Hedo Turkoglu Says Enes Kanter is Running Smear Campaign Against Turkish Government, Totally Doesn’t Want to Have Him Killed


sourceFormer NBA player Hedo Turkoglu, now a chief adviser to the president of Turkey, says comments by Enes Kanter about the country are nothing more than an ongoing “political smear campaign” by the New York Knicks center.

Kanter earlier this week said he would not travel with the Knicks to London for a game against the Washington Wizards on Jan. 17 because he fears for his life because of his ongoing clash with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A Knicks team official said Kanter won’t travel because of a visa issue, but Kanter, who has been an outspoken critic of the Turkish government and Erdogan, said he did not feel safe making the trip because “there’s a chance that I can get killed out there.”

“We know that [Kanter] has not been able to travel to many countries due to visa issues since 2017,” Turkoglu said in a statement posted to Twitter on Monday. “In other words, Kanter can’t enter the UK not because of fears for life as he claims but due to passport and visa issues. This being the long-known truth, he is trying to get the limelight with irrational justifications and political remarks.

“Such remarks constitute another example of the political smear campaign Kanter has been conducting against Turkey as well as his efforts to attribute importance to himself by covering up the contradictions in his sports career. … It is obvious that this person’s remarks are irrational and distort the truth.”

Kanter reportedly was indicted by the Istanbul Cyber Crimes Investigation Bureau last year because of “hurtful and humiliating” comments made about Turkoglu, the president of the Turkish Basketball Federation, on social media.

According to a report by The New York Times, Erdogan has jailed, fired or suspended tens of thousands of people accused of plotting a failed coup. In December 2017, Turkey’s state-run news agency, Anadolu Agency, reported that prosecutors were seeking more than four years in prison for Kanter on charges of insulting Erdogan in a series of tweets he posted in 2016.

Alright, I’m not going to add too much to this because, surprisingly, I’m not too well versed in Turkish politics. All I know is that Erdogan is, umm, not a great guy and that Enes hates him and has reason to believe he’ll be in danger if he leaves the country. Considering what happened to that Saudi journalist a few months ago (different situation, I know, but the point remains) and this statement Hedo put out, I’d be inclined to believe him. I mean, read that again. It’s pretty much the Goodfellas dress scene:

“No, Enes definitely isn’t in danger if he went to London. Especially not if he stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Airport at Eastern Perimeter Rd, Longford, Hounslow TW6 2SQ, UK. Then he’d be real safe.”

Anyway, I just wanted to talk about how preposterous it is that Hedo Turkoglu has someone become the like, third most powerful person in Turkey. How did this happen? Did Erdogan need a point forward for his Dictator Basketball League team? Needed someone to take over in Hedo Time?

Maybe he’s just a fan of frosted tips. Regardless of why it happened, Hedo is suddenly the Jafar of Turkey. What are his plans? Sure, he’s playing his part as the hapless sycophant mouthpiece, but is Hedo really pulling the strings? I’m not ready to rule it out. This is a guy that made the Finals with Dwight Howard, he knows how to handle difficult personalities and overcome adversity. He’s probably making connections with world leaders and building an underground army of followers. He’s got the physical intimidation and the basketball IQ. He’ll keep Erdogan happy until it’s time for his power play, where he’ll seize total control of the entire country. After that? I’m not at liberty to guess.

In the early days of the Brian’s Den, I exposed the NBA’s dastardly organized crime syndicate to the world. Turns out I left someone out. Hedo undoubtedly had his hands in the Drazen’s Head cookie jar. He has the connection to Vlade and Peja and clearly has the ambition. His shadow influence over the family could prove vital when the time comes. I don’t know a lot of things when it comes to politics. One thing I do know is that I don’t want to be the guy to overlook Hedo Turkoglu. I’ve seen too many game winners for that.

Whose Medical Condition is (Allegedly) Faker: Urban Meyer’s or Markelle Fultz’s?


Two of the biggest stories in the sports world right now revolve around the mysterious ailments afflicting Urban Meyer and Markelle Fultz. Now, anyone with a brain can figure out both of them are (allegedly) fake. The real question is which one is (allegedly) more fake? The headaches or the shoulder? The answer may shock you.


The Urban Meyer illness, also known as Coachkitis, is obviously (allegedly) fake. It’s happened before! When the going gets tough, Urban gets fakin’. When he was at Florida, the second they lost an undefeated season he had “heart problems” and “wanted to spend more time with his family” so he took a leave of absence that was just an excuse to skip the build up for the bowl game and the next season (allegedly). The next year they went 7-5 and he retired. Because of health and nothing else.

Literally one year later he took the Ohio State job and was magically cured. Until this year, when his team got smacked by Purdue and spent a month and a half looking like shit. All of a sudden he’s got crazy headaches and can barely stand. Miss the playoff for the third year in a row? Have a terrible domestic violence case hanging over the program’s head? Ow, my head (allegedly)! Doesn’t help that his wife is selling him out, saying “winning cures a lot.” Gee, ya think? I wonder if there’s some NCAA sanctions coming Ohio State’s way, too. That might make the ol’ noggin ache a little harder. It’s obvious what’s going to happen: Ohio State is either going to get hit by the NCAA or just start to decline, Urban takes a year off, Brian Kelly gets fired at Notre Dame. Hmm, if only there was a coaching legend who we could hire without needing to pay a huge buyout clause. What’s that? Urban Meyer is healthy again and not doing anything? Wow, what luck! Then in 2023 his back will flare up when they go 8-4 (allegedly).

Verdict: FAKE (allegedly)


But what about Markelle Fultz? I think I can drop the (allegedly) here, because this is just a made up condition. Thoracic outlet syndrome? That’s not a real thing. I refuse to even entertain the thought that thoracic outlet syndrome is a legitimate medical condition. Like, I’m sorry that Jimmy Butler is bullying you, bro, but you might just suck. He’s completely forgotten how to play basketball. Everything that made him good at every level before the NBA is gone. He’s a total zero on the court. Does nothing well. Maybe it’s just a mental thing? Maybe you weren’t ready to be the number one pick? Maybe you don’t like the pressure of being on a winning team? Maybe you don’t want everyone to look at you all the time even if you’re seemingly intentionally making yourself more of a sideshow than was ever necessary? Do you even want to play basketball anymore? I mean hell, I’ll go out there for ten minutes and hit zero shots. Can’t be that hard. I just can’t wrap my mind around this whole situation. He’s still so talented and could turn it all around. But he’s doing himself no favors by being the most mentally weak person in human history and letting his agent run around telling everyone he’s (allegedly) injured with the well known and definitely not fabricated thoracic outlet syndrome. It’s time to grow up, dude. Just request a trade to Orlando or something, already.

It takes a lot to unseat Urban Meyer when it comes to fake injuries. Up to this point, only Coach K had ever (allegedly) been above him. But there’s a new crown prince of fake injuries, and his name is Markelle Fultz.

Verdict: Very, very, very, not even allegedly Fake

73 Thoughts About the 2018-19 NBA Season


Folks, tonight is opening night of the 2018-19 NBA season. I’m not in the basketball mindset whatsoever. This might hamper some people’s ability to create comprehensive, insightful, entertaining pieces about the upcoming season, but, luckily for you, I’m not most people. I’ll shake off the rust and give the quality roundball takes you’ve been jonesing for since the draft. So, here’s 73 thoughts, predictions, takes, and various observations about this season. Why 73? Unless my math is incorrect this is the 73rd season of professional basketball in these United States of America. Easy enough, right?

  1. The Golden State Warriors will win the championship.
  2. This doesn’t mean the league is ruined or that this season won’t be a ton of fun.
  3. The Boston Celtics will win two NBA Finals games this year.
  4. The Celtics will have four All-Stars- Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum.
  5. The snub will cause Jaylen Brown to go on a second-half tear and compete for All-NBA Third team.
  6. The Celtics will win 61 games and finish second in the East to the Raptors.
  7. The Raptors got Kawhi. Don’t know if you heard.
  8. I’m actually interested to watch the Raptors. Every year the narrative was “they’re finally playing team ball and taking less mid-range jumpers” only to play the exact same iso, mid-range heavy style they always do. Now that they no longer have a member of the Mid-Range Holy Trinity on the roster maybe they’ll switch things up. And maybe they’ll stop thinking Kyle Lowry will do well in the playoffs.
  9. The Lakers got LeBron. Don’t know if you heard.
  10. Lakers will obviously be a sideshow all season with the preposterous roster they’ve put together, but I actually think people are underestimating them. I’ve seen some takes floating around that they won’t make the playoffs. Huh? Since when does a LeBron team win less than 50 games? It’s not like this team is any worse than the Cavs last year.
  11. Love the updated Lakers yellow jerseys. Hate the updated purple ones with the black paneling:
  12. Lonzo Ball- apparently a tattoo sleeve guy, now:Kind of doesn’t fit, honestly. Should have consulted me beforehand.
  13. Speaking of new ink, what kind of things did Jordan Clarkson get into during the offseason?When your older brother forces you to join his biker gang against your will.
  14. Marcus Smart and J.R. Smith WILL exchange punches at some point this season.
  15. I’m glad I was on the right side of history when it comes to Jimmy Butler. I hope people remember there were some Celtics fans who wanted to trade Jaylen Brown and what became Jayson Tatum AND other things for him.
  16. It’s not that he’s not good. He clearly is. But no one is every good enough to be his teammate and no one is good enough to earn his respect and nothing can ever make him happy. At some point it’s you, man.
  17. His mentality works when you’re Kobe and have a million rings. It doesn’t work when you can’t get out of the first or second round.
  18. Also no one makes scoring look harder. He’s the anti-Kevin Durant.
  19. That being said, he is the legal owner of the Timberwolves, now.
  20. I cannot wait to watch them play. Andrew Wiggins cowering at Jimmy’s feet and KAT glaring at him but never confronting him in any way will be fascinating. 23-59.
  21. Speaking of fun to watch, aside from the obvious (Warriors, Celtics, Sixers, Lakers), the most fun team to watch will be….. the Sacramento Kings.
  22. Don’t get me wrong, they’re going to stink. But I’m just so curious to watch them. They have 10,000 guys who need minutes, most of them are centers, and almost none of them complement each other.
  23. I’m all in on Harry Giles. I love him, De’Aaron Fox, and Marvin Bagley together. So much speed and explosiveness and odd passing chemistry. They’re electric.
  24. Anti-chemistry team was going to be clearly the Wizards before the Jimmy drama. Beal and Wall already hated each other before adding in noted locker room guy Dwight Howard. They’re going to be trash.
  25. I’m excited for Dwight’s former team the Brooklyn Nets. They are my hometown team, after all.
  26. I also own the Barclays Center.
  27. I do legitimately like the Nets roster, though. They’re athletic, fast, take a billion threes, and try hard. That’s a good formula for when you start getting better players. They finally have their own draft picks, now!
  28. Bucks have a new arena this year called the Fiserv Forum. I have yet to decide if I like the camera angle, lighting, and various arena sounds yet. Stay tuned.
  29. Bucks also have a new coach in Mike Budenholzer, who actually knows what he’s doing. If the offense is now more advanced than “hey, Giannis, just go to the hoop and do something,” the Bucks could be trouble.
  30. Giannis will win MVP and Khris Middleton will be an All-Star.
  31. New jerseys this year for the Grizzlies and Nuggets:
  32. I love the Nuggets’ new white jerseys but the other two are just okay. Big fan of the Grizzlies’ entire look.
  33. The Thunder’s City edition jersey is apparently Native American influenced and, for the first time since they moved, I can say with confidence: the Thunder have an awesome looking jersey.
  34. The Jazz, Hawks, Magic, TWolves, Pacers, Warriors, and Hornets all have some sweet throwbacks this year, too.
  35. Legit can’t wait for all the City edition uniforms and Earned edition uniforms to be unveiled. If I could see all of them today but had to take five years off my life I’d do it without thinking twice.
  36. This site is awesome if you’re like me and are obsessed with jerseys, warmup gear, and court designs.
  37. A trend I like: alternate court designs. The Bucks introduced it a few years ago when they had a different court design to go along with their black alternates, but now almost every alternate jersey comes with its own court design, too. This Hornets one is awesome:The Nuggets have a special Mile High court, the Sixers have multiple courts, the Jazz have multiple courts. Keep being creative when designing courts! They shouldn’t all look the same.
  38. I’ve decided I kind of like the jersey ads and I hate the five remaining teams who have decided they’re too good for them.
  39. I think I love this rookie class too much.
  40. DeAndre Ayton has been a freak in the preseason. The major concern going in was his effort level. If he tries every night? I don’t want to say Dwight Howard is his floor but Dwight Howard might be his floor.
  41. Luka Doncic is my new god. Please respect my decision.
  42. This might be Dirk’s final season. Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.
  43. I will be at the Mavs-Nets game in Brooklyn on March 4th no matter what. Never seen Dirk play so better get it in now.
  44. I commend the Spurs for assembling the complete Mid-Range Holy Trinity. The Father (LaMarcus Aldridge), the Son (DeMar DeRozan), and the Holy Spirit (Rudy Gay) will guide them to 43 wins.
  45. Many people will say the Sixers will win the East. This is obviously false.
  46. Maybe Ben Simmons will take a non-half-court three this year.
  47. If he ever gets to like, Blake Griffin-level shooting he’ll be a top five player in the league. But he hasn’t even considered using his correct hand to shoot, yet, so don’t hold your breath.
  48. Joel Embiid will dominate some random center (not Aron Baynes, obviously) and trash them on Instagram. My boldest prediction.
  49. I try to keep the takes away from the scalding territory, but I need to throw this out there: Anthony Davis is good.
  50. Kind of like the Pelicans this year. I expect them to finish 3 or 4 in the West. I love their crazy-fast, balls-to-the-wall, just have AD get 45-15 style.
  51. I see no reason why Russell Westbrook won’t average a triple double again this year and it’s crazy that no one cares.
  52. Sometime around the trade deadline Kevin Love will start putting up 20-20 games left and right. Purely by coincidence, though.
  53. It pains me, but the Hornets are going to be the most boring team in the league. Someone rescue Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb.
  54. Don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but my freshman year at the University of Connecticut was the year Kemba Walker dragged the Huskies to the national title. Saw him and Shabazz Napier at an Applebee’s one time.
  55. I think the all-UConn team might be able to win 37 games this year. Kemba, Shabazz, Lamb, Rudy Gay, Andre Drummond, Daniel Hamilton. Stacked lineup.
  56. Top Five Brian’s Den League Pass Rankings: Celtics, Kings, Nuggets, Warriors, Lakers
  57. Bottom Five Brian’s Den League Pass Rankings: Hornets, Pistons, Magic, Cavs, Grizzlies
  58. Scoring leader: Anthony Davis. Darkhorse: Devin Booker
  59. Assist leader: Russell Westbrook. Darkhorse: LeBron
  60. Rebound leader: Andre Drummon. Darkhorse: DeAndre Ayton
  61. Steals leader: Paul George. Darkhorse: De’Aaron Fox
  62. Blocks leader: Anthony Davis. Darkhorse: Mo Bamba
  63. Someone will join Steph Curry in the 300 made 3s in a season club.
  64. New York Knicks, Miami Heat, L.A. Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Portland Trail Blazers. There, mentioned every team at least once.
  65. MVP: Giannis
  66. DPOY: AD
  67. ROY: Luka
  68. Coach of the Year: Brad Stevens
  69. Sixth Man: Tyreke Evans
  70. Most Improved: Jaylen Brown
  71. Finals Prediction: Warriors over Celtics
  72. Scale of 1-100, how much fun will this season be: 1,000,000

The Burning Questions Mailbag, pt. 3


Welcome back to the Burning Questions Mailbag. Everyone’s favorite recurring segment has returned with a vengeance, and this is the biggest one yet. The people didn’t disappoint and submitted more Burning Questions than ever before, and I’m more than happy to answer all some of them. Let’s dive right in.

Jerry S. asks: What’s the deal with math?

I’ll be honest, this was my question, not Jerry’s. This is what prompted me to revive the BQMB. What’s up with math? Why do all these complex equations and formulas exist? Every single one of them is an arbitrary human construct designed to solve a problem that humans created. It’s all fake. What real world application does calculus have? When’s the last time algebra helped anyone? What’s the point of any mathematical function outside of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division? Who decided what pi is and who decided it’s infinite? Sine and cosine are the fakest, most pointless things ever. Like who gives a shit what the area of an isosceles triangle is? Why do we still teach our children this crap? If you want to spend the rest of your life playing make believe with all the other mathematicians, you should have to declare yourself a math loser in like, fourth grade so everyone else doesn’t have to waste valuable education time on such a nonsensical and impractical discipline. Like the math problem from Good Will Hunting? Why does that even exist? Why are there unsolvable math problems if math itself is 100000000% man-made? Why did we create something we couldn’t solve? Just proves my point that advanced math is illegitimate and clearly something that should be kept in Neverland where it belongs.

pestooneverything asks: Why would Tory Lanez use a stage name when his real name is Daystar Peterson and what would your stage name be?

That’s a great question. As for the first part, you’d have to ask Tory Lanez himself. I tried contacting him, but he’s not returning my calls at the moment. It’s a long story. As for my stage name, I’m not quite sure. It’s have to be something catchy, and probably short. Maybe I’ll just be Brian. I don’t know, needs workshopping. One thing I know for certain, though, is that my nickname would be Mr. Mistoffelees. The nickname to the nickname is arguably more important, and I need to let people know what I’m all about. I think Mr. Mistoffelees gets the point across.

WhiteKong asks: What’s the worst city in America?

There are a lot, and I mean a LOT, of contenders for this. There’s my hometown of Rutland, Vermont. There’s good ol’ St. Louis. There’s my new home of New York City. There’s probably ten thousand terrible cities across this great country. But, in my mind, the big three of terrible American cities are Reno, Nevada, Detroit, Michigan, and Tampa, Florida. Detroit is obvious and kind of sad, but Reno and Tampa are living monuments to the most reviled sect of the American population: white trash. Nevada opened itself up to cities like Reno getting so bad by making the entire state a lawless commune. If you have the opportunity to trick people into thinking you’re just like Vegas, you’re gonna do it. It’s just when you don’t have any of the allure and panache you’re left with a hellhole of epic proportions. And Tampa is like if every stereotype you have of white people in Florida was a city.

ConfusedReader asks: Can someone focus on their career and have a family without compromising on either end?

Welcome to the Dear Abby portion of the program. Friend, I don’t know if you’ve ever read this website before, but I’m about as close to having a family or fulfilling career as I am to curing cancer, and I can assure you I’m not particularly close to curing cancer.

Out of goodwill, though, I must answer. I’d say yes, because people have been wondering this since the dawn of time and nothing about the way we structure professional lives has ever changed, so I’m guessing people figure it out? If you’re super dedicated to your work, a workaholic, or just plain old obsessed with your career, good luck finding someone that puts up with that longterm, but if you’ve got a regular 40-hour-a-week position, I don’t see why not. As long as you make it to little Jimmy’s baseball games so he doesn’t resent you for not being there, I think you can, at the very least, trick your family into thinking you care more about them than that nice promotion on the horizon.

movieman asks: I’m a little late, but I should totally get MoviePass, right?

Totally. Love MoviePass. It’s how I can afford to see all these movies and live in New York at the same time. Really, if you go like, ten times in a year it pays for itself. Wait, what’s that? MoviePass literally ran out of money and had to get a $5 million loan and is now raising prices and restricting access to blockbusters? Yiiiiiiikeessssss. R.I.P. MoviePass. It was a good run that seemed too good to be true every time I used it. Turns out it was. A free tip for every fledgling business owner out there: make sure you have a way to make money. Hard to stick around if you don’t.

Brian asks: Who was the first underwear manufacturer to account for erections?

Wonderful question, Brian. I’m not sure the answer to that, but I do know who has the most comfortable underwear. That’s right, it’s MeUndies! Right now, my readers can get 10% off their first purchase. Just go to meundies.com and enter the promo code: Brian.

DesperateLover asks: What’s the most polite way to ask for nudes?

“Excuse me, can I please have some nudes?”

BlacktopLebron asks: What’s your current All-White NBA Team?

Don’t know if you mean American white or Euros included, but I’m gonna include Euros just because.


G- Luka Doncic

G- Evan Fornier

F- Gordan Hayward

F- Kevin Love

C- Kristaps Porzingis


F- Dirk Nowitzki

F- Doug McDermott

G- Kyle Korver

C- Marc Gasol

C- Pau Gasol

G- Matthew Dellavedova

G- JJ Redick

We’re scoring a lot of points, buttttttt defense might be a bit of an issue.

X asks: Now that Dad Hats are back, what will be the next cool hat?

Cycling hats. Trust me, these things are gonna be huge.

AngryPerson asks: Why did you love Mamma Mia 2 so much? I hated it and loved the first one.

Well, you have my condolences. Being born with no taste must have been very hard for you. Mamma Mia 2 is better because it takes the best part about the first one (the music) and puts it front and center. Mamma Mia tried to have a real storyline, when, in reality, this is quite possibly the most far-fetched franchise plot-wise in history. Mamma Mia 2 embraces the absurdity and just gives the audience banger after banger, while Mamma Mia was caught trying to be both Les Mis and Grease, which didn’t work. 2 knows what it is, 1 didn’t. Both are still fire movies, though.

GuythatworksforXboxandisalegitimateInsiderwhothinksIhaveactualanswers asks: What’s going to be the next big technology that changes gaming? Better AI? 8K? Cloud computing?

Just going off my gut instinct, here, but the next big shift in gaming technology is going to be physical gaming. Imagine this- you have a representation of the game’s world in front of you (let’s call it a board), and a piece (or two, or three, etc.) that acts as a stand-in for the avatar, and, using things like random number generators and games of chance, you move your piece across the game board, fulfilling objectives, collecting loot, and competing against other players. I just think that’s where games are going.

Joseph asks: What’s the most annoying fan base?

I feel like I’ve touched on this before, but the five most annoying fan bases are 5. Patriots (I concede we can be very annoying and easily #triggered at times, but when the entire world makes it their mission to #trigger you, I’m sorry if I have a short fuse) 4. Star Wars (they hardcore fans that complain about everything and make me like the movies less) 3. St. Louis Cardinals (like Yankee fans but midwest) 2. Kobe (Kobe is not a top ten player of all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time) and, of course, 1. Yankees. I’m admittedly biased. But that stupid candle-light vigil for Aaron Judge (who hasn’t even Earned his Pinstripes, IMO) is why the entire country hates every single one of those mongoloid losers. There isn’t a more self-serious and self-aggrandizing group of people on the planet. Please @ me so I can tell you how stupid and detestable you all are.

DP asks: Why are you so soft on Kevin Durant?

Because everyone is so hard on him, and it makes me feel smart to go against public opinion, especially when the basis of most people’s argument is the imaginary concept of “loyalty.” Yes, it completely shattered the competitive balance of the league, but, I don’t know. I just don’t care.

FootballJunkie asks: Who’s your top ten skill position (non-QB) in the NFL?

God, just seeing the word football has me fiending something fierce. This is summer is last in my seasonal power rankings- training camp is the longest period of time ever. I just want some regular season action. Feed me Bengals-Colts on Thursday night. Anyway, top ten skill guys, non-QB.

  1. Healthy Rob Gronkowsi
  2. Antonio Brown
  3. Odell Beckham, Jr.
  4. Julio Jones
  5. Le’veon Bell
  6. A.J. Green
  7. Todd Gurley
  8. DeAndre Hopkins
  9. Travis Kelce
  10. David Johnson

Mr. Thoughtful asks: What’s a good first anniversary gift to give my girlfriend? She likes adventures and traveling but I have no money 😦

Ahh, the age old question. How to keep my significant other appeased despite the fact that I don’t have the necessary funds to shower them in lavish gifts? A true dilemma, if I’ve ever heard one. A love of adventures and traveling, you say? Hmmm. I think I know just the thing! How about a trip to lovely Reno, Nevada! It’s all some of the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas at half the price! It’s an adventure because you won’t know if you’ll get sick from the used needles on the side of the road or the extreme second-hand smoke inhalation, and it’s traveling because I’m assuming you’re a real person and don’t live in Nevada. It’s a win-win! Or, you could make a bunch of artistic renderings of the two of you in all the places you’d like to go and hide them throughout the house. She might appreciate the effort.

BlacktopGriffey asks: Who’s your top ten current MLB players?

A lot of lists this time, but I’m always game to give definitive player rankings that no one can possibly dispute. I’ll do top ten position players and top ten pitchers.

Position Players

  1. Mike Trout
  2. Mookie Betts
  3. Jose Ramirez
  4. Nolan Arenado
  5. J.D. Martinez
  6. Francisco Lindor
  7. Manny Machado
  8. Jose Altuve
  9. Aaron Judge
  10. Joey Votto


  1. Chris Sale
  2. Max Scherzer
  3. Clayton Kershaw
  4. Jacob deGrom
  5. Justin Verlander
  6. Aaron Nola
  7. Gerrit Cole
  8. Corey Kluber
  9. Luis Severino
  10. Zack Greinke

Briansden69 asks: Remember when you went to the Denver Airport and became indoctrinated by the Illuminati? Whatever happe-

Well, I think that’ll about do it for this edition of the Burning Questions Mailbag. Always good to hear from readers and ease their troubled minds. I’ll keep my brain churning to come up with some more Burning Questions as long as you all do, too. Remember, if you have a question, I have the answer.


How Many Terrible Movies is LeBron James About to Star In?


BREAKING- I’ve got a bombshell report on my hands. I’ve been sitting on this for a few days, waiting for confirmation. I wasn’t about to publish what was, at the time, merely conjecture. But now that I’ve heard from a third source I’m comfortable putting this massive news into print: LeBron James is signing with the Lakers. Please credit briansden69.com.

Obviously this is the biggest story of the offseason. Any time the best player in the league joins the marquee franchise in the NBA it’s going to be the talk of the town. There will be plenty of debate over the basketball fit and if this is a finished roster or not, but I don’t care about all that. It’ll be LeBron and a bunch of sometimes good, sometimes bad role players. We’ve seen that before. I’m excited about two things: the first being that it will be fun to hate the Lakers again. As much inescapable pain it causes me, it’s just more enjoyable when the Lakers and Yankees are relevant (people like to include the Cowboys in this, too, but people forget the Cowboys haven’t done anything since 1995). Second, and probably more importantly, we’re about to enter into a Golden Age of terrible LeBron movies.

Ever since Space Jam, the athlete-movie cottage industry completely collapsed. While Shaq is mostly to blame, it’s really disappointing that the once-proud tradition of putting our finest athletes in the center of Hollywood movies. It’s like people decided to only make movies with “trained actors.” Can’t imagine why. My extensive research (whatever’s on the top of my head) says only Thunderstruck and Double Team have used active athletes as anything other than bit cameos or side roles since Space Jam‘s 1996 release. That’s not right. That’s why I’m glad LeBron abandoned Cleveland yet again. Because if I know LeBron, I know he won’t be able to resist those bring Hollywood lights for long.

So, what’s on the docket? After appearing in Trainwreck, surely a few more Judd Apatow joints are already in the works. You’d better believe Adam Sandler won’t miss the once in a lifetime opportunity to make a few Netflix movies with the King. I’m sure Uninterrupted will branch into longer pieces with LeBron at the center. Or maybe they’ll stick with episodic. After all, they made waves with the unprecedented idea of filming guys choppin’ it up in the barbershop. What will they think of next? Maybe a few videos of LeBron driving around his new turf commenting on his journey so far and saying how bad the traffic is on the 405. Or maybe take it inside Casa de James and capture Savannah cooking his favorite meals or something. I don’t know, just spitballing, here. It’s hard to come up with never-before-seen reality TV ideas. One of his kids is still young enough to be strictly in the Kids Movie demo, so he’ll make at least two or three late-career-Eddie-Murphy type movies. And Space Jam 2, of course. No idea how old he is, but have to imagine we’ll have a multi-part series on LeBron, Jr.’s college recruitment. And maybe Bryce catches the movie bug and becomes a filmmaker. Guess old dad will have to be the star of that, too. There’s gotta be an After Earth spinoff with LeBron and his kids, too. The possibilities are endless.

I just can’t wait for all the L.A. related storylines that are gonna come out of this. Who’s LeBron doing lunch with today? Where’s his next meeting? What happens when the only night Nobu has an opening is a big game against the Warriors? What if his family wants to spend the weekend in Santa Monica during the stretch run? I love this. I’m sure the “KD ruined the NBA” crowd has a bunch of poop in their its diaper, but shame on you if you aren’t excited for some of the absolutely ridiculous and melodramatic stories that are going to come of out of LeBron to L.A. Let’s just start the season today.

Just Thought of a New Possible Super Team


During last night’s NBA Awards (which I totally didn’t forget about and definitely watched all of it), a little idea planted itself in my head. A tiny seed of brilliance that didn’t take long to sprout. I finally found a way to take down the Warriors, and it’s by forming a new Super Team. Super Teams are all the rage these days, and you pretty much need one if you want to compete. Luckily, there’s a situation that’s just asking for a new Big Three. Where? Oklahoma City.

The first step is to not re-sign Paul George. Fine player, normally someone you’d want, but we’re after bigger fish, here. Good luck in L.A., Paul!

Sorry, man. We wish you luck in your future endeavors.

Step two is targeting the biggest name in free agency: Kevin Durant. People forget that he’s on the market, so if we come in hot with a juicy offer, we may catch Golden State off-guard. Just offer him the PG max and add in some equity or something. Essentially just give him whatever he wants. Keep dumping non-Steven Adams salaries until it works. Once we’ve teamed up KD with Russell Westbrook, we’re an automatic darkhorse.

Who wouldn’t want to play with Westbrook?

The final step will be the hardest to pull off, but we’ll find a way. We call up the last new Super Team on the block, the Houston Rockets. We say, “hey, we notice it didn’t totally work out for you last season. Didn’t for us, either. How about we both shake things up a bit? We’ll give you Carmelo Anthony’s expiring contract, our next 10 first round picks, and whatever end of the bench guys you want to make the contracts match up for James Harden. How about it?” And then they’ll obviously say yes, leaving us with a core of Westbrook, Durant, and Harden. Three of the last five MVPs. Has any team ever had three players who won MVPs on their roster? I doubt it. I know for a fact this team can take the Warriors. Probably sweep the East team, to boot. I don’t know, I think I just solved the NBA. I’ll take my Executive of the Year award, now.

2018 NBA Draft Preview


It’s that time of year again. The first day of summer, yes, but more importantly, it’s NBA Draft night. I think my favorite thing about the NBA Draft is how it happens a week after the season ends. What a novel concept! If only the NFL could learn from that. I guess they couldn’t keep up the illusion that there’s no off-season, then. Anyway, the NBA Draft is great television. There’s drama, there’s comedy, there’s some great suits and some bad suits, there’s lots of fun to be had on Twitter, and there’s terrible Kings decisions. What’s not to love? Unfortunately, a long streak is about to be broken, as this will be the first time in at least ten years where I will be unable to watch the draft live. I won’t even have access to my phone for the majority of it. :(. Local pizza places are lucky that they get the night off. But before you weep for me too much, you should know that my extensive network of NBA sources have already informed me of everything that will happen, so nothing will surprise me. Still, even without the typical drama, there’s still plenty to talk about.

Worst Things the Kings Will Do

  • Draft Michael Porter, Jr. 2nd overall- Back injuries always heal perfectly, especially when they start so young.
  • Drafting Marvin Bagley 2nd overall- Offensive savant, rebounding beast, doesn’t play a lick of D. Man, the Kings definitely haven’t had anyone like that in a while. And if they theoretically did have someone like that, they obviously had a long and healthy relationship with them.
  • Drafting Mo Bamba 2nd overall- Exclusive video of Mo Bamba’s explosive private workout.
  • Not drafting Luka Doncic 2nd overall- Hold this thought.
  • Doing anything- Let’s be honest. The Kings should be either be seized by the league or just contracted.

Players I Like

  • Luka Doncic, Slovenia- Having watched precisely 3 highlight videos, I’m all-in on Luka. By all-in I think he’ll be a very good NBA player, make a couple All Star teams, and be really fun to watch. I don’t want him ruined.
  • Deandre Ayton, Arizona- Strong take, I know.
  • Marvin Bagley, Duke- As long as it’s not Sacramento.
  • Kevin Knox, Kentucky- Fat face aside, he’s a really good modern scorer.
  • Mo Bamba, Texas- I’m always hesitant to buy into workout-hype, but it seems like, if nothing else, it’ll be impossible for him not to be a defensive force.
  • Mikal Bridges, Villanova- Won’t be a star, but is a perfect role player.
  • Trae Young, Oklahoma- Count me among those who think shooting will be easier when he has good teammates.
  • Lonnie Walker IV, Miami- Could be a steal, could be out of the league in four years. In the late lottery I’ll gladly take that chance.

Trades That Could Happen

  • Kawhi to the Sixers
  • Kawhi to the Celtics
  • Kawhi to the Lakers
  • Kawhi to the Suns?
  • Celtics move up to take Bamba or Luka
  • Kings trade 2nd overall for Nene
  • Mavs trade down because they think they’re one piece away
  • Kemba traded to Cavs or Sixers (please not Cavs. LeBron already screwed over one of my college heroes, don’t need him to abandon the other one, too)

Places I Want Doncic to Go

  • Not Sacramento
  • Any NBA franchise no located in NoCal
  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Any team that doesn’t have purple as a primary color
  • Not Sacramento
  • Not Dallas

Players I Like Less

  • Michael Porter, Jr., Mizzou- That back, man.
  • Jerome Robinson, BC- Anytime a Boston College basketball player is an unexpected late riser, I’m out 100% of the time.
  • Collin Sexton, Alabama- He’s just like Russell Westbrook, only four inches shorter, way less athletic, and a worse shooter! Sign me up!
  • Miles Bridges, Michigan State- What is he actually good at?
  • Mo Bamba, Texas- If he goes to Sacramento might as well just make him retire tomorrow.

Who Will Be Best Dressed (Could Backfire Since I Have No Idea Who’s Wearing What)

  • Luka Doncic- You know he’ll have that Euro style.
  • Collin Sexton- Purely because he won’t want anyone to say someone was better dressed than him.
  • Wendell Carter, Jr.- Just feel like he’ll have some heat.
  • Any Puma guy- I think I’m on-board the Puma hype train. I, too, am declaring my eligibility for a Puma sponsorship. Don’t know how they haven’t given Doncic a 51% controlling stake in the company to try and sign him, yet. I’m pretty sure every Eastern European baby is born into a Puma swaddling blanket.

Who Will Be Worst Dressed

  • Trae Young- Unless he shaves his head that hair eliminates him from contention.
  • Michael Porter, Jr.- If anyone’s going to try something crazy and not pull it off, it’s MPJ.
  • Donte DiVincenzo- It’s not his fault. It’s just his role as the token white guy.
  • Robert Williams- I’m probably 100% wrong but I don’t see him as fashionable.
  • Jerome Robinson- Just do yourself a favor and don’t draft Jerome Robinson.

Since I Haven’t Mentioned Him Yet

  • Jaren Jackson, Jr., Michigan State- Pretty lukewarm on him.

Teams Guaranteed to Make Smart Moves

  • Golden State
  • Boston
  • Miami

Teams Guaranteed to Make Dumb Moves

  • Sacramento
  • Dallas
  • Kings
  • Orlando
  • Vlade Divac

Late First Round/ Second Round Guys I Like

  • Jalen Brunson, Villanova
  • Bruce Brown, Miami
  • Malik Newman, Kansas
  • Devonte’ Graham, Kansas
  • Gary Trent, Jr., Duke
  • Landry Shamet, Wichita State

Most Perfect Player Fits

  • Luka Doncic to Phoenix Suns
  • Mikal Bridges to Philadelphia 76ers
  • Trae Young to Atlanta Hawks
  • Wendell Carter to Chicago Bulls
  • Kevin Knox to Denver Nuggets
  • Mo Bamba to Boston Celtics
  • Michael Porter, Jr. to Sacramento Kings
  • Jaren Jackson, Jr. to Memphis Grizzlies

Think that’s about all I got. Could be a huge night that shakes up the balance of (second-place) power in the NBA, could be a regular draft without any big moves. Either way, there’s one thing that’s certain: whoever the Kings take is going to be a bust.

Should the Celtics Trade for Kawhi Leonard?


Guys, have you seen this? Have you heard about this? Kawhi Leonard, Finals MVP, two time Defensive Player of the Year, two time All Star, four time All-Defense, and top five player in the NBA, is officially up for grabs. He wants out of San Antonio, and the Spurs essentially have zero leverage. And, by saying they won’t trade him to a Western Conference team, there’s really only like three teams with the means to trade for him. As always, one of them is the Celtics.

Would trading for Kawhi be a good idea? Yes, it would be nice to add a top five guy. In a vacuum, if a two-time runner-up for MVP is available in his prime, you pull the trigger a million times out of a million. But we don’t live in a vacuum. There are lots of other variables at play, the biggest being Kawhi’s impending free agency. He can opt out after next season, meaning any deal without a signed extension a massive risk. If you’re okay with renting one of the best players in the league for one year to see what happens, that’s fine, but Kawhi seems pretty dead-set on going to L.A. where he can finally let his “personality” shine. Injuries were obviously a factor, but he just showed he has no qualms in throwing an entire season away. Who’s to say he doesn’t just say he’s still hurt if he gets traded somewhere other than Los Angeles? Or what if he just doesn’t try? It seems preposterous to be talking about Kawhi Leonard, basketball robot, like he’s some petulant child, but that’s what happens when you spend an entire season acting like Dwight Howard when he doesn’t get enough sugar.

But let’s assume he plays 100% and is at least open to re-signing. What would the Spurs actually want from the Celtics? Celtics could have four first round picks next season, including the Kings’, so you would have to assume multiple would be involved. Having lived the lottery-drama life for a few years, now, I think I’d be more than happy giving that up. But the Spurs aren’t some rinky-dink organization, so players would have to be involved, as well. Kyrie Irving is probably the easiest one-for-one trade candidate, but I don’t know if that would really work for either team. It would leave the Celtics without a backup point guard besides Shane Larkin (yes, I know that’s something you can figure out if you acquire Kawhi Leonard), and I’m not sure how well Kyrie would really fit in with the Spurs heavily structured system. Pop has said he’s likely to retire soon. Would he really want to spend the last of his legendary career trying to get an award winning piano soloist to fit in with a symphony? I’m guessing not. Gordon Hayward’s name has been thrown out, too, but I also doubt the validity of that. People will say it would set a bad precedent to trade someone after he played five minutes for your team, but I think players would forget about that if the Celtics wind up winning titles. I really just don’t think the Spurs would want him. The front office has to think past the Pop era. Trading Kawhi for an older, worse version seems like an odd move for a team likely to enter into a rebuilding process. Aside from the various role players that would be added to make the contracts work, that leaves Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Terry Rozier as the most likely Spurs targets. Terry would be the easiest to part with, but who’s to say he won’t be one of the most valuable sixth men in the league next season? Who’s to say Tatum won’t average 18-20 points a game as a 20-year-old? Jaylen took a massive jump from year one to year two. The very player he would be traded for made numerous leaps even when everyone said he was capped out. Why are we just assuming Jaylen can’t do the same? Not to mention both Tatum and Brown are under control for three or four more seasons, as opposed to the likely one year of Kawhi. I know I’m a homer and I know the microwave approach works way more often when it comes to NBA contenders than going low and slow, but this team made it to game 7 of the conference finals and is adding Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Do they really need to shake things up when it’s still unclear what the East landscape will look like in three weeks? Sure, trading for Kawhi immediately establishes you as the top dog in the East, but what about when he leaves and you’re left with no draft picks and young stars? I’m not convinced a lineup of Kyrie-Hayward-Kawhi-Tatum/Brown-Horford beats the Warriors, either.

So, I guess what I’m saying is I’m officially out on a Celtics-Kawhi trade. I don’t want to deal with the headaches that come along with trying to sign a disgruntled star who has a set destination in mind, I don’t want to sell the farm for a rental, and I definitely don’t want to sell the farm when it’s not for a guaranteed championship. So let the Sixers build their SuperTeam. I’m content with going the old fashioned route.

How Ruined is the NBA?


So the Warriors won the title. Quite possibly the least climactic championship game/series in my lifetime. Total domination. Makes me sick. Sick league, guys. God, the NBA is such a joke. Why should any team ever play another game if they know the Warriors are just going to win in the end. I think I’m speaking for everyone when I demand the NBA put an asterisk next to these last two Warriors titles because they’re too much better than everyone. This would never happen in hockey.

Hey, Kevin Durant. Congrats, guy. You just became the first person to ever win two championships while also winning zero. Must feel great. Imagine a grown man deciding to take autonomy of his professional career? Imagine choosing not to play with Russell Westbrook anymore? God, this sham league was ruined the second he chose to use his legal right as a free agent to sign with whatever team he chose. Can you imagine a hockey player deciding his own personal happiness and quality of life was more important than some bullshit idea of “loyalty,” even though the Thunder would have just kicked him to the curb the second he wasn’t bringing a satisfying ROI? Just makes my blood boil. And signing with a 73 win team? Or any team that had previously won a championship, regardless of how long ago? Couldn’t be me. There’s no such thing as a viable free agency destination because real men stay with the teams that drafted them for their entire careers regardless of if they like it or not, but if there were viable free agency destinations, the only legitimate ones would be Brooklyn, Memphis, Toronto, Indiana, Charlotte, Orlando, Atlanta, Utah, Denver, Minnesota, Phoenix, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, or the Clippers. It’s called making your own legacy, not riding the backs of other, less talented players. Can’t believe a star would leave in free agency. Guys like LeBron or Shaq would never do such a thing.

Don’t get it twisted, though. This isn’t all on KD. The rest of the Warriors are to blamed for ruining the league, too. First of all, Larry Riley needs to be executed. He’s the guy that drafted Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Two guys who like 3s more than layups. While I think all three deserve the death penalty, Riley really needs to go. He’s singlehandedly responsible for ruining this game I love by bringing in the two guys who sparked the 3 point revolution. Every time I see a 3 point attempt, I want to claw my eyes out. THIS GAME IS ABOUT LOW POST BASKETBALL AND PHYSICAL DEFENSE GODDAMMIT!!!!!!!!!!! NOT 3s! What happened to the good old days of 74-61 games where there were no 3s made, no layups allowed, and no fouls called. Everyone’s is so soft these days. Only thinking about 3s. How about you run some team basketball? Maybe a little triangle action? Try having your big guy post up and attempt a bad fadeaway or ugly running hook instead of hunting 3s, playing fast, visually appealing basketball, and taking efficient shots? God, I just hate teams that try new styles to try and maximize their offensive output and take advantage of current defensive strategies. Just bang in the post like MEN and stop worrying about peacocking around after you hit your tenth 3 of the game. Love those Suns teams, though. Nash to Matrix? Couldn’t beat it.

I’m not done with the front office, either. You make smart salary decisions so you have the ability to sign Kevin Durant without gutting your roster? Are you kidding? What are all the bad GMs around the league supposed to do if you’re actually allowed to manage the cap correctly? Old school guys didn’t have this problem, mostly because the players these days are so overpaid. God, if Oscar was making all that money, had access to modern medicine and training techniques, was able to play in today’s game where there’s no hand-checking and you need actual basketball ability, played against this generation of soft, more-talented-than-any-crop-of-players-in-NBA-history-because-people-get-better-at-stuff-the-longer-we-do-them-so-it’s-not-an-insult-it’s-the-natural-progression-of-time players, and was 40 years younger, he’d still be playing today. And what’s up with the core of the roster? Three Hall of Famers through the draft???? What the hell? In my day you had to trade with all the stupid teams to form your SuperTeams. Imagine the Celtics or Lakers having the gall to draft incredibly talented players in non-premium draft positions? Hah. They would never. Red would just fleece some novice GM if he wanted a new star. Real dynasties take advantage of being smarter than anyone else to win.

And don’t get me started on Draymond. The game used to be played with honor and integrity. There were no loudmouthed, right-on-the-edge-of-dirty players when the NBA was great. Guys like Dennis Rodman, Bill Laimbeer, Karl Malone, Bruce Bowen, Charles Oakley, Rick Mahorn, Kevin McHale, Isiah Thomas, Reggie Miller, Gary Payton, and Kevin Garnett would never do something so heinous as kicking someone in the balls. Unlike today’s generation that only cares about their own brands, the real legends were so focused on basketball to even know what the human anatomy was. Today’s players have everything handed to them, and they still want to act dirty. SMH.

LeBron’s not off the hook, either. People forget he started all this SuperTeam nonsense when he joined the Heat. Before that, no one in NBA history had ever had three All Stars on the same team. Him and his Banana Boat Boyz are the driving force behind today’s buddy-buddy NBA culture. Imagine being friends with people in the same line of work as you? Or, even worse, imagine being friends with someone despite the fact that someone you’ll never meet or talk to hates it because, for some bullshit nostalgia-driven reason, thinks that you being friends with that person will make it less entertaining for him to watch you? Who would do that? Michael didn’t need friends. He made other people think they were friends, only to betray their trust and shatter them mentally when it was most convenient for them. That’s the kind of emotional manipulation I want out of my G.O.A.T., not seemingly legitimate friendship that, despite the fact that I find him annoying much of the time, actually makes me think I could get along with him if I met him in real life. Your G.O.A.T. is approachable? Please. You clearly know nothing about basketball. Next you’re going to tell me the greatest player of all time passed the ball to an open man underneath the basket instead of forcing up a contested fadeaway with less than five seconds left in a Finals game or something.

Lastly, if you legitimately agree with any of these takes, please jump off a bridge. The Warriors are probably the greatest team of all time. Deal with it. If you’re so upset, go pretend you hadn’t spent the last ten years crushing Ovechkin for never winning so you can feel better about yourself and leave the NBA to the people that still enjoy it. The Finals stunk, but the league has never been better. If you’re under 35 and disagree, I honestly don’t know if you know what a basketball looks like.

Are the NBA Finals Actually Still Going On?


Remember when there were NBA Finals games on? I don’t! No, seriously, I don’t remember. Someone needs to remind me what happened. How many games have there been? Is the league still ruined or has it been so long since the last game that the h8trs have a new anti-NBA narrative? Is LeBron Jr. in the league yet?

Look, I get it. I wasted my college years learning about media and TV, so I understand the league wants to optimize ratings and put out a quality, fatigue-unaffected product. But three days in between every game? Really? Who does that benefit? I guess J.R. is happy, but that has to be it. I mean it’s not like they need to let this series marinate and build drama. I think we all know what the end result is going to be. It’s honestly cruel and unusual punishment for LeBron, at this point. Every added off-day is another day he has to spend employed by the Cleveland Cavaliers and pretend to enjoy Jordan Clarkson’s company. The NBA should be able to flex these games. The day after each game Adam Silver should call up Steph, Klay, Draymond, and KD and ask them if they feel like trying next game, and if the answer is yes, just move the game up a day. I’m sure LeBron would love to just get this thing over with. You can only be Sisyphus so many times before you break. If the Warriors feel like winning, just let LeBron know beforehand so he can kind of take it easy and leave all these bums out to dry a little bit. Let them know how he feels. Adding all these off-days only lets him build hope, which leads to another 48-minute night, which means his body will break down in 2048 instead of 2050, robbing everyone. Do the humane thing, Adam Silver, and stop putting three months in between Finals games.