Monday Morning Coffee

July 8, 2019

Congratulations to the Clippers and Kawhi Leonard for completely bamboozling the entire NBA. For all the jokes I’ve dropped on here about the Clips being a punching bag over the years, they really are front runners for an NBA Championship next year. Frankly, the only thing surprising is that Kawhi didn’t make his announcement on PBS or just by updating his LinkedIn profile. The combination of Kawhi and Paul George gives the Clippers 2 of the top 10 players in the NBA, and one of the best perimeter defenses in the league. This really shouldn’t be surprising though because the Clips did things the right way by hiring Jerry West to consult for them, and built out an experienced front office that had stability. Ultimately, making the sensible moves paid off for them. With that being said, I sure hope Kawhi Leonard and Paul George like getting booed in LA, because they are going to see a lot of that playing for the Clippers. It’s going to take more than one championship to make this a Clipper town. However, it potentially sets up a nice rivalry with the Lakers.

Speaking of the Lakers, I give credit to Rob Pelinka for recovering from the Kawhi decision with the signings he made. The Lakers are definitely championship contenders, albeit with some questions about durability and perimeter defense. I also have some questions about Jared Dudley, who looks like he should be selling Falafel on the corner of Olympic and Fig instead of playing for the Lakers. They are contenders. However, Jeanie Buss, Rob Pelinka, and Magic Johnson are fools for their behavior the last 6 months, and completely responsible for the monster competitor that was built down the hall at Staples. Jeanie could have brought back Jerry West as a consultant, but she said no. She could have brought more front office experience around Pelinka after Magic quit, but no. She continues to drink her own Laker Kool-Aid. Then there’s Magic who probably cost the Lakers getting Kawhi by blabbing about his meeting with Uncle Dennis to the media. Meanwhile, Pelinka had to perpetuate the backstabbing image by talking badly about Magic in front of the team. The Lakers almost had Kawhi and could have crushed the league for years. Instead their own arrogance and foolishness cost them, and now life is going to be a lot tougher.

If there’s one thing we learned from this whole Kawhi drama, it’s that Chris Broussard, Jalen Rose, and this Ayre Abraham kid don’t know crap about what’s going on in the NBA. If you believe anything they say, you should probably go buy a ticket to next years Fyre Fest. If Broussard told me he had pepperoni on his pizza last night, I wouldn’t believe him. Dude claimed that not only was there a 94% chance he signs with the Lakers, but that the Clippers were out. If Fox Sports is keeping this guy employed for his “sources”, they are even dumber than I thought. Next time I hear something his sources say, I’m calling the Feds myself. Any pro insider with half a brain like Woj, Ramona, David Aldridge, or even Brian Windhorst would never speak in absolutes. Free agency was absolutely wild, and these four minutes sums it up quite nicely for NBA fans.

To baseball, where the Dodgers have reached the All-Star break with the best record in baseball. Cody Bellinger has been absolutely amazing. He’s easily the MVP of the National League, and other than Mike Trout, he’s the best player in baseball. Hopefully Andrew Friedman’s computer reminds him to lock him up to a contract extension soon. The Dodgers should also be getting reinforcements back soon with Corey Seager and AJ Pollock coming off the DL shortly after the break. They’ll need it because Joc Pederson has decided he’s going to suck in the 2nd half of the season since he’ll be participating in the Home Run Derby. The last time Joc did this, he disappeared like Hodini for the rest of the season. Scary moment the other night seeing Russell Martin get hit in the head with a fast ball. He got hit so hard, you had to wonder if he would remember that he was once an all-star player in this league. Meanwhile, this was a friendly and playful competitive exchange between Manny Machado and a fan last week.

I want to offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Angels’ pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who tragically died last week. By all accounts, everyone that knew Skaggs had nothing but amazing things to say about him as not just a competitor on the field, but also as a wonderful human being. It feels like these types of tragedy’s have historically hit the Angels organization. From Nick Adenhart, to Lyman Bostock, and Donnie Moore, this is a sad and unexplained trend surrounding the organization. At this point baseball can’t be at the forefront of everyone’s mind in the organization, yet it’s probably one of the few things that can be somewhat therapeutic during a difficult time.

Seeing Paul George and Jerry West stab the Lakers in the back this weekend wasn’t the only dagger thrown in SoCal the last few days. In hockey, the Ducks hired former Kings Coach Darryl Sutter as an advisor. That’s right the greatest coach in Kings history who won two Stanley Cups is now advising their cross town rival. Meanwhile, the Kings are going through coaches like Kardashians go through boyfriends. Wait until the Ducks hire Dean Lombardi next and stick it to the Kings even more to accelerate their rebuild.

Finally, the Bachelorette is back on ABC tonight, and we’re getting closer to the end. I think the producers of the show are testing the viewers inner strength. They know that every time Hanna selects Luke P you want to hurl yourself off the roof of a building. This has to be an inside job. Hanna must be getting paid to keep him around, or it’s gotta be in her contract. Garrett must have never seen an episode of The Bachelorette. In every season the dude that confronts the dude nobody likes and talks badly about him is the dude that ends up packing his bags and going home. You can’t win an argument with an idiot. Best-case scenario, you prove yourself as smarter than the idiot—an assumption everybody had when you walked into the room. Worst-case scenario, you lose the argument. That’s how Garrett spent his last moments on The Bachelorette, slinging baloney with a doofus. Luke, Tyler, Jed, and Pete are the final four. All white guys, trying to be with a girl from the south. Who could have predicted this one?

Monday Morning Coffee

July 1, 2019

The madness has begun! NBA free agency is in full effect, and the Lakers are right at the center of it. At this point though, it’s looking like Kawhi Leonard or bust for the Lake Show. This is one dude that nobody knows anything about. I might actually be convinced he’s leaving Toronto, but Chris Broussard said he’s probably leaving Toronto which really means he’s re-signing there. The Lakers have to hope that if Kawhi decides to go elsewhere, there are still enough solid role players out there to be had. These free agent meetings are such a waste of time though. These dudes all know where they are going. Then again, if I were an NBA free agent I’d probably meet with all 30 teams to get 30 different free dinners.

Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka deserve credit for getting the Lakers to this point in the last few weeks. However, Buss finally spoke to the media last week, and her statement couldn’t have been any more disingenuous. She said the team is “in a really good place”, is “on the right path” and that “the goal has always been to get back to the playoffs.” Weird, because I always thought the goal was to win championships. The Lakers may be on the right path, but we won’t really know until free agency plays out. However, don’t give me some statement ignoring Magic pulling out the rug from under us, or without mentioning the disastrous coaching search. She could have at least told us “We know we have work to do, we know it’s been a difficult last few months, but I’m confident I can get the Lakers back to where we belong.” There has to be an element of self-awareness and there still seems to be none.

Meanwhile, Magic Johnson had to announce to the world that Kawhi wanted to meet with him to take another shot at Pelinka. The man’s ego knows no bounds. It also feels like Magic is putting in more effort now with the Lakers than he did as President of Basketball Operations. Speaking of Pelinka, he really pulled a magic act by clearing additional cap space to create a max slot. He must have promised the Wizards a dinner with Michael Jackson.

Kevin Durant is a great player, and he’s earned the right to do whatever he wants, but this dude is crazy. He’s the best player, already an all-time great, and playing on one of the best teams in the history of the NBA. Instead, he’s decided to leave them to play in New York, with a guy who’s fairly moody in Kyrie Irving. He’s doing this all because some teenager on Twitter thinks he’s a front runner. It shocks me that anybody could be that thin skinned. At a certain point you just have to tune out the noise and not care what people think. I admire the Nets aggressiveness in turning around their franchise, but I’m not so sure about the wisdom of replacing one all-star point guard who hasn’t reached his peak with another that has more mileage, and investing most of their cap in a guy who is coming off a torn achilles. Then there’s the Knicks. Only the New York Knicks would trade one of the best young players in basketball into cap space, and sign no star free agents. Hilarious.

To baseball where the Dodgers are still enjoying the best record in baseball, even after a tough weekend in Colorado. However, these ballparks really need to do something about security. Fans have been running onto the field nonstop just to give Cody Bellinger a hug. Imagine what would happen if Andrew Friedman were on the field. Fans would be running onto the field to kick him in the balls since he can’t put a good bullpen together. I love the fact the Dodger starters are going deeper into games, which lightens the load on the bullpen, but I sure hope Friedman’s computer allows Dave Roberts do that in the playoffs. Only a month left to find a quality arm or two for the pen.

Mike Trout is depriving us during the All-Star break. The man refuses to participate in the Home Run Derby. Look, he can do what he wants, but it’s reasons like this that people claim he isn’t marketable, or as easily identifiable to baseball fans, as great as he is. I’m sure participating in the derby once won’t kill him, especially now that his financial future is secure for nearly the next two decades. Meanwhile, Shohei Ohtani has already hit 10 home runs in just 44 games this season. That’s nice but they really need him to get back on a mound a pitch. Too bad that won’t happen until next year, which means another year of the Angels and their fans saying “maybe next year we’ll have good pitching.”

Finally, the Bachelorette is back tonight on ABC. You’ve gotta love the look on everyone’s face when Hannah gave Luke P a rose. That guy has to be a producer pick at this point right? Luke claimed he was “staying in his lane”. If that’s what he calls “staying in his lane” then he must be driving drunk. If I didn’t know better I’d say he was the first male Bachelorette. Someone should throw that dude’s passport in the river so he can’t go on to the next country. Tyler C seems like a pretty good bet to be the next Bachelor right now. There are some pretty good dudes on the show, but we’d never know since we get about two hours of Luke drama every week. We’ll see where it goes from here.

Monday Morning Coffee

June 24, 2019

One of the best rivalries in sports is becoming Laker fans on Twitter vs ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowki. You cannot deny how amazing of a reporter Woj is. However, ESPN wants him to provide his opinion, which can often be misconstrued for his sourced reporting. When it comes to his opinion, make no mistake about it, this man has Celtic ties. Woj is an east coast guy, with serious east coast ties, and it’s always been hard not to associate him with the Celtics, especially given that he worked with notorious Celtic homer Chris Mannix while at Yahoo. Sometimes you can almost hear Danny Ainge leaking him information with his “sourced material” sure to irritate Laker fans. The last thing Woj wants to see is a Laker super team. For that reason, Laker fans are dying to see this man be wrong, and are practically bullying him on the internet. I’m beginning to think Laker fans just want Woj to be wrong more than they actually want the Lebron-Kawhi-AD super team. This rivalry is only sure to get better in the next two weeks.

Who are these UCLA kids getting draft advice from, Lavar Ball? Moses Brown and Kris Wilkes were not drafted, and Jaylen Brown was barely selected before it was over. Even if these kids can develop in the G-League, they are leaving school early to make $35,000 a year. That would be a paycut from what some of the boosters are paying these kids at USC and Kentucky. Imagine how much better UCLA and College Basketball would be if kids like that stayed in school for another year or two? Imagine how much better the NBA would be if the kids they picked were ready to contribute and make an impact right away. Unfortunately, we’re not only going to continue to see this, but it will only be worse because drafting kids right out of high school again is going to become a thing.

Speaking of Lavar, are we finally done with him? Now that Lonzo is off to New Orleans maybe ESPN won’t care about him. They might not also let him back on their network after he was hitting on First Take host Molly Qerim last week. Qerim is married to ESPN’s Jalen Rose, who was probably in the room next door when the incident took place. Rose hasn’t been this disrespected since Kobe dropped 81 points on him at Staples Center in 2006. Lavar claims that he wasn’t actually hitting on her, and he tried to tell TMZ that by “changing gears” he meant “changing topics.” That’s hard to believe, because at the time, nobody watching or on the set interpreted the comment that way. Nevertheless, something tells me that people won’t stop putting a mic in this guy’s face, and he’ll keep giving people nonsense to talk about.

The Dodgers are losing bodies, but they keep winning games. Rich Hill, David Freese, and AJ Pollock are all out with injuries, but the Boys in Blue keep plugging in guys you’ve never heard of and they keep winning. I know you want me to credit Andrew Friedman for that, but riddle me this. If he believed in Alex Verdugo so much, then why did you have to go out and sign Pollock to a massive contract? Verdugo is killing it as an everyday player, while Pollock is killing the Dodger payroll on the injured list.

The Angels got handled by the Cardinals this weekend in St. Louis, and Albert Pujols finally made his return to the place he spent the majority of his career. Pujols actually hit a home run in this series, and it’s nice to see that he can do that every now and again since he’s only making $25 million. Albert should also put his foot in his mouth after telling the media before the series that he can’t wait for Mike Trout to play in front of “real fans”. Albert, there are “real fans” that actually come out to see your unproductive butt every night in Anaheim, and they can’t wait to see you retire.

Congratulations to Sean McVay who got engaged to his girlfriend Veronika Khomyn. That’s bad news for all the dudes drooling over Khomyn, and bad news for all the women who were hoping to lock down McVay. The good news for McVay is that he finally got a ring! Oh, and this is what he looked like in high school.

I’m not one to get very excited about the NHL Draft. Even if you’re a huge hockey fan, you’re watching your team pick teenagers that you won’t even see play pro for 2-3 years at best. However, the real sad part of this is the LA Kings, who had a top 5 pick this year because they stunk, and seemed determine to stink next year with another top 5 pick. Imagine having a team with Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Jonathan Quick, Jeff Carter, and Dustin Brown, and planning on tanking before the season even starts. That’s as wasteful as it gets.

Finally, The Bachelorette is back on ABC tonight. Hannah actually threw out the first pitch the other night at the Dodger game which makes perfect sense. The Dodgers are run by Andrew Friedman, who has questionable judgement, and they selected someone with very questionable judgement in men to throw out the first pitch. That entire episode is an example of a meeting that could have been an email. How is this Luke P dude still around? Since when do people get to stay on the show when they don’t get a Rose? Is Chris Harris going to regulate this or is he just going to drink Pina Coladas on the beach like he usually does all season? Hannah looks like she’s reached her breaking point and is ready to quit. Honestly though, would you be that upset if she did and they cancelled the rest of the season? I sure wouldn’t. I’m ready for this season to be over. You are too, but sure enough, you’ll probably be back next season to watch the train wreck again.

Monday Morning Coffee

June 17, 2019

Congratulations to Rob Pelinka and the Lakers. No matter what happens from here, he managed to keep Anthony Davis from the Celtics, get rid of Lavar Ball, and save his job in one trade. That’s a serious accomplishment as far as Jock Talk LA is concerned. In all seriousness though, the Lakers gave up a truck load in this trade, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was a bad thing. That will be determined by whether or not the Lakers can sign a max free agent in the next couple of weeks. Nobody even knows if the Lakers have that amount of money left, but I have a hard time believing Pelinka would make this trade without having that opportunity. He can’t be that foolish can he? This is a results-driven business, and Pelinka and even Jeanie Buss delivered this weekend. However, it doesn’t excuse the embarrassment they’ve put on display publicly the last 6 months. Still, depending on how Pelinka can construct the roster from here, it’s possible nobody will even remember that.

Congratulations to the Toronto Raptors for winning the NBA Championship. Has anybody actually informed Kawhi Leonard that they won the title? In typical Kawhi fashion, you couldn’t tell if he just finished a Monday morning practice or if he won a championship. The Raptors played much better than I thought, but as I said, the only thing that could derail the Warriors is injury, and that’s exactly what happened. However, history will not remember the fact the Warriors suffered catastrophic injuries. History doesn’t remember that the ’89 Lakers suffered injuries to end their bid for a three-peat, or that the ’91 Lakers had injuries when they lost to the Bulls, or that the ’16 Cavs had injuries against the Warriors. Klay is the toughest dude in the NBA. He shoots two free throws with a torn ACL, while Paul Pierce needed a wheel chair to go to the bathroom. I feel terrible for KD, who’s career may never be the same after this. His injury simply sucks for the entire NBA. Meanwhile, Kawhi’s phone was blowing up after the Finals. Here’s a look:

Then there’s the Clippers. In the span of 6 days, the Clippers went from being poised to get a big-time free agent or two, to looking more likely to strikeout in free agency. Kevin Durant tore his Achilles, Kawhi Leonard won an NBA title, and the Lakers traded for Anthony Davis. That torpedoes the Clips chances of landing a big star or two. So what’s plan B? Is there a plan B? You need 2-3 stars to win in this league. Right now the Clippers still need 1, and hopefully someone’s told Steve Ballmer that Billy Crystal doesn’t count. Things can change very quickly in this league as we just learned, but suddenly, it’s looking much bleaker for the Clippers.

To baseball, where the Dodgers did alright against the Cubs this weekend. However, we had to be reminded that Kenley Jansen isn’t quite as dominant as he once was, after blowing a save on Saturday night. They also could really use Corey Seager’s bat, which won’t be in the lineup for quite some time after he strained his hamstring earlier in the week. Seager had just started to get it going too after a slow start. I like how there was debate early in the season of whether the Dodgers should play Kike Hernandez or Chris Taylor everyday at second base. It turns out the answer was neither since neither could hit water if they fell out of a boat right now. That’s turning into an additional problem to fix along with the dumpster fire that is their middle relief.

The Angels managed to get a couple of wins against the Dodgers, but couldn’t get back to .500 after their weekend series against the Rays. I’m amazed the Angels cut ties with Cody Allen, but still have yet to cut ties with Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill. Not that Cody Allen didn’t need to be DFA’d, but his performance hasn’t been nearly as awful as Harvey and Cahill. I also like how the only thing people could talk about during the Dodgers v Angels series last week was how disingenuous the “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim” name is. One thing is for sure. They will always be known as the Angels, and will never have enough pitching!

In the NHL, the LA Kings made another bonehead move. They bought out aging defenseman Dion Phaneuf. Instead of paying Phaneuf an inflated salary for two more years, they stretched that out for another four years, which includes a $4 million cap hit in two years. One would hope that on a team with Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar, you would be trying to compete for Stanley Cups, and would need that salary cap space. It would have been be far more sensible to keep Phaneuf on the bench, or sitting in the stands in street clothes for two years instead of four because of this. In addition to that, everyone would get the benefit of seeing Phaneuf’s attractive actress wife, Elisha Cuthbert in the stands all the time. This tells me that Rob Blake understands nothing about the salary cap, or attractive women.

OJ Simpson joined Twitter last week, which was pretty epic. Amazing that this man managed to start the account on the 25th anniversary of his wife’s murder. I’ve been on Twitter for 8 years and I have over 100 followers. Meanwhile, OJ has been on for 10 minutes, and he has 10,000 followers. That’s a killer ratio.

Finally, the Bachelorette went down last week on ABC, and is back again tonight. ABC is not very good at this whole spoiler thing. Luke P doesn’t get a rose at the end of the show, yet he’s shown in the previews for the next episode. I guess this is how the network decided they were going to top last season’s fence jump. Does the P in Luke P stand for “psychopath”? How did we manage to get an entire 2 hour episode dedicated to this dude? Meanwhile, Hannah asking the really hard-hitting questions like whether the guy likes mac-n-cheese or spaghetti. I like how Luke P’s date overshadowed how drunk Hannah was on her one-on-one with Mike in Scotland. She probably needed to be drunk for the date with Luke P though to make it more tolerable. Here’s to another week of hoping this show gets better.

Monday Morning Coffee

June 10, 2019

I know what you’re thinking. The Lakers can assemble the best trade package for Anthony Davis, and should be able to trade for him. It’s not going to happen folks. Even though the Celtics are out and the Lakers have better assets than the Knicks and Clippers, the Pelicans are going to make the Lakers pay a “Laker tax” in order to complete a trade. Even if Rob Pelinka is willing to put every single young player into a trade, which he probably would do to save his job, Jeanie Buss but won’t let him. She’s been sticking her nose into every basketball decision these days, along with the inept friends she’s been relying on. This situation won’t be any different, and it’s going to cost the Lakers another star they could have traded for, for the 3rd straight summer. In the meantime, the Lakers are building an excellent staff of replacements for Frank Vogel. The latest hiring is Lionel Hollins. Something tells me we’re going to see a lot of finger pointing this season.

Warriors fans haven’t been this upset since Mitch Richmond left the team. Just kidding. No Warriors fans even know who Mitch Richmond is. Like I said, the only thing that can derail the Warriors are injuries, and that’s exactly what is going to derail them. Kawhi is a beast. He and Kevin Durant are total weirdos though. Kawhi could win the title and decide to leave. Durant could lose the title and also leave, because some 13-year-old on Twitter thinks he sucks. However, the way things are going, free agency is probably going to be a bust. KD, Kawhi, Klay, and Butler all end up staying, Kyrie goes to Brooklyn, and we got excited for nothing. As for Golden State, stay positive Warrior fans. You still have the Raiders for another year.

Mark Stevens was not just an idiot fan who got drunk and pushed Kyle Lowry when he fell into the stands last week. He’s a part owner of the Warriors, which makes him all those things, plus an entitled moron. Then it all made sense: he’s on the Board of Directors at USC.

All these sports writers are wondering if it’s too early to celebrate the Dodgers’ success. I’m wondering if it’s too early to blame the front office for failing in the 2019 postseason. The Dodgers have the best record in baseball, just like they did around this time two years ago. In 2017, it didn’t matter because they lost in 7 games in the World Series. In 2018, their slow start didn’t matter because they made the postseason, then lost in the World Series. All I know is, this movie has the same cast of characters in it for the 3rd year in a row, so why should I expect the ending to be any different? A good regular season team, strong pitching, solid offense, and a bullpen that’s more volatile than the Dow Jones. If you can’t fix the pen, you can’t change the ending to the movie. Until that happens, we should be skeptical.

Matt Harvey began a AAA rehab assignment for the Angels over the weekend. He gave up 8 runs, so it looks to me like he’s healthy enough to keep getting destroyed in the Majors. Harvey probably lowered his ERA too after giving up 8 runs. Seriously though, how long are the Halos going to keep trotting out Harvey and Trevor Cahill to the mound? The less we see from those two guys, the more we’ll see from promising young pitchers like Canning and Suarez. Those pitchers can’t fare any worse than the two bums the Angels think are their #1 and #2 starters. Dallas Keuchel on a one year deal sounded a lot better than either one of those two guys, but too late for that now.

Now that OTA’s have started, Todd Gurley sounds like the oldest 24-year-old in history. At this rate, he’s going to be retired by the time the season starts in September. With Gurley not participating in OTA’s, it’s time to officially be concerned about the arthritis in his knee. Without question, the Todd Gurley we saw sporadically in the playoffs is the Todd Gurley were going to see in this upcoming season. The Rams have to preserve him. Too bad they didn’t realize that before paying him $45 mill guaranteed. Suddenly, Darrell Henderson seems like a critical piece to develop at the running back position, or else the Rams offense might not be so dynamic anymore. This is where we find out if Sean McVay is really a “McGenius”, or just a football coach with a hot foreign girlfriend.

Finally, another episode of The Bachelorette went down last week on ABC, and it’s back again tonight. Not only is Luke P a liar, manipulative, and a poor sport … but he’s 5’6. Can we all take a minute to be concerned about Rhode Island’s health care? I mean did Kevin go to a civil war hospital when he got his arm wrapped up? They should just change the name of this season to the “The Battle Of The Luke’s”. This whole Jaylen Brown and Hannah discussion was beyond awkward, because in reality you know they just wanted to go to the Fantasy Suite to get it on. Honestly, this season is so bad, if they turned the Bachelorette into a show where she went out on 30 dog dates, handing out dog bones at the end of each date, and eventually picking the dog of her dreams, people would be way more interested. This coming from someone who isn’t really a dog person either.

Monday Morning Coffee

June 3, 2019

Imagine playing a drinking game where you had to take a shot for every time the Lakers organization humiliated themselves over the last 6 months. You would definitely be dead by now. I wouldn’t blame Lebron James if he felt like playing that game at this point. The man has been recruiting like crazy, but there’s no chance the Lakers will end up with KD, Kawhi, Klay, or even Kyrie or Jimmy Butler. At this point Rob Lowe has a better chance of getting his phone call returned by another NBA GM than Rob Pelinka. Plus unlike Pelinka, Lowe wouldn’t need to be “fact-checked” more than Donald Trump. Maybe when this summers train wreck is finally over, the franchise will come to their senses and make some real change for the better. Or Maybe that’s just wishful thinking as well.

The NBA’s tampering rules are ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, it would have been totally hypocritical for the league to not fine Doc Rivers for his comments about Kawhi Leonard on ESPN earlier this week after Magic Johnson got fined for saying things even less eye opening about players under contract. However, what’s the real harm behind talking about players under contract? Everybody and their mother already knows the Clippers are recruiting Kawhi Leonard. Why do Doc Rivers comments have any bearing on this? It’s silly, and just another rule to protect these cry baby small market owners. As for Doc’s comments themselves, only he would say something as ridiculous as comparing Leonard to Michael Jordan. He sounds like another idiot fan boy on Twitter that’s been watching the NBA for five minutes but why would you expect any less? I guess that’s what recruiting means these days.

The Raptors blew a massive opportunity yesterday against the Warriors and are doomed after losing home court advantage. If you can’t beat the Warriors without KD, without Klay, and with Steph suffering from the flu, it’s not going to happen. I’m pretty sure Marc Gasol and Pascal Siakam aren’t going to combine for 52 points in a game again in this series. If the Lakers earned as many free throws as were shot last night they would have lost by 20. If it wasn’t for State Farm, the Rockets would never be seen in the Finals. Ramona Shelburne is probably going to think she’s god’s gift to sports journalism after President Obama told her she does a great job last night. I’m surprised Drake wasn’t rubbing Obama’s shoulders before the night was over. If the Raptors win more games, Donald Trump will probably impose additional tariff tax on Canada.

To baseball, where I’ve gotta give Andrew Friedman credit for this. He knows his free agent signings are garbage, which might explain why he operates like a cheapskate every winter. This season is another perfect example with Joe Kelly and AJ Pollock getting paid over $20 million combined this year, yet they’ve both done about as much as you and I have to contribute to the Dodgers’ success. They should replace Joe Kelly Bobblehead night with Joe Kelly Voodoo Doll night. It’s great that the Dodgers are at the top of the MLB standings, but this team as always, will be judged by how they fare come October. They’ll need to fix their bullpen if they plan on succeeding then. Isn’t that what Friedman is supposed to be good at? We’re still waiting for him to figure it out 5 years later.

The Angels wish they could play the Mariners every weekend, after treating them like a pinata for the last three days. I haven’t seen Albert Pujols look that good since he was in St. Louis. Still, the sad part about the Angels is that not only are they not winning much in general, but they aren’t even creating buzz in town. I mean if they aren’t going to win, at least have somebody go to Mastros or Javier’s in Newport and start a bar fight over some gold digger. People will show up if you win. But the only thing that’s worse than losing is being boring. The Halos are both right now, and not even Mike Trout can solve that problem by himself.

The silliest thing I’ve heard in the last week was from NFL Insider Mike Florio, who suggested that Jared Goff might not get a 2nd contract from the Rams. Really? Goff is still on his rookie deal and helped the Rams get to the Super Bowl last year. Are we talking about the same guy? You people do realize that it is possible that Goff can and will improve as a quarterback right? As long as the Rams continue to protect him with a good o-line, there’s no reason Goff can’t continue to grow as a Quarterback and make big throws, which he’s already shown he can do. Goff is actually the least of concerns for the Rams, and instead it’s Todd Gurley and his knee. His knee makes me more nervous than Antonio Cromartie would be on Mothers Day.

Finally, another episode of The Bachelorette went down last week on ABC and it’s back again tonight. I’m thinking John Paul Jones has never watched The Bachelorette before, has no idea what’s going on and is just here for the free food and drinks. Just a hunch but I’m thinking Cam’s previous relationships weren’t ruined by amputation, giving a dog away, or his grandma being sick. More likely that he’s a stage 5 clinger, creepy, maybe even a serial killer. I feel like ABC needs to throw me a pity rose and pay for my cable for the next month to make up for how awful this season has been so far. As if this season hasn’t been bad enough, now I have to endure watching a couple of Boston Celtics on the show as well, and seeing Hannah wear a Celtics jersey. I always knew this girl was no good .

Monday Morning Coffee

May 27, 2019

Happy Memorial Day Everyone! This is your weekly reminder that the Lakers’ ownership and front office are still acting like complete idiots and it’s only getting worse by the day. If Magic Johnson loves the Lakers so much, why won’t he shut up and stop talking to the media? He’s doing more damage every time he speaks, but apparently he’s too self-centered and lacks the self-awareness to realize that. I’m not sure why we think Rob Pelinka is capable of pulling off anything this summer since no GM or agent will take his call. Perhaps he can try email? Magic already confirmed our worst fears about him and the entire organization. Then there’s Jeanie Buss, who clearly skipped the first day of business school class at USC where they recommend you don’t stick to business with family and friends. This July is going to be such and disaster and as upset as we’re all going to be watching it, we’re all going to be there when these senseless buffoons get what they deserve. Maybe that will finally humble them enough to get them to look in the mirror and see what they’ve let this become.

I still think Kevin Durant is a lunatic for even considering leaving a historically great team like the Warriors. Who cares what people think? If he wins there his legacy will be great. Nevertheless, you have to give the Clippers credit for suddenly looking competent enough to look like a real contender for his services this summer. I don’t really think this is going to happen, and the narrative is a little bit over the top, but the fact that this is a real discussion just shows you how far the perception of the Clippers has come in a very short period of time. If a Durant or Kawhi Leonard signing were to happen, or even both, it would also further serve the Lakers right for the foolishness of their leadership.

The NBA Finals matchup is set! The Warriors will be taking on the Raptors beginning Thursday. Even though Kawhi Leonard is everything Jon Snow should have been, this series is going to be over faster than Hillary Clinton’s last Presidential campaign. It doesn’t matter if Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins play or not. This shouldn’t take more than five games. Kawhi can’t guard everyone. I don’t care how many massages Drake is going to provide in this series, it’s a foregone conclusion. However, I feel like Drake is going to get so much air time in this series, I’m not going to want to see him for the next year. He’s been acting like an AAU coach.

To baseball where the Dodgers probably wish they could play the Pirates every game. They swept them over the weekend, and are 6-0 against them this season. The starting pitching has been on fire, sporting the best ERA in the National League, and the 2nd best in baseball. Interestingly enough, it feels like the LA’s been letting their starters pitch a little longer than the usual hook after the fifth inning. Perhaps that’s because Andrew Friedman’s computer is in the middle of a software upgrade, but nevertheless, their bullpen will be a lot more effective and well rested in the long run by doing that.

Then there’s the Angels, who’s starting pitching has been a pile of garbage. It’s no wonder that Matt Harvey has a back strain. He probably injured it looking back at all those home runs he’s been giving up. The players were also complaining that they had to play 20 straight days in a row. With the way they’ve been playing, their fans are complaining too. After taking two of three against the Rangers, the Angels best hope on the mound is Griffin Canning, or for a weather delay. The odds of winning the Power Ball are higher than Andrew Heaney and Tyler Skaggs staying healthy for a full season. There’s only two teams in baseball with starters that collectively have a worse ERA than the Angels. The division is already lost and it’s starting to feel like the Wild Card is insurmountable. Typical Angels baseball.

The Stanley Cup Final starts tonight! Raise your hand if you predicted Blues vs Bruins. If you’re raising your hand you’re a big fat liar. It just goes to show you that as long as you make the playoffs in the NHL, anything can happen. The Kings reminded us of that back in 2012 when they won the Cup as the 8th seed. However, that parity also means it’s hard to sustain success for very long and stay in contention. In any case, whoever wins it’s going to be an enjoyable Cup Final just knowing that the San Jose Sharks will be sitting on their couches at home watching as well.

Finally, the Bachelorette is back on ABC tonight. While I’m slowly losing interest in this season due to the dull personalities, I did learn a few things in the last episode. Mostly notably Kevin and Cam. I don’t care how mad you get, you never ever…waste chicken nuggets. Luke P says “you can trust me”. That’s like trusting Rob Pelinka to run your basketball franchise.
If all the biggest douche bags from The Bachelor franchise got together and had sex, Luke P would be born. Most people probably stopped watching the show after seeing Cam get a rose anyway. With every episode that goes by, I find Hannah getting not only more dull, but even a tad more obnoxious. We’ll see how much longer this lasts.

Monday Morning Coffee

May 20, 2019

Relax I’ll get to Thrones. But first, the Lakers received what I like to call “Idiot Welfare” from the NBA last week. You can’t get any luckier than they did, although I guess it’s not luck when the lottery is rigged. However, just when you find out they get the 4th pick and have another great asset, we learned that Gayle Benson will not allow Anthony Davis to be traded to the Lakers “over her dead body”, and that the Lakers doubled down on dumb by leaking that they will not be hiring a new President of Basketball Operations. Magic Johnson went on First Take this morning putting the Lakers on blast, further validating this dysfunction. In other words, you still get the feeling that there is “imminent doom” on the horizon, despite the fact so many great players are available this summer. Sure the Lakers have the assets and the roster flexibility to put together a trio of stars like Lebron-Anthony Davis-Kawhi Leonard. However, it would take smart leadership to actually get that done, which the Lakers clearly don’t have anymore.

It’s hilarious how rigged the NBA lottery has become. It’s no wonder they don’t allow anybody to actually see the ping pong balls drawn. It’s because they don’t actually mean anything. I’m sure it was completely lottery luck that when the Cavaliers lost Lebron James, then ended up with the #1 pick in 2011. Or when the Hornets lost Chris Paul and ended up with the #1 pick in 2012. Or when the Timberwolves lost Kevin Love and ended up with the #1 pick in 2015. Or now that the Pelicans are about to lose AD, they get the #1 pick. At this point if you think it isn’t rigged, then you probably bought a ticket to Fyre Fest and believe every word that comes out of Skip Bayless’ mouth.

The Dodgers took care of business against the Reds over the weekend, getting to see their old friend Yasiel Puig again. I’m not sure why Puig is surprised he was traded for cash considerations. Ownership shipped 70% of its fan base off for cash considerations when they made their current TV deal with Spectrum. Tough situation for the Dodgers when it comes to Julio Urias. Andrew Friedman is probably trying to figure out why his computer can’t come up with an answer on what to do with Urias, who is currently on leave after being arrested last week on suspicion of domestic battery. I’m reserving judgement here until the TMZ video comes out, but these situations are usually pretty damning. If Urias is guilty, he should be punished accordingly, regardless of his talent and what he means to the Dodgers. There is never any excuse for this, but especially in the era we are living in, there is absolutely no excuse for this.

Man the Angels starting pitching is garbage. Trevor Cahill stinks, and Matt Harvey looks is a disaster. I’m beginning to realize they call Harvey “two face” because one day he looks halfway decent and the next start he looks a bigger waste of money than that pile of cash the Joker burned. The real pitchers the Angels need to carry them are Shohei Ohtani, who won’t pitch this year, and Griffin Canning, who is solid but still very young. At this point I think it’s safe to kiss the division goodbye already, but the Halos need to do what they can to stay in the Wild Card race. After the draft, they should be all over Dallas Keuchel on a one year deal, so they don’t give up compensation. I’m sure Keuchel is waiting for his food stamps to come in the mail since he won’t accept a one-year $17 million salary.

Not exactly a riveting first episode of The Bachelorette last week with Hannah starting to send guys home. I know there’s already outrage when she just sent home Matt McDonald, the farmer with two deaf parents. Most of the dudes this season sound like frat guys who are on their 8th beer. Apparently Hannah is into that. Then again John Paul Jones looks like a dude who got a lacrosse scholarship to Yale because his dad was a Sigma Chi legacy that donated $5 million dollars to build a library. If you’re an airline pilot and you’re going on The Bachlorette you need to wear your uniform. Rookie move. Same goes for Luke who didn’t give up his jacket when Hannah was cold. The only thing the world knew about Alabama before last week was “Roll Tide”. Skeptical on this season but we’ll see where it goes.

Finally, let’s get to the series final of Game of Thrones last night. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan on watching it later. You complainers are so dramatic, pretending like you just wasted 8 years of your life because the ending didn’t go your way. This was one of the best television series of all-time people. I found it devastatingly sad that Daeny was killed, let alone killed by Jon after losing her mind like that. I suppose it had to be done. We cheered for her for 8 years to end up on the throne, and then in a matter of 1.5 episodes it all turned. However, if you thought you were going to get a happy ending with Jon on the throne then you simply don’t get the show. For most of the show it was the bad guys winning, and a lot of you hated it when all the Starks died at the Red Wedding. The Starks came out on top, for the most part, and many of you are still complaining. Jon’s decision was a sacrifice that led to the greater good.I admit that seeing Bran on the throne was like seeing the kid who got an A even though he didn’t do anything during the group project. I’m sad the show is over, I’m sad Daeny ended up turning evil and dying, but the show was amazing. That’s what amazing shows do. They pull you in, make you think they can’t kill certain people or do certain things, then they do to provide you with shock value. If you don’t like it, then go back to watching trash reality TV.

Monday Morning Coffee

May 13, 2019

If you’re a Laker fan you should be livid. Jeanie Buss seems determined to not only embarrass the franchise a little more everyday, but also set women back in sports another 20 years. Her latest debacle is relying on the “front office expertise” of Phil Jackson and Kurt Rambis, and deciding to hire Frank Vogel as coach. If Jeanie is taking basketball operations advice from those two, she’s probably also using Bernie Madoff as her financial advisor. I like how Jason Kidd’s history of domestic violence does not make him a worthy head coaching hire, but a perfectly acceptable lead assistant. Nice logic Jeanie. This is only going to get worse and when the Lakers fail in free agency, Lebron is going to demand a trade. In the meantime, Lebron is probably having Nike design him some special sneakers to walk all over Vogel, who is just an average coach for what is turning into a below average franchise.

Some of you have the memory of a five year old. The Golden State Warriors lost Kevin Durant for a couple of games and you suddenly thought that made them a lottery team. Yes, Charles Barkley, I’m talking to you. Nobody seems to remember that the core of this team won 73 games three years ago, and also won an NBA Championship. Meanwhile, the Rockets are looking for a receipt on that Chris Paul purchase. Kyrie Irving is already playing like he’s on the Knicks. The Blazers celebrated yesterday’s game 7 win until they realized they have to play the Warriors. Kawhi Leonard is a beast, and I think his buzzer-beater yesterday keeps him in Toronto next season.

To baseball where the Dodgers have the best record in the National League, but not even the dudes that bought tickets to Fyre Fest wouldn’t believe they are good enough to win the World Series. Matt Kemp is available and before you shut the idea down, he’d actually be a great asset. The Dodgers still stink against left-handed pitching and Kemp can help that, especially with AJ Pollock out with an elbow injury. Kemp was not only an All-Star last year, but even when people wrote him off for his decline in the 2nd half, he was still very productive when he wasn’t playing everyday. That’s because he loves being a Dodger, and that additional productivity won’t come from him playing anywhere else. Meanwhile, Hyun-Jin Ryu is doing his best Sandy Koufax impersonation. For all the talk about Clayton Kershaw and Walker Beuhler, Ryu is easily the Dodgers’ best pitcher at the moment. If only Kenley Jansen would start impersonating himself again things would be even better.

Then there’s the Angels. Things have gotten a little better on the field for the Halos, getting healthier, swinging the bats, and winning 4 of their last 6. However, they really need the Astros to move to the Japanese league, because the Halos are 6.5 games back in the AL West. To make matters worse, the top two starters, Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill, are both sporting ERA’s over 6. I’ve seen better pitching from Lavar Ball in business meetings. If the Angels ever want to get serious about winning again they’ll need to actually develop this part of their farm system, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon.

It’s May. We’re past the NFL draft. We’re past the majority of free agency, but Ndamukong Suh is still unsigned. The Rams need to re-visit getting him back on the roster. It’s clear nobody is going to pay him the $14 million he made last year, and you can never have enough good defensive lineman. Suh finally got away from the dirty play we’ve seen throughout his career last season, and played very well in the playoffs. If not, sooner than later they could end up lining up against him in the NFC Championship game vs the Saints. After all, nobody can say no to those beignets.

I don’t know if I can do it guys. This may be the season of The Bachelorette I can’t stomach. Hannah Brown? I’ve stared at a pile of paint chips that were more interesting than her. Something tells me it won’t matter though. People will watch, listen to podcasts on it, complain bitterly from the start of the season to the end, then watch it again next season.

I know I’m really late to the party on this, but I finally got around to watching the “Leaving Neverland” documentary on HBO over the weekend. This was four brutal hours of television. I found myself interested, yet very queasy listening to the horrific detail of what Michael Jackson did to these men when they were young boys. I’d like to think that could not happen as easily today, with parents far more aware of child abductions, molestation, and even sex trafficking. However, even with a celebrity such as Michael Jackson, or any adult, when in the hell would it actually be appropriate for a parent to allow their child to sleep in the same bed as them? One thing is for sure. You’ll never think of Michael Jackson the same way after watching it.

Finally, a huge episode of Game of Thrones went down on HBO last night. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it so read no further if you plan on watching it later. Imagine what Daeny would have done if she still had 3 dragons? This is what happens when you can’t bang your nephew. Innocent people die. At least Varys died doing what he loved: snitching. Had you known this episode was coming a couple of seasons ago, you probably would have screamed for joy. However, Daeny’s ruthless destroying of Kings Landing left me unsatisfied, and even feeling sympathy for a lot of people. I even felt sympathy for Cersei and Jamie, and even though they died together, the death was unsatisfying since it was just a ceiling that collapsed on them. It was great we got to see the Mountain vs The Hound, but Arya’s story wasn’t very well put together. It was coming together once she killed the Night King, but after she decided to call off her revenge tour, stumbling around Kings Landing was a senseless look. It was a good episode, but I can’t help but feel they are rushing the ending. At least we didn’t see any Starbucks cups or airplanes. I’m looking forward to the ending, and think we’re in for another curve ball next week.

Monday Morning Coffee

May 6, 2019

It’s cute that the Lakers are dragging their feet on this whole coaching search when they are just going to give the job to Tyronn Lue in the next couple of days. I like how they are pretending like they are going through some real process when they really aren’t. There’s no process when you don’t hire a President of Basketball Operations after yours quits on TV before he actually tells you. Even dumber is this rumor that the Lakers are operating with some sort of “shadow boss” advising them, who will be taking over the team soon. This has to be a leak from the Lakers to make it seem like Jeanie Buss knows what she’s doing. However, even if this rumor were true, the so called “shadow boss” must be advising Jeanie to look like an idiot and not even interview for President of Basketball Operations.

I admit there’s been some amazing 2nd round games to watch in the NBA Playoffs, but let’s be honest, you’re just fooling yourself if you think Golden State isn’t going to win another title this year. It took overtime, two blown layups from Steph, and James Harden going crazy just for the Rockets to win a game. Harden apparently thinks he’s fouled on every play. Meanwhile, the Nuggets and Blazers took so long to finish game 3, the winner should have been rewarded with taking game 4 off. The most riveting thing about the 76ers and Raptors is that whoever loses is likely to lose their star free agents. Despite yesterday’s win, it’s also a good bet these days for Canada to end up losing at anything, so look for that to happen in the next few days. Marcus Smart was upgraded to questionable for the Celtics, but their playoff chances have been downgraded to “doubtful” vs the Bucks.

I’m sure the Padres wish Manny Machado would play against the Dodgers every game. Machado was hitting a mere .240 going into the series against his former team over the weekend, before going off against them with a couple of homers. I guess $300 million doesn’t buy what it used to. I’d pay $300 million just to get somebody other than Andrew Friedman to run the Dodgers. In typical Dodger fashion, they are in 1st place with their “prized” free agent acquisition, AJ Pollock out indefinitely, and Joe Kelly’s velocity disappearing like Lebron James’ hairline. The Dodgers are once again benefiting from a weak division, and a bunch of dudes that Friedman had no part in actually acquiring for the most part. It doesn’t matter how much money you give Friedman to spend, he’ll find a way to spend it in the most inefficient ways.

Then there’s the Angels, who went all the way to Mexico to get bombed by the Astros over the weekend. At least if Trump builds that wall, it will prevent Trevor Cahill, Peter Bourjos, Kole Calhoun, and all these other scrubs from coming back to Anaheim. Halos Skipper Brad Ausmus says “environmental factors played into it”, when consdering that Cahill has given up 12 home runs. Actually, I’m pretty sure whatever environment you play in, half the team still plays like scrubs. I’ve been hearing a lot about an improving Angels’ farm system, but I have yet to see anything promising yet. There’s not much to be excited for this season, other than the fact you know Mike Trout isn’t going anywhere.

What a shocker at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday! Maximum Security crossed the finished line 1st, but was disqualified for impeding other horses. Country House, a 64-1 long shot, was declared the winner. On the bright side for Maximum Security, he won’t have to go to the White House and eat crappy fast food. I’m surprised he wasn’t disqualified for fouling James Harden on a 3-point shot, since you can even do that by breathing on him.

In College Football, an interesting comment was made by Reggie Bush last week regarding Urban Meyer that caught the attention of Trojan fans. Bush said that he and Matt Leinart are going to be actively recruiting Meyer to be the Trojans next coach when they all work together on Fox Television’s College Football broadcast in the fall. That comment just goes to show you what alums and former USC players think of Clay Helton. It’s like being married and openly pursuing other women. Even funnier was Urban Meyer’s response, which was that he thinks he’s done, and he’s enjoying what he’s doing now. That’s hilarious because he hasn’t even started doing whatever he’s doing because he just retired. Urban Meyer is a bigger liar than any politician out there. I guess that makes him a perfect culture fit for USC one day. However, the Trojans certainly won’t suck anymore with him as their coach.

Finally, another intense episode of Game of Thrones went down last night on HBO and it had a shocking ending. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it so read no further if you plan on watching it later. Ugh how could you be so stupid Daeny? This episode just had the feel of many other episodes throughout the entire series of feeling like imminent doom was coming to our favorite characters. Sansa only said to wait on battling Cersei, but Daeny lost a dragon, a whole bunch of her fleet, while Missandei was captured and killed. Also, how did she and her two Dragons miss Euron Greyjoy’s fleet from that high above? Get your head in the game! Euron Greyjoy is like the 99 cent store version of Jack Sparrow. I wanted Cersei and Daeny to throw hands. Instead, they had their Hands talk it out. Not exactly what I had in mind. I like how how Ned Stark kept a secret about Jon Snow for 20 years, and 20 seconds after finding out, Sansa is announcing it like breaking Fox News. Jamie flip flips allegiances more than Drake. This is going to end with a decision from Jamie on what to do with Cersei. You know she’s not going to go down easy. She never does. It’s going to be a spectacular and edge of your seat final two episodes.