Is it Safe to Call The Process a Success?

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After last night’s resounding/six point win against the stalwart/hapless Los Angeles Lakers, in which Joel Embiid, the human embodiment of Sam Hinkie’s hopes and dreams, put up an absolutely absurd statline, the Internet became saturated with takes and thinkpieces, most of which revolve around one central question: did the Process officially work? And while it seems pretty foolish to ask this after a November game against one of the worst teams in the NBA (who happens to start the league’s worst player at point guard), the Sixers’ relative success this season is certainly reason enough to take a look at the Process’s early returns. Due to the nature of everything the Process entailed, evaluating it in the moment seems a little counterintuitive. Considering that Sam Hinkie, a man the Sixers replaced almost two years ago, looks better by the day should imply that we won’t be able to give a final grade on the Process until the Sixers’ current core players are out of the league.

In my mind, the Process was always going to be a success, because the Process was conceived to escape the vortex of mediocrity that traps so many NBA teams and stockpile assets that could be used to acquire top-end talent, and they were certainly no where near mediocre. When viewed through that lens, with the exception of Jah Okafor, pretty much everything Hinkie did worked. Shedding bad contracts and veterans on long-term deals in order to game the system got them Joel Embiid, in many ways the most tantalizingly talented player maybe ever and Ben Simmons, the clear Rookie of the Year and someone on the road to superstardom. They kept acquiring more and more picks from other teams that couldn’t wait to get rid of them, with the end result being Markelle Fultz, who, while easy to point and laugh at, has obviously been injured for the entirety of his very short career and probably shouldn’t be legitimately judged until next year. Robert Covington was in the D-League and is now a vital part of their rotation. Ask anyone- a rebuilding plan is only as good as the players you draft. Embiid was the first Process draft pick. Anyone who ever watched him play agreed he was awesome. And because he gets hurt a few times and he shut him down for the good of the Process, Hinkie gets fired? Huh? That was so head-scratching to me at the time, and it’s only gotten worse since. How are you going to fire a guy for losing too much when his whole plan, that everyone seemed to be on board with, by the way, was to lose every game to maximize their opportunity to land a franchise-altering player. They now have two because of the Process. If you have Embiid and Simmons, if you just fill the roster out with average to above average role players, things will probably work out. I really can’t understand why they didn’t let Hinkie see his baby all the way through. If you want to blame him for Okafor, that’s fine. Jah stinks. But you better give him credit for trading two second round picks to the Kings for two first round picks. That trade alone should get him in the Hall of Fame.

I think this question needs to be split into two different questions. One is Did the Process work? The answer to that is yes. By intentionally losing and acquiring assets, the Sixers now have four top-three picks on the roster, two of which are going to be All Stars for as long as they remain healthy, one could easily get to that level if he gets head on straight, and one will be out of the league in a year or two. That’s a pretty good hit rate. The point of the Process was to use all the valuable picks they piled up to get great players, and they’ve done that. So, yes, the Process worked. The second question is going to be Was the team the Process built a success? It’s obviously too early to tell. The full team has played, what, three games together? While they still have the Kings’ 2019 first round pick, the Process is over. Now that they have a roster filled with actual NBA players, the Result is in the players’ hands. I’m very curious to see what they do with it.

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LeBron Should Thank His Lucky Stars that Fights in the NBA Don’t Actually Happen Anymore

In case you missed it, during last night’s surprisingly entertaining Cavs-Knicks game a bit of a brouhaha broke out between rookie Frank Ntilikina, LeBron, and Enes Kanter.

Love me a good NBA fight, especially when someone steps to LeBron. Some quick background here: LeBron recently made made by saying the Knicks should have drafted Dennis Smith, Jr. in an attempt to troll Phil Jackson, but really all it did was throw Frankie under the bus. And then, in the build up to the scuffle, LeBron dunked then tried to assert his dominance by staring Frankie down and standing over him, as if Frankie was in position to stop the play, which he wasn’t (does LeBron secretly hate French people? Might be worthy of an investigation…). Kudos to Frankie for going against his natural instincts and not backing down, but once Enes Kanter came in from out of nowhere, he stole the show. LeBron got into his “Angry LeBron” act where he just moves his jaw really fast as he waits to someone to break it up. I hesitate to to say this because, as we know, LeBron is a father of three, but if this fight actually came to blows, I’d be writing a LeBron obituary right now.

Hey, LeBron, Kanter sort of spent time in a Turkish prison! I know he broke his hand punching a folding chair, but he’s still got that “Turkish prison tough” thing going. Turkish prison has to be in the top five of scary prisons (along with Russia, China, Thailand, and any Central American place) you can spend time in, and LeBron, even though he is a father of three, wouldn’t stand a chance. You’re telling me the person that did this:

is taking someone who (sort of) lived through this?

Not a chance. I’d even go so far as to say that if LeBron was a father of four he wouldn’t be able to handle Enes. He combines Turkish strength, which, not to generalize here, is pretty formidable with having a name that sounds like penis. I don’t know what the Turkish word for penis is, but if it’s close to Enes then he was probably bullied mercilessly as a youth. Builds an internal rage that you’re just waiting to unleash on the first father of three you see. LeBron would be a dead man walking.

The postgame comments were exactly what you would expect. Kanter, who lives to chirp everyone that moves, went with the impossible-to-come-back-from “mixing up the guy’s nickname” bit. Got everyone fired up, got the people excited for a Knicks team with some fire, everyone was happy. Then LeBron, being LeBron, completely dismissed the entire thing, because he’s LeBron and is so above every other player in the league. This might be my least favorite LeBron personality trait. In his mind, because he’s the best player in the league (which he is), he’s totally exempt from criticism and no mortal player can ever challenge him. Like Kanter has a decent case, here. You trashed his rookie in the press then tried to embarrass him on their home court. Kanter has a right to stick up for him a little bit. But no, it’s all just Kanter acting crazy and there’s no chance any of this is LeBron’s fault. And that he is, in fact, a father. I love that more and more players are going at LeBron. Absolutely no one respects him unless they’re in the Banana Boat or are on the Cavs and have to pretend they like him. At some point, someone like Marquese Chriss or Kelly Oubre is going to take a swing at the King, and it’s going to be glorious. Because I bet his teammates will wait a second or two before jumping in to stop it.

Will the Celtics Ever Lose Again?

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No. No they won’t.

When the Celtics Express comes rolling down the tracks, you’d better get out of the way or you’re getting steamrolled, plain and simple. Yes, this season was always going to be bittersweet when Gordon Hayward went down, but after seeing what the rest of the East looks like after ten games, there’s really no reason to think they can’t do what they set out to do in the preseason and make the Finals.

Obviously, they’ve had horrible, horrible luck with injuries. Hayward is out for the year. Al Horford got a concussion and they’ll hopefully be very cautious with him. This isn’t 1990, it’s okay if he sits out some November games. Marcus (Markieff? I honestly have no idea which one they have) Morris is just now getting back after starting the year hurt. Jayson Tatum needs an MRI on his ankle. But outside the injury bug, absolutely everything has been coming up Celtics (and particularly my boy Danny Ainge). Tatum has been a revelation as a secondary scorer and ballhandler who looks like someone who’s going to be averaging over 20 points per game sooner rather than later (while Markelle Fultz looks absolutely lost and injured). Jaylen Brown has morphed into a combination of Andre Iguodala and DeMar DeRozan overnight, at least at home. I was never a “Jaylen sucks!” guy and thought that anyone claiming a 19-year-old rookie who hadn’t found his place in the rotation was somehow a bust was a complete idiot, but I definitely wasn’t expecting such a big leap forward. He just looks so much more confident than last year. And for a guy with his natural talent, that could make all the difference. Aron Baynes-Semi Ojeleye might be my favorite Celtics duo since Gerald Green and Justin Reed (R.I.P.), and my 1-2 picks in a “who do I want to have my back in a scrape” draft. Kyrie Irving has been as advertised and more. His shot is still warming up, but, freed from the oppressive shackles of LeBron, his ball movement and, most surprisingly, his defense have been way better than they ever have before. He’s actually trying on defense, now! It’s incredible. Maybe he’s just trying to make a good first impression, but if Brad Stevens can get a full 82 of Defensive-Minded Kyrie, he should get Coach of the Millennium. Or Tyronn Lue and LeBron should just get the Anti-Coach of the Year award. Either way, I’m officially throwing out all of my old Anti-Kyrie takes. I’m sure it’s a load off his mind. Lastly, Al Horford has just been jamming on h8trz all year long and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve always been #teamal. I loved the signing when it happened and understood what his game was coming in. The Boston media was quick to turn on him for “not rebounding,” but, in my opinion, anyone who doesn’t get why Al is the most important player on the Celtics you’re either just not watching or don’t know what you’re talking about. His passing is the cornerstone of the offense. He’s the anchor of the best defense in the league. According to Basketball Reference, seven of the top fourteen players in defensive rating are on the Celtics, and Al controls all of it. He’s an underrated post scorer and a dynamite pick-and-pop guy. I love Al and can’t wait until he makes an All-NBA team this year and forces everyone to eat their words. Just imagine how good they’d be with Gordon! Aaaaaaaaand now I’m depressed again.

2017-18 NBA Preview- Eastern Conference

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Here we are, at the start of another NBA season. If it feels earlier than usual, that’s because it is. The league is experimenting with a more stretched-out schedule in an effort to eliminate back-to-backs and improve player rest. If you’re upset about the early start, you probably didn’t pay attention to one of the greatest, most melodramatic (get it?) offseasons of all time. If you’re upset about the easier schedule, you probably played in the NBA sometime before 1985. Personally, I don’t know if I’ve ever been more hyped for an NBA season in my life. There’s so many amazing storylines and so many questions. So many great players switched teams, and seemingly every team in the league is going to have to adopt an at least slightly different play style. A ton of new jerseys. If you’ve read my site before, you know how this is going to go. If you haven’t what have you been doing with your life? Since divisions mean close to nothing outside of playoff seeding in the NBA, I’m just listing the conferences as a whole from top to bottom, starting with the East. Do I regret not spacing it out more and starting this earlier so I don’t need to cram all of this into a couple days? Not yet, but I probably will soon. Much like the Oracle of Delphi, the visions I see aren’t necessarily destined to come to pass, they’re just the most likely outcomes. All win totals taken from Vegas Insider.

170531-global-logoCleveland Cavaliers– Pretty quiet offseason for the three-time defending Eastern Conference champion. Not a whole lot going on. No drama. No big moves. Unless of course you want to count them trading the second best player on their team and signing the 2011 East All Star team as big moves.

At this point, pretty much everyone knows my thoughts on LeBron, WadeIsaiah Thomas, D-Rose, and the rest of the boys. I think they’re in for a rude awakening. Isaiah might not play at all this season, and if he does he’s going to be like 50%. Wade and Rose might legitimately be the worst starting backcourt of any playoff team. J.R. is upset, so who knows what he’ll do. Now that Tristan Thompson has a mini-Kardashian on the way, the Kurse is reaching incurable levels. Will Kevin Love, Jae Crowder, and LeBron be enough to win a title? Maybe if the Warriors didn’t exist. Actually, no. Not even if the Warriors didn’t exist. You can’t win a championship in 2017 with three good players. You just can’t. You also can’t win a title if you don’t make the Finals. I’m having trouble seeing this roster as it’s currently constructed winning the East (I know, big surprise) unless LeBron ascends to an even higher plane of existence, which I probably shouldn’t rule out. They also might not care enough to chase a top seed in the regular season, so be prepared for a flood of takes about how bad the Cavs are in the early part of the season.

Also, what’s up with their jerseys? As I’ve said before, I’m a big maroon guy and I’m a big yellow guy when it comes to uniforms. For as much as I dislike the Cavs, I thought their jerseys were on point. Their home and aways, alternates, throwbacks, all of it. But now? maroon and black? Yuck! What was Nike thinking? Terrible look, and they should feel bad about themselves.

Over/Under 54.5 Wins: Under

Key Offseason Move: Trading Kyrie for Isaiah, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Nets pick

Burning Question: Will Isaiah fit out or fit in?

Bold Prediction: The first time they go to Miami, LeBron and Wade will pick up mysterious injuries so they can take a mini-vacation.

 

243px-boston_celtics-svgBoston Celtics– I know I’m biased, but, to me, this is the best team in the East. There’s going to be an adjustment period early on. This is pretty much an entirely new roster, and the players are going to have to find out their roles on the fly. But once they click, watch out. I really wish they didn’t trade Avery Bradley, but, realistically, they had to do it to make the contracts work, and, even though I love Avery, Gordon Hayward is much better player offensively. Last year one of the Celtics’ biggest issues was a lack of a secondary ballhandler. Hayward helps that. They still won’t be able to rebound, which could seriously hurt them against the Cavs, but they’ll still be dynamic defensively, particularly if Jaylen Brown takes a step forward in his second season. Celtics will win the East, I guarantee it.

Over/Under 53.5 Wins: Over

Key Offseason Move: Trading for Kyrie/signing Hayward

Burning Question: Is Brad Stevens coaching for his job?

Bold Prediction: They’ll take the Warriors to 5 games in the Finals

 

240px-washington_wizards_logo-svgWashington Wizards– Everyone wants to complain about the East, but I actually think there’s some interesting teams here, particularly the ones that didn’t really do anything in the offseason. Virtually the only team that has any (delusional as they may be) championship aspirations to sit on their hands and say “we’re good,” the Wizards come into the season with the exact same rotation as last year (they didn’t even have a draft pick). Certainly putting a lot of faith in John Wall (who’s earned all the confidence in the world) and Bradley Beal (who’s had one good/healthy season). The rest of the roster is pretty uninspiring if you ask me. Otto Porter is a nice wing player, but he also had his only good season during a contract year. Gortat is a corpse at this point, whatever Morris they have is just as likely to murder someone as guard them, and Kelly Oubre has the biggest boy-named-sue syndrome of all time. John Wall is really, really good. He’s going to win games singlehandedly and elevate this team to more than the sum of its parts. But to suggest they’re better than Boston or Cleveland is pure lunacy.

Over/Under 48.5 Wins: Over

Key Offseason Move: Signing John Wall to a yuuuuuuuuuge extension

Burning Question: Who stole the Declaration of Independence?

Bold Prediction: Wall finished top 5 in MVP and they lose second round.

 

241px-toronto_raptors_logo-svgToronto Raptors– We’re really running this back again, huh? The Lowry-Derozan era just refuses to end, which means we’re going to have to sit through another playoff series or two of the Raptors banging their heads against the wall. Cool. Gonna be great. Don’t be surprised if the Raptors spend a good portion of the first half in first or second place. Cavs and Celtics have a lot of new pieces to fit into their rotation, and the Raptors longtime chemistry should help them look much better than they really are against teams scrambling to find themselves. I don’t really get why they refuse to make any kind of changes, but here we are.

Over/Under 47.5 Wins: Under

Key Offseason Move: Nothing

Burning Question: Who will Drake root for when they get eliminated?

Bold Prediction: They’ll talk about trading Valanciunas but won’t

 

200px-milwaukee_bucks_logo-svgMilwaukee Bucks– Another team that didn’t do a whole lot in the offseason, but rather than banking on known quantities like the Wizards and Raptors, the Bucks are putting their faith in the unknown future of their young players, particularly Giannis Antetokounmpo, who, despite already being an All-NBA-level player, still feels like a ball of clay that can be moulded to fit whatever the team needs, and Thon Maker, a “20 year-old” center who has a bit of a “Giannis-lite” feel to him at the moment. It should tell you all you need to know about who the Bucks want to build their franchise around that Jabari Parker, an explosive scorer who does the best Carmelo Anthony impression in the league but has horrible injury luck, is probably on the market. The Bucks seem to be at the forefront of human cloning technology, since outside of Matthew Dellavedova, everyone on the roster looks the same. They’ll press, they’ll switch everything, and they’ll try to create chaos on defense then get out in transition. Whether or not that actually works will probably decide coach Jason Kidd’s future.

Over/Under 46.5 Wins: Over

Key Offseason Move: Nothing

Burning Question: Do people in Milwaukee still like Happy Days?

Bold Prediction: They’ll wind up as the 2 seed in the East

 

200px-miami_heat_logo-svgMiami Heat Can they keep it going? After a wasted first half of the season, the Heat had a blistering second half (winning 13 in a row at one point), nearly making an impossible run to the playoffs. Is the formula repeatable? Maybe. We pretty much know what their top players will do: Goran Dragic will live in the lane, warping his body around bigger players for creative finishes. Hassan Whiteside will relentlessly hunt rebounds, blocks, and alley-oops. Dion Waiters will continue to be a religious experience. Everyone else is kind of a weird player. James Johnson is a bear defensively, but he’s the definition of a late bloomer. Tyler Johnson’s Riff Raff lookin’ ass could just as easily get lost in an Everglades Krokodil den then show up for a basketball game. Yes, Kelly Olynyk is the true Maple Jordan and provides needed floor spacing, but I’m not sure where his minutes are going to come from. I have faith in Erik Spoelstra, though. Spo has the distinction of being the only person who’s ever coached LeBron that actually knows what he’s doing and wasn’t just a whipping boy, and I think he’s the second-best coach in the East behind Brad Stevens. He’ll know how to get the most out of this team, and, even if they stumble out of the blocks again, the East is bad enough to keep them in it all year.

Over/Under 42.5 Wins: Over

Key Offseason Move: Opening up the first Southern branch of the Olynyk Klynyk

Burning Question: Does Pat Riley still get triggered when he thinks about LeBron and D-Wade?

Bold Prediction: Whiteside will get ejected at least three times

 

278px-charlotte_hornets_28201429-svgCharlotte Hornets– Have I mentioned I went to UConn? I don’t think I have yet, so I’ll tell this story to prove that I did. My freshman year, A.K.A. the year Kemba Walker won the National Championship, my dad came to visit and for whatever reason we went to Applebee’s. After we ate I went to the bathroom and saw Kemba, Shabazz Napier, and some other guy sitting at a table. That’s the end of the story. I didn’t talk to them or anything. I just saw them at an Applebee’s one time. Pretty much everyone on the basketball team during my time was fairly present throughout campus. I saw Shabazz, Jeremy Lamb, Andre Drummond, Tyler Olander, Niels Giffey, and other fairly regularly (it was no coincidence, since most of them had the same fake major as I had). But Kemba was a bit of a ghost. The Applebee’s encounter and one fleeting, magical moment when I passed him on the sidewalk with no one else around (I was taller, which means I’m taller than two NBA all stars, which is crazy to think about) were the only times I ever saw him when he wasn’t playing basketball. And now he’s an All Star. What a world.

Hornets are going to be really boring to watch, just warning you now.

Over/Under 42.5 Wins: Over

Key Offseason Move: Trading for (vomits) Dwight Howard

Burning Question: When LeBron buys a team, will we have to sit through another round of MJ vs LeBron debates?

Bold Prediction: I will watch exactly one (1) full Hornets game this year

 

325px-philadelphia_76ers_logo-svgPhiladelphia 76ers– The Sixers are the name on everyone’s lips in the East this season, as it seems like the long, dark road The Process took the franchise down is finally approaching the end. No word on whether the same results would have been met without the martyrdom of Sam Hinkie. Assuming relative health, the Sixers are going to be fun, dynamic, and explosive. Joel Embiid is an excellent player when he actually plays. Ben Simmons looks amazing in the preseason (take it with all the salt in the world).  Markelle Fultz looks…..bad. No clue what the hell he’s thinking reworking his shot, let alone turning it into the ugliest thing ever. Dario Saric probably should have won rookie of the year. J.J. Redick and Robert Covington will fill the wings and shoot a million 3s. But that’s it. They still have a Process-level bench. They’re still super young and are going to be mostly terrible defensively. I know it’s no fun to suggest, but the Sixers are still going to be bad this year. They still might make the playoffs, because, in case you hadn’t heard, the East is weak this year, but they’ll be bad.

Over/Under 42.5 Wins: Under

Key Offseason Move: Trading up to get Markelle Fultz

Burning Question: Can someone make sure Embiid doesn’t see this? I don’t want to get roasted on twitter

Bold Prediction: They’ll somehow wind up with two more top five picks on their team next year.

 

247px-detroit_pistons_logo-svgDetroit Pistons– Now we’re starting to get into depressing territory. The bottom half of the East is very, very, very, very, very, very bad, but someone has to win games and make the playoffs. Congrats, Detroit! You get to miss out on a lottery pick to get destroyed in the first round! Drummond and Avery Bradley are my guys, but the rest of the roster is gross. Reggie Jackson sabotages pretty much any attempt at offense because he thinks Russell Westbrook (he’s not) and Tobias Harris is just an anthropomorphic shrug emoji. Team sucks, but it doesn’t suck as much as the next few teams.

Over/Under 38.5 Wins: Over I guess

Key Offseason Move: Trading for Avery Bradley

Burning Question: Can you get full Hot ‘n’ Ready pizzas in Little Caesars Arena? Asking for a friend

Bold Prediction: At some point Boban will play a full game and get 33 and 21

 

273px-new_york_knicks_logo-svgNew York Knicks Hey, at least Phil’s gone, right? The Knicks will be eternally cursed so long as James Dolan owns the team, which, last time I check, he still does. After finally dumping Melo for roughly a quarter of his value, the Knicks are left with way too many big guys who are all blocking each other from playing time. They have no wing depth at all after Courtney Lee and $71 million (???) man Tim Hardaway, Jr., and should be starting rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina. Not good.

Over/Under 30.5 Wins: Over

Key Offseason Move: Not #stayingme7o

Burning Question: Will Enes Kanter respect the Garden?

Bold Prediction: Dolan will have security remove Clyde Frazier mid-broadcast for criticizing him

 

274px-orlando_magic_logo-svgOrlando Magic– Magic have to be the most depressing team in the league. There’s no direction, there’s no plan, there’s no hope. The roster is so poorly constructed. They have a million big guys and combo guards. Elfrid Peyton stiiiiinks. Magic are horrible and I hope you never have the misfortune of watching them play.

Over/Under 30.5 Wins: Under

Key Offseason Move: Not doing anything that could help them win games

Burning Question: If they just didn’t play any games this season, would anyone care?

Bold Prediction: Frank Vogel will have absolutely no idea what to do with this roster

 

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Indiana Pacers– The only team that might turn out to be worse to watch than the Magic. Really no idea why they thought a bunch of Thunder spare parts was all they could get for Paul George, but that’s all they got. They’ll be quite bad.

The most interesting thing about them is obviously the new jerseys. Personally, I’m a fan of the circular team name on the front, but the sides have a very college-feel to them. Not what you want from an NBA jersey, but I’m still a sucker from blue and yellow.

Over-Under 30.5 Wins: Under

Key Offseason Move: Getting blackmailed into giving up Paul George for nothing

Burning Question: When’s Larry Bird coming back?

Bold Prediction: They will play some basketball this season

 

243px-atlanta_hawks_logo-svgAtlanta Hawks– I can confirm the initial reports that the Hawks do, indeed, have at least 15 players signed on the roster.

Over/Under 27.5 Wins: Over

Key Offseason Move: Trading Paul Millsap

Burning Question: Is it possible for Sir Foster to win league MVP?

Bold Prediction: Your dad that somehow doesn’t notice things like jersey changes will have a powerful take about the Hawks jerseys that debuted last year

 

198px-brooklyn_nets_newlogo-svgBrooklyn Nets– Please be good, please be good, please be good, please be good, please be good, please be good, please be good, please be good, please be good, please be good, please be good, please be good.

If any team but the Cavs now had Brooklyn’s first round pick, I wouldn’t be all that worried about the Nets getting the number one pick again, but the Cavs have some dark magic (the league rigs the lottery) that allows them to get the number one pick every time they possibly can. The roster is awful, but there’s just so many terrible teams in the league, and the Nets have a good enough coach/front office combo that they’ll manufacture a couple wins. I’m all in on the D’Angelo Russell-Jeremy Lin experience.

Over/Under 26.5 Wins: Over

Key Offseason Move: Trading for D’Angelo Russell

Burning Question: Can we get Jay-Z back in the mix?

Bold Prediction: The Nets will trade their 2019 first round pick because they want to stick to what they know

 

239px-chicago_bulls_logo-svgChicago Bulls– When you’re clearly the worst team in this conference, you know you’re bad.

Over/Under 22.5 Wins: Under

Key Offseason Move: Exorcising the ghost of Dwyane Wade (and trading Jimmy Butler)

Burning Question: How many more terrible moves can the front office make before anyone gets fired?

Bold Prediction: They’ll still wind up on national TV a million times

 

Western Conference coming Tuesday

What the Hell is Isaiah Thomas Talking About?

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source– “I might not ever talk to Danny again. That might not happen. I’ll talk to everybody else. But what he did, knowing everything I went through, you don’t do that, bro. That’s not right. I’m not saying eff you. But every team in this situation comes out a year or two later and says, ‘We made a mistake.’ That’s what they’ll say, too.”

There’s a lot going on in the sports world right now, and don’t worry, my thoughts on what is surely to be the official death of soccer are forthcoming, but I had to address this real quick. Seriously, what on EARTH is Isaiah talking about here? Everyone knows I’m not a Danny Ainge guy. I’ve been frustrated with his reluctance to make moves and lack of transparency. This isn’t a “you’re not on the team anymore so you suck and I have to discredit everything you say” situation. This is a “why are you being such a hypocrite?” situation.

Isaiah loves, and I mean loooooooooooooooves to bitch about loyalty. How Ainge has none and he was stabbed in the back and whatnot. Keep in mind that all season all Isaiah could talk about was how much the Celtics were going to have to pay him for him to stick around and there was no home town discount. Where’s the loyalty there? He bragged about his role in trying to land Kevin Durant. Where was the loyalty to his current teammates? He bragged about his role in signing Al Horford. Where was the loyalty to his current teammates? He bragged about his role in signing Gordon Hayward. Where was the loyalty to his current teammates? He just picks and chooses where to invoke his loyalty argument, and it’s always to his benefit. If he was so proud of himself for swaying Gordon Hayward’s decision, why didn’t he say anything about the fact that it pretty much guaranteed Avery Bradley, a fellow Tacoma, Washington native and the perfect back court mate to any creative scoring guard, wouldn’t come back. But signing Hayward gave Isaiah a better chance to win, so who cares, right? It’s just business. Grow up. Stop being a crybaby and admit that you’re just desperate to create chips on your shoulder so you can motivate yourself to never play defense again.

Listen, I’ll never forget what Isaiah did for the Celtics. He energized the franchise and helped make it an appealing free agent destination. He had one of the greatest single seasons of any Celtic player in my lifetime, and the things he did in the playoffs were beyond inspiration considering everything that happened to him. But the Celtics never told him they were going to sign him long term. He was super excited to test the free agent market until the Celtics decided for him. Now there’s no loyalty. He was always one of foremost “no such thing as loyalty” players, but when something didn’t go his way, time to start spouting about lack of loyalty. Makes sense! I hope by now everyone understands my stance on loyalty. It’s all nonsense and people should always do what’s best for them. I respected Isaiah because he never made any illusions about it. He wanted as much money as possible and he didn’t really care who it was from. But now he does a 180 because he got traded? Please. Just say you don’t want to play with LeBron, everyone will understand. This just feels so fabricated and forced. We’re not children. We can remember all the times you had an exact opposite viewpoint. Don’t spit on my head and tell me it’s raining.

John Farrell Gets Fired

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I always knew Dave Dombrowski was a loyal reader. Less than two days after I called for John Farrell’s head, the Red Sox announced they were officially in the market for a new manager. Listen, he’s not the only one to blame. I know I made it sound like everything was his fault, but I was running solely on hatred when I wrote that. He’s the worst tactical manager in the league and can’t get the best out of any of his players on a day-to-day basis and can’t manage a clubhouse at all, but he’s not the one on the field. The fate of this team going forward still rests in the hands of a roster that clearly needs some work. They’re behind Houston, they’re behind Cleveland, and they’re probably behind the Yankees. As they’re currently constructed, they’re not going to win a World Series. That’s not Farrell’s fault, and improving the roster needs to be the chief concern this offseason, not getting a shiny new manager. Thinking that merely changing the leadership is enough to push the team over the top is asinine. I honestly don’t even care who they hire. Just give him a pop quiz about basic baseball strategy and make sure people like him. That’ll be enough for an upgrade.

Anyway, clearly I’ve got some kind of serious pull or maybe even magic powers. Like a white Lavar Ball, I’ve spoken something into existence almost immediately. What are the limits to this power? Are there limits? Guess I have to test it out. I have no choice but to issue a ton of ultimatums now.

  • Taco Bell needs to bring back Cheesy Double Beef Burritos and keep them on the goddamn menu for more than three weeks or I’ll become a Burger King guy
  • John Wick 3 needs to come out ASAP or I’ll become a Transformers guy
  • Celtics need to acquire Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis or I’ll become a Cavs fan
  • McDonald’s needs to make Mac Sauce available as a dipping sauce or I’ll become a Burger King guy
  • Chick-Fil-a needs to open a location next to my house or I’ll become a Burger King guy
  • I need to become a billionaire overnight or I’ll become a rupee guy
  • Cheez-It needs to sign me to an endorsement deal where I get free Cheez-Its for life or I’ll become a Cheese Nips guy
  • Fall weather better kick in soon or I’ll become a Mars guy
  • I need to be an NPC in the next Pokemon game or I’ll become a Digimon guy (just kidding, I already am)

If these come to pass, I may get even more ambitious. That summer blockbuster you’re looking forward to might have a new leading man. Everyone wants someone new to be good in the NBA, so maybe the Hawks get a new explosive wing player ready to take over the league. Maybe Young Sheldon gets cancelled. Who knows what could happen.