The NBA Finals Are back!

After almost two months of a bunch of playoff series that all the pundits swears nobody likes but people watched anyway, we finally reached the conclusion that we decided was inevitable when the season started last fall: The Cleveland Cavs are taking on the Golden State Warriors for the 3rd straight year.  Each team has one each of the last two finals so let’s consider this the rubber match, or rather the rubber series.

A lot is at stake here historically, so let’s talk about it.

1: With a win Lebron is on his way to eclipsing Michael Jordan (but only if he wins)

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…… in the eyes of dumb nostalgic people who don’t know anything about basketball, but still love to make grand pronouncements usually favorable to the era in which they grew up.

Individual players don’t win championships, teams do.  Sure and individual basketball player can impact a game more than any other player in any sport, but championships are by and large team accomplishments, still for some reason people love to attribute championships to stars like damn near every championship team didn’t have the best collection of talent that one particular year.

This year the Cavs may not have the best team, but they definitely have the best player I’ve ever seen in my life. Sure Jordan was a better volume scorer and perimeter defender by a small margin, but Lebron is better than Jordan was at every other facet of the game: three point shooting, rebounding, passing and generally running an offense, and help defense. Winning, or rather not winning, another championship ring doesn’t affect that in any way.

2: Durant has a chance to do some legacy building. 

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I know nowadays it’s cool to hate uber-talented individuals who decide to take better jobs in cooler cities when their contractual obligations have expired, but no matter how you feel about him, Kevin Durant is the best player on the Golden State Warriors.

He’s second (by only 0.2 points) in points, leads the squad in rebounds, is third in assists and steals, first in blocks and he leads all starters in field goal percentage.  His scoring exploits are lauded to no end however he’s a great all-around player, a fact that doesn’t get talked about enough.

More important than all of this, however is the fact that KD is who the Warriors go to when they need a bucket.  Sure they have their offense that thrives on ball movement and shooting, but if The Dubs offense stagnates like it did in the finals last year they will give the ball to Durant and tell him to make something happen, just like they did against the Portland Trail Blazers in the opening playoff series.

If he can be the finals MVP this year it would be a coup for him and his legacy.  Despite the beating he took for leaving Oklahoma City it would be hard to deny him his rightful place in basketball lore.

3: JAVALE MCGEE: NBA CHAMPION!(?)

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Javale McGee went from being an international laughingstock to a redemption story this season providing a strong rim-protection/rebounding/shot blocking presence off the bench for the Warriors this season, fitting in with The Warriors ball movement offense perfectly and finding himself a home in the process.

Javale McGee is now on the verge of being a champion.  If the thought of that doesn’t warm your heart then goddammit nothing will.

 

The No Fun League want to be a little less Not-Fun

The NFL decided to relax their celebration rules after coming to the stunning realization that a sport that serves no practical function to society outside of providing entertainment should be…. well entertaining.

The new rule allows the referees more discretion on when to give excessive celebration penalties and also allows for group celebrations and for players to use the ball in a celebration

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Because somehow this doesn’t count as “using the ball in a celebration”.

Not John Mara too….

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New York Giants owner John Mara recently said that NFL teams are reluctant to sign Colin Kaepernick because they’re afraid the public backlash would result in declining ticket sales.

…no really, he really said that.

“All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue, If any of your players ever do that, we are never coming to another Giants game. It wasn’t one or two letters. It was a lot. It’s an emotional, emotional issue for a lot of people, moreso than any other issue I’ve run into.”

The guy who okayed his team signing a kicker (seriously, a kicker) who beat the crap out of his wife really thinks he has the moral high ground to participate in the continuing blackballing of Colin Kaepernick? Seriously? 

What’s so annoying about what’s happening with Kaepernick is how angry his critics are at him despite the fact that Kaep’s protests haven’t harmed or disrespected anybody and he’s clearly stated that he’s trying to take a stand for racial equality and against injustice, but people somehow find a way to be mad at a guy who wants police to stop killing innocent people and who wants to help underserved communities.

Mara’s thoughts are particularly troubling because the owner of the NFL team in the biggest and one of the most diverse markets in football took a very public stance against equality and justice.

He’s caping for racists is what I’m saying.

The frustrating part about all this is that as despised as Kaepernick is by white people, in 40 years he’ll be white America’s black best friend just like Muhammed Ali is today.  You know, you can’t find anyone to say a bad thing about him despite the fact that he was widly unpopular after he criticized the Vietnam war and effectively blackballed in the same manner as Kaepernick for standing up for equality and justice.

Kaepernick critics are just so utterly and undeniably wrong, and years from now when Kaepernick is rightfully portrayed, just like Ali is today, as being on the right side of history, they’ll just pretend like they were there with him all along.

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Your racist ass in 2057

And I hate these people for that.

 

Tiger Woods got Schmacked then decided to drive. 

Tiger Woods caught a DUI at 3am in Jupiter, Florida.

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You’d think a damn-near billionaire could spring for an uber but oh well.

 

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