October 27th, 2014
You didn’t really think Steve Nash was going to stay healthy and play again did you? Once you have nerve damage in any part of your body, I’m pretty sure that you don’t just heal from that over time. Nash knew he had no chance to play this year, but simply came back to collect a $9 million social security check from the Lakers. This is actually a good thing the way I see it. Jeremy Lin is now going to get a ton of minutes to pump up his stats and increase his value by the trade deadline, which can return some valuable assets for the team. It’s a sad way to go out for Nash, but it’s still a trade that at the time, it was a no brainer to do. Thanks for the little you contributed to the Lakers Steve, and the little value you might still bring before it’s over.
I’ve gotta address that stupid article that ESPN writer Henry Abbott wrote about nobody wanting to play with Kobe. This is a very tired storyline, that people have unsuccessfully tried to write about for twenty years. Abbot wrote a story just to get some clicks without any balance, and lacking some critical information. He uses Shaquille O’Neal, Andrew Bynum, and Dwight Howard, as examples of players that had issues with Kobe. He also failed to mentioned that Shaq had issues with Penny Hardaway and Dwayne Wade, Bynum had issues wherever he went after the Lakers, and the fact that Dwight Howard had accountability issues in Orlando and Houston. It’s also funny that he got unnamed agents as sources for his story, yet he didn’t ask Pau Gasol, Matt Barnes, Steve Blake, Derek Fisher, or Rick Fox how they felt about Kobe. That’s because all those guys loved playing with him. Even Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, free agents that didn’t sign with the Lakers, thought that the story was ridiculous.
Also, for Abbott and everybody else that keep focusing on how “terrible” the Lakers decision was to pay Kobe $48 million over two years, you are all missing a valuable piece of information. The Lakers TV contract with Timer Warner includes a provision that says the ratings must remain at a certain level to receive a certain share of profitability. Without Kobe Bryant, those ratings drop immensely. In fact, they would drop to a level that ultimately make it much more costly to lose him, than to pay him the $48 million. It was just as much as basketball decision as it was a business decision.
To college football, where the UCLA Bruins are finding new ways to embarrass themselves. The Bruins blew a 17 point lead against Colorado, yet pulled out a 40-37 win in overtime. Colorado?? You can’t be serious right? These guys shouldn’t even be in Division I football, let alone the Pac 12. UCLA is setting themselves up for some serious failure over the final month of the regular season. They appear to be in serious decline, and are putting themselves in position to be embarrassed in their final four games of the season, including a game against the Trojans. Not only do they have to win out to have a chance to win the Pac 12 South, but they need to hope Utah and Arizona State start losing some conference games as well.
Meanwhile, those Trojans really know how to break your heart right? USC gave up another lead late, and lost at Utah 24-21. The Trojans got some good luck at Stanford and Arizona. This game felt a lot like those games, but USC was due to come up on the short end of one of these road games in conference after those two lucky wins. Most of you Trojan fans want to murder Sark, but it’s really on the players to make more plays and win more of these close games. Sark did the right thing by going for it late in the game, since Andre Heidari was banged up. Heck, if Nelson Agholor stayed in bounds, the Trojans probably would have won. I also don’t understand why Utah fans rushed the field after winning the game. They do realize they were actually ranked ahead of the Trojans coming into the game right? You could even see one of the Utah players utter the words “we’re going to a bowl game” when it was over. That guy would get slapped if he were playing in a lot of programs. It just goes to show you the vast difference between these two athletic programs.
On to the NFL where after 7 weeks, the story lines have completely flipped. I guess Tom Brady and the Patriots aren’t that old and washed up anymore. Gronk hadn’t done that much damage since the last time he was in Vegas. I guess that Chargers might not actually be able to compete with the Broncos after. I guess the Rams and Falcons are actually that bad. The Seahawks may have beaten Carolina, but their locker room problems suddenly make them nothing like the team we thought. Can anyone actually take control of the AFC North? Ben Roethlisberger is the first QB with multiple games of 500 or more passing yards and only two rapes. Meanwhile, the Saints are filing a petition with the league to play every game at home. And finally, the Bills and Jets are just full of laughs. Sammy Watkins cracked the champagne a little too soon on this one…..
Quick thought on the Dodgers and their managerial situation this past week. When Joe Maddon left the Rays this week, everyone immediately thought it was a foregone conclusion he was going to the Dodgers. I’m sure Andy Friedman knew all along that Maddon could leave the Rays. The fact that he immediately told everyone that Don Mattingly was going to manage the Dodgers next year tells you everything you need to know here. If he thought that Maddon was a better fit than Mattingly, he would have immediately hit the eject button on the LA skipper. Friedman made the correct choice here. Don Mattingly may still be improving as an in-game manager, but he is absolutely the best person to manage the egos of the Dodger players, rather than Maddon.
Let’s go to the ice, where the Kings are rolling, but they got a huge scare yesterday. Anze Kopitar left the game after a collision behind the net. Make no mistake about it, the Kings cannot actually lose Kopitar for any length of time, or else they will suffer at both ends of the ice. Coach Darryl Sutter downplayed the injury, but then again, he downplays everything. Oh yea, the team has also won six in a row, and for the first time in history, they had a 6-0 homestand.
Finally, another great episode of The Walking Dead last night. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it. Quick summary: Bob tells Gareth and his friends that they are idiots because he’s been bitten, so they ate infected meat. Gareth and his friends leave Bob in front of the church where Rick and the gang find him. Bob tells Rick what happened. Gareth and the cannibals try to ambush the group at the church, but Rick is ready for it. Rick and the crew kill Gareth and his entire group. Sadly, Bob dies. Then, Michonne finds Darryl at the end of the episode in the woods. She asks “where is Carol?” Darryl says “come out.” Except we don’t know who he is telling that to when the episode ends.
I definitely thought the Gareth saga would last a lot longer than it did. I gotta admit, he had kind of a charismatic side to him that we saw early in the episode. On a more disgusting note, he is basically a cannibal “foodie”, as he talks about his taste for women. His fate had to be celebrated by all fans of the show. I’m actually shocked that Gabriel is no mastermind, and is actually just a really big pansy. I also don’t really know why Bob had such a long ceremonious like death. There were other characters in the show that had more significance, yet their deaths were not as long and drawn out. Lastly, I’m not really sure why Maggie acting so cool since her sister was kidnapped by a bunch of strangers. I guess we’ll find out more on that in the next episode.