Posts Tagged ‘Cleveland Cavaliers’

2014 is almost in the books.  We here at Burnpoetry have decided to take you down the weird, wacky, and meandering path of the sports world for the year that was in our journey through the final 6 months of two thousand and fourteen.  If you missed the first half of our exhaustive recap of all the insanity that was 2014 in the sports world, here’s a link to Part I.

I’ve gone on record in part one, declaring that 2013 is still the weirdest year in sports history, but see if all the evidence I’m about to submit below doesn’t offer up support for 2014 landing in that #2 spot.

We only got through half the year and your intrepid author had to take a long, gasping breather, huffing into a paper bag in an effort to quell my journalistic hyperventilation.  Where’d I get the paper bag you ask?  It’s from the 40 I’m drinking to try to calm my nerves from having just endured the second craziest sports year on record.  Strap up, pour one out for the homies who didn’t survive the first 2500 words and let’s finish strong!


July

LeBrontourage, Season 8 Takes a Surprising Twist

2014 was, without a doubt, the Summer of LeBron.  With teams from all over swooping in to make a play for the best player in the NBA, offering everything from personnel power to unborn children to unlimited supplies of hair plugs, the King was inundated with interest from around the league.  Ultimately he chose to go home, penning an open letter-style piece in Sports Illustrated (*Author’s note: PRINT JOURNALISM STAND UP!) about how this decision was about more than basketball for him.  Cleveland promptly went ape-shit crazy, traded both of their utterly absurd back-to-back #1 draft picks to Minnesota and came away with Kevin Love and the core of a new “Big 3″ for LeBron.  When the news broke, a panicked Chris Bosh immediately went looking for LeBron in the Heat’s team kitchen.

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Once the LeBron domino fell, it triggered a slew of other free agent moves by the reactive NBA GMs as they all scrambled to find the next best thing.  The Heat had a bit of a rough July.  In fact, here was a heat map I created to show just how things went for the once-great “Heatles.”

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The Lakers Keep Interviewing Byron Scott and keep interviewing Byron Scott and keepinterviewingbyronscott

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The news broke in late July that the Lakers were calling in potential head coach Byron Scott for his third interview.  In typical Laker fashion, they had taken something that appeared relatively simple (*Author’s note: just give Phil Jackson whatever he wants to coach and/or GM the hell out of the team) and bungled and botched it with reckless abandon.  It begged the question: what the hell are they asking Byron Scott in interview #3 that they didn’t think of the first time around?  Eventually, Scott was hired on and the Lakers rapidly devolved into a suicide charge with Kobe Bean Bryant screaming and waving his bayonet at the front of the line as they stumbled and lurched their way towards another lottery pick.

Johnny Manziel, Limp Bizkit Superfan, keeps Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’

This July Johnny Manziel was, predictably, the center of a lot of 2014-style weirdness.  There was a constant stream of selfies and tabloid bombs were dropped virtually every day.  *Boom* Here’s Manziel with the Biebs.  *Boom* looks like Manziel was drunker than the guys from The Hangover last night.  Essentially, he was doing exactly what  I would’ve done if I was filthy rich, famous, and 22-years-old.  He was being an A-hole.  But when a photo emerged of the Browns QB in a Las Vegas nightclub appearing to be in the process of rolling a dollar bill, things got really strange.  Why was Johnny football rolling up a bill?  (*Author’s note: here’s where all the Browns fans simultaneously pray “please say there was a vending machine in there. . .please say there was a vending machine in there. . .”)

There’s really only one thing you use a dead-president-tube for and it’s not sipping choco milk out of your kiddie cup.  Hey, you might be saying, let’s not jump to conclusions, here.  It’s a bathroom in a nightclub in Vegas.  That’s one book you can judge by its cover.

And speaking of weird bathroom photos that blew up all over the internet in 2014. . .


August

Jerry Jones Appears to Misinterpret the “Sex” Part of the “Unisex” Bathroom

Johnny wasn’t the only one having fun in the bathroom in 2014.  Oh, no.  Cowboys owner Jerry Jones apparently had a pretty good time rolling up something of his own in the Boys room this year.  When photos emerged of Jerry Jones either groping women —  or performing amateur, temporary, breast augmentations for the women of Dallas — the Internet turned into a torrent of hilarity.  That a filthy rich old man may be a filthy old man isn’t particularly earth-shattering, but in true 2014 fashion the guy that broke the story turned out to also be completely bat-shit insane.

LeGarette Blount and Le’Veon Bell Get Caught Smoking We’ed

Yes.  It will always be funny when a guy whose name sounds like a device used for smoking a drug gets caught smoking that drug.  Also, it would appear that Le’Veon Bell’s use of mari’juana has le’d him to his be’st season ever.  Ta’ke that, the w’ar on dr’ugs.  Also, I would totally watch a stoner comedy show called Bell & Blount on IFC if it existed.

Battle For the Bluejay Heats Up

In August, news broke that the Toronto Blue Jays were suing the Creighton Bluejays for stealing their logo.  With both sides squawking (*Author’s note: thank you!) at one another, I stepped in to try to stop all the Jay-on-Jay crime and suggested a few trade scenarios.  Both sides needed something from one another, so I’m not sure why they didn’t compromise.  No word yet as to whether Rob Ford will be named Creighton’s Athletic Director.  (*Author’s note: fingers crossed!)

Josh Shaw Saves a Drowning Victim, Victim Turns Out to Be Manti Te’o’s Dead Girlfriend

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Josh Shaw is a defensive back at USC.  He made headlines this August after he injured his ankles, leaping from a balcony to save his drowning nephew.  Except that wasn’t exactly how it went down.  As it turns out, Shaw was less Baywatch-David-Hasselhoff – saving innocents from drowning in the sun-drenched pools of Sourthern California – and more drunken-cheeseburger-crushing-David-Hasselhoff.  While we’re not entirely sure what happened, causing the one-time USC Captain to sprain both ankles, it certainly wasn’t anything as heroic as saving someone from drowning.  It was just a weird excuse that blew up in Shaw’s face, getting him suspended for the bulk of the season by new head coach Steve Sarkisian.

Stephon Marbury Stars in his Own Chinese Musical

ALSD:KFJSDF:LSDKFJW:LEFRWE:LKRJWHELKJFHJSLKDJFSLDKFHSEWLKJFRELWKJHSLKDFJHSDLKFJHESLKFJ.  Just look at that clip!?!??! S:LDKFJSDL:FKHELWKJWKLEGJHSDKLHS.  I.   Can’t.  SDL:KFJSELKFJEWKFWEJKWLFJEL:KFJ.  (*Author’s note: Maybe 2014 is gaining on 2013 as weirdest sports year ever?)


September

Mike Tyson and Rob Ford Meet Up to Bro Around Toronto, Tear a Gaping Hole Into Space-Time Continuum

image courtesy of: torontosun.com

Have you ever seen a picture that’s too funny.  Like, you can’t even form vowel sounds (let alone words) when you’re looking at it.  You feel yourself being pulled forward, optically black-holed in and before you know if you’ve got drool spilling over a corner of your mouth and 15 minutes have.  That’s what happened to me with this picture.  No memes necessary.  No jokes that could top the fact that this is a very real, very un-photoshopped encounter.  This is 2014.  This is what the internet was invented for.  Thank you, Al Gore.

Ray Rice’s Video is Released

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Earlier in the year, news of Ray Rice’s domestic assault in an Atlantic City casino had broken and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reacted by really dropping the hammer.  No, seriously.  He dropped the hammer, picked up a ruler, and slapped Rice on the wrist.  Rice got a two-game suspension and the NFL believed they had dodged another PR bullet.  That is until the somehow-always-relevant-because-2014-is-really-f-ing-weird TMZ was able to obtain and release video footage of Rice, giving us images to go along with the text on a page.  Some pictures are worth a thousand words.  This one was worth millions.  And they were angry words.  Directed at the NFL.  And more importantly they were directed at the NFL’s wallet.

Goodell immediately slammed on the brakes and attempted to back pedal with all the rapidity of a DB dropping into coverage.  Rice was suspended indefinitely (*Author’s note: a punishment which has since been overturned upon appeal), the Ravens cut him from their rosters, and Goodell Butt-fumbled his way into a PR nightmare.  It was ugly.  And terrible.  And sad.  And the kind of weird that shouldn’t be around in 2014 but still persists.

Speaking of guys who wished they were dead in 2014. . .

Arkansas State Player Fakes His Own Death During Fake Punt

In what I would argue was the play of the year, an Arkansas State player faked his own demise in an effort to draw attention away from his team’s ill-fated fake punt.  How did they draw that up on the chalkboard at Ark State?

Play

 

49ers Intern Equipment Guy, and Self-Proclaimed “Bro”, Uses His Stunning Hair to Land Gig Officiating Friends’ Wedding

 

Why does this matter?  How is this a story?  Here’s a closeup of what “The Bro” looks like:

This is 2014.  It’s a story: because a 49ers fan like me can follow an intern equipment guy that works for my favorite NFL franchise on Twitter, strictly because he’s the most absurd-looking dude on any sideline anywhere, and he can take that flowing mane and facial pelt to a beach and marry his friends.  That is why 2014 is amazing.  Congratulations to the couple, by the way.  For having the best mustachioed ceremony in history.  Oh, and on your marriage, too.


October

Biggest Day in Mississippi Football Ever and Somehow Katy Perry Steals the Show

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Image Courtesy of: grantland.com

On Saturday October 4th, the state of Mississippi had what was likely the biggest football-related day they’ve had since some kid decided you had to say their state’s name 5 times before you got to rush the quarterback in backyard football.  Mississippi State defeated #6 Texas A&M and Ole Miss pulled off a shocking home upset of #3 Alabama.  But all anyone could talk about was a potentially drunk Katy Perry, seemingly selected at random from a diverse pool of potential guest-pickers, showing up on College Gameday and hitting on Oklahoma’s quarterback, waving phallic corndogs all over the place, and generally pulling ridiculous faces.  Why was she wearing a shirt that looked like it was handmade by some people working Jim Henson’s studio?  Why did she bug her eyes out and dramatically reveal a corndog?  Hopefully we’ll never know.  It’s better that way.

The Walking Ned Just Won’t Die

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I know there hasn’t been much baseball in the post so far.  And, truthfully there’s only going to be a couple of entries surrounding it.  I’m not usually much of a baseball guy.  But I found myself compelled to leap with both feet onto the KC Royals’ massive bandwagon this postseason.  They won in extra innings.  They eeked out impossible victories.  They were like zombies.  They just.  Wouldn’t.  Die.  They were. . .the Walking Ned.  Finally they met their match, falling in Game 7 of the World Series to the San Francisco Giants and the absurd Madison Bumgarner.  We’ll see if they can duplicate the success, but it was fun finding myself intrigued by baseball in October again.

And speaking of the world series, let’s take a look at the weirdness of the World Series MVP. . .

(*Author’s note: no, not that MVP. I mean this MVP.)

Chevy Guy Becomes the MVP of the World Series

A fumbling, bumbling, botched attempt to perform Chevy’s obnoxious corporate-sponsor plug led to the wide-spread internet enjoyment.  Thanks, Chevy guy.  For giving us all something to laugh about.  And stuff.

TCU Defense Continues to Pound it, Really Giving It To Opponents.  Hard.

TCU’s season started off strong and blah, blah, blah.  They’re defensive coordinator is named DICK BUMPAS?!?!?!?  His name and his mustache have to be taken directly from the set of Boogie Nights.  I mean, wouldn’t you just go by “Richard”?  (*Author’s note: if you’re going to Google him, just be very careful with your typing.)

Man With Tom Brady Helmet Tattooed on his Head is Arrested for Insider Trading

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Okay, it was actually drug possession.  But I’m sure you knew that already.


November

The Curse of The Biebs Strikes Again

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Justin Bieber has long been a highly visible presence in the sports world.  From his attending and competing in the All-Star celebrity basketball challenge during NBA All-Star Weekend, to his courtside seats for Heat games in Miami, The Biebs loves him some sports.  But there has been a theory developed recently, an insidious, dark, heart-stoppingly terrifying conspiracy that has begun circulating about our beloved Justin Drew Bieber: that he is cursed.  The Biebs is reverse Midas-touching sports franchises all over the globe, his mere presence appearing to doom the Spanish National team, the Miami Heat, and now the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Is it real? Man, do I hope so.

Melvin Gordon Breaks the NCAA Single-Game Rushing Record, His Reign Lasts 1 Week

That’s actual footage of Melvin Gordon playing against Nebraska.  It was that bad.  Melvin was treating the Huskers he was Dom Toretto and was living his life a quarter mile at a time.  Yeah, he went for that many yards on us.  He broke the NCAA Single game rushing mark. . .in 3 quarters.  Then he just kind of sat back and chilled, watching the Huskers continue to explode like a hastily thrown Molotov Cocktail, content to know that he would be the record holder for a long time to come.  After all, it had been since 1999 that anyone had gone for four hundy in a game.  This one would be safe for quite a long, long wh– what’s that you say?  It’s already been shattered?  Immediately?  Turns out, Oklahoma freshman Samaje Perine broke Gordon’s short-lived record the following weekend, posting 427 yards against Kansas.  Weird.

Kobe Bryant Takes Over All-Time Misses Lead

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(Author’s note: I blatantly stole this joke from Twitter user @kbrissy who used it to describe Rudy Gay’s horrific shooting night back in November of 2013. I would’ve used his graphic to credit him, but it already had Rudy’s name attached.  I’m a thief.  I admit it.)

Kobe defiantly took over the all-time miss lead, having bricked 13,418 shots.  He did that by averaging 10.7 misses per game over his lengthy career.  Somehow, I love Kobe Bryant more when he’s shooting 7-20 and talking trash to little children on the sidelines.  Is it just me, or does the NBA need Kobe just as much as Kobe needs the NBA right now?

 Will Muschamp and Bo Pelini Get Canned

Image Courtesy of latimes.com

Both Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini and his counterpart at Florida were fired in November.  Both have since taken jobs at places that seemed better suited to their personalities.  The fiery, disgusted-with-media Pelini will now be coaching at Youngstown State, where he should be out of the fishbowl of Lincoln, Nebraska.  Will Mushcamp will now go back to his lucrative career as a Bill Callahan body double.

Which finally brings us to. . .


December

Brady Hoke Gets Fired, Probably Can’t Hear the Announcement Because His Headset is Too Loud

Image courtesy of: usatoday.com

And now, a scene from my upcoming Broadway musical,  Up in Hoke

FADE IN:

INTERIOR: A dark coach’s office.  There’s an empty box of Dunkin Doughnuts on a cluttered desk.  Up against one wall there is a series of bins for incoming mail.  A huge stack of mail pokes out of the bin labeled “Stuff that was actually supposed to be for Artie Lange.”  The “Fan Mail” slot is conspicuously empty and has cobwebs covering its entrance.  In a corner of the darkened office, Brady Hoke is feverishly struggling to open a wrapped box containing a Blue Tooth headset. 

Michigan interim Athletic Director, Jim Hackett, enters the room.

Startled by this intrusion, Hoke lets out a wild, panicked noise.  The sound that comes out can only be described as “Winnie the Pooh getting prison-shanked.”

Hoke
Blllllargh!

He drops the box clumsily to the floor.

 Hackett
(Smiling evilly)
Sorry, Brady.  I didn’t mean to startle you.  Were you. . .busy?

Hoke
(Fumbling over his words)
I—uh. . .I’m just working on.  Headset.  Look, I know you guys wanted me to wear a headset.  So I’m just. . .
(He trails off)

Hoke finally gets the box open and pulls out the headset.  Grinning, he puts the ear piece in and points to it jovially.

Hackett
(Shaking his head)
Listen, Brady.  There’s no nice way to put this.  You’re fired.

Hoke
I can’t hear you.  Because I’ve got the headset in.  See how bad they disrupt communication?  See?!?!

Hackett
Brady, I know you can hear me—

Hoke
It’s.  The.  Headset.  Too loud!

FADE OUT

Chugging Beer and Running Hard, Not Just For College Students Running From the Cops Anymore

Image Courtesy of flotrack.org

The first ever Beer Mile World Championships were held in Austin this year.  I know what you’re thinking.  Finally a way to combine elite level athletes with heavy drinking.  About time.  (*Author’s note: What?!? Am I the only one who would love to watch phenomenal athletes compete in drinking games?  I highly doubt it.  Start posting Kobe’s beer pong games to YouTube, the NBA.  Please.)  It was captivating, finally getting to watch the athletes drink right along with the spectators.  For once, I wasn’t the only one chugging a beer and watching a sporting event.  The athletes were doing the same thing!  Audience participation!  Corey Gallagher, a chug-happy Canadian with an incredible ability to house beers after running long distances, won the inaugural event.  He was kind enough to give No Coast Bias an interview about his traning, his chugging, and whether or not he still has to pay for drinks.  What a wonderfully weird year.  I love 2014.

Ryan Leaf Gets Out of Prison, Walks Directly Into Your Nightmares

image courtesy of: deadspin.com

What else needs to be said, really?  I’m going to try to stop my spine from convulsing with shivers and move on as quickly as I can.

Toronto Raptors Star Lou Williams is Dating Two Women. . .Who are Dating Each Other

Lou Williams Two Girlfriends

Image courtesy of: hollywoodtake.com

A:LKJSD:FLKSW:LJEKHGFW:OLJ:QL#KJH@Q#:OHNWWOJNWOIEHJWQ#OTFRN#WLKJNW.  Reports have recently confirmed that Toronto guard Lou Williams is dating two women.  At the same time.  That are also dating each other.  You win, 2014.  You.  Win.

In conclusion

2014 definitely ranks as the second weirdest year ever.  It’s so close to weirdness champion, 2013, that they are practically dating the same dude.  And each other.  What an insane ride it’s been so far.  Chime in below, because I’m sure I missed some of the other weirdness the year had to offer.

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After a long off-season with some insane storylines: (*Author’s note: Bron-Bron goes back to Cleveland, Phil takes the helm in NYC, Kobe and Derrick Rose prepare for their returns, and the Cavaliers prove that they are the NBA equivalent to Meatloaf and will do anything for Love.) the NBA season has finally arrived.  I’m sure, if you’re a hoophead like me, you’ve already pored over a 20 or more previews and watched as dozens of talking heads asked “The Important Questions” about this upcoming NBA season.

So I decided I’d take a little more outside the box approach.  I’d take a look at five storylines that may or may not be flying underneath the radar and investigate them.  Here are 5 questions that simply must be asked before the NBA season goes into day 2.

1.  Whose hair will get talked about the most in Cleveland: LeBron James or Anderson Varejao?

Anderson Varejao has come strong with his token-black-guy-in-High-School-Musical hair for the past few seasons.  Does it kind of look like the Brazilian hair version of the confetti that comes out of those toy champagne-poppers that people bust out for New Year’s Eve?  Yeah.  Does it flop oh-so-gloriously, like Pau Gasol trying to draw a charge in the low block?  Definitely.  Varejao’s stat line usually includes a triple double when he’s playing: points, rebounds, and times spent tossing his hair like model doing a “wind-blown” look in front of a power fan.

LeBron’s hair, like everything else about LeBron James, was highly scrutinized this offseason.  If you think about LeBron’s hair like a Civil War battlefield (*Author’s note: you know, like a normal person) it seemed like the front lines of LeBron’s hair were gradually ceding precious ground to the inevitable reverse Kareem-ing that seemed to be happening.  The head band on his dome kept moving back, gradually sliding towards making him look like he was wearing an NBA yarmulke that came with the sun roof option.  But for a brief moment this year, Bron-Bron called for reinforcements.

Photo Courtesty of Eonline.com

He got hair plugs.  His hairline made a dramatic, suicide charge, that had Twitter imploding in on itself like a dying supernova as LeBron suddenly looked like a new man.  But then?  Just like that: poof.  The new hair was gone again.  It had Nightcrawler’d (*Author’s note: the character from X-Men, not Jake Gyllenhall) out of the picture, teleporting off of LeBron’s dome.  Did he unplug like a rapper doing an acoustic set on MTV?  Had the Twitter backlash driven his new follicles to a full-on retreat?  We may never know.  But it’ll be something that’s totally worth watching.

2.  Where will Kobe hide the body of Swaggy P after he inevitably murders him?

That the situation in LA is a mess is hardly a secret.  I’m not sure if they’ve already copyrighted the term, “Blunderbuss” to describe how great Jerry’s son Jimmy has done running the franchise, but if they haven’t I’m going to send off a quick e-mail to the US Patent Office.  What will make a disgustingly unwatchable Lakers team infinitely more watchable this year?  The fact that Kobe Bryant is back.

And not only is Kobe back, but he’s in full on crotchety old man, I-don’t-give-a-fuck-because-I’m-a-veterans-veteran and make Rip van Winkle look like a rookie, mode.  So what happens when Kobe, and all his mamba-venom, run into Swaggy P and all his long-two-point-jacking bravado?  It could get ugly.  Since Swaggy P is essentially a 3rd-world-poor man’s Kobe and he has become a pseudo-celeb based on the fact that he’s dating Iggy Azalea, it could lead to a fascinating power struggle.

Trains

Photo Courtesy of: I’m sure you can tell I just crappily photoshopped this myself.

But let’s be honest: the struggle won’t last long.  We all know that Kobe’s competitiveness borders on homicidal.  So when he ends up drowning Swaggy P in the training room cold tub, after the Swagster goes 4-19 from the field at some point this year, the question will be this: where will Kobe stash his body?

4 Potential hiding places:

  • Wherever Jim Buss hides all of his “mistakes.”
    • A dude like Jimmy Buss isn’t going to live a completely clean life.  That much we can rightly assume.  So what do his “handlers” do when the Blunderbuss fires off an errant round and they need to dispose of the evidence?  I’m sure they have a secret passageway underneath the Staples center to spirit out bodies.  And we know Kobe would have access to these.
  • Smush Parker’s house.
    • Kobe and Smush have had a simmering, sometimes boiling, feud. And what better way for psycho-Kobe to exact his revenge (*Author’s note: other than, you know, just having no one else on the planet give a damn about Smush Parker – which has already happened.) than by a classic Hollywood Noir frame-job.
  • The Medieval German Castle Dungeon Laboratory where Kobe gets his strange knee injections.
  • Donald Sterling’s basement.
    • Because everyone would just assume Sterling did it.  I know I would.

3.  Will the 76ers play so bad that we retro-actively are declared the losers of the Revolutionary War and we have to give back thirteen states to Great Britain?

There’s a legitimate chance.  Have you seen their lineup? It’s a crew so Motley that Tommy Lee should be playing the drums.  They’ve got guys you’ve never heard of.  Young dudes who have names you can’t pronounce.  Michael Carter-Williams is their best player and he has a name like a serial killer and shoots 40% from the field.  While the team has a few young pieces with some upside, they appear to be doomed to another season so far at the bottom of the standings that they’re somewhere below the Earth’s crust.  The one bonus? Nerlens Noel, rocking a flat top the size of a small mountain peak on his dome.  (*Author’s note: and that’s trying really hard for a silver lining.)

4.  Will Chris Bosh continue his slow metamorphosis into a Velociraptor before our very eyes?

Duh.

(*Author’s note: It’s time for you to start lining up your Jurassic World jokes, Twitter.  The season is back, the next installment of the Jurassic Park franchise is off and running, and Chris Bosh is probably going to continue Chris Boshing his way around the court.  Personally, I don’t know if the Heat will let Bosh have enough time off from the team to finish shooting his scenes as a stunt double for the velociraptors, and that could lead to some conflict.  Get.  Your.  Popcorn. Ready.)

5.  Will reigning technical foul king Boogie Cousins get out-teched by Larry Sanders?

Boogie seems to have troubles with the refs.  I’m not sure if this stems from the fact that he’s a post player who consistently thinks he’s getting hacked (*Author’s note: a hallmark of good NBA post players is their insistence that they’re being fouled and their willingness to get T-ed up for it. Hell, even not-good NBA post players get a lot of techs.  See: Perkins, Kendrick.) or if he’s just got a lousy attitude, but whatever the reason, Boogs has lead the league in techs for 2 straight seasons and finished second 3 years ago to the aforementioned king of posturing/scowling, Perkins.

But someone is coming for Boogie’s belt.  Someone equally tatted and equally trialed-and-tribulated by the officiating community.  Someone who once racked up a whopping 14 T’s of his own 2 seasons ago in a mere 71 games and who will be an what appears to be a super frustrating scenario buried in the frozen tundra of Milwaukee.  That’s right, baby!  I’m talking about none other than Larry F-ing Sanders!  If you doubt Mr. Sander’s ref-taunting technique, or don’t think anyone can hang with Boogie’s panache in the ref-flouting business: ladies and gentleman of the jury, please let me submit to you my favorite ejection of all time not involving an NBA fist fight.

Gif Provided via Deadpsin.com and, apparently @wiz_spurtin

Last night the Cleveland Cavaliers landed the 1st overall selection in the NBA draft.  Again.

I know what you’re saying to yourself: how in the hell is this possible?  Is this some kind of weird, elaborate Jimmy Kimmell prank?  How is it even remotely conceivable that I can be uttering the words, “Man, Cleveland is so lucky”?

Let’s be honest, the only thing less likely than the Cavs snagging the first place in line in the Wiggins/Jabari Parker/Embiid sweepstakes is a musical about Jesus that stars JC Chasez, a dude from Incubus, and the least-cool person from Destiny’s Child.

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(*Author’s note: okay, bad example.)

But it happened.

What we need to try to do is find out why?  Was it dumb luck?  Sabermetrics getting imploded, like an old sports stadium, before our very eyes?  Or was there something else going on?

Here are five ideas on how the Cavs may have gotten another shot at first-pick redemption.

1.  Let’s start with the obvious.  Dan Gilbert has taken out a second mortgage on his soul and this little personal re-financing is being handled directly by the Devil.  It just makes too much sense.  Does the Devil love bow ties, slicked back hair and mortgage lenders?  Do I even need to answer that?  Does he like to meddle in desperate moments being handled by desperate men?  Yup.  I mean, hell, I would bet even the Devil felt a little guilty about how badly his last soul-purchase from Gilbert went (See: Bennett, Anthony).  My first guess on how this happened?  He gave Mr. Gilbert a Satanic Mulligan.

Dev

2.  Adam Silver is angling for a cameo in the next Uncle Drew ad as Uncle Drew’s zany lawyer friend “Litigation Larry.”  When he realized all he had to do was rig the draft lottery to get Kyrie a little help, he was all in.

Silv

3.  Johnny Manziel sent a text message to the Ping Pong balls telling them he wanted to see Cleveland tear up the league this year.

4.  And now, an excerpt from Adam Silver’s conversation with his mentor David Stern during last night’s draft:

Silver: “Whoa.  Déjà vu.”
Everyone around both men freeze right in their tracks, Stern pauses in mid-bite of a pig in a blanket.
Stern: “What did you just say?”
Silver: “Nothing.  Just had a little déjà vu.”
Stern: “What happened?”
Silver: “A draft lottery just happened, and then another that looked just like it.”
Stern: “How much like it?  Was it the same draft?”
Silver: “It might have been.  I’m not sure.”
Stern: “A déjà vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix.  It happens when they don’t change anything.”

Glitch

 

5.  Deep in the bowels of the Illuminati-controlled Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, there is a secret sect that exists for one purpose and one purpose only: complete and utter domination of the human race.  They plan on using their fiendish influence to bring in a human specimen for bio-genetic mutation experimentation.  But they need someone strong.  And tall.  And fast.  They need someone of unparalleled athletic ability to withstand the rigors of their mad-scientist plan.  They need Andrew Wiggins.  Tapping into their resources they were able to get the NBA Draft lottery rigged, landing their hometown franchise the first overall pick and thereby triggering the first in a series of events that could tear apart the fabric of all humanity.

But unbeknownst to them there is one man who can break into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, decipher the invisible runes buried in the inner stitching of John Lennon’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band jacket and bring down this evil ring of vicious miscreants.  That man?  I think you already know who he is.

Ni

FIN

LeBron James’ “The Decision” was a 1 hour televised pistol-whipping to the collectively miserable psyche of Cleveland sports fans.  Last Tuesday, “King James” headed back to greet his former peons at Quicken Loans Arena.

It was the second time LeBron had taken his talents back to Cleveland since he left under heavy criticism.  The first trip the Heat scorched the Cavs to the tune of a James-led curbstomping that sent the Cavs into a “Blackhawk Down” style, tailspinning nightmare which crash-landed them into the boneyard of all-time bad teams.  The 2010-11 season saw Cleveland turn into the dirty rug of the league, constantly getting the dust beat out of them.

The Heat, heralded by some as a super team worthy of 70+ wins and by others as a whole lot more hyperbole than substance, have proven that both sides of the spectrum are right in one way or another.  They’re inconsistent.  In fact, they’re consistently inconsistent.  They have Space Mountained their way through several tough losing streaks and a few impressive winning streaks as well.

While they’ve had well-documented trouble beating upper echelon opponents they have been decisively smoking patsies like the Cavaliers all year.

And then Tuesday happened.

Cleveland, woefully inadequate in both scoring and defensive stats, hadn’t won a game by 10 or more points all year.

And then Tuesday happened.

LeBron and the Heat headed to Cleveland feeling like rockstars.  Calling themselves “The Heatles,” they landed their roadies, possies, and PR agents on the tarmac of LeBron’s former town feeling ready to deliver another defacto performance; to drive a #6 labeled stake into the hearts of the staggering undead that is the Cleveland franchise.

But in a city that houses the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame, “The Heatles” played more like an Air Supply cover band than a group worthy of any kind of enshrinement.  Suffice it to say, LeBron was “All Out of Love.”  (*Author’s Note: Shoot me.  Seriously.  I think that’s a new Burnpoetry record for lamest name drop of a song.  Ever.)

LeBron’s troubles started early Tuesday evening.  As the Heat’s team bus was pulling up to head into the arena, LeBron and his crew were attempting to sneak in in-coward-nito through the back parking garage.  The LeBrontourage was spotted rolling in an Obama-worthy cavalcade of multiple SUV’s but were turned away by security.

I’m not saying that LeBron was scared to come in the front door. . .but LeBron was scared to come in the front door. 

However, can you really blame him?  If you were Benedict Arnold, would you want to pull your carriage up at the front gates of Mount Vernon or would you probably try to sneak around back to the slave quarters?

It got worse from there.

As the Heat prepared to have their team introductions read, and as they began to announce LeBron James’ height, weight, and high school “The Chosen One” chose to cop-out.  With a rolling thunder of boos cascading down, vibrating through the arena like a chorus of tribal war drums, LeBron was nowhere to be found.  Apparently Bron-Bron had to pee-pee.

When asked about his absence after the game LeBron said that he’d had to go to the bathroom.  He was defiant about his choice to hit the John at the exact moment when he would be basking in the unabashed hatred of 20,562 people, asking inquisitive media members if they “had a problem with that?!?”

Of course they did, LeBron.  At the moment when you were supposed to come out and rally your would-be bad boy image, show the icy contempt that made Jordan who he was and Kobe who he is, you copped out and popped a squat in your locker room.

Now, to be fair, maybe LeBron has a prostate issue.  Maybe he’s got a hot new endorsement deal for Beta Prostate and will be starring in a commercial about untimely pee breaks.

I’m not sure why, if LBJ had to take a pee, he couldn’t just go on the court.  He practically took a dump at center court last year when he completely gave up during the Cavs’ last playoff game in 2010.

The Cavs, however, came out motivated — they must have taken their bathroom breaks at the right time — and played with a ferocity and passion that has been sorely lacking since James’ departure. 

The Cavs won their first game by more than 10 points all year.  They exorcised a minor demon in the process, beating the man who beatdown the whole city last summer, and they allowed me to make a prostate joke in a sports post.  Thanks, the Cavs.

The Heat continued to look severely flawed, having their porous bench get outscored by nearly 30 points by the Cavs’ bench and they lost the chance to move up a spot to third in the Eastern Conference standings.

Now?  The playoffs loom large.  The question remains, will LeBron and company show up and deliver in the face of mass amounts of “we’re going to win 7 titles” self-hype, or will their season end up in the toilet like their superstar? 

FIN

 

After last season’s surprise, twist-ending that saw King James get bounced out of the playoffs by an aging Celtics squad, teams have been scrambling to get LeBron on their team.  The Knicks have pulled out all the stops, throwing their financial, celebrity and big city trappings at Lebron’s Niked-up feet.  The Chicago Bulls have thrown their lot into the mix as well, slashing and burning cap space like it was rainforest, and the Miami Heat seem intent on pitching Dwyane Wade as Eric Murphy to LBJ’s Vince.  The entire city of Cleveland has attempted to ask, or should I say beg, their greatest homegrown athlete of all time to stick around.  Where will LeBron end up?  Will he choose the beaches and thongs of Miami or the board rooms and penthouse suites of NYC?  Will Cleveland ever win anything?  These answers and more, in the LeBrontourage Season Premiere starting today on every sports network imaginable.

 New York: a bustling metropolis with well-known nicknames like “The City that Never Sleeps”, “The Capital of the World” and “The Place Where a Guy Tried to Sell Me a Fake Rolex and a Dime Bag in the Same Conversation.”  Alright, that last one was mine.  But that did happen.  New York is a place where LeBron could take his already astronomical net-worth and truly blast into a Jordan-esque tax bracket.  New York has the fabled Madison Square Garden, one of the most famed home courts for a team in history, and a star-studded, celebrity courtside crew.  LeBron and New York seem like a great match off the court.

But on the court?  New York is a bigger mess than a sorority girl on cheap-margarita night.  After she just got dumped.  They have plodded along to a 212-362 game record since LeBron’s joined the league.  That’s a 58% winning percentage and a meager 6% better than Shaq’s career free-throw percentage.  The best player on the Knicks is a Honky with two first names that I have to Google just to show people who he is.  Alicia Keys may sing that the city is a “concrete Jungle where dreams are made of” but the only thing concrete about the Knicks, is the way they move their feet on defense.

 What about the Chi, you might be saying?  Doesn’t the land of Obama and Oprah, Jordan and Joachim get any love in this whole contest?  The answer is “yes.”  The Bulls have made room for LeBron and have thrown off some of their lesser, overpaid talent to pave the way for him.  Would LeBron dare go to the Windy City where the G.O.A.T. once played, to suit up alongside a guy that he almost had an altercation with, in Joachim Noah.  The Bulls have a few pieces in place in Derrick Rose and the aforementioned Noah and can pick up one Max-contract free-agent but seem to be trailing the next team in the recent media blitz’s predictions on who’ll land James.

 The other team that is vying to take LeBron away from his home-state is the Miami Heat.  This team has been carried on Dwyane Wade’s ample back for the last few years and, needless to say he’s getting a little tired.  The city itself is another big-time market and all the team needs to do to lure LeBron’s gaze away from the dirty, cold streets of Cleveland is to kick open his limousine door and let him catch a whiff of the salt-tinged beach air.  All he needs to do is catch an eyeful of the perfect sand, rolling out its own version of a red carpet down to its never-cold-enough-to-need-the-15-winter-coats-you-are-required-to-have-in-Cleveland water.  Miami is gorgeous and boasts fast cars and wild times for the 25-year-old millionaire. 

But does it boast touches on the court?  Will LBJ and D-Wade work out together?  They seem compatible on the court, having done well together as teammates on Team U.S.A., and are legitimate friends.  But both are big time scorers and both guys are alpha males that lead their team.  Will Pat Riley come back and take over the Heat?  He seems to come back to coaching like a junkie to the pipe.  It would be tough for James to say no to a team with Bosh, Wade, and himself coached by one of the all-time greats in a climate where you don’t even need to wear long pants in January.  If LeBron doesn’t feel threatened by going to “Wade’s City” and “Wade’s Team” and if Wade doesn’t mind giving up a few late-game jumpers and a few groupie 3-ways to The King?  I’d watch out for the Miami Heat.

The last piece of this puzzle is Cleveland.  The Cavaliers can’t seem to work any general manager magic, make any moves that put the Cavs over the top, or ride the Bron-Bron express to the promised land.  For 2 straight seasons the Cavs have finished with the league’s best record and for 2 straight seasons they have been bounced before reaching the NBA finals.  James has played himself to back-to-back MVP trophies and they still can’t put it together around him.  Anderson Varejao is his best big-man and Varejao’s hair is usually more noteworthy than his stat line.  I LeBron leaves, he leaves behind a town and state that have adored him since he was 13 and suddenly takes the title “most hated man in his hometown of all time.”  A tough title to bear, for sure, but Cleveland is nearly maxed out and the best they could do would be to bring in a middling free agent in some kind of trade for Mo Williams or another guard.

No matter what LBJ chooses, LeBrontourage Season 7 promises to have all kinds of twists and turns.  Will it have the surprise ending that makes “Saw” seem predictable, like James heading to New Jersey?  Or will James choose Miami sand over New York skyscraper steel?  Tune in today as it all plays out.  Also, check out the mathematical equations that I have developed for each team in my post tomorrow.