What up world! As usual this EJ and I’m back with another edition of The Blog About Nothing. I’ve had a busy week. Dropped two blogs for the site, and just doing what I can to build my rep. I’m getting tired of punching a clock, and despite my pessimist ways, I keep telling myself that someone is going to read this blog series, and offer me a chance to do this for a living. It’s fun to dream, right? So while I don’t have Dan Gilbert luck, I’m going to keep pushing until this thing pay off. So, this week I’m going to talk some Cleveland Cavaliers, the flexibility of the Boston Celtics, I’ll try to decipher what Mark Cuban is up to, why Marshawn Lynch is a different type of cat, and finally I’ll give a quick preview of the UEFA Champions League Final. It’s a blog full of goodness this week. Let’s do this!
Those two blogs I dropped earlier this week? Yeah, those two blogs were all about the NBA Draft Lottery. A Little Bit of Luck which I did before the actual lottery Tuesday night, was all about the hope fan bases have about their teams chances at landing the #1 pick. Well, I shouldn’t have done that shit. Why? The Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Draft Lottery . . . AGAIN!! Dan Gilbert’s franchise has won the #1 pick three times in the last four seasons. If that doesn’t get the NBA Draft Lottery conspiracy theorists going, I don’t know what will. It’s like how many times are the NBA going to reward the Cavaliers for LeBron James taking his talents to South Beach? Well, if the Cavs actually drafted better (Kyrie Irving? Success. Anthony Bennett? A failure so far) they might not be in this position but here we are.
I don’t even know where to go with the Cavs and that pick. Why? Well despite their stocked roster of recently drafted talent, you can easily link Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, or even Dante Exum to the #1 spot. The Cavs have a use for any of them. Wiggins or Exum can play the shooting guard position and push Waiters to the bench, where he would be a good fit as a scoring 6th man, Parker can fill the hole that Luol Deng will leave at small forward if he leaves the team as a free agent this summer, and Embiid gives the Cavs the scoring big man that they have been looking for years now. All four picks do make sense. So, I’m not going to speculate who goes to Cleveland. Not yet anyway. I also won’t rule out the Cavs trading the pick. Kevin Love, of the Minnesota Timberwolves, should be on the market soon. Love playing alongside Irving, would be a good fit. Also, if you’re one of the people out there who think LeBron will eventually come home to Cleveland, you’re going to be energized at the site of an Irving, James, Love trio. That should be scary. However, it’s May 23rd. The draft is still a month away. So while God loves the Cleveland Cavaliers, I don’t love them enough to speculate what they’ll do. Stay tuned. I’ll come back to this.
The second blog I dropped this week The Case For Doug McDermott was where I rationalized my thinking that the Lakers should take the Creighton bomber at the #7 pick. Of course it was panned, and I expected that. Well, I’m not going to pitch him to the Boston Celtics at #6. So you ain’t getting that here. I might have no problem throwing my 2 cents out there, but I ain’t no damn fool. With that said Danny Ainge’s men have a lot of flexibility with their draft position. The Celtics are in a bit of a youth movement under head coach Brad Stevens but they have a ton of draft picks coming up, cap space, and some interesting young players. This roster is in a similar position that it was back in 2007, when Ainge orchestrated the trades for Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett. Those two, alongside Paul Pierce brought the Celtics a Championship in their 1st season together.
Boston is in an interesting position. They can take a player at #6 and keep stockpiling young talent. They can trade the pick in an attempt to move up in this draft, or they can move down. They could also take the nuclear option and deal #6 alongside the picks they have from the Nets in a home run move for Kevin Love, or whoever else may become available in the next few weeks. Like Cleveland, I’m not going to speculate what the Celtics will do, because it’s a month from the Draft and the start of free agency, but I like the position they are in. I’m sure Ainge and Celtics fans would have loved to have seen their team drafting at #1 instead of #6, but I think they are in a prime spot to make things happen this summer. Keep an eye on them.
Sticking with basketball, can someone please explain to me what is up with Mark Cuban? Usually I avoid all things Cuban, because the guy likes to hear himself talk, but I had to put my 2 cents in on the comments he made about race this week. In an interview with Inc. Magazine, Mark said the following: “I mean, we’re all prejudiced in one way or another. If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it’s late at night, I’m walking to the other side of the street. And if on that side of the street, there’s a guy that has tattoos all over his face — white guy, bald head, tattoos everyhere — I’m walking back to the other side of the street. And the list goes on of stereotypes that we all live up to and are fearful of. So in my businesses, I try not to be hypocritical. I know that I’m not perfect. I know that I live in a glass house, and it’s not appropriate for me to throw stones.” Now for the sake of full disclosure: I’m a dark skinned black male. I’d cross the street if I saw a kid in a hoodie approach me at night, and I’d run like hell from the tattooed biker dude. It is what it is.
However, I understand what Mark is trying to say here. We all do have stereotypes and we all do have some form of bigotry in us. No one is perfect. Speaking for myself I definitely have said some inappropriate things about other race groups, and members of my own race. Not going to repeat them here, but I’m no saint. Point is, I’m cool with what Mark is trying to say, but I wonder what is he thinking with the timing of this. With the Donald Sterling issue on full throttle, I’m not so sure it’s smart for another NBA owner to say something that may be deemed racially insensitive. The men that Mark outlined, aren’t much different then the players he and the other owners of the league employ. I’m sure LeBron in a hoodie, or the Birdman walking down a Miami street at 4 am would be pretty damn imposing to a person who has no clue who they are. Maybe I gave two bad examples, but I don’t know why Mark felt the need to say this now. OK, he is a bit of an attention whore, but if I’m the Sterling camp I’d take full note of these comments, and try like hell to use them to your advantage. Hopefully, no other NBA owners take this time to open mouth, insert foot. Commissioner Adam Silver doesn’t need any more friendly fire.
Mark Cuban is an attention whore. Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is not. After winning a Championship, it’s customary for that team to visit the White House for an audience with the President of the United States. Now, it’s normal to hear a player or two not make the visit due to their political views, but it’s another thing for a player to not attend because he just did not want to go. Marshawn, who is known for avoiding the press at all costs, chose not to attend the meeting at the White House because he didn’t want to be part of the media circus. Marshawn, based off of the few interviews he has given, comes off as a smart well meaning cat so I don’t really understand his media reluctance. He does do a lot for the community in Seattle, as well as his hometown of Oakland, California, but in my opinion I really feel like his shyness is holding him back from making a greater impact. He’s a different kind of guy, and I respect what Beast Mode does on and off the field, but he needs to open up. Let people in, and accept that a man in his position is going to have a microphone in his face. Instead of running from the platform, he should embrace it.
Finally, if you love soccer like I do, tomorrow is the UEFA Champions League Final. The competition pits Spanish clubs Atletico Madrid versus Real Madrid. The two bitter rivals of the Spanish Capital face off in the final in Lisbon in what should be an exciting match. Both sides have winning managers (Diego Simeone vs. Carlo Ancelotti), both teams have star power (Atletico’s emerging talents Diego Costa and Koke vs. proven talents in Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale), and did I mention these two teams and their fan bases hate each other? Real Madrid is only one win away from their 10th European Cup. To put it in proper perspective Real Madrid is the Boston Celtics, or the New York Yankees of the soccer world while Atletico is more like the Philadelphia 76ers of the soccer world. Atletico has won a few trophies, made a bit of an international impact, but their accomplishments pale in comparison to the big fish in the European club soccer game.
Tactically you’re going to see the 4-3-3 attack minded system of Real Madrid, versus the defensive minded 4-4-2 of Atletico Madrid. In playing a 4-4-2, Atletico is going to try and pack the midfield, and outnumber Real in that creative zone. It would also try to beat up, as much as possible, a hobbling Cristiano, and a rejuvenated Gareth Bale. It’s offense versus defense. Ballet on grass, versus bloodsport on grass. Tomorrow’s match on Fox should be something to see.
So who do I got? Real Madrid. They win number 10, La Decima, by a score of 2-0. I’ll even give you the goal scorers: Angel Di Maria cuts in from the wing with the 1st goal, and striker Karim Benzema bangs a goal past Atletico goal keeper Thibault Courtois for the second. Now my predictions tend to be wrong, but I feel good about Real’s chances in this game. Atletico may have won the Spanish League, La Liga, this season, but in a one-off Real’s offensive talents is just too much to handle.
That’s it. I’m done. You got almost 1,900 words from me this week and my fingers are tired from all this damn typing. Thanks for reading. Thanks for supporting www.7poundbag.com, Happy Memorial Day, and until next week: Peace.
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