Kyrie’s Petty SZN.

Kyrie Irving is a petty genius.

Yes, you read that correctly. Contrary to everybody’s opinion from social media, I like Kyrie Irving. Even though he only played 3 games at Duke, he still went to Duke (smh). His shoes are dope. His one trick pony of being a consistent scorer at the NBA level is at a god-level. Irving’s ability to score the basketball and create shots for himself is at a level that not a lot of NBA players have, especially when his jersey is not tucked in (Kyrie not having his jersey tucked in is on the levels of hoodie Melo).

Is he the best point guard in the NBA? Hell nah. I don’t believe he’s in the top 5 (Curry, Paul, Westbrook, Wall, Lowry are mine. Fight me, please) at that position as his ability to impact others so far in his career is not what it should be, but that’s okay.

Kyrie Irving is absolutely fed up and I’m here for it. Irving went on First Take yesterday and had one of the most interesting interviews I’ve seen. It was like watching myself answer questions when my family members ask if I’m in a relationship. I have no idea why he went on national television to hardly talk, but trolling Stephen A. and Max Kellerman is A-OK with me. Smith asked Irving if he talked to Lebron about his trade request, and Irving said “no” in the most blunt version I’ve hear from an athlete. He then went on and controlled the entire conversation as it’s clearly obvious that Irving was tired of playing basketball with Lebron James.

After the Warriors dominated the Cavaliers in the finals (it was not as close as Richard Jefferson stated, although game 3 was a classic), a lot of news reports jumped out about Kyrie, his abilities, and his role on the Cavs. He was seen as a great number 2 guy with an all-time great and perhaps, he felt overlooked. Requesting a trade is one thing. Kyrie’s favorite player growing up was retired shooting guard #8/#24 who did this in the 2007 off-season. Doing it after 3 straight NBA finals while winning a title and hitting the biggest jumpshot in Cleveland Cavaliers history was strange to most fans. I however, understand where Kyrie Irving is coming from.

James’ uncertainty to his future in Cleveland due to him signing with the Lonzo Ball Lakers next season seems like reasons that Irving claiming that he wanted to take his “own path” and to “grow as a player,” which is understandable and agreeable. Irving yesterday seemed at peace with him being as the newest member of the Celtics.

Most sport fans hate that NBA players have control of their legacies. Most of us grew up in an era where one great player just stayed with the same team for 15 to 20 years (Kobe, Dirk, Duncan) and retired there not realizing that organizations have the ability to trade and cut whoever they want to (loyality is overrated, btw). The current trend is that some players often leave their markets to go win championships (Lebron, KD) because most of us harp on the fact that it’s all about “ringzzzz” (which is not true, btw) and legacies.

Irving DID NOT need to inform James of his decision to be traded. I bet you Lebron was not going to inform him that he would be leaving to join the Lonzo Lakers next year leaving Irving, who signed an extension days before Lebron decided to write how he was “coming home” again in 2014. Personally, I believe that people are making this a big deal because he left Lebron and most likely a trip to the NBA Finals to lose to the death star Warriors in either 4 or 5 games.

James is seen as this great teammate (and he is cause he got James Jones paid for 7 straight years to sit on the bench) but for a player like Kyrie who also needs the ball in his hands to also be productive, this makes sense. Irving said he wants to be a “point guard” again. Irving wanted a new change of scenery, which leads me to ask… “what happened between the end of the NBA Finals and before Kyrie’s china trip with Nike?” Is it a personal? Who knows.

I am 100% here for savage and condescending Kyrie Irving. Who cares about the end result of his career or legacy? He’s 25 years old, and already has a title under his belt. Will it work out in Boston? Who knows, let alone who cares? I can tell you that taking a risk and lucking up becoming a member of a legendary franchise in this trade is a win for him, and a win for the NBA’s petty warz.

Opening night. Cavs vs Celtics. PETTY IRVING. I can’t wait.

 

 

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…Stanford is “soft.” + memories of the infamous 2006 Rose Bowl

Two weeks ago, I wrote a blog that was titled, “I think USC is back.” I meant every word in that blog knowing that USC’s schedule is one of the toughest but given how great Sam Darnold finished last season and knowing the returning starters on defense. I figured USC could make a playoff run, although the schedule is tricky and the lack of having a bye week could mean being worn down by November.

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We get it, LaVar.

This is the only time I’ll address this because I don’t like giving attention to people who aren’t worthy of giving my attention to which is why on Facebook at least, I don’t start these wars about the Twitter eggs who are in federal office (OOF).

The LaVar Ball train has now peaked. It probably peaked last month. Or maybe two months ago. I don’t know. At first, I was cool with LaVar. To some degree, I still am. I’m cool with a father instilling confidence in all of his kids to be the best of their ability, although I would think his style and methods in doing so are unconventional. I can’t relate to how Lonzo and the other two sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo feel about it so I’ll try not to.

Creating your own brand and attempting to do things differently is great. If I had the time, the resources, and the money to do so, I would do it myself.  I support anyone going out there and dreaming about taking on any of the major companies to “change the culture,” as Lonzo Ball himself said in the video yesterday.

Initially, I was gonna write about LaVar Ball and his family this week because I saw a headline about how Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour each turned down an offer to endorse Lonzo, ala sign him to a contract that would allow him to have millions before he signs his first rookie deal this summer. I was gonna write about how ridiculous and stupid LaVar (or the Ball family for that matter) was for trying to make his brand, the Big Baller Brand incorporate with one of those three companies. Then yesterday happened.

I said above that I’m all for creating opportunities, and pushing things forward and being your own entrepreneur. That’s how Nike and Under Armour were created. This… I don’t think this is it, man.

lonzo ball shoes
these look like my Kobe 10s I got for $80 at the Nike outlet

Is the shoe terrible looking? It really isn’t honestly. It’s an off-brand version of the Kobe 10s. It also looks better than the shoes that Stephen Curry wears so, BBB has done something right here. However, the price? $495 for that? That’s not changing the culture. Your brand is not that important to charge a shoe that much.

In the group chat I have with a set of homies, Micah, Shaad, and Kyle, we roasted these shoes for a good bit. Then we realized the fact that we don’t have the slightest clue on who is making their shoes, if the shoe is even comfortable to wear at that price, and the technology on the shoe. It’s just here in the public eye to be laughed at.

This shoe created a stir on my Twitter timeline from people creating memes from the photo above to others defending the price of the shoe stating how regardless, we need to support because we’d buy a pair of Nike basketball shoes at that price. That “it’s okay” for Lonzo to have his own shoe because other athletes, such as Lebron James, and Michael Jordan did.

I rolled my eyes at that. I can’t speak on Jordan because I wasn’t alive and wasn’t thought about in 84,  but I’d bet that lots of people figured he’d be a great NBA player considering he was a known commodity as he left Carolina as a national champion, 2-time All-American, and was the National Player of the Year as a Junior. Nike itself signed him when they were known but still small. We knew of Lebron James since 2002-03 because ESPN showed his High School games and they were glorious.

The last time we saw Lonzo Ball play a basketball game, De’Aaron Fox had Lonzo doing the electric slide on route to a 39 pt game and a Kentucky win over UCLA in the sweet 16. Yes, Lonzo was a player of the year candidate and a 1st team All-American in his lone season at UCLA but he wasn’t on their level as a player.

Also, I’m pretty sure Nike and even Jordan Brand for that matter haven’t charged close to $500 for a pair of basketball shoes, but I digress.

LaVar then tweeted (I didn’t know he had a twitter account) this:

 

I… I…. yeah. If I buy a pair of shoes for $495, I better be hooping like I’m related to Jesus.

 

currently

 

This is where we’re at now. We’re at a point where LaVar took advantage of how the media because of their desire to see the “most ridiculous quotes” and giving that media attention all day. Is it LaVar’s fault that programs such as First Take and Undisputed had him & Lonzo on the air three days after UCLA got bounced in the NCAA Tournament? Absolutely not. Lonzo’s the biggest name in the NBA Draft (I personally don’t even think he’s even close to the best player in the draft). Not because of his play but because of how he’s received media attention.

There was a point where LaVar was on ESPN’s SportsNation every single day for one week in April. That’s not on them. That’s on us for giving his pops all the attention, thus taking it away from Lonzo, the athlete.

I’m not knocking the ideas. I think it’s cool to see something different. However, LaVar could have waited years to launch this, thus waiting for his youngest son to at least attempt a pro career. But he put himself and their family brand in front of the ability that his oldest son was about to receive endorsement money from any company of his choosing.

Unlike others, I do want Lonzo and the other kids to succeed. I want them to achieve their goals of being in the NBA. A lot of people have that dream and that vision to get there. Only a select few are able to accomplish it. That being said, forcing an opportunity and attempting to cash a check early often doesn’t end well. Let’s hope LaVar doesn’t blow it here. The Ball family calls themselves “Big Ballers.” Good luck at your prices trying to convince the rest of us that we are also Big Ballers.

 

Week 1 of Shaun’s college bball rankings

It’s December and after the first month of College Basketball, you’re starting to see the contenders from the pretenders early and often. College hoops is a funny sport. Since there’s a tournament unlike football, it’s easy for a random team to get hot at the right time, and make a run to the final four (looks at Wichita State last year, Butler and VCU in 2011) , but mostly, you can tell who’s good enough to win a national title, or who’s just flat out average. I don’t really care what the Coaches and AP poll say. These are my rankings and I’m ranking the top 10 teams from here until March. If you aren’t with it, that’s unfortunate. Now let’s begin.

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The NBA’s First Round was……. Fantastic? 2nd round predictions sure to go WRONG!!

Stephen+Curry+Denver+Nuggets+v+Golden+State+WXatfZU5h6Fx

In my first round preview blog, I was fantastically wrong about most of my playoff predictions, and guess what? I am perfectly OKAY with this (I am, trust me). Let’s get this out the way first. The more I watch the ESPN and their games, the more I can’t really stand their coverage of the playoffs. Why?

First, it’s that damn Will.I.Am. song will forever bother me. First off, I’m not hyped to watch a 2 minute intro of Will.I.Am dancing with various NBA players. When I see that, you know what I think? I think ESPN is attempting to cater it’s audience to a 15 year old teen girl who just wants to dance, and party. This is the NBA playoffs. Not the club.

Second, I’m tired of Magic Johnson on that NBA Countdown show. I like Jalen Rose, Bill Simmons (most people on Twitter, Facebook, or whatever hate Bill Simmons because he’s an openly Boston homer who happens to write about sports, and have his own site, Grantland. I think most people just envy him because of his success, but who knows), and Michael Wilbon. Magic, I just, I don’t know. When I hear Magic Johnson speak, I feel like I’m getting stupider and stupider. At least with Charles Barkley on TNT, it’s funny. Magic? It’s like, dude. Shut the entire hell up. It has nothing to do with Magic the player. I love Magic Johnson, and how he changed the point guard position for everyone. But when he talks, I want to cut my ears off.

ESPN. You have to do better for next year. No more teen boppy club songs please, and make Magic retire from TV. I’m begging you.

The first round of the playoffs was actually entertaining. I mean, let’s be honest here. I lied to every single one of you about most of these series because I didn’t know what the hell was gonna happen in the playoffs this year. I figured Stephen Curry would light it up, but not like that (AND HE’S MY FAVORITE PLAYER!!!). George Karl has to be sick right now because he failed to make the right adjustments from game 2-4 on Curry, and Golden State’s small lineup. Instead of playing to their strengths, Karl did what most people in Seattle know all about: He didn’t adjust until it was too late.

I sure didn’t think the Lakers would get swept, but that’s another blog for another day (Since I’m a Laker fan, I’ll address them when the time is right: June). I lied to you all when I said I wasn’t going to watch a single second of the Pacers/Hawks series, but I watched part of game 3, and the last bit of game 6. Just, ew at that series all around (It was fitting how Josh Smith’s last shot was a blocked three pointer. Made me laugh when I shouldn’t have). I also lied to you all about Memphis winning the series in 7. They won in 6. Chicago was up 3-1 on Brooklyn due to Nate Robinson (“African-American Nate” is what my friend Jared calls him. But he doesn’t say African American) going absurd in a 4th quarter, and in the only game 7 of the first round, the Bulls found a way to prevail.

But guess what? The 2nd round of the NBA Playoffs is upon us. Better basketball is ahead of us (I would hope). Let’s dive into this (No, not Swimming Pools), and how more wrong I can get.

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