Monday Morning Coffee

NBA Trade Deadline

February 23rd, 2015

The NBA trade deadline came and went last week, and the news for Laker fans was worse than knowing President Obama is going to be in office for another two years.  The Lake Show did nothing.  That’s also because they couldn’t do anything.  The single most important priority right now for the franchise is making sure it keeps its own 1st round pick this year, which would be in the top 5, which also means continuing to lose games.  Acquiring a player like Goran Dragic or Reggie Jackson would have been nice, but would have helped the Lakers win a few more games this season, which would have prevented them from keeping their draft pick.  However, the real problem is that many of the key free agents this summer were traded, and will likely re-sign with their new teams.  Dragic will stay in Miami to get paid more, the Pistons have plenty of money to keep Jackson, and you can add those players to the group of Lamarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, and Kevin Love, who will be staying with their own teams.  This continues to look like a painfully slow rebuild.  At least Obama will be gone in two years, but the Lakers will still suck.

Meanwhile, Kobe has been doing all kinds of interviews in the last week.  One of the more interesting of these, was the 1 hour special he did on NBA TV.   I was very surprised in that particular interview, there was no discussion about the stability or instability within the Laker organization.  In fact, there was no discussion about anything that has taken place in the last 4 years, other than his injury, and desire to comeback.  I realize that we are getting toward the end of the line with Kobe, and that his legacy is what most people are focusing on.  However, what about the present and the future for the Lakers?  Since most fans are freaking out about how incompetent Jim Buss is, and how dysfunctional his relationship could be with Jeanie, it would be have been nice to hear Kobe comment on this.

As for the Clippers, everyone thought they were toast when Blake Griffin went down.  Some of you even panicked to the point of thinking that the Clippers were going to fall out of the playoffs completely.   Instead, the Clipps are slowly pushing their way up to the third seed in the West.  I think everybody thought CP3 died, and that DeAndre Jordan was pretty worthless.  It turns out that those two guys are pretty good basketball players, and probably took things a little personally when Blake went down and everyone counted them out.  Now there’s even lunatics out there that think the Clippers are probably better without Blake Griffin, since they’ve won 4 in a row without him.  Still, my opinion on these guys hasn’t changed.  They needed help on the perimeter and help on the bench at the trade deadline and they didn’t get it.  The Clipps are a good team, but not a great team.  We’ll all be reminded of this come playoff time.

Now that the T-Wolves have traded for Kevin Garnett, they will probably be looking at locking up Stephon Marbury this summer.

So now I’m really supposed to believe that not one, but two NFL teams are going to be playing LA in the near future?  There’s a better chance the NFL will add a child support check writing class to the NFL Combine before the Raiders and Chargers will be sharing a stadium in Carson.  Most people are getting excited about the joint statement both teams made last week, but it’s nothing more than a way to increase leverage in their current city’s  The logistics of this plan don’t add up at all.  Neither team owns the land in Carson, they simply bought the rights to develop that land.  What happens if the Chargers can’t work out their stadium issues with San Diego and want to move, but the Raiders do work out their issues?  Won’t the Chargers need another team to move with them to finance the new stadium?  There’s also a number of environmental issues and lawsuits currently going on in the Carson area, which will make it a challenge for this stadium to get the necessary approval.  At least Stan Kroenke’s plan depends exclusively on whether or not the Rams can work things out in St. Louis.  There’s not much to get excited about yet people.  NFL Football is much further away from SoCal than you think.

The baseball season is upon us, and that means pitchers and catchers reported to spring training last week.  As if things weren’t rough enough for the Dodgers over the winter, they just learned that closer Kenley Jansen will miss the next 8-12 weeks after undergoing foot surgery.  I can’t wait for the Dodger front office to use this as an excuse for why they get off to such a crappy start.  We all know that the crappy start will really be a result of those dumb ass moves they made in the offseason.  It turns out that Dodgers fans aren’t the only ones that think that Andy Friedman and his stat nerds are a bunch of idiots.  MLB General Managers voted on the worst moves of the off-season, and they considered the Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy signing the two worst moves of the winter.  Can’t wait for this disaster to play out.

Meanwhile, the Angels pitchers and catchers reported to spring training as well, and CJ Wilson hasn’t come to play.  Instead, he’s come with excuses.  Wilson blamed his crummy 2014 performance on an ankle injury, and claims he wasn’t healthy for long stretches of time.  That probably isn’t something anybody wants to hear from him, considering how awful he was in game 3 of the NLDS last fall.  CJ also said he had some good games and some bad ones.  Funny, because I don’t think anybody recalls any of those “good games”.  All they can think of is a guy who is underperforming and making boatloads of money for the next two years.  The best thing CJ can do is own up to his crappy play, and just try to turn it around.  Otherwise, he should just focus on selling Mazdas at his dealership.

I’d like to thank the UCLA Bruin Basketball team for participating in the 2014-2015 College Basketball Season.  An invitation to the NIT awaits them, which was secured by their two road losses to ASU and Arizona in the last couple of days.  I like how I’m now consistently seeing two UCLA players, Kevon Looney and Norman Powell, projected as 1st round picks in this summer’s NBA draft.  So the Bruins have two future pros on their roster, but the best they can do is make it to the NIT?  Either that means those two players aren’t that good, or they are being coached by a clown.  Which is it?  Considering how successful UCLA players have been at the next level over the last few years, I think it’s obvious that coaching is the problem.

Let’s go to the ice where the LA Kings have caught fire.  They have won 7 straight, are suddenly looking much better in their hopes to make the playoffs and have a chance to defend their Stanley Cup.  Even more notable is the fact that our long national nightmare is over!  No, I’m not talking about Obamacare.  I’m talking about the Kings actually scoring a goal in an outdoor hockey game.  After being shutout last year against Anaheim, the Kings scored a pair of goals at Levi Stadium on Saturday night, and defeated the Sharks 2-1 in front of a crowd of over 70,000 people.  I love these outdoor hockey games, and they definitely have not waned in popularity.  People are buying tickets for these things like crazy, even if their view of the game would be as good as watching it from Mars. There’s still a lot of hockey left to be played, but the Kings are starting to look like the Kings gain.  Poor Joe Thornton…..but he makes an excellent gif………

Joe Thornton Sad Gif

Did anybody see the final episode of Two and Half Men?  Spoiler alert if you are still waiting to see it.  The show has definitely not been the same since Charlie Sheen left four years ago, but it’s still provided some laughs.  However, the final episode was nothing more than a giant middle finger in the face of Sheen.  It was an hour of jokes about his personal life.  In fact, the plot in the final episode didn’t really make much sense.  The story was that Sheen was supposedly held captive by his wife after their honeymoon. Then he escaped and tried to kill his brother Allen, and Allen’s billionaire friend Walden.  Why would Sheen want to kill his brother after being held in captivity for four years?  Wouldn’t he want to kill his wife?  We never actually see Sheen in the episode.  We see a look-alike at one point, and a Piano is dropped on him at the end of the episode, killing him.  Then we see the writer of the show, Chuck Lorre, laugh and say “winning”.  Then he dropped a piano on himself, which ended the show.  In the end, the show was shameful.  Instead of going out with a heartfelt moment, or in style, it went out with Lorre focused on his own agenda, which was telling Charlie Sheen that he didn’t need him anymore.

Another exciting episode of The Walking Dead took place last night on AMC.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it.  Here’s a quick recap.  Aaron is taken to the barn and introduced to the group.  Immediately, Rick doesn’t trust him, so he then ties up Aaron and knocks him out.  Aaron claimed he was traveling with one other person, and urged the group to come join his group in Alexandria.  Michonne, Maggie, Glenn, Abraham, and Rosita venture outside to investigate Aaron’s claim that he brought a few cars to transport the group back to Alexandria.  That turned out to be true.  Rick decides that the group will travel at night toward Alexandria, and they have to battle it out with Walkers as usual.  Along the way we learn that Aaron is gay, and his lover has broken his ankle.  The group finds shelter for the night before continuing their journey in the morning, and finally arriving in Alexandria.

Rick rightfully did not trust Aaron from the start, given what happened at Woodbury and Terminus.  The interesting part of this episode were the different forms of leadership that took place for Michonne, Rick, and Glenn.  Rick took a more dictatorial approach with how he handled Aaron.  Michonne took a softer approach, which eventually Rick and the rest of the group bought into.  Glenn also took a similar approach in leadership, by suggesting that they shoot anyone they encounter while searching for the cars.  However, Michonne reasons with Glenn that they should take a more cautious approach, but Glenn also buys into.  More importantly, compassion and humanity are big themes by the end of the episode.  Although we don’t know a lot about Aaron’s motivations, we see that he is far more humanized that many other characters in the show, with his love for Eric.  Rick and Glenn also show him compassion by letting him stay with Eric during the night, despite the fact they didn’t entirely trust him.  Still, it’s hard not to think the next villain in the show is going to come from somewhere inside Alexandria.

Aaron Episode

Ok, so I haven’t seen many of this years Oscar movies, however, I do have a few thoughts on last night’s awards.  It felt like some of the award winners needed to take a ski lift to get to the stage from their seats.  A few of them also tripped as well.  Sean Penn made a very lame immigration joke, which really took away from Birdman’s moment.  The show went way too long…..about 30 minutes longer than most people had their DVR’s programmed for.  I thought Neil Patrick Harris did a fine job as host, however, if you aren’t really familiar with him from his role in “How I Met Your Mother”, he can rub you the wrong way.  I’m thinking they need to put some of the more important awards toward the beginning, or at least one or two to make it more interesting.






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