Tag Archives: Sacramento Kings

The Ave Podcast – Raptor Trades, Boogie, and the NBA Trade Deadline Recap

The Ave Podcast with Cal Cee. Episode 19: Raptor Trades, Boogie, and the NBA Trade Deadline Recap

Today on The Ave Podcast, I invite friends of the Podcast Headley, Randall Walter (Etobicoke Thunder AAU Coach), and Jules da Commish, as we discuss the NBA Trade Deadline Season.

On Part 1, we break down the Toronto Raptors trades for Serge Ibaka and PJ Tucker, and how it affects the team. On Part 2, we discuss the DeMarcus Cousins trade to the New Orleans Pelicans, the winners and losers of the NBA Trade Deadline, and more.

*** Thanks for tuning in, and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast and the blog below. The podcast is available for download. ***

The Ave Podcast with Cal Cee // Episode 19

Part 1: Raptors Trades

Part 2: DeMarcus Cousins, & The Winners and Losers

 

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

Part 1: https://app.box.com/s/2ixg207gt2ynlksqmy709ua51t0wf3z5

Part 2: https://app.box.com/s/boqxkcgfbkjjx6mccdan2r7c1rgyhs8u

 

 

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 Headley, Julian aka Jules Da Commish, & Randall Walter for their guest appearances on this podcast.

The NBA Knucklehead Awards

Welcome everyone to the 1st ever NBA Knucklehead Awards! My name is Cal Cee & I’ll be your host for this evening. I’d start off with a monologue of punch lines & jokes but unfortunately, it wasn’t in the budget this year to pay the extra writers. The only writer I could only afford was me, & even I cost too much. So without further ado, let’s get this thing started! Before we begin & announce this year’s winners, I’d like to thank a few people first….

First, I’d like to thank my Mama for bringing me into this world. I’d also like to thank God because without you none of this is possible ***double-taps chest twice & points to the sky with full tear ducts***……. I’d also like to thank the wife & family for holding me down. I loves you ***points to them in stands with slow nod of approval***…… & also, I’d like to shout out some of my peoples for inspiring & helping me put together the nominee listings. Shout out to Julian for initially sending the GQ article of Rajon Rondo in one of our text/chat groups that sent me down this Knuckleheaded journey, as well as to Curtis, Kevin, Luugi, Marco, & Julian again for helping me with the list. The cheques are in the mail fellas……

…….okay, that’s just a big ass lie, but thanks anyways. Again, the budget thing guys, you understand, right?  ****putting their money back in back pocket to use for rain-making purposes later this evening.****

On that note, let’s start the show! The NBA Knuckleheads Awards starts now! Before we get to the players, let’s acknowledge the management level guys first. Why should they be ignored???

TOP COACH

“There’s some type of saying. A team matches the coach.”
– DeMarcus Cousins, the realest shit he’s ever said.

A) George Karl, Sacramento Kings – Notoriously hard on his players & has a history of having issues with his stars. DeMarcus Cousins of course clearly, is no different.

B) Byron Scott, Los Angeles Lakers – For his delusional belief in Kobe Byrant, & his yo-yoing of his stud rookie’s playing time. Keep your heads up D’Angelo & Julius, it’ll get better once he follows Kobe out the door.

C) Doc Rivers, Los Angeles Clippers – The Leader who resides over the most whiniest team in the NBA.

D) Derek Fisher, New York Knicks – Guy Code Breaker.

The Winner: George Karl. It ain’t like Cousins is the easiest player to deal with, BUT when the first order of business of your first off-season with your new team is to try to ship your star off like Fed Ex, you kind of set the wheels in train-wreck motion, don’t you? I wouldn’t even be surprised if he leads them to the playoffs at this point. I mean, why not? Wouldn’t it be more entertaining to watch this team implode wildly by the 4th quarter of Game 3 of their 4-game sweep to the hands of the Warriors at the end of April?

TOP GM

A) Billy King, Brooklyn Nets – The NBA’s version of a fantasy player that plays but doesn’t know all the rules, or sadly, the value of all the players. That 2013 Celtics trade, is now the equivalent of sending the shitty GM a lopsided trade, & being happily shocked when he pressed “Accept This Trade” on the other end.

B) Vlade Divac, Sacramento Kings – After Cousins cussed out George Karl, not only did Vlade deny Karl’s request to suspend Cousins for a couple of games, but asked all the players if they should fire Karl. Um, what the fu….

C) Sam Hinkie, Philadelphia 76ers – Helped to create a tanking atmosphere so dreadful for his young players, that my guy Jahlil Okafor (I love his offensive skill set by the way) decided to volunteer himself as the club scene version of one of Birdie’s boys from Above The Rim. It’s a damn shame what happened to Flip the Sixers…

D) Jim Buss, Los Angeles Lakers – I know the GM is Mitch Kupchak, but I feel if he was to ever leave the Lakers & wanted another job, other teams will remember who worked above him… & then he’ll be fine.

The Winner: This one was hard to choose from, all nominees have very strong cases. However, I can’t shake the fact that Boston gets Brooklyn’s unprotected pick this year because of that KG-Paul Pierce trade. A trade I was actually fine with two years ago. Wait, am I a knucklehead too? I might have to share this award. Shit….. anyway, the other teams at least have the option to keep their picks. However, Brooklyn is horrible right now with no direction for the future, & has highly overpaid players on their team (not including Thaddeus Young). I’m sorry Billy, but not only does Boston get your unprotected picks this year AND 2018, but you also gave them the right to swap first rounders in 2017. Honestly, did you just press “Accept” on the email without looking it over? Did you negotiate anything to Danny Ainge over the phone? How hard was it for Ainge to stifle in his laughter while hand-motioning his assistants to call league office to approve that deal before King changed his mind??? Seriously now, I’m asking. You couldn’t even put some provisions (i.e. Top 7 protected or something similar to that) on those picks man??

& now…..the top Knucklehead nominees at each position……

TOP CENTER

A) Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets – Went from the best big man in 2009, to the most annoying in a six year span. Now apparently hates his role as James Harden’s most physically imposing rebound catcher. Well, I can’t blame him totally for that because, you know… Harden ISOs.

B) DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings – The “Steph Curry” of the category.

C) Hassan Whiteside, Miami Heat – After his breakout game last season vs. Chicago, his first interview on National TV, what does he say when the mic is put in his face? “I’m just worried about getting my NBA 2K ratings up” with a blank, emotionless look. That, plus his attempt to make his Snapchat account rival DJ Khaled’s. Yup, that’s $20M+ per year coming to an arena near you folks. #AnotherOne

D) JaVale McGee, Dallas Mavericks — As long as he continues to play basketball (NBA, D-League, Europe, YMCA, House League), he’ll warrant a spot on the list.

The Winner: DeMarcus Cousins. Most talented Center in the NBA, incredibly skilled who’s added a 3-point shot to the arsenal, makes Christmas dreams come true….. but you don’t care about that. Let’s recount the actions from the start of the season alone:

“It just shows I’ve got some ride or dies.”
– D. Cousins

I used to be annoyed by his antics, but now I sit back and enjoy the show the same way I would watching Rent or The Lion King on Broadway. I’m at the point where I’ll pay top dollar to watch him drop 36/16 with 2 made threes, 2 blocks, 2 Techs & a Flagrant 2, and about 3-4 teammates fighting to make him leave the court in a timely manner. When you see teammates trying to calm Cousins down when he’s T’d up, it’s reminiscent of the friend in your crew who always seems to either get into fights or near-fights, leaving you to be the one to constantly play peacemaker. By the 419th time, you’re walking to split it up with an intensity level of -3.6. It’s the best. I don’t even want Cousins to change his ways anymore, I want him to stay true to who he is for as long as possible.

TOP POINT GUARD

A) Rajon Rondo, Sacramento Kings – He quit on his team right in the middle of the playoff series.

B) Rajon Rondo, Sacramento Kings – He quit on his team right in the middle of the playoff series.

C) Rajon Rondo, Sacramento Kings – He quit on his team right in the middle of the playoff series.

D) Rajon Rondo, Sacramento Kings – You get the picture here…

The Winner: Rajon Rondo. I’ll put a little context into Rondo’s walkoff episode. Rick Carlisle is a great, great coach. One of the only active coaches to own an NBA ring, but he is also someone who is hard on his point guards. He’s old school in that he wants to call the plays most of the time, but if you’re an elite PG, especially one that’s as notoriously smart as Rondo, you could see where the bucking of heads was almost inevitable. Still…. walking away from a team (even as much as he was struggling) during the middle of a playoff series in a contract year is almost self-sabotage. It’s like cutting a hole open on your boat in the middle of the sea, & being totally fine with the decision even when it’s taking on gallons of water.

At this stage he’s playing close to the pre-ACL tear Rondo when he was a defensive tear & a walking triple double. However, that whole Bill Kennedy situation & how it was handled (apologizing for what happened but not officially apologizing to Kennedy himself) smells of stubborn knuckheaditis. It’s one thing when you’re just a loose cannon, but when you’re super smart & still make stubborn decisions that can float towards the knucklehead zone, is even worse.

Interesting Stat: According to ESPN Stats & Information, since 2010, Cousins has received 77 technical fouls, been ejected 10 times & been suspended 6 different times (five by the league, once by his team), basically, the runaway leader of “Knuck” Nation. It’s as if Rasheed Wallace & Isaiah Rider hopped into the same body. You know who ties him in suspensions (five by NBA, one by team) during this same span? Your favorite NBA point guard Rajon Rondo! See? Yet another reason why these two teammates need to be together.

TOP SHOOTING GUARD

A) James Harden, Houston Rockets – He’s dating a Kardashian as an athlete. Nothing else matters.

B) Nick Young, Los Angeles LakersHe’s dating Iggy Azalea He seems to be someone you’d love to hang with off the court, but want to almost swing on him for the legendary way he hogs the ball.

C) J.R. Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers – LeBron is doing a great job keeping J.R. in check, and maybe J.R.’s matured himself, it’s definitely possible…….& then you remember how he swung on Jae Crowder & you’re like, “Naaah!!”

D) Lance Stephenson, Los Angeles Clippers – When he left the Pacers as their 2nd best player on a title contending team, most of his teammates was relieved. They didn’t even care if it made them worse.

The Winner: If Denzel, Leonardo, Kevin Spacey, & Matt Damon were up for best actor during the same year for the Oscars, it still wouldn’t have been as hard to choose from as this category. If this award was announced after the ’13-’14 season, Lance would have walked away with this hands down. Since then, he torpedoed his experience in Charlotte after one season, & is currently trying to find his way in Clipperland. However, he’s been somewhat quiet for the past 1½ seasons. J.R. Smith wins due to his consistency to rack up “knuck stats” with his off-the-cuff comments, his shoelace tying incidents, to putting a model’s bare ass on his Twitter (….actually, I’m not mad for seeing that), his punch on Crowder, and just his general “I barely give two fu*ks” behavior. He’s calmed down recently because he’s playing for a contender & keeping his focus because mainly, there’s no nightlife in Cleveland. His words, not mine.

TOP POWER FORWARD

A) Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves – Only in this category for dunking on Blake Griffin on a fast break, barking & preening at everyone like it’s 2004, but realizing that was only 2 of his 4 points he had that night. I love Garnett & his career, I really do, but he’s a 3-legged Doberman right now with his antics. As Barkley has said on Inside the NBA, he’s no longer “The Big Ticket”, he’s just Kevin Garnett. That play signifies this whole paragraph.

B) Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns – Has not been the same since they traded away his twin brother Marcus to Detroit. I feel this is the way Tomax would have behaved if the other womb-sharing brother Xamot was sent away from Cobra.

C) Marcus Morris, Detroit Pistons – Markieff is already feeling down in Phoenix. You think I’m gonna leave him lonely here too? You must be mad.

D) Josh Smith, Los Angeles Clippers – You’ve seen his shot selection, right? He’s been giving coaches acid reflux since 2004. Looks like Doc wants no part of that stomach burning life based on the inconsistent minutes Smith’s been getting this season.

The Winner: Markieff Morris. When the owner (Robert Sarver) of your team is willing to make you the face of the Sensitive Millenial era, you know you done messed up. He basically thinks that post-Marcus trade, Markieff is the ‘16 version of Ralph Tresvant. It’s not like Sarver isn’t responsible for the organization going from being one of its most respected in the NBA, to everyone now looking at them with a side glance. However, the way Morris has been carrying himself since that trade, from killing his own trade value with his trade demands, the way his play went down this season, to having a throwback Robert Horry moment (& I don’t mean clutch 3s) & chucking a towel in Coach Hornacek’s face (who immediately threw Markieff & his under-performing stats under the bus), it’s hard not to win this running away.

TOP SMALL FORWARD

A) Ron Artest/Metta World Peace, Los Angeles Lakers – I think anytime you hop in the stands to whup ass, you get an automatic, honorary nomination until you retire.

B) Josh Smith, Los Angeles Clippers – He’s earned the right to double dip, as his shot selection has been notoriously bad from both positions. Also, even though he got waived from Detroit more than a year ago, we can’t just dismiss the way Detroit has improved the moment he left, can we?

C) Chandler Parsons, Dallas Mavericks – Even if DeAndre Jordan was more wishy-washy than a peer-pressured teenager during his free agency period last summer, I wasn’t a huge fan of Parsons being the most outspoken talker on the Mavericks outside of Mark Cuban, especially when his own production hasn’t come close to matching his mouth. Plus, he tried to date a Jenner.

D) Matt Barnes, Memphis Grizzlies – Guy Code Defender.

The Winner: Matt Barnes. With that said, I can’t be mad at what he did with regards to Derek Fisher. Once you’re a guy who has more than one friend, you can’t break guy code. It’s just a flagrant violation, unless you hate his guts. This goes for teammates & ex-teammates too. Male friendships are rooted on Guy Code ethics, & the rules aren’t even that complicated. Here are some of them:

  • Never date (or smash) your boy’s sister unless you plan to marry her, no matter how good she looks;
  • Never date (or smash) you boy’s ex-girlfriend or ex-wife unless a discussion is had first & you’ve received blessings. If your boy feels even 2% funny about it, just walk away unless you want to end up like R. Kelly in the “Down Low” video;
  • Never shit on your boy in front of a woman to make yourself look like the better option. An underrated no-no;
  • Don’t buy the same car as someone in your crew unless it’s a steal of a deal. If so, don’t buy the same color;
  • If you’re a wing man & you have to land on a “grenade” to make your boy win, you have to do it. If you’re not willing to fully land on said “grenade”, at least create or run a diversion;
  • If you’re in a public bathroom & there are multiple urinals, respect the buffer zone, &;
  • You’re only allowed to shed tears if you blow your Achilles or ACL, get hit really hard in the man region, or your date is using her teeth;

I don’t know how tight the friendship was, but you can’t violate to that degree, especially with an ex-teammate that’s not afraid to throw his hands. You’re chilling at your ex-teammate’s ex-wife’s house behind his back, with his kids around & everything…… even you’re reading that sentence right now with the hairs on your neck standing up. So for Barnes to snap, I may not condone it, but I understand it. I also approve his Happy New Year IG post as well. Thought it was funny & priceless.

Team Uniforms

As far as the uniform this squad should wear, we may not have to use the 76ers uniform, but I’m thinking we have to use their team colors, right? At 4-33, they might break their own NBA record of being the worst team in NBA history (Worst record is 9-73 by 1972-73 Sixers), and if that happens, Okafor might end up doing some jail time (By the way, did they really sign Elton Brand??? I had to check the calendar to make sure it wasn’t 2006). Either way, the team logo needs to be a string of Screwfaced emojis, going right across the chest & down the shorts.

Well that’s it folks! Same time next year? Ok cool. We may need to look into a sponsor for this one. Have a great & prosperous 2016, and strive to be great in everything you do in your life. If you strive to be a knucklehead, do me a favor, please let me know so that I can get a restraining order together that keeps you at least 150 feet away from me at all times. God bless & good night!

*** Disclaimer: This post was written in good fun. If you can’t take this in good fun, please do me a favor & let me know so that I can get a restraining order together that keeps you at least 150 feet away from me at all times. ***

 

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

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The Revenge of Steph Curry

I know what you’re thinking, “That’s a weird title for this article”, right? I mean, why of all people, would Stephen Curry want any sort of revenge? He may have had one of the greatest seasons a professional athlete could have had last season. He was the MVP of the NBA. He was the most popular player (in jersey sales and all-star votes), his team had one of the greatest seasons in NBA history (83 wins regular season + playoffs) that was capped off by winning the NBA Finals, and he turned his family into celebrities (especially his daughter Riley…… & his hot Momma). What more can you ask for? You’d be right to ask that question. He should be happier than anyone can imagine coming into this season, & I’m sure he was. But then a funny thing happened in the NBA right after Curry & his teammates popped champagne in Cleveland’s visiting locker room….. 

…… July happened.

Outside of the playoffs, the free agency period in July is the most exciting time of the NBA season, and this past off-season didn’t fail to bring the excitement and the drama. The Spurs reloaded with LaMarcus Aldridge & scooped up David West for the cost of a Wendy’s Value Meal (at least that’s what it felt like). The rival Clippers got back DeAndre Jordan, & picked up Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, & maybe more importantly, Paul Pierce. OKC retained their free agents (Enes Kanter) + got their superstar back in Kevin Durant. Across the country, the LeBronvaliers restocked the entire kitchen cupboard & the basement with groceries like one of those old Supermarket Sweep shows resigning all their free agents, plus Mo Williams and a rejuvenated Richard Jefferson. Even Houston stole Ty Lawson from the Denver Nuggets for peanuts (depending on if you think adding Lawson was an incredible deal for Houston, which I wasn’t crazy about this summer). Once free agency settled down, the rumbles of doubt started vibrating about the Warriors chances to repeat. Adding to that, the NBA Players Association launched their first ever Players Awards show (on BET of all channels) in July. When they gave out their MVP awards, it went out to the official NBA MVP runner-up James Harden, which I guess was fine. What wasn’t fine was the general comments from all the players who attended the awards show, “this is the real MVP award”, trying to more or less devalue the MVP award that Curry just recently won. An award that’s been around for about 50 years. Now if you’re Curry, heading into your training for the summer, how exactly are you supposed to feel about this? 

A large part of how an athlete drives themselves is based on challenges and slights. Having to prove you can achieve your goals athletically to yourself first, then to everyone else afterwards. Your peers, your coaches starting from as far back as high school, your region, & the proving net that you cast starts to get wider and wider the more that you grow into your craft. Steph Curry is no different. A son of one of the best shooters in NBA history (Dell), Steph not only had to prove that he was good enough to escape his father’s shadow, but because of his slight build, he had to escape the stigma of not being athletic, or big enough to make something out of himself in the basketball world. With only one scholarship offer coming out of high school, he ended up at Davidson, a small, mid-major college program. Within 3 years he became one of the best players in the nation, leading his mid major college to a magical Elite 8 journey in the 2008 March Madness tournament. Once he got drafted in the lottery by Golden State in 2009, he had to prove that what he did in college as well as his size could correlate to the NBA, especially when he was paired in the backcourt with a similarly built Monta Ellis. He fought off the challenges of those stigmas (including from his own teammate), fought of the ankle injuries that plagued him his 1st few seasons & became an all-star level player. By the end of the Warriors 2013 playoff run, Steph had officially arrived under the brightest lights. Whatever doubts he had earlier in his career was erased by coach Mark Jackson, who boosted his confidence like Bhundini Brown used to do for Muhammad Ali. Once the coaching change occurred last year & Steve Kerr took over, Steph’s game, as well as his teammates escalated to an even higher level, which resulted not only with all the accolades they could achieve, but also becoming by far the most exciting team to watch in the league.

Now after getting to the level that Steph did last season, how does he continue to get better when he’s reached the mountaintop? If you’re a self motivator & care deeply about your craft at that level, you will get better. But how do you reach “generational” status? In some case, perceived slights and challenges can account for something. Curry trained to the point that his handles are somehow even tighter, his shot has somehow improved from last season, and he now finishes better around the basket than ever before. When Curry and the rest of his teammates had to hear the comments again in the pre-season that they were lucky to win, & have Harden still talking about how he still feels snubbed for the MVP award five months later, they didn’t respond back in the politically correct way, which I loved. Their responses were sarcastic, annoyed, & in some cases “Shots Fired” worthy. You could see the level of disrespect felt in full view, and they made it a point to exact their “It’s like that? Ok, well F*** YOU THEN!” Revenge world tour on the league right from opening night. And it hasn’t stopped since.

We’ve seen a great example of this before in this sport. Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player the world has ever seen in almost all arguments that you want to make, right? In 1995, when he played in the Eastern Conference semis vs. Orlando right after his 1st comeback, Nick Anderson stole the ball from him during the end of Game 1, that helped them lose the game & became a foreshadowing example for the Bulls ultimately losing the series. That summer, after hearing people start to question if Jordan would ever be dominant again, MJ trained maniacally to the point that by August, people who played in the now infamous pick-up runs on the Warner Brothers parking lot (where MJ was filming Space Jam) all swore that he was “back, back”. That revenge factor & the playoff failures fueled him to his second 3-peat of the 1990’s. I remember that ’95 – ’96 season when they won 72 games, they treated the contenders & the lottery bound teams with the exact same disdain. They wanted to cut their hearts out as fast and as ruthless as possible, & Jordan was their ringleader in all ways. That ruthless, relentless approach defined that particular season for them. No better example was shown in a loss to the expansion Raptors team. 1st year team from Toronto led by their rookie Damon Stoudemire beating one of the greatest teams ever assembled by one point was an amazing feat. It’s a game that still shows on NBA TV Canada every now & again. However, the best part of that game is when Jordan shot a fadeway just after the buzzer, that banked in off the side corner of the glass, a shot that’s basically impossible to replicate. Even back then I remember celebrating with my family. Then the shot went in & we all basically yelled out, “Oh f***!”, & shaking our heads way after the game was over. It was like in the movies when you jump in the getaway car & start laughing as you drive away from the bad guys, and while you’re laughing they still manage to shoot out the back window. No one gets hurt, but it still scares the shit out of you the rest of the drive to safety.

Until this year, I haven’t seen a championship level team come into a season with that kind of mindset since the fall of ’95. Twenty years later, we have the Warriors getting off to the greatest start in NBA history with no signs of slowing down, and are being led by the reigning MVP who’s entering a legendary level that has rarely been seen. Watching Curry play right now makes you feel like he can do anything on the basketball court & it feeds into the mentality of his entire team. He has become the best basketball on the planet at the moment, the most dangerous player to be fearful of at all times, and the most exciting player to watch. Like Bird, Magic, Jordan, Duncan, Shaq, Kobe, and LeBron, Curry has reached a level to watch that’s a mixture of awe & inspiration for everyone involved (fans, opponents, teammates, peers). He’s also entering the prime of his career, which means barring any injury or unforeseen circumstance, there’s a good chance he may even get better than this. He’s a point guard who’s unselfish but yet is averaging 32 a night, almost 3.5 point per game higher than the 2nd place leader (Harden, 28.7 PPG). Throw in his other stats (6 assist, 5 boards, 2.6 steals, just under 5 three’s made a night, 33.76 PER, 51% FG/43 % 3P/94% FT), and his level of play is becoming artistic. After every game, you almost want to hang his performance on a wall & just stare at it with your head tilted to the side.

While its still too early to say they will win 70+ games, I do think this will be the first team to actively try for that record, no matter what they say publicly. Their core is still so young that they can throw caution to the wind, go after every record, & not worry about sacrificing wins to rest their guys. More importantly, they know how to win games in any situation, & are playing free without any limits of fear because they can lean on their championship experience. They are not taking their defense of their championship lightly, & healthy permitting, whoever takes that trophy from them will have to pry it from their hands. But so far, they are well on their way to bringing a 2nd title back to the Bay if this revenged intensity keeps up. As a sports fan, no matter how many wins they get, we need to enjoy the journey that Curry and this team is on right now, because it’s rare that you see a vengeful journey look this sweet.

 

Sideline Notes

At this time, I’d like to send a shout out to my friend Luugi. Out of all my friends, he’s the one that gets his rocks off on watching teams implode, crash, and burn internally. This past summer after watching some of the off-season moves go by, I decided to buy into his Trainwreck watching way of life. I think we can all agree that going into the season, Sacramento would have qualified for the #1 seed. DeMarcus Cousins + Coach George Karl are bad enough, but then you add Rajon Rondo to the mix? This team is so talented and volatile, can grab the 8th seed in the West, or they can win 25 games & daily fist fights could go down in the locker room & I wouldn’t bat an eye either way. Then I started watching the Lakers situation. They have some young talent but added a weird mix of vets that don’t gel together (you really thought adding 6th man gunner Lou Williams with Nick Young was a good idea when you have rookies who needs minutes & shots Lakers management???), plus, you know….Kobe. Mix that up with coach Byron Scott who’s still clinging to his old school coaching ways (surprised he doesn’t have Roy Hibbert laying guys out who try to make a layup), I had to upgrade them to Trainwreck status. You know that story will be more disastrous with each passing day, especially when D’Angelo Russell keeps getting nailed to the bench during 4th quarters………

You know who’s my underdog Trainwreck squad to look out for? The Houston Rockets. Not only did they get their coach Kevin McHale fired with their dog-shit effort since the season started, but I truly don’t believe in James Harden & Dwight Howard as leaders on your team. Now some veterans in the locker room (i.e. Jason Terry) may have a strong voice in the locker room, but in basketball, you only go as far as your best players take you. At least it’s better that way. While I’ve voiced my opinions of D12 in the past, I think Harden is a great, great talent. However, the whole, “move out of my way while I play Iso ball for 1/2 the shot clock, put it between my legs 4 times before I shoot this step back J” offense doesn’t lend itself to any kind of real continuity between the players. Regardless of how I feel about Dwight’s offense & the fact that he genuinely seems broken down, he’s got to shoot the ball more that 8-10 times in a game. It doesn’t matter that McHale is gone, the philosophies (especially on offense) are still the same under the interim coach, J.B. Bickerstaff. Personally, I don’t see this downward spiral changing anytime soon………

I’ll say this: you know when Houston takes over the #1 spot on my personal Trainwreck rankings? When they lose tonight vs. the 76ers. #BoldPredictionoftheWeek………

By the way, if that prediction comes true, I think my friend Luugi will be happier than the men who find out they are not the fathers……… 

R.I.P Kobe Bryant’s career. It was a great ride, & he will go down as one of the 10 greatest players I’ve ever seen in person. One thing about great players in any sport is the struggle of knowing when to say when, especially before anyone one else sees your demise. The confidence in their own abilities that gets them to unbelievable heights as an athlete is viewed as their biggest strength. Once you get older, all of a sudden, that same stubborn belief becomes their greatest weakness when their body officially fails them & they still believe that they can get the job done. Forget the stats (averaging 15.2 PPG on 16.4 shots, shooting 31% from the field), Kobe can’t get by ANYONE anymore on drives or create any space on his jumpers. That’s only going to get worse unless he gets on the HGH workout cycle in the next week or so. Remember when Mariano Rivera played his last game & before he can get the save, Derek Jeter & Andy Pettite walked out to the mound & gave him the pat on the back? & then Mariano started bawling on their chest? I’d like Magic Johnson to walk onto the middle of the court during the 3rd quarter of some game in March, hold Kobe by his shoulders & tell him, “It’s time. Time to come on home son,” while Kobe starts sobbing into his suit jacket. It’s time Kobe. Let’s remember you in a good light, & please let this be your last season & not find you next season wearing # 24 for the Grizzlies or something. Please end this Kobe……please……. 

 

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

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