I got a job/ I can provide for my family/ it’s for the betterment/ No longer in the tentament/ something old and new like a testament/ here a scantron and a pencil let see how the testing went/ Everything is great/ pep in my step/gone til November like Wyclef/ doing great can’t digress/ that’s my mindset/ out the hood now you scream God is good/When before it was how good is God/ was it a façade since you can’t see him like a mirage/ but he pieces everything up like a collage/Had a uniform for Bethlehem Steel/ odd name since it made steel for weapons and Bethlehem the place known for peace/ Asked for a promotion then they said peace/ This is a depiction of someone getting the pink slippin/ close to an eviction/ attitude start switching/ services you start skipping/ falling for anything straight trippin/ at one point you were maxed in/ now you half of that like a fraction/ do you take all those words back like a retraction/ was all of this taxin/ We are like job/ but will we have the composure when things get slow/ or will we be an ostrich and keep our head held low/ It’s easy when things go wrong in which your morals you’ll forget/ but what if he forfeit/ won’t protect your fortress/ now your house is not a home no mortgage/ cold like the morgue gets/ We’re not perfect so we’ll make our errors out of terror or judgment/ especially when your wife is at the store and goes over budget/ I thought you said it was only for shampoo/ then she says it was Walmart/ how much you spend you know around 2/ around 2 you know the mortgage due and after tithing we’re through/ that’s when God assembles his crew/ you know a select few as they select you more like test you / cause he wont leave you on the strip like stores in westview/ Sure you may be late on a bill/ til you next payment/ then you hit the lights and wayment/ no cut off from BGE/ now I don’t have to BEG/ now that’s a BET/ might even buy something on cable you know a PPV/ close my eyes in my own BED/ see at first you think your work is just from 9-5/ but the real work is remembering what your worth/ remember proverbs chapter 3 5-6th verse/ trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding/ your own understanding can leave you six feet under while the rest standing/ Face it we can be clueless/ better yet a nuisance/ but you’re never useless/ but you already knew this/ because God is stuck to us like how glue gets/ at times when it should be about forgiveness/ you’re like forget this/ then remember who you do it for…now get this/ Jehovah isn’t the only witness/ for those that are witless you better not miss this/ or a man with a shovel will say dig this
Monthly Archives: August 2014
For the Love of Money
Amongst all the things going on in the sports world whether it’s Paul George knee injury, Durant withdrawing from Team USA, football preseason, Tiger Woods or baseball the one thing that was constantly being talked about was the potential Kevin Love trade. After all the formalities were settled, Kevin Love finally got his wish and his genie aka Flip Saunders traded him as part of a 3 team trade between Cleveland, Philadelphia and Minnesota. Cleveland receives Kevin Love, Minnesota receives Thaddeus Young, Anthony Bennett, Andrew Wiggins and 6.3 million trade exception and Philadelphia receives 2015 Miami Heat first round pick, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Alexey Shved. There are winners and losers (and I use that term loosely) with this trade. Some “winners” are Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James, Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio and Klay Thompson. Some of the “losers” are Dion Waiters, Minnesota Timberwolves, Chicago Bulls, Flip Saunders and Cleveland’s financial flexibility.
Kevin Love should be cruising down East 99th Street blasting Bone Thugs-N-Harmony because for the love of money is actually what Kevin got. After his last deal is completed, he will re-up with a deal up to 5 year/120 million dollars. Cleveland is on a roll right now that’s turning into an avalanche. Getting the number one pick for the 3rd time in 4 years wasn’t enough, convincing arguably the greatest player alive to come back home didn’t quench their thirst, but now they wanna spread love the Cleveland way. The Cavs have become another team to form a Big 3. Is this the reincarnation of the 2010 Miami Heat? If so, who is dealing with the most pressure: Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James or David Blatt? This overhaul may not be done because Cleveland is trying to trade for Timofey Mozgov. The first question is why him out of all the big men available. Well, Mozgov’s former coach is…..you guessed it David Blatt. He already knows the system and he can provide frontcourt depth that Cleveland is lacking. On paper, Cleveland is a title contender but before we crown them let’s not forget about another team in the Eastern Conference as a matter of fact a team in the same division: Chicago Bulls. (We will talk about later on, I promise). Kyrie, LeBron and Kevin average 74 points, 23 rebounds and 17 assists per game and now that will all be one team. Will they be capable of doing those numbers again this season? Offensively, they can become a juggernaut but there will be some defensive deficiencies that can be exposed and be the catalyst for an untimely demise. The interesting thing is that they got a Top 10 player without restructuring their roster. Losing Wiggins could come back to haunt them, but Kevin is an established superstar so as a GM what do you do is that situation. They also signed Mike Miller, James Jones and Shawn Marion; will Ray Allen complete their offseason?
LeBron James has been winning for a long time, sure it may not be the championship all the time since he has a 2-3 record in the NBA Finals but what LeBron wants, LeBron gets. He wants to come back home…check, resign Kyrie to long term deal…check now getting Love….check but it wasn’t a discount double check but this will be pretty costly over the course of the next 5 years. Granted, this is the same guy that has been the NBA Finals 4 years in a row so replacing Wade and Bosh for Irving and Love isn’t a bad move and also makes the transition to possibly winning a championship a lot easier. Even though he says, “We’re not ready right now, no way” the signing of Kevin Love and other pieces is putting a plan in motion where a championship is in the foreseeable future.
Being touted as one of the best basketball prospects since LeBron James, Andrew Wiggins has gone through some changes that some people wouldn’t be able to cope with. As the saying goes, ‘a minor setback for a major comeback’. Sure, Andrew would want to play with LeBron but this opportunity to start and cement his own legacy will have a bigger impact then playing second maybe even third fiddle on a team. He’s limitless like the Bradley Cooper character now that he could be a franchise player with Minnesota. Wiggins becomes the number one option and he has a pass first, second and third point guard in Ricky Rubio so the opportunities will be there for him to flourish like a college kid getting his refund check.
Even though Klay Thompson isn’t a member of any of the teams involved in this trade, he’s a winner because the front office believed in his potential more than others. Truth be told, if Golden State would have included Klay Thompson in a trade, we are not talking about this trade at all. The brain trust of Minnesota preferred Klay Thompson, David Lee and Harrison Barnes over a Cleveland trade but things didn’t pan out that way. Instead of being sent to Minnesota he stays in Oakland and the Splash brothers will continue to wet the net.
Ricky Rubio is in his contract year and now has a bevy of young athletic talent to catch endless alley-oops and behind the back passes that would make Pistol Pete, Magic Johnson and Jason Williams tip their hat. In the past he has been critical of Kevin Love and his leadership abilities, now Ricky has the opportunity to seize the day and contract all at the same damn time.
With every trade or transaction there are winners and losers. Like I said earlier, I am using the term loser loosely. For example, Minnesota couldn’t be considered a winner in a trade that trades the second best Kevin to ever play for them; however the Timberwolves won as far as potential. Wiggins could be a perennial All-Star, Anthony Bennett has lost about 25 pounds and don’t forget he’s was just a number one pick in the draft in 2013. So, Minnesota has the last two number one picks in the draft combined with their own lottery picks Zach Levine and Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng. So far, Shabazz Muhammad has lost 15 pounds and let’s not forget about Thaddeus Young. He average about 17 and 9 for the 76ers and is the elder statesman at only 25 years old. Sure they had to give up a guy that averaged 26 and 12 but at the same time in Cleveland, Love will not average those numbers. He should average a double double but nothing close to those numbers. One situation to monitor is whether or not, Thaddeus stays beyond this year, if so Minnesota has established a young nucleus that can do damage especially on NBA 2K15. Flip Saunders will have his hands full but he has done this before when he had a young Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury so why not try it again. At least you addressed the long term future of the team.
Another example of me using the term loser loosely would be when talking about the Chicago Bulls. I say Chicago is a loser only because they failed to land a big time free agent such as Carmelo Anthony or Kevin Love. But in order to do that they would have to gut their roster and their identity which Coach Thibs has worked hard to cultivate. So instead they signed Pau Gasol, draft Dougie McBuckets and bring over Nikola Mirotic. Also, there is a former MVP you may heard of him; Derrick Rose will come back this year. Imagine a lineup of Rose, Butler, McBuckets, Gibson, Noah and plenty of shooters to surround the number one defensive team in the NBA. To be quite honest, I have Chicago coming out of the East and unless another team goes on a remarkable run, I envision a collision course between Cleveland and Chicago for Eastern Conference supremacy. Sure Love or Anthony would have been a splash that only a water park would normally provide but their well is far from dry so let the clashes begin.
Dion Waiters is a young ballplayer that desires the ball at all times. Good luck with you getting the ball now Dion because he is now the 4th member of the Cavs. Will he turn into the lost Beatle that no one can ever name? Will his role diminish? I wonder if Philly tried to acquire him but Cleveland said no. He now has to contend for minutes with new additions of Mike Miller and James Jones and possibly the man known as Jesus Shuttlesworth. Will he feel the same if his shots get cut in half but a banner is being lifted up to the rafters? Only time will tell.
Flip Saunders will have the arduous task to trying to team this team around. This will take longer than a visit to the DMV on your day off but this is a youth movement that can beneficial with respect to potential and rookie contracts which can expedite the process of financial flexibility to possibly bring in a free agent. Speaking of financial flexibility, Cleveland has abandoned any chances of flexibility after this deal with Kyrie making about 18 million a year, LeBron making 21 this year and Love will be making 24 for the next 5 years.
Philadelphia 76ers has been in a league of their own longer than the Tom Hanks movie. They have plenty of money but refuse to spend it. They gather first round picks like bricks of coke just to stash it for another time. They use lottery picks on injured players and international prospects. They are on the rebuilding track of Van Wilder. But if you are going to stay committed to this plan kudos must go to Sam Hinkie, the General Manager of the 76ers Philadelphia is in the midst of a massive rebuilding operation, and trading Young was a part of the master plan. Young is likely better than anyone you’d acquire with a mid-to-late first-round pick. That’s not to say his trade value was any higher than this, but this year he’s owed $9.4 million this coming season and has a $10 million player option in 2015-2016. Once again this is Philadelphia saving money that they will not use. Mbah a Moute will do exactly what head coach Brett Brown wants on defense, and he’s known Joel Embiid since their days in Cameroon which could have some impact or it could a worthless tidbit of information. Shved has a better chance of blossoming in Brown’s up-tempo system than just about everywhere else, but he didn’t have much success in Minnesota so will a cheesesteak from Ishkabibbles change his mindset. The plan is very obviously to be good later, not now.
Only time will tell who the real winner of this trade but all these players have gone from a meal plan to a meal ticket so they are all winners.
I know I am only 30 years old and there are plenty of sports events that I’ve missed in my lifetime, for example Wilt Chamberlain scoring 100 points, the Celtics Dynasty of the 60’s, the John Wooden days but I am thankful for sports documentaries that allow to see where my desire for sports come from. Whether it’s ESPN Sportscentury, ESPN 30 for 30, ESPN Films, or any documentary on premium cable (HBO, Showtime, Cinemax) this series of documentary films highlight important events and people in the sports world. Some of them aren’t as famous as others like Jimmy “the Greek”, Tim Richmond and Chris Herren but their impact is still the same. My top 5 as of right now would be Fab 5, Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks, You Don’t Know Bo, Benji and Youngstown Boys. What are some of your favorite sports documentaries? If there were any future documentaries that should be done what topics would you discuss?
Some sports topics that I think should be future 30 for 30’s are:
- The James Harden Trade to Houston
- The evolution of the Big 3
- The Bulls Dynasty
- The blocked NBA trade where Chris Paul would have went to the Lakers
- LeBron going back to Cleveland
- The Hood Legends that never make it to the pros
- AND 1
- The Year of 96 (NBA, NFL and MLB Draft)
- Alex Rodriguez
- The Madden Video Game
- Sports vs. Fantasy
- Malice at the Palace
- The re-alignment of conferences in college sports
- The Brady Rule
- If Floyd Mayweather retires 50-0
- The Golden Years of the Slam Dunk Contest
- Tiger Woods
- Hurricane Katrina and the Superdome
- Herschel Walker trade
- 92 Dream Team
- Best NBA Draft Class ever
- Penn State scandal
- Sports Talk Radio (ESPN First Take, Numbers Never Lie, Around the Horn, Pardon the Interruption)
- NFL Concussion
- Bounty Gate
- If Cleveland Cavaliers win a title with LeBron
- The legend of Johnny Football
- The death of the Heavyweight division in boxing
Any other sports topics that deserve to be a future ESPN 30 for 30 or just a sports documentary period?
Only a King knows what Love is about…
Kevin Love right now must feel like Zach Morris when he finally bags Kelly Kapowski. After threats, speculation and endless hours of NBA coverage, Kevin Love has been tentatively traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a 2015 protected first round pick. I say tentatively because if Golden State says you can have Klay Thompson, I can see this trade not working at all. I have been in my GroupMe discussing this potential trade all day and one thing that I keep hearing is that ‘Kevin Love won’t produce 26 and 12 with Cleveland. He is third string to Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. He’s the white Chris Bosh. He’s a top player and he hasn’t been to the playoffs’ Granted, for all the individual numbers, Kevin is not a great defender, a winner or a team guy. His winning percentage is abysmal and according to Ricky Rubio his fellow teammate, ‘he isn’t a team leader in the locker room’ Right now, Kevin Love is looking like a light skin jawn in the sense that they don’t text you back, they don’t really need you and that they can act like a total bitch but at the same time still the top commodity to the majority of men. Is Kevin Love the light skin jawn of the NBA?
Will the presence of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and others prove that Kevin will turn into a different player or do we need Dennis Green back to the podium, ‘because he was what he thought he was and we let him off the hook’. Will Kevin Love delete all memories of Jim Mora and his infamous ‘Playoffs’ rant or is it back to the same old shit. Nevertheless, there will be tons of attention thrown at the Cavaliers this season and Kevin Love will be given plenty of opportunities to change the negative perception that’s associated with him today. Kevin won’t have to be the guy in Cleveland like he was in Minnesota. Can this team be like the elevated version of the 2004 Pistons or will they be like the Lakers with Shaq, Kobe, Malone and Payton. Remember, LeBron in Cleveland still produced 60 wins seasons and even made a trip to the NBA Finals with players like Mo Williams, Antwan Jamison, Ilgauskas and others so let’s hope they play better defense though. For as many sick crossovers Kyrie has done, he has also played defense like Manti Te’o against Alabama in the championship.
Kevin Love is at his best playing defense when he is trying to box some out which would create a chance for a rebound which creates a chance to pad the stats so his love for his personal stats (see what I did there) has to be changed in order for this experiment to be successful. He has to become a better leader in all facets but is Kevin Love just going to be that guy all for self or will he have an epiphany? Face it in order for Minnesota to start the process of winning they have to get rid of Kevin. Also, Kevin will be faced with love and hate at the same time. It’s like the skit from Katt Williams comedy show when he said, ‘this city is the prettiest, sexiest, dirtiest, nastiest city ever’. Now, Kevin is the newest cast member of the daily soap, As LeBron Runs.
Depending on how Kevin handles himself in Cleveland will determine the reaction he will receive. Forming this big 3 wasn’t as easy as expected therefore the expectations won’t be low. David Blatt has walked into a nice situation and for all his accolades that he has received overseas, he has an integral part in facilitating this team. This is his days at Princeton all over again. From this potential Big 3 in conjunction with LeBron’s weight loss, Kevin will have to become a better defender not just for rebounds but in the post. What Kevin was doing might have been good if you had him on your fantasy basketball team but as Nino Brown would say, this is bigger than Kevin Love baby. The Cavaliers are going to need him not just in the Finals if they make it there but against teams in the Eastern Conference. On paper they look like the best team but let’s not forget the frontcourt players in Chicago, Charlotte, Washington and Atlanta. He will be up against players like Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Al Jefferson, Marcin Gortat, Paul Millsap and Al Horford. Those guys can expose the chink in his armor and make Cleveland more of a pretender than those stacks of money Soulja Boy was holding. One of the biggest challenges is how can Kevin be more of a better defender. Bad enough Kyrie Irving isn’t a good defender in the perimeter you can’t add another shitty defender in the post that means LeBron is going to have to do it all like Michael Jordan did in the first half against the Monstars. At one moment Kevin Love could have blamed this on how upper management for drafting 3 PG’s in one draft or lack of free agent acquisitions but now he can’t say anything. It’s put up or shut up. It will be interesting to see how Kyrie and Kevin adjust to the bright lights because Cleveland was on TV only two times last year, I think in the first week they will televise 4 times. It’s not about the numbers with those two it will be the little things, it will be the small adjustments that will make this team reach the zenith that only someone playing on the rookie level of 2K15 can reach.
Kevin has never made the playoffs which means his teams have yet to have a winning percentage so all the focus can’t be on upper management. Love may get double-double every night but he never requires a double team and teams aren’t afraid of him in the final moments. His stats placed him in the top 5 but his intangibles place him a lot lower now it’s time to diversify your portfolio and throw those W’s up. It’s obvious Kevin is a major talent and he will be paid like it with his next deal so now it’s up to Kevin to act like it as well. Hopefully he doesn’t do the Dwight Howard where he was supposed to create instant chips with Nash, Gasol and Kobe and instead created a media headache. Can this tandem of Love and Irving grow old together or will it last as long as the Uncle Drew commercials? If Kevin wants to be the Great White Hope instead of the Great White Hype, the time is now to get right or will be on his Young Jeezy and say it’s all about me ok.
Not 1…Not 2….But 3
They say the best things in life comes in three’s whether it’s the last series of Fab’s mixtapes, threesomes, the amount of kids I have and the list goes on and on. We tend to see more usage of a Big 3 in sports particularly in basketball. Some say that this is a fad and will die off but those people probably remember Michael Jordan only on the Wizards so there basketball knowledge doesn’t count. This tactic has been used since the beginning with the Minneapolis Lakers led by George Mikan to the Celtics of the 60’s led by Bill Russell. The Big 3 component will always remain a focal point in the NBA. In recent years we have seen the Big 3 of the San Antonio Spurs, Heat, Suns, and Magic. One of my favorite Big 3 of all time was Run TMC with the Golden State Warriors. The combination of Tim Hardaway, Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond was very exciting to watch. To see Tim do the UTEP 2-Step was like seeing a magic show live.
Well ladies and gentleman after speculation since draft day, there will be a new Big 3 in basketball residing in Cleveland, Ohio after the Cavs and Timberwolves have agreed on a deal to send Kevin Love to the Cavaliers in exchange for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a 2015 protected first round pick. LeBron will now be a part of 2 Big 3’s in basketball history. That isn’t uncommon as Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Ray Allen and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have done the same thing.
I became a basketball fan in the mid to late 80’s thanks to my grandfather who used sports to teach me how to add and subtract and perform basic math operations. Thanks, Grandpop. What were some of the greatest Big 3’s you have seen? I will give you some of my favorite Big 3 combinations not in sequential order.
- Golden State Warriors- Tim Hardaway, Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond
Even though they only played together for 2 seasons they were a problem for any defense. Run TMC was the highest scoring trio in the 1990-1991 seasons. They had more than a little buzz like Chris Mullin-Wale voice. Currently, two of the three are in the Hall of Fame. When will Hardaway join them???????
2. Milwaukee Bucks- Ray Allen, Sam Cassell and Glenn Robinson
They played together for 4 years together (1998-2002) and were a team to watch. Ray Allen was feeling like Jesus Shuttlesworth when Sam Cassell was the wily vet and floor general and Big Dog in the post was a Big Dog. However they ran into a young scrappy ballplayer better known as Allen Iverson and not long after that trio disbanded.
3. Orlando Magic- Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway, Nick Anderson
This is one of the teams that benefitted from the draft lottery back in the 90’s. First they draft Shaquille O’Neal and in an unprecedented move traded Chris Webber for Penny Hardaway. In retrospect could you imagine that frontcourt of Shaq and Chris Webber? Good grief-Charlie Brown voice. Penny Hardaway was the first of tall point guard from the 90’s world drawing comparison to Magic Johnson but when they faced the Rockets for the chip and that infamous Nick Anderson at the free throw line proved too much for them. If only medical technology was as advanced then as it now when it came to Penny’s injury.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder- Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden
One day my son Reid will ask me about basketball and I will sit him down like Bill Russell does us in those Uncle Drew commercials. Man oh man three straight lottery selections brought together three of the top 10 players in the league but to no avail as James Harden was traded for Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb. I smell a 30 for 30 coming soon especially if Durant leaves OKC.
5. Boston Celtics- Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
Anything is POSSSSSSSSSSSSSIIIIIIIIIIIIIIBBBBBBBBBBBBLLLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEE-Kevin Garnett voice. We all know Boston is known for Big 3’s led by Russell and another one by Larry Bird. But this tandem wreaked havoc for 5 years running. Now Kevin Garnett won’t even shake Ray Allen hands.
6. Miami Heat- LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade
Not one…Not two. Not three players came together and created a stir across the league. 4 straight trips the Finals, 2 MVP’s, endless memes involving Chris Bosh and the most infamous champagne shower in NBA history. I prefer Henny if I win the chip. But let’s be honest with ourselves, LeBron is the greatest player in today’s game, Wade will go down as one of the best 2 guards ever and Chris Bosh will go down and the best of something before his career is over.
7. Charlotte Hornets- Larry Johnson, Muggsy Bogues, Alonzo Mourning
The Charlotte Hornets teal uniforms and fitted hats alone are arguably the toughest uniforms of all time. But, with the combination of LJ, ZO and Muggsy were a young team worth watching every day. Whether it was LJ showing off his gold tooth and Converse, Alonzo and his high top or Muggsy and his point guard skills. Who remembers the jumper Zo hit from the foul line and sent them to the playoffs?
8. Houston Rockets- Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Kenny Smith
This trio of basketball players was known for offensive efficiency. Whether it was Hakeem Olajuwon making David Robinson jump like he was at a Kris Kross concert, Clyde Drexler running the fast break like Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl or Kenny Smith hitting clutch jumpers this team was a force to be reckoned as they won the chip against another Big 3 (Shaq, Penny, and Nick)
9.Utah Jazz- Hornacek, Stockton, Malone
What do you go when you add a black redneck, a PG from Gonzaga and a white guy that gets dropped by Jerry Stackhouse? You give up…you get the Western Conference champions two years in row. If it wasn’t for a MJ crossover (or push however you want to look at it) on Bryon Russell who knows maybe Utah has a championship banner hanging from the rafters but for now it’s just a debate in barbershops.
10. Chicago Bulls- Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant (or Dennis Rodman or Toni Kukoc)
I know some of y’all are thinking what took me so long to bring up Michael Jordan. Well, I didn’t want to state the obvious but in any discussion, the big Joker in the deck will always be Michael Jordan. From this union they won 6 championships and cemented one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history.
I know this isn’t my all-time list and I know I have missed some so let me know what y’all think…