I’ll Play — When I’m Good And Ready!!

Gregg Popovich: “Alright Kawhi, it’s time to get back out there.”

Kawhi Leonard: “No thanks.”

Gregg Popovich: “What?!?!”

Kawhi Leonard: “Yeah, I don’t think I wanna play for you anymore.”

Gregg Popovich: “Was it something I said??”

Kawhi Leonard: “Yeah, that, or your general point of view toward everyone….”

(That’s probably how that conversation went).

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Kawhi Leonard, one of the NBA’s best players, has been riddled with injuries all season. He’s appeared in just 9 games for the San Antonio Spurs. And as of Wednesday, a report surfaced that despite being medically cleared to play, Leonard has chosen to remain on the sidelines. If the Spurs were eliminated from playoff contention I’d almost understand, however, at 35-24 (3rd in the Western Conference), they’d have a shot in the playoffs with a healthy Leonard.

League sources stated Leonard is upset with the Spurs’ timetable for rehabilitation. This tension has led to many believing Leonard and the Spurs will part ways after next season. Leonard has a player option following the 2019 season.

If Leonard leaves, it’ll prove WINNING doesn’t cure all.

I’ve drawn many parallels between the Spurs and New England Patriots. While the NBA and NFL are completely different animals, both dynasties have many similarities. Both win at a record-setting pace. Both systematically place the betterment of the team over any individual. And both have All-Time great coaches who also happen to be emotionless jerks.

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Following his playing career in New England, Wes Welker openly admitted not enjoying his time in New England. He specifically stated Bill Belichick as the reason for signing with the Denver Broncos in 2013. “It was just kind of hard to put up with him (Belichick). You had to endure him (Belichick),” Welker said.

Even the great Tom Brady’s trials and tribulations with Belichick surfaced during this past season. Seemingly the only thing holding the Patriots together is Elmer’s Glue. Or winning. Winning is definitely the thing holding them together.

So with just 23 games left to play in the NBA’s regular season, Popovich is trying to ‘save face’:

“We only have ‘X’ number of games left in the season, and he’s still not ready to go,” Popovich told reporters in San Antonio on Wednesday. “If by some chance he is, it’s gonna be pretty late into the season; and it’s going to be a pretty tough decision — how late to bring somebody back. So that’s why I’m just trying to be honest and logical. I’ll be surprised if he gets back this year.”

That may sound nice. That may be what a head coach should say when speaking about his injured superstar. But he conveniently left out the ‘Kawhi Leonard is healthy but decided not to play for you’ part.

Words are a funny thing…. 

 

Do you agree with Kawhi Leonard’s decision to sit out despite being healthy?? Tell me in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

It’s Snubbing Season!!

I don’t like getting snubbed.

I can’t imagine Paul George does either.

As the NBA All-Star Team Reserves were announced Tuesday, George was the most glaring omission. Each conference is comprised of 12 players, 5 starters and 7 reserves.

Starters are determined by 3 voting groups:

Fans: 50%

Players: 25%

Media: 25%  

Reserves are selected by NBA coaches. And this year, rather than play East Vs. West, a playground style, pick-up game will ensue. Each conference’s top vote-getter (as per the fans), will be named “Captain”. The inaugural captains are Lebron James and Stephen Curry. They will then alternate selecting players (Lebron has 1st pick) no matter their conference.

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**NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, decided not to televise the selection process, as he doesn’t want to hurt the last pick’s feelings….

(Hurt their feelings?? Are we in 2nd grade?!?! These are grown men, being paid millions to play the game of basketball, and you’re worried about their feelings over the All-Star Game?!?! Talk about a money making opportunity being flushed down the toilet!!)

Instead, Lebron and Curry’s selections will be revealed on Thursday @ 7:00 P.M. EST on TNT.

While I like the idea of “choosing up teams”, they only got this half-way right.

If you’re going to choose teams, regardless of conference, why would the voting process remain separated by conference????

All-Star voting should simply be the top-24 players in the NBA. Here are the teams, as presently constructed:

Eastern Conference:

  • Starter: Kyrie Irving, G, Boston Celtics
  • Starter: DeMar DeRozan, G, Toronto Raptors
  • Starter: LeBron James, F, Cleveland Cavaliers (Captain)
  • Starter: Giannis Antetokounmpo, F, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Starter: Joel Embiid, C, Philadelphia 76ers
  • Reserve: Kyle Lowry, G, Toronto Raptors
  • Reserve: Bradley Beal, G, Washington Wizards
  • Reserve: John Wall, G, Washington Wizards
  • Reserve: Victor Oladipo, G, Indiana Pacers
  • Reserve: Kevin Love, F, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Reserve: Kristaps Porzingis, F, New York Knicks
  • Reserve: Al Horford, C, Boston Celtics

Western Conference:

  • Starter: Stephen Curry, G, Golden State Warriors (Captain)
  • Starter: James Harden, G, Houston Rockets
  • Starter: Kevin Durant, F, Golden State Warriors
  • Starter: Anthony Davis, F, New Orleans Pelicans
  • Starter: DeMarcus Cousins, C, New Orleans Pelicans
  • Reserve: Damian Lillard, G, Portland Trail Blazers
  • Reserve: Klay Thompson, G, Golden State Warriors
  • Reserve: Jimmy Butler, G, Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Reserve: Russell Westbrook, G, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Reserve: LaMarcus Aldridge, F, San Antonio Spurs
  • Reserve: Draymond Green, F, Golden State Warriors
  • Reserve: Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Minnesota Timberwolves

If you say someone needs to be in, someone needs to be out….

Paul George is more deserving than Kristaps Porzingis. I love that the Knicks will be represented at All-Star Weekend, but Kristaps Porzingis DOES NOT deserve to be an All-Star. George is also more deserving than Kyle Lowry, Lamarcus Aldridge, Draymond Green, Kevin Love, and Klay Thompson. These players are having outstanding seasons, but they’re not having the season George is having.

Here are George’s stats:

20.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.1 steals, 43.6 FG%, 42.2 3-point%, and 80.9 FT%

Don’t forget, George is also adjusting to life as the 2nd option, for the 1st time, in Oklahoma City. Oh, and George is the front-runner for Defensive Player of the Year.

 

Should Paul George be an All-Star?? Tell me in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

NBA Installs Pillows On Every Team’s Bench

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It’s Saturday night. Dinner’s ready. Beer’s in hand. And I settle in to that a** groove in the couch directly in front of the TV. I flip to ABC to watch the highly anticipated match-up between the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs, ya know, the game ESPN selflessly promoted for weeks, only to find that the game’s 8 best players were “scratched”. Angry, but still happy to have my feet up on the couch next to my wife, we found a movie, and the NBA lost my viewership for the evening.

This is known as the Resting Epidemic. NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, has acknowledged it is the NBA’s biggest problem, and he feels they have a solution. Their solution is highlighted in the NBA’s schedule for the upcoming season. Here are the most notable changes to the schedule:

  • The season will start 8 days earlier (a move from Oct. 25 to Oct. 17)
  • A record low back-to-back games (an average of 14.4 per team)
  • Elimination of 4 in 5’s (4 games in 5 nights)
  • Protection of Marquee Matchups on National TV

Allow me to elaborate on that last one. Marquee Matchups, such as Warriors vs. Spurs, are broadcast on ABC (National TV). These games carry higher ratings, which brings more advertisers, ergo everyone involved makes more money. So when millions tune-in to check out Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Pau Gasol and NONE of them are playing, yeah, I’d say there’s a problem.

Well this year, the NBA will cater to the babie..ahem..I mean NBA players who feel they don’t get enough days off throughout the season. Ya know, the NBA players who get paid millions to play a game for a living. Yeah — those guys. This is the part when I talk directly into the camera….

Listen, I understand playing in the NBA is taxing on your body. You play thousands of minutes, travel thousands of miles, and probably have odder sleeping habits than me. BUT, you have professional trainers at your beckon call. You have personal chefs. You fly on private planes. And you stay in the nicest hotels imaginable. What the hell do you have to complain about?!?! Playing 4 basketball games in 5 days?!?! Boofreakinhoo!! Try working a 12-hour shift, just to race to your 2nd job where you work another 6-hour shift, to make just enough money to put food on the table for your kids (who you barely see). Then come back to me and tell me you still want to complain about playing in the 2nd game of a back-to-back. Spare me….

The fact that resting is the NBA’s biggest problem, is a sad reflection of our society. And the NBA’s response is even sadder. Rather than coming down hard by fining teams and players, they are coddling their superstars, proudly preparing them for nothing that closely resembles real life. So, when you tune-in to ABC this year for any of the Warriors’ 6 National TV games, they will be well rested. In fact, no team playing on ABC this year will be playing in the 2nd of a back-to-back.

The all-important question still remains: Will caving and pandering to every need of NBA’s superstars solve the NBA’s Resting Epidemic?? Or will NBA teams continue to rest players at inopportune times?? Only time will tell. My guess is it won’t help one bit….

 

What do you think?? Do you agree with the NBA modifying it’s schedule to get NBA players more rest?? Will it solve the Resting Epidemic?? Tell me what you think in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel called DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

The English Language Doesn’t Have A Word For What The Spurs Did To The Rockets Thursday Night

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WOW!! Let me say that again. WOW!!!! Was that awesome or what?? I’ve never enjoyed watching an absolute blowout so much in my life. In case you turned the game off at halftime, it only got worse (for the Rockets). The San Antonio Spurs crushed, destroyed, demolished, routed, embarrassed, beat down, annihilated, obliterated, and most importantly eliminated the Houston Rockets on Thursday night (114-75). Yes, you read that score right. 114-75.

Game 6 started with the Spurs winning the tip-off. Lamarcus Aldridge received the ball in the low post, made a quick spin move toward the left baseline, and scored an easy basket. Just 23 seconds into the game, the tenor was set for the rest of the evening. Aldridge channeled his days as a Portland Trailblazer (where he averaged nearly 20 points and 9 rebounds per game), finishing with 34 points and 12 rebounds. He was unstoppable, and the rest of the spurs, sans Kawhi Leonard, followed suit. Before we get to the Spurs’ impressive performance, let us attempt to understand what happened to James Harden and the Rockets….

I’ve never seen such a pathetic performance from an MVP candidate, on his home floor, in an elimination game in my life. James Harden looked about as interested in last night’s game as this kid from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off:

ferris

Harden attempted just 2 shots in the 1st half. 2 shots!! Momentum is often thought of in a positive light, but I guess the awful momentum of Harden’s disastrous play at the end of Game 5 spilled over to Game 6. Harden finished with a season low 10 points on 2-11 shooting, and added a stellar 6 turnovers. His performance was inexplicable, but if Harden wasn’t making such a ridiculous salary, I’d be calling for a point-shaving investigation. It was that bad! But anyway, back to the Spurs….

Six Spurs scored in double figures. Jonathan Simmons, who started in place of Leonard, contributed 18 points on 8-12 shooting and played the best defense I’ve seen since the ’85 Bears (“Da Bears“). Rookie point guard, Dejounte Murray, played a fantastic game posting a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block). Someone tell me how this kid fell to 29th in the draft?! This kid is going to be a very good point guard for a very long time. Pau Gasol, Danny Green, and Patty Mills had solid games, all scoring in double figures as well.

The Spurs have been typecast with playing a “boring” brand of basketball. I am sick of hearing that. If putting the ball in the basket efficiently, playing relentless defense, and winning is “boring”, then sign me up for some boring. And I’ll take a side of fundamentals with my boring please. In the age of hey everybody look at me, it is refreshing to see a franchise run like the Spurs. Sure, they have a superstar in Kawhi Leonard, but do you see him showboating? Complaining? Flailing his arms about looking for an imaginary foul? Flopping around like a fish out of water? The answer, to all, is an emphatic NO!

The Spurs, once again, proved why they are the cream of the crop in the NBA. They are heading to their 10th Western Conference Finals under Gregg Popovich (the coach since ’96-’97). I know, I know, this sounds a lot like the New England Patriots. Well, it’s because they are run very similarly. They don’t hand out contracts based on what you’ve done, rather for what you are going to do. They turn late round draft picks into stars. They don’t tolerate individual egos. And they are run with only one thing in mind; WINNING.

The question is, will they win against the contrasting style of the Golden State Warriors? Assuming Kawhi Leonard’s health, and as much as I don’t want to eat my words for doubting the Spurs, I still can’t envision the Spurs beating the Warriors 4 times in 7 tries. Can you?

Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Carmelo’s Return Spoiled

Wednesday night marked the first game for Carmelo Anthony in Denver since being traded from the Nuggets.  The Denver Nuggets traded Anthony for a host of players and draft picks to the New York Knicks back in 2011.  When it comes to players being traded, sometimes you have players that become a cancer in a locker room or bring more drama to a team than a daytime soap opera.  However in Melo’s case, he and the Nuggets were in mutual agreement that it was time to move on.  Carmelo had always wanted to come back home and play in the city where he grew up, the one, the only, New York City.  At the same time, the Denver Nuggets found a way to get numerous promising young players and future draft picks in return for Anthony.  The trade turned out to be a win-win situation.  With that being said, I have never been more embarrassed for an entire fan base than I was for the IGNORANT Denver Nuggets fans that were in attendance Wednesday night.  From the second they introduced Carmelo Anthony to the starting lineup, they booed him.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, they booed him every single time he touched the ball.  To that I say, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?  And to make matters even worse, when Melo left the game in the 3rd quarter due to a banged up knee, the fans felt it was necessary to chant, “Where is Melo?”  Really?  Does that make you feel better?  This is not like Lebron James’ situation, where he left his team high and dry and they reverted back to the horrible team they were prior to his arrival.  It is not like Melo left the city he grew up in to chase the money.  NO, he wanted to come home and play basketball in the greatest arena on earth.  Now I know that fans aren’t always as smart as they let on, but I thought they were going to get this one right.  While everyone was wondering what kind of reception Melo would get from the crowd, I kept saying they have to cheer him.  For all he did for this team, they’d be the dumbest fans in all the world to boo him.  Well, if the shoe fits…….  So clearly, the fans that filled the Nuggets arena are classless and don’t understand anything about the NBA.  They clearly can’t look at Carmelo’s career as a Denver Nugget objectively and say, man he was great, he took us to the playoffs literally every year he played here (including his rookie season).  Say what you want about Carmelo Anthony’s game.  Tell me he’s not good enough to win a championship.  Tell me his style of play is not conducive to the “team” mentality.  You can even tell me he doesn’t have the work ethic of a Lebron James or a Michael Jordan.  But don’t tell me he didn’t give the Denver Nuggets everything he had for 7+ seasons.  Don’t tell me the Nuggets would have been a playoff team 7 years in a row without him.  And, you definitely can’t tell me that he wasn’t the reason you came out to the arena to watch the team every night.  So to all the Denver Nuggets fans who booed and heckled Carmelo Anthony, I say go back to school because you obviously don’t have any class.

As for the game, it was pathetic.  Man I get tired of using that word.  As I stated earlier, Carmelo Anthony left the game in the 3rd quarter due to his knee acting up again.  Carmelo Anthony is clearly not 100%, and they need to rest him so he’s healthy for the playoffs.  If a player is going to suit up, they need to be able to give it their all, every night.  And right now, he can’t do that.  Will having his knee drained solve all of his problems?  I don’t know, but I sure hope it does.  A very scary moment came in the 2nd quarter when Tyson Chandler went down after banging knees with Corey Brewer.  As of now the Knicks are calling it a knee contusion.  When asked about it after the game, Chandler said it shouldn’t be a problem and hopefully we’ll see him in uniform Thursday night.  Thursday night they continue their tough road trip against the Portland Trailblazers, and it would serve the Knicks well to have Chandler in there to slow down LaMarcus Aldridge (he’s pretty good).  If you haven’t figured it out by now the Knicks got blown out for the second straight game.  They lost the game 117-94.  While Melo and Chandler left the game and Raymond Felton’s woes continued, there was one positive to be taken away from Wednesday nights shellacking.  Iman Shumpert showed us that he can actually score the basketball.  Since always, I’ve been preaching that he is wildly underrated on the offensive end and once his knee is back to 100%, he will show the world that he can shoot.  Last night was a prime example of that.  Shumpert scored 20 points on 8 of 10 shooting from the field (which included going 4 for 5 from 3-point range).  So being the glass half full guy that I am (haha), let us take away only the positive (yes that’s positive in the singular form because there was only one) from last night’s game.  Other than that last night’s game was a complete and total disaster, and I’m not sure it can get any worse for the New York Knicks.  They need to pick off 1 or 2 of the 3 games remaining on this road trip and crawl their way back to New York with some confidence.  Luckily for them, the Utah Jazz are playing like the worst team in the galaxy right now, and that is where they finish their road trip.  But first, they will be in Portland Thursday night to take on the Blazers.  You can find that game on TNT at 10:30 P.M.  Personally, I can’t wait for them to finish this road trip so I can start going to bed at a reasonable time.  But hey, it’s not all about me now is it?

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook athttp://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!