Say what? NBA intrigue? Now, in the most predictable playoffs in all of team sports?
Oh, it has nothing to do with the playoffs. No way, not when the Golden State Warriors are so tough and tested that without their best player (Kevin Durant) and the no-worse-than-the-third-best low-post player in the league (Boogie Cousins), the Warriors effortlessly hammered Portland in Game 1.
Sure, the East feels like a coin-flip, but it also feels like a coin-flip to see who finishes seconds. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we can try to talk ourselves into "Well, Toronto or Milwaukee without KD Giannis or Kawhi could"
Hogwash. The Warriors are the Patriots. Patriots are Warrios. Finale is Einhorn. Einhorn is Finkle.
But last night, in an event that usually ranks between grass growing and an insurance seminar for most of the sporting world, the NBA draft lottery set the table for a large amount of speculation, expectation and anticipation for a slew of cities and NBA franchise that normally never get any of that.
New Orleans won the draft lottery and the rights to Zion Williamson.
How valuable is the biggest new face in the league since LeBron left Akron? Jeff Duncan, New Orleans Times Picayune columnist, reported that from when the Pelicans won the lottery to 1 a.m. this morning, the team took orders for 2,000 season tickets.
In about six hours.
Will they draft Zion? Will that mean Anthony Davis wants to return?
Will they be willing to deal AD to New York (got the 3 pick, the worst they could expect) or L.A. (got the 4 pick, way better than they could expect) for another young star?
Would L.A. deal LeBron for Zion and LeBron and AD team up in New Orleans and make a run?
No team in the top 11 of the expected slots stayed in their lottery spots last night, offering a quick list of winners and losers.
Winners: The Lakers and the Pelicans for sure, who moved into the top four and now look at adding big stars — or dangling desirable draft spots for a trade. Memphis also was a winner, and for a team looking for a star, Ja Morant would be an awesome landing spot.
Losers: The Knicks were desperate to get 1, and by a lot of measures were going to look to deal that Zion ticket to New Orleans for The Unibrow.
Phoenix had a 14 percent chance to get No. 1. The Suns got No. 6 instead. Ouch.
The Hawks had high hopes to add surefire stars around Trae Young, who was better than most folks realize as a rookie last year, and only got picks 8 and 10 rather than say a 3 and 7. That's a huge drop considering the divide between 4 or 5 and after that.
But forget the games, the most exciting that has happened to the NBA was the lottery.
Minor Major with chance to win
Hey, by this time tomorrow, the PGA Championship will be in full swing. (Swing See what I did there Spy?)
One side note: As Todd posted around this nape of the neck on Tuesday, Justin Thomas WD'ed so this tournament only — ONLY? — has 99 of the top 100 players in the world.
Before we get to the contest, let's review the best five storylines this week.
Of course No. 1 — this week, every week, from now until he puts his clubs in a cage — is Tiger winning. And while we are here, the guy that put $85K on Tiger to win more than $1 million, but $100,000 on Tiger to win the Grand Slam this year. If that hit, James Adducci would win $10 million.
Second, and this certainly is personal and location-driven, but Keith or Luke List in contention come Sunday. How boss would that be?
Third, because of the nature of this event — it's the PGA Championship and there are 20 club pros from around the country who qualified for this event. Among them is John O'Leary, who is the pro at Trump National Golf Club Washington. Hey, if he wins, maybe he gets the Freedom Medal.
Fourth, Jordan Spieth, who has struggled mightily with his game at times in the last eight months, could complete the career Grand Slam with a win at Bethpage Black. Yes, he's 40-to-1 because of those struggles, but anyone getting to the career Slam — considering there are all of six dudes who have done it — is a true feat.
Finally, who steps forward to say, I'm now a factor in every major and will be for the seeable future? The two front-runners right now are Brooks Koepka — who could win his fourth major this week and take a major stride into that, "Holy crap, Brooks Koepka is one of the 30-to-35 best golfers ever" greatness area — and Francesco Molinari. Koepka, according to Justin Ray of 15thClub.com, is 55 under par over his last 10 majors. The next closest over that time frame? One Rickie Fowler, who is 40 under. As for Molinari, well, dude has been aces on the biggest stages. Sure, he may not have the Adam Sandler resume, but e's more Daniel Day Lewis. Sandler who be the Matt Kuchars who cash checks almost weekly and have made a dump truck of money, but when the role calls for something more, well, no one is calling Sandler to be The Butcher in Gangs of New York. Molinari in his last two PGAs: T2 and T6. In his last six majors, he has a T2, 1, T6, and T5 — at Augusta, and if not for a weak 8-iron on 12, he wins there too — and two other top 25 finishes. He had a historic Ryder Cup.
Let's go, because the most minor of Majors is still a Major. Ask Frank Burns.
Here's my entry: Brooks Koepka, Molinari, Rory, Tiger, Keith Mitchell.
Dang right, that Keith Mitchell. (Sing along with the "It's my birthday, I'll cry if I want to"), It's my contest, and I'll try if I want to.
If you want to enter the contest, we need it by the end of business today.
You know the drill. Pick five golfers and the top four finishers count. You get the number of points for the finish of each player. (Winner gets 1, tie for third gets 3.)
Add them together and in our very non-Stableford way, low score wins.
Insensitivity or intercepted joke
Terry Bradshaw issued an apology on Monday night for calling actor Ken Jeong, "that little short guy from Japan." Jeong is Korean-American.
"I made an insensitive remark today about Ken, who I've known for some time. I've spoken to him about the importance of cultural respect and apologized for my offensive comments," Bradshaw said Monday night in a statement first published by Variety. "I would like to also apologize to the Asian-American community for my insensitivity"
OK, hopefully that will be the end of it.
As for the background, well, Bradshaw's quote was made during an appearance on Fox Upfront after he was asked about his brief stint on "Masked Singer" — ""I love to sing, as all of you know who have my records," Bradshaw joked with Michael Strahan during the interview. "Unfortunately, I was kicked off by Alan Thicke and the little short guy from Japan.
Even in that answer Bradshaw embraces his sizable sample size of embracing the buffoonery and his 'Southern country dumb' that everyone had to realize he was joking, but I guess that would be too much to ask.
And he was right to apologize but in truth, here's asking if the Thicke family deserved the first apology.
Bradshaw and Joeng are friends, and who knows the relationship they share or the jokes they exchange.
The judge that booted Bradshaw was actually Robin Thicke, and his famous father Alan — Dr. Jason Seaver from Growing Pains — died in 2016.
That seems way more insensitive than a mis-fired joke between buddies.
This and that
— Chris Sale fanned 17 last night and got a no-decision. That's a tough day at the office right there.
— Maybe there is a useful outlet for social media. Here's today's Twitter video that makes you proud of your fellow Earthlings. No, I'm tearing up stupid pollen.
— Speaking of the lottery, well, here's betting that this New York Knicks fan — who got a Zion Williamson tattoo expecting the lottery to go New York's way — is now desperate for the Knicks to pull off a deal or thinking about moving to The Big Easy.
— Speaking overly sensitive, here's a story of a dude making a harmless vodka joke and getting kicked off an airplane. Two things here, one, what can you say these days that does not run the risk of catching someone in a bad mood? Secondly, while I hate our over-litigious nature of our country these days, the guy who was walked off that flight deserves some serious repercussions from Southwest Airlines. Seriously.
— It's official. It's time to worry about Mike Foltynewicz. Egad.
OK, which way Wednesday will start this way.
Which party deserved the first apology, Ken Jeong or Robin Thicke in Bradshaw's failed attempt to be funny?
The great intrigue from the lottery last night begs the question, which way do you lean: Did the Knicks and Lakers not winning the lottery actually disprove or prove the lottery is a conspiracy?
Which team was the biggest winner and which was the biggest loser from last night's lottery?
As for today, May 15, Happy birthday to my cousin Scott Cole.
Mickey Mouse makes his first ever appearance in the silent film "Plane Crazy."
I was wrong. Ray Lewis' birthday is today. Apologies.
George Brett is 66 today. Emmitt Smith is 50 today.
Rushmore of worst sports commentators among former star athletes. Discuss. (And yes, Emmitt is a no-doubter.)