Monday Morning Coffee

March 2nd, 2015

Hopefully you all got the chance to see Kobe Bryant’s Muse debut on Showtime this weekend.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but the whole thing was really fascinating.  Everyone knows how obsessively competitive he is, which is one of the biggest reasons he is compared to Michael Jordan.  However, what I didn’t know was how much he loves to engage himself in the process of building to achieve that end result of winning.  That’s very Phil Jackson like too.  I also found it interesting how he developed anger and resentment from moving around so much as a kid, and then channeled that anger into dominance on the basketball court.  He took that anger to a new level during his legal troubles in 2004 and found even greater motivation in that.  More than anything, I love how Kobe gets it.  He understands the NBA and Laker history that came before him, what it means to be a part of it, and the importance of striving for greatness.  As a Laker fan, you couldn’t be more proud and privileged to have a professional like that on your squad.

On the other hand, Laker fans can’t be too proud of what they are seeing on the floor.  It isn’t just that they stink.  It’s that they might not be stinking enough to keep this years 1st round draft pick.  LA had won 3 in a row before losing to shorthanded OKC yesterday at Staples, and still continues to rack up meaningless wins that are costing them their future.  Teams like Philadelphia, New York, and Minnesota are taking tanking much more seriously.  As if that’s not bad enough, we have to actually watch clowns like Jeremy Lin, Nick Young, Jordan Hill, and Carlos Boozer act like they won the NBA title after beating the Celtics.  It’s ok to feel good about a win against Boston, but the way these guys were acting makes you realize that they have never really been on any good teams throughout their careers.  I think Kobe’s reaction sums it up…..

What the hell is going on here?  The Clippers are now 6-3 without Blake Griffin, including victories of Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Chicago, and Memphis.  DeAndre is beasting on the boards, and CP3 is ballin.  So the Clipps should be contenders when Blake returns right? Nice try.  It’s not about who you play, but rather when you play them.  Dallas is still sorting out their chemistry, San Antonio is sleep walking through the regular season, Houston isn’t elite without Dwight Howard, and Chicago’s whole team is injured.  As good as DeAndre is, he can’t cover up all of the teams defensive flaws, and that is going to be the biggest reason the Clipps will get bounced in the playoffs.  Even Joey Crawford plays better D than the Clippers….

AEG is starting to get desperate.  They can feel an NFL team slipping away from them, as well as their idea for Farmers Field downtown.  AEG is so threatened by Stan Kroenke’s plan to build a stadium in Inglewood, that they actually hired a guy to publish a report on how risky it would be build a stadium near LAX, since it could be subject to a terrorist attack.  Gee…..this doesn’t sound bias at all!  The minute AEG let Tim Leiweke leave for Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment, they lost all their momentum to build a stadium in downtown.  Leiweke was the voice of reason between AEG, the NFL, and other NFL owners.  Without him, Uncle Phil isn’t going to get it done since he wants the stadium on his own terms, not the NFL’s or the relocating team’s.  Now this report looks like Uncle Phil is just throwing sour grapes since he can’t get his way.

See what happens when football isn’t on?  People resort to talking about stupid things like what color a dress is!  Also, don’t be surprised if the Washington Redskins trade 3 1st round picks for the white Llama that was on the loose in Phoenix last week….

A pair of victories over the Washington schools did nothing for the UCLA basketball team last week.  Had the Bruins lost either of those games, that would have punched their ticket to the NIT, which we all know really stands for “Not In The Tournament”.  According to USA Today and CBS, the Bruins will be among the first four teams out.  ESPN predicts the Bruins will be among the last four in.  As a fan, I’m a little torn here.  If the Bruins were to make the tournament, that only further secures Steve Alford’s job as head coach, which is ultimately a huge problem for the program.  However, a March Madness without UCLA basketball is far less entertaining, especially for us SoCal college hoops fans.  Since it would take several years of mediocre basketball for Alford to be fired, and since Dan Guerrero would be under fire for creating more coaching turnover, I think I’d like to see a March Madness that involves the Bruins.

On to baseball, where nobody wants to admit it, but it’s true.   The Angels and their fans are happy Josh Hamilton isn’t around the team.  Look, I feel bad for the guy and hope he overcomes his addiction.  However, the Halos are much better off for the time being with Matt Joyce and Colin Cowgill platooning in left, than an unstable and unreliable Hamilton.  The Angels could probably save some money from Major League Baseball suspending him without pay too, which could be used to improve the team at the trade deadline.  The Angels have an A-Rod situation on their hands, and it’s probably going to be on the payroll for the next three years.  Still, for the sake of Hamilton’s own personal well being, hopefully he overcomes this once and for all.

The Dodgers have opened Spring Training as well, and already, Carl Crawford had some interesting things to say.  Crawford was asked about his thoughts on the new Dodgers front office, and frenzy of moves the team made in the off-season.  Keep in mind, Crawford was in Tampa Bay when Andy Friedman was there as well, so one would think he has the utmost confidence in his abilities.  Instead, Crawford just said he isn’t sure if all the moves made the Dodgers a better team and that “we have to see if this team can even get in the playoffs.”  It’s good to see that not only the fans, but the players think that Andy Friedman and his staff have no idea what they are doing.

On the ice, the Kings and Ducks made some significant trade deadline moves in the last few days.  The Kings acquired defenseman Andrej Sekera from the Carolina Hurricanes, while the Ducks picked up winger Tomas Fleischmann from the Panthers.  Since nobody has probably heard of either of these guys because they play in such obscure markets, let me clarify: this made both teams much better.  Sekera can become the #3 defenseman the Kings were missing in the absence of Slava Voynov, and can play in all situations.  Fleischmann will be a much needed winger on the Ducks top line with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.  The Ducks are currently dealing with a ton of injuries but have a huge lead in the division so not much to worry about.  However, the Kings have now lost 3 straight after their 8 game winning streak.  The Kings are a feast or famine team, and right now it feels like they are on a starvation diet.

Another episode of The Walking Dead went down on AMC last night.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it.  Here’s a quick recap.  This group arrives in Alexandria, and for the entire episode, they try to settle in to this new community, while also trying to determine if it is trustworthy.    The community is very insulated from the zombie apocalypse, with flowing water, electricity, and homes furnished by Restoration Hardware.  Rick is introduced to Deanna, the community leader, and a former Ohio congresswoman.  Oddly enough, she tapes interviews with each of the group members, and says to several of them, including Rick, that she has a job for them.  Most of the main characters go through varying disbelief about their new surroundings.  Carol takes to it quickly, and Daryl, not so much.  Rick gets a shower and a shave, and meets some community members.  There’s Jessie, mother of two, who gives him a haircut.  Aiden, an enforcer with a temper.  There’s also a few moody teens who Carl befriends.  By the end of the episode, the group assimilates, and Deanna assigns each of them jobs.  Rick and Michonne are the community constables.  At the end of the episode, Rick dons a police uniform once again, while Carol and Darryl wonder if the community can deal with the harsh realities of the world.  Rick says that if they can’t, then he and his group will take over the place.

Where was Gabriel in this whole episode?  He mysteriously didn’t even appear in the background of any scenes.  There also appeared to be a small church on the Alexandria grounds, which looked extremely familiar, and appeared to be the church that Gabriel visited earlier.  Does Judith ever age, or will she just be a baby forever? Given the events of the past few seasons, it’s hard to believe that this place is really safe.  And even if it is, it’s not strong enough to handle the harsh realities of the zombie world, which several group members suggested.  This point was further emphasized when Carl could not suddenly wrap himself into a world of school, video games, and comic books, and immediately suggested to his dad that this place could make them weak.  I guess they had to step outside and kill a couple of walkers to make sure they weren’t out of practice.  When Deanna suggested that a few members were exiled from the community, that tells me that those community members could exact some revenge on Alexandria.  I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out, but it’s The Walking Dead, disaster is on the way!

TWD Alexandria








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