The Kyrie Irving, Cavaliers, Celtics Trade Fiasco

I’ve just exchanged with you a Toyota Corolla for a Chevrolet Corvette.  In addition to the Corolla, you’ve been dealt a motorcycle, a moped and a Powerball lottery ticket that will be valid in about a year. However, the main point in this trade is the Corolla. You’ve just switched jobs, and while the Corvette has been your baby for a few years and has served you fine, it needs a new home and you must downgrade to another vehicle, but at the same time you seek compensation if you are exchanging your Corvette for something else.

You ultimately find somebody willing to give you an offer you can’t refuse. The Corolla has had a few good years of performance; it’s still running! At the same time, it experienced a hiccup in operation a couple of months ago. There’s a likely chance it will be repaired and could be on the backburner for a few months. There’s also a possibility it won’t run the same as it used to. But you must switch out the Corvette for something else, and other offers aren’t willing to give you the same things the person with the Corolla is giving you.

So, you agree to trade. Everything is going good, until you take the Corolla out for a spin, and then you realize that — despite knowing of the ramifications of acquiring such a vehicle with potential repair issues — you are fearful of the future for this newly acquired Corolla of yours! Even though you understood the consequences before and during the exchange process, you are now seeking additional compensation, more than what was agreed upon, and you are also considering ixnaying the whole damn deal! Eventually, after playing around and being a weasel, the other person pitches in a scratch-off ticket that won’t even be valid for another three years.

That’s the best metaphor I can come up with to describe the dipshit frenzy that was induced by the good ol’ Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that will soon be mentioned as LeBron James’ former team yet again.

Y’know, this information about Isaiah Thomas and his hip wasn’t exactly a concealed piece of knowledge. Haven’t you noticed Danny Ainge skirting around questions from the press in regards to Thomas’ future?

I don’t think the Cavs are intent on keeping Thomas around for the long haul. He’s an undersized point guard that’s almost 30-years-old and seeking a max contract. I know that a lot of Celtics fans are still hiding behind their emotions and crying about the absence of ol’ “I hustle and play hard!” I.T., but they are more than likely better off in the long haul, especially if they can build around Irving as Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown reach the potential they might be capable of.

The Cavaliers have done well in this trade, though, not only securing the Toyota Corolla (Thomas), but getting the motorcycle (Jae Crowder). They can sell the moped for scraps. The powerball ticket (Nets’ first round draft pick) could be useful! Who knows about the scratch-off.

But it’s clear they sucked the Celtics dry.

I doubt this Celtics team will defeat the Cavaliers in the postseason. Not this upcoming year. I just don’t see it. I doubt anybody is even defeating the Warriors. But in due time, if Tatum and/or Brown reaches gold standard fruition, we can see it happen. Especially if the reports are true about LeBron getting the hell out of Cleveland (again) next summer.

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LeBron (3-5), Mobility, Opportunities

Welp. So much for a seven game series.

The Warriors finished off the Cavaliers in five games and Kevin Durant got his ring. I was ready for the circus. I wrote in a post last year about it, and I’m too lazy to link to it. I have no issues with Durant joining the Warriors. Sure, it was “weak sauce” hopping over to the team you had just lost to in the Western Conference Finals (in 2016) after blowing a 3-1 series lead, but I’m all for mobility and movement in life. You wouldn’t bash somebody for taking a pay raise or career position upgrade, would you? So don’t bash pro athletes.

One thing I will never be able to — because I refuse to — empathize with is home city homer-ism. I will state what I’ve said since the beginning of TSTOS and before when I had project blogs on WordPress in 2005 and 2006: there are no pro sports teams (at least in the three major American sports) where I grew up in southwest Virginia. Not one. The closest pro sports franchises around are the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets, etc. Outside of Virginia Tech sports programs, which of course is collegiate, I never had a ‘local’ pro sports team to choose from.

So, the Rams leaving St. Louis didn’t affect me other than making all my St. Louis Rams items collectors items. The Rams have left Cleveland, Los Angeles and St. Louis. I don’t even bother looking at the comment sections of Rams’ social media posts, because it’s always the same things: folks from LA and St. Louis bashing one another, all out of ignorance. Wasted endeavors.

With that said, over the years I’ve developed a broadened perspective on pro sports. It’s not just a black and white mentality to me, as a fan. I appreciate just about all teams in sports. I wish not only the Celtics, but the Lakers, Knicks, 76ers, etc. to be competent franchises in the NBA, because I think it makes the product better (to see classic franchises succeed)!

Before the 2011  MLB season, I wrote that I’d be OK with Albert Pujols leaving the Cardinals, as he was 31 or 32 and already spent his prime years with the Cards, and that I’d be annoyed if they rewarded him with a massive contract just for performing, that doing so would handicap the future of the franchise. The Cardinals won the World Series that year and ensuingly allowed Pujols to walk and go to the Los Angeles Angels for an egregious amount of cash. I was cool with it. Pujols was and is my all-time favorite baseball player, but I knew such a contract would be pure shit for the Cardinals. My buddy — who has since come around — was furious when Pujols left… it was smart for Pujols to take the money the Angels offered him, so I don’t blame him. And I don’t blame Kevin Durant for going to the Warriors because he wanted to win.

With all this bloviating, I still side with LeBron in 2010 — just as I did back then — when he left Cleveland. I never liked that he returned to Cleveland in 2014, though, just because of the way those idiots acted when he left. He’s the greatest athlete that has ever graced Cleveland (move over, Jim Brown), and they disrespected him by burning jerseys and all that jazz. I wield a little bit of bitterness over the Warriors blowing that 3-1 lead in the Finals last year, because I can’t help but contend that the city of Cleveland nor Dan Gilbert deserved that championship last year. It’s as though they were rewarded for the temper tantrums they collectively threw in 2010. That’s bullshit, to me.

LeBron James’ teams are 3-5 in the NBA Finals. So what? Jerry West is the logo of the NBA and his teams went 1-8 in the NBA Finals. Nobody bats an eye. My girlfriend — who enjoyed some parts of the NBA Finals but is relatively new to watching — asked me, “If LeBron is the best player in the world, why is he not so loved?” He’s always been polarizing. He’ll never get the full credit he deserves. He averaged a triple double in this Finals, and there are utter morons out there who are blaming him for the Cavs losing to a superior Warriors team. That is asinine.

The older I get, the less ‘crazed’ I am about the “my team vs. the world” mentality. I’m much more appreciative and open minded about hearing from fans who are impartial and objective about sports instead of eager to impulsively post hot takes on players or bash players for idiotic reasons whether for homer-ism of their own teams or blissful ignorance.

Why can’t we just appreciate what we are seeing?

We just watched the Warriors and Cavs play in back to back to back NBA Finals, and that’s awesome. We won’t get to see Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving play forever; they won’t always be in their prime forever. Also, how incredible was it to see both teams practically completely healthy? That’s amazing and typically unlikely. We are lucky to be able to witness this epic amalgamation of talent on the court all at once.

Yet people bitch, they moan, they cry, they whine.

I’ll pose this question again: did this kind of bitching happen in the 1980s when the Lakers and Celtics were virtually in every NBA Finals either against one another three times or against other squads?

Maybe it did. I’m sure if the internet and social media were around, of course somebody would have bitched, because in the heat of the moment, just like today, folks post their opinions at impulse without a moment of patience to allow a thought to process, settle and stew for a bit.

Yet all these bitchin’ folks watched the Finals, I’m sure, and I’m positive they enjoyed themselves watching them.

Sure, the regular season of the NBA is awful, but I’m weary of long, drawn out regular seasons, anyway. I wouldn’t complain if Adam Silver & Co. reduced the amount of games in the regular season. I don’t care about teams resting star players, because I hardly watch regular season basketball outside of highlights.

Moral of all the inane rambling above: let’s all collectively appreciate greatness. The Warriors are great. LeBron is top notch. Let’s stop bashing professional athletes for wielding the opportunity for mobility/upgrading. Be a fan of your team, not the city.

Warriors/Cavs: NBA Finals Part III and Grillin’

I’m not sure how the 2017 NBA Finals ratings are doing, but all the people who stated before the Finals that they are tired of this matchup are full of bologna. I wasn’t around in the 1980s, but everything I’ve read about that decade in regards to basketball suggests that pro ball had a revival thanks to Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Funny. Those Celtics and Lakers teams were in the NBA Finals virtually every year of that decade, and nobody seemed to get tired of that occurrence. Maybe if Twitter and other forms of social media — along with the internet — had been around back then, people would have vociferated their annoyances impulsively like they do now. Who knows.

All I know is that the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers are hands down the best teams in the NBA, and I’ve been looking forward to this rematch. One of my buddies who’s also a Spurs apologist like yours truly thinks the Spurs would have defeated the Warriors had Kawhi Leonard not been hurt, but I disagree — we saw the Spurs crumble after Leonard got hurt in game one of the Western Conference Finals. That one piece to the puzzle proved that the Spurs’ competence as a unit without Leonard is pretty damn tenuous! (Of course, the Cavs without LeBron might as well be Eastern conference cellar dwellers.)

The Warriors just blew out the Cavs in the first two games of the Finals. Somehow, LeBron (triple double in game two) managed to single-handedly keep the Cavs in the game until the fourth quarter of the second one. A lot of folks are already counting the Cavs out, but I’ll always believe in the mindset that a series ain’t a series until a home team loses. The pressure is on Cleveland Wednesday night. I have a feeling they’ll win game 3. I want this series to go the full seven, damn it! I was in Alabama last year and missed the last few games of the Finals.

Don’t forget that the Warriors jumped out ahead 2-0 in last year’s Finals with a 15 point win in game one and a 33 point win in game two. Then they led 3-1 before the Cavs ripped off three straight games. Yeah, I know, this is a different Dubs team; Kevin Durant jumped on board to chase a ring, but nothing is ever guaranteed or else that 2003-2004 Los Angeles Lakers squad with Kobe, Gary Payton, Karl Malone and Shaq would have beaten that awesome Detroit Pistons bunch.

Those are the burgers I grilled up on my STOK drum grill last night! They came out pretty damn good; no complaints from anyone, at least. I posted that to Reddit, and I made a mistake by mentioning STOK’s name, and a few idiots considered it a “hail corporate!” kind of thing. I wish! I’d love to be endorsed by STOK. I give them plenty of free advertising both on here and on Instagram.

It’s 73/27 ground beef. A 5+ lb. batch goes for about $10 at the grocery store. Whenever I grill them, I like to form the patties and put them in the freezer for a while to let them solidify, as it makes them much easier to cook. However, my family was so damn hungry I had to be a little quick. The problem with not doing the freezer method with these is that they fall apart. It’s difficult to sear them, because they are so fatty the fat drips onto the coals and induces plenty of flare ups. It wasn’t a huge problem last night. It at least made for some nice pictures. The burgers came out delicious and juicy, with a nice crust.

I give credit to this STOK grill because I love the cast iron grates. As I’ve said before, I’m a cast iron freak. Nothing holds heat better. I also love this grill, because with the basket you can use it as a direct/indirect grill, and what I plan on using with a “vortex” method pretty soon. I’m going to get some wings and start them off on indirect heat on the grill for 7-10 minutes per side with the lid closed before crisping them up, very carefully, on direct heat. Should be some damn good eatin’! The little lady loves crispy wings (hell… so do I), so this should be worth a shot on the ol’ STOK!

Charles Barkley is Right About LeBron James

I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time defending LeBron James over the years. Lately he’s been bitching about wanting more playmakers on the Cleveland Cavaliers. I think it’s just a ploy to stir up dust, something he seems to do just about every January (the last couple of Januarys) to light a fire under his team. No harm, no foul.

Charles Barkley said that LeBron is whiny; I agree.

“Daddy” (The Cleveland Cavaliers) told the child (LeBron James) he can’t have his toy. LeBron, who has a house full of toys, runs crying to “mommy” (the media) saying that “daddy” doesn’t love him. “Mommy” and “daddy” fight when the toy store worker (Charles Barkley) pipes in and implores the “daddy” and “mommy” to act like adults. “You spoiled that child and now he’s a whiny brat”, Barkley the toy store worker emits. “How many toys do you need kid?” And now the child is running to “mommy” saying that the mean man hurt his feelings. Just imagine what all the other parents (teams) and children (players) are thinking.

In all seriousness, why do we now have a society where the criticizer dishing out soft criticism is dubbed a ‘hater’? I’ve wrote about this in the past. I despise that word and I can’t help but view people saying it as childish or downright mentally ill-by-choice.

LeBron went on to Google some lurid facts about Barkley’s indiscretions and brought it to light. You can tell just how offended ‘Bron was/is, just by how emotional he is about it. He might just be the most thin skinned star in NBA history.

Did the Warriors Luck Their Way to an NBA Title?

Congratulations to the Golden State Warriors for winning the NBA Finals last night. I’m glad they won; once again, I feel like the city of Cleveland does not deserve a basketball title after the way they acted from 2010 to 2014 over LeBron James.

Mark Jackson should get an NBA ring. From the moment Steve Kerr started Andre Iguodala (Finals MVP), the Warriors went on to win three games in a row over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kerr used Jackson’s lineup. I still feel that he was unfairly booted out of Golden State. I reckon it’s because Jackson is religious man and was coaching in the most liberal place in all of America — the bay area in California, and the franchise merely didn’t care for his ideals. People liked to say, “Jackson wanted too much control within the organization!” Kerr doesn’t? Warriors fans should be lining up on their knees with their lips ready for Mark Jackson, because his lineup constructed this NBA title for Kerr and their pro basketball team.

The Warriors definitely caught a lucky break. They played a one-man team in the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round of the playoffs since Jrue Holliday was out. They played a Memphis Grizzlies team that was hobbled by injuries (and Mike Conley missed two games). They played a Houston Rockets team that shouldn’t have even been in the Western Conference Finals (the Los Angeles Clippers choked). In the NBA Finals, outside of game one Stephen Curry and Co. never had to worry about Kyrie Irving.

Imagine if Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder had made the playoffs. Sure, the Clippers would’ve likely survived round one, but Westbrook would have had Stephen Curry’s ass on a platter.

All in all, I’m not too impressed by the Warriors’ Finals win. I picked them to win in 5, even when Kyrie Irving was expected to play. Without Kyrie, they should have swept the series. Without LeBron James, that Cavs team is a 19 win squad. They were abysmal even with Kyrie Irving. Kevin Love? The Minnesota Timberwolves were atrocious even when he was there! By the way, if Love leaves Cleveland, while LeBron is still there, he’s a molecular structured idiot. The Cavs — with LeBron — will be back and they’ll win titles, despite how I feel that the city of Cleveland doesn’t deserve one in the realm of basketball. I digress.

Too bad Kawhi Leonard shit the bed and the San Antonio Spurs choked against the Clippers. So much happened in the west that paved the way for the Warriors to earn a title. In the end, it was basically the Warriors vs. themselves. Of course, they came close to choking the series away to Matthew Dellavedova, Iman Shumpert and JR Smith. Can I get a, “LMAO!!!” out of that? Heh.

By the way, seven years ago on this day — Tuesday, June 17, 2008 — the Boston Celtics won their 17th NBA title. Damn, I miss the summer of 2008. That was a great summer, and a great year, to boot!

Short-Sighted Sports Fans, 2 Games of an NBA Finals Indicates NOTHING!

The NBA Finals is tied at two games a piece. The Golden State Warriors played like dog shit last night, festered up a comeback bid late in the 4th quarter, forced overtime and the downtrodden Cleveland Cavaliers squeaked out a win. Two observations:

— Two games into the Finals does not give any information about the rest of the series.
— If the Cavs were to somehow win this NBA Finals, even the most staunch LeBron James detractors would have to consider him in “greatest of all-time” discussions because this Cavs team (without Irving, Love and Varejao) is just a little bit better than that 2007 squad with Daniel Gibson, Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden and Donyell Marshall (wutdafuark?!)

So many people are yellin’, “It’s ah-uh series now!” That remains to be seen, but please, NBA fans, don’t hurry to rush to an opinion about this series, because let’s take a gander in the recent (15 years) past.

— Allen Iverson and the 2001 Philadelphia 76ers beat the Los Angeles Lakers in game one of that year’s Finals. The Lakers then went on to bend the Sixers over, winning the title in five games.

— The 2006 Dallas Mavericks were up 2-0 on the Miami Heat in that year’s Finals. People were ready to sign off on the Heat until — whoa! — the Heat won four games in a row to win their first title.

— The 2011 Dallas Mavericks/Miami Heat series saw the Heat up 2-1 after three games in the Finals, and nearly up 3-0 before the Mavs scored a close win. Yeah… the Mavs won three in a row when people were ready to shit on them.

— The 2012 Oklahoma City Thunder were up 1-0 against the Miami Heat and people were jacking their jerky. The Thunder didn’t win another game in that Finals.

— Just last year, the 2014 NBA Finals, after two games the Heat and the San Antonio Spurs were deadlocked at 1-1 and everybody, everywhere, on social media were sittin’ pretty on the idea that it was going to be a competitive Finals. The Spurs proceeded the blow the Heat out three games in a row to win the FInals.

Please stop taking rash observations.

If Kyrie Irving were playing, I’d be keen on the idea of a six or seven game series, but yeah… if you think that Aussie Matt Dellavedova is going to hold league MVP Stephen Curry to 2 of 15 from the arch again, then you better wake up and apologize for dreaming of that scenario.

The Cavs are not going to win the NBA Finals with Iman Shumpert (a guy that cares more about his shitty flat top than improving his overall game), JR Smith and Matt Dellavedova (the name sounds like he’d be a good CEO of a French onion dip company). They’ve become a formidable defensive front thanks to Dellavedova and Tristan Thompson, but….. offensively, they are underpowered. LeBron James is more of a giver than a taker; he defers. He’s having to score and be a bit of a ball hog, which isn’t his style.

Now, if the Cavs do miraculously win this Finals, regardless of how you feel about LeBron you would have to include him in “GOAT” talks. I wouldn’t bank on that happening, though.

The Warriors are Gonna Win the 2015 NBA Finals

Cool shit. I’m called ’em overrated earlier in the season, and now they are gonna go ahead and win the title. I reckon the San Antonio Spurs would have beaten them had they played in the postseason, but San Antonio shit on themselves in the first round against the LA Clippers, so that matchup never happened, and the Warriors ended up playing a one-man team in Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans, a beaten and bruised (but tough) Memphis Grizzlies team in the second round, and a “what the fuck is this NBA Live 2004 shit?” Houston Rockets team that mirror exactly that: a weird video game (to stay on the same page, the Warriors sometimes look like they are depicting video game basketball too).

But hey, is Stephen Curry really having that great of a postseason or did he catch four consecutive lucky breaks?

Pelicans — Jrue holiday was already out
Grizzles — Mike Conley missed two games
Rockets — Patrick Beverly was already out
Cavs — Kyrie Irving is out for the season

Curry is a pretty subpar defender. He doesn’t have a big frame. Kyrie Irving, while hurt in game one, was putting on a pretty show. But now it’s the Warriors’ Finals to lose, with Irving, Kevin Love and Anderson Varejao out for the Finals. This just goes to validate the greatness of LeBron James. Sure, the East is pretty awful (I never believed in the Hawks — no stars!), but for LeBron to go to five consecutive Finals, the first guy to really do so since the era of the Pride and Glory of the 1960s’ Boston Celtics, that’s P-a-F (phenomenal as fuck)…

So, the writing is on the wall. Game two is tonight. I am, unobjectively, rooting for the Warriors. As much as I’ve been a fan of LeBron since his rookie debut against the Sacramento Kings, and how I’d root for him if he was anywhere else (sans the Lakers), I cannot root for the Cavs. I just can’t. Cleveland sports fans, and I mean basketball fans (so I’m excluding Browns and Indians fans), are the most hypocritical bunch of shitheads in all of sports. From burning LeBron’s jersey in 2010 when he left to Miami to lining up on their knees for him all this time later. That’s pathetic, to me. I live by the motto, “Love your life; like your sports”. Basketball is a game. He’s merely a professional athlete. He was nothing but gracious to the city of Cleveland. They harbored a hate for LeBron for years until — wow! — he magically comes back and all of a sudden Cleveland basketball fans are shitting sunshine and rainbows. Dipshits. LeBron is the greatest thing to ever happen to the city of Cleveland (when it comes to sports). Jim Brown’s old ass in the old days of football can take a backseat (I’ll also deduct ‘legend’ points from Jim Brown on account that he’s allegedly a complete ass goblin).

Anyhow, anywho, you can stick a fork in the Cavs, but I will say this — if a healthy Kyrie Irving resurfaces in the upcoming year(s) and Kevin Love wises up and decides to stay in Cleveland (it remains to be seen if he’s smart enough for that), the Cavs will inevitably return to the Finals and Cleveland sports fans will see their home basketball team capture a few titles even though they don’t deserve it.