NBA Defenders and Pretenders, or the Saga of DeAndre Jordan

So DJ has changed his mind about leaving the Clippers, and the players are acting like The Church of Scientology refusing to leave his house till he can sign… Mark Cuban is the Biggest Loser.

This is such a fascinating story! DJ should have never had to even contemplate leaving LA. NEVER! Fact is, Doc Rivers’ lack of leadership in controlling the CP3 narrative wasting time trading for Lance Stephenson and bringing back 150 year old Paul Pierce shows his lack of competence as GM. Doc should have squashed this a long time ago. He let’s CP3 do whatever the hell he wants in spite of the fact that the dude has never made it past the second round of the playoffs.

So, DJ is courted by Cuban, Paul is on a banana boat with two cats who have rings and another that don’t, while his defensive player of the year/shot blocking/rim protector extraordinaire rides on horseback down the Rio Grande. Meanwhile, every hoop fan in America clearly understands that the underachieving Clippers are about to be the Indiana Pacers of the West; and it takes the only sane person in the organization, JJ Reddick to call Doc out saying that his off season performance as GM was an F- to get their attentions?

Perhaps Steve Ballmer had one of his aneurysms and Doc saw his rep flashing before his eyes. Lose DJ, ain’t nobody buying the Doc hype no more. Hell Blake will be out after a couple years and the Clips will be the 76ers tanking up looking for the next Danny Manning… and being the Lakers’ bitches just like the Sterling years.

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Now why in the hell do I know this and I’m just a dude on the keyboard?

I feel kinda bad for DJ. The man just needed a little love and he deserved it. If Paul were the leader he acts like he is, he would have balanced some of that bitchery with some tenderness knowing that DJ bust his ass every night and makes Paul’s life easier than it ever was in New Orleans. But naw instead of tending to his team’s business he out there riding Lebron’s jock. – Like ya’ll equals or something. Hell Lebron got his thing together in Cleveland. He got Kevin Love before he bolted. He got Tristian Thompson about to get paid! He got Mo Williams… he can ride the damn boat!

THIS is why the Clippers still won’t beat the Warriors or the Spurs. They are merely delaying the inevitable.

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Random Thoughts about the NBA 2014 Finals +

As we spring off into NBA free agency, otherwise known as The Decision II, here are my thoughts on the 2014 NBA season.

* The Spurs exercised the hell out of Game 6 demons of the 2013 Finals.  

Say what you want, but the to lose a series that was in your hands based on missing a crucial rebound and seeing Ray Allen step back and rip your hearts out with a corner three ball; live with that all summer; start your training camp by watching the film of that game making that the theme of your redemption story; work your way through the season with a game plan so precise that you not only earn the top seed in the playoffs, but none of your players averaged 30 minutes per game; work through the playoffs in the Wild Wild West including a riveting 7 games against the Mavericks… want the Heat, get the Heat, then dismantle the Heat winning 4-1 by an average of 15 points per game… that’s goal setting, game planning and execution at it’s best.  PERIOD!  That entire organization is a model of a great lesson of perseverance, unity, and trust.  Kudos the Spurs for not panicking and blowing the team up.  Kudos to Tim Duncan who played his ass off last year and missed the bunny at the end of Game 6… and continued to turn back the clock this year.  He meant what he said when he predicted victory this time.  To Danny Green who shot the lights out last year for the first couple games, then dropped off the map.  He returned with vengeance.  So did Manu, who was H20 (HumanTurnOver) in last year’s finals.  That dunk in Game 5 over Bosh and Haslem summed up his resolve.  And Boris Diaw, Mr. Do Whatever It Takes!

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* The Spurs are every coach’s dream.

In this day and age of  AAU one on one ego ball gone wild, the way the Spurs shared the ball, cut, moved and mixed in drives with jumpers.  Their dedicated team/accountability defense was a textbook script for successful basketball.  If the NBA were a copy-cat league like the NFL, every team would be trying to replicate the Spurs formula.  For youth and high school coaches, they should be salivating at the opportunity before them to promote team play!  I can only hope!

*The Heat Had a Helluva Run.

Four straight finals is four straight finals.  2-2 is better than the Buffalo Bills 0-4.  Nuff said!

*LeBron Haters are Ridiculous

The one thing I hated about the playoffs, is the social media hateration of LeBron James.  I don’t feel sorry for him.  He’s a champion, an MVP, and will one day be a billionaire before he becomes Hall of Famer.  But the utter jealousy of such a positive and awesome young man is very disturbing to me.  LeBron has never been in legal  trouble, never beat his wife, objectified women, has employed many people and given more of himself that most mainstream athletes over the last 25 years.  He is a talent we won’t see again in our lifetime.  And after he’s gone dammit he will be missed.  I suggest we appreciate him while we have him.   Unfortunately, some people are so utterly and distastefully jealous.  Twitter/nemes make for some bold cowards!

* What Now For The Heat

Obviously the Big 3, (Big 2 little 1) can opt in or out.  D-Wade is holding the trump card in all of this because he’s in the slot for $40 million over the next two years.  Want to know what LeBron is going to do?  Look at what D-Wade does.  He can blow this all up with a little paperwork faxed to Pat Riley in a heartbeat.  Whatever he does, business is business.  He has the right to take the loot.  But I tell you what, that guy is washed up.  A huge Wade fan from his Marquette days, I’ve long grown tired of his refusal to get back on D, (we could call him E Wade) and his whining to officials if not pointing to his teammates to pick up his man.  James logged hundreds of minutes more than anyone else on the team because they were pacing Wade.  He claimed he was healthy, so I’m going to take him at his word.  No excuses he sucked!  As much as LeBron may be able to trust Pat Riley, Pat can only do so much.  Owner Mickey Arison is NOT one to want to go into the luxury tax.  And he’s already shown that he will let players walk in order not to pay them, I.e Mike Miller.  If LeBron takes a pay cut, he’s going to demand that Arison spends that extra loot.  He’s been carrying the piano on his back long enough.  P.S. Carmelo Anthony is NOT the solution.

* Best NBA Stories of 2014

Wizards, Warriors

*Worst NBA Story 2014

Pacers/Sterling

Speaking of Sterling, after all the hub-bub of Adam Silver slinging the hammer like Thor on The Donald, it seems the Sterlings have played the NBA at their own game.  After saying none of the Sterlings’ would have anything to do with the team, it’s been leaked that the Steve Ballmer agreed to let Shelly Sterling have 2 floor seats, parking, and be ‘owner emeritus’ of the team.  If that’s not back tracking I don’t know what is.  I guess $2B wasn’t enough.  Regardless of what one thinks about whether they should have been forced to sell the team in the first place, the NBA has totally walked back just about every demand they made at the press conference.  Most notably, the NBA owners didn’t have to vote.  Which brings me to this… Why the hell hasn’t the NBA re-scheduled the vote since Donald Sterling is again suing the league?  Isn’t this why they were having the vote in the first place?  Are they not back to where they started?  I’m thinking that BOTH the Sterlings’ are playing the NBA.  Don and Shelly have been married for over 50 years.  Is it not obvious?

 

 

 

The Wasting Away of Kobe, Ego Gone Wild, or OMG!, Get ‘Antoni Outta Here!

Real Talk: Yea yea the Lakers are older… Dwight’s back isn’t what it needs to be yet… (and he has NO moves in the post… obviously was NOT listening to Dream (Hakeem Olajuwon) when he worked out with him…

BUT…the REAL problem with the Lakers is this ego-maniacal coach ‘Antoni (no D)  This dude didn’t learn in NY that you can’t take pieces and make them what you want them to be instead of maximizing what you got and be successful.  The fact that Pau Gasol is playing on the perimeter like Leandro Barbosa is mortally stupid!

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‘Antoni’ was on the bench this past summer when Pau dominated the post the likes of Tyson Chandler during the gold medal game of the Olympics.  And yet, here he is hanging out like a lost child around the three point line.  Why in the hell would he NOT put Pau in the post with Dwight?  You know why?  Cause we are all fuckin’ idiots and he’s the smartest dick in the room…or so he thinks!

Say what you want about Kobe.  The bottom line he is is one of the greatest to ever lace them up.  He is all balls cold blooded killa 24-7.  His game while undisciplined a year or so ago when he was hurt, is as efficient as ever nowadays.  His fundamentals are flawless, and as he showed us last night with that flying stuff over CP3, can still rise up for the congregation when he needs to.  Obviously he’s too smart and likes ‘Antoni too much to criticize him publically.  But I sure as hell hope he’s in ‘Antoni’s ear in private.

I watched the game last night knowing that the Lakers were not going to win.  I had no doubt no matter how great Kobe played.  The Clips are doing their thing, playing to their strengths.  Not my boys.  Nooooo we are playing 2005 Suns style with a damn near 39 year old Steve Nash without the side parts he had in Phoenix.

Speaking of Gasol, he’s only won 2 championships right?  And how many has ‘Antoni won?

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I’ve loved the Lakers since I watched my first NBA game in 1979.  Been with them through the ups and downs, never been fair weather.  Unfortunately the wisdom of the father (Dr. Jerry Buss) did not fall upon the son, (Jim) The way he tried to punk Phil Jackson while placing ‘Antoni in the mix after already hiring a no fit Mike Brown, shows that he is not invested in winning like his daddy.  While Dr. Buss built The Lakers into a dynasty, one of the most respected and revered sports organizations in the history of sports, Jimmy uses it as a toy; something to make him feel powerful and meaningful despite his obvious impotence.

He’s Commodus, wishing he was Maximus.  And thus… the Lakers are dead team walking getting fed to the lions on a nightly basis.

The Grinch, CP3 and the End of a Lifetime Love Affair

NBA1

My love for NBA basketball goes back 32 years, along with with my love for the Los Angeles Lakers.  I watched it flourish from the drug infested rep it had during the 70s, through the resurgence with the help of Magic, Larry, and Isaiah; the glory years of Jordan, Hakeem, and finally Shaq, Kobe, Duncan and D-Wade.  The current NBA has plenty of stars to peek the interest of old and new fans.  As bad as “The Decision” was for LeBron and The Heat, the NBA had its peak year of interest, and then like a hammer, the owners imposed another lockout!

This was the first blow to my love for the NBA game.  Not that the owners wanted more cheddar; that’s just the American way.  But the way they went about it, with their various threats to cancel the season.  After a blockbuster year for everyone, they acted with an arrogance that clearly showed many owners cared nothing about the fans that pushed their popularity to where it is, so that their revenue could be as substantial as it’s been.

I had it in my mind not to care whether the season was cancelled or not.  I felt that for the sake of labor, the players should get a fair deal that reflected the value they bring to the franchises.  If the owners wanted to bluff or cancel the season, then let them.  And then see if the game ends up like the NHL.

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With Christmas and it’s primetime schedule looming, the players and the owners were able to get a deal done and cram a 66 game season in just a few short months.  Initially the stain of the lockout was still in my mind.  I knew it would take me a little while at least to become interested in the league again.  I was more excited to continue watching NFL football and college hoops.

Once the deal was agreed upon and the moving and shaking began where clubs and players would be changing places, the buzz peeked my interest a bit more.  Chris Paul to the Lakers?  Tyson Chandler to the Knicks;  Pau Gasol to the Rockets, Lamar Odom to the Hornets, damn!  Talk about blowing up some teams!  I knew the Lakers needed to make some changes but Odom and Gasol?  That sounds drastic!  (Unless they were going to gun for Dwight Howard but still that was no sure thing!)

I said to myself, Del Demps (the GM for New Orleans) is no joke!  He’s sitting with a team that is owned by the league and where no one seems to want to go, and yet he just set himself up to have a strong team for this season with Odom, (the reigning sixth man of the year), Luis Scola (a double-double man), and guard Kevin Martin! This core gives a potential owner a very competitive team to begin with.  The Rockets having Gasol would make them instant playoff contenders since Yao Ming retired.  And as I said about my Lakers, it helped our backcourt tremendously but left our front line very light with a heavy load being put on Andrew Bynum’s knees.

Del Demps

Ok, maybe I do want to watch on Christmas.  But then at the behest of so called small market owners like Dan Gilbert, The Grinch David Stern killed the deal!  WTF???

It seems that though Demps was told by the league that he had the freedom to make deals as any other GM would, The Angel of Stern at the behest of Gilbert and the likes decided that Chris Paul going to the Lakers under any circumstances was bad for the league.  Part of the owners lockout strategy was to restrict star players from choosing their own destinies.  The problem is that they can’t stop free agency.  If a player is in the final year of his contract and is not going to stay with the team he’s on, he’s going to have a certain amount of power in choosing his trade destination if he doesn’t agree to re-sign with his new team.  That is just the nature of the beast.  Most players in any of the major sports have but one chance in their careers to have serious influence on where they go and how much they can make.

Stern said that the deal was not good enough for the Hornets and that his decision to block a great trade didn’t have anything to do with other owners.  He also thinks Jerry Sandusky only likes to ‘horse around’ with young boys.  But I digress!  Phil Jackson the former Laker coach brought the Paul issue up a year ago with the league owning the Hornets which is a clear conflict of interest.  He was fined by the league for predicting the cluster f#@! that eventually panned out.

clusterfuck

Fast forward a few days later with trade proposals flying like bullets and players being amnestied left and right, the Lakers gave away Lamar Odom to the World Champion Mavericks for a 40oz.  Neither Stern, Gilbert or any other small market owners said a word about that.  Instead of Demps doing the negotiations going forward, Stern took over negotiations from New York rendering the Hornets GM a GM with no clothes.  Oh and this just in: Paul goes to the Clippers instead; the team with historically racist owner the the league has never addressed.  That makes a lot of sense!

I’m just disgusted with the NBA right now.  And I’m honestly not sure if there will be any coming back from it.  This is NOT about the Lakers not getting CP3 either.  Since Jerry Buss turned the team over to his son, the way they have treated many of their loyal personnel like Brian Shaw for instance has shown a total lack of class.  Likewise, not even telling Lamar Odom, a man who has taken a lesser playing role and less money for years as a sign of loyalty that the team was seeking to trade him is reprehensible.  That is a side issue that calls into question my respect for the Laker organization.

What is bothersome is that in addition to the lockout, the league’s manipulation of team business is a huge turn off. I would much rather take my team to task for the way they manage, the way they play, Mike Brown’s coaching, etc. My team has been my team for over 30 years and we haven’t won the championship every year.  I’m good with that.  The issue is credibility!  I want to have the belief at least that the product that is NBA basketball is a legitimate institution.  Where if each team plays by the rules established that they can make or break their own clubs, their own seasons, and that I as a fan can watch the games and root from a fan’s perspective.

At best Christmas morning anticipation of the NBA should feel as if I am waking up to love I’ve known most of my life.  Now it feels like a dirty whore being shoved down my throat dressed with promos of players just recently cursed by owners. Where owners who have less skill and attract-ability can dictate to other teams what they can and cannot do.  Perhaps Stern will make Kim Kardashian an ESPN sideline reporter next.  It seems the league has not been less out of touch with reality.  I am a very educated fan and I won’t be given anything and told to deal with it.

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Perhaps it seems I’m taking this all too personally.  But I doubt it.  Even if we the normal fan cannot pay for NBA salaries, the fan base is the foundation that drives the revenues.  The time and dedication given by the average Joe in caring about what happens to his/her team gives the league the core value that the dollars and cents can be worth investing in.  Stern and the likes, have polluted that image.  Now it seems the games are played in boardrooms through conference calls to New York.

I’m not sure how this is all going to turn out for me as a fan.  Right now, it’s looking like the NFL will be the television featured in my house on Christmas Day.  And for that, I’m sorry.

 

SIDE RANT

*****If you examine Gilbert’s letter closely, he details how the initial trade may benefit the Lakers as they were to get Paul, while clearing salary from their books.  And by doing so make themselves eligible later for even more attractive free agents.  Under the rules mind you that the owners just agreed to.  What he didn’t say which is apparent, is that he (Gilbert) was not smart enough to do the same.  And that no attractive free agent will ever want to play for his team because of his ineptness not to mention the way he showed his ass after LeBron left.  What he was essentially saying is, “Thanks to me the Cavaliers ARE the Washington Generals.  Since I don’t have managerial smarts or the ability to make my team attractive so stars will want to play in Cleveland, let’s focus on making teams like the Lakers suffer so that my idiocy is not so apparent.”  I mean, what has he done to date thus far to improve his own situation?  

Random Thoughts & Mini Rants

Michael and Murray

One of the things that really bother me about the Conrad Murray trial is the total denial on behalf of the Jackson family and friends.  Let me be clear.  I grew up loving me some Michael Jackson.  He is a musical icon beyond measure.  I have respect for the King of Pop and the hurt that the family has for losing their most talented son, sibling, and friend.  But for his family and friends to get on TV and act as if the same Michael Jackson who totally lost his childhood; had multiple plastic surgeries to the point of totally restructuring his face, (and lied about it on TV saying he only had one) clearly the most eccentric and driven figure in the history of show business with all of his ups and downs with the Pepsi accident, multiple child abuse allegations including a trial, that it would be IMPOSSIBLE for him to be hooked on drugs; “He’s such a caring person.  A great father.  He’s not the type,”  I’ve heard it said from Jermaine Jackson to Kathy Hilton and Dionne Warwick.  Well caring people who love and are attentive to their children can indeed be drug addicts.

Conrad Murray’s role as a physician was reprehensible, and he shouldn’t be able to practice medicine again.  Still, being the personal physician and catering to whatever Michael Jackson wanted for 150K per month is something many other doctors would have busted the door down to do if he hadn’t.  Michael Jackson was the boss.  And for these folks and fans to act as if they want to put all of this on Murray is ridiculous!  We’ve all dealt with family members who did their own things and you couldn’t tell them anything.  I was one who fit that mode a time or two in my life.  I find it too hard to believe that they didn’t know what was up.  The Jackson family could have had an intervention when Michael shrugged away from them.  I think the bottom line was that that cat was paying too many bills for them to confront him.  And like the rest of us they didn’t think the very worse case scenario could happen to Michael.  As a result, now they are just looking to blame someone else for their own lack of action in hopes that it will cover their hidden shame and perceived failures.

**PS… Media please stop showing that picture of MJ deceased on the gernee.  It’s wrong and disrespectful!

Obama vs the CBC

Sometimes the POTUS kills me.  I never expected him to be president of black folk.  He should govern the United States accordingly without leaving black folk behind as most presidents have.  For all intents and purposes he’s made it clear in one way or the other that he doesn’t want to appear to appease to Black Americans.  He’s tried his best to be Teflon Don.  But for whatever reason he feels the need to lecture and speak maternally to groups of black people as if they owe him something.  This past week wasn’t the first time.

He sounds like a man who pays no attention to his wife and kids and then chews them out for ‘crying about it.’

Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining. Stop grumbling. Stop crying. We are going to press on. We’ve got work to do.

I mean who wrote THAT speech?  Were ‘Lazy and Shiftless’ too busy last weekend to make it in?

Suffice it to say I think his tone was kind of shitty.  But I will accept it as soon as he starts talking to white folks, Hispanics and Jews with that same tone. (Speaking of my Jewish peeps… Happy Rosh Hashanah! ) Critique of policies or lack thereof is part of being any politician let alone POTUS.  And loyalty is a two way street.  We are sophisticated enough to be both loyal and critical.  I’m not on that Tavis Smiley kick either cause he and West are working my last nerve.  If the POTUS want’s some, he has to give some.  Hell I don’t know. Just treat us like you do Boehner and the Republicans.  That’s a start!  If you don’t that’s fine.  Just don’t come up in the spot talkin mad sh*# like you’re the pimp and we’re the hoes that better get in line!

***Now the other side to that is this.  I don’t see big business hiring until Obama is out because they don’t want things to get better while he’s in there.  They’d rather wait till Romney or Perry gets in whether it’s next year or an additional five.  To say they don’t hire because of ‘uncertainty‘ is a crock of sh#!  Name me one business that has total certainty that isn’t named the NFL with it’s astronomical guaranteed TV revenue?  Part of being a business organization is operating in a way that is proficient and profitable.  Bush sure as hell didn’t make anything more ‘certain’ when he was in office when this recession got started.  I’m just keeping it 100!

David as Goliath!

So the latest I hear about the NBA negotiations is that the owners are asking for in addition to more overall revenue, for current player salaries to be cut by  five percent on all existing salaries for this season, a 7.5 percent reduction of all 2012-13 salaries and 10 percent reduction of 2013-14 salaries.  It’s ain’t my money or nothing, but Stern must be crazy.  Or is he?

I guess the tale-tale sign will be whether the players who are not stars and who have not already signed a deal with a team overseas have not spent all of their money and are able to hold out.  Only an idiot would spend all of his money knowing this lockout was looming for the last couple years.  But we all know there are plenty of those in professional sports.  We’ll see.

***Pac Man vs. Money May… let’s get it.  Enough already!

Time Machine Chronicles

Somebody threw a banana at Philadelphia winger Wayne Simmonds?  In 2011?  REALLY?  I guess he couldn’t get a watermelon past security.

Thanksgiving Sports Edition

Most of us can find something to be thankful for this time of year.  I enjoy watching sports and when I woke up this morning I started to think what if some of the more talked about sports figures in the nation needed some help in realizing what they should be thankful for.  So just in case they wonder, here it goes: 

NBA Edition: 

Chris Bosh should be thankful that his contract in Toronto expired at just the right time.  And that NBA GMs bought the hype that he was an important free agent pick up along the lines of James and Stoudemire.  Before his exposure as a soft pancake like small forward posing as a shooting guard, before Pat Riley found out that Bosh wanted to ‘chill’, he was able to ink the contract of a lifetime and live in the tax free state of Florida.   That is definitely an improvement from merely being Shaq’s Rupaul.

Joe Johnson should be thankful too that the Atlanta Hawks went old school Yankees and bid against themselves in giving him a max contract.  At least he knows how to act with it. 

Carlos Boozer is thankful that the Bulls are not pushing too hard to figure out how he really got hurt. 

The Washington Wizards: For John Wall.  How many rookies can do the Dougie for 20 minutes during player introduction AND put up a triple-double on the same night?

Donald Sterling for leasing  Blake Griffin for a few years:  Blake’s Shawn Kemp like athletically styled freaky destroy the rim dunks will definitely sell a few more season tickets for the Clippers.  Sterling can buy more real estate in Beverly Hills where he can discriminate against African-American would be tenants before Blake leaves the team that serves as the unofficial bitches of the Lakers.  Maybe he will even become a Laker! 

The City of Cleveland: Lebron is fool’s gold.  Now that he has taken his talents to South Beach, I guess the South and the Beach have affected his stamina as he’s already gone on record as wanting less minutes.  Cleveland stood in the spotlight and had the hope and aspirations of Chicago Cub fans in June for several years.  And you had James to thank for that.  He got his taste of free agency.  James is a physical beast with almost unlimited talent.  But his head ain’t right.  It may or may not ever get right.  What you see now is a player more interested in being famous for famous sake, not a winner who will do whatever it takes like a Jim Brown, or Kobe Bryant.  It may take a while, but if Dan Gilbert has the same commitment to the team as he did when James were there, Byron Scott will make sure they play smart and hard every night. 

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin dunks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, Friday, Nov. 12, 2010, in Los Angeles.

NFL Edition: 

Vince Young: Thankful that Bud Adams loves him like Arthur Blank used to love Michael Vick.  And that he is willing to put up with his childlike and unprofessional behavior.  I guess if he doesn’t kill any animals or commit any other felonies he may keep that love and even get Jeff Fisher fired.  Adams drinks the Young Kool-Aid like ESPN talking heads drink Favre’s. He’s probably going to get Fisher run like Favre did Chili.  From what I hear, Young is as committed to putting in work during the week like Favre is in the pre-season too.  What similarities. 

Speaking of Favre and Kool-Aid; Favre should be thankful that Roger Goodell is a hypocrite and will not punish him for sexually harassing a former Jets employee including sending her text photos of his junk.  Roger is great at putting the Pac Man Jones’ of the world in check in laying down the law.  But the Old Gunslinger puts tape on his mouth.  Shhhhh!  Listen to that?  What’s that sound?  That’s the sound of silence from the NFL offices in New York.  The NFL cares about the NFL brand, not the players, not integrity.  As long as Favre is starting, you won’t hear anything else regarding Sterger-gate.  David Stern’s frozen envelope from 1985 is screaming conspiracy here! 

Sterger didn’t help her own cred by trying to get paid from it.  Getting paid is nothing I’m against.  But she stalled the NFL offices while trying to broker a hush deal.  That’s not on Goodell however.  He has the information and the self proclaimed sheriff of the shield is showing himself to be nothing more than politician.  

Richard Seymour: That his name is not James Harrison.  He’s going to get that $25 grand out of his chump change purse like Sweet Daddy from Good Times and still get to play on Sunday.  

And finally the City of Philadelphia:  That Jeffery Laurie and Andy Reed didn’t listen to YOU when you didn’t want to allow Michael Vick a second chance.  The listened to McNabb instead and now they have an MVP candidate, a player who can potentially take them to another Super Bowl.  

**Side Notes

The New York Yankees/Derek Jeter situation is getting ugly.  I think a couple things needs to happen.  First, management, especially Hank Steinbrenner need to stop putting their Captain on blast by giving him the, “If you don’t like my offer go get a better one somewhere else,” statement in the press.  That’s just disrespectful and unnecessary.  Jeter for his part needs to either, a) tell his agent to stop comparing him to Babe Ruth at 36, and b) perhaps take a more active role in his own final contract.  He believes he should get paid for ‘services rendered’ and the club believes he should get paid for ‘services currently performed.’  Conventional wisdom says it’s somewhere in between.  Jeter should retire in pinstripes.  And in this negotiation both parties should come away satisfied though not completely happy.  Jeter should get his respect, and the Yanks should not overpay by leaps and bounds if they choose not to this time.  I suppose Jeter wonders why they want to get fiscally conservative all of a sudden.  But The Boss is dead.  Hank is not Vito Corleone or even Michael.  He’s more or less Sonny.

LeBron, Harpo and Dan Gilbert’s Huckleberry!

In the midst of LeBron-A-Thon ending with the TV non event of the year, let’s just start with Cleveland Cavalier’s majority owner Dan Gilbert’s letter to Cav’s fans:

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Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;

As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.

Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.

The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.

There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.

You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.

You have given so much and deserve so much more.

In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:

“I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE”

You can take it to the bank.

If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.

Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

Sorry, but that’s simply not how it works.

This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown “chosen one” sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And “who” we would want them to grow-up to become.

But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called “curse” on Cleveland, Ohio.

The self-declared former “King” will be taking the “curse” with him down south. And until he does “right” by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.

Just watch.

Sleep well, Cleveland.

Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day….

I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:

DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue….

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Ouch!  I suppose that felt good to old ‘Danny Boy’.   But by responding in this fashion, he’s made himself look even worse than “King Prince James.”

Make no mistake about it.  This LeBron-A-Thon which started around the same time as the NBA Finals with LeBron going on Larry King, Nightline, and any other show short of Oprah, (I’m sure they called her) was a farse to begin with.  The Celtics were playing the Lakers for godsakes.  Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol and Derek Fisher were going against Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.  Doc Rivers was trying to win his second NBA title in three years as Celtics coach.  Phil Jackson was in the midst of winning his 11th as coach.  At that point, personally I didn’t give a damn about what LeBron was going to do.  His team was eliminated in the second round of the playoffs.  Still he couldn’t resist but to move the attention on to himself.

The primetime ESPN special was also a joke.  How vain can one get;  Especially since the “Chosen One” that hasn’t won in the NBA?  Sure I watched it!  It was the ultimate train wreck.  I rubbernecked from start to finish and watched James sit uncomfortably as Jim Grey threw James softball after softball questions that he could not seem to hit out of the infield.  To hear James tell it, Cleveland wouldn’t be Cleveland if it were not for him.  In reality, he didn’t do more than Mark Price, Brad Daugherty, Ron Harper and Larry Nance for the Cavaliers franchise.  And two consecutive MVPs or not, the difference between he and Kobe Bryant isn’t even close.  Bryant is clearly more concerned about his historical basketball legacy in which greatness is clearly defined by championships.  James is more concerned with branding, merchandise and ego.  For all of his talents, he thinks more highly of himself than he should.   He was created to be that way since he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated while driving that Hummer around in High School.  And yea, the story is marketable in a summer where there is nothing but baseball and a boring soccer matches hardly anyone cares about.

That being said: Dan Gilbert’s self-righteous victimized rant came off as if LeBron slept with him for a night but didn’t stick around to cuddle the next morning.  This is the same man who would have given his chosen one $130 million for 6 years had James decided to stick around in C-Town.

Gilbert wants to rant on LeBron about loyalty?  Hell last I heard James was a free agent as of July 1.  This was indeed his time to choose whatever team he wanted to chose.  The real issue is that with James’ departure, the value of the Cavaliers franchise dropped faster than a bad stock.  Last night may as well be called Black Thursday as far as Gilbert is concerned.  Still I’d like to ask him about loyalty when it came to coach Mike Brown who won the most NBA games this past season.  I’d like to ask him about his courting of college coach Tom Izzo as if he were going to take the Cavaliers anywhere let alone have the respect of James as well as other NBA players.  LeBron never went to college so why would he respect a college coach?  I’d like to ask him why he ran out one of the best GMs in the league in Danny Ferry. 

Is Gilbert the pot or the kettle that’s all I’m asking here.  Now he’s barking off about how LeBron quit in the playoffs throwing the guy under the bus.  And any of this talk about leaking more of LeBron’s tresepasses I’m sure has been shut down by a phone call from David Stern.

My favorite quote of his entire letter is this one:

“The self-declared former “King” will be taking the “curse” with him down south. And until he does “right” by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.”

Are you serious?  Were you just watching The Color Purple Thursday afternoon because it sounded very much like what Celie told Albert:

 “Till you do right by me, everything you even think about gonna’ fail.”

The Color Purple - 11 x 17 Movie Poster - Style A

Gilbert’s eagerness to court James and willingness to give him a max deal, then slamming him as James headed to South Beach is tantamount to a thug who pursues a woman at the club.  After being turned down several times finally fires back with something like this: “F’-U then!  I didn’t want your number anyway.”

As much as James is a self-glorified egomaniac, the fact of the matter is that he did indeed give the Cavaliers and the city of Cleveland seven exciting years.  He made the team and the city a lot of money.  It was an even trade-off.   Now that the affair is over, it’s over.  Gilbert should turn the page.  And if he can’t, he should touch himself and think of the memories.