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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

John Calipari, please stop.

Now, I have to admit here. I love College basketball, and I’m happy that college basketball is back. Last night, it was in full swing with the Champions Classic, this time in Atlanta. The Champions Classic is a great early season event with four teams, and the rotation of each team playing each other + the locations is EXCELLENT. Last night, the Duke Blue Devils played the Kentucky Wildcats in the “Showdown” of top programs, and coaches.

As a Carolina fan, I can honestly say that I don’t really give care about both of these teams or their programs, but I do respect them.

First and foremost, Duke will always be UNC’s little brother. I don’t care about how they dominated Carolina for a bit of the 1980s, and a bit of the late 90s- early 2000s. Ever since Roy Williams took over, Duke has won three ACC regular season titles. Sure, you can brag about winning a conference tournament. That’s all grand and all, but the reality of the product is that you can’t win the regular season title against the school 8 miles away from you. I understand. Brag all you want. But when’s the last time other than 2010, that you’ve been “better” than Carolina? I’ll wait. Plus, you lost to Lehigh in the tournament last year. Lehigh. I’m seriously Lehigh right now that I just typed  Lehigh again.

Kentucky is different to me. See, here’s the thing about Kentucky that makes me laugh the most. Kentucky fans or the BBN, considers themselves better than everyone else because they won a title in 2012. If I’m not mistaken, it took you 14 years to win number 8. Dog. It took 12 years for Carolina to win a title in 2005, then 4 more years in 09 to collect another one. So for Carolina, that’s two in almost 8 years. I’m not saying Carolina is a better program (ESPN did this summer), but it took you 14 years. The funny thing is, what makes you better than everyone else because you won a title in 2012? Swear, one national title doesn’t make you better than me, Michigan State, Kansas, etc. You won. Congrats. Very proud that you can get rid of the drought that was kinda funny especially with the early round exits from 2003-2004. The great thing about Kentucky winning was that they had the right combination, and a little luck to go with it (Once the only competition in the tournament lost their starting point guard with a broken wrist, it was pretty much a wrap).

A key formula was having guys who stayed an extra year, and a couple of stud freshman, plus senior leadership. That’s what a national title is all about, and that’s what Kentucky had last year hence why they won. It really had nothing to do with coaching.

So what does this have to do with last night’s game with anything that I said?

Honestly, everything.

Watching that game last night was interesting because even though I respect both programs, I couldn’t help but laugh at both of these teams playing. I can’t lie here though. I did pick Duke to win. Not because I think they are better, but it’s because it’s early in the season, and Kentucky struggled mightily against Maryland, plus looking at the coaching matchup… Coach K is a better coach and John Calipari and will always be one. Now, I’m not really paying attention because I was looking over Micah’s blog (check that out if you haven’t yet), but I noticed that it’s halftime and Duke is leading. Which didn’t surprise me because Duke dominated the first half of play from what I saw.

But, I have a question. What made John Calipari make this statement, and why?

Like really, why?

Watching that half of basketball which, Kentucky should have been up by more if they could make free throws, it was kinda evenly matched. If I’m not mistaken, Mason Plumlee had two fouls quickly. Ryan Kelly had two fouls early too. It wasn’t like Duke was flopping. There is one thing of a accusing a team of flopping and ironically taking a shot at officiating, but there is another thing for saying this because you’re down two points at the half to a team who’s playing better than you right now. Sure, it was funny. I laughed at it. Then thought about it, and well, it’s why this blog is being written. But I don’t get it.

Now, I like Coach Calipari. I do. But to me, he’s a better version of Lane Kiffin. You’re probably wondering why I said that because I’m a USC fan. Both are great recruiters, but both are simply average coaches. The only thing Lane Kiffin doesn’t have is a championship ring which would make him from an average coach to that “great” coach because of the Teflon logic.  Calipari can simply get the best guys in America because he can get them to the next level (NBA) in one season. That’s perfectly fine with me. But as an X’s and O’s guy, is he THAT good of a coach as most people make him out to be? Or does he rely on talent to trump this biggest flaw?

I’m not taking a shot at him. It’s just a question. What was Kentucky’s gameplan last night? With no point guard in Ryan Harrow (who’s just average, but he’s been sick so I’ll give him a pass), how were gonna create shots in the half court? The freshman stud in Nerlens Noel knows a couple of post moves, and that’s nice and all, but against a team with experience, are you going to trust him in the halfcourt to create offense? How about Kyle Wiltjer? Even though he ended up on a box carton after last night’s game after being taken out of the game by Ryan Kelly (That’s unreal, btw), you gotta go to him, right? How about Archie Goodwin? Can you trust his ability and talent against another freshman?

Calipari saying Duke flops when the fouls were practically even at the half is hilarious to me. It’s hilarious to me that he goes on National TV, makes a statement we’ve all known about Duke for years now, and then tries to justify it as why his team is losing at the half. No, coach Cal. Your team was losing because you can’t rebound, play defense well, and you have a problem that most of your teams has: free throw shooting.

Mason Plumlee had 4 fouls before the first TV timeout, Coach Cal. Then duke goes on a 11-5 run that seem to take the air of your coaching, and the Georgia Dome. But that’s because of flopping, right? Seth Curry said “YOLO” in the 2nd half and every time you thought you had a shot to win.

You know why Duke went up 12 at one point in the 2nd half, Coach Cal and Kentucky fans? Because Duke had a gameplan to play defense, rebound, run a bit, and hit their shooters on the break. Seeing Duke twice a year, I can tell you ahead of time that you don’t want them to get a big lead, then slow the game down in the halfcourt. That has nothing to do with flopping. When you have to cry and complain about officials, it means one thing: you knew you didn’t have a shot to win, and Coach K got in your head early on.

If you’re gonna complain and whine about the other team playing better than you, then UK fans, it’s gonna be a LONGGGGGGGG year for you, and himself.  But, here’s some encouragement for you, Kentucky fans.  I do think Kentucky will be a good team at the end of the season because even though Calipari is average when it comes to X’s and O’s, he does get guys to buy in. It just didn’t seem like he did that last night, and going on National TV saying this to Andy Katz didn’t help his cause with the national audience.

listen up b

John Calipari, I have one piece of advice for you.

Shut the hell up, stop complaining, and just coach your team. You get calls all the time because you coach Kentucky. The same with Duke. The same with North Carolina. The same with Kansas. The same with UCLA. You’re at a top flight program in America. Stop bitching about flopping, and coach better. It’ll work out in the end if you do this, I promise you.

That’s all I got for today. Back to studying.

I’m fed up ESPN.

Before I get started on this, I have to say, I’m very mad at the Grantland site. All I want is for Grantland to be fair in their types of reporting, and their writing, but instead they took out the time to bash Lane Kiffin because he’s an easy target. Yeah, some things they said about Lane was true. But, he’s not the first coach to lose a game on the road. Grantland and their fantastic set of writers haven’t said a word about Bob Stoops not winning “big games” anymore, or the fact that Jimbo Fisher is basically Lane Kiffin of the East Coast. That’s frustrating to me, and a lot of people. If you’re gonna bash one coach, you have to bash the next one.

Dear ESPN-

Man, I remember when it you were credible. Like, back in the 1990’s, you were  a credible sports channel who was the “underdog” like Dan Patrick has stated, but now, I hate to say it, but you’re just average. Average is still good, in a sense. You basically control of all sports, so no matter how much I, like others try to stay away, I can’t.

That being said, it’s hard for me to watch some of your programs. It’s sad because if you proclaim yourself to be “The Worldwide Leader in Sports,” then your obvious bias and objections shouldn’t be said nor thrown around all the time. That’s not being the “Worldwide Leader,” that’s being a dictator.

What’s sad about this is that when I was younger, I always wanted to work for ESPN because at the time, it was cool, seemed exciting, and if you studied about sports like I’ve been doing since I was born, it’d be extremely awesome to be on that type of pedestal.

Now, it just seems like instead of being credible, you want to be the TMZ of sports. I know, I know. If I don’t like it, why talk about it, watch it, or write about it. Well, like I said above, You controls every single sport with the exception of the Major League Baseball playoffs, and the National Hockey League. Sure, it’s my fault for not turning away, but in a sports world where things are controlled by one place, where the hell am I gonna go watch highlights or games?

My dude Kyle, (@Madsports8) has said that ESPN has become a place where it’s all casual sports stories. It’s funny how accurate he was stating this. Now, I’m not here to bash you. But, at the same time, everyone is tired about hearing the same recycled stories on Sportscenter. I mean, it’s one thing to like an athlete. We all like certain athletes. But at the same time, there comes a point where you have to get off their jock.

Don’t get me wrong here. There are things that I LOVE on ESPN. The 30 for 30 series is awesome. Pardon the Interruption is awesome. Baseball Tonight is awesome. College Gameday is awesome. But, your love affair with Tim Tebow is downright awful, and it’s a shame. Quite Frankly (No Stephen A.), I’m FED UP.

I mean,  I get it. Tebow is a one of a kind. Christian boy who went to Florida. With Urban Meyer, he won a National title even though you claim he’s won two (He was on the team who did win in 2006, but Chris Leak was the starting quarterback, and honestly, was legit that year). Not to mention, he won the Heisman Trophy in 2007. Which is exclusive, and awesome.

But ever since he’s been in the NFL, he’s the MAIN story and has analysts on his jock 24/7.  Think about it. Most guys are celebrated in sports for being good. Tim Tebow is a glorified bad quarterback who has a popular fanbase. Great person, great human being. In fact, if he wanted to ever preach at a church, I’d be down to go see him. But man, eventually, you’re gonna lose a lot of viewers and followers if you talk about him, or even tweet about him.

Put it like this. In my eyes, your network and company is so upset that Mark Sanchez  is the starting quarterback for the New York Jets. In fact, Tim Tebow HURTS the New York Jets offense more than helps it. But since ESPN has become casual, they want to start controversy and drama when there really isn’t any drama. As a New York Jet fan myself, I’m done with it. When will you learn ESPN?

Ever since Skip Bayless has made himself the “leader” of the Tim Tebow bandwagon, all we’ve heard is about Tebow, and all he does is “win.” Win what, Skip? Last year, Denver backed their ways in the playoffs, took advantage of a Pittsburgh team who was banged up, won because their defense kept Mr. Bathroom off the board long enough. Sure, Tebow threw one great pass to Demaryius Thomas, but yeah, Skip, you’re “all he does is win” movement needed to include Denver’s defense balling up. What about that playoff game against New England where he wet the bed? I don’t think all he did was win there.

The excuses for Tebow that Bayless has is sickening. I understand that Skip is a troll, but it’s outrageous now. Skip Bayless used to be a credible journalist, especially back in the 90’s. But he’s sold himself out for money and his journalistic integrity for one guy. It’s hilarious how Skip worships one of the worst quarterbacks on television and can get viewers to agree with him.  Seriously speaking, First Take might be the worst show on television. Watching First Take is like listening to Dwayne Carter rap horrible bars on a mixtape. Can’t. Do. It.

how ironic

You should be embarrassed about how you conducted yourselves last night on Twitter and in the booth during the Jets/Texans game. Every time Mark Sanchez threw an incomplete pass, or better yet, had two passes tipped that were picked, you had people tweeting, “Is it Tebow Time?” You think I’m kidding?  Look at this.

My god smfh

incredible

……………………

LMAOOOO SMH

I see

Just look at that.

The last one actually made my night. Mark Sanchez, the starting quarterback for the team cheers for the Joe McKnight kickoff return for touchdown, but according to a person who works for you, he can’t. It’s because he didn’t cheer like Tim Tebow. You know. Put both arms up, yell something, then pump your fists up after one 10 yard run. Yeah, okay.

That’s just the start. Mike Tirico wanted Tebow to play SOOOOOOOOOOOOO bad. Especially the last play of the game, it was all like, “Why isn’t Tebow in, he can throw it at least 65 yards, and he’s the best athlete on the team.”

I don’t get it. I don’t get how a 4th string quarterback can get so much attention because he throws bounce passes to the turf, attempts to run people over, and is basically used as a gimmick. You  ran segments this summer  about how Tim Tebow was on the punt team. The coverage for one player is straight up embarrassing.

Put it like this, ESPN. You talked about Tim Tebow all last week on Sportscenter on if “he’s the guy” to start for the Jets. Had all of those segments, attempting to create controversy within one football team. No, I’m not excusing Mark Sanchez and his poor play against the San Francisco 49ers. But at the same time, Tim Tebow can do no better on the New York Jets.

You wanna be credible again ESPN? Talk about things other than Tim Tebow. We’re in the postseason for baseball, and yet you spend 5-10 minutes talking about that. College Football is heating up, and even though you’re so worried about the SEC, the race for the National title is legit, and wide open. Plus, the NBA is coming back in less than a month. But yet, instead of talking about these things, you spend so much time focusing on a backup quarterback and a punt protector to create controversy.

ESPN, I hate to tell you, but you’re losing the race, big time. It’s too bad that nobody can challenge your monopoly you’re holding on the sports world because eventually, you’re gonna lose every single viewer because of your lack of credibility.

Become credible again. Stop trying to be TMZ, and bring sports back for the people.

Sincerely, a sports fan

Shaun