January 6th, 2014
Poor Pau Gasol. I sure hope he stays away from social media, because it feels like he’s nearly been traded about 10 times in the last three years. It happened again on Saturday night when ESPN Radio 710 AM’s Rick Schwartz tweeted that Pau had been traded to Cleveland for Andrew Bynum. Rick has been an entertaining talk show host over the years, but he blew it on this one. Anybody that knows anything about the NBA, knows that Gasol can’t even be traded for Bynum straight up, because it doesn’t work financially. Mitch Kupchak usually doesn’t make trades with opposing GM’s unless he is destroying them, so he likely will not deal Gasol unless he gets Dion Waiters, or a 1st round pick, or Dan Gilbert’s unborn child in return. Pau has been a great Laker, but it’s time to move on.
Do you realize how bad it’s gotten for the Lakers? It’s gotten so bad, if you can dribble without bouncing the ball off your leg, you can play point guard for the Lakers. It’s gotten so bad, Mike D’Antoni believes defense will actually win games. It’s gotten so bad, D’Antoni is already preparing for a lineup when Kendall Marshall gets injured. It’s gotten so bad, John Ireland is even negative about the Lakers. It’s gotten so bad, I saw Mike D’Antoni chanting “we want Phil!” in the middle of last nights’ game. It’s gotten so bad that that the celebrities asked management not to point to them during the Laker telecasts. It’s gotten so bad, Staples is changing their lighting scheme to dim on the court and bright on the audience. It’s gotten so bad, Phil Jackson called Jim Buss at midnight to thank him for not hiring him. It’s gotten so bad, that the Clippers are better than the Lakers!
Speaking of the Clippers, they suffered a big blow this week when they lost Chris Paul to a separated shoulder. CP3 could miss up to six weeks with the injury, and the Clippers got a taste of what life was like without him, when they got pounded by the Spurs on Saturday night. The Clipps might slide a little in the standings over the next six weeks, but nothing too disastrous. Blake Griffin has been playing well of late, but the real story surrounding him this week was the Griffin for Carmelo Anthony trade rumors, which i reported last week on Jock Talk LA. Doc Rivers was irritated by the mere suggestion of the rumors, but some people are ignoring the facts. There’s two people in the Clipps organization that would be interested in this move: Chris Paul and Donald Sterling. Paul has wanted to play with Carmelo for years, and Sterling is impulsive enough to be contemplating a move. Although the trade is unlikely, if the Clipps have a big slide in the next few weeks without CP3, don’t rule out Sterling thinking about it a little harder.
Let’s talk UCLA football, where Bruin fans were on the edge of their seats just a few days ago. Bruins coach Jim Mora Jr. had discussions with Texas for their job opening, and it appeared as though quarterback Brett Hundley was leaving school to enter the NFL draft. It looked like UCLA’s football success was going to be short-lived, and they were going to be bombed back to the days of complete suckage. Now, just a few days later, Mora squashed the Texas rumors and said he was committed to UCLA. Then, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Hundley is expected to announce that he is returning to school next year. Great news for UCLA, however, with it comes much higher expectations. Being able to hang with Stanford and Oregon is no longer a cute story. The expectations will be winning the Pac-12 and going to the Rose Bowl, or else the program will soon be viewed as overrated.
Speaking of UCLA, the Bruins basketball team opened conference play by dominating USC at Pauley Pavilion, 107-73. Ok…I get it. UCLA can actually beat a real division I opponent. However, the Bruins RPI is still pretty underwhelming. Big, bad, Arizona is coming to town on Thursday night. UCLA is yet to collect a signature win this season. If the Bruins win, then they’ve got my attention. By the way, I always find it interesting how USC fans almost never recognize when their team gets beaten down by UCLA in basketball. I completely understand that UCLA is really a basketball school, and USC is a football school. However, USC should historically be a much better school in basketball, much like the Bruins have put together some quality football teams throughout history.
Let’s go to the ice, where the Kings and Ducks are beginning to find out which members of their team will be participating in next months Winter Olympics. Team USA selected Kings forward Dustin Brown, goaltender Jonathan Quick, and Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler. Both teams could each have 5 or 6 total players selected, but do you really want these guys beating the shit out of each other for two weeks in February, when they could be getting some extra rest? I love the Olympics, and I love that these guys take it so seriously, but I love my hockey team a lot more.
Speaking of the Kings, I’m not sure what the hell is going on with them. LA snapped a 5 game losing streak on Saturday against Vancouver, but that’s their longest losing streak since Darryl Sutter took over the team. Tyler Toffoli has cooled off, Dustin Brown’s goal scoring ability has gone to hell, and Mike Richards has disappeared like hodini. It’s not time to panic, but if you lose a few games in the west, you can easily go from 3rd place to 9th in no time. Get it together fellas, or you may have to dig yourselves out of a big hole!
What a great Wild Card Weekend we had. The Colts had a great comeback, but it was more about the Chiefs collapsing. You knew things were going Indy’s way when the ball bounced into Andrew Luck’s hands and he rushed for a TD. I think Jim Irsay drew up this play when he was drunk at 2 am at Taco Bell….
The Saints and Eagles played a relatively boring game compared to the weekends other three games. New Orleans proved once again, that it can be its own worst enemy with all the turnovers it committed. However, somehow, they managed to escape with a win. That last second field goal was the quietest ending to any football game I have ever seen.
Then there’s the Chargers, who pulled off the unthinkable by going to Cinci and handling the Bengals easily. What Charger fan actually believed they would make the playoffs this season? Let alone, win a playoff game? Mike McCoy’s play calling was more conservative than Muslim chick during Ramadan, but the Bolts benefited from Andy Dalton’s collapse.
Finally, the 49ers got by the Packers at Lambeau yesterday. It’s pretty rare that the spread and the temperature are the same (+3). It was so cold, I think I saw the Coors Frost Brew Train go through Lambeau Field. Colin Kaepernick was pretty unstoppable, and if he plays that way the 49ers will be headed back to the Super Bowl. Aaron Rodgers didn’t have the magic coming back from the broken collar bone, but the Pack are going to be dangerous next season now that they have a running game again.
Has anybody been watching the bowl games? That Oklahoma-Alabama game was pretty amazing, and was probably the best bowl game I’ve seen over the past few weeks. It should be known a the “I probably had sex with my cousin and I’m ok with it” bowl. Meanwhile, SoCal has been invaded by all of those hillbillies from the south, with FSU and Auburn going at it tonight for the BCS Championship. I’ve got FSU in this one. How many games has Auburn gotten lucky this year and escaped with a win?
This past week had a few pieces of sad news. Yesterday, Padres broadcaster, former Yankee player, and American ware hero Jerry Coleman passed away. I had the honor of working with Jerry at The Mighty 1090, and anyone that worked with him would tell you he was a pleasure to be around. I’ll always remember him for his exciting play-by-play calls like “You can hang a star on that baby!” and “Woooah Doctor!” Condolences to the Coleman family, and RIP Jerry.
The other piece of sad news we received this week was the passing of James Avery. Avery was literally my favorite TV dad, on my favorite television show of all time: The Fresh Prince of Bel-air. Not only did Avery brilliantly play the role of “Uncle Phil”, but he was also the voice of “The Shredder” in the Ninja Turtle cartoons as well, so he was definitely an important piece of my childhood. Here’s a classic Uncle Phil moment….