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NBA Finals 2015

June 3, 2015

Curry MVPOne never knows whether the game/series is going to be truly good or not. Even the best match-ups have ended in some wild blow-outs and have people walking out of the stadiums (or brushing the Cheetos off their bellies) and shaking their heads. Game 1 for the Cavalier/Warriors series could go that way, but it won’t be for lack of heart. I have been watching a bunch of NBATV over the past couple of days and, and if Kyrie Irving’s injury isn’t too debilitating, they should be able to push the Warriors pretty hard. I don’t like LeBron’s koolaid, but I cannot deny that even more than his play on the court at this point, it is his leadership. You cannot put a value on the kind of thing that he does in the video below. I still think that the atmosphere and leadership for the Golden (State) Warriors hehe is better, but if you are going to go any other route, what LeBron is doing, not unlike Ray Lewis’ role for the Baltimore Ravens, is pretty good stuff.

Having said that I add, be sure to watch Curry, because he is another one of the greatest basketball players to grace the courts. If his career isn’t cut short by injury, we will have been around watching him dig his roots in, just as I was watching Wayne Gretzky before he broke all the records. Curry deserved his MVP this year, even in a league full of MVPs.

P.S. Enjoy the game tomorrow if you can watch it. I will be away from any devices that will allow me to follow it live. Will have to catch the highlights after I get home. ❤

  1. June 5, 2015 5:40 am

    Just got home and watched the highlights. I hadn’t realized it went into overtime until I got to the end of the game and LeBron missed his 3. Irving re-injured his knee and at some point, he is going to have to think about basketball beyond this tournament. He is definitely all-star material and seems to be a perfect compliment to LeBron, but he needs to make sure he doesn’t end his career in 2015.

    Anyway, the Cavs didn’t cave in game one. In fact, with the ball in there possession in the last seconds of the 4th, the very easily could have won. With Irving probably out now, the GSW could actually sweep the series. I like to watch the GSW just as much as the Clippers, for the same reasons. Their basketball is beautiful to behold.

    EDIT: Adding this. I enjoyed the D’Andre one the best. That’s when I laughed out loud.

    • June 5, 2015 6:15 pm

      yeah i think it’s done. GSW can play small ball and torch the cavs.

      Too many injuries. Irving can score but he plays no good defense and with a bad knee that’s over. Knees killed D.Wades career, so Lebron must be very pissed right now.

  2. June 8, 2015 12:01 am

    @Frenik – apparently, Blake Griffin had a fractured knee cap as well, and he is doing fine now. I want Irving to recover fully (as I always want for all the players). He is way too exciting to say goodbye to.

    I wouldn’t have been surprised had the second game outcome been the results of the first game. But winning without Irving? Cavaliers (i.e., LeBron) must be playing out of their minds. And Curry couldn’t get anything going, at least according to the play-by-play record. I haven’t seen any of the game footage yet. Curry missed almost everything and turned the ball over 6 times. Admittedly, he did get the game tying finger-roll lay-up. Thompson finally started playing like the champion that everyone considers him and was solely responsible almost half of GSW’s points. Every team can have a bad night and that is why the playoffs are all about the best of 7 games. The way both teams played tonight, you can bet that GSWs are thankful for another 3 victories necessary. If it were now a best of three, I would give both teams almost even odds.

    One of the ladies turns to her friend to smile, as if LeBron is a laughing matter. Well, he showed them with his triple-double and an away win…in their faces.
    EDIT: Adding more. Shaq mentioned that “you live by the jump shot you die by the jump shot”. This was one of those games where they just weren’t going in. Apparently, they set a new Finals record for the most missed 3s. The analysts also admitted that there was no way that LeBron could play like this all year. He will undoubtedly sleep for 12 plus hours tonight.

    Kenny mentioned yesterday that in order to win at home, the GSW would have to lose a game so they could bring it back to California. Well, they did that.

    • June 8, 2015 5:29 am

      it’s hard to imagine he can keep the pace of scoring and passing while they continue to defend the best shooters in the league.

      The x-factor for me is Cavs have nothing to lose. They already lost two superstars. James has no chip on his shoulder for the first time. He is not a favorite and his team is much worse than Golden State. The fact that these two games have gone to overtime shows their inexperience in these type of situations.

      It reminds me a lot like the OKC series where Durant and Westbrook would put up crazy numbers on and off but Miami’s defense ultimately shut them down.

      granted Cavs are just short handed. They are the much better story IMO. At this point if GSW wins it comes with double asterisks, the cavs were injured and they had overtime games they could have won much easier.

      That will haunt them nomatter what.

  3. June 8, 2015 6:40 pm

    In response to your comment, Frenik.

    I respectfully disagree with you on almost every point. And I mean respectfully because you do know the sport better than I do. 🙂

    After I posted, I had a chance to look at some highlights, and will be going through the NBATV analysis later today. What I can say at this point, is that Curry missed shots that he always makes. Many of them. That is the reason they lost. Had he made even one of the 13 3s that he missed, that would have been more than the difference by which they lost. He had a bad night. He may have more, and certainly the Cavs are doing everything they can to make that happen, but ultimately, it was squarely on the shoulders of Curry to win or lose, and that without any more effort than he normally puts in.

    I don’t mean to diminish the effort of the Cavs, but I really don’t believe that they made it any more difficult for Curry to score 3s than any other team so far has. Dellavedova played well, but he was just flailing his arms. It was crazy, like a 6 year-old defending his 12 year old brother. (When I went to look up the spelling of Dellavedova I came across this article, which I haven’t even read yet, but someone with more NBA knowledge than me is apparently saying the same thing.)

    LeBron is again the hero (with help from teammates). He put up 50 minutes, and truly played out of his mind. His victory scream was earned and appropriate for the effort he put in. NBA commentator, Kenny Smith, said it right, nobody in the history of the NBA has done so much with so little. He didn’t compare him to Jordan because the minute you do, you get into fanboi territory (which kind of pisses me off – Jordan era Bulls teams were rated second and third only to the 70s Lakers, with one of the best coaches ever, and LeBron is now playing toe-to-toe in the Finals with basically nothing).

    Anyway, no, GSW does not deserve asterisks or caveats if they win this championship. Those are saved for cheaters and for rule changes. If GSW does take this championship, they can hold the trophy just as high as any other championship team. If they can’t win it again next year, that will tell the story of just how deep and strong this team actually is. But this year, if they win, they get to wear the crown unmolested. When you are wearing the rings, the only thing that haunts you is if you cheated. You may be like, “Wow, were we ever stupid to allow them that much”, but no one will be haunted.

    Now, if they lose, they will be haunted at least as much as the Seattle Seahawks should be haunted from last year’s failure. And it is a haunting that doesn’t even go away with a championship win after that.

    If the Cavs win it, all debate about Jordon/Jabar/LeBron has to stop. LeBron gets to be mentioned with those fellas in the same sentence without caveat (and indeed, in my book, already does even without this year’s championship). And *that* is the chip that LeBron has on his shoulder. He is playing with a big chip on his shoulder. Even if in his mind he is better than the historical greats, he wants to hear others say it. And no one is willing to give him that until he gets more rings, or does more of what he did on Sunday.

    My predictions for game three is that Curry comes out as hot as he has ever played. I don’t know what that will mean for a final score, but I will be surprised if Curry doesn’t swish for every time he aired and bounced bad last time.

    EDIT: Here is a good read on Dellavedova’s contribution (positive).

    • June 9, 2015 12:52 am

      Well technically Lebron already should be mentioned in the same league as Jordan, etc. He has made 5 straight finals, with two different teams. He has done it short handed before with Cavs pre-Miami era. He has put insane efficiency stats even with superstars on the same team getting lots of touches on offense. Jordan’s dominance comes with an asterisk to me, because he took a long break, and people forget they did lose to the magic when he came back initially. He is superhuman on a well built system for him sorrounded by very underrated hall of famers. Lebron to this date only had Wade but only for one and a half year at full strenght. If he had a healthy Wade in Miami, no doubt they would be going for a fifth straight championship.

      So I agree, anyone who doesn’t see him in the same light as Jordan, Larry, or Magic, needs to check the stats, the mvp trophies, etc. The scary part is he may yet get better and smarter too, now that he can take over.

      My point about GSW having an asterisk is simple, is kind of the same asterisk Boston had when they beat the Lakers without Bynum, and when the Lakers beat the Celtics without Perkins. Those were just one player on a key position down the strech when everything else was well matched.

      This is not the case. Again we have a GSW squad who torched the entire league all year. Not just Curry, but Klay, and all the breakout stars from this year. Cavs lost two all-stars. Granted Kevin Love is not playing at the monster efficiency he was in Minnesota, but he is a guy that can rebound naturally and can score. When T. Mozgov is the second scorer behind Lebron in any game it tells you that Love would have been good for this series.

      It also says that GSW is not as good as their record indicated, again, there’s now way anyone including me, would have thought that the series will be tied on two overtime games.

      Oh and this is without mentioning that the last game a foul should have been called on the last posession.

      There are champions, and there are Champions. Is like when the Spurs beat the Nets. Heck even the Spurs vs. Cavs and a young Lebron. Not in the same breath as other champion squads not even by a mile.

      I mean beating a handicapped team with a 7 men roster is the equivalent to a sprinter racing a wheelchair. Now if they lose…..oh man..

    • June 9, 2015 3:11 am

      Frenik, I have a question. Is it common practice to add asterisks beside championship team names when the opposing team is short-handed? I didn’t know that there was any NBA team that had that stigma attached to their championship run (unless I figured it might have been earned through breaking the rules or major changes in the game). I am surprised!

      We agree completely about LeBron and Jordan and the Bulls.

      As for this year’s champions, things are all out of wack. I have no idea how it is possible that the Clippers threw away their series against the Rockets. Seriously, I want answers. Cause nothing explains their implosion, as far as I am concerned, and I am not talking about refs. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Was it just a matter of being too easy after playing the series against the Spurs?!

      I don’t think you give the Cav individual players enough credit.

      I think to judge how good/bad a series is, you need to look at the player’s attitudes, effort, mistakes, and lastly, the skill that they brought with them to the series. All those factors matter as to just how “good”/”worthy” a series was.

      Regarding the comparison of championships and teams, my personal opinion is that if they got the rings without cheating, they deserve equal respect. However, some of them get to be held in greater awe because of the feats they accomplished.

      I wasn’t aware of asterisks and I think it is shameful shit. 😉 The fact that any team makes it to the finals without being decimated by injury can be a testament to their physical capacity. Nobody is injured on GSW – doesn’t that say something about their fitness (as well as their youth)?

    • June 9, 2015 8:59 am

      Agreed. There are no asterisks when it comes to injuries. The only ones that remember things like that are the fans in the cities that both won and lost the Championship. If memory serves me, the Pistons beat the Lakers in 2004-5 while either Kobe or Shaq were hurt. I forget who. I think it was Shaq (they both played). IMO it didn’t matter cause the Pistons were going to win anyway. They were primed and ready.
      Similar story back during the Pistons 88-90 run. There were “factors” in those seasons, but none that any remember.

      Bottom line. Players gotta play. Often a role player rises up when a star is down. In this series, it is going to be the same way.

  4. June 10, 2015 12:16 am

    Well Asterisk or no asterisk, seems like there’s less chance of them winning it all now. If they lose again in Cleveland again they will be 1-3. Mind you this is with yet another injury mid-game for the Cavs. Curry had 7 threes, he was on fire and still wasn’t enough.

    Again this reminds me a lot of the OKC and Heat series, with the on/off performances that in the end didn’t matter because defense won it.

    But yeah there’s asterisks. Karl Malone was the one injured for the Lakers vs. Pistons series. This is still mentioned. Pistons undoubtedly played better, but the “what ifs” still linger very loudly especially because it meant that Karl would retire ringless, and that loss broke up the Shaq-Kobe duo and stopped a 4peat.

    Either way here’s the thing: if the Cavs win their win will be a much better story, and will be regarded higher than if GSW wins. Asterisk or no Asterisk, they will join other great underdog teams.

    As for the Clippers, no idea what went wrong (other than the beard playing out of his mind)I didn’t keep an eye on the houston series because I thought they would win. The Clippers made a service to both Cavs and Warriors by eliminating the Spurs and by losing. If either were in the finals no doubt a short handed Cavs would be cleaning out their locker room by next game.

  5. June 10, 2015 1:43 am

    Frenik, thank you for the info, analysis, and opinion. I am really enjoying the finals, like I do the week of January and the NFL. It is nightly fresh and a “taste of home”, if you know what I mean.

    Agreed completely about the difference in meaning depending on who wins. If Curry hadn’t gotten a couple of late 3s and scored 27 for the game, I would very worried for GSW. As it is, I still feel it is their series to blow.

    Again, I haven’t seen anything more than a couple of highlights and read the play-by-play.

    Some random thoughts:

    Dellavedova scored some really important points. If I wasn’t generous enough regarding his effort in the last game, I will give him credit now. I don’t know to what extent he is shutting anything down, I do know that he got a lot of important points and assists.

    Is it just LeBron that is leading this team, or is some/more credit due to Cav’s coach Blatt? At least some credit/blame has to be given/taken by the coaches in the series. How much is my question.

    At 2:52 (Q3) the spread was 20! 68 to 48 for the Cavs. DANG! Again, if Curry hadn’t managed a couple of 3s in the last minute or so, gotten his rhythm back, I would be much less optimistic about the results. This last game, however, was not as close as it should have been.

    What has happened to this awesome GSW bench that everyone talked about? Where are they? Curry had one bad game and they lose. Another game with some decent points and they still lose? WTH? Maybe it was the Cav’s bench that needed to be praised.

    This is a crazy series and now if GSW wins, they will be greeted with, “What took you so long?”. If the Cavs win, it is all biggest underdog finals win eva!

    One last point. If GSW, it will probably be in the seventh game in Oakland. I don’t see the Cavs losing this series in six now. Here is where Kerr has got to give his team something to work with. He has got to help them win this.

    UPDATE: I think Kerr needs to start trash-talkin’ his own team. He seems to be too nice in all excerpts from the locker room that we see. He should start kickin’ shit around the locker room and callin’ them Mamma’s boys or something. Get mad!

  6. June 13, 2015 4:46 am

    Game 4 was a good game for GSW. For the life of me I can’t understand why they wouldn’t go small ball before. See even though the cavs dominated the boards and T.Mozgov was the highest scorer, it accelerated the cavs getting tired quicker.

    They can’t keep up that way. JR Smith is just too inconsistent to be a bench option for the cavs, he was the highest minus in the whole game. Meanwhile David Lee, who really should be a starter, is basically providing efficiency off the bench for the warriors

    That’s just part of the genius and faults of Steve Kerr, on one hand he pushes Barnes and Green like no other coach would, but he then pushes them to a fault of the overall advantage in their game.

    and he is not a screamer, he is basically Scott Brooks part 2. Just a good strategist with first hand knowledge of the game, but not exactly a great motivator like Pop or Doc Rivers, but he did his job by concealing the starting lineup until almost tip-off.

    Now game 5 and on will be different. There’s more breaks in between, so it might help the Cavs more than GSW because they get rest, and the warriors might cool down in between games.

    • June 13, 2015 6:19 am

      Frenik, thanks for the analysis.

      When the Cavs were up 7-0 in the opening minutes, I got downright pissed off at them. I was feelin’, “What is it going to take to get you guys to play with some intensity?…not just for a couple minutes in the fourth quarter, either.”

      Having now watched the Film Room version, with the exception of the third quarter, GSW looked like their old selves, finally!

      All I know is that GSW can with this if they want to. It is up to them.

  7. June 14, 2015 10:41 pm

    Game 5 isn’t over yet. 2:43 left. Just reading the play-by-play. I can’t imagine that there was an underdog that played with more tenacity than the Cavs in this series. Outstanding. James absolutely has to be awarded the MVP even though they don’t normally give it to a player on the losing team. The runner up would have to be Iguodala. The impact of his 5 points at 4:30 in the fourth cannot be overestimated. Crazy series!

    • June 14, 2015 11:00 pm

      Steph was magical. What a 4th quarter show he just put on. Wow!!

    • June 14, 2015 11:56 pm

      Can’t wait to see it!

      I wrote the following before I saw you had already commented.

      The game is over and GSW won with a little breathing space. Much as having two more games is better than just one, GSW needs to finally slam the door on the Cavs. They have won a game on the road in the finals and they know how to do that. Now, get the job done!

  8. June 17, 2015 10:39 pm

    Much as I love Curry and his whole team, LeBron should’ve been MVP.

    I am kind of embarrassed for the NBA that they didn’t award it to him. It isn’t like he was a selfish shooter. Those are team play stats.

    Magic Johnson: “LeBron was the best player in the series. He dominated the series.”

    • June 18, 2015 5:07 pm

      I agree, he should have been the second player since Jerry West to win it on the losing team without a doubt. Much less lose it to a guy, who only really won it because he was the only guy that can guard Lebron. That’s the second time in a row that has happened with Kawhi Leonard who only averaged 17.8 ppg and didn’t even make the all-star team that year, but he could guard Lebron.

      Now I am not worried about the Warriors at all. The scouting report is out with these finals, I am sure all the teams in the west came out with a big smile out of the finals. In my book it wasn’t a convincing series and/or the beginning of a new dynasty by any means.

      I think next year them coming out of the western conference alone will prove challenging enough. There’s a few teams like the Thunder that didn’t make the playoffs who could run and win it from the 3pt line as much as they can.

      The other thing is supposedly David Lee might be shipped to another team. He didn’t play much but when he did play he was very efficient. If they get paired up to a team that can rebound, they are going to miss him a lot.

      As for the Cavs, these finals was a huge win in disguise. #1 they have 10 players they can move, if they so desire. #2 Lebron doesn’t need to prove he can take over games anymore, he did everything in his power to win this almost singlehandedly but you can’t beat a team by yourself. Because of #1 and #2, Cleveland now can attract a much better supporting cast, and the crazy notion that they might actually just keep the best guys and add someone like Dwayne Wade, etc. into the mix.

      Other veterans are sure to follow. Chicago fired their best coach in decades, and Atlanta just got swept by a short handed Cavs, and got rid of their GM, who pretty much put that squad together. The only others are the Wizards, and Toronto, and they are still too green to take on experienced squads.

      So I think it’s another trip to the finals for Lebron, six straight, unless he gets injured. MJ should come forward at that point and praise him, because he knows not even him would have been able to log that many minutes, and Lebron with each year will come closer to set pretty much a lot of the total records there are in playoff history. No one has seen the finals five straight since the Boston Dynasty.

    • June 18, 2015 5:44 pm

      there are rumors that Thibs might go to Cleveland. That guy can coach a short handed team into winners every season. Oh man if that happens, and another core of vets and roleplayers join up, then it definitely is a win. Had Cleveland won, they wouldn’t have been able to let go of the coach that easily, because they pretty much over performed in every series after Boston.

  9. June 18, 2015 6:10 pm

    Frenik, thanks for takin’ the time to comment. My impression is that the West is very strong, so with some solid changes almost any team could make it to the finals. Absolutely, the Warriors are in no position for a dynasty, too much talent surrounding them.

    I agree with you about Cleveland next year. Any player who wants a championship and has any control of their own destiny, should be scrambling to get beside LeBron. I was thinking about that just last night. Isn’t it possible for some players to take pay cuts and everything, so that salary caps aren’t a problem. If I were a pro player, I wouldn’t care about the millions a year over 1 mil. I would be singularly focused on getting myself a championship. With those kind of salaries, I would be willing to pull a Steve Jobs. I’ll take a dollar salary this year just to get on the team and make this shit happen. Then, after I got it, I just bump up my salary again, or quit healthy and make it on endorsements. Greed and pride ruin so many opportunities.

    The reluctance for MJ and MJ2 (Magic) to praise LeBron is 50% pride, and at least 50% because LeBron insisted on calling himself better than Jordon long ago. Continuing now, in almost every interview he plugs himself as the best player in the world. If he would just shut up for once about his status and allow others to praise him, maybe they would. Certainly, if they didn’t immediately start recognizing it, it would be easier to do so later. One of the aspects of being a champion is respecting the old guard, or at least giving them lip-service. I don’t know. Maybe that arrogance is part of his strength.

    I disagree with you regarding Thibs. I don’t like him or his approach at all, and ultimately, Chicago had to do something because the players were stepping up in Rose’s absence, and now that he is back, there is friction. Maybe they just need to trade Rose’s ass off while he is healthy, for the brief moment. Regardless, if Thibs is so talented, he will get picked up elsewhere and maybe will do something somewhere. If I were GM, I would take even the not completely tested Kerr over Thibs.

    • Blankman permalink*
      June 18, 2015 9:33 pm

      First, it must have been agony for Mark Jackson to color commentate as his former team won it all the year after he was fired. That sucked, but he took the high road. Second, even though the MVP of the series should have gone to Lebron, he made it absolutely clear that he did NOT want any single player recognition if his team didn’t win it all. It would have been a disaster on the podium if Silver would have given him that recognition, & can you imagine his post game interview considering how dejected and emotional he was at the loss? That would have been ugly & the NBA dodged a bullet when the votes went to Iggy.

      Third, Blatt is gone. He deferred everything to Lebron & played into the Warriors’ hand by trying to play small ball. Mozgov was rendered a non-factor when he just scored twenty-five points in the game 5 loss. Really? The Cavs were already exhausted & you think your players can run with the Warriors?!? Even if Love & Irving weren’t hurt, I still think the Cavs would have lost. I’m no longer a Lebron hater, but I’m not a fan of his. As far as I’m concerned, he may just top Jordan as the best when his career is over. Nobody else is as dominant. If Jordan would have played in today’s environment with social media & scrutiny, I really don’t know how he’d fare. However, Jordan had that killer instinct like Kobe & Lebron does. That kind of personality makes you an asshole to play with, but it changes outcomes & brings championships.

      Thibs will probably get the gig because it just makes the Cavs that more credible as the favorites for next season even though Vegas already has them at 5 to 1 to win it all next year. I do not agree with how Thibs plays the crap out of his players. Yeah, Rose is Mr. Glass, but it didn’t help that he got injured because Thibs played him so long.

      Finally, look for Ray Allen to come out of retirement & agree to give it a shot with Lebron for next year. Also, Wade’s relationship with Riley is really strained. I wouldn’t doubt that Wade bolts & becomes a Cav, but that dude likes $$$ more than another ring.

    • June 18, 2015 9:46 pm

      Great to hear from you, too, Kenny!

      If I were the Cavs owner, I would just take my manager and LeBron aside and say, “We need to be on the same page with our Coach. Who do we want? Who can we agree on? Once we hire someone, he is coach and is in charge, so we have to choose right!”

      There is no point in hiring anyone that LeBron doesn’t want really badly. Otherwise, LeBron just has too deep an understanding of the game to stand back and let someone he doesn’t trust with his life (and a championship) run the show. He can’t do it, and don’t blame him. I don’t think even Popovich could lead the team. It would take someone with a no-bonehead-plays record, namely Phil Jackson (unless for some other reason LeBron doesn’t respect him). Anyway, it has to be someone that LeBron trusts more than he trusts himself (so that he will shut up and obey when it counts).

    • Blankman permalink*
      June 18, 2015 10:15 pm

      Phil Jackson gets waaayyy too much credit. His genius is actually his long-time assistant, Cotton Fitzsimmons. Cotton is the one who masterminded the triangle offense which Jackson undeservingly gets credit for. Lue might get the nod, but his only experience is as an assistant, but he possesses basketball I.Q. that Lebron & crew respect. We know this; Lebron does NOT respect Blatt. Nuff said.

      BTW: Matt Barnes is gone in a trade for Lance Stevenson. I really liked Barnes as the enforcer, & he had a decent three-point shot. I’m going to miss his defense, workhorse ethic, & his tough guy mentality. However, trading for Stevenson is an upgrade. Also, Ballmer unveiled the new uniform for the Clippers, & it’s not half bad.

  10. June 19, 2015 4:59 am

    I love this article. To put it simply: had Stephen Curry switched teams with Lebron he would have not being able to carry the same load. Not even close.

    Here’s the thing about Cavs being hurt. It forces Lebron to Rebound, Defend and run offense and make his own plays all in one game.

    Jordan had the same problem. When he did almost everything he got beat up by teams like Pistons, etc.

    The cavs being healthy starting Anderson Varejao, Love, Irving, etc. Enable him to focus on specific aspects of the game and the game flows better. This is what happened when in Miami everyone was healthy.

    that doesn’t equate to an instant win against the warriors but it would have provided with better chances in close games.

    but anyways Lance Stephenson is an upgrade for the Clippers. He does many things right, I think it was a very underrated trade.

    I would love to see them in the finals

    • June 22, 2015 10:22 pm

      Lebron not only travels, he lowers his shoulder and gets away with offensive fouls constantly. That is one reason I hate watching. He should be getting the offensive foul. Instead, the refs blow the whistle one the guys he is crashing into.

  11. June 30, 2015 3:19 pm

    I was just watching “Open Court Episode 408 – Choose Your Topic”, and Isiah Thomas asked the question, “Money or the Ring”. He asks the very same question I posed above. Which do they want more, a championship or the money and “lifestyle”?

    I feel vindicated for my observation/accusation.

    • Blankman permalink*
      June 30, 2015 5:23 pm

      Well, we all know that Carmelo Anthony chose money. Greed. He has no real desire to chase a ring. Melo is overrated, & the only reason why Jackson re-signed him for that ridiculous contract was that he felt that he had to.

      Mitch Richmond, Gary Payton, & Karl Malone chose a ring over money by signing for the one mil league minimum when they played with the Lakers in their last attempt at a championship (finals that they got dominated by the Pistons). Also, Lebron, Wade, Kobe, & Duncan have at many times in their career restructured their contracts in order to sign free agents in their quests for championships. What was the consensus from Thomas’ question? Can you post the link to that episode if it’s available, Suns?

    • June 30, 2015 5:45 pm

      I didn’t think I would be able to link it because it is from NBATV. I assumed that the only way to access it would be via some of the packages that you guys have. (Or the NBATV subscription like me). BUT, it is freely available on their website!!

      It is a great discussion (5min) and doesn’t necessarily go in the direction you would expect, but some great points are made and the question is my question. Also, this clip isn’t the whole thing (I just discovered) but it hits on the highlights of the discussion.

    • June 30, 2015 6:04 pm

      One interesting point that is touched on is that there is such a thing as team culture and it is implied that there can be a negative side to chasing the ring, “selling out”. I agree 100% about that, but I also think that if I were a free agent, and a championship weren’t particularly important to my team, I would be looking to get somewhere where it was important. I would want the ring and would be willing to give up surplus millions to get it.

    • Blankman permalink*
      June 30, 2015 6:44 pm

      While on the note about greed, DeAndre Jordan might be bailing from the Clippers because he wants a 4-year contract w/ the option to opt-out at the fourth year. I love Jordan’s play, but his resistance to being the third option in a team with CP3 & Griffin has shown how his ego is getting in the way of greatness. What a fricking idiot if he leaves for Dallas! So the question remains, money or a ring? The Mavs have no real shot at the championship while the Clippers have the best chance out of all the teams that will court him. I’m predicting that he will don the title of the fool when free agency is completed. Such a damn shame.

    • June 30, 2015 10:11 pm

      Thanks, Kenny. Want to stay on top of the Clippers news. Still my favorite team, though Warriors are a close second (not because of talent, but because of quality of people). As an example, Iguodala, is obviously one that puts team and the ring ahead of the money and starting position.

    • Herandar permalink
      July 1, 2015 10:31 am

      “a championship weren’t particularly important to my team, I would be looking to get somewhere where it was important.”

      Ladies and Gentlemen, your Philadelphia 76ers!!

      Heh, Iguodala is an ex-Sixer.

  12. Blankman permalink*
    July 1, 2015 9:53 pm

    Reports are indicating that Paul Pierce has verbally agreed to sign with the Clippers for 10.6 mil for three-years. His desire to play with Doc Rivers instead of staying with the Wizards outweighed any other offers. Money or the ring? Welcome back to Cali, Pierce! Clippers get a strong, respected leader in Pierce, and a dude that will stick by Doc through thick & thin. Now we need the long shot of DJ to put the final piece of the puzzle into place. Argh!!!

    Meanwhile, the Lakers are a mess because nobody wants to play with Kobe. Love re-signed with the Cavs as expected, & he’s going to get a helluva pay raise at 110 mil/5-years. Now, Alridge’s camp is reporting that he was “unimpressed” with the Lakers pitch to him. Alridge asked Kobe what he had in mind for playing with him, and Kobe referenced how he played with Pau. Yeah, he threw Gasol under the bus after his production went down due to injuries. Ummm Kobe, that was not the best play to show Alridge that you’re willing to share the spotlight. Fail. Also, Tyson Chandler signed with the Suns. Looks like their only play is for DJ, and I’ll be seriously pissed if they manage to land him.

    • July 2, 2015 5:54 pm

      Great news about Paul Pierce, hopefully that verbal agreement gets formalized. About DJ, I want him to stay somethin’ fierce, but the dude has GOT to learn to make a free throw; otherwise his contribution is always will always be limited and limiting. Come on, what is this, the EBL (Elementary Basketball League)?!

    • Blankman permalink*
      July 2, 2015 6:25 pm

      Understood about free throws, but how did that serve Shaq? Not defending DJ, just pointing out that DJ is just starting to be as dominant as Shaq was when he steps onto the floor. It’s just the Hack-a-Shaq tactic that’s killing everything. At least Wilt put aside his pride and tossed those free throws up underhanded. You’re more of a man when you do whatever it takes to win. Someone needs to take a page out of Wilt’s free throw game & man up.

    • July 2, 2015 7:00 pm

      Agreed on all points.

    • Blankman permalink*
      July 2, 2015 7:54 pm

      If DJ elects to stay with the Clippers, they can stand on the stage & drop the mic. With the addition of Stephenson & Pierce, the Clips will make it to the western conference finals even though they should have this year. Losing makes you want to seek greener pastures, but the grass isn’t always greener elsewhere. DJ needs to wise up.

      BTW: the Lakers organization was embarrassed when Alridge stated that he wasn’t impressed at their presentation. According to sources, Alridge wasn’t happy that they focused more on Hollywood than basketball. I guess the Lakers haven’t accepted that it’s a new day and age for basketball since social media has come into play. Wow, talk about an organization that’s got their heads so far up their assess that they’ve completely lost touch with reality. Bwahahaha!!!

    • July 2, 2015 9:00 pm

      Yeah, I heard about Alridge’s displeasure. Hilarious!

      Kenny, I haven’t found anything regarding the reasons for the Clippers epic fail these Playoffs. Has there been any concrete discussion as to why they tanked? Or, are these trades/shuffles all the fans can expect for an explanation? Seriously, for me, after watching the Cavaliers, “fatigue” doesn’t cut it.

    • Blankman permalink*
      July 2, 2015 9:08 pm

      Do we really need to read why the Clippers had that epic fail? I mean, really?!? What would that serve? It’s the same perspective that I have with the Seahawks giving away the Super Bowl. It’s over and done with. If that doesn’t make a team develop a killer instinct in the future, I don’t know what will.

  13. July 3, 2015 12:58 am

    It is totally different than what happened with the Seahawks. Anyone who watched it could see right there what happened. The game went from won to lost in a single, 8 second play. It was a shitty call obeyed by an amateur quarterback.

    I have no idea what happened to the Clippers. Their epic fail occurred over a full week and the course of three games. Before this year’s playoffs started, I expected that their age and all their other previous playoff loses would have given them the killer instinct. How many times do they need to lose to develop a desire to win?!

    Maybe I don’t need to know what happened, but they darn well better have spent some long hours reflecting on it and figuring it out. It is like they lost and everybody just forgave and forgot. Blake Griffin is seen around town, master of some stupid rap song. That is all the Clippers news I have come across.

    As a fan, yes, I do want some reasons. People don’t learn from experience, they learn from the analysis of their experience, especially failure. I wanna know that these guys actually are embarrassed by their implosion, have figured out why they choked…three times…and won’t leave me with the same crappy taste in my mouth next year.

    • Blankman permalink*
      July 3, 2015 1:09 am

      I don’t think true Clippers fans have forgetten or forgiven the implosion. I’m still broken-hearted. However, Blake’s popularity is what keeps both the team & him relevant. Griffin needs to keep attention on the Clippers because that kind of excitement helps the team to put wins in the column. The guy is a tour de force, but both he & CP3 can’t do it alone. Look at that home game where they had it in the bag. Everyone else deferred to both him and Paul in the two minutes. Absolutely no one on the Clippers wanted to shoot/touch the ball. WTF?!? All the Rockets had to do was collapse on Griffin & Paul whenever they had the ball. No one needs to coach that kind of defense when no one wants to take charge. That game literally broke the Clippers back and they never did recover after that regardless of the posturing. Their will was broken; not by the Rockets, but by their loss of focus to close it out. That’s the hardest thing to overcome.

    • July 3, 2015 1:55 am

      And that is the most explanation I have heard/read so far. Thanks. I would have liked to have heard it from them, though. Anyway, thanks, Kenny.

      And if not forgetting/forgiving makes a true Clippers fan, then I expect Chiiko will have my Clippers PJs laid out on my Clippers bedspread when I get home. Because I am still workin’ my way through the 5 stages of grief. (Angry stage right now.) LOL

    • Blankman permalink*
      July 3, 2015 4:51 pm

      Disgusted. Doc revitalized this dude’s career, included him in all photos & brochures with Blake & Chris when people were wondering “WTF?!?”, continuously lobbied for him to be recognized as Defensive PoTY, and this is how he repays the organization & coach. Good luck scoring without Griffin & Paul passing you those balls. DJ is strictly an above the rim player. Dallas doesn’t fit at all, and they’re nowhere close to competing for a championship. Talk about an idiot. DJ is dead to me. GTFOOHWTBS

    • July 3, 2015 5:28 pm

      I was just coming over to break the news.

      Good luck in Dallas, DJ! Any Bling you get will be the shit you buy with cash, buddy!

      Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  14. Blankman permalink*
    July 8, 2015 8:08 pm

    Outside chance that the Clippers can get DJ to reconsider his Dallas move. I’ve been following this minute-by-minute (fingers crossed).

    • July 8, 2015 10:01 pm

      Fascinating! Keep us posted, please!

    • July 8, 2015 10:32 pm

      Sources say the majority of the Clippers’ contingent that descended en masse on Houston to get Jordan back — which included coach/team president Doc Rivers, owner Steve Ballmer, and star teammates Chris Paul and Blake Griffin — remained at Jordan’s house after the conclusion of the meeting. The Clippers’ contingent, sources said, is vowing to stay with Jordan until at least 12:01 a.m. ET Thursday, which is the first allowable minute that Jordan can officially sign a new deal with L.A.

      They literally have minute-by-minute coverage of the even on ESPN. I have to go to class, but when I get back, I will watch closely until the remaining 30 minutes are gone. Crazy!

    • Blankman permalink*
      July 8, 2015 11:34 pm

      Anything can happen (fingers still crossed). I really believe that when the Spurs landed both Alridge & West, DJ understood that Dallas has absolutely no chance of getting him the ring. #ClippersFTMFW

  15. Blankman permalink*
    July 9, 2015 2:15 am

    #WelcomeHomeDJ Nuff said. 😀

  16. July 16, 2015 2:30 am

    ESPN has a massive article on the whole tale, for those interested.

    Rivers believes something else happened, though. He hopes it has, anyway.

    The Clippers ended their season with one of the worst postseason collapses of NBA history. After rising up to beat the defending champion San Antonio Spurs in an epic, seven-game first-round series, they choked away a 3-1 series lead on the Rockets. The meltdown in Game 6 of that second-round series will always haunt them. They were up 19 points in the fourth quarter, and then they were gasping for air after Houston rallied.

    It was the kind of loss that can tear a franchise apart. Rivers barely had exit meetings the morning after the Game 7 loss. It was too awful and is still too raw to discuss.

    “The way we lost, that projects you into a negative summer,” Rivers said. “There’s no meeting you can have the next day that’s going to address your emotional damage. Sometimes, you never talk about it.

    “We’re just fortunate that now, this is our recovery. If DJ would’ve just re-signed with us, this wouldn’t have happened. But now we’ve had our talk. We can start the season now.”

  17. July 17, 2015 3:27 pm

    And this can’t be a bad thing.

    Of note is that the dude signed for the minimum. Money or the Ring, baby!

  18. July 20, 2015 2:12 am

    Ty Lawson heading to the Rockets. Might not be a big deal if he doesn’t comeback in the same shape but definitely an upgrade if he does. I still think the west is Warriors, Spurs, Clippers and Thunder. Rockets might get far depending on matchups or meltdowns, but I don’t see them as one of the big contenders.

    • Blankman permalink*
      July 20, 2015 10:12 pm

      Sure it’s an upgrade, but they’re also going to be dealing with all of his drama. Lawson already has two DUIs. No thanks!

      The battle in the west is going to be ridiculous for sure. OKC is a big ‘if’ depending on how ready Durant’s foot will be. That team really hinges on him being healthy. I’m a diehard Clippers fan, but the Spurs look outrageous. If Parker & Ginobilli play like they did in ’09, the Spurs will win #6 for Duncan.

  19. July 22, 2015 6:34 pm


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