Posts Tagged ‘Miami Heat’

LeBron James is a free agent.  I’m sure you know this already.

In fact, I’m sure at this point in the game, if you’re reading this article and you’ve watched any sports-related television in the past month, then your BJC (*Author’s note: Blood James Content) would be hovering at a not-safe-to-drive .23 if you were to blow into an ESPN microphone.

At this point, we truly only know 1 thing for certain regarding The King’s free agency: LeBron’s going to get paid.  He’s going to get a max deal.  He can Scrooge McDuck backstroke around in all the millions he’s made and get Warren Buffet to fold on an All-In poker hand based solely on his pile of chips.  We get that.

So, then, the question is: what would lure LeBron out of South Beach before he reaches the 8 titles he so boldly joked about during the Heat’s pre-season victory parade?

The answer, of course: the perks.

When you have as much money as LeBron, and you’re utterly unparalleled on the basketball court, it’s the little things that might make you sign on with a franchise.

We were able to gain exclusive access to the perk packages offered up to LeBron by all his free-agent suitors and submit them now for your reading pleasure.

Cleveland Cavaliers’ Free Agency Package

– The Cleveland Cavaliers will play every winter home game in their brand new arena: Suckitcleveland Municipal Arena, located in Miami Beach.


– Dan Gilbert will chain himself to a giant boulder at the bottom of an old missile silo somewhere in the Canadian wilderness so that he can never be heard from again.

– A starring role in the next Uncle Drew short film as Uncle Drew’s cousin (*Author’s note: streetball alias, Nightschool) that has to be smuggled out of his nursing home from under the nose of the creatively named and hyper volatile director of nursing, Rat Piley.


– A signed agreement that if the air conditioning ever goes out in their building, their building manager will immediately chainsaw through the power and burn the stadium to the ground.  Just to make sure the game cannot go on.

– Anyone claiming that “Dan Gilbert is My Boy!” will henceforth and forevermore be banished to the Aleutian Islands.

– First rights to the leftover hair from Anderson Varejao’s once yearly trip to the Barbershop.

– A Bone Thugs-n-Harmony remix to “Crossroads” that starts off just like this: “Bron Bron Bron Bron…Bron…Bron…Bron…Bron…Bron”.


Miami Heat Free Agency Package

– An all-expenses paid vacation to watch Dwyane Wade get illegal German-mad-scientist injections into his knees.

– A cameo in the next Michael Bay movie to be shot in Miami (*Author’s note: which will be his 77th film shot there.(*Secondary Author’s note: when in the hell is Bay going to quit dicking around and just make Bad Boys 3 already?)


– A promise that the team will absolutely, unequivocally, party in the city where the heat is on.  All night on the beach.  ‘Til the break of dawn.

– A minority stake in the Miami Marlins.  Actually, you know what?  Do you want to own the team?  Seriously.  Because we’ll just give you the team.  It’s yours.

– We will get Pitbull to stop rapping.  For 10 minutes.  A feat that has not been accomplished since an emergency laryngectomy in late 2002.

– We will guarantee you a Chris Bosh cameo in Jurassic Park’s latest installment.  And, yes, just like you requested: he will be playing a velociraptor.

– We will allow you to get onto the PA system to loudly berate Mario Chalmers in 20,000 decibel tirades after a lousy pass.

Dallas Mavericks Free Agency Package

– The answer to the one question that has plagued LeBron’s career since he was 18 years old: who shot JR?

– The chance to drop a sweet dime to Dirk Nowitzki and have the announcers call it “The Magic Bullet”.  (*Author’s note: too soon?)

– An oath signed in Marc Cuban’s blood that he will never, ever, let Delonte West come back around the team.

– Unlimited access to Dirk Nowitzki’s premium wiener-schnitzel collection.

– The chance to never be the most hated athlete in Dallas, no matter how things go.

– As your headband continues to move further back on your head, you can definitely pitch your idea of headband yarmulkes for Jewish streetball players to Marc Cuban on Shark Tank.


Houston Rockets Free Agency Package

– A clause stating that the city of Houston will give LeBron Mike Jones’ old phone number.

– A snipers posted in the catwalks of  The Toyota Center who have Kevin McHale’s direct orders to “Take the Shot” if Dwight Howard doesn’t shoot every single free throw of the 2014-2015 season underhand.

– The personal cellphone number to James Harden’s Beard Groomist.

– A written contract from the Houston Public School Board, stating that they will re-write their history books to show that the Battle of San Jacinto was not won by General Sam Houston, as previously believed, but by LeBron’s great, great grandfather Jebediah Methusela James.

– I’ll just let Slim Thug, the man solely responsible for the Rockets’ landing of Dwight Howard, explain the rest of the Rockets’ perk package:

He's a Logical Hogg


Phoenix Suns’ Free Agency Package

– Anything.  We will literally give you anything you want.  First born son?  Check.  Key to the city?  Check.  Dan Majerle throwback jersey collection?  Take it.  It’s all yours.

Los Angeles Lakers’ Free Agency Package

– A starring role in the sequel of a lifetime: Space Jam 2: Jam Harder.


– A signed affidavit from Kobe Bryant that he will only shout at you 3 times per scrimmage.

– Private weekly lessons in flopping from the producers of 47 Ronin.


– Jim Busss will demote himself from his franchise-ruining role of executive vice president of basketball operations.  His only public appearances will be in a recurring guest spot on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

– A complimentary pair of Jack Nicholson’s weirdly oval, red-tinted, courtside sunglasses.

– A complimentary pair of Jack Nicholson’s weirdly young, skeeze-tinted, courtside dates.

Good times: Jack shares a joke with a courtside companion


On Monday, TNT debuted their 785th buddy-cop/buddy lawyer/buddy businessmen show of the past 5 years, King and Maxwell.  (*Author’s note: don’t fact-check those statistics, please.)  I DVR’d it in the hopes that it would be one of their better opposites-attract-and-make-for-dynamic-crime-fighting-duos-that-might-bang-each-other-or-betray-each-other-or-both shows.

Also assailing our senses at every turn are the promotions for the God-awful movie The Heat starring Sandra Bullock and Photoshoppedmelissa McCarthy.

The main reason I haven’t had time to check out King and Maxwell, or go on an obnoxious twitter complaint-rampage about how awful The Heat looks, is that I’ve been watching the non-italicized Heat and the man who would be King (*Author’s note: Bron-Bron).  I’ve just been too engrossed with the NBA finals and the ensuing media mayhem that has occurred as everyone rushes to break it all down to stop and catch up on my fix of Buddy-cops and mismatched partners in crime.

We all know the current formula well enough: two very different people are forced to work together by circumstances that are out of their control.  They hilariously struggle to adapt to one another, stylistically, but eventually learn how to utilize their two halves to form one unstoppable whole.  There are enough of these types of shows out there that there should be a buddy-cop network (*Author’s note: if TNT doesn’t already have that idea in the works, frankly, they’re slipping).  People can’t seem to get enough.

This is the dawning of the age of the Buddy-Cop golden era.

If they were to make a spinoff of the NBA finals that turned into a buddy cop/buddy lawyer/buddy-whatever show (*Author’s note: like what they have every 2 weeks debuting on TNT this summer), what would the best shows be?  What terrible photoshop botch-jobs could occur?  Who would star with who?

Let’s find out. . .

Bonner & T-Mac

Bonner & T-Mac

Tracy McGrady, known as “T-Mac” to his friends, used to be one of the greatest lawyers on the planet.  He was an All-Star.  He had his own brand of legal pads and had just received a fat contract at Orlando, Orlando, & Magic law firm back in the mid-2000s before his body betrayed him.  Left washed up, looking for work, and desperate to prove that he’s once again capable of being one of the best lawyers in the game he takes a reckless gamble: riding the pine at a small-time Texas law firm.

Matt Bonner, known as “Matt Bonner” to his friends, just kind of does one thing really well.  He usually finds his way over to the corner of the office and just waits for a wide open case to hit him in the hands so he can launch it towards a judge.  He’s pasty.  And looks like a grown-up, athletic version of Ron Weasley.  But, damn, can he find the corner and wait for the perfect time to shoot.

When these two lawyers, one a slick-talking former star and the other a one-trick pony looking to show that he’s a Swiss Army knife of lawyer-ing, get stuck in the same office you can be sure that they just might find the winning combination.  Will the head of the firm ever let them off the bench?  Will T-Mac finally show that he’s not a choke artist and that he’s got a little law-firming left in the tank?  Can Bonner ever leave his corner?  Watch Bonner & T-Mac on TNT this summer to find out.

Ethel and Flo

Ethel & Flo

(*Author’s note: I know, I know.  This picture is from the Eastern Conference Finals.  Has anyone been able to verify if this lady was forced to sit next to Flo-Rida again during the finals?  It’s definitely in my top-5 of NBA Finals subplots, even in a series with a million  good subplots.  They’re officially my favorite NBA power couple from now on.  Sorry, Delonte and Gloria James, you’ve been dethroned.)

Coming this fall:  Ethel Janicek is the oldest cop on the force.  She’s tired.  Worn down.  And she only has 2 months until she can retire and head to the Caribbean with her two cats and her collection of romance novels.  But when the inevitably-way-too-angry Chief pairs her with the newest cop on the force, Flo-Rida, things start going wrong immediately.

He’s too flashy, demanding that they sit courtside at the Miami Heat games so they can “stake out” a potential drug smuggling ring run by Chris Andersen.  He’s too reckless, wearing a gigantic, gold tiki-head that is actually hollow and holds a revolver.  Plus?  He doesn’t like that Ethel prefers to crochet during stake-outs instead of waiting for the perps while holed up in a strip club.

Will Ethel realize that Flo is offering her a sip from the fountain of youth?  Will Flo ever realize that he’s squandering his potential and follow the respected vet’s lead?  How often will they be forced to sit side-by-side and endure nearly 30-point beatings?  Watch Ethel and Flo to find out.  Fridays on TNT.

The King & Mario

The King and Rio

The King, deemed “The Chosen One” since his early days training at the FBI headquarters in Quantico had everything going for him.  Looks, power, prestige.  He was a rising star.  But then, one fateful summer day he announced at an unsanctioned press conference at FBI headquarters that he was “taking his talents to the Secret Service.”  Shunned by the law enforcement community for this bold move he finds himself placed on the lowest tier of Secret Service duty, guarding the Secretary of Agriculture’s wife’s mother.

His partner?  None other than the bumbling, lazy, Mario.  The two immediately clash, both in style of protection and in personal appearance and The King makes sure that Mario knows who is in charge.  Tongue-lashings abound as The King repeatedly verbally flogs his lesser-known counterpart, establishing decibel dominance like a silverback gorilla in the deep forests of the Congo.

Unbeknownst to our two diametrically opposed heroes, however, there is a large-scale, diabolical terrorist conspiracy centered on kidnapping all the Mother’s of the Wives of the Presidents’ cabinet members.  Confused yet?  Will these two agents figure out who is behind this kidnapping plot?  Will The King shout himself hoarse or rupture a vein in his receding-hairlined-forehead?  Is Mario actually an Italian plumber with a savage hatred for turtles?  Tune in to The King and Mario on Mondays this summer on TNT.


#1.  Hey LeBron, how did botching the streak taste last night?



Oh, that good, huh?

#2.  The Heatles got Yoko Ono’d.  And by a team without their two best players.  The Heat somehow lost for the first time in 27 games to a team with a guy that looks like he’d be the on the Bachelorette – as the contestant who is the lead singer of a Dave Matthews cover band– running the point guard spot.

#3.  When reached for comment Jerry West (*Author’s note: AKA The Logo) had this to say:

The Logo strikes again.

The Logo strikes again.

#4.  LeBron complained after the game about the referees.  Considering that, at one point he went some 250+ minutes without getting called for a foul this year, I’m not sure that he’s really justified.  I know a lot of you will point to his unbelievable skill and his disdain for committing fouls, but his absurdly low foul rate this year pretty much renders any complaints about refereeing by James laughable.

#5.  Make no mistake about it, LeBron got pushed around last night.  Considering he’s built like a defensive end, I think he was probably okay.  However with only Shane Battier and a point guard that he verbally berates as often as possible to have his back.  LeBron decided he needed to take matters into his own hands.  Here’s a fun GIF of him screaming at Chalmers.  Strange that the dude didn’t have his back when the going got tough. . .

#6.  Vigilante justice by Sheriff James!  It didn’t go well.  He ended up with a flagrant and a bunch of microphones in his face for him to complain to.

#7.  Every streak has to end.  In this case, Miami was Frank the Tank and the Chicago was his soon-to-be-divoring-him wife from Old School.  I hope Eric Spoelstra climbed into the team bus and said, “Do you think KFC’s still open?”

#8.  It looks like the 1972 LA Lakers’ streak of 33-games is safe for now.  Somewhere, Wilt Chamberlain’s ghost is smiling.  And having a ghost 3-way.

#9.  Is 27 straight still completely un-friggin-real?  Of course.  I still think the Heat will win the NBA title.  They just seem too good not to.  But anytime I can cheer wildly for LeBron to lose to anyone, you’d better believe I’m going to Carpe the hell out of that Diem.

#10.  As for all the coverage of the heat and their Harlem Shake video and their insane streak?  The Minnesota Timberwolves summed it up best with this response video:


While gorging myself on the NBA finals I’ve gotten accustomed to the advertising overload.  Since I normally DVR anything and everything, opting to watch literally anything that we have on on-demand over any live television shows (*Author’s note: here’s looking at you, My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding) I can’t handle much in the way of advertising.  I’ll look for obscure reasons to pause the T.V. (*Author’s note: “I’d better pick up the cat so I can compare his weight to this 2-liter of pop.”), just so I can fast forward through a T-Mobile Ad and a McBerry McSmoothie commercial featuring people inexplicably dancing because their food tastes so good.

Sporting events are different.  They have to be enjoyed live.  It’s not because we now live in an information-gorging age where, within two touch-screen pushes I can confirm the Mayan Apocalypse by finding out the sex of Snooki’s baby and discovering exactly what a dude from Nashville thinks about the whole scenario in 140 characters.  That’s a piece but not the entirety of the equation.

There’s something about sports that lives in the moment.  It can pull you in, yanking you right from your gravitational core, like a benign blackhole.  You find yourself on the edge of the couch, standing in your living room like you’re courtside at Madison Square Garden, or gripping your Wife’s hand like you’re about to offer yourself as a hostage to a group of criminals in an act of cinematic selflessness.  When I watch sports with any more than the two second uh-oh-did-Kobe-really-just-F-bomb-the-cotton-candy-guy-we-better-dump-out delay, I don’t feel that connection.  That electrical current that somehow passes from arena’s to HD cameras to my TV in a jolting, wild ride seems to be missing. 

For that reason, I have to watch sports live.  For that reason, I have to endure commercials during the NBA finals.

Which puts me in a strange position.  Here I am, watching the commercials designed for a set audience over and over.  And over.  There’s a unique demographic that allegedly tunes in for these kinds of things and when you’re stuck powering through the fourth Coors Light ad in 20 minutes you find yourself asking weird questions.  Here was my latest of these odd lines of thinking.

If you put together a starting 5 based on the fictional, hyper-repetitive commercial characters that we see, who would be on the roster?  I’ve given this (too much) thought.  Here we go.

At the starting PG:  Uncle Drew

If you’ve been watching the NBA finals, I’m sure you saw this one coming.  Here’s what it looks like:

He’s sneaky good for an old geezer, has a nasty crossover, and can shoot from deep downtown.  In short, Uncle Drew is a true baller.  In his own words, he gets buckets.  His only downfall is that no one actually drinks Pepsi Max.  I think I speak for the masses when I say, quit f-ing around with Pepsi Max and bring back Pepsi Blue!  What’s that?  You don’t remember Pepsi Blue?  Neither does anyone else but me.  (*Author’s note: Uncle Drew is actually NBA Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving.  This ad also has doubled as my favorite commercial of the NBA finals.

At the 2-Guard: Phil Shifley

He’s a master of disguise, an expert at blending into the crowd and emerging at exactly the right moment, and he’s clearly okay with not hogging the spotlight (since the Mob is clearly trying to murder him).  His eyebrows and Mark-Twain’s-illicit-love-affair–with-Colonel-Sanders hairstyle make him a white-man’s James Harden (at least in the looks department, if not on the actual court.)

The question remains: can Shifley hoop?  Will he be able to knock down the open looks created by Uncle Drew’s slashing style?  We can only hope.

At the Small Forward: Ice Cube

In “It Was a Good Day” Cube definitely raps about messin’ around and getting a triple double.  If he’s capable of doing that on the mean streets of Compton, CA, with Jheri Curl juice staining his shooting hand and his Raiders snap-back slipping down over his eyes, what could he do in the league?  (*Author’s note: I know, rap purists, he wasn’t rockin’ the Jheri when this song came out.)  Sure, he’s gotten old, soft, and cornier than a bowl full of Berry Berry Kix, but can Cube still hoop?  I think the best way to ask this question is, “Is he there yet?”

He can ball.  He’s got that tough-guy mentality that this team needs.  But is he completely insane?  He’s prone to making terrible TV shows and arguing with inanimate objects.  Hey, it worked for Rodman.

At Power Forward: Lieutenant Ripley

The Ads for Prometheus have been in full effect for the NBA finals this year.  Here’s just a taste of what Ripley’s made of:

Wait, what’s that you say?  Ripley’s not even in the newest installment of the Alien movies?  F-ing A.  I guess we can just start this guy from the new Batman movie:

He’s big, burly, and clearly angry as a mofo.  Just the kind of post presence that most teams are looking for.  The biggest question?  Can he lay off the ‘roids long enough so that he can avoid a substance abuse suspension from David Stern?

At Center: Shaquille O’Neal

I know, I know.  He’s washed up and porking out.  Towards the end his body seemed to be held together by toothpicks, tissue paper, and pipe cleaners.  But he’s still one of the best of all-time.  Here’s his Buick commercial.  Check out the exceedingly creepy/awkward bugeyed-and-point manuver that he pulls at the end of the commercial.  I can just see the director on the set of that commercial taking a long, deeply depressed pull on a bottle of some kind of dark liquor and saying, “You know what!?!  Just free-style it SHawqk.  Just fressstyleit.”  And the end result is right here:

In the scheme of things, this is actually only Shaq’s 3rd worst acting performance behind Kazaam and his sex tape.


(*Author’s note: I know.  Nothing more cliché than a steaming pile of memes.  However, I can’t resist.  If you know me, you know that I love corny-ass jokes mixed with strange photos.  And, in a blatant and weird homage to 1999, I’ve decided to glitch the Matrix and repeat the picture with slightly different captions.  I took this photo, much to my Wife’s disgust who finds my love of photographing the T.V. to be utterly absurd, during game one of the NBA Finals.  Here we go. . .)


The NBA finals are finally upon.  This gloriously inglorious, cluttered to the point of brutality, NBA season has finally reached a head.

On one side we have the Miami Heat.

On the other the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The self-glossed, self-inflated pomposity of a team with the audacity to promise 7 NBA titles before they had played a game and the skill-set to make some immediately nod their heads in agreement when they heard the bold proclamation.

The young, hungry, terrifyingly athletic group lead by a modest wunderkind, a supremely confident point guard and a beard that would make Rick Ross say, “Wait. . .what?”

Oklahoma City has Kevin Durant, the best scorer in the world.  Miami has LeBron James, the best player in the world.  Durant is relatively new to the spotlight, or as much as any 3-time scoring champ who was the 2nd overall draft pick can be, while LeBron’s chef’s third cousin is completely and thoroughly accustomed to being a topic of heated media discussion.  (*Author’s note: Skip Bayless would verbally attempt to impale him and Stephen A. Smith would slam down the race card like he just hit Blackjack at a million dollar table.)

Both have elite level talent at the top-end of their rosters.  Both have coaches that are, at the very minimum, serviceable in most situations and have been proven to be very good at times.  In short, the NBA finals this year should be fascinating, dramatic, and a great watch for sports fans of all makes and models.

Here are a few key storylines that I’m interested in watching during this year’s NBA Finals:

The Big 3²

(*Author’s note: please excuse me.  I’ve just discovered how to make the “squared” sign on a PC.  ².  Sorry.  Last time.)

At this point we’re all pretty tired of hearing about the “Big 3″ on each of these teams, but their impact on their teams cannot be overstated.  On Miami it’s James, Dwyane Wade, and velociraptor mongoliensis Bosh.  With the Thunder it’s Durant, James Harden and The Russell West-B in Apt. 23.

We know Durant and James will be gigantic in this series.  But what about the other parts of the equation for each team?

Will the VeBoshiraptor be healthy?  Or will he play like he just got capped by Robert Muldoon?  Will anyone put up with me continually yelling, “Shoot heeer!” everytime Bosh makes a play?  The key to the Heat’s resurgence in the Boston series was Bosh’s return and, eventually, his return to form.

Will Harden continue to wreak havoc off the bench, or will the Heat’s athletic, swarming perimeter defense slow him down?  Will his beard trump LeBron’s moving beard-tribute to the 16th President of the United States.  (*Author’s note: I’m still 94% convinced that LeBron’s beard is somehow an elaborate cross-promotion for the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer movie.)


(*Secondary Author’s note: that’s still the second best tribute to Abe in the NBA.  Here’s the first.)

The Russell West-B in Apt. 23 and Dwyane Wade will play crucial second-fiddles in this series.  While I have no doubt that Westbrook can score with Wade, it will be interesting to watch his matchup with Mario Chalmers and see if he’s able to be his usual explosive self.

The Coaching Matchup

It’s been well-documented that Heat coach Eric Spoesltra could be on the hot-seat.  He’s found himself in the wholly unenviable position of being damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t, and totally f-ed if the Heat don’t deliver this time around.

Scoliam Neebrooks is facing his own kind of pressure.  While not nearly to the submarine-hull-at-Marianas-trench-bottom PSI that Spoelstra’s facing, this dead ringer for Liam Neeson needs to conjure his inner Col. Hannibal and come up with a plan that comes together.  How do you slow down LeBron, his go-to-gyu (*Author’s note: intentional typo alert) Dwyane Wade, and the VeBoshiraptor?  Seeing how he utilizes the young talent off the bench and his bigs will be something to keep an eye on.

The Refs

I’m not normally one to harp on the referees.  I’m not one of those people who think the league is rigged (*Author’s note: *cough* *cough* New Orleans wins the lottery *cough*) and I’m one of those people who thinks that as long as we keep trying to seamlessly incorporate technological advancement into the refereeing of sports we can cut these guys a little slack.

However the free throws could play a huge role in this series.  Will LeBron be at the line longer than a virgin waiting on The Hunger Games to come out?  Or will Durant get more freebies than a college football player attending USC?  Hopefully the refs stay the hell out of the way, like good refs should and can keep the flopping to a minimum.


It’s not a defensive formation that will automatically elicit a technical foul, nor is it some weird lingo for a new reality show that features a group of two bros, three frenemies and two hipsters who are all piled into a shack in the wilderness, a handgun, and a potential alien that is hidden among them.  (*Author’s note: but I’m sure that Fox has that one in the works)

What that refers to is the NBA’s championship format.  It’s different from the other rounds and lends itself to big trouble for the Thunder should they lose either game one or game two.  The team that wins game one wins the series 72% of the time.  OKC has a great home crowd.  Miami has a crowd.  The Thunder have a significant homecourt advantage and it will be interesting to see if this format helps or hinders them in their quest.

I’ll have more coverage of this, hopefully, amazing series.  Keep tuning in and I’ll keep gushing.


Do you hear that?  That deep, timpani roll just off the horizon that’s  cascading our way?  Reverberating, humming deep into your solar plexus like you’re standing too close to a didgeridoo?  That’s the sound of the Thunder.  That’s the sound of youth morphing into experience and a building, tempestuous roar that, like a stormy sea slamming into eroding rock cliffs, signals the passing of time.

The torch was passed last night.

Not willingly.  It was ripped from the aging, championship-ring-wearing hands of the San Antonio Spurs who, mere games earlier, had looked to be unbeatable; an unstoppable, silver and black clad tide that was rolling in and nothing and no one could stop them on their way to the title.

Successions to the throne are rarely clean.  There’s poison, vitriol, and if you watch Game of Thrones, incest (*Author’s note: a whole lot of incest).  The Spurs are a far classier bunch than the Lannisters, but they still gave the Thunder their all.  And somehow the kids from OKC prevailed.

I’m torn on the Thunder.  They bring all kinds of positives to the court, but I still am not entirely on the Thunder bandwagon.  It’s an enigma to me, because I can’t fully jock the Thunder without coming up with a list of why I shouldn’t.  There’s this whole Yin and Yang thing going on, with an occasional Ying Yang Twins thing sprinkled in.  Just trust me, it’s complex. 

So I decided to present you, my 4 readers, with a list of 5 reasons to root for the Oklahoma City Thunder and 5 reasons to root against them. 

5 Reasons to Root for the Oklahoma City Thunder:

1.  Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant may be the best basketball player on earth.  You could argue that LeBron James has that title, and his MVP performance and more-multi-faceted game certainly would back that up if you wanted to present the case.  But make no mistake about it, Kevin Durant is the real deal.

He’s 23-years-old.  When I was that age I was jamming on wrinkly jeans from the floor of my bedroom and brushing my teeth with Diet Mountain Dew on my way to an already-5-minutes-in class lecture.  He’s led the league in scoring 3 times. 

He’s humble.  He’s well-spoken.  He’s 6’10″ and can handle the ball like a guard, shoot 3′s like he’s playing NBA Jam TE on easy mode, and attacks the rim with a ferocity that seems suicidal given that he looks to weigh about 108 pounds.

If he hadn’t gone to Texas I might like him even more.

2.  James Harden

Even though my wife claims that his beard makes her “want to punch him in the face”, a claim which I find to be particularly amazing (*Author’s note: I’m a lucky man) I still like Harden.  He does everything.  Scores, distributes, comes off the bench without complaining and plays good defense.

Guys like Harden are what make championships possible.  Guys like Harden are what make teams great.  His progression this year may be exactly what has helped to get the Thunder over the Western Conference Finals hump.  Even if he looks like a mutant-spawn of an illicit Rick Ross/lumberjack mountain-shack affair, the guy can flat-out play and you can’t help but root for him.

3.  Substance Meets Style

The Thunder are just a damn fun team to watch play.  They can score.  They can defend.  They have 3 guys who could literally jump up take a quarter off the backboard, make change for it, then play a now-suddenly-overpriced $.50 game of Pac-Man before they hit the ground.  They do all of this while winning, which is the most impressive part of the equation.

When the Thunder are in the open court on a fast break even the whiter-than-Wonderbread crowd in OKC suddenly finds itself standing and preparing to get funky.

4.  Scott Brooks. . .Looks Exactly Like Liam Neeson

Here’s a quick side-by-side:


If you think you’re going to kidnap Liott Neebrooks’ chance for a title you’re sorely mistaken.  He’s a man with a definite set of skills.  And he’ll use all of those considerable skills to hunt you down and find you.

5.  They’re Not the Heat/Celtics

5 Reasons to Root Against the Oklahoma City Thunder

1.  Don’t Trust The Russell West-B in Apt. 23

Russell Westbrook.  He’s definitely one of the top 10 players in the league.  In his own mind he’s a top 1 player in the league.  When the line between reality and whatever’s floating around in his Chris-Brown-looking head. 

While I’m completely in awe of his ability I generally get the feeling that somehow he believes himself to be every bit the equal to Kevin Durant, who is a once-in-a-generation talent.  Where Harden and most of OKC knows their roles, The West-B in Apt. 23 often times appears to be the Thunder’s version of Joe Pesci.  Phenomenal as a #2 but at his best when offsetting Bob DeNiro.

2.  Kendrick Perkins

Perkins stumps around on court looking with the grace and the general demeanor of the title character Blackenstein. 


He’s borrowed every scowl, dirty move, and faux-anger-that-gets-very-un-faux-technical-fouls manuver in the Kevin Garnett: Anything is Possiiiiiblllleeeee Guide to Overblown, Theatrical Intensity handbook.

3.  This :


4.  This:

5.  And this: 

These guys can shoot pretty good, considering they clearly have a team-wide vision problem.

I’m not a fashion expert.  In fact, I don’t understand anything that’s trendy or cool anymore.  I feel like we’ve fallen through a portal to some kind of alternate dimension where it’s cool to dress like Willy Wonka; a terrifying land where Superman wants to be Clark Kent. 

The Thunder are at the front of this brutal assault on our 1080-p’s.  They step to the podium with glasses that would even cause a hipster to stop sipping his Latvian-imported micro-brew, that he can’t pronounce but knows deep in the soul-less chasm of his heart that it just has to be better than anything made in America, and spit it out onto his carefully wrinkled pants.

This atrocity cannot go un-recognized, but compared with the Miami Heat, who’re equally stylistically inclined?  This final piece of the un-rooting puzzle might just not be enough.  Go Thunder!


Chris Bosh is the 3rd wheel.  He’s the single friend that somehow gets dragged along to The Lucky One and ends up sitting two seats over munching balefully on his popcorn while trying not to hear his companions making out.  LeBron and Dwyane Wade are the ones making out in this scenario.  Figuratively, of course.

Bosh is the guy who’s least debated, least celebrated, and would definitely be the Ringo Starr of the self-proclaimed “Heatles.”  But there is one place that Chris Bosh is the belle of the ball, however: the internet.  Bosh moves from the peripheries of sight, working as a very accomplished bit player, to stage center right up in the front with a glaring spotlight shining on him.

Could it be his strange on-court demeanor?  Seemingly laid back despite his various attempts to hood himself up, opening his mouth into strange Edvard Munch-ian screams.  (*Author’s note: Munch’s most famous piece recently sold for $119.9 Million.  Or, roughly how much LeBron lost in advertisement deals by doing “The Decision.) 


Could it be the fact that he has reportedly been spotted, GASP!, reading books before the Heat’s games?  (*Author’s note: I’m a little hazy on the actual details of these reports but I recall hearing tales of Bosh’s indulgence in the Twilight series.  This detail, if actually true, seems like it would be far more damaging to a team’s collective psyche than finding out that — and this instance is purely a figment of my overactive imagination — say, one player was having an affair with another player’s mother.)

After all, arguably the most intimidating players in the league can barely read.  Kevin Garnett messed up his own shoe deals’ slogan and Derrick Rose just paid some other kid to take his SAT for him so he could get into the prestigious institute of learning that is. . .wait for it. . . Memphis.

It could be the fact that Bosh himself looks so much like a Raptor that when he played in Toronto (*Author’s note: where the team name is, ironically, The Raptors) people could be heard murmuring in the stands, “Damn, that mascot can really hoop!”  This final theory, which just so happens to be my personal favorite is what has elevated Bosh’s internet stardom to nearly that of his purse-carrying, male-model-wanna-be-ing counterparts.

Every time I watch the Heat play, and I’m completely out of variations on the F-word to scream at LeBron I find myself watching Bosh Jurassic Park his way up and down the court.  When he gets the ball at the top of the key, with no one guarding him I find I usually end up screaming this:

When explaining Bosh’s career, which is a very strange one, albeit far from over, I will more than likely do so to my young by printing off this monologue and reciting it line for line:

All of these things have propelled Bosh into the public forum, but where he has really come into his own recently has been in the GIF world.  Which is really just a nerdy alternate universe for internet obsessed types who spend hours dicking around online in an effort to get a laugh.  Bosh may be an NBA All-Star, but he’s a GIF HOF’er.

Here’s the best of the best of the Chris Bosh GIFs, feel free to submit your own.

In this one, which we will tentatively award the Bronze medal, Bosh decides that he’s been compared to a Velociraptor enough and throws his hat into the ring in the “Geico Impersonating World Championships.”  He does look like he is about to snatch a fly out the air like a reptilian version of Mr. Miyagi.

In this GIF, Bosh pops out of nowhere to invade a LeBron James interview.  Stealthily sneaking into the bottom of the frame the sneak-thieving Bosh appears with sudden, raptor-like viciousness to try to steal away the camera from LeBron.  LeBron, who in recent years has shied away from the spotlight like a criminal making a break for the fence at a maximum security prison, was heard saying after Bosh’s guest appearance that, “They should all be destroyed.”  It was unconfirmed as to whether he was talking about the people of Cleveland or a pack of dinosaurs brought back from the Cretaceous period.

And here would have to be my number one Chris Bosh GIF of all time.  This is the gold medal winner, the piece de resistance of Bosh somehow managing to make a fool of himself despite being a world-class athlete and, from all accounts, a pretty good dude.  I know I called him a Velociraptor for about 550 words of this post, but in this GIF Bosh makes sure we all know that, if we’re going to be accurate with our species designation, he’s actually more of a Dilophosaurus, or “Spitter.”

(*Author’s note: After shattering box office records around the world, the movie The Avengers has continued to garner millions of dollars and rave reviews.  **SPOILER ALERT** Bosh has a scene-stealing cameo.)


The 2011 Hatchspys
It’s that time of year again, Sports fanatics.  The time of year when there’s so little actually going on in the sporting world that all we can do is constantly recap the year that was.  With women’s soccer and a merciful pause in Baseball for the All-Star game this is the time of year that bears a good deal of reflection.  Last year’s Hatchspys was a star-studded affair and, while I didn’t have a red carpet for anyone to walk, I did lay down a silky smooth layer of hate for the sports stars to enjoy.
Best Actor in a motion picture: Shaquille O’Neal
Mr. O’Neal, everyone’s favorite Irishman, recently starred in a new movie.  I’m not talking about “Kazaam 2″ or “Man of Steel” or even pulling a cameo in a video game like his now legendarily shitty “Shaq-fu” in which Shaq was a Mortal Kombat style ninja for Sega.  No. 
The Big Perv-istotle was recently caught on not-so-candid camera with a group of lovely ladies engaging in what could only best be described as whack-a-Shaq.  When news of Shaq’s impending sex tape being released to the public came around to “The Diesel”s attention he did what any normal citizen would do in this instance: he hired a team of Crips to find and kidnap the man with the tape and shake him down Suge Knight style.
While this story inexplicably hasn’t gotten nearly the amount of media attention that it deserves, as Shaq’s recent retirement overshadowed it, I couldn’t help but feel that it deserved a Hatchspy.  Prior to this tape being released the only “4-Way” Shaq had ever participated in was a trade to the Miami Heat. 

He was famous for his lack of conditioning while playing and, from what I hear, his . . .um. . . endurance has continued to be his weak point. 

Hopefully Shaq’s legal team shoots better than 52% from the free throw line or he may end up putting Icy Hot on his cellmates lower back.  And not for pain.
Worst misuse of a cellphone: Tie, Taylor Martinez & Anthony Weiner
We may never know what Husker quarterback Taylor Martinez actually did with his phone when he was back in the locker room of the Texas A&M game that fully erupted Mt. Pelini on November 20th of this past year, and unfortunately we know exactly what the aptly named Mr. Weiner did with his phone, but these two will be tied in the Hatchspy record books.
Martinez, who allegedly called his father while in the locker room during a particularly ugly game last fall, came out of the locker room where a waiting Pelini dressed him down in a manner that would make a drill sergeant look serene.  Weiner, a Congressman from New York, pretty much just dressed himself down.  To nothing.  And then sexted some photos.  To which I can only respond: OMG.  ROTFL.  TTYL, Weiner.
Worst new sports cliché: “It is what it is.”
Finally unseating bajillion time winner ” Giving it 110%” as the 2011 Hatchspy sports cliché of the year, “It is what it is” is part Yogi Berra idiocy, part Bill Belichik-ian ‘answer a question without revealing a damn thing’ and fully obnoxious to hear over and over again.  I understand that sometimes, as a people, we find ourselves without anything particularly relevant to say
(*Author’s note: see: every time I blog) but athletes are required to talk and so we sometimes are dealt the underwhelming whimper of a quote, “it is what it is.”
This quote, tossed around like drug-money in a strip club this year, has split and divided like a cancerous organism in the sports stars of my generation who say it more than just about everything except “I plead the fifth.” 
LeBron James, for instance, used the phrase so frequently during the that I found myself shouting at the T.V. like a petulant child, “Oh, REALLY, LeBron?!?  Is it REALLY what it is?  How f-ing profound.” 
Needless to say, if people had mute buttons, my fiance would have pushed mine.
Best Broadcaster: Charles Barkley
Not much to say on this one.  Barkley’s the man.  He hates on whomever he wants and he’s so funny about it that most of the time they can’t even possibly take it personally.  Quite frankly, I just want to party with him.  Can you imagine anything cooler than hitting the Vegas Strip with Chuck Barkley?  I can’t.  And for that fact, coupled with the fact that he can be a surprisingly insightful and witty analyst, makes the Round Mound of Rebound a Hatchspy winner.
Worst Coaching Analogy: Derek Dooley, in comparing his Tennessee Team to the Germans during WWII
No, I’m not kidding.  This actually happened.  Dooley, who took over a reeling Tennessee football program for the never-classy Lane Kiffin, was as quotable a coach as had ever set foot in Knoxville.  He was folksy and witty and the media loved his affable nature.
Dooley’s down-home Southern Charm took a 180 degree goosestep, however, when he compared his team full of underclassmen to the German’s during the invasion of Normandy beach.  I’m not sure if Dooley was busy skipping stones down at the crick or fishin’ with his pa’s fishin’ reel instead of going to history class but there’s literally no one worse to compare yourself too than the Nazis.  Except maybe Kiffin.
Regardless of the intent behind his analogy, Dooley declaring his team to be part of the Axis and therefore unwittingly naming himself Der Fuehrer of Dixieland, the foolishness of this statement is purely legendary.
Ringo Starr Fifth Wheel Award: Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh, previously famous for playing a velociraptor in “Jurassic Park 2,” has cemented his status as a professional fifth wheel.  Playing for the self-glossed “Heatles” this season, Bosh was at times lost in the shuffle.  He was Ringo.  That’s not to say he didn’t have a few “Octupus’ Garden” moments, where he was truly able to shine, but for the most part he sort of faded to the background.  At least as much as a guy with a longer neck than a Brontosaurus could

That’s all for the official 2011 Hatchspys.  Who would you have nominated and for what?


A King was overthrown on Sunday night.  A usurper, he was shown to be a tyrant who had laid claim to the throne illegitimately.  On Sunday LeBron James, “King James” to his round the clock team of advertising execs and marketing gurus, and his bourgeois posse were defeated at the hands of a tight-knit group of underdogs.

My disdain for the Miami Heat, and in particular their “King” James, is well documented.  I vehemently opposed the rampant douchery that was “The Decision” and I promptly launched myself into the bandwagon of any team playing the Heat this season.

That’s why, on Sunday night, I found myself cheering wildly for a team that I normally would only have a grudging respect for; found myself strongly considering Googling “How to say ‘Suck it LeBron’ in German.”

And make no mistake about it: the Dallas Mavericks earned this title.  They earned it with steely nerves, forging comeback after comeback in the magma-hot furnace of unflappable drive. 

They earned it with a dizzying array of role players, all stepping up to fill in points and assists like a basketball version of Mad-Libs.

“Just when the Miami Heat appeared ready to pull away ­­______ (Insert foreign player) hit two threes and then ________ (insert old, unathletic guy with receding hairline) takes a charge and the Mavericks were right back in it.”

They earned it by having a seven-foot tall Nordic beastman who would’ve made the Germanic hordes that plunged the civilized world into the Dark Ages proud with his ferocity.  Of course, with Dirk Nowitzki, his ferocity was buried somewhere deep down inside.  Far below his wolfman-like beard, his gangly arms and his coif of blonde hair was a tenacity that blows up the myth that foreign players are soft.

While King James’ throne crumbled before our eyes in 1080p, collapsing into a rubble-like pile of Sprite commercials and poorly written State Farm ads, it became clear that his crown was more Burger King than Crown Jewels.  He looked disinterested, uninspired, and with the warm Atlantic waters rising to “sink or swim time” James thrashed around like a shark attack victim in “Jaws 3.” 

James found himself in a familiar predicament.  The spotlights were blazing, the pressure was so immense that James’ number six jersey had turned entirely to lead, and when he reached for the human flotation device known as Dwyane Wade James suddenly found himself floundering yet again. 

His game stuttering like Colin Firth, “The King’s” speech was clear in his body language.  James was sinking.

Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas’ biggest star, spent much of the first 3 quarters struggling mightily as well.  Dirk, who had made a habit in this series of turning into a one-man blitzkrieg when the fourth quarter rolled around, was shooting worse than Hans Gruber’s henchman but got a huge boost from Jason Terry, an older-than-dirt Jason Kidd, and J.J. Barea.

Barea, who stepped up immensely in the last few games of the finals, gave hope to all of us below-5’8″ers that once fancied ourselves to be basketball players.  Kidd and Terry were the consummate role-players and kept the Mavs in the game until Dirk came around and began his late game surge.

The pieces fell into place for the Mavericks.  Marc Cuban, the Mavericks’ owner, even shut his billion-dollar trap for just long enough to let his squad’s team-first attitude do all the talking.  Cuban, who constantly looks like he’s either going to – or just got done doing multiple keg stands at – a frat party, decided that he’d let his team play for once and it paid off.

He hasn’t shut up since.  He shot off more tweets and shot down more shots of Patron than any owner in league history last night, running up an alleged bar tab of $200,000 taking his team out after the game to party.

James, for his part had a royal execution befitting a king.  He was guillotined by the media; marched out in front a verbal firing squad where the questions were loaded and fired off after a drumroll of building tension.  He did what he’s done all season: pretended not to care what people thought. 

Sounding more like a petulant child pulling a patented, “Nu-unnnhhh!”  He deflected questions about his choices, his late game demise, and attempted nonchalance. 

As for his legacy?  Far too early to tell.  The Heat are still really good.  Freakishly good.  So good, in fact that I don’t see why they won’t be one of the favorites again next year to make it all the way back.  I never felt safe while watching the Mavericks play against such a bevy of talent.  I’m fairly certain that I held my breath during the entire 6th game in a feat that would’ve made Houdini’s efforts look mundane.

I was so shaken that during the series I uttered more swear words per quarter than Dirk averaged points per game.  I was worried that, somehow, this NBA Finals would be like a Scorsese movie: really, really good, but with an ending that would leave me screaming, “why can’t the good guys just win?!?!”

I still have some weird sensation that the Mavs will be in the middle of their victory parade and LeBron, Wade, and Bosh’s alien-looking neck will pop out of a float, and reveal that somehow they had won the series.  But after watching Bron-Bron choke choke on the game like George W. on a Rolds Gold, I have found some measure of peace with the way things ended up.

James was overthrown; proven to be no more a king than any pauper off the street who could afford a knock-off crown.  His former legions of serfs, popularly known as the city of Cleveland, Ohio have begun to rejoice at the fall of a false king. 

Let the party continue. 

James will be back, of that I have no doubt.  But for now?  Sic semper tyrannis.