Migos beat up Sean Kingston?

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TMZ– Sean Kingston was cuffed by Vegas cops shortly after he was allegedly beaten up bad by Migos.

As we reported, Sean got into verbal altercation with Migos at the Sands Expo and Convention Center Tuesday afternoon and the group allegedly pummeled him to the ground. We’re told someone in Sean’s camp fired a shot in the air but no one was hit.

Sean bolted from the scene, as did Migos. The video (above) shows cops questioning Sean and a passenger after cops stopped his car. We’re told he was questioned but not arrested.

(I know I’m a day late to this story, but it’s so important I had to weigh in.)

Listen, Migos, I you’re hot right now. Number one song. Number one album. Throwing money with Ellen. But you guys better check yo’selves before you wreck yo’selves and keep your hands off Sean Kingston.

Stories like this make me sympathize a little with the Millennial-hating older folks who claim young people have no respect anymore. Sean Kingston is a legend of the game. He was massive as recently as 2010. And he’s already getting disrespected by this brash new generation. SMH. Do Migos not know how important Sean Kingston was in the late 2000s? Look at all the hits: Beautiful Girls, Take You There, Love Like This, Ennie Meenie, FIRE BURNING? Fire Burning alone is enough to get lifelong Prince treatment. And some young guns have the nerve to beat him up? And then he gets stopped by the cops? What planet am I on? I remember when multiple hit singles got you some social cachet, but I guess those days are long gone. I really thought all the predictions that our society would fall apart now that Trump is president were just overreaction, but now I’m not so sure. Sean Kingston should be under the same protection as rhinos are. Not beaten to a pulp and left for dead. What is he, a 15 year NFL vet we just throw to the wolves after he retires? It’s time we start looking out for legends. #PrayForSean #FreeKingston #whatagwan

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Kings and Pelicans pull off one of the most lopsided trades in NBA History

Mere moments after the conclusion of last night’s NBA All Star Game, news hit Twitter of a blockbuster trade so monumentally one sided people everywhere mocked the intelligence of the owners involved and questioned how the league could let it happen. I mean, look at this:

The Kings were able to get Tyreke Evans back, and all they had to give up was DeMarcus Cousins. The most dynamic player in franchise history is coming home, poised to take the Kings deep into the playoffs. Check out these highlights and tell me the Kings didn’t just commit highway robbery.

In all seriousness, this is embarrassing for the Kings. DeMarcus better have personally promised he’d kill everyone in the Kings front office with his bare hands if he wasn’t traded ASAP. I’ve never seen a worse return for a star player. This roster is now borderline Nets-level of ineptitude. I’d be surprised if they won another five games. And, in true Kings fashion, the 76ers have the rights to swap first round picks with them this season. Odds are the Kings are gonna wind up with a pretty high draft pick. I can’t wrap my mind around how the Kings thought this offer of a bag of basketballs and a couple tubes of floor wax was good enough for arguably the best center in the league. And what were the Celtics doing? You couldn’t top that? What were you thinking? All this team needs is a dominant rebounder and interior scorer. Gee, I wonder if any recently traded for nothing player fits that description? What are they saving it for? Don’t tell me Jimmy Butler. Please, for the love of God don’t tell me they’re going to trade the next two Nets picks for Jimmy Butler. He’s just a much more skilled version of Marcus Smart. That’s not gonna suddenly make them good enough to beat Cleveland. At this point I’ll be very upset if they trade any of these picks. They’re not winning the title in the next two years. Big deal. Keep the Nets picks, both of which are virtually guaranteed to be top 3. The top 3 of this draft is crazy good. Take a franchise player this year. Take a top end talent next year. By the time the those players are mature, LeBron won’t be LeBron anymore (hopefully) and the Warriors will have broken up. What’s the problem with patience? Cousins was the only player that would have made it interesting with the Cavs. What does Jimmy Butler do? Make them lose in 6 games instead of 5? No thanks. Danny Ainge gets propped up a lot for the Nets trade, but in my mind, he’ll lose a lot of that credit if he turns those picks and a couple of players already on the roster into only Jimmy Butler.

MLB Preview: AL East

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After a long offseason, baseball is finally back on the horizon. There’s officially only six weeks until Opening Day. There’s also six divisions. So, every Sunday I’ll go through a different division. We’ll look at their projected win totals (taken from the Atlantis Casino Resort), key additions and departures, new jerseys, and anything else that might affect a team’s season. Let’s start with the only division that actually matters, the AL East.

Boston Red Sox

1047px-redsoxprimary_hangingsocks-svgWhere to start with my beloved Red Sox? Has to be the blockbuster trade for reliever Tyler Thornberg. Shoring up a secretly not-that-bad bullpen pushes them over the top as American League favorites. Oh yeah, they got Chris Sale, too. How could I forget? This team was the best team in the American League last season by virtually any statistic. Best offense in the majors by runs scored, on base percentage, slugging percentage, and extra base hits. They have Mookie Betts, the best mortal baseball player in the league last season, poised for another MVP-caliber season. I can never keep track of what qualifies as an MLB rookie, but if Andrew Benintendi still counts as a rookie, pencil him in for Rookie of the Year. If Dustin Pedroia stays healthy and they can get full seasons of production from Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Xander Bogaerts, the offense should be the best in league again. Of course, the elephant in the room is the retirement of David Ortiz coming off one of his best ever seasons. Free agent signing Mitch Moreland won’t replace his bat, and he shouldn’t be expected to, but does provide a solid left handed hitter, something this lineup doesn’t have a lot of. If Hanley Ramirez stays healthy/motivated/sane he’ll produce just as much as last season. If Pablo Sandoval’s commitment to diet and exercise raises even one step above mine, it’ll be a massive upgrade over the uninspired (to put it kindly) effort he’s put in since signing his massive contract.

The pitching is a lot better than you think. They finished in the top ten in the majors in ERA and strikeouts, but it goes deeper than that. They ranked 10th in Fielding Independent Pitching. 6th in ERA+, which adjusts for ballparks. The bullpen was tied for 2nd in the majors in ERA+. This is a good staff. Obviously they have the reigning Cy Young award winner Rick Porcello, but to expect that again would be foolish considering his track record. David Price got killed all year, but he really wasn’t that bad. People forget that Steven Wright was an All Star. And now you’re adding Chris Sale and Tyler Thornberg? To a team that, according to Baseball Porspectus’ win expectancy formula was actually unlucky to only win 93 games last year? Guess I don’t even really get to enjoy the Patriots’ Super Bowl because I’m gonna have to go right back celebrating a championship.

Over/Under 90.5 Wins: Over

Key Offseason Move: Trading for Chris Sale

Burning Question: What’s Sandoval’s waist size?

Bold Prediction: World Series Champions

Toronto Blue Jays

300px-toronto_blue_jays_logo-svgEveryone’s favorite group of crybabies is coming off a less than ideal offseason that saw them lose one of the biggest power threats in the league and begrudgingly bring back another one. Pretty much all the hype is gone from this team despite an appearance in the ALCS. After setting the world on fire in the second half of 2015, the Blue Jays scored over 100 fewer runs last season, despite excellent seasons from Edwin Encarnacion (now with the Indians) and Josh Donaldson. They finished outside the top 10 in slugging. Listen, the offense was still great, but they weren’t the force of nature they were, and now they don’t have one of their key players. Troy Tulowitzki has been a huge disappointment since the trade two years ago. They had a solid defense, but it was largely propped up by the excellence of Kevin Pillar in centerfield.

Their starting pitching was outstanding, but the bullpen was bottom half of the league in ERA+ and WAR, and they lost a couple of important pieces with Brett Cecil and Joaquin Benoit. They picked up some random relievers, but who knows if they’ll be able to help this flaccid unit. Take a look at the Jays’ starting rotation. Are you expecting all of them to have career seasons again? I’m not.

Over/Under 86.5 Wins: Under

Key Offseason Move: Losing Edwin Encarnacion

Burning Question: Will Rogers Centre janitorial staff continue to work with Toronto’s big garbage companies and keep rigging playoff games to end in controversial fashion, causing fans to throw trash on the field?

Bold Prediction: Under .500

Baltimore Orioles

orioles_newPretty much every year, people predict doom for the Orioles. I don’t really see any reason to change that. Maybe I’m a hater, but I just don’t think this team is that good. The offense is very one note. Granted, that note is a crashing crescendo, but still. They led the league in home runs, but bottom 10 strikeout and walk rates led, in turn, to a bottom 10 on base percentage. No team scored a higher percentage of their runs via the long ball than the O’s, and those kind of wells typically dry up sooner rather than later, especially when the leader of the charge is 31-year-old Mark Trumbo, whose previous career high in home runs was 34 before last season’s 47 (makes you think….). Now, they still have Manny Machado, who is an absolute superstar and still getting better. But everyone else is either old, getting old, or at the tail end of their prime. Look for the lineup to take a step back this season, despite having the best helmets in the league.

The pitching is a tale of two cities. The bullpen is one of the two or three best in the American League, led by Zach Britton, who had a fairly legitimate case for Cy Young last year. The staters, on the other hand, stink. Bottom half (or worse) in the league in pretty much every category. In a head scratching move, they gave away Yovani Gallardo, who, for years, was a good starter but had his worst season last year, for virtually nothing. They’re starving for quality starters and threw one out for peanuts. They still have Ubaldo Jimenez in their rotation, for crying out loud. Does that scream playoff team to you?

Over/Under 84.5 Wins: Under

Key Offseason Move: Resigning Trumbo

Burning Question: If they somehow win the World Series, does their steroid guy get a ring?

Bold Prediction: Miss the Wild Card by 1 game

New York Yankees

302px-newyorkyankees_primarylogo-svgAs much as it pains me to say it, I actually kind of like the moves have been making lately. The trades they made at the end of last season got them some stud prospects, and their offseason signings (at least for position players) are all low risk, high reward. I love Chris Carter in Yankee Stadium. Sure, he’ll manage to strikeout 200 times in the like 350 at bats he’ll get, but he’ll put 35 over the wall. Now, what was the point of getting both Matt Holiday and Carter if they plan on using them both as DH? I don’t really know, but it’s a nice throwback to when the Yankees were good and acquired every free agent available.

It’s been a rough few years for the Bombers, but I think it’ll start to turn around this season, mostly because (for their standards) it can’t get much worse. This team was just so average last year. The defense was mediocre. No Yankees team should ever finish 19th in home runs and 22nd in runs scored. This year promises to offer one of the rarest sights in sports: a young Yankees lineup. Greg Bird is back from injury, and he, along with Aaron Judge and rookie sensation Gary Sanchez, should help lift the lifeless lineup and get John Sterling yodeling with joy once again.

Last year’s pitching was pretty much as advertised: middle of the road starting pitching and a powerhouse bullpen. In the ultimate Yankees move, they traded Aroldis Chapman for a king’s ransom last year, then turned around and promptly overpaid him as soon as possible in the offseason. And, in a startling display of ignorance and hypocrisy, they refused to pay star set up man Dellin Betances because he’s not a “top closer.” Did they not watch the playoffs last year? Titles like “closer” and “set up man” mean less and less. Betances is a dominant pitcher and should be paid like one. Considering the money they just paid Chapman, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to ignore the great, homegrown reliever who is more than likely out the door after this season.

Over/Under 83.5 Wins: Over

Key Offseason Move: Signing Chapman

Burning Question: Will Gary Sanchez get a plaque in monument park before or after the season?

Bold Prediction: Make the Wild Card Game and lose

Tampa Bay Rays

1024px-tampa_bay_rays-svgIf it weren’t for the Padres, the Rays would easily be the most boring team in baseball. There’s just no sizzle here. I love Kevin Kiermaier with all my heart, but centerfield defense doesn’t usually get everyone else going. Chris Archer is exciting, but he’s secretly not really that good. What else does this team have? Some guys that can get hot for a few weeks then get ice cold right after? Sounds like a winning formula. They randomly finished 6th in the league in homers, but 24th in runs. How does that happen? Leading the American League in strikeout rate is usually a good start. The pitching and defense aren’t particularly good (besides Kiermaier, of course). They’re just a lousy team. Probably the worst in the American League. After that run of success, it’s good to have the Rays back where they belong.

Over/Under 75.5 Wins: Under

Key Offseason Move: I guess signing Colby Rasmus?

Burning Question: Who will Chris Archer throw at now that David Ortiz is retired

Bold Prediction: Someone finally dies after getting hit by a falling piece of the catwalk in Tropicana Field

 

 

NBA All Star Saturday Night

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This is perhaps my favorite night of the entire year. NBA All Star Saturday. The ultimate combination of over-the-top showmanship, silly competitions, awkward musical performances, and basketball. It’s the perfect night and I love every second of it, including the weird stuff they show on TNT in the few hours before the show. Does that make me an honorary black guy? I’ll let you decide that.

This year’s event is typically chock full of star players full of NBA players, some of whom are actually very good. Only three events now (RIP Shooting Stars), but each promises to deliver some high octane entertainment. I’ll quickly run through my picks, as well as predict how well I’d do in each event.

Taco Bell Skills Challenge

The Field:

Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns

DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings

Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

Gordon Heyward, Utah Jazz

Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks

Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics

John Wall, Washington Wizards

Sometime in the last few years, this event somehow became the most star-studded. Maybe because it’s the easiest and has the lowest chance of injury/embarrassment. Maybe because it’s the last remaining event that can be taken at face value: a stupid but fun event that combines all of the basic skills of basketball, not a commentary on a player’s mental fortitude or the state of the game. Maybe people just like Taco Bell. My money’s on the latter. Either way, my money’s on my guy Isaiah. Everyone else is either slower or a worse passer/shooter. Seems easy enough.

Winner: Isaiah Thomas

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Dark Horse: John Wall

How Would I Do?  I think I’d have a decent chance of winning this. My greatest skills on the hardwood are crisp chest passes and top of the key jumpers. Unfortunately, my greatest weaknesses are ball handling and athleticism. Still, I think I’de be able to overcome my shortcomings if I practiced the course enough times.

JBL Three-Point Contest

The Field:

Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets

Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors

Wes Matthews, Dallas Mavericks

CJ McCollum, Portland Trailblazers

Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors

Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets

Nick Young, Los Angeles Lakers

Pretty much every year, people declare that the Three-Point Contest is the new headline event, and it pretty much never is unless both Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are involved. If you’ll notice, Steph isn’t participating. Now, I’m no Three-Point Contest hater. It’s always exciting when someone gets hot from deep, especially when it’s Klay. But the only way he’ll have some competition is if McCollum has an out of body experience or if Steph stands on the court when Kyrie’s shooting. I guess I shouldn’t count out Swaggy P. He’ll either get 0 or 28 in the first round.

Winner: Klay Thompson

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Dark Horse: CJ McCollum

How Would I Do? I know I’d hit 3 moneyballs, and I’d make at least one other shot. I’m saying I’d get 7, which I guarantee wouldn’t finish last.

Verizon Slam Dunk

The Field:

Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic

DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers

Glenn Robinson III, Indiana Pacers

Derrick Jones, Jr., Phoenix Suns

The only real intriguing part of this is Derrick Jones. He’s played in a grand total of 3 NBA games, but has insane hops.

That’s not even close to the craziest video of him out there. At the same time, the last time some no name was getting hyped like this James “Flight” White flamed out in the first round. I’ll buy into the mystery, though. Aaron Gordon used all his good dunks last year, anyway.

Winner: Derrick Jones, Jr.

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Dark Horse: Aaron Gordon

How Would I Do? I’d bring the dunk contest back to its glory days. Now, I can’t dunk, but I can hilariously react to dunks. I’m showing up with an oversized throwback jersey (probably a Dan Dickau Celtics) and sweats. I’ll have my camcorder going the whole time. The second someone dunks, I’m holding everyone back while simultaneously leaning on the guy next to me. I’ll fumble around with the scorecards they hand out to the crowd before giving everything a 10. During the finals I’d just run out of the arena after a good dunk. I’d steal the show, which in the world of dunk contests, is just as good as winning.

Tom Cavanagh is about to dominate the Celebrity All-Star Game

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I love each and every NBA All-Star event, but the Celebrity Game might be my favorite. Maybe it’s because I know one day I break the single game scoring shot attempts record. Maybe it’s because one time Chris Tucker threw a layup over the backboard. Either way, I know what I’m talking about when it comes to the Celebrity Game. And believe me when I say that Tom Cavanagh is about to completely dominate. No one will have a hope of guarding him. If he doesn’t drop at least 22 points I’ll be stunned. And without Kevin Hart there, the MVP is there for the taking. Tom Cavanagh is going to cement his legacy in the annals of Celebrity Game history. He might even rip off a run like James Denton did in the Celebrity Softball game. The most impressive performance this weekend is gonna be in the Celebrity Game. You heard it here first.

Update: Just saw that Aarón Sanchez from Chopped is on Cavanagh’s team. MJ and Pippen who?

NBA Midseason Awards

It’s finally time for one my absolute favorite weekends of the entire year: NBA All Star Weekend. And, since I’ve written more than 1,000 words about the NBA in my life, I’m bound by law to present my midseason award picks. Despite what Charles Barkley and the other members of the Today’s Basketball is Bad Cult would tell you, the game is better than ever, and it’s reflected in the competitiveness of the award races. All but one have a handful of legitimate candidates. Let’s jump right in.

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Rookie of the Year- Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

It always feels weird calling someone like Embiid or Blake Griffin rookies when they were drafted a year or two before actually playing a regular season game. Still, them’s the rules, so JoJo is a slam dunk (get it? Because I’m talking about a basketball player? Anyway…) pick to win ROY. This year’s draft class STINKS, and, however limited his injuries make him, he’s clearly the best “first year” player. He’s already putting up superstar numbers. A smooth, athletic 7 foot 22 year old who puts up 20 points, 8 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, gets 8 free throws a game, and shoots a decent 36.7% from 3? While playing only 25 minutes a game? While playing great defense (not the Hassan Whiteside™ “let me chase these 3 blocks so everyone says I’m good on D” brand of defense, either)? Please, keep telling me how the NBA was better before we had guys like this running around.

Apologies To: Dario Saric? Malcolm Brogdon? 20 games of Yogi Ferrell? My 2k player? Anyone??????

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Most Improved Player- Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

After last season’s crazy second half, everyone came into this year expecting the world of Greek Freak, and, somehow, he’s surpassed them. Every non-3-related counting stat is a career high, and the advanced numbers love him, too. His offensive rating (essentially how many points a player accounts for (through scoring and assists) per 100 possessions) is nearly 10% better than last season. Per NBA.com, he leads the league in points in the paint per game, points off turnovers per game, is fifth in fast break points, and is second in loose balls recovered per game (?). The team is kinda bad, but I hate blaming a player so young for that. They’ve had injuries, and being that this is his first season as being The Guy, the roster is still a little wacky and not really built around him. Think I’m finally ready to confirm that he is, in fact, better than Kelly Olynyk and that the Celtics may have made a mistake.

Apologies To: Nikola Jokic (I think he’s surpassed Marc Gasol as my favorite big guy to watch. This guy’s awesome and I hope the Nuggets don’t screw up his career), Zach Lavine, Jabari Parker, Harrison Barnes

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Sixth Man of the Year- Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets

Kind of a sign of the times, but anytime someone has already broken the record for 3 pointers made by a reserve (set last season by my favorite Bosnian NBA player Mirza Teletovic) before the All Star break, I think they should have a shot to win Sixth Man. After booking a session at the Mike D’Antoni Career Rejuvenation Spa, Gordon is back to being a feared scorer after a couple of years on the scrap heap. He’s the second option on the second best offense (by both points and offensive efficiency) in the NBA. I’m sure Jamal Crawford will somehow wind up winning again, though.

Apologies To: Lou Williams, Javale McGee (only 90% joking)

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Defensive Player of the Year- Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

For me, this was the toughest call to make. Rudy Gobert and Kawhi Leonard could easily win this. Give me enough of whatever Doc Rivers spikes his Clippers Kool-Aid with and I’d buy into Deandre Jordan’s candidacy. Even Anthony Davis. But for me, it’s Draymond. He’s been a top 3 defender for three years now, and is the lynchpin to the league’s best (or second best. Depends on how you view Utah) defense. He holds opponents to under 40% in every area of the court besides 15-19 feet (somehow all three are allowing a higher field goal percentage at the rim than Eric Gordon and JR Smith). He just had a triple double with  10 steals. He guards every position at an elite level. He’s third in the league in Defensive Rating. He leads the league in self-created chips on his shoulder and false claims that no one believes in him. After two straight years where he could have easily won, this year he takes the crown.

Apologies To: Rudy Gobert, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, Deandre Jordan, Marcus Smart, Chris Paul, Joel Embiid

No Apologies To: Hassan Whiteside (If you can’t tell, I’ll never pass up a chance to throw shade at Whiteside. He’s such a bum. He’s good at defense if being good at defense means abandoning all defensive strategy, positioning, and discipline to try and chase blocks and easy rebounds. He’s trash on offense too, but has the temerity to say Deandre Jordan can’t play offense? He stinks. He stinks and I hate him.)

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Coach of the Year- Mike D’Antoni, Houston Rockets

While it’s impossible to discount the positive effect not having Dwight Howard on the roster can have on a team, I still think D’Antoni deserves it. If you remember (why wouldn’t you?) my NFL Awards post, I hate when coaches take teams that sucked the year before and make them decent and get handed coach of the year. But D’Antoni has actually put in the best coaching season, and, without him, the Rockets would be nowhere near top of the West. When Daryl Morey was shaping his fantasy version of basketball by having James Harden created in a lab, D’Antoni had to have been an advisor. The fact that it took so long for Harden and D’Antoni to get paired up is a sin against basketball. His system totally unleashed Harden’s full game, and it’s propelled them to the third best record in the entire NBA. Take a look at that roster. They should be .500 at best! If there’s a way for D’Antoni and Harden to share this, they should.

Apologies To: Brad Stevens, Gregg Popovich

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Most Valuable Player- James Harden, Houston Rockets

You know the candidates here. You know the stats, you know the storylines. For me, Harden is having the best season (when did I become a Rockets fan?). The stats are there: third in scoring. First in assists. First in free throw makes and attempts. Second in threes made. Averaging 8 rebounds per game, which, any other year, would lead all point guards by a wide margin (did you know Harden is tied with MJ for the 12th most triple doubles in a season in NBA history?) Sure, he turns it over a ton, but so does Westbrook. His defense isn’t very good (*Charles Barkley voice* Who plays good defense anymore? Tell me, Ernie. Who????). He’s got his team in the 3 seed in the West, and though his supporting cast is better than Westbrook’s, it’s not a huge margin. It feels so wrong not to have the guy averaging 31-10-10 as MVP, but what are you gonna do? Harden is just having a better season.

Apologies To: Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, Kevin Durant (it’d be impossible to get all of them, but imagine if, like, 3 out of the top 4 MVP candidates on the same team? How many titles would they win? Could anyone stop them?), Kawhi Leonard, Isaiah Thomas, Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Jimmy Butler, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony