Monday Morning Coffee

June 6, 2022

James Worthy is really acting like the “get off my lawn” old man these days. He came out recently and said NBA players have no fundamentals or life experience and that all they want to do “is practice threes, lift weights, get tattoos, tweet and go on social media. That’s it.” Ok the lack of fundamentals and life experience is fair, and that it can hurt both the college and pro game. However, if players do put the work in, you can argue that today they have to be more skilled to stay in the league than before, since everybody has to be a three-point threat these days. He also said that the Lakers refuse to build like other teams, and develop players like Memphis, Boston, and Milwaukee. I think James is forgetting that all those really nice players all those teams have has only resulted in one title. The Lakers mortgaged the future to win now, and they got their title. I would argue the Bucks title came because they got the best player in the league, Giannis. It’s a little bit prisoner of the moment thinking by the Hall of Famer, but a different way of doing things than the rest of the league because the Lakers are in the biggest, best, and most glamorous basketball market. Also, congratulations to Lebron James who’s net worth has exceeded $1 billion. This story also goes to show you how people just don’t understand money though. I love all the people on Twitter who are saying that Lebron is worth more than Jeanie Buss. The Lakers are worth $4 billion according to Forbes, so people should check their math. There’s also the people saying Lebron could pay for the Lakers payroll for a whole year and not feel it. If I stripped you of 10% of your net worth, I’m pretty sure you would feel it people. In any case, amusing nonetheless.

As for the NBA Finals, the Warriors really turned it around last night to tie the series at 1-1 against the Celtics. Jordan Poole came to life just in time to save the Warriors season. I’m really not sure what happened in game 1 in the 4th quarter. Al Horford turned into Reggie Miller, and Steve Kerr thought he was playing a preseason game at the MGM Grand by playing his reserves a little too long. In game 2 it was a different story though. I have no problem with the referees not giving Draymond a 2nd technical foul early in the game for his altercation with Jaylen Brown. As much as I criticize referees for being completely inconsistent with their calls, they were aware that ejecting Draymond would have been a greater compromise on the integrity of the outcome of the game. That’s a lot bigger than just ejecting him for the sake of being consistent. For now, Laker fans can breathe a sigh of relief since the series is tied, but I’m still awfully nervous that this could be a seven game series, and the Warriors could get dominated on the road in Boston.

To baseball, where the Dodgers just ended a brutal 31 game in 30 day stretch by splitting a series with the Mets at home. The split with the Mets is ok all things considered. Sure those east coast homers are going to say the Mets were without Scherzer and DeGrom, but the Dodgers were without Clayton Kershaw, Dustin May, Blake Treinen, and Max Muncy. That’s not just a wash, it’s actually a slight advantage for the Mets. In any case, a 19-12 record in that stretch is pretty good, and the best part is they don’t have to play the Pirates again this year, who have owned the Boys in Blue in the first few months. Where I am concerned though is about the lack of power from Freddie Freeman. He’s on pace for about 12 home runs, despite the fact his average is decent. Walker Buehler also has some things to figure out as well with his mechanics, but I’m confident he will get it right. I still think the Dodgers need another starter to beef up their rotation come playoff time, but there is plenty of time for that. I don’t think anybody would have imagined Tyler Anderson would ever put together 26 straight shutout innings. Andrew Friedman’s computer won that round. However, I’m not sure you can count on that come October. All things considered, the Dodgers are still in a good place.

As for the Angels, they have lost 11 in a row, and fans are about to put on a suicide vest the next game they watch. How does a team with Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout lose 11 in a row? Their pitching has regressed toward the mean, with the starters getting dominated of late. Entering Sunday, the starters were 0-5 with an era of 7.96 in the previous 9 games, and the games they didn’t pitch like garbage, the bullpen imploded. That was the case yesterday. On top of that, Mike Trout is 0 for his last 26 at bats, and is apparently a terrible fantasy baseball commissioner on top of that. Ohtani hasn’t exactly been killing it at the plate either, so it’s really the perfect storm of disaster. If this keeps up, the Angels are going to be forced to move to Palmdale instead of Long Beach. If the Angels don’t turn it around soon, Joe Maddon may also end up taking the fall.

To the NFL, where the Rams still have not come to a deal with Aaron Donald, and he is making noise about it. Donald said last week that he is at peace if ended up retiring and doesn’t come to a new contract agreement with the team. I love the fact that AD says it’s not about the money, it’s about winning, but football is still a business. Good one AD, we get it, you want to get paid, and you deserve it. Just don’t tell me it’s only about winning for you right now. There is definitely some risky business even paying somebody like Aaron Donald $28 million a year in a salary cap league when he’s 30 years old. However, AD is talking like a guy who isn’t going to play another 5 years in the league. It certainly would make a guy like Les Snead think about what he could do with an extra $28 million of cap room, however, in the end, I still think they will get a deal done.

Finally, UCLA Basketball got some tough news last week, which was that Jules Bernard has played his last game as a Bruin. It appears as though Bernard is going to put everything into pursuing an NBA career, even if it means playing in the G-League next year. I once again think Bernard is getting bad advice here, as he’s not ready. That leaves Tiger Campbell, Amari Bailey, Jaylen Clarke, Jaime Jacques, Adam Bona, and a bench of David Singleton, Will McCkeldon, Marc Etienne, and David Nwuba. That’s a nice starting five, but a much thinner bench than Mick Cronin probably thought he was going to be operating with. Here come the Bruins looking into the transfer portal for more help.

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