There Are A Lot of Winners in the Anthony Davis Trade

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The Lakers finally landed Anthony Davis. After a trade demand midway through this past season, an openly flirtation with the Lakers, tampering beyond belief, Rich Paul basically getting 2 guys fired, and the Lakers offering up the majority of their young talent, the trade finally happened. Well, technically it isn't official yet, we have to wait until early July. But, both parties have an agreement that Davis will be a Laker, and the Pelicans will get Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and 3 future first round picks, including the number 4 pick in this Thursday's draft.

To me, I feel like both teams got what they wanted. If you were to tell me I had to pick a "winner" of this trade though, I would say New Orleans won, and they won it by a mile. Yes, they have to give up Davis, who when healthy is a top 3 player in the league, and pairing him with LeBron, albeit at age 35, they will make a very formidable front court. But, the Lakers had to mortgage their future for what may only be 2 years of top notch basketball. LeBron is getting older, that is just a fact. He also missed the most time of his career due to injury last year. He also looked a step slower, and his jumper, while never good, was not effective at all last year. But Davis is awesome and young. He is a force on defense, he can rebound with the best of them, his jump shot is much improved, and when engaged, or not hurt, he is nearly unstoppable. He will also be out to prove something next year.

But, unless the Lakers can get another top level guy to come over on a deal worth much less than they expect, their roster is decimated. I saw a snapshot of the roster now, and outside of LeBron and Davis, it is bleak. They were able to keep Kyle Kuzma, who was, for some unknown reason, almost the guy who was the make or break player in this deal. Sure, he is a good scorer, and he can kind of hit threes, but he is a big minus on defense, and he will now have to be the third or fourth option. I don't know if he will like that. All the guys he came in the league with too, and had befriended, they are gone. He is the lone young player on the Lakers now. They we have guys like Mo Wagner, who can't rebound or play defense, Rajon Rondo, who is about a million years old, Lance Stephenson. who should have been out of the league 2 years ago, Issac Bonga, who I know zero about, Tyson Chandler, who is older than Rondo and Alex Caruso, who looks like the dude you hate to play in your local rec league. Dare I say, the Lakers bench is worse than the Warriors bench right now. Again, this can change if they get a Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker or Jimmy Butler, but I don't see that happening. But, kudos to LeBron, Rich Paul and Anthony Davis, you whined your way to a trade to the Lakers, even if it meant destroying your future. It is now more clear than ever who runs the Lakers.

On the other hand, the Pelicans absolutely crushed this deal. They traded away a disgruntled player for 3 young guys that have certain skills they need, and first round picks for three years. They have the number one and number 4 pick in the upcoming draft. And lets say the Lakers have solid seasons the next 2 years, they will still get their pick, plus a second first rounder in the next 2 drafts. That is some Danny Ainge dealing KG and Paul Pierce to the Nets type shit. This is a homerun of a deal. I know Jrue Holiday was upset when Davis asked out, but if I were him now, I would be very excited for the future of the team. He is still there, and he is an underrated guy, plus he has all this young talent coming to play on his team. The Pelicans don't have to immediately blow it up and rebuild now. Holiday can slide over to the 2, and Ball can be the point. While I have been very tough on Ball as a player, he is a good point guard. He has great court vision, is a willing passer and plays solid defense. His shot is pure trash, but he won't need to shoot too much on this team. This may be the best thing for him too, getting himself and his dad out of LA. I still think very highly of Brandon Ingram. He is one Duke guy that I actually like. He also started to show flashes last season of what he can do. He is a long and lanky shooter. He can also get to the rim very quickly. His long stride is very good for the fast break. I bet of all the players traded yesterday he is the happiest. He looked miserable playing next to LeBron last year. Now he has a fresh start, and he will be one of the go to guys in New Orleans. Josh Hart was one of the few young guys that LeBron counted on last year. That shows maturity to me. The fact that he was willing to do what was best for the team is a trait I love in professional players. By the way, he can shoot and play defense as well. Hart will step in right away and be a solid contributor, do the little things asked of him, and I bet he will become an instant fan favorite. The Pelicans, who own the first pick, are going to take Zion on Thursday. That is the type of star power they need to replace Davis. Zion is not Davis, not yet at least, but he might be the best prospect since Davis. This kid is an amazing leaper with good passing skills and a willingness to play defense and be coached. He may not have been happy when New Orleans won the draft lottery, but if I were him now, I'd be stoked looking at this current team he's about to be on. The combo of him and Ball, especially on fast breaks, is going to be awesome. Zion will also get Ingram and Hart plenty of open looks. He will help out Holiday a ton. This is as about a perfect situation as a rookie can get. And with the fourth pick, they can go strictly based on need, and get a pretty talented player. I don't think they will get Ja Morant or RJ Barrett, and I don't see them taking a point guard like Darius Garland or Coby White due to who they acquired in the trade. But that means they can look at a guy like Jaxson Hayes, the big center from Texas. Or they can check in on DeAndre Hunter, a solid shooting 3 or 4 who plays defense. Jarrett Culver could be another option for them as a solid backup to Holiday. Brandon Clarke could be on their radar now. They can look at some overseas talent. They have, pretty much, endless options for the upcoming draft.

This was the homerun the Pelicans wanted to get with this Davis deal, and they absolutely knocked it out of the park. The Lakers should also be happy in this deal. They all got what they wanted. I will just say, I am more pumped to watch the Pelicans than the Lakers next year after this trade. They should be the more fun team to watch on League Pass.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

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The NBA Coaching Carousel is Starting Up

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I'm going to talk about the NBA today, but I want to wait until we are fully set with the East and West Finals before I talk about the playoffs. What I want to touch on is some recent head coaching news.

First, I think the Suns, who seem to be a real mess right now, which is a bummer for me since I pledged my fandom to them earlier this year, made a solid head coaching hire in Monty Williams. If he is given the extent of his contract, which I believe is 5 years, I think he can turn them into a playoff team. They have 2 young guys that have a shot to be all stars, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. They just need to fill the team out with solid role players, and they seem to have some on the roster right now. Josh Jackson may never live up to the hyper coming out of college, but he has shown flashes. Mikail Bridges is the prototypical NBA role player. Kelly Oubre looks like he is ready to take the next step into full time, reliable starter. TJ Warren is a solid NBA player. And I really like their rookie from last year, Elie Okobo. They kept him in the G League for most of the year, a very smart move, and now, I think he is ready for the NBA. The Suns have some pieces, and I feel like Williams can succeed if given a real chance.

But, the main head coach rumor I want to talk about is Ty Lue possibly to the Lakers. I have mixed feelings on this move. For one, I am very conflicted because I think, from a player standpoint, this is a good move. Lue has shown that he doesn't back down to LeBron. He challenged him when they were in Cleveland together. He didn't put up with all of his demands. He, along with Erik Spoelstra, may be the only coaches that actually have LeBron;s respect. I also think it would be good for them to bring over a former player, a former champion at that, that wasn't a super star. This isn't like hiring Magic. Lue isn't Byron Scott. He is so much better than Kurt Rambis. What those guys had was star power as players, and I think the Lakers brass thought they could bring that over to coaching. What Lue has is coaching prowess, titles as a player and coach, but he was a role guy. He knew what he needed to do, did it and won. I think that is a smart choice as far as head coach.

The problem I keep having with the possibility of the Lakers hiring him is the roster construct of this iteration of the team. Lue is a solid coach that knows how to deal with a big time star like LeBron. But, while in Cleveland he also had other stars like Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. The rest of that roster had vets. They had guys that had been around for awhile in the NBA, had playoff experience and knew how to live the NBA life. Outside of LeBron, and a very few others, the Lakers do not have that. They are filled with young talent. They are filled with players that haven't fully grown into their NBA bodies yet. They are filled with a bunch of young guys that don't trust the front office after the whole Anthony Davis thing last year. It is a roster filled with the unknown, and I don't know how, or if, Lue can handle that. How is he going to deal with his three young guys that they were supposed to build this team around before LeBron signed there? Will Brandon Ingram be okay with becoming a very rich man's JR Smith? I think that is what LeBron and Lue want, but Ingram is so much better creating that just waiting for open shots. Lonzo Ball, while a much better defender, is no Kyrie Irving on offense. He is also hurt constantly. How is he going to perform when Lue completely turns the offense over to LeBron? He has a broken jumper, he doesn't get to the line and he is a much, much better passer than shooter. He needs to run the offense to be as effective as he can be. That won't happen when Lue is coach and he defers to LeBron. Kyle Kuzma, while being a very streaky shooter, is not Kevin Love or even, I mention him again, JR Smith. Kuzma can score, sometimes at will. But, he can be ice cold as well. He also doesn't rebound or outlet pass like Love does. He also isn't a great spot up shooter like Smith. Say what you will about JR Smith, but he was good at finding open spots while playing with LeBron, and hitting shots when he needed to. Kuzma isn't there yet, but I think Lue and LeBron will expect that now.

Outside of those three guys, and whoever they get in the late lottery, they don't have much in the way of solid veterans. JaVale McGee completely regressed last year. Lance Stephenson is washed. Mike Muscala is very blah. Josh Hart is okay, but he stumbled at the end of the year. Moe Wagner is nearly unplayable because he is a horrendous defender. I mean, they don't really have the guys, especially in the West, to compete. That is where I stop and really question if Lue is the guy to turn this Lakers team around. I will say that the roster could be vastly different after July 1. But for now I have to go with what they have. And what they have doesn't fit a LeBron led team coached by Ty Lue. They are not the 2016 and 17 Cavs. That was a roster built by LeBron for Lue to coach. This Lakers roster was totally messed up by what Magic and Rob Pelinka did this past offseason, and it isn't one that I put a lot of faith in with a 35 year old LeBron and Ty Lue. I think they are a playoff team, but no more than a 5 or 6 seed, at best, in the West. It is a whole different game in that conference.

All this hire truly shows me is that LeBorn and Klutch Sports are now in full control of the Lakers. While that may have been great 3 or 4 years ago, it doesn't hold the weight it once did. LeBron is old, and the AD thing really showed me a lot about Klutch when they don't get their way. Ty Lue is a solid, championship winning NBA head coach. I just don't think he is a good fit with this Lakers team the way it is constructed as of today. We will have to wait and see.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

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Magic Quit on the Lakers

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Shockingly, Magic Johnson stepped down as the head operations of basketball related issues with the Lakers last night. Basically, he is done trying to get and sign big name free agents for the team he once starred for.

This stunned me when I heard the news yesterday. I know that this season went about as bad as possible for the Lakers. Things looked bright and it seemed like they would easily get back in the playoffs after they got LeBron to sign a 4 year deal. But then, things just kind of went haywire.

The problems started in the offseason after the James signing. I guess he had told Magic that he wanted some vets, so he and Rob Pelinka went out and signed guys like Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, Lance Stephenson and Michael Beasley. They also let Robin Lopez and Julius Randle walk. Magic also traded D'Angelo Russell last offseason so they could draft Lonzo Ball. When I saw their projected roster, I was confused, but figured LeBron would make it work.

When the season started, it was going fine. They were nestled into the 4 or 5 spot, and seemed playoff bound. But then things got really bad. LeBron got hurt on Christmas day while the Lakers were throttling the Warriors. He missed more time than he ever has in his career. This was, by far, the worst injury he has ever suffered. The team did not play great in his absence either. Brandon Ingram wasn't making the leap that many, myself included, thought he would. Ball still has a trash jumper, and he got hurt too. Josh Hart totally disappeared. Kentavious Caldwell Pope was playing like himself, which is to say, he is mediocre. McGee proved he isn't much of a starter. He is so much better as an energy guy. Michael Beasley and Lance Stephenson were jokes. And Rondo was Rondo. He griped about a lot this year.

Then, Magic decided he was going to go all in on AD. AD made his trade request very, very public, and LeBron's agent and buddy Rich Paul were just as vocal. Magic decided he was going to do whatever it took to get another superstar in LA, even if it meant destroying their future. He put up Ball, Ingram, Beasley, Ivan Zubac, Lance Stephenson and picks to try and get AD. The Pelicans, who seemed to be simply messing with LA, kept asking for more. This destroyed the locker room because all these young guys took it way, way too seriously, and their play suffered. After "activating playoff mode", LeBron came back too early, and the Lakers couldn't even beat a team like the Suns. Then Magic comes out after the blown trade and says he is going to talk to the young guys that he put on the block. He tried the whole "this is a business" thing, but the damage had been done. And LeBron did not help at all. He looked disengaged, never sat by the team on the bench, they had a team meeting where the young guys told him how they felt and he couldn't have cared less, and the Lakers got officially eliminated earlier than they did last season.

With the uncertainty that they may not get AD until next offseason, I think Magic saw the writing on the wall. I think he realized that he won't be the one to get the Lakers back to contention. I think he realized getting LeBron was more so for life after basketball as opposed to winning titles. But I think the botched trade is what put the nail in the coffin for him. I think he finally realized that this is an entire new generation of players, and he can't keep up with the times. But, the way he did it is odd. To just up and quit, without telling pretty much anyone involved with the organization is odd. To say he has felt "handcuffed" is absurd to me. He willingly took this job. I think he is leaving because he realizes it's a different game. I also think he is fed up with all the tampering fines. But man, what a cowardly way to go out. To just essentially "drop the mic" on a team that he was supposed to be able to lure big time stars to is sad.

I loved Magic Johnson the basketball player. But, he is proving that he cannot do much good as a coach or executive. He has spectacularly failed at both of those, and this season was the icing on the crap cake for him. I don't know where the Lakers go from here, but this season was bad enough, and now with Magic gone, the offseason may be worse. Time will tell.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

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This Lakers Season Was a Hilarious Disaster

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I have waited to write this until it was official. And as of last week, the Los Angeles Lakers, and LeBron James will not be in the NBA playoffs this year. I have a ton of feelings about this news.

First of, the hater in me is thrilled. I have never liked the Lakers. I actively root against them. Ever since they picked Kobe over Shaq, my hatred only grew. I despise the Celtics as well, but you better believe that I was pulling for them when they played each other in the Finals in the early 2000's. I don't like their fair weather fans. I don't like the air of arrogance they have. They have been irrelevant for about 5 or 6 seasons now. They traded away a lottery pick point guard, D'Angelo Russell, to take Lonzo Ball, who is a bust. I am just almost overcome with joy that they will not be in the playoffs this year. This also makes me laugh at all the journalists, especially the ones at ESPN and Bleacher Report and The Ringer that were certain they'd not only be a playoff team, but a top 3 or 4 seed. This includes me as well. I had them as a top 10 team in my preseason countdown. But, to hear all these major journalist back track now is delightful. To hear all their excuses makes me crack up.

I admit, I was very wrong. I thought LeBron himself would push this team to the playoffs. He could not. But these other journalist keep making excuses to try and save face. They say, LeBron missed 20 games. So what. He has done that the past couple year, his week or 2 off to Miami, and was still able to walk his way to the Finals in the East. They bring up injuries to Ball and Brandon Ingram. Ingram got hurt pretty much right after they were eliminated. And, as I already said, Ball is a bust. The journalists loved all their one year contract guys. They thought giving Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee and Lance Stephenson and Michael Beasely one year, "prove it" deals, would make this team solid. Well, none of those guys can shoot. Rondo is so much better at facilitating offense. He's better at drive and kick. That doesn't work with LeBron. Michael Beasely is an even bigger bust than Ball, can't shoot from anywhere, doesn't play defense, and isn't even on the team anymore. Lance Stephenson was a half season wonder that is somehow still getting playing time in the NBA. He's trash. JaVale McGee only works as a spark plug off the bench. The Lakers signed him to be their main pick and roll guy. It was all a mess from the jump. When they signed LeBron this past offseason it was huge. Then, the front office went and did all this ridiculous stuff to squash any good will they received by getting LeBron. They surrounded him with vets he likes, but as I said, none of them can shoot. I mean, they are awful, dreadful shooters. And for the young guys on the team already, Ingram is the only one that is a threat to shoot, and he played better when LeBron was injured.

Then we had the whole Anthony Davis thing. Rich Paul screwed over one of his clients by making Davis' trade request public, then it all blew up in his face, Davis' face and LeBron's face. The Pelicans asked for the world, with the Lakers putting up Ball, Ingram, Josh Hart, Lance Stephenson and multiple picks, and they still asked for more. They played the hell out of the Lakers, Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka, Rich Paul and LeBron. Of course the Pelicans turned the offer down, and that was when the season really cratered for the Lakers. After the All Star break, and LeBron "activating playoff mode", the Lakers went into the tank. They couldn't do anything right. They lost to the Pelicans when they rested Davis. They barely beat them, at home when Davis played about 20 minutes. They got crushed by real Western Conference playoff teams. Then they got roasted by the Suns. That game culminated in disgrace when LeBron went to throw the ball in and he hit the back of the backboard. It was very upsetting to see him, a legend, do that. The Davis thing really screwed with this locker room, and with any chemistry they may have built up in the first part of the year. LeBron said he wanted to grow with this team when he signed, but the moment things started to get rough, he wanted to team up with a super star. It didn't pan out for him, and now he will be home for the playoffs for the first time in 15 years.

Which lead me to my final thing, LeBron James. LeBron is an all time great. He is either the second or third greatest player of all time. Going to 8 straight Finals may never happen again. His dominance is almost un reachable for any future star player. But, he really screwed this team with his want to team up with another star. He also learned what it is like to play in the Varsity conference in the NBA. It isn't a cakewalk in the West. Almost every night is a tough game. He can't just take time off when he pleases. He needs to bring it, especially with the way that roster was constructed. I'm still in shock that he couldn't will this team to the playoffs, but like I said at the top, it also kind of makes me laugh because I loathe that team.

All of this is to say, I feel, and I know a lot of people agree with me, the Lakers are, by far, the biggest embarrassment and were the most overrated team in the NBA in the 2018-19 season. They tanked without tanking. They're going to miss the playoffs for the fifth straight year. They are still irrelevant. They are banking on getting Davis in the offseason, I don't think it will happen. And LeBron is only getting older. If I were a Lakers fan, I would be very concerned about the future of this team. They don't seem to be the destination they once were, and a lot of the star players coming on the market this summer don't seem very interested in teaming up with a 35 year old LeBron James. Also, if they hire Jason Kidd I would be even more embarrassed to be a fan.

This season has been a mess in Laker land. They can make up for it if they have a big summer, but I don't see that happening. This is a mess, and I only feel like it is going to get worse. This is a bummer to see LeBron end his career like this. A real bummer.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

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Who is Really to Blame for the Lakers Mess?

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The other night LeBron James passed Michael Jordan on the all time NBA scoring list. Good for him. This is a humongous achievement. James has earned it. He is one of the greats, no questions asked. But, when my watch and phone kept popping off about this, I naturally assumed that the Lakers had won their game against the Nuggets, and maybe they were actually going to make that push to get the 8th seed in the West.

That was not the case.

While all ESPN and Bleacher Report could talk about was LeBron's achievement, the Lakers were in the midst of losing by almost 20, and dropping their third straight game, and dropping 6 games below .500. They have been in a freefall since LeBron "activated playoff mode". They are very far out from the 8 seed now, with only 17 games left. They need so much help, and if they were to get the 8 seed, they would get swept out of the first round, and possibly cripple their chance to get AD this summer.

But, all of this preamble is just to say that there is a lot of blame to go around the whole Lakers organization for how poorly this season has played out. But, the most blame belongs to 4 people. We have LeBron, Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss. Jeanie Buss is trying to play it off like she had nothing to do with the players they signed, saying that management is to solely blame. Well, you are the owner. You hired these 2 guys to run the team. You gave them the keys to the car. You have to take some of the blame. Some of this falls in your lap. You cannot just get off scott free because you are only the owner. Some of the decisions you have made lately have hurt this franchise.

Now, lets look at why I think Pelinka and Johnson are to blame. These 2 had zero history in running a basketball team. They have never had this type of power. Magic is a hall of fame player, a bad coach and a horrible talk show host. What he did best was play basketball. That doesn't mean he can run a team. He proved that with his piss poor coaching, and now he is proving that with how he signs players. And all of the tampering, which I really don't care that much about, he has got to stop being so blatant about it. Don't go on talk shows and wink when talking about soon to be free agents. Don't go on ESPN and openly pine for AD. Just stop. With Pelinka, he was good at being a sub with the Fab Five at Michigan. He was even better as an agent. But, again with the picking of players, he has been atrocious. Why did he think it was cool to go out and sign all these odd vets to one year deals? Did he really think this would work? Did he think LeBron could literally drag a group of guys 20 and under, and washed up vets to the playoffs in the West? Come on man. That is preposterous. That is nonsense. I mean, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, Michale Beaseley and Rajon Rondo were your answers to surround LeBron with? That is so stupid. They should have just kept Julius Randle and D'Angelo Russell. They would be so much better off with the young guys and LeBron. They would have been more fun.

Finally, we have LeBron. I think he deserves the least blame, but he still deserves some simply for the whole handling of the AD trade saga. He let his buddy Rich Paul try to force 2 teams hand, and it backfired in hilarious fashion. LeBron, who has always been a GM and player wherever he has played, also made it so widely known how much he yearned to play with AD. I'm positive he told Magic and Pelinka to offer the farm. He didn't want to have happen happen. He didn't want Rich Paul to fail. He didn't want to fail, and he wanted to get AD. Well, the Pelicans didn't flinch, and it all blew up in their face. Also, LeBron is still hurt, looks disengaged, doesn't try on defense and only seems to expend any effort on offense. He has packed it in. He has suffered the longest injury of his career, and he has let his effect his play. He also didn't get what he wanted at the deadline, and he has openly pouted. All of this has led to the team he is supposed to be leading having another bad year.

The Lakers are going to miss the playoffs. They are going to fire the head coach. They are going to lose a ton of young talent, and they are going to have to start all over again, letting 2 guys that have no idea what they are doing, an owner that doesn't want to take any heat and a 35 year old star player running the team. This will only get worse before it gets better. I don't even think AD will help much, if they get him this summer. I didn't like this move for LeBron from a basketball standpoint, and, at least this season, is making me look right.

While I enjoy seeing the Lakers struggle, I don't like seeing how bad they have been lately. They are a mess, and there is a good amount of blame to be spread out amongst the 4 people I mentioned. I'm very curious to see what they do this summer, and since they won't be making the playoffs, the summer will be here much sooner than LeBron is used to. That is weird.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

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Time to Get Pumped for the 2019 NBA All Star Weekend

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This weekend is All Star weekend for the NBA. I enjoy All Star weekend. I used to love it, but now I just enjoy it. I like the skills competition, the three point and dunk contest, the rising stars game and the actual game. I think the only thing I don’t really care for is the celebrity all star game. Some people go way too hard, Winn Butler, some turn it into a showcase for themselves, Kevin Hart, and the rest just don’t seem to care. It’s dull.

Let’s look at the good events. The dunk contest used to be my absolute favorite part of the weekend. It used to be filled with actual stars, and it was awesome. I will always, always remember Vince Carter. It was amazing. The contest then started to really drop off when the contestants got endless chances. It dragged and the participants weren’t the upper echelon. The one that really upset me, the opposite of the Vince Carter one, was when Chris Andersen spent what seemed like 45 minutes to complete one dunk. But, I do have to say, it’s been better the past couple years. Dennis Smith Jr got robbed last year, but it was still fun. And 2 years ago, the show that Zach Lavine and Aaron Gordon put on, was tremendous. Go back and check that out. So I do have faith. The three point contest is great to see the pure shooting, with no defense. And the rising stars game has become much more fun because they went to US versus World and all the future stars of the league are there. The skills competition is neat too, especially when you have a guard up against a big man. The game itself, while totally devoid of defense and full effort, I find enjoyable. I want to see all the points. I want each team go score 200. I’d love to see a 60 or 70 point quarter. I am one of the very few that find the game slightly enjoyable.

With all this being said, I want to make a few predictions for the festivities this weekend. First off, I guarantee the National Anthem will be so much better than the mess that was Fergie last year. That one is easy. As far as the rising stars game, I have the US. Team World has some studs, namely Luka Doncic, big Team US has guys like Jayson Tatum, Trae Young and Jaren Jackson. I just feel like they’ll be able to build a solid lead and win the game. In the three point contest I have Steph. I’ve seen and heard a bunch of people say that Joe Harris will win? Why? Steph is the best shooter in the league, maybe the best of all time. He may not take it as seriously as the other contestants, but he doesn’t have to. He’s that good. Steph all the way. The skills competition is DeAron Fox’s to lose. He is, by far, the most skilled guy in it. He’s also super fast, but under control. Fox is about to become a big name in the NBA. As for the dunk contest, I have DSJ all the way. He got screwed last year, he’s just been traded and I feel like he has something to prove. I have a feeling he’s going to do something amazing. Also though, don’t sleep on Hamidou Diallo. That dude is super athletic and has amazing hops. As for the actual game, I think Team LeBron wins. They are stacked. He got the best scorers, passers, and if they try, defenders. I don’t buy that all the guys he took he’s going to recruit to LA like everyone keeps saying. I think Team Giannis will make it a game, but I just think Team LeBron is better. That being said, I think Giannis Antentekoumpo will win his first of 2 MVP’s this season. He’s been amazing all year. His team had the best record. He will go hard in the game because that’s what he does. And he’s pretty much unguardable. He is so good, and I think he will prove that tenfold in the All Star game.

I’m excited for the weekend. I love basketball, and to see the best of the best in one arena always amazes me. I hope you all watch too. I know I will. I really enjoy NBA All Star weekend.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

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Lavar Ball is Nonsense, Again

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Lavar Ball needs to just stop talking. He just needs to shut up. I'm over his schtick. I'm over his blowhard attitude. I'm over him saying that he will "talk it into existence". I'm just over it all. But what irks me the most about what he recently said was how ridiculous the statement is. He said, and I quote, "The Lakers will never win a title without my son. In fact, my son Lonzo is better than LeBron. The Lakers need him". Okay, lets break this nonsense down.

First off, the Lakers do not need him at all. If the Lakers had traded Lonzo Ball at the deadline, and I am not just limiting it to the Pelicans, it could have been any team, they wouldn't have missed him at all. I do think that Ball is an okay point guard. He is good at getting the ball out of his hands and finding the open guy and running the break. But, he does not add much else. Also, I think Rajon Rondo is better than him, especially for a team run by LeBron. Ball also cannot shoot the ball at all. His jumper is trash. He is afraid to drive to the rim because, if he gets fouled, he cannot shoot free throws. And he is currently hurt right now, and I totally forgot about it until I saw his dumbass post after not being traded yesterday. So no Mr Ball, the Lakers do ot need your son to win a title. I'm sure they would be better off with Rondo, or if they had drafted DeAron Fox instead, or if they go out and trade for another point guard or even draft one this year. The Lakers would be just fine without Lonzo. The Lakers definitely do not need him.

And then to say he is better than LeBron, I mean come on. I love my son. My son is an amazing individual. He is smart, loves baseball, is pretty good at it, he's super smart and funny and is just a good kid. But, if he were in the NBA right now, and on the Lakers, I would openly say that he is currently playing with the best player in the NBA in LeBron James. I would be thrilled that my son was in the NBA, and playing, but I would know better than to say that he is better than LeBron. No one in the current NBA is better than LeBron. Not a single player. Not Steph, not KD, not AD, not Kawhi, none of them. LeBron is better than them all. In fact, I think that LeBron is the second greatest player in the NBA ever, behind Michael Jordan. So for Lavar Ball to say that his son, who has been more of a disappointment than a star in his first two seasons, is better than LeBron is pure nonsense and puts so much more undue pressure on his kid, who already came into the league with a ton of pressure due to his father's mouth.

It was so nice to go through more than 50 games without hearing from Lavar Ball. It seemed like the Lakers brass and LeBron finally got him to just be quiet. They just kind of pushed him off and we didn't have to hear from him. But now, since his kid was brought up in trade rumors, which will happen as long as he continues to disappoint and play with LeBron, he decided to open his mouth and say more dumb shit. I hope that LeBron and Magic and Rob Pelinka will be able to get him to shut up again because I cannot take another story about him talking. I know I am just adding to the problem by writing about it today, but it made me so angry that he said his kid was better than LeBron that I had to say something.

So if you could kindly screw off Lavar Ball, me, the Lakers players and fans and the rest of the NBA watching community would greatly appreciate it. We don't need to hear your lunatic ravings anymore. Please do us a favor and shut the hell up. Thanks

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

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A Few Thoughts on Anthony Davis's Future in the NBA

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To no one's surprise that watches a good amount of the NBA, Anthony Davis has requested a trade from New Orleans. He has come out since this morning and said that he wants to finish the season there, and he is willing to wait until then, but he wants out.

I have a few thoughts.

First off, these players need to stop coming out and saying they want out. The players in professional sports leagues have so little power, and when they come out and request a trade, that gives all the power to their current team, and really handcuffs their wanted destination and themselves. Just wait until the offseason, and do this behind closed doors. In this day and age of social media I know that is hard, but if you put in the effort, it can be done. I just want these players to not give what little bit of power they have to the front office. Look out for you if you want to be on a different team.

Second, I'm pretty sure he wants to be a Laker. This has been the rumor all year long, and now that he has formally requested a trade, it seems like they are the one and only contender. I don't think they are, more on that in a minute. But, if he were to become a Laker this season, what changes in the West? Yes, pairing LeBron with AD would make for a great duo, but think of the players they would have to give up. I'm pretty sure the Pelicans are going to pass on all the one year contract guys. I'm pretty sure they don't want Rajon Rondo back. I'm also pretty sure they would pass on Michael Beasely, Javale McGee and Lance Stephenson. The Pelicans are going to want a humongous haul, and they are going to want the young guns. If I were them, and I was going to move AD within the conference, I would, just to start out, ask for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma. Then, I would ask for one of Josh Hart or Kentavious Caldwell Pope, and, at the very least, 2 picks. And if the Lakers say no, I would immediately pull the offer and look for another team. If you are going to part with your best player, the player you took number one overall and have built your team around, you should want a king's ransom. And, as I said before, with AD publicly saying he wants out, the Pelicans have all the power. They hold all the cards, and if any deal isn't to their liking, they can just walk away. They can do that this offseason too. They are in prime position to get the very best deal.

So, if the Lakers are willing to trade all those guys, and picks, sure they get AD, but does that put them above the Warriors, Rockets, Nuggets, Thunder and Trailblazers? I don't think so. LeBron and AD are great, wonderful players. LeBron is the best player in league. AD may be the best big man. But those 5 teams I mentioned have a much better team around them. If AD joins the Lakers via a mega deal filled with young guys, their starting five for the playoffs would be Rondo at the 1, Hart at the 2, LeBron at the 3, AD at the 4 and that either McGee or one million year old Tyson Chandler at the 5. All 5 of the teams I mentioned are better than that Lakers lineup. So, at best, if AD were to join the Lakers, I feel like they would be the 5 seed, and a first round out in the playoffs. Those other 5 teams are so much better than them with the Blazers being closest in talent. I also think it might handcuff their future, and their ability to get another big star this offseason. That is just my opinion.

Also, I feel like the Lakers being the top bet to land him is all about GM LeBron once again. This is what he does. He goes to a team and changes it all. Coaches and young players be damned, LeBron is going to get guys he wants to play basketball with. If this trade goes down, with all the young guys, this will prove that LeBron runs the team. I will hear no one say that this was Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson's idea. I won't buy Jeanie Buss saying that this was the plan all along. I won't hear any NBA journalist say this was a great front office move. This would all be about who LeBron wants to play the game with. I also think this trade would doom Luke Walton more than he already is. This would be the nail in his coffin, especially if they are a first round out. He is as good as gone regardless of what happens, because the "powers that be" want him out.

Finally, I want to talk about a few other teams that I think would be a possible better fit. The team I want him to join is the 76ers. I love love love the idea of him playing next to Joel Embiid. I love him running the pick and roll with Ben Simmons. I think he would be an ideal guy for Jimmy Butler because AD goes so hard. This would push them over the top, and they would only have to give up picks and a few players. I'm sure the Pelicans would take a flyer on Markelle Fultz. I'm sure they would also want some guys like JJ Redick, TJ McConnell and both of their rookies. And the 76ers would happily oblige to add AD. I like the idea of him joining the Spurs to play with Greg Poppovich. They would have to give up DeRozan, Patty Mills, Jakob Poeltl and a guy like Brynn Forbes. But man, a lineup with AD, LMA, Dejounte Murray and a few young guys they have would be nice. I think if Toronto is willing to take another guy that may leave this offseason, this would put them over the top in the East. AD and Kawhi Leonard would be better than Embiid and AD. They would lock it up on the defensive end. The Raptors would have to fracture their youth, but they have a much, much better shot at the Finals than the Lakers, so it is worth it.

When it is all said and done, I feel like AD will be a Laker, but it will come at a tremendous cost. I also think that "Laker Nation" would be ecstatic at first, but when they run into the buzz saw of teams like the Thunder, Nuggets and Rockets, it would blow up in their face. And then just imagine them facing the Warriors. The Warriors don't need any added incentive to kick team's asses, especially since Boogie is back, and looks really good. Now imagine how much they would want to destroy a team that has AD and LeBron. It would be brutal.

I wish AD would stay in New Orleans. I wish he would try and build a contender. I feel like he is taking the easy way out. I feel like the young stars in the NBA aren't used to losing, and they want to win easily, so they are taking the easy way out. I do hope, wherever he ends up, AD is happy. I enjoy watching him play, and he is great. I just don't want him to leave New Orleans. Especially not for LA.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

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Some Thoughts on Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James

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The other day I read a story wherein Kevin Durant said no super star wants to play with LeBron James because the atmosphere around him is “toxic”.

I have some thoughts on this.

First, I agree with KD. If I were a star player, who’s best attribute was as a scorer especially, I would not want to be a teammate of his. If I were a specialist it might be fine. But, a star player, no way. Also, if I were a legit point guard I would not want to be on his team. He needs the ball in his hands most of the time, especially in crunch time, and I’d hate that. I’d also not like to be a young up and comer playing on his team. I’d also not want to coach a team where he is the focal point. As the scorer, yes LeBron would put me in a good position to score, but only when he wants me too.

Take a guy like Damien Lillard. He’s an excellent scorer who can create his own shot. If he were to go play with LeBron I think he’d turn into a smaller version of Kevin Love. He would be relegated to standing in a corner and wait for whenever LeBron wanted him to shoot to get the ball. He would get angry very quick.

With the legit point guard, say a John Wall, or even a Steph Curry, again, he’d barely touch the ball. A player like Wall becomes disengaged when he isn’t creating. He sulks and sluffs off when not handling the ball. He needs to feel and dribble the ball. That keeps him focused. Steph is a bit better off the ball, he is more of a 2 guard, but when he has the ball in his hands, he’s a wizard. He’s an excellent ball handler and he can dazzle to get an open shot. Pair him with LeBron, and that’s gone. If you need another example, look no further than Kyrie Irving. He begged, after 3 seasons playing with LeBron, to be traded. He was frustrated and despised playing with LeBron.

When it comes to up and comers, look no further than his current teammate, Brandon Ingram. He was supposed to make the leap this year. He was supposed to become the perfect compliment. He was supposed to learn and excel next to LeBron. None of that has happened. He has struggled mightily. He seems frustrated and unhappy. He doesn’t seem to like his place on the court. He seems joyless when he plays basketball. Also, to a lesser extent, Lonzo Ball has become wildly inconsistent playing with LeBron so far this year. One night he will look great, the next, he disappears. How quick until this gets under LeBron’s skin? Also, imagine if a guy like Trae Young, Luka Doncic or Deandre Ayton were on the Lakers right now. I imagine Young would barely see the floor, Doncic wouldn’t get the time he deserves and Ayton would probably be sitting behind JaVale McGee right now. That would be awful.

As for Luke Walton, I just kind of feel bad for him. He, much like Ingram, doesn’t seem to be having fun. He was given a fun young core last year, and was supposed to have time to develop them. Now he has LeBron, and apparently LeBron is already running what he wants to do and telling the front office who to sign. The Lakers are winning now, but if that doesn’t last, like early in the season, Walton will instantly be on the hot seat.

As for where I take issue with this statement, it comes from the source. Let us not forget that KD left the Thunder one season after they had a 3-1 lead over the Warriors in the West Finals, and joined them. If anyone is a front runner, who needs to be paired with a super star so he doesn’t get called out, it’s KD. Also, this whole heel turn doesn’t fit with Durant. He’s not a bad guy. He’s not a villain. He’s not a scary player. Sure Durant said this, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he joins LeBron himself this offseason when he becomes a free agent. He’s already joined a team of stars before, why wouldn’t he do it again?

I appreciate what KD said and I agree. Someone needs to call out LeBron from time to time. But if this statement came from a guy like James Harden or Anthony Davis or Paul George, I’d be much more on board. And, didn’t Kyrie already bring this to everyone’s attention when he demanded a trade 2 years ago? It seems like odd timing and the wrong source for a very viable statement.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

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LeBron James is an Outstanding Human Being

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I know that I am tough and hard on LeBron James a lot on the site and the podcast. But, I am also very up front with how great I think he is, how good of a person he is, all the great things he does on and off the court, how vocal and open with his politics he is, how much to has lived up to the hype, and then some, basically, I may harp on him, but I think he is a once in a lifetime talent and person. Today though, I want to only heap tons and tons of praise on him.

With the opening of his new school in Akron, I am just so pleased and thrilled with the news. I love this. I love when athletes give back to their community. James had a rough childhood, and he wants to make things better for kids in his hometown. He didn't have to do this, especially since he just left Cleveland and signed with the Lakers. He also could have waited, a la Jalen Rose, until after basketball to do this. He also could have done it in any city he wanted. But, he chose his hometown. I love it. He is giving back, and when mega star athletes give back, I have nothing but good things to say.

An act like this makes me realize that some athletes have a heart and soul, that they aren't just in it for the money, that they realize where they came from, and want to help. Jalen Rose did this in Detroit, and JRLA is a thriving school in a not so thriving area. I feel like James will accomplish this with his school in Akron. I was doing research on this new school for this piece today, and I was blown away at all the stuff I saw that the school will do. Things like free tuition, free uniforms, free bikes and helmets, free transportation within 2 miles, free breakfast, lunch and snack, a food pantry for families, GED and job placements services for parents and guaranteed tuition to the University of Akron for EVERY student that graduates.

All of that is absolutely incredible. Free tuition is just amazing. That is my dream for college for my kids. The fact that LeBron is doing it for underprivileged kids in Akron is truly remarkable. Free uniforms are great. I knew kids that went to private schools, and their uniforms were wildly expensive. This is wonderful. Free bikes, helmets and transportation within 2 miles, spectacular. That is so cool. If I were a kid and I was offered a free bike, with a helmet, I would have lost my mind. What a perfect gesture. Also, the transportation within 2 miles, while it doesn't sound like much on the surface, it is splendid. Two miles of free transportation is perfect for working parents who have odd hours, and need to get their kids to school on time. The free food, breakfast, lunch and snack, is stupendous. This is a big relief to parents and kids. The fact that they can go to a school where food will be hot and ready for them, I mean, that is a lifesaver. They can go have a nice breakfast and lunch, then have a snack before heading home. That is truly great. That, again, is a lifesaver. That is the epitome of giving back. It is also the epitome of helping, and reaching out to your community. The food pantry for families is so awesome. For lower class families that are struggling to make a living, a food pantry is one of the best things that could happen I imagine. That the whole family can go and take what they need, I mean, how cool is that? How great is that? It is the best. The GED and job placement services is just as good as the food pantry in my opinion. He is out there trying to help people find work, and further their education. He wants these families to not only stay in their hometown, but he wants them to thrive. He wants them to get work. He wants to help them do better. He is giving them a place they can go and try to better themselves. It is just so cool and so awesome and so giving and just the best.

But the cherry on top of all of this greatness is the free tuition to any graduate to the University of Akron. I mean, that is really amazing. Kids who graduate from his school can go to college for free! Let that sink in. College is crazy expensive, and kids who graduate LeBron's new school get to go for free. That is the absolute best thing I could ever think of. He is putting a ton of his hard earned money into sending kids to college, kids that aren't his own kids. That is amazing and extremely heartfelt.

I didn't think that LeBron could do anything else to surprise me, and make me respect him even more, but he did. He may be a better person than he is a basketball player, and he is an amazing basketball player. But, this new school, his outspokenness on politics, his helping to groom his son for his future basketball career, his standing up to the bullies in D.C., it is all amazing and makes me like him even more.

LeBron James is going to go down as one of the greatest basketball players ever, but when we look back at all the things he did outside of a basketball court, I think we will remember those even more. LeBron James is a great, great man, and I have an immense amount of respect for him. My hat is off to you Mr. James, you are an exceptional person.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the best basketball writer on the internet.

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NBA Free Agency Went from Nuts to Crazy With the Boogie Cousins Signing

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NBA free agency is lit.

I was working out last night when I heard the news that Boogie Cousins was joining the Warriors. I was stunned. I mean, one day after the Lakers signed the biggest star in the game, the Warriors took all their mojo and squashed it. It was after this I read his contract, and that took me back even further. Not only did he sign with the Warriors, they got him at the league minimum for one year. They gave Boogie, possibly the best true center in the league right now, for 5 million dollars. That’s insane.

Cousins is clearly betting on himself coming back strong from a horrific injury, hoping to get a big deal next year. So, in the meantime, he decided to take a major pay cut to get fully healthy, dominate in the playoffs and win a title. If the Warriors lacked one thing, it is a real center. They’ve trotted out guys like Javale McGee, Zaza Pachulia, Kevon Looney, and they’ve won titles with them all. Now, they have a real center. They’ve added an all star starter. They’ve added an all NBA caliber player. They’ve added a guy, when engaged, can dominate both ends of the floor. Boogie was great until he got hurt last year. People have seemed to forget that. He was going for 20 points and 10 rebounds effortlessly playing along side Anthony Davis. Then the injury happened. Offers were seemingly at the minimum, if you ask him, only 2 teams offered him, so he signed with the best one available. He signed with the team that can wait until he is healthy to trot him out there. He signed with a team that needed a real center. Sure, he plays old school, but I’m sure he will fit in just fine.

I was hoping I’d hear some dumb shits try to downplay this move. Luckily for me, I listened to The Ringer’s NBA Show today and Chris Vernon, who I like, and Kevin O’Connor, who is a typical Boston fan boy, tried to say this move made no sense. I was laughing at these 2 grasping at straws trying to downplay how big a singing this was. It was hilarious. I’m sure their boss, Bill Simmons, told them to do this. But, it was still a riot listening to these 2 morons bad mouth this move. It was already pretty well known that the Warriors were odds on favorite for the title again this year, even with LeBron going to LA. Signing Boogie just makes it official.

I do need to say, I’m not a fan of this. Again, the NBA is already confirmed and it’s only July. But, these players are free to do what they want. Everyone loved LeBron to LA, and loved when he joined forces with Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade and loved when KD signed with the Warriors. Now, they seem to be pissed. That’s ridiculous to me. This is the NBA now. Super teams are the thing. Guys don’t want to just win, they want to crush you on their way to winning. So I’ve come to accept this nonsense. I do love that the Warriors completely stole LeBron’s thunder once again though. That’s hilarious to me.

Well, good luck to you Boogie. I hope you heal, get a ring and get paid, you are one of my favorite players. And, congrats on your three peat Golden State. Maybe you guys will win 80 games this year.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

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Let's Talk about LeBron and the Lakers

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NBA free agency officially started yesterday at midnight. I want to quickly touch on a few of the signings before I get to LeBron's choice to go to the Lakers.

First off, props to Paul George for sticking it out in OKC. I, much like everyone else, was sure he was going to LA. I even wrote about it last week. But, he chose to re up with the Thunder. That was a class move, he got a ton of money, he has a player option in the final year of the deal, and the Thunder front office won the bet on themselves. I love this deal. I think the Thunder will be much better this upcoming season than they were last year. I hope they release Carmelo so they can get a better, younger fit for their team. Paul George going back to OKC was a great start to NBA free agency. I have so much more respect for him now. I love that he wants to stick it out with Russ, and I feel like this will really benefit the Thunder this year, and the next 2. They will be a good team. And for all the people hating on them for now spending money, and not giving Harden a max deal when they had the chance, stop. No one knew that Harden would become the player he has become. He stunk in the Finals in his last year in OKC, he was a sixth man and he was still so green. Yes, he is great, a MVP now, but none of us knew that 4 years ago. Chill out with the hate. Also, they are spending money now, so why throw them in the fire? The Thunder front office just can't win, but I don't think they really care.

Outside of George, the 2 other big names to move early were Deandre Jordan to the Mavericks on a one year deal and Chris Paul on a 4 year max back to the Rockets. Jordan to the Mavs doesn't really do anything for me. It will be fun to see him in the pick and roll with Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. He is also a major upgrade over any big man they had last year. But, he doesn't make the Mavs a playoff team, especially in the West. They may win 35-38 games, but they will not be in the playoffs. The Chris Paul deal was inevitable. But that is a ton of money, especially in the last year, when he will be 38, which is ancient in the NBA, but we knew it was coming. This is a deal that they are banking on contending very hard for the next 2 years, if he can stay healthy, and the Rockets retain Clint Capela, which they will. This team was one win away from the Finals, then Paul got hurt and the Warriors woke up. This is a 2 year deal stretched to 4. There were a bunch of role guys that left that do not really move the needle for me either way, but good for those guys getting paid.

Then, late yesterday, I was tracking all the Kawhi Leonard stuff. Every half hour there seemed to be a story that trade talks with the Lakers and 76ers were intensifying, then cooling down. I even read stuff that said that Kawhi wants out so bad, he is willing to sit out all of the upcoming season. I say, unless the Spurs get an offer they simply cannot refuse, I would not trade him. I would let him sit and become a free agent next year. The Spurs owe him nothing, and he owes the Spurs nothing. If he wants out so bad that he is willing to sit, if I were the Spurs, I would call his bluff. He is under contract for one more year, so the Spurs don't have to do a god damn thing. He can be a malcontent, he can be distant, he can stay home on road trips, whatever. I would one hundred percent keep him on my roster, unless I were to get an enormous deal, and just let him waste a year of his prime. That may be cold and brutal, but sports is a cold and brutal business.

The big news of the night came around 7:30pm Saint Louis time last night. I was looking at Twitter and saw a ton of NBA writers that I follow say that LeBron was joining the Lakers. Bleacher Report then reported about 5 minutes later that he was joining the Lakers. Then ESPN and every other major sports outlet reported the deal. Then the numbers came out. He officially signed a deal with the Lakers last night for 4 years at 154 million dollars, with a player option for the fourth year.

I have some thoughts about this. I will do the things I "like" about this deal. This is perfect for him building his brand. He gets to go to the biggest market in the US, he can do his acting, he can do Hollywood stuff and his sports agency can become even bigger than it already is. As far as a "brand" thing, this is the best spot for him.

Now, the stuff I don't like, and there is a ton. I hate the way it played out. I was getting stories all day that he was going to meet with the 76ers, the Nuggets, a ton of different teams. I then started to hear stories that all of those meetings were just posturing. That they held no regard as to where he was going. It was all theater, and that is one of the main reasons why I think he will never, ever be at MJ's level. He does all his business, good and bad, out in the open. He craves the media attention. I despised the way this decision played out. Then, to hear, after doing some bogus ass good bye to Cleveland on Instagram, then going out of the country, that was so stupid. Again, he is trying to be the good guy, but he didn't have to do this type of thing. He brought a title back to Cleveland. He carried that team to the Finals four straight years. No one was going to bad mouth him if he left again. But, he does this dumbass good bye thing on a social media website. Again, he was craving the media attention. He wants everyone to love him. It tends to be a bit much.

As far as a basketball team move, this makes zero sense to me, if the Lakers stay as is. I know that they signed Lance Stephenson and Javale McGee, but my response to those moves was, "why"? Those 2 moves felt like LeBron already putting his touch on "running" the franchise. He is already telling Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson the kind of players he wants to play with. But lets say it stops there. Lets say they do not get Boogie Cousins or Kawhi. How does LeBron fit next to a young core of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle? Not that great. In fact, the only guy I think would benefit from LeBron being on this team is Ingram. He is a quality shooter, can get to the rim if he has space and would be a great threat cutting to the basket with LeBron. As far as the other 3 guys I mentioned, not so good. Julius Randle should be pulling a Kawhi right now and demanding a trade. He gains nothing playing with LeBron. He doesn't rebound or shoot like Kevin Love, so LeBron will immediately loathe him. Kyle Kuzma is one of the more overrated young guys in the league. If he played for any other team no one would give him a second thought. He is an okay shooter, and that is it. JR Smith is so, so much better than him, and that is saying something. So is Kyle Korver for that matter. Hell, even at times, Iman Shumpert was a better fit with LeBron when he was a Cav.

What about Lonzo Ball? I am just not that high on this kid. He does have excellent court vision, but will it really matter when LeBron is stopping and pounding the ball into floor looking for his own shot? Will his court vision matter when he is counted on to hit an open three? Will his court vision matter when he over throws an outlet pass to LeBron and he freezes him out? No, no and no. LeBron will take the ball out of Ball's hand. Now, Lonzo Ball doesn't need the ball in his hands all the time, but he is a point guard, and he was running that offense last year. That all stops now with LeBron on the team. Going to his jump shot, it is pure trash. He will brick so many more than he will make that LeBron will not trust him halfway through the year, if even that long. The kid has a trash shot that never got much better over his rookie year. He has that funky delivery and he misses so many more than he makes. And, the moment he makes a bad pass, or misses a pass from LeBron, or the minute he over throws a deep pass, LeBron will ice him out. Just ask Kevin Love. The LeBron signing is doom for Lonzo.

As far as some guys still on the team, Kentavius Caldwell Pope is an overpaid lesser man's Trevor Ariza without the defensive ability, Mo Wagner and Svi Myhkaliuk are unproven rookies that need a ton of time to develop, Josh Hart is just an okay player who may or may not do well with LeBron, and I literally do not know anyone else on that team. I just do not watch the Lakers anymore.

I also feel kind of bad for Luke Walton. You'd think signing a guy like LeBron would be such a great coup, and the head coach would be thrilled. But, why don't we ask Ty Lue, David Blatt, Mike Brown and Erick Spoelstra how much they "enjoyed" coaching LeBron. Lue helped win a title for the Cavs, and this past season, LeBron left him out to dry. David Blatt got fired half a season after taking the Cavs to the title. Mike Brown was left with the burning ash of the Cavs the first time he left. And Erik Spolestra, by far the best of the bunch, was never given the credit he deserved for coaching that first super team in Miami. The moment things go a bit sour, like if the Lakers are hovering around .500 at the All Star break this season, you know LeBron will want Walton gone for someone he prefers.

When considering branding in this decision, it makes total sense. From a basketball prospective, given the current roster, it is baffling. I am not hating on LeBron. Go wherever you want. I just do not like the way he went about it, and it is clear he doesn't care about titles or going to the Finals anymore. I mean, the Rockets are still really good, the Jazz are coming, the Timberwolves, if they figure out that they have to play defense, are good, the Pelicans have Anthony Davis, oh, and the god damn Warriors are all in the West. There will be no easy nights for LeBron and the Lakers. As for Magic Johnson, he delivered. He said he would get a star, and he got the biggest one in the game. But, what he does from here will determine how good of a GM he really is. If he defers to LeBron, and lets him run the team like he did in Cleveland, it will be tough. But, if he runs the team like the Warriors are run, he gets all the credit.

This was a very exciting weekend of free agency, but I am not at all on board with LeBron. I know everyone in LA loves it, and all the bandwagon fans are coming out now. But, will they still be there when this team is beat in the first round of the playoffs? Will they still be there when they finish with 45-50 wins the next four years? Will they be there if LeBron forces his hand and they have to trade away all their young talent for vets that LeBron used to play with? I don't know. What I do know, the talk of a title coming back to the Lakers this year needs to stop. They will be lucky to be a 3 or 4 seed in the West, and they will not win, or even be in the conference finals or semi finals next year.

LeBron has made his choice, now lets see all of the other pieces start to fall in place.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the best goddamn basketball writer on the internet. I just hope he doesn't go to his decision cave and leave for L.A. 

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Kawhi Leonard, the Lakers, and Another Damn Super Team

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About a week back I wrote that I hoped Kawhi Leonard would stay a Spur. Well, that has all blown up in my face, and the Spurs face. It appears that he is going to be in a different uniform next season. There are new reports everyday, but don't get it twisted, he is going to end up a Laker, one way or another.

What a mess.

I read a report that he was going to meet with Greg Poppovich, they met, and the people who were present said it was a good meeting. It seemed that maybe they had squashed their beef. Then, the other day I read that Kawhi was saying he never wanted to step foot in the Spurs facility again, unless he was on a different team, and he was playing there. Then, after that report, I read that the Spurs were now willing to trade him to a team, but no one in the West. That one, if they were to trade him, made sense to me. Why would they want to trade him in the conference and have to face him multiple times a year. This made even more sense when I heard that the 76ers were trying to get RC Buford, the current Spurs GM, to be their new GM. It all started to come together. And, I thought, of any team he could go to, the 76ers made the most sense.

Today there are a ton of new reports that the Spurs and Lakers have "intensified" their trade talks, that the Spurs were now willing to trade him to a West team if the return was proper and that LeBron said, if the Lakers were to acquire him, he would be very willing to sign with the Lakers. Oh, and Paul George opted out of the final year of his contract in OKC, thus making these rumors seem even more real. After all the recent news, I have thrown my hands up, and given in to the fact that,  not only will the Lakers get Kawhi, but they will most likely sign LeBron and Paul George. Sure, they will have to trade some of their young talent, but who cares when you can get three perennial All Stars, one of which is the current best player in the world. I don't think that Rob Pelinka or Magic Johnson truly care if they have to add a Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Julius Randle or Brandon Ingram in a deal. I don't think they care if they have to add all four to get these three guys, or even 2 of them.

I got a report on my phone from Bleacher Report today that said that the Lakers were willing to add Brandon Ingram in any trade talks in fact. I thought he was one of the untouchable guys too. He actually improved a ton in his second season. He seemed like the guy that the Lakers should keep, and add these stars around him. They should trade Ball, or Kuzma, or, especially Randle before dealing Ingram. Ingram is the real deal. I fully believe that he is going to have a long, and fruitful, NBA career. Lonzo Ball has potential, his vision is amazing, but he has a garbage shot, and you have to deal with his family, and, most importantly, his dad. You think Lavar Ball will really expect his son to play second fiddle to Kawhi or Paul George? Hell, he will shit talk LeBron the moment he signs with the Lakers. Kyle Kuzma has the makings of being a good to great scorer, but he plays no defense, and he is considered "old" in the modern NBA. The kid can shoot, but he is no Brandon Ingram. And Julius Randle has had one foot out the door for the past 2 seasons. He doesn't fit in in LA. He comes and goes as he pleases, and he doesn't seem like he will live up to the hype. He also broke his leg his rookie year, and he missed an entire season. He still has a done of room to grow.

But, the Lakers seem to be desperate, so they are now willing to trade their best young guy, to get only Kawhi. That seems crazy to me. And, if the Spurs are to trade Kawhi, they better damn well get Ingram, and some high, high picks in upcoming drafts. I feel like Ingram, in that Spurs system, would thrive. And if they have to give up Kawhi, so be it. He clearly wants out, and to get a super young, hyper athletic player, that is really starting to come into his own, they'd be crazy not to do it. I don't think losing Kawhi and adding Ingram would be a death blow to them either.

What all of this talk boils down to, at least for me, the Lakers are going to get Kawhi. Then, they will get LeBron. Then, Paul George will announce he is going to sign there. It is going to happen. There are far too many signs that they will get these guys. Magic wants them. Kawhi wants to go there. LeBron has said that he would love to play with Kawhi. And Paul George would make a fine third option on that team, I guess. As much as I don't want this to happen, I'm about 99 percent sure it will. I still think adding these three guys, along with whomever the Lakers can keep, this makes them no better than third in the West. The Warriors are still, far and away, the best team in the West, and all of basketball, and I still like the Rockets, as long as they keep Chris Paul, just a bit more. So, at least there is that.

Oh well, lets get this all over with so I can bitch more about "super teams" on this website.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on all the internet.

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The Terrible 2018 NBA Finals Were the Conclusion to a Terrible 2018 NBA Playoffs

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The NBA Finals ended last Friday night, and like almost everyone predicted, including myself, the Warriors swept the Cavs. Game 4 was an absolute joke in fact. But, when reflecting back, this whole Finals, and besides 2 rounds, the NBA playoffs were, as a whole, pretty rough.

I love the NBA, but this past month plus of playoff basketball was not very fun to watch. The first round was pretty rough, save for the Cleveland-Indiana series, and that wasn't even top notch basketball. I mean, the Warriors beat the hobbled Spurs in 5, Houston dismantled Minnesota in 5, the Pelicans stomped on the Blazers and Utah blasted OKC. The first round in the West was pretty bad, and mostly predictable. In the East, we have the Cleveland-Indiana series, but, even though it went 7, only LeBron and Victor Oladipo were worth watching. Everything else about that series was rough. Toronto lost 2 to Washington, but we all knew that the Raptors would win that series with ease. Boston had little to no problem with the Bucks, even though Giannis did get 2 wins, and the 76ers, who it was very nice to see them back in the playoffs, dispatched of the Heat with relative ease.

The second round was not any better. In the West, the Rockets easily handled the Jazz in 5, all but showing the rest of the world that Donovan Mitchell was still a rookie. The Warriors gave Anthony Davis one game, but when they decided to care, they hammered the Pelicans. In the East, the Cavs, who clearly own this team, swept the shit out of the Raptors and the Celtics, fully without Kyrie Irving now, surprisingly, and with ease, beat the 76ers in 6.

The conference finals were the only good thing about the playoffs this year. Both series were hard fought and contested. Both series went 7 games. LeBron was amazing in the East. Even though they got beat, I thought James Harden played much better than he ever has this deep in the playoffs. But, the Warriors, after going down 3-2, reminded everyone how great, and how stacked, they really are.

Then we got the fourth straight year of Cavs-Warriors. On paper, and in reality for that matter, this was the most lopsided matchup of these teams since they have faced each other in the Finals. The Cavs are just not a good team. They were not nearly as good on offense this year as they were last year, when the Warriors beat them in 5 games. Losing a player of Kyrie Irving's talent will do that though. This year, probably since only his first couple of years in the league, LeBron had to do EVERYTHING for the Cavs to even have a shot at winning one game. And boy oh boy were they a historically bad defensive team. That showed tenfold these past 4 games. They were just horrendous on that end of the floor. And for the Warriors, this was a cake walk compared to every team they faced in the West playoffs. This is of no disrespect to LeBron, but that Cavs team, and I honestly believe this, would have gotten beat by the Pelicans in the Finals. They were so bad.

With that being said, the Cavs did have a shot to win a game, game one. I wrote all about that monstrosity of officiating and JR Smith and the lack of calling a timeout when you had one and wasting a 50 point plus performance in the Finals from LeBron last week. You can go check out my full thoughts on that. Game 2 was pointless. Steph came out, lit up Oracle Arena and set a record, making 9 threes in a Finals game. Oh, and Klay and KD did their usual thing. I also thought it was hilarious that people thought Klay was going to miss time with a minor injury. That nonsense made me laugh. The Cavs had another shot at a win in game 3, leading by double figures the first half. But KD took over, scored 43 and the Warrior won by 8. Oh, did I mention that they only got 21 points combined from Steph and Klay in that game too? Well, they did. And where has Draymond been all series you may be asking? He played fine defense, but he was a zero on offense. That is how stacked, and almost unfair, this Warriors team is. Three of their four main guys can have a terrible game, but never fear, KD will play the best game of the series, and they will win. Then game 4 was just stupid. RD even texted me at one point, and this was early in the fourth quarter, that this game was gross. I couldn't have agreed more. Game four was a funeral. It was one of the worst closeout games I have ever watched. The Cavs gave up, surrendered, and it showed. Hell, LeBron would only shake hands with the Warriors starters when he checked out, and no one called him out on his poor sportsmanship. People praised him for leaving the floor, as to not show too much emotion. And his "injury" news was some of the fakest shit I have ever seen. LeBron is a masterful basketball player, but all this "woe is me" stuff needs to stop. No one feels sorry for you LeBron.

When the final buzzer sounded, and the Warriors were "celebrating", I was left with a very hollow season. It was what we all expected, but it just felt weird. I wasn't excited. I knew this was coming. I knew KD was going to be the MVP. I knew that the players would talk about how this season was "tougher", and this "journey was different". None of that is true. They knew they were going to win a bunch of titles 2 years ago when they lured KD there. They are a real life cheat code, and it has made the playoffs kind of a drag. We all know now who is going to win, or at least, who should win. And going into next season, surprise surprise, the Warriors are the odds on favorites to win again. This NBA Finals were really a snap shot of how predictable and dull the Finals are going to be in the future.

I guess congrats are in order for the Warriors, but it is getting kind of boring being able to easily predict this stuff every year. I guess this will just make it even sweeter when someone finally knocks them off, whenever that may be.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on all the internet.

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If LeBron Joins the Warriors there Will Be No Reason to Watch the NBA

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Yesterday a report, coming from Stephen A Smith so take it with the biggest grain of salt you can find, came out that LeBron James will meet with the Warriors this offseason. If this happens, and I'm speaking of the meeting, I will be very, very pissed off. If it goes any further than a meeting, there will be absolutely no point to even watch the NBA next season, a sport I adore.

It is not new news that LeBron is a free agent when this season ends, probably tonight, and he is free to go anywhere. The speculation has been all over the map. At first, it was only the Lakers. He was seen spotted in LA looking at private schools, and he owns a very nice home there. But, doesn't every NBA player, or major NBA players, live in LA in the offseason? All the big time guys have outside interests, mostly in the entertainment industry, and LA is the best place to be to develop connections and make the most money you can. I take zero stock in the fact that he was looking at schools, and he has a home there. Since the middle of the season, the Lakers have kind of fallen off. There is a bit of a resurgence recently, but the Lakers seem unlikely.

After them, it was the Rockets. He was going to go play with his best friend in the league, Chris Paul, and they would finally be able to challenge the mighty Warriors. The three headed monster of LeBron, CP3 and Harden would be more than enough. But, they realized that they would have to get rid of some important people, mainly Clint Capela, and those talks have died down. I know that Vegas still thinks the Rockets have a good shot at getting him, but recent reports have said they will need a max deal to keep Paul, that shouldn't happen, and Capela is going to get paid by someone, and the Rockets better hope it is them because he is about to become a multiple All Star.

Recently it has been the Cavs and 76ers at the front of all the talks. In Cleveland he can do whatever he wants. He is Thanos, he is all powerful. He can snap his fingers and anyone he wants gone, they are gone. He can also bring in whoever he wants. He has carte blanche. He was instrumental in bringing in Kevin Love, Kyle Korver, JR Smith, and countless other veterans that he wants to have on his team. He is also the guy that runs everything on the floor. He controls the offense and he makes the decisions. He calls the timeouts and he picks when and where he wants to come out ad rest, or if he wants to play all 48 minutes. He controls the Cavs. As far as the 76ers goes, he could go to a young, but hyper talented team, and easily lead them to the finals every year. Me personally, I am not a fan of this, but if he wants that easy path to a shot at a title every year, the 76ers are in the East, they have the best young players in the league, and he could come in and be the super duper star that they need to push them over the top. Philadelphia, in theory, makes the most sense outside of him staying in Cleveland.

If all LeBron wants is an easy path, and to spend the rest of his career playing 28 minutes a game, and not having to worry about competition, then by all means, join the Warriors. This would be a brutal blow to the NBA. But, as I said, if LeBron doesn't want a challenge, and just wants to be one of the guys, not "the guy", then join the Warriors. If he were to do this, that Warriors team, even if they only had their 5 starters and 2 bench guys, could easily win 80 games, and sweep their way to a title. The starting five would be Steph, Klay. KD, LeBron and Draymond Green. All five All Star starters. They could throw RD and I on their bench and we would win the title. It would make for must see TV for about a week, but after that, watching games would be pointless. Would anyone really want to go see a midseason game between Golden State and say, I'll even pick a decent team, the Rockets? Not anyone outside those 2 cities. And I think even the Rockets fans might pass on that game. The great thing about sports is how dramatic it can be, but if LeBron were to join the Warriors, all that dram would be gone. The Warriors would easily win every game, even if they only gave 50 percent.

I also think it is terrible because LeBron is used to being the alpha. He is used to being the guy with the ball in his hands. He is used to getting every big shot. He is used to being catered by his teammates. That would destroy everything that Golden State has built these past three seasons. While I don't like the Warriors, I love their style of play. They are a newer, better and younger version of vintage Spurs. They play pure basketball, getting the ball to open shooters for the best possible shot. LeBron would halt all of that. He needs the ball in his hands to be as effective as he can be. Also, this is Steph's team. Sure, some may say that KD has taken over, but he hasn't. Steph is who the fans come to see. Steph is the one with the ball in his hands at the end of the game. More kids have Steph's jersey than any other player in the NBA. Then, second is KD. Then third is Klay. If LeBron signs there, he would be fighting with Draymond as the fourth most important player. Can he handle that? No freaking way.

This is a horrible idea on so many levels, and I really, truly hope it doesn't happen. I don't think it will, but I also didn't think that KD would join the Warriors 2 years ago. If the NBA gods have any sense, they won't let this happen.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on all the internet.

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Any Good American Needs to Celebrate the Philadelphia Eagles

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Not once, but twice I have found myself rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles this year. First was the Super Bowl, when they defeated the New England Patriots, thus not only winning for their city, but for the majority of NFL fans out there. Now, I cheer for them because of what they have made that repugnant, disgusting, racist, amorphous blob that currently resides in the White House release yesterday.

In a statement, the "president" (not my president), rescinded their invite to the White house today to celebrate their Super Bowl win. Every team, pretty much every year, that wins a title in a major sport goes to the White House to celebrate. This is supposed to be a big deal. It is supposed to be an honor. It is supposed to be something that we all see and say, hey, these athletes did something special. But, ever since that racist, pile of garbage, dip shit of a person took over as "president", more and more title winning teams are refusing to go and visit him and his cronies, and it is getting under his skin now. Sure, the Cubs went last year, but no one of real importance was there, with the exception of Joe Maddon, and he looked absolutely miserable. And yeah, the Penguins went a year ago, but hockey is stupid, and who really cares. But, the Warriors didn't go last year. The UNC Tarheels skipped their trip a year ago. I'm pretty sure Villanova won't be visiting any time soon. And now we have the Eagles. It was pretty much common knowledge that none of them were going to go. Well, scratch that, I think less than 10 of the players on the roster were willing to visit.

When you look at some of the guys on the team, you knew they wouldn't go and give that monster the time of day. Malcom Jenkins is one of the biggest protesters in the NFL, and he also happens to be a big time guy in the NFLPA, and we all knew he wouldn't go. Same with Chris Long. He has been very outspoken about his political beliefs, and I love that. He also played this past season, and he gave all of the game checks he made to random charities. That is a true American. I know Nick Foles had zero intentions of going to the White House after the Eagles won. He said as much. And I'm pretty sure guys like Brandon Graham, Jay Ajayi, Legarette Blount, Corey Clement, Alshon Jeffrey, hell, 99 percent of the roster, had no real intentions of going to see those pricks in D.C. As I said, they have been very outspoken on how much they despise and are concerned by what is going on in Washington, and I love that about them.

So, for this piece of white trash to come out and basically say, I'm taking my ball and going home, or you were never invited in the first place, shows how immature and unfit he is for the position he cheated his way into "winning". If I've said it once, I have said it a million times. You cannot rescind an invitation that was already declined. The Eagles, the majority of them that is, already came out weeks, hell, months ago and said they wouldn't go. Now, this nonsense comes out. Oh, and for Fox News to put that story out that they did, the one with a picture of Zak Ertz kneeling and praying before a game, saying he was protesting, do your god damn research. Even me, a blogger from Saint Louis, knows that he prays before every game. How can an entire company be so off base? And good for Ertz to come out and chastise them and call them "fake news", which is their favorite term to use. Mad props to him for going public and letting them know that they were wrong.

You can see how all of this is starting to really goad the "president" and his cronies. They are really starting to lose their shit because famous pro athletes, that win without cheating, are not going to "kiss the ring". They want to stay as far away from all that nonsense as possible. They don't want to be seen with that "person". They loathe him and what he has done in less than 2 years. This is what a racist deserves. They don't need to be praised, they need to chastised. They need to be held accountable for their wrong doings. They need to be shunned. They need to be shown for the monsters they are.

To really hammer home their point, that athletes are people too, both LeBron James and Steph Curry came out today and said that neither team, whichever one wins the NBA Finals, will be visiting the White House any time soon. LeBron went out there and spoke his mind once again, and much like the Eagles players, I love him for that, Steph too. Kids are seeing this. My kids are seeing this, and seeing that they can stand up to bullies, and that makes me so very proud.

I hope star athletes and more famous people continue to speak their minds. We are fed up. There are monsters "running" the country right now, and we need more and more people to continue to speak their minds. Thank you Steph, LeBron, and most importantly for today, the Philadelphia Eagles. Thank you for what you are doing. You are the real patriots. You are the real Americans.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He wants all Eagles players and fans to know they are welcome at his house anytime. Just please leave the batteries at home.

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Game One of the 2018 NBA Finals Was One for the History Books

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Game one of the NBA Finals was great last night.

It surprised me very much. I did not see this effort coming from the Cavs. I figured LeBron would be great, as he has been his entire career, and especially in these playoffs, but I did not expect his supporting cast to play as well as they did. Larry Nance provided that spark that he is so good at doing. Kevin Love finally showed up. George Hill was solid. I mean, the players LeBron has surrounded himself stepped up, for the most part.

Before I really dig into the game, LeBron's performance last night was otherworldly. He was absolutely amazing. He was so efficient and played hard and did everything that he could do to push his team to a victory. My problem with LeBron last night, I hate that fake ass tough guy he tries to be when the game is over. He blocked a Steph layup attempt with less than a minute left in overtime, and proceeded to shit talk him. Steph came right back and him, and Klay joined in as well. What I loved is that Steph didn't back down, he held his own, and seeing Klay laugh in his face and shrug his shoulders at him was amazing. LeBron is a sore loser. I get it, I hate losing too, but that fake tough guy bull shit needs to stop. We all know you are the best player in the game right now, but stop it with the fake tough guy attitude. It is tiring and annoying and looks really bad, especially when you let a game slip away that you should have won. LeBron was great, amazing and dominated, but he is a very, very sore loser and fake tough.

The Warriors did last night what they have done all year. They dicked around for the entirety of the game, until it went into overtime. That was when they locked in, and they dominated. But, the first 4 quarters had to be so frustrating for all the Warriors fans out there. They just seem to go out there, disrespect the opponent and expect to win. KD was awful on offense last night. I know he had 28 or so, but it was not at all efficient, and he took way too many jumpers. Steph had a good scoring game, but he was throwing bad passes and dribbling way too much. He was also exposed time and time again on defense. Klay had a rough scoring night and he was hurt early on in the game. You'd never know because he is so even keeled, but he needs to score more. Draymond was probably the only Warrior that really showed up last night, and he had a very solid game, and kept his shit talking to a minimum. The rest of the team, Shaun Livingston, Kevon Looney, Nick Young and Patrick McCaw, were all non factors, as expected.

Now, we have to go to that final minute or so of play last night. First thing, the block/charge call. When I saw it in real time I thought it was a block. LeBron's feet looked to be shuffling over, and KD was not out of control on his drive. The refs initially called it a charge, and I thought, okay, he is a super star, and he has earned those calls. When they overturned it, I was shocked. I never, ever expected that, especially a call to go against LeBron in the Finals. It was very surprising. Even with that call going the Warriors way, the Cavs kept scoring and took a lead very late in the fourth, like under a minute left. Then, Steph hit a floater and was fouled, or maybe not, and made the free throw to grab the lead for the Warriors. I figured that was it, the Warriors were going to close it out in the fourth quarter up 1 point with about 25 seconds left. Well, George Hill made a fantastic cut, and while cutting he got fouled by Klay, and it was definitely a foul. So Hill, who is around an 80 percent free throw shooter went to the line for a chance to win the game with 4 seconds left. He easily sunk the first free throw, and then the second one happened. Hill left the shot very short, but JR Smith, somehow, got the rebound over KD, and instead of shooting or kicking it out to LeBron, he dribbled out the clock.

I have never, ever seen anything like that. It ranks right up there with Webber calling timeout in the title game when Michigan didn't have any timeouts. When pushed, Smith said he thought the Cavs were winning. If he thought that, why was LeBron yelling at him? Why didn't he check the clock or scoreboard? Why did he think everyone was yelling at him? Why would the Warriors not foul him? I have so many questions for JR Smith. This will be one of those infamous plays that will be showed on highlight shows for eternity. And even after the game, Smith tried to say that he knew the game was tied, but we all know that is some bull shit. He blew it.

After Smith's blunder, overtime started, and that was when the Warriors finally woke up. They dominated every second of overtime, scoring the first seven points and eventually winning the game by 8. But, it wasn't without drama. We had the fake tough LeBron show up. Tristan Thompson, who is a scumbag, also became fake tough. Draymond started to yap more. Steph and Klay laughed in LeBron's face. And KD was quiet as usual when it comes to this type of stuff.

For as well as the Cavs played last night, they really blew a golden opportunity, and they are more doomed now than I thought they were at the start of the Finals. The Cavs will not play any better than they did last night, and they still lost. LeBron may have another game or 2 like he had last night, but will Love show up again? Are they really going to count on Nance to give them spark minutes? How will JR Smith react to his horrible end of game blunder? Where was Kyle Korver last night? Are they going to give Clarkson another 20 minute game? Will Ty Lue ever outcoach Steve Kerr again?

My simple answer to all of these questions, no. Hell, the Warriors may still come out and dick around, but they are so, so, so much better than the Cavs, and I think they will want to brutalize them now. And for the Cavs fans blaming the refs today, take that heat and put it towards JR Smith or George Hill. They each had a chance to win that game, and they both blew it big time. Game one was awesome, but I do not think we will see another one like it. The Cavs don't have it in them to play like that once again.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on all the internet.

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The 2018 NBA Finals and Our New Basketball Normal

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We all knew it would come to this, and starting tomorrow night, the Cavs and Warriors will face off for the fourth straight NBA Finals matchup.

I think most of us knew this was going to happen, but at the very least, there was a teeny tiny bit of drama. Cleveland had to survive a very tough fight from Indiana in the first round. In reality, I thought the had a real chance to win. I would not have been shocked if they beat Cleveland in Cleveland. But, they just aren't there yet. The Raptors put up nothing. They looked awful. The Cavs must really be in their heads. They were the one seed, and it was so lopsided, LeBron was clipping his fingernails during one of the games. It was one of the easiest sweeps I have ever seen in the playoffs. And while the Celtics put up great effort minus their 2 best players, I don't think anyone in their right minds really thought this particular Celtics team would beat LeBron in a game 7. All that being said, what LeBron has done this playoffs is remarkable. The team around, much of it his doing, is awful, and he dragged them to his 8th straight Finals appearance. That is incredible. He is clearly the best player in the game right now. He did a wonderful job with a bunch of too young or too old or just flat out scrubs around him. My hats off.

The Warriors kind of just dicked around the first 2 rounds of the playoffs, like they have done all year. They drew the Spurs, who didn't have Kawhi Leonard all year, and their 3 best guys were Tony Parker, who is a million years old, Manu Ginobli, who is even older, and LaMarcus Aldridge, who I like, but he is not equipped for the modern NBA. They won that series pretty handily in 5. They then drew the Pelicans, who were coming off a thrashing of the Blazers, and everyone said this was the one team no one wanted to face, and disposed of them in 5. Anthony Davis was great, but the Warriors made everyone else beat them, and everyone around Davis is not that good. They did have a hell of a fight from the Rockets though in the West Finals. Sure, some of the games were blow outs, but games 4, 5 and most of game 7, were all close. It may not have been pretty, but they were close. But, in the end, KD and Steph stepped up, and Harden disappeared and Chris Paul got hurt. That is their destiny. This was probably their best shot to beat the Warriors, and they just couldn't do it. And to miss 37 threes, 26 in a row, that is downright embarrassing. Just stop shooting them for awhile. Man, that was brutal.

All of this led to the inevitable. We all picked this before the season. Sure, there were moments during the season when the Cavs were questioned, but they don't play for the regular season. Sure, the Warriors dicked around all year, but when you have 2 MVP's and 4 All Stars you can get away with that. There was never a doubt in my mind. I know that I wrote the Warriors were in trouble a week ago, but I didn't pick them to lose. In fact, I doubled down. I figured they would start to care, and when they did, they provided that knock out punch. I was more skeptical of the Cavs, but LeBron did what he does, and here he is again. My son has only been alive for 6 years and he knows no one other than LeBron always in the Finals. It is starting to get that way with the Warriors too. He asked me this morning if we will see the same 2 teams he saw when he was three, and I told him yes and he sighed. This is the NBA now. This will continue to be the NBA. These are the 2 teams that everyone else will have to look up to until LeBron leaves and the Warriors can't afford their team anymore.

Since the Finals start tomorrow, I figured I would give a pick. If the Warriors don't sweep, I will be very, very surprised. They are so much better in every aspect of the game than the Cavs. The Cavs do have LeBron, who is the best player, but they can let him get his and make the rest of the Cavs beat them, just like the Pelicans series. The Cavs have no one around to help LeBron. Kevin Love is a shell of himself, and he is hurt. JR Smith has admitted how tired he is. Kyle Korver cannot hit the ocean right now. Jeff Green is Jeff Green. Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance are non factors. Tristan Thompson is a scumbag, and he is too slow to play in this series. George Hill comes and goes. They just don't have the horses to keep up with the Warriors. KD, Steph, Klay and Draymond are going to destroy the Cavs. This series is so lopsided, it should be on NBA TV. And I'm sorry saying this because LeBron is so great. He is so gassed though from carrying this team, and if he continues to play defense in the Finals like he has the entirety of the playoff, it will offset anything he does on offense. This is going to be a bloodbath, and I wouldn't be shocked id the Warriors win the first 4 games of the series by 10-15 points a piece.

Warriors in 4, no question.

Editor's Pick: LeBron gets one, Warriors in 5.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on all the internet.

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LeBron James is Not Michael Jordan Great

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With his exceptional play in these NBA playoffs, the talk of "is LeBron better than MJ" has started up again. I'm here today to put a stop to this nonsense as best I can.

First off, I never thought I'd say this, listen to what Scottie Pippen has been saying. These guys are 2 different types of players in 2 different eras of the NBA, so they cannot be compared favorably. If we had done this in the past, why not bring guys like Bill Russell, George Mikan, Kareem Abdul Jabaar and Oscar Robertson, just to name a few legends, into the debate. Those guys are never brought up because of the eras they played in. So, like Pippen says, this whole MJ vs LeBron debate is moot. LeBron plays in a much softer, score as many points as you can and lets all be friendly era of basketball. Jordan played in a rough, gritty, knock you down and make sure you are hurt era of basketball. While I like the current NBA more than the 80's or 90's, I think there is no question that the 80's or 90's was tougher, with better players. Names from that era include Jordan, Pippen, Ewing, Isaiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Magic and Bird, Karl Malone and John Stockton and Reggie Miller. If I'm not mistaken, all of those guys are in the Hall of Fame. And while there are great players now, Steph, LeBron, KD, Westbrook, Dwayne Wade and Tim Duncan, they do not hold the same weight, not yet, as the guys I mentioned from the 80's and 90's. They are, without question, better players. And while the current guys can become great, none of them, and that includes LeBron, hold the same aura as these guys from the 20th century. I'd rather have any of those guys on my team than anyone from the 21st century of NBA basketball. Yeah, I said it. So we can throw the eras out of the conversation immediately. Also, if prime MJ played in this current age of the NBA, he would average anywhere between 50 and 60 points a game, easily. Imagine MJ, with all the restrictions on defense, and his will to get better, adding the three point shot to his game, how much he would dominate. He would absolutely be a killer right now in the NBA. No question about it.

When I sit down and really think about it, really hard, there is no way that LeBron is a better basketball player than MJ. I love LeBron. I think he is great. He is definitely top 5 of all time NBA players. He has had a monstrous, and highly successful career. He has molded his game and gotten better every year. He is like a fine wine, except better. The things he is doing right now, after 15 years in the league, is undoubtedly one of the best things I have ever witnessed. So yes, I realize his greatness, but he is no MJ. LeBron has gotten fat off of horrific competition. When you look at the "toughest" teams he has had to face, teams like the Pacers, led by Roy Hibbert, before Paul George was great, or the Celtics with the rotting corpses of KG and Paul Pierce, or a super young, not yet ready Thunder team, when they had Westbrook, KD and Harden, are all over it. This isn't nearly the competition that MJ had to face. He had Starks and Ewing and the Knicks led by Pat Riley. Or, earlier in his career, the Bad Boy Pistons led by Thomas and Dumars. Or the Lakers with Magic and Kareem and Byron Scott. He faced the likes of Barkley in the Finals with the Suns. He dominated the Jazz, led by Stockton and Malone. He had to beat up on the Trailblazers when people thought that Clyde Drexler was as good as him. He dominated the Sonics led by Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton. I mean come on, the competition is not even close. Jordan had the much stiffer players and teams he had to beat, and he not only beat them, he dominated them.

Which leads me to another reason why this isn't even a debate. LeBron is friends with every other current star. Sure, he may play tough when he blocked one of Steph's shots 2 years ago, but off the court, they are buddies. This I am sure of. He has also openly admitted that some of his best friends are Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. In fact, I think the only guy he doesn't like is Dan Gilbert, and that is for good reason. I bet you he even thinks Lance Stephenson is an okay dude. MJ hated everyone, including his teammates. You may read that and think, well that makes him a miserable person. I see it differently. He expected the same amount of greatness out of his teammates, which was impossible, and not only wanted to beat his opponents, he wanted to embarrass them. He was a killer on the court through and through. He wasn't friends with Ewing or Malone. People say he and Charles Barkley were friends. I just think they gambled together. People say he was friends with Charles Oakley. No way. He just needed a body guard. Case in point of his need to embarrass players, look at the Dream Team, and what he did to Toni Kukoc in the 92 Olympics. Kukoc was the Bulls new guy that would usher in a new era of Bulls basketball, and not only did Jordan take this personally, but he convinced Pippen to as well. And boy oh boy did they dominate and frustrate Kukoc in the one meeting. It is a thing of beauty. So, while LeBron wants to befriend everyone, Jordan just wanted to win. I'll take the winner over the friendly guy any day.

Finally, back to the Pippen thing, they are 2 different types of players. LeBron wants to involve teammates and only take over when it is absolutely needed. LeBron also only goes hard on defense when there is an opportunity for a highlight play. LeBron whines a bunch, just like most other modern players, constantly to the refs. And LeBron, I say again, I think he is one of the greatest, might be the most uncoachable player in the history of the NBA. LeBron is more Magic, but a better, and much, much bigger scorer. Jordan took over from the start. Jordan did everything on the floor. Jordan was a bulldog defender. Jordan, while he veered from time to time, holds Phil Jackson and Doug Collins in high regard. But most importantly, Jordan never lost when it mattered the most. He was undefeated in the Finals. He won those Finals for the Bulls. He was the guy they went to when they needed it most. He never took games, let alone plays, off. Jordan was the perfect basketball player.

This is a pointless debate started for pointless reasons. We all want to say that we saw the best, so we will hold onto anyone at the current moment that we might think is the best. Hell, I hear people now saying that Mike Trout is the greatest baseball player ever. Slow down on that. I also hear that LeVeon Bell is the best running back ever in the NFL. Or even crazier, back to basketball, that Steph or Westbrook are the greatest point guards ever. That is all nonsense. Maybe my kids will look back and think that LeBron was the best ever, but I know that Jordan is, was and always will be the best NBA player ever. There is no debating this.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on all the internet. He also does think it is awesome how LeBron handled the MAGA hat wearing douche in his last game.

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The Raptors are a Frustrating, and Predictable, Playoff Team

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I feeling embarrassed that I had faith in the Raptors going into the playoffs this year. They had a great regular season, got the one seed in the East, changed their style of play to be more modern and just looked like a real threat. And even though Washington took 2 games from them, I was impressed by how they closed out that series. They were matched up with Cleveland, who was coming off a rough 7 game series with Indiana, and I figured they had a chance. I know I picked the Cavs, but I thought it would go 6 or 7 games.

Once the games started, and the Raptors reverted to being the Raptors. It was tough to watch. They stopped doing what was so successful all year long, and they let LeBron get in their head. They haven’t been able to beat him, and that has stuck. LeBron was amazing in this series. He had one “bad” outing, game one, but other than that, he was incredible. The Raptors had zero answer for him. They had a rookie on him, OG Anounoby, but he’s a solid defender. What was so frustrating though, they gave him zero help. He was one on one with the best player in the game right now, a rookie, and the Raptors never adjusted. I’ll never understand that as long as I live. And LeBron carried that team for those first three games. He did any and everything that was asked of him. He scored at will. He made amazing buzzer beaters. He got to the rim with ease. He was amazing.

Then, last night in game 4, he got the help he’s been waiting for. Everyone, be it JR Smith, Kevin Love or George Hill, they all contributed last night. What helped them was how poorly the Raptors came out and played last night. They were an embarrassment. They phoned it in. They gave up. They bought into the fact that LeBron owns them. Kyle Lowry was horrendous all series, and he was horrible last night. DeMar DeRozan decides it would be better to watch from the locker room and got himself ejected in the second quarter. Jonas Valenciunas was unplayable in this whole series. Same for Jakob Poertle. Serge Ibaka was a no show. Hell, the only guys who seemed to be trying where Anounoby and Fred Van Vleet. That shouldn’t be the case in a potential season ending game. They needed their best players, and none of them showed up. In fact, they all gave up. That’s sad. To lose that game, by that much, that’s pathetic.

I don’t know where the Raptors go from here. They can’t run it back because it will be fools gold again. But they also can’t really trade anyone because they won’t get a good return. I wouldn’t fire Dewayne Casey because he’s a good coach, but man does he choke in the playoffs. The Raptors are the 21st century’s version of the Sonics, but even they made a Finals appearance. This team needs to really look within and find out what they can do to compete at a higher level. After last night, they need to do a deep soul search.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on all the internet.

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.