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Thoughts on USA Basketball’s 4th Exhibition and Ichiro

July 23, 2012

First, my thoughts on USA’s 4th exhibition game against Argentina, the 3rd ranked team in the world.

I wasn’t able to watch the game until I got home last night at around midnight, but I had twitter, so it became hard for me to avoid the score or any commentary from any of the NBA writers that I follow. I was able to avoid the score, but I had accidentally read a tweet about how Carmelo was a -17. Instantly, I thought to myself that either Argentina won, or it was an extremely close game. Despite only losing by 6, I was disappointed to watch and find out that Argentina really was never in the game.

Melo’s -17 came as a result of Melo not being able to guard yet another overpowering power forward. Against Brazil, he couldn’t handle Nene, and now against Argentina he wasn’t able to handle Scola. Sure, Scola didn’t score much, but it really seemed to affect his offensive game, as Melo finished the game with 4 points on 2-8 shooting. Argentina also grabbed a ton of offensive boards with Melo guarding a big man. I wondered why they didn’t make LeBron guard a big, but maybe it’s because Melo would be too slow to guard a wing. After all, he doesn’t really play defense in the NBA. As a result, every time Melo came into the game (usually for Chandler), USA would lose the huge lead they had generated. Durant and Kobe were absolutely unstoppable. Argentina just sat in a zone most of the game and basically left Durant and Kobe unguarded from the 3 (weird strategy to me), and they combined to hit 10 3 balls. If USA played Chandler more than the 13 mins he got (he was in foul trouble), USA would have easily won by 20. USA plays their last exhibition game tomorrow against Spain. I’d be surprised if Spain played their best and I expect a USA win by a comfortable and unthreatening 15-20.

Now onto my thoughts on Ichiro being traded to my favorite team, the Yankees!

I’m not exactly as excited as you might think. Ichiro is washed up and is not the same player that he used to be. In fact, I don’t think he’s much of an upgrade (still an upgrade, don’t get me wrong) from Brett Gardner (who is out for the season), or even Andruw Jones. Check out their stats this season:

Gardner (last year’s stats since he only played 9 games this year): .259 avg, .345 OBP, 49 SB, 19 HR, 36 RBIs (bats 9th in lineup), 159 GP.
Ichiro: .262 avg, .289 OBP, 16 SB, 4 HR, 28 RBIs (bats 1st in lineup), 96 GP.
Jones: .231 avg, .305 OBP, 0 SB, 12 HR, 27 RBI (bats bottom of lineup), 58 GP.

However, Ichiro is a much better outfielder than Jones or Ibanez.

To be honest, when the trade first happened, I got a little excited because of the big name. But Ichiro is going to have an even harder time finding holes to drop base hits into at a small Yankee Stadium, and its no longer 2001. Maybe I`m wrong and his legendary batting practice power will show and he will try to hit it over the right field porch. The Yankees championship chances don’t improve with this trade, and it shows with Ichiro looking like he will most likely play only 75% of the remaining games. The Yankees have always been able to hit. Needed starting pitching, and failed to acquire any. The covers are bare after CC. Kuroda, Hughes, Pettitte, Nova, and Garcia (in that order of 2nd to 6th after the ace) are not going to get it done in a 7 game series deep into the playoffs when everyone starts to play small ball.

But at the end of the day, for $2.25 mil (Mariners paying more than half of what Ichiro is owed) and 2 minor league pitchers, it’s not a bad price to pay for a nice gamble with a guy who was no longer happy where he was (he requested a trade a couple weeks ago). I sure hope his Japaneseness makes Kuroda more comfortable and results in him pitching better. After all, he now has a buddy to sit with on the plane and bus and a buddy to eat lunch with and make jokes in Japanese about CC`s weight and Arod`s steroids.

This trade didn`t quite excite me with regards to getting Ichiro, but I`m extremely happy to know that the Yankees that I love are back. There was a stretch after signing CC and Tex and winning the chip in 08 where the Yankees stopped spending money and starting cutting back (man I wish George was still alive, he would never let this budget cutting BS happen). With this trade for a big name, its nice to know that their main objective is to still try to win championships at any (maybe not any, but at a steep) cost. So for that reason and the little that the Yankees had to give up, I am overall very pleased with this trade.

Until next time, here`s Bleacher Report`s graphic of Forbes list of the 50 most valuable sports teams in the world. Yankees are 3rd at $1.85 billion. Manchester United is 1st at $2.25 billion.

Thoughts on Team USA After 3rd Exhibition

July 19, 2012

Here are a couple of my thoughts after USA basketball’s 3rd exhibition game against the host country Great Britain:

1) They took care of business winning by 40 and looked impressive doing so, as the game got out of hand early into the 2nd quarter. I mean, even Anthony Davis saw the court 2 mins into the 2nd quarter. At the end of last blog, I wrote that the only chance GB had was if Luol Deng drops 40. Well, he had 15 at halftime and they were still down 18.

2) Coach K changed up the starting 5 by replacing CP3 and Melo with Durant and DWill (who was arguably the US’s best player and shot the lights out. He was so unconscious in the 3rd I considered sacking myself just to see if it was actually happening.). The start still wasn’t so great as the US were only up 1 after the first wave of subs came in 5 mins into the game. However, it did fire up Melo, who scored 10 in the first quarter once he got in and played with a lot more intensity than he had in the 1st 2 games.

3) Kevin Durant has struggled with the physicality of the FIBA game. He’s struggled with the hand-checking that is allowed in FIBA and not in the NBA every time he drives to the basket. It’s made him less of a creator and more of a spot up shooter or an attacker off  a draw and kick. However, he has had some monstrous looking dunks due to his extremely long arms.

4) I envisioned Kevin Love being perfect for the FIBA game, grabbing a ton of boards and shooting 3’s off pick and roles. So far through 3 games, neither of those things have happened. He’s been a little too slow and small to guard opposing centers and can’t get out in the open court fast enough to be part of their offense. Sure, he’ll be their first post off the bench to replace Chandler, but I don’t see him playing many meaningful minutes.

5) Andre Iguodala doesn’t put up big stats, but he has proven that he belongs in the rotation when the Olympics begin. I never thought much of Iguodala before, but he’s really been impressive so far. Maybe it’s because this is his first time playing with decent players.

6) If LeBron can master this move, they might as well fold the league.

Until next time, the US could face their biggest challenges in Argentina (Sunday) and Spain (Tuesday) before the Olympics begin. I predict that Argentina will give them a game much similar to Brazil and Spain will throw their game (much like they did in the round robin in the 2008 Olympics when they lost by 37 and committed 28 turnovers) and lose by 35.

Thoughts on Team USA After 2nd Exhibition

July 17, 2012

Yesterday, USA’s men’s Olympic basketball team played their 2nd exhibition game in Washington, DC against Brazil. Here are a couple of thoughts I have about USA’s shockingly small 11 point win:

1) Brazil was up 10 after 1. That makes 2 straight games where their starters have gotten off to a bad start. They’re going to eventually play a team that they won’t be able to spot 10 points. I want to say it’s because of who they start, but I’m not really sure. It was the case yesterday though. Brazil has a terrific point guard that gave the US team problems in the World Championships, and since Chris Paul isn’t big enough to put pressure on him (unlike Westbrook or DWill), Coach K started LeBron on him. This forced Carmelo to guard the 4, who happened to be Nene, and they got beasted in the post to start the game.

2) Chris Paul is like that guy in pick up games who is everywhere on defense, except guarding his own man, trying to crawl through people’s legs to steal the ball. On offense, he’s the guy who calls every single touch foul. So annoying when he isn’t on your team. He also flops every time he gets screened and then stares at the ref. It’s funny cause that trick works every time in the NBA, but in FIBA it didn’t work once due to their differing moving screen rules.

3) I wrote in my previously blog post after their 1st exhibition game that the team doesn’t really have much shooting after Durant. Well, they were just 1-12 from the 3 point line in the 1st half and struggled shooting the ball the whole game. The scary part is that they will shoot any open look, despite the fact that they can all get to the basket any time they want. It’s kind of like in pick up ball when you have that 1 guy who is taller than every one else but refuses to go into the post and score every time because there isn’t anyone on the other team to match up. But then again, USA finished 6-24 from the 3 point line, which doesn’t seem that impressive, until you remember that it wins championships in game 7s and Finals MVPs.

4) Brazil’s PG (Marcelo Huertas) destroyed them with 11 points (5-8), 13 assists (I wasn’t exaggerating when I said Chris Paul flopped on every single screen), 5 boards, 3 turnovers. He played with a Nash-like vision but with Rubio’s flare and flash. The Rubio part makes sense considering he was Rubio’s backup at Barcelona before Rubio came to the NBA. This performance just shows how much Spain is going to miss Rubio at the point in the Olympics.

5) The reason Brazil lost was 9/10 because they got worn down by the USA’s depth and full court press, and 1/10 because they were trying to half throw the game. They were up 10 after 1, then proceeded to play their 3rd string 18 year old pg, who just got ripped apart by Westbrook’s pressure. He played 5 mins that quarter and Brazil ended up scoring a total of 5 points in the 2nd quarter, entering halftime down 5 (15 turnovers in the 1st half). With that said, the US played a pretty deep bench too, but the circumstances are different considering all of the egos on the team. However, LeBron, Durant, Kobe led the team in mins, with Harden and Love barely playing and Davis not playing. So it wasn’t as if Coach K was treating it like an exhibition, he did get nervous at certain points in the game and kept his stars in the game.

6) I’ve heard this many times but didn’t decide to actually Google this until the President brought it up. Why is Charles Barkley called “Sir Barkley”? After looking it up, I was disappointed to find out it was a nickname he was given because of his “awe-inspiring play”. That’s a bummer. I guess at least he didn’t appoint himself the King and tattoo “The Chosen One” on his back in high school. But then again, he never won 3 MVPs and a ring.

Until next time, watching these 1st 2 games make me feel like this team is so beatable if they play a better team seeing as Brazil is not that deep or that talented. But then comes the realization that the US will end up playing a Brazil in the semis and will only legitimately see roughly 1.5 teams who could upset them on the way to gold. Its just kind of disappointing after 2 games that the US isn’t winning because of their talent, but rather because of the lack of talent around the world. I kind of expected highlights and blowouts like if I played NBA 2K12 and used the All Star teams to play the Bobcats… maybe my expectations are just too high or maybe this team just isn’t as good as we think they are. Only time will tell. Up next is Great Britain on Thursday. That should be a blowout unless Luol Deng drops 50.

Thoughts on Team USA After 1st Exhibition

July 13, 2012

Here are just a couple of thoughts about Team USA’s mens basketball team following their 1st exhibition game against the Dominican Republic. Obviously take all of these points with a grain of salt as this was their first game together and they did win by 54:

1) Starters were Kobe, LeBron, Melo, CP3, Chandler. I really thought they should have started KD and DWill over Melo and CP3, but it proved to bring some firepower off the bench. The starters really struggled to start the game, going 1-6 from the floor and leaving the court with a 6-4 lead after about 4 mins (Coach K basically did line subs, except he left Bron out there an extra couple of mins). KD came onto the court and hit 3 straight 3’s and the rout was on. He was easily (and will easily be) the best player on the team (Andre Igoudala was the 2nd best player in that game for what its worth). His game is so smooth. It’s going to be interesting to see whether Coach K goes to KD or Kobe at the end of a close game.

2) USA’s key players can’t really shoot. Kobe has always shot a really streaky line drive jumper. LeBron can’t shoot. Melo’s 3 ball isn’t so great. Love doesn’t step out as much when he’s the center. If KD is cold in a close game, the US may lose to a team playing zone the whole game. They are definitely beatable. However, the closer 3 point line is like a free throw to him.

3) Anthony Davis is this year’s Christian Laettner. Has yet to play an NBA game and the other player’s don’t really seem to be friends with him or respect him (They cheered his garbage time baskets like he was Brian Scalabrine). I bet him and Kobe become best friends during this Olympic process.

4) I was one of the haters against Blake Griffin making Team USA, but it’s become evident to me after the 1st game that they really need him. Sure, Griffin can only dunk (I don’t get how he can jump so high and not block shots), but I feel as though Team USA needs that. Right now, they really only have 1 high flyer (Bron). Without Griffin, they’ve lost the trademark USA overpowering, athletic, and highlight reel style. There were hardly any dunks or spectacular plays in last night’s game. In a way, they’re not as intimidating anymore. Also, because of this, they settled for a lot of jump shots last night and surprisingly didn’t get out on the break a lot. It’s going to be interesting if a jumpshooting USA team plays a Spain team who plays inside out through the Gasols.

5) Did I mention how amazing Durant was? Only 23 years old. I think he’s going to be the best offensive player I’ll ever see in my lifetime. And that’s no hyperbole.

6) Scottie Pippen joined the broadcast and said the Dream Team would beat this team by 25. I just want to know how he keeps going to all of these events and sitting front row with his kids when he’s broke.

Until next time, you can catch Team USA’s exhibition games if you have RapsTV. Their next exhibition is Monday against Brazil. Should be a lot closer considering Brazil has Barbosa, Nene, Splitter, Varejao.

Old School Basketball Guys Are Wrong.

July 7, 2012

Let’s put an end to this “I can’t believe everyone is teaming up together, this would have never happened back in the day.” Followed by an annoying meme of Larry and Magic talking to each other about how they can’t believe that [insert star name] joined forces with [insert good team].

It all needs to stop. And here’s why…

The teams were the exact same back in the day! The only reason why these old school guys never left their teams to play for a powerhouse team were because they were already on a powerhouse team.

Magic Johnson:

Magic’s teammates: Byron Scott, James Worthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Cooper, Norm Nixon.

Combined 11 all star appearances, 4 NBA First Team, 2 NBA Second Team, 5 NBA All Defense First Team, 4 NBA All Defense Second Team, 1 MVP, 1 DPOY.

2 of those guys he played with (KAJ and Worthy) were voted as 2 of the 50 greatest NBA players ever. Can you say the same about anyone today? Maybe Bosh (LeBron and Wade)? Maybe Rondo (KG and Pierce)?

Oh, and before you say that he never changed teams, take a look at this article. If the Bulls had the #1 overall pick that year (lost a coin flip to LA), Magic said he would have rather stayed at Michigan State than play for the Bulls. Why? Cause they had no superstars. So when you make those memes and statements about how Magic would have never gone to a team because of elite teammates, check the facts first. He too sought out superstars to play with.

Larry Bird:

Larry’s teammates: Kevin McHale, Dennis Johnson, Danny Ainge, Robert Parish, John Havlicek, Tiny Archibald, Dave Cowens, Bill Walton, Pete Maravich.

Need I say more than the fact that Bird played with 5 of the 50 greatest players of all time.

Who in the right mind would ever consider leaving?

Kobe Bryant:

Kobe demanded a trade cause he wasn’t happy with the quality of teammates he was playing with. They eventually traded for Gasol and he shut his mouth.

The truth is, almost every championship in NBA history has been won by at least 2 borderline HOFs. Duncan’s championships have Robinson (HOF), Parker (borderline considering Finals MVP) and Ginobili (borderline considering Olympic Gold). Kobe’s have Shaq (future HOF) and Gasol (really, really, really borderline). The Bad Boy Pistons had Isiah Thomas,  Joe Dumars, Dennis Rodman (all HOF) and Bill Laimbeer (borderline). MJ’s have Pippen and Rodman (Both HOF). The only championship in recent memory without at least 1 HOF is the 03-04 Detroit Pistons (unless Chauncey makes it). The truth is, everyone needs help in winning a championship. LeBron would have pulled off the greatest individual playoff performance ever if he had won the 2007 championship over the Spurs. That team had a combined 2 all star appearances outside of LeBron, and both those all star nods were highly questionable (Month Williams and Zydrunas Ilgauskas). To put into perspective how outrageous that playoff run was, Sasha Pavlovic started on that team and Daniel Gibson was the first guard off the bench. And you wonder why he left Cleveland?

Compare Larry’s and Magic’s teams to the Miami Heat and the LA Lakers/Brooklyn Nets (whoever gets Howard) and you’ll realize that the teams back then were just as stacked (if not more, considering a lot of these “so called” stacked teams have superstars who have limited historical significance, such as Bynum, Amare, Carmelo, Dwight, Joe Johnson, D-Will, Bosh) as the teams are now. How the heck else do you think Bill Russell won 11 rings on the same team if his teams weren’t stacked?

It just seems like everyone is moving to stack the teams when in reality the teams were the exact same back in the day, except instead of free agency, players were drafted onto stacked teams. Also, free agency rules back then allowed players to become unrestricted free agents earlier in their careers before they reached their primes. There was a stretch from 1980 to 1989 where at least 1 of the Lakers or Celtics were in the NBA Finals. In fact, if it wasn’t for Dr. J, the Lakers or Celtics would have won 8 in a row from 1980-88. I think we’re in the middle of one of those stretches with OKC and Miami. When you really break everything down, not much is different from the Larry/Magic era than it is now, except there were less championship contenders than there are now.

Sure this may be unfair or anger you if you’re a small market team fan such as Sacramento or Phoenix or Atlanta or Minnesota, etc., but that’s just life. Only in professional sports can you be the most coveted prospect/candidate in your profession and yet not be able to choose where you work. After all, we all forget that sports is a business and all these athletes are employees. They should be able to choose where they want to work. I mean, we all get to choose which locations we apply for when we apply for jobs. Is it fair that you have to go to Cleveland even though LA wants you too? If you had the choice to work in Cleveland for $100,000 or LA for $85,000, I doubt you’d choose Cleveland, even though the job pays more. In the end, both salaries provide a comfortable living. That’s just the way it goes.

Instead of critiquing everyone switching teams, just enjoy this era. The NBA has never had this many marketable stars. The NBA Finals just got its highest TV rating ever. Heck, even the off season has been a lot of fun. This season is going to be legen… wait for it… dary!

Until next time, as much as I hate Steve Nash for selling out and people hate on Ray Allen for doing the same (although it’s a much better scenario since Celtics signed Jason Terry to take his spot and no one else really showed interest in signing him), just remember it wasn’t much different back in the day. Don’t taint Kobe’s or LeBron’s or Durant’s or D-Will’s or Andrea Bargnani’s 2013 championship just because they’re playing with great players. Taint the championships of the guys who are now going to join them to become the 3rd to 12th best player on the team, especially the ones who don’t currently have a ring. Steve Nash is a sell out. No team with a 39 year old (or older) starting PG has ever won a ring. The Lakers should start Steve Blake.

PS: Check out my Youtube channel. Just learning how to use it.

PPS: Perception isn’t always reality. Ray Allen has better career regular season and playoffs 3 point percentages than Larry Bird, yet we tend to perceive Ray Allen as a terrible playoff shooter.

NBA Free Agency

July 4, 2012

Here are some of my thoughts on free agency:

1) Raps offered Landry Fields 3 years/20 mil. Anytime you can spend 7 mil a year to get a 8.8 ppg player, you have to do it. But then again, Colangelo had to do it to stop the Knicks from doing a sign and trade and get Nash to Toronto. Wait, he’s going to the Lakers? At least the offer can’t become official until the 11th. I hope before then, Colangelo changes his mind (and gets fired). Was stoked that we could possibly trade or waive Calderon and use the cap room for a solid player. Looks like Colangelo thinks 8.8 ppg is solid. However, this along with getting Gretzky on board to talk to Nash, and offering Nash the most money are all the reasons why Colangelo will not be blamed if Nash doesn’t go to Toronto. The general perception is that he tried everything he could to land Nash. Sort of like how no one blamed Danny Ferry for LeBron leaving Cleveland, despite the fact that Ferry was not able to find LeBron a decent sidekick in his 7 years in Cleveland. I mean Larry Hughes, Month Williams, and Antawn Jamison? Child please.

2) If Steve Nash goes to New York, as much as everyone loves him, what’s the difference from what LeBron did to what he did? I know 99% of you who just read that are now angry, but just hear me out. Steve Nash is currently an unrestricted free agent. So was LeBron. Steve Nash has not shared any public information of where he would like to go. Neither did LeBron. The media made it seem like Nash was going to go to Toronto and it was wrapped up. The media told us that LeBron was leaning towards going back to the Cavs. Raptors fans and the country of Canada are going to get jobbed when Nash goes to LA (As a Raps fan, I was excited to finally make the playoffs again this year). Cleveland got jobbed. LeBron went from one of the most liked stars in the NBA to the most hated. Everyone likes Nash right now. Tell me what the difference is, because LeBron was travelling, taunting, flopping, and crab dribbling in Cleveland, yet people still liked him. LeBron also “allegedly” went to Miami to chase a ring, even though he won Finals MVP. Steve Nash just did the exact same thing by going to LA. Seriously, what is the difference from Nash and LeBron? Maybe you just brought up the Decision and how he ripped out Cleveland’s heart on national TV? STEVE NASH CHEATED ON HIS WIFE! Way to sell out and go to a team that will finish 2nd in the West and not win a championship (he’s literally pulling a Malone)… could have been the Raptors (a 5 seed) if you came to Toronto. If you’re going to sell out and try to chase a ring, why not just go to Miami? After all, they don’t have to play OKC until the Finals.  What a sellout. Way to join the most hated franchise in the NBA. They’re going to boo the sh*t out of Nash when he goes to the Air Canada Center next year, and so will I. I can’t wait. Think that’s outrageous? Just ask JE Skeets from The Basketball Jones. Steve Nash, you’re dead to me.

3) One of the reasons Steve Nash said he’s going to LA is to stay close to his kids in Phoenix. Does this guy think we’re stupid? That’s as dumb as when Heather Cox told Thomas Robinson’s sisters that they were close to Disneyland after he got drafted by Sacramento… a 7 hour drive from LA. Also, IS THERE ANYWHERE CLOSER TO PHOENIX THAN PHOENIX??? Sell out. Unjustifiable anger towards Steve Nash because he didn’t sign with the Raptors and sold out to try to win a ring. Now all of you Nash fans know how us LeBron fans felt. Nash is going to have a hard time beating out Steve Blake for the starting job (I know, now I’m just being silly). Also, don’t just assume the Lakers are going to win a chip now, Nash is going to have nightmares guarding Westbrook. Also, Kobe has never played with a legitimate point guard, so that should be interesting when he finds out he won’t be touching the ball as much.

4) Dwight Howard is a clown question, bro. Another player that should be hated just as much, if not more, than LeBron. Got his coach and GM fired, quit on his team, and is asking to leave while still being under contract. Not even LeBron did that (although you could argue he quit during his last playoff series against Boston, but come on, Delonte was doing his mom). Now he is demanding and letting everyone know that he only wants to go to Brooklyn, virtually handcuffing the GM into making a terrible trade. I don’t understand why Dwight isn’t more hated right now. Maybe it’s because he’s a childish punk who is only in the league because of his genetic makeup and will never be historically significant. The Nets (potential) Big 3 of DWill, Joe Johnson, and Dwight Howard sucks. Deron is a top 3 pg in the NBA, but Joe Johnson and Dwight are both grossly overrated. They won’t beat the Celtics or the Heat. In fact, their Big 3 may not even be as good as  Charlotte’s Big 3 of Henderson, Biyombo, and Augustin (Just kidding). I don’t know who’s a bigger sell out, Nash or Howard?

5) How did Eric Gordon get a max contract? I thought Robert Sarver was cheap. Eric Gordon may end up being one of the worst max contract players of all time, along with Rashard Lewis. New Orleans is stupid if they match, after all, they did just draft a much better player with more potential who plays the same position. Yes, I’m an Austin Rivers fan. It’s tough to play on a top tier Division 1 team and be the only player on the team who can create your own shot.

6) Jeremy Lin is a restricted free agent. Why is he not getting that much attention? Wasn’t he supposed to be the 2nd coming? Looks like people aren’t all that interested in a mediocre guard who will average 12 and 4 and can’t play defense. This doesn’t mean I won’t be excited if he comes to the Raptors. #Linsanity

7) Not really free agency news and it’s a little old but it’s hilarious to me that Carmelo has lost 12 pounds since the end of the Knicks season to get ready for the Olympics. He basically played the whole shortened season overweight… looks like it wasn’t only a joke after all. Knicks fans should be pretty happy to hear that, almost as happy as they were to read about Amare’s recent lack of maturity.

Until next time, check out Kanye’s new song with Pusha T. One of the lyrics is “Went from most hated to the champion God flow. I guess that’s a feeling that only me and LeBron know.” I’m starting to think it’s an obligation to like LeBron if you’re part of Jay Z’s circle. First Rihanna’s 3 or 4 tweets about LeBron after they won. Now this? And of course we all know the friendship between Shawn Carter and LeBron.

PS: Mark Jackson, you’re right. Hand down (on a stripper), man down.

Tying Up Odds and Ends to the Miami Heat Championship

June 25, 2012

I spent the past 4 days reading and watching practically everything on the internet and TV about the Miami Heat championship. Here are a couple highlights I’d like to point out…

1) I tried so hard to find someone on the internet (of relative fame) that shared the same excitement as me in watching Miami (and LeBron) win the championship. I finally found it. I may have written a blog post hating on Le Batard’s daily show on ESPN not too long ago. However, this makes up for everything and much, much, much, much more. This is KG-esque. Mo Cheeks and the city of OKC didn’t deserve that… GIVE IT TO ME AGAIN!

2) I spent about $150 on Heat championship merchandise after their victory. In fact, I had to get some of it shipped to Blaine (Hagen’s of Blaine… great place, you should really consider using them. Thanks to @powerzoner.) because the NBA store and ESPN shop currently do not ship Heat championship merch to Canada. That’s dedication. Of the things I bought for $150, I got the same shirt they wore in their postgame celebration, a LeBron bobble with him holding the trophy, a championship DVD, a championship book, a championship shirt, and a 1 year SI subscription. Also hoping to find some more stuff to buy when I head down to the States this Thursday to sit in King’s Court at Safeco Field and watch King Felix beat the RedSox! (Thanks to @Greenlight_AT) Of the things I would still like to buy, this shirt is what I want most.

3) Bill Simmons’ wrote an article about LeBron finally winning the chip and his experience in person at the arena. From his article, he wrote:

“With less than five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and Oklahoma City trailing by 23, Scott Brooks finally yanked his starters during an emotional timeout, but not before pulling everyone into a close circle and saying God knows what. When the huddle broke, you could see Durant and Serge Ibaka sobbing into towels. Multiple teammates came over to console Durant, with Westbrook finally yelling at him (not as a dick, as a friend) to gather himself before TV cameras found him. Which he did.”

Here is the video. Moving stuff. It’s a shame that OKC might bring in another coach due to contract negotiation issues.

4) Sure, everyone’s seen the video of Durant heading back into the locker room and crying with his mom. But do you notice that Kendrick Perkins is also on the verge of tears as he walks by at the end of the video? Shows a lot consider that guy’s facial expressions have me convinced that he was never hugged as a child.

5) Mark Cuban destroying Skip Bayless.

6) LeBron’s mom kissing everyone at halftime. You would think LeBron would have told her to tone it down after all the Delonte West rumours a couple years back. Hot sauce in her bag… haha.

7) Cleveland weatherman gets very angry. It’s time to get over it Cleveland. I would have left too. Your attempts to get LeBron a sidekick were Antawn Jamison, Larry Hughes, washed-up Shaq, Big Z, and Month Williams.

Until next time, the latest mock draft from Sports Illustrated has the Raptors taking Duke guard (and one of my favorite basketball players) Austin Rivers at #8. If that happens, I’m going to need food stamps. The Raptors have had a history of making terrible draft picks, so look for them to take Vancouver native Rob Sacre with their 56th pick. It’s hilarious to say it would be a downgrade from Aaron Gray (who they currently have as their benchwarming 7 footer), but up to this point in Sacre’s career, the stats don’t lie. No point in drafting a 7 footer with no upside and 0 offensive game when you can just as easily sign him to your D league team after the draft. I would much rather see the Raps draft Robbie Hummel in the 2nd round. Aaron Gray was drafted 49th overall in 2007.

Aaron Gray college averages playing in the Big East for Pittsburgh: 9.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 1.3 apg
Rob Sacre college averages playing in the WCC for Gonzaga:  9.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 0.7 apg

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