100 Days And Counting: The Nightmare of the NFL Lockout

I’ve heard talk of shortening the baseball season. Please don’t do that. I need something to sleep to. Baseball is the old man’s game, Played by people who generally have little to no personality. How can you have a personality on a baseball team? A fist pump after a strikeout? Not flashy enough. An occasional dirt kicking at the umpire? Why don’t we mic up the managers when they go out there for a good verbal throw down? Cliff Lee is about as exciting as Bingo at the Community Center, and I’ve never actually heard Roy Halladay speak…that’s baseball in a nutshell. If anyone still thinks Ozzie Guillen is edgy or interesting…I’ve walked through the Lower East Side and heard more truth, insight and rage in less time.

50 game NBA season? Maybe I can actually watch the Nets get themselves out of the running by game number five. Boy, that first week is going to be a blast though. I can predict with certainty that Indiana, Memphis and Oklahoma City are going to take big steps forward. There will be ten teams that have the potential to win the whole thing: angry Kobe, revenge of D-Rose, rise of Durant, the long sad story of Dwight Howard and the gondola singer that is Stan Van Gundy. the NBA may be one of the few sports that could actually benefit from a shortening of the season.

Football. It is hard to even type out. I’ve played so many hours of Madden my fingers begin making audible and hot route ps3 controller movements when I am sitting on the bus. I can’t do it anymore. every game brings me to tears (of joy or sadness I have yet to determine).

There are certain conclusions I can draw about what has happened so far in the off-season. The Bengals will never be good, not with their current owner at least. I would rather watch Cincinnati at the college level. Terrell Owens is done. Tiki Barber is a smiling joke who thinks using the term depression rights all the supreme wrongs he has committed throughout his miserable post football existence. The Giantswill yet again put out a defensive line that makes grown men feel like children, even if Osi isn’t there.

Sometimes I dream of a Jets/Giants Christmas Eve game, freezing at the Meadowlands, 10 below zero, screams coming from every direction, and then it happens: Woody Johnson and the Mara family come out to the 50 yard line, microphones in hand and begin to explain why there will be no game after the coin toss. The lights go dark. “revenue sharing model…cost efficiency with regard to player/owner incentives…rise in advertising and broadcasting costs.” It is a two hour speech and at the end, the players walk back to the locker room, handcuffed to each other as to not even throw a pass or run the ball. There is silence all around. There will be no more fun.

NBA Draft Reaction: Knicks Surprise, Nets Get Steal, Kemba Hungry

TOJ at SB Nation NY with an interview with Kemba Walker on his thoughts on going to Charlotte and being passed over by 8 teams.

A closer look at Knicks picks Iman Shumpert and Josh Harrellson

Thoughts on the Nets trading for Marshon Brooks

Shumpert wasn’t initially a popular pick because he isn’t a big name guy and it seemed like a reach considering where he was being projected to be drafted. However, considering he won’t have the pressure to come in and immediately start, there is no reason he can’t develop properly behind Chauncey Billups while competing with Toney Douglas and Landry Fields for minutes. Shumpert has plenty of potential, especially to develop into a quality defender at 6-6 and with a 42 inch vertical.

Harrellson provides some much needed size at 6-10, 275 pounds. He doesn’t exactly have the strongest competition to make the roster, as the Knicks are thin on big men, so he may have a chance to stick.

Personally, I loved the Nets trade to get Brooks. They needed to provide a scorer in the backcourt with DeRon Williams and Brooks has a high ceiling, with the potential to develop in a star as the Nets move to Brooklyn.

NBA Draft: Where Will Kemba Walker End Up? Other Draft Rumors

TOJ at SB Nation NY on where local product Kemba Walker could end up in tonight’s draft.

The draft rumor mill is in full swing —

  • Walker could go anywhere from the Raptors at number 5 all the way to the Pacers at 15.
  • Despite Cleveland having the 1 and 4 pick, they are expected to be active for a third lottery pick. Good for them attempting to expedite their rebuilding process.
  • Tony Parker, Steve Nash, George Hill, Jonny Flynn, Monta Ellis, Andre Iguodala, and Eric Maynor are all names being thrown in around in trade rumors. However, I don’t expect the Knicks to make a move for a veteran.
  • There is such a wide range of players the Knicks could end up with at #17, it is hard to project. I wouldn’t be shocked if somebody like Jimmer Fredette or Walker fell to around 14 or 15, if they made a splash by moving up. However, I’d personally rather see them trade up to get Chris Singleton, who will probably be off the board by number 9.
  • It sounds like Cleveland is just about locked into Kyrie Irving with the first pick but Minnesota with the 2nd pick? Well, that is anybody’s guess…could be Derrick Williams, could be Enes Kanter, or they could trade out.

NBA Draft Preview: Will Knicks Make A Major Move?

A whole mess of NBA Draft Coverage

TOJ at SB Nation NY on why the lack of elite talent should make for an eventful night tomorrow

The Knicks plans for the 17 pick remain up in the air

Could the Knicks deal for a veteran point guard?

Personally, I don’t think the Knicks will make a move for a veteran point guard. I am not crazy about the thought of trading Toney Douglas for Jonny Flynn, as I think Douglas is already comfortable with the system and can the hold the fort better for another year as Chauncey Billups’ backup. Flynn has injury concerns and hasn’t been anywhere near as productive the past two years as Douglas.

Even though his scoring would be exciting, the Knicks can’t be giving up assets to move up to obtain Jimmer Fredette. They can’t afford another major defensive liability. If they are adamant about going with a scorer, I’d rather see them go with Marshon Brooks who has more potential to develop into a somewhat decent defender.

Considering their need and who will likely be available, Chris Singleton out of Florida State probably makes the most sense for the Knicks. If he is gone, I don’t have a problem with them looking to Alec Burks or Josh Selby, who Carmelo Anthony is apparently pushing very hard for as fall-backs.

Let’s Make A Musical: Thoughts On The NBA Finals And The Psychology Of Enjoying Failure

It says something that almost every person that despises LeBron came out with long proclamations that make no sense, seeing as how he is 26 years old. That’s correct. 26 years old. People are so forward with their claims that they proclaim he will not even achieve a single championship.

Did he shrink under the pressure? Sure. But to say that the pressure put on LeBron James and the pressure put on Michael Jordan are even in the same ballpark, would be insane. Is LeBron James Michael Jordan? No, he’s Lebron James.

With social media and the amount of press generated on a daily basis, Michael did not have to deal with articles about teammates having sex with his mother or girlfriend. He did not have 4,000 bloggers on his back because he was stuck with a horrible franchise, a horrible owner, and let’s face it, a rather small town mentality that looked like 4 year olds stuck in the bodies of 34 year olds. Remember, someone in Cleveland had to OK that witness poster.

Was Miami the answer? Probably not, but to leave Cleveland was a PROFESSIONAL decision. Because, let’s look at this, any other field of work would not even create one article of scorn, much less complete hatred. So to do something that was NOT illegal, and create a movement to burn and destroy pictures of someone, it makes fans look like religious fanatics and not sports fans. LeBron is not a religion, and it’s your fault as a fan for treating him as one.

Do I think the bracelet with King James on it is ridiculous? Hell yes. Do I think that over the top preseason stunt was too much? Hell yes. But guess what? Other people were involved in that besides LeBron James. Business people. The same people who decided to turn Miami upside down in creating LeBron burgers, hotel suites, and other sick twisted merchandising opportunities.

To all the people that got offended by him talking about his postgame comments, go check what he said today. He knew he isn’t better than other people. He plays basketball, he doesn’t cure cancer. And he didn’t steal your 401k. For anyone to think a basketball player is the highest form of humanity, they really need to get a grip on reality. As a sidenote, try getting told you suck for about 20 times and not getting at least a little upset. To be honest, I am shocked he didn’t reach across the table and choke Gregg Doyel.

So lets move on to Dallas, shall we? Dirk was a man amongst boys. There is absolutely no way to dispute that. He was a German romantic hero. He didn’t have the physique, the look, the speed. Yet he had one of the greatest shots of all time. A shot you can’t teach. His shooting coach could write a book, do a movie, and create an entire school, but he probably wont, which only adds more to the mystique.

Jason Terry was a New York Jet. He talked and walked. Actually he ran, right to the basket. It made Rex Ryan weep.

Dallas deserves everything they get, and Lebron deserves some of what he gets, but when your joy is in others failures, try for a moment to imagine being the close relative of someone like LeBron, when you have no public voice, no defense, just the continuous cackling of the deranged hate-mongers everywhere you go.

As a final note, to look at the childish mentality of all of Ohio, look at the governor, who after the Mavericks won, named them honorary Ohioans. Wow. You really showed LeBron. Don’t scorn us, or we will pass resolutions. Why don’t you just go Harry Potter and make it a fine to speak of LeBron James in public?

NBA Finals: Don’t Forget That Dallas Won

A collection of some of the best clips today on the Dallas Mavericks winning their first ever NBA Finals…and remember that yes, Miami did lose and it was a beautiful thing to watch them flame-out, but don’t forget to give Dallas the credit they deserve in the middle of all your Miami/LeBron hating.

Jason Whitlock thinks it is time to blow up the big three – A knee jerk reaction without question and I don’t think for a second that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, or Chris Bosh are going anywhere. Whitlock describes LeBron’s performance as “putrid” and James as a “national laughingstock and late-night punch line.” It is hard to argue with that right now, there is nothing more frustrating for people who the love the sport of basketball to watch the most talented player on the planet play with zero effort and heart when it matters the most.

Adrian Wojnarowski gives Dirk Nowitzki his due – The story of this playoffs should really be Nowitzki and everything he did right, not James and everything he did wrong. The emotion shown by Nowitzki as he left the floor in the final seconds was a beautiful sports moment. He has stuck it out in Dallas, through plenty of rough times and in the end managed to take his team and his franchise to a title with an epic post-season run.

It is good to see in basketball, a team…not whatever you would call the Miami Heat…win the championship. The team that played the game right way, beat the supremely talented one. The high-school team with a group of seniors that had played together their whole career and were desperate to win a trophy for their town knocked off the AAU team playing for college scholarships.

I am randomly a huge DeShawn Stevenson fan from back when I lived in DC and was happy to see Soulja Boy beat Jay-Z

The NBA could be about to head down the same road of the NFL

Overall, a great playoffs for the NBA, capped off by a great Finals. Keep an eye out for Justin’s reaction here at TOJ in the coming days, along further commentary from myself and upcoming draft coverage.

These videos are certainly fun to watch today…

The Problem With LeBron…

TOJ at SB Nation NY on the frustration of watching LeBron James waste his talent so far in the NBA Finals

Other thoughts on what is now a best of three series…

1. I can’t imagine there isn’t some type of divide in the Miami locker room. There is no way LeBron James liked hearing Dwyane Wade repeatedly calling the Heat “his” team after game three and there is no way Wade liked LeBron doing nothing to help him down the stretch last night. Dallas has no business having this series tied at 2 right now but somehow Miami has let the inferior Mavericks stick around.

2. Even though his supporting cast finally showed up last night, Dirk Nowitzki is still doing it all in the final minutes of all these games. Their entire offense in crunch time is predicated on Dirk making something happen and he is handling that pressure well. He wasn’t deterred at all by his early game struggles and still found a way to do enough in the fourth quarter to make sure this series is tied up.

3. It is about time Dallas gave a solid all-around effort to support Nowitzki. DeShawn Stevenson is giving them more quality minutes than expected. Jason Terry has been inconsistent but when he is on, Dallas is very tough to beat. I’d like to see Tyson Chandler finish at the rim more, but his rebounding and presence around the basket was huge last night.

4. The Mavericks have to take game five. You can’t bank on taking two straight in Miami, even after stealing one in their building in game two. I originally picked Dallas in seven and I think if they take game five, I will end up being right with a prediction…for once.

NBA Finals: Feeling Like A Long Series

A few thoughts on game three of the NBA Finals…

1. LeBron James is starting to look a little timid in the final minutes of these tight games. When we entered the Finals, the Heat were LeBron’s show…they are now back to being led by Dwyane Wade who has been spectacular the past two games. Watching Wade and Dirk go shot for shot in the final minutes last night is about as entertaining as it gets, yet at least Wade has a few other people on his team who can knock down an open shot.

2. Dirk’s supporting cast has been a major let down so far in this series. You have to wonder if the big guy can really pull off this upset, this much on his own. You are asking alot for a single person to create every single point in the final seven minutes of every game. The Mavericks are well overdue for one of their three point barrages, that they used to sweep the Lakers away in round two.

3. Say what you want about Chris Bosh, but after playing such a poor game, he didn’t hesitate to shoot and knock down what turned out to be the game winning shot. You also have to be impressed with Mario Chalmers who isn’t shy at all in a big spot despite who he is surrounded by, which is an admirable trait.

4. This does feel like an inevitable seven game series at this point, right? Although somebody else on that Dallas roster needs to come up with a big game Tuesday night to avoid a 3-1 hole, which would all but wrap things up for the Heat.

5. Great defense by Udonis Haslem on the final possession last night. He should always be covering Dirk in a big spot, not Chris Bosh…as we saw in game two.