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.

The Cavaliers are Playing Chess While the Celtics Play Checkers

My Boston Celtics have been fighting valiantly against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the NBA playoffs, but the Cavs are just too damn good (thanks to the veritable, de facto Most Valuable Player and coach of the year, LeBron James). Sure, a series doesn’t truly begin until a home team loses, but the Cavs are toying with the C’s.

Does anybody else feel like Kyrie Irving doesn’t get the respect he deserves? He played at Duke for six minutes, long enough to wolf down a BLT sandwich and he spent the first three years of his NBA career dazzling the bitter fans in Cleveland and staying out of the national spotlight (mostly because, before LeBron’s return, nobody in America gives a shit about Cleveland). He has this Russell Westbrook-esque quality where he can concoct any shot he wants. He’s creative as hell on the offensive side of the ball. LeBron’s return has been a gamechanger for him.

No surprise, really. LeBron James is an elevator, unlike, say, Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan. Before I tangentially go in five different directions and fail to make my intended point, LeBron being compared to MJ is the biggest misnomer ever. I know that MJ is widely considered to be the greatest of all-time, but LeBron is and has always been a pass-first player, somebody who’s more comparable to a Magic Johnson, an elevator. You can bet your bottom dollar that most players in the NBA would rather play with a LeBron in his prime over a Kobe in his prime, just because they know they’d see the light of day with the basketball. LeBron’s style is smiley, smiley “let’s contribute together!” Kobe’s is more harsh, isolated and singular. I’m not bashing Kobe, this time. It’s worked for him, considering that he wields five NBA Finals rings. I’m just throwing that out there.

Most Celtics fans harbor a special kind of hate for LeBron, thanks to what he did to our boys in 2011 and especially 2012. I mean, 2012 was the last fucking year, the last effing chance in this period of NBA history, to see the Celtics go back to another NBA Finals with that group of guys (Pierce, Garnett, Allen, Rondo, Doc) and LeBron crushed that chance, that dream. If that doesn’t define greatness on his behalf, I don’t know what does. Beating the Celtics was his last big obstacle en route to winning his first title when the Miami Heat crushed the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Finals that year.

This year’s Celtics don’t have the stars.

They are fun to watch. Great team chemistry. Brad Stevens is kicking ass as a head coach in the pros.

Stars win in the NBA. Don’t be a homer. Don’t be a dipshit. Don’t point out the San Antonio Spurs’ “team game” (Tim Duncan is top 7, possibly top 5, of all-time, player-wise). Look at championship teams of the past and you can see they wield stars. You can cite the 2004 Detroit Pistons, but they are an anomaly — they matched up against a dysfunctional LA Lakers team that still leaves me surprised they (the Lakers that year) were in the Finals due to the dissention going on that season. This Celtics team doesn’t have any stars — just really, really good, young players. Marcus Smart has the potential to be an all-star, but I feel like he’ll never be one of the top stars in the league. I’d love to be proved wrong, though.

Then, as it was, Then Again it will Be

The Boston Celtics are the 7-seed in the eastern conference playoffs and they’ll be facing an old rival in LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Usually on a day like today, I’d be rambling on about tonight’s UFC Fight Night on Fox (official picks: Machida via KO or decision, Paige VanZant by decision and Jacare Souza by obliteration over the brave soul that is Chris Camozzi), but my Celtics rallied to make the playoffs and they’ll be playing tomorrow.

Ah, y’know, this time of the year takes me back. Way back to 2008, which feels like ten minutes ago to me. “Seven years ago”, you say? That’s hard to believe. That was a magical time period. The Celtics were at the top of the NBA world after finishing the regular season with 66 wins. Their playoff run was thrilling that year. Listen, I’m rapidly approaching my mid-20s, so I obviously wasn’t around to witness the Celtics doing their thing in the late ’50s, all throughout the ’60s, and the bigtime ’80s run where they ruled the basketball world with the Los Angeles Lakers. When the 2007 season rolled around, following the acquisitions of Kevin Garnett (who, in the past, on NBA video games, I’d always trade for!) and Ray Allen, hope was brought about.

The seven game series between the Celtics and Cavs in the second round of the eastern conference playoffs in 2008 heated up quickly in the seventh game when Paul Pierce and LeBron James had a back-and-forth scoring attack where they’d both answer each other’s bucket with one of their own. I’ll never forget that.

I’ll never forget the way the Celtics booted LeBron James out of Cleveland after they sent him and the Cavs on his/their way in the second round of the 2010 eastern conference playoffs.

And then, well, in 2011, as a member of the Miami Heat, LeBron James and Co. decimated the oft-injured Celtics and smacked them right out of the playoffs. I don’t want to talk about 2012 — that shit still hurts! A 3-2 series lead blown because LeBron James couldn’t stop hosting his revenge tour against my C’s.

It’s been a while. Three years since the Celtics have met up with LeBron James. The song remains the same, but the scenery has changed. Doc Rivers is the Los Angeles Clippers head coach. Paul Pierce is a Wizard (what the fuck? He’ll always be a Celtic). Kevin Garnett is back in Minnesota. Ray Allen is nowhere to be seen. Rajon Rondo is a Dallas Maverick.

This team wields a bunch of fucking misfits, right? Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Evan Turner, Brandon Bass, Tyler Zeller, Kelly Olynyk, the newly acquired Isaiah Thomas (sixth man of the year, anyone?), Jae Crowder…

This Celtics team finished with the second best post-All Star game record in the league at 23-12, only behind the… Cavaliers… at 26-9. I’ve loved watching them play. I must give Brad Stevens credit, because he has all these young guys playing with a formidable chemistry. Selfishness isn’t apparent on the court. It’s almost like a younger repertoire of the Celtics’ adage of old, “Ubuntu”.

Surely this series will at least go six games.

Though, I’d rather see the Celtics pull off the upset (of course). The city of Cleveland doesn’t deserve to sniff a Larry O’Brien trophy.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are Comparable to the Xbox One

The Cleveland Cavaliers are 1-3 right now, with LeBron James back and teaming up with Kyrie Irving, a Cav that’s been around since 2011, and Kevin Love, a fellow new teammate and Cavalier.

They’ll get it together. Just like the Xbox One video game console has.

Last year, when the Xbox One dropped, it was receiving so much negative press, for a variety reasons. From reversing the DRM policies, to the $500 price point to the kinect being mandatorily included (hence the $500 price point).

A year later, and the Xbox One and has delivered monthly updates since launch and is rocking in the exclusive games department with Sunset Overdrive, Forza Horizon 2, D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Lie ($15), Titanfall (for $25 bucks, digitally, on the Xbox Live marketplace) and now, the best value out there on the gaming market: the Halo: Master Chief Collection.*

My point is, with this equivalence is that things take time to develop.

By February or March, the Cavaliers will likely be at the top of the Eastern Conference. The teams that have beat them so far this season will be toiling around in the latter half of their conference playoff seeds or in the abyss of their said conference.

Patience, young padawans.