Monday Morning Coffee

Lebron with Trophies June 20th, 2016

I think it’s safe to say Lebron James is still the best player in the world.  He cemented himself as not only the best player in the world, but in term of individual greatness, he’s easily in the top 5 all time.  It was simple, Lebron played out of his mind.  Steph and Klay were underwhelming, while Lebron got just enough support he needed from Kyrie Irving, JR Smith, and some other role players.  The Warriors are still a great team with two of the best shooters ever, but championships are still won for the most part with the same formula: dominant swing man or dominant big man (if you can find them).  None of the Lebron haters can say anything now.  As for the Warriors, they are still going to be contenders for a while, but they’ll need to ask themselves if they want to try some different role players, of it want to gut their depth and sign Kevin Durant.  Steph needed to control his wife Ayesha, and make her stop tweeting about conspiracy theories.  Ayesha probably just had her cooking show canceled because of that.  Nevertheless, the real winners last night were the strippers at the club JR Smith hit after the game.  Wait, since Cleveland actually won a championship, that must mean we all need to find a bomb shelter since the world is about to end.  Lebron’s block on Iggy in the final moments was savage….. Lebron block on Iggy As for the Lakers, the NBA draft is on Thursday, and some things have me very nervous.  Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield claims that he’s “very confident” the Lakers are going to select him with their #2 pick.  If that happens, I’m very confident I’m going to jump off the Santa Monica Pier.  I’m hoping this is nothing more than a smokescreen by Mitch Kupchak, otherwise this would make no sense.  The Lakers need help in the front court, at at the small forward position especially.  More importantly, this is a two man draft: Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram.  After that, there is a major drop off.  The draft will be interesting, but free agency just got a whole lot more interesting after yesterday’s Cavs win.  It may sound weird, but Lebron James has earned the right to go wherever he wants to, and according to ESPN’s Stephen A Smith, he would absolutely consider LA if other max level players.  Golden State is probably a lot more likely to pursue Kevin Durant, and if Durant leaves OKC, Harrison Barnes becomes attainable (and more affordable), and eventually, Russell Westbrook  will be available too.  It’s lining up to be a very interesting summer, and a very expensive one too.

Then there’s the Clippers, who are looking for a new TV deal.  What would Fox Sports do without the Clipps? After the Lakers and Dodgers departed a couple of years ago, everyone thought Fox was screwed.  However, the Clippers came up with a halfway decent product, while the Kings and Ducks were competitive and maintained their loyal viewership.  Now, Steve Ballmer is looking to cash in on the fact that his team is a major piece of broadcasting for Fox Sports, while also incorporating a piece of fancy new broadcasting technology.  Meanwhile, DeAndre Jordan should receive some serious consideration for the US Olympic Team.  The squad is short on players who want to play, and short on big men.  Considering DJ is First Team All NBA (and I use the phrase loosely), he would be a very good fit, assuming he wants to play, and very deserving of a selection.

To baseball, where the Dodgers may have won 3 of 4 from the Brewers, but they’ve already dug themselves too big of a hole to catch the Giants in the NL West.  It’s funny because everyone is talking about how the Dodgers should be trade deadline buyers.  However, the closer we get to the end of July, the Dodgers may really be sellers and more than 10 games out of first place.  Then again, with the stupidity of Andrew Friedman, you would think the Dodgers are “sellers” with every trade they make.  His latest blunder was trading pitcher Zach Lee to Seattle yesterday, for a utility infielder.   That’s right folks, the organizations minor league pitcher of the year last year, was traded for a pile of crap.  I guess Friedman thinks injury plagued guys like Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy, and Brett Anderson are trustworthy, when in actuality, they won’t be able to stay healthy for 5 more minutes.  Apparently Friedman has never heard the phrase “you can never have enough pitching”.

Speaking of pitching, the Angels got a really nice performance from Tim Lincecum on Saturday, in his return to the big leagues.  Lincecum pitched six strong innings against Oakland, and all of a sudden the Halos are getting some really good pitching from their starters.  The only problem is it’s probably too little too late, given that they are already 13.5 games out of 1st place in the AL West.  Will Albert Pujols every hit over .250 again?  It would be nice if he could since he’s making $25 million per year.  The only entertainment the Halos will be able to provide this summer is Mike Trout.

What a weird coaching hire by the Anaheim Ducks.  They re-hired Randy Carlyle, who coached the Ducks prior to Bruce Boudreau, from 2005-2011.  He had the benefit of having a loaded team in 2007, when the Ducks won the Stanley Cup, but afterward his best players quite on him.  Those best players at the time, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, are still on the team.  His style is more of an outdated, rugged, “dump and chase”, and even in Toronto, his players quit on him as well.  The Ducks weren’t satisfied winning the division every year, and then getting bounced in the playoffs.  Carlyle is such a poor fit, now I’m wondering how they’ll feel missing the playoffs next year.

This Copa America thing is a very confusing to me.  I really need my soccer in World Cup form, every four years.  However, the US is giving us something to cheer about.  The problem with US Soccer is that any success they achieve, doesn’t seem to be sustainable.  Maybe by beating Argentina tomorrow, they can finally show us something sustainable.  The casual soccer fan can also start to figure out what all these other soccer tournaments are when they aren’t the World Cup. Congrats to Dustin Johnson for winning the US Open.  However, let’s be honest, we we’re all just stoked that we got to see Paulina Gretzky at the end of the tournament……. The OJ Simpson ESPN 30 for 30 was fantastic.  It was long but very fascinating, especially with the look at all the significant events between the black community and the LAPD prior to the trial.  I also love how former ESPN personality Roy Firestone was destroyed on Twitter earlier in the week for a chummy interview he had with Simpson in the early 90’s, after he had beaten up Nicole.  It’s really not fair to Firestone to criticize him with the benefit of hindsight.  You should be even more critical of Hertz and NBC, who completely ignored all the allegations of domestic abuse against Simpson.  Today, that would never fly.  Firestone owned up to it anyway, admitting he was way too chummy.  After watching the 30 for 30, my question for Johnny Cochran and all the black jurors who acquitted OJ to send a message about getting justice for black people: was it worth it? Is the relationship between black people and law enforcement that much better today because OJ was acquitted.  I don’t think so.  In fact, the potential nomination of Donald Trump for President tells me we might actually be going backwards when it comes to civil rights.

Finally, what a great episode of Game of Thrones last night on HBO! Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case.  Finally, a win for the good guys! Jon Snow and his undermanned army defeated Ramsay Bolton.  Was I the only one who was yelling in excitement when Snow was beating the hell out of Bolton? I had a feeling Sansa had something up her sleeve, and it was getting more men (who were supplied by Littlefinger).  There’s also more evidence supporting my theory that Sansa is pregnant, when Ramsay suggested she couldn’t kill him because he is part of her.  The episode was totally about girl power though, with Daenery’s destroying the Masters with her dragons.  There was also her suggestion that she and Yara would be better off running Westeros with the two of them in charge.  The fighting scenes were epic.  Unfortunately we had to lose Rickon Stark, but Sansa told us that was going to happen anyway.  Ramsay’s death was poetic justice, and one of the few times in this show where the underhanded evil tactics of the bad guys didn’t work.  Looking forward to the season finale but unfortunately, I wouldn’t expect the feel good episodes for the good guys to continue. Battle of the Bastards

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