I'm not saying this was anything other than the result of a 7-footer enthusiastically spreading his pterodactylian wingspan after adding to an insurmountable lead over the top team in the Eastern Conference on the night in which he received the designation as one of its All Star starters. But man, if there is an NBA player who wouldn't give a fuck about delivering a slap upside the head of an unsuspecting opponent if it meant giving properly lauding his own bucket then it's Joel Embiid. Like, I don't think he saw Jaylen Brown in his blindspot, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if he knew there was an object in his rearview and didn't give a damn about checking how close it appeared before swerving into its lane.
For better or worse, Joel Embiid is unapologetically himself. Look no further than him poo-pooing the fall of the person he just swatted in the eye-ball during one of the most situationally unnecessary celebrations you'll ever see for proof positive that the only decorum he trusts in is that of 'The Process'. The Sixers center is as dangerous as the fast developing kid in middle school that doesn't know his own strength when he's on an NBA court, but it's not a lack of awareness that has him accidentally doing damage, but rather a complete and utter lack of fucks. See further example below:
Dwight Howard Was Plucked From The Bench By The Wizards To Take Meaningless Free Throws, And Proceeded To Celebrate After Making Both
And for that, I will never forgive the Washington Wizards. As annoyed as they think they were watching an athletic specimen of the highest order celebrate consecutive made free throws like they were back-to-back championships, it can't possibly compare to how annoyed I am that - while getting their doors blown off - they went out of their way to set the scene for self awareness from one of the most unlikable players in league history.
Dwight Howard generally looks like a disingenuous jackass in just about everything he does, but in blowing kisses and ballooning his balls after being brought off the bench by the opponent to complete the most minuscule of tasks? He was actually embracing how rare it is for him to do so. It may have been an obnoxiously overzealous act of mockery, but since the target of it was his own damn flaws, I can't help but tip my cap to the seven foot sociopath who appeared to learn how to laugh at himself by way of ironic peacocking.
So yeah, I do think that the Washington Wizards owe the entire NBA community an apology. The only thing that the vagabond known as Dwight Howard is less likely to do than come in cold and be money at the charity stripe is for him to happen upon a moment of self realization. Somehow, their futility enabled him to do both in the matter of a minute, and - for the briefest of seconds - made him look like a...(audible gasp)...relatable human being.
Honestly, I feel bad for Kris Dunn, and it's not just because he turned a successful uncontested dunk attempt into an immediate need for medical attention faster than a short white kid using an unstable pile of props to achieve viral glory. That's certainly part of the pity, as that fall was so disturbing that I couldn't even sneak in a proper belly laugh without feeling like a huge dick when the camera quickly scanned back to him and his displaced incisors. However, I also feel bad because - as it stands to the casual fan - that might as well be the only thing Kris has ever Dunn in his NBA career.
From disappointing as a lottery pick, to being thought of as part of an objectively comical return in a trade for an NBA star, to running the point for a team that no one outside of Chicago cares to watch. It took Kris Dunn undermining every one of his childhood trips to the orthodontist for him to (literally) make his mark on the hardwood. Like, only after watching him slightly disfigure his smile did I care enough about the 5th overall pick in the 2016 draft to stat check and realize that he's turned himself into a fairly productive player at the professional level. In reality, his 14/6/4 averages for a team that hasn't been anywhere near as bad as previously thought should be his crowning achievement, but he'd have to damn near double those numbers while leading a push for the playoffs to achieve the type of attention he's getting for the face-plant responsible for his crowning appointment.
I know there have been no shortage of jokes made at the expense of NBA players whose attempts at "fighting" tend to top out at malicious shoves. However, is there anything that encapsulates just how lost the art of punching has become in basketball quite like a professional athlete catching all air with a haymaker that looked to have been thrown by the old drunk sitting alone at the end of a dive bar?
On the scale of false machismo, an argument can be made for a group of Houston Rockets players conspiring to bust in the locker room of the Clippers through a secret back-alley solely to take non-violent umbrage with the attitude of one of their injured players. Still, there's just something so perfect about Arron Affalo putting all his fury, strength, and weight into trying to clean Nemanja Bjelica's clock and ending up just another hand that swings around it. I mean, that was one of the most earnest attempts at an in-game chin check of an unsuspecting opponent that I have ever seen, and not only would you need a TI-83 to calculate it's closeness, but it resulted in the same type of finale you expect to reach when roughhousing with your little brother. If that's not proof that ball players really aren't about that boxing life than I don't know what the hell else you need to see (or not see) from men of superhuman strength that - at their most enraged - always seem to end up in a position to be easily held back.
In The Curious Case Of Fragile Egos, Paul Pierce's Looks A Bit Feeble In Making It Difficult For The Celtics To Pay Tribute To Isaiah Thomas
“Everybody’s getting a tribute video now. You play for a team, you get traded, you get a tribute video. Now, I’m not saying Isaiah shouldn’t get a tribute video. On February 11, the night I get my jersey retired, I’m not sure I want to look up at the jumbotron and see Isaiah highlights. After all the years I put in … hopefully the Boston Celtics will do that for me. I’m not sure if I want to see an Isaiah video that night.” -Paul Pierce (h/t FTW)
I don't want to make it sound like I can't sympathize with Paul Pierce. If I were in his shoes and had an ego so inflated that it had gotten to the point where thee most minor and unintentional of needling could make it burst, I too might want the evening of my long overdue number retirement all to myself worse than that 'Real Housewife'-in-the-making from Willy Wonka...
That may read like a sarcastic dig at the person who can't stand the thought of a face other than his own gracing the screen of the JumboTron for even thirty seconds out of what is sure to be a four hour canonization of his career, but that's only because that's exactly what it is.
Don't get me wrong, Paul Pierce has gone above and beyond in giving Celtics' fans and the franchise a reason to dedicate the entirety of a night to celebrating the endless amount of buckets he brought to Boston. He is the embodiment of an era that was capped off with a championship, and therefore he is an incomparably bigger piece of their history than Isaiah Thomas. He did plenty of sacrificing to earn the honor of having his jersey raised to the rafters, so he shouldn't have to spare even a second of his ceremony.
That doesn't change the fact that he comes off as a narcissistic infant by making a huge stink about an inconvenience as insignificant as a pre-video ad-play. If anything, the difference in ovations - measured by both decibel and duration - would show exactly how much more Paul Pierce means to those in attendance than the guy whose last two seasons are worthy of a timely hat tip, so being unable to put a small percentage of personal pride aside seems rather petty. Not even Isaiah Thomas' loved ones would mistake the commemoration as "shared", so maybe hand over one single fry as opposed to looking like the fucking 'Hamburglar' of tribute time. The night is most certainly Pierce's, but would letting a deserving player momentarily hold his place in the spotlight while he took the quickest of tinkle really have ruined it for him?
Just When You Thought The NBA Reached Its Peak As A Soap Opera, The Rockets And Clippers Lived Out A Locker Room Reality Show
Coming up next after the break, will the head of the NBA Player's Association and his squad of goons make it over to enemy lines in time to silence the injured son of his former coach and cause enough of a contentious scene to lead into the next episode of Rockets Vs. Clippers? Stay tuned...
I mean, didn't like their attitude? Didn't like their goddamn attitude. Under the "leadership" of one player that wasn't fond of the general disposition of his former team in his return, the Rockets navigated the back channels of the Staples Center in an effort to form a two front attack on the home team's demeanor. I have no doubts that the uber confident and unreasonably loud enigma that is Austin Rivers in a walking boot had some less than kind words of instigation for the Houston Rockets. However, the reasoning for a postgame, locker room blitzkrieg being the same as that of every drinking throwing incident on The Real Housewives Of Wherever-the-fuck is a surefire sign that the NBA is quickly morphing into an organized bashing of bravados that would be fit for MTV's primetime lineup.
Now, I'd be lying if I said that didn't make the product all that more intriguing, but - considering the pettiness of those that go well out of their way to engage in nothing more than pushing matches - saying you're watching sports when you tune into a professional basketball game is only half true. It hasn't reached a Kardashian-level of shameless programming, but I'll be damned if it hasn't adopted some of their more...umm...eclectic entertainment tactics. I can still technically say I don't watch reality television, but if those that do were following the story of CP3 and his new teammates bombarding the dwelling of his old teammates to wag their fingers and give an injured opponent a piece of their mind then they might vehemently disagree with that notion. Right, Blake?
LeBron James Took A Jab At The Measurables Of A Reporter Who Wanted To Know What's Wrong With The Cavaliers Defense
You know what, I'm not even mad, I'm just...disappointed. Much like he has the game of basketball at a professional level, LeBron James has turned passive aggressiveness into an art form. Unfortunately, a completely irrelevant insult that so obviously served as a deflection from actually answering to three straight disastrous defensive efforts was anything but artful. I don't particularly mind when athletes give reporters condescending sound bites, but I just expected more out of a guy whose always been so calculated in his insincerity.
This was like listening to your favorite musician's most recent album only to learn that it sounds like he scraped together one last money grab. It was like checking out your favorite painter's newest piece only to find that it's a handful of blue paint strewn across an overpriced canvas. It's like having to force laughs while seeing your favorite comedian live. LeBron James has set the bar so high in previous disingenuous interactions with the media that just flat out saying that a 62 year old reporter who likely stands as tall as his abdominals would be a downgrade in defensive rotations feels lazy. It's not the fact that it's a complete deviation from a pretty fair question that has me shaking my head in dissatisfaction, but rather that it was so poorly crafted by someone who's proven to be quite the architect in reconstructing narratives.
A Youth Basketball Team Finally Got Booted Out Of Their League After Wearing Blatantly Racist Jerseys For Half The Season
LBS- A youth basketball team in Cincinnati will no longer be allowed to take part in its recreational league after players wore customized jerseys featuring racist and inappropriate phrases on them.
Tony Rue, a parent who sometimes coaches the West Clermont team in the Cincinnati Premier Youth Basketball League, noticed last month that kids from the Kings Mills team had inappropriate phrases printed on their jerseys. Rue’s wife pointed out on Sunday that the Kings team was calling itself the “Wet Dream Team,” and the jersey name plates had racist phrases like “Coon” and “Knee Grow.”
“This isn’t a typo, this isn’t a mistake, these are ideas that were thought of, discussed, agreed upon by adults and kids alike, printed on uniforms…and no one thought this was a bad idea or inappropriate?” Rue wrote on Facebook, according to Chris Mayhew of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
After its fourth week in the league, the Kings team was finally kicked out when a West Clermont representative stepped in to speak to referees during the second quarter of Sunday’s game.
The game was called and the players were sent home. Dawn Gould, a spokesperson for the Kings Local School District, said Monday that the team was not associated with the school district but could not say whether any students would be disciplined.
“Today we became aware of inappropriate conduct from a team of students participating in a recreational basketball league that is not affiliated with the Kings Local School District,” Gould said in a statement. “This team has been restricted from any further use of district facilities. Kings Local Schools strongly condemns any type of hateful and racist commentary. This behavior is in no way welcome or tolerated in our schools and community.”
Well, if there's a recreational basketball league in which to literally label yourself a disgustingly prejudice point guard then apparently it's the CPYBL. I wouldn't recommend slapping a slur across your back while playing any sport, but - if you're a kid that's absolutely insistent upon identifying yourself as one of Hitler's most athletic youths - then this small town in Cincinnati is the place to do it.
Like, seriously...it took four whole weeks to come to the conclusion that the starting small forward for The Wet Dream Team wasn't the product of an amicable divorce between two loving parents whose last names were 'Knee' and 'Grow'? These little inbred bastards were damn near jockeying for playoff positioning by the time one person finally put their fucking foot down and said "alright, enough is enough, we can no longer have this 'Coon' character running up and down the floor of a middle school gym!".
A story about a group of white trash teenagers klanning together - presumably after their bigoted parents oKKK'd it - to turn thee most public of place into a platform for intolerance is somehow a bigger indictment of the league that took a full month to condemn abject racism. I mean, kicking them out on their ass isn't even a punishment. They already got the attention they were desperately seeking. Probably lasted 3.5 more weeks than they thought they would. Should have just let finish out the season and hoped no one went to the press, because the time for 'Cincinnati's Caucasian Basketball Club' to be proactive was when an entire team showed up to their first game wearing all white hoodies and the darkest fan in the stands arrived late from their spray tan.
Damian Lillard Was None Too Pleased With Chris Paul For Taking The Lay-Up He Gave Him In The Final Seconds Of Last Night's Game
I actually like Damian Lillard and happen to think he is one of the most proud and competitive players in a league full of proud and competitive players. That's why it pains me to say that he's completely full of shit in trying to blame his saltiness on an absence of what quickly become the most subjective and overrated intangible in professional athletics, sportsmanship.
Look, there aren't many things that are more obnoxious than running full speed down the floor to pad your first ballot 'Hall Of Fame' caliber stats in the waning seconds of game in which both sides have already conceded the result. Unfortunately, referencing rules that remain unwritten in trying to take the moral high ground above someone with whom you've maintained a longstanding feud with going back to his days as a Clipper is undoubtedly one of them. Damian Lillard essentially gave Chris Paul shitty service and then got pissy when he didn't automatically dump his 15 cents change in the tip jar. If for some strange reason you feel as though you are owed respect from a rival then there's one very easy way to get it. Finish the job...even if it does make you look like just as much of a try-hard.
It's really as simple as this, if you don't care enough to get back on defense during a meaningless possession then you definitely shouldn't care enough to cause a scene following a meaningless, uncontested lay-up. In acting as if his team's understandable throwing of the white towel was deserving of a bleeding heart, Damian Lillard gave Chris Paul the exact reaction he was looking for when he intentionally got under his skin by giving the knife one final twist.
After Receiving His Second Technical, Rodney Hood Slapped A Ridiculously Conspicuous Fan's Phone Out Of Their Hand
Speaking as someone who isn't going to have to pay it, I can safely say the fine that Rodney Hood is going to receive for padding his defensive numbers with a smooth strip of random fan who was experiencing his life through a handheld device is totally worth it. Hell, I think even the Jazz guard would agree that thwarting someone with the most literal of social media blocks was satisfying enough to make up for the disappointment of the paycheck deduction.
This seven second clip might not be enough of a basis for a full episode of Black Mirror, but - since it teaches a far more topical and in-your-face lesson about the dangers of technological dependency - maybe they could slip it into next season's trailer. Perhaps it's a little obvious as a premise, but if you stick your phone in the face of a pissed off black man as if he were some sort of caged zoo animal then you might get the two-way mirror you strangely think you're living behind shattered.
Unfortunately, that overweight office manager probably isn't going to take anything other than a sense of false of pride in being featured in a soon-to-be viral video, but - in a perfect world - he would be forced to feel shame while spending $100 on a screen replacement. Athletes are entertainers, but no one wants to be so unabashedly gawked at while emotional. At the very least, the neckless wonder should have hidden his attempt at being the toast of the water cooler behind the guise of a text message, though - admittedly - expecting a guy who aged out of Instagram eight years before it was released to know the protocol for capturing compelling public displays in his cloud is a bit optimistic.
TheBigLead- If you couldn’t hear that, Walton said, “His dad was talking sh*t so I took him out early.”
Walton held it for a minute before saying, “I’m just kidding.”
As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, LaVar Ball told ESPN that Walton had lost the team and the Lakers players didn’t want to play for him. Lonzo and others refuted that claim almost as soon as LaVar made it.
It's obviously crazy to run with that tongue-in-cheek comment as if weren't clearly in jest. Unfortunately for Lonzo Ball, it's even crazier to pretend that every marginally funny joke doesn't contain at least a hint of the truth.
Consider this, the only thing that seems less likely than an NBA coach benching the #2 overall pick on an outright terrible team due to the bombastic barbs of his father is said father shutting the fuck up in regards to the treatment of his son's professional career.
By no means do I think Luke Walton would fabricate a flu for his rookie point guard if the increasingly unfounded diaper-filler from the mouth of his dear old dad reached a fever pitch. However, and I can't believe I am going to say this, I could absolutely see a scenario in which the Lakers' coach subconsciously takes out his frustrations on the offspring of the person causing them. Despite his laughable record, I consider Luke Walton to have a pretty good basketball mind, but it's not like his would be the first to ever become infected by those incessantly questioning it.
We're probably about two dozen public appraisals away from him having it up to here with someone who prides himself on going there. Still, the fact that there is a feasible - albeit highly, highly unlikely - scenario in which LaVar Ball provides verity to that one-liner and ever-so-slightly alters the usage of an NBA player as if he were the overbearing asshole screaming from the middle school bleachers of a 4th grade rec-league game is nothing short of insane.
Official Ted Valentine Embraced The Amateurism Of The NCAA By Turning His Whole Back On A Player After Missing A Call
I'd be lying if I said I was appalled by an official - who had very clearly just missed an obvious call in a game defining situation - turning his back on a player who remained ridiculously even-keeled in trying to discuss what took place. The visual of an authoritative figure defiantly staring off into the corner with his arms crossed as if his mother just told him there would be no dessert until his vegetables were finished is simply too funny for me to find myself upset.
Admittedly, it's ludicrously childish to do so, but hey...isn't everything the NCAA promotes aimed at convincing us that their billion dollar business model is actually nothing more than amateurism? As far as I am concerned, that inexcusable display of immaturity from a person who is paid to make sure young athletes mind their manners actually falls perfectly in line with the absurdity of the idea that there is nothing professional about college sports!
In all seriousness though, it's not the idea of a referee "showing up" a participant that I find stupid, but rather the inevitable overreaction that would almost assuredly come if the roles were reversed. I don't watch enough college hoops to feel wholly educated on the past of Ted Valentine, but I have no problem assuming he's got a quick trigger in delivering technicals to any player who so much as waves a condescending hand in his direction. You want to make a joke out of your job then so be it, but you can't simultaneously be the type that becomes unnerved when you are on the opposite end of one. I like my sports with a little instigative mockery, but not when the source is an overly excitable arbiter with a superiority complex.
Well, in fairness, he does have a point. It's a point that's not exactly well taken coming from a barely average coach whose idea of one-upping an opponent is bragging that his university keeps its money clean by rostering a super subpar basketball team, but that doesn't make it a wrong one as much as it makes it a depressing one.
Now, it being detailed down to the dollar amount leads me to believe that Kevin Stallings spent a little too much time researching the offenses of his opponent' as opposed to their actual offense, but at least he "defended his players"....by essentially calling them broke as shit. He didn't stick up for Pittsburgh's ability to play basketball, but he did make sure their more talented peers knew that they were only underachieving as student athletes and not as investments. What they lack in star power they make for in cleanliness, and isn't the purity of offering their services pro-bono the priority of every amateur athlete when choosing the multi-million dollar institution in which to hone his craft?
Take that Louisville! You guys might have quicker crossovers, wetter jumpers, cooler sponsorships, and fatter wallets, but you don't have one of the few things that 100K cant buy...integrity. Boom, roasted. Where is Uncle Ricky to cover the medical bills for that burn?
Isaiah Thomas Put A Writer Who Took Offense To Him Not Wanting The Celtics To Air A Tribute Video Until He Was Healthy In His Place
You know what, I actually feel bad for this Jimmy Murphy guy. It makes less than zero sense to admonish a professional athlete for the size of his ego solely because he asked to NOT have a montage full of all his individual accomplishments displayed for him - and only him - until he was an active participant whose family was also there to share in the adoration. That's why I couldn't be more convinced that this Celtics' loyalist is projecting the narrative that he concocted in his own head once Isaiah Thomas got traded to Cleveland.
Professionally speaking, there is nothing self-centered about the guy who decided to make worse a career-threatening injury by performing at the highest level of basketball while mourning the tragic, unexpected death of his sister. So, the fact that this Masshole mindlessly lumped an athlete that got shipped out of town against his wishes in a category of narcissism above that of Boston's most hated basketball player speaks volumes about the ridiculousness of the rationalization he used in convincing himself that Isaiah Thomas is a good riddance.
Personally, I would have just looked at Kyrie Irving's age, health, and highlight tapes if I were trying to feel better about losing a fan favorite. However, if the amount of guys and gals who automatically refer to their exes as 'bitches' and 'assholes' is any indication, non-sensical criticism is a pretty common form of coping. Unfortunately for Jimmy Murphy, it's also a method that opens you up to looking like a complete moron if you choose to use the internet as your medium for unfounded critiques of once beloved players that "selfishly" didn't give you a logical reason to hate them on their way out the door.
LaVar Ball Says He's Starting A Semi-Professional Basketball League To Compete With The NCAA, And There's Only One Problem With That...
SLAM- Big Baller Brand CEO LaVar Ball revealed on Tuesday the Junior Basketball Association, a league that will pay top high school prospects up to $10,000 per month and serve as an alternative to the current 8-month college pit stop for one-and-done hopefuls. BBB tells us that LaMelo Ball will be among the players participating in the new league.
LaVar has shared the following statement (below) with SLAM:
"We have officially launched our own pro basketball league called the “Junior Basketball Association,” sponsored by Big Baller Brand.
The JBA is the very first junior pro basketball league of its kind.
The JBA will cater to the top ranked high school basketball prospects in America.
All nationally ranked high school seniors, whose main goal are to reach the NBA, will be offered an opportunity to join the JBA, turning pro straight out of high school and bypassing the usual college pit stop.
The participating players will be paid up to $10,000 per month, as they prepare to enter the NBA Draft the following year.
The JBA league is for basketball players who intend to pursue the sport professionally.
With the introduction of the JBA, allowing the NCAA to regulate and control the eligibility status of top basketball prospects will no longer be an issue.
There is no need to partake in an institution that claims its purpose is not to help you prepare for your professional career.
The recent statement from the President of the NCAA Mark Emmert when commenting on the recent withdrawal of LiAngelo Ball from UCLA sums it up:
“Is this a part of someone being part of your university as a student-athlete or is it about using college athletics to prepare yourself to be a pro? If it’s the latter, you shouldn’t be there in the first place.” -Mark Emmert
And we agree!
For decades, the NCAA has run a business that has exploited thousands of teens, while college institutions, coaches, media conglomerates, and corporate sponsors have all profited from the model.
The JBA is a long-awaited solution to this ongoing problem.
Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks.
For updates visit jbaleague.com"
Look, I don't think I am being overly skeptical in saying there's reason to doubt whether or not LaVar Ball - the purveyor of all things pompous - can independently run a professional basketball league that's capable of competing with the NCAA for talent. After all, the venture that's being used to fund said league is a sneaker company that took 6-8 months to fill $595 dollar orders with Payless-level shoes that may or may not have come in the style or size that you ordered. Credit to him for blabbering his way into successful side hustle, but let's just say that the Big Baller Brand business model has more of a "fool me once..." sort of feel.
Admittedly, I love the sound of a true developmental league that prepares it's players for the future while reimbursing them for the god-given abilities they put on display in the reputable venues of major cities across the country. Unfortunately, it rings just a wee bit hollow when its Commissioner is the same loudmouth that took damn near an entire human pregnancy to slap together an aborted version of egregiously overpriced athletic footwear that would be lucky to survive a brisk jog around a windy block. In essence, if LaVar Ball's track record speaks then you'd have to be pretty fucking desperate to willingly board a money train with a greedy, untrustworthy conductor.
That being said, it's nothing short of amazing that in trying to dismiss LaVar Ball as a worthy adversary the head of a multi-billion dollar operation basically wrote the mission statement for a league that could hypothetically (though hardly realistically) rival his own...
If nothing else, Mark Emmert disingenuous bullshit opened the door for an entrepreneur far more savvy than LaVar Ball to take advantage of what is the peak of hypocrisy. Now, if it were that easy then someone undoubtedly would have already thought of a way to compete with college basketball, so it's vintage LaVar Ball for him to think he's some sort of pioneer that's set to mastermind the most cutthroat of market in catering to kids who also pissed away their eligibility or engaged in international theft. Still, the idea itself is not nearly as dumb as the person trying to "speak it into existence", and the man who could theoretically lose the most from it voluntarily told you why.
I don't mean to play the pessimist here, but are we sure that Charlie Villanueva get robbed and not repo'd? Let's be clear, that's not me calling into question the former Huskie's ability to manage the finances he must have built up over a decade long NBA career, but rather an inability to comprehend someone confidently putting aside time during a pilfering to undue plumbing if not contractually obligated to do so. I don't want to put all thieves in a box or anything, but - unless HGTV turned dark and desperate after enduring a massive budget cut - it's tough to envision the type of person who breaks and enters into someone else's home doing so in an effort to completely refurbish another residence.
Regardless, Charlie Villanueva seems pretty confident he was burglarized, so - in giving him the benefit of the doubt - I must demand that we, as a society, be better as people. I know it's damn near impossible to recalibrate the moral compass of criminals, but this? This is too far. There's something to be said about having a "pot" to piss in, and in taking a former NBA player's porcelain throne they didn't just disrespect his property and peace of mind, they disrespected his 'me time'. And during the season in which it's needed the most, no less!
Assuming those that break into high end homes to steal crappers don't limit themselves to the taking of one toilet, Charlie Villanueva literally needed to walk himself out back like a goddamn dog just to take a leak while waiting for the police to come to the conclusion that he wasn't actually joking. So as hilarious as it must have been to see his face as he stared confusingly at the hole in his bathroom floor, it's equally as chilling that someone went to such lengths to belittle him as a man. During even the most unlawful of acts, the sanctity of another man's shitter should never be sabotaged. If for no reason then because even the most thorough of home owner's insurance policies can't reimburse that amount of indignity endured by having to hold it in your own damn house.
The Pacers Blew A Sure Win With A Laughable Last- Second Turnover, But At Least They Learned A Valuable Lesson
Look, the easy thing for the Pacers to do would be to criticize one of their players for lobbing up a cross court prayer with mere seconds remaining in a game that he could have hypothetically iced from the free throw stripe. On the contrary, the difficult thing to do after a tough loss is to think critically about what can be learned from it.
Luckily for the Pacers, there is a lesson to be taken from a defeat that was snatched from the jaws of victory and it's that Bojan Bogdanovic is not cut out for crunch time. I mean, let's ignore that he's a valued member of the starting lineup whose typically safe with the ball and shoots over 86% from the line, because that turnover is enough to force last minute roster turnover. Literally all he had to do was turn his back, absorb some contact, and try to knock down a couple wide open 15 foot shots, and instead he looked like he would have rather been holding onto stock in ENRON than an NBA licensed basketball.
I actually liked the Yugoslavian forward when he was member of the Brooklyn Nets, but the instincts that tell a well respected shooter to toss a ball aimlessly into an atmosphere patrolled by a defense minded team while owning a one point lead and possession can never again be trusted outside of the first 47 and 3/4's minutes of an NBA basketball game. The Indiana Pacers had potentially their biggest win of the season ripped right out from under them, but hey - at least they know what substitution they can make to avoid the rarest of embarrassing endings in the future!
"Find your zone and just stay f—ing locked in. The media is going to ask you what I told you right now. Tell them nothing. Just be aggressive every single day.
It’s white noise to you. That’s all it is. Alright? Let’s go."
I know what you're asking yourself, and the answer is yes - I do see the irony (i.e hypocrisy) in making LeBron's relatively ordinary pep talk newsworthy when the thesis of it was that the media turns the relatively ordinary into headlines.
That said, it's not LeBron's insistence to stay focused, be aggressive, and block out distractions that I care to discuss, but rather the insistence that that overly typical advice stay classified. Like, we had to use the stalker-esque software of Harriet The Spy to unveil the most empty of inspirational speeches? It's cool that LeBron wanted to privately share words of encouragement with a younger player that deals with a familiar amount of scrutiny, but treating those words like they were National Security codes seems a bit excessive. Honestly, "tell them nothing" is the type of command you expect to hear muttered into the ear of a hostage who has a six-shooter jammed into their spine, not spoken by a savvy vet to a struggling rook from under the cloak of a decidedly non-soundproof jersey.
Don't believe me? Just look at the blank, wide-eyed stare of Lonzo Ball as LeBron basically whispered sweet, suggestive nothings into his ear. That's the appearance of a guy whose listening far too intently considering the subject matter. I bet he walked away from that interaction feeling the same way you or I feel when a friend tells a story that they so drastically oversold that it appears to end on the crappiest of cliffhangers. Considering I was left saying "wait, that's it?", I can only imagine the 20 year old who had to verbally agree not to disclose his high school-level consultation felt the same.
Of course, if LeBron really wanted it to stay a secret then he would have delivered his all-important message somewhere other than the middle of a professional basketball court in front of tens of thousands of people with easily accessible means of technology, but - as we know - he subscribes to the "pics or it didn't happen" philosophy.
In A Flawless Display Of Self Deprecating Humor, 'NBC Sports Chicago' Referred To Bobby Portis And Nikola Mirotic As A "1-2 Punch"
Perfect. Just perfect. Enough of an overused figure of speech in sports to fit a graphic used by the social media team of a broadcast network, but - outside of one anomaly of a rare winning night - not anywhere near applicable to the players featured to be seen as anything other than a (wait for it) punchline. The Bulls are admittedly an awful team, but even they aren't shitty enough to consider Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic a true "1-2 punch" in any way that doesn't have '1' standing over the mildly conscious body of '2' with a sore fist.
That's why you simply have to appreciate that the station with the unfortunate responsibility of making bad basketball available for regional consumption decided to lean in to the lousiness by delivering a jab and taking the response on the chin better than the 6'10 Spaniard with a flaring temper that clashes mightily with his fragile jaw. If your programming is predominantly going to be depressing then you have to do whatever possible to keep things loose. That's a lesson the Chicago Bulls locker room failed to learn, and thus became one that NBC Sports Chicago was able to use in laughing at themselves.
Arizona State's Media Relations Director Owes His Daughter $500 After Betting They Wouldn't Beat Kansas While On Vacation Over The Summer
Well, son of a bitch. As if having to parent your way around the more pressing issues presented by advancements made in technology and the youth's obsession with it wasn't goddamn difficult enough, now you can't even haphazardly throw out random, hyperbolic wagers without getting caught on video? You spend all your time worrying about your son or daughter getting themselves baited into some online scam or careless catfishing, and it turns out they are just using the WiFi to take preemptive measures in extorting their own bloodline?!?
I mean, Doug Tammaro is the Sun Devils' Media Relations Director so he, better than anybody, should know that there's no statue of limitations to keep you safe from your own words in 2017. Still, reminders don't get more cutthroat than his own daughter catching him in a moment of frivolous financial weakness after a couple glasses (bottles?) of vacation vino. I'm all for kids pulling a fast one over on their elders. However, taking advantage of a drunk dad while he's on foreign soil and off the professional and parental clock simply has to strain the familial bond in a way that can be fixed by him feeding his college-aged kid Christmas Eve shots and making her commit to playing Santa the following morning. However amusing that might be, it still won't make up a shopping spree that should serve as a lesson to never bet against your own team.