July 24, 2017
So what exactly do you get if you win an NBA Summer League Championship in Vegas? Do you get free lap dances at the Spearmint Rhino? Probably nothing more than respect and a nice trophy, but it was good to see the Lakers win something because it’s been a while. The bigger take away was Lonzo Ball’s impact, and I’m not just talking about on the floor. The Lakers final summer league game got better ratings than the Red Sox vs Blue Jays on ESPN, and Lonzo didn’t even play in the game. People were just tuning in to find out what shoes he was wearing. Being an NBA superstar isn’t just about how great you are on the court, which Lonzo demonstrated by winning the summer MVP, but also your marketability. You can thank Lavar for that, and at this rate, he’s going to be demanding a statue outside of Staples Center pretty soon. Then there’s ESPN, which is so desperate for news in July, they are busy analyzing whether or not Lonzo had the greatest calf strain injury in NBA history. This sums it up nicely…..
Then there’s Kyrie Irving who rocked the NBA by requesting the Cavs to trade him. Who wouldn’t want to play with Lebron James? This is what you expect from a guy who thinks the world is really flat. Kyrie’s request actually speaks volumes about what he thinks Lebron James is going to do in a year from now, rather than his desire to be the man. He averages more shots than anybody else on the team, and has a usage rate of 31%. He’s also ok with being traded to San Antonio, who has Kawhi Leonard, or Minnesota, who has Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler. Kyrie is just ready to turn the page, even if it means missing out on a sure NBA Finals appearance next season. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Clippers make a bid for him either. They’ve got some very useful assets and team friendly contracts. A trio of Blake, DeAndre, and Kyrie is a solid foundation to work with for the next five years as well.
To Major League Baseball where the Dodgers have opened the bidding for sponsors to put their name on the field at Dodger Stadium for a measly $12 million. If Spectrum Sports wins the bidding, we can probably expect the fans attending the game to somehow be unable to watch the games. As for the team, the trade deadline is fast approaching, and they need pitching. Last week was a reminder of just how scary it might be throwing Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy out on the mound in an October game. There’s even more concern now that Clayton Kershaw is headed to the disabled list after injuring his back yesterday. However, there really isn’t a pitcher available on the trade market better than those two guys right now. The Dodgers are better off acquiring a shutdown lefty reliever like Zach Britton, who they can deploy three or four times during a six or seven game series. I’m not really sure what the point of having a great regular season bullpen is if you can’t trust them in the playoffs. That’s why Britton is the answer.
Meanwhile, the Angels would be foolish to be buyers at the trade deadline. Even though they are 3.5 games out of the AL Wild Card, they are battling seven teams for two available spots. Even with Mike Trout, the team is boring. My uncle had a heart problem recently and his cardiologist advised him not to participate in any activities that would cause excitement. The cardiologist suggested watching Angels baseball every night so that wouldn’t happen, and my uncle is in much better condition because of it. They Halos need an entire pitching staff and come this winter, they are probably going to need an entire new infield. The only players on the roster worth keeping are Mike Trout and Andrelton Simmons. The Halos should also be concerned that Trout is busy trying to recruit Lebron James to his beloved Philadelphia 76ers next year. Does that mean he’s trying to make his way to the Phillies in the next few years?
I’m amazed that people are still obsessed with OJ Simpson. I also felt like I entered a time machine and traveled twenty years back watching his parole hearing. Back then OJ was known for feeling like he was entitled to whatever he wanted, and people were still obsessed with his celebrity. That was a major contributor to him being acquitted of murder. I still think his biggest crime is making the Kardashians famous. During his parole hearing one of the commissioners was actually wearing a Heisman Trophy shirt and a Kansas City Chiefs tie. Another felt the need to joke around with OJ that he was really 91 instead of 71 years old. OJ’s attorney was also caught on camera saying OJ was like Donald Trump, who gets two scoops of ice cream while everybody else gets one. Twenty years later nothing has changed. OJ still feels entitled, and people are still star struck. Even weirder is the fact that the folks at USC refuse to stop associating themselves with him. “USC recognizes O.J’s accomplishments as a football player,’’ a university spokesperson said Thursday. “What happened after USC is beyond our scope.’ USC has no shame I tell you.
Let’s talk TV starting with the Bachelorette, which is back on tonight on ABC. We’re down to three contestants for Rachel to choose from, but the story last week was Dean, who was eliminated after the show took advantage of airing his family’s dirty laundry. After the show put him through all that, he should definitely be the next bachelor. However, watching his dad with his long beard made me feel like I was watching The Karate Kid. I was waiting for him to tell Rachel that he just got finished karate chopping some wooden boards before he met with them. I’m beginning to think that Peter is going to be the next bachelor, which means she’ll probably end up with Bryan. We all know that Rachel likes white guys, so it’s gotta be Bryan.
Shark Week 2017 began last night on Discovery, which is like Christmas for me. I have always been incredibly fascinated by Sharks yet incredibly terrified of them. Given how common it seems to be these days to spot a Great White Shark off the Southern California coast, it’s almost shocking that we haven’t heard of more incidents happening between sharks and human beings. That also goes to show you that sharks aren’t trying to eat us. I’m pleased to see Discovery filling their programing with educational shark content as opposed to talking to numerous victims who lost some limbs during shark attacks, which the network did several years ago. That just demonizes sharks. I loved the idea of Michael Phelps racing a shark to kick off the week though. However, Phelps’ chances of beating that shark were similar to the chances of the Cleveland Browns making the playoffs.
Finally, Game of Thrones was back on HBO last night. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan to watch it later. I think the show is just being nice to us for a little before killing everyone we actually care about. Euron is clearly shaping up to be this season’s psychotic villain, like Joffrey and Ramsey, who we all want dead. Just when I you think Theon has become a man again, he reminds us that he doesn’t have any balls (literally) to save his sister. Ser Jorah just needs some coconut oil and I’m sure he’ll be fine. I definitely needed to puke after seeing the camera cut to food after seeing his skin though. Dany is getting a little too cocky for my taste. Half the drama on this show could be avoided if nobody asked anybody else to “bend the knee”. Somehow Little Finger is going to survive until the end of this series, and be a huge player when it’s over. I love how Sansa was mad at Jon right up until he said he was leaving her in charge of the north. Here’s a nice little summary of the Grey Worm and Missandei sex scene……..