24/8 (RIP Kobe)

I doubt my brother remembers, but I do. We played in the street. We yelled “car!” and ran to the sidewalk. We waited eagerly for the car to pass. We would run back out into the street, and granny style I would heave the slightly deflated spalding rock in the air with all of the strength in me, and yell “Kobe!” Six times out of ten I missed, and my brother would say “you can’t yell Kobe if you’re going to shoot granny.” I teared up in my black throw back #8 Lakers jersey, I wanted to yell Kobe. So I worked, and I shot, and I practiced, and I hoped for the day I was strong enough to shoot over-hand and yell that name. That was my first taste of Mamba Mentality.

Beyond basketball, Kobe was an icon. He was an Oscar winner, he was a role model, he was someone that made the impossiblity of goals seem all the more possible with just  that much more work. I’m at a loss for words. Kobe was someone that you thought you’d have the privlage of watching age gracefully. He was an NBA legend, that did not skip a beat as a role model post retirement.

We used to clown Kobe. He was a jerk on the court, he does not pass ball, he was overzealous in his depictions of work ethic. Frankly however, I feel ashamed, I feel sorry that I sit here and say; he came off as a jerk on the court because he wasn’t going to let anyone stop him from being the best. He did not pass the ball because he was going to take his success into his own hands, he did not want to leave it up to others, and he was overzealous in his depictions of work ethic because through Kobe I have learned that things do not happen magically, you have to work toward success.

This is the only thing I thought as I cried and hoped the news was false.


I’ll call it 24/8

I watched him score 81 in ’06.

Passed MJ in 2014

Does anyone else remember when he just would not stop dropping 50 points?

My brothers told stories of his championship runs

I laughed as he relentlessly dominated all-star games

Reluctantly watching him drop 61 at MSG in ’09

Did he really shoot free throws on a torn achilles???

Kobe’s last game was a perpetual moment in time.

Thank you Kobe Bryant for making sure I wouldn’t shoot granny style anymore.


Prayers to all nine people that perished today, RIP Kobe and RIP GiGi. Hug someone today.

Monday Night Football Ravens v. Rams

We are in the thick of the most wonderful time of year. Rivalling Christmas, the November slate of having football every day makes getting up and going from class to work back to class a little bit easier.

Tonight we get a good one. The underachieving LA Rams welcome the high flying Baltimore Ravens.

First the Ravens: There isn’t much you can say about Lamar Jackson besides that he is incredible. You can’t speak on players like that. You have to just watch. Lamar is riding the MVP wave and he brings along with him a loaded offense including, his hype man Mark Ingram, his security blanket Mark Andrews, his neophyte speedster Hollywood Brown, and sneaky good wide receiver group.

The Baltimore defense is no slouch. They are one season removed from being the top ranked group, and just when you expected a shoot out against the Texans last week we got a beat down. Earl Thomas has come right in and been the anchor and Marcus Peters has been great since his departure from LA. Peters gets his shot at revenge tonight so I expect him to be that much better.

Now onto LA: The Rams are a very solid team there is no doubting this. Something however has been a bit off with teams like LA, Philly, and Dallas to name a few. Jared Goff has 10 touchdowns to 11 interceptions, Todd Gurley hasn’t looked vintage, and for the most part the Rams have lost games this year you’d expect them to win. Aaron Donald won’t be enough, I’m afraid. The Rams may very well be running directly into a buzz saw in the Ravens.

Ravens get the W.


A Look Back at Kaep’s day/workout

By Trevon Lloyd James

We found out this week that Saturday (today) the NFL was holding a workout for the polarizing quarterback turned activist, Colin Kaepernick. Since the moment the story broke speculation riddled the twitter-sphere. Some of the more common takes on this situation were inklings of a publicity stunt, others thought the NFL was trying to save its own tail, and some genuinely believed Kaep was finally being afforded a fair shot to play in the league again. My opinion on this topic is fairly irrelevant, because no matter the reasoning behind the work out; he would at the very least get to show everyone what he is capable of doing (as if we forgot). His most recent stint in the NFL was mediocre at best, but people need not forget that at a time, this guy was regarded as a top tier quarterback.

It showed during the workouts. As I watched I noticed that there wasn’t a throw he couldn’t make that the average back up quarterback could. There wasn’t really anything that blatantly showed why he shouldn’t have a roster spot. Kaep threw a 60 yard bomb, and it looked about as natural, about as smooth, and about as NFL ready as some NFL starters. There is no telling if he will return to Super Bowl form, in all likelihood he won’t, but in the same breath Kaep does not necessarily need to be at that level to secure a job in this league.

As for the legal and business side of this situation you can see Colin Kaepernick’s full statement, which he preaches transparency and among other things a fair shot. Kaep has been “ready for three years” now and perhaps we may have taken a step closer to seeing him back on an NFL field.

View this thread below for a timeline of events.

The Browns won, but lost at the same time

By Trevon Lloyd James

In what was for the most part a snooze fest of a game the Cleveland Browns came out on top. The final score was 21-7. Mason Rudolph threw 4 interceptions, and looked pretty terrible while doing it. There’s a guy working out Saturday afternoon that probably saw that and was a tad bit excited.

That’s the boring part. With about 8 seconds left in the game things got weird. In garbage time of any game, especially a rivalry things tend to get chippy. This was far across the line. Myles Garrett the consensus best player on the Browns rusher the passer like any other play, but when Rudolph let go of the ball, Garrett decided to finish his QB hit. As he wrestled Rudolph to the ground, the young QB was clearly displeased. He grabbed Garrett by the helmet and attempted to rip it off… Much like his night in the pocket, this too was a poor decision. Garrett promptly said “two can play at that game,” and pulled the QB up BY HIS HELMET, and subsequently ripped the helmet off with on feral swoop.

The situation should have been over, except only… It was not. Myles Garrett swung the helmet with a ferocity at Mason Rudolph’s had and made direct contact.

Reckless, careless, stupid, and anything else that you can think of to absolutely condemn that act.

It is obviously fair to say Rudolph started it, and leave it to the pretty boy QB to start a fight he can’t finish, get in way to deep, and then look toward the refs while his linemen, namely Maurkice Pouncey, gives Myles Garrett a two piece combo followed by a sweet chin music while he was on the ground.

But Myles Garrett, come on… I mean seriously! This guy was unconscious on the field not even a month ago and you think this is a solid idea? You’re one of the corner stone pieces of a team trying claw its way back into the playoff pictures and you pull that? Overall, it was all very boneheaded. The NFL is going to reign down upon Myles Garrett with the wrath of Rodger GODdell and this is going to be a story that will headline the NFL media circuit for the next few weeks.

Bernardo Silva out against Chelsea

By Trevon Lloyd James


I get it. I truly do. For a moment in time Bernardo Silva probably just thought, this is hilarious and my friend, Benjamin Mendy, is going to feel the same way. For a brief lapse in time Bernardo thought everyone would see what he sees, a hilarious joke to a friend.

Way off.

Seeing both sides of the shrubbery in this instance is difficult, but not impossible. To the people that are angry, know that not everyone makes comments, claims, and remarks with malcontent. Some people don’t see the negative, because they have never been exposed to the negative. To the people that are angry in the other direction (in defense of the Man City star), I beg you not to play naive in this situation. In a season riddled with fan misconduct on the council of race relations as well as political unrest in the department of race you would surely think that something like this simply can not fly. Players need to be held accountable for things of this nature because it enforces a zero tolerance policy to any sort of racist or ill conceived “jokes.”

My last remarks lean toward one notion; there are many kids, both now grown up, and still young, that look like Ben Mendy, and those kids are subject to the same treatment as Bernardo Silva’s jokes, only the intent is not light hearted, the reason is not one made out of love and humor, and those kids are not subject to that treatment in a positive humorous light.

Much like any racey, political, or controversial topic, I like to remain ambiguous about my position. I do write this article however, urging everyone that is angry on both sides to consider for a moment every detail of this situation.

Trevon James, signing off.

SeatlleSeahawks San Fransico 49ers Prediction

By Trevon Lloyd James

There is a lot of good things about the San Fransico 49ers. To start, their defense might actually be the best in the NFL. That defense is more likley to score on any given play than some offenses. To counteract that defense is a good offense. This offense has progressed beautifully as the season has waged on. The addition of Emmanuel Sanders has proven to be much needed, and for a team that is already 8-0 watching everything start to gel on the otherside of the ball is a bit of a scary sight.

Jimmy G was in a groove against the Cardinals, but this week he is with out his saftey blanket, George Kittle. Kittle is sidelined tonight with a knee and an ankle ailment. Fortunately enough for the 9ers and their fans, this can either serve as a point of bragging, “we beat you and we did not have Kittle.” Or it can double as a viable excuse, “well we were missing our best target.”

I watched every analyst on ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown choose the 49ers. While there is obviously a reason for such a phenomenon I am also not new to the pickem’ game. I know what that means.

What it means:

The Seahawks have an MVP canidate on their side. 22 (TWENTY TWO) touchdowns to 1 (ONE) interception will serve as the first true moment of clarity for this 9ers defense. Couple that with the addition of Josh Gordon, I am inclined to not bet against Russell Wilson.

Seahawks 24 9ers 20

Dynasty Talk

Let me preface this blog by saying that work has been in the way of consistent posting, with the semester starting up again I would like to quote the great Andy Reid in reference to my effort being put into you all reading my articles, “Times Yours.” 

Ahead of the regular season it is kind of mind numbing to be spoon fed previews of each NFL team. We as fans understand things change. The NFL is a revolving door, and it stands for “Not for long.” I had a hard time wrestling with the notion of trying to go through all 32 teams and tell you what to look forward to for each, and what looks promising as well as what needs to be worked on. What I have decided to do is save you the time. My amateur quasi-expert analysis is better left in my subconscious until I have acquired a little bit more juice in the op-ed blog game. With all of that said I have decided to write something I like to call “dynasty talk.” Today is the NFL edition and in the near future I will inevitably do the NBA edition. I am going to attempt to break down the potential of 12 teams that I believe will make the playoffs and explain why I believe that team could reign supreme over the league for not only this year but the next few years to come. I welcome any and all criticism as I love meaningful sports dialogue. 


  1. New Orleans Saints
  2. LA Rams 
  3. Philadelphia Eagles
  4. Green Bay Packers
  5. Dallas Cowboys
  6. Chicago Bears 


  1. New England Patriots 
  2. LA Chargers
  3. Cleveland Browns
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars
  5. Kansas City Chiefs
  6. Houston Texans

In the hunt: Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers San Fransisco 49ers

“Wait What?” Teams: New York Giants, Oakland Raiders

Nope: Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals, Tennessee Titans


New Orleans Saints- This feels more obvious than anything. The Saints boast an elite quarterback in Drew Brees that is still in his “seasoned veteran” stage and has yet to enter his “everyone lying indiscriminately about his talents” or better referred to as his “E.L.I.” stage. Although they lost Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara seems to be on schedule in his quest to continue his strides straight into his prime. That defense is young and has past the point of being sneaky good into just good. If not for a terrible missed call that hasn’t been talked about nearly enough, the Saints are (probably) in the super bowl, and they (probably) make it a bit more entertaining, but to be quite honest the only thing stopping the Saints from doing better this season (2019/20) than they did last is their focus on what happened in last season (2018/2019). 


Record: 14-2 

Trajectory: Consistently dominant 

Crucial Game(s): Cowboys 9/29

L.A. Rams- The Rams will not be sneaking up on anyone this season. Much to the chagrin of the Seahawks then Rams are now comfortably the best team in the NFC West. The West is one division in the NFL that figures to be the most surprising because for some reason people such as myself have jumped ship on Russel Wilson, and don’t believe Kyler Murray or Jimmy G can get it done. The Rams roll out an NBA style big three with Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, and Aaron Donald. They are solid at just about every position on the field. This makes the Rams could be an obvious playoff pick for years to come. 

Record: 12-4 

Trajectory: Slow Start, Hot Finish 

Crucial Game(s): Seahawks games 

Philadelphia Eagles- As I remain unbiased and objective I will say the Eagles are in a weird spot. 2017 created a lot of hype. That was two years ago, and for Carson Wentz that was two season ending injuries ago. The Eagles wreak of looming disappointment but the amount of talent they have on that roster would suggest otherwise. As an Eagles fan I am very cautiously excited for the 2019/2020 campaign and beyond. At quarterback the birds are young and talented, at running back with Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard they show promise, the wide receivers according to several outlets may be the best core in the NFL, and the offensive line has been consistently top 5. The defense is what it is, they show up and they have been bend don’t break as long as Philly has been relevant. The key for the Eagles is not getting complacent. If they play disrespected, pissed off, and with a chip like 2017 they’ll go 13-3, 12-4 for this year and beyond. My fear is between the new contracts, clothing lines, and hip hop albums coming from that locker room the birds may find themselves distracted. Regardless this may be one of the most talented offenses in the NFL coupled with a good enough defense and that is enough for a top 6 spot most years. 

Record: 10-6

Trajectory: Rollercoaster, wins where needed 

Crucial Game(s): Cowboys games/ Seahawks 11/24


Green Bay Packers- Healthy Aaron Rodgers to healthy Devante Adams. If that doesn’t work then I am honestly not quite sure, however if it does that’s really all the pack need for a run. A-A- Ron is that good (when healthy).

Record: 10-6

Trajectory: Hot start, average finish 

Crucial Game(s): Vikings games/ Bears Games/ Panthers 11/10


Dallas Cowboys- As I remain unbiased and objective I will say (screw Dallas) the Cowboys have a big three (maybe) again. Way back in the 90’s the Cowboys had a big three and we saw the results (well we read about them in old history text books). Cooper, Prescott, and Elliot are really all the boys need to carry them to the playoffs but for Dallas fans far and wide the good news is; fortunately that’s not all they have. The Cowboys have probably the best linebacking core in the NFL with Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander-Esch (check that spelling) leading the way, and three things in life are promised; death, taxes, and a solid Cowboys front 5. If the distractions much like fog clear the path ahead for the Cowboys and Jason Garret gets out of his talented teams way, the insufferable team self proclaimed to America will be very hard to beat if Jerry closes his mouth and opens his wallet. Excuse me while I throw up.

Record: 10-6 

Trajectory: Slow start, strong finish 

Crucial Game(s): Eagles games/ Rams 12/15


Chicago Bears- We do not know just yet what to make of the Bears offense. Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller are promising tempting players that can go either way. Tarik Cohen is a human joystick with Darren Sproles energy, and David Montgomery went viral in training camp and we have not stopped talking about him since. The O-line is pretty solid, but not a household discussion like the Cowboys, Eagles, or Rams, and the guy under-center makes for a great water cooler debate. Is Mitch Trubisky good, bad, or average. Personally I think he’s good, with potential to be, really good, but I do see the bad sometimes which sets him at a perfect average. The offense is young and promising and next to an elite defense that can be the best thing to have. The reason there is such a debate around Trubisky is because he has never really had to take a game into his own hands. His defense can do that for him. Which for a team to win is just fine by any staff or fan base. The Bears will be really good for the next few years as long as they do not take themselves too seriously or get out of character like the Eagles did in 2018 (9-7). Be that team that everyone is fine over looking before you wake up on championship Sunday and their playing the team everyone knew would be there. 

Record: 9-7

Trajectory: Average throughout 

Crucial Game(s): Vikings/Packers games


New England Patriots- You all pretty much get it, I wont waste time. All I will say is having Josh Gordon, N’Keal Harry, Julian Edelman, and Demaryius Thomas gives me 2007 vibes. I do not like 2007 vibes. Funny thing is the Pats have been good since before 2007 which was 12 years ago. 12 years ago I was preparing for middle school, now I have a day job and anxiety, and the Patriots are still good.

Record: 13-3

Trajectory: Consistant 

Crucial Game(s): Chiefs 12/8

L.A. Chargers- Football is all the way back in L.A. and outside of the Eagles winning it all I would not mind seeing an all L.A. Super Bowl. The Chargers have always been that team that is good, but for some reason (probably lack of talent around Daddy Rivers) was never that good. Well now, here they are. Keenan Allen is healthy and elite, forget underrated he’s top 8 if people do not see it then football isn’t their thing. They have dawgs behind him like Mike Williams. If the bolts figure out Melvin Gordon that offense is pretty much up there with the top 5. The defense is going to go from sneaky good to solid this year. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram might be the best opposite rushers in the NFL, and outside of the Derwin James loss every where else is either serviceable or solid. 

Record: 12-4

Trajectory: Solid season throughout

Crucial Game(s): Chiefs Games 


Cleveland Browns- The Browns give me Golden State Warriors vibes (hear me out). They are that team we love, before they get too good and we hate them. At the same time they give me *Vince Young voice* “Dream Team” vibes where their team is pretty much like throwing Travis Scott, Ed Sheeran, Maroon 5, and Beyonce on the same song and expecting it to be good, but alas it is not. However the Browns intrigue me not because of their offense’s boisterous core. The Browns intrigue me because of the loquacious skill players making headlines, people have forgotten about a very, very solid defense. Top to bottom that defense has studs, and their additions weren’t small either, all of those things headlined by Myles Garret could end up being the real reason this team competes for playoff spots in the future. I can see the Sunday NFL Countdown feature story now revealing them as the real reason the Browns are on an 8 game win streak. 

Record: 10-6

Trajectory: Slow start, Hot finish 

Crucial Game(s): Every game, no room for error. 


Jacksonville Jaguars- Let’s be honest, this spot was reserved for the Colts, then for the Texans, but now by default goes to the Jags. If that defense can do more than last year, and half of what 2017 was they’ll be good enough to piggy back off of an average offense. Truth is the winner of the AFC South will probably be 9-7 and with the Texans losing their running game, and the Colts losing their pride and joy, that leaves the Jags who have a capable running back and also have the only Super Bowl MVP from the 2012 Draft class and playoff wizard Nick Foles. Do I believe that the Jags will compete for years to come? No, No I do not, but if the Colts squalor in mediocracy with Jacoby Brissett and miss out on the Herberts, Tuas, or even Trevor Lawrences of the world, and the Texans remain on par with their under-achieve, then make up for it, then lose in the playoffs routine, the new kings of the division could end up being the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Record: 9-7

Trajectory: Average throughout

Crucial Game(s): Houston Texans games


Kansas City Chiefs- Losing Kareem Hunt was a tough blow, and another back burner reason the browns are going to be pretty good. For the Chiefs it’s a chance to make a testament to their offensive system and depth at the position. They have the best quarterback in the NFL in Pat Mahomes, and their defense with the addition of Frank Clark has improved enough to perhaps at the very least stay onside before you make a game winning interception to send you to the Super Bowl. The Chiefs will be the Chiefs for years to come. Coach: Elite Offense: Elite Defense: Good enough. That 5 seed is just because I think the Chargers will hit a run and win the division this year. 

Record: 11-5

Trajectory: Shaky start, Solid finish 

Crucial Game(s): Patriots 12/8


Houston Texans- The Texans may not win the AFC South but there are enough self deprecating teams in the AFC to at least get them into the playoffs. Should the Clowney deal be resolved, and the defense play like it usually does the Texans could end up in the playoffs just by the grace of being in the right place at the right time. They have the best Wide out in the league which, something that OBJ would tell you only means something when the whole team is good, and they have a solid young quarterback. Personally I believe the loss of Lamar Miller creates a huge hole that could be the difference in the division, so they should look to add a guy to help out Duke Johnson, but if they do not do that I can see the Texans backing into the playoffs anyway. It really all depends on the Ravens and Jets. 

Record: 9-7

Trajectory: slow start, race to the finish

Crucial Game(s): Jags games/Colts games


Why they’re In the hunt:

 Baltimore Ravens- That offense is going to be must see tv, and they added studs to the already #1 ranked defensive unit. Did I make a mistake? We’ll see the Ravens are always right there, but this year I do believe they might get some bad breaks in the turnover department since Lamar Jackson is officially #OnFilm 


 Indianapolis Colts- They #RanOutOfLuck in the QB department, but they still have a really good young core, if Jacoby Brissett could be the QB Tom Brady ran out of town they could sneak into the playoffs. 


Minnesota Vikings- The NFC North is the most competitive division in the NFC when everyones healthy, the Lions don’t count, but the Bears Packers Vikings race is going to be one for the ages, I think they’ll actually make the playoffs, but for click bait purposes I talked about the bears more in depth. If it isn’t the eagles then the Vikings have the best WR core in the NF, and Dalvin Cook got these boys #ShookDaddy in the preseason which is scary, they’ll probably end up between 10-6 and 12-4 if Kirk doesn’t stink it up too much, but for now they’re in the hunt. 


 Carolina Panthers- Cam Newton and Run CMC can carry this team to the playoffs if the Bears, Cowboys, Packers, or Eagles decide to #ChokeItUp.  


 New York Jets- Sam Darnold is either going to #JumpOrSlump if he jumps it may be wraps for other wild card teams. If he slumps it will be wraps for the Jets. They have the capacity to be 10-6, but the negative potential and loose ends to be 3-13, no in between.

Atlanta Falcons- The Falcons are the epitome of #TheyShouldBeBetterRight? based off that premise alone, solid linebacker, DE and DB play, and the second best if not best WR in the NFL, a good running back and semi elite-we aren’t really sure honestly- quarterback the Falcons should compete, but for some reason ever since the Patriots emasculated that coaching staff on the worlds biggest stage the Falcons have lost their juice. 

 Seattle Seahawks- Same as the Falcons with a sprinkle of Russel Wilson. Bobby Wagner is the most underrated 99 rating in Madden probably ever, and the Seahawks are the most #Disrespected team in the NFL, but also I get it. They will probably have to rely on a choke job from other teams in order to get in. 


Pittsburgh Steelers- If you ask a non Jaguar fan they’ll tell you Big Ben is still good. Which, I think he is. If not, Ju-Ju and James Conner will bail him out. I do not think thats enough. Mike Tomlin might get exposed, but everyone says not to count the Steelers out so I won’t, however behind closed doors, their going  in the book as #Done for me. 

“Wait What?” Teams, No Seriously Hear Me Out: 

New York Giants- They play in the most unpredictable division in the NFL, have the best (yeah I said it) running back in the league, and ALL they need to do is win the division. The same divison that has not had a back to back champion since the birds in ’03 and ’04. The champ changes hands every year, and the Redskins are not it, the Cowboys might not have their best player, and the Eagles are more wishy washy than your girlfriend trying to decide where to eat. All I’m saying is what if Gettlemen was right and the locker room was fractured thus causing poor play. What if it genuinely just needs to be Eli’s world. W H A T I F. 


Oakland Raiders- Wouldn’t it be hilariously poetic for the Raiders to come out of no where and end up good. They have the talent, if you look at it closely; improved O-line, added AB who will wear a helmet, drafted Josh Jacobs along with 2 other first rounders on defense, and have Derek Carr that to me screams N I N E A N D S E V E N. 

San Fransisco 49ers- I have this weird feeling about the 49ers. They remind me of the Jets in many ways. They have a quarterback that should be ready, a good enough collection of talent around said quarterback, and a good defense. One big thing people forget about San Fran, is that they have been stock piling 1st round draft picks on that D-Line, and not just 1st round picks, but with how bad they have been in recent years these picks are usually top 10. Respectively, the last four years those picks have been 2 overall, 9 overall, 3 overall, and 7 overall. All I am saying is #DoNotActSurprised if they whoop up on some teams, but also don’t be surprised if they still stink.

Nope: Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals

The NBA Soap Opera- All My Players



The NBA Soap Opera- All My Players 

I go over the current state of the NBA as of July team by team, but I do it my way.

Lakers and Warriors 

Well, here we are. The Toronto Raptors are NBA Champions. What a season, Lebron and the Lakers flopped, Anthony Davis said “eh I don’t really feel like doing that any more” when he realized he would have to play basketball in New Orleans for another year after this one, and Magic Johnson said the same when he came to terms with the perspective reality that he actually has to effect positive change and make smart decisions consistently instead of just hoping to sign super stars. The Warriors seemed to implode internally for the better part of a regular season in which they finished as the one seed in true disappointing Golden State Warrior fashion. I personally find it hilarious when teams get so good that no matter the success, they still end up hating each other. I’m from the Jersey Shore, Monmouth County to be exact, and here when we have a really good thing that always works, theres always that one person that decides they don’t want it anymore, or that it’s getting old, and they mess everything up. Thats the Warriors, that really fun Bar, or event that is just amazing every year, and I can’t quite pin-point who is the player that decided this year would be the year to ruin everything, but now I don’t have to. Just like the aforementioned Toronto Raptors I was bailed out by the plethora of injuries that hampered the Warriors on the back half of the post season. I will prematurely say it even though the only ginormous loss the Warriors suffered was really Kevin Durant (big, but the team that excited before him went 73-9). This has been a long time coming, we watched the lovable “We believe” Warriors morph into an underdog up-and-coming squad with a light-skinned baby face bucket getter named Wardell Stephen Curry. Quickly, after the termination of Mark Jackson, and the subsequent entrance of Steve “roll me a backwood” Kerr (cc: Nick Young), the Warriors were a true contender. They added Kevin Durant after the GOAT, Lebron James, sent the Dubs retreating for reinforcements. The Kevin Durant addition brought the Warriors two more titles. All in all the Warriors dynasty clocked in at a 3/5 with a repeat, and what could be perceived as a three-peat if father time and the universal powers that be did not step in and stop the fight. It is with reluctant pleasure that I say to the 2020-2021 Golden State Warriors WAY TOO SOON; Kevin Durant is not walking through that door, Sean Livingston is not walking through that door, Quinn Cook is not walking through that door, Andre Iguadola is not walking through that door, and for at least a half season Klay “probably better than Steph but less marketable” Thompson is not walking through that door. However, D’angelo Russel and Willy Cully-Stein are so… I, nay, we could be blowing our load way too soon, but the Warriors are dead, banished to the purgatory that is the 5 seed in the western conference, RIP to a great dynasty and have fun in limbo until Steph retires. The Lakers got AD and skinny Boogie along side a new gang shooters and vets that can help gel the team quicker than most others, its their turn to have tons of success in the midst of an inordinate amount of petty turmoil (lets see how long Taco Tuesdays last when you’re 5 games back of the Jazz at the break Lebron).

Toronto Raptors Boston Celtics OKC and Houston 

I digress however, and continue the drama filled dialogue on what has been possibly one of the best off seasons in recent memory. Best is too broad of a word, I would refer to this off season as “eventful” and nothing more, but also nothing short of. The poor Toronto Raptors became the poster child for why it may not be a great idea to do the whole “rent-a-star” idea. Kawhi left! And the only thing he left them was the first NBA Title in franchise history; tragic, selfish, and all together deceitful. Wait a minute I may have had my Skip Bayless autocorrect feature on. Thank God no other team in the NBA tried to rent a star and had it blow up in their face. Anyways, we could not wait for the Celtics to suck again, but obviously after a calendar year where only 2 out of the 4 major Boston area teams won the championship, the sports gods rewarded the much maligned and beat down Boston fans with Kemba Walker, and most likely another 3 NBA seasons with the playoffs coming to town and gangle of opportunities to remain relevant in any sports conversation ever. Moreover, I was ready to roast the Houston Rockets, but as any AWL of Pardon My Take would reiterate, I will simply say this of the Rockets offseason thus far, this league. In all seriousness Russ and James Harden together on a team is so hard to fathom. There is only one ball, imagine a team smart enough to draft both of them, and make it work. They would make the finals easily with one other star, preferably a big man that can shoot, but I will get my head out of the clouds and stop playing fantasy basketball and focus on the Rockets for now. They bring back essentially the same team outside of Chris Paul, which is not necessarily a bad thing at all. Speaking of bad things, OKC sucks again, or perhaps for the first time. The sports gods always prevail as they punish OKC with a Buffalo Bill-esque generation. 3 MVPS 2 other all stars, and a handful of solid roll players, and what do they have to show for it? Well, I just said it. The thought I had about the Thunder is they had so many great individuals, and while basketball is a great individual sport it is teams that win championships, players win MVPs, hence the sentence prior to this. Sam Presti is definitely on the hot seat, hopefully that AAU rosters worth of future first round picks he acquired can come through in the clutch, right after 3rd period conceptual science class. 

Heat Sixers Spurs


Speaking of Heat, Jimmy Butler is there now. I won’t pretend to be a pro at the basketball analysis game, I just call it how I see it. Every spring since Bron left the heat are about to make the post season, whether they do or don’t does not really matter because the season will end shortly after that either way. I’m not exactly sure why J-Butt left Philly, I thought what they had going there could be good, and he finally found a city that cared as much as he did, but again what do I know. If you payed me 100 Million plus to live and hoop in Miami, I would not ask much questions other than when the next flight out is. I’m going to take a quick break from talking basketball to speak about chess. Not sure what the Spurs did, but I expect they’ll be in the playoffs as long as I’m living and breathing on this Earth. Plus Demar Derozan is the mid range god Okay, back to Philly. This town has loads of camaraderie every major sports stadium  is literally in the same complex and as an Eagles fan I find that so cool. I’ve grown quite the affinity to the Sixers even though I am a Knicks fan mostly because I like to see Philly fans happy, I also feel safer even though we ate poop and flipped cars after our first Super Bowl victory. The Sixers added Al Horford so Joel Embiid can sleep at night, as well as Josh Richardson who is good enough to market now, I guess, and they brought back Tobias Harris, hopefully the magic didn’t lay within the Bobi/Tobi connection and he can have the same success now that he’s stupid rich. The Sixers are the ultimate “potential starting line up eye emoji team.” A bunch of good players, some players that you only feel are good because others tell you they were good, and a star. Truth is we don’t know what the Sixers will be, but their saving grace is that they’re in the eastern conference so they can mail in a 3 or 4 seed and figure it out then. Hopefully the three point line doesn’t kill them before that time. 

Knicks Clippers Bucks


Speaking of killing things, the Knicks! The Knicks deserve jail time. Why essentially promise us a superstar instead of just saying, hey we are going to try. We traded Kristaps in hopes for KD, and Kyrie, and it did not work. Mills and Perry actually went to work. This hurts to say, but with a young promising player that was dumped by LA, and a group of young players that have showed promise, the Knicks look a lot like the Nets did last year. Don’t look me in the eye and tell me you thought Caris Lavert would be Caris Lavert, and Jarrett Allen would be Jarrett Allen. Okay, so with that said enter Alonzo Tirer and Mitchell Robinson. Kevin Knox also showed good range in summer league RJ Barrett averaged like 15 and 8, and guys like Bobby Portis, Marcus Morris, and Reggie Bullock fill the holes with enough effort and talent mixed in to get to the (dare I say) 8 seed. here_we_go_joker_.gif. Speaking of unexpected teams the Clippers are relevant again for the first time since Lob City. If you believe rumors than you also believe that Doc Rivers and Paul George have some stuff to figure out, but thanks to Pat Bev and Lou Will the Clips held down the fort until Kawhi and PG-13 came home, now they’ll probably be the best defensive team in the league with the quietest in house locker room chemistry. It is often said that Kawhi restored balance to the NBA, but where one threat is defeated a larger one looms. I give it 2 seasons before everyone hates how good the Clippers are (if everyone stays healthy). Not much to say about the Bucks. They’re good. Giannis feels like a Dame or a D-book type player that wouldn’t even think of leaving his franchise for a bigger market or a team up else where. The Knicks fan in me sees the bevy of team options that postures us up to make a run at the Greek Freak, but I know better than to get my hopes up for two things, my romantic life, and the New York Knicks. For the Bucks however, they bring back everyone besides Malcolm Brogdon who’s foot is apparently supposed to explode at some point. nonetheless 84 Mil to hold down the for until Dipo gets back isn’t a bad gig for Brogdon, but also not a monumental loss for the Bucks, because, well, Giannis. 

Nets Bulls Cavs


The only thing I like about Chicago is the music. I’ll never get over the video of D Rose when he realized his hometown team traded him to the Knicks. I can’t un-hear that crackly broken “you lyin’” Rose let out when he realized his career was only trending down after that. The Bulls haven’t been relevant since Rose. I’m not really sure if Baby Dirk Lauri Markkanen is actually that great, but Zach Lavine is trending up. Colby White is a great pick just because he has supplied me with enough tweet reaction responses to last me the rest of the year, good luck to the Bulls, I wish I knew more about you. Onto more interesting things we have the Brooklyn Nets. The ultimate last laugh for any dwarfed franchise is being all around better than the bigger, richer, and more well known franchise. So here are the Nets. For the time being Nets fans you win, you for KD, and you got Kyrie. You lost DLo, but you keep Allen, Dinwiddie, Lavert, and many other players that helped you to shock the NBA world last season and force teams to put more respect on your names. 2020 may not be the final product, but 2021 should be. In the illustrious words of Micheal Scott “this had better be terrible.” From a realistic, not at all biased stand point however, if I were a Nets fan I would be scared. You went from a quiet yet commanding, docile yet passionate playmaking point guard, to another point guard with the personality of an angsty teenager off that mid-pack. Rumor has it that Jaylen Brown actually hated Kyrie Irving because he felt he as fake deep. I’m not sure how that equates to basketball, and far be it from me to assume I know any of these men personally, but take that how you will. My message to BK fans is to not be too surprised if you look up Christmas day and you’re the biggest question mark in the NBA due to underachieving and Kyrie is one bad game away from saying something passive aggressive to the New York media. Also KD, tore his achilles and although he is amazing, and in the conversation has an all time player I feel like we forgot what that injury does to people. KD is in his 30’s now. I hope I’m wrong about the Slim Reaper, but unless something with this injury has changed over the last few months I’m probably not wrong. The next team on my list is the Cavs, but like…no

Mavs Pelicans Blazers


The Dallas Mavericks are such an anomaly. I’m not exactly sure what they will be next year. They should theoretically make the playoffs but the Magavricks led by Luka and Kristaps are very unproven. Can they be led by a 2nd year player and an injury prone big? I’m not quite sure. They added Boban and Seth Curry so just like their additions and their stars I imagine they’ll be pretty average. Another average team is the Pelicans. I think the NBA and sports media felt bad for the Pelicans fans after they were spurned by Anthony Davis or maybe they felt sympathy New Orleans fans in general after their sports year so the New Orleans baksetball off season has been hyped up and heralded as top notch. They stumbled upon the number one overall pick, that obviously turned into Zion “Chonk” Williamson. The players and assets they got for AD obviously weren’t bad, and Jaxson Hayes is apparently just another light-skin NBA player that can jump really really high (cc: Aaron Gordon and Zach Levine). They added JJ Reddick, as well and before you know its the Pels have a nice litter squad. Except for the fact that Anthony Davis is GONE. They finally added some nice pieces to put around the star, all it took was trading away their star… wait thats not right. They aren’t to blame however AD asked to be traded so obviously they have to trade him, thats the rules I’m pretty sure. I bet New Orleans wishes they were more like Portland. The Blazers are doing something right out there, because to actually have stars that want to stay in the pit of mediocracy in hopes to soon depart from it is very rare. Damian Lillard is a gamer. I won’t be one of those people that says he’s underrated because if you don’t know how good Dame is then your just stupid. The underrated tag goes to CJ Mccollum he just about saved Dame from a night of slander form irrelevant twitter trolls at the end of the Denver series. Adding Hassan Whiteside is interesting, and also don’t forget Jusef Nurkic who is one of the ultimate “also don’t forget about” players right up there with Bogdan Bogdanovic, Malcolm Brogden and pretty much the rest of the Pacers roster along with half of the Heat’s and most of the Utah Jazz. 

Jazz Pistons Nuggets + everyone else 


The Utah Jazz are actually going to be really good. Mike Conley deserves to win, he quietly has hooped majority of his career so for him to enter the locker room of an already solid squad will be good for him. The Utah Jazz feel like a very obviously good 3 seed. Adam Silver will ultimately make the call though when it comes down to it the NBA doesn’t need the finals in Utah. I’m firing on all pistons right now at almost 3 thousands words so if you’ve made it this far, you’re either my parents, or you really like basketball. The Detroit Pistons probably will be a playoff team because Blake Griffin is a stud but the thing I really want to see is the revival of D rose. I will be a closet Pistons fan all year until it is between them and the Knicks in a slobber knocker race for the 8 seed. The Nuggets backed up the brinks truck for Jamal Murray and Jokic should probably be MVP barring a spectacular season from anyone else, I feel like he’s next on the hierarchy of valuable players. The Nuggets are running it back, and rightfully so. T wolves, Suns, Kings, yeah. I like Swipa Fox, I feel like he can break out, but I’m not sure what that Harrison Barnes thing was about, but we must pay true homage to a finesse king. T wolves are exactly who we think think they are as the late great Denny Green would say. The Suns aren’t getting better in 7 seconds or less, so I won’t waste my time. Prove me wrong Devin Booker. The Hornets lowballed the best player their franchise has ever seen in conceivably the stingiest offer to a super max player ever. They deserve everything they get out of this season. The Pacers will manage to manufacture a 45-50 win season, the Grizzlies are in Memphis to the extent of my knowledge, it is going to be interesting to see if the Magic making the playoffs was an anomaly or a legit thing, but it feels like they should reach out to a team with players that could be a nice addition, maybe Chris Paul. The Atlanta Hawks are either a dark horse 6 seed, or a huge flop, no in between, and the Wizards I honestly just feel bad for. John Wall needs to get healthy, and Washington needs to free Bradley Beal, starting over isn’t always bad.