The NBA Playoffs and Stuff

Last week during the Western Conference Finals I found myself uttering (constantly):

“Josh Smith would be the worst teammate EVER, well maybe JR Smith would almost be as bad…..actually ya know, Dwight Howard would kinda suck too, yeah Dwight Howard AND Josh Smith would tie for the worst teammates ever.  At least you could just NOT pass to JR Smith, somehow Dwight and Josh always end up with the ball at the absolute WRONG time.”

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Houston is the NBA equivalent to watching a hugely athletic, terribly coached AAU team at a summer camp.  TONS of athletes that make you plot and scheme like Mr.Burns:

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But NONE of them actually know how to play basketball.  They’re all just puppies running around on the court chasing the ball and screaming out when something good happens.  James Harden is the exception on the Rockets, he can flat-out BALL.

jameshardenJust for kicks, here’s 4 minutes of Josh Smith doing……..well, Josh Smith stuff:

I’d like to quickly point out that I was ALMOST (counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades) right on with my predictions a few posts ago:

Prediction:  Warriors in 6 games.  I think Houston will win one at home, (probably game 3) then lose game 4, go back to Golden State and steal one there to take it to 6 games.  It’s what Houston did against the Clippers and if I’ve learned anything from watching the Jekyll and Hyde Rockets, it’s to expect the unexpected…whatever makes sense, think the opposite.  The Rockets are like the full roster-ed, team version of JR Smith.  Don’t think about it too hard, it makes no sense even when you try to explain it.

Results:  Warriors actually won in 5 games, I was trying to be nice to Houston.

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Predictions:  Cavs in 5 games.  Cleveland has the best player in the world, no one on Atlanta can guard him (especially with DeMarre Carroll NOT 100%).  Bron-Bron is in full 2006-07 season form, taking the Playstation controller away from every sniveling, spoiled child involved (including Head Coach David Blatt) and isn’t giving the reigns back for anything or anyone.  He’s putting the city of Cleveland on his back yet AGAIN, seriously they should rename the city Lebron Jamestown.  

Results:  Somehow Atlanta didn’t manage to come away with ONE single win.  I was over-estimating Lebron’s ability to LITERALLY carry a city on his back.  IF Cleveland wins the NBA Championship, this will be Lebron’s greatest achievement.

FUTURE PREDICTIONS:

I’m not letting this moment get the best of me, which is somehow code for not totally jumping on the Golden State Warriors train.  LEBRON is an AT-AT* among Anti-Personnel Laser Canons* and he’s on a mission for THE CITTTTAAAAAAYYYYYYYY. 

Cavs win it in 6 games.  Lebron wins an NBA Finals MVP trophy and continues strongly on his quest for most hardware on a man’s mantle since John Wayne (he collected guns and tools in addition to Film Awards).   See what I did there?  Jack Nicholson would be jealous, he’s won total 14 awards and the hearts of all women for the last 40 years. 

**sidenote:

THIS is an AT-AT (Lebron):

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This is an Anti-Personnel Laser Canon (everyone else):

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Effeminate Action

Standard practice for Fox Sport’s UFC Fight Night is to offer the event in two shows; “UFC Fight Night Prelims”, immediately followed by “UFC Fight Night”. The idea is that the “Prelims” iteration showcases up and comers while the second show features more well-known, higher ranked fighters who are therefore closer to a Championship fight, or fan favorites.

Usually, The Prelims are exciting matchups with albeit lesser, but to UFC fans, known competitors and the 4/18 event in Newark New Jersey did not disappoint. Among the Prelims, the card featured Ultimate Fighter 19 Champion Corey Anderson being assaulted with a barrage of leg kicks throughout the fight, succumbing to a vicious 3rd round TKO at the hands of Gian Villante.

Also on the card was Ovince St. Preux, known for his tremendous power and vicious kicks and for in his last fight demolishing world re-known MMA legend and ex-heavyweight champ “Shogun” Rua with a 34 second TKO. In this event, Ovince knocked out Patrick Cummins in the 1st round.

The second show, or main card began with what could be construed as “Effeminate Action”. As a strong proponent of Affirmative Action, I’m torn by my opposition to this so-called Effeminate Action. The first matchup on the main card featured two Women fighters, 12th ranked Paige Vanzant vs. 8th ranked Felice Herrig. Who vs. whom?

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Women’s UFC Champ Ronda Rousey has undoubtedly popularized Women’s Mixed Martial Arts. She is arguably the current most marketable Mixed Martial Arts athlete. In addition to dominating all opponents, she is a television and film star, product spokesperson, and certified badass. Her popularity has propelled Women’s MMA to new heights, prompting UFC President Dana White to produce the 1st season of The Ultimate Fighter featuring all women Mixed Martial Artists.

Whether it’s Football, with the NFL’s (ridiculous) goal to have a team based in Europe and currently playing one game annually in London, or the NBA with equal aspirations playing games in Mexico, league owners and commissioners from all sports are always looking for ways to grow their fan base…sometimes to the detriment of the sport. Is the UFC following the same path?

The Vanzant vs. Herrig fight was an exciting bout featuring great grappling action, ending in the underdog 12th ranked Vanzant dominating 8th ranked Herrig, controlling the action in the later rounds with skillful ground technique, punishing her with hammer fists, elbows, and all around ground and pound. That being said, did that matchup deserve to “headline” over the St. Preux or Anderson fight? Despite her domination of the higher ranked Herrig, does the 21-year-old Vanzant deserve a Reebok sponsorship over Ovince or any other fighter on the Prelim card, or is she the beneficiary of Effeminate Action?

This particular Women’s MMA bout is a poor example as it was (although IMO not as much so as the Anderson or St. Preux fight’s) entertaining. My take on Effeminate Action however is a simple one; is it about growing the fan base, or is it about inclusion as Dana White and The UFC would assert? If it’s truly about inclusion and at times the product suffers as a result, I support it. Knowing Dana White’s goal of World Domination however precludes me from such optimism and therefore gives me pause when two lesser-known women fighters are featured over 2, 4, or 6 more prominent male fighters. Women’s mixed martial arts can be exciting and deserves a spotlight, but if the fight is featuring the two women at work dating the same dude, let’s be honest about the intentions, and put it on the undercard… just after me vs. my dickhead neighbor, otherwise the product suffers.

 

written by Che K’Hama

James Harden Be Like….

The Beard. The NBA’s Head "head-bobber", who’s dribble never creates a drum beat he doesn’t like. Harden driving to the hole is performance art of ‘Grindin’ (Clipse)…guaranteed if anyone is nearby that his head will nod hoping to generate a foul. Well tonight, he was offbeat, couldn’t catch the rhythm, tryna rock with an opponent who’s style was too unorthodox forcing him to force the plot and try to torch the spot, but in the end...he couldn’t rocket.

James Harden Should Get Drunk Before Every Game

James Harden went to a Drake concert over the weekend in Houston, then he went out and dropped 45 points on Golden State in Game 4 and extended the all-but-done Western Conference Finals series.  Then the rains came and flooded Houston to the edge of catastrophe…..coincidence?

hardendrake_fl2iw7The Houston Rockets internet blew up after photos came out of Harden apparently having too much fun (at a Drake concert?):

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This is the most positive press Drake has EVER had, I think he needs James Harden more than James Harden needs Drake.

Are You Not Entertained!?!?!

The NBA Playoffs are still providing plenty of worthy moments as the train gains steam towards the Finals, even though you may have to be a hoops junky to really appreciate them.

With the Clippers outed last week by the Rockets, it seems like most of the average NBA fans (people who like dunks and think JR Smith is GOOD) left the hoops table for the “when does football start” table (thanks non-stop NFL propaganda).

Which leads me to this question, what the hell happened to baseball season?  Are there any baseball fans anymore under the age of 30?  My Red Sox are in 4th place in the AL-East and 3 games under .500, while the Royals, Astros and Nationals are leading their respective divisions???  What in the name of  Ebby Calvin LaLoosh is going on?  We’ve got a serious problem in the world of baseball.

But that’s a different conversation for a later day…

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(I can hear my Dad shouting, “hey, that’s Williams and DiMaggio”.  Yes Dad, it is.)
  • Steph Curry’s Warriors are in the Captain Kirk’s chair right now against the Dwight Howard Snake-Handlers (seriously, click here), which is now heading back to Houston at 2-1 Warriors.  Steph Curry has been nothing short of spectacular in both games, averaging 33.5 ppg, 5.5 apg, and 4.5 rpg.  I get no better enjoyment watching the NBA then when I see Steph turn defenders inside-out like a drunk tail-chasing dog with vertigo…then stepping back and hitting a three in their face.  Even though he does it 10 times a game, it still feels like the first time I’ve ever seen it EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Prediction:  Warriors in 6 games.  I think Houston will win one at home, (probably game 3) then lose game 4, go back to Golden State and steal one there to take it to 6 games.  It’s what Houston did against the Clippers and if I’ve learned anything from watching the Jekyll and Hyde Rockets, it’s to expect the unexpected…whatever makes sense, think the opposite.  The Rockets are like the full roster-ed, team version of JR Smith.  Don’t think about it too hard, it makes no sense even when you try to explain it.

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“I just try to just roll with the punches. I mean, once the team pretty much starts closing out, just try to get in attack mode, and at the same time, try to find my teammates. It’s kind of hard, hitting the shots I was hitting, to try and pass the ball, but you’ve got to figure out a way.” — J.R. Smith

  • Lebron James is leading his Love-less, physically ailing Cavs to a 2-0 lead tonight over the Hotlanta Hawks.  For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, YES those Atlanta Hawks are in the Eastern Conference championship.  And before you ask, NO Dominique Wilkins did not come out of retirement (do yourself a favor and watch Nique’s Best Dunks).  Seriously, Dominique finished with dunks more than most current Small Forwards finish with wide-open layups.

Predictions:  Cavs in 5 games.  Cleveland has the best player in the world, no one on Atlanta can guard him (especially with DeMarre Carroll NOT 100%).  Bron-Bron is in full 2006-07 season form, taking the Playstation controller away from every sniveling, spoiled child involved (including Head Coach David Blatt) and isn’t giving the reigns back for anything or anyone.  He’s putting the city of Cleveland on his back yet AGAIN, seriously they should rename the city Lebron Jamestown.  

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Delaying the Inevitable

-originally posted May, 20th 2015-

written by TheCoLA.net resident stand-up comedian, Tom Slovinski.

This year’s NCAA National Championship game between Duke and Wisconsin was the highest rated game since the 1997 National Championship between Arizona and Kentucky. Duke was anchored by three freshman that are already counting the days down until the NBA draft versus a Wisconsin team lead by mostly upperclassmen. This seems to be the new normal for the NCAA championship. There is a lot of talk about one and dones with Kentucky’s John Calipari catching most of the flack due to his ability to field almost an entire team of NBA ready freshman.

I don’t have any ill feelings for Calipari or Coach K, they are simply abiding by a rule that is ignorant. The NBA needs to figure something better out. Forcing a kid to go to school in no way is preparing him for the life of an NBA player.

Let the kids choose what they want to do.

The NBA initiated the rule to try and protect their brand along with trying to help these kids develop, but if a kid is purely going to college to play ball with no thirst for a higher education or the college experience, what are they developing?

What about the athlete that wants to be in school? What about the kid that buys into a system so whole-heartedly, that four years doesn’t even feel long enough to him? College is supposed to be used as a way to help mold a young person into the adult that they were meant to be. It’s not a highway area rest stop that you use out of necessity while passing time to the next chapter of your life.

If a kid doesn’t want to go to college why should we force them? Aren’t we taking scholarships and playing time away from kids that actually want to be there? Commitment is a fact of life, but these kids are barely committing to twenty five percent of what other freshman are preparing for.

The bottom line is that if these kids are good enough to play in the pro’s why are we making them wait? Especially when the NBA hasn’t found a proper punishment for teams intentionally losing games to get a higher draft pick. How is that a more acceptable practice then allowing an eighteen year old kid to make a decision that best fits him and his families’ situation.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark/basketball and until the NBA accepts the fact that forcing a kid to wait to enter the draft in no way prepares him for all of the pitfalls that come with being an NBA player, this ridiculousness will continue to happen.

Adam Silver is a good commissioner and it’s time that he fully reassesses his stance.

A higher education means nothing if your entering a league of low standards.

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–make sure to check out Tom’s stand-up:

Kentucky Wildcats Fans BEWARE

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Any talk surrounding the NBA Lottery Draft (giving us a break from Deflategate and the NFL’s monsoon of irrelevant information) tonight has been given an extra exclamation point:

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 2.44.11 PMYou might be saying, “Wait, Calipari is saying he’s not interested in the New Orleans Pelicans job.”

To which I would answer, “Do you still believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny too?”

If there’s any real certainty in life whether it be in politics or professional sports or the entertainment business, you can rest assured that if someone says definitively in public they are NOT doing something, then the opposite is probably more likely…and vice-versa.

As if I even need to give examples; Tom Brady and the Patriots (Deflategate, Spygate), Bill Clinton (sexy-times in the Oval office), Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez (Steroids), Tom Cruise, John Travolta (NOT being gay….not that there’s anything wrong with that), George Lopez (considers himself a comedian).  The examples go on forever.

  • Coach Cal was only able to sign 2 of the top 30 Freshman recruits for next year, something that has NEVER happened while Cal has been at Kentucky.  For other programs, that would be a terrific recruiting year, but for Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats fans, that’s missing out on 28 top recruits.
  • Kentucky is losing at least 4-8 players from this year’s roster to the NBA, including arguably their best 4 players (Anthony-Towns, Cauley-Stein, Harrison brothers and Devin Booker).
  • Coach Cal would make upwards of $8 million per year as the NOLA head coach, IF the Pelicans are willing to ante up the dough.

Seems like a good time for Coach Cal to make the move to NOLA and coach two of his favorite former players.