What up world! This your boy Earl and I’m back with another edition of The Blog About Nothing. Sitting here thinking of what to rap about this week, it hit me: it’s a lot of freaking work to come up with a weekly blog. Writers block is real y’all. The struggle is really real, but I think I got something for y’all this week. Enjoy. Let’s do this!
If you love auto sports this weekend is a big one. You’ve got the Indianapolis 500, the Coca-Cola 600 and a race I look forward to more than any other: the F1 Grand Series of Monaco. I don’t watch too much Formula One racing but something about the beauty of well crafted race cars, going around the circuit in the gorgeous City of Monaco that piques my interest. The race will be on NBC Sports early Sunday morning, and I am going to be up and rooting for Lewis Hamilton to bring home the win for the Mercedes Benz team.
After the F1 race ends by early Sunday morning, you can watch the final day matches of the English Premier League, as I plan to, or you can flip over to ABC for the Indianapolis 500. Since there isn’t much drama to the EPL season, since Chelsea was declared champions of the English soccer world some weeks ago, I might give up on the Manchester United-Hull match early in the 2nd half just so I can catch the iconic words of “gentlemen (and ladies if there are any in the racing grid) start your engines”.
Watching the race at the Brickyard that ends with the winner swilling some milk is pretty entertaining stuff. Who knew making left turns at over 200 miles per hour could be fun to watch? Finally when the Indy 500 is over, there is NASCAR’s big event of the weekend the Coca Cola 600. More racing of 200 miles per hour, more left turns, and more cool stuff. Big day this Sunday. Enjoy it.
As I briefly touched on earlier, this Sunday is the final matchday of the English Premier League season. The 38th match will conclude a season that has pretty much been decided. Chelsea won the League a few weeks ahead of schedule, and the top four places have already been decided with Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United all falling in line after Chelsea. Those four teams will qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League. The only intrigue of the final match day will fall on the shoulders of Hull City and Newcastle United. Hull City appears to have the last relegation place locked up, but they can avoid relegation if they beat Manchester United at home, and Newcastle United would then have to lose to West Ham at home. Hull is two points behind Newcastle for the crucial 17th place spot.
Queens Park Rangers, and Burnley will be relegated back down to the Championship level for next season, and it’s a fight between Hull and Newcastle to join them. Newcastle United have played poorly since the calendar has turned to 2015, but I still think they survive the drop. For one, they still have two points in their favor. I could see them losing easily to West Ham this Sunday, but I don’t know if Hull can beat Manchester United. Man United has nothing to play for with fourth place locked up, and they’ll likely feature a roster full of youths and players who haven’t featured much this season but even United’s B and C level roster is still better than the one Hull will throw out. So, even though this is a must win for Hull, I don’t see Steve Bruce beating his old club, and Hull will go down.
So if QPR, Burnley, and Hull goes down, who replaces them in the EPL for the 2015-2016 season? So far Bournemouth from the South coast of England, and Watford, located not too far north of London will be coming up. The third EPL place will come from the Championship playoffs. On Monday May 25th, Norwich City (relegated from the EPL after the 2013-2014 season) will face off against Middlesbrough (relegated from the EPL after the 2008-2009 season, after an 11 year stay in the top flight). The game will take place at storied Wembley Stadium, and there will be literally millions of dollars at stake, since elevation to the Premier League is a cash cow for both the club and their ownership.
While it would have been great to see something to play for at the top of the table, at least the intrigue at the bottom of it will hold true for this season. As a fan of Manchester United I wish it was a better year for my Red Devils, but I was entertained and disappointed by an EPL season I’m sad to see end.
Finally, as I sit here listening to some old Comeback Season from Drake, I want to close this blog on the following note. The NBA Draft Lottery took place this past week and the Minnesota Timberwolves, who had the worst record this past season, won the number one overall pick. It doesn’t happen too often that the worst team, gets the first pick but it did this season. The Los Angeles Lakers who had the fourth worst record got the second pick. The Philadelphia 76’ers held form at #3 and the New York Knicks fell two spots to #4.
Now because I’m a New Yorker, I’ve been hearing about how big of a travesty it was for the Knicks to fall to the 4th pick. Apparently I should be one of the many Knick fans calling for Phil Jackson’s head and criticizing head coach Derek Fisher for actually coaching the Knicks to wins in two meaningless late season games against Orlando and Atlanta. Funny thing about that is I’m a Lakers fan. I’ve been one since I was a kid. I’m happy they got the #2 pick. The #2 pick will likely be either Jahlil Okafor or Karl-Anthony Towns even though it wouldn’t shock me if the Lakers ended up getting one of the point guards: either D’Angelo Russell or Emmanuel Mudiay.
However, the Knicks falling to #4 means that from all of their screaming fans, from the guy on the corner all the way up to that ESPN gasbag Stephen A. Smith, they’ve lost one of the big men. Actually, to keep it specific they’ve lost the right to get Karl-Anthony Towns since it’s been well documented here that the Knicks have spent a lot of time this season scouting the University of Kentucky basketball team. They’ve spent so much time that I wouldn’t be shocked at all if they end up taking center Willy Cauley-Stein at number 4 instead of one of those aforementioned guards.
Nothing wrong with Cauley-Stein by the way since he reminds me a lot of Tyson Chandler and he can definitely grow to have that same impact in the NBA, but the Knicks falling to #4 should be a God send. Why? They can trade the damn pick. The Knicks were horrible last season but with a high pick, some cap room, and a need to become a winner as soon as possible, they are in a place to flip that pick for a player or two who can come in and help them win off the bat. The same goes for the team I’m actually a fan of in the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers are in a great position themselves. They had a horrible season but they’ll have Kobe Bryant and Julius Randle coming back from injury, and they developed a pretty interesting player in young guard Jordan Clarkson. The Lakers could build for the future and take the best player on the board at #2 or they can trade the pick themselves for players to help out now. The Western Conference is loaded, probably too loaded for the Lakers to go from a 21-61 team to a team that needs to finish closer to 50 wins just to make the playoffs, but with a ton of cap space themselves, they have the flexibility to get a better team in there.
The Knicks, Lakers, and the 76’ers hold the top four picks in the NBA Lottery and they are all in their own merit historic franchises in big markets. All three teams have a shot to go from horrible to excellent in a short period of time. Well, the Sixers are taking the long route by tanking and picking up young assets and praying they become good the Knicks and Lakers are in a good spot to do something similar to what the Boston Celtics did a few years ago. They can flip their draft luck into a good franchise that can compete quickly. It will be pretty interesting to see what both franchises will do over the next few months.
I’m done. Thanks for reading.
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