First of all, are blatantly guilty and disgraced sports figures who are being gifted an opportunity to fruitlessly defend themselves on a national platform solely because it's guaranteed to drive traffic not privy to ESPN's team of makeup artists? Rick Pitino has never been tall, dark, nor handsome, but surely they could have made him up to look a little more put together than Charlie in the episode of 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia' where he's convinced he's addicted to eating human flesh.
More importantly, I respect the passed polygraph defense , but - unfortunately - I'm not at liberty to buy the bullshit that Rick Pitino has proven adept at selling. I'm sure he actually did ace the lie detector test, but isn't that exactly what an expert liar should do? I wouldn't commend his (now former) players for making their foul shots because that's a fundamental requirement of the role they fill for the program, so why would I grant Rick Pitino some sort of pardon for being able to sociopathically convince himself that he's innocent in building said program?
If anything, those results run counter to me taking his word for it. I was already about 99.99% sure that Rick Pitino was guilty, but I'm at 100% now that I know he truly believes he's not. We're talking about the type of serpent that snaked his way to the top of his insanely public profession, and I'm supposed to let the fact that he's cold-blooded in the face of questioning change my opinion of his character? Hell no. I'd be more likely to believe he was capable of using his hypothetical conscience to answer questions if that needle spiked proving that he actually has a pulse for what's right and wrong.
LBS- On Wednesday, Parsons came off the bench late in the first quarter and missed his first two shots, which were free throws. Fans could be heard booing him, and they did the same again in the second half when Parsons missed the first of three free throws after he was fouled shooting a 3-pointer.
Rather than taking the high road after the game, Parsons fired back at the fans...
Oh, come on Chandler. You don't think it makes ANY sense? Like, not even a little? I'm not much of a boo'r so I can't really speak to the exact legitimacy of each and every one. However, I can confidently argue that booing a wildly overpaid and incredibly under-available professional basketball player for missing consecutive foul shots is at least a smidge more logical than whining about harmless heckles while wearing a goddamn 'Death Row Records' t-shirt. Like, can we let Tupac rest in peace? Poor bastard was probably doing backflips in his (hypothetical) grave after hearing that someone who rep'd his label was bitching about mild criticism after failing when all eyez were on him.
And I get it, Chandler Parsons is not to blame for giving himself a contract that was already a comical mistake the second it was offered. You're not gonna not sign a $94 million dollar deal when your lower body is as sturdy as that of a new born baby calf. However, when you take to social media and use that unearned money to charter more jets than you've made buckets, the fans that were hoping you'd provide something more than 33% percent shooting in 34 games might let their irritability get audible.
Essentially what I am trying to say is that you can't be both injury prone and insufferable, and only one of things can be controlled. I am sympathetic to plight of the fragile athlete, as long as the fragile athlete is sympathetic to the plight of the annoyed fan that doesn't want to open up Instagram and see his steadily sidelined small forward jet setting around the world wearing a 1,000 watt smile and a model on each arm.
Is it "tasteless" to boo a human being when the irony of him getting paid to miss free throws becomes overwhelming? Potentially. One thing that it most certainly is not, however, is hard to understand.
And with one career being momentarily sidelined by a grotesque, catastrophic injury, another career is re-born. Oddly enough - considering they are athletes of varying relevance in completely different sports - this dramatically produced montage of Teddy Bridgewater handing the ball off a couple times is exactly the type of thing I needed to see after watching Gordon Hayward's foot and fibula temporarily hit a town called Splitsville. I don't even care that the score sounded like it was the illegitimate lovechild of 'The Golden Girls' theme and the song that Will Farrell twirls the ribbon to in 'Old School'. The reminder that it's possible for professional athletes to come back from traumatic, puke-inducing fractures was worth enduring the soundtrack of each and every generic church lobby. Sucks that it will probably be an entire year from now, but it will be a great day in sports when the Boston Celtics are able to release an equally overdone video of their star player doing routine things that didn't seem possible when he was laying helplessly on the ground in agonizing pain.
Bobby Portis Hospitalized Nikola Mirotic, Which Isn't Entirely Surprising Considering The Team They Play For
TheBigLead- Bobby Portis punched his Chicago Bulls teammate Nikola Mirotic in the face at practice on Tuesday, fracturing his face and giving him a concussion. Knowing only that it seemed like Portis was about to get in a lot of trouble. However, Peter Vecsey and Adrian Wojnarowski both reported that Mirotic was the aggressor. Via Vecsey’s Patreon:
Mirotic initiated the skirmish. “He was the aggressor, not Portis,” I am informed. “Mirotic shoved Portis twice, maybe three times. When Portis retaliated with a hard shove, Mirotic charged him. Portis put him down.”
The players had been talking trash to one another in practice, going back and forth before those exchanges escalated into a physical encounter, league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Mirotic charged at Portis twice before Portis threw a punch and connected with Mirotic’s face, league sources said. Mirotic dropped to the floor and lay there for several minutes before getting up, league sources said.
Being that he grew up in war torn Yugoslavia, there's not a doubt in my mind that Nikola Mirotic is one tough son of a bitch. Unfortunately, there's a big difference between tough and fucking crazy. Bobby Portis, by his own admission, is very much the latter...
On one hand, I am glad to learn that an NBA player didn't temporarily knock a teammate into an alternate universe by way of a blindsided sucker punch. On the other hand, if the person throwing said punch envisions the face of his mother's hypothetical assailant on every player that wrongs him like he's in a much less comedic version of 'The Waterboy' then I hesitate to think the result would have been any different if he had caught him while he wasn't looking.
Obviously the real story here is that this year's Chicago Bulls are so hopeless that multiple players on their team have already said "I can't take this shit anymore, let's fight" before they've even tipped their season off. However, I want to use this time to make a PSA to all professional athletes. Some of your peers used the motivation of a very loose connection with reality to beat unrealistic odds to get to the highest level. Simply put, you better make sure it's not short a couple of branches before barking up the wrong tree, because whatever lies behind the eyes of the individual below is somehow a hell of a lot scarier than it's 6'11, 250 pound frame. Don't poke (...or shove) the bear when the bear's admittedly flagrant temper doesn't even have to consider (non-existent) expectations before going very, very foul.
LBS- In clips from his new mini-documentary series for ESPN that were released on Thursday, the Houston Rockets guard criticized the culture of his old team, the LA Clippers, and also expressed displeasure with the role he played there.
“The whole thing with our team, a lot of people see the wins and losses and stuff like that, but it’s the culture of our team,” said Paul, per The Disorderly. “If you ain’t trying to contend with the Warriors then what are we doing? You know what I mean? The Warriors haven’t lost in the playoffs. If you’re not trying to contend with them what are you doing?
“I had the ball in my hands way too much,” the nine-time All-Star continued about his time with the Clippers. “I’m tired of dribbling and having to do so much. I would love to be able to get on the wing and shoot the ball.”
And in today's chapter of revisionist history, we discuss how the Clippers basically sabotaged themselves by entrusting the their former control freak of a future HOF point guard with the outcome of too many possessions. Yeah, I know it's weird that the "author" of said chapter was the same person repeatedly demanding the ball and yelling at his teammates to get into position while dribbling the goddamn air out of it, but who am I question the legitimacy of this ridiculously retrospective literature?
After all, if there's anything we learned from the long, successful stretches in which Chris Paul was injured it's that Blake Griffin was totally hesitant and not at all capable of taking command of the offense when given the opportunity. That's obviously why the puppeteer of said offense absolutely had to do what he loathed the most which - according to him - is basically whatever the fuck he wanted to? I guess?
Look, I don't doubt that CP3 feels a weight off his shoulders in being able to hand the ball off to James Harden and become nothing more than an extremely dangerous, stationary shooter from time to time. That's a role he should be embracing considering his age and his usage rate over the last decade. That said, I temporarily thought my eyes would never roll back into place after reading him say that he had the ball too much like he wasn't grasping it tighter than the elementary school kid who sooner rather than later started spending recess shooting hoops by himself.
What this commercial lacks in hype and excitement it easily makes up for in realistic expectations and full disclosure, which - in my opinion - is the perfect way to relate to Chicago Bulls fans prior to a hopeless season. After all, what else was WGN supposed to do? Try to sell the collection of spare parts they got from trading their superstar for less than he was worth as household names? No reason to give a false sense of optimism by pumping up your prospects who are sure to be part of a pessimistic rebuild. Especially when you can actually do something with staying power by having them introduce themselves to an audience that would undoubtedly rather grow to hate them by name like corporate shareholders at a company-wide conference. In actuality, each of their tags should read "Hello, My Name Is: Darkness" since the organizational dysfunction of the Chicago Bulls is almost guaranteed to make sure they become old friends, but it's good that they've got their collective 'nice to meet you' out of the way before the season's greetings affectively got hit with a depressive disorder.
Michael Jordan Thinks 'Superteams' Are Ruining The NBA's Competitive Balance, And I See No Flaw In That Logic
Look, I know that former players tend to sound hypocritical and out of touch whenever they take a "back in MY day" stance on the current state of the league that ultimately gave them a platform, but let's hold off on the judgement and think critically about this for a second...
Wouldn't the NBA be better off if it reverted to the team building strategies of the...oh, let's say...early to mid 90's when literally every franchise had a chance to win big? Honestly, other than that one team - whose name I can't quite recall right now - winning three straight titles twice in an eight year span, the championship window was basically wide open for even the most flammable of dumpster fire. Imagine if that guy who used to jump really high and stick his tongue out all the time didn't take a sabbatical to try his hand at an entirely different sport. We'd probably be sitting here talking about an era that featured even more parity!
So, you can question Michael Jordan's thought process on dominance is you so choose, but I'm man enough to admit that he's (clearly) forgotten more about competitive imbalance than I will ever know. Superteams* are indisputably bad for basketball, according to the completely unbiased owner of one of the 28 garbage teams whose command of NBA history isn't at all blinded by his organization's hopeless situation.
* Not to be confused with historically great teams that just so happen to have an disproportional amount of talent as it compares to the rest of the league, right Mike?
Yahoo- “Boston is going to be all love,” says Isaiah Thomas of his eventual return to the city that made him an NBA star —except for one thing.
In a new story with Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins, the Cavaliers guard discusses the trade that sent him to Cleveland for Kyrie Irving over the summer and his frustration with Celtics general manager Danny Ainge.
“I’ve been looking at this wall for five hours,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens texted Thomas after the trade, “trying to figure out what to say to you.” When Sacramento let Thomas walk in 2014, he left town telling himself, “F--- Sacramento. I’m about to kill those dudes.” When Phoenix exiled him the following winter, he pledged, “O.K., now they’re gonna get it.” But there will be no revenge tour this time. “Boston is going to be all love,” he vows, with one exception. “I might not ever talk to Danny again. That might not happen. I’ll talk to everybody else. But what he did, knowing everything I went through, you don’t do that, bro. That’s not right. I’m not saying eff you. But every team in this situation comes out a year or two later and says, ‘We made a mistake.’ That’s what they’ll say, too.”
Admittedly, Isaiah Thomas' declaration that he may never again speak to the General Manager that ultimately benefited from the surreal season that cost him the health of his hip before trading him seems a bit outlandish. After all, Danny Ainge simply did what any good executive would have done in striking while the iron was hot. It sucks that the deal came on the heels of a postseason that saw Isaiah Thomas battle through the tragic death of his sister to carry his beloved Boston Celtics through to the Conference Finals. However, an undersized point guard who has more than likely peaked wasn't about to get a max contract from a franchise with championship aspirations, no matter how imperative he was to the resurgence of said franchise. So, while I completely respect Isaiah Thomas' resentment, the idea that he's going to give his former employer the eternal silent treatment for doing his job well seems a bit excessive.
That is, until you consider that Isaiah Thomas and Danny Ainge probably didn't speak that frequently anyway. It's not really my place to make assumptions about the extent of their relationship, but I highly doubt that a 28 year old player is conceding their weekly wing night by giving the cold shoulder to his 58 year old former employer. When Isaiah Thomas saw Danny Ainge's name pop up across the screen of his cell phone in late August, I'm going to guess that he didn't have high hopes that he was looking to ask him if he wanted to accompany him to see the newest summer blockbuster. Statistically speaking, he was much more likely to be letting him know that he was actually a central figure in one. I know the NBA is far from the average work environment, but exactly how many of your former bosses do you keep in close, personal contact with? Point being, this doesn't resemble a Westbrook/Durant type split as much as it does the all-too-common complete disassociation with someone twice your age that no longer makes you scheduled payments.
I'm not denying that Isaiah Thomas is pissed off at how things ended in Boston, and - apparently more so - with the person that was responsible for the unceremonious conclusion to his tenure. Just saying, he wouldn't have to be "smoke billowing from the ears" enraged to avoid engaging a man twice his age in conversation for the rest of his career, especially when the only thing they would have in common is the organization that they no longer have in common.
LBS- According to two reports, the Warriors find reigning MVP Russell Westbrook easy to defend. ESPN’s Zach Lowe talked about that with Ryen Russillo on ESPN Radio “The Lowe Post Show.”
“Jack McCallum’s new book about the Warriors has a bunch of kind of anonymous Warriors talking about Russ and how they don’t fear Russ. How KD left partly cause of Russ. How Russ’s style of play is so easy for them to defend it’s like cake to them,” Lowe said.
“I’ve talked to the Warriors about his kind of stuff. What’s in Jack’s book is 100 percent what they say when you ask them about Russ.”
What's that you say? The surprisingly anonymous members of the team that directly benefited from the departure of the generational player that once made Russell Westbrook's job easier collectively thinks it's easy to guard Russell Westbrook? Oh, do they? Do they really think it's easy to defend a shoot first point guard who is surrounded by very little trustworthy shooting after subtracting his 7-foot physical anomaly of a sidekick and adding him to an already great defensive team? Shocking stuff.
It's funny though. I don't remember too many Golden State Warriors speaking up to a published author about the ease with which they could guard Russell Westbrook when he and Kevin Durant brought them to the brink of elimination just one season ago. They didn't seem so quick to quip when Russell Westbrook had Steph Curry sliding back onto his heels faster than an unsupervised kid wheeling his way through the mall for the entirety of seven, hard fought playoff games.
Eh, probably just coincidental timing. Surely they felt this way before Russell Westbrook's ungodly usage rate helped him attain an MVP award. They just didn't feel like confidently saying so out loud without their names attached until the efficiency of Russell Westbrook's skill set was hampered by the lack of talent around him.
Wouldn't you know it, Golden State is a great team that's only cocky enough to publicly talk about how great they are after they've already won!?! It will be interesting to see if their opinion of Russell Westbrook's offensive dominance/versatility changes once Paul George and Carmelo Anthony took over the wings that were previously manned by Victor Oladipo and Andre Roberson. Who wants to bet that we will only hear this contextual drivel about it being "cake" if the Warriors end up with another one to cut come next summer?
SportingNews- At Sunday's team scrimmage, Sixers coach Brett Brown was asked if he was comfortable with the state of Fultz's shot. (Spoiler alert: Uh, not really.)
"No. No. And so we're going to get back on track," Brown said (via The Athletic's Derek Bodner). "All by himself, he pivoted out over the summer and tried to make it better and tweak it. He's in a place right now where we're going to try to remind him of where his shot was, and try to bring that back into more of a tighter shot."
Brown then tried to quell any concerns Monday by brushing it off as a "young guy that's trying to come into the league and make improvements."
Good news? The first overall pick in the NBA draft didn't get complacent or rest on his laurels, and worked to improve himself in the offseason.
Bad news? He didn't.
I guess we shouldn't be too surprised that a 19 year old - when left to his own devices - managed to utilize those devices in a way that was only slightly less detrimental than a child trying to make toast while taking a bath. When you really think about, Markelle Fultz is right around the high end of the age range in which you'd expect a kid to get scolded for "just trying to help". He probably stood about as good of a chance at correcting his own shooting stroke as he did of cooking the family dinner without setting off a fire alarm, but the attempt - in and of itself - is still commendable, regardless of the result.
Now, I'm not sure why he thought studying the free throw shooting of Shaquille O'Neal and DeAndre Jordan would be beneficial to his game, but I imagine the fact that he did had Sixers' coach Brett Brown stepping outside to get some air before saying something that he would Iive to regret.
I mean, good grief, is that an ugly shot. We better not let the ghost of James Naismith get a glimpse of a release more hesitant than that of Chris Foerster having unprotected sex with his stripper sidepiece, or he'll haunt the NBA worse than CTE is haunting the NFL. That overly cautious form honestly has the aesthetic appeal of tossing a 'Spalding' to your drunk Uncle on Thanksgiving and saying "make this shot or you're not getting any leftovers". So while I'm not entirely surprised that a teenager failed in trying to fix something without supervision, I am absolutely stunned that he started shot-putting his free shots off the back of the iron and said to himself "there, perfect".
Rick Pitino Was Pocketing Millions From Adidas, And Will Probably Go Down As A Legendary Sports' Weasel
CourierJournal- When University of Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich announced a new deal with athletic apparel giant Adidas on Aug. 25, a reporter asked him if some of the proceeds would be shared with the university.
“It’s for the athletic department,” Jurich replied. “It’s for these student-athletes. It’s been earmarked for them.”
In fact, under the current deal with Adidas, which expires July 1, 98 percent of the cash provided by Adidas goes to one person: Rick Pitino, the now-suspended head coach.
In 2015-16, for example, $1.5 million went to Pitino under his personal services agreement with the apparel company while just $25,000 went to the program, according to a contract obtained by the Courier-Journal under the state public records act.
The year before, Pitino also got $1.5 million, while the department banked just $10,000.
Under the existing contract and the new one, any money that Adidas pays to University of Louisville coaches under personal service agreements is deducted from what the company gives to the athletic program.
“Players come here in part because of Coach Pitino. Coaching is part of what we give to student-athletes,” Klein said last month before a bribery scandal prompted the suspensions of Jurich and Pitino.
I don't know if it's a testament to Rick Pitino's Napoleon-esque stature that he was able to lurk below the grass long enough to slither his way into the 'Hall Of Fame', but I'll be damned if doesn't make a better snake than he does a college basketball coach. And honestly, that's not even a knock on his command of the collegiate hardwood. Like, pound for pound? May not be a more impressive weasel in the world of sports than the blood sucking son of a bitch that, ironically enough, looks like Dracula's vertically challenged brother.
Sure, he was aided by the lack of conscience necessary to plead ignorance over, and over, and over again as someone who quite obviously had his finger on the pulse of everything that was happening under his watch, but you don't achieve that amount of success by being a run-of-the-mill pathological liar. No sir. I have met far too many people who are completely full of shit and not going down (literally) in sports history for me to think that Ricky Baby didn't have a special type of moral-less compass.
I mean, we are talking about a guy that might as well have said "Adidas? Is that a type of Spanish food" in response to allegations that he was siphoning off the small percentage of their millions that he wasn't using to line his own pockets to purchase high prized recruits. Let's (three) strip(e) this situation free of the basketball for a second. It takes a virtuoso in the art of ethical compartmentalization to be able to go swimming in a pool of shoe company's cash only to attempt to wipe yourself clean of any nefarious affiliation with that mildly dirty money when the accusation against you is soaked in evidence. It's one thing to launder payments through a innocuous business venture like a good Italian boy. But to do so as a universally recognized public figure whose profession plays out on television? Man, it's a wonder that all the corruption he had stuffed in his closet didn't come out in the cleaners, and I think that technically makes him an expert (d)illusionary.
Sidenote: Yeah, we definitely shouldn't put aside funds for student athletes. You know, since the ever-marginalized universities are already "paying them in coaching". That money is way better spent supplementing the astronomical income of someone whose services are apparently also - in and of themselves - a form of currency?
Don't feel bad, I had a tough time understanding that last sentence as I was writing it, and that speaks to the complete fucking shitshow that is the business of college athletics.
Adam Silver Implied That The NBA Might Be Willing To Eventually Shorten Their Season, So What's His End Game?
USAToday- “We can play games in China and Europe, or occasional preseason games as a one-off, but under existing airline technology, the planes aren’t fast enough to at least play in the current frame work of our regular season,” Silver, who did not attend Thursday's game but plans on attending the Warriors-Wolves preseason game in Shanghai on Sunday, said by phone. “(But) it may be something we’ll be looking at over the coming years, is what a regular season schedule look like a decade from now.”
The premise, of course, is that an 82-game schedule would likely be too taxing if there was intercontinental travel added to the schedule.
“There’s nothing magical about 82 games,” Silver continued. “It’s been in place for 50 years, but for the long-term planning of the league, as we learn more about the human body and the wear and tear of travel and the competitive landscape ... invariably we’ll look at the regular season. And in looking at the regular season, it may create more opportunities for international franchises.”
Wait, so what's the catch? I know Adam Silver is the rare breed of Commissioner in that he isn't an out-of-touch moron that never removes his eyes from the current bottomline, but there's just got to be a catch. Did he just imply there might be LESS games while addressing topics as taboo as the future and the overarching health of his employees? I mean, I suppose there would have to be if they truly wanted to infiltrate the Asian market via international relocation, but that seems way too player friendly of a concept for a Commissioner to be talking about publicly?
Did Adam Silver get too big for britches and forget about the wealthy, predominantly white owners and their all-important revenue stream? Doesn't he know he's supposed to be resistant to any and all change unless said change is controversial, if not immediately frowned upon by all parties? If I have learned anything from the tenure of Roger Goodell, it's that the head of a professional sports league is supposed to prioritize being stubbornly unresponsive. If Gary Bettman's decade-long undefeated streak as the most hated man in every stadium he steps into is any indication then endearing yourself to your employees is a fatal proposition. Shortening the schedule of a regular season that always seem to drag in order to increase the worldwide exposure of the brand while preserving the lower body health of it's players? HA! I don't know what futuristic world Adam Silver is living in, but he better relax with this forward thinking bullshit before he gets stripped of his power out of fear that he might abuse it at the expense of that all-too-alluring concessionary income.
Kenyon Martin Was Critical Of Jeremy Lin's Dreadlocks, And Jeremy Lin Shut Him Up With The Quickness
If we are being perfectly honest, I wouldn't have thought twice about Jeremy Lin's dreadlocks if he didn't write up some super self important 'Players' Tribune' article about how his newest wacky 'do is some sort of follically-inspired attempt at becoming a multi-cultural liaison. Maybe it's because I'm not African American and therefore it wasn't my hairstyle that was being adopted by someone less than racially inclined, but treating each cornrow like it was actually an olive branch to a more unified tomorrow seemed wildly unnecessary, if not painfully ill advised.
If I had to guess, Kenyon Martin wouldn't have even commented on Lin's new look if he didn't publish some piece that beat him to punch. The mantra that a professional sports league is "a family" is overused at best and largely bullshit at worst, but if there's an organization (or more accurately, 'Association') that does a decent job embracing it then it's the NBA. That's why I don't think there would be too much outcry amongst black players if someone who has managed to thrive amongst their culture were to plop down in a barber's chair and appropriate it without turning his decision to do so into an online spectacle. Maybe I am totally wrong on this, but I don't even think the contentiousness with Carmelo Anthony following the 'Linsanity' era was enough to cost Jeremy his black card. That's why his plea for it to get upgraded with benefits was not only odd, but likely what made Kenyon Martin speak on it in over-the-top fashion.
The results of him doing so, however, were...well...in a word...incredible...
ROASTED. The slick-tongued, bad boy of 'Big 3' basketball set aflame by a quick and easy observation made the NBA's most notable Harvard grad. Actually, now that I put it that way it seems a lot less than stunning that Jeremy Lin and his 'Ivy League' education were able to outsmart Kenyon Martin, but you just don't expect the Asian dude to win a war of words with someone who has a pair of lips tattooed on his neck. Especially not when his weapons of choice were nothing more than his eyeballs and kindness.
As a proud New Jersey Nets (R.I.P.) fan, I'll always love Kenyon Martin. But I'll be damned if he doesn't look stupid for trying to champion the undeniable blackness of tightly twisted hair with something that probably translates to "I am a sucker" or "I like turtles" forever inked on his arm in Chinese.
The NBA Has Made Changes To Their All Star Game, Which Will Now Feature A Draft...And The Same Brand Of Boring Basketball
I want you read Chris Paul's comment on these changes...
"I'm thrilled with what the players and the league have done to improve the All Star Game, which has been a priority for all of us. We're looking forward to putting on an entertaining show in L.A."
...and take it with the grain of salt, because this has absolutely nothing to do with the actual game of basketball that couldn't be further from a priority to him or anyone else participating in it.
I'm all for the NBA playing up to their status as professional sports' best soap opera, as long as we can all agree that these "improvements to the All Star Game" will begin and end prior to the tip-off.
Personally, I appreciate the fact that the most intriguing moments of the weekend will be shortened into a succinct draft format where it will be easy to tell which of the world's best basketball players still harbor clear and present resentment for their current rivals or former teammates. After all, LeBron is all but guaranteed to do something that could potentially be laughed off as harmless, but will absolutely be a pointed insult at the "kid" sitting stoically across the room that goes by the name Kyrie. It will nothing short of hilarious to watch Russell Westbrook appear to smell the shit on his upper lip as Kevin Durant live tweets all the reasons he's not going to pick him from 15 anonymous, non-verified accounts. The rest of the Golden State Warriors' starting lineup is sure to say they don't care where they were drafted, only to have Draymond Green whine about it being an unforgivable slight mere hours later. There's nothing not to love about that type of good, old fashioned hostility.
I just don't expect any of those grudges to truly translate on the court, or for this fun little gimmick to leave me feeling any more satisfied when it ultimately results in another defenseless, non-competitive game. Whether selected by conference or peers, professional basketball players are always going to be more worried about staying healthy than putting on a entertaining show in a completely meaningless game, and rightfully so.
Admittedly, there's nothing Adam Silver could have done to get players to put forth an actual effort. In that sense, creating a platform that allows the pettiness and passive aggressiveness that makes the NBA so damn entertaining all year round to thrive was a smooth move. It just wasn't slick enough to convince me that the actual All Star Game itself will be 'must-watch' at best, or any different at worst.
LaVar Ball Is Going To Home School LaMelo Ball, Because What Better Way To Turn Him Into His Protege?
You know, you have got to hand it to LaVar Ball. It takes a truly special kind of delusion to hear "we don't want your son to take FIFTY shots a game" and absorb it as "we don't want your son on the team". In fact, you might say it takes that same type of delusion to pull your kid out of high school because the atmosphere surrounding said high school has become a circus when you were unquestionably the ringmaster of that circus.
That's why I couldn't be more interested in sitting in on one of these homeschoolings. I'd be absolutely stunned if LaVar Ball assigned a reading from a single book that wasn't personally engineered by the brain of LaVar Ball, so his distorted view of reality would simply have to provide an entertaining curriculum. We are talking about a guy that might actually believe he was better than both Rob Gronkowski and Michael Jordan despite maxing out athletically as New York Jets' roster fodder. You think he's paying much attention to degrees and credentials? Are you seriously convinced he's concerned with creating a syllabus that suits societal standards? Those classes will be about as historically accurate as its teacher's appearances on 'First Take', and I couldn't be more on board with LaMelo soaking them all in.
Seriously, who cares about the ramifications that studying and training under someone who is at least partially crazy could have on LaMelo's future? That ship likely already sailed once the signature shoe of a high schooler was metaphorically used to stomp on the foot of an organization as uptight as the NCAA. At this point, LaMelo's collegiate career has already been put in jeopardy so his father might as well sneak some of that irrational confidence into the lesson plan to make up for the difference in talent between him and his professional PG of a brother. Screw 'Algebra' and 'Biology', if LaVar wants to make sure his youngest son attains long term success then he should start hammering home that 'Big Baller Brand' business acumen that basically just requires you to be the brashest person in the room at all times. The chances that - combined with backpacking his sibling's success in Hollywood - proves profitable is probably higher than the chances of a kid who skipped out on high school and may have shunned college while making a mockery of AAU ball has a final destination in the NBA.
My, oh my, how what was once (probably self importantly) considered the 'Mecca of Basketball' has all-but-crumbled right before our eyes.
Just consider this for one second. There are Knicks fans that walked down the subway stairs dodging the requests of presumptuous panhandlers like they were thrust into some financially irresponsible game of 'Frogger', ignoring the scattering of disease carrying rodents that are only a lack or trash away from gnawing at their limbs, and instinctually limiting their breaths to avoid the undeniable smell of human piss. Yet, it took the arrival of their mode of transportation - that they were waiting for with hundreds of equally pissed off peers - for the presence of their favorite team's most well compensated players to have their spirits hit rock bottom.
Now, I can't see this counterproductive promotion of the Knicks' organizational dysfunction lasting too long since Joakim Noah's salary is probably the only number higher than the amount of copyright laws broken here. In reality, this really speaks to FS1's desperation for even the most fleeting of attention more than anything, because the city where cynicism never sleeps didn't need a train car to tell them the New York Knicks will suck beyond a foreseeable solution. Still, the fact that an ode to their abject failure as a franchise fits in perfectly on an underground transit system that most closely resembles the depths of hell is pretty symbolic of how likely they are to get railroaded this coming season.
P.S. Slapping Noah's jersey on a bench is just absolutely ruthless. Somehow, it's even more mean than making light of Whoopi Goldberg's featured role in a sports comedy that only made it impossible to suspend disbelief when the Knicks started to look promising.
If His Description Of Aron Baynes Naked Is Any Indication, Celtics Broadcaster Tommy Heinsohn Might Know Too Much About The Team
“I took a look at Baynes in the shower. He looks like ALL of Australia. He is really put together.”
I'm not sure dropping less than subtle references to the...err...hang time of professional athletes is a precedent that anyone wants set amongst filterless old men who cover NBA teams. However, if you are absolutely unable to hold your tongue about what you saw when the proverbial curtains got lifted then you damn well better speak glowingly of your findings.
Let's just say this, I think this would be a far more egregious example of TMI if Tommy Heinsohn was throwing zingers about what Aron Baynes lacks "down under" in explaining why he's more limbering than lumbering in the post. I'm not entirely sure I understand what "he looks like ALL of Australia" means, but I'm sure the subject of that joke will appreciate the clear implication that he's tickling his knee cap when his compression shorts come off. The only person who stood to find themselves offended by this metaphorical pants'ing was the Celtics big (in more ways than one) man, and something tells me a white dude is totally cool with being made to sound like he still looks impressive naked while amongst predominantly black teammates.
Now again, it's probably a good time to limit Tommy Heinsohn's behind-the-scenes access to somewhere short of the showers. After all, he's certainly not going to become any less susceptible to inappropriate dick jokes with age. Still, if you're going to talk about a basketball player being "put together" like he's a goddamn Erector set then it's best that said Erector set could be hazardous to even the most grown of adults.
I'm not going to pretend to know what kind of underwhelming offers the Knicks received for Carmelo Anthony. I just wonder whether or it is at all possible that they decided to go with the underwhelming offer from the man who apparently spent the summer mastering the wizardry required to get teams to accept underwhelming offers solely out of spite. At first I just thought the Rockets simply didn't have enough to give up to get Carmelo, but considering what the Knicks ended up taking? I think I'm inclined to say that a lack of non-laughable return wasn't what kept him out of Houston, but rather some sick and twisted satisfaction that the Knicks got from refusing him his first choice.
That might sound crazy considering Melo ended up in situation that is just as good - if not better - for his skill set and championship aspirations, but think about the organization we are talking about here. Is the possibility really that remote that they considered a defensive downgrade from their defensive liability the slightest of moral victories over the man whose no trade clause potentially fried Phil Jackson's brain beyond recognition? If so, then give me a reason that's better than "James Dolan is an insecure little man with an unproportionally-sized ego that refuses to let anyone tell him what to do" for taking on Enes Kanter's contract instead of...well...almost anything the Rockets had to offer.
Man, basketball is really going to miss Rick Pitino. I honestly can't think of one single person who was more concerned with upholding the values, traditions, and what little else is actually "good" and genuine about collegiate athletics. If you completely ignore the fact that he didn't consider any of the rules and regulations applicable to him, then he is actually the perfect candidate to champion for ever-decreasing integrity amongst the NCAA.
That's why this video of a freshly re-re-disgraced Rick Pitino reprimanding reporters for being somewhere they shouldn't be in coverage of someone that's done almost everything he shouldn't do is so perfect. His high horse might have four broken legs, but you can bet your ass that short, hypocritical Italian man is still going to take advantage of one of his last opportunities to scream from atop it. You tell them Ricky! Slick back that head of hair and point them off the property baby! Doesn't matter that you're no longer welcome on that property after turning it into a breeding ground for personal and organizational corruption, because - considering the termination of your contract requires 10 days notice - you can still technically legislate it one last time! Public infidelity, team funded prostitution, and paid recruitment be damned, because you, nameless reporter, don't belong here!!!
Ah man, Rick Pitino is really taking after his own semen in shamefully leaving prematurely. Going to miss him blatantly contradicting his words with almost each and every one of his actions...
Watch Michael Beasley Debate The Brain Percentage Required To Determine What Percentage Of Your Brain You Use
Uhhhh, I'm gonna leave this one to Ari Gold...
Honestly, this is an extremely weird topic for the journeyman bust to broach when he's fresh off the heels of calling Stephen A. Smith a liar for making him the subject of one his patented "weeeeed-uh" rants...
"He's a liar, bro," Beasley said. "I love the words he uses, I love how adamant he is, especially when he's wrong because if you're not going to stand for yourself, who is going to stand for you? Cool. But it's like literally, I've sat next to guys he was on the TV talking about, and (Smith's) saying, 'Man, I just got off the phone with this guy.' And literally, I'm next to that guy he's talking about, and he says, 'Man, I've never even been in a room with Stephen A.' Why does what you say have credibility when literally everybody knows you're lying about it?"
I don't mean to say that Michael Beasley would have to have just smoked to get into a full fledged argument about the percentage of the brain required to discuss brain percentages, but Mary Jane's damage would definitely already had to have been done. Like, if he truly is off the green and this wasn't some faded realization then that 10% of his brain that he uses is perma-fried. I guess - going by his hallucinogenic logic - he would need to have 11% of his brain available to him to become self aware that he's forever stoned, but he's not making a great case that he isn't by speaking whatever otherworldly shit is on 10% of the mind of a man that chose to go on TV with a watch on three of his four limbs.