June 8, 2020
The NBA still has a lot of things to work through, but they are well on their way to beginning play again at the end of July. Unfortunately for teams like the Lakers and Bucks, they won’t get the benefit of home court advantage because there will be no fans. That’s a shame because home court means a lot in the NBA playoffs, and would have in a year like this. At this point, the Lakers will be lucky to get Jack Nicholson and a fan to be named later sent to Orlando to cheer them on. Maybe the NBA will throw in some free parking and open bar at Disney World, but that’s about as good as it’s going to get. Still, I like the Lakers chances in this kooky format the league was forced to come up with. I don’t think skills are going to be sharp with this much time off, so if you are a team that relies on shooting you might be in trouble. The Lakers rely on defense and getting easy buckets in the paint, which should serve them well.
Apparently NBA players will be allowed to bring their families into the bubble in Orlando. For those of you unfamiliar with the Wide World of Sports in Disney World, it’s a park within the park. I’m curious which member of the NBA Players Association negotiated this. If anything it feels more like something the owners proposed, thinking they were doing the players a solid. In reality, the players can’t be happy because it will interfere with their social agenda. Then again, how do the players expect to sneak all those Tinder girls and their side pieces into the bubble in the first place? COVID was a tough blow, but now it’s going to be another tough couple of months for NBA side pieces. Keep your thoughts and prayers with them in this difficult year.
Drew Brees really stepped in it last week with his comments around anyone “disrespecting the flag”. His comments were certainly insensitive and hurtful to many. In fact, the next day, Travis Rodgers, Keyshawn Johnson and LZ Granderson not only condemned Brees on ESPN Radio 710 for his comments, but basically wrote him off saying they were done with him. While there’s no disputing the fact that his comments were insensitive, if you are just going to write people like Brees off after incidents like this, you’ll never see progress. It saddens me to have seen someone like Brees get completely crucified publicly, given everything he’s done in the New Orleans community. If anything, Brees has the ability to be a powerful voice in both the black community and the white community, leading the charge against racial injustice. In fact, not only did he apologize several times since then, he’s made it a point to publicly call out President Trump regarding his stance on this issue. Since then, LZ has written a very good article in the LA Times regarding the difference between being “non-racist” vs being “anti-racist”, which addressed Brees specifically. The type of action he’s taken in recent days seems a lot more “anti-racist”, and pretty impactful. Hopefully LZ, Travis, and Keyshawn can recognize this.
I’m not trying to stir the pot, but I’m going to stir the pot right now. Keep an eye on the Chip Kelly situation at UCLA. Let’s start with the fact that Kelly already has a growing perception that he’s a guy who barely cares about his job, and is just enjoying a fat paycheck. I also found it interesting that while in the NFL, several comments from his former players insinuated that he was either racist, or at least does a poor job relating to young African American men. Some of his former players in Oregon seem to disagree with this idea, but his tweets last week around George Floyd’s death brought this incident back to light. Kelly made some vague statements around unity, which three former players publicly criticized. It’s hard for me to imagine that Chip Kelly is a racist, but there is a quietly growing narrative that he’s having difficulty recruiting at UCLA because of this noise. Oh by the way, UCLA has a new Athletic Director, Martin Jarmond, who is the first African American Athletic Director in school history. Not so convinced? We are now living in a world where an LA Galaxy player was just cut because his wife made some racist comments on Twitter. The complexity of these situations is growing exponentially.
For years my cousin has been fuming about the fact that in the mid 90’s, he walked into a club in Miami and saw Dennis Rodman in the bathroom. He tried to talk to him and he completely ignored him. He saw Michael Jordan in the bathroom an hour later in that same club, and talked to Jordan, raving about what an engaging guy he is. I told him, Rodman probably was just having a bad day. I guess he was having a bad day too on Saturday night, since I saw him at Gulf Stream restaurant in Newport Beach. I was with someone who asked to take a selfie with him, and he said “Wooooooow! Noooooooooo!” Then walked away. To be fair though, he was hitting on a table with 7 girls in the minutes prior to that.
Finally, Barstool Sports has a very entertaining Instagram account, but they are 100% full of crap. They came out with a graph showing America’s favorite food chains by state. This is supposedly based on 2020 data from the Public Information and Statistics Society. Not even an NFL player suffering from CTE in California would choose Denny’s over In-N-Out. I don’t even think there is a Long John Silvers in Maine, and there’s no way Sbarro is the most popular in New York. Chuck E Cheese? Nobody is picking that as their favorite restaurant with a rat as their mascot. Barstool Sports is either just messing with us, or getting their data from CNN. Just another example of why 2020 is so screwed up.