Tim Duncan is Retiring

I’ve been inactive for a few months due to being busy (life and traveling). I’ve missed commenting on such things as the Conor McGregor/UFC debacle, Stipe Miocic winning the UFC Heavyweight title, Michael Bisping shocking the world and winning the UFC Middleweight title on short notice and UFC 200, but this morning Tim Duncan has announced his retirement from basketball after 19 seasons in the NBA.

Duncan is probably my favorite basketball player of all-time. While I’m forever a Celtics fan, I’ve always been a Spurs supporter/apologist. My dad was also a Celtics fan, but he loved the way Gregg Popovich ran the Spurs; in the early 2000s, my dad and I watched a shithorde of Spurs (playoffs) games and practically adopted the team as a western conference favorite. The last NBA Finals we watched together was the 2003 Finals in which Duncan and the Spurs ousted the back-to-back eastern conference champion Nets in six games (David Robinson’s last ever game).

I don’t have anything to say that somebody else couldn’t sum up better about Duncan’s career. I hope he’s not forgotten in the annals of NBA history. I mean, hell, of course he won’t be — he’s one of the greatest players of all-time; he’s in my top 5 based on pure leadership on and off the court as well as the way he played the game. He was never involved in a single controversy nor did he create drama within his franchise like another former NBA player who also played his final season this past year.

I was hoping Duncan would come back to play at least one more season, but it is what it is.

Mahalo and ciao, Big Fundamental.

James Harden Epitomizes My Boredom With the NBA

The Golden State Warriors ran roughshod on the NBA this year. The San Antonio Spurs, a team I’ve had a deep affinity for, for so long, were right behind them. Kobe Bryant retired.

And I’m bored with the Association.

I’ve been bored for a while. I mean, I love the playoffs. I love basketball. But I’m rooting for something interesting to happen. I want rivalries and tough, physical play between players that want to win more than they want to breathe, but most of those days are over. Sure, there may be some ultra competitive players in the league today, but what’s advertised more often than not, and what’s in the limelight, are millionaire buddy-buddy basketball players high-fiving each other and homie-hugging it out on the court while wearing different jerseys. Their mentality seems to be, “Yeah, winning is okay, but I’d like to play with the other team’s star player and make sure we are still cool so we can hang out in cool suites in the offseason”.

I miss that “fuck you” mentality of players.

James Harden of the Houston Rockets is an unequivocal offensive juggernaut. He could be a superstar if he was dedicated enough to the game of basketball to play defense. There’s a video of him going around the web (I’m too lazy to find it and share) allowing a free layup on a fast break last night during game 2 of the Rockets/Warriors series. That’s a common theme with Harden. You can go on YouTube right this instance and spend a whole day watching his defensive blunders and still have room to watch even more.

Here you have a guy that is incredibly marketable (thanks to the beard), who can be among the cream of the crop as far as top basketball players go, yet he’s… unremarkably below average at defense, and not from a deficiency in talent but from being fucking lazy. What’s the point of watching?

The NBA playoffs are outright physical — you can tell from watching the games — but James Harden is one of the players on the court marking his stamp of an exception to that rule. Why?

Goff or Wentz, What Does it Matter for the Rams?

I’m leaning towards Jared Goff, for what it’s worth. As for Carson Wentz, I know small college program quarterbacks have had success in the big boys football league before, but those are exceptions and not the rule. A quarterback going from a little North Dakota State school to a professional football team based in Los Angeles? Seems like an interesting situation to me. By the way, who did Wentz play against in the FCS? I feel like you could’ve plugged anybody in as the quarterback for North Dakota State, and that team would’ve won.

Goff may be two years younger than Wentz, and he may also weigh less, but he can put on weight. He can go on a regular diet consisting primarily of ribeyes drizzled in butter and pasta. Goff also played at California, a Pac-12 school.

But at the end of the day, the Rams… oh, the Rams… they gave up a shithorde of picks to the Tennessee Titans for this number one overall pick, and at the end of the day I’m not sure Goff or Wentz will be worth their salt.

The Rams haven’t made any improvements to their team this offseason. They’ve lost players — from Chris Long to Rodney McLeod to Janoris Jenkins. That defense, as promising as it’s been, will take a step back. The offense is still a starless group outside of Todd Gurley. The offensive line is still a mess.

The Rams are going into the fifth year of a three-year rebuilding plan. What gives? Jeff Fisher should’ve been gone by now, and with a rookie quarterback inevitably coming in, that will buy him a sixth year after the Rams go 5-11 or 7-9 this year.

It seems to me that the team is sitting around with its collective thumb up its collective ass waiting for 2019 (the new stadium will be ready to roll by then) for the rebranding. This team isn’t geared to win games but to look pretty under the guise of glitz and glamor.

Let’s Take a Deep Breath (UFC 196)

Last night featured another damn good night of fights. The main and co-main event bouts lived up to the hype, anyway. Gian Villante/Ilir Latifi was a grindfest displayed by Latifi (a dominant one), but not very entertaining. I feel that Tom Lawlor soundly defeated Corey Anderson, but he wasn’t granted a decision. The Brazilian Amanda Nunes picked up a damn good showing against Valentina Shevchenko.

The women’s bantamweight division is more entertaining than ever! Miesha Tate defeated Holly Holm with a beautiful rear naked choke near the end of the fight last night to win the title.  At this point, the division has become a case of rock, paper, scissors. Ronda Rousey’s judo beats Miesha’s wrestling, but Miesha’s wrestling beats Holly’s boxing, yet Holly’s boxing beats Ronda’s judo.

As for the main event, Nate Diaz defeated the Notorious One, Conor McGregor, with a rear naked choke of his own in the second round.

In reference to Nate’s post-fight speech, I’m not surprised either, motherfuckers (look up that post-fight interview).

I wanted Conor to win, because he pisses people off (and he’s one of my favorite fighters to watch), but I knew Nate could beat him going in. While Nate is typically a 155-pounder, he’s fought at 170 multiple times in the past, and he’s the much bigger fighter.

Let’s take a deep breath, though, and not act like Nate dominated this fight. Conor clipped him many times and caught him with some good lefts and uppercuts. However, once Nate hurt him, everybody knew it was over. Conor was dead as soon as he shot in for that takedown! That was a safety measure for Conor, like how boxers hug up and clinch when they are rocked!

I’m just glad we don’t have to hear about a prospective Conor/Robbie Lawler fight, because Lawler would rip his face off with his punches. He’s much, much bigger, way stronger and would eat through any of the strikes Conor would have to offer. Also, before the pay-per-view, there were rumors of — if Conor beat Nate — Conor facing Georges St.-Pierre at UFC 200. Hell NO! That would have been a trainwreck.

Props to both McGregor and Diaz for this bout. McGregor for taking a huge leap in weight to go up and fight as a welterweight, and Diaz for taking this bout on 11 days’ notice!

Conor needs to go to 155 lbs. or at least try to not kill himself to stay at 145. Either way, a very, very hungry Frankie Edgar is on the prowl and has been so for a while (even if his fans annoy me).

MMA Fans, Quit Clamoring for Frankie Edgar to Receive a Title Shot

It’s been a long few weeks and I’ve missed out on touching on some heated topics in MMA. Anderson Silva fought Michael Bisping lost week (and lost in somewhat of a controversial fight), and nobody was talking about it beforehand due to Rafael dos Anjos pulling out of his 155 lb. fight with the Notorious One, Conor McGregor, and in the event of his absence he was replaced by none other that Nate Diaz, who will be fighting McGregor at 170 lbs. This is unprecedented (seeing a newly crowned champion go up two weight classes, a 25 lb. difference).

For those of you unfamiliar with Nate Diaz, he’s the little brother of Nick Diaz. Both are world renown (well… in the mixed martial arts world) fighters that double as elite boxers. For everybody who ever dubbed McGregor the UFC’s posterchild that was overprotected by Dana F. White and Co., congratulations, you played yourself. (Damn it, I had to use that meme sometime.)

Anyway, a lot of people are crying about Frankie Edgar not getting the title shot he apparently deserves.

But let’s face the facts, first. Everybody claiming that McGregor was gifted a title shot vs. Jose Aldo last year may or may not be right, but thinking that Edgar hasn’t been dealt a very fair hand by the UFC is illogical.

Edgar’s first title shot came off a win over Matt Veach (a fighter who was 1-0 in the UFC at the time). Meanwhile, Gray Maynard was simultaneously on an 8-fight win streak, one of which was over Frankie Edgar himself.

Edgar’s second title shot came off a loss (remember — he dropped the lightweight title to Benson Henderson and lost to Bendo again in August 2012).

Edgar’s third title loss came on back to back losses (he lost to Bendo twice in 2012 before losing to Jose Aldo in a featherweight title bout during Super Bowl weekend 2013).

Edgar has only fought twice a year — EVERY YEAR — for the last 8 years.

Eleven of his last twelve fights have been main events. The twelfth was a co-main event for one of the biggest events of the year.

He was even given TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) coaching exposure, and that season was one of the worst ever, what with its low ratings.

UFC on Fox commercials

Was given UFC on Fox commentating positions.

Edgar even received endless hyperbolic anointment and incessant fanboying from Dana White.

A guy that has been given title shots in 2 divisions and a horde of opportunities like TUF exposure probably shouldn’t be complaining about a guy that’s had title shots in two divisions and TUF exposure…

…But that’s none of my business.

30 For 30 — Four Falls of Buffalo — The Best 30 For 30 Yet!

The 30 for 30, “The Four Falls of Buffalo” about the 1990-1993 Buffalo Bills might just be the best one ESPN has made up to this point. I finally watched it a couple of mornings ago on Netflix. The final shot of legendary coach Marv Levy being knocked down on the sidelines from Super Bowl XXVIII while the upcoming poem was read was an accurate depiction of those relentless Bills teams that should’ve won one of those four games:

“Fight on, my men,” Sir Andrew Said

“A little I’m hurt but not yet slain.

“I’ll just lie down and bleed a while,

“And then I’ll rise and Fight again.”

The way Buffalo responded to Scott Norwood’s missed field goal from Super Bowl XXV gave me goosebumps. It almost makes me envious of Buffalo football fans (maybe Buffalo sports fans in general, but outside of football they have hockey, which I do not watch), because I’ve genuinely never witnessed that kind of camaraderie as a lifetime Rams fan.

The Bills deserve more credit in hindsight. They had the misfortune (after playing the Giants) of playing two powerhouses, one of which was the dynasty of the ’90s: a legendary ’91 Washington Redskins team and the ’92 and ’93 Cowboys. People like to give those Bills teams shit for losing four Super Bowls in a row, but the bottom line is that other AFC teams didn’t fare well either. In fact, from 1983 until 1997, other AFC teams (sans the Bengals) couldn’t even compete against the NFC in the big dance.

Anyway, that ’90 Giants team was no joke, either. Despite being underdogs in the game where Norwood missed the kick, they had previously slayed the back-to-back champion 49ers and essentially ended Joe Montana’s time in San Francisco. Bill Parcells had assembled one of the greatest coaching staffs of all time.

Take the time to watch this 30 for 30! It’s so well made!

Get Over Yourself

Stop being so harsh on Cam!

You don’t play professional football, so your opponent doesn’t count!

He’s a passionate guy! What? You want him to be passionate when he wins but not when he loses?

You’re just a hater, man! Stop hatin’!

Go on social media and find comment sections rife with that shit everywhere.

My personal favorite are the , “You don’t play professional football!” crowd. Yeah, and you’ve never been president of the United States, but I bet you spend ample time whining about that. Hypocrites.

Being passionate about winning doesn’t entail being a sore loser. I think handshaking in sports is a phony act, but that doesn’t mean you fail to commend your opponent(s).

Cam Newton mumbled in the post-game conference, had his hoodie on and acted like a 6-year-old child who didn’t get his way at the dinner table after demanding dessert over the vegetables.

Sorry, but he’s a 26-year-old man. He just lost the biggest game of his life — I understand that — but it’s time to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and at least pose as an adult. The NFL is a wreck for hosting both teams’ post-game conferences in the same general area, but that’s not a valid excuse for shitty, childish, sulking, pouty behavior.

Russell Wilson experienced even more extreme heartbreak last season, more-so than Cam did this year, because he threw an interception on what was virtually the last play of the game in a situation that originally spelled out a Seahawks touchdown.

Russell Wilson is a grown man with immense maturity.

Why couldn’t Cam do that?

That’s the standard.

Again, expounding from my last post, Cam will grow from this and get better, but why should he be let off the hook? He makes millions of dollars to play a child’s game, but he’s old enough now to assume adulthood.

Celebrate rarely; grind daily.