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Archive for the ‘basketball’ Category

The Olympic sham

Posted by keithosaunders on August 4, 2016

Is there a more bullshit sporting event than the Olympics? What a joke. The networks package idiotic sports that nobody gives a rats ass about into a barrage of human interest, kumbaya dreck. Nobody cares about track and field. NOBODY. Ooh! Who won the 400 meter swimming party? WHO CARES!
 
I’ll tell you how you know the Olympics are a sham. We send NBA athletes. That’s right, next week you can tune in to a great prime time basketball event: USA v Luxembourg.
 
If you are a fan of the Dream Team going back to the original I have no respect for you. Zilch. You’re the kind of person that would spike a volleyball onto the head of a 5 year old and follow it up with a fist pump and a Howard Dean-esque scream. You’re probably a Trump fan but you could just as easily be for Hillary. They’re both Olympic-worthy.
Come to think of it there *is* a more bullshit sporting event than the Olympics. It’s called The Winter Olympics.
 
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The NBA: Maximizing my free time

Posted by keithosaunders on July 5, 2016

Durant to the Warriors is a joke. At least, however, it saves me from watching meaningless, one-sided games.

Even with parity the NBA regular season is a sham, but now it’s ridiculous. Next season I’ll watch a game or two in November out of curiosity, maybe one with the Cavs when it comes up, and an occasional Clippers and/or Spurs game.

That’s it. Wake me up in May. I don’t even care about the first round.

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Durant to the Warriors

Posted by keithosaunders on July 4, 2016

Maybe the Warriors can get LeBron too. Why stop at Kevin Durant? All the stars should congeal on one team which will save us the time of having to watch regular season games. We’ll tune in during June for the Dream Team exhibition Finals while the one per centers enjoy their corporate luxury suites.

I’m just about at the end of my rope with sports which has turned into a corporate, joyless cesspool full of overpriced arenas, arrogant, over-paid athletes, and tedious replay reviews. The only thing that keeps me going is inertia – I’ve been watching practically my entire life and old habits are difficult to break.  That, and I’d like to see the Mets win one more time.

The toughest thing will be what to talk about in social situations and on gigs.  I’m going to have to come up with an entire new set of topics.  Comic books anyone?  How about basket weaving instead of basketball.

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Warriors no more

Posted by keithosaunders on June 21, 2016

The Golden State Warriors won a record 73 games in the 2015-16 season but will be remembered for being the first team to blow a 3-1 lead in games in the NBA finals.  That’s the way it goes in sports.  The Cleveland Cavaliers were the better team and deserve the title.  A spate of injuries, Steph Curry’s shooting slump,  LeBron James’ greatness, and the one game Draymond Green suspension were fatal to the Warriors.

All that said, LeBron is hard to take.  What is he, faking an injury in the last minute of game 7?  With seconds to go in the game he’s writhing around on the floor seemingly in pain, yet after the game buzzer sounded  he’s pounding the ground in joy with the same hand!  Then he’s crying tears of joy?  For the city of Cleveland?  That’s the same city he said screw you to 6 years ago when he took his talents to South Beach.  And it’s the same city he’s libel to say screw you to this off season.

In his post game comments James didn’t even bother to mention the Warriors.  You would think he would note the fact that they were a great team, or congratulate them on a great season, but no.  Everything was self-directed:  “I competed, I looked inside of myself, I did this, I did that…”  Enough already.  We don’t need LeBron to tell us he’s great –  we know that already.  And if that wasn’t enough, James rubbed salt in the wound by wearing an Ultimate Warrior shirt as he disembarked from the team plane in Cleveland.  Stay classy.

But that is the society we live in now.  This is a cynical, dog eat dog, Darwinian world.  Athletes, as well as media stars and politicians have taken their cue from the nasty, smarmy tone of reality TV.  The age of classy winners is in the rear view mirror.

We turn the page.  Time for the baseball season and a little team called The New York Mets!   On the other hand, maybe I’ll read a book instead.

 

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This NBA finals stinks on ice

Posted by keithosaunders on June 17, 2016

You have to love sports.  And hate them.  This year’s NBA finals, which once looked like a cake walk for the Golden State Warriors, has taken on the feeling of a disaster waiting to happen. The Warriors, in the span of 5 days, have gone from a record-setting 73 win team, to possibly committing one of the all time playoff chokes.  No team in the NBA Finals has blown a 3-1 lead in games.  32 times a team has gone up 3-1 and 32 times that same team won the championship.

It is this hater’s opinion that the Warriors were screwed by the NBA when it took the league two days to call a flagrant foul on Draymond Green.  You either call it when it happens or you don’t call it.  If they don’t trust the refs they’ve hired then why use them in the first place?  Call everything by computer.  Green’s subsequent suspension cost the Warriors game 5, and the Dubs, with Draymond back on the court for game 6 in Cleveland, were simply steamrolled.

To make matters worse they’re losing terribly with petulant tantrums and uncharacteristic whining.  Steph Curry throwing his mouthpiece at a [admittedly douchey] fan was a terrible look.  It’s true that they’re not getting calls but can they make a shot?  Does everything have to be a low percentage three chucked with abandon?

And that’s why sports is humbling.  Life is humbling. Just three days ago the Warriors fans were making fun of LeBron for being a baby.  Now they look like the sp oiled brats. Up until this point in the season have had everything go their way. Now, at the first sign of adversity, they’re coming unglued.

Sunday is high noon.  Either they’re a team for the ages, or they can take their place alongside the 1986 Redsox, the 2004 Yankees, and insert your Greg Norman grand slam choke here.  [           ]

Folks, it’s crunch time.

 

 

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The NBA Finals and the Warriors quest for greatness

Posted by keithosaunders on June 14, 2016

It’s been a monumental season for the Golden State Warriors.  They won a record-setting 73 and proceeded to plow through the first two rounds of the playoffs.  They won an epic 7 game conference final series against an outstanding Thunder team and they now find themselves one win away from their second straight championship.

Tonight’s game 5 featured epic performances by the Cleveland Cavalier’s LeBron James – (41 points, 16 rebounds, and 7 assists + 3 steals and 2 blocks!) and Kyrie Irving  (41 points, 6 rebounds,  3 assists, and 2 steals.)  Yet it seemed like something was missing from the Warriors offense and defense.  Oh yeah…Draymond Green missed the game after being suspended for a specious flagrant foul committed in game 4.

It’s bad enough that the refs have to review every hard foul but to have to wait two days for the league officials to pour over evidence as if it was the Zapruder film adds insult to injury. Am I the only person in the world who hates replay in all sports?  Folks, enough is enough.  This childish obsession with getting it right is killing the game’s momentum.  If the evidence has to be incontrovertible how can a play that takes two days to review be overturned?  It’s even worse in baseball, a sport that is slow enough on its own.

The Warriors were jobbed.  I’m not saying that they would have won game 5 — Curry and Barnes had sub par games and LeBron and Irving were unstoppable.  But wouldn’t it have been nice to see how that game would have played out with the teams at full strength?

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Replay is killing sports

Posted by keithosaunders on June 3, 2016

In the old days if a referee of umpire made a bad call you steamed about it for a few minutes and moved on.  These days we have to sit in front of our televisions and endure dozens of slow motion replays while neutered officials spend several minutes in front of a monitor deciding whether or not they made the correct ruling.

In last night’s Warriors/Cavaliers finals game 1 there was a play in which Cavs guard, Matthew Dellavedova, went for a steal and ended up accidentally hitting the Warriors, Andre Iguodala in the groin.  Tempers flared but the players didn’t brawl.  Instead the refs went to the video tape, and what had been an exciting, back and forth  contest turned into a snooze-fest as we waited five minutes for things to be sorted out.

And the upshot?  A foul was called on Dellavedova. Not even a flagrant foul.  I ask you, was it necessary to study the play as if it was Talmud to end up calling a non shooting foul?  I don’t know about you but I can live with the occasional bad call if it will spare us the drudgery of waiting for a replay review.

The players make errors all the time.  Refs and umps make errors too – it’s a part of sports.

Replay is especially maddening in baseball, which is a slow game without much action to begin with.  You’d think that the the last thing MLB would want is for the flow of the game to be any slower.  But…here we sit as the once proud umps are reduced to waiting for a ruling handed down from a New York bunker.

Shabby.

 

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A lull in the sports world

Posted by keithosaunders on December 18, 2015

This is a terrible sports time of year but it’s not the worst — that dishonor belongs to February with its glut of meaningless NBA, NHL, & NCAA basketball games. Still, this is pretty bad.  The NFL playoffs are a month away and the bowl season, if you care about that sort of thing, won’t kick in for another two weeks.

Here in the Bay Area we had the Warriors winning streak to follow which was exciting.  How strange it was to care about basketball in November. Now that they’ve finally lost, their next meaningful game will be in April.

The worst thing about November through January is being bombarded with baseball player signing news.  This is the time of year where I learn that Jason Heyward, a pretty good, but not great player, will earn more in one at bat then I will in a year.  It’s out of control.  I get it – it’s nothing new –  supply and demand, free market, yadda yadda.  It’s just that I would rather not hear and read about salaries at all.  It takes me until June or July, when the pennant races begin heating up, to get the taste out of my mouth.

Not only is the baseball news a capitalist sack of you know what, the local football teams stink this year.  While the Raiders are much improved and are still mathematically alive, the 49ers are a stinking mess.

What else do I have to complain about?  Oh yeah, I haven’t done my Christmas shopping.

 

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Damn Heat

Posted by keithosaunders on June 1, 2011

What has annoyed me the most about the Miami Heat post-season, is the way they celebrated after the Boston series.  To look at the histrionics — the hugging, the carrying on, Lebron crying — you would have thought they had won it all, instead of a second round series against an aging, injury-rattled team.  I mean, act like you’ve been there before.

But that’s just it.  This team, outside of Dwayne Wade and Udonis Haslem, hasn’t been there before.  They are a made-for-TV, thrown together bunch, that just happens to have three of the best players in the game.  With each passing game their aura of inevitibility grows stronger, and I am having a hard time envisioning a scenario in which this series goes more than five games. 

It is possible, albeit just barely, to shut down Lebron or Wade, but then what do you do with Bosh?  After an up and down season, he has been close to unstoppable all playoffs long.  You forget what a powerful presence he is in the paint — there have been no easy shots in the lane for Heat opponents, and he has been able to control the offensive boards, as well as score at will.

I have to admit that the more the Heat win, the more my disdain grows to Yankee proportions.  It wasn’t just that Lebron decided to leave Cleveland.  It was the dog and pony show that accompanied it.  It was as if we, the NBA fans, were supposed to applaud the triumvirate of Bosh, James, and Wade, simply for deigning to play on the same court. 

There is something karmically wrong with this team.  I have a problem with a team being put together in a single offseason to instantly win a championship.  The Pistons of the early 90s played together for years before finally beating the Celtics and winning the title.  The Bulls, even with the mighty Jordan, had to pay their dues at the hands of said Pistons.  The Spurs of recent history had a core that played together for years, but they didn’t magically emerge from a hyped up cloud of free agent signings.

There’s only been one game; anything can happen.  Dallas is plenty good, but they will need more from their supporting cast — Jason Terry and Tyson Chandler, I’m looking at youse —  if they hope to make this a series. 

In the meantime, here’s hoping we will at least get a competitive six game series.  If there is any justice, the Heat will lose and the Cavaliers, with the 2nd and 4th pick in the draft, will become good and  take next year’s title. 

 Right.  a bridge to sell me?

 

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Give Kareem his damn statue

Posted by keithosaunders on May 19, 2011

This morning I came across an article in the Oakland Tribune about the hall of fame center, Kareem Abdul Jabbar.  Kareem is upset because he does not have a statue in front of the Staples Center, the home arena of the Lakers and Clippers.  There are statues of Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Chick Hearn, Wayne Gretzky, and Oscar De La Hoya,  (really…Oscar De La Hoya?) but none of the seven footer from New York City, who played most of his career on the Lakers.  (he began with the Milwaukee Bucks) 

At first you may think of Kareem as just another egotistical, spoiled athlete.  I disagree.  Kareem has every right to feel slighted.  The Lakers never would have won in the ’80s without Kareem.  He has scored more points than any player in history, won six NBA championships, and six regular season MVP awards.  Oh yeah…throw in three NCAA championships while he was at UCLA.

Kareem was an unselfish player who made those around him better.  He didn’t whine when Magic came into the league and garnered most of the spotlight.  He was the consummate team player.  There was not even a hint of a Kobe/Shaq-style fued back in those days.  And can you imagine Kareem pounding his chest, or pulling out his jersey as a way of drawing attention to himself?  He was self-effacing and humble.  

Not only that, he is a jazz fan.  I once saw hin in the Westwood Tower records in the jazz section.  I discretely stood next to him and found that I came up to his waist. 

So come on, you suits at Staples.  Give the man his due.  Give him his damn statue!

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