Monthly Archives: June 2015

Monday Morning Coffee

D'Angelo Russell Drafted

June 29th, 2015

Let’s start with the surprising events of the NBA draft.  Although it’s easy to say “let’s wait and see how the next three weeks turn out”, I can only judge the Lakers based on what transpired in the last few days.  Selecting D’Angelo Russell was a very risky pick.  An unnecessary risk that the franchise didn’t need to take.  He might be a superstar, as Mitch Kupchak and Byron Scott suggested, but he might also be a bust.  On the other hand, they could have selected Jahlil Okafor, who is probably one of the most skilled big men in the draft in the last 10 years.  Although there is some concern about his basketball IQ after hearing him willingly say he would like to play for the 76ers, LA still should have taken him.   There’s the notion that the Lakers could have two great guards now in Jordan Clarkson and Russell.  But imagine having a dominant front court with Okafor and Julius Randle for the next decade?  That’s an even more rare find.  Now, who is going to play center? It sure isn’t going to be Lamarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, or Marc Gasol.  As if that wasn’t frustrating enough, the Lakers had the chance to get arguably the best shooter in the draft at #27 in RJ Hunter, or UCLA’s talented Kevin Looney, and instead they took Larry Nance Jr, who they could easily have had in round 2.

Speaking of Nance Jr, How embarrassing was it when the Lakers didn’t do their due diligence on Nance, and found out he sent out some inappropriate tweets about Kobe from a few years back?  Don’t we all know that even in the NBA, like when applying for jobs, you are liable for posting stupid ass things on your social media? Of course Kobe downplayed the whole thing, and said Nance apologized, as did Bobby Portis after his dumb tweet about the Bulls a few years ago.  Still, I’m sure Nance will have a ton of fun guarding Kobe in practice during his rookie season.  NBA teams better start doing better due diligence on guys before they find out they tweeted non-sense like this….

Nance Tweet

Bobby Portis tweet

The Knicks are amazing.  They operate like a franchise being run by a kid playing 2K franchise mode after a night of binge drinking.  Whenever you feel really down about your team, just think…’s not as bad as Knicks fans have it…..

Then there’s the always exciting NBA free agency that awaits on Wednesday morning.  Although the Lakers have money, unless they can somehow find a way to pull off the Demarcus Cousins trade, there’s no way Lamarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, or any other big man of significance is signing with them.  Veteran free agents want to win immediately as well as make money.  Aldridge will get that when he signs with the Spurs, and Love will get that when he re-signs with the Cavs.  Say what you will about Cousins but he’s a proven all-star talent, and any team with him is in way better position to attract other star players than without him.  There’s about a 50-50 chance the Clippers can retain DeAndre Jordan.  For some reason he seems to be intrigued by the Mavs.  The Spurs will have to compete for Tim Duncan’s services with a couple of shuffleboard teams, 2 badminton teams, and a bingo hall.  I’m sure Lebron’s demands after opting out will include being paid the entire salary cap, having JR Smith executed, and having the team name changed to “The Lebron’s”.  I completely understand his desire to maximize his earnings by opting out, but the notion that he has leverage is silly.  No way he has the balls to leave Cleveland, no matter what happens.

Just when you think Pete Rose is getting a little bit closer to getting re-instated, or getting put into the Baseball Hall of Fame, something else comes out about him that damages his chances.  This time it was documents that revealed that he bet on baseball as a player, in addition to betting as a manager.            Ok, I get it. Gambling on the game, even if not against your own team, totally impacts the integrity of the game and the decisions that are being made as a player and a coach.  It’s wrong.  However, the man won three World Series titles, three batting titles, and an MVP.  He’s clearly a pathological liar, but his character is just as flawed as all the other steroid users and cheaters that have embodied the game of baseball for centuries.  As I have said with the steroid users, you can’t tell the story of baseball without Rose.  Heck, re-instate the man and leave it up to the individual ball clubs to decide if they should hire him.  Unfortunately, Pete just can’t seem to fully come clean, and it will probably never happen.

The Dodgers may have taken two of three from the Marlins over the weekend, but this team has been more unimpressive than the 2016 Republican party presidential candidates.  Zack Greinke got his first win in almost two months, and the Dodgers barely gave him any run support.  The defense was also a total let down in Clayton Kershaw’s start on Saturday night.  LA is struggling to score, and their pitching depth is highly questionable.  Hurry up and make some trades Andy Friedman, or else you’ll be getting punked in October when things matter.

As for the Angels, they won yesterday on the always exciting walk off wild pitch.  The Halos are staying within striking distance of the Astros, just 4 games back in the AL West.  I said they needed a spark to get them going, and they may have found it in Andrew Heaney.  He looked great in his first start against the Astros, and may push this team further up the standings if he’s as good as all those nerdy baseball experts say he is.  Now, if only somebody other than Mike Trout and Albert Pujols can hit the ball, the Angels might actually go somewhere.

Thanks to P Diddy for doing something stupid this week, and actually giving me something to write about in the dog days of summer.  Justin Combs, Diddy’s son, was apparently humiliated by UCLA Football Coach Sam Alosi in practice.  That caused P Diddy to approach Alosi after practice, and eventually attack him with a kettlebell, resulting in Diddy’s arrest.  Come on Diddy.  Everyone knows you never mess with the strength and conditioning coach.  Those are the guys that buy their “made in Bangladesh” polo shirts two sizes too small for them, and are sure to kick your ass.  This also seems like a great opportunity for UCLA to upgrade their athletic facility (which is badly needed) and sweep this whole thing under the rug with a nice big fat donation from Diddy.  How about $20 million for the “Diddy Practice Field”? I’m extremely disappointed in TMZ that they haven’t found a way to get a hold of the video either.

On to some puck where the Kings and Ducks are doing their best to try and manage the ever tightening salary cap with free agency about to get underway.  The Kings traded for Boston winger Milan Lucic on Friday, illustrating that they are clearly in “win-now” mode.  The Kings also said goodbye to Mike Richards, buying him out of his miserable contract.  That move should have been made last summer, but Kings GM Dean Lombardi was too loyal.  Lombardi obviously hasn’t watched Game of Thrones, otherwise he would know what loyalty gets you.   Richards went into “party mode” and never came out of it after helping the Kings win two cups.  You’ll probably find him drinking at the nearest Manhattan Beach bar, while Jarret Stoll is in the bathroom doing coke.

The Ducks are having struggles of their own trying to re-sign winger Matt Beleskey. They acquired speedy Carl Hagelin from the Rangers as a replacement.  Anaheim is in a slightly better salary cap situation, but for some reason they acquired another goaltender in the trade with Carolina.  I guess this puts them in excellent position to start a different goaltender in each playoff round before they are eliminated.

Gay marriage legalized.  Obama singing Amazing Grace.  Escaped murder killed by police.  I haven’t seen this much action in one day since 24!

Finally, months ago, I talked about what a foolish selection it was to pick Boston over LA to represent the U.S. in a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.  Nobody in Boston wants the summer games.  The residents are annoyed as hell there has been no communication, and they know it’s going to cost a shit load.  The plan has been a disaster, and now the US Olympic Committe is increasingly considering abandoning the Boston plan and going back to LA.  Southern California is littered with existing modern infrastructure, more than equipped to handle the games, and potentially make it even profitable.  Not to mention the fact that we’ll likely have a brand new privately financed football stadium in the next five years, which can serve as an Olympic Stadium as well.  Bring the summer games back to LA.  It’s been a success before and will be a success again.

Boston No Olympics





Monday Morning Coffee

Steph Champagne

June 22nd, 2015

In the end, it wasn’t all that surprising.  The NBA’s best team during the regular season, the Golden State Warriors, were the 2015 NBA Champions.  If you ask Steve Kerr what the most important decision he made was that led to the title, I’m sure he’ll tell you that it was turning down the Knicks job.  Props to Mark Jackson for enduring a season of broadcasting his former employers games, and become a championship squad right in front of him.  I’m sure he had his vomit bag handy during game 6.  As well as Andre Iguodola played, poor choice selecting him as the MVP.  It should have gone to Steph Curry.  He hit 40 more playoff 3’s than anybody in history, and he was the reason Iggy got all those open looks.  I guess Iggy “locked down” Lebron to the point where he couldn’t score 50, and had to settle for 35 and a triple double every game.  In any case, the Warriors are going to be contenders for the next few years, even in a stacked Western Conference.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is receiving more support than Lebron James did from his teammates in the NBA Finals.  I can just hear Delonte West asking Lebron: “what kind of fucked up Fathers Day gift is this?”  As much fun as it can be to pile on superstars because you hate them, Lebron was amazing, and you’re a moron if you think otherwise.  This is the best league in the world, and one player nearly beat 5.  That’s how good Lebron was.  If the Cavs bring this team back next year, and they are healthy, they can and should win the NBA championship.  As for his relationship with David Blatt, you can criticize him for that.  Lebron has no respect for the man, and that could be the only real hinderance to the Cavs winning a title in the future.  Frankly, if you have a superstar like Lebron, you need to make sure you have a coach who commands respect, and Blatt isn’t one that does.  Lebron has never had an elite coach that he has been forced to listen to like Jordan, Kobe, Magic, or Duncan had.  Maybe that’s what’s really preventing him from truly being one of the best ever.  As if it can’t get any worse for Cleveland, Browns training camp opens up in a few weeks.

On to the NBA draft, which is just 4 days away.  Laker fans haven’t been this excited since Mike D’Antoni was fired last year.  There still is some chatter regarding who the Lakers should take with the #2 pick, which will most likely be a choice between Jahlil Okafor and D’Angelo Russell.  Selecting Okafor is the correct choice, and nobody should even think twice.  Skilled big men are rare, and for decades, have been a critical ingredient for championship success.  Sure, some of you will try to convince yourself that “it’s a point guard league”, and that the NBA champions are built around a point guard.  That may be true, but they are also the first team since the Isaiah Thomas Pistons of 1990 that won a title while being constructed in such a way.  The Warriors also happen have the best shooting backcourt in NBA history.  Okafor has won at every level, been an elite player at every level he’s played at, and can continue to be elite in the NBA.  There’s a D’Angelo Russell available in the draft every year.  There isn’t a Jahlil Okafor, who can continue the tradition of great Laker big men.

Then there’s the Clippers, who made some headlines of their own last week.  First, they agreed to swap garbage with the Charlotte Hornets, trading Matt Barnes and Spencer Hawes for Lance Stephenson.  This is a perfect fit.  Stephenson blew in Lebron’s ear in the Eastern Conference finals.    If anyone knows about blowing in the playoffs, it’s the Clippers.   The Clipps don’t have many options to improve their roster, so they had to take a chance on Stepehnson, and ultimately, it’s a pretty low risk move considering they can cut ties with him next year if it doesn’t work out.  He was dismal last year with the Hornets, but he can’t make them much worse than they already are at the small forward position.  What is much worse however, are those nasty new uniforms the Clippers unveiled.  Who the hell approved this?  It’s like Steve Ballmer went to Walmart and bought some jersey design software from the $5 bin.  I’m not sure why they didn’t get a sense this was going to be the reaction when the design leaked on the internet weeks ago, and just squashed the idea.  Straight garbage.


Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks, who won won their 3rd Stanley Cup Championship in 6 years.  That’s a feat that would take the Cubs and the Bears 600 years to accomplish.  The NHL hasn’t exactly been a league of parity for the last 5 years like many people characterize it.  The league has mostly been dominated by the Blackhawks, who may not be a true dynasty (3 titles in a row, or 3 out of 4), but as close as you’ll come to one in the NHL’s salary cap era.  Sorry LA, you’ve won two cups in four years, but right now, the Hawks are the team of the decade.  Much like the Kings, they’ve played a lot of playoff hockey the last 5 years, but their style of play is all about speed, skill, and playing an uptempo style.  That style is much more conducive to long-term success, unlike LA, who’s style is based on puck possession and physical play, that has worn them out to the point of missing the playoffs.  Then again, you can only play that style when you have world class players like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.  They may not be the Oilers or Islanders of the 1980’s, but the Hawks are a modern day powerhouse with staying power.  Even this guy thinks so….

I guess the Dodgers got tired of taking a beating from the Giants yesterday, and finally fought back to salvage a game in their 3 game set.  Apparently nobody has told Don Mattingly that he’s supposed to beat his division rival, because in only 1 of the 4 series against the Giants this season, both Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke have started.  Despite hanging onto first place, does anybody actually believe these guys are really contenders?  Their starters can’t get past the 5th or 6th inning, their middle-relief is made up of a bunch of failed cast-offs that are still failing, their shortstop is barely hitting over .200, and they keep getting destroyed by the Giants and Cardinals.  This team was supposed to be better constructed than last season, but I would argue that it’s even worse off against the elite teams.  Changes better be coming before July 31st, or else it will be another year further from the last title in 1988.

I was quite surprised to learn that the St. Louis Cardinals of all teams are being accused of stealing information from the Houston Astros.  This is the Cardinals we are talking about.  What happened to “the Cardinal way”?  I’m sure when they hacked into the Astros computer, it was done in an “ethical” way right?  Let’s not loose our minds here folks.  This has nothing to do with how the Cardinals handle their business on the field, and there’s no reason to believe they are doing anything like stealing signs.  This is simply about some front office executives getting back at former Cards General Manager Jeffrey Luhnow.  The Simpsons predicted this would happen long ago….

The Angels just can’t get it going.  They had a chance to make up some ground on the Astros last week, but settled for a split with the lowly D’Backs, and then lost two of three to the A’s.  Now Houston is coming to town for an important 3 game set.  Mike Trout and Albert Pujols are in great form, but nobody else is.  One day their starting pitching looks great, but the rest of their lineup can’t produce.  The next day their lineup explodes, but the pitching stinks.  The only thing consistent about this team is that they are consistently inconsistent.  Speaking of Angels, Mike Trout is currently the only non Kansas City Royal that is projected to start for the American League in this years all-star game.  It turns out only people in Kansas City care about the all-star game.  This is a spectacular reflection on how unpopular baseball has become nationally.

That 3,000th hit by A-Rod was about as awkward as Caitlyn Jenner on Father’s Day.  The Yankees and their fans handled it with class and grace, despite the fact we know A-Roid is was a PED user.  Still, it would be foolish to pretend that a player like A-Rod isn’t one of the greatest players of his generation.  Cheating is doing something that gives you an unfair advantage over everyone else.  You don’t have an unfair advantage when everyone around you, including the pitchers, are cheating.  He was one of the greatest in an era of steroid users.  However, he was great before the drugs, and great after the drugs as well.  My only real knock on A-Rod is that for many years, he seemed to abandon his greatness in the playoffs.  Players like A-Rod should be recognized for what they accomplished, and even put into the Hall of Fame.  You can’t tell the story of baseball without the steroid era, and he’s a big part of it.

Finally, what a choke job by Dustin Johnson at the U.S. Open yesterday.  Jordan Spieth is kind of like a young Tiger Woods, except with morals and virtues.  The coverage of the event was terrible.  I’d like to thank Fox for giving us a split screen to see Jason Day walk from the green to the tee box.  It’s like the network was trying to give us vertigo with their coverage.  Meanwhile, Tiger Woods is so screwed up in the head right now that he would probably struggle playing minature golf at an 8 year olds birthday party.  It took a few minutes but Dustin Johnson is now over it…..

Dustin Johnson over it


Monday Morning Coffee

Lebron Drives

June 15th, 2015

Let’s start with the most important piece of information from last night’s game 5 of the NBA Finals.  ABC did not show Lebron James’ “Magic Johnson” prior to tip-off.  Sorry ladies.  As for game 5, the Warriors finally got a breakout performance from Steph Curry, torching Matthew Dellavedova like a shrimp on the barbee down under, and Golden State looks poised to close this thing out.  Andre Iguodola gave the Warriors a big boost too, and is currently causing more suffering in Cleveland than the Browns.  Lebron is nearly averaging a triple double in this series, but can only do so much when his coach is a total buffoon.  David Blatt thought it was a good idea to play Timofey Mozgov 9 minutes, after coming off a 28 point game.  I’m also not sure how he couldn’t find any minutes for Shawn Marion, who actually has won an NBA championship a couple of years ago.  It’s tough to count out Lebron James, and this might even go 7 games, but Steph has his groove back and looks like he’s going to finish this.  He’s currently teaching his daughter, Riley, how to bully people…..

Of course everyone is overeacting to having camera men on the baseline after Lebron cut his head in game 4 on a camera lens.  This makes perfect sense right?  Let’s move the camera men because they are too dangerous for players who are dramatically flopping to draw fouls and stumbling an extra 10 feet into the first row.  Those baseline cameras actually serve a purpose, giving us great photos from sites like  One of the things that also makes the NBA more unique than the other 3 major sports is that the media and fans are so close to the players, and can see their faces, which is another reason those cameras are there.  Obviously player safety is of the utmost importance, but to turn this wild dive into the crowd into some type of bigger safety issue is absurd.

On to the Stanley Cup Final, where Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop is a moron.  Bishop and his teammate Victor Hedman collided in the first period of game 5, leaving a wide open net for Chicago’s Patrick Sharp to score in, propelling the Blackhawks to a win.  Bishop said “you can’t really hear anything in the building when it’s that loud.  Obviously, you saw the result.  It’s too loud out there.”  Is this Bishop’s first time playing in front of a crowd?  Yea, it’s the fans fault that you made a foolish decision to come out and play the puck when your teammate was right there to handle it.  Don’t worry Ben, when you go to Chicago tonight, you won’t have to worry about any fans cheering for you.  In fact, you probably won’t have to worry about even playing in front of your fans the rest of the season.

Speaking of hockey, the LA Kings minor league affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs won the Calder Cup Championship of the AHL over the weekend.  It was great to see the Vancouver Canucks prospects already gaining the experience of losing to the Kings in big games.  This says a lot about the talent that is in the Kings farm system, and is just a reminder that even if the Kings say goodbye to the likes of Jarret Stoll, Mike Richards, and Justin Williams, they still have the young depth to replace them.  It also tells me that the Kings have the pieces to acquire another quality scorer like Toronto winger Phil Kessel.  It may take including a defenseman like Alec Martinez and the #13 pick in this years draft, but a move like that would definitely put the Kings back in contention for another cup.

In baseball, another series with the Padres, and the Dodgers take another two out of three games.  LA has now opened up a 3.5 game lead over the hated San Francisco Giants in the NL West, but they’ve got some issues to resolve.  Their bullpen is about as reliable as the local NBC weather forecast, and their starting pitching is an even bigger issue long term.  They are going to need 1 more quality starter if they have any hopes to do any damage in October.  It’s important that starter is an elite one as well, because Zack Greinke will likely opt out of his contract this fall, which means LA would have to replace its #2 starter.  Since Greinke is 31 years old, one could argue it’s too big a risk to re-sign him to a 7 year contract.  There are younger starters on the market this fall who will be just as elite.  The Dodgers should spend that money on the likes of a David Price, Johnny Cueto, or Jordan Zimmermann, who are all younger than Greinke.  Since Cueto is on a team that stinks, he’s the most likely candidate to get moved by the deadline, so LA should go after him.  It might mean moving a guy like Alex Guerrero, since the Dodgers have made some of their other prospects untouchable, but it would be well worth it.  I’m definitely not trading Joc Pederson when he’s making plays like this….

Meanwhile, the Halos took two of three from the A’s over the weekend, and are inching closer to the Astros in the AL West.  This is a huge week for the Angels.  They get the opportunity to beat the crap out of the D’Backs for the next 4 games, while the Astros wrestle with the mile high altitude in Colorado.  By the time they play the Astros next week, they might even be ahead of them in the standings if Albert Pujols continues to mash like this.  There’s also no doubt that Matt Joyce is going to be chained to the bench for a while since he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat at this point.  Here’s an idea: call the Dodgers and see if they would be willing to to trade Andre Ethier straight up for CJ Wilson.  CJ has one more year left on his contract at $20.5 million, while Ethier has 3 years and $56 million left.   Still, it’s Ethier who is currently performing much better, and gives the Halos some solid defense along with some pop.  In any case, the Halos need some production in left field and at third base if they hope to contend again.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter is now reconsidering his resignation.  Ladies and gentleman…….soccer.

I saw Jurassic World over the weekend, and I thought it was great.  I admit, the animatronics used in the first movie were not only impressive for it’s time, but more impressive when you see them today.  However, there was some very creative use of CGI in Jurassic World, that nevertheless, made some scary looking Dinosaurs.  The storyline was even more interesting.  20 years later, somehow, the park actually opened and people weren’t even afraid of Dinosaurs at all.  I do wish they spent more time explaining how the park actually opened after all the previous incidents.  However, seeing the dynamics of how some people were so unfazed by Dinosaurs, and seeing how they were actually more preoccupied with their cell phones while in the park was amazing.  Once the beastly Indominous Rex was introduced, I found myself on the edge of my seat as the chaos in the park broke loose. It was a totally fresh storyline, but it nicely honored its ancestry with casual references to John Hammond, seeing a park employee in a Jurassic Park T-shirt, and seeing some 1992 Jeeps that were used in the first movie.  Chris Pratt was impressive too, and his new character was needed to keep the plot intriguing.  It looks like there’s going to be a sequel of course, but even though this movie restored the franchise, I can’t see them making another movie that’s just as good.   Surely not as good as the original.

And finally, the season finale of Game of Thrones went down last night on HBO.  Major spoiler alert here if you haven’t seen it yet, and there were some key characters killed off, so stop reading if necessary.  Stannis Baratheon was killed in battle, which most people are probably going to say “serves that guy right for killing his daughter!”  Ok you’re right on that, but for all of his terrible qualities, he has some humanistic ones as well.  We saw them in his interaction with Jon Snow earlier in the season, and he’s also one of the more brave characters.  However, once Brienne showed up to kill him, I’m sure he was relieved more than anything.  He did some of the worst things in the world, but it was all for nothing.  However, the real downside to his death was that he might have been able to rescue Sansa.  Speaking of Sansa, it took her long enough to light that damn candle!  I’m really not sure what to make of her fate.  Did she commit suicide?  Or was she actually trying to escape?  Since we are talking about Game of Thrones here, I’m thinking that this was an actual suicide, which is a better alternative than facing Ramsay, and bearing his children.  Props to Theon to for slightly redeeming himself by killing Ramsay’s sadistic lover and jumping with her.

I’ve been hating on the Arya story all season.  It actually got good for a few minutes when she killed Meryn Trant.  Then it got stupid again when Jaquen scolds her for it, because she is supposed to be “faceless.”  The bottom line is she wants revenge and training from Jaquen, which isn’t exactly what he wants to give her.  Where is Uma Thurman when Arya really needs her?  She could show her how she did it in Kill Bill.  I’m a little disappointed this is where we ended up with Daenerys, getting captured by the Dothraki, however, it should make for an interesting start to next season when two guys that are in love with her try to rescue her.  You’ve gotta love how Jamie got to feel what it was like to be a father for about 30 seconds before his daughter died in his arms.  Cersei is gonna be pissed, on top of being humiliated.  After that walk of shame, you’ve gotta feel just a little bit bad for her right?  Then again, I’m sure she will have her revenge….she usually does.  And finally, we lost Jon Snow, and frankly this was somewhat predictable.  I’ve been saying for weeks how terrible of a character he was, and how weak he was, which was going to get him killed.  It finally did.  For those of you upset about his death, you just don’t understand the show.  He wasn’t even killed by a bad guy.  He was killed by a kid he wanted to do right by.  Jon Snow’s honor and integrity got him killed.  It always does in this show.

Overall, it was a good season, but not quite where I hoped the show would go when the season started.  Didn’t we all think that Daenerys was going to take Kings Landing this season?  Or that somebody else would try to take down the Lannisters and another battle would ensure?  Well none of that happened because the battles that were taking place were actually in the kingdoms they resided in.  In season 6 we’ll probably see how Tyrion can govern a kingdom with Daenerys tied up with the Dothraki’s.  Ser Jorah probably saves Daenerys from the Dothraki right before dying from Greyscale, and Cersei and her new mountain man knight will destroy everyone.  Seems like the only Stark left is Arya, who isn’t doing much for us.  What will Brienne do with herself if Sansa is dead?  There’s lots of questions to be answered, and a series of cliff hangers to be resolved.  Season 6 is a long ways away, but can’t wait!

Sam and Jon

Monday Morning Coffee

Lebron Yelling

June 8th, 2015

Let me tell you something folks.  If Lebron James and the Cavaliers pull off winning the NBA Finals with this roster, he is going to have a legacy like no other.  He’s got no Kyrie Irving, no Kevin Love, no coach, some New York Knick rejects, and some dude named Delladova that looks like Jerry Ferrara.  Hats off to The King just for winning a game.   This is one hell of a series, and it might even go 7 games.  I can’t believe I’m saying this after two games, but Lebron has been that good, and that’s while getting totally screwed by the refs last night.  The Warriors definitely relaxed after learning that Kyrie was done for the series, and they are screwing around way too much. The Cavs are giving them all they can handle.  Steph Curry may not go 2-10 for only 8 pts again, but then again Lebron may not go 11-34 again either.  This one is going to be a classic battle folks.

The long wait between the NBA Finals always leads fans to the never ending argument about whose legacy is the greatest or comparing some of the best players in the NBA history.  This past week, much of that discussion focused around comparing Lebron vs Kobe.  It was actually Shaquille O’Neal who sparked much of the conversation by saying he would take Kobe over Lebron in their prime’s.  Truth be told, even though these are really very different players from difference eras, I’m “a Kobe guy”.  He has the benefit of having a legacy that is already written, and the championships to back him up.   While Lebron’s story is still in progress, he has the stats to back him up, while playing in an era that revolves around advanced statistics.  The other problem with these arguments is nobody ever knows what we are basing the argument off of: best player? best legacy? Saying one is simply better than the other is for the simple minded.  Being “a Lebron guy” doesn’t make you a Kobe hater, and being “a Kobe guy” doesn’t make you a Lebron hater. However, failing to realize that a minimum, both of these guys are top 10 NBA players of all time exposes you as a hater, and makes you look like an idiot.

I love what Shaq had to say about Kobe.  He said that he wouldn’t have changed a thing about their relationship, and that relationship, even to this day, is very special.  This is definitely bitter sweet for any Laker fan, knowing that they probably left a couple of championships on the table.  Despite Kobe’s respect for Shaq, he admits that he wasn’t going to play with him anymore after 2004 because he wanted to take on the naysayers that said he couldn’t win without Shaq.  That’s actually a huge reason why Shaq likes Kobe so much: he pushed him to be great.  He pushed him to be great when Shaq was a Laker, and after that.  The irony of it is, as great as Shaq was, he could have easily been the greatest center ever if he wanted to.  He just preferred to have a little more fun.  The duo was fun for Laker fans while it lasted.

On to baseball where this is getting old.  The Dodgers got owned by the St Louis Cardinals for the 2nd straight weekend.  The Dodgers may be in 1st place, but they are 4-12 against the Giants and Cardinals this season.  They are 28-13 against everybody else.  It just so happens that the Giants and Cardinals are currently the only teams they’ve faced with winning records.  The story is the same, the bullpen stinks, and the Dodgers can’t hit in the clutch against the Cards pitching.  On the bright side, Clayton Kershaw got angry and shut down St Louis on Saturday night.  However, he’s going to need to do it in the playoffs to shake the stigma that he can’t win the big game.  Make no mistake about it…..if the Dodgers make the playoffs, they are going to have to go through the Cards and overcome the demons that have haunted them the last two seasons.  I can’t say I’ve seen anything so far to make me think that they will overcome them.  Especially without adding another pitcher to their starting staff, and without fixing their middle relief.

Brutal weekend for the Angels against the Yankees.  The Halos top 3 starters got bombed in all 3 games, and they were swept away by New York.  For the first two plus months of the season, it’s like they’ve been stuck in 2nd gear.  They consistently have not been able to hit.  Their starting pitching has looked good at times, and like monkey crap at others.  At this point it’s fair to say the Angels need something to jump start their team.  The Halos could call up Andrew Heaney and give him a shot in their starting rotation, which might even push some of their veterans to get their act together.  However, what they really need is another bat at third base or left field.   The Diamondbacks, Dodgers, and Padres have plenty to spare, so Jerry Dipoto should pick up the phone and start making dials before he finds his team further spiraling down the AL West.

I never imagined that I would see a Triple Crown winner in my lifetime, and sure enough we saw one on Saturday, in American Pharoah.  On second thought, American Pharoah is the first Triple Crown since JR Smith’s drink order at the bar after game 1 of the NBA Finals.  That was exciting to watch.  The only shame, as is the case with many of these horses, is that we may not get to see very much of him again, if at all.  These race horses careers are even shorter than the career of Vanilla Ice.  You’ve gotta enjoy the greatness while it lasts, because it could be a while before we see another Triple Crown winner.  Nice expletive by jockey Victor Espinoza when it was over…..

The NHL Finals area headed back to Chicago tied 1-1, but the Tampa Bay Lightning are ridiculous.  Tampa restricted ticket sales to Florida only zip codes, in order to make it difficult for the Blackhawk fans to get their hands on tickets and fill up Amalie Arena.  That move was a little obnoxious, but somewhat tolerable.  However, they took a step further.  They are preventing any fan from wearing any Blackhawks apparel in certain parts of the arena.  That feels like some kind of first amendment violation to me.  I realize that the Hawks fans travel well, but such policies just make it look like you know you have a fan base with no excitement or passion for your team.  Can you imagine if they did this at the Honda Center?  When the Kings came to town, there would just be a bunch of empty seats since Kings fans wouldn’t be allowed to show up.

So Sepp Blatter stepped down as FIFA President.  Too bad Blatter is still going to be pulling all the strings behind the scenes, and probably hand pick his successor.  I’m sure he’ll continue to bully people behind the scenes, while Russia and Qatar get to keep their upcoming World Cup bids.  If only we could get Roger Goodell to step down after Blatter did.  Oh, in case you missed it, here’s a live look at Blatter stepping down……

Has anybody seen Entourage yet?  The movie didn’t seem to get great reviews, however, I saw it and i loved it.  There were a number of laugh out loud moments, mostly because of Ari’s big mouth, but if you loved the show you will love the movie.  The movie should have come out about 3 years ago, but I’m still hoping there is a sequel.  Each of the characters quickly reminds you why you loved the show when it was on, and the ending was perfect.  The only downside to having a sequel is that the ending might not possibly be as perfect as this one was.

Game of Thrones went down against on HBO last night.  For the most part, the show hasn’t gotten too crazy with over the top fantasy like elements.  However, the ending of the last two episodes has moved a lot closer to that.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it.  How the heck did Drogon (her favorite dragon) get loose?  Wasn’t he chained in the basement?  His arrival was great timing to save Dany, but what about the rest of her friends?  We’re just supposed to believe they are going to be ok?  Ok, I admit that seeing her jump on the dragon and ride it was cool, but completely departing from the realistic nature of the show we’ve seen up to this point.  That and last week’s battle with the White Walkers.  I’m glad to see Ser Jorah back in Dany’s good graces, even though he probably doesn’t have much time left to live.  Meanwhile, the death of Shireen was horrific.  Just when you think Stannis is starting to develop some sanity and humanity in him, he goes and murders his own daughter.  What a bunch of nut jobs he, his wife, and Melisandre are.  Melisandre watches flames like most people watch Netflix.  Of course in Stannis’ mind, he probably thinks starving an army of people is worse than burning his own daughter alive.  Too bad he’s not sane enough to realize they have nothing to do with each other.  It’s obvious that Jon Snow is going to get himself or others killed with his integrity.  The only thing more annoying than the Arya story in general is the fact that when she finally had the chance to kill somebody on her list, she didn’t even do it.  Anyway, hoping for an action packed season finale next week.

Dany pre dragons

Monday Morning Coffee

NBC Ducks

June 1st, 2015

The Ducks had you fooled.  You thought they had overcome the playoff demons.  You thought wrong.  For the third straight year in a row, the Ducks lost a game 7 at home.  In each one of those series, the Ducks had series leads of 3-1, 3-2, and 3-2.  If I didn’t know better I’d say this team was coached by Bruce Boudreau.  Oh wait….they are.  Boudreau has now been behind the bench for 6 losses in game 7 at home in the playoffs.  Do you realize that accounts for 10% of the 63 teams that have lost game 7 at home in NHL history? In all these game 7’s the story has been the same as it was on Saturday at the Honda Center.  The big names like Ryan Getzlaf failed to perform, and there was a total lack of poise and discipline.  Another nice regular season followed by a playoff disaster.  If the Ducks are serious about winning a cup, they’ll go out and get themselves a coach who can put them over the top.  Their fans however don’t seem that serious though, because the arena was filled with Blackhawk fans on Saturday night.  The only parade they’ll be seeing in Anaheim this year will involve cartoon characters at Disneyland.

To baseball, where it was a very familiar scene this weekend in St. Louis.  The Dodgers take on the Cardinals.  They can’t score any runs.  The Cards make them look like chumps and LA loses two out of three.  I don’t care how talented the Dodgers may seem.  The season is going to come down to the same thing we’ve seen the last two seasons.  Can they beat the Cardinals in the playoffs?  Can they beat the Giants when it matters?  Right now, both of those teams have a much greater championship pedigree than the Boys in Blue, who not only can’t score runs against these elite teams, as I predicted, but are also struggling to find rotation depth.  The new nerdy front office also managed to trade another quality player last week, Juan Uribe, for pennies on the dollar in return.  The Dodgers have infield and outfield depth coming out of their ears, they are desperate for starting pitching, but these baseball nerds keep unloading talent just to have more clubhouse harmony, and without filling those other needs.

As for the Angels, they may have swept the Tigers over the weekend, but how annoying is it seeing Josh Hamilton tear it up back in Texas?  The Halos are desperate for production in left field, as the Collin Cowgill and Matt Joyce tag team has been about as successful as two bad little leaguers in the lineup everyday.  Although Joyce has been better of late, those two have been so bad that the front office actually thinks that acquiring Kirk Nieuwenhuis, a career .230 hitter, will solve their problems.  If Arte Moreno had never opened up his big mouth in the first place, the Angels might be getting some return on their ridiculous investment.  It’s probably also about time the Angels stopped messing around and made Carlos Perez their everyday catcher.  All things considered, things could be a lot worse for the Angels, but they certainly need to be a lot better.

Who the hell is Jared Dudley anyway?  The Milwaukee Bucks forward went on a media blitz last weekend, seemingly trying to preview his broadcasting career.  In an interview with Colin Cowherd, he claimed that nobody wants to play with Kobe, it will be a while before the Lakers are good again, and went on to say some other nonsense like how Carmelo Anthony is the most overrated player in the league.  Look Jared, 5 championship rings aren’t for everyone, and certainly not for you.  You may not want to play with Kobe, but I’m sure if I ask a whole lot other guys (Pau Gasol, Steve Blake, Derek Fisher, and Matt Barnes just to name a few) they would love to.  Some guys just don’t want the pressure of having to win championships every year, and apparently you don’t want that which is why you’d rather play in a small town like Milwaukee.  Too bad when your contract is up, there aren’t going to be many teams that want you.   Jared is still probably upset about Kobe doing this to him a few years ago…..

As for the recent rumors about Dwayne Wade leaving Miami, I’ll believe it when I see it.  Wade is upset, and rightfully so, that he opted out of his contract last year in order to take less money so the team could re-sign Lebron James.  Since that didn’t happen, Wade now wants to be paid max dollars since he’s the face of the franchise.  He may be the face of the franchise, and still productive when healthy, but those healthy times are rare.  Nobody is going to pay Wade more than the $16 million per season Miami could next season.  The notion that the Lakers would is silly.  They’d be tying up money in two players in Kobe and Wade that would be on the injured list most of the time.  Then again, this seems like something the Knicks would do if Wade doesn’t work things out with the Heat.

I can’t believe we have to wait a whole week for the NBA Finals.  This is good news for both the Cavs and the Warriors since both Klay Thompson and Kyrie Irving have time to recover from injuries.  I’m thinking the Warriors are going to take this in 6, especially without Kyrie being 100% healthy.  The Warriors have a deeper bench, and as good as Lebron is, he can’t guard everybody.  Even though the East is a JV league, the fact Lebron got his injured team this far is impressive.  Speaking of those injured teammates, Kevin Love said he expects to play opening night next season with the Cavs.  He must be assuming that the Cavs will be playing the Lakers that evening.

What a total embarrassment the Chicago Bulls organization was last week.  As expected, Chicago fired Tom Thibodeau.  However, not only did they fire him, they completely trashed him on his way out, and the front office looked like nothing but a bunch of classless and jealous clowns.  NBA coaches aren’t exactly treated all that well, often like that trashy girl that hooked up with every guy in high school.  The Bulls are notorious for this over the years with all their coaches, including the greatest NBA coach of all-time, Phil Jackson.  I’m surprised that any coach, including Fred Hoiberg, wants to take a job like that knowing the front office could stab him in the back at any time.  Thibodeau has his flaws, but he’s still one of the better coaches in the NBA, and will be back on his feet in no time.

Speaking of embarrassments, Sepp Blatter and FIFA are just that, after that story broke last week about all the FIFA officials being arrested.  Blatter’s re-election, along with his embarrassing statement that threatened those that didn’t vote for him, are a reminder of how much political corruption exists abroad.  Blatter is aligning himself with those states that see the sport as a means to cement their position on the world stage.  In return, those nations help Blatter maintain a grip on the job.  Did the U.S. and England try and set up Blatter for the fall?  Probably, but I can’t blame them.  However, the sad part in all this is that US sponsors probably don’t care enough about soccer to stop their support of FIFA.  If enough people really cared about soccer, public pressure would force those sponsors to re-consider their support.  That tells you just how little people care about soccer in this country.

This Adrian Peterson situation may seem like a lost cause since he has no leverage, but he’s trying to fight a bigger battle.  Peterson says that his decision not to participate in OTA’s with the Vikings is not about wanting a trade, but rather securing his future with the Vikings.  Peterson believes he’s trying to fight for the Players Union, and ultimately move them closer to guaranteed contracts.  Unfortunately, Peterson is the wrong guy to lead this fight.  He’s a player coming off some off the field issues that make him look like a child abuser in the eyes of some.  Whatever you think of Peterson, he isn’t the guy for this fight.  It should be a a guy like Russell Wilson, who commands respect from the owners, and who’s big payday is around the corner.  He also shouldn’t be leading this fight because it’s going to be devastating to my fantasy team if he holds out.

Finally, Game of Thrones went down on HBO last night, and by the end, it proved to be an exciting episode.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it.  The Tyrion and Dany banter was a nice little appetizer for the audience before the big battle at the end.  Even though when Tyrion mentioned that Ser Jorah was in love with Dany and it seemed to hit her hard, I was a little surprised that he was exiled once again.  It seemed like Tyrion’s motive for recommending this was to make Dany more dependent on him, even though she needs all the help she can get.  I loved the moment when Tyrion was defending Jamie and Varys.  It was like he was trying to apply for a job, while his would-be references all tried to murder his would-be boss.  I’m still amazed that after 7 episodes, we know nothing about what happened to Bran.

The imprisonment of Cersei would have been way more entertaining had she been in the same cell as Margaery.  How terrible is Tommen as a King since he can’t get his mother or his wife out of prison?  Cersei’s plan was to use Tommen’s weakness to have Margaery imprisoned, except the irony is that his weakness won’t be able to get Cersei out of prison now either.  Poor King Tommen….he’s now deprived of boobs and mom.  Then of course the big battle with the White Walkers ensued.  Who knew that a Valyrian sword could kill a White Walker?  I’ve gotta hand it to the writers of the show.  I wasn’t really sure how they would incorporate the White Walkers without some over the top fantasy elements.  However, they managed to retain the show’s dramatic yet sensible elements.  Hope the last two episodes of the season are just as good.

Jon Snow-Walker Fight