Monday Morning Coffee

Melo + Lebron March 28th, 2016

What the hell is Lebron James thinking? His team is in 1st place in the East, and trying to contend for an NBA championship, yet he’s talking about joining forces with his three best friends.  Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love must feel like a girl who’s new boyfriend won’t stop talking about how great their ex was.  What better way to alienate your teammates.  It feels like Lebron is already giving up on the season after watching the Warriors, and is already planning to devastate Cleveland fans again by leaving.  Of course I told you all that this was bound to happen after he signed a short term deal.  What’s funny about this is that Lebron actually assembled this disaster by getting David Blatt fired, having Andrew Wiggins traded for Kevin Love, and Tristan Thompson signed to a monster deal.  However, things are much tougher in Cleveland than Lebron thought they would be, and he looks extremely unhappy, which is why he told Howard Beck he’d love to play with Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Dwayne Wade.  Who wouldn’t love to see those four play together? The question is where can it happen.  It could actually be the Lakers.

Jim Buss and possibly Mitch Kupchak are desperate to save their jobs before Jeannie hits the eject button on them next summer.  The Lakers have more cap space than anyone, and young assets that they aren’t necessarily married to.  The Lakers could easily sign Lebron and Wade, while trading for Melo this summer.  Paul would be a little tougher to acquire, but he’s unrestricted in the summer of 2017, so once you acquired the other three, getting CP3 would be a foregone conclusion.  Then again, as exciting as those four would be, it would be short term stimulation for Laker fans.  Lebron is still arguably the best but he’s getting long in the tooth, and CP3 is still a top 10 player.  Wade and ‘Melo are not though, and those four probably don’t give you enough shooting, while providing a lot of deteriorating defense, especially when you think about the dominance of the Warriors.  It might give you 2 years of contention, but not enough to actually win a title.  On the other hand, continuing to build from within and adding some other younger free agents would be slower, but gives you a better chance to return to sustainable success by the time the Warriors run is over.  I do hope “The Banana Boat Crew” gets together somewhere though for sheer entertainment purposes, however, it’s likely to crash and burn in spectacular fashion.  Mitch Kupchak is smarter than that to let that happen here.  In Cleveland, they aren’t that smart.

This fast break basically sums up the Lakers season……

Remember when you thought the Clippers we’re better without Blake Griffin? Yea, well I sure do.  The Clippers are good team, but not an elite team with our without Blake.  The Clipps are 2-8 against the Warriors, Spurs, and Thunder, and they are looking like a good bet to face Golden State in round 2 of the playoffs.  Then again, they got manhandled against a shorthanded Memphis team last week, so the first round will be no cake walk either.  By the way, how come nobody asked Chris Paul what his thoughts were on Lebron James suggesting that he, Dwayne Wade, and Carmelo Anthony could play together? I’ll tell you why.  It’s because even the local media members that cover the Clippers don’t cover them all that thoroughly.  Nobody holds them accountable for such coverage because nobody really cares about the Clippers in the LA sports landscape.

The Final Four is set.  My Fighting Irish of Notre Dame put up a spirited fight, but North Carolina was just too talented for them.  They also probably saved me from dropping a lot of money on a trip to Houston for the Final Four.  I thought for a second Mike Brey was right that the Irish can’t lose on Good Friday or Easter Sunday.  Roy Williams must have threatened his Tar Hell players by telling them they will have to go to class if they lose.  I guess Syracuse got tired of everybody telling them that they suck, and they are just a 10 seed.  Meanwhile Virginia is advancing to their traditional seats on the couch for next weeks Final Four.  Perry Ellis shouldn’t be that upset that Kansas lost to Villanova.  He did get the opportunity to play in 20 Final Fours since he looks like he’s 20 years older than everybody else.  After Oregon got smoked by Oklahoma, they plan to unveil Nike’s new “eliminated in the NCAA Tournament” jersey’s next week.  Buddy Hield is a phenomenal player, and if I didn’t know who he was, I would think he was the next favorite horse to win the Kentucky Derby.

it sounds like the one and done rule in college basketball is going to be seriously re-evaluated by the NBA.  However, the question is how it will be changed.  Some people think we should go back to the days of high school players being able to enter the draft, but if you end up going to college, it should be for at least two years.  I’m completely against high school players being able to enter the draft.  The NBA has become an extremely watered down league because of young players that have no business being in the league.  For every Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Garnett, there are a ton more players that flame out of the league because they weren’t ready physically, emotionally, or mentally.  Going to college isn’t about getting an education, but rather learning about yourself.  Many of these teenagers fail to realize that.  The purpose of the NBA draft is to create some competitive balance in the league.  It’s difficult to do that when the players being drafted need 3-5 years to become something.  If a player is so desperate to start making a living, let them go to China or Europe to play.  However, don’t let them ruin both the college game, and the NBA game.

The LA Times just did an interview with UCLA AD Dan Guerrero, which as expected, was full of spin.  Guerrero claimed that the Bruins aren’t about a coaching carousel, and that basketball coach Steve Alford giving back his one year extension showed how committed to the program he is.  The best news I heard out of the interview is that Guerrero might actually step down before 2019 because they are nearing the end of the $4.2 billion centennial campaign.  Somebody should have asked Guerrero if it was the UCLA Athletic Department that wrote that letter.  Had somebody actually done their homework, they might have realized that former Bruins football coach Karl Dorrell wrote nearly the same letter to the fans just months before he was fired.  Dan Guerrero has become selfish.  It’s all about him and his own job.  Not about the Bruins basketball program.

What do Dan Guerrero, Jim Buss, and Jeff Fisher all have in common? They are powerful LA sports executives who put themselves first, rather than taking any necessary risks to be successful.  Guerrero won’t get rid of Steve Alford because he’s afraid he’ll lose his job if he goes through another basketball coach.  Jim Buss was afraid to hire Phil Jackson as head coach again, fearing that he would have no voice in the Lakers organization.  Jeff Fisher refused to sign off on the Rams signing RGIII because he didn’t want to take the heat for another quarterback screwing up on his watch. These types of people usually play it safe for the sake of their own job security, and can sometimes find success.  However, when the expectations are championships like they are in Los Angeles, it’s difficult to meet that bar.

You didn’t really think that the Dodgers and Time Warner Cable’s attempt to lower the price of SportsNet LA was going to lead to a deal right away did you? Yes, they may have lowered their price, but none of the cable providers are going to bite when the price is only for a year.  There’s still another week to go before the season starts, so a deal can be struck, but it would be even worse for cable providers to accept the deal then lose the channel a year later.  If these two sides were really serious about making a deal, they would lock themselves in an air tight room until the deal is done.  I have no problem with TWC and the Dodgers trying to get the most money out of it, but at this point, it’s TWC that is bleeding money by not making a deal.  The good news is that none of the cable providers have really commented on the status of negotiations, so hopefully a deal is in sight.  On the field however, no relief is in sight for the Dodgers.  Andre Ethier is out 10-14 weeks with a broken leg, adding to the slew of injuries on this brittle roster that Andrew Friedman has assembled.

Roger Goodell said last week that he has not ruled out the possibility the Raiders moving to Las Vegas.  Please let this happen! Could there be anything more perfect for Raider Nation than being in Vegas? Raider Nation is filled with insane people, and so is Vegas.  Heck, people that hate the Raiders would probably even come to Vegas to see the spectacle.  Better yet, this would probably be the best thing to happen to Southwest Airlines since they put strip clubs in Las Vegas.

This last episode of The People vs OJ Simpson on FX was probably one of the slower episodes, yet it was still fantastic.  I never realized just how close the whole criminal case was to being a mistrial, once the jurors started protesting by wearing all black.  They nearly ran out of jurors, and it was amazing to see just how many of them lied on their questionaires just to be a part of a historic case.  At that point, the prosecution was probably dying for a mistrial, because they were getting obliterated.  My favorite part of the episode was the ignorance that Judge Ito showed when a juror was complaining to him that the white jurors were receiving an extra 30 minutes to shop at Target, while the black jurors were getting less time to shop at Ross.  The hilarious moment was when he had to ask the juror to re-confirm the question of whether or not black people actually like to shop at Ross instead of Target.  Johnny Cochran quickly chimed in to confirm that was the case, but it was just a reminder of how unaware people were of the multitude of ways race impacted the trial.  The show also clearly fabricated the fact that particular juror ran down the hall screaming so that she would be relieved of her duty.  She was relieved, but not in that fashion.  I also forgot that prosecution witness Dennis Fung decided to shake the hands of OJ and the defense team after they destroyed him during the cross examination.  Another important figure in the criminal case who fell victim to being star struck.

Finally, we made it through another edge of your seat episode of The Walking Dead last night, and nearly lost our minds during the final moments.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it.  I thought we weren’t going to lose anybody, but we just might have lost Darryl, at the hands of Dwight. We won’t know until next week.  We saw blood splatter everywhere once he shot him.  That was followed by Dwight saying “you’ll be alright.”  I have a feeling it isn’t Darryl he’s talking to.  He’s talking to the rest of us to let us know that we’ll eventually be alright even though our favorite son may have just died.  I keep asking myself if the show would do this to us, and I think the answer is yes, despite trying to convince myself otherwise.  What the hell was everyone thinking leaving Alexandria again?  What’s the point of having these freaking “safe zones”  in the post-apocalypse, if people just up and leave all the time? This is all Darryl’s fault.  Glenn even told him it was bound to go wrong and it did. Ugh!  I don’t know what Morgan was thinking either, leaving himself an excuse not to come back to Alexandria to defend the group, as he continues to hunt down Carol.  Speaking of Carol, just when you thought she might be becoming a little emotionally unstable by leaving the group, she reminded everyone how much of a badass she is by killing four of the Saviors on the road.  I think Carol will definitely be fine on her own, but it’s too bad because the group really needs her to help defend Alexandria.  Morgan’s story about The Wolf prisoner who changed is bullshit.  That prisoner didn’t save Denise’s life.  He was taking her hostage during the escape, but fortunately somebody shot him before he could go any further.  I expect that we’re going to get some big time answers in next week’s 90 minute season finale.  Some answers that we probably aren’t going to want to hear.

Darryl Dead

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