What up world? This EJ and I’m back with another edition of the Blog About Nothing. This week we are going to have an all NBA edition of the blog. Yes, I know we are in the dog days of August which is home to baseball and preseason football, but the NBA is making some noise this week, and that’s what I’m going to be speaking on. So, this week we got Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kevin Durant pulling out of Team USA, and my main man Ron Artest is back in the news. Let’s do this!
Big tings a gwaan in the NBA this week. Big tings. OK, me and patois don’t get along but shout out to Jamaica who recently celebrated their 52nd anniversary of Independence. Maybe LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers can take a shot of Appleton Estate rum since it appears that Kevin Love will be joining the crew in a few weeks. It was announced this week that the Cavaliers and the Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to a trade. The Cavaliers will be sending 2013 #1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, 2014 # 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, and a 2015 first round pick to Minnesota for Kevin Love. Some reports are suggesting that the Timberwolves will deal Bennett to Philadelphia for Thaddeus Young. Since Philadelphia is in an asset collecting mode, dealing Young for younger and cheaper talent while preserving cap space is a fair move. Not a sexy one, but a fair one. However, this transaction is highlighted by the Cavs and Wolves.
This is a good trade for both teams but I like it more for Minnesota. The Wolves still have a proven player in point guard Ricky Rubio, one of the better big men in the NBA in Nikola Pekovic and they add to that duo Wiggins, and rookie Zach Levine who they drafted a few months ago. The T-Wolves still aren’t a playoff team but they have an interesting, and young athletic core. Depending on the deal with Philadelphia coming to fruition, they’ll have a player in Thaddeus Young who is really coming into his own. Young might have been the best player on a bad team, but he’s a genuine top 50 talent in the NBA and playing with a PG like Rubio should bring the best out of him. The future is bright in Minnesota, that Flip Saunders could have this team fighting for a playoff spot in a season or two.
Meanwhile, Cleveland has just become the co-favorite with the Chicago Bulls for the Eastern Conference berth in the NBA Finals. Looking at the East now, there really is two very good teams, and the rest of the conference looking up at them. If you put a gun to my head and asked me who has the better team, I’d say Chicago, because I believe Derrick Rose is finally healthy but the Cavs have a potent “Big Three” in Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and LeBron James. Offensively the trio of Irving, Love, and James is more potent than the Miami trio of Bosh, Wade, and James, but the defensive deficiencies of Love and Irving means that this trio isn’t as complete as the one LeBron had in Miami. Looking at the Cavs starting lineup now (Varejao, Love, LeBron, Waiters, and Kyrie) there isn’t a strong focus on defense there from three of those players (Irving, Waiters, and Love) but the bench looks promising with Mike Miller, Tristan Thompson, and the potential additions of Ray Allen and Shawn Marion. Cavaliers fans, the City of Cleveland, and NBA fans in general should be very excited for what’s going to happen in Cleveland, and I for one am very interested in seeing how this all plays out. It should be fun.
Speaking of playing, that’s something Kevin Durant will not be doing this summer. This week Durant withdrew from Team USA, citing that the long NBA season has left him tired and not mentally or physically ready to participate in the upcoming World Cup of Basketball. It’s likely that Paul George’s recent injury played a role in Durant’s decision. Clearly it wasn’t easy to watch George break his leg in an exhibition match, and I’m sure the players committed to Team USA still have that image in the back of their minds and are fearful as to their own health. With that in mind, it’s understandable that Durant would withdraw from something so unnecessary. I have no issue with NBA players wanting to play in these World Cup events or in the Olympics, but if they choose to withdraw themselves from consideration, then that is fine as well. The NBA season runs from October to June, if you’re on a team that is playing in the Finals. An 82 game regular season in itself is a grind, and I’m sure that leads to mental and physical exhaustion.
I’m not the one to put athletes on a pedestal. Never been that type. I equate what they do to a regular 9 to 5 job, so imagine you’re working all year round, and you finally get a break. Do you want to give up that break to keep working? I wouldn’t. I’d be tired and be looking forward to that time off. So, do I blame Durant for wanting to kick his heels up, relax and do what he wants for the next two months instead of flying off to Spain for what is a meaningless tournament (sorry FIBA but the damn thing is meaningless)? No I do not. Take the time Kevin. Relax yourself, and get your body ready for what counts: the NBA season.
So, Durant isn’t going overseas but Ron Artest is. I’m sorry, but I can’t call him Metta World Peace or the new name that he has chosen for himself: The Panda’s Friend. Yup, another name change is underway for the crazy man of the NBA, or shall I say the CBA? Ron is on his way to China where he will play this season for the Sichuan Blue Whales. The deal he signed with the Chinese Basketball Association team should make him the highest paid player in China. The deal is reportedly just over a million dollars for the season. To celebrate his new China adventure, Ron wants to make himself one with Zhongguo (a.k.a. China) by calling himself The Panda’s Friend. Ron loves Panda’s damn it!
I can’t call him The Panda’s Friend though. I don’t even call him Metta World Peace. I’m from New York. I remember Ron playing for LaSalle in Manhattan, and going off to St. John’s University to play for the Red Storm (a nickname I still hate . . .bring back the Redmen!!). I can’t see him as anything but Ron Artest. Allow me to paraphrase Ernie Terrell, and the barbershop scene in Coming To America when I say: his mama named him Ron Artest, I’ma name him Ron Artest. The Panda’s Friend? Forget all that nonsense but good luck to you in China, Ron-Ron.
I’m done. That’s it. Thanks for reading The Blog About Nothing, and thank you for supporting www.7poundbag.com. Peace.
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