Kyrie Irving Asks for a Trade

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So what do we call it when Windhorst breaks a story? #Windbomb? #GustofWind? Either way, huge, huuuuuuge news out of The Land. Kyrie says he wants out. LeBron, of course, is blindsided by this, just like he was somehow blindsided by David Griffin getting fired. So, he’s the most powerful and influential player in the NBA and no self-respecting front office would ever dream of making any personnel move without consulting him, but he’s always caught off guard whenever anything happens to his team? Huh?

But this isn’t about LeBron, this is about Kyrie. Do I actually think he’ll be traded? Not really. His contract won’t be a problem. All things considered, he’s a huge bargain. But I can’t imagine they’ll be able to get a deal that gives them equal value in return, unless they get a ton of young guys and draft picks, which would mean they’ve accepted that LeBron is moving on after this season. They could do some complex three team deals to try and get Carmelo, but I think I’d rather have Kyrie than #me7o. It’s really put the Cavs in a tough spot, and I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what Kyrie wanted. Maybe he got sick of LeBron’s LeBron Act. Maybe his feelings got hurt after Steph spent the Finals torching him and people stopped saying he was better than the two-time MVP. Maybe he just wanted a little more recognition from the Cavs, instead of just taking all the blame when they lose and get shoved into the background when they win, regardless of his performance. No matter what the reasoning is, if he’s serious about this demand, he’ll force the Cavs to show their hand. If they trade him and get anything besides Carmelo in return, then they’re just focusing on the future, and we all know LeBron isn’t sticking around for a rebuild. If they keep him and maybe sign him to a new deal, then all of a sudden they’re saying Kyrie is the most important player on the team and he can do whatever he wants, which will pretty much be an invitation for LeBron to leave town. Everyone knew he was leaving anyway, but now it’s official. Kyrie’s being traded. LeBron’s leaving in 2018. Celtics 2018-19 NBA Champions.

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I’m so Sick of how We Handle Players Leaving in Free Agency

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Unless you’re totally unplugged to the NBA world, you know Gordon Hayward just signed with the Celtics. If you’ve ever read this site before, you know I am a Celtics fan and have somewhat wary about some of these win-now moves the Celtics might do. You’re also probably wondering why I hadn’t addressed it yet. Well, because it all happened on July 4th and I didn’t feel like doing anything, I decided to wait until his introductory press conference to give my thoughts on the move. And I’ll probably still do that. While I’m excited to have a player of Hayward’s caliber join the Celtics, this creates a lot of issues in the short term, the chief of which is they now have way too many players. But that’s not what I want to talk about today. What forced my hand into finally talking about Gordon Hayward is the concept of loyalty.

Search #betrayward on Twitter and you’ll find hundreds of these. Judging by the reactions, you’d think Gordon Hayward just assassinated every member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. That he’s a fugitive from justice who said Joseph Smith was a crackpot. Like, what did this guy do? Oh, he just decided he wanted to work somewhere else? That’s it? I’m so sick of this stupid idea that players need to be “loyal” to their teams. So just because a team drafted you you have to spend your entire life there? It doesn’t matter if they hate it or whatever, they drafted you so you have to be miserable living there forever. Sorry, man! The teams have no loyalty to the player. Unless you’re a Kobe-level megastar, which Hayward isn’t, 99% of teams will dump you the second you’re no longer worth the investment. The entire point of free agency was to give the players some choice and control over their careers. Do people not understand that? Literally every time someone leaves a team now he becomes public enemy number one. LeBron. Durant. Wade. Ray Allen. LaMarcus Aldridge. Jason Heyward got destroyed on Twitter when he left the Cardinals. The jersey burning, the bitching online, the booing, the death threats, it’s all just so stupid. These people aren’t robots. You can’t just assume the first team they play for is their dream scenario. Unless Gordon Hayward repeatedly said something like “I’m going to run for Congress in Utah I love it so much,” why should he be forced to stay? Utah has some great national parks. You also can’t drink or do anything after like, 10 p.m. And come on, do Jazz fans really think their team has any future whatsoever in the Western Conference? Utah stinks. How are they totally blindsided by this? How were the people of Oklahoma City blindsided by the fact that a professional athlete would rather live in San Francisco than OKC? How the HELL did the people of Cleveland think it’s more appealing to live there than MIAMI? Have some self awareness, people. Your city probably stinks, your team probably stinks, and the player who dares to leave the warm embrace of your psychotic fans probably has legitimate reasons to leave. Maybe he has a brain and saw that, since 90% of the good players in the NBA are now out West, maybe going East would be a good idea? Maybe he liked his time in college better than his time in the NBA (gasp!) and wanted to recapture some of the magic with his old coach. Maybe they have friends, or family, or just want to change things up. Maybe when, the last time he was a free agent, he took note of the fact that his current team decided not to give him the fifth year and the max and decided that they clearly didn’t want him that much?

How many of you hate your job? Be it your boss, the commute, you think it’s boring, the pay isn’t right, whatever. How many of you would leave your job, if you could? You could pick the city, the company, the perfect house, everything. You could literally have your dream life, all you had to do was leave your current job. How many of you would do that? 100%? I know I would. But it’s bad when pro athletes do it because…..why exactly? They make more money than you? Well, maybe if you weren’t so invested in sports and didn’t watch or go to games then the leagues wouldn’t have all this money to give out. Because they drafted him? So no other team (besides, of course, Portland) would have wanted Kevin Durant? He was a diamond in the rough that only Oklahoma City believed in? Because they decided they had a better chance to win somewhere else? Is that not what everyone who changes companies because they can get a better position does? Are people that hypocritical? “I don’t like the team he signed with so it’s okay if I burn his jersey and tell him I’ll kill his family!” Makes sense. I know all those people in Utah don’t get to experience the outside world much so they’re probably pretty emotionally stunted, but acting like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum probably isn’t going to make Hayward regret his decision. Grow up. I’m sorry your team isn’t in Florida or California, but the world needs ditch diggers, too. Everyone, including pro athletes, has a right to decide where they work. Whining about it on Twitter isn’t going to change that anytime soon.

THUNDER TRADE FOR PAUL GEORGE AND THE CELTICS HAVE OFFICIALLY WASTED YET ANOTHER OFFSEASON


This just happened a second ago and I’m typing this out on my phone but it couldn’t wait. Thunder just traded Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. If you’re waiting for more names there aren’t any. That’s the whole deal. Seriously. And the Celtics couldn’t match it. Just like they couldn’t beat the pupu platter Minnesota just gave Chicago for Jimmy Butler. And Blake Griffin is going to re-sign in L.A. Great work, Danny!

How did they let this happen? I don’t care if he wasn’t going to sign a long-term deal, how do you not beat that? Trading Jae Crowder straight up for George would have been a better deal than what they got. They could have given any number of deals better than what Minnesota gave up. They had a LEGITIMATE CHANCE AT PORZINGIS! WHAT’S THE POINT OF HAVING ALL THESE “ASSETS” IF YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO DO ANYTHING? DO THEY NOT REALIZE YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO GIVE SOMETHING UP TO GET SOMETHING? Listen, I’ve been at the front of the pack preaching patience, but when ALL IT TAKES IS A BAG OF BALLS TO GET A MULTIPLE TIME ALL STAR, PULL THE GOD DAMN TRIGGER!!!!!!!! YOU’D REALLY RATHER HAVE JAYSON TATUM OVER PAUL GEORGE, EVEN FOR A YEAR? JAYSON TATUM STINKS! WHAT IS THE THOUGHT PROCESS HERE? WASN’T THE WHOLE POINT OF GETTING ANOTHER FORST ROUNDER NEXT YEAR TO TRADE FOR SOMEONE GOOD? WELL THERE’S NO ONE GOOD LEFT SO WHOOPS! I’d be totally fine with this if they had just kept Fultz and committed to what they were doing. But after trading him I have absolutely ZERO confidence left. He’s just addicted to acquiring draft picks. Next year they’re going to have two top five picks and trade both of them for first rounders the year after. Then the cycle will keep repeating itself year after year. It’ll never end, the Celtics will never be good again, and they will never, ever, EVER use all of these so called assets to do anything.

I Think I Love Lavar Ball Now

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Last night was a big TV night. The NFL crowned Tom Brady number 1 in their annual “Top 100 Players” list, a stupid, contrived device that exists solely to fuel the #debate. The NBA Awards show finally aired almost two weeks after the season ended, an NHL-level scheduling decision. I don’t even remember anything about the regular season anymore. I can barely recall who won the title. The Celtics won, right? Anyway, I’ve spent enough words on MVP, so I’ll just say I didn’t fully agree with every award, but I’m not going to get upset about them. Through all that, though, one five minute segment on Monday Night Raw is all anyone can talk about. Lavar Ball finally fulfilled his destiny and entered the squared circle. The results were predictably amazing.

I’ve been on record as being a Lavar h8tr, but I can’t deny my true feelings anymore: I love Lavar Ball. I think it happened sometime before the draft, maybe even earlier. I never wanted to admit it to myself, but once he gave his show-stopping draft interview

I knew I had fully shifted to #teamBigBaller. Now, I say I’m only #teamBigBaller because I don’t have the available resources to become a full fledged Big Baller. I, unfortunately, can’t afford a fresh pair of ZO2s. But those $50 t-shirts? They’re a siren on the rocks and I don’t know how long I can resist the call. I need a taste of the Big Baller life. Even if only for an instant, I need to see how the Baller side lives. I need a piece of that power. You put on some BBB gear and the world opens up to you. Your self-confidence goes through the roof. You can will anything into existence. I would have to imagine it’s how God feels.

Listen, I still don’t like his kids. Lonzo seems like a good dude but I’m not sold on his skills. I hate LaMelo. I feel bad for the middle one, but not really since he’s going to be rich either way. But the longer all this goes on, the clearer it’s becoming that Lavar is a legitimate genius. He knows exactly what he’s doing at all times. He knows how to keep his name in the news 24/7. He’s a master of marketing. Even if he hasn’t, he’s made it seem like he’s been manipulating everything from the start. He can spin absolutely anything into a positive for BBB. He has that Kardashian gene for self-promotion that I thought we’d never see again. He’s turned himself into the most cartoonish, most easily hatable heel of all time, which has only made him more popular and in vogue. His sons’ success almost doesn’t even matter anymore. If Lonzo turns out to be an All-Star, then Lavar can just keep on being Lavar. If he doesn’t? Well, he’ll still just keep on being Lavar. He needs to have a recurring role in WWE, especially if his sons don’t pan out. He was born to be hated. And that might be his greatest gift of all.

NBA Draft Thoughts

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So, anything happen last night? Besides the draft, can’t think of much. Pretty quiet night in terms of the NBA. Everything went according to plan, no real excitement. Wait, what’s that? The Bulls finally traded Jimmy Butler? And not to the Celtics? I almost couldn’t believe it.

Honestly, this trade really annoyed me. Not that someone else got Jimmy Butler. As anyone who has read any of my thoughts on the NBA could tell you, I was not overly eager for the Celtics to get Jimmy Butler. But mostly because the Bulls were asking for every single draft pick the Celtics had until 2075 and half the roster. Then they turn around and give Butler to the Timberwolves, who were still run by Bulls’ front office arch-nemesis Tom Thibodeau last time I checked, for two players and a pick swap? Are you kidding me? Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn? Seriously? That’s all it takes? I love LaVine, but who knows what he’s gonna look like next year after his knee injury. Kris Dunn is trrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaassssssssshhhhhhhhhhh. Then they give up the 16th pick to thank the TWolves for taking their best player off their hands? And then they take Lauri Markkanen 7th overall? How can these people run an NBA team? To think the biggest display of idiocy by a front office last night didn’t involve Phil Jackson is dumbfounding. Even the Kings made good moves last night! Were the Bulls asleep? Were they drugged? Have they ever watched basketball before? Honestly, no profession in the world has more accepted incompetence than NBA GM. The morons that 90% of teams have running their billion-dollar franchises shouldn’t be trusted to manage a Bruegger’s Bagels. How can you go from asking the Celtics for absolutely everything to accepting the TWovles table scraps? And if you’re now committed to a rebuild, how do you not take someone with a higher ceiling than Lauri Markkanen? Dennis Smith, Malik Monk, OG Anunoby, even Donovan Mitchell were still there. Or, I don’t know, don’t give up your own first round pick, too and take someone like Harry Giles at 16. I just can’t believe how poorly they handled this trade. Now I’m pissed that Butler’s not on the Celtics, because apparently all they would have had to give up was Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier then swap picks. So annoying. Hey, Bulls, you stink!

Anyway, there was an actual draft last night. Most of it kind of went according to plan. No big shockers, besides maybe Malik Monk falling to number 11. Still, there’s plenty to talk about. I guess I should get used to Jayson Tatum now that a potential trade is probably off the board (I know, I can’t believe it, either). After throwing up multiple times thinking about the abomination that is St. Louis-style pizza, I was able to listen to him talk for a bit. If nothing else, at least he seems like a good guy who’s going to commit to the team. That shouldn’t be taken for granted, but I still have concerns. It doesn’t help that he’s the internet’s least favorite player.

Oh, well. Guess the Celtics are just going to punt on this year again, possibly get multiple picks in the top five, and trade both of them for future picks and take guys with no ceiling again. Sweet. Love Danny Ainge, man. Best in the business. On to what I liked and didn’t like.

Things I Liked

  • Markelle Fultz to Philadelphia
  • Dennis Smith to Dallas
  • Josh Jackson to Phoenix
  • Lavar Ball’s interviews
  • Malik Monk to Charlotte
  • All the old tweets that were dug up
  • OG Anunoby to Toronto
  • All the Kings picks (De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson, Harry Giles, Frank Mason)
  • All the Lakers picks besides Lonzo (Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Thomas Bryant)
  • Jordan Bell to Golden State
  • The huge number of random picks that were in the stands
  • Frank Jackson to New Orleans
  • John Calipari continuing to stay ten steps ahead of every other coach

Things I Didn’t Like

  • Celtics not getting Markelle Fultz, Josh Jackson, or Jonathan Isaac
  • Jonathan Isaac going to the barren wasteland of Orlando
  • The Bulls. Literally everything they did
  • Bam Adebayo at 14
  • John Collins to Atlanta
  • Derrick White to San Antonio (I just wanted to be the only guy not praising them for this pick)
  • Devin Robinson going undrafted
  • Anyone mentally weak enough to stop watching before all 60 picks have been announced
  • Not enough Fran Fraschilla
  • Everyone’s suit is too conservative and classy now. Nothing to make fun of

NBA Draft Preview

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There’s nothing quite like the NBA offseason. The crazy trades. The traitorous free agency decisions. The emoji wars on Twitter. In the week since the Finals ended, every day has had more drama than a Daniel Day-Lewis movie (R.I.P), and we haven’t even hit free agency yet! Dwight Howard was traded for a Plumlee, completing one of the most self-inflicted falls from grace in human history. The Lakers decided to give up on D’Angelo Russell after two years because…….? and traded him to the Nets in a move that somehow screwed the Celtics over twice. Phil Jackson has mysteriously put Kristaps Porzingis on the trading block (I doubt he’ll be traded), leading every fan base to rush to Photoshop to see what he’d look like in their jersey. But tonight is my favorite part of the NBA offseason, draft night. I’ve got my DiGiorno. I’ve got my spot on the couch picked out. I’m ready to be disappointed. Is it possible to go from all in on someone to all out on someone in a few days? Because that’s what I’m feeling now. Look at this:

??????????????????? What the hell is St. Louis-style pizza? Why would he pick a fake food over all the other quality foods that have a right to go number one overall? Now I’m seeing him in a new light. Now all his flaws clearly counteract his strengths. Now he’s just the exact same prospect we’ve seen in every single draft that does absolutely nothing. I can’t believe the Celtics are seriously going to take an un-athletic Tobias Harris number three overall. Hey Danny, draft Josh Jackson please!

You can go anywhere on the internet and find a mock draft, so I decided I’d just say which prospects I like and who I don’t like. That way, the only thing I can be wrong about is if they’re good or not, not if they’re good or not and what team takes them.

Guys I Like

  • Markelle Fultz- Oh, what might have been
  • Josh Jackson- Come on, Danny, think of him and Jaylen Brown on defense together! I’m aroused, aren’t you?
  • De’Aaron Fox- Completely dominated Lonzo twice. A sign of things to come for one of them
  • Jonathan Isaac- Anthony Randolph with a jumper. Guy could be the best player in the draft or be out of the league in four years
  • Dennis Smith- I like him a lot, especially if you can get him outside the top 10
  • Malik Monk- Don’t know if you’ve heard this before, but the NBA is all about 3-point shooting these days
  • OG Anunoby- People are acting like he’s dead. It’s just a torn ACL. It’s 2017, he’s probably already fully healthy. He’ll the best defensive player in the draft, just take him
  • Harry Giles- Speaking of not dead yet. His injuries are considerably worse than OG’s, but if you’re not in the lottery, absolutely no reason not to roll the dice
  • Bam Adebayo- Mostly because he’s projected to go so low

Guys I Don’t Like

  • Lonzo Ball- As I’ve said before, I don’t think he’s that good
  • Jayson Tatum- This is appalling
  • Lauri Markkanen- I watched him play a lot. He never had a good game
  • Zach Collins- Taking college backups highly in the draft works out every time!
  • Luke Kennard- I actually like him as a role player in the NBA, but lottery feels way too high for him
  • John Collins- I don’t know, I just don’t see it with him. He’s like a less-refined version of Caleb Swanigan that you have to take 30 picks earlier
  • Justin Patton- He’s a wallflower. Don’t pick
  • Justin Jackson- At best an 8th man in the league
  • Tyler Lydon- I just hate his face

Random Stuff I’m Looking Forward To

  • The one guy who gets old tweets bashing the team that drafts him exposed
  • How awkward every white guy that gets drafted makes the handshake with Silver
  • John Calipari somehow having a better seat than Markelle Fultz
  • The one girlfriend the internet loses its mind over
  • Some foreign guy who gets drafted in the second round but came to the draft and is sitting in the stands

Late First/Second Round Guys I Like

  • D.J. Wilson
  • Caleb Swanigan
  • Thomas Bryant
  • Frank Jackson
  • Frank Mason
  • Monte Morris
  • Kyle Kuzma
  • Derrick White
  • Cam Oliver
  • Jordan Bell
  • Jawun Evans
  • Terrance Ferguson
  • Semi Ojeleye
  • Devin Robinson
  • Alec Peters

Celtics trade the number one overall pick

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Unbelievable. That’s really all I have to say. Unbelievable. In the back of my head, I knew this would happen, but my heart wanted to believe. I wanted to live in a world where the years of planning and trading and positioning and rumors would finally lead to something. A tangible result. A sign that, yeah, there’s a clear direction here and everyone knows what they’re doing. But now? I don’t really know anymore.

You’re going to tell me that all you got for the number one pick was a swap this year and a pick next year that they can only get if it falls between 2 and 5? Seriously? One additional draft pick? For the number one pick? And to a team in your own division? The Sixers were demanding Brooklyn picks, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, Isaiah Thomas, Kevin McHale’s retired jersey, and a lifetime of free meals from Union Oyster House for Nerlens Noel last year. And you give them the number one pick for pretty much nothing? Now, this trade technically won’t be official until tomorrow, so I’m hoping there’s more to it. But if it’s just for next year’s pick/2019’s pick? Then what was the point?

Now, maybe they just needed to get another top pick in order to make the long sought after big trade and still have something for the future. But if that player is Jimmy Butler or, God forbid, one season of Paul George I’ll lose my mind. I’m in Denver now, maybe I’ll just become a Nuggets fan. Or just go full heel and jump on the Warriors. JIMMY BUTLER, AL HORFORD, AND ISAIAH THOMAS AREN’T ENOUGH TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP. I’m just assuming Danny Ainge knows that, too. Celtics trade rumors are literally never true. This trade pretty much came out of nowhere. Maybe Ainge has something unexpected in the works. Or, maybe he doesn’t. Then, I ask again, what was the point?

Perhaps the most logical explanation is that they just didn’t think Markelle Fultz was The Guy. I did, but I’m just some schmo. If they didn’t think Fultz was their man, and knew the Lakers would get suckered into taking Lonzo Ball, moving down to three to get the guy they actually want makes some sense. It’s also going to free up some cap space in case they wanted to make any big signings in the offseason. In the immediate aftermath of the trade, all the pundits were saying Josh Jackson was going to be the pick. But why, though? He’s an athletic wing and tough defender who competes hard on both ends despite a less-than-refined skill set. So, Jae Crowder? Celtics already have that, and they have it for cheap. Unless they just want to flip Crowder for something to get a younger version with more upside, I don’t really see why they would take him. And, assuming the fact that they already have a million guards factored in to the decision to trade the number one pick, I’m hoping and praying that means Lonzo Ball is out of the question, too. Not because of his dad or anything. I just don’t think he’s going to be all that good. That pretty much leaves Jayson Tatum as the logical pick, which I’d be fine with, even with the annoying y in the middle of his name. He reminds me a lot of young Carmelo Anthony. He’s a smooth, if un-explosive, athlete with great size, a very advanced offensive game, and has some good defensive potential. I think he’d fit perfectly at the Celtics’ barren power forward position. He won’t be there defensively in the first few years (what young player is?), but he’ll be able to score right away. After watching some highlights, I’m all in on him now. Give me Tatum, don’t give me Jimmy Butler. Of course, all of this means the Celtics will take Luke Kennard number three and I’m going to want to run into oncoming traffic.