Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hitting on the NBA

Well OK, go ahead and give Russell Westbrook of the Okla City Thunder his MVP award for being the only player since Oscar Robertson to average a "triple double" for the season.

But Oscar's teams never won anything. Nor will the current Thunder. No way are they getting past the Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs. Russell can do this and Russell can do that, but one-trick ponies in the playoffs won't get it done, especially when that colt can't be bothered to play any sort of serious defense. Lebron James was "all that" too in his earlier days with the Cavs, but they never got over the hump either.

So give Westbrook a bazillion dollars, a huge trophy, endorsements galore, and tell him to be happy. But he'll never get anywhere near a championship.

Few would have thought it not long ago, but Doc Rivers, head coach of the LA Clips, might just have his head on the chopping block soon. If LA's "other" team can't get past the Utah Jazz in the opening round of the playoffs, and they currently trail, it might just have serious consequences for Old Man Rivers.

Let's remember, this is the same team that former owner Donald Sterling was forced to sell. Enter one Steve Ballmer, he of the fortune made in cyber land. Stevie paid the ridiculous sum of TWO BILLION dollars for a franchise that likely wasn't worth HALF that. Somewhere the other Donald still likely chuckles.

Yet the Clips had acquired some talent -- sort of. Chris Paul was supposed to be a superstar. Blake Griffin another. Let's not forget DeAndre Jordan. Though he gets to the line often, we won't dwell on the fact the latter shoots free throws with a little less finesse than your average blind man could navigate his way around the Indy 500. Not pretty.

Charles Barkley once put it exactly right. When your best player (Chris Paul) is only 6 foot tall or less, you have ZERO chance of winning a championship.

Some might claim Isiah Thomas of the late 80s Detroit Pistons contradicts that theory. He and his fellow "Bad Boys" won back-to-back championships. But though Zeke got most of the press, he wasn't their best player. That was Joe Dumars, his fellow guard, who stood several inches taller, but kept a low profile. And Joe wasn't much into smooching opponents at center court either, like Isiah seemed to have a penchant for with Ervin "Magic" Johnson. What was up with that anyway? Can you imagine Larry Bird and Michael Jordan sharing a little spit? Me neither.

At any rate, look for the Clips to get bounced out of the playoffs pretty quick -- because they always do. They might be the best team in their own building, which isn't saying much given the pitiful state of the LA Lakers, but these guys have about as much chance as making it through the formidable Western Conference gauntlet to the Finals, let alone winning it, as the Detroit Lions do of hoisting the Lombardi trophy as Super Bowl winners any year soon. Forget that. It ain't happening. Period.

Will Doc survive when they do? Hard to say. He's always had a good line of bull and if Ballmer was crazy enough to pony up two billion for this second rate team in the first place -- who knows what he might do next? And he's not exactly helping his own intellectual image by spazzing it up in the stands cheering for his boys. Revenge of the nerds is one thing. But going all Urkel on 'roids in public is quite another. C'mon dude, get a grip.

Idle thought --- Am I the only person that finds the afternoon line-up of ESPN shows as difficult to watch as, say, crunching on a broken glass salad loaded with hot sauce and trying to digest it?

Rachel Nichols and Michelle Beadle yapping away. Hey guys, despite the paycheck, how'd ya like to go home to THAT every night? Brrr. Throw in the Stevie/Max match-up of ranting half wits and my "first take" is that these guys could turn the Pope into a suicide bomber if he watched enough of their daily hyperventilating dialogue over the mundane.

One show features a former scribe from a Detroit newspaper. This dude could fairly be said to have the perfect face for -- radio. Not a pretty sight on big screen HD. Whoa. But he always thinks he's the smartest person in the room. Thing is, he might be, given the co-panelists that are there with him every day. A sorry state of affairs indeed.

C'mon, 4-letter folks. FOX just broomed O'Reilly. Once in a great while he could utter something semi-intelligible. But you keep putting THESE clowns on the air every day? Is that the best you can do? REALLY?

Bottom line. The only thing worse than the obvious stupidity that many ridiculously over-paid professional athletes keep regularly showing us -- has got to be the talking heads and scribes that keep fawning over them with their coverage making them out to be some kind of heroes.

Ah yes, it's the American way. Kind of like evicting a family from their home to build a new stadium for a billionaire team owner, then zapping them with a millage or tax to help pay for it.


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