Monthly Archives: June 2022

Monday Morning Coffee

July 27, 2022

Let me make this clear. There is no market for Kyrie Irving. Nobody is going to give this guy a max contract. There are some pretty stupid people running NBA organizations, yet still, nobody is dumb enough to guarantee four or five more years of his bs. He’s going to find that out shortly, as the Nets have told him he can go look for sign-and-trades. Even for a team starved for talent like the Lakers, I wouldn’t even trade Russell Westbrook straight up for him, and I’m certainly not giving up draft picks. If Kyrie wants to leave Brooklyn and join the Lakers, it’s fine if he’s willing to take the $6 million tax payer midlevel exception for one year. I still have a hard time believing he’s willing to leave $30 million on the table by doing this, but this is also the same guy who believes the earth is flat, so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. Save Russell Westbrook’s contract for a trade to bring in some useful role players, especially now that John Wall is likely an option for them as well. Meanwhile, Lebron is the biggest troll I have ever seen, as he’s now posting Kyrie highlights on his IG story. On the bright side though, the Lakers drafting and scouting has always been on point, and they have some very interesting summer league players to keep an eye on after last week’s draft. Laugh all you want about Shareef O’Neal and Scottie Pippen Jr. on the roster, but the Lakers scouting department has earned the benefit of the doubt, and they know what they are doing.

Elsewhere around the NBA draft, I still think many of the UCLA kids made a big mistake entering the draft, and Thursday night did nothing to change my opinion of that. Johnny Juzang and Jules Bernard went undrafted, and now will have to prove themselves in summer league for the Jazz and the Pistons, respectively. Peyton Watson did manage to successfully bet on himself, and was the last pick in the 1st round, before being traded to the Nuggets. I realize that every NBA team is desperate for wings and all, but we’ve reached the point of desperation where a kid who averaged 3 points and shot 32% from the field as a freshman is a 1st round pick. I hope these kids have successful NBA careers, but right now, I think they are getting very bad advice. Also, congrats to Isaiah Mobley for being drafted by the Cavs, and re-uniting him with his brother Evan. That’s good for USC Basketball. I also hope that Christian Braun has a very long and prosperous NBA career for many reasons, especially after his mom attended the draft.


A couple of thoughts before NBA free agency madness begins later this week. Are we sure Kevin Durant isn’t actually tired of Kyrie’s antics and is ready to see him leave? Dude hitched himself to the wrong wagon after leaving Golden State, and no matter how cool he is playing it, he has a right to be pissed at Kyrie for his antics. I know Suns owner Robert Sarver is cheaper than George Kostanza, but I have a hard time seeing him trade away DeAndre Ayton and make his team better, unless somehow they are getting Kevin Durant back. Can’t wait to see how the Sixers negotiate James Harden’s new contract. There should be a provision in there about how many strip clubs he can go to in a given month.

Congratulations to the Colorado Avalanche on winning the Stanley Cup. You’ve gotta be especially happy for former LA King Jack Johnson, who has had a hell of a rough ride prior to this season. Johnson was basically screwed financially by several of his family members a few years ago, forcing him to file for bankruptcy. There’s also several former Anaheim Ducks that got to hoist the cup last night as well: Josh Manson and Andrew Cogliano. Unfortunately for the Lightning, they got hit with the curse of Corey Perry, who has lost in three straight Cup Finals with three different teams. At least somebody got to three-peat.

To baseball, where the Dodgers took 2 of 3 from the Braves over the weekend, and are now 2 games up the on Padres in the NL West. Look, I get that Freddie Freeman played a long time in Atlanta and won a World Series so it’s a little emotional, but is he going to cry every single time he plays the Braves? Even Clayton Kershaw is beginning to think it’s a little overdone with his comments over the weekend. All things considered though with all the injuries, the Dodgers are still in decent shape. Losing Daniel Hudson for the season is a big blow to the bullpen, but they will need some trade deadline re-enforcements in the way of a high leverage reliever (if not a closer), a solid starter, and a bat that can just put the ball in play. Getting Dustin May and Walker Buehler back will help all this, but they could need more against the likes of the Mets, Braves, and Padres just to get through the NL. Cody Bellinger is not only destroying the Dodgers offensively by hitting .200, he’s also destroying their team by running into Mookie Betts and injuring him, making matters worse.

As for the Angels, thank goodness for that brawl yesterday against the Mariners, because all everyone seems to wants to talk about is trading Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. That’s the most fight the Angels have put up in weeks. Raisel Iglesias was especially angry after that, making me wonder if he just found out about Roe vs Wade getting overturned. After getting their heads kicked in for weeks, I was expecting the Angels to bank some wins against the Mariners and Royals. Instead, they pulled out a mediocre 5-4 record, and sit 6.5 games back of an AL Wild card spot. Another rough stretch against the White Sox and Astros this week, and we might be talking more about the Angels tanking than pushing for a playoff spot.

Monday Morning Coffee

June 20, 2022

It’s rumor season in the NBA. The business of basketball sometimes seems more interesting than what happens on the court. The latest rumors have the Nets unwilling to give Kyrie Irving an extension, and resulting rumors in the Lakers, Clippers, and Knicks being interested in trading for him if it doesn’t work out for him in Brooklyn. Let me say this, as many problems as the Lakers have with Russell Westbrook, Kyrie would present a whole set of new problems that you don’t want to have. I wouldn’t trust this man to tell me what he wants on his hamburger. It’s no wonder the Nets would rather give themselves an enima than give him an extension. I would rather take my chances with Russ for a year, or better yet, trade Russ and picks for expensive but high level role players. Then there’s the garbage reporting taking place that Lebron won’t sign an extension before free agency. Anybody with half a brain knows that he won’t sign an extension, but he is literally unable to because of CBA rules. He can’t actually be offered and commit to it before August 4th. According to Brian Windhorst, who is basically about as close to Lebron as you can be without being up his butt, he still wants to be in LA, so I have no reason to believe he is trying to force his way out as of now. There’s also wild and crazy rumors of the Lakers being interested in Bradley Beal. Beal would be a dream, but let’s get real, that’s like me saying I’m interested in Jennifer Lopez.

As for the NBA Finals, congratulations to the Golden State Warriors on winning their 4th championship in the last 8 seasons. I’m very happy for Steph Curry, who finally won a Finals MVP award. Is it wrong at this point to have 12 guys in the Top 10 of all-time? Whether or not you agree, I think we can all agree on the fact that Drake’s new album is not Top 10. Jayson Tatum loves Kobe and the Lakers so much that he must have decided to play awful in the finals to prevent the Celtics from getting their 18th title before the Lakers. He’s still a damn good player and the Celtics are gonna be pretty good for a while, but the Warriors are still going to be at the top of the contender list next season too.

I was really excited about the Stanley Cup Final. Then I watched the first two games and had a stark realization. Avalanche vs Lightning would have been an amazing series a year ago. Not this year. Who wins a Cup Final game 7-0? They are crushing teams like grapes. In fact, this series is making teams that thought they were “one or two players away” realize they are not actually “one or two players away”. This is actually a memo to the LA Kings and others after watching this. On the other hand, Tampa Bay fans are one or two losses away from being blackout drunk.

To baseball, where the Dodgers are in the midst of a very rough stretch. They lost two out of three over the weekend to the Guardians, and they are hitting like Little Leaguers, especially with runners in scoring position. Overpaid Little Leaguers too! Cody Bellinger is a $17 million defensive center fielder that can barely hit MLB pitching. Justin Turner suddenly looks like Father Time has snatched him up, Max Muncy hasn’t figured it out after the injury, and Freddie Freeman is a $160 million singles hitter. The Mookie Betts injury is especially bad, he was the only guy hitting an an elite level, and now they have no reliable corner outfielders left. They also have no reliable closer, because Craig Kimbrel is about as trustworthy is Amber Herd is in the bedroom after dinner at Taco Bell. The good news though is after all that, the pitching is still phenomenal, and they are still hanging on to first place in the NL West. Tyler Anderson, Tony Gonsolin, and Andrew Heaney have been far better than anyone could have ever imagined. The Dodgers need some kind of a trade to fix some of these problems, but some of them will also have to be fixed with their top players just remembering that they are their top players.

As for the Angels, they found some wins over the weekend against the Mariners, and they need to petition the league to play them every week to get going again. In one months they went 9-23, had their stadium deal axed because of a corruption scandal, fired their manager, and lost Anthony Rendon for the season. I like how Rendon was on the verge of coming back, they gave him the option of sitting out and he’s like, “yea I’d rather stay home, watch Netflix, and collect a $36 million paycheck”. Sounds like the American way post pandemic. Then there’s the Shohei Ohtani rumors about signing him or trading him. I think the Angels need to do everything to sign him, but I disagree with the idea that if they do, they can’t win. The Angels aren’t going to win until they fix their scouting and player development, which is simply terrible. The Halos still have a farm system in the bottom third of the league. It’s the equivalent of buying Ferrari’s while refusing to fix the pluming in your house. When Moreno fixes this, which doesn’t seem like it’s happening any time soon, this is a different conversation.

Finally, in the NFL, this Browns-Deshaun Watson situation is incredible. They traded for a guy and gave him a fortune when he’s about to get one of the most harsh suspensions in NFL history. By the time you’re done reading this week’s MMC, you might see 5 more women file a sexual assault lawsuit against him. My favorite part of this though is the fact they might have to kiss and makeup with Baker Mayfield for just this season if Watson gets the suspension we think he will. That’s like breaking up with your girlfriend because you found someone better, but then telling her “it’s gonna be a few weeks before we make it official so let’s hang until then.” I’m sure that will go over really well with Baker.

Monday Morning Coffee

June 13, 2022

Darvin Ham was formally introduced as the Lakers head coach last week. Of course everyone wants to convince themselves that because Russell Westbrook attended the press conference, he is going to be with the Lakers at the start of next season. I don’t buy it. Westbrook attended the press conference because he is being a good leader and a good teammate. By all accounts, he’s always behaved that way. However, that doesn’t change the fact that he’s a terrible fit on this team, and the Lakers will at least try to trade him. Rob Pelinka isn’t stupid, although I’m sure some of you want to believe that after his previous off-season. The more Pelinka makes it look like the team isn’t desperate, the better chance he has of trading him. Also, it would be foolish to think that with Lebron James and Anthony Davis on their team, the Lakers aren’t going to do everything in their power to optimize their window to win now. It would make no sense otherwise. That means doing everything to trade Westbrook. Then there’s the ridiculous criticism of Anthony Davis, who was caught in a video on his driveway saying he had not touched a basketball since the season ended. In typical Twitter fashion, everyone jumped down his throat, accusing him of being lazy. In reality, this is part of AD’s off-season regiment. Rest for four weeks, lift weights for six weeks, and then do basketball activities for the next six weeks. For a guy that gets hurt all the time, that program actually makes too much sense for some of the keyboard nerds to understand.

As for the NBA Finals, this series could easily go 7 games, and I hate to tell this to Laker fans, there’s a decent chance the Celtics win it. To be honest, the only reason I like the Warriors at this point is because they have the home court advantage for at least the time being. Steph looked like he was playing hoops in the park when he took Marcus Smart to school in the last few moments of game 4. I don’t have an issue with Draymond Green podcasting at the end of game 3 in his hotel room. It sure beats those dudes that go out and party after the game. Would you prefer he swipe right on a few girls on Tinder and get them up to his room? I have no issue with this kind of stuff off the court he’s doing, but I do take issue with him playing like garbage or his antics that get him technical fouls that just put his team in difficult situations.

This had to be the worst weekend of the season for the Dodgers. They got swept by those hated San Francisco Giants. Those Giant fans are probably laughing all the way to that snobby organic super market they shop at this morning. Just an extremely frustrating series that saw the Dodgers leave man after man in scoring position. To make matters worse, they lost their ace, Walker Buehler for the next 6-8 weeks due to elbow issues. That always makes you nervous his season could be in jeopardy. Their lead in the NL West is also down to a half game over the Padres as well. I like how it took a Buehler injury for everyone to stop saying the Dodgers need to trade for some overpriced slugger that strikes out a lot, and instead they need pitching. I’ve been saying they need pitching forever. Tyler Anderson and Tony Gonsolin look nice right now, but come October they will look more like Laverge and Shirley rather than Johnson and Schilling. I’m just not sure where it’s going to come from, since at the moment there is no Max Scherzer type starter on the trade block right now.

Then there’s the Angels, who actually found the win column over the weekend. That of course wasn’t before getting Joe Maddon fired, and losing a franchise record, 14 straight games. Let me start by saying this, guys like Joe Maddon are like outdated versions of the IPhone at this point in baseball. Whether you like it or not, managers are now just people managers that execute game plans and instructions from their front office superiors. You have to be completely bought into the idea of analytics to accept being a baseball manager, and not being the decision maker the skipper used to be. That was not Joe Maddon, and he admitted that. I don’t think it’s necessarily Phil Nevin either, but it’s probably somebody that is on nobody’s radar right now. As for the team, the losing streak was the perfect storm of a bad bullpen, troubled starting pitching, and no hitting throughout the lineup. However, given the talent the Halos have, they aren’t as bad as the streak looked. The problem is, making up that deficit in the standings will be tough, given the teams flaws. Nevertheless, at least you can say the Angels are still in the mix to get a playoff spot? For now.

To the NFL, where the Rams found a way to get it done. They signed Aaron Donald to a massive extension, as well as Cooper Kupp. At this point everyone seems to be under the impression that the Rams are basically printing money, especially with the rumors that they might be coming to a deal with OBJ this week, as well as the surprising rumors they have interest in Saquon Barkley. It’s clear that Les Snead knows loop holes in the salary cap like DeShaun Watson knows massage parlors. Repeating as a Super Bowl Champion is pretty difficult to do in this era, but the Rams are at least doing everything they can to try to.

Finally in golf, I can’t believe all of these people that are criticizing Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, and others for leaving the PGA Tour for the LIV Tour in Saudi Arabia. Sorry but if any media member got offered a boat load more money to go work elsewhere, even in Saudi Arabia, they would do it. Then the PGA decided to suspend these players. This would be like stopping the broadcasting of NBA games with all the money they get from China, or suspending those players. Besides, this move by Dustin Johnson to the LIV Tour is giving us more Twitter bikini pictures from Paulina Gretzky, so not sure why you guys are complaining!

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.