public personas into sounding even more incredibly stupid, or that the current age of the NBA (that would be best labeled as "rebellious teen") is just dramatic enough for something so egregiously satirical to be taken at all seriously.
Either way, the combination of the two just got the most shameless of sports' personalities to utter "man boobs" on-air with 100% sincerity. For that I will eternally grateful, as it shows exactly how much we...ahem...milk narratives, such as that of Chris Paul being an insufferably big-mouthed bully...or that of James Harden being a soft and lazy lactater...or that of the both of them sharing the same backcourt would create an inevitable fight fit for 5th grade recess.
If only Skip Bayless had finished reading the entirety of the thread, preferably in that same dumbfounded/stern/disappointed tone...
The Rockets Have Reportedly Had "Preliminary Talks" About Trading Chris Paul, Which is Executive-Speak for "Short Conversations"
TheAthletic- The Rockets have had conversations around Capela — and had preliminary conversations about All-Star Chris Paul, including discussing Paul deals with teams that have the necessary cap space to absorb his three years and $125 million after the free-agency moratorium in July, league sources said. Rockets GM Daryl Morey said publicly that the team does not plan to trade Paul.
I'm not going to hate too hard on this report. When you've got an asset as distressed as a 34-year-old, perpetual pain in the ass who is somehow only going to become more oft-injured with age, you really have no other form of recourse than to do and/or say anything to exaggerate its value. For that reason, I understand Daryl Morey floating his name on the trade block like that trade block won't be abandoned in an entire ocean of its own as Chris Paul collects the NBA equivalent of $125 million in social security while incessantly bitching at James Harden like he's the son he's eternally disappointed in...
That being said, the usage of "preliminary talks", as if said preliminary talks aren't similar to those that you might have with a stranger at a bar before she takes the drink you bought her and disappears forever, is absolutely hilarious. Making it sound as though only the details need to be hammered out when the devil is more alive and well than ever before in those details is just laughably misleading.
Something tells me that if Daryl Morey manages to keep you on the line, by hook or by crook, long enough for the FBI to figure out your whereabouts, he considers you officially complicit in preliminary talks regarding the acquisition of his most expensive and annoying anchor. So long as the phone call doesn't end extremely quick with an abrupt click, you're in the market for a middle-aged malcontent. So much so, that I wouldn't be half-surprised if those that made the mistake of picking up haven't had to go through a 6-step process to unsubscribe from daily e-mails reminding them that Chris Paul is on the clearance rack.
I don't know that the Rockets had much of a choice when it came to extending CP3 in hopes that he'd help them win a championship before contaminating the team, but they might have even less of a choice when it comes to keeping him on a catastrophic contract that's gotten worse every single second since it was signed.
Kyle Lowry Started a Resounding "5 More Years!" Chant, And Kawhi Leonard Was More Unfazed Than Humanly Possible
Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable. We're in an age of the NBA in which fans are at their most investigative in finding any little easter egg that might hint at a player's mindset and/or potential movement. Yet, any easter egg to be uncovered might as well have been hidden by a career crook as the only reaction that Kawhi Leonard was willing to offer up as reading material to millions of people in attendance to honor him as much as the franchise he carried to new heights was the most hollow of hardcovers. Seemingly the whole damn country of Canada, never mind the city of Toronto, begging for his acceptance, and the only NBA superstar capable of doing so remained entirely undeterred in expression.
Hell, even his Uncle Dennis got wrapped in the emotion of the moment and threw up five fingers, that might eventually be seen as a wave goodbye if his client does end up leaving for sunnier skies, but the client in question? Hardly an acknowledgement of the countless people pleading for even a pea-sized indication of impending commitment from someone whose smile and posture were having none of anything that could even be remotely interpreted as a reply. Other than that dethroning his second dynasty has helped him rediscover that thing most people call happiness, I haven't the slightest clue what Kawhi Leonard was thinking in that moment. That makes it all the more amazing that he has yet to have driven his actual wife to the nuthouse in dating outside his marriage to basketball, as his intentions are impossible to unearth from under an impenetrable poker face.
P.S. The machine. It...it...it's...SELF AWARE!!!
Arena INsecurity: The Sheriff's Deputy That Got in a Shoving Match With Masai Ujiri Immediately After The Raptors Won the Title is Pursing a Battery Charge
CBC- U.S. authorities will push for a battery charge against Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri after the executive was accused of pushing and hitting a sheriff's deputy in the face as he tried to get onto the court when his team won the NBA title in Oakland, Calif., a police spokesman said Friday.
Moments after the Raptors won their first NBA championship Thursday night, Ujiri allegedly assaulted a local police officer at Oracle Arena, the sheriff's office said.
A spokesperson for the Alameda County Sheriff's Office said Ujiri was making his way to the court when he was stopped by a sheriff's deputy and asked for his credentials.
"This deputy had no idea who [Ujiri] was," Sgt. Ray Kelly said in a phone interview.
Ujiri didn't have the credentials on him, Kelly said, adding that the former NBA executive of the year then allegedly pushed the deputy out of the way in an effort to get on the court.
"Our deputy pushed the man back and told him he couldn't go onto the court," Kelly alleged. "At that point, the gentleman pushed our deputy again, and during that push his arm struck our deputy in the jaw."
He said at that point NBA security intervened and Ujiri was able to get onto the court. A local television station, NBC Bay Area, shared video from the immediate aftermath of the alleged incident that appears to show another man separating the deputy from Ujiri, who is then led onto the court by Raptors guard Kyle Lowry.
Kelly said that rather than arrest Ujiri on international television, the department decided to take the "high road" and file a misdemeanour complaint to local prosecutors. He said the officer was not seriously injured in the alleged incident, but did complain of pain in his jaw.
"We'll be submitting a report to the Alameda County district attorney for complaint of battery on an officer," he said.
Asked about the appearance of a well-known executive being held back from celebrating a historic win with the team he built, Kelly said optics were of no concern.
"There is a credentialling policy that the NBA has in place. Everybody from the top executives all the way down ... know that you must wear credentials to get on the court," he said. "We would expect more from a team president."
This is just sad. It's one thing for a sheriff's deputy to let his authority complex get the best of him in somehow being unfamiliar with one of the very few faces that absolutely needs on the court after the conclusion of the NBA Championship. That's bad enough in its own right. However, taking that mistake a step further by doubling down on an alleged absence of credentials, that can clearly be seen clutched in the hand of Masai Ujiri throughout the entirely of the altercation, and crying victim of "battery" after ending up on the ass end of nothing more than a complete misunderstanding of a shoving match?
Well, that's sufficient enough proof for me to say that this security guard, aside from any other potential wrongdoing, failed to fulfill the most basic of his job responsibilities in being the most insecure person in all of Oracle Arena.
I don't want to make things about race, because that's a deep conversation that requires far too much nuance. That said, these two instances both took place in the same building within the same week...
1) A very white and largely unknown minority owner of the Golden State Warriors shoved an active athlete, in Kyle Lowry, during an NBA Finals game then casually sat comfortably back down in his courtside seat before kindly and respectfully being asked to leave on his own accord minutes later...
2) The very black and largely recognizable President of the Raptors enthusiastically tried to get on the court after reaching the apex of his life's work as a longtime NBA executive and ended up getting into a physical altercation with law enforcement before, ironically enough, that same Kyle Lowry reached out and dragged him into a celebration for which he was a main honoree.
Again, I'm not going to definitively say that race played a huge role, but I'll leave it to you to attempt to draw alternative conclusions. After all, I can't think of too many other factors that can adequately explain such an eye-popping juxtaposition. Never mind the utterly shameless lack of understanding displayed by an officer that still refuses to swallow his pride and let one of two black men a top an NBA front office fully enjoy an incredible accomplishment after reaping the ultimate reward of his unprecedented risks.
Winning Finals MVP Meant so Much to Kawhi Leonard That He Forgot/Left The Trophy at the Podium After His Postgame Press Conference
Nothing if not symbolic. Hilariously fitting of a player that returned from a suspicious season off and led the entirety of a championship run like it wasn't as much of a redemption story as it was the conducting of business that's as usual as the refilling of an empty coffee pot, but mostly symbolic.
While many found themselves more enamored with debating whether or not Steph Curry would get the media-manipulated monkey off his back by adding a Finals MVP to his extensive trophy case, Kawhi Leonard mechanically engineered a near-unanimous heist (Hubie Brown, you good fam?) of it just to leave it sitting on a table like a complimentary bottle of warm water. If that doesn't speak to just how unwilling he is to be about the (incredibly entertaining) bullshit of basketball as a coldblooded competitor with the one goal of winning then I don't know what the hell does.
We're talking about an award that represents a Jordan-esque performance that willed his team to a peak previously unknown in toppling a dynasty and defining a legacy. Yet, I'm honestly not convinced that Kawhi Leonard forgot the Finals MVP trophy as much he just couldn't even be bothered to pick up something that didn't have the word 'Spalding' stamped on it.
I don't know if a species of Black Mamba whose assassinations are silent and that wouldn't be caught dead counting his rings with his fingers has been discovered as of yet, so I'll just assume that dude is a different breed. Judging from its apparent disinterest in all things shiny, it's safe to say that it's one that can only be satiated by success despite not giving a half of a damn about sinking its fangs into the glitz, glamor, and gold that comes with it.
Take a Hike Drake, Because 'Plant Guy' Was the Real Star of the Show in Toronto's City-Wide Celebration of the Raptors
I have to be honest, I love this dude, and that's saying a lot of someone that typically finds disturbing the appetite for destruction that long-suffering sports' fans seem to develop while amidst the chaos of absolute ecstasy. This is where environmentalists should close their eyes, because I think there's something about the relative harmlessness of matter of factly plucking a small tree out of the ground with the interior decorating of an NBA superstar at least satirically in mind that I can't help but find endearing. Plant Guy, with his 'Kawhactus' in hand, was so delightfully drunk and deadpan in explaining the intent of his pro bono grooming of Toronto's garden that I can't help but feel drawn to his cause.
And ya know what, oddly enough, no can say whether or not he contributed to the cause of
getting 'The Klaw' to dig in north of the border for the foreseeable future. If we know anything about Kawhi Leonard it's that we know almost nothing about Kawhi Leonard. I'd say it's about as likely that he is a fengshui aficionado as it is that he's interested in actually leaving his residence to eat free meals in...::robotic gasp::...public. Maybe the thought of uprooting greenery on his behalf plays to a love of fellow largely lifeless organisms and counts enough for him to spurn Southern California and consider rooting himself in Canada for the next 4-5 years. Almost definitely not, but you have to think out of the box when trying to persuade someone whose entire personality appears to packaged in one. Might as well attempt to warm his house to feel like a home before his blood turns back cold...
Regardless of whether or not they end up being in vain, I appreciate Plant Guy's efforts. After all, his ability to sarcastically(?) elaborate on them makes him unquantifiably less obnoxious than 99% of the fans doing patently stupid shit as a form of celebration.
The Warriors Lost More Than Just a Chance at Another Championship Last Night, As Klay Thompson Became a Casualty by Tearing His ACL in the Process
Unless the Golden State Warriors' empire was built on damp cardboard, "when it rains, it pours" doesn't seem like a destitute enough analogy to use in reference to a consummate champion finding out they basically lost another season while licking their wounds following a futile fight for a three-peat that turned fatalistic. The weather going from bad to worse doesn't quite encapsulate the sullen state of a dynasty dethroned, unless we're talking about the type of 100 year storm that would put Noah to work on his next Ark in potentially reshaping the entire landscape of the NBA.
With both Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson currently being the most top-dollar of damaged goods, it remains to be seen what direction Golden State decides on going, but it's safe to say that neither they nor a previously predetermined NBA will ever be the same again. Throughout a postseason that wasn't short on shock value, every health-compromised Warrior had me saying to myself "not like this" about an overdue changing of the guard. That guard, while having just been manned by a Raptors' team that vindicated their decision to say "fuck it" to forethought in a way that might inspire copycats in the Anthony Davis' sweepstakes, is now up for grabs going forward. The West is suddenly wide-open on the heels of the East being owned by a group that manifested its destiny by adding the ultimate mercenary.
The way we got here reminds everyone to be careful what they wish for, as no one feels good about the sequence of events that ended the Warriors' reign, but the truth is that greatness never bows out gracefully. To say it was inevitable that injuries would eventually rear their unforgiving head makes for far too bleak of a fate-fulfilled horoscope, but their impact makes it impossible to ignore how much luck plays a factor come playoff time. It's honestly as if the basketball gods made up for lost time in blindsiding Golden State with a black cloud that became more and more saturated as their roster was a relentless ray of sunshine while tallying up titles. That doesn't make it all that much easier to accept the impending year-long absence of two of the NBA's top 10-15 talents, but it does a decent job of explaining how painstaking playing through June, seemingly annually, can be.
It could just be crushingly coincidental, but it certainly seems as though Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson just paid a hefty price, perhaps both figuratively and literally, for sustained success. In a fashion that speaks to the endless entertainment value of the most eventful offseason in sports, such devastating news might just make for a summer that is exponentially more interesting. What it doesn't do, however, is make for an enjoyable end to an era in the aftermath of what was otherwise an awesome NBA Finals.
Look, I get it. Everyone loves a juicy punchline, and Kyle Lowry's thicc ass has been unable to squeeze one damn good one dry, postseason and pathetic postseason, for quite some time now. For that reason, I couldn't imagine myself asking the following when he tried to go through a defender's legs on the final possession of a one-score playoff game a mere month and a half ago...
That being said, are we so stuck in our same old storylines that we'll ignore the entirety of what was an otherwise excellent performance by the Raptors' guard who has been tirelessly trying to rewrite the book on 'Playoff Lowry' under a far different genre and shame him for one missed shot free of circumstance? The internet, as it's one to do, is still having fun with what was soon determined to be a brilliantly blocked shot as though it were some sort of blooper, and I can't help but wonder what Kyle Lowry ever did to its users other than provide them the type of annual comedic content they figured to last forever...
On first glance, I thought Draymond Green made a hell of a contest on a buzzer-beater that could have brought Toronto a title, so I was hardly surprised to learn that he got finger on a ball that ended up sailing about 30 yards South of bringing an NBA championship to the North. That begs the question, how ignorant and uncreative must you be to still be taking to Twitter as if it were some sort of wide-open jumper that left Kyle Lowry's hands and took a direct, behind-the-backboard path to a neighboring province?
I'm far from innocent when it comes to taking liberties in an effort to mock professional sports' easiest targets, but when they ferociously fight back on a stage as big as that of the NBA Finals, I refuse to be willfully blind in sticking to an overdone script in pushing an unapologetic agenda. Kyle Lowry was great last night and he's been very good this series. Ignoring one of the better defensive plays you'll ever see save a season isn't going to change the fact that you're in desperate need of some new material, so you might as well stop making fun now before he's raising the Larry O'Brian trophy like the high school dork who got the last laugh on his way to the bank.
Raptors' Fans Brought Shame Upon Their Country With an Obnoxiously Upbeat Reaction to Kevin Durant's Achilles Injury
I'm sorry Toronto, but I tried. I thought long and hard about giving the benefit of the doubt to Canadian courtesy, but with every re-watch it became more and more painfully obvious that not even the most regionally inclined aren't without fail when it comes to putting aside sports' allegiances to show a baseline level of compassion.
Now, I'm sure most of the volume in a building that was already buzzing was due to the audibly shocking realization that an insanely impactful moment had just upped a passionate fanbase's chances of seeing and celebrating their first championship. That doesn't make it much better, of course, but expecting the entirety of Scotiabank Arena to go from raucous to respectfully reserved in a matter of seconds during what could have easily been the biggest night in its existence simply wasn't realistic.
What should have been a realistic, however, was for fans to stop themselves from offering the universally condescending gesture for "GTFO" to an opposing player in waving him into what sounds like it's going to be an extremely elongated offseason. I hardly think every eardrum-pounding decibel could be attributed to the disingenuous dickheads in attendance, but the primitive reaction of Jurassic Park didn't exactly lead me to believe that Raptors' fans cheer and jeer from some sort of moral high ground. The sins of the few (hundred) shouldn't exactly lead to the punishment of the many. However, when your reputation is righteous enough to put organized religion to shame it is going to take a hit when you get noticeably loud and proud in response to an opposing player hobbling to the hardwood.
Credit to Kyle Lowry and Danny Green for encouraging Raptors' fans to use their collective brain and do some damage control by starting a 'K-D!' chant while clapping him back down the tunnel, but said damage was already done. Hate to break it to you Toronto, but America ain't the only country with overly fanatical assholes who can't read a room when their favorite team is playing a meaningful game in it.
Don't Let a Choked Up Bob Myers Distract You From the Fact That Kevin Durant Shouldn't Have Been Playing Last Night
Well, that was...a lot. That's not to call into question the sincerity of Bob Myers' words, as he went above and beyond effusive in expressing his respect for Kevin Durant as both a player and a person. Still, that was a lot. Especially so when you consider that it managed to do very little to convince anyone that an athlete who was likely on the verge of testing free agency should have been on the court out of desperation when he was apparently one minor misstep away from a career-altering aggravation, exacerbation, or byproduct of an already existing injury.
There were plenty of knowledgable people that still remained skeptical that what spent the last four weeks hampering KD was more achilles-related than calf-related, so it would be quite the untimely and unfortunate coincidence for the former to tear if only the latter was thought to be at risk. Whether that miscalculation made by the Warriors' medical staff was influenced by them working on behalf of the best interests of the organization that employs them, as opposed to the best interests of its most talented player, we'll probably never know. What we do know, however, is that it absolutely was a miscalculation.
At the end of the day, it was KD's decision to give it a go in a pivotal Game 5 with his team's season on the line. That much is certain. Why that go was 'full' and without any sort or minutes restriction, despite him being entirely unable to compete in the NBA Finals as of three days prior, with one of those days being devoted to a practice he couldn't complete, I'm not sure I understand. However, it was his decision to play.
I just don't think I can take Bob Myers' seriously when he's lashing out at the internet's most obnoxious idiots as if leaks from his own locker room don't paint a picture of internal aggravation that one of the most thin-skinned superstars in the NBA would have to be blind not to see...
The fact of the matter is that there absolutely is blame to be passed around, as this wasn't some entirely unrelated freak setback for someone who, Drake be damned, went 0 to 100 real quick. Now, I'm not quite sure how it to accurately divvy it up, but the Golden State Warriors should feel guilty, since they did no better a job looking out for the long-term well-being of their back-to-back Finals MVP than he, an emotionally manipulated competitor, did.
In What Could Be the Lasting Image of Oracle Arena, Raptors' Fans Were Basically Left Dancing on its Grave
Despite being the type of person who rarely leaves games early, I try not to fault those that do. Traffic can be a real son of a bitch, and even I can admit that the juice of a final minutes of a fatalistic foregone conclusion aren't worth the squeeze of 10,000 cars all thinking they have the right-of-way in exiting the parking lot.
That being said, with the game in question potentially being the last one ever played in a venue that has offered it's attendees multiple lifetimes of memories over the last handful of seasons, Game 4's mass exodus from Oracle Arena was inexcusably embarrassing. Take that snapshot of Raptors' fans making Oakland their own and frame it in the spoiled supporter's 'Hall of Shame', as it encapsulates the entitlement of a fanbase whose most incredulous arguments are over which of their superstars will win Finals MVP. The bandwagon of every successful sports' team gets packed to the brim, but for that bandwagon to bail out early due to a couple bumps in the road during what was potentially the final ride in an otherwise incredible escort certainly fits the way people have come to feel about Warriors' fans.
I hate drawing comparisons between the NBA and the NHL, because hockey fans are entirely too up their own ass, but St. Louis Blues fans stayed during the dying minutes of a blowout to loudly and proudly wish well their team despite the final home game of their season being a demonstrably depressing one. Meanwhile, Warriors' fans were in a full-on sprint out of seats that have served witness to no shortage of greatness that they may well not sit in ever again.
The main difference, of course, being that Blues' fans are desperately hoping to celebrate their first championship whereas Warriors' fans are pissed off that their 4th parade in 5 years isn't already underway. Still, to leave such an accomplished home court for dead while opposing fans danced on it's eventual grave is potentially an atrocious lasting look for Oracle Arena. More importantly, it's an exponentially worse look for those that priced the loyalists out of a building in which they spent decades living and dying with the results of the games it hosted, be it to their most triumphant or bitter end.
Credit to Raptors' fans for a strong international showing, for while their team looked destined to dethrone a dynasty they sounded inspired to put to eternal shame those that used to unconditionally make raucous its residence.
I know everyone's first instinct will be to laugh at the irony, as Shaq couldn't shoot an uncontested 15 feet set-shot without causing a visually visceral pain to everyone who watched him do so. However, the truth is that this makes far more sense than Danny Green taking shooting tips from someone whose stroke is second nature. Haven't you ever heard that those that can't do teach? Diesel might make for the lousiest student in league history, but - considering the amount of expert advice he's collected over the years - he's got more than enough knowledge to be a shooter tutor.
Now granted, "leave it" isn't the most enlightening of lesson, but it's advice that been sourced by a bigger crowd than that of someone who came out of the womb with their elbow gracefully tucked and their shot automatically rotating more reliably than the earth around the sun. If Wikipedia has taught me anything it's that more opinions always equal the most accuracy, so the strong night of one of the most accomplished clutch shooters in Finals' history almost has to be a direct result of Shaq's second, third, fourth, or fifth-hand suggestion...
The Fan (Now Unveiled as Part Owner) Who Pushed Kyle Lowry Was Ejected, But Not Before Serving as Symbolic of the Warriors' Frustrations
Obviously the main takeaway from the incident above is that, as has been seemingly discussed ad nauseam this season, NBA attendees need to know their goddamn role. Doesn't matter that you paid an egregious amount to sit close enough to forcibly tongue kiss the players. Touching them in any form or fashion is entirely off limits and should be universally understood as an unacceptable way to earn yourself an immediate ejection. For that reason, while I think a lifetime ban might be a bit extreme, I totally understand Kyle Lowry calling for one in order to send an unmistakable message to the most privileged idiots at NBA games...
On a much less serious note, I do find it hilarious how symptomatic that push was of just how audibly and visually frustrated the Warriors and their outrageously spoiled fanbase were last night. Aside from the unleashed superstardom of Steph Curry, who honestly owes Draymond Green a palm to the forehead for his performance in mashing the lob button more liberally than myself playing a drunk game of NBA Live during my college days, Golden State looked flustered from the first few minutes on.
On the court that bewilderment manifested itself through careless turnovers and shameless tantrums, and in the stands that bewilderment manifested itself in a well-to-do fan (plot twist, he's now confirmed to be a part owner) serving as the sorest of hurt butts in shoving an opponent who helped greatly in kicking their ass. The last time the Warriors felt completely overwhelmed by the moment was probably the exact same time that overbearing asshole was made defiantly disgruntled by watching them play basketball. Safe to say it's been a long time coming that the entirety of Oracle Arena has been turned into an asylum for those suffering from anxiety attacks, and that's exactly the vibe it was giving off throughout a fight whose fate felt decided in the first quarter.
Of course, that'll happen when you're down two of the top 10-15 players in the league and are rolling with a rotation whose most defensible perimeter defender is the NBA equivalent of a senior citizen (with all due respect to Andre Iguodala, of course) during a Finals game. The inevitability of it, however, doesn't make watching Steph Curry go full-LeBron in finally being forced to carry the team while the sky was basically falling around him any less entertaining.
UPDATE: Point even more proven. With the exception of #30, the entirety of Dub Nation - from the front office, to the fans, to those on the floor - had their entitlement threatened and their cages rattled last night...
Paul Pierce Confirmed That He Literally Pooped His Pants During the 2008 NBA Finals While Figuratively Pooping on His Legacy During the 2019 NBA Finals
Why? I know that's not the question I should feel inclined to ask, as I am damn near maniacally appreciative of the NBA's smelliest conspiracy theory being confirmed as the truth by 'The Truth', but why not at least leave the illusion that it was false? That championship, and some of the clutch performances that he contributed to it, were like the last remaining reasons to take Paul Pierce somewhat seriously. So riddle me this, how do you take seriously a man that admitted his most legendary moment as an otherwise proud professional/future HOFer was made possible by what was quite literally a crippling inability to clench his asshole in time to find the nearest toilet?
There were no shortage of shitty suspicions, but there's a very big difference between the allegation of soiled shorts on one of the biggest stages in sports and the confession of soiled shorts on one of the biggest stages in sports. The latter being the type of thing that'll never let you look at someone who was left in this helplessly handicapped state by a shart without hysterically laughing at him ever again...
The following backtrack reads like the desperate damage control of someone who, after uncharacteristically careful consideration, realized that he just discourteously flushed all doubt as it pertains to his legacy being stained by a skid mark. Not even the perpetual punchline of NBA "analysis" would joke about farts gone fecal during the NBA Finals, so - like toothpaste out of a tube - that turtle's head is forever out of its shell as any impending Paul Pierce autobiography just became bathroom reading.
One of a kind. Truly one of a kind. That might very well be because he was carefully engineered in a lab that has since misplaced the blueprint necessary to mass produce his prototype, but one of a kind nonetheless.
I said it once and I'll say it again, if Kawhi Leonard was even slightly less convincing as the awkward and emotionless bionic basketball man, I'd swear he was self-aware in pandering to the public's punchlines with behavior that is so outrageously inhumane that it would only play well in a Terminator parody. I bet even E.T. arrived instinctually knowing to bump a fist that was placed in front of him, and he's the alien originator of the "phone home" maneuver Kawhi Leonard used in putting Norman Powell on hold to call to the court for which he was created.
We're talking about a guy who has turned a near-humorless lack of personality into a hilarious personality of its own. That's mostly due to the highly intrusive age in which we might as well live in a drone hovering over every off-the-court mannerism of professional athletes. However, the mannerisms of this particular professional athlete are somehow still socially stupefying to those with which he's now only two wins away from winning a championship.
As baffled as I am by his physical gracefulness on the floor, I'm just as befuddled by his social gracelessness off of it. It's like he's got a one track mind that merely commits to memory any and all things basketball, as evidenced by the fact that the only rituals of which his former teammates can speak are of him sounding like he was solely programmed to find the nearest court and kill at all costs. My guess would be that Norman Powell can certainly relate following what would be seen as a sociopathic snub...if, and only if, it wasn't executed by an anomalously introverted enigma whose off-court norm is above and beyond the universe of abnormal.
I Suppose Draymond Green Deserves Credit for Dropping 25 Pounds and Getting Into Optimal Playing Shape...Five Months After the Season Started
ESPN- (Draymond Green) also dropped more than 25 pounds after a midseason intervention from Golden State general manager Bob Myers.
"Bob said, 'If we're going to win a championship, you have to get in shape,'" Green says. "I was like, 'Oh, I know. I'm fat as hell right now. Give me two weeks. It will probably take 10 days, but give me two weeks for sure and I'll be good.
"'My birthday is March 4, so I want to enjoy my birthday, but right after, on March 10, my diet starts.'"
Green cut out all his vices. Chips, red wine, fast food. All gone. He ate exactly what his chef told him to. He lived in the training room, lifting weights and doing extra cardio. And then when he got the weight off, he decided to stick with the diet.
"When I went on this diet, it's like a sense of control, and it's confidence because you feel like you're conquering something," Green says. "You're defeating something every day."
"Having that control, it carries over to other areas in your life. We all love to eat. We all enjoy the things that we enjoy. If I can conquer that and not do that, why can't I conquer my emotions, too? Well, maybe I can f---ing conquer my emotions! Maybe I can conquer anything else! And so I think honestly that has really helped put me in a different state."
I don't want to completely dismiss the mini, late-season makeover that Draymond Green was discipline enough to undergo in getting himself back into the type of shape required for him to showcase his full skill-set. Twenty-five pounds is twenty-five pounds, and in dropping them so suddenly the lynchpin to what Warriors are able to do on both the offensive and defensive end made himself back into the type of versatile, impact player that has enabled his team to endure a postseason injury to a back-to-back Finals MVP.
That being said, I do wonder exactly how much credit I should be giving to a player who has made it well-known that he eventually intends to sign a max contract, yet had to be told to his face by his boss to mix in a salad and act like a pro 5 months into the season. The picture that's being painted is of someone who, quite literally, let himself get so saturated off 'Ships and chips that the pounds quickly melted off once he put an ounce of commitment back into his craft. That's probably a bit of an exaggeration, but I don't know that I should be bowing at the feet of a professional athlete for being "fat as hell" (his words, not mine) a little over a month prior to the playoffs and STILL allowing himself another cheat week because he's a basic bitch when it comes to celebrating his birthday.
Draymond Green went on a goddamn wedding diet and did the hard work necessary to make an undeniable difference when it has mattered most, so credit to him for that. That said, the biggest takeaway from this story isn't him cramming in his conditioning prior to the big test, but rather that he spent well over a semester treating his body like that of a college kid because the regular season is that much of a complete and utter joke to the Golden State Warriors.
Kawhi Leonard is Suing Nike Over Ownership of the Copyright to By Far the Most Unsightly Personal Logo in All of Sports
Obviously this is more about principle than it is some emotional attachment to a logo. I get that. I just think that if I were Kawhi Leonard and had an ungodly amount of money coming my way in free agency, I might just cut my low-level losses and thank Nike for stealing off my hands the copyright to something that makes those hand turkeys you made for your parents' fridge in elementary school look worthy of their own wing in a museum by comparison...
Perhaps I just have a better eye for artistry and a lower threshold for embarrassment than the most pragmatic superstar in all of sports. Thats got to be it, because - as someone whose never drawn anything whose purpose wasn't better served as a "basketball" to a trash can - I can't fathom taking legal action that would remind the world that my handiwork was responsible for a stencil that depreciates the value of literally whatever it is stitched into.
There are plenty of more egregious reasons to believe that the judicial system is broken, but the idea that two extremely well-off parties would theoretically go to court over something that looks like one's face after spending a full drunken night sleeping on their hand is undeniable proof of how shamelessly it is abused on a day-to-day basis. If Judge Judy knew that we'd fall so far down the rabbit hole that Klaws would be bared over the ownership of initialed eyesores she might have only picked up a gavel to knock herself unconscious. After all, a legitimate lawsuit over a logo that looks as broken as I feel the morning after trekking down a trail of tequila has tarnished a once proud process. I honestly think I'd rather claim minority ownership of my right hand than have to raise it in proving myself more uncreative than the kid cutting art class, but to each their own...unless Nike copyrights it first.
Paul Pierce, Who Definitely Takes His Job "Seriously Enough", Suggested That The Raptors Lost Game 2 Because They Didn't Take it Seriously Enough
Admittedly, I do find quite funny the visual of Kawhi Leonard, of all people, leading some Whose Line Is It Anyway?-style comic relief in the locker room of franchise making their first appearance in the NBA Finals. Unfortunately, I think I'm going to go ahead and assume that the Raptors didn't spend halftime of a 5-point game sleeping on/laughing at an opponent whose championship runs have largely been fueled by the fire of NBA Jam-esque hot streaks during the quarter in which they've proved most fatal. In fact, I might even go as far as assuming that the person who suggested they did wouldn't have a job analyzing professional basketball if not for him playing it at a high-level for damn near two decades.
At this point of a postseason during which he has proved anti-prophetic in predictions, I think it's fair to say that Paul Pierce has become more insufferable than Skip Bayless. I mean, at least the latter only exists on a platform in which shamelessly spreading your cheeks and talking directly out of your ass is encouraged. Meanwhile, 'The Truth' is both figuratively and literally (as whiffed below) farting out blatantly fictional fabrications all over otherwise credible outlets, as if his knowledge of the game he dedicated his life to compares favorably to someone who needs traveling explained to them.
It's not that I don't think that unadulterated stupidity has a place in NBA Finals' analysis, but I would like a sign that Paul Pierce is self-aware of his role as NBA Countdown's court jester. If anything, he's always struck me as the type to have an inflated view of himself, so it's not that he said the Toronto Raptors performed sarcastically in the second half, but rather that I think he might actually believe it. I genuinely don't think it's in his DNA to proudly parade around as the punchline, which would mean that all his preposterous hot takes are delivered in stone cold sincerity. Being able to take them at face value is what I find about 1,000x more worrisome than the objectively idiotic opinions themselves, so I'd greatly appreciate it if he started taking his seat on the panel wearing a dunce cap. Ya know, just so I could stop taking seriously someone who appeared to take himself very seriously when he said that a first-time NBA Finalist didn't take the most important game in franchise history seriously.
Taylor Hall Just Needled Every Obnoxiously Insecure Hockey Fan You Know By Tweeting About His Newfound Appreciation of the NBA
There I was, idiotically thinking that I couldn't possibly love Taylor Hall anymore than I already did. So, you can imagine my surprise when he spoke straight to my athletically appreciative soul by jabbing a knife in the side of every hockey fan that thinks diminishing the efforts of all other athletes should be a requirement of enjoying the NHL and twisting...hard.
There honestly isn't one single thing that ignites the insecurities of hockey's most overly obsessive observers quite like bringing up basketball, and the (technically still) reigning NHL MVP did just that and more by unintentionally reminding the entire internet of what's been his own league's most pressing issue for multiple decades running. For that reason, I think it would be nice if Taylor Hall offered to pay the next therapy bill for the faction of close-minded fans whose world promptly collapsed upon reading a good ole' Canadian boy's gratuitous praise of professional basketball after his experience enjoying it in a non-traditional market.
Now, said issue exists, in large part, because hockey inherently isn't anywhere near as superstar-driven or individualistically encouraging as basketball. You hardly need fully functional eyesight to see the amount of extreme differences that can be easily and immediately identified between two sports that, due to a multitude of factors (some avoidable, some not), clash culturally. That's why, as can be read in the actual words that Taylor Hall oh-so-carefully chose, this wasn't some sort of attempt at an apples-to-apples comparison. Unfortunately, if you don't think it will be defensively interpreted as such then you've somehow been fortunate enough not to encounter the type of hockey fan who will stop at no amount of illogical analogizing in a nauseatingly endless effort to get you to like their sport and only their sport.
What Taylor Hall essentially implied is that, though the games themselves are a matter of preference, the NBA produces a much more intriguing show with better character development than the NHL (and all other pro leagues, for that matter). That might be a difficult thing to admit during a postseason that is unequivocally the most gripping in all of sports. However, how can you argue against something so blatantly obvious that a superstar who has dedicated his entire life and livelihood to winning the Stanley Cup felt comfortable saying so on a public platform that collectively bears its claws at contrarianism?
The NBA has plenty of its own flaws, but among them are not a lack of adaptability, a lack of marketability, a lack of publicized personalities, or a lack of entertainment value. I say the following as a loyal consumer of hockey above all else: If you perceive that undeniable fact to be a subtle dig at the NHL then me thinks that you, as an overly sensitive hockey fan with an inferiority complex, doth protest far too much.
Just When You Thought That Drake Might Go Home Parched For Attention, He Got Into it With Draymond Green Following Last Night's Game
Whew, what a relief. Goodness gracious, I don't even know what we would be left to talk about if Drake, noted supporter of all great teams but holding the totally not made up title of "global ambassador" for merely one, didn't swoop in and beat the broadcast buzzer to insert himself into the storyline of a championship series. Can you imagine the straws we would be grasping at if the Head Raptor in Charge (of courtside affairs) didn't step in to call "trash" the team whose two best players are quite literally inked on his arm eternally?
Toronto, and Canada as a whole, rallying around a franchise that went all-in with only one title shot guaranteed and is making the absolute most of it, to the extent that you need to wait on line to claim your spot outside the arena? Yawn. The Raptors as perhaps the best and most versatile defensive team that one of best offensive teams in NBA history has ever had placed in the way? Ugh, no thanks. Pascal Siakam putting on a show fitting of the front-runner for the NBA's Most Improved Player in giving a dominant defender like Draymond Green absolute fits? Meh. The Warriors' dynasty being pushed back onto its heels and looking desperate for the services of KD, despite their opposition having never been to the Finals before and its best player having a rather quiet night during his Jordan-esque playoff run? Eh, noteworthy I suppose.
However, as far as a appreciable narratives are concerned, can anything really hold a candle to the un-rostered rapper who is going out of his way to steal the spotlight by running his mouth as if he is the one that is going to have to back up his overly cocky words against an already intimidating opponent with damn near unlimited experience? Sure, the Raptors' taking one step closer to NBA immortality makes for a hell of a story, but every story needs a headline and I can't think of one that better suits their profound performance on the court than 'Shamelessly Thirsty Celebrity Messes With the Most Irritable of Bull Knowing He's Not The One at Risk of Getting its Horns'.
(Sidenote: In all seriousness, I do love the pettiness of the signed Dell Curry jersey. That said, Drake needing to rock athletic accessories, that make him look even more delusional in regards to his actual impact, to cover up his fraudulence as a "super fan" tells you everything you need to know about his priorities. Not for nothing, but if his role allows him more leeway than any other fan ever then only a Flagrant 1 should follow if he happens to end up on the ass end of one of Draymond's "accidental" dick kicks.)