I'll start with the NBA, since it's the playoffs.
It's funny to see Coach Mark Jackson running a team on the opposite side of the country from the city he started playing ball in. The Golden State Warriors are an awesome team to watch for so many reason. First, there's the obvious Steph Curry/Klay Thompson combination. Not only are both players great shooters, but they're so fundamentally sound on almost every level. This comes from both having parents who played in the NBA, for sure.
The Warriors have crafted this team perfectly, through free agency, the draft, and trades. NY Knicks cast off, David Lee, is the team's only All Star, and he has been out with an injury. Yet this team doesn't miss a beat. Andrew Bogut has stepped on just in time. Remember Monta' Ellis? No, seriously, do you remember him? I don't.
Contrast the Warriors with the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, the team Coach Jackson played for and the city where he grew up. The Nets are obviously a joke team right now with a massive payroll, but no real chance of success with the current spate of players. But I guess their rich Russian owner got the initial splash he needed. The future will tell.
Then there's the Knicks. I grew up a Knicks fan. Now I look at this team and think to myself, "There's really not a guy on this team I want to root for. And could a team have worse tattoos?" By the way, I think the Warriors have the fewest tattoos in the NBA, which is another reason I enjoy watching them. Tons of tattoos usually equals tons of douchebag players, and the reverse is true as well. When you look at the Warriors you can foresee a team that has 2-3 future coaches on the roster. You look at the Knicks and you see 2-3 players that could have their own reality TV show, which always ends well.
So yeah, my days as a Knicks fan, even assuming I land back in New York, are over. It ended with Patrick Ewing's last game, even if it pains me to admit it. Am I a Warriors fan for life? Doubt it. But right now this team is owning it for me. They are making me like watching the NBA again, which I did not think was possible. The Knicks are a joke team right now, regardless of their at best, Eastern Conference Semifinal finish.
Speaking of things that make me not want to watch the NBA, the Miami Heat are that team. I'll root for the Knicks over the Heat, for sure. I think the Heat's "decision" to create that team, to "sacrifice" in order to win a championship, seems weaker every time I watch them play. The whole idea that time will make us forget what Lebron did, etc. etc., hasn't worn off on me. In fact, when Ray Allen showed up it just seemed all the more ridiculous.
I can't exactly put my finger on what it is I can't stand about the Heat, but I guess it comes down to the fact that the Heat are entirely un-organic. I've come to like organic. Maybe it's the west coast, or maybe I always have. I don't know. But I like when teams grow their own, and while the Heat's players have made it seem as if they've "sacrificed" something for the team, the truth is they've been nothing but self-interested in their quest for supposed team greatness. The epitomize the qualities I least like about society.
Oh, Lebron won another MVP? Great. I'll never deny his immense physical talents. Jordan's teams would smoke this Heat team. Fact. Not close. I actually believe the Blazers, Rockets Suns, an Pistons of Jordan's era would also beat this supposedly great team. The Heat are a collection of talented individuals who can beat most NBA teams because of their superior athletic abilities. Push comes to shove in the playoffs, they wouldn't beat these formerly great TEAMS of the past. Especially when a guy like Lebron gives up on a game with 30 seconds to go, like he did against the Bulls on Monday.
If there's any question who should be the number 1 pick in the NBA draft, there shouldn't be. It's Trey Burke.
This is the weakest NBA Draft I've ever seen, which is why the Warriors should be excited they don't have to pick anyone! But in all seriousness, Burke should be the player teams want, and it's not close. The other potential top picks (Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, Anthony Bennett, Alex Len, Otto Porter) have more question marks than the Riddler's outfit. You could make a case that every single pick other than Burke could be a bust.
However, by no means is Burke a default number 1 pick. He's a clear cut. To start with, he's a point guard who has a great handle on the ball. How many great point guards are in the NBA? Not many. Think about Steph Curry and Nate Robinson. Both are fearless players, who want the ball, and can take over games. Burke is not the shooter Curry is, nor as fast as Robinson, but he has a lot of the best qualities of both players. When Burke carried Michigan through the NCAA tournament, he did so against Kansas, who had McLemore on the bench. That's a guy you're selecting over Burke? Is McLemore as good as Bradley Beal? Beal is a GOOD player with great talent. Jeremy Lamb was a fearless college player who hit big shot after big shot as a freshman. He helped carry UConn to a national championship. He was a top 10 NBA pick, who just spent half the year in the D-League. And you're talking about McLemore over Burke? Burke has every bit the talent Kemba Walker has, if not more. Burke can score, pass, and be clutch. It's not close.
BUT if I had to pick ONE reason why Burke should be selected over every other player in the draft it is because of the shot he hit against Kansas to send Michigan to the Final Four. It's not so much that he made the basket. In fact, that's hardly relevant. What matters is he was WILLING to take THAT SHOT FROM 30 FEET AWAY, and that he COULD MAKE THAT SHOT. That's a guy you want on your team. If you watch Robinson and Curry right now, they take those shots. A player who takes that shot is a player who carries a team. A player who believes he's going to make that shot.
I'm a Buckeye fan. And it pains me to watch a kid who should have been at Ohio State end up at Michigan, and now end up on top of the draft. Especially when I know that kid would have preferred to be a Buckeye over a Wolverine. But it is what it is (please don't compare Aaron Craft to Trey Burke. I love Aaron Craft. He's like the Tim Tebow everyone likes, and like Tebow, won't have a long professional sports career).
I really have come to dislike the Knicks. Wow. JR Smith? C'mon.
No one cares about hockey. Period. But I'll expand...
The NHL strike has nearly killed the sport, and it's evident by the fact more people discuss soccer than hockey. That's right hockey, you're less popular than soccer. Now I'm not suggesting I collected data to prove this point, but I do work closely with a sports radio station, and NO ONE discusses the San Jose Sharks, who are apparently kicking ass. Do you know who will probably win the MVP Award for the NHL? Of course you don't. It's a guy named John Tavares of the Islanders. They play in New York. If you asked serious sports fans in the Bay Area, "Who is John Tavares, and what has he done?" Rather than hear an accurate answer, you'd more likely get, "The son of an illegal alien who is trying to stay here even though his parents were born in Mexico?"
No one cares about hockey.
Don't get me wrong. I love Hockey. I really do love the Devils. I grew up an Islanders fan until about age 17. Then I took to my Jersey roots (jumped on the wagon). Truth is, Ohio people made me love Jersey teams more than I did. I do love hockey though, but the NHL has been mismanaged for years, and the latest strike made the sport practically irrelevant. I see more facebook posts and hear more conversations about Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, and Sir Alex than I ever do about ANYONE having ANYTHING to do with Hockey.
No one cares about hockey. Soccer matters more than hockey. Deal with it.
Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer of all time. The conversation is over. Maybe you need proof though? Except, my proof has nothing to do with Tiger Woods, and everything to do with Roberto Castro and Derek Ernst and David Lynn. Are they golfers? Exactly.
Derek Ernst defeated England's David Lynn at the Wells Fargo Championship last week in Charlotte, NC. In doing so, he also overcame Phil Mickelson, who was leading the tournament until the 16th hole of his final round. Ernst is ranked somewhere around 1,200th in the world of golf, and was the FOURTH ALTERNATE to make the tournament. Meaning, 4 others had to drop out for him to play. And then he won. This is no joke tournament either. Mickelson, having never won this tournament, desperately wanted to, but he was beaten by a no-name and a guy who just a few weeks ago outplayed Woods at the Houston Open. Prior to that, Woods didn't know who David Lynn was. Thought he was a rookie, and not a 39 yr old veteran wiseass, which he is.
Then there's Roberto Castro, who today shot a 9-under 63 at the Players Championship in Ponte Verde Beach, FL. He now holds that record, tied with Greg Norman and Fred Couples, two names most sports fans have heard.
And that's the point. Tiger Woods has DOMINATED a sport that has amazing players coming out of the wood work EVERY WEEK. Even when he's down, he's feared. No different than Michael Jordan was. No different than Pele. Tiger takes on a field vastly larger, stronger, younger and better than what Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer faced. It's not close. So when people start comparing Woods to other golfers just mention Roberto Castro and Derek Ernst as proof of how good golfers are today.
I don't care if Woods never wins another tournament again. He's the best we've ever witnessed.
Finally, some NFL. A sport so popular ESPN has a daily show called "NFL 32" in the OFF SEASON!
This was a great NFL Draft, contrary to what the "experts" say. There were 45 first round picks. Not 10. There will be a lot of players who make a serious impact, who all happen to be very skilled at what they do. Not a lot of sexy positions like WR, RB, and QB, but that doesn't matter. Next year there will be lots of those guys, and many more busts than there were in this draft.
Do you know Shahid Khan? Or, Shad Khan? He owns the Jacksonville Jaguars. When he bought the team there were fans who wanted to boycott. Why you don't ask? Because Khan is from Pakistan. Yep. He is literally the American dream come to fruition. Basically, he moved here alone at 16, slept in the YMCA, attended University of Illinois, majored in Engineering, then eventually bought Flex-N-Gate, a company he first worked for out of college. Now he's a billionaire.
He's also a terrorist. No, I'm kidding. He's not a terrorist at all. BUT..worse than being a terrorist, he won't sign Tim Tebow to his NFL team. Why won't he? Because he's educated. Yet there's a slew of people who want him to do so, citing a recent study by Forbes that Tebow is "most influential athlete" in America today. Great. But he sucks at football, so Khan won't sign him. People are enraged by this.
Not surprisingly, I see it for what it is. Conservatives Christians love Tim Tebow and his devout faith, and at the same time hate Khan for being a Pakistani Muslim who owns their team. They see this as the beginning of the end for America, and only Tim Tebow can stop this from happening. So now they're actually petitioning the White House to force Khan to hire Tebow. How American! They want the Terrorist Obama to help them out! Irony, folks, there it is.
And to think I actually thought some people in the South loved Football more than anything. I was wrong. They love racism more.
And that's sports for now.
And if I made grammatical errors, Eff off. The site's called BeLOW Me for a reason.
Sidenote: My friend Dees from New York says people in New York "still love hockey" and that people are "going nuts." I believe that, of course. Hockey is a regional game, and Gary Bettman ruined it via expansion. So when I say "no one cares about hockey", what I mean is, "no one outside of the places where ice actually forms likes hockey." Ironically, this note comes from a guy who doesn't care about hockey.