If you're at the top of your game, doesn't it make sense to opt out each time you get the chance (even if you plan to re-sign with the same team)? That way, you take advantage of the chance to sign for more years at the big salary.
I agree with Sir Chuck and MJ that it seems strange that LeBron and others would rather form superteams than try to beat each other. That said, though, I think the superteam formations are great for the NBA. Miami may be a perennial favorite with their Big 3, but they are hardly a lock to win it all as we have clearly seen. Plus, a lot of people feel strongly one way or the other on them so it makes for more compelling TV to see if they can succeed or not.
[The league is staring at a very real caste system in which there are a small circle of haves — teams with championship-level talent who have assembled themselves to be among the elite — and a large pool of driftwood where teams have to lose and hope the lottery is kind.]
Whose fault is that? When small-market teams like OKC and San Antonio can be perennial contenders, I think there's enough proof that you don't need to be in a big market signing big-name free agents in order to compete in the NBA. Anyone who says otherwise is just making excuses. You don't need the NFL model to be a good league. The NBA model is just fine. There are pros and cons for each.
[So there will be eight-to-10 teams trying to get to the No. 1 spot and 20-to-22 teams trying to get the No. 1 pick.].
Not true. There are never 20-22 teams trying to get the No. 1 pick. There are 20-22 teams who are trying to at least make the playoffs. Of that group, there are anywhere from 5-8 who have a shot at going all the way. The remaining teams in the league (8-10) are in an obvious rebuild mode and/or are without their top player(s) due to injury. Of that group, maybe 3 or 4 call it a season before the All-Star break. But in the NFL, there are also 3-4 teams who do the same exact thing before the midway point of the season each year.
In case you never noticed, I am a UTC fan and also an alumnus. I am not a Vols fan at all, but I'm also not a hater. Same for the rest of the SEC...I'm not partial to any team but also don't dislike any team either. Just a general fan overall outside the Southern Conference. My point earlier is that both the Vols and Mocs have somewhat confusing nicknames/mascots. Just making a fair observation.
Good point about the train references fading away. A name change back to UC would be approved while also staying in the UT-system? Then I'm shocked it hasn't already happened. Agreed with you that there'd be plenty of interest...especially from those still around who attended there while it was still UC.
MT, the Mocs' name made sense until 1997. It was clearly short for Moccasins. Now the mascot is a mockingbird, but you never hear the teams called that. It's just "Mocs". Throw in the train references and there's even more confusion. SMH. UTC could do better. Or is it Chattanooga? There's an orange "UT" on school letterhead, but the team uniforms only say "Chattanooga". SMH again.
Great point, MT. Maybe all professional sports teams should simply start over and pick new mascots to be absolutely sure that they offend no people whatsoever. Turn it into a draft. We'll even let Obama officiate it...it's not like he has 17 trillion other things to worry about anyway.
[And let's face, we're white males, our opinion about what is and is not offensive does not matter.]
Interestingly, it appears that a higher percentage of non-Indians are offended by the Redskins name than the actual Indians. So if the white man's opinion didn't matter, wouldn't this issue just go away? But leave it to guys like Harry Reid to try to make a mountain out of a molehill. Check out this article:
I would not address an American Indian with, "What's up, Redskin?" for the same reason that I would not say "What's up, Whiteskin?" or "What's up, Blackskin?" to a white and black person respectively. It would have less to do with potential offensiveness and more to do with the fact that it would simply be awkward addressing someone by their skin color, especially if you don't know them that well.
That said, the Redskins name should be a non-issue. And to be fair, I would have zero problem with the Lookouts renaming their team the Whiteskins if that's what management wanted. Yes, it would get shot down because of how silly it sounds, but not because it would be offensive. Or how about Crackers? Rednecks? As a white man, I would honestly say that I would not be offended by either of those names as someone's mascot either.
Jomo, when you find out what a Vol is, let me know what a Moc is.
At least LeBron never quit during the five-game sweep. He did his part, but he rarely showed the needed grit to inspire his teammates to also do their parts. This is what separates him from Kobe and MJ. And it's why he is now 2-3 in Finals.
I think LeBron would be foolish to leave Miami. Not because of a Decision 2.0 backlash, but because Miami gives him a great chance to still compete for titles. Wade is showing his age a little bit, but he's not done yet. If they beef up their bench a bit, they'll be fine (though Bosh will continue to be overpaid). If Bron goes anywhere, it ought to be Chicago.
Gregg Popovich has done an outstanding job as head coach of the Spurs. Winning 5 championships is no small achievement. That said, he is not better than Phil Jackson. Yes, you need talent to win, but it's not so simple as just having "MJ and Scottie" or "Shaq and Kobe" on the team. In fact, it's ironic that when the Lakers put their best team (on paper) together in 2003-2004, that team failed to win it all.
Jackson had his famous twosomes leading the way. But Coach Pop has never lacked for talent on his teams either and his threesome of Duncan/Parker/Ginobili is one of the best of all time. And considering that Pop has always had such an unselfish group of leaders and role players, I would even argue that Dr. Phil had a tougher job winning titles with his drama-laden groups than Pop did with his. And let's also remember that Phil went 4-1 in series against Pop. The one time he lost was when he missed at least a game due to a heart blockage that required time in the hospital.
The Spurs are crisp on both ends of the floor and that's why they are hard to beat. The ball movement is swift and guys are knocking down their shots. On D, the rotations are quick and LeBron is having a hard time making his plays. Coach Spo may want to consider putting Allen in the starting lineup instead of Chalmers to help the Heat get off to a better start. Let D-Wade run the point and use that extra shooter to spread the floor. Then LeBron can go to work.
Down 3-1 in the Finals, one has to wonder if LeBron can maintain his focus on trying to make a comeback. Or is he going to check out and call it a season mentally to start thinking about opting out and trying to pair with Melo? Not sure that bringing Melo to Miami is going to help things overall. He and LBJ play the same position and with only one ball to go around among the Big 4, I don't think this move makes sense. And there would certainly be no championship with that group unless/until Melo started playing some D.
Jay, your favorite ref, Mr. Joey Crawford, will be on the court tonight as one of the officials.
Leonard is probably the most underrated player in the NBA. On a small-market team highlighted by Parker/Duncan/Ginobili, Leonard easily flies under the radar. He does so many things well for that team though. And he stepped up big offensively in Game 3. He was in foul trouble in Game 2 (most of them bogus calls), and that helped LeBron and Co. make their push. So if Leonard can stay on the floor in Game 4 to contain LeBron, the rest of the Heat will need to find their spots and knock down shots early and often. Oh, and play better D too.
Fun Game 2. LeBron ditched the leg warmers and took a yoga class in the morning of the game. It must have helped. And he made sure to keep himself hydrated well enough to stay on top of his game and avoid the cramps. LeBron played well, Wade flopped well, and Chalmers elbowed well. Stay classy, Miami.
And Chris Bosh is questionable for Game 3 as he is due to hatch a dinosaur egg any day now. Once a Raptor, always a raptor.
Rafa and Fed are the two best tennis players of all time, no question. The discussion for #1 between those two gets a bit more interesting with each additional slam won by Rafa. But when both of their careers are over, I think Rafa will be considered the greatest ever by the majority of tennis fans.
Rushmore of tennis players is Fed, Nadal, Borg, and either Laver or Sampras. Can't decide on the last one.
So Sterling has agreed to bow out. Makes me think there's some sort of under-the-table deal from the NBA of some kind. I highly doubt the NBA will ever get that $2.5 million. So maybe they'll agree to not pursue that (not that it really matters anyway). Or maybe Sterling can secretly attend NBA games again after some time (albeit in a private luxury box). Either way, glad to see that the owners' vote never happened over this. Would have been a terrible precedent for all of sports.
Kaep is getting a deal much higher than what I think he's worth. But I do think he's a top 10 QB right now. Who are your top 10 and where does Kaep fall? Top 15 at least?
My top 10 (in no order) are Peyton, Eli, Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Kaep, Wilson, Big Ben, Luck, and Flacco. Next 5 are Newton, Stafford, Romo, Rivers, and Ryan.
This Finals is tough to pick. Both teams are playing really well, but I think the Spurs will be hungrier. Spurs in 7.