December 14th, 2015
I must have missed the big announcement last week. The announcement that Byron Scott has stepped down as the Laker head coach, and that Kobe Bryant has volunteered to take over those duties. That really happened right? I mean it sure felt like it last Wednesday in Minnesota when Kobe told Byron that he wanted to sit out the 4th quarter and overtime in order for the Lakers younger players to gain valuable experience in crunch time. I’ve supported Byron more than most people throughout the season, and his desire to make D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson work for everything. However, in that situation it was a no brainer to play the kids, and the fact Byron needed Kobe to point it out is about as embarrassing as being a Clippers fan. In any case, we knew Jordan Clarkson can play, but does anybody still think that D’Angelo Russell or Julius Randle are going to be a bust after the last week? Patience people. It’s a long climb back to the top but Russell, Clarkson, and Randle just might get the Lakers there. The Lakers are doing such a great job of tanking right now that they actually afforded themselves the opportunity to win a few games. That might actually be good for morale.
The Clippers continue to pile up wins against the finest mediocrity the Association has to offer. They may have won 7 of their last 9 games, but the Clipps haven’t beaten a team over .500 in 19 games. The more and more I watch this team, the more I think that their window has slammed shut. We’ve seen four seasons of the Blake Griffin-Chris Paul-Deandre Jordan Clippers, and they haven’t been any better than the best teams in the franchise’s history. This reality is starting to set in for Doc Rivers, who very quietly is taking calls on Jamal Crawford, Lance Stephenson, and Josh Smith, but not finding much of a trade market for him. The Paul Pierce acquisition has also been a complete failure, as even he admits that he’s frustrated by the things he can’t do anymore, and is already talking about retirement at years end. More than anything, nobody knows what the Clippers identity is. Uptempo? Defensive toughness? The only identity I see is a bunch of front running whiners.
The Warriors probably considered firing Luke Walton after almost losing a game on Friday in Boston. It took a double overtime game the night before, and the second night of a back-to-back on the last game of a 7 game trip for the Warriors to actually lose a game. The streak may be over, but don’t be surprised if you see another long one.
On to college hoops where the Bruins suddenly have it together. A little over a week after taking down #1 Kentucky, the Bruins went on the road and knocked off #20 Gonzaga, and will likely be back in the AP Top 25 this week. I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, but the Bruins are taking on the personality of it’s coach: scrappy play, good shot selection, and limiting turnovers. For those of you hoping Steve Alford fails miserably so UCLA can get a better coach, you’re not going to like this. I know there’s a lot of you out there, but you’re just going to have to get behind this guy, because the Bruins might just quietly be contenders for the Pac-12 Title.
It’s time for your weekly Dodger offseason update. Oh wait….there’s nothing to update because Andrew Friedman and his band of nerds haven’t done crap. Friedman is supposedly a baseball genius, and when you are a GM in LA, you can’t fail….because you have unlimited resource. Friedman is a genius all right, because he is finding a way to fail harder than a college fraternity boy, despite having unlimited resources. Friedman also claimed he’s trying to make the team younger. In order to get younger, Friedman and Farhan Zaidi add 35-year-old Hisashi Iwakuma and 37-year-old Chase Utley. These two might know baseball, but they sure don’t know math.
As for the Angels, the news is only slightly better. They are busy adding some minor parts like Yunel Escobar and Craig Gentry. Yes, I had to Google those guys too to figure out who the hell they were. The Halos have a pretty good team, but the problem is the Rangers and Astros have even better teams that are on the rise. The Angels should have signed Howie Kendrick yesterday, and they also should be all over Justin Upton. I realize that Arte Moreno doesn’t want to pay the luxury tax, but the window to win with Mike Trout won’t last forever, especially with Albert Pujols’ 85th Birthday around the corner. There’s still time to make moves, but the Angels need to be bold if they want to keep up with the rest of the AL West.
The Heisman Trophy ceremony was just irritating to watch. I’m not sure anybody could snub Christian McCaffrey, who was by far the best player in college football this year. Alabama fans plan to celebrate Derrick Henry’s Heisman Trophy win by having sex with their cousins. Then again, everybody has their noses so far up the SEC’s rear end this can’t be a surprise. Neither was Johnny Manziel’s Heisman ballot, which was 1. Jack Daniels 2. Johnnie Walker and 3. Jim Beam.
Finally, Week 13 of the NFL was in full effect yesterday. Danny Woodhead and the Chargers were dropping more balls yesterday than puberty in Kansas City. What happened to the Falcons? Being a fan of them is like having your dad show up to your first birthday party and then never seeing him again. The Broncos should’t even be allowed to watch the playoffs on TV after losing to a Raiders team with -12 yards of offense in a half. The NFC East Champion should get a spot in the Alamo Bowl. Will Dez Bryant ever make a play that is ruled a catch in Green Bay? Now the Cincinnati Bengals can now disappoint their fans again in this years playoffs without Andy Dalton. Johnny Manziel found out that he can’t have whiskey on the sideline…..