Thursday, November 19, 2015

F Barkley and Other Sports Shit You Want

If you haven't heard Charles Barkley's most recent idiotic comments about the NBA (or anything else), consider yourself lucky. After all, this is a man who while sitting across from me in a Las Vegas hot tub decided to put down his newspaper, but then realized water probably isn't the best spot to do that. Then he had to fish it out while it floated around and said, "Man, that was stupid." Yeah, that happened.

After stating emphatically the Golden State Warriors would not win the championship last season because they're a "jump shooting team", Barkley now is claiming the current Warriors, specifically, Steph Curry, would never have survived during his time in the NBA. You can watch the video here. The gist of it is the game used to be tougher, and the NBA, like the NFL, is now a hands-off game.

Seriously, Chuckles, you're comparing the problems with today's NBA to that of the NFL? You pretty much lost the argument right there. But I'll humor it for a moment more.

While it may in fact be true that hand-checking is called more tightly now then it was when the Knicks and Pistons were punching opponents in their spines, a time Barkley looks back upon fondly, you build your team to compete in the moment. Had the rules been different maybe the Warriors find different players for their team. Who knows? Yet I doubt they would even have to because this Warrior team is one of the few who could compete in almost any era (and the Spurs). They have the scoring, the size, the team game, and every other aspect down pat.

If there's a major difference between teams in the 90s to most of the teams today, it's truly the "team aspect." Most players before the Kevin Garnett era spent at least 3 years in college, and really learned the game. Team basketball was a hallmark of the Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan eras. Yet the Warriors are one of the few teams who can also compete on that level, featuring a number of guys who graduated college, or played in Europe. What the teams of the 80s and 90s were great at is something that separates the Warriors from other teams now.

Then of course, there's Curry. I think it's fair to say Isiah Thomas was the best point guard of the era in which Charles loves so much. Is there anyone out there who believes for a seocnd that Thomas is a better player than Curry? I for sure do not. There was a time I certainly did, but that time has clearly passed. Everything Thomas brings Curry brings, except Curry is now also bringing the greatest shooting stroke of all time.

Sorry to say it, but Barkley's arguments carry about as much weight as his championship trophies do. And that's why he's complaining.


I've been saving this one, but I'm finally ready. Buffalo Bills Coach Rex Ryan is the biggest coaching clown since, uhh, his dad, former NFL Coach Buddy Ryan. And rarely do clowns win. Like father, like son.

The last few weeks Ryan has looked the fool time and time again, and yet he doesn't even seem to know it. He hasn't seemingly recognized it for the last decade.

There is a thing some call a "player's coach." It supposedly represents the type of coach who can relate to players, who isn't a hard-ass, can maybe even get away with having a beer and a joke with them. Pete Carroll is that guy. Urban Meyer might be that guy. Bill Belichick, less that guy. Ryan? Nothing like any of these guys.

"Player's coach" or not, all of these champions are serious guys. It's why they get consistent results. No matter what type of coach you are, you need to be a serious one.

Having grown up with a father already coaching in the NFL, Rex never had to be as serious as the guys who worked hard to get where they are. He didn't earn $25 a week like Belichick did during his first job with the Colts, or drive a soda truck in Ohio as a second job like Nick Saban did. He had connections. Buddy got him his first college and pro jobs. Now you might say he had to work harder to prove himself, but is there any indication that's the case? Is there any indication he's a serious guy, a tireless worker, someone others should take seriously?

No there is not.

Ryan is a child, still wanting to be noticed, and never having learned the lessons his father Buddy missed before him: brash and obnoxious coaches rarely win. People who don't face consequences rarely learn.

The most recent example of Ryan's clownish behavior came 2 weeks ago against his former team the NY Jets. Any coach who would make IK Enemkpali simply because he had recently assaulted a player on the opposing team is not someone you take seriously. After all, what would we be saying if Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett made Greg Hardy a captain against any opponent?

A childish decision by a childish man.

I will forever root against any team this man is a part of. Looking forward to the day he loses his last job. He can go hang out with Barkley and discuss what it was like to not win in Philadelphia.


Right before the NBA draft I suggested the Sacramento Kings should deal Demarcus Cousins to the Orlando Magic for Center Nikola Vucevicqa, Forward Aaron Gordon, and their first round draft pick.

Pretty steep price for one player, but for Cousins they would have gotten it.

My reasoning was simple: 1) Cousins is a problem and he will never succeed in Sacramento (maybe anywhere). 2) European players are less likely to complain about where they play like their American counterparts do. 3) Gordon is from San Jose area, which isn't far from Sacramento. Keeping players in Sacramento, or getting them to come, is somewhat of a problem. It's why they needed to get rid of the one star who didn't want to be there, and find potential stars who do.

Instead, the Kings seemed to think they could land Kentucky Coach John Calipari, who coached Cousins in college. They triple-downed on that idea by drafting Willie Cauley-Stein and signing Rajon Rondo, also Calipari-coached players.

The hope was team owner Vivek Ranadive could convince Calipari to come to Sacramento to coach the team.

How's that plan working out?

No joke, I sent Ranadive an email before the draft suggesting such a move. To my surprise, I got not reply :-)

Kings lineup COULD HAVE BEEN:

C - Nikola Vucevic

PF - Rudy Gay

SF - Aaron Gordon

SG - Mario Hezonja

PG - Emmanuel Mudiay

That's a team with a real future. A team that could grow. That's a team George Karl could potentially coach.


Sorry to say it, but my Oakland Raiders are further away than the recent excitement would lead us to believe.

Before yesterday, the Raiders had 2 defensive players other teams would covet. The first being Khalil Mack, and the other being Aldon Smith, who will now sit out for one year due to his suspension. In fairness to the situation, we kind of fell ass-backward into Smith so hard to think of him as a building block.

I'm excited about the potential for the Raiders offense over the next few seasons. There are a number of good players on the team. But unless they significantly upgrade their defense at every single level, this team won't truly be competitive for a while. Fortunately, management seems to have a good grasp on the draft, so I expect good things will come.

Challenging for a playoff spot next season? Certainly possible. A title? We're a long ways off.


I'm trying to figure out if Chip Kelly will still be the Eagles coach next season if he doesn't make the playoffs. I'm not sure he could handle it. I'm positive Eagles cannot.

The big issue for Kelly is he's also the General Manager of the team, and I don't think he quite understands how to deal with the team personnel. Someone else needs that job. The other reason it's a problem is usually when you downgrade someone's professional position the situation deteriorates from that point forward. I can't site any specific examples in sports, but in life, usually how it plays out.

My guess is you'll see him running down the sidelines in Southern California next season.

I'm of the opinion he's a very good coach, but that he needs to have better players than most of his opponents to win. That may sound obvious, but a lot of coaches can't even win with the best players.


The last time I mentioned Ronda Rousey on this blog, I pretty much told you I was unimpressed with what she had done. Now I'm even less impressed.

I don't care much about women's MMA, so I didn't spend too much time following the Holly Holm v Rousey fight. But when I saw footage of Holm training, knew who was training her, recognized her distinctive size advantage, and was aware she was a striker, I pretty much anticipated the end of Rousey's dominance.

Yeah, I am kicking myself for not predicting publicly ahead of time, but believe me when I tell you, I was figuring it would happen :-)


Kentucky has "reloaded" again. It's lame. It's not interesting. I get why the players go there.

I just wonder where they're going when Calipari takes the Lakers job.

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