The NBA Landscape: Basketball Paradise or Just Another Wasteland? (Part 2)

My final sixteen takes on every single NBA team after the 2019 offseason

If you missed Part 1, click here to catch up!

Memphis Grizzlies – Wasteland

Memphis actually found two players in Marc Gasol and Mike Conley who wanted to stay in Memphis through the prime of their careers, and promptly traded them both away. Granted, both have peaked and will now begin to gradually decline, but just where are they ever going to find another player, let alone two, who actually wish to re-sign with the team?

Miami Heat – Wasteland

Yeah, I know they have Jimmy Butler. I don’t care. Jimmy’s gonna Jimmy, which means he will score a bunch of points, lose a bunch of games, and generally enjoy being a rich single dude in Miami. But, the Heat won’t amount to shit until they eventually move him.

Continue reading “The NBA Landscape: Basketball Paradise or Just Another Wasteland? (Part 2)”

The NBA Landscape: Basketball Paradise or Just Another Wasteland? (Part 1)

Where does your team play?

I have heard some opinions of the NBA’s upcoming season, and the most overwhelming opinion is that the league finally has some parity. There will finally be a season in which multiple teams have a chance to compete for a championship, instead of just the same one every season (Warriors).

But is that the case? I decided to dig a little deeper into each NBA franchise, to discover just how many actual basketball paradises exist in today’s NBA, in comparison to the death rattles heard from still way too many basketball wastelands.

What exactly is a basketball paradise? It’s a city in which professional basketball will be most enjoyed. A city in which the audience is benefiting from exclusive VIP treatment and pampering from the league.

A wasteland is exactly how it sounds. The NBA and it’s audience have forgotten all about you and your basketball team. All that remains in this bitter desert of pain and despair is your skeleton covered in dust and wearing your favorite player’s jersey.

I’ll also be determining which teams are mediocre. You don’t want to be this either.

Continue reading “The NBA Landscape: Basketball Paradise or Just Another Wasteland? (Part 1)”

The Warriors’ Boogeyman II: Return of ‘The Claw’

Most experts are saying the reigning/repeat NBA champions don’t have much to fear in their eastern conference opponent, the Toronto Raptors. Perhaps that’s only because they’re not standing in their shoes?

A good boogeyman is one that is motivated. Probably the greatest example of this is Jason Voorhees of Friday the 13th fame.

Poor Jason was the victim of negligent camp counselors who were all too busy doing drugs and having sex to notice that one of their campers was drowning in Crystal Lake. When no one was held accountable, his mother decided to dish out a little justice of her own, killing the negligent counselors, before meeting the same fate as her son. Then, through some miracle (Hollywood), Jason was resurrected, grew to about the size of J.J. Watt, and began seeking some payback on those responsible for the murder of his mother (why TV doesn’t play a marathon of these movies during Mother’s Day is anyone’s guess).

Sometimes a boogeyman is already a killer, but is suddenly given a motive that drives them. Such is the case with Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Freddy was arrested for killing and torturing children. When he was brought to justice, he got off on a technicality (don’t you just love lawyers?), and was set free. This didn’t sit well with the victims’ parents, obviously, who promptly burned Freddy to death in a boiler room on Elm Street; However, just because Freddy was killed, doesn’t mean he was banished for good (it doesn’t?). Through some miracle (guess who again?), Freddy is able to kill and torture the children of Elm Street where their parents can’t protect them: In their dreams.

All of this brings us to our boogeyman of the hour: Kawhi Leonard.

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LeBron James Is Crazy

One year ago today, Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss could do no wrong. Now, everyone is calling for their jobs. What happened? Well, July 9th 2018, the Lakers signed Crazy.

It’s not hard to recognize crazy, but we sometimes ignore the signs. We ignore them because even crazy can make you feel good. It could be laughing with you at a bar. Smiling with you on vacation. Sleeping with you in your bed. Making you dinner while you watch TV.

Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

When you become this comfortable with crazy, all of the red flags you saw before become a distant memory. You’ll even find yourself sticking it out with crazy, until you walk out for work one morning to see that your car has “I’M PREGNANT” keyed into it and say to yourself:

“Ohhh… Yeah, that was a bad idea.”

Because crazy only rests. It never goes away.

So, why would the Lakers think their franchise was any different from Cleveland or Miami? Why did I think things would be different this time around? It’s not like all of this dirty laundry was in a room somewhere, away from the public eye. We were all witnesses, after all.

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Late Whistle

It will be 10 years since disgraced official Tim Donaghy released his tell-all book. Yet another butchering of last season’s NBA playoffs led me to finally give the book a read. Now, I’m wondering what took me so long.

Following the ridiculousness that was the 2018 NBA Playoffs, which prompted a league reaction for #RefWatchParty, I was prompted to write about the results of said reaction; However, I was also prompted to order a book that had been gently gnawing away at my subconscious for close to a decade now: “Personal Foul” by Tim Donaghy.

And I encourage you to do the same, especially if you have any sort of doubts regarding the officiating in the NBA. You really won’t know what to think about the book until you read it for yourself.

Why? Because every opinion I have ever heard about the book is incredibly biased, as anyone who has any kind of negative spin on it has apparently never read the damned thing.

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