Tag Archives: Denver Nuggets

The Ave Podcast – The 2022 Western Conference Preview

The Ave Podcast with Cal Cee. Episode 209 & 210: The 2022 NBA Western Conference Preview 

It’s the 7th Annual installment of South Shore Ave’s 2022 NBA Season Preview! So today on The Ave Podcast, I break down the Western Conference with SSA Family Member Julian aka Jules Da Commish. As we do every year, we ranked each team in the West from the Outhouse to the Penthouse.

*** Thanks for tuning in, and don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe to the podcast and the blog below. The podcasts are available for download. You can check out South Shore Ave on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherSpotifyTuneIn and Alexa, the South Shore Ave YouTube Channel, as well as wherever else you listen to podcasts. ***

The Ave Podcast with Cal Cee // Episode 209 & 210

2022 NBA Finals: Why Golden State Warriors' Latest Title Is Most Impressive Of Them All

(Photo: Elsa/Getty Images)






To download the podcast episodes, feel free to click the logos below:

Lottery Teams:  Image result for south shore ave logo

Playoff Teams: Image result for south shore ave logo


Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

To subscribe to South Shore Ave, click onto the Follow button, and enter your email address, or click onto the RSS Feed.


The Ave Podcast – Young Bulls Comin’ + Scottie Trippen

The Ave Podcast with Cal Cee. Episode 176: Young Bulls Comin’ & Scottie Trippen

Today on The Ave Podcast, I’m joined joined by O’Neil Kamaka (HC of Vaughan Panthers AAU Basketball & Co-Founder of Skills Refinement Group) as we talk about this year’s NBA Rookie class; our favorite and most surprising rookies so far; discuss the Jokic/Morris dustup; plus we share our thoughts on Scottie Pippen’s Scorched Earth Book Tour.

*** Thanks for tuning in, and don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe to the podcast and the blog below. The podcasts are available for download. You can check out South Shore Ave on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherSpotifyTuneIn and Alexa, as well as wherever else you listen to podcasts. The South Shore Ave YouTube Channel is now up & running. You can get to all of those apps on your IOS or Android devices. ***

Scottie Barnes brought infectious energy, effort in Raptors debut

(Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)



To download the podcast, feel free to click the logo below:

Image result for south shore ave logo

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

To subscribe to South Shore Ave, click onto the Follow button, and enter your email address, or click onto the RSS Feed.

The Ave Podcast – The 2020-21 NBA Western Conference Season Preview

The Ave Podcast with Cal Cee. Episode 137: The 2020-21 NBA Western Conference Season Preview

Today on The Ave Podcast. we present the 5th Annual South Shore Ave’s 2020-21 NBA Season Preview, We discuss the Western Conference with SSA Family Member Julian aka Jules Da Commish, and as always, we’re ranking each team in the West from the bottom to the top. Please enjoy. With a drink or two. It is the holidays.

*** Thanks for tuning in, and don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe to the podcast and the blog below. The podcasts are available for download. You can check out South Shore Ave on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherSpotifyTuneIn and Alexa, as well as wherever else you listen to podcasts. You can get to all of those apps on your IOS or Android devices. ***

The Ave Podcast with Cal Cee // Episode 137

LeBron James, Anthony Davis

The Lottery Teams


The Playoff Teams



To download the podcast, feel free to click the logo below:

The Lottery Download

The Playoff Download

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

To subscribe to South Shore Ave, click onto the Follow button, and enter your email address, or click onto the RSS Feed. Very special thanks to Julian aka Jules Da Commish for his guest appearance on this podcast. 

The Ave Podcast – The 2019-20 NBA Western Conference Season Preview

The Ave Podcast with Cal Cee. Ep. 93: The 2019-20 NBA Western Conference Season Preview

Today on The Ave Podcast. we present Part 2 of the 4th Annual South Shore Ave’s 2019-20 NBA Season Preview, We discuss the Western Conference with SSA Family Member Julian aka Jules Da Commish, and as always, we’re ranking each team in the West from the bottom to the top. Please enjoy. Like….for real. Enjoy.

*** This podcast episode contains explicit language. ***

*** Thanks for tuning in, and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast and the blog below, and also, the podcasts are now available for download. You can now check out the podcasts on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcher, and Spotify. You can get to all of those apps on your IOS or Android devices. ***

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Clippers

(Getty Images)


To download the podcast, feel free to click the logo below:

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

To subscribe to South Shore Ave, click onto the Follow button, and enter your email address, or click onto the RSS Feed. Very special thanks to Julian aka Jules Da Commish for his guest appearance on this podcast.

The Ave Podcast – Game 7…..

The Ave Podcast with Cal Cee. Episode 80: Game 7…..

…………what else can be said??? it’s Game 7. GAME SEVEN!!!!!! Today on The Ave Podcast, I invite my SSA Family Members as we break down the Classic 7th game of the Raptors-76ers series, and one of the greatest moments in Toronto sports history. Plus we discuss the other incredible Game 7 between the Trailblazers & the Nuggets, and we wrap up the podcast to dissect what the hell went wrong with the Houston Rockets.

*** Thanks for tuning in, and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast and the blog below, and also, the podcasts are now available for download. You can now check out the podcasts on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcher, and Spotify. You can get to all of those apps on your IOS or Android devices. ***

The Ave Podcast with Cal Cee // Episode 80

Image result for raptors sixers Game 7 Kawhi Leonard



To download the podcast, feel free to click the logo below:

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

To subscribe to South Shore Ave, click onto the Follow button, and enter your email address, or click onto the RSS Feed. Very special thanks to Randall Walter, Jules Da Commish & Headley for their guest appearance on this podcast.

NBA’s 1st Half Rundown: 2015

With the second half of the NBA underway, and the most wide open season we have had in years (and all the contenders stocking up on players like an arms race between warring countries), let’s have a quick rundown on some of the stories from the 1st half of the NBA season.

Who’s the 1st Half MVP?

I’m sure there will be some candidates rising in the second half of the season (LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Marc Gasol, John Wall, Russell Westbrook, etc), but it’ll be hard pressed to surpass anything that James Harden and Steph Curry have been doing this season, especially if they continue to play like this. Harden, in fact, has put the team on his back (27.4 PPG/5.7 RBG/6.8 ASG/2 SPG/45% FG/87% FT/38% 3P), taking whatever spare part of the alpha dog mantle that Dwight Howard had, and has carried the Rockets all season & kept them high in the pecking order of the Western Conference. He deserves to be saluted to be honest, he’s basically been unstoppable. You know who’s been slightly more unstoppable this season? Stephen Curry.

When he first became known at Davidson during his freshman year, his shooting exploits were beyond explanation. By the time he was a Junior, he was easily one of the best players in the country despite his slight build and small school pedigree. In fact, I used to argue with one of my friends (I won’t name said friend here….. but Marco was that guy. Ok, sorry Marco. Actually, I’m not that sorry…) about his NBA potential. I always believed he’d be able to hang in the pros, because if all else fails, he can live off of being a deadly spot up shooter. Secretly, though, the way he used to get his shot off & set his defenders up to create space, I would hope he’d be better than that. I never thought I’d see what I’m seeing from him now. He’s treating the league like it’s his little brother. He’s somehow mixed the best parts of Steve Nash & Allen Iverson’s game & combined it with his. It’s become comical how well he can shoot from anywhere & under any scenario (23.6 PPG, 48% FG/90% FT/40% 3P), how his handles have become Isaiah Thomas-esque, how he’s reduced b-ball fans into giggling schoolgirls whenever they watch him, & how he’s turned Golden St to not only the best team in the West right now, but also the most entertaining team in the NBA.

I want to go back to his ball handling for a second. When it comes to basketball, my belief is that having great handles is like having a universal master key that allows you to open any door. It creates opportunities to set your defender up to better control the game. Curry has improved that part of his game so much in the last couple of years, that it has now become as lethal as his jumper, and that alone makes him completely dangerous. It’s allowed him to become one of the best slashers in the NBA as well as one of its best passers and creators (8 assists per), and it also provides him with supreme confidence that the entire Warrior team feeds off of. There is nothing in the NBA right now, as enticing as watching Curry get hot (no pun intended) during a game. When he gets going, Twitter blows up, Vines start popping up from everywhere, & if you’re included in some chat groups on your phone, then it starts vibrating like crazy. The greatest part of Klay Thompson’s 37-point 3rd quarter vs. the Kings (on his way to a 50-point night) outside of the fact that you couldn’t believe what you were watching, to me was being slightly surprised that it actually wasn’t Steph doing this first. Meanwhile he was laughing almost in hysterics at what was happening as well, enjoying the moment as much as any Warrior fan in the building. About two weeks later, he dropped 51 on the Mavericks scoring 26 of his own in the 3rd quarter. The way this season has been going for Curry so far, that honestly sounds about right.

Will Kevin Love stay with the Cavaliers?

I can’t see how. You have to think about it in these terms for a second. In last year’s All Star game, he started for the West. In this year’s All Star game, he didn’t even make the team…..for the East. That alone has probably made him second guess this move to Cleveland if he hasn’t already, despite what he says publicly. After watching his franchise fail time & time again to put him in a position to win in Minnesota (which included the screw up of only offering him 4-year extension instead of the 5-year franchise max offer), Love wanted to be part of a winning culture. So getting traded to Cleveland where LeBron James and Kyrie Irving was a win in his case. I’m positive he knew he was going to sacrifice certain parts of his game to make this work, but I’m sure he wasn’t expecting this.

He’s become a 3rd option on offense, someone who spends more time spotting up for jumpers and threes, than controlling the boards & the paint…. you know, something he’s getting paid almost $16M this season to do. His stats have come down pretty much across the board which is expected (Last season: 26.1 PPG/12.5 RBG, 3 offensive/46% FG/37.6 3P; This season: 17 PPG / 10.4 RBG, 2 offensive/43% FG/34% 3P), however with the trade of J.R. Smith, it’s not surprising to see him with the 4th most shot attempts on the Cavs most nights now, which I guarantee he did not sign up for. Then he has to hear his coach David Blatt state the he is not a max player (though he predictably backtracked afterwards) & then LeBron calling him out on Twitter in a passive aggressive manner (which he also backtracked, then admitted the Twitter comment, to only moonwalk again).

Where it becomes sticky is that despite his struggles, this is the best team he’s even been on by far who’s gotten hot over the last month (won 14 of its last 16), so it’s hard for him to complain when his team has been winning. But obviously things are not going well for him this season so far, so he has to hope things get better sooner than later. If not, he’ll have to look at his options. I think the only way he stays in Cleveland is if he opts into his contract for next season, & tests the market in 2016 when the cap will skyrocket. The problem is, if he continues to go up & down in play until then, will it take enough of a hit to his value that he won’t get the max? K-Love’s got a lot to consider in the upcoming months.

Most Disappointing Teams?

You can consider a few, but for me this season, it’s definitely Charlotte and Denver. After the way the Hornets played this season, I assumed they would build on that success while adding Lance Stephenson to the mix. This season however, has been marred with injuries, Lance has been inconsistent and him & Hornets coach Steve Clifford has not seen eye to eye in philosophies, rookies Noah Vonleah and P.J. Hairston has been coming along extremely slowly this year having little to no impact whatsoever. As far as Denver is concerned, when a coach from a professional NBA team has to try banning his team of NBA professional players from cell phone use in team meetings, pretty much says in all. Kenneth Faried —  after a huge performance in the World Championships this summer & $50M contract extension — has stayed pretty stagnant. Danilo Gallanari seems like he’s still recovering from his knee surgeries, they played with an overall flair of indifference, as of yesterday, started the process of cleaning house (although most teams are probably upset they didn’t get Wilson Chandler before the trade deadline) & at this point, it seems like the team has pretty much quit on Brian Shaw and vice versa. I’d be surprised if Shaw comes back to coach the team next season.

Predictions for 2nd Half of the Regular Season:

Steph Curry will win his 1st MVP award……. Mike Budenholzer will win his first Coach of the Year award…… Golden St will finish with the best record in the West & Atlanta will hold down the top spot in the East…… I said this last year, I stop doubting what the San Antonio Spurs do every year. With that said, barring health, they will finish in the Top 3 in the West & that will help Tim Duncan land the Defensive Player of the Year. If that doesn’t happen & the Spurs don’t make that leap, count on Draymond Green winning it…….. 6th Man of the Year: See Drake’s “If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late” album, Track 12…… Hassan Whiteside will win Most Improved Player (my wild prediction)…. Paul George will come back in time for Indiana to make a playoff push, but it won’t mean anything….. The Raptors finish again with the 3rd seed in the East & will fight Chicago for the #2 spot right until the very end……. Isaiah Thomas will cry his way to Boston. Can you imagine leaving the desert, for a city that’s experiencing the worst winter in history? And the team sucks??? I’d be bawling the whole flight complete with snot bubbles & hyperventilating episodes…… Reggie Jackson will channel his inner Westbrook until he gets called into Stan Van Gundy’s office, and only Andre Drummond & Greg Monroe are waiting for him. Then the door locks behind Reggie……. Reggie Jackson will be top 4 in assists for the rest of the season after that meeting……

Predictions for final Regular Season Conference Standings

  1. Atlanta – Barring a major collapse, I can’t see them losing a 6.5 game lead over the conference. Huge game tonight vs. Toronto.
  2. Chicago – Getting healthier. Week off is especially huge for Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose to recover from their knee issues.
  3. Toronto – Should solidify the 3rd seed at the very least with one of the easiest schedules remaining in the NBA.
  4. Cleveland – Team LeBron is rounding into form. Next step: Showing Kevin more Love.
  5. Washington – If I’m correct, a potential 1st round series vs. Cleveland will be one of the most intense playoff series in a couple of months.
  6. Milwaukee – Getting Coach Kidd to mold MCW will be one of the most underrated things to watch. I like what the Bucks are building so far.
  7. Miami – I would actually rank Miami higher (especially after acquiring Goran Dragic yesterday), but everything hinges on Chris Bosh’s health right now. If lost for the season (blood clot in his lung), Miami stays where they are.
  8. Detroit – I almost….ALMOST put Brooklyn in this spot, but adding Reggie Jackson yesterday is a slightly bigger upgrade for Detroit than it is for Brooklyn scooping up Thaddeus Young. Have a feeling this will go down to the wire.

Western Conference

  1. Golden St. – This might be the strongest a conference has been in my lifetime. The 8th seed could beat the top seed and no one will bat an eye. Anyway, they’ll hold onto the top spot.
  2. Memphis – Picking up Jeff Green fills the one flaw this team had (athletic wing that can score on his own). This might be the best team in the West when it’s all said and done.
  3. San Antonio – Now that everyone is healthy, I can see them going on a late run. Gregg Popovich says everything hinges on Tony Parker to repeat. 21-3-13 with 0 TOs (in a loss to the Clippers last night)? I’d say he’s off to a good start so far.
  4. Portland – Threw themselves in the Western Conference arms race by scopping Aaron Afflalo to make their bench that much deeper.
  5. Houston – Shhh! Don’t make any sudden movements…. but Josh Smith is playing better these last three weeks. Could be a huge lift for the Rockets (& my fantasy team) if he stays this consistent.
  6. L.A. Clippers – DeAndre Jordan is playing like a grown man, especially since Blake went down. Bench isn’t strong enough to win the title this year.
  7. Dallas – I’m personally rooting for Amare to be healthy for the rest of the season at least & give us old Amare for 3 months. Wishful thinking I know. But solid pickup nonetheless.
  8. Oklahoma City – Potentially the scariest 8th seed in NBA history… that also got stronger by adding Enes Kanter, Kyle Singler, & D.J. Augustin to the mix.

Bonus question: Will the population increase in Toronto in December 2016?

Seems that way. By the time the local groupies here in Toronto ditch their morals, dignity, and panties for potential life changing “opportunities” for next year’s NBA All Star Game in Toronto, the maternity wards in hospitals will be extremely busy, & may have to hire volunteers off the street to help deliver all of these new people. Honestly, if someone can put together a Thirst Trapping seminar between now and next February, they might become Toronto’s next millionaire. Think of the lessons that can be taught:

  • How to Trap a Celebrity & Keep Them Happy at the Same Time,
  • How to Sexify Your Way to Any Baller’s Bottle Service (which provides a follow-up co-op program to any lounge on King St.),
  • #TeamTwerk Workshop,
  • Rich Wax Poor Wax: Financial Planning Your Way To a Better Brazilian Wax,
  • Personal Training Discounts at all Goodlife locations in the GTA (which will really only consist of a rotation of lunge exercises & stairmaster sessions)…

….well you get the point. At the end of the seminar you have to get a #THOTSZN tattoo on your lower back to prove that you really are about that life. I’m not sure this city is quite ready for all the black celebs that will import themselves into Toronto for that week, & I’m not quite sure the black celebs understand just how “nice” these Canadian groupies are willing to be. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see these worlds collide north of the border. I just can’t wait to watch!

Seriously speaking, I have been speaking about having the All Star game here for at least 15-20 years, ever since the Raptors were still playing at the Skydome. Previously, when the NBA had their expansion team run in the early 90s (Miami, Orlando, Minnesota, & Charlotte), that city usually got to host an all star game within the first five years of existence. So when Toronto & Vancouver had their turn, I was certain the Raps would get one. No way did I think it would come 20 years later. So now that it’s less than a year away, it will be wonderful for Toronto to be able to celebrate (as well as Canada) it’s own underrated history with this sport. With the direction of where the Raptors are headed these days, & what Drake and his OVO team will have planned for the weekend, as well as all the major festivities, I’m sure it’ll be a incredible experience. Can’t wait….


Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

To subscribe to The Baseline Blog, click onto the Follow button.




Welcome to #TankCity Vol. 2, Part 2, where we break down the current residents of #TankCity. Let’s get it started…..


As I look at the season of the Sixers who currently have the 2nd worst record in the NBA, are throwing out D-League caliber talent on a nightly basis since the trade deadline, and are the proud owners of a 20-game losing streak with no end in sight, it only seems natural that we check back on our favorite front office people, the Sixers CEO, Scott O’Neil and his GM, Sam Hinkie.  Let’s look into their latest conversation……

***O’Neil cracks open the door to find Hinkie reviewing highlights of last night’s games on NBA.com while singing along to his favorite Philadelphia-based song playing from his iDock station.***

Hinkie: “We still hustle until the sun comes up/Crack a forty when the sun goes down/It’s a cold winter…..”

O’Neil: Sammy! We did it again!!

Hinkie: Ha ha haaaaaaa! & they said it couldn’t be done!

O’Neil: Haha! Oh my goodness, I love what’s happening! Everything we discussed is happening to a tee. To a tee!

Hinkie: I was almost worried about Evan Turner sir. I started to think we couldn’t pull that one off on such short notice. But hey, we solidified the extra 2nd round draft picks and Danny Granger. The media doesn’t seem to realize in this new CBA, 1st AND 2nd round draft picks are like solid gold. They’ll learn after a few years.

O’Neil: Danny Granger………..hahahahahahaha!

Hinkie: Hahaha! I know, I know.

O’Neil: & Doc Rivers thinks he’s going to do what exactly?!?! Do they not have a league pass over there???

Hinkie: Who knows really?  The only downside to all this, is that I’m not sure if we can beat anyone else the rest of the year. I’m not even sure we can beat the Atlanta Dream or the Maine Red Claws right now. It might beat down the self-esteem of the players and the coaches. I feel it the most for Thaddeus Young. I know he’s had his bags packed and ready to go since the beginning of January when he realized how bad we were gonna be, but I can’t give up ALL of our talent this season without getting destroyed by the fans & media. It’s a shame, Thaddeus is such a nice guy too, and I know he didn’t want to…..

O’Neil: F**K THADDEUS!!! F*** him! We’re paying his salary Sam, if he doesn’t like it, we’ll send him to the D-League to battle the Red Claws! He’ll see how sad he can really get when he’s riding Greyhound coach behind the bus driver!

Hinkie: It’s okay sir, it’s okay, I’ll talk to him sir. I’ll let him know that ownership has given him the green light to pad his stats as much as possible for his next contract…..

****O’Neil is still staring at him*****

Hinkie: …….& we promise that we won’t resign him?

O’Neil: Good! Good stuff! THAT’S what I like to hear! Listen Sammy, you’re doing such an exceptional job this year. You’re staying the course for us. Me & the boys upstairs have the company jet gassed up tonight. As a thank you, we’d like you to come along with us. We’re gonna head down to South Beach.

Hinkie: Oh wow sir! Thank you! But…..we’re not playing in Miami tonight sir.

O’Neil: I know Sam. I know. ****smiles at Hinkie**** 

Hinkie: ****long pause**** Are……are we going to K.O.D’s?!?!?!

O’Neil: ****still smiling at Hinkie**** Meet us at the lobby for 6PM. Don’t be late.

********O’Neil leaves the room. Hinkie is yelling while doing Tiger-Woods style fist pumps.********* 


The biggest story that the Celtics will have to deal with this off-season will have to be how to deal with the Rondo situation. Do you trade him for more pieces to rebuild for the future, or do you use all the picks you have to reload for a big run around him? Bill Simmons from Grantland believes that the Celtics can make a move by using their picks and a player or two to get Kevin Love, and when you have two stars on your roster, it’s much easier to get a third star to come to your team. All I know is this: it’s not every day you can get a PG like Rajon on your team, especially one who loves to pass first and plays elite defence for his position. By next season, he’ll be 100% healthy & one of the top 3 PGs in the game again. I don’t think you can give up on that yet, especially seeing that he’s not even 30 yet. Regardless of how hard he may be behind the curtains, he’s a star performer, and his best talent is to make others better. If anything, they should probably look to shut him down for the rest of the season just to protect his body for next year.


GM Rob Hennigan is the perfect example right now as to how to run your team in #TankCity. Stockpile on those young players and lottery picks, & put them in a positive culture that breeds winning. In other words, follow the OKC mold that he watched & help cultivate with his mentor, Thunder GM Sam Presti. The only difference though is that OKC had a potential superstar in Kevin Durant to plant their flag. Thus far, the Magic doesn’t have anyone that falls under that mode just yet, but a solid foundation is there right now led by C Nikola Vucevic, SF/PF Tobias Harris, and last year’s #2 overall pick & this year’s possible Rookie of the Year Victor Oladipo. If they can land someone to help become the official new face of the franchise this summer, in the weak East, it can propel them to a playoff spot next season. They are in need of a strong & dynamic wingman, so landing Wiggins, Jabari Parker, or even someone like Dante Exum is imperative to their future.


Sometimes when you’re at your work, and you see someone who is inefficient at their job, hanging on to their position for so many years, you often wonder “why?” We’ve all experienced this before at any job that we’ve held once you’ve been there long enough. You start speculating whether that person has seen something that they can use to blackmail the company, like walking in on the owner shredding files that they can be used against them in court. You wonder if they’re secretly related to someone that’s on the Board of Directors. Maybe they walked into their supervisor’s office & found their supervisor going to town on Kerri from Accounting. Or maybe it’s because they’ve been there for so many years, management feels guilty in letting them go. Either way, there simply has to be a reason as to why this person is still employed, no matter how wild or tame said reasoning is.

Which leads me to Joe Dumars, VP of Basketball Operations for the Pistons franchise. As a player, I was one of his biggest fans as part of the Bad Boys era teams of the late 80s. He’s been one of the classiest people in NBA history, so much so that NBA Sportsmanship Award winner is awarded the Joe Dumars Trophy. He’s been part of the Pistons organization for almost 30 years now as a player and executive, but the relationship has gone stale & it’s time to cut it loose. He’s received credit for construction of the Pistons team that went on to win the NBA title 10 years ago. Since the teams reign ended in 2008, he’s been making questionable moves one after another, especially when cap space opens up, and it always seems to set the franchise back. In 2009, he spent $90M on Charlie Villenueva and Ben Gordon (let’s not even get started on how bad that signing was even back then), this past off-season he spent another $78M on Josh Smith & Brandon Jennings to push for the playoffs. Outside of cornering the market for the most left hander ballers (Smith, Jennings, Greg Monroe) in a starting lineup, they have clinched another losing season in Auburn Hills for the 5th straight year.

Owner Tom Gores has to make a decision here. The franchise needs new leadership, & as respected as Dumars is around the league, the teams needs to take another path through different eyes. If he keeps him on again past this season, it will be like staying in a relationship that you lost the love for only because your parents love her & she gets along great with your sister. It feels comfortable, familiar, and because of the years invested into the relationship there’s a sense of loyalty, but it also doesn’t feel right anymore. At the end of the day, it’s time to start seeing other people.


There’s a rumor circulating that the highest ratings for the Duke Blue Devils games this season has been in the State of Utah, with people shutting down their businesses to support fellow Mormon Jabari Parker. Ok, maybe that rumor isn’t true at all, but would you be surprised if it was??? By the way, they’re tied for the worst record in the West with the LA Lakers…..


……And these guys! Good news for Rudy Gay fans, he has played more efficiently since leaving Toronto. He’s shooting 49% from the field, 85% from the line, passing a little better (3.2 APG) & scoring just a little bit more (20.6 PPG). This is probably the best he’s looked since his Memphis heyday. It’s probably not a coincidence that he’s much more effective with a quality big man around that can score right? Let’s face it, Jonas Valancuinas, through no fault of his own, is not Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, or Demarcus Cousins. At least not yet. It also goes to show that maybe you shouldn’t have Gay leading your franchise either. Z-Bo and Gasol were the best players in Memphis where he wasn’t the #1 option, & Cousins is the lead dog here. He’s more effective when he’s the 2nd or 3rd best option on the team, which is why I was totally behind Toronto letting him go. He’s a good player, but he basically reached his peak ceiling as a player. He’s made about $73.5M in his career & with another $19.3M coming to him if he opts in (he’ll be crazy if he doesn’t), and as long as he stays in the West, he’ll probably never play in an All Star game. Again, thank you Masai. Thank you.


“Woah….. I wasn’t expecting to see you guys here. ***shuffling through paperwork***……but, didn’t you guys win 57 games last year? I don’t understand….huh? What’s that? You want to stay in #TankCity??? Nah man, I can’t do that, you guys are too good to be here. That makes no sen…… you got rid of Coach Karl?? But he was coach of the year! You guys had no stars!!!!…….. You let Ujiri go??? The f*** are you guys talking about man?!?!…… To Toronto??? What chu mean he wanted to go back home?? He wasn’t born and raised there guy!…….but don’t you have the same guys on your squad? Lemme go over your application again….. ***reading*** Iggy’s in Golden State……No Andre Miller huh?…….. Danilo never came back? Damn…… No JaVale either…….AND you guys may get to keep your draft pick too?……..Okay, fine. We got condos available, let’s go check out the model suites then. It’s on the 3rd floor…..Nah, elevator’s out, you gotta take the stairs…..”


Oh yeah, they don’t own their draft pick this year. Smh.

In other news, Phil Jackson will take the job offer as Team President of the franchise, which to me is a decent move. He’s the greatest coach in NBA History & his contemporaries on his level (Aurebach, Riley) have all gotten to run a franchise in their image in the front office, so why shouldn’t he get a try? His biggest concern right now is the Carmelo situation & what to do with him this off-season obviously. The only way I would make the attempt to keep him in New York if I was Phil, is to really believe in my heart that I can get Melo to change his style as a player. He’s already made comments from behind the scenes about how he doesn’t like his game & has taken joy in breaking him down & beating him when he was coaching the Lakers. If he feels he can do that, they sign him to that long term deal. I wouldn’t necessarily rule that out in terms of convincing him to change, only because he’s gotten the most stubborn players in NBA history (MJ, Kobe, Shaq) to give themselves to the team for the goal of winning. Between that & the stature that he holds in the game today, it’s possible that he could change. Slim, but possible. But then you have to pay Melo at least $25M/yr to stay in Manhattan? Yeah, I’m not sure he’s going to want to do that…….until you remember that James Dolan is the owner. Who the hell knows how this is going to turn out, but there’s a pretty good chance that Knicks could be on their 2nd complete teardown of the team in 5 years. Let’s just move on.


I feel sorry for the fans of the T-Wolves. They haven’t made the playoffs in 10 years. The last time they were in the playoffs, Sam Cassell & Lattrell Sprewell were running the backcourt & Kevin Garnett was enjoying his first & only MVP season. As it stands, they have possibly the best PF in the game in Kevin Love who continues to put up astronomical numbers every night, bruising C Nic Pekovic, a solid SG in Kevin Martin who scores & gets to the line (& not much else), and PG Ricky Rubio who hasn’t improved much from his rookie season if at all. I would say that will take some time to rebuild back, especially with all the David Khan debris that’s still blowing through the city. The problem is that they don’t have that kind of time. Love’s a free agent next season, & he hasn’t come near the playoffs in his career yet. Plus he’s probably never forgotten that he wasn’t even offered the max deal when his contract was up a few years ago. Instead, that slot was held for when Rubio’s contract was up.

You can’t really blame Flip Saunders for that screw up — his name isn’t Kahn — but still falls under the T-Wolves watch. If Minny was smart, they’d pull a Sam Presti with the Harden negotiations and trade him once we can’t work out an extension this offseason. Don’t do what Cleveland & Toronto did in 2010 with LeBron and Bosh & try to convince him to stay. The Lakers and the Knicks can open the vaults again in 2015, and you cannot compete with those resources unless Love really loves to make snowcastles & have tobogganing runs during his down time. You may as well get something for him, don’t get stupid.


“HEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYY! Cleveland, how’ve you been?!?! Ah, that’s too bad man, sorry to hear that…..don’t worry about it though, we got you covered! We left your Penthouse Suite just the way you left it. I know you said you wasn’t coming back after last year’s draft, but deep down, you know, we wasn’t so sure. We left your place alone just in case. We didn’t rent it out to no one man. We even cleaned it up for you! We got that trophy case all cleaned up for Kyrie’s All Star trophy, got the spotlights for it & everything. Plus, we stocked the fridge for you, & we got liquor in every cabinet……yeah, Ciroc of course! Peach & Amaretto, We got you. We even have a pot of Rice & Peas with some King Fish on the stove for Tristan and Andrew! We left a Gucci knapsack of stress balls in Waiters’ room when he needs to chill out too….. what’s that?……Hahaha! LeBron ain’t coming back home man, you’re crazy! Hey, who’s this with you?…….How you spell Milwaukee? No offense, but you look beat down…..look at all them bruises…..listen, come upstairs, we’ll get a suite ready for you……. No, no, no. Don’t worry about the paperwork, this one’s on us…..”


Not sure where to begin with the Lakers, so let’s start with the Laker fans. Please stop acting like the Lakers have never suffered through bad times in their lifetime. Look at the league’s history. Most teams, especially in the modern era, that had great success (championships or not), once they fall & hit rock bottom, don’t normally bounce back immediately to contender status. The only team that has sustained a high level of success in the last 25 years without depending on a complete rebuilding plan, is the Spurs. Other than having the one ‘hiccup’ during the ’96-’97 season, when David Robinson missed the whole season with a back surgery (which led to getting the #1 overall pick & landing Tim Duncan), the Spurs have missed the playoffs exactly once since 1989, the year before Robinson’s rookie season. Outside of that, every team took a few years to get back to being a contender.

The Lakers are no exception. Everyone calls Jack Nicholson the world’s most popular and loyal Lakers fan, but I remember those couple of years right after Magic Johnson retired, where Nicholson was noticeably absent from his court side seats. Not until the Nick Van Exel-Eddie Jones led the Laker team back in 1995, did Nicholson start coming back. It wasn’t until Shaq & Kobe came to them about two years later, did they truly bounce back. Same thing once Shaq left back in the 2004 off-season along with Phil Jackson. Did everyone forget how that team looked the first year after Shaq left the team? I mean, take a look at this roster! It took management returning Phil Jackson the following season & a hissy fit from Kobe the year after the 2007 season, before the team started playing better, and landing Pau Gasol in that trade that immediately made them the standard in the Western conference, winning back-to-back titles by the end of the  2010 season. But now, the Lakers are starting from the bottom again, they are dead last in the Western Conference. The only difference between this time & the other times was that Jerry Buss was overseeing things. Now, this team is being overseen by his son Jim Buss whose moves thus far haven’t panned out since he’s officially taken over.  This including the now ridiculous-looking contract extension for Kobe Bryant that handicaps them Free Agency wise over the next two years. Laker Nation is banking on history that the Lakers can & will get it done in the next couple of years, but just understand that unless the top free agents want to willingly play for with Kobe, it’s gonna be a humbling experience the likes of this franchise has ever seen. Their only concern right now is hoping Laker management nails this upcoming draft.

One other thing……

**putting on Conspiracy Hat*** 

Up until a couple of months ago, I firmly believed that if Toronto made the lottery, they would get the #1 pick, especially if Andrew Wiggins maintains his #1 draft stock hype. New management led by Tim Lieweke, the rebranding efforts (i.e. Adding Drake to the team), getting to host the All Star game in 2016, I assumed that it would be capped off by landing the hometown kid. Now that Toronto has left #TankCity, I feel like the Lakers would be the frontrunners for the #1 pick. It would not only keep the Lakers in the news, but adding that pick with cap space by 2015, will set a new foundation sans Kobe. The only reason why I don’t guarantee that yet is that I’m not 100% sure yet something like this will happen under the Adam Silver commissioner regime. Stay tuned.

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

Follow me on Twitter or email me at southshoreave@gmail.com