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.

Kevin Durant Joining the Warriors is Hilarious to Me

I never touched on this subject when Kevin Durant bolted from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the star studded Golden State Warriors.

But I have to, now, because it’s hilarious to me!

Back in the summer of 2010, I defended the hell out of LeBron James for ditching the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. LeBron was a molecular structured villain for the majority of his four year stint in Miami (especially the first two years). When he left in the summer of 2010, a lot of people placed Kevin Durant on a pedestal and anointed him for how “loyal” he is/was. Even back then, I was smirking and having to stop myself from laughing my ass off at sports fans’ ignorance and the false notion of loyalty in professional sports.

I was always in the Bill Simmons’ camp (2008-2010) of referring to Durant as the future former Oklahoma City Thunder. I never thought that franchise would build the correct pieces around him to get him to stay, but then they drafted Russell Westbrook in 2008 and James Harden in 2009, while Serge Ibaka officially became a member of the Thunder in 2009. The team made a Western Conference Finals appearance in 2011 and ultimately made the NBA Finals in 2012 before being ousted by LeBron James and the Heat in five games.

After that, the train came off the rails. The Thunder decided to keep Serge Ibaka over James Harden (rather than paying Harden a max contract) by sending Harden to Houston, and then injuries to both Westbrook (playoffs/2013) and Durant (2014 and 2015) hampered the team. In the playoffs this past season, the Thunder were primed to capture a title! They had the 73-win Golden State Warriors on the edge of being kicked off the cliff with a 3-1 Western Conference Finals series lead, and the Thunder ensuingly shit the bed and blew three consecutive games to the Warriors.

Durant signed with the Warriors in the offseason, and now he’s the biggest villain in the NBA right now. Once again, it’s hilarious to me, after everybody praised his loyalty back in 2010 when he signed a new contract with the Thunder. He didn’t have to leave the Thunder, y’know? That team was ready to contend and face the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals for years to come, and he bolted!

I’m not mad at Durant; I don’t even dislike Durant. Hell, I’m actually excited for the upcoming season, because it’s going to be incredibly entertaining watching the Warriors play! They are officially the new villains of pro basketball, from Durant to that donkey-looking son of a bitch Draymond Green, the President of Dirty NBA Play, leading the charge! It’s going to be exciting — and amusing — watching detractors become enraged when the Warriors win and elated when they lose.

Oh, and the NBA title is not a ‘gimme‘ for the Warriors this season, either, despite their star studded lineup. They lost key pieces in Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut. Also, the 2003-2004 Lakers didn’t win the NBA title despite their lineup of Gary Payton, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone and Shaquille O’Neal! Even the Heat failed to win a title their first year together during the LeBron-Wade-Bosh years.

The only thing I’m annoyed about are sports fans who live, breathe and die by the notion of a loyal professional athlete. Just sit back and enjoy the game, folks. Just be a basketball fan and have some fun.

Now, here’s some Kurtis Blow!

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?

Voicing Criticism Means You are a “Hater”/Detractor Now?

Anytime there’s an article written or a video featuring someone who’s speaking out, in some form or fashion, no matter how significant or insignificant, they are labelled a “hater” or, as I like to call it, a “detractor”. I’m talking about criticism being dished out, and no, not vitriolic spew but constructive criticism.

Case in point:

That’s Josh Barnett. He’s a heavyweight fighter in the UFC. In 2002, he became the youngest fighter to win the heavyweight title, in which he did so at 24-years-old. He’s had a long and much celebrated career and has travelled the world, fighting in various MMA organizations. In the video above, he’s speaking about Fabricio Werdum pulling out of his UFC 196 bout with opponent Stipe Miocic.

Here’s the kicker: Werdum was originally supposed to fight former heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez in a rematch. Yesterday, it was announced that Velasquez had pulled out of the fight due to an injury (sciatica). Today, Werdum has rescinded his spot in the bout and will not be facing Miocic, who was supposed to step in for Velasquez.

Barnett makes some good points in the video about why Werdum would do such a thing — the Brazilian heavyweight champ is 38-years-old and has displayed the best fighting of his career the last couple of years. Werdum is virtually in his prime, but as Barnett also noted, a loss would deface all of what he’s done and set him back, and at 38 years of age in the fighting game, that would be a tough pill to swallow, not to mention the inevitable loss of money in the future from losing the title and hence fighting in non-title bouts going forward would be substantial.

That kind of opinion is not coming from a “hater”. That’s coming from a well thought out view.

The video was posted on Facebook, and the comments are littered with what you’d expect.

One can find this kind of crap everywhere. If you have an opinion about something that is not positive and you share it, somehow you are a “hater”. Why is this? Why are dissenting opinions immediately dubbed as, “words from a jealous hater”? What happened to conversation? What happened to constructive criticism or debate? Now, if there’s any kind of debate, being the devil’s advocate of the “rah rah” pro group means you are a “hater”. What the hell?

I really need to start following my girlfriend’s sage advice of not reading the comments, but it’s a habit. Sometimes there’s a pearl of wisdom in a crowd full of verbal excrement.

I was met with the same bullshit by hindsight heroes around the world (country?) after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 NBA Finals, because I called the Warriors overrated early on in the season. I admitted to being wrong, but the hindsight heroes from around the web had the fun doings of gloating about me being wrong, and in doing so, denounced yours truly as a “hater”. What?

The Crazy DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks Situation

I took about five to ten minutes to lurk the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers RealGM forums.

Mavs fans are (rightfully) pissed, and most Clippers ‘fans’ (I’m still wary on whether or not there are any ‘real’ Clips fans, or if they are just ‘fans’ until the Lakers become viable again) agree with their angst.

DeAndre Jordan verbally agreed to sign an $80 mil deal with the Mavs, and then last night, after a few members of the Clippers — including former Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers and my favorite all-time Celtic Paul Pierce — went to his house for a good ol’ circle jerk, he went back on his word and re-signed with the Clips.

Some bizarre shit, no? Some real, villainous shit!

I think DJ is overrated as all get out, but he does make a difference, enough to — if he left LA like he said — hinder the Clippers’ chances at a title, and now to basically send the Mavs to the gutter of the league. I say this, because now the Mavs’ roster looks like shit. I wonder if they’ll shop Chandler Parsons at around the deadline and tank? This is a sorry way to go for Dirk Nowitzki — I doubt he could’ve predicted such a thing happening after Dallas won the 2011 NBA Finals.

This is a flawed model for NBA free agency, though. What is a verbally agreed to contract worth? Furthermore, I wonder if this gets DJ into hot water with his agent, who’s apparently good pals with Mavs owner Mark Cuban?

In other news, my Celtics just acquired David Lee from the Golden State Warriors. This automatically makes him the best offensive player on the C’s.

Michael Jordan was not Perfect; He Bitched and Whined, too, Just Like LeBron James

All the great ones bitched at referees a time or two (as in 2,000 times). Larry Bird used to drop the word, “motherfucker!” a lot. Don’t let Magic Johnson’s smile fool you — he might have complained to the refs more than anybody in the history of basketball!

Anyway, there’s this sense among NBA fans today, probably new[er] ones that haven’t studied the history of basketball, that believe Jordan never whined to refs like the way LeBron James does.

Y’know, when Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls lost to the Detroit Pistons every year from 1988 to 1990 in the playoffs, Jordan exploded, verbally, all over the Pistons’ “dirty play”. Imagine if the internet and social media had been around back then. People online would have been delivering the same shit they give LeBron to Jordan. And it’s funny, because if you ask older dudes who grew up watching Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain play, they’d tell you that either they or their peers shunned the thought of considering Jordan a great until it was inevitable not to.

A lot of people put MJ on a pedestal. He’s my all-time favorite basketball player since he’s the athlete that got me hooked to the sport in my childhood, but he was not infallible. He was not immune to being flawed. Basketball fans today look into the lore of basketball and pick out what they want to hear and disregard facts. Why?